Saturday, November 5, 2011

Rushing to the weekend

It's a jolly good day for a Saturday. So jolly that I'm likely out and about right now. Doing what, you ask? A bit of this and that. Fixing things. Shopping. Trying to decide between pancakes and waffles. You know... stuff.

But--good fella that I am--I put together this string of amusements to keep you occupied while you're on the internet. no need to thank me. I'm just doing my job.

-   I hope I'm not about to sound as clueless as someone saying they just discovered Saturday Night Live, or sliced bread (my blog, my similes), but I've recently seen a British show called Top Gear. It's kind of about cars--well, it is about cars--but it's really about the three guys who host the show and provide most of the comedy. Oh, there are famous guests, and there's some racing around, but you don't need to know a single thing about cars to watch the trio as they go about their thing in the UK. Their banter is fantastic.

-   Anyway, Elizabeth recently hooked me up with a one hour episode of their road trip in the United States. They didn't just go to any part of the US. They went to the deep south, from Miami to New Orleans, driving around in vehicles that cost less than $1,000. Along the way they encounter perils on the road, mostly because of their decrepit cars, and once because of some locals (self-confessed hicks) who go chasing after them. That part's a bit scary, but it's usually a lot of fun. I found this clip to show you:

-   Heartwarming video of the week: It all starts around 1:23, and then watch as the reporters very slowly realize their sports reporter won $2 million.

-   Snooki is not as dumb as you might think. Besides her education as a veterinarian tech, she's apparently saving up her money because "Jersey Shore is going to end soon." This, and more, from Gentleman's Quarterly. I like the part about MTV focusing on the drinking and hooking up and never airing the sober, quiet nights.

-   I hope Ricky Gervais has kept his knives sharp, because The New York Post--that bastion of truthiness--broke a story about him returning to host the Gloden Globes for the third time. At the request of NBC and the Hollywood Foreign Press. This will end well.

Actually, it makes perfect sense. He might get under the skin of other stars with his mean jokes, but at a time when the Occupy protests are haphazardly giving voice to The 99%, who could resist the ratings bonanza that's sure to happen when millions of people tune in to watch the pampered 1% squirm in their designer duds as they get roasted with glee by the impish Gervais? I believe the ad time for that telecast is getting more expensive by the second.

Of course, some stars are ok with the joking. Take a fellow like Johnny Depp, who speaks his mind on Gervais's new show, Life's Too Short.

-   You know that book I like so much, A Game of Thrones? Maybe you've read about it once or twice on this blog, or you've read the book, or watched the tv show (which I have yet to do because I'm waiting for a certain someone to read the book)? Leigh at is reading it for the first time, and she just got to The Part About Ned. I find that it's a lot of fun to witness someone's reaction to that part as soon as they get to it, because it's a doozy. I almost envy the people who have yet to experience that jaw-dropping part for the first time.

-   When is a simple thing a complicated thing? Birds in flight is a simple concept. Birds flying together is likewise simple and understandable. And then there's clouds of birds flying in great big orchestration with jaw-dropping precision, as these Starlings do. Skip to about 0:26 for the start of it, and then things kick into high gear around 0:52.

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.
Apparently this is in Ireland, on Loch Derg, in County Clare. Of course, I hear Co. Clare, and immediately I think of Pierce Brosnan trying to get Julianne Moore to pronounce it the proper, Irish way in Laws of Attraction. My brain, everyone.

(That movie deserves way more than a 5.7. What the hell?! It's a 6 at least!)

-   Song of the Week. There was a bit of a lull this week. How to follow up last week's blazing entry by The Black Keys? No easy task. Lou Reed with Metallica? Um, no. Mumford & Sons? I remain immune to their guitar and banjo pop. Coldplay? Too Coldplay, and not the kind I like. Florence + the Machine? Maybe, but too over the top for now.

Then again, maybe not. This song deserves a couple of listens because there's an awful lot going on, and even though it verges on bombastic overload, it's pretty powerful stuff. I'll take Adele as the better singer, but if Florence Welch ever gets some subtlety, she could be an even more formidable talent. Shake It Out, everyone.


Gosh, is that the time? I must be off. See you next time!

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