5 things

I was in such a good mood.

"Was" being the key word there.

Taxes are the ultimate buzzkill, even if they initially bring you a lot of smiles. A refund here doesn’t necessarily equal a refund there, though. Just sayin’. JS. JS.

5 things I know today I didn’t know on Friday:

1) The waterfront area of Old Town Alexandria, VA?

Fabulous. On a perfect spring day, actually (yesterday), it reminded me a lot of downtown Juneau, Alaska on a perfect summer day.

The main difference? WAY more variety as far as the food and drink available in Old Town — and WAY more quality.

The wife and I can certainly vouch for Fish Market Restaurant (the snow crab legs were delicious).

2) Heroes.

We’re halfway into season 2 after slamming through season 1. I’m well aware, don’t worry, that we SHOULD be targeting Mad Men, Oz, Six Feet Under, Game of Thrones, and the list goes on and on.

But when you’re working without “TV” — having a whole show instantly available via Netflix is going to win you votes.

Heroes has been a pleasant surprise as far as the quality of the show is concerned.

Save the cheerleader…

3) Pretty sure not even my wife wants an iPad (and she does want one) THIS badly.

4) American Reunion (aka American Pie… 5? 4? I forget) is… alright.

We laughed a bit.

Enjoyed ourselves.

What more can you really rightfully expect? (You can always expect to hear me talk about how much I hate Chris Klein — and you can always enjoy THIS VIDEO.)

That flick will be the centerpiece (ugh, not really a great selling point) for this Thursday’s The Big Screen and the Boob Tube column in the Juneau Empire.

5) I almost feel guilty, being an Alaskan living in DC — where I think we had but a handful of days where it dared to dip below (and barely) freezing. Snowfall records in Alaska.

IN ALASKA!

MY COLUMN: The Big Screen and the Boob Tube

It’s in this morning’s Juneau Empire (buy a paper if you’re in Alaska’s capital!).

It’s a little bit American Reunion, it’s a little bit Cougar Town, Heroes and Make it or Break it.

And it’s also linked here and pasted below:

My 10-year Crimson Bear reunion was – gulp! – two years ago. At the time I was slow to commit to attending, a little afraid of a long list of things. Maybe people wouldn’t remember me; that would be painfully awkward. Maybe I wouldn’t remember them; that’s always uncomfortable. Maybe I’d be the only one there not making millions of dollars.

Not all of the fears were totally rational.

What our reunion wound up being was beautifully simple. We hung out and mingled atop the Mt. Roberts Tram before graduating for a late-night-into-early-morning-cap at The Imperial. At least I think it was The Imperial. The later stages of the night aren’t necessarily crystal clear in the ole’ memory, if you know what I mean.

In many ways, watching “American Reunion,” the latest installment of the “American Pie” franchise, is a lot like your own high school reunion, right down to being a little worried about attending.

Co-writers/directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (Adam Herz, writer of all the “American Pie” films, is also on board), having cut their comedic chops on the “Harold & Kumar” franchise, have gotten the band (Jason Biggs’ Jim, Alyson Hannigan’s Michelle, Chris Klein’s Oz, Thomas Ian Nicholas’ Kevin, Tara Reid’s Vicky, Eddie Kaye Thomas’ Finch, Mena Suvari’s Heather, and Seann William Scott’s Stiffler) back together for their own high school reunion in East Great Falls, Mich. – and yes, I was surprised to discover that Tara Reid is still alive, too.

Just like with my Juneau Douglas High School gathering the summer before last, what we’re doing with “American Reunion” is catching up. What have you been up to, man? Well, let’s see. Jim and Alyson are married (“American Wedding”) with child and their main issue is their, ahem, lack of a sex life. Oz? He’s a C-List celebrity, dating a bimbo. Kevin still looks EXACTLY the same (it’s creepy, really), and is still the girly one in his relationship with a girl. Finch shows up in East Great Falls on a racy little motorcycle with stories of globetrotting. Stiffler is a temp, but more importantly, and thankfully, he’s still very much the Stiffmeister (guess which character poops in a cooler). Heather has realized she should use bangs to cover up her forehead – sorry, but it’s true. Finally, Vicky. Hey, Tara Reid plays Vicky. So, you know… it’s actually, literally impossible for there to be much to Vicky.

