Tuesday, December 29, 2015

1970s Los Angeles in pictures

Here's a photo montage of black and white snapshots of Los Angeles, particularly the Hollywood area, back in the 1970s.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Party Of Small Government At Work In Michigan

In Michigan, Senate Bill 438 has been proposed by several Republicans. It will potentially eliminate net metering in the state. Net metering is a program that allows customers or businesses using solar or other renewable energy to offset their electricity costs and then possibly sell excess energy back into a grid of regulated utilities. Under the new proposal, a homeowner or business owner would have to buy all of their electricity at retail rate and then sell all the energy they produce back to the utility at wholesale rate. The effects of this would make it far more costly for solar energy companies and installers to do business.

This is part of a pattern I've seen in states controlled by allegedly "small-government" Republicans. Michigan also banned the sale of Tesla cars last year, and two other GOP dominated states (Arizona and Texas) also do the same. The bigger car companies like General Motors have lobbied to have another law passed in Maryland (the effort failed). The Senate Bill 438 I talked about the first paragraph? Electric companies are lobbying for that. These guys don't want the competition. They feel like their profits are threatened. And they have allies in government to help them out, most of whom are Republicans.

For all their talk about the glories of the Free Market and the need for government to stay out of the way, it's rare that the Republicans actually practice this. A truly Free Market is pretty much impossible in a country dominated by big businesses and their lobbyists. That's why I don't take all the talk about it that seriously. It isn't a plausible ideal because of how intertwined money is with politics. Values must always take second place to fundraising for a reelection.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

My Name Is Earl: "Faked My Own Death" review


            We start out with Earl and Randy returning to the local Quick Stop to return the numerous snacks that they stole during their thieving days. While doing this list item, Earl notices a woman walk in…Natalie Duckworth (Beth Riesgraf). She’s another item on Earl’s list. Earl doesn’t feel like tackling this particular list item at the moment, so he climbs inside the beverage refrigerator and tries to hide among the beers. He should hide among the Budweiser brand; no one in their right mind buys those.

            In a flashback, we see Earl walk into a bar and meet a biker chick with a tramp stamp reading, “Wanna Ride?” She takes Earl home and they have a wild night on the bed together. In the morning, however, the girl reveals that she’s not really a biker chick. She had just been playing one at a costume party and remained in character at the bar to see if she could pick someone up. The tramp stamp was a temporary tattoo (that rubbed off onto Earl’s arm during the night). It turns out that Natalie Duckworth was a stereotypical girly-girl. She was always giggling, she was clingy, and her room was bright pink. It should be noted that this woman is not in High School; she’s in her thirties.  

            Earl knew he and she were not made for each other, but he didn’t want to run out on her because she’d been hurt before. Natalie shows Earl a little picture book she made consisting of the names of the guys who dumped her. This woman is not in grade school; she’s in her thirties. Earl is understandably uncomfortable that Natalie not only has kept a piece of her ex-boyfriend’s hair, but also a piece of hair from the stripper he ran off with. Earl decides to give the relationship a shot anyway. However, he’s not a fan of the things she’s interested, be it hiking, arts and crafts, or going on picnics. They had dated for a whole month when Natalie introduced Earl to her parents. That’s when Earl realized things were getting too serious, so he devised a way to get out without hurting her feelings.

            In the next scene, Randy knocks on Natalie’s door and informs her that Earl had died out at sea and that the only thing that was found was his AC-DC T-shirt.

            Back in the present, Natalie walks by Earl (who’s hiding amongst the milk cartons with pictures of missing persons on them). We cut to the motel, where Catalina is not happy to learn that Earl had faked her death to get out of a relationship. Earl wants to tell Natalie the truth, but Catalina protests that she’ll be devastated. Earl tells her that Natalie is on her list, so he has not choice, and Catalina asks him if his list is really more important than someone else’s feelings. Earl thinks his list is more important and Catalina tells him that the least he can do is say that the reason he couldn’t be with Natalie was because of him, not her. Earl doesn’t want to tell her that because it’s another lie, but Catalina tells him that it’s a “good lie,” to protect her feelings. Earl decides that Catalina is right, so he buys some flowers and then he and Randy head on over to Natalie’s house.

Natalie reacts exactly how you’d expect someone to react to seeing someone they thought was dead on her doorstep.

We see Earl explain his situation to Natalie while Randy stares anxiously at a bird-shaped glass bowl. Earl tells Natalie that he faked his death because he didn’t feel like he was good enough for her. Natalie had kept his shirt so she could remember Earl. She even made a life-size paper-Mache bust of Earl to wear it. Earl tells her that this is the kind of perfection that made him feel inadequate, briefly flashing back to when he head a similar line on a soap opera while flipping through channels at the motel. Before he and Natalie can get fully caught up, however, Natalie’s current boyfriend, Dirk, walks in from the gym. He asks Natalie if they’re being robbed, only for Natalie to explain that Earl is her dead ex-boyfriend. Dirk seems oddly cool about this.

Natalie thanks Earl for coming back to apologize to him. Earl tells Natalie he just wanted her to be happy, but is silently relieved that she has a new boyfriend because it makes crossing her off his list easier. Before he leaves, Natalie gives Earl the paper-Mache she made of him. She kisses it goodbye. Not Earl, the paper-Mache. Earl nervously makes the paper-Mache return the good-bye kiss, and then awkwardly says good-bye himself.

Back at the motel, Earl is feeling good about getting his apology to Natalie off his chest. He tries to cross Natalie off of his list but can’t find his pen. Just then, we hear someone knocking on the door. It’s Natalie! She informs Earl and Randy that Dirk’s car was found in the woods with blood in it. She’s worried he might be dead, although Earl, along with everyone in the audience, thinks that Dirk has simply stolen Earl’s idea on ending relationships. Earl tells Randy and Catalina to keep Natalie company while he goes to get her something to drink.

On his way to the vending machine, he discovers that Dirk with a hooker in one of the motel rooms. Big Surprise. Earl tells Dirk he’s supposed to be day, prompting Dirk to thank him for the idea as he was about to make a paper-Mache of himself and hang it at a picnic. The guy that goes to gym all the time is also a colossal tool. Again, big surprise. Dirk hides in his motel room as Natalie walks up to Earl. She tells him that she’s walking home and is going to wait to hear from the police.

At the crab shack, Earl plays pool with Randy and Catalina. Earl realizes that karma still wants him to do something about Natalie. Randy asks if Earl is going to tell Natalie that Dirk isn’t dead, but Catalina says that you can’t tell a girl that two different men faked their deaths in order to get away from her. She tells him to comfort Natalie, reasoning that if a man is nice to her, it will build up her confidence. Personally, I think someone needs to teach Natalie how adult relationships work because she seems to be mentally stuck at age 12.

Earl takes Catalina’s advice and goes to comfort Natalie. For several days, Natalie just waited around the house waiting for her phone to ring. Does her boss even care if she shows up for work or not? Earl decides to take her on hike in order to cheer her up. Over the next few days, Earl does the things Natalie likes doing, and slowly she starts to cheer up. This culminates going on a picnic. If you know where this is leading, congratulations on figuring out what most people did the second Earl decided to take Catalina’s advice. Natalie tells a bewildered Earl that she loves him and that she doesn’t want him to think that he’s not good enough for her. Like a butterfly that she caught, he got away but then he came back. And like a butterfly, he was trapped.

At the motel pool, Earl confronts Catalina, telling her that her advice didn’t work. Catalina simply responds that he was too nice to Natalie, and Earl angrily asks how he was supposed to know how nice was too nice. Randy offers to tell Natalie that Earl died again, but Catalina says that Earl should give her the power and let her break up with him. Earl wonders how to get Natalie to break up with the man she considers to be her soul mate. Catalina simply tells him to be a bad boyfriend.

Reluctantly, Earl tries his hardest to be a bad boyfriend. He kicks the flowers Natalie loves while on a hike, he makes a bust of her chest out of paper-Mache that “upped her a cup,” and even urinates right next to her picnic blanket. Natalie is so insecure about herself that she puts up with all of this. Earl decides to go the ultimate step and cheat on her. He and Catalina arrange to have her walk in on them having sex. When Earl asks her if he can “have some fun around her without getting hassled,” Natalie timidly apologizes and turns to leave. Earl incredulously hops out of bed and tells her that she should want to slap him for sleeping with another woman. Natalie asks him if he wants her to slap him and Earl decides to abandon the charade right there. He tells her the truth, that it is her that’s the problem and not him. She’s clingy, she has no self-respect, and she’s a doormat. That’s why guys are always leaving her. Natalie angrily responds that Earl is the problem because Dirk didn’t want to leave her or think she was a doormat. This illusion is immediately shattered when Dirk walks by the motel door. A heartbroken Natalie glares at Dirk, then at Earl, then at Dirk again before stormed out of the motel. Catalina isn’t happy with Earl, but he protests that she needed to hear that because once she accepted her faults, she would be a better person for the rest of her life.

The next scene shows Natalie in a casket at a church service while Earl’s narration informs us that the rest of her life wasn’t that long. The next day, Natalie’s parents told Earl that she was so distraught over two guys leaving her in the same day that she took her own life. Earl goes to put a flower in her hands…and she opens her eyes and grabs Earl’s hand. Earl and the rest of the parish freak out, with the priest panicking and fleeing out of the church entirely. Earl goes to hide behind a chair and Natalie sits up and taunts Earl. “Who’s the joke on now, Earl Hickey? Y-O-U!” Natalie asks him how it feels to think that someone you know is dead, and Earl realizes that by making her mad, he had given her the idea to fake her own death. This enabled her to leave a relationship with the power she needed.

Getting back at Earl gave her newfound confidence that allowed her to also walk up to Dirk and inform him that she’s breaking up with him. Also, she got Dirk’s mail—he has an STD! She also decides to show off her paper-Mache talents at the local art museum. With his task done, karma allows Earl to find a pen and cross Natalie off his list.

Best Quotes:

Natalie: -pointing to items in her diary- “This is Ted, he left me for a stripper. That’s a lock of his hair, and that’s a lock of the stripper’s hair. Here’s a lock of my sister’s hair, which leads us to John” –chokes back a tear—

Natalie: -pointing to a flower- “Look, an anthemis tinctoria!”
Earl: “Look at the size of that dog turd next to it!”

Earl: (voiceover) “Things were getting too serious. I knew there was only one thing I could do.”
(cut to Randy showing up on Natalie’s doorstep)
Randy: “Earl’s dead. He was lost at sea, this is all they found of him. I thought you’d want it.” –holds up Earl’s AC-DC T-shirt and then drops it on the doormat—

Randy: -to Earl hiding in a refrigerator- “Hey Earl, you look like that monkey in E.T!”

Randy: -about the flowers Earl bought- “Here, put some more baby’s breath in there. It fills in the gaps with neutral coloring.”
Earl: (voiceover) “It’s funny how the brain sucks things up. One summer, Randy worked at a florist shop for ten whole minutes.”
(flashback to Randy’s summer job)
Florist: “Put in some baby’s breath. It fills in the gaps with more neutral coloring.”
Randy: -drying a vase- “Ma’am, are these things always going to make that squeaky sound when I’m drying them? It makes my toes hurt.”

Catalina: “What is more important? Your list, or someone’s feelings?”
Earl: “I don’t know, my list?”
Catalina: “No.”
Randy: “Feelings! I’ll bet it’s feelings.”

Randy: “Maybe you listen to Catalina, Earl. She’s a woman, just like Natalie. They’re both women—her and Natalie. You and I are men; we’re not women.”
Earl: (voiceover) “Sometimes Randy takes a long road to a simple thought.”
Randy: “You see, men think different then women. You and I think different from Catalina and Natalie cause we’re men and they’re women.”
Earl: --thinks about this for a moment—
Randy: “I’m right, aren’t I? I’m not wrong?”

Earl: -knocks on Natalie’s door-
Natalie: -answers the door and gasps-
Earl: “Surprise.”
Natalie: -screams-
Randy: -screams-
Natalie: -runs away-
Randy: “Wow. That was just like in ET when that little girl first saw the monkey!”

Randy: “Catalina, how often do you clean the bedspreads?”
Catalina: “I don’t know, I’ve only worked here for a year.”

Randy: -about Natalie- “Earl, is she going to keep squeaking like that? It’s making my toes hurt.”

Randy: “Are you going to tell Natalie that Dirk isn’t dead? Because he’s not dead—he’s alive. He’s living. He’s not dead like she thinks he is.”

Catalina: “Maybe if a man is nice to her for a change, it will bring up her confidence. Trust me, I’m a woman.”
Randy: “That’s right, you’re a woman. Just like Natalie. She and Natalie are women, and we’re men, Earl. You remember how we talked about that?”
Earl: -annoyed- “Yeah, Randy, I got that.”

Earl: “I tried to make you a magical fairy, but instead I ended up with a magical clump”
(Earl hands Natalie a wad of paper-Mache)
Natalie: -excited- “Thanks. It’s a very nice clump. I’m going to name him Alexander!” –giggles- “Alexander the Clump!”
Earl: “How about Pepe? Pepe the Clump!”
Natalie: -laughs- “I don’t get it. Why Pepe?”
Earl: “Pepe’s a name. I think it’s Mexican.” (thinks for a bit) “Jose…Rico…yeah it’s Mexican!”

Dirk: “Hey Earl, is there a condom machine around here?”
Earl: (rolls eyes) “No, Dirk!”
Dirk: (grabs something from the housekeeper’s trolley) “Hey, what are these?”
Catalina: “Shower caps.”
Dirk: “That could work!”

Randy: (about the pool filter) “Hey, Catalina! The mouse catcher’s full again!”

Natalie: “Dirk didn’t think I was a doormat! He loved me for who I am!”
(Natalie turns to leave, only to see Dirk walk by)
Natalie: (gasps)
Dirk: (stops, and then waves at Earl and Natalie)
Natalie: (glares at Dirk, then at Earl, then at Dirk again, before storming out of the motel)
Dirk: “Hey Earl!”
Earl: (beyond irritated) “Are there no other motels in this town!?”

Natalie’s mother: “You could have at least told us you were faking!”
Natalie: “It had to seem real Mom, lighten up!”
(Natalie and her mother walk out into the hallway…and then we see Natalie’s father run down the hallway screaming, “She’s alive!”)

Natalie: “Hey Dirk, I’m still getting your mail!”
(Natalie throws Dirk’s mail onto his lap)
            Natalie: “It’s from the clinic. Somebody got themselves an STD!”
Dirk: “I can deal with that.”
Natalie: “Turn the page.”
(Dirk does so and gasps)
Dirk: “Aw crap! Damn shower caps!”

Randy: “I’m glad Natalie’s not dead anymore. Being alive is definitely better than being dead. When you’re alive, you can do all this cool stuff that you can’t do when you’re dead. You and I, Earl, we can doing all this cool stuff cause we’re living; we’re not dead. If we were dead, we wouldn’t be able to do all the cool stuff we could when we were alive. Dead people can’t do cool stuff. Only people who are alive can do cool stuff cause they’re living, and you have to be living in order to be able to do cool stuff.”
(Earl puts on a blindfold and gets ready to play piƱata with his paper-Mache in the background)
Randy: “Except, when you’re alive, sometimes bad stuff happens to you.”
(Earl, facing in the wrong direction, swings his bad and knocks the lamp off the table and out the window)
Randy: “Sometimes you can get in a car wreck, or you can twist your ankle, or you can have a headache, or you can stub your big toe—“
(Earl takes off his blindfold and surveys the damage)
Randy: “So being alive is kind of hard, too, but I think it’s definitely better than being a-dead.”

Additional Notes:

When Earl is talking to Natalie in her living room, Randy is staring nervously at a glass bowl that’s shaped like a bird. We find out in a few episodes that Randy is terrified of birds.

Joy and Darnell do not appear in this episode.

The Quick Stop is a reference to the movie Clerks, which was made by Kevin Smith, a friend of Jason Lee. Jason Lee later appeared in Clerks II.

When Earl crosses off Natalie (#84) from his list, you can see some other list items around it. Here’s a few of the items I found:

#157: “Aimed and set off bottle rockets at Randy while he was on a date”
#158: “Made Randy steal electronics for me and he got caught”
#82: “Borrowed silverware from the Crab Shack”
#83: “Blew up mailboxes”
#85: “Took clothes—“ (the rest is obscured by Earl’s hand)


This episode is interesting in that it shows that even before Earl found karma, there were still some things he felt guilty about. He didn’t want to walk out on Natalie because she’d been hurt before. The fact that he had thoughts like this is probably what made it possible for him to have an epiphany. Earl also learns from Catalina that someone else’s feelings might be more important than crossing items off of his list—in fact, Earl has to help Natalie improve her self-respect before he can cross her off. This episode was difficult for me to review because I didn’t really like it all that much when I first saw it. However, it grew on me after repeated viewings.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

My Name Is Earl: "Randy's Touchdown" Review

            Earl is in a good mood as the episode starts. Since discovering karma, he has felt better about himself. Since he started crossing people off of his list, more good things have been happening to him. As he explains to Randy how good he’s been feeling lately, Randy notices that someone wrote, “u r an ass” on Earl’s car. Earl knows who did this, and immediately goes to confront her at the trailer park.

             Joys taunts Earl about the ordeal, and tells him that if he calls the police, she’ll inform them of the time he and Randy stole a refrigerator. Earl just wants Joy to leave his stuff alone, but Joy demands half of his lottery money. Earl needs the money to cross stuff off of his list while Joy needs it to provide for Dodge and Earl Jr. Since she divorced Earl and married Darnell, Joy hasn’t been stealing as much because Darnell isn’t cut out for crime. Joy has taken to pawning old items for the extra income—including the cuckoo clock that once belonged to Earl’s grandfather.

            Earl and Randy drive down to the pawnshop because Earl doesn’t want to see his family’s only heirloom being auctioned off in a seedy neighborhood. While he’s there, he decides to cross off another list item—fixed a high school football game.

            In a flashback, we see Randy playing football for his high school team and Earl betting a $100 on him to lose. Randy had the ball and was on his way to scoring a touchdown when he sees Earl’s hand signals and purposefully fumbles the ball.

            Back in the present, Earl pays back Rosie, the pawnshop owner he made the bet with. She is disgusted, and threatens to stomp on his “sweaty little tea bag.” She’s also upset with Randy, accusing him of throwing away could have been a great accomplishment in his life just because Earl asked him to. Earl realizes that he didn’t just cheat Rose out of $100…he cheated Randy out the experience of scoring the winning touchdown for his team.

            Earl puts Randy on his list and decides to get Randy back into high school so he can score his touchdown. He gets fake birth certificate from Kenny James and hires the electrolarynx guy to pretend to be Randy’s father and sign the paperwork. To make sure Randy had a chance to play, Earl picked the school with the worst team in the league. Randy is not the oldest person on the team.

            After his first day of school, Randy is excited to tell Earl what he learned in science class. Before we were humans, we were monkeys. That’s not quite how it works, but okay. As Earl and Randy wonder what we were before we were monkeys, they notice that their car has been stolen. Earl knows who was behind the theft.

            Back at the trailer park, Earl confronts Joy about the car. Joy informs him that she had the car towed and that it is now at the impound. She tells him that she’ll give it back to him when he gives her the lottery money. Earl is relieved to know that Joy didn’t realize Earl’s money was in the car. Unfortunately, Randy immediately let’s the cat out of the bag.

            Earl and Randy rush over to the impound. They beat Joy, but discover that they can’t retrieve the car because Earl owes $3,000 in unpaid parking tickets. When Joy comes in, she tries to claim the car as her own. The guy in charge doesn’t car whose car it is, he’ll give it to whoever gives him $3,000.

            Earl and Randy try to climb over the electric fence to get to the car. It’s only active at night. Unfortunately, the impound workers spot them, and turn on the fence, sending them flying. Joy tries to get a $3,000 loan from the government. She tells Darnell to wait in the car because she’s afraid she won’t get a loan if she’s seen with a black man. She reconsiders this when the insurance agent she talks to turns out to be black. She even tries to have Darnell “say something black” in order gain the advantage, but it doesn’t work. She can’t borrow money against a rented trailer with a carbon monoxide leak.

            At the motel, Randy asks Earl for $20 so he can enter the science fair. This is impossible because all of Earl’s money is in the car. Earl also tells Randy that he’s supposed to be scoring a touchdown. Catalina points out that Randy’s already growing his potato battery. Randy gets an idea from one of his textbooks—a Trojan horse.

            Earl calls Kenny and tells him the plan. He’s going to use Kenny’s car as his Trojan horse; he’ll hide in the back while Kenny gets the car towed. Once he’s at the impound, he’ll hop out of the back, get his car and money, and go back to the high school to watch Randy score a touchdown. There’s only one problem with this plan; Earl is too big to fit in the back of Kenny’s car. Kenny offers to do the plan himself.

            As Randy gets psyched for the big game, Joy and Darnell sell their belongings to the pawnshop in order to get $3,000. After selling almost everything they own, they’re still short by $1,500. Joy notices a cart full of cans and bottles and immediately steals it.

            Kenny’s car is towed, setting the plan in motion. Earl is happy he can witness the full game, and invites Catalina and the electrolarynx guy to come along with him. Darnell picks up cans and bottles in a ditch while Joy is selling her loot to the local recycling plant. She returns quickly and tells Darnell to stop because an entire cart full of cans was worth only $8. But that’s $8 in 2005 dollars, so that’s worth, like, $9.74 today! Since they pay buy the pound, Joy’s figures they need heavier cans. She sits on the guardrail, which gives her an idea. A minute later, the guardrail is loaded into the back Joy’s car.

            At the football game, Randy is struggling. All those years of sleeping and drinking had taken their toll. Earl wonders where Kenny is. He’s still at the impound, hiding in the trunk from the Dobermans his aftershave had attracted. With less than a minute left on the clock, Randy gets the ball and charges for the goal. Earl and Catalina cheer as it looks like Randy will finally get to score that touchdown. At the last moment, however, Randy drops the ball, and the game is lost.

            Things are looking bad for Earl after the game. He and Catalina can’t find Randy, and Joy drives up, having successfully raised the $3,000. Yes, that means the recycling plant actually took the guardrails.  Earl knows that if Joy gets to that car, his life will be ruined, so he starts running. We see a montage of Earl running down the street and past the trees as he makes his way to the impound. He runs as fast as he can for as long as he can. However, he’s almost as out of shape as Randy, and barely makes it out of the school parking lot.

            Earl and Catalina walk along the street, having given up. Just then, Randy drives up to them in Earl’s car, holding the locker box that Earl stashed his lottery winning. It turns out, Randy had made a $3,000 bet against his team before the football game started. He fumbled the ball on purpose again. Earl is happy to have his money back but is disappointed that he once again caused Randy to give up his touchdown. Randy tells Earl that he didn’t force him to do this. He did this because they’re brothers. Randy figures the feeling of getting a touchdown is about the same as driving up to Earl having saved his money and his future. Earl and Catalina decide to lift Randy up like the team would have done if he had scored a touchdown. Randy’s a bit too heavy for them to lift.

            Earl goes back to Rosie to pay her the $3,000 they got from fixing another game. Kenny is let out of his trunk by one of the impound workers. The worker and Kenny fall in love and share a weekend together in wine country. Earl gives Randy $20 to enter the science fair. For his work, Randy receives a “Participant” ribbon. As Joy drives to the impound, she swerves to avoid a homeless man pushing an empty cart—the same homeless man she stole the cart of cans from earlier on. She and Darnell crash into a ditch—which had previously been blocked off by the guardrail that they stole.

            Best Quotes:

            Earl: “Randy, there’s something to be said about waking up in the morning and feeling like a good person.”
            Randy: (looking to the side) “You are an ass.”
            Earl: “What?”
            (Randy points off screen)
            (Cut to a shot of Earl’s car, which has graffiti reading, “u r an ass” scrawled on the door)
            Earl: “Those aren’t my kids, Joy.”
            Joy: “That doesn’t matter. They have grown accustomed to a certain quality of lifestyle that you provided for them with all your crookery. Now, I tried to get their new daddy to fill your shoes, but unfortunately, Darnell is not cut out for crime!”
            (flashback of Darnell snatching a purse from a old lady)
            Old Lady: “Hey!”
            (Darnell starts to run away, but then stops and turns around to return the purse)
            Darnell: “I’m sorry ma’am, I shouldn’t have did that.”
            Old Lady: “That’s okay. Are you hungry? I think I have a candy bar in here! Would you like a candy bar?”

            Earl: “Where’s my grandfather’s cuckoo clock?”
            Joy: (lighting a cigarette) “I pawned it.”
            Earl: “What!?”
            Joy: “What, you think cigarettes grow on trees?”

            Earl: “I can’t wait to see Rosie’s face when I pay her back.”
            (cut to Rosie grabbing Earl by the collar and smashing his face into the window)
            Rosie: “You disgust me, Earl Hickey! Fixing a game! I should pull you through this talking hole and stomp on your sweaty little tea bag!”

            Earl: “This may sound crazy, but…I think you have to go back to High School.”
            (the cuckoo clock rings)
            Randy: “That was weird.”

            Earl: “Somebody stole my car. Randy, my money was in that car!”
            Randy: “Who’d want to steal your car? It’s a piece of crap with ‘asstronaut’ painted on the side.”

            Earl (voiceover): “It was at that point that I realized that Joy had no idea that my money was actually in the car.”
            Randy: “Hey Earl, Joy had no idea that your lotto money was in the car!”
            Earl: (frowns exasperatedly)
            Randy: (smile disappears)
            Joy: (Has a an expression that just screams, “Oh Snap!”)

            Joy: “Look, you know I don’t see color, but these people are never going to give me $3,000 if they see me here with a black man, okay.”
            Darnell: (walks away angrily)
            Joy: “It’s not me, Darnell! It’s America. I don’t make the rules!”
            (Ten seconds later)
            Loan Officer (a black man): “So, they tell me you’re looking for a loan?”
            Joy: “Yeah; You know what, I left something in the car. I’ll be right back!”
            (Cut to Joy and Darnell talking to the loan officer)
            Joy: “We really only need the money for, like, and hour or two.”
            (The loan officer looks from Joy to Darnell, and then down to his paperwork)
            Joy: (whispering to Darnell) “Say something ‘black.’”
            Darnell: (looks offended)
            Earl (Voiceover): “Joy didn’t realize it doesn’t matter if you’re white or black. You can’t borrow money against a rented 1972 trailer with a documented carbon monoxide leak.”
            Loan Officer: “I’m sorry.”
            Joy: (walks away angrily)
            (Loan Officer watches Joy’s behind as she leaves)
            Loan Officer: (to Darnell) “Nice pull, brother!”
            Darnell: “Right on!”

            Kid: “Are you ready!”
            Randy: “I’m ready, are you ready!?”
            Kid: “I’m ready, are you ready!” (pounds fists on Randy’s shoulder pads)
            Randy: “I’m ready, are you ready!” (pounds the kid’s shoulder pads way too hard, possibly knocking him out)

            Additional Notes:

            Ethan Suplee previously played a High School Football Player in Remember The Titans.

            Earl hires someone to pose as him and Randy’s father rather than going to his real father for help. This is because, as we later find out, Earl’s dad hates him.


            As Earl continues to go down a more positive path, his relationship with his brother improves and goods things happen to him more and more. In contrast, Joy is continuing to live a life of crime and karma is not giving her an easy time. This is the first episode in which Earl deals with a list item involving a family member and it won’t be the last. These episodes were, in my opinion, some of the best the show had to offer because proving yourself to your family is the most important step to proving yourself to the rest of the world.