Wednesday, November 30, 2005

wednesday. is. today. how was your giving of Thanks? Mine was stellar, until a disagreement broke out between my mother and sister over minute things. All is well now, however. Isn't that how the holidays are at times, though?

Laughter can be a relief. It can bring joy and solace to someone when they need it most. Leading up to and after the 2004 presidential election, the one thing I could compare to a comfortable bed after a long day of hard work was Air America Radio's Morning Sedition with Marc Maron and Mark Riley.

Click here and scroll down to the 14th for my expansive thoughts on the show.

Well, as of January 2nd, the show is no more. Yep, apparently AAR CEO Danny Goldberg doesn't want comedy in the mornings and was not impressed with the show's ratings. It's all in this press release:

Air America Mornings to Take Over Morning-Drive

Mark Riley and Rachel Maddow to Host Shows on “Air America Mornings”

NEW YORK-November 29, 2005- Air America Radio announced today a change in its morning line-up. Beginning Jan. 2, the new morning format, “Air America Mornings,” will broadcast weekdays from 5-9am EST. The announcement was made today by CEO Danny Goldberg.

Veteran radio talk show host and current co-host of “Morning Sedition,” Mark Riley, will lead off “Air America Mornings” from 5-7am EST. Riley will highlight the top news stories of the day and will also interview various guests every morning.

Rachel Maddow will take her highly-rated and acclaimed show, “The Rachel Maddow Show,” to the 7-9am EST slot. In addition to continuing to give listeners fast-paced news and witty soundbites, Maddow will also interview a variety of guests. Maddow has previously guest-hosted the highly successful “The Al Franken Show,” heard weekly 12-3pm EST and will do so again the week of December 12. Maddow continues her night job as contributor to MSNBC’s “The Situation with Tucker Carlson.”

Comedian and co-host of “Morning Sedition,” Marc Maron, is returning to Los Angeles and is currently in negotiations with Air America Radio to host his own syndicated show. He will be a regular contributor to “Air America Mornings”

Paul Marszaleck will serve as Executive Producer of “Air America Mornings.” Marszalek is a twenty five year veteran of radio and television, having served as Vice President of Music Programming at VH1/MTV Networks and having held senior management positions at KFOG/San Francisco and WXRT/Chicago. He has also consulted several NPR stations around the country and various stations and networks internationally.

"The upcoming year is going to be crucial year for Air America, for morning drive time radio in general, and for the United States. In the past several months, Rachel Maddow has experienced dramatic growth in visibility and audience and we are very excited about giving her a bigger stage. Mark Riley is a respected broadcaster and we are equally excited that he will shine in his new role,” said Goldberg. “At the same time, we are well aware of the intense and committed following that Marc Maron's brilliant work on Air America has created and would like him to be a major voice on Air America in the future. "

“We are very excited about the launch of ‘Air America Mornings,’ both in NY and across the Air America Network. Beginning in January, you will hear a tightly formatted, flawless presentation of the most important topics of the day by Mark and Rachel, as well most compelling guests from the world of politics and entertainment,” said President Gary Krantz. “We are also committed to generating at least one show in 2006 from Los Angeles to connect us more closely with the progressive creative community there, and thus to offer our affiliates a widening menu of politics, comedy, information, and entertainment."

“We are thrilled that we finally have found a way to display all three of these great talents on Air America Radio,” said President of Programming Jon Sinton.

With Mark and Rachel we have two of the most intelligent, engaging and committed broadcasters on the air today,” said COO Carl Ginsburg. “I would put them up against any talk radio hosts--- they are sharp, smart and ahead of the curve.”

Rachel Maddow has a Doctorate in Politics from Oxford University and a degree in Public Policy from Stanford. She was the first openly gay American to win a Rhodes Scholarship. Her background is in commercial radio (WRSI, WRNX) and political activism. Prior to launching "The Rachel Maddow Show," Rachel co-hosted Air America's "Unfiltered" with Chuck D and Lizz Winstead.

Mark Riley has been on the WLIB airwaves for more than 30 years, his seasoned experience produced such high-profile interviews with President Bill Clinton, President Nelson Mandela, Jean Bertrand Aristide, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Lena Horne, & Spike Lee to name a few. In addition to radio, Riley is a popular TV political analyst with bi-weekly appearances on the “Road to City Hall” on New York 1 News; commentary on BET, CNN, CBS Early Show, & MSNBC.

As I've previously stated, I've been an avid Marc Maron fan since the early '90s, when his stand-up would turn up on Comedy Central and then as host of that channel's Short Attention Span Theater. He is one of this generation's greatest comedy minds and if AAR doesn't find the right vehicle for his tremendous talent, then he needs to look elsewhere. I hope all works out...but it's still sad to see this brilliant, satirical liberal morning show get cancelled.

