Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas is Over yada yada yada.....

Well we are officially back (in California) from Christmas having completed our Texas swing with stops in San Antonio and Houston. While we are both generally glad to have the holiday travel behind us (which included drives between SA and H-town and rental cars and airplanes and taxicabs and weight-limit-challenged bags) it is a bit sad that it is over - not sure why. We had alot of large family interplay and covered alot of ground and met some old friends and new ones (more of that drama later) - so I'm not sure what the deal is - maybe because it has been rainy and overcast here in LA and one of neat things of coming back home to SoCal is reveling in the fact that it is still sunny and green and wonderful. But it looks like Houston right about now.

So enough of that - what did everybody get? Let's talk common Xmas gifts - as one blogger and I were discussing today. I received the boxed set of Seinfeld CDs for Season 5 and 6 this year as I did for years 1 through 3 last year. And of course this one this year came with a minature version of the puffy shirt which frankly is almost suitable for display near your Kosta Boda candles in the wall unit. Even my Mom thought it was cute.

Now some of you have recently heard about my pop culture passion for Kelly Clarkson (more on her later) and we haven't even mined the Springsteen vein yet here - but the Seinfeld TV show ranks up there as one of my very favorite things ever. Ever, ever, ever. I am a nut for the show.

So much so that my girlfriend "hates it" although she laughs her butt off every time she watches it. I sort of made her sick of it because when I moved to LA Seinfeld was just ending and to watch re-eruns just made me feel at home, a little bit less homesick (of course now she's a serious "Curb Your Enthusiam" fan). When she came out here I still watched it anyway - because, well it was still a touchstone for me. As I once told my father, who was asking about its popularity, I said "its like everyday life - this is how people talk about things - do I have to break up with her in person? Well, how many times did you go out? How many times did you sleep with her?" And in fact the parent-to-Jerry-to-George interplay is just priceless - and of course I could go on and on.

Jerry was just on the Larry King show a month or so ago hawking the new CDs and you can just see the different level of communication.

LK: "Jerry, why was the show so popular - it was about "nothing" as you say.

JS: Nothing? It was about nothing? Who would watch a show about nothing. Oh, it was about something alright.
(conflicting almost everything he's ever said about the show).

LK: Well then what attributed to its success?

JS: It was funny.

Man - he was just toying with Larry. But you see - no cosmic reason. It was funny that's all. But it was funny also because it did not go the classic sitcom route. It almost removed plot as a critical function and wove pertinent current and sometimes less than contemparary events into a weave that somehow resolved itself at the end. "Mr. Kramer - you wouldn't be trying to pull the wool over the eyes of a Texan, now would you?" I mean who bets on flight schedules?

Ah, who's kidding who. It was funny. (In fact I was sitting with a friend over Christmas and he was telling me how he now watches it with his son but he never really caught the show before - but he made a comment I always though somewhat true - that the show was really about George Constanza - please discuss amongst yourselves). I'm getting verclempt!

"George you bastard - when are you coming down to Houston - you bastard?" - imaginary Houston Astro executives talking to George on an airplane while making way full use of the onboard service.

Anybody who's a Seinfeld afficianado knows the many different story lines that occurred in the show's run but I always find it interesting as how they were combined with other story lines in a single episode. I mean everyone knows about the Soup Nazi, but that was also the one that had Jerry and his new girlfriend talking the baby talk - you know the "Moopie schloopie" stuff. Man I pull out the "Schloopie mooopie" talk out at least once a month. And of course that girlfriend is now Mrs. George Stefanopoulous.

Now we all have our favorites - and there are the famous ones like the Contest and the Soup Nazi as above. But there are many others not a famous that are great. One of my early favorites was the one where George is parking cars downstairs, Kramer is in the Woody Allen movie and Elaine's 60-ish old boyfriend collpases of a heart attack in Jerry's apartment. "Now there's a show." I also like the one (Season 8 I think) where George is the "bad boy" and attracts the attention of one of Elaine's employees. George plays the bad boy and winds up being picked up at the police station by his screaming father. "You want a piece of Me?!" Jerry Stiller was and is fantastic.

Seperate from other Seinfeld enthustiasts is that I liked him way before. I grew up wanting to be Johnny Carson or one of the standups that came before him and I loved his schtick. Very smart. I love the deal about how we don't really root for sports teams but we really root for their uniforms. "You see we are just cheering for laundry, people." Very true.

I also like the one about the Marine Bioligist - and in fact Jerry mentioned it as one of his favorites (again one not constantly hyped by a lazy media). "Is anyone here a marine biologist?" Priceless. "The sea was angry that day my friend. Like old man returning soup in a deli."

