Wednesday, May 31, 2006

All apologies

You might have noticed that this outpost on the internet wasn't getting updated much frequently. I intend to remedy that. Actually, I meant to remedy the situation last week but never got around to it.

And looking back through May, not only are the posts infrequent, they're generally crap. On one hand, what can you expect from a free blog? Maybe if I started paying myself, I'd write better shit.

Still, I do feel bad because y'all keep checking back in expecting nuggets of brilliance. I want to feel like I've earned my place in your RSS readers and blog rolls. As an olive branch, here are some great conservative rock songs that have been rocking my conservative Powerbook in recent weeks:

  • The Roots - Don't Feel Right (official|myspace) (thanks Stan) - This will be on The Roots' upcoming album, Game Theory. I like it simply for the fact that it sound like it could've been an album track on Illadelph Halflife and nothing like The Tipping Point. And I feel doubly optimistic to read that they didn't suck live like the last time I saw them in a real concert (they brought it for the New Yorker Festival though).

  • Asobi Seksu - Thursday (buy|official|myspace) - Off the band's new album Citrus, which came out Tuesday. If you've been to an Asobi show in the past year or two, you've probably heard it and it sounds a lot better live. Still, the album is quality and it's a decent substitute for the concert experience.

  • Bonde Do Role - Melo Do Vitiligo (buy|official|myspace) - I'm not going to pretend to understand Bonde Do Role except that they're Brazilian and that's fine with me. They're goofy. They sample Tone Loc among others. Diplo seems to like them, but I'm not holding that against them.

  • Lily Allen - Smile / Lily Allen - LDN (official|myspace) - I'm going to keep hyping Lily to hell until you're sick of her like Gnarls Barkley. Mark Ronson likes her, so she's got that going.

  • Wolf Parade - Things I Don't Know (buy|official|myspace) (via YANP) - I was talking to someone this weekend over which Pitchfork-hyped band we were most excited for. My answer? As much as I thought Arcade Fire would bring the most quality, I was most excited for Wolf Parade. I like Arcade Fire; I just find WP more interesting. Actually... the question was which band's follow up would get shit on by Pitchfork. We thought Arcade Fire by scenester obligation, but we agreed that Clap Yeah would ultimately get the shit end of the plunger.

  • Oh, and if you like Dangerdoom...

    Tuesday, May 30, 2006

    What? No Dixie Chicks?

    No love for Madalone.

    Seriously how did the Chicks not make the list of top conservative songs? Isn't "Goodbye Earl" a song about Victim Rights, the Second Amendment and keeping the gub'mint out of your beeswax? Or so one would think judging by some of the logical gymnastics employed in picking the Top 50 Conservative Songs compiled by John J. Miller of National Review last week.

    Other people, including our favorite kiddy porn scholar, have ripped the list to shreds so I won't go into too much detail here, except to say...
  • How bad is "conservative music" that Creed, Kid Rock and Sammy fucking Hagar make the list? We're talking about the 50 best here.

  • For conservatives who enjoy rock, it isn’t hard to agree with the opinion Johnny Cash expressed in “The One on the Right Is on the Left”: “Don’t go mixin’ politics with the folk songs of our land"?

    Good grief. Cash was one of the most politically active musician of his time. You think "Man In Black" wasn't a politically charged song? For the love of Nuge, he wrote a whole fucking album about the mistreatment of Native Americans.

  • I had a feeling "Brick" would make the list. But fuck, wouldn't potential health complications of abortion make it even more imperative that the practice is legal and safe? And here's the thing - despite what pro-lifers would have you believe, pro-choice is not pro-abortion. Liberals recognize that abortions are unpleasant and should not be taken lightly. Sure, there might be people who consider abortion to be a form of birth control. But those people do not represent the majority of those who pursue abortion, the ones who do so because of economic necessity or women who were impregnated because of unwanted circumstances.

  • On the same note, I'm sure Ben Folds, John Fogerty, Mick Jagger, Bono, John Lennon, John Mellencamp, etc etc are thrilled to learn that they've penned conservative songs.

  • Either that or Miller is guilty of willful obtuseness, outright lying or downright stupidity. Or all of the above.

  • Or this is just a great work of satire exposing the emptiness of today's conservative rhetoric.

    Why else would you pick "Won't Get Fooled Again" - the title alone should induce giggles of ridicule- the ultimate anti-establishment rock anthem as the top conservative song? The conservative movement in America is as morally and intellectually bunk as liberalism is inept - which is to say, completely. The list actually does a good job of representing the dichotomy within the right wing.

    On the one hand, you have The Who and The Beatles allegedly espousing the Republicans' traditional libertarian values, railing out against the "nanny state" and "central control". And on the other, you have the Sex Pistols and Ben Folds Five supposedly wanting the government as an agent that promotes, nay, instills moral values. Conservatives refuse to admit this seemingly obvious contradiction.

    And while Miller praises the Beatles and the Who for their apparent disillusionment with political change, he sings quite a different tune while gushing over Jesus Jones and the Scorpions.

    So John J. Miller, do you want the government telling you what to do and who you can fuck or not? Should we fight for political change or not? Make up your fucking mind already.

  • There you have it - conservatives don't really stand for anything, but they have a lot of stuff they don't like. And they will lie and contradict themselves to make a point. Not that liberals don't, but at least we baby eating pinko commies don't pretend to be straight shooters who see things in black and white, and we don't consider fucking people over to be particularly virtuous.

    Wednesday, May 24, 2006

    The lost Lohan twin: where is she now?

    Lindsay (l) and her twin sister (r), in happier days.

    I have a soft spot in my heart for Lindsay Lohan. I can't ignore or mock her the way I do her contemporaries like Mischa or Paris or the Duff sisters or the Olsen twins. Perhaps it's that she shows occasional glimpses of her potential, as she did in Mean Girls. Maybe because she truly seems to come from a troubled background and can't but feel sympathetic to her apparent cries for help. So when I hear Paris-pal Brandon Davis mocking Lindsay's firecrotch, I have to stand up and defend her honor, albeit a week belatedly.

    By the way, how is "firecrotch" considered an insult? How could that be considered a bad thing unless, the reason people called you that was because you were incredibly unkempt down there? Or if you're like me and don't have red hair. But I digress

    And I get the sense that L.Lo is all alone in this world, fighting a three-front war against Jessica Simpson, Hillary Duff, and now, Brandon Davis. I began to wonder, what if Lindsay had an ally in her corner, perhaps a sister around her age to guide her through the tumultuous life of a teen queen. Jessica has Ashley. Hillary has Haylie. And where would Mary-Kate be without the grounding influence of Ashley?

    Then I remembered, she does have a sister. A twin sister, in fact.

    The two Lohan sisters appeared in just one movie together, the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap, never to be seen or heard from again.

    And shockingly, Disney even went the Stalin-Trotsky route and erased any mention of the other Lohan twin from its publicity materials, as you can see from the poster on the right. Curiously, her photograph still remains, though I guess The Parent Trap doesn't really make sense if there weren't twin sisters involved. Still.

    What is the story behind the twin sister's disappearance? Why have we all forgotten about her? Was the other twin Remus to Lindsay's Romulus, slain after a bitter falling out? Or perhaps Hugo Simpson to Lindsay's Bart? Seriously, which is the evil twin?

    But really, if you're out there, the lost Lohan twin, Lindsay -and by extension, America- needs you now more than ever. Whether you look like this (awesome),

    ...this (hmmmm),

    ...or this (yikes),

    just come out. Settle whatever differences you have. Tell Lindsay not to worry about that crazy dad she has, that she doesn't need to put up with the Hollywood shit.

    Or maybe this could be like that movie, you know, the one where two separated twins accidentally meet in a summer camp? That would be pretty awesome.

    Friday, May 19, 2006

    In defense of New York men, sort of

    I'm kinda piggybacking Ali here, no homo, but I have to defend the men of New York from them girl bloggers and their commenters who badmouth us (edit: mostly their commenters). Don't get me wrong - I sympathize with them, but if I have to hear/read how fucked the men in New York are one more time, I'm going to start hopping couches.

    Ali is right to an extent when he calls New York, "America's biggest post-college college town". It's a city where you are what you want to be, and I've felt no shame trying to work a 20-year-old, just as I wouldn't think a girl who's 6 years my senior to be an "older woman". Essentially, we're all living on campus together.

    But I think there's a simpler reason: it's a big fucking city.

    New York's full of people and consequently, also full of assholes. And because you're meeting more men and taking longer to settle down, you're more likely to come across said assholes than elsewhere in America. That is a statistical inevitability.

    Ladies, let's take a moment and break things down. There are basically six kinds of guys you could possibly end up with, if everything was perfect or enough alcohol were consumed:
    1. The Taken One
      He's attractive, charming and caring. Essentially, boyfriend material. And sure enough, he is someone's boyfriend. Duh.

    2. The Nice Guy
      He says all the right things, he's there for you when you need him, he might even have the hots for you. Too bad you think he's too short for you. Or he's living in his mother's basement. Or has really horrible b.o.

    3. The Guy With Issues
      You like him. He likes you for more than just your vagina. But maybe he had a horrible relationship with an ex and he's afraid of getting hurt. For whatever reason, it's difficult for him to dive into an adult relationship. So he's afraid to open up and keeps you at arm's length. It could work out, but you don't have time for bullshit. He means well, but he can't help but come off like an ass.

    4. The Asshole
      You like him, at least initially. The thing is, you like him because he understands the game and he's playing you like a PSP. He's just a Dutch boy looking for a hole to plug and he's not above deluding you into thinking he's more than just a hookup. After all, he's not going to deal with the aftermath.

