Square Wheels

21 November 2001

Oh, Judd, Judd, Judd. I know that to be polite I should call you Mr. Apatow, but it's hard to scold someone you're calling "Mr.", isn't it? Judd, you could have had two very cool TV shows. But I give up on this second one. I wash my hands of it. "Undeclared" is not worth watching any more. It's very much like Mark said about a networking paper he was reading last night: "If I believed that square wheels were a good concept, then the suspension system is very nice."

Your problem, Judd, is that you don't trust your characters. You're very good at character, and then you don't let the characters dictate the story-line. You feel like you have to push them into externally funny situations, but not funny enough to be definitively funny. Just funny enough to be odd, to feel wrong, to make me pull back and wrinkle my nose. "Freaks and Geeks" usually had at least two story-lines per episode, and only one of them was a nose-wrinkler. But "Undeclared" is only a half an hour, and you kept the bad half. Sigh.

It's not like there are that many good TV programs on, so I'm always frustrated when one of the potentials doesn't pan out. (Not that I need or even really want more shows. But still.) I'm also frustrated that "The Tick" got two weeks and then a Thanksgiving hiatus. Does anybody truly want a four- or five-hour Adam Sandler marathon for Thanksgiving? Or would we all rather eat the giblets raw? Yeah, that's what I thought.

We have no giblets at my house. I don't mean that we don't eat them, I mean that we don't have them. See, because steak doesn't come with giblets. I've been waffling between steak and lasagna all week, and we finally know enough about who isn't coming that I feel that we can buy steak for everyone who is. Ahh, steak, the traditional Lingen Holiday Meal. It looks like it'll just be us and Daniel, who works with Mark. I hope we don't confuse him too much. We'll see my aunt and uncle and godfathers on Friday, and then on Saturday Sarah arrives.

We're actually having more people over tonight for cloudberries than for Thanksgiving tomorrow -- Avi and Evan, as far as I know, so if you're coming and you aren't either of them, let me know right now. Cloudberries -- my tenth birthday in a jar. Yum. (I ordered them with the lefse. We shall see how the lefse is. Mrs. Olson's wanted one to order a case, so I got it somewhere else. I don't know if it'll be up to par.)

I finished "The Grumpiest Place on Earth" yesterday -- I don't know if that's as well as I can do with that concept, but it's as well as I can do with that story, so off it went, out of my hair. Evidently that was what I needed to get out of me, because now I'm working away at the golem story and the Not The Moose Book with renewed happiness and productivity. I think I'll finish the golem story and get it sent out today, depending on how long the cleaning takes me and how side-tracked I get. Do you know how hard it is to find out what cars are available in a country if you don't speak that language? And if they don't even make cars in that country? Hard. Very hard. But I have triumphed over the Finnish-language webpages.

Other than that...not much. I'm going to write and clean and get ready for various and sundry company, and maybe pick out a new book to read. Have a good day, all of you. Figure out something really rational to do to celebrate Voltaire, because it's his birthday.

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