Tuesday, September 30, 2008

II Alternative trivia for Tuesday

Wherein #5 has no connection to #s 1-4

  1. Number of color films Humphrey Bogart was in.
  2. Who was Humphrey Bogart talking to after she married? "You used to be a great star," he said. "What are you now? "A happy woman," she replied.
  3. For the 1953 movie, "Beat the Devil," Bogart was in a car accident and lost a number of teeth. What young English actor, later known for a French accent, dubbed dialogue for the American actor.
  4. A costar of Bogart, Hitchcock, and a giant squid, this actor was the first to play a James Bond villain in the television adaptation of "Casino Royale."
  5. In the Microsoft I'm a PC commercial, who do I most want to punch in the face?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Give us our money back

Wherein be bold

For some reason the nest egg speech isn't on youtube. But in this 1985 Siskel and Ebert review of Lost In America is a bit of the speech. Start at the 5 minute mark.

Serendipity or "borrowed" idea? Fourteen hours after I display this clip, BoingBoing does the same. Since no one reads this, I'll go with serendipity. Also because there are no original ideas.

Monday Ballet Monday: Turning Point

Wherein I've never seen this movie Need to add it to the library

Sunday, September 28, 2008

45, including the mezzanine

Wherein from my favorite Coen brothers movie

From Sometimes a Great Notion. Haven't seen the movie, but the Ken Kesey novel is one of the great American works of art.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Alternative trivia for Tuesday

Wherein any unanswered questions will be dropped in the comments later in the week

  1. This 110-year-old advertising icon is known in France as Bibendum.

  2. Only available in 2005, in what country could you have purchased Coca-Cola Raspberry?

  3. Solve for z. Take the number of U.S. states at the time of John McCain's birth (x) and add them to the number of U.S. states at the time of Barack Obama's birth (y): x+y=z.

  4. Random guess of Bill's pop culture involvement. Looking at the list of Academy Award's for Best Picture, how many of the nominated films for 2006 and 2007 have I watched? Alternatively, I am thinking of a number from 0-10.

  5. What do they have in common: Velvet Underground, Twisted Brown Trucker Band, The Carpenters, Trip Shakespeare, The Go-Gos.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Ballet Monday: Polina Semionova & Vladimir Malakhov

Wherein Nutcracker assignments are posted today

Friday, September 19, 2008


Wherein Outis suggests I update my score card

Clare Grogan wrote a book

Wherein Gregory's Girl would also be high on the list of my favorite films

Times Online:
More than a quarter of a century later, despite the iced buns and the appearances on Celebrity Masterchef, Grogan is as petite as ever. Forty-six, with an adopted daughter, she retains a girlishness which goes beyond her slender physique. Now she has emulated Madonna and Geri Halliwell by producing a novel for children. Tallulah and the Teenstars, the first in a three-book deal, is due out in October.

The story is fanciful in the extreme.

Teresa Gordon longs to be a pop sensation, forms a band with her schoolfriends, overcomes parental disapproval, wins the school talent contest and ends up with an offer to support her idols Betty and the Bee Stings. The whole thing is utterly ridiculous until you remember that this is pretty much the story of Grogan’s life.

“I loved the notion of using some of my early experiences with the band,” she says. “It’s all pretty much as it was, apart from the school talent contest. We never did that.”

The book, which she describes as “little chick lit”, is a deliberate move away from the Jacqueline Wilson-style gritty and nitty novels where children come from broken homes, have mothers who take lesbian lovers and end up in care.

In Grogan’s book, Teresa lives with her mum and dad, shares a bedroom with her older sister and does the washing-up.

Grogan still remembers being dropped off at home in a limo only to be ushered towards a sink full of dirty dishes.

“People might accuse me of being old-fashioned and unrealistic and I suppose I am, but that shouldn’t stop you doing what you want in life. The book is not Dostoevsky but I just wanted to write something inspiring.

“I choose not to analyse the fact that, at 46, I feel very much the Tallulah of the book. It’s certainly weird and maybe a bit sinister.”

Maybe you remember her as Susan from Gregory's Girl.

Or perhaps you remember her as the lead singer of Altered Images.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Can you imagine a world without oil?

Wherein watching right now This movie definately makes my top 10 list

I have nothing to say to people who don't love this movie.

Paul Cebar

Wherein probably saw this guy for the first time around 1985

Paul Cebar, musicologist and musician extraordinaire. Guess I should check in more often because he had a new CD out last year. Haven't seen him in a while as he rarely tours outside Wisconsin or Minneapolis. Interesting, he's opening for Nick Lowe for a few dates in October.

The youtube info doesn't say when this is from, but I'm pretty sure this is from a Minnesota PBS show from the late 80s. Paul Cebar talks about his record collection and performs his song "I Love Soul"

More recent? Gimp Sparrow is on the new CD.

Just checking

Wherein because some days just looking out the window isn't a good enough indicator

Has The Large Hadron Collider Destroyed The World Yet?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The worst cover ever?

Wherein James Coco is like an unfunny musical theater version of Dom Deluise

In completely unrelated news, the website for the Book of Imaginary Beings has moved. Can you assign an Imaginary being to McCain, Obama, Palin, and ... the other old guy?

It's back

Wherein I don't know if it was worth coming back for Maybe I should take a break from the quiz for a few weeks

1. Show me a list and I could probably pick the correct one. At one time I worked for a bank that offered Totally Free Checking! or TFC as we liked to call it. Eventually we joked about offering THC - Totally High Checking and a bag of Cheetos with every new account. Which made sense being a branch in a grocery store and most of our customers were college students or on welfare. It sucked when welfare checks and social security checks came out the same day.

2. Me Phi Me is back? Nah, he'd never be considered a pop star. Got nothing for this.

3. The Orderly Brotherhood of Milking Stool Manufacturers.

4. Sounds Hawaiian to me.

5. Prospero

6. Ginger Rogers

7. I'm not even going to think about this one.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday Ballet Monday: Men

Wherein yanking the peas and carrots into position

Daniil Simkin

Monologue of Narek (ballet/dancer: Jonathan Jordan)

le corsaire male solo baris erhan turkish ballet

In the ballet school's handbook it specifies that upper division male dancers must wear a dance belt. If, like me, you're wondering just what is a dance belt -- is it like a jockstrap? -- here's the answer:
Dance belts are specialized support garments worn UNDER tights. They are designed to hold your male parts in place, keeping them protected while creating that rounded "bulge" you see in front. Dance belts look similar to jockstraps with one important difference - a single "thong" in back to avoid visible jockstrap lines. They are also tighter - with a no stretch pouch, so nothing can shift around once you've got it on. This helps avoid the embarrassment of a spontaneous erection becoming visible to the audience.

When putting on a dance belt it's important to take the time to get all your parts placed where you want them, as comfortably as possible, because once it's on, nothing is supposed to move until you take it off.

To put one on, pull your dance belt up around your waist or hips, to the height you normally wear your pants. Do not try to cheat by wearing it low, hoping to avoid thong tension. Your penis is supposed to end up facing up towards your belly button, so you can get that process started by letting the dance belt catch it as you pull it on. Next, reach inside the dance belt and pull your scrotum up inside the pouch. Your testicles need to be up and front, well clear of their usual dangling position. Adjust your penis position to face straight up. Then, make sure the pouch isn't riding too far up by pulling the pouch's bottom back down and back. Make sure the thong is firmly seated between your butt cheeks, pulling any looseness towards the rear waistband. Again, don't attempt to cheat by letting the thong float loosely. It's going to end up as far up your crack as possible halfway through class, so you should place it where you want it to go rather than leave its comfort to chance.

At first, you can expect some discomfort wearing a dance belt. However, a properly fitting one will soon stop bothering you and you will come to appreciate your ability to let loose, jumping and leaping around with wild abandon, knowing there won't be that painful bounce when you land.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Joan Armatrading

Wherein if I were to make a list of my favorite 100 songs this would be near the top

This would also be on there. Two Nice Girls combining Love and Affection with Sweet Jane:

Speaking of Lou Reed, I love this song by Marisa Monte and only recently discovered it's originally a Velvet Underground song:

There's a live version of this song with Lou Reed and Pete Townshend. I'd prefer this one, Waiting For the Man:

One of my favorite Pete Townshend songs is Face the Face. This is the video version, which is better than what was released on the White City album:

Thanks for the comment?

Wherein not really

Link. If I ever consistently got more than a handful of random comments from random strangers I'd probably disable comments (first) and then shut down the blog to public view (second and last). Not that that would stop the most dense and ill-mannered among us. In response to this post, I received an email whose entirety read "Send me the booklet in pdf." That's it. No please, no thank you, no if it's not too much trouble, just gimmee gimmee gimmee. I was actually polite, or at least civil. I know! Even I was surprised! I replied to the little shit and told him that in the blog post in question was a link to a site that included images of the booklet. Did I get a thank you for helping him out? Of course not.

I think I need a Brenda Kahn coffee mug.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Admittedly, of questionable taste

Wherein other Ikes also known for kicking ass

Violence and language issues

"crushed everything in its path"

a musical interlude

Blues for Ike

Ike vs. the Black Knight

For the record...

Wherein can I buy it printed on a laminated placemat at the White House gift shop

I don't know what the Bush Doctrine is either. But it sounds like [on second thought, never mind...not going to go there...but it involved Samuel L. Jackson and Quentin Tarantino].

Friday, September 12, 2008

Go on, have confidence in your rhetorical skills

Wherein female author and her self-fulfilling prophecy that women are subservient to men

Heather Mallick writes such inspirational prose as this:
Do they think vaginas call out to each other in the jungle night? I mean, I know men have their secret meetings at which they pledge to do manly things, like being irresponsible with their semen and postponing household repairs with glue and used matches.

But, being a woman, she questions herself and wishes she could pen manly words:
John Doyle, the cleverest critic in Canada, comes right out and calls Palin an Alaska hillbilly. Damn his eyes, I wish I'd had the wit to come up with it first.

That's the problem with having a vagina, it gets in the way of being a dick. But with hard work even that ceiling can be broken.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Gone Readin'

Wherein I'm skipping the Ken Jennings quiz this week because I'm busy and because I have no answers

Neal Stephenson's Anathem is out today. As previously mentioned, I have a plan. Part of this plan involves staying away from Teh Internet toobs until finished. Good-bye.

Go look at this.

One more before I head out (and before I head out I'm doing a load or two of laundry and making a loaf of banana bread. I'm like Mary fucking Homemaker around here): last days.

Monday, September 08, 2008

A conversation

Wherein The Wife is probably correct

ME: Sure the previous volunteers could've done a better job, but that's no reason to be rude and insulting.

THE WIFE: She's from New York.

ME: That doesn't mean she has to be an asshole.

THE WIFE: Yes it does.

Monday Ballet Monday: John Neumeier

Wherein there is a specific reason behind these selections that I will not mention

Spring and Fall

Death in Venice

Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler

1985 NY Times review of John Neumeier's "Mahler's Sixth Symphony."

April 2008 review of John Neumeier´s “Othello.”

DVD of "Die Kameliendame."

Friday, September 05, 2008

It is the universe that makes fun of us all

Wherein Life

Isn't she just singing over a Prince track?

Wherein this is basically Erotic City The Sequel

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Downloading to listen to later

Listening to the first couple minutes and the sound quality is horrible

As a Neal Stephenson AuthorTracker subscriber, we wanted to let you know
that Neal will be appearing on our internet radio show, THE BEYOND,
today to discuss his newest novel, ANATHEM, and answer questions from
fans live on air.

Listen TODAY at 4:00 PM EST.


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Because that's how it's supposed to be

Wherein woo phonetic spelling

Pissy McVinegar cops a 'tude with the classroom exercise. No idea where she gets it.

Why am I doing this?

Wherein I have no what the point of this is

Michael Wilbon chat:
DC: Can you explain what happened to [Jay] Mariotti in chicago?
Michael Wilbon: No, it's too involved. Just google his name and look back at it. It's amazing and complex and ridiculously overly dramatic...It's fun.

Fun? I'm up for fun. All I know is Jay Mariotti is a sports columnist. I think I've seen him screaming at other sports reporters on ESPN. Let me check out this google thing Wilbon mentions.
[8 minutes of elevator music]
He quit his job with the Chicago Sun-Times, claims newspapers are a dying business, and people don't like him.
Amazing? No.
Complex? No.
Ridiculously overly dramatic? If we can strike ridiculously, I'll compromise with just overly dramatic.
It's fun? No. It should've been. Loud-mouth jerk quits long-time job in a loud-mouth jerky way? That has trainwreck rubbernecking written all over it. But there's nothing new or entertaining in this story.

Let's recap

Wherein one more on politics

Let's check the scorecard. Here's how I have it scored:

Constitution-abusing dicks
John McCain
Joe Biden

Lollipop and rainbow farting unicorn
Barack Obama

Conservative Paul Wellstone
Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin impressed

Wherein a small break for politics

Probably the last time I enjoyed listening to a politician was Paul Wellstone at his 1990 victory celebration at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Before tonight's speech:

Wife: I have no idea who I'm going to vote for.
Me: Now you know how I feel every election.

Note: Kim Shattuck wants Barack Obama for president. But this is a great song and I thought it embodies the tone and attitude projected by Palin.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

"The people who came here sort of lucked into a situation of cowboy socialism"

Wherein some people maybe shouldn't get too carried away with the "western conservatism" equals libertarianism

Another quote from the most excellent political satire/thriller/conspiracy novel, Interface (Neal Stephenson and J. Frederick George).

Other Interface mentions:

"What is terrible is to live in a time when saying things is considered to be worse than doing them," Eleanor said.

"You seem to be forgetting here that people in this state, and in this country are damn tured of these unemployed welfare mother illegal aliens coming into this country and stirring things up!"

"Why don't you call them spics and wetbacks, the way you do when you're speaking on the telephone to Sam Wyatt?"

"That is a totally unprovable allegation!" Shad yelped. He looked shocked, horrified, to hear these words spoken in public, as if he and Sam Wyatt had invented the words for their personal use. "Listen. I am not a person with any kind of ethnic bias or bigotry. I limit my concern to those people, of whatever ethnic group, who take advantage of the system. Who are like parasites on the prosperous economic system that has built up over the years by the hard work of productive citizens the likes of Sam Wyatt."

"Sam Wyatt," Eleanor said. "Sam Wyatt, who grazes his cattle on government-owned land. Land that was occupied by Native Americans until the government paid soldiers to come out here and kill them. Sam Wyatt, who irrigates his ranch with water from a government-built dam. And you think that Anna Ramirez is a welfare queen? I;ve got news for you, cowboy. Everyone in the state of Colorado is a welfare queen. We all live and feed off the largesse of taxpayers in other parts of the country. It's just that some of us, like Sam Wyatt, have been here longer than others, and have had time to pile up more government welfare checks in their bank accounts and funnel more of that money back into big campaign contributions. So don't stand here in Denver, a metropolis built on a creek, the capital of Colorado, a state that would dry up and turn back into a prairie without the continuing help of the government, and bray about the bad moral qualities of welfare queens."

A couple pages later:
"It ain't just Colorado. YOu're the most hated woman in the West," Senator Marshall said. "A lightning rod."

"I know it."

"People wouldn't be so vehement unless your words were largely true," Senator Marshall said.

She gave him a searching look. "What's your opinion?"

The Senator winced, as if he wished she hadn't asked this question. He looked out the window for a while, appalled.

"Well, of course, you're right," he finally said. "The economy of this whole region is built on subsidies and federal programs. But people refuse to admit that because they want to believe in the cowboy myth. That their ancestors came out and made the desert bloom solely through their own hard work and pluck.

"Now, they were plucky, and they did work hard. But there are a lot of plucky, hardworking people in other places who have gone down the toilet anyway just because they were pursuing a fool's errand, economically speaking. The people who came here sort of lucked into a situation of cowboy socialism. Without federal programs they'd go broke -- no matter how hard they worked."

"Federal programs that are kept alive by senators."

"Yeah. Colorado's a small state population-wise. Our delegation in the House can't do diddly. But in the Senate, every state is equal. When one senator, like me, gets some seniority, works his way up into a few key committee chairmanships, then some states are more equal than others. My job -- my raison d'etre -- is to keep certain federal programs alive that prevent this region from turning back into the buffalo farm God intended it to be.

"It's a feedback loop. This is high-tech lingo that I picke up in the sixties when some goddamn ecologist was raving to me. I keep the programs alive. The economy thrives. People move to Colorado and vote for me. The cycle begins again.

"As long as those programs continue to exist, no one notices. They are part of the landscape. They are forces of nature, like the wind and the rain. The people who live off them, people like Sam Wyatt, have come to think of them as natural and divinely ordained. To them, living off of federal largesse is no different in principle than, say, fishing salmon from the Gulf of Alaska or tapping maple syrup from trees in Maine. So, when someone like you steps in front of the TV cameras and points out the obvious -- that these people are no different in principle from people who live off of welfare checks -- it just drive them crazy. It strikes at the heart of who they are."


Wherein a couple of hearty chuckles

Sarah Palin on the cover of Foreign Affairs.

The summarization of Bob Barr.

More entertaining football commentary than that jackhole who does Tuesday Morning Quarterback. After giving myself a headache with excessive eye-rolling due to the last TMQ (f'wad still doesn't understand the difference between a destroyed city and neglected planet), I've decided I have enough annoyance in my life without reading his bullshit about a sport I don't watch. I'm expecting Immodest Proposals to pick up the slack.

The day before Wednesday

Wherein despite my Neal Stephenson obsession I never knew his middle name I feel good about that

1. NYPD Blue
2. Andrew Carnegie
3. Chihuahuha
4. ???
5. muscles
6. Lion
7. Men dressing as women. But not that unusual in movies and there are plenty of more obvious choices.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Monday update

Wherein I fixed the misspelling in the earlier update

Poppy Z. Brite reports in:
Hello from uptown new Orleans. We are fine. We lost power and cell phone service early this morning and land line phone service this afternoon. Everything's still off except the cells. Seem to have made a come back. I received several text messages and, let's see, Chris has eaten almost all the junk food. And part of our back yard fence fell down crushing a bunch of my plants which sucks but if we get off that easy I guess we'll be happy.


Wherein will be left blank in solidarity

Reader_iam interrupts her vacation:
What an utterly pathetic, shameful place in which we find ourselves. In terms of journalism and information gathering and disseminating. In terms of the political blogosphere. In terms of candidates, and in terms of this election. Not just because of this, but it’s certainly the icing on the cake.

My contempt is close to knowing no bounds.

Gustav storm watch

Wherein This time Poppy Z. Brite isn't leaving

Sunday night:
Update, 7:37 PM
We're starting to feel the outer bands -- roiling clouds, gusty rain -- and I am starting crawfish stew. Chris is fretting that I won't finish it before the power goes out, but I think we'll be OK until late tonight, anyway. Great radio entertainment on WWL. Deke Bellavia taking calls from people in the throes of evacuation, people who are staying, and old guys who want to pray for us reeeeeeeallllllly slllloooooooooowly. They just said there are fewer than 10,000 people left in New Orleans. So far, all is peaceful.

Ballet Monday Ballet: "Ballet Shoes" the movie

Wherein BBC production starring Emma Watson

A BBC television movie shown lasts Christmas in the UK. One reviewer felt it was far inferior to the book. Isn't that almost always the case? It's out on DVD in the US tomorrow and had a limited theater release this past Saturday. I just found out about this today, so it's the DVD for us. Considering the nearest theaters to us that showed the movie are at least 45 minutes away, gas + tickets + popcorn + drinks = equals 3 copies of the DVD.

I'll need to look up the books.