Sunday, December 28, 2008


Is it just me or has the word schadenfreude become unusually popular recently? I hadn't heard of it, not consciously anyway, before October of this year in an interview the AVClub had with Simon Pegg, and since then I must have seen it pop up in half a dozen different contexts online and elsewhere (Slate, The Stranger, NYTimes, for example).

I've heard it related to the economy, the election season, the holidays, interpersonal internet cruelty. Schadenfreude the term seems to have become as commonplace as schadenfreude the practice. So use it while it's hot!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Message from Your King

I was reading an article on about the waning popularity of NASCAR when I came across these ads in the middle of the text. I now understand that they are advertisements for the TV show Kings, but initially I misread them as messages from the King of Georgia (rather than the fictitious "Gilboa").

I was at first surprised that Georgian royalty had bought ad space on Slate, and then secondly surprised that this Eastern European democratic state had a king. The point of this story is that advertising has finally beaten me (I'm not counting the time Geico's "Tiny House" tricked me, that got everyone).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Soothing Voice

On a night like the one that's just ended, when I've gone to sleep at 3, been woken up by the cat at 5:30 and been unable to resume natural slumber behavior, it'd be nice to have somebody like this around:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Betsey Johnson

This is a design that Betsey Johnson put forward for Michelle Obama to consider for the Inaugural Ball. Dang.

I love how she appears to have drawn herself but black. That hair! And the notes! You're a nutter, Betsey.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Little Dizzle Goes to Sundance

It was announced Thursday that The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, a film I've been working on (as post-production coordinator, assistant editor, volunteer coordinator, etc) for the past few months, will be part of the noncompetitive slate at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. I'm pretty excited about it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Grand Guignol

"The Grand Guignol theatre closed its doors in 1962. 'We could never equal Buchenwald,' said its final director, Charles Nonon, on the theatre's decline and fall. 'Before the war, everyone felt that what was happening onstage was impossible. Now we know that these things, and worse, are possible in reality.'"

Sure, blame your theater's closing on the Holocaust. Hack.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


December means wishlists!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Grittier Planet for a Grittier Time

You know what superhero I'd really like to see get the Frank Miller treatment? Captain Planet. Wheeler would have a drug problem, Linka would have become a prostitute, Captain Planet shoots polluters in the balls, etc.

Hold on a minute. A quick Google search reveals that my idea is not wholly new to the internet. I have to concede that adding Al Gore to the equation makes it even better.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ever the Optimist

What an exciting time to be alive.

Chorus Line of Blind Orphans

Silhouette Masterpiece Theater is wonderful. They're so beautiful but quirky and silly as well. I want to paper our bedroom with these and have lazy days with breakfast in bed giggling over them.

All of these lovely pictures and more can be found here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Personal Moons

I still love this. It's one of the loneliest and most beautiful ideas I've seen well realized.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Joe Biden Booed

Vice President-elect and Pennsylvania-born Joe Biden was booed yesterday during the Eagles game. CNN says that he "whispered" to reporters that he and his wife watch most Eagles games but that he also liked the Giants, citing this as a potential reason for why he would be booed. But this theory rests on the assumption that Eagles fans are remarkably informed about politicians' personal lives. I think the real reason is a combination of these three sub-reasons:

A. Football fans tend to be more conservative than the general population of the country.
B. The Democrats in the crowd mistook him for John McCain.
C. Philadelphia can be a cold, aimlessly angry place when the team is down.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President Barack Obama

The next few weeks are going to be full of exclamations and extravagant cheer (as the past few hours have been), but it's truly been the kind of great day that history books just aren't going to be able to fathom. Someday it will just be a matter of fact that Barack Obama was the first (of no doubt several) African-American Presidents. There will be colorful sketches of our President-elect (probably standing, smiling with his arms crossed) that will come in educational packets along with the visages of Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, and others. Kids will simply memorize that he was the first black president like they know that George Washington was the first white president. It won't seem surprising or even unusual that a guy named Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was elected president in a landslide. In time, the radical emotions we're feeling now are going to be replaced with blase acknowledgment. But this is a good thing. I'd rather our society be one in which it is accepted as a given that a black man can be president, than live in this euphoric bubble for the rest of history.

I remember starting a discussion in 2003 with some friends at Penn's dining hall about who would be the first person of "minority" status to break the Christian white man streak. Would it be a woman (not technically a minority), a Jewish American, an African-American, a Latino-American, an Asian-American, or other. Ultimately the consensus was that it couldn't be someone of predominantly Hispanic descent because of tension over Mexican immigration, and it wasn't likely to be an Asian person due to the relatively small portion of the population they represent. A practicing Muslim certainly seemed out of the question at that point. Joe Lieberman had almost been a heartbeat away from the Presidency only three years before, but even so, the conservative Christians didn't seem likely to go for a Jewish commander-in-chief, and Jews only make up about 1% of the US population. So we figured the safe bet would be a woman (there had been female executives in other countries, after all), or if the President died, his/her Jewish Vice President. Even five years ago, a black president seemed like something to strive toward in 2020 or 2024. I'm so rarely glad to be wrong.

In our defense, we couldn't have seen a candidate like Barack Obama coming from a mile away. Joe Biden famously gaffed when he called Obama an African-American candidate who is "articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy" but after the shock wears off, you get what he's saying. I don't think "clean" is meant to suggest an opposition to a supposed group of average, less-hygenic African-Americans. I think it's a contrast to politicians, who are known for being corrupt and for having sex scandal skeletons lurking in their closets. You know, dirty. And "articulate and bright" could draw a comparison to some current presidents. As for"nice-looking," well, Obama's handsome probably by most standards. And let's face it, as far as the personal histories of politicians go, Obama was squeaky. If Ayers, Rezko, and Wright are the worst characters they can associate with you, you know you're virtually bulletproof.

There are so many things I'm looking forward to during the Obama Presidency, but maybe most of all I'm looking foward to his Supreme Court appointments. Finally, 88-year-old liberal Justice Stevens can retire in peace, knowing that his seat won't be given to a right-wing idealogue. 75-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg is probably feeling the same way. Even Stephen Breyer and David Souter, hovering on either side of 70, might want to consider calling it a career. How great would it be to get three or four fresh liberal faces on that court after such a long haul? I almost suspect that Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt have been carrying Stevens around Weekend-At-Bernie's style just to keep his seat out of Bush's hands.

And on top of it all, what a week to be a Philadelphian Democrat. Jeremiah Wright is going to have to change the punctuation and emphasis of his now-famous chant to, "God damn, America."

I'm sure things won't turn around overnight, but I'm more optimistic about our country's future than I've been in a long, long time.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I love love


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Brett Favre

Headline from the front page of

Here Goes Nothing
Brett Favre, freethinking huckleberry in the N.F.L., tries to make something happen one last time.

What does "freethinking huckleberry" mean in this context?

Also, exciting about the Phillies, eh? I rarely wish I was back in Philadelphia, but that would have been pretty sweet to take part of. Has Ryan Howard ever run faster in his entire career than when he was the first to tackle Brad Lidge and Carlos Ruiz?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"But surely a black man couldn’t become president of the United States?"

I'd like to think of this recent NYTimes Op-Ed Column discussion as a bookend with DMX's prior interview with XXL magazine:

Rebranding the U.S. with Obama

By Nicholas D. Kristof

The other day I had a conversation with a Beijing friend and I mentioned that Barack Obama was leading in the presidential race:

She: Obama? But he’s the black man, isn’t he?

Me: Yes, exactly.

She: But surely a black man couldn’t become president of the United States?

Me: It looks as if he’ll be elected.

She: But president? That’s such an important job! In America, I thought blacks were janitors and laborers.

Me: No, blacks have all kinds of jobs.

She: What do white people think about that, about getting a black president? Are they upset? Are they angry?

Me: No, of course not! If Obama is elected, it’ll be because white people voted for him.

[Long pause.]

She: Really? Unbelievable! What an amazing country!


Kristof then rationalizes his friend's perspective by reminding us "that the one thing countless millions of people around the world 'know' about the United States is that it is controlled by a cabal of white bankers and Jews who use police with fire hoses to repress blacks. To them, Mr. Obama’s rise triggers severe cognitive dissonance."

So they're familiar with the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s (even if some details regarding Jewish involvement are off) but they haven't heard of the great successes of African-Americans over the past forty years? What an oddly selective memory. The ascendancy of Oprah alone would be hard to miss, I would think.

CB I Hate Perfume

I've been wearing CB I Hate Perfume for months now and I love it more than I ever expected to. I never really enjoyed perfume before (not to mention that my profession frowns on it) but what I wasn't enjoying was the headache inducing, synthetic smelling scents. The perfumer, Christopher Brosius, sums it up far better than I ever could in his manifesto explaining why he hates perfume.
They're very unusual scents, my favorite is called Winter, 1972, and it's described as a field of untouched new fallen snow, hand knit woolen mittens covered with frost, a hint of frozen forest & sleeping earth. It smells exactly like that. I would never have imagined I'd want to smell like cold dirt but I do. I love it. They're very personal, intimate scents; they don't accost everyone around you and leave headaches in their wake. And there is certainly something for everyone, the scents range from the smell of tomato vines (another favorite) to the absolutely spot on scent of burning maple leaves.
If there weren't enough reasons for me to love this line already, he has a scent called In The Library. Described as English Novel taken from a Signed First Edition of one of my very favorite novels, Russian & Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth and a hint of wood polish, it is very nearly the scent I've been looking for. Unfortunately, it's slightly too sweet for me, more vanilla and pipe tobacco. Having experienced so many of Christopher Brosius's scents and finding almost all of them very accurate I can only imagine that that favorite novel of his smells like that. His gallery in Brooklyn sells many more accords (single note fragrances) than the website and among them is one called English Novel. I can only hope that a trip back East is in the works for me so I can stop by and smell what is possibly the scent of my dreams. Of course, if I should be feeling particularly flush anytime soon (or not so soon) he does custom scents.
HOWEVER, (this is surely a novel by now) the real reason I need you all to know about this line is that I think everyone would love it but not enough people are familar with it. This fact was confirmed by me when I did a Facebook search to see how many people had it listed on their page and the answer came back as two; me and the perfumer himself.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Less Cowbell Please

Come on Rays, that sketch aired almost a decade ago. It's like the team is owned by Michael Scott.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Quest

It has become my personal mission to find a perfume that smells like books. I've been trying everything people tell me (and by people, I mean internet reviews) smells like paper and it's been very frustrating. Apparently, I am the only one with this desire.

I'll keep you all posted since I know you're just chomping at the bit to see how this works out.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Subterranean Homesick Blues

It really grates me when people call Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" "a forerunner of rap and hip-hop." It's a fine song, and I know some rappers have in fact been influenced by Dylan's style, but it's rather ignorant to say a white folk singer was doing rap before anyone else was. I'm sure the long (and largely African-American) traditions of blues, jazz, and soul had a little to do with the development of hip hop, after all. Not to mention the longer tradition of poetry in general.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Distinguished Alumni of Central High School

Reverend Jeremiah Wright went to my high school! Barack Obama and I are now separated by two degrees. Here's hoping he closes the gap and gives me a cabinet seat. Secretary of Veterans Affairs would be fine.

First order of business: Put the apostrophe back in the department. I bet the Secretary of Education gives him shit about that all the time.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Palin Porn

Hustler: Political discourse we can all get behind.

Monday, September 29, 2008



And my STARmeter is up 130% from last week! What?!

UPDATE: And today, March 31st, 2009 just over six months since I first got my IMDb profile page, my credit as "post-production coordinator" on TICoLD has arrived. Better late than never. Now to add DLL.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

RIP Thinkpad

My five year-old laptop is on its last legs. I'll be impressed if it makes it through the rest of the month. Expect even longer periods of silence from myself and the lady.

I hear there's a new line of Macbooks coming out soon, I just hope it's soon enough.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Late Yul Brynner

"Now that I'm gone, I tell you: Don't smoke. Whatever you do, just don't smoke."

Creepy. Good message anyway, I guess.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Quoted in The Stranger

Sort of. The Stranger reviews the city's monthly happy hour, and quotes a line I wrote for the Office to promote the event. I'd re-quote it here, but then this would come up in my former boss's Google Alerts and I think he frowns upon such blogging (and I still need a letter of recommendation).

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Here it is, at long last. I suggest going to the actual Youtube site and watching it in "high quality" but to each his or her own. I'm a little embarrassed by how slapdash I threw this together, but there's no point in second-guessing (or making excuses for) 22-year-old me.

Monday, August 18, 2008


This map, from here, makes things even more confusing for me. I've always said soda and so has everyone I know but on this map it's the least popular of the big choices. I appear to be situated firmly in pop territory but I never hear that! Am I hanging out with the wrong people? Don't even get me started on the ridiculousness of "Coke".

What do you all say?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Contemplating Credit

For the past week or so I've been working as the assistant editor on this film. So how should I go about getting myself on IMDb? Should I submit myself now or should I wait for the film to hit the festival circuit? Will someone else update the listings in a few months and I'll just be confusing the system? Oh the anxiety.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


The one time in history that hordes of hysterical 14-year-old girls were right about music.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Chaplin on Relevance:

"I am surprised that some critics say that my camera technique is old-fashioned, that I have not kept up with the times. My technique is the outcome of thinking for myself, of my own logic and approach; it is not borrowed from what others are doing."

-Charles Chaplin, 1966

I'm still deciding how I feel about this. On one hand, yeah, why should he have to ape Godard to be relevant? On the other hand, how can you communicate with an audience when you refuse to innovate on the advances made by your peers and likewise refuse to speak the cinematic language of the time? If Chaucer had lived into the 21st century, but never learned to speak modern English, who would read his new books? That is, assuming the books weren't titled "How I Got to Be 700."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Count Barackula

Here's something to consider next time you want to make a joke/slogan/catch phrase out of Barack Obama's name: It's all been done. Google can confirm this for you:


Barack O'Bama

Barack & Roll

Between Barack and a Hard Place


Maraca Kabob

Count Barackula

Seriously. TRY and come up with something original. If he's elected, I estimate that by February 2009 creating name-inspired puns for Barack Hussein Obama will be literally impossible.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Clear Channel's 166 Inappropriate Songs for Post-9/11 America

I find this list truly fascinating. (Sorry if this is very old news to some people.) The list clearly wasn't paid much credence, as 3 Doors Down's revenge-themed "Duck and Run" was ubiquitous around that time.

Some of the connections to 9/11 are obvious (Bruce Springsteen's "I'm Goin' Down"), others (Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World") not quite as much. But I like the fact that ALL of Rage Against the Machine's songs are inappropriate.

Old Man from "Abbey Road" Dies

This actually happened back in February, but the old man in the background on the cover photo for Abbey Road passed away not long ago in Florida, at the ripe old age of 96. This article about how he wound up in the photo and how he found out about it months later is pretty funny:

On a London vacation with his wife, [Paul] Cole — then a resident of Deerfield Beach — declined to enter a museum on the north London thoroughfare.

