Bong Cat

* Today is 3/3/09.  That’s a Square Root Day. They only occur nine times a century – about as often as I can talk to a woman without her Macing me.

lostarkmed1* I woke to the sound of a jackhammer yesterday around 1 p.m.  It continued to drone for at least nine hours.  What the heck is going on outside my building?  Unless someone’s digging for the Ark of the Covenant, I don’t know what’s so important that a crew would be drilling in the dead of winter.

* Today Zoraida called me a “selfish slut.”  I’m having business cards printed tomorrow.

* Get elected, defraud your state, get tossed from office… and land a six-figure book deal. Makin’ money the Blago way.  (Previously: Blago rap.)

* How do we feel about the word “meh”?  I’m a fan.  It expresses indifference pretty darn well.  Some people are not fans.

adameve1* Is it possible to learn to be naked without shame? Scientists think so.  But I’m gonna say a lot of people deserve to be ashamed of their bodies.  Not everyone can have the physique of Andy Avalos.  (Bonus: click the video on that link to see whether women prefer shaved or hairy chests.  Ladies, weigh in with a comment.)

* What’s up with dudes wearing tight pants? I cannot.  For one, the anaconda refuses to be smothered.  Secondly, I have massive, womanly thighs that will not fit in such Jagger slacks.

* Remember my hero’s quest to eat nothing but bacon for the entirety of February?  The final day brought this shocking development…

* Don’t update your Facebook status to let everyone know how boring work is.  You will be fired for it.

* This morning I had the unfortunate experience of standing between three women discussing their respective experiences with childbirth – specifically where they got stitches.  I am typing this in the fetal position.

* A story sure to hit home with those pot heads from last week: A guy trying to calm his cat shoved it inside his bong. Upon emerging, the cat asked (with poor grammar) for a cheeseburger.

kennyrogerspicture* Spastic kindergartners grow up to be gamblers. When I went to Gull Road Elementary, most of my class was huge into Russian Roulette.  I lost friends, but I won a bundle.

* If you rename vegetables something exciting, kids are more apt to eat them. Kinda like how “Detroit Lions” sounds more exciting than “Group of Weak, Clumsy Men.”

* Young German people would choose their cell phones or internet access over their cars or romantic partners.

But 100% of them would give up everything to watch David Hasselhoff sing “Hooked on a Feeling” in person.

* Enjoy 5 mistakes job seekers make. The biggest mistake is the same one I make when seeking a date: Hope.  Don’t bother.

god* God’s telephone number in the Netherlands is +316-4424-4901.  Why does an omnipresent being require voicemail?

* From the Stuff I Never Knew Department… You can’t recycle a pizza box if it has cheese or grease on it. But if you get a pizza and the grease hasn’t infiltrated the cardboard, I don’t know why you’d even bother eating that garbage.

And speaking of grease, I need to say that the most annoying thing a human can do is to dab a napkin on their pizza.  Eat the grease.  Eat it.  Even if it shaves a day off your life with every slice.  Eat the pizza, you big jerk.

“Germans love David Hasselhoff.”

* Over the weekend, I took in two movies.  “The Wrestler” is good but not great.  It has a compelling main character in Mickey Rourke’s Randy “The Ram” Robinson.  Marisa Tomei is good as a frequently topless stripper.  But the movie seems unsure what to do with its main characters.  coraline-posterThe end is needlessly vague.  I enjoyed it, but I don’t know how many replays it will get should it find its way into my DVD collection.

“Coraline” is beautiful to look at, and the story is cool, but the voice acting is uniformly awful.  And the flick seems to be missing huge amounts of music.  It feels needlessly sparse for something so visually inventive.  Still, it’s nice to see stop-motion animation survive in a world of computer generated images.  (I would not take a kid younger than 12 to see this.  It’s pretty dark.)

* Women are more religious than men.  Especially the ladies on Cinemax late at night.  They’re always screaming, “Oh, God!  Oh, God!  Oh, God!”

* Racial harmony is finally here… in TV commercials.  This is the part where you straighten up in your chairs and say, “Some of my best friends are black.”  (Your doorman is not one of your best friends, by the way.)

jerryspringer_narrowweb__300x4690* Will Jerry Springer leave Chicago for Connecticut?  More important, will he leave all the crack addict trailer folk behind?  They mull around the NBC Tower and it makes it tough to get in and out.

* Do you want Michelle Obama’s arms?  Put down the hedge clippers and step away from the White House fence, psycho.

* Thanks to the Blog Typo Squad for pointing out that “of” and “if” are different words.  In my defense, I added that to the blog in a delirious haze right before I went to sleep at home.  Then again, there’s never an excuse for typos.

