A place for anything and everything that comes to mind.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oh, the Horror...THE HORROR!

I knew I'd watch it...eventually. I had a feeling it would totally freak me out...and it did. As I was watching the pilot episode last night (on demand), I knew as repulsed/freaked/weirded out as I was, I'd end up watching the rest of them.

American Horror Story is Amityville Horror times a million. Why times a million?

1. It's on EVERY week. You don't get a breather. You think it's over, but you know it'll be back next week, and you know you'll end up watching, even if you don't want to. (I will at least. My good friend, Coco? Definitely not. I hope she forgives me for making her watch last night.)

2. Jessica Lange is the creepiest old snooping neighbor EVER. She was the only good part of that 1998 Johnathon Schaech movie, Hush, and her character is reminiscent of Schaech's overly protective icky mom. If she doesn't get a Golden Globe or Emmy for this, I'm striking.

3. Two words: GINGER TWINS. This would be enough to make my brother watch.

4. There are weird, kinky sex things that just aren't right. Um, leather man drilling Connie Britton? Enough said. (And, so sorry to leave that visual in your head.)

5. The opening titles and flashes throughout the show are very Seven-Fincheresque. I'm repulsed and intrigued at the same time. These montages also fuh-reak me out and make me want to watch more.
6. WHAT'S IN THE BASEMENT!?!? It's always a basement. It better not be a scary white guy who killed Native Americans, cause then I'll call shenanigans. If I'm investing my time and sanity in this, there better not be an Amityville copout.

As icky and creepy as this FX original show is, I give the network, actors, and all those involved mad props for trying something so out of the box for TV. My husband loves Walking Dead, but it's too real for me to ever watch and enjoy. (I can imagine my children becoming zombies, us having to abandon them, and then I get depressed and cry.) American Horror Story is just far enough out there for me to believe it could never happen. I can still get spooked and be okay afterwards...I think. We'll have to see how episode two leaves me.

Friday, October 28, 2011


An evening with Michael J. Fox is over.

PJ20 has been dissected.

I've rewatched every season of Smallville I own.

I could care less about Breaking Dawn.

There are no new Robbie Williams or Take That albums this birthday/holiday season.

What do I blog about now? Oh, yeah...

I'm totally gonna see it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

MJF Pick of the Day: IN PERSON

Well, folks, it didn't happen. I didn't get to meet my hero in person. And guess what I had the gall, the unbelivable gall, to do? Throw myself a pity party! You know who snapped me out of it? The Brothers Gallagher of all people...Yes, THAT Brothers Gallagher. The boys from Oasis popped up on the iPod shuffle on my way home today, when I was lamenting the fact that I didn't get to meet this pop culture luminary, who helped shaped my youth, in person. They told me not to look back in anger. I ruminated on their words, and this is what I came to realize:

1. I'm a douche for thinking myself unlucky cause I didn't get to meet the Fox. That goes against everything he preaches, and it also goes against my belief in a holy God that made the fact that I was simply in his presence possible.
2. No, I didn't get to shake his hand, because he was dealing with his own shaky problems. HEY, HE MAKES FUN OF HIMSELF, TOO, OKAY??? Mr. Fox talks about his son calling him shaky dad and is completely open and aware of his tremors. His tremors had gotten so visibly bad by the end of the Q&A session, that I didn't want to be that person to hunt him down for a photograph.
3. Um...who is one of five people whose questions were asked to Mr. Fox? THIS GUY!
Q: What is the greatest gift you've ever GIVEN?A: Oh, I don't know! You'd probably have to ask the receivers. The greatest gift I've every received is my family, though.
My cousin said he couldn't answer that question, because he's too humble. Right she is, but it was just interesting enough to be asked! HUZZAH!
4. How can I be angry when he's still so stinkin' cute? He's the cutest 50-year-old I've ever seen. I already look older than him. I hate men, but that' a whole other story.
5. I learned what a caregiver should be. His wife, Tracy Pollan, is an amazingly strong and supportive person, wife, and friend to him. I hope if I'm ever in the caregiver role in my life that I could be as strong.

So, why was I such a douche? Cause I didn't get a picture? Cause I didn't get to meet him? What STUPID reasons for throwing myself a pity party! This night was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a man I've admired for many years speak about his life and the lessons he's learned AFTER being afflicted with Parkinson's Disease. How dare I even think of looking back in anger. I'm not anymore. Thanks, Oasis. You really have done something good in your careers post 1995!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

MJF Pick of the Day: Save the Best for Last

Did you really think I forgot? REALLY? And, do I really need to go on and on about this one? Well, you probably don't want me to, but I'm gonna.

  • It takes me back in time. (Oh, pun intended...definitely intended.) Laying on the floor of my living room, uncomfortable from laying on the hard wood for so long, but I'm the oldest and in charge of holding down the rewind button. My brother is behind me on the couch, reclining for a moment until the song begins again. We're in footie pajamas. We watch Marty McFly sing Johnny B. Goode over and over and over again. We can't get enough of it! Little did I know, at the tender age of eight, how much this film would mean to me in later life.

  • It comforts me. When I'm feeling sad or stressed, I can put this in and feel the bad feelings seep out of me, cause I have to make room for the warm, toasty, happy feelings of goodness I get everytime I see Marty bring his parents back together.

  • It centers me. This was the first film I put in my hospital bag when I packed for the birth of my first babe. I knew there were DVD players in the room, and I knew that my husband and this MJF trilogy would get me through the unfortunately painful miracle of birth.

  • It reminds me that we can accomplish anything if we put our minds to it. I might not write a novel, but I have glorious aspirations to be an amazing wife, mother, daughter, friend, and teacher, and with a little help from the Doc, Marty, and Huey Lewis' stellar 80s hits, I can do this, even when I feel like a waste of God-created space.

One final thought: the remake. It will never be replaced or replicated, or if some Hollywood bigwigs thinks it would be a good idea, they'd have me to deal with. But, actually...Michael J. Fox said in last year's Entertainment Weekly Reunion Special that he'd be all for it. He just wouldn't want to be in it. I guess if Marty says it's okay, then it's okay? But for those of us who want this time travel classic to stand alone in history, prestine and perfect in its original incarnation, just click HERE.

MJF Pick of the Day: Back to the Small Screen

No, we are not talking Chuck Sheen. We are talking about Michael J. Fox's triumphant return to the small screen. Oh, Spin City: Alex P. Keaton grown up, sexed up, and lovin' every minute in the Big Apple. So. Much. TO LOVE!!!

  • The supporting cast was one of THE best ever assembled EVER. Richard Kind, Big Bear Bostwick (at least that's what I call him...what do YOU call him, anyway?), Connie Britton (pre-uber-Am.HorrorStory-hotness), Michael Boatman, Alexander Chapman, and of course Alan Ruck, who played one of the most amazing misogynistic male archetypes in the history of TV.

  • The writing was top notch, clever, witty: ie, perfect for the Family Ties fan that had grown up and matured and still wanted to see MJF every week.

  • Barry Bostwick and Richard Kind were the unsung heroes of the show. MJF set them up perfectly, as his castmates had set him up in Family Ties. He gave back to these two men (and the others, as well) the gifts Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross had presented to him a decade earlier.

  • It was obvious MJF loved working with the cast and the scripts. He was in tip-top comedic form. He even took home one Emmy and three CONSECUTIVE Golden Globes for his work on this mid-90s sitcom gem.

If you ignored Spin City the first time around, because you were too busy watching stupid stuff like Home Improvement, Drew Carey, or Veronica's Closet, then take the time to check it out now. In my opinion, it often gets lost in the MJF shuffle, or it's just remembered as the show during which MJF announced he had Parkinson's. Spin City is more than that, and it's definitely worthy of a resurgence.

