18 February 2007

Any Marvin Gaye Fans out There?

If so, check out this BBC Radio documentary celebrating the 25th anniversary of Sexual Healing.

Okay, so now you know that I'm a radio geek. Whatever...

Listening to this documentary, I think there's a very interesting case to be made about UK versus US approaches to soul music. But I'll let you lot sort that out.

Happy Sunday, and remember: When you get that feeling...

16 February 2007


Who didn't like the real-time perspective 24 offered when it premiered all those years ago? One of the characters would fly to LA from DC and it would take five episodes until you saw that character again, in order to allow for his/her flight. Mad cool. Not so cool (or perhaps DEFINITELY UNCOOL would be a better way to describe it) has been the increasing use of torture to procure information from the bad guys, who more often than not were"radical Islamists bent on destroying the American way." Not that this was ever entertaining, but after Abu Ghraib it struck me as seriously irresponsible.

So I was fairly dismayed when I read a recent piece in The New Yorker on Joel Surnow, the show's co-creator and executive producer. Not only was Surnow unrepentant about the torture, but the suspicions I had of the right-wing politics behind the show were confirmed in the article. But apparently I haven't been alone in my distaste for the nasty turn the show has taken. I mean for heaven's sake, how bad must the show's use of torture be, when a Brigadier General (also the dean of West Point) has to fly out to LA to suggest that they tone it down?

It seemed, however, that this was going to be a lost cause... until I read a piece at IMDB.com today, stating that 24's producer had agreed to cut the torture scenes. Lord bless the The New Yorker is about all I have to say to that. Though as a parting shot, I'm tempted to send Joel a little note letting him know that if he's that right-wing, that hair under his bottom lip can't really be referred to as a "soul patch."

Now if only the Vanity Fair piece on SAIC would work a similar sort of magic...

14 February 2007

The Mr. Wrong Series: The Guy from Marcella's Group Therapy Session (Pt. 1)

I moved to NY from San Francisco. About a year or so after I got to NY one of my former colleagues from SF also moved to NY. I had her over one Saturday morning for brunch, and at some point the conversation turned to my non-existent love life. She thought it was a "shame" that I was single, and in fact, she knew someone from her group therapy session who would be perfect for me. Of course I was too polite to ask about the issues her group was struggling with. I didn't know Marcella that well, but what I knew about her was that she was a pretty cool woman. Okay, there was that bit about being Sicilian-American with murder in her family history. Apparently her grandmother appealed to her brother-in-law to kill her husband (his brother) because he was mistreating her. Upon successful completion of the act, she agreed to marry him and emigrate to the United States. But I'm not sure that would have been enough to send someone into therapy.

In any case, I reluctantly agreed to at least talk with him on the phone, and gave her permission to give him my number. I waited a few days and heard nothing, which to be honest was a bit of a relief. He apparently wasn't in group because he was a telephone stalker... or so I thought. Well after about a week the phone rang one night/morning at 1:30 am. I checked the caller id and didn't recognize the number, so I didn't answer it. Who on earth could be calling so late in the middle of the week? When I checked my voice mail later, the caller turned out to be the guy from group. Now of course the warning signals should have gone off right then. What kind of guy calls a woman he doesn't know, for the very first time, at 1:30 in the morning??

I didn't return his call, and was prepared to forget the whole thing, but he called again the next day at a more respectable hour. He apologized for calling so late the night before, explaining that he worked in advertising and had been up late working and didn't realize the time. Blessed/cursed with a forgiving nature, I accepted his apology. We chatted for about an hour, then made plans to meet on the following Saturday afternoon for coffee.

Thus began one of the strangest two-week encounters I have ever experienced.

Stay tuned for Part 2.


02 February 2007

Overheard at Ikea...

So I was at Ikea on Wednesday night. I went there to find a down comforter, but everything with feathers was being pulled from the shelves. When asked why, the sales clerk said it had to do with a safety issue. Bird flu feathers??

In any case, while I wandered around I witnessed the following exchange between an interracial couple (black woman/white man) shopping for furniture:

She: No, no, no. It doesn't have to match.

He: Well, I think it would be nice if it matched.

She: I'm telling you it doesn't have to match. Come on honey, WE don't match!

That made me smile all the way to the checkout line.