"I told her, 'I've seen enough museums. You go on in, take your time and look around and so on, and I'll just stay out here and see what's going on outside,'" he recalled.

"I just happened to look up, and I saw those guys walking across the street like a line of ducks," Cole remembered. "A bunch of kooks, I called them, because they were rather radical-looking at that time. You didn't walk around in London barefoot."

About a year later, Cole first noticed the "Abbey Road" album on top of the family record player (his wife was learning to play George Harrison's love song "Something" on the organ). He did a double-take when he eyeballed McMillan's photo.

"I had a new sportcoat on, and I had just gotten new shell-rimmed glasses before I left," he says. "I had to convince the kids that that was me for a while. I told them, 'Get the magnifying glass out, kids, and you'll see it's me.'"

Friday, July 4, 2008


I LOVE it when this sort of thing happens! But especially for Metropolis, easily one of the best silent films ever made.

From IMDb:

Lost footage from cult sci-fi film Metropolis has been discovered in Argentina.

The director's cut of Fritz Lang's 1927 classic, featuring an extra 30 minutes, was believed to have vanished forever after it was cut by Paramount bosses because of bad reviews.

However, the curator of the Buenos Aires Film Museum discovered a copy of the movie in his archives - and a projectionist noticed it was longer than all other versions of the iconic film.

Film restorer Martin Koerber, who is one of the few people to see the lost footage, says, "No matter how bad the condition of the material may be, the original intention of the film, including all of its sub-plots, is now once again tangible for the normal viewer. The rhythm of the film has been restored."

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Man, it was fucking cocky of us to eat hamburgers on the last day of the blog contest before we'd posted.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


It's nice being free from the confines of a blog contest.

This post was just to make sure...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Burger Time!

Today we went to McCormick's for their Happy Hour because we heard they had $1.95 burgers. Indeed they did, and the burgers were a good size if a touch overcooked. The drinks were considerably more expensive.

Apparently, McCormick's also boasts a raffle every weekday the Mariners have a home game. Though we had six complimentary raffle tickets between the two of us, the couple at the table next to us were the lucky pair for the night, winning a $50 gift certificate to McCormick's, two tickets to tonight's Mariners game, and a cab ride from McCormick's to Safeco Stadium.

This couple happened to have plans, so they gave the tickets to us! Then McCormick's changed the dessert menu without telling us and they gave us free dessert for the inconvenience!

The Mariners lost in a rather uneventful 2-0 game against the Blue Jays (whose supporters really turned out for them in a way I've never seen before), but for free, it was pretty hard to beat.

So this ends the blog contest. Congratulations to our co-winners, a nod of the head to our conquests, and medium rare to our burger cook, please.

It's been fun,
Dave and Lily

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bad Lily

You know, I think people who order meat well done deserve everything we do to it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Postcards from Portland

The past few days were so fun that they can only be summed up by the soreness in my arm from so much air hockey and the fullness in my belly from so much pork.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hooray for Complimentary PC Workstations!

Did you know that a third member of the cast of Predator is seeking political office? He has considerably less chance of winning compared to his co-stars, governors Schwarzenegger and Ventura, but he's running as the Libertarian candidate against the House minority leader, I believe? I'm sorry, I'd research this more, but this complimentary PC workstation won't allow me to open more than one window at a time. Still, what was it about that cast?

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I need some new jobs. The ones I have right now are about to run dry and I'm still going to need to pay rent. But what do I want to do?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Dick" and "All the President's Men"

I'm impressed by how much the filmmakers of "Dick" made it look like "All the President's Men." I wonder if they used the same sets. It's also interesting to watch those movies now that we know who Deep Throat is.

Speaking of Deep Throat, do you even remember his name? I didn't. I just looked him up again. Man, what if we all forgot who Deep Throat was? It'd be a mystery anew!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Almost There...

"If you wish to inflict a heartless and malignant punishment upon a young person, pledge him to keep a journal a year."

-Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad Vol. 1, Ch. 4

Monday, June 23, 2008

What Should I Ice Carve?

I really want to go to Switzerland and Denmark. I also really want an Otter Pop. These aren't really related.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

IMDb Top 250

I've seen all of these!*

*It changes somewhat regularly, but as far as today's list is concerned, I've seen it all.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

What Commenters on Digg Have Taught Me

Every article that's ever been written is "pointless."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

Can you even imagine a time when this would be breaking news?

Kevin Bacon's on everyone's lips

October 25, 1996
Web posted at: 7:50 a.m. EDT

From Correspondent Paul Vercammen

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Kevin Bacon's name is being thrown around a lot these days in places you wouldn't expect.

"Let's link Paul Newman to Kevin Bacon," begins a conversation you may hear at a cocktail party or on a college campus. "Paul Newman was in the 'Color of Money' with Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise was in 'A Few Good Men' with Kevin Bacon."

That's how you play "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon," a cultural phenomenon that's taking the nation by storm.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Close One

We're playing with FIRE now.

Speaking of fire, Lily and I had dinner at a Greek restaurant tonight with some friends from Philly and the Greek waiters spontaneously lit a dish on fire (flambee?) right behind me. All I could see were Rachel and Taylor's faces glowing a yellowy light as I felt the heat blasting my neck. Not knowing if this was it, I ducked down near the table and probably looked like a bit of a coward. The good news is that in that (potential) near-death situation I neither shrieked nor soiled myself, and that felt like a good test to know I could pass.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Nappy Boy

Dave is working on another movie tonight which means my sister and I just watch T-Pain videos and eat pizza. It's great but it's been several days since I've really spent much time with Dave. In fact, I'm sure I've spent more time with Susannah this week than Dave. And when you sleep in the same bed that's kind of a feat.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

I need an extended vacation but life doesn't agree with that assessment.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Long Weekend

I worked on a short film from 5pm until 10 on Saturday night, and then from 7am until midnight on Sunday. We shot on the second and fourth floor of a building that's been abandoned for over 80 years. It was a long shoot complicated by cast rescheduling and an uncomfortable (and arguably somewhat unsafe) environment. But it was awesome.

At the end of the day we finished loading the U-Haul and started saying our goodbyes. The last person I got to was the DP, with whom I had worked most extensively. We shook hands and said "Good working with you" and then stopped and looked at each other for a moment. We were both moving our mouths as if we each wanted to have the next word, but were too tired think of it. After about three seconds, he blurted out, "It's like joining the circus!" It's a comparison that's been made before, but it seemed appropriate at the time anyway.

It wasn't necessarily a funny thing to say, but I laughed quite a bit anyway, possibly out of sheer fatigue.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


It's days like this, when I've had a great and simple time all day that I really don't have anything to say here. I don't feel at all connected to the internet or to this blog, just content and happy about intangible moments. Nothing feels urgent or compelling about writing these words, I just want to think about things. I haven't fully realized enough thoughts to post about them, I'm only caught in emotion.

But I really want that hamburger.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


We're not sure when time we'll be home from our respective tasks (cooking, filming) tonight so this is a little placeholder.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I've been listening to David Bowie's Low lately and it's fantastic. I don't usually go for electronic, instrumental stuff, and it's clearly not as fun as some of his more radio-friendly albums and songs. But just about every track I find myself thinking, "Wow, that's really beautiful."

"Be My Wife"

I would embed the Songza version, but for some reason it isn't working right now. Here's the music video on Youtube, which I think actually detracts a bit from the song because it's so visually boring. Well, you be the judge.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I Can't Lie

I really don't understand people that don't like mayonnaise. What's that about, mayo-haters?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Reader of the Year

Found this over at the Slog. The picture was taken about half a block away from my building downtown.


In the photographer's words:

"This lady has it FIGURED OUT. She likes to read, she likes to smoke, she lives in Seattle (where it's 50 degrees and rainy in June), she works in some hulking office building downtown: what's the solution? You see it before you. (I should note, since it's not quite clear, that she's actually standing in the street, in a quiet little spot between parked cars that puts her out of foot traffic, far away from the smokers-area ennui, and even deeper in her own little umbrella world."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Most Boring Job in the World

I know that's a hefty title to fill, but listen to this internship opening at the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs:

Street Banner Internship

Deadline to Apply: Open until filled

Working as a member of the City's Banner Process Improvement team this position is responsible for locating and identifying street poles eligible for banner placement. This position will conduct a physical inventory of light and other street poles that could be used for hanging banners (including commercial district, event, cultural and art-related banners). The intern will travel Seattle neighborhoods and business districts identify eligible street poles, map their location and enter this information into a computer database. Additionally, the intern may assist the City's Public Art Program in mapping public artwork locations around the City.

The last sentence almost saves it, but WOW. People with histories of depression need not apply.

Monday, June 9, 2008


I recently saw Clark Gregg's adaptation of the Chuck Palahniuk novel "Choke" at SIFF. In a word: Mess.

In more words: Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston try their damnedest to save it, but just can't. The tone and pace shifts without rhyme or reason (though not in the interesting ways that the book does), Kelly Macdonald is uncharacteristically bad (and she was recently phenomenal in "No Country!"), and the film is even surprisingly ugly from an aesthetic point of view.

The weird part was that as I watched it I thought, "Man, I wish they'd gotten a better cinematographer. Somebody who knows how to make an independent film look like it cost $10 million more to make than it actually did. Somebody like Tim Orr." Much to my surprise, Tim Orr was the cinematographer of this monstrosity. My brain can't compute the fact that the guy who shot "Choke" also shot "George Washington" nearly ten years ago.

The film has some merit here and there (some jokes from the book that translated well to the screen), but overall, not worth anybody's time.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I Might Be Late

But this is really cool. I always need something to help me hear the songs that are stuck in my head.

And this is the song that is in my head recently:

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Spike Vs Clint

I'm loving the Clint Eastwood vs Spike Lee argument. Basically, Spike brought up at a press conference at Cannes that Clint had left African-American people out of Flags of Our Fathers, saying that to Clint Eastwood, black men played no part in the battle, when in fact they did.

Clint Eastwood's response was that there was only a small munitions detachment of black soldiers on Iwo Jima and the film was primarily about the three men (two white, one Native American) who raised the flag on Iwo Jima and survived the war. He also said that Spike Lee gave him shit in 1988 when he (as a white man) made a film about jazz legend Charlie Parker (noted black man), and should "shut his face."

Now Spike Lee says, "the man is not my father and we're not on a plantation either... I didn't personally attack him, and a comment like `a guy like that should shut his face...' come on Clint, come on. He sounds like an angry old man."

To be fair, Clint Eastwood does sound a bit like an angry old man, but for Spike to say that Clint left African-Americans out of Flags, deliberately or through a lack of research, IS a personal attack, and an angry response should be expected.

As much as I enjoy the bickering, I wish these two very talented men would put aside their differences. Surely there must be some way for black people and white people to get along...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Parent Whereabout Roundup



Thursday, June 5, 2008

Vinyl vs Digital

Sometimes I feel like I'm trapped in Plato's Cave Allegory. I've been told several times in the past few years that vinyl is widely accepted as the superior medium quality-wise, but it makes me not want to listen to vinyl, lest my CD and MP3 collection be forever tainted by the knowledge that I am listening to mud. I don't want to buy a turntable and LPs, I just want the highest quality recording to also be the most convenient. GET ON IT, SCIENCE.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Horror: Making a Film in Seattle Can Destroy You

I started reading this article at work and I have every intention of finishing it, but with midnight approaching I figured I'd just link to it without knowing how it turns out.

The Making of Cthulhu

I PAed a bit on a short by this director (Dan that is, not Grant).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Poles Reversed

This is an old article below, but Lily and I only recently heard some guy talking about the potential of Earth flipping its polarity (North becoming South). I guess it can't be too big of a deal or you'd think it would be in the news more.

Gadzooks! Look at this site. We've only got four more years left to live!

'Swounds! Now watch this! I can't tell if this is serious or just a fine bit of comedy.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Oh What a Feeling!

We found three CDs in my parents' rental car. One was Garth Brooks, and the other two were decorated with maple leaves and the words "Juno 3" and "Juno 4" in tiny letters. We started listening to them, and only after skipping through fifteen or so extremely different tracks did we come upon Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" and realize that it was a compilation of Canadian artists. Check out the track listing (it's the 1996 release).

As you can see, the selection seems to be entirely random, with no regard for tone or flow from one song to the next. As for the individual tracks, well this song, for one, is ridiculous.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Lily!

We're likely to be busy all day, so this will be all you get, blog. I'm very happy to finally be spending Lily's birthday with her and I look forward to making it a tradition.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Busy Week

Dave and I are going to see my little sister in a play about Irish terrorists with a penchant for killing cats tonight, so this is a just in case post (albeit, one that might turn up some interesting google searches).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I don't know why Olde English doesn't just become a full-time musical group. Their sketches are great and all, but the recent music videos have been on another level entirely.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Downswing

The unfortunate thing about Memorial Day is that I don't have any less work to complete this week, just less time in which to do it.

My parents and brother will be here in a matter of days, which is... fine. I don't know. I'm looking forward to seeing them as I do sincerely miss them, but the phrase "worlds collide" hardly ever holds a positive connotation to me.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I Have Snowman Ones!

With my 21st birthday fast approaching my friends and family have been asking me for wishlists and desires. I want to help, I really do, because I can be quite picky about things; but all I can think about is how much I like juice glasses. I love juice glasses. Love them.

And because I love them we have maybe too many of them in our tiny apartment. There are only two of us. This is not helpful.

What do I like besides juice glasses?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Effortless Brilliance

I saw this last night, in a packed house that included the director and most of the cast and crew. It was a mostly-improvised local independent movie about being dumped by a very close platonic friend and trying to get him back. As improvised movies are, there were some rough patches but also some patches of brilliance, for lack of a better word. The main character is played by Sean Nelson, lead singer for Harvey Danger, who is actually a pretty darn good comedic actor. I highly recommend it if it ever comes to your town.

Here's the trailer:

Lily and I are going to spend the day cleaning in preparation for my family's visit next week. I just have to see if I can wake her up.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

SIFF Gala Part 2

In addition to the screening of "Battle in Seattle" and the Q&A with the stars, the Mayor presented Michael from Northwest Film Forum with an award for his services to the local film industry.

(Backstage before being given the award, Michael approaches Andre 3000)
Michael: Hi, Andre. My name's Michael.
Andre: (sizes him up) Damn. That's a nice suit.

Michael decided at this point that he was now ready to die.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I'm Dull Now

Dave and I went to the opening gala for SIFF last night. It was a lot of fun but it did make this busy week even busier so I'm far too tired to think of how to describe it now. But Charlize was there, as well as Andre 3000 so that was pretty great. I need a nap and then I promise to be interesting.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Motley Crue

I'm at work, and I just read an interview with Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue that I had to share.

Mötley Crüe are headlining the first-ever CrüeFest, a multi-act tour featuring Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Trapt and Nikki Sixx's side project Sixx: A.M. The bassist promises an elaborate show that will rival the Crüe's 2005 carnival-theme spectacular. The exact setup remains a secret, though he promises pyro. "Most artists say, 'Can you keep that fire away from me?'" Sixx says. "We want to be in the fire!"

Too soon.

How will you balance out the set between new and old songs?
As the headliners, we just have 90 minutes, so we can barely fit our hits. There are some hits that we'll have to not play — and we'll sneak in four or five new songs.

I didn't realize that "Girls, Girls, Girls" and "Kickstart My Heart" were each fifty minutes long.

How is the tour going to be different from Ozzfest?
I love Ozzfest, but it's a sausage-fest — real heavy on the dudes. For Mötley, it's always been 50-50. The guys come, and they dig the rock & roll, and they've got all the stuff they love — titties and beer.

Yeah, all right.

Will the Titty Cam be back?
We may have worn it out, though it always seems like a good idea once you get out there. It makes everybody happy; it should be called the Happy Cam!

Even Gloria Steinem approves! [citation needed]

I imagine the backstage of a Crüe concert is an insane orgy. Is that true?
Let's just say that you're not far off.

How uncharacteristically coy, Nikki.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008



Thoughts to come when I'm no longer broken in half.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Lily is ANXIOUS in big letters, she says.

Also, have you heard of this?: Cassette from My Ex. It's a website full of articles by "interesting" people talking about mixtapes their ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends gave them, along with a track listing of course. I haven't read that much of it yet, but it sounds sort of cool.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Yes! A self-indulgent beard/no beard post!

It's true, I am clean-shaven for the first time in over three years. What a world. Now I can know what it's like to be judged by my character, rather than the bushiness of my facial hair (kind of like "Black Like Me"). Here's the pre- and post-mortem:


No Beard

Yeah, that's Mall Madness in the background. What.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Too Full

I ate more tonight than I have in months. It's quite painful. If this is what fat feels like, I don't want to be it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Business as Usual

So my 90-year-old grandmother is in the hospital with pneumonia. Don't worry, it's not a big deal apparently, as no one in my family cared to call and tell me. She was admitted Thursday, and I didn't hear about it until I called my brother earlier today. And even then it was probably the seventh thing he mentioned after 1. His job search. 2. How the Mariners are playing. 3. How the Phillies are playing. 4. How he did at a softball game today. 5. How he did at a softball game on Thursday. 6. The funeral of someone else we knew from church/working in the nursing home.

I love my family, but sometimes I just don't know what their whole deal is. Honestly, you'd think we had fifty grandparents and long-distance phone calls were still a considerable expense.

Friday, May 16, 2008


I was going to play with this online AudioTool thing and then say how cool or lame it was, but my computer doesn't seem able to handle it all at once. It really may be time for an upgrade. Well, you can see what you think anyway:

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What a Beautiful Day

It's practically summer here. Why the weather's nice enough to make you wanna run around in a t-shirt and play the ukulele. In California. In a grainy 8mm music video.

That hit the spot. To say nothing of the tiny robot and vintage phaser-play.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Elevator Business

I was waiting for an elevator yesterday morning when one came, causing an accidental collision between a man and a woman who each wanted to board. They apologized to each other and got on the elevator with another woman and myself. The resulting conversation went like this:

Woman 1: Sorry about that. I guess we could all use some more eyes.
Man (in a foreign accent): I have only one eye... Two is a blessing.
Woman 1: ...Oh?
Man: I lost this eye when I was five.
(Woman 2 and I are completely silent)
Man: I was hit by a dart (makes dart-throwing motion). I have not seen out of it since.
Woman 1: ...Oh.
(Woman 2 sips her coffee)

There is no punchline.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008



Thank you, Houston Chronicle.

Also note the sign in the background that eloquently observes, "Texas is Not a Mexican Colony."

Monday, May 12, 2008

Man's Greatest Honor

Neil Young got a spider named after him! What a lucky guy!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Beatles Survey

Hi everyone,

Lily and Dave are in the midst of an argument that we would like you to help resolve by answering a very short survey. Here it is:

1. After "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," what do you think is the Beatles' most widely known/acclaimed album? Bonus points if you list the Beatles studio albums in order from most acclaimed/well-known to least. (Also, feel free to dispute "Sgt. Pepper's" standing as #1, that's just been common ground for the two of us)

2. Name the top ten most widely known Beatles songs. It shouldn't be "favorites" or "best," but most recognizable to your average music fan.

Thanks for taking the time to do this. We promise not to break up over your answers.

- Lily and Dave

Saturday, May 10, 2008

And Then There Were Five

Just twenty-one days left in this blog challenge, and there are only four other competing blogs left. Three of them have not missed a single day since February, so there's little hope of them suddenly going miss-happy, but Nora's burger will be ours!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sad Kermit

Thursday was nearly a completely forgettable work day except for one thing: I discovered Sad Kermit's video for "Needle in the Hay."

His Myspace is great. "It's excruciatingly painful being green."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Da Bomb

Do you remember who the first person you ever heard say "da bomb" was? I think for me it was Cedric The Entertainer. He was bragging about some cool party he was going to throw with Steve Harvey on "The Steve Harvey Show" (let's not get into it). Then I remember "da bomb" was thrown around a lot for about five years, some people who said it were thrown off airplanes after 9/11, then it dissipated. Lily still says things are "bomb," sometimes but for all other intensive purposes, it's like the phrase never existed. Just look at what you get from Wikipedia:

"Da Bomb Bikes is a Taiwan-based bicycle company founded in 1998."

That's it!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fake Busey

There's a man in Seattle who looks so much like Gary Busey that, when recognized, he often plays along and pretends to be Busey, even with people who have actually met and worked with the actor. This actually happened to one of my coworkers who swore she saw Gary Busey at Sub Pop's 20th anniversary party, an event mentioned in the Seattle Weekly piece.

That article's a little long and sporadically entertaining, but the slideshow is worth a look. The best part of the article itself is when someone calls out "Hey, Nick!" mistaking the fake Busey for Nick Nolte.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Fuck Yeah!

COD notebook done and turned in, bitches!

Monday, May 5, 2008

College Jeopardy

The kids on College Jeopardy knew nothing about popular culture. The "Movie Directors" category could have been an easy six grand for me. Missed opportunities...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Poor Dave

My COD notebook (it's a huge ordeal, that's all you really have to know) is due on Tuesday and I am working so hard that I'm worried I might break. If I don't I'm really looking forward to that hamburger, it's getting closer everyday!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Office

I may be in the minority here, but I kind of like the direction they're taking "The Office." It's actually become, as Stephen Colbert once quipped, "that weird drama with Steve Carell."

I like the theme of Jim unwittingly becoming Michael (trying to reschedule all of the birthdays into one party, locking the whole gang into the office and then being racially inept/insensitive with both Oscar and the security guard). It's a miserable transformation in some ways, but I think it's realistic, and it stays true to the overarching message of both English-language incarnations of "The Office," which is that if you don't have the courage to do what you really want to do, you'll probably wind up being someone you never intended to be.

I oddly appreciate that Toby is becoming "the bad guy" (his and Ryan's reprimanding of Jim, his unsettlingly long leg-caress of Pam) and how that implies that Michael was right about him all along when everyone else loved him.

And then there's the whole "Ryan's drug-problem" which is sort of dark and interesting as is the pathetic Jan-Michael relationship. The show may not be as funny as it once was (nor is it as consistently hilarious as its sister show "30 Rock"), but it's developing substance in certain areas, and that makes me appreciate it more.

Also, if you want some spoilers, has the listings for the next few episodes, and the season finale is titled "Goodbye, *character's name*." I'll leave it up to you whether you want to find out who it is.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I Got a Bike!

Pictures forthcoming.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day Marches

Does it count as participating in a protest if the march is taking place along the route you usually take home from work everyday anyway?

Woo! Immigrant rights!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"I'm So Tired"

Staying up trying to think of interesting things to say is a self-defeating practice. I need regular sleep a lot more than I need hamburgers. Besides, John Lennon wrote multiple great songs about how much he loved sleep, so this shall be my "I'm Only Sleeping." Except of course for the fact that it took no talent of any kind to write this quartet of sentences.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm a terrible person

But I couldn't help but laugh when I saw a girl I know from college's mini feed:

Anna* just got broken up with by email. 8:38

Anna left the group Girls Who Have Great Boyfriends. 8:55

Not her name, jerks. I'm not that terrible.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Post #99

I went to an auction last night to benefit the NWFF. People would ask what I was planning to bid on as though I had the kind of cash that could afford a $250 box of doughnuts (more than $20 per doughnut). I did however win a bottle of champagne in a ring toss. It cost me two pink "Bazins" to play, which I only later discovered was worth twenty real dollars. In the long run, considering I spent as much on a bottle of champagne as some people did on a single doughnut, I think I came out ahead. Good cause, good schmause, I want a deal.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


There was a nice article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer yesterday about Michael Seiwerath, the executive director of the Northwest Film Forum, who is stepping down probably sometime during the summer. He's done a hell of a job with the organization and he's giving me his old bike, so clearly I think highly of him. This is probably of little interest to anyone else, but I wanted to remember where this article was. Also, on his future, Michael said:

I have some ideas about what I'm going to do, but nothing certain. There's a good chance that my friend Pete Erickson and I might start a pure fruit brandy distillery. Three weeks ago it seemed like a hobby or a pipe dream, but now I really think we might make a go of it.

Note to self: Keep in touch with Michael. Also, when NWFF co-founder Jamie Hook was asked about Michael's time with the organization:

I mean, eight years is a long time. It's two presidential terms. Any longer and it's going to get into Third World dictatorship territory.

Oddly enough, I could definitely see Michael taking over Liberia or something.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cult Movies

I've really been enjoying this AVClub "New Cult Canon" series. It reminded me of how much I liked the movie Primer. And I know we should always judge movies on their intrinsic values rather than their back stories, but I'm endlessly impressed that Shane Carruth, a non-film professional (an engineer at that) made a genuinely complex and intriguing movie for only $7000. It kills me that he doesn't have any future films on the apparent horizon.

One-hit-wonders are saddest in the film world. At least I think so.

EDIT: Nah, I take that back. You only have to make the film once, and then it can take care of itself. Musicians have to play their one stupid hit thousands of times on tour or starve to death. Even successful musicians are bound to their repertoires. The Stones have to play "Satisfaction," or risk the wrath of 60-year-olds who paid $100 per ticket.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

So Close!

Whew! Real post to follow after midnight.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Complaining About Lily

So let's get something straight: On her day off, Lily had time to wash the dishes, pick me up from work, make dinner for me, her sister and herself, and watch a movie with us, but she didn't have time to update our blog? Outrageous.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

I Saw You on TV

The Mountain Goats - Anti-Music Song

Earlier tonight, I found myself thinking about this angry, angry song, and wondering whom it was about. So I Googled around until I came across the Mountain Goats message board. You might want to listen to the song before you read on so you get the full effect, but here's what John Darnielle had to say, when asked about writing "Anti-Music Song":

I don't even remember who the Morrissey wannabe was. It should be noted that I saw the light in '95 and would no longer call Moz "2nd-rate."

The "bad imitation of Van Morrison" dude was the singer from Counting Crows, who I'm sure is a nice guy and all but gaaah. So now you know.

When asked if he had "also see[n] the light and take[n] back that comment about not liking Brian Wilson," Darnielle replied,

no, I still dislike BW's entire body of work pretty intensely

That still leaves open the mystery about who the person "doing an imitation of an imitation of Jimi Hendrix" was. Lenny Kravitz seems a good choice, as someone else on the message board pointed out, considering "Are You Gonna Go My Way" was a big hit in 1993.

Man, JD goes for the jugular.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Present Ideas

If anyone is thinking of getting us a birthday/anniversary/Labor Day present, a trip to Paris would be superb. We would like some macarons. A lot. Thank you.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Carter, Right?

In a scenario where all 43 U.S. Presidents are living together on Mars (don't ask), who would be the first one eaten? Here are the conditions:

Despite it being Mars, they have a few basic supplies: Water, fire-making tools, air, their own clothing. All of the Presidents are as they were at the time they were in office, so there won't be a 90-year-old Alzheimer's-afflicted Ronald Reagan competing with relatively young contenders like John Kennedy (though 70-year-old Reagan might not do much better).

So with all that laid out, who would be the first to go? Who would be last?

Lily's family and I came to these conclusions:

First to be killed, whether eaten or not: Carter or Madison. From Wikipedia: "Madison is noted for being the shortest president ever, at 5' 4" tall. He is also the lightest president ever, weighing only about 100 Lbs."

Last man standing: Washington or Grant. Military men, both relatively young when they were in office. You know Grant would fight dirty.

Then again, the remaining 42 of them could probably split Taft over the course of a few weeks.

Also of note, I had probably the best breakfast of my life this morning at Monsoon. Porkbelly (they accidentally gave me two pieces), fried eggs, brioche french toast with maple syrup.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sans Comedy

I'm finding it a little hard to believe that it's been nearly a full year since I've performed comedy, or really been on stage in any function. It was such a big part of my life, and perhaps one of the reasons I stayed at the same college for four years. Now there's a kind of void in me that hasn't been filled by anything else. That's not to say my life hasn't improved in several important ways, but there's something missing just the same. I may have to fix this.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

In the COD madness

I actually forgot we had a blog.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mild and Crazy

I was just reading a Seattle Times blurb about Chris Rock's show last weekend at the Paramount. The title:

Chris Rock more mild than wild at the Paramount

It's actually a positive review, but it acknowledges that as Chris Rock has aged his comedy has become more laid back. Of course, laid back for Chris Rock is probably comparable to how an average person would act after an unexpected shower of ice water. There are two problems I had with the person's review. Number One: Writing a comedian's jokes (in particular his new jokes) in a newspaper should be illegal. They're Rock's intellectual property and probably one of his primary means of income. Not to mention, they just don't have the same energy and brilliance out of context. Number Two:

Steve Martin, a Mild and Crazy Guy

You're aping Richard Corliss's headlines, Joanna Horowitz!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Low Content Day

It felt like a hectic day today, but it probably wasn't that bad.

I really have nothing to say. Sorry. And we do this cop-out so rarely. It feels almost liberating to actually slack off and say nothing.

The burger(s) will be ours regardless!

Monday, April 14, 2008

"What's Happenin, My Man?"

Lately I've been trying to clean out some of the video files from my relatively small hard drive. A lot of stuff I'm just deleting, but I'm also uploading stuff onto Youtube for posterity to enjoy. This nicknack, for example:

See, if I deleted that, I would NEVER be able to find that again. Because what IS that? If anyone can tell me, I will be quite impressed.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Colbert Report

My parents (and occasionally their parents) habitually send me things to try to lure me back home. This is the latest:

If you couldn't tell from that jumble of letters and numbers, The Colbert Report is broadcasting for the first time out of its Manhattan studio, and it chose the University of Pennsylvania's Zellerbach Theater for the taping. That's literally about four blocks from where I lived for four years. To be fair, I was lucky enough to see Colbert when he came down to host the Intercollegiate Comedy Festival at the Zellerbach back in 2004. He was easily the best of the run of performers who came by while I was there (Other hosts included Tim Meadows (2005), Gilbert Gottfried/Paul Provenza (2006), and Dan Bakkedahl (2007). This year it was Kenan Thompson.).

I'm still trying to decide whether it's a blessing or a curse that I don't have cable here. Probably a curse. I wish I could see Colbert square off against our local Democratic leaders. Namely Michael Nutter (Mayor), Ed Rendell (Governor), and The Roots (City Council, I believe). John Legend will be there too, but who cares? Nutter, Rendell, Roots. That's a good week.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Dalai Lama

It's easy to think of something to post on the day you see the Dalai Lama! He was hanging out at Qwest Field with 50-60 thousand people, talking about planting "Seeds of Compassion" and so on.

I must say, he didn't sound like I expected him to. A much louder, firmer voice than you'd expect from a man of his stature and age. The event was slightly marred by a circling plane carrying a banner that read "Dalai Lama Pls Stop Supporting Riots," but it didn't interrupt the ceremony at all. I wonder what the banner was referring to. I honestly don't know enough about the Dalai Lama's political positions to form an educated opinion of him, but he struck me as an intelligent man who knows how to pack the house.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Gregg Toland

I read an article some time ago about Golden-age cinematographer Gregg Toland and what a genius he was. He did Citizen Kane and The Grapes of Wrath and (probably shamefully) Song of the South, among a lot of other great films. Steven Soderbergh was quoted in the article:

If we shot black-and-white now, maybe we could catch up to what Toland was doing then. Have you seen The Long Voyage Home? It looks like it was shot tomorrow.

Well, I was looking over his great, all-too-short filmography when I came across December 7th, the only film he ever directed (co-directed with John Ford). It was apparently just another piece of wartime propaganda fluff, but my favorite thing about the film is that Dana Andrews plays a character called "Ghost of US sailor killed at Pearl Harbor." Wow, that movie sounds like it could be entertaining. I'd love to make a movie with a character called that, floating around begging young men to avenge him.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Strike is Really Over

It's hit home now that The Office and 30 Rock are back (and actually even funnier than I remember).

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Are Ted Allen and Tim Gunn the same??

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Close One


I never thought I'd be so happy to see Robert.

Maybe I shouldn't be so callous, we may be related. Even if not, I probably shouldn't be so callous anyway.

Monday, April 7, 2008

September 22nd, 1975

I only recently discovered that Sara Jane Moore, one of the would-be-assassins of Gerald Ford has been set free. They let her go on December 31st, 2007. So if you see a 77 year-old woman who looks unstable, WATCH OUT, she might not kill you.

Squeaky Fromme, on the other hand, is still on the inside. So no need to panic just yet.

Though something I was unaware of was the story of the guy who saved Ford's life, Oliver Sipple. One minute a partially disabled Vietnam vet, the next minute a President-saving hero, the next minute ostracized for being unwillingly outed as a homosexual by the media. A tough break to say the absolute least.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

I love it when people upload entire movies to Youtube. In this case, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, definitely one of my favorites. I love it because it saves me the trouble of renting, buying, or borrowing the actual DVD, though said disc would be of much better quality. Even so, David Lynch would not approve.

(Dave, too lazy to log off Lily's account.)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Posthoumous Publishing

I wonder if anybody writes letters to friends and acquaintances expecting them to be published in a thick, hard-cover book one day, possibly after his or her death.

There was a New Yorker article this week about the friendship that went sour between French filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard and the deceased Francois Truffaut, and the author quoted frequently from Truffaut's angry letters to and from Godard. It occurred to me that this was really personal stuff between these two titans of the New Wave, and what right had we to publish their letters and analyze them for signs of either animosity or lingering tenderness?

Inevitably, emails and blogs will be compiled into books about the so-called important people of our time. Emails being as fast and free as they are, I'm expecting a lot of boring books in the future. Here's an excerpt from Edward Norton's collection, published posthumously by Random Home-Unit in 2061 as Edward Norton History X: I Am Jack's Hastily Written Emails:

12/9/09, 9:16am

Haha. Yeah, I'll be there. Noon sounds good.


Noon does sound good, Ed. Thanks for the fucking insight.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Very Special Fistful of Dollars

I recently saw this American prologue that was added to my least favorite Sergio Leone film, A Fistful of Dollars, in 1977 so they could play the film on TV. The idea was that Joe's (aka Manco, aka Blondie, aka The Man With No Name) mercenary behavior was too unprovoked and thus immoral. So they gave him a little more back story.

At first I laughed at the poorly conceived prologue, directed by Monte Hellman, and how it would completely compromise the whole film. But then I realized: To make the film more "moral," the censors made Joe a man on death row who was sent by the government to kill everyone in the entire town deliberately. Subversive? Just inept? I'll never know. But I do have to give props to Harry Dean Stanton for carrying the scene pretty much by himself and getting no help from the Eastwood stand-in.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

General Upkeep of Lily

I think I have sneezed more in the past 2 months than in the rest of my life. This is beginning to concern me but I have no solutions.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It's COD, learn it.

I found out when my Chef of the Day project will be (in short- a lunch for 16- but really it's the event my entire culinary school education has been leading up to) yesterday and I sent out an email to the people I want to invite to the lunch. I worked for a while and wrote quite a lot and ended up with something I thought was heartfelt and meaningful and truly described exactly how I am feeling about all this (excitement, terror, shock) and sent it to 12 people who mean very, very much to me. The responses I got back were so overwhelming positive and full of love that I almost started to cry. Until I got to my sister's.

My aunt said:
Dear Lily,
I will be there come hell or high water. Tom will also and I am guessing Isabel, but I'll let her speak for herself. I'm excited, not nervously of course, but optimistically and joyously! And I am flattered to be among the chosen.

And my Mom:




And the I'm so prouds and the we love yous continued on down the line until Susannah's:

You don't have to turn in your COD notebooks do you? because i drew Voldi-pope in it.

Voldi-Pope. As in Voldemort as a Pope. Exactly. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

White Elephant: Howling 2: ...Your Sister is a Werewolf

Check out the other entries in the 2nd Annual White Elephant Film Blogathon over at!

Christopher Lee Addresses Space

Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf is a film that speaks directly to its audience in more ways than one. Firstly, the title serves as a wake up call informing you, yes you, that your sister is a werewolf. With this understood, Stefan Crosscoe (Christopher Lee), Occult Investigator, appears out of the stars (with a foreboding skeleton over his shoulder) to read the audience a passage from an ancient text:

For it is written: The inhabitants of the Earth have been made drunk with her blood. And I saw her sit upon the hairy beast and she held forth a golden chalice full of the filthiness of fornications. And upon her forehead was written: "Behold! I am the great mother of harlots and all abominations of the Earth."

Some of this prologue is metaphoric, some of it is quite literal.

Attempting to scrutinize the labyrinthine sexual politics of Howling II in a short essay is either a very ambitious undertaking, or a very naive one, I will be the first to admit. But as mountaineer George H. L. Mallory once said of his great love and eventual killer, “[I must climb Everest] because it is there.”

Director Philippe Mora is not afraid to wax misogynistic in the name of Christian morality. In the world of Howling 2, women are weak at best, evil at worst. Only men, armed with silver bullets, stakes, and holy hand grenades, can save the world from female-dominated damnation. Stirba (Sybil Danning), the 10,000-year-old queen of the werewolves, intends to reverse the process of evolution by transforming everyone on the planet into sex-crazed, bloodthirsty beasts. She has two main lieutenants in her werewolf commune. The first is Mariana (played by “Brown Sugar” inspiration Marsha A. Hunt), a British woman who haunts the deviant-infested night clubs of Los Angeles, or as the film ironically calls it, “City of the Angels.” Stefan says of Mariana, “She is one of the most vicious and one of the most dangerous kind because she is immune. Silver bullets are useless against such creatures. Quite useless. Only titanium will kill them.” Fortunately, Stefan has a well-stocked supply of titanium stakes. Vlad (Omen Judd), Stirba’s other lieutenant, is a swarthy werewolf from “The Dark Country” of Transylvania. He perhaps benefits most from his transformations as it negates his rapidly receding hairline.

Together, Stirba, Mariana, and Vlad form an Unholy Trinity that has more hairy, uncoordinated werewolf sex than anyone would care to view. Their perverse ménage-à-trois is juxtaposed (via a tasteful diamond-wipe) with the more “natural” coupling of our two protagonists: Ben White (white=pure) and Jenny Templeton (a ton of temples), played by Reb Brown and Annie McEnroe, respectively. Their intercourse is brief, up against a wall, and Ben seems to be able to please Jenny with his jeans still on. In other words, it's done properly. One could even argue that they only give in to temptation because they are staying in hotel room 666 in, “The Dark Country.” Furthermore, the sex is clearly Jenny’s (i.e. the woman’s) idea. When Ben suggests they stay in separate rooms, Jenny tells the hotel manager “One room will be fine.” Minutes later, she breaks down and cries, “I need you to hold me, Ben.” He replies with a resigned but compassionate, “Yeah.” Does the book of Genesis ring any bells?

Much later, Jenny is lured away from Ben by a young Romanian werewolf who seeks to rape her. But the attack is interrupted by Stirba, who wishes to turn Jenny into a lusty werewolf like the rest of her army. Vlad smears Jenny’s face with the blood of the lamb and threatens, “You will know pleasures such as you have never imagined.” The bound and gagged Jenny silently prays that Ben and his chastity-jeans can save her from such a fate.

That night, Stirba hosts an orgy of leather-clad female werewolves. The women writhe around on the floor, pleasing each other while old men wearing 18th century-style wigs watch and giggle maniacally. The company is simultaneously entertained by a punk band called Babel, whose repertoire mainly consists of a song about the “Pale pale light of the moonglow.” This is something of a surprise as they were last seen playing in Los Angeles at the night club in which Mariana would select her prey. We shudder to think that Jenny could become one of those beautiful, lesbian nymphs enjoying terrible music if she’s not saved quickly.

Thankfully, Ben, Stefan, a priest, a dwarf, and two other holy men are dedicated to destroying Stirba and eradicating her kind. Vasile, the dwarf, is the first to fall. Stirba electrifies his head with her mysterious ultra-lycanthrope powers, making the little warrior’s eyeballs burst out of his head. The remaining five men draw up their courage and storm Stirba’s fortress. The reverend and the two redshirts are mutilated in short order, leaving Ben to easily dispatch Mariana and Vlad, while Stefan faces off against Stirba.

The final confrontation between Stefan and Stirba is a revealing one. Stirba calls to Stefan seductively, referring to him as her “brother.” She offers him power and incestuous love, a tempting offer to be sure. Though Stefan will not turn to the dark side, his morality directly conflicts with his emotion. As he stabs her, a wave of melancholy sweeps over his face. He has killed his sister, whom he both loves and hates. We come to realize: His sister is a werewolf too. In seconds, the siblings are consumed in flame and the werewolf menace is halted... for now!

Chris Lee Blends In

Without a doubt, the lupine liberation movement was a direct threat to a heterosexual, patriarchal, Christian society. And though Stirba was defeated, the montage during the end credits reminds us that brave dwarves still die every day, that people like Stirba are ready to throw away morality as quickly as they can bare their breasts (a shot of Stirba swiftly disrobing is replayed a staggering seventeen times to fully hit the point home), and that for all of the good that Ben, Jenny, and Stefan accomplished, Babel is still on the loose.

The film is surprisingly relevant twenty-three years later, as we prepare to potentially elect our first female president. I doubt that I would be the first person to call Philippe Mora a prophet, but surely he deserves credit for anticipating that such a time would come to pass. Mora’s message for you to take to the election booth is this: An ambitious woman will be the death of us all. Men must unite, with God by their side and subservient women quietly behind them, to reclaim the planet. As such, the next seven months could very well determine the fate of the soul of the entire human race.

And that is why I support Barack Obama.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Mariners Rule, Rangers Drool

Dave and Susannah (my little sister) can be so similar sometimes. She is currently sitting next to me and laughing and laughing about the Pet Sounds liner notes. Just observing.

It's opening day and I want a hot dog. But it is pouring and my house is cozy and smells like brioche bread pudding so I think that will be an acceptable substitute. But also, I fucking love hot dogs.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Taxes: Done

Though technically speaking I fall into the tax bracket labeled "DIRE," it hardly ever feels as bad as I imagined it would.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


I'm on something of a long-term mission to see every movie in the Criterion Collection, but this plan is encumbered by two things:

1. Probably 20% of the Criterion movies I have no desire to see.
2. They add titles at a rate that far exceeds my watching ability.

Despite these obstacles, I'm about a third of the way through. I wonder who is in charge of designing their DVD cases. I sometimes like them even more than I like the movies themselves. Example:

Man, that scene was suggestive for 1953.

Which reminds me, RIP Richard Widmark.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Ever since Joanna brought the wonderful "Buhlud" video into my life, I can't stop watching it. This video, although slightly less hilarious, makes a welcome substitute. It's by far the best thing I've seen all week and on Sunday my whole family was together for Easter and didn't fight! Still though, these kids are British. Sorry Mom.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I told Dave I would update the blog today and find something so funny that it would make all his posts forgettable. But then I didn't do that and searching "hilarious" on youtube only turned up some cats and grandmas (not as good as you'd think). I did find this however, and as a Mountain Goats fan who loves the new album, I think it's great.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pet Sounds

I suppose this goes along with my last post a bit. The following is an excerpt from the liner notes to a 1990 re-issue of the Beach Boys' seminal album Pet Sounds, considered by many to be their best work.

Brian Wilson:

"In December of 1966, I heard the album Rubber Soul by the Beatles. It was definitely a challenge for me. I saw that every cut was very artistically interesting and stimulating. I immediately went to work on the songs for Pet Sounds."

I like that when he listens to a really good album, all he hears is "Bring your A-game, Wilson. Yeah, this record is talking to you."

I hope he felt some vindication when Paul McCartney would later cite Pet Sounds as a major influence on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the one album that beat it on Rolling Stone's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time." But then, what the hell is that list worth? They think the top ten albums ever made were all released within about seven years (1979's London Calling excepted).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Days Off Don't Make for Good Blog Posts

There's only so much to be said about moving a cabinet and walking to the library.

I'm starting to get interested in music again. Not playing it, I mean, just listening to it. It's weird, but for a while there I'd just lost all interest in hearing anything new or exciting. I thought it had all been done and I'd heard all I needed to. "Incorrectly jaded," I guess would be the best phrase for it.

But now I actively want to hear new things (or at least new to me). It's not like there was one song, album, or artist that served as an epiphany for me. It must have something to do with all of the music news and reviews I've been reading lately; I want to hear what everyone's talking about. And it's good stuff, this... music.