MJF Pick(s) of the Day: We're All Ears!

Monday kinda got away from me, y'all, so here are your MJF Picks of the Day...on Tuesday!

Our intrepid Canadian hero has done some amazing voice over work in his career. My personal favorites? Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey and Stuart Little. Oh, Homeward I still cry at the end when Shadow comes over the ridge. The three pets, Chance, Sassy, and Shadow were brought to life by the actors who voiced them (MJF, Sally Field, and Daon Ameche, respectively), and the 1993 family film has not received enough cred as a family film classic. I remember being dragged to the film, by my Aunt Barb and two lil cousins, but how I still thank her for it now. I love that film.

Stuart Little also has a special place in my heart, for it was one of the first DVD's my husband bought me after we were married. He knew how much I loved the MJF, and he also knew I loved family friendly fare. And, I ended up enjoying this one immensely. Never liked the children's book much, but I love hearing Mr. Fox's calm, soothing voice that makes even a white rodent cute. Oh, yeah, and the Hugh Laurie doesn't hurt the film much, either.

I can't wait to share both of these films with my children one day. They might very well be the kids' first introduction to this fine Canadian actor.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

MJF Pick of the Day: A Howlin' Good Time

Do I really have to explain this one? Really? No, I didn't think so. How about just a couple of choice memories from my youth:

  • "Give me a keg of beer." I learned what a keg was from this 1985 classic.

  • Car surfing to the Beach Boys! My brother and I would mimic Scott's signature moves along with him.

  • Oh, Boof. Really? Your name is Boof, and you wonder why you can't get a date with the coolest werewoof in school?

  • The same house George McFly peeps in is also present in this film. Nice site scouting, Hollywood guys. (Well, this is how MJF got the job as Marty McFly, so I guess the scouting snafu worked out.)

  • I still love Styles. I wish he would pop up more.

  • Speaking of Styles...who else wanted a Wolfmobile? Anyone, anyone?

  • I had this recorded on the same VHS as Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, so the tape became known as the Chubby/Frances Double Feature. (OK, the actor's name is Mark Holton, but which one of my readers would've known that?)

  • Do you remember Doug Savant? DO YOU??? Classic pre-Melrose.

  • Just don't Teen Wolf, Too, no matter how much you love the original or Jason Bateman.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

MJF Pick(s) of the Day: D.E.A.R.!

Drop Everything and MJF autobiography! These picks are great for a chilly fall afternoon, when all you want to do is snuggle up under a blanket, with a hot chocolate, and read the hours away.

Michael J. Fox is not at a loss with a pen in his hand (or a keyboard in front of him). His prose is quick witted and honest. He has now written two autobiographies, Lucky Man and Always Looking Up. In the first, he's honest about well, what a douche he had become before Parkinson's, and how the disease has been a huge blessing in helping him to prioritize his life. The second is more of a guide for being an optimist in this pessimistic world, but he still draws on his own life experiences throughout the book.

If you've kept in touch over the years, you know I've read both, but this MJF Week they definitely deserve another plug, especially Always Looking Up. He won the Spoken Word Grammy for the tome, and I'd love to give it a listen, to hear him put his own personal emphasis on his words and stories. When I start to get overly pessimistic with the bosses at work or this world in general, I take a look at this book, and this man, and realize there is nothing to be pessimistic about! I live a wonderful life, full of wonderful family and friends, memories of simple, breathtaking adventures (like having TWO amazing children), and I get to spend my days teaching kids. This book is just another way Michael J. Fox continues to help me be a better person.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Break from One Great for Another

A transcript from tonight's notes upon the viewing of Cameron Crowe's Pearl Jam 20 is below. I'm a writer. Allow me if you will...

How I love to be in a Pearl Jam choir--an honor, a privilege, a pure delight--and that's why the "old ones" never get old.

Singing in pure melody with the stranger next to you, brought together by five men you'll never know but always have. Give me Better Man, give me Daughter, give me Elderly Woman and Alive...any and all to be one again with history, because that's what Pearl Jam is: living, breathing, pulsating musical history.

