Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Great News

I'm sitting here in my office at SCSU, getting ready to impart oodles of wisdom on the children, and I thought it was also best to pass on this piece of great news: "Curb Your Enthusiasm" will return for an eighth season sometime next year.

Simply put, there is no funnier show on television, try as hard as "Modern Family" does.

Anyway, that's it. Woo hoo for good news.

Tuesday Tidbits

Let's have a moment of silence to remember last year, the time when very few major records or even good ones hit stores. OK, done?

Well, that was really important to do because 2010 is slowly turning into of the best years for new music in recent memory. We just finished a little lull, but, starting today, the next few Tuesdays are chock-full of killer releases.

If you're smart today, you'll head to your favorite retailer to purchase Roky Erickson and Okkervil River's "True Love Cast Out All Evil." Yes, the legendary psych rocker joined forces with my one of my favorite bands to make a truly great record. You can read all about it come Friday in the wonderful Weekend section.

Speaking of records, or, I guess, record labels, it seems Rascal Flatts' home closed up shop without telling the horrifically awful country band. If I owned a record label with them on it, I'd have a closed and not told them too. If this decision to close delays a new Rascal Flatts album by even a day, Disney, the owners of the label, deserve a Nobel Peace Prize. Who's with me?

In the other bit of news that interested me today, it seems that the Emmy Awards are no longer going to give out an award for best theme song. This saddens me more you can imagine. I don't even remember certain shows from my childhood, just the theme songs. I know most programs don't have them anymore — for some dumb reason — but I love them. And I'm mad about this. I'll get over it, but not until I've finished crying for a few days. To help me mourn, here's the "Mr. Belvedere" theme, one I loved as a wee Patrick.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Will You Double Down?

So there I was, last Friday, helping to judge the first installment of the semifinals over at The Space's Battle of the Bands. One of the folks judging with me was Joe Heafy of the local pop-rock band Shut Up and Deal.

Well, over the course of the evening, we got to discussing something way more important than the bands performing: The Double Down.

If you don't know what the infamous Double Down is, you've been living under a rock or in a corner or on Pandora for the last week and a half. The sandwich is an invention of amazing proportions, something that will be written about for centuries to come as one of the most important inventions of our time. When the history of the 21st century is written, things that we think of as history will be passed over in favor of a bunless sandwich that contains more sodium than humanly imaginable.

Joe and I couldn't stop talking about the Double Down. In fact, we soon had another judge partaking in the conversation. I mean, what genius decided a sandwich needn't have a bun, but would be better off just using two pieces of fried chicken as the bread substitute? This man deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. I want to meet this man. I want to hug this man. I want to know this man. And, oh yeah, I know it was a man. More importantly, I know it was a genius.

In all seriousness, I've yet to experience the Double Down, but I will. I promise. Something like this needs to be consumed. Joe said it changed his life, that it was amazing. Now, I'll have to run like seven miles to feel like I deserve the thing, but, oh, I'll have one soon.

One of my favorite baseball writers, Nate Silver, now writes about politics. Anyway, even though Silver's been one of the most influential baseball writers of all time, and a biggie in the political world lately, he published his most important and essential piece of journalism today. Silver has statistically analyzed the Double Down. Enjoy it folks.

Why People Hate The Media

As I do every day, I was just going through some entertainment news. You know, I check all the normal places, then I hit up the mass aggregators, the sites that just compile stuff from various newspapers and wire services. Well, here's my new favorite headline of the day, from Yahoo:

"Mel Gibson's ex-girlfriend to help Chernobyl kids"

Now, I know this woman is probably doing a good thing, helping people who were hurt from a disaster. But, with that said, first it says "Mel Gibson's ex-girlfriend," which is just hysterical. Who gives a poop about what this woman does? Only sad, sad folks who care about prurient things. Those folks are sad. Did I mention that?

And, also, victims of the Chernobly disasters are not kids anymore. Heck, people who were born the year of the disaster have been able to drink legally in the United States for three years now. That ain't a kid. And I don't care about Mel Gibson's ex.

Why is The Associated Press wasting time writing a story like this? Where's the news judgement? I actually would like an answer ...

Old Favorite, Sort Of

As I was sitting here at my desk at work, for the first time in more than a week, I went through my mail. Yep, that happens. Well, one of the discs forming the intimidating pile comes from Justin Currie.

It's been a long while since I last thought about Mr. Currie. Back in high school and college, I used to really love the non-ballad tunes from Del Amitri, a Scottish band featuring the songs of one Justin Currie. It seems, the songwriter will release "The Great War" on May 4, which is also the day a whole boatload of cool discs hits stores.

Anyway, I haven't listened to the album yet, but it made me think of Del Amitri, which made me go get this video:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

No Excuses, But ...

Man, once again I'm here to apologize. It's a pathetic excuse, but, just like last year, this part of the spring is a killer. Teaching two classes is like a second full-time job, and by the time Tax Day comes around, I feel like I don't even have time to sleep, much less blog.

It's not a good reason, and I'm a pathetic excuse for a human being ... or, er, a blogger ... but I'm going to give it the ol' college try from here on out to mid-May, when things will get better.

Anyway, I'm on vacation right now. Does that mean I'm in some sunny location, sipping alcoholic beverages with umbrellas in them and eating jerk chicken or something?

Nope. I'm on my couch. It's comfortable. No foam is filling up the room, though. But this vacation isn't exactly a vacation. What do I mean? Well, I have to get up at 6 a.m. tomorrow to teach the children. Then I have to teach a different set of America's Future at 7:30 p.m. Poop.

That's OK, though. We're in the homestretch and school will be over soon enough. What will that mean? Well, I'll have more time to blog. And of course the children will be so much smarter. Oh, and I'll also have more time to watch baseball. I like baseball.

Speaking of my favorite sport, I'll be heading to my second Red Sox game of the season on Saturday. I caught John Lackey's first Sox start last week, but that didn't go so well. Nope. Here's hoping the Laptop Warrior will fare better.

Over the last few weeks, I've had so much I wanted to mention on this here blog, but now I can't think of anything. Nope. Not a thing.

But I do want to talk about something. I'd like to discuss the Rychalsky family of Seymour. This group of four, who I'm sure are all nice folks, have been sending me countless e-mails over the last few weeks. You see, as a family, this group calls and votes for Katie Stevens on "American Idol" thousands of time.

This isn't just because she's from Connecticut, though. These people choose someone each year to call in about. We wrote a story about them around four years ago. So far, we've been refusing to do the story again. Clearly, other media outlets are not like us.

Anyway, the dad, Konnie, sends out a message each week, with a PDF attached, detailing the group's calling patterns and how often their calls connect. Or something like that. I refuse to read it that closely.

So basically, this guy, his wife and their two 20something daughters spend a night (or two, I don't know anything about the "Idol" voting process) frantically calling Fox. I kind of find this odd.

Well, actually, let me be more specific: I enjoy some weird things. I'm not making fun of them because they get together as a family, watch a show they love and call in and vote. Whatever. I like to drink beer and argue about fantasy basketball or something.

Who am I to judge?

Of course, I don't chart my arguments, make a PDF file and then basically beg for press about my fantasy basketball arguments. That's the part I'm mocking here.

Why are these folks so hellbent on publicity? Every year? And, more importantly, at what point is this not a story? I feel like some of our local media is pretty lazy to do this story over and over again. Go click on that link above and see the Google search. And that's just from this year.

I'm going to make a sweeping generalization right now, but this is another example of how reality television is killing us. Heck, lord knows I like some of these shows, but it's helping bring about this culture of how we all think we should be famous for nothing. If you like to do a family activity, then do it. Awesome. Families all around the world should spend more time together. But don't beg for publicity.

As the editor of the New Haven Register's entertainment coverage, I don't care that you're voting a gazillion times for someone on "American Idol." I especially don't care because we wrote about you before. I also especially don't care because you're begging for this publicity from each and every media outlet possible. That's not news. It's your odd hobby.

When the final basketball game ends tonight, I will have won my fantasy basketball league, and my friends Harris, Jay, Rob, Eric and I won't have anything to argue about. I'm not going to have the newspaper write a story about this. Who gives a poop?