TV Party

TiVo deleted the season finale of "The West Wing" before I'd gotten a chance to watch the whole thing, and I am mildly surprised to discover that I hardly care. The show's just gotten so shallow, contrived, uninspired...you name it...that I can barely sit through an episode without falling asleep. I tried watching the season finale TWICE and kept finding better things to do, like old NYT crosswords and laundry. And when I stopped watching it the 2nd time, I didn't even change its TiVo status to "do not delete."

Update: I still can't remember who sings the song from "The Sopranos," but after writing that entry yesterday I started to at least remember more of the lyrics and, at last, the title: "Super Bon Bon." I can't even begin to think who sings it, but I will venture a guess as to the year the song was popular: 1998!


Long Term Parking

I woke up early today. Unlike most mornings where I simply bury my face into a cat or two and doze right back into slumberland, today I was kept awake by this song going through my head. "Move aside and let the man go through, let the man go through..." I knew the song but hadn't thought of it in a few years until I heard it in last night's episode of "The Sopranos." Most of the musical sensations and emotions evoked by that show are awesome, but this song reminded me of the complete and utter depressingness of last night's episode.

God, was it good. Most of this season I haven't been pulled into the story... rather, I've found myself thinking too much about the few paltry events that transpire each episode, pondering and pondering the significance of each overly subtle conversation and painfully minor plot development. But "Long Term Parking" (a heart-wrenching title, once you've seen it) was emotionally action-packed. With every pitiful move Adrianna and Christopher made, with every sadly hopeful line they uttered, I just felt their suffering. It was so painfully obvious that things were just never going to turn out right for them, no matter what happened next. My suspension of disbelief was so complete that even the next morning I was still feeling disgusted with Tony and his depraved goon squad, angry at Carmella for being a silent but utterly willing participant, shocked at Christopher's vanity, sorry for pathetic Adrianna... I think by the end of the series I'll hate them all.

I'm starting to be really thankful the show ends next season, and not because it's gotten crappy ("Friends") or because it just thinks it's too fabulous ("Sex and The City"). I'll be glad to see "The Sopranos" go because it is so amazingly well done (produced, acted, directed) that you can not avoid being drawn into the lives of these miserable people and their hideous world. I'm glad it ends next season, because I can only take so much of that.

Totally unrelated side note: I can't remember who sings that damn song, which makes me feel OLD!


A Winning Smile

So, oddly (or, depending on your point of view, quite predictably) enough, nobody has noticed my tooth. Even I've grown accustomed to my face, my winning smile. So I guess I'm ready to move on. Hurray!


Another E3 Come and Gone

This year seemed louder and stuffier than all the rest, but that's probably just because I'm getting older. I had no major sightings. Other people spotted Gallagher and got their pix taken with him, but I only saw former cast members of Survivor (not ones I liked) and Gary Coleman (sooooooo E3 2000).

The big titles were the same as last year, Halo 2, Half-Life 2, Doom 3, MGS3, and so on and so on. I wasn't quite inspired by the scene, but it's just another year in the slow-as-a-glacier evolution of the art we know as video games. A couple games I saw that seemed pretty exciting: Anti-Grav, a game that uses the EyeToy as a controller; the beautiful PC RTS, LOTR: Battle for Middle-earth; and Karamacarti (or something like that) where you play a ball that's trying to get bigger.

I was also on CNN this weekend, a short segment on "Women in Videogames" taped at E3 with Daniel Sieberg, the charming tech correspondent covering the show. After viewing the piece, I came to an important realization about TV: Never assume they won't show your badly matched pink socks.

The parties were fun too, but if they're going to feature cool bands, the people who plan them really need to start holding them somewhere that has good acoustics. I tried to enjoy the Roots, Black-eyed Peas, and Missy Elliott only to be somewhat dismayed by the terrible sound. But hey, it was fun for a laugh. "Slide, slide, dip, dip, shake..."


The Telltale Tooth

I went to the dentist for a routine cleaning the other day, and as he was examining my teeth, he noted that the filling in my front tooth had become really discolored. This isn't a cavity filling, but almost a fake tooth, occupying about a quarter of one of my two front teeth. And yes, it's gotten pretty yellow over the years. (I broke my tooth at my friend Tiffany's 14th birthday party when she swung a door open in my face.)

My dentist and I have discussed this filling before, and before he seemed quite content to just let me have it replaced when I was good and ready. I wanted to get my teeth whitened first, then replace it. Today, however, he seemed to have a real fire in his belly. Maybe he and his fellow dentists had placed bets on who could force the most optional procedures on their patients in a week, or maybe he just had a light appointment load that morning. Whatever the reason, he suggested that we replace the filling right then and there. It would only take 20 minutes, he said, and it wouldn't even require novocaine.

I shuddered at this thought. When I'd broken the tooth on that fateful Saturday afternoon so many years ago, it had hurt like hell. I'd called my dentist's emergency number and paged him frantically, but he wasn't able to see me until Monday. The pain I endured for those two days remains vividly, tangibly burned in my memory. I could barely eat or even breathe--exposing my tooth exposed to anything, even air, hurt. How, I thought, HOW could this procedure require no novocaine?

"Well, I'll start to shave it down," said Dr. Hasse, lifting the miniature circular saw to my mouth. "And if you start to feel anything, you let me know."

"Wailgh!" I grunted, furrowing my brow until the four hands (a hygienist named Pierre was also involved in this madness) were removed from my jaw. "If I start to FEEL ANYTHING? Are you SURE about this?"

"I really don't think I'm going to have to go that deep," the doctor said, inching the saw closer. He started to shave.

The exciting part is that this story does not invoke Edgar Allen Poe here. He shaved and shaved and shaved away; I felt nothing. And my tooth came out... well, that's the rub. When he proudly whipped out the mirror and showed me my new, white, beautiful tooth, I had to fake my enthusiasm when I said, "What a winning smile!" I'm not happy with my new tooth. It's not quite the same shape as my old one, and I don't know what to do about it. The difference is probably unnoticeable to most people, but I don't like it. Thing is, I adore my dentist. What's a vain girl who values her great teeth to do?