Monday, May 24, 2010

goodbye Jack

It started on November 6, 2001. Just shy of two months past the horrible events of September 11, 2001, a new show premiered, and it had the unfortunate luck of having the first 15 minutes of the first episode involve the hijacking of a plane which was then blown up. There was enough concern that there was a warning and disclaimer before the episode aired. Not a very good omen for a new show, one would think.

That's how "24" started. And I've been screaming at the TV on a regular basis through 8 seasons of the show, as twists and turns became commonplace, and I was riveted to the TV throughout. It was frustrating to get a couple new episodes at a time and then nothing, but because of the format of the show, 24 episodes depicting one consecutive hour at a time, in real time, more or less, they couldn't really show reruns. So it worked out really well when they decided to start the show late into the season, in January, and then just run the show continuously to the end. "24" was the first to do it, and that programming decision was then adopted by other shows, like "Lost" and "Heroes". I liked getting it all continuously, but it was also weird to only have "24" from January to May, and at the end of the season in May, it was a bit startling to realize that there would be no more new shows until the following January, a long 8 months away.

The show ran over the course of 9 years but only had 8 seasons because a strike by the Writers Guild of America resulted in the postponement of season 7 for a year.

And tonight, the final two hours of season 8, the final two hours of the show, aired. And it was an amazing ending. Everything that needed to happen, did happen, and not all of it good. The writing was incredible, and the performances even more amazing. Cherry Jones as President Allison Taylor and Necar Zadegan as Dalia Hassan were really incredible in the last two hours, though they've been good throughout the season. Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O'Brian didn't join the show until the third season, but she's been a lifeline for Jack, and we've rooted for her. And then, of course, there's Kiefer Sutherland. There would be no Jack Bauer without him, and without Jack Bauer, there would be no "24".

But, those aren't the only people who've been memorable in "24". Anil Kapoor was fantastic as President Omar Hassan in the early parts of this season. Gregory Itzin was terrific in reprising the role of President Charles Logan. But there were many that came in seasons before: Carlos Bernard as Tony Almeida and Reiko Aylesworth as Michelle Dessler; Dennis Haysbert as President David Palmer and James Morrison as Bill Buchanan; Sarah Clarke as Nina Myers; Paul Schulze as Ryan Chappelle; Jean Smart as Martha Logan and Glenn Morshower as Aaron Pierce; Shohreh Aghdashloo as Dina Araz; Kim Raver as Audrey Raines; and who could forget Louis Lombardi as Edgar Stiles.

I've cried during episodes of prior seasons, and I cried a couple of times during the last two hours, and the show ended where it needed to be. There's no happy ending for Jack. That's not how it works for him. He's been stabbed, he's been shot, he was THISCLOSE to being killed, and now, he's on the run from 2 countries coming after him, with no resources. Yeah, those are generally the cards that are dealt to him.

Hit the road, Jack. Don't you come back no more.

Cast photo from the first season of "24".

Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer from the final episode of "24".

Friday, May 21, 2010

we'll always have Paris - as long as there's a DVD player around

My niece's job involves regular periodic travel to Paris. Sounds exotic and glamorous, doesn't it? Lots of people would be thrilled to be required to visit Paris on a regular basis, all paid for by work, no less. Well, unfortunately, it's not quite that "dream come true" for her. Her visits to Paris are strictly work only, with no time to play before or after or even while she's there.

She told the story not too long ago about one particular trip to Paris. She was in her hotel room relaxing for a bit before going to bed, and she had brought her portable DVD player with her. She was watching "Sex and the City". And she said there's a scene where one of the characters is in Paris, by the Eiffel Tower, which is brilliantly lit up at night. And my niece recognized the irony of her being in the same city as the Eiffel Tower, but instead of being able to see it for herself, she was watching it on a little DVD player in her hotel room.

My brother has told similar stories about his business travels. He's been to England and Germany and France (not Paris, but Toulouse, where coincidentally, another friend had previously spent a lot of time for business as well), but he's never had the opportunity to sightsee in any of those places. He's there for work, and about the most local flavor he gets is dinner and maybe drinks in a nearby restaurant.

I would think it would be hard to be at all these places and not be able to have any time to just explore.

But then, the only "business trip" I've been on is driving to San Bernardino for a convention. Ooooo, yeah, glamorous indeed.

Monday, May 17, 2010

record Cal - ifornia roll

OK, so I found out about this article from November 2009 where a record-setting California roll was made by Cal students. OK, that seems funny, and had this happened when I was back in school, I'm pretty sure I would have gone to see it just because it would be funny. Hmmm, but thinking back some more, I didn't eat sushi back then, so I might not have cared after all. Who knows.

Anyway, as I was reading the article, odd thoughts popped in my head. Yeah, I can hear the comments that the peanut gallery is making in response to that.

First off, the article says they made a sushi roll. But then it says they made a California roll. The sushi snob in me doesn't consider California rolls (which I will eat on very rare occasions under very particular circumstances) to be actual sushi since there's no fish or other seafood in them. But, ok, I know that's just a personal quirk of mine.

The article then goes on to say that the students "got their hands fishy". Ummm, and how would they do that making a California roll? The article then continues with a list of the ingredients that were used to make the roll, which include 180 pounds of fish. OK, so they used fish. But that no longer makes it a California roll. A California roll is avocado, cucumber and Krab. There are a lot of variations of this, and in some places, they use actual crab rather than Krab, but then that's specified, and the roll is then given a different name. If actual fish is being used in the roll, then it's just a roll of whatever fish is being used (like a tuna roll, salmon roll, yellowtail roll, etc.). It's not even a California roll with , because I've had that before, and that's a California roll with pieces of fish layered on top. The article doesn't say what kind of fish was used, which I find a bit annoying because I want to know.

So, I don't understand why they called it a California roll. I wondered if it was because the roll was made at Cal, but when they mentioned the previous record-setting attempt in Hawaii, they also called that a California roll. I wonder what ingredients were used in that. Since it was in Hawaii, I wonder if they used Spam instead of Krab.

All these thoughts popping into my head from such a short article.

And yes, many of the comments on the article annoy me. So many people have complete misconceptions about what goes on/went on at Cal because of its history. And even when stuff happens/happened on campus, it's not like every single student participated. But that's a rant for another time. And I also object to the snarky comments about the students APPARENTLY not having anything better to do with their time. Because, you know, a couple hours on a SATURDAY afternoon are going to ruin their lives. Puh-leeze.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"The Complete Metropolis"

A few months ago, I read some headline about a restored version of "Metropolis" being in the works, and I was confused because several years ago, I'd already seen a restored version of the film. I had somehow missed the prior news that about 25 minutes of the original film had been discovered, and that footage was being inserted into the restored version that I'd previously seen.

The film student/film geek in me is so excited about this. I've loved "Metropolis" since the first time I saw it in college, but it's definitely not a film that everyone is going to be interested in, mostly because of the film style. (And no, I've never seen nor ever care to see the version they did some time ago with modern rock songs added over the original footage. PASS.) The new footage was shown in Berlin at a film festival back in February, and I'd heard that they were planning a limited theatrical screening schedule as well as a DVD release. I'm pretty hopeful that the theatrical screening would include something in the Los Angeles area, so I'll be able to see it on the big screen before getting it on DVD.

Here's an article about the newly restored film.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

that takes the cake

I saw this link about "20 party cakes gone horribly wrong", and yeah, some of the cakes are just incredible. On the one hand, if a friend is making you a cake, it seems a little mean to make fun of them, since they were nice enough to make you a cake. On the other hand, in some of those cases, it would be hard not to at least react. And in the case of a purchased cake, well, then all bets are off since they should be professional!

Cake #2 actually made me say "oh my god" out loud. I cannot imagine showing up at a baby shower and seeing that.

For anyone who knows me, cakes #5 and #7 are particularly near to my heart, but cake #5 makes me smile more.

Maybe it's just me, but when I saw cake #12, my first thought was that it looked like a camera with a long lens, not, a ... you know.

The picture for cake #16, though, just makes me giggle.

I find the story of cake #20 amusing, but my favorite is actually cake #1. Maybe that's not the writing on the cake that they intended, but the wannabe-geek in me thinks it would be cool to have a cake with code on top!

Friday, May 14, 2010

May the Domo be with you

The Twitter feed had a link to a promotional video the other day, and the inclusion of "Domo" in the tweet of course caught my attention.

I *love* this video!

I am presuming that in Japan, the television station that carries "The Clone Wars" is the same one for whom Domo is the mascot, so it makes sense to have him in the promo. It's too cute, except that it doesn't really fit into his character, seeing as how Domo really just wants to sit around watching TV and seems like a fairly non-violent sort, but in any case, it's funny to see him wielding a lightsabre.

BTW - Happy Birthday, Uncle George!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

first a tauntaun, now a wampa

OK, I've already documented the epic story of the tauntaun sleeping bag.

Well, now, the Star Wars shop has available...wait for it...a wampa rug! Yep, like a bear rug but made from a wampa instead.

I don't think it's anywhere near as cool as the tauntaun sleeping bag, but I do think it's funny. I'm just wondering why slave Leia from Jedi is laying on a rug of a wampa that appeared in Empire.

The space slug oven mitt amuses me too. That might turn a few heads at a barbeque.

And for good measure, since Howard from "The Big Bang Theory" likes to wear funky belt buckles that make me uncomfortably stare at his crotch to see what belt buckle he has from episode to episode, I think he totally needs one of these.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

brunching at the Club

Last Sunday, we had the opportunity to have brunch at Club 33 in Disneyland with some friends. I'd been there for a visit and a snack a while ago as part of a special activity I was participating in, and the husband and I had been there for a special event breakfast about five years ago, but this was our first visit for a regular meal.

Click here for pictures and details.