Monthly Archives: July 2005

4 guys in an alley drinking beer

It can be disconcerting to realize that a show has been going on for years and you never realized it. A few months ago I was flipping around and happened on King of the Hill, a program my brother always spoke highly of. I’ve seen a few random episodes here and there, but it kind of slipped under my RADAR–to my complete chagrin.

The show is both intelligent and wacky and still there’s a soupรงon of heart thrown in there too (a surprisingly difficult combination to achieve). I like the writing and the animation. The earlier episodes seem to have more life to them visually. Haven’t looked into it, but I’m wondering if they went over to the dark side and the animation is now computer generated.

I like the use of guest stars too. The Simpsons kind of jumped the shark with their use of famous people and the cameos. A few posters on some message boards made the astute comment that on KOTH, the stars aren’t generally playing themselves. Well, Chuck Mangione is, but it’s gloriously weird and he’s almost a regular character. I discovered the dang thing has been on for eons. The sad thing is it wouldn’t have mattered. The concept would have turned me off. Some things you need to see to believe. Four redneck guys in Texas drinking beer in the alley don’t sound inherently amusing. And yet, on this show, they are.

Whew

Had my first medical emergency reference question this afternoon. Not a “I have a paper due tomorrow and I haven’t started it till just now” emergency question, but an honest-to-goodness, “I have a patient on the table and I need this now” emergency question.

It’s all handled and my colleague helped me. Hopefully, we got the doctor what he needed, but I know two things:

  1. I could never be an Informationist. I have all the respect in the world for them, but it’s not for me. I feel totally drained as it is.
  2. Librarianship is cool. Seriously, for all those clueless people out there who seem to think I read all day while seated in a leather club chair and work in an ivy-covered edifice, this one’s for you. Whether or not the patient is going to be okay, I don’t know and that troubles me. But it wasn’t a bar bet. It wasn’t for a truly academic exercise.This man needed information for a life threatening situation. I helped to find it. How cool is that?

With familiarity comes inquiry

I’ve been working on getting into better physical shape. Because of my living space, budget, and the general awfulness of the region’s weather, that means my options are rather limited. So when a friend recommended some “walking” DVDs, I jumped on it. I like the workouts and I can see the results.

It’s like any other thing in life though. At first, you’re busy trying to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing so you don’t notice all of the small stuff. Then once you get comfortable enough, you begin to pick up on the little things and you wonder.

For instance, does it hurt to smile that way throughout an entire 30 minute workout? Seriously, there are cheerleaders would give their right arm to be able to maintain a permanent grin for that length of time. Then there’s that one chick (Tara???) who looks like she’s barely moving, while Jody is all energy (even if she keeps losing time). And why do they all pick on the token male? He hasn’t lost count once and he’s picking up his feet more than half of them.

Yes, I know, I need a life.

Unsung authors

Awhile back, I wrote a review for Postscript to Poison by Dorothy Bowers, an author of whom I had never heard. She was one of those writers who wrote several critically acclaimed, popular mysteries back in the Golden Age of Detective Fiction who then slipped into obscurity. I’m never clear on why that happens. I suppose it’s because mysteries fall into an ephemeral genre. Even comparatively recent authors, for example, Emma Lathen, seem to totally forgotten today.

Anyhow, I just obtained another of Dorothy Bowers’ books. Shadows Before was as good as the first. They’re not overly long, but she makes every character very vivid and the premise is solid. I like the attention to detail. Moreover, I like how well written they are. If only some of today’s authors could produce books like these.

Weeding

My living arrangements being somewhat unstable at the moment, I decided to tackle my books for their semi-annual weeding extravaganza. I’ve never had a problem with weeding my own personal library. I’m not sure why. It’s harder for me to get rid of tapes and DVDs, clothes, old letters, and such, but for some reason books aren’t quite the same challenge for me.

Anyhow, I made three passthroughs and have three enormous bags of books to donate for the book sale at work. I was brutal. I can’t remember the last time I read David Copperfield and it was a tattered paperback. It’s a fine book, one everyone should read, but I think it was time for DC to move on to another home. I don’t have the shelf space to devote to books that just look impressive, thank you very much. I adore Terry Pratchett, but I think once around with something like Moving Pictures is enough for me. The books I reviewed were easier calls. I have the worst like picking the darn things.

Why I’m leery of the Cozy

Warning signs you have a badly written cozy in front of you:

  1. There are recipes
  2. It’s written in the first person
  3. It’s a series novel and you’re still lost by the first ten pages
  4. Pets play an all-too prominent role in the story
  5. There’s so much going on with the cover art, you feel claustrophobic just looking at it
  6. The person’s reaction on finding the dead body is so casual that it might be the same as discovering they’ve misplaced a pen
  7. The author clearly thinks the book is funny when it’s not
  8. There’s less originality in the formula than in a Harlequin romance
  9. The title is overly cutesy
  10. The author breaks most of the 10 Commandments of Detective Fiction

Ha!

So I was at the movies again. This heat is killing me, man. Anyhow, one of the previews was for The Island, a rather slick looking thriller with fancy f/x and the likes of Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, and Sean Bean. Not the type of film that I’m dying to go see, but as the trailer continued, it occurred to me that the story sounds very familiar. Awfully familiar, in fact. Then it hit me.

It’s a remake of Parts: The Clonus Horror, a turkey I was introduced to by those good people at Mystery Science Theater: 3000. It’s the same darn film. Tarted up, but really, I think we all know that it’s going to be like putting lipstick on a pig. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so either.