Friday, March 31, 2006

Jessica Alba Nude!

Yusuke and I were hanging in the grotto at Hef's Mansion last month, when after asking Tara Reid to put her top back on he turned to me and said, "You know, I'd like you to be a guest blogger on Spinachdip sometime". I pushed Shannon Doherty off of my lap into the pool, and replied, "You got it, Chief".

If you read my blog, extrawack!, you know that I don't have a hell of a lot to say about much except music, but since Suke's readers seem to be a little more well-rounded than mine, I'll spread my wings a bit further...but I'll do it Larry King-column-style:

I saw an amazing Editors show last night at Webster Hall. Everytime I leave a gig there and pass the line of nutjob tourists waiting to get in to the post-show disco, I wish I carried a video camera with me at all times. What a freakshow...Anna Benson's divorcing Kris? I guess she likes Baltimore a bunch less than she was claiming. Insert "crabs" joke here...Speaking of sports, The New York Red Bulls, (the soccer team formerly known as MetroStars) are sending 800 fans on buses to DC for the season opener this Sunday. I've been to MetroStars matches with less than that many fans at home! Here's hoping corporate rebranding finally gives the New York area futbol fan something to cheer about for once...Heard one of those homeless looking guys who hand out the free New York Times Classifieds paper outside of Penn Station use this pitch yesterday: "Free paper here! Totally free newspaper! I ain't fuckinwitcha! It's free!" That guy gets an A for effort from me...Is there a better Japanese Beef Bowl in NYC than at Yoshinoya on 42nd Street?...It's Tartan Week in NYC starting tomorrow. If some one asks you if you'd like a scotch egg, say no and run away...
Am I the only person watching "Top Chef" on Bravo? It's every bit as good as Project Runway, though it would be cool if Tim Gunn showed up now and again.

Ok, enough non-musical yakkin'. Let me leave you with a download from Irving, a catchy-as-hell band from LA, whose new album "Death in the Garden, Blood on the Flowers" is out Tuesday:

Irving - "Situation" mp3

And about this post's title? Just my way of making sure my guest-post gets more hits than anyone else's. Instead you get a shot of my sunburnt foot on the beach in St. Martin last Sunday night. Sorry to let you down.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Just like riding a bike

It's been a while since I've done this. You know, though, writing for someone else's blog when you haven't blogged in about a year isn't exactly like hopping back on a bicycle for a ride. It's more like driving someone else's car. Not quite sure what type of car Spinachdip would be, but I'm sure it'd be a nice one. At least, it would be nicer than that two-door Toyota Tercel that I drove around in in high school. I mean, that thing didn't even have power steering! And the air conditioning didn't work in the summer and the heat didn't work in the winter.

But I digress...

I approached writing this blog post as I approach most of my writing. "My post will be the best," I think to myself. "It'll be so funny...funnier than everyone else's posts." Then I put it off till the morning it's due and am forced to vomit something up in 10 minutes before I go to work.

Fine, so this won't be the funniest or most clever blog post. It won't be full of links. This is just me here. Laid bare.


Ok, nevermind. Here come the links!

Oh, don't you get it? I'm very sarcastic.

Pedophilia, like a yellow Lance Armstrong bracelet, is always funny.

Youngna goes to Shake Shack. Maybe she hasn't heard that the stuff proportedly gives you the runs.

Nichelle Newsletter mystified when it comes to snark, satire. Remember, this is the girl that championed the Starbucks on Delancey and Allen.

I just like this picture.

Tucker Max does not perform oral sex. Read the whole article. Via Krucoff.

Alright, that's about it. Enjoy the lovely day. If you can, skip work. I'll be gazing longingly at the sunshine while chained to my desk in a cement tower in Hell's Kitchen.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

When Giving Your Very Best Just Isn't An Option

Well, I was prepared to come out and pour my heart into this guest spot but then I found out our host was popping other blog cherries, too. The hell, man? So, in lieu of getting between my inexperienced thighs, he'll have to settle for the blog world's version of a half-hearted handjob - the lame top ten list. For when you like someone, just not enough to mess up your hair. So, with no further ado:

The Top 10 Reasons Guestblogging Is Muhfuggin' Awesome!

(I Told You It Wasn't Going To Be A+ Material)

  1. I get to spread the homoeroticism as thickly as I want and get to use words like "Muhfuggin'" without a single Google search ever linking this sad shit to a website with my name on it.
  2. For one, all-too-brief, moment, I get to pretend that I, too, am one of the NYC blogging elite. Cupcakes for everyone!
  3. SWAG. Who doesn't like free shit?
  4. It's a good way to waste time on my computer without resorting to the old standbys: sports, porn or countless hours spent playing Championship Manager.
  5. This appears to appears to be one of the last Chuck Norris free areas left on the internets.
  6. This doesn't really fit in with the rest of the items, but I was planning to post a link to the video of Randolph Childress busting Jeff McInnis's ass in the '95 ACC tourney. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the clip. You can find Japanese gameshow clips and videos of shirtless, lip-synching college basketball players by the bushel, but not a single second of that glorious moment when the collective souls of Tar Heel Nation were forcibly ripped from their chests by one young man hailing from our nation's capitol. I smell a Carolina Blue conspiracy afoot.
  7. Since I was both too late and too untalented to come up with the excellent rapper-football program comparison, I figure this is the best gateway to start working on the long-awaited college basketball program-defunct Nickelodeon shows from my childhood post. It. Will. Suck. Massively. That's still not gonna stop me from finding a way to link Kansas under Williams/Self and Count Duckula. And don't even get me started on COPS.
  8. All the good vegetable blog names have been taken, so it's nice nice to take this one for a test drive. I'm not sure how well the scalloped potatoes blog would've worked anyway.
  9. Considering all of the toothpulling it took for me to finally sit down and eke out this little bit of junk, I'm pretty sure my future blogging aspirations have seen their last glimpse of daylight. I guess I'll just go back to sending in letters to Penthouse Forum under some of my assumed names.
  10. Fall-out pussy. Because there's a little Johnny Drama in all of us.

Thank you for your time, folks. I need to go wash my hands now and make sure I didn't get any of that stuff on my sweater.

Monday, March 27, 2006

On beering and nothingness

I've made the short hop from Cole Slaw Blog, the less-illustrious site named for a vegetable-based sidedish but not about food. Nice to be invited, and I feel pretty much at home, even if I'm still intimidated and excited by the post about Angelina's wet spot.

I came today to talk about the end of a quest. Since I left Ann Arbor in the late '90s, I've been looking for the Holy Grail in the form of a full pint glass.

Bell's Beer is brewed in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I started drinking it around or just before I turned 21. It was the time that you make a transition from pounding cans of Natural Light just to get really wasted to drinking good booze just to get really wasted. But Bell's is a great beer in its own right. The Brooklyn Brewery makes some nice stuff, I'm always happy with an IPA, and Loreley's beer garden has turned me on to German beer. But Bell's is different and better. It has a kind of texture and complexity. Not too sweet, not too bitter -- everything is just right. Oberon goes down like lemonade, and its Amber Ale makes Bass seem like MGD.

My parents know what I like. When I go back to their house, a couple dozen bottles are waiting. A friend from Chicago outdid himself by bringing a six-pack of Oberon on his flight to New York. During my wilderness years in Boston and my 3 1/2 years in New York, my search for Bell's turned me into a half-assed Ponce De Leon: Any beer is great, but I'm not going to be totally content until I find the half-barrel of youth.

Two weeks ago, we struck the motherlode.

Professor Thom's is a decent enough sports bar on the west side of Second Avenue, just below 14th Street. It's a little too bright, a little too heavy with the NYU crowd, and on principle, anyplace where the guy who checks your ID looks too badass loses half a grade. Notwithstanding the decent if unremarkable atmosphere, Professor Thom's is beer's gift to New York.

Professor Thom's serves Bell's.

Word spread fast among my friends. A friend who lives in Astoria just trekked there on three consecutive nights. Another has been there three times in 10 days. By the time I showed up for a birthday party on Saturday, the keg of Bell's Amber had been tapped dry.

But the bar is serious about Bell's. Not yet distributed in New York, someone from the staff drives to Philly to buy the kegs. While it was disappointing that the Bell's kegs were empty on Saturday, I soldiered on by lobbing paper wads and dancing with a hockey stick. I've been going without for almost seven years, so one more weekend is fine. If I'm not going to win Powerball or see Michigan nab another national championship, having Bell's in New York is the next best thing.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Popping the Cherry Garcia

Today's guest blogger, Maureen is blogging for the very first time. Please be gentle with her - this is a very special moment in a young girl's life. And stick around afterwards, make her breakfast, maybe. For those who are interested, the keys to Maureen's heart are dark chocolate, sunny beaches and strategically deployed back rubs. -Ed

Since Suki has spent many hours listening to me whine about various advertisements and encourage him to be a tad more political in his blog, I provide for you the following...

Yay for the launch of the Ad Council's new global warming campaign. The ads aren't bad, and they are the first ever global warming public service announcement.

With all this mixed messaging on global warming created by BP, Exxon (pdf), Chevron and others, it's good to see the non-profit community may finally make it to prime time too. Maybe for their next ad, the Ad Council can provide some clarification on all the other industry campaigns. For now, I am eagerly awaiting the chance to see the Ad Council's work on my television screen...

As a side note, and because Suki thought a recipe might be a nice post idea for me, ice cream is a wonderful dairy substitute in coffee. Just in case you run out of milk, as I did this morning, and can't stand black coffee. I used Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia, which I would highly recommend. Just don't use this (holy shit, that's awesome. I'm bringing that to the next flag burning party. We're both digging the Nutty Environmentalist. -Ed).

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Don't tell Suke the babysitter's drunk

Normally I write at this classy little blog called The Daily Dump. But then Suke fell gravely ill or went on vacation or something and asked me to step in for a day. Like a good friend who has met him once (and didn’t even know he was Asian), I said yes. But wow, writing someone else’s blog is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Because really what you’re doing is babysitting. You’re taking care of someone else’s readers, their children. Children you can’t see and who are old and probably self-reflective enough to be judgmental of you and unsatisfied with their lives. And while, metaphorically, I may think it perfectly acceptable to say to a child, “Stop crying, God doesn’t love you when you cry,” maybe Suke doesn’t think that’s the best way to deal with diaper rash. I don’t know.

And that’s the problem. I really don’t know anything about his readers. Hell, all I really know about him is that he loves spinach dip so much he named his blog after it. On the contrary, after ten months, I feel like I know my readers like the back of my hand. My readers skew to the debased. They enjoy Scrabble, but still try to sneak in words like “poop” and “chode” from time to time. They’ll turn on softcore porn when they get drunk. They’re largely atheistic and find humor in people injuring themselves. My readers would probably get drunk at a funeral. (I love you guys.) Most importantly, my readers can appreciate my sincerity when I write “So I took a crap yesterday and I don’t know what it was but I feel like I really understand my purpose today.” No questions asked, just an intrinsic understanding that I may be exaggerating, maybe not – but none of that matters because that’s just Dan being hilarious.

But I know nothing about Suke’s readers. Is he big with the scholastics? The ex-cons? The Jesuits? Maybe his readers can’t even appreciate a good racist joke. I mean these are the things a writer needs to know going into a blog. Otherwise I’m stuck with tapioca topics like “Boy, scientology is crazy!” or “Haha, game shows from the 80’s were funny!” And no one wants that. They want edgy material with jokes just off color enough where they can laugh without guilt. And frankly, under these circumstances I just don’t think I can provide that. So I did what every good writer does when he can’t cope with a situation: I photoshopped Suke’s head onto my pictures and added captions.

I don’t know what he said, but I bet it was funny!

Here’s Suke showing off his new bear paw gloves he got for Christmas. That’s scary!

Come on, mixing mojitos is fun. Lighten up!

HELL-O MySpace!

Nice book light!

This man is all business, all the time.

You’re the man now, dawg!

Robert Goulet never looked so tough.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Wet Spot

Yo, party people! What Is Crackin’? I’m Angelina. I spew drivel over at my “new media think/write experience” otherwise known as the blog, High Class Jackass.

I wanted to DO SpiDip right…you know drop some heavy knowledge on his readership. Get people thinking. But then I came to my senses, and starting thinking about DOing it. You know, IT. And then I started thinking about SpiDip’s slim neck, and creamy skin and heaving bosom and then I couldn’t think about anything else except getting off, so I, you know, busted out the rabbit and took care of some business, and but quick.

See, I’m in the midst of those two miraculous, crawling - the - walls - in - a - feverish - pitch days of my cycle where I can think of nothing else except mating. Fucking. Scoring some baby batter for the little petulant and demanding ovum cold-lampin’ in my uterus.

Of course I’m not looking to get knocked up anytime soon, but biologically speaking, my body doesn’t care that I’m waiting for a “commitment” and “a ring” and “absolution from my student loans” before spawning my own devil child. All my loins want for these few days is to GET IT ON. Hot and nasty. For like, 36 hours straight.

I often think about calling in the reserves during this time—I guess you’d call them a booty call. I’m not trashy like that, so I prefer to call them “my former lovers with whom a relationship outside of a drunken, debaucherous midnight encounter is not feasible.” Surprisingly, they’re totally cool with that. I usually don’t, though. I have a roommate who’s more like a nosy older brother and always has more than a little something to say about the dick...I mean, the guys I bring round.

I’m suffering, people. Like a randy cat, wailing, and I can’t stop shifting in my seat trying to abate the urge. Sadly, it has the opposite effect, and if I do it too fast, well, that’s just trouble. I do have a few tricks up my sleeve, and might be phoning in a favor, and if only I could trick my roommate into taking a mini-break…wow. I’m guessing this is what it feels like to be a guy, like, all the time. How do they manage to get any work done? Eh, fuck ‘em. Or better yet, fuck me!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Best weekend ever: booze, karaoke, sushi, watching basketball all freaking day, sky terraces and the best episode of "The Sopranos" of all time

Hi. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Larry, I run a little blog called This Is What We Do Now and I'll be your tour guide for the day.

After getting maybe ten collective hours of sleep this weekend as well as the change in weather (memo to March: today's the first fucking day of Spring; time to get your shit together), I've been feeling pretty exhausted and am starting to feel like crap, so this guest post is going to be a bit scattershot. If you don't like it, too bad.

In any event, this was a pretty fantastic weekend, as I got to see a lot of people I don't see that regularly, visited a handful of new places, watched a shitload of basketball and capped it all of with an absolutely phenomenal, gut-wrenching and emotionally draining episode of "The Sopranos."

Friday kicked off with Davis' birthday dinner at JAPAS 38. Quick, name three things that go together better than karaoke, unlimited beer and unlimited sushi. Exactly, you can't, which is why it was one of the best parties ever. The remainder of the evening included appearances at Maker's in Murray Hill (horrible), Tile in the East Village (usually OK but the bartender absolutely sucked that night), Plug Uglies and Vig 27. Incredibly, 4 out of the 5 places I hit up were new, which is shocking considering when left to my own devices I always seem to end up at the same places.

Saturday was one of the most enjoyable days I've had in a long time. I met up with my buddy from work around 2 p.m. and we hit up Croxley Ales to catch the tournament. We were also joined by a handful of other friends throughout the day. It really doesn't get much better than kicking back with some of your favorite people in the world, eating burgers, downing pints of Blue Point and watching a million basketball games over the course of a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Saturday night we went to Alec's sister's birthday party at the Hudson Hotel. As expected, it was super trendy, but turned out alright. I actually bumped into the babysitter I had when I was 8 years old. Mind you, I probably hadn't seen this girl since then, making it a pretty crazy fucking conversation. At least I think it was, based on what I could actually hear during the brief interludes in which the DJ wasn't trying to bludgeon my eardrums.Sky Terrace

We also managed to break into the Hudson's sky terrace with an almost comical amount of ease (a key on Alec's keychain incredibly opened the lock), hung out in the outrageously small room Lynch had inexplicably rented, and laughed about Alec propositioning a girl only to drive her to burst into tears. The night was capped off with a retardedly crowded - at least for 3 a.m. - Scruffy Duffy's (who knew people actually went out in Hell's Kitchen?) and some random shithole called the Playwright Tavern.

Sunday it was more NCAA, this time up at Davey's. Almost every team I needed to win won, and (I realize I'm jinxing myself here) I'm actually in pretty good shape, with all of my Final Four teams and 7 out of 8 of my Elite Eight teams still intact. Thursday's Gonzaga-UCLA game could very well make or break my bracket. Gonzaga better destroy those motherfucking Bruins.

And just when I thought the weekend couldn't get any better, David Chase wallops me with quite possibly the best episode of "The Sopranos" of all time — this coming from someone who has seen every single episode and has been watching since Season 1, Episode 1. Never have I felt so emotionally spent after watching an hour of television. I know the dream episodes aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I absolutely fucking love 'em (especially since I seem to have serious sleeping issues and end up jousting with my subconscious on a nightly basis), and I don't think any show on TV more accurately or creepily portrays what our dreams look like.

Of course in this particular case it was purgatory, but even so; the scenes showing what a non-mafia Tony would've been like, while slow, were a tremendous insight into Tony's brain. There are multiple times throughout the series in which Tony has mused about how his life might have turned out had he not joined the family business, and I love that this alternative existence finally manifested itself as he nears possible death. Additionally, this was the first of Tony's dreams in the entire series that didn't feature anyone from his actual life, aside from the fake-Carmela and fake-Meadow he spoke with on the phone.

The performances were also all outstanding as usual, with Edie Falco all but sewing up the Best Actress Emmy in the ICU, and I damn near teared up at the very end with Purgatory Tony sitting on the hotel bed, no way of going home to his family and that incredibly haunting Moby song taking us into the credits.

I do hope Chase doesn't drag the coma thing out for much longer, however — as bold a statement as it would be to finish the last 18 episodes of the series with Tony making the slow march to death, it would be a tough pill to swallow due to the emotional investment I have with the character.

Interestingly enough, I also made the decision to rewatch the pilot during the day on Sunday, and I couldn't believe how many references to that very first episode of the series have been made in these first two season six episodes - Carmela makes mention of how she told Tony he was going to hell when he died, Junior talking about Pussy Malanga and even Meadow being on the volleyball team.

I've long said that a show like "The Sopranos" is that much more enjoyable when you take the series as a whole, and it's incredibly gratifying to see the writers insert references or dialogue that haven't been addressed in years. As much as I love "24," not even the nonstop action of Kiefer and Kompany can match the depth and layers of the characters on "The Sopranos" as well as the psychological themes and outrageous amounts of subtext and symbolism stuffed into every episode.

