Monday, September 27, 2010

Mad Men Live Blogging - Season 4.10: Hands And Knees

Hmmmm... "Hands And Knees"? That can't be good. My bet is Betty begs Don to come back

1:00 - Could Roger look any older?

1:45 - Joan's "very late"? This is not surprising. But I don't think Roger understands that she actually wants a kid. And I'm pretty sure a 3rd abortion won't help.

3:15 - Sally's got her Beatles scream ready! And at Shea, no less!

5:00 - Your wife has no wish to see you unless you're in London? Sounds like true love!

7:10 - Lane wants Don to join him and Dad for dinner? Does this mean Don is also supplying escorts? I guess at the Playboy club, that's not necessary. Yet.

8:45 - Has Lane come down with a case of jungle fever? And does he really want to fawn over the Bunnies with his dad there?

10:10 - Wait. Don is requesting security clearance? Hooboy.

11:00 - "Do you have any reason to believe that Mr. Draper isn't who he says he is?" Well, only if you count him admitting to stealing another man's identity.

12:30 - Don is sweating like he's up for the death penalty.

14:00 - And now so is Megan. Is she more worried about losing her job or her crush?

15:30 - Ouch! Roger getting the full moral lecture from his doc is quite the contrast to a still-married Lane expressing his love for his, and I QUOTE, "chocolate bunny*". Even the pun doesn't save that.

18:30 - Roger is careening wildly through his "what are we going to do?" talk with Joan -- starting with "what if this is a sign" then "maybe I'm in love with you" to "No, of course not" when asked if he wants it. Then bouncing to "you can keep it, but it won't be mine" followed by a implying how everything works if Dr. Rapist gets killed. Joan takes control by pushing him away.

21:30 - "I don't have to live with your shit over my head." Pete HAS grown some balls!

24:30 - Holy crap! That is one young mother-daughter pair at the clinic. Fortunately mom has Joan to talk to during the wait. Joan apparently isn't comfortable owning up to being the one getting the "procedure".

28:00 - Lucky Strike is ditching SCDP? This doesn't bode well for Don's defense department issues.

31:00 - Don is officially losing it! Not good, but exciting. Well, as exciting

33:30 - Jesus Christ! Lane's dad cold-clocked him with his cane and threatened him unless he fixed his life. THAT's a hardass father.

35:30 - Pete whining about how the honest people have to cover for the liars is pretty sweet. I guess he forgot about the nanny from down the hall.

39:45 - Faye passes the "Korea test". Unfortunately, now Pete knows they're sleeping together.

44:00 - I guess you can't say "fucked up" on AMC. I'm amazed Pete actually took that tirade for Don. Wow.

46:40 - So, Don's got a thing for Megan, eh? Smart move, taking interest in another secretary now that Faye knows the secret. No risk there!

This is developing into quite an interesting end to the season. I was completely wrong about the title, unsurprisingly.  Will Don face his past or keep running? Will Megan be the next stop on the race? And will Sally still have a voice after screaming for 2 hours straight?  This would've been a classic, but it has the feel of an episode that's an appetizer rather than delivering a full meal.  Especially as it seems the potentially great storyline of Lane and his black girlfriend seems to be buried, as does a Joan pregnancy.
Verdict: B

* I originally heard this as the incredibly offensive "jungle bunny" but Lane is apparently less of a jackhole than I'd thought. My bad!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Outsourced Live Blogging: Pilot

It's supposed to be the most offensive new show on TV -- how could I not watch it? If you know anything about me, you know I love two things: offensive humor and the wrong women*. All Offensiveness Ratings (OR) will be on a scale of 10, with 1 being "you jerk!" and 10 being "Go **&* yourself, you *(&^ *&$#!" So, here we go!

1:00 - Wait, it's his first day back from management training and he's wearing a corduroy jacket and his tie is loose? Not a good sign.

1:40 - OK, they score some points for having Arthur Bryant's BBQ. Damn that makes me hungry. Risotto with bresaola is great, but I do miss good ribs.

2:00 - "It's like Frogger, but with real people!" OR: 1.3

3:30 - If the angry-looking Sikh had gotten up and assassinated the boss, that would have been simultaneously the most intelligent joke of the night AND an OR of 10! Instead, he just looks angry which is OR: 3

4:20 - "Your name is Manmeet? It must be hard to chat on the internet with a name like Manmeet" OR: 6. Really working the name/accent stereotypes here, they're going to need to up their game if they want to make it truly reprehensive.

5:30 - Cow outside the window, OR: 2. "I guess you don't have to go far for the creamer" and raised eyebrow/hand gesture combo, OR: 4

7:10 - "Do you hate your own ass?" If I hadn't lived abroad in 3 countries,
OR: 6. Having done so, and had stomach problems on arrival in all 3, OR: 3.

9:00 - "They're all descended from convicts. God, I love Australian women"
OR: 5. Think I'm overstating? Try it as an opening line the next time you meet an Aussie.

10:30 - Avoiding the creepy guy that talks your ear off?
OR: 0 . This is a necessary life skill.

14:30 - This whole bit with Indians not understanding that Americans just waste their money on a bunch of crap? Unfunny AND
OR: 7. Not to Indians, but to the millions of Americans who've devoted their lives to convincing the rest of the world to be as materialistic and shallow as us. They lost a lot of good men out there!

15:30 - "We're in Detroit, city of motors and black people!" Following the "K is for Krishna" bit,
OR: 6

16:00 - Wanting to fire a woman just because she's lower caste? Even for the office jackhole, this is
OR: 8

18:15 - Office nerd singing and dancing to "Don'cha"?
OR: 2, and that's for the dated song. Tik Tok would've been fine.

19:00 - Rajiv trying to suck up while not knowing who the Bad News Bears are?
OR: 0. Finishing with "Who wants a bear in their village?" OR: 5

So, overall? I actually didn't think it was anywhere as bad as predicted. Actually, as an American living abroad, the jackass American was as offensive as anything else in the show (but also, unfortunately, not completely unreasonable -- like several of the other offensive jokes). The show was also funniest when not dealing in stereotypes but instead working with the idea of the B team loser dynamic, which is, without a doubt, definitely an issue in outsourcing.
Verdict: C+,
OR: 5.2

* No, not you**.
** Not you, either***.
*** Yep, you.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mad Men Live Blogging - Season 4.9: The Beautiful Girls

2:00 - Don and Dr. Freud having some Afternoon Delight! Niiiiiiiice.

3:30 - Don leaves her at his place? And no slapping? AND he's sober? It's a whole new world for Don!

4:45 - First the publisher, then Joan shoots him down?

5:45 - Telling Peggy to wait so he can have a post-coital nap? Don's mojo is back, baby!*

10:15 - Peggy is taking ethics lessons from a guy out of "West Side Story"? "Most of the things negroes can't do, I can't do either." Touché!

13:15 - Good to see Joan is turning down Roger's attempt to use Dr. Rapist's move to Vietnam to hook up.

16:45 - Hooray for Sally!

19:15 - I'm thinking printing an essay that will get a woman fired is not flattery as much crazy.

20:05 - Holy crap! Blankenship's dead? This is turning into a screwball 60s comedy. But the reaction on Ken's face when Pete and Joan wheel her out is priceless.

25:15 - Is the hot French secretary going to try to move into Don's life?

27:15 - A promise? Really? You know she has truth issues?

28:30 - "Every time I think back, all the good stuff was with you." OK, that's a good line. I'm using that the next time I want to get back with an ex.**

30:15 - Jebus, Roger -- you didn't want to take a cab in NY-fing-C because "it's a beautiful night"?!? Are you a moron?

31:15 - Apparently, not. I had no idea Joan was turned on by getting mugged. I guess the neighborhood is more romantic and less a dump after surviving a stick up.

33:30 - Sally is making French Toast? Though I'm a bit worried that Don is continuing to eat his rum-covered breakfast.

36:45 - Don is, thankfully, sober. And Megan is taking over his desk? That could be an issue. Aaaaannnddd apparently the peanut gallery agrees.

38:45 - Peggy's audition as the office liberal was not so successful.

40:45 - Megan is good with Sally! She's not officially a dark horse candidate for the next Mrs. Draper.

42:15 - Megan is also into Don. Big time. Wow. Or is it that she wants kids?

44:15 - And Faye "didn't really sleep"? Is that related to her dinner plans from the previous night?

45:15 - Joyce is kind of giving Peggy the lesbian hard-sell, isn't she?

46:45 - I like the ending, with the new trio of office women. Note that only the single woman looks even vaguely happy. Faye looks like Blankenship died because of her bad mothering skills.

Verdict: The zany nature of the episode took quite a turn with Sally's tantrum. I'm not sure about introducing another hot brunette secretary that's in love with Don, but maybe she'll be a good counterpart to Faye. Speaking of whom, this episode made her appear far more vulnerable, which is not normally Don's cup of tea. I don't think it bodes well for them. Still, very good...

* Yes, George, I'm using your "baby" now.
** If you're an ex, I mean you, not those other tramps. Bitches, all of them. Only you, baby.

Did Lack Of Spandex Cause My Ankle Injury?

I went in for my post-surgery checkup last week. This involved changing the bandages, poking at the stitches to make sure they were incredibly sensitive*, and updating me on the prognosis. Being a nerd with illusions of athleticism, I asked when I could play sports again. Dr. Helpful Surgeon said, "You shouldn't play football** or frisbee again, or this could recur. You should try another sport -- like swimming, cycling or skating. If football is a religion for you, you can keep playing, but I wouldn't."

My response:

  • WTF?
  • Wait, no ultimate?
  • Seriously, WTF?
  • Why is it that all the sports he recommends seem to require being clad only in spandex***? Did he forget to mention jazzercise?

Fortunately, my regular orthopaedist was back this week, and he said I could return to playing normally later this year, as long as I get in shape first. Apparently, I'm now what doctors call "old" and I need to "accept" this and "stop thinking I'm in my 20s". The hot nurse added that I should "stop thinking I could date women in their 20s", but I think she was kidding.
* Sweet Jebus, were they ever.
** Soccer. I'm not so homesick that I would consider playing tackle football. I'm still not a fan of pain.
*** Especially in Germany. Germans LOVE wearing full-body spandex outfits to go biking or skating.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Jets Harassment - She Was Asking For It? WTF?

After the Jets players and coaches acted like frat boys toward Inés Sainz, I expected fairly universal condemnation. And there was, except that the target of the condemnation was NOT universal. Ashley Fox and Jemele Hill said, basically, "The Jets were jerks, buuuuuut because Sainz had previously done fluff pieces at the Super Bowl AND she was dressed to kill, she shares the blame." WTF? To be fair, Hill went the route of saying (and I'm paraphrasing), "I'm not saying she shares the blame, but she needs to realize that women sports reporters have to dress conservatively, or they risk harassment." This is smart -- she condemns the behavior while also implying that Sainz was partially at fault. But since it's an implication, she is covered in case someone* accuses them of blaming the victim.

Fox, meanwhile, goes further and explicitly says (and here I AM quoting), "frankly, she brought the Jets' behavior on herself." What? I thought being a jackass was the responsibility of the jackass, not the object of the jackassery?

It's good to know that pro football players are being held to a higher standard -- than adultering men under Sharia law. Rant over!

* like, say, me

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Actually Feel Sorry For Rush. Kind Of.

Apparently, at least one of Rush Limbaugh's "fact checkers" isn't just lazy, s/he's a liar, too. After doing some intense "research" on Wikipedia, the jackhole* in question didn't fess up to his/her source, but instead claimed to have used the original article cited -- an article that never existed. Of course, the "facts" cited were so believable that no further checking seemed necessary -- who hasn't seen a federal judge with three bear's heads mounted in the courtroom to “instill the fear of God into the accused” ?

So, if you're keeping score at home, Rush is kind of a victim here, as it was a lying fact checker that screwed up, BUT Rush wasn't smart enough to smell bullshit on such obvious Wikifraudery. So, kind of a mixed bag for everyone's (least) favorite obese, ill-informed, hypocritical blowhard.

* Relax, it's a gender-neutral term.

Celebrate - Mexico-Style!

Apparently Ronaldo 1.0 isn't the only soccer player with a thing* for transvestite prostitues -- Mexico national teamers Carlos Vela and Carlos Salcido celebrated a 1-0 victory over Columbia with a party with "family and friends"... and 15 sex workers. They'd dropped plans for a night out "due to security fears". And what makes you more secure than a cozy night in with loved ones -- and those paid to be loved?

* Or, to be fair, the only one unable to distinguish garden-variety female hookers from those that are packin' a package.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

That Was A Mistake

A friend recently recommended an Arkanoid-like game on the App Store, and that made me think, "maybe the original Arkanoid is available?" I NEVER should have wondered this, because then I wouldn't be hooked on fing Arkanoid. Ugh. Only a few more levels!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Self-Portraits Are NOT Easy

Sure, I didn't cut off an ear or anything, but the seemingly-simple process of taking a self-portrait is actually rather complex. Sadly, this was BEFORE any Belgian beer was ingested for the day.

Brussels Beer Fest 2010 - The Fun

FBers go HERE for photos.

So, you've* seen the photos of the beer, but what about the fun? Well, wait no longer, the photos are ready!

* The "you" in question is Steve, the Official Reader of JTInGermany.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mad Men Live Blogging - Season 4.8: The Summer Man

After last week's SPECTACULAR Don-Peggy episode, this one looks like a doozy -- Betty & the fam, Joanie and Dr. Rapist, Dr. Freudian Dream and more Peggy? Yes, please!

2:00 - Don swims laps? Not very well, apparently. And writes in a diary? About his drinking? Let's hope he's turning the corner.

4:00 - Rocking a cigarette machine back and forth? Is this a metaphor for breaking up?

5:00 - I think some of the Jersey Shore cast members are smarter than Joey. What kind of moron freelance copywriter is dumb enough to mess with Joan? To quote Frank Sinatra, Joan's got "chunks of guys tougher than you in my stool."* I do like Rizzo mooning them in the background, though. A pressed ham is rarely NOT funny.

5:45 - On the other hand, telling ANYONE that they "look like you're trying to get raped" is never funny. Not even in 1965. Then to say she looks like a "madam from a Shanghai whorehouse"? Ugh. I hope he's 1-A when Johnson ramps up the draft.

8:45 - Seeing Joan breakdown because Dr. Clueless doesn't understand her work situation is heartbreaking. On the bright side, the DO use live ammo at basic training...

12:00 - As disconcerting as it is to hear Don writing in his diary (journal? proto-memoirs?), him staring at the booze is much worse. I think this season is sponsored by AA.

15:10 - Was Joey being hit on? Or is Harry just too nice? I'm betting the latter. But Joey has Mommy issues and is a jackass? Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

16:10 - "Every date feels like a first date with you." Tom Hanks gets this a lot, too.

18:30 - "The governor is putting together a team with his eye on '72" - I thought overly-early campaigning is a new thing. But 7 years? Not even Teddy Kennedywould need that long to get ready.

19:00 - Nothing makes for a more rewarding date than seeing your ex rush to the bathroom in an emotional fit. "I hate him." "Hate's a strong word, Betty. I hate Nazis." Thanks for clearing that up, champ.

21:00 - Betty needs to work on her throwing-the-man-out skills. Such an amateur.

21:40 - Don's double standard! So, it's a problem when the woman is pushy wanting more time, but when her taking charge leads to a BJ, that's ok? Oh, right.

23:15 - For any of you thinking of getting into a relationship in the 60s, remember, phone booths might SEEM private, but everyone can hear you.

25:45 - "You need three ingredients for a cocktail. Vodka and Mountain Dew is an emergency." Yes, and it's called finals week.

27:00 - "Peggy Olsen - pioneering the science of Wet Blanketry". I like it. I like it a lot.

30:00 - "Remember, you're not dying for me, because I never liked you." Dammit, is Joan going to fall apart, too?

34:30 - Don gets shot down AND gets a date. Dr. Freud is a complex woman.

36:00 - Every time I think Peggy and Joan might bond, this happens. Joan's right, though -- Peggy did kind of kneecap her on this.

39:30 - "You smell nice." "So do you. Like... chlorine?" Did chlorine smell better in 1965?

40:15 - Is Dr. Freud's dad in the mob?

41:30 - Is Don getting a date AND free therapy? Though Dr. Freud is far sexier at work -- the demure look doesn't wear well on her.

46:00 - A kids version of "Big Rock Candy Mountain"? It's cool that timeless hobo classics can be kept alive for the next generation. Of hobos.

Verdict? Another great episode, mainly because DON HAS PULLED IT TOGETHER. Or so we can hope. The big three of Peggy, Joan and Don all had big moments, but Joan seems to be going down. Hopefully the impending loss of Dr. Rapist will spur a rebound for her, too. Still, 2 out of 3 isn't bad. No Roger, and only a single Pete line, but still good.

* Damn, I love that skit.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Basketball World Championships Live Blogging: USA - Lithuania 1st Half

The Russian Bear is down, and now Lithuania looms. Can the USA B-Team keep it up? Is it true that Kevin Durant and Kevin Love have agreed to sing a duet of "Ebony and Ivory" if the team wins gold? Will the cognitive dissonance of switching from "The Constant Gardner" to international hoops be too much for your intrepid live blogger? Can I bring the requisite snark with no beer at hand? So many questions!

5:50pm - I gotta say, the Lithuanians have some hot fans. I'm curious what the Russian crowd looked like.

5:55pm - I could definitely have lived without the extreme closeup on Coach K. Thank God I don't have an HD tuner.

6:00pm - I wonder how Kevin Durant feels to be called the second-best player at the tournament?

6:02pm - We have our 1st Dirk commercial! Hopefully the pregame is done and we can get to the hoops.

9:40Q1 - Billups has his man up in the air on a pump-fake and politely waits for him to get reset before forcing the missed three. Then he gets blocked on the next possession. Say hello to Big Shot Chauncey!

7:00Q1 - Apparently the Lithuanians' scouting report didn't say, "Don't leave Durant wide open for 3".

5:00Q1 - It also apparently forgot to mention, "Don't let Durant get the -and 1".

4:30Q1 - Dirk commercial #2! And after the LTU (are they sponsored by the airline?) timeout, all 5 players sprint down to stop the fast break as soon as the LTU shot is in the air. I wonder what they discussed during the TO?

2:30Q1 - It's hard to fault the announcer for calling the USA D "unbelievably aggressive" -- if he's only seen regular season NBA hoops.

1:25Q1 - Rudy Gay is so happy to not be in Memphis that he's smiling as he's called for a stupid foul on a half-assed box out.

Q1 Over! - Dirk #3! Aside from Durant, the USA looks pretty horrible on offense. Think the USA World Cup team without Donovan and Dempsey. It would've been unembarassing if Westbrook had been more concerned with scoring than throwing down a monster dunk. The timeout dancers aren't bad, though.

5:35Q2 - It's been a snoozer with the 2nd teams in. The USA's "offense" is now 1 pass, 1 headfake, then a chuck or a drive. It's basically the Princeton offense. The Princeton Middle School, not Princeton University.

5:23Q2 - If you're going to have HUGE arms (hellllooooo, cycling!) and a shark tattoo, you should probably not toss up an airball on your free throw. Maybe swap out the biceps work for some FT practice?

2:45Q2 - Westbrook with the LeBron! A great come-from-behind swat. His O has been sketchy, but he's a hell of a defender. As is Iguodola.

2:15Q2 - Kleiza just tried the Wesley Snipes ball fake from "White Men Can't Jump". It didn't work.

Halftime - Dirk #6 (I skipped a few)! The USA got their act together, but we look sadly ineffective if Durant isn't getting it done. However, it's a 17-point game, so I'm not going to live blog the 2nd half. You'll get over it, though.

Public Idiocy, Part 73

One of the great things about the tinterwebs is that it allows people of no talent to embarrass themselves publicly to an extent never before seen in human history. In the past, you could be a no-talent-ass-clown in front of a few hundred people -- if you were lucky. But now? Tens of thousands, if not millions, of people can see you humiliate yourself. It's awesome. So, enjoy.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Delicate Genius Double Standard

As my friends know, I do LOOOOOVE double standards*. The visionary George Costanza ranted about the "delicate genius has a policy!" of 24 hours cancellation that only applies to the patient, I had a similar experience this week with my physical therapist. Just like George, I was late on Thursday by 10 minutes due to my doctor's appointment running late. The PT (physio) was pretty annoyed and said my session would be reduced by 10 minutes. Cut to today, and SHE is late by 10 minutes. Of course, this is No Big Deal. However, the session was still cut a bit short. You'll all be proud that i did NOT go off on a rant, though. I picked up my crutches and quietly gimped my way out.

* Seriously, I do like the ones that favor me. That's my own, personal double standard.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Brussels Beer Fest 2010 - The Beers

FBers go HERE for photos!

So, our plans of attending all 3 days of the beer festival were changed due to factors both in and out* of our control. But we made the most of it on Saturday**. So here are the beers. The hilarity will follow in a subsequent post (in the blogging world, that's called "milking it").

* Friday traffic
** That's the factor in our control that caused us to skip Sunday.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Mad Men Live Blogging - Season 4.7: The Suitcase

Last week's episode rocked, but Don fell further. Any chance of that changing tonight? I doubt it.

1:15 - JFC, they get to go to Clay - Liston? Bastards.

2:30 - And winner of the most racist comment of the season goes to Mrs. Clueless for, "If I wanted to see two negroes fight, I'd throw a dollar bill out my window." After the anti-Semitic jokes a minute ago, I'm wondering why anyone misses the 60s. Well, anyone other than white males.

4:20 - Apparently even sober Don is a dick.

4:40 - And on Peggy's birthday, no less. At least one of the drunk, out of control ad men in her life remembered. Hi Duck!

6:30 - "Peg, I'm falling apart. Don't you know you're the last thing that made me feel good about myself?" That doesn't fly with Peggy. He should try a woman with no self-esteem.

8:00 - Don refuses to return an urgent phone call from CA and then begs out of dinner because the AA guys will be there? Not good.

11:00 - Trudy likes Peggy! And then ruins it by saying, "26 is still very young"

16:30 - What a beatdown -- trapped in the office with your boss. And your apparently teenaged boyfriend is whining. At least the gang is only going to a closed-circuit replay and not the actual fight.

20:00 - Peggy is skipping out on the boyfriend and the family for drunk Don? The family I can understand. But Archie?

21:30 - Way to go, Archie! Dumping Peggy on her birthday! Over the phone! That's the equivalent of an SMS breakup today.

24:15 - Peggy's hardass facade is, apparently, just a facade. Damn Don.

26:30 - Listening to Roger's memoirs is bad enough -- laughing at Bert Cooper's orchiectomy* is not cool. I guess that partially explains the portliness.

28:30 - Was it me, or did Don look terrified when the phone rang?

31:30 - Change of location, this could get awkward.

33:00 - Whew, the talk about Peggy and Allison seems to have killed chances of Don making another major mistake

35:00 - OK, his first pickup line was NOT the worst ever. "I need you so bad" after being stopped in the middle of taking a dump in your nemesis's office**

37:30 - Duck's a good figher for a drunk. And Don being forced to say "Uncle" is so humiliating.

39:45 - Is Don hallucinating or did he really just see her spirit?

43:30 - Don breaking down is not easy to see.

46:00 - I think Don just said thanks and sorry when he held Peggy's hand.

Vedict: Another strong episode! Though I was pretty scared that Don was going to wet himself after his aborted brawl with Duck. The big question: how will his dynamic with Peggy change now that she's seen just how fragile he is? Also, will we get to see more of Megan? She's very hot. I mean, talented. So, horrible birthday, great episode. It gets an:

* "Inguinal orchiectomy (also spelled orchidectomy) is a surgical procedure to remove a testicle and the full spermatic cord through an incision in the abdomen" - Thanks, Wiki!
** Actually, NOT his office

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Weddings: Dijon

Photos from Kenn & Laura's wedding in Dijon. Artillery, puppet shows, and booze -- it has it all! Also general jackassery and snark, of course.

FBers go HERE for photos.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Travel: Lyon

For some reason, I decided, without consulting a map, that Lyon was close to Dijon. Why Dijon? A friend got hitched there over the weekend, and I needed to fly there. It turns out that Paris is closer, but this way I got to see what is rumored to be the culinary capital of France. The food was tasty, but not spectacular. Though I have to admit, while I've enjoyed almost every French meal in France, I've only been blown away once or twice. Probably because of my Asian stomach.

Anyway, photos. FBers go HERE.