Windowseat Web Log
Home / Why a Web Log? / The Usual Sources / Archive

February 8 - 12, 1999

Sick today with the nasty flu/cold thing that's going around. Just in time for the weekend, lucky me. I think I'm just starting to catch it, so I hope I can head it off.

So probably won't do too many updates today/this weekend.

(If anyone sent me email at work recently, better to send all email to me at my windowseat address. Thanx).

Don't Forget: Minicon registration deadline is Sunday (well, postmark-wise it'll actually be Tuesday).

It's going to be fabulous this year (and I'm not just saying that 'cuz I'm one of the people who's supposedly running the thing). Great guests, fabulous parties, wonderful music, fascinating programming, and the usual fannish shenanigans. And we're in downtown Minneapolis this year. Get a supporting membership if you're thinking of coming and aren't yet sure.

Fri-Sat-Sun TV:
New Providence (Fri, 7pm CST, NBC)
New Millennium (this one's written by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz) (Fri, 8pm CST, FOX)
New Homicide: Life on the Street (Fri, 9pm CST, NBC)
Jon Stewart and Tony Randall on The Late, Late Show w/ Tom Snyder (not to be missed, I'm still kicking myself for not watching last night)
Richard Belzer on Politically Incorrect (oops, he was on Thursday night)
New Simpsons, X-Files on Sunday night

Weekend Classic Movie Alerts:
Cary Grant in Howard Hawks' classic I Was a Male War Bride (Fri, 5pm and 11:15pm CST, AMC)
Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable in How to Marry A Millionaire (Fri, 7pm CST; Fri/Sat night/morning 1:30am CST Letterboxed; AMC)
Saturday on AMC: The Manchurian Candidate, The Mark of Zorro, The Three Musketeers (1974 version), The Return of the Pink Panther

(Alas, I don't get Turner Classic Movies and I don't have the heart to post listings for things I can't see myself . . . )

Saturday Morning TV Fun:
The Wild, Wild West (8am CST, TNT)
The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr (9am CST, TNT)
Due South (10am CST, TNT)
Hogan's Heroes (11am CST, TVLand)

A fine "station break" from the folks at Three decent little pieces, in the first one James Collier reveals these secrets (and more) from the upcoming X-Files episode (no real spoilers here, at least I don't think so):

Obi-Wan reveals to Mulder that Scully is his sister.

In what can only be described as a self-effacing moment, an alien confesses to Mulder that, "I just don't get that Millennium show."

Congratulations to Raphael Carter, winner of this year's James Tiptree, Jr. award for the story "Congenital Agenesis of Gender Ideation" in Patrick Nielsen Hayden's Starlight 2.

Woohoo! It's a grand story in a wonderful anthology. If you don't have it yet, you should (follow the above link to get the book at amazon). Don't forget to get Starlight 1, too. Starlight has become my favorite new anthology series, both volumes have been chock full of fine speculative fiction and fantasy by some of my favorite writers (and by some promising new ones, as well).

Raphael's Honeyguide Web Log is wonderful; it's fairly likely that you read it. But have you read Raphael's fiction? Read the above award-winning story. And also check out The Fortunate Fall if you haven't already. One of my favorite novels of 1996, if not my favorite.

The web is weird, the web is cool: I did an altavista search for information about Howard Hawks; I'm reading a book about him right now, I'm disappointed there isn't more info online. Though I can find out when his films air each month, at least. From one page with a Hawks reference, I found this fabulous website devoted to Louise Brooks. And then, well, I discovered that there are websites devoted to bobs (the haircut, not the musical group) and page boys (ditto). How odd.

Good salonmagazine interview with Julia Sweeney:

But now I'm thinking about Albert Brooks, because I'm writing a screenplay based on a play that I did, and I think I might be able to get financing to direct it, and I'd star in it, too. And at first I was really nervous about doing both, but then I thought, "I love Albert Brooks. Why isn't there a female Albert Brooks?" And that just fueled me, and I thought, "I'm going to try to do that." I don't know if I can, but I'm going to try it.

