TV watching + 3 words

Eking a short one out tonight, despite being super tired and uninspired. Curse you NaBloPoMo …

Matt and I cut the cord a while back, but we still watch television shows on the interwebs. (I’ll write another post later on how we went about cutting the cord and how it’s working out.)

Here’s what we’re watching at the moment, plus three descriptive words:

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Joss Whedon devotees.

Parks and Rec – My happy place.

Key and Peele – See yesterday’s post.

Castle – ‘Moonlighting’ for 2010s.

Warehouse 13 – Nerdier X-Files (Lite).


Hanging with the K & P

A friend posted recently about how much she loves Key and Peele. They are definitely among my favorite comics at the moment. So thrilled that they’re able to do their ridiculously smart comedy that plays in and around race politics with hilarious and astute style. I think the other reason I relate so well to their writing – especially Keegan-Michael Key who is almost exactly the same age as me (he’s 7 days older) and from the neighboring home state of Michigan – is because they nerd out about the same stuff I do. (Others I appreciate in this vein are Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Simon Pegg and Joss Whedon, but not many are tackling race as well as K & P.) Plus, I can see how their work is rooted in great improvisation. It’s what makes their comedy go beyond jokes into great stories and interesting characters.

Here are a few of my favorite clips:

A new vampire challenges the sexy vampire status quo

Dude can’t get a word in, even in song

Colorful code names causes offense amongst superheroes

Lots more from their show on the Comedy Central website, including full episodes.

Artmaking family-style

A family that plays together stays together, right? Check out the fabulous talents of these fine family acts.

This awesome video is making the rounds on my Facebook feed again and it’s so worth sharing. DMK is a Depeche Mode cover band. DMK members are Dicken Schrader and his adorable kids Milah and Korben (also members of the ‘cool name’ club). Here’s their creative cover of Depeche’s ‘Everything Counts’ played on awesome DIY musical instruments:

Queenie Liao and son Wengenn
Though little Wengenn is asleep in the fabulous photos, his dreaming body serves as inspiration for imaginative mama Queenie Liao. Check out her whole series of photos called ‘Wengenn in Wonderland’ here. I think they look best in their still photo form, but she also did make a video complete with Ken Burns effect and lullaby music:

Adam McKay and daughter Pearl
This one is close to Matt and my comedy nerd hearts. (Can you do a ‘cover’ of comedy skits? Because Lilli would bring a special something in this role.) Written and directed by daddy Adam, Pearl co-stars with Will Ferrell in this cautionary (and laugh-out-loud-hilarous) tale, ‘The Landlord:’

My new favorite super hero: Sikh Captain America

The hilarious, whip smart comedian Hari Kondabolu caught up with ‘Captain Sikh America’ for Totally Biased on FX. (HT Colorlines.)

Sikhtoons editorial cartoonist Vishavjit Singh dons the cape to ‘fight hate crimes,’ he says. They wander around New York to see if folks are ready for this new superhero. It’s a funny bit, but always a little sad to see how ignorant some can be when you do these person-on-the-street types of segments.

If you’re not familiar with Hari Kondabolu you should definitely check him out. This is the first thing I saw of Hari’s a few years ago, a brilliant short film about an Indian American on the rise (who looks an awful like comedian Hari):

NPR did a good piece on Hari for their ongoing series on race ‘Code Switch.’

And listen here to an interview my pal Sarika did with Hari for APA Compass on KBOO Community Radio in Portland.

Tina and Twain

Thanks to my pal Sarika for pointing me to this! (She’s part of the APA Compass crew and also writes for Hot House.)

Last week, Tina Fey received the venerable Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Whoohoo! Though, I’ve been rather disappointed with 30 Rock of late, I still do ♥ Tina Fey, a most righteous and deserving recipient for this stuffy (Kennedy Center/PBS, represent!), yet impressive award.

A little background on the Mark Twain Prize : The Kennedy Center established the award “to recognize those who create humor from their uniquely American experiences.” Past honorees the prize, which was first awarded in 1998 to Richard Pryor, include other amazing comics, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin and Steve Martin.

On a side, statistical note: 3 of the 12 awardees have been African American, and 3 have been women. Not, too shabby. However, only 2 prize winners were given the award when they were age 50 or under, Tina being the youngest at age 40. Due to the “American” nature of the prize, I’m guessing it will be a long time before we see anyone of any other ethnicity honored with this prize (Margaret Cho? Cheech Marin? Mindy Kaling?), especially given the current climate towards immigrants in this country.

Back to the brighter note of Tina Fey’s awesome achievement, here’s her spot-on acceptance speech from this year’s presentation:

Watch the full episode. See more Mark Twain Prize.

The full program:

Watch the full episode. See more Mark Twain Prize.

Stuff to see around PDX in the next few weeks

I thought I’d better start this list of things I want to see over the next couple of weeks. Of course, it includes some shameless (yet, deserved) plugs.

My hubby’s improv group Super Project Lab has a new show for just two weeks more (Saturdays at 8pm) at the Winningstad. It’s called “Dear ___” and in this format the players incorporate the audience’s letters, email, postcards and correspondence into the show. Plus if you bring a letter in, you can get 2 for one tickets. Another bonus – a portion of this run’s proceeds benefit the awesome program Write Around Portland.

This month’s Hip Hop Cabaret at the IFCC celebrates women’s contributions to hip hop. Seems like a great way to honor Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. Sunday March 8 at 7pm.

The annual Clowns Without Borders benefit show is coming up Friday, March 20th at 7:30pm at the Da Vinci Middle School Theater, 2508 NE Everett, Portland. “The best of new vaudeville and modern circus to fund two Portland-led Clowns Without Borders projects in Haiti.” CWB is just amazing and this annual showcase is always a lot of fun. Bring the whole fam!

Da Vinci: The Genius
is a much-lauded traveling exhibit currently on display at OMSI. The exhibit explores everything you ever wanted to know about Leonardo. An intriguing display is the “Secrets of Mona Lisa Gallery” in which French engineer/photographer invented a 240 million pixel camera to photograph the Mona Lisa Gallery. I don’t really get it, but it’s peaked my interest. No if I could only track down some comp tix…

sick and tired

yup. that’s where i’m at today. sick and tired, despite the lovely sun brightening the day.

first up, i’ve had to throw in the towel on my first attempt at nablopomo. i forgot that i was actually leaving the internet tubes for two days and was therefore unable to post on those days. and once i got back it took me a bit to catch up on things. so, i’ll be trying again for december and i’ll try my best to post most of the rest of this month. it’s hard to post everyday!!

next up, i found an interesting discussion on racialicious musing on a race equivalent to the bechdel test. the bechdel test refers to cartoonist alison bechdel’s origianly strip in which the two female characters talk about the requirements of movies they will see. (the racialicious post includes the original strip). check out the blog post here and let me know your thoughts.

so i’m a slacker already

i already missed one day in my blog a day posts for the month. i can’t help it. i was traveling back to portland from cleveland and couldn’t put down my adorable nephew maceo long enough to post before we had to get on the plane and part ways with the family again.

so with that i’ll give some capsule reviews on the plane movies we got on our flights. mostly not too bad…

Diminished Capacity stars Matthew Broderick and Alan Alda as a nephew an uncle pair who are both suffering from memory loss and mental issues, one due to a head injury and the other due to Alzheimers. They go on an adventure to sell a baseball card that may or may not be extremely valuable. Solid movie with that charming, quirky indie-wood feel. Alan Alda is great, a nice departure from his recent sleazy conservative yuppie types. And I’m always a fan of Matthew Broderick (since his early turns in Lady Hawke and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)

Get Smart is a pretty fun romp based on the old tv show. Not quite the same campy feel, but still pretty fun, especially when you’re sitting in uncomfortable plane seats. Steve Carrell does a some slightly new things with his rendition of the somewhat bumbling 86 and Dwayne Johnson (yes, the Rock) is pretty hunky and funny in his role as one of the star agents. Oh yes and then there’s Ann Hathaway who is also fine as agent 99, though she seems slightly miscast in the role. Masi Oka (Heroes) takes a turn as, you guessed it, a geeky sidekick who helps develops some of the spy toys used by the agents. Still he’s always fun to watch.

Mamma Mia, we watched Mamma Mia. I wanted to get into it (I am a big fan of musicals. For an awesome treat check out Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog) but I have to admit I found a lot of it cringingly cheezy. That being said, Merryl Streep is super fab as Donna, the mom of Sophie who is trying to figure out which of Donna’s three past lovers is her father. Another favorite hunk of my past Pierce Brosnan (Remington Steele baby!) plays one of the the potential dads and while he’s still pretty damn handsome, the man is NOT a singer. Ah well, now I’ve seen it. And I’ll never have to see it again.

Finally the last film we saw was Henry Poole Is Here. It follows the story of, you guessed it again smart readers, Henry Poole a man who’s terminally ill and moves back to the street he grew up on to die alone. The story goes that a water mark on his wall is interpreted to be the face of Jesus Christ by one of the busybody, but sweet neighbors Esperanza (played wonderfully by Adriana Barraza). It’s another well-intentioned indie film, that’s refreshingly slower paced and thoughtful. Luke Wilson stretches his acting chops slightly to play a cranky, depressed, disheveled man. I think in the end the story was a bit to faith-based with the whole “you just have to believe” theme throughout.

So many things to do and see

Here’s a list of interesting things to check out in Portland over the coming weeks: