Monday, November 30, 2009

The G-Chat Diaries, Vol. 10

Chatter X: Words, I think I'm becoming a hippie.

WWW: Oh no!

Chatter X: I know! I've started becoming CONCERNED about things.

WWW: That is never a good sign.

Chatter X: I KNOW!

WWW: If you ever get the urge to wear Birkenstocks or leave your pits unshaved, please contact me first.

Chatter X: I've already had that urge... I couldn't get past how fugly Birkenstocks are, though.

WWW: Good for you! If there is any medicine or therapy you can use to avoid hippie-ism, I will be happy to donate.

Chatter X: I...I bought a Burt's Bees sampler pack and I...I actually like it...*cries*

WWW: There, there. Words is here. Maybe you should avoid driving past Whole Foods when you are out and about.

Chatter X: *bursts into tears* I DON'T EVEN DRIVVVVEEEEEE!

WWW: THAT'S RIGHT. This is worse than I thought. You are in Stage 3 Hippie-ism.

Chatter X: It was all so subtle that I didn't even notice it sneaking in!! Oh God what have I done...

WWW: It's not too late!

Chatter X: But I...I have opinions about things now! How do I get rid of them?!?!

WWW: You should start watching lots of E!

Chatter X: I want to fix the hippie-ism, not fall asleep from boredom.

WWW: You're not making this easy. Perhaps you could eat at fast food restaurants.

Chatter X: Fast food, okay that's good, I could try that...

WWW: You could also leave all the lights on. And stop recycling.

Chatter X: I...I don't know if I can do that. The recycling can is near the trash can.

WWW: Oh! You could also start buying clothes made by companies who use sweatshop labor.

Chatter X: I already do that! I'm not a total hippie!

WWW: All is not lost!

Chatter X: However...I have been seriously considering...making my own clothing...I'm just lacking time to do it...

WWW: Oh, for fuck's sake. Do you want to beat this or not?

Chatter X: *cries some more*

WWW: You might as well be playing an acoustic guitar under a tree.

Chatter X: Oh god! Why! Why did this have to happen to me?!

WWW: That's not important now. What's important is that you figure a way to get better.

Chatter X: *sniffle* Okay..yes. You're absolutely right. I can do this. I CAN do this.

WWW: You just need baby steps. The next time you go grocery shopping or to a restaurant, I want you to think of only one thing. "How can I most gratuitously harm an animal with my dining choices today?"

Chatter X: Okay. This is good.

WWW: And just remember...I am on your side.

Chatter X: Thank you, Words. You have no idea how much that means to me.

WWW: I'm so glad I can help.

WWW: Mostly because I don't bang hippies.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rocking For The Weekend: Tsar

This is my last Friday of gainful employment for a while, so today's song has to be extra awesome. That's why it's time to pull out Tsar. They're a local LA band that people who know me are constantly asking me to shut up about. So now I'm telling people who don't know me (i.e. you.) Tsar are a mix of power pop and glam rock that any fan of T. Rex or Cheap Trick will find irresistible, and if there were any justice in the world "The Love Explosion" would be a #1 single. It's not my favorite of theirs, but it's sugary sweet bubblegum rock that fits Friday like a glove.

Enjoy your weekend, ignore the 70s cheese-tastic video. Just close your eyes and enjoy the rock.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fun With Camera Phones, Vol. 4

I'm pretty sure this action figure set is the Worst Thing Ever. When God decides the Earth needs another flooding, this will be His Exhibit A.

a play in one act

Happy Birthday, Madison!

ZOMG! Thank you, mommy! Now Taylor can come over and we can play TMZ!

I knew you'd love it.

I can't find the bald Britney doll. MOMMY WHERE IS THE BALD BRITNEY DOLL!!?!

Madison honey, it doesn't come with the bald Britney doll. That's sold separ...

Mommy! This set is USELESS without the bald Britney! How can you do this to me? This is the worst birthday ever!

I'm sorry, sweetie! We'll go out and get it right now.

Never mind! I already texted Daddy and Nikki. THEY'LL get it for me.

- FIN -

Monday, November 16, 2009

At The Movies With WWW: 2012

Directed by Roland Emmerich
Starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover, Tom McCarthy, Woody Harrelson
**** Four stars out of five

Autumn is the time in the movie calendar for thoughtful, serious fare. The bang and clatter of the summer thrill rides has abated, and the cavalcade of holiday family films has yet to hit stride. It's a blessed if short window for quieter, more introspective films that demand more of the moviegoer. Roland Emmerich's 2012 is a fine example.

As the film begins, we meet Jackson Curtis (John Cusack), a failed novelist who drives a limo for a Russian gangster. We soon learn that Jackson is divorced from his wife (Amanda Peet) and has lost custody of his two children. He is the classic example of a man who is more dedicated to his ambition than to those he loves. To make matters worse, he has sold only 500 copies of the novel he sacrificed his family for. Jackson's wife has remarried to Gordon, a successful plastic surgeon (Tom McCarthy) whom his children love.

The story of 2012 is built around a camping trip to Yellowstone National Park. Jackson takes his children away for the weekend to try to rebuild their tattered relationship. It is revealed just how large a task this will be in the heartbreaking moment when his young son texts Gordon that "camping sucks". Jackson starts to gain insight into winning back his children from a wizened old hippie (Woody Harrelson) who lives at Yellowstone. In order not to spoil the film, I'll just say that Harrelson provides some sage advice that proves invaluable to the family.

An interesting subplot involves government geologist Adrian Helmsley (Ejiofor), who has discovered an implausible (but ultimately true) new theory. He is fighting for the approval of his superiors in much the same way Jackson is fighting for the love of his children. Emmerich brilliantly brings these two men together in a chance encounter where Adrian discloses that he is a fan of Jackson's ill-fated novel. Clearly the struggle for acceptance is universal, and Adrian's appreciation for Jackson's novel demonstrates that we can all achieve it.

2012 is a wonderful film that will surely spark thoughtful discussion about how we can overcome obstacles by leaning on those around us, strangers and friends alike. One exits the theater reassured that even when things appear bleak, it's not the end of the world.

Tech credits are solid all around.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rocking For The Weekend: R.E.M.

After a year of hard labor, my current job is coming to a close. We have about ten days left to go and things have slowed to a crawl. Today our studio person is taking us to lunch, and then instead of going back to work we're gonna play hooky and go see 2012.

This makes today's Friday-feeling song an obvious choice - R.E.M.'s "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)". This song and the excellent album Document will always remind me of the end of high school, with the subsequent R.E.M. album Green a companion piece heralding the beginning of college. The song won well-deserved Grammys for both Longest Song Title and Happiest Song About The Apocalypse.

Enjoy the jangly exuberance of R.E.M. and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fun With Camera Phones, Vol. 3

I don't think this business plan was very well thought out.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reality Ices Parody

Sometimes the world takes such an aggressive turn for the ridiculous that it outraces our ability to make fun of it. Parody becomes impossible because reality achieves a level of crazy far beyond anything you can dream up. Like spoofing Kanye West for having a raging ego right before he raised his game at Taylor Swift's expense and launched a classic internet meme.

This, my friends, is one of those times.

Long time readers (both of you) will recall that one of my first entries concerned a haughty blurb on the back of a bag of ice. Here's an excerpt:

Southern California Ice promises us "premium quality packaged ice" and invites us to "taste the difference". Is this artisan food trend so out of hand that ice can now be a premium handcrafted artisan food item? Are we about to be assaulted with "ice tastings" at snooty gourmet stores? Will rich a-holes present their guests with several different varieties of ice? "Oh, Eleanor, you simply MUST try the desalinated Arctic sea ice in your vodka tonic. It's a pairing straight from heaven!

It was funny. In fact, I encourage you to read the whole thing if you haven't. But now, some L.A. ice company has gone and ruined my little parody by actually making this utterly ridiculous scenario come to pass. It could only have happened in Los Angeles. The company sells their "hand-cut ice" to bars and the retarded discerning home mixologist at the low, low price of $25 for a ten pound bag. The following feature from the otherwise excellent website tells the sad tale. I'll give it the final word.

The Ultimate Ice
Elevate your cocktails with custom-made cubes

Neve Ice

To Névé Ice owner Michel Dozios, all cubes are not created equal. Frustrated with the quality of mass-produced ice, the former bartender at Seven Grand, Comme Ça, and Church and State decided to make his own--and the city's top mixologists took note.

And now you can buy it for your home bar.

The inspiration behind this hand-cut ice company was both a matter of taste (the water is double-filtered before freezing) and intensity. "Machine-made ice dilutes your drink by 70 to 85 percent," Dozios explains.

Névé's dense cubes melt more slowly than traditional ice cubes and come in a variety of shapes: perfect cubes, tall cylinders and golf-ball-size spheres. There are even specially designed square cubes that won't crack or explode when worked vigorously in a cocktail shaker, ensuring the purest martini possible.

The Library Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel and the Langham Hotel Bar are among the devout hand-cut ice fans. Bottega Louie uses Névé ice to keep every sip of the Louie Sling (gin, sweet vermouth, lemon and bitters) perfectly flavored.

To get the same bar-quality drinks at home, Bar Keeper and Wally's sell mixed 10-pound bags ($25) of ice--more than enough for a double-fisting holiday cocktail party. You can also custom-order flavored ice cubes, like strawberry spheres or rosemary blocks.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rocking For The Weekend: Gay Dad

This Friday, I bring you "To Earth With Love" from the amusingly named band Gay Dad. I don't think that anyone in the band is either gay or a dad, but that never stopped the Thompson Twins. Gay Dad had one kickass album in 1999 called Leisure Noise and then promptly disappeared off the face of the Earth. This song is happy, poppy and perfect for Friday. Ironically, it's more joyful than the also excellent song "Joy" from the same album.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Tip Of The Cap

Last night the New York Yankees defeated my Phillies to win the World Series, 4 games to 2. Despite my earlier World Series-related post that some have found to be slightly biased, I hold no ill will toward the Yankees. They beat the Phils fairly and soundly. Just to show that I do not carry a grudge, I've taken the time to look up Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez on MyHeritage and I am devoting this post to him. This website matches your photo against its vast database and shows you which celebrities you most resemble.

Alex, I hope you enjoy looking at your matches, and congratulations on a well-earned victory!