Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Who's That Pack: "Time of My Life"

From last night's show at the Bitter End. Don't think there's no lifting.

Friday, February 26, 2010

We Don't Do Snow Days

If there's 10 inches of snow on the ground, and 10 more expected, and you're in New York City, you're going to work.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Boldly Irrelevant Predictions For Lost: Seasons 1-2.5

I wanted to hate Lost. I really wanted to hate this program. I wanted to be validated by the idea that I was coolly above this phenomenon that was eating my friends' lives. Also, I spent most of my adolescence unhealthily obsessed with MST3K and the X-Files, and every ounce of social feedback I received at the time told me that well-adjusted people do not let their lives be dictated by television programs. 15 years later, you can't change the rules on me. It's not fair.

But when I left DC, my pal Lisa saw me off with the first three seasons. I told her this would take a while. She told me that was fine, that the journey would change my life, that all would become clear, that Josh Holloway (whoever he is) spends a lot of time in various stages of undress and that this was a very good thing. I acquiesced. I took the DVDs. I used them as coasters for a while. And then I set to watching the damn thing.

Okay, you guys. It's a good show.

Okay, you guys. It's a really good show.

Okay, you guys. I hate you guys.

But it still takes a lot of time to get through, and much as I'd love to join in the communal, real-time viewing of the last season, I have shit to do. So I'm still in the middle of Season 2. Which is sad, because I'll get all excited about a plot development and want to tell my Lost-inclined pals about it, but it's sort of like getting all excited about MySpace, or John Mayer, or Change We Can Believe In. There was a moment. That moment has passed. Move along.

On the other hand, considering this is a program where every little detail is potentially mind-blowingly important, I may just be in the best possible situation for the finale. Everything will be fresh in my mind. So, based on the one and a half seasons I've viewed so far, here are my impressions and predictions. And if you're not into Lost, you're not gonna understand a damn word of this. I barely even understand it. So please occupy yourself with these live shots of bunnies in Seattle until the next blog post. Good day.

So, here's what we've learned so far:
  • All of your fellow air passengers are shifty with a capital Shift, and are not to be trusted as far as you can throw them, unless they know how to catch fish in a net, or are really attractive. Which a surprising number of them will be.
  • Just when you think everything's gonna be okay, along comes a tyrannosaurus from space to eat the pilot.
  • These people are remarkably able to emotionally bounce back after having another human being explode in front of them and subject them to a flesh shower.
  • You can tell this show excels at blending fantastic elements with cutting realism, because even on a deserted island that might be an alternate universe that might be a military base that might be a wormhole that might be all a dream, smart and capable men will still go for the dippy, useless, please-can-you-get-shot-in-the-stomach-a-little-faster hot girl.
  • I'm serious, if that whiny chick comes back from the dead or whatever, I'm going to be very upset.
  • Africa. Terminally effed up in any dimension.
  • No one ever suspects the returned peace corps volunteer. Even the ones who creepily watch you sleep. Of course, if you know RPCVs, you know their capacity for being covert and crafty, and surprisingly useless when it comes to killing bugs (you guys).
  • Ranch dressing stays good forever...if unopened.
  • The whole is-the-guy-who-fell-out-of-the-balloon-good-or-bad thing would have been a whole lot more suspenseful if I hadn't seen him win a goddamn Emmy this year.
Okay. So that's what we've learned. Here's what I think is gonna happen. I know a lot of this might be resolved already, but let me just put this out there:
  • Upon reviewing the names of all the characters, everyone's gonna realize they would have figured a lot of this shit out sooner if they just took Mr. Ernsberger's philosophy class in Council Rock High School (really, Abrams, like you're the only one who knows who Locke, Hume, etc. are? Not even).
  • Sayid and Rousseau are gonna do it. Do it hard.
  • That Korean couple is cute. So glad they're pregnant. Can't see anything bad happening there.
  • I'm putting Charlie in the death pool. I just don't see this story line going anywhere. The whole Evil Charlie thing is about as credible as the concept of an emotionally available, paternally-inclined musician.
  • Oh yeah, the sweet, biracial, middle-aged couple? I'm not getting attached.
  • Also in the death pool: Vincent the wonder dog. Frankly, I'm surprised they haven't eaten him by now anyway.
  • All the kids are fine. They're being looked after on a sound stage somewhere until Abrams decides to make another prequel to a another beloved pop cultural institution, like Young Ghostbusters, or M*A*S*H Babies or whatever the hell.
  • And one thing I know for a fact: They wouldn't dare do something like reset the whole series, because that would make this whole catching up endeavor null and void and that would just piss everyone off.
So, if I hit anything right, don't tell me. We'll just high five. Hopefully I can get all caught up before the finale. That way I'll only have to have wasted weeks of my life on this crap, instead of years. Suckas.

Friday, February 12, 2010

News Flash: People With Lady Parts Like Football, Too

I won't belabor this point too much, because it's not exactly a revelation that, while the NFL has made progress in reaching out to female fans in the past few years, we're still a minority of the market, and it's largely a dude's world out there. This is why the guys get lovely sideline reporters to look at, and we get Tony Siragusa. This is why when I arrive at a sports bar alone, I am asked if I am "here for the game or saving a seat for my man," because I guess women with a casual interest in football always arrive at a bar at 11 am in a McNabb jersey to grab a seat for a 1 pm game...for their man. But hey, they do make pink jerseys now, so I guess that's progress. We won't tell that not all girls like pink. They're trying.

But the Super Bowl ads this year were pretty awful. Particularly bad was this one from Dodge. Really, Dodge marketing guys? Are we that bad that you need a big vroom-vroom to assuage the pain of having to shave and clean out the sink? I just got my eyebrows waxed today, guys. You wanna piece of that? I'm not even talking about the bikini area. Trust me, you can't handle it. And, BTW, boys. I sit through 2-hour meetings too. I just get paid less for it than you do. But I don't need a car to cope. That's what bourbon is for.

C'mon, guys. You've not only got female football fans out there, but it's the Super Bowl, so you've probably got a lot of other ladies watching who are taking part in the last great communal American television viewing event in the postmodern media landscape. We deserve better. If I wanted to get pissed off while watching football, I'll continue doing what I've been doing for 29 years, and root for the Eagles. I don't need your help.

So cheers to the people who posted this brilliant rebuttal (also below). Note: it has a bad word in it. But I think we can cope. And just so you know, I'm really not a feminazi prudish type. I don't mind the GoDaddy commercials or the sexy beer ladies. I know boobies are great. I have some of my own. They're fantastic. Just less of the mean car commercials, please, and maybe a little more like the one of Adrian Peterson running in slow motion. A little equal opportunity objectification is all I ask. Thanks.

And the original Dodge ad:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

There is nothing you can say that will make this picture okay

Philadelphia fans have long memories. We may forgive, but we don't forget. Actually, that's a lie. We have very little capacity for forgiveness when it comes to sports. Bitterness warms our black hearts. Y'know Reggie White? One of the most legendary and beloved figures in football history, Philadelphia or otherwise? I'm still mad at him for defecting to Green Bay in 1993. The fact that the man has been dead for five years does nothing to ameliorate this. It's like that.

But not everyone in Eagles Nation shares my view on that particular point. What we can universally agree on is our shared hatred for our former wide receiver, Terrell Owens. He of the showboating, whining, driveway ab-crunching, locker room disrupting, general prima donna-ing that ultimately ended with him leaving town after two years and rendered his jersey as the doormat of choice for sports bars throughout the Delaware Valley. We hated him for saying bad things about our quarterback, Donovan McNabb, which is remarkable, because Eagles fans LOVE to hate on D-Mac. But criticism from Terrell cannot be tolerated. He must be abhorred for it. Abhorred with extreme prejudice. Forever.

Which is why this picture from this week's Super Bowl hype in Miami is so disconcerting:

I mean, what are we supposed to do with this? It tears at everything we know to be true. It undoes years of careful indoctrination by my parents that through all of life's ebbs and flows, football grudges are forever. We can't have Donovan and Terrell palling around in Miami. It's unnatural. It's wrong. It's unseemly.

I don't even know what to think anymore. I think I'm going nihilist.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Valentine's Mixtape Vol. 1

Now that I officially don't give a crap about football for the season, Sunday mornings roll like this: Get up, make tea, watch Meet the Press to nourish brain cells, then obliterate them by watching VH1 or Top Model marathons. Yin. Yang. Punditry. Putrescence. It's all in the balance.

This past Sunday I was enjoying the latest installment of Frank the Entertainer: A Basement Affair, when a commercial for a music compilation called Now That's What I Call Love came on. Those of you who know my romantic history could be forgiven for thinking that these things would make me pretty cynical. Because it ain't been good, people. I mean, it's been pretty disastrous at every level. Like, it's been a decade-long, slow motion, red asphalt, car wreck. But be that as it may, who doesn't like a good love song? This is genius marketing, I thought. And then I saw the track list.

People. We deserve better. We can do better. We MUST do better.

So I put together a little sampler of stuff off my iPod for the occasion. I tried to find things you don't normally hear on the radio. I threw in a lot of sweet covers. We've got Matthew Sweet covering ELO, Indigo Girls covering Dire Straits, Moby covering New Order; we've got giddy songs, yearning songs, melancholy songs -- songs that cover just about every aspect of the grand experience that is being in lurve (I say "just about," because I've yet to find a good song about nervous retching. If someone could get on that, I'd appreciate it. I'll bankroll production of the sucker); we've got songs by talented people that I'm delighted to count among my others of significance, if not necessarily my significant others. And because I know some of you are squeamish about these things, I assure you that the presence of Ani DiFranco and the Indigo Girls does not mean that this is Angry Vagina music. Would I do that to you? Maybe on the next mix.

And there's freakin' zombies and blood on the cover. Zombies. And blood. You guys, this works on so many demographic levels that I can't even deal.

So whether you're spending this Valentine's Day with your special someone, or your pals, or your mistress, or your tertiary polyamorous relationship, or just some still shots of Josh Holloway from Lost and a bowl of butterscotch pudding, please consider this as your V-Day playlist of choice.

I'm Robyn Shepherd. And I love you. XO

1. This Bouquet (Ani DiFranco)
2. Mulder and Scully (Catatonia)
3. Only You (Yaz)
4. Do Ya (Matthew Sweet)
5. Bad Reputation (Freedy Johnston)
6. Amy (Shwa)
7. There Tonight (Rebecca Loebe)
8. Temptation (Moby)
9. Strange Currencies (REM)
10. Blame You (Wakey! Wakey!)
11. Out to Get You (James)
12. New York City (Taylor Davis)
13. Romeo and Juliet (Indigo Girls)
14. The Ballad of Emily Rose (Bryan Dunn)
15. Moment of Surrender (U2)