He was a big ol’ fluffy black dog, and he hung out with Brunie, my aunt’s other dog. They were never on any television shows or movies.
But this Moose was.
If you didn’t click on the link or if you did, but you like to have me tell you stuff, Moose was the dog who played Eddie Crane on Frasier. He was soooooo cute!
I know the sweet little guy went to that big kennel in the sky in 2006 (it was a tragic day! Tragic, I tell you!), but where did his career path lead before then?
First off, Moose was born as the youngest in his litter in 1990. He was a scrappy, naughty dog who would not stop chasing cats and chewing things. In a fit of frustration or something, his owner shipped him off to an animal trainer. A celebrity animal trainer. That is, a trainer of celebrity animals, not a famous person who happens to train animals. If you were wondering.
After six months of training, Moose won the role of Eddie on Frasier. That doesn’t sound like much, but remember, it’s, like three and a half years in dog time, so it was like going to college for the little guy. From 1993 to 2000, Moose starred on Frasier, and got more fan mail than his human counterparts, which is awesome yet kind of silly, because no matter how well-trained he was, could Moose read?
In 2000, Moose retired from television work to focus on his film career (leaving the role of Eddie Crane to his son Enzo, who was equally cute!). All right, that might not be why Moose retired, but he did make one film in 2000, wherein he played the titular role: My Dog Skip.
It starred that kid from Malcolm in the Middle, and also Moose’s son Enzo, who was clearly trying to steal the spotlight for himself. (On a tragic related note, it turns out that Enzo died on Jan. 13, 2011! This is the most depressing “Whatever Happened to …?” ever; also, how old is my dog????)
After My Dog Skip, Moose stepped out of the spotlight, probably to roll in some poop or eat it, and lived to the age of 15 or 16.
Now I have to go cry.
Alfred Pennyworth is a butler.
Waylon Smithers is a butler.
So what we have here, folks, is a battle of butlers. A butler battle, if you will.
Butlers butt heads! we could say, but we won’t , because why pick the low-hanging fruit?
In a battle of buttling, which of these two gents will reign triumphant? Will it be Batman’s butler? Will it be Burns’ butler? Will it be alliteration, which is just having a field day here?
Let’s find out!
Physicality. Smithers is a character in The Simpsons universe, and thus has four fingers and bug eyes. Alfred has the appearance of a distinguished butler, usually with a thin moustache, and has been portrayed in recent filmes by Michael Caine. Michael Caine is so awesome. Winner? Michael Caine. And, by default, Alfred.
Has a more butler-y name? Don’t you love how adding -y to a noun totally makes it an adjective, absolutely breaking no rules of grammar at all? (What do you mean it doesn’t? Shut up! You’re wrong! Wrong!) Alfred Pennyworth’s name is Alfred Pennyworth, which makes him sound like the proper-est British butler that ever lived, coming from a family of butlers who were named things like Jeeves Pennyworth and Butler Pennyworth. Waylon Smithers’ name is Waylon Smithers, and I think the only reason I think of Smithers as a butler’s name is because of him. Winner? Alfred Pennyworth.
Has a better boss? Alfred’s boss is Batman who, by day, is disguised as Bruce Wayne, ladykilling playboy extraordinaire. At night, he fights crime and often comes home with internal injuries and stuff, which Alfred has to treat. That seems like a lot of work above and beyond your traditional description of “butler.” Smithers’ boss is Mr. Burns who, by day, is disguised as Mr. Burns. Whatever, he’s totally evil, and has even tried taking candy from a baby! It’s got to be hard working for someone that evil, don’t you think? Winner? Nobody. They both have terrible, terrible bosses.
Isn’t actually a butler at all? Smithers is actually an executive assistant to Mr. Burns, but I think butler sounds better. (Alliteration for the win!) Winner? Smithers.
Has a big fat man-crush on his boss? Why, yes, I’m sure they do.
Suffers from a deathly allergy? Waylon Smithers is deathly allergic to bee stings. Alfred is deathly allergic to, I don’t know, the Joker’s poison gas or something. But everyone is, so that hardly counts. Winner? Smithers.
Fights a greater evil? Alongside Batman, Alfred fights the supervillains that populate Gotham City. And by “alongside Batman,” I actually mean “from the relative safety of the Batcave.” Still, that’s more than you and I do. There’s a lot of supervillains in Gotham City, which is totally a magnet for crazy. Or Batman is a magnet for crazy. Whichever. Either way? Lots and lots of evil. Smithers, at Mr. Burns’ side, actually perpetuates a lot of acts of evil himself. On the other hand, he has to deal with Homer Simpson on a daily basis. Winner? It’s a tie.
Speaking of ties, let’s go to the tie-breaker, shall we? Yes, let’s do.
Has better toys to play with when the boss isn’t around? Now, as we all know, Mr. Burns has loads and loads of money. He even once made a thing that blocked out the sun. (Why, yes, as a matter of fact, I can’t remember the proper term for that thing, why do you ask?) So we know that Smithers would have access to all sorts of toys when the boss isn’t around. Except we also know this: the boss never isn’t around. Where Smithers is, Burns is. Also vice versa. Then we have Alfred. And Batman. And the Batmobile. And the Bat-shark repellant. And the Batarangs. And the Batman brand condoms or whatever. Winner? Alfred, because holy bat-toys, Batman!
Overall winner? Alfred Pennyworth, but only just.
They’re dropping like flies. Flies with some sort of disease. Yeah, some sort of fly disease that … kills flies.
If there’s one thing I hate, it’s a demonic possession story. (Why do I keep introducing things like that? There’s obviously a lot more than one thing I hate.) Anyway, one of the many, many, many things I hate is a demonic possession story. Why is that, you wonder? Well, this one’s not just due to my anti-social nature. It’s because demonic possession stories are really, really scary and they make me cry.
They’re worse than slasher films. They’re worse than ghost movies. They’re worse than vampire movies, back when vampire movies were scary and not love stories. (When was that? The 1920s?)
They are really, really scary and I hate them.
Which brings me to The Rite. Of course they film it only in darkly lit rooms and put Anthony Hopkins in it, because why not make it scarier, you know? And then they put creepy makeup on the possessed chick and toss her out in the street, why not.
Not that it doesn’t have its share of ridiculousness, like Priest Supermodel’s awful hair.
Or Anthony Hopkins being all, “Ooooh, my hand is shaking, which only happens in cases of demonic possession and never to old people because Parkinson’s or essential tremor, eeek, I’m afraid.”
And it’s not exactly breaking new ground, which is fine with me. You’ve seen one exorcism movie, you’ve avoided seeing them all. That’s my motto.
But for those of you who are as excited as I am, you can preview the new Say Hi album here.
It wasn’t a great show. It wasn’t even a good show. But it was better than The Cape, because everyone in the cast was pretty.
And the prettiest of all was Victoria Pratt. Fresh off a stint on Cleopatra 2525 (I know, right?), Victoria portrayed Shalimar Fox, who was, if I remember correctly (and I don’t swear that I do, because who actually cares), a woman with cat DNA.
That might not be right. All I know is she could leap really high (with the help of stunt wires that you could totally see) and sometimes she meowed. OK, she might not have meowed. I really can’t remember why I watched this show.
Anyway, I lost track of Ms. Pratt after that, until today, when I either called her agent or went to her IMDb page. Or maybe I called her agent and he directed me to her IMDb page.
Where I learned:
She never competed as a professional trampoline athlete, but she has written a book on fitness and bodybuilding. And that kickboxing is her favorite form of exercise. And that her career in television started in 1998 with a series called Once a Thief, which sounds familiar, but probably just because John Woo’s name is attached to it. She then went on to the campy funness of Xena: Warrior Princess for a two-part episode.
After that, it’s a bunch of stuff I don’t care about, until her role on Cleopatra 2525, which is a show about an exotic dancer who had been put into cyrogenic sleep in 2001 being thawed out to fight evil robots who have taken over the world. I love that because of COURSE strippers fighting evil robots. I feel like I should have watched this show when it was on in 2001, but not so much that I’m living with regret or anything.
From 2001 to 2004, she starred in the aforementioned Mutant X, which was a really, really awful show, and I loved every minute of it.
After that, it was on to some guest roles on TV movies, including one called Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep, which is introduced thusly: “Thirty years ago, Ray Reiter witnessed the brutal death of his parents at sea by a strange, octopus-like creature.” (Possibly an octopus.)
Moving right along, Victoria got herself a role on the ill-fated Daybreak, but at least she got to be near Taye Diggs, who is gorgeous.
More recently, she’s had guest roles on CSI and NCIS, but, oddly enough, not SVU, so I guess that might still be in her future. (Hell, she’s even had a spot on that wretchedly awful Lie to Me.) In 2010, she starred in the TV movie Mongolian Death Worm, which only rivals Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep in ridiculously awesome names. Her most recent role is in Soda Springs, which looks like a western about Tom Skerritt, but what the hell do I know.
So there you go. She’s been working steadily and hasn’t even had to resort to teaching video aerobics classes.
There’s just something very evocative about a title like The Summer Son, so, before I picked up Craig Lancaster’s new novel, I was already filled to the brim with expectations. Great expectations, even.
But before I tell you about The Summer Son, let me say a few words about Craig Lancaster:
He’s such an overachiever. First off, his grammar is awesome. Secondly, he’s got a beautiful wife and two very cute dachshunds. Also, he rides a motorcycle. Oh, and he’s an award-winning novelist for his first novel, 600 Hours of Edward. So there’s that, you know.
And now, he’s written a new novel, The Summer Son. Told in swatches of time between the present (actually 2007, which is technically the past now, but don’t be so persnickety!) and a summer in 1979, the novel shares the story of narrator Mitch Quillen and his father, Jim. There’s a hint of a mystery in the book, with Lancaster leaving some plot points unrevealed until he absolutely has to. Most of the mystery can be solved with a little thought on the reader’s behalf, but that’s not the point of the book. The point is finding out how Jim and Mitch got to this place in their lives and where they need to go from here.
For a novel that definitely has its dark bits, The Summer Son is an optimistic read, finding hope for the reader where you wouldn’t expect to find any. Lancaster never strays from Mitch Quillen’s voice, and the interludes in 1979 are especially interesting, especially when the characters get working on the drilling rig. One reviewer describes it as “a classic western,” but don’t go in expecting any gunfights. Sure, there’s fistfights a-plenty and rattlesnakes galore, but the majority of the conflict is internal. Just like in real life.
Dear future boyfriend,
First off, I just want to say that you are such a catch! I mean, here you are: a guy who puts up with me! I am so lucky to have you, future boyfriend, and I just want you to know that. I love your (insert adjective here) and the way you (verb). (Note to self: add descriptors once you actually meet future boyfriend.)
But there’s a few things you need to know, and I have incorporated them here into this handy list. It’s a list of things that I will always love more than you.
1. Elijah Snow. No matter how awesome you are, future boyfriend, unless you were trained in the art of detecting at the knee of the best fictional detective ever (Sherlock Holmes), you cannot compare to Elijah Snow.
Ooooh, and also, you would have to never, ever age, and have the power to freeze stuff and then shatter the hell out of it.
2. Speaking of the best fictional detective ever: Sherlock Holmes. It’s true, future boyfriend, that there are not many things in this world that I love more than Sherlock Holmes, and I would have to include you on the list (of things that I do not).
3. Chuck. That show is so cute and I love it (more than you). I hope, if there is a fifth season, it doesn’t suck as bad as the fifth seasons of other shows I used to love, House, I’m looking at you.
4. Eric Elbogen. Unless future boyfriend and Eric Elbogen are one in the same (pardon me while I laugh at my audacity!), there is just no measuring up to a guy who has written a song about playing Ms. Pac-man.
5. Lone Wolf and Cub. No, future boyfriend, you will never be as awesome as one of the best manga series ever, and I hope you don’t mind if I ask to be alone while I read my copies.
6. Spike Spiegel. I shouldn’t have to explain why Spike Spiegel is more awesome than you, should I? Fine: he’s tall, thin, tragic yet always has a snappy comeback, and practices jeet kune do. Also, he has a spaceship and is a bounty hunter. In space. He’s a bounty hunter in space.
7. Cowboy Bebop. Spike Spiegel is a character in the best anime ever, and I will always, always love that anime more than you.
8. “Roslin and Adama.” Bear McCreary wrote one of the world’s most beautiful pieces of music for the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, and I just can’t imagine that you could possibly make me feel the way it does.
9. Bulkogi. Man, bulkogi is good. I wish we had a decent Korean joint around here.
10. Japan. Japan is crazy and awesome. You, future boyfriend, might be crazy and awesome too, but are you the birthplace of the ninja? No. No, you are not.
Right now, in a box on the counter at work, with other, regular doughnuts, there is some sort of mutant doughnut. It’s made with the regular doughnut whatever and then topped with chocolate frosting. No problem there, right?
But the middle is filled with red jelly stuff, and it’s oozing out the top.
Who fills a chocolate-frosted doughnut with red jelly? It’s just wrong. Those two tastes should never be combined! Why won’t someone eat it? Reporters eat anything. But they won’t eat this. That is how unnatural this doughnut is! Damn whoever made the unnatural doughnut! I can’t stop looking at it! Gaaaaah!
I want to read Dracutwig.
It’s a novel from the ’60s about the daughter of Dracula who “has a body like Twiggy” and turns into a vampire whenever she makes love!!
I know it will be awful, I know it will be so awful, but now that I know it exists, I want to read it as badly as I want to read Pregnesia.