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Archive for July, 2006

Questioning the Emmy Nominations, Part Two: The Answers

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While I’m sure all of you were on your couches at 8:40 this morning, glued to your TVs, bowl of Bran Flakes balanced precariously on your trembling hand as your heart slammed in your chest with anticipation, knowing you were now just minutes away from hearing this year’s Emmy nominations… oh, wait, that was just me? Geez, sorry.

Well, anyway, here’s the answers I promised you yesterday, with some extra commentary thrown in for good measure: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Allen

July 6th, 2006 at 10:35 am

Posted in Pop Culture,TV

Questioning the Emmy Nominations, Part One

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Like most of us, I shall be sitting in front of my TV at 8:39 a.m. EST tomorrow morning, anxiously waiting for Brad Garrett and Julia Louis-Dreyfus to tell me who’s going to be up for this year’s Emmy awards. And, like most of us, I’ll be laying in my bed awake for hours tonight, twitching wildly under the covers while using all of my spare brain cycles on questions like:

  • Who will be this year’s Blythe Danner (Huff) or Patricia Arquette (Medium) — either a little-known actor or an off-the-mainstream-radar performance which will elicit cries of “wha’ fu’?!” with a surprise nomination?
  • Which of the 182 regular cast members of Lost will be singled out for praise? Will Lost find itself in the situation The West Wing did in its first few years where so many of its cast were deserving that they almost had to be rotated in and out of the process on a yearly basis?
  • Speaking of The West Wing, will it pick up any thanks-for-the-memories nominations? Will the late (and sorely missed) John Spencer get a posthumous nomination, much like John Ritter did three years ago?
  • Will any of the deserving shows on the soon-to-be-extiguished WB or UPN get any notice — will Gilmore Girl Lauren Graham be snubbed for the sixth straight year? Will all of the critical praise and devoted viewership earn Veronica Mars‘ Kristen Bell a nod?
  • Can Arrested Development emmbarrass Fox further by earning another Best Comedy Series nomination — and, hopefully, even pull off another win?
  • Whatever will Emmy voters possibly do without Everybody Loves Raymond around to lavish ridiculous numbers of nominations on? Spread them among quality shows like AD or Scrubs or find some other mediocre and inoffensive sitcom on which to heap their praise? (Oh, jeez — does that mean we’re in for a flood of noms for Joey?)
  • Can the bowing-out-five-years-too-late Will and Grace possibly best the five guest-actor nominations it got last year? Will all four of its principals get nods once again, even though they haven’t truly deserved them in years?
  • Will Deadwood be eligible this year? No, really — will it? I honestly don’t know.
  • Will Little Einsteins get a nomination for Best Children’s Program? Because it totally should.

I know how difficult it will be for you to wait until tomorrow, at which point I’ll be able to break down the nominations for you and answer all of these questions — and a bunch of other questions you didn’t even realize you were asking — in Questioning the Emmy Nominatons, Part Two!

Written by Allen

July 5th, 2006 at 3:42 pm

Posted in Pop Culture,TV


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The younger child issued us a warning today.

Let me first say that we weren’t intentionally neglecting her. Since she’s a child who really prefers being left alone, we thought we were doing fine by her; she had some time alone with the Little Einsteins while we each did some work upstairs. The older child flitted back and forth between the upstairs and downstairs like an A.D.D. bumblebee, so we asked her to give us status reports about the younger one’s behavior and mood.

“She’s fine, Daddy,” the older one said. “I think she’s sleeping.”

No, she wasn’t sleeping. She wasn’t quite being evil, either, but evil certainly was afoot. Notice was served to the parents: Keep it up, leave me alone for this long again, and you’ll live to regret it. Alternatively, you might not.

Her messages had all of the forethought and cunning of those Jacques Saunière initially left in the Lourve for Robert Langdon. [1] First was the diaper; I found the child lying naked on the floor (much in the manner M. Saunière himself was discovered), her diaper removed and resting a couple of feet from her head. The diaper, thankfully, was empty except for some urine; this was Warning One.

I could have had a toxic poop stew in there, Father, and could have used my butt like a big poop paintbrush. Consider yourself lucky.

I then turned and noticed Warning Two, which was actually her most devious as it called back to one of her most infamous (and messiest and mother-traumatizing) misadventures. The bottle of Cremora was on the floor in front of the television… unopened, but threatening. The child knew — she had gone to fetch the Cremora (don’t ask me how she knew where it was or how to get it, but she did), knowing the spine-tingling, nerve-jangling message it would send to her parents, especially her still-scarred O.C.D. mother.

I could have opened this and made it snow right here in the living room. But I didn’t. You remember that.

Warning Three was in a similar vein to Warning Two: an unopened tube of K-Y jelly sat menancingly on the coffee table. I don’t even know where we keep this stuff, yet the child had found it, had left it out in the open where she knew we’d see it — and would notice that it hadn’t been used to lubricate the rug.

Nothing is safe from me, Father. I know your secrets. You may think you can hide your little toys for a while, but I’ll find them eventually. Remember.

Honestly, I’m not sure what Warning Four meant: she’d removed one of the collapsible poles from the bag holding the tent we sometimes set up for the girls in the playroom. And she’d managed to un-collpase it, to extend it back to its full six feet and leave it on the kitchen floor; perhaps it was a dastardly trap, or part of one which she hadn’t had time to complete before the siren call of the Little Einsteins beckoned her to rejoin them.

God may work in mysterious ways… but I am more mysterious than God.

The final warning was by far the most disturbing. While I was collapsing the tent pole back down, I heard what sounded like a high, muffled barking. The barking clearly wasn’t Tommy, the great dumb dog who follows at the children’s heels hoping to catch the occassional falling Cheerio, and I didn’t think it was the older child, who was upstairs. I tiptoed carefully into the playroom, following the sound, looking amongst the scattered toys with trepidation, and then I saw it: hanging from the crossbeam of their easel was a stuffed mechanical puppy, blowing gently in the breeze from the open window, the string around its neck suspending it above the floor and causing it to bark over and over in a sad, strangled wheeze.

This time, the puppy, Father. Next time… you.

I surveyed her devious messages of mayhem and walked back into the living room. I looked down at this naked child, one arm a pillow behind her head, two fingers of the other hand stuck in her mouth in her common comfort gesture. She noticed me staring at her, and I’m sure she must have seen the fear in my eyes: she smiled wide around those two fingers and laughed, that beautiful laugh which normally tickles my soul… but on this early July afternoon, that laugh, that mellifluous, horrible laugh drained the blood from my face and made me shiver cold.

(This article was also posted at Mother Mirth, where the wife normally writes much more frequently and more eloquently about the children than I do. You should read her stuff. And I’m not just saying that because she could withhold sex from me if I didn’t. I swear.)

[1] If you didn’t find the opening to The DaVinci Code particularly cunning, feel free to substitute a pop-culture reference more to your liking. And tell me in the comments what it was so I can file it away for later plagiarism.

Written by Allen

July 3rd, 2006 at 10:10 pm

Posted in Kids