Sammy the Seal

Archive for January, 2009|Monthly archive page

I’m talkin’ ’bout Lucky Clovers

In funny ha ha on Sunday, 11 January, 2009 at 9:48

Usually when a hidden gem or cult item in television or music comes along, I miss it and come to it later, usually lamenting that I didn’t get caught up in the week to week madness, or catch the band in concert when no one was the wiser. So I’ve been watching The Ben Stiller Show recently, which is an exception to this rule. It ran a half-season, making it extremely hard to catch, but as a 14-year old, somehow I caught it, and remember watching it and even joking about the skits the next day at school. It was an inventive, off-the-wall sketch comedy show on Fox, well before “alternative comedy” became so vogue recently. Featuring Bob Odenkirk, and to a lesser extent, David Cross, it is an obvious forbear to Mr. Show, which even then was cult (since it was on HBO) and flew well under the radar, garnering mostly critical acclaim, most notably, as I can remember, when Janeane Garofalo, Ben Stiller cast member, said something like “the average person doesn’t deserve to watch Mr. Show.” Snooty, hell yes, but I know very few people who know of it, and often, it’s only because of association with me. Brilliance is rarely appreciated or noticed, much less in its own time. These days, most people know Ben Stiller, but most people don’t know this Ben Stiller. The commentary tracks are excellent companions where they appear. They add to the nostalgia that this show evokes when I watch it.

But anyway, in the very first episode, there is a faux “U2 Rockumentary” skit, in which the cast, as U2, does a commercial for a breakfast cereal done to the tune of their song “One”, or at least a reasonable knock-off of it. Even though I hadn’t re-visited the show in ages, I felt a fondness that I actually “knew the show back when” and remember parts of it vividly, growing up. I have also found that people born after 1982-3 won’t get the jokes and references— a shame, because it’s absolutely dead-on. U2 was more popular then, relatively speaking, and anyone who was in middle or high school in the early 90s ought to realize how perfect this is. Yes, it’s dated and impenetrable to anyone who didn’t live through Achtung Baby and the U2 zeitgeist of the early 90s, but upon pulling it out of the DVD library, I am reminded that this sketch/parody is still one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

Embedding has been disabled by request, so please, please view it here, or buy the series. One half season, 13 episodes, I don’t remember paying more than 20-25 for it. Imagine a more innocent time when cracked genius like this made it onto network television, even if it was a young, fledgling Fox network. The hilarious parody lyrics are below.

(Set-up: the real Mr. Kinkaid from The Partridge Family, as U2’s first manager, drove the band around in a ramshackle, old multi-colored school bus, from gig to gig, talking about how they were going to make it big.)

Have you had your breakfast?
Why not try the best?
I’m talking ’bout Lucky Clovers
Why don’t you put ’em to the test?

And

One bowl won’t be enough
One box, you know you’ll eat it right up
They’re fun and so delicious
8 essential vitamins and they’re magically nutritious
One bowl, and it’s running low
One box, and it’s gonna go

Spoken: “Lucky Clovers cereal, an important part of this well-balanced breakfast. Now, with a fun, new surprise in each specially-marked package”

Did I eat too much, more than a lot?
You give me one box, now it’s all I got
One bowl, and we got to share it
Got to share it

Lucky Clovers

One bowl

All the small things

In words, words, words on Friday, 9 January, 2009 at 4:54

I can’t believe I just used that as a title, ugh. Maybe it’s been a while since I was overall content with life, as well as could be expected, but I thought I’d go over all the small occurrences and details that have made the rough first two months back in Seattle not so awful

– it’s warming up, but it’s still winter. The snow is gone for now, though on Sunday afternoon it came back with a vengeance and piled up extremely quickly in a matter of hours, was it ever coming down. Fortunately, the forecasters were right, and it rained enough over the next 24 hours that upon arriving home from work in the evening, even the slush was mostly gone. And the air is chilly, but milder. Since we live in an old house that doesn’t have central heating, and gas is expensive and ineffective and fireplace is boarded up, we’ve been using space heaters in various rooms. But recently, the temperature has not dropped much even when we’re gone or asleep and the heaters are off. It’s making indoor life much more bearable. (I’m not even wearing a warm hat or wool socks right now at 130am!)

– one of my co-workers got the new job she was angling for, and won’t leave until the end of the month, but although it leaves us understaffed (3 instead of 4), it quite increases the chances of me moving from temp employee to permanent, and getting an even greater pay bump (which, for what I actually do everyday, is obscene, and would be the most I ever earned in my life, for doing quite possibly the least arduous work).

– We’ve decided to stay in the house, full rent be damned. We’re looking at strangers to fill the room, but it’s not a hot time to look for tenants, most people are locked in at their comfy current places. But with us figuring out new ways to slash bills, and the prospect of more pay, it won’t be so hellish to afford, should we have to pay for it just the two of us.

– My awesome friend Angela came over to visit last Friday, the first visitor up to the house since I moved back here beginning of November. I understand with the weather and all, but I’m just thrilled that someone said they wanted to see me, and actually did. And she brought a feather toy for our two kitties that they immediately¬†took to. I’ve never seen any kitty been so enamored of a toy, and all it is is a little fishing pole with a couple of feathers on the end of the line. And yet if I, right now in the middle of the night, were to wake them up with it, they’d start tearing it up. I don’t give a shit if I sound like a loser, but I’ve reached that point that I’ve learned that you take sincere, friendly human contact wherever I can get it. Everyone wants to belong somewhere, and not in a clique-ish way, whether they admit it or not. It’s kind of nice when another person thinks of you, for whatever reason. I mean, life is rough enough, that a mere Friday night visit and a meal at an exorbitantly priced Mexican restaurant is enough for me. You don’t pick and choose these moments and people in your life, you just be damned grateful that they’re there. As if modern life isn’t alienating enough, we don’t need to be closing ourselves off from possibility willfully. I’ve gotten so much out of a few people I’ve met in writing the last few months than locally. And not coincidentally, these people are all my age or older (cf. my old old post about wanting to know more people my age).

– Finally, and this one is a bit bittersweet, but there’s a contact from back in San Antonio that I’ve been talking to a lot that I regret not knowing more, since I left so abruptly. That’s the thing about being aware of the opportunities to step outside yourself. (I’m not talking about me, since, once again, I didn’t make the first step.) I’m not saying happy endings for all, but it’s just that every day is a little easier, a little bit smilier, a little bit more impervious to the winter air. I really really wish I had known this person sooner. But I just have to deal with that now, and not make the same mistakes I have in the past and don’t be chicken-shit about a new opportunity. Sounds cheesy and easy, except think about the last time you did something truly out of your comfort zone, the last time you acted carelessly and unabashedly. I hate to be a broken record, but by fucking Zeus, we put up so many goddamned walls these days. I hope we just don’t wonder why things aren’t the way we want them, why we’re lonely, why we’re so disillusioned. Simple perspective. I’m not going overboard, but at the same time I can’t remember the last time I was this content and happy talking to someone. (Yes, it’s a woman, of course it’s a woman.) It’s as simple as when I hear from this person, even a line, I smile. Simple, no expectations, just an accepting, sympathetic ear, and agreement to just be ourselves right now. Funny, I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited being merely content.

– On a less agonizing, lighter note, I few nights ago, I found my sewing packet from costume design class from 8 years ago that shows you how to do different kinds of stitches, and I sewed up a couple of pants that have been needing it (my phone or ipod would fall right through the pocket, very frustrating to be operation with one less pocket and two gadgets!) and I’m hoping to sew up my jacket that has a couple of small tears along the seams. I was up until 130 the other night, learning to sew basic stuff again. I feel so resourceful!

– And finally, it’s the weekend. This week has absolutely zipped by, and I’m going to celebrate by making a peach and cherry pie. Do they go together? Who cares, they were the cheapest frozen fruit I could find. It’s always a good time for pie.

Quizzes are for suckers

In words, words, words on Friday, 2 January, 2009 at 1:18

And I’m no different than anyone else. It’s called “What’s Your Seduction Style?” and yes, I couldn’t resist. And since the fucking picture of the escape artist result is the only image that doesn’t work, here’s what it says. You can do it yourself here

“What’s Your Seduction Style?

The Escape Artist

We don’t know how you figured it out, but you’ve managed to keep your lovers close despite your critical view of the world. Maybe you aren’t cynical, just a little cautious. Either way, you’ve managed to keep your head on your shoulders. You do have a little bit of misanthropy going on up in there, but hey, when you build your solar powered cabin in the woods everything will be fine.
It’s very rare to meet someone so clever that isn’t into taking advantage of romantic or sensitive people. Your best seduction move: be your honest and insightful self. A straight shooter (even a slightly damaged straight shooter) is a fine catch for anyone.”

It’s interesting to me that things as unempirically based as online quizzes and the zodiac, for instance, can yet contain a certain amount of insight. I find myself doing a little “hey, that’s spot on, that’s me all over!” despite that these things are mostly for fun and really, really, should not govern one’s social interaction. That being said, all this is actually quite true, I have to admit. Although I resent the part about the solar cabin in the woods, because 1) it comes off too hippie and super-environmentally sound, whereas I am merely conscious, I do what I can, but don’t go overboard and micromanage the minutiae of my consumptive habits because really, what’s the fucking point (note: peep George Carlin’s show “Jammin’ in New York”, and for the last 10-15 minutes, you’ll find a very caustic yet intelligent, humane, and humbling look at our little planet), and 2) living out in the woods is a very chicken-shit, privileged, isolationist thing to do, and while I am very independent, cynical, and opinionated, I am for damn sure no elitist or isolationist. I feel perfectly normal being a bit snobby and cynical yet humanistic, if only because I’m cock-eyed enough to still want to believe in the potential of human beings. (Apologies to Ed Begley, Jr., et al., but unless you want to build one for everyone, or use it merely as an infrequent vacation home, then they’re pointless. The intention is good, but comes off a li’l self important. But what do I know? If someone is pontificating in the middle of the woods– Seattle is a highly wooded area– how exactly does it make the world a better place?)

Anyway, if anyone’s out there looking for a slightly damaged straight shooter (that seems incongruous, somehow…), you got yourself a humdinger right here. Hit me up, wink wink.