Crush Alert: Jake Clemons

Jake Clemons

So on Wednesday night I went to see Bruce Springsteen and The E Street band for the, like tenth time, I think? I’ve seen The Boss a lot, my family goes every time he’s in the area. It’s one of our favorite things that we do. (Besides the Shore, it might be our favorite thing.)

And this year was no different. Well, actually it was a little different, because I realized that I have a big old honking crush on Jake Clemons.

If you’re not familiar with Jake, allow me to enlighten you. Jake is the nephew of original E Street member (and heart of the band really) Clarence Clemons. He took over when Clarence passed away.

This was a very difficult time for The E Street Nation. But over the past four years, we’ve grown very fond of Jake. And then on Wednesday night, I realized that I love him a little bit.

It’s at least partially because I’ve never seen Jake as engaged in the show as he was in this particular one. There are a couple of theories on this. There’s that he’s now been touring with the band for four years. There’s the fact that The River has a lot of really interesting sax work. There’s the fact that he wasn’t leading a whole horn section.

But whatever it was, it was working, is my point and I was very much enjoying myself.

So, I thought you all should know, that I have a huge crush on this man now.

Who my brother has christened “Little Man.”

I’m OK with this nickname but also, like, seriously. I love him.

(Also I realize I’ve been a little on the celeb boy crazy side lately. I think I need to go on a date.)

Sailor Stars Check In Episodes 177 & 178: What’s Up With Luna/Usagi

Sailor Stars

So Luna gets kidnapped.

Really, that’s the basis of the first episode. OK, so Yaten has signed up for a “Celebrities and their pets” show, despite not having a pet. So, when he encounters Luna, he smiles at her and she, very uncharacteristically trots right along after him.

Usagi and the others are very worried about her but when she meets up with them again, she promises that she’s quite alight, thank you very much, and that she likes Yaten and that’s that.

Yaten, has his own problems, as it were, since a costar, I think, seems to believe that they’re dating in real life, not just in their show, or whatever. Yaten is not interested, he’s waiting for “that one person,” just like the others, except Saiyen, who has a crush on Usagi.

Back on track, Chuu comes, (seriously, I haven’t fallen for a hench so hard since Mimmette…I love her even more than I loved Palla Palla…she has a TARDIS for God’s sake.) and attacks the costar. Then the Senshi come, and Chuu, like, really does not care.

Seriously, I’ve been waiting for an enemy to not just stand there while the Senshi do all of their speeching and she just bolts. They fight the Sailor inside of the costar, save Luna, and Yaten have a moment later. Or, Sailor Star Healer, I guess.

Our next episode opens with Usagi writing Mamoru a letter and noting that he hasn’t written back. She runs into Haruka and Michiru (YAY!) who notice that she seems off and that she’s clearly keeping something secret. Haruka comments that this is unlike her.

She’s back to her old self though when Taiki approaches Makoto about helping him on a cooking show and somehow gets herself invited along. They’re making strawberry shortcake but Mako is a little bit flustered in the cameras so Usagi tries to help.

It doesn’t go well.

Anyway, Chuu shows up, turns the Chef into Sailor Chef. Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Star Maker fight and win. Blah, blah, blah.

Michiru and Huraka sense a disturbance in the force, and decide that it’s time to get into this fight. (YAY YAY YAY YAY!)

So Mamo isn’t answering Usagi’s letters because he’s dead right? Or in weird limbo caused by Sailor Galaxia. But basically dead? I’m remembering that correctly? Whatever, I’m going to reread the manga to make sure that I’ll remember it.

Top Chef: California Road Trip: Most wonderful time of the year

I look forward to Top Chef every year. It’s probably my favorite reality show ever, and in my top ten of shows ever, I genuinely enjoy it each season that I watch, and it’s inspired me a few times to reach beyond my normal culinary horizons.

But, I made a realization last week that the reason why I love award shows and competition reality shows so much is because my crazy pop culture brain was raised in a sports house so thing I like + competition = BIG WINNER IN THE HAPPY SPACE.

