Monday, January 27, 2014

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, best cop comedy out there!

Of course, I can't think of any other outright cop sitcom on the air right now, but ... it's the best one, anyway. I was surprised that this FOX took the Golden Globe for Best TV Series and that Andy Samberg took the best actor award. Oh my. Here I thought the show was my own little personal guilty pleasure.

I had my reasons for initially tuning in back during the premiere --
  • I like Brooklyn and shows about Brooklyn. As strange as it sounds, it's true. I think that dates back to Welcome Back Kotter. Yes, I'm that old.
  • I like cop shows.
  • I like cop shows set in NYC.
  • I liked Andre Braugher as Pembleton in Homicide: Life on the Street. I realize that was not a cop show set in NYC, but in Baltimore. No never mind; it was good anyway.
You'll note that I didn't mention Andy Samberg in my list. That's because he's basically a bit of a non-entity for me. After the first decade and a half of SNL, I've only tuned in when I wanted to watch a specific host or musical guest. I stopped regularly tuning in well before Samberg's time on the show. Yeah, I've seen him. But it was only while waiting for the host to return or the musical act.

On with the show itself ...
I find it slightly reminiscent of the old Barney Miller show. Heck, if you can't laugh at some of the bizarreness of crime, cops and the general public, what kind of person are you? Dour much?

The ensemble cast is diverse. I mean ... who would have thought that Andre Braugher would be cast as a stoic, serious to the max, gay commanding officer? The basic premise is that Detective Jake Peralta is a goof-off joker detective who's actually quite capable in his job. But he's used to ruling the roost. Along comes Captain Ray Holt, a man on a mission to prove himself and a dedication to law and order within his own ranks.

There's Detective Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) who's becoming better and better each episode. He's a classic people pleaser kind of bumbling dude. Ah, but he's recently a hero, taking a bullet in the butt to save his unrequited love, Rosa. Terry Crews plays a sergeant with anxiety issues. There are women detectives -- Santiago (Melissa Fumero) and Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz); one is a perky over-achiever, the other is a possible volatile mystery woman. The administrative assistant, played by Chelsea Peretti, is almost a throwback to when Penny Marshall was Oscar Madison's Gal Friday, but with a modern more sardonic twist.

All in all, this show is working for me. Each week it seems to get even better. Have you discovered it yet?

Oh. There is one major drawback for me -- it's against NCIS and I can't go without my Mark Harmon fix, annoying soft focus filming or not.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - January 26, 2013

Yes, it's Sunday morning! You know what that means. It's time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. Yes, yes ... I know I've promised some television posts. I have a few underway in draft now. Expect one posted TONIGHT!

I returned to work this week after my self-imposed exile from the world trying to calm my sciatica. That did work to an extent. While it's not completely gone, it has lessened to the point that I'm not in total agony. That, of course, is a good thing. I've got enough of it left to every now and then really kick in to remind me of what sciatica can do, though. I slipped on some ice yesterday and managed to cripple myself up for a few hours. I didn't even fall! I must have twisted just right trying not to fall. Grr.

The big local news around here is the winter weather. It's been extremely cold and we've had more snow. Our previous snow cover was pretty much gone except for dirty clumps here and there and plowed piles of dirty snow. Well, now it's all white and pristine once again. I actually don't mind the cold so much as I know what to wear for it and my heat in the apartment works just fine.

It's the icy sidewalks that scare me. After Tuesday's big snowstorm (about ten inches), some folks didn't clear their sidewalks. Also, some folks did clear their walks down to dry pavement, but where their driveways are is a mess from cars driving over where the city plowed.

It snowed all day yesterday, but I think we only got a few inches. With temperatures not due to break the freezing point this week, it's not going to go anywhere soon. How long is it until spring?

The snowstorm came earlier than expected on Tuesday and I ended up getting caught in it. Oh, well. If nothing else, it was good photo fodder. That said, it would have been nice not to have to walk home from the train station in the wind and snow due to late buses and taxi issues.

I decided to give my Tuesday afternoon snow arrival at the Plainfield Train Station the black and white treatment for a few shots ...

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - January 19, 2014

Yep, another week has gone by and I still haven't posted about television. I plan to write up a bit on a few shows. I really do.

Yet, it is Sunday morning, time for my weekly off television topic reflection of the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way.

Um. Well. I don't have all that much of either words or photos this week. I took a week of vacation time in hopes to ease the sciatica pain I've had for nearly a month. While it's not really gone entirely, the week has definitely helped. But I didn't DO ANYTHING this week! I lazed about my apartment, walked to the local bodega a couple of times, read, watched television and did NOTHING. I slept a lot. I'm well-rested.

I guess it's onto the photos, few that there are, for this week along with a new photo endeavor. Vincent the Cat fans should like this post!

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A little cooperation please

Sheesh. Why don't you just turn your back on me? The squirrels are loving the recent lack of snow cover as they continue to find acorns on the local church lawn.

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Vincent is having a ball

Well, he has been since I've been pretty much just here inside with him all week! It was "Dress Up Your Pet Day" and the only outfit I have his size is his Santa suit and I don't know where I put it. So, I put one of his balls on him. (Insert tasteless neutered joke here.)


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - January 12, 2014

Good morning! It's Sunday morning and that can only mean one thing, right? Yep. It's time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I've taken along the way.

Okay ... what's up with the weather this winter? Sure, we normally go from cold winter temps to days that break the 40 degree mark. This year we're having record lows shooting almost up to 60 degrees within the course of a single day! We're having winds, ice storms, snow storms, torrential rains in rapid succession. I am SO over this winter. Make it stop. I feel obliged to mention that the new windows in my apartment certainly do keep the drafts down. But I don't necessarily feel they need be tested like this!

The sciatica has lessened enough that I put in a full week's worth of work this week. Alas, I'm definitely not pain free. It's more like I'm living on ibuprofen and collapsing once I get home. I missed more television shows this week by falling asleep before the primetime block! The most comfortable position for me is lying down -- not walking, standing or sitting. It appears that my mind thinks if I'm lying down, I must fall asleep. Argh. Thankfully, most of my missed shows are online and I've already caught up with a few of them.

I'm officially on a staycation right now. I'm hoping that being able to be off my feet for the most part will get rid of this bout of sciatica. I do appreciate the advice of others, but I do think this will go away if I stop and actually rest it some. I don't think my health insurance covers chiropractors, but I'm not sure. It does cover regular doctors and, if needed, surgeries. I prefer none of that.

Anyway ... at least I actually got some good photos this week. I kept my camera in my pocket with a microwavable pocket warmer from a scarf I bought earlier in the week during the record lows. The scarf has a neck insert and two pocket inserts. Since I don't stick my hands in the scarf pockets, I put the inserts in my coat pockets. By yesterday, though, I was wearing just a hoodie to work. Silly weather.

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Reflection in a droplet

The rain on the berries gave me great photo fodder. Check out the upside-down berry shoots in the drop. Bridgewater, NJ.

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Sunset in da 'hood

I saw one pretty sunset this week. Of course, it was frigid out there.

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Early in the week, it was so cold that the glue (whatever) holding the brickface at the Plainfield Train Station let loose. My train was extremely late (hence the sunrise) and we heard a crashing noise. No one was near this, yet there you go. By the end of the week, part of the stairs to the tunnel was all blocked off with caution tape as the stairs crumbled. Over at the Bridgewater Train Station, the stairs are missing two metal risers and crumbling. If I were driving, I'd be mentioning pot holes big enough to swallow a rottweiler.


Sunday, January 05, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - January 5, 2014

Yes, it's another Sunday morning. That means it's time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. Once again, I don't have many photos this week as I'm still having sciatica issues limiting me from getting around much.

This week brought with it the New Year, snow and arctic chill around here. I want to wish all my readers here a happy New Year and hope that it's full of good things for all of us! I'm just happy that the TV drought is ending.

I did my first good deed of the new year yesterday. I ended up having to walk to the store around the corner from me. Thankfully I did because that's when I took most of the photos I'm posting this week!

Returning home, I came into the building via the front door, something I rarely do. However, when I left by the side door (which has no stairs), I had to walk over a very icy stretch on the driveway where folks had driven over where the snowplow plowed the streets. I figured it was safer to deal with the front door with its six steps down, then six steps up once inside.

As I entered the building, I saw a package by the door. I picked it up to see if it was for someone I know. Yep, it was for the not-so-new neighbor directly upstairs from me. I took the elevator to that floor, knocked on the door and was greeted by the girlfriend (wife?) who's also living there. The fact that it's a couple up there, not a single individual, is amazing. They're so quiet! I hope they stay for a long time!

She was thrilled to get the package. She said they never use the front door. I told her I usually don't use it, either. I can't believe the mailman left it sitting there to be possibly stolen. Chances are that even if I hadn't known the recipient, I would have at least have brought it to their apartment door.

Oh, well. This is about my limit for sitting here thanks to the silly sciatica. I hope everyone has a great week. I'm hoping to post something on television druing the week ahead, so stay tuned.

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Winter skies

I took this shot on Berckman Street looking northeast towards East Front Street in Plainfield late yesterday afternoon. Plainfield.

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Looking out the window

Looking down at my neighbor's backyard. Once again I see that they're the ONLY people on my side of the block who haven't cleared their sidewalks. For years they had the best cleared sidewalks on the block. For the last five years they've all but stopped shoveling entirely. It would be nice if the city actually fined people for not clearing their walks.


Wednesday, January 01, 2014