Archive for August, 2005

Spread your wings and fly…

For those of you who take an interest, The Anvil & Sprocket now reviews indie film The Aviary and finds it quite good.

Friday, August 26th, 2005

It’s the Friday Ten – and I like it, too!

Time for some random ten goodness, yo.

  1. “Cough Syrup (Live)” – Butthole Surfers
  2. “Boogie Stop Shuffle” – Charles Mingus
  3. “Red Moon” – David Gray
  4. “I Turn My Camera On” – Spoon
  5. “Yahweh” – U2
  6. “Ride a Black Swan (Live)” – Zwan
  7. “Parachute (Live)” – Guster
  8. “Without You” – Harry Nilsson
  9. “Drift Away” – Linda Eder
  1. “Into the Night (Live)” – mamaSutra

Friday, August 26th, 2005

Randy Newman thanks you

Over at the San Francisco Chronicle, C.W. Nevius talks about attending an open house at the Pixar studios on the celebration of 10 years since the release of Toy Story. Among other things, Pixar finally tells the story of how Disney treated the project in the early stages.

Disney, which was bankrolling the project, peppered the young animators with notes and suggestions. The story was too juvenile, the higher-ups said, and the characters had to be edgier. Afraid to trust themselves, Lasseter and his crew tried to follow all the directions.

It was, nearly everyone agrees, a train wreck. Disney hated the movie and the idea—and shut it down.

...

Lasseter recalls that he “begged’’ for two weeks to fix things. The animators went back, took out all of Disney’s suggestions and made the movie they wanted to make in the first place.

And, naturally, when they screened the new version, Disney execs loved it. There’s your corporate minds at work: First they screw it up and hate it, and then don’t even realize that they’re watching what they hated in the first place.

This would be funny, if not for the fact that Disney recently announced their intention to release a Toy Story 3 – whether or not Pixar is on board.

Does anybody really feel that the corporation that nearly ruined the original pic in the first place should be allowed to handle the next sequel all by itself?

Thursday, August 25th, 2005

Assistance!

I’ve been spending the past week setting up my office for my new position as a grad assistant. You can see the gallery on Flickr.

Sunday, August 21st, 2005

But he wears a baseball cap! And he raps!

There have been some really lousy attempts at updating… well… pretty much everything. I know. I’ve reviewed some of them.

Now, here’s two that strike me as particularly funny.

First – the new Dick Tracy villain (yes, they’re still writing new Dick Tracy comics – no, they’re not particularly good) is a multiple-cell-phone wielding DVD and CD pirate whose flunkies have names like Handheld, Broadband, Download, Burner, and Laptop (the obligatory dame in the slinky dress – can’t ya just smell the double-entendre?). With hard-edged, beak-nosed Dick Tracy taking time off from his schedule of tracking down ruthless killers and diamond thieves so that he can rough up guys hawking bootleg DVD’s on the streetcorners, we can rest assured that serious crime isn’t a problem in the good ol’ US of A any more.

It’s an obvious MPAA kiss-up, but that aside it just doesn’t work in the fast cars and tommy guns world of Tracy. Besides which, there are some doubts to the veracity of the strip. As Tracy busts a streetside vendor who complains that he’s only trying to make a living, Tracy snarls, “Your living is costing the movie industry five billion a year.” And I may not be familiar with the sprawling urban centers where most of the bootleg DVD sales occur, but do bootleg vendors really try to sell their bootlegs by labelling Star Wars with bogus names like “Stair Wells” and “Store Wares”? Wouldn’t that kind of hurt their chances at selling?

And yes, I’m perfectly familiar with the fact that Dick Tracy is the home of Flattop, the two-way wrist radio, and Moon Maiden, but I think that’s a completely different brand of making crap up.

Second on the list? The Catholic church is using a Matrix parody to recruit new priests.

The Catholic church is using a Matrix parody to recruit new priests.

Hm.

I can’t really think of a punchline for that one.

Edit: I’m sure there’s a clever line attached, but has anybody else noticed that The Catholic Priesthood appears to be rated “R”?

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

The truth of the Friday 10 – Revealed!

Ah-__ha!__ I have cracked the secret of the Friday 10!

See, doing the Friday 10 means that if you don’t update all week, you wind up with a strink of Friday 10’s all stacked on top of each other.

So to prevent that from happening, you wind up blogging about chocolate.

I’m onto you, chocolate manufacturers of the world….

  1. “California Dreamin’” – Queen Latifah
  2. “Dance” – Michael Nesmith
  3. “Lost Control” – Unwritten Law
  4. “Sonnet 1 (And When the Sun Goes Down)” – Crash Test Dummies
  5. “MTA (Live)” – Carbon Leaf
  6. “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)” – Grateful Dead
  7. “Dirty Denim” – The Donnas
  8. “Last Night I Had A Dream” – Randy Newman
  9. “Put your Finger in the Air” – Pete Seeger
  1. “Fair Ireland” – Peter, Paul, & Mary

Friday, August 19th, 2005

Add a sprinkling of geek

I’ve been setting up an office for my new G.A. position this past week, so I’ve been geeking out every chance that I get. That’s why I love this blog I’ve just found – Slashfood. It combines my two great loves. Geekdom (which helped to get me my G.A. position) and food (which helped me to get my current physique). And these people love food. I mean, they really love food.

Including chocolate. And dark chocolate. Witness their discussion of combining Lindt dark chocolate with Nutella.

So then what is left in my refrigerator? A perfectly dignified half of a three ounce bar of Guylian Belgian Dark Chocolate which I bought about a month ago and which has been patiently cooling it’s heels in my fridge ever since. Sure, it’s dark and pungent and no doubt so rich in tryptophan and phenylethylamine that a single little chocolate square will wipe clean a whole summer Monday worth of stress, but who cares? It’s European; it’s respectable; it’s boring.

But here’s where Nutella comes in. For those who don’t know, let me school you on this hazelnut and chocolate spread the European kids all love over there. It can usually be found near the peanut butter in your non-average grocery store, and it’s sweet enough to be a good yin to the austere and bitter yang of the dark chocolate (Note: don’t put the Nutella in the refrigerator after it’s opened – put it in the kitchen cabinet in plain sight so when you open the door to get sugar for their coffee, your guests think you’re European).

Break up the big squares of an 85% Lindt and spread a bit of Nutella on it, the way you might put cream cheese on a ritz cracker, then arrange the squares in an Escher-esque pattern on an ordinary small plate, garnish with strawberries if available, and serve with either after dinner coffee, chamomille tea, or Bombay Gin on the rocks with lime.

And the goodness doesn’t end there. Don’t care for the trans-fats in Nutella? Slashfood will point you toward Trader Joe’s trans-fat free Nutella clone. Looking for a healthy alternative to brown sugar? Slashfood suggests Sucanat – which, despite the trendy sugar alternative-esque name, is actually closer to natural sugar than anything else you’ll find in the stores.

Of course, there’s still enough elitism to make it a true culinary site, but it’s forgivable on a site this fun.

Alton Brown – I love “Good Eats,” but your blog could stand to look a little more like this.

Friday, August 19th, 2005

Friday 10 – The One Week Since Last Update Special!

  1. “Momma, I’m a Cowboy” – Rick Devin
  2. “Put Your Finger in the Air” – Pete Seeger
  3. “Rewind” – M.C. Frontalot
  4. “Mary, Mary” – Run DMC
  5. “Too Much Food” – Jason Mraz
  6. “Life Less Ordinary” – Carbon Leaf
  7. “The Locker Room Orgy” – Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical
  8. “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” – U2
  9. “Soixant Neuf Anee Erotique” – Serge Gainsbourg
  1. “On The Road to Find Out” – Cat Stevens

Friday, August 12th, 2005

the Random Ten: Paperwork Edition

Who knew just getting started on an M.A. would be this difficult?

Before I rush out the door to a 45-minute drive to sign a single paper that apparently slipped by without my signature, here’s the random Friday Ten.

  1. “Hey, JO (Part 2)” – The JO-DBL Experience
  2. “One In A Million” – Guns ‘n’ Roses
  3. “All Mine” – The Dancehall Crashers
  4. “Step to the Street” – Agents of Good Roots
  5. “The Only Thing I Want For Christmas” – Eddie Cantor
  6. “Till I Get You” – Nikki Costa
  7. “Sad Sad Situation” – Bowling For Soup
  8. “Clang Boom Steam” – Tom Waits
  9. “Undone” – Owsley
  1. “Wurlitzer” – David Gray

Friday, August 5th, 2005