… Thanks for All the Fish

(credit to Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish“)

A Happy Anniversary to Triscribe, as we get all excited about an exciting future. Or, at least, notwithstanding the unfortunate state of the economy, we’re living in some interesting times…

NY Times’ Edward Rothstein on an exhibit on Babar — and the implications of Babar; I think I want to see this exhibit at the Morgan Library now.

I’m not a Yankee fan, but I’ll give them respect; what a sad thing to say goodbye to Yankee Stadium and reflecting on the history and legacy.

At least the Yankees won their last home game. The Mets… oh, those Mets. A sad farewell to Shea Stadium, as the Mets lost to the Marlins in a nail-biter loss. Ending the 2008 season much like the 2007 season is just sad.

Congress – the House, anyway – rejected the so-called bailout plan (or whatever you really want to call it; calling it a “bailout” plan apparently turned a lot of people off). Goodbye, plan; back to the drawing board to find something to save the economy from collapsing.

And, but not least: the passing of Paul Newman – salute to an American icon (even if he never saw himself as one, he touched people with his acting, his philanthropy, and his passions).

Finding Xanadu 上都 and Five Years of Triscribe

Last night P- got me tickets to see Xanadu the musical as an advanced birthday present, as the show is closing this weekend. I got to see the talented Kerry Butler, who I actually knew in high school – she was the lead in all of our high school musicals when I was on the stage crew. It was hysterical in how it embraces the Olivia Newton-John movie score, rejects the movie, and yet imbues the Three’s Company-era Venice Beach of the 80’s.

Cheyenne Jackson & P-

Me and Kerry Butler

According to Wikipedia, Xanadu was Kubla Khan’s summer capital Shengdu. From Marco Polo’s description, it seemed to be a resort of sorts. This became the inspiration for the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem.

If you are looking for a message from the musical, it is the search for “Xanadu”, which is defined in the story as “finding true love, and creating and sharing art.” I guess that is what we have been trying to do with Triscribe for the last five years, and it has worked: I’ve found true love (who I’m going to marry in 2 weeks – we’re picking up the rings today), and we have been able to share our love for food, travel, news, writing, and just about everything else.

As always, thanks to my compatriots SSW & YC for keeping this going!

Fall TV!

The tv people have to make up for last season’s strike reduced season. So, I’ve had some viewings and there was the big premiere (or as Time’s tv critic James Poniewozik puts it: “the best tv show of the fall”): the first of the Presidential debates!!!

I’ll leave it to the professional pundits and talking heads and critics to say what they will and we’ll all see the polls’ results. But, my impressions… well, Jim Lehrer was trying to stay on top of things pretty well, starting off with gusto. Confession: I stuck with PBS for the coverage, more or less. It’s Lehrer’s home; so, why not?

Not a bloodbath by any stretch of the imagination on either side. Neither really impressed me on the economics portion of the debate – Lehrer couldn’t pin them down on specifics (when this economics mess is still evolving, I don’t really expect the candidates to be too specific; but it was as if Lehrer wanted them present a solution Right Now).

I thought McCain did very well with the foreign policy portion, as expected; well, McCain was being McCain. Obama kept it steady; a bit too wordy, but he was okay. How he persuades the Average Voter viewing the debate, I don’t know; I’m not exactly the target audience (I know who I’m voting for; I’m just watching ’cause this is gripping stuff and it’s living history).

Other debate impressions: no silly sound bites; focusing on the issues. Pretty good, actually – they both came off mature – a matter of agree to disagree (and agree where you do agree). I think they came off even. That may bore the easily bored, but hey, this is how our democracy works. You have to take it seriously.

I missed the David Letterman tirade about McCain’s bailing on his show on Sept. 24:

But, I did see the Sept. 25 episode – and he was still on his tirade! Best quote: “Here’s how it works: you don’t come to see me? You don’t come to see me? Well, we might not see you on Inauguration Day,” Letterman said. Hehehe…

And, thanks to YouTube, I found this fantastic, funny, and on point monologue by Craig Ferguson: “If you don’t vote, you’re a moron!”

