Tuesday, September 3, 2013


It must be odd to know that somewhere across the seas a man is lobbying his government for a legal sanctioning to bomb your government. I wonder if the Syrian government is watching the live video feed as Obama and now other congressmen have argued for attacking Syria. The have a lot at stake. It'd be like watching your own trial on tv and not having any representation in the actual courtroom. I had a emotionally draining interview with an attorney today. He spent 10 minutes talking about why I was interpreting the word "throttling" incorrectly. I finally told him that we're not going to agree on this point, and he was so very disappointed. Maybe his client had told him "convince him of that, or you're fired." I dunno. Sometimes I think attorneys just pretend to be upset for the sake of their client. Or they pretend to be incompetent or offended. They like to pretend it's personal. They live fake lives. Whatever the case, I'm not going to listen to a third rephrasing of the same poor argument, just because the attorney thinks its a good one. Possibly ruined an attorney's day, but I'm not gonna sweat over it. And I'm getting sick. Had a sore throat earlier, and now my arms are a bit sore to the touch. This is a bad month at work for getting sick also. Trivia team semi-finals tonight. I'm predicting a loss, but we should be in the top 5. (Not due to my contribution. I tend to be outvoted and my suggestions mysteriously overruled when I'm in the restroom. I'd be offended if I cared more. But I'd give you 1 to 20 odds that we lose, and the prize isn't even particularly exciting.) If we don't make top 5 then I'll just come home early and go to sleep. My immune system would appreciate that.

Friday, August 16, 2013


I received a formal letter from our friendly neighborhood IRS. They think I owe them $32,000 in back taxes. I have about 3 weeks to respond, and I'm going to try to do it without hiring an accountant. Sadly I have no copy of my tax return from that year, but I think I can send a generalized response without filing a new return. We'll see. It'd be more stressful if it wasn't so patently absurd. I don't even itemize my deductions!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

tv: Dawson's Creek

Been watching Dawson's Creek.  I watched some of the show Don't Trust the B.. whatever it's called, and I decided that James Van Der Beak is the only funny part of that show.  They're always talking about Dawson's Creek on that show.  I also remember, the day after Dawson's Creek premiered, in my high school Chemestery class a bunch of my classmates were excitedly discussed it.  My parents didn't get the tv channel for it so I've never watched an episode until now.  Here's what a 30 year old thinks...

Honestly, the show is pretty mediocre.  The soundtrack is like a pop radio station of every single from the 90s.  Somehow they managed to pick the most annoying song for the opening credits.  Mostly the music annoys me.  It's a lot of girly emo songs.

The characters tend to speak in uncomfortably long sentences.  The producers emphasize expressive dialogue over expressive acting.  Though the acting isn't bad.  But the dialogue can feel stretched and forced.  And it sounds nothing like the way high schoolers speak, but maybe that's intentional.

Dawson's blond neighbor/girlfriend can be cute, but she's always on the verge of crying.  She reminds me of Meredith from Grey's Anatomy.  So I don't like her.  Every time Katie Holmes is on the screen I try to watch for her smiling or talking out of the left side of her mouth.  What was a slight quirk at this stage in her career would eventually blossom into a facial tick that ruined scenes of the Dark Knight.  Dawson himself is a bit annoying.  He spends more of his awake time talking than anyone I've known.  Constantly explaining things: how he feels, why movies are great, more of how he feels.  He never shuts up.  And his endless narration of nice-guy self reflection makes me want to punch him.  Pacy Pacie, whatever, is the most entertaining character.  Maybe the only believable one so far.  After lying to his lady-teacher about his brother being gay, and then sitting jealously at the same table while the brother asks the teacher on a date, his malicious smirk when he realized that his teacher was about to tell his brother "I know you're gay" was very well done.  Though that student/teacher romance plot was stupid.

How did the boyfriend manage to drive from New York City down to the bottom of North Carolina in 3.5 hours?  Maybe they had more relaxed speed limits and less traffic back then.

The show is easy to watch while doing something else and it's occasionally interesting.  For a show to watch while reading I'd give it a 8/10.  If you had to just sit and watch it with a child though, uh, 4/10.  (You could do worse for forced viewing.  You might be forced to watch a bunch of Dora the Explorer.  That would be downright painful.)

Friday, June 14, 2013

On rewatching Seinfeld

Often I rewatch episodes of Seinfeld.  It's a very rewatchable show.  The only problem with rewatching it is that many times just reading the episode title alone is enough to evoke the entire storyline in your memory.  For example: the episode "The Chinese Restaurant."  Just from the title you remember "Oh, that was the time everyone got stuck in a Chinese restaurant waiting for a table before a movie, and George is trying to call some girl but gets in a conflict with other people using the pay phone, and Elaine gets really hungry so Jerry bets her she won't take food off someone else's table."  I don't recall Kramar playing much of a role in that one.  It's not a bad episode, but it's so distinctly memorable.  No point in rewatching that one.

On the other hand, today I have a great moment when I watched the episode "the Robbery" and discovered that it's the one when Jerry and George argue about who should get a fancy new apartment.  I had naturally thought that this plot line was from the episode "The Apartment."  So if not that, then what really happens in the episode "the Apartment"?  A new adventure awaits!

Monday, May 6, 2013

tv: Justified

I'm lending Justified to Dave so I've been rewatching a few episodes while I have them out.

It's like the show takes place in a fantasy land.  The women are either very attractive or very unattractive.  The men are either slick and cool or total backwoods hillbilly crooks.  Either way, everyone is quite talkative.

I guess it's like the characters of The Dukes of Hazzard, fleshed out into three dimensions, and then thrown into a slightly more grimey and serious crime plot.  It still retains a zainy atmosphere somehow though.  And it is hilarious.  Maybe more like Disney's Apple Dumpling Gang than the Dukes of Hazzard.  Or how I remember the Apple Dumpling Gang from when I watched it as a child. 9.5/10.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Matilda - the broadway musical soundtrack

I read an article about how the Matilda broadway musical was getting a lot of critical acclaim in London, so I've been listening to this soundtrack.  It is a very mixed bag.  In Les Miserables, there's that kid song "Castle on a Cloud" and a few of the Matilda songs are like that.  A kid sings about her troubles.  These songs are, eh, okay.  Les Mis also has that song "Master of the House" which annoys me.  It's all off-beat honking horns and comical lyrics.  Two of the songs are like that, and I skip them.  (Them being "Loud" and "Telly.")  But there are a few songs that I really, really enjoy.  "School song" "Bruce" and "Revolting Children" feature a whole bunch of kids singing the melody.  It sounds bad, the way I've described it, but it's done so well. It's almost like hearing a boys' choir singing a capella.  "Bruce" and "Revolting Children" also manage to maintain a very quick pace, so it's like a choir but with instrumental accompaniment and songs that tell a story.  Good stuff.

I recently found out that the Trunchbull might be played by a male actor.  This is what comes from only listening to a soundtrack and not actually seeing the play.  But in retrospect, the character does sound mannish, though he does a pretty good job.  His singing does sound a bit like the guy who plays Dolores Umbridge in the second Harry Potter Musical.  The Trunchbull songs are okay.  More comical and less melodic, but still decent.

film: Touchback

I thought this movie was going to be something like "Injured former high school football star gets depressed with his unglamorous adulthood, finds fulfillment in assistant coaching high school football kids."  Like the story of Jason Street in Friday Night Lights.  But instead the quarterback goes back in time to high school!  It's like Peggy Sue Got Married!!

Ah, reliving high school from an adult's perspective: there's nothing better.  If only I could go back knowing what I know today...

Sadly, there is no Nicholas Cage in this one.  But the main guy does okay and the girl is much cuter than Kathleen Turner.  The starring actor looks no where near high school age, he looks like a 30 year old Rob Lowe.  The other football players all look pretty old as well.  (I mean for high schoolers.)  Kurt Russell also looks a bit weird when he's supposed to be elderly.

The music is a little amateur-sounding, like a TV movie, but the dialogue is well done.  Actually a lot of this is like a tv movie, I bet it's rated G or PG.  No, no Varsity Blues strippers.  Though it's a nice change to not need to empathize with Kathleen Turner having sex with every hipster smoker she sees.

Anyway, this movie is 20 times more fun than I was expecting.  9/10.

One last thing.  16 years ago, in high school, I was pushed by a kid playing football, fell on my hand, and I broke my pinky finger.  If I time-warped back to that day I would definitely not break my finger again.  Even if somehow the broken finger hooked me up with the girl I wanted to date (which it did not), my first instinct would be to try to find a way to get the girl without breaking any fingers.  Surely voluntarily injuring myself is not required.  (I'd figure something out, if I had the inside info.  I can be sneaky.) The Star Trek episode "Tapestry" is much better in justifying why Picard voluntarily repeats history.  With this movie, it seemed like the main character repeats history just because he's a little bit stupid.