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Archive for Monday, October 13, 2008

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The Edge

October 13, 2008

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'Kathy and Kim' (TV)

Kath (Molly Shannon) thinks she finally has it all - a boyfriend on the verge of proposing, a great physique and the freedom of an empty house after seeing her daughter, Kim, off to marriage. That is, until said offspring (Selma Blair, above) comes whining back home, pronouncing that her marriage is over, "o-v-u-r!" Kim mopes and pouts while alternately missing and throwing invectives at her husband, Craig (Mikey Day). At the same time, Kath tries to keep hurricane Kim from destroying her newfound happiness. It's all based on an Australian series of the same name. "Kath and Kim" airs at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays on NBC.

Ben Folds (Music)

Already being compared to his old band's shaggy-dog classic "Whatever and Ever Amen," piano man Ben Folds' third solo album, "Way to Normal," - not counting EPs, a live album and an Internet-only collection - is bouncy, acerbic and all over the place. Fresh off a divorce, Folds embraces the juvenile joys of his early career in smirking tunes like "The Frown Song." Hammy and theatrical in some spots - as on the opening track, "Hiroshima (B B B Benny Hit His Head)" - yet sincere and heart-wrenching in others (the sad, brilliant "Cologne"), Folds displays both an effortless knack for shiny melodies and a sometimes frustrating restlessness. With that said, even his more unwieldy entries are flush with vitality, and few songwriters today are as funny and fearless.

'I (Heart) Ranch Dressing ...' (Book)

C.L. Freie, a Kansas City-based author, claims her target audience for this books is "those currently living in the Midwest, their bicoastal friends and relatives, and any former Midwesterner who has managed to escape." The book, a skewering look at Midwest life, is a list of 100 institutions, pastimes and other categories that stereotypical Midwesterners like. For example: Bob Evans Restaurant, novelty sweaters, lawn care, white wicker and theme bars. Though Freie is a Mizzou grad, she does give one shoutout - or perhaps slam - to Kansas University, in the category "dressing down when traveling." "Spend some time in a Midwestern airport, and the majority of the travelers - especially on weekends - are wearing clothes that people from elsewhere wouldn't be caught dead wearing. A KU sweatshirt from 1992? No sweat."

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