And living in LA, while everybody said the show was about New York, I thought it was as much about LA - many of the story lines were ripped from here. And the facade of Jerry's apartment is really a building in Santa Monica.

So what's your favorite Seinfeld episode - and does the show still do something for you?


wordgirl said...

"The Pez Dispenser" (Season 3) Jerry making the little Tweety Bird "applaud" with his fingers and Elaine laughing during a piano recital still cracks me up.
"The Hamptons"- SHRINKAGE!!!

The one where Elaine's dancing skills are compared to a "sizure set to music".

I love anything involving George's father. (Jerry Stiller). His invention of the "mansierre" (bra for men), his celebration of Festivus and his mental health initiative of "Serenity Now!"

The stuff behind the scenes is just as fascinating to me as the shows themselves.

wordgirl said...


wordgirl said...

I still have the Rolling Stone issue that heralds the last season of Seinfeld and the cast is dressed as the characters from the Wizard of Oz.

Rock said...

Yeah - me too on the Rolling Stone deal -man you were just lying in wait weren't you?

TB said...

Oh so hard to pick just one. The one where Jerry makes his grumbling stomach talk in a funny voice... Hellloooo... just kills me.
Also the one where Jerry throws up after eating the black and white cookie and ends up mugging an old lady for a loaf of bread.
Curb Your Enthusiasm just takes it to the next level - so funny, but I still watch Seinfeld re-runs when I can.

Brooke said...

I too remember the first time I saw the Pez Dispenser episode and how I literally could not BREATHE, I was laughing so hard. And we all called each other Schmoopie for a while there after the Soup Nazi eppy!
The Marine Biologist, "shrinkage", Elaine's dancing...too many good things to choose just one!

Rock said...

The OTHER great thing about the Pez Dispenser was that was when George also discovered "hand".

And this, of course, started a slew of one-liner endings for the show....of which my favorite was "So you want to be my latex salesman".

DebbieDoesLife said...

Is a guy "sponge-worthy?" Is a fav!!

Also, love the Shmoopie and my family loves to yell at each other instead of no, "No Soup for You!"

I also like the one where Jerry's girlfriend was blonde, American but her last name was Chang so everyone thought she was Asian. That and the girlfriend who ate all the meat that it grossed Jerry out after a while. And, don't forget the marbled rye!

DebbieDoesLife said...

Thanks for the winery tips too! I am taking notes. What do you think of mid February there? Is that the rainy season?

Rock said...

I'll check with my NoCal friends on the weather - my company has two offices in California (one lo - one high) and I'll get the real dirt. Should be fine. Its just now they are having (as are we) some strange weather.

Glad to know there are other schloopie lovers out there.

Shrinking Violet said...

I can't remember the episode, but Elaine is stuck on a subway or airplane and is SCREAMING in her own head! I also like the Sponge-worthy episode. And of course, the dancing/seizure episode was great. That is AWESOME that you got a mini puffy shirt! I want a BIG SALAD.

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#1 Dancer said...

Wordgirl sent me here!!

I feel that every day of my life could be aligned with a Seinfeld episode. That is, for every moment, there is a Seinfeld-ism that could be used in place of any 'normal speech' that you might say. I think we here all agree with that!

Before I look at anyone elses, I think I love the scene done entirely in the Chinese restaurant waiting room. From time to time, I find myself yelling "CARTWRIGHT!!!" for no apparent reason.

Elaine had a lot of good ones too: "I mentioned the lobster bisque." and J. Peterman: "Elaine, THIS saved my life. THIS is a compression strap."

Has anyone heard that there is a superman reference in some way in every single episode?? I have Seasons 1-5 and I feel like I'm watching the equivalent of a "Where's Waldo" book trying to find it.

BTW, tomorrow night, we'll be playing a Seinfeld drinking game. Three drinks anytime someone mentions Bob Sacamento!

reading said...

I actually was never a huge fan, but it was hard to avoid when I was younger. Not that I was trying to avoid it! But it's just so a part of our culture - I don't know that I've ever even seen the entire Soup Nazi episode, and I still, on occasion, will say, "No soup for you!"

The conversation about whether or not you can yadda-yadda sex.

George: You yadda-yadda'd the best part!
Elaine: I mentioned the bisque.

It was completely Elaine's tone of voice and the way she hit "bisque."

I also loved the episode with the magic loogie.

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Rock said...

I mentioned the bisque.

Its just so good.

And you are right - the whole deal that re-enacted the JFK assasinaton with the Magic Loogie - while macabre - was also magic.

That was one magic loogie.

Abe Froman said...

My favorite episdoe is when Elaine and Kramer start their muffin shop, "Top of the Muffin to You."

Rock said...

And you sir are the sausage king of Chicago....

Abe Froman said...

Yes I am!