Archive for May, 2006

Re: L.A.X

I go to L.A. tomorrow! Hello, Mulholland Drive and smog and Getty Museum and In-N-Out Burger!! Goodbye (for now), F train and street fairs with mozzarepas and people with souls.

Not to go all Sebastian Junger on you, but I would like to discuss right now how I am a perfect storm of all things East Coast. From my delightfully prudish and expletive-free New England upbringing to my mow-over-slow-tourists-on-the-sidewalks-of-New-York pace and my knowledge of the lyrics to “Welcome to Miami (Bienvenidos a Miami)” I am a microcosmic representation of every exit off of I-95. Even the one you get off at to visit South of the Border and buy fireworks.

I just never had that much exposure to the West Coast aside from the song-slash-guidebooks “Free Fallin'” and “I Love L.A.”, but something tells me I shouldn’t use Tom Petty and Randy Newman as reliable sources. If I did, I’d still think that short people got no reason to live (untrue! Have you seen “Little People, Big World”?), and I won’t even get into the mental anguish caused when I actually thought Alice in Wonderland was turned into yellow cake and eaten by the Mad Hatter.

Don’t come around here no more? No problem.

Honestly though, when I think of L.A., my mind’s ear immediately hears the nasal twang of “She’s a gooood girl, loves her mama, loves Jesus, and America too” and from there I begin a whimsical journey through magical places like Ventura Boulevard and Reseda and freeways (not highways like me- remember, I’m good old Interstate 95 personified). Why freeway? Why not just highway like the rest of us call it? But then I go all J.D. from Scrubs and start daydreaming about that scene from one of the best movies ever (and my one other source for L.A. information), L.A. Story,where it’s “open season on the L.A. freeway” and I picture myself joyriding and shooting other cars with Marilu Henner in the passenger seat helping me re-load my gun.

I am hoping that my trip will shed some light on the myths and misconceptions I have about the West Coast, about it being dirty and full of plastic people who walk too slowly but call that “being laid back”. (I don’t know if I can take the West Coast walker’s pace, it may turn into open season on the L.A. sidewalks if I don’t efficiently walk where I need to go with as few human obstacles as possible – I hope Marilu is up for taking out some pedestrians). I am not going with the mind of a cynical New Yorker though. Remember, I am all things East Coast, so I am going out there with the mind of, say, a New Hampshire-ite, someone used to living free or dying,
someone who climbed Mount Washington or had a car that did,
someone who is crazy enough but genius enough to see and convince others they also see an Old Man on the Mountain

so that everytime I pass one of Randy Newman’s L.A. landmarks I can hopefully Love It too.

Century Boulevard…
we love it!
Victory Boulevard…
we love it!
Santa Monica Boulevard…
we love it!
6th Street…
we love it! we love it! we love it!

Not sure if I have enough love to give to a bunch of streets, but I will surely try.

I’m addicted to a train wreck called Top Chef

This post will have little meaning for all the smart people in the world who have taste…The people in the world who have better things to do than watch bad reality shows…Specifically, the people who have opted not to watch the one show on television with, count ’em, zero, redeeming qualities, Top Chef. But since I am currently having a mid-life crisis about whether I want to be a writer or not and apparently you are supposed to write if you’re a writer, I’m going to take this opportunity to numb your minds with crap in the form of a commentary on the most boring show on TV, and that includes Sunrise Earth, the show where you watch a slow, majestic sunrise in real time, with no commentary, just the pristine arrival of the soft solar glow to our hemisphere with no talking or humans, just nature and light. Top Chef is more boring than staring at the sun, people!

So I posted some months ago about the premiere of this program and gave it two Le Creuset Pot Holder Thumbs waaaaay down. I said all I had to say about host with the least, Katie Lee Joel and the lackluster contestants who are dismissed one by one with an unceremonious and monotonous “Pack your knives and go”. There was not one contestant that I enjoyed watching and rooting for, nor was there one that I wanted to stab with a Santoku knife, so as a reality show it failed. Hard. Isn’t the thing with reality shows that they touch on the most basic components of humanity? Survival of the fittest, interaction with others, showmance, murder? This one was just survival of the least embarrassing, which, if Darwin experienced eighth grade in a public school, he would probably know something about.

To digress for a moment, the best thing about posting something about Katie Lee Joel is that when I check the admin pages of my site, I come across search terms like “katie lee joel nude” and “katie lee joel hate”, which is par for the course because I still get hits based on the phrase “ann curry nude” and “mayim bialik nude” based on old posts. Seeing search words with the “-nude” suffix has become like a visit from an old friend. The day I stop getting nudie hits is the day the internet has stopped doing it’s job, I say.

I stopped watching this show a few episodes into the season, but in my equation for living that means little:

Sedentary lifestyle + weekend marathons of shows you don’t care about = time that could have been spent outdoors or with loved ones, but instead was spent turning ever more pale and translucent by the hour, alone.

After getting myself caught up with every last moment of jackassery in the kitchen, I watched the reunion episode where the contestants who previously packed their knives and went returned to get drunk, prove my theories that they were gay by exhibiting a new pair of drag-queeny eyebrows, and cry…without the aid of onions, thankyouverymuch. Aside from a non-fight that had to be “stopped” when chef-judge Tom Colicchio proactively stood up and Katie Lee Bland said “dont. stop.”, there was very little to care about. And yet…the show continutes to creep into my life.

Yesterday I was reading the article that is taking the Better Borough by storm, the Observer thing about the divide between North and South Brooklyn. The argument between the “illiterate hipsters” and the “snobby yuppies” paralleled the fight between Candace the Idiot and Stephen the Sommalier, where he told her she would fail because she was uneducated and she told him he would fail simply because he was a d-bag. Class rifts and egotism can’t be escaped and I think I am throroughly correct in comparing the two incidents if for no other reason than to point out they are both hilariously retarded. (Incidentally, while I live in the Snobby-Yuppie-ville section of Brooklyn, I also don’t read, so I think I hit a happy-Brooklyn-medium where I just metaphorically ride the G train of life.)

I don’t know why I care about Top Chef, but for some reason I do. Maybe the show is actually perfect because it represents all that is wrong with the world. Maybe my devotion to food reaches beyond those who are cooking it. Or maybe I am just that bored. If I had more Le Creuset Pot Holder thumbs to put down I would but then, if I keep wearing these pot holders, how on earth will I be able to hit the record button on my remote control?

All I wanna do is Zuma zoom zoom zoom and a boom boom

I like catching up on my world news. But I also love a catchy headline as much as the next In-Touch addict does. If only there was a way to combine the two into an article that makes no sense.

Zuma: Not using condom was mistake

Let’s discuss. As readers obsessed with scandal we wanna know the particulars, no? Who is this Zuma fellow and more importantly, who are his bedfellows? Let’s find out! But since it’s CNN, I bet finding out will require a decoder ring and an ability to speak twin language.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) — South Africa’s former Deputy President Jacob Zuma apologized on Tuesday for having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman and said he was resuming his duties at the ruling ANC party after his acquittal on rape charges.

So like, “I’m sorry I forced myself on you, but I’m even sorrier I did it and didn’t know you had a disease but it’s totes cool, cuz I still have my job. As deputy president. Of a nation. Even though I probably raped you. But still. I shoulda used a condom. Hey kids, do as I say, not as I rape!”

“I apologize. I have no doubt about it and it (was) a mistake. The war against AIDS — I will stand for it and I will continue to preach, even using myself as an example. We need to fight HIV and AIDS because it is a dangerous thing,” he told the SABC public broadcaster.

So like, when you are the second most powerful person in a country, don’t regret the rape you probably commit. Wear a condom and relaaaax, like Frankie say.

“The question of when I am going to resume (duties as deputy president of the African National Congress) … I took a decision (to suspend myself) for the duration of the case and the case is over. Therefore I am back,” Zuma added.

So like, I still have my job even though I probably raped someone, but don’t worry, I made that decision and I am a good judge of things related to what’s good for people. Remember, I’m the guy who probably raped an HIV-positive woman without wearing a condom.

South African High Court Judge Willem van der Merwe on Monday acquitted Zuma of raping an HIV-positive family friend, ending a case that opened deep rifts in the ANC. The verdict saved the man once seen as the country’s next president from political oblivion, but analysts said he has been badly wounded by a sensational court case that revolved on whether the sex was consensual.

But like, it’s way ok ’cause she was a family friend. Don’t mattah if it she said yes, we’re friends! I’m sure she totally wanted to give you HIV when you probably raped her without a condom.

The judge slammed as “unacceptable” the fact that Zuma had sexual intercourse with the woman when, as deputy president, he had led South Africa’s anti-AIDS efforts.

So like, wait. The judge let him off but wasn’t happy about it? Is that what I’m taking away from this? Hey, did this Zuma character know the woman had HIV? Does HE have HIV? Can we get some relevant facts here? CNN? No? Not really? Oh, one? Ok, one.

South Africa has the biggest HIV caseload in the world, with nearly 5 million people infected.

Thanks. But this still leaves a lot to be desired.

Zuma, an ethnic Zulu, was hit with the rape charge following a separate graft scandal last year which prompted Mbeki to sack him as the country’s second-highest official. He faces trial on the corruption case in July.

So like, wait again, what’s an Mbeki? CNN, what’s going on? And also, for a guy facing so much scandal and maybe infectious disease and also being a probable rapist, how can he look so footloose and fancy-free?
Jacob Zuma with his daughter, Duduzile Zuma, after being found not guilty of rape on Monday. Which is apparently hilarious!

More sitcom pitches…if I worked at the NY Post

If creating a new sitcom were as easy as running with a punny title that is essentially a one-trick pony, I would be…a really good sitcom maker. In the spirit of posts past, I continue with “If I were pitching a punny titled sitcom”:

A young Austrian boy named Chad takes pleasure when those around him fail. When he befriends an unconventional psychiatrist in turn of the century Vienna, he realizes where his problems really lie. In his pants. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to NBC’s Tuesday night lineup Chad N ‘ Freud.

Medieval Italian author Dante Alighieri discovers a time machine that transports him to modern day California where he runs a successful air conditioner store in Dante’s In Fresno.

The Jackson family lost their father Arthur in a tragic paintball accident. Lucky for them, they can still communicate with him from the great beyond. Filling the gaping hole Will and Grace leaves behind on NBC is Our Father, Art, In Heaven.

Tony Danza plays an Italian guy from Brooklyn named Tony in this ABC midseason replacement, One-Trick Tony.

Loretta Ippee is a lot of things, but a cook ain’t one of them! But leave it to Loretta to win Top Chef and get her own show about how not to cook! Premiering after the Project Runway season finale this fall on Bravo is Mrs. Ippee, Burning.

Mortified in Massachusetts

No, it’s not the next Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan rom-com. It’s me. Tonight.
I’ll be performing at Mortified in Somerville. Get tickets now if my parents and everyone they know haven’t already bought them all!