    5. The Meh
      You kinda like him. He kinda likes you. It's okay. Meh.

    6. The Right One
      Like #1, but unattached. Or #2 with a bigger penis. He could potentially become The Guy With Issues after you're done with him. Whatever the case, he wants to be with you and he's not going to just up and leave when the sheets aren't even dry yet.

    Chances are, you're narrowing yourself down to The Guy With Issues, The Asshole and The Right One. So even though The Asshole represents a minority, it seems like more just because The Asshole composes a larger chunk of your dating pool.

    "But isn't that the same in every city? How would it be different here?" you ask. Because it's New York Fucking City.

    If you didn't live in a big city, you'd probably be married by 25. If you're single at 28, your parents start to get worried; after all, they sent you to college to find a husband. And subconsciously or otherwise, you understand that your window of opportunity gets smaller by the year.

    So what happens? Once you decide the guy you're seeing is half decent, you say, "Okay, I can marry him." So what if he has issues? Or he's a little pudgy? Possibly mildly retarded? You'll deal with it.

    The guy's thinking the same thing so he drives down to the mall and plunks down 2 months' salary at Kay Jewelers. You say yes of course, because hey, you're not getting any younger. You pop out out a couple of kids, get fat and live happily ever after, more or less. If you're lucky, you get hitched before The Asshole's turn comes up.

    Not so in New York Fucking City. You have choices, dammit. You have a smörgåsbord of men to choose from so you can afford to be picky. No one judges you for being a single 30-something so there's no rush. You don't even consider The Nice Guy and you never get to 3rd date with The Meh. So naturally, you're going to go through more men and encounter The Asshole. And The Asshole is going to pop up more often because he's more aggressive than the rest.

    Think of it like your living situation - if you stayed in the Midwest, you'd probably be living in your comfortable but boring house with a backyard and a two-car garage. In New York? You're moving from apartment to apartment, putting up with junkie roommates and roach infested kitchens until you find that perfect recently renovated 1BR in a pre-war building. You put up with the 5th floor walkups and the leaky bathrooms because if you wanted that house with a yard, you'd be back in Bumblefuck, WI. You came to New York for the fire escapes and the rooftops.

    So ladies, remember that,
    1. One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, girl, and
    2. You're meeting these assholes partly because you have more choices and ironically, your standards are higher.
    I'm not telling you to lower your standards, mind you. Just recognize that the assholes are part of the bargain when you don't have to settle for "okay", but they are by no means the norm. Move on, because there are more good guys out there than bad. They're just a little bit harder to find.

    Thursday, May 18, 2006

    Why I love chicks with mics

    I'm not reading much online these days. I can't dig the humor-for-humor's sake and the confessional/observational writing that drive the non-political hemisphere of the blogosphere. Not passing judgement - you have read my writing, yes? But many of my regular reads are friends anyway - I'd rather hear what's going in their lives in person and not read the edited-for-public-consumption version.

    I get it, living in New York is at once terrifyingly awesome and awesomely terrifying. So instead of wading through posts that blend into one another, I prefer to limit my daily intake to a couple of articles like Free Darko's denouncement of the media fascination with Anderson Varejao and Status Ain't Hood's defense of politics in modern pop music.

    The latter post especially strikes a chord with me. One thing that bothers me as a music and sports nerd is the degree of good-ol'-daysism that afflicts so many fans of both. The instinct is to reject all music created after high school graduation date while bemoaning the cynicism in today's athletes, when in fact, nothing has changed except for the entire paradigm. But really, this is a subject for another, longer and even more boring post.

    This is where I normally segue from the intro to my main subject, but caffeine has yet to take residence in my bloodstream.

    originally posted to Flickr by wishez

    I don't listen to a whole lot of Top 40 music. I haven't regularly listened to commercial radio since 1998, but there are always two or three songs a year that are so good, I have to shed my indie music snobbery.

    Last year, those songs were Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone", Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" and Amerie's "1 Thing". This year, I was initially mesmerized by Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" and the past couple of days, Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous" has been on repeat on iTunes and has me longing for my clubbing days.

    "Hips" is this year's "Since U Been Gone", an unabashedly pop pop song, while "Promiscuous" is, like "Hollaback", a triumph of the super-producer reinventing his signature sound, and like "1 Thing", takes an infectious beat and rides the vocals instead of vice versa.

    Then I realized the common thread. Besides the beats that -if you can excuse the industry jargon- so good they make you wanna slap your mama, they all feature female artists. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I got down to a top 40 song by a male artist. Was it Snoop? Or "Cry Me A River"?

    And then I started looking at my music choices in non-mainstream music. Yeah, the Roots, Bloc Party and Elliott Smith get their share of spins on my hard drive, but overall, the females dominate. Going down the list, I'm seeing Metric, the Cardigans, Jenny Lewis/Rilo Kiley, Nouvelle Vague, YYY (do they still count as non-mainstream?) and Stars. My upcoming must-buy is Asobi Seksu, and the my spring-summer internet love affair is not with Gnarls Barkley, but Lily Allen.

