Archive for November, 2010


My 10 Favorite TV Series

Just listing them for now, I’ll fill in the why at another time.

Only criteria is that they are available on DVD.

1. The Wire

2. Mad Men

3. The Simpsons

4. The Sopranos

5. The Office

6. Battlestar Galactica

7. Ugly Betty

8. Californication

9. Lost

10. Chuck

Also Receiving Votes: Extras, Fringe, Weeds, Black Adder, Batman the Animated Series, Entourage, Scrubs

Incomplete Data for Analysis: Arrested Development, Breaking Bad, Family Guy, Slings and Arrows, Friday Night Lights, Band of Brothers, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Boardwalk Empire

Dishonorable Mentions: Heroes, 24, CSI, Las Vegas, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Sex in the City


Reply to Sender

Please read this first, it will only take 90 seconds and you won’t regret it:

Then see my follow-up. I don’t usually like to leave comments, but I read this and it opened up a whole line of thought that I used to think about quite a bit, but just took a prodding from a Greatest Living American Writer contender (now wouldn’t that make a fun reality show competition? Fox: add boobs?) to inspire me to add to my Blackberry Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Relief Fund. I could have gone on, but then it would be a superlong comment. And no one likes that.

(Except me, though. I actually love them. I read them all, and the more new thoughts and interaction I can get out of them, the more alive I feel. I even read the spam ones, like the one about “Exciting New Oppurtunities in Sub-Prime Mortgage Funds!!!! And a longer, thicker cock to boot!!!” So don’t hold back. I mean it. I’m a sucker for repartee.)

I am posting this for two reasons: 1. I am not sure if it will show up on her blog (I picture some beatnik web admin takes one look at my IP address, assumes I am trying to promote cheap airfare to Phuket, and presses delete so they can continue illegally downloading the new Girl Talk album). 2. So you know where to find Susan’s blog on your own next time (follow her on Twitter at @susanorlean). Anyone who is an aspiring writer or derives real pleasure from artful, string-bead arrangements of 52 different letters (UPPER & lower) should check her out. Fo sho.


Dammit, I meant to write this first. Though not as brilliantly or milk-out-the-nostrils funny. (My audience thinks Jersey Shore is a documentary. (Kidding, audience.))

For business letters, I see the standard practice is Best Regards. But what is that really? To have or show the utmost respect or concern for someone? That would be nice if it were true, though I would be disingenuous to use it for a virtual stranger on an email.

Can we use Bestest Regards? What if they abbreviate it to Regards? Or even BR? Should I believe you are sending me your “best regards” if you can’t even bother to spell out the herculean number of letters in both words? (Though it seems HBD seems to suffice for telling someone Happy Birthday in this day and age. (Did the use of that phrase reveal my syntactic fogeyness?))

I’m sorry, I lost my train of thought. Too many paragraph symbols without an According to Hoyle emoticon, I guess.

Peace Out Yo,


Recently Lost Arts

While recording a ridiculous radio spot at Radio Thailand, ran into my colleague Junior, and caught up with some new faces in the news room. While I admiring his To The Five Boroughs CD, I spotted a Beastie Boys disc I had never heard of (true fan I am) but had to see what it was like. Some Old Bullshit is probably the most honestly, succinctly named album of all time. Not very good for the music, but as a history lesson it is great. The back cover of the sleeve includes a reproduction of probably the most earnestly written piece of hate mail you’ve ever seen. Denouncing, outrageous, rather witty, and yet somehow a bit sweet and actually not very caustic. So well done, Phoebe and Simon Stringer.

It made me feel like there’s some other stuff out there that a lot of people used to be very good at, but for various reasons not very many people see the art in them anymore. What do you think qualifies? Please add them to the comments below!

-A well-worded hate letter written on a manual typewriter.

-Remembering over ten phone numbers. In my head! (We only needed to know 7 numbers, of course).

-Drawing a cursive I (that’s a capital I, which if done right, looks like a toilet).

-Driving a stick shift. I know a lot of people still prefer it (and vinyl records and Betamax video) but there’s not the need anymore. In fact, a few decades from now, grandkids will ask us what it was like having to use a steering hoop.

-Setting the time on a VCR. Kids these days don’t know the Zen-existential frustration of seeing the “time as flashing 00:00.”

-Untangling a telephone cord. Clockwise? Counterclockwise? So many choices we had!

-Love letter. In an envelope. With tears and perfume. And a stamp.

-Repairing game cartridges by blowing on them. It’s like we were little magicians.

-Programming in FORTRAN or COBOL.

-And the most regrettable one of all, patience.