At your high school reunion, whether you’ve already had a few or are still young and waiting for your first, you’ll fall into old cliques. You’ll reconnect quicker with the folks you are still in touch with, albeit less frequently than when you roamed the crowded hallways between classes together every day. You’ll be blown away by at least one person’s totally different physical appearance. You’ll certainly reminisce about old times, probably focusing on the most embarrassing examples of said old times.

Certainly, an “American Pie” reunion comes with heavy emphasis on the embarrassing. After all, this is the franchise that gained initial notoriety from a sexually intimate scene between Jim and a warm apple pie. And his dad catching him in the act.

In “Pie 2”, Jim accidentally glued himself to… himself. In “Wedding”, Jim has an unfortunate incident involving the wedding cake and his, um, shaved, ah, private hair. Our JDHS memories featured some good stories, but I’ll happily admit we pale in the gross-out-embarrassment department compared to Jim and company. I won’t spell out what the horrifyingly embarrassing moment is in “Reunion”, but don’t worry. They stick to tradition.

Atop the Mt. Roberts Tram two years ago, I’ll admit there was a conversation that went like this: “Chester, how are you?” “I’m great… man!” Couldn’t remember his name. Just couldn’t do it, and of course his name tag wasn’t in a spot I could discreetly glance at. In “Reunion”, John Cho (best known for being the Harold of “Harold & Kumar”) reprises his role as “[filtered word] Guy #2”. Yes, that is what the credits list him as. He’s been in every “American Pie” movie. Here, he’s actually the reunion organizer. Hurwitz and Schlossberg actually go back to the [filtered word] Guy #2 storyline several times.

Except I couldn’t quite remember it. Neither could my wife, by the way. Maybe the avid “Pie” fans will remember the references vividly. Maybe Hurwitz and Schlossberg simply wanted to get their “Harold & Kumar” buddy as much screen time as possible.

Or maybe it’s simply a reunion thing. It happens. You won’t remember everyone at yours, and you probably won’t remember everything referenced in “American Reunion”. What I wound up with at the end of my reunion was an evening of enjoying old classmates. And a hangover. What you wind up with after watching “American Reunion” is a couple hours of reliving a good comedy franchise, and the comfort that stems from realizing you’re glad you went.

•••

The boob tube in the Carson household can currently be broken down as follows:

Still talking about it 3 months later: “Lost” (ABC). No joke. If your TV universe has a gap to fill, “Lost” will fill it. It should be required viewing, really. Then we can talk about the ending. You can explain it to me. Make me understand!

I tried, the wife jumped off the bandwagon early: “Damages” (FX). The fifth season is underway; I watched the first three. It’s lawyers, but with loads of backstabbing, twists, and murder. Glenn Close is scary good, and Ted Danson is fantastic as one of the villains in season one. The structure of the show, too, is unique (showing glimpses of the end from the start, spoon feeding a bit more each episode while simultaneously working toward that end from the beginning). But, it is definitely a lawyer show. Too lawyer-y for the wife to get into.

We’re in and enjoying the hell out of it: “Heroes” (NBC). Four seasons long, we just finished season two. Think “X-Men” but darker, and no Charles Xavier. Surprisingly captivating (we had our doubts).

We’re still in and we still don’t care who knows it: “Make it or Break it” (ABC Family). A ridiculous teen-drama about gymnasts in Colorado trying to make the Olympic team. I am most definitely not in the show’s demographic. I am also most definitely already caught up on the new season that just started.

We’re loyal, maybe to a fault: I think we’re mostly watching these shows out of habit, or a sense of loyalty. “The Office” (NBC) is certainly loyalty, although I’ll tell anyone who will listen that the current season has had some decent episodes. “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race” (CBS) are still harmless ways to kill an hour, but I find myself caring less and less.

And finally:

I’m just as shocked as you are: “Cougar Town” (ABC). I rolled my eyes more than once when the wife started suggesting I get on board. First of all, it’s called “Cougar Town”. It actually SOUNDS annoying. Second of all, it’s a sitcom, and I’m over sitcoms. All of them. I acquiesced, however, and watched one. Then two. Then a whole season, and now I’m in. Courtney Cox’s (pictured) show has two things going for it: One, there is no laugh track (my biggest pet peeve with sitcoms). And two, it’s very “Scrubs”-esque.

