Friday, October 30, 2009

Off to the library. Will act aloof to any comments about my appearance.

update. a guy circled me for 5 minutes, and then asked what happened to my mouth. I blew it and told him that it was a costume. Next time, I should look concerned, then taste my (fake, "mint-flavored) blood and smile at him.

I feel like the glasses help to make it look more authentic. I should also startle easily.

There's like a 70% chance I'm not going to get dressed up tomorrow. But I enjoy this.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


From my National Geographic picture of the day: Ultraviolet Bath, Russia

Eisenhower inspects the goods
No good picture for the morning, because it's still dark and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to fall back asleep in a few minutes.

So I propose to you: What sounds better, a tofu chair or a Tetris chair?

At first I thought the latter, because it looks so damned comfortable, but wouldn't you hate having a chair that you would always have to point out to new people that it's a chair? Besides, I'll sit in anything tetris.

back to bed.

"O walls, you have held up so much tedious graffiti that I am amazed that you have not already collapsed in ruin"

I've been reading some of the graffiti found on the walls at Pompeii. There's some pretty crude stuff to be found there (thought I did enjoy "'Secundus defecated here' three time on one wall"), as well as sweet sentiments and weird inanities. I wonder if anyone thought to bring this up during Koch's major anti-graffiti campaigns in the early 80s. Judging by the article I linked there, it might not have done any good.

Anyway, a nice little read to start your morning.
Apologies for the delay since my last post, school has been mercilessly kicking my ass (I cannot understate this, especially considering yesterday). I'll get back on some sort of posting schedule soon, I promise. After al, time is running out before I hit my big 1,000th post spectacular, right?

Anyway, here's a pic I snapped at 5 this morning. I don't know what made me think of doing this (certainly not the screen in the way of the shot), but it was a peaceful scene after what an intensely long and shitty day. Maybe I'll take another one when I get up at 4 tomorrow morning (today?) to register for my next semester's classes. Maybe I should just turn this blog into a series of photographs I take without leaving the apartment. They'd all be of the cat and the mountains.

To answer your question, yes, that is a ferris wheel. It does not work, and is actually not even a whole ferris wheel.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Was Captain Lou Albano really most famous for being in a Cyndi Lauper video? I can't help but think of that Super Mario show. Oh, and the two decades of pro wrestling.

anyway, Carrie and I were talking about him like 3 days ago, for some reason that escapes me now.
Also, Philadelphia Will Do had one of the best/and most infuriating sports posts ever the other day.

Hey, you wanna watch this Spider Woman motion comic, but don't want to spend $10 on iTunes like I did? The good news is you don't have to. It's upon Hulu now (all but the last part, which I expact will be up in a week). I still don't know how I feel about the final result, I will probably prefer the print version in the end, but it still is an interesting foray into a new medium. Alex Maleev's art looked better in the book, but it still looks great here. What are you complaining about, it's free.

BTW I broke down and have a twitter account. It is a source of great shame, but at least now I can pay attention to the Best Show feuds. My favorite person to follow so far? Tie between Jon Wurster and Roger Ebert.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

and God giveth us rain

We finally got the rain I've been whining about missing for the past 6 months. It's a nice cloudy day and even though I'm stuck in a library, I'm determined to make the most of it, even circling the block a few times before entering to get to work.

It's a nice cool day, and I'm listening to the latest album from Richard Hawley, which has never sounded more sincere and beautiful.
So, a devout Christian goes to a Phillies game (apparently time traveling there from 1961), and here' what happens. 

The comments, though cruel, are pretty hilarious.

Watching The Friends of Eddie Coyle's Criterion edition, which I didn't even know was released back in May. It's been ages since I've seen this movie, and even longer since I read the book in college. This was released in 1973, not long before The Rockford Files started, and as I mentioned the other day, this feels like the last great era for really good crime stories that don't involve electronic surveillance, DNA tests, etc... There's a reason why Criminal (which is back, and still the best noir/crime stories being told today) is so ambiguous with the period in which it's set.

  Anyway, go see this movie. It's a great story, with Robert Mitchum simultaneously at his booziest and most judicious. Peter Boyle (who remains one of the most puzzling actors ever) meeting him step for step the entire time, and Steven Keats as the young punk gunrunner... it's really a classic crime movie, without any of the flash and pomp that seem to go with these stories a lot of the time.

So yeah, go rent that. 

Okay, I really, really need to get back to my paper.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Watching The Long Goodbye and just made 2 stunning realizations: A) Henry Gibson just died and B) he was from Germantown. Huh.

Is this not the most adorable beer of all time?

(hint: it isn't)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

So, I've got this real bad habit of getting wrapped up in some album or TV Series or film, and then writing the better part of a post and shelving it. It's not that my interest in these things wanes, or that I move on to other stuff before I get a chance to finish. More often than not I just can't finish or won't. I've got half-finished, long-winded posts about The Sandbaggers, Underbelly, Eye of the Needle, Friends of Eddie Coyle, three character analyses from The West Wing, and a couple others. A personal favorite is my lengthy rant on why I'm pretty sure that Guy Ritchie has never read a Sherlock Holmes story, but I'm waiting for the film on that one.
Anyway, a lot of the time it's because I'm sure these are points you might have felt, or stories you don't feel like revisiting, or that my own take on it isn't all that astute. Right now, one of the 6-7 books on my coffee table is a book of George Orwell's essays, which are both comforting and embarrassing to read, when I consider the crap dredge that gets thrown up on this thing. Because while I don't post a lot of things out of fear of appearing a self-important literary windbag, George Orwell manages to write these things in such an approachable, hospitable way that it leaves me dumbstruck.
But this is neither here nor there. Because I'm not writing about anything today that's critically adored or obscure. I'm not even writing about something that's all that unpopular. I'm referring, of course, to The Rockford Files, which aired on NBC from 1974-80. It's a show I never really watched as a kid, probably because it was off the air when I was 2, and unlike Columbo, I don't remember all that many reruns peppering the airways.
Jim Rockford fits some of the noir-ish standards for a detective. He's almost always at odds with the cops, he has a shady past (including a stint in prison as an innocent man), and he's got a real smart mouth that gets him into trouble. He's poor, and his home is a dilapidated trailer outside of LA on the Pacific Coast highway. Oh, and he seems to end up banging half of his female clientele.
He's still not quite noir, though. He generally avoids a fight, and almost never carries a gun (he keeps it in his coffee pot to avoid rust form the salt air!). He's a lot more genuine in his concern for clients than Marlowe ever would've been, and he often will end up working for free or at a reduced rate if he has to. Oh, and his dad is around all the time. I really like this last part, because his dad is a cheap old drunk who wants him to get out of the private eye racket. Oh, and unlike a lot of the old stories, Rockford isn't wearing a fedora and trenchcoat. If anything, he dresses cheap and garishly, which is to say, normal for the Seventies.
So why do I like this stuff? Why is it that after a decade of reading detective fiction and watching all those old black and whites that I find myself enamored with this program? A couple things. One is James Garner. There's just something about him that you want to root for. Ever since I was a kid and saw him as Hendley the scrounger in The Great Escape, I've enjoyed that guy. I remember going through a Maverick phase at some point, too. There's also the time period. One of the reasons that the seventies work so well for crime/detective stories, is because it's the last really good time frame for this type of story. I guess the Eighties might work as well, but something about that decade I find hard to take seriously. Maybe it would have to be all about drugs, or funny hairstyles.
But anyone my age or younger will view this show as impossible. There's no way that someone could get away with some of the things that go on here. Part of it is technology, part of it is people wising up to giving personal information out, etc... To write a good detective story set in the last ten years is to write... I dunno, to write like Ed Burns and David Simon.
The bottom line is that I'm amazed how much I enjoy a network TV show that's older than I am and isn't hosted by Rod Serling. It's a testament to our pop culture. But the best part is that you can go watch this for free right now. There are at least 3 seasons up on Hulu, and the entire run of the series is up on Netflix. So go check it out if you're bored one night and watching some shitty celebrity dance show. Seriously, you can do better than that. If you don't watch TV, hey, more power to you. But I know most of you do, and watch some pretty appalling stuff. Just my 2 cents. This show has car chases! Non-Italian mob bosses! Pretty ladies! Awesome celebrity cameos (so far, Abe Vigoda, a young James Woods, Bill Mumy, Strother Martin, Ned Beatty, Lindsay Wagner, etc...), oh and one of the best theme songs EVER.

if you haven't seen it yet, go watch an episode. It's been making my week.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

When I first moved to CA, I used to laugh at everyone that would be wearing sweaters and the like when it was like 70 degrees out. It just seemed so unnecessary. But here I am, in the same weather, putting on a hoodie. I sort of caught myself doing it, and then realized that I wasn't even cold, it was just cool enough justify putting sleeves on. It's been an absurdly long summer (since late April or so?), and one without a single drop of rain. As someone who hates wearing shorts, I haven't had much wiggle room as far as clothing selection, especially with a wardrobe far more suited to the East coast. Maybe it's the fact that I've had this brand new Sixers hoodie that I got super cheap just waiting in my closet to be worn. Of course, I prefer the cold weather. I'd much rather want to throw on an extra layer than want to remove a layer of my own skin. So maybe it makes sense that in some weird way I'm hoping to usher in the cold(er) weather by dressing the part for it. Of course, I won't be so lucky. It's supposed to be back up in the mid-80s by next week, and nary a drop in the forecast. I think that drop would be the most revitalizing piece of precipitation that ever fell to the ground like manna from the heavens.

Maybe it'll show up by Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

It's kinda sad that between the opening of the Phillies' playoff series and the opening of the Sixers' preseason, I'm more excited about the latter. Right?

Especially when one is the reigning champs and the other might well struggle to get into the playoffs at all. Either way...

Friday, October 02, 2009

Excuse the grainy/blurry photos, which I surprisingly did not take with my cell phone.  The demo derby was a lot of fun, as was the crowd watching there. It's hard to say you've lived if you've never seen a grown man scream at the top of his lungs "behind you!" to a guy in a running car, 250 yards away, and in the middle of the loudest field on earth.

I have to say that I still don't understand the scoring and tactics of the game, but I suspect that very few in attendance did. I did pick the winner of the second round, though. The girl in the pink car (below), who managed to get through the thing with barely a scratch on her car. Good for her.

I've got a whole bunch of photos I need to go through, and I might put some more up later, but right now I'm scrambling to make up for lost time with school work. I also got some more fair pics I wanna post after the weekend, including pics of my adopted goat. His name is Hefe.