Monthly Archives: December 2012

Television in Review ‘12

My television watching is usually limited to sporting events, satirical political commentary, feature length films, and cartoons. Very little irks me like terrible television, so I do my best to avoid J.J. Abrams, stay Lost on the Fringe in Alcatraz with your Revolution! There’s a special place in hell for television shows that prolong story arcs solely for the sake of demographics. The following is my list of supplementary entertainment, from the worst of television to the best of this passing year:

Homeland

This show is the worst of the worst. Take a moment to list the pros and cons of the protagonist’s reckless behavior, ask yourself why she hasn’t been maimed, let alone indefinitely detained, then continue to suspend common sense if that’s what you’re into. While critics only now seem to be questioning the show’s gaping holes, rest assured I was up in arms since season one. No Bueno!

Walking Dead

As an athletically fit man, I can’t respect walking zombies after 28 Days Later mastered the genre; infected or undead, a walking foe limited to arm’s length is not a threat to any mobile person with a sense of direction. Maybe I ask too many questions: how long before the epidemic starves itself? Why hasn’t anyone built a moat? And who is mowing these lawns?! No Bueno!

Spartacus

Each episode of seasons one and two were individually epic. After two seasons set in captivity, I shuddered at the notion of open world locations, and how such a leap would damage a perfect storm’s execution; coupled with the unfortunate demise of Andy Whittaker, Spartacus is officially unwatchable. No Bueno!

Scandal

There’s a limit to the number of times I can listen to someone solve international political issues through their intuition. Shonda Rhimes continues to fine craft dramas perfectly suited for women; don’t be deluded, this is wrestling for females, like a parody of maternity. Trust me, believe me, I know, I can tell, it’s a feeling. No Bueno!

Game of Thrones

Many people will try to belittle your intelligence for not fawning over HBO’s greatest achievement since The Sopranos. People will argue that action isn’t everything, that the dialogue is succinct and will not coalesce with the dimwitted – for real? This show makes me want to consider reading the book, and definitely not watch this show; I would rather watch Jeopardy while reading a Lobo comic. No Bueno!

Newsroom

Best opening seven minutes of a television show debut ever. I remain devastated by the gradual slide from a news drama with romantic comedy, to a romantic comedy with news drama; now it’s Sex in the City with old news! May tune in to the first seven minutes of next season. Bueno!

Boss

Even after this messy season’s smug ending, I am gravely disappointed to learn this show was cancelled. The first season of Boss was a GEM. The second season didn’t deliver, and derailed like Heroes; as if, season two were similarly written on the fly. Bueno!

Shameless

Ever hear guys talk about how they would marry an actress based on her portrayal of a movie character, and you think how dumb that sounds? I would marry Emmy Rossum; Emmy Rossum, I would marry you. This dysfunctional family is FUNNY, SMART, FUNNY, and builds characters you want to slap, congratulate, or marry. Muy Bueno!

Mad Men

Played catch up with Seasons Four and Five this year, remains the sexiest show on television; see thirty two minutes into season five – episode five for clarity. Slight nitpicking: the producers should be desperate for better fight choreographers, they missed an epic opportunity. Muy Bueno!

Breaking Bad

Not much to say here, from season one through the first half of its final hurrah, it’s been business as usual: Best show on television. Second half of the final season resumes in 2013! Muy Bueno!

Honorable Mentions

  • The series finale of House was weak by the high standards set by this great show, Hugh Laurie will be sorely missed, and his deductive powers will thankfully not supplanted by Jon Miller.
  • Boardwalk Empire has been on my radar forever, will make the time in 2013.
  • The BBC’s Sherlock turned out better than America’s Elementary garbage!
  • Need to catch up on Nurse Jackie, her drug addictions recall fond memories of my cigarette and alcohol abuse.

The Importance of Preparation

The difference between tardy people and punctual people is preparation. We tardy people make basic assumptions about departures and arrivals; for instance, if we need to be there at four, and the journey is an hour long, then we should be oblivious to travel arrangements until three. That’s exactly how it happens; that or the two train from Flatbush Avenue gets held up at President, until you’re late, even though you left early. You know who I really respect? People who iron their clothes the night before wearing them; those people are going places, and they plan to arrive on time.

