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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Bloggle: The Second Coming

A nice board came to me in the bathroom the other day. Here it is:


If you click here, and drag your mouse down to
Remain, Remaining, Norms, Anemia, Moaning, Litter, Litters, Tenor, Tenors, Smore, Amore, Quilt, Quilter, Quilters, Quite, Quitter, Quitters, Gnome, Onion, Goner, Goners, Romaine, Toner, Toners, Manor, Manors, Manner, Manners, Moaner, Moaners, Inert, Morns, Mutter, Mutters, Gutter, Gutters, Items
here, you'll see my list of 37 words (including a rare 9-letter find.)

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The Fountain


Bummerman went to the movies yesterday, and he is most pleased. Stave It Off's official Nephew, Dan "the four-fingered man", came to town and joined us for a viewing of the Fountain: One of Stave It Off's recent picks for most eagerly anticipated films.

Aronofsky's relentless series of gutpunches delights me to no end. He did not stoop to include a single moment of comedic relief (unless you're the kind of person who finds yoga poses or tai chi katas humorous.) The weak suburban audience snickered occasionally (at the more over-the-top sentimental moments) but that was only because they were uncomfortable with the director's intensity. Real viewers (those of you awesome enough to be like Bummerman) will open their hearts and minds and just accept that this movie makes you cry for two straight hours. The driving themes of The Fountain involve death, transcendent belief in eternity, and man making peace with his desire to conquer everything... not exactly light fare but they are investigated with surprising taste and restraint (given the science-fiction/fantasy trappings.)

The use of 16th and 25th century imagery to illustrate these themes is done with breathtaking care. The visual imagery and the music (especially the music) suitably enhance the emotional impact of the film.

And Huge Ackman deserves special mention. The ability to sell your performance in this kind of film is key to everything, and he delivers magnificently. And the ladies will probably appreciate seeing him in tight leather pants (accentuating his Ackman nicely) and one particularly well-filmed bathtub scene.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Music Station Selection

Thinking of Tom Waits (featured on Molly's blog this week) makes me think about Smoke, a band piloted by Benjamin Smoke, who died of AIDS a few years ago and is the subject of a fascinating documentary.

The movie helped me appreciate Smoke's music even more. His pathos is pretty overwhelming. Patti Smith wrote a ode to Benjamin, and it's amazing to see his reaction to Patti singing this song in the documentary. If you listen to the tunes over on the side bar, it's interesting to keep Patti's words in mind.

Her lyrics:

In the straw-colored light
In light rapidly changing
On a life rapidly fading
Have you seen death singing
Have you seen death singing
With a throat smooth as a lamb
Yet dry as a branch not snapping
He throws back his head
And he does not sing a thing mournful

Have you seen death singing
Have you seen death singing
Have you seen death singing
In the straw-colored light

He sings a black embrade
And white opals swimming
In a child's leather purse
Have you seen death swimming
Have you seen death swimming
With a throat smooth as a lamb
Yet dry as a branch not snapping
He throws back his head
And he does not sing a thing mournful

Have you seen death singing
Have you seen death singing
Have you seen death singing
In the straw-colored light

He sings of youth enraged
And the burning of Atlanta
And these viral times
And May ribbons streaming
And straw-colored curls a-turning
A mother's vain delight
And woe to the sun
And woe to the young
Another hearse is drawn
Have you seen death singing
In the straw-colored light

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Movies Still Unseen

The Fountain
This looks creative and lovingly rendered. Casting somewhat suspect, but at least they were willing to pony up for star power, which means they probably threw money at refining the script and getting the vfx just right too.

Pan's Labyrinth
Guillermo del Toro rocks my world. The only way this trailer could make me more excited is if Brian Froude was attached for creature design.

Bridge to Terabithia

And lastly this one, which I find hillarious. They apparently took one of my favorite childhood books and turned it into the 8th book of Narnia. As this book is one of the few that makes me cry everytime I read it, I wonder if I should be offended at this Disney version of the movie? Nope, cuz books are for losers. This movie is going to rock!

