Friday, February 29, 2008

February 29th is a stupid day.

I still stand by my contention that February sucks balls. I'm not stepping down here, because I've had a miserable month. And you know what? Everyone I talk to will say in response, "February is the WORST!" See? It's true! It's cold and miserable (and Chicago has, of course, had the third-worst winter in its history) and everything seems to go to shit right on top of each other. A brief list of the awesome, bitchin' things that happened in the past twenty eight days include dealing with my father's cancer, realizing that insurance companies are SHIT even when you have insurance, figuring out my life after coming out to my parents through email (which, thank GOD, we still have not talked about, which is fine with me because, ew, I don't want to talk about my personal life with them like I do with strangers via my blog), having a reality-TV style blow up with an ex in a bar (said Erin: "At least you got to call someone 'a fucking cunt' and it wasn't just a joke. I've never done that!"), trying to manage my work-related stress, getting over rejection, and overloading on Christina's hilarity, which she's been unloading on me in efforts to cheer me up.

Also, I've been incredibly unproductive, despite having an extrememly prolific month of blogging here. But really, that's not something to write home about. I'm supposed to write a post for This Recording about how I didn't hate Juno and don't hate Diablo Cody, so expect a link to that missive of sheer brilliance soon. And because we have a rush of out-of-town visitors coming in March (Carissa next weekend, and Erin, Martha, and Christina's sister Carolyn the weekend after that), I'm going to clean the shit out of our apartment this weekend, which will include finally unpacking from my trip home at Christmas. Yes, I have had a suitcase sitting on my floor for the past two months.

I'm am very much looking forward to this weekend, during which I will be most likely taking it easy. I have nine DVDs to watch (the result of my spree last weekend), four movies on Netflix (one that I've had for a month), and three episodes of The Wire. The only social event I have planned for this weekend is a baptism, which is a nice change, actually. We shall have to see how low-key it actually turns out.

Anyway, February will be over in a matter of hours (thanks, you stupid fucking Leap Year, for giving me an extra day of Hell), and I'm sure March is going to be a whole lot smoother.

One nice thing: another published photo!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Essential Viewing: Sid & Nancy

Sid & Nancy is one of those movies that I can watch on repeat a few times in a single day, despite its disturbing nature. It's one of the best biopics ever made, simply because it strays from the typical biographical story arc and instead focuses on the abusive and destructive relationship between Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen.

Gary Oldman completely becomes Sid (as he does with every character he plays), and the underrated Chloe Webb does a hell of a job with her performance as Nancy.

I think the film's biggest accomplishment is that it doesn't glorify these two at all. It's very honest in the way it portrays them as junkies, who lived in squalor and didn't exactly contribute much to the world other than the story of their infamous downfall. At the same time, however, director Alex Cox somehow sets the film in a dreamy, forgotten New York, the one that James Murphy sings about in "New York I Love You." It gives the film a somewhat romantic quality, which is at odds with the depressing subjects.

Also worth noting: Courtney Love has a very bit part in the film as Nancy's friend. Apparently she was desperate for the role of Nancy, but lost the role because she wasn't an experienced actress. More importantly, doesn't she look like the albino from The Princess Bride?

Anyway, if you like movies about junkies who occasionally play music and murder their significant others, you should definitely check out Sid & Nancy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Hump-Day Political Rant

I'm sorry, but I've got something to say.

Ralph Nader did not lose the 2000 election for Al Gore. Al Gore lost it himself by being a bad candidate. Do you remember liking Al Gore in 2000? Because I don't remember liking him very much back then, and, come to think of it, most of the people I knew didn't like him, either. But we supported him because he was a Democrat, and because George H. W. Bush, Jr. seemed like an incompetent idiot.

What I find kind of ironic is that Al Gore tried to distance himself from the blundering President Clinton when he ran for president, who had somMy ehow outstayed his welcome after eight years. Now, as we're all embracing change and saying that Obama represents that stray from politics-as-usual and the dynastic administrations of the the last twenty-seven years, I find it rather hilarious that people are still losing their shit over Al Gore because he made a movie that reiterated everything the same things we'd learned since the '90s but suddenly started to believe because we had that bad hurricane that destroyed the poor, black section of a Southern city that we only care about for one week in winter anyway. (Also, the hurricane wasn't really the cause of all of that destruction; rather, it was most likely the man-made levees that had gone unchecked for several years. But having that argument is like disagreeing over the role that slavery had in the Civil War. I'm not going there.)

My point is that Ralph Nader also represents a departure from politics as usual and, in a perfect world, more people would realize this and vote for him. But because we're so bogged down in tradition, and really only get politically-motivated every four years because we think a few months of debates and sending emails to our friends and family will somehow make everything in our country change for the better, we tend to ignore the fact that everything in this country - from the Hill to how we run our daily lives - is politics as usual.

So yeah. I'm not voting for Nader, but I respect what he's trying to do, and I don't think he should be the scapegoat for the Democratic Party's shortcomings.

An Unreasonable Man

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It would make even more sense to me if I did drugs.

This is probably one of the best sentences I've read in a music review lately: "Of course, [Goldfrapp's] Seventh Tree will surely piss off hard-core disco dollies, but think of it as the chilled-out mellow pothead to Supernature's all-night coke whore." (via Alex Balk)

I have two theories behind my appreciation of the new Goldfrapp album. The first is that I've been going to Berlin too often, and the dancey, disco type of music has ingrained itself into my head so much that I'm actually enjoying electronic music for the first time in my life (see also: Hot Chip, Chromeo, Robyn). Also, John is a big fan of Goldfrapp, and the alarm on his cell phone was "Ride a White Horse," which I will forever associate with me being sleepy and hitting the snooze button.

While Supernatural-era Goldfrapp is fun to dance to when I've had a lot of gin, I'm not a huge fan of listening to it when I'm sitting around sober. Which is why, I think, I love Seventh Tree so much: Alison Goldfrapp has a gorgeous voice, and mixing it with a softer, calmer sound makes perfect sense. It's becoming a nice soundtrack to my general slothful malaise.

Speaking of soundtracks, I recently bought the soundtrack to Margot at the Wedding, which I watched on Saturday. I really loved the movie, much more than I expected considering its mostly dismal reviews. I do adore Noah Baumbach's writing, however, and Margot didn't necessarily have the stinging dialogue of Kicking & Screaming (which I bought over the weekend, as well) or The Squid and the Whale, but it was gorgeous to look at. I do love me some intellectual, dialogue-heavy films about emotionally-detached New Englanders.

The soundtrack is wonderful, featuring a collection of '70s soft folk-rock (I never knew I'd like Gilbert O'Sullivan so much!), as well as some Blondie, X, Dinosaur Jr., and Dean & Britta. I have a feeling these songs will be mix-CD staples for a few months.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Comedy Gold.

My mother emailed me the other day to see if I had either Leap of Faith or Signs on DVD because she wanted to show one of them at a youth group meeting. When I forgot to reply, this happened:

In her defense, I should also share this:


Complaining about the Oscars is the new "I'm moving to Canada."

Hey, you know what, Internet? Stop complaining about the Oscars. First, you bitch about the lack of an Oscars because of the Writer's Strike. Then you whine about how the Oscars will suck. And then you spend four hours watching the Oscars and live-blogging them and then spend several more hours the day after complaining about how they sucked. And - this is slightly unrelated - can I remind you, Internet, that you fucking lost your shit over Juno two months ago, and now the stripper's little screenplay is as annoying as she is?

I hope that we'll eventually mature as a mid- to late-twentysomething set of people who realize that we don't have to keep getting our hopes up five minutes before the opening monologue. The Oscars are the same as they ever were. They've always had pointless montages celebrating fabulous things in the history of cinem. There have always been at least one Broadwayish musical number (one might forget that in the '90s, during Disney's most productive years, there were several Oscar ceremonies featuring multiple songs from single films). Hell, there used to be interpretive dance sequences to the nominated scores, so can't we all just calm the eff down and realize that, okay, interviewing past winners about how they felt to waltz up on stage is actually better than watching movement set to the theme from The Thin Red Line?

