November 19, 2015

November 19, 2015

Edel-what now?

It’s 19NOV2015, which means tomorrow is 20NOV2015, a.k.a. the day The Man in the High Castle is released. (It’s an Amazon Prime production, which means you might as well start your 30-day free trial now, if you didn’t up to Prime back when Transparent came out.)

The show is based on a Phillip K. Dick book with a simple premise: What if the Allies had lost World War 2? What would America look like? Turns out, something like this:

Japan occupies the West; Germany the East. The show’s characters include normal citizens, members of the resistance movement (if it’s America, there’s gotta be a resistance), and Nazi Big Bads. Even if you aren’t the daughter of a WWII buff whose entire German vocabulary consists of military terms, you’ll like this show. (I myself personally watched the pilot when it was initially released a few months ago. Frankly, it’s the most absorbing and haunting thing I’ve seen all year.)

If you are STILL not convinced, try episode 1 for free. Once you see that the cast includes Rufus Sewell AND DJ Qualls, I think you’ll dig.

November 13, 2015

November 13, 2015

I Before E Except When It's an A

Hola, kiddos. It’s been a minute, I know. I left Cabinet Department That Shall Not Be Named the State Department and took a shiny new job at Cabinet Agency That Shall Not Be Named. And my parents decided to move for the first time in 23 years. So blah-blah-blah life got in the way of blogging, excuses excuses whatever.

Serious talk: Do you remember My Buddy and/or Kid Sister? This could possibly be 2015’s second bombshell regarding parallel universes?

Why “second,” you ask? Because of the Berenst*in Bears situation. (I like that the asterisk makes it look like an expletive. This whole thing is just that serious.)

If you haven’t heard, there’s a universe of people (this one) who grew up reading books about the Berenstein Bears. I’m one. You’re one (HELLO, ethno-cultural assumptions!). They are like the Boxcar Children, or The Monster at the End of This Book. Touchstones of our childhood. Right? Right!

Then, sometime this year, we all realized that the actual name is spelled…

B – E – R – E – N – S – T – A – I – N

…and always has been. ALLEGEDLY. Even though the name is pronounced Bear-in-STEEN and not Bear-in-STAIN.


Then, to add literal insult to figurative injury, TheBoy recently reminded me of My Buddy, which reminded me of Kid Sister, and I’ve basically had this tune running through my head for a week and a half:

You haven’t lived until you’ve exited a Metro station with the words “MY BUDDY AND ME!” That day, the guy lying on the ground with a sign and a cup but no shoes was NOT the one getting the craziest looks.

Wikipedia tells me that My Buddy and Kid Sister were marketed for like half a second  several decades ago. I never had one. No one I know ever had one. But everyone seems to remember this commercial and that freaking song.

I can only conclude that in some parallel universe, we all had My Buddy and/or Kid Sister, and wherever they went, we went.

("...our Buddies and us!")

October 14, 2015

October 14, 2015

Ballpark Figures

While I was furiously reveling in the fact that our Chicago Cubs have eliminated the Cards from the playoffs, TheBoy pointed out that Back to the Future 2: Electric Boogaloo Part II features the Cubs winning the 2015 World Series. I’m sure you all have been on this since the season started but WHAT. GUYS. WHAT IF THIS HAPPENS. Science!

My sports research—a phrase I really never get to use—also informed me that my Milwaukee Brewers once had the following alternate logo:

The universe cannot contain the amount of side-eye I’m giving. Shall I start with the fact that Milwaukee is nowhere near the star? You could generously say the star abuts the greater Milwaukee area. Maybe. Sort of. (Going deep for my Wisconsin friends: Looks like rural Racine County to me, yes?) Then you’ve got weird rounding of the state borders. I guess it’s stylistic to contrast with the M, but poor Door County got the short end of that stick.

Honestly, I keep hoping they’ll go back to the old MB mitt, because you can’t beat visual wordplay.

It's good, right? (Answer: Yes.)

So #GoCubs. The dreams of a division are with you.

September 18, 2015

September 15, 2015

September 15, 2015

The State of the TV Schedule: Fall 2015

It’s with some reluctance that I turn my thoughts from summer to fall TV. In general, I delight in putting summer behind me: summer is the season of no school, hot weather, and entirely too much daylight. Blurgh. But this summer was an embarrassment of television riches, people. Difficult People made me laugh wickedly. UnREAL convinced me once and for all that I needn’t watch anything that includes the word “bachelor.” Mr. Robot tickled my dystopian bone. Like I said, an embarrassment of television riches.

Alas, all good things must come to a Shonda-declared end. Thus I present the State of the TV Schedule: Fall 2015.

Minority Report – I liked the movie a lot, and while this series has 100% less Neal McDonough, I’m hopeful just the same.

NCIS – At some point, this show will end, disappointing me and millions of senior citizens. Until that day, I’m in.

Modern Family

Heroes Reborn – Hiro + HRG? Yes please.
How to Get Away with Murder

Shark Tank – To my surprise, this is the show I’ve been missing most. Nothing like seeing people’s pitches rewarded and/or crushed accordingly.

The Last Man on Earth – I didn't expect to like this show nearly as much as I do. It's a gem, even if your Will Forte mileage varies.

Undecided: Quantico, Limitless, Project Greenlight

Watching, but not on network TV: The Mindy Project, The Man in the High Castle, Manhattan


September 10, 2015

September 10, 2015

Wisconsin State Fair 2015

At this point, only the briefest of recaps is necessary for each of my annual State Fair visits. I’ve got my routine down pat, and very little changes from year to year.

I know that I’ll wander the Expo Center, ogling the miracle products:

There will be a few head-scratchers, too:

I’ll watch the Raptors: Birds of Prey show with utter delight.


Peregrine Falcon, fastest animal.

"I am freedom, baby.”

Crows are the Rodney Dangerfield of the bird world. No respect.

I’ll admire prize-winning cheeses:

Prize-winning baked goods, too:

The animals will seem less-than-excited to be at the freaking STATE FAIR:

“Wake me when it’s over.”


And throughout the day, I will attempt to eat my body weight.

Cruller on a stick.

Flavored milks: Orange creamsicle, root beer, banana, strawberry, and chocolate.

The Wis-cone-sin (new this year).

Pretzel-crusted brownies on a stick, also new this year.

See you in 2016.

September 4, 2015

September 4, 2015

Hot Pocket Veto

The BBC’s recent Britain at the Bookies miniseries—available as of writing on YouTube, so be quick about it—was a pretty fascinating look at betting. I myself am not a gambler, preferring the buffet to any table game or machine. Seriously, I’ve been to casinos dozens of times but gambled only once, spending a dollar on penny slots in Vegas and ending up with $2.32. Thus it’s with disinterest that I enjoyed learning about OTB, horseracing, and the like.

BUT. My ears did perk up during episode 2, when the question of naming racehorses came up. Namely (no pun intended), what you would name your horse, if you had one. Coincidentally, I had decided on this very thing earlier that same day. So without further ado, let the record show that I today am claiming the following name for any racing horse, dog, BattleBot, or yet-to-be-invented cyborg I may ever use for competition purposes:

Hot Pocket Veto

Brilliant, right? It combines three of my loves: frozen food, politics, and wordplay. Google indicates that the phrase has to date been used just once, in a tweet about the President, and that the phrase was not referencing the food product. Folks, I’m counting this one as all mine.

Back-up plan: I discover something (a strain of bacteria? a planet? spitballing here) and use this name. Win-win.

Edit: What name would you choose?