Category Archives: Reviews

24 Season 8 Episode 1 4 PM – 5 PM and Episode 2 5 PM – 6 PM Live Blog

It's time again for the 24 Live Blog. I've been pretty ambivalent about whether or not to do it again this year as the quality of the show keeps deteriorating. And yet, there's something that won't let me quit. I'm going to give it a go tonight and tomorrow to see if I've still got it, and we'll see.

In case you're new, this 24 Tag will take you to ALL of the '24' related content on Unlikelywords. I count the number of people Jack Bauer knocks down (JBKCs), and this year, I'll also be counting the number of times someone says, damn it. (If I remember.) As always, let me know what you think in the comments!

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Best Books of the Year?

The Omnivoracious blog on Amazon compared their year end top 100 books list, with the New York Times 100 Notable Books and Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2009 to get a composite of the best books of 2009. There were 11 books that were on all 3 lists this year, plus 2 that were not on the Notable 100, but were on other NY Times lists. For what it's worth, there were 13 last year and 11 in 2007. No women authors made the cut, only 2 novels, and 2 graphic novels.
Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli
Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon
Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead
The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes
Born Round by Frank Bruni
Cheever by Blake Bailey
Columbine by Dave Cullen
Fordlandia by Greg Grandin
The Good Soldiers by David Finkel
The Lost City of Z by David Grann
Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford
Momofuku by David Chang and Peter Meehan (not in NYT's 100 Notable, but in their best cookbooks list)
The Jazz Loft Project by Sam Stephenson (not in NYT's 100 Notable, but in their Gift Books list)

Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story by Chuck Klosterman

Hearing how Chuck Klosterman's voice sounds on Bill Simmons' podcasts makes it a little more awesome to read this book. I thought the premise tying this book together was unnecessary, as Spin could have just sent Klosterman on a road trip. It's worth reading even if I don't know whether to pronounce Klosterman as Close-terman or Claws-terman.

Everything Don Draper Said Season 3

Mad Men Season 3
Here's Season 3 of Everything Don Draper Said (and Season 1 and Season 2 (PLUS Everything Tracy Jordan Said Seasons 1, 2, and 3)). There were a few episodes this season where Don's story wasn't necessarily the focal point, or he didn't have too many knockout scenes, and yet, as you scroll through, you'll still find some magic. He had about 500 more words than last season, but much less than the 10K words in Season 1. As always, what follows is a transcription of everything Don Draper said this season on Mad Men. There's no context, but if you're a fan of the show, you'll lose your morning looking at this. Enjoy!

Episode 1
"Come on, drink this."
"You're so sure it's a girl?"
"I could have done that."
"At least you don't look tired."
"Close your eyes."
"You're on a warm sandy beach."
"You're on a warm sandy beach. You can smell the faint scent of coconut oil. And as you slide your hands though that cold patch of sand underneath the shadow of your deck chair."
"Bert's on it's way. Where's Roger?"
"Well, it's a sales call, isn't there more I can do here?"
"Really? I have one."
"Come on in, Bert."
"This isn't easy."
"Is that the last of it? Because I don't like how much I'm getting used to these."
"Can you believe this? What is the world coming to?"
"That's not a bottle, it's his date."
"'I'm sorry honey, but I'm taken. I just pawned my typewriter so we can be together all weekend.'"
"Excuse me?"
"Uh, Bill. Call me Bill. And, uh, this is my associate, Mr. Fleischman."
"Well, we have to check in and we have an early meeting."
"The Belvedere."
"Hoffstadt. My brother in law. He borrowed a suitcase to go to Puerto Rico, but he never tires of putting his name on other people's things."
"Uh, no, it's OK. I don't usually tell people I'm an accountant."
"Of course you do know there are other kinds of accountants."
"Tell them what we do."
"Well, I'll have to swear you all to secrecy."
"You're right."
"You ever heard of James Hoffa."
"There is a lot of money missing."
"No, we're accountants."
"I don't know, I keep going to a lot of places and keep ending up somewhere I've already been."
"Well, this is me."
"I don't know."
"I've been married a long time. You get plenty of chances. It's my birthday."
"It really is."
"That's not gonna help."
"Stand up."
"Go on."
"Not yet."
"Come on, let's go. Come on, forget your shoes. Let's go. Come on!"
"Come on."
"I'm just here to show you the continuity of our service. With our without Bert Peterson, you are on our mind."
"Morris, you remember Salvatore Romano."
"Sal, this is Howard."
"Well, is it about our work? I mean, we don't want to take credit for everything, but 2 of every 3 raincoats sold last year had London Fog stitched on the inside pocket."
"London Fog is a 40 year old brand that sounds like it's existed forever. You've established with our help that it means one thing. Rain coats. New products aside, there will be fat years and there will be lean years, but it is going to rain."
"What time is it?"
"We should be back in the office by 3."
"I'm gonna ask you something and I want you to be completely honest with me. London Fog. It's a subway car, and there's a commuter looking up. There's a girl with her back to us. She's wearing one of those short tan ones, but it's open. Her legs are bare. We know what he's seeing. Limit your exposure."
"Help yourself. So, Cosgrove vs Campbell. Is Cooper playing God or Darwin?"
"Lane read about it in some management book?"
"Come in."
"Our stories are straight."
"Find how much it is to repair and it will come out of your allowance."
"Then don't break things."
"Come here."
"I will always come home. You'll always be my girl."
"I don't sleep well when I'm not here."
"Well, it was the middle of the night and it was raining very hard and I had just come home from work."
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Mad Men Season 3 Episode 13 Recap

Well now. I can't imagine many people were disappointed with how this one went. While last week was about disaster, this week was about break ups, new beginnings, and trying to change what appears unchangeable. The satisfaction Don feels at starting off anew juxtaposed with the end of his marriage.

-Of course Don finds out about McCann buying PPL from Hilton. And while the new agency would seem like an opportunity to get more of Hilton's business, that doesn't appear in the cards. We'll see next year.

-Speaking of next year, what's your guess on how long down the road the season starts? I bet Sterling Cooper Draper Price will have moved into an office and is more of a viable business. That would mean that we see nothing for the Draper divorce, though.

-Speaking of the Draper divorce, what will Betty's role be next year? I've voiced displeasure with her character before, but I can't imagine her being completely jettisoned the way Sal was.

-Speaking of Sal, interesting that they threw a bone to all the people who miss him with the momentary trouble of the art department being locked. How many of you thought that'd be his ticket back until Don kicked that door down? Or maybe he really is done on the show. One way to come back could be working for McCann, now that they don't have Lucky Strike. Kenny and his Haircut and Kinsey will also need to pop up from time to time.

-With Pete and Peggy ostensibly re-energized is that it for Duck? I'm still curious what Peggy sees in him, but her track record with guys is pretty awful, so I suppose she just has bad taste.
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The Punisher (2004) & The Punisher War Zone (2008)

Both of these moves were awful, and I'm offended Marvel hasn't put any effort into their best character. Also, I don't think having these movies made means they can't; there could always be a Hulk-style do over. War Zone was better, and I have no idea what John Travolta or Dominic West were doing near either of these projects.

Jonathan Safran Foer’s Book About Meat

I read Jonathan Safran Foer's piece about eating meat in the NYTimes Magazine's Food Issue and didn't quite get it. The title was clear, "Why Jonathan Safran Foer Chose to Give Up Meat", but that didn't seem to be what the column was about. Admittedly, I skimmed the whole thing, but my sense was that Foer had given up meat several times (every other paragraph, it seemed) and that he had settled on eating it once in a while, but not serving it to his kids. Frankly, the column seemed jumbled and stupid [POT! KETTLE!], an attempt to get a famous writer to talk about their personal psychic struggle with eating meat. So I giggled a little at Bookslut's take on Foer's latest book, Eating Animals:
I am trying so hard to be nice to Jonathan Safran Foer, by which I mean I am trying to forget he exists on this planet. His book Eating Animals, however, is making this goal very, very difficult. It was bad enough when he was writing shitty novels, but now he's indulging in my least favorite form of nonfiction: the "I have never thought about this thing before until now, and despite the fact that other people have thought about this for years and wrestle daily with the implications, I think my brand new thoughts should be shared with the world." Whatever the topic -- religion, marriage, gender, food politics -- the books are always shallow, yet for some reason a lot of people take them seriously.

Via my blogbuddy, who got it from Prettier Than Napoleon who said accurately:
The proper place for deep thoughts on issues that you just started examining but which have already been exhaustively discussed by more informed people is a blog. GYOFB, Jonathan Safran Foer.