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Showing posts from 2007

DISAPPOINTING ENDINGS

WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR HIGH TENSION , I AM LEGEND AND FIGHT CLUB From this discussion in Flickr Name That Film : I Am Legend had a disappointing ending, although I still liked it. It would've gone from good to great if they'd chosen an ending closer to the book . The Last Man on Earth had the closest to the original ending, unfortunately the mutants there looked like people with a bad hangover. The ending of High Tension totally ruined it for me. If you're going to do the "unreliable narrator" thing in a movie, you have to drop hints or set it up in some way. I felt the same about Fight Club , although it's a much better movie. Just no set up at all for the twist. I haven't read the book, I assume the author did a better job. Successful movies with an unreliable narrator: Kind Hearts and Coronets The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Lolita (1962) The Blade (1995) ---------------- Now playing: Big Audio Dynamite - E=MC2 via Foxy

MY DAEMON

So, like everyone else in the universe, I had to go to the Golden Compass web page and find out what my daemon is. I was hoping for a lemur or a binturong , but a lion is cool too. Sorry for slacking off, but holiday busy-ness and all that. My plan to convert everyone to celebration of O-Shogatsu and therefore have one more week to get everything done is not going as well as I hoped. PS. If you haven't read the His Dark Materials series , put down whatever you're doing and do so now. It kicks Harry Potter's ass eight ways from Sunday. ---------------- Now playing: The Go! Team - Panther Dash via FoxyTunes

MORE BLOG BLING

For even more Jfro awesomeness, Dr. S helped me add my YouTube playlist to my blog. Thanks, sweetie! At least it doesn't play until you want it to and you can skip clips you don't like, unlike the the clashing horror of multi-media all going at once that is Myspace. ---------------- Now playing: Sleep - Evil Gypsy/Solomon's Theme via FoxyTunes

BLINGED-OUT BLOG

So, we're doing this this at work where we have to learn about Web 2.0 , and I had to do another blog for that. Of course, I know all about Web 2.0 already, right? Actually, it turns out that Blogger has updated all its templates and now you can add stuff to your blog without having to figure out where in the html code it would go. Who knew? Anyway, some of my co-workers had cool widgets on their blogs, so I'm trying that. I've got my Flickr photos , my books from Librarything , and my Del.icio.us links . For music, I'm trying this new web site called SeeqPod . It's a search engine for audio that lets you play it and save it as a playlist. I'm hoping to get most of my favorite song list on there. Just let me know if I start adding so much that Odd Obsession starts looking like a Myspace page (shudder). ---------------- Now playing: john cale - heartbreak hotel via FoxyTunes

ONE DEGREE OF SIMPSONS SEPARATION

Well, I can finally say I talked to someone who's been made into a Simpsons character. The great comic artist Daniel Clowes was on the show, along with Alan Moore and Art Spiegelman . I once called Clowes on the phone when my friend Susan and I were visiting Chicago years ago. I didn't say much, I was just so surprised that he was in the phone book and actually picked up. I also saw him at the College of Comic Book Knowledge with Peter Bagge (the Hateball tour). I believe Joey Waronker was the drummer for R.E.M. when they were on the Simpsons , but they never showed the drummer's face. I think there was some contractual thing--he was never to be considered part of R.E.M., just someone who happened to be on stage while they were playing. He may have been on the Beck Futurama episode, but I'm not sure. Maybe my friend Hellbound can weigh in on this. Of course, I knew Joey from Macalester and Walt Mink , back when only a few of us were regulars at their house-basement

"AUTHENTICITY" -- A STUPID GAME ROCK CRITICS PLAY

There's a great article about MIA in the latest Nation . It sums up a lot of what pissed me off about Simon Reynolds' snooty review of her first album in the Village Voice , where he said it sounded like she "came from nowhere." What is up with rock critics and authenticity? I like music that is: mixed-up, confused, eccentric, inauthentic, impure and adulterated. That's what the world is like today. If you want "authentic", go find a lost tribe in the Amazon, but once they hear your radio, they'll be corrupted. Later, so-called "authentic" musicians will be discovered to have gone to college or read a book or something and be denounced as "phony", anyway. Well, certain white rock-and-roll-canon-approved artists like Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones can rip off all sorts of styles if they want, but if you're consigned to the "world music" ghetto, you have to give the critics one pure-sounding ethnic style so that

GREAT FILMS TOO PAINFUL TO WATCH TWICE

Inspired by this article and this discussion on Flickr: I've been afraid to see Grave of the Fireflies because that's what gets me---(regular, ordinary, everyday) man's inhumanity to man, not psychos, who are easy to put in the "other" category and file away. Candidates for Man's Inhumanity to Man Theater: Forbidden Games Umberto D The Elephant Man The Blue Kite Hotel Terminus (because of the "regular" people who helped Barbie)

