WASTING TIME (MINE & YOURS)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Uglyography in the air!

Sorry for the absence. December has been a strange month. I was sick and now I'm better. Other stuff happened, too.

Uglyography's performance at Fantasy records was a little shaky but rather a hit nonetheless! Things went well at the "dark carnival", all in all. The best part was that the local radio station 100.5 MaxFM was there doing promotions. One of the DJs, Alfredo Torres, was into Uglyography. Mr. Torres hosts a show on the station on Sunday evenings from 8 - 10 PM called Locals Lounge where he spins music by local bands and musicians. He talked to Matt about possibly being featured live on the show sometime in the near future. How wonderful!

At about 8:10 PM on Sunday, Uglyography made its radio debut with "Keychain & Beads"!

Hurray! It was great, it sounded terrific, and I'm so proud of Matt!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Requiem for a Pinup Queen


As many of you have already heard, the glorious Bettie Page left our world yesterday at the age of 85. She changed many lives, had a major influence on the fashion world (she's still the epitome of rockabilly style) and incited lust in men in the world over from the '50s through today. Her look and style has been imitated but never duplicated. She was beautiful, smart and sultry, but her great asset was her ability to project a sense of delight into every photograph. She also helped pioneer the mainstreaming of the bondage and dominatrix style. Look into any issue of the current fetish magazine "Bizarre" and you'll find some direct or indirect homage to Bettie and her style.

My friend at Punchbuggy Blues sent me the link to CNN's obituary. The obituary reads nicely enough, but the photo is distressing. The photo is of a cardboard cutout of actress Gretchen Mol as Bettie from the film The Notorious Bettie Page. It's a great flick, but Gretchen Mol is not Bettie Page. Shame on you, CNN! Bettie was one of the most photographed women in the world, gracing the covers of endless magazines including Playboy, of course. I find it hard to believe that a picture of Gretchen Mol is the best that they could do. I chose to post the image from Bettie's 1955 Playboy cover shoot since it's supercute plus is also appropriate for Christmas.

I am saddened by the world's loss of its greatest pinup, but it's no tragedy. Bettie lived a long life and a very eventful life. I've no doubt that she will be remembered and worshipped by vintage fashionistas and S & M aficionados for years to come. She'll forever have a special place in my heart and in my home (my pink bedroom room is practically a shrine to her).

Ciao, Bettie. Your sexy little light shines on.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Potty trained?

Okay. Tonight we have an A Capella singing group performing at my work. They are supposed to be funny. They have been sound checking for maybe 20 min and they have been singing the same lyric again and again. The line I've heard 150 times in the past 20 minutes is :

"Get party trained".

I'm guessing that the idea is that it's supposed to sound like "Get potty trained" and therefore is supposed to be funny. I have no idea. I'm losing my mind.

Friday, December 5, 2008

What the?

I don't know what this is. It's on FilmDrunk today. Most excellent.

Revision: This song is called "Shine On Me" by a hottie named Chris Dane Owens. He's obviously the greatest actor and singer ever of all time.

Uglyography reborn

My favorite band Uglyography has reinvented itself and is reborn tomorrow night at Goody's Pub in downtown Hampton. Uglyography is now a one-man band and a whole bunch of fun. Also appearing are The Kneeling Drunkards which should be one heck of a hootenanny, too!
If you're in the Hampton Roads area, be sure to visit Goody's Pub Saturday nite!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

memory lane

I love Christmastime. It's lovely. However, I often get overly sentimental at this time of year. Right now I'm pining for my beloved London. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that it has been a whole decade since I lived there. My memories are getting fuzzier, but occasionally I'll hear a song, see a movie or even just see a photograph and I'll collapse into tears. I wept like an idiot watching Bridget Jones' Diary last weekend. I miss the sights, sounds and smells. I miss the pound coins. I miss the tea. Yum yum tea. I miss the fresh bakery that sold the most heavenly bread. I miss the pubs (oh, you have no idea how much I miss the pubs, good grief). I miss the cool music. You could go anywhere and hear excellent bands coming from any random stereo or just playing the the shops. I miss the tube, I miss the shopping, I miss the incredible Indian cuisine, I miss it so much. I miss the BBC (BBC America just doesn't cut the mustard). I miss my awesome friends. I miss English Christmastime.
I feel like going home, taking a hot Radox bath, drinking some Earl Grey and listening to Belle & Sebastian's The Boy With the Arab Strap or PJ Harvey's exquisite Is This Desire? (still my favorite album by Harvey) or Placebo's Without You I'm Nothing. I gotta get a copy of the NME, dammit.
Okay, enough reminiscing.

Why do so many people think that flamenco dance is called "flamingo dance"? The group here tonight is Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana. The manager said that once they were playing a show and they were introduced as "Carlos Santana and The Flamingos".

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Scary business

I get e-mail updates from the lovely Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls. As some of you probably know, Amanda released solo record a couple of months ago called Who Killed Amanda Palmer? and its quite excellent. She's been releasing videos with startling regularity and the latest is for the song "Leeds United".
According to the e-mail that I received yesterday:

This video has a somewhat sordid backstory.

if you were at my london show, you already know this, because i mentioned it from the stagem but for the rest of you, hear ye.

the fine folks at roadrunner records wanted us to re-cut this video so that shots of my belly wouldn't be included. they basically told me that I looked too fat. i told them to fuck off.

the saga continues, but i'll fill you in later.

long live the belly.

love,

AFP

Roadrunner Records thinks Amanda is too fat. I watched the video, incredulous because I've seen Amanda in person and she could be described as petite, I thought.
If this girl is fat then I must look like Jabba the Hut and that's terrifying. But she's not fat, it's just the music industry being their usual c@cksuc#ery selves. I'm delight that Amanda told them to "f^c# off" cause if it had been me I would have edited the video and never left my house again.
I'd boycott Roadrunner but they have been good to the Dresden Dolls and they also have DragonForce on their roster.
But geez, what is this world coming to?

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Twilight review

If you haven't read the book Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, then don't bother with the movie. If you read the book and enjoyed it well enough, go check out the movie. It's either your thing or it isn't your thing.

I liked it better than I thought I would.

That's really about it.

Guy Maddin's Twilight of the Ice Nymphs is pretty cool, too. It is in no way related to the movie I saw today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No shame

Okay, it's true. I've preordered my movie ticket for Twilight. I have no shame, I know. The book was good, dangit. Cheesy, yes, but damn entertaining. Let's hope the movie offers the same. My expectations aren't so very high. Matt's really happy that I'm not dragging him with me cause he thinks the movie looks douchey, which it does, I admit.
Also, Sukiyaki Western Django is one of the coolest movies ever. Takashi Miike is such a freak, such a complete badass. I'll do a proper review soon, I think, though it will be hard to it into words.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Catching up on video


Despite my nutty schedule, I’ve been able to get in some quality movie watching. I’ve seen some great stuff, some crappy stuff and some unclassifiable stuff.

First up, The Beastmaster. So bad I fell asleep on purpose and then contemplated divorcing my husband who foisted this tripe on me.

Next night was Ladies & Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains. Excellent movie, top notch. Compared to The Beastmaster, it’s the greatest movie ever made. It’s not, but it felt like it that night. It’s got an almost prepubescent Diane Lane as a rebellious punk who inadvertently starts a music movement. Ray Winstone is so young that I completely did not recognize him at all. This cool movie also features members of the Sex Pistols, Laura Dern, Brent Spiner (Data from Star Trek) and Elizabeth Daily (Dottie from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure).

Saturday night was not so great. We ordered up the new Madonna movie, Filth and Wisdom, from the OnDemand network. Like Atlanta indicated, it was pretty much useless nonsense. Poor Eugene Hutz needs to stick to touring with Gogol Bordello. There’s not much use in playing yourself in a movie unless it’s a documentary (this is NOT). Hutz is reduced to silly dialogue in which he spouts endless Ukrainian folk sayings (“we have a saying in my country…”) that come off like goofy Dave Barryisms. The movie is about three roommates, two of whom use sex to make money. There’s a stripper who never even strips in the movie. Hutz is a joke as a male dominatrix who spanks guys and makes them lick his boots. Makes me long for Wristcutters: A Love Story in which actor Shea Whigham does Hutz better than Hutz does Hutz (does that make sense?). It’s comical, not sexy or even a tad bit threatening. There’s no filth to be found, and certainly no wisdom. There’s some good music thanks to Gogol Bordello, but really it’s a waste of 84 minutes. Still, it’s better than The Beastmaster.

