Friday, October 31, 2008
I. Love. This. Shit. I can still sing the theme song. It fills me with all sorts of youthful nostalgia. Almost as much as watching the claymation special The Year Without a Santa Claus.
My life will be complete if there is anyone out there who can help me remember another favorite movie of mine that aired on the Disney Channel in the 80s. I remember something about the kid going bald, and using some sort of remedy involving peanut butter and dead flies to grow his hair back. Not joking. And go.
Here's part one of The Worst Witch. You're welcome.
Or at least I don't now. When I was a kid, I was totes down with making ghost-friends, at least according to me ma. Until I was 7, my family lived in an apartment, and then we moved to a house one town over. One day, I turned to my mother and asked, "Why didn't the little girl come with us when we moved?"
"Uh... what little girl?" my mom asked. (I only have a brother.)
"The little girl who sits on my window sill at night and talks to me," I said.
OMG WTF BBQ?!?? But my mom kept her cool and said if I wanted the girl to come back, I should just think of her and invite her to our new home. Now, I was a weird kid, with many imaginary friends, but I could differentiate between fantasy and reality. And I was convinced this nightly visitor was real, not pretend.
So, ghost. An interesting footnote here is that I had no memory of this little girl until my mom brought it up years later, and then I vaguely recalled talking to someone at night.
Since then I've had a few more experiences, all of which also occurred at night. I realize this takes some of the oomph out of my story: it's not uncommon for people's brains, especially when entering or leaving sleep-mode, to interpret some innocuous object they see in a dark room as a human form. Or, for that matter, to be in a sort of twilight, half-awake half-asleep state, and again misinterpret the vestiges of a dream as reality, i.e. something supernatural occurring. But the fact that I saw this little girl EVERY NIGHT, and she spoke to me before I fell asleep, makes me somewhat more inclined to see my subsequent creepy experiences as possibly ghost-oriented.
ANYWAY: other experiences include: sleeping over a friend's house and waking up in the middle of the night to find a boy in the guest room bed with me (was not my friend; there were no other young men in the house); waking up in my parents' house one night and seeing three women seated on an antique bench in my bedroom, staring at me (interesting to note for the next several days my dog behaved very strangely, as though she was spooked by something); and hearing a very freaky deep voice intone my name several times one night in a pub in Australia that I felt was haunted as soon as I entered.
Since then I've sort of put in a formal request to the spirit world to leave me alone. So far so good.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Aside from my constant obsession with Ghost Hunters, I believe my thoughts on the issue have already been best expressed in a guest blog for Pat over at A Blog About Things this summer. Without his permission, I shall reprint here:
My interest in things otherworldly probably began in 1994, when my best friend and I formed the Fourth Grade Psychic Society. We issued professionally laminated cards to our friends clamoring to be members, but actually could not boast any psychic skill of our own. I think this was more our way of mildly rebelling against our Catholic school indoctrination, so we kept things tame; instead of using a Ouija board, we constructed our own Angel Board (same idea except supposedly not demonic). And we used a shot glass* as the object to move from letter to letter. Which I never pushed. I swear.
This hobby died down over the years, with the occasional tune in to Montel Williams' show when psychic Sylvia Brown was a guest and then, more recently, the propensity to fill my DVR memory with Sci Fi's hit series Ghost Hunters (Don't even attempt to mock. I have become very good at defending myself and will, in fact, blow you out of the water).
My curiosity did perk up a few years ago, though, when for work I had to become familiar with Lily Dale, NY. Lily Dale is located just west of Buffalo, and in order to own a home there, you must be a registered medium** that has passed the Lily Dale board's accreditation. Every summer, Lily Dale has its open season in which there are lectures and workshops, and visitors can make appointments to visit a Lily Dale Medium for a private session in his or her home, which is most likely a Victorian era cottage.
Fortunately, my ability to make friends willing to follow through with my absurd ideas had not died down since the fourth grade. I convinced my friend from Rochester, NY that we should go during my visit to her—it was only a two-hour drive away. Although she was a huge and vocal skeptic, she agreed (She was probably just bitter that she didn't know me in the fourth grade and couldn't be in the Psychic Society).
Our first run in with Lily Dale's mediums happened at an afternoon service held at Inspiration Stump, supposedly the site of some of Lily Dale's most intense spirit energy. A la John Edwards, a crowd gathers here several times each day, and a group of mediums will tag team read the crowd. For most of this session, we were not convinced. It was easy to tell that a vast majority of the visitors to Lily Dale were in search of some fulfillment their life just wasn't offering, meaning we were in fairly miserable company. One medium did come through with someone that, to a T, fit a very specific description of my Great Grandmother***, but I kept my mouth shut. I didn't want to earn an honorary membership in the Sad and Pathetic Psychic Society. And interestingly enough, no one else in the crowd claimed this spirit as their own.
I had made private appointments with one of the town's mediums, but only after some fairly intense research. I steered away from anyone who remotely resembled the woman who told Carol Ann to go into the light, and also avoided anyone looking for a deposit ahead of time (Mediums take paypal?!). Instead, our medium is the definition of down to earth: a former marine and proud lesbian, she has flags commemorating both hanging in front of her two story cottage. She couldn't be older than 38, owns two dogs (and specializes in animal communication), and puts her skills to real world use, working as a grief counselor. Sounded way better than some middle-aged, crystal ball gazer dressed in resort wear.
After a spiritualist prayer, I repeated my name three times, and the medium briefly meditated. The first thing she came back with: My friend and I had said hello to cows on our way to Lily Dale. Had we? Yes. She told me the cows said hi back. Weird. Next, it sounded as if my Great Grandmother may be coming through again (I won't bore you with the exact validations as to why I thought it was her, but believe me, they were pretty impressive). She asked if anyone in my family had recently undergone medical testing, and if so if they were suffering from diabetes. I told her no. Take home point was that my Great-Grandmother wanted me to tell my Grandfather to take care of himself.
We neared the end of our time together, and the medium asked if there was anything else I was interested in. Because of her animal specialty, and my ongoing obsession with Barney, our family dog that we had to put down in February, I asked if she saw any animals around me. Brief meditation... "Do you have cats that you feed ice cream?," she came back with. Yes, my roommate and I make a habit out of, when we are done, spoon-feeding our cats the leftover ice cream. She said she saw a little dog. She was confused because, in life, this dog knew no other co-pets. Yet this dog thinks he is mine and is jealous that he does not get ice cream. "Next time, leave some out for him." She said.
Pretty darn good, right? I mean, I was kind of bummed with the lackluster message for my grandfather—he wasn't the one paying $65 dollars—but at least I knew Barney was no longer horribly arthritic and was still capable of focusing on fine dining. So I called my mom. I told her that if it had worked, the only person that came through was Grandma Kutchins, as we called her, telling Grandpa to take care of himself. "Well that would make sense," she said. "Grandpa was in for tests this week and is in the beginning stages of diabetes."
OMFG?!#WTF?#!?OMFG?! Not your usual reaction to hearing of a grandparent's illness, but warranted in this situation. Looks like my medium was pretty dead on.
One interesting thing to keep in mind is that there are no documented cases of anyone coming through and confirming our earthly superstitions about life after death. For example, my Great-Grandmother was very Catholic, but at no point did she say, "I am chilling here with Jesus! SUCK IT JEWS!" Are any of the earth's major religions right? Or do dead people get a handbook, like in Beetlejuice, asking them not to pass on any info that might start a religious World War III? Or is there a place where the energy of all living things continues on once they die, no deities included?
Or am I just insane?
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Firstly, tune in tonight for Barack O'Bama's "fireside chat"-esque, unprecedented 1/2 hour of airtime he purchased on network TV. I am assuming that he will give me a shout out at least once, since I did give him $15. If you like McCain and/or pie more, ABC is keeping it real and sticking with Pushing Daisies for the 8 PM hour. Apparently, as Marissa informed us, keeping Pushing Daisies on the air is our second most important civic duty these days, so either way and your 8 PM television slot should be productive.
Here is what SNL imagined Barack's broadcast will be like, and I hope they're right:
Secondly, after that love fest, inquiring minds should tune into BBC America at 9 PM for Britain's Youngest Grannies, a documentary that promises to look into the lives of 30 something women who themselves had children early, and are now faced with the prospect of grandmotherhood! BBC America has shared a couple of these doc series with us. I most recently watched The 34 Stone Teenager. It's just so funny to watch these staples of American white trashiness coming to a new and untainted nation and being treated as an anomaly. We're like their dirty, grimy, look into your socioeconomic future mirror over the pond, and not even using hoity toity words like stone can change that. Ha!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
This is Marissa... a loyal Boobtubers reader, and avid TV snarkmaster. My dear friend Alanna is allowing me to vent, using this forum under the dire circumstances. Yes, it is true what you have heard that "Pushing Daisies" is in danger of cancellation.... and so disheartened by this news am I, that I am doing everything in my power to convince people to start watching this wonderful show.
"Pushing Daisies" is unlike any show you will ever watch! Full of whimsy and hilarity...with an excellent and supremely talented cast (not to mention the amazing writing), this EMMY nominated show has a little bit of everything. For the Artistic crowd it has colorful sets, sweeping camera action and amazing direction. For the *swoon worthy*, it has the delicious Lee Pace (The Fall), and the luscious Anna Friel. For the musical lovers, it features the ASTOUNDING Kristen Chenowith (Wicked, The Music Man), Ellen Greene (Little Shop of Horrors) and frequents guest stars such as Raul Esparza (Company, RHPS etc...), Molly Shannon, Paul Reubens, Mike White and David Arquette.
Yes, dear readers, this show has everything. I myself fell in love with it on the FIRST viewing... not only as a person who loves musicals and whimsy in general, but the heart of the story, and the persistence of the writers to not turn it into just another prime time drama, makes for a very excellent viewing experience. The characters have depth, humor and good story arcs, and at the end of the day, they are just portrayed so well by the actors, that it's almost like taking a little vacation from your life, to get sucked into this fantasy land, and just allow yourself, for one hour to be supremely happy...
A quick recap, for those who have never seen the show: Ned (The Piemaker) has an uncanny gift... he can raise the dead. If someone has died, he can touch them and bring them back to life for a minute. However, if he does not touch them again before the minute is up (thereby keeping them alive), someone/something else will die in their place. This would not come in handy if it weren't for sketchy (and HILARIOUS) P.I. Emerson Cod (played by the delightful Chi McBride), who uses Ned to wake murder victims and get the scoop on who did them in so he can make some ca-a-ash. Through a series of usually slap-stick events, the unlikely pair solve crimes in their small town. Meanwhile, Ned has a childhood sweetheart, Chuck, who was killed and brought back to life by Ned. This would be-pair has a love affair that requires them not to touch, or else Chuck would die again. Of course this requires you to suspend reality a bit... it is also heart warming and sweet, and the two actors play off each other so well, and have such chemistry that you forget about their inability to touch within seconds of watching them. The cast of characters that surround these 3 range from ridiculous to knee slappingly funny, including but not limited to, a pair of agoraphobic, synchronized swimming aunts, singing waitresses, taxidermy obsessors and a local coroner who turns a not so blind eye to the goings on at the morgue.
I encourage everyone to start tuning in on Wednesdays at 8pm on ABC... and in the meantime, get the 1st season on DVD! Or go to www.televisionwithoutpity.com to reap full recaps of all of the shows thus far. You will not be sorry! In a time when TV is being taken over by "reality" and nonsense...there is one thing we can all use a little of... Charm. And "Pushing Daisies" has it in spades.
Pat and Sonny are writing a pilot for ABC Studios, with Luke Greenfield set to direct and executive produce the project. Entitled Broke Friends, it is sure to appeal to me because I am broke and I have friends.
Read more if you're sexy.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Watch this one for Playskool's Helmet Heroes, which aired during House on 10/14. Pay close attention to the commercial's first line and then meet me after for discussion.
Can I imagine getting arrested in my own home?! Sadly, thanks to Post 9/11 Patriot Act politics, YES! And even if I couldn't imagine it, why is that something that I would want to imagine? You betchya, sometimes I just kick back and dream of what it would be like for my household to turn into some sort of Lord of the Flies reenactment, complete with little boys living out their frustration resulting from the cult of masculinity's societal pressures on them. Wow, did you tap into the minds of the House watching demographic, Playskool!
Then there are these quirky adds from Ask.com that have jumped the pond and can be most often viewed during the first two hours of The Today Show.
If you're instinct is to laugh at these, I'll tell you why you are a racist elitist. You know what really nags me? Minorities. And you know what else really nags me? Obese people. Why do we have to have the physical embodiments of our most irritating concerns be represented by people outside of the norm, huh? Is Ask.com telling us that we must take steps to get red of Southeastern Asians and obese people because they're not like us? I think so.
What commercials have caught your eye recently? Let me know when I get back from reading some Irigaray and burning my bra.
*You definitely don't remember.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I'll be back later with a more juicy post, but for now, just in time for Halloween, please enjoy the news that Ghost Hunters is getting another spinoff. According to the Hollywood Reporter:
"Sci Fi Channel's "Ghost Hunters" is about to get a higher education. The network has ordered a pilot for another spinoff of the popular reality franchise from exec producer Craig Piligian. Tentatively titled "Ghost Hunters: College Edition," the show features a group of students going around the country to seek out paranormal activity. The students will be guided by an experienced ghost investigator. Producers have not determined if any cast members from the other shows will be involved in the new project."
I'll tell you which Ghost Hunters cast member I would like to school me. His name rhymes with Deve.
Also, rate my craziness level if I decided to buy this, please.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
- Limp dish rag Leanne won Project Runway, defeating the petulant, old-tymey porcelain doll Kenley and Korto from Liberia, whose presence induced compulsive praise of her "ethnic" designs that worked on women of "all sizes," qualities that sound good to the average human, but in the fashion world are actually equivalent to "made from the blood of Gentile children."
- Barry and John-Boy faced off for the final time last night. John-Boy got in a few zingers, if you think "I am not George Bush" is a zinger, but his compulsive blinking, incurable rictus, and erotomaniacal fixation upon one Joe the Plumber proved major hindrances for him in the opinion polls.
- Jonathan and I finished the first season DVD of Mad Men, which, unlike almost everything in the world, actually lived up to what people said it was, which is: quite excellent. Also, spoiler alert, in the finale the characters smoke, drink, and treat women like objects. Also, Peggy is apparently like one of those people who don't know they're pregnant until they go to poop one day and a baby plops into the potty. You can see them on Montell and the like.
Friday, October 10, 2008
If they were to downsize, which Dunder Mifflin employee do you think would get the first pink slip?
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
In celebration of the premiere, please enjoy a clip from my favorite episode last season. Granted, this is not my favorite scene; my favorite scene is when a young Sarah opts to hold up doody on a stick for passing cars instead of say goodbye to her dying mother, yelling doody as each car passes. But the song is pretty good. I am just ruining my credibility with my off-kilter youtube sharing, aren't I? I swear I am at least of average intelligence...
Monday, October 06, 2008
Instead, HA-B-O refers to the back to back airings of Little Britain USA and The Life and Times of Tim.
It took me until this, its second week, to like Little Britain USA. I had only seen the original when living in its namesake country a few years back, and even then only in my altered state of mind that seemed to last for my entire four months overseas. I thought that it was, of course, funny, but sometimes I worry that I see lowbrow, British comedy and just assume that it is sophisticated because it is British. Couple this with the fact that I was kind of resentful of the juxtaposition of British vs. American culture, in which both came out looking foolish but perhaps Americans a bit more so. But fuck it. I can't stop laughing at Phyllis and Mr. Doggy. Please watch below and tell me whether or not this makes me an Entourage simpleton.
And then there is The Life and Times of Tim, whose inappropriately grandiose name makes the minuscule antics that Tim handles in his hilarious monotone even more funny. Like a lot of people becoming successful in entertainment, Tim's creator, Steve Dildarian, came from the ad world--just a little reminder that the creatives in television could use a bit of a shake up. In a lot of ways, Tim successfully outshines the Seinfeld crew in his un-politically correct apathy. OMFG, no she didn't criticize Seinfeld! Yes, I did.
Friday, October 03, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Otherwise, I was pretty entertained by this episode's shenanigans. Travis's head and neck swelled grotesquely, he tried to hook up with Thirteen, and the cause of his problems ended up being a bezoar, AKA nastiest thing to appear on TV since Face Melt-a-Thon Airlines. The bezoar resulted from Travis' repeated enrollment in clinical trials to support himself. One trial was for an antacid, which prevented Travis' stomach from breaking down food, so it all just clumped up and also absorbed the other trial drugs he was taking, releasing them at random and causing horrific symptoms. This reminded me of when I was a kid and thought food just piled up in your body and never went anywhere, and wondered how old you had to be until you were 100% suffused with food, and it also reminded me to not enroll in clinical trials.
Elsewhere, House's P.I. has serious chemistry with Cuddy (and also House, who seems to crave male companionship way more than female, not that there's anything wrong with that.) I am having trouble getting over the fact that the actor playing the P.I. also played the insane crackhead hitchhiker that David picked up, and was physically and mentally tortured by, in the last season of Six Feet Under. The guy will forever seem deeply creepy to me.
Also, Foreman is completely useless now. He just sits in the back and acts wearied by everything. Let's make this show ALL TAUB ALL THE TIME. That actor is doing great, subtle work at building a complex character that isn't in-your-face about his complexity.
And w/r/t that, next episode is about House's father dying. Not looking forward to it. I hate these SPECIAL EPISODES that seem to want to provide clues as to why House is the way he is. I maintain that it's much better if House is just an asshole for no particular reason.