5 posts from May 2003

Oldies: Sunday, May 25 - Saturday, May 31, 2003...

Friday, 30 May 2003: How's this for a helluva morning? As I was driving to work and crossing over through an intersection, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw the internal flasher lights going on an undercover squad car. So I pull over and the cop tells me I was speeding. I had no idea. Seriously. That's not some line of BS I pulled to try to get out of the ticket. I really didn't know that I was speeding. According to the cop, I was going 8 MPH over so he only warned me. Guess I got off light. I was happy it was just a warning. But still and all the same.

Then, when I got to work, my coworker Stevie is sitting outside our building with someone else using her cellphone. Turns out our building was broken into sometime overnight. The door was kicked in and the doorjam was ripped out of the wall. Nothing was stolen that we could see. According to the Aurora Police and Campus Security, it might have just been some students celebrating the fact that final exams ended yesterday. Supposedly, there was a bunch of drunken rowdiness last night on campus. Yeah, and the administration would just love to believe that our "dry campus" policy is working. Sheeyah, right.

Wednesday, 28 May 2003: Just to see what all the hype's been about, I finally got around to renting The Ring tonight. Hey, I had another rent-one-get-one coupon from Blockbuster and plenty of credit left on that gift card, so what the hey, right? And, no, as would be expected, Katie was nowhere to be seen while I was watching this. She made it clear to me very early on that she had no plans whatsoever to watch this movie. That's why I watched it tonight while she was at work.

Suffice it to say, the movie isn't near what it's hyped to be. I wasn't particularly scared or on the edge of my seat or anything like that. In fact, the scariest part of the film happened when I was watching a bonus hidden feature. Allow me to explain...

Effectively, what the story is about is that a videotape containing a very strange two-minute amalgam of images is being blamed for the deaths of those who watch it. What happens is after a person watches the tape, no matter where they are, they will receive a phone call. On the other end of the line will be a voice saying, "in seven days, you will die." Okay. Whatever.

Well, in the main menu of the DVD, if you use your up arrow button to scroll up past the first menu option -- "watch movie" -- you will discover that the little red arrow has disappeared from the screen. Click "enter" on your remote and the actual two-minute video-within-the-movie will start up on your screen. Well, if you're like me, when you're done watching it, you'll be left wondering what kind of drugs induce those kinds of wicked visions.

But I digress.

When the final screen of white noise appears on your TV, just to add a little freak-out flair, the DVD creators decided to add the sound of a phone ringing. Shame it doesn't sound like any phone Katie and I own or it might have at least had me wondering. Well, a split second after the on-screen phone rang, so did the phone in the apartment. That made me jump. Of course, it was Katie calling me from work and I was expecting her to call and I figured that, with my luck, it would actually happen right on cue with the video. But, really, what are the odds that would actually work out? One in a few trillion? Maybe even less? Guess I shoulda called a bookie.

Tuesday, 27 May 2003: I'm not quite sure how to take this news... not only is my favorite show Boston Public going to move from Monday at 7 p.m. to Friday at 8 p.m., but producers have also just announced that they are axing four cast members for next season. The four who received their pink slips are Cara DeLizia, China Shavers, Jon Abrahams, and Joey McIntyre.

Okay, I'm fine with losing DeLizia and Shavers seeing as how they were just playing students anyway. DeLizia played Marcy, the student aide in Principal Harper's office, while Shavers played Brooke Harper, the principal's daughter. I don't know if Marcy was supposed to be a senior or not, but who really cares? Students come and go in high school and, consequently, in the show as well. Same goes for Brooke Harper who did, in fact, graduate this season and is moving on to Harvard according to her on-screen father (Chi McBride) in the season finale. No skin off my back on either of them.

As for Abrahams and McIntyre, though. Abrahams was proving to be a pretty good male character. They were really developing his character well with his relationship with Ronnie Cooke (Jeri Ryan). So I'm gonna be sad to see him go. McIntyre was a completely underused character in the show. Save for one plotline where he was sleeping with the married mother (Anne Archer) of one his students, he's really been nothing to the show. I was hoping that was going to change this coming season. I will admit that I was skeptical about them having hired a former member of New Kids on the Block for the show, but, as time went on, I felt he showed potential.

I guess I'll just have to wait and see who they are replaced with, if anyone. I hope they find someone new. The cast count seems to be steadily dwindling on that show.

Sunday, 25 May 2003: And how did Katie and I follow up our ultimate lazy Saturday? With a lazy Sunday. Well, not entirely lazy. We did go grocery shopping and hiked out a three mile walk through a new neighborhood that we've never walked through before (hey, when you go walking on a regular basis, you gotta change up the scenery sometime). Then, we came back to the apartment and threw together some snack stuffs, a bottle of wine, a bottle of champagne, and some mac and cheese and watched several episodes from the Sex and the City season four boxset. Sadly, since we don't really drink that much, it only took that little to get us blitzed. Not stark raving drunk, mind you. Just very, very happy. Which also means that we only got through five episodes before we were sawing logs. Wanna talk about an entirely pathetic tolerance level? We are so screwed on this cruise.

Oldies: Sunday, May 18 - Saturday, May 24, 2003...

Saturday, 24 May 2003: Lazy weekends are always a good thing. Lazy weekends that have another day tacked on the end thanks to a Federal Holiday are even better.

So, put bluntly, Katie and I didn't do a whole heckuva lot so far this weekend and it's not likely to change much since she's got to work both tomorrow and on Monday. But we did see some movies. Went out and caught Bruce Almighty on opening day. We don't really catch too many movies on opening day anymore and now we're starting to see why... hundreds of zit-popping teeny boppers crowding in to see the latest comedic onslaught by their hero Jim Carrey. Funny thing about that is that so many of these kids were barely even speaking when Carrey reallly first started to make it big. I had just started college when the first Ace Ventura came out. I remember that I was a freshman and had just transferred to Northern Illinois University from Iowa State University and went to see it with a bunch of guys from my floor. We had fun.

Not as though it needs to be said, but Carrey is starting to get older and, not that he's lost his comedic timing or ability at all, but he does seem to have matured quite a bit from his Ace Ventura and Maskdays. But he's still good. So I do recommend this movie. Jennifer Aniston is pretty good and Morgan Freeman is incredible.

We also rented -- yes, we actually set foot in Blockbuster (hey, we had a rent-one-get-one coupon and a gift card so we spent nothing) -- Adaptation and Stealing Harvard. I highly recommend the first movie and would suggest avoiding the second as though it came packaged with bubonic plague. If you were ever a Nicolas Cage fan who was gradually losing respect for the guy based on his recent performances,Adaptation will completely restore your faith in his acting ability. He's superb. Rent it, buy it, steal it, whatever. Just see this film.

Thursday, 22 May 2003: I just realized something today. Katie and I have been using Prodigy as our dialup service at home for almost two years now. And, when we signed up for the service, we were given a free Prodigy e-mail address. You know what that means? It means nobody has checked that account at all since we signed up. Whoops.

So I went in there today to check it out. 239 pieces of spam. Nothing less, but apparently a whole lot more. You see, we only have 10MB of space in that e-mail server (which is double what we get on Hotmail), and the earliest of the 239 messages was dated around April 20th of this year. That means that we filled up our limit on spam nearly right away and the older messages have been deleted by the server on a pretty regular basis. My God, that means we had somewhere close to a total of 5000-6000 e-mails sitting in there total over time. I can't imagine what hell it would have been to have had to erase all those.

Yeah, so I went in and set just about every e-mail filter I could find to see if that makes a difference. It would be nice if it did because 10MB can store a heckuva lot of e-mail.

Wednesday, 21 May 2003 (a little later): I just wanted to say a quick Happy Birthday to my mom who turns... hmmm... dunno if I can count that high anymore. I'm not that edumucated. Happy Birthday, Mom.

Wednesday, 21 May 2003: Why, Vijay Singh? Why are you making such a big deal about Annika Sorenstam taking part in a PGA Tour event? Are you really that offended about having a woman participate in a men's golf tournament? Can someone out there explain to me why it's such a big deal? I think it's great that she's going to be playing. Tiger Woods supports it as well. I mean, c'mon, Singh even dropped out of the event because she's playing. Please don't tell me you buy into his "I need a break" line of B.S. He said last week that he would drop out if he was paired with her and now, this week, when she is officially announced as being a participant in the Colonial, he does drop out but says it's because he needs a break. Hmmm... odd little coincidence, don't you think?

In follow-up news, the girl I mentioned on Monday who was kidnapped from Urbana and was featured in a TV news ticker Amber Alert, was found yesterday in Chicago. I guess we can chalk that up as two points in favor of Amber Alert, eh?

Monday, 19 May 2003: Last night, while watching The Bachelor, Katie and I saw something that neither of us had ever seen before. You know how, on occasion, news or weather reports will scroll across the bottom of the screen in what's known as the "news ticker"? Well, the ticker started rolling with Amber Alert information about a child who was kidnapped down in Urbana, Illinois (the home of the University of Illinois' main campus). Maybe this is something new we're trying in order to get the Amber Alert initiated in the State of Illinois. Who really knows? But it was kinda cool to see it happen.

From what the radio reported this morning, two Amber Alerts went out on primetime last night in Chicago. The second was for a child in Gary, Indiana. Apparently, this child was found almost immediately following the Amber Alert announcement. Dunno about the Urbana kid. They never really said. Well, I guess if the Amber Alert works just one time, then it has proven its value, eh?

Sunday, 18 May 2003: I get a kick out of watching Katie when she watches TV sometimes. Tonight, despite having never watched any other episode this season, she and I watched the finale of The Bachelor. Couldn't tell you why we did this. Heck, Katie never even expressed any interest in watching it previously. But we did. I think she said it had to do with her constantly listening to the Mix Morning Show's (101.9 FM Chicago) coverage of how "Chicago Jen" was doing with Andrew Firestone. So, we watched it to see how it all turned out.

As soon as Firestone announced to Kirsten (the other girl) that he was in love with Jen, Katie, who up to now was laying on my arm, jumped up on her knees on the couch and started cheering like a madwoman waving her arms in circles and all that jazz. It was funny as hell. I swear that my wife cracks me up like nobody else can.

Oldies: Sunday, May 11 - Saturday, May 17, 2003...

Saturday, 17 May 2003: I can't remember if I mentioned this previously or not, but here goes anyway. A few months back, Katie and I received a notice in the mail claiming that we had several thousand airmiles saved up through our U.S. Airways frequent flier plan and they asked us to spend the miles on magazines. Well, we've never had a U.S. Airways miles plan so we figured it was a joke or some marketing scheme or just some outright mistake. Apparently, my parents have received the same mailer and have received magazines condition free. Well, I read it carefully and, when it said that I don't need to provide any credit card information, I decided to sign up for it. So now Katie and I have a ton of magazines sitting around.

This weekend, I decided to catch up on the last month's worth of magazines and I came across a pretty interesting blurb in either Time or Newsweek. The article dealt with measures that the U.S. Government is enacting to ensure our domestic safety. Stuff like being able to monitor what we check out of libraries and what we buy at bookstores. They even wanted to force Internet Service Providers to hand over records of their users. I believe, if I read correctly, that idea was shot down.

But one that is a reality that scares the hell out of me is that of a "no fly list." This is a list of people that is maintained by the government that are open in their opposition to the U.S. Government and their foreign policies (read "War in Iraq"). It seems that a couple were detained at the San Francisco International Airport before they were to fly off somewhere else in the States and were questioned.

Now, I realize that my opposition on this webpage is pretty minimal and that I'm a tiny friggin' fish in a big old pond. And, really, just how big is my readership? Like 3 or 4 regular readers, maybe? But, the concept of this scares me especially since I'm supposed to be flying to Florida next month for a cruise with my wife's family. Wouldn't that just suck?

I supported Bush through the whole anti-Al Q'aida campaign in Afghanistan. I've been just as patriotic as anyone else since 9-11 and, unlike most, even before then. I even agreed to help out airline staff during mine and Katie's return flight from our honeymoon should two seedy looking guys on our plane turn out to be terrorists. And, while I was not exactly supportive of Bush's plan to attack Iraq (because I felt diplomatic options were not exhausted), I did completely support our troops as they fought away in the hot desert sun. Despite all this, I'm still a little nervous as to what could possibly happen.

Am I just blowing this completely out of proportion?

Friday, 16 May 2003: I find it amazing sometimes just how much our tastes change as we get older. Be it music, movies, TV shows, food, whatever. I remember being in my teenage years and thinking, "rock and roll is it, there is nothing else." I remember how I loved slasher flicks and sitcoms and I would live on macaroni and cheese and fast food.

I bring this up because this past weekend, Katie and I were hitting some used CD stores trading in a bunch of discs that we don't listen to anymore. I think we netted something like $70 with out trade ins. But I was looking at some of the stuff that I was trading and remembering some of the other stuff I've traded in recent years and then I realized, "wow, I've changed."

I used to own a ton of KISS, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Ozzy (solo and with Black Sabbath), and the Rolling Stones. Looking through what's left, I've got less than half of the KISS and VH CDs I once owned. I still listen to these particular albums from time to time or, in the case of some of my KISS albums, they belonged to my friend Mike who died almost a decade ago and I could never trade them no matter what. Instead of being the die-hard fan I once was who had to own every single studio release by these two bands, I've just decided to pare down my collection to those "essential" albums that I just can't live without.

As for the other four bands I listed, I've traded all my Stones, Zep, and Floyd CDs because they are so overplayed on the radio. Ironic, isn't it? Usually it's top 40 hits that get overplayed. But in this case, the desire by fans and radio stations to be "retro" or "classic" has put these bands in high demand. Okay, I guess I should throw in that I'm tired of hearing Zeppelin's "Rock n' Roll" being used incessantly in the Cadillac ad campaign (or is it Oldsmobile?). Ozzy is another case altogether. He's not just overexposed on the radio, but also on TV, magazines, the 'Net, you name it. I can't stand to look at him or hear his voice or read about him anymore. That damn The Osbournes show on MTV has ruined him for me. I worshipped the guy and listened to all his stuff and now I want nothing to do with it. He's lost his allure and his mystique. Now he's just a withering old man who can barely move and can't get out a single coherent sentence. Where's the fun in that?

I kinda feel bad about it... but only to a degree. Sharon (his wife and manager) is probably thinking that they've lost merely one fan in favor of a legion of others. Well, I'm a long-time fan that has been lost and the new fans will be fleeting, at best. And I know I'm not the only one.

I guess I will go put in one of my Ryan Adams or one of my Pete Yorn CDs. At least they're not yet overkilled.

While I'm in the music mode, I'd like to give my condolences to Johnny Cash on the loss of his wife June Carter-Cash. If you have a chance, head over to his website and check out the message board. Also, listen to some of the songs he's got there. He's done some amazing work in his lifetime and I didn't even realize how much good stuff he's got out there. Even some of his newer covers of current bands are really good.. especially his cover of "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails. The song is amazing and the video will make you want to cry when you think of how it can be interpreted as eerily foreshadowing his wife's death. Check it out at RollingStone.com (you may need to register with RollingStone.com to view it, but it's free to do so).

Thursday, 15 May 2003 (later still): Damn, three entries in one day! What the hell is wrong with me? Well, don't get used to it. It's just a busy news and rant day. Maybe I'll take some time off tomorrow.

Well, Fox has announced their schedule for the fall and here you will find it. Bear in mind that Fox is kinda like WGN/WB in that they don't have a 9 p.m. show because they run their nightly news at that time. So don't think I'm slacking on my reporting.

Sundays - Oliver Beene (6 p.m.), King of the Hill (6:30 p.m.), The Simpsons (7 p.m.), The Ortegas(7:30 p.m.), Malcolm in the Middle (8 p.m.), Arrested Development (8:30 p.m.) - Oliver Beene has moved to much earlier in the evening after following up Malcolm for the second half of this season. The Ortegas is one of two new attempts by Fox next season to cash in on the underserved hispanic population on TV. Arrested Development is show about a rich family who winds up in the poorhouse when the father is arrested for illegal accounting practices. May as well just rename this one Enron.

Mondays - Joe Millionaire (7 p.m.) and Skin (8 p.m.) - I'm still trying to figure out how they plan to get away with another Joe Millionaire as well as figure out how they're going to fill this slot in the offtime.Skin is billed as a Romeo & Juliet styled love story about two teens from very different families... in this case, the son of a U.S. Senator and the daughter of a porn mogul. Hey, we've been asking for different and now we're getting it.

Tuesdays - American Juniors (7 p.m.) and 24 (8 p.m.) - If American Juniors sounds eerily similar toAmerican Idol, that's because it is, complete with pint-sized prima donnas and all. This year, I will definitely tune in regularly for 24 if it kills me.

Wednesdays - That '70s Show (7 p.m.), A Minute With Stan Hooper (7:30 p.m.), Bernie Mac (8 p.m.), and Cedric the Entertainer Presents (8:30 p.m.) - I'm already locked in to taping Ed and My Wife and Kids at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays because Katie and I are always either in class or working and we only own two VCRs. So, yet again, I'm gonna miss out on watching new episodes of That '70s Show which I have just recently become a fan of. I have not watched Bernie Mac or Cedric yet, but I hear they're good. A Minute With Stan Hooper is a Norm MacDonald starrer about a big city reporter who relocates to small-town Wisconsin. Ehh... neh.

Thursdays - Tru Calling (7 p.m.) and The O.C. (8 p.m.) - Tru Calling is one of two teen-oriented dramas on Thursdays about a girl who has the ability to relive days from her past. While The O.C. is about a poor youngster living in a rich household in Orange County (hence, The O.C.). Sounds pretty remniscient of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but I'm curious about how it will translate in dramatic format.

Fridays - Wanda at Large (7 p.m.), Luis (7:30 p.m.), and Boston Public (8 p.m.) - I have never really had a desire to watch Wanda despite all the hype. What I've seen of her on TV has kinda annoyed me.Luis may be cool because it stars Luis Guzman (The Count of Monte Cristo) in the second hispanic cash-in attempt by FOX. And, since I will already be tuning in for Boston Public, I may as well lead in withLuis. But, I must say that I'm pissed that Public has moved to Friday. I much prefer its old Monday night slot. However, it won't stop me from watching it.

Saturdays - COPS (7 and 7:30 p.m.), America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back (8 p.m.) - I'll be avoiding this night entirely. Not my cup of tea. Kinda funny how the Most Wanted title now sounds like aStar Wars movie title.

Other Notes - Well, for once, FOX's lineup doesn't sound all too horrible. Many of the new shows may be a touch-and-go affair in that I'll decide whether or not to give them a chance once I start seeing some teasers later in the summer.

Oh, and don't expect lineups for WB and UPN. I just don't care enough. All Katie cares about is whether or not 7th Heaven is on Mondays at 7 p.m. and, so far as I know, it is.

Thursday, 15 May 2003 (a little later on): Okay, this one is not a war rant. This is about CBS' fall primetime schedule. Here ya go...

Sundays - Cold Case (7 p.m.) and Sunday Night Movie (8 p.m.) - After the cancellation of the steadily dwindling Becker and the horrible-right-out-of-the-chute My Big Fat Greek Life (here's an interesting article), CBS decided to fill the gap with a new drama about a Philly detective who cracks unsolved mysteries from Jerry Bruckheimer (the TV guru behind current CBS hits CSICSI: Miami, and Without A Trace)

Mondays - Yes Dear (7 p.m.), Still Standing (7:30 p.m.), Everybody Loves Raymond (8 p.m.), Two and a Half Men (8:30 p.m.), and CSI: Miami (9 p.m.) - A litte shuffling, but the only new show is Two and a Half Men with Charlie Sheen as a rich Malibu bachelor whose style is cramped by his younger brother (Jon Cryer) and his daughter.

Tuesdays - Navy CIS (7 p.m.), The Guardian (8 p.m.), and Judging Amy (9 p.m.) - Navy CIS is a JAG clone about a Navy/Marine criminal investigation team starring Mark Harmon. Kinda cool to see him back finally. It's been a while since Chicago Hope went off the air and Harmon really hasn't done much since.

Wednesdays - 60 Minutes II (7 p.m.), The King of Queens (8 p.m.), The Stones (8:30 p.m.), and The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H. (9 p.m.) - King of Queens is on a new night followed by The Stones about adult kids living with their parents - oh joy. The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H., aside from having an annoying long name, is a small-town drama from David E. Kelley (The PracticeAlly McBeal, and Boston Public) featuring an ensemble cast headed up by Randy Quaid. Could be worth at least one viewing. But, then I'm tenuous because of the bomb that was Kelley's offering last season - girls' club.

Thursdays - Survivor (7 p.m.), CSI: Crime Scene Investigations (8 p.m.), and Without A Trace (9 p.m.) - Ah, thank you CBS for not changing my favorite night.

Fridays - Joan of Arcadia (7 p.m.), JAG (8 p.m.), and The Handler (9 p.m.) - Joan of Arcadia is a religiously inspired show about a suburban girl who has spontaneous conversations with God via her fellow human beings. Guess CBS had to fill the Touched By an Angel void somehow. Costars Mary Steenburgen and Joe Mantegna as her parents. JAG moves to a new night. And The Handler is a new one with Joey Pants as an FBI trainer who also goes after LA's seedy crimeworld in his offtime. Wonder when he sleeps?

Saturdays - 48 Hours Investigates (7 p.m.), Hack (8 p.m.), and The District (9 p.m.) - Some shuffling. Not enough to make me tune in, though.

Other Notes - So, I guess I'll be living on CBS on late Monday nights and all night on Thursday and not really any other. I can only take so many dramas in one week. There will be a couple others that I will check out to see what they're like, but I can't make any guarantees. Oh, and if you get a chance, definitely read the article I linked up above about My Big Fat Greek Life. It's funny. Talks about how Nia Vardalos has succumbed to the Hollywood prima donna way of life. Good for a chuckle.

Thursday, 15 May 2003 (a little earlier on): I was reading through Fark.com and found a headline for an article on the San Francisco Gate website (the link wasn't working unfortunately) that I found interesting. The headline on Fark read "No WMDs after all, no excuse for war, too late for anyone to care anymore. Ha ha, suckers." Of course, unless you've been living in a hole, WMD stands for Weapons of Mass Destruction. But, anyway, this headline got me thinking and we all know how dangerous that is.

Okay, the war itself is over (insofar as big battles go) and all of us here in the States are celebrating our victory. But, why doesn't anyone care as much about the aftermath of what happened over there? There is not nearly the coverage given to the aftermath as there should be. And you don't hear people talk about it like they did the war.

We make it sound like our job in Iraq is done. The fighting is over, right? So what else is left? Well, I was under the impression that the purpose of the U.S. (and to a much smaller scale, Britain and Australia) fighting in Iraq was to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction as well as free the people and help them get started up again. Have we really achieved this goal? I somehow don't think so.

Well, for one, we have yet to find any of these weapons. We have found evidence that they may have at one time existed. But have we found any actual weapons. Not that I know of. Hell, these remnants may be from weapons that were dismantled years ago.

As for the citizenry, yes, they are "free" in terms of being free from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein's rule (for now, at least; I still think he's alive and will make a return when we least expect it), but they are all now living in fear of their lives. I was watching an interview last night with some Iraqi citizens who are afraid to leave their houses because of the violence that now occurs on the streets. Random beatings, muggings, rapes, destruction of private and public property, looting, carjackings, you name it. And each and every one of them said this sort of thing never happened before. Is this life better for them? Is that what we hoped to achieve by going over there? I sure hope not.

Now, we've got several different ethnic groups fighting for power. We still haven't seated a new head of government. The man we originally sent over there to deal with rebuilding (General Jay Garner) has been replaced. Gas and electric utilities still have not been reestablished. A country that is one of the world's top producers of oil has no gasoline for the vehicles owned by its people.

I realize that we are still working to help the Iraqi people. I know that it's a long and arduous process. But, first impressions are everything and, right now, the first impression that the world is getting is that the U.S. is completely incapable of maintaining control and keeping the peace in Iraq. We are also now being seen as a bunch of slack asses because we can't complete seemingly basic tasks like getting power and gas back to the people. Shoulddn't we have had a plan set up for how to deal with this ahead of time? It's obvious that we did not if the head of our rebuilding team has been canned. Now we're starting anew. And the people of Iraq are in the beginning of their second month of post-war terror.

Ah well, maybe I'm just ranting. Soapbox dismounted.

Wednesday, 14 May 2003: As promised, here is ABC's projected fall primetime lineup. As usual, these are all listed in Central Daylight Time (CDT) so add an hour if you're on the East Coast.

Sundays - 10-8 (7 p.m.), Alias (8 p.m.), and The Practice (9 p.m.). Whoever said that bitching relentlessly gets you nowhere underestimated the power of David E. Kelley's rants and threats... The Practice has moved back to its Sunday night slot. 10-8 is a new police dramedy starring Danny Nucci (Titanic and The Rock) and Ernie Hudson (HBO's Oz and Ghostbusters).

Mondays - Primetime MondayMonday Night Football (thru January to be replaced with a Monday Night Movie). Hmm... what is there to say really?

Tuesdays - 8 Simple Rules... (7 p.m.), I'm With Her (7:30 p.m.), According to Jim (8 p.m.), Less Than Perfect (8:30 p.m.), NYPD Blue (9 p.m.). The only change is the addition of I'm With Her starring David Sutcliffe (Gilmour Girls) and Teri Polo (Sports Night). Otherwise, it's all the same.

Wednesdays - My Wife and Kids (7 p.m.), It's All Relative (7:30 p.m.), The Bachelor (8 p.m.), andKaren Sisco (9 p.m.). It's All Relative is a new one with Lenny Clarke (The Job) in what's being deemed aBirdcage-esque comedy. Karen Sisco is a spinoff of the character made famous by J.Lo. in the film Out of Sight. Thankfully, it will not be her playing Sisco. Instead, Carla Gugino (Spy Kids) will take over the role. I have no idea what's gonna happen when The Bachelor is on hiatus unless they've got plans for several new Bachelors in the works.

Thursdays - Threat Matrix (7 p.m.), Extreme Makeover (8 p.m.), and Primetime Thursday (9 p.m.).Threat Matrix stars Jamie Denton (Philly) and Kelly Rutherford (Melrose Place) and has nothing to do with the movie The Matrix. But, who really cares? It's not as though any channel stands a chance on this night against the CBS and NBC Thursday night dominance.

Fridays - George Lopez (7 p.m.), Back to Kansas (7:30 p.m.), Hope & Faith (8 p.m.), Life With Bonnie(8:30 p.m.), and 20/20 (9 p.m.). ABC reintroduces its old TGIF programming concept sandwiched by two of the few ABC bright spots in George Lopez and Life With Bonnie. The cream filling are two new shows.Back to Kansas stars one of my wife's stud boys Breckin Meyer (Inside Schwartz) as well as ogleworthyDawson's Creek alum Meredith Monroe. Hope & Faith is the new series for Kelly Ripa (Live With Regis and Kelly) as well as Faith Ford.

Saturdays - The Wonderful World of Disney (7 p.m.) and Dragnet (9 p.m.). The death knell for Dragnet? Possibly.

Other Comments - Well, I honestly don't see ABC coming out of the doldrums of programming hell anytime soon. The only chance it really has is on Tuesdays if 8 Simple Rules... can maintain or, better yet, improve upon its stellar level of writing and NYPD Blue stays as fresh as it has been lately. Fridays could prove to be interesting and ABC stands a chance on this night as well.

If CBS and FOX post their primetime lineups in the next couple of days, I will post them and, then, I promise to not talk TV for a while.

Tuesday, 13 May 2003: Okay, you remember how yesterday I said that NBCs lineup is subject to change because you never know what to expect from those wacky TV programmers? Well, I suppose I should have included a caveat for poor online news reporting as well.

I just read yet another article that claims to have the official NBC fall lineup. This one is somewhat different than the one I posted yesterday. I'm not sure which one to trust (probably neither), but I tend to lean towards this one since it actually has titles for all the new shows. So here goes...

Sundays - American Dreams (7 p.m.), Law & Order: CI (8 p.m.), and The Lyon's Den (9 p.m.). The Lyon's Den is the Rob Lowe drama that was originally listed to open up for The West Wing.

Mondays - Fear Factor (7 p.m.), Las Vegas (8 p.m.), and Third Watch (9 p.m.). Las Vegas is officially the highly unoriginal new title for what was listed as the "untitled Las Vegas drama starring James Caan."

Tuesdays - Whoopi (7 p.m.), Happy Family (7:30 p.m.), Frasier (8 p.m.), Good Morning Miami (8:30 p.m.), Law & Order: SVU (9 p.m.). If you can't figure out what Whoopi is, you need help. However,Happy Family is not the expected Tracy Morgan sitcom. Instead it is a new one with John Larroquette ofNight Court fame and Christine Baranski of Cybill fame.

Wednesdays - Ed (7 p.m.), The West Wing (8 p.m.), and Law & Order (9 p.m.). Back to Wednesday's original lineup from earlier this past season.

Thursdays - Friends (7 p.m.), Scrubs (7:30 p.m.), Will & Grace (8 p.m.), Coupling (8:30 p.m.), and ER(9 p.m.). The same as it was announced yesterday.

Fridays - Miss Match (7 p.m.), Dateline NBC (8 p.m.), and Boomtown (9 p.m.). Well, the slash (/) has been dropped from the original Miss/Match title and Boomtown migrates to Fridays instead of its old Sunday slot.

Saturdays - NBC Saturday Night Movie. I'm assuming it's a very long movie or there are a lot of commercials because this is all that is currently listed for this night.

Other Notes - the Tracy Morgan sitcom will be a midseason replacement and Crossing Jordan will definitely return for a third season but not until midseason because of Hennessy's pregnancy. At least it won't be a Saturday night show.

Tomorrow... ABC's schedule.

Monday, 12 May 2003: Well, NBC has announced its fall 2003 primetime lineup of shows. And, it's interesting to say the least. I'm going to list these all in Central Daylight Time (CDT). Here ya go...

Sundays - American Dreams (7 p.m.), Law & Order: CI (8 p.m.), and Boomtown (9 p.m.) - no changes here whatsoever. But, it's good that they're giving more of a chance to Boomtown despite it's undeservedly low ratings.

Mondays - Fear Factor (7 p.m.), untitled Las Vegas drama starring James Caan (8 p.m.), and Third Watch (9 p.m.) - well, no more Crossing Jordan on Mondays and Third Watch has been bumped back an hour. May tune in more often for Third Watch now. It's a pretty good show, but I just missed it far too often.

Tuesdays - new Whoopi Goldberg sitcom (7 p.m.), new Tracy Morgan sitcom (7:30 p.m.), Frasier (8 p.m.), Good Morning Miami (8:30 p.m.), dunno about the 9 p.m. slot - Obviously a couple of new ones with the possibility of a third new show at 9 and Good Morning Miami has moved from Thursday to Tuesday. That's not always a good sign. Remember how Frasier's ratings dipped after moving to Tuesday? I'm not a Whoopi fan, Morgan is hit or miss with me and I probably won't watch it too much. Haven't watched Frasier since before Niles and Daphne got married (jumped the shark anyone?), but I may still tune in for Miami. There is a possibility that Heather Locklear may join the Miami cast especially since Susanne Pleshette is leaving.

Wednesdays - new Rob Lowe drama (7 p.m.), West Wing (8 p.m.), and Law & Order (9 p.m.) - Rob Lowe leading in to his old show... interesting. However, you probably won't see me tuning in to NBC at all on Wednesdays.

Thursdays - Friends (7 p.m.), Scrubs (7:30 p.m.), Will & Grace (8 p.m.), Coupling (8:30 p.m.), ER (9 p.m.) - Coupling, an adaptation of a British Friends-like comedy taking over in Good Morning Miami's old slot. There are rumblings that Coupling could take over Friends' timeslot when the mainstay goes off the air. It's supposed to be a really funny show, if they translate the concept properly, but it's supposed to be more sexually charged and a little raunchier than Friends ever was. Hmmm...

Fridays - Miss/Match (7 p.m.), Ed (8 p.m.), Law & Order: SVU (9 p.m.) - Ed is staying on Fridays which I don't like, but I do like the 8 p.m. timeslot as opposed to 7 p.m. Miss/Match is a new dramedy starring Alicia Silverstone (Clueless) and is getting a lot of good pre-press. We'll see. I'll definitely tune in for Ed, that goes without saying. I'll give Miss/Match a shot and see what it's like.

Saturdays - open movie slot (7-9 p.m.), Crossing Jordan (9 p.m.) - Well, it's not a good sign for the show if Crossing Jordan is moving onto Saturdays. That's a bad night for any show. But, this is only a possibility as of now because NBC may just hold off on the show until midseason because of star Jill Hennessy's pregnancy. Hopefully, they're just holding out. Katie's gonna hate this change.

Other Comments - I'm wondering if NBC is still planning on airing the new police drama Sunset Stripwhich is supposed to star Jerry O'Connell reprising is Woody character that he started on Crossing Jordan (the tie-in episode between Jordan and Strip occurred about three or four weeks ago and looks semi-promising). I guess this could be the show that winds up in the Tuesday 9 p.m. slot.

Remember, that any or all of this is subject to change. We all know how wacky those TV programmers are.

Sunday, 11 May 2003: I am so thoroughly disappointed in the end result of Survivor tonight. Jenna?! C'mon. If "outplay, outwit, outlast" translates to "sit back on your lazy ass and do nothing," then, yeah, she won. But when it comes to pure competitiveness, it was Matt all the way.

A question... I know this is my first time watching an entire season of Survivor and I know that the castaways can get pretty close, but was something going on between Matt and Jenna in the time off between the end of taping (December) and last night's reunion show? I've seen the final two in pastSurvivors holding hands as the final tally is counted up. But, they were arm-in-arm throughout the reunion. Even Katie was wondering if there was something going on.

Oh, and can we get any more blatantly, and sickeningly, patriotic than Jeff Probst's stop on his jetski in front of the Statue of Liberty? Oh man, there is only so far you go. I'm patriotic, but this was disgusting.

Oldies: Sunday, May 4 - Saturday, May 10, 2003...

Saturday, 10 May 2003: Okay God, what exactly did we in the tri-cities (Geneva, St. Charles, and Batavia) do to piss you off so badly? I don't see any golden idols. We're not exactly pagans... well, not all of us I'm sure. So, tell me, what did the good people of the tri-cities do to incur your wrath? Last night, it was a 10-minute hail storm. Tonight, it was a pair of back-to-back tornado-producing storm fronts. Should we expect locusts anytime soon?

I guess Katie and I should just be happy that no damage occurred to our vehicles. We watched in horror as hail came sheeting down all around our apartment. The hail was typically just bigger than sugarcubes which isn't too bad, but when it comes down non-stop for 10 minutes in seemingly torrential downpours, you just can't help but worry. Hasn't my truck been through enough lately? What was even weirder was watching just how quickly they all melted away. I mean the ground was covered in white as though it had just snowed. Another 10 minutes after the hail ended, it had all melted away. Twisted.

Friday, 9 May 2003: For the longest time, I was under the impression that the McDonald's Happy Meals that Katie and I had grown up with had gone the way of the dodo. Not the concept of the Happy Meal entirely, just the cool little house-shaped boxes that contained your food as well as your little toy. These had been replaced by cheap-o paper bags with games and puzzles on them for the kiddies.

I guess I was wrong because Katie and I went to McDonald's today for lunch and bought ourselves a Happy Meal. Yes, we realize that, officially, we are way too old to be buying these. However, we still buy them solely so we can split the fries and not have to worry about eating too many of them. We do it specifically because it gives us our french fry fix without wracking ourselves with guilt because we ate one of those big mother Super Size fries or whatever comes with their big Extra Value Meals. Splitting a kids' size fry is perfect for us.

So, back on topic... We ordered our Happy Meal and it came in one of the old HM boxes. Joy! As you may or may not know, McDonald's now has a tendency of having two different types of HM toys available for each promotion... one toy for boys and one for girls. Smart of them if I do say so myself. I wanted to order the Happy Meal because they supposedly had Masters of the Universe (He-Man for you laypeople out there) figures. So I got the kickin' box which had two sides (panels) dedicated to MOTU and the other two panels dedicated to the girls' toys which are the new Bratz dolls. While I must admit that it was cool to see the boxes back I was upset that I didn't get a MOTU figure. I was really digging the thought of Orko or He-Man with BattleCat. I don't know why I didn't get one. A kid two booths away got a He-Man. But, alas, I got a Tonka Truck.

I was initially disappointed, until, that is, I realized that I got the way cooler toy. I love toy trucks. I have since I was a kid and I had those big momma Tonka trucks that my brother and I used in our backyard sandbox. I wish I still had those to pass on to my kids, should I have any. Oh heck, let's face facts, I wish I still had those trucks so I could play with them. Who needs kids when you've got me and my eight-year-old's sense of fun?

To my wife, who is probably cringing at that last thought, I have only this to say... I could be into rebuilding cars and riding motorcycles, couldn't I? My likes are much less expensive.

Thursday, 8 May 2003: Well, class is done and what does that mean for all you faithful readers of kapgar.com? Absolutely nothing.

Actually, it does mean that I caught up on one photo album entry from this past Friday's McHenry H.S. prom. So check them out. Plus, I now have Monday and Wednesday nights to do nothing but catch up on reading that I've fallen behind on as of late and, perhaps, figure out new things to do with this site. I'm reading a great book right now called Battle Royale by Koushun Takami which is a modern-day, Japanese version of The Lord of the Flies and it's just a killer read (both literally and figuratively). I'll hopefully finish that up sometime this week or next and get a review up for you. I also think that I'm pretty caught up on movie reviews. But I may have to go home and start watching all the DVDs we own since there are several I have never seen before (Katie's films) or it's been so long since I've seen them that I never wrote a review.

I wonder if I should expand and include reviews of DVD box sets of TV shows. We've got Sex and the Cityseasons 1-3 (with season 4 coming out in a couple of weeks), The Simpsons seasons 1 and 2 (season 3 is due in August or September and it's mine!), Friends seasons 1-3 (with season 4 due in July), and evenMad About You season 1 (2 is out by Katie hasn't wanted to pick it up yet). If you're wondering how we could afford all this, fear not, gift cards to places like Best Buy and Borders as well as returns of merchandise to other stores (yielding nothing more than in-store credit) funded 90% of these purchases. What's even better is that we've actually received rebates on some of these sets even though we really forked over no cash. Cheating the system is so much fun.

Wednesday, 7 May 2003: After tonight, life will become so much easier. Well, for the next few months at least. Katie's last chemistry lecture was this past Monday and she should be done with her lab class within the next half hour (it's now 9:45 a.m. CDT). And my last networking class is tonight. All we really have to do tonight is present our projects so I've actually got to finish that up. I've spent the last couple days putting together a PowerPoint presentation of all our information. Now I've just gotta add graphics, backgrounds, and transitions and the project will be completely done. Not too much left at all. Thankfully.

Katie's pretty sure she did okay on her lecture final exam. She was pissed though that her teacher didn't have an in-class review for the final or give them review sheets for it. They went in completely blind and the majority of it (85%) was definitions and not problems. This teacher of her's has proven to be a complete bitch and all the students really let the school know this on their teacher evaluations that they did last week. I've always wondered what comes of these evals. Only once have I ever seen someone leave a school as a result. That was one of my Spanish teachers at NIU. She was trashed in all her evals and the class was never taught again and she retired one year later. Dunno if she retired because of us or because it was time, but I prefer to think the former.

Monday, 5 May 2003: I don't remember if I've posted about this recently or not and I'm too lazy to go into the archives and check. But anyway. Recently I received an e-mail from an old high school classmate that we are having a class of '93 reunion in August. I was pretty stoked. Initially, I bristled at the idea of a reunion, but two of my friends who live in Florida talked me into going. So I was happy to finally hear about it. Until last week, that is.

Last week, I received both an e-mail and print invitation to the reunion that said that the cost of the reunion is $70 per head. So, for Katie and me to go constitutes $140 that we just don't want to spend on it. I e-mailed the few friends I keep in touch with from high school (some more regularly than others, sorry to say), and so far, things aren't looking too good. One has outright said no she's not going because of the cost. Another said he is definitely turned off by the cost especially considering he would have to pay to travel back here to Illinois and pay for lodging as well. While a third informed me a couple weeks ago that he may not be going because it's planned for the same time that he is planning to take his wife on a birthday excursion to Key West. Those last two semi-denials came from the two Floridians who convinced me to go in the first place.

At this rate, I'm not thinking that I really want to go. As I said in my e-mail to all these people, the ones that I want to keep in touch with, I already do. There are a couple others I'm intrigued about reconnecting with, but there is no guarantee they will even be there. As for the rest, nothing against my fellow classmates, but what are the odds that meeting up at the reunion will lead to any lasting friendships or whatnot? What are the odds that any of us will keep in touch if we haven't tried to find each other up to this point? I dunno. I'd rather hold on to the money and use it on our cruise for one of these cool little side trips that they offer. Am I wrong for thinking this?

Sunday, 4 May 2003: Well, this weekend was definitely a mixed bag in terms of movies. I spent some time on cable this weekend and watched two really horrible movies. I dunno why I bothered finishing them, call me masochistic if you will. But I did it all the same. The two that I watched (actually one of them was not this weekend, but I wrote the review this weekend) were Sorority Boys and Thir13en Ghosts. Yes, that is a number 13 in the middle of the word "Thirteen." Both were truly horrible films.

But, I did have one bright shining spot in my movie viewing. And, no, it was not on cable. My friend Nate and I went out yesterday to see X2: X-Men United in Sycamore. Damn fine flick and I now have a new favorite mutant in Alan Cumming's portrayal of Nightcrawler. Wow. Yes, he may be the creepy guy from Circle of Friends and a lot of you people may not like him because of that role, but he was damn good in this movie. I highly recommend seeing this while it's on the big screen.

Oldies: Sunday, April 27 - Saturday, May 3, 2003...

Friday, 2 May 2003: I gotta admit that I'm pretty damned pissed about last night's episode of Survivor. I did not want to see Kristy go and I hated seeing the new alliance that formed with Rob, Matthew, Heidi, and Jenna because that means that Butch is next to go and I've got nobody left to root for in the end. I guess, if forced to pick, I'll go with Matthew because I can't stand Heidi or Jenna and Rob is the real reason I'm pissed, all things considered. Katie and I were so ticked as all the votes came in against Kristy. So uncool. Not that this show is about cool or anything like that. It's survival, pure and simple, and these guys are all playing the game really well. I guess right now I'm pretty sore with Matthew since he was the wildcard vote last night and could've made it an even vote between Jenna and Kristy and then they would have had to square off in sudden death. But no... Matthew just had to play the sucker and vote with the new alliance against Kristy. I am so disappointed in him.

Wednesday, 30 April 2003: You might be wondering why my site has been down for the past couple of days. I've been having problems with my FTP client (the software I use to upload these pages and images to the Web from my computer). The problem has been that while I'm only uploading a total of 15 MB worth of data for the entire site, my hosting service has been telling me that I've exceeded the total space alloted for my account which is 50 MB. Dunno when or how 15 MB became more than 50 MB, but apparently it somehow was. So I've been calling back and forth to my host service trying to clear things up. The issue is not completely resolved yet as I've still got some photos to load in the Photo Album area. But, for the most part, the entire site is up. Here's hoping the issue is fixed and quick. I hate having to call California.

Monday, 28 April 2003: Thank God it's finally over. I finished converting this website. No, it may not look like that big a change for you out there. But, for me it is. The biggest change you are likely to notice is the set of really cool little mouseover buttons in the left column underneath the updates box. Yep, they should work nicely and get you anywhere you need to go on this site.

I have also pared down several pages to make updates easier and gotten rid of really outdated pages on this site.

But, the biggest change that I have made -- and likely to be the least noticed by all of you -- is that I have placed pretty much every page in this site into a Dreamweaver template (now that I finally figured out how to create them). This allows me to make simple changes that will be enacted across the entire site automatically. So, for example, I want to add another button in the left column or change a color on the page or the font or font size, I won't have to go page by page and make the change. Just do it five times (one for the homepage and once for each of four templates) and I'm done. God bless templates.

Sunday, 27 April 2003: How's this for a way to wrap up your weekend? Tonight, I was on the phone with my mom at about 9:30 in the evening when someone knocked on the door. Instantly, Katie and I were nervous because, well, no one ever knocks on our door. I mean that literally. In the year and a half that we have lived there, we've had maybe a dozen different people knock on our door with most of them being salesmen (despite the "No Solicitation" sign on the front door of our building).

Tonight's knock was from a cop. Hmmm... more reason to be nervous? So I opened the door and he said, "are you Mr. Apgar?" Yet more reason to be on the verge of freaking out. I was about to reply with, "I didn't do it," but instead said, "yes." And he told me that someone hit my truck out in the parking lot. Oh, yippee skippee. That was just what I needed. Luckily for me, though, the offender did the right thing (which is such a rarity in this day and age) and stuck around and called the police. Turned out it was a teenage girl learning to drive under her father's tutelage and was attempting to park in our lot and scraped up the driver's door and the rear driver's side quarterpanel of my truck bed. Nothing too terrible. But the girl was crying a river and her father was accepting the blame on her behalf and was willing to pay whatever the damages were going to be.

Oddly enough, I actually felt bad for the girl even though it was my truck that was hit. I doubt she even stopped crying after she got home. I tried to reassure her that this is pretty minor considering how bad things could have been or could get down the line.

Ah, well, maybe I'll take some pix and post them like I did when Katie's hubcap and lugnuts were stolen. This one will be entitled "Kevin's Violated Ranger."