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.