Monday, 30 December 2002: How was everybody's Christmas? Our's was great. Our big gift to each other was a membership to our park district's fitness center. We've already gone a couple of times. I'll be going again tonight after work. Got some other little things like CDs, gift certificates, DVDs, books, a PS2 game, and a couple of those little Zip Zap R/C car knockoffs (the brand that is sold at Walgreen's is half the price of the actual namebrand cars available at Radio Shack). I've got one of the cars at work and the other at home. They both are accidentally set to the same frequency, so one controller can operate both. It was getting a little tough for Katie and I to race each other if we could control each other's car. Heh. Pretty weird to watch. Kinda like synchronized swimming for cars.
I also have pictures from this Christmas posted. So feel free to peruse them.
And I discovered that my free ticket to see Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers that came with my DVD set expires tomorrow and I'm not supposed to be going to see it for another couple of weeks with Katie, Nate, and Cathy. So, I'm using the ticket tomorrow and going to see it by myself. I wouldn't want to make Katie sit through a 3+ hour movie twice. She's already not really looking forward to seeing it just the one time. Ah well. I can handle it twice. Never bothered me.
Oh, and since this is likely to be my last post for 2002... Happy New Year!
Wednesday, 25 December 2002: As I promised you all, I have a scan of our Christmas card posted now. So, click here for your special kapgar.com Christmas greeting.
Tuesday, 24 December 2002: Katie got one heckuva Christmas gift today. She passed her Pharmacy Tech certification exam. Her certificate came in the mail today and she was jumping around the pharmacy when I took it to her at work (I couldn't wait for her to get home to give it to her. I was just as excited). My Katie is now certifiable... er... certified. Congratulations Kate.
Well, it only took me a little over three months, but I finally finished reading The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Why did it take me so long? I had a little thing going on the last few months called my EMT-B course and free reading kinda went on the backburner in the meantime. Anyway, enough about that. I can now go see the movie. And, let me tell you, I've been dying to see it. Hopefully it will happen this weekend
Monday, 23 December 2002: Is anybody else out there other than me starting to draw parallels between Michael Jordan and the cast of "Friends"? Both have a large amount of talent (excluding, in my opinion Courtney Cox Arquette and David Schwimmer), an incredibly huge international fanbase, get paid way too much, and draw in all kinds of advertiser/sponsor money.
Jordan left the game in what was supposed to be his retirement and tried his hand at baseball. The Friends started branching out from their hit series into movies. Not that the Friends were retired from the show when they did this, but they were supposed to be calling it quits after the 2001-02 season. When they discovered that only one or two of them stood a chance with big-screen glory, they pooled together and won contracts worth $1 million per episode for one last season. For this return from "retirement," both Jordan and the Friends had even bigger success than before. Three more NBA titles for his Airness and Emmy's for the show and for Jennifer Aniston.
Then comes the inevitable second retirement. Jordan leaves and discovers that he can't stand being away. He returns yet again, but with hit-or-miss success. He has his "on" days, which are followed up by pretty poor "off" days.
Well, the Friends are at it again as well. This past Friday, NBC, in its quest to not lose all viewers and sponsors next season after the folding of the show, have convinced the cast and crew of "Friends" to return for one more season. The six principal stars will be getting just a little more than the $1M/episode that they received last season. Better than that is the fact that their season will be cut down from 24 episodes to a mere 18. That gives NBC the chance to rake in their sponsor bucks during the key sweeps months and it gives the stars a chance to really work harder on their movie careers.
In my opinion, no amount of time will help Schwimmer and Cox forge a solid movie career. Although Cox has reaped the highest gross in terms of movie-making money of all the Friends, her roles have all been as part of an ensemble cast (Scream 1-3, etc.). Neither her nor Schwimmer has any star power whatsoever.
Lisa Kudrow can't really hold her own either, but it doesn't seem as though that's of any concern to her. She's very focused on her family which is not such a bad thing. For her, it's gotta be a pretty darned good thing when you look at films like Hanging Up. Honestly, though, it's not as though any of them really need to act ever again with the money they've earned.
As much as I like Matt LeBlanc in the show, he has had a very dismal film career with his highest grossing film coming in the form of a five-minute stint on Charlie's Angels as Lucy Liu's boyfriend.
Matthew Perry has some staying power, but he's going to need to diversify himself somewhat. He was pretty good in The Whole Nine Yards and the sequel (The Whole Ten Yards) will be out sometime late next year, I think. Otherwise, though, he's had big bombs with films like Serving Sara, Almost Heroes, and Three to Tango. Bottom line: he has the potential, but he needs to develop it.
As has been stated in almost every magazine and newspaper article the world over, the best chance at stardom comes from Aniston. Not only does she have the princess lifestyle being married to Brad Pitt, but she also has seen what it's like to be successful in films. The Good Girl, Rock Star, Office Space, The Object of My Affection, and Picture Perfect, while not exactly high-grossing, have cemented her place in Hollywood star circles. Hell, she even received high critic's marks for her role in The Good Girl and there's talk of an Oscar nomination. I don't personally think that will happen, but the buzz never hurt a career.
I just want to wrap this up by saying that I'm not very pleased that they're coming back for another season. The writers are going to get tired of having to re-start their story arcs by finding a way to un-finish what they have already been planning for a year to end. How many times can they keep doing this before their creativity is completely shot? Who's getting married next? Who's turn is it to get pregnant now? It's time for NBC to face up to the fact that they will not always have the Friends around and they need to start taking some of this money that they keep throwing into their salaries and use it towards developing some new, quality shows. We're sick and tired of the same old same old. Come up with something original. You've got the cash and the clout, now use it. It's not easy, I'll admit, but this world is full of creative writers with original ideas. Go see what's out there. And, for God's sake, stop pulling the plugs on shows so soon when you've hardly given them a chance to take off ("Leap of Faith" and "Inside Schwartz" anyone?). Shows like "Seinfeld" and "Cheers" had to learn to crawl before they sprinted, right? Not every great show is a hit right from the starting gate.