Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The TBOE Replay: The Best Sad Song.

Every month, I check the statistics on this site to see what it was people were looking at in the month before -- seeing what it is you liked and what it is you didn't. I've decided to share that with you, from here on out, so at the end of each month, you'll get the "TBOE Replay," highlighting the most popular nomination from the month before.

This past month, December 2008, you were looking at and searching for "The Best Sad Song," the original nomination of which you can find by clicking this link.

Which made me wonder. That was my most viewed page in December. Three of the five most popular searches leading people here in December had the words "Sad" and "Song" in them.

So why was everyone in December looking to hear sad music? Just thinking about the reasons makes me sad, a little, too.

So to you readers who were looking for sad songs as we went into the holidays, I hope that in 2009 I can help cheer you up just a little.

Help the new year come in happily.

Christmas is over, but that doesn't mean you have to stop giving just yet. Why not finish up the old year, and start off the new, by doing something good for the people who are doing something good for you?

With the Sears heroes at home wish registry, you can do just that. Sears created a wish registry where our fighting men and women, men and women who are in Afghanistan and Iraq and other trouble spots, ducking bullets and avoiding land mines instead of hugging their daughters and snuggling with their wives, where those men and women can post the things they would LIKE to buy for the wives and husbands and sons and daughters and nieces and nephews and moms and dads -- like to buy, but can't, because they're off fighting and because they don't have enough money.

That's where you come in. You go to the heroes at home wish registry, read the wishes, and then click the link to donate the money to buy those things right then and there.

The soldiers get a wish granted, you get to feel good, and some kid or parent gets at least a little comfort going into the New Year. Everyone's a winner.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The SemiDaily List: The Best Poems That Should Be Made Into TV Serieses.

Why a list? Read here -- and that's where you'll see what other lists I've created. Look for new lists on days which are divisible by 3!

Before I begin, what, exactly, is the plural of "series?" Sometimes, English is just dumb. How can I tell people, for example, that I like more than one television series without sounding stupid? I mean, other than saying "I like more than one television series." I should be able to say These are great television series-es without people thinking I'm stuttering. So that's what I'm going to do, and the plural for series is now serieses.

Also, I guess, in retrospect, it was dumb to type "Before I begin" at the start of this, because I was actually beginning right then and there. I should have said "To begin with" or something like that. Or I could have just begun.

Here's another thing that bugs me: When people say "I would think" instead of "I think." Like this: "I would think that you would just go ahead and start on your list, instead of going through all these preliminaries." Why say would think? Doesn't that imply something indefinite, or in the future, like there's a missing condition of some sort, that, if fulfilled, will make the person actually think that? It's like saying "I think I'm in love." Why not just bite the bullet and get rid of that hedge-your-bet word? Don't say "I would think," just go ahead and think. And don't think you're in love. Love is like any other emotion: If you think you're feeling it, you're feeling it. If you're the type of person who says "I think I'm in love," I hope you also say "I think I'm feeling scared," or "I think I'm feeling righteously indignant."

Anyway, on to today's SemiDaily List, which was prompted by an Entertainment Weekly article that said that the "Golden Age" of TV is dead, premising that argument, so far as I could tell, on the fact that nobody watches Heroes anymore. I like TV and want to do everything I can to encourage the development of TV shows that will (a) help replace Battlestar Galactica when that show finally comes back and finishes its storyline by (I assume) completely wrecking all the quality TV they've done before through not making Starbuck the 12th Cylon, and will (b) not be a "Law and Order" type police procedural, so I am throwing my two cents' worth in and proposing a few ideas which TV writers are free to adopt and make into new serieses, at which point I will then insist that they pay me for my ideas, and then I will retire to Hawaii and not have to shovel snow anymore.

So here are: The Best Poems That Should Be Made Into TV Serieses.

1. Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll. (Read it here.)

What the poem is about: A guy makes up some words and [POETIC SPOILER ALERT!] uses his vorpal sword to slay the Jabberwocky, leaving the frumious Bandersnatch, the JubJub bird, and the Slithy Toves for another day.

What the TV Series would be like: After slaying the Jabberwock and galumphing back to town, the Beamish Boy (Zac Efron) learns that his father was the one who unleashed the Jabberwock in the first place; it turns out the Old Man (John Lithgow) runs a genetic research company that has gone amuck, setting free the Frumious Bandersnatch and the JubJub and the rest, and in the process, has unsettled the natural balance of the world, causing other species to mutate faster and/or die out. It's up to Beamish to hunt down and capture or kill the Old Man's creations -- with the Old Man's grudging help and advice.

The pitch line: Think "X-Files Meets Dr. Seuss, Starring Xena."

2. I Made A Mistake, by Charles Bukowski. (Read it here.)

What the
poem is about: A man asks his wife/girlfriend if a pair of underwear in her closet is hers; she says no and leaves. He spends the rest of his life looking for her.

What the TV series would be like: The pilot would show the opening events of the poem, set up by a drunken night when the Mistaken Man (played b
y Will Arnett) brought home a girl from a bar while his girlfriend was out of town, and the devastating aftereffects of the girlfriend (a cameo appearance by Jennifer Aniston) leaving. Each episode thereafter has Will traveling around the country, trying to find the Girl With The Broken Heart, and pausing in his journeys to help those less fortunate than him as a way of making up for his mistake. In season 2, a bit of meta-storytelling creeps in when Will's journey is discovered by a reality show producer who films Will's adventures and puts them on TV.

The pitch line: "The Fugitive, if the Fugitive had been Touched by an Angel."

3. Maggie and Milly and Molly and May, by e e cummings. (Read it here.)

What the poem is about: Four sisters have a wonderful, and kind of f
rightening-but-memorable time at the beach as youngsters.

What the TV Show Would Be Like: Those four girls (Adrianne Curry, Christine Taylor, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Rhona Mitra) reunite in their thirties to open up a bed-and-breakfast on the beach where they had that memorable vacation. They live their lives as innkeepers with fabulous clothes, dating townies an
d the occasional vacationer and shopping and generally do things that women do in those TV shows and movies that women love which have no real plot but which do make men look like jerks a lot. Also, one of the women hosts a local radio show.

The pitch line: "Sex and the City starring Thirtysomething with a touch of that one movie with Richard Gere and Diane Lane thrown in. No, not that one, the other one. With the horses. Yeah, that one."

4. In a Station of the Metro, by Ezra Pound (Read it here.)

What the poem is about: People
standing in a subway station, being compared to leaves.

What the TV Sh
ow Would Be Like: Ezra (French Stewart) is an old man who works as a ticket taker In a Station of the Metro (get it?). During his spare time, Ezra sits in his booth and cultivates his bonsai tree, and writes short stories about the people he sees passing through his station. Each episode highlights three of the stories that Ezra dreams up -- so when he sees a businessman hurrying through with his tie askew, Ezra pictures the man waking up late because his child was sick the night before, and we see that storyline, which intersects with the storyline of the doctor-still-in-scrubs getting off the train and heading up the stairs, and so on.

The pitch line: "The Love Boat," only with a little thought put into it.

5. Darwin's Finches, by Wendy Mnookin. (Read it here.)

What the poem is about: A women's lover takes her to the Galapagos Islands, but she just wants to be back home with him.

What the TV Show would be like: Set in Darwin's time, the series (a costume/period drama) would open on the day Darwin (Hamish Linklater) returns from his journey on the Beagle, and would chronicle in fictional form his lifelong efforts to put his controversial theories to paper -- while simultaneously wanting to avoid society's-- and the Church's-- wrath. Each episode would focus on the intricate ins and outs of Victorian society, Church investigators suspicious of Darwin's theories and trying to get him, the birth of science... and the hidden sexiness of those times, as Darwin engages in an affair with his attractive neighbor, Marie Curie (Elisabeth Shue.) (Some liberties taken with history in the interest
of storytelling.)

The Pitch Line: "The Tudors trying to find The Da Vinci Code."

6. Portrait of A Girl With A Comic Book, by Phyllis McGinley. (Read it here.)

What the poem is about: A girl is thirteen years old.

