Posted November 26th, 2009 in Animation, TV, Disney, entertainment, Lonely Pond Productions, Inc., Adventure, movie, holiday, Shakespeare, Nick, Current Events
What else do you need?
ToonBoom is having a Black Friday sale starting at 9 a.m., with some software up to 60% off.
Read an article in the latest Animation Magazine (link not yet available) that gave me a better Prep and Landing vibe. The guys mostly responsible are the guys who did the Goofy “How To Hook Up Your Home Theatre” short. And that was funny, as is Dave Foley, who’s voicing one of the main characters. So, we’ll tune in on Dec. 1st. Gayle’s a Charlie Brown fan anyway, and Prep and Landing has the after the beloved Charlie Brown Christmas slot, setting P and L up for launch as a holiday classic.
Shakespeare has popped into Nick for a visit, with the Little Shakespeare rapper character on True Jackson’s latest hour long event. Enjoyed it, funny, loved Jimmy and Ryan nonsensically running all over Galaxy Airlines…More Jimmy works; Robbie Amell does a good job.
On a business and personal note, we’ve been getting prepped aka trying to schedule the Lonely Pond annual meeting. I’m excited. I want to take the company in a new and more productive direction and really start combining my love for animation and Shakespeare in ways you can watch. So stayed tuned.
Posted November 24th, 2009 in Animation, Comedy, TV, Disney, entertainment, holiday
The holiday ads have started and there are at least two new holiday specials in the universe: Prep and Landing from Team John Lasseter, the Pixar mastermind, and Phineas and Ferb On Christmas Vacation from the Phineas and Ferb crew. And I have to admit, I’m looking forward to the Phineas and Ferb one; Team PF is in the zone. Lasseter and co. will have to do a little more convincing. Sure, the animation’s always pristine, perfect and all that, but I’m usually allergic to the mood that comes with it.
Now Phineas and Ferb I was prepared to hate at its launch; yes, it was partly envy, there they are with a show on the Disney Channel and I still think there’s no real reason for Perry and Doofenshmirtz, but if you don’t support comedy being about creating your own 5 jokes and pounding them ’til they’re funny, then you just don’t support comedy. And Phineas and Ferb is doing a great job with the comic palette they’ve set themselves up with, adding in the more than occasional darn catchy tune (Busted’s my favorite). So, we’ll take that vacation.
What else is on the holiday watch list. Well, there’s always Desk Set, which has the best office Christmas party, the original Bishop’s Wife, the animated Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Love Actually, the Kim Possible Christmas episode, and I’ll get back to you on the rest, once I figure them out.
Meanwhile, have a great Thanksgiving.
Posted November 24th, 2009 in Animation, Comedy, music, entertainment, Blink Kitty Love
There’s a new Blink Kitty Love in the universe. Dance with joy, darn it.
Posted November 24th, 2009 in Comics, Comedy, Disney, entertainment, Smallville, Big Bang Theory, movie, Nick, Warehouse 13
Well, I would like to comment articulately on how smallVille’s current season is developing but since they moved it to FRIDAY nights I keep remembering on Thursday it exists and then forgetting on Friday and doing things like watching WizTober instead. So I missed the Wonder Twins. Darn.
New favorite t-shirt (because I know you like to keep track of these things.)
Speaking of all things Wizard…Wizards of Waverly Place still knocking out the solid comedy. Harper moving in should be an interesting turn.
Now, the Sonny With A Chance will Chad and Sonny divulge their feelings on a talk show episode tipped the way too many flashbacks alarm.
Exactly the opposite on the funny meter was the latest Jonas (but I think I mentioned that before) which I have just discovered has been picked up for a second season. They’re getting a new show runner but I hope they don’t ditch that much — Gayle really likes the one camera style and I think they’ve really grown into the humor as the season progressed.
Speaking of growing into humor, have been on a Big Bang Theory kick, watching Seasons 1 + 2 on DVD. And this past week’s once again ratcheted up the funny. When Sheldon’s radio interview was being helped along by helium, Gayle and I were both laughing so hard it was impossible to hear anything that was being said. I do miss Leslie Winkle as a fountain of dread mischief…sure Kripke’s funny, but how about a Winkle and Cooper revenge tag team to take him down.
Still haven’t watched Shanghai Surprise. Need to change up my Netflix queue and drop the TV shows and concentrate on movies.
Oh, should probably drop in a Nick update. Nick Cannon very entertaining as The Chairman, liked iCarly’s iHave My Principals episode — always good to see Tim Russ. True Jackson seems to be focusing on the teens, which is ok, but I do like the craziness Max and Amanda bring with them.
I think that catches up w/ the reviews. Still missing Warehouse 13.
Posted November 24th, 2009 in Animation, Blink Kitty Love, Twitter
or the first review of Blink Kitty Love anyway…sent Adrien-Luc Sanders of About.Com: Animation the Fried Blink Kitty Love episode and he featured it in his New Animation Showcase last week. Exciting to get more Blink Kitty Love notice. Posting a new episode tomorrow so follow along @blinkkittylove for behind the scenes band chatter and early news.
Posted November 16th, 2009 in art, design, Culture, entertainment, Arts Commentary, Financial Times reference, theatre, Twitter, photos, Current Events
Peter Aspden on the problem defining cool + if Miles Davis is the solution.
Fashion Bloggers in the front row…Nicola Copping on how bloggers (example @bryanboy) are gaining influence with designers. Fashion Blogs I follow, well @meandmarisa found me on Twitter and I’ve been enjoying their photos and fashion thoughts.
Sarah Hemming talks to set designers about…set design.
Mexican left-wing printmakers took on church, politics + culture. Review of exhibit at British Museum.
Christine Lagarde, French Finance Minster, ranks #1.
Vanessa Friedman on how dressing for the EU President job will be almost as difficult as landing it.
And to end w/ a dinner tomorrow thought: a pumpkin risotto recipe. Also must make single serving apple crisps in these deep, white ramekins we have — feeling inspired by the season and the big nubbly apples sitting in our fruit bowl.
Posted November 13th, 2009 in Animation, Comedy, books, Disney, Culture, entertainment, Lonely Pond Productions, Inc., Smallville, Big Bang Theory, movie, Blink Kitty Love, Twitter, Nick
Well, there’s the Greek Food Fest and Shanghai Surprise sitting on top of my TV in its Netflix envelope.
In a bit of a funk, trying to sort out the next project, organize the Lonely Pond Productions, Inc. annual meeting with a bonus refocusing and resurgence. Also trying to turn writing back into something I just do and not something I get stressed about while trying to make a million dollars doing it. I am having a blast writing Twitter Fiction @stirfryneon. It’s not very regular but it is very fun. Also have a Blink Kitty Love that needs to be posted but it also needs music — I really need to write an Animator’s Journal entry about all the Blink Kitty Love music difficulties. Really great response to the Costume Craving episode — and Garageband (Garageband very irritating nearly ALWAYS) totally tanked so there’s no music on that one (oy!). Any comments on music vs. sound effects vs. silence welcome. I’ve been thinking Blink Kitty Love is more like a web comic (but moving) since there’s a lot of reading/words involved and web comics don’t have a soundtrack.
Spice World — more fun than I remembered, although I needed subtitles to understand Sporty Spice through the accent. Roger Moore’s part was a hoot. I think Spice World might be the secret, never revealed source of 21st century culture.
Read latest Terry Pratchett, Unseen Academicals. He obviously has lessons/wisdom to impress upon his audience so it’s not a laugh riot; it’s one of the other kind of Terry Pratchett books, but it is worth a read. Also reading Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, v. v. funny.
Quick TV shout outs: Jonas has really earned their J-14 top TV show ranking. They’re having a blast, the Joe and Stella romance is spot on, and the last episode where Macy and Joe break in on Stella and Vandyke’s date was perfectly pitched comedy. They have finally figured out what to do with Macy. Go Team Jonas.
Have been off iCarly, but iQuit iCarly looks like a must watch. I’m hoping that Wizards grabbing the Emmy will inspire some iCarly improvement.
WIzards of Waverly Place: Chronicles of Moises was a fun, solid, three part episode. Jake T. Austin is growing up funny and Wizards does multi part episodes really well. I want to see Justin explain to the Van Heusens that he let a mummy mind control their daughter.
I keep meaning to watch smallVille and forgetting they’ve moved it to Fridays.
Big Bang Theory continues excellent, although the football episode was not as funny as I had hoped it could be. Seemed less organic and more staged. Sheldon vs. Wil Wheaton rocked; Penny and Leonard survived their first fight and they are slowly sorting out a comic niche for Raj, which is nice. On a Big Bang Theory kick so may finally have to buy Season 2 on DVD. Now, that sounds like a weekend plan.
Posted November 11th, 2009 in family, Culture, gay, Current Events
An article about how Armistice Day turned into Veteran’s Day. And as I was clicking through a link to Doonesbury from @zephoria, the social media maven I follow on Twitter, I discovered that Doonesbury on Slate hosts The Sandbox, a milblog with posts from service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve been reading and the posts are full of philosophy, practical advice, history, humanity, survival tips, Disney discounts, humility, bravery, isolation, comradeship…
I almost ended up in the military twice (although my mother and a buddy of mine in the ROTC program claimed I would have ended up out or in a military prison for insubordination.) In high school, I was interested in and recruited by Navy ROTC, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do for the four years of college and thought it a bad idea to commit to something for five years after that. And then when I got to Northwestern and saw the hours my buddy got up to do PT and drill team, I figured it had been a good decision.
After college, I didn’t have any grand plan, thought travel might be fun, and returned to the military thought. The Marines didn’t want me, not in shape enough, so they suggested the Air Force. The Air Force offered Monterey, foreign languages and adventures. But I was gay, no doubts or apologies, and I wanted to see if anything would develop with Gayle. I wasn’t going to lie. A buddy of mine had lived an entirely double life because the military was something he could not be separated from and gay was something he couldn’t get over — and there was the handy girlfriend who refused to notice. I watched him do it for four years of college and some years after and it was a terrible thing. We once had a half serious discussion about marriage so he would have a cover and I would have health insurance and could keep writing or whatever it was I wanted to do.
A friend from high school led the hidden life with separate mailing addresses. And I sat there in a military recruiter’s office, very curious but unwilling and unable to lie for opportunity.
Over the years, I have read so much about the treatment of women and gays in the military and sometimes I thought, perhaps my mother was right; I would have clocked the first person who yelled in my ear at 0 dark thirty or used a word I didn’t care to be referred to as.
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was never a solution. The time has long passed for its reversal. The Advocate reports today, very fittingly, that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is to be included in next year’s Department of Defense Authorization Bill. The Advocate has also been running excellent articles on gays in the military, their supporters, Congressman and Iraq veteran Patrick J. Murphy, and even one article with an undercover reporter trying to get the view of the average straight soldier in the PX.
So thanks to veterans everywhere for supporting freedom, this country and the Constitution. And I hope that one day soon, this will be a country where we really will be free, with equal rights for every citizen. And I can finally marry the woman I had hopes of getting to know better many years ago.
Posted November 10th, 2009 in Comedy, Culture, entertainment, Arts Commentary, Financial Times reference, movie, acting, performance, theatre, Twitter, Shakespeare, web
Do The Chump, yes do The Chump, chump (amusing myself, no offense intended)…my friends @TheWebFiles interviewed Jeremy Redleaf of Odd Job Nation last week so I checked out his show and darn funny. Watched all three episodes and by the time they were doing The Chump at the end, I wanted more.
So, this’ll have to cover you for a bit…TV reviews later. The Big Bang Theory both hits and misses (or should I say fumbles) and has iCarly lost all of its charms in a cloud of mean mischief and shouting. You’ll want to know. Stay tuned.
Posted November 8th, 2009 in Financial Times reference, Reading, acting, theatre, Shakespeare, #merven
Have been meaning to write a post about Merchant of Venice (#merven) and costuming thoughts for awhile, definitely since Vanessa Friedman’s excellent coverage of this year’s Paris + Milan Fashion Weeks. Gayle and I have been talking clothes. We’re thinking very modern so we may have to add an iron to our usual touring gear and hit up consignment shops in Baltimore and Philadelphia for some suitable ties, if not entire suits. I can imagine the thrill that will be felt by the actors wearing business suits outdoors in the end of July heat.
Merchant of Venice is striking me more and more as a sleek, ruthless play of marble chess pieces in sharp edged modern suits, always on the go, accumulating, communicating, sifting, betting, collecting, judging. I ordered the Oxford edition . The Pelican, my choice in the past, is only available as a Kindle download. And there is always the Riverside as a constant, but it’s not portable. So the Oxford is my carrying around copy. I don’t remember liking the Arden or the Folger and I won’t have anything to do with an edition that has anything to do with Harold Bloom. I do not like his commentaries. I’m a Northrop Frye kind of director.
The Oxford’s simple cover graphic — a balance/scales — also appealed. From a quick perusal of the commentary, that item is an excellent choice because Merchant seems to be more about capital letter CONCEPTS: Justice, Mercy and their cousins, than it is about any of the individual characters. Perhaps that’s another reason for Portia’s disguise: not only can she save the day, she can represent a quality.
I am directing/exploring Merchant because I have had so many reactions to it. As a child, Portia was my favorite Shakespearean heroine. I loved how she manipulated logic and legal concepts while riding in to save the day (I also loved the Lone Ranger). So I had good memories of Portia. Then, several years ago, I reread Merchant as a possible choice for the next summer’s Theatre Under The Trees (”yes, sir, that’s my baby”) and was repulsed by Portia’s cruelty. I had this sudden vision of Alicia Silverstone in Clueless and Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde but without any warmth or heart or humor — shearing sharpened pink sabers.
Plus, there’s the Jew thing. You can’t get around the “gentle Jew” problem. Once I had a vision of doing an indoor adaptation titled Merchant of Hong Kong, with dark woods, harbor motifs, Chinese Mandarin robes and a British Shylock. Jew switched for Brit. There’s high concept for you.
York has a troubled history with racial and other forms of discrimination so the inciting a race/religious war concern will remain present. I know I’ll have to be prepared for cast questions/discussions. And honestly, I don’t know what to say. That’s why I want to direct Merchant. Shylock has this incredible speech that not only humanizes him but explains his behavior is as the Christians taught him. Gayle’s theory is that the play is anti-banker, although she hasn’t read it recently. Bankers are right now, here in 2009, the villians of nearly every piece. The only way I know to figure out if my first or second impression of Portia is the more accurate one is to direct the play, with no idea how it will turn out. Shakespeare’s truths show in performance.
I think Merchant might turn on Bassiano, the character I’d forgotten. There’s always a character who matters more than you think, the way in for the audience, the point everything pivots around, the weather for the play. In Twelfth Night, it’s Olivia; in Midsummer, it’s Oberon. They’re the characters who bring all the pieces together. And I had forgotten Bassiano. You remember Shylock, Portia, even Antonio. But I think Bassiano might be the one who makes it all work. But that’s just my first THIRD impression, after a quick read. I’m sure there’s a few more to come.