Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Recent Discoveries

I've started this same post about half a dozen different times, but if my failure to actually post disappoints you, at least notice that the actual time between posts has decreased significantly. From 25 days to 11 days. That's improvement!

On the Shoeless Joel front, life continues on, basically the same as it ever was. I continue to survive day to day at work to varying degrees of success. For the most part, my 10th and 11th grade classes go well, and my 12th grade classes kind of get the shaft. On the plus side, we finish Hamlet this week, so with luck we'll move on to something they understand a little more readily.

This past weekend Amelia and I went to Orlando. It's where the temple is for us, as well as the home of one of Amelia's closest college friends. It was a nice trip, but too short. Four hour drive on Saturday, a few hours in the town, followed by a four hour drive on Sunday. On the other hand, Orlando looks like a nice little place. I'd like to see more of the town.

At any rate, the point of this post: Once again, I seem to have entered a fertile period of pop culture discovery. The last few weeks I've stumbled across a number of new finds that bring joy to my world. Hope you find something here to enjoy.

I admit, I've been kind of out of the loop on new tv shows this season. I hear great things about "Heroes," and I watch "Stand-off" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" when I remember, but for the most part I'm too busy with old favorites to add anything new to the list (Veronica Mars, though not quite as strong this season, continues to entertain and build toward something meaningful. Lost - what can I say but excellent? Better than last season. The Office - Yes!). So imagine my surprise that the one show I will definitely be keeping on my radar is a new reality series from MTV! That's right, if you haven't seen "Rob and Big," do so immediately. Wait, strike that. Do so at 11:00 at night when you're slightly loopy. Funny funny stuff. Maybe I just have low standards, but a huge black man and a skinny white guy who are best friends and always jumping on top of each other makes for good entertainment.

As a side note, I've oft professed my love for Ricky Gervais' original BBC series "The Office." While I think the US version has since grown into it's own nicely, the original still holds a special place in my heart. If you're a fan of Gervais, please please please check out "Extras." Season one is soon out on DVD. And season two is probably downloadable somewhere, if you're internet savvy (not that I advocate illegal downloading). But this is good stuff . . . "only I've already seen everything!" (Season one, episode six. Patrick Stewart. Enough said.)

OK, this one's not recent; in fact, it's ann oldy but a goody. But I need to make sure my favorite public radio show gets the attention it deserves. Fans of NPR, or entertainment, or smart talkin'--hopefully you already know about Ira Glass's This American Life. But if not, their recent Podcast feature makes staying up to date easier than ever. If you're new, check out "And the Call Was Coming From the Basement" in their 06 archives. A good taste of the show and some interesting stories--all with a fun Halloween theme (see, I told you I've been meaning to put this together for a while).

Two blogs of note. First, I've grown to love Ken Jennings. You may remember him as the slightly dorky, Mormon, all time winnings champ on Jeapordy! from a few summers ago. Turns out he writes and blogs as well. More surprisingly, it turns out he's got a good sense of humor and seems to be an all around likeable guy. Check out his blog. Definitely worth the time.

Similarly, Ken's blog (we're on a first name basis--the blog and I, not Mr. Jennings) recently had a link to The Comics Curmudgeon. In this blog, some guy named Josh posts and then slams a variety of comics from the funny pages. This is funny stuff. If you access this in the next day or two, scroll past that Lockhorns YouTube link and get a taste of what he does. I especially like it when he takes on "The Family Circus." I hate that comic!

For the rap fan within, check out Lupe Fiasco. This is my kind of rap. Political and philosophical more than hos, crunk, and grills. Lupe is smart and talented. Worth a listen. That Daydreamin' song is especially nice. 70s sampling, Jill Scott, and good rap. Very nice.

For the pop fan within, you can't tell me you don't like Regina Spektor's Fidelity. This song is catchy, clever, and fun. If this doesn't put you in a good mood, then you sir have no heart. I heard this on an episode of the aforementioned Veronica Mars a week ago and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since.

There's more I could recommend--I haven't even touched books or movies, my two favorite topics, but there's an insight into what I'm enjoying lately. In the non-entertainment realm, I attended my first oyster roast a couple weeks ago. Delicious! An experience worth repeating, both for the taste and for the fun.

By the way, don't forget to leave a comment--especially if you have any recommendations for me.

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