The Wall Street Journalhad a fun piece today about the fad of re-enacting the printer-smashing scene from “Office Space.” Above, you see the spoof produced by the Ted Cruz campaign a few months back. Here’s the original.
But the story was accompanied by a short (only five questions) quiz about “Office Space,” and unfortunately, I missed one. When I guessed the minimum number of pieces of flair, I guessed too high.
The University of South Carolina will add around 1,300 new beds in privately owned student housing properties in time for the fall 2016 semester, seventh-most in the country.
A study by student housing and apartment market data provider Axiometrics found seven of the 10 university markets expecting the most new beds were in the Southeast or the Southwest. Arkansas led the way with an anticipated 2,319 new beds.
Several new student-oriented apartment complexes have recently opened in Columbia, including: Park Place, located at Blossom and Huger streets, with 640 beds; Station at Five Points, located at Gervais and Harden streets, with 660 beds; and 650 Lincoln Phase Two, with 297 beds.
Nationwide, a total of 47,700 new beds are scheduled for come to market in time for the fall semester….
Everybody else in “Logan’s Run.” Or Jenny Agutter, anyway…
Hey, I don’t care about nationwide. I care about the fact that, as many additional students as we’ve absorbed downtown in recent years, 1,300 more are moving in right now!
And that does count hundreds or thousands more that we can see under construction!
Already, walking down Main Street makes me feel like Peter Ustinov in “Logan’s Run.” This is bizarre.
Haven’t decided whether to go see “Suicide Squad.” That’s that super-villain movie with Will Smith and that hot girl who for some reason is made up like one of the Baseball Furies from “The Warriors.”
Kenley Young, formerly of The State and a vocalist you may know for fronting several local bands in recent years, offered his take on it on Facebook today, and I share it:
#SuicideSquad: Not a good movie, but not as bad as the reviews indicate — although at this point I feel like Warner Bros./DC should just recycle that as a tag line for the rest of their lineup. “Meh.”
First, a couple of admissions: I’m a DC guy, and I desperately WANT to see its cinematic universe succeed. (Its TV and animated universes are unmitigated successes already, and the company deserves credit there.) Secondly, I was among a handful of fans who thought “Man of Steel” was a pretty decent movie. (Well, two-thirds of a decent movie, because that third act — aka “Transformers VI” — was truly awful.) Still, omnipotent goodie-two-shoes Superman is a hard sell these days, and I felt that first installment held some promise and that the films would improve from there.
They, um, have not. Not that “Suicide Squad” doesn’t have bright spots: Margot Robbie and Will Smith are fun to watch and, at times, compelling. And Viola Davis, as always, seriously classes up the joint. I hope they all stick around. But the plot’s ludicrous, even by comic book standards; the gun violence is tough to stomach (not sure why superpowered “meta-humans” need so much ammo); there’s a fair amount of blatant misogyny; and Jared Leto as The Joker just doesn’t really do it for me.
That’s not his fault entirely; Leto’s clearly a talent. I just think we’re not far enough removed from Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning turn in the role. That was only eight years ago. Before Ledger, it’d been almost 20 years since we’d seen Jack Nicholson run away with a film like that, in a piece of pop performance art for the ages. Anyone’s portrayal of the greatest villain in comics will forever be measured against that backdrop. It’d be a daunting task for any actor. Plus, “Suicide Squad” has plenty of other issues; Leto’s not really the one weighing it down.
Clearly, since its “universe” launch, Warner Bros. has yet to churn out a 100 percent enjoyable — or even fully coherent — DC film. The forthcoming “Wonder Woman” may break that streak; the trailer looks terrific, early buzz is good, and I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. (Sadly, the same was all true for “Man of Steel.”) Either way, it’s probably the last shot they’re gonna get for me. Diana of Themyscira, I believe in you and am rooting for you.
Blame my elder son this time. He brought the above weigh-in video clip to my attention because he knew it would remind me, as it did him, of the big weigh-in scene in the movie. (Oh, and to you adolescent boys out there — don’t bother watching the above clip; you never get to see anything. For an ultimate fighter, who you might think would be about as bashful as a Viking shieldmaiden, she’s very demure.)
“Think light,” said Kooch (a great secondary character, by the way). And Loudon did.
In the report, published Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, researchers looked at data from 2011 to 2014. They found that the average man, who’s about 5 ft. 9 in., weighs 195.7 lb., and the average woman, almost 5 ft. 4 lb., weighs 168.5 lb. For men, that’s about 15 lb. more than average in 1988–94; women are now more than 16 lb. heavier. Men and women’s heights were about the same two decades ago….
Asked about the odds of Hillary Clinton winning South Carolina in this fall’s presidential election, Clemson University political scientist David Woodard replied: “It’s more realistic that we’ll be invaded by Martians.”
South Carolina has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in four decades, and pundits do not expect that streak to end in November….
I don’t expect it to end, either, especially when the Democrat is one who sometimes seems tied with Obama as the one the SC right most loves to hate (since Ted Kennedy is no longer around).
But if only there were a way that South Carolina could refuse the win to Hillary without giving it to… the Creature.
Since it’s more likely that the Martians will invade, let’s hope that when they do, we repulse them and in retreating, they take Trump with them. Which would be a double victory for Earth!
Notice how I chose an image that included Leo, my very FAVORITE character from the show?
2016 is such a political annus horribilis, the choices before us is so dispiriting (although quite clear), that we may choose to escape into fiction, and dream of better choices, or at least better presidents.
The 2016 U.S. presidential campaign has often seemed stranger than fiction. On the eve of the national conventions, it’s a fitting time to look back at fictitious presidents from movies and TV shows. We watched dozens—and ranked them, based on their accomplishments in on-screen office. The best commanders-in-chief rise to the challenges presented by plot twists. They make tough decisions, defeat evil forces and save the nation. The worst don’t uphold the duties of the fake presidency so well. They waffle and whine, lie and cheat, give in to temptation. Based on those loose criteria, here is our complete ranking of 44 fake presidents.
You may be surprised to learn that Frank Underwood didn’t come in last. That dishonor was reserved for Cliff Robertson’s “President Jack Cahill” from “Escape from L.A.,” which I confess I’ve never seen. Oh, I’ve thought about seeing it, but “Escape from New York” was so perfect (the talented Miss Adrienne Barbeau!) that I just didn’t want to risk the disappointment. Call me Snake…
But the fictional presidents who got the lowest ratings don’t interest me as much as the ones who got the highest.
Unfortunately, the WSJ got it wrong. They did not pick Jed Bartlet as No. 1. He came in second (which at least tells us he wasn’t completely snubbed for being a liberal icon) to…
Harrison Ford’s President James “Get off my plane!” Marshall, who kicked terrorist butt in “Air Force One.” OK, he was awesome. And as you might imagine, I loved his foreign policy (spelled out in his “Be Afraid” speech in Russia at the beginning). If you’re gonna have a fantasy president, he should definitely be one who takes no guff from the bad guys.
But Jed was all-around great. I didn’t agree with all his policies, but I liked the general thrust, and the thought that went into them. You could definitely see why all his people loved him like a father. When’s the last time we got that from a real-life president, or a candidate? FDR, I’d say. Or maybe we even have to go back to Father Abraham, who embodied it best.
I also felt like the list didn’t give enough love to a sentimental favorite, “President” Dave Kovic from “Dave.”
So here’s my own slightly amended Top Five, which I invite you to answer with your own:
President Merkin Muffley from “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” Yeah, I’m being a little bit ironic here, but he was just so reasonable and inoffensive: “Now then, Dmitri, you know how we’ve always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the Bomb… The Bomb, Dmitri… The hydrogen bomb!… Well now, what happened is… ahm… one of our base commanders, he had a sort of… well, he went a little funny in the head… you know… just a little… funny. And, ah… he went and did a silly thing… Well, I’ll tell you what he did. He ordered his planes… to attack your country… Ah… Well, let me finish, Dmitri…” This was sort of a forerunner of Chance the Gardener in “Being There.”
The President from “Fail-Safe,” the serious version of “Dr. Strangelove.” Because he’s Henry Fonda! Wouldn’t you vote for Henry Fonda to be president under pretty much any circumstances? I would. So what if he ordered the U.S. Air Force to drop nukes on American cities? He was in a tight spot! You had to be there! And besides, he’s Henry Fonda, Mr. Roberts! And because, near as I can recall, Gary Cooper never played a president. Or did he?
“President” Dave Kovic from “Dave.” Possibly the most likable fictional president in our history, even though his “a job for everybody” goal may have been a bit pie-in-the-sky. And he’s an “outsider” who gives the word a positive spin (which is hard to do with me) — Trump without the malevolence and proud cluelessness, Bernie Sanders without the class resentment.
President James Marshall from “Air Force One.” He’s certainly way better than the president in my very favorite Wolfgang Petersen flick, “In the Line of Fire.” And in the “atavistic presidents who personally lead us into battle” category, he beats out President Thomas J. Whitmore from “Independence Day” because think about it: All Whitmore did was give a give a speech and fly an airplane — there was no hand-to-hand, and no firing of automatic weapons. The wimp.
OK, that’s my list, just based on these 44. There may be someone not on the WSJ list that I should have included, but I’m drawing a blank.
And yeah, it’s all white guys. I don’t think I saw any of those pictures in which a woman had the job (tried watching Veep, but couldn’t get into it). And while I love Morgan Freeman, I’m not a fan of “Deep Impact.” He was better as God than as the president. He was a pretty fair acting president in “Olympus Has Fallen,” though.
OK, so he ordered a nuke strike on U.S. cities. But hey, he’s Henry Fonda!
Actually, there were a lot of “finally” moments in the finale, which is fitting:
Arya finally gets to employ her new skills in obtaining what she wants — revenge. That is to say, she had her “My name is Inigo Montoya” moment.
As a result, we don’t have to look at Walder Frey’s ugly, nasty, antisocial puss any more.
Jon Snow, the bastard who was never treated as a true Stark and who ended last season suffering the ultimate insult-to-injury treatment, finally comes into his own, winning the esteem and devotion of the entire north (if you don’t count Littlefinger, which I don’t).
Everyone acknowledges that, as chief Westerosi meteorologist Ned Stark told them so emphatically long ago, Winter is indeed Coming.
Tyrion Lannister, whose drinking problem arose largely from his never getting any respect back home, finally gets a promotion — and not a grudging, degrading one like he got that time he was the Hand of the King.
All that futzing around with the High Sparrow is at a cataclysmic end, and we know who’s in charge in King’s Landing. True, it’s the wrong Lannister — if the Iron Throne had to be occupied by one of that incestuous pair, we’d all be better off with Jaime (as was noted in commentary after the episode, now that all her children are dead, Cersei has no redeeming qualities at all) — but at least all that uncertainty is over.
Samwell Tarly, who has so wanted to become a maester, has that glorious moment beholding the ultimate dream library, which is his to dive into.
And as I said in the headline, the Mother of Dragons finally, finally stops with the big talk and the hemming and the hawing and the messing around with local politics over across the Narrow Sea, and heads toward what she has told us with unrelieved monotony for years is her destiny. Sheesh! About time. At last, the girl will put up or shut up.
Anyway, I found it all fairly satisfying, and now I can happily drop my HBO Now subscription, and not think about it any more until next year. Since, you know, Amazon Prime give me everything else HBO has to offer…
Below, you see Jon being acknowdged as King in the North. Yay. But it reminds me I’d like to see one more “finally” moment. I’d like to see someone finally pay the light bill in Westeros. Why does everything have to be so dark that I can’t tell what’s happening if I try to watch on my iPad in a room with any lights on at all?
I intend to drop my subscription to HBO Now, as an economizing measure, after the last episode of “Game of Thrones” this weekend. (I’m not giving up much; my Amazon Prime account gives me access to pretty much everything I value about HBO.)
Before doing that, I made a point last night to watch the new HBO movie, “All the Way,” starring Bryan Cranston as Lyndon Johnson.
I was blown away. Wow. I did not know Cranston could act like that. Sure, a lot of it was a brilliant makeup job, but that was just the start. And it wasn’t just the voice impersonation; plenty of people could do that. It was his physicality — the way he positioned and moved his body, the subtleties of his facial expressions, that made him seem to inhabit LBJ.
The constant Grimace of Anxiety
Just watching his mouth shape the words was hypnotic. As much as I liked “Breaking Bad,” it persuaded me that he had a limited set of expressions. In the early seasons, I got really tired of that grimace of extreme anxiety that he wore constantly — although, in retrospect, I suppose that was masterful, too, as it so effectively communicated his stress to me, which was part of what I didn’t like about it.
But to watch that jaw and lips and teeth become those of LBJ was astounding.
There are less impressive parts, of course. The actor who plays Strom Thurmond only has a line or two, but I still fault him for doing too little with it.
But the greatest letdown is Anthony Mackie as Martin Luther King. For one thing, he doesn’t seem old enough. Yeah, I know — MLK was only 35 at the time and Mackie is precisely that age. But King had a bearing that made him seem older than he was.
Perhaps I expect too much, but it seems that in everything I see — the disappointing “Selma” comes to mind — the actors portraying King fall far short of capturing him. Mr. Mackle simply lacks the gravitas — in the shape of his face, his voice, his manner. King had a presence that impressed. Why is there not an actor out there who can communicate it, or at least approximate it?
But let’s not linger on the shortcomings. “All the Way” is excellent, and if you have access, you should take the time to see it.
My old friend Richard Crowson, a bluegrass musician who is a master at picking anything with strings on it — would likely disown me for admitting this, but I pretty much knew nothing about Ralph Stanley before he died this week.
To give you who are similarly ignorant a little schooling, I share this:
He was a short, gaunt man in a white cowboy hat and gray suit, his features seemingly chipped from granite with a stony gaze to match. When he sang “O Death” at Wolf Trap in 2006 as part of the Great High Mountain Tour, Stanley’s scratchy high tenor made the Grim Reaper sound like an acquaintance of long standing. This traditional lament had revived his career when he sang it in the Coen brothers’ 2000 movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” but Stanley’s ghostly vocal made clear that the song was older than that movie, older than the whole history of talking movies.
Even in the 21st century, there was an echo in his voice of 19th-century mining and lumbering (his father worked in an old-fashioned sawmill) and of the 17th-century songs that immigrants from the British Isles brought to the Appalachian Mountains. It was in the southwest corner of Virginia, in Dickerson County under the shadow of Clinch Mountain, that Ralph Stanley was born on Feb. 25, 1927. Together with his brother Carter, two years older, Ralph learned the eerie harmonies of a cappella Sacred Harp singing in church and the spry rhythms of old-time string-band music at dances.
“Three groups really shaped bluegrass music,” Ricky Skaggs told me in 1998. “Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, the Stanley Brothers and Flatt & Scruggs. Everyone who came after them was just following in their footsteps. . . . Ralph’s still out there 150 dates a year; he’s the last of the giants still in action.”…
But he is in action no more. And this video sounded to me like a voice from Beyond when I listened to it over my coffee this morning.
Having a bad day, Jon? Well, it’s the consequence of your own poor decisions…
Yeah, I know how other sites give you the Game of Thrones recaps the same night the episodes are first released, but that is SO-o-o-o- 20th Century. I watch them in the modern way — when I feel like it.
So here’s my recap of Episode 9 of Season 6, “The Battle of the Bastards.”
SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER — BASICALLY, NOTHING BUT SPOILERS FROM HERE ON.
Let’s cut to the chase and deal with the battle itself. Bottom line, the good guys win, which in and of itself is remarkable. For once the writers throw us a bone.
But here’s the thing — they don’t deserve to win. Not tactically speaking. In fact, they do everything they can to throw the battle into Ramsay Bolton’s nasty lap.
What was the one thing that came out of the Council of War the night before? Make Ramsay come to us. He has the numbers; he has the cavalry. Choose your ground, hold it, shape it with trenches and other things that will prevent the enemy from enveloping you, and you have a chance.
Um, remember how the plan was NOT to get enveloped?
So what happens? Ramsay does something entirely predictable — as Sansa said, there’s no way Rickon is walking out of this episode — and Jon et al. do exactly what he wants them to do, what even a split second of thought would tell them he wants them to do. And they do it anyway, without hesitation.
This seems particularly egregious to us as viewers — or me, anyway — because who is Rickon to us? Yeah, in the abstract we know that Jon watched the kid grow up, but we have not been made to feel that. To us, Rickon is just this guy, you know? Has he ever spoken a word of dialogue? Maybe so, but not that I recall. Yeah, he’s the last legit male Stark heir who hasn’t gone north of the Wall and become a hallucinating oracle, but were any of us pinning our hopes on him to save the family fortunes? I don’t think so. The poor boy was a born victim. I didn’t seen any of Ned in him. In fact, I didn’t see any of anybody in him, because we never got to know him.
So we see Ramsay do Rickon in in a cruel manner, but not a particularly cruel manner by Bolton standards. Which we expected him to do. Which, since we don’t know Rickon really from Adam’s off ox, makes it seem especially egregious when Jon reacts by doing everything he can to throw the battle away.
And in fact, he succeeds in that. The battle, as far as the forces Jon went in with, is entirely lost when Littlefinger comes to the rescue — a deliverance we had no reason to expect, making it the plot equivalent of dealing with a nightmare situation by writing, “And then the boy woke up.”
Yeah, it’s satisfying to see Ramsay come to an ignominious, gruesome end. He brought out the cruel beast in us all.
But the good guys had this one handed to them. They didn’t earn it.
Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, the Khaleesi is in a fix and her dragons deliver her from it, yadda-yadda. Personally, this girl isn’t going to impress me any more until she finally makes an appearance in Westeros and delivers on all her big talk.
Any interest in that here? After all, I stayed up too late a couple of nights ago to catch up on it, and I hate for that lost sleep to count for naught.
I was glad to see that Arya woke up and decided that, after all, she does have a name. Jaqen H’ghar had been one of my favorite characters, based mostly on his idiosyncratic speech habits. But at some point, damn, girl — it’s time to realize you’ve had enough, head home and use some of your new assassin skills on Ramsay Bolton, or someone else who richly deserves it.
OK, so the Khaleesi’s back home. But is anyone besides me tired of waiting for her to actually get it together and head for Westeros? Enough stilted, grandiose talk! Get with the program or put your dragons out to pasture!
As to the scene with the fugitive Ironborn heirs in the brothel (poor Theon!)… Anybody besides me wonder how they cast a scene like that? Do they place an ad asking for “beautiful young women with shapely boobs; no skills required?” Hollywood is a ever-weirder place as we descend further into cultural decadence.
Take a good look at Jon Snow, with his perpetual petulant, worried, put-upon expression. He looks like a boy-band member who didn’t get his bowlful of red M&Ms. Would you follow this guy to almost-certain doom? Neither would most of the noble houses of the North. When Sansa, habitual victim, comes across as the stronger sibling, House Stark is in trouble.
Finally, is Winter ever going to come? There’s a whole army of zombies up there north of the Wall, and did we get to see any this week? No.
Personally, unlike all those fanboys out there, I’d like to see all this get wrapped up….
Seriously, does this face inspire confidence? Do you want to follow it into battle?
With all the talk about guns in the wake of the Orlando massacre, we got to talking on an earlier thread about the role of firearms in American history, which started me (as a child of the ’50s, who felt naked without a toy six-gun on my hip) to start riffing on that peculiarly American art form, the Western, and how it has evolved.
So I thought I’d expand on the subject in a separate post…
I, and others my age, grew up on unrealistic westerns in which every man went around with a gun in a holster, except for wusses such as shopkeepers or bankers. I’m pretty sure that is an exaggeration, and I suspect that people who went obviously armed were probably looked at askance by the townspeople, although it may have seemed marginally less bizarre than it would today on Gervais Street.
Just as gunfights were nothing like the ritualized affairs we know from movies, with two men approaching down the dusty street, pausing with their hands hovering over their holsters, scrupulously waiting for the other guy to go for his gun before drawing.
I’m belatedly watching “Deadwood.” I’m not binge-watching because, as one whose ancestors stuck to Civilization — by which I mean the East Coast — I can only take so much profanity, filth, crudeness, naked avarice and utter disregard for common decency at a time. (As much as it would scandalize my 6-year-old self, I have come to suspect as an adult that had I lived back then, I likely would have been a “dude.” Which wasn’t as cool back then as it sounds today.) Thirty seconds with the “Deadwood” character Al Swearengen (based on a real guy) can make you want to write off the human race as beyond redemption. At the very least, it should persuade a discriminating person to give the Wild West a wide berth.
I would not want to live in the same territory as this guy.
Anyway, I’m in the first season, and in the last episode the death of Wild Bill Hickok was depicted — VERY realistically, with him being shot in the back without warning while playing poker.
Such realism is preferable, I suppose. And the clean-cut, 1950s-style western was ridiculous (compare above the guy who played Hickok on TV when I was a little kid and it was my favorite show, the version from Deadwood and the real guy).
Although enough of “Deadwood” and you can start to long, at least a little, for the Disneyland version, with the good guys in spotless white hats.
Or at least for characters you give a damn doggone about. So far the only relatively likeable person on this series is Calamity Jane, and you don’t want your kids in the room when she’s talking.
Bottom line, I’m sure something like everything you see on “Deadwood” actually happened at one time or other in the Old West. But not distilled to this extent, not as unrelenting with the soul-wearing nastiness. Just like, unlike on cop shows, real cops can easily go their whole careers without discharging a firearm in the line of duty.
Surely they had to let up and give it a rest sometime — go through a day with a killing, or maybe speak two sentences in a row without an F-bomb, just to give their profanity mills a rest.
Or else it seems that after a couple of days, they’d get exhausted with it all and skeddadle back East. I know I would have.
Quick: Whose catchphrase was, “Hey, Wild Bill! Wait for me!” The answer is below…
Yeah… no offense, Paul… you’re awesome and all… but a retrospective on the 45 years after you stopped doing awesome stuff just doesn’t get me excited.
I mean, what do we have from that vast period that is innovative and exciting? There’s “Maybe I’m Amazed,” and “Another Day” — both from the first couple of years after the Beatles. I mildly enjoyed “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” but let’s face it — it was a bit on the silly side.
This should not make you feel bad. What you have to show from the eight years or so before that 45-year period is unparalleled in popular music. No one has ever produced a more impressive body of creative, appealing and varied songs in the history of pop. You and John are the undisputed champs, with George in a respectable position behind you.
Now, if John and George came back to life and you all teamed up for a new album, I might want to put in an advance order for that. But you know, I suspect I’d be disappointed. It could never be as good as it was.
And there’s no need for me to pre-order a collection of songs from your genius period, because I already have them.
Heard this on the radio this morning, and as usual it shifted me into a different state of consciousness.
It’s not the words or anything obvious like that. It’s just the otherworldly mood that the song creates.
Anyway, it occurred to me after I heard it that maybe it was being played in honor of Memorial Day.
In that spirit, I share it.
I find myself reminded of this other little-known James Taylor song — a song fragment, really — from his “Mud Slide Slim” album, which I’ve always thought had its own mildly hypnotic effect. I was always struck by the sudden shift in tone — from the battle-weary soldiers “with eleven sad stories to tell” to the narrator and his very different reality — after which the song abruptly ends. It was like suddenly awaking from a dream — or, to invoke an obscure reference, like the effect when Don Juan suddenly slapped Carlos Castaneda on the back, sending him into a state of heightened awareness.
It may seem an odd way to mark Memorial Day — these lyrical expressions from pop musicians who never heard a shot fired in anger. But that’s what I have for you today.
This felt like quite an epiphany when I thought of it several days ago — scale falling from my eyes and all that — but then I immediately realized it was perfectly obvious, and not in the least profound, so I didn’t post it.
But I did put it on Twitter yesterday, and received a little reinforcement there and on Facebook, so I’ll go ahead and share it:
I finally realized why Trump has been winning, and why I didn’t foresee it: There are a lot of Americans who, unlike me, LIKE reality TV…
I kept wondering why the problems with Trump — the fact that he must not ever be considered for even a split second to hold the highest office in the land — are not painfully obvious to everyone. What’s the cognitive barrier?
That question, and my puzzlement, had a certain flavor, and suddenly I recognized it. It’s the same confusion I have when I wonder why on Earth anyone can tolerate Reality TV.
I hated it from the first moment or two (and that’s all I could bear) I saw of MTV’s “The Real World.” All that false drama concocted and acted out with all seriousness by excruciatingly uninteresting, self-involved people. It seemed deliberately devised to make us all want to hurl.
And yet people watched it. And I still don’t get that, either…
I experienced a shock yesterday. I stepped on my bathroom scale, and it read 187.0.
Yeah, I was fully dressed, including a sport coat, wallet, keys, iPhone and very heavy shoes. But still. Almost 190 pounds? I’ve never come close to that before, and I’ve been weighed at doctor’s offices while similarly burdened many times.
That weight will seem like nothing to you if you’re built for it — saying if you’re a tall, big-boned guy like Doug.
But I’m not. Look at me. I’m a skinny guy. I’ve always been a skinny guy.
This is unfair. I did not earn these additional pounds, most of which are gathered around my middle, making it very difficult for me to perform such everyday tasks as, say, wearing pants.
I put on about 10 of them when I took two courses of prednisone trying to get rid of poison ivy earlier in the spring. Then, for the first time in years (and I suspect there’s a connection here), I started having trouble with my asthma. I’ve had to switch medications, and haven’t fully stabilized yet — which means I haven’t been working out.
If the added weight IS contributing to my breathing trouble, that’s a vicious cycle. I really need the exercise to drop the pounds; changing diet alone won’t do it.
Shute, the undefeated state champ at 168.
But I’ve been doing better with my breathing the last couple of days, and so it may be time to begin the push toward a normal weight. Full paleo, of course, and at least 40 minutes a day on the elliptical — that should do it.
The goal, as always with me, will be to get under 168 so I can wrestle Shute, should the opportunity arise. “Vision Quest” speaks to me, as a former (undistinguished) high school wrestler.
If you see someone sprinting across the Gervais Street bridge in a rubber suit with Red Ryder’s “Lunatic Fringe” playing in the background, that will be me. (Actually, I think it was John Waite’s “Change” in that scene — see 1:22 on the clip — but people remember the other song better, so…)
Radiohead actually played “Creep” during their concert in Paris this evening
The band dusts off their chart-topping single for first performance in nearly a decade
All this makes tonight’s setlist in Paris a really big deal, because Radiohead actuallyperformed “Creep”.
“This is for the funny guy shouting ‘Creep’ in the back,” Yorke said prior to the performance. “Only to shock you.” That’s an understatement.
In addition to “Creep”, Radiohead performed “True Love Waits” for the first time since the release of A Moon Shaped Pool, and delivered the tour debuts of “No Surprises” and “Pyramid Song”….
Nice of them, isn’t it, to actually play what the fans who’ve made them rich actually want to hear?
Radiohead has produced quite a few listenable songs — “No Surprises,” “Fake Plastic Trees,” “High and Dry,” and so forth — but the one song that made them so effing special that we stopped to listen to the other songs they produced was “Creep.” It was the one that reached out and grabbed us, and pulled us in.
And so we’re willing to listen when Spotify offers us such recent recordings as “Burn the Witch” and “Daydreaming,” even though they’re more like Muzak than they are like the songs we love.
Fortunately, after “Burn the Witch,” Spotify offers “Creep,” which wakes our senses back up…
Fortunately, after “Burn the Witch,” Spotify offers “Creep.”
I mean; aside from the fact that one is fictional.
Anyway, someone brought the above to my attention this morning.
OK, yeah, there’s a superficial resemblance… and as my interlocutor (my son-in-law) said, “The high sparrow takes his vow of poverty seriously, displaying a humility that makes me wonder if the actor actually IS portraying Pope Francis…”
But here’s the difference: The High Sparrow is WAY more interested in directly exercising worldly power.
The High Sparrow is more like a medieval pope in that respect. And in Westeros, that’s an innovation; things are moving in that direction — in our world, they tend the other way.
When the Pope holds a head of state (or anyone else) prisoner, or forces another to atone for his or her sins by walking naked through a city, get back to me…