31 January, 2007

Holla!

Which awkward picture of a rapper and political personality do you find more enticing to caption in a humorous manner?
Prince Charles and Jay Z, or
Barak Obama and Ludacris?

Jay Z and Charles seem to be having more fun (they also look like cats do when they're fighting mid-air), but Ludacris and Obama definitely look like they're holding it down. I have no context for either picture, but they've been on my hard drive for a while now and I figured I'd put the question out there. I'm partial to picture #1 myself, simply because Jay Z upstaged Charles suit-wise. No doubt that Charles looks positively frumpy next to Jay.

In other funny political goings on, watch this video. It's funny, but scary at the same time. These are basic questions being posed here, to a population of people able to vote. Granted, I'm sure this took a few hours to film, and that these are but a small portion of the people interviewed, but still... A few choice quotes:
Jogger: I'm a little bit mixed up over the Palestinians and the Israelis... Which one is throwing the rocks?

and later:

Interviewer: Which state does KFC come from?
Jogger: I don't know! I really don't know?
Interviewer: Do you know what KFC stands for?
Jogger: Kentucky Fried Chicken, right?
Of course, this is coming from the SAME GUY! Wow.
Interviewer: What is Al-Qaeda
Rando guy: A group in Israel that does suicide bombs and stuff...And the president of it is Yasser Arafat...Everybody knows that!
The eternal writers debate.

If you don't like clowns, this is not the page you want to see. Terrifying.

Between the ages of 12 and 15 is a time when, it seems, kids are looking for something by which to identify themselves. A sport perhaps, or an affinity for video games. This is where the polarization begins in preparation for full bloom into the latter years of high school. People identify themselves as skaters, thugs, jocks and whatnot. It's not a bad thing, and it often carries over a bit in to college.

For me, it was music. I listened to a lot of oldies like Buddy Holly when I first got in to music, but quickly moved on to the likes of Green Day, leading to the Descendents (at left) and to punk in general. I identified myself with that type of music; Bad Religion, NOFX, Minor Threat, Judge, etc. I didn't really listen to much else, because I was in to 'punk' and not that other 'crap.'

Of course I was lying to myself. When other people who also identified themselves by the music they listened to would ask me about my listening habits, I would inevitably rattle off a list of accepted bands, a wise mix of the commonly accepted and the deliciously obscure. I was big into local bands (there's no way I'm going to lay out a list here, but I'll say two words: Sasquatch Genocide) and loved the double take people would do when I told them what I listened to.

The thing was, I always listened to other stuff as well, but never identified myself with it. I mean, what 13 year old kid tells his little punk friends he listens to Simon & Garfunkel and the The Who's Tommy soundtrack? Yeah, not me that's for sure. My house had a collection of records from both my parents, and I used to listen to them regularly; Sly and the Family Stone, The Beatles, Elton John, etc. But I never identified with them, only listened. I used to tune in to country radio too, but again didn't identify with it.

I realized the other day that I'm over that. I just listen to what I like. If I'm in a mood to listen to the distorted catastrophe of Converge, then I do. If I want to hear both discs of Garth Brooks' performance in Central Park, I do. And if I want to listen to Tommy, I go right ahead; maybe even watch the movie, if I feel. I realized this the other day when I was at the bakery and brought in Sylvie Lewis' 'Tango's and Tantrums.' It's not something I would have admitted listening to when I was younger. Come on, a jazzy female singer doesn't really seem like something I'd thoroughly enjoy, and in the past I would have been concerned about the image I was projecting to other people.

Not so much, now. If I like it I'll listen to it, and if someone asks I'll tell them what I think of it. I can only imagine what people my age were saying about bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit back when I was in to them. Probably the same things I say about My Chemical Romance and Panic! at the Disco now...

Okay, now that that's all over, I want this CD. Someone get it for me. Thanks! Seriously though she's a really good singer, kind of a mix between the aforementioned Sylvie Lewis, Regina Spektor and Ani DiFranco. Also the Dresden Dolls, but only a little bit.

OH I heard some great news today. Radiohead is releasing a new album eventually, apparently due out later in the year. But, the new work is described by Thom as similar to OK Computer "but much more terrifying." Sounds good to me, I love OK Computer, and wouldn't mind listening to something even darker.

Stanley Donwood, who does their cover art, is pictured painting during their latest jaunt in the studio. Potential album cover? Here's hoping. Looks like the OK Computer insert in a way.

Fat kids in Britain are rejoicing, and simultaneously mourning their sudden lack of highly caloric options.

And finally, congratulations to Pat Hogan, who made the news out in New Mexico. Literally. His article was on the front of the Farmington Daily Times Travel section. Check it out.

30 January, 2007

New gig on the docket

I mentioned in a previous post that I started working a second job, one which does not require me to type anything, or work a piece of machinery more complicated than a microwave. I am now employed on a very part-time basis at the Flying Monkey Patisserie, a bakery right in the middle of Reading Terminal Market. Basically, I wash dishes, ring up customers, make coffee/cookies, put orders in boxes and frost cupcakes. At least, that's what I've done thus far.

While there, apparently, I also exist for a time in the 'vortex of crazy' (owner's words.) Just last Sunday a man came up to the counter at 10:00 AM and inquired as to whether the adjacent beer garden was open for business. I looked over, and being that the lights were off and the entrance was shut, I said that no, it was not open. He asked how soon it would open. I said I didn't think it was open on Sunday. He looked dejected. I repeat: It was 10 AM. On Sunday. What the hell?

On Saturday I was interrupted helping a customer by a man wielding a belligerent Italian accent, demanding cannoli's, which to my knowledge are not made there. The use of the word 'knowledge' when applied to this particular man I should add, is suspect at best.

Last week I was told by an out-of-sorts woman that I frost cupcakes completely wrong. Apparently the best way is to dip my hand in the frosting cup and smear it with my fingers. Right. I know I'm relatively new at this (I can't really count things that happened in high school anymore, can I?) but I'm not going to take advice from a woman whose head was seemingly affixed to a spring when the perfectly competent staff of the bakery already told me how it's done there. Apparently this sort of advice is doled out by many Reading Terminal shoppers on a regular basis.

Anyhow, the job is going well. I work either Friday, Saturday or Sunday, or a combination of two of those days. I really like working there thus far, simply because it's something physical that I can just do, not something I have to conjure up out of my own head like writing. Additionally, there is no clock in the bakery, nor one visible from behind the counter. Since I don't want to mess my phone up, I put it in my jacket pocket while I'm working, so I don't know what time it is. On Sunday I was ploughing through some dishes, and the girl with whom I was working said "can you believe it's one already?" I couldn't; it felt like it was about 10 at the latest. The people I have worked with are really decent, chill folks, but with a caveat: they all work really, really hard.

Example: Sunday I worked from 9-4. The moment the lights came on, there were people wanting things. I hadn't made coffee yet, much less unwrapped things in the case. Or done anything but take off my jacket. This continued until 4. I didn't take a break, though I should have. There was one other girl working, and we didn't get finished everything until 4:30. I literally did not stop working save for 5 minutes when Drew stopped by, and once or twice to use the bathroom.

Near the end of the day, another guy who works there stopped by to grab a coffee while he was in the market. Seeing that were were really swamped trying to finish up the orders, work the counter and clean at the same time, he stuck around and took care of the people wanting stuff from the case for about 15 minutes while we got caught up. He could have just gotten his coffee and been like "I've got to run, good luck," but he didn't. Seems like most of the people I've met who work there are like that.

