Posts Tagged ‘The Simpsons’

Farewell to the Boss

Praise him or curse him, George Steinbrenner accomplished what he set out to do when he purchased the New York Yankees the year I was born.  His fiery, hands on approach helped lead the Bombers to 11 pennants and 7 World Championships during his tenure.  He holds the record for the most years as owner of a franchise.  Early this morning, The Boss succumbed to a massive heart attack.

Mr. Steinbrenner was, for better or worse, responsible for turning the team around after it was struggling under the ownership of CBS.  During his 37 year ownership, it has been well publicized about the revolving door of managers.  He changed 20 times in his first 23 years including the five time dismissings of Billy Martin.

Also memorable is the grooming policy for the team.  Hair length and facial hair were closely monitored.  Goose Gossage’s beard which turned into his trademark thick moustache; Don Mattingly’s mullet (which was lampooned on the classic Simpsons’ episode, “Homer at the Bat”).  When Johnny Damon was acquired from the Red Sox, I often wondered the price the outfielder was payed to clean up.

In 2006, George turned the day to day operations over to his son who seems to have inherited the same fire and approach.  So, it would appear that the Steinbrenner Empire will continue.

Christmas Celebrations

I LOVE CHRISTMAS.  I still look at the holiday with the wonder of a child.  For the entire month of December, I still do believe in the magic of Jolly Ol’ St. Nick but still marvel at the wonder of the true meaning of the holiday.  I even have my sister wrap my presnts and I do still snoop (ok, I admit it).  After getting off work at 2 on Christmas Evc, the immediate family and their kids opened presents and had the first of three feats throughout the weekend.  What a haul!  The highlight of my haul were two Scene-It games.  I had asked for the rather awesome looking Star Trek edition the moment I heard about it and submitted a question to the makers of the game when it was being developed.  I also received a pleasant surprise.  I had picked up the Simpson’s edition for my nephew just after Thanksgiving.  I unwrapped the one of my own for Christmas.  I have played it with some friends and ADORE IT!

Midnight Mass (well, 11PM mass) was beautiful as usual.  The past few years singing “Silent Night” at Communion have been really difficult.  I am immediately taken back to the four Christmas concerts in high school singing the carol by candlelight.  I can still see Emily behind the piano.  I then went home and caught my sneak-in viewing of A Christmas Story.

Christmas Day was feast number two and a day typically set aside for watching movies people had received.  We were treated to Santa Buddies courtesy of Alex.  I was exhausted and slept through half of it.

More fun and merriment to come with the Swary family Christmas.

The Only Fella At Auditions

Does this mean I got a part? If not, I will turn in my license to act tomorrow. Truthfully, I was the only male at tryouts. That is not to say that there were not other audition dates. In fact, this was the last one and the best time for me to go.

The play is entitled You Have the Right to Remain Dead. It is billed as an audience-participatory murder mystery comedy. The director describes the play in the play as Tennessee Williams on steroids. At least two character names made me think that (Fat Daddy and Blanche or Big Daddy from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Blanche from Streetcar…has anyone seen the Simpsons’ episode in which Marge plays Blanche and Ned Flanders plays a bare-chested Stanley in a musical version).

The audition was almost too relaxed…. but NOT complaining. We sat around a table in the community room adjacent to the stage. Being 90+ degrees outside did not help to cool off the room a whole lot. However, it sure beat the alternative of walking upstairs. I was up there last winter and noticed the warmth then. So, we just sat around the table chatting a bit, going over the plot and characters for those of us who were in the dark, and read some scenes from the script. I said too relaxed because there were times that I forgot that I was actually auditioning and almost cracked myself up just reading the lines.

In attendance were the directors, another female auditioner who I knew as the costume designer from Meet Me in St. Louis, Mare (who was there to give moral support and serve as an additional line reader since she is in WCCT’s Little Shop of Horrors whenever that is going to get started), and myself. We waited for two hours for others to come, but… We were having so much fun that we just kept reading lines, changing characters, and allowing me to become acquainted with the show in general. After, we sat around the table becoming acquainted with each other.

And I should be finding out tomorrow which if any part I get and the read-through is August 24th. Perfect, I hate long waits.

Yet Another Rainy Day And Monday

Well… after a long and blessedly eventful weekend, I had my regular Monday off.  I usually spend an hour or two cleaning my mother’s beauty shop.  I did not mind today since the weather outside did not look to inviting after a decent Saturday and Sunday was a blah one, too (I guess the old adage that if it rains on Easter Sunday you can expect 6 Sundays of the same does not mean the same if it is opposite… meaning: If it does not rain on Easter Sunday, you can expect 6 Sundays of no rain.  Kind of like a groundhog predicting the weather).

So after spending some time chatting with a sick friend hoping to dispel some of her dreariness and getting to see a teaser of rhe short film we began shooting on Saturday, I read a bit while the suds were on television (YUCK) and found that the Yankees were on tv tonight.  After the first series at the new stadium with the Indians ended in a 2-2 split (we WILL NOT mention the happening of Saturday afternoon.  Remarkably, they now stand at a 7-6 record), I was looking forward to the beginning of a new round with the Oakland As).  Hopefully, the announcers would be a bit more even in their commentating than the seriously one-sided announcers on the Cleveland net.  I may sound biased but those announcers were terribly pro-Indian.  Unfortunately at 7PM, ESPN announced the bad news: The NY/Oakland game has been postponed due to rain.  Guess I should have kept a better eye on the weather in the Bronx: at 2:00, it was cloudy, but rain was forecasted.  I was in the same predicament as Taylhis last night.  Maybe I will catch up on some of the 70+ Simpsons episodes I have waiting on the DVR.  Honestly, who has time for regular tv viewing anymore?  Well… the occasional Thursday night from 8-9.30 but aside from that…

After The Game Office Games

While the Benihana Christmas episode is about to begin, I saw on my email that a surprise guest is coming to The Office for the hour-long post Super Bowl episode.  Jack Black will be dropping by the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin and what the plot will concern is anyone’s guess.  Will he be bringing surprises of his own?  Will we see a wedding, perhaps?  Maybe an appearance Jan and her baby and a resolution to that plot line?  What do my fellow watchers think?  Sorry, D.

Many post big game episodes have done really well.  Most also feature celebrity guests like “The One after the Super Bowl” episode of Friends featuring Julia Roberts.  The brilliant series Alias (that was cancelled way too soon) had a memorable post game episode.  Unfortunately, J.J. Abrams seemed to put the spy series starring Jennifer Garner on the back burner while making way for his new series Lost.  There were also Simpsons post Super Bowl shots.  Hopefully, the Dunder Mifflin crew can bring another great addition to the post Super Bowl hour.

Mr. Strap First Name Jacques

Ah… The Simpsons.  Bart’s periodic calls to Moe’s Tavern never get old. In one of the episodes from this its 20th season, the never aging 10 year old finds Denis Leary‘s cell phone and hilarity insues. Today while at work, I received a telephone call that is very similar to the prankster’s antics.  I answered the phone and the jokester asked: “Do you have Orville Reddenbacher in a jar?”  Knowing who was on the other end, I decided to play along and went to look.  After replying that we did not I said: “If we had him in a jar, he would be rather well preserved; freeze dried and all.”  The popcorn baron passed away in 1995.  Oddly enough, I thought he had been popping corn in the great beyond longer than that.  At least the customer did not ask if we had Prince Albert in the can.  HAHA.    Who amongst us has never endulged in performing this harmless little prank?  HAHA

Quoth The Raven

Ever since Fox network acquired the rights to the World Series, the Treehouse of Terror (aka The Simpson’s Halloween Special) has been pushed to the first weekend of November.  The annual episode is actually three terrifying yarns told to send chills through the hearts of audiences.  Ironically, my favorite to date is the original, particularly the Simpson’s unique spin on Edgar Allen Poe‘s classic, The Raven.  In it, Homer is driven insane by the raven which strangely resembles Bart.  It also featured the first appearance of Kang and Kodos, alien invaders from Rigel VII.  In their first episode, the beings were not bent on world domination; however, Lisa’s suspicions got the better of her and the alien’s left in disgust.

SPOILERS AHEAD: Tonight’s episode featured three new tales.  My favorite was the final homage to another classic Halloween special.  The names were changed to avoid any lawsuits.  Milhouse and Lisa sat in the pumpkin patch awaiting the arrival of The GRAND Pumpkin.  Only in this tale, the creature comes alive after poor Milhouse sheds a tear after he is abandoned by his love.  After witnessing the torture pumpkins go through for Halloween (turning into jack-o-lanterns, etc), the giant gourd vows REVENGE. Most of the other aspects resemble the Peanuts special (even down to Bart’s holey Charlie Brown ghost costume and Ralph Wiggum’s cloud of dust as Pig Pen).  The Grand Pumpkin also featured the annual appearance Kang and Kodos.  And in yet another nod, Marge practiced her trombone which simulated the adult voices of the Peanuts cartoons.  While not as memorable as past years, I never miss a Treehouse of Terror.

The Whole Universe at Your Feet

Following Tuesday’s adventures, our band went to a park I have never been to (unless you count California’s version of 30 years ago… ITHASN’T BEEN THAT LONG).  All I can say is OH, MY GOODNESS.  Universal Studios Florida features 2 worlds and something for everyone that is even cheaper than going to Disney (but I love Disney, too).  The first ride we caught was Jimmy Newtron’s Nicktoon Blast.  If you have young kids who enjoy watching the cartoon characters on Nickelodeon this is a must stop area.  Not only was the ride fun but in the shop following the ride, I saw Spongebob Squarepants.  Outside (not Nicktoon characters but still…) we saw Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, and the Mystery Machine.  Unfortunately, they were on their way out before we could get a photo.

Next ride was one that has been hyped since I was invited to go in late August-early September.  Let me tell you, if you enjoy the thrill of a roller coaster and the chills of a haunted house… you must ride Revenge of the Mummy.  The only problem being… and this is not the last time it happened… I was the jinx who caused the coaster to malfunction.  I’m not sure which ride started it off… maybe taylhis will be able to remind me… but it seemed that if there was a chance that a ride would stop, there I was in the middle.  This was even more memorable because Chris and I were trapped in the hot room.  But we eventually came to the ride’s climax.  It is a doozy.

The third highlight (not that I did not love ALL OF THE ATTRACTIONS… I could spend hours elaborating), was based on one of my favorite animated series.  The entire area surrounding the Simpson’s Ride is devoted to Springfield.  Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa… don’t think we saw Maggie were all there.  There is also a Quik-E-Mart featuring Squishees that we had to have.  We have been trying to figure out in which episode of the series Mr. Burns proclaims that his lunch consists of “One boullion cube.”  Anyone? But the simulated roller coaster is just a blast too.  It actually creates the sensation (however slight) of being on a coaster while being immersed in an animated adventure with the cast.  Animated thrill rides have come along way since even Star Tours was introduced at the now named Hollywood Studios at Disney World.