Friday, January 29, 2010

Why 94% of Oprah Fans Hate Leno

I did something yesterday that I haven't done in five or six years, something I'm not proud of: I watched Oprah. I have nothing against Oprah, I've just had enough. That happens sometimes with people. You get a big dose of them for awhile and then you just don't want them anymore. Like Halloween candy. You gorge yourself on it, vomit, and then can't look at candy for quite some time. Oprah's like candy vomit to me.
But yesterday she had on Jay Leno, a person I also don't watch on the television. I thought, this is the perfect storm of two humans I don't care at all about talking about an issue (Conan, the Tonight Show, NBC, backstabbing) that became a train wreck. I have been watching the train wreck. How could I not? It played out in slo-motion, crashing over the course of weeks from the time Leno's 10pm show got axed by NBC, to NBC making every single disastrous decision on how to make the train wreck worse (set it on fire! plunge it down a ravine! fill it with red-headed orphans who want more pudding!).
As someone who follows pop culture solely because I love the diversion from reality, the Conan-Leno (and by extension, Letterman, Ferguson, and Kimmel) power struggle/feud/fight over The Tonight Show desk was completely unprecedented. Even when Leno stole the show from Letterman back in the early 90s, the viewing public was only aware of some behind the scenes deal making and back stabbing. We weren't privy to the actual demonic butterflies conjured by Leno to beat their wings into plough shares, that Leno then forged into daggers to slay his enemies. Then, a lot was left up to speculation.
But, NOW, everything has played out right before our very eyes. And Oprah wants in on all of the attention. So, she went on Leno's set out in LA, and interviewed him. Leno looked like a man defeated. His eyes were puffy and saggy, his mouth downturned, even when he attempted to make one of his patently unfunny quips, he couldn't muster a smirk. Is it because in this battle the public, and a lot of celebrities, have chosen sides? And they chose team Conan? Oprah was really at a lose as to why a majority of respondents on her website (94%) were backing Conan. Doesn't America love the safe, unfunny humor dished up by Leno? His softball style of interviewing guests? Has America grown weary of bland pablum and want some hot sauce tossed on their pablum?
Despite Oprah, and Leno, claiming that the American public just doesn't understand how television works, the bigger issue that these two don't understand is that the viewing public needs to have a certain perception about the people were tuning in to watch. One thing is trust. Trust isn't everything, but it is something. Which means that we demand a honest quality. Take Ellen Degeneres for example. Her talk show is wildly popular across all demographics, young, old, gay, straight, republican, democrat, independent, religious, nonreligious...people like her, and trust her. You know why? Because she's honest about who she is. At this point in Leno's career he no longer comes off as the semi-funny (I'm being kind) doofy class clown you went to school with. His likability has been pummeled, and he comes off as a meglomaniacal bully. Oprah, giving another, more watched, pulpit for him to whine and bully from makes her come off as a detattatched from reality uber rich...fool, I guess, is the word I'm looking for.
Anyway, that's my take on the whole debacle. I don't expect Leno to be #1 again on The Tonight Show, and I hope that Conan gets another gig. As for me, I watch Letterman. Sure, he's an asshat, but he's never tried to hide that from us, has he?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Planning Ahead

Day Lilies, Water

It's snowing, we're holed up inside in the dead of winter, and I am thinking thoughts of summer. I've signed MK and I up for Earth Trek, where we get to be Citizen Scientists! Or something resembling brainy people. Mostly we're going to roam around looking for garlic mustard, an invasive xeno species that some people want to get rid of and others want to eat. I'm in the latter group...the plant is quite delicious when sauteed, braised, or even lightly grilled with meat.
This should be fun! Plus, I get to do science! And eat!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, 2005

The ease of communication on the internet balances precariously on a fulcrum of asshattery. Case in point: Facebook. I have a bunch of old high school people who have friended me on there, and despite the fact that I don't go to reunions and some of these people I haven't seen or spoken to since June of 1980, it seems rude to ignore their friend request, or worse and ruder yet, unfriend them once they reveal themselves to be fundamentalist Christians. I really don't have any tolerance at all for religious crazies, especially when they want to see anyone who doesn't agree with them destroyed. Preferrably smited, smoted?, by God, but if man has to do the smiting in the name of God, that's fine too. It's insane, to my mind, but to their mind, it's righteous and what is expected of them. They are on the frontlines of God's Holy Army (one woman actually said this) taking back our country for the 'real' Americans.
Of course they all adore Sarah Palin, which is perfect backwards troll logic. I would expect nothing less than total devotion to Palin and her meandering rhetoric of half truths, outright lies, and made up shit.
Anyway, my solution, if I have one, is that I'm going to have to purge some people from my friend list, because there are those on facebook who are actual friends, and I like being connected with them. These other clowns...I should just mock them, but what with the menopause and all, they set me off on Angry Street instead of merely careenly wildly down Make Fun Boulevard.
The one positive thing from reconnecting with old school mates is that a couple of them have turned out to be really cool people, with interesting lives and thoughtful insights.

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's a Bird

Raptor, Steeple, Desanctified Church

I haven't gotten a good enough shot yet to figure out what sort of bird of prey hangs out atop the former St. Michael of the Archangels Church steeple. She perches up there, and then takes to the skies, soaring around, hunting, presumably.
It's so difficult to even a get a decent pic of her because of the distance. I got this one with MK's digital camera, but if I'd had Reichter's digital, with the extra telephoto lens, well, THEN maybe I'd have some luck. In fact, that's exactly what I'm going to do this weekend. Borrow his camera and hope the bird shows up and sits pretty for me.

Up, Then Down

18th Street Steps, Pittsburgh, 1/23/10

All over Pittsburgh there are steps that lead from the flats to the slopes. Easier on the way down than the way up, for sure.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Storybook Ending

Storybook Wolf by Jose Luis Rodriguez

Word from Britain is that the Natural History Museum Wildlife Photographer of the Year has been stripped of his prize for using a tame animal model and staging this photo. The rules clearly state that no animal models can be used and everything has to be authentic and, well, wild. It's the whole point of the 'wild' in the life.
Rodriguez's fraud was brought to light by his fellow Spanish photographers who alerted the judges. Doesn't sound like he's a very popular guy with his countrymen and colleagues, does it? For his part Rodriguez is claiming that the photo is genuine. The judges reconvened to review the evidence against him and decided otherwise, withdrawing his award.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hark, A Vagrant

A few months ago a friend turned me on to the comic website, Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton. I have some things I would like to say about this hilarious island of razor sharp insight and frivolity adrift in the vast sea of being and nothingness of the interwebs. I have many things, actually, that I would like to say, but instead let me spare you my pompacity and simply urge you to click on the above link and check out the fun! It really is great. I turly love it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Offend

Mechanical, Is It A Bee?

Today I finally had the opportunity to stop and pick up the new Buffy comic (#31). I'm out in Cranberry fairly often, but the comic book store keeps the mercurial hours of a ghoul, so when I'm there, they aren't.
Wait! That proves I'm not a ghoul! Finally, concrete empirical proof that I am indeed a nonghoul. What a relief!
Anyway, the shop opens at noon on Tuesdays, and it was 12:15pm, so I figured that with a fifteen minute buffer they would have to be open. Even though the place was darkish and the CLOSED sign was still in the window (this isn't a big deal, they never flip the sign to OPEN), I went up and tried the door because hey, they had to be open by now, right? The door was unlocked, but once I was inside it was apparent that only the backroom lights were on. I tentatively shouted out 'Hello', which was answered with, 'I'll be open in one minute.'
I waited inside the door and was joined by two men who came in right after me.
A few moments later the lights all went up and the woman emerged from the backroom, and boy, was she pissed off. She didn't say a peep to the guys, but told me that from now on I was not to enter the store if she wasn't ready to be open. I explained that it was long after opening time, and the door was unlocked, and I just waited inside the door for her to come out of the back. She shot such a look of contempt at me and said that she'd been late to work because she was in an accident that morning and then repeated her original message that I was not in the future to ever, EVER come in the store if she wasn't ready to open. i didn't say anything more at this point, because, what's the point?
This is not the first run in I've had with this woman. In fact, every time I go in New Dimension Comics she goes out of her way to make an ass out of herself. Those rare times I go in there and have to deal with a guy I have no problems, so what is the deal with this woman? Is it me? Do I inspire hostility in comic nerd fangirls that I'm completely unaware of?
Oh who knows, but I think I'm going to take my business solely over to Phantom of the Attic Comic Book Store.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Early Bird Fossil

Early Bird Fossil

MK and I went to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History on Sunday and fun was had by all! Or just both of us. I've noticed that security pays less attention to me now with my camera since everyone is assumed to have a camera phone and I'm at least being obvious about my shutterbuggery.
But, before our jaunt to the museum we ate at Lulu's Noodles, an Asian noodle joint about a block away, situated between Pitt and CMU. I got the ramen shittake miso soup, and let me tell you, it was magnificent! Delicious, just perfect. Oh, how I love noodles. My German great grandmother used to call me 'dough belly', not because I was fat, but because all I would eat when I was a kid was pasta. Grandma Householder was a wonderful woman, cooking me macaroni, walking around with M&Ms in the pockets of her apron. She sure knew how to charm a kid! Of course when she died the image of her dead body in the coffin gave me nightmares for years, but I come from people who display their dead, so I was going to be traumatized at some time or other.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Snow-laden berries, dangling...and there's a really bad joke in there somewhere, along with a metaphor that frightens me.

Like, The Weather, Dammit

When it snows, it dumps. Currently we're at 7.5 inches, with more to come. MK's flight to North Carolina for her uncle's funeral was cancelled, so, sadly, she'll be missing that.
I'm slogging around in my slightly oversized felt pack boots, trying to ignore the weather, running errands, stocking up on bread and toilet paper.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Undeveloped Country of Horses

I was cleaning out my sock drawer when I found an undeveloped roll of film therein. Probably I shot the roll, took it out of the camera, and left it sitting on the dresser for awhile, and then in a fit of tidying up, threw it in the drawer, where it languished for three and half long years. Over the weekend MK and I took it down to be turned into pictures.
Nothing Earth shattering on the roll, but I do like me some horses!