July 14th, 2006


Chain Reaction

Thanks to a puzzler who is working for GSN's new "Chain Reaction," jeffurrynpl and I saw a taping of the show (3 shows, actually) today. I never watched the old version, but this seemed pretty good. You link words in chains based on letters given as clues. I recognized the end game (alternating players making a sentence cluing a word for the other contestant) from endless playings of it at cons, but these contestants never got the hang of it. One team of Jersey girls was impressive during the regular rounds (we kept saying, "Gee, they're good!" as they guessed words before we could).

We were seated with friends and family of the contestants, who were all excited about their nephews/brothers, etc. being on TV. We tried to cheer for whoever's relative was on. For the last show, our whole row was moved since the contestant is not allowed to face his family.

The studio brought back memories, as it was the same place qaqaq taped his Millionaire. This was in the very early days, when it was just a 2-week summer series, before they used the ABC studios. It was also well before I had any connection with the show; in fact, cazique and I voted wrong on Trip's "ask the audience" question (hey, we were swayed into believing it was Atari instead of the correct Legos).

Since it's my old company, I recognized the executive producer (who was also Trip's producer) and the warm-up comic Q. I don't know when this show airs, so I'll have to TiVo and see if we can be spotted. Jeffurry has a way of getting his face in front of any available camera, so it's possible.

What else?

I could talk about every good and bad review and blog comment about you-know-what movie, but that would get tiresome (probably already has). The common thread seems to be, "I saw Wordplay in a theater with only x people but everyone was laughing and shouting answers at the screen and left feeling good," "I felt so dumb compared to those freaks," "Afterward, I just had to do a crossword," and "Clinton made me feel nostalgic for when we had a smart President." Of course, there are also people who found it "innocuous," "an ad for the New York Times" or worse, a "waste of time."

That blogger walked out after 45 minutes! The first time I remember walking out on a movie was "Tom Jones" in 1963. We were on an overnight stop in Glens Falls on the way to Montreal. The ticket-taker said, "This is an adult movie" and my father replied, "These are adult children." Once the movie started with an orgy scene, however, we were quickly whisked out of the theater to a make-your-own ice cream sundae place which we appreciated a lot more than the movie.

The other movie I walked out on was "So I Married an Axe Murderer," at a screening through Audience Extras. The sound was DEAFENINGLY LOUD (I HATE when that happens!), and I went to the back and complained - twice - to a guy with a clipboard noting people's reactions. Nothing was done so I finally said, "I can't take this anymore," and stomped out in a huff. For all they knew, I could have been an important media person instead of the Audience Extra I was. The movie seemed pretty terrible, too, not worth sitting for 93 minutes with my fingers in my ears.

There's a new "Wordplay" ad with an unidentified woman who looks like JLo. Huh? I don't recognize this person from the movie. If anyone has an online link to this ad, please send it.

It's probably a good thing I don't have access to Lexis-Nexis as my searching would be even more out of control. Soon this will all die down. I haven't been out that much, but I haven't been recognized other than when I'm right near IFC.

One of the jobs I thought was due 7/12 is actually due 7/20, so that was a relief. I finished the job due 7/12 on Monday. I still have plenty to do, but progress is being made (in particular, if you're waiting for at-home puzzles to be graded, they're on their way!).

I've heard from several people who've seen the movie over the last few weeks, but hadn't replied. So I just caught up on my e-mails. This experience would be much worse without the Net. How did we ever survive?

Those wacky celebs, marriage edition

Christie Brinkley is splitting from husband number 4. When this happens, you have to wonder. The one thing in common in all these situations is... Christie Brinkley. She seems like a nice person, but who knows. And what kind of name is Sailor for a kid?

It's like the guy at my former company who was entering into his third marriage (this was a source of interest because outgoing wife #2 and incoming wife #3 worked in the same section of our company). His friend asked what was the story, and he said, "Well, you know, you're young, you make mistakes." The friend replied, "But how many mistakes can you make?!" I don't know how this ended, but I hope with more stability than Christie Brinkley.

Then I'm reading about Chad Michael Murray getting engaged to a teenage extra on "One Tree Hill" after splitting from his co-star Sophia Bush after 5 months of a marriage plagued by rumors of infidelity. Does this girl think Murray is going to change now that he's with her?