Saturday, January 09, 2010

Weekend Potpourri

I know many of you keep blogs of your own, and so you've probably seen things where you go, “Oh, man, I am SO blogging on that,” and then you can’t even manage to get a tweet out on Twitter because you can’t find the time? That’s kind of my life. Unless it’s to do with the Lost rewatch or photos of people holding my book. ;) In that case I will always post!

So now here’s just a bunch of odds and ends I’ve been meaning to chat about.

Shows I’m Watching and Not Telling You About:
I really need to do some more blogging about shows other than Lost, but I’m still watching (and adoring) Modern Family, and I’ve started watching The Big Bang Theory and LOOOVE it with all of my heart. I’ve been PVRing it for months, and finally sat down to watch a whack of them. There’s one that opens with the guys playing Klingon Boggle that had me laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. And then when they were on the train with Summer Glau? Brilliant. I think Jim Parsons is a genius as a comedian, and the entire ensemble just works for me. I feel like I’m laughing with them, mostly because I’m kinda one of them (I say "kinda" because I, sadly, have never attained the glorious level of geekdom they have... I'm secretly jealous of people who know so much about comics and RPGs -- I've never played D&D or anything like that). I just watched the Wil Wheaton one and it was hilarious. What a great show.

But more importantly... FRINGE. I used to blog on this show in the very beginning, loved the pilot and second episode, and then after about the fifth episode it kind of fell off my radar and felt too episodic. However, I always intended to go back and watch again, until the DVDs for season 1 were released a full four minutes before season 2 began (what was THAT all about?!) so I’ve been trying to catch up on season 1 while PVRing season 2. Anyway, hubby and I finally watched all of it during the holidays when all other shows went on hiatus, and from mancupines on airplanes to bald ratboys in the sewers and everything in between, I am in LOVE with this show. We finally finished Grey Matters last night, so I’m all caught up. Next week it comes back, and I cannot WAIT! (This is honestly the first show in a long time where I’ve thought, “Hey, I’d like to write a book about THAT!”) I’ll post more coherently on it next week in anticipation of the return. But I DO have to say here... now that I’ve seen how the parallel lives theory is absolutely central to Fringe, doesn’t Flashforward feel even MORE like a greatest hits of both Lost and Fringe? And yet it doesn’t do it as well as either of the other shows. Anyway...

Friday Night Lights: I haven't posted on it because it's still being shown on DirecTV and isn't yet on NBC, but honestly, it's AMAZING. Please please please watch it when NBC airs it because you will not be disappointed. They had to insert a few game-changers and make it a new show, and it works on every level. I cry in almost every episode, and yet I'm also laughing out loud. My HUSBAND cried in two episodes... there's no other show on television like it.

You Guys Kill Me
According to my numbers, there are hundreds of you lurking out there and just reading and not commenting (this is me waving hello!) and I hope you’re enjoying what you read. But I must say that the past few days have garnered some of the funniest comments on these posts I’ve ever read, here and over on the Lost Rewatch. So if you’re just reading my posts, you’re only reading about half the entertainment over here. Definitely click on the comments and see some REAL craziness. Sometimes a totally innocent and innocuous post can turn into something completely different in the comments section!

Where’s My Best of the Decade List??!!
So, somewhere around the first of December I saw my first "Best of the Decade" list, and it caught me completely off-guard. It's like seeing a best of the decade list in 1996 for the 90s. It just didn't make any sense. I thought it was a mistake, and then I saw another one, and another one... and I'm thinking, but the new decade starts NEXT year, doesn't it?! And then it occurred to me... no, we all celebrated on December 31, 1999, like it was the turn of the millennium. We had no choice; we'd been brought up on Prince, knew all the words to the song, and since in two thousand zero zero the party would be over, oops, out of time, we were gonna party like it's nineteen-ninety-nine, dammit!! So everyone acted like it was the turn of the millennium in the wrong year.

But for some reason this decade just didn't feel final to me. When we're kids, the first thing we learn is to count from one to ten. Not zero to nine. If you had 10 items in front of you on a desk, you wouldn't start counting with 0 and end with 9 and consider it done, and then count from 10 to 19 to count the following ten items. No, those ten items wouldn't be finished until you counted to 10, and similarly, our decade isn't actually finished until we hit the end of 2010.

I know I'm being a stickler -- to be honest, I kinda hated the people who bemoaned celebrating the turn of the millennium on December 31... I mean, come on, dude, ALL of the numbers in the year were changing!! It's like staring at your odometer when all 6 numbers are about to turn over!!! It's just not a moment to be missed. (I make my own fun.) And it comes down to naming the decades. 1990 just feels like the first year of the "90s." 1970 is the first year of the 70s. Saying 1970 is the last year of the 60s just sounds... wrong. So I get why people are doing it, and why, culturally, we've embraced that.

But that's why I haven't composed my best of the decade yet. I will... but it'll probably be late. In fact, it'll definitely be late because EVERYONE ELSE has already done it.

Why I'm the Luckiest Blogger I Know
And while I wanted to post this at the time, I thought it might look like I was mining for more Christmas presents from people, so I decided to wait until the Christmas season was over to show you what I got. A few of my readers actually sent Christmas cards to me at my publisher's office, and some of THOSE were accompanied by gifts. Marebabe sent me a list of her favourite YouTube videos, which is PERFECT for my "While You're Waiting for my Lost Post" pre-posts that I do every week. Humanebean put together a mixed CD of his favourite Christmas music, from the traditional to the wacky, and I loved both of these. JW sent me a signed copy of his Lord of the Films book (surprisingly, I work with many authors who I never get to meet face to face, and therefore I never get to own signed copies of their work, so I was THRILLED to get this!) And then there was Sonshine Music, who made me my own tote bag, and when I opened it at work, I did something I never thought I'd do: I actually said the acronym "O.M.G." out loud. And then the other people who work there had the same shocked looks on their faces:

Isn't it glorious?! I hope many of you will be able to make it to the Lost conference in Hawaii in 2011, because I will be wearing my bag there! After all, a Dharma researcher has to wear the badge somehow, right? ;) Thanks again to everyone who was so thoughtful. You guys are seriously awesome.


Lee said...

I have to agree with your take on Big Bang Theory. I started watching it this year during the commercial breaks for Dancing with the Stars, and I always got a big kick out of it. Now that I can watch it uninterrupted, I'm realizing how hilarious it is.

Outside of my favorite night of the week (whichever night Lost is on would qualify), Monday is quickly becoming my other favorite. Dancing with the Stars...Big Bang Theory...Castle...all great shows that I look forward to.

Oh, and hopefully my little innocent post doesn't spawn a whole lot of you know what! Heaven forbid I should ever stir the pot in the comments section. Egad!

humanebean said...

Aw, you give so much to your readers and fans almost every day, Nik - we're thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to you. What a fantastic bag! Nice job, Sonshine!

I am TOTALLY with you on the 'decade' issue, Nik. I completely understand if folks want to celebrate whenever they like ... but the fact that most people are completely unaware that the decade really ends as of Dec. 31, 2010 drives me NUTS. (it's a very short drive) I mean, if you're going to place some artificial importance on the turning of the calendar ... wouldn't you want to recognize when the calendar actually turns?? There never was a 'Year Zero' - so regardless of what calendar you are using, each decade (and each millenium) starts with a year that ends in a '1'.

I have a feeling that we here in the LOSTverse, being sticklers as we are for minute details, are probably WAY ahead of the curve on this one. Who's WITH me, people??

*rant over now* ; ]

Unknown said...

Nik, Did you watch last night's Dollhouse yet?!?!?!? You need to be blogging about that!!! Hurry up and watch it please!

Anonymous said...

humanebean: A decade is just a period of 10 consecutive years, it doesn't "really end" on some particular date. 1995-2004 is a decade. Heck, June 1, 1998 to May 31, 2007 is a decade. The only reason you would want to start a decade in a year ending with "1" is if you're counting decades: 2011 will be the start of the 202nd decade since the year 1. But unlike millenia, I have never in my life heard anyone name decades that way.

Ali Bags said...

Just got home from the pub and read your post and realised what an awesome person you are. Thank you for existing and blogging. I realise I am drunk but I still really mean it.

What an awesome bunch of people you have gathered here. You're a star!

fb said...

fandom is a very cool thing and in my experience, the people in it are overwhelmingly generous, thoughtful and funny! i'm not at all surprised that your posters are that awesome, nik! :) (and i LOVE the tote bag -- that has to be one of the most creative and cool fandom-related things i've ever seen!)

i am THRILLED you are finally catching up on the big bang theory! it is hands down my favourite show on TV right now (you'll notice mad men, dexter, true blood and lost are all not on at the moment, so i can truthfully say that). jim parsons is a genius, but i'm also very enamoured of simon helberg's wolowitz -- his comedic timing is fantastic and he really inhabits his character without making him a total creep (he's sort of pathetic but loveable). i've never been a geek on their level and i admit some of the science jokes go over my head (thank god for this: -- david saltzberg is the consulting physicist on the show and his blog explains a lot of the science behind the gags -- really interesting site!), but this is one of the few TV shows each week that is absolute must-see for me. my favourite episodes are the christmas one (season 2) with sheldon and penny and the gift exchange, and the one in season 3 where howard and raj go to a goth bar (and of course the wil wheaton one!), but really, they're all pretty awesome!

Anonymous said...

The Big Bang theory is pure genius!! I think it might be my favorite sitcom of all time.

Ambivalentman said...

I bought "Fringe," watched the pilot with my girlfriend; she became my ex, and I never watched again. Now, Nikki, because of your glowing recommendation (a book!), I have to endure thinking about her again just to enjoy some great TV. Damn!

S Donk said...

I figured its about time i stop just reading and start commenting! I've been following fringe almost as obsessively as lost since the season one premier. This season has been great and I'm so pumped for it to come back next week (even though it will interfere with The Office...)

Also, I'm dying to get my ass to Hawaii in 2011 for the conference. I e-mailed someone about getting there but I never got an answer. Do you know how us common folk (as in non-academia) can snag a seat there?

Ambivalentman said...

By the way, I made some best of the decade lists myself because A) I like making lists, and B) counting from 0 to 9 is keeping it real (numbers).

asiancolossus said...

That is an OMG tote bag Sonshine, well done!!! :)

And Nikki you have so many fans and lurkers because unlike many bloggers out there, you give back and make the effort with your fans, from casual fans to fanatics. Its karma!

Its not going to be the same without Lost, and there isn't one show out there right now that can replace it.

And to Nikki's blog family, you are the best bunch of guys and gals! I hope that we can all meet some day.

Anonymous said...

I dont know how, or I would send this to you, but there is a really funny (imho) Lost related video on 'How not to die on Lost (spoiler alert)' check it out

humanebean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
humanebean said...

@anonymous: you are quite correct, of course, that a "decade" is simply ten sequential years. However, I was using the term in the context that is applied when most folks are counting decades within a century and thereby centuries within the millennium.

This is stipulated by those who call the period "2000-2009" the 'first decade of the new millennium'. Most popular citations of these past ten years are either explicitly citing that context or certainly implying it. It would be the exception to the rule (within this context) to cite any random ten sequential year period as the "decade" for description. I haven't yet read or heard any media citation such as "The Top 10 Best Songs of the Last Randomly Selected Sequential Ten Year Period (that mostly occurs within the recently-turned millennium)".

Personally, I would be fine with that.

Verification word: "themeansa" - what 'theendsa' justifies

The Question Mark said...

Nik, I love your blog, and will always enjoy reading your entertaining posts and commenting on them! I have to catch up on my Fringe, but hopefully there'll be a "Finding Fringe" series down the line!
Thanks for all the memories & laughs we've all had so far, and let's keep on truckin!

Nikki Stafford said...

fb: I agree about Wolowitz. He's priceless. And did anyone else think he was actually kinda cute as a Goth? Cause I did... His mom constantly screaming in the background (and his mentions of her brisket) are some of the best moments in the show. I just saw the one where he and a blind date bonded over their mutual crazy moms. :)

Farley: Oh man, NO! I have to now... OK, I'll go off and watch now.

Pamalamb said...

Nikki: Thanks for blogging on "The Big Bang Theory." I've really loved that show from the start. It has great characters that are acted perfectly by the cast, wonderful writing, and very funny situations -- everything you want from a sitcom. I was really pleased to see that Jim Parsons won an award recently (was it an emmy?), he is so much fun to watch!
I am really liking "Modern Family" too -- really funny show!

I really like Fringe also. I've had a hard time keeping up with every episode, but what I have seen I really have liked. I love the interaction between the characters. As a former "X files" fan this is the first show that really reminds me of "The X Files" yet it goes beyond that and adds even more.

All praises you receive are well deserved Nikki! Yours is the first blog that I felt comfortable commenting on because you and your readers are so welcoming, intelligent, thoughtful, and funny. Thank you so much for all you give through you books and blog.

JennM said...

I love Fringe! I bought the S1 DVD on a whim, and loved it. However, I likely won't watch S2 until it's released on DVD. I have a hard time watching TV any other way, to be honest. Except Lost. I make time for that one:) I watch most new shows online. Additionally, I am unfortunately a bit of luddite—definitely no PVR'n happening.

So there seems to be so many shows on hiatus right now, and for the duration of the Olympics. Any way you could remind us via the blog when shows such as Glee, Flashforward, and Glee are going to be back with new episodes a few days before they are on? As well, do you know the definitive Lost sched? I know it's on Feb 2, but then does it also go on hiatus for the Olympics? Thanks, Nikki!

Robert said...

Modern Family, Fringe, Big Bang Theory.

Yes, yes, and YES.

JennM said...

"Any way you could remind us via the blog when shows such as Glee, Flashforward, and Glee are going to be back with new episodes a few days before they are on?"

Ooops. I didn't mean to put Glee in my list twice. What I meant to ask was is there any way that you could remind us when shows such as Glee, Flashforward, and V are going to be back with new episodes a few days before they are on?

Sorry 'bout that. Been listening the Glee 1 and 2 soundtracks that I got for Christmas. Must have Glee on the mind:)

fb said...

nik, wolowitz was adorkable as a goth! :) and i love how his mum is like maris on frasier, heard and never seen. heh. apparently, she is voiced by the actress who played joey tribbiani's agent on friends.

also, for BBT and twitter enthusiasts, check out:

(not run by the show, just by fans -- hilarious!)

Rebecca T. said...

Awwww... thanks everyone. I had so much fun with that bag. haha.

@Nikki:It's like staring at your odometer when all 6 numbers are about to turn over!!! It's just not a moment to be missed. (I make my own fun.)

I was coming up on a big changeover and then FORGOT to watch for it on the day it changed! I was SOOO disappointed and then I felt silly for being disappointed and then I felt disappointed anyway

Marebabe said...

@Nikki & Sonshine: Your talk of odometers reminded me of a funny thing that happened several years ago during my a.m. commute to work. But I have to preface this by asking, do you enjoy Family Guy? There was an episode in (I think) Season One, where Stewie was stranded far away from home, so he tries calling home. But he doesn’t know the number, so he starts out very methodically dialing: “111-1111. Lois? Damn! 111-1112. Lois? Damn! 111-1113. Lois? Damn!” I forget how far they stretched out that gag, but it was great fun. So anyway, I’m driving along one morning, and I glance at the odometer just in time to see it roll over to 1111111. That totally made my morning, and I arrived at work that day with a goofy grin on my face. I really dig stuff like that!

Verification word: ermer - one who erms for a living.

Joan Crawford said...

@Sonshine - I LOVE that bag! You're so creative and motivated. I think about doing stuff (let's put slides in our house form floor to floor!) but I never end up doing it.

@Nikki - Uh oh, we can mail you stuff? I think my creep factor just went through the roof.

"Nikki, here's another package from Joan..."

"Oh God, is it another takeout menu with dirty words scribbled in the descriptions of the dishes?"

"You know it."

"At least she isn't sending me photographs of her latest trip to the podiatrist along with a riveting transcription about what happened and how she "Wishes I was there because I would have LOLed till I passed out."

Unknown said...

@Joan Crawford

lol... Though if you did send a riveting tale of your trip to the podiatrists, she probably would be dying with laughter.

@Nikki: I saw that one with the boggle in klingon! My dad was channel surfing and it came on and I was laughing sooooo hard. Amazing.

(Verification word: igthd, when one is igified)

Paithan1 said...

I'm sooo hoping you will blog about Dollhouse again soon because I can't find anything about it out there. And the episode that was just on this last week was INSANE!!!

oldrunner262 said...

Thank you for setting everyone straight on the decade issue. It really bugs me that people don't know when the next decade begins. It will be Jan 1, 2011. Thanks.

Joshua said...

I'm so glad you've finally gotten around to 'Fringe', just as I'm glad I stuck with it myself. I thought the first season was really up and down, with a few particularly stand-out episodes (I'm looking at you, "The Equation"), but John Noble was so uniformly excellent, I never could bring myself to give up on it. Then those last few eps of the season were such a high note to go out on, and season 2 has really maintained that latter level of quality and intrigue, I think, in a way that season 1 seemed to struggle with so much.

I'd LOVE to see your book on it!

Austin Gorton said...

I was a bit lukewarm towards Big Bang when it first started (though my wife has loved it since the beginning). In the beginning I (and the show) wasn't quite sure if it was laughing WITH the guys, or AT them; being a colossal geek myself, some of the stuff early on that everyone else loved I didn't find as funny.

By the second season though, they made it clear the show was laughing WITH them, and that's the point where I really started digging the show, week in, week out. Now it's one of my favorite sitcoms (along with HIMYM, Modern Family and Community).

Shelb said...

So, Nikki, the 80's were from 1981 to 1990? Decades when it comes to the year is different than counting to 10 or how a Millennium works. Sorry.