April 2011

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Another Portland Blog

Wednesday, March 31, 2004


His name is Prince and he seems to think he's funky

I own copies of 1999 and Purple Rain. Does this make me a Prince fan?

This isn't the first time I written about Prince in this forum. After being subjected to "The Artist" by family members in the '80s, I finally came around to him after reading Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn. In it, the main character self medicates a nasty case of Tourette's Syndrome with the likes of "Delirious" and "Darling Nikki." Somehow, Prince's chirps and howls calm his tendency to scream "fuck me, Bailey" in awkward situations. Like I always say, if it's good enough for a victim of Tourette's, it's good enough for me.

With that said, I paid $15 to see Prince "in concert" at the Lloyd Cinemas on Monday night (give me a break. There was a "free" CD and the promise of weirdness). If you haven't seen the ads, the first stop on his Musicology tour was broadcasted via digital projectors in theaters Around the Globe. Has this ever been done before? It's the first I've heard of it and I couldn't quell nagging questions like:

1. Would the crowd cheer in the theater?
2. Would they wave their arms back and forth during slow numbers?
3. Would they dance?
4. Would they break out their lighters during the encore?

The answers to all of these, strangely enough, was yes. The concert nearly sold out both of the larger theaters at the Lloyd. Before the show started, cameras darted around the Staples Center, beaming shots of Eddie Murphy making his way to the $20,000 seats. A counter in the corner provided a countdown. About a minute before 8 PM, it mysteriously disappeared. They never seem to start these things on time.

I'm sure there was a psychology grad student in the back scribbling notes on to a clipboard. When the crowd in LA began anxiously cheering on the screen, the crowd in the theater did the same. When Prince finally strutted on to stage in a pair of high-heel platforms, a few people cheered as everyone else giggled self-consciously. As he rolled through the first song, they quickly began imitating the frantic accolades of the crowd on screen. After a quick song of his new album, Prince pulled out the ol' "dearly beloved. We gather together here tonight to get through this thing called life." With that, a group of women excitedly jumped out of their seats and spent the majority of the show dancing under the exit signs next to the screen.

So will concerts like this become a trend? I kinda hope so, regardless of the Orwellian "Two Minutes of Hate" overtones. If they do catch on, I'm sure they'll be dubbed "ghetto concerts."

As for the concert, 'twas good indeed. Prince plowed through his standards in 2.5 hour set and ended the show with an epic 15-minute rendition of "Purple Rain." For the encore, he played a few on-the-spot blues songs before rolling into an acoustic "Little Red Corvette." At one point, members of the crowd were brought on stage, forcing the musicians to duck and weave through gyrating fans for twenty minutes. Watching Prince squeeze past a woman weighing easily 300,000 pounds while struggling to play a guitar was worth the price of admission.

Bonus: Fun Prince Factoids!

1. So you think Sinead O'Conner wrote "Nothing Compares 2 U." Nope! It came from the purple pen o' Prince.

2. While filming an unreleased documentary, Prince's manager explained to director Kevin Smith that he lives in "Prince World," a peculiar mental state. Over the past ten years, he's dropped millions of dollars on videos, albums and docs, all unreleased. They're locked in a vault and will probably never see the light of day, among them the one shot by Smith.

Prince also calls his publicist in the middle of the night and makes strange requests. One night, he demanded that a live camel be delievered to his front door immediately. Despite the managers explanation that there were no available camels in Minneapolis in the dead of winter at 1 AM, Prince didn't seem to understand and remained insistent.

3. In the mid-'80s, he and Michael Jackson were rivals. In '87, Jackson invited him to sing a duet on title track for Bad. The accompanying video would have featured the two of them fighting a sort of sort of rap battle before "joining forces" for the finale. Prince scoffed at the idea, clearing the way for the black jacket with all the cheesy sequins and the ensuing Scorsese video.


A happy compromise?

OK, so this is by no means set-in-stone. If there's problems with links, the color, shape, size or demeanor of fonts, the layout, the amount of white space, if the layout negitively affects you chi, anything at all, I want to hear about it. Hopefully, this current scheme doesn't de-santc-ify the oh-so-sweet simplicity of the original Blog too much. Other issues:

- Blog has been relocated to laurabush.info for reasons listed in the post below. If you would kindly update your links that would be downright super-duper.

- The "features" links on the left aren't working but they will be soon. Honest.

With that said, Blog now returns to its regularly scheduled pop-culture obsessions.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004


What's that smell? Oh no! It's CONTROVERSY!

Yesterday, I posted a link to a proposed new version of Blog. The site design was quickly slaughtered, consumed and regurgitated in the talkback area by a gang of insolent upstarts. How dare they question a design scheme that rivals the works of Louis Kahn and Frank Lloyd Wright? Hrumph!

OK, fine, MAYBE the design scheme stinks like moldy bread on hot asphalt. Y'all seem to prefer the classic McSweeny's flavored layout to the taste of New Blog. Nevertheless, the current design scheme leaves a lot to be desired and offers no growing room. There's numerous features I've been wanting to add to the current site that this single pane won't allow. Currently, the list of links fills the first 25% the frame and readers have to scroll half-way down the page to get to the first post. There's a reason why only Mcsweeny's does this. It's makes for a huge hassle.

Secondly, people who frequent blog don't seem to "get" Website and vice versa. The logical solution would be to merge the two and move Blog to http://laurabush.info.

I can't think of any way to mix in all the additional links and features I want to add without two additional tables. I've made a few nips and tucks to the current proposal. It's now slimer and should look better in smaller browsers. Take into consideration:

# 1.


the even more garish and weird # 2.

It should be obvious that I didn't major in graphic design so I'm throwing down the gauntlet to all the backseat webheads out there. What should New Blog look like?

The power is yours!

Monday, March 29, 2004


Building a better Blog + Mad Maxine

I'm still in the process of revamping the site so things will continue to be quiet 'round these parts until Wednesday or Thursday. Right now, I'm having problems incorporating the new layout scheme into Blogger. If you have nothing better to do, you can track Blog 2.0's progress by clicking here.

If it looks familiar, you're not imaging things. Shhh! Don't tell that Hasser guy.


"There is no commercial gas stations in a dead zone, so tank must be full. We don't need to run out of fuel on the middle of some nuclear desert."

In the meantime, here's a link to the Knarliest Website in the History of Human Existence. Elena is a motorcycle enthusiast living in Kiev. Not content to ride her bike at sane speeds, she makes regular, high speed trips through the Chernobyl "dead zone." She carries a nuke meter with her and doesn't send to mind standing a few hundred yards from objects that could make her glow in the dark. In short, she's every geek's dream gal.

Elena's stories are straight out of anime and/or Mad Max. The site is 28 pages of incredibly eerie pictures and anecdotes, such as the one about looters being shot in the '80s after trying to make off with radiation-filled TVs. There's pictures of abandoned towns, amusement parks and apartment buildings. I guess the highest praise I can give is that I've never seen anything like it.

Hat tip: Sho + Art Bell.

PS: What is the correct spelling for "knarly"? Does it need the "k"?

Thursday, March 25, 2004


Possible site revamp + Phil Busse

Since it's spring break and most of the readers that stroll through here are students, I've decided to spend the rest of week revamping Blog. The all new Blog is sure to faster, smarter and, of course, deadlier. It will also include pictures of cheese fries, possibly cheese steaks as well. I haven't decided yet.


While it's undergoing a much needed butt tuck, here's a link to Phil Busse's mayorial website. He's one of the editors for the Portland Mercury. Over the years, he's turned the paper's news section into a launching pad for verbal missiles against PPD and city hall. Last year, he tossed his hat into the ring for the upcoming race for the White House big, ugly building on 4th Ave.

Busse's grassroots campaign is under funded, relatively ignored and he stands no chance of actually winning. Given the bland, lackluster competition though, I'll have a hard time voting for anyone else. On his site, Busse has outlined 100 ideas for his potential administration. Along with a crackdown on PPD's endless parade of PR woes and a repeal of the sit-lie ordinance, he plans on giving away $100 a day from his salary to a needy person or organization every day he's in office. He's an idealistic, long-shot radical but I can't argue with these suggestions:

#10 - Summer movie series in Pioneer Square.

#55 - More "bar time" bus service to reduce DUII drivers.

#68 - Review police taser use.

Others on the list are more grandiose and reek of Vera Katz's head-in-the-clouds delusions. Busse campaign seems focused on improving livability, cracking down on the cops and making city hall more accessible to the public. Given the Portland's continued budget woes, many of them would unlikely to come to fruition. While it's nice to day dream, the last thing city needs is another dreamer.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004


What a lovely day for a protest

The war's first b-day was on Saturday and fifty-billion local activist organizations decided to celebrate with a big ol' protest. While the rest of Portland was enjoying unseasonably warm weather with pic-a-nic baskets and suntan lotion, around 9,000 demonstrators rolled into downtown.

While the numbers pale in comparison to the number of attendees at last year's rallies, it was easily the largest protest the city has seen in almost a year. As in the past, I didn't participate, opting instead to stand on the sidelines and listen to the condescending wisecracks of passers-by.

Many of the protesters were in costumes and the march mostly resembled a politically-themed Mardi Gras (sans boobs). One guy dressed up like Captain America, others donned homemade Dick Cheney masks. The Radical Cheerleaders waived their pom-poms while Portland's finest glumly stood around in their Robocop fatigues despite racking up thousands in EZ overtime pay.

Oddly enough, I saw nary a Johnny Kerry sign but plenty for Dennis "What me worry?" Kucinich. There was even a kiosk for the perpetually optimistic candidate on Broadway.

These blue signs only further fueled the scorn of shoppers scowling down from the Pioneer Place sky bridge. While I was up there, two skater kids laughed at all the "stupid hippies" and tossed out retorts to the signs below. A man whose wrap-around goatee screamed "I'm still living vicariously through my days as a third-string Lincoln High running back" embarrassed his wife by making joint-smoking gestures. The crowd fired back with waves and single finger salute. He later argued with a photographer who looked and sounded like Tommy Chong. The winner of this shopping center debate? Tommy, of course.

While their friends starred nervously at their Nordstrom bags, he pleaded with them to go down on 4th with him to launch a direct verbal assault. They didn't budge. At one point, the man stormed off only to return thiry seconds later.

While I was walking down 2nd Avenue after the protest, two teenage girls got into an "altercation" with two gentlemen well into their 30s. Both sides shouted at each other for a few minutes and threats were exchanged. The kids finally stormed off and the men patted themselves on the back. One girl, nearly in tears, got the last word.

"It's guys like YOU that get elected president."

That they do, that they do.

The protestors enjoyed a day of sun and grass roots fun. Everyone else got to make snide remarks. The officers in attendence can look forward to a fat paycheck later this week. A good time was had by all.

Grade: B

Monday, March 22, 2004


Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!

I have seen the zombies. And they are good. Oh yes, they are good.

I saw the "Dawn of the Dead' remake on Friday. While it may have been hacked out of the same laptop as "Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed" it is, that's right, good.

Does this new "Dead" live up to its 1978 predecessor? No, not really. As everyone knows, that's the Greatest Horror Movie of All Time. If I'm not mistaken, there's a bit in the 26th amendment that requires all American citizens to view the movie before their 18th birthday.

Now I love me some zombies. And if there's anything better than zombies, it's zombies in shopping malls. By default, the new "Dawn," no matter how bad, would have scored at least a 8 out 10 in my book. The new version is humorless and doesn't bother to reincorporate George A. Romero's subversive themes. No zombi-fied consumers wander up down escalators or go ice skating. Does this matter? Naw.

This new "Dawn" isn't the most violent or gory I've seen but it's among the most intense. "Natural Born Killers" and "Aliens" both spring to mind but even they can't touch the cinematic barrel rolls of this lil' zombie flick. It's 115 of mayhem, kicked off by a frantic drive through an apocalyptic suburban neighborhood. The films final act is filled with frantic jump cuts, two second shots and looks like it was slapped down on rotting '70s filmstock.

My only complaint is that the film is dire need of more "quiet" moments, especially given the fact the screenwriter managed to cough up a few intriguing characters. Ving Rhames plays a bitter cop who forms an unlikely friendship with a man stuck on a roof across a parking lot overlowing with the undead. The play chess and exchange messages on eraser boards. The two of them are allowed around two minutes of screentime. The cast is given a quick thirty second sequence to enjoy their luxurious hideaway before they movie segways back into more violence.

But this isn't a movie in search of a best acting nom, it's a friggin' zombie flick. And with that, it delivers the goods. There's an adorable baby zombie, an obese hick zombie, even a Jay Leno zombie. The film's final twenty minutes is a bullet that doesn't stop for the credits. "Dawn" keeps going until the absolute last frame.

This is the finest horror film I've seen in many a year. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm overlooking "28 Days Later" and "The Ring." *Yawn* After a rousing first hour, that British zombie debacle completely collapsed in the third act. "The Ring" was filled with inappropriate, Tim Burton imagery (the bedroom in the barn? Come on.) and the film's final ten minutes were tepid in comparison to the Japanese original.

OK, with that of the way, here's a link to brains4zombies.com. It's an Amazon parody offering such products as Eddie Vedder's brain. It's selling for a mere $5.39.


Spring bleeech!

Wait, wait, wait. Hold on. Oregon. Spring break. Sun.


It's been in the 60s here for the past couple of weeks and it feels more like May out there than March. While this is a far cry from the weather in Cabo this time of year, this is the first Oregon spring break I can recall where it didn't rain the whole time.

And where am I during all this? In an office, chained to a computer. If I want a suntan, I'm going to have to take off the UV filter on my halogen lamp and wear it as a hat. If the words "spring" and "break" mean "vacation" instead of "just another week," you probably aren't reading this. You're probably sitting in a lawn chair surrounding by pina coladas. To you I humbly extend this warm greeting:


For everyone out there trapped under fluorescent lights, there's always the South Park character generator. If I was eight years old and animated this is how I would look:

They even have a cute little headset accessory. There's also chainsaws and beer bottles. I guess the Flash programmers behind this really know their audience: bitter office drones and drunk lumberjacks.

Hat tip? Hasser.

Friday, March 19, 2004


Jesus snacks

Written in dust on the hood of a car in a Beaverton parking lot:


Huge letters too. What could this possibly mean?


Blog's Salute to the Automobile - La Venganza

If you didn't know, boiling radiator coolant smells exactly like maple syrup.


"How much to get the $#$@#!@! thing running again?"

"You're looking at $900 with the rental, sir."

"So be it, Jedi."


It was mistake I knew I was making. My beloved van is worth, roughly $3 and change. Pumping $900 into a vehicle worth less than a Hot Wheels car was insanity. I did it anyway.

Monday, while stuck in a traffic jam, the engine overheated. I barely made it off of SW Canyon to a safe spot next to a used car dealership. If you're not familiar with the layout of a 1984 Toyota van, the engine sits under the front seats. I lifted up the one on the driver's side and cloud of IHOP-flavored smoke wafted out, fogging the windows.

The problem is the water pump. The van has had "issues" with it in the past. I replaced it two years ago and this solved the problem, at least temporarily. It slowly creeped back in January. For years, I’ve made due with leaking pumps since the van seems to go through them like a fat man goes through pants. As long as the overflow bottle was kept filled, the van could go where other vans feared thread. Also contributing to my false confidence, my high school chemistry teacher once told a class full of skeptics, "If you’re ever in a tight spot, you could always urinate in your radiator." Although I've never tried this, it's probably the closet thing I’ll ever get to a mantra.

This simple solution to a complex problem has kept the van running for years. After the fiasco in February, I figured I could get by with the leaking pump for years to come.


The van wasn’t drivable so I walked home. A few hours later, I went back and checked the oil. So far, so good. If the overheating radiator had damaged the engine, the oil would have been milky white. I filled the overflow bottle and did a trail run. I guesstimated that, with the damaged pump, the van can drive five miles before overheating. An inch past that and who knows what would happen.

The good news is I can make it to the Plaid Pantry down the street. The bad news is that I can’t go anywhere else. I’d have to shell out another $500 to get the pump fixed, bringing the van's medical bills to a staggering $1400. Keep in mind that this is a 20 year old vehicle with a roof that looks like a Chia Pet.

With the van comatose, I’ve been enduring the slings and arrows of Portland’s nightmarish public transportation system. Eventually, I’m going to have to make a choice: fix the van and run the risk of it dying again two weeks later or, (GASP!) buying a used car…and running the risk of it dying two weeks later.

In short, I hate automobiles. I hate mechanics even more. And I can’t stand that line from "The Message" that keeps running through me head:

"Got to have a [car] in this land of milk and honey."

The missing word is "con." I always thought it was "car."


Charlie Kaufman vs. zombies

Yeah, I'll see both of them. But which to see first? Therin lies the rub.


The Great Xmas Tree Project - pt. 2

I was greeted at the door on Tuesday night by a smell like no other. This distinct potpurri was a combination of fresh garlic and stale milk. I immediately assumed it was the trash and took it out. Still, the scent lingered.

I did the smell test, sniffing around the room like the coked-up werewolf. There was no doubt. It was coming from the Xmas tree.

The little guy had shown remarkable resilience over the past months. It had dropped only a few needles and stayed relatively green. I could have tried changing the water but the fear that this thing was becoming a serious health hazard would have still lingered. Alas, there comes a time in every young man's life when he has to take down his first Xmas tree. Seeing that St. Patrick's Day was a few hours away, I finally relented.

So, for everyone keeping score, it lasted a grand total of 95 days, over three longer than your average Xmas tree. How long could it have gone had I changed the water? I guess we'll never know.

Regardless, is this a new record? Given that it was St. Patrick's, maybe I should contacted Guinness. Instead, I just drank one. Ba-du-dum-ba!

Thursday, March 18, 2004


Were did Blog wander off to?

Reading and reviewing scripts for Project Greenlight has absorbed all of my free time at work these past few days. I just finished one involving a unstoppable killing machine. Was this UKM a cyborg? An alien? An alien cyborg? Nope, it was puppy.

Really, no kidding. The little bastard kills three people and destroys a car. If ever there was a script tailor made for me, this has got to be it.

Meanwhile, my vehicle has died on me.


After pumping $900 into it just 16 days ago.

This time it's the radiator.



More to come.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004


A squeeky clean Portland

Do you yearn for those long-gone days? Back when the Pearl District was filled with dilapidated warehouses instead of Lexus SUVs and hobos roamed downtown with wild abandon? Well, so does Flog and he's got a few things to say on the subject.

Monday, March 15, 2004


The Great Xmas Tree Project

Behold, lady and gentlemen! My greatest experiment! I give you, The Great Xmas Tree Project.

Now we have all wondered how long your average Christmas tree will last before turning brown and/or burning down the house. The average tree is mulched on or before New Years Day. In an effort to pinpoint the exact moment a tree absolutely must be removed from a home I, yes, Still Have My Christmas Tree on Display.

So...you think I'm absolutely mad, eh? Fine, I can deal with that. My will is strong and my feelings are as impenetrable as a NBA referee. Mock me, if you must, but this experiment is purely in the interest of science and could benefit Santa worshippers world wide. Take a look at the following picture, taken only yesterday.

As you can tell, the tree is incredibly resilient. My initial hypothesis was that the tree would become unsightly and unbearable by MLK Day. It stopped consuming water around that time but its needles haven't budged. Valentine's Day came and went and now we're on the verge of St. Patrick's Day. Sometime last month, the needles adopted a slightly white paler. Other than that, the tree looks the same as the day I bought it.

Now I won't lie. This tree is dryer than the Mohave. The needles are brittle to the touch. But it still looks good and that's what matters.

Ladies and gentlemen, I may be living with the Xmas tree equivalent of Dorian Gray. Somewhere, there is a dusty portrait of a tiny fir covered in UO ducks and Snoopy ornaments.

Really, how long can it last? Could this tree actually make it to Memorial Day? Gasp! Independence Day? I may never need to buy another one. Furthermore, this tree could hold the secret to eternal life...

...or it could be an undead zombie tree. That does it. I can't trust a potentially dangerous zombie tree. The rest of this experiment will have to be conducted in a neighbor's backyard. Let him deal with the repercussions.


Spurn, Hollywood spurn

Apparently, I'm trying to break into Hollywood. I went to a cattle casting call for Gus Van Sant's new movie a few weeks ago. Since I'm such a glutton for punishment, I've gone and entered Project Greenlight 3.

If you aren't familiar, PG is a screenwriting contest originally spearheaded by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon back in 2000. Participants send in full-length film scripts. After the initital deadline, everyone is required to review the work of three other contestants in a two week-long melee of snotty comments and burst delusions of grandeur. Those that survive and manage to receive the highest kudos are eventually whittled down to a final ten. Their respective authors then go on to participate in an HBO series. The final, battle-scared winner is handed a million dollar budget for their film project.

I didn't make it past the first round when I entered in 2000. The script I submitted would have necessitated a budget of $300 billion dollars, which automatically sabotaged its chances and...yeah, it sucked. I received three favorable and a horribly vicious critique that haunts my nightmares. Guess which of these I can quote verbatim?

I reviewed four scripts. I remember two of them. One was a sci-fi/fantasy film that would have cost more to make then my script. The other centered around the great x 23 grandson of Jesus Christ and his efforts to take down an evil televangelists. I think that one may have finally been made by Troma.

This time around, I dug out a script that could easily be made for under a million. Last year's contest wisely split the process into two, separating wannabe-screenwriters from wannabe-directors. If I manage to track down a dozen genies between now and then, my chances will be reduced from 1 in 521,000,000,000 to...1 in 520,999,999,999. My fingers are crossed.

Friday, March 12, 2004


No Packy, no penguins

I've heard horror stories about company-wide meetings (AKA corporate pep rallies). I even reported on a nightmarish meeting held by The Gap a few years ago for a college magazine you may be familiar with.

The one I attended today was nothing like that but it still managed to be fairly surreal. The meeting took place in a convention hall underneath the zoo's main entrance for starters. Now I once considered. The Beatles' "All You Need is Love" to be the worst song ever recorded. It has now been officially replaced with a nightmarish "YMCA" retread. The chorus goes a little something like this:

"It's fun to be a part of the T-E-A-M
It's fun to a part of the T-E-A-M
We can work together
and achieve our goals
together we can 'cause
it's fun to be part of the...."


To make matters worse, they were running this on a loop in the foyer AND in the bathroom. While waiting for the meeting to begin, people were hiding out on a veranda, just to get away from this audio Frankenstein.

On the plus side, there were free bagels. Cake too.

The meeting itself was dry and dull. After being treated to a video of smiling happy workers talking to customers over U2's "Elevation," we sat through 2+ hours of bland sales figures and pie charts. The lone amusing part came when a sweaty middle manager tried to push an in-house employee promotion. We were each handed five door tags covered in logos and screaming text. If we march around our neighborhoods, looking for houses that show signs of using our competitor's service, we're to place these hangers on their doorknobs. If they agree to switch over to us, we in turn score $5 for our spying.

Ugggggh. On the other hand, there were no totalitarian manager's screaming at us to applaud like mad. No party favors or terrified child models either (read the article for further info.). But Packy never showed. In fact, I only managed to see one animal the entire time, a mountain goat near the zoo's entrance.

The highlight of the day was a quick glimpse backstage. If, for some strange reason, you've ever wondered how they keep those trains that run through Washington Park clean, here you go.

Four words: High. Powered. Air. Guns. No water necessary. I want one.


Darth Vader on a stick

In a few minutes, I'll be riding MAX up to the Oregon Zoo for a company meeting.

That's right, a company meeting At The Zoo. No, I don't know why they've decided to hold it up there. I'm hoping Packy the elephant and all those penguins will somehow be involved.

Now then, you probably already know how Anakin Skywalker turns into Darth Vader. The details of the whole thing was revealed during an interview with George Lucas in the '80s and has been widely reported and disputed in geek circles over the years. According to a British tabloid, he's sticking to his word. If you already know and/or don't mind having the next Star Wars film blown for you, click here. I guess "gnarly" would be the right word for this CGI photo of Hayden "Women and Children" Christensen. Enjoy.

Yes, the last two movies were horrible. Still, who won't be seeing the movie if, well, look at the pic.

Thursday, March 11, 2004



OK, this is very exciting if you're a rabid fan of the film. If not, it's still at least slightly interesting (I hope). Come on, we're talking about an Oregon landmark here. Surely, this thing is worth a few seconds of your time.

"Two summers ago, I broke into the Goonie House with my sister and two undergrads from the University of Kansas...."

So begins this thrilling tale that's sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. It has spills! It has chills! It has thrills! Actually, now that I think of it, it has none of these things. But it does include a treasure trove of pics and an interesting anecdote included about toilet paper.

The article has been posted over at Website. Click here to read it. I spent close to 300 billion hours scanning these pictures. At least one of you has to give it a passing glance.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004


Batman Begins

Since I'm hard at work on the Goonie House article, not much was posted today. With that said, would you like to have the next Batman film ruined for you? Its scheduled release date is the summer of 2005 but the script was leaked sometime last week. For a full plot synopsis of the first 58 pages, click here.

Michael Caine? As Alfred? Really?


Pixie hunt

I have had it up to here with TicketsWest and that dang blasted McDonald Theater. The Pixies added a second show to their stop in Eugene last week, unbeknownst to me. I received an email from Flog on Monday and quickly checked the theater's website and TicketsWest. Both claimed seats were still available.

After I work, I rushed over to Music Millennium and....


...was told by a Elvis/punk record clerk that the show sold out in five minutes flat.


It's now Wednesday and, according to both websites, tickets are still on sale. That does it. I'm throwing down a gauntlet. I AM GOING TO SEE ONE OF THESE SHOWS.

At this point, with both performances more than a month away, I'm not sure how I'm going to pull this off. It could involve a police battering ram, 300 live chickens, a robot made out of styrofoam and a grocery bag full of smoke bombs but I AM GOING TO SEE ONE OF THESE SHOWS.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004


Class time!

Every once and a while, my corporate superiors hunt me down and tear me out of my cubicle like a claw looming over a pit of lobster-shaped harmonicas. The reason? Afternoon training seminars.

Many of my coworkers enjoy these occasional "breaks." They also haven't quite figured out this whole "enter-net" thing. Each of these seminars is held in a window-less in the basement of the building. Last week, we were treated to "Exploring Social Styles and Motivators."

I kept my pamphlet so I could quote from it verbatim. According to it, "goals are what we are willing to accomplish in our lives." A well-rounded goal should be:


S: Specific
M: Measurable
A: Attainable
R: Relevant
T: Time trackable

I've always been skeptical of the intentions behind these seminars. Are these patronizing, feel-good notions supposed to improve employee morale? To make us more motivated? If so, what's with cryptic clip-art of a man's head juxtaposed between two yin and yang symbols?

"How can our company and my experience here help me to achieve some of my personal goals?"

Below this question was a page of empty lines. We were given five minutes to come up with a detailed response. In the past, the instructors at these seminars allow volunteers to read aloud from their packets afterwards. As such, I usually fill in smart-ass retorts or doodles of Garfield riding a hovercraft. My answer:

"I like waffles. Without a job, I would not be able to afford waffles. Experience tells me that if I diligently come work each day, I will receive monetary compensation for my efforts. This is how our company can help me quell my insatiable hunger for said waffles."

Did my personal goal adhere to the dictates of SMART? Definitely. So far, so good. When the fives minutes were up, I realized something had gone array. The instructor wasn't taking volunteers. Beginning with a coworker on the other side of a large conference table, we were all going to read our answers.

Yikes! There wasn't enough time to come up with a "safe" response. When the circle came around to me, all I could do was mutter, "Ummm....errr....uh....I'd rather not share."

The instructor wasn't insulted. In fact, she seemed elated. Since I was reluctant to share my answer, this must have meant my personal goal was altogether too personal to share with the rest of the group. I was obviously taking this lesson much more seriously than everyone else. I'd dodged a bullet.

Moving on to page 8, the platinum rule was revealed to us. Apparently, it's the new staple of training sessions in many Fortune 500 companies (*cough*).


Treat others the way *they* wish to be treated.

Ugggh. Would this rule be passed along to management and our customers? Would *they* treat us like we wish to be treated? Did this mean my manager would finally sign off on my beer bar/ping pong table/cubicle proposal? Doubtful.

Moving along to page 9, we began a "social style inventory" of the personalities of our heroes. I chose Muhammed Ali and Optimus Prime . Both came up as "do-ers." Later, we evaluated ourselves.

Was I a speaker? A listener? A do-er? Or a thinker?

I received ten points in the thinker category. I'm evidentially "industrious, persistent, serious and exacting." On the other side, I'm also "critical, indecisive, stuffy and moralistic." According to the packet, I'm best paired with a do-er; someone like Optimus.

At the end of seminar, we were asked "What did you learn today that you will later apply to your work?" We were given two spaces. I wrote "the platinum rule" twice. The instructor liked that. I was hoping to score a gold star or some candy for my efforts. Alas, I went back to my work station with neither.

What did I actually learn? If I had a robot that can turn into a truck at my disposal, I'd get a lot more accomplished.

Monday, March 08, 2004


Jesus' Big Movie

The Passion of the Christ is a beautifully-shot film...

...but then so was Triumph of the Will and Birth of a Nation.

Sorry, I can't resist the temptation to jump on the soapbox (but I can resist the tempation to do a riff on a certain Scorcese film). How did a movie this vile and repugnant receive such wide distribution? To anyone who doubts the massive amount of anti-Semitism in Passion: did you see the same thing I did? Or were you not paying attention?

A council of crook-nosed clichés with the devil leering over their shoulders? A crowd of Jewish citizens howling for blood? A fang-toothed anti-Christ fueling their anger in the background? Folks, this is something straight out the most extreme examples of Nazi propaganda. Not only is the movie incredibly anti-Semitic, it isn't too keen on women and homosexuals either. The devil is personified as a bald mother and Herod is inexplicably portrayed as the gayest man who ever lived.

Meanwhile, the Romans are let off easy. Pontius Pilate, the man commonly blamed for the crucifixion, is given actual character development. He's just a poor guy in a tight spot. If he doesn't condemn Christ, he'll have a revolt to deal with. If he does, he'll be killing an innocent man. Meanwhile, the film's Jewish council is provided with the sort of depth usually reserved for non-speaking extras.

I can't imagine the mindset behind a train wreck like this. Simply put, The Passion of the Christ is two hours of offensive stereotypes beating a man to death. The level of extreme violence in this thing is on the same level of notorious cult films like I Spit on Your Grave. If you've read the press on the movie, you already know about the flogging scene. If you haven't, I'll spare you the details and just say the people in the audience were gagging.

In the film's final shot, a nude Jesus rises from the grave to the sound of war drums. There's fire in his eyes and he looks like he's prepping for Passion 2: Jesus' Revenge. Maybe I missed something in Sunday School. I thought Christ was a kind and gentle hippie with magical powers, not friggin' Mad Max.

If Mel Gibson's goal in this movie was to convey the sheer misery of JC's final hours, he succeeded. If he also sought to fan the flames of religious intolerance in this country, ditto. This isn't a film, it's a recruiting tool for bigots.

According to box office reports, the movie is well on its way to becoming the highest grossing R-rated American release ever made. 15 years ago, when The Last Temptation of Christ was released, it pulled in a paltry $7 million domestic. Temptation was thoughtful and poignant, whereas Passion is a hate-filled snuff flick. Makes you feel all warm and snuggly inside, doesn't it?



What has been going on in Jersey this past year? If the first episode of season five is any indicator, a good portion of the state has fallen into a vortex leading straight to the Bizarro World.

Last night's Sopranos felt more like an episode of Twin Peaks. In the first few minutes, a huge bear shows up in the family's backyard and begins licking lawn furniture. After officers from the wildlife bureau shake their heads, Tony, still separated from Carmella, sends one of his goons to stand watch with a machine gun.

Later, he puts the moves on Dr. Melfie, typically a big no-no in television. When two characters give in to sexual tension, it usually spells d-o-o-m for a show. It happened to Moonlighting, the X Files and, yep, even Mork and Mindy. More importantly: were those actually Lorraine Bracco's bum-bum and hoo-hoos on display or the bum-bum and hoo-hoos of a CGI stand-in?

Meanwhile, Christopher and Paulie decide to kill a snooty waiter in a parking lot. Anthony Jr. cries like a toddler at the sight of the big bad bear. After Melfie resists Tony's advances, he heads home, grabs the machine gun, lights a cigar and waits. Roll credits.

Yes, these new twists are strange and pandering. Are they entertaining, especially after last season's doldrums? You betcha'. I hope the bear becomes a recurring character and gets his own machine gun next week.


Really, who is that wrestler in the kilt?

Phooeyhoo has set a new benchmark with his comprehensive review of Cyndi Lauper's "Goonies are Good Enough" video. Meanwhile, my own article about a certain house in Astoria remains unfinished. I guess this means he's won the arms race for bandwidth hogging Goonies articles. *sigh*

Still, this question remains: what is the identity of the wrestler in the kilt?

UPDATE: Sho, of Wazeth fame, has answered this riddle of the ages. This mysterious wrestler is none other than "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, a local Portland legend/former auto repair extraordinaire.

But who among us can reveal the identity of the Evil Arab Stereotype, a wrestler featured in the video but not pictured in Phooeyhoo's review?

Friday, March 05, 2004


Now they have a Buscemi . Ho. Ho. Ho.

One of the perks of working for a media conglomerate is swag. Whenever HBO rolls out a new season of one of their signature programs, I get free stuff. For Carnivale, I received a tin full of peanuts. For Sex and the City, it was a purse and a second, smaller, purse full of pink mints (that sort of looked like birth control pills). For the fifth season of The Sopranos, I received a clock, a countdown calander and a bag of Artie Bucco Signature Brand Pasta. BEHOLD!

OK, they're not very exciting. Still, these cheesy promotional tie-ins could net me a whole $1.57 on Ebay.

The Sopranos. 9 PM. Sunday. If the apocolyptic promos are any indication, the doo-doo (which, no matter what Outkast tells you, DOES NOT smell like roses) will be hitting the fan. I just hope the writers will spare viewers another dreary Uncle Juinor vs. cancer subplot. Also: more truncated heads would nice.


All sorts of randomness

1. February's Photo of the Month has finally been given the shaft. The hate-filled stockbroker is gone, replaced by the happy-bouncy shenanigans of Lilo and Stich. BUT WAIT! What's that looming overhead?!!! They're about to be FORKED!

This begs the question: is it still canabalism if you consume a cartoon character?

2. US forks forces are still fumbling about Iraq looking for WMDs. Meanwhile, in the Cuddly Animal War, which reached a cease fire only 6 weeks ago, this recently discovered stockade could unleash a force worse than the Empire and Mordor combined. Hee. Hee. Hee. Shhhhh! Don't tell Flog.

3. Blog made the top of Flirting With Coherence's list of local blogs. To celebrate, here is these pictures of Charlize Theron with her lips wrapped around....dear God, it couldn't be! Think of the children!

Tsk. Tsk. What IS the world coming to? Anyway, these are straight outta' something called New Yorkish. For tips on how to make your very own apple pipe, click here.


One last bit of PIFF!

OK, I submitted this review, along with the ones for Twilight Samurai and The Dreamers to Ain't It Cool News. Unsurprisingly, they didn't run it because:

A. 99.76 % of their readership has NO interest in a film festival in a far flung locale like Portland, Oregon.


B. Well, look no further than that line about toddlers and cocaine.

So this review has come trudging back from AICN's Austin headquarters. With no place else to go, it has been given a home here on Blog. The movie reviewed below is called The Saddest Music in the World. If you enjoy Kids in the Hall sketches and hallucinatory imagery, than this is the film for you.



Move of us have seen at least one episode of The Kids in the Hall. Imagine their most esoteric sketch hept up on too many diet pills and you've got a good idea of what The Saddest Music in the World has to offer. The film is the truncated mutant hell spawn of German surrealism, The Hudsucker Proxy, Moulin Rouge, pitch-black Canadian humor and a rusty, nuclear-powered Tilt-a-Whirl.

The film stars Kids alum Mark McKinney and Maria "I want a pot belly" de Medeiros as lovers on their way to a competition in Ottawa during the Depression. In attempt to make a quick buck before the US rolls back Prohibition Laws, a beer baroness amputee (Isabella Rossellini) decides to hold a sort of musical Olympics to determine which country can offer up the saddest tune for those dark days.

The film manages to incorporate such random details as beer-filled prosthesis made of glass, a human heart in a jar full of tears, a shack full of mannequin parts, ice-skating pallbearers, bagpipers, cannibals, mariachis and set straight out of The Cabinet of Dr. Calagari into a bursting-at-the-seems film that could easily make Baz Luhrmann's head explode. Winners of the competition slide into a tub full of beer as a reward. Stock footage from the '30s fills every nook and cranny of the screen. Long dead extras cheer-on their modern day counterparts.

The sold-out audience at Portland's Guild Theater loved it but I've read other reports of walk-outs at screenings in Toronto. Admittedly, the movie isn't for everyone and could cause coronaries. Some might think of it less of film than a deadly weapon. It should probably come with a Surgeon General’s warning.

All in all, The Saddest Music in the World feels like the fever-dream of a turtle-neck(ed) Berlin toddler that's been strapped to a chair in front of 50 years of Broadway musicals while being intravenously fed a frothy mixture of Hi-C, Pixie Sticks and cocaine. Something like this guaranteed a quick trip to bins of video store's specializing in obscure films. It's a damn shame that few will ever see what I think is easily the best solo film by a Kids grad (yes, A Bug's Life included).

Thursday, March 04, 2004


Blog's Salute to the Automobile - The Finale

I got the call a day later. The news? Not good. The van needed $1,800 worth of work. The voice on the other end read off a laundry list of problems. First off, the screeching was due to a leaking water pump. Droplets of H20 were falling on the fan belts, causing them to howl. This would cost $400 to fix. In addition, the front brakes were down to 10% ($300), the power streeing was leaking ($400), the engine needed new plugs ($450) and a tune-up ($150). Also: the nightmarish rattle in the passenger side door would cost a cool $85 to fix. At least the transmission was still in good shape.

My head spun. I did not have $1,800 to throw away on vehicle worth $3.82.

I told the voice I'd call him back.

Meanwhile, my heart swelled for the Corolla but I knew it would one day crush it like a water balloon. Like a fool, I fell in love anyway. Unlike the van, this car wasn't covered in mildew. The side door didn't have a woodpecker rattle. There was still paint on the roof and the speakers didn't cut out every five minutes. The Corolla also possessed an almost magical ability to injure British doctoral students.

I forgot about the van and tooled around town in my new race car. I sought out tight spots downtown, just to enjoy the new-found ease of parallel parking. I bounced from lane to lane and buzzed through traffic like a stunt man. The hills overlooking Lincoln High School became a haven for turn-hogging thrills. Together the Corolla and I were a heart and a fuel-efficient engine beating as one. Together we cried after a friend spilled Taco Bell grease all over the back seat. Together we laughed as other driver's shook their fists at our high-speed antics. This wasn't just tomfoolery, it was revenge for years of put-putting along in an ancient Toyota van.

But the rental fees were stacking up. A decision needed to be made. I had no money to buy a new car, even a new used car, yet I wasn't about to drop $1800 on my faithful, yet moldy steed. That weekend, a car dealership in Hillsboro was having a sale, with cars starting at "ONLY $50!!!". I thought about it and finally relented.

"How much to get the goddamn thing running again?"

"You're looking at $900 with the rental, sir."

"So be it, Jedi."

They took their time, blaming delayed shipments. When it was said and done, I dropped $930 on a vehicle that wasn't worth 1/10 of that. So much for Coachella.

On our final night together, the Corolla and I buzzed Barbur Boulevard going 95 MPH through 45 MPH zones. We hogged the turns one last time. 16 hours later, she was out of my life.

So now I'm $910 poorer and I'm still driving a $!@$! 1984 Toyota van with a leaking water pump. A better person might have put this cash towards a new vehicle. On the other hand, a better person can probably make monthly car payments. I now tool around town with a milk jug full of water. Once a day, the van needs to be fed its "bottle" or the engine will explode. Worse yet, the $%#$@#! side door rattles worse then before it was "fixed."

So ends this lil' tale of woe.


New, yet old, article now up at Website

Do you remember that endless Gus Van Sant entry from Monday? Well, it's now available in two locations. Below and over at Website, where it should have been posted all along.

So why bother going all the way over there when you get the same thing right here? Uh, the pictures are bigger. Besides that, well, nothing. The cat story, which was posted almost a month ago, is downright ancient. It had to go but its successor, an epic-length article about the Goonie House, is still being cobbled together. Thankfully, the Gus post was around, waiting in the wings for its shot at Website fame.

Yippie...or something.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004


If I were gay and had the day off, I'd totally get hitched

This should be interesting. Portland is officially joining the ranks of Massachusetts and San Francisco in their efforts to mangle sacred unions, ravage the American dream and Destroy Civilization As We Know It. The Multnomah County Clerk's office plans to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples starting tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.

Here's hoping the Oregon's gay community will do as good a job upholding the sanctity of marriage as their hetero counterparts in Nevada.

MORE: Local opponents of gay marriage have increasingly begun relying on the "it's illegal" argument. Isn't medicinal marijuana also against federal law? What about assisted suicide? Why aren't they taking issue with local cancer victims?

Come on, guys. Break out the signs and bullhorns! You don't want to be accused of perpetuating double standards, do 'ya?


Spike and Mike's

So it's that time of year again. As March roars in, Cinema 21 has once again cleared it's schedule for the annual Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation.

Per usual, the lineup treds on both sides of the potty-humor spectrum. Unfortunately, the lame shorts this year are really, really lame. Here's a rundown.


Death of the Teletubbies: This one drew huge belly laughs from a lady that was a walking/talking case for and against methamphetamines. During the intermission, the organizer's provided the audience with beach balls ala a sporting event. After popping one, she swooned over another through most of the second half.

But enough about her. This one was a parody of Platoon staring the Teletubies. At the conclusion, the shooter is revealed to be...Barney. *Yawn*

No Neck Joe: I guess it's an inside joke that I just don't get. Each and every one of these festivals begins with no less than two Joe shorts. Each offers a brief gag worthy of Nick Jr. Double *yawn*.

Snowman: This one was full of lush CGI but it didn't belong here. Plus, the joke was stolen from an old Calvin and Hobbes strip. Triple *yawn*.

Mama, I'm A Thug: Low and lame, even by internet standards. This dull parody of Eminem wannabes follows a suburban playa' as he gets into a fight at fast food franchise. When he winds up in a holding tank, he drops his persona and reverts back to a timid teenager. "Yeah, boy. We're going show you some gangbangin'." Quadruple *yawn*.


How to Cope With Death: An elderly woman is spending her final days plopped in front of a TV. Suddenly, a howling angel of death rolls into the room. The woman bursts out of her chair and two engage in combat. After defeating him with a spin kick, the woman returns to her chair.

Big Abandoned Refrigerator Adventure: By far this is nastiest this year's festival has to offer. Two adorable dolls spend a rainy afternoon snorting oven cleaner and engaging in all sorts of deviant behavior before suffocating in a fridge. Nobody laughed, mostly because the short was about dead as deadpan can get.

Peepshow: A stop-motion short involving marshmallow Peep bunnies. Two bunnies roll on screen and begin "boinking." Suddenly, more bunnies appear. They too boink. Their numbers quickly rise, eventually causing the planet to fall out of orbit.

Ninjews: A Claymation adventure staring two Jewish ninjas. When a young boy is threatened by a pork-slinging Nazi, they spring into action.

Happy Tree Friends: I don't know much about the Friends but apparently they're an internet sensation. In one of the festivals' three shorts, "Eye Candy," a skipping squirrel romps through a forest with a sucker. He trips and punctures an eyeball. Then a hungry bird arrives on the scene. Wackiness? It does indeed ensue.

Here Comes Dr. Tran: This year's centerpiece. A young kid is happily eating breakfast when an announcer's voice pops out of nowhere. The announcer is convinced he's the star of a series of action films and begins a movie trailer monologue. The 3D glasses gag was really quite good.

Given the amount of Flash animation on the internet just waiting to be reeped, it's a shame the producers resorted to so much filler. Still, 'ze good shorts more than made up for 'ze bad.


