Thursday, August 28, 2008

Top 5 TV Screen Teachers

1. The teachers from SNL: Alec Baldwin as a French teacher; Gilda Radner as Emily Litela, the substitute teacher; Will Ferrel and Ana Gasteyer as choir teachers, etc. Apparently skewering teachers works best in 3 minute sketches. These are all hilarious. I wish SNL didn't take their stuff off youtube so I could link to these, but there is a Live with Gilda Radner clip on there.
2. Mrs. Crabapple on The Simpsons. So bitter, so hilarious, and during her and Skinner's courtship, so heartbreaking.
3. Snake on Degrassi. Snake's one of two remaining links to the original Degrassi. Uber cute during the "Everybody Wants Something" days; uber-goober now.
4. Ben Stein on Wonder Years. Ben Stein's just doing the same bit he did in Ferris Bueller, but it's still funny. Sometimes it's the subtext for some sexual tension.
5. The math teacher on Freaks and Geeks. Not only does this guy really remind me of my Algebra 3/4 teacher, but he also is the star of the greatest deleted scene in the whole set. Basically Ken confides in him about some really confused thoughts about his sexuality.

Note: There are no coaches or principals on this list. That is a separate list. Honorable Mention: I've only seen a single episode of season 4 of the Wire, but I'm going to put Prez on here and hope he doesn't kill any kids. Image: care of here. Which makes it harder to forget that Stein was a speech writer for Nixon and is an intelligent design guy now. That said, the Nixon years pale in comparison to the Bush years eh?

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Misfits is pretty

but incredibly overwrought. I'm surprised it's not the poster child for vegan hipster melancholia.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tilden Menken-Katz

It's been a while since I just posted Mad Men pictures for no reason. This week's episode was amazing. I'm really enjoying the Peggy story line this season, and her and Don's interactions this week were transcendent. The two weeks before that were pretty amazing too, though I'm still conflicted about the two moments of violence. I'm not sure if this discomfort is due to how the show handled them, or based mostly on fan reaction. On a more light-hearted note, Rachel Menken Katz's dress is awesome, the only Tilden I know is this Jewish if not more so, and Colin Hanks is incredibly endearing as the Jesuit priest. (Holla Roswell!) Images care of the MM blog and What's Alan Watching.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008


Friday, August 22, 2008

Top 5 TV Shows about TV

This week's Filmspotting theme was movies about movies. Here are TV shows about TV.

1. Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary Richards works for the Minneapolis news with all the characters you expect. The cranky drunken boss; the vain in-front-of-camera whoever; the bitter, probably gay guy; and slightly sane Mary, who we can all identify with. I mean, they really haven't had to change this formula much. It was perfect coming out of the gate.

2. 30 Rock. And Tina Fey has brought back MTM-perfect really well. This show is absurdly funny, with a loving but skewering take on the single-girl-in-the-TV-industry theme. (image magically from google).

3. Seinfeld. I really enjoyed the ongoing pilot-plot on Seinfeld. It's kind of insane to think about everything that spun off from those few episodes--most obviously Susan, but also all mocking Ted Danson is now a regular theme on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

4. The Office (UK). So I can't actually remember if the documentary crew documenting the office on The Office works for BBC or not, but I'm pretty sure it does. Ricky Gervais is a brilliant brilliant man. I wish reality tv was half as good as the Office in real life.

5. The Real World, San Francisco. And this is the only reality tv that comes close to half as good as the Office. Okay it definitely better than half as good. Puck is of course memorable, Pedro is heartbreaking, and the other castmates seemed to be living legitimate lives, something not seen on reality tv in the many years since.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008


Stephan hates embroidery, but I love it. I want to to put lots of it in our house for the double pleasure of doing the needlework and of spiting Stephan. That said, it is hard to find stuff that is decent. I like the British or primitive-inspired cross-stitch and the contemporary art embroidery. Here are some of my favorites from cottonblue's etsy shop via The Small Object, Sublime Stitching, AnnieOakleaves' etsy shop, and fromThe Historic Needlework Guild.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I'm a huge fan of pleating, in its many forms, in fashion at the moment. Here are some of my favorites, from here, here, here, and here.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Best of You Tube, Part II

The above commercial featuring my childhood friend and this video, via kottke, is a great anecdote about the beams of New College, Oxford. It really is great enough that I'm going to watch the rest of this.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Recent Politics

I feel like a lot of momentous events have taken place recently.

Musharraf resigned.
Obama will announce his VP Wednesday.
The Russia and Georgia conflict.
Striking workers at Disney World are just a reminder of how bad the economy is.

I hope this all ends well.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fine Lines

A friend recently told me about this weekly feature at Jezebel. Basically every Friday, they discuss a young adult book popular circa 1975-1990, including Little House in the Big Woods, A Wrinkle in Time, Deenie, The Westing Game, Jacob Have I Loved, etc. So awesome. That said, these posts still aren't as cool as a children's book club. Image from here.


Thursday, August 14, 2008


The Bush administration really does terrify me.

"Dear MoveOn member,
Can you imagine living in a place where birth control is considered an "abortion" and health insurers won't cover it? Where even rape victims are denied emergency contraception?

It seems unbelievable, but the Bush Administration is quietly trying to redefine "abortion" to include birth control. The Houston Chronicle says this could wipe out dozens of state laws that protect women's reproductive freedom and protect rape victims. Access to basic health care for millions of women would be jeopardized. And it's being pushed as a "rule change"—meaning, it doesn't need congressional approval.

Can you sign an emergency message to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, whose department is considering this rule change right now? Tell him: "Contraception is NOT abortion. The Bush Administration's proposal to change the definition of abortion and reduce women's access to birth control must be stopped."

Clicking here will add your name to this message:

The best way to beat back this proposal is to show Secretary Leavitt massive public outrage—that's why today we're launching this petition jointly with Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Together, we'll deliver every signature to Leavitt. You can help add to our momentum by forwarding this message to friends.

Here's what some others are saying about this proposal:
"The draft regulation would define birth control as could deny access to critical family planning for women across the country."—Letter signed by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and 26 other senators.

"The draft rule could void laws in 27 states that require insurance companies to provide birth control coverage for women requesting it [and] laws in 14 states requiring that rape victims receive counseling and access to emergency, day-after contraceptives."—Houston Chronicle editorial

"The administration needs to stop playing word games with women's health and state clearly they will reject any regulations that will undermine women's access to basic health care."—Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

"[It's] a spectacular act of complicity with the religious right..." —RH Reality Check, Information and Analysis for Reproductive Health.

"The birth control pill, the IUD, and emergency contraception might all become unavailable—illegal—as a result."—Brigid Riley, executive director of a Minnesota teen pregnancy prevention organization.

Can you help send a loud message to Secretary Leavitt that birth control is NOT abortion? Clicking here will sign your name:
Thanks for all you do.
–Nita, Laura, Patrick S., Adam G., and the rest of the team"


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Top 5 'On the Run' TV shows

I don't know. I feel like maybe making this a tv series is no good. There just aren't as many tv shows as movies. And yeah, there's a lot more episodes, but it seems I don't really remember a lot of episodes. So basically you're going to get Veronica Mars, Battlestar Gallactica, or Freaks and Geeks in every list. But I'm hanging in there for now. The Filmspotting theme this week was Top 5 'On the Run' movies, so without delay . . . here's my Top 5 'On the Run' tv series:

1. Battlestar Galactica. Damn are these guys on the run. There's, you know, like 40,000 people left or whatever. And cylons are on the hunt. I've talked about this one like 30 times. I don't have a whole lot else to say, other than it's awesome.
2. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I wasn't sure I liked this series at first, but it really grew on me this season. Summer Glau is awesome as Cameron. And for some reason, I freaking love Brian Austin Green in it. I'm such a dork.
3. The Incredible Hulk. I barely remember this series, but it's famous in Stephan's family for being a source of terror in his youth. His dad would entice young Stephan into the room by telling him a show about a scientist was on, then Bruce Banner would turn into the hulk, and Stephan would FREAK. I just remember being sad that Bruce Banner had to move on every week even though he had made great friends.
4. Firefly. I guess scifi likes this trope since 4 of 5 on this list are scifi. Or I like scifi. I don't know. Anyway, this is another Summer Glau appearance, but the rest of the cast is just as good. I never did Buffy, but this show set me on the Joss Whedon bandwagon.
5. Belle and Sebastian. This was one of my favorite shows as a kid. Sebastien went looking for his mom with only his big dog Belle and his tiny dog named Poochie for company. An inspector was after him. Stephan are you listening??? (This website has a recap and picture of all the classic Nick shows. Awesome!)

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Michael Kors

My favorite of the Michael Kors show. Not that these are inspired by Mad Men and Alfred Hitchcock or anything.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

10 year reunion

Stephan and I attended our 10 year reunion this year, which was awesome. Even Stephan very grumblingly enjoyed it. Bullet points:

* Apparently back in 1998, Stephan and I got voted one of four couples most likely to get married. When that was read aloud, Stephan's name was mispronounced.
* We were the only people there even resembling hipsters. Even I seemed hipster-ish, which is saying a lot.
* A lot of the "preppy" kids from back in the day still thought it was back in the day.
* More people remembered me than I expected.
* Fewer people than I expected attended.
* Lots of people still want to nail the people they wanted to nail in high school. A few want to nail new people.
* Really the best part was seeing our friend R, who we haven't seen in two years. It's made me very sentimental.
* The reunion is not very bloggable on a secret blog when the audience wouldn't know any of the people I would blog about anyway. But it's been very fun to gossip about lots of people after all these years.


Maya + P.T.

That baby Maya Rudolph was obviously preggers with on SNL a few years ago? P.T. Anderson's. Somehow I missed that these two were together. Last I knew P.T. was with Fiona Apple. Fiona Apple seems fine, but I Love Maya Rudolph. I like P.T. Anderson so much more now that I know this. Thank you Big Screen Little Screen for making me like There Will Be Blood in a whole different way.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Swan Song amendment

I can't believe I didn't put Mr. Hooper from Sesame Street or Coach from Cheers on my Swan Song top 5. I literally couldn't think of anyone other than Peter Boyle or John Ritter who died mid-tv show, and both passed away doing less than their best work. But now that I remember these two guys, they absolutely deserve to be on my swan song top 5. I was reminded of both of these guys by this article. Picture courtesy of this website.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

My personal Best of Chicago

Fancy Mexican: Flo
Late night Mexican: Picante
Indian: Bhabi's
Moderate sushi: Sushi X
Expensive sushi: Tank
Fancy hot dog: Hot Doug's
Regular hot dog: Odge's
Fancy sandwiches: Jerry's
Regular sandwiches: Lucia's
Frozen yogurt: Red Mango
Stationary: Paper Doll, Paper Boy, Paper Source
Toys: Rotofugi
Gifts: RR1 and its sister store Komoda
Gelato: Piccolo
Grocery: Strack and Von Til
Veggies: Hyde Park Produce Market
Pool: Holstein Park
Bar: Happy Village
Super used books: Brown Elephant
Used books: Powell's HP
New books: the Seminary Coop
Putt putt: the Bunny Hutch
Yarn: Loopy
Buttons: Soutache
Ribbon and fabric: Vogue
Boutique: Penelope's
Butcher: Ream's
Flea Market: Kane County
Antiques: the three stores on Broadway and Oakton Street Antique mall
Festival: Renegade Craft Fair in September
Photobooths: Skylark and Rainbow Room
Fish and chips: Duke of Perth
Thai: Spoon
Farmer's Market: Oak Park
Furniture: Ikea
Plants: Sprout
Coffee shop: Lovely
Mediteranean: Cedars
Chicago style pizza: Giordano's
Fancy pizza: Spacca Nopoli

free movies in the park: Tuesdays in Grant Park
$6 movie plus free popcorn: Tuesdays at the theater on Western
$1 mini burgers: Wednesdays at High Dive
free entrance to Lincoln Park Zoo
free entrance to Holstein Park pool
Newberry book sale in July
Church sale in September
Free admission to the Art Institute in February
$3 admission to second run movies: Logan Square Theater
Millennium Park

map care of here

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Top 5 TV Fictional Swan Songs *Spoilers*

The official Filmspotting Top 5 this week features actors' last performances, but given the nature of television and television acting careers, I've converted this into a top 5 list of characters who fictionally pass away, with the exception listed in no. 1 below.

1. Mad Men--Pete's dad. I just watched this episode two days ago, but it really is amazing. As mentioned in my last post. (Aigh, it is becoming a Mad Men blog). And it's the only one on the list where the actor has in fact passed away. He played an unforgivable character, but he did so masterfully. A touching tribute to his memory.
2. Curb Your Enthusiasm--Larry's mom. We might as well get a little humor on here. It seems like this episode is over the top, but in fact the part where Larry's dad didn't tell Larry his mom passed away so as not to bother him really happened to my dad. His uncle passed away, and he only found out by accident because his mom didn't want to bother him.
3. Deadwood--Wild Bill Hickok. Wild Bill seems like the only man on the planet who could have stopped everything that came after in Deadwood. It's kind of silly to think he could have stopped Jane's descent into alcoholism, much less the rise of corporate capitalism. But he certainly seemed like he could have.
4. The Wire--Stringer Bell. I've referred to the Wire as Shakespearean and Bell's death at Avon Barksdale's hands is most of what makes it so. It lives up to the three-season build-up it's given.
5. Veronica Mars--Logan's mom. I never would have thought you could redeem a character like Logan Echols, but his mom's death--and his refusal to believe it--made him downright lovable.

Thanks for an irreverent image for a sad list.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Mad Men

This week's episode of "Mad Men" was amazing. This blog is going to turn into a "Mad Men" blog if I don't watch it. A "Mad Men" plus "Middleman" blog since "The Middleman" was great this week too. I don't know how they get away with this stuff on ABC Family. I really really hope it doesn't get cancelled. Maybe if I blog it more, it will survive. Other than that thing where I don't have any readers. Summer tv overall is pretty great this year: "Mad Men," "The Middleman," and "Project Runway." If "Project Runway" is number 3 on any list, there's something good happening. Thank you, HouseNextDoor in PinkRayGun for the pics.


Sunday, August 03, 2008

New Bed

We have a new bed. It is so nice. It is also so tall. I am embarrassed by how tall it is. Edmund Dulac put it best in this image, found at Alice in Wonderland.

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