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Que es mas macho...



Daniel Craig or Steve McQueen?

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Movie Boom

Whirlwind movie weekend. Have already seen Fastfood Nation, Borat and new James Bond flick, Casino Royale. Good reviews for all three films created high expectations. Instead, theater has too much of my money. Bummerman has assumed control of the keyboard.

Fastfood Nation: painfully bad. Closest I've ever been to walking out on a film. The celebrity walkons phoned in performances. Script so pathetically bad it was impossible to care about any of the characters. Tip to Richard Linklater... films about "realistic conversations" are fine when the people having the conversations are exceptional people. Waking Life works because the conversations resemble the best college lectures we can remember. Tape works because you have realistic people in extreme circumstances. Taking ordinary people and putting them in ordinary circumstances is BORING. As an ethical vegetarian, I really wanted to like this film. Afterwards, I really wanted my 9 bucks and my two hours back. Worst moments: watching naive, holier-than-thou college students try to plot ecoterrorism.

Borat: laugh out loud funny in several scenes, but uneven and not as fresh (after the first 20 minutes) as episodes of Da Ali G show. Eventually Borat becomes boorish as he seeks out ridiculous reactions only to have people tolerate him until they get sick of his antics... kind of like the audience after a while. Not bad, but I was hoping for something more delightfully evil.

Casino Royale: Steve McQueen as James Bond works better than you might think. Big increase in tough-guy antics and brutal violence over the classically slick and stylish Bond films. This was surprising, but not necessarily bad. Sharper Image gadgetry is replaced by laptop and cell phone product placement. Also surprising that the subplot included a kind of apology/explanation of Bond misogyny. Feminists everywhere can finally relax. Geek annoyance: Poker scenes are veneer thin and tailored to appeal to this generation's fixation with Texas Hold 'Em. Judy Dench was excellent. Jeffrey Wright was wasted. Worth admission for the opening scene alone. Opening credits title song, sung by Chris "I used to be Soundgarden" Cornell (Sorry KM) kinda sucked... or at least didn't fit the mood. Closest of the bunch to living up to the hype though.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday Night Cat Blogging

The nickname list for Li'l Kitty Lulu continues to grow.

Lulu Nation is sitting in my lap. Purring loudly. Oblivious to the computer screen.
Soon I'm off to Moovie Night with Walaka, Dingo, Sachet, Mighty Mel, et al... but first I must share yesterday's spontaneous Lulu Albano poem:

Hey hey kitty cat,
We’re going to get you fat,
Whattaya think huh?
Whattaya think about that,

Feed you lots of grub,
Turn you to a chub,
Then we’ll all call you
the claw-foot tub.

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Smokin'

Last July I was reflecting on having smoked a single cigarette and what that meant to my addict status. At the time I was celebrating the relief of not counting the days anymore, not worrying about just how long it had been since I quit. Recent evidence indicates that this actually worked.

When my birthday came and went last October, someone said to me, "Congratulations, that's two years since you quit smoking." Even on this date of anniversary, I had to pause for a minute to realize they were right. And that's exactly the feeling I wanted to have: happy surprise, rather than grim-faced confirmation.

However, last night I had a terrible dream that I smoked a half pack of cigarettes over the weekend and was feeling torn about the possibility of going back to the old familiar. This may have been fueled by seeing Calvin recently (who once used his visits to Seattle as an excuse to smoke cigarettes again,) and by opening and enjoying the candy cigarette pack that Walaka gave me months ago. Olaiya and I sat and pretended to smoke while drinking bourbon with backs at the Satellite just a week ago.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Moving Furniture Around

This weekend, Olaiya moved in. Our plans to find a perfect little 1 or 2 bedroom place in Capitol Hill foundered. Nothing seemed perfect enough during our brief search. Instead, we've embarked on a foolhardy plan to share my old studio apartment... making it OUR studio. So now it's occupied by me, Olaiya and her kitty Lulu. Or LulaBell, or LulaMullah, or Wooly Lully, or Bebop-a-Lula, or LouLou Grant, or Loopa-do, or whatever silly name I feel like calling her.

To accomplish this, we also needed to go blow $800 at IKEA. We expect to recoup this easily since we now only pay $300 a month for rent. Storage solutions! We've found 'em. And many an item found its way to the freebox or the dumpster. We're armed with a new bed, a new kitchen table and chairs, super comfy new chair for O to lounge out on, new picture frames for classier wall hangings, and a new bathside table (very important for drinking booze while bathing or playing Boggle while pooping.) There are new color themes to behold, bold new furniture arrangements and a sweet kitty cat lurking around. I still have to figure out how to connect the DVD player to the television (located on the opposite side of the room,) but once I do, expect to be invited over for dinner and a movie. Unless we don't like you. Then you can just forget it. And quit reading my blog too.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hippage

This photo came courtesy Sara, who's always looking out for my inner hippo. This smile is why the hippopotamus is my spirit animal.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Screw the Cautious Optimism

I think Mark Twain once said something like, "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American voter."

Which (even if I'm misquoting) is true. Which is why I'm dispensing with caution and just loving this. Yeah, it's crazy that any Republicans held onto their seats, but given that Republicans were engineering voter fraud from the get go and typically outspend Dems on campaigns... and given Twain's truism, this is fan-freaking-tastic. Especially if we hang onto slim leads in the Montana and Virginia senate election.

If Democrats take power over both houses, I want more than lame duck status for W. Yes, we need to put the brakes on this reckless administration. Rumsfeld stepping down today is symbolic of that... but it does precious little to change actual policy. Rummy is enough of a party soldier that he knows it will help the neocons for him to act as whipping boy, letting his ideas and cronies keep their influence alive in Washington. So... I want more than just someone putting on the brakes. This congress needs to put things in reverse. We need the congress to step-up (preferably under bipartisan leadership) and take back the rights given away by the previous legislature. We need to reinstate habeas corpus. We need to repeal the special powers given to the President to wage his war on terror. Oddly, we need true conservative values (fiscal responsibility, traditional civil liberties, constitutional protection, etc.) That's why I'm hopeful that a consortium of Republicans (maybe under McCain) will vote along side Dems to make these reforms happen.

I don't think impeachment is likely or productive or ultimately what the people want. I don't want this new class of representatives and senators to eventually eat hubris pie (ala the Republican congressmen elected during Clinton's second term.) We don't need a bunch of "Contract with America" hype. We don't need this Congress squandering their "political capital" on chastisement. I just want solid reform. Both houses, and the judiciary, need to slap a set of legislative handcuffs on this administration. So my hope is that Nancy Pelosi (first woman to be Speaker of the House!) will prioritize restoring our constitution rather than playing payback!

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Amateur Criminal Mastermind

It finally happened! I finally got to use my powers not just for good... but for AWESOME!

Someone at work accidentally locked one of those old filing cabinets that says "Do Not Lock" in big letters across the top. Daniel, our trusty Administrative Services Assistant, was asking around frantically if anyone had the key. I didn't, but I had something even cooler! I busted out my Easy Pickens brand lockpick set and went to work. I was sweatin' at first cuz the lock was a little harder than I expected. In the past, filing cabinet locks popped right out when I'd hit them with the rake. This time I had no such luck. Eventually I went subtle: I quit vibrating the rake and just focused on which pin was binding when I gave the lock some torque. It was the pin in the back so I kept up the pressure while bumpin' that guy and the whole thing just slid right open. The lock required that only the rear pin be manipulated... no wonder my chaotic raking wasn't working! All the time I was raking I was pushing up the front pins too, which stopped me from making any progress.

I can finally say that my $15 investment has paid off. Because, if nothing else, Daniel thinks I'm that much cooler now! Plus I think the new marketing guy and a couple of hot betties around the office may have noticed.

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