Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Birds

I've never been a fan of birds. I don't like their beady little eyes, their creepy feet, how they can poop on you from above, the whole thing. But what I don't like even more are the people who feed pigeons and other common birds. Pigeons are doing okay without your stale bread, pal. Giving away food just encourages pigeons to be obnoxious and get in everyone's way.

Someone must have heard my complaints.

I really, really wish I'd been there for this.

To celebrate, here's Tom Leher:

"All the world seems in tune
On a spring afternoon,
When we're poisoning pigeons in the park.
Ev'ry Sunday you'll see
My sweetheart and me,
As we poison the pigeons in the park.

When they see us coming, the birdies all try an' hide,
But they still go for peanuts when coated with cyanide.
The sun's shining bright,
Ev'rything seems all right,
When we're poisoning pigeons in the park."

Music to my ears!

Little kids singing for Obama.

This kinda gives me the creeps.

Also, the comments section gets a little nutso too. Entertaining.

Am I weird to be creeped out?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Because One List Isn't Enough

I like my family well enough. We're no Flying Zamboni Motorcycling Family, but we get by. But sometimes I like to imagine slightly famous people as my real family. Here's our family tree thus far:

Mom: JK Rowling
Obviously. Sometimes, if I'm watching a biographical special on her, or an interview, I get teary because I think she's so amazing. I tend to have a heart of ice about these things, but I would definitely cry like a preteen at a Beatles concert if I met her. I tell my real mom that I hope JK adopts me someday. This has gotten to be something I say so often that friends have jumped on the Rowling adoption dream bandwagon. Jo, if you're out there, we're ready to be your dutiful daughters.

Dad: TBA
Still under review. I'm currently accepting applications.

Older Sister: Felicia Day
Felicia can sing, act, write, and is friends with Joss Whedon. She's an older sister I'd definitely look up to.

Middle Sister: Me
In real life, I'm the youngest, but in Fantasy Family, I put myself here.

Brother: Michael Cera
He's the ultimate adorable awkward teen (see Arrested Development and Juno), which I think would make him the ultimate little brother. Plus in interviews he seems like a genuinely cool person.

Younger Sister: Julia Nunes
She plays the ukulele. She's a youtube star. She's adorable. Welcome to the family, Julia!

Cousins: the Green Brothers
John writes YA novels. Hank runs ecogeek. They videoblog and have inspired a generation of nerdfighters. They'd be pretty awesome to have around during the holidays.

Mostly I think we'd all just have a good time together. And take funny family portraits.

The Mondays

Reasons Today Rocks:

  • Surprise (at least for me) reading by Judy Moody author Megan McDonald. (Hilarity! Acronymns!)
  • Free pizza at work--and on a rare day when I'd planned on buying lunch!
  • The gym doesn't smell like sewer anymore.
  • It's a good week for haikus.
  • Spinach and cannellini beans for dinner
Reasons Today Doesn't Rock:
  • Not knowing how to write creative nonfiction.
  • Having a lot of work to do...and writing a blog entry instead.
  • It's only Monday.
Let's hope Annie survives the week.

This just opens the flood gates

I can take this line of reasoning and really run with it.

Things I can see from my apartment:

1. The cleaners on my block. Run by a sweet old Vietnamese couple. They should elect me to take over for them.
2. The copy shop below me: seems like the perfect way to prep for a career at the GAO.
3. The awesome frozen yogurt place. I can see it. I am totally qualified to be Secretary of FroYo Relations.

What can YOU see from your home and what government organization might it qualify you to run?

Who can blame them?

I'm all for supporting writers, but you really can't blame the execs in this case. It might have been a tough decision, but after a great performance over the weekend, you can't deny that she's pretty much writing their scripts for them.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pun Art

The Museum of Arts and Design exhibits works such as Jean Shin's 'Sound Wave.' It sounds like this is art that was just made for me.

The New York Times doesn't seem as excited as I am:

"'Second Lives' confirms how thoroughly blurred the lines dividing art, craft and design have become over the past few decades. Unfortunately, its lens is a strategy that has reached epidemic proportions in the larger art world: the use of many small recognizable things to make one big recognizable thing. The idea germinated in Meret Oppenheim’s beloved and far too influential fur-lined teacup, and has trickled down through generations of found-object assemblages and sculptures by artists like Arman, Tony Cragg, Donald Lipski and Tom Sachs."