Finally, after nearly 8 years of waiting, the Flaming Lips have released their cinematic opus, Christmas on Mars. After 8 years of waiting, it delivers pretty much just what you were expecting if you saw the original trailer released in 2003. The Lips created an interesting (albeit a bit pretentious, of course, and a tad too long) exercise in music and filmmaking. The movie is about a space station set up on Mars. All of the astronauts are starting to lose their minds due to isolation and a lack of oxygen. They see all sorts of crazy, sometimes upsetting hallucinations that often feature large vaginas. There’s a new baby on board and the baby is struggling to survive. Also, Wayne Coyne is an alien (in the movie and probably in reality, too). Coyne the green alien comes to bring peace and love and joy and oxygen to the deteriorating crew. It’s silly and fun and the music is delicious. It’s a bit overlong but it’s a must-see for any Lips fan.

I wrote a novel, sorry about the long post.

HAPPY BELATED TO EMILY! Much love to my wonderful dear friend!

Oh, and the new Ricky Gervais HBO comedy special made me laugh so hard I had tears rolling off my face. It was the funniest thing I’ve seen in ages. Reminded me of how funny Eddie Izzard once was.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy moment in my cruddy day


Wow, I've just been having a rough time at work lately. It's been show after show after show, 6 days, 7 days a week, 10 hr days, 12 hr days, etc etc etc. Personality clashes are ongoing while I try to remain positive and diplomatic. It's difficult when I've had a turdy stinky butt of a day and I have to be the one greeting the patrons with a smile as they arrive.

A nice gentleman arrived with his wife to pick up tickets. I gave him his tickets and he thanked me. Then he gave me a strange look. He stepped away and then once again approached the ticket window. He said the following magic works, "Has anyone ever told you that you look just like that girl on NCIS"? I knew which girl he meant.

Giddy me!

I replied, "yes, my husband says "That's YOU!" every time she's on the screen". Then man laughed and said, "well, she's a nice-looking lady". I thanked him, probably a bit too profusely, but I LOVE Abby.

I know it's a bit trite, but I love Abby and I adore Pauley Perrette. First of all, Pauley was in Almost Famous, the greatest movie ever made. Also, she's 39 years old and she looks about 25. I know makeup on tv is impressive, but that woman is lovely.
Seriously, I know I don't really resemble Abby other than the goth girl look, but it really made my day. ♥

Thursday, November 13, 2008

All work and no play

Wow, it's been nearly two weeks since I posted. I'm not slack, I'm just working...almost constantly. The theatre world runs in cycles, the busiest times are Oct & Nov, then Feb & March. I have little to post about work, it's been fine other than simply having to be physically present all the time.
This weekend was a massive disappointment. Matt and I preregistered at the Nekocon anime convention which takes place just around the corner from my home. Sadly, Matt was out of commission and I was having to work a great deal more than anticipated. I missed out on a lot of the fun stuff. Fingers crossed that next year may be better.
Fun anecdote regarding my brief visit to Nekocon:
I decided to wear my fun clothes and put on a new dress. It's tight and semi-short and it's made mostly of green and purple vinyl. It's a delightful dress, I figured it was perfect for a comic sort of look. I was walking around a cherubic young man asked me (rather flamboyantly) if he could take my picture. I said sure, but I let him know that I wasn't wearing a costume and wasn't really representing a character. He gasped and replied, "Oh my God! So that's just how you dress???!!!"
Yes. Even the anime geeks think I'm a weirdo. I think I may be reaching new lows. I don't care. I'm still gonna rock that dress.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I suck!


Though it's now technically Nov 1, I would still like to wish everyone a Happy Halloween! Let's celebrate all year long!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Right One for me


I want to see this right now. It's not fair that it's only playing in NY and LA. This movie looks amazing.

Monday, October 27, 2008

From whence it came


Hello friends!
I have an excellent memory when it comes to my media. I remember who gave me what or where I bought what and when. It's a bit uncanny, but I can remember all sorts of facts about my music and movies, particularly since I cherish them so.
When Matt was cleaning up the music room, he found a cd on the computer tower. It's a burned copy of a cd called "Songs for Kassar" by Pete List. It's apparently all music for and inspired by tribal fusion bellydance, so it's evidently mine. Perhaps. Still, I have no recollection of anyone giving this copy to me at any point in time. Nothing, I have nothing in my brain. I've never even heard of it, I had to google this to find out what it is. It sounds pretty cool, though, so I intend to keep it. Still, if you have any information about where this came from, please let me know. I apologize in advance if someone gave it to me and I forgot. Shame on me if that is the case.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy "special" birthday to me and happy real birthday to Atlanta!

Today is a beautiful, wonderful day. Love and gratitute to my beloved Matt, the person who has supported me the most each day. Much love and thanks to my family & friends who help me and love me and support me and have helped me to reach birthday #6.
He also bought me a whole case of Kidrobot Dunny 5s. Wwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeee! I have opened 8 of the 25 boxes and my wish came true! Today I opened up the Junko Mizuno Dunny that I coveted so! She's just as delightful as I imagined she would be, my little spaghetti head Dunny. ♥
Oh, what a glorious day it is!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Oh boy


Looks like I'm in trouble now. The new Scavengers Series 2 by Kathie Olivas is now available. They're so cute I could collapse. I'm naughty, I can't resist. I've ordered some from Panik's Toy Box.
Oh well, tomorrow is my special birthday!

Excitement

For the first time in a number of years, I am really excited about Halloween. I am excited because my husband and I are going out to play instead of handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. I hate giving out the candy, I want to be the one doing the trick-or-treating and scoring the sugary booty. I'm too decrepit to go trick-or-treating, but we aren't staying home so that's wonderful. I am ready with my vampire fangs, plus I think I'll make myself up like an alien for the War of the Worlds show at the theatre this week. I've also decided to really rock my full goth this week cause I rarely do that much these days.
Plus, tomorrow's my special birthday! Happy birthday to me and to the beautiful Atlanta!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Best news ever? Well, best news today

So I was just browsing Film Drunk for my daily dose of moronic film news, but they sure do have some really great stuff up today. Really great. Stuff about the new Underworld 3 movie, stuff about Gary Busey, stuff about a bizarre musical version of Cleopatra with my by Guided By Voices (yes, you read that right).

The best news, however, is that Crispin Glover is attached to the Tim Burton Alice In Wonderland project. How awesome is that you ask? One of the most awesome events in filmmaking history. Everything that Glover does is spectacular and amazing and better than anything any other actor does in any movie. Except for maybe Billy Drago. If we could get a Glover/Drago pairing, then I'm pretty sure that time will stop and the universe will begin to cave in on itself because the the awesomeness will upset the space time continuum.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ride that train

The Midnight Meat Train was so cool. I just thought it was great. Matt wasn't so deeply impressed. He thought it was "kinda cheesy". As an old Clive Barker fan, I enjoyed it thoroughly. From my impressions from the preview, it was exactly what I expected, plus a little bit more. If you have cable and have On Demand, hit up FearNet for free viewing. I just feel such relief at finally getting the chance to scratch that itch.

Had a lovely weekend of seeing friends and scrubbing floors (okay, that wasn't so lovely) and goofing off.

Another new obsession: HBO's True Blood. Okay, so it's been on for 7 episodes now and I'm finally getting around to raving. I'm in love with this ridiculous, inane and wildly entertaining show. It's cheesy and funny and extremely graphic (particularly with the sexy stuff) and I highly recommend it if you have HBO. I adore Anna Paquin and I love the character of Bill (delightfully, my husband bears a nice resemblance to Bill, yeah!). More on True Blood later. I need to post more about the show, I'm just so enamored with it. The opening credits are amazing, I get excited every time they start to roll.

I'm going to be a vampire for Halloween. I don't think I'm going to be a specific vampire. Just A Vampire. Generic, I know, but I have to work so I'm not putting much effort into this. How about you readers out there? What are you going to be for Halloween?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It was right here all along

Perhaps some of you remember the hissy I threw a few months ago when Lionsgate unceremoniously dumped the film The Midnight Meat Train into about 5 random theatres across the country and let it disappear. Ooh wee, I was peeved because Meat Train was one of the few films that I was really excited to see. On Saturday I watched Iron Man and, thanks to the actress Leslie Bibb, I remembered that I needed to google up the meat train to find out a DVD release date.
No need for DVD. The movie is available now, right this moment. It's not on DVD, but it's available via digital cable On Demand through a new channel called FearNet. And it's completely free. I'm hoping to watch it tonight.
In unrelated news, I tried on a skirt this morning that I hadn't worn in 2 or 3 years. It was almost too small when I got it. Now it's much too small. I have hips like a damn linebacker. Dammit. At least my fellow bellydancers love me anyway.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Au revoir

Okay, so it is widely known that I can't stand Gérard Depardieu. It was all those horrible films that my stupid high school French teacher made us watch, like Le Retour de Martin Guerre and Jean de Florette. Blech. Plus, let's not forget that atrocity that was Green Card. I hate Andie MacDowell, too.
Despite his genetic curse, Gérard had an awesome son, Guillame Depardieu. This guy was totally rad. He was surprisingly good-looking, too. I couldn't believe that he was sired by Gérard. He and his father didn't get along (surprise!) and he left home. He was poor and worked as prostitute. He was a badass and was put in jail for threatening a dude with a gun. He was fierce and unafraid to take risks for his art. He was in the movie Pola X, a film by Leos Carax that featured a score by Scott Walker, a story by Herman Melville, and Guillame going full-on with an lovely actress. The movie is so weird its in a class by itself and I've watched it over and over. Get the DVD and listen to Guillame's full-length commentary after you've watched it once, it's really bizarre and incredible. The guy was balls-out, both literally and figuratively.
We lost Guillame to pneumonia, of all things. Here's an obituary by The Guardian that pretty much sums it up. There aren't many French actors that I really dig, but he was one of the few.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Nothingness

So far this week is full of nothingness. I missed Nick Cave because I had to be here when the new guy started. I didn't have to train him, my boss just wanted me to be physically present. Yesterday turned out to be one one of the most boring days ever. I am truly peeved that I missed Nick Cave in order to simply sit and be bored senseless.
There is one seriously creepy dude wandering in the theatre lobby right now. Oh, he's leaving. He said he just left the VFW. I think he'd had a few. He gave a not-so-subtle glance down my blouse. Good riddance to him.
The book Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist is not really much like the film at all. I actually prefer the movie.
Time to eat lunch. Ta ta for now.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hits and misses


I hit the movies a couple of times this week. I missed Nick Cave.

I can't believe I missed Nick Cave, but it was a necessary evil. We have a new guy starting at work today and it was indicated that I must be here today. Of course, the day has arrived and the new guy is training but not with me so I'm twiddling my thumbs, blogging and being generally stagnant. I missed Nick Cave...for this? Being professional and mature and career-oriented can really blow sometimes.

I went to the movies twice in the past week. My dad and I bonded. We went to a movie together for the first time since I was in high school. He took me to see Appaloosa which was pretty good. Oddly, I'm a fan of a good Western, and this one was pretty good. Viggo Mortensen looks pretty delicious in a 'stache and goatee. Plus, it's been far too long since I've seen Jeremy Irons in anything and he was reliably excellent. Renee Zellweger kind of stunk, but otherwise it was a decent Western.

Choke was awesome. Absolutely excellent. I had seen the preview and was interested based on the weird plot (sex addict chokes in restaurants on purpose and preys on his rescuers to get money to pay for his mother's stay in a mental hospital/care facility). Plus, Sam Rockwell is the lead and I just adore him. The movie turned out to be everything that I had hoped for plus some. I haven't read Chuck Palahniuk's novel that the film is based upon, but the film is dark and funny and everything that the trailer promised and more. The music is great (Ben Kweller, Radiohead, etc.) and the supporting players are outstanding. Angelica Huston is the crazy mom, Kelly McDonald is the hot doctor taking care of the mom, and Brad William Henke as the best friend who happens to be a chronic masturbator. Choke doesn't stand much chance of being in theatres very long, so I strongly recommend seeing soon if you have the chance.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Super nerd alert!


So for all of you geeks like me, there's a new album out that I think you should be aware of. It's called Nightmare Revisited and it's a compilation of covers of the entire score to The Nightmare Before Christmas. That idea alone wouldn't sell me on the album. I love the film and the score (I used to know all the lyrics by heart) and don't find the need for a bunch of covers really. However, check out the track listing and tell me you're not curious.

1. Overture DeVotchKa
2. Opening Danny Elfman
3. This Is Halloween Marilyn Manson
4. Jack's Lament The All-American Rejects
5. Doctor Finkelstein/In the Forest Amiina
6. What's This? Flyleaf
7. Town Meeting Song The Polyphonic Spree
8. Jack and Sally Montage The Vitamin String Quartet
9. Jack's Obsession Sparklehorse
10. Kidnap the Sandy Claws Koßn
11. Making Christmas Rise Against
12. Nabbed Yoshida Brothers
13. Oogie Boogie's Song Rodrigo y Gabriela
14. Sally's Song Amy Lee
15. Christmas Eve Montage Rjd2
16. Poor Jack Plain White T's
17. To the Rescue Datarock
18. Finale/Reprise Shiny Toy Guns
19. Closing Danny Elfman
20. End Title The Album Leaf

Okay, it's my dream come true. Marilyn Manson and Sparklehorse (one of my all-time favorites ever) on the same record. I know there are a bunch of DeVotchKa fans who check this. I haven't listened to the record yet, but I have it in my dirty paws so I'll let you know...I just can't believe that this exists.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A little snag


The new Mercury Rev is available for all to purchase today. It's sweeping and gorgeous and lovely and wonderful.

My poor baby snaggletooth doggie is at the vet today. He has been limping since mid-day Sunday. I couldn't see anything wrong and close inspection didn't reveal anything. The doctor thinks its either a sprain or arthritis. He'll get pain meds and a nice bath. Poor love, he hates going to the vet and I hate having to leave him there. At least he gets to come home this afternoon.

I took this picture of my old man while we were waiting for the doctor to see us. Those teeth just kill me. He's such a sweet, cute old baby! (For those of you who may be curious, I have his teeth checked fairly regularly. He doesn't have too many left, he's always had bad teeth and the vet has been forced to pull a bunch of them over the years. The two you see in the photo have been drifting south for several years now. Yes, he eats hard food and he is in pretty great shape for an old man!)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Strange Attraction


All of us are lucky people today. Mercury Rev has released its new instrumental album Strange Attractor today. It's completely free to download, you simply must visit Mercury Rev's official site and sign up for the mailing list. They will send you a link so that you can access the download. The companion album Snowflake Midnight will be released on Yep Roc records tomorrow.

If you like scientifically-minded psychedelic rock freak-outs, then my goodness, this is for you! I'm listening right now and loving every second. Beware: Mercury Rev are the new-age cousins of the Flaming Lips and can come off as really, really hippified. As much as I love metal and punk, there's none to be found here. Mercury Rev is a band I adore because they are complete weirdos who make exactly the sort of music they want to make, always forge their own path and never conform to mainstream expectations. In that respect I suppose they are PUNK AS F#^K!
Also, if you missed the All Things Considered interview yesterday, then click here for info and streaming audio.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gotta get up on it

The new film Choke was released Friday and I'm desperate to see it. Sam Rockwell, yes thank you! I have had to work all weekend and haven't hit the theatre. I just found out that the movie didn't perform so well at the box office, it opened outside of the top 10. Yikes. Guess I had better hit the theatre one night this week cause I don't want to miss this one. It's moved up to the top of my list, right in front of Burn After Reading.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bugger it!

I was misinformed, I tell ya!

MISINFORMED!

The Mercury Rev interview will apparently air tomorrow, Sunday Sept 28th at 5:00 pm. Maybe it got bumped because of the debates and Paul Newman (R.I.P.). Still, I've been sitting here with my dumb crappy radio listening intently to good 'Mericans who were interviewed about the debates while they were shopping at Home Depot.

Tomorrow, All Things Considered, Mercury Rev. Fingers crossed.

Mercury Rev on "All Things Considered"

As my clever post title indicates, my musical heroes Mercury Rev will be featured on NPR's "All Things Considered" today, Saturday September 27th. Check your local stations for air time, though the program should be available for streaming online, too.

Local folks can hit up 89.5 WHRV at 5:00 pm for the radio broadcast. I brought my sad little old radio to work so that I can listen since the evil folks over at the city IT department make sure we can't access any streaming media from our city computers.

In delightfully related news, I received an e-mail notifying me that my copy of "Snowflake Midnight" has been shipped! On Tuesday each and every one of us will be able to download the companion album "Strange Attractors" absolutely free! It's a dream come true. I love you, Mercury Rev.

That bunny on the cover of "Snowflake Midnight" is the bunny I dreamt about a month or so ago. I dreamt that I accidentally hurt it, I think I stepped on it and opened up a gash on its chest. It was bleeding and was going to die. I was devastated. I set the rabbit on my chest so that the gash was against my skin. I petted the bunny and calmed it. We laid that way in bed for two weeks, and once the two weeks had past, the bunny was completely healed.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The coolest thing!

I am so excited! Do you recall my posts regarding Wristcutters: A Love Story and the beautiful, enchanting dog Foxie? Foxie is my favorite dog in a movie ever. I finally checked my e-mail and found that Foxie's owner found my blog and sent me a lovely comment. Thank you!

Best of all, Foxie has her own MySpace page! This is great, go visit and check out pictures of Foxie (even pictures of Tom Waits carrying her around). It appears that Foxie's owner is a beautiful model. The dog's full name is evidently Foxie Reynolds. Wish she could meet Whitey Thomas, they'd be great friends.

Foxie lives in Brooklyn. I'm so disappointed that I didn't get to see her on my visit there last weekend. :( Maybe next time.

I am definitely getting a Cockamo one day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Rose is a Rose


The first thing I did in New York was get a cab to Leah's place. The second thing was to hit Chelsea to find the Jonathan Levine Gallery. Contained within until Oct 4th is "Ambien Somnambulants", the new exhibition of recent work from Camille Rose Garcia, one of my favorite artists working today. And oh boy, was it glorious! Garcia's work in print is lovely, but in person its stunning. The details are incredible, touches of black glitter and slight texture only add to the surrealist dreamscapes she creates. I wish that I had about 17,000 extra dollars lying around so that I could have one of my very own to love every day. Instead I picked up a lovely free poster.

In my life I have been very deeply affected by art exhibits, but only rarely. My life changed on a day in November 1998 in London when I stumbled upon the Victoria and Albert's showing of Aubrey Beardsley's work. Now I have 3 tattoos by or inspired by Beardsley! Then my husband and I saw Yayoi Kusama's exhibit of Eternity/Modernity at the Kyoto Museum of Modern Art in January 2005 and it was truly breathtaking. Now I've seen Camille Rose Garcia, and I had some of the same stirrings of emotion and a similar jaw-dropping reaction. Garcia's fusion of the bizarre and disturbing with remarkably lush and beautiful imagery is a wondrous thing to behold. I could write about how her work is influenced by politics and modern society's slow, brutal destruction of our planet and how people medicate themselves to live in a sort of denial-infused fugue state. However, the reality is that I just really think the work is very pretty. Very pretty indeed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hola amigos!

I'm back from the insanity of New York City! It was wonderful and crazy and exhausting and a terrific experience.

In the past week, I've been to 1 David Byrne show, 2 Indigo bellydance shows, 2 Yard Dogs Road Shows, 3+ hrs of yoga classes and 4 hrs of dance workshops. I've walked about 150,000 miles. I've slept a total of 13 hrs (it feels that way). It was marvelous and I am just so happy to know that I'm not so old and decrepit that I am incapable of physical activity. I may be tired and sore but I'm not dead!

I have so much to write, but I can't cause I have to catch up on work. So I'll start with a couple of random details.

I had the best fried chicken I've ever tasted at a little Asian fusion restaurant in SoHo. It had a ginger mayo sauce and it was light and crispy and delicious and I wish I knew the name of that ding dang restaurant.

Leah is delightful and she's an excellent yoga instructor. I took two classes with her and they were amazing. One girl who took the class is a big yoga fanatic from San Fransisco who was visiting with a friend. I heard her exclaim as she exited with her friend "Dude! That was so f^c#ing awesome!" And it was really f'ing awesome. Plus, Leah's new man is super nice. I dig him.

The Birchmere in Alexandria is weird. You eat there and watch the show from a weird angle. Most seats are perpendicular to the stage so you have to twist around and it's uncomfortable.

The Yard Dogs Road Show is an extraordinary experience. They tour as a band but each member has some interesting talents. The most amazing was Tobias the Mystic Man, who performed a feat so incredible that I am still reeling from amazement.

I got to go to kidrobot store which was everything I had hoped it would be. I spent way too much money on little plastic toys. The Anna Sui store is still my favorite shop in the whole wide world and I would live there if I could. Seriously, I would move there. I have decorated my second bedroom to resemble that shop and it makes me so happy. It's glorious and I am so happy that I got to go back there and get treasures.

I also happened upon Earwax records in Brooklyn. I think I've ended up there each and every time I've been to New York. Every time I find something cool and unexpected, like the amazing new album by the Tindersticks that I'm listening to as I type this.

The Spieglworld Spiegeltent is truly an wondrous place.

The Indigo bellydancers are my heroes, particularly the beautiful Mardi Love who I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with on Sunday.

Best of all, I am so happy to be home to my dog and kitties and husband.
More soon on the Yard Dogs Road Show and more!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Check this

I was just reviewing items acceptable for carry on luggage for flights. Did you know that you CAN INDEED check the following items:
meat cleavers, cattle prods, starter pistols, spear guns, ice picks, swords & sabers

They can't be carried onto the plane, but you can check your cattle prod so that it will be waiting for you in your destination city!

Good to know.

David Byrne was excellent. More on that later, but must pack for my journey.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another new obsession

I just watched the pilot episode (titled "Pie-lette") of the television show "Pushing Daisies" at it was marvelous. It's just about the cutest thing ever. I'm in love (again, yes, I know, I'm in love every week with something random and new). I can't wait to watch more! However, I'm exhausted and it's night-night time now.

I love Pushing Daisies. I love it so much!

Here he comes


Here comes Speed Racer!

The Wachowski Brothers' box office disappointment, Speed Racer, is available today on DVD & Blu-Ray. I think I need this one on Blu-Ray! If you are okay with a non-existent plot, then I highly recommend this candy-colored cartoon dream. It requires no brain activity on the viewer's part and it's lovely to look at. It's like entering a very pretty colorful world for two hours. I recommend having a very sweet, sugary snack to munch on while viewing to complete your Speed Racer experience. Warning: this film could induce a diabetic coma from visual overstimulation!

More Cure stuff is out today. It was raining outside but it has stopped for now. I can't tell if my boss is in a good mood or a bad mood (I get the feeling that the slightest bit of bad news could put him over the edge and into a foul mood).

Monday, September 15, 2008

Three random tidbits

This weekend, the following occurred:

1. My boss made me do a 300-piece mailing on Saturday morning and it made for a horrible workday. Saturday workdays almost always stink, so I shouldn't have been surprised.

2. Watched Underworld and Underworld: Evolution back-to-back Saturday night. Lovely mindless entertainment.

3. Went into a store yesterday and because I heard The Cure coming from inside. Walked away $50 lighter and with a slightly larger wardrobe, which I didn't need at all. Then I proceeded to go buy all the new Cure singles that I had sort of forgotten about. The Cure is back to sounding pretty good again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I *heart* NYC


Thanks to Benders Books & Comics (!!!), I received a pass for two to a sneak preview of the new film Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist this past Tuesday. I'm not sure why, but I was all of a sudden very excited to see the movie. I decided that Matt and I had to attend the sneak preview cause there was no way that I could possibly wait until the release date of Oct 3rd to see it.

The movie started off rather bland and the characters were a bit grating. About 15 minutes into the movie, things get rolling and I started to fall in love a little. The premise of the film is a bit contrived and predictable. Nick's shallow, superficial girlfriend has just broken up with him and he's reeling and licking his wounds by making sentimental mix CDs for her. He and his bandmates hit the town looking for a secret gig by their favorite band, Where's Fluffy?. Meanwhile, Norah and her inebriated best friend are also hitting the town searching for Fluffy. Paths cross, hearts flutter. The drunken best friend goes missing so Nick, Norah and the Nick's gay bandmates hit the streets of New York to find her (and Fluffy) while trying to dodge sketchy ex-boyfriends & ex-girlfriends. The shots of New York City are so lush that it made even more excited (if that's even possible!) for my trip next week.

Filled with some great music (Richard Hawley, no less!) and some rather cool cameos (indie band Bishop Allen shows up, as does cult folk hero Devendra Banhart), Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is hokey yet somehow believable and sweet. Nick is played by Michael Cera of Juno and Superbad fame. He plays THE EXACT SAME GUY as he played in those other movies, which is just fine by me. He's got that character nailed, so he might as well milk it while he can. Kat Dennings (Catherine Keener's daughter in The 40 Year Old Virgin) is lovely as Norah. Though corny and a little formulaic, this is a great date movie and a more intelligent alternative to so many romantic comedies, especially one targeted towards a young audience. The gay characters are treated respectfully and casually, without any "messages" or stigma attached to them. Best of all, teenage drinking is not glamorized in any way and the straight-edge kids are our heroes. For half a second, I actually felt a little bit cool.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Get yer ya yas

My husband got lots of ya yas last night. NO! Not that kind of ya ya, you perverts. He bought a real deal Ms. Pac-Man arcade game cocktail table, the kind you see occasionally in restaurants. He's so excited, he says he's fulfilled a childhood dream. I'm glad he fulfilled his dream. Now I can go to New York and fulfill my dream of spending silly money on stupid junk I don't need in the most reckless manner possible.

For good times, go visit the Film Drunk website. The elitist movie snobs over there make me laugh so hard I cry at least once a week. It's my favorite work time waster other than posting to this blog.

Lastly, ToggleSwitch sent me a link today. This is an article about one of my favorite bands, Mercury Rev, and their quest for music via science. Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/65xlgh . They're so wonderful and close to my heart. They're also perhaps the best live band I've seen. I need to post a list of my top 5 favorite live shows ever, though now that I'm getting old all the specific dates have long since left my addled brain. Mercury Rev definitely makes the top 5. Reminder, new album on the 30th!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Random stuff from the weekend

Tropical storm Hanna showed up and they cancelled crappy Bay Days. Yay! Suck it, Hornsby!

It rained a little but we never lost power. An extremely large tree branch snapped and miraculously fell right in between our hedges and our house. Six inches in either direction and we might have had a crisis.

Matt and I got to snuggle up and watch tons of movies. Dark City on Blu-Ray was pretty luscious. Tropic Thunder at the theatre was pretty hilarious. Eagle vs. Shark has Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords. It was sort of New Zealand's answer to Napoleon Dynamite and it was much better than I expected. I want to get a copy of Penelope and now also one of Eagle vs. Shark.

I learned how to play Yahtzee and I walloped poor Matt again and again.

Finally, I watched the new Criterion edition of Night on Earth that I got for my birthday. It was Matt's first time seeing it and he loved it. I adored it, I always will love it. That film started my love affair with independent cinema. My grandmother took me to the Kimball Theatre in Williamsburg to see it in early 1992 when I had just turned 14. I wanted to see it because I read that Winona Ryder was in it (remember back in 1992 when Winona Ryder was still the coolest girl on the planet?). I got a lot more than I bargained for, of course. The film was amazing, plus I heard the voice of Tom Waits for the first time and I was hooked. My grandmother bought me the soundtrack on cassette not longer after and it's still one of my most beloved treasures. Now here we are, 16 years later and Night on Earth is still just as wonderful and funny and heartbreaking as it was when it was first released.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Nothing

I just ate a nothing sandwich. That's two pieces of plain white bread held together with nothing in between. It was pretty good.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I want this

It's Junko Mizuno's creation for KidRobot's new Dunny5 series. Yum yum! It's rare so I'll probably have to hit up ebay. Still, wish me luck cause it might be in one of the blind boxes I just ordered! Oh, it's so cute I can't stand it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Always...

Always expect and prepare for the worst and therefore you will never be disappointed. This is my life philosophy and it has rarely let me down. Today tickets for all single events for our upcoming season went on sale. I prepared for a ticket sales nightmare. Instead, things were busy but manageable and everything has gone very smoothly. I am so relieved, especially after this past weekend's magic show hell. I know that there must be a special place in hell for me, and it probably concerns me working endless "family fun" shows for all eternity.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Magneta Lane 'Broken Plates'

Oh, look! They're cute and they have a cute video.

I'm so in love

It's been a long time since I fell completely in love with a song. This is my new obsession and I can't stop playing it over and over while bouncing around my room.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I hate my job

Yesterday, I liked my job. Yesterday, I liked my job quite a bit. Everything was nice and quiet. Today I hate my job. A lot. We have a magic show tonight, tomorrow and Sunday afternoon. It's going to be loud and obnoxious and lame and there are three of them. One is irritating, two is frustrating, three just sucks nuts hard. Oh! And let's not forget that it's long! Yep, two hours plus intermission of pure, unadulterated, mid-80's inspired magic!
Yes, they actually perform a trick while prancing around onstage to the theme from The Lost Boys.
Rad? Nay, I say, nay.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Handi Man

Remember HandiMan from "In Living Color"? That show was excellent.

Last night I watched a film called a Quid Pro Quo. It was about a paraplegic radio journalist who discovers this group of able-bodied people who desire to have limbs amputated or who desire to become paralyzed. It was a strange little movie, but I rather liked it. It was interesting and different, plus it had the perfect running time of 82 minutes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ultra Awesomeness

The kings of radness and supercool badassity, Dragonforce, have a new album out today. It's called Ultra Beatdown. It promises to be the ultimate in awesome speed power metal.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Decrepit

I am so old and decrepit.
Moria Chappell kicked my booty. She kicked a lot of booties this weekend. Her workshop was ridiculously tough and challenging. Still, despite my sore muscles and aching bones, I am indeed better off for it as I had predicted.

Moria (pictured above) is not only preternaturally gorgeous and talented, she's also has an incredibly pleasant, sweet disposition. We chatted and joked about our similar names, we talked about traveling the world and whatnot. She takes her profession very seriously and it shows in her flawless appearance and spectacular performance. Anyway, enough adjectives. She danced to Tom Waits at the recital and now she's my new best friend.

When I went to talk to her about Tom Waits, I found that she's new to his music. As a matter of fact, it was the crazy veil dancer Petite Jamilla that I worked with in D.C. who introduced Moria to the music of Tom Waits! Evidently there's more to Miss Jamilla than meets the eye. Anyway, it was fun being about to school Moria a bit after she spent all day schoolin' me.

The recital was nuts. I can't even begin to post about it for fear that someone might come across some unflattering stuff. My piece went fine, it was as smooth as could be expected from amateurs. I wasn't remotely nervous and I'm just a bit relieved that it's over. There were some great dancers, then there were some not-so great dancers. There were some young, pretty dancers, but there were a great many older dancers, too. Older and more experienced does not exactly equal better. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't. I can say with confidence that Saturday's recital was one of the most bizarre things I've witnessed in my lifetime. I can't wait to do it again!

