WASTING TIME (MINE & YOURS)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Not just yet

Okay, I'm not giving up just yet. I have my reasons. I can't get used to the Twitter thing at all. I just can't grasp it, it must be my age. It's difficult for me to express much in one brief sentence. Twitter is nice for keeping me updated on toy releases.

This year, I found that some things and someones get better with age. Here are a few of those things:

Leonard Cohen
Devo
most of my friends and family
Malcolm McDowell (of course)


Things that have not gotten better with age:

My ability to stay up late
grandparents (sort of bittersweet, living long but falling apart a bit at the end)
Marilyn Manson

Friday, November 13, 2009

Blah

No one is blogging much anymore. I started this cause it was fun to read about my friends. Now Twitter and Facebook and the like have dominated the internet. The art of writing is dying quickly online. I have a stupid twitter that I use only on occasion. I don't have any interest in Friendface or facebook or whatever.

I'm probably going to take this blog down soon. I just don't have much to share, at least not with anyone that I can't contact easily via e-mail. Word to my homies. :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I'm just working for the man

Work, work and more work. C'est ma vie.

I have been reluctant to post because mostly I have been doing nothing other than working.

The Lord Bowler show at The Boot last weekend was pretty great and I send big thanks to all the wonderful friends who came out to show their love. We may do another small event in November, so please put Nov 29th on your calendar for a tentative date!

Season 1of the television show Heroes started off great but became a convoluted mess. McDowell didn't show up until episode 18 and he was gone by episode 23. I think he shows up again later, but I can't bring myself to trudge through anymore of that show. McDowell's body of work is great enough that I don't feel the need to suffer through more of Heroes.

So here I am, at work of course. Hello. I also didn't want to post because I liked seeing the photo below at the top of my blog. I don't wish to be so obnoxious as to keep posting that photo with every entry, though it has crossed my mind! I've written my first McDowell-inspired song. I thought every song I ever wrote post Sept 6th would be about him, but I think perhaps I only have an album or two's worth in me. I still have Matt, friends, toys and much more to inspire me!

Oh, and my 7th "birthday" was awesome thanks to my most wonderful husband. ♥

Saturday, October 10, 2009

True love

DragonCon was more than I could have ever asked for- more than I anticipated. I got to meet Mr. Malcolm McDowell- the love of my life. I don't think I've ever looked so happy as I do in the picture above (big thanks to Brian for the picture). I think that we make a lovely couple. What more could I ask for than to be wrapped in the arms of Malcolm McDowell?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Karate Dog

I actually got my whole family to suffer through this with me and it was AWESOME.

http://filmdrunk.uproxx.com/2009/10/karate-dog-everything-you-could-want

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Romania blows...part 27

In addition to being insanely boring for tourists, apparently their movie industry is much the same. I'll use any excuse now to take a dig at that painful Dracula Tour.
http://filmdrunk.uproxx.com/2009/09/police-adjective-review

Monday, September 28, 2009

Shameless self-promotion

I've been encouraged to post this. I was reluctant. However, Saturday went very well so I'm feeling a bit bold today.
I'm part of a new band called Lord Bowler. If you have ever watched the 90s tv show called The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. , then you might recognize the name. Lord Bowler is myself, my husband Matt, and two different guys named Mike. That's us in the photo above (I like that one best cause I prefer the sillier pictures instead of us looking very serious, I am a silly person). We've been hanging out and writing original songs together and finally played our first show on Saturday. The show went surprisingly well given the closet-sized space that we had to work with. The feedback has been very promising and encouraging.

Please visit http://www.lordbowler.com/ and check us out. We have a mailing list, a Myspace and a Twitter. We should have a Facebook soon, I think. If you have any of these thingies, please hook up with us if you like what you hear on the website. We have a five song EP called "The Warehouse Brian EP" and we'll sell the whole thing to you for only $3.00 (cheaper than iTunes!). If you really like the sound and you want to experience it firsthand, come out to Norfolk on October 24th when we play The Boot with bands Seasons Collide and Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie from D.C.

So there's my shameless self-promotion for Lord Bowler.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More DragonCon

On the Saturday evening of the DragonCon, Matt and I went to a panel discussion about a new movie The Fading of the Cries. I didn't know anything about the movie. I didn't even know the title. All I knew was that the panel involved actor Brad Dourif. I adore Brad Dourif for his work in John Huston's Wise Blood, Milos Forman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and the television show Deadwood. I found out only today that Brad Dourif is famous to most people for doing the voice of Chucky in the Child's Play films. I had no idea, especially since I've never seen an entire Child's Play film.
Anyway, I digress. Matt and I are fans of Dourif so we made sure to be at the panel. It was announced very late, just days before the convention. It was odd, very few people attended. I suppose word just didn't spread. Anyway, the panel also involved Elaine Hendrix (who I immediately recognized from Romy & Michele's High School Reunion) and Thomas Ian Nicholas (name seemed familiar, turns out he was Kevin from the American Pie movies). Also in attendance was the director, Brian Metcalf, and the producer. The panel was interesting, though I'm still not entirely sure what the movie is about. I'm not sure that the actors are exactly sure what the movie is about. You can see the trailer here. I think it actually looks pretty cool, strangely enough. Apparently they're searching for distribution so it will be summer 2010 before it sees a release.

Also, Brad Dourif is an awesome guy, very friendly and cool. He signed my copy of Wise Blood. Did I mention that DragonCon was wonderful?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Best Photo Ever

Despite the fact that it's out of focus, this is perhaps my favorite photo of all time. It needs some cropping, but otherwise it's the best. I generally dislike photos of myself, but this is an exception given my company.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kidrobot DunnyFest 09

I went to Atlanta not for kisses but for toys (hurray, I got both!). I attended Kidrobot's DunnyFest 09 pre-release party for the new Dunny series. I was so excited, I waited in line for nearly 2 hrs just to make sure that I scored the special Doktor A toy. However, I also managed to scored some new Dunny toys and see some exciting artists do their thing. It was a night to remember, that's for sure.

I was a big dummy, though. I arrived with no blank toys and not one piece of paper. How silly! They had posters but the supply was so limited that you had to win one. I had nothing to be signed and I felt like a right idiot. I found some sort of flier printed on card stock at our table that someone had left, so I had one blank side of paper. I wasn't sure what to do so I chose to ask the beautiful Tara McPherson to doodle for me. She actually made quite a lovely drawing on this sorry piece of card stock. I plan on framing it, it's so delightful! I feel so lucky.

I had the darling Doktor A sign the special edition Dragon Con toy that he designed and it's fantastic. I adore it and I adore the charming Doktor. I also met the very cool Voltaire who signed some little toys. He's a hoot, very funny and definitely a unique character. Later before I left, the coordinator (who was an awesome guy) hooked me up with a poster. It was so late that all the artists were wrapping up. I got the good Doktor's last drawing that evening and I think this poster is getting a frame.

The beautiful Toy Baroness was there celebrating and taking photos. She's so pretty and she has a collection of seriously badass tattoos. I want to be her when I grow up. She snapped a photo of me cradling my new Amanda Visell bee Dunny, and you can see that clearly on the Kidrobot blog. Click here to read the article and check out the Flickr slideshow. I've got red lipstick and I look sorta stoned (sadly, I wasn't stoned, I was just completely exhausted but really blissed out). I can't believe that I was able to be a small part of Kidrobot history. I think that if I could have a Groundhog day to live, I might choose last Friday. A big thank you to all of the artists who were so friendly and accomodating and so damn talented.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Coming down

I am still reeling from the excitement and bliss that I experienced at the Dragon Con this weekend. It was everything I had hoped it would be and more (in fact, it was the exact opposite of the Romanian vacation, thank goodness). I met everyone I had hoped to meet and then some. I missed out on a few panels that I should have gone to, but I attended a number of interesting panels that were outstanding.

I have photos to share and stories to tell.

I met all of the artists that I admire so, and each person was just as friendly and gracious as could be. I was actually a bit starstruck and tongue-tied when I met Doktor A.

Yes, I did get to meet Terry Gilliam and it was just as wonderful as I had hoped!

Yes, I attended Kidrobot's 2009 DunnyFest release party and it was pretty great. I was able to snag great toys and get some custom drawings. The people were fantastic.

Yes, I did get to meet Brad Dourif and he was so kind and accommodating. He's very cool.

Yes, I met Doug Jones and he was truly a character!

Yes, I did get to meet Malcolm McDowell. No, he didn't spank me. But it was better than that, better than I thought it would be. I think I'm in love a little bit. No, actually, I'm in love a lot.

The trip was wonderful. It was exhausting, I'm sure that I walked at least 6 or more miles each day and stood in infinitely long lines. I battled massive crowds and spent too much money. It was all worth every penny and every step and every missed minute of sleep. I think I'll have to go back again some year...perhaps 2010.

I will post pictures and more stories later. I do not have photos of artists, which makes me a little sad. I am very terrible about taking pictures, I get very caught up in the moment and then I regret not taking photos later. Heck, I didn't even have my camera most of the time. Also, I will tell about each day in greater detail.

It was one of the most memorable and lovely times of my life.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This time

tomorrow I'll be drinking in that lovely scent of fresh vinyl and hopefully holding hands with Terry Gilliam. Dragon Con is only a breath away now. Plus, more guest announcements! Brad Dourif is going to be there hocking a new movie! I adore Brad Dourif, even more so after recently watching his remarkable performance in John Huston's Wise Blood (easily now one of my favorite movies).

Also, there's a decent chance that I'll be on the cover of Veer Magazine (a local news rag that promote local entertainment and nightlife). That's a tad bit scary. No, it's actually terrifying. Yet I'm kind of excited and certainly very honored that I would be asked to do this.

I'm already working my way through Season 2 of Mad Men. I haven't watched movies which is bad cause the John Huston class begins on Sept 15.

My parents next door neighbor's kid is embroiled in a sex scandal with a local firefighter.

I hope to get Malcolm McDowell to at least pretend to spank me. That would be the best thing ever, I think. If so, I promise to post the picture here.

I'll be back after Dragon Con with updates and such! Oh, yes, and thanks to my work I now have a twitter so you can find me here if you do this thing. I won't be twittering from DragonCon cause I don't know how to do that from my phone. I actually think it's a bit ridiculous, but whatever.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mad Woman

I occasionally display compulsive behavior. On Friday I met my homie at Barnes & Noble for some gossip time. We browsed around the store and I picked up the Season 1 Blu-Ray of the television show Mad Men. This was compulsive because I had not seen any of the show at all, nor do I really know anyone who watches it. I had simply heard that it was stylish and engrossing. The Blu-Ray was on sale for cheap, so I picked it up and brought it home.

I'm obsessed. I've already ordered Season 2 and I'm only about halfway through Season 1.

Also, I'm in love with Scottish band The Fratellis. I've played "Costello Music" on a loop in my truck for a week now and I can't get enough.

Sadly, these obsessions indicate that I'm about two years behind on my pop culture.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Time wasted

No earth shattering news to report this week (thank goodness). However, I have wasted plenty of time. Thus in keeping with my blog name, here are some of the things that I have wasted time doing in the past couple of weeks.

I didn't go to Romania! Hurray!

I watched a documentary about John Huston to begin my homework. I'm teaching a class on Huston in less than a month and I haven't seen many of his films. I think I'm boned. I had better memorize his wikipedia page.

I saw (500) Days of Summer and I quite enjoyed it. Before the film they showed a preview for Drew Barrymore's Whip It. Though I'm too much of a puss to play roller derby, I think it's awesome and I'm surprisingly excited about this movie (which is probably a bit lame).

I bought a dress to wear for the Dragon Con. No costumes for me, I'm too lazy for something like that. However, I would like to look my best if I get to meet Terry Gilliam. I wasted hours online searching for a decent dress before finally settling on a vintage 50s party dress with black, orange and yellow stripes.

I finally, finally started reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road. It's a delightful, spirited romp about the bond between a father and son. No, of course it isn't, this is Cormac McCarthy, silly! It's a relentlessly bleak tale about human survival after apocalypse. It's a damn good book.

Watched the movie If.... , featuring Malcolm McDowell in his first starring role. I knew nothing about it, my boss lent it to me (he wants me to get it signed for him if possible). The movie is wild, surreal and punk as F^Ck. I had no idea what to expect, but it was crazy.

I went to Richmond to see my sister and it was a good visit. This was not a waste of time.

Actually, most of these things were not complete wastes of time. Never mind.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Response to my rant

I fully expected never to hear from Tours of Terror again after sending my e-mail (see previous post). However, a little less than a week later I received an e-mail. Tours of Terror forwarded my e-mail along to our douchey tour guide. He wrote them back. It's excellent. The guy is a complete turd who had no clue about my job and claims that I asked him to stay away from the group (simply not true, though I wished to God that I could have stayed away) and then goes on to explain away some of the points I made without actually explaining anything at all. This is his most excellent, awesome e-mail that should give you all an idea of the shit I had to listen to for a week straight. Please note that I copied the e-mail directly, I made no changes whatsoever to misspellings and grammar. I did remove some names.


Thanks for your email. I so appreciate you taking the time to write.
I wish I was on the tour to play games on the long coach trips, and to help make the time go by faster.

I forwarded your comments to XXXX (tour guide), and he responded:

U know that the trip is allways in he Gothic type...so if we want to do the program we have to be in a rush...
So eating at the gasoline stands is a must.
Also u know the problem with the arranged meals on the route that we had last tour ..I tried to avoid any prerecommended restaurants..
Now regarding with Maria and her husband ..
I spoke with them a lot ..They live in Virginia she work for the cultural department of a city hall..so in way a little bit away from the usual type of a Dractour client ..but they are a very nice and pleasant couple
Also they told me that they never travel with groups because they dont like to stay together with other( a lot of people) so they asked me from the beginning to stay away from the group this is the reason why they stayed away and not because they have been rejected by me or by the other.
I dont care who knows and who doesn't know about the book.
In the last day they ave to travel 8 hours to arrive in Sibiu...so the only think they can do is Biertan fortress...we just visited the spot and not eated there.
Regarding the arrested ..I take it like a joke...the bus couldn't stop in the front of hotel so I argued with a civil guardian to free my way from the cars witch were park illegal instead of car ring the bag 400 ft...but for the spice of the trip it should be nice next time to arrange a pseudo one for me or for Fane.
I will call u from skype during the day...

If you'd like to discuss further, please call or write. Thanks again.

This was the big response for my nightmare vacation. Our tour guide got into a screaming match with a police officer and was dragged by the arm down the street and into the hotel where he was surrounded by about 5 more police officers. They were all yelling and screaming. All of the tour group waited outside as we freaked that our guide would be arrested and we would be stuck in some foreign city. Finally the issue was resolved. Later the guide confessed to calling the police officer stupid and illiterate. Even if the cop was indeed stupid and illiterate, it's probably not the best idea to scream that to his face. So the tour guide thinks it was a joke. The tour group didn't find it terribly funny, though. That was the response from Tours of Terror.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Insert expletive here

I was just made aware of a book entitled The Dead Travel Fast by Eric Nuzum. This book details the author's own harrowing experience on the very same damn Dracula Tour that I went on. Tours of Terror made the claim that they have never had a bad report about this tour. Maybe they were exaggerating a bit.

I wish so very much that I had known about this book before I plunked down big money for the Dracula Tour. Dammit.

Post Romania

So perhaps you read my previous post regarding my "vacation" to Romania. Upon my return I was exhausted, irritable and very, very happy to be home. About a week and a half after we returned, I finally received a follow up e-mail from the tour company. It was both funny and shocking at the same time. The company seemed to be somewhat misinformed about our trip, so that was funny. The follow-up also included the names and personal e-mail addresses of each of the tour group members, including myself. This list of personal e-mails was sent to the whole tour group without my prior consent of releasing any personal e-mails. Boy, oh boy, was I not pleased. Below is the follow up e-mail from the tour group (please note that I have deleted passages in which they promoted upcoming tours and also removed some names):


Dear Fiendish Friends & Transylvania Travelers,
Fang you for being part of our Summer Haunted Vampire Vacation to Transylvania. Although I didn't go this one personally, I've been in touch with Radu and he's filled me in on how great it was. Thanks from him and the driver.
Now we would love it if you shared your feelings about the trip with us: What were the highlights? What did you love the most? What wasn't so great? More importantly, we'd love it if you shared your photos with us! We are looking forward to getting XXXX's tour report to put online, but we really need everyone's pictures to add to our website.
On behalf of Radu (and the fearless coach driver), my business partner XXXX (who was jealous he didn't go when he heard how nice and normal and well-behaved this group was), and XXXX in our dungeon (oops, we mean our office), allow me to thank you all for being such a pleasure to work with. We wish every tour group of people were as nice and friendly and fun and weird and as intoxicating (and as intoxicated?) as this one.