Any regular reader will know I have failed in my quest to write every day, please accept my apologies. What happens is, every day I plan to write at a certain time, preceding other responsibilities, then completely avoidable circumstances throw a wrench in my agenda! Content certainly hasn’t been a problem, as I have a long list of topics to cover at any given time; on the other hand, like choosing clothes in the morning, picking a topic can take anywhere between fifteen minutes to an hour of Spotify shuffling.

With the New Year approaching, it would be all too cliche to announce some sort of *time management resolution*, so I won’t. I will continue trying my best to deliver on my promises, and that means better preparation: more drafting and queuing posts ahead of time. So stay tuned for a daily stream of me! And if I don’t deliver in this space, then I promise to publish a regular post the next day, alongside a well written explanation for the day before; or a link to this post if I don’t have the time…

Mom’s Android

Mom’s Android is an Amazon Kindle Fire, purchased before the Apple iPad Mini, or the Kindle Fire HD were available. To better understand my mother’s computer skill-set, please understand that her first text message prompted a family meeting. Her Android was intended for listening to music, introducing her to email, and reading; at the time the price justified the lack of a camera and microphone. I should have known that handing her an impersonal stock tablet was callous of me. If she never got a grasp of the iPod Mini I bought and pre-loaded music on, then it was inevitable that she lose the Android *charger* and neglect the tablet entirely.

With her interests in mind, I began the customization process by setting her Pandora stations to her favorite singers: Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, and Michael Buble. Because she is fond of interior design, I installed Pinterest, created her account, and followed Oprah, Martha Stewart, Victorian furniture, and wedding decor on her behalf. Although the official Gmail app was nowhere to be found, the stock email app was operable. Finally, steering this family towards Google Apps for its ease of use and omnipotence, Amazon’s omission of Google Plus presented the problem to cement my disdain for this tablet!

After an hour researching solutions to this prominent issue, the XDA forums convinced me that rooting the Kindle was my best option. This excellent guide from Make Use Of illustrated the process in a straightforward manner, and even accounted for the expected hiccups. Although the DOS console, no matter how color coordinated, will disconcert some novice users, patience and discretion guarantee a simple resolution. Remember to finalize the setup with a firewall app to prevent updates from circumventing root access.

My mother was ecstatic to rediscover her tablet, and blushed about photos of her youth I scanned and privately shared on Google Plus. My next tablet purchase will most likely be a Nexus 7; I definitely cannot recommend the Kindle Fire to ANYONE ANYWHERE AT ANYTIME! Happy Holidays!

Dollar-Dollar Bill

Maybe I just want to see how far I can stretch this as an exercise in creative writing; or maybe I’m simply announcing inconsequential circumstances to the world: I carry two halves of a single dollar bill. Like my life long quest to avoid writing in cursive, my mind is simply set to preserve this invaluable possession; and anthropomorphically name it, Bill. My handicapped stowaway has accompanied me for well over a year now; and I sadly can’t recall the condition in which I received him, or if his tear was a victim of my handling.

My money is always well folded, with the larger bills preferably spooning their smaller counterparts; this really does wonders for imagery at cash registers. Besides, if you treat your money well, then your money should return the favor, and keep your wallet manageable at the least. Bill has more to look forward to than panhandlers, or desperate situations of merchant pity. Having accepted Bill’s full market value, I don’t intend on taping him together into an abomination of currency. I do wonder if I can get away with using one half somewhere, and the other half somewhere else, to miraculously turn one dollar into two dollars! I would ultimately like a frugal child to inherit Bill; if I have twins, then each would get a half.

Bike Dick

Please excuse the title; it’s my crude cry for attention in the blogosphere. I have no idea why bicycle seat noses exist. You would think it’s a bicycle’s “seat belt” of sorts, to prevent you from jutting forward under strenuous pedaling or braking. I ordered a bicycle seat from Amazon to alleviate the effects of what I call Bike Dick. Bike Dick should be defined as an aching dick felt after, and directly attributed to, long rides. A 40 minute ride from Brooklyn to Manhattan and back is typical for me. Now I don’t know why all bicycles don’t come standard with nose-less bicycle seats.

Bike dick is a real thing, researchers have found that prolonged bicycle seat exposure can have adverse effects on your libido, and I can’t have that! I don’t need a nose rubbing against my genitals, unless it’s a soft warm female nose.

I attached the seat earlier in the day, then abruptly decided to ride my bicycle at one in the morning. Took this bad boy out, and rode up and down an immaculately desolate Utica Avenue. I enjoyed myself, smiling the whole time thinking, “this is great! I’m not going to have bike dick anymore!” The new seating arrangement does take some getting used to. It does sort of feel like you’re missing a brace, especially when holding a phone with one hand, and desperately trying to brake on a downward slope with the other hand.

I haven’t been writing lately, which I attribute to extreme productivity elsewhere; still figuring out how to make up for my absence, whether I will be writing multiple posts, soliciting readers for suggestions, or a combination of the two. If anybody wants to ride in Brooklyn or Manhattan, contact me through any channel on jorenerene.com and I’ll try to let you know if I can make it!

Plagiarism

After publishing the Open Times Hack Day post, I received a lot of love, and excitedly opened an email addressed from Marci Windsheimer of the New York Times! Her email started with an exclaimed Hello! And continued to express how much her organization loves external New York Times coverage, then she accused me of plagiarism and avoided threats through suggestive compliance language. The thing is, she was right; by the very definition of the word, I had lifted text and re-appropriated it for event background in my opening paragraph. I learned two important lessons in the hours that followed.

The first lesson was composure, disavowing my first instinct to explain a misguided shortcut, in favor of accepting my error. I quickly responded to request judgmental leniency, and confirmed my immediate resolve to correct the mistake. Edits were quickly made, each blog was updated shortly thereafter, and links were re-issued with explanations to affected outlets.

The second lesson was exposure, specifically to the cold reality of business. Allow me to reference the words of William Butler Yeats: But I, being poor, have only my dreams. I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly, because you tread on my dreams. My responses to Marci included my possible desire to work at the New York Times pertaining to Journalism or Technology, that I deeply respected their organization, and felt fortunate to merely receive communication originating from within their walls. After completing a rewrite of the original paragraph and sending it off for her review, all I received was a two worded thank you, consisting of the words, “Thank you.” After addressing me like a fifteen year old girl with exclamation points and the word love, releasing dopamine and conveying feelings she quickly shattered, I felt something besides thanked. I felt as if she were a machine that erroneously labeled me something since it happened upon the exception instead of the rule, without getting to know me or any more of my work. In return, as much as I professionally appreciate the corporate policy correspondence, I personally look forward to an opportunity to leave Marci with two words that aren’t thank you – save the “you.”

First Quarter NBA 2012

Initial thoughts I jotted down during the off-season: Who’s supposed to beat the Lakers, besides the Lakers? My dark horse picks included Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Phoenix; my faith in underdogs has since been destroyed. Going forward, it’s safe to expect season defining injuries to Andrew Bynum and Kyrie Irving; and Michael Beasley, a former second overall pick in the NBA draft, will never blossom.

I’m technically writing this post because the Knicks beat the Lakers the other night, that game was my call to action. This is another weak year for the Eastern Conference. Dismiss Boston and Chicago miracles now. The East comes down to the Knicks repeatedly trouncing the Heat, which shouldn’t come as a surprise because of the recipe: Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler, replace Dirk Nowitzki with Carmelo Anthony, and Jason Terry with Raymond Felton. Amar’e Stoudemire coming off the bench solidifies a Knicks team built to make an NBA Finals appearance.

My Kobe sarcasm is off the meter, I thought he was a lock for a sixth ring; I just wasn’t ready for the six ring argument! Had they gelled, it’s not inconceivable to think Mitch Kupchak assembled the greatest five man NBA team EVER: two previous MVPs, two previous defensive MVPs, and a starting rotation of functional All-Stars! Their potential drastically shifted from chasing 72 wins to missing the playoffs; Phil Jackson is beside himself.

Then the Western Conference was gift wrapped to the Thunder right? Wrong. James Harden disappeared in the Finals, against the Heat, not against the Spurs. Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook neutralize one another, the Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Jackson tandem caps Kevin Durant outbursts, and expecting the unproven Kevin Martin to out duel Manu Ginobilli is akin to high hopes for Beasley. The Spurs couldn’t be in a better position to come out of the West, thank you Sam Presti. Houston is now a playoff team, and Harden should win Most Improved Player. Memphis is the wild card here; still, give me the Spurs representing the West in the NBA Finals.

As of now my NBA Finals picture reads Gregg Popovich over Mike Woodson, Spurs over Knicks.