* Women do not respond to sexy advertising… unless the item advertised is presented as a gift from a committed man.  Hence all those sappy diamond commercials about Jared and kisses beginning with “Kay” and diamonds being forever.  You never see a commercial that says, “Diamonds: Because your mistress is more likely to keep quiet this way.”

lunch* Best Dad Ever: This guy spends every lunch break drawing on his kids’ lunch bags for the next day.  Awesome idea.  I hope his kids appreciate the art.  Those are some darn fine drawings.

* Hey!  You shoving the placentas down the sewer!  Knock it off!

* Los Angeles bans cussing this week.  The latest Tarantino movie will have to shut down for a while.

* Did you hear about the Irish airline that’s gonna charge people to use the toilet?  It’ll be cheaper just to aim out the window.  Just be careful not to be sucked in the engine.  (Unless you’re into that sort of thing.)

* Ever wonder about the people behind the counter at your local Comic Book Store?  Wonder no more!  Choice excerpt…

On a Wednesday, a regular customer came and bought a ton of comics as per usual.  Then the next day he came in he was completely scab-covered and bruised on his face.  We were like, “Dude, what happened to you? Are you okay?”  Turns out he started falling down on a escalator while holding his comics and rather than protecting his face he protected his comics.  But they still got a little bent, so the next day he came back and re-bought them.

* Germans would rather talk about death and sickness than sex.  How would their hero, David Hasselhoff, respond?  Probably with an awesome music video like this one…

(What says “freedom” more than endless car stunts?)

* The annual convention of newspaper editors has been cancelled for the first time since WWII.  Once newspapers fall, TV news won’t be far behind.  We’re total parasites.

* No wonder newspapers are dying.  The best story the New York Times can come up with is sending a guy to Times Square wearing a Snuggie, just to see what happens.

* Study: McCain voters are porn freaks. 

Viewer mail about that story: Nancy is mad!

“I was offended by Rob Elgas’s off the cuff comment following the story about red-state use of internet porn. The story in itself illustrated the liberal slant of NBC, but I’m used to that and the slant is not often shown by the local reporting. Rob followed the story with the comment insinuating that anyone with a McCain bumper sticker uses internet porn – this was offensive and insulting. “

Hey, Nancy.  The story came from ABC News.  So feel free to shut up.  But I understand you might be upset if your DSL is slow and you haven’t been able to download any new material for a while.  Perhaps you can hook up with the pot heads from last week to mellow out.  EVERYBODY CHILL!

McCain 2008* Chief porn freak Joe the Plumber held a book signing this weekend.  Eleven people showed up to hear him.  Joe sold five books.  Back to obscurity, Plumber Man.

* Is masturbating cheating?  Am I going to get in trouble for looking at that article at work?  Wait.  You mean the article is on NBCChicago.com?  Brave new world.

* Danica Patrick has a tramp stamp.  Yet it’s not there in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.  Wha’ happened?  (Take it easy, Typo Squad.  I really do mean “Wha’ Happened?”)

* Louis CK illustrates why we should stop being so uptight.  Everything’s amazing!

GINGER ZEE IS HOT AND SMART !!!!!

* In an effort to decide if Bobby Jindal really does sound like Kenneth the Page, I put together this video this morning.  (Required viewing.  Do not read further until you have completed this crucial task.)

* Candice’s employer blocks the blog.  Not to worry, sweetheart.  The blog will be migrating to the mothership soon.  And if your boss blocks nbcchicago.com, you might as well quit.

bulls* Yesterday, two Bulls greats died – Johnny “Red” Kerr and Norm Van Lier.  And this morning, I was treated to the name Johnny “Red” Kerr – in its entirety – about 7,000 times.  Not once was he referred to as “Kerr” or “Red.”  Instead, he got the full four-syllable treatment from a chorus of coworkers.

“Hey, did you hear Johnny ‘Red’ Kerr died?”
“Yeah, I can’t believe that about Johnny ‘Red’ Kerr.”
“We should do a story about Johnny ‘Red’ Kerr.”
“Yes, I agree about Johnny ‘Red’ Kerr.”
“Boy, I have so many memories of Johnny ‘Red’ Kerr.”
“Yeah.  Johnny ‘Red’ Kerr was a pretty impressive guy.”

For the love of God.  Reminds me of the script one of our writers cranked out that referenced “Massachusetts Senator Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy.”  Who refers to him like that?  (“Hello, Senator Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy.  Tell me about your brother, Assassinated President John F. ‘Jack’ ‘JFK’ Kennedy.”)

birdmagic_290* Executive Producer Wendy and Highlander Producer Carol are starting a petition to bring back the short shorts of the 1970s NBA.  Carol refers to them as “shawts.”  If this came to fruition, it would be the worst thing ever.

* Times Square is being turned into a pedestrian mall. Good call.  Last time I was there, so were the Jonas Brothers.  It was like someone had triggered a preteen girl avalanche.  Cars were trying to plow through the bubblegum pink crowd to no avail.

* The going rate for two human children is one cockatoo and $175. That’s also how much it will cost to ride the CTA when it comes time to fill the budget gap.

* Overheard this morning: “I can feel it scrubbing out my colon now.”

A comedic black hole.

A comedic black hole.

* “American Idol” seems pretty lame this year.  So few people are worth watching.  Then there’s goofball idiot Norman Gentle/Nick Mitchell. Thankfully, he got voted off last night.  I hated that clown.  He thought he was funny in that drag queen way, where if he was loud enough and vulgar enough, he assumed people would laugh.  He was like the hideous offspring of a prop comic and a child rapist.

* Chicago plans to $10.5 million to come up with an Olympic mascot. How about a robot?  Cool.  Glad you like it.  Make the check out to “Ben Bowman.”

* Your buttocks’ desire for soft toilet paper is killing planet Earth. If you really want to save the planet, let ‘er air dry.

* Samuel L. Jackson is about to sign up for nine superhero movies. NINE?  And yet, no “Snakes on a Plane” sequel.  Sad.

chuck20norriswk7* Higgins the baboon loves HDTV, specifically “Little House on the Prairie” and “Walker, Texas Ranger.”  I am not making that up.  (Damn, I want a monkey.)

* Viewer Hate Mail!

I watch NBC news every morning and in my opinion you should pink slip the following !

Wiggles I don’t know his name but he the one who thinks he can dance he should be replaced with the HOT SARAH JINDRA she does a better job explaining the traffic report !!!!

Serita just show her face and not anything from the neck down, she has skinny legs and NO CHEST !

ROB- I think he is a GIRL !!

Andy Jobo being he is so cheep the man comes out of his home with less then two dollars in his pocket, I do not trust someone like that. REPLACE HIM WITH GINGER ZEE !!!!!!!

GINGER ZEE IS HOT AND SMART !!!!!

I agree that Ginger is hot and smart.  Beyond that, this guy is on his own.  This is why I pay no attention to viewer e-mail.  The only difference between this idiot and the pot heads from Wednesday is his affinity for the caps lock key.

* Be careful if you go on a national reality show.  You could end up like Stephen Fowler.  Observe his jackassery here.

The nation has mobilized against this jag-wad.

Avert Your Eyes

* Zoraida to me this morning: “You are officially boring.  What the hell is wrong with you?”

* I have kind of a delicate matter to discuss.  It’s been bothering me for a while.  So I think it’s time someone spoke up…

urinalIt’s about the insane amount of hair that ends up on the NBC5 urinals.

I am not accusing any one person.  It could be several.  In fact, it could be the remnants of guests to our office.  But every day, there are at least two thick strands on each urinal.  That’s kind of a lot.

First, I question how much these men are unsheathing from their pants.  Depending on your choice of undergarment, you don’t really need to bring all the bits and pieces out to relieve yourself.  Are these guys just airing it out?  Is there stretching involved?  I wonder how much activity is required to dislodge a hair from its follicle.

fidel_castro_10Second, these hairs are pretty long. Like, unnecessarily long.  Do the ladies in their lives appreciate such man-shag?  Are they attempting to camouflage their parts?  Are they just really big fans of Fidel Castro, but too timid to grow a tribute beard on their faces?  As children, were they enchanted by the story of Rapunzel?  Is there some sort of aversion to manscaping the undercarriage?

Third, if you somehow wrestled a hair from its home, wouldn’t you direct your stream to push it discreetly toward the flush zone?  Or do you find pride in your curly contribution, content to leave it there for all future witnesses as a sort of pubic time capsule?

I understand these things will happen from time to time.  Maybe there’s a similar issue in the ladies’ room.  But it’s just disheartening when I make a pit stop in the mornings to find “Cousin It” staring back at me.ins_triangle1

Let us never speak of this again.

* Octo-Mom is offered a million bucks to star in a porno.  For some reason, all I can envision is someone playing the triangle.

* Sweet merciful Lord.  The Snuggie Pub Crawl is getting mainstream media attention.  Part of me hopes this will get out of control so the police will have to open up with the fire hose.

* Apparently you could sorta, kinda, barely see part of Beyonce’s nipple during the Oscars.  Titillating.

chicago* The musical “Chicago” has taken over “Wicked’s” old theater.  I considered going until I remembered seeing the movie version.  When Richard Gere plopped Rene Zellweger on his lap to do that ventriloquist song, I nearly walked out.  I was there with a friend.  And I almost walked out and left her there alone.  It was so over-the-top cheesy, it was offensive to me as a man.

* Fifth-graders who work the most at jobs such as baby-sitting and newspaper routes are the most likely to smoke, drink and get into fights.  Man, it’s rough to hear so many fifth graders are cooler than me.

* People are pitching a fit because the First Lady wore a sleeveless dress to her husband’s national address this week.  Honestly?  Whose life is that empty?  (Besides the people who write 214 words about marijuana, then send them to a TV station.)

30rock_kenneth* I didn’t see Bobby Jindal’s GOP response to Obama’s speech, but apparently it was totally awful.  Some people are comparing it to Kenneth the page from “30 Rock.”  Was it really that bad?  Now I want to see it.

Okay, now I’ve seen it.  It is pretty bad.

Enjoy the 99 greatest things in internet history.  (Yes, “Boom goes the dynamite” makes the cut.)

* Don’t you hate it when you get a sex change operation and then you realize you made a mistake, so you get another operation to go back to your original gender?  Yeah, I hate that.

“Teething.”

hawaii-wedding1* Get married and stay married to save the planet.  I’m kinda counting on the apocalypse so I can launch Operation Last Man on Earth.

* Despite the recession, there are still a few good jobs out there, like painting naked chicks in Brazil.  (Not paintings of naked chicks, painting on naked chicks.) 

* Effective Parenting Rule #783 – When your teenager refuses to remove his hat in church, stab him in the butt.

* Speaking of church, we ran a story this morning about how the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is laying off 55 employees.  Script: That’s about 10% of their workforce, so they’re basically tithing.

Rob pronounced “tithing” as “teething.”  Someone hasn’t been to church in a while.

newsies* The San Francisco Chronicle may go under.  Will the last newspaper standing please turn out the lights?

* The internet is warping our brains.  I’d like to take credit. 

* You know your life sucks when… you’d rather go back to prison because it’s easier there.

* Scientists find out who would win in a fight: crocodiles or magnets.

* Great writing from STNGWire this morning…

(GARY, Ind.) Pamela Johnson didn’t have cash for a woman seeking donations Saturday night, but the beggar had something for her: a beating.  With a crucifix.

* There is no way Spider-Man: The Broadway Musical will be anything other than awful.

pillow-fight* Women tend to bully other women.  Men watch, hope they’ll pillow fight.

* British parents who hate their children give them names like Stan Still, Jo King and Carrie Oakey.  (Still better than Jermaine Jackson’s kid, Jermajesty.  Seriously.)

* More men need to do this: Upon breaking up with his girl, an Australian man issued her an invoice for everything he paid for during the course of their relationships.  All the women in my life owe me the cost of those night vision goggles.  Expensive!

whiplash_175x125* The U.S. House is trying to take away your right to buy a monkey from another state.  HOW DARE YOU, U.S. HOUSE?

* Viewer mail!

Yesterday, we ran the story about California potentially legalizing marijuana to raise money for the state.  To conclude the story, I wrote (and Rob read), “In the meantime, Michael Phelps is renting a U-Haul and heading west.”

Ashley and Nick didn’t take too kindly to that…

My husband and I watch your news every morning because we are up so early and we have had no problems with your newscast until this morning.  This morning we were watching and the story came on about the bill in California to legalize marijuana.  Rob Elgas, I feel, made an unnecessary and ignorant comment about Michael Phelps in relation to the marijuana story.  I am sure if Mr. Phelps would have heard that, he would have been just as outraged.  towelieBefore your anchor is so flippant and dismissive about marijuana, maybe he should do a little research and for that matter, maybe your station should do a story on how legalizing marijuana in our own state would eliminate any and all budget deficit by taxing and regulating marijuana, and cut out wasteful spending of money and time used by our police officers to deal with non violent drug offenders.  We are in the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression and we have a very real solution right in our face that no one wants to acknowledge.  And on top of it, I have yet to hear your station say anything about the bill regarding medical marijuana in our state. Wake up, marijuana could very well save us in more ways then one.

Ashley and Nick are pretty tense for a pair of pot heads.  First, our story offered no opinion on weed, other than to say that Michael Phelps is a big fan.  He is.  Second, we don’t need to do research on marijuana.  We have people to do that for us.  Third, shut up.

* This seems out of whack: Author claims parents don’t matter as much as a kid’s peers.  I think parents can do an awesome job of screwing a kid up.

* “If you live in an expensive city like San Francisco, Chicago or New York, it might be cheaper right now to spend a week on a cruise ship than to stay at home.”  Maybe.  But staying in my apartment allows me to avoid other people and sunburn.

* Social networking sites are changing children’s brains, resulting in selfish and attention deficient young people.  I would have continued reading that article, but it didn’t say anything about me.

bifftannenp* Are you being bullied in your office?  Not since I stopped bringing my lunch money, no.

* Sign of the times: Man living in cave faces foreclosure, dragons.

* The people want to know, why does Madonna’s face look like that?  More important, why are we still talking about Madonna?

The Oscars, a day after you stopped caring.

* The stock markets are back to 1997 levels.  I want to take every one of those pro-investing pamphlets my Grandpa shoved down my throat, crumple them up and throw them back in his face.  Early bird catches the worm, my butt.

market-crash* Thanks to the Worst Economy in the History of Mankind™, more people are working seven days a week. I hope this article escapes the notice of the NBC bosses.  By posting it in this blog, I’ve probably damned myself and everyone I work with.  Sorry, coworker buddies.

* For when everyone on planet Earth gets fired later this year, bear this in mind: Your online reputation will haunt your career. Given how much incriminating stuff is in this blog, I’ll be lucky if any hospital will even treat me.

* Time Magazine tackles the phenomenon of adults moving back in with Mom and Dad. If God wanted us to move back in with our parents, He wouldn’t have invented guns and the ability for us to point them at our own heads.

* Random List: 11 ways to botch a workout. (#6 – Take a hostage.)

* Men process beauty with the right side of their brains while women use their whole brains. See, ladies?  This is why we instituted the glass ceiling.  You’re smarter than us, and you’re inevitably going to take over.  We’re just clinging to power until you relegate us to eye candy.

cheechchong* A San Francisco lawmaker wants to legalize marijuana to generate enough cash to fill California’s budget gap.  This is great news for all my underachieving high school classmates  looking for more excuses to continue their hollow lives of mediocrity.

* Anger and other strong emotions can trigger potentially deadly heart rhythms. Man, if that were true, I’d be long dead.  Unless this proves the popular theory about me not having a heart.  I’m sure that’s it.  (Kicks a puppy.)

* Americans watched more TV than ever to close out last year.  None of them were watching NBC, obviously.

* Is Blu-Ray worth it? Not sure.  Still too rich for my blood.  I need to upgrade lots of items in my apartment.  This economy isn’t helping, though.  I keep dumping money into the stock market, which is like shoveling coal into a fire at this point.

* There is an Apostrophe Protection Society. I cant believe it.

* What makes a bad boyfriend? Being named “Drew Peterson” is probably the first criteria.  (Bonus: Bad boyfriend videos!)

scarlett-johansson-cleavage* I bet you were sitting around this morning, wishing there were a ringtone that would make your breasts bigger.  Today is your lucky day.

* Sorry Tom.  You do not bury plane crash survivors in the ground.  Heather has it right.  Wanna try again?  A rooster lays an egg atop a barn in North Dakota.  Will it roll off to the East or the West?

* TV news anchors are filling our empty lives with their Twitter updates. I refuse to use the word “tweets.”  (Previously: I’m on Twitter.)

* And now, my Oscar not-quite-live blog

0:00 – Starting with a jazzy version of the “Lawrence of Arabia” theme.  Eek.

0:03 – Digging the homemade opening song props.

0:05 – By the time we’ve hit the “Benjamin Button” props, I’m over them.

0:05 – Hugh Jackman picks up Anne Hathaway.  I envy him.

0:07 – Yes.   Make fun of the fact that no one has seen “The Reader.”  I approve.

0:08 – Well, Jackman sings better than Billy Crystal.  I’ll give him that.

0:09 – Mickey Rourke has a silver tooth.  Wha?

0:10 – And the always awkward “joke falls flat but cut to star anyway” moment.

0:12 – A montage of past winners is nice.  You know what would be nicer?  Seeing this year’s winners.  Get on with it!

tilda-swinton_l0:13 – Yikes.  The past supporting actress winners have not aged well.  Tilda Swinton is wearing the most conservative toga ever.  Also, she looks like David Bowie.  Goldie Hawn continues to look like a melted candle.

0:14 – So we don’t get to see movie clips for the nominees?  We get someone describing their performance?  This is gonna be a long night.

0:16 – Cut away from Goldie Hawn.  CUT AWAY!  (When describing Taraji P Henson’s performance, she uses the word “ageless,” a term that does not apply to Old Lady Laugh-In.)

0:17 – Penelope Cruz wins.  You know what I never heard during 2008?  “Man, I loved ‘Vicki Christina Barcelona.'”  Woody Allen is very hit-or-miss for me.

0:19 – Some random guy starts screaming in the audience.  Did someone let Roberto Benigni in this year?

0:20 – Wow, my Spanish minor is officially useless.  I caught like three words when Penelope shifted into Español.

0:22 – I am just HATING the cheezy jazz arrangements of the orchestra.   Makes the whole event feel like a corny nightclub.

tina-fey-steve-martin_l0:23 – Tina Fey and Steve Martin.  Happiness.  My first laugh of the night.  And a bonus Scientology dig.  Good stuff, guys.  And we finally get to see some nominee clips.   This is how the Oscars should be.

0:27 – Pretty early for screenplay awards to be dished out.   “WALL-E” loses, predictably.  Not a lot of words, but it’s still an amazing film.  My favorite of 2008.

0:31 – The screenplay winners usually give us a window to Best Picture, so I’m surprised they’re giving them out at the half-hour mark.  This is the beginning of the big “Slumdog” run.

0:35 – Could the music for this animation montage be any more annoying?  Sounds like a video game trapped at a rave.  We’ve officially seen more of “Space Chimps” than any nominated film during the ceremony.

0:37 – Hooray for “WALL-E” as best animated feature.  Truly deserved.  If you have not seen it yet, you must.

0:40 – Foreign guy wins best animated short.  Gives a shout out to Styx.  That was weird.

0:46 – Sarah Jessica Parker shares her heaving bosom.  Thank you, SJP.  Thank you.

0:50 – Do we really need the jazz Muzak in the background as the nominees are read?  I love jazz, but it seems totally incongruous to what’s happening on the screen.

0:54 – “Benjamin Button” wins for best makeup.  Haven’t seen the flick, but I wonder how much of that is makeup and how much is digital effects.

1:00 – Now we get the real “Lawrence of Arabia” theme.  See how much better that sounds?

ben-stiller-natalie_l1:01 – Ben Stiller as Joaquin Phoenix: Funny.  Natalie Portman: Gorgeous.   I want a TV channel that shows nothing but this kind of thing 24/7.

1:03 – Portman: “You look like you work at a Hasidic meth lab.”   Score.

1:03 – The crowd is laughing, but we don’t see what they’re laughing at.  Bad direction.  Okay, Ben Stiller roaming.  Good stuff.

1:05 – The “Slumdog” cinematographer seems to be making inside jokes that no one else gets.  Also, he’s way too relaxed for having won an Oscar.  Be excited or get off, jerk.

jessica-biel_l1:08 – The gorgeous Jessica Biel appears to have a tablecloth stapled to the front of her dress.  It makes it hard to see your curves behind that enormous roll of fabric, dear.

1:14 – “Pineapple Express” guys laughing at serious movies is fun.  Probably more fun than “Pineapple Express.”

1:17 – James Franco mangles some foreign guy’s name.  He is the winner of live action short.  He’s wearing all black.  And he reminds me of Dieter from “Sprockets.”

1:22 – Our second “Sister Act” joke of the night.  My attention wanes.

1:23 – This weird dance number is making me angry, but the sight of Beyonce is making things better.  Why is she lip synching while Jackman is singing live?

1:25 – Ugh.  Can we stop this musical number?  This is a mess.

"I know!  Let's throw in lines from 27 other songs!"

"I know! Let's throw in lines from 27 other songs!"

1:26 – A DRUMLINE?  End this.   End it now.

1:27 – Mercifully, Hugh Jackman’s Musical Gaystravaganza has come to a close.   That was… unpleasant.

1:33 – Please let Walken get nuts.  Please let Walken get nuts.  Please let Walken get nuts.

1:35 – I’m wondering if Cuba Gooding, Jr. is referring to himself when he says, “The brothers need to work.”   Hanes commercials don’t count, Cuba?

1:38 – Heath Ledger wins best supporting actor.  Well-deserved.  Drives me nuts that they’re not following Oscar tradition by playing the movie’s theme song for the winner.  Instead, we get this goofy conga number.

1:42 – The documentary montage is the first interesting one of the night.  How nice it is to hear from actual filmmakers.

1:43 – Man, I hate Bill Maher.  He’s not funny, he’s just an ass.   He plugs his own project, then says something offensive, then tells everyone else what to think.  (Now that I think about it, that’s kind of the blog formula. But I dare say I’m funnier.)

manonwire1:46 – The “Man on Wire” guy gives us an acceptance speech AND a magic trick!  And then he balances the Oscar upside down on his chin!  Pay attention, future winners.

1:54 – The action movie montage is more fun than any of the movies contained therein (“Dark Knight” excepted.)  I am downloading the accompanying song to register my approval.   (It’s The Hives’ “Tick Tick Boom” in case you care.)

Because I enjoyed it so much, I will watch it again.  Well played, Oscar.

1:58 – As the visual effects guys accept their award for “Benjamin Button,” I wonder if effects artists from 20 years ago are looking at their Oscars and thinking how feeble their work was, compared to all this digital wizardy.

1:58 – Will Smith throws out a “Boom goes the dynamite!” How.  Frickin’.  Cool.

1:59 – “WALL-E” loses sound editing.  Yow.  Considering that 99% of that film is an entire language of sound effects, I am kinda stunned.  But “The Dark Knight” wins, so the sting is lessened.

2:00 – How is sound mixing different from sound editing?

2:01 – Whatever it is, “Slumdog” wins the Oscar.  Again, I’m kinda stunned.  The sound guys had to create everything for “WALL-E.”

2:06 – “Slumdog” wins yet another, this time for film editing. I knew “The Dark Knight” wouldn’t win this one.  I was totally lost during the final battle up the Trump Tower.

2:12 – Jerry Lewis wins the lifetime Oscar.  Was everyone else dead?

2:16 – Jerry gives one of the most mercifully short lifetime achievement speeches ever.  Most of those last at least as long as the person’s career.

2:23 – The best score nominees appear to be a sleepy batch this year.  All slow and delicate.

alicia-keyes_l2:24 – Alicia Keys looks incredible.

2:26 – Overcome by annoyance, I nearly fast-forward through the first “Slumdog” Song.

2:27 – John Legend sings “Down to the Ground” from “WALL-E.”  It’s clear hear he doesn’t really know how the song goes.  Peter Gabriel declined to perform, saying that a 1:00 excerpt wasn’t enough.  But that first “Slumdog” song couldn’t have lasted any longer.

2:29 – Okay, I’m really fast-forwarding through the second “Slumdog” song.

2:36 – I would like to have Liam Neeson narrate my life.  I’ve always wanted to have one of those narrator-y voices.   Other quality voices: Patrick Stewart, James Earl Jones and David McCullough.

queen-latifah_l2:41 – How awkward to have Queen Latifah singing live during the “In Memoriam” montage…

2:45 – Paul Newman: Overrated.

2:48What the heck is Reese Witherspoon wearing? It looks like seven dresses fighting each other.

2:51 – Danny Boyle wins Best Director.  And he jumps.   Jumping will get you prominent placement in future Oscar winner montages.  I wonder why they’re doing director here.  It’s usually a dead giveaway for Best Picture.  We still have actor and actress to go.

2:57 – Seeing Anne Hathaway smile so big makes me feel lightheaded.  But what’s with the Shirley MacLaine pep talk?  Anne knows she’s awesome.  She’s an Oscar nominee.  She doesn’t need the Stuart Smalley routine.

3:01 – Can we have MORE foreign people stumbling their way through the teleprompter during the presentations?

3:03 – Seeing Kate Winslet win makes me remember her guest spot on “Extras.”

3:06 – What is with the super corny “Magnificent Seven” theme remix?  The music this year has been abysmal.

3:12 – Anthony Hopkins.  Yeah.  Another good narrator voice.

3:13 – Sean Penn wins best actor.  I figured this would go to Mickey Rourke based on all the hype.

3:16 – No one has been played off the stage this year.  Great restraint by the orchestra or speedy speeches?  Maybe both.

3:21 – How nice to see actual clips of the nominated movies.  Now I feel compelled to see some.

3:23 – “Slumdog Millionaire” wins the Best Picture Oscar.  This feels like an off year.   When you think back on the greatest films of your lifetime, no one cites “The English Patient” or “Shakespeare in Love” or “The Last Emperor.”

Well, that’s it.  Ultimately, a pretty forgettable night.  Heath Ledger stands out.  Other than that, I don’t think we’ll remember the ’09 Oscars a year from now.

Winners of the Oscar for best film not named "WALL-E" or "The Dark Knight."

Winners of the Oscar for best film not named "WALL-E" or "The Dark Knight."

Pizza, Ponies, and a Death Ray

* In a fit of boredom this weekend, I joined Twitter.  Enjoy my pointless mini-posts here.

* As previously mentioned, I missed the Oscars for the first time in a very, very long time.  (I think I had a 17-year viewing streak.)  I will watch them today and live-blog the ceremony as I go.  It’ll be up far too late for anyone to care tomorrow, but it’s a fun way to memorialize the event.

wrestler_xl_01-film-aUnfortunately, I’ve had nearly all the results spoiled for me.  The only (minor) surprise is Sean Penn defeating Mickey Rourke.  Penn already had an Oscar, so Rourke seemed more of the favorite.  Of the big nominees, I’ve only seen “Frost/Nixon.”  I mean to see “The Wrestler” this weekend, but every time I looked out my window, the ferocious wind rattling the glass made me rethink that plan.

I spent Oscar night at the iO Theater with my dear Whiskey Rebellion.  To improvise, we asked for a movie suggestion.  We got “Titanic.”  This kicked off a show featuring several other Academy Award influences…

deerAt one point, we somehow steered into a Russian roulette scene, a la “The Deer Hunter.”  (I proclaimed it Best Picture 1974, but I was four years off on my guess.)  And later, we had a “Lord of the Rings”-related scene.  We also featured a scene with a queen, perhaps a subconscious nod to the 2006 Oscar winner “The Queen.”  Or maybe I was channeling Cate Blanchett from 1998’s “Elizabeth”… and she was in the “Lord of the Rings”… and now the entire performance is folding in on itself and my brain hurts.

Guess you had to be there.  And you weren’t.  I will remember that in my own Oscar acceptance speech.  Mark my words.

* Speaking of the Oscars, you helped our girl Jill choose the blue dress.  Thank God.

Waiting for a better image, but it's Fox News, so their graphics department is busy making giant posters of Bill O'Reilly's head...

Waiting for a better image, but it's Fox News, so their graphics department is busy making giant posters of Bill O'Reilly's head...

* One big triumph this weekend was my first attempt at making a baked potato.  I don’t know why it never occurred to me before.  I love potatoes and I love heat.  To make sure I nailed it, I searched the internet for a recipe, and this one, dear reader, is golden goodness.

* I have watched “The Matrix” three times.  Two of the three times (including the first viewing in a theater), I’ve fallen asleep moments before Joe Pantoliano eats the steak and makes the bargain with Agent Smith.  That movie is 25% awesome fight scenes and 75% whispering ominously.  While watching this weekend, I supplemented the movie with the Rifftrax commentary.  Choice riff: “This movie is all fluids and openings.”

* Today was another brutal slog to fill the show.  Not a lot of news out there these days.  To kill time, I found this website, where you can submit your ideas on how Illinois should spend its $9 billion in stimulus cash.  And because I was still short on time, I followed that story with the following script…

ponyIf the state is looking for ways to spend $9 billion, we’re here to help.  In an informal poll of our newsroom, 58% of our producers want “the best pizza party ever.”  41% want $9 billion worth of ponies.  And 1% wants a death ray mounted atop the state capitol.”

Upon her initial read of that story, Zoraida sent me this message: “What is death ray?”

And that’s when I knew it would be a long morning.

* British Columbia, Canada has the world’s best tap water. You will never need that information.  Ever.

* Jamaica radio bans songs with references to sex and violence. There goes everything written over the last 20 years…

* US Airways will no longer charge you for that soda. That reminds me, the price of gas is cheaper yet we’re still paying to check our bags.  How nice for the airlines to enjoy that extra money we would otherwise use on food or medicine.
1015-phone-call
* An 86-year-old woman just got a $1,000 bill for phone sex. Grandma, no!

* Am I the only one who gets freaked out by those stories that predict global war over climate change?  Whenever I see those things, I start panicking and wondering how I’ll survive.  I mean, I’m a writer.  What good am I going to be when my job becomes “using a machete to defend my underground bunker from intruders.”

* “[The lawyer] told jurors in his closing argument that Cuevas’ bride was abusing his genitals.”  Isn’t that the idea?

* Detroit is the second emptiest city in America.  The stench of the Lions’ last season is causing the locals to run for their lives.

* Are mixed-race children better adjusted? I don’t know.  But I do know that Tiger Woods’ newborn is immediately far richer than me.

* Annoying Mailbag Comment! Robin writes…

“Art just said that Obama is back on American soil this morning. HE WAS IN CANADA! Last I heard Canada was still in America”

north_america_satellite_globeDear Robin, cram it.  What do you call people from Canada?  (Canadians.)  What do you call people from Mexico?  (Mexicans.)  What do you call people from the United States?  (Insert Robin’s made-up word while the rest of us go with “Americans.”)  Yes, the United States is in North America.  So are Canada and Mexico.  Here’s a cookie.  Now go back to your Big Book of Brain Teasers and try to figure out where you bury the survivors of a plane crash on the United States/Canada border.

I mean, if I wanted to be equally anal, I’d point out that you didn’t conclude your last sentence with a period.  But correcting people’s grammar and punctuation isn’t the only thing that brings joy to my otherwise short-sighted, awful life.  Be gone, troll.