Sunday, November 27, 2005

Saturday Sidebar Update: Now On Sunday!

I'm really digging the show How I Met Your Mother, and a large part of the reason for that is the appeal of the actress who plays Robin, Cobie Smulders. In the first episode, the hero of the show tells her he loves her almost immediately after meeting her. Understandable. Still, what's with that fake-ass name? Cobie? Cobie Smulders? That's not a name! That sounds more like some kind of crank call Bart would make to Moe's Tavern. (Although one whose punchline I don't quite get.)

Speaking of The Simpsons, I'm reading and loving Comic Book Guy's Book of Pop Culture. Any book that can use the phrase "Worst 'Automan' episode ever" is all right. I should finish it tonight, which means I can move on to William Kotzwinkle's The Amphora Project. Here is what I know about this book: it was in the Sci-Fi section at Borders. What's it about? Who cares! It's William Kotzwinkle! It's his first novel for adults since 1997's The Bear Went Over the Mountain, which is one of my favorite books ever. You should all read that book. I tried to demand that Ian buy the book, but I had just consumed several Jack & Cokes, and my powers of persuasion were shaky. But trust me, it's great. Kotzwinkle is awesome.

I was hanging out with Ian on his trip back down to SoCal for Thanksgiving. We wound up seeing The Ice Harvest, which was very enjoyable, if much darker and not so much a laff-riot as I was expecting. I tried talking Ian into seeing the Harry Potter movie, but he scoffed at the idea, and at the fantasy genre in general. "But you read comic books!" I replied. "How can someone who reads comic books possibly mock any other form of entertainment??" But Ian would not be swayed. He sneered at magic and dragons and swords and trees. Trees? Yes, trees. "When they get to the trees," he said of such fantasy fare as The Lord of the Rings and its Ents, "that's where they completely lose me." He went on to add -- and check me if I'm not getting the wording exactly right, Ian -- he went on to add, "Forests are stupid." Okay then!

But hey, Ian's the one who introduced me to Jim Gaffigan's Doin' My Time, which is one of the funniest things I've ever heard in my life, so I'll let it pass. Every single time I listen to this album, I laugh out loud, and I've listened to it at least thirty times. In turn, I've introduced it to many other people, and it has put every single one of them into hysterics. Funny, funny stuff.

Finally, we have Freddie frickin' Prinze, Jr. Still don't get this goddam guy. Not at all. His shitcom is just about the worst thing on the air. Yet Freddie gets picked up for a full season, while Arrested Development gets cancelled and Scrubs still hasn't started its new season. Stupid America. What is it about this damn guy? What?? Grrr.

Oh, and also there's the Lyric of the Week, from Juliana Hatfield. Man, I used to love her. I still have one of her concert T-shirts. But I haven't bought an album by her in at least seven years. Huh. Anyhoo, I've always wondered if this song was specifically referring to the band Nirvana (and more specifically, their song "Smells Like Teen Spirit") or not. I assume it is, but that's a pretty quick turnaround. Nirvana's Nevermind came out in September 1991, and the album this song is from, Hey Babe, was released April 1992. It definitely predates Cobain's suicide, though, which is damn creepy: "I'm so glad I'm not dead."

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