Monday, February 28, 2011

Farewell to another year

The Oscars were last night, meaning that another year in film has closed and another is just beginning and while I'm not going to recap the awards last night like I usually do (I have a magazine for that now), I wanted to make reference to the finale.
See, usually, once Best Picture is announced, that's it. It's over. But the producers (however questionable their decisions were most of the night) added something on at the end there. They had the PS-22 Chorus, famous from YouTube, come out and sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. It was fitting because the rest of the night had featured classic films as the backdrops of the set (which was amazing by the way) and why not end with the most famous movie song from the most famous movie ever. Yes. I said that. The Wizard of Oz is, in my opinion, the most famous movie ever made. I've blogged about it before but I'll say it again. There's no other movie that's as universal as The Wizard of Oz. None. Not even Gone With the Wind.
Then, as the kids sang, the set lifted and there they were, all the winners from the night, walking out triumphantly to stand with these kids, none of which looked the slightest bit phased that they were at the Oscars, and sing that song. It was a moment. The type of moment usually saved for Olympic closing ceremony montages, yet we got it live. I think it was all the more poignant because the entire evening was geared toward getting younger audiences to watch the Oscars. So why not pair that with children, singing about rainbows surrounded by the victorious award winners that this younger generation aspire to be like?
It was a moment that didn't have to be there but I'm so glad it did. It was a wonderful way to close out the night.
I'm big on moments.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Blessed

There are days in your life when you're reminded that you're blessed. I am blessed, but it's so easy to forget that in the middle of everything that goes on in life. But not today. Today is not a day for forgetting.
The first sign that I'm blessed came in the form of a package, a giant package to be exact full of exciting things. You know, we live in a time of technology where everything is digital. I mean, I'm writing this on here for you to read as opposed to sending this to you in the mail. So isn't it thrilling when you get something in the mail that's not a bill? It's extra thrilling when it's a package. Well mine was a giant box full of exciting things sent from my parents who knew I needed them.
The second way I know I'm blessed is because I have Hawaiian Bread in my apartment currently. See, tomorrow is Oscar Day, the best day of the year, and what do I eat during the Oscars? Hawaiian Bread. Now in Manhattan, some things are easy to find and some things are not. Hawaiian Bread is not and I had worries that I would have to travel to Brooklyn or something just to get some. But Team Marshmallow came through for me. (to understand the marshmallow reference, you'll need to read the next BLEEP) They found me a supermarket, made the calls to ensure the bread was there, and I went and got it today. Really. Can it get any better than that? I don't think so. I'm blessed that I have people in my life that would call a supermarket in Harlem and search for my bread.
The third reason I'm blessed today is because as of this morning, the first issue of BLEEP hit 500 readers. That's amazing to me. This little magazine that me and group of friends decided to put together has reached hundreds of people more than we ever thought it would. It's really amazing and fulfilling.

I'm blessed. Those are just three reasons. There are more of course. But for now, those are them. You might think they're a bit silly, but it's the small things that thrill me the most, that's the truth.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A night of crap television: The full report

In the spirit of knowing thine enemy, I decided tonight to watch two shows that I've never before seen/never desired to see before.
The first was Kourtney and Kim Take New York. Yes. The Kardashians. This would be the episode that Kim stood with her ear up against her sister's door and listened to her have sex. Right.
Honestly, there has to be some sort of appeal to them since so many people watch them and they are able to make such a ridiculous amount of money a year. I read that the Kardashian brand made them 65 million dollars last year. But I'm five minutes in and I'm already grossed out. Kourtney's husband on the sex he was having when Kim heard him. "Of course she heard me, I was going like a jackhammer in there." REALLY? I mean, this really is everything that's wrong with pop culture. It's one of the dumbest things I've ever seen. At least the Housewives of Atlanta have jobs...well most of them do. I think that Kourtney's husband is one of the most worthless and creepy people I've ever seen on television. And the SNL spoof is dead on. Worthless television, absolutely nothing happened and at the end of the episode, I judge each and every person who watches this show. You should be ashamed.

The second show was Holly's World. Yes. The Playboy model show. First off, she looks like a walking blow up doll. She doesn't even look like a real person. She looks so plastic.
And then there's her clan of clingers-on. The girls are like Karen from Mean Girls...complete airheads. And I saw Josh Strickland in Tarzan on Broadway and he was great in that. Now he's on her show and he's trying to cut an album, of course he is, everyone in reality TV is. And they all fail miserably. Here's the thing, he can sing. Very well. Here's the other thing. He can't sing pop music. I heard his song about a week ago and not only is it a cookie cutter dance song, but if no one told me it was him, I would have thought it was a girl. Just proves that it doesn't matter how hot you are or how kick ass your album cover might be, Broadway tenors aren't meant to be pop stars.

Both of these shows are ridiculous but I will say that at least in Holly's show, it was following her as she was working. That and when she talks, she doesn't sound like a moron, which I found a little surprising. But either way, both shows were wastes of time. Though, I do feel like I can speak ill of them now because now I'm informed. I'll also say that I don't feel like I wasted my time by watching one episode of each of them. It's like seeing how the other half lives.
Perhaps I need to try this more often. It makes me feel really great about not only myself and my life, but also in the television that I watch. The shows I watch are worth while and contribute something to culture. These? Blemishes on the face of the America that the world sees.

She's the tops

We all know that I love Britney more than other entertainers - BUT - I think, it goes without saying, that Celine Dion is the top entertainer alive today.
That's right. I said it.
Having seen her on television, on tour and in Vegas, I'm able to say that she and the team behind her are able to put on a better show than many of the younger pop stars combined. She's perceived as this "older" entertainer that only engages with the elderly or something, but the reality of it is that she's only 42. She and Jennifer Aniston are only a year apart. And there is no one in show business that can pull off the spectacle and vocal perfection of a live performance like Celine.
But the other thing about her is that she is able to connect to people of all ages. When I saw her in concert a few years ago, I went with my group and we were surrounded by people that not only were from all different age groups but were from all over the world. She has the unique ability to attract an audience that no matter if you're young, old, gay, straight, guy or girl.
Now, she's headed back to Vegas and you can believe that I have marked on my calendar when I can get there to see her. She single-handedly made singing on the Vegas strip something that was cool and not something for has-beens, she's remained at the top of her game since she sang on the Titanic and she sounds every bit as good now as she did when we first figured out who she was. And, as Oprah just said today, she's been on the Oprah show more times than any other person in her 25 year history, and we all know that if Oprah has given someone her stamp of approval...we all should just go ahead and get on board.
So there you have it. I said it. Britney does pop better than anyone, Beyonce does R&B better than anyone, but it's Celine that stands alone above the rest.

Never Let Me Go

People didn't know who Andrew Garfield was before The Social Network and even then, they were more interested in Jesse Eisenberg's portrayal of himself...I mean Mark Zuckerberg. Then he was announced as the new Spider Man and everyone knew who he was for that reason. But the reality of it is this: people should be aware that he is by far, one of the best young actors working today.
I just finished watching Never Let Me Go, the British film about cloned children who are born with the sole intent of being harvested for their organs. While it sounds like science fiction, it's rooted in reality and is, above all things, a love story.
It's got a stellar cast but more than that, it's this intimate movie that is so simple and yet so profound that it's easily lost on some people I'm sure. But it begs the larger question: We are all going to die someday, how is your life measured? Did you love?
You know, people often think that in order to be a brilliant actor you have to have those scenes where you cry and throw things and have a fit of rage. People don't understand that the understated performances are much harder to pull off. It's the small things, the stutters, the pauses, the breaths taken that actually become the character. Andrew is really quite spectacular and while he is the one character in the film that does have that sort of loud, outburst moment, it's so visceral and raw that I felt like my insides were caving in on me. He's an actor that's not afraid to let himself go completely and bellow out the contents of his soul.
My support for Andrew Garfield is now far from 'complete.' (see the film and get the pun) If you can, see this film. It's not a feel good, it's not a happy film, but if you let it, it leaves you with a profound sense of introspection that not all films allow. It makes you beg the question of your own life: How is my life measured? What's it worth? Did you make it matter? And of course, did you love?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The six power women of daytime

Please tell me that you saw The View on Oprah. Please please please tell me that you care enough about pop culture to watch this episode. I mean, it was the ultimate daytime talk summit. These are the news makers and the headline takers and they're all there together.
I feel like Oprah and the women of The View are the ones that matter. I know that Ellen has stellar ratings and people love her, I'm one of them, but what she does is more the pop version of what they do. She's fun but the news she makes is on basis of her celebrity guests. These women make the news on their own.
You know, Oprah has been really knocking it out for her last season. She's pulling out all the stops. And I think that television is better for it. She is someone who has been able to make moments happen and as great as Ellen's ratings are, she's not one for creating moments. This is why I will miss the Oprah show because I will miss the moments. But really, shouldn't Oprah be in regular rotation on The View? Probably. She fits right in.

I am Number Four

Usually, when a review says something, I tend to agree. It's just usually how it goes. It's not the case always. Case in point: Winter's Bone. The critics are freaking out about it and how great it is...it's not. Though the acting is superb, the film did nothing for me.
Well, when I saw the trailer for I Am Number Four, I made an internal decision that I was going to see this film. Don't know why. But it appealed to me. So it came out this weekend and I planned on going to see it. The reviews were not kind. I went anyways.
And you know what? I liked it. It was a cool movie that feels appropriate for now. I mean, this generation is all hopped up on Glee and Twilight and disposable entertainment that doesn't serve a greater purpose and what this movie did very well was merge all of those cultures together into one film. Now you know that I don't so much care for those cultures, but it was very craftily put together with this superhero/alien story.
I like when a movie surprises me. I like when I take something away from it that I wasn't expecting to. It was cool and while it was clichéd, the clichés made sense to the genre.
I liked it. It was fun. I needed to escape for a couple hours and that's what it let me do. Sometimes, we just need the escape.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

R.I.P

My iPod died today.
Thus, I'm in mourning.
We've been together for six years. We've seen the invention of the iPhone, the over saturation of digital tablets, the emergence of True Blood and the entire series of Party Down. We've been to two different schools, earned two different degrees and lived in three different apartments and a dorm. He's been featured in photo shoots, been through a blizzard and used to run dance rehearsals. We've seen the Grand Canyon, South Padre Island, the Hollywood sign, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Vegas Strip, Times Square, the Tower of London and the Eiffel Tower. We've been through a lot together.
And now he's gone.
Yes I imagine my iPod is a he. A female iPod wouldn't have nearly the amount of Britney videos on it that he does.

Of course this brings up the obvious question of what will I do every day when I'm going places. Well, the answer to that is simple. I'll just have to sing whatever I would have been listening to. Perhaps I'll take a donation cup with me and make some money. Have you heard some of the folks that are making money on trains these days? I could make some cash.
Really, this iPod is more than just a piece of equipment. It's a testament to my personal growth as a media mogul in training. See, when I was a teenager, I had this problem. I had trouble keeping my portable CD players alive. They seemed to die on me in rapid form. Yes, when I was a teenager, that's how we listened to music kids. I had to take my portable CD player on trips and take my GIANT book of CDs in order to have it all there when I needed it. But I had issues keeping those alive. But this iPod has been with me for six years. I doubt there are many other people that can say their iPods have been with them for that long. I mean, some folks don't even keep their iPhones more than a year anymore. So this iPod is a testament of my personal growth.
So rest in piece lil iPod. The music you brought me kept me sane, let me cry, made me happy, changed my moods and brought me peace. You'll be missed...until I get a new one.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The morning after

 Janelle Monae is awesome...and brave to do a front stage dive.
 Reason number 546 why Muse is the coolest band around: Glitter outfits.
 The performance of the night. It was fun, it was crazy, and it was just plain awesome. And I love that he would wear that in public.
 The women tore it up...and then Christina fell down. She's having some issues. And why the lips all over her mic stand? Did she not know that with Jennifer Hudson and Yolanda Adams there singing to perfection, she didn't stand a chance?
Okay. For real though. It's like he's the second coming of his father circa 1998. What is going on here? Someone put those Smith children away.
 You know I love him and his ridiculous ways but his look was more subdued and I loved it.
 
 You know I don't care for J Biebs but Usher dancing around in that blue outfit was awesome. He certainly was Papa Smurf during that performance, showing those lil boys how it's done.

 This random Jolene moment would have been my favorite moment of the night had it not been for Cee Lo. But they were tight, they were a random pairing and they sounded so good.
 For all my Kim Kardashian bashing due to her pointlessness to society at large, she wins as the best dressed female in my book. I mean, that is just ravishing.
We know Ricky is on the comeback trail here and I know a great many people have written him off, but I loved what he was wearing. It could have been plain and normal but he did the silver pants thing, something you can only get away with at the Grammys. I think it's awesome.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Feathers, puppets and Gweneth equal perfection

There is so much that can be said about the Grammys tonight but really, I just want to say this. CEE LO AND GWENETH.
Here's the reason why it was the best performance of the night. Because they did exactly what the song does. They didn't take it seriously. The song isn't serious. It shouldn't be performed like it's serious. And they didn't. So they performed it with a bunch of puppets, a ridiculous costume and they nailed it.
The go-go puppets were my favorite, obviously.
But why is everyone so surprised? Do they not remember what he used to wear when he was singing with Gnarls Barkley? He wore a Darth Vader suit to sing in at the MTV movie awards people! This is a man who knows what it is to entertain. After all, Elton John wore a chicken suit to sing in.
So three cheers for Cee Lo and Gweneth for making it the most memorable performance of the night and something that everyone is talking about already. He knows that music should be fun and doesn't have to be serious (Arcade Fire and Eminem, please take note) It was awesome and the risk paid off.

What did not pay off was that egg. GaGa had the whole world buzzing about showing up in that egg and then the performance itself was incredibly lack-luster. Sorry. But Cee Lo out Gaga-ed you.

For all my thoughts, please go to www.twitter.com/BLEEPmag and read through them. While you're there, FOLLOW US!

Trying too hard

Uh...okay?
That's what I was thinking the entire time Chris Brown was on SNL last night. Here's why:
First, why do people think he still matters? I mean, can we not put the whole Chris Brown thing to rest now? He's beatin up on talented (not really) and beautiful (sometimes) women and hasn't done anything important musically...ever.
Second, did he just put the microphone down so he can dance around the stage? Wait. But I can still hear his voice on the track. Why does he think he's Beyonce? I'm so confused. And then he starts "singing" again but as the song drags on (a really terrible song by the way. Can you not think of a better title than "Yeah 3 Times?" Didn't Usher already have a song called "Yeah?" Right. Dummy.) he's just shouting with his chipmunk-in-puberty voice. I just don't get it.
Third, why is he flailing his apendages around like it's the last time he will ever dance? Can he not control himself? He has this air of overcompensating over-earnestness about him that reminds me of P Diddy's recent SNL performances. It's like they know they are so far out of the game and they reek of desperation. So they overcompensate and try way too hard. Much like when Matthew Morrison performs at shows and he's dancing around like he's a crazy beast. I just want to pull him aside and tell him, "Matt, you're trying too hard. Pull back a bit."

I have never understood the fascination with Chris Brown and certainly, after last night, I really don't get it. Plus, what exactly was he wearing? His jacket didn't so much fit him.
I just want people who are in the public eye to be doing something worth being seen and he's not. He's on this sort of "comeback" quest (you know how I feel about the overused word "comeback") and he hasn't done anything that matters. It's just frustrating to me because he's taking the space of another musician that could have been great on SNL. But rather, he was there, being all desperate and reeking of neediness.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My oldest friend

Two nights ago, I was talking to my oldest friend and we realized we've been friends for a consecutive fifteen years. That's more than half my life. And I started thinking how great that is that we've been able to stay friends for that long. More so still, we're still good friends that still talk. Even more, when we get together, we pick up right where we left off. There's no apparent gap of unfamiliarity that we have to bridge before we can hit our stride. We've never left our stride. 
But I feel really blessed to be able to say that my oldest friend and I have been boppin along for fifteen years. Not too many people can say that. I mean, now, it's easier to keep up with people since we're all on Facebook and we are in and out of each other's lives on a daily basis. But this was before that time and I'm proud to say that we made it. 
I've always had the knack for keeping up with people. When they're important to me, I don't let them go. And I think more people should adopt this mentality. There are so many people who are self-proclaimed flakes and they use that as an excuse not to keep up with people. "Oh I'm not the best at keeping up with people." I hate that, mostly because it displays a lack of importance. People are our most valuable resource and if we're not keeping up with them, then what are we doing exactly? 
Moral of this story? Be a good friend. There's a happiness involved with being a friend to someone and even a text message can brighten someone's day. I'm a texter. I text all the time. It's one of the ways I can stay involved in people's lives. But there are certain people I never hear from and a text from them can actually lift my mood. So text someone you care about. Be in their life. And what's more important, as life goes on, we move to new places, we meet new people, we date, we do all kinds of things. But losing touch with the people who have had such an important role in our lives is terrible. Really terrible. So love the one you're with and love the people who've made you who you are. Because as Charlie Brown says, 'Happiness is anyone and anything at all, that's loved by you.'

(Yes. I included this really awful photo of my oldest friend and I, circa 2004)

Friday, February 11, 2011

The sunshine show

So I'm watching the sunshine show...you know...that new show that has Matthew Perry on it. I think it's called Mr. Sunshine? Whatever, I'm watching it. I don't so much pay attention to title credits, except on Cougar Town because it's fun to see if there is a funny blurb written above the name of the show. (I understand that if you don't watch this show, you don't know what I'm talking about, but really, you should be watching this show. It's very funny) And it's actually Cougar Town that's caused me to watch the sunshine show.
See, who would have thought that you would believe Courtney Cox as anything except Monica?  Right? Well, I was wrong (kinda...she is still Monica but the show is fun and I like it). Well, I thought I would give this a shot. I mean, Matthew Perry can be funny sometimes.
But let's be real, as much as he's the star, it became very obvious who I'd be watching in this show. And her name is Allison Janney. Yes, perhaps you remember her from The West Wing. She's the acclaimed actress that won not one, but four Emmys for The West Wing. Four. That's serious.
Well, she's hysterical on this show, a sort of Karen Walker/Jenna Maroney/Michael Scott hybrid, and really, she had me hooked. As for the rest of the show? Needs a little work I think but you really can't judge anything on basis of the pilot. Not every pilot is awesome. The two pilots that I can think of off the top of my head that were awesome were Glee and Desperate Housewives. Both of those pilot episodes had us hooked by the end of the hour and we stuck with them.
I'm going to give this show some more time to find itself. Mostly because it airs on Wednesday nights when I'm already tuned into ABC for The Middle, Cougar Town and Modern Family. Makes it easy to just continue to watch it. But it was funny. Seems like it's in the vein of Sports Night, a show that was flawless and I love. But time will tell. I just like that it wasn't a complete failure.

Gaga's 'Born' to Express Herself

I listened to GaGa's new song this morning and I was really digging it. But then I started thinking, why do I like this so much? I've heard this song before. Where have I heard this song before? Oh that's right. This is a rehashing of Madonna's Express Yourself. That's why it sounds so familiar.
It's the exact same thing.
Wait, didn't GaGa already completely rip a Madonna song? Yes. Alejandro is a rip of La Isla Bonita. Okay. I'm starting to see a trend. Why are people saying that she's so innovative again? Because she finds the most foolish thing in the world (or the meat closet) to wear and puts it on? Because it's not her music. There's nothing innovative about her music and there never has been.
That and she's arrogant. Did you read the article on her in this month's Vogue? She thinks very highly of herself. Very. To an almost Kanye-like extent. She does say that she doesn't think she's the best dancer in the world, but she certainly thinks she's tops at everything else. I can't decide if that's her own doing or if her fans have made her believe that. Probably a little of both.
I just think this whole phenomenon is interesting. Will I listen to the song? Probably. But the entire time, I will be singing the lyrics to Express Yourself.
And of course, if you look for pictures on the web of GaGa channeling different people, you find that her looks aren't all that unique to begin with. Even Entertainment Weekly called her out on Born This Way's cover art looking a bit like something Kylie did a while back.
Not to mention how overtly preachy this song is. That's obnoxious. I too believe that people are 'born this way' and everyone should embrace who they are, not feel ostracized, stand up for themselves, not go jumping off of skyscrapers because some fool makes fun of them for being gay. But really? Beat the world over the head with it why don't you?
Sorry. A sped up re-hashing of Express Yourself doesn't place you in the 'brilliant' category GaGa.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

4th movie...First Class

The new X-Men trailer was just released and as a lifelong X-Men fan, I have to say that I'm intrigued. Especially after the botch-job they did on the third X-Men film. It might as well have never been made. They took an epic story and destroyed it.
So - this is the only way they can really keep the franchise alive really. I mean, did you see Wolverine? It was really bad. And I like Hugh Jackman a lot but that film wasn't good. But this looks like it will be. I like when fictional films insert themselves into something historical. It makes it like it actually could have happened that way and I like that. I want to believe that a group of X-Men could have been an integral part of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Really, if I'm wanting things, I'd want to be one of them. But whatever.

The superhero genre is wearing itself out and they are having to come out with new ways to make these movies. See, we like superhero movies but apart from the new Batman movies, the recent superhero films have been duds. Even Watchmen was a little off. So maybe this will do it. There's only a million more superhero movies coming out in the next year so we will see if they can redeem themselves and the cast of the new Spider Man movie is a good cast. But this looks exciting and I like films that look exciting.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Can't get you out of my head

Over the past few days, I've been very interested in something and it has everything to do with me. I know, self-centered ol' me. Well, when I wake up every morning, something happens. Get your mind out of the gutter folks. Not that. No, when I wake up every morning, there is a song that I wake up to. Each morning it's different and I've been taking notice of it over the past week or so. It's like I'm living in that Kylie Minogue song.
Why? Why do I wake up each day with a completely different song stuck in my head? Do you know? I mean, it happens to all of us, we all wake up with songs in our head sometimes. Are you one of those people that are then stuck with that song for the rest of the day? If you are, I've found the cure. Well, at least it's what has been the cure for me this week.
See, I wake up with a song in my head, and it's there while I'm showering, it's there while I'm getting dressed, it's there while I'm getting ready to leave. Then, I put in my iPod and walk out the door. The logical choice here would be to listen to anything else so try to knock my subconscious into thinking about something else but that's not what I've done. See, I've listened to that song I've had stuck in my head. Ooh, look at me going against the grain.
Yeah, so I've been listening to those songs as I walk to the train and then whatever song comes next and so on. I haven't been plagued by one obnoxious song against my will since.
So I encourage you to try the same thing. It works. Well, for me at least it did.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

No couch jumping about this one

Are you up to speed on this whole new batch of Scientology stuff? Here's the rundown:
Paul Haggis (wrote Million Dollar Baby and Crash among other things) has very publicly left Scientology, basically because they supported Prop 8 but it was a culmination of years of question marks. Now, they are saying that the FBI is investigating them.
Okay, so I read the forever-long article in The New Yorker yesterday and let me tell you, everything you ever thought about Scientologists, he confirms. He said, and I quote, "I was in a cult for 34 years." Not that any of this is new information to anyone who's been alive for the past 30 years. We all know it's a cult. The Scientologists are the only ones who don't think that. They think that Xenu exists and that by paying all this money, they are reaching some new spiritual plane to become "Clear."
Now listen, I could write all day about the ridiculousness that is Scientology, but it's nothing you haven't heard before. I just love that once again, it's in the spotlight and not in the way that Tom Cruise thinks it should be.
I just think it's funny. You know, this is a religion that perpetuates a rancid form of homophobia to the point where they are marrying off their number one client to a girl from Dawson's Creek in order to keep his cover. Oops...did I say that? I should have prefaced that with an "Allegedly." Kathy Griffin taught me that.
Not that most other churches don't do the exact same thing by thrusting the ideology on little gay fellas that they need to get married to girls in order to be saved, but they aren't in the spotlight. Scientologists bask in the spotlight. It's where they think they belong. After all, they created the Celebrity Centre for that purpose.
So. Where does that leave us? Scientology was created by a science fiction writer and his follows are now not only crazy but their current leader is a violent dictator who drives a Rolls Royce (one of a fleet of cars he owns apparently) and now Paul Haggis, the man who wrote one of my top four films that I love, has defected. I'm sure there will be a book soon.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Since I haven't talked about TV in about 20 minutes...

Is anyone else watching White Collar? I mean, this is a really fun show. People have been telling me that it was great, as I know so many USA shows are, and I've finally caved and started watching it. And really, it's really great. I don't know why it took me so long to come around. Well actually, I do. I watch so much TV as it is, and adding another show to the list is really quite the commitment. But still, I've done it. I've added yet another show to my already long list of shows. And if I'm being honest with you, I watched the first episode of How I Met Your Mother last night and you know what that means don't you?
Speaking of television. Glee had some very nice moments in their big Superbowl episode. Personally, my favorite moment had to be Sue's 2 P.M. ninja poops. But what this episode proved is that the supporting characters on this show are the only redeeming quality. I mean, this was an almost Kurt-less episode and that made it bearable. The new girl in the group, whatever her name is, the wrestler girl, she's awesome. And the girl who can sing that isn't Lea Michele or Mercedes, she rocks. She needs to quit the show and put out an album.
The music wasn't all that great honestly and the rendition of Bills, Bills, Bills wasn't anything new. The big Thriller mashup was good to listen to but wasn't much to look at. They should have taken a cue from MJ himself and not tried to make it look like a Michael Bay movie and just shown them dancing. But at least it was tolerable, which at this point, is a welcomed change for this show. I want so badly for this show to be great so I keep watching it. Well, that and it usually gives me something to blog about. 
Oh, and don't worry guys. My television gets connected in my new place on Friday which means there will be much much more to talk about very soon. You know you love me. XOXO. (couldn't resist)

2011's Theme

It's okay guys. I've got the theme of 2011. I knew you were waiting for me to tell you what it was. Don't worry. I got it.
The theme of 2011 is...(that's where the drum roll in your thought bubble goes)...A New Adventure.
Yes. A New Adventure. That's what this year is about. You see, there's a very scientific process to find the exact theme of a year and it takes about a month to do the math and figure it out, but seeing as I'm such the mathematician, I've figured it out and we're good to go...on a new adventure.

For me, this year started out with a new diploma, the first issue of BLEEP being released and a new permanent place of residence. It's also meant a few other new things, some of which will eventually be blogged about I'm sure, and some of which that won't. But the point of the story is that it's an all new adventure. Everything is new. And while you can take people with you on a new adventure, the point is to end up someplace completely different than before. And that's for sure happening.

Listen to me.

You know that episode of Friends when Pheobe keeps telling everyone she has a roommate? Denise? Denise! I talk about her all the time DENISE! And she's mad that no one ever listens to her?
Right. I'm Pheobe. And I'm mad that people don't listen to me.
I've been telling people for months that they need to be listening to Adele's new music. It's been seeping out slowly and I've been telling everyone to go to her music because it's really spectacular on this album.
That was months ago. Now that it's coming out, people are all saying that it's so great and acting like they've never heard anything about it before. False. I have been trying to tell people for a long time now. Proves just how much my friends listen to me when I speak.
You know, I have a pretty good ear for things and when I hear new stuff, I try to pass that information along. It's like doing my civic service as a proprietor of pop culture. The zietgiest means different things to different people and although it affects everyone, there are people who need to be a proponent of it. We pass things along. We keep things going. We keep people in check when they say idiotic things like "Christina sounded great singing the National Anthem." I can't be one of the mindless drones that thinks something is good just because it's put in front of me. I can't say that Nicki Minaj is awesome just because the public seems to think she is. She's not. And yes. The Lost finale was brilliant.
I know what you're thinking. "How arrogant can this person be?" But in reality, it's just that I know what's important and what's not when it comes to pop culture and yes, I'm confident in that. So yeah. I'm a little arrogant. But if people would just listen to me when I tell them things, I wouldn't have to rant like this DENISE!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Shut up, just shut up, shut up

You know, there are two types of people in this world. Those that liked the halftime show and those that didn't. Here's the thing though. The people who didn't like it, are wrong.
Here's why.
Let us remember back to the past four years of halftime shows shall we? Singer/songwriters. Standing there doing nothing. Nothing interesting, nothing engaging, nothing important.
Now we have the Peas. They aren't known for being the best singers so that part of it doesn't matter. But did you see what they did during that show? They put on a show. They put on a spectacle. They put on a winning halftime show. There were hundreds of dancers dressed like they were in Tron, Usher came out to sing, they all looked awesome. It was a show, which is what it was supposed to be. A show.
So these folks who are on Facebook who are saying things like "This is what is wrong with America" and "This is why terrorists hate Americans" are completely and totally in the wrong for saying that. What the Peas just did was resuscitation the halftime show. They took it and made it something worth watching and talking about again. They're the biggest band on the planet right now because they know how to create music that everyone wants to listen to.
The title of this blog is an homage obviously to one of their songs from their first record together, one of my personal favorites. And basically, that's how it is. People complained that the halftime shows were too old and now they're complaining that it didn't sound good. Did Paul McCartney sound good? No. He didn't. Did Tom Petty sound good? Absolutely not. And yes, I will say it. Did Michael Jackson always sound good? No. He didn't. But he put on a show, which is what they did. The Peas did it and they did it with more showmanship than anyone has done it in years.
Good for them. And good for halftime shows in general. Maybe now we can get back to things being exciting and being a spectacle again. It's the most watched event on television each year. Why shouldn't the halftime show be just as big as the game? So Bravo my Peas. Bravo.

How I was able to see the Superbowl

You know that my television isn't hooked up yet.
And it's Superbowl Sunday.
Problem.

So, since my sister understands the importance of the Superbowl, we have worked together to ensure that I can watch the parts that I want to watch, i.e. the National Anthem and the halftime show.
So I'm in New York, mooching off of someone else's internet, hoping the connection holds long enough for me to connect to Skype. That's step one.
Step two is connecting with my sister and her turning her laptop around so that I can see her TV through Skype.
Step three is cringing as Christina does exactly what we knew she'd do...botch the National anthem by too many runs. What we didn't know she'd do was botch the National Anthem by messing up the words. Way to be a superstar. Way to be an American.
But you've got to know that I was just going to watch all of this on Youtube but I started getting texts from people about how bad she was. I mean, I'm glad I'm the go-to person for that sort of thing but it was especially crippling that I couldn't see it. So that is what we figured out. She rewound her DVR and played it for me.
Step four is watching the halftime show live...via Skype.
Because really, that's how we roll. In this family, we stick together. We know what's important to each other and we do whatever it takes to make it work. We Tim Gunn it. Especially when the Black Eyed Peas are involved. They're my Peas. And I love them. And it was like Tron meets the Peas. Which I love. They went there to party and they did just that.
And I love my sister for providing the avenue for me to see this most important of American Athletic Sporting events...and the Peas.

Hello Bruce

 There are many great Bruces in pop culture. Bruce Lee, Bruce Springsteen, Bruce from Finding Nemo, and Bruce Willis. So I've seen two Bruce Willis movies in two days and it's the type of thing where I'm not really sure why I did it. But I did. It's like sitting all the way through a Kevin James film...why do it? But I did because I'm in the business of expanding my horizons and playing an epic game of catch-up on the films I haven't seen.
You know there are films that everyone says you need to have seen. Citizen Kane, Singing in the Rain, The Goonies...you know, classics. Well, I'm trying to see films that I haven't ever seen before for some reason and Pulp Fiction and The Fifth Element were on that list.
The strange thing about it is that I wasn't crazy about either film. I know that people geek out over The Fifth Element and perhaps I see why. I mean, the comical take on a genre that's usually very serious was kinda fun. And blonde Bruce was interesting contrasted with orange Mila.

But Pulp Fiction is held in such a high standard for the ways that it changed film making but I will just tell you that I didn't care for it. Perhaps on a second viewing, I will grasp hold of the nuances and such but no. I did not like it. What was the point? You know, even in stories that have endings that aren't particularly happy or anything, there is usually some sort of imperative that the filmmaker is trying to get across. There is usually a point. There was no point here other than to kill a great many people for no real reason.

But this isn't really about the films themselves. This is about Bruce. I finally found the appeal of Bruce Willis. I feel like for the past 27 and a half years I have been searching for the appeal of one Mr. Willis and I've never been able to do so. But after seeing these two films, perhaps I've seen more of what has made him the type of star he is today. Not that he's making movies that are relevant right now, but he did once and now I understand it.
So that's the real thing I did this weekend. I learned about Bruce Willis. And what I learned is that he is incredibly successful at playing the same character in all movies and I have been able to mark two things off the list of films that you're supposed to have seen.

Sidenote: Have you seen Bruce on the cover of W magazine? What exactly is he doing there? Proving that he's still sexy maybe? And he's got his new wife on there looking like a reject from one of the Matrix movies? I just don't get it. It's a very strange way to publicize your love for another person.
So that's what I did this weekend. Watched some Bruce Willis movies. It's fitting though since next weekend is Grammy weekend and will be a lot more exciting than this one. Such is life.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Solidarity forever

Last night, through a series of random events, I saw the musical Billy Elliot. Yes, it won all kinds of Tonys and yes, people gush about it but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's all it's cracked up to be. I mean, people go nuts over Mamma Mia on Broadway too and I can't handle that one at all.
But I saw Billy Elliot, without any expectations really.
And it blew me away.
To say it was one of the best musicals I've ever seen is quite the understatement. Not only was everything about the actual production flawless, but I've never seen dancing like that on Broadway before. I mean, I saw Movin' Out, the Billy Joel musical and it was all dancing and it was extraordinary, but this was different. Half of the cast was made up of children and they were so incredible I was just constantly floored.
But more than anything, the song Solidarity, which I'd heard so much about, was one of the most profound things I've ever seen on stage. The way that the contrast between hard and soft, light and dark, rough and gentle...unbelievable.
If I had to complain about anything, it would be that certain songs were undeniably Elton John songs, to the point that they might as well have been on his albums. But he made up for it with the way that the music from Swan Lake was woven into the score. The cast was awesome, the show was moving and the entire time, I felt like my guts were being ripped out. One of the marks of a successful show is when the audience is connected to what's going on on stage. I was immersed in this show.
I wonder what people think of this show when they're not creative types. I mean, so much of this show is this pseudo-existential kind of journey through the mind, thought process, and dreams of a creative boy that's finding his outlet. I was that boy. Hell, I still am that boy. So I wonder what people think of this show when they're not creative types. I don't know that they would appreciate it to the fullest.
I will say this. What they performed on the Tonys made no sense to perform there and while it makes complete sense in the context of the musical, it wasn't so much a standalone moment. But I think there aren't as many stand alone moments in this show as there are in others. It's woven together in such a way that context is everything and in that, I find it a little more exciting.
It was a tremendous show and I'm so glad that I randomly got to see it. It ranks up there among the most profound shows I've ever seen. Right up there with Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake and Hair.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

8 seconds of joy

It's the small things in life that mean the most to me.
You know, today has been full of small things that have made me incredibly happy.
The first is a song. Well, not really because a song doesn't technically qualify as a small thing. I mean, some songs are huge songs that contain huge messages or scores or meanings or moments. But this was an 8 second clip of a song. Therefore, it's a small thing. But it's an 8 second segment of a certain Kelly Clarkson song that not only is my favorite moment of any Kelly Clarkson song, but also is this hidden moment in the background of a repeated chorus. It's like a little golden audio nugget that I discovered and it brings me joy. Yes joy. When I listened to it today, it not only made me happy, but filled me with such joy that I started laughing. That's real joy.
The second small thing that happened today was that the almonds that I love more than any snack food on earth were on sale and while that's great in itself, it was ever greater because they weren't marked as on sale. So when I got to the register, she said they were 2-for-1. It was like an eatable gift!
The last thing that happened today is something really special. I moved into my new apartment yesterday and tonight I was busy setting things up. It was at that moment that I realized that the window in my bathroom has the perfect-magazine-sized sill. Yes. It's the perfect sill for setting my magazines on! It's like the window was made for me.
So yes, it's the small things that mean the most to me.