More interesting movie rumors, this one reported at Dark Horizons:

The Chronicles of Narnia: Best-selling sci-fi/fantasy novelist, Robert Silverberg, is adapting C.S. Lewis's beloved children's series, The Chronicles of Narnia, into a major motion picture said to be directed by none other than Steven Spielberg himself. While neither Spielberg or Silverberg could be contacted for comment at our deadline, acclaimed makeup wizard Tom Savini revealed recently in an exclusive with Fantastique Magazine that he is "looking at a project that's based around the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis." Could this be the same film? It does seem likely. Also, no word yet on who will star in the movie or even if all 7 novels will be worked into the script.

Thursday Night TV:
New episode of Friends that looks like an instant classic (7pm CST, NBC)
New and (probably) last episode of Cupid (give it a chance, please) (8pm CST, ABC)
Sandra Bullock, James Carville on Late Show w/ David Letterman
Mel Gibson, Natalie Merchant on The Tonight Show
Rosie O'Donnell on Late Night w/ Conan O'Brien
Bob Costas, Myrlie Evers Williams on Late Late Show w/ Tom Snyder

Joyce Millman on Cupid and ABC:

Cupid (9 p.m. [Eastern time], ABC), the most romantic show on the air, has been dumped by ABC, due to low ratings. But before it gets yanked for good, here's one last episode for Valentine's Day. Strangely, though, ABC is inviting viewers to e-mail comments regarding the show's cancellation. A lot of good that's going to do. Maybe this is supposed to be part of "the healing process." Next step: Big yellow bus shelter signs that say, "Please don't hate us because we canceled your favorite show. We're TV. That's what we do."

Phillip Michaels writes a nasty review of The '60s (with spoilers, just in case anyone out there cares):

The reason for this Time-Life Sounds of the '60s approach to drama became obvious during the commercial breaks. That's when NBC was busily hawking the two-CD soundtrack to "The '60s." Because what better way to commemorate the lasting values of the peace and love and anti-materialism than by making a quick buck off a crassly packaged compilation album?

New bleat from James Lileks, in which he visits New York City and the Toy Fair:

I met the guy who does the voice and puppetry for Tickle Me Elmo. Big Black guy with a deep voice. I shook his hand and then thought, euwww, that's been up Elmo's ass for the last two years.

Odd/funny/geeky websites: Diagnosing a Redneck Jedi
Punch Captain Kirk
You Can't Do That on Star Trek
The First Church of Shatnerology
Delenn Deserves Better

X-Files stuff to keep one occupied until Sunday's episode:

In case you ever wondered what Krycek (or Mulder, Scully, Krycek, Skinner, CSM, the Lone Gun guys) would look like with a milk mustache: X-Files Milk Ads.

Think the characters on the X-files never smile? Think again.

Oh. My. God. Take The X-Files and The Sound of Music and put them together . . . you get a very frightening collection of filk songs. I fear I'll always think of "Alien Eyes" now when I hear "Edelweiss". Oh the humanity! There's a West Side Story filk, too (instead of "Tonight" it's "Tooms might").

Duh. Of course there's X-Files filk out there. Be afraid, be very afraid. Here's an archive of X-filk. You'll find frightening stuff like this there (with apologies to Paul Simon):

"Let us be partners,
We´ll throw both our cellphones together.
I´ve got some strange ideas
Here in my head."
So we moved into a basement place,
And she never got a desk,
And we started
To look for conspiracies.

This list made me laugh out loud: Top Ten Things Overheard Outside She's All That. (Yeah, it's funny enough all the way through that I'm not bothering to quote one or two items here).

I'm more amused by the title they gave last night's Top Ten list than the list itself: Top Ten What Dumb Guys Think 'Y2K' Is

After watching a couple more episodes of Sports Night that I taped a while ago, I've gotta say it and Cupid are my two favorite new shows of this TV season. Just discovered that ABC's website has good stuff, the official webpages for the shows have complete episode guides, behind the scenes details, and the kind of thing usually left to fan pages.

News for Magnum, P.I. fans: Tom Selleck co-hosts The View this Thursday, Larry Manetti is on a signing tour (he's supposed to come to Minneapolis, but I haven't yet found dates/details) in support of his book Aloha Magnum, there's activity in, and one of these days (Feb or March last I heard) a cable network (not USA) is going to start showing the show again.

Groovy Googie Architecture website [via teletype]:

Googie has also been know as Populuxe, Doo-Wop, Coffee Shop Modern, Jet Age, Space Age and Chinese Modern. In some cases it has been grouped with its cousin, Tiki architecture. It is also sometimes identified as part of a larger overall movement of space-age industrial design. Googie often seems like a joint design by the Jetsons and the Flintstones.

Googie, with its extremes, metaphorical qualities and humor has always been hard to categorize. This may have been partly why "serious architects" had trouble taking it seriously while the masses seemed to love it.

I really should finally go to Baltimore for Homicide Live, but I fear that I'll miss seeing the folks I want to see (Secor, Johnson, Belzer, Kotto, et al) and end up meeting Jon Seda. The horror! The horror!

Moxy Früvous fans take note: Frücon 2 approaches. My only chance to go would be if a Cybersaver fare for Mpls-Toronto turned up for that weekend (Feb 20-21). Not in the cards, Toronto is on this weekend's list of cheap fares. Hmph.

Yes! Finally found an article about Supernatural Being's Westminster win that includes fabulous pictures. I just loved how when the winner was announced, the owner/handler dropped to his knees and covered his face with his hands . . . while the dog jumped and pranced and danced next to him. And then later the dog just sat and posed in the trophy cup for 10+ minutes while pictures were taken and interviews were given. You could tell the dog really loves dog shows and the applause.

Still pictures definitely don't do this dog justice. But they're better than no-pictures. :-)

A really bad case of unrequited love: Lovelorn albatross falls hard for decoy

Sigh. Neal Justin makes his case for Cupid (trust me, watch it Thursday... 8pm Central time ABC):

For those who haven't seen it -- and that means all but about nine of you -- it's the story of a manic macho bartender, Trevor (Jeremy Piven), who believes he's Cupid. According to him, he's been banished to Earth and can't return to Mount Olympus until he matches 100 couples. The court assigns Claire (Paula Marshall), a skeptical psychiatrist and relationship expert, to keep an eye on him. It's never quite clear whether he's a goof or a god.

As for heavenly love between the two leads, the writers have taken care of that. She's already got an upstanding boyfriend; Trevor believes he'll remain a mortal forever if he acts on his overcharged libido. These obstacles create a delicious sexual tension, allowing the two actors to engage in the kind of fast-paced, witty repartee that Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn used to spit out in screwball comedies.

I've seen maybe four episodes this year, all were fabulous. And now I kick myself for not watching it sooner. It's a cool show. Watching it's last (sniff) episode is probably the best way to celebrate the approaching holiday I shall not name.

Jacqueline Mitchard bemoans the lack of good family movies and skewers Disney's remake of Mighty Joe Young:

Instead, the dialogue was clunky, the photography syrup and the emotion strained. If you presume that actual adults -- with driver's licenses and microwave ovens -- were given time and permission to work on this project, the result was astounding. It was enough to make you believe there actually is a secret government trying to raise a generation so numb-witted they will burn books on command.

Fascinating article from Jackie Crosby of about Iceland as a "genetic lab made to order:"

By a vote of 37-20, Iceland's parliament passed a bill that would give medical records and DNA of the entire country to an Icelandic biotechnology company named Decode. The government also granted Decode exclusive rights to create a centralized database and market it overseas for 12 years.

The story goes into the privacy issues, but there are compelling reasons why this would be an amazing resource.

I loved watching the Westminster Kennel Club dog show last night (and bits of it the previous night). But then I love dogs. Gorgeous stuff. Incredible group of dogs this year, and the winner is truly a supernatural being (hey, that's the dog's name, and a fitting one). (If you're near a TV and reading this on Wed morning/early afternoon Central Standard Time, you can catch the rebroadcast of the show on the USA cable network, the win is amazing).

Interesting tidbit:

Steven Spielberg may direct a new version of H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine" in a co-production by DreamWorks and Warner Bros....

Wednesday TV:
Two new episodes of Law & Order (NBC, 8pm CST)
Alan King guest stars on Chicago Hope (CBS, 9pm CST)
Jeri "BorgBabe" Ryan on Late Night w/ Conan O'Brien
Molly Ivins on The Late Late Show w/ Tom Snyder

Court TV announces a President's Day Homicide marathon. Cool. They intend to air episodes that featured "big stars" in guest roles. I'm bemused by the episode list because when they say "starring" they could just as well (in a couple of cases) be saying "with a cameo appearance by". Oh, well. Still, some good episodes on the list. I hope they'll be uncut episodes like their first marathon. [via hlotslinks]

Richard Belzer on the upcoming Law and Order/Homicide crossover:

National politics figures prominently in the latest Law & Order-Homicide crossover airing next Wednesday and Friday nights.

"It's great. Someone's murdered in Washington and the body's moved to New York. It involves the office of the White House, so it's really kind of topical."

(I misread that last word as typical on first reading . . .)

Thank God Taco Bell doesn't do this kind of promotion or we'd be seeing chihuahua tattoos everywhere for the next 20+ years. But this is a fine story (via obscure store):

It seems a Mission taqueria, Casa Sanchez, has hit on a novel promotion, asking customers to affirm their devotion to the shop’s delectable burritos in indelible ink. The restaurant is offering free lunch -- every day, for life -- to anyone willing to have the company’s Corn Man logo tattooed anywhere on his body.

It's the Gyros! Gyros! Gyros! website! They've got a pronunciation guide (honest) and there's even a link to "Gyros in Art, Literature and Film".

The ten best songs set in the Twin Cities (Mpls/St. Paul, that is)?:

"Love Is All Around," Hüsker Dü (1985). Though not technically set at Nicollet Mall, where Mary Tyler Moore tosses her hat each weeknight in syndication, Hüsker Dü's cover of the famous theme song is a jokey tribute to the Minneapolis known to millions of TV viewers. There's a slight snarl to Bob Mould's lead vocal, but the sweet harmonies lighten the load of this pop-punk gem. Every time I hear it, I imagine Mould pushing Moore aside, grabbing her hat in mid-air and running off with the glee of a mischievous schoolboy.

Awful headline (at first I thought maybe it was about the new Star Wars movie): As Net Use Rises, So Does Hacker Menace.

Puhlease. FUD-inducing headline o' the day, right there. Story itself is better than the headline, I guess. Still.

Cool to see Todd McFarlane out and about talking about the baseballs he spent a lotta money on. I think they're in good hands. And if I had that kind of money, I'd be tempted to do what McFarlane is doing. Good for him. What's all this nonsense about how if someone breaks the record next year, the baseballs won't be worth anything? Baloney. They'll always be a part of baseball history, all of 'em. (Yeah, I'm a big sap when it comes to baseball sometimes, oh well).

Washington Post piece is fab:

"Look, I'm a sports fanatic," said McFarlane, 37, who spent last week at a Baltimore Orioles fantasy camp in Florida. "I've had a successful career, but I'd throw it all out tomorrow if I could play center field in the major leagues. In a heartbeat."

Wonder why I like baseball so much? Plenty of reasons. Including some mentioned by Twins fan (and season ticket holder) Thomas Hodne:

"We have something at the ballpark that is difficult to find in this country today," Hodne said. "We have a neighborhood. There are 50 or 60 of us who sit in that area and have gotten to know one another over the years.

"At the final home game last September, we had a pot luck supper. The ushers turned the other way, let us bring in our food, and it was like an old-time neighborhood picnic.

"I grew up on 22nd and Fremont in south Minneapolis. We knew one another. We cared about one another. America is different now. People live in the suburbs and don't know their neighbors.

"You can't have a neighborhood at a football game. You can't do it at a Timberwolves game. You won't be able to do it at a hockey game. The tickets are too high-priced.

"Baseball tickets are still priced so that people from all walks of life can be there together. You can still have a neighborhood at a ballgame."

I've gone to more Twins games than I can remember, largely 'cuz my folks have had partial season tickets since 1984. I've seen some really really bad boring ballgames (and some amazing ones, too). But going to games is often less about the game itself, more about sitting there and chatting with family and friends and strangers about the game and about anything at all. Funny how sometimes going to a ballpark is a nice break from everything else, too. It can be restful. Or exciting. Or a good place to read (really, I've read many novels during ballgames, strange as that may sound). I dunno. I can't imagine not going to a major league ball game at least a few times each season.

Tuesday TV:
New Newsradio, in which "Joe hypnotizes Jimmy to resolve memories of a terrifying incident from the '60s, with Matthew along for the ride as a psychic hitch-hiker." (7:30pm CST, NBC)
New SportsNight (give it a try if you haven't yet) (8:30 CST, ABC)
Stephen King, Gloria Reuben on Late Night w/ Conan O'Brien

Also new episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Felicity, King of the Hill, Will and Grace, Third Rock from the Sun, The Hughleys, Spin City, JAG, and NYPD Blue (I've seen good episodes of each of these, Tuesday is a TV night full of options . . . ).

New Late Show News has more details about some of the stranger performances we've seen on Late Show w/ David Letterman in recent months:

Last summer, Rothman [Late Show head writer] and crew cooked up a fake Broadway musical number. It was introduced during a late segment, and with a completely straight face, as the opening scene from "One Small Step." The scene takes place on the surface of the moon. To enhance the authenticity of the hoax, "Late Show" employed actual Broadway musical performers to belt out the bogus number.

"That's what makes it confusing," Burnett [Late Show exec producer] said cheerfully. "You have all of these resources and boy, do we misuse them. You have these talented actors out there working with Paul Shaffer, one of the great bandleaders, working to get these really horrendous lyrics just right. It's always been the single greatest pleasure of working here.

But is Fresh Step a real band or another joke? Folks at The Late Show aren't telling, but it's simply gotta be a joke, IMHO.

Aaron Barnhart also interviews Craig Kilborn in this issue, sounds like he's actually got some decent ideas for his Late Late Show (we shall see):

I'd say we'll do some comedy up front. We're calling it a double monologue; we might do a thing at the top and a little bit later. There'll be a window seat where I'll invite a couple of guests to come sit with me. It'll be a simpler show -- sans the sidekick and the band. We'll have a musical guest on Friday.

So after watching The X-Files this past weekend, I'm eager to see the second part of this two-parter. Yes, I am. Though I quite liked the recent episode, I couldn't help making fun of it a lot. That's the X-files for ya. Anyway, I always get a kick out of Amanda Finch's take on episodes. Not so much review or analysis as observations. Don't read 'em if you haven't seen the episode in question. Her take on "Two Fathers" includes this gem (well it makes sense if you've seen the episode):

No tagline change? Not even some esoteric/jive translation of "X-Files got game"?

(Me? I think they should've run "The Truth is Out There " thru the jive filter. Then again, so many previous taglines were quoted in the episode itself, having a new tagline would've just been asking for more trouble further down the road).

Cool Stuff Reminders:
Tom Selleck co-hosts The View this Thursday (well I think it's cool)
Fabulous benefit show at the Cedar Cultural Center in Mpls thursday night (with Borderlands, Machinery Hill, Lojo Russo and Funks Grove)
Deadline for Minicon pre-registration is Sunday.

And the nominees are . . . Yup, Oscar nominations have been announced. Fairly bland ballot, IMHO.

Yes! Dave Langford has put together a piece of software called SFVIEW, it's an alternate viewer for the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction CD-ROM. Sounds like a huge improvement over the original. You can order the software from Langford... and if you don't have the SF Encyclopedia (edited by John Clute and Peter Nicholls) on CD-ROM, he's also got that available packaged with his viewer at a very reasonable price. Grand. Langford's viewer is PC only, alas. I'm pretty sure the original viewer comes in both Windows and Mac flavors, you'd wanna check with Langford on that.

Here's a link to the dead tree version of the book @ amazon.

Lisa Schwarzbaum details the dilemna faced by videotapers everywhere:

But a week ago, I didn't have any fresh videocassettes, so I thought I'd recycle, taping over something I'd already recorded.

Big problem.

First I thought I'd use the tape I had marked "Frasier Crane Pretends To Be Jewish." Funny, funny episode; I've already seen it three times. But what if, next month, I want to replay the part where Niles tries out his Yiddish? Better save it.

Hey, at least her tapes are labelled.

Monday TV:
New Ally McBeal (8pm CST, FOX)
Dog show starts airing on USA
Courage Under Fire airs on ABC
Michael J. Fox, Willie Nelson on Late Show w/ David Letterman
Classic Late Night w/ Conan O'Brien rerun: Sandra Bullock, Scott Thompson, Rasputina

Joyce Millman talks of George Clooney, Doug Ross, and their departure from ER:

In "Out of Sight" and "ER," his bedside manner is the same -- commanding, paternal, seductive. Clooney is either one of the cleverest actors around or a charming sham who can really only play George Clooney.

Yes! This is one law I'd support wholeheartedly:

John S. Arnick wants you to shut up and put your hands back on the wheel.

This week, the Baltimore Democrat introduced a bill into the Maryland General Assembly which would make it illegal to talk on a handheld cellular phone while driving. In so doing, Arnick joined state lawmakers in several other states, including New York and New Jersey, who have proposed similar laws.

Potentially interesting developments in the Kevin Mitnick case. A letter to a congressman sparks more questions about why Mitnick was denied a pre-trial hearing.

I think I'm in love. No, I didn't meet someone this weekend, I just discovered Retro magazine. Pop culture! Lots and lots of pop culture stuff. And their almost-daily Teletype is at least part weblog, darnit. Lovely stuff (well, if you like this kind of thing).

Need more proof? They featured links to this Dr. Strangelove page, a Cracker Jack Box page, and Squaresville fonts/clip art. Gotta love a free font named after Mr. Tate from Bewitched.

It does give one pause. Al Roker observes:

We're getting ready to land and as I'm making sure my seat belt is snug and low around my waist (as if it could be anything but) I notice the flight attendants strapping themselves in. "What's odd about that, Al?", you may ask.

They don't just have seat belts. They've got full blown harnesses. I mean, these people are strapped in tighter than a drum. What do they know that we don't? How come they don't have plain ol' seat belts, but instead have these safety harnesses that you could use on a set of Clydesdales?

A fine piece about TV (then and now) and how there is stuff worth watching if you give TV a chance:

To be sure, if all you watch are soap operas, silicon-enhanced B-movies, single-parent sitcoms and "The Jerry Springer Show," TV will eat your brain and stain your psyche--but if you pepper your viewing with healthy doses of quality dramas, live sports, smart debate shows, clever comedies, provocative documentaries and news updates, you'll be more in touch with the times and more thoroughly integrated with your colleagues on the planet than someone who longs for the "good old days" of television--or someone who brags about never watching TV at all.

Reading about forthcoming series is always . . . interesting. Here's a "new" one from UPN:

The network has also greenlit a pilot called "Secret Agent Man," which is loosely based on the '60s series "The Man From U.N.C.L.E."

Don't get me wrong, I love spy shows. But something loosely based on a classic? On UPN? Guess I'm a girl of little faith.

Aaron Barnhart (of Late Show News) debuts his TV Barn website. Looks promising. With Barnhart's picks for TV shows each day, links to TV related news and articles and such. And the usual fab Late Show news content.

My favorite card game when I was younger was Spite and Malice. Perhaps still my favorite card game, I've not played in eons. (trivia: It was Cary Grant's favorite game). Anyway, I got email last week about this version of Spite and Malice for PCs. Haven't tried it yet, but I'm thrilled it exists. Looks cool.

October Sky is worth seeing when it comes to a theater near you. Based on the book, Rocket Boys, tells of kids growing up in a coal-mining community who get fascinated by rockets when they see Sputnick. Yeah, they build some rockets . . . and enter a science fair . . . Quite cool, and a true story.

<- Previous log
Home / Why a Web Log? / The Usual Sources / Archive
Revised: February 11, 1999 / Laurel Krahn /