I watched most of the series premiere of FOX’s “Fringe” – brought to by J.J. Abrams and Friends, it feels an awful lot like “Alias” meets “X-Files” with a touch of “Lost” (well, when you have a Big Evil(?) Corporation, it’s hard to avoid the “Lost” correlation; and when you’ve the FBI, well, really, what did people think “X-Files” involved? Anyway, don’t be surprised by the “Alias” and “Lost” feelings – this is a J.J. Abrams project after all).

You’d think I’d learn and stop watching the shows that end up sucking me in. But, no, I think I’m a little intrigued. The cast is a bit more amusing than I expected. FBI Agent Olivia Dunham has the toughness and vulnerability of a Sydney Bristow (like our “Alias” heroine, Olivia loses her boyfriend in the first episode, and deals with the implications of that loss); Dr. Walter Bishop, the scientist, is a weirdo who’s funny and deeply troubled (“Let’s make LSD!” he said in the series premiere, when Olivia agreed to undergo the experimental LSD-involved technique to get info out of her comatose boyfriend; it was priceless in the delivery of the line); and his son, Peter, is smart and… well, as Walter says, there’s his medical history to wonder about. A decent summary up on Television Without Pity. The second episode felt even more X-Files-ish, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

And, really – Pacey from Dawson’s Creek as Peter Bishop! Joshua Jackson came off all right as a decent guy who doesn’t want to be a hero or a son or anything, but is still something of a decent guy (in the good sense, that is). Better to be Pacey than That Kid from Mighty Ducks, right? Anyway, there’s potential, even if the show’s awfully derivative. The casting’s impressive, to say the least, as EW’s Gillian Flynn noted.

The Emmy Awards on Sept. 21 — well, the show wasn’t nearly as great as I’d like; in fact, I wasn’t excited at all. Neil Patrick Harris got passed over for Jeremy Piven for Supporting Actor? Nuts! Josh Groban did a medley of tv show theme songs that was actually quite impressive, even though it was so irrelevant and ate up time that I would have preferred for winners’ speeches. Still – Groban was versatile and fun!

This past Monday was the return of “How I Met Your Mother” and “Heroes.” I’m scared to get excited again over “Heroes” – there seems to be possibilities of improvement. I have to catch up and watch the premiere episodes, but from what I watched, this season’s latest “Save the World!” hasn’t grabbed me yet.

HIMYM was a fun episode – Ted has to deal with fiancee Stella’s not being a fan of Star Wars (gasp! No! How can you not like Luke, Han, Leia and Chewbacca?). Marshall’s grappling with being an unemployed lawyer (honestly, if Marshall, a Columbia Law grad, is unemployed this summer, the economy really is going to tank! but, they didn’t make that joke, so…). Lily figures out that Barney is in love with Robin. Barney wants to be in denial, or at least he recognizes that he’s in love with a Robin who won’t be in love with him (oh, geez, a poignant unrequited love! aww! Neil Patrick Harris had to balance Bad Barney / Lovelorn Barney – and did it well). Robin is getting sick of being Tabloid Anchor on the HIMYM universe’s version of a lame NY1 channel; she accepts Barney’s honest encouragement to apply for a big shot job. Setting up for interesting plotlines for this season!

MSNBC catches up on the shows we missed.

The season premiere of “House” was pretty strong. The House-Wilson relationship’s on the rocks. Last season, I kind of thought that House was going to use Foreman, Cameron, and – even more likely, Chase – as his substitute Wilson (particularly Chase or Cameron as the conscience or moral agents; there has been less on Foreman’s Housian behavior). The second episode introduced the new character – House’s private investigator, who’s not exactly doing that great a job helping House patch things up with Wilson.

I want more ensemble work from the House cast. Really, I do. Plus, more Robert Sean Leonard!

As a final thing to note from what I’ve found on YouTube, that excellent time waster: an odd video, even if I did kind of like Emma Bunton’s cover of the song “Downtown” — Bunton (ex-Spice Girl) had something of an odd narrative going on in her video.