Saturday, February 25, 2012

3472 Fourteen lost loves

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A well-tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men.


I now have cable. But even with a gazillion choices, there's still so very little on TV that I care to watch. Even "Big Bang Theory" is getting predictable - in the allotted half hour with so few narrowly defined characters, the story lines are getting repetitive and predictable.

It seems like not so very long ago, there were great shows on. I miss them. "Great" seems to be missing these days.

How many of these do you remember?

"Upstairs Downstairs" (British, PBS, 68 episodes, 1971 to 1975) - Man, that was great! Even in rerun it was spellbinding.

"Northern Exposure" (CBS, 110 episodes, from 1990 to 1995) - The characters were all characters, and the writing was amazing. Threaded through the wackiness was deep philosophy and respect. If you'd never seen it, I pity you. (Lots of clips on YouTube, but no few clips will give the whole picture.)

"Ballykissangel" (BBC, 1996-2001, later on PBS in the US) - A rural Irish village. We meet the people, and follow their intertwined lives. Some of the storylines were slow in unfolding, some were tight. One of the things that impressed me was the way one, two, or three episodes would be devoted to a particular story, and things didn't ever get tied up neatly at the end of the episode. It was like life. It was life. (This is where I learned how to pronounce the name "Siobhan". It's like "Shivon".)

"Dharma and Greg" (ABC, 1997-2002) - I adored Dharma and her parents, and their "why not" attitude toward everything natural.

"James at 15 (and at 16)" (NBC, 1977-1978) - You know, I remember nothing about this show except the kid's face, and that I loved it (the show, not the face). It was very realistic.

"My Name Is Earl" (NBC, 2005-2009) - I discovered this show only recently, but I'm including it here because they aren't making episodes any more. I didn't watch it when it was on because I thought it was just another show full of redneck jokes, but I caught a few late-night reruns, got hooked, and bought the entire set of DVDs. Again, I love the characters, especially Joy (I'm so glad I don't know her, but I love her from afar, and the actress playing Joy deserves an Oscar, so what if it's just TV), Darnell (his backstory comes out in bits and pieces, and it's fascinating), and Patty the Daytime Hooker. The quality of individual episodes varied; the best usually featured Joy. If you watched it and didn't love it, try again, you just caught a blah one.

"Ally McBeal" (FOX, 1997-2002) - Again, an interesting cast of characters (I'm noticing a pattern here). The setting was a law firm, but law was not the main preoccupation of the scripts. The people were. I especially loved John Cage, poor guy. And smarmy Fish's fascination with wattles. I was never all that appreciative of Ally herself, though. This was the show with the dancing baby, and Barry White, and John's frog in the firm's unisex bathroom.

"The Wonder Years" (ABC, 1988-1993) - I don't remember anything about this show except Kevin and Winnie. That, and the fact that I loved it and cried when the characters grew up and out of the show, but that was the best thing about the show, really - the characters grew up, and the storyline with them!

"Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004-2008) - I had never cared for William Shatner, ever. Never. Nohow. But Shatner as Denny Crane was perfection! His relationship with James Spader's character Alan Shore was amazing --- which was good, because the producers kept switching people in and out, nobody seemed to last very long. The writers had fun. In one episode, Denny, who had been increasingly showing signs of dementia, has won an especially significant court victory, and as he's walking down the hall surrounded by reporters (accepting acclaim being his favorite activity), he says, "You know, I was once the captain of my own starship."

"Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" (syndication, 1976-1977) - Take a typical soap opera, remove it from mansions and penthouses, plunk it into trailers and apartments partitioned from run-down houses, and trade cocktails for beer. That was Mary Hartman's life. You either hated the show or loved it. But you sure did recognize the people and the situations. I loved it, of course.

"thirtysomething" (ABC, 1987-1991) - Oddly, I remember absolutely nothing about this show, except that at the time it resonated strongly with me.

"Newhart" (CBS, 1982-1990) - the show with the famous line, "Hi. I'm Larry; this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl." Dick Newhart was not really the star of this show. The oddball characters surrounding him and his inn were.

"Fame" (NBC, syndication, 1982-1987) - The real thing, with heart and grit. "Glee" should die of embarrassment. A sure sign of its value is that "Fame" was more appreciated in Europe than in the US.

"The Tracy Ullman Show" (Fox, 1987-1990) - Tracy Ullman may be the most talented person ever! The show consisted of short skits. Tracy could convincingly play male or female, young or old, big or little, could speak with any accent, and sang and danced. She was simply amazing. (The Simpsons got their start on this show, as short animated skits before or after commercials.)

I'm sure there were more shows I haven't listed. I'm remembering Flip Wilson. He and Geraldine were fun. And there's "Fraiser", of course, but that's in rerun so much now it may as well be a current show. Nope - I never liked "Cheers" or "Seinfeld". In fact I despised "Seinfeld". Those people were not nice. I don't like not-nice people. "Taxi" was pretty good, but limited. None of those reached the heights of the fourteen listed above.

Thinking about the list, I notice that I don't seem to be drawn to glamor or glitz. I'll watch legal, criminal, or medical procedural shows, but I won't miss them when they're gone. I'm drawn in by unique well-drawn but complicated characters. I like believably weird people who find themselves in believably weird situations in a believable storyline that grows in a consistent way. I prefer talk to action. I like to learn something, not in an academic sense - something about life and people.


So, restrict yourself to shows no longer in production, and tell me what shows YOU miss most.

3471 Dominion

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A ditch can't be filled with dirt from its sides.
-- Jewish Proverb --


Regarding the horrible new Blogger word verification on comments, !those messes you can't read!, here's the relevant discussion from the Blogger help forum:

It amazes me that some folks claim to have taken WV off and subsequently saw very few spam comments, so they figure it isn't needed anyway. I took it off for two days recently and was immediately inundated with spam. I had to turn it back on.

The only other option is to moderate comments, but I HATE HATE HATE when people do that because you don't get to read the comments of others before commenting yourself, and you don't see your own comment for an indeterminate period of time. I had a period of a few weeks when my comments weren't showing up, and I assumed that for some reason the moderating blogger(s) were deciding not to allow my comments through, so it took me a while to discover I had a problem with Google login and the comments weren't being accepted at all on moderated blogs.

If you are having difficulty figuring out the WVs for comments, there are some symbols next to the entry blank, one of which, the left-most one I think, resolves to "cycle through, give me another". You can keep clicking that until one crops up that you can actually figure out. You won't have to retype your whole comment, or take a wild guess that's rejected.


The world uses 89 BILLION barrels of crude oil PER DAY. It's pulled out of the earth and burned. Every day. We know of the effect on the atmosphere, but what about earthquakes? I mean, we're removing a lot of lubricant. Has anyone with any knowledge expressed an opinion?


Here's an article about a child in St. Louis, and what can happen when employers can pick and choose what to cover in health policies:


When I read this article - - I thought it was a joke. You know, one of those "news" sites that spoof real news. But it's real!

Rep. Yasmin Neal, a Democrat from the Atlanta suburb of Jonesboro, planned on Wednesday to introduce HB 1116, which would prevent men from vasectomies unless needed to avert serious injury or death.

The bill reads: "It is patently unfair that men avoid the rewards of unwanted fatherhood by presuming that their judgment over such matters is more valid than the judgment of the General Assembly. ... It is the purpose of the General Assembly to assert an invasive state interest in the reproductive habits of men in this state and substitute the will of the government over the will of adult men."

“If we legislate women’s bodies, it’s only fair that we legislate men’s,” said Neal, who said she wanted to write bill that would generate emotion and conversation the way anti-abortion bills do. “There are too many problems in the state. Why are you under the skirts of women? I’m sure there are other places to be."

Personally, Neal said, she has no qualms with vasectomies.

“But even if it were proposed as a serious issue,” she said, “it’s still not my place as a woman to tell a man what to do with his body."


Earlier this month, Democratic Oklahoma Sen. Constance Johnson added then withdrew a provision to an anti-abortion bill that read "any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman's vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child." [Silk - Italics are mine. Um, doesn't the Old Testament say that, too? Onan's sin?]

In January, as the Virginia state Senate debated a bill that required women to have an ultrasound before an abortion, Democrat Janet Howell attached an amendment that required men to have rectal exams and cardiac stress tests before they could receive prescriptions for erectile dysfunction medication like Viagra. The amendment was rejected in the Senate, 21-19.
You go, girls! But do you think men are smart enough to understand what you're trying to tell them?

Perhaps women need to simply say to male legislators, you vote the way you have to, Dear, but understand that since I don't want a[nother] baby, and I seem to have no final say over that, there will simply be no more sex, of any kind. And, uh, remember you'll be up for reelection, so, uh, you'd better not get it anywhere else, either.

Sometimes I think that the next action will be to take away our shoes.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

3470 So, will anyone apologize to the hotel maid?

Thursday, February 24, 2012

Competent leaders have always understood the crucial difference
between public proclamations and private bargains.
-- Stephen Jay Gould --


Remember Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, the guy who planned to run for President of France, but was derailed when the NYC hotel maid accused him of rape? Remember how the case was dropped when the maid's veracity was questioned? Remember when a woman couldn't charge rape without two witnesses? Remember when she had to have a spotless reputation to be taken seriously, and even then the charges were dropped if she didn't have two black eyes and a broken leg? Oops, sorry, I got sidetracked a little there. Back to Strauss-Kahn.

From today's Bloomberg article in the San Francisco Chronicle:
French builder Eiffage SA filed an embezzlement complaint after an internal probe found an employee spent as much as 50,000 euros ($66,000) to pay for women to travel as far as Washington to have sex with Strauss-Kahn.

Investigators are trying to determine whether Strauss-Kahn knew corporate money was used to pay the women and whether he played an active role organizing sex parties he allegedly attended, or knew the women attending were prostitutes.

Prostitution and paying for sex are legal in France, while procuring prostitutes for someone else isn't

Strauss-Kahn was also questioned by agents charged with internal investigations of the French police regarding his ties to a regional police chief indicted in the affair.

Strauss-Kahn has denied wrongdoing in relation to the investigation and said in a Nov. 11 statement from his lawyers that he wanted to be questioned, "to put an end to the dangerous and spiteful insinuations" in the media.

"A lot of other people associated with this affair have been indicted," Mesnooh said. "Their links were a little more direct perhaps than the links of Mr. Strauss-Kahn with the prostitution side and the abuse of corporate assets side."
I don't know how he expects to get out of this one. It's not lowly women complaining this time, others will testify to his presence at the parties and to hotel trysts, he had to know the women were prostitutes, and he had to know someone else paid for them.

Of course, he might be one of those unfortunately too common men who regard ALL women as prostitutes or potential prostitutes, just that some are cheaper than others. Like "free" hotel maids.

3469 Catching up

Thursday, February 23, 2011

The mystery of love and life and death is really grander and more glorious
than human beings can grasp, much less legislate.
-- Fenton Johnson, 1996 --


I get angry at misleading headlines. Some headline writers oughta be sued!

"They" know a lot of people read only headlines. People skim headlines and read only the few stories that pique (note that's not "peek") their interest. Otherwise they get all their "news" and form their views from headlines.

For example:
Headline 1 - "Democrats protest religious freedom hearing". From this you might conclude that the Dems don't care about religious freedom and don't want it discussed. The real story:
"Democrats [are] saying they had been denied the ability to present witnesses who might support the government stance or speak for the rights of women to reproductive health coverage. They asked why women weren't better represented among the 10 witnesses at the hearing.

... there are also some Catholic groups and individuals who have come out in support of the president's approach. They were not there at Thursday's hearing."
That's an entirely different story from what the headline implies. The Democrats felt that the committee was not interested in women's views or in any testimony that was unlikely to agree with their foregone conclusion.

Headline 2 - "Bobby Brown Kicked Out of Whitney Houston’s Funeral". According to the story that followed, he was NOT "kicked out". He had been invited, and arrived with several people, was seated, and then was asked to change seats, to move, three times! The third time he was asked to relocate, he said to hell with this sh*t, went to the casket and paid his respects, and left. Nobody even suggested he leave. It was his decision, because he was by then getting angry, felt harassed, and didn't want to create a scene. So he simply left.

So why did the headline writer feel it necessary to say he was "kicked out"? That is inexcusable.

Headline 3 - "Not brushing teeth leads to cavities, brushing too often breaks teeth". Hmmm. From this one might conclude that brushing too often weakens the enamel or something.

Nope. In fact, "too often" has nothing to do with it. The real story (which few people would have read) is that there's some electric rotating toothbrush that's defective, and the spinning head can snap off and break teeth.


Latest Duh - I read, not just overheard, this person WROTE it, that someone had won something "by a hare's breath". It took me a minute to translate that to "a hair's breadth".


I am no longer watching the Repulsican debates. It's too scary. It seems like they're all using Rush Limbaugh's research staff now. The sheer weight of disinformation is staggering.