Thursday, August 18, 2005
tv, laundry, waiter, books, music, Lindsay
I don’t watch TV. When I do, I get all my TV from ESPN, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and A&E (and NBC!). At any given point in the day, I can put on one of these channels and become completely engrossed in whatever’s on.
Last night, I flipped on A&E to the show "Inked". In case you haven’t heard of it, it’s about a tattoo shop in Las Vegas. No, not in Miami. That show is called "Miami Ink" and is pretty much the same show as "Inked". But there's one major difference: one is in Las Vegas and one is in Miami. So you can see how they're totally unique.
That’s something I never understood about TV: the duplication of ideas. Both TLC and A&E have tattoo shows. A&E had "Dog the Bounty Hunter", and HBO had a bounty hunter show. I know there are tons more examples, but I can’t think of any (slight hangover). An old-school one is "Married With Children". A great show, which a few years later the WB ripped off as "Unhappily Ever After" – and it ran for an astonishing 100 episodes. Fox will shortly be coming out with a series called "The War At Home", which is "Married With Children" but Al, Peg and the kids are younger and there are "Real World"-style confessionals (at least all this was in the pilot script). What gives?
I feel like I should pitch a few shows ideas like:
- "So they’re like a Mafia family. And the dad is like, the head or something. And he’s all stressed out and seeing a therapist and there’s a lot of Italian machismo shit. Their home base? A sausage factory. That’s where the dad’s office is, and every night he and his cronies get together to throw back a few sausages and talk about 'the family'. I know, I know – it’s pretty great. That’ll be $240,000 please. Oh, and they’re all in the Klu Klux Klan."
- "It’s a show about six young people in NYC. One is a ditzy waitress, one is a anal-retentive chef, one a flaky masseuse, one an airhead actor, one a wise guy, and one is brutally and completely handicapped. We're talking tubes and wires and shit shooting out of him. I’m mean, he can’t even think he’s so messed up. Thoughts? I’ll willing to take notes or suggestions, but I think we have at least 8 seasons right there."
- "Basically, it’s how a New York City stand-up comedian comes up with his material. His friends are kooky and the situations even kookier, but it’s not really about anything. So I guess you can say it’s about nothing. Nothing and the stand-up’s insatiable desire for the blood of prostitutes and crank."
- "So they’re an all-black family, right? But we’re not going to make them urban or poor or anything like that. We’re going to make the dad a doctor and the mom a lawyer. And there’s gonna be a bunch of kids will all different personalities. And now the kicker: they are all terrorists. Crazy, anti-American terrorists. They fucking hate America and want to topple it. What do you think?"
I’m about 90% sure I can sell one of these. I’ll keep you informed.
There are few material things that I possess that are special to me. I have a lot of books, but I don't really care about them. They're there only to impress any women who I might bring (read: drag) home to my apartment. I have a lot of cds, but they're not "special" to me. The music is, but the discs are just more shit to leave around my room. My guitars are kinda special, but I really don't play them that much anymore and like the cds they've fallen into the "clutter" category.
But one thing is very special to me: my bed. The bed (mattress, box spring) itself isn't great, but its combination of pillows, sheets, and blankets sure are. It has taken me years to get the bed where it is now: a perfect mix of comfort and colors. 600 thread count light blue sheets, six pillows (two thin, two medium, two firm), a dark blue comforter which kind of accidentally almost matches my curtains.
And so I love my bed. At various times it has been my refuge, my friend, and even [whispering] my lover.
However, I'm not big on the whole "washing my sheets" thing. It's not because I'm trying to be disgusting, but it's just always turns into a big project - you have to take the sheets off the bed and the pillows, take them (with the blankets) to get washed, pay a fortune for the lil' Chinese lady to wash them, then pick them up and put them back on. How laborious. I'm exhausted just from typing it.
But this week I sucked it up and took my sheets and blankets to get washed. Not so surprisingly, disaster struck.
As I mentioned, my sheets and pillow cases are a gorgeous light blue color. They are 600 thread count, which means they are comfortable and expensive. At first, after I shelled out the money for them, I was disappointed. I thought such a high thread count would change my life, make me more confident at work, financially more sound, and more desirable to the opposite sex. Sadly, it did not.
However, I grew to love them. There's nothing like crawling (or, in my case, falling) into bed when you've had the AC pumping for ten hours, so your sheets, pillows, and blankets are cold and lovely. And it all starts with the sheets.
Yesterday, I went to pick up my sheets from the lil' Chinese woman who works at my neighborhood laundromat. When she saw me, she said "Uh-oh" and then began trying to explain something to me. What followed was a good five minute stream of what was I guess supposed to be English, but I couldn't get any of it. She could have used smoke signals or morse code and I probably would have gotten a better idea of what she was trying to say.
Eventually, I picked up that she was apologizing for something. I guessed that she somehow fucked up my laundry, but how can you fuck up laundry? I started thinking that maybe she washed something red in my whites, turning them pink, but I don't wear or even own anything red. I kept saying, "Um, I don't understand - I'm sorry!" and tried giving her the money, but then she started miming what she did. She grabbed the bottle of bleach that was sitting above a washer and pretended to pour it in the washer, then took out my bed sheet. What was once baby blue was know an ugly, piss yellow color. Sweet.
I was pissed off and fought the urge to pull the New York yuppie, "You are poor and I am not! Do you know how much these sheets cost! You could feed your family for a week for what I paid for these sheets! God damn it! Have you heard of the internet? Do you know who the fuck I am?" routine. And even if I wanted to, I couldn't reproach her; it'd be like yelling at a desk for all she'd get from it.
So I swallowed my anger as she effusively laid on the sorry's and walked me to the cash register. The good news is that she charged me full price - $30 - for destroying my expensive and once nice sheets. So that was awesome.
I got back to my room and put the sheet on the bed. It no longer matched anything in the room and was now a yellowish color. It was the color of use and stain and piss and nasty. Additionally, there were splotches all over it, presumably from the bleach. So what I now have are yellowing sheets that look like there is piss or semen all over them. Fucking A.
The lesson? Never wash your sheets. Either you can ruin them or the Chinese lady at the laundromat can. And hell, you paid for them, so you should do it yourself.
If you haven't seen the newly redesigned Waiter Rant, get there already. And if you don't read Waiter Rant, then you should. It will make you think twice next time you say to a waiter, "Another two minutes and I was gonna come back there and fuck you in the ass" next time he doesn't bring your wine quickly enough.
The last six books I read:
"A Long Way Down" Nick Hornby
Mr. Nick delivers again in this book about four different people whose attempted suicides brought them together. Very readable and enjoyable, but I have one complaint: empathy, or the lack thereof. I don't think that you have to fall in love with or empathize with every character you read about, but that's what I believe Hornby was going for here, but it doesn't work out. When I met Jess, I wanted to punch her in the face. When I left Jess, I wanted to punch her in the face. Is it the book or do I just have an anger problem?
Rating: 7.5 out of 10.
"The Historian" Elizabeth Kostova
641 pages about a young girl trying to understand her father, her father dealing with a curse, and the legend of and search for Dracula. I'll break it down for you:
- First 300 pages: "This book is incredible."
- Second 300 pages: "This book is getting kinda long."
- Last 41 pages: "This is the worst ending ever. I can't believe I just wasted six weeks reading this."
Only recommended for Dracula or Eastern European history buffs (like me).
Rating: 5 out of 10.
"Puffed" Bob Flaherty
A story about two brothers who go searching for pot in the biggest blizzard to ever hit Morton, Massachusetts. Awesome. I don't even know what else to say about it, other than I read it in about three sittings and will probably read it again in year or two. Highly recommended if you're looking for something fun and quick.
Rating: 9 out of 10.
"The Comedy Writer" Peter Farrelly
From Peter Farrelly, one of the guys who brought us "Dumb and Dumber", "There's Something About Mary" and a whole bunch of other movies, "The Comedy Writer" is the story of, well, an aspiring comedy writer. A good read, with an interesting view of LA culture and the entertainment business, but you'll be a bit disappointed if you're looking for something on par with "Dumb and Dumber".
Rating: 8 out of 10
"The Book of Illusions" Paul Auster
A man loses his wife and two sons in a plane crash and then becomes hell-bent on destroying himself with alcohol and madness - until he discovers the mystery of a silent film star's secret life. Sounds somewhat familiar, but my reason for destroying myself with booze and depression is more like there's no more rice pudding or "The Simpsons" is a rerun. To each his own, I guess.
I suppose I enjoyed it, but only for the depressing stuff. The silent film star stuff was not only boring to me, but also contrived. Things seemed forced, so much so that with 50 pages left I knew what was going to happen, and I was right.
Rating: 4 out of 10
"Hellfire" Nick Tosches
I'm not sure if I should review this because I still have 20 pages left, but whatever. When a book is called "the greatest rock 'n' roll biography ever", well, that's a lot to live up to. But I'll be damned - it does. I didn't know a thing about Jerry Lee Lewis before I read this book, except for he did "Great Balls of Fire" and married his 13 year-old cousin. And now I know so much more, namely how fucked up he was for a very long time. Not written in the typical bio sense ("This happened...Then in 1964...Later in December..."); almost poetic.
Rating: 9 out of 10
A word about our Six Songs section, before we get into them.
I get many emails from you all recommending songs to me, some of which later end up here. However, I do not give proper credit to those who recommended the song(s) to me. That's not because I'm bitter and selfish and want to take credit for finding your songs myself. It's because it often takes a while for a song to transform from reader recommendation to "Six Song" recommendation. When I get an email, I'll usually quickly download the song and then immediately bury it in my "New" iPod playlist, with about 250 other songs. By the time I get to listening to it and get to liking it, the email it was recommend in is buried beneath a crapload of other emails. And the jm.com email doesn't have a search function like gmail, so once it's buried, it's buried for good. So that's why I don't credit readers anymore. Too many emails. It doesn't mean I'm not grateful though, so keep them coming.
"Do the Whirlwind" Architecture in Helsinki
What a weird fucking band. But if this doesn't get your foot tapping, then something is wrong with you.
"Middle of Nowhere" Hot Hot Heat
I hate this band. But all they had to do was release a happy-poppy song that I heard about 350 times on the radio while driving around LA to get me to like them. Oh well.
"Summertime" The Sundays
Does liking this song make me much less straight? Absolutely. Do I want to go skipping through a park on a sunny day when I hear it? You betcha. Should I just pretty much throw in the towel and come out of the closet now, especially since I'm asking and answering questions of myself and just wrote "you betcha"? Yup. Pretty much.
From ages 12 to 18 or so, this was my favorite song. I remember those confusing early teen years, listening to this song over and over again, and imagining making love to an elegant black woman while it played. Those were the days.
"Fascination" Human League
Just a weird, enjoyable 80's song. Don't judge me.
"Turkish Disco" Fugazi
I know very little about this band, and what I do know scares the shit out of me. However, this has got to be one of the coolest bass lines ever. My roommate Brian downloaded it about a week ago, and since then I'm spent most of my free time inventing a dance to it. When it's ready, I'll premiere it here. And of course I'm lying.
And because I may not post tomorrow (taking a half day to go to a wedding - and anyway, this post and Monday's are huge), I wanted to leave with you something memorable. So I give you Lindsay Lohan being incredibly hot and busty (this is safe for work).
This is a skit she did when she hosted SNL back when she was curvy. I saw this for the first time last night and watch it three times in a row before, well, you can guess what happened. Then I watched it three more times this morning, causing me to be late for work. I mean, I don't even know what to say. So I'll just stop. And watch.