Painting With Shotguns #56


In Which I Watch The Jiggle Of The Boob (Tube)

It is the new TV season.

I demand to know what you’re watching, what you’re liking, and what you’re just not digging.

Me? Here’s my loose list.

Hawaii 5-0. Where the hell did this come from? I only watched it because I wanted to look at Hawaii. That was it. Going to be there soon and I was like, “Ehh, at least in HD it’ll be pretty.” The show’s more than pretty. It’s also pretty dumb. And yet, I love it. The rapport between the two leads is stellar. Scott Caan — normally an actor of whom I’m not a fan — is great in this. It’s exciting, like a big dumb action movie in Hawaii. Did I mention I’m geeked to go back to Hawaii? Squee. Squee, I said.

Raising Hope. I really like this show, but I’m afraid it’s destined to fall off my schedule. Hell, it already has. It’s funny. It’s cute. It’s sweet. It’s dark. (Pilot episode, the mother of the baby that our clueless protagonist ends up with is electrocuted in the electric chair. And the father and baby watch. Whoa.) But it’s also just that far over the line into “it’s so quirky!” It feels like a Malcolm in the Middle and My Name Is Earl mash-up (apropos since the creator is Earl’s, too). Which means, I feel like I’ve seen this before. Or, at least, felt this brand of quirk-stained comedy. Stand-out of this show is Martha Plimpton. Will that bring me back to it? I dunno. Maybe on DVD.

The Event. Wildly waffles for me. On the one hand, I’m intrigued as to the larger plot. On the other hand, the way that plot has been carried out so far feels a wee bit clumsy, like it’s trying too hard to be Lost with its bouncing-back-and-forth-in-time. Here, though, that bounce feels arbitrary, where on Lost it at least felt bound to thematic moments. Still. I like Jason Ritter’s character. And I dig his story. The presidential angle, though, is dull as paste. And that square-jawed lady from ER does not help me care at all about these… aliens? Time travelers? AI constructs? Polar ice monkeys? Show is dangerously on the bubble for me.

Running Wilde. *poop noise* Thumbs-down! Ahem. Sorry. It’s kind of funny at times, but I just don’t believe Will Arnett as a semi-somewhat sympathetic lead. His character’s just too much of a spoiled dipshit for me to care? Again: funny. Just don’t care. If this is the show that represents the legacy of Arrested Development, well, that’s sad for all of us. It makes Baby Jesus strangle a panda.

Outsourced. Ehhh. Mmnnnh? Guy goes to India to lead a team of clueless Indian telemarketers for an American novelty company? Cute idea. Just isn’t doing it for me. Ain’t no Parks and Recreation. If I could sign a document outlawing laugh tracks, I’d do it.

Better With You. Funnier than I thought, but laugh tracks make me want to stab out my eyes and shove them in my ears. Nothing more comedy-destroying than fake laughs enforced by some crazy robot somewhere.

Kind of a lame new season of TV. I watched the first ten minutes of No Ordinary Family, and it… ehhh. I like the players, but in the first five minutes the family flies to Brazil, gets into a terrible plane crash where the pilot dies, then come home and brush it off like — “Nah, that wasn’t traumatic. Back to work and school!”

I am of course watching some of the old standards: House, Community, 30 Rock, Cougar Town, Modern Family. Modern Family and Community remain two of the funniest comedies I’ve ever seen (and 30 Rock continues to knock it out of the park). If you haven’t seen the paintball episode of Community, you are dead to me. Dead to me. *draws thumb across throat in threatening gesture*

iPad Thai

The iPad workflow continues to evolve.

The TwelveSouth Compass stand is, as the kids say, the tits. The Otterbox Commuter case is rugged, but not so rugged it feels like I’m carrying a military field radio. And it fits on the Compass quite snug.

The iPad camera connector dongle (hee! dongle!) supposedly does not work with any other USB devices. When you plug one in, it even confirms this: “This Shit Won’t Work With This Other Shit,” it tells you. And then, lo and behold, the lie is easily discovered as the device works.

I have a keyboard hooked up to the device — means I don’t need to buy a (somewhat expensive) bluetooth keyboard and can type on the iPad full-bore, full-stop. This is the setup, if’n you care:

My iPad Setup

It’s pretty great. Makes it a viable writing machine. Interested to hear people’s experiences with various writing apps — right now, it’s PlainText for me (free, syncs with Dropbox), but happy to take suggestions.

Other apps I’m digging?

Pulse News: A nice news and feed aggregator. Handles blog feeds and news reels pretty well.

Index Card: Hard not to see the appeal of this as a writer. Great for creating on-the-fly plots.

Urbanspoon and OpenTable: No Yelp or Chowhound apps as yet, so these are nice ways to find new restaurants and, with the latter, make reservations online. This is the great thing about apps — often, they’re far better than the web experiences themselves. Huge thumbs-up.

Photo Cookbook: Prettiest. Cookbook app. Ever.

Weather HD: Prettiest. Weather app. Ever.

I should also make special note that when I commented on the ComiXology app the other day (and specifically noting the problems I was having it), they contacted me to see if they could help. Which is pretty darn cool. Plus sign in their column.


Today’s a pretty exciting day. I got news this morning that a pitch of mine may have done its job and earned me some work (but I can’t talk about that) and later today I’m going to drive up and go onto a film set of a thing I may very well have helped to write (but I can’t talk about that).

I’m currently banging away word count on the Werewolf Chronicler’s Guide, and having a lot of fun doing that. Hopefully when I have fun, you have fun. Or something.

Always on the hunt for work, but happy to be where I’m at.

Man, that was a pretty vague update.





Chain Link Fence

From KidLit, a blog talking about a writing no-no that I do all the damn time: “The Four Horsemen of the Proseocalypse.” (About how you describe the physicality of emotions in narrative.)

What killed the honeybees? Boom. Fungal-virus tag-team.

Matt Taibbi’s truth behind the Tea Baggers.

Once again John “The Horror, The Horror” Hornor knocks it out of the park with a cover he designed for an upcoming anthology, Terminal Damage. (Which makes me wonder: is this an anthology I’m in? Uhh, it might be? Did it sell? What happened? Where are my pants?)

Douglas Rushkoff talks up a little Collapsus over at Boing Boing.

The White House would like to talk to you about the tax cuts for rich people.

And finally, one of the most beautiful insect macro photos I’ve ever seen. Incredible.