Bar Banter from Beyond the Realm of Reality - #3 of ?

These two slices of bar banter comes from the Driftwood Room, everyone's favorite hotel bar that feels like a '60s-era airport lounge.

An off-duty bellboy and an off-duty mechanic were sitting at the bar. Their conversation shifted from the nude beach on Sauvie Island to the "perfect" BBQ sauce for chicken. The mechanic reveled his recipe to the bellboy and anyone who might be eavesdropping. Here it is:


- 1/2 cup "dark red" MD 20/20. AKA Mad Dog.
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce

Cut open chicken breast. Spoon liberally inside and out for "good flavor."

I have yet to try it but don't let that stop you! There was also this mini-rant from an aging beatnik sitting nearby. As transcribed off a napkin:

"My kid is in boot camp. He's one of these guys that'll be in a tank, hit a rock and it'll blow up. I'm going to Georgia for his graduation in three months. I'm going to walk on stage and shoot him in the foot. He isn't going to Iraq. I'll write a letter to his commanding officer. He was a bed wetter at 3 and he's been cross-dressing since age 6. This is my legacy."

Monday, March 01, 2004


Fun and Games at the Gus Van Sant Casting Call

From the Oregonian:

Last call: Director Gus Van Sant and Pie films are holding an open casting call from 10 am to 4 pm Sunday in search of principal actors and extras for a film about the Northwest rock n' roll scene to be shot in Portland this spring. The open call is at the Child Services Center. Details: 503-248-6741.

I dialed the number. They were looking for actors between the ages of 16 and 25. I double-checked my driver's license to be sure. Perfect. I thought things over. To get to this casting call would require the ultimate sacrifice: rising before 10 AM on a Sunday morning.

Now I have no formal acting experience, unless you consider reading lines in monotone during a handful of high school plays. My chances of landing any sort of role at this film are, roughly, .000008%. If the casting director ever got a look at this, the number would likely drop to a big, fat 0%. Was all this going to stop me? No, sir.

So I diligently forced myself out of bed yesterday morning and rolled up to the CSC at 10. Every 18-25 year old in town was already there. I took my place in line between two girls comparing headshots and a hoard of bouncing punks. I was a dork dressed in Old Navy in a sea of vintage clothing. The last time I felt this out of place was during an evening at a JW church a few years back.

Talk about your weird scene: 6,000 hipsters and punks standing in line on a Sunday morning, some of them nursing hangovers, all hoping to land a staring role in an indie movie. I had the camera with me but suppressed the rude urge to take pictures of everything in sight. At one point, a guy walked by with a shaved head and a green pony-tail jutting out of the top of his skull. Scribbled in white on the bottom of his black leather jacket were the words "Go Kill Yourself."

While the punks tried climbing a row of mold-soaked trees, I started talking to a guy named Justin. He moved to Portland from Illinois two weeks ago and considers himself a professional actor. For him, this casting call was Serious Business. He carried with him a pack of headshots and resumes and spent the whole time nervously checking his cell phone. When I told him I was there because I had nothing better to do on Sunday, he scowled at me with rage that would make Mike Tyson blush.

We didn't speak another word to one another and I felt like I should have left. Instead, I broke out the camera in order to make this awkward little moment all the more uncomfortable. The result are the lame shots you see before you.

Maybe I should have left. Still, the bastard in me forced me to see this thing through. The potential irony of being an extra in a Van Sant film after poo-ing all over Elephant was too hard to pass up.

The line wound around a football field. Along the way, a concrete divider was covered in empty Red Bull cans. I wasn't the only one fighting sleep deprivation. Every few minutes, someone with a name tag wandered by to interview people in line. One of them asked a girl "Why do you want to be a star?" Her response? "Because I'm tired of living with my fucking parents." Another kid's response? "Because I don't want to go to college."

Surprisingly, the line moved swiftly and we were inside in under an hour. Someone handed me a card with a number on the back. I was applicant number 3,238. I filled out my name and number and put "sleeping, eating and talking" under a slot inquiring about my hobbies. Gus was nowhere in sight.

Afterwards, we were lead into a large room with several lines of blue tape. I was lead over to row #10. With all the enthusiasm of a prison photographer, someone said, "Hold up your card with the number showing please."


And that was it. My shot at a role in this movie will be based entirely on my appearance and the card that was submitted. The kids that brought along their guitars and resumes were told to keep them.

So how did I feel after being binged and purged from this dream factory? Gloomy, dispondent and hungry for nachos. Gus Van Sant probably deserves a soul kiss for filming his movies locally and organizing open casting calls like this. Nevertheless, this seemngly endless blog entry wouldn't be complete without this quote from George Burns by way of Bart Simpson:

"Hollywood is a horrible bitch goddess."


Let's all have another Orange Julius

KNRK is playing Modest Mouse?!!!

Sure enough, I heard their new single, which sounds like an out-of-context parody of REM, on the radio a few nights back. I've been moaning and groaning about commercial radio for years now. It's always a huge surprise when a band I actually like gets airplay.

On the other hand, the station spun "Everything In Its Right Place " maybe twice around the time Kid A was released. That was probably the first and last time I'll ever "Float On" dribbling out of an FM station.

Anyway, the new album, Good News for People Who Love Bad News, is scheduled to roll out on April 6th, just in time for their back-to-back shows at the Crystal Ballroom.

Click here to hear the single.

Click here to play with the black demon Grover over at the band's official site.

The schilling for Modest Mouse ends...



And nobody needed to see him naked either

Final tally? I was 8 for 9. Not too shabby but all the favorites won. The 76th Annual Academy Awards may have the most predictable in its history. The only surprise of the night was Renee Zellweger's win for her portrayal of a shit kickin' cowgirl.


Shit kickin' cowgirl?


Sorry, it gets me every time I think about it.

But back to the headline attached to this post. Speaking of repulsive nudes, take a look at my neeked computer:

Much like everything I own, this old thing should have been replaced years ago. I threw away 3 hours last night trying to install a new DVD drive. This should have taken 30 minutes, tops. No matter what I do, no matter what the configuration, Windows acknowledges the drives but stubbornly refuses to read the discs in them. To make matters more nightmarish, un-doing and reconfiguring the ribbons is like trying to perform brain surgery on a conscious monkey with ADD.

This rotten little machine forced me to miss most of the Oscarcast. I'll probably invest another 26-hours of time into fighting with it to no avail. If there's anything I hate more than Billy Crystal's nude torso, it's these godforsakin' ribbons.




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