Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Film roundup 2K6

Now venturing into territory that treads on the usual critical folks, so I will try to be somewhat innovative in my observations:

Movies I Really Liked

  • Little Miss Sunshine
    This movie was shown on the plane yesterday! I've never heard a plane laugh so much. I really loved watching this film in the theater. The movie after it on the plane featured Aaron Eckhart, William Hurt, Ian McKellen, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange and, yes, Brittany Murphy. I didn't have the earphones in, but it looked liked a start-studded piece of shit.

  • Borat
    Sure it was mean. But so is America.

  • Stranger Than Fiction
    Entertainment Weekly looked down on this movie as "Charlie Kaufman Lite." Since when does Kaufman get sole dibs on Cinematic post-modernism?! Beautiful performances abounded and a sneaker ending that had me in tears. I think the problem was that the film was marketed as a comedy. I don't think it was.

  • Little Children
    A special shout out goes to the narrator from Frontline who adds even more bizarre to this gem of a film. Among the most enjoyable voiceover narrators because it actually became a character

Movies I Should Have Seen But Haven't

  • The Last King Of Scotland

  • United 93

  • A Scanner Darkly

  • The Queen

  • Half Nelson

  • Casino Royale

  • An Inconvenient Truth

  • Volver (in English)
    I saw it in Spanish in March. I would love to understand the other 75% of it.

What the Hell Was This Movie and Why did they Name it That?

  • Failure to Launch

Why I saw less movies in 2006

  • Boyfriend with alternative work schedule who sees many movies without me

  • I saw a lot of plays this year (somewhat embarssingly, watching my own play took up a lot of early summer)

  • TV is tending to be better

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best discovery of english speaking comedy duos recommended by friends from Commonwealth countries

Yes, behind the times again here. These are both new to me discoveries, but I am thrilled that this is now a category.

1. Little Britain
English Duo, recommended by Canadians. Generally very crass and inappropriate sketch humor, enhanced by great makeup and costumes and a strange feature where essentially each sketch can be boiled down to a single memorable line. Favorite line: Computer says no. Second favorite line: Bitty.

2. Kath and Kim
Australian Duo, recommended by Australian. The Australian single camera comedy which is so fast and hard to understand, and very funny. Further evidence that Australians and Americans share a common trashiness in culture. Favorite line: Thin Ice, Sharon. Second favorite line: It was all about the Shah of Iran. Very interesting, but I don't agree.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Some Top Discoveries 2006

An incomplete listing

Text Messaging
It's like email for your cellphone! Except that it's not. Unobstrusive, curt, yet intimate. And costs more than a call. Why do I do this?

Email on the cellphone
It's like email for your cellphone! I got a new phone and web surfing (at a speed that conjures up images of 1998) is free until January so this habit will be stopping soon. But I've found it's a very enjoyable thing to check email while waiting for Bart, though I never reply because i can't get the T9 to work for the web. I don't need to trouble you with this.

Theater Blogs
Taking local theater gossip to the global marketplace. See my post below for a number of examples.

The New Mall
The new mall is pretty amazing isn't it? Gorgeous! Great movie theater, different stores, and the best food court ever created. And those bathrooms? The dome? Jesus it's a great mall.

The bathroom at the Castro Pottery Barn
Though I have yet to use it myself, I have heard from reliable, trusted sources that this is THE public bathroom to use when you need to go in the castro and market area.

Community Supported Agriculture and bona-fide free range eggs
After reading The Omnivore's Dilemma we started getting a biweekly produce box from Eatwell Farms. It tends to be a surprise what we get each week, but overall it's been quite delicious, not to mention a great way to add new vegetables and recipies to the mix. Best part: the eggs. I forgot how delicious an egg could be. Worst part: Sometimes they get a little turnip happy at the farm. We've been getting a lot of turnips.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My favorite albums that I bought in 2006, even though many of them were not released in 2006

Imogen Heap - speak for yourself
Imogen had me at "Vocoder." Ever since a neighbor of ours in Mill Valley gave me a demo of the amazing device as a child, I have been quite taken by electronic musical instruments. Add on to that Imogen Heap's great voice and harmonies that feel like a starry blanket of pristine angst, and you've got a swell album. Not as good as Frou Frou, but still good.

Mylo - Destroy Rock & Roll
The aforementioned youth Vocoder encounter plus a steady youth diet of Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, and Jean Michel Jarre as a child has led me to very much enjoy music that has not necessarily been produced by instruments made by careful craftsmanship, but instead by brilliant engineering.

This is a "new to me" (2004) album, but I bought it this year and enjoy its clean, classic electronic songwriting. Catchy, danceable, very pleasant. On top of that there's a song where they pronounce rock stars wrong. Example they say "Cini Looper." awesome.

Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
Not only an album with one of the best singles of the year.

Herbert - Scale
Spare, odd, catchy with wild orchestrations. Definitely one of my favorites of 2k6. First song, Something Isn't Right is a solid opener and the album holds steady song after song that drift from odd intros to catchy uplifiting rises to bizarre noise and wonderfully understated singing throughout.

Thom Yorke - The Eraser
Love me some melancholy epicness. This album encapsulates the mood of the new play I'm writing. Except that my play will have jokes in it too.

Yo La Tengo - I am Not Afraid of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
We're now moving into the less electronic section. Simply a great yo la tengo album with so many surprises with each track. Awesome. And you know, why do all the indie kids piss on "Summer Sun" (their last album)? It's one of my favorite moody atmospheric albums. Sometimes Pitchfork can be so pretentious.

Stew - Something Deeper Than These Changes
I saw Passing Strange at Berkeley Rep and then dug up this album on iTunes. Love love love the songs. Chord changes that feel like gravy on the ribs, heartbreaking and humorous lyrics, spare, strangely addictive. Stew's music is a huge reason why that show still lingers in my mind as one of my favorite things I saw this year (even though I only saw a dress rehearsal)

Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
Already a proud owner of Illionoise which blew me away and Michigan which I liked, I reached deeper into the Sufjan canon and find this one to be a real treasure. Differently styled and less epic than the states, and some really great songs. That man almost makes me want to be a practicing Christian.

Joanna Newsom - Ys
Wow. This album is nuts. Loving it. Harp!!!!

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Best Month of 2006


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Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Top 10 Mild Habits of 2006

Top 5 Mildly Bad Habits of 2006

5. Perennial Favorite A: Nail chewing
Nail chewing remained a strong mildly bad habit in 2006. A concerted effort was made in late summer to really really try to not chew the nails, and some impressive cuticles formed after a couple diligent weeks. These impressive cuticles, alas, seemed too irresistible to bite.

4. Sitting in office chair with foot under bottom.
This is a strangely impulsive sitting position at the home computer in the guest bedroom. This tends to result however in a large red spot

3. Newly developed paranoia that coffeemaker hot plate is still on requiring needless checking
Always one to double check on the locking of the door, the coffeemaker has added its own element to the regular ritual of not trusting myself while leaving the premises. Longest distance walked before returning to check hotplate: 2 blocks.

2. Perennial favorite B: Knuckle cracking.
Not so much a bad habit as reliable pleasure.

Perhaps the shittiest popular website out there in the web today. My biggest complaint: Every time I log in, a page loads and tells me that I "Must Be Logged In To That!" C'mon, Tom, why don't you fix that? And yet I still go every day.

Top 5 Mildly Good Habits of 2006

5. Donations to charity on automatic billpay
25 bucks a month disappears around the same time my student loan payment gets pulled and I hardly notice. So nice when you can use technology to not think about helping!

4. Shampooing and Conditioning with nicer products and more regularity
A new habit after a particularly wiry hair period, thanks to using Dove Shampoo. Who knows what a "weightless moisturizer" is exactly. All I know is that it fried my hair. The new Italian stuff is keeping things much silkier and sheenriffic up there.

3. Going to the Gym Regularly!
This is a big lie. I fell of the wagon in the summer. But I am slowly trying to climb back into the groove. Need to fight the muffin top!

2. Walking down Hoff Street between 16th and 17th on the way to Bart
I don't know why, but skipping the corner of 16th and Valencia makes the walk to Bart so much more pleasant. It's still just as dirty, but somehow feels quieter, peaceful, and private even though it's not really any of those things.

1. Writing almost every day
Yeah yeah, writing is magical, blah blah blah.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Top 10 Month

This is the first December I have ever blogged within and so in its honor I will be dedicating the majority of my posts for the month to Top 10 Lists. Or perhaps just "Best of 2006" lists in cases where I don't feel like ranking within my best.

I'm not prepared just yet to Top anything (don't read into that, gays) but just wanted to give you heads up.

In the meantime, I hope many of you are enjoying all the goodies and treats that showed up in your shoes this morning or tomorrow morning. That's a special shout out to you Europeans.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

My current morning internet circuit

I've noticed I have an evolving morning ritual of websites I like to check out while I sip my first cup of coffee in the morning. I thought I'd share with you my current morning tour of the Internet:

The browser loads up on here, and I immediately surf to here. Perhaps I should make that my homepage, though sometimes I go here first. After a brief survey of death and depression, I take a short click over to here and see what's happening in my "industry," as they call it. This begins an extensive trek of theater where I stop by here, here, here. The latter one has a great blog roll which then prompts me to check on various blogs such as these here, here and here. I used to regularly stop by here, but she ain't posting no more. We miss you Karen!!! Love, your Internet fans.

Then it's time for local associate check in to places like here here, here, and here and many more and then a local theater survey to such places as here, here and here and whoever happens to pop in my head while I'm clicking.

Then it's a usual stop by here to deny friendship to prostitutes, and here to see if someone thought I was hot while tying my shoe as they hid behind a cereal display, and maybe even here here to look at the dirty pictures. This occasionally leads to me to go to sites that I will not mention for an unspecified amount of time.

And of course every narcissist can't complete his trip on the Internet without an old stop to here, here and of course here

That's the current morning circuit. Deeper in the day there are stops to other great locales, but I will share those with you at a future time.

Short Attention Span

I think I might

Friday, December 01, 2006

oh it's december now

good lord. It's just flying buy these months.

I'm waiting for the slow month. When does that month happen where it feels like you've been in that month forever and you can't wait for that month to end? I also find myself saying "oh things are going to be a lot mellower after [such and such date]" and then things don't get mellow. Maybe I'm lazy.