I am obsessed with the Helsinki-based street-fashion blog Hel Looks. Finnish people are so interesting! If they had to move to LA they would probably all die of horror.

Here is a good recent Hel Looks person: Martti (26), “N.W.A. and 20th century Pet Shop Boys are a constant source of inspiration.”

WHO KNOWS WHAT THAT MEANS. But isn’t it great?

This weekend I spent some time in a Starbucks to read some scripts, and it’s always interesting how many people appear to be there on (blind) dates. There was the young couple who had nothing at all to say for the first five minutes (I was all panicky and tense on their behalf) but then warmed up. And then there was the boy who clearly made his female date really flustered with his cuteness, so she got kind of… bitchy? You know what I mean? And kept taking calls in front of him! It was really odd. But they were there for three hours and then left together, so I’m guessing he saw through her neuroses.

Numberhosen

March 27, 2008

Why the British are better than we are in all non-superpower ways:

1) They have the BBC.
2) They have sketch comedy shows that are funny.
3) As a culture, they have an amazing ability to not need to have a lead-in.

In America, you’d have to EXPLAIN these sketches. “So you know, German game shows, they’re hilarious! And German has funny compound words like “toastvorausgeschmack”. And here is a sketch about those things.”

Or “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if a hobo had delusions of grandeur and thought he was Sir Digby Chicken Caesar, international detective?”

And it would RUIN it, and even so, Americans would frown and go “…?” and flip over to Are You Stronger Than A Dog.

But the British! They just have shows called That Mitchell and Webb Look, and they have astonishing sketches called NUMBERWANG and SIR DIGBY CHICKEN CAESAR, please enjoy:

“Thanks, Arthur!”

March 27, 2008

I have been reading a lot of pilots recently. I have noticed that many of them do this thing where the teaser will start with a sort of PUNCH of action and then cut away to a man and a woman Doing It in the, ah– Female Superior arrangement.

I don’t know if this is a reference I don’t get because I’m not a guy, or what. But it’s really sort of remarkable how often this pops up. Now I feel like I should probably write this in to stuff. So the dudes know that I Totally Get it.

“So I have this pilot–”

“What’s it about?”

“WHO CARES, it starts with four minutes of Ultimate Fighting and then we cut to a lady doing it, it’s awesome.”

***

Amazing new USA show in development:

“The Nanny Files” will revolve around the adventures of a 26-year-old nanny who cares for the kids of a widower police chief. With her network of nannies, dog walkers, gardeners and neighbors, she will work without her employer’s knowledge in order to solve his cases. “The Brady Bunch Movie” scribe Rick Copp will executive produce with Joann Moore (“A Walk on the Moon”) as co-exec producer.

OH MAN. That’s going to be the best thing ever. Like Murder She Wrote, but with some toddlers thrown in. Right? I’m excited.

***

I really like Rob Long’s KCRW audio column (“audiumn”?) MARTINI SHOT, which is inside baseball about the entertainment industry. And funny. Last week he talked about how people like to tell writers that they’re geniuses:

Like, when you call to give a writer notes on a script. Traditionally, this call begins with some lubricating kabuki. Something like, “We really loved the script and the characters and the whole world is so rich, and we really think this is a great, great stuff.”

And then there’s a pause, while the writer acknowledges the highly formalized transaction with an “Uh huh,” followed by, “And we really don’t have that many notes – Josh, do you have any notes?” someone asks on the conference call.

“No, I have a couple of questions, really, not notes” and then someone on the call says, “Do you want to just go through them page by page?” and then you’re suddenly out of the “wonderful, wonderful you” part of the conference call and into the “Page three. Can we get a stronger sense of the character as a hero?”

Hah.

Also, in his most-recent column, he refers to a writer as really high-maintenance, “a daily caller”, and I got all panicky. WHAT IF THAT DESCRIBES ME?

***

Last night I was leaving the lot, and a dad and his two daughters were walking up to the fountain. And the youngest daughter was six or seven, and the oldest was nine or ten, old enough to be very aware that SOME PEOPLE were TOTALLY CHILDISH.

And the youngest ran over to the fountain and yelled: “Dad, dad! Can I wash my hands in that???”

And the oldest did this great pre-teen eyeroll and said “Omigod, of course not!!!” Geez, kids today.

Anyway, I was smiling very broadly and delightedly at this, when a guy in a suit walked by, and from his “…heyyyy….” response, I am 95% sure he thought that my broad, delighted smile was me hitting on him. I felt really awkward about the whole thing.

***

Dramatic Tarsier!

***

I’ve been delighted by Arthur The Possibly Heavily Drugged Haitian Weatherman for several days, and on the off chance you haven’t seen it (watch it at least three times. It’s only nine seconds, and the hilarity increases with each viewing):

***

I like to read articles about war-type things, so I found this one mostly interesting: Navy SEALs: Mental Strength and Courage. Especially the part where it is revealed that they’ve bribing the locals into cooperating by disposing of their enemies. Hmmm.

Also, one of the guys says “These Bedouin tribes… their loyalties shift like the sands!” which is a line that should be taken out back and put out of its misery.

“@#$%! *&^%! $%^*!!!”

March 26, 2008

1) This is the best non-Onion headline I’ve ever seen:

U.S. Spies Disgruntled with Superiors, Have Doldrums

2) I was just thinking about how there should be a series of horrible videos sold on late-night cable about Drunk Girls With High Self Esteem. It would be all “Show you my boobs! Why don’t YOU show me YOUR boobs? Ahahahahahaha, I’m so hilarious. Oh man, I feel kinda sick.”

3) While Googling to see if anyone had already made these videos, I discovered this article (a PDF, CLICK IF YOU DARE) describing how high self-esteem does you no good at all except for an improved sense of well-being and generally increased happiness. Well, sure! Put it like that, what’s the point?

4) This article, A World Without Me, combines my two favorite things, to wit: a) the apocalypse and b) hilarity.

After three months, animals not usually encountered in urban areas will have ventured into the apartment. Wolves roam freely, scavenging for food and drinking out of the toilet. An antelope buries its snout in a half-empty box of Cheerios. A mountain lion knocks over the milk, rendering the entire kitchen and part of the connecting hall uninhabitable for several months.

5) The executive in the Lair of Inappropriateness keeps swearing angrily under his breath. It makes me really nervous.

???

March 25, 2008

On the way to work I was scrolling through radio stations, and I happened upon these two dudes talking about family life. And this episode was focused on:

Our Teenage Daughters: Are They Shameless Hussies? Yes They Are.

It’s been a while since I was a teenage girl, but I just don’t remember teenage girls being aggressive Jezebels, pursuing sad-sack teenage boys until the boys burst into tears. Which was pretty much the claim of the guy on the radio.

???

Also, the man in charge of giving out advice suggested that fathers spend a lot of time hugging and kissing their daughters, even after they (ominous pause) DEVELOP. Yes, he agreed that it was a horrifying prospect, but it was a man’s duty.

And THEN, and this was the exact, amazing language he used, the dude recommended that men date their daughters. Why, he himself had been dating his daughters since they were three and four years old. And if he had one regret in life, it was that he hadn’t dated his daughters more.

PS, he also went off on a tangent about how wives are to blame for all of this, because they DRESS LIKE HARLOTS.

Man, wholesome living is clearly a lot fancier than I realized.

Seersucker.

March 24, 2008

So the other day I was at the fabric/craft store (I am so cool, you guys! It’s crazy.) and there was this mom with a tiny (but sturdy-looking!) girl preschooler. And the little girl was marching around holding a wreath. And she kept informing people:

“This is a wreath.”

It was the best.

I don’t really understand people who don’t like kids. Sure, I get people not wanting their own, but how can you not find kids entertaining? That’s like their whole THING, to entertain.

This weekend, my neighbor Pete (he of the AXIAL DANCING) brought us an Easter egg and a picture of himself with the Easter Bunny. In the picture, he was wearing a really outstanding seersucker suit and a tie he picked out himself and flip-flops.

When was the last time an adult of your acquaintance gave you a picture of himself in a seersucker suit?

(Well. I guess if that happened it would either be super-creepy, or, like, your… Southern law professor, and you’d go “OH. Thank you, Professor. How thoughtful.” but still be totally creeped out.)

BUT. From a seven-year-old, it’s fantastic.

***

OH NO, you guys. My favorite-ever military person has been asked not to return.

I don’t know anything about him. Or his politics. Or work history. He’s my favorite because I’m shallow, and his name is-

Are you ready?

VICE ADMIRAL JOHN “BOOMER” STUFFLEBEEM.

It is unlikely that the world will ever know another highly-placed naval officer with such an excellent name. Sigh! Admiral Stufflebeem, I wish you Godspeed into a highly-paid civilian consulting gig.

1. Other people do not find Who Wants To Marry A Dullard as hilarious as Naomi and I do. Naomi theorizes that this is because she and I have a particular fear of being married to dullards, so joking about it burns off some anxiety. Which makes sense. Only I don’t understand how being married to a dullard isn’t a UNIVERSAL FEAR, like death or banging your shins on sharp-edged furniture.

2. Jane Espenson is talking about how you pitch things.

I am possibly the world’s worst ever pitcher, a powerful cautionary tale* to– to everyone else. I’ve already mentioned the time that I was telling someone about a female-wrestling comedy in the vein of Blades of Glory, only I didn’t mention that it was a comedy. And the dude was all “Oh, okay. Like Fight Club with ladies? Cool.”

NO. Not like Fight Club with ladies, good lord.

So! Apparently I make comedies sound like edgy dramas. But! Bizarrely, when I pitch things that are serious, you know- I am sort of incapable of being serious for more than four or five seconds at a time. I just can’t do it. So I’ll make it through one sentence and then not be able to handle it anymore. I’ll pitch things to a friend, just to run an idea up the flagpole, and they’ll hear my TOTALLY SERIOUS INTERNATIONAL SPY DRAMA IDEA and go “So… this is a romantic comedy?”

WHAT? No. Was it the part where I said “The spy wore flattering, hi-tech pants”? That was– that was just because I couldn’t take being serious anymore! The inner tension gets to be too much, and I snap! And throw out some weird phrase!

I must stop doing this.

3. This weekend I watched The Italian Job. It was quite good UNTIL Edward Norton is all “Blah blah, I am making fun of someone’s handlebar mustache”. And, you know, his character has totally… unique facial hair going on. LET HE WHO IS WITHOUT A VAN DYKE CAST THE FIRST STONE. That’s what I always say.

*This is one of my favorite weird phrases.

“Look out, someone dropped a jar of peanut butter in that aisle.”

“Hmmm, a powerful cautionary tale.”

“…”

I must remember not to use it while pitching.