Thursday, June 26, 2008

Imaginary Bitches have Bite.

Imaginary Bitches, the web series created by Mr. Eden Reigel (aka Bianca from All My Children) and starring Eden, didn't impress me much in the first few airings. There were some funny moments, but over all I thought the real life friends were annoying as hell (even my beloved Liz Hendrickson), and the acting subpar.

Giving it a second chance, I watched all eight of the episodes on youtube, and I've decided I've judged way too quickly. As the webisodes have gone on, it's actually gotten funnier, and really come into it's own as a genuinely hilarous comedy of bitchy proportions.

The premise is simple: a single girl finds herself increasingly left out by her boyfriend obsessed clique of friends, and to cope, she invents imaginary friends to talk to. The problem is, the friends are actually insane bitches, and Eden finds herself increasingly unable to control what they say, or what they do.

The neat thing about this, isn't just the fact that no one considered that Eden's just crazy, but that the bitches and what they think of the people Eden encounters become mildly fascinating for the people around her. While everyone insists the bitches aren't real, their cutting observations are met with insane paranoia, and in some cases, a general state of horniness.

By far the best episode was the one that aired just before the series went on haitus (or the Bitches went on strike). In it, Eden reunites with the karmic-obsessed real life bitch who stole her last boyfriend, and the Imaginary Bitch exact some karmic justice of their own. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I do dig that the Bitches really do have Eden's back, despite all their bitchiness. It also brings up the question, are the bitches actually real? How can the Real Life Bitch see them? Man. That' s way too much thought for a five minute webisode.

As previous reported, the bitches have become enamoured of their own sucess (with blurbs in TVGuide, and USWeekly) and have gone on strike until they get more money. The press conference for your convenience:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Idina Menzel @ Humphrey's Concerts By The Bay

Okay, is anyone else getting overrun by ants in the heat wave? I mean, geez. They're all over the place!

This morning I was picking them off my bed! I don't even know how they got there!

Buggy problems aside, I did have a good time this week. Thanks to a couple of friends and deep appreciation for Wicked and Rent, I got the chance to check out Idina Menzel in concert. Now, I'll admit it readily, I'm not the biggest concert fan. A lot of it is, I'm sure, the ADDness peaking through, a part of it has to be my big distaste for crowds, but I didn't buy the ticket, and I do LOVE Idina Menzel. I love Idina Menzel enough to go to England to see her perform as Elphaba in Wicked, so I suppose I could sacrifice a weekend to head to San Diego and see her sing her little heart out. (Thanks to angela for the pics).

In case you don't know Idina (and you should), Idina Menzel is a broadway Tony award winning singer/actress (but sadly, not the best dancer), who originated the roles of Maureen in Rent and Elphaba in Wicked. She is also featured in Enchanted (as McDreamy's fiancee), but mostly, she's known for those two roles, and her incredible singing chops. Oh, and she's married to this kinda hot actor guy named Taye Diggs. Yeah. Tough times for Idina Menzel.

The concern took place by the bay, at a restaurant/hotel called 'Humphrey's'. It took place outside, and the view from the bay really was gorgeous. The crowd itself was eclectic, not really surprising when you think about it. Little kids were there, sporting Wicked Witch hats, and holding Grimmerie books (song books from the musical). There were a lot of couples there; gay, straight, older, younger, and also crowds of young females, which made the event ... loud, to say the least.

While we were waiting for Idina to show up, we were 'treated' to the opening act, which was okay for an opening act. Not really a band as much as a couple guys with a guitar and a violin, singing songs that sounded as if they belonged in "A Prairie Home Companion." The most amusing part of this was the seagulls who landed on top of the stage and glanced down with perplexed birdee expressions, wondering what all the fuss was about.

An hour after we were seated, the crowd exploded in a slowly increasing roar of cheers. Was it IDINA?! No, dammit. It was that insanely hot TAYE guy. You know... the one who gave Stella her groove back. He actually had the balls to sit in the audience. Touche, Mr. Diggs.

And then, Idina came out. In skin tight gray pants and a beautiful swagger, and man can that girl sing. She's also a bit of a spaz, but that's to be suspected. She was nursing a cold (I really have to stop french kissing my fans, she said) and seemed increasingly distracted by the view from the stage, interrupting her monologues repeatedly to tell the audience how gorgeous the water was ( I wish you could see it, she said generously), and basically winging her performance.

She really is a great performer, and man do the people love her.

Most hilarous parts? Her responses to her crazy audience shouting requests:

Audience member: Sing Defying Gravity!
Idina: No, you don't get to tell me what to do. Shhh.

Audience member: Will you sing at my wedding?
Idina: No fucking way! Please! Are you kidding?

She did however, produce a couple really touching shout outs - one to a couple who had just celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary, and another to a gay couple who had just gotten married that day.

I really did gain a new appreciation for her album, Brave. It just comes off so much more powerful when she sings it live.

And her encore rendition of 'Defying Gravity'? Left me breathless.

Idina is a spastic kind of adorable diva, and man was I glad I got to see her do her thing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

RIP, Froggy Friend...

I lost a frog this morning.

One of my African Dwarf frogs and that freaks me out because he was only 2 and a half and so far has been the happiest camper ever. I bought these floating lily pad things that are supposed to help the fry hide, but the happiest inhabitants of those bushes seem to be the small cherry red and zebra striped shrimp I've got, and my two frogs.

They hang out up top like lily pads and just chill for hours. Tubby also uses it, since he's blind and can only use one limb he tires out easy and so he digs himself into this one spot and just kinda... hangs there.

Of course that requires way more hands on care with a fish than I've ever done before, because every morning at feeding time, and at night, I have to help him wiggle his way out so he can eat food.

Still, I'm bummed about the frog. He was a sweetie and now his mate is alone. Plus I can't figure out why he died, which means I need to really clean the tank tonight, and test the PH, because the last thing I need is a mass killing, considering I've got two baby fish in there who are still developing.

Tanks are work.

Mona the african dwarf frog.

Rest in Piece, Max, my Froggy Friend.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Keeping up Comic Geek Appearances:

And in celebration of the fact that I'm finally getting to go see Iron Man this weekend, witness Marvel and DC finally find common ground:

It only took electrocuting SpiderMan in the balls to do it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sex & the City turns Girls into Geeks

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm not a fashionista. I'm not even close. Everything I've learned about fashion comes from two sources: My sisters and The Devil Wears Prada. That doesn't mean I can't dress well on ocassion (my sisters wouldn't let me out of the house if I couldn't), just that the only reason I know who Tom Ford is because it was a piece of trivia on the brilliant but cancelled Ryan Murphy series Popular.

Sex & the City therefore, to me? Was just a show. A very fun show with pretty (but sometimes silly) clothes and impossibly painful shoes, but just a show that I liked to watch. I never considered it a Bible because a) I don't live in NY, b) if I thought in never ending puns like Carrie Bradshaw does I'd drive myself crazy (and there are enough voices in my head) and c) I don't give two wits about clothes. Sure, I own a coach purse or two, but on a day by day? I shop at Ross (do you love it?).

Still, when the movie debuted, I was reasonably excited. Not enough to buy the first series of tickets out on the market, but something I fully intend on seeing.

Now, I'm having second thoughts. I don't think I'm quite dressed for it.

The gaggles of women who have flocked to the Sex & the City screenings in designer shoes and high priced dresses astounds me. Some even bring cocktails. Yesterday I was forced to wait for the elevator behind three girls in identically shaped dresses and tottering on absurdly high heels, and they weren't going to for drinks or to a club; they were going to a movie.

Maybe it's not as absurd as I think it is, but after seeing hoards and hoards of women in skimpy dresses and unreasonable heels battle escalators and stadium seats for the sake of watching 'their' movie, I can't help but think of ... those star wars geeks that everyone makes fun of. You know the ones. The ones who go around dressing up like Jedi's and Yodas and Stormtroopers and stand in line for days to watch movies and go to cons and learn new fake languages. You know, the ones that all these chicks make fun of.

... and they're doing the exact same thing.

Geeks, own it. Sex & the City has done an awesome thing. It hath turned them into us.

See you all at Comic Con.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Gina Carano: Crush Kicks Ass

Photo by all_elbows at flickr.

A lot of eyeballs were on Gina Carano, aka 'the Face of Women's MMA' on Saturday Night, when she came into the ring four and a half pounds heavy to fight the underdog opponent Kaitlin Young on the first ever EliteXC Primetime ticket on CBS.

It was a huge deal, and not just because of the fact that Carano's star status had increased dramatically because of her 'Crush' appeal from American Gladiators. She's missed weight for her last three fights, and this coupled with mounting critiscism from hardcore MMA'ers that she's playing her 'pretty face' too much for more than just a fighting career, produced a barage of online lashings that was almost tide turning resentment for the media darling.

Kaitlin Young, a fierce, humble but inexperienced fighter, was getting blog interviews, tons of online hype, and even bloggers warning others to place their bets on her now because they were headed for an upset. Blogger after blogger laid their predictions for the fight stating that Young was the almost sure winner, basing this on Gina not making weight and also her three week training period (Opposed to Kaitlin's 9 weeks).

The result didn't appear to be that surprising. Gina Carano did appear to be winded and out of breath towards the end of her first round and into the second, but her experience as a Muay Thai master and her ever evolving grappling skills became more and more apparent as, even as she began to tire, she delivered blow after blow to Kaitlin Young. Young herself put up a great fight. She fought hard, but Gina kept a steady slew of front kicks aimed right at her mid section that kept her from using her agressive punching form, and Young couldn't recover to readjust her strategy. Gina beat her on the ground, and in a stand up fight, where Young is the strongest, Gina simply out powered her.

Young was saved by the bell at the end the second round, as Gina held her in a rear naked choke that Young refused to tap out of, only for the doctor to call the fight in Gina's favor.

Enough to quiet the dissenters? Probably not. Some people are determined to hate Gina for her success and her inability to make weight (in my opinion, the far more justified critiscm of the two) , but I'll never condemn her for doing more than just fighting. She's bringing a lot of attention to a women's sport that some people still argue shouldn't exist, and whether or not she's the best MMA has to offer, she's certainly the most marketible, and has the skill to back it up. Let her do her video games and her Gladiator, so long as she keeps coming back to the ring, I'll still be watching.

And hey, Kaitlin Young got a new fan as well.

Check out the Fight on youtube: Part 1 Part 2 - the fight was called after round two.

Related Articles:

Crush the Critics
Overhyped: A bloodyelbow's fan analysis of how the Kaitlin Young hype got out of control.
Gina Carano and Kaitlin Young finally give the fans a reason to cheer.
Girl Power: Gina Adds Spice

If You're Into It: The Flight of the Conchords Takes on The Orpheum

Last night I was lucky enough to score a tix to the closing show of the touring band (not duo, never duo) Flight of the Conchords. This pair of New Zealanders found their status (and sex life) increased dramatically when they starred in their own HBO comedy, appropriately titled 'Flight of the Conchords'.

Quite simply? They're awesome. And everyone thought so. The fanbase raged from pimply teenages gleefully sporting 'It's Business Time!' t-shirts (a catchphrase from one of their more popular tunes) to the older world weary couple raising their brows at the goth kids snorfing down storebought turkey sandwhiches as they waited to get in. My friend Matt, a Flight of the Conchords fanatic, was absolutely giddy, and talked endlessly about the fabulous tour reviews he had kept up with. I was authoritatively told that I should expect two opening acts: A comedian (also known as the racist fruit vendor from their show), and a folk singer from New Zealand who sang very pretty but wasn't really working the same angle ("In case you haven't figured it out by now," she later said to us, "I'm not a comedian."). But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Downtown can be a bitch for cheap parking. Luckily I was able to convince my mother to drop us off in front of the theatre. It was like high school all over again.

The doors opened at 7ish, and from there we went straight to the gift table. Good thing we did! the line had already wrapped around the room and there was only one haggard girl working the table. While we pondered what Fllight of the Conchord minted items to buy (there was a limited edition tour poster AND a real vinyl LP), we learned from the lone girl working that her help had quit an hour before the show. To which I say, 'What kind of bitch lady is this woman to have someone quit an hour before the show?!' Skeevy. I got myself a black t-shirt and my buddy grabbed a hold of a tshirt of his own and one of 'dem limited tour posters.

After that, it was time to wait for the bathroom for an hour and guzzle down half abottle of water before we found out seats, nestled with a great view right in front of the balcony.

After a ton of chitchat, in which we revealed what our favorite Flight of the Conchords songs were (Mine was 'If You're Into It', his was the crowd favorite 'It's Business Time') and more tour gossip (the crowded waiting an hourand a half for signings last night!) we finally got our opening act.

She was cute. She was folksy. She was... okay. Best part however was Bret MCing from the wings in a deep, dark voice, obviously having fun with the intros.

Then we got a comedian, who unintentionaly got his biggest laugh of the night when he went on about the Cold Stone Creamery folks and their idiotic compulsion to break into song and dance everytime someone tips them (are they TRYING to drive people away with that crap?), and compared them to a crappy Weird Al Yankovich song. The room exploded in cheers. Confused, the poor guy just stared at the crowd for about ten seconds, before he asked, "Is Wierd Al here or something?"

Yep, there he was, in the corner balcony, waving as the spot light hit him.

Comedian: ... oh. I knew my joke wasn't that funny.

And then came the Flight of the Conchord guys, who continue to amuse with their inane blabber (they went on for ten minutes about how they're not a duo, they're a band, and how come three guys can be a band and one guy can be a one man band, but two people have to be duos), and their hilarious songs. Every so often, some besotted fan would scream out for one of the guys to take off his shirt (I did already, Jermaine retorted. In my dressing room. It was hot so I took off my shirt), but as a whole, the crowd was a lot less rambuctious than I thought they would be. Most were just pleased and awed to be standing so close the their comic musical idols, and with good reason. Despite their unassuming appearance and casual demeanor, these guys are crazy talented. They could play any instrument, pulled out digital saxes and mandolins, and mold their voices to match any sort of rythym: funk, ballad, theme...

It really was a great night, and I felt lucky to be there.

One song I didn't expect to hear, but I did, and was thrilled to see was 'She's So Hot (Boom)'. While we got a whole lot of ass shaking, hopefully this clip from HBO's show will do it justice: