Friday, April 30, 2010

...For The Ride Home: Guess who Betty White loves, playoff ratings are up and some jazz music to take you into a beautiful weekend


Story time: I ooked someone this morning. What's ooked? Crossed a dude up, went behind my back, and he falls over, square on the court. I then proceed to pick up my dribble and laugh at him, while staring at his fallen-down body. Passed the ball to a wide-open teammate, and bam: Easy layup. The guy was angry. Tellin' you, though. Had to let the youngins know what the old head can do. Don't sleep. Anyways, got back from the gym to find a dear friend of mine screaming through texts and voice mails that (yes, he's going go say it) this new Eminem freestyle is the best freestyle the Detroit rapper has ever done. Mixtapes, records, whatever. Yep. he said it. In honor of that, and in honor of saying goodbye to week five, we offer the above 2-and-a-half-minute jaunt (yes, the one featuring a line about Big Ben) for your listening pleasure. Had to call him back to say he may be right. As for now, though we have no idea where you are, but where we are, the weather is fantastic and you couldn't have a better looking day than this as we all leap head-first into May. But before you enjoy all of that, be sure to check out the links below and rock that new Em track. We absolutely cannot wait until we see you back here Monday morning, and as always, love you, miss you.

“I’m thrilled to meet him. I’m thrilled to see he’s going to be on the show because he’s the hottest thing since sliced bread, but I certainly enjoy him.” We’d ask you to guess, but we know you’d never get it. Betty White on Jay-Z. Where’s Blanche? (MTV)

Chief Digital Officer of Gannett says the pay wall/paid content strategy newspapers believe are going to save them won’t. In fact, he believes it so much, he’s quitting Gannett. Interesting. (Gannett Blog)

Let it begin in New York: Santonio Holmes gets kicked off flight for not turning off his iPod. Rex Ryan goes for seconds during breakfast. (TMZ)

Great headline: All They Want To Do Is Sue. The Eagles don’t want songs to be used for political gain. Or at least this politician’s gain. (Pollstar)

Spring game to see an official wearing a microphone. NBA TV ratings are up. And (because we know you’re out there) Versus NHL playoff ratings beat ESPN numbers for the first time ever. Caps fans still cry. (USA Today)

Halle Berry is single. Love her hair times infinity. (MSNBC)

In honor of other people involved with this blog: Never Shout Never. (Rolling Stone)

Because Jazz music does an awfully good job at soothing your soul. A day’s worth of material on Duke Ellington, complete with crazy good 1967 video. (NPR)

“All The President’s Men” is the greatest movie ever. They want to do it again. Only this time, around the catholic church scandal. Raise your eyebrows awkwardly right about…now. (Deadline)

Double Feature: A Nightmare On Elm Street & Furry Vengeance

Each Friday, we will offer up two movies that are scheduled to be released within the accompanying weekend. We know, we know. It’s hard to come across blogs who ever actually get movie talk right. That’s why we won’t say much. A trailer. A paragraph. And boom – all you need to know about what new movies you can take your beautiful object of affection to see this weekend. It's like going to the drive-in movie theater. Remember those? So much fun. Thank us later, not now.

A Nightmare On Elm Street

So…why? Is it because Michael Bay’s disillusioned success he gained from the awful “Transformers” movies? Is it because the summer needed a remake of a classic horror film to hold people over until the next “Saw” comes out? Or is it because someone wants to get across the point that studies show humans should definitely not sleep nearly as much as they do? Who knows. Regardless, without a blockbuster name attached (and please, don’t sell us Michael Bay – a director – as a blockbuster name), it’s hard to get excited for such a thing. Why spend two hours watching people die when you can spend two hours taking a walk during the first weekend in May? Exactly. Go to bed, Freddy.



Furry Vengeance

How many movies is Ken Jeong going to be in? Honestly. Between “Community” and the 40,000 movies he’s in each week, how does he do it? Anyways, Brendan Fraser stars in what looks to be a comedy centering around how much corporate America shouldn’t mess with Mother Nature. Now, we know that sounds awfully enticing, but considering its original release date was set for earlier in April, it doesn’t appear many people believe in the film’s staying power. If you really want to make a difference while preserving this planet, you may be better served adopting a pet. Ignorant advice: Make sure you ride as far away as you can get from this movie.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

...For The Ride Home: The death of Michael Scott, Philly newspapers are finally sold and Alicia Keys is pregnant?


Stick the above video right next to an episode of "30 Rock" in the list of things to be used as an anti-depressant. Stumbled upon it this morning, and was so eager to share, I even thought of an entire post that you will probably see sometime next week regarding the above video. It's only May, but this has to be a candidate for song of the year. Scoff, spit, cuss, leave comments calling us un-credible, knowledge-less music fans. Don't care. If you can't look at this and instantly smile, you shouldn't consider yourself a fan of what the true essence of music is, anyways. The references, the choreography, the organ. Man, oh man. So much fun. Moving forward (and contributing more to our "hatable" level right now), I reluctantly watched "Law Abiding Citizen" last night and was pleasantly surprised. That's the best thing Gerard Butler has ever been in, right? I mean, come on. "The Ugly Truth" was awful, and "Bounty Hunters" looks even worse. It was a less intelligent "Inside Man," and that's not all terribly bad. Wasn't crazy for the ending, though. In any case, happy Thursday, friends.

Like we said here yesterday, if the Capitals lose, there would be some problems. The world is ending in Washington today. (Washington Post)

The Philly paper sales are being spun as a good thing. OK. But this? “Smart people and real money are betting we succeed?" A bit much. (Philly.com)

Steve Carell is going to leave “The Office.” No word on weather or not the show will replace him with Daphne Maxwell Reid. (Officetally)

The only time Lady Gaga and Sarah Palin will be mentioned together (until Levi Johnston ends up marrying Gags): Both named to Time’s Most Influential People list. (Popeater)

John Mayer is done with Twitter. Jessica Simpson opens a bottle of wine. (One Forty Plus)

“FBI uncovers plot to ‘Sex And The City 2.’” See. The Onion is funny. (The Onion)

Courtney Love wants either Ryan Gosling or James McAvoy to play Kurt Cobain in the biopic that will never happen. As a result, work on “The Notebook 2” has come to a halt. (NME)

Alicia Keys pregnant? Whoa. (Media Takeout)

Actors be crazy.

So by now you may or may not have heard that Katie Holmes, the better half of the walking, talking TomKat disaster, will play Jackie O in the upcoming History Channel mini-series based on the Kennedy family (brilliantly titled “The Kennedys”). Does she look the part? I believe so. Is she a good enough actress to portray such a polarizing figure in American history? Possibly. But the big question for me: Can I look past her weird personal life (and even weirder husband) enough to ever take her seriously in anything?

The same question applies for most actors who constantly seem to be in the news for something strange. Angelina Jolie and her adoptions - Sandra Bullock and her penchant for Nazis - Jim Carrey and his Twitter page - Jennifer Aniston and her pathetic love life - Christian Bale and his temper… I’ll stop before moving on the B-listers. Feel free to list more if you feel so inclined.



