Monday, February 28, 2005

Did you get your pre-hike Metrocard this weekend?

Not much posting in the forseeable future. I'm running behind on everything, including, work projects, non-work projects and the look-for-work project. Such is the life of me right now. Everything's late but my period. Or something.

Upcoming posts on - the Oscars, the snowstorm(s) and... probably no OC recap until after Thrusday's ep, but Central Village summed it up pretty well. Good episodes, even if it got all crazy tying up all those story arcs.

Oh, and I'm done with my David Hasselhoff obsession.
Later kids.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Congratulations Maureen!

In the words of the great Mr. Hasselhoff,
I paid a lotta dues, had plenty to lose
Travelling across the land
Worked on a farm, got some muscle in my arm
But still I'm not a self-made man
I'll be on the run for many years to come
I'll be searching door to door
But, given some time, some day I'm gonna find
The freedom I've been searchin for

Well Maureen, you can stop looking for freedom now because you've found it. Congratulations on finishing the bar exam. Wasn't so bad, was it?

Bloggers are the new rappers

Josh Levin of Slate examines the parallels between rappers and bloggers. I don't pay that much attention to political blogs because the discourse is, well, not much of a discourse but this is an amusing piece:
Although bloggers and rappers are free to write about whatever they damn well please, they mostly talk to each other and about each other. That's partly because it's so easy to communicate with your fellow working professionals. If Nas disses you for not having a moustache, it's easy enough to come right back and tell him you slept with the mother of his child. When Markos from Daily Kos offhandedly admits that he doesn't read many books, Little Green Footballs steps up to hammer the softball.

Wal-Mart in Queens not happening. Yet.

It appears our worst fears won't be realized for now. Develepors building a shopping complex in Rego Park dropped plans to include Wal-Mart because of all the bad pub. Guess shoppers will still have to leave the Five Boroughs for sanitized music, mistreated employees and goods manufactured in China.

On the other side, the new Downtown Whole Foods appears to be well on its way. Now, I've complained before about all the development below Houston, but oh, I can't stay mad Whole Foods. Man, that store is so scary, yet so incredibly fabulous. Yes, I admit, I might just find myself shopping at the Avalon Chrystie Whole Foods.

But you know what? They might be a chain, but at least they treat the customers well and carry quality products. That's more than can be said for Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart links:
  • Not Ready for Wal-Mart (Gotham Gazette)
  • The 10 Worst Corporations of 2004 (AlterNet)
  • The Wal-Mart Manifesto (Slate)

  • Wednesday, February 23, 2005

    More on the De La Soul tour

    I'm reposting links for De La tour dates since Pollstar took them down for some reason. Actually, I'm not sure what's going on here - Spitkicker says they're playing the Walter Reade Theater on 3/6, but Hip Hop Elements says they're playing Spirit.

    Neither venue is listing the show right now. But the good news is, the tickets are $1.20 - if you know where to get them.

    Previously: Indie Rock (Could Never Hip Hop Like This)

    David Hasselhoff says...

    "Hang in there, Maureen!"

    As I mentioned earlier, Maureen is taking the bar exam and it's been quite stressful for her, to say the very least. But she's now completed two days and has one to go.

    This is for you - you're almost on dry land:

    Some people stand in darkness, afraid to step into the light
    Some people need to help somebody when the edge of surrender is in sight
    Don't you worry, it's going to be all right

    'Cause I'm always there
    I won't let you out of my sight
    I'll be there, never you fear
    I'll be there, forever and always
    I'm always here

    'Cause I'm always there
    I won't let you out of my sight
    I'll be there, never you fear
    I'll be there, forever and always
    I'm always here

    Law & Order: Orchard Street

    Yesterday, the world wide interblogosphere was abuzz (well, Curbed and ToTC anyway) about this Flickr entry by tangentialism:

    ...with the following caption:
    I'm sort of envisioning this guy meeting his mugger over steak frites at Schiller's Liquor Bar and talking over whether he can have his wallet back. His confrontational pose in the polaroid doesn't exactly help his cause. Good luck, guy.
    But turns out, this story might have a happy ending, as the now semi-famous victim tells his side of the story in, wait for it, his own blog entry.

    "I JUST GOT A CALL... THEY ACTUALLY HAVE MY WALLET. I'LL LET YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS", reports the victim, Jake Bronstein. Who is "they"? The cops? The mugger? We shall see, I guess. And it will only be a matter of time before the mugger gets his own Blogger account.

    Update: Curbed readers inform us that Jake Bronstein is a Road Rules alum. Hey, whaddayaknow. Oh, and Jake's blog isn't the safest site to be viewing at work, fyi.

    In other Orchard Street crime news, a scuffle, or as the NY Post bills it in a typical Post understatement, a "SNEAKER RIOT" broke out outside The Reed Space over some limited edition Nike Dunks. Believe it or not, after camping out for as long as 3 days in the snow and the cold, sneakerheads get a little agitated when people cut in line.

    I did notice this towards the bottom of the article though - "Cops said no arrests were made in the scuffle, although a man was cuffed, and cops found a knife and a baseball bat at the scene." It appears the Baseball Furies and the Lizzies are hanging out in the Lower East Side these days.