MOVIES I CAN WATCH AGAIN AND AGAIN

Shoot the Piano Player The Warriors Meet Me in St. Louis Bedazzled (1967) Full Contact Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill! 36 Chambers of Shaolin/Shaolin Master Killer Les Enfants Terribles Sunset Boulevard Valley Girl The Masque of the Red Death Ghost in the Shell Where a Good Man Goes Sweet Smell of Success The Man in the White Suit

dazzleships

dazzleships Originally uploaded by ash966 My sister and brother-in-law had an exhibit in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. They hung out and asked random passers-by to join a tug-of-war. Much wholesome fun was had by all. More on dazzle ships here .

MAGAZINE UPDATE

I'm sure you all were wondering how I'm coping with my magazine addiction . Here's my one-year report: I'm no longer able to get Jade Screen through my dealer, I mean comic book store, and a subscription to this UK publication is currently $60 for 4 issues. Damn that weak dollar! For a while I was getting Neo , another UK mag that combined my loves of anime and live-action Asian film, but then they just announced that it's no longer being carried ($118 for 12 issues). There was also Vengeance , which neatly combined my sweetie's and my obsessions by covering both martial-arts films and horror, but it went belly-up. Psychotronic sadly ceased publication, but maybe it was inevitable. Most of the big-budget movies these days seem to be blown-up versions of previously despised psychotronic genres. Meanwhile, anime just gets more and more popular, with long-running Canadian mag Protoculture Addicts starting to publish regularly rather than just whenever they f

MOVIES THAT SHOULD BE ON DVD

The Ambitious The Blade (1995) Blood Money (1933) Carmen from Kawachi A Cat and Two Women Catch Us If You Can AKA Having a Wild Weekend Crazy Safari AKA The Gods Must Be Crazy III Crazy Thunder Road The Five-Day Lover Funeral of Roses The Humanoid (1979) Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wasteland Magic Cop My Heart Is That Eternal Rose Paranoia (1969) Raiders of Atlantis Secret of the Urn Sleepy Eyes of Death AKA Son of the Black Mass series Tenchu! 2020 Texas Gladiators Wolf Devil Woman

IN WHICH JFRO'S WORTH IS FINALLY APPRECIATED

forgiveyourselfb&w Originally uploaded by ash966 Well, after participating in every Twin Cities Flickr contest known to man, finally I get a second-place showing . In your face, $1000 SLR owners! My Nikon Coolpix is mighty! The theme of "Tough Neighborhood" was meant for me. The combination of melted roof and scrawled message had the right touch of pathos, I guess. Thanks to all my fans who believed in me, and especially my sweetie, who inspires all my work. Not to mention, he pointed and said, Hey, look at my laundry that burned!" You like me, you really like me! ---------------- Now playing: Groove Radio via FoxyTunes

THE HORROR OF THE NEW TELEVISION SEASON

It's embarrassing to admit this, but when I was a kid, I used to get all excited about the TV Guide Fall Preview issue. I'd go through it and circle the shows that sounded good. These days, nothing much is tempting me to give up my resolution to watch less TV . The themes this season include: stealing stuff from England ( Kitchen Nightmares , the leading actors from Bionic Woman and Life ) pandering to nerds ( Big Bang Theory, Bionic Woman, Reaper, Journeyman, Moonlight, Pushing Daisies ) and women over 30 ( Women's Murder Club, Big Shots, Dirty Sexy Money, Private Practice ). I'm a nerdy woman over 30, but I don't like it when they go so calculatedly for one of my demographics. For every David Lynch and Joss Whedon who genuinely are nerds, there's 50 drones trying to be just quirky-and-offbeat enough to generate a buzz without turning anyone off. It's sad that TV people are so strapped for ideas that they are ripping off series that weren't even

GRUMPY'S HEAVY METAL PARKING LOT

I haven't been to a show in a while, so I was excited to hear that Grumpy's was having an outdoor show, and on Dr. S's birthday weekend to boot. I don't like paying $20 for a 6-band show normally, since there's usually only one band you know is good and they don't play for very long, but this one had Helmet , Burning Brides AND the Melvins --two good bands and one all-time favorite. All three bands play very hard, very tight, but somehow also very catchy without seeming "pop" at all. So even though The Melvins and the Burning Brides didn't play many songs from the albums I have, I didn't have any trouble getting into it. I recognized most of the Helmet songs, they even did "Just Another Victim". They seemed better than when I saw them last, possibly because they followed Jesus Lizard back in the day, a fate worse than death for most bands (I think that was the time David Yow exposed himself, but I'm not sure; he definitel

FRANKENSWINE

I finally came up with the plot for my pig monster movie (thanks for the title, Dr. S !): A secret government project in the Nevada desert is breeding genetically enhanced super-pigs to guard America's borders from Islamic extremist terrorists. The super-hogs are more intelligent and built to withstand even the most extreme desert conditions (pigs can't normally live in the desert because they need to wallow in mud). Unfortunately, now there is nothing to stop the uber-porcines from taking over the whole United States. They escape and mate with the existing wild pigs, sowing destruction by spreading e. coli and uprooting our infrastructure with their snouts. Come on, aren't there any aspiring filmmakers out there willing to make this idea a reality? ---------------- Now playing: Generation X - Ready, Steady, Go via FoxyTunes

REMAKES

There's a discussion on remakes in the Name That Film Flickr group . Here's my take on the topic. What do you think? It looks from people's answers that most remakes that are better than the original could more accurately be called an adaptation of a pre-existing book or play. A book can be interpreted different ways to make for different movies. Wasn't the 1931 version of Dracula pretty much just a film version of the play, and therefore very static and once removed from the book? That leaves room for the 1979 and 1992 adaptations to go back to the book and take different things from it. The 1946 and 1964 movies of The Killers use Hemingway's story for the first 15 minutes, and everything after that is different. That said, I really doubt that Tim Burton went back to Monkey Planet for Planet of the Apes or that Sergio Leone really based A Fistful of Dollars on Hammett's Red Harvest . I love Thieves Like Us and have never seen They Live By Night --

UPDATE

Update to this entry : Freemap.com , my submission to Web Pages That Suck , has made the top 1 0 Worst Web Sites for the first half of 2007 . Only one more step to worst of 2007, I hope, I hope.

MOVIES OF THE MONTH RETURN!

Barbara Stanwyck TV Shot Originally uploaded by Walker Dukes Sorry, Jfro fans, I've been so busy lately that movie mini-reviews have fallen by the wayside. I'm determined to get caught up in August. Here's the reviews for December 2006.

JFRO, QUEEN OF ROCK & ROLL

Over at the Chunklet Blog , they've been talking about who they would induct and de-duct into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame , were they in charge. Here is my list: Induct: The Monks, The Troggs, Guided By Voices, ESG, The Ohio Players, The Runaways, The Modern Lovers, Badfinger, The Jam, T. Rex, Scott Walker, Mission of Burma, Buzzcocks, Roxy Music, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, The Melvins, The Misfits, New Order, Gang of Four, Wire, Pavement, Husker Du, The Minutemen, Black Flag, Sonic Youth, Big Black, Monster Magnet, Naked Raygun, The Stooges, Motorhead. De-duct: The Greatful Dead, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, The Jefferson Airplane, The Mamas & The Papas, Paul Simon, Crosby, Stills & Nash (anyone see a pattern here?), Billy Joel, The Eagles, Bobby Darin (an excellent Sinatra-style crooner, but his good songs aren't rock and his rock songs aren't good). Who would you choose?

ALT-WEEKLY DEATH WATCH?