I've gathered in this choir 11 times, not enough in my opinion. I long to enlist several more times before my time here is done, and I'm eager for the day I can bring my children to the live rehearsal. To share with them the music and history that has already shaped and molded 20 years of their mummy's life would be a dream come true. To hear them singing next to me, adding their voice to the Pearl Jam choir, would be a gift beyond monetary measure.

MJF Pick of the Day: Frighten Yourself

In my opinion, The Frighteners (1996), is an extremely underrated movie. I've picked it for MJF Week to try to encourage more people to go out and rent it...oh, I mean NETFLIX it. (Or stream or borrow or whatever it is that you do.)

The Frighteners is perfectly eerie, spooky, and gets down, well...FRIGHTENING. After losing his wife, MJF is able to see ghosts, befriends them, and then gets them to haunt unassuming people, so he can make money "ghost busting" their homes. Seems stupid, right? Well, then it gets downright creepy and gruesome, when the ghost of a mass murderer comes back to continue his work. The flashbacks are rather terrifying, too. It's MJF at his unassuming best: Who would ever guess that Alex P. Keaton would play a con-man who sees ghosts and has to return an unleashed serial killer to hell?

The movie also boasts a stellar cast. In addition to MJF, you'll also find:

  • flipping scary Jake Busey (seriously, he shouldn't be allowed on screen with his freaky visage)

  • E.T.'s Mom (as she's described in another Halloween staple, Scream), Dee Wallace

  • John Astin, the father of another 80s idol I may have met

  • Oh, and it's directed by Peter Jackson...yes, THAT Peter Jackson.

Please, check this one out if you're an MJF fan and love a good ghost story, like I do.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

MJF Pick of the Day: Part II

MJF Pick of the Day: A VERY Special Episode

If you grew up in the 80s, like I did, you were always stoked when a "very special episode" was going to be aired. The previews leading up to the show would build the anticipation up to a mind-numbing hilt. I would talk up the "very special episode" at dinner throughout the week. I would make sure everyone in my family knew that I had dibs on the TV during the "very special episode." I would hype up the event at school, too, asking my friends if they were going to tune in. A lot of people make fun of the "very special episodes" today. (And, YES, I will continue to use quotes.) In fact, I've read one particularly nasty review of the special Keaton episode I'm about to discuss. However jilted, disillusioned, and pessimistic TV viewers have become in the 21st century, it's nice to look back and relish the times when the passing of a best friend, and the process of coming to grips with said loss, was a monumental bit of television that was hyped up the week preceding it's airdate.

" 'A' My Name is Alex" is one of my favorite two-part episodes of Family Ties, and many critics think it was this two-parter that snagged Michael J. Fox his THIRD CONSECUTIVE Emmy for the 1986-1987 season of Family Ties. The first part opens on a sullen Keaton crowd conjugating around the kitchen island, trying to decide how to comfort Alex over the loss of a dear friend. (No, not Skippy! One we never met before, which remains odd to me...but anyway...) Alex bounds through the door, a wide grin on his face, hands outstretched, "Was that a funeral or what!?" Classic Alex: hiding his true feelings and emotions, trying to have a stiff upper lip for the family. What shortly follows is a meltdown of epic 80s proportions: Alex crumbling on the kitchen floor, shouting it should've been him, Elyse embracing her oldest son, etc. Alex then finds himself in counseling, breaking the fourth wall, confiding in a psychiatrist, and divulging his deepest emotions...a very un-APK thing to do.

I love the episode(s). It's the one episode of Family Ties I kept recorded on VHS for years. I still think it holds up. I don't care what all the
despondent, cynical viewers who loved the show growing up and now only want to watch meth dealers, misogynistic ad men, and sexed up vampires say: " 'A' My Name is Alex" is required MJF viewing, and I'll do my best to relive this "very special episode" before 10/26/11.