Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What a Lovely Way to Burn

I was in Toronto a couple weeks ago when I started to get a fever. Actually, backing up for a second, I should mention: I don't get the flu. Ever. I just don't. I never get a flu shot, because a) no insurance; but also b) I hear it makes you sick anyway, and since I never actually get the flu, why bother with yet another cold in the winter time? So when I start to get a fever, then chills, then a fever again, I'm not entirely sure how to process it, because I don't get sick like this. When I get sick, it's with my head all full of gook and there's sniffling and sneezing to the tune of an entire box of Puffs, and I get to ride the Sudafed express for a few days -- inevitably leading to at least one writing assignment written under the influence of those tiny red pills which invariably turns out 20% funnier than it normally would have. That's how I get sick. It's annoying, and it last for about four days, but it has a beginning, middle, and end that I recognize, and I can deal with it.

So I'm in Toronto getting hot flashes like I'm fucking Maude or whatever. Going through the change. And I'm trying to be a good houseguest by not, you know, napping all day. I have absolutely no appetite, so the entire weekend consists of me ordering food and then eating about a third of it. This culminates at the vegetarian restaurant where I order a delicious big salad ("crispy tofu cubes" might sound effing disgusting, but they really just taste like deep-fried nothing, and trust me, you don't think you're in the mood for deep-fried nothing, but you totally are) and, yummy as it is, I barely finish half of it. The waitress is all, "Wrap this up for you, then?" and when I say no thanks, this poor girl does not know what to do. "You mean you...don't want it? Wrapped up? I don't...what? I don't understand." I start to freak because this is the vegetarian place, and wasting food is probably up there with taking a huge bite of a live lamb. "No, no! It was delicious! I'm just...finished. Not hungry. Even though it was very good and tasty! I'm sorry you have to go out back and compost my salad. I don't know any better!" Fucking wasteful American, that's me!

So that's a lot of my weekend. No apetite. No energy, to the point where I was unable to keep up with Sarah and Tara on a Queen St. shopping excursion. No, that's a total lie. I could have been made of PowerBars and Red Bull and still not have been able to keep up with those two. I think at one point I wound up sitting on a comfy chair and reading a book about big hair. That's not even a joke. It was a fun weekend -- any weekend involving The Death of the Incredible Hulk has to be considered a raging success -- but there was still this nagging concern about me going through The Change. Hot and cold. Hot and cold. I've got the fucking flu.

I get home and lie down for about a year. My head hurts. My stomach hurts. I can't eat. I can't sleep, at least not comfortably. I do wind up with a few interesting fringe benefits as a result of what ended up being seven days of misery. For one thing, no appetite for a week means I lost some weight. Mostly in my face which, combined with a week of not shaving, gave me that nice "Day 36 on Survivor" look. The coolest thing, though, was that somehow, be it by not eating or by sweating out all my electrolytes, my senses of taste and smell became crazily heightened. I smelled chicken wings that had been eaten and thrown away, like, a week ago. "What the fuck is that smell?" Oh, you mean this celery stalk? "I can smell it from the basement!" The sense of taste was even weirder. I had such a sensitivity to salt. Like, a plate of cheese and crackers was the equivalent of licking a pretzel factory. I lost it after a few days, but for a while there I was enjoying being an X-Man. They called me "Tastebud" and I joined up with the Magneto terrorist mutants. Mostly because Famke Janssen is pretty.

So last week, at long last, flu's over. I'm still a little sore, probably from all the laying around and not doing stuff. And my throat's a little raw, but that's probably nothing. So's that dull pain in my jaw and ear emanating from my throat. Just after-effects, right? Just the last few remnants of flu sticking around. Just...strep throat. Strep. Throat. I wound up having a fucking beehive protruding into my gullet, like a reverse goiter. The production necessary to just swallow a sip of water was the height of physical comedy. Hey, way to go, immune system. One measly bout with the flu and you leave the barn door open for strep? I'm totally knocking y'all down a pay grade. Finally, the last straw having been placed, I went to the doctor. Who gave me pills! Beautiful little pills! Free beautiful little pills! Thank you, pharmaceutical salespeople! They worked within a day. Kind of makes bed rest and Vitamin C look like a couple of chumps, huh? Sadly, the strep didn't give me any super-powers, besides the ability to call off work in a single bound.

So I'm all better and ready to start blogging again. I know, right? Breathe that sigh of relief! Barring any sudden case of malaria or rubella or whatever, I look forward to being disease-free for the summer. You hear that, avian flu? Disease-free. You better step off.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

This is rare...

When was the last time FOX ever did anything with its schedule that cut me a break? According to my old day planners, the answer is "never." Yet this summer, the network that brought me countless hours of American Idol-inspired filler will also bring me reruns of this past season of 24. I dropped 24 about five episodes into the new season, a combination of show-related frustration and the fact that I wasn't quite ready to give up on The Apprentice quite yet (Tarek? What?).

But then I heard it got kinda good again. I heard they killed a bunch of people. Including Edgar and Sean Astin! I heard the President was the bad guy. I heard it was exciting and only kind of torturey. Sure, maybe M. Giant's recaps only made it seem like more fun, but it'll be nice to see for myself. They'll be running on Monday nights, right? ...Right? What's that? Friday. FRIDAY?! Yeah, nothing I'd rather do on a summer Friday night than watch me some TV. Dammit, FOX, you were so close! My kingdom for a DVR.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Housekeeping

Yeah, sorry for the complete and utter lack of updates this past week. When you get the flu, quickly followed up by strep throat, it kind of saps your will for the blogging. Though, I wouldn't be surprised if I busted out with an entry on that whole experience in the near future.

Anyway, a few quick housekeeping things, plus some items for discussion, just in case I don't make it back here for a few more days:

1) The AI pool for this week -- y'all can trust me, even if it was after the fact -- looked like this:

(picking the winner)
Jacob -- Katharine McPhee
Joe -- Taylor Hicks
Sarah -- Taylor Hicks

So the final standings look like this:

Jacob -- 9
Joe -- 12
Sarah -- 10

So, um, I win! Woo! Though it's tempered somewhat by Taylor winning. Boo!


In other news:

-- I just watched the entire season of Top Chef today (see above, re: strep throat). So fucking good. Stephen still needs to be slapped in the face many times. And Dave needs to give me a fucking break. I wish I'd been watching all season.

-- Latest American Idol recap can be found right here. For being written with a 101 degree fever, I think it turned out nicely.

-- What exact circle of Hell do you think you'd have to be in where Tyra Banks is interviewing Joe Francis on her talk show? It's seriously the most uncomfortable thing I've ever seen in my life. First of all, it's been my long-standing assertion that Joe Francis is the most vile and skeevy person on the face of the Earth, including Constantine Maroulis. Throw him in the ring with Tyra, who wants to be able to skewer the hell out of him, because she's Oprah Junior, but because she's made a career of indulging in the same adolescent male fantasies and girl-exploitation that Francis does (albeit to a much less stomach-churning degree, and without that disgusting grin), and you've got two people who think a great deal about their ability to justify their empty little lives. I'll still take Tyra, though. Especially once Francis starts touting Girls Gone Wild as a shining example of the freedoms of Western Democracy.

Anyway, back when I'm feeling a little less like killing people.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

American Idol Vote-Off Pool, Top 3

Current Standings:
Jacob -- 9
Joe -- 11
Sarah -- 9

This Week's Picks:
Jacob -- Elliott Yamin
Joe -- Elliott Yamin
Sarah -- Elliott Yamin

The writing does seem to be on the wall. Also: a whole effing hour for three people? I HATE THE HOMETOWNS!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

American Idol Vote-Off Pool, Top 4

Current Standings:
Jacob -- 9
Joe -- 11
Sarah -- 9

This Week's Picks:
Jacob -- Elliott Yamin
Joe -- Elliott Yamin
Sarah -- Katharine McPhee

Oh yeah. It was Chris. No points, becau-- wait, it was Chris???

There's a Unifying Theme if You Look Hard Enough

I know, I know. A "random thoughts" post? Could I have put any less thought into this? But it's late and I'm exhausted, but I wanted to post something.

So, shit that has crossed my mind tonight:

Since Mission:Impossible 3 isn't performing up to its full capability, financially speaking, do you think it's time we hooked that sucker up to an e-meter and found out what's at the root of its self-sabotage? I mean, what's it afraid of? Success?


I really wish they'd take that Rilo Kiley song out of the Lindsay Lohan movie trailer. Because that thing looks like ass, but the song is great, and I need to stop associating one with the other.


You can check out my recap of last week's Veronica Mars episode here. And I'm not even getting into tonight's finale yet, except to day...damn. We'd better get a season 3.


If anyone out there can recommend a good hockey blog, I'd surely appreciate it.I love the boys at Deadspin, but they just don't care about the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and ESPN could give less than two shits about any sport they don't have a financial stake in, so I'm sort of adrift here.


I pulled a muscle in my back today and am in intermittent agony, so I would just like to thank TBS for running The Long Kiss Goodnight for the 4,883rd time. No better way to relax than a good bad movie.


I know I'm not the first, nor the best to comment of how insufferably bad Stephen King's back-page column in Entertainment Weekly is, but this week's was pretty bad, even for him. It's yet another installment of Steve's friend "The Longhair" (yak) picking the summer box-office winners and losers. In between fits of folksiness and almost unfathomably dated references (a Survivor "off the island" joke?), Steve passes on the following fearless predictions: The DaVinci Code will be a hit. Holy shit, you think?? Also predicted to do well? X3, Pirates of the Caribbean 2, and Superman. Forecasted flops? The Omen remake, a Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy (but she's been so successful lately!), and the star-less An American Haunting. Stop it, you're blowing my mind! He even picks Clerks II to flop, which...how bad can a $5 million film fail anyway? Oh, and Uncle Steve's extra special sleeper pick? Snakes on a Plane. Wow, how'd he even hear about a movie like this? It's certainly slipped under my radar, that's for sure. I'll always be a loyalist for King's books -- I was weaned on them. But this EW shit is just getting embarrassing. Next month: Days of the week forecasting. Will Tuesday follow Monday? Ask The Longhair!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

American Idol Vote-Off Pool, Top 5

Current Standings:
Jacob -- 8
Joe -- 10
Sarah -- 9

This Week's Picks:
Jacob -- Paris Bennett
Joe -- Paris Bennett
Sarah -- Katharine McPhee

Points for the boys. Poor Paris.

Updated Standings:
Jacob -- 9
Joe -- 11
Sarah -- 9

Monday, May 01, 2006

Recap

Dudes, [Katharine] wants off that stage in the worst way. Her eyes are all squirrelly and darting around the auditorium, like she's looking for an actual escape hatch. Meanwhile, Ryan's spiel takes twice as long because he has to explain to the at-home audience how two separate phone lines work. We get it! Letters become numbers on a phone keypad! Cut to commercial before she makes a break for it! OH MY GOD nobody's going to text message for this dumb show! Go to commercial!

Read all about the boring love songs, crazy judge behavior, and unsupportable conspiracy theories in this week's American Idol recap, "What's a 'Swan Song'?"