Here's an interesting article on New Time s buying out LA Weekly and OC Weekly . This explains a lot about why the Village Voice and the Twin Cities' own City Pages (both owned by the same company) have been going downhill lately. Here's my favorite quote: The company has imposed a "fat layer of middle management," to which editors are required to report. "Our covers have to be approved by a guy in Oakland. The film reviews are assigned by somebody in Denver. Five people oversee the marketing manager. They say it's a sophisticated business system. My sense is that it's lard. People who've never edited a newspaper tell editors how to edit." Another LA Weekly employee familiar with New Times's corporate strategy said the chain runs "the most Stalinist operation imaginable," with "commissars in Phoenix" overseeing every phase of the seventeen newspapers, "from graphics to the web." Maybe I'm getting
LIVIN' LA VIDA GEEKSTER So, I was going to the comic book store the other day to pick up a copy of Shojo Beat and the cashier asked what I was doing this weekend. I said, "Playing World of Darkness and going to see Fantastic Four ." Am I the geekiest geek in the world or what? Or am I? I also went to a hip gallery and saw a lowbrow artist , bought an obscure 80's Swedish garage band record, and took some graffiti shots . Am I a hipster pretending to be a geek, or a geek pretending to be a hipster? Maybe a whole new nomenclature is needed--"geekster": a person who is half geek, half hipster. In a recent posting on the Chunklet Blog , Henry Owings accused new musical sensation Dan Deacon of being a hipster disguised as a geeky outsider musician , while in the comments his defenders say Deacon is %100 percent sincere. These days, with movie stars wearing fake glasses to premieres and million-selling emo punks playing at being outcasts, it's hard
ANOTHER STEP ON THE ROAD TO WORLD DOMINATION . . . Everyone stop only using Google for your image searches, now Yahoo! includes Flickr photos in their image search results. Anyone searching for images with keywords that match the tags on my photos will get to see my magnificent work. I show up in the first page of results for " kumakikai "! "Fame and fortune is a stupid game and fame and fortune is the game I play." --Mission of Burma
FROM THE SIX-DEGREES-OF-SEPARATION DEPARTMENT: My grandmother and grandfather are in the index of Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford . I have a Postcard of Jessica Mitford : It was on my dorm wall for years, hence the tape marks. She said I should keep a diary, which I never could until this blog--such as it is.
5,000 HITS, BABY! Well, it's been less than a year since I went "pro" on Flickr, but I've reached my goal of 5,000 hits. Thanks to all my friends and family, librarians, urban-decay spotters, street art aficionados, people who like giraffes, Flick Twin Cities photowalkers, toy collectors, film buffs, Apple computer advocates, Photoshoppers, and alternative-parade attendees who made this possible. You like me! You really like me! My new obsession is the Name That Film Flickr group, where people post stills from obscure films or obscure scenes from famous ones. You know I love my movies. I wonder how long it will take me to get 10,000 views? PS. Can you name the film above?
TV AND ME ARE THROUGH (AGAIN) My general philosophy on TV is that it's only for when you are too fried or sick for anything else. I have Netflix for the really good shows (mostly HBO and BBC), which is hella cheaper than cable, plus it has anime, foreign flicks, kung fu, psychotronic, etc. without any editing for television, not to mention I can watch whenever I want. I refuse to pay month after month for cable, Tivo, dish, etc., when 99% of the content is crappy. I rarely even tape something, since that implies televison has some kind of power over me. Every couple of years, though, they come up with a show I actually get hooked on, but it either gets bad or cancelled: Twin Peaks, Popular, Freaks & Geeks, Angel, Arrested Development, Law & Order in its prime. For a while there were actually 2 shows I might consider taping, Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars . Now they are both gone. Well, I guess I'll have more time for the Internet. As far as network TV goes, the only
LOVE SONGS THAT DON'T SUCK So anyway, I was invited to my brother-in-law's sister's wedding, which I didn't go to because I don't really know her, but they asked for us to send lists or mix CD's of their favorite love songs, which is a really cool idea (plus, I can't resist an excuse to make a mix CD, I'm as bad as that guy in High Fidelity ). Despite the cliché that all pop songs are about love, it's surprisingly hard to find a song that is actually about being in love, as opposed to infatuation, lust or heartbreak. I guess it's hard to write one without falling into the horrifyingly schmaltzy territory of Three Time a Lady or I Will Always Love You. Luckily, I had already created a similar mix CD for my dear Dr. S. Here is my list. It's interesting that all of the songs are less than 5 minutes long, and half of them are less than 3 minutes. I guess if you actually capture that feeling, you want to stop before you wreck it. Lo
purgeofdissidents Originally uploaded by ash966 . Dr. S and I went to the Toomer Gallery at Soovac , which seems to be becoming the hot new gallery since the demise of Ox-Op, last Saturday to catch the Dalek/Haze XXL show. Haze XXL is Tom Hazelmyer, the guy behind Ox-Op , Amphetamine Reptile Records, and the great Halo of Flies*. The show combined cartoons of Dalek's "space monkeys" with Haze's instrumental music, which reminded us of Helios Creed or Neu! Pretty cool, but I was saddened to hear that one track on the associated CD featured my nemesis , Craig Finn of the Hold Steady. Damn you, Hazelmyer! Are you drinking the Kool-aid too? Anyway, anyone going to a Melvins show this fall will be able to see A Purge of Dissidents as the opener. * Gemm say s my "Death of a Fly" 7" is worth 40$!
MY WEB SITE IS LAME Why, oh why is it so hard to create a web site that doesn't make me want to rip my eyeballs out every time I see it? Am I just too sensitive? Myspace pages make me want to rip my eyeballs out, then fill the holes with concrete just in case someone invents a futuristic vision device like the one Geordi La Forge had in Star Trek: The Next Generation . I know it doesn't matter because it's all about Web 2.0 now and nobody reads web pages anyway, but all I want is a page that serves as a framework for my main Web 2.0 sites and looks nice. Is that so wrong? I've tried Yahoo! Geocities, Angelfire, and Googlepages, and now I'm trying an iWeb site hosted on .Mac . It looks good in Safari and Foxfire (PC & Mac), but that evil Internet Explorer is making it look bad. Now, I know none of you would use IE willingly, but are usually forced to in the workplace, so I apologize if it looks bad. You can still find my main stuff here on Odd Obsession and
PAINTINGS THAT WOULD MAKE GOOD MOVIES My sister send me this blog entry , which responds to this meme of 5 paintings that would make good movies. These are my five: Since Johnny Knoxville was in A Dirty Shame and John Waters cameo-ed in Jackass 2, Waters and the Jackass guys could do a full-fledged collaboration depicting various scenes of disturbing decadence throughout the ages, often involving people's rear ends. A loose adaptation of George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia , with Pearce as Orwell. A little girl comes back sullen and moody after something mysterious happened to her while playing. Sorry, but I can't give away the shocking ending. Brokeback Mountain meets Velvet Goldmine as the painter Marsden Hartley flashes back to his tragic romance with a German officer as his fellow Americans succumb to anti-German hysteria during World War I. America Ferrara is a naive young librarian who falls in love with Jose Luis Borges (Benecio Del Toro) in
MY PHOTOSHOP KUNG FU IS STRONG! Yay! I am a winner ! My plan to achieve micro-fame is working.
FAMOUS TO 15 PEOPLE I once again submitted comments to Chunklet for their upcoming book, The Bible of Rock , for the chance at zero's of dollars and an eency-weency bit of fame: "I can't believe this, but the Bible of Rock book is in the final weeks of completion. I'd feel criminally remiss if I didn't make another attempt to reach out to many of you smug yucksters to see if you have any last minute additions or what have you. As it stands, the book is divided into seven sections (because like the world, God created rock in seven days) along with the cardinal rules of rock and entire sections of biblical rock hoo-hah. If I must say so, it's pretty darned funny. The seven sections include: Band, Bass/Guitar, Drums, Keyboards, Vocals, Crew and Fans. We're open to any recommendations you might have." Here's my text: Fans: Some bands you love simply suck live, and you must accept this. Unlike musical taste, this is not subjective. If the
MY PLAN FOR WORLD DOMINATION VIA FLICKR . . . Sorry for not writing for a while, I was on at-home vacation, hanging out with Dr. S. and the parents. If you were wondering what's up with the book covers on my Flickr photostream, I entered this contest. Entering contests is the final stage of Flickr addiction, where one's ego needs constant warm fuzzies of page views and comments.

northwestgraphicsupply

northwestgraphicsupply Originally uploaded by ash966 . It was a lovely day last Friday, so of course Dr. S. and I went in search of urban grit to photograph.
KING OF NEW YORK Local street artist Deuce Seven , whose show I caught at SooVac back in November, is now the toast of New York, according to this article in the Village Voice . Apparently, his Minnesota-bred hardiness helps him paint the town in a season when wimpy NYC taggers are all home shivering in their beds.
MORE NEWS ON THE COMING PIG TAKEOVER . . . I recently found out that's it's not only the Year of the Boar according to the Chinese calendar, it's the Year of the Golden Boar , which only comes around once every 600 years. It's supposed to be a year of good fortune--yeah right, for the boars , that is! The mainstream media is downplaying this story, so stick to Odd Obsession for more pig-related news.
COMIC BOOK REVISIONISM I was reading the Silly Daddy graphic novel by Joe Chiappetta , and something was starting to bug me. I own an earlier compilation and a couple of single issues which were including in this newer compilation, and there were subtle changes. The original version featured the cartoonist John Porcellino as a character in the story and was sprinkled with references to his comic book, King-Cat Comics . In the new version, the character's name was changed to "Al Indufamily" and the comic book to " Kind-Cat ". Also, in one scene we see a book entitled Ape Rape , which was changed to Ape . In the first case, I can only assume a falling-out between the two friends, either due to personal beliefs (Chiappetta reveals in a newer story at the end of the book that he has converted to Christianity) or business (Porcellino published Chiappetta's earlier work under the Spit and a Half imprint). The second case might be self-censorship due to complai
CYBERPUNK MADNESS Lately, it's been all about the cyberpunk-- cyberpunk books , movies , and the Cyberpunk 2020 role-playing game. Dr. Somneblex has an interesting post on virtual reality in cyberpunk films in the Livejournal community Cyberpunk Collective .
ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY I just realