Sunday, January 27, 2008

Daughtry on A.I.

Chris Daughtry has recently taken some heat for saying negative things about American Idol, the show that gave him his start. He said things like "I don’t know how many people actually take it serious" and "I think that people get tired of seeing the people that suck." Two comments:

1. Nobody takes AI seriously when it comes to music. Nobody ever did. Daughtry may feel that they did when HE was on it, but that is delusional. AI is TV phenomenon, NOT a forum for music talent. (If it's all about the music to you, then you probably love karaoke too.) AI is one of it not the most successful show on TV right now, and it's not because of music. I would argue that it's the competition of the show that draws people in, much less than the actual singing. The contestants that make it in music after AI get as far away from the show as possible; they don't stay connected to the TV show. As Daughtry himself says, ex-Idols have "had to work our butts off to prove that, you know, we’re beyond that."

2. People will never get tired of seeing people that suck. It's not about watching bad people sing. It's watching bad people sing who believe that they are amazing get judged and seeing their reaction. The appeal goes beyond laughing at others. We see these people take a chance on a dream in which they have a huge emotional investment. We see real emotion out of these people, good or bad. The celebrations are as interesting as the breakdowns because it is literally a "dream come true" or "the end of a dream." There's a truth in the moments when the judges speak. A roll of the eye can say so much.

This doesn't get boring because it's a brand new experience for each person that walks into the audition room. It's a brand new set of variables for each contestant. The entire premise of the show might get boring (like a flipping a coin over and over again), but the people will be as unique as everyone that audtions.

It's for these reasons that I love American Idol. Yes, I will admit it. But I only care about the auditions because that's the most interesting part. By the time we get to the top 10, I've checked out. Luckilly, I live with a woman who still watches it, so I get see who gets kicked off each week.

Why is Everybody Picking on NYC?

Because that's what sells overseas. Americans may get freaked by seeing NYC destroyed in what seems like every move (I Am Legend, Cloverfield, Spiderman, etc). But with the international revenue stream being so important, the studios need an easily recognizable city as a backdrop.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

One More Video

This is funny. I laughed so hard I cried. Some one came over and asked if I was ok, and I needed a few moments to answer them.

Before the show was picked up by Nickelodeon, they had made one of the characters mentally challenged. They changed the voice after just one episode.


Bring Your Daughter To Work Day

Harley had a very important meeting on Tuesday (a focus group that pays $400), so she brough Lilah to work so I could watch her. Shouldn't be a problem. I've brought her to work a few times and it's always been good. People like seeing kids and it was only an hour.

I then learned just how much Lilah has grown. She was screaming and yelling the whole time. She wanted to play with my computer and screamed when I moved it. I walked her around and she screamed and squirmed the whole time. She was tired but couldn't sleep. She didn't want me to hold her but didn't want to be on the floor. Oy vey.

I was eventually banished to a conference room where I could close the door and let her roam. After I told her not to bang the porcelain mugs together, I decided it was time to watch Backyardigans on YouTube (couldn't find any video on

We watched the same 9 minute clip over and over again while we ate our lunch (salad with chicken, core, veggies, chickpeas, and cheese). I was able to have half my screen on YouTube and the other half open for emails.

The hour dragged on to 2 hours. Eventually, Mommy came and rescued me. I was sad to see them go but was actually relieved to get back to email.

I did find some really cool clips on YouTube. Check these out:
- the real voice of Dora!!
- Gansta Pablo
- Dora the Heroin Addict
- terrible theater

Thursday, January 17, 2008

An old married couple

This clip from Family Guy could be one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My New Obsession

Crossword puzzles. I don't know why or how it happened, but it hit me hard. I started doing the puzzle on the subway during the long ride home from jury duty. It was a fairly easy puzzle, so I was able to get some of the clue right off the bat. Then, I realized that I could use the letters from the answers I knew to figure out the clues I didn't. I know that sounds obvious, but I guess I never gave crossword enough thought beyond "this is hard." There was a click in my head, and suddenly it became fun.

I started getting AM New York and Metro in the morning for the crosswords. I found websites with downloadable puzzles and would print out 4 at a time (with answers, too). I found Crosswords For Dummies in a supermarket but didn't buy because I felt I needed a bigger challenge. I then realized I was out of puzzles and instantly regretted that decision.

After a long search, I found one of the cheesy crossword puzzle books in a magazine shop and have bheen doing them non-stop. In the subway both to and from work. When I get home, before I go to sleep. In the morning, during lunch, and in the afternoon. I do about 4 a day. It relaxes me, makes me focus on one thing and not have my mind race. It also satisfies my need for trivia, as I start to learn new things. Did you know there's a river in Switzerland call the Aar?

I'm sure this addiction will subside, but for now it's insane. Just felt I needed to share.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bugging the Dinosaurs

In lots of people's minds, the mystery of what killed the dinosaurs and other species — paving the way for the rise of mammals — was solved a couple of decades ago: a giant asteroid or comet slamming into the Earth, resulting in a dust cloud that shrouded the sun, cooled the planet dramatically and killed off plants and animals wholesale. It's a compelling story, but plenty of scientists never completely bought it.

A new book titled What Bugged the Dinosaurs, talks about how bugs that can spread disease were found in amber, against which dinosaurs wouldn't have had much resistance. The theory is that the dinos didn't all die in a massive epidemic; rather, the constant wear and tear of illness weakened the dinosaurs so that other catastrophes, like comets and volcanoes, could have finished them off.

This is combined with the Earth getting much warmer during a period called the Turonian, about 90 million years ago, when a "super-greenhouse" brought the ocean's surface temperature approached 100 degrees F, and alligators thrived in the Arctic.

note: this entry was totally plagarized from the referenced article due to the incredible laziness of the blog's "author". Don't like it? Well then my wife and I have saying for you: suck it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Quotes of the Day

Andrew: "When can you babysit?"
Brian: "Anytime that is convenient for me."

Andrew "I haven't worn a tie this long since my Bar Mitzvah." (spoken to a car full of clients)

Harley: "I love football!"

Andrew: "I just thought that class would be more interesting."
Harley: "Well you were wrong!"

Friday, January 04, 2008

My NFL Playoff Picks

Jacksonville vs. Pittsburgh = Jacksonville
San Diego vs. Tennesse = San Diego
Jacksonville vs. New England = New England
San Diego vs. Indianapolis = Indianapolis*
New England vs. Indianapolis = New England

Washington vs. Seattle = Washington
NY Giants vs. Tampa Bay = Tampa Bay
Washington vs. Dallas = Dallas*
Tampa Bay vs. Green Bay = Green Bay
Dallas vs. Green Bay = Green Bay

New England vs. Green Bay = New England

(* means I'm not sure about this pick)

That's right, I'm going with the Pats to win it all. They say nothing counts as much as momentum going into the playoffs, and nobody has more momentum that New England. I also think Washington's dream season won't stand up to Dallas at home.

I also believe that experience will trump momentum. That is why I'm going with Green Bay over Dallas, as Bret Farve knows what it takes to win. Same thing for Indy over San Diego.

I'm also picking the teams with the 1st round bye to win their games, as that extra week of rest is a huge factor.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


The writer's strike is finally hitting me. There's nothing on. Last night I suffered through this awful movie. Yes, it's an awful. I tapd it because it's HD and I thought it would be fun to watch. After the opening and the amazing song "I'm Alive," the novelty wore off.

It's a time capsule of the 80's in a very bad way. The acting, costumes, sets, and dialogue are terrible. Still, the soundtrack has a couple amazing song, though none are worth the torture of watching a bunch of LA douche bags rolling skating with their hot orange outfits and feathered haircuts.

If I had been smart, I just would have watched this 3-minute clip of the finale with the super-hot Oliva Newton-John. My god, I loved her when I was a kid and still do (not as much as you, Harley!).

With no end to the writer's strike in sight, Harley and I have joined NetFlix. That's good, but it means I'll be watching a bunch of romantic comedies between my war/football movies. Comeback, Heroes!!! I miss you, The Office!!

Being a Daddy Means...

unloading the car by yourself

understanding that Mommy is the favorite

always knowing where Mommy is... just in case

being able to change diapers like you're on a NASCAR pit team

sharing your food

finding the subtle nuances and social commentary in The Backyardigans after the fifth viewing

moving the toys so she can get through the living room with her walker

always having batteries

last to sleep, first to rise (most of the time)

foraging for food and keeping everyone fed (at least in this family)

waiting until she's not paying attention to watch Ultimate Fighting

always knowing what channel Noggin is on, no mater what city you're in