Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Witz Pickz: Crossword Puzzles, Huff, and More Things (You thought I was gonna say STUFF didn't you, you arrogant prick!)

Sorry, I went into a little "24" anger coma and wasn't able to write for a bit. But like that ass-rash that you just can't get enough of-- I'm back.

The film about crossword puzzles and puzzle enthusiasts is far more enjoyable than anything discussed in the film. You get to see how world-class puzzlemakers come up with their crosswords (not by hand of god as previously assumed) and get to see the World Championship of Crosswords hosted by the New York Times' crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz. My girlfriend recently noted that Shortz spells his last name the way Witz would and for that I pick both Will Shortz for his clear declaration of Witz Pickz fan-dom and her for the insight that clearly shows I've taken over her brain. Anyway, it's really hard to not get into the crossword tournament and pick your favorites and you get to meet all kinds of uppity nerds. One of my favorite parts, however, was simply seeing people I know doing crossword puzzles and talking about why they love them. I imagine the producers knew that I would love this and the reason is most likely because I am an idiot, but still, I couldn't get enough of John Stewart solving his friday crossword with ease and yelling at the camera to step it up, or Bill Clinton doing the sunday puzzle, laughing and loving every minute of it. It reminds me why we need to elect Hillary Clinton. We went from a President who does the Sunday NYTimes puzzle for the SHEAR FUN OF IT, to a guy who is still stuck on his Clifford The Dog 16 piece Puzzle that he does because he's thrown out every other educational, mind-stimulating toy he owns. It is also impossible to see this film and not immediately want to do crossword puzzles. I watched it three weeks ago and have picked up the Ny Times puzzle every weekday since.

Nobody gets Showtime. That's a problem. Not for me so much as Showtime and ultimately, good shows like Huff. A few months ago I was on the fence with this one, but after watching the rest of the first season via netflix, I was sold. This show combines insightful writing about life with absolutely hilarious comedy, ranging from intelligent quips to extended conversations between parents and son about the "blowjob party" he went to. The cast makes the writing work, with Hank Azaria as Dr. Craig Huffstodt, Oliver Platt as his lawyer friend, and the extremely precocious, yet fantastic son, played by Anton Yelchin who will very soon be kidnapped by Justin Timberlake in Alpha Dog. Blythe Danner plays Huff's live-in mother and gives the role a much more interesting depth than the normal television mother role. Unfortunately, the problem with nobody watching showtime is that the show has been cancelled after it's second season. I haven't watched it yet, but have been painstakingly acquiring it since Showtime has apparently cast off the show as ever existing. Checkout the first season of Huff, hope the second comes out on DVD soon, and hope that in the future, shows like this stick around (or are on HBO).

Salt In the Shower:
My mom's a bit into the whole "spiritual" and "energy" world and so when I'm sick she tells me to do things like focus on healing and cast out the bad energy. I've gone from entirely casting off these things to being completely open to trying them (in a "I'm streaming snot from my nose and fire is growing in my throat, so why the hell not" kinda way). One staple in her bag of tricks is to rub salt all over you in the shower and let it sit for two minutes before washing off. Something about ions or free radicals. It also makes your skin soft when you wash off because you rub the shit out of yourself (not like that) and all the dead skin comes off. In addition, after the hot water and the salt, you smell DELICIOUS. Who doesn't enjoy walking around for the rest of the day enjoying that fine, "Just escaped from the oven" smell? Anyway, the other day I was trying this and it actually worked-- but here's the thing-- I shave before I shower. So I got in the shower having just shaved, ignoring the knicks on my throat, and proceeded to salt up. "Salt on me legs, salt on me thigs, salt on my belly, but no salt in me eyes," is a song I sometimes sing while doing this to remind myself of the time I DID get salt in my eyes and was terrifically annoyed. "Salt on me chest, like a sailor on a boat, salt on my arms, and salt on me throat." Wait a minute. Salt on me-- OHHHHH FUUUUUUCK! OW OW OW! SONOFABITCH! FUCK! FUUCK! GODDAMN IT! Yeah, I put salt on my throat right after shaving it. I literally rubbed salt in my own wounds. Who the hell does that? Fortunately, I have a bathtub/shower, so I could sit down and enjoy the water crashing down on me until the wave of light-headedness that accompanies extreme pain passed. And when it did, do you know what? I wasn't feeling quite so crappy from my cold anymore. Homeopathic Remedies work.

"Scooters, vacation, fall":
as I write this, Blogger has given me a blank in the section below saying "Labels for this post:" the examples given are, "scooters, vacation, fall." I'm not sure quite what to make of this other than the fact that apparently blogger thinks that either I or most bloggers write about scooters, vacation, and fall-- these are common things to blog about. Not just one scooter. Numerous. Vacation I can understand. But fall? Yo, lemme drop some ill shit on....fall....because it's January bitches and it's time to remind yo' ass about photosynthesis and the fine foliage of New England. Perhaps there are people who blog about scooters and seasons, but I have yet to meet them. I thank you all yet again for sticking with me, who writes about suggestions of what blogger thinks I should write about. If nothing else, it's post-modern.

Butternut Squash Knows It's The Bomb,

PS. My magazine, The Wonder Boy Review is currently looking for submissions. The deadline is Jan 22, and we are accepting any short pieces-- prose, poetry, photography, art, comics, cartoons, essays (business, political, sports, music, film, society, culture), and anything else you might think of. Please email all submissions with your information to


nickv said...

my uncle is in wordplay. he and will shortz are buddies.

i was waiting until i had something substantive to say to let you know that i read your blog...even that post asking for comments wasn't good enough (frankly it also came off as a little desperate).

Witz said...

arrogant prick!)"
1 Comment - Show Original Post

Nick said...
my uncle is in wordplay. he and will shortz are buddies.

i was waiting until i had something substantive to say to let you know that i read your blog...even that post asking for comments wasn't good enough (frankly it also came off as a little desperate).

1:41 PM

Witz said...

I'm nothing if not a little desperate. Thanks for reading and WHICH IS YOUR UNCLE??

IrishGal said...

I haven't seen Wordplay yet, but I'll certainly bump it up in the Netflix queue. My mom sent me a NYT crosswords book because she bought a duplicate by accident. Maybe I'll crack it open when I'm done acing these level 5 Sudoku's.


IrishGal said...

You enjoy Huff so much that I'm curious as to what you think about Weeds. It's yet another one-word-titled show on Showtime that not enough people watch.

Lil' hint with the salt scrub: Mix sea salt into olive oil to make a paste and apply THAT in the shower. Exfoliate AND moisturize. And have the "just out of the Tuscany" smell.

Witz said...

HAHAH, good call. Look for a Weeds post (I may have previously posted on it, but I'll do another) coming up. Can it be flavored dipping oil?

Sarasaur said...

You're not alone with your little accident I recently got swindled by a man peddling bath goodies in the mall, no really, he called my friend and I shitheads and we still bought his product. The product for shitheads seems to be a nice melon scented salt scrub from the Dead Sea. It's nice, makes me all soft, but I forgot and shaved my legs first. Yowsa, I'll never make that mistake again, as I'm sure neither will you.

Have you tried gargling with warm salt water? It's nasty, but it really works on those pesky sore throats.

JKow said...