Windowseat Weblog
"With writing, you purge something out of yourself. You tell a story that you've been carrying around in your head, and you know the story." -Steve Martin

Home / Why a Web Log? / The Usual Sources / Archive / Mailing Lists / TV Picks (updated daily!)

July 26-31, 1999

A really good piece on the media mess surrounding the crash of a certain plane. From Lisa Schmeiser and Philip Michaels of

Whatever the networks did this weekend, it wasn't reporting. It was the adult equivalent of high school yearbook editors putting pictures of their friends on every page.

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When Bashir met Krycek . . .
Geek girl nirvana? Well some girls and guys'll be pleased. Alexander Siddig and Nicholas Lea are in a movie together (along with Chris O'Donnell and other folks).

Eek! Brendan Fraser as Anakin Skywalker? I quite like Fraser, but he just looks to old to make a good Anakin, IMHO. I can't picture him and Natalie Portman together. Hoping it's just a rumor . . .

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Sure, now that they're under fire for a "lack of diversity" . . . NBC wants a Homicide: Life on the Street movie finale:

"There are plans for a final movie of `Homicide,' but we haven't locked up enough of the cast to green-light it yet," Garth Ancier, the president of NBC Entertainment, said yesterday in an interview.

"Part of what's happening is that Tom [executive producer Tom Fontana] really feels that he does not want to do that movie unless he has enough of a cast back to do it, including Andre Braugher and people like that, who have played a role in the series over the past years. And I understand that. That's his prerogative.

"We just felt that for loyal `Homicide' fans, this movie would provide some closure that they didn't particularly get on the last episode," Ancier said, adding that he thinks the film is "still likely to happen."

One hopes that in addition to rounding up Braugher, they're trying to get Kyle Secor, Melissa Leo, and Ned Beatty. Maybe Reed Diamond. And perhaps Daniel Baldwin (if they do a flashback-y episode to before Beau died. Or reveal that Beau isn't actually dead and is really trying to get evidence to prove Falsone's part in his "death" . . . oh wait, I'm dreaming again).

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The fine folks of Baltimore try to figure out what to do with the building known best as Homicide's stationhouse. {via hlotslinks]. Rec center or production facility?

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Michael Michelle joins the cast of ER. She's "best" known as the BBQ-- Baltimore Beauty Queen-- of latter day Homicide: Life on the Street. Sigh.

There was a story posted earlier today about Kyle Secor ("Tim Bayliss" of Homicide) doing a 6 episode guest stint on Party of Five. The story's since been taken down. (Watch The Links Site for all Homicide related news. And report such news to Jim King if you find something not listed on the site).

Another report on the casting of Michelle on ER and more details on the Kyle Secor rumor.

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Some more details on David E. Kelley's involvement with Chicago Hope for next season. Most notable news (to me, at least) is that Barbara Hershey is joining the cast and Natasha Gregson Wagner won't be joining the cast after all.

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Philip Michaels (of TeeVee) on TV news and Guv Jesse Ventura:

Is it news that Jesse Ventura is going from the state house back to the wrestling ring? Probably. But is it big enough news to merit live coverage of the press conference, especially on a day when Israel's new prime minister was visiting the U.S. and a suspected serial killer turned himself into the Feds? Not at all. Unless, of course, Ventura hit Ehud Barak over the head with a steel chair.

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Wow, someone's gonna be buried on the moon. Well, scattered . . .

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Oh the humanity!

Thieves steal Darth Vader's lightsaber (David Prowse's home is burglarized). [via]

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Maura Tierney may join the cast of ER. Interesting. Also: Alan Alda and Rebecca DeMornay will each guest star for 5 episodes. And Paul McCrane (Dr. Romano) will likely become a regular cast member. As previously noted Ming-Na (formerly known as Ming Na Wen) will reprise her role as Deb Chen.

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A month or more back I mentioned that Monty Python's Flying Circus will now be airing on A&E (weekends only, it seems). You can also buy videotapes and DVDs of things Monty Python at PythonShop.

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New issue of The Onion:

- Klingon Speakers Now Outnumber Navajo Speakers
- Nobody Really Understands Me by Fermat's Last Theorem
- Dog Urine Lowers Heart-Attack Risk, Say Snickering Researchers

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A new column from Mr. Blue (Garrison Keillor) [via Now This]. Mr. Blue responds to an age old question (you can likely guess it from the answer):

Dear 19 1/2,

One of the basic lessons of life is that none of us is universal, none of us fits everywhere, and popularity and attractiveness vary according to local conditions. So you avoid people you don't belong among and you seek out people where you feel happy and cherished. It's a foolish goose who goes to the fox's church. If you come into contact with men who aren't comfortable around an intelligent woman, you're in the wrong place. Leave. There are plenty of bright men in the world who seek equals and find intelligence attractive and erotically exciting.

And in last week's column, Mr. Blue takes on those who can't capitalize letters (again):

Dear wooed,

Women who write in all lower-case letters should be extremely cautious about romance. They can develop a crush on a cabdriver in the course of six blocks. They can fall for the meter man or the pizza delivery boy. They even fall for a Jehovah's Witness now and then. Poets are generally a bad risk (the men, not the women). Just look at the record. No woman should consider hooking up with a poet unless you have a full-time staff to help out. As for this guy, anyone who e-mails you his entire oeuvre plus a recent picture is trying too hard by half. If you really think you'd like to pursue things with him, e-mail him back and say, "Thank you very much for your poetic work. I found it, on the whole, to be very personal and quite capable, except for a few little things here and there that struck me as self-conscious in a particularly weaselly way." I mean, if the guy can't take criticism, if he isn't interested in your opinion, then delete him.

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While I thought Dvorak's now infamous iBook comments hideous, I hadn't yet seen the cover of the latest Red Herring: Ugh. Janelle Brown tells it like it is @ salon:

Now that nearly 50 percent of the online population is female, and women like Whitman and Fiorina are at the helm of powerful technology companies, perhaps it's time for the industry to stop ogling women in technology as if they were misplaced novelties. Women use computers, women run computer companies; equating them with busty plastic dolls shows that no matter whether we've come a long way, baby, not everyone has kept up.

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Stop me before I buy more Jones Soda.

I've only accumulated a dozen bottles over the last year, honest (6 of 'em last night). I'm no addict, I'm not in danger of becoming a hardcore collector.

But it's a near thing when one is confronted by large glowing displays of Jones Soda-- on sale! even-- at one's local grocery store in the middle of the night. So many different photographs on so many labels, so many flavors . . .

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James Lileks on flat panel displays and early adopters. (Okay, James isn't literally on a flat panel display. Well, probably not. And I won't even hazard a guess as far as the early adopters go. Um, anyway. It's a good piece. Read it).

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I love to hear about cool sites. Send me email or an ICQ message.

As always, I'm interested in hearing about you and any of your webpages. Or favorite websites, mailing lists, newsgroups, etc.

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Looka! is a fab new weblog from Chuck Taggart. Great design, fabulous content, it's already on my must-read list.

Chuck's also got bunches of other good stuff available from his home page, including recipes (yum) and a cool page for one of my favorite groups-- Uncle Tupelo.

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Have I mentioned my love for Infocom games? These links are hazardous for recovering Infocom game addicts:

The Unofficial Infocom Page
Infocom: The Master Storytellers
Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe
Another Infocom page

This is hilarious, I know I've read it before (heck, I could've read it when it was new . . . back in the days when I looked forward to messages from the Usenet Oracle): Infocom Meets the Usenet Oracle. I suspect it gains a few hilarity points simply 'cuz I'm far too nostalgic about the subject matter.

One of these days I'll have to sort my Commodore hardware and software collection. 'Course that'll likely have to wait until I move out of this tiny apartment and into a bigger place. And wait until I've organized the videotapes, books, and CDs that are taking up too much real estate just now. None of this should discourage any of you from sending me Commodore junk or more videotapes, CDs, or books to add to the piles. ;-)

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Is it September yet? I can't wait for the new novel from Jonathan Carroll. I was sorely tempted a week ago when I was at Dreamhaven Books, they have the UK edition of the novel (autographed, even!). Boy did that inspire me to try a little harder to find a job (yeah, forget fretting over paying rent, it's not being able to afford a really good book that reminds me why I need to find work).

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Jon Carroll on processing words:

Also: don't yell at your computer. This is a remnant of the previous time, when you thought your computer was sentient and that's why you could never win at solitaire.

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I've not mentioned Al Roker's website in a while, but it's still there and still amusing (in which Al recounts attending the premiere of Bowfinger).

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Chestnut is now "The Crayon Color Formerly Known as indian red."

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I'd love to see this saga made into a movie of the week. It's a battle for ownership of a rocket belt. :-)

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Pam Johnson asked Governors to declare August 8th "National Admit Your Happy Day". So far, only 15 governors have opted to make such a proclamation.

Even the notoriously offbeat Jesse Ventura -- former professional wrestler and present governor of Minnesota -- refused to bite.

"He represents the people of Minnesota, and he really doesn't see how this affects them," Ventura's office told Ms. Johnson.

That's just so . . . perfect!

Methinks Minnesota would be the last state to ever go for such a holiday. If pressed, some Minnesotans might admit things aren't "too bad" . . .

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Howard Mohr's How To Talk Minnesotan is one of my favorite books. A must-read for anyone with friends in Minnesota. Or who is new to Minnesota or visiting Minnesota. Or Minnesotans. Or expatriates. No lie. It's both funny and, well, true. (Some might find it a scary book, come to think of it). It's helpful, even. (I have some friends who still don't believe me when I tell them the things in the book are true. Gotta get them to visit MN sometime so I can prove it to 'em).

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Mitnick sentencing postponed again.

Free Kevin.

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Marketing The Blair Witch Project. One of the most successful campaigns I've seen.

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Carrie Fisher interviews Steve Martin (this alone should make you follow the link, there's much good stuff to be read there). I'll quote a bit, just for the heck of it, too:

CF: All writing is cathartic.

SM: Yeah, I'm sure.

CF: Don't you think? It's very cathartic for me when I can write about whatever's happened. I'm a warhorse; if I have a situation that's bad, I can handle it. But I can handle it best when I joke about it. That's my writing. When you take a story in hand and it becomes yours, no matter whether you're telling something for true or you're telling another sort of story--you're the narrator. There's something that becomes very clean about your voice. Did you find that with writing this movie?

SM: Yeah, but as you know, books and screenplays are different. With books, you're writing what's the truth, unlike screenplays, where a lot of times you're writing what you think will work. When I wrote my play and my book, I thought, "That's the feeling I want to have when I write. Why can't I have that feeling when I write a scene?"

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I'm delighted by this bear bit from today's Backfence column. Thanks to Delores Harvey and James Lileks for the fine images:

Last week we reported the proper means to greet a bear, as described in a Target ad. (Hug them, grab their vitals, take flash pictures, etc.) Another tip, from Dolores Harvey:

In 1967 our family was on a camping trip in Glacier National Park in Canada. Our 10-year old daughter, Janet, had taken along her constant companion -- Eeyore, a little stuffed donkey. We were setting up our tent on a concrete slab, and Janet had set Eeyore down on a stump while she helped us. We looked up from our work and there was a black bear with Eeyore in his mouth. Janet cried, "THE BEAR HAS EEYORE!" At that the bear looked at us, put Eeyore back down on the stump and quietly walked away.

Janet, now 42, still has Eeyore with bear tooth marks in him.

There you have it: If you see a bear, scream at it and the beast will be overcome with shame. The bear will think: Look what I've become. Rummaging around other people's property, stealing a little girl's toy. A little girl's toy! How did it come to this? And then it will walk away, vowing to change its ways.

Or perhaps the bear knew that Eeyore was a friend of Winnie the Pooh, and Winnie carries a lot of weight in the bear community. Smokey, Pooh, Gentle Ben -- they pretty much run things in the bear world. Many an errant bear has found out that Smokey's shovel isn't just for throwing dirt on fires. The right word from Pooh, and Smokey pays a little visit and the shovel goes to work, if you know what I mean.

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Lileks is still adding stuff to the Fargo site mentioned in last week's weblog.

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Sigh. Spoilers for the series finale of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Sounds like a good end, if there can be such a thing. Sigh. Does contain bigtime spoilers for the host segments, last shots, etc, so if you don't wanna know, don't read the piece.

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Don Murphy reports that the Hughes Brothers are to do a movie of Alan Moore's From Hell. Fabulous. I hope, hope, hope it happens. And is done right and well.

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Ellen DeGeneres to return to the small screen (maybe, eventually).

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LA Times looks at race on television. They talk about and with a lot of TV producers (including the folks behind Buffy and Deep Space Nine in addition to the usual suspects). As usual, Tom Fontana is the most sensible TV writer/producer of the bunch in regards to this issue.

"The key to 'Homicide' was we totally cast the best actors that we found," Fontana said of the series, whose principal cast featured five people of color in its final season. "I think the key for Barry and I, at least, is to never allow our preconceptions when we write it to overwhelm the talent that comes into the room."

And I especially like this quote:

"The great sadness for me is that whenever [networks] do a black hour drama, it's always heralded as a 'black hour drama,' which puts an onus on it immediately," Fontana said. "It becomes 'important.' It doesn't feel like entertainment. . . . What happened with 'Homicide' is that it just happened, and we never talked about it."

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Howard Rosenberg on the lack of color on television. Better than the average piece on this issue, Rosenberg gets big points for mentioning Frank's Place (a fine series, gone but not forgotten).

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Whoa, this site is too cool: The Cosmic Baseball Association.

I'm at a loss at how to describe the site, you really should just follow the link. It's a bizarre world where Pre-Raphaelites play TV Stars in baseball games (or something).

Go on, follow the link. Even if (especially if?) you don't follow or like baseball.

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The Minnesota Twins should pay me to attend their games, they've won almost every game I've attended this season.

Case in point: the Twins have only beat the Seattle Mariners three times this season, I was at each of those games. Had a blast at the games this past Friday and Saturday. Twins came from behind on Friday to win 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth. And they won 10-3 on Saturday.

I've seen two Griffey homeruns this season.

Saturday night was "future night" at the Metrodome (er, I mean, LunarDome). Amusing. I liked the uniforms, had to laugh at many of the lame attempts to make the game and ballpark futuristic. And I now have a shiny silver Twins cap (bizarre). Trust me, you don't want to see a wookie in a baseball uniform.

Tiger Woods was at the ballgame on Saturday. (I've a weird streak of seeing celebs at the ballpark. The list includes Vic Tayback and Kenny Rogers, for instance).

Player to watch: Jacque Jones. Mark my words, baseball fans.

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I natter about a lot of trivial things in this log, but it's trivial stuff that amuses me, that brightens my day and perhaps even brightens yours. And sometimes I delve a little deeper. And there is stuff I care about that seems trivial to others, that's far from trivial for me.

And sometimes there are pieces I come across online that I find perfect and non-trivial. Pieces that I agree with, even. This piece by Jon Carroll is one of those. I'd love to quote a bit or two, especially if that'd increase the odds of anyone reading it. Instead, faithful reader, trust me. Just read it if you haven't already.

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This page was updated on July 29, 1999 by Laurel Krahn who can be reached via email to If you'd like to email or snail mail Laurel cool stuff (for this weblog or not), she'd love that.

Copyright ©1999 Laurel Krahn unless otherwise noted. May not be redistributed without permission.