I've been glued to "The Sopranos" message board over on Television Without Pity the last day or so, and if you're as into this episode as I was, do yourself a favor and check it out. As great as the episodes are on their own, I always end up getting even more out of each show from reading what many of the very intelligent posters on the board have to say. The only thing I have trouble reconciling are the people who didn't like this episode. Maybe the dream (or in this case purgatory) episodes aren't for everyone, but if you consider yourself a fan of the show and weren't equal parts emotionally riveted and intellectually fascinated by the intense philosophical and existential explorations of both life and death, then you simply don't have a soul.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Out of the ashes

Welcome to the very first post of the spinachdip nyc Guest Blogger Series. Our first guest blogger comes from sunny San Diego but now lives in the nether reaches of Brooklyn, NY. When not studying for his airline pilot license or blogging at Gentrifried Rice he enjoys walking his dog and picnics in the park. Probably. -ed

True story: I met Suke about two months ago after a reading at Mo Pitkins. He came up to me and said, "I thought I was supposed to be the token Asian dude here." Anyway, I'm Stan and I'll be your token Asian guestblogger today.
Thank God for the Big Guns. The Jenny Lewis show on Saturday broke the spell I had been in for a week. I was suffering from some kind of condition that kept me from holding any conversations about anything other than sports or a certain plane full of snakes. You know... like a case of March Madness. But with more snakes.

In preparation for the show, I brainstormed some J-Lew pick-up lines but, surprisingly, most of them just ended up sounding crude. Case in point: "Hey Jenny! Since Blake isn't here, can I be the one to salute your shorts?" (Side note: It's really fucking hard to pick up on someone when they're on stage and you're in a sea of people. But seriously, call me!) This, of course, touches upon a larger question--how did Rilo Kiley succeed with not just one, but two child actors? Maybe child stardom is the next great breeding ground for indie rock bands. Anyway, for the sake of this post, let's assume it is.

Ideas for potential child star collaborations:

The Yothers Brothers. So, apparently, Tina Yothers has already tried the whole music thing. Her mistake with "Jaded" was choosing the wrong sibling (Cory "Bumper" Yothers) as a bandmate. See, the thing is... Tina Yothers (no joke) has a foster sister named... TINA YOTHERS. The novelty potential for this band is off the charts and frankly, this just won't stop blowing my mind.

The Sidekicks. Andrew Koenig, Josh Saviano, Max Casella, Marc Price... those names doing anything for you? What about Boner, Paul, Vinnie and Skippy? Thought so. The problem with this idea is picking a lead singer from a group of second fiddles. Paul Pfeiffer, however, was born to be a bassist. Touring ideas: 1) Kimmy Gibler + Six = back-up singers? 2) T-Mobile sponsorship. [Related anecdote: A friend of mine visited Yale in high school and crashed at one of their sororities. One of the girls that lived there woke everyone up to tell them that she had "just fucked Paul from the Wonder Years." Is this even considered starfucking? If so, do you think I could get some tail by pretending to be Data from Goonies/Short Round from Indiana Jones?]

Lasch Bridges. Take one child actor who played thugs (David Lascher) and one child actor who turned into a thug (Todd Bridges), add some unspoken racial tension and a heavy beat... it's Lasch Bridges, bitches. Rhetorical question: Say I brought up David Lascher with two friends (separately) and one asks, "Is that the guy from Blossom?" and another one goes, "The dude from Hey Dude?" and I've always just seen him as that Blossom-Hey Dude guy, does that make me more pathetic than my friends?

Bonus half-baked band idea: The Electric Judith Light Orchestra. No child stars here... just Judith Light backed by other TV moms--Joanna Kerns, Meredith Baxter, and maybe for obscurity's sake, the woman who showed up on an episode or two of Saved by the Bell as Zack's mom. Album title: Damn! I Wish I Was Your Mother.

She's a little bit country

Uploaded to Flickr by presta

One last quick post before the barbarians storm Rome on the Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins show on Saturday night.

  • Irving Plaza was packed (it was sold out, so obviously, yeah) - first time I've been to a really full show at Irving, and I haven't see a crowd that was as abuzz since the Hives @ Bowery in 2002 or Gang Starr @ Limelight in 2000 or, I don't know, Bloc Party @ Bowery in 2005. But more on the crowd later.

  • Jenny, the twins and the band sounded great. As much as I've been enjoying the album, the songs are so much richer with a full backing band, steel guitars and whatnot. "Rise Up With Fists" sounded especially strong. It's pretty easy to forget that you're listening to a former child actor/indie rocker singing country songs - the shit works.

  • They played the entire Rabbit Fur Coat (sans "Handle With Care", obviously) plus a couple of new songs and an a capella "I Met Him On A Sunday" with just Jenny and the twins during the encore. The girl behind me knew all the words.

  • Why do I get the feeling that about 80% of the audience -male and female- had a crush on her? I don't think any other artist could get away with her 70's Nashville-hippie dress or the slo-mo walk at the beginning and the end of the set.

  • Do I have to mention the Watson Twins every time? I realize the twins are an integral part of the sound, but we know we're all listening to Jenny. It's not like a Raekwon album where Ghostface ends up being the star. They're more like Cappadona.

    That said, it's cool seeing the Watsons do their almost-creepy synchronized backup-singer motions and percussion.

  • Not that I could see much of the stage though - I like standing-only joints like Irving and Bowery, but not so much when tall people stand in front of me. I felt worse for my lovely companion who's much shorter than I (and I'm short to begin with). She got stuck next to this dude who looked like a very, very poor man's George O'Malley (can I go one post without making a Grey's Anatomy reference?) and apparently kept stepping on her and blocking her view every couple of minutes to take a photograph.

  • The crowd was a little older than last year's Rilo Kiley show at Webster Hall which pretty much felt like freshman orientation at NYU. And yeah, taller.

  • Is there some rule that you have to talk about the audience in every indie show recap? I guess in a small venue, the crowd has a bigger effect on the experience. Normally, I don't care - people enjoy music differently. Whether you stand there and nod your head or dance your ass off, it's all good with me. The only time the standing still thing bothers me is if the artist is specifically asking for audience participation. Still, it seemed like the taller assholes who pushed their way to the front seemed more interested in chatting with their dates or otherwise standing with arms folded.

  • Still, besides seeing little of the stage and my neck being in pain, lovely show.

  • Passed by the newly opened Trader Joe's 14th on the way to the show and there was a line to get in. Mind you, this was at 8:30 pm on Saturday and it was pretty fucking freezing out.

  • Downloads: Jenny Lewis - Live at the Echo, June 6, 2004

  • tags:

    Friday, March 17, 2006

    You mock her now...

    Some actresses, like Charlize Theron, go ugly for Oscar nods. The rest of Hollywood goes tranny...

    Hilary Swank, previously known for her work on Beverly Hills 90210 and The Next Karate Kid, wins an Oscar going tranny for Boys Don't Cry.

    Felicty Huffman, better known as Lynette on Desperate Housewives, is nominated for an Oscar going tranny on TransAmerica.

    You know Amanda Bynes as the plucky younger sister on What I Like About You. Actually, you probably don't. But you'll certainly know her because she's going to be all over the map after her courageous turn as a tranny in She's The Man.

  • I mentioned in yesterday's post that my bracket's going to be hosed. Well, we're only halfway done with 1st round games and I've already lost one Elite 8 and two Sweet 16 picks. To add insult to injury, my Team McDreamy currently sits tied for 8th out of 16 in a group full of Duke and Wake Forest grads. Oh, the embarrassment.

  • Viva Mexico! I'll be wearing Mexican green today, as thanks to our neighbors south, Japan has advanced to the semifinal round of World Baseball Classic. I usually don't care about baseball, I find myself giving a fuck about WBC. A lot.

    This, of course sets up Korea vs Japan III, and Korea has already taken the first 2 games in this competition. I really really really want Japan to at least avoid the sweep here, but as Stan pointed out to me, the Koreans have extra motivation - you see, not only are the Koreans playing for their nation's honor, they're also trying to get out of serving their country. Ah, patriotism.

  • Speaking of Stan, he will be heading off Guest Blogger Weeks, which begins next Monday. Assuming we haven't killed each other after Saturday's semifinal game.

    In addition, you'll be hearing from TIWWDN, A High Class Jackass, The Daily Dump and yep, a virgin blogger.

  • Fans of Stars, especially those who don't like Torquil Cambell, will be happy to know that Amy Millan's solo album is coming out on May 30. Also, some wonderful poppiness from Graham Coxton.
    Amy Millan - Skinny Boy
    Graham Coston - Tell It Like It Is

  • Happy St. Patrick's Day, y'all. Try to stay upright and not puke so much. This is the last time I'm posting regularly until early April. Take care, and be nice to the guest bloggers.


    Thursday, March 16, 2006

    March Madness and the virtues of dimished expectations

    March Madness begins today.

    The other night, I finally got around to watching Mean Girls and I have to say, it was one of the best rentals all year. It's been on my queue for ages, but it was getting bumped for shit like Happiness and Winner of the 2006 Academy Awards for Best Picture and All the Real Girls, you know, films that people like me (read: poseurs) are supposed to enjoy.

    Yet I enjoyed Mean Girls more than the aforementioned rentals, and not just because of the pre-weight loss Lohan and the then-unsung Rachel McAdams goodness. If I had to put up two modern day teen movies to go 2 vs 2 against John Hughes flicks from the 80s to save Earth from destruction, I'd have no problem selecting Clueless and Mean Girls and just rolling the ball out onto the court. It's not an enjoyable bad movie, like The Replacements or a Jerry Bruckheimer summer blockbuster - this is a bona fide Good Movie.

    But I get the feeling that I enjoy the movie more now, almost 2 years after its release, because at this point, Lindsay Lohan's known better for being a rent-paying Bungalow 8 resident and a public bulimia-denier than as the promising actress she was in 2004.

    I went in with such diminished expectations that it all ended up being a pleasant surprise, like Lohan's attractiveness and Tim Meadows (Tim Meadows!). If the movie came out now, it may or may not do as well in theaters, but it would definitely be a sexier darkhorse pick for critics.

    I'm wondering if the same thing would happen if Nelly Furtado came out with a banger right now. She was never going to be able to live up to her debut album. As catchy as "Like A Bird" was, it was popular, at least partly, because she came out of nowhere. The followup would have disappointed even if every song was as good as "Turn Off the Lights". Her sensibilities aren't quite Top 40 and she's probably more comfortable as the go-to white girl for the Okayplayer set that she was in 2002.

    Would she still be judged by the same post-"Whoa Nelly!" standards? Or would she get the "She's actually not bad" backhand that Bob Saget gets these days?

    Which brings us to the 2005-06 University of North Carolina Tar Heels. If last year's title winning team was Lindsay Lohan 2004, this year's surprise #3 Seed is Lindsay Lohan 2006, stripped of its most obvious assets, but still capable of performing in the clutch.

    It's not that I didn't enjoy last year's National Champion run last year. Those were the best 3 weeks of 2005 for me (which is to say, I had a pretty shitty year for the most part).

    But this year, anything respectable - Top 4 finish in the conference, winning record, tournament appearance - was okay with me. So a 2nd place finish, a win over Duke in Cameron and Tyler Hansborough turning into an absolute monster, any of which would be nice in a normal year, are made all the more satisfying. Anything less than a championship would have been a disappointment last year; a Sweet 16 finish this year would be a (almost) great ending to an only marginally less magical season.

    That said, this year's Tar Heels are capable of making the Final Four, and if they do fall short, I'd be in a pissy mood for the following 24 hours. But let's worry about that later. The madness begins tomorrow for me.

    Oh, and my brackets are going to take a hosing this year.


    Monday, March 13, 2006

    Programming note: Let's see other people

    Beginning next Monday, spinachdip nyc is going on another break. Well, not exactly. I'm going on break to attend to personal business, but unlike last time, spinachdip nyc will be up and running in the meantime.

    While I am gone, the blog will be in capable hands - 15 pairs of them in fact. Every weekday from Monday, March 20 to Friday, April 7, a different guest blogger will take the wheel and lead this blog wherever they may. Some of the guest bloggers you know well, a couple I'm bringing back from the dead and a few will be losing their blog virginity right in front of your eyes. It'll be like when Dawson and Joey did it for the first time, except hotter. Way hotter.

    Be nice to them, but if you end up liking them more than me, don't tell me, I don't want to know. Promise that you'll still love me when I come back.

    Every Day Is A Friday (Reprise)

    Continued from: Every day is a Friday. Except Friday.

    Mere hours after singing the virtues of weeknight drinking and firing a shot at Friday and Saturday nights, I found myself drunk off my ass well before midnight Friday.

    In retrospect, it was a recipe for disaster. I was coming off a week I spent practically bedridden from flu-like symptoms and averaged less than 5 hours of sleep. To add to my already weak physical state, I was comfortably buzzed before dinner. That, my friends, is a point of no return.

    Next thing I know, I'm in a party at a Midtown hotel, walking around, trying to stay alert and wishing I'd caffeinated myself earlier. Nope, game over. By 1:30, I had gotten myself in a cab for a lonely ride home.

    Which gets me to another reason I don't really dig the Friday binge. I'm okay with a little happy hour. You had a long week - you should kick back and welcome the weekend. But getting hammered - which I enjoy - isn't worth ruining the whole weekend.

  • I have yet to talk about the Asobi Seksu show last Monday at the Bowery Ballroom. In a word, excellenicious. They played a mix of the material off their self titled debut and their forthcoming Citrus and sounded more heavier than before, which I approve. Yuki, the lead singer, has a delicate voice that somehow comes through that thick wall of sound - always great live.

    mp3: Asobi Seksu - Red Sea (Live - KEXP)
    For more Asobi Seksu, check their Myspace page.

    The headliner, Serena Maneesh was heh, Bob was there too and he can probably explain better. They reminded me a lot of The Music, you know, that UK band that was supposed to be big around 2002.

    Also, pictures and pictures.

  • Carolina as #3 seed in the Washington Region? I'm okay with that, though I'm guessing a win vs BC could have put us up at #2. Maybe.

  • I don't give a shit about baseball, but America will pay for this.

  • Friday, was so nice out, I rode my bike out for the first time this year, all the way to West Village. I parked it outside the coffeeshop, where I camped out for most of the late afternoon. On the way from the coffeeshop to the bar, whilst at the subway station and on the subway car, Heather and I smelled a subtle, but distinct scent of urine. Coincidental, perhaps. But when I later got back to my apartment and was hauling the bike up the stairs, the scent returned.

    Yes, my bicycle had been peed on.

    Heather, apparent expert on urine, surmised it was human urine. So let's get this straight - I parked my bicycle in the whitest neighborhood below 14th Street in broad daylight, and some fucker pees on my bike? How the fuck does that happen?

  • One last Only In New York story before I go - last week, I was walking down Avenue A as I had to stop by the grocery store. I look down and see a TV on the ground. Nothing strange about that - you always see shit thrown out on the curb. Except the TV was on. And it was hooked up to the light pole. And a homeless guy was kicking the TV to get better reception.

  • tags:

    Friday, March 10, 2006

    What the fuck?

    Not that I'm complaining.

    Update: Believe it or not, Brooklyn's enjoying similarly warm weather.

    Every day is a Friday. Except Friday.

    Over the past few weeks, I've been complaining to friends, acquaintances, cabbies, basically anyone who would listen that if I weren't so socially insecure, I would just cuddle up with a DVD and stay in on a Saturday night. There's a reason I set up my Netflix queue so Mean Girls arrives on Friday afternoon (though I haven't really had a choice in the matter lately, as I've been fighting flu-like symptoms and coughing up in mass quantities for the good part of the last fortnight).

    Don't get me wrong - I enjoy drinking. A lot. To excess, even. Drinking makes me happy, adventurous, confident - everything I like to think I am.

    It's not that I don't enjoy the company of people either. Think of it this way: you know how white people are with black people? Almost everyone is comfortable with one or two black people in the room. We all like diversity, right? And people generally get past the "black people are scary" unless they're characters in Crash. But then they get a little uncomfortable when they're interacting with six, seven, eight black people in the room, or even more so if they're in a roomful of black people, like a non-backpacker rap concert. It's not that white people are racist - they prefer black people in smaller doses.

    I'm the same way with people in general. I like people. People say funny things. Funny things make me laugh. I like laughing. It's just that when I'm in the same room as more than 8 or 9, I start to get a combination of agoraphobia and claustrophobia. And I get in a bad way when I'm in an East Village bar at 12 am on Saturday night.

    The whole social awkwardness thing, I'm trying to work on. I try to engage people in conversation. I'm learning to take compliments. I'm not quite there yet, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. My shyness has gone from "debilitating" to "painful" over the past two years. Baby steps.

    Still, getting rid of my awkwardness won't get me to like Friday and Saturday nights over weeknights. I still don't like walking on sticky floors in overcrowded bars and spending $5 for macrobrew. I abhor velvet ropes and there are very few things that will get me to stand between 5th and 6th Avenues in the 20s on weekend nights.

    So I like going out on Sundays through Thursdays. Bars aren't as crowded, drink specials are better. And I figure, I hate getting up for work anyway. Two, three, four beers aren't going to make it that much worse. Though at the same time, the having to get up in the morning thing gives me a limit. Checks and balances. It makes sure that I get tipsy, but not too much so. My little liver can only take so much and money moves much faster when you're drunk in NYC.

    Granted, I'm good for a Friday night binge every now and then - it's always an adventure to see which neighborhood I wake up in. But otherwise, I'd rather just enjoy my weekends without my head weighing a ton.

    Thursday, March 09, 2006

    Metrotards are dead, long live the Red Bullshits

    As you soccer fans in the audience, which is to say three of you, are aware, Metrostars have been bought by the folks who make Red Bull energy drinks and have been rebranded as "Red Bull New York" or "New York Red Bulls" or both.

    From a totally rational standpoint, this is A Good Thing for all the reasons Not Doug Logan points out. Plus, the fewer clubs Phil Anschutz owns and operates (he currently owns and operates DC United, LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes Houston 1836 Houston Dynamo and Chicago Fire), the better for each club, and a new investor gives confidence to sponsors and investors, current and potential. Uncle Phil's been invaluable for the sport's development and he could support half the league if he wanted to, but each club needs its own dedicated investor/operator. Red Bull gets us closer to 1 owner-1 team.

    But of course, if sports were a rational pursuit, we wouldn't be so obsessed about it, would we? There's that whole corporate named team that suggests bush league (never mind that the New York Red Bulls have a sister club in Saltzburg). And this happened with little, if any, consultation with the supporters. In soccer, especially in a league that is still trying to build a base, communication with supporters is essential. Plus, 10 years of Metrostars tradition, however awful, is being discarded with a few clicks and drag-and-drops of the mouse to help a soft drink maker sell a few more cans. I imagine Michael K isn't the only fan who's not happy about it. Or other clubs' supporters for that matter. I can see this move alienating fans, though more likely, they'll get over it, if it means stability for top flight soccer in the most important market in the nation. And the last thing fans should worry about is being the object of mockery - they should be used to it by now. Soccer will always be ridiculed, but insults only hurt the ego, not the bottom line.

    Still, there will always be something disconcerting about having to promote a brand of energy drinks in order to support the local club. Oh, and in case you care about that sort of thing, the color scheme will not do much for soccer's image in this country as teh ghey if the club website is any indication.


    Wednesday, March 08, 2006

    New York Times always has a finger on the pulse... of a coma patient

    Over the past week, the Gray Lady told us about: how Bushwick is the new hot nabe (during my apartment search 2 years ago, I remember specifically telling my friend Fish, "Hey, did you know white people live in Bushwick?"), leechers are stealing wireless connection (this was old news when CNN covered it last July), and the ultimate non-stories, Wal-Mart shoving their hands inside puppet bloggers.

    The last item, I can almost see it being newsworthy in the right context. You know, an examination of how corporations have learned to stop worrying and love the 'sphere, and see where the philosophy shift came. Or how Wal-Mart's lobbying differs from anyone else's. Or if the strategy is any different for mass media writers and bloggers. Or its success/failure with traditional PR/advertising.

    But the Times did none of that. Just lazy, superficial reporting.

  • Seu Jorge and Jose Gonzalez together? Good god, I love this city (though Summerstage is absolute torture, what with the humidity and the lines).

  • And I couldn't agree more with the kids at Cole Slaw: 57 things about living in New York that are so great it's practically unbearable. Add "going to see bands your friends will hear about in 6 months or more", "rooftops" and "drinking establishments with patios" and we're set.

  • After seeing the reviews for Block Party, I'm excited.

    And Ian's right when he says "You got enough Erykah Badu to remind me that 'Mama's Gun' is a far better album than anyone gives it credit for". Seriously, listen to Outkast's "Ms. Jackson", and then listen to "Green Eyes", the last song on Mama's Gun (actually, the last three songs) and you can see how Erykah took her breakup with Andre3000 a little differently.

    Also, Bloc Party mp3s:
    Bloc Party - Two More Years
    Bloc Party - Two More Years (MSTRKRFT Remix)

  • Big Boi and T.I. have A.T.L., The Game has The Documentary, Kurupt has... Kurupt Uncut XXX. Read: Fleshbot DVD review (probably not safe for work).

  • tags:

    Oscars backwash

    A few Academy Awards items before I put all my Brokeback jokes in a storage unit and throw the key away:
  • As happy as I was to see PSH get Best Actor (he really should've gotten Best Supporting for Big Lebowski or Along Came Polly), but it was a shame that Ennis didn't get his, because I could've had some fun with this:

    But alas, it remains a joke uncracked.

  • You know what's the only thing that could've made Three 6 winning for Best Original Song better? You know how the kids at the Best Week Ever blog are going giggly goo over "pimp"? Well, what if the Academy had nominated "Whoop That Trick" instead of "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp"? It would've been the most incredible moment in the history of television. Jon Stewart would've had a squirting orgasm. Hell, we all would've.

  • I don't know what it is, but Reese looks way more attractive now than she did back when she did Cruel Intentions. Maybe it's the fact that she's technically a MILF, or maybe it's the attractive girl + talent/accomplishment = hot! thing.

  • If you are at work, you probably shouldn't do a Google image search for reese witherspoon, twilight. Seriously, don't do it.

  • tags:

    Monday, March 06, 2006

    Sweet you rock and sweet you roll. Or, thoughts on the 78th Academy Awards. Or, no Brokeback joke, I promise. Or, who rigs every Oscar night?

    "We do, we do."

    Before the ceremony, I told Heather that I'd burn Los Angeles if Crash won Best Picture. Not that I've always agreed with the Academy voters, or that it hasn't been a celebration of mediocrity for a really long time, but because it's not even a token attempt at rewarding excellence. In fact, it's LA provincialism at its worst.

    crash into meI admit, out of the Best Picture noms, I've only seen Brokeback and Crash, but I can say that Brokeback is a really, really, really, really good movie while Crash was, while entertaining enough, was either a really well done bad movie or a bad movie trying really hard to be good. Or as Bomani Jones puts it, if you thought Crash was a "great" film, you need to get a library card. Which is to say, it shouldn't have been nominated in the first place. At best, it's the weakest film in the category. Probably. I'm sure Munich and Good Night and Good Luck were at least good without any qualifications.

    And despite the Brokeback buzz, there really was no consensus winner so the "good" movies canceled each other out. But here's the thing - as good-bad (or bad-good) as Crash was, it was an LA movie. And who are the majority of Academy voters?

    Yep, Angelinos. Like, you know how we get all provincial about New York shit? I think LA's worse. Not that I'd know. I wouldn't go to the fucking hellhole (Lies, lies. He spent a weekend with a friend in Irvine -ed). But they seem to think freeways and Starbucks and the Lakers are somehow cool. At least when we get snobby about New York, we point out the good shit - apartment rooftops, 24-hour pizza, the size of subway rats.

    But the Academy done gone up and gave the Best Picture Oscar to fucking Crash. Someone get me a blowtorch and a roundtrip ticket to LAX. Burn Hollywood burn. So that's how I feel about Best Picture. Can't say I'm surprised, and I wasn't rooting for Gayback Mountain or anything, but that doesn't mean Academy voters aren't a bunch of poopoofaces.

    Rest of the my Oscar thoughts in bullet points:
  • Can't argue with either Reese and Philip Seymour as Best Actress and Best Actor. I thought Heath Ledger (rocking the My Name Is Earl mustache) would win, but it was a strong field and any of the noms could have won.

  • Ang Lee's my boy. No homo. Also, the gay cowboy movie was for his dad.

  • Yeah, George Clooney did say he's glad he's out of touch. That's awesome. That's terrible.

  • Though I can't help but wonder if awarding it to Capote was the Gay Hollywood Mafia's way of sticking it to the establishment.

  • Three 6 Mafia. Jawesome.

    three 6 mafia

  • Reese Witherspoon - yeah, I'd hit it. Naomi Watts - yeah, I'd hit it. Amy Adams - yea, I'd hit it. Jake Gyllenhaal - yeah, I'd hit it. Rachel McAdams - yeah, I'd hit it. Rachel Weisz -I'm happy for her. And yeah, I'd hit it. Jennifer Garner has boobs. Awesome. Yeah, I'd hit it.

  • Jon Stewart - no, I wouldn't hit it. He wasn't terrible considering the audience. It's a tame crowd and you're going to bomb a few times with a 3.5-hour broadcast. Still, most of the laughs were of the nervous, polite variety and there weren't unexpected comedic moments like last year's, when Jeremy Irons made funny after Chris Rock facetiously introduced him as a "comic giant", and Sean Penn got up to chastise Rock for making a Jude Law joke.

  • Fuck Jon Stewart. I like montages. I like the In Memoriam montage. I like the "Remember movies didn't suck ass?" montage. I like the career achievement montage. I enjoyed the gay cowboy montage. Civil rights montage was, eh, fuck, it was a montage. I watch the Oscars for the montages, goddammit.

  • I also like the medley of the Best Original Score nominees. Even if I was tired of hearing the Brokeback score after watching the 134th spoof trailer on YouTube.

  • It was nice of Dolly Parton to wear a white suit in tribute to Elliott Smith. She's awesome and all, but I wish she was carrying a gee-tar. She's got a tiny waist for someone with her boobs though.

  • Negative campaign ads? Sweet. And yeah, it's nice that Keira doesn't have to ugly up to get a nomination.

  • And I really, really do like Reese Witherspoon. Even in crap films like Legally Blonde, she shows through.

  • Seriously. Crash?

  • For more intelligent commentary, I give you, Gothamist commenters.

  • Kidding. I give you Thighmaster.

  • tags:

    Friday, March 03, 2006

    Stuff | March 3, 2006

  • New isht up on [dc]. Meh. Wish there was a time to come up with a movie poster. Also, after putting up Angelina's post on queer threads for straight dudes, I saw this guy on the subway with a fedora, manfur and a white laptop purse. Awesome. He got off at 23rd & 8th (no homo), naturally.

  • I'm usually okay with not having cable TV. Then you see stuff like this, Fiona Apple's "Not About Love" video starring Zach Galifianakis, and I have second thoughts about not plunking money down for Time-Warner (via esg):

    (YouTube link)

  • Straight Bangin' and MOKyB have me really excited about the new Ghostface.

  • So I find out about LA producer dert through g vs. b; he's created "Sometimes I Rhyme Slow", a mashup project that mixes artists like Common and Kanye with Jose Gonzalez tracks, and the result is surprisingly good. Mashups can be meh beyond the novelty value, but this stuff is unexpected and stands out on its own.

  • "No, soccer is crystal meth. It's very addictive, but really messes up your teeth. I guess I've never viewed soccer as some sort of controlled substance. To me, it's probably more like Nutella. The rest of the world clearly loves it and puts it on almost everything, but here in America we're like, 'I don't know, man, it tastes like almonds'." -- Jon Stewart

  • Are you J.J. Red-y to get J.J. Redick-ulous? To be honest, I'm not yet and ESPN's ain't-no-such-thing-as-saturation coverage is a bit much. But Deadspin gets the Dook vs Carolina Weekend off to a nice start. Woo.

  • Okay, the rest of the post is pretty sports heavy. Just sayin, FYI.

  • What kind of career options are there for corrupt soccer refs? Well, you can be an American football ref, for one.

  • The Gawker comment invite finally shows its true value. Falsely accuse a guy of anti-Semitism, get a timely response. As for his question, "How dare you accuse me of being an anti-Semite", well, that's because I'm an asshole, for one thing.

  • I'm about a week late on this, but a Vince Carter spring break video joke: You see, Vince starts out really aggressive, getting real close to the girl for like the first 10 seconds, then the other guy comes in, and Vince spends the rest of the time dancing about 20 ft away from the girl.

  • James Dolan gets April Fools started a month early: "You have to look at how you're doing on your 3-4 year plan. It's still early. I know it's hard to take when it's 15-41, but the mistake would be to say the strategy is wrong. The strategy is right."

  • How do you say "Stop snitchin'" in sign language? Deaf soccer fans accuse Liverpool's Jamie Carragher of making racial taunts.

  • Some of the slightly less embarrassing Chinese character tattoos worn by NBA players.

  • You know, the cheerleader photos in's photo galleries aren't unlike the Double Whopper. If you haven't experienced it in a while, you sort of crave it and you get all excited when you're about to get your fix. Then you take a bite.
  • Thursday, March 02, 2006

    An open letter to the United States Postal Service

    Dear USPS,

    It's bad enough that you, of all people, are sending me junk mail. That, I can live with - you need to pimp your shit. I understand. But this?

    Fucking Cathy? With all due respect, what the fuck?

    Who the fuck thought it was a good idea to send promotional material with that shit on it? Do you actually believe a widely derided cartoon will actually make people want to use your website and buy stamps online and shit? Don't you know that each Cathy strip taped onto a door drives the suicide rate in that office up by 2.3%? Or that people who pass shit out on Cathy Post-It notes are the first to be shot by a disgruntled former employee in a shooting spree?

    Look, I can accept that there are people who actually enjoy Cathy and don't vomit at the site of the comic strip. Who the fuck knows why, but they buy coffee mugs and compilations of strips that weren't relevant 10 years ago. That's fine. Vive les consumer choices. But those people represent a tiny minority of consumers, and to many of the rest of us, the comic is as unfunny and offensive as Danish cartoons are to Islam extremists.

    When you send me a direct mail piece with the Cathy cartoon, it says to me, "You are an uncultured consumer who probably listens to Celine Dione and thinks Olive Garden is fine dining." I really don't want you to think of me that way. I find it insulting and it makes me question my self worth.

    Please don't do this again. Ever.


    Postal Service Customer.

    PS - Speaking of the Postal Service, here's some music: Feist - Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix)