classic imac


There were a lot of reasons why I switched from a windows pc to a mac back in 2002, including obsessive amounts of time at various retailers playing with the demo, but this commercial was one of the things that pushed me over the edge.  Still awesome today, even though the imac itself is now obsolete.

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the write stuff…


I’m totally supportive of the writers in this whole TV writers strike, but I kind of miss having new episodes of The Daily Show to fall asleep to…

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What you should be watching


Jacob from Television Without Pity gives his breakdown of Emmy "should" and "will" win items. I don’t agree with everything on there, but he’s got the best one-paragraph explanation of why everyone should be watching the woefully underappreciated Friday Night Lights

Should Win: The curiously nomination-lacking Friday Night Lights. (Of the nominees, Grey’s, but nobody could possibly vote that way and feel good about it, could they? This year, of all years?) Friday Night Lights is often, loudly and obsessively touted as the best thing since sliced bread. And why? Because it is. A truly magical, heartrending confection of deeply felt relationships, strongly defined and complex characters, and the kind of sincerity that can rescue even a seemingly paint-by-numbers "class and race issues" subplot with seemingly infinite ease. If you think you’re not up for a show about small-town high school football, I feel confident telling you that you have no idea what you’re talking about, and you’re doing seriously bad things to yourself.

The first season DVD comes out on August 28th, and you all should go rent it.  That’s all.

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Just under the wire.


This is going to be the first year that I can remember that I won’t be watching the Academy Awards. Not for lack of desire, mind you, but because (a) it begins at the very early hour of 2 am here, and (b) it’s being shown on Sky Italia, which is cable. I don’t have cable. So, no awards show for me. I actually find it a bit amazing given that this year, Ennio Morricone, one of the prides of Italian movie-music making is taking home an honorary award. I haven’t seen the bulk of the movies either, due to the fact that most of them have not been available in English here. But that’s not stopping me from putting in my (very) last minute predictions. I guess I’ll find out whether I’m right or not when I wake up tomorrow morning. I’m only sticking to the big awards this year. I have no interest in who wins Best Sound Mixing.

Best Picture: Babel/The Departed/Letters from Iwo Jima/Little Miss Sunshine/The Queen

I actually did see Little Miss Sunshine, and I think it was awesome. It’s also on a lot of peoples’ lists for best picture, so it may actually have a shot. But, given that the academy voted for the mishmash that was Crash last year, I’d actually put my money on Babel. Overblown, overdone, over”meaningful” film that will make the academy feel all good about themselves for their “consciousness”? yep, all there.

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio (Blood Diamond)/Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson)/Peter O’Toole (Venus)/Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness)/Forest Whitaker (The Last Kind of Scotland)

Hey, I haven’t seen any of these films. Money on Whitaker, although O’Toole may be a dark horse. I frankly think that DiCaprio should have been nominated for The Departed, but since he can only get nominated once per category, I guess this was the more “leading” role. Gosling will clearly be happy just to be nominated, and while I love Smith, this is not the year for him to win.

Best Actress: Penelope Cruz (Volver)/Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal)/Helen Mirren (The Queen)/Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada)/Kate Winslet (Little Children)

Is there anyone who thinks that Mirren is not going to win this one?

Best Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine)/Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children)/Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond)/Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls)/Mark Wahlberg (The Departed)

My money’s on Murphy, but my heart is with Jackie Earle Haley. I read a profile of him about six months ago, before Little Children was released, and it’s just such a story. Adorable teen heartthrob develops a bad case of acne, gets completely rejected by Hollywood, moves to the midwest and drops out of acting completely, only to end up getting tracked down for a small part in a movie (not this movie – that was All the King’s Men), movie gets panned, but Haley gets decent reviews. Haley also ends up making an impression on co-star Winslet, who also stars in Little Children. Now the guys nominated for an Academy Award. I know that everyone focuses on Jennifer Hudson as the “comeback” or “karma” or whatever story, but this guy spent decades in the shadows. It would make me really really happy if he won.

Best Supporting Actress: Adriana Barraza (Babel)/Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal)/Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine)/Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls)/Rink Kikuchi (Babel)

Of course Hudson is going to win. And good for her.

Best Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel)/Martin Scorsese (The Departed)/Clint Eastwood (Letters from Iwo Jima)/Stephen Frears (The Queen)/Paul Greengrass (United 93)

I know that everyone’s saying that this is finally Scorsese’s year, and both my money and my heart are with him, but I can’t help to think that he’s gonna get shafted again. It’s like they’re playing with fire. The presenters for this category? A first time trio of Spielberg, Coppola and Lucas, who all came up together with Scorsese in the 70s (and if you haven’t seen the documentary “Easy Riders/Raging Bulls” go rent it now. right now. I’ll wait. See?) are presenting the award together. When I heard that one, all I could think was, but what if it’s someone else? No. It’s gotta be Marty. Anything else would be too cruel.

Best Foreign Language Film: After the Wedding (Denmark)/Days of Glory (Algeria)/The Lives of Others (Germany)/Pan’s Labyrinth (Mexico)/Water (Canada)

Given that Pan’s Labyrinth was getting talked about for best picture, I’m feeling pretty confident that it’ll win here.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham, Dan Mazer and Todd Phillips)/Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby)/The Departed (William Monahan)/Little Children (Todd Field and Tom Perrotta)/Notes on a Scandal (Patrick Marber)

I think Departed won’t win best picture, but it’ll win this.

Best Original Screenplay: Babel (Guillermo Arriaga)/Letters from Iwo Jima (Iris Yamashita and Paul Haggis)/Little Miss Sunshine (Michael Arndt)/Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro)/The Queen (Peter Morgan)

My vote is for Little Miss Sunshine, but I think it’s got competition from Babel and Haggis. Sorry, Iwo Jima. It’s just that Haggis keeps winning this darn award.

Best Animated Feature Film: Cars/Happy Feet/Monster House

OK. First I need to go on a little rant. This is clearly not a list of the “best animated films”. This is a list of the “best animated children’s films.” Otherwise A Scanner Darkly would have at least been nominated. I mean, it’s not like they didn’t have room, what with only coming up with three freakin’ nominees!

OK. Rant over. Cars will obviously win. It’s Pixar.

Best Original Song: “I Need to Wake Up” by Melissa Etheridge (An Inconvenient Truth)/”Listen” by Henry Krieger, Scott Cutler and Anne Preven (Dreamgirls)/”Love You I Do” by Henry Krieger and Siedah Garrett (Dreamgirls)/”Our Town” by Randy Newman (Cars)/”Patience” by Henry Krieger and Willie Reale (Dreamgirls)

Dreamgirls has three of the five nominations here, making at least one of the songs a probable favorite (I’ve heard that “Listen” is at the front of the pack), but given the danger of vote splitting in that situation, you can’t count out Etheridge’s anthem.

Best Documentary Feature: Deliver Us From Evil/An Inconvenient Truth/Iraq in Fragments/Jesus Camp/My Country, My Country

I’m just hoping that when he wins, Al Gore announces that he’s going to run for President.

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The blogging imperative.


I keep trying to come up with something to blog about and then deciding that it’s stupid. random topics include…

  • how lazy I’ve been so far on my vacation
  • tv that I’ve tried to catch up on (seriously – heroes? is awesome)
  • the fact that they’re powerwashing the outside of my building.

ugh. I’ve got bloggers block. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been away from it for some time, but I tried to keep up the stream of consciousness at least through the use of a written journal (I know, how archaic!). But that I tend to save for the stuff that I actually don’t want published on the internet. I can’t believe that it’s already Tuesday – that I’m going back in only a few days. Working in a foreign country is certainly a neat thing to do, but ultimately, I miss my home. What can I say. turns out that I’m a homebody. Granted, my home happens to be in one of the largest, most bustlingest, exciting cities in the world, but yeah…I’m a bit provincial at heart. Or maybe I just miss sushi. And convenient home goods stores. and same-day dry cleaners. and american TV. and internet access. (and my family and friends, of course).

My apartment in Italy is very nice. Size-wise, it’s actually about the same size as my apartment in NY. My only problem is aesthetic. Everything is white. If you’ve seen pictures of my apartment in NY, you’ll notice that nothing is white except for the kitchen and bathroom, and even those are because they’re subway tiled. In Italy, the walls are white, the couch is white, the chairs are white…it’s like living in a sanitarium. I can’t very well object to the arrangements, because objectively? it’s a perfectly nice one bedroom apartment in a very nice palazzo. Convenient to work, nice neighbors, helpful porter. But the whiteness is, to say the least, not my style. When I got home though, I all of a sudden felt like my apartment in NY was much smaller, and I realized that it’s because I’ve got, like, 10 foot ceilings in Italy, so when I walked in here, all of a sudden the ceilings felt very…low. So I guess I had adapted more than I thought.

And if I’ve got to pick one thing I’m missing about Italy? definitely the coffee. I have always hated American coffee and never go near the stuff except in overwhelming caffeine emergencies. But espresso? is like a little cup of heaven. I have to limit myself to 2 cups a day, otherwise I’ll end up never going to sleep. Sure, I have an espresso machine here in NY, but it’s not the same. I’ve heard that there’s a seriously high calcium content in the water in Italy, which is what makes their coffee and pasta taste so much better than it does here. Of course, I also end up with a mineral deposit at the bottom of the pot every time I cook dinner, so I’m guessing it’s true.

OK. it’s now after noon, and I’m still in my pajamas. It’s time to get motivated for the day. Especially since I have to go into the office this afternoon for my end-of-year evaluation. What fun. no wonder I’m procrastinating.

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Two words.


Battlestar Galactica.

If you’re not watching this show, I don’t think I can know you anymore.

Seriously. Get past the fact that it’s a “sci-fi” show, because it’s just simply got the best writing, the best characterization, and the best acting on TV right now. I’m still reeling from the season finale.

I’m off to go spend my weekend listening to Ron Moore’s podcasts.

(and there’s no need to point this out, yes, I am the dorkiest dork that ever lived).

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Laugh out loud


I didn’t catch Saturday Night Live this week, but apparently I missed a gem.

The Narnia Rap may just about be the funniest thing I’ve seen this year. Maybe part of it is the silly Beastie-Boys-esque NYC references, but when done in the setting of getting Magnolia cupcakes and taking a cab to the Upper West Side to see a Disney movie? Priceless.

Oh, and snack smuggling. I’ve never gone to a movie in New York City and not done this. It’s half the reason we all walk around with those giant messenger bags.

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Lost and Found


So, someone over at TV Squad is positing the theory that those wacky numbers on Lost are actually longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates, which made me laugh very very much, because the "small strip of islands northeast of Australia" that they point to are where my brother is being stationed with the Peace Corps for the next two years.

I mean, we’ve been joking about how he’s going to the middle of nowhere, but…heh. Maybe I should tell him to look out for polar bears. And crazy french ladies. 

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Maybe I should change the category name…


…because this is yet another post on the awesomest show on television, the Amazing Race. 2 hours tonight. With head injuries and car wrecks (and injured, but OK, cameramen) and Kalahari Bushmen. My completely irrational love for Boston Rob did fade a bit tonight, what with the not even slowing down at the accident site, but Lynn and Alex were so damn insufferable about the fact that they did stop, and, well, stand around for ten minutes while they watched production people actually call for help (and then brag about how selfless they were on the mat) that I think it balances the two teams out.

Oh, and the brothers? who I still can’t tell apart? walked away from their flipped humvee and still beat Ray and Deanna in an actual footrace to the mat. Which was awesome. Because Ray and Deanna? sucked.

To find out what actually happened in all of the episodes (all the way back to season one), check out Miss Alli’s awesome recaps over on Television Without Pity.

(Bonus feature, the sidebar quiz on the TAR episode page, which will soon disappear into oblivion? – "Ray: (a) Is an overbearing creep; (b) Is just trying to help; or (c) Needs to be stung to death by wasps"? (c) is leading by 56%, with (a) running a close second with 42% of the vote. I’m pretty sure that the 2% that voted for (b) is actually Ray.)

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Why do I bother watching?


My normal morning routine involves listening to NPR, but this morning, stuck in the hotel, I turned on the Today show (hey, at least I could see pictures of home!). They’re doing the whole "who’s gonna win the Oscars" schtick, and the just had one of the talking heads outside asking questions (with the answers in envelopes). Anyway, the question was "what was the last comedy to win best picture?" And i was all, oh that’s easy, it was Shakespeare in Love…

The answer they gave? Annie Hall. I get that they were trying to emphasize what a long shot Sideways is, but really, it just makes their "experts" look even more stupid.

And SIL was definitely a "comedy" – it won the Golden Globe for that category (causing the big showdown that year at the Oscars between it and the drama that year, Saving Private Ryan).

Heck, I would even argue, although it was the GG Drama winner, that the following year’s winner, American Beauty, was very much a black comedy, and Chicago (2002 winner) wasn’t exactly a drama either. Oh, and Titanic was pretty damn funny too. But that may have just been the "acting".

I guess they had more important things to do than "research", what with all the time spent on the very important piece about Campbell Brown learning how to surf. I suppose that’s one way to write off your winter vacation in Hawaii as a business expense…

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