Monday, April 30, 2007

Some Music Recommendations...

...and apparently an advertisement for vey, what's happened to me? (oh yeah, free music access...can't complain about that)

Been meaning to point ya'll to Fisher's myspace page. Heard them at the end of an episode of Bones recently (their song played as Bones' FBI love headed to sea) and tracked them down immediately (and judging by the comments on their page, I wasn't the only one). Something about this woman's voice is juuuuust captivating. Can't tell you how many times I've listened to the songs they have posted there (or to the tracks I picked up on iTunes).

Over the weekend, Zach Braff pointed to Schuyler Fisk and her new song "fall apart today." I'm kinda groovin' to all of of her folksy stuff, but this new song does kinda grab me. Definitely worth a listen.

Not as moving, but a lot more fun: The Friendly Indians, Band from TV and The Solids.

Anyone else have something to recommend?

Friday, April 27, 2007

More of the VTech Shooting Legacy

From the Seattle Time:

— Told to express emotion for a creative-writing class, high-school senior Allen Lee penned an essay so disturbing to his teacher, school administrators and police that he was charged with disorderly conduct, officials said Wednesday.

Lee, 18, a straight-A student at Cary-Grove High School in Cary, Ill., was arrested Tuesday near his home and charged with the misdemeanor for an essay that police described as violently disturbing but not directed toward any specific person or location.

A Moment of High Culture for Your Friday

From the 80's classic, Electric Dreams, which taught us the real reason not to spill wine on your PC Keyboard (even if it does get you a date with Virginia Madsen)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Well, that should fix everything...


From the Yale Daily News:

In the wake of Monday’s massacre at Virginia Tech in which a student killed 32 people, Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg has limited the use of stage weapons in theatrical productions.In the wake of Monday’s massacre at Virginia Tech in which a student killed 32 people, Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg has limited the use of stage weapons in theatrical productions.
If you go on to read the rest of the article, it seems as if the Drama students have a better grip on reality than their Dean. Which is a pretty scary thing to think about if Yale's Drama Dept. is anything like the one at my alma matter.

(H/T: Shamgar)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Racism and Government

Some wise words from Ron Paul on the Imus nonsense and racism as a whole. Actually, this can and should be applied to every "group" in the political/social scene today.

In fact it is the federal government more than anything else that divides us along race, class, religion, and gender lines. Government, through its taxes, restrictive regulations, corporate subsidies, racial set-asides, and welfare programs, plays far too large a role in determining who succeeds and who fails in our society. This government "benevolence" crowds out genuine goodwill between men by institutionalizing group thinking, thus making each group suspicious that others are receiving more of the government loot. This leads to resentment and hostility between us.
Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called "diversity" actually perpetuate racism. Their obsession with racial group identity is inherently racist.

The true antidote to racism is liberty.
Read the whole thing.

I was going somewhere with this...

You ever find yourself watching an independent movie and saying to yourself, "I totally see why no studio wanted to put money into this." Its obvious that someone went to film school, maybe studied screen writing, and they definitely had a lot of fun working out their inner demons, or whatever, but come on!

And by the time you realize this, it's too late, you have to finish this train wreck of metaphor, pop culture references, deep symbolism, self-referential irony, stop frame animation, father issues, mother issues, and sex fantasies (hopefully not too much of a mixture of the last 3).

I'm not going to identify the particular Netflix delivery that started me on this--just in case I'm being totally oblivious to some sort of cinematic genius. I'll keep my Philistine instincts to myself. :)

Don't get me wrong, I love indie movies. I more than realize that the best quality stuff in film doesn't come from the major studios. But just 'cuz something's not backed by a studio, paid for by maxed-out credit cards by some kid stuck in a dead-end job, doesn't mean it's quality. Not everyone is John Waters (PTL), Kevin Smith or Edward Burns or whoever. Too often, an indie film is just what I described above, self-indulgent tripe. Like the self-published fiction that gives self-publishing it's rep--people so impressed with themselves, so impatient to make it big, so convinced of their own abilities that they shortcut the learning process. Rather than paying their dues, learning the hard way as you, being rejected and rejected and reject, and learning from that--they teleport their way through the obstacle course, just like Kurt Wagner, leaving a sulfuric smelling cloud in their wake.

Now, I know I'm the same way--or at least could be the same way. It's knowing that I've got years of hard work ahead of me (since I'm too broke to pay for one of the shortcuts)--and even with that, there's no guarantee of success, that makes me want to click and drag my very not finished manuscript file over to the Recycle Bin, sparing the world my watered-down Jonathan Tropper-esque (with touches of Mike Gayle and Nick Hornby) male confessional. (not going to delete it...1. I keep drafts of everything, everything and 2. I literally have nothing else to occupy myself over the long haul).

I was going somewhere when I started this. Don't remember where. But it's been so long since I've posted anything beyond a picture or a link, I'm going to hit "Publish" anyway.

See? This is what happens when a perfectly rational mind is exposed to self-indulgent, self-important, non-self-aware, pretentious tripe!

Mothers, don't let your babies grow up to be indie artists.

w00t! Makin' money for me and mine now...

According to the Tax Foundation, yesterday was Tax Freedom Day for Idahoans. Which means that I've now made enough to pay my share of the local, state, national tax burden. A frightening thought indeed. But it could be worse, I could be writing this in August, I guess.

In honor of the day, here's a neat little post called, "What Won’t They Tax?." Doesn't make me feel much better about what taxes I'm forced to pay, probably won't make you feel better either, but it's good for a chuckle.

Thursday, April 19, 2007 Boogie Wonderland

Time for a new, and wanted to go for something a little different. So the Princess and I cooked up this new playlist today. Something to move your feet to (hopefully).

Yeah, yeah, yeah, there does seem to be a, shall we say, trend with most of the tracks coming from a certain chronological spot. You could take it as an indication of how long it's been since I've cut a rug. Or you could say I just like to kick it old skool. I'll let the reader decide which.

So, without further ado, as the Boyz in the Sink say:

Set your Phasers to Dance,
Beam us up, Captain Kirk

Fearless Prediction: AI Finals

Well, after justice (delayed) was seen on AI last night, and Lakisha survived being the first "what the--?" ejection, I've decided to go out on a limb and call it.

After Melinda is sent home from the Final 3, we're left with


This should get the comments section moving again :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Where's a Dick Francis protag when you need one?

This is just sick. Why would anyone think this was a good idea?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Personal Crisis

It's unthinkable. Would never have predicted it. The magic is gone. There's just no appeal. No passion. No desire. What had at times been an irresistible and overpowering attraction is nothing. It's been replaced with complete and utter indifference.

I'm not in the mood for coffee.

Haven't been for days. Sure, I'll drink some--little warm up on a cold drive (this is April, I shouldn't have to scrape my windows in the morning!). Ingest some caffeine to stave off withdrawal headaches. That sort of thing. But that's it.

Some of you may think I'm overreacting by calling this a crisis. I'm not. This is really a huge thing. No molehill here. I remember my first cup of coffee--I was 10, it was in a diner in a small town in the middle of Washington where my family stopped for breakfast on our way to B.C. (if it wasn't for my Grandpa chuckling and encouraging me, I don't the waitress or my parents would've let me have it)--and I don't remember much from that age. I wrote a love poem to coffee in my poetry writing course in college (often thought of taking it out and revising...didn't bare my soul enough the first time around). I've lived on up to 3 pots a day at points in my life. And now, this?

It's enough to drive a guy to therapy. Something's clearly wrong.

On another note, why didn't I think of this first?

New Pic

Well, certainly got some interesting feedback on my last profile picture. Ranging from "where's the Harley?" to "I've seen paintings of Chinese warlords that look less authentically Chinese warlordish than you do there," to "scary...frightening."

Now the first sounds like a good idea, the second was hilarious (but many agreed with it when I repeated it), and the last was disturbing. Am trying to get a less-scary photo of me--having a hard time with that. So in the meantime, got the new pic. Gotta be the furthest thing from scary possible....right?

Monday, April 09, 2007

More from the Budding Photographer

She got a few more good shots this weekend--most, sadly, were spoiled by lighting factors. Which isn't really something you can do a lot with on a camera phone. But had to share these two:

(really, I do have text posts in the works, just haven't found the time/energy to finish them)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Budding Photographer

The Princess has shown a real interest in photography lately, and is getting some decent shots, too. While she still has some room for improvement with my camera, she's getting quite proficient with my phone. She snapped this one last night, one of her best, IMHO.

Just have to teach her to that more attractive subjects make for better pictures.

Monday, April 02, 2007

So glad Stamps are Self-Adhesive now...

'cuz the thought of licking Yoda is just disturbing.


It's Opening Day. Which, really, really, really should be a National Holiday. No one works, banks closed, furniture stores closed and not allowed to have cheezy sales, schools closed (well, that's a good idea...period), networks required to show games all day, etc. Sadly, that's my little dreamworld.

But it is a Newton Holiday. We're celebrating big time today. Watching ESPN's Baseball Tonight and getting ready for Devil Rays @ Yankees here in a few minutes.