Hey, what's up?

Not much going on in Ronsonville as I've just finished up a massive 192-page bonanza of our lil magazine this week. It's been a crazy couple of weeks, but since I finally have a break, I thought I'd update you all on a couple of movies I've seen recently:

Nashville (directed by Robert Altman, 1975)
This is the classic Robert Altman film. A bunch of characters and cross narratives and then a big crazy ending. He copied this formula in Short Cuts (which I think I still prefer) and Gosford Park and A Prarie Home Companion and pretty much every movie he's made since. (Except maybe Popeye). Anyway, it's an excellent flick with a looooot of country music and stars Lily Tomlin, Henry Gibson, Ned Beatty and a bunch of people who look like they might be younger versions of famous people, but actually are not.

Marie Antoinette (directed by V.S. Van Dyke, 1938)
Yeah, I was on a tangent with this one. I decided I'd give it a try because the new Coppola/Dunst version was coming out and since I know that film is anachronism-loaded, I thought Id' watch the original to see how things really played out. Bad idea. The problem with watching really old, mediocre movies is that you're constantly thinking about it. You can't get lost in the story, so you just sit there thinking "Wow, this is so old. How sad. All these people are probably dead." It was also two and a half hours, which is an ungodly length even in these modern times. I made it through about 45 minutes before I started fast-forwarding...

In Her Shoes (directed by Curtis Hanson)
That's right, folks. After making 8 Mile (aka the Eminem movie), Curtis Hanson followed it up by directing this little pile of fluff. Cameron Diaz! In an old folks home! Kari made me watch this, and so, as revenge, I'm gonna make her watch The Deer Hunter I think...

So there you go! In my spare time, I 've been watching weird, old movies. What's up with you?


Attention, Starbucks!

I know that Starbucks is an evil power and can basically do whatever they want, but why are they hiring rude morons to serve us? In the long run, it's gonna drive business away, which is ridiculous since they've easily cornered the overpriced coffee market.

I've had the pleasure of dealing with one of these morons recently on a trip to the Starbucks in Cincinnati's lovely Rookwood Pavillion. It's the Disney World of mall shopping, folks. Anyway, here's a dramatic interpretation of the incident:

Me: One Grande Mild coffee, please. (my usual order)

Crazy Starbucks Guy: A dollar, seventy-five.

(at this point, it seems like it's going to be a normal Starbucks experience. But alas, no. Money exchanges. And then....)

CSG: All right, so one small coffee, right? (CSG holds a small cup up to me, like I need a visual representation)

Me (confused): No, I said "grande."

CSG (exasperated, yelling and shaking the small cup at me): What?! Now, wait a second you said you wanted a tall coffee. Small! You said a tall coffee!

Me (baffled and angry): I gave you a dollar seventy-five.
CSG glances at the cash register.

CSG: Oh.

No apology or anything. He pours the coffee, hands it to me, says nothing and moves on to ruin someone else's morning. A completely awful and awkward experience. I want the coffee, but I'm not goin' through that. Also, after complaining about this at work, I found out several of my co-workers have dealt with this guy too. He has a reputation! How does he even have a job?

So, as a public service, I've roughly sketched the guy (above). Avoid him at all costs! And, if you're in a position of power in the Starbucks machine you might want to find a way to demote him to stockroom clerk or something so he deals with the public in no way whatsoever.

You're welcome, America!


Music Update: The Latest Buys and Most Listens

Last five CDs bought:
1 Beastie Boys • Ill Communication ($3 at Amoeba Records in SF)
2 Nico • Chelsea Girl ($10, also at Amoeba. Got interested after reading about her and the Velvet Underground in Please Kill Me. Oh, that book. That's a whole 'nother post...)
3 Sebadoh • III (this is the reissue -- picked it up for 12 bucks at another SF music store. Worth it for the "Gimme Indie Rock" EP...)
4 KMD • Best of KMD (Doom when he was Zenlove X.)
5 Beck • The Information/The Decemberists • The Crane Wife (tie)

Heavy rotation (a little harder to quantify):
1 KMD • Best of KMD
2 Lupe Fiasco • Food & Liquor
3 TV on the Radio • Return to Cookie Mountain
4 Beck • The Information
5 The Beatles • Please Please Me (The first Beatles record -- I bought this a long time ago, but never listened to it. I know most of the songs anyway, so I guess it wasn't really a priority. P.S. I Love You is actually a pretty good song...)


100-word Project Runway recap DOUBLE FINALE PART TWO

Just 100 more words and it'll all be over...

Back for more drama! Previously, scandal was afoot. Tattoo Neck labelled a liar, cheat, and just generally creepy. After much build-up, Tatt is cleared on all charges (except going over budget by $230. Wait. Isn't THAT cheating?). He cries like a little baby. Very un-punk.

Runway. The "creator of fashion week" is the special bonus judge. Sounds fishy. Debra Messing unavailable?

Judges. The judges aren't keen on Michael (boo!) or Architect Woman (eh). They're out. It's down to Uli and Tattoo Neck. Since "Pleatgate," these two haven't been able to keep their hands off each other. Kinda weird. Tattoo Neck wins! No one cares.

The message? If you're a cocky, rude, former drug addict with a big, ugly tattoos on your neck who shows no regards for the rules of the game and yells at people's moms, you can win a reality TV show! And you win a Saturn too, to which Tattoo Neck replies "This does not suck!" Wish we could say the same, Tatty.

I'm back!

San Francisco was a lot of fun. Took a cool drive up the Pacific. Great food and a couple of really cool music shops. Here's a pic I took of a happy couple while we were hanging out at the Golden Gate bridge. They solve mysteries or something. Anyway, it's back to work!


San Francisco fan

Heading out to San Francisco soon, so posting will be erratic for a bit. Very excited about the trip though! See that person having a picnic in the above photo? Um....that's me!

Finally, I'll get the subtle nuances in SF-based TV shows like Charmed, Full House and Suddenly Susan. See ya when I get back!

100-word Project Runway recap FINALE PART ONE

More Runway insanity! It's 2 months later:

Tim Gunn and his Saturn Roadster check on the finalists. First, Michael. His work looks shaky but Tim hangs with his family anyway. New York. Architect Woman's kid offers Tim turtle crap. Miami. Uli has no family or friends. Sad! Last, L.A. Tattoo Neck's work impresses Tim to hug level.

Back in NY. Everyone has problems, except Tattoo Neck who gets another hug. He then does nothing for two days. AW thinks something's up... jealousy or legit?

She and Tim talk on the veranda. AW thinks Tatt cheated. A tiny bit. Tim says the producers will investigate. Then, because she's crazy, AW confronts Tattoo too. He freaks in a guilty-ish way.

Next Week: Dramatic conclusion! Tattoo Neck gets booted from the competition and has to get the word "Cheater" tattooed to his forehead. Architect Woman, after putting too much effort into the "Tattoo Neck shakedown," forgets to design the rest of her collection. Michael, in a panic, puts sequin pockets on all of his outfits. He is then sued by David Hasselhoff. Uli wins and for the next 8 years everyone will look like they're going to a cocktail party in Miami. Eh. It's still a better conclusion than Season 2.


Apple cores and Chinese newspapers

Hey all, in this week's CiN, I was a guinea pig for a power bar taste test with a few other brave members of our staff. You can check out the story here via CiN Weekly's web site. Might not learn much, but it's pretty entertaining stuff...


Welcome back, WOXY.com!

Fortunately for us all, the coolest online radio station is back, for a second time. When they sounded off with Kick Out The Jams, I had a sense that they might be back again soon (after all, though MC5 is great, that wasn't the most sentimental of choices for "last song ever...").

Oddly enough, I first found out about this through Kari via that other blog we do, which is a little weird. Ah, these modern times...

They opened with a song called Caheunga Shuffle by The Oohlas. Not quite sure the signifcance of that. For those looking for more symbolically titled ditties, they followed that up with songs from Babyshambles (Back From The Dead) and Yo La Tengo (The Race Is On Again).

Anyway, the latest WOXY rescue is apparently thanks to a web site called Lala.com. And there's some crazy new ideas coming from the site too. Here's just one according to the news story at Pitchfork.com:

“...listener-generated playlists, or what WOXY and La La have deemed "Citizen Radio". Beginning in a matter of weeks, WOXY fans will be able to program their very own set of favorite tunes over at lala.com, drawn from the extensive and always growing WOXY digital catalog. Quite a few test playlists are already up and running at La La's website.”

See? Crazy. And exciting! It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. Anyway, let me be the 7,000th person to say welcome back!


Latest art project

Just so you all know that I'm not just drawing giant chin dudes and bizarre super heroes, here's the latest thing I've been working on. It's really just for the enjoyment of it, basically a project without a home...

I went to the tablet to draw something a little more detailed than my first project. I wasn't really thinking about the final drawing (my initial idea was actually some sort of alien wearing a suit). I ended up with some sort of carny, so I gave him a crazy sidekick. Yeah, I need to stop it with the insane animals...

While talking to Rob about the drawing a bit later, he started singing the tune to "The Entertainer" (a lot). That gave me the idea that this guy could also pass as a silent film star. Just take away Psycho and change the coloring...

So if you know somebody working on a project about silent films or carnival hucksters, I've got an illustration for 'em! Pretty common subjects. I'm sure the offers will be rollin' in...


100-word Project Runway RECAP Reunion Special

And now the latest from Project Runway! aka Ronson's reunion show rant...

I hate TV shows that try to hype their own mythology, like shamelessly plugging things as the "most talked about moment in the history of the show." That's why I really hate any type of reunion show.

By rehashing the "mom incident" to death and Keith's early boot from the show, this episode salted old wounds the only way reality TV can. The fifteen minutes of entertainment came from the cast's bizarre quirks (i.e., Milan's Peter Lorre-esque laugh), Vincent's laundry freakout and Bradley's possible "oh-my-God-I-look-like-the-Spindoctors'-lead-singer" moment, as he's now completely clean-shaven.

Otherwise, a bunch of awkward, chair-shifting moments and meaningless filler. Eh.

Next week: Tattoo Neck and Architect Woman lash out at each other in more inventive, ridiculous and immature ways. Uli designs the exact same dress sixteen times. And Michael wins. Please oh please let Michael win...


Peach iced tea. You're gonna hate it.

If you don't know what this is from, you've got a show to start watching. I've had this line in my head all day and then I keep laughing at my desk to myself like an idiot.

More Kinkade action!

Above is an exciting and tense moment from last weeks game. Since my pseudo-injury (shin splints? I'm having it checked out soon), I find myself turning into some sort of soccer dad acting as the primary cheerleader and sketch artist for the team. In fact, my plan is to bring a cooler of water to the next game, then take the gang out for Pizza Hut afterward.

The rest of the Kinkade highlights are here. Check 'em out!


Your Guide to Music, 10/3/06

Hey, R-ville is on a little break, so check out my guide to new music this Tuesday over at one of the side projects I'm involved in, the pop culture review Popography. I give predictions on everything from Beck and the Decemberists to Evanescence (sp?) and Jet. Surely, your music collection will thank you!