Breakup Song

Filed under:Music — posted by Anwyn on November 30, 2007 @ 1:44 pm

This has to be one of the best of that specification: “You Can’t Take it with You When You Go,” by Rhonda Vincent and the Rage. Not too needy, not too tough: You can change your mind, but it’s a limited-time offer.

Watch where you’re standin’
When you close that door
‘Cause if you’re on the wrong side
It won’t open any more.
Be sure before you leave me
That it’s the only way
Take off your coat and think about
What I’m about to say.

I gave you my heart
I gave you my soul, completely
You’ve got my dreams;
You’ve got everything that I’ll need if you leave me alone.
I’ll give you my love
For the rest of my life
But I want to make sure you know:
You can’t take it with you when you go.

I hear what you’re saying
But I don’t believe it’s you
Tellin’ me that it’s all over
After all that we’ve been through.
If you’ve found a new love
Then just tell me so
And I’ll make it easy
So she’ll never know.


YouTube has somebody’s image-string video, which somewhat stunningly has a shot of Captain Mal and River Tam in it, to go with it:

And something a little more cheerful and kick-ass, from the band’s appearance at the 2007 River City Bluegrass Festival here in Portland (I didn’t see that show but I saw them at River City in 2006), Kentucky Borderline. She has some of the best in her band:

The Rant: Toys-R-Us

Filed under:It's My Life,Rants,Toys, Children's — posted by Anwyn @ 1:21 pm

The place that must be like the Hellmouth for Rachel Lucas, the black hole of money, Toys-R-Us. The place exasperates me because it should be an extremely useful store and sometimes actually is. That is, when I need a general present for a child and don’t know what I’m going to get yet, usually I can go in there, wander for a little while, and find something suitable. But then the exasperation. If there’s something specific I want, the odds are 99-1 that they won’t have it. Every single time, no matter what the thing is. Stuffed dog that doesn’t shed? No. Take your pick from these three million dogs with obnoxiously shedding fake fur. The one little wooden table and chairs I wanted for the corner of the kitchen for my son to eat at? No. We’re out. Take your pick from these bright flimsy plastic ones. The one specific Thomas engine that my son wanted as a reward for learning to use the potty? No. Take your pick from these four million engines that are the wrong ones.

Speaking of trains, what up, TRU people, that as usual you have a train table out with all the track and little buildings and sheds and trees and train stations on it … and no trains? My broken-hearted son spent the rest of our trip to TRU today wailing because he couldn’t play with the trains as he does on every visit, because for some unfathomable godless reason the TRU people had put none on the table. “Fortunately, baby, we have trains at home.” Wail. “Honey, see the other little boy? He’s not crying and he’s kind of worried about you because you are. Can you buck up a little for Mommy?” Wail. It’s not entirely so much the trains; it’s also that it’s out of routine and he doesn’t yet understand that the world changes. There were trains; now there aren’t. Apocalypse.

And then, the capstone of the TRU Exasperation Experience, the one that puts my steam up every time, I’m herding my wailing son up to the register, hoping for a smooth and quick checkout, and then it comes, The Nunya Question: “May I start with a phone number, please?”


It’s not the checkers’ fault; they’re only doing what they’ve been told, which, you know, their paycheck kind of depends on. But this is just such an annoying policy on the part of TRU and various other retailers. Sometimes I comply, but honestly, if you see an exasperated person approaching with a wailing four-year-old in tow, don’t you think you’d exercise enough judgment to just check them out and get them on their way?

Of course not. That’s why you’ll be a checker awhile longer, I’m thinking.

Van Dyke Weirdness

Filed under:Cool,It's My Life — posted by Anwyn @ 9:44 am

I found out at Citizens’ Academy last night that one of the sons of Dick Van Dyke, Chris Van Dyke, was a Portland district attorney on the case of the I-5 Killer back in the early 1980s and still lives in the area, having started his own outdoorswear company after a stint at Nike. It’s only weird because I used to live thirty minutes down the road from Dick and Jerry Van Dyke’s childhood home in Danville, Illinois, though sadly I left Illinois for Oregon before the visit described in that page–I would’ve liked to have seen him at Bye, Bye Birdie with the high schoolers. I, um, played Rose myself back in high school.

