May 30, 2007

Support New Writers!

There is a very interesting website called, which allows would-be authors to self-publish. The result allows friends, family and new fans to pick up the book how they like - hardcover, a printed manuscript, or even as a download. And who knows? Some day a major publisher might notice and make an offer.

So check it out, and support a new writer today! As a suggestion, I'll pimp my friend Erik, who just finished a book of horror stories. The name is Descending Darkness - remember that name!

Bigger Sob Story

It turns out the lovely Jaslene had a bigger sob story she wasn't dishing to Tyra. Heck, if she'd dropped this one, she would have had the show in the bag much sooner!

You go, girl!

May 23, 2007

America's Next Top Cover Girl

Who will win America's Next Top Model? Well if you've been waiting to find out, I have the answer. Come with me, as we approach the end. How far we have come! Remember Kathleen? I know, riiiiight?

As we rejoin our final three, none of them really care that Dionne is gone. But Renee and Jaslene sure as heck are peeved that it wasn't Natasha to get the boot.

With our accelerated timeline (all this wraps up in just an hour, to my surprise), the girls move right to meeting OJ. It's time for the Cover Girl commercial and beauty shots! But perhaps Cover Girl wasn't that crazy about past commercials, so instead the girls will be doing one of the "My Life as a Cover Girl" segments that air during the following season. Jaslene will be in a limo, ready for the red carpet. Renee will be out on a boat in Sydney harbor. And Natasha will be backstage in a makeup chair. To help them out - in walks Caridee! Hey, girl! (Thankfully it wasn't fucking Melrose again.) Oh, and the twist? They only have one line - the rest will all be improvised.

Renee is first, and is challenged by the blazing sunlight, and also her choice of lines. OJ points out to her that perhaps leading off with "When I had my son at such a young age, I thought my life was over," is not the most inspiring message for today's youth. True, but sadly it's their reality all too often.

Side note - OJ is accompanied by a supposed representative from Cover Girl's marketing staff. But this guy is so silly and young and hanging all over OJ that I'm convinced he's just somebody's butt boy.

Anywho, onto Jaslene. She starts off a bit rough - forcing her lines too much like she did with the previous commercial. OJ points out that she needs to show the cha-cha vitality that she has. So then Jas nails it, and throws in a little Spanish. OJ and Butt Boy think it's a brilliant touch.

And then Natasha. She tries her best, but her accent is thick, and her lines sound like a script. Which they are, because she wrote a script beforehand.

Glamour shots are taken.

Suddenly we are at panel! Prizes, judges. The guest judges are a pair of Australian designers. The two finalists will be in a runway show modeling this collection, as is tradition. Judgements!

Renee has a bright personality. The guest judges in particular love her. But Nigel is concerned that Renee may come off as being too old. Then her shot is revealed, and I have to say that she looks like a poor man's version of cycle 6's Joanie.

Jaslene's commercial is well-received, and both Ms. J and Tyra really love it. Her glamour shot is actually pretty good. The concern is that regardless, she just may not be commercial.

Natasha's commercial is...not good. But Twiggy loves her no matter what. They are so BFFs! Her glamour shot is not bad, although I think her lips look bizarre.

Deliberating takes place. This is where it gets tough. All the usual arguements come up. Renee - strong photos (debatable), comes off a bit old (perhaps), and Nigel says that she has a face "we've seen before" (true). Jaslene takes amazing editorial photos (true), but has to overcome the "drag" factor (it's the chin, I tell you), and is she commercial enough (does it matter?). Natasha has grown the most (agreed), but still has issues with making the most of her look (it's the lips), and her commercials are a hot mess (somewhat true). As is tradition, Twiggy agonizes over this decision.

Three girls, two photos. The first photo goes to...Jaslene! She is proud. She is cha-cha. Will Renee and Natasha step forward?

Renee - the judges think you look old. Natasha - are you really AMERICA'S Next Top Model? (Cue the nationalism.) And the photo goes to...Natasha, which is not a surprise to me at all. Renee is pissed, but manages to leave with grace. In an odd twist, she actually whispers to Natasha, "Take this home for the moms." Wha? Two-faced bitch!

We jump right to the final two doing their photo shoot for Seventeen. The winner will have her spread in the magazine and be on the cover. Which I have never picked up in my life. I'm just saying.

Now the girls meet individually with Tyra. As ScottE correctly pointed out, this is their last ditch effort to sell their sob story to Tyra. Natasha - was in Russia. No opportunities. Everyone is jealous of her. Pity her! Jaslene - grew up in the Bronx. No one believed in her, but now she has self-confidence. She was rejected last cycle, but she came back. She is cha-cha. Pity her!

And now it's the runway show. This time it's a theme of "evolution." The girls will have 3 passes, and each time they are becoming progressively more human. Or something. I dunno - the screaming brides last season were more fun. The runway itself is a long spiral descending downward. Per the new tradition, Caridee will lead off the show. And it is ON!

On the first pass, Jaslene is a bit too theatrical. Natasha is more into the animalistic vibe. On the second pass, Jaslene is becoming more poised, as is Natasha. but towards the end, Nat's bottom totally falls off. Yet she plays it off, steps out of it and over it without breaking stride. Nice. On the final pass, Jas is all fierce. Nat is losing steam, though. She looks tired. And then it's over. Fun! Hugs!

It's the final panel! Prizes are not mentioned, nor are the judges. Except the "guest judge" is OJ, which is a new twist. The judgements of their runway performances are nearly as exactly as I just described above. So it's time to look over portfolios.

First we look at week 1. Jaslene was fierce as pro-death penalty. Natasha was wimpy as pro-choice. Next it's the week 3 high school shots. Jas had perhaps her best photo, as the outcast. Nat was weak again as the teacher's pet. Week 5 they dressed as men. Jas was convincing, but Nat stole the show as a rapper. Fast forward to the men's & women's magazines photographs. Both were strong that week. Any final words?

Nat is so happy for the opportunity. So is Jas. That's about it.

Deliberations. It's clear that this is a close one. For every Natasha-lover (Twiggy) there is just as big a Jaslene-lover (Ms. J). True, Natasha fumbles commercials. But her personality is so bright - she lights up the room! True, Jaslene may not be that commercial. But does a top model have to be the best at everything? Maybe she will rule with what she's best at (in this case, editorial shoots and runway).

We return, and Tyra assures them the decision was tough. But there can only be one winner. And America'


I was so happy. Seriously. I do like Natasha - she grew on me very quickly in the past few weeks. But I've loved Jas since the beginning, and I love the idea of a Latina winner. I know Joyous was sad, but we can't all get our way, I suppose.

So congratulations to the cha-cha diva! See you next season on those gosh-awful "My Life" commercials!

And with that, we conclude another cycle of Top Model. Thanks for sticking with me - it was a fun ride. I'll see you again this fall!

May 20, 2007

Snap Judgements

As I've been thinking about doing reviews of the Netflix movies we've been renting, I was trying to decide the best way to talk about them here. Sure, I'd love to write a nice comprehensive review of each one. But at the rate we're watching them (2 or 3 a week)...well, I DO have a day job.

So I hit upon my new plan. Ladies and gentlemen, I present my newest feature - The 25 Words Or Less Video Review! Don't believe I can do it? Count 'em! I guarantee that each video's review will not be over 25 words long. The first person to catch me going over will receive a special Footnotes prize!

(Editor's note: for the purpose of this challenge, all compound and hyphenated words as well as acronyms will be treated as single words. Titles of the videos themselves will not be counted in the word quota.)

America's Next Top Model: Cycle 1

Humble beginnings. Kimora Lee Simmons was a judge! And OJ had black hair. Kid you not! I knew who won already, but still enjoyed it.

Bad Education

A recent Almodovar film, it lacked the clever punch of Volver. He should stick to women as subject matter.

The Prestige

Way better than The Illusionist! No comparison, really. Hugh Jackman? Always hot. But the ending was a real head-scratcher. ScottE explained it to me.


A documentary on crossword puzzle competitors. Not nearly as much fun as I'd hoped. But the Indigo Girls are in it!

Latter Days

Proof that most gay films suck (in a bad way). Also proof that MTV should not make films.

Queens (Reinas)

A surprisingly witty Spanish movie about the first gay couples to wed. But the humor is all about the parents. You think YOURS are bad?

Margaret Cho: Assassin

Margaret will always be a laugh riot. This show isn't her best, but still offers some hilarious frank observations. Barbara Bush - ouch!

Grand Ecole

Even French gay films mostly suck.


A documentary on the National Spelling Bee. Again - not as engrossing as I expected. But the Bee itself is still a wonder.

Strangers on a Train

A Hitchcock classic with a gay undertone. Not his best. And I will never look at a carousel the same way again.


One pregnant teen, one eccentric uncle and one gay gang member find a home with each other. Not a bad film, but not great.


Maggie Gyllenhaal is an ex-con and ex-addict. Her performance is great, but the film goes nowhere.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Worth seeing at least 20 minutes to appreciate Maggie Smith, who won the Oscar. The plot doesn't matter all that much.

Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries

Joyous recommended this, and I really liked it. Proof that war really is hell. It's not really sci-fi geeky. Now I'm renting season one!

Well that's the list so far. Stay tuned!

May 18, 2007

Thanks for the help, gentle readers

My daemon from The Golden Compass has settled into her form thanks to your feedback. She is now a beautiful lynx. Isn't she pretty? Thanks again!

A Moment of Greatness

I was pleasantly surprised with Lost this week.

At first I was thinking, "Oh great, an episode about Charlie. Bo-ring!" But it was actually very pleasant and reminded me some of the reasons he started as a great character on the show.

And so the show began to build as an elegy to the man from Manchester, ready to sacrifice his life for the survivors. Down he goes, ready to find the switch...

...and then, huh? Underwater babes with guns? Wicked!

That was a great ending. I'm definitely ready and excited for the finale. (Just don't kill off Bernard, please.)

May 17, 2007

Thank you, CBS

For once I'm grateful to CBS. I know!

But they announced the fall season, and our favorite new sitcom, How I Met Your Mother is back.

Also interesting - a new show starring none other than Hugh Jackman? Yeah - just try and keep me away from that one!

Hiro...I Am Your Father!

Well things certainly have been heating up on Heroes (no pun intended) as we approach the finale!

I admit that I hadn't picked up on the fact that the mutant "tracking system" was actually diminutive Molly. What will be more important to Matt - knowing he and his family are safe, or protecting the girl he once saved? (I don't care what anyone says - my boyfriend Matt looks sexy in this photo.)

And I know it was all nerd-tastic, but it was still very fun/cool to see Hiro playing swords with daddy George Takei. Takei looked so mean! But in real life he is actually very sweet and very funny. Oh, and did you know that Masi Oka (who plays Hiro) writes his own Japanese translation?

Meanwhile the Niki/Ikin saga came to a pinnacle, as Niki finally exerted control. How bad-ass was it when D.L. took out Linderman? THAT was unexpected and awesome. And surprisingly I don't want to see D.L. kick it. And it's actually a shame to see Linderman go, now that he got all nice/manipulative by healing Nathan's wife.

Speaking of the Vegas duo, I also didn't see it coming that they were planning on using Micah to fix the election. Clever!

Poor Ted. Poor radioactive Ted. At least he has his anger under control now.

So what do you say, Claire? Ready to save the world?

The finale is on its way! Can the heroes stop the big boom?

Photos courtesy of

May 15, 2007

You Can Dance If You Want To

Previously on Top Model, the girls went and saw. Brittany had one of the most embarassing meltdowns in recent memory. And Tyra embarassed herself even further (if that's possible).

Back in the girls' apartment, the topic of discussion is whether you saw Brit's ouster coming. Jaslene rightly says that it wasn't until they were in the panel room that she knew. And that would be because she saw Priscilla and was like, "Oh yeah, bitch is goin' DOWN!"

And then a scene the defies description. Natasha talks on a cell phone to her husband. The talk is all gooey and sexy. And she...nuzzles the phone. In the most obscene sense of the word "nuzzles." Oh, and she does this in front of the other girls. Renee interviews that Natasha is turning into a crazy psychopath. Perhaps overstatement - but there's some truth in there. When did Renee become the rational one?

Next the girls go to a national park, but alas it is cold outside. Very cold. Because here's a geography lesson - since it was nice weather in LA when they left? It's winter in Australia. I'm pretty sure I saw that on Jeopardy! once. Anywho, they meet an Aboriginal chief and his daughter who explain this week's challenge. They will each be painting and adorning themselves and then do a dance to tell their personal "journey stories." Or as Tyra prefers, "the sob story that got you on this show in the first place."

The girls dress, decorate and prepare. At this point Dionne interviews that she does not dance. So she's determined to make her "dance" as short as possible. Um, Dionne - this is not how you regain the love of the gays. We have not forgotten the "lesbo" incident.

Now it's time to perform. The chief tells them that they will be dancing for some girls from the local tribe in hopes of inspiring them. To what - bulimia? And also Carissa from Seventeen magazine will be there to judge the challenge winner. Because also we want to teach the girls that when you lay your heart open to others, you will be judged critically. Man, this show is more life-changing than Oprah!

Renee goes first. She starts by telling us that she was abused as a young child. Which is very sad. And not that I want to doubt her, but it's Renee - a little part of me wondered if she made that up. Isn't that horrible?

Jaslene's story is a bit more difficult to follow - it's full of a few too many Deepak Chopra phrases.

Dionne's story is actually decent, as she relates her mother's shooting, and then has decorated herself to represent each member of her family and all the children.

And then Natasha. Oh, Natasha. I give her credit for actually DANCING, which the other girls totally avoided. But she decides that to get people to really focus on her, she will talk very softly. Like so soft the boom mic guy is having trouble picking her up.

Long story short (too late), Renee wins. She chooses Jaslene to join her in sharing her prize. And back at the apartment, it turns out the prize is some very fabulous south sea pearl jewelry. Nice!

Tired of being cooped up, the girls decide to go out. But suddenly Natasha is deathly ill. The other girls are like, "Aww...that's so sad. See ya!" And out at a club, Renee convinces the other two that they must get Natasha eliminated. So THERE'S where evil Renee went! The problem with this plan is that scheming on a "talent"-based reality show is far more difficult to maneuver than on a team challenge-based show.

Meanwhile, Nat thinks the girls are just jealous, as usual.

For the photo shoot, the girls will each learn a dance from the same Aboriginal girls as before. And then they will have their photos taken with the girls, portraying images from their individual dances. Dionne still does not want to dance! And Natasha is very, very sick. (Heck, I've had to dance with flu-like symptoms - suck it up.)

Renee does a butterfly dance, Jaslene a bird dance, and Dionne a gathering dance. Natasha does the "I'm so sick I just am sucking all over everything" dance. And OJ is not amused. He practically begs her to suck it up, but instead she just sucks it. Suck!

At the panel, there are prizes and judges. The guest judge is Carissa.

Dionne's first, and her shot is OK, but she still managed to appear angry-looking. I'm so sad. And then, ugh - it's the dreaded annual question from the panel. Who do you think has the most potential, and who has the least? Dionne says that Jaslene has the most. I agree, but wrong answer! Have you not seen this show before? For worst, she picks Natasha.

Next up is Renee. She took some artistic license with the dance to good effect. It's actually her best photo yet if you ask me. Wait, that's bad! I don't like Renee! Renee HAS seen the show before, and says that she herself has the most potential. Of course she says Natasha has the least.

Jaslene's shot is strong, but Nigel quite rightly points out that in virtually every shot, she has the same fierce look. As we learned from Zoolander, sometimes you need more than one look. So next time - softer Jas, softer. She quite rightly says that she has the most potential, and tosses another stone at Natasha.

Natasha's shot is heinous. The judges say it is actually worse than her first shot, and that was really bad. Then the discussion about best/worst. What is up with the other girls? Are they jealous? Natasha says that they definitely are.

The judges deliberate, and Twiggy campaigns for Natasha, convinced that in fact the other girls ARE jealous. It certainly has nothing to do with the fact that she's a nut. (A loveable nut, but still.) Ms. J is still all about Jaslene. Tyra is still disappointed in Dionne. And both Nigel and Carissa love Renee, although Carissa is concerned that Renee will come across as too old for Seventeen's readers.

4 girls, 3 photos. Renee gets the first photo, and Jaslene the second. Will Dionne and Natasha step forward?

Dionne, why are you so angry all the time? Natasha, why does everyone hate you? And also - get over the sick thing! Lame excuse! But she gets one more pass as Tyra hands her the photo. Dionne looks pissed, but this time I think she actually IS pissed. Farewell, Dionne. I will miss your hilarious observations!

So that means next week is the two-hour finale! 3 girls! Cover Girl! 2 on the runway! One winner! WHO WILL IT BE?!?!? Post your predictions here, I'm curious to know. (I still say it's Jas vs. Nat in the final two, but it's a toss-up from there.)

May 12, 2007

Over The River And Through The Woods

So...Lost this week. Can we talk?

I felt very confused because it was like I was watching a different show. What is this program that keeps giving me background and answers?

In all seriousness, we finally got a bit of Ben's background, as well as what happened to the Dharma Initiative. We learned that the man who died in the VW van was Ben's father, Roger. And Locke got to meet Jacob. Well, sort of.

Meanwhile, back at the beach, Juliet was exposed. Well, sort of.

As is the tradition of Lost, we are still left with a number of questions as we barrel towards the finale:

1. What ever happened to Ben's childhood girlfriend?

2. Is it possible that Richard (played by Nestor Carbonell, who has come a long way since Suddenly Susan - Brooke Shields must be so proud) could still look the same today as he did when Ben was a child?

3. Who are the natives, and how do they speak such good English? Are they somehow related to the Black Rock?

4. What exactly is Jacob - a ghost? The smoke monster? And why could Locke hear him but not see him, while Ben could see him but not hear him? Or is Ben lying as usual?

5. Why on earth would Ben shoot Locke - jealousy? Revenge? And can John survive it? (My guess is yes.) And did Ben bring his own gun, or did he somehow take the one John had? Speaking of which - why did Alex bring John a gun in the first place? Has she ever seen Jacob?

6. Who's side is Juliet really on? Or is she playing both sides against each other?

7. What does Jack know that he hasn't told everyone else? And why is he still acting like such an arrogant prick?

All this and more - next week!

May 10, 2007

Meltdown Under

When we last left the catty girls of America's Next Top Model, they said good-bye to Jael and her love-spreading. Renee has done a 180 and now misses Jael, her former sworn enemy. Some would call that growth. I would call it two-faced.

Then we get a little tidbit from Dionne, Private Investigator. She points out that Brittany was using her short-term memory loss as an excuse at panel. And yet, when they did the acting challenge a few weeks back, somehow Brittany new all of her lines just fine. Dionne? Thinks the lady doth protest too much. I would agree - I'm betting that Brit does have a slight memory issue, but she was exaggerating it for sympathy.

The girls then head out to their challenge for the day - it's go-see time! They meet Priscilla Leighton Clark, who runs her own model management company. It's the usual deal - go and see designers, take your portfolios, and be back ON TIME. In this case, 4:30. And they're off!

You have to admit it's easier this year. Not only do they get to ride in cabs, but everyone speaks English. Anywho, they go, they see. Things go well for most of the girls. Dionne even scores some free schwag by blatantly asking some of the designers if she can keep what she's modeling. And a few actually say yes!

Meanwhile, Brit is having a tough time of it. She keeps having trouble with simple directions, and then makes the foolish decision (which any Top Model fan can tell you) of trying to squeeze in just one more visit. Which of course backfires. For some reason Brittany claims that she told her cab driver to meet her at the last place, but the tape shows she did no such thing.

Anywho, back at Priscilla's, Renee and Dionne arrive ahead of schedule, and then Jaslene pops in with a minute to spare. Natasha - not so much, she's a minute late. Then Priscilla comes out and tells her as much. Nat is genial about it and goes to wait outside. Moments later Brit arrives, and Nat breaks the bad news that she's late. And then Brittany? Goes ape-shit. She wails, she cries, she bitches. And it's still all the cabbie's fault. Natasha points out that Brittany should calm down because, "Some people have war in their countries." Well, that's true but a bit odd. What's HILARIOUS is that Priscilla and the girls inside can hear it all, and Priscilla can't even get through her discussion. She finally quips, "Well, I take it Brittany knows she's been disqualified." Ha!

She goes on to say that the designers thought that Renee was pleasant, but perhaps a bit commercial. They felt that Dionne was great, but had some issues with posture. And they really liked Jaslene. In fact, she's the challenge winner! She's never won before, and is so excited. She gets to pick a friend to share the prize, and Jaslene goes for Dionne. The prize turns out to be a photo shoot on top of a high bridge shot by Nigel Barker. The photos are great.

After receiving Tyra mail, the girls eventually figure out that today they'll have the annual Tyra-as-photographer shoot. OJ fills them in that in fact they will be doing 2 shoots each. The first will be for a woman's magazine shot by Tyra, so they have to be soft and sensual. Then they'll be shot for a men's magazine by a male photographer, so they should bring sexy back. And in both they'll pose with a male model. So to recap - artistic shot first, then slut it up.

The photo shoot goes as you might expect. Jaslene starts soft but gets strong. Renee takes awhile but then hits her stride. Brittany has to find a way to release her sexuality, and then she's golden. Dionne requires too much direction. And Natasha has to be told repeatedly to dial it down from "late 70s porn."

It's time for panel! Prizes. Judges. Guest judge this week is Priscilla, which should be delicious.

But before the judgements, I must digress into a side story. My wonderful friend BMW went to New York recently with his wonderful partner, and at a show of Spring Awakening he saw none other than Tyra herself, sitting with Benny Medina. BMW reports that she was quite beautiful to behold. And as if that wasn't enough, later in the trip he spotted Nigel Barker (noted fashion photographer), who was stunningly hot. It's nice to hear that it's not all just the magic of TV - they really are beautiful! Thanks for the celeb sighting report, BMW!

And now, onto the judging:

Brittany's two shots look quite nice, although her men's magazine shot is better. But just as the judges are all in love with her, Priscilla drops the bomb about Brit's meltdown on go-see day. Tyra is NOT amused.

Dionne looks decent, but the judges point out that she always looks so angry in her shots. They just can't figure it out. I'm starting to think it's her eyebrows - they have a serious arch that I think makes her always appear to be critical.

Jaslene rocked it, and I think she's back in my top 2. Her men's shot is H-O-T. Ms. J points out that even with hair swept across her face, Jaslene's eyes pierce through the camera. Way to go, Cha-Cha Diva!

Natasha is all sexy, as you might expect, but she was able to keep it nice and tasteful. Tyra points out that Nat needs to "find her neck."

Renee's shots are a bit more graceful, but she bores me a bit.

The judges deliberate. And I have to tell you that who was going home was so not a mystery. So instead we should analyze the allegiances here. Twiggy has turned into a rabid Natasha fan. Ms. J is all about Jaslene (drag queen to drag queen, of course). I think that Nigel feels strongest about Renee. And I believe that Tyra really wants Dionne to succeed the most, but is disappointed that she's falling short. Hmmm...

5 girls, 4 photos. The first goes to Jaslene! And then Natsha and Renee. Will Dionne and Brittany step forward?

Dionne, don't look so mean! Brittany, don't freak out in earshot of people! Of course Dionne gets the photo.

Brittany is dumbfounded in her exterview, as she reports that she's "not an emotional person." Compared to whom? Tammy Faye?

Next week - it's down the wire, and the girls soak up some Aboriginal culture. Also Renee is back to her scheming ways, this time trying to oust Natasha. Drama!

And as for final predictions? I gotta tell ya - I'm starting to think that Natasha is looking like "the girl who went on a journey."

May 05, 2007

Lyrics to Amy Winehouse's "Rehab"

A number of visitors have come by, seeking the lyrics to Amy Winehouse's kick ass song, "Rehab." And so without further adieu, here they are in their entirety:

They tried to make me go to rehab
I said no, no, no.
Yes I been black, but when I come back
You wont know, know, know.

I ain’t got the time
And if my daddy thinks im fine
He’s tried to make me go to rehab
I wont go, go, go.

I’d rather be at home with ray
I ain’t got 70 days
Cos there’s nothing, nothing you can teach me
That I can’t learn, from yester halfaway

Didn’t get a lot in class
But I know it don’t come in a shot glass

They’re tryin to make me go to rehab
I said no, no, no
Yes I been black, but when I come back
You wont know, know, know.

I aint got the time,
And if my Daddy thinks im fine,
He’s tried to make me go to rehab,
I wont go, go, go.

The man said, why you think you here?

I said, I got no idea
Im gonna, im gonna loose my baby
So I always keep a bottle near

Said, I just think you’re depressed
Kiss me, yeah baby
And the rest

I’m tryin to make me go to rehab
I said no, no, no
Yes I been black, but when I come back
You wont know, know, know

I don’t ever wanna drink again
I just, ooo, I just need a friend
Im not gonna spend 10 weeks
Have everyone think im on the mend

It’s not just my pride
It’s just til these tears have dried

They’re tryin to make me go to rehab
I said no, no, no
Yes I been black, but when I come back,
You wont know, know, know

I aint got the time,
And if my daddy thinks im fine
He’s trying to make me go to rehab
I wont go, go, go.

Charge It!

One of my favorite commercials recently is the simple one put out by Visa. It features a soul-singin' mama crooning the Petula Clark classic "Downtown," while a little neophyte gets a quick makeover.

For some time, I wondered, "Who is that great diva singing the song?"

Thanks to some expert internet sleuthing by ScottE, it turns out that it's none other than Niki Haris. She is Madonna's former back-up singer, and co-starred in the documentary Truth or Dare.

The best news (found on her website) is that she plans to release the song on an upcoming album. Awesome!

To check out the commercial, just click on the link below:

At Home Service

Yes, I have finally caved. I ended up doing something trendy. I have joined the masses.

I subscribed to Netflix.

And it is awesome!

Sure, it's nice to have DVDs just sent to me instead of making a trip to the video store. But what's truly nice is to be able to rent whatever we want. Far too many times I've gone out to pick up a particular movie, only to find they aren't carrying it, or all the copies are gone. With Netflix, we have thus far received movies exactly in the order of our queue. Then again, we have been trying to get more obscure films and foreign flicks.

So stay tuned in this space for a bevy of brief reviews of what we're watching!

May 03, 2007

Help Me Settle This

For those that enjoyed Philip Pullman's book The Golden Compass and are looking forward to the upcoming film, you'll really enjoy the website they've put together.

One of the features is a personality test that helps you determine the identity and form of your daemon (an animal that is the physical embodiment of your spirit).

Mine isn't quite settled yet, and I need your help! Check out the graphic below to take a 5-question quiz to help me determine her final form:

Give My Regards To Broadway

It's been awhile, but I wanted to catch you up on the latest shows that ScottE and I caught during our most recent trip to NYC, where we visited The Kara. If you'd like to read about our amazing food adventure to a Harlem landmark, check out ScottE's post.

First off, we went to see Terrence McNally's new play, Some Men at Second Stage Theatre. The play is a series of vignettes that chronicle the progression of love in gay male relationships for the past several decades. As you might imagine, some of the scenes worked better than others. The best were a scene about chat rooms and a group therapy session. The cast was all good, but playwright David Greenspan excelled as the bitter old queen full of pity one-liners. The best line of the show came from a man in a piano bar. He was lamenting that with gay men, the first affliction of old age is "show tune senility." It's so true!

The following evening, The Kara and I went to go see Spring Awakening. I'd been dying to see it, as I had fallen in love with the soundtrack. (You may have noticed from the ubiquitous sidebar on my blog.) It was really an amazing evening. The performance was so raw and present. And when you consider the average age of the performers...let's just say I have great hope for the future of Broadway. It's definitely a must-see show, so check it out!

Meanwhile, ScottE saw the play Talk Radio. He wasn't crazy about the script, but it starred Liev Schreiber. And let's be honest - that's all you need for a night's entertainment! If you'd like to hear more about it, I know he'd be happy to fill you in on the details.

All in all, an amazing weekend, which was a belated birthday gift to me. Yay for me!

May 02, 2007

Don't Be A Cactus, Girls

When we last left the bitches of America's Next Top Model, I found myself falling in love with Natasha for doing a killer impression of Tyra (if she was, y'know, Russian). Dionne said she was "no fucking lesbo" but won back our hearts when she proved to be a bit bi-curious. And Whitney was eliminated several weeks too late.

At the house, the girls talk about nothing substantial. Jael insists she has much light to spread into the world. Methinks she may have smoked a tad too much of the wacky weed, if you catch my drift.

April from Cycle 2 stops by to supposedly teach the girls how to do an effective interview. This mainly involves her distinguishing between guests that talk to much, and those that don't talk enough. She demonstrates with her associate who is henceforth called Fast-Talking Pocket Gay. April and FTPG do some brief fake interviews, and she is so lame. I didn't see her season, but I bet she sucked it.

The girls practice on each other, and we learn that Jaslene blanks really easily. And then Brittany reveals that several years ago she was hit by a car, and now suffers from trouble with her short-term memory. Whoa - that's the kind of weird sob story Tyra loves! Well done, Brit!

That night the girls cavort in the pool, and apparently love each other again, even Renee. That's special.

The next day Tyra arrives in a huge ratty kangaroo costume which is her not-too-subtle way of telling the girls that they're going to Australia. Pack your bags, bitches!

Arriving in Sydney, they are greeted by Erika Heynatz, who originally hosted the Australian version of Top Model. She sets the girls right to work on doing interviews. They are each given a book of Australian slang. The challenge? Interview folks on the street about American fashion faux pas, while using as many pieces of slang as possible. Some of the girls do OK at this, but Renee and Natasha seem to do the best at throwing in the slang. Jael looks like an idiot because she has an enormous red tutu over her jeans. And Dionne? Not so much with the slang. But she manages to say "That's cool" about 10 times too many.

The next day it's time for - you guessed it - the Cover Girl commercial! This time their challenge is trying to do the text with an Australian accent. Jaslene and Renee seem to do well. Natasha does quite well considering that she's now overcoming both a language barrier and an accent barrier. Predictably, Brittany has trouble, even with cue cards. She cries, OJ comforts. Jael looks angry, and Dionne slips back into her weird Jamaican accent.

In the car back to their apartment, Brittany cries some more, the girls comfort some more. I hate to be insensitive, but suck it up, girl!

And now we're at panel, where there are prizes, and there are judges. Except they're in Australia now. G'day!

Natasha's commercial is pretty good considering the accent/language thing. Tyra is especially impressed.

Dionne isn't awful, but she gets the note that she should be more light and carefree for products being marketed to young women. Because older women like angst and bitterness.

Jaslene's is actually not that good. Although she was the only one to make it through without cue cards, she looks a bit upset with her reading.

Renee? Renee is doing a straight-up Crocodile Hunter impression and it's ugly. She says she was told to "ugly it up a little," so she did that this week. Tyra tells her to dial it back a bit. In other words, be slightly off-looking, not supremely hideous.

Jael's commercial is a train wreck. She sounds super angry, she's fucking up the lines, and her brain wants to be out frolicking with nature. You can practically see Twiggy chomping at the bit to eliminate her.

Brittany is wearing a vest with no shirt. And the vest is covered in buttons. Apparently she not only has short term memory issues, but What Not To Wear issues as well. Her commercial is a mess, and she cries. Fortunately the judges are sympathetic, but refuse to coddle her.

After deliberation, there are 6 girls, 5 photos. The first photo goes to Natasha! Not only that, her interview will be on the Tyra Banks Show. That is...good, I guess? Other photos go to Renee, Jaslene and Dionne. Will Brittany and Jael please step forward?

Brittany, you need to figure out how to move past your personal issues. Jael, you need to come down to earth, ya froot loop. And the photo goes to...Brittany.

Jael is not sad to leave, because now she can spread energy to people and animals. Or something. Maybe I'd understand her better if I had a few beers in me.

Next week - it's go-see time! And Brittany cries some more. Try to contain your shock.

May 01, 2007

Dad, Tell Us A Story

Despite all the drivel that represents sitcoms on network TV today, there are a few bright exceptions. Some time ago you folks turned me onto The Office. (My word it was funny this week with Kelly being the customer service guru.) And My Name Is Earl is a hoot, too. ("Oh, SNAP!")

But it was the persistence of my own ScottE that opened my eyes to How I Met Your Mother. And that's surprising when you consider the pedigree.

I mean, we're talking about a sitcom on CBS. That's narrated by Bob Saget. That features Neil Patrick Harris as a love machine...for women. The premise seems set up to have a definite end point that can't be far off.

And yet, the ensemble has become one of the tighest comedic talents on TV today. With clever writing on all kinds of topics, I find myself laughing out loud quite a bit. Some episodes are just OK, but a few are so witty that they should be snagging Emmys. Tonight's look at Harris' Barney pursuing his dream of being on The Price Is Right was...priceless. Not to mention Alyson Hannigan's Lily trying to GAIN weight to fit into her wedding dress. (Trust me, it was hilarious.) And the pinnacle was an episode that took a cue from Memento by going further and further back in time to examine how the day's events became such a disaster.

Here's hoping that we don't find out exactly how he met their mother any time soon!