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'll need a stage name


My name has been purloined by the Bellydance Superstar, Moria Chappell. I suppose I'll have to make something up when and if the time arises that I need one. We pronounce our names in the same manner, and I just can't compete with this woman who is as big around as my pinky finger and can pull her foot behind her ear (yes, that's her in the photo above, it certainly isn't me).

Tomorrow, Maria and Moria will meet face to face in an unforgettable square-off in which only the most cunning woman will survive.

No, not really, but we will indeed meet tomorrow. She's giving an intense workshop tomorrow and Sunday at the studio where I study. I'm very anxious because Moria is an incredible dancer, she is extremely athletic and technically accomplished. Her "tribal boot camp" workshop will no doubt help me a great deal on my journey to becoming a not-quite-so-pathetically-inept belly dancer.

Following the intense five hour workshop tomorrow, it's off to the summer hafla (that's bellydance for "recital"). It's my first recital! It's the first time I've danced onstage since I was a tot in ballet classes. It should be fun, our dance is very cool and our costumes are sickeningly cute. My instructor, Dana Beaufait, is an excellent and creative tribal dancer. She's choreographed a great little number for us, plus she designed the cute costumes. She's got a DVD available, Voi, based on her interpretation of fire spinning using veils rather than fire. She's a great pleasure to study with.

I have a feeling that I'll be exhausted and barely able to function following this brutal weekend, but hopefully I'll be better off for it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Shallow

I know that it's stupid and shallow to get excited about makeup, but I do and I am. MAC is my favorite cosmetic brand and they have released their new fall collection, Cult of Cherry. Earlier this year they had a collection inspired and designed by the fantastic French graffiti artist Fafi which was divine. This collection is not quite as exciting, but it's lush and lovely nonetheless. This collection is mainly deep rusts, rich plums and dark chocolates, it just makes my mouth water.
Yes, I realize that it's a ridiculous waste of money cause I have makeup, and I realize that I should be more concerned about world politics, human rights issues, global warming, etc. than the new fall colors. I am astute enough to understand my flaws, and I am indeed a deeply flawed human being. Yet I cannot help myself, I feel so giddy! I am a mildly apologetic consumer. Only mildly, though. If I were that ashamed, I wouldn't be blogging about this.

Don't worry, Matt, I didn't spend too much money...tempting as it may be...


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Another day on the job

Today is Day #13 of work. It's the final day and I'm down to my final 3.5 hrs. It's been a very, very long 13 days.

Yesterday my boss and I laughed for at least 5 minutes straight because he used the word "smegma" in a sentence. I don't think I had heard that word in years. He was ordering his nasty lunch (liver and onions, seriously) from the local slop house. I made a comment about how his lunch looks and probably tastes like poopie. Then, referring to my Lean Cuisine pizza, he said "Well, you're eating smegma on styrofoam". We proceeded to laugh until we cried. Then several of us launched into a debate about our interpretations of the word and its meaning.

Now he won't stop saying the word "smegma".

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Maybe he'll get a new meat body

http://www.slate.com/id/2197279/

I love, love, reading about Scientology. It's balls-out fun.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Love is a many splendored thing


Exciting events on the horizon!

Right after the Yard Dogs show in Alexandria, I get to come back home and hop on a plane to NYC! Then it's time for yoga and playing with Leah. Next up it's workshops with most revered tribal fusion dancers Rachel Brice and Mardi Love. This will be an extraordinary opportunity. Then...more Yard Dogs! I'm taking Leah to the Speigeltent for an evening of bellydance and circus sideshow delights!

I can't believe that I get to do this. I'm in utter disbelief. I get to hang with beautiful Leah, see the Yard Dogs (again), and train with two of the best tribal dancers in the world. Holy crumbs. Plus, I think I need to visit the Anna Sui flagship store again for inspiration.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Blessed


What a day, what a week, what a life!

Things are marvelous. I have a whole bunch of cool stuff coming up on the horizon that I will post about very soon. In the meantime...

The picture above is my hand. Those beads are Tibetan mala prayer beads. They were blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

No kidding!

These beads were a gift from the Drepung Loseling monks and Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi who is a former monk and friend to His Holiness. The American Theatre staff was blessed with gifts just before the monks left after their visit this week. I feel so happy and honored and full of love and bliss.

In other news, I got to see Hellboy II: The Golden Army which was entertaining. It was perhaps not the work of art that Pan's Labyrinth was, but it was delightful nonetheless. The film is worth the price of admission just for Red & Abe Sapien's excellent rendition of "Can't Smile Without You".
Best of all, Leah's in town! Hurray! Life is good.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

May the (Dragon)Force be with you


This past weekend was a smorgasbord of metal music awesomeness.

Friday my friend Sam obliged me and went with me to the Mayhem Festival in Virginia Beach. We made it in time to avoid a lot of junk and catch the good bands (and no, I don't mean Slipknot). We caught the last song from Walls of Jericho (cool gal lead singer) and some rather bland but okay Christian metal (UnderOath) and some typical tripe (Machine Head, Suicide Silence). We caught the entirety of Mastodon. They were good, I want to get their albums. The cruddy sound of the outdoor amphitheatre does justice to no band, unfortunately. Mastodon is a tight band, but I think they need a different venue to be fully appreciated. Their set backdrop and album artwork is super killer, by the way.

And then the men we came for ...


Oh, I love DragonForce so very, very much. I think they might very well be the raddest, most awesome band that's ever been. Okay, maybe Led Zeppelin, but DragonForce is darn close.

Not familiar with the force that is Dragon? Shame on you. Briefly, DragonForce sounds like 80's power metal (i.e. Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger", Scorpion's "Rock You Like a Hurricane") except sped up to 180rpm. It's insane. Their dueling guitarists, Sam Totman and Herman Li, are virtuoso guitarists of the highest caliber. They are most impressive, more so than I can describe. All of the group members are extremely talented. Best of all, they have a keytar! Sadly, the set was only 40 minutes long, but it was the most high-energy 40 minutes I could have asked for. They bounced around, goofed off, joked and acted silly while assuming rock god poses and playing at lightning speed. They even had a fan below the center stage platform so that their long metal god hair could blow back while they posed. It was the most fun I've ever witnessed a band having while playing, and it was contagious.

So Sam and I left the amphitheatre on our DragonForce high and escaped the tortures of Disturbed and Slipknot. Hurray!

Now I'm even more excited for my next Mayhem Fest in Washington, D.C. on August 17th! I can't get enough DragonForce!

Then Saturday arrived and we visited Virginia Beach for some more heavy metal. Matt's cousin's stepson (did you follow that?) has a band called Beneath the Surface. We listened to their MySpace music and were so impressed that we decided to go support them. Turns out it was their very first live show! It was at a craphole called Steppin' Out and there were numerous metal, punk and emo bands playing this all day show. We made it in time to catch the end of one crummy band and catch all of Beneath the Surface. For a first performance, it was really impressive. The band's got a lot of talent. They are all very young (one guitarist looks about 12 years old but plays better than any local artist I've seen in a long time). I was told that they all have drivers licenses. Remarkably, these guys show a lot of potential despite their inexperience and the cruddy sound at Steppin' Out. They're Richmond, VA boys and they're planning some shows around there, so be on the lookout if you like some screamin' math metal.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thanks Jimmy


My brother-in-law sent this. These are indeed pictures of a snake eating a frog. It was taken right outside his home in the woods of Roanoke. His wife Kellie told me about this incident, so I'm delighted to finally see the picture.
Utterly insane.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Donkey fruit


My friend fussed at me for being so slack and not posting. I have LOTS to post about my metal music mayhem weekend, but no time to write properly. It's busy at the theatre prepping for The Mystical Arts of Tibet right now. This is a crazy week that I greatly anticipate yet deeply dread each year.

I'll get to work writing about last weekend. In the meantime, enjoy the photo above. It's a fruit carving that my husband's uncle made. His uncle, Tom Rhodes, is an accomplished carver. He's published a book on carving golf balls called Golf Ball Carving Unlimited. He has a piece of property that's sort of a local park area and he's carved these interesting faces into the trees. Parents take their kids to the area and walk through what the locals call "The Enchanted Forest". He's got crazy skills and has been featured in a number of carving magazines. For our small family reunion last month, Tom made this fruit sculpture inspired by the donkey from Shrek. Somebody stuck a knife in it's head and I had to snap a picture.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back in the saddle

I've been sick as a dog (whatever that means, but my dog is currently not feeling well, so I guess the phrase applies) and have been M.I.A. at work and on blog for almost a week now. I'm back to feeling close to normal again, thank goodness. So long, stomach virus!

So Lionsgate distribution can go f^c# themselves because they're dumping Midnight Meat Train into 100 theatres nationwide and the closest theatre is some craphole in Lynchburg. I'm furious, and so are numerous horror freaks who are busily bitching away on imdb. I'm right there with them, I don't understand how Lionsgate could really lose by opening a film like this one wide. I'm so angry, and I'm not driving to Lynchburg.

As some of my fellow bloggers have already announced, David Byrne will be visiting Newport News! He's hitting the Ferguson Center on September 18th. If you're in the area, be sure to go cause Byrne puts on a great show. I caught him in D.C. on his "Look Into The Eyeball" tour and it was excellent. Tickets for the show at the Ferguson Center go on sale Aug 4. John Tesh is also visiting the Ferguson Center, but I would recommend drinking the special Jonestown Kool-Aid before even considering that concert.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

No fair


I'm so peeved. Really, really peeved.

Why in frickin' frack do crapfests like Strange Wilderness (an impressive 00% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) , The Love Guru, Zohan, etc, open in wide release and play on thousands of screens while deserving films flounder in obscurity?

Yes, it's an age-old question for film buffs like myself, but I'm really getting irritated. The movie I have been most excited about this year (nope, sorry, it's actually not The Dark Knight) is Ryuhei Kitamura's adaptation of Clive Barker's Midnight Meat Train. I saw the preview at a theatre in January. I got excited in January, despite the fact that the release date wasn't until May. Then some kind of bull went down at Lionsgate and they have now pushed the release date back to August 1st. Rumour is that the film will only show on about 100 screens and will be released on DVD shortly thereafter.

Now, I understand why films like The Mongol and The Fall aren't given a wide release. However, a film like Midnight Meat Train as well most horror movies have a modest budget and are able to recoup expenses and make some money at theatres without having to reap blockbuster profits. Gore hounds like myself are eager to plunk down $$$ for our blood fix. This one is a puzzler. The preview makes the film look slick and moody and creepy, it doesn't bear the appearance of direct-to-video junk. Early reviews have been positive. Barker fans are chomping at the bit and writing letters to Lionsgate pleading for a wider release. Ryuhei Kitamura's reputation has always been good and his films have a following well outside of his native Japan. I'm so baffled!

Plus, Midnight Meat Train may very well be my favorite movie title of all time. So let's all cross our fingers...August 1st...please...

New look


First and foremost, Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!

Too bad I'm stuck at work today. It's very slow and boring, so I decided to revamp my blog for a little bit. I'm stuck in an Art Nouveau state of mind lately, so I'll steal from my great love Aubrey Beardsley and dedicate this to him, long dead and not forgotten.

Someday I'll do some nice Photoshopping and really spiff up this cruddy blog. Until then, I'll stick with this for a little bit.

This week has been very crazy. Must be the moon. I hacked off all of my hair, finally going for that Speed Racer Trixie 'do that I'd been considering. I'm very pleased with the results, it's rather Louise Brooks. I'm sending prayers to my mom and dad who are struggling with some intense family drama again. My heart goes out to them. My surrealism class is over and I'm once again free to watch whichever movies I choose! Hurrah! Hellboy 2, here I come!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Totally awesome


Yesterday while I was eating lunch, I missed a ticket order phone call. When I miss the phone, the call rings through to the voice mail system and customers are encouraged to leave their name and number so that I can call them back to get their order. A man left his name and phone number, so I called. He answered the phone with the following greeting:

"Hello! Totally awesome super sweet stuff!"

I was a bit taken aback, but I continued with business and got his order. Before he got off the phone, I asked him if indeed his business is called "Totally Awesome Super Sweet Stuff" or if that's just the way he likes to answer the phone. I'm delighted to report that it's the former and they specialize in novelty items, particularly rubber duckies! Visit the website at http://www.tasss.com/! Their top seller appears to be a Jesus action figure.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Weirdness


I got my husband two tickets to see Weird Al Yankovic in Richmond last Tuesday. I'm not really a huge fan but I've always enjoyed his spoofs. Matt was so excited and we kept hearing about what a great show Weird Al delivers. I'm delighted to report that there were no disappointments last Tuesday.

The event was at The National, a renovated old theatre that recently opened in its new incarnation as a rock venue. It has the same owners as The NorVa in Norfolk, a venue I frequent pretty often that boasts really nice acoustics. The National may not have the exemplary acoustics, but the facade inside around the stage is gorgeous, boasting carved Greek-inspired detailing. It's also easily accessible off of the interstate.

Weird Al looks bizarre. I think he's had a lot of "work" done. He looks very different that he did twenty years ago, but I don't think it's just a product of age. His nose is very slender and the area around his eyes has a strange look. It was distracting to me at first, but I got used to it after a few songs.

It was a "greatest hits" show, and Weird pulled out all the stops. It was a multimedia event with a ton of video interludes featuring skits and clips from tv shows. There were costume changes for almost every song. He ran the gamut from "Eat It" to "Amish Paradise" to his latest hit, "White & Nerdy". He even played "The Saga Continues", his ode to Star Wars by way of Don McLean's "American Pie" backed by a group of dancing storm troopers. I suppose it was all one could hope for in a Weird Al performance.

The audience was populated with nerds. Nerd families, nerd children, nerd rockers, nerd oldies, nerds like Matt and nerds like myself. It was nice not to be in a sea of hipsters like at the Rilo Kiley show where I saw people wearing those damned skinny jeans than I saw in freakin' Brooklyn, NY. There were no pretensions at the Weird Al show, just good spirits and good humor.

Despite the years and all the changes in pop culture and the media, Weird Al has really kept on top of the game.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New obsession


My new obsession is the show Carnivale. I'm a few years behind on this one, but I'm happy I finally discovered it. It's consuming my whole life, and happily so!

Also, tonight is the Weird Al show in Richmond. Happy early birthday to Matt!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Art


This is my art. It's been slow today at work. At lunch I had a cup of rice pudding and it tasted nasty. After playing with it for a while, I made art with it outside. I think I'll start a revolution of pudding art.
Cleaning it up wasn't as much fun as making the art.

The Surreal Life


This class is consuming my life. All I do is watch movies, but now it's all very specific to a very different subgenre. My brain is melting, my brain is melting!

Tonight is class #2 out of 4, so I'm halfway there. I still have a long way to go. I'm mapping out my last two classes. The film that I keep coming back to over and over again is Terry Gilliam's Tideland. I know my friends at Punchbuggy Blues and ekroblog had quite the experience getting to see a screening of Tideland with Gilliam present (you lucky #!$^$#*&$!!!!!, I'm so jealous!). Critical reactions to Tideland were mixed, to say the very least. It seems that reviews were either glowing or completely damning. Visit Rotten Tomatoes where it received a 28% rating and reviews that range from "horrendous and terrible" to "I hated this film" to "drearily awful".

I loved it. Loved it.

Now, upon first viewing I was left scratching my head and wondering if I even liked it at all. Now over a year later and after watching it a second time, I love it. It's the kind of film that could be looked kindly upon as a cult classic in a decade or so, but it's never going to be widely loved. It's rated R for "bizarre and disturbing content, including drug use, sexuality, and gruesome situations - all involving a child, and for some language." There's also all kinds of weirdness involving taxidermy and a mentally challenged man in an old scuba diving uniform. It's brilliant. The plot goes something like this:
Jeliza-Rose is about 10 years old and her parents are junkies. When mom O.D.'s in bed, she and dad flee to his childhood home on the prairie. Dad promptly O.D.'s in a chair. Jeliza-Rose is left to her own devices in a dilapidated house with no one but her Barbie doll heads to talk to. Then she meets her neighbors, Dell and Dickens. Dell wears all black, has one good eye and excels at the art of taxidermy. Dell's brother Dickens is mentally challenged and he and Jeliza-Rose become fast friends.

It's a deeply strange and unsettling film. It's challenging and funny and unique, and it's one of Gilliam's finest films. After my friend had told me about the film screening, I immediately ordered the novel by Mitch Cullen. After having read the book prior to seeing Gilliam's version, I didn't find the film too shocking or insane. In fact, it's a rather faithful and loving adaptation that actually tones down some of the more sexual aspects of the novel.

I'm really anxious to see the film again. It's stuck in my head and burned into my skull. Perhaps I love movies that generate such strong and powerful reactions. However, if you rent the DVD then skip Gilliam's introduction, it's really douchey. Oh, and if you are delicate in constitution and don't like seeing children in uncomfortable situations or have a weak stomach, then Tideland isn't for you. Heeeheheeeee!

Monday, June 30, 2008

My Blu Heaven

My nutty husband is so crazy and great. He brought home a Blu Ray-player. It's one of those PlayStation 3 contraptions that I know so little about. I'm not much of a gamer. My husband's not much of a gamer either but he wanted a Blu-Ray. After much research and a couple of store returns, he's settled on PlayStation 3.

In order to not upset the wife (I wouldn't have been upset, but nevertheless...) he brought home some Blu-Ray movies that I requested. I decided that I would only select visually lush films that I don't already own on DVD. He brought home the following Blu-Ray movies for our viewing pleasure:

Run Lola Run: We haven't watched but a few minutes. We used it for testing purposes and the menu sure looks nice. The main thing I noticed was how crisp the subtitles appear, so that's nice.

The Fifth Element: Hell yeah, Gary Oldman in high-definition. Yes. Jean-Paul Gaultier in high def, too. It's a crazy cute movie, and it sure does look super pretty on this Blu-Ray thingamajig.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen: Matt had never even heard of this movie. Strangely enough, thanks to its 20th anniversary, it's the only Terry Gilliam movie that is currently available on Blu-Ray. I hadn't seen this film in years and years, and I had previously only seen it on tv broadcast and once on VHS. Watching this glorious movie on Blu-Ray was like seeing an entirely different movie altogether. It was simply stunning, absolutely gorgeous. I love this movie now more than ever thanks to my new beloved Blu-Ray toy.

The Host: Okay, okay. I already have this on DVD but my copy is a shiesty Region 3 Hong Kong version and the subtitles are crummy as hell. I need the monster rampaging in high definition. I haven't watched it yet, but my hopes are high.

So I'm pretty excited about Blu-Ray now. I didn't really care much before, but the movies look all fancy and pretty and shiny. This is not useful or practical for most movies, but it does seem to enhance the quality of the picture somewhat, especially on films that utilize digital effects. I have no plans to purchase a whole bunch of Blu-Ray films, but I'm open if anyone has any recommendations or suggestions. The Kill Bill movies come out on Blu-Ray in September and I think I'll have to get those (even though I have the DVDs). I'm also considering Bram Stoker's Dracula which is completely nuts cause I already have a VHS and two DVD editions. Perhaps I need one more copy...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Surreal Life


My class begins tonight. I think I'm sort of prepared. Sort of. I always end up winging it most of the time with some cheat sheets.

The class is "A Brief History of Surrealism in Film". Tonight I'll be featuring stuff from the '20s and '30s so it's a piece of cake this evening. Those films were so lovely cause they run an hour at the longest and 2 minutes at the shortest. Hell yeah, 2 minute movie!

Come if you are bored or if you take great pleasure in antagonizing me, cause it's pretty easy to do so in this environment. The cost is $30 and you get four classes (1.5 hrs each) of pure, unadulterated cinematic joy. And no, your $30 doesn't go to me, I barely get paid for this. I do it because I'm a huge nerd and I also have a masochistic streak, obviously.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Shaken baby

(Zoe Jakes, one of my extraordinary instructors, pictured above)

Wow, what a weekend!

The Bellydance Superstars Raqs America event in D.C. was quite an experience, especially for an out-of-shape novice like myself. I'm still exhausted, but I'm starting to feel like a human again.

I'll begin with Thursday night's Gogol Bordello show at Toad's Place in Richmond. Isobel was correct, it was an amazing live experience! We scored some excellent spots atop some risers so I had a great view and could dance a bit without having to deal with the crowd below. The crowd was nuts, I saw this girl after she got clocked hard in the face and she was wrecked. I was ridiculously lucky, I had a great sight line and no one punched me in the face. Gogol was terrific, full of insane energy and exuberance. It was definitely one of the best shows in recent memory.

Then onto D.C. where we arrived at the hotel at 3am. We got to meet up with lovely Emily for lunch and ice cream. Matt played chess in the park at Dupont Circle and then it was time to find the belly dance convention. Thought the venue was nice, it was located in the ghetto.

Workshop #1: Locks, Breaks & Waves with Kami Liddle
Ms. Liddle is a stunner in person. I hadn't met any of the dancers when they were at my theatre last fall. Her workshop was an intense one with lots of focus on muscle isolation. It was difficult for me to keep up. I was fine at slow and medium paced drills, but the faster we went, the more lost I became. Still, I learned quite a bit and have a lot to practice towards. The two hours blew by quickly and I was sore as hell when I awoke Saturday morning.

Workshop #2: Medium Paced Fluid Beledi with Petite Jamilla
This was my very first cabaret style class (I have been focusing almost solely on tribal fusion style). Petite Jamilla is a young little gal from Alabama with the lip liner to prove it. She is mostly known for her whirling dervish-style double veil dances. This class was, for a beginner like myself, not at all medium paced. For me, it was crazy paced. It was a lot of fun and it was the best aerobic workout I've had in a long time. As fun as it was, I was terrible and I didn't learn much other than I'm no cabaret dancer. Petite Jamilla was a good instructor and very sweet, she's supposed to e-mail everyone in the class a picture that she took of all of us.

Workshop #3: Unleashing the Inner Spaz with Zoe Jakes
Zoe Jakes is a delight. She's a tiny person with a big personality. Full of humor and energy, Zoe led us through a 3-hr long crazy workshop filled with all sorts of crazy drills and a short choreography (I'm just awful at learning choreography, especially in a very short time!). It was massive fun, but again it was difficult for me to really keep up as the pace quickened and as the choreography became more layered. Still, again I have lots of little drills to practice until my arms, legs and butt cheeks fall off. Without her makeup, Zoe looks totally different, fresh-faced and youthful and so very cute (not that she isn't supercute with makeup and costume!).

Workshop #4: Spiral Curve & Bend with Kami Liddle
By this time, every inch of my body ached and groaned and creaked like that of an 80-year-old woman. I didn't know how in the hell I was going to make it through another 2 hr workshop. Thank goodness this one was a nice, slow-paced workshop. The stretching actually helped my aching muscles and the drills and choreography were lovely and pretty and SLOW. It was a great way to wind up the weekend. Again, Kami Liddle was a great instructor.

The show on Saturday evening blew hard. It wasn't the caliber of the dancers, they were all amazing, of course! The room in which the show was held was atrocious. It was a giant, un-air conditioned concrete room filled with folding chairs. Stuffed to the gills with sweaty people packed in like sardines, the room was a nightmare. Plus, the floor didn't slope so the sight line was awful and I couldn't see anything. What misery! That was by far the only big disappointment of the weekend.

I saw some great dancers on the open stage on Saturday (including my own amazing instructor Dana Beaufait) and was really impressed by many, amused by others and bored by a handful. All in all, it was excellent. It was a smaller affair than I had imagined, but that intimacy added to the experience. I hope that they do it again some time, just so long as they don't hold the show in the same venue!