Monday, March 30, 2009

Kids Aren't Cats, Madonna

I'm actually fairly excited that Malawi stood up to Madonna. Well, so far. Why must celebrities take children from their impoverished areas and adopt them? Doesn't it make more sense to try and change the environment that produces so many children that need help?

I guess I don't get it. I mean, I understand wanting to save things. I adopted three cats under the assumption that I was providing them with a better life and saving them from certain death or inferior owners. But cats aren't kids. I know it's selfish and pompous of me to think that I'm doing better for any these cats than any other person who loves animals.

It's similarly pompous to think that it's better for a child to give them the luxuries of Western civilization than to experience their culture and community. I'm not knocking Madonna as a mother, but wouldn't it be a better opportunity to raise awareness about the plight of children in these areas. People don't feel like they can adopt every needy child. However, they can help fund organizations that do good for kids in Africa.

Let's hope that celebrities soon realize that kids aren't cats and instead of adopting, they actually work to do something to help the impoverished children everywhere.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We're Tired of You, A-Rod. Leave Us Alone

Was it not enough that we had to spend three weeks hearing about his use of steroids that now we have to endure even more?

Yes, Alex Rodriquez is a good baseball player. Okay, a great baseball player. And he has the perfect storm of playing in the largest market (New York), looking good (although I prefer Jeter), and breaking up marriages (Madonna's). But does he really need to keep fueling the fire? Is he that much of a publicity whore?

The answer is yes. After spending weeks leading up to the World Baseball Classic (where he was supposed to play for the Dominican Republic- and they could've used him), going over every emotion, lie and sideways glance A-Rod gave about steroids, we had to deal with hearing about his injured hip. It took surgery to repair and now A-Rod is convalescing. We were all supposed to be given a break. Baseball, the media, A-Rod and most importantly people who believe Albert Pujols is the true baseball icon of the era. But, no. A-Rod had to do a magazine photo spread.

In Details, he kisses himself in the mirror. Isn't that what we've all suspected all along? That as much as A-Rod loves baseball, he loves himself most of all. I know I've perpetuated the cycle by talking about it, but I'm tired of A-Rod. We need a break.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Who to cheer for or against?

For the first time in many years, I have no one to really cheer for or against in this year's NCAA basketball tournament. For those of you that know me, this is a problem.

First, I love my Hoosiers. I love them this year despite winning only one Big Ten season game and 6 games total. It was a brutal year, but the brutality came because Kelvin Sampson messed things up. Not because the recruiting was bad or the kids weren't trying as hard as they could. It stinks to suffer through a year like that, but it's not so bad when you realize that it's temporary.

Second, I hate UK. I always have. Didn't matter if it was Pitino, Tubby or Gillespie. In recent years they've had our number and that's pissed me off, but it's the overall rivalry and fact that they have two more national championships than the Hoosiers do that really gets to me.

With both IU and UK out of the tournament in the same year for the first time since I don't even know when, it has me sad. My dad always jokes that I have at least one bracket with the Hoosiers winning it all. And he's right. I usually let my fantasies get the best of me at least once tourney time. But this year, that's not event possible.

It's also not possible to pick UK as the first #1 seed to lose against a #16. Without either of those hopes, the tourney just isn't that interesting to me.

Sure, I can root for Michigan State or Purdue because they're Big Ten teams. I even like Purdue, which is contrary to many Hoosier fans' mentality, but I like rooting for Indiana teams, even if "Indiana" isn't splashed across their chests.

And I can argue that Memphis is the perennial loser who complains about not being a #1 seed, plays no one and then loses when it counts. They made it all the way to the big game last year and that's cool, but the season of blowing through Conference USA teams didn't really prepare them for close games. No where was that more evident than letting Chalmers launch the three to tie when the Tigers could've fouled and sent him to the line for two. That kind of mentality doesn't just turn on in March.

So this year, I'm going to have to be selfish. I'm going to have to root for whichever team (and I've yet to pick) that I have going to the finals. Because I have no emotion directing my picks. No sentamentality or hatred to guide my pencil. I can just pick a team I think has a good shot at winning and then cheer like hell that they win so I can collect the money. It's what Clark Kellogg does every year Ohio State doesn't make it into the tourney.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Watched My Watch During 'Watchmen'

Chef and I went to see "Watchmen" on the big screen this Tuesday. And by big screen, I mean, BIG screen. The IMAX. The last thing we saw on the IMAX was "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix", which I have watched enjoyably at least 5 times since.

However, "Watchmen" was different. I knew nothing about it going in, which is usually how I like to see movies. If I know too much expectations (one way or another) are built and I usually end up leaving disappointed. All I knew was that I'd seen "300" and "Sin City" multiple times each and while they're pretty graphic, both were also really interesting.

"Watchmen" was different. And not the good kind of different. The story lines were too drawn out and boring. They didn't at all explain why these people dressed up to fight crime and how they learned their special powers. They also didn't really explain why the public hated them so much to cause their hiding.

And then there was Billy Crudup. I hate him. I don't have a rational reason. Maybe I just hated his character in "Inventing the Abbotts" way back when and tranferred it on to him, but other than "Almost Famous," I typically avoid him. I even cringe when I hear his voice on the Mastercard Priceless commercials. But I digress.

Billy Crudup's character in this movie could by the most interesting, but he isn't. I was annoyed every time Dr. Manhattan came onto the screen. He was boring and pretentious, which are two thing you want to shy away from in a comic book movie.

The action scenes were graphic and exciting, it was visually very pretty, but overall, I was bored watching "Watchmen". It was way too long (over 2 1/2 hours) and so in love with itself that it didn't seem to need to explain or justify the characters actions than with little more than a montage. I don't know what woman on earth would be beat and nearly raped by someone, and then a few years later fall in love with them and bear their child (Silk Spectre).

There are just too many things to overlook. If it were me and I knew before I went what I know now, I would've just stayed home and watched "The Dark Knight" again.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Vetin' Ain't Easy

On Friday, Chef and I took two of our cats to the vet. Mila and Attila got their first taste of shots, Nashville style. How that would differ from the style they got them in their old hometown, I'm not quite sure, but I like the sound of it better.

The thing about the vet is that we try to hide our cat mania to a certain extent. We don't tend to gush too much or elaborate about their personalities, but instead come prepared with intelligent questions. This time went much better than the last time, that's for sure.

The last time we visited the vet, we got a vet who we were told loved cats. Being that Genghis is a Pixie Bob and polydactyl, he tends to get a lot of attention. We had come in for shots and decided against getting one of them. When I was explaining our position to the vet, she was appalled that we would rather take our advice from many testimonials than her veterinary education and year or so of practice. I told her that I would take her advice if she did a little research on our breed of cat before making a recommendation, but that just pissed her off more. It was a showdown the likes of which I'm sure will be repeated in doctor's offices for our future children. Needless to say, we have a different vet within the same clinic now.

The cats are healthy and thriving. And we got a solution that seems to be working for Mila's poop problem. Nothing says love like clenaing up piles of turds from carpet. At least the carpet is brown too.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Rush, both a name and a feeling

I'm tired of Rush Limbaugh. Sick of him and his big bloated carcass. Sick of having the bile come up from my stomach and reach the back of my tongue every time I hear his voice.

Look, Rush is in it for the money. If he actually believed a lot of what he was spewing, he would be married to his first (not third) wife, and would have the discipline of a monk. Instead he's failed at marriage, failed at sobriety and taking it out on others.

Everyone has a right to say what they want. That's what's so great about this country. But what sucks is that we falsely believe that the loudest voice wins. Rush is trying to be the loudest voice. Would he have ever called for a debate with George W. Bush when he was president? Hell, no. Even though Republicans (and notice that I didn't say conservatives) hated a lot of Bush's policies (especially when it came to fiscal responsibility) too.

Is it the Republican's new strategy to send a big blowhard to throw stones and then look like they're not so bad comparatively? I'm not getting it. Neither are Americans.

One party, one decision, one bill, did not get us into this mess. One party, one decision, one bill is not going to get us out of it.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Can We Go Back to Previously Written Programming Now?

Last night I was watching The Biggest Loser, as I'm apt to do on Tuesday nights, and was highly disappointed. While I like the show and am enthralled, I'm also pissed off about it.

First, it is nearly always two hours long. It doesn't need to be. The weigh ins alone take 30 minutes which seems reasonable when you have like 20 people, but ridiculous when it's down to 10. Cut some of Bob's jaw dropping and Jillian's smirking head shaking and let's just get to it.

I know the show likes to think of itself as changing humanity by showing a bunch of people losing weight, but it's just a TV show. Many of the previous contestants have gained the weight back, so it's not any more important or impacting as Weight Watchers. Just more public and with money on the line.

But aside from all of my gripes, what I was mostly thinking was: Is reality TV finally starting to wane? "Survivor" is blah, "American Idol" is predictable and despite my previous rabid fandom, I have yet to see an episode of this season's "Amazing Race".

The thing that made that type of show so profitable for networks is the same thing that is eventually going to get them: no writing. Well, let me take that back. We know that the shows are written, but no creative content is involved. So with that comes the ability to work around a writers strike, crank out material with "protagonists" that are free and to do it on a 3 month life cycle. Sometimes less.

But it wasn't until I cursed "30 Rock" for being a repeat or said "Damn you, Scrubs! we've only had 6 episodes!" that I realized what was happening. The economics of it all were coming into play in a different way. Sure, The Biggest Loser is never a rerun, but really the whole show is one big rerun. The only thing different from one week to the next is who got kicked off (unless it's a stupid stunt week where they cut off who will be kicked off until the next week which just pisses me off more--Yes, Biggest Loser, I'm talking to you). When I tune into "The Office," I don't know what's going to happen from one week to the next. That's why I love it.

It's the writing. We knew it was important, but now it's even more important. Because while reality shows will always have a place on cable, where huge audiences are expected and shoe string budgets USED to reign true, they don't need to be so prevalent on networks. When they have been, cable stations stepped up and created well written shows that got noticed. Now the networks are scrambling to catch up.

So the next time there's a writers strike, don't watch any reality TV either. Let's show the networks that writing is important.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Today I learned about Cows

Yes, that's right. Today I did some research on cows. My friend asked me to do some writing for a project of his and I said yes. Because I was flattered and because I need a deadline to get real writing done. Not that blogging isn't real, but I only had 6 entries last month. I'll do better this month, I promise.

Anyway, back to cows. I expected to learn a little about them, but I actually learned a lot and in the process realized that if we all learned a little more about cows, we might not treat them as badly as we do. But anyway, one of the things I learned was the difference between different types of cattle. Yes, I know the difference between a bull and a cow, but did you know that an ox is a castrated male used for its power? Or that a heifer is a female that hasn't had a calf. Cows only refer to females that have had a calf and bulls are all males. Steer are castrated males that we use for beef. I think they're all used for leather, but I didn't get the far in my research.

I've read Fast Food Nation, so I know how shitty we treat cows for fast food purposes, but it was interesting to be a little more cow-knowledgeable. Like the auroch was the first type of domesticated cattle AND the first species of animal to become extinct. The dodo bird was the second and yet it gets all the glory.

Anway, enough about cows for now. Next I'm on to relationships. I'll be the latest and greatest Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Except less bitchy and with more understanding.


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