Night cap post

I have early work tomorrow, but I figured I could post some more So You Think You Can Dance? love. I picked a fantasy team:

Katee seems normal and is just delightful to watch. Will is just great and rather attractive. Mark is quirky and wonderful. He's been in my very favorite dances of this season so far. All of them have been really good so far. Will needs a new partner to really shine so we'll just have to wait for things to shake up. I love this show.


Politically relevant movies you should watch:

1. In the Name of the Father (1993) tells the story of the wrongfully accused Guildford Four--four innocent Irishmen and women convicted for IRA bombings in England. In a move that feels similar to post-9/11 US terrorist investigations, Britain passed laws in the 1970s to detain terrorists for a week without any formal charges. In the film we see how harsh interrogations lead to desperate accusations and false admission of guilt. Based on real events, it's chilling to see how a desperate government would quickly accuse and punish innocent people because of popular pressure. Cutting down rights doesn't necessarily bring safety, as proved by this case.
Cinematic side note: The script allows Daniel Day-Lewis to make this a great coming-of-age story as well as political drama as we see his character grow up in prison with his father as a cell mate. Great acting all around.

2. Wag the Dog (1997) is a political comedy that's funny because it's true. A small group invents a war between the United States and Albania to distract from a presidential sex scandal close to reelection. Everything from war footage, inspirational songs, and an improvised war hero help to create the perfect fake war. While this was eerily predictive of the 1998 Clinton sex scandal, the paranoia still exists that people only know what the media tells them and that the media can be manipulated. Considering the proliferation of media in the last decade, I can only imagine how much more a situation like this would consume America before anyone caught on. Who could tell if it hasn't happened already.
Cinematic side note: Everyone ever is in this movie. Robert DeNiro is surprisingly subtle and funny, and Dustin Hoffman gives one of his first performances as the go-to crazy guy. Anne Heche is relatable and fun as she is forced to go along with every scheme to protect the President's image.


Remember that one time...

While watching the NBA finals this week, I tried to explain to a roommate the greatest thing the Portland Trail Blazers were ever involved in. Now I can just show her:

That's been stuck in my head since 1992. Thanks Dan Reed, U-Krew, and Z-100!


You should probably know about this:

A blog dedicated to making fun of "Pictures of other people's parties from Flickr." Sorry I Missed Your Party is way more amusing than it should be, but I like laughing at dumb pictures on facebook, so this is really the next step: letting someone else make a picture funnier.

WARNING*: the first photo on there right now is of a guy hurling into a bedpan while tipped over on a bike.



Medley of the Day: Saxophone Edition

I take back any prejudice I've ever had against the saxophone. Somewhere along the line I started to hate the sound of the sax because it sounds so dated; it somehow manages to either sound cheesy or sleazy--which is true to an extent. But recently I discovered I really do love this sultry woodwind.

One of the reasons is because of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon which features the saxophone extensively and tastefully. Here's "Us and Them", complete with creepy visuals from 2001: Space Odyssey:

Another reason is the discovery of Supertramp. My friend Michael queued me into this ubiquitous band and I find them everywhere! "It's Raining Again" features some sweet sax solos mixed with pop perfection:

And what really sparked this medley is "New York State of Mind" by Billy Joel, which came on shuffle while I was cleaning a bathroom. I realized I really dug the sweet mixture of piano and sax. I found this bad quality video of the song that I'm only using because of the saxophone player's outfit: let's just say denim vest*.

*See the Festivus episode of Seinfeld.


Best Reality Show Ever

I'll just be upfront about this: So You Think You Can Dance? is way better than America's Next Top Model and I love ANTM. In the world of reality television, So You Think You Can Dance? just warms my heart. It reminds me of when I was 9 years old, watching the gymnastics competition of the 1996 summer Olympics and thinking, "I could totally do that, and should." Granted, I never became a gymnast--only a mediocre participant in the gymnastics program middle school*.

But dance! I love dance. Again, I'm an alright dancer. I was a member of my middle school and high school dance teams. My sophomore year of high school my team took state for our Stomp inspired "novelty/prop" routine in which I got to be in the more advanced segment that involved dancing with a jump rope (impressive, I know). But, I busted my knee the next year on the day of our first competition during our team's warm-up time on the gym floor. Talk about the crappiest year ever.

And even though I wasn't ever completely into dance, I loved it and still do. I wish I could do a lot more with my body than I can now. I've taken a couple beginning dance classes in modern and social dance, but I miss leaping and pirouetting and smiling like the complete cornball that I secretly am (or not so secretly).

Anyway, that's a long way to say that I'm so excited So You Think You Can Dance? is back on. I love watching the routines and getting excited about how good the contestants are doing. The show is overwhelmingly positive. The only negative comments are told to help the dancers get better because the judges care about these kids. You can see actual improvement over the season as these dancers expand their repertoires of dance, unlike American Idol where I swear nothing ever happens. Last night was the first official episode of the season and I'd like to share my favorite dances:

First is a quirky/adorable routine choreographed by Mia Michaels, who always does something unique and awesome. Chelsea H and Mark performed this dance that was supposed to be an odd wedding. It reminds me of all those weird couples that are completely adorable, but as my mom always says, there's a lid for every pot**.

The other one I adored was a slow hip-hop routine (I am such a sucker for slow hip-hop) choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon about a guy telling his girlfriend he's going off to war the next day. Katee and Joshua sold me on this. So. Good.

Best show ever.

*I did, however, become very skilled at changing out of a leotard in to school clothes on a moving bus without flashing people.
**Yeah, she actually said that.


This American Life

I love This American Life. It's the one radio show that my mom blasted on Saturdays and Sundays that I didn't end up despising. Car Talk was kind of funny, A Prairie Home Companion always reminded me chores and driving up to Grandpa's, Whad'ya Know drove me nuts*. But the show I started to really like in high school was This American Life.

I love to hear a good story and this program features several an episode. Each episode features a theme that the stories are built around. The stories are told in interviews and narration so it's like a documentary for your ears. I recently bought an iPod which allows me to download a podcast and listen to This American Life anywhere. So, to anyone as nerdy or white as me, check out this sweet radio show.

*There was a great drive to one of my soccer games when I was probably 12 or 13 that my dad revealed his abhorrence to this particular program. It's good to have an ally.