Updates from January, 2007 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ted Mann 12:44 am on January 22, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Wonderfalls Cancellation Outrage! — two years after the fact 

    Thanks to the miracle of Netflix, I’ve been discovering new TV shows on a monthly basis. And thanks to the cruelty of the short-sighted networks, which tend to cancel a new show after four episodes if it doesn’t get at least 10 million viewers, I’ve been thrown into a bitter funk when every new, promising series is cut short. Of course, most of these shows are a couple years old, so I’m a little late to the petulant party, but the loss of shows like “Freaks & Geeks” and “Arrested Development” pains me all the same.

    The latest show that I’ve fallen in love with is “Wonderfalls,” which lasted all of four episodes on FOX back in 2004. The show is about slacker gift shop clerk at Niagra Falls — played by the charmingly sarcastic Caroline Dhavernas — who suddenly finds that animal figurines and stuffed animals are talking to her, offering cryptic, one-line instructions about what she should do.

    Visually stunning, brilliantly acted, and extremely witty, “Wonderfalls” is on a par with “Weeds” and “Six Feet Under” as one of my favorite shows of the past couple years. It baffles me that some other network didn’t pick it up. Even if FOX and the other networks are ready to throw in the towel after week one (presumably eating all of the costs of producing the full order of 13-episodes), surely another network like F/X could still use it to fill their programming holes, right?

    Anyway, be sure to rent the DVDs (it’s not on iTunes), or check out some of the short clips on YouTube. Here’s the unaired pilot (which doesn’t have the totally kick ass theme song, but you still get the idea):

  • Ted Mann 10:58 pm on January 21, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    The iPhone does even more than I thought! 

    It’s a bottle opener! A sonogram! A hand grenade! A mouse trap! Mace! Treadmill! And so much more!

    Thanks to my brother-in-law, Dan, for sending the YouTube link.

  • Ted Mann 1:27 am on January 13, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    The Reverse Murphy’s Law of Blogging 

    Alright, you know how a few days ago I posted that despite all my best efforts, my blog is best known for a post about the laxative effects of maltitol? Well, the greater irony is that today, just before watching “Notes on a Scandel,” Ana and I picked up a couple bags of sugar-free candies sweetened with — you guessed it — maltitol. (We’re making a go of Atkins again, and despite some excellent early weight-loss, the movie-theater candy craving hasn’t quite gone away yet.)

    Suffice it to say, I’m retarded for even agreeing to peruse the CVS candy aisle, much less absent-mindedly consuming a full bag of sugar-free Twizzlers. I’m now doubled over in pain, running back and forth to the bathroom, and unable to sleep. Ugh.

    Blogging may be great for sharing my picks and thoughfully reflecting on my latest unheathly obsession, but when it comes to teaching me the error of my ways — eh, not so good.

  • Ted Mann 8:32 pm on January 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    So does this mean I have six months to get out of my Verizon contract and get me an iPhone? 

    Or is there any way to sweet-talk Verizon and Apple into playing nice and making the iPhone available to non-Cingular customers? Time to start a petition.

    If you haven’t checked out the iPhone yet, you must immediately go to the Apple website and kill a half hour watching demos of all its features. Prepare to have your mind blown. I haven’t suffered from such immediate, aggressive techno-lust since — well, the Wii.

    But honestly, I don’t think it’s just me being overly gadget happy; these are actually the two coolest gizmos to hit the market in years. Of course, the actual iPhones won’t actually hit the market until June, so until them, I’m going to have to fill the void in my life with a cutout, papercraft iPhone (pictured below) — which I plan to wrap about my Wii controller.

  • Ted Mann 10:13 pm on January 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    The Maltitol Controversy Lives on! 

    I finally discovered the Murphy’s law of blogging: If you create a personal weblog, update semi-regularly for close to three years, and pour your heart and soul (or at least, your best late-night top-ten lists), the one thing your blog will be known for is a two-year-old post about how the artificial sweetener Maltitol causes massive diarrhea.

    Despite my best attempts to mine such topics at the hunt for Nintendo Wiis, the great “Hair Watch” of the 2004 Presidential campaign, or the shiny future of cat toys, it’s the Maltitol post that people keep stumbling on. Normally a post will get one, two comments, tops. Yet somehow the Maltitol one has accumulated 25, most of them stories about other people with similar stories — the evils of Russell Stover jelly beans, nights spent in bathrooms, business meetings disrupted by massive abdominal growling, etc, etc. Even a few have emailed me directly, such as Lisa D., who wrote a couple days ago:

    Dear Ted:
    I love your blog on Maltitol: A Sweetener and a Laxative in One. Wow! I had the nightmare trip of my life when I was stuck in the Canary Islands and then Madrid just trying to get home before dying of the flu epidemic that killed the Pope. Except I wasn’t vomiting, I was having explosive diarrhea. With total dehydration, the hotel doctor gave me a shot of ?? after which I slept for 20 hours, then I took a bunch of medication. The trip home with all the security zones at the airport (and the bathroom elsewhere) — well, I wished I had bought diapers I was so nervous. I didn’t eat or drink anything for 18 hours just trying to make it back. After getting home I realized the ‘healthy’ bars given to me by my gut specialist (!) were full of maltitol syrup.

    Just wanted to let you know and thank you because your blog is the one I’m going to point people to and I’m not logged into Word Press so I couldn’t leave a reply.

    Thanks. Lisa D.

    So, there you have it. TurkeyMonkey has become a support group for the gastrointestinally abused, artificially sweetened, and Hershey squirted. Welcome to the party.

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