Anyway, Dick Van Dyke and I also have the same birthday. Separated by 49 years, of course, but still. Weird.

WP Weirdness

Filed under:Blogging — posted by Anwyn @ 9:36 am

Up until a few months ago, when I linked back to one of my own posts, WP would automatically put the trackback on the linked post. No more. Anybody have any idea why it would suddenly quit doing that when I haven’t updated or otherwise tinkered with WP and as far as I know haven’t changed any relevant options?


Filed under:Reviews,Television — posted by Anwyn on November 29, 2007 @ 11:04 pm

I’m watching Moonlight, that vampire show with Jason Dohring in a supporting role (for anyone whose brain is so full up with characters that she forgets the actors’ names, that means Logan’s in it) and Sophia Myles, David Tennant’s girlfriend (sob), as the female lead. The Whedonesquers were outraged upon first hearing of it, since a vampire P.I. is a disrespectful ripoff of one of their cancelled sacred cows. Ace and Petitedov both turned up their noses at it, and they have a point about some of the writing and some of the acting–but it’s the “some” that makes it interesting. If you keep yourself thinking “noir” instead of “wooden,” it really starts to work. The lead actor, Alex O’Loughlin, is pretty slick in a dry, straight-on D.B. Sweeney kind of way that I enjoy, and come on, how could anybody not love this exchange:

Girl Who’s Just Been Attacked: “Shouldn’t we call the police?”

Beth, whose apartment it is, hearing thumping and hollering from the bathroom: “I think Mick wanted to talk to him alone.”


Disgusting Bad Guy, chained to the bathroom sink after being roughed up a little: “You can’t do this. I have rights.”

Mick, Kick-Ass Vampire P.I.: “Yeah? You broke into a private home. I have the right to shoot you. I’m still considering that option.”

DBG: “You’re not a cop.”

Mick: “That’s right, so I don’t have to fill out paperwork in triplicate when I kick your ass again.”

See? Even Dawn Summers would like that. Oh yeah, no more TV for her, though.

I haven’t quite decided yet whether it hurts or helps that the show shares a producer with Veronica Mars and bears a strong affinity to it in terms of sets (Mick’s apartment is basically Duncan and Logan’s room in the Neptune Grand, and Mick’s office is more or less Keith’s) and even callbacks (a murdered girl from the pilot was a student at Hearst College). It’s nice but also a little melancholy, although I admit Chuck is helping me get over Veronica in record time.

Anyway, guilty pleasure it may be, but a few hack lines here and there don’t stop the plots from being fairly well wound and properly sprung. It’s about as different from Angel as any show about a vampire P.I. could reasonably be expected to be. And because I’m a sucker for the love story, kudos to the writers for not pulling the now overused “put ’em together then break ’em up quick” method of having cake and eating it too–they’re taking it comparatively slow and letting that part of it play out over time.

It certainly holds its own for a Friday night show.


Filed under:Jerks,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn @ 5:39 pm

So, CNN, you haven’t heard anybody say the questions from Democratic plants at last night’s debate were not useful? Allow me to fill that yawning void for you.

The questions were not useful. They were useless because this is not yet the general election, where the candidates need to face the monumental task of swaying voters either undecided on some of the core split issues between Democrats and Republicans or else outright committed to the opposite side. Last night’s debate was supposed to be about showing Republicans why one Republican candidate might be a better choice for their Republican primary vote than another Republican might be. It was not about giving Democrats face time to whine and badger the candidates about issues that Democrats may want to hear Republicans answer so they can point and laugh, but about which your average Republican doesn’t give much of a rat’s tail. I actually thought you might have realized this simple fact, seeing that you were hosting a debate for the Republican primary candidates, but since it seems to have escaped you: This was not supposed to be a platform for self-important Democrats with their panties in a wad to try to pin Republican candidates under their thumbs. That comes later. Not to mention that little point that the “populist” approach of YouTube was supposed to be about ordinary voters submitting questions they’d like to hear answered, not paid agendists.

I’m starting to think that by “a debate of their party” you really meant “Let’s see if we can’t turn it into a debate about their party.” But hey, if your intent was to piss our party off even more at yours, maybe they weren’t so useless after all. The saying is useful idiots, isn’t it?

Update: Because whatever you may have convinced yourselves of the intelligence level of Republicans, I assure you most of us will not look at a questioner like Gen. Kerr and say, “Hmm! There is a Republican who is angry about ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell!’ Wow, maybe I should vote Democrat after all!”

In Which Slublog and Gib Research Huckabee So I Don’t Have To

Filed under:Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on November 28, 2007 @ 2:37 pm

I didn’t mention Huckabee in my earlier endorsement of Fred Thompson even though, much to many people’s surprise, he appears to be surging. I’m reluctant to consider him a first-tier candidate and so did not mention him in my rundown of the rest of the Big Four. My primary reason for discounting him early on was his nanny-state approach with things like the ridiculous national smoking ban. But if you’re thinking Huckabee, take a good hard look at Slublog’s detailed assessment and Gib’s layout of a troubling incident, and then tell me why it’s a good idea to vote for somebody who may sound more fervent on abortion and other moral issues than Thompson but who, even if elected, will have no more real power to affect those issues than the mechanisms Thompson has already outlined–while at the same time he’s a big spender who, because of his evangelical appeal, will have a lot more trouble beating Hillary. I disagree with Slublog in that I don’t think it’s a Big Government menace to end what should clearly be a crime (abortion) at the federal level, but I do think the first step down that road will only be taken through federalism and returning the power to the states until the voices denouncing the crime become loud and numerous enough that it can become a federal issue. Mike Huckabee talks a good game about short-circuiting that process, but I agree with Thompson’s calculation that federal action at this stage is an unrealistic pipe dream and a bad political risk.

And lest we forget, Huckabee consistently called multitudes of Republican voters racist for wanting an end to illegal immigration because (paraphrased from an earlier debate), “I’ve seen it, I’ve talked to people.” As I’ve said before, I ain’t his Huckaberry and I hope these polls are wrong in showing how many of my fellow Christians are becoming so.

This Kind of Thing Gives the Rest of the Adults Who Like Harry Potter a Bad Name, See?

Filed under:Not Cool — posted by Anwyn @ 2:23 pm

Can I take even some cold comfort from the fact that the guy narrating the video has the grace to seem a little embarrassed?

Why don’t the brainiacs at MIT or someplace at least make a snitch that flies? That would be a game. People could try to catch it with lacrosse sticks while the opposing team remote-controls it. But no, just these lamers on their stupid broomsticks.

Rachel Lucas should pick this up and cuss at them far better than I can do. Morons.


Filed under:Movies,Reviews — posted by Anwyn @ 12:52 pm

**SPOILERS** for Enchanted below.

When I heard of the premise of Enchanted, in which a Disney cartoon princess becomes transmuted into real-life New York City, I thought it would be dumb. Then I saw a preview and could not stop laughing. The movie lived up to the trailers’ promise–funny and as good a romantic comedy as any I’ve seen in a long while. Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey are fantastic as the leads, walking a very difficult line between unbelievable (as in what guy could ever accept a woman coming from nowhere and acting like Disney’s Snow White into his NYC apartment?) and totally credible (and if he did, how could he help falling in love with her?). The movie is deft in accomplishing this–we are willing to forgive logistics non-sequiturs like the villain suddenly appearing as a hot-dog vender or a restaurant waiter attempting to poison Adams’s Giselle merely because that’s how it’s done in the classic cartoons, but give an appreciative nod to Dempsey’s Robert taking the precaution of having his daughter come to his room to sleep for the night because he’s letting a total stranger stay on his couch. A highly realistic thread is Robert’s struggle between his feelings for Giselle and his resistance to their fairy-tale quality and his engagement to a woman he doesn’t love so much, out of his sense of realism and a lurking fear that he must do this for the sake of his daughter’s motherless state–Dempsey conveys all this on his face and in his eyes, finally put to very good use after a few years of dogging hapless Meredith Grey on television. And it is notable that he does not step up to give Giselle The Kiss of True Love, even at the point of her possible death, until released from his former promise by the grating but ultimately goodwilled fiancee. This Austen-esque sense of duty and honor is compelling and, like many other touches, brings a lovely gravity to the movie’s light-hearted hilarity.

When I saw James Marsden as the cartoon Prince Edward, I had a fleeting thought of “I’ve see him before” and flashed a little on Ally McBeal, but still didn’t truly put it together until I saw the credits–he was so convincing and so far out of the last role I’d seen him in, as Cyclops in X-Men, that it was startling. Susan Sarandon gives a suitably evil performance as evil stepmother/wicked queen/poison-apple hag, and Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz put their long-honed Disney songwriting skills to wickedly funny use, as in Giselle’s housecleaning song that calls all available New York animals and gamely rallies after discovering they’re all “vermin.” And a cameo by The Little Mermaid herself, Jodi Benson, wraps it all up into a nice self-parodying package that manages at the same time to give out a big dose of warm-hearted joy.

Woven of two levels–obvious enough that any little girl who’s ever watched a Disney movie will understand the humor but grown-up enough for adults to enjoy the romance and ridiculous situations–this movie is very well done on a premise that could have proved far more difficult.

In the Cannon’s Mouth

Filed under:Cool,History,It's My Life,Photoblogging — posted by Anwyn @ 12:17 pm

A little vacation photoblogging. A casemate with cannon at Fort Sumter:

The same cannon (I think) from inside the fort:

And an empty casemate looking out to the ocean:

Dancing with the Stars Finale

Filed under:Television — posted by Anwyn on November 27, 2007 @ 10:58 pm

Daggone, it has been a long time since I heard “My Heart Will Go On.” I guess I can go ahead and admit this to a couple hundred of my best internet friends: I cried buckets through the entire last half of Titanic and I liked this song just fine. It sounds good after a hiatus of about ten years even though Celine’s accent annoys me just as much as ever. Cheryl Burke and Mark Ballas dancing rhumba pretty much makes me forget about the accent, though. Nice.

This finale worries me. I’m afraid Marie has some crazy fans who are going to skew it, and I’m afraid Helio has far more traction than he deserves. I fear for Mel B. And she looks worried too.

Third place: Marie and Jonathan. Whew. No skewage. She has impressed the hell out of me with her work and her attitude and her enthusiasm.

Does this seem plain cruel to anybody else: Having stars eliminated first come back nine weeks later to suck again after everybody else has gotten at least one or two weeks better than them? Eah.

Conversation of the Day! Mel: “I’ve ballroomed my hair.” Maks: “Good. Ballroom your ass right now.” I love that guy.

Hey hey, Albert Reed, seeing you again makes me realize all over again how maddening it was to watch Wayne Newton and Mark Cuban week after week instead of you. Tom was surprised he left so early. You and me both, babe.

Speaking of Wayne Newton. No, I won’t speak of him. Hi Cheryl, I can’t wait to see you back again next season with somebody who can dance. Wait, hold up: Newton’s going on the tour? Not to dance, surely. Surely not to dance.

“Chatting with the stars.” Tom Bergeron funny. I’m not unhappy not to have to watch Floyd dance either.

Here comes Mark Cuban. I won’t look. What I am looking at is the fact that I didn’t realize this thing was two hours long. Hey, I have last night’s Chuck to watch, people! All right, I peeked at Cuban. He looks better than he ever did before–way more relaxed and without the goofy costume. It suits him.

Sabrina and Mark! I have no words. They sizzle.

Jane and Tony. And the Billy Joel lyric that made me squirm when I was in high school, “making love to his tonic and gin.” Aiee! Tony seems to have multiple personalities–you wouldn’t think the guy Viennese waltzing with Jane just now was the same guy who did the rhumba with Karina twenty minutes ago.

Cameron and Edyta. Hot hot hot. Sounded like some of the brass was out of tune, though, which is a positive crime on the Superman theme.

Is it just me or did Jennie’s hips not act that way when she was actually in competition? Good on ya, girl. I have to give credit: I didn’t think much of Derek when he first came on. Pretty boy, chops or not, but he’s won me over. I love his moves and his cute face.

Mel and Maks: More points than any other couple. Damn right. I’m shocked they chose the mambo after their two incredible paso dobles. Okay, I take it back. Maks has upped his game but fierce and she’s hanging right with him, no slack whatsoever. This is hot and tight. Wow. Judges say: Len, “Well, you know, I gotta say–” absolute revelation. Incredible. Fabulous. Right on. Bruno: Truly magnificent. Complete dancer, determination, professionalism, good humor. Wow. Carrie Ann: Woot woot. Ten-ten-ten, much and fabulously deserved. You people who voted better have done her right.

Helio and Julianne: This quickstep rocked the first time around, I will say. It doesn’t seem as polished this time, though, or maybe that’s my own wishful thinking talking … uh, nice kiss. Doesn’t she have a fiancee, or didn’t she, or something? Hmmm. Judges say: Bruno: Engine full power, blah blah blah. Carrie Ann: Favorite dance again. Len: Risk taker. And props to the band, who deserve it all. Ten-ten-ten. Of course.

Helio and Julianne. Undeserved. He’s lovely, absolutely, but he’s not the dancer Mel is, in much the same way that Apolo is not the dancer Joey Fatone or Laila Ali is. That’s just so sad.

A Blog for Fred Thompson

Filed under:Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn @ 10:15 am

It took me long enough, but I’ve decided to vote for Fred Thompson in the Republican primary. His tax plan put the capstone on a bundle of policies that are soundly conservative, full of common sense, and moderate enough that they should be highly implementable. My impression of him personally is that he is a laid-back guy who will do what he must to keep his policy goals on track, and that’s a little more attractive to me at this point than a fiery go-getter who may be noticeably fiery on issues I’d prefer he stepped back on.

The reason it took me so long to decide is because I’m more in Quin Hillyer’s camp than Karol’s–the thought of a McCain presidency does not scare me. If I have to put up with some nonsense on illegal immigration and political speech for a hard-headed view of our military efforts and national security, I can. The thought of a Giuliani presidency does not scare me. If I have to put up with some personal pro-choice views and some gun nonsense for good judiciary appointments and a clear-eyed view of the war on terrorism, I can do that too. The thought of a Romney presidency does not scare me … much. I haven’t taken the time to find out enough about him. But unlike Dr. Dobson, I see which way the wind is blowing and I will not take any action that contributes to the country’s jeopardy of socialist health care, the continuance of abortion as an enshrined constitutional right, or ignominious cut-and-run.

All that said, Fred Thompson seems to combine the best of attributes and policies–approachable but not malleable, sensible but not overly stubborn, not so concerned about getting ahead that compromise becomes the order of the day. There are only a couple things I’ve heard him say so far that I didn’t like, and hey, he makes Allah noticeably grumpled. “Too late, too late” has been the media cry. He certainly hasn’t been too late for those of us who keep ourselves informed via the web. Ultimately it remains to be seen how he’s played to the TV, newspaper, and live-appearance crowd. A friend who’s spent time in Washington commented to me that his impression of Fred is of somebody who can govern, but not campaign–that he just doesn’t have a taste for it. To me that’s a personal asset, but unfortunately the lack of visibility that goes along with it may hurt him with the general run of primary voters. Run, Fred, run for all you’re worth. You’ve got my vote.

Double Dancing Duty

Filed under:Television — posted by Anwyn on November 26, 2007 @ 10:38 pm

I didn’t watch anything except Bones while I was away, and that only because one of my uncles happened to be watching and called me in when it was on. So, to recap Dancing, Week 9: Last week’s dances were downright electrifying. Goodbye, Jennie. You needed that cha-cha-cha breakthrough a little sooner than week 9, although it was a hell of a great breakthrough. Sabrina and Mark had a very polished and interesing rhumba to Avril Lavigne. Tell me, anybody who keeps up with current pop music, does Avril always try to sing that much out of her range or did she just have a cold or something?

I do not understand the fuss over Helio. He seems to be a very nice guy, but his dancing success is due to a) an adequate sense of rhythm, b) a megawatt smile, and c) having Julianne as a partner. Why does Len consider them the standout couple? He is way too stiff to do Latin dances properly, and after I watch tonight’s finals, I am going to break my promise of not voting in protest for Sabrina’s ouster in order to give all my votes to Mel B. She deserves it, by far. Marie has serious chops to have made it this far, but stumbles in footwork at this level are unacceptable.

On to tonight’s dances.

Mel B and Maks, cha-cha-cha: Starts off unpromisingly with a scamper across the floor and a tacky husband drama. Hmm. Still not her best dance, although she took some hand-position lessons from watching Laila’s last year’s videos, I think. Judges say: Len doesn’t like the off steps, as usual, but otherwise liked it. Bruno: stunning. Carrie Ann: Uncertain, like me. Not enough excitement. No kidding. Compared to their paso dobles, it’s just flat. Nine-nine-ten.

Marie and Jonathan, samba: Uhoh. These dances they do because the judges wanted to see them improved on reminds me of vocal boards in college, when an adjunct professor I had no particular liking for looked down my list of songs and chose the one I hadn’t managed to memorize. Why would they do this to the stars on finals night? It’s like Letterman’s funniest item in the Top Ten always being at #2. As long as they do it this way, the second-to-last week will always be the most exciting. Add to that that I hate the freestyle because they always put in way too much hip-hop garbage, and the finals are not the most fun for me at all.

Anyway, samba: Cute, but still a bit stiff and even a tad slow. The judges are going to grill her on lack of content–too many still poses, Jonathan. Bad samba rolls! Judges say: Bruno, with the truth, uhoh. Heart and soul but technically lacking. No kidding. Carrie Ann and Len agree. Eight-eight-eight. That has to hurt.

Helio and Julianne, jive: Watching Julianne act awkward is painful. HE BOTCHES HIS FOOTWORK. I told you. I hope I don’t have to watch this trophy go to another one of Julianne’s partners based on pluck and attitude and little else besides her, although I will say Apolo had the ability more than Helio does. Judges say: Carrie Ann, fun and adorable, but she doesn’t let him off the hook. Len: Messed up everything–a disappointment. Wow. I’m glad he didn’t let his previous opinion of “standout couple” stop him from that honest assessment. Bruno agrees, pretty much. Eight-eight-nine. Good.

Freestyles are always a letdown, and Mel and Maks’s, because their standard was previously so high, is the worst letdown of all. Carrie Ann agrees: Didn’t show what she could do. Right on. Len liked more of it, but still lacked flow. Bruno’s fine with it. Nine-nine-nine.

Marie and Jonathan: Starts out well, but if she doesn’t drop the stiff-puppet thing soon it’s going to bomb … nope, she doesn’t drop it enough. Why does everybody want to do lifts, lifts, nothing but damn lifts all day long, just because they can? Where’s the fricking dancing? That was not a pretty dance. Judges say: Len says good idea, bad execution. I totally agree. Marie, keep your mouth shut. Len says, didn’t happen. Bruno says it defies criticism, but then says it’s not a dance. True enough, that. Carrie Ann: Risk taker, but … odd choice. Eight-SEVEN-SEVEN. I’m appalled, but honestly those are appropriate scores.

Helio and Julianne: Cute with the race driver idea, but he can’t even keep in step with her while walking, much less dancing. Did I mention how much I hate freestyle? This dance made Julianne look ugly. Judges say: Bruno applauds the difficult lifts. Carrie Ann says he has both technique and entertainment–hello, did we forget the technical drubbing he took not fifteen minutes ago? Len says best freestyle of the night, by miles, but let’s face it that’s not a hard standard to beat. Nine-ten-ten. Travesty.

I’m off to vote for Mel now. Aside from the fact that she is the best left standing, by a mile, I would love to see Maks win. Hot.

Update: What with getting vacation laundry in the machines and making breakfast, I missed the voting window. I had forgotten my password and still hasn’t mailed it to me, 12 hours later. What kind of technology is that? Anyway. I suck. I hope everybody else didn’t and that Mel B wins tonight.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace