Tuesday, February 28, 2006

It should be pointed out...

As a teenager, "McDreamy" on Grey's Anatomy once paid a girl $1,000 to be his girlfriend. I'm just saying. Young McDreamy later went on to become an inspiration for Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.

  • Also, Izzie is the daughter of an overweight French guy and once bared her asscheeks in an age-inappropriate swimsuit.

  • This isn't the first Meredith has made a poor choice in men.

  • Finally, Burke once rode a bus.

  • tags:

    Monday, February 27, 2006

    I dreamed I was dying as I so often do

    posted to Flickr by robopoppy

    Thoughts upon catching Stars in concert at Webster Hall Saturday night:
  • Seriously, are Canada's music education and national health care the best things to happen to music of the mid-00's? Yes.

  • Nice: A solid, energetic set followed by an encore of three crowd pleasers. Nicer: A solid set followed by "The First Five Times", "Calendar Girl" and "Elevator", and wrapped up withthe whole band off the stage, leaving Torquil and Chris to perform a stripped-down "Tonight".

    (a) I wasn't familiar with the song so I appreciated it hearing it played with my favorites, and (b) while it's great to hear a band finish up a set with straight out bangers, there's something refreshing about having a bookend track to send the crowd home.

  • Fuck all the haters, Webster Hall is not a bad place to watch a concert.

  • Still, every time I leave that place, I'm glad it's not on fire.

  • I can't think of too many bands who can make such pretty music out of death, denial and despair.

  • You in the front - actually, like 4 or 5 of you - do you really need that many photographs for your blog? I mean, they're nice to look at and all, but shit, enjoy the show.

  • Still, they sure are pretty.

  • Slightly more annoying are the people who are 50 ft from the stage using the flash. I mean, it's great if they enjoy pictures of the back of people's heads nicely lit up, but otherwise, what's the point? They light the stage up pretty bright at Webster Hall so you can probably get decent pics au naturel. At least the kids up front with the $2,000 cameras know what they're doing.

  • Why don't more bands travel with violins and horns?

  • Good god, I love m2m. Fuck LES/Chinatown, I should move to East Village.

  • I have to say, after the way Meredith treated George in last night's episode, I am now firmly entrenched in Team Addison.

  • Seems a little weird - one night after watching Stars play, I see Avril Lavigne plays the Closing Ceremonies at the Torino Games as the pop music representative for Canada.

  • mp3: Stars - Calendar Girl


    Friday, February 24, 2006

    Stuff | February 24, 2006

    You know, I'd talk about Sasha Cohen and her ass busting, but I missed it as I was getting my drink on in Billyburg Bk of all places. So yeah, I'm turning into a fucking cliche. But it's okay Sasha, you're still a 4 to me.

    Now that America's Great White Hope has failed to win a gold medal, where shall figure skating go? We won't know until 2010, when it will be okay (though probably no less creepy) to ogle at Emily Hughes and Kimmie Meissner.
  • You know, Mike Lupica, I did the whole Knicks-Bush Admin comparison thing over 4 months ago, and mine was better. Not to say that I'm a good writer or anything - you have to really try to suck harder than Lupica.

  • If your taste in music is as good as mine, you probably already checked out Swedes Please and downloaded Tommy Eld's cover of "What Is Love", which is SNL's "Roxbury Boys" skit meets Jerry Maguire meets Ikea.

  • Slate gives us a pictorial guide to blonde eye candies behind the anchor desk.

  • I think I like this guy (so homo). I really do want to meet Larry's anonymous commenter(s) though. It's practically a blog within a blog.

    [via This Is What We Do Now]

  • I've always liked Keith Olbermann, if only because he kept Dan Patrick's ego in check on SportsCenter. I like him more (again, so homo) after he names Bill O'Reilly "Worst Person in the World" two nights in a row.

    Also, Keith handles Improv Everywhere's No Pants stunt with with appropriate amounts of affection and sarcasm.

  • WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show (sans Brian Lehrer) explores the world of Stop Snitchin' (audio).
  • Thursday, February 23, 2006

    I think I found a photograph of Sasha Cohen *not* making sexy eyes at the camera

    I'm pretty sure she's not.

    Anyway, I wanted to show that this post wasn't just another excuse to post a picture of her. Well, it is, but there's actual context this time.

    Former ESPN soccer scribe Marc Connolly opines, "One of the reasons that Sasha Cohen makes it hard not to pull for her is because she's not afraid to say she's here to win the Gold Medal. She's not afraid to put herself out there. If she somehow falters on Thursday evening, I doubt she'll sound like her friend, Jeremy Bloom, and talk about how she isn't disappointed one bit."

    I can't say I disagree, but I wouldn't say that's remotely close to being the driving reason, or one that's worth even mentioning.

    For one thing, figure skating is a prestige sport at the Winter Games and a sport that Americans have actually cared about time after time - mostly because there has almost always been a gold medal contender from the US each time around. There is a history of giving a fuck about women's figure skating, which can't be said for speed skating or ski events. The top US contender in figure skating will always get press and love from the TV audience.

    And there's the fact that she looks like a poor man's Natalie Portman and makes those sex eyes thing in every picture. Out of all the supposedly attractive Olympians, Sasha's probably the only one who might cause more than one guy to do a double take per city block.

    It's not enough that she's good looking, of course. I mean, Maria Sharpova is attractive and all, but she's not that attractive. It's just that she's in a profession that involves wearing skirts and grunting heavily, but more importantly, she's half decent at her sport. Yeah, her good looks land her in Canon commercials and the SI swimsuit issue, but that shit ain't happening if she hadn't won the Wimbledon first.

    To see the flipside, take Heather Mitts. She's cute and all, but she's no better looking than most girls I've dated, and ultimately, she's not that appealing because she will never be more than a bit player on the US women's team and the women's soccer league is no more. Yet, because she's more feminine looking than Mia Hamm (another sportswriters' darling), she somehow manages to win ESPN's Hottest Female Athlete of 2004.

    Whatever the case, beauty in female athletes tend to get overrated, because
    1. The media doesn't really know how else to promote women's sports.
    2. Reasonably good looking girls become ten times sexier if they're good at something - acting, cooking or playing the bass, whatever - especially if that "something" is a physical activity.

    But in NBC's desperation to find an angle, any angle, to promote athletes, we're being led to believe that non-hot athletes are actually hot. So let's break them down into levels of hotness from 0 to 5.
    0 - Yeah, um, no, let's not - for 2 more years, anyway
    Okay, I'm averting my eyes. I'm not even looking at you. No no, I'm sure you're pretty and your performance was fantastic. Or so I hear. I'm not posting a picture of you until at least you turn 18.

    1 - I'm not saying you're ugly, but I don't like you that way either

    I think you're cute. You were totally awesome in that Visa commercial the first 134,584 times I saw it. And that wipeout at the end of your race? Gold medals are a dime a dozen, but moments like that? Some people wait a lifetime. But seriously, ESPN.com thinks you're one of the hottest female athletes? I don't know about that.

    2 - I think my mom will like you a lot

    It's cool that you guys are curlers. Not many people do that, you know? And I think it's a fun sport to watch - sober, even. And the whole sister thing - intriguing. The best thing? You look good doing all that sweeping and hollering. So I have this thing next week and I can bring a +1. Oh no, it's not a date or anything - I need someone there to make sure I don't do anything stupid in front of my bosses. Yeah, it'll be fun.

    3 - So hey, you wanna hang out later?

    Oh hey, so I saw your Maxim spread. Yeah, you look pretty good. Seriously - you worked hard to build that body so you should be able to show it off, right? Hey, so have you met my friend Jay? You should talk to him - he's a really great guy. Me? Oh, I have a girlfriend. Yep, behaving myself tonight.

    4 - If you were standing in front of me, I'd be all fluttered and blurt out stupid things

    Oh hi, yeah. I just wanted to get to, um, introduce myself. Your short program was great. Wow. I've been watching you for a long time, I mean, you're so awesome. Your short program was great. Wait, I've already said that haven't I? I'm an idiot. So you wanna go skating sometimes? Oh, I bet you're tired of skating and I'll look like a klutz anyway. So if you're not busy, I mean, if that's okay with you, do you want to, maybe, um, get some ice cream?

    5 - You want sexy time explosion? High five!

    (clearing throat) So let's consider 5 "actually hot". Like, you'd find her really, really attractive even if you didn't know she was an Olympian. If you were in the same elevator as her at the office, you're thinking she's headed to a casting.

    But here's the thing though - she's an ice dancer, a lower form of figure skater. As I noted to my friend (or maybe she noted to me, I don't remember) as I watched ice dancing and shaved off my manhood little by little this weekend, other figure skaters must make fun of ice dancers. Even the male figure skaters make fun of male ice dancers for being fruity, I bet.

    If you're not going to do the stuff that makes figure skating a sport - jumps and tosses - you better be damn good looking. Tanith might be hotter than Sasha, marginally so maybe, but Sasha wins by a landslide for her skills. To paraphrase the most overly referenced movie of 2004, guys like girls with skills. You know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills. Which is why girl bassists will always win over teen pop princesses.

    Finally, speaking of Olympic bitches, I think we can all agree that both Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick are douchebags and we're glad the thing is over, almost, maybe. But if I have to take a side, it has to be Davis's. For all his surliness, you can't accuse him of being disingenuous. He came to Torino to win gold medals, and he didn't want to let anything, including the team pursuit, get in the way.

    Selfish? Maybe, but speed skating is an individual sport - it's meant to be selfish. And he's right about Hedrick being bitter about not winning his five golds and taking the frustration out on him, rather than the other guys on the team who didn't skate fast enough.

    Oh, and a new post up at [decentcontent] inspired by an Iowa man's "Wifely Duty Contract". I love the red states. Don't you?


    Tuesday, February 21, 2006

    My modest proposal to the NFL: Legalize it

    "Every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in."

    My regular readers should know by now not to trust anything I write here. When I say "I don't like blogging about blogging", that means "Expect at least three posts a week about other bloggers." A post titled ""My last Katrina-related entry" was followed by at least six posts that mentioned the hurricane. So when I wrote "there's really no real sport story worth talking about until the World Cup in the summer", I hope you were prepared for a slew of sports posts.

    So now you back in the trap.
    But honestly, I really thought I was done with the NFL until at least August. That was before Ricky Williams got caught with cloudy piss, of course.

    The news distressed me because Ricky is one of my favorite professional athletes, less for his talents and more for his personality, warts and all. Here's a guy who actually cares about life beyond football. He's honest enough to admit that, yes, he's motivated by the paycheck. He's so shy that he gave locker room interviews with his helmet on during his rookie year, and his shyness is often mistaken for aloofness - something I can relate to as a complete social retard.

    And it had me thinking. Wouldn't everyone - the NFL, the players, the fans, sponsors, and pretty much everyone on this earth except maybe the makers of the Marijuana Patch - be better off if the league just let its players smoke weed?

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying get rid of the substance abuse policy. Or even remove marijuana from the banned substances list. You gotta keep that in there. Middle America would lose its shit if that happened - you have to at least pretend to to frown upon marijuana if you want mass appeal. But stop random testing for marijuana, and only penalize players who get caught by law enforcement.

    If the league would just implicitly let its players get high on their own time, Ricky Williams would still be one of the league's premier backs. There would be no "Whizzinator" incident. And Nate Newton... well, 213 lbs. of marijuana is a lot for even a guy his size.

    "But do we really want players getting high?", you might ask. I say hell yes - given the realities of pro football, anyway.

    Marijuana vs Painkillers

    Professional players destroy their bodies to make a living and I imagine very few of them go through life pain-free. It's not rare that a veteran can't lift his arms to brush his hair or play with their kids, or suffer from post-concussion headaches, so some sort of pain medication becomes a necessity.

    Now, do you want players popping prescription painkillers or getting stoned? I pick stoned. Let's see - marijuana is illegal, so that's 1 point for painkillers. But think about how addictive prescription pills like OxyContin are. Had Brett Favre been puffing joints instead of, he and the league would have been spared the embarrassment of having the league's brightest star checking himself into rehab.

    But prescriptions are regulated, you might argue. Maybe for you and me. But athletes at top college programs and the NFL are going to have unlimited access to the stuff. Any regulation is moot.

    Marijauna makes you say some dumb shit (though probably no dumber than "I want to kiss you") and write some dumb songs, but for all its fault, it's not physically addictive. You can't say that for painkillers, tobacco or alcohol.

    The League's Image

    But wouldn't a look-the-other way attitude just encourage marijuana use and result in increased drug-related incidents among NFL athletes? Well, the current substance abuse policy has done a lot of good for Ricky, hasn't it?

    And ask yourself - when was the last time a professional athlete got stoned and beat his wife? Got into a nightclub brawl (or even went to a nightclub after a couple of bong hits in the basement)? Weed chills motherfuckers out. Weed makes motherfuckers lazy. Weed is what you want NFL players on off days.


    Of course, there are dangers to taking a cavalier attitude towards pot. For example, there are some dumbass motherfuckers in the league. If they're going to get trying to bring firearm on to a plane, chances are, they're going to get caught smuggling pot too. So set some unwritten rules - no weed on the road, no weed after Wednesday, no weed outside the home, and have a system of internal fines.

    Also, there is the risk of having unsavory types associating with players. Well, more so than now. You know how the league has an agent certification program? Have the same system - except a secret one of course - for pot dealers. Make sure they're not slinging anything else, that they're not being watched, and that they're not too closely tied to organized crime. This shouldn't be hard - NFL Security's been doing the same shit on players for years.

    So there you have it - simply by looking the other way, the NFL can reduce its image problem by roughly 17% while ensuring the well-being of its players' health.

    God, I'm a genius.

    Oh wait, it wasn't weed? Ah fuck.


    Monday, February 20, 2006

    Saturday night, as told through 3 outgoing text messages

    11:36 pm:
    Fuck dude,
    there's a line to
    get in

    11:44 pm:
    Fuck this bullshit dude,
    ten mins and I'o

    11:47 pm:
    Ok, i an done

    As you can tell, predictive typing and telling time are two arts I haven't quite mastered yet.

    Actually, the night ended up being pretty non-disastrous despite the ominous start.

    I entered the cultural black hole that is W 21st St between 5th and 6th Aves, stood in the freezing cold to get into Porkys of all places (happy day before your birthday, Larry) for 11 minutes longer than I should have.

    Then I came to the realization that I live in New York precisely so I don't have to do this shit. And by "this shit", I mean spending my Saturday night standing in front of a velvet rope long enough to be deemed worthy of squeezing myself into a room full of over-cologned sausages dancing to Top 40 whilst paying $6 for a Bud Light.

    I appreciate that girls from Long Island and New Jersey are willing to brave the elements in their short skirts for my enjoyment - seriously, that's awesome. But that's also about the only consolation and not nearly enough to make it worthwhile. So it was off to Plan B (not to be confused with the club Plan B) - double-fried, garlic mayo-covered goodness at Pommes Frites with a 22-oz Sapporo from the bodega next door. Life doesn't get much better than that.

    Friday, February 17, 2006

    I don't talk shit about other people enough

    I don't want to call them names or anything, but when I read Adfreak, I do wonder what's in the water cooler at the Adweek office.

    Previously, I pointed out Celeste Ward's dumbfuckery regarding a Catholic school's ecision to ban blogging and MySpacing.

    Last week, Mark Dolliver wrote, without any apparent irony, "it’d be nice to see the (hybrid) technology taken down a peg or two" because hybrids are too quiet, and therefore dangerous. Aren't blogs supposed to offer a counterbalance to the traditional media's fear mongering? Oh wait, Adweek is traditional media.

    And yesterday, Deanna Zammit complains because the trailer for TransAmerica doesn't tell you the movie's about trannies. Because, you know, Brokeback previews came with a flashing "Come see the gay cowboy movie, y'all!" sign, and the preview for Monster clearly said, "If you see just one lesbian hooker serial killer movie this year...". Because we're so lazy that we pick movies simply based on trailers and make no effort to find any information on them. Because we're so fucking dumb that we wouldn't understand what a movie titled TransAmerica starring a mannish looking Felicity Huffman is about.

    Wait, am I blogging about blogging again? Fuck, I keep forgetting I hate that shit. Sorry.


    Stuff | February 17, 2006

    Since I sold the rights to "Linkatharsis" to Heather for $20, 4 pieces of Chicken McNuggets and a really long hug when I joined [dc] -hey, it was the holiday season and gifts weren't buying themselves- my occasional link listing comes in unbranded form. For now.

  • My man TAN (so homo) has the video of Dave Chappelle's therapy session with James Lipton. I never thought of James Lipton as a Half Baked fan, but I can see him hitting the bong pretty hard.

    Also, Chappelle and Lipton are married to Asian women.

  • Arsenal striker Dennis Bergkamp is afraid to fly but wants to play against Real Madrid so he'll travel from London to Madrid by car or sea. Wait, wait, I know these phobias are rarely rational, but seriously, he'll forgo air travel - about the safest mode of travel short of wrapping yourself in bubble wrap - but will risk his life on the high seas and the highways? Has he not seen Titanic? Has he seen the way Spanish people drive?

    In any case, this Japanese t-shirt maker has dubbed Dennis, in its lovely, Engrish-y way, the Unflying Dutchman.

    Also, low-quality video of Bergkamp's high-quality goals:

  • This is like that video from The Ring. Seriously, don't watch it. It might not kill you in seven days, but I'm not taking chances.

  • If there's something I do talk enough about, it's Asobi Seksu, a band I love more than a constipated fat kid loves Ex-Lax cake. The group's MySpace blog informs us that the release date for their second album, Citrus, is May 30. Which is a really, really long time from now.

    In the meantime, I'll have to get my Asobi fix when they tour with Serena Maneesh. Check tour dates here.

  • Pimping new ish from another NYC artist performing at SXSW: Jaymay - Sea Green, See Blue (via g vs b)

  • Finally, Prince Paul's remix of the title track off The Avalanches' superb album, Since I Left You: The Avalanches - Since I Left You (Prince Paul remix) (via [ortf])
  • Thursday, February 16, 2006

    I don't talk about The OC enough

    Wait, that's not true.

    But regular readers of this site might have noticed that I stopped doing weekly episode recaps since January. There's a simple reason - I don't watch the show any more.

    Two weeks ago, I was too busy and never got around to watching it. Last week, I started watching, couldn't stand it and switched over to The Office. I mean, I still loves me some Rachel Bilson and I am intrigued by, not attracted to, the very underaged Kaitlin Cooper.

    But as I opined in my previous OC post, the show is a mere shell of what it used to be (and the first season really was great. Seriously, Netflix that motherfucker). I don't give a shit about the characters any more. Ryan and Marissa never developed any chemistry, yet the writers still want us to root for them. Summer's reverted to vapid, though occasionally helpful. Seth is Screech with better genes. Sandy and Kirsten are no longer the rock that held the show. I could keep going on and on.

    I guess the show's shortcomings were the reason I started blogging about it in the first place. It was bad enough to crack jokes about it, but good enough that I could waste an hour watching it, then another hour writing about it. But the balance between awful and entertaining was always delicate and perhaps expecting that balance to stay was unrealistic.

    I'll miss writing about it. It's the reason a lot of my regular readers came to the site. And I will always cherish the OC board game, probably the greatest gift a blogger can give another blogger.

    Most of all, I'll miss Seth, Summer, Ryan, and even Marissa. But they might as well have splashed onto the rocks with Johnny Harper, because they're not the same characters they were 2 years ago. Not even the return of Samaire Armstrong is enough to bring me right back to where we started from. And as my absolute favorite blogger on earth forksplit points out, nobody wants to read depressing shit without something redeeming (if you don't subscribe to Fork, you're doing yourself a disfavor. Run, don't walk, to Bloglines or whatever RSS aggregator you use).

    If you want recaps and sarcasm and whatnot, you should go to people who are actually good at it, like TVgasm and TWoP.

    Oh, and you should also click your ass over to Central Village on Friday to download whatever song they played in the previous night's episode - I can't thank Jeff enough for sending his readers to my recaps back when I was averaging two visitors a day.


    Wednesday, February 15, 2006

    I don't talk about soccer enough

    I really don't. I mean, the two countries I actually have rooting interest in played each other Friday night and not a peep from me.

    Instead, I'm left to talk about their uniforms. National teams generally change their designs every two years because, you know, the hard working execs at Nike and adidas gotta get paid. Since these national uniforms are a platform for the suppliers to show off their brand identity and whatever latest technology, these uniforms aren't always the prettiest to look at.

    The new Nike designs were sort-of outed at Logan's Revenge a bit back, but Nike-sponsored blogger Adam Spangler just put up photographs and they don't look half bad. I'm not digging the vertical stripes on the socks, but that's a minor complaint.

    Just for the sake of comparison, the before ('04-'05) and after ('06-'07):

    While Nike went for the simple, cleaner look, adidas went all stripey and shit. Here's the before/after for Japan:

    I wanted to get the new one so I could rock it when I hit the pubs when the World Cup rolled around, but now I'm not so sure. Not liking the design at all.

    Another Nike-sponsored team, Netherlands went with a retro look, which I'm "meh" about, especially since it makes the players look like munchkins. Though I'm really, really digging the tracksuits.

    Is it wrong if I buy another country's gear and don't buy Japan's? Probably not. It's not like there's a war or anything. Yet.


    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    Valentine's Day Mix Redux

    I posted my Mixed Messages Mix over at [dc]. Here are 12 songs I would actually put in a Valentine's mix.
    1. Jon Brion - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Theme
    2. Lisa Hannigan w/Damien Rice - Be My Husband
    3. Nina Simone - To Love Somebody
    4. Al Green - Simply Beautiful
    5. Radiohead - Nobody Does It Better (live)
    6. Ryan Adams - Wonderwall
    7. Annie - The Wedding (Live Mix)
    8. The Spinto Band - Oh Mandy
    9. José González - Hand On Your Heart
    10. Common - The Light
    11. Jaymay - The Only One I Love
    12. Bloc Party - Tulips


    I don't talk about music enough

    I really don't. Let's run through the shit I should've been talking about for the past couple of weeks.

  • Jay Dee

    When I think hip hop producers, it's the usual suspects - 9th, Kanye, Blaze etc - and I've always overlooked Jay Dee. I mean, I spent a good 6 months not knowing that he, not Kanye, produced my favorite track off Common's album last year. He never mugged for the camera like Pharrell or Kanye - not that there's anything wrong with self-promotion but you I can appreciate a producer who stays behind the boards and does his job.

    Still, it was only after his passing that I realized how much of his work I enjoyed - looking at the tracks Joey posted at Straight Bangin', I see tracks I love, like "1nce Again" and "Runnin'".

    In any case, if you're not doing any V-Day activity tonight, there's a Jay Dee tribute down at the M Bar. (via FreeNYC)

  • Wu-Tang

    ...is for the children. The best way to describe Wu is that the sum of the parts has always been greater than the whole. There are classics among the solo albums, especially that first round with Liquid Swords, Only 4 the Cuban Linx and Ironman. But for all their individual talents (even you, Inspektah Deck), they haven't been able to put together a solid album as a group since 36 Chambers. And their concerts are, well, rough around the edges to say the least. Still, it's great to see that they're performing together and doing it for Dirt.

  • Upcoming

    I'm digging that "Gold Lion" track off Yeah Yeah Yeah's new album. Little less noisy than, say, "Y Control", but works for me. Check The Rich Girls are Weeping for the mp3 and Central Village has the Diplo remix of said song.

    Oh, and My Old Kentucky Blog has "Dudley".

    Looking at the list of 2006 hip hop releases, a few titles stand out. Jeru? Has there been a more promising MC to drop off the face of the earth this side of Craig Mack? Nasdaq Dow Jones? DIdn't we agree to stop making puns after the disastrous Nastradamus? Outkast's Idlewild intrigues me. Redman? Not so much. I'm hoping Game Theory makes me forget The Tipping Point (the album and the bestseller). Hopefully, the Roots will stop naming their albums after mediocre books. Unless they're going to name their 2008 album Who Moved My Cheese?.

    Not listed in the above link is Murray's Revenge by Murs - 3:16 was one of the more underappreciated albums of 2004 and Murs has a great chemistry with 9th Wonder. Looking forward to this.

  • Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins

    Yeah, Jenny and the twins are overblogged, but not for nothing. And if you're tired of the songs leaked from Rabbit Fur Coat, check out the tracks off the BBC session over at rbally. It's a slight departure from the studio sound, and right now, I'm liking these tracks more.

  • Concerts

    Speaking of Jenny Lewis, I'll be catching her at Irving Plaza on 3/18. Should be good. The Saturday night show is sold out, but there will be a second show on Sunday night, quoth Brooklynvegan.

    The week before that, I'll be at Webster Hall to catch Stars, and the Monday after, I'll be at Bowery Ballroom watching Asobi Seksu open for Sereena Maneesh, after I missed their previous show at Mercury Lounge. Thanks to Bob Extrawack for the tip.

    A concert every other week. I can dig.

  • tags:

    I love you thiiiiiiis much

    There's nothing wrong with ogling Sasha Cohen. It just looks that way.

    First off, Happy Valentine's Day. Even as my romantic life remains sort-of-kind-of-ambiguous, I got no quarrel with the holiday. Sure, it's an exploitative creation by an unholy union between Hallmark's and Haliburton, but if it takes VD for girls to get their guys to buy them dinners and flowers, so be it. I stopped being cynical about Valentine's a long time ago. As I like to say, if you can't be with the one you love, love the one in your pants.

    Second off, thanks for the comments on yesterday's post. I'm still dealing with it, but writing the post helped quite a bit, as did your comments. Thanks for the kind words and for indulging me.

    Lastly, there's some Valentine's Day material ready to go over at [dc], and I'm furiously whacking away to see if I can whip out some more. I make no promises but I'll try to get them up.


    Monday, February 13, 2006

    Next Time

    11:31 am Saturday morning. I had been half awake for a couple of hours but unable to motivate myself out of bed. The phone vibrated on the night stand and the caller ID showed "Unknown". Probably my parents in Japan. I picked up, expecting to hear my mother's cheery voice but she sounded more subdued than usual. She told me the news. My grandmother, who had become seriously ill over the past week, passed away that evening (morning over here).

    I shouldn't have been surprised. She was pushing 100 and had multiple health issues for the good part of the last decade. My parents had called earlier to let me know that she was admitted to the hospital and may not recover. But she had beaten the odds in the past, regaining health -relatively speaking- when the prognosis was bleak.

    More importantly though, I wasn't ready for her to go. I wish I could say I visited her as often as as I could, but that wouldn't be true. I hadn't seen her in a few years, and with my annual trips to Japan being generally short and poorly planned, I didn't make the time. And that hurts more than anything. Things that are out of my control, they happen, I deal. Not making the choice to see her, that's harder to reconcile.

    I didn't even consider the possibility that she wouldn't be around. When I paid my all-too-brief visits to her, she'd always say, "This might be the last time I see you." I'd just smile and dismiss the silly notion that she somehow wouldn't live forever. My grandmother had been part of my life from the day I was born. Why wouldn't there be a next time?

    But there is no "next time". I didn't make it to the funeral, held today. The closest thing to a "next time" is when I visit her grave sometime this year.

    It's hard to be too upset about her passing - she lived a full life and outlived her husband by almost 20 years. She raised 6 children during the most tumultuous years of the 21st Century. The youngest was my father, who was born in the middle of World War II, when bombs were raining down on Japanese cities. She has more grandchildren and great-grandchildren than I can count. The night she died, my parents and one of my uncles visited her - my parents received the call soon after they left the hospital. I don't think you could ask for much more - to live as long as she did, to pass away peacefully, surrounded by family.

    I'm more bothered by what it means - that I haven't been a good grandson, that I now have one surviving grandparent, that I have minimal contact with my extended family, that my parents are getting older and I still find myself in a state of arrested development.

    Saturday night, I thought about canceling my plans to go out, but ultimately went ahead. The worst thing for me would have been to be alone at home. And getting drunk might not be the most appropriate way to mourn, but I needed the alcohol and the company. I could deal with it more maturely later and I wasn't ready that night. I don't know if I'll ever be ready though.

    Last night, I was talking to a friend over the phone and she kept asking me "Are you sure you're okay?" I asked, "Do I sound that upset?" She answered yes. Honestly, I thought I was doing fine. The whole thing hadn't sunk in yet and I wasn't quite sure how I felt.

    It's starting to sink in now.

    Sunday, February 12, 2006

    No fucking around

    Orchard St - Blizzard of 2006

    When the temperature was in the high 40s and low 50s a couple of weeks ago, I knew that a big snow storm was coming. Mother nature is like a benevolent dictator - when she giveth, she's great, but when she taketh, she taketh with a vengeance. I didn't expect this much though.

    I shook off my post-drinking haze (courtesy of the bucketfuls of crap beer served at Pete's birthday bash) and took some photographs. If you like pictures of really white stuff that's not Scarlett Johansson's bare ass, you'll probably like my Blizzard of February 2006 photoset on Flickr. Back to sleep.


    Friday, February 10, 2006

    The Bluth Family, RIP

    Tonight, Arrested Development will die the death that has been coming for 2 years with a 2-hour finale.

    Allesandra Stanley writes an obit in today's NY Times which isn't completely fawning, refreshingly enough. Still, "coddling" might not be the right way to describe Fox treatment of the show, when the network couldn't settle on a timeslot or figure out how to promote the show.

    Also, Larry and Jeff B got their AD posts kicking so I'll defer to them.

    Oh well. Assuming the show ends and doesn't go to another network, at least the Complete Series DVD set won't be too expensive. Plus, remember that the gold standard of modern sitcoms, BBC's The Office has just 12 episodes and one special. AD has lasted 3 seasons.

    Oh, and I haven't been a very good decentcontenter this week - Heather's taking over Linkatharsis for the weekend. Back to normal next week, I promise think.


    Riding the Hershey Highway with Rick Santorum

    There is a saying in business, "You're not selling quarter-inch drill bits. You're selling quarter-inch holes." That is to say, it's not the product itself, but the benefits, tangible or otherwise, direct or indirect.

    This becomes obvious as Valentine's Day approaches - we're bombarded with advertising for flowers, diamonds, chocolate, whatever and the message is clear - spend money if you and your girl want to stay happy together. For better or worse, most of us buy into this message. But with VD06 just around the corner, there's one thing I haven't seen in years past: K-Y lubricant commercials.

    Seriously. Yeah, K-Y. There are a couple of variations, but one that I see the most often - and creeps me out the most, is for the 2-in-1 Warming Liquid. If you haven't seen it, the commercial takes place on a 30-someting couple's bed, and ends when the voice over mentions "personal lubricant" and the previously uninterested husband perks up.

    The message is subtle but clear: this Valentine's Day, give her the gift of anal sex.

    Think about it. For most of the commercial, the husband sits in bed, oblivious to his wife's massaging needs and has no interest in intimacy despite the obvious signals. That is, until the massage gel's lubricant function is mentioned. Could it be that the husband wanted conventional nookie but didn't get the hint? Doubtful. As helpful as lubricants may be for vaginal intercourse, it's damn near essential for climbing Brokeback. Here's a man who had no desire to give his wife a sensual massage when it was obviously leading to sex. This man wants the back door and nothing else.

    Now, I myself have no interest in finding out what brown can do for me - I'm an old fashioned penis-in-vagina man. But I realize that's what many couples get into and many more are curious about it. Hey, maybe the commercial will encourage people to take the road less travelled by presenting anal lube as a less threatening "massage gel".

    Lest you think I'm being naive, I am aware that suggestion of sex is all over advertising. It's just that I can't think of another case where a specific sexual act is advertised with such transparent wink-wink and nudge-nudge. I'm not saying it's wrong. I'm simply taken aback.

    Heh heh, I said "back".


    Wednesday, February 08, 2006

    You know what my cell phone does? Make calls.

    File this under "Cool as shit". in Tokyo, commuters can now simply swipe their mobile phones at the turnstile to ride the train.

    See, I know mobile technology is pretty behind the curve here in the US - to the best of my knowledge, you can't buy soda or naughty music videos just using your mobile. And even then, I'm boggled by the ability to send and take photographs, and enable stalkers. Hell, until late last year, I owned a clunker of a phone that couldn't send text messages and I thought it was so fucking cool that the the screen had a blue backlight. Blue! So the idea of the phone as a Metrocard substitute is simply unfathomable to me.

    Granted, the phone swiping thing only works on Japan Rail, just one of many transit companies that operate in Tokyo, and you have to be a DoCoMo subscriber. But it's another reminder about how far behind we are in New York, where trains essentially run on a late 19th Century signal system, tokens were used less than a decade ago and they're just now considering contactless payment system.


    Tuesday, February 07, 2006

    Initial thoughts on the new Vanity Fair cover

    1. On paper, (Naked Scarlett + Naked Keira) x same spread x shot tastefully by Anne Leibowitz = pure hotness, right? Not so much on a magazine cover.

    2. Good lord, Scarlett's pale. Don't you just want to stick her up on an easel and finger-paint on her? Though that probably has very little to do with her complexion.

    3. Keira apparently feels the need to suck her stomach in.

    4. Creepy, chest-haired Tom Ford is a poor substitute for Rachel McAdams.

    5. I really needed to post a (tasteful) picture of bare asscheek on this site. Can I have my Hetero Man Card now?


    Okay, I lied

    Want to guess which one went to Duke and which one went to Carolina?

    I wasn't being truthful when I wrote earlier, "Football season is now over and there's really no real sport story worth talking about until the World Cup in the summer". A lie. A total, utter lie. For the evil, evil, Duke Blue Devils travel down 15-501 tonight to spend a couple of hours at the greatest university on earth and play some basketball (plus, Liverpool is alive and kicking in the Champion's League).

    Actually, this isn't that compelling a story other than that it's Carolina-Dook. The national implications for this game isn't that huge, as the good guys are building for the future around its young players while only the Evil Empire is a national championship contender. Which is to say, Duke will make it far enough in the Tourney to get their fans' (and Dick Vitale's) hopes up but will lose rather unceremoniously because they are, and have been for the past 5 years, a flawed, unbalanced team that can't handle pressure or non-ACC officiating.

    Lest I start quoting Charles Kuralt or resorting to easy, sophomoric gay jokes, I'll just point you in the direction of the great, whip smart Deadspin for some good ol' fashioned Duke hatin'.

    Also, Bomani might be insane.


    Monday, February 06, 2006

    Super Bowl XLame: Not a sports post, a Super Bowl post.

    Last month, I posted rather heavily on the NFL Playoffs and some of my lovely readers weren't too happy about that, referring to my sports post as "boring" and "yucky". The good news is, football season is now over and there's really no real sport story worth talking about until the World Cup in the summer - which I'm going to cover extensively, like it or not. That is, unless the NBA season suddenly turns interesting or my Tar Heels start using performance enhancing drugs.

    Bad news is, I will talk about the Super Bowl. I have to. My Hetero Man Card is up for renewal and I need to bolster my case, what with my fondness for Brokeback and Anthropologie catalogs. Luckily for you non-sports fans, however, Super Bowl is less a sporting event than a multimedia extravaganza. Essentially, it's a heavily sponsored equivalent of your company softball game, which is basically an excuse to get out of work early and you're okay with putting Kerri from HR at shortstop because she looks really good in shorts.

    Detroit Rock City
    Ironically enough though, I missed the first few minutes of the game as I had to work for an industry that considers Super Sunday its biggest day of the year, finishing up work for a certain Detroit-based corporation whose name featured prominently in the broadcast from the Motor City, and whose layoffs are probably financing my Chipotle burritos this week.

    And I didn't attend a Super Bowl party - after an 80-hour work week, I thought it would be great to stay out past 3 am Sunday morning, then get up at 7 so I could get started early on work, so I wasn't going to be very social or awake. As it were, I dozed off for parts of the game and I missed the most important/exciting play of the night, Antwaan Randle El's pass to Hines Ward, and what sounded like the most satisfying commercial of the night, Mastercard's McGuyver spot.

    But enough jibber jabber, disorganized, incomplete thoughts on what I was awake for:

  • Wow, the Steelers didn't play very well. Seattle played okay, but made some horrible, horrible mistakes. Could it be that the NFC is that bad?

  • I was rooting against the Steelers because it seemed like eeeeverybody was rooting for them, and closet Steelers seemed to pop out of nowhere. But as the game wore on, I realized I didn't really give a shit.

  • Bud Light commercials - they're funny as usual, but also forgettable as usual. I guess when your product has no real benefit or unique selling point, you can't really do much beyond sight gags and constructing a fantasy world where people actually don't compare your products to urine.

  • For the sheer magnitude of the ad, the Burger King Whopperettes ad was a "meh". Great production value and nice finale, but missing was the joie de vivre of The King/NFL spots and the "Oh shit" factor of the Bacon Cheddar Chicken Ranch spot with Hootie.

  • Hines Ward will never have to pay for a drink in Pittsburgh's Koreatown again.
  • Hines Ward edges ahead of Margaret Cho to become the fourth most famous Korean-American after Jin and Sun on Lost and John Cho aka The M.I.L.F. Guy aka Harold from Harold and Kumar.

  • Speaking of Lost, "Might as well face it, you're addicted to Lost"? Did Robert Palmer's rotting corpse actually approve this?

  • Toyota hybrid Camry ad - We were supposed to give a shit because this was the first-ever bilingual Super Bowl ad? Latino, please. It was just a car commercial that happened to have one line of Spanish in it. The shit made me cringe when I first read about it and I cringed when I watched it.

    Seriously, Toyota expected us to get all moist over "Mira qui". Anyone who's had a minimal exposure to Spanish has heard "Mira qui". Though if you play soccer with Hondurans, it's more like "¡Mira mira mira mira mira mira mira mira mira mira mira mira mira mira! ¡Aqui aqui aqui aqui aqui aqui aqui aqui aqui aqui aqui aqui! ¡Puta madre!", which I initially took to mean, "I am currently covered by a defender and will make no attempt to get open, but simply gesture angrily instead. Don't bother passing to me because it's not like I'll pass to you when a simple through ball would put you 1 vs 1 with the goalkeeper."

    I can imagine wingnuts losing their shit over how this commercial is a sign that political correctness is taking over America and multiculturalism is being rammed down their throat, so it's not all bad.

  • "But FedEx doesn't exist yet" - best line of the night, but the caveman is so done and FedEx had a much better spot last year.

  • I don't know how long John Madden has lived in America, but I'm sure he's been speaking English long enough to know that it's "If he had caught the ball...", not "If he would have caught the ball".

  • I find it hard to believe there are people who don't get the urge to throw themselves out of windows every time Chris Berman is on TV. I'm guessing those two people who like Chris Berman will also like Disney's Shaggy Dog.

  • Same goes for Diddy and Diet Pepsi commercials in general.

  • "Crime Deterrent" in that Sprint commercial - amusing. I liked the Benny Hill one too, simply for the stupidity. I don't see myself running to the Sprint Store though.

  • Mobile ESPN - I like it, but don't love it. It looks lovely, but the idea's a little too predictable.

  • Get this - Rolling Stones opened their performance with - wait for it, wait for it - "Start Me Up"! Bet you didn't see that one coming.

  • Although it was nice to see Mick and the boys reaching out to the younger audience by covering a Britney song, the track's like 6 years old and wasn't that big a hit. Couldn't they do "Toxic"?

  • Speaking of copying, doesn't the tongue-shaped catwalk look suspiciously similar to U2's heart-shaped catwalk from the Elevation tour? Yes, yes it does.

  • Willie Parker goes off on a 75-yard touchdown run. ABC immediately cuts to a shot of the backup running back who wasn't even in the play. Of course, the backup RB happens to be a "great guy" and a Detroit native.

  • Fabio in the Nationwide commercial - there seemed to be fewer celeb-for-the-sake-of-celeb castings this year, so this one didn't bug me as it would have last year. Still, it's dumb as shit, but that's par for the course.

  • I like the Ameriquest commercials again. Interesting take in a boring categoty.

  • Hummers are for assholes, but I like the implied monster/robot fucking.

  • The Jackass spot for Career Builders - such a seemingly obvious joke, surprised it didn't come up last year. Hopefully, we'll see executions of this campaign, but with tools, dildos and assfaces.

  • Taco Bell - apparently, junk food for geeks. Great branding, guys.

  • Players rehearsing "I'm going to Disney World" - I'm a sucker for stuff like this. The NFL Network has put out some bangers recently.

  • Gillette Fusion - Great, the price of razor blades just went up again, but I'll probably get them sooner or later because fancier blades shave better. But say no to "battery-powered" razors. Serioiusly.

  • The girls of Grey's Anatomy sponge bathing each other? Great in theory, but not so much if I don't see the naughty bits. I must see the naughty bits.

  • Wait wait wait, there's another explosive scare next week? Are they allowed to do that two weeks in a row?

  • Did I watch a whole episode of Grey's Anatomy? Again? And wasn't the whole point of this post was to help my case for Hetero Man Card renewal?

  • Beer. Boobies. Nachos. Doggy style. Football. Boobies.

  • tags:

    Sunday, February 05, 2006

    Pardon the fucking mess

    I want to apologize for the quality, or the utter fucking absence thereof, here and in my contributions to decentcontent recently. My life has taken the turn for the chaotic (but better) since coming back from the DC trip - great for me, not so good for my writing.

    Y'all know this isn't the first time I'm talking about how my crazy life is getting in the way of blogging, and I don't want to keep making excuses, promising to do better or pretending my shit was ever that good, so for the time being, visit those fantastic links on the sidebar. They're much, much better than the crap I'm squeezing out now.

    Speaking of awesome links, my girl Angelina's taking a breather from A High Class Jackass. I'd complain about all them bloggers quitting or going on hiatus, but I'm probably not one to talk.

    Friday, February 03, 2006

    I'm stealing Copyranter's schtick

    I think I'm allowed to because ranter's slacking off.

    I can't decide if a proofreader (and the dozens of people who work for AT&T and their agency) needs to be fired or this is just a baaaaad headline and we're supposed to read it "your world/earth/planet/round rocky thing delivered".


    Thursday, February 02, 2006

    My anti-American Apparel rant

    As I always do on Thursday mornings, I pick up a copy of The Onion, and just as the sun rises in the east, there's an American Apparel ad in the back. Do you see what the model's wearing? Yep, a leotard. What's up with those assholes at American Apparel? I mean, a leotard? Leotard! What a bunch of fucktards.

    Let me tell you everything I hate about American Apparel. Overpriced hipster uniform $15 for a plain t-shirt soft porn ads that Made In Downtown LA shit is bullshit faux-80's nostalgia blah blah blah sexual harasser Dov Charney blah blah hipsters blah blah lemmings blah blah blah yay sweatshops blah blah blah hipsters hipsters hipsters.

    Fuck that shit. I like American Apparel. Their clothes are comfortable. Their employees are nice to me. As I speak, I'm wearing two pieces of AA clothing. Dov Charney's cult of personality and general creepiness bothers me only slightly. Sure, some of their shit's ugly (see above), but you know, you could be spending 3 times as much shopping at Abercrombie.


    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    I'm not always as brilliant as I think I am

    When I posted my list of links thingie that I always do at [dc], I thought I was being so clever referring to Chuck Klosterman as "Klosterfuck". I mean, what better way to describe his pseudo-intellectual, so-above-it-all writing?

    Then I got curious; I mean, it's an easy joke, take "Klosterman" and "clusterfuck", split the difference and you have "Klosterfuck". It would be surprising if someone hadn't come up with that already. Sure enough, a Google search reveals that the word has been used as early as a column in an August issue of NY Press. 2003! NY Press! The last time I felt so unoriginal was that Halloween when I was one of roughly 2,000 Britney Spearses in Miami Beach.

    Lessons to take away from this:
    1. I'm not that original. I'd say I'm just trying to make a better mousetrap, but who am I kidding? I'm just putting a fresh coat of paint on the mousetrap.

    2. Everything's been done. The shit that comes easily, anyway.

    3. I spend more time thinking about myself and my writing than I care to admit.

    Also, update on bilking that multi-national corporation for thousands - I ended up bilking them for far below market value, but the important thing is that I am bilking them.