Oh yes, and need I remind you - PLEASE TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW ABOUT OUR TOURS!
AND PLEASE DON'T FORGET TO SEND PHOTOS! Thanks.
Cheers & Chills & Thrills & Beast Witches,
"TOURS OF TERROR"

Here is the email roster of our "SUMMER DRACULA TOUR 2009" gang of guys & gals & ghouls:
{Insert list of names and e-mails here}



I was very quick with my response. I had a response typed and sent within hours. Here is my response:

Dear Tours of Terror,
Thank you for the follow up. Here is my honest opinion of the tour:
I was not prepared for the amount of time spent traveling on the tour bus. The trip was anything but relaxing, having to get up early each day and be on a bus for hours on end. We ate most lunches at gas stations and then ate dinner very late at night, as late as 11 pm one evening. We were not given a lot of time to explore on our own, and it was anything but restful. And as for well-behaved, I would beg to differ slightly. We were awakened on a couple of different nights by our drunken American cohorts banging on hotel room doors and carrying on conversations in the hallways, etc.

Radu was extremely knowledgeable, though he managed to sidestep a lot of the history of Vlad Tepes as well as the history of the novel. Though I had read a good deal about Vlad Tepes and Bram Stoker, my husband had not. We were both disappointed because we were treated as though we were supposed to already know about Vlad the Impaler and were supposed to be extremely familiar with the book. When we asked questions about various cities we stopped in and sites we saw, we were treated with a somewhat condescending attitude and were ridiculed.

Don't get me wrong, some of the trip was absolutely delightful. However, one day we spent over 8 hrs on a tour bus and stopped briefly to see a random church. We did no other sightseeing this day and nothing related to Dracula at all save for the fact that we were in Romania. Then later that day Radu almost got arrested. Have you heard that story yet?

Thank you for the update on the travelers that were not able to join us. I wish you success in future tours, though I don't think that I will ever join another group tour for as long as I live. I believe many of the other travelers enjoyed themselves greatly, though I found out the hard way that I am not suited to this particular mode of travel. I hate to be rude, but I am not pleased that my e-mail was shared. I do not recall agreeing to have my e-mail shared with the group. Yes, some of the folks we met were lovely people and I gave them my e-mail. However, there were others that I hope never to see or hear from ever again.

Thank you for the extraordinary opportunity. I have stories that are unbelievable and the pictures to prove it. I have an interesting cautionary tale that I will be able to share with my friends and family for the rest of my life. Nevertheless, I have never been so happy to have a vacation end and I am now in desperate need of another vacation.

Next I will post the amazing and bizarre response from the tour guide. It's awesome.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Why my trip to Romania blew

I can think of so, so many reasons why my trip to Romania blew hard and why no one should follow in my footsteps and take a group tour there. So I have decided to type out as many reasons as I can think of. This list will grow as I think of things.

1. The hotel was an hour and a half bus ride away from the airport. When you have been traveling for almost 24 hrs, this bus ride is just horrid.
2. You have no control over your fellow tour members. They may just be awful (we had a few horrible ones in our group).
3. There must be some trick to the hotel showers cause ours kept flooding the bathroom floor...this occurred in a few different hotels.
4. Most mornings our wake up calls were between 7:30 am and 8:30 am. It is not a relaxing vacation when you have to be up at 7:30 am so you can hurry up and get on a bus.
5. Once you are awake, you must hurry so you can shower and eat breakfast at the hotel. It is pertinent that you eat breakfast at the hotel as you never know where your next meal will be coming from or when you will be able to eat again.
6. The tour bus will take you on journeys through the countryside. This sounds nice but these bus rides last for endless hours. One day we were on the bus for over 8 hrs total.
7. Our tour guide really, really enjoyed the sound of his own voice. Though knowledgeable, he was quite pompous about it and often quite patronizing.
8. Most of Romania is just like Borat's version of Kazakhstan. No, I'm not making a joke.
9. Did I mention the fellow tour members? There is a reason that Americans have a bad reputation as loud, obnoxious and xenophobic. Chances are, you'll be travelling with these sorts of people on your group tour.
10. When we finally got to eat lunch, often we were deposited unceremoniously at gas stations and told to grab something to eat on the bus.
11. Oh, the "Dracula Tour" left out a lot of that boring vampire stuff. We were promised vampires, Twilight, True Blood, etc. and not much of this was even mentioned. We got one cool themed hotel and one themed restaurant. No other attractions were vampire related.
12. The rest of the tour was occasionally related to Vlad the Impaler. We were expected to know a great deal of his history already. If you were not terribly familiar with Vlad Tepes, you were pretty much screwed. Basic questions were scoffed at.
13. In one town, they had a few museums. Not really museums, just a couple of rooms with some historical artifacts. In one room, there were some weapons. Instead of talking about the artifacts, the tour guide talked for a good 20 minutes about the Vikings invading Russia. I pretended to be claustrophobic and left because I was so utterly bored.
14. In Romania, they love raw bacon. They served it at a few different restaurants. This may not necessarily be a drawback to all, but probably to some.
15. If you are a vegetarian, be warned: it is assumed that pretty much all you eat is cheese. I was served appetizers of cheese followed by entrees consisting solely of cheese. It was not really an identifiable cheese. I think it was a cousin to feta cheese, perhaps, but I'm not sure.
16. Did I mention the fellow travelers? Well, they also take endless pictures of everything in sight. We had a pair that took pictures of the bus, getting off and on the bus, the gas stations, the gas station attendants, the bathrooms, etc. They also composed still life pictures of the things that they bought at gas stations and around town. They stopped tours in order for other tour members to take photos of them doing things like disembarking from the bus. They also really liked group photos, which I abhor. I don't want photographic evidence that I spent time with some of these folks. Many probably thought that I was a snotty bitch, and you can probably understand why. I didn't mind that people didn't care for me, this meant that the ones that I didn't care for stayed away from me and didn't try to talk to the bitchy girl.
17. Shopping was lame. It was mostly like a big dollar store. Everything was made in China, handmade goods were almost impossible to come by.
18. Oh, the fellow travelers! They will get impossibly drunk and bang on adjacent hotel room doors at 3 am. They will hold loud conversations in the hallway. They might even have loud drunken fights in the room next to you. They might also have loud drunken sex in the room next door. It's all wonderfully fun and relaxing at 3 am.
19. Back to the meal thing: you never know when you will eat dinner each night and you have no control over this. Remember to stock up on snacks at the gas station as you may be eating your dinner as late as 9, 10, or even 11pm at night.
20. At the themed restaurant, you get to meet an aging actor playing Dracula. He may not bite you, but he just might drool on you. Dirty old goat.

That's quite enough for now. I may add to this list if I have the time and wherewithal. Next I will post the follow-up e-mail that I received from Tours of Terror following the ordeal.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A wasted life

I spent about 6 years of my life wasted, then had a life-changing experience and now I've spent 6 years and 9 months sober. 6 years and 9 months seems like a long time, but it often feels like 6 weeks, or even 6 days. I find that sometimes I feel like I've got this thing beat, but mostly it just beats me and breaks my spirit and makes me feel like I cannot be a part of anything real anymore.

Gogol Bordello played Friday night. The band was as raucous as ever - the concert was more wild and dangerous than any metal show I've ever attended. The air stank of sweat, but mostly it reeked of beer. I wanted that so badly- on my left, a bar, behind me the exit door. Someone actually threw a beer cup at Matt and it was making me lose my mind. I stayed for as long as I could, and I bailed fast when I couldn't take it anymore.

This is a damnable thing, it is. Because of this I missed seeing one of my dear friends and I feel terrible. Plus, I cried most of the way home and probably made my poor husband feel like crap, too.

I miss looking forward to weekends for excitement and relaxation and I miss proper parties. At this point, I don't think that sobriety is ever going to get any easier. It's always going to be day by day, and often minute to minute. I shouldn't be posting this, it's far more personal than I usually like to get on this blog. However, sometimes a confessional is somewhat healing, even if it's just me feeling a bit sorry for myself and having a semi-public pity party.

I promise that either later today or tomorrow I will begin posting about Romania, particularly the aftermath of the experience.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Must be crazy

Everyone told me that the movie Watchmen was long, boring and horrible. I heard negative comment after negative comment. Nevertheless, I felt compelled to see it.
Last evening I watched the director's cut, running at about 3 hrs and 15 minutes. Usually I prefer movies that run about 90 minutes. I don't know why I was compelled to watch it.
I am not familiar with the graphic novel at all, and I knew very little about the plot.
I really quite liked it. Not perfect, perhaps overly ambitious, but still entertaining, dark, densely layered, and engaging. I suppose I can see where many would be turned off, but I liked it nonetheless.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The dark is rising

Once upon a time, my favorite band in the whole wide world was Sparklehorse. I saw them in early '96 when the opened for Cracker at the old Boathouse in Norfolk. I heard Mark Linkous sing "Homecoming Queen" and I was done, forever in love with that music. I have since seen Sparklehorse at least 5 more times, including opening for the Flaming Lips and even once at Shepherds Bush Empire. The music still inspires feelings and memories that are at once bittersweet, painful and comforting.

However, I was a bit bummed about the last album, Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain. As a fan and avid collector, it was a disappointment to find that 1/3 of the album contained previously released material. Nevertheless, it was lovely music, but not like the first 3 records. Of course, timing is everything and perhaps the timing was just a bit off for me.

I have not forgotten about my beloved Sparklehorse. In fact, I was very excited when the cover of "Jack's Obsession" was included on the Nightmare Revisited tribute album. Made me wonder what Mr. Linkous might be up to these days. I would have never imagined just what kind of mischief he's been up to.

On the last album, Linkous hooked up with Danger Mouse to work on a few tracks. They evidently hit it off and decided to work on a new record. They enlisted a bunch of their musician buddies including Grandaddy's Jason Lytle, The Cardigan's Nina Persson and many more. Best of all, Danger Mouse called up David Lynch.

David Lynch, perhaps the finest surrealist filmmaker of our time, created a book of images as well as music for the album. This may very well be my Dream Team.
Of course, record labels can be pissy bitches. EMI is having some dispute with the artists and the album might not ever see a proper release. In the meantime, the artists have made the entire album (and individual tracks) available for download here at NPR. It's glorious, it truly is stunning and it's classically Sparklehorse in many places. I rather wish that Linkous sang most of the tracks as I love his voice for some reason, but I'm happy nonetheless.

So you can't have a record, but you can buy the book. David Lynch's deluxe book of photos created for the project is still available through Amazon.com here. It was evidently limited to 5000 copies so snap yours up before it's too late.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jiminy Christmas!

My trip to Romania was so very harrowing (I witnessed car accidents, the near-arrest of our tour guide, people eating raw bacon & dried larvae or some kind, and so much more) that I was considering cancelling my trip to the DragonCon in Atlanta over Labor Day. When I got home, I found a little magazine waiting for me telling me all about the great actors and delightful toys that will be there. I immediately changed my mind and decided I would go to the DragonCon. Today I visited the website and the deal was sealed.

Terry Gilliam will be there.

I have adored Gilliam since I was about 13 years old when my dad finally made me watch The Holy Grail. Since then I have been an avid fan. I even loved Tideland, loved it lots and lots. I can't believe it, I can't wait!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hallelujah

Never in my life have I been so happy to return home from a vacation. Never before have I sufficiently appreciated all the glorious aspects of my boring, mundane, brilliant existence. It took a week stuck in Romania on the group tour from hell to help me to fully appreciate all the good things that I have in my life. I am a creature of habit and a woman of solitude, and I am glad for it. However, I have some experience now and I have learned a few important lessons about the world and myself.

I henceforth swear off group tours.
I also need never visit Romania again.
If I ever set foot on another bus, it will be too soon.
In Romania, vegetarianism means that you eat nothing but cheese.
I don't want to eat cheese again, at least not as a main course meal.

I have many, many stories to share, the post would be endless if I even tried to start telling stories. Instead I just send my hellos. I am endlessly and eternally grateful for being home safe and sound with my dog and cats and lovely insane job and meals that don't consist solely of cheese.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Departure

The day has arrived. Our flight to meet up with the tour leaves in about 2 hours. I should be excited but I'd rather just stay home. I'm exhausted. I worked Mon, Tues & part of Wednesday despite the fact that I was supposed to be on vacation all week.

The worst part is always leaving the dog. I have been crying for hours about this, and I'll probably cry off and on until I pick him up next week. At least he'll be with his grandmother & grandfather where he will be well looked after.

Oh well, what's done is done. Money has been exchanged and commitments have been made, so Transylvania, here we come. I promise updates regarding the trip upon my return.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Nutshell

Here's my nightmare week in a nutshell, minus everything nightmarish:

Free tickets to Franz Ferdinand. I love that band, the music is so sexy. Weezer, too, but I can't even listen to the new album its so horrid. I would be so excited if it was 2003 or so. Oh well.

Tickets are going on sale for the Psychedelic Furs show in Norfolk. No joking. The damn Psychedelic Furs.

My hair is as pink as pink can be. Hot hot pink, according to Manic Panic. I got tons of compliments tonight which is lovely cause I've been feeling like right shite.

I just received a package in the mail from my new best friend, Kathie Olivas, and her husband, Brandt Peters. I can't wait to get home and see what goodies are inside!

I finally got around to watching Anton Corbijn's Joy Division/ Ian Curtis film Control. It was pretty good, Samantha Morton is just such a wonderful actress and such a natural beauty. I love the music of Joy Division. The film looked amazing, it was just a bit overlong.

The Umbilical Brothers are here. Right now. They are onstage, I'll be going in momentarily to watch the show. I have to wait a bit after a program begins to shut down the box office. The guys are so nice and so much fun, I'm so relieved that its not another stodgy classical group (though the last trio was super nice, actually) and not a bunch of snotty dancers chain smoking outside of the building.

There's the good stuff, which is a decent amount of good stuff, actually. Time to go watch a show!

Monday, June 22, 2009

30th Century Man


Blogging has recently become less feasible at work. Work has been rough since our staff became so scarce. Nevertheless, I will try to be a little more conscientious about blogging.

This weekend I finally got to watch the documentary Scott Walker: 30th Century Man which I had been anticipating since some time in 2007. For those not familiar with Scott Walker, he is a singer/songwriter/producer/musician extraordinaire. His career blossomed in the 60s when he was part of the popular boy band The Walker Brothers whose hits "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" and "Make It Easy On Yourself" made him an international star. Later he went solo, releasing 4 consecutive albums on which he began to write his own music which explored increasingly darker subject matter and existential themes. He then sort of disappeared from the music scene, appearing sporadically in the 70s and 80s. He has since produced abstract, intense solo albums that are considered at once avant-garde, difficult and transcendent. Significant pop musicians such as David Bowie (who executive produced this documentary), Brian Eno, Radiohead and most every other British musician with chops cites Walker as an influence.

I heard about Scott Walker about 8 or 9 years ago. Since then I've collected a number of his albums. I'm not so fond of the newer stuff (it's tough to take, very strong), but I adore the dark romanticism of the 60s solo albums. I also love the Walker Brothers and their fusion of 60s pop with a big orchestral sound. Heck, I even enjoyed Walker's soundtrack for the French film Pola X, a film so strange and unique that it deserves a blog post of its own here sometime.

