Amoeblog

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Posted by Job O Brother, September 20, 2007 10:00pm | Post a Comment
I’m writing this blog in a race against time.

I just popped two Tylenol PM caplets a couple of minutes ago. I expect my ability to compose grammar will degrade rapidly… starting now.

The problem is that I have too much to tell you. I almost tripped over Lily Tomlin’s feet at the HBO after-party the night of the Emmy’s. (I’ve been told that these so-called “Emmy’s” are an award they give to people in the television business, but I wanna do some fact-checking on that before I present the data as true.) I also caught Glenn Close bopping her shoulders when the band began playing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”.

Why do you Earthlings go so ga-ga over that song?!


Just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world.

The boyfriend snagged us a chauffeured Audi. This fuggin' car had red, lit-up buttons on everything. Like, even the buttons had mini-buttons on them. I was intimidated. I don't like to think the car I'm riding in is smarter than me.

At a certain point we ended up in Anna Paquin's limo and headed over to the TV Guide party, just in time to miss Kanye West. I sent Kanye a box of Violet Crumbles to make up for it. It's his favorite candy bar. For Thanksgiving last year, he assembled the entire meal - turkey, stuffing, yams, Waldorf salad - using ONLY Violet Crumbles. It was an innovative and delicious meal and everyone who attended enjoyed themselves until we suffered diabetic shock and passed out drooling stomach bile.

Okay, some of that last paragraph is untrue.

Melissa Logan’s birthday party was two nights ago. I was there after a few rounds at The Advocate’s 40th anniversary party. William Baldwin was there, and I wasn’t sure if his standing across the room and paying no attention to me whatsoever was his idea of a come-on, but what else could it have been? The poor man just can’t come to grips with the fact that I am happily committed to Corey.


Corey chatting with Perez Hilton at the party, as I try to find a cocktail that doesn't look like a parrot.

I’m already forgetting what I’ve written. The Tylenol is gaining on me.

And speaking of sleeping pills, I’ll be going to see Rufus Wainwright’s tribute to Judy Garland this Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl. If everything goes according to plan, by the end of the evening I will have goaded a gang of Judy/Liza drag queens into pummeling me. It’s an obscure fetish and I have to take advantage of every opportunity to make it happen which presents itself.

(I have another fantasy of women dressing like Virginia Woolf, stuffing me into their coat pocket, and drowning themselves in rivers. This is a very difficult fetish to enjoy and it’s almost impossible to find women who’ll do this for me. And yes, I have checked Craig’s List, but girls will draw you in, full of promises to be Woolf and I’ll drive across town only to discover that they’re actually Vita Sackville-Wests. Total mood killer.)

Which leads me to wonder what kind of oven-cleaner Sylvia Plath used?

Wait… what is this blog about again? Or is this a letter? Who are you?

I better post a distracting picture and escape before you catch on…

(In which Job returns from [kind of a] vacation.)

Posted by Job O Brother, September 4, 2007 11:31am | Post a Comment

Honey! I’m home…!

[Kiss.]

Whew! It is crazy hot here in Hollywood. How have you survived? I’m this close to envying the Donner Party.

[Sets luggage down.]

Where have I been? Didn’t you see the Post-It note I left on our autographed portrait of Gunnar de Frumerie?

No?

What do you mean you were struck blind by the Lord Our God while traveling the Road to Damascus? Are you crazy?

Yes, I know Labor Day traffic on I-5 is maddening, but I hardly think a detour through Syria was good idea. And anyhow, I wrote the note in Braille, so that’s no excuse for not reading it.

[Takes off shoes and unbuttons shirt.]

Anyway, I don’t want to fight.

I’ve been in Santa Barbara over the weekend. I was at a wedding for some of Corey’s friends. It was hot there, too, but at least we were on the coast, so it was beautiful.

Oh, a funny thing happened that continues a strange theme in my recent blogs. One of the humans attending the wedding was Octavia Spencer – a total sparkplug, very quick with the one-liners – and, as she was introduced to my small group, she lowered her sunglasses at me and said:

“Whoa! You have some pretty eyes! Hoo!”

Which makes two times this week that an obscure female comedian has commented on my optical globes. I know, right? What exactly are my pheromones excreting? Too funny.

[Washes face.]

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…!

[Screams and flails madly, knocking over bottles of various vanity needs.]

What the hell? I can’t see! I can’t see!

[Runs cold water over eyes; pants.]

Why… was there… salsa… in my acne face wash bottle?

What do you mean you ran out of Tupperware? Doesn’t salsa come in its own jar?

Oh, you made it from scratch?

Why didn’t you just…

Oh, don’t. Don’t cry. Of course I appreciate that you made me fresh salsa. I just wish you would’ve, y’know, not stored it in my beauty-care products.

Forgive me. I didn’t mean to yell. It was the jalapenos burning my pupils talking.

I love you.

[Kiss.]

Do we have any chips?

Okay, so… Seeing Ms. Spencer reminded me that I’ve been meaning to tell you about my new favorite TV show, “The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman”.

It’s written by and stars Laura Kightlinger, who is most rad. She’s been a writer for Saturday Night Live (and guest-appeared on it, too) amongst other notable screen credits, plus has the dubious distinction of having dated the stupefying Jack Black.

Her show is one of two original programs produced by the IFC cable channel.

[Fixes a slightly dirty Grey Goose martini with two olives.]

Let me tell you… It is THE ANSWER to those of us who love “Absolutely Fabulous”. Anyone who loves AbFab is almost certain to take to it; there are many parallels, except that, instead of two British women who drink and snort their way through the messy world of high fashion, we have two American women who drink and snort their way through the Hollywood film industry.

It is fresh. It is funny. You never know what’s going to happen next, except you know you will laugh as it happens. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

It’s low budget, but they work that to their advantage. It’s grittiness is not only appropriate to the world they’ve created, but adds to its appeal.

If you’re like me, it will leave you wishing you could hang out with Jackie Woodman as she blithely makes her way through every bad choice and self-destructive whim with the wit and poise of a central-European countess.

[Sheds exoskeleton and lays a few eggs; sets empty martini glass in sink.]

Anyway, I insist you check it out. I haven’t been this excited about a TV show since “Deadwood”.

[Sighs sadly.]

Deadwood… Come back to me…

[Slithers into a hole in the wainscoting and listens to iPod before falling asleep to the dulcet tones of Annette Hanshaw.]

THE STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE Version 2007

Posted by Billyjam, August 19, 2007 10:05pm | Post a Comment

The new BBC Television series Jekyll -- an updated version/reinterpration of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde -- is one highly recommended TV show that offers a strong plot, an excellent script, great acting, and a perfect balance of horror, sci-fi, suspense, and humor. There are only six episodes in this short but addictive series that is still ongoing on BBC America (also On Demand) and just finished up on BBC One over in England. But it is also available to view in good quality on YouTube -- painstakingly posted by "BBCJekyll" with each of the six episodes broken into eight parts.

James Nesbitt plays the series' main character(s)-- the good-natured and nice Dr. Tom Jackman (as Dr. Jekyll, the good half of his split personality) and also his alter-ego Mr. Hyde, the deranged psychopath side of himself. As both, Nesbitt turns in an amazing performance, especially when he morphs into the demonic and deranged Mr Hyde. What I love about this role is that when he becomes the crazed monster side he does so with great flair and with a winning sense of humor,  at times reminiscent of Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice. He rattles off some wonderful one-liners that just beg to be quoted or sampled.

Jekyll's strong cast also includes Denis Lawson, Gina Bellman, Michelle Ryan and Meera Syal. The series is up to Episode 4 on BBC America, where it plays weekends as part of its "Supernatural Saturdays." To see all episodes right now, click on that YouTube link above. Meantime, below is a video clip of the ad for the TV show.

Continue reading...

(In which Job fondly recalls Ancient Rome.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 19, 2007 10:44am | Post a Comment
I don’t own a television. I can’t.

I just can’t face another TV commercial. It doesn’t matter how good a show is, if it must stop all of a sudden in order for some hopped-up, bling-bling supermodel to salaciously coax me into purchasing the latest acacia-infused douche/pudding pop, I will barf.

Maybe my resistance is low because I spent most of my childhood glued to the boob-tube. I could tell anyone what I was “going to do that day” in half-hour increments.

“Four o’clock? Well, ‘Dangermouse’ will just be finishing up, then segueing into ‘You Can’t Do That On Television,’ after which I will switch channels to Mtv to watch ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’…” ad infinitum.

(Monty Python on Mtv? Man, those were good times. ‘Just Say Julie’ and ‘Post Modern Mtv’… I weep for our losses.)


Strictly UPTOWN Julie Brown, Queen of Mtv

At some point, I switched watching copious amounts of TV for lots and lots of mind-altering drugs. So yeah, things were getting healthier. By the time I sobered up and realized that my life wasn’t going to figure itself out, I had a quick nervous breakdown and spiritual crisis, considered suicide, came back from the brink of annihilation, got a job and a girlfriend and discovered I could no longer cope with Nike ads.

Really, this could be anyone’s story.

This is my very personal and long-winded way of saying that I only watch TV shows on DVD. On my computer. In control. No swooshes.

Currently, I am enjoying HBO’s epic saga, “Rome”. I can’t say that I’m bowled over, but it’s amusing enough to watch when I scurry home from Amoeba Music for my lunch break. I’ve only watched the first four episodes, too, so there’s still a chance I’ll get addicted. It took about that long before I realized that “Deadwood” was (curse-word) brilliant.

Still, I am reminded of one of my favorite TV shows of all time. More of a mini-series, actually. “I, Claudius”, which ran on the BBC in 1976. Henceforth, it was often seen in the U.S. on public television. It garnered a slew of awards.


Is that a snake in your opening credits or are you just happy to see me?

I watched it as a fluke. I was at my sister’s house in Sacramento and had a lot of free time. Amidst all the children’s DVD’s was “I, Claudius”. Faced with watching Ariel become a human with the help of Sebastian and Flounder, or the bloody and horrific fall of the Roman Empire, the choice was a no-brainer. After all, only one of these would give me nightmares about calypso-singing sea-crabs.


"I'm going to add your severed head to my collection of whoozits and whatsits!"

What followed was two days of me glued to the computer screen, watching with mouth agape, the entire series. It was like being a kid again.

The show is masterful. The acting is superlative, and the villains are so entertaining and genuinely scary, you almost hate to see them fail, and since this is about Ancient Rome, they often don’t.


More evil and cunning than Fox News - Siân Phillips as Livia

It doesn’t have the same big budget that HBO currently enjoys. Most of it is shot on sound stages; it looks more like a play than a TV show. (Cheek to camera-right and stab him in the throat, keeping your profile in the upper-left light, please.) It’s also a British show, so you might feel a little lost at first, because they don’t take a lot of time to educate you on what’s going on; you either know already or you find the groove.


Get Into the Groove - John Hurt as Caligula

Let me tell you, it is worth the effort. I cannot praise the show enough. Luckily, it is available on DVD in its entirety. You may be delighted to see just how many British celebrities are in it. The cast reads like a who’s-who of England in the 70’s. The cast-party must have been rad. (Or, in the British dialect, “really rather rad”.)


23 years Before Christ and 2,000 years Before Ikea

If you like “Rome”, I insist you check it out. Unless the only reason you watch said show is for occasional glimpses of James Purefoy’s penis, in which case, “Dangermouse” is the more obvious recommendation.

(In which Job answers fan-mail.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 4, 2007 12:00am | Post a Comment
I've been getting a lot of fan-mail from you readers lately, for which I am both humbled, grateful, and confused.

Confused because many, if not most, of your mail asks me which character from "Hill Street Blues" I most identify with.

First of all, this seems to me an absurdly obtuse line of questioning. As a reference for psychological profiling, the cast of some cop show from the 1980's, now lost in a sea of copycats and time, is hardly an adequate tool. It's as equally preposterous to me as say, concluding that I must be "really romantic, a good match for people born under the sign of Aquarius, and inclined to keep trophy-cuttings from those I kill," simply because I was born in the month of October.

While I appreciate that said TV show (the first two seasons of which are available on DVD at your local* Amoeba Music store) is chock full of humanity, likeable and endearing characters, realistic police procedure and deft dialogue, I balk at your insistence that I be summed by any one of its cast. I am unique! I am an individual!

It reminds me of the episode wherein Officer Joe Coffey tries to convince fellow officer, Lucy Bates, of his true feelings for her. She doesn’t believe him and by the end of the episode he gets shot. You see? It doesn’t pay to pigeon-hole.

Is this a veiled promotional spot for “Hill Street Blues”? Could I be so square? So out-of-touch or quaint?

Well, you can have all your so-called "reality TV". None of them glitter and sparkle with the luminousness of a young Veronica Hamel's glossy kisser...


...Come to think of it, she does kind of look like me...
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