I love picking my favorites, tracking how the judges treat them and seeing how they navigate challenges. I like seeing who becomes friends, who can’t stand each other. How group challenges get going and good god, I can’t wait for restaurant wars.

And I also love seeing how the various locations change the game up and this year, with the location changing every week, as the chefs work their way through California, the challenges have been a lot of fun. (Vegas is still my favorite season though…)

But last week, the two banked episodes I had were an absolute godsend. I hadn’t eaten solid food, and being able to watch the gorgeous and delicious looking Top Chef food was such a godsend. I think I finally understand porn. (I’m not a porn person…) It was amazing to be able to at least fantasize about the food.

It actually caused Mary and I to almost get into a fight as I was watching large pictures of delicious food, while we couldn’t eat. She was very grumpy. (My sister has never been on a diet in her life, so the idea of food porn is foreign to her, as is the idea of not getting to eat when you’re hungry.) But all in all, I’m happy to have Top Chef back for the next few months, I’m enjoying this season.

The one criticism that I do have is that the chefs all seem to be a good deal cattier than usual. It’s not as though I don’t enjoy the cattiness on a certain level, but it seems a good deal more in the face this year than previous years, and I get that the show is reaching a space where it simply can’t be as pure as it once was, but it’s still a little disappointing. I also think that the road trip concept is fantastic and the gold course challenge was incredible and pairing with craft beers was also a lot of fun. (And not just because Padma in golf clothes was adorable.) And overall I think it’s been a good half a season.

Last week’s “cook a dish that represents you 10 years ago,” was probably my favorite Top Chef challenge, and it really did help me to get to know the chefs a little better.

I’m looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.

The X-Files 2.0: “Founder’s Mutation”

X-Files

I guess that the one thing that this revisit will have in spades is feels. Or I guess this episode did.

Scully and Mulder are assigned to the case of a scientist who apparently committed suicide. After they learn that he was working with children who have severe genetic anomalies, Mulder becomes convinced that the mothers of these children are being tested on by the government.

While at the victims apartment, Mulder has what can best be described as an episode where he hears a high pitched voice in his head telling him to “find her.” He doesn’t know what it means, but he also doesn’t tell Skinner about it and even Scully has to pry it out of him.

In the end it turns out that a child, the child of the head of the experiments in fact, crawled out of his mother’s womb in order to survive and escape from his father. He’s then adopted and raised fairly normally, but he decides to find his sister. He does. Also, he causes his father to bleed out the eyes.

You know. Standard story.

The case doesn’t cause the feels. The feels come because of William. Both Mulder and Scully have a series of fantasies, I guess? When confronted with the mothers in the experiment, Mulder calls them incubators. Scully takes this to heart, and asks him if that’s what he thought of her, and if he ever thought about William. She remarks that he’s fifteen, and that she’s missed each and every one of his birthdays.

My heart…I can’t take it.

He assures her that he does, everyday. It’s not clear if she believes him but that prompts her to have her first fantasy. Taking William to school one day. It’s a pleasant and every day interaction. Then she has another one, rushing to his side when he broke an arm. And then finally, going up into his room to find his face mutated and alien, begging her to tell him what’s wrong with him.

It’s wrenching and tough to watch. But it was Mulder’s fantasy that got me crying. Mulder and William watching 2001: A Space Odyssey together, and William asking him about the meaning of The Monolith. William and Mulder lighting off model rockets in the middle of a field. And finally, Mulder running into William’s bedroom only for him to be carried off, the same way Samantha was.

And so there it was. My heart, completely and thoroughly broken. I knew that William would be brought up. Hoped, in fact, that this rather large element of Mulder and Scully’s relationship would be spoken about. And I had a feeling that it would break my heart. But it got right at me, and seeing the life that these two never got to have is absolutely awful.

Again, only one Skinner scene. Not enough, but it’s a good one. As a bureaucrat tries to shut down Scully and Mulder, he rolls his eyes and tells them to go ahead anyway.

Never change, Walter.

The X-Files 2.0: “My Struggle”

X-Files

Ok, so here’s how things stand based on last night’s premier of the new X-Files, which I don’t have a lot of time to get into, (there’s a second episode tonight, I’ll deal with it more there when it ends not at midnight.)

Mulder is completely nutso, now, like he’s gone off the reservation. Scully left him because of his disconnect with reality, but she still misses him. She’s still at the hospital. Now she helps kids who were born without outer ears to get them put on. Joel McHale’s character Tad O’Malley, is a crazy right wing conspiracy nut, who wants Mulder and Scully to help him expose the “the truth.” Mulder seems very up for it. Scully is really over it, until they meet a young woman who claims to have been a multiple abductee.

“The Truth” this time around

No aliens. There were aliens, but they haven’t been to earth in a long time. They all died at Roswell and the other crash sights. The government, or possibly the military industrial complex (X-Files, so MEGA VAGUE) has been using the technology to test humans and distract them from a large scale fascist take over that’s been in effect since 2012.

Skinner reinstitutes the X-Files in order to combat this. I think? Or just because we needed Skinner.

OK, so here’s what I like (so far):

  • Mulder and Scully’s status quo. It makes sense both emotionally and from a story perspective for their relationship to have gone south as he sunk deeper and deeper into paranoia and depression and refused to get help. I don’t see her being OK with that.
  • The Opening Credits! They used the originals and now Mitch Pileggi is in them. It’s nice. I love Skinner.
  • Cigarette Smoking Man is back. I hope Mulder spends some time with Krychek’s ghost too. I’d like that.
  • Joel McHale. Who I like in everything. He’s just the right mixture of smug and creepy here, but as far as we know he’s on the side of the angels.
  • Scully has alien DNA! WHAT????
  • Mulder has a new shadowy informant guy. He was a doctor who was at Roswell. He wants to make things right.

Here’s what I don’t like:

  • This new “truth.” What’s the deal with the ancient ships then? What about William? This creates so many more questions. I don’t like it. It’s stupid. STUPID!
  • Weird sexual energy between Scully and Tad O’Malley. Nope. I am not on board.
  • I get that the world has changed so a guy like O’Malley would be the new face of the conspiracy movement. But he’s meant to be the new Lone Gunmen I think. And I don’t like that. The Gunmen were adorable. He’s a skeeze. I dislike this direction.
  • It was not funny enough. I know Mulder is in full on crazy mode so he wasn’t in a joking mood but still. I need some quips you guys!
  • The only mention of 2012 was that’s how long “the plan.” Has been in place. LAME!

And…that’s about it. See you guys for more X-Files tomorrow!

Things I’m Obsessed With Right Now: Forgetting To Work Edition

Would you all believe that I’m so obsessed with stuff right now, that I forgot to write?

No, of course you won’t. I just fell asleep before I wrote anything last night!! This is a result of that. Just, things that I’m obsessed with!

  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars. So glad I’m getting around to this. I love it. I actually give a crap about the prequel characters (You know, besides Obi-Wan, who I always cared about and loved). It’s fun and while it takes a while to gear up, and to get used to the animation style. And there’s all kinds of cool in joke. (Someone says, “I have a bad feeling about this,” like, every episode. ) And Obi-Wan has a girlfriend! And she’s named Satine! And even though he’s not voiced by Ewan McGregor this CAN’T POSSIBLY BE A COINCIDENCE. Also, Ahsoka. Look, I’m into the show. I think that’s the point I’m trying to make here.
  • Serial Season 2: A lot of people don’t like. I happen to. I think it’s interesting. The zoom out thing doesn’t quite seem to be coming together, but I like this story a lot. Bowe is not as charismatic as Adnan, but Sarah still feels like your weird friend who talks to lots of people and has the best stories. And it’s great.
  • The Fox Tuesday Night Comedy Block. New Girl, Grandfathered, Brooklyn 99, The Grinder. I love all of these shows and want them to stay there forever. I’m worried a little about New Girl with Zooey Deschanel going on maternity leave, but I think it’ll do OK. Grandfathered is kind of adorable. But I’m mostly in it for Padget Brewster. Brooklyn 99 is my favorite comedy on TV right now. And The Grinder is just delightful. Every week. You should be watching this show.
  • 2016 Cosplay stuff. I actually have a whole post about this that isn’t finished. But  I’m going to Heroes and Villains Fanfest this weekend as an X-Wing Pilot one day and Jessica Jones the other. I’m very, very excited about it.
  • Storm Tracking. Everyone around here is obsessed with Winter Storm Jonas. This is a thing that happens every winter with the first storm. Everyone freaks out. We all survive. With the exception of that noreaster that hit in October, right after Hurricane Irene. But by January? We have this handled. But the world goes pretty nuts. I’m a little worried about the con tomorrow, but that’s about it!
  • #OscarsSoWhite I’m angry and confused and I feel like no one in my life gets

So, those are the obsessions keeping me from seriously working this week. You’re welcome!

Sailor Stars Check In: Episodes 176 & 177: Nothing’s As Amazing As A Musical!

Sailor Stars

Hey guys! I’m back! Solid food is good. (OK, honestly? I’m writing this after not yet eating again, since I’m writing it on the last night of the cleanse, but as it’s going up I’ll have had breakfast and a mid morning snack! WEEE!!!)

Anyway, let’s talk Sailor Stars, and how much I love it. This week we got to know the Starlights a little better.

It’s amazing how quickly I no longer think that Seiya is a complete tool. I mean, he’s still pretty obnoxious, but we get a bit more about him in the first episode.

The Three Lights are getting ready for a musical, (with song and dance, and sweet romance, and happy endings happening by happenstance…sorry slipped into a little Something Rotten there for a sec…) anyway, Seiya is supposed to be the lead but their director his pushing him hard and he’s convinced she hates him.

The pressure from this causes him to flunk a math test, which Minako and Usagi flunk, not because they’re under any pressure, (I mean, no more than usual) just because well, they’re Usagi and Minako and they’re not great at school stuff. So they all agree to study for the makeup test together, and Rei tries to get in on the action, but she’s way too obvious and turns everyone off.

Rei

Also…SHE DOESN’T EVEN GO HERE!!!

Anyway, Usagi and Seiya stalk the director instead of studying because, duh, and it turns out she’s a nun at Rei’s school, and she’s only a director in secret because she wouldn’t be allowed or something…

I know I spent nearly a whole episode talking about it, but Sailor Moon really doesn’t get how nuns work. A teaching nun, who’s assigned to teach teenagers? She would be encouraged to do shit like direct a musical. (And nothing’s as amazing as a musical.) I’m getting off topic.

The Nun/Director and Seiya have a chat about why she’s riding him so hard and then get back to work. Then Chu turns her into Sailor Director, and Moon and Mars and Fighter get her back to normal.

Oh, also Seiya totally has a thing for Usagi, but we knew that.

The second episode we learn that Taiki is as smart as Ami! And they’re both friends with an astronomer, who discovered a comet that’s about to make it’s way back to earth. He invites them both to come watch the comet but, Taiki is sort of a dick about it, because he thinks it’s a lot of romance and dreams that don’t belong in science and Ami is horrified by that.

Or something.

I was having trouble following. Anyway, Chuu comes and takes a peak at his Star Seed, which is (Of course) not the droid she’s looking for, so she turns him into Sailor Teacher and Ami tries to fight him, just as Ami, because she can’t transform.

Luckily Sailor Star Maker shows up as well as Sailor Moon and they get the job done.

Next week we’ll learn about the third one, and then I’m hoping Chibi-Chibi shows up because she’s sort of the best, right? (Or is she really annoying in the anime? I fear that…but I adored her in the manga!)