Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Are We Bored Yet?

I wrote this very passionate article for today's spot in The Rec Room. I was really excited about it and had endless fun choosing examples and crafting sentences and teasing out my point. Then I went back to proof read and thought, "Oh for the love of Sports Night this might not work at all!" I mean, it still works for me, I remain entirely geeked by the whole argument, but I had a sudden all-encompassing fear that it might be an internet sleeping pill for people who don't know my voice at all. You folks know my voice. If you have a chance would you mind going over there and letting me know if I'm in a world of my own on this one? I trust you. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Alice, Flo, Vera & MAB

Go check out MAB. His song, I Love the Way You Smell (available on iTunes!), was used to punch up a piece about skunks on Rachel Maddow.

I'm going to hate myself for saying this but...that doesn't stink.

Congratulations, friend, I love the way you sing.

10 Jumbly Bumbly Things

1. Tony Comstock is rallying to fight again. Check out the unbelievable drop in stats he's being subjected to. Also go google "real sex" take a look at some of that crap then go look at a trailer or two for Tony's films (not safe for work) and tell me why on earth it should be forced out of those search results.

2. Roman Polanski was arrested, some 30 years on from his alleged crime. Wow it's a complicated and awful thing. Feministing has a round up of writing about it.

3. Rob Rummel-Hudson is probably the premier blogger on parenting a special needs child. The other day he took on the question of paying for special education in public schools.

4. By now you've probably heard all about this exchange between Senators Kyl and Stebanow but just in case you haven't. Man, she served him with a smile.

5. The Tomato Nation/Donors Choose Contest is almost nigh. There's even a pre-contest giveaway happening. Please lift up your couch cushions and see if you've got anything you can donate to this wonderful cause. (Alternatively the Red Cross is a good clearing house for donations for the southeast flood victims or victims of the typhoon in the Philippines.)

6. We had run off elections in the city today (Dear 89% of voters who failed to come out on primary day, He may be the president but he is still only one man. Get off your duff and help him out. Love, One of the pitiful 11%) and I was forced to make some odd choices. Obviously the candidates were close in their positions so I found myself looking to any interaction I'd had with them or their people. Some of these interactions were supremely annoying. So for instance do I not vote for that controller candidate because he and his entourage stood dead center of the small greenmarket thoroughfare in the rain while they glad handed and blocked any of the regular shoppers from passing without seeming to notice or do I vote for that same candidate because clearly he's going to stand firm in his convictions and not be swayed by little things like politesse?

7. DJ Blurb's writing on Fringe Conservatives (up to and including G. Beck) is really interesting. I remain baffled by how people like Blurb, Dooce and Martha Beck can have been raised Mormon, grown so far from it but then willingly gone back to live in an area where Mormonism has so strong an influence. It's admirable because they're sort of fighting from the inside but I don't get it. I'm glad they keep writing about it so I can continue to learn.

8. All I know about Norma Rae is what I learned in the movie. Apparently Crystal Lee Sutton, upon whom the movie is based (yes she did write that sign and stand on that platform), passed away recently. Thanks to Feministing for the heads up.

9. Not sure how I managed not to share this with you before but Scalzi went in depth about why calling Obama a socialist is both an improper label for the man and an inappropriate use of the word. "You know who don’t think Obama is a socialist? Socialists, that’s who." As usual he's knowledgeable and well-reasoned with a lot for both sides to learn if we feel like it.

10. Let's go out on a Darwinism note. Recently football player Plaxico Burress reported to jail for having a loaded gun in a night club...and accidentally shooting himself with it. While I've got a bit of a gripe that he and Michael Vick were handed extremely similar sentences I have to say they both got off cheap compared to this kid.

Monday, September 28, 2009

No, Comment

I've been thinking and talking a lot with other bloggers lately about commenting on web sites. It's such an odd thing. You can read something someone else has written, often about something very close to his or her heart, and they provide you, perhaps a total stranger, with space to say whatever you want about it. Who thought that up? Seems like a spectacularly bad idea, does it not? On the other hand I've met a lot of really stellar people this way so why am I knocking it?

There's a commenter on another site I write for who delights in playing the devil's advocate. Were she doing so while adding something substantive to the conversation I might be both more tolerant and more interested in her. As it is she commented on one of my pieces last week with words that could only have been more clear if she's written *derisive snort*. What is that? It's nothing. If you derisively snorted at me in conversation I'd absolutely call you on it and ask you to pony up some actual conversational material. Having seen this particular woman in action with other bloggers I didn't waste my time.

Reading another blog-friends site a few weeks ago I noticed a haughty and dismissive comment. She'd written about a book she loved and the commenter, someone she knows well, took time out of her day to write a multiple paragraph comment about how she'd tried the book but found it lacking and really the whole genre was beneath her but, for the sake of her friend, she'd tried it and, of course, been proved right. Seriously? You took time out of your day to read about something your friend holds dear and then took more time to shit all over it in space she provided you? Well, that's delightful, your compassion and time management totally make me want to be your friend now.

These things, though, are relatively mild. People become down right mean in comments. At Heather Champ's inspiration Heather Armstrong has started a whole site to take advantage of her plethora of cruel commenters. John Scalzi (the moderator of one of the most spirited yet most civil comments sections on the internet) wrote a book about it. It's not going away. I read some real estate/local news sites for my area and without fail these sites draw the ugliest comments I've ever seen. No piece of fluff human interest post or lightly tossed salad of a real estate listing is safe from vitriol. There will always be something negative that DownWithGentrification1393475465 just can't keep inside and then HatesHomeowners93745023 simply cannot let pass without rejoinder.

A lot of people say that it's the anonymity of the internet that allows, nay encourages, people to say such things. I don't know, the local area sites I mention have strict identity policies on their sites and people seem to go out of their way to create identities with which to administer their anger. So for one you can't stop it and for two I don't know. Some people are known round and about for being trolls and don't seem to mind. They perhaps abide by the law of "There's no such thing as bad publicity." I fear the Derisive Snort Lady will swing by here which will mean she'll have jumped through two other blogs to get to me, never changing her name, and snort all over my breakfast. I know how to get her IP address. I know where to find her. She doesn't care.

It all really makes me wonder why we comment. I'm a moderate to rare commenter. I feel as though a blogger is providing space for discussion and, especially if it's a larger readership, I need to really step up the level of my commentary in order to bother. If I'm not going to say something clever or interesting then why should I waste anyone's time? You know how a lot of people go to popular sites and comment "First!" when they think they've gotten first comment? I think that's weird. If someone is writing about a traumatic or difficult time in their lives I waffle about commenting. On the one hand 100 people just chimed in with "So sorry. Thinking of you." and that's all I've really got but on the other hand that's all that's really called for, too, and it would be well appreciated. If I know a blogger in real life I'm more inclined to toss in a "Me too." or a "Right on" or whatever, because I know they know me and know what I mean and that even a couple of words mean something to our friendship. Occasionally something just moves me right out of my seat, makes me angry or happy or sad or makes me really, really think and I can't help but respond immediately. Those are sometimes my favorite comments and sometimes my illest-advised. As time has gone by I've tried to train myself to have that reaction, think of my comment then walk away. If I'm still crafting that comment in my head an hour later I'll swing back around and type it up. You're supposed to comment on other sites. It's what bloggers live for and it builds readership and community and it's fun gosh darn it! But, like any form of social interaction, it's fraught with unspoken rules and potholes, no? I know why I do it but I remain baffled about the reasons of others.

Why do you comment? What stops you? What do you think about commenting in general? Tell me more because the more I talk about it the less I understand, clearly more study is required.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

What better to do on a rainy Sunday than to process and post some sunny day's photos. 

Saturday, September 26, 2009

School of Fish

I cooked a lot today. I do not cook. I mean, I can. Cooking is, at its most basic, following directions and I can follow directions. Sometimes I just choose not to. I had groceries delivered yesterday and I cooked today.

  • Chicken in the crockpot for the dog
  • Brown rice and broccoli, also for the princess
  • Roasted veggies for me; brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower

I guess that doesn't seem like much but it's more than I've cooked all summer. The apartment smells like autumn.

Autumn smells a little like flatulence.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Today's Sign of the Apocalypse

My cats were born in my apartment so they've always known Emily the way they've always known me. Elvis tends to think he's a dog and that he's progressed in the pack to a station above Emily. For her part Emily, as a relatively curious and rambunctious dog, was taught to be very respectful of the kittens. As they grew her respect did not diminish so she continues to treat them as if they were teensy and fragile instead of the holy peeing terrors they've become.

Neither cat tolerates excitement well. Any quick movement or sound shoots them off like a feline canon ball. Anna is especially sensitive to this sort of thing and as a result doesn't usually snuggle right up to the dog. If it gets cold all three animals will come up and share the bed with me or they'll each stake out a spot on the couch but usually with a respectable distance between them.

In the past few days I've noticed that sometimes when Emily is sitting as she's pictured above Anna will come over and lay down perpendicular to her, right across her front paws. They lounge like that until Emily shifts then Anna will gently stand, maybe rub her head and body back and forth beneath Emily's chin before settling down again. This evening they were doing it again. Emily seemed just spent, so tired in fact that she was resting her head on Anna's back.

They know.

I wonder if this has been going on a long time just not while I was home. Maybe Emily has had bad times or episodes, maybe even seizures and the cats have been here comforting her. Maybe they have known about her troubles for months before I even noticed. At least they have each other I suppose but it is just heartbreaking to watch and not to know as much as they seem to.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Quick Like A Funny

Sometimes I contribute a little tip to Filming in Brooklyn. I sent one over this week and Amy is always really nice about giving tipsters a shoutout and a link. Turns out, though? She thinks I'm a man.


I would like to publicly state that I am an idiot and I'm sheltered and I feel foolish. I told Pony Express about the scarves and surgical masks on people at the protest yesterday. She immediately understood that they were protecting their identities so that pictures of them wouldn't be used to identify families back home and harm them. (By harm I do understand they mean kill, by the way.)

I apologize for not readily understanding that.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

NWW: Not St. Patrick's Day


Just 37 floors down from where I am now.


Happened across it when I went out to run errands.


Unfortunately I do not know if the mouth covering is cultural, protest specific or H1N1 motivated. Some people of both genders wore scarves over their mouths, many wore surgical masks.


It's not random. The UN General Assembly is gathered here only a few blocks from my office.


Guess Who?

Forgot to let you know that I'm over in the Rec Room today talking about classy celebrities.

NWW: This Should Come As No Surprise


Supplemental photography by Kath.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

After Intermission

I'm opening up this blank page in the event that there are more things I like before the Emmy broadcast ends. Maybe there will be 10 more so I'll have done Twenty for Tuesday. We shall see...

1. Johnny Galecki cracking up at the lameness of his wedgie punchline.

2. All of the Big Bang Theory actors just stumbling along and laughing when they screw up.

3. I know I've waited a long while to mention it. I was afraid it was going to fall apart but it doesn't seem to be doing that so I'll say it.  I really like the (possibly fake) facts they're throwing out about nominees and presenters.

4. OK, and while we're here waiting for the very long lists of writers to be read for the variety category I'll say how pleased and surprised I am at the beautifully brief acceptance speeches. Is it because NPH is hosting and they all think it's the Tonys?

5. I love how naive Sandra Oh looks laughing at Jimmy Fallon's prat fall and yet somehow uncertain whether he's really hurt.

6. As much as I loved a lot of the other nominees in the Supporting Actress in a Drama category I'm intensely jazzed to have Cherry Jones, a true theatre icon, be the winner. She's going to put her Emmy on the craft service table on set the next day. Again, classy and fun. These are the women I want to grow up to be.

***You have to wonder how sick Sara Maclachlan is of singing this song, especially for memoriam montages.

7. All of the thumbs in the world up for giving Patrick Swayze, Don Hewitt, Farrah Fawcett and Walter Cronkite pride of place over Michael Jackson in the memorial montage. Well done.

***And here we are, I've caught up with the live broadcast at 2:28 into the (supposedly) 3 hour telecast. I learned in an article about NPH I read this week that, due to low viewership and high costs, the 3 hour broadcast has only 2 hours and 5 minutes of content. The third hour is basically ads.

8. "Learn how to tell them to go to hell in such a way that they'll want to go." Rod Holcomb, Emmy winner for Drama Direction - ER.

***Dude, second kidney transplant survivor as Emmy winner (Kater Gordon, writer, Mad Men). Is this a first?

9. Hugh Laurie's somewhat panicked scowl when they announced his nomination followed by his hearty applause when Bryan Cranston won.

10. And they bring it in just 3 minutes over time. That's impressive.

So I had to stretch a little to make 20. Sue me. Hello? Is this thing on? Anyone??!!!???

Neil Patrick Harris Is Magic

As I saw on my couch fast forwarding through the commercials and watching the Emmys I was also trying to think what the heck I'd do for 10 Things Tuesday this week. Make the problem your solution I always say. So here are 10 things I like about the Emmys. 

1. Neil Patrick Harris' tour of the stage.

2. Kristen Chenoweth's acceptance speech where she made shilling for work seem charming and perfectly appropriate. If I knew how to do that I would so not being working in a fucking office.

3. Tina Fey & John Hamm helping Chenoweth off the stage. So classy, which is no surprise from those two. (It's a good thing they did, too, apparently soon after that she had to be treated by paramedics.)

4. The borderline creepy "Oooo!" let out by Justin Timberlake when he read that Toni Colette won Best Actress in a Comedy for United States of Tara.

5. Timberlake again, surprisingly, for his rendition of Kanye West: The Classy Version when he and Ms. Fey were called on to speak.

***I admit I don't watch 30 Rock but I still call foul on Baldwin over Shalhoub. Sorry Alec I'm sure you're very good it's

6. As much as it pains me to put him on my list, Jeff Probst's nod to Harris and the fact that last year's reality hosted Emmys sucked balls. I tend to blanket anything associated with Survivor as classless but apparently I've missed the mark.

7. The 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon joke. I admit it, I laughed out loud.

8. Everything about Shoreh Aghdashloo. She is everything that is elegant and beautiful and noteworthy. 

9.  Ken Howard's birthday tribute to his wife. "Happy Birthday, Sunshine." Come on, how sweet is that? On a different note, I had no idea he had a kidney transplant a few years ago. Wow.

***Sight gag with the internet winner sitting behind the sound mixers is funny and yet tragic. Did you see how many empty seats there were in the audience? Could they not even get enough seat fillers for this show?

***Sorry, I have to mention it because huge white elephant in the room, but, um, did anyone contact a bookie about the odds on Patricia Arquette Janet Jacksoning out of her dress? I mean, wow. Wow.

10. Seriously, the Dr. Horrible thing, probably the best pre-taped bit for an awards show EVER. LOVE.

I got to 10 and we're only at 1 hour 33 mins into the 3 hour show. I waited until 8:30 to start watching via DVR and I haven't even caught up to the live broadcast yet, either. Looks like I might have enough material for a whole second list. Stay tuned...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sounds like "Saabing"

I had planned to write a whole specially crafted post about the next step in Emily's diagnosis but after a whole day of explaining it to person after person for reason after reason I simply don't have it in me. The clearest, simplest explanation I've given today is to my parents so I'm going to cut and paste that e-mail in here to let you know what's going on. I've got posts in the works for days to come and I'll keep plugging along but no matter what you read here, make no mistake, this is all I'm thinking about.

Not sure where I left off with either of you so I'll run down the whole thing. Took her in because she wasn't eating. Got her some anti-inflammatories for her supposed arthritis and an appetite enhancer. The appetite enhancer made her anxious and I found other ways to get her to eat so we stopped that and used the anti-inflammatories alone for a few days. Her blood work came back with some elevated liver levels so I thought the doctor was going to diagnose liver failure. We spoke again this morning and it turns out that, though the liver info isn't fabulous, given her lack of reaction to the anti-inflammatories and her current physical challenges (stumbling, knuckling over onto the top of a foot, moments of forgetfullness, etc.) her primary ailment is neurological. We don't know exactly what it is but the possibilities are tumor, stroke, inflammation or something else we don't know about. The only way to find out for sure is with an MRI or a CT scan. For that they'd have to anesthetize her which is very risky at her age and it wouldn't change the course of treatment or give us a chance at some miracle answer so I'm not going to do it. We've taken her off the anti-inflammatories to bleed them out of her system so we can start a course of steroids later this week. In the case of a tumor the steroids might shrink it. In the case of a brain bleed they might help her body clean up the extra blood. Her inflammation levels are just barely above the high normal range so it's not likely to be that. My money is on a stroke given where her physical limitations are showing up. So we're not looking at as drastic and disgusting a demise as liver failure (though with steroids in the mix we may get that later) but the future is uncertain. She may decline slowly and come up with new challenges along the way. She may have a bigger stroke and go all in one fell swoop. In the mean time we'll see if the steroids help and I've talked with the homeopathic guy so she's got immuno boosters and hepatic support vitamins and I'm cooking food for her and hand feeding her as necessary to keep her strength up. She's getting even more spoiled and she's loving it.

Probably doesn't need to be said that I'm heartbroken and hating the high level of uncertainty but the girl is pretty happy and comfortable so I'm calling it a win. For now.

Can I Get That In Writing?

It's popular to say on the internet, "sometimes the meaning doesn't come across" or "I wish we could do this by phone" or "I'm better in person." For me, not so much. I am not better in person. If you know me, if we've been pals for a while then, sure, sometimes it's better to experience me in the pasty white flesh. Most of the time, though, especially for the first impression, you will be so much more pleased with the interaction if I pass you a note. From behind. With a hood on.

I used to work for an improv company. I am terrible at improv (I don't know. They were new. And desperate.). I panic. In a show like that you have to be able to do short form, long form, one liners, everything just like on TV. One night we were planning an evening for performing in a bar and knew we'd play a game where you ask the audience for the name of a fruit or vegetable and the performers stand on the line (the step in Whose Line) and step off with different jokes that use the suggested comestible for the punchline. In rehearsal, to test us, one of the leaders shouted out "Broccoli!" I am great at one liners*. I was the only one who could use it and I fucking rocked broccoli. That's it, though. If you require more than two sentences of me and if you don't give me a strong direction to go in I stumble and shy away and generally make a terrible impression. Just ask Zelda. She met me at my worst and she wasn't even the person to whom I said, "I just don't like people very much." I'm a charmer.

In writing if I'm pissing you off (and I'm told I am pissing at least a few of you off) you can at least be reasonably sure I meant it that way. In person I might not have thought my remarks all the way through, or I might have forgotten which side of the argument I was trying to be on or I might be completely on the wrong track and blissfully unaware. Once (possibly more than once, I'll never admit for sure) I confused Brandi Chastain the soccer player and all around fantabulous role model with a porn star. In my defense, look at that name, it'd do so well in the adult film industry would it not? The conversation went on for about 10 minutes with me making suggestive innuendo and waggling my eyebrows like Christopher Lloyd and everyone else looking baffled. Finally someone mentioned her triumphant Olympic win photo and I realized my mistake. Take my word for the fact that there's no graceful way out of that. Here on my blog I'll be forced to look Ms. Chastain up in order to link to her and if I'm on the wrong track I'll have time to correct my course.

I'm guessing this is why I've always loved to write. Probably why I also love the internet and texting, too. So if we meet at Blogher next year and you can't reconcile who I am with what you remember from my blog please know that you're not alone. I can't either. Also, "sometimes the meaning doesn't come across," "I wish we could do this by e-mail" and "I'm way better in blog."

Thanks for reading.

*For the record my short form can be a little dangerous as well. One night I was out to dinner with a whole group of folks I didn't know well at all. One bright and bubbly diner asked in the course of the conversation, "Why is it called a Cleveland Steamer**?" I, of course, replied, "Have you ever been to Cleveland?" and in that split second before they all laughed I thought, "Oh shit, I don't know where any of these people are from."

**And to think I was afraid it'd be difficult to find a link to that definition.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

36 Hour Warning

I've got two 10 Things Tuesday posts going up this week. They're all about the Emmys so if you don't watch the Emmys by then you'll be confused, and probably bored.

Just giving you the heads up.

The Puppy Paradox

The difficult thing to negotiate is that these medicines don't cure any of Emily's problems. They have various ways of alleviating the pain which is great, however, without pain she is without self-regulation. She moves too fast, sees dimes to turn on and never wants the fun to end. The result it a lot of stumbling, a fair amoung of outright falling and continuous surprise on her part.

I spoke to the vet yesterday and put on my listening brain. It kept trying to skip ahead to solution brain and I kept pulling the reins hard. Analysis was, it seems, out of the question in the moment. Kidney levels were perfectly normal. Liver levels were high - no specifics. Inflammation levels were negligibly high. 10,600 is high normal and Emily is at 10,650. The doc agreed that if the appetite enhancer was making Em anxious it could and should be stopped. She wanted to know if the pooch would eat her own food if fed it by hand. I didn't know but promised to investigate. We agreed to continue the Vetprofen alone and speak again on Monday.

It was more than an hour later that my analytical brain stepped to the podium. Vetprofen is for inflammation. Inflammation levels are almost completely normal. The only things the vet expressed as being outside of correct margins were the liver levels.

I think the vet is trying to let me know that my dog's legs are fine but her liver is failing.

I'll ask tomorrow. I don't know much about non-emergent liver failure or even if such a thing exists at the non-emergent level. I don't understand why my dog has so much trouble with her back legs if her inflammation levels aren't a concern. I don't know if it's encouraging that Emily will eat anything, including her regular kibble, from my hand. I do at least seem to be ready with more appropriate questions now, though.

My solution brain is already far ahead, asking for the name of hte holistic vet that helped Cameron so much and planning a trip to see Phil for vitamins and elixirs and encouragement. Surely I won't be the first person to dissolve into tears in his little store alcove. It is ridiculously human to have so many solutions when I don't yet truly have a grasp on the problem.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Take A Long Walk Off A Short Plank

Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day! There is, I'm sure, no shortage of things being written about it but this piece over at The Edible Torah is my favorite thus far. The combination of Talking Like A Pirate and Rosh Hashannah is a powerful thing.

OK, now get out there an celebrate!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ode To A Friend

I've been spending a lot of quality time with Kath this summer. I am lucky.

She sponsored an awesome evening at the Brooklyn Cyclones with our dogs last month (she took my favorite photo of the night and posted it here). This month she's been roller skating on Myrtle Avenue.

She is beautiful and you can see all the photographic evidence here and here.

L'Shanah Tovah Etc.

A hearty happy "head of the year" to you!

National Park(ing) Day isn't a holiday but it is weird and cool. My favorite wine store is sponsoring a park(ing) space this year, too. Yay!

I would watch a reality show of Robert Downey, Jr. and Woody Harrelson sitting in a house and talking for hours on end. In fact I might not ever be able to stop watching it.

Here are the first items on my Life List: 1. Travel to Italy with MamaKizz, Queen Bee & Zelda, 2. Go with Queen Bee to visit Ella Bee in China, 3. Have a gallery show of my photography.

My ability to craft coherent essays has been compromised. I blame the onion rings.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's That Flat Fish That Tastes Funny

No, wait, actually I think that's Mackerel. Well, whatever.

I think I might be floundering without a "Life List." On the one hand I don't think "Write a sex and sensuality blog for a popular web site" was ever on one of my lists and I'm doing that and loving the cheese out of it. But on the other hand I am swaying in the directionless bitter cold freaking breeze (yes, I know it's "good sleeping weather" it's also good "froze my toes" weather, I'm cold).

I love looking at other people's life lists. Maggie got hers sponsored and it's been lovely to watch her complete items on it. No Pasa Nada was inspired by her and has made a brand spanking new list. (Yay!) right now. JRH used to post a list here in a theme inspired by, I think, Knotty Yarn (no, I don't think, I know because her 109 in 2009 is right in her sidebar with a bunch of stuff crossed off!). Don't know if it's on any kind of list but Linda is doing a Super Sprint Triathalon this weekend. I love a good list. I did the Knotty Yarn thing a couple of years in a row but this year just...didn't. It was partly that I lacked motivation for a big list and partly that I simply did not have the energy to wade through comments about "what a long list," "you have big ambitions," I could never do 109 things in one year," "why do you do this again when you could just go out and do the things?" (For the record today I am also feeling overly sensitive after taking a light spanking over at the Rec Room for watching too much TV...for a feature I have agreed to write ON TV!)

Anyway, I still lack a spark. I need some help. I need a drink and a good talking to. I need not to have stayed up an extra hour working and reworking in my head the list of who to notify and in what order when the dog is diagnosed as terminal while weeping into my pillow because I let myself get both overtired and overstimulated last night. (The dog, by the way, was approximately 1,000% better this morning. I expect the furniture to be re-arranged and the walls to be painted when I get home this evening, she had that much energy.)

Which is all a lead up to asking you to do some work for me. What would you like to see me accomplish in my life? You know a lot about me from this blog and you are all smart and creative folks so write my obituary and tell me what things I'd have to do to make it publishable (many, many years down the road). I'm looking for some inspiration and you guys are good at that.

As always, thank you for being around these parts and making yourself available for such shenanigans.

Time Now

OK, so now I do actually have a moment (and I haven't been licked skinless by my dog, she really is restrained) I can link directly to the pieces I had up at the Women's Colony yesterday. I filled in with a Patrick Swayze tribute for the Cabana, aided and abetted by Mrs. G who added the final video. My piece in the Rec Room was the first of what I hope will be many. I'll be stopping in there on Wednesdays to talk about TV. Do you think I'll have enough material? (Where is my sarcastic font?) And I'll remain in the Bedroom on Mondays and Fridays as per usual. This past Monday I wrote about kisses. Very safe and romantic, I promise.

Wow, it felt good to update you specifically. Like finishing 6 months of filing at work....not that I would ever....oh forget it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Underneath It All

When your dog is 14 the subtext of all veterinary appointments is, "Your dog is old. You're aware that's terminal, right?"

I am, in fact, aware of all of that. I understand that the answer may be that I need to buy a case of hot dogs and hand feed them to my dog. I'm OK with that. She deserves at least that. I just want to make sure there's not something else to do before I resort to that.

For now she's getting $145 worth of blood work (along with the other charges) to be certain there isn't any permanent damage from her UT/bladder/kidney/something or other infection at the beginning of the year or anything else going on (if she is riddled with cancer the blood work would tip us off). She's also got an appetite enhancer and will be going on an anti-inflammatory, we'll work for it to be the lowest effective dose to minimize wear on kidneys and liver.

The examination showed no palpable tumors or obvious reason for loss of appetite but that she's lost almost 7lbs since May. She's had one appetite enhancer pill and I may be frightened to sleep, she might lick all the nutrients off my skin while I'm out. She's fuckin' hungry y'all. Kath suggested I double check since some veterinary appetite enhancers can cause nausea in pets. I did some research, though, and it's actually also used to reduce nausea and vomiting. It is used in humans as an anti-depressant while it also "communicate[s] with the vomit center of the brain" in a good way. I've given her extra kibble and some gravy and all her food is gone and she's had treats and she just keeps coming over and standing next to me like she'd eat a finger if I'd just stop using it to type and give it up for a good cause already. 

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't at all worried. It's been a long motherfucking day. Work was long and I came straight home and spent time at the vet then went out to celebrate the launch of the PUPS web site and got home just a little bit ago so I'm overtired and thrown off by this throwback version of HUNGRY Emily. I am encouraged that the Myrtazapine worked so quickly, though, and glad to know that there's a plan of action and some science is being perpetrated in the name of getting even some marginally definitive answers. So, you know, don't stand down on those good thoughts and wishes yet but you should be aware that whatever you've tossed over the fence thus far has been put to good use. I promise.

Nighty night.

Walk Through

Luck of the draw has put me in rooms, plural, of The Women's Colony today. No time to tell you which. Do yourself (ok, me really) a little favor and walk through to find me. I promise not to jump out at you from a closet or behind some drapes.

Piping Hot Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Chili requested a Hot People post. Since I've been contributing some content to The Cabana (well, so far yesterday and today at least) it felt like I was on a role.

Can you tell what else Chili and I were talking about?

All images courtesy of google images.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

You Want MORE?!?!?

Inspired by my trip to Seattle, I did the Cabana post for The Colony today. It's like my Hot People posts but I used my own photos and everything.

Ahoy The Randomness!

1. After I bitched and moaned on Sunday I actually wrote 7 new pieces to post on various sites around and about. Poke around in the different rooms of The Women's Colony and I will appear. Mostly regular Mondays and Fridays in the Bedroom but you never know where else I could be.

2. Speaking of the Colony they're giving away shoes this week. You love shoes, don't you? Also my new friend, Minnesota Matron, wrote an interesting piece on privacy in a technological age. If you read it don't neglect the comments, people have a lot of ideas.

3. Speaking of technology, I signed up for Twitter yesterday. I don't even know why. I'm @Kizzbeth now. Perhaps it was a bad case of technological hubris since I spent much of yesterday's workday setting up the boss's new computer and I think I did OK.

4. Speaking of work, my boss said to me yesterday, "Have you ever thought about working in a Mac store?" Aside from the implications for my future employment I'm afraid those of you who have ever given me tech support might snap a tendon laughing at the very suggestion.

5. Speaking of sports (we weren't, were we?), I think the fact that some NFL players are donating their noggins to concussion research (presumably post-mortem) is pretty super. They need to get some NHL folks in there, too. Eric Lindros' brain alone could provide valuable information leading to the eradication of head injuries throughout America. Or not. But still, he's got to have the highest per-head concussion rate outside of boxing. (hat tip to Gothamist)

6. According to the fine folks of the West Wing (the real one, not Aaron Sorkin's) September is National Preparedness Month. Perhaps it will surprise you to know that after a terrorist attack on my city and a regional blackout I am not prepared. Perhaps it will not. Saintseester and I were talking about it over here. Part of it is that I'm not very organized. Part is that I don't have a ton of space. A big part of it is that I feel a little fatalistic about the whole thing. How much good are a couple of bottles of water and a radio going to do me? That being said, if you're wondering what to get me for Christmas a flashlight and some batteries probably wouldn't be a bad place to start.

7. I don't know nearly enough about the playwriting of Wallace "Incontheivable!" Shawn. This is a neat interview and I want to know more.

8. My dog isn't well. I'm trying not to get all worked up about it. She's refusing to eat, though, even when I entice her with all her favorite stuff. Could be a lot of things. Some of them are easily fixable and some of them are also easily fixable but in a really undesirable way. Finally made a vet appointment for tomorrow night so we'll know more then, I guess. In the mean time I'm giving her anti-inflammatories and bribing her with hot dogs. Poor baby girl.

9. I can't get this quote from MAB out of my head, "Oh, and pre-2000 respect for the office wasn't such a big deal either. Remember that? But 9/11 changed everything. Until it changed black. I mean, back." Have I mentioned how much I love his brain?

10. I continue to enjoy Leon's information over at the Edible Torah. Sometimes I don't feel qualified to interpret his words, though. I mean, did he seriously just talk about the time that Moses thought that Judaism had jumped the shark?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Second Thoughts

I thought I was done with the 9/11 posting. That's what we're supposed to do, right, spend the day thinking about it, perhaps after some lead up malaise and then move along as the clock hits midnight. I am, shockingly, not good with following directions.

I shared Lillybaine's thoughts with you. I also indulged in perusing the comments of a popular blog written in the proverbial heartland. There were plenty of prayers and pleasantries and where-we-weres. Some of them struck me sort of dully in the side. People, I think people not in cities and not in major military centers had been immediately struck with the need to stock pile water and to fill their SUV's with gas. The irony of the latter seems to have escaped them.

Sunday morning in the shower I put two and two together. It's where I often do that sort of math. No wonder my checkbook is never balanced. Here we were in New York City in September of 2001 trying to get home. All of the 9/11 stories I've heard from people here are about getting home. Walking, running, waiting for the subway to resume, showering at a friend's house but continuing on to the ultimate goal of HOME. I'm sure I've written before about how awkward I felt responding to offers from friends and family to come and join them away from New York to "wait it out." That couldn't have been farther from what I needed to do. I needed to be here, be home, to keep my claim staked because heaven knew anything could fucking happen.

This year, reading those comments was the first time I had came across stories about people wanting to flee. So they're in places where the bad has not happened, and presumably not in target rich environments, and their reaction is a desire to flee. 

How incongruous are those two responses? Humans are truly odd.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

So Rich, So Embarrassed

I have an embarrassment of riches right now in the form of opportunities to write. They're coming with the most flattering comments about writing I've already been doing, too. So it makes sense that this morning I would wake up and have not an idea in my head about what to write here. I am, it turns out, a little bit frightened by these wide open doors. I have a lot of plain old thoughts in my head but mostly they're about scheduling those things I've committed to write (and about the sharpness of the claws on the cat kneading my bare thigh). No one wants to hear about what you're going to write, they just want you to write it.

So today I'm going to walk my dog and have brunch with my friends and write all those things I've promised to people for the coming days. I'll come back here and let you know where they are when they get published. In the meantime, I'm thinking of you and I'm counting my blessings.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Another Today

Too many pictures to put them all on the blog. You can find them over here.  The day has been disjointed. I was struck by what Lillybaine had to say over at Facebook. Thought I'd share it here:
"It always strikes my on this day that the people who used and continue to want to use those tragic events as an excuse to inflict death and terror and pain on others are mostly those that watched it on tv. They did not lose anyone. They did not walk ...through panicked crowds and acrid smoke and dust to get home and wait to see if loved ones would make it home too. They did not walk daily past pictures of those missing and memorials to those confirmed dead. They did not sit home for days because they weren't allowed to go near where they worked or even freely roam their own neighborhoods. The feeling in New York those days after was that no one should have to go through this. It made us sadly aware of the incredible stress and grief that those who live in a place of war go through daily for years at a stretch. But the tv watchers wrapped themselves in a self righteous flag and said "let us go and do this to others! Let us go and kill someone else's father or mother or child! That is the Christian thing to do!" On this day I am always sad for my city, for me, my loved ones but most of all I am sad about the state of the souls of all those who immediately called for more death and pain."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Do You Know?

You may or may not know that I, typically, try to stay away from publishing words on the internet on September 11. I sent in a piece to the Women's Colony for publication and I plan to do another Day in Pictures for the day but other than that I will probably keep quiet. I'll be reading but I'll keep my words to myself.

As you cruise the web on 9/11/2009 I'm sure you will find plenty of anniversary-themed posts and photos to feast upon. I can even recommend one I know will be posted by Mary Alice here tomorrow (sorry, not sure which room, you'll have to poke around). There is one piece in particular I'd like to pass along from 9/11/2001, though. Perhaps you've already read Sars' classic piece, For Thou Art With Us. If you haven't please start there because that is the origin of Operation Find Don. Recently Facebook has been brought to bear on OFD so you can connect that way, as well. Sars gives us all free reign to update our status, to tweet, to blog, to get out and pound the pavement, whatever it takes to further the cause if we'd like. Some people have given up on the quest, even Sars questions the possibility of success. She thinks that if Don hasn't been found by now he's either unfindable or doesn't want to be located. She may be right, I suppose, but I don't want us to stop trying. It may seem small and, from far afield, irrelevant but from where I'm sitting the search gains urgency each year. It's been a long time and the world has changed significantly since that day but none of those changes have made me, or you, any safer. From my perspective all we can do is believe there's hope for better and keep moving forward.

Please help us move forward. Please help find Don.

Struggling With Morality And Persuasiveness

I was invited to the dress rehearsal of a show. I worked on the first incarnation of it, a rock opera about a famous murderess, almost 20 years ago. As part courtesy, part marketing initiative the team invited anyone who had worked on any past versions of the piece to be their guest at the dress rehearsal. Free wine and beer, free show, connection to the past etc. They asked, but not in a rude or demanding way, that we let people know and they put out there honestly the ways in which we could do that. They had post cards and "palm cards" and they're on Facebook and Twitter and there's a blog. I had already Facebooked the opportunity before I saw the show. I made a sort of boring and trite plug again after the show last night. I would like to write something a little more substantial here about the show and I would like to encourage people to see it.

What's the problem? you ask. It's my space and I can do whatever I like, you tell me. True. But here's the thing, the show isn't perfect. I've got some relatively major...concerns about the work on the show of people I've known for a long time. On the flip side I think it's a great concept and has a lot of wonderful stuff going on and I want people to see it. I want them to see it now and talk to me about what they think and I want enough people to see it that the show has an opportunity to continue and to grow and hopefully to change the things with which I take issue.

How the hell do I write all that and still get invited to the next dress rehearsal?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

NWW: Clicking

Saintseester ruined my life this morning. She posted this link and I am hooked. The site uses the Explore feature of Flickr to randomly select photos. Two are displayed and you click on the one you like better and shazam! it replaces the one you liked less. Click on your favorite and shazam! again. I now sit at work praying to be put on hold so I can be working and FlickrFightring at the same time.

I thank you Seester. Not sure how my employer feels about it.

NWW: Stuff And Things

I went to an exhibit at MoMA last month that was very important to me. I have been trying to write about it and I will publish my thoughts at some point but until then go look at the set of photos I uploaded.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

If It Were A Ferret... would have bitten me.

I didn't mention Mad Men! What was I thinking? It is nearly as well constructed on all levels as The Wire. On the surface it's a pretty little period piece about stupid people we've grown beyond. If you use the tiniest bit of effort, though, you will see the infinite layering of commentary on our society and how it has a bad habit of working its hardest to implode and kill us all. If you're incensed by politics right now? Go take a look at 1960. Bring a martini. The show is in the midst of a 3rd season right now, on A&E. I've found that the previous episodes are available on DVD and readily on the internet. In the most recent episode alone my heart was broken, my hackles were raised and I laughed out loud. More than once for each category. It's not as light as it looks but it is unmissable.

Misc. Re: TV

There's other stuff out there. I can only speak for what I've been watching but I think it's worth noting even if it doesn't fit exactly in this grid.

1. We are in the midst of the final season of Monk. A consistently smarter and more committed actor one could not hope to meet than Tony Shaloub and he has brought all of his best assets to bear on this show. I think we'll enjoy him in syndication for many years to come.

2. Psych has been paired with Monk for the past couple of seasons. It's high camp rather than high art but elevated by a superb cast headed by James Roday and Dule Hill.

3. I've taken some shit for championing Saving Grace and I will happily continue to defend it. It is not, to be sure, a tightly written or envisioned show but it is unflinching in its exploration of spiritual questions in an unspiritual age. Holly Hunter is a gift every time she walks on screen and she is supported by a group you'd never expect to see in the same room who work like a well oiled machine.

4. Paired with Saving Grace on TNT is The Closer. Both shows honor TNT's commitment to quality starring roles for A list actresses over the age of 40. The Closer is more run of the mill in form than SG but the cast is of similarly high quality and the writing is, perhaps, a bit better crafted. These shows just completed short summer seasons and will be back for a few episodes around Christmas. Catch them in reruns, on DVD or the internet.

5. Speaking of strong roles for older actresses you might think about catching up with Glenn Close in Damages. The second season last year was as little disappointing. It had, I think, the same problem that Veronica Mars encountered. The first season was so intricately designed with a long run up since it was the first season. With less time to prepare a second season it was easy to become muddled. Hopefully Damages will have learned from their wobbling and come back strong.

6. On the same network, FX, Nip/Tuck is almost upon us. It's gross, it's soapy, it's crass and it relies heavily on shock value. It's fucking riveting in a terrible way. If you've seen the episode with the weight challenged actress and the hot tub you may never hot tub with acquaintences again.

7. USA has a penchant for wham bang adventure shows. Somehow they've infused Burn Notice with enough brains to make it gripping in the long term. I loved this summer season of spy school and can't wait for it to come back.

8. In Plain Sight, another USA offering, isn't as smart as Burn Notice but does capitalize on the big brass balls of star, Mary McCormack. She's a fine character to keep your eye on.

9. In the less adventury but no less whammy and bangy category is Royal Pains, which had its inaugural season this summer. It's a hospital show with no hospital! It's rich and poor living together. There's a shark! But mostly the brothers around which the show revolves, played by Mark Feuerstein and Paulo Costanzo, draw you in like a fish on a terribly tangled line.

10. Coming in October on USA Matthew Bromer of Chuck, Tru Calling and Guiding Light fame, is fronting a show called White Collar. He seems to be playing a super hot white collar criminal who is released from prison on condition of helping a government agency catch bad guys (and gals, I'm sure). It looks fun, I'm going to try and catch it. USA makes that relatively easy with plenty of repeats.

11. Rescue Me gave us a 22 episode season this year that wrapped up last Tuesday. The shows creators do not plan out a season fully in advance which leads to a certain inconsistency that became perhaps a little too apparent when all 22 episodes were strung together in an unbroken line. Despite that when this group is on they light me up like a fucking Light Brite. This is, I believe, the only piece of 9/11 fiction that I can tolerate. To my mind it honors the event and the people affected by it without pandering or lying. The whole series is worth your attention.

12. While I'm at this I could not possibly fail to plug The Wire. The series wrapped over a year ago, I know, but no matter. It is undoubtedly the best thing television has ever seen. I've said before that The Wire is unmatched from the widest of its arcs to the pickiest details of its dialogue. I know that both the visuals and the emotions are raw and painful. That, too, is no matter. I won't go so far as to say it's unpatriotic at this point in history not to watch this show but I'll say whatever comes right before that. Just tell me what that is and I'll say it.

Wow, this was way more information than I thought I'd have to give. And I thought I had plenty to give. Woof. Hope it's what you were looking for Chili, dear. Now go program that TiVO!


P.S. That means I'm done now. Sorry if I was overwhelming. I love TV, though. You knew that already. Once I got started I could not stop until I was completely purged of information. At least I hope it's completely or I'm going to be waking up at night to kick myself.

(Un)Jazzed Hands

Here we go with the third list of the day. Returning shows about which I am less than jazzed. It's not that they aren't worthwhile, it's just that...well, I'm not totally over the moon.

1. Right out of the gate I've got a disclaimer. If I'd known what other shows I'd let on my first list of the day (Heroes) I wouldn't have bumped Castle. So, Castle is likely to be the best of this bunch. It's not exactly a procedural drama but sort of. Nathan Fillion is wonderful as Castle, a mystery novelist a la James Patterson (Patterson is actually a member of Castle's weekly poker game). Under the guise of research for a new series of novels he works with a Scully-like NYPD Detective. His skills as a story teller inform her real life detective skills (and closet delight in his work) and success in the whole crime thing ensues. The show has wit along with its grit. Nathan Fillion looks good not only as sexy, single, successful writer but also as beleagured son (Susan Sullivan plays the wayward mother to perfection) and doting, delicious dad.

2. House, M.D. is a bandwagon I regret not getting on immediately. As it is I thought I could live without it and now watch the occasional rerun as though I'm peeking through an ex's window with my night vision goggles. My Capricorn nature won't allow me to jump in and start watching new episodes right away. I'm going to have to start at the beginning soon and overdose on Hugh Laurie's brilliant addict.

3. One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl are both guilty pleasure shows that I stopped watching due to scheduling conflicts. I will probably gulp them down in syndication but the aforementioned Capricorn nature won't allow me to dip back in this season. Probably a lucky break given what I'm hearing around the internet about last season on One Tree Hill. It was already a show my dog could craft better and apparently it got worse. Yikes!

4. I love Tim Roth. I mean he is right in my snaggly toothed, cool accented wheelhouse. I saw him live in a small theatre once doing a show that I thought was not quite right somehow and I still melted right in my chair. So he's got this series called Lie To Me about a scientist/sociologist guy who can detect any sort of lie and I'm watching but, seriously, it's kind of boring. How can you make a show that distracts me from Tim Roth? I may be watching solely to find the answer to that question.

5. Two And A Half Men is a great show. It's well worth your time and with David Hyde Pierce on Broadway instead of TV Jon Cryer is probably the funniest man on television right now. I like it. I watch it. I just don't love it.

6. Scrubs is back, inexplicably. I tuned back in for it's "final" season last season. It was...OK. It's still a good show but I would venture that this is not its heyday.

7. 90210 is apparently quite a successful little soap opera. So successful in fact that the same people remade Melrose Place (see previous list). Um. Yeah. Not going to watch it.

8. I watched some of The Mentalist last season. It is a perfectly serviceable knock off of Psych and almost as funny. Too bad it's billed as a drama.

9. Supernatural is another show with a huge cult following. There is more Supernatural fanfic on the intarwebs right now than Veronica Mars and Dawson's Creek fanfic combined (just guessing), which is saying a lot. People still write fresh DC fanfic, and not crappy stuff either. I just never got into it. It's another one I suspect I'll watch in syndication or on DVD.

10. CSI is back but I have conflicts so I'm letting it go. I wasn't as rabid a fan the past few seasons and, while I think Laurence Fishburne is a wonderful choice to replace William Peterson, it's not enough to trump other offerings.

11. I stopped watching Private Practice due to a finite scheduling conflict. I thought I'd catch up with it via internet viewing. Unfortunately ABC's player is so bad the show was unwatchable on my laptop so I let it go. As with Grey's Anatomy my loyalty is largely to creator, Shonda Rimes. It's not a great show but it has good moments and I count her investigation of the abortion debate in a medical setting as one of the more thought provoking ones to see the light of network.

12. By all accounts Ugly Betty is the best thing since Dennis Franz showed his bare behind on NYPD Blue. I didn't get into it but think that's just a taste thing. I do love America Ferrara and hope the show has a long and prosperous run.

13. Oopsie Daisy! I didn't notice Dollhouse on the grid when I first went over it, despite being one of it's rabid cultish fans. This should really be on list #1 because my jazz hands are all over this one. Eliza Dushku is perhaps not the best piece of casting Joss Whedon has ever done but the rest of the show is solidly Whedonesque. The premise is essentially Best Little Whorehouse in Texas meets Fantasy Island. Clients purchase time with "dolls" (both male and female) to make their fondest dreams come true. The dolls, however, are humans with their memories repeatedly wiped and reprogrammed. I'm not doing it justice but that's because the creator of Buffy and Firefly tends to defy description. I beg you to tune in starting September 25th and to tell all your friends.

14. Numb3rs is back and I love this cast. I geek out over the fact that one of my acting teachers (Peter MacNichol) is getting his due on the show. Who doesn't love to see Judd Hirsch still doing his thing? And, smart people getting sexy with each other? Slurp. (Charlie & Amita 4 Evah!!!!!!!)

15. I quit Desperate Housewives, too, but clearly that hasn't hurt them any. They're still camping it up on Sunday nights. Enjoy!

16. Lost will be back in the winter for its final season. I'm just going to watch it in one big marathon on DVD some day.

I'm not done yet! I'm tired, but I'm not done yet. I've got at least one more list in me.

Well...These Look OK

For the record if you missed the footnote on the last post I'm working mostly off this grid of the fall schedule over at TV IV. I think I'd looked at one on TV Guide a couple of weeks ago but this is what googling gave me this time around.

So, there's a bunch of new stuff coming out I guess. I'll admit to not knowing a lot about most of it but here's what I do know.

1. Accidentally on Purpose is the new Jenna Elfman sitcom. I quite like Ms. Elfman but I'm not sure that's enough to make me watch this. Pretty girl, geeky guys, blah blah blah sitcom ta da!

2. The Jay Leno Show. What more does one need to know really? I won't be watching and I will be blaming it for the demise of more fictional programming, in specific the cancellation of Life.

3. NCIS: Los Angeles has a cast of heavy hitters. Surely you've heard they have Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J. Those guys are great, truly, I have respect for them. What you probably haven't heard is that Linda Hunt is also joining the cast. Linda Motherfucking Hunt y'all! I can't believe she'd choose to board a ship infested with rats. However, I probably still won't be watching until it's in syndication. If you're an NCISer, though, I bet this will be even better than the original.

4. The Good Wife is the new Juliana Margulies vehicle. It sounds suspiciously like a show she kicked off a short time ago that tanked like your grandmother in a wet t-shirt contest. Smart, solid, sweet political wife has her mettle tested when her husband, Chris Noth, is found to be a cheating rat. The clip I heard this morning has Margulies walking into court (presumably as a litigator) and saying to her colleague, "I haven't been in a court room in 13 years." The colleague replies, "Huh. I was 13." I wouldn't throw over a show I already like for this one but it might be nice and simple.

5. Melrose Place. One can only assume it's like the original only with shorter skirts and a token gay couple.

6. Hank is Kelsey Grammar's new show. Frasier was a fabulous show but, for my money, not because of Kelsey Grammar. It's a sitcom. He plays the guy. That's all I know.

7. A couple of seasons ago CBS pulled an NBC and canceled a wonderful sitcom called The Class. Among the members of its talented cast was a young man named Jesse Tyler Ferguson. He's on a new sitcom called Modern Family. I've inferred from the print ads that it involves a number of families and he's one half of the same sex dad couple. He's worth your time and effort to see him. Premiere is 9/23.

8. Cougar Town is how Courtney Cox Arquette plans to pay her bills this season. Divorcee looking to get back in the dating scene. All of the ads I've seen are cringeworthy at best.

9. I know that Eastwick is a TV version of the Witches of Eastwick. That is all I've bothered to find out. I don't have faith in the concept. Let me know if I'm wrong, though.

10. Fox wisely aired the pilot of Glee at the end of last season. Call it an amuse bouche and my bouche was very amused. It puts a glee club in a high school dramady in about the same place football shows up in Friday Night Lights. Good cast, fun music, seems like a more humorous Fame. They have already re-aired the pilot (my bad, sorry) and are starting the season tomorrow night.

11. There's a show called Trauma whose ads have been plastered all over re-airings of Southland this summer. Looks like Third Watch to me but with more sunlight. I liked Third Watch a lot but mostly saw it in syndication. If syndication is in Trauma's future I'll watch it then.

12. Three Rivers is another medical drama and were it not for the casting of my beloved Katherine Moennig I would not be adding it to the DVR. Seems as though it's a chance for us to see her stretch her acting muscles on network TV, though, and I'm interested to see that. For vampire lovers, Alex O'Loughlin of the swiftly (and probably rightly) canceled Moonlight stars.

Next up we have returning shows I'm probably going to watch even though I don't care all that much. That is not a catchy title for a post, must come up with something better before I post.

At Least It's Tuesday

At Chili's request I planned to do an Autumn TV Roundup. I've left it a bit late and we are almost literally staring down the barrel of premiere time so I'm going to mish mash this up with 10 Things Tuesday. It'll be lists, which is very TTTesque but I can't guarantee that any one list will be 10 things or that all the lists put together will be divisible by 10. I can't be held accountable for things like this, I can't even balance my checkbook. Stay tuned throughout the day for updates.

This first one will be about returning shows which I anticipate with eagerness.

1. Sons of Anarchy's 2nd season premieres tonight at 10pm on Fx. It was created by a gentleman that did some work in the writers' room and in front of the camera for The Shield. If you know The Shield that should tell you all you need to know about the line it walks between quality and sensationalism. The cast is top notch from their leather to their lace so I urge you to watch it on the strength of that alone.

2. How I Met Your Mother comes back at us on (wait for it...) September 21st on CBS. Neil Patrick Harris's triumphant return to television aside this is a beautifully crafted, exquisitely funny and ridiculously easy to watch piece of work. A lot of people call Seinfeld the ultimate NYC sitcom. I was never able to watch it, just really didn't float my cross island ferry. For me HIMYM is all that I love about NYC and all that I know I need to laugh about in a self-deprecating way.

3. In the same vein and on the same channel and even cleverly premiering on the same night we have The Big Bang Theory. If you like smart funny you'll actually have to study up to get all the jokes on this one. Fortunately the untutored among us (I'm looking at me) can enjoy it, too. If you think this just isn't for you I dare you to watch just one episode and if Jim Parsons' Sheldon doesn't win you over then I'll concede you just can't be won.

4. Heroes I'm still excited about. Also September 21 but on NBC. I agree that last season was lackluster and confusing but I'm willing to give it one more shot. If they ever waste a talent like Kristen Bell again, though, we're totally breaking up.

5. Chuck doesn't return until February, it will take over the Heroes slot, I believe. I'm so glad that this heartwarming adventure of a show got a reprieve from the Idiot Axe Masters. I hope you will throw your support behind it, I can't imagine you'll be disappointed. Who doesn't want the nerd to beat James Bond? Chuck will always be first pick for my own personal Geek Squad.

6. Grey's Anatomy is coming back 9/24 and, wow, I struggled about whether or not to put it on this list. We are so close to a break up and all the signs point to something big, bloody and requiring absolute vats of chocolate ice cream in the near future. *SPOILER ALERT* Two characters were on their deathbeds in the season closer last May and they seem to have resurrected the wrong one! It is my understanding that T.R. Knight and his character, George, will not be returning. Yet, his former soul mate will be. Fucking travesty. Fucking fucking ridiculous. Anyway, I remain a respectful and admiring fan of creator, Shonda Rimes, this one great rift notwithstanding so I do plan to stick with the show and see what happens. If I sever ties I will miss, among others, Chandra Wilson most acutely.

7. Bones is back September 17 (raise your hands if you've heard that phrase seventy quajillion times while watching TNT's summer offerings). Emily Deschanel, much like her sister, is a delight to behold. I remain a devoted Angela-Hodgins 'shipper and have high hopes for them this season. Well, in my heart. My head knows better.

8. Fringe is also back on the 17th. If you watched a couple of episodes at the beginning and couldn't get into this...well, if that happened you clearly aren't stalking Josh Jackson as closely as I (and others I won't name) am. Jackson obsession notwithstanding the show seems to have legs. They've figured out how to use both actors' and characters' strengths to their advantages. It remains to be seen whether they will turn the X-Files corner and lose people by making episodes interconnect too deeply to encourage occasional watchers. Just bring on the Josh Jackson and I'll be happy but I will be honest with you about the show as a whole. For now I give it a good recommendation.

9. Medium has moved to CBS and will be holding down the middle child slot on its "Mysteries of the Mind" Friday nights between Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs. Sometimes the weekly plots are farfetched or foolishly simplistic but no better or worse than anything else of that ilk on the tube these days. What keeps me coming back is the Dubois family. Never, I believe, has a family or a marital relationship been so perfectly portrayed on screen. It's real. So real it's sometimes painful. And yet, if I met myself a Joe Dubois I'd marry him in half a heartbeat. You know how I feel about marriage, too. (Miflohny, I know I owe you recaps, working on it!)

10. Southland will come back with a great yawp (we hope) on the 25th as well. It's a dark, gritty LA Cop Drama of the type the NBC is notorious for canceling with little or no reason. I'm with Citizen Rob in my complete amazement at their canceling of Life. I really like Southland and they should count themselves extremely lucky that someone like Regina King is bringing her bat to their ballgame. I hope they don't squander her.

11. Brothers & Sisters is in the Heroes categories. I fought with myself over whether or not to include it in this list. My loyalty to the plethora of strong, older female characters won out. It's a bit scattered and soapy but the pleasure of watching Sally Field and Rachel Griffiths play pretend for me outweighs many of the minor inconsistencies. I also credit the real, beautiful relationship between characters Kevin and Scotty. I put it second only to Medium's Dubois' in terms of TV relationships and far ahead of any other same sex couple on the small screen.

12. High School football drama, Friday Night Lights, was recently bumped from its fall slot to one in the summer. Again NBC looking for a kick right in the vagina (tm. Rescue Me current season finale). Citing low ratings the network farmed out this cult favorite in favor of a new show. Apparently having no proven audience at all is preferable to having a smaller but rabidly loyal one. Thanks NBC, way to reward repeat viewers. It's OK ABC will still always be more callous than you. Please set your TiVOs to catch FNL when it comes around on the guitar. Peter Berg's unflinching writers and rough documentary style will make you wiggly in all the right ways.

Come back in a little bit and I'll go over new shows that have me on the edge of my seat. I'll warn you right now I think it's going to be a short list.

Technical notes: I'm using this grid. I planned to link to all the shows and actors but as I got deep into the writing of today's posts I realized there weren't enough hours in the day. I apologize for the lack but simply couldn't do it.