What the TV Series Would Be Like: The Girl With the Comic Book as an adult (Andie MacDowell) reflects back on her lifetime of drawing and writing a popular comic book about a young girl who dreamed of growing up to write and draw a popular comic book, telling the story in voice overs as we look back on her life at various stages -- when she was a teenager (played by Mandy Moore) and fell in love and considered giving up writing and drawing, when she was in her 20s and got married, when she was just 13 years old and her mother (Frances McDormand) told her to put the comic books down and get studying... all leading up to her life in the present.

The Pitch Line: "Like How I Met Your Mother only more girly and less Jason Segal-y."

Click here to see all the other SemiDaily Lists!

Click here to see all the other topics I’ve ever discussed!


Welcome another TBOE reader!

I am both prone to taking credit where credit may not be due, and also heavily in favor of people making a buck, which is why I am pleased to announce (and claim I inspired) that "A 33 year-old damsel from Montana" is my latest fan.

The "damsel" is the operator of www. -- a website that is devoted to selling just the cereal marshmallows.

Which, you'll recall, I first proposed way back when. So the "damsel" is obviously also a genius, because she recognized a good thing when I proposed it and also because she reads The Best of Everything.

So welcome, Ms. Marshmallow, to the hallowed grounds of TBOE readerdom, and make sure I get a discount, because I'm going to blow my entire allowance on your website this week.

Do you read The Best of Everything and want some recognition? Let me know! Linkers, readers, submitters -- you'll all get featured here. You can even email me at "thetroublewithroy[at]". Put that you're looking for some recognition in the subject line, or that you're submitting something, or that you've linked to me.

Linus was way cool.

Because Mr Bunches broke my reading glasses a while back -- tearing them off my face and breaking them in half -- it's time that I pick up a new pair of spectacles to help stave off impending old age, and I've decided to do it right: no more $5 reading glasses from the corner drugstore.

Instead, I'm going to get a pair of Holiday frames from Zenni Optical. Zenni Optical is that online seller of prescription eyeglass frames for as low as $8 -- stylish, cool, neat frames that they can sell for that low of a price because they make them all themselves, so there's no middleman driving up the prices. And they have a huge selection of frames, too -- just in the holiday section alone the options go on for pages, making it difficult to make up my mind.

But I did. I did make up my mind, and I picked these out:

I know, I know: Harry Potter frames are so five minutes ago. But I like them, and beside, I like to think of them not as "Harry Potter" frames, but as "Linus" frames-- because my own cultural references go way back beyond Harry Potter days and all the way to the time that Linus got his glasses.

So to today's kids, I'll look like Harry Potter, but to myself and those who are truly cool, I'll look like Linus -- and how awesome is that?

Plus, with Zenni Optical, I can get prescription lenses, even bifocals or trifocals or however-many-focals I might need (I think actually the limit is 3). I could even, at these prices, pick out a second pair for Mr Bunches to break, so he'll spare the ones I need.

They've got women's and kids' frames, there, too, so if you need specs, I'd check out Zenni Optical. Just point, click, and see!

Monday, December 29, 2008

The SemiDaily TBOE List! The Best Actresses People Don't Think Are Good Looking But Who Really Are.

TV and movies are filled with actresses that everyone thinks are pretty. Then there are those actresses that everyone says things like "Oh, she's so talented," but they're not, for some reason, considered pretty. Except, apparently, by me.

Am I out-of-step with humanity? You bet. But is that MY problem, or humanity's problem? I'm no Yossarian: I'm not going to conform just because everyone else feels one way, even if I'm a damn fool to feel any other way. Instead, I'll just do what Antonin Scalia told me, once: "Don't be afraid to be a lone voice crying out in the wilderness," he said to me. He really did. He probably didn't have this in mind, but I will still apply his advice and be a lone voice crying out in the wilderness, saying "Hey, humanity, these actresses are not only good actresses, but also you should consider them good-looking." So, henceforth, these actresses will be noted for their acting ability AND be considered pretty. Because they are. Without further ado, here are

The Four Best Actresses People Don't Think Are Good Looking But Who Really Are.

4. Katee Sackhoff. Movie/TV Show She Was Really Good In. "Battlestar Galactica." As the only good choice for the 12th Cylon, when the show returns they might give her something to do besides cry for a while. But I'm sure they won't. Just like they won't make her be the 12th Cylon because Hollywood is trying to destroy everything that I love.

Why people think she's not good looking:

Why they're wrong:

3. Katey Sagal: Movie/TV Show She Was Really Good In. "Married, With Children." Because after watching that show, you think My god, she must really be like that. But she's apparently not.

Why people think she's not good looking:

Why they're wrong:

2. Kirsten Dunst. Movie/TV Show She Was Really Good In: "Bring It On." She actually made you care about cheerleading. Well, no, she didn't. But she made you feel a little guilty about not caring about cheerleading.

Why people think she's not good-looking:

Why they're wrong:

1. Maggie Gyllenhaal. Movie She Was Really Good In: I haven't seen it yet, but just seeing the previews for "SherryBaby" made me want to see it and also made me feel sad. From a trailer. Which is why I haven't seen it yet -- because I'm afraid if the trailer is that sad, what's the movie going to do to me?

Also, she was one of only two people in The Dark Knight to actually convey emotion. (The other one was Michael Caine; you can't count Heath Ledger because "crazy" isn't an emotion.)

Why people think she's not good looking:

Why they're wrong:

Click here to see all the other topics I’ve ever discussed!

funny t shirts

The SemiDaily TBOE List!

This page will from here on out serve not just as an explanation, but also as the roster of all

The SemiDaily TBOE Lists:

The Five Best Best Pictures (And How They Could Have Been Bester!)

The Four Best Beloved Children's Characters Who Are Not Quite
What They Seem To Be.

The Four Best Foods That Have Only A Tenuous Connection To The Natural World

The Six Best Poems That Should Be Made Into TV Serieses.

The Seven Best Songs That Show What Love Is Really Like

The 10 Best Songs That Will Make You Feel Good (and Then Feel Bad About Feeling Good.)

The Best Things About The Suburbs, As Proven By "The 'Burbs," And Which Are Not As Bad As Movies And Books C

The 3 Best Supervillains
Who Deservedly Just Kept Coming Back And Should Keep Doing So.

The Four Best Board Games That Should Be Made
Into Sitcoms.

The Best REM Songs That Prove They Should Stand Among The Giants Of Rock and Roll.

Three of The Best New Bands I
Just Heard Of Today For The First Time.

The Four Best Best New Artists Who Weren't.

The Three Best Cartoons To Forecast The Future (And How They Did)

The 10 Best Movie Villains, According To The Boy (And Some Man
Walks Into A Bar Jokes.)

The Best Books Written By Felo
ns (Guest Post!)

The Best Stupid Questions (And The Internet Sites They Lead To)

The Best Versions of My Life, According to Singer/Songwriters.

The Six Best Superheroes (Read
er List!)

The 10 Best Heroes In Cinema, According To The Boy (And The Boy's 10 Favorite Songs, Accordi
ng to his iPod)

The Seven Best Songs To Teach Yourself How To Clap In Rhythm.

The Best Things I Used To Do In College, But Don't Anymore, But Should

The Five Best Female Movie Characters To Get Dumped By

The Best Movie Weapons (And How I'd Use Them In Real Life)

The Best Foods That Should Be Made Into Movies In Which One Actor Plays All The Parts


The Best Absolutely True (Well, Almost) Celebrity Stories That Should Be Christmas Movies

Why lists?

People like lists. Or so it seems. Because people ask me all the time "Why don't you do lists?" Really, they do. They stop me on the street, and uniformly when they do, I am asked two questions:

1. How can you possibly be so handsome? and
2. Why don't you do lists on your website?*

*(note: at least one of these questions has never been asked of me.)

So I've decided to do lists, along with the usual essays on Pop Culture. After all, TBOE began with one idea, then slowlly shifted into what it is now... which is sort of essays about pop culture mixed in with things I think are the Best and occasional reader additions... so it can change a little more, right?

If anything, it will reduce the number of questions I am asked on the street by 50%.