Wednesday, January 31, 2007
People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway. If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish motives. Do good anyway. If you are successful, you may win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. People who really want help may attack you if you help them. Help them anyway. Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt. Give the world your best anyway.
Easier said than done, right? But I can try.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
I get that it's a competition, and I don't necessarily expect everyone to love each other and be friends, particularly if different people have grating personalities. Tiffani last season is a good example: as a person, I couldn't stand her, but she was a good chef and that was largely what made her good TV. Sure, Dave couldn't stop crying, and Stephen was obnoxious with his sommelier crap, but still, that was all competition, and it frankly made for a good show.
When this season started, I was looking for Marcel to be this season's Stephen: probably quite talented as a cook, but an obnoxious git. But unless the editors aren't giving him a fair edit because he ultimately wins, he hasn't been that bad. Yes, he is a gigantic dork; his rapping on the roof is as much evidence of that as his bouffant hairdo. But what strikes me as so odd is that everyone else is constantly bitching about how irritating he is, and last night Elia went so far as to say he "cheated" in previous challenges, and we have seen absolutely zero evidence of that. Okay, his personality may be grating in person, but let's take a look at what he's being accused of:
- Being disrespectful in the kitchen: Okay, when? Because what we have been consistently shown is that he tries almost without fail to be extremely respectful in the kitchen. He offered to help Betty more than once even though Betty was a complete ass to him. He asked repeatedly for people to keep the refrigerator door closed, which affected them all and was very inconsiderate of who was not doing it. And every team challenge it seemed, Marcel seemed to take whatever course was left over instead of being a bitch and fighting over it. On the other hand, we've got Ilan, who yelled at Marcel for "snapping" at Betty when Marcel really didn't, and the rest of the chefs all refusing to help him until he had apologized. We've got Ilan blatantly insulting Marcel by trying to foam Italian dressing in one of the quickfire challenges just to mock him. And all of the chefs seemed to insist on shunning and bitching about Marcel, both to his face and behind his back.
- Cheating: This is such crap. Prove it. Show one instance in which Marcel cheated. Did he accidentally "steal" a case of lychee? No. Did he alter his recipe in the dietetic challenge? No (Betty). He didn't even take a discount he was most likely entitled to because he didn't know if it was allowed. So, sorry, I'm not biting. There were cameras up your ass at all times. You're telling me you can't find one instance of him doing something underhanded? Oh, he moved your pot Elia? When your burner wasn't even on? After he announced he was moving it? How awful for you. Suck it the hell up.
- He's irritating: Granted. His personality could very easily come off as irritating. Anyone that you live with is irritating at least some of the time. I didn't see them treating Betty like shit, and she was irritating. Mikey could be horribly irritating, and everyone loved him. All it ended up looking like was "the cool kids" picking on the kid they decided was the enemy. And the funny thing is if they hadn't done it, I probably wouldn't be rooting for Marcel, because he does have personality ticks that bug, and (far more importantly) his food isn't necessarily the first in line I'd like to taste. But that doesn't give these people the right to try and smear him through the mud, physically assault him (Cliff), slam him on personal things and generally be giant dicks.
It'll be interesting to see if we find out stuff in the inevitable reunion special that shines some light on why Marcel was so reviled. I seriously doubt these people can find a way to justify their deplorable behavior, but I have to believe something was going on that we weren't being shown. In any case, when TC3 starts airing, I seriously hope the drama comes on the side or not at all.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Friday, January 19, 2007
All by way of saying if you didn't watch Scrubs last night, see if you can find it on YouTube. It was hilarious, in particular the song about pooing, and the "Guy Love" duet. Solid gold.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Fortunately, I can say without impunity that this movie was really good, even better than expected. For an English major/giant nerd such as myself, all of the literary in-jokes were a total turn-on. (Case in point: Ferrell keeping track of events in his life to try and determine if he is in a comedy or a tragedy.) The writing was witty and warm, and the plot, though not completely unpredictable, was well-structured and moved well.
As for the performances, they were great all-around. Ferrell was very likable, and toned down in a way that reminded me of Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, another excellent flick. He let the situation and two of the other characters be the zaniness and focused on building a character that was easy to root for and believe in. Maggie Gyllenhall was absolutely adorable; her character radiated vivacity and wit and a very believable kindness and charm. She's already a very beautiful woman, and the way she played her character only seemed to magnify that. I was falling in love with her, for pity's sake. And the chemistry between her and Ferrell was very easy to buy into. There are two moments in particular, one involving flour and one involving a piece of advice, that just made me root for the two of them so much. It was thoroughly enjoyable to watch.
As for the secondary characters, Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, they were such enhancements for the film. Hoffman plays a helpful, eccentric English professor. He's such a dynamic lead, but he's so darn fun as these crazy side characters, like he was in I Heart Huckabees. Emma Thompson plays the author of Will Ferrell's book, and is a more sarcastic, harder character than she usually plays, and she is a delight. The little crush that she and Hoffman's characters have on each other is completely delightful as well.
The only off-note for me was Queen Latifah's role as Thompson's assistant. Something seems to be missing there, specifically her overall point in the film. I get it, she's the person who's supposed to be helping spur the book along, but there just didn't seem to be any real point to her presence. Which sucks, because I love Queen Latifah and I think she adds a lot to things (see also: Last Holiday, a movie that for all intents and purposes should have been rote and trite but was actually extremely entertaining) and it didn't seem to be there in this film. I'm wondering if there was more of a subplot with her that got edited out, and I hope that if there was it shows up on the DVD.
In any case, Stranger Than Fiction totally did not disappoint. Engaging plot, charming actors with good performances and a movie that treats the audience like it has a brain made the movie a really good experience for me.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Sub-problem: Ryan Seacrest. He's a robot, right? I mean, no one's really that tan and plasticine, right? I'm afraid.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
And then the split happens, and you’re back to the firsts: first full day of not calling him, then the first week. First time something excellent happens and you can’t tell him about it. First time something shitty happens and you can’t tell him about it. First holidays apart, first trips to a restaurant you both loved (I haven’t been brave enough to do too many of those yet). First time watching movies you watched together. First phone calls to friends that went different ways in the break-up. First time you hear about the dates he’s going on, or you run across his profile on a dating site. And what still surprises me is almost seven months out I’m still running into firsts around every corner, just when I think I’m starting to run out of them and can settle into the comfortable period. And right now I can’t help but wonder, when’s the first day that I don’t still miss him going to be?
Hello there. I've noticed that you moved into my lower lip about a week ago. I appreciate that you find me to be a hospitable host, and hope you've enjoyed yourself.
You are roughly the size of a pea. You hurt. Excessively. You don't seem to be getting better so much as you seem to be getting more comfortable. Normally, I'm able to ignore this sort of thing and let bygones be bygones until you go away, but you're making chewing hurt. You make licking my lips hurt, which is unfortunate, because when I have a cold, I lick my lips approximately three hundred times an hour, and I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm getting over a cold. So I could do without your aggravation. So if you wouldn't mind, I don't know, buggering off, that would be great.