I love recycling objects in art. I don't care if it's overdone. I'd rather check this out than go to MoMA and see 'Twin' again. Plus, the title of 'Sound Wave' is a pun. Now that's my kind of art.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Coolest Hand

Paul Newman, age 83, passed away Friday after a long battle with cancer.

He was one of my favorite old movie stars--talented and a class act, never one to believe in his own hype. Married to Joanne Woodward (another great actor) for over fifty years, he didn't get caught up in Hollywood drama. You'd be more likely to know him for his charity work--I have a bottle of his salad dressing in the refrigerator right now--than for any scandal. More people, not just celebrities, should be like him.

Some great Newman quotes:

On adultery: "Why fool around with hamburger when you have steak at home?"

"When I realized I was going to have to be a whore, to put my face on the label, I decided that the only way I could do it was to give away all the money we make. Over the years, that ethical stance has given us a 30 per cent boost. One in three customers buys my products because all the profits go to good causes and the rest buy the stuff because it is good."

"Every time I get a script it's a matter of trying to know what I could do with it. I see colors, imagery. It has to have a smell. It's like falling in love. You can't give a reason why."
Good thoughts to the Newman family.

Prime Time

Ever wonder what mathematicians do all day? Me too.

I'd like to link them with a collegiate Philosophy department. Philosophy and Math are the basis for a lot of other majors--eg., English and Religious Studies for Philosophy; Physics and Chemistry for Math--but aren't extremely practical on their own. In Calculus, I ran into problems because we seemed to be playing around with numbers for no good reason. Whenever I asked my teacher, "Why does this theorem work here? Why can't I do it my way?" he'd say, "Because people have worked it out for you already." And then when I'd ask "But what does it do? If it doesn't do anything, why can't my answer be right? Who knows?" he'd say, "When you get to Advanced Physics, you have real uses for this."

Joke's on him. I never got to Advanced Physics.

I guess there are uses for big math issues. It can get people into space. It can help people survive open heart surgery. Yadda yadda yadda.

But the people at UCLA aren't concerned with that. They love math for math's sake. And now they've discovered a 13-million digit prime number.

Edge of your seat, right?

"We're delighted," said UCLA's Edson Smith, the leader of the effort. "Now we're looking for the next one, despite the odds."
Keep going, math guys! Don't let the naysayers stop you!

On the upside, there is a $100,000 prize at stake. I'd like to be eligible for that.

I'd also like to josh the mathematicians a little more about the fruitfulness (or lack thereof) of this enterprise. Really? A big prime number? Is that what you guys have been up to for so long? But then, I'm also getting a degree in words, which I plan to get paid nothing for, so maybe I shouldn't talk. Especially when other writers are crafting articles with headlines such as:

UCLA group discovers humungous prime number

Right. Thanks guys, for working hard on that one.

Friday, September 26, 2008

That's How I Like My Savior

Christian Bale has been acting since he was a kid. He was in Newsies. He's got a lot of roles under his belt. But one I didn't know was Jesus.

I saw the commercial for Mary, Mother of Jesus and had a double take. "Is that...wait...is that Batman?"

I never realized how much Christian Bale actually does look like those old paintings of Jesus, the kind my grandparents had in their house. So while I initially thought this was a weird casting choice, now I get it. Plus, I think Christian Bale as Lord would convert a lot of people. ("My savior is BATMAN. Yeah!")

Three things that I think are neat

... but didn't have time to blog about in the past two weeks of "holy crap I do too much work" life.

1. This dude has a good idea. Oh yeah oh yeah, there's no way it's doable, and I'm sure I've got at least a couple friends with a more intimate knowledge of how the economy works that could debunk it for one reason or another, but really, it really just seems like a good idea to me. Heck, I'd even say cut the money in half and put it into early childhood education programs. I'd still be happy. But that's just me.

2. This toliet is insanely awesome. I have to be honest though, despite it's awesomeness, I'm a little skeptical on whether or not it's a good idea. Or practical. But practicality is out the door when you're talking about pet fish anyway.

3. And of course this logo too, which to me is representative of both the idiocy of Barracuda's pathetic interview with Katie Couric (did you SEE how bad she was?) and what I think was the pansy move on Walnut's part to try to drop out of the debate because he's frightened. Although I'll give him credit, this has at least lowered expectations on his end.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Back to Work

The Office season premiere was tonight, and the fine folks at Dunder-Mifflin are in top form. While I felt like the last season didn't quite hit its stride (perhaps because of the wonkiness caused by the writers' strike), I think this is going to be a good one. I won't go into too much detail, since you should watch it for yourself, but here were some highlights for me:

  • Michael acting more like Michael: Last season he was too mean, too crazy, not loveable enough. He didn't have a lot of opportunity in this episode to be really out there, but I like that he's not annoying me.
  • Holly: I was so sad when Toby left, but I like what Holly brings to the mix. I used to think Jan was the one for Michael; now I think it's Holly. (The rap!)
  • Pam in the Big City: I think it's a bold move to take Pam out of the office, but it seems right for her at this time. And I'm curious to see how she and Jim deal with their long distance relationship.
  • On that note, Pam and Jim: Too cute!
  • Ryan: So glass they brought him back--it's karma and I love it. Can't wait for the Jim/Ryan, Kelly/Ryan drama to unfold.
  • The Love Triangle: I never thought I'd say this, but I feel kind of bad for Andy. He is actually into this wedding. But Dwight and Angela are meant to be--those freaky, freaky people.
Your thoughts about the premiere? Expectations for the season?

Poetry With a Sense of Humor

Billy Collins is one of the best poets live. While I really like his poetry in books, I love how he reads them. He really connects with his audience. About one poem, he mentioned having read a book about how to write a novel:

"There were lists of do's* and don'ts on facing pages. One of the do's* was 'Do make sure your dialogue matches the accompanying verb.' Some examples of failure to do this were, 'Help me! I'm drowning!' she suggested. Or 'Fuck you!' he explained."

Oh Billy.

He also read one of my new favorites, Hippos on Holiday. I'd heard him read this at AWP this year and really hoped it would be in his new collection, Ballistics. A little bit of it here:

Hippos on Holiday

is not really the title of a movie
but if it was, I would be sure to see it.
I love their short legs and big heads...
Only a mean-spirited reviewer
would ask on holiday from what?

But It's a Sin!

What would Atticus say?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Practice Your Malevolent Cackle

Villains. We secretly love them. Actors always say they love to play them. On Halloween, kids dress up like witches and devils and the Scream killer. They feed our dark, visceral side: wouldn't you love to do exactly what you want to do whenever you want to do it? Wouldn't you want the glory? Sure, heroes are great and all, but they don't have a good cackle.

Because lists are awesome, here's a list of the Top 50 Literary Villains. (You knew it had to involve books because it's me posting.)

Some favorites:

"45 The White Witch from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis

Beautiful, proud, cruel and with an excellent line in confectionery, though since it's always winter and never Christmas, you won't get any in your selection box. At her house, all towers and statuary, she comes to an end as sticky as her Turkish delight."
Aslan saves the day and all, but the White Witch is so fascinating.

"39 Moby-Dick from Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Captain Ahab's nemesis sends him round the bend for having the cheek to escape harpooning and its blubber ripped out with hooks. "The White Whale swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them." Or perhaps it's only a whale."
Sea creatures will kick your ass.

"35 Mrs Coulter from the His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman

The beautiful, elegant, widowed Mrs Coulter is chief "Gobbler" in Philip Pullman's fantasy trilogy for kids, but she isn't nearly as friendly as she sounds. She wants to amputate children's souls - or "daemons" - in the name of the Magisterium. She eventually sees the error of her ways, but - let's face it - she's no Mary Poppins."
Beyond the creepiness, what I love most about Mrs. Coulter is that Pullman constantly keeps you guessing about where you stand with her. Should you feel empathy for her? Is she a cold-hearted bitch? What's her angle?

"18 Mrs Danvers from Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again" begins du Maurier's ingenuous narrator, but Mrs Danvers, the housekeeper who torments the young woman and almost persuades her to commit suicide, is more likely from a nightmare. In the end it all ends up happily enough after she is burned to a crisp. Or is she?"
Judith Anderson in the movie is CRA-ZY.

"4 Iago from Othello, by William Shakespeare

Othello's "honest, honest" subordinate, quietly intent on the destruction of his boss's world for reasons whose slightness has nettled critics ever since. Coleridge's formulation "the motive-hunting of motiveless malignity" seems the best answer: behind the smiles and jokes, Iago's mind is pure seething white noise."
I like to think that, somewhere way deep down, Iago has a motive for being a complete life-ruiner. But at the end, when everyone's dead, he doesn't even say anything--the deed is satisfaction enough for him.

And some I didn't agree with:

"3 Cruella de Vil from The Hundred and One Dalmatians, by Dodie Smith

Recognising the perfect business synergies between her likes (pepper, hot things, fur coats and having one side of her hair white, the other black) and dislikes (animals), Cruella sets about turning the one into the other. To some she is a perefectly self-actualised human, to others a monster; it depends on what you think of dogs."
Puppy killers suck, for sure, but is she more evil than Iago?

"8 Claudius from Hamlet, by William Shakespeare

Hamlet is sure who the villainliest villain is. "Bloody, bawdy villain!" he exclaims, and just to remove any doubt: "Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!" Yes, it's Claudius, the effects of whose villainy we observe on Hamlet."
Claudius is not my favorite Shakespearean villain. He seems more like a bad person who got in over his head than an evil mastermind. Now Richard III, he's a villain.

"24 Don Juan in (among others) El Burlador de Sevilla, by Tirso di Molina

One of literature's favourite subjects, Don Juan - libertine, serial seducer, murderer - turns up time and again, but the one thing we all agree on is that he ends up - rightly - in hell. Byron cast him as an innocent, but that was Byron."
Being a sexfiend doesn't make you worse than Cthulhu. (But it's a good excuse to post a picture of Johnny Depp, right?)

Who are your favorites?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Genius Faces

The 2008 MacArthur Fellows were announced today, which means excitement and lots of money ($500,000 no strings attached) for 25 people for the next five years. Some of the recipients include:

Chimamanda Adichie:
Columbia, MD
Age: 31
Fiction writer

Alexei Kitaev:
Pasadena, CA
Age: 45
Physicist/Computer Scientist

Diane Meier
New York, NY
Age: 56

Miguel Zenon
New York, NY
Age: 31

I wonder what Miguel and Diane have to talk about.

Apparently you can't apply. There's this secret team of genius-finders that sifts through the garbage of minds until they find a diamond.

Good luck to all the new MacArthurs. Keep me in mind next time, guys.

Because Sometimes TV Writers Also Read Books

I never thought I'd get into LOST. (Why do I need to spell it in all caps? I don't say THE OFFICE. But the show is so intense that it works.) When I first saw the commercials, I thought, "Great, it's about people on an island. I saw Swiss Family Robinson when I was three. Been there, marooned that." But after seeing just the first episode, I was hooked. My boyfriend and I tore through the first couple of seasons on DVD, then had to wait for season 3 to come out, then had to wait until we could visit each other to catch up online. (We're the kind of people the networks must hate.) Usually I'm okay with spoilers, but I will freak out if people start talking about LOST and I haven't caught up yet. The plot is so amazing, the characters are so intriguing--it's Harry Potter for television.

And now it's like the LOST team knows I'm out there, addicted.

(Where is it?!!! It's lost!...sorry.)

The ABC website has a whole catalogue of books that have been referenced on the show, whether through theme/episode title or simply because secret bookworm Sawyer was seen reading a copy. 

For example, The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. In LOST, the Dharma Orientation film is hidden behind this book in the Swan Station. In Season 3, Sawyer reads Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Lord of the Flies parallels are pretty obvious, but the website notes that Sawyer actually references the book in Season 1. (I would add to that the use of wild boar and two pilots in trees.)

Now I want to go through this list, rewatch episodes and make my own connections. Nerd alert! But I like to think that the LOST writers are just as nerdy for referencing all these books in the first place.


Because it's been a while since we ragged on our favorite moose hunter...

and even more...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney win for John Adams!

John Adams wins!

An Emmy, that is.

This miniseries is a fantastic look at the founding of the United States of America, and particularly moving at a time when people are questioning what government means and what ordinary people can do. No matter where in the political spectrum your beliefs lay, it's a fascinating portrait of the people who developed really unique form of government that we're still trying to figure out today.

(Plus, it has Thomas Jefferson in it, and Ladyfaces are particularly partial to Mr. Jefferson.)

Just One Awesome Moment of the Weekend

My boyfriend and I went to see the Swell Season--Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from the movie Once--and it was fantastic. Neither of us are huge concert-goers (mostly due to the prices and the lack of motivation) so we almost missed out on this one, but we both agreed it was possibly our favorite concert ever. The age/personality range of the audience was huge--hipsters, preppy college kids, middle-aged couples, groups of elderly old ladies, etc. And everyone was really friendly and cool.

Obviously, the band itself rocked. Their songs are just so lovely and genuine, and it was exciting to hear stuff from Once as well as new stuff. Plus they just seemed so happy to be there, playing and singing and doing what they love to do.

One of the best moments came in the middle of the show, when Glen Hansard was on stage. He mentioned having seen a busker outside the arena, which he thought was great. (For those who haven't seen Once, it's about a street musician in Dublin who meets a pianist, who helps him put together a CD--plus adorable romantic tension.)

Then Glen said, "He said he was coming to the show tonight...so is Steven here?"

Steven stood up and waved.

"Come on up and play a song," Glen said.

Steven's brain = EXPLODING. He went up on stage and got to play Glen's guitar and was also really good. He was humble and funny and just a good musician. It must have totally made his life, to go from playing outside the arena to playing for all of us inside, on stage in the bright lights, and getting huge applause afterward. And that's what the Swell Season loves--they've had their ups and downs professionally, and they're just so happy they're at a point where they can do what they love and share it with other people. Even though it was a big arena, they totally got this vibe across.

The Swell Season is touring around the country and the world. Go see them!

Update: Check out Steven Bacon's website, with Swell Season Story!

Books You Should Pick Up

1) Spyology by Spencer Blake
I got to see him read a little of this, and it's awesome. It's a departure from the style of some other 'Ology books because it isn't mystical or historical--it's kind of noir and has a mystery story built in. Really fun, and it's my on Christmas list for little cousins. (Plus one for myself.) It's not out yet, but get ready for the end of October.

2) Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman
If you haven't read the His Dark Materials series, do that immediately. If you have, get Once Upon a Time in the North. Who doesn't want to read about the adventures of Lee Scoresby, Texan aeronaut, in a small Artic town riddled with political intrigue and polar bears? Lee was a bright shining star in His Dark Materials (an amazing series overall) and it was fantastic to see a little more about his past. (Reading through Once Upon a Time in the North, I realized that young Lee is like Mal from Firefly with a mustache and a rabbit.) Plus, you also get Hester, possibly my favorite daemon, and Iorek, everyone's favorite armored bear. And it comes with a board game! Yes, you too can be an artic aeronaut! I liked this one better than Lyra's Oxford, Pullman's other prequel. This one is out so pick it up!

(The photo is from the movie, which isn't great, but I do like Lee's picture here.)

3) Demons in the Spring by Joe Meno
Granted, I've only read (heard) the first story in this collection, but Joe Meno delivers. He has such empathy for his characters, and even with all the quirkiness, they feel so real. In a world where Dave Eggers and Jonathan Safran Foer are so well known, I think Meno deserves a little more fame. He just gets people, and he's very sensitive to them while also delivering a message of hope. The world is weird and hard, but it'll be okay.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Out of the Amazon

I love browsing on Amazon.com. But it might just have some competition.

Check out Untitled Books, "a young, hip, discerning new literary service and online bookshop that combines an authoritative selection of book recommendations, with continually updated, exclusive editorial content." From the sense I get, it's kind of a bookblog/bookstore/site o' fun. I especially like the wheel of "what you'll be reading next." It's kind of like Amazon.com's "recommended for you" except with a fun game aspect.

(Thanks to bookshelves of doom for this one!)


There's a lot to worry about these days--the economy, the election, whether or not Miley Cyrus will end up like Britney Spears, etc. But there's something that never fails to make my day. It keeps me going when I'm down, it makes me smile when there's nothing to smile about.

It's The Daily Puppy.

This should be a real newspaper. I would totally subscribe. Fortunately, it's free! People post pictures of their adorable (and some not so adorable) puppies for your viewing joy. So what if we're all going to get burned up by the sun due to global warming? We've got puppies!

Best puppy moments:

  • When the puppy has a 'big dog buddy.' It emphasizes the tininess of puppies!
  • Running puppies. They're just so happy!
  • Puppies with funny names. You're even cuter when your name is silly!
  • Puppies asleep with stuffed animals. Funny puppy buddies!
The one downside: it really really really makes me want a puppy, right now. Unfortunately, the current life situation doesn't allow a puppy to join my team. But one day, it'll be puppies as far as the eye can see! Until then, it's Daily Puppy for me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Not So Hot

About the male fetishization of lesbians:

"I actually don't understand why guys think lesbians are hot. It keeps me out of the equation. I think about it like this: you're on a desert island and you're starving, and you're crawling on the sand when you see this glass case, and inside this glass case are two hamburgers eating each other. And while they're enjoying each other, you will never have those hamburgers."--
one of my coworkers.

Best metaphor ever.

Keep Kosher

Writer David Foster Wallace died last week of an apparent suicide. Although his style of writing isn't generally up my alley, I really enjoyed this article of his for gourmet magazine, about the Maine Lobster Festival. Growing up in New England, we would occasionally actually cook lobster at home. Generally, I think I would have enjoyed a little more on the pro-lobsterfest side, but it's hard to argue with the facts he presents. Although I don't think I'm going to give up on the seafoody deliciousness, I was interested to learn more about this sea creature. (It's not just a pile of armor and legs.)

(Wallace could have used a little more armor. Or a little more Annie Hall)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

GTG On Train

There are some times when you should be texting. You might want to avoid it when you're:

  • a bridesmaid/usher at your sister's wedding
  • performing surgery
  • swimming in a lightning storm
  • playing polo
  • feeding your rare Siberian tigers
  • driving
  • driving a train
Uh huh. A train collision killed 25 people and injured 138--"the deadliest rail disaster in the U.S. in 15 years." And now there's a board reviewing whether or not this happened because the engineer was texting.

I wonder what the message was.

Better Than the Patch

Clarion University has banned smoking from campus.

Not just outside buildings, but all of campus. As a non-smoker, I'm all about this--I hate having to walk behind a smoker and ultimately getting smoke in my face. (Usually I speed up and dodge around them, and send heinous vibes their way as I pass.) But I can see how that would be frustrating to smokers, who usually just have to be a few feet away from a building. Still, some of the reactions seem a little extreme:

"Jon DiSalvo, 23...said smoking is his addiction, he loves it and those who don't like what he exhales can step a couple of feet back. 'The walkway is five feet. I'm maybe a foot and a half wide,' he said. 'There's three other feet they could be walking on.'"

Yeah, because smoke stays in a one-foot zone around you. What a charmer.

Also, smoking is bad for your health and potentially costs thousands of dollars a year and makes you smell like a grandparent. Take this as incentive to quit, Jon.

Dante Dies!

A (not so subtle) plug for an awesome theater group out in Chicago. Here's a belated review from their show last summer. Some awesome quotes:

"Not too surprised then that a stage adaptation by a young writer, performer and company was this summer's darling among the younger, hipper theater patrons."

I am so hip, I saw it three times!

And I Can See Alaska From My House!

Last weekend, Tina Fey made a special appearance on SNL to be the Sarah Palin, to Amy Poehler's Clinton. These women rock.

(Apparently hulu won't let me post it here. Go to the link!)
I love that neither of them has to be the "straight man" while the other gets to be the comic. They play off each other so well, and balance things out so both get the chance to be hysterical.

Best part of the elections so far.

Pitchfork TV + Girl Talk = too many thoughts

I genuinely don't know where to start with this video. Maybe it's how exhausted I am (another one of those rough work weeks) or maybe it's just the near dozens of levels on which this video confounds, amuses, and disgusts me. Some of the shooting is good but some not so much. Maybe it's the whole hijacking the Coney Island vibe while it's about to be squashed. Maybe it's swimming in his boxers. Maybe it's the frighteningly pale skin (blindness!). OR maybe I'm just pissed because I wish they could have done this with one strung together song instead of going from bit to bit.

Ultimately I'm left with the bitter taste in my mouth of "this could have been better." That's immediately followed by, "Is it pitchfork that has become too predictable and mediocre or have I finally become some weird sort of post-hipster elitist asshole?" You tell me.

I mean it. Tell me because I'm not capable of figuring that out for myself right now. (Comment time!)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Because why can't babies walk!?!

I spent a good part of my afternoon shuffling around soho with a friend while we tried to find a suitable present for her soon-to-be one year old niece. Somehow rainboots became the goal. But as we perused the raingear options for babies, it became clear that there were important issues to consider. The first was that this particular one year old was barely even crawling. I knew from my days babysitting in college that one year olds should at least hard core crawlers, if not on the verge of walking. We considered buying rainboots a size up, but lacking any concrete sense of when this young baby would sprout up and make the all too important biped leap, my friend decided to hold off on any rainboot purchases -- footwear for infants may be appropriate, but rainboots beg for puddles to splash in.

This afternoon venture made me all too sympathetic to Sophie's plight, which I'm sure you'll appreciate too...

A Superhero for History

Introducing a new feature, Ladyfaces' Crush o' the Week! A collection of our favorite ladies and gents, the hottest and the hippest, the people we'd like to invite over for a cupcake-and-whiskey tea party.

First ever crush is...

Sarah Vowell!

This summer I started branching out into nonfiction and read Assassination Vacation, Vowell's exploration of assassinated presidents (specifically McKinley, Lincoln, and Garfield). Sure, that could be interesting anyway--I love violence and scandal--but I love most was that Vowell embraced her inner geek and shared all the awesome stories she'd collected and loved. She's not afraid to be a history nerd, and to be funny and morbic and weird. Who wouldn't love this smart, fiesty, wacky woman?

In case you needs more reasons to fall in love, here are a few:

1) She has the eyelash of abolishionist guerilla warrior John Brown. Not only that, but it was a gift:

"I looked away from my computer and over at a frame on my wall and wrote Jack back that my twin sister Amy had given me a teensy eyelash-size hair of John Brown as a Christmas present. She settled on the more affordable tresses of the abolitionist guerrilla warrior Brown because Lincoln's hair was out of her price range. That is the kind of person I have become, the kind of person who rips open a package in snowman wrapping paper to discover that her only sibling has bought her an executed slavery hater's hair. (I got her a DVD player.)"--Assassination Vacation.

2) She was thanked in the acknowledgements of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. (I'm not a huge Eggers fan but he does have good taste in friends.)

3) She's a frequent contributor to This American Life. It's where all the funny people go.

4) She voiced Violet in The Incredibles. I would kill a nun to be in a Pixar movie. Also, check out her "behind the scenes" video, in which you can see the eyelash!

5) Conan O'Brien and Jon Stewart did voices for the audiobook of Assassination Vacation. (Can we all be friends and go on roadtrips to weird locations? Please?)

6) She has cool hair.
"How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
I cut my own hair. Not to save money but because I never know what to talk about with the hairdresser. The last time I tried it again it was like an hour of hearing about rollerblading routes."

7) She understands that sometimes kids like morbid things, too:
"A few days after my sister Amy got home from Oneidato-Canton, Garfield-McKinley dream vacation I roped her and my nephew Owen into, she phoned me, saying, "I asked Owen what he wanted to do today and he said, 'Go look at stones with Aunt Sarah.' Do you know what he's talking about? What these stones are?"
I do. "He means tombstones," I told her. "When you were off parking the car at the cemetary in Cleveland, Owen and I walked around looking for John Hay's grave. Owen climbed on top of it and hollered, 'This is a nice Halloween park!'"--Assassination Vacation

8) She knows the value of a good cab. And books.

9) She's on librarything.

10) "I was a big Nancy Drew reader. Nancy figures it out. Case closed." She's kind of a Nancy Drew for American history!

I like to think of Sarah Vowell as that girl I would have been friends with (or wanted to be friends with) in high school--fiercely smart, off-beat, and hilarious. I bet kids didn't get her in high school, and we all know the "loser" kids in 9th grade end up ruling the world.

Much love to Sarah Vowell!

LHC Follow Up

A colleague of mine recently said this when we were discussing the potential of the LHC creating a black hole and ending existence as we know it.

"It wouldn't be that bad of a way to go. Quick and painless. It's better than we deserve for what we've done to this planet."

Make sure you keep yourself up to date on whether or not this has happened.

Friday, September 12, 2008


This video is by no means superbly made, but I've had the song stuck in my head all day (which is actually a good thing because work's got this puppy a tad bit stressed and this tune always helps chill me out). Heck, I like it enough that I might have just linked to a blank youtube video with the song on it, but the HP clips only enhance it. Because who* doesn't like Remus Lupin?

* assuming you're a geek like the ladies of ladyfaces.

And the tree was happy...

I'm so glad someone else feels the same way I do about The Giving Tree.

There were two books that bothered me as a kid--The Cat in the Hat and this. (The Cat in the Hat I didn't like because, like a horde of drunken high school students, he messed up a home that wasn't his. Asshat.) In The Giving Tree, the tree gets the short end of the stick. (Hehehe.) This kid takes and takes and takes, and apparently "the tree was happy?" Yeah, so are people in abusive relationships. Sure, the kid really loves you. Get out of that relationship, tree, before it's too late!

Oh wait.

(Thanks to bookshelves of doom for this amazing video.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not to upset all the worry worts out there...

LHC Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment...

(Warning: silly and not necessarily accurate)

Another Hit for the Publishing World

I may actually vomit. Right over her lame-ass "fashion designs."

Hills star Lauren Conrad to pen book series.

And by "pen" they mean "have ghost-written."


What's the Question?

If only...

How Do You Like Them Apples?

Usually I don't like when celebrities enter the election spotlight, but Matt Damon sounds like a real person:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy Hedgehog!

A little ugly, all cute.

I Want to Be a Mythbuster

Fun with Science!

"It's like a pentagram of happiness"

We should all vlog like Sarah Palin.

and someday... we will...

Does This Make Her a Patriot?


"Tonight, Sarah Palin will be nominated as the Republican Party's choice for vice president of the United States.

But back home, she has cheered the work of a tiny party that long has pushed for a statewide vote on whether Alaska should secede from those same United States. And her husband, Todd, was a member of the party for seven years."

How can she potentially lead a country that she wanted to seperate from? Although maybe she initially thought it would be easier to rule Alaska if she got it away from the US. And it's big enough to be impressve!

Maybe as a birthday present?

This week New Yorkers have been mourning the death of the Coney Island that was. Although the coaster and ferris wheel are safe, everyone's beloved Astroland has run out its lease and is moving out of town. It's such a big deal that even Bloomberg is jumping into the mix and trying to save the place. But I'm suddenly hoping he's unsuccessful, because then someone can buy me Dante's Inferno...

Come on. Pretty please?!?

How Much is the Giant White Out?

While advertising is all around us, it's also really easy to ignore. Sometimes you run across a commercial that grabs your attention (the Snickers "I'm Batman, anyone?), but mostly they all seem the same, year after year. But sometimes advertisers do a little something extra.

Some favorites:


(I assume that's a car they bought and painted over. But even if it's not, how are you gonna argue? The Bride has some serious issues and can kick your ass.)

(It wouldn't be nearly as good if it were just plopped on the sidewalk somewhere.)

(Someone with my sick sense of humor made this one.)

(Kind of creepy, but it's also a hug from words!)