The thing that captivates so many about Scott Walker is that he spent such a long time out of the spotlight and away from any semblance of "celebrity" that he's become a figure that's shrouded in mystery. He does very few interviews and very little is known about his private life. However, the music makes the man and this documentary focuses solely on Walker's music career, from the beginning to the present and it does a remarkable job of delving into Walker's process and product. I fully expected 30th Century Man to be simply a series of interviews with co-workers, peers and disciples. For some reason, I didn't expect Walker himself to be involved in the film at all, given his undeserved reputation as a J.D. Salinger-esque type recluse. However, much to my delight, the filmmakers interviewed Walker rather extensively and even captured footage of him working in the studio. Walker was about 63 years old when they shot the film, and he looks and sounds incredible. He's much more relaxed and casual than I had imagined, and he speaks candidly of his music both past and present. Yes, his recent music is crazy and pushes the envelope of music as art, but the guy doesn't cut a freakish figure at all. In fact, he seems like a really lovely fellow!

I'm so pleased that 30th Century Man finally has gotten its DVD release. Now Scott Walker fans like myself will gain a new perspective on the music and perhaps he'll gain some new fans as well. Though the film avoids delving into Walker's personal life, it's an insightful and often inspiring look into Walker's musical genius.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Overwhelmed

Work has been wild. In one week's time, we lost 1/3 of our staff. My business has gone from 6 employees working here daily down to 4. It's been a bit of a blow (pun intended!). I miss one of the folks a lot, he is a good friend of mine. He's going to grad school so I'm very pleased. The other guy was a complete douchebag and everyone at work is delighted that he's gone. Nevertheless, it's been a struggle picking up the slack and I haven't had much time for blogging.

A few tidbits just to waste a few minutes:

My case of my hotly anticipated Junko Mizuno Pure Trance mini figures is waiting for me at home. I cannot wait for work to be over so I can drool over each and every one and see what pulls I get! Junko Mizuno is the reason that I started collecting these art toys that I adore, so this mini series is a big huge deal. Forever my hero, Mizuno also released some lovely adult products available only in Asia. Gosh they're cute!

Thanks to my brilliant, wonderful husband who obviously loves me, I have my very first complete blind box mini series. For my birthday, my husband found an elusive Tara McPherson Skull Flower on ebay for me. I now have a complete set of the Gamma Mutant Space Friends, colorways, chases and all! Oh, it's heaven!

Drag Me To Hell was awesome. Thank goodness Sam Raimi didn't become a complete write off, especially after that Spiderman 3 shite.

The new upstart webstore Tokyo Rebel is now officially a US licensed retailer for the Japanese punk brand SEX POT ReVeNGe and the Japanese cute/punk/goth brand Algonquins. These are excellent brands and anyone familiar with Harajuku street fashion will be excited. Check out more info and pics from the Japanese flagship stores here. Support these cool folks at Tokyo Rebel, they're really trying to build something awesome here by trying to bring you the best Japanese fashion brands (no knockoffs) at the best prices.

That's all for now, hopefully more soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Anticipation

My work computer has been fussy and impudent lately. Thus I haven't been inclined to posting much. However, these past few weeks have brought about some news of toys and movies to get excited about, thus it's time to post and link.

Today is the release of Kidrobot's new Endangered Dunny series. I can't swing a case, but I definitely need a few of these cute little suckers.

June 4 is the release of Junko Mizuno's Pure Trance mini series, also from Kidrobot. This definitely warrants the purchase of a case. These buggers are the most excellent things I've seen since Kathie Olivas' Scavengers series.

I still want to see Lars Von Trier's Antichrist, despite news of terrible reviews and a nasty reception at the Cannes film festival. On the other hand, Park Chan-Wook's vampire tale Thirst is getting raves and I'm chomping at the bit to see it.

Sam Raimi's Drag Me To Hell is out next Friday and it looks rather promising. Plus it's got the best movie title since The Midnight Meat Train.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Crowe's movie music moments

I have a big gooshy soft spot for Cameron Crowe. I'm not much for romantic films, let alone romantic comedies. However, Crowe makes 'em like no other, smart yet sweet and usually a killer soundtrack. I loved Say Anything..., Singles, heck, even Jerry Maguire was darn good. Plus, as many of you know, Almost Famous is hands-down my favorite movie of all time. The music is terrific, every actor is perfectly cast (even Kate Hudson who now makes a tad nauseous in every other movie I've seen her in), and there's not a false moment despite its inherent sentimentality. I love generally love the music in Crowe's films. Here's Crowe's list of his favorite musical cues in film. Although I have to disagree with a few (in particular the choice of the movie Once which I still think was trite and twatty), there are some excellent picks. I would definitely and wholeheartedly agree with #10, #2 and #1. The honorable mentions are good, too. My list would be slightly different. God knows every other list in the world including my own would have Lloyd Dobler outside Ione Skye's bedroom window blasting Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" in Crowe's Say Anything... or even Ryan Adams' "Come Pick Me Up" from the scene in which Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst are talking on the phone in Elizabethtown. I could come up with endless music moments in film, but I won't bore you kind readers. Instead check out Crowe's and maybe give me a comment holler about your faves.

Friday, May 1, 2009

My new friends


On Monday my case of Tara McPherson's new Gamma Mutant Space Friends by Kidrobot arrived in the mail. Yup, I bit the bullet and splurged hard on a case of these suckers. I'm rather glad that I did because they are sold out on Kidrobot as well as on several other sites in a week's time. It was a nutty purchase as I've been spending too much scratch on plastic lately. However, these adorable critters melt my heart. The case was quite a lucky one, too. There are potentially 14 different babies that you could pull from the blind boxes. Some are common, some are rare. Out of 14, I found 12 different ones in my case. I'm only missing the Zombirella doll and the skull flower figure. I picked up the Zombirella at a reasonable price on ebay, so now I'm only one figure short of a complete set.


The photo above is a stock photo from Kidrobot. I'll try to snap some pics of these tiny pieces of plastic happiness.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

20 Questions


Juxtapoz magazine just published a Q & A session with the glorious Camille Rose Garcia. She's lovely and her work is jaw-dropping. Although I don't agree with her distaste for dwarves and puppeteers. One would imagine she would enjoy both, especially since her new, highly exclusive and (sadly) prohibitively expensive "toys" look just like puppets.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Neil Gaiman on the Colbert Report


I am terrible about watching tv. When I put the tv on, I'm usually watching the LOGO channel or old episodes of The Golden Girls or HBO on Demand. Yesterday I ended up getting engrossed in a pretentious art film called Transylvania starring Asia Argento (it didn't have vampires at all but it had gypsies, a bear and Argento doing her usually freak out stuff).
Anyway, I digress. I enjoy The Colbert Report but I missed out on this episode about a month ago in which he interviewed one of my beloved authors, Neil Gaiman. Thanks to the glories of the Internet, you can see it by clicking here.

Also, for you die-hard Gaiman fans, you can pre-order the book he's co-created with Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls. It seems like a steal for $35. Click here to place your pre-order. It looks like it's working properly. Monday it took me over 2 hrs to place my pre-order thanks to the heavy traffic the site was receiving from orders.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Morrissey How Soon Is Now? The National Richmond, VA March 13, 2009

My friend Brian attended the Morrissey show in Richmond last month. He was apparently on the other side of the venue than I was, we missed one another that night. We both agreed that the show kicked off great but faded towards the end. However, Brian captured the best parts of the show on video and has courteously posted them on YouTube. Above you can see the big highlight of the show.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Weekly obessions

These are the things I'm obsessed with this week:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs "It's Blitz!"


James Coviello

Bubble Town


I miss Matt. He's attempting to keep an online journal but its difficult when out on the road.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

And he's off!

(Photo courtesy of Nestor Diaz @ Dots, Lines and Polygons, photo taken at Crooked Beat Records in Washington, D.C. on 3/27/09)

Uglyography has officially hit the road! The tour begins tonight in Roanoke, VA. I feel like a right idiot for not going out on the tour. I miss him already. If you're in an area near to one of the shows below, please support independent music and check it out!

Roanoke, VA - Saturday, April 4 - @ The Water Heater with Kid A and Billy Wallace 7:30pm, $5, all ages

Washington DC -Sunday, April 5 - @ Solly's U Street Tavern with Sean K. Preston and a special guest 8:00 pm, $5, 21 and up

Charles Town, WV- Monday, April 6 -@ Jumpin' Java with Rob Crutchfield 6:00 pm, $3, all ages

Johnson City, TN - Tuesday, April 7 - @ The Hideaway with Killbot 11:00 pm, $5, 18 and up

Chapel Hill, NC - Wednesday, April 8 - @ The Cavedetails to come 10:00 pm - $5, 21 and up

Blacksburg, VA - Thursday, April 9 - @ Gillie's Late Night with Schmarx of the Incline8:00 pm, free, all ages

Harrisonburg, VA - Friday, April 10 - @ The Little Grill Collective with Buck Gooter, Book of Kills, and Don Zientara 8:00 pm, $5, all ages

Richmond, VA Saturday, April 11 - @ Wonderland with One Friend and Push Button Reaction 10:00 pm, $5, 21 and up

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The man comes around


My baby is out of surgery and is back at home! I was able to bring him home yesterday. He was even barking and jumping up and down when they brought him out to me at the vet. He's now still shaking off some of the anesthesia, but he's pretty much back to normal.

The photo above was taken right before his surgery. He no longer has the big mole on his lower lip. However, his one snaggle tooth (see it sticking out from his left side) is still there! I thought that his dental cleaning and maintenance would require that more teeth be removed, particularly that snaggle. Thankfully, his crazy funky tooth is still hanging in there. My beautiful baby and his tooth made it through!

Magic in NYC


One of my favorite contemporary Japanese filmmakers is Tetsuya Nakashima, creator of the delicious films Kamikaze Girls and Memories of Matsuko. He's got a new movie hitting the states this week, making its premiere in NYC this Tuesday. It's titled Paco and the Magical Book and it looks like another amazing film from Nakashima. If you happen to be in New York, click here for information on attending the free premiere (oh, I would LOVE to be able to be there!). Judging from the promo stills, this one looks like another one filled with candy-coated art direction and quirky characters. I just hope that this one makes it to US DVD...soon!

Swing Out Sister - Breakout

I was watching VH-1 stupid 80s videos and I had forgotten about this. I LOVED this song when I was a little girl. Maybe this is why I still wear my hair in a black bob.

Monday, March 30, 2009

It just sucks getting old

I took Whitey to the vet this morning for his annual vaccinations. Next thing I know, they're checking his bad eyes (he's got cataracts now) and looking at his old man moles. I was going to get his teeth cleaning and was ready to set up an appointment.
The vet determined that his moles are growing at alarming rate and need to be removed ASAP. Now I have to fret about vaccinations, teeth cleanings and surgery to remove his moles which then have to be sent away to the pathology lab to determine whether or not cancer could be involved.
Now I've been bawling like a child for an hour.When it comes to the dog, I have no reserve and no self-control, I lose it at the drop of a pin.
Surgery is set for Wednesday, barring issues with the blood work they took today.
Meanwhile, the dog is fine, barking out the window at the mailman and happy to be back at home. It just sucks getting old, whether you're human or an animal or somewhere in between.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Unforgivable


As many of you are aware, I am in love with the film Let the Right One In. I know a few of you are, too. This distressing article was sent to me yesterday from Emily, herself a big fan of the film. Almost immediately I went home and picked up my unopened Blu-Ray disc and shot it right back to Amazon. I'll buy it once its fixed, but until then I will not support this sort of pandering. I was rather fond of Magnolia Pictures, but this sort of pandering is unforgivable. The company has promised that future pressings of the DVD and Blu-Ray will include the theatrical subtitles.

http://iconsoffright.com/news/2009/03/let_the_wrong_subtitles_in_to.html

Even NPR got hip to this point and reported on it:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2009/03/a_let_the_right_one_in_subtitl.html

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hitting the road! Tour dates are here!

The world's best pop punk one man band is hitting the road, friends!

Uglyography is making some stops in Virginia and beyond, so be sure to check it out if you're nearby!

Washington, D.C. - Friday March 27 - @Crooked Beat Records at 2318 18th Street NW 7:00pm with The Andalusians.

Roanoke, VA - Saturday, April 4 - @ The Water Heater with Kid A and Billy Wallace 7:30pm, $5, all ages

Washington DC -Sunday, April 5 - @ Solly's U Street Tavern with Sean K. Preston and a special guest 8:00 pm, $5, 21 and up

Charles Town, WV- Monday, April 6 -@ Jumpin' Java with Rob Crutchfield 6:00 pm, $3, all ages

Johnson City, TN - Tuesday, April 7 - @ The Hideaway with Killbot 11:00 pm, $5, 18 and up

Chapel Hill, NC - Wednesday, April 8 - @ The Cavedetails to come 10:00 pm - $5, 21 and up

Blacksburg, VA - Thursday, April 9 - @ Gillie's Late Night with Schmarx of the Incline8:00 pm, free, all ages

Harrisonburg, VA - Friday, April 10 - @ The Little Grill Collective with Buck Gooter, Book of Kills, and Don Zientara 8:00 pm, $5, all ages

Richmond, VA Saturday, April 11 - @ Wonderland with One Friend and Push Button Reaction 10:00 pm, $5, 21 and up

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bass Ackwards


I was a big time party gal this weekend, reliving my heyday as a hipster youth hitting the scene. Hahahaha!

No seriously, I attended two shows in Norfolk this weekend. Neither one was really planned, I usually buy tickets for concerts months in advance but not this time. First up was The Mountain Goats at the beautiful Attucks Theatre. I was taken aback by the loveliness of the venue. John Vanderslice opened and The Mountain Goats only consisted of one goat, lead singer-songwriter John Darnielle. I kept waiting for another goat to join him (I was under the impression that there were at least two of three touring goats). Nope, just John Darnielle giving us 100% raw, pure emotion. The show was packed which was shocking to me as the theatre holds almost 600! I was unaware of the popularity of the Mountain Goats. There was a striking polarity in the attendees. There was the majority which was the 20 and 30-something hipsters with their black framed glasses (I counted six pairs in one row alone!) and their skinny jeans. Lots of very pretty little hipsters indeed. The other portion consisted of 50 and 60-somethings, subscribers to the Attucks' Discovery Music Series. About 1/3 or halfway through the concert, there was a mass exodus of the Discovery subscribers. John Darnielle has a very distinctive voice that you either love or hate, and I think it was a bit too much for the subscriber crowd to handle. I enjoyed every moment, it was one of the most powerful performances by a solo artist that I can recall. At the end, Darnielle was joined by Vanderslice for a few songs, and they played my favorite song. I didn't even know the name of the song, I'm terrible remembering song titles. It was an excellent show.

Next up was another big surprise. Matt wanted to hit up the Boot on Saturday for The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. I agreed to go and requested that he purchase in advance as the Boot generally hosts mainly local acts. The Trachtenburgs are a national act out of Brooklyn and have a good reputation as well as an album on Bar None Records. My buddy over at Toggle Switch plugged the show a few times and I was certain that the house would be packed on Saturday evening. Not so much. I cannot fathom why, but the Trachtenburgs only attracted a handful of folks Saturday night. However, they gave us a terrific night of entertainment that I'll not soon forget. Opening was a musician/artist/comedian performing under the name Touching You. He gave us about 15 minutes of his hybrid of music and performing art. The Trachtenburgs took the stage right after and it was so much fun!

If you are not familiar, then here's the trick: The family band collects old slide photos of random strangers at yard sales and estate sales and then write songs about them. The live performance is set up so that the slides are projected as the songs are performed. The band is singer/songwriter/father Jason Trachtenburg, projection operator/fashion designer/mother Tina Pina Trachtenburg and drummer/singer/daughter Rachel Trachentburg. It's gimmicky and kitschy as hell, and it's completely delightful. I was just floored that the crowd that packed the Mountain Goats didn't show up for the Trachtenburgs. Granted, these are two very different music acts but I would think that there would be some overlap in the audiences they attract.
After the Trachtenburgs left the stage, they hung out and talked to the audience and sold their handmade wares (big kudos to their DIY style). Oh, and if the Trachtenburgs read this: I'm sorry that we could not offer you a place to stay for the evening. We are cat owners and the cats have long fuzzy fur. :(

Now I am still recovering from staying up late two nights in a row (I am so very, very old and decrepit). However, it was well worth it. Despite the strange surprises of having a packed house for the Mountain Goats and a sparse one for the Trachtenburgs, it was wonderful gaining new appreciation for the Goats and falling head over heels in love with the Trachtenburgs.

Potato Salad - The Ross Sisters (1944)

My lovely friend Mara sent this to me. This is a bizarre combination of sideshow acrobatics, Ethel Merman and Big Top Pee-Wee. Worth a quick look-see.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Coming soon to a DVD near you

In the past couple of weeks, I have heard about two movies that have such excellent titles that I must see them. First up is Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre. What an incredible title! Next is the Lorenzo Lamas (f^c# yeah!) and Debbie Gibson (huh?) vehicle Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus. With a title and "stars" like that, it's bound to show up soon on the Sci-Fi channel so I immediately informed my mom. My mom is rad, she watches all the crapbird Sci-Fi movies all day Saturday and Sunday while she does her household chores.

Last night I watched Repo: The Genetic Opera. I got a free copy, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I rather liked it. Quite a lot, actually. I think my job and the endless hours and the Kubrick class are taking a toll. All work and no play make Maria a dumb girl.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rebel Rebel!


My blogger buddy Jeff (of Amiyumidas and Alphabet City) has become quite the entrepreneur over the weekend.

It is with great joy that I herald the welcome of the new webstore Tokyo Rebel!

Tokyo Rebel is the brainchild of Jeff and his wife. They are both aficionados of Japanese punk, rock and goth fashions. However, they have a keen awareness of how expensive these clothes can be and how costly it is to get single items shipped from overseas. Their goal with Tokyo Rebel is to offer brand name Japanese fashions (no knockoffs here, thank you!) at reasonable prices with proper U.S. shipping rates. They offer both new and used fashions by designers like Sex Pot Revenge, Super Lovers and Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. Can't wait to see some h. Naoto in there, too!

The store is up and running, but it is still a work in progress. New items are being added as quickly as they are able. It's a small stock right now, but they hope to expand quickly. The site is simple and easy to navigate, the checkout process is quick and efficient. The whole thing is remarkably user-friendly.

Some of the items may seem a bit expensive for those unfamiliar with the brands. You may think "Wow! $150 for a little girlie jumper is CRAZY!". Actually, that's an amazing price as jumpers from Baby, The Stars Shine Bright will usually set you back around $300 and up. I myself am not much for the Lolita look, I much prefer the J-punk and J-rock looks with some goth thrown in. I set myself up with a Sex Pot Revenge tank (a steal at $25). My order already processed and in the mail, too! I am an impatient person so I revel in webstores that ship quickly.

As much as I adore Japanese fashions, I own very few items of Japanese clothing. I really cannot justify the expense of the clothing plus shipping. Tokyo Rebel is an excellent option for me and anyone with a desire to have these clothes and not go to the poor house because of it. So many congratulations to Jeff for launching this killer store!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Been caught sleepin

I came home from work and couldn't find the dog. He usually is asleep in the closet by the front door of the house. We have a burglar alarm that I have to turn off when I come home. Through all the noise of my arrival, there was no dog to greet me. When I found him, he was sleeping so soundly that I was able to snap a number of pics without him ever stirring.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Eleventh Day

This is my eleventh day of work without a day off. Its about 7:45 in the evening and I'm counting down my very last hour until...a whole day off!

After 11 days, 87 work hrs, 4 performances, 3 hrs of bellydance workshops, 5 hrs of Kubrick films, an hr and a half of teaching, and a night singing for the old folks at the retirement home, I'm completely wiped.

Morrissey is on tomorrow night at The National in Richmond, so I'm beginning to feel excited despite not looking forward to the drive there and back. At least I get some time with the husband who I haven't spent much time with thanks to work and over scheduling.

Then back to work on Saturday.

For any interested parties, DragonForce has announced a show in Norfolk on Sunday May 10th. That's my mother's birthday, so I'll have to try to get her to celebrate on the 9th instead! DragonForce is the most ridiculous, energetic, delightful and entertaining super power fantasy metal band ever. Go see them if you can.

Most importantly, The Mechtorians series I arrived today. I love them so much...these Mindstyle releases are truly remarkable.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My name is Bruce - The Legend of Guan Di

I have had this damn song stuck in my head since Friday. Thanks a lot Bruce Campbell. No, really. Thanks a lot Bruce Campbell!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Boogie fever


Ugh. I feel like a human slug. A pesky sore throat has led me to consume mass quantities of Edy's slow-churned ice cream, alternating Chocolate Fudge Chunk and Take the Cake flavors. I need to get up off my bum and shake off a few calories.

March madness is at hand. We have 10 shows in three weeks. Fortunately, the Bellydance Superstars are coming this weekend! The lovely ladies are back to shake a tail feather again, and they are having workshops at my dance school. Thanks to some fortuitous timing, I'll be in a workshop with the luminous Zoe Jakes next Sunday. That's Zoe's picture above...ain't she purdy? She's also extremely sweet. I can't wait, I wish it was today even thought I'm still not feeling at the top of my game. At least I have something to look forward to over this coming rough week. I'm ready for dancing and ready for a real workout.

Sorry for the quiet here. Today is my first day off since the 16th of Feb and my last day off until March 13th. Yup, that's a total of one full day off in a month. It's no wonder I've been going to bed at 9:30 pm and sleeping past the alarm.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Watching the Oscars last night was painful. I just wanted to see Ledger's baby collect the award, but no such luck. His folks were lovely, however.

Otherwise, the show was a joke. Rourke was ROBBED.

Fortunately we didn't miss much of Flight of the Conchords which was quite funny last night (the "Epileptic Dogs" song was the best song on the show so far this season), as was the new Danny McBride show East Bound and Down.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

M'lady

A distinguished older English gentleman attended the production of Henry V this afternoon. He addressed me as "m'lady" and I was rather impressed and flattered.

I also met this very cool young girl from New York who is putting together a documentary about the Acting Company, the group who performed Henry V here this weekend. Turns out this girl shot a documentary about the Dresden Dolls in 2005. The doc was never given proper release, but I'm getting more info and weblinks so we can sneak a peek at it!

Michael at Punchbuggy Blues was a great friend and hand delivered my lovely Kathie Olivas NYCC exclusives yesterday. He also informed me that she's slated to attend the Dragon Con in Atlanta in September. I looked it up and now am planning a Labor Day excursion to GA because it appears that I will have the opportunity to meet several of my favorite artists, including Olivas, Brandt Peters, Tara McPherson and Doktor A. I don't think that I can resist missing this opportunity, even if it's costly and crazy. So I owe Michael a big thanks for the toys as well as for the valuable info.

I had better stop buying toys and start saving money...so that I can buy toys in September.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Droppin the new hot track!

My favorite recording artist, Uglyography, has just released a new song. The song premiered over the radio waves on 100.5 FM last Sunday. Have a listen and enjoy, it's a fun one!

http://steamyatticrecords.com/uglyography/mp3/my_brain.mp3

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Slave to the wage

Sorry for the lack of posts. My job has been killing my soul. Twelve hour days filled with nothing but customer service and accounting. Delightful.
Last Friday my worst work fear came true. We had a sold out show and the artist canceled around 10:30 am that morning. This means attempting to contact 400 people and explain the situation and their ticket options. It was an unholy mess. I will be dealing with the repercussions for some time to come. Plus, this weekend I have a 3-hr long Shakespeare production to look forward to! Both Saturday and Sunday! Aren't I lucky? My next day off appears to be February 29th. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it.
Plus, it's just been busy as all hell. No time to catch up on my blogging, hardly time to catch up on my requisite paperwork.

Also, IKEA let me down. I used to love it, now I shiver to think about it. Oceans of people and their screaming brats queuing up hundreds deep to pick up a shitty particle board 3-drawer chest to save $30 odd dollars. Crowds make me nervous and send me into a panic state. All I wanted was my display case. Thankfully I got what I needed, but it was a zoo. The customer service there is usually decent, but the employees were rude and unpleasant, and the checkout lines were nuts. Plus, Woodbridge has turned into a bourgeois mecca of sorts, a nightmare of commercial shopping and traffic. I will think twice or three times before ever considering another road trip to my beloved IKEA whose good reputation has now been forever sullied.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Heads up to my Lips fans!

I know a few of you who check this blog from time to time are Flaming Lips fans like myself. I just found out about this new movie that premiered this week called The Heart is Drum Machine. It's from the makers of the terrific documentary Moog. This new film is a creative exercise in which all sorts of musicians and artists were interviewed about their feelings and interpretations of music. It's a broad canvas, but there's certainly potential. The Flaming Lips give interviews, but even better is the news that Steve Drozd composed the film score.
Also making an appearance in the film is Fairuza Balk. How incredible, Fairuza Balk and The Flaming Lips in one film! It doesn't get much better than that.
Click here for the trailer.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Thilled!


I am overwhelmed with pure joy!

My friend at PunchBuggyBlues is the luckiest guy and is at the New York Comic Con right at this very moment. He did a huge massive favor for me and has secured two very limited NYCC exclusive Kathie Olivas babies for me. One is a cute little Scavenger named Beaumont, the other is a very rare limited Two-Faced Hazel edition (the Asia edition is on pre-order and I'm waiting on her, I'll have twin sisters!). I cannot believe my luck!

Thank you, Michael! You freakin' rock!

Also, I have found a new obsession in the form of Doktor A. His steampunk Mechtorian babies are breaking my heart with their cuteness.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cute x 3

Oh boy! From the directors of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Pola X, and The Host comes a trilogy of tales about...

TOKYO!

This looks very cute. This goes straight to the top of my list!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Happy days

I want to wish my beloved Kim a big happy birthday! I'm terrible about cards and such, but I can give her a big blog kiss! Happy Birthday and many happy returns!

Random notes:

The new Franz Ferdinand album, Tonight, is excellent. It's sticky hot Scottish disco and I love it. It's better than the last one. Of course, it's been about 4 yrs since their last full-length so they would have no excuse for mediocrity. No worries, it's top notch.

Kevin Smith's latest Zack and Miri Make a Porno was released on DVD this week. It's fantastic, the funniest movie I've seen in ages and ages. If you get it, be sure to watch the special features, particularly the outtakes.

Only one more day until...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Two more days...


Only two more days of waiting left, my friends!
Here's an article with Mr. Gaiman. His date for the premiere was none other than my favorite actress, Fairuza Balk. Seems a bit odd, but lovely nonetheless. The full article is here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009

Shopping Shout Out


Many of you are familiar with the glorious Etsy.com, a site specializing in facilitating the sale of handmade and vintage goods. Several of my talented, crafty friends are now selling their wares on Etsy. In fact, I'm going to start an Etsy links section on my sidebar. I'll get around to adding that soon enough, but in the meantime I must present my lovely sister-in-law's brand new Etsy store, Wear It Out Vintage! My sister-in-law is a very groovy lady who has spent the good part of a decade or more obsessively collecting vintage and retro clothing, accessories and housewares. She's finally started sharing the love by selling off some of her collection. She's got a great eye for spying kitschy cool stuff that's in good condition. She just started uploading a few items with many more to come.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Win some, lose some

The Wrestler was completely, utterly devastating and excellent. However, Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans was a stinky crapfest (they forgot to write a script). Too bad, I really enjoyed the cheesy fun action of the first two Underworld movies.

Other random junk of note:

Velvet Moon Bathery has some new products, including delightful body powder. It's silky and comes in a pretty jar complete with decorated black feathers for application. Yum.

Did you know that Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer of the show True Blood are dating in real life? They play lovers on the show, so I'm thrilled by this. I want Bill and Sookie together forever, in real life and on TV.

Morrissey - The National, Richmond VA - March - HAPPINESS!

Two week vacation - Dracula tour - Romania - July - UNADULTERATED JOY!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Movies '08

So without fanfare or frills, here's a random list of my twelve favorite movies of '08. My requirements for this list were simply that the movie be released either in US theatres or on US DVD in 2008 and that I had to view it within the year. (Revised on 1/26/09 thanks to a memory jog.)

Choke

The King of Kong

There Will Be Blood

Young at Heart

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Penelope

Be Kind, Rewind

Funky Forest: The First Contact

Tropic Thunder

The Midnight Meat Train

Sukiyaki Western Django

Eagle vs Shark (thanks Matt!)
What are your favorites from '08?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Most awesome of the awesome


I want to see The Wrestler so badly it's almost painful. It's pretty much all that I can think about. My job is so crazy. The show tonight is sold out and I've been here since 9 am and I'll leave around 9 pm. Tomorrow will be much the same. All that's getting me through is knowing that The Wrestler is coming on Friday.

I had hoped to know very little about the movie. However, I saw the preview yesterday and it made me want to see it even more. Mickey Rourke's amazing, rambling speech at the Golden Globes sealed the deal for me. Did anyone catch that? He prompted director Darren Aronofsky to give him the finger. He thanked Axl Rose and then thanked his dogs. It was by far the best speech ever given at an awards show.

Then I found Rourke's new ad for PETA (pictured above). I really thought that Dita Von Teese had the best ever PETA ad, but this might top it thanks to the use of the word "cajones".

Yesterday I saw Slumdog Millionaire. It was good (certainly miles above Wall-E). However, after 24 hrs to ponder, I don't think it's Danny Boyle's best. I remember being just thrilled to bits with Trainspotting, so much so that I saw it 3 times in its theatrical run. I also adored 28 Days Later. I guess I enjoyed Slumdog quite a bit, but I perhaps would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had no expectations. I just kept hearing how incredible it is. Yes, it's good, but perhaps just not quite great. Oh well, still entertaining and recommended.

Oh, I just can't wait until Friday!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Random stuff on a red letter day

Today is a big happy day. First of all, it's my four year wedding anniversary! Hurray! We get to go eat sushi and fancy dessert.

Today is also the day we celebrate the kitties' birthday. They are sisters. Happy Birthday, Chucky and Ezmeralda! They are 6 years old today.

I am trying desperately to get through the goofiness that is Stephanie Meyer's Breaking Dawn. I figured that I had better finish up the series. Good grief, it's a long book and it's so ridiculous. It makes the others seem somewhat realistic and highbrow. I'll probably be a bit dumber after I'm finished. In fact, I'm pretty sure the whole Twilight thing has made me even more of a moron than I was previously. Anyway, I'm anxious to finish it so that I can dive into some books I got for Christmas as well as the novel Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

The new tribal dance class began last evening and I think it's going to be excellent. I believe it will be a challenge but ultimately a very rewarding one.

Last Saturday we attended a surprisingly terrific bellydance and sideshow event in Richmond. Matt was the sound man and he did a wonderful job. We saw my instructor Dana do her thing (voi dance, incredible). We also saw tribal goddess Asharah who impresses me more each time I see her. There was also a fantastic juggler and jester, Paolo Garbanzo, who juggled "mostly razor sharp knives" and told jokes. It was a superb evening.

Enough rambling. I got off track a bit. Happy January 15th!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In the minority

I am no expert when it comes to family-friendly movies. I have a sentimental fondness for movies that I enjoyed as a child, like The Neverending Story and The Princess Bride. As a film buff, I try to keep myself open and try to see all sorts of movies. Last week we got the Blu-Ray of the Pixar film Wall-E from our Netflix queue.
Am I the only person who thought that Wall-E was rather preachy and sort of contrived? I didn't think that it was terrible, per se. The animation was incredible, of course (Pixar has always been at the top of the 3-D game). I just thought it was so-so. After all of the glowing reviews, perhaps my expectations were too high. It just amazes me that this is favored to win the Oscar not only for Best Animated Feature but also may have a chance at the Best Picture award.
Perhaps I am missing something. It definitely sends a nice message to young children about taking care of the planet. However, I doubt that there's a chance that the message will reach already full-grown idiots that I see tossing their McDonald's wrappers out onto the highway.