Or, you know, you could all get real jobs that didn't involve getting paid to write about shit you watch on TV.

A very brief Oscar wrap-up.

I watched the Oscars last night with Adam, Jackie, and Alissa (who does not have a blog but still is worth mentioning). Here are some thoughts, which had to wait until this morning because of the bottle of red wine I drank last night.

Poor Amy Adams! It was like watching an unpopular girl sing a Mariah Carey song at a high school talent show. I tend to get vicariously embarrassed for people in situations like that. I don't understand why they couldn't get some back-up dancers to do something in the back there. Why the hell wasn't Debbie Allen called in? I mean, we did have to suffer through this:

Oh, look! Robyn showed up!

You can't see them very well in this picture, but Ethan Coen has some terrifying teeth, the kind that, as Adam put it, "could give Frances McDormand a hysterectomy."

Finally, I am so glad that most of America doesn't know who the hell Tilda Swinton is. Otherwise, I'd constantly hear, "You know who you look like to me? Tilda Swinton!"

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Party fouls.

Last night I was at this house party populated mostly by the creative, improv-y types - the kind of party where a freestyle rap battle ensued, and it was actually a lot of fun (despite the pressure to throw out rhymes, which obviously didn't happen: I stood there awkwardly as people beatboxed at me until their beats finally trailed off and everyone felt weird for a good thirty seconds).

My friend Rachel, who was stoned and staring at people playing Street Fighter II for about a half hour, said what was probably the nicest thing anyone has said to me in the past few weeks that wasn't an uncomfortable consoling statement about my father. Some dude, clearly gay (because there were like, three of us there) was standing across the room, and I was doing my best to avoid eye contact because I was not into it. And Rachel caught this, and said, "That guy needs to stop staring at you because he is not cute enough. Like you'd really be interested in someone wearing a Lacoste shirt. Why the hell is he dressed like a European? He needs to cut out the black-on-black and get circumcised."

I left the party early and decided to go to Berlin. It seemed like a great idea at the time, and I even caught the Clark bus which never happens, so I thought it was a good sign. But, of course, Berlin sucked, and I've conceded to the fact that I feel miserable for the entire day after I go there. It kind of represents what I hate about the gays in Chicago: everyone knows each other, and it's like a small town where you can't escape from the people you're trying to avoid. Instead, you'll end up dancing next to all of them. I already got out of one small town, and I'm not going to get trapped in another.

On a side note: I've realized that the best way to get hit-on in bars is to look like you're having a miserable time. Perhaps "best" is the wrong adjective, however, as the people who tend to talk to me when I'm seconds away from throwing beer bottles at everyone around me are the type of guys who think they're going to cheer me up at four in the morning while I wait for thirty minutes in a line to retrieve my coat from coat check. Clearly, your moves are not going to work; by that time, I've already come to my nightly conclusion about the state of humanity.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hey, did you know Diablo Cody used to be a stripper?

Adam alerted me to this video of Jackie Clarke as Diablo Cody, screenwriter of Juno:

Still obsessed with The Wire.

I am five episodes into The Wire's final season. It's kind of heartbreaking, as my favorite bad guys keep dying. This season is also pretty goddamn intense, as they are finishing it up with ten episodes instead of the normal thirteen (perhaps to take on the "make more with less" theme so prevalent in the newspaper storyline). Anyway, it's still amazing, and I'm going to be very sad when it's over.

I think I'll be reading old interviews and stories about the show for the rest of my life. Here's an excerpt great piece from August 2007's issue of The Believer, wherein Nick Hornby interviews creator David Simon:

I pitched The Wire to HBO as the anti–cop show, a rebellion of sorts against all the horseshit police procedurals afflicting American television. I am unalterably opposed to drug prohibition; what began as a war against illicit drugs generations ago has now mutated into a war on the American underclass, and what drugs have not destroyed in our inner cities, the war against them has. I suggested to HBO—which up to that point had produced groundbreaking drama by going where the broadcast networks couldn’t (The Sopranos, Sex and the City, et al…)—that they could further enhance their standing by embracing the ultimate network standard (cop show) and inverting the form. Instead of the usual good guys chasing bad guys framework, questions would be raised about the very labels of good and bad, and, indeed, whether such distinctly moral notions were really the point.

The show would instead be about untethered capitalism run amok, about how power and money actually route themselves in a postmodern American city, and, ultimately, about why we as an urban people are no longer able to solve our problems or heal our wounds. Early in the conception of the drama, Ed Burns and I—as well as the late Bob Colesberry, a consummate filmmaker who served as the directorial producer and created the visual template for The Wire—conceived of a show that would, with each season, slice off another piece of the American city, so that by the end of the run, a simulated Baltimore would stand in for urban America, and the fundamental problems of urbanity would be fully addressed.

First season: the dysfunction of the drug war and the general continuing theme of self-sustaining postmodern institutions devouring the individuals they are supposed to serve or who serve them. Second season: the death of work and the destruction of the American working class in the postindustrial era, for which we added the port of Baltimore. Third season: the political process and the possibility of reform, for which we added the City Hall component. Fourth season: equal opportunity, for which we added the public-education system. The fifth and final season will be about the media and our capacity to recognize and address our own realities, for which we will add the city’s daily newspaper and television components.

(via BG5000)

Oh, yeah, the Oscars are this weekend.

The Oscars used to be, like, the biggest night of my year when I was in high school. In the past few years, my excitement has waned a little, especially since I realized that the Academy honors movies that aren't that great while shutting out the smaller films that, in the long run, will make a bigger impact on film-making and -criticism. BUT this year is exciting, as the crop of films nominated are actually pretty good! And while I didn't see all of the nominated movies (I missed Michael Clayton and have yet to get it from Netflix), I saw enough to write a post about what will win. And we all know that all of my opinions are right.

So! Here are my picks and what I think will win. HERE WE GO:

Best Picture
Like I said, I didn't see Michael Clayton, but I think it's safe to say that it doesn't have much of a chance here. Juno was cute and funny, and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, but I don't particularly think it's Best Picture material. Atonement also exceeded my expectations: not only was it a faithful adaptation of one of my favorite novels, it was absolutely beautiful to watch; however, it only takes the Weepy-Romantic-War-Movie spot in the top five, so I don't think it will win. That leaves There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men. It's almost hard for me to pick, as both blew me away, but I think my favorite was No Country for Old Men, and I think it will take the prize at the end of the night.

Best Director
This one is tough, again because I think it's a toss-up between the Coen Brothers for No Country for Old Men and Paul Thomas Anderson for There Will Be Blood. I think I may have to go with PT on this one, if only because I don't expect the Academy to give the award (for the first time, by the way) to two directors.

Best Actor
I've only seen two of the nominees in this category, those being Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood and Johnny Depp for Sweeney Todd. I think Day-Lewis has this one nailed. And I would like to point out, again, that Johnny Depp and Sweeney Todd suck my balls.

Best Actress
I'm kind of torn when it comes to declaring Marion Cotillard as the winner here for La Vie en Rose. The Academy loves loves loves to reward actors for playing real people (see: Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line, Jamie Foxx for Ray, Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote, Nicole Kidman for The Hours, Cate Blanchett for The Aviator, just to name a few of the recent cases). While Julie Christie is her biggest threat, and delivered a very beautiful, subtle performance in Away From Her. BUT: Marion Cotillard is huge, brash, bold; she disappears and completely transforms into Edith Piaf, who, to many American movie-goers, is basically a fictional character. And it's also exciting to see an actress take home the American award for a foreign-language performance.

Best Supporting Actor
I only saw one of the nominated films in this category (well, one and a third if you consider that I'm forty-five minutes into The Assassination of Jesse James and, sure, Casey Affleck is pretty good). This one is another safe category, like Daniel Day-Lewis, Javier Bardem has this one in the bag. His portrayal of Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men was one of the most memorable of the year, and Bardem deserves all of the accolades he's received this year. It's been a while since a character made me so nervous, and Bardem's quiet, yet incredibly powerful, presence left me shaking after I saw the film (twice!).

Best Supporting Actress
Cate Blanchett will win her second Oscar for her performance as the fictional Bob Dylan in I'm Not There. She was certainly impressive to watch, and as much as I loved the film, I'm happy to see it get some recognition (as it was way too polarizing to get any other nominations). This award, however, is too predictable (see above, when I talk about the Academy's love of caricature and impersonation). I would love to see Amy Ryan pick this one up for Gone Baby Gone; I feel like I was much more affected by her acting ability than I was with Blanchett's. (And, I might add, that it's a shame that Charlotte Gainsbourg has not been appropriately acknowledged for her role in I'm Not There, which was by far my favorite.)

Those are the big ones, and I'm not going to bore you (or myself) by writing about the rest of the categories in detail. I will say that I think Persepolis should win Best Animated Feature, if only to show that the category isn't actually Best Animated Feature That Pixar Released This Year, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wake-up calls

Some people get really nervous when they receive phone calls late at night, as such calls are harbingers of unsettling news. I, on the other hand, fear phone calls before 8:00 AM, especially those from my mother, and especially since my father has cancer. My mother's skewed mindset makes her wait hours to reveal important, serious, and upsetting information until the early morning, when she knows I should be awake and getting ready for work. This is how I found out about my grandmother's death, while she got the call several hours earlier.

Not only do I dread these calls because of what information they relay, I also freak out TEN FOLD because I'm usually still asleep when she calls me.

I have gotten two early-morning calls from her in the past week, but they were not of the bad-news variety. Last week, she called to ask if I knew anyone who went to Northeastern Illinois University, and I had no idea what she was talking about, because it was 7:10 and I had been hitting the snooze button on my alarm for an hour. When I told her no, she replied, "Okay! Just checking! Have a good day!"

This morning it happened again. I had asked her to Tivo the broadcast of Company on Great Performances last night (fag.) since I don't get PBS (seriously!). She called at 7:00 to tell me that she forgot until it was a half-hour into the show, and then she set up the recorder, figuring I'd be fine missing the opening, or something. Then she realized that she recorded the wrong channel. Ha ha ha!! Isn't that funny?! CLICK.

It's one thing for her to save me the emotional burden of waking me up in the middle of the night to give me terrible news, but it's quite another thing to set up some sort of pattern and then, in a weird Boy-Cried-Wolf sort of way, freak the hell out of me at seven in the morning when she's driving to work and wants to think out loud over the phone.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Go to Hell, America.

These are the gay(er), liberal voters we're talking about here, and I'm supposed to trust them when it comes to choosing a president?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stuff White People Like

It seems like the Blogosphere (ew) is all agog about Stuff White People Like, which is an amazing website. I love reading the comments from white people who are offended by it. I think white-people humor is great, like when Jackie Clarke and Jake Fogelnest took suggestions from their radio listeners to figure out the Whitest Song Ever (you know, "the kind of song you'd hear in a mall food court while planning a hate-crime"). The consensus: "Hey Ya."

Anyway, here are some of my favorite posts, which excerpts.

#62: Knowing what's best for poor people
"A great way to make white people feel good is to tell them about situations where poor people changed how they were doing things because they were given the ‘whiter’ option. 'Back in my old town, people used to shop at Wal*Mart and then this non-profit organization came in and set up a special farmers co-op so that we could buy more local produce, and within two weeks the Wal*Mart shut down and we elected our first Democratic representative in 40 years.' White people will first ask which non-profit and are they hiring? After that, they will be filled with euphoria and will invite you to more parties to tell this story to their friends, so that they can feel great."

#57: Juno
"...the film takes place in a fictional suburban town in Minnesota, but imagine the same storyline in say West Baltimore or Socorro, TX. My guess is that there would be less qurkiness, less acoustic guitar and zero references to Dario Argento."

#45: Asian Fusion Food
"Fusion restaurants offer a mix of all Asian foods (except Indian, but most don’t know that India is part of Asia) in an atmosphere that resembles a cocktail lounge in the West Village as opposed to Hong Kong. Basically you can eat exotic, in comfortable surroundings. Many are not shy to admit that the food is subpar and overpriced, but they still line up for hours to get in because they love the decor and the mix drinks."

#44: Public Radio
"White people love staions like NPR (which is equivalent to listening to cardboard), and they love shows like This American Life and Democracy Now. This confuses immigrants from the third world. They see the need for radio as a source for sports, top 40 radio and traffic reports but they don’t quite understand why people who can afford TVs and have access to Youtube would spend hours listening to the opinions of overeducated arts majors."

#38: Arrested Development
"The love it for a number of reasons. Firstly, since the show was cancelled before it jumped the shark, it’s effectively like a rocker that dies at 27. Also, the show got terrible ratings, meaning that it wasn’t ‘mainstream,’ which makes white people love it unilaterally. Other examples of shows like this are Twin Peaks and The Ben Stiller Show."

I can't wait until they write a post about The Wire.

Monday, February 18, 2008

February IS a stupid month.

I usually wake up on Monday mornings with an incredible sense of dread. Usually the prospect of Friday evening is what gets me through the work week, and Monday mornings are miserable as I have to come to terms that the weekend is over and I have five days of hell before I can enjoy freedom again. This morning was business as usual, only my weekend was also full of misery, as I spent the majority of it depressed in bed as a result of my poor choices, as well as a good chunk of it crying on the phone with my parents because of Family Crisis 2008.

2008, I have to say, is hardly "2000-Great" as I had originally predicted, and more like 2007 2.0.

Anyway, I got to work early to prepare for a few hours of major stress and fear of being yelled at, and my day has surprisingly progressed quite nicely; for the first time in several weeks I actually feel like I'm on top of things and don't feel like I'm on the verge of being reprimanded for making mistakes I didn't know I was making. So, in a nutshell, my mind is confused about if I should be happy or sad. Perhaps the professional sector can rest assured while the other half can continue to worry about getting through the rest of this short, yet miserably hellish, month.

Bex takes on The February Factor [The New Awesome]

Even movies about missing white girls make it difficult for me to care.

I watched Gone Baby Gone last night specifically because Amy Ryan is in it, and she was also on The Wire. I didn't know much about it other than Ben Affleck directed it, and I didn't have great hopes for it. BUT it did get moderately good reviews, and Netflix predicted I would give it four stars, so I gave it a whirl.

Unfortunately, it never got away from being a sub-par genre film based on what is most-likely a sub-par genre novel by mystery author Dennis Lehane. I've never read anything of his, but he did write Mystic River, which was an excellent film (which should have beat out The Return of the King for that year's Oscar for Best Picture). The difference between the two adaptations, however, is that Mystic River really focused on its characters as the basis for the film, while Gone Baby Gone tries to do too much stylistically and regrettably forgets to make the plot make any sense or make anyone in the film worth caring about.

I will say, however, that Amy Ryan was fantastic and deserves her Oscar nomination. It's tough, now, for me to decide if I think she should win over Cate Blanchett in I'm Not There (who will probably win, as the Academy loves it win famous people play other famous people in movies).

If you'd like more details about it, I suggest you read World Class Stupid's dead-on reaction to the film. And then go rent The Wire.

And a fun Wire-related bonus: OMAR was in it!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Key to Happiness

I called my mother about a half hour a go to complain (in very vague terms, of course) about my weekend from Hell, and right after I said hello she jumped into this following exchange:

Mom: Did you know that Danish people are the happiest people on the planet?
Me: Um, no.
Mom: We're watching a thing on 60 Minutes about it. It's examining why they're so happy.
Me: Well, why are they so happy?
Mom: Because they have low expectations!

I'm not sure if that did anything to cheer me up or not.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I'm going to refrain from making a "kneeling in prayer" joke.

I can't help but re-blog this, as it has made my day:

(via Living in Misery)

Contrary to public opinion, I do not hate Black History Month.

That is not true. I love Black History. George Washington Carver! And that guy who invited stoplights! Go Black History!

Also, my mother always likes to tell this story about when I was in Kindergarten and how I was supposed to color a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. and I used a black crayon instead of a brown one. She thinks it's adorable and represents the innocence of a five year old who takes "black" literally. So maybe I do subconsciously hate Black History Month because it reminds me of being an idiot.



Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thank You for Being a Valentine.

(via BG5000)

Deep V-Day.

Hey, guess what? I hate Deep V-Neck shirts, and I think guys need to stop wearing them. If there's one thing that I need less of in my life it's skinny, hipster man-cleve. So please, gents, let's pack this fad away somewhere so that we can find another uncomfortably unattractive fad, K? Thx.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Don't Sass the Bass Player: a note about commenting.

After off-line comments from friends (namely Christina and Adam), I turned off the comment moderation on my blog. That means anyone can comment and I'll let it go, unless the comment is really, really bad and deserves deletion. It's a lot easier than having comments sit in my inbox for hours (ha, what a white whine).

Christina is already excited:

Oh, and I thank her for allowing me to segue into this video, which we cackled over in separate rooms last night (just like we would if we were married. Zing!):

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary calls to me and then acts all crazy-like.

Whenever I've been kind of bummed-out in the last week, I look at these:

Thank God for Rich and his brillz.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Why do only creepy guys like me? Just sum it up for me... in a way that sounds a lot like the truth... but not as harsh."

Christina: "What are you doing on Valentine's
Me: "Being alone. But with you!!"

Monday, February 11, 2008

Picking scabs.

Alex posted this rather hilarious article today on This Recording about Joshua David Stein's article in Page Six Magazine about Emily Gould from Gawker, whom he apparently dated while they worked together. I've never been a big fan of JDS, but I love me some Emily Gould, and I can't help but read his piece without giggling. Basically, Josh is upset because, while they were dating, Emily wrote about him on a blog. Which she showed to people. People he knew.

I think it's rather hilarious. You signed up for it, dude.

Stein's article did remind me of something John told me about ago, which was in jest but still kind of rings true: "I won't break up with you because I know what you're like when you break up with someone." Whatever did he mean?

But seriously, I realize that there're a lot of lines to possibly cross when you have a blog, and that's why I generally try to not write about everything because not everyone seems to think it's as hilarious as I do. Obviously, I wouldn't write about John or the breakup in too great of detail, because (luckily) we're still talking and things aren't weird and I want it to stay that way. And also, John never hurt me in any way, unlike the previous dipshit, so I don't have anything negative to say about him.

You know how Hannibal Lector only ate people who caused him personal offense or were incredibly rude to him? Well, that's how I blog. That may be an extreme analogy, but it's (possibly) appropriate. I refrain from tearing people down most of the time because it's not really fair or worth it. If you fuck with my shit, however, I will not let it go. I was just bitching last week about high school, for Chrissakes. Part of me realizes that things like that are silly, and the other part of me thinks, "Well, you're a good writer. You have a way with words. You can totally cut people down with a few sentences and you should use that power to its full extent."

I guess what I'm saying here is this: Joshua David Stein shouldn't bitch so much about Emily Gould blogging about their relationship. But he absolutely should have written an article about it. And I applaud that.

Essential Viewing: All That Jazz

To honor the great Roy Scheider's death, and to get my ass into gear and work on the project that I started last month with my post on The Warriors, I'd like to tell you about one of my favorite movies: All That Jazz.

Yes, the title of the film does come from the song from Chicago, and it also represents the self-referential quality of Bob Fosse's epic anti-musical. The film is about as autobiographical as it comes: Scheider plays Fosse's celluloid doppelganger Joe Gideon, a Broadway choreographer struggling through the last days of his fast-paced life of popping pills and screwing (over) the women around him, which include his ex-wife (inspired by Fosse's ex and frequent muse Gwen Verdon) and his girlfriend (played by Fosse's real life and frequent muse Ann Reinking, who later starred and choreographed "in the style of Bob Fosse" the revival of Chicago). It also features allusions to Fosse's previous film Lenny, the biopic of Lenny Bruce starring Dustin Hoffman.

The film is a post-modern musical, and nearly all of the musical sequences (that do not appear on the actual stage or in a rehearsal room) are reserved for the fantastical finale, wherein Joe discovers and, ultimately, accepts his own demise (with a little help from another Fosse player, Ben Vereen).

Like Fosse's film version of Cabaret, the musical numbers do not necessarily further the plot; they either take place in a realistic setting, or serve as distraction from the realistic aspects of the film. Like 8 1/2, to which it owes its inspiration, it features a non-linear plot, and moments of flashbacks and fantasy, in which the adult Joe Gidieon interacts with himself as a child, or with other people from his past. He also has several interactions with an angel of death, played by Jessica Lange.

The film is quite uneven and unbalanced, but in the best possible way: it represents the maddening lifestyle Fosse lived off-screen and off-stage.

This is no queer musical, mind you. I don't think a butchier one has been made, much less involving a musical sequence in which an orgy erupts on an airplane. If you've seen anything of Fosse's, you know that his choreography is incredibly sexual. In All That Jazz he goes full throttle, going out with a bang - not a whimper.

February is a stupid month.

I am in a terrible mood today, and I will tell you why (with bullets!):

  • Yesterday I slept until two o'clock because I was out until four the night before. I hadn't even planned on being out that late, which is very frustrating. I'm also conflicted about sleeping until two yesterday, as it was also negative twenty outside all day. I can't say that I missed a lot from sleeping so late.

  • Because it was negative twenty, I did not leave the house all day. In fact, I don't think I even put on pants. Instead, I watched the last two episodes of season four of The Wire.

  • Now that I'm done with season four, I have to figure out how the hell I will watch season five, as I cannot imagine what my life will be like with an extended period without The Wire. It's kind of like how I felt about a month before I graduated college. I need to watch season five and pretend that it's not ENDING. Season four was both amazing (probably my favorite so far) and incredibly depressing. I realized that I not only loathe those inspirational-white-teacher-in-the-ghetto movies, but I also can't deal with the truth when it's handed to me in gritty, premium cable crime dramas. Also: why, Bodie? WHY?

  • After I finished The Wire, I watched 2 Days in Paris, which was very, very funny but also very, very dispiriting. Would you like to watch a couple fight for an hour and a half? Would you like half of that to be in French? Still, Julie Delpy is a sweetheart.

  • The weather is miserable. It feels like I'm not wearing pants when I'm outside, much less a second layer on my legs in the form of thermal underwear.

  • Valentine's Day is in three days, and I'm angry that I'm even considering that to be a reason why I'm not happy. But it makes me think about how last year, the week of Valentine's Day was not very celebratory, as I was dumped (in Chipotle), sent a Facebook message to a stranger whom I thought was cute (and one which, embarrassingly, did not get a response), and found out for certain that my father had cancer. I spent the actual holiday getting drunk with Kristin. This year I can't even get drunk, as V-Day is on a weeknight and I have a real job that I have to be sober for.

  • I got my haircut on Saturday, and Jason told me about this guy he went on a date with. He said it went really well, and was the first date he had in a long time that didn't feel like a job interview. I found that really disheartening, because dates are like job interviews, and if there's anything I don't enjoy it's an awkward job interview, which is probably why my first dates usually involve meeting at bars and drinking enough so that the conversation only lasts long enough for me to get drunk and make-out.

  • Roy Scheider is dead.