    I don't think it's about attraction. Yes, music is always about sex to a degree and there's something inherently sexy about a half decent looking girl who's half decent at something. But Kelly Clarkson is merely adorable, not hot, while the girl from Stars is... let's just say that if she and I were boxers, we'd never face each other.

    There's something about a female singer that balances a song's hormones to bring it to the right level of rockness. While I can appreciate the craft of Bright Eyes and the Decemberists, too much masculinity is lost when they create music that critics like to call "haunting", whereas even a Grey's Anatomy-approved coffeeshop chanteuse like Ana Nalick can bring the edge to a guitar strum because she doesn't have to tone down the macho to turn down the volume. Unless you're Jeff Buckley, the bare-all required for a good folk-rock song is going to come at the expense of manliness. For the same reason, Feist adds another layer to "Lover's Spit" that's not in the Broken Social Scene original, while Stars would be too chick-y for me to handle with just Torquil Campbell and no Amy Millan.

    Same goes for the pop sound - the kids on the internets are buzzing about Beirut, but I could never enjoy them as much as I do the Swedish estro-pop of Hello Saferide or Saturday Looks Good To Me.

    On the other end of the hardness scale, chicks can rock out harder than dudes. I grew up on heavy metal and NWA, which was as hard as you could get as far I was concerned. But looking back, I see that they, and my devotion to them, represent the nature of the adolescent male, to present the appearance of toughness. Not to say I didn't genuinely enjoyed the music - I enjoyed them precisely because their posturing spoke to me at a certain stage of my development.

    As an adult, I see boys trying to be men when I see male singers act hard. I can still appreciate, say, Kurt Cobain or Eminem, mostly because of their vulnerability that their aggro brings out. But it's more satisfying to listen to Emily Haines of Metric add a knowing smirk to the driving guitar or Beth Ditto of the Gossip reveal more than mask with her Janice Joplin-channeling singing.

    I'm not saying dudes can't rock out or that guys can't do the emotional. I mean, have you heard the Roots' "Don't Feel Right"? You can't create that shit with a female MC (in fact, there is no female MC who is better than tolerable), and there will never be a female Ryan Adams. But generally speaking, girls are just better wired for efficient rocking and strumming.

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    YouTube: the cause of, and the solution to all of life's problems

    I know it's a little late to be recapping sporting events from the weekend, but I still can't get over this, qu'est ce que c'est, brace by Steven Gerrard:

    Absolutely top drawer indeed. Someone's going to have to update his top 10.

    His first goal in the match wasn't bad either, but back in my overly romanticized playing days, I found it much more satisfying to send in the perfect pass to set up a goal than to score myself, and I can't help but watch Gerrard's long ball to set up Cisse's volley over and over and over again. So yeah, you could say I have a new mancrush (you might also enjoy the match highlights if you like a little Sigur Ros with your soccer, or vice versa).

    Anyway, it's not so bad being a Liverpool supporter right now. This year, like last, the club ended a season with two dramatic finals that involved Liverpool coming back to tie a match 3-3 in the second half, and then having the goalkeeper redeem coming up huge in extra time and penalty kicks. Sure, Chelsea has a stranglehold on the league, but it all seems so inevitable and anti-climactic for them. I doubt Chelsea fans will ever experience anything as satisfying as what Liverpool supporters went through last May.

    And it's not so bad being a soccer fan right now. Yeah, we're having a cracker of a postseason in the NBA, but let's see, we just had the most exciting FA Cup final in recent memory, a Champions League final this afternoon, pitting two of the most stylish teams in Europe, and in less than a month, the World Cup to occupy us for a few weeks.

    There are going to be a few weekday afternoons spent inside bars, I imagine.

    Speaking of drinking, it might be time to slow down a bit. Or so I'm told. I wouldn't know, I don't remember any of the shit that happened after about my 5th or 6th tequila shot. Thank god for lovely friend, or I might still be lying face down at 2nd Avenue & St. Mark's.

    Finally, this goes out to all my readers. I don't think I've told you how much I love you kids. Our love holds on, holds on.

    Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    In this episode of Bush'd!...

    First off, let me go on the record and declare that interrupting prime time broadcast during May sweeps is downright anti-American. There, I said it. I mean, don't we have two C-Spans for a reason, so Bush doesn't get in Jack Bauer's way? And can the networks decide on whether they're going to push their schedules back or just preempt their shit? As it was, the season finale of How I Met Your Mother cut into the laughably convoluted but inexplicably satisfying 2-hour finale of Grey's Anatomy. That's just fucking wrong.

    Off topic: did anyone else get chills when the instrumentals for Bloc Party's "This Modern Love" kicked in at the end of How I Met Your Mother? Just say yes so I don't look like a total wuss.

    That said, last night's prime time speech was a surprise on many levels.

    For one, I agree with him on more points than I'd like to admit. I've always argued for a more comprehensive guest worker policy. A limited amnesty (and let's call it what it is, amnesty) for illegal immigrants, I also support (though how many illegals can meet the criteria, I don't know). Though national guards protecting borders? Not against, but I have my reservations.

    And Bush trying to find a middle ground was a pleasant surprise after 5 years of divisive rhetoric. A day late and a dollar short, sure, but a welcome change nonetheless.

    Still, do we expect any of the measures to go through? This administration has not had a single coherent policy, content to play politics instead, and this isn't any different. His ratings are in the tank so he has to appeal to the mainstream, but this being midterm election year and all, he also has to reach out to the conservative base. So we get Bush playing the moderate conservative, talking tough on immigration (a nice hot button issue when you have nothing else to run on) and throwing out some reasonable ideas out there.

    Of course, they're reasonable ideas that are going to die before we see them implemented. The right wingers are going to shit their pants over the amnesty and guest workers. And using National Guards to do police work? Besides the logistical difficulties, where is the money coming from? And aren't we still fighting a two-front war and suffering a sever shortage of kids who are willing to die? And to what effect? We're talking about some shitty ROI here.

    But hey, here's the important thing - Bush actually did a decent job of looking like he knows what he's doing, while helping his party convince the public that, right or wrong, illegal immigration is the single most important issue affecting our country right now. Because it's not whether we actually solve the problem; it's whether a guy can get elected promising to solve something that may or may not be a huge problem.

    Friday, May 12, 2006

    Current obsession: El Santo y Blue Demon

    Head on straight, mask on crooked

    You are probably well aware that my birthday is fast approaching (June 24!) and killing yourself trying to think of something to get me. I'm going to make it easier for at least one of you - you can do a lot worse than getting me one of the DVDs off The Santo Collection.

    Who are El Santo and Blue Demon? Honestly, I don't have a clue, but they appear to be two pudgy Mexican wrestlers who fight mythical monsters like "Contra Dracula" and "el Hombre Lobo". Those crazy May-hee-canos and their imagination.

    I came across the two masked dudes watching the following fan-made video for Danger Doom's "The Mask". Seriously, whatever you think of Danger Doom (and hip hop heads don't think much of Danger Mouse in general, I gather), the timing and editing on the video are near perfect. And masked Mexican wrestlers? Fantastic.


    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    You might not want to have unprotected sex with me

    A few weeks back, I spoke the virtues of the Asian guy, but I would be amiss not to issue this warning: 1 in 7 Asian immigrants in New York City carry the hepatitis B virus. I'm not saying I have hep B, but as an Asian immigrant in the City, I am at risk. Apparently.

    So ladies, this shouldn't stop you from having sex with me. Not by any means. Just be careful, is all I'm saying.

    On a more serious note, let's pour out some Bass for a blogger who ain't here no more, Indianapolis's finest, 11 a.m. Air Raid. I want to thank Jim for introducing me to some really good music, especially the kind with French female singers. Also, good luck with the real writing thing - a lot of bloggers, myself included, talk about writing a book but never get around to it. I'm going to miss Jim but he's moving on to bigger, better things. Hats off and whatnot.

    Finally, a tale of chaos and madness in Times Square from our friend extrawack.

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    Since u been bold

    First things first. Heather's pictures from last Thursday's RS party are up on Flickr, and I just put up the video of The Strokes and Eddie Vedder up as well:

    The shakiness goes away, somewhat, after a few seconds. Please excuse the drunk camerawoman. The same can't be said for the flashing lights - you'll have to speak to The Strokes about that one.

    Second, please welcome The Passion of the Weiss to my updated blogroll. TPoW just posted a lovely story about a trash-talking mediocre rec-leaguer and shares common interests with this blog, including sports, indie rock and hip hop.

    Now, let's get on with the post.

    If you watched any television over the past week, you probably saw that Ford commercial with that Kelly Clarkson song (:60 clip). And again. And again and again. Yup, Ford really, really wants you to forget about the massive layoffs and the reputation for building crappy cars, and let you know they're making BOLD MOVES.

    There are a few things to pick at here. For starters, Ford is apparently positioning itself as a car company for a quadriplegic marching band member and a musician who takes a Greyhound bus to NYC. Okay, so maybe I'm taking things too literally, but it's not exactly "bold" of Ford to align itself with a wholesome-as-they-come, chart topping talent show winner (don't get me wrong, I do love Kels). Oh, there's certainly nothing bold about looking exactly like a Visa commercial.

    Granted, it's only an anthem spot, which tend to be music video-y and devoid of substance, and it's only part of a major rebranding effort, but still. If you're going to say you're making bold moves, it helps to have an ad that actually is, you know, bold.

    As for Kelly's song. Eh, it's not exactly "Since U Been Gone", or even "Because of You", but it's catchy enough for me. But for some reason, her being on a Ford commercial bothers me more than Jack White's Coke ad. I mean, it's not like she was ever a "serious" artist like Jack or Cat Power so I have really no idea why it doesn't work for me.

    Tuesday, May 09, 2006

    I hope my AA sponsor isn't reading this site

    My stomach does not like me right now. Let's see, there was White Dade's grand arrival in New York on Friday. Then, Saturday, there was general drunken debauchery followed by MP's birthday shindig at Happy Endings, at which I was drunkened by overpriced drunkening agents served in cocktail glasses and later falsely accused of walking out on my tab. Although I stayed off the alcohol on Sunday, sobriety would not last, as it was Alice's birthday Monday, which meant sangrias at Barça 18. The night was capped off with our party crashing the James Beard Foundation Awards afterparty at THOR. Hooray for free vodka tonics.

    Few things of note:
  • So yeah, so my drinking hasn't exactly slowed down, but at least it's social drinking, not drinking by necessity.

  • As White Dade points out in his post, Larry (TIWWDN), The IJC and WD probably invite the most comments for being jackasses, but they're actually three of the genuinely nicest people you can meet in real life. They are nothing like what you'd expect from their online persona. In fact, I want to strangle them for being so fucking charming.

  • Transportation options to Avenue C: quite lacking.

  • Again, I did not, repeat, NOT walk out on my tab at Happy Endings. Tab issues aside, I like the place. I get claustrophobic, which was partly why I booked early, but that's par for the course on a Saturday night.

  • As much as I enjoy tapas as date food, I find it's better with a larger group - last night, my end of the table ended up ordering pretty much the entire menu. Me = fan of variety.

  • Kids, "Barça" is pronounced "Bar-sa", not "Bar-ka". Don't they teach Catalan in schools?

  • The bi-level structure of Revival comes in handy when there's intra-group drama to be quashed.

  • More detailed accounts of events described above, Rashomon-style:
  • Heather
  • MonkeyPants
  • White Dade
  • Ali
  • Larry


  • Monday, May 08, 2006

    I think I write better in bullet points

    Honestly, I don't want to be some chick-lit confessional blogger nor do I want to document my battles with my non-addiction to alcohol because I fear my nadirs may be as low as Augusten's. And who wants to read me write a 3,000-word thesis on the legacy of George W. Bush (which I will, by the way). I much prefer to play one-man Twister with a disparate array of subjects, left hand on music, right hand on politics and left foot on sports. Topic monogamy is overrated.

    So here are the topics I meant to cover last week but never got around to:

  • "America, you lost."

    Um no, Moussa. America won, and win she did. Here's the thing - Zacarias Moussaoui not getting the chair is good for everybody. Well everybody except Moussaoui and the turr-ists. The utter uselessness of death penalty aside, the last thing you want is to give Moussaoui what he, and Al Qaeda by extension, want, and that was to commit suicide by jury. Seriously, this guy's a suicide bomber; lethal injection would finish the job he started.

    Instead, he will quietly spend the rest of his life in prison. No martyrdom. No appeals or execution to bring him back to the news. For our purposes, he's more harmful dead than alive. What the fuck is he going to do, blog?

  • Because Arctic Monkeys and Gnarls Barkley are old news

    Like Angelina, I've been digging Lily Allen for the past few. You can't get a more perfect spring-summer track than "LDN" - them horns is crazy. I'm too lazy to post mp3s right now, but you can find them here.

  • "I like the way they dribble the ball up and down the court"

    The most exciting set of first round games in recent NBA playoffs history, meopines, for several reasons. The talent level in the league is at the highest it's been since the post-Jordan lull. The intensity is high, so high that there's previously unseen frequency of violence, be it between Kobe and Raja, Udonis Haslem and his mouthguard, and Reggie Evans and Chris Kamann's nuts. While Chicago, Lakers, Washington, Sacramento or Cleveland won't compete for the title any time soon, each managed to make its series competitive. Sure, the Bulls, Lakers and Kings all whimpered out in the elimination games, they all played better than they had any business doing.

    Also, I'm digging the playoff beard on basketball players. It makes practical sense for hockey players to grow out their facial hairs, but on basketball players, it just looks dirty and messy. And I approve.

    Yesterday's Pistons vs Cavs snoozefest and the Bulls' collapse in Game 6 aside, it's been fun so far. And the Suns' blowout of the Lakers on Saturday had my schadenfreude reaching near boiling point, though you have to give Kobe credit for almost singlehandedly taking the series from a 2-seed.

    Finally, I've grown quite fond of Free Darko, both in its blog and McSweeney's forms. As I told Stan, "I don't know if it's actually intelligent, but I appreciate that it's not standard sports writing."

    Sports punditry tends to be a more benign, but still superficial little brother to political commentary - it is often devoid of critical thinking, cliches and talking pints substitute for substance, and writers either preach to the choir or are intentionally antagonistic. You might not feel dumber for having read a piece by your local sports columnist, but you probably aren't smarter for it either. So it's nice to see Free Darko (and to a lesser degree, Deadspin) get the credit it deserves for its breath of fresh air.

  • Kate's Nikon commercial

    At one point, you see Kate Moss taking an upskirt photo of herself. That's hot.

    (via Adrants)

  • Movies that aren't M:I:3

    My man extrawack! reviews Goal: The Dream Begins, the first film in a trilogy that follows the rise of a Latino soccer player from LA. The review and the trailers are promising enough, but I am impressed most by Anna Friel, who has that not-hot-but-kinda-hot English look going, and the greatest t-shirt in the history of t-shirts:

    Oh, and be careful doing a Google image search for "Anna Friel" if you are at work. The Safe Search filter is your friend.

    Down in the Valley is another film that seems watchable - I guess it's Taxi Driver meets Lolita meets Brokeback Mountain? Whatever, Ed Norton and Evan Rachel Wood are arguably the best actors of their generations. I say it's worth my $11.25.

    Finally, why the fuck did I watch Friends With Money? Why? Can I have my penis back now?

  • World Cup fever!

    There's going to be more soccer content here as Weltmeisterschaft fast approaches. Those who are still getting to know the game can do a lot worse than clicking over to 116street Soccer. A recurring feature on the site right now is "Know Your Yanks", which profiles each member of the 23 members of the US squad almost everyday.

  • tags:

    Friday, May 05, 2006

    IMterview: Heather recaps the Rolling Stone 1000th Issue Party

    "Don't worry about me. I want you go to the industry circle jerk so you can tell me all about it."

    After I was denied entry to the RS party at Hammerstein, I passed my camera to her over the barricade, and told her to live life to the fullest and regale me with her tales afterwards, Breaking the Waves style. Pictures, and apparently video, are forthcoming. "That Bastard Blagg" reports on the festivities as well.

    Some highlights from our IM conversation after the jump.:
    Heather: dude, we were stuck on the balcony
    Heather: that bastard blagg talked his way into the press line
    Heather: got a black wristband
    So while I was trying to decide whether to go home or not
    Me: Marilyn Manson stepped out of his car
    Me: like a foot away from me
    Heather: holy crap
    Heather: dude
    Heather: his wife
    Heather: is fucking HOT
    Me: she does porn, right?
    Me: or is she a stripper?
    Heather: burlesque dancer
    Me: weak
    Heather: nah dude, she's incredible
    Me: Enjoyed your comment about the designated Solomon Burke sweat wiper
    Heather: ew
    Heather: it was funny
    Heather: she had a giant ass
    Heather: clad in white spandex
    Me: You know, I'm never a fun of industry parties
    Me: but I'm still pissed I missed the Strokes
    Heather: dude, they were so good
    Me: I don't even like them that much, but by all accounts, they're great live
    Heather: just unenthused
    Heather: when eddie vedder came on i nearly crapped in my pants
    Me: the last person I expected to perform with Jules and Fab
    Heather: oh my god
    Heather: it was like
    Heather: i dont know
    Heather: does your camera have sound?
    Heather: because i videoed it
    Me: you are a golden god
    Heather: mellencamp was there
    Me: Cougar!
    Heather: he did this awful cover of "on the cover of the rolling stone"
    Heather: with jann wenner singing the "rolling stone" part.
    Heather: it was terrible.
    Me: What the fuck, did you go to the Wenner Media company picnic?


    Thursday, May 04, 2006

    I am not at Hammerstein Ballroom right now

    I was supposed to be at Hammerstein Ballroom. I was supposed to attending Rolling Stone's 1000th Issue Party. I was supposed to be rocking out to the Strokes and possibly Lou Reed, drinking for free, munching on finger food and picking up swag.

    Yet here I am. Somebody fucked up my RSVP and there was no convincing the walkie talkie-wielding, navy-blazered thugs. The worst part was, I was the one who passed on the invite, yet I was the only one in my party who couldn't get in. This is how Jesus must have felt when dad told him to die for everyone else's sins.

    I'm not that upset though. I mean, I wish I were there and not here but this was a hookup. It's not like I paid anything. And at least I wasn't one of the many failed crashers who tried waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too hard to dress the part. Still, I'm madder than that time the grocery store didn't have Peanut Butter Chips Ahoys. That shit really pissed me off.

    But fear not, I've handed my camera over to my trusty sidekick and told her to knock herself out. Not literally. I expect a full report on the debauchery with photographic evidence.

    Update: Sidekick was unimpressed. Not a huge fan of Solomon Burke, or "fat guy who sat in a chair", apparently. The Strokes were mediocre good but "lacked stage presence", even with Eddie Vedder and Lou Reed guest spotting.

    Update 2: Sidekick reports back. Also, hello Gawker and Jossip readers.

    Update 3: Photos and video!


    Colbert and his cojones

    True lies and white guys, we can see it through the eyes.

    What can I say about Stephen Colbert that hasn't already been said by a million bloggers? His routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner was hilarious, smart and on point. Predictably, some weren't so amused. Or rather, they missed the point. See, the speech wasn't so much an attack on Bush - well, it was, to the extent that Colbert mocked the Presidents' failures - they are obvious to all but the staunchest and blindest of his defenders deep in the Red States and they hardly need pointing out. No, the speech was an exposé on how far political reporting and discourse have veered from reality, and how much of a joke the Fourth Estate has become.

    Of course Tucker Carlson didn't think it was funny and claimed that Colbert "bombed", since he and his ilk were the ones being lampooned. And of course the "liberal" journalists in attendance were uncomfortable - Colbert was calling them out on what was to be a night of mutual back slapping. If they had to be reminded how the media has been complicit in destroying political discourse in America, Colbert did them a service. If they were aware, lighten the fuck up, Francis.

    The mistake Colbert's critics, particularly WaPo's Richard Cohen, makes is thinking of Colbert as a Jon Stewart 2.0. Stewart inflicts damage as a news remixer, twisting the traditional network news broadcast with a timely "Whaaaaaaa?" and a well placed smirk, whereas Colbert simultaneously constructs and deconstructs gravitas. Or if you want to get all Shakespearian on this bitch, Stewart is Hamlet, putting on a reenactment of the crime for his mother and uncle, and Colbert is the play itself. Where Stewart tries to influence by playing the voice of dissent, the anti-O'Reilly, Colbert becomes O'Reilly.

    It's not surprising that the allegedly liberal Cohen didn't find Colbert's speech funny on the surface (well, even if he weren't a complete idiot). You're not going to appreciate Colbert's humor by connecting setup to punchline. It's not what Colbert says; it's what he becomes, and the punchlines are mere setups for the character. Unless you can understand that, you're not going to understand what Colbert is really saying. For those of us who understand satire, this should not be all that difficult, but it apparently is, for pundits like Carlson (who, I gather, is not a huge fan of Comedy Central personalities) and Cohen.


    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    In retrospect, that was probably a little too much alcohol for a Monday evening

    "We were in such a good mood before she showed up," I snarled to Heather.

    I sat, sandwiched between Heather and Alice, the only patrons in an otherwise empty Rivington Street bar early Monday evening. My second glass of Bass was disappearing at an alarming rate and it was almost time to order a third. Happy Hour was not quite living up to its name.

    The truth was, the mood was spoiled long before Alice arrived and gave her litany of complaints. Heather and I had spent the previous half hour doing the same, battling over who was unhappier than the other.

    The Happy Hour-in-name-only was followed by an overpriced, less-than-satisfying dinner over similarly overpriced wine, more beers and apparently an abridged drunken phone conversation, the particulars thereof I cannot recall. I am told I passed out at least once while talking to my friend, as my call log displays an outgoing call, a missed call and two incoming call to/from her within a 30-minute span.

    As exciting as I'm sure that was, Monday night was a mere denouement to a 5-day period I spent being bitter and angry at everyone and everything around me. While it takes a lot of effort to make me angry, when I'm pissed, I'm fucking Incredible Hulk pissed, sans the green skin and muscle swelling. Seriously, you don't want to be around me when I'm in a bad mood. I throw and punch objects - objects, because people know to avoid me. I don't know, I'm rarely angry, so I've never really developed a really dependable anger management technique besides drinking and destruction of property.

    It started innocuously enough on Thursday with the the longest and most pointless conference call of my life, but it got progressively worse from there, gut punch after crotch punch.

    Now, I understand everyone has work-related sob stories and I also realize getting shafted is part of working freelance, and that's why I get to charge a ridiculously obscene day rate. Plus, after the shit I went through earlier this year when my previous employer went under, I should've been happy. I was no longer miserable at work, I was doing what I wanted to do, my career was finally moving after a couple of years of stagnation. I'd worked enough that I could take a couple of weeks just taking it easy and plan out my next move. All things considered, I was in a happy place. Or should have been, anyway.

    I understood all that perfectly, but I was still pissed. Maybe I was mad at myself for falling into a false sense of security and didn't prepare myself for the inevitable setbacks. Maybe there was something missing in my life that I was masking by consuming myself with work 24/7. I don't know, but the fact that I couldn't explain why I was in such a shitty mood pissed me off even more.

    Drinking your problems away is never advisable, I guess, but when every little thing was pissing me off, I really didn't have a choice. I figured drinking and being social was better than stewing alone and sober. So there I was Monday evening, drinking myself to, as Mike Tyson would say, Bolivian.

    So yeah, if you were wondering why this site hasn't been updated much recently, that's what I've been up to - I've either been working, drinking or wallowing in self pity and neurosis. But I'm doing better now. Monday night helped a lot. Thanks to everyone who put up with me over the past few.


    Oh, and you might have noticed there hasn't been much action over on [dc]. We're making changes... soon. Just hold on tight there.