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spring cleaning, 2008 style
brief briefs briefly brief
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)

Sometimes a thought will strike me, I'll observe a happening, or my deadline will approach without warning.

That's right. I had no idea that it was already March.

Regardless, occasionally these thoughts will be non-cohesive enough that I can't force them together into a column. Well, I can, but it would be a stretch: "Speaking of snow crabs, anyone see that recent Geico commercial?" Huh?

So here's a few musings for you. Just stuff to think about. Because it's stuff that I'm thinking about. But not cohesively.

I've been thinking about Aaron Sorkin and his failed TV shows.

I found a website the other day that had a whole slew of choice quotes from "Sports Night." What a wonderful show. Such a shame that it couldn't find a large enough fan base at the time. I think, honestly, it was ahead of its time. I also think that it needed to be given another season for people to realize how good it was. Think about if NBC had based their decision to renew "Seinfeld" or "The Office" solely on the early numbers. Or if Fox had done the same with "Family Guy."

Actually, they did. But then brought it back after a groundswell of support.

Point is, "Sports Night" deserved better.

What it didn't deserve was "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." I've been thinking about that show, too. It didn't work. I watched every episode and, despite some moments of genius, it didn't work. I could write a whole column on why, but since this is just a list of things to clear out of my head, I'll condense it down to one single point and then move on: They took the two most attractive women on the show and made one of them a borderline Evangelical Christian and the other pregnant. When your most feminine potential sex symbol winds up being Matthew Perry, you're in trouble, Mr. Sorkin.

I've been thinking about the election.

Who hasn't, right? I'm a registered Democrat, and generally fall on the liberal side of most issues, though very moderate (some might claim it's because my Zodiac sign is Libra, but some others might ridicule them so they tend to keep thoughts like that to themselves).

Anyway, these days I'm obviously curious about who I'm going to wind up voting for against John McCain. I'm fairly pragmatic when it comes to this sort of thing, so I'm really thinking that it would be nice if the voting population of the Democratic party wound up putting forth a candidate who can, well, win.

I'm not sure who that is. My gut says that Hilary polarizes the party too much. My gut also says that an African American polarizes the country too much. There's a reason I was rooting for John Edwards. I'm just saying that right now.

That said, it's definitely been interesting. My theory is that Democrats, in general, like to vote for the underdog, or at least they feel the need to help. So if Hilary's doing well, people feel like maybe Barack could use some cheering up, so they go out and vote for him. Then, by the next primary, he's surging ahead, and people feel bad for Hilary, so she wins that Tuesday. It's a theory, anyway.

The Republicans, by the way, vote for the guy who they feel is more likely to represent their values. How silly is that?

I've been thinking about Andrea Augustine.

Andrea's a virtuoso violinist, a fine fiddler, a great guitarist, a sublime songwriter, a vivacious vocalist, and a recent writer.

No, really. She just started submitting stuff to Intrepid Media, so take a look.

But more importantly, visit her MySpace page.

And, yes, I know Andrea personally. We met through a mutual close friend. But I've heard her play and sing and I can tell you this is a girl who's going places. She recently recorded - along with session players Craig Brenner and Janice Hoyt - what's about to be a kick-ass CD with a band called Red Eye Max. Check out Amazon and iTunes real soon.

I've been thinking about that pact of silence the four of us made that night and about how we knew we had taken something beautiful from this world.

Never mind.

I've been thinking about money.

More specifically, my lack of it.

I know people often say, "Oh, it's just money." I tend to find these people fall into two groups: a) people with enough money that they can rightly feel that way because they don't have to worry about weather they can afford both dinner and a new living room chair. b) people who are trying to justify buying something they really can't afford.

In fact, I've been thinking that if one were to get them to continue their thoughts, they'd come up with two very different following sentences. To test my theory, I imagined that I was interviewing one of each of these people, and it turns out I was right:

a) It's just money. It's not love or family or music or art or something beautiful in nature. In fact, I think I'm going to pack my family into my Range Rover, turn on some Vivaldi on the 5-CD changer with the 8-speaker system, and drive to our private cabin up in the woods for the weekend.

b) It's just money. I can buy Ramen noodles this week and maybe grab a salad at McDonald's and then when I get my next paycheck, I can try to put back some of what I'm about to spend on this pitcher of beer.

See? Totally different.

For the record, I'd like to be in the first group. I'm working on it. Right now I can afford a pitcher of beer and chicken fingers. I'm upwardly mobile, people.

I'd have you over to show you, but I'm still saving up for the living room chairs.

Anyway, that's what I'm thinking about. But spring is the time for rebirth, so maybe now that those are on the page, they can get out of my head. I need to go make some money. I wonder if Aaron Sorkin's hiring?


A native of Elkins Park, PA, Adam Kraemer spends way too much of his time repeating "K-R-A-E..." He moved to New York City in 1998 and earned Master's in Journalism at NYU; don't let his writing fool you. He feels he is best known for saying the things no one is thinking, but afterwards wish they had been. He spends his free time wondering where all his free time goes and why he can never come up with a decent kicker for the ends of his articles.

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andrea augustine
3.24.08 @ 9:47a

Hey! Thanks for the mention, Mr. Kraemer! Spring cleaning is always good.

jael mchenry
3.24.08 @ 10:11a

Sports Night was tremendous. I have the DVDs. The second season was not as good as the first, but the first was genius, and it was one of those shows that was funny even when the plot went stupid.

"Natalie's my second-in-command! She's the only one I told!" "Jeremy's my boyfriend! He's the only one I told!" "I told many, many people."

adam kraemer
3.24.08 @ 10:49a

Casey: (To Dan) "A neighborhood park all covered with cheese"?
Dan: I said "cheese"?
Casey: You said "cheese".
Dan: Dana, did I say "park all covered with cheese"?
Dana: There's a consensus yes.
Dan: (to Casey) What are you looking at?
Casey: I'm here for you man.
Dan: (To Dana) Let me fix it when we come back.
Dana: Fix it when we come back.
Casey: Are we sure it's wrong? Are we sure the park isn't all covered with cheese?


sandra thompson
3.24.08 @ 7:57p

I cannot tell you how happy I am to learn these things. Also, I know where that cheese-covered park is. I've SEEN it.

robert melos
3.24.08 @ 10:36p

I miss Sports Night. That was the last quality television programming. Since then we've had nothing but reality shows. If I wanted reality I'd go out and do something other than sit in front of a television.

adam kraemer
3.25.08 @ 12:11a

All things considered, Robert, and I get where you're coming from, but a) there have been scripted shows on TV since Sports Night went off the air. Some have actually been pretty okay - Heros, The Riches, Lost, Sarah Connor Chronicles.... b) recently there was a writers' strike. Tough to get scripted shows on the air if no one's writing them.

However, point taken, I don't know that I've enjoyed anything as much as Sports Night since its untimely demise. Maybe Family Guy.

FYI, I hate hyperbole.


michelle von euw
3.25.08 @ 10:02a

When I was sick with the flu last week, I found myself obsessing over Studio 60 & its failure. It had so much potential: great cast, great writers, terrifically interesting setup. And it was all wasted. I ended up hating Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford by the end of its run -- not just the characters, but it carried over to the actors. My reasoning for why the show sucked came down to this: I think you have to earn your moments of cheese, and Sorkin just dove right into the Velveeta.

Also, stalkers are never attractive, Danny.

(To be fair, though, we can't really blame Aaron Sorkin for Amanda Peet's pregnancy.)

jason gilmore
3.25.08 @ 11:15a

Sports Night just came up in my writer's group discussion the other day. We were still lamenting its loss. I miss shows with scripts and actors!!!!

I've been thinking about Andrea too. She's a really nice girl.

tracey kelley
3.25.08 @ 8:51p

Alas, I'm surprised I'm even allowed on IM, because I did not find "Sports Night" all that amusing. It was like the whole thing was written by Tina Fey as she winks at you and says, "I'm so clever, aren't I? Did you notice?"

Naturally, I don't watch "30 Rock."

But I do love me some Peter Krause. And Felicity Huffman. Just not like peanut butter and chocolate together. Separated. Like brown M&Ms from green ones.

Hi Andrea!

My favorite shows this past year have been "Mad Men", "Pushing Daisies", "Saving Grace" and "BSG".

The election is simply a basket full of flaming dog poo left on America's doorstep. Yuk.

dan gonzalez
3.25.08 @ 10:34p

There are two quotes that are significant in this column.

The first is:

So here's a few musings for you. Just stuff to think about. Because it's stuff that I'm thinking about. But not cohesively.

And the second is:

I'm a registered Democrat, and generally fall on the liberal side of most issues.

I'll let you connect the dots on this one...


adam kraemer
3.26.08 @ 10:30a

I had no idea we were playing the "I'm so clever" game, Dan. Boy, you really showed us non-homophobic, demographically inclusive, altruistic, pro-choice, science-based, compassionate moderates who's boss. I tip my hat to your ability to be both reactionary and inappropriate simultaneously. Take a bow, man. You earned it.

dr. jay gross
3.26.08 @ 12:43p

I hate Vivaldi....have you ever traveled (flown) to Italy with that playing in your ear for 7 hours??

I like beer, but it goes better with cheap Lo Mein.

Politics has strange bed-fellows. I heard that some where. Stanger still would be a Clinton/Obama ticket. I think I must be a conservative liberal Democrat.

Good luck on getting that chair!

brett kraemer
3.26.08 @ 1:48p

Wow, Dan. Excellent job reading that without an agenda. Well done, sir.
But seriously, tell the funny joke... you know the one... you were about to post it, but then....

Great article Adam, even if I never watched Sports Night. I was always more of a "Gumbel to Gumbel" fan.


andrea augustine
3.26.08 @ 1:58p

Cohesive or not... Democrat or not... Thinking on paper is always an interesting read. And it is spring after all... we have different rooms in our minds and our homes to clean out every so often. Love it, Kraemer.

paul hrynko
4.2.08 @ 8:51a


What about people who trek to Long Beach Island for the weekend...then have beer and ramen noodles once they get there. That sounds better than a) or b).

adam kraemer
4.4.08 @ 2:32p

No that works. But they have to do it in either a $300 '82 Toyota or a green '78 Volvo.


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