But that's how it goes. We listened to CD's like U2's 'Joshua Tree,' The Beatles 'Revolver,' Sylvie Lewis 'Tango's and Tantrums,' The Pogues 'Hells Ditch' and several others. There is a host of pretty decent CD's sitting on the counter. And we worked. I packed orders and did dishes, she baked. We both worked the counter. When the day finished, I felt like I'd been at work, like I'd done something. It was nice.

It seems as if Flying Monkey is providing a nice Yang to the Yin of my other desk-oriented, clock watchin' job. Plus there is no Holiday Bush in sight. Thankfully.

Speaking of, the large vase has been removed from my desk, leaving only the small strand of lights in its wake. Pathetic thing doesn't even light up since the batteries on which it runs are dead.

Semantics & Rhetoric or, a 'slow' hour in 24

So not much has happened in the past two weeks of 24, right? Well, sort of. Not much has happened action-wise. We're in the 'coffee break' period of the show, just before noon when the day is lagging for anyone who got up at 6am. Or, you know, stepped off of a Chinese prison plane at 6am.

There has been a lot of plot development though, lots of talking and facts flying around. As a recovering Communication major, I spent four years of college in classes such as 'Interpersonal Communication,' 'Persuasion' and 'Communication and Rhetorical Theory.' I suppose I gained an appreciation of how people communicate in some way, so I gravitate toward that sort of thing when watching television.

Since there wasn't much going on in the way of killing, interrogation or things exploding, these past two hours of 24 were rife with just the sorts of things I spent college studying. Here is a discussion in a rather lucid format of some observations from hour 6 (11:00 AM - Noon), focusing mostly on what was said rather than what was done.

I'd like to touch on Nadia for a moment.

I speculated at the beginning of the season that she was a mole, or at least not trustworthy. I don't really feel as such anymore; only partly, but more on that later. This is based on a few things.

Her first appearance in hour six finds her griping to Bill Buchanan in confidence about the new security measures. We've seen this sort of thing happen before from pretty much every other CTU mole (Nina Myers/Jamey Farrell, anyone?) When Milo and Morris question her as to why her production is down, she's unwilling to disclose to them the reason why. She doesn't take either of them aside and try to convince them to log her on to the CTU servers. She keeps things to herself and tries as best she can to do her job; she's probably trustworthy.

That said, there's something else going on here. The CTU office has been suspiciously slow, focusing on Chloe getting publicly groped and the Milo/Morris throwdown instead of the normal goings on. Milo logs her in with his own name, setting up some interesting possibilities: Maybe Milo and Nadia are working together to subvert the efforts of CTU. Maybe Nadia is just very clever and earned Milo's trust, knowing (hoping) that he would log her in. Maybe Milo is somehow 'dirty' and will use a backdoor route through her system to go about his ways, knowing that it could be traced back to her computer. Then he could admit he logged her in and receive a slap on the wrist, and she's be in trouble (until Jack wrecks Milo, that is.)

Also, as Milo says, "She's a registered Republican." Maybe this is just a ploy by the writers to try and discredit the idea that 24 is a show that endorses the polarization of ideas when it comes to Muslims. By creating a character who is both Muslim, a Republican AND a good guy, they may be attempting to blur the lines. When Bill says to Nadia 'we'll take care of it when this is all over,' that means it will most certainly become an issue at some point within the next oh, 4 hours.

I am disappointed in a few things that came out in this past show, however. There were a lot of sections of dialogue that I found less than believable, or that were marred by poor acting.

First, there is no way that Wayne Palmer is a convincing President. He has a voice more suited to narrating bedtime tapes than he is to giving an impromptu State of the Union address. There will be a play by the Vice President for control of the government at some point soon, mark it down.

Despite a nicely crafted story from Graem Bauer, and a good cover up for his recent terrorist efforts, I balk at Jack's intuitive interrogation of him. It seems like He's using his Jump to Conclusions mat a little too effectively; I think that for the sake of Graem's wife and because of any shred of a sense of family that Jack may have left, any other person would have given Graem the benefit of the doubt for a little longer than he did. I mean, look at what happened to Paul Raines when HIS name showed up on a watch list. It so happens that he's correct in assuming that Graem is a terrorist, but still. I'm not buying it (entirely.)

The whole storyline with Sandra Palmer, Walid Al-Rezani and the Irish FBI agent who was in Oz is ridiculous. Every time she's on screen I get more and more pissed off. Why hasn't the Irish dude punched her yet? Who knows. Walid is not a convincing terrorist by any means, evidenced by his rather flat "no, I did not take it" refusal when asked about the phone. I don't feel any sympathy for him when he gets kicked. He comes out of it alright, a little bruised but alright. That's what he gets for putting it to that overzealous but well-intentioned co-worker. And for being completely unconvincing in the role, even when he's playing a role within a role in the detention center.

The removal of Karen Hayes wasn't that convincing either. I think it's a very thinly veiled attempt at getting us, the viewers, to thin she's out of the picture. It's too early in the season for that to be so; too early in the season for any twist to be permanent. I don't think she's out by any means; she wasn't maimed, didn't get kidnapped or shot or anything, and that look she gave Wayne during her resignation (the only decent acting from Palmer) says "I will return, and I will own Thomas Lennox more than he's ever been owned."

SO, despite all that, I loved the twist at the end. As a sidenote, what does Jack's mother look like? Graham and Jack sure didn't get their looks (or their bad-ass-itude) from Phillip, that's for sure.

Of COURSE it was Graham all along (or so we assume at this point.) That said, does anyone really think Jack's going to be 'handled' by two priggish looking guys in suits and the powerful but dorky Graham for more than a few minutes? The only reason they'll keep him for as long as they do is because he is waiting for vital information to be spilt for a a new lead.

The Two teasers and one actual ending in the past three episodes have ended with Graham in a chair being interrogated by Jack "it puts the lotion on its skin" Bauer. I'm liking this trend. Jack's got the older sibling syndrome,' wherein he seems torture his younger brother for the fun of it. Then again, Graham has the 'younger brother syndrome,' using words ("Your dead wife") to antagonize Jack.

Can't wait until next week.

---------
Random notes:

- Single shot musket compared to nuclear bomb. Foreshadowing for a potential Bauer weapon? Here's hoping?

- Karen says that Tom is wearing her down. The only one wearing down Karen Hayes is Bill Buchanan. Zing! Wait, eww.

- This work you're 'doing for me' doesn't go unnoticed, says Tom. Hmmmm. He's such a bastard, doing all sorts of background work on Bill Buchanan. Something about this screams "Wayne Palmer is in on Lennox and is working with Karen." You know, or not.

- If this show is in real time, that bag was on Greg's head for over a full minute. He'd be dead. As in not gushing information about Phillip Bauer like a veritable family fountain.

- Smoldering look between Jack and Mrs. Greg Bauer. She wants his business. Audrey's going to cut her. I bet MGB knows something and gives Jack a critical bit of information later in the show. Seems like she's still loyal / very sexually attracted to Jack.

- Still no traffic in LA. WTF.

29 January, 2007

Charles: Dapper; Camilla: Dowdy; Body in Schuylkill: Dead

I saw Prince Charles this weekend, albeit inadvertently. You see, I was on my way to get a burrito coming home from work. I'm riding home on Saturday and heading South on Broad St. from Arch. I make the turn around City Hall, and my first thought was 'why the hell is there a huge tent blocking the whole street?' I get around the tent, which is crawling with security, and there's this huge crowd surrounding the Academy of Music.

I asked some dude what was going on and he said that Prince Charles was coming. First thought: I wonder how long it'll take the Philly traffic cops to nail his limo with a ticket because he's got out of state plates. Second thought: okay, I'll bite. It wasn't too cold out, so I figured I'd wait and catch a glimpse of the dude. For reference, I was standing under the lit-up A in the top left of that picture.

I did, and he's just that. A dude. Just a guy. It's not like he threw out gold ducats or anything, he just walked inside; and yet there was an enormous crowd, many of whom came just to see the guy. I happened to be passing by, but I still stuck around. Later I found out that there were other people there I would have been immeasurably more excited to see, including Tom Brokaw and Rod Stewart. You know, people who built their fame on a talent instead of a birthright. Not to say I don't respect Prince Charles for, you know, his position in the world and the immense influence, if not actual power, he holds. Still, Rod Stewart is the business.

Not as exciting as the body Gwen saw getting pulled from the Schuylkill around the same time. Welcome to Phily, Chaz.

A man in my office seems to have purchased a new coat over the weekend. It also seems that he shops in the same department as a girl at my second job, who was wearing the exact same coat (smaller of course) only yesterday.

I was listening to Immortal Technique at 9:20 am. this morning. I realized about 3 songs in to the album that it was much to early for such incisive political commentary in an aggressive hip hop format. He's one very very angry dude. Seriously, I'd love to hear him rap about like, Fruit Loops for a minute. I wish I A. had a copy of the Neutral Milk Hotel CD that was playing at work on Sunday and B. knew what the CD was in the first place. As a sidenote, you know the rest of your day is going to go well when you think to yourself at around 1:00 pm "You know, I'd really like to listen to STYX right about now."

Musically related, Mates of State is one of those bands that's just sickening to listen to, but much like the Ben and Jerry's Cinnamon Cookie ice cream, you don't know when you've had enough until it's too late. That said, Kori of Mates of State is keeping a weekly journal at Babble about what it's like being on tour with her two year old daughter. For those not familiar, her husband is the other half of the band, so the child isn't being abandoned.

It's pretty interesting to read, for the novelty value if nothing else. Also, their daughter was hanging out with Death Cab for Cutie. She's two. There are 18 year-old fat girls who would give their lifesblood to be in her position. Except they can't; because they're fat. Go read it.

Ever have that one song you know you want to hear but can't remember the name of it, and you search your itunes for like, an hour but can't get it? That song is always Lou Reed's "Andy's Chest" for me. Except right now, I can remember the name AND artist. That happens approximately never. I love the line about honey bears in that particular song, but when I'm searching through itunes and listening to the opening five or so seconds of a song, I can't catch the particular rhythm since the opening of "Andy's Chest" is very different from the part of the song I enjoy.

There are more such songs in my life, but, predictably, I can't remember any of them at the moment.

Okay, so the holiday bush is almost completely gone. All that remains is the strand of lights, sitting alone on the desk. HOWEVER, a new desk friend has appeared. It's a giant glass vase, square, with those chintzy little clear rocks in the bottom. Also, it's filled with giant banana-leaf looking things. And water; at least a gallon of it. I wish it had goldfish...

Tony Pierce of LAist has some funny stuff over at the busblog. A choice quote from Sunday:
"i also dont like hillary because shes stiff. stiffness used to mean that you were hiding something.

people didnt used to like al gore because he was stiff. turned out what he was hiding was all his radness. people dont call al gore stiff any more.

when barack wins al gore should be the environment tsar, bill clinton should be nominated for the supreme court, and al sharpton should be the press secretary."
This is the best ad I've ever seen, just for it's simplicity.

Find your city. They all look like they'd hide vomit pretty damn well; I guess that's the point.

Someone recently clicked in to my blog by doing a Google search for "nancy pelosi photoshop nude." I am very uncomfortable with this.

25 January, 2007

Short Friday rambling

You know when you buy a Coke and look under the cap to see if you won a free bottle, right? You know that disappointment when you realize it's one of those stupid codes that mean you got like, 5 coke points and with 400 more, you can get a bocce set? Well, someone came up with a really good idea on how to deal with that disappointment. What altruism!

Seth, you're closer than I am. If you happen to see any of these Bad Larry's kicking around, I know it's a different country and all, but do me a favor and throw some in (not on) an envelope and get them to me. I need these in my life.

Sweet video game-playin' hamster. No seriously, watch this. It's funny.

Gregg Gethard is doing a stand up routine tomorrow night at 8 at the Shubin Theater, 4th and Bainbridge, Philadelphia. (Just south of South St.). It's only $5, and apparently there's beer. I'm going.

Really awesome stop-motion video courtesy of Nick Norlen.

Don't know what's going on in this video, but it's from Adult Swim and it's called Shut Up Hooker, so I found it amusing. Also, did you know there's adult swim shows on demand? I didn't, until yesterday. It was like finding gold. In my living room.

This weekend is going to be kind of blah, save for the event above. I'm not entirely sure what to do with myself. I work Saturday and Sunday all day, so I suppose that'll have to suffice. I remember a time when I didn't look forward to Monday, specifically, Monday nights. At 9. I remember Monday being the day I realized that I had a week of homework in front of me and no weekend in sight. Now, I don't really get homework owning to the fact that I'm not in school, so I'm free to look forward to the evenings.

One is enough for me, thanks

If you're on Second Life, you are a dork. Seriously, who lives their life online; literally? I am impressed that people are on here making money hand over fist, but the whole concept still strikes me as odd. How do these people translate that to real cash? How do you sell something to someone that is completely transient? I realist that you 'own' your character and all of its assets in the game, but what if that server with your information craps out? All gone, and there's nothing that spiky-haired creator Phillip Linden (pictured) can do about it.

I signed up there for a bit to try it out, and it really wasn't that appealing. I like video games, I just like them to have a point. I know some would be incensed that I just called it a game, but that's what it is; a fantasy world wherein the point is to interact with each other and function as you would in the world.

I started out with an avatar, nude on an island. At some point I must have clicked, in the myriad of boxes and text presented to me, that my character should be female. That's how I dropped out of the air anyway. I couldn't figure out how to change my character to male, so I just made her in to a really butch female. Oh well.

Walked around a bit, tested out the whole flying thing, and got bored pretty quickly. I started looking for an ax or blunt garden tool with which to 'interact with the other players.' I realize this is not the point of the game, but come on. If I wanted to take the cat to the vet, go to the grocery store etc., I would do that in the real world, not some fake computer world. That would just mean I have to do it twice, since I have to do that stuff anyway. I couldn't t find anything to use, and I doubt I would be able to if I did. I exited the program, uninstalled it, and deleted my account. No more for me, I'll just stick with what I've got.

It's all very strange. I use a computer all day at work, and I can't imagine going home to sit at my computer all night too, 'interacting' with people and generally doing nothing of substance. The fact that there is an entire complex economy and social structure astounds me. Now what's worse, World of Warcraft or Second Life? I'll go with WoW myself, but by the same margin as t

A funny parody of the second life website is here. Apparently, Linden Labs gave them the nod for this since it's obviously a joke. I can appreciate when someone has a good sense of humor about that sort of thing.

Rachel Ray is talking some shit on Oprah. Hey, Rachel is #81 on the Forbes top 100 list of richest celebrities. Opera. Yeah, she's #3, right there behind Tom Cruise and The Rolling Stones. I like Rachel, but seriously. She needs to chill. Or stop drinking.

Speaking of Chef's, Marcel from Top Chef got busted upside the head by a bottle in a nightclub. Drew's happy. Marcel, not so much. I'm amazed his huge hair didn't cushion the blow a la High School High. I mean, it's like a foot in the air and slathered in product. Remember that part of the movie, where the baseball bat gets stuck in the dude's afro? Or where they're stapling condoms to guide to safe sex leaflets. Hilarious.

I don't know how to feel about this. Apparently the woman was trying to win a Nintendo Wii for her kids and died from an overdose of water. That's not really something you see coming a mile away, you know? Maybe she should have done some light jogging beforehand, get dehydrated a little bit, that say she'd be able to consume more water without diluting her system. In other news I am a horrible person for rationalizing this.

The Christmas bush is gone. All that remains is the large vase in which it sat and a short string of lights that no longer works. Time for an Easter Tree!

The days when I don't do the crossword puzzle, I always feel like something is missing or off. That's a good addiction though. I usually start on the puzzle while my computer boots up and while I am having my coffee, sort of like a mental warm-up to the day.

On Thursdays, if there is a posting of mine listed at Blogs4Bauer, traffic to this blog triples. People just go to the post listed there, don't really read beyond that I don't think, but it's still interesting. Coincidentally in the Carnival of Bauer this week, I'm listed first. I think it's just because I sent my entry in about 25 minutes after the show ended.

24 January, 2007

I congratulate the Democrat majority...

More amazing than the State of Iraq, err, the Union speech last night, which I'll get to in a moment, is this shark. The thing is, apparently, ancient as shit, some living fossil or something. Watch it swimming here. Article here. Looks like something mid-level boss from Eco the Dolphin.

You know it's a good day when sharks are infinitely more exciting than anything else going on in the world.

Okay, when I said yesterday that I don't really follow politics, I may have lied just a bit. I had forgotten, as I was typing, that the State of the Union address was dutifully marked on my Google calendar for viewing.

So, here are a few notes from the speech. None of it really has to do with the content as I am a very superficial person at times.

- Why are people standing and clapping at least once every minute. I want to yell "sit down, sit the fuck down" a la Lewis Black. Seriously, he's reading a speech, not making it up on the spot. He didn't even write the damn thing, so just sit down and listen?

- Hilary Clinton looks like an overly smug mutt. Either that or she just smelled some pungent farts. Ever seen her up close? She's enormous.

- Obama seems... stiff. Like he's concerned about what the public thinks of him or something. Hmmm.

- What was McCain winking at just there? I bet it was Nancy Pelosi. That wink definitely said "gotcha, biatch. In two years I'll be in ur senate, veto'n ur lawz."

- Bush wants to change the codes for health care, making health insurance more accessible. Even my poor ass appreciates that. Thanks, dude! Not like it'll happen anytime soon...

- John Kerry still looked more than pissed. He's only clapping because there are cameras lurking about. Hilary isn't as up on her showmanship. She just sat there smelling farts all night.

- First mention of terrorists was in the section about securing the borders. I threw up in my mouth a little bit. I also chuckled when he said the word smuggler. What I wouldn't give to hear him say 'Turd Burglar' several times.

- Where'd Dick Cheney's hand? I can't see it at all. Oh, right, he's using it to manipulate the mouth and blinky-blink levers in Bush's back.

- Condi looked at one point like she was dropping a deuce. She didn't seem too concerned over her distinct lack of privacy, however. Presidential material? Toilet paper?

- Bush says the names of Iraqi locations like he's recounting an experience on Legends of the Hidden Temple. Except there was nobody there to haul his ass away in the Temple of the Golden Monkey when he screwed it up.

- Watching Nancy Pelosi smile and clap because she was directly behind the president seemed like watching one of those old westerns where the guy in the saloon dances because his feet are being shot at.

- Global Warming is real! He admitted it! Wow, and it only took 6 years.

Number of times I giggled when he said 'terrorism' or terrorists': I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, I lost count (actual count: 22,. I read the transcript myself this morning.)

I wish that people didn't put on a show for the camera. I wouldn't be offended if people in the audience who didn't agree with what he was saying didn't stand and clap. Whatever, they don't agree. It's like watching prairie dogs pop out of their holes.

This is the most horrifying idea for a television show ever. The prize for the winner may even be more so. The show's finale is going to be under two minutes I assure you. I bet it airs on Fox.

In other less relevant Jenna Jameson news, her boyfriend Tito Ortiz, UFC shit-kicker extraordinaire, has a dome that appears to be cast from the same mold as Mr. Potato head. Except Mr. Ortiz's bucket of parts includes only fingerless gloves and gym shorts.

I think a funny photoshop is in order here...

23 January, 2007

Keep reading, it's not all about sports, I swear

I don't think I have ever heard someone say of Steve Blake that he's "too quick, too fast" for defenders. I definitely chuckled at that one. Not saying he's slow, but he doesn't have the kind of speed that should make sports commentators wet their pants with glee.

And that is why, in some way, I think I'm paying more attention to the NBA this season than I am to college basketball. It's to the point where I actually know more NBA players now than NCAA kids. The Chicago Bulls, for example, have several players I watched when they were in college. My favorite college baller and former Jayhawk Kirk Hinrich lost to the Terps in the 2002 NCAA Final Four. I've actively rooted against former Duke players Chris Duhon and Luol Deng, reluctantly rooted for UConn star Ben Gordon, and apathetically watched Tyrus Thomas tear it up but ultimately lose out in last year's tournament.

I am slowly losing interest in the college game, true, but I'm still interested to see if Jermaine Thomas, who graduated from La Salle last year, can make it to the NBA. I think if he can, he'll be a decent player. He's playing in Hungary at the moment I believe, but he always had really good eyes for what was going on on the court, and generally didn't make stupid turnovers. Also, I wonder if Steve Smith is going to turn in to the player people said he would. Maybe he just needs more minutes.

Porn is going High Def. Interesting... “The biggest problem is razor burn,” said Stormy Daniels. ::Shudder::

Okay, hold the fucking phone. Two of the women in my office were talking today about the movie Office Space. My head nearly exploded from the irony. One of them has not seen it, so the other was quoting lines, and all I could do was sit at my desk and laugh. Seriously. Oh then they talked about Rush Hour for a full half hour, with several other people being snowballed into the conversation.
"Lou have you seen Rush hour?" came the question about 10 minutes in to their Chris Tucker Pow Wow.

"No," I lied, and put my headphones in.
On the topic of the office (the bland affair at which I work, not the wildly popular television show), pictures of the Holiday Bush are forthcoming. I can't believe it's still sitting on my desk. I mean, it was even taken away and dismantled at some point. But it's back, with the lights on it and everything, drying up slowly. How resilient is this freaking thing?

When you Google the names of people that work in your office and find pictures of them when they were 13 years old looking all sullen and awkward, is it okay to anonymously post them by the water cooler? I say yes.

Hilary is in. Well, not yet, but trying to get there. I don't particularly like her or Obama. Or John Edwards. This should be interesting.

When I write things like the short paragraph above, I sometimes feel guilty that I am not as politically conscious as I would like to be, and probably should be. I follow the news, but I don't delve in to politics that much. I just don't like keeping up with all the rhetoric and nonsense that accompanies campaigns and all that. I'll vote for someone who I feel has proven themselves to be an effective politician over a span of time, not someone with a good campaign. That's why I don't feel that Obama, for example, would make a good president. Not yet anyway. He's been in the Senate for only a single term, the final two of which will be spent campaigning for President. I'd sooner vote in Hilary, but that's another issue altogether.

I had a burrito last night. It was delicious, but now all I can think about eating are burritos.

The following takes place betweenholycraphisBROTHER?

Why Day six is the best day of 24 yet; a succinct reasoning, followed by some commentary. First:
1. Five hours gone. Not only do I not know who the real enemy is, I don't have any clue who to trust or where the plot is going quite yet.

