Here's our collection of linkage for Tax Day.
• Tax Day is also the deadline to submit your . If you're not familiar with the contest, it's named for the author of the much-parodied line "It was a dark and stormy night," and it awards prizes to excruciatingly bad writing. for a good groan. The 2003 winner is one of my favorites: "They had but one last remaining night together, so they embraced each other as tightly as that two-flavor entwined string cheese that is orange and yellowish-white, the orange probably being a bland Cheddar and the white . . . Mozzarella, although it could possibly be Provolone or just plain American, as it really doesn't taste distinctly dissimilar from the orange, yet they would have you believe it does by coloring it differently. "
• If Tax Day has you down, this might bring you up — it brought a smile to my face. . I think my favorite is his "Mr. Plow Rap." ("I'm Mr. Plow and I'm here to say, I'm the plowingest guy in the U.S.A. I got a big plow and I move a lot of things ... like your cow, if you have one.") Via .
• This just made me howl. Amy Forstadt has put online from 1977, and each one is read aloud (not all by Amy) and animated. Click on April 17 (audio) for the one that made me crack up. "TOILET WATER! Out of the TOILET!"
• Fans of the great quirky comedy "Arrested Development" are mounting a campaign to I hope they succeed.
• Here are the , including "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," due out in May. (“War” ! Yeah, and, uh, also “Stars”!) Click on the little icon in the lower right corner to make them legible. I have to say, I think the first movie had the most appealing crawl. And the most boring crawl award has to go to Episode II, for the snore-inducing line “There is unrest in the Galactic Senate.” Zzzz...
Gone to the dogs
Last week, Andy Dehnart and I each named our . But if I had to make that list today, I'd have a new #1: which runs new episodes Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
You may remember the show's predecessor, "Showbiz Moms & Dads," about mostly pushy parents trying to make their young kids a success in acting, singing, beauty pageants and the like. Think the exact same show, only with dogs replacing the kids. It's brilliant, just brilliant. If had been spun off into a TV series, this would be it.
The most interesting dog-owner to me is , an incredibly nervous young woman who has a husband, but who appears to really be married to her Weimaraner, Chalcy. Bravo's site for the show notes that "Every night is spent at some sort of dog-related activity, whether it's lessons, or practice. Every weekend is spent at competition or doing live performances at fairs, corporate events or sporting events." (Sound like a soccer or hockey mom and dad you might know?)
In the most recent episode I saw, Chalcy hurt her paw on the beach at Lake Isabella, and honestly, I don't think my mom was that freaked out when I got socked in the eye with a softball. Poor Kyra was about out of her mind trying to find a vet and get the dog to him or her as quickly as possible. I understand the true love one can have for a pet, really but there's a certain sadness in her dependency on the dog. As we all know, pets have a much more limited lifespan than humans, and it's hard to watch Kyra each week and imagine her surviving the eventual loss of Chalcy.
Two of the couples profiled also intrigue me. Boyfriends (Ryan runs a Seattle pet-accessory company, High Maintenance Bitch) seem to fight nonstop, so much so that even their poor dogs look terrified. The two screamed at each other so much in the latest episode that one ended up calling the Issaquah (Seattle suburb) cops — yeah, like the police don't have better things to do than break up a nonviolent squabble between two spoiled adults. The two are hoping to train tiny Liberace (!) to be a show dog, but if they keep fighting like this, the dog may just commit suicide, a la Paris Hilton's pooches in a recent "South Park" parody.
Another intriguing couple is , mother and young son. Moira works full-time in the world of dog obedience teaching and judging, and is also tutoring Adam in dog handling. But what's hard to watch about these two is how vocally negative the mother is of her son, criticizing seemingly his every move. Yes, it's her world, but there's a point where a mom needs to stop judging and be a mom, with love filtering into her negativity. (That said, there was a touching moment when Adam wanted his mom to stop teaching her class and help him hunt for a lost tooth. She didn't, but her words were kind and loving nonetheless.)
Maybe "Showdog Moms & Dads" feels like a safer show to watch than "Showbiz," because for the most part (sorry, Adam), young children aren't involved. The dogs may look ridiculous in some of the costumes they have to wear, but they're not scarred for life (well...maybe Liberace is).
Everyone can relate to loving a pet, and that connection opens us up to try and understand these uber-devoted dog owners, even if we think we wouldn't react as they do. Bravo handles the show in the smart way the network handles most of their programming, rarely judging, only finding interesting people, turning the cameras on, and stepping back. Tune in now, because the show is a limited run, and it's just doggone fascinating.