    Diversity? Don't worry, we'll do away with that by 2012.

    Good to see the NYC2012 folks doing a bang up job of showing the city to the IOC evaluation commission and the travelling band of international journalists.
    "They keep telling us New York is so diverse and using it as a selling point for getting the Olympics, but they haven't let us see any of it firsthand," said Deon Lamprecht, 43, a Washington correspondent for a chain of South African newspapers. "I've learned more about the city's diversity in my cab ride from the airport than from anything they've let us see firsthand so far."
    Maybe they can experience the city's great vitality and diversity getting around the city the way the spectators will, riding the subways? Or not.

    Tuesday, February 22, 2005

    Gary Coleman, David Hasselhoff and K.I.T.T. say...

    "Good luck to Maureen!"

    Maureen finished the first day of the bar exam, and she has two more days to go. Please wish her luck the rest of the way, everyone.

    Indie Rock (Could Never Hip Hop Like This)

    The always brilliant Handsome Boy Modeling School and Long Island's finest, De La Soul La will both be touring in the coming months - De La will hit NYC on March 6 at Lincoln Center and HBMS will finish its tour on April 20 at Irving Plaza.

    I believe I will be catching Dan the Automator and Prince Paul on April 20. The De La tour will be an 11-city series of concerts and symposiums - more details here (Pollstar).

    Complete tour dates:
  • Handsome Boy Modeling School
  • De La Soul

  • Robot Chicken

    Official Adult Swim site

    I am Seth, apparently

    You scored as Seth. You are amiable and insecure and are too willing to sacrifice yourself to make friends. Pursue your interests more to gain mastery over them and confidence in life. The more progress you make, the more your weaknesses and insecurities will fade.

    What OC character are you?
    created with

    I actually got both Jimmy and Seth the first time I did this quiz. The second time though, I managed to get my mancrush, Seth Cohen. All is well in the world.

    Monday, February 21, 2005

    Half assed snow day

    Ugh. Most of the snow came down while I was asleep, leaving mostly driven-over snow and puddles for me to step in. If there's enough snow to stick, it should at least be pretty, but mother nature rarely listens to me. Snowed-on trees are always cool looking though.

    Also, Flickr member Slice got out to the Park in wee hours and manyhighways got out a little later - very purdy.

    Tourist for a day

    I said I wouldn't blog about The Gates, but oh, what the hell. In return, I promise I won't talk about Paris Hilton's hacked Sidekick.

    Anyway, got a chance to see The Gate and as cool as they look in photographs, seeing the big orange things all over the place, billowing in the wind is quite awesome. And it gave me an excuse to get out to the Park in mid-winter, which isn't a bad thing, even if I do hate big crowds.

    I gotta say, these pics looked much better unedited. Not very happy with Photoshop's image compression.

    Also, I have to mention "The Crackers". It's absolutely brilliant. Thanks to Maureen and A Full Belly for the heads up.

    New Asobi Seksu dates

    As reported on extrawack! and well, my email inbox, new Asobi Seksu tour dates:
    02/21/05 Silk City, Philadelphia, PA w/ Trouble Everyday
    03/03/05 Rothko, NYC SESAC & Giant Robot Tsunami Relief Benefit w/Benzos, Elkland, Daddy, Kite Operations
    03/09/05 Southgate House, Newport KY w/ Dirty On Purpose
    03/10/05 The Patio, Indianapolis IN
    03/11/05 Magic Stick, Detroit MI w/Pas/CaL
    03/12/05 Schubas, Chicago IL w/Pas Cal & Ocean Blue
    03/13/05 The Red Sea, St Louis MO w/Ghost in Light
    03/14/05 The Outland, Springfield MO
    03/15/05 Conservatory, Oklahoma City, OK w/Head of Femur & My Way My Love
    03/16/05 SXSW, Austin TX: Fanatic Promotion Showcase at Velvet Spade 10pm
    03/18/05 SXSW: Ross Ellis Party at Emo's w/The Frames & Calexico / 1pm
    03/19/05 Rubber Gloves, Denton TX w/Saturday Looks Good to Me
    03/21/05 Solar Culture, Tucson AZ w/ Controller, Controller, Death From Above 1979
    03/23/05 Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa CA
    03/24/05 The Echo, Los Angeles CA w/Helen Stellar, Parker & Lily
    03/26/05 Hotel Utah, San Francisco CA w/Parker & Lily
    03/27/05 Berbati's Pan, Portland OR w/The Upsidedown, Parker & Lily
    03/29/05 Chop Suey, Seattle WA w/Degenerate Art Ensemble, Hypatia Lake
    04/01/05 Howie & Sons, Visalia CA w/Mandarin
    04/05/05 Emo's, Austin TX
    04/07/05 Hi Tone, Memphis TN
    Very jealous that Detroit and Chicago get to see them and Pas/Cal. Those Detroit boys don't seem to come out to NY very much. Also, good to see Asobi Seksu getting some SXSW love though.

    I think I'll go to the Tsunami benefit at Rothko, since I want to catched Benzos and Elkland too. Looks like I'll be concert busy for the near future, at least by my standards. After March 2, there's Kaiser Chiefs on the 3/26 on Bloc Party on 4/6.

    Previously on Asobi Seksu: Mercury Lounge, New Year's Eve 2004-05

    Friday, February 18, 2005

    Friday Linkages

  • I like it when Slate does pop culture stuff - they'll look at lesser known indie stuff, but they're never pretentious about it - Rock Songs You Can Actually Dance To. LCD Soundsystem and the Postal Service get nods, and I suppose the Chemical Brothers qualify as rock if the Postal does too. I do need to check out all 3 albums though.

  • This guy os probably be the more than any other athlete playing for a New York franchise, but chances are, you will never hear about him - that's because he plays soccer. Personally, I like this signing despite his age. He won't play at his 1998 level, but his experience and savvy will surely help lift the Metrosuck to Metrososo.

  • E Bway on the rapidly changing landscape of th LES nightlife. You know, I'd be more outraged if I actually went to those places or I had to put up with the nocturnal hipster invasions. Fortunately, I live in the still quite-unhip area below Delancey, nay, below Grand. I'd say I still have 9 months or so before I'm evicted so they can build a luxury condo at my place.

  • You can download "Bright Lights" (download link at bottom of page) from the previously mentioned Airborn Audio album.
    Of course, neither Anti-Pop Consortium nor Airborn Audio is for everybody. And that has me thinking - why is underground hip hop less approachable than indie rock? Yeah, you have your exceptions like Del, J-Live, RJD2 and pretty much everything Dan the Automator touches, but it seems like there's a lower percentage of "fun" backpacker hip hop compared to indie and mid-indie rock. Are they afraid of being too catchy?

  • Of course, another exception to that broadbrush is Little Brother from Durham, NC. 9th Wonder is about the hottest brother not named Pharrell, Kanye or Tim and deservedly so. Which isn't to take anything away from Phonte or Big Pooh, my favorite rhyming tag team since Q-Tip and Phife. So it was great to see Big Pooh's album get reviewed in this week's Onion AV club

  • Two things I like but will not post about because they've been blogged to death - The Gates and The Arcade Fire. Well, I'm going to make an exception on the latter with a link to the video for Wake Up posted at Bradley's Almanac.

  • Finally, file this in the "Who the fuck knew?" category - WB's 7th Heaven is getting picked up for its 10th season. Have a great President's Weekend kids. I have to work Monday, dammit.
  • The OC Season 2 Episode 13: The never ending brainfart

    Previously: Season Episode 12

    TWoP and TVGasm are both behind with their recaps, but The Sports Guy has an excellent Tale Of The Tape between The OC and 90210. Scroll down to the bottom of the page - it's faaaantastic. Oh, never mind, the TWoP recaplet is up now.

    Less plot developments than last week, but also considerably less blah than last week.
    "Wallowing is lounging around eating ice cream and watching VH1. Agonizing is more like M2"
    [click here to continue]Not a bad episode, though it was basically a set up for the shithitsfan episode next week.

    Seth still isn't getting much sleep after last episode's meltdown, and it shows with his unkempt hair and funky BO. He asks Zach whether the two did the nasty on Valentine's Day and Zach's all "Like, ew!" Marissa asks Summer whether the two did the nasty on Valentine's Day and Summer's all "I wanted to, but...". But what, Summer? What?

    We later find out Zach was holding out before marriage, but after the celibate sojourn in San Diego, realizes the stupidity of the idea and reveals to Seth that he's totally going to hit that in Tuscany when the moment's right... (thanks to the Cialis commercial that's currently running, it appears I can no longer type "when the moment's right" without barfing all over my keyboard. Another reason to hate the big pharms). Seth officially goes from agonizing to wallowing. Summer on the other hand now has reservations about giving it up for Zach.

    Alex is hosting a party so Marissa can meet her friends but Marissa wusses out when she's the room full of lesbians. But she comes clean to Summer and admits to Alex that she's going to take her sweet ass time coming out of the closet. Because, you know, she's going to go back into the closet before the end of the season.

    Sandy's brainfart continues. If your girl tells you to stop spending so much time with your clingy, fugitive ex, you stop. If your girl scares away your clingy, fugitive ex, you thank her for doing the dirty work. Didn't they teach him anything in law school? If Sandy's aim is to get Kirsten to shotgun bottles of Merlot, then he's well on his way.

    Caleb announces she wants to adopt Lindsay - Julie has the predictable hissy fit and convinces Caleb that he needs to have a paternity test done. Lindsay's mom is now freaking because she's not 100% sure if Caleb is the father and there's a chance she had been extorting Caleb this whole time. Ooooh! Ryan is talked into talking Lindsay out of the whole deal, and he obviously hasn't learned that he shouldn't get in the middle of Lindsay's family affairs. Sandy tries to talk Caleb out of doing the DNA test, but Caleb presses for it anyway, making Caleb persona non grata also. You gotta feel bad for the girl right about now. This storyline isn't going to end pretty, is it?

    The episode ends with Sandy, Seth and Ryan on the couch, watching Hellboy and wondering how they're so stupid around women.

  • What I learned in this week's episode - there's nothing colder than a parting peck on the cheek no matter the sexual orientation

  • "This is one surprise you won't already find posted on the internet."
    Well, Julie, that's not true, is it. The reason that surprise isn't posted on the internet is because you already announced to all of TV land that you're starting a magazine... wait, you mean the people on the show... dammit, all this meta stuff is so confusing.

  • "Closure is overrated. I prefer open-ended unrequited love"
    Indeed, and the countdown to the inevitable Seth and Summer reunion has already begun. The Seth train left Dumpville two episodes ago and moving at full speed. The Summer train is slowly pulling out of Zachtown. If the two trains keep moving towards each other at their current speed, at when will they collide?

  • Really though, it becomes clearer with every episode that Seth and Summer are the only heterosexual pairing that matters. Only the same sex vibe between Seth and Ryan comes anywhere close.

  • Good music as usual, a point noted by Stereogums. I'll be checking out more from Viva Voce and Kings of Convenience. Speaking of OC moozik, The OC Mix Vol 4 is on its way.

  • Next week, brace yourself for... heavy rain! Those California beach bums are gonna mess their pants!

  • This is probably the worst episode recap I've done so far. Sorry, and thanks for sticking through all the way. I'll do better next time.
  • Thursday, February 17, 2005

    Let's geek it up: Gmail Atom feed

    If you use Gmail, you can use - you can have your messages downloaded to your desktop. Copy and paste the following Atom feed - - and read your messages using FireFox's live bookmarks or using a news reader like NetNewsWire Lite like I do.

    If you are not familiar with RSS, Atom, XML feeds, whatever, check this out - it'll change your life. Or at least make your news reading and blog junkying more efficient

    And if you want a Gmail address, let me know. I have roughly 3 gazillion invites to give out.

    As if Baby Bob wasn't creepy enough

    Is anyone not disturbed by Quiznos' Baby Bob? If not, this might help - Baby Bob is a baby girl.

    You're welcome.

    This week's iTunes freebie: Bright Eyes, Kasabian

    Last week was Tegan and Sara. This week, you get a free track from the band led by Jack White's favorite punching bag: Bright Eyes - When the President Talks to God (link opens in iTunes)

    I must say, I'm not too huge on Bright Eyes, but you kids on the world wide internets seem to like them. Enjoy.

    Also free this week, from the country that gave us Robbie Williams and the Spice Girls: Kasabian - Club Foot

    Wednesday, February 16, 2005

    Incredibly belated V-Day post

    This post is for all the girls who broke my heart in the past.

    To all the girls I loved before,
    I miss the shirts they stole from my drawer.
    I'm glad they're long gone. I dedicate this post,
    To all the girls I loved before.

    To every girl I've loved before.
    Memories of you I try to keep repressed.
    Oh, the stupidest shit had them obsessed.
    But for leading me to Maureen
    I owe a lot, I know
    To all the girls I've loved before.

    Never said I was a poet.

    No, actually, I didn't really forget Valentine's Day, though this year was pretty chill - couldn't take too much of her time since she's got the bar exams to study for. We'll do something later, I promise. But I did do the good boyfriend thing and got her these.

    The pictures don't do them justice, but I must say, the lillies came out nicely, if I may say so myself. Hope y'all had a happy February 14th. I usually don't like the Hallmark-manufactured occasions, but this one, I'm okay with.


    With all due respect to Catherine's Pita, CephaliPod now rule the, uh, land of iPod cozies.

    (Image from Mule Design Studio, protected under a Creative Commons license)

    How awesome (and highly impractical) is this?

    Tuesday, February 15, 2005

    Saving Private Bluth

    I'm really behind on this, but what the hell.
    So Arrested Development is NOT cancelled. Yet. But Fox has indeed cut this season's order from 22 episodes to 18, and other than the past Sunday's episode, it will not be shown during February or May sweeps. In May, the 8:30 post-Simpsons slot will be replaced by the quite awe-uninspiring American Dad, followed by another Simpsons, then Family Guy (SF Gate goes into more detail and explains how this actually may not be the worst thing that could happen).

    And amid all the cancellation rumors, Fox posted a "special message" on the official ArrDev site: [click here to continue]
    Dear Arrested Development Fans:

    Thank you for your e-mail and your passionate support of Arrested Development. While the show has finished production for its second season, contrary to the rumors you may have heard or read on the internet, it is NOT cancelled.

    We at FOX love Arrested Development and we look forward to having the Bluth family back on FOX in the future – hopefully for many years. You can help make the show a bigger success by getting as many people as possible to start watching the show this Sunday and every Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT.

    Fox Broadcasting Company
    Thanks, that's reassuring. So this much we know - ArrDev is not cancelled, but it's not renewed for Season 3 either. And the silence on the renewal worries me.

    But there's been quite a bit of ArrDev-related items around lately. David Cross had a fantastic appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, punctuated by his "America's Cutest Retards" quip, and Jason Bateman hosted a relatively not-awful episode of SNL. In the opening monologue, Amy Poehler was great, telling Bateman to keep the show on air because if her hubby Will Arnett lost his job, she wouldn't be able to keep her boat. Unfortunately, the sketch Arnett was supposed to appear in was cut after the dress rehearsal. Boo to you, Lorne Michaels.

    Also, the show's creator, Mitchell Hurwitz is interviewed in last week's The Onion AV Club, in which he explains, among other things, the creative process and how he got Cross to play the role of Tobias Funke.
    David Cross didn't want to do television. He really avoided it. We were really lucky, because he really responded... to the money we offered. The script factored into it, but, boy, he really perked up when he heard about the money.

  • H.O.O.S
  • Balboa Observer-Picayune
  • Official Site

  • Monday, February 14, 2005

    More Grammy goodness

    Grammy Quickie

    1. Loretta Lynn and Jack White accepting the Best Country Album Grammy for "Van Lear Rose".
      Their on-stage interaction was great to watch and seemed very natural. Jack White stood back, looking embarrassed and trying to deflect all the attention to Loretta Lynn, but she wouldn't have any of it. She pretty much commanded Jack to come to the microphone and talk about the album, just as a mother might do to her shy son. But Jack's tribute to Loretta was great:
      "In between songs, she told me, 'You know what, Jack? Fourteen of my songs got banned by country radio, and every time they wouldn't play it, it went number one.' Well, country radio wouldn't play this record either, and we're number one now. You're an American treasure, Loretta."

    2. Melissa Etheridge and Joss Stone's tribute to Janis Joplin.
      You know, these tributes to dead musicians get a little tiresome, especially for artists that the Grammy people didn't give a fuck about when they were alive. Still, Joss has great pipes for a girl her age and complexion, and if not for the shaved head, you wouldn't know listening to Melissa that she was recovering from cancer. Plus, her making googly eyes at Joss was a nice touch.

    3. Tie between Alicia Keys and Kanye West.
      I can't stand modern R&B but I'll make an exception for Alicia. She has a fantastic voice and despite her range, she doesn't fall into the oversinging trap the way Mariah or Whitney do. I wish her songs weren't so densely produced though. Although I like the Kanye-produced "You Don't Know My Name" because of the dense layers, on most other tracks, the sonic clutter gets in the way of her voice. She's due for an Unplugged gig - just bring a piano, maybe an acoustic guitar, but leave the orchestra and backup singer at home.

      And while the performance for "Jesus Walks" was predictably over the top, it was great to see The Blind Boys of Alabama get some love. Kanye's acceptance speech for Best Rap Album was the height of showmanship. Some might call it arrogance. I call it keen awareness of himself and the audience.

    And the absolute lowlight:
    • I'd like to thank our corporate partners...
      I found the awfully overdue celebration of Ray Charles to be self-congratulatory, overly sentimental and insincere. But the worst moment was John Burk, producer of the Ray Charles/Norah Jones duet, "Here We Go Again" thanking, among others, Starbucks. You're accepting an award on behalf of a dead legend and you're thanking fucking Starbucks?

    • Dishonorable mention goes to the bearded academy president guy, who for the second year in a row, gave us a lecture on the importance of not downloading music so we can help filthy rich record execs stay filthy rich. Unless of course, we're downloading the blah performance of "Across The Universe", because apparently, that's the only way we can donate money to Tsunami relief.
  • Coolfer's play-by-play

  • Sunday, February 13, 2005

    Free Tegan and Sara single at iTunes

    iTunes Music Store has always had free downloads, but never has it been for an artists that I cared about, or even heard of (though I guess that's the point - it's free so people would try it). But right now, you can get Tegan and Sara's current single, Walking With A Ghost (link opens in iTunes) for nyada.

    You have to set up a Music Store account if you haven't already, and like all the 99 cent singles there, it only plays on iTunes on up to 5 PCs or an iPod. Still, it's free.

    Friday, February 11, 2005

    You better not cry, you better not pout...

    I'm telling you why, because as reported by the good folks at ToTC, Wal-Mart is coming to town. Well, Rego Park, which is practically bumblefuck from Manhattan, but still.

    I hate to throw around words like "evil" and "fuckheads", but Wal-Mart are indeed a bunch of evil fuckheads. They hate American consumers and manufacturers and love Communist China.

    If you have the time, watch the PBS Frontline episode, Is Wal-Mart Good for America? If you have more time, check out Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting By In America and fast forward to the chapter where the author works as a sales clerk at the big box.

    I'm compltely thrilled about Ikea coming to Red Hook either, but at least they don't treat consumers and employees like crap.

    I don't believe in the afterlife, but if there is a hell, I hope Sam Walton is working as the "Greeter" at the gates of hell and getting shafted on overtime and benefits.

    The OC Season 2 Episode 12: Blah

    Previously: Season 2 Episode 10

    Blah. Let me elaborate. [click here to continue]
  • TWoP recaplet
  • Everyone's talking about it. Well, at least Gothamist, Gawker and, indirectly, those lesbian loving pervs at NY Times are.

  • Still, was that like the least sexy girl-girl spit swap, like, ever? Is Mischa Barton so awful that she can even ruin the most sacred of experiences, a girl's first lesbian kiss?

  • The thing is, the Marissa-Alex storyline was such a minor part of the episode. The real drama was in the Cohen household, as always.

  • It bugs me though, that the writers collectively took speed and decided to fast track every storyline. Summer and Seth had a great sexual tension thing kicking, but that went down the crapper with the cringe-a-second ad lib in the comic book pitch. They kill Professor Max because, well, there wasn't much use for him and he's old. And of course, the Marissa-Alex fling, which I'm not getting. Why do people in Newport Beach think Vodka Breath is hot?