Give it a shot, you might be surprised.

That’s what we’re watching. What about you? Tell me.

No, seriously, tell me (Twitter, Facebook, the blog, email, knock on my door and tell me in person, whatever). We only have two seasons of “Heroes” left and then we’ll be, once again, on the prowl. And I absolutely need something to suggest when we get to that point and the wife says, “Dance Moms”?


For the record: I still hate, HATE Chris Klein.

5 things

Confession: All I can think about (we’re talking like 85% of my thoughts 24-7) right now is the NFL Draft.

I’m that guy.

The wife, to her credit, listened yesterday to me explaining why this week will go by fairly quickly as I anticipate Thursday night’s round 1 of said draft. "Tomorrow (today) I’ve got basketball, then the Suns are actually on TV if I feel like a post-basketball workout. Then on Wednesday, the Suns are on TV again — and Steve Nash just might squeeze this awful Suns team into the playoffs, so it’s worth watching. Then, Thursday, we have dinner with Nick and Tia (friends visiting from out of town) and then it’s the draft!”

She resisted the urge to roll her eyes and say something snarky about how ridiculous I am. “Uh-huh,” she said. That’s all she said.

She’s a good one.

2 days to go. Prediction coming today though, as part of…

5 things I know today I didn’t know on Friday:

1. Hungry? Me, too, but you might want to stop buying pastries from your neighbor.

2. Christopher K. Morgan & Artists wrapped up their season over the weekend. The wife’s in the company, so I’m admittedly biased. But! I love Christopher’s work. And getting to spend some time around the dancers after the show on Sunday, being the only non-dancer at dinner wasn’t even weird. That impresses me. Other than being married to a company member, I’m an outsider to that group — and they don’t make me feel it at all. Quite the opposite.

I’m equally impressed with the shows I’ve seen so far. And while I won’t pretend to know the vocab or be remotely qualified (other than having seen a LOT of dance performances over the course of my life with a dancer little sister and now a dancer wife), here’s why I so thoroughly enjoyed this weekend’s performances, “Limited Visibility”: I felt like Sylar.

Let me explain.

Sylar is the main villain-sometimes-hero from Heroes, NBC’s hit show from a few years back. We’re watching it now via Netflix. The show’s about people with abilities (think X-Men), and Sylar’s “ability” is to see how everything — EVERYTHING — works. In fact, he figures out he can take YOUR ability, too, if he understands how it works. He does THAT by, ahem, sawing into your head and looking at your brain.

Yeah, you don’t live through that.

The point is Sylar loves, NEEDS to see how everything works. How all the pieces fit together, work in harmony to produce a finished product.

Limited Visibility provided that same opportunity. The dancers themselves would be the ones moving lights around, in plain sight. For just about 60 minutes, with no intermission, the company performed on stage, just feet away from the audience. One piece flowed into the next, and when an element was changed — be it a light, or a piece of flooring — it was the dancers doing it right there in front of you. Nobody missed a beat. FOR AN HOUR.

It’s amazing to watch it unfold. All, of course, while these human beings move their bodies with perfect command in ways the rest of us can’t even pull off in our dreams at night.

Timing is one of my favorite things about Christopher and his company, from the performance itself and the moving parts all working cohesively and flawlessly on stage right down to the lack of an intermission. Seriously. An hour long performance with no forced break is just plan SMART in comparison to a 2 hour show (already potentially too long) PLUS a half-hour forced break in the middle. After the show, he holds a discussion with the audience, something that could be TERRIBLE. People filing out in the middle, dancers acting awkward… just terrible.

Except it isn’t. Not with this group.

Can’t wait for the fall season.

3. Wait, Newt is still running?

4. Combining #1 (“food”) with #2 (dancers): The post performance meal on Sunday didn’t feature cannibalism.

It did feature a charming little bistro seemingly in the middle of nowhere — or at least off the beaten path. You have to know about it to come across it.

The Black Market Bistro.

The setting is peaceful, the menu is diverse and features products directly from local farms, and the food?

Delicious.

5. Prediction:

With the 8th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select…

Nobody.

I say they’ll be trading down. Maybe with the Dallas Cowboys.

Cop out? Maybe. I just need the damned thing to get here.

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