We’ve all, present company included, become so saturated with the odd day to day lives of these people that it really skews our opinions of their bodies of work (for me at least). Case in point: we rarely hear about the strange behavior of Kate Winslet, Hillary Swank, Jeff Bridges and Denzel Washington - and they are four of the most believable actors around (a very subjective statement, I know I know).

But who am I kidding - Katie Holmes hasn’t been believable since her Joey Potter days on “Dawson’s Creek.” Although I’m waiting on pins and needles for a sequel to her smash hit “First Daughter.”

Enough already, this is getting mean-spirited. Don’t miss The Ride at 4 o’clock today.

- TS

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

...For The Ride Home: Conan interview to be on Sunday's "60 Minutes," Tim Tebow is popular and Washington holds its breath for tonight's game seven

Well, I'm sick and it's annoying. To show how dedicated we are to you, the fabulous reader, we push through and offer up some wonderfully interesting links to you on this, the first day of the second month. Looked long and hard for a video of Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint's "Tears, Tears, And More Tears" because I must have rocked that thing at least 16 times yesterday, but much to my chagrin, none such video was found. Instead, a mere photo of the two, looking happier than a box of chocolates. Wednesday means Thursday is almost here. That excites you. Yes, yes it does. Be good, now.

Man loses job as a construction worker. Can’t afford a home in lieu of taking care of his wheelchair-bound wife. Sets up shop on a billboard to raise awareness for homelessness. Neat, kind of heartbreaking piece. (CNN)

Tim Tebow’s jersey is selling like hot cakes. As if a hot cakes reference is still hip. (Yahoo)

Lede of the week: Shania Twain guest stars on Tuesday’s episode of “Crystal Bowersox & Friends.” (Washington Post)

Double time from Lisa: Conan is going to give “60 Minutes” his first interview since NBC blew up. It will be Sunday. No word if Andy Richter will be watching. (Washington Post)

“At least some of our national legislatures feel compelled occasionally to dial it back, if, for no other reason, than the fact that they occasionally are called upon to appear on national television and pretend that David Gregory is smart.” Love Charlie Pierce on “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.” (Esquire)

Nobody likes the Cleveland Indians. Except for Drew Carrey, of course. (Wall Street Journal)

Ricky Gervais will host the Golden Globes again. Mel Gibson sighs. (Entertainment Weekly)

If the Caps lose tonight, there’s going to be some trouble ‘round D.C. (ESPN)

Whose idea was it to create sickness, anyways?


Woke up this morning with a sore throat. Actually, woke up yesterday morning with a sore throat. The. Worst.

There aren’t many illnesses that take the same toll as a sore throat. The flu is manageable because more often than not, most every individual vomits once in his or her life (drinking, bad food, etc.). A cold is just a nuisance that can typically be helped with some rest and a couple over-the-counter pills. And an ear ache, well, an ear ache may just be the 1A to a sore throat’s 1B, considering how awful and crippling having one can be.

But a sore throat? Like, honestly? That’s got to be the reaction most have when awoken with such a thing. It’s like a rainy day for someone who only loves sunny days or someone canceling on a date. Nobody’s going to the emergency room, and it’s not even a serious enough setback to call in sick when it comes to work. But out of all the inconveniences life so often gives, a sore throat has to be somewhere between stuck in traffic while driving a car that has no air conditioning on an 80 degree day and losing your job.

It makes life so much harder to function in. I couldn’t get a full night’s rest because I would constantly be awoken by the pain this thing can give. A dry throat only magnifies the discomfort, too. By the time the morning comes around, you can barely open your mouth because of the stiffness and ache your head happens upon. The first thing you really want to do is run to an oven in which you could stick your face, and melt the pain away.

On top of that, a sore throat usually means something comparable is on its way. In two days, I’ll be waking up with a runny nose and in five, I’ll start to feel my left ear pounding and aching. Headaches will set in. I’ll be stuffy all throughout my head. Sleeping will be difficult, if not impossible. I’ll consider not going to work because of my sickness, though I’ll force myself through the entire day, dismissing my pain as something I should be able to get through. Won’t be able to taste. Nothing will be fun. And investing in a couple Tylenol or Advil will only antagonize my will to finally feel better again.

Ugh. Speaking of sickness, I suppose it could be worse, though. I could be in this band…

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

...For The Ride Home: The NHL might go to ESPN, old people get their own reality show and the fabulousness of Viola Davis

Isn't it odd how similar spring and fall are, yet the feelings they portray couldn't be more opposite? Spring is a time of hope, setting you up for months filled with memories, nice weather, vacations, romance, opportunity and reason for optimism. Fall is a time of reflection, setting you up for months filled with cold, isolation, longing, loneliness and a beauty that is only beautiful because of its tragedy. But nature gives us something near the exact same backdrop for almost all the duration of both (depending on the when the leaves either fall or bloom). A 50 degree day in May is certainly not a 50 degree day in October. I digress. Can't wait to get to "An Education." Ms. Mulligan looks cuter than three boxes of buttons. And finally, Happy one-month anniversary! Goodness, how time has flown! Again, the exclamation point is added for effect. We are eternally grateful for you, the wonderfully beautiful reader, for reading the silly things we have to say. To think we have even had one comment, one follower or one reader is a blessing, so please know it does not go unnoticed. Then again, the day we see that nobody is reading this, we will cry until our eyebrows need to be air-dried. That said, from us to you, we thank you and we look forward to many more months together in what promises to be a prosperous relationship. Because if relationships aren't prosperous, what good are they?

When he says “Use this, I beg of you,” you know it has to be good, right? This has to be a candidate for the biggest show on OPN (The Old People’s Network). And if you get that joke, I will seriously buy you a dinner of your choice. (New York Times)

Who doesn’t love "The Price Is Right?" Side: Once interviewed a showcase showdown winner, and she had nothing but glowing things to say about everything involved. Weeks later, she was still elated. (TV Squad)

In the name of “House,” saw this and had to post it. Scroll until you see. (PostSecret)

I agree. (Cristina Moreno)

Said this years ago (and someone who may or may not be involved with this blog knows it): ESPN is looking at another go with the NHL. And that, friends, is the key to success. (Mediaweek)

Guess who said it: You can’t kill the New York Times. (New York Observer)

New Eminem single Friday. Will it be clownish? Will it be serious? Wait. Will it be good? (MTV)

Remember Viola Davis from “Doubt?” How incredible was she? Correct answer: Very. Now, she’s going to be up for a Tony after staring opposite Denzel. Why isn’t she a star, yet? (Los Angeles Times)

For fans of “True Blood.” (MSNBC)

Clothing with Looney Tunes characters makes a comeback... PSYCHE!


Why have certain people always had a collection of oversized clothing with Looney Tunes characters on them? It’s like the Tazmanian Devil somehow, unbeknownst to him/her/itself, became the family crest of white trash America. And does the popularity of the character somehow determine class rank among these individuals? Does Billy-Bob, who proudly sports a bright yellow Tweety Bird poly blend, scoff at the sight of Ricky, in his faded, two sizes too large Marvin the Martian pullover? When Bobby shows up to the party in his Bugs Bunny/Michael Jordan Space Jam hoody does he have his pick of the buck toothed females in Daffy Duck boy shorts?

Just go to Wal-Mart, you’ll see them everywhere… except, oddly enough, on the racks… which begs another question: where are these people getting these shirts? Who owns the rights to these atrocious articles of clothing and why do they continue to manufacture them? I have never once since the 5th or 6th grade thought to myself “How am I going to express myself through fashion today? Wait a minute… I’ve got it. Looney Tunes, bitch.”

Full disclosure here, I had a couple of these shirts in my day. I wore the crap out of my “Taz Plays Basketball” shirt in the second grade… until it was replaced by my sky blue Super Mario Bros. t-shirt. If I had to guess though, I would say I moved on from Looney Tunes apparel by 1994 (which coincidentally was two years too late…).

Either way, the only thing worse than the clothes… the tattoos. See you at 4 p.m. for the Ride.


- TS



Monday, April 26, 2010

...For The Ride Home: M.I.A. released a video that's offensive, young people who watch bad movies drink alcohol and Hanson is touring

We begin week five with an offering of Brand New because they just so happen to be on the mind. They are one of the few bands who have survived that entire scene without having any casualties, and there is certainly something to be said about that. And, well, "Seventy Times Seven" is easily one of the angriest songs in the history of the world. We like anger. In any case, we are coming up on our one month anniversary tomorrow. Exciting! The exclamation point is used for effect. Maybe we'll organize some type of celebration tomorrow by giving away free sour patch kids to the 1,000th page view. As for now, let's start off the week correctly.

An official newspaper war began today, and the contestants are pretty much a big deal. (The Daily Beast)

Ben Roethlisberger insists he did nothing wrong. Still. (TMZ)

Wow. The guy who stars opposite Jennifer Lopez in that must-be-awful new movie says the sex scenes weren’t any fun. I know it must be awkward, but honestly? Jennifer Lopez? (Dimewars)

Headline of the day: Children who watch R-rated movies more likely to drink alcohol. (Fox News)

Hey! Hanson is touring with Rooney! “This Time Around” is one of the 10 best guilty pleasures in the world. (Alternative Press)

The Sports Emmys are tonight, and we bet you didn’t know. (USA Today)

A lot of buzz around this M.I.A. video. At least she’s not pregnant in it. (Spin)

Ugh. Newspaper circulation drops another 8.7 percent in six months. According to the read-out, though, the pace of the decline has decreased. Silver lining? (Yahoo)

Time to go bonkers


I was recently offered a full 3 Musketeers candy bar. This produced a dilemma inside my head. Of all the candy bars in all of the world, the 3 Musketeers candy bar has to be one of the top five worst. Maybe top three. Come on. Halloween? Whenever you came across a bite-sized one, you always either offered it up to your brother or sister, or threw it away. Besides, what’s in those things, anyways? According to its Wikipedia profile, the bar is made of nougat and whipped chocolate. That sounds like a Russian hockey player and anything Chris Brown touches.

What did I do? Naturally, I took it. Why? I hadn’t had one in 500 years. To my surprise, I finished the whole thing (and quickly, even). It wasn’t as bad or disappointing as it used to be when I’d find one in my stocking around Christmas time, but it also promised me I wouldn’t need another one for at least 500 more years.

But candy. We all love candy, don’t we? You are a liar if you say you don’t enjoy snooping around a real honest-to-goodness candy shop. The smells, the objects shaped like animals that are supposed to taste like blueberries but are so hard, you chip three teeth trying to bite into them. How about the odd-shaped containers they use in these stores? How cute are they? A lava lamp filled with M&M’s or a computer printer that spits out Skittles. Candy shops are the best.

Well, almost the best. Why almost? That’s because there isn’t a single candy shop in the world who carries the best candy of all time, Bonkers. Remember them?



They were like starburst, but, oh a gazillion times better. They were so good, even, candyblog.net describes them as follows:
I tried several times to taste these (waiting a couple of weeks in between, thinking it was me). It’s not me. They’re bad. I’ve debated long and hard about what to give these. I sat there with the wads of half chewed Bonkers in their wrappers in front of me and a foul feeling in my stomach and it’s clear I’m gonna have to give these a bad rating. (Believe me, I never set out to buy candy that I’m going to hate.) But I wanted to give them one last opportunity, so I offered them to the neighbors (and Amy always seems game for the worst of the worst but Robin conveniently reminds me when I try to get her to try things like this that she only likes chocolate). Amy spat it out on the sidewalk and then kicked it into the street. She described it as at first tasting like the plastic shelf it must have been sitting on in the store and then most decidedly vomit.
OK, that didn’t help. Still, it is literally impossible to find Bonkers these days. Next to Mallo Cups, these are probably in the top five conversation when it comes to candy and me. The hook for both? Bonkers used to give away free WWF Wrestling cards with their candy. Mallo Cups? Well, let’s just say I’m only a mere 7,000 more points away from finally gaining enough to purchase that Mallo Cup watch I’ve coveted.

See the parallel? When candy items attach give-aways with their candies, it’s impossible to pass them up. For as bad as most think Bonkers are, I’d buy the market out if I could find them anywhere, to complete my card collection, if nothing else. Mallo Cups are so rare, whenever I’m anywhere that has them, I make sure to pick up a pack, even if I’m chocolate-ed out. Be honest: Extra prizes make candies taste extra good.

If only 3 Muskateers came with a free song from iTunes. Only then may I reconsider...

Friday, April 23, 2010

...For The Ride Home: Rufus doesn't want you to clap at his concerts, the media has trouble with Big Ben and Sarah Silverman is mad at Deadspin


Above, you see one of the greatest moments in NBA history: Allen Iverson making Michael Jordan look silly with a crossover. There wasn't a person in the world who thought that shot wasn't going in after he made the great one nearly fall to his knees. Why post this video now, at the conclusion of week four? Was finally able to sit down and watch the "30 for 30" on Iverson's trial last night. A little extensive, but provocative nonetheless. Couldn't get pass the director forcing himself upon the film, but aside from that, you should probably give it a look if you have an extra two hours. This is the last full weekend of April and goodness, where did the time go? You kind readers have been coming back for nearly a month now, and for that we are forever grateful. Be good, don't get into any stereotypical weekend trouble, and we will see you, the wonderfully gorgeous reader, back here Monday, ready and eager to read. As always, love you, miss you.

The most astute observation from last night’s NFL Draft. (Twitter)

Time magazine used to be much like a blog. Even better: David Halberstam’s name is dropped in this piece. (New York Times)

The case of Big Ben and how hard it has become for the media to properly cover it. Good read. (Market Watch)

Kim Kardashian used to be married? (Popeater)

Tiger’s back to slumming it: He blogged about the Masters, golfing and vacation. Scott Van Pelt adjusts the "bookmarks" function on his computer.(Tiger Woods)

Interesting: Archie comics is going to introduce a gay character into its comics. The revolution begins now. (Entertainment Weekly)

A little late on this, but it needs to be addressed: Rufus Wainwright is set to kick off his tour, and wants you to know that his audiences are prohibited from clapping during his first set. Honestly. (Pollstar)

First she loses her husband, now she loses her Razzie. Still have to root for Sandra. Recently found out she waited until 40 to get married. Probably the right way to go. Just too bad she waited for what she ended up with. (CNN)

Sarah Silverman is mad at Deadspin. Jimmy Kimmel packs his bags and holds a going-away party after leaving the doghouse. (Deadspin)

Double Feature: The Losers & The Back-Up Plan

Each Friday, we will offer up two movies that are scheduled to be released within the accompanying weekend. We know, we know. It’s hard to come across blogs who ever actually get movie talk right. That’s why we won’t say much. A trailer. A paragraph. And boom – all you need to know about what new movies you can take your beautiful object of affection to see this weekend. It's like going to the drive-in movie theater. Remember those? So much fun. Thank us later, not now.

The Losers

“I’m like the black MacGyver. BlackGyver.” That’s funny. And that’s about it. Not a chance in the world I will ever see this movie. Seemingly based on some type of comic book-related something, I am told this features some dude who was also in “Watchmen” (another movie I’ll never see), and a lady from “Death At A Funeral” (still can’t wait to see). What does this all add up to? Well, one big fat nothing. It’s hard not to think this will be in and out of theaters in two weeks, but hey, the comic book-crowd never likes to be slighted, so considering how the general public flocks to these things like idiotic geese, we’ll probably hear how it finished at No. 1 over the weekend. But what do we know? We’re just bloggers.



The Back-Up Plan

Saw the trailer for this when making a trip to see “Valentine’s Day” on Valentine’s Day weekend with a dude and a lesbian. A lot of wine was drunk that night. Anyways, the premise seems sort of neat, right? And by neat, we mean quirky, different, interesting and fun. And by quirky, different, interesting and fun, we mean mildly quirky, different, interesting and fun. Hey, what can I say? Romantic comedies were made for someone like me. Can’t get enough of them. Downside? Jennifer Lopez. Honestly. When’s this going to stop? Not to judge (because no blogger has ever done that), but it just doesn’t seem as though she’s been in a good movie…like, ever. So, while a tad bit appealing, it’s safe to say this is worth giving a miss. Then again, may we remind you: What do we know?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

...For The Ride Home: "Goodfellas" guy speaks, Hulk Hogan takes insurance company to court and Coachella girls

Watched "The Godfather" for the first time ever last night. Fantastic. It made having to sit through "Public Enemies" last week seem as though I was getting a root canal. Hard pressed to find a character in a movie cooler than Vito Corleone. And Michael's wife while he was out of the country? Goodness gracious, she's pretty. As for today, don't forget the NFL Draft begins tonight, and lasts until August. It's Thursday, though, so you may want to get out and explore your college-town bars considering May is almost here and the spring semester is almost gone. If you don't want to do any of that, you can e-mail us at theunusualsuspectsblog@gmail.com, or follow us on Twitter, like good young people. Be well.

The New York Times turned a profit. Horaay! (Yahoo)

Hulk Hogan is suing his insurance company. Jimmy Hart plans to represent him in a court of law. (TMZ)

In honor of the text above, in relation to gangster movies, the guy “Goodfellas” was based around speaks about how the mob has run an underage prostitution ring. Wherever he is, I hope nobody knows. (CNN)

The Roots and Monsters Of Folk together? (Pitchfork)

Does anyone else find it troubling that all these model-like women made it out to Coachella? I mean, man. Out of the 31, how many do you think actually knew who Sly & The Family Stone were? Four? Since when did beautiful people proclaim it hip to go to dirty music festivals? (GQ)

Tim Tebow’s draft stock is on the rise? (Fox Sports)

Xtina is more seXual since becoming a mom. Who knew? (People)

So now the NCAA basketball tournament will expand…to 68 teams? (NPR)

Annoying sports fans and the people who love them... or not.

With the NFL Draft starting tonight, NBA and NHL Playoffs in full swing, golf picking back up and Major league baseball getting underway, this seemed like a pretty relevant topic: Is there anything worse than listening to stupid people trying to talk sports?

You can usually pick them out after just one comment – and as I see it, there are two main annoying types:

Type A is the “way too vague” sports observer. This is the person who will chirp in on a conversation between two average sports enthusiasts with an indistinguishable comment about how he/she “can’t believe that player couldn’t make that one play in the beginning of the game,” or “how the team could possibly not trade that guy after this sex scandal.” This is also the person who may say something like “this sport is just so violent anymore I won’t let my kids watch it.”

The best, though, is when the person expends an outdated expression, makes an incorrect assumption or uses the wrong terminology for the sport being discussed. Examples include but are not limited to:

- Calling the baseball umpire the “referee”
- Making a comment about how the Steelers Tight End has such a nice butt
- Calling a penalty in hockey a “foul”
- Using one of the many worn-out exclamations from SportsCenter (Boom-Shack-A-Lacka)
- Mispronouncing a player’s name over and over and over…
- Referring to the first quarter of a football game as the first “period”

Type B is the sports enthusiast who is waaaaaaaaaay too specific and into it. He is the guy or gal who wants you to be aware that he/she didn’t JUST watch the game – he/she read the box scores, analyzed the coverage, called in to the local sports radio shows, wrote a blog about it (hehe), voted in the ESPN SportsNation Poll and then vehemently argues minute details for the rest of the night on Internet message boards.

This is the person who wears a different jersey every day of the month and makes claims such as these:

- “If I was the coach/general manager/owner I would totally (insert way too specific sports jargon)”
- “I could totally be a sports broadcaster”
- “I played in high school, so I totally understand what this guy is saying”

How annoying, right?

And scene. Come back for The Ride in a little bit - we miss you when you’re not here.

- TS

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

...For The Ride Home: Ben's suspension (finally), Sublime continues its reunion party and the "South Park" dudes are in danger

To the right of this paragraph, you will see Kermit Ruffins. Why a picture of him? Well, thanks to help help of NONE OF YOU (making me weep endlessly), I was finally able to pull up a site that has episodes of "Treme." Mr. Ruffins plays a big part in the first episode, and we can only hope he comes back for more. Quite possibly the coolest thing seen on television in the last two years: The trumpet player in a club, being watched by Elvis Costello. It was like a dream I never wanted to end. Only one episode in, but if you can't use hyperbole, you shouldn't have a blog: It may be the best show offered these days. "30 Rock" has competition. Moving forward, it's Wednesday, and that means hump day. Use all the sexual innuendo you'd like. And finally, had my e-mail hacked and something sent out a ton of spam to everyone I've ever e-mailed. Anyone know anything about this? I hear it's been making the rounds. Does this mean I should get rid of the address? Ahhh, who am I kidding? I spent five days begging anyone to say just one measly thing about "Treme," and came up empty. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Be good.

This is what irony means: The day after I proclaim all Big Ben news over until after the Draft, he gets six games. Stephen Jackson sighs. (ESPN)

The best part of believe is the lie. (You Tube)

Sublime reunited with their new singer last night on 4/20. Pot heads rejoiced. Bradley Nowell’s estate looked for ways to get paid. (Spin)

For newspaper heads: Birmingham News kills column explaining the effects of the recent spree of buyouts newspapers have been forced to enact. Naturally, a blog picked it up. (Poynter)

Hot Hot Heat will release a new album in June. Criminally over-looked band. It’s time for a dance party. (Alternative Press)

As suggested by a reader: “Michael Lynche’s attempt to channel his inner Chad Kroeger inspired funny feelings in the pit of my stomach.” Slezak’s “Idol” recap really isn’t all that bad. (Entertainment Weekly)

Muslims are threatening the creators of “South Park.” Hey, if anything goes down, at least we’ll know who killed Kenny. (New York Daily News)

Bet you didn’t know: Craig Ferguson is in the top two movies in America. (Twitter)

Erykah Bad-who?

For over 10 years, now, I’ve always shunned the entire notion of Erykah Badu, dismissing her as far too pretentious to become highly invested in. The hair. The outbursts. The stunts. The speeches. The unwillingness to compromise just for the sake of uncompromising. She always looks so mad, too. Yeah, you probably couldn’t find a bigger fan of soul music (especially female soul music) than me. But there was always something tremendously off-putting about the singer that warranted no justification from my end.

This only really leaves us with one question now: Why do I love her so much?

Well, to begin that answer, you may have to open the pages to one of the latest issues of Rolling Stone. Thrown in the issue, right behind the incredibly awkward “we really want to be brilliant with this piece, but it’s just not working” article on “Glee,” a two page profile was given to the Dallas, Texas, native (Side: Anyone else think it’s odd to have only one female writer on staff? Seems like Jenny Eliscu is thrown everything “woman” these days). Spare the My Morning Jacket quotes, and what you have is an introspective piece that showcases an individual who you can’t help but like upon finishing your reading.

Yes, I know the writer’s job oftentimes tackles the "like the artist" factor quite a bit, but where I find myself scratching my head is when I read her quotes, and find myself understanding (and agreeing) with some of what she’s saying. I know. It's scary.
Lately, she’s been thinking that life is a long “process of elimination, of unlearning,” it reads.
Now, tell me that ain’t the truth. It continues…
“My uncle said, ‘Like I told you when you were little: Whatever you want to be, that’s what I want you to be. And if you don’t want to be shit, I don’t want you to be shit.’ It was hilarious to me. What that means is he knows that my life doesn’t belong to him, it’s all a part of my learning. When I look at my grandma, she does the exact same thing every day, and she’s so much at peace. Sometimes, I try to adopt her pattern of thinking. There’s an old woman inside of me that’s so cold-blooded that I can’t wait to meet her.”
See. She seems pretty neat, doesn’t she? Even more, this all comes after a lengthy section that sees Badu disagree with talking politics. “When we were talking about politics, it didn’t feel useful. We don’t know what the agenda is. I don’t have enough data, so I can’t really say,” she said when probed about her feelings on people rallying against one another through a political realm.

Maybe this is a sign of maturity, or maybe this is a sign of change. Or maybe, well, maybe my prejudices weren’t justified, and I always played her off as someone who sees herself as a little more important than she actually is. Regardless, it gave me a new artist to explore, and pretentious or not, grown up or childish, poofy hair or pulled-up hair, there is no denying performances such as this…



Yep. It’s love.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

...For The Ride Home: "Curb" is back, Guru will be missed and "Hey Dude"

Waited as late as possible to see if any word on Ben Roethlisberger would come out for the second day in a row. And for the second day in a row, nothing happened. Ben watch is now on hold until after the NFL Draft. Today, we offer up Christina Hendricks in honor of her being named more beautiful than a bed of flowers yesterday. When does "Mad Men" come back, anyways? Even more so, for effect, we have offered up a link to her open letter to men at Esquire. It's awfully insightful. And by insightful, we mean awsomeradical. In any case, learn a thing or two about getting a date, gaze into this magical woman's eyes, follow a link or two, leave some comments, or have a listen to the new LCD Soundsystem record. Why? Because it's better than whatever it is you are listening to now. Be good.

How great is this? A “Where Are They Now?” with the members of “Hey Dude.” (Fox News)

As promised: Christina Hendricks thinks you should drink scotch and never make fun of your girlfriend’s friends. If she’s not the most amazing lady around, she’s got to be in the top three. Come on, now. (Esquire)

Kelsey Grammer is a Republican. In other shocking news, Keith Olbermann leans a little left, and Kirstie Alley has problems with her weight. (Yahoo)

Rest In Peace, Guru. No matter the authenticity of that note.(All Hip-Hop)

As a reward from wealthy people, Forbes is offering bloggers the chance to work for them…for free. (Gawker)

The NFL Draft – which begins Thursday this year, mind you – is rolling out the red carpet. Literally. (USA Today)

The Colorado Rockies’ president was found dead this morning. (Denver Post)

Hey, hey. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” will be back! Somewhere, Susie Essman curses. (Entertainment Weekly)

Communism, here we come.


To expand upon TU’s post yesterday about the signs aging, I have found myself becoming more and more interested in an activity that I’ve always associated with senior citizens: talk radio.

Now in my defense, I’m more engaged in sports talk radio than anything else, but I will occasionally give a listen to the news stations… and I’d be lying if I said I   NEVER listen to the celebrity gossip. But one thing that has me a bit dumbfounded upon my initial parlay into talk radio is the extreme buy-in to ultra-conservative expression.

Do conservative talk radio jockeys and their rabid fan base ACTUALLY believe the U.S. is going to become a communist nation under Democratic leadership? This is by no means a political stance, but I just cannot comprehend anyone actually saying those words with a straight face.

Just try to objectively think about that statement for a minute. That would be like someone in the most third-worldest country saying “You know what? If we're not careful we'll be using paper money and covering our genitals before we know what hit us.” No offense, but probably not gonna happen.

I suppose the argument is that the rest of the media (TV, print and online) is ultra-liberal, thus making radio the conservative outlet. But even at the height of President Bush-bashing, I can’t recall anyone making a claim as outrageous as communism. I mean, communism? Is everything right with the state of U.S. politics right now? Absolutely not. But are we really one executive decision away from communism?

Again, it’s not the talk radio personalities that concern me - they’re paid to be extreme personalities. What’s alarming is the fanatical audience response at times… But then again, I could be off base here. I certainly didn’t conduct a comparative analysis of media coverage from the past five years… who knows.

If nothing else, I guess it’s good for an occasional laugh.

Monday, April 19, 2010

...For The Ride Home: Christina Hendricks really is the prettiest woman around, Big Ben and Pulitzer winner doesn't care about newspapers

For those scoring at home, "Use Me" is the best song ever written. Period. Well, at least according to one particular person who may or may not write for this blog. Can't get "Ain't No Sunshine" out of the head, so we open Week 4 with a vintage photo of the man, myth and legend. Can fill out three more spots in that Top 5 list, but still searching for the effervescent number five song. Any suggestions? Anyways, how was your weekend? Good? That's good. The weather seemed to be collectively awful, but that didn't mean you couldn't cuddle up and catch up on some movies, television shows or books, right? Got new deodorant recently, and it smells grrrrrreat. Don't you love when that happens? Life's little battles. Onward and upward...

Wanted to wait to see if an announcement is actually made today, but according to wonder-kid Adam Schefter, we wait another day. For now, damning, lengthy article on Ben Roethlisberger and the chain of events around what happened. Pretty good. (Post-Gazette)

Coachella happened this weekend. You saw what Jay-Z did in a post earlier today. Now read about how Sly Stone is completely nuts. (Billboard)

Rufus Wainwright loves opera, 50 cent and maple syrup. Like him. A lot. (Details)

If the Wall Street Journal’s New York edition works out, they may expand to other cities. Rupert Murdoch pets a cat in a dark room. (Adage)

It’s buried, but it’s there (Page 2): The kid who won the Pulitzer last week isn’t getting calls from the big boys. And he doesn’t know if he wants to be a journalist forever. Some people. (Washington Post)

Rolling Stone looks different. Still offers occasionally hollow pieces. P.S. How about that “Glee” cover story? Something wrong there. Who gave that article the green light? (Rolling Stone)

Isla Fisher is pregnant. Or oddly shaped. Never would have guessed she’s almost 35. (Us Weekly)

You probably cared about the Country Music Awards. Eww. Remember this? If you read it, then you, friend, may have watched the Juno Awards instead. Unrelated: The movie with Ellen Page and Michael Cera. (New York Times)

In a(n) (un)surprising move, Christina Hendricks was named America’s Best Looking Woman today. Good. Love “Mad Men.” Love her. Those who want to give it to Megan Fox clearly haven't read this. (Dimewars)

Forever young. I want to be forever young.

So, it was my birthday yesterday. How do I know I'm getting old? These birthdays are becoming less and less important (though I swear my life goal is to make sure both birthdays and holidays never, ever become redundant, boring or un-special.) Keeping it fresh is always a bit hard when it comes to birthdays, and the weight of expectation is typically never light enough to lift when it comes to one's special day. That said, though, I'll continue to stand firm in my stance that birthdays should always matter, no matter how cynical one may get.

Anyways, how do I really know I'm getting old? The two biggest gifts I got were a nice bottle of wine and a gift card to get my eyes examined. That's right. I'm 20-something, going on 70-something. It would be ridiculous to think either present wasn't special, needed or, well, great. But becoming excited over the possibility of new eye wear and a night in which I can finally relax with a nice glass of wine isn't exactly what birthdays used to be.

Remember when your birthday parties mattered? Family members would gather. You'd be forced into eating some type of cake that you really aren't in the mood for when the time comes around. Balloons were blown. Signs were made. Candles were bought (and then, when you got smart enough, someone would sneak those pesky unable-to-blow-out candles on the cake, much to the delight of every onlooker). You got up early. Your name was read on the loudspeaker at school or some idiotic English teacher made it a point to have your name plastered on the chalk board as though it was a list to see who made the cast of the school's production of "Beauty & The Beast."

Ahh, yes. Those were the good days, right? With all of this getting old stuff abound, one has to think, what would be the equivalent of today's presents when considering the presents of yesteryear? If a simple bottle of wine can mean so much these days, what would it's 1989 incarnation be? How about this...

Boyhood gift
- Additions to a classic WWF wrestler collection.
Today's gift - Subscription to AARP magazine.

Boyhood gift - Soccer cleats for when the high school season begins in the fall.
Today's gift - Life-Alert.

Boyhood gift - A basketball because last year's has lost its bounce and tread.
Today's gift - A copy of the complete Lawrence Welk series on DVD.

Boyhood gift
- Media Play gift certificates, allowing me to shop for all the new CDs I could want.
Today's gift - Vitamins.

Boyhood gift
- A card filled with money, re-upping the stash for the fun things boys do, like eat out and go to amusement parks.
Today's gift - A card filled with money to make sure the electric bill can be paid on time this month.

Boyhood gift - A nice meal, of my choice, cooked by mom.
Today's gift - Six pounds of butterscotch hard candy to put in a glass bowl.

Boyhood gift - An Atlanta Hawks or New York Jets hat.
Today's gift - Rogaine.

Boyhood gift - A new coat for when winter's harsh weather comes around.
Today's gift - The Clapper.

Ugh. It's true: When you are young, you strive to be older, and when you are older, you regretfully look back on what sometimes amounts to a wasted youth. Oh well. At least Jay-Z and Beyonce seem to have it down...

Friday, April 16, 2010

...For The Ride Home: Tomorrow is National Record Store Day and a $60 million football stadium in Texas


Quick story: Spent an hour (yes, an hour) on the phone with my cell phone provider because I am due an upgrade. Want to change plans, order the phone, etc. Sit on the phone with some happy dude from T-Mobile for all that time, as he cheerily makes his way through what I can and can't do, what I should and shouldn't do, what plan he thinks is great for me. Finally settle on something, and all I have left to do is press "1." In haste and annoyance, I accidentally hang up the call. Naturally, when I call back, I get someone different, who then tells me they have nothing new on record for me. And this is the beginning to a birthday weekend. Ugh. Really won't be able to stand a bad birthday this year. Just not in the mood. In any case, week three has come and gone, and you guys, well you guys have been sparse. We forgive you, though. Still can't get a word on "Treme." I'll take it as a personal insult and a testament to how much you a)may hate us b)may hate me c)don't care d)don't read or e)have no interest in the things we say. It's a sad world. Go see "The Jonses" even if Kurt Loder doesn't like it. In honor of upcoming activities, we take you into the weekend with Mr. Ben Harper. Enjoy the weather, and as always, love you, miss you.

Rounding out our Pulitzer coverage: Apple rejects Pulitzer winner’s App, and now asks him to resubmit it after winning the award. Meanies. (New York Times)

A $60 million stadium is being built…for a high school football team. (Rivals)

Love Philadelphia more than breadsticks. But it’s stuff like this that makes you squirm: Dude vomits on girl. (ESPN)

Jay-Z will be on “Saturday Night Live” in May. The host? Betty White. (MTV)

Larry King is getting it done in so many ways. Now, there will be no divorce. (TMZ)

Tomorrow is National Record Store Day. Don’t forget. (Record Store Day)

Butch Walker’s new record is only four bucks for today only. (Amazon)

Leonardo DiCaprio. Ellen Page. Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Sold. July can’t get here soon enough. (IMDB)

Double Feature: Death At A Funeral & The Joneses

Each Friday, we will offer up two movies that are scheduled to be released within the accompanying weekend. We know, we know. It’s hard to come across blogs who ever actually get movie talk right. That’s why we won’t say much. A trailer. A paragraph. And boom – all you need to know about what new movies you can take your beautiful object of affection to see this weekend. It's like going to the drive-in movie theater. Remember those? So much fun. Thank us later, not now.

Death At A Funeral

Seems a little quick for a remake, when the original is only a mere two years old, don't you think? Go to any used movie store, and you can find the British version for three bucks. In any case, it's hard to think this movie will be bad, right? Tracy Morgan. Chris Rock. Martin Lawrence. Come on. If nothing else, you could follow everything the "30 Rock" star says with the words "Liz" and "Lemon" and you are sure to promise yourself a chuckle. Saw the preview for it months and months ago in the theater, and laughed out loud. Better than "Date Night?" Probably (though none of us has seen it). Still, Martin's television show may be some of the funniest black comedy the TV set will ever see. Giiinnaaaa.



The Jonses

Why watch this? That's easy: David Duchovny is the male lead. Why should you care about David Duchovny? "Californication," silly. Opposite Demi Moore, this seems to be funny, smart and interesting all at the same time. In press for this, the sometimes Hank Moody has said (and we quote) "I only do things I like anymore." And he even seemed sincere! It looks an awful lot like "The Truman Show" but updated and with, well, the guy from Showtime's best program. It even seems a bit smarter, which is enticing considering the Jim Carrey movie was way ahead of its time. Highly doubtful this thing will be in as many theaters as "Death At A Funeral." But if you happen to be in a corner of the country where it's playing, this seems to be the best play.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

...For The Ride Home: It's tax day, Something Corporate is back and Lisa de Moraes is a better writer than you

Plan on watching "Broken Flowers" tonight based strictly on the recommendation that it is along the same lines and is as good - if not better - than "Lost In Translation." Has anyone seen it? Got excited when it was put in the que months ago. Lost the excitement. Have it back now that it's here. Should be fun. It's Thursday, which means this is the night when pretty, young people usually go out and begin their respective weekends early with time at the bar and the occasional one-night-stand. Good luck with all that. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter, or e-mail us at theunusualsuspectsblog@gmail.com. Again, anyone who submits a good link will receive a box of sour patch kids. If none of that interests you, read about microwaves and think of Jack. Be good.


Today is tax day. Hope you filed your taxes. Big brother is watching. (Yahoo)

Easily the best story from all the Pulitzer prizes: 28-year-old in Bristol wins for investigative work. We give it three months before one of the big boys grabs him up. (Mediamatters)

Remember what we said about Eminem’s “Relapse 2?” Hours later, he announced plans for “Recovery.” (Rolling Stone)

Man delivers obituary, then commits suicide. Sad. (Sacramento Bee)

“One Sponsor Car Company Youth Market Car Model Music Video later, it's time for another Seabiscuit Moment of High Tension and Drama, as Casey James, Andrew Garcia, and Aaron Kelly are called to center stage.” Going to keep linking her Idol recaps until somebody recognizes her brilliance. (Washington Post)

A complete roundup of all the Tiger parody commercials with his dad’s voice. Funny. (Deadspin)

So, Something Corporate is back. Does this mean Jack’s Mannequin is dead? (Spin)

More from the Pulitzers: Washington Post writer Howie Hurtz is not happy that the Washington Times didn’t mention the Post winners. (Twitter)

Ah yes, the microwave


You know what’s one of the most painstaking waits in the world? The time spent standing next to the microwave waiting for your food to finish cooking. Seriously, has two and a half minutes ever seemed to take so friggin’ long? If put in a different situation, two and a half minutes can fly by in the blink of an eye - like when you’re standing in line for a roller coaster at Cedar Point, getting up to use the restroom during the commercial break of American Idol and/or killing some time at work by looking up YouTube videos. Two and a half minutes - Gone.

What’s worse is when there are other people waiting to use the microwave, like in a work setting or something. You can never be sure if one minute will be long enough to thoroughly heat your leftover shake and bake chicken AND baked potato. And then if you take your plate out for the heat test and, God forbid, the potato is still cold, you have to pretend not to see your co-worker shake his or her head in utter disgust as you meekly put your plate back in the box. You mutter some joke/apology that will hopefully make up for the fact that you are taking precious minutes from their lunch break, but deep down you know that in their mind you are currently at the same level as an inside dog with bowel control problems.

And then there’s the guy who flat out refuses to cover his food, resulting in a mess that would make even “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe blush. Seriously, is there anything worse than cleaning a microwave? All right, maybe there are a few things that are worse, but still… It’s so awkward to clean in the little crevices; the remnants of marinara, barbecue and day old pierogies are just baked onto the white plastic walls… For the love of God, just cover your plate/bowl/dish with a paper towel (or its equivalent) before turning the power on, even if there is only a slight chance your food may bubble and pop. Not hard.

Ever microwave a peep? Not what you'd expect...



It’s gonna be a good Ride at 4 o’clock today. Come back and get on board!

- TS

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

...For The Ride Home: Terry Gross, Elin is mad at Tiger, no "Relapse 2" and women love mean dudes

Watched the original movie version of "In Cold Blood" a couple nights ago, completing the trifecta that is watching "Capote," reading "In Cold Blood" and then viewing it in black and white. Can only think of a handful of writers that would be joining Mr. Capote in my top tier of authors. The movie itself was pretty good (and long), but it held my interest for each and every one of those nearly-150 minutes. Some things were left out, and as usual, the book was better, but if you even have the smallest amount of admiration for the man's work, then it's must-see. And you thought we would only use photos of celebrities. Silly reader, you.

Told you more would come regarding Pulitzer winners: Mark Firoe, winner of the Editorial Cartoon Pulitzer, talks about how he nearly didn’t have the opportunity to become what he is today. (Washington Post)

Because “Fresh Air” gives some of the best, most in-depth interviews in talk radio: A day in the life of Terry Gross. (The Atlantic Wire)

Via TS, again (that’s two days in a row!). Honestly thought this was a joke. Still trying to wrap my head around it. (Yahoo)

Wow. So Genesis can’t reunite for the Hall of Fame, but Phil Collins can release a new record and maybe tour? Neat: This four-night stand will include The Funk Brothers, and he’s taking out drummer Chester Thompson with him, too. Side: Once exchanged e-mails with Thompson for a long period of time and he couldn’t have been nicer. He even offered up his phone number. Nothing like test messaging a pseudo member of Genesis. (Pollstar)

Speaking of touring, Modest Mouse is heading out this summer. (Pitchfork)

Elin is mad at Tiger for his creepy commercial. You go, girl! (ABC News)

Interesting: “American Idol” music director plans to take over when Kevin Eubanks leaves “The Tonight Show.” (Popeater)

According to Eminem, “Relapse 2” will never happen. (Twitter)

If men aren’t nice to women, they will get more dates. (CNN)

Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty


Quick, guess the woman:

1. Her mother does not have her cell phone number.
2. Family relatives “doubt” that she was actually ever molested as a child, something this mystery woman has claimed for years.
3. She loves ding-dongs, sour-cream potatoes, chicken and pecan pies.
4. She often refers to herself in the third person.
5. There is a pretty good possibility she once slept with John Tesh.

Give up? OK. That last one gave it away, I know, I know. It’s Oprah. And how do we know these things? Well, that’s because Ms. Kitty Kelley – a so-called “investigative journalist” who has written dozens of “unauthorized biographies” about many a celebrity in her day (word is, Frank Sinatra didn’t have many kind words to say to the writer when confronted with her) – shocked (shocked!) the world by releasing her findings into the life of quite possibly the most popular and successful female talk show host ever.

Question No. 1: How has Oprah become the phenomenon she has become over the last couple decades? What’s her lure?
Question No. 2: In an age of “Gotcha” journalism/media, why is anyone ever really that surprised to find out personal information about idols who almost literally hold in their possession millions of people’s hearts?
And Question No. 3: John Tesh?

Ahh, yes. John Tesh. Liz Clarke, the fantastic Washington Post sportswriter, went on the radio yesterday and brought up a very interesting variable about this entire situation.
“I’ll confess to being interested in her taste,” the writer said with a little bit of laughter. “And to me, I find John Tesh revolting.”
And boom goes the dynamite.

So much criticism is thrust upon the “nothing is safe from the public” world we live in these days, but you would be lying to yourself if you ever tried to dismiss such gossipy news because of one’s privacy. No, I don’t have the least bit desire to know the first thing about Oprah’s personal life, but yes, I do have at least a little bit of interest in knowing things that suggest who she really may be. And yes, there’s a difference.

I know I shouldn’t like it, and yes we can all agree that it is universally wrong to invest highly in such trash-talk reporting, but come on, friends. Gossip is fun. Sure, I may lose a little bit of self-respect, but what self-respecting human being can’t admit to glancing out of the corner of his or her eye to see what exactly it is that is making all that proverbial noise over there?

It’s safe to say that Kitty Kelley is sleaze. That’s fair. And it’s also safe to assume that regardless of her 800-plus sources she reportedly used to write this book, no one is going to take her reporting seriously (especially considering the hold Oprah has on so many women, and the desire many may have to dive into a pit of naivety when it comes to criticizing such an iconic figure). But one of the best differences between men and women is a woman’s natural desire to partake in such gossip-mongering talk. It’s pleasurable and shameful at the same time. It releases a connection with someone you will never have the opportunity to connect with while using that desired, mythical connection to actually connect with someone who may want to feel that same type of, well, connection. Get it? Good.

Now, when’s the next Us Weekly hit newsstands?

And, wait. Who said anything about Gossip?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

...For The Ride Home: Pulitzer winner talks, Conan begins his tour and "Dancin'" drummer dies

"Glee" returns tonight and from what we understand, it's supposed to be a big deal. Confession: Haven't watched a second of it. The critics can't be wrong, though, can they? Almost halfway through the week, which must make you all feel wonderful. Almost halfway through April, too. That must also make you all feel wonderful. Unless if you like cold, the winter or darkness. Then, well, you probably don't feel all that wonderful. As for now, check out these links, follow us on Twitter and e-mail us at theunusualsuspectsblog@gmail.com. We respond to everything. Promise.

Courtesy of TU. How a public relations man is doing his best to...save newspapers? (New York Times)

Going to try and a Pulitzer-related piece each day this week after the announcements yesterday. Today: Feature Writing - A chat with Weingarten about his tremendous story regarding parents who left children in cars to die. (Washington Post)

Great headline: Ben Reothlisberger’s apology infinitely more effective with “WWE Heel” look. (The Big Lead)

Conan opened his tour last night, fully equipped with Kenneth from “30 Rock” and a musical guest. TBS, here he comes. (Oregon Live)

The NBA playoffs are almost here. These guys have a possible upset between a 1-8 matchup. Possible? Anything’s possible with Kevin Durant. (Bleacher Report)

For all the drummers in the house: Steve Reid, a jazz legend who played on “Dancing In The Street,” died today. He was 66. (CMJ)

Ads on Twitter, huh? It’s hard to think people actually have a full grasp on how much the world has changed within the last 20 years, and, for that matter, will continue to change within the next 20 years. (Slate)

Ochocinco gave his “Dancing With The Stars” partner a diamond ring? Really? (US Weekly)

I Like That Boom Boom Branding!


Late last week there was an article in The Wall Street Journal on the Black Eyed Peas that really got me thinking. The gist of the piece was about how the group has become "the most corporate brand in America," a pop juggernaut that somehow manages to appeal to grade school kids, corporate CEOs and my grandma ("as long as that hussie Fergie keeps her clothes on").

And while many musicians not named Gene Simmons would balk at the idea of being associated with marketing terms like branding, reach and demographic, will.i.am throws them around like it's... well, his job.

"I consider us a brand," he said in the WSJ. "A brand always has stylized decks, from colors to fonts. Here's our demographic. Here's the reach. Here's the potential. Here's how the consumer will benefit from the collaboration."

Wasn't it always the record label executives who were supposed to be the big bad guys throwing around words like that? I realize musicians have endorsed products for years, but this just felt a little different to me for some reason... Clearly there is no such thing as "selling out" in today's musical landscape, but at what point does the artist/group/band go too far?

I had a great discussion with a great friend a while back about musical integrity and the decay of music as an art - a form of expression. His stance was that music has pretty much never been an art, but instead, more like a competitive sport. Bands (or groups, singers, etc) compete with each other to see who can write the "best" songs in order to get the highest amount of airplay, the best venues and the most fans. So if one buys this argument, then music truly is a science, not an art.

But what about those musicians who write music because they feel uncomfortable or incomplete when they don't? Or the people who write music because they have to, regardless of whether one or one million people hear it? Or the people who write music for no other reason other than they like to write music? Those are the people who maintain music as an art form in my humble opinion. And if they happen to make a few dollars in the process, more power to 'em.



So what's the point of this? I'm not sure to be perfectly frank. I do know that I can listen to my favorite song a thousand times and not get tired of it... and that has to mean something, right? Maybe you can give me some insights (ahem, comments, ahem).

Don't forget to come back for The Ride at 4 p.m. or so. We'll be waiting for you.

- TS

Monday, April 12, 2010

...For The Ride Home: Conan on TBS, Big Ben is a free man and R.I.P. Proof

In honor of Tina Fey on "Saturday Night Live," her movie finishing No. 1 at the box office over the weekend and her reportedly filming the season finale of "30 Rock" last week, we offer you the wonderful woman with ...her husband. Yep. That's him. Strange, isn't it? You'd think it's time for an upgrade but hey, her loyalty does not go unnoticed. At least by this particular blog. Wanted to offer up her "Weekend Update" appearance, but can't find the video anywhere. Know what else we can't find? "Treme." Anyone have any idea where we can find this online? Any links would be greatly appreciated. Showed up last night to see if anyone wanted to take up the offer on a conversation or two and thus, saw nothing. It was like being stood up on a date. A virtual date. Did anyone see it? Disappointing? Good? Better than expected? This is what the comments section is for, friends. In any case, onward and upward to week three.

Speaking of "Saturday Night Live," Mark Sanchez left the after-party with six women. To all the women in the hizzie: Is he really that dreamy? (TMZ)

Speaking of quarterbacks: Big Ben got off (hehe). "We are not condoning Mr. Roethlisberger's actions that night. But we do not prosecute morals. We prosecute crimes." (ESPN)

Roger Waters is bringing "The Wall" to the states. (Billboard)

For fans of "Entourage." (Funny Or Die)

This got brought up last week, but it's an awfully good question, and the more stories that are written about this topic, the more interesting it gets: Why isn't there another Bill Simmons? (National Sports Journalism Center)

Four years ago yesterday, Proof died. (XXL)

The Masters could have brought in TV's highest golf ratings ever? (USA Today)

Conan on TBS isn't going to work. Expect a post on that sometime in the near future. As for now, read about how it all came together. (New York Times)