Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sunny Nobility, Me?

Yesterday, a friend said I was filled with "sunny nobility".

Given that this is the same phrase that Chris Matthews uttered about President Bush on MSNBC's Hardball last October, this gave me pause. What did he mean exactly and why did it make me feel a little ill?

(Note: The fact that I went home sick from work later that afternoon had nothing to do with this. Stupid flu bug going around.)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Is This The Year Of The Heist?

How things change in a week's time. An interesting little trend seems to have emerged, as bank robbery/heist films seem have suddenly begun to loom large in the entertainment world.

To wit:

  • "Inside Man," a Spike Lee film about a bank robbery that is more than it seems, netted $9.3 million at the box office last night to become the most popular film. This more than doubled the take of the #2 box office draw, "Stay Alive".

  • Despite drawing only about 9 million viewers last Wednesday, NBC's "Heist" is off to a good start. As Marc Berman, who writes "The Programming Insider" for Mediaweek, points out, it retained 93 of the audience from "Law & Order" and actually showed "growth of 15 percent among adults 18-49" from its lead-in.

  • Next Tuesday sees the debut of FX's "Thief," starring Andre Braugher ("Homicide: Life on the Street"). As the Associated Press reports, the former Det. Frank Pembleton will play "a coolly methodical pro who masterminds high-risk, high-yield heists across the country." Of all these projects, I'm most looking forward to this the most, as Braugher is one of the best actors of his generation and this has been getting a great deal of advance positive acclaim.

  • Damn, it's good to be a gangsta right about now.

    Any other examples I might be missing here or other projects coming soon that fall into this trend?

    Friday, March 24, 2006

    Drinking Monkey-Flavored Kool-Aid

    Yeah, I'm still drinking the Arctic Monkeys-flavored Kool-Aid. Feel free to mock me for my obsession with the band...but I'm lucky enough to be able to see them play at Webster Hall tomorrow night. Pow!

    There's a wonderful moment in the second track, "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor," from their debut album. About 2:23 into the song, there is what I'll call a 'rollercoaster moment'. Check it out for yourself, I love the passion they show and how they nail the last moments of the song. Rockin'.

    Here's to hoping they are as good live tomorrow night...

    Thursday, March 16, 2006

    The Loneliness of a Long-Distance Runner

    I guess this means I can stop getting up at 5:30 a.m. and running, eh?

    Via HealthDay:

    "Many runners contend that jogging alone offers the opportunity to enjoy nature or appreciate an urban landscape, while giving the brain and the body a beneficial workout.

    But new research with rats suggests that running solo might not offer the perceived benefits and, in fact, may actually be bad for runners when combined with social isolation.

    The scientists behind the study report that mice forced to live and run by themselves have less brain cell growth than those that get to run with other rats."

    Apparently, the rats who ran in groups did a better job of generating new neurons than those that ran in isolation. Um, anyone up for a run next week?

    Monday, March 13, 2006

    "The Sopranos" Gets a Pass

    All everyone seems to be talking about today is the season premiere of "The Sopranos".

    Yet, when Uncle Junior shot Tony in the final minutes of last night's episode, the scene didn't shock as many viewers as intended. Why? Because, after months of locking down the sets and keeping the world at large spoiler-free through various means (one imagines omertas being uttered), HBO screwed up by posting a full description of what happens in the episode a day before the episode aired.

    I would not want to be a member of the website team for HBO today.

    But the funny thing is that no one's talking about that, at least within the media. Via Google News, I find no newspapers mentioning this little tidbit (although the television critics -- who were able to view the episode in advance -- could have verified the details were correct). And the only two postings I can find via Technorati are posts on Nikki Finke's "Deadline Hollywood Daily" and Defamer. It's being talked about on the shows' various fansites and large TV communities like TelevisionWithoutPity. I'm sure I'm overlooking some stories, but, really, the silence is deafening.


    Added note: Both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times posted stories on their websites scant hours before tonight's episode of "24" aired on the East Coast, revealing that Carlos Bernard's Tony Almeida would meet his maker tonight. Ouch, way to ruin another big surprise.

    Saturday, March 11, 2006

    Fun With IM, Part 1

    Here's a snippet of an IM conversation with a Baltimore-based female friend, who is moving to New York City this weekend...

    CHF Digital: How much did you sell the cat for, btw?
    Friend: CHRIS!
    Friend: that's so wrong
    Friend: I love both of my little girls
    CHF Digital: Better than your original plan, which involved a burlap sack and a river.
    CHF Digital: (I hope your cat is not reading this, btw.)
    Friend: OW. [At this point, the cat had clawed her.]
    CHF Digital: He/she knows.
    Friend: She. She, Chris. See the note above about my little girls
    CHF Digital: I thought that might be a eumphamism (sic).
    Friend: Oh. Ick.

    And people say I'm difficult to communicate with. Who knew?

    Friday, March 10, 2006

    You Go, Bubble Lounge

    Like Spider-Man, those with Gawker Comments posting abilities must realize that with great power comes great responsibility. And also reminds me that I can sometimes act like a jackass.

    On Tuesday, Gawker posted about how four TriBeCa bars are in danger of losing their liquor licenses because a local yuppie couple is trying to leverage a law with the State Liquor Authority that the bars are within 200 feet of a mosque. While the mosque could care less, Janna Townsend (one of the pair) is quoted as saying in the New York Sun that she wants "this to be about quality of life in a neighborhood that is mixed use. There are businesses here and residents here. There needs to be a balance of uses. Those of us that need to sleep here should be able to sleep here."

    Pretty lame. I commented in response to the post that "can we just sacrifice the Bubble Lounge to the yuppies to appease them? It's not like it's a good bar anyways..."

    And then I got an e-mail from one of the owners:

    From: XXX@aol.com
    To: cfaile@gmail.com
    Date: Mar 7, 2006 6:55 PM
    Subject: Bubble Lounge-To be, or not to be?

    Hi Chris!

    My name is Eric Benn, I'm one of the
    two owners of The Bubble Lounge NY and SF. I just wanted to say that I'm sorry
    you feel that way about the Bubble Lounge and hope we didn't offended or
    disappoint you if and when you visited us.

    Either way, we would
    certainly sacrifice the Bubble Lounge, which is only 192 feet from the mosque's
    door (8'1" too close), if it could guarantee that all other four establishments
    would remain in business. And the problem isn't even the mosque, it's our
    post-prohibition paranoid laws and the unconstitutional violation of the
    separation of church and state.

    Imagine the battle ahead!

    the best,

    Eric Benn
    The Bubble Lounge

    The above warms the cockles of my dark black heart. This isn't about the bars (and the livelihoods of the people who earn a living there), this is about a lame couple trying to re-arrange the neighborhood to their own whims. Here's to hoping the Bubble Lounge -- and its brethren -- weather this one out.

    Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    Happiness is...

    ...finding out that one of your favorite shows (in this case, "Rescue Me") will be filming on your block later today.

    (Maybe Susan Sarandon, who just signed on for threee episodes, will be on-scene as well? Is that asking too much?)

    I will try to get pictures...

    3/10 UPDATE: Saw them filming last night, Denis Leary and Dean Winters were both spotted.

    Monday, March 06, 2006

    Mahjong? I Hardly Know Her!

    For all those I've hooked on Su Doku, I'm proud to link you to another maddening little timewaster: Mahjong, courtesy of the Gorillaz official site.

    It's essentially a match game, with Wikipedia explaining it thusly: "The 144 tiles are arranged in a special four-layer grid with their faces upwards. A tile that can be moved left or right without disturbing other tiles is said to be exposed. Exposed pairs of identical tiles (Flower tiles in the same group being considered identical) are removed from the grid one at a time, gradually exposing the lower layers to play. The aim of the game is to clear the grid by pairing up all the tiles. The game is finished when either the grid is empty, or there are no exposed pairs remaining." Interestingly, the name of the Chinese-originated game translates to "hemp general".

    This is how sad my addiction to the game is: I played the game for more than 2 hours yesterday, time I really did not have to goof around. This is probably why I didn't return your call, beautiful.

    Enjoy and don't hate me too much.

    Sunday, March 05, 2006

    The One Time I Enjoy Basketball Each Year

    Hard to believe, but it's almost that time of year again: March Madness is little more than a week away. I'm giddy as a schoolgirl (try to get that visual of me dressed up as such -- with pigtails and knee-high socks! -- out of your head, ha).

    While my alma mater is not going to be making the trip this year -- not that I am all that disappointed, as they would have invariably been bounced out in the first round -- I look forward to seeing the team I grew up watching, the UConn Huskies, romp their way through the bracket.

    I still remember 1999, a year when UConn won the tourney. I was sailing with the family down in the British Virgin Islands and I'm pacing the bow of the boat, trying to listen to one of the games on this little small-band radio I had brought down for that sole purpose. The reception was terrible and scratchy, but if I focused, I could hear every fouth word.

    And I still remember jumping up in down when UConn won their match-up in the semifinals. I was actually rocking the boat with my joy.

    Ah, good times...

    Saturday, March 04, 2006

    "He Told Roxanne to Put on Her Red Light"

    In my apparent old age, I've come to the conclusion that any band that can reference a song written before the members of said band were born is okay in my book; five years ago, I might have pegged such a thing as perhaps being a little trite. Maybe I just love the simplicity of the lyric above by the Arctic Monkeys, which is a nod to a certain 1978 song from The Police.

    But I disgress...I have fallen absolutely in love with the Monkey's debut CD, "Whatever People Say I Am Thats What I Am Not". When I first heard the tracks online a few months ago, I was cool to the band. Now, in owning the album, I can't get enough of the damn thing. It's very hook-y and addictive...but it takes a couple spins.

    Extra bonus: If you haven't heard the band yet, check them out performing three tracks from the album on the BBC's "Later! with Jools Holland":

    Talk about having a band having poise beyond their years, as the members of the band are -- wait for it -- only around 20 years old. Definitely recommended.

    Friday, March 03, 2006

    Ann Coulter Gets It Wrong. Again.

    I can't stand the extremely shrill Ann Coulter, who has never met an untruth she didn't like.

    Here's another one.

    From her column
    Wednesday (syndicated on Yahoo! News): "The box office numbers for this year's favorite, "Brokeback Mountain," are more jealously guarded than the nuclear codes in the president's black box. Hollywood liberals want the government to release everything we know about al-Zarqawi, but refuse to release the number of people who have seen "Brokeback Mountain.""

    Bzzz, wrong! Focus Features, a specialty arm of Universal Pictures (and part of the publicly traded company
    General Electric) releases box office information each and every day for their pictures currently in wide release. As of yesterday, Thursday (March 2nd), "Brokeback Mountain" has grossed $76,391,758.

    Using my amazing powers of math, we will divide this into the average ticket price (currently $6.40, according to
    Box Office Mojo). According to my trusty calculator, the film has been viewed by almost 11.2 million people.

    It seems Coulter can't find her way to one of the major film sites or perform basic math skills. And this is just one of the milder untruths or conspiracies she has uttered.

    Why does Yahoo! News see fit to syndiacte this rancid columnist, considering her track record of distrortions and untruths?