  • I guess that's the thing. Very little about recent storylines is really convincing. Sandy seems out of character with the Rebecca fling and Cohen's caffeinated catharsis came off more than a little contrived.

  • One thing I do notice though is, for all their complete inability to communicate with warm blooded humanoids, Cardiac Caleb and Julie actually want to be good parents.

  • Yes Ryan, you're such a girl. When was the last time you punched someone? Maybe they can bring Oliver back.

  • Oh, and speaking of Ryan, Caleb has mentioned Teresa's pregnancy more than once. You know, that baby's due preeeetty soon, if I'm adding 9 months correctly.

  • Well, I guess Zach goes from having a total mancrush on Seth (oh but who doesn't?) to totally wanting to kill Seth (again, who doesn't?). At least that should be interesting. I hope they end the Rebecca Bloom arc soon. Kirsten does the pissed off thing well, but I doth think the lady has suffered enough.

  • This episode did very little for me and under-delivered on the girl-on-girl, if such a thing was possible. Let's agree that this was merely a set up episode for the next few weeks and just move on.
  • Let's dork it up and do the fare hike math

    MTA Subway fare hike details out:
    On Feb 27:
    • 7-Day Metrocards go up from $21 to $24
    • 30-Day Metrocards go up from $70 to $74
    Prepare to be dazzled by the awesome math. [click here to continue]This means the number of rides you have to make the cards worthwhile go up from 11 to 12 for 7 days, and from 35 to 37 for 30 days.

    This means that if you work 5 days a week and make 10 weekday trips, you have to make at least one weekend round trip to make the weekly card worthwhile. For 10-11 rides, the $20 card is a better deal.

    The monthly card is the same as the cost of 19 round trips. But there are 22 weekdays during a 30-day period, so barring holidays, if you just ride the subway to and from work, each ride costs $1.68 (up from $1.59).

    Now, the grace period. You can use the pre-hike card through the following dates:
    • 7-day: March 7
    • 30-day: April 3

    The last day you can buy the $70 Metrocard is Feb 26. That gives you 36 days to use the card after it goes off the market and you can get a pro-rated refund after April 3.

    If you ride the subway everyday, you can save the most money if you buy one or two 30-day cards before Feb 27. If your current Metrocard expires before March 4, you can start your next 30-day card, start another one before April 3 and take the refund. If your current one expires after March 4, you can use the next one through April 3 and get a refund.

    For example, my current 30-day expires on March 10. I can buy a $70 card before Feb 27, then start using it on March 11. It's supposed to be good through April 9, but it goes dead after April 3. I should get 6 days out of the 30 back, so my $70 card should end up costing $56 after refund. Should.

    God, that was way too much math to save... how much?

    Kim Jong Il and his bodyguards

    How awesome is this? (7.3mb WMV)

    These guys really need to take the act on the road. With all the bad press North Korea's getting lately, they could get some fans back on board.

    Wednesday, February 09, 2005

    Change of plans

    As much as I want to see Trachtenburg Family Slide Show Players and Kimya Dawson at Tonic tonight, there couldn't be a worse night than tonight, because at 9 pm, we have the Mighty Mighty Tar Heels visiting University of New Jersey-Durham in basketball.

    The only way I'll make the show is to get there and hope the show starts in time (doubtful), catch the first or two sets and then try to miss as little of the game as possible.

    I may not take sports as seriously as I did as a young whippersnapper growing up in North Cakalack, I do take UNC vs Du(mbfuc)ke(rs) seriously.

    I have some wonderful Dookie friends and I have nothing but appreciation for the shool's great academic standards, but for at least two days a year, y'all Dookies are dead to me.

    Go Heels.

    Tuesday, February 08, 2005

    Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players - Wednesday at Tonic, Fez tickets on sale

    As previously mentioned, Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players are playing two shows at Fez later this month, and at Irving Plaza on March 30.

    Tickets are now available for the two Fez shows (2/19 and 2/25) plus Wednesday night at Tonic, where they are billed with Langhorne Slim and Kimya Dawson. I might check this out if I'm feeling better tomorrow.

    Randoms - on Super Bowl ads, Napster, Bloc Party, why I'm not doing an OC recap and Rachel Ray

    So my normal blogging schedule has been thrown way off by work and illness. I'll be back to my normal pace soon, hopefully.

    In the mean time, quick shots. [click here to continue]
  • Two final Super Bowl commercial mentions. First, the best and worst ads by Seth Stevenson of Slate.
    A Lays potato chips ad uses MC Hammer for comedic value. Sadly, no comedy results.
    Second, running commentary on Adland. Okay, the Super Bowl is over, let's move on.

  • Oh wait, it's not. Remember Napster's iTunes+iPod=$10,000 claim? Well, I have already weighed in on the subject, but after the commercial aired, both Daring Fireball and Playlist poked serious holes in the math.

    I think subscription is a fantastic model. My girlfriend subscribes to Rhapsody and it's great. Access to unlimited songs means I can listen to artists I may not have otherwise given a chance to.

    But pay-per-download and subscription are two entirely different products. You buy your music at iTunes. You rent your music at Napster or Rhapsody. I love Netflix, but it would be incredibly stupid for Netflix to go around comparing $18 a month to the gazillions of dollars it would cost to buy every DVD out there. Same thing here - Napster is pretending to be something it is not.

  • Bloc Party at Bowery Ballroom on Thur 4/7? I'm there like Mr Belvedere.

    I admit, I haven't listened to much, but I like what I've heard so far and there's no harm in just stumbling over to the Bowery. I'll just have to tape The OC that night.

  • Speaking of which, I haven't done an OC episode review and I'm not going to. It's already Tuesday and professional recapologists have already weighed in.

    It wasn't that interesting an episode anyway. We learn three things that we already knew - Sandy loves to sabotage his marriage and drive Kirsten to drink, Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody drive this show, and homoeroticism trumps heteroeroticism every time. But it did yield a great quote from the Glasper:
    There are very few people that could make the blossoming of a teenaged lesbian affair tedious. Mischa Barton is one of them.

  • There is no single person who divides opinions of Americans more than Rachel Ray (I'm pretty apathetic to her myself - she's attractive, but I don't think she's particularly hot, and I don't watch her shows enough to be annoyed by her).

    Though I did notice that she visited Durham and Chapel Hill in an episode of $40 in 24 Hours that aired recently, and I was pretty amused to hear her describe Franklin St on the UNC campus as "ultra hip and funky chic" or some variation thereof.

    I don't know if the town's completely changed since I graduated, but I never thought of Drunklin Street as especially hip, funky or chic when I was at Carolina. To the show's credit, Double R visited Mama Dip's, but I can't say I approve of the choice of barbecue restaurant or her order.
  • Monday, February 07, 2005

    Ad-Meter Results

    According to's Ad Meter, the following are the 10 most popular and 5 least popular ads from last night's Super Bowl.

    Top 10
    1. Bud Light - "Skydiving"
    2. Ameriquest - "Robbery"
    3. Anheuser-Busch "Thank You"
    4. - "Titanic"
    5. - "Whoopie Cushion"
    6. - "Apology"
    7. Bud Light - "Camera Phone"
    8. Ameriquest Mortgage - "Cat"
    9. Emerald Nuts - "Unicorn"
    10. Diet Pepsi - "Guy Watcher"

    Worst 5
    1. Napster - "Do The Math" (Game)
    2. O2 Optix - "Breathe"
    3. Budweiser Select - "Pucker Up"
    4. Bubblicious - "Lebron James"
    5. Taco Bell - "Baseball Cards"

    Not much surprise there - only and Ameriquest did anything memorable, Anheuser-Busch's tribute to the troops was going to do well (though could they have made the logo a little smaller?), and beer ads always do well.

    Not surprised to see Bubblicious in the bottom 5 either. That was a stinker of an ad considering they signed up the most exciting and possibly likable player in basketball right now.

    Sunday, February 06, 2005

    Quick Super Bowl bloggin

    So I didn't care about either team. Tom Brady is dreamy or something. Deion Branch seemed really happy about that Cadillac.

    Anyway, ad roundup.
    • The FedEx Kinkos commercial with Burt Reynolds and the dancing bear - great.
    • The two Ameriquest commercials commercials were both well done. The cat, the knife and the spaghetti - fantastic. What do they do anyway?
    • I love big boobies and all, but the spot was lame. I hate dot com ads that don't tell you shit about the site
    • Conversely, the monkey ads weren't super funny but they had a simple message and worked much better at getting to the point.
    • Emerald Nuts - I only caught the last 5 seconds because I was getting Chinese food. Looked funny
    • Diet Pepsi - the one with the dude and all the women following him did nothing for me. My heterosexuality is confirmed.
    • Honda Ridgeline - the weakest auto rollout, ever.
    • McDonald's Lincoln Fries - super lame
    • Gladys Knight playing rugby? What the fuck? She threw a forward pass! Where was the ref on that?
    • Joe Montana, Ben Rothlisberger et al. singing "Tommorrow" - super fantastic
    • Ford Mustang convertible - gets lamer with each viewing
    • G-Stef in the Pepsi/iTunes commercial - I approve.

    That's it, I guess. I can't think of anything else of note.

    Also, has The Simpsons jumped the shark or has The Simpsons jumped the shark?

    Friday, February 04, 2005

    Please Hammer, don't hurt us

    Down for the count

    I'm typing this from my bed, weakened by the demon flu-like condition sweeping New York.

    I thought this would be a great opportunity to make job calls (I hope no one from my work is reading this - I kid, I kid. I love you people) but couldn't get functional until 1 pm. Oh well.

    I'll go out later for chicken soup and Vitamin Water. Wish me luck.

    Thursday, February 03, 2005

    Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players

    One of NYC's better kept musical secrets is Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players - they're quirky, almost surreal, but undeniably fun - and they're touring.
    February 19: Fez (NYC)
    February 25: Fez (NYC)
    March 4: Earlham College (Richmond, IN)
    March 30: Irving Plaza (NYC)
    April 7-10: Baltimore Theatre Project (Baltimore, MD)
    The NYC dates aren't listed either on the Fez or Irving Plaza sites and tickets don't seem to be available yet. We shall see.

    Antipop Consortium - 1 + 3 years = Airborn Audio

    First off, if you don't have Josh Rubin: Cool Hunting bookmarked, well, you should. Or you could be like me and subscribe to the RSS feed.

    Anyway, I'm ecstatic to hear that High Priest and M. Sayyid, two-thirds of the great, sadly disbanded, Anti Pop Consortium are back as Airborn Audio and their first LP, Good Fortune is out soon.

    In the meantime, their 22-minute mixtape Close Encouterns (link opens in iTunes) is for sale and you can download Bright Lights from the Ninjatune site.

    Okay, I think I'm finished for the time being

    I think I was just trying to get over my blogging withdrawal. I'll be back in my slow down mode after this post.

    This amuses me greatly: Hide your iPod, Bill is here (Wired)
    80% of portable music players on the Microsoft campus are iPods, and the higher-ups are not happy. So unhappy they're sending out memos recommending more Windows-centric technology, to no avail.
    As for hiding his own iPod use, the manager said he flaunts his iPod, despite the constant comments -- and occasional arguments -- it prompts.

    "I don't really care if it pisses them off," he said. "I'll argue why they're doing it wrong. If you want me to stop using it, give me a product that works and is as easy to use."

    Now, you might be asking what mp3 player Bill Gates is rocking. Well...

    Good night kids.

    Wednesday, February 02, 2005

    Lost in Times Square Station

    So if you spend, say, more than a couple of hours in NY, you've probably noticed all the spiky-haired, Bathing Ape-rocking Japanese kids hanging around East Village and art schools all over the Manhattan. Well, The Times has too [click here to continue]
    In the last two decades, thousands of young Japanese like Q have come to New York in search of the custom-tailored lifestyles that are hard to carve out in a homeland, where johshiki - traditional ways and morality - still exert a powerful influence. Such young people make up the majority of their fellow countrymen, or rather, countrywomen, living in the city.

    Census data from 2000 show that 63 percent of the 16,516 foreign-born Japanese living in New York are women, and 64 percent are 20 to 39 years old. That percentage of young people is nearly 23 percentage points higher than it is for Chinese or Koreans, the two largest Asian immigrant groups in the city.

    Now, I found this part intriguing:
    Hiroko Kazama, who is 42 and came to the city in 1987, said that young Japanese, especially artistic types, come to New York because they find that other American cities are too much like Japan. "Japanese society doesn't have an understanding for art," explained Ms. Kazama... "Traditional art is accepted, but edgy art is not. Hair that's red and purple is hard to accept. Young people are not comfortable with that."
    I don't know about that. To me, East Village is essentially a toned down, dirtier version of Harajuku. Gwen Stefani ain't singing about St. Mark's Girls, ya know.

    Still, it's a long but good read on the culture of Japanese expats in NYC, and I love the accompanying slide show, if only because it covers some of my favorite places in E-Vil. We're taking over this muthafucka, albeit politely.

    Duke student discovers truth

    I've been on a Ben Folds kick lately. That's not just because I'm an obsessed fan boy, but also because because I'm an obsessed fan boy who subscribes to the RSS feed for the search term "ben folds" at Yahoo News.

    This little column caught my eye because it happened to come from the campus rag at Duke University, the neighbor/object of ridicule to my alma mater, University of North Carolina. Apparently, Dukies are discovering what we Tar Heels already knew:
    At the Ben Folds concert last Thursday, I spent much more time watching my fellow Duke students than Ben Folds himself. The reason? I was fascinated with one aspect of Duke students’ lives that apparently no one here seems to notice: We cannot dance."

    The rest of the piece is blah, which had me thinking. I remember columns in my campus paper being more entertaining. Is that par for the course for campus papers and I had lower standards? Or was it the fact that my school had a proper J-school and my classmates were blessed wit? Who knows?

    Boy, those 3 to 5 years passed by quick, didn't they?

    Remember The Great Chambers St Subway Fire of 2005? It was so long ago, 3 to 5 years to be precise, yet I remember it as if it happened just last month.

    Let us now fast forward 3 to 5 years from that fateful day of January 23, 2005 to today and celebrate the return of the C-train.

    But let us all take a look back at the timese gone by. 3 to 5 years ago, a gallon of gas cost $1.85, 1 Euro was worth $1.30 and Are We There Yet starring Ice Cube was the #1 movie in America. Those were the days!

    I heart South Dakota

    What do you do when you want to operate a strip bar but you can't get a liquoar license and the county passed an anti-nudity audience? You open Racehorses Gentlemen's Club and Adult Movie Theatre, offering nude dancers, orange juice and black-and-white independent films.

    Customers pay "$10 cover... to watch strippers dance. Patrons can sit next to the stage or get a private dance in a small room off to the side. They can also grab a stool at the juice bar and order a $3 soft drink or a $4 juice or power drink." Awesome.

    But that's not the best part. Oh no. This is why I love South Dakota: Citizens Against Nude Juicebars and Pornography. Fight the good fight, CANJaP!

    Tuesday, February 01, 2005

    Slowing down

    You might have noticed that I haven't been as prolific in my posting the past couple of days. The damn man is keeping me down, damn it.

    I'll still be posting, but in honor of the A and C trains, this blog will be operating at 1/3 of normal capacity. In the meantime, enjoy the sites that I have linked to on the right.