Marc’s GChat Status Expanded

Top Chef drama, one of the finale sous chefs is displeased…

Spoiler alert

Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert

Hat tip to Andy for the link.

Many who follow Top Chef have been quick to blame Casey for Carla’s poor showing in the season finale that aired on Wednesday. The episode made it seem as though Casey strongly suggested a lot of the dishes or changes to dishes that were widely panned by the judges. Essentially she was accused of taking the soul and love out of Carla’s dishes (which is sort of an absurd accusation).

I piled on as well, I’ll admit. I love Casey, but the show made it seem like she was off. Well today Casey responded on Side Dish, and she is displeased:

Carla was not prepared and in over her head. The show did not talk about how the first course (crab) took her half of the friggin’ cooking time that day, I was left to work the rest of HER dishes.

She also did not have a plan. The ONLY thing she had in mind was a cheese course! I would NEVER do a cheese course. And where in the hell did french come from!? She is not even classically trained! It (the show) didn’t talk about how I worked on a sauce for 2 days and Carla forgot to put it on the plate… It didn’t show how the 2nd course (fish) was MINE. It didn’t show how she took the sous vide idea and decided to GRILL it last minute causing it to be tough… And it didn’t show how she WANTED to do the souffles which she does not even know how to make! That was HER food, because it certainly was me asking her how she wanted to do this and that while she was busy picking crab the entire time and making a souffle that didn’t rise!

I am done with TC. I did not influence her. She has NO ideas of her own, oh, except a cheese course.

As the side dish article says, wow. I will be the first one to call out Bravo on their edited techniques. They create the show they want to present to the general public, and a lot of that times it is blatantly obvious that they are screwing around with us.

That being said, I didn’t get that feeling from this episode of Top Chef (beyond the fake rivalry between Hosea and Stefan).

So what do you think? Do you believe Casey when she says that Carla was in way over her head?

February 27, 2009 Posted by | Nonsense | , , | 4 Comments

The rules of discussing television

Ok folks, it’s time for a frank discussion.

Yesterday morning I was shocked by something. Absolutely shocked. The number of people who absolutely ruined the Top Chef finale for anyone who didn’t catch it live the previous night was astounding.

Top Chef Spoiler Alert

Top Chef Spoiler Alert

Top Chef Spoiler Alert

I was one of the fortunate ones, I was able to watch it live, but at least three times this season I was forced to watch the show during one of Bravo’s 1.6 million weekly reruns. If this past Wednesday had been one of those unfortunate weeks, and I had decided to go on Facebook and check out the statuses of the people I know, then a) I would have known that Carla didn’t perform well due to all of the “poor Carla” statuses, and b) I would have known that Hosea won because of the “fuck Hosea” and “I can’t believe Hosea won” status messages.

This, is just absolutely nonsense.

Now I bet the people who were so quick to announce to the world the results of Wednesday night would argue that one is supposed to watch it live, and if they don’t its up to them to make sure they don’t have it ruined by others.*

B…S…

This does not apply when the only reasons one would add the results of Top Chef (or any other show for that matter) to their statuses is because they want to appear to be more in the know than others, and because they assume that others care even the slightest bit that they are more in the know than others.

No, like so many other things in life, there should be, and is, a common courtesy to this. First off, find a way to express your happiness or displeasure with the results of a television show in a way that doesn’t give away the results (if its a competition-based show) or the major plot lines (if its a series). ESPECIALLY if it’s within 24 hours of the shows original airing.

Write things like, “ugh, I hate Top Chef” or “wow, what a great episode of Bromance that was.” If you can’t find a way to adequately express yourself on the show of choice, don’t say anything at all.

Second, if you’re wondering when it is OK to actually discuss openly or in a public forum the results or plot lines of a show, I would argue that it’s a three day rule. Given the fact that nearly every show is put online in full for free the day after it airs and the advent of Tivo and DVR, 72 hours from the original air date is more than enough time for people to catch the missed show. If they can’t do it in 72 hours, they deserve to have it ruined.

Finally, you are going to write something about the show, like I did with the blog yesterday, two very simple and small words can prevent a lot of grief and anger. Just write “spoiler alert” it lets people know what you’re about to talk about, and instantly makes people avert their eyes if they see it. Crisis averted.

If you are really resisting following these guidelines, put yourself in their shoes. Would you want to accidentally stumble upon something that ruins your favorite TV show? Is it really work putting something in your Facebook feed that will almost certainly ruin more peoples days than it will benefit? Can we all just work together? I promise people will have just as much fun discussing how much Hosea sucks on Sunday as they would on Thursday.

* This does not apply to sporting events. Sorry. Watch the game live. There is no rational basis for assuming you should be able to be insulated from the results of the World Series, or the score of the Super Bowl for more than 15 minutes following the end of the game.

February 27, 2009 Posted by | Television | , , | Leave a comment

Fellow people celebrating Lent…

Don’t forget you can’t eat meat today, it’s Friday.

February 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

February 26 For the Win/For the Loss

Haven’t done one of these in awhile, so this is a round up of the last few days.

For the Win

Project Meridank: Some of you may have noticed an addition to the blog roll yesterday. Project Meridank is a blog that my friend Miller and I started. It has a completely different feel than Marc’s GChat. Read and enjoy.

Dwight Howard…awesome: He makes the kind of shot that most only see by way of camera tricks in commercials:

Changes in GMail: Google has made a couple of subtle changes to GMail over the last week or so. Most noticeably they improved the gchat status feature by opening up a separate box for edits to your status. Gone are the days where you are scrolling back and forth in that tiny bar they gave you. They also added a status bar to attachments so you know how far along they are in the upload process, a valuable took for people who are uploading big files to emails. Nicely done Google.

Hey Look, Jimmy Fallon Did Something Right: Excellent moment with Kenneth the Page riffing off of Jindal’s State of the Union “rebuttal.” Naturally NBC.com’s embed code won’t work because the only embed code that ever works on a regular basis is Youtube, so head over to Gawker to take a look.

Speaking of Gawker…: They did a great job recapping last night’s Tom Chef as well. Their write up is hysterical.

So much baconaise: Could be made from this…wow that’s a big hog

For the Loss

An end to the NYU “protests”: By now you all have probably heard about the ridiculous student sit ins at NYU. If you haven’t, Head over to Gawker (wow, I’m linking them a lot today) for a good run down. Long story short, it’s a huge sham, and it gives real civil disobedience a bad name. Well that all ended on Monday:

The video is actually rather entertaining. All in all the students accomplished…absolutely nothing. Way to go.

David Beckham, hawking sex pills: But not really…

February 26, 2009 Posted by | For the Win/For the Loss | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Repeal of gun ban is being attached to DC Voting Rights Act

My friends Andy and Tim are telling me that the Senate is adding a repeal of the DC gun ban to the DC House Voting Rights Act. This essentially circumvents the DC City Council, and is just a ridiculous thing to do.

Worse, it seems likely to pass.

I don’t have access to CSPAN-2, but that is where he is watching if you care to tune in.

Haven’t found anything about it online, I’ll post a link when I can find one. If you happen to find anything about it online, post in the comments section.

Update: Tim made a good point just now, this thing is probably going to be struck down by the courts, so this all could be a moot point.

Update Again: The amendment itself would drop criminal penalties for possessing unregistered firearms inside the District of Columbia, and repeal the post-Heller gun registration regulations adopted by the D.C. Council.

Riffing hard from opposing views, here is what the Ensign amendment would do:

  • The amendment would allow D.C. residents to cross state lines to buy handguns in neighboring states
  • The amendment would bar D.C. from passing any law that would “prohibit, constructively prohibit, or unduly burden” gun ownership by anyone not barred by federal gun laws
  • The amendment repeals D.C.’s ban on .50 caliber sniper rifles, military-style semiautomatic assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines
  • The amendment repeals D.C.’s requirements that semiautomatic pistols manufactured after January 1, 2011, be microstamp-ready.
  • The amendment repeals many restrictions on who can own guns in favor of Federal restrictions. This includes; the prohibition on most persons under age 21 from possessing firearms (now 18), the prohibition on gun possession by anyone who has
    committed a violent crime or recent drug crime (that allows some who have committed violent crimes to possess hand guns), the prohibition on gun possession by anyone voluntarily committed to a mental institution in the last 5 years (unless they have a doctor’s certification), and the prohibition in D.C. law on gun possession by anyone who does not pass a vision test, including if they are blind
  • The amendment would repeal safe storage requirements and prohibit D.C. from enacting new safe storage laws,
  • The amendment would repeal even the most basic gun registration requirements** (**this seems fishy, I’m not sure if this is true, I’m going to check on this)

Thanks to Carly for the link.

And it just passed with 61 votes.

If I got anything wrong, let me know. Also, like I said, this is probably going to be struck down in the courts, so everyone take a deep breath.

The Updates Rain Down Upon Us: My friend Morgan brings up another good point. This still has to go through Conference, and the chances that it makes it through Conference with the gun provisions intact is small, if even existent at all.

February 26, 2009 Posted by | Politics | , , | 6 Comments

Moron of the Week Nominees

We are really behind on Moron of the Week. So rather than spend a ton of time delving into the finer details of why they are deserving of a nomination, I’m going to try to roll through them quickly so we can start the voting. There aren’t a whole lot of nominees who require explanation.

Senator Jim Bunning

For predicting that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be dead from cancer in nine months. Sure, recovering from pacreatic cancer is difficult, but it’s not like this was a passing comment. It was said while he was discussing conservative judges:

…Bunning said he supports conservative judges “and that’s going to be in place very shortly because Ruth Bader Ginsburg … has cancer.”

“Bad cancer. The kind that you don’t get better from,” he told a crowd of about 100 at the old State Theater.

“Even though she was operated on, usually, nine months is the longest that anybody would live after (being diagnosed) with pancreatic cancer,” he said.

Ass. You stay classy Jim Bunning. Sure you’ve since apologized, but does that really excuse bringing to light someone’s chances of dying for political purposes? I don’t think so. But hey! Doing that certainly does make you a perfect nominee for Moron of the Week.

Northern Trust Bank

List of things not to do if you are a bank that just received $1.6 million in bailout money:

1) Do not sponsor PGA Golf events. Fail:

As for the golf tournament, a rep from the PGA told us Northern Trust wrote one big fat check in order to sponsor the event. That check covers part of the $6.3 million purse, the advertising costs for the spots on CBS (which broadcast the final two rounds of the tournament) and operating costs.

2) Do not fly hundreds of clients and employees to L.A., put them up at the Beverly Wilshire, the Bev Hills, the Ritz Carlton, and the Casa Del Mar. Then host three days of lush parties with bands such as Chicago, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Sheryl Crow performing. Fail:

As for what all that costs: Well, the company isn’t talking. We spoke with a rep from the band Chicago who said Northern Trust paid them around $100,000. A House of Blues source told us it cost more than $50,000 to close the joint down last Saturday night. As for Sheryl Crow’s fee, her rep didn’t get back to us. Earth, Wind & Fire acknowledges payment but won’t say how much.

3) Do not try to weasel your way out of scrutiny by saying it was not bailout money that paid for it, because obviously money is money. Fail:

Northern Trust gave us a statement yesterday before going total radio silence. A rep for the bank acknowledges they paid for the events, but that the bailout money did not pay for the events.

4) Do not get nominated for Moron of the Week. Fail.

Washington DC Metro Board Members

metro_wmata_logo_washingt_46bbd8f746787

For not riding the Metro themselves:

Half of Metro’s 12 board members, including Chairman Jim Graham, do not regularly ride the train or bus system they oversee. And even as members say they need to trim expenses and boost revenue, several haven’t paid their parking fees at Metro headquarters for at least 2 1/2 years.

Which makes them perfect for the job. Ugh.

For the nine years he has served on the board, Graham, a D.C. Council member representing Ward 1, has not regularly taken the bus or subway. Now that he’s chairman of the Metro board, he said he is climbing aboard.

“I’m going to become a more regular rider,” Graham said. “On a weekly basis, I will be found on the bus.

Ohhh, well how considerate of you after nine freaking years! Moron.

Jim Bowden

The General Manager for the lowly Washington Nationals. My coworker and Nats Blogger Kristen explains why:

First, one of his highly touted prospects turned out to be four years older than the team originally thought (with a fake name). Then Sports Illustrated reported that Bowden is indeed the subject of an investigation by the FBI into skimming prospects in the Dominican out of their signing bonuses, dating back to 1994. Bowden claims that he’s innocent, but he’s been effectively silenced by the Nationals Front Office and one of his right-hand men, Jose Rijo, was fired by the franchise today. As rumors continue to swirl about who his successor will be, Jim hasn’t yet stepped down from his duties and allowed the Nationals to move forward with their 2009 season.

Good enough for me. Moron of the Week.

Aaannnd you know the deal. Vote in the poll on the side bar. Voting closes tomorrow night.

February 26, 2009 Posted by | Moron of the Week | , , , , | 1 Comment

My thoughts on the Top Chef Finale

It’s time to discuss Top Chef.

SPOILER ALERT

SPOILER ALERT

SPOILER ALERT

SPOILER ALERT

SPOILER ALERT

SPOILER ALERT

I’m gonna give a couple sentences on a couple of my few observations about last night before I lay the verbal smack down on the idiot judges of Top Chef.

I was very happy with the final challenge. Coming up with the best three course tasting menu, just cook whatever you cook. Exactly what the final challenge should be.

Seeing Richard, Casey, and Marcel return was fantastic. They are three of my favorite contestants in Top Chef history. Casey is so beautiful.

Stefan calling Marcel a “twat” was the funniest moment of the season, possibly of the Top Chef series. It was amazing.

Everyone knew that a twist was coming, I’m just glad they didn’t jack up the chef’s three offerings. Adding an appetizer is fine

As soon as Carly and Stefan decided to do a dessert I knew they would win or lose on the dish. As soon as the coward Hosea decided not to sack up and do one I knew he may have found a way to level the playing field against two clearly superior chefs.

The chefs were even after the appetizer. Carla surged ahead after dish one. Stefan and Hosea surpassed Carla in dish two. And it became a two man race between Stefan and Hosea after week dish three.

Carla messing up her dessert was really a shame. It sucks when a really good chef goes down like that.

As beautiful as Casey is, she probably cost Carla any chance at winning Top Chef.

Now, we come to the epic debacle that was judges table.

What sort of stupid, asinine, dumb sauce were the judges free-basing prior to discussing who should win Top Chef? Whatever it was, can we make sure that all rations of said sauce are destroyed immediately?

It is clear that Carla shot herself in the foot. She had a lot of momentum but screwed up her second and third dishes. It is inexcusable to win if you prepare a bad final meal, and her final meal was bad. I had no problem with them dismissing her at the beginning of the discussion because she just didn’t rise to the occasion.

I’m not entirely sure Hosea didn’t make a deal with Casey to split the winnings if she got Carla out of the way, but that’s a conspiracy theory for another day.

With Carla no longer in the running, we have Hosea and Stefan. Sure the judges were disappointed with Stefan’s dessert, but he made a dessert. Hosea was a punk. He was a wimp. He was, for lack of a better word, a little bitch. Three course meals end with a dessert. I don’t think Hosea should have been rewarded for playing it safe, especially given the number of contestants who were kicked off this season, and last season, and the season before that, for playing it safe. Maybe if Stefan had pooped on a plate and called it dessert the judges would have had a case, but that was absurd.

And when you have two chefs who perform close to equal on the finale, it makes sense to consider their entire body of work. Right? Am I really all that wrong about this? It is absolutely ridiculous not to consider what the chef did prior to the finale in making a final decision on who should be the Top Chef. You’re trying to tell me that if a contestant were to win every single challenge throughout the season, and then a chef who won no challenges throughout the season managed to cook AS WELL as him in the finale, that he should be crowned Top Chef? Are you stupid?

That is an exaggeration of what occurred this season, but not by much. Hosea had this personal vendetta against Stefan. He called him his nemesis. News flash Hosea, for him to be your nemesis, or rival, you would have to actually succeed in beating him once in awhile. Hosea is like the Boston Red Sox pre-winning the world series when they would call out the Yankees. Stefan was like the Yankees fan who would fire back with “well how many World Series have you won?” Hosea did not deserve this, in the slightest bit.

You can call Stefan arrogant and an ass all you want, but he deserved to win. His final dish was very good. Half of the table thought he made a great dessert. That, in conjunction with his performance during the season (one of the best of all time) means he should have won. Hosea showed us an exercise in mediocrity for an entire season, then managed to cook well in the last two episodes. It’s absurd. NO ONE thinks he is the top chef, because he’s not.

The judges epic failed all over the place. So much so that they will be nominated for Moron of the Week next week (after everyone has had a chance to see the finale). I am just flabbergasted by their choice. Hosea is the least deserving Top Chef in the history of the show.

February 26, 2009 Posted by | Television | , , , , | 2 Comments

Hot Bit of a Delay on the First Post of the Day

I got a project at work, and as such the Nominees and voting for Moron of the Week that I thought would be up and start this morning will actually go up this afternoon.

However, my thoughts on Top Chef will be up in an hour and a half or so.

In the mean time, Head over to this kid’s Youtube Channel and watch every video he has made and try not to laugh.

My buddy Mike sent me this one:

I think it’s the best video on the channel.

February 26, 2009 Posted by | Moron of the Week | , | 3 Comments

From the department of prayers answered: Megan Fox is single

nerble-megan-fox-maxim-04

Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green Terminate Their Wedding Plans:

Right now, men across the county are doing a little dance of joy — Megan Fox may be back on the market.

Fox, 22, and fiancé Brian Austin Green, 35, have quietly ended their engagement, according to People.

“The decision was mutual,” a source told the magazine. “They’re still friends.”

The Transformers star met Green, in 2004, and got engaged two years later in November of 2006.

Do you think the two are really done?

Please, please please, let the answer to that question be yes.

February 25, 2009 Posted by | Nonsense | , , | 5 Comments

The “Oh God” heard round the world

From Real Clear Politics:

As Gov. Jindal prepares to give the Republican response to Obama’s address, an MSNBC host or producer was heard off camera muttering “Oh God.”

The remark came after host Keith Olbermann paused the panel’s discussion as Gov. Jindal was walking to the camera.

Turns out it was your friend and mine Chris Matthews:

I was taken aback by that peculiar stagecraft, the walking from somewhere in the back of this narrow hall, this winding staircase looming there, the odd anti-bellum look of the scene. Was this some mimicking of a president walking along the state floor to the East Room?

Chris Matthews must be Nostradamus because his pre-speech “oh God” happened to be exactly what many on both sides of the aisle were saying during and after the speech.

A lot has been made over where exactly Jindal went wrong; was it the delivery of the speech? The production? The substance?

I would argue all three.

The delivery was probably the worst of it all. Yes, Governor Jindal sounded like Kenneth the page, but that is beside the point. When you’re delivering a speech of this magnitude the delivery is one of the most important aspects of it. Governor Jindal sounded rushed, out of his element, uncomfortable, and just plane strange. If the delivery is off, it doesn’t matter if you are announcing a cure for cancer, it will be flat, and Governor Jindal fell flat.

As for the production, it fell just as short. Chris Matthews is right. The slow walk out to the non existent podium subtly but intentionally brought to mind a President making a speech to the American people. It didn’t work. It was distracting.

And most importantly, the substance of the speech was all wrong.

This is the Republican response to one of the most important economic speeches in the last two decades. Using the first two minutes of said response to give your first Presidential Campaign bio pitch and then littering the rest of the speech with subtle references to your record in Louisiana was way off base. Ther American people don’t care.

And are you kidding me with evoking Hurricane Katrina? Have we forgotten which party was in power during Hurricane Katrina? If the Republicans are going to blast Democrats and say “the failure of the stimulus will be on the shoulders of the Democratic President and Democratically led Congress” can’t we say “the failure of the stimulus is on the shoulders of the Republican President and the Republican led Congress?” And did you forget the billions in federal aid that Louisiana received before and in the wake of Hurricane Katrina? You didn’t seem to have an issue with the federal Government then.

And even if you can get past the campaign speech, the absurd Hurricane Katrina reference, the deceitful digs about where stimulus money is going, the flat one liners that gave off not even the smallest impression that Republicans have the slightest idea about how to strengthen and eventually fix our economy, and the discussion of a non existent Republican health care plan, Governor Jindal’s speech was just bad.

President Obama spent 45 minutes laying out the Democrats’ strategy on the economy. Governor Jindal spent 12 minutes talking about how bad the Democrats are and pitching himself for President in 4 years. That is not a rebuttal. A rebuttal implies discussing why the opposing side is wrong and offering up ones own ideas. It’s also not an adequate response. Because people are terrified right now. There is only a small percentage of Americans who can ever remember the economy being as bad as it is right now. People want ideas and plans. Any and all. The more the better. Governor Jindal provided none, and that is why he is getting universally panned.

February 25, 2009 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , | 1 Comment