2. The single biggest plot twist ever occurred and it isn't even noon yet. Who knows what could happen by the time June rolls around.
This season, I'm all confused because it's all in past tense. Not in the sense of time, but there's no small plot foiled by Jack leading up to a grander-scaled plot. The terrorists attacked before Jack was even out of China. It's happening already and it's damage control plus plot foiling, which is uncharted territory...

...And I love it. It's new, and allows for a more emotional side to the plot (one emotion being, thankfully, a desire for revenge.)

Graham - "Hey, we used to play this game as kids"
Jack - "Just like childhood, Dad's nowhere to be found."
That said, I'm not sure how to feel about Graham's new status as Jack's hermano. It feels like... too much. I mean, sure it was exciting, surprising and altogether unpredicted by anyone (as far as I know. Prove me wrong), but at the same time, it might be too much of a twist; might be too sensational.

It's certainly believable, as we know little to nothing about Graham up to this point, save for his role in the Sentox nerve gas plot and the execution of David Palmer. He may not even be the one ultimately at the top of this whole thing; that could for all we know be Farmer Hoggett aka Phillip Bauer. Wouldn't that be interesting...

Additionally, I am not sure how far I'm willing to go on the idea that Jack suspects Graham of some sort of wrongdoing right off of the bat. Again, I kind of feel that Jack is still a bit off mentally and, the bomb having gone off mere minutes previous, simply looking for someone to blame. Enter Graham, who happens to be the right person entirely, but still. I was kind of hoping he was going to go all Paul Raines and electrocute the guy when he ripped that light out of the wall, but ah well. Nostalgia...

More on the other stuff that wasn't really part of the plot but still caught my attention:

- What the hell is up with Sandra Palmer? I realize she's the president's sister, but damn. Chill. You should know that it's good for the country to get this information. They're in a jail, guards all around, in the middle of a courtyard. What does she think is going to happen.

- I don't trust Nadia Yassir at all. Not yet. I think there was some sort of subtle bolstering of my opinion by the producers when they elected to not show her continuation of Buchanan's questioning at all. She came out, said dude was clean and he walked. I don't like it.

- Thomas Lennox reminds me of the guy in Lord of the Rings keeping the King of Rohan under his control. The guy is sheisty, and in the preview for next week's episode he says that Karen Hayes needs to go. Buchanan is going to be pissed.

- I am still in shock that Graham is Jack's brother. Still in shock Curtis is dead. If Chloe broke her toe, I don't think I could take it.

- When Jack saved the dude in the helicopter, I found myself thinking "come on, really?" It was too saccharine for me.

Also, courtesy of Gwen's internet sleuthing, I am able to see each death of the season over and over again, and find all the info I'll ever need on said deaths. I can't wait until Jack goes psychotic, as I'm sure he will.

Check out Blogs4Bauer for more 24 than you can possible handle. If you've just come from there, welcome! Feel free to check out the rest of the blog.
Surprise!
I will return to inane commentary regarding my working experiences until this time next week. Enjoy!

22 January, 2007

Okay, campers, rise and shine. Don't forget your booties, because it's cold out there today.

Winter is finally here. I'm happy. I'm also well prepared, as there isn't any heat in my office so I've been wearing a big jacket to work for months. Let me re-phrase that: there is heat, but the place is two and a half stories tall inside, so it kind of rises up and escapes out of the million drafty windows. 'Nuff said.

I met the last Eagles fan still standing on the corner of 20th and Chestnut a few days back. I was waiting at the light, on my bike, and he was waiting to cross the street. The guy seemed a little un-kept, possibly one of the type that asks for cigarettes and change all the time. He didn't ply me for either, but instead asked if I was following football this year.
"Sure," I responded. Some playoff games last weekend right?"

"You think the birds are gonna do anything this year?" he asked.

"I don't know, I don't follow the offseason trades really" was my reply.

"Yeah, but like, this year. The playoffs man. You think the birds are gonna go anywhere this year?"
I thought I had mis-heard him, but I was mistaken. I didn't have the heart to tell him they'd lost just that past weekend. Maybe he was still in shock. Either way it made me smile.

Read this article and tell me it doesn't sound eerily familiar despite it's age. My favorite part is where the writer says the Eagles do not have a talented receiver like Terrell Owens to carry them. Interesting...

I have little to no desire to watch the Super Bowl this year. All I can say is that I will be rooting for the NFC. That hasn't happened... ever. Lovie and Tony. Sounds like some sort of awful WB drama series. Also, I'm glad the United States Saints love fest can now officially end. I'm sick of hearing how they cured an ailing city, and how Reggie Bush's tears are the cure for Cancer but since he's too much of a man to cry the world has to suffer or some shit.

Rage Against the Machine is getting back together, if only for a moment.

Biking to work this morning was fun, let me tell you. My bike doesn't really have tires adequate for dealing with moisture, much less snow and/or slush. When I stepped out of my front door this morning, I almost bit it outright on the front step. My foot slipped from under me, and my bike slid outward toward the street. I got my bearings, and headed toward work.

As I'm rolling downhill on Lombard toward the South St. bridge, I felt like I was being pelted with gravel, but I didn't think too much of it as I was trying to concentrate on rolling forward instead of say, sideways, which is where my bike wanted to go.

I rolled up to a traffic light and glanced down. Turns out I was being pelted with gravel, which was contained in the slush being kicked up by my tires. Of course I was wearing light pants, so I looked like some sort of house painter. Or some idiot who just rode his fender-less bike through 20+ blocks of slush.

24, hour 5 airs tonight. Jack Bauer wouldn't have lost to the Colts on a run up the middle.

I started a second job this weekend at the Flying Monkey Patisserie in Reading Terminal Market. It's only two days a week, Saturday and Sunday mostly, but it'll be a nice deviation from sitting at a desk.

I worked on Sunday for seven hours, but the time seemed to slide by. I practiced zen and the art of cookie-rolling, manufacturing a few hundred small cooking-dough balls for baking. The job, it seems, is just a lot of random tasks such as rolling cookie dough, icing cupcakes, and doing some dishes. Not too bad, really, and I get a little extra money too. Plus I get free coffee or espresso that isn't the crappy stuff from Backstage.

On an unrelated note I've watched 10 episodes of The Wire in the past two days. It's a very good show, one which Drew says is the best show on television. While I would tend to disagree, it is not because the show is of a lesser quality than others. Rather, because it's on HBO, it has some fundamental differences that allow it to be a much better show that if it aired on network TV. If you took the show and translated it to a prime time slot on Fox, NBC etc., there would have to be some major changes, and I think it would lose some of it's punch.

It's a good show, and I'm going to watch the second season just as soon as I finish the first one.

Hilarious.

As I typed this, I was listening to Journey's 'Open Arms' on repeat. So you know.

19 January, 2007

Friday means little or no work, but lots of speculation

Funny post, albeit a year old now, about drinking with Keifer Sutherland. The picture to the right is courtesy of the user bris1985 on deviantART

There is something I feel I didn't really get to before, a nuance about the new season of 24 that may or may not turn out to be anything at all. In the first hour of the show, the first terrorist seen is not Middle Eastern, not European or American, but Asian. Could this just be a coincidence? In past seasons the terrorists have all been of the same race. They tend to homogenize themselves pretty well that way.

This would make for an interesting twist, if somehow the Chinese were involved this season, considering the recent history between that government and a one Jack Bauer. I'm not sure that they are, though; I tend to think that the single Asian jihadist is an anomaly. I'm not sure that I am ready to believe that, in working with the Middle Eastern Terrorists, the Chinese would be so willing to sacrifice their men for something like a suicide bombing. I would imagine they may commit manpower to something more...sustainable.

Still, with that history between Jack and the Chinese, you have to assume that wrongs have to be righted at some point. It is still very unclear on the exact details of the exchange between the two governments, and I personally don't feel resolved over the whole situation. There's something brewing there, and so far the Asian suicide bomber is the only link (aside from the obvious appearance of Cheng Zhi in the first hour of the show.

I tried to find a picture of Jack kicking the guy from the Subway train for this post but couldn't. Is there a site out there that logs screen captures from the show? That would be useful...

We'll see. As I said before, this season has been very, very unpredictable to this point, and it can only get better. Lots more twists. Did anyone really expect that that nuclear freaking bomb would go off? When I didn't recognize anyone on the team that went in to the warehouse, I figured it might, but I was still surprised.

---

The best post on any blog I've read in a long time was recently contributed by Jay Pinkerton. I dare you to spend less than 10 minutes reading this; there are even some graphics for those who are visually inclined.

---

I couldn't be considered a fan of the NBA by any loose standards. That said, this season I have been watching the Phoenix Suns every chance I can. They're exciting, in a way I haven't previously experienced in a sport where my fandom ends at the highlight reel. Oddly enough, I haven't really been following college basketball much this year; I know that Florida is good, Vandy is getting there, and that the ACC is absolutely stacked (duh). Maybe it's because most of the players are no longer older than I am, and it's lost some of that mystique.

---

Seth tells me that this is the method by which insane Chinese typists go about their business. I'm kind of glad that the keyboard I use is specifically designed for the language I speak (and type). He told me this morning that there is a word equivalent for each character in the Chinese written language. You type the word, and can pick from several different characters according to which stress and meaning you want typed in to the computer. He says it's not too hard to learn, but still. I don't know Chinese, so I am sure I'd have a hell of a time.

---

This is the most disturbing rendition of Rowan Atkinson I've ever seen.

18 January, 2007

I detest Tim McCarver even in the talkies

Watched The Scout yesterday. It's such a ridiculous movie, almost to the point of being too much so. The most ridiculous part is George Steinbrenner, who plays himself. It's so true to life when Lane Smith asks him how much he's willing to spend on Encino Man, and he says "whatever it takes." Oh then there's the part where he takes credit for everyone else's good idea.

Best line though? Albert Brooks calls Lane Smith from a telephone in Mexico:

Brooks - "You don't have to yell, this is a different phone."
Smith - "It has nothing to do with the phone, I just like yelling at you."

Classic. Since it was filmed in '94, it kind of reminds me of watching Seinfeld, Keith Hernandez and all.

I've been listening to Garth Brooks a lot this week. I remember a time in Western Civ. class in high school when we were going around the room saying what we wanted to do professionally, and I jokingly said I wanted to be a country singer. Mr. Snyder, whose first name is Jason, consummate slacker that he was (is) wanted to waste as much class time as he could, so he said that if I got up and sang a country song in front of the class the next day, he would cancel an upcoming test (either that or cancel a homework, I don't remember; Drew?)

Anyhow, I got up and sang 'The River' the following day. Poorly, I imagine. I don't particularly remember a thunderous applause. Could have been worse. I could have broken my knee like the girl who, after she said she wanted to be a cheerleader, was asked to do a back flip on the hard tile floor. That ended poorly when she only made it 3/4 of the way around.

As an aside here, when I typed 'wanted to do professionally' in the previous paragraph, I really wanted to type 'want to do when you grow up' but that sounds so awkward now at 22.

Mr. Snyder was an altogether ridiculous teacher in general. He was a fairly young guy, probably about 25 or 26 if I had to guess. I'm sure everyone had someone like him in their high school. He scrawled on the board illegibly with chalk which he also got all over himself, and seemingly did not care about wasting as much class time as he could. He'd enter in to these long discussions about things not having to do with whichever social studies class he happened to be teaching, assign some reading at the end of class, and call it a day.

He was one of those teachers against whom students love to test their boundaries. I remember him throwing Dan Seeberger's book through the third floor window one day because Dan refused to close it when asked. It also happened to be raining that day. It seems as if He has left John Carroll and is now working at the University of Denver High School. I wonder how he's getting along out there...

This is a minor pet peeve of mine, but maybe someone out there shares it. Some background first. I work four days a week, in general, since I can only work 30 hour weeks (I'm part time). Usually, those days are Mon-Thurs, then I come in on Friday only to pick up my check. The Daily Pennsylvanian, Penn's student newspaper, carries the New York Times crossword puzzle, and so I usually do it every day. Now to the pet peeve aspect. I hate when I have Monday off, because I have to work Tues-Fri, which means I have to start my puzzle week off on Tuesday. I know this is a minor thing, but starting with the easy Monday puzzle makes it easier to build up to the Friday puzzle. When I skip Monday's, I generally find that by the time Friday rolls around I can't get as many answers as I usually do. Annoying, but it's life.

Amazing underground exploring mission behind Niagara Falls. The people that do this sort of thing are out of their minds.

Also, I think about next Monday's episode of 24 for at least 45 minutes out of each hour I'm awake. By the time this season is over, I will have dedicated more brainpower to thinking about the show than I will have actually watching it and wasted more words on this journal over that show than any other single topic. Count on it.

17 January, 2007

Generic Smashing Pumkpins lyric about rats in cages goes here

I think my building has mice. The big rodent and pest control truck out front kind of gave it away. Also, around 10 this morning, a woman ran screaming out of her corner of the office. Apparently, she had discovered a mouse in one of the traps. The traps that she set. To catch mice. Go figure.

I guess she told a male co-worker of mine what she found, and he decided it was beneath him to pick it up. So he of course goes and finds the custodian, who happened to be in the next office over. She came in and promptly removed the mouse, trap and all. I hope I find a mouse. I really do. I'm putting it in a Tupperware container and depositing it in her lunch bag.

At what point did everyone become allergic to Gluten? For the first 21 years of my life I knew exactly two people who were allergic to gluten. Now there's about a billion Celiac's running around. I think it's just a fad. Seriously, all these food allergies are the product of a privileged society. There isn't a starving person in a third world country out there going "Oh man, I can't eat that pizza because it has flour, cheese, yeast, tomatoes, beef, garlic and oregano. Ain't no way, my man." Never happening.

This Sunday is going to be the last exciting football day of the year. Why? Because the debate over whether Belichick can out-think Peyton and Dungy is much more compelling than whether anyone can out-think Rex Grossman. Seriously.

That picture is for the ladies. You know you want Sexy Rexy.
...I can't believe I just wrote that.

The contract negotiations between the Giants and Barry Bonds are breaking down, and there are rumors of a possible collusion case. I'm not saying that would be a good thing, because that would open up (again) a whole world of shit for MLB. I'm just saying that I'd rather not see the guy signed with anyone. Of course, if he did try to present a collusion case, the months of bleating by his agent Jeff Boris about how there were so many teams interested in Bonds would kind of work against them, dontcha think?

Buster Onley reported that the Red Sox might be testing out Willy Mo at first and third this spring. I shudder to think...

Last night I went out with Gwen and had a Bass, some soup and salad, and came home. I promptly passed out quicker than I have since working pre-camp last summer. I don't really remember getting in bed, I just know it happened. It was really nice to sleep that deeply. I'm sure it has something to do with my asking the neighbors upstairs to turn down their techno music. Apparently, the girl in the room located directly above my bedroom likes to fall asleep to bass-heavy techno, and she had her sub on the floor. Consequently, it played all night. Imagine my ire upon having to wake up to that at 7:45.

I was on Facebook today for a moment and noticed a new group based on a house in which parties are held. The first sentence in the Info section read "For all thoughs who have partied here." This was written by someone who is a college graduate, who graduated from La Salle none the less. That makes me feel really good, that he doesn't know the difference between 'thoughs' (which isn't even a word, mind you) and 'those.' Not to name names, because this person is a decent human being. Perhaps he just needs the new Firefox spell-checker feature.

16 January, 2007

The big red 'deceased' is pretty official, ya know?

Curtis is really dead. R.I.P. Black Jack. Along with Tony, you were pretty much the best CTU had to offer (Jack excluded). I was upset when Edgar (with whom I share a first name) died. Stephen King thinks it should have been Kim, and I agree. When Tony died I questioned Jack's ability to continue his level of work considering how much aid he had on Tony's part.

Now the question arises as to who steps in to take Curtis' place at the right hand of the Jack? I, for one, don't have a clue. When Tony died last season, Curtis stepped up in a big way. That was a fairly obvious transition, though. There really isn't anyone seemingly fit to step in to his shoes.

If I had to venture a guess, I would have to say Aaron Pierce. He's the only character in all six seasons (assuming he pops up this season), who last season entered the much-deserved realm of major characters. It's predicted that he will show up sometime later in the season, just in time to help Jack out of some sort of tricky situation. My guess is that he's still working with Martha Logan, and hooks on with Jack shortly after Martha's emergence this season.

Edit: apparently, former child star and NYPD Blue staple Rick Schroder will be the new sidekick. Let's not forget his most recent work came on Lifetime's 'Strong Medicine.' His name on the show will be Mike Doyle, who does not currently have an entry in Wikipedia. This should be interesting...

The Slip surpassed Bob Dylan as the number one artist I listen to on last.fm. It was months in coming, but I've been in a very Dylan-ish mood lately, and I think that he's going to take over the top spot for a little while this upcoming week. I'm feeling a bit of the Banjo Tapes coming on. I have fallen in to such a musical rut lately, but a combination of the Nighthawks and writing reviews for Wonkavision is keeping my head above water. A note about the Nighthawks: The name is based on one of the best albums from Tom Waits, one of my favorite artists. What's not to like?

There are only a few moments in the day where I am thankful the weather is (still) warm. This morning, as I rode directly into a strong headwind the entire way to work, was one of those moments. The only problem came as I was crossing the South St. bridge and had to battle nausea from the overwhelming scent of rotting fish. It felt like spring.g

I've been terribly out of the loop when it comes to national news. I used to read the paper all the time, but now I mostly try to catch the BBC nightly news. I need to get back to reading the paper regularly. My dad got me a subscription to The Week, a weekly news magazine with a bunch of short articles about pretty much everything that went on in, you guessed it, the past week. My goal is to read that cover to cover over each weekend. If I manage to succeed at that goal, I will then try to add the news section of the Washington Post website to my material.

I would like to read more, in general. I may, possibly, begin spending some time reading at Last Drop, La Va, or another such coffee establishment. I can't find the motivation to read in my apartment, since there is no real sitting area outside of the living room, which has a television. At my moms house, I found that I could read most places because the TV was tucked away in the basement. I stopped reading a lot in college because in the dorms it's pretty much impossible, and when I lived off campus there wasn't really a quiet place to just sit. It's not so much the noise level, it's the opportunity for distraction that keeps me from reading.

I opened an ING savings account this weekend, which has a 4.5% interest rate. Now I don't know too much about banking, but I know that that rate is much better than the 1% rate I get from Citizens Bank. I was referred there, and since I opened the account with $250, I got $25 for free from ING. Pretty sweet deal. If you wanna join up, let me know and I'll send you an invite. You get $25 (I get $10 for referring you), but that interest rate is really the best selling point. Oh and you can print a coupon for a free coffee from their cafe in center city (I know I was sold.)

15 January, 2007

TV weekend comes to a close...

Watching Reggie Bush get absolutely leveled and seeing a shirt on national TV that read, in very clear gold lettering, 'Fuck Da Eagles' have been the highlights of the NFL playoffs for me so far; and they happened in the same game. Also, after the game, seeing Saints owner Tom Benson parading around with a frilly umbrella was pretty funny.

On the other side, there was nothing good about watching the Ravens play this weekend. Not a single thing. What an awfully boring game, not even a touchdown. Now I don't care who wins, I just want to see three more good games this year.

I also watched four of the five Rocky movies this weekend, and to the world of famous 'other guys' so harped on by Drew, I would like to submit the other guy in Rocky's corner that wasn't Paulie or Mickey. Never says a word, but he's always there.

24 - Day 6 begins
And then there was 24. Oh man was there 24. I've been waiting for this season for months, as Gwen and those around me can attest. For future reference, I am always busy on Monday night until 20 weeks from now. There are a few things that kind of bother me to this point, and I'll get to them in a moment. Aside from those, I'm so excited to see what this season has in store, since the first two episodes started off kind of slowly despite all the action swirling around Jack. I don't mean the plot was slow to develop, I just mean there wasn't some sort of plot foiled in the first two episodes like in the past. Still though, it'll pick up quickly.

What bothers me the most is that Jack doesn't seem to be himself. The fact that he was in a Chinese prison for two years probably has something to do with that (read: sarcasm.) It seems like he's got some sort of switch that he keeps toggling, in that he'll be all Jack Bauer-ish one moment, and completely somber and morose moments later. I kind of feel that, after making a flight over the Pacific in handcuffs, he may not be in the right state to get right back into a 24-hour marathon. I for one wouldn't be put off from the series at all if, for a whole episode, he just took a nap.

That said, after all the somber and reflective moments he went through in the first four episodes, there is NO WAY Jack stays that way after seeing that Nuke go off in the middle of LA. I think that's more of a wake-up call that a whole thermos of coffee.

I wasn't terribly surprised when he shot Curtis, as we've seen his willingness to do what he feels is right in past episodes, such as where he tortured Paul Raines, Audrey's ex-husband, with the electric cord from a lamp. Still, it was a shock. I don't think that Curtis is dead, however, because it appeared that Jack shot him in the shoulder, and the EMT on the scene did not make any immediate assertions that he had in fact died. Jack would never shoot to kill Curtis, and as we already know, he is an excellent marksman, certainly capable of hitting Curtis in the shoulder.

It's too bad that Kumar died, I wanted to see him knock over a a White Castle as part of the terrorist plot.

I'm really excited at the re-emergence of Graham, who was apparently behind everything that happened on Day 5, and may have been involved in other plots in other seasons of 24. In the preview for the next episode, Jack is apparently interrogating Graham.
"That is the truth, I swear to you on my family's life," said Graham.

"Not good enough," replies Jack.
So bad ass. I bet this turns out to be the bloodiest season yet. I'm sure at some point Jack flies off the handle and murders everyone. It's bound to happen.

As well, I thought it was interesting that, despite the fact that the terrorists are again middle eastern, the first terrorist seen in the show is Asian. Possible connection with the Chinese, and a possible emergence of Cheng Zhi and his compatriots later in the season? We'll see.

People I don't like/trust to this point in the season, subject to change:
Thomas Lennox - In past seasons, anyone that goes against the President or Jack, and especially both at once, is not to be trusted. His undermining of President Palmer's wishes in the season premier marks him for the rest of the season as someone not to trust. When he didn't tell the president that his sister had called, I instantly disregarded him. Note: Season 5 throws the whole going against the president/jack out the window, for reasons obvious to those who have seen the season.




Nadia Yassir - I don't like her because she worked with the CIA, and there is a long history of both the CIA and FBI being uncooperative and hostile toward CTU. Her unwillingness to respect Chloe marks her as someone not likely to join the inner circle of characters. Still, the fact that Bill Buchanan trusts her makes her likely to be someone about whom my opinion will change.





Cheng Zhi - He says Jack is no longer China's enemy, but I don't trust him. The trailer for the season portrayed him as a liar, and I for one hope that he gets some time alone with Jack at some point. This is likely to happen, but still. He's not going to be a main character in the series, though.







Hamri Al-Assad - Yeah, Jack trusts him, but I'm going back to earlier in the post here, when I said I don't think Jack is in the right frame of mind just yet. He was still in that odd state between wanting to be an agent again and wanting to curl in to a ball when he rescued and began an alliance with Al-Assad. I am with Curtis on this one, in that I feel he is still involved in this plot somehow. There are 20 more episodes, plenty of time for a huge plot twist to unravel.




People I trust without question (Bauer understood):
Bill Buchanan - Since season 4, Bill has been a very up front, honest character. He admits his mistakes, but runs a very tight operation in general. His involvement with Karen Hayes (who I don't really like, but don't distrust) is an odd twist, but I can deal with it. I think Buchanan will have to choose between Jack and Karen at some point this season, and my money says he sticks with Jack.





Curtis Manning - He's been around for three seasons now, and has been nothing but an irreplaceable sidekick a-la Tony Almeida. He's generally right in his analysis and predictions, and has been the Yin to Jack's Yank to this point. He and Bill were the ones to pick up Jack when he was returned by the Chinese, and that says something about both of their characters, and about their relationship to Jack.





Chloe O'Brian - At points in past seasons, Chloe has been the sole person who believes in Jack, going as far as to disobey direct orders and risking her own job. I don't see this changing. She is one of the characters who, if it turned out that they were dirty, I would be devastated (along with Tony and Edgar, both deceased.)

That's it for now. I will be updating pretty much every week about 24, probably always on Monday night or Tuesdays. Just be warned. This is an obsession that will certainly carry over into the summer.

Check out Blogs for Bauer for lengthy episode summaries and analysis.

12 January, 2007

You wish...No, iWish!

With all this talk about the iphone and whatnot, a whole slew of new apple products can't be that far down the pipe. They're expanding their field a lot with the new phone, and something completely ridiculous can't be too far off. Something like, say, the iWish, something truly more revolutionary than a phone that plays music and receives calls but has a battery that dies quicker than Lindsay Lohan gets plastered. Bet is that Apple launches the iWish sometime during April '09, at a retail cost in the neighborhood of $700 thousand, with a $39.99 monthly subscription fee. What does it do? Anything you want it to. Who cares it's from Apple, just go buy it.

On the other side of the computer spectrum, Microsoft is worried about something called 'craplets' in their new software. Yeah sure guys, your OS is fine, it's all those nasty little third party applications you install. Sure... Speaking of craplets, I think Microsoft is full of shit. Ba-Zing!

Speaking of computers and code and the like, the only way there will ever be a happy solution for everyone to the recent voting scandals swirling around voting machines and the systems that run them is when one of them completely crashes during an election, losing all or most of the votes in the process. At that point it will become apparent that there should be a unified system across all polls instead of private companies holding on to their own methods and software.

This guy is insane. I need to know how this fish system works.

Seth and I were talking through Google chat this afternoon and I lamented my lack of masculinity. Our conversation went as follows:
Lou: I can't believe it, I need to give up my manhood.I just went into the kitchen at work, and there was no coffee brewed.
Seth: And?
Lou: So, I consciously got a cup of hot chocolate instead of brewing coffee. I need a new job.
Seth: I have one! My floor is very dirty.... We can give you meals for free!
Lou: The women are standing near my desk and talking about how feminism has come a long way in the past 30 years...
Seth: Bah! Feminists have become LOUDER in the past 30 years. Hell, they didn't even get anything like voting rights in the last 30 years.
Lou: I think the that's why I got the hot chocolate. I'm slowly turning into a woman, NOW comment by NOW comment.
Also, this is my 100th post in the New Word Order blog.

I have off from work on Monday. MLK day Whites Sale at Wal Mart, y'all! The next time I post on here I will have seen hours and hours of playoff football, four hours of 24, another episode of Grease: You're the One That I Want, and probably at least 4 episodes of Sportscenter. Like Simmons said, one of the best television weekends ever.

11 January, 2007

Thursday is the new Friday!

The Wednesday afternoon Simmons chat had a gem of a question that I thought I might share with anyone reading this corner of the interweb:
"Ethan, Seattle, WA: How taxing is this weekend going to be? Four prime playoff games, really not a single one that I don't want to watch...followed by A TWO DAY, FOUR HOUR 24 EVENT (what's your prediction for this season, by the way?). How am I supposed to go to work next week?

Bill Simmons: It's one of the all-time great weekends. I'm even excited for the 550 "24" commercials during Fox's 2 NFC games. Plus, my Dad's coming into town this weekend and we're even seeing LeBron on Saturday night ... I'm giddy."
Pretty much sums up my feelings about the forthcoming weekend as well. That and the fact that I get paid on Friday and can finally get some damn groceries. Not that I'm starving, but there's some basic necessities that my apartment has been going without.

I would have liked to see Mark McGwire get in to the Hall this year, if for nothing else but to hear what he has to say at his speech in July alongside Ripken and Gwynn.

The expensive color laser printer at work has been printing all day. Literally. I'm not sure what exactly is going on, but easily 7,000 sheets of paper went out out of that damn machine today, and it was still going strong when I left.

I'm excited, because something happened today that hasn't happened in probably years. I saw a television commercial and thought "You know, I'd like to see that movie." The movie is called The Messengers, seems kind of like The Sixth Sense meets The Shining meets that video game Drew used to play on X-Box where you had to walk around the haunted house taking pictures of the ghosts and stuff. I wish I could remember what it was called. I haven't been to the movies since the last Harry Potter movie came out, as far as I can remember.

In Bucks County this morning the Alanis Morissette CD buzzed softly from the speakers. I hadn't heard that CD, not given her a thought in a year or more. When I got to work and checked my e-mail, the ESPN sports flash mail was the only thing in my inbox. I opened it and the top headline read "Jagged Little Pills." Two Alanis references in the day. Isn't that ironic?

Actually no, that's not ironic at all, it's coincidence, but I needed something clever to put after that sentence.

Do you ever see people doing that half-run, hunched over, arms swinging but moving the same speed as walking thing? This morning after locking up my bike, I glanced across, up and down the street. A woman across the street was doing that half jog that self-loathing people who still want to say they're joggers do. I crossed the street and headed toward Bucks. I passed her on my way there, and I was walking.

I understand the need for exercise (saying I understand the need for it doesn't mean I do it), but seeing people doing this type of running/jogging always makes me chuckle. It's like they need to keep up the illusion that they're running to themselves to justify their activity. Why not just walk? It'll accomplish the same thing, and you won't look ridiculous doing it.

Also, this woman had on spandex pants. No joke.

I've noticed that in the ESPN sportsnation polls, New Hampshire always has a higher percentage of votes that go to the New England based teams. For example, one of the questions today was which NFL game you are most looking forward to this weekend. 90% of voters in NH said Pats-Bolts, while in Massachusetts only 89% voted that way. Yes yes, small difference, but it always seems to turn out that way. It also seems that Maine could care less, although they do vote more often in the hockey polls.