From Netflix I will (hopefully) be procuring the following two films tomorrow...


Word of mouth, along with Ebert and alot of other film critics, says that Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a fun, action-packed movie, with comedic bursts.

And then there's Dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist. Much has been said of Paul Schrader's film, which was intended to be released as Exorcist: The Beginning. Schrader was hired by Morgan Creek Productions to replace an ailing John Frankenheimer. Schrader lensed his film and turned it in. Upon seeing it, Morgan Creek founder and CEO James G. Robinson was incredulous and threw Schrader's version on the shelf. The reason? It wasn't an Exorcist film in Robinson's eyes. He wanted extensive gore and cheap scares. So he hired Renny Harlin, director of Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Cliffhanger, Cutthroat Island, The Long Kiss Goodnight and the more recent Mindhunters, to name a few, gave him a 90% re-written script and had him shoot a brand new movie, complete with the scenes he felt Schrader's film were lacking! Yes, twice as much money was spent! So after the Harlin version barely broke even and after Schrader's version was screened to critical acclaim at a Brussels film festival, Warner Brothers gave the film a short theatrical release in May and finally released it on DVD October 25th.

We just got it at work this weekend and had I known that I would have rearranged my queue on Netflix; however I didn't find this out until Monday morning. Oh well. In any case, it'll be interesting to see this film. I've not seen Harlin's on purpose to go into Dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist with a fresh point-of-view.

I have to work from 11PM-5AM tonight for store inventory. Hopefully we'll get some money soon. My father, whom I'm speaking to again, said he'd be sending a birthday check. I love my father and am reaching out to him. I was angry at him for many years for hurting my mother emotionally. I've come to terms with what happened (affair) and have realized that you only get one father. It's petty of me to let that stand in the way of quality time I could instead share with him.

I didn't mind to sound impetuous at the beginning of that last paragraph. We need some groceries ASAP and I'd like to be able to buy some breakfast on the way home after work early tomorrow morning. I'll keep you posted as always.

I'll probably be so sore after inventory but it's all in a day's work. Then I'm off Thursday and have to work on my fucking birthday, 6-close. It sucks beyond the telling of it but there's no one to cover it, as one of our assistant managers decided that, since he couldn't get anyone to cover his Wednesday and Thanksgiving shifts last week, he was going to be a no-call/no-show. Proper measures were taken to ensure the coverage was there, however, as his waffling on this issue was very anticipated. And then two other employees, who barely qualified as that, finally quit this week. They had another job (both are employed at said job) and were constantly giving their shifts away. So that's why I'm having to work on my birthday.

Festivities celebrating said birth will either be held on Thursday or early Friday or Sunday; I haven't decided yet. I had to quell my rage when I found that out but now I'm cool. I work 4-10 Saturday - ON THE FUCKING FLOOR! Grrrr....I hate that floor - especially on shop weekends, when a secret shopper comes in. It's fucking irritating!

TiVo is calling ever so much. I think I might buy a book with my birthday money. Maybe Al Franken's latest - The Truth (with jokes). I'm not certain yet. Well, that's all for now. Until next time here's a picture of the gorgeous Cobie Smulders from the very awesome CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother. *sigh* Le day I'll marry a cool brunette who's wicked awesome. You'll'll see...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

As you feast upon bird today and sleep it off, have a great and happy holiday and don't forget what this day is for: remembering how our ancestors raped and pillaged the Native Americans and their land.

Oh, and it's about fellowship and togetherness. Although what would Thanksgiving be without a little dysfunction? Huh? How about just a smattering, then?

I'm TiVoing the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and I'll be working from 12-6 and if a customer so much as cops an attitude with me or trots out their, "You're working on Thanksgiving?" spiel (Bitch, I'm getting paid time-and-a-half! I work every holiday! $ is good!), I'll drop-kick them.

Then after work is over, I'll be feasting at my sister's apartment. It'll be my mother, myself, my sister, her boyfriend, and their roommate and his girlfriend. They're frying a turkey, a ham will be cooked, my mother's making potato salad, I imagine stuffing will be involved; pumpkin pie will rear its decadent head. So whatever you do today, have fun, be safe, and enjoy yourself. I'll also be regaling myself with xm's Special X channel of quirky novelty Xmas songs.

BTW, I can safely say that The Office is my favorite comedy on television. It is aces all around.

Also, the company that made the leg lamps from A Christmas Story actually bought the house the movie was filmed in (on eBay!) and they're holding a fundraiser/movie screening/Q+A with some of the cast this weekend in Cleveland. The company plans to restore the home to its original look in the film (it's looking good so far) and then turn the home into A Christmas Story museum! Really cool!

Click the logo to visit the website.

A Christmas Story House

I'm off to watch a TiVoed episode of The Simpsons and then hit the hay. I'll leave you with this timeless holiday image. From Norman Rockwell's famous 1943 Four Freedoms series, this piece is entitled "Freedom From Want". Enjoy the holiday everyone.

Friday, November 18, 2005

radio to the power of x...

A while back, I had SIRIUS Satellite Radio. Air America Radio left their lineup, I did as well. I should have done more research instead of blindly jumping in headfirst with SIRIUS. I soon came to the realization that SIRIUS's playlists on all of their music channels was quite repetitive and overplayed, the very antithesis of what satellite radio should be. A big old yawn is what their music channels are.

I'd listened to their competitor, the #1 satellite radio service in America, xm.

xm satellite radio


And now, we have 72 channels of xm satellite radio on DIRECTV! It's really refreshing to hear great music. I love alternative rock, and xm delivers big with three (3), count them three channels:

All of the following channel descriptions are from xm's website for each respective channel.

Fred is where you'll find the music long ago banished from regular radio. This massive library of forgotten music has it's own home on Fred.

Fred likes the Violent Femmes, Simple Minds, Dead Milkmen, U2, New Order, Ministry, XTC, The Buzzcocks, R.E.M., Love & Rockets, The Damned, Bauhaus, The Ramones, Jesus & Mary Chain, Joy Division, X, Social Distortion, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop, The Replacements, Erasure and tons more can be heard on Fred.

The Killers of Alternative

Lucy is all about the most important and well known songs in the history of Alternative Music. While Fred, Ethel, Squizz and other XM Alt channels go deep, Lucy is about the encores...the giants...the defining songs of the generation. Non Stop. Just music. Just the killers. 24/7.

"A.K." Alternative Gems

On September 24th, 1991 alternative music entered a new era. Nirvana's Nevermind was released and grunge became a nationwide phenomenon. Taking the hand-off from Fred - XM 44, Ethel is here to satisfy your craving for all the tunes that have been released A.K. (After Kurt), all completely uncensored. If you don't know the music on Ethel, you may have been unconscious for the last decade...or you may have only been hearing the 3 singles they ever play on FM. On Ethel, expect to hear deep tracks from many HUGE artists...songs that were never played on the radio, but you know 'em cuz you bought the CD. Right?

I'd say it's a toss-up between ETHEL and LUCY as my favorite xm channels. xm has really outdone themselves: ETHEL is heads and shoulders above SIRIUS's alt-rock channel, Alt Nation, due to the simple fact that ETHEL, and every other xm music channel, has one thing SIRIUS is afraid of: a much, much deeper playlist. The reason people purchase satellite radio is to not hear the same top ten songs over and over and over, or the same worn-out top ten songs from a decade or so ago. Case in point, xm is currently airing a theme show on ETHEL, Faded Flannel. It's nothing but great, iconic grunge songs from the early '90s, from bands that rose to prominence from the Pacific Northwest. THAT'S dedication to a genre and THAT'S only one of the reasons xm's kicking SIRIUS's ass in subscribers and marketing. Sure, SIRIUS will amp up their marketing and whatnot when Howard Stern arrives in January, but so what? One shock jock does not a great service make.

There ARE two other channels I also enjoy...

From Grunge to Hip Hop; Techno to Soft Hits. From Old School to R&B; Freestyle Dance to Teen Pop Sensations. The music of the 90s MEANS diversity. And the 90s on 9 brings all the different music styles and the excitement to you 24 hours a day.

Join us for personalities that are fun and upbeat, lots of special guests from the music and entertainment world of the 90s, and all the flavors of music that make the 90s unique!


The Virus Returns. Spread the Virus.

Beware, this is radio like you've never heard it before. Irreverent, uncensored, so good you won't want to stop listening. Featuring outrageous radio from Opie & Anthony, weekday mornings 7-11AM ET with additional encores around the clock. And, the "Best Of Opie and Anthony" all weekend. Plus, Ron and Fez join the antics on High Voltage. These two comics jump on the air right after Opie & Anthony and deliver non-stop laughter each weekday morning from 11AM - 2PM ET, encores at Midnight ET.

In the early-mid 90s, there was one and only one radio show I adored...I would purchase Maxell blank cassette tapes in the summer and tape show after show after show. I would get up at 6AM almost every weekday morning, turn on WZAT-FM (Z102 - Savannah's Rock & Roll Radio; it's now a crappy Top 40/Hot Adult Contemporary hybrid owned by Cumulus Broadcasting), and bask in the aural glory that was The Ron & Ron Show. Hosted by Ron Diaz, Ron Bennington, and the larger-than-life Fez Marie Whatley, it was comedic gold. They had various characters ("Andre The Giant", "Iris", a crotchety old woman, many others) and Paul-O, their resident movie reviewer who was also their go-to guy whenever they'd want to do a stunt (when Tupac Shakur got a tattoo of the words "Thug Life" on his stomach, they made Paul-O get one too; on New Year's Eve 1996, he was sent, in an adult diaper, to area fast food restaurants and convenience stores to relieve himself). The guys would also devote shows to certain topics - overrated bands, cartoons; one show was Ron Bennington telling the guys how he'd knock out various animals. I simply cannot do the show justice.

St. Patrick's Day 1996, Fez and Paul-O came to Savannah. I actually went with my mother at 9:30 at night and met Fez at the airport. There were only a handful of us but Fez was gracious and happy to see us. The next day he and Paul-O were at the Saturn of Savannah car dealership where I got a Ron&Ron black license plate, ate a few hot dogs, drank some Coke, and chatted with the guys.

After Ron Diaz left the show, various other Rons were tried and then Clear Channel bought the company that owned the show's syndication rights and didn't pick up the show. I was crestfallen. I'd heard of Ron & Fez having their own show on various stations throughout the years: the now-defunct-as-a-rock-station WKRO in Orlando, WNEW in New York, WJFK in D.C., always wishing I could hear them again.

NOW I CAN! It's been a breath of fresh air hearing them again, although Fez had a mild heart attack last week. He's fine - he had an angioplasty and will be back in two weeks (The show's going on a break next week for Thanksgiving). Fez also found out he has diabetes. He's called in a few times (the latest being during today's show). So get well Fez!

Sorry if this was long-winded but I'm happy to have my favorite radio show back.

I'm also really loving xm and am seriously considering picking up their portable receiver for only $99, since they've got some really good discount deals for DIRECTV customers. They also have a car unit available for only $49!

I will be seeing Good Night, And Good Luck this weekend, and maybe Walk The Line.

Masters of Horror is on tonight. Steven Weber scripted and stars in this Dario Argento (Suspiria)-directed episode, "Jenifer" about a cop who becomes obssessed with a very unique young woman.

The first two discs of the first season of Veronica Mars are winging their way to me via Netflix. I've already converted my mother into a Desperate Housewives fan. Now to make her love the best show on television!

Also on the 'TO WATCH' pile from work are Kingdom of Heaven and Layer Cake. I'll update you with any progress I make, TiVo or film-wise.

And South Park really skewered the false heterosexuality of Tom Cruise and the false religion of Scientology in their recent episode, "Trapped In The Closet". It replays all weekend; check it out, it's hilarious.

The Comedians of Comedy airs at 8PM on Showtime tonight. It's a feature-length documentary about the comedy tour of some of the best comedians around today: Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Zach Galifianakis, and Maria Bamford. It's also a series on Comedy Central, but they're both different. By that I mean it's different footage - the series is more about their journey on the road, while I'd imagine the movie features more of each comic's respective stand-up routine.

Friday, November 11, 2005


'Arrested Development' gets the axe

If FOX does can this, I sincerely hope that NBC picks it up. Imagine a Tuesday night comedy monolith...

8PM - My Name Is Earl
8:30PM - Scrubs
9PM - The Office
9:30PM - Arrested Development

I'd be there every Tuesday. Plus, I truly believe that the viewer retention going into Arrested Development would be very high. So, c'mon NBC! Make us AD fans happy and make Tuesday nights one of the best nights for comedy, only on The Peacock!

Congrats to Conan O'Brien and his wife, Liza. Beckett O'Brien was born Wednesday in New York.

Moustapha Akkad, daughter, dead in Jordan bombings


Rest In Peace, Moustapha. You and your daughter will live in our hearts forever as I know you both shall in Heaven.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

My new personal hero!

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

He kicked asses all over Washington today by demanding the Senate go into closed session. The move was made to shine an extremely bright light on the shoddy, faulty pre-Iraq war intelligence and it made ALOT of noise today. Kudos to him. Mr. Reid, keep up the great damn job! Hold these Republican bastards accountable!!!

Democrats Force Senate Into Closed Session Over Iraq Data

So last night I spent at the apartment of Robin and her husband. We ate Pizza Hut, Cheetos, that awesome cheese ball thing with Wheatables, mini-3 Musketeers, and drank copious amounts of Dr. Pepper while we watched Night Of The Living Dead, Fright Night, and The Monster Squad. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) was out of the running, though, as both of my hosts went back and forth as to who didn't feel like watching it. It seems that they'd both seen the horrible, awful remake, and were discomforted by it. I tried to convince them that the original shows no gore but it was a lost cause, although they were open for watching it later. I will prevail in that endeavor. Both really loved Night Of The Living Dead. They'd purchased The Howling at Best Buy yesterday and I borrowed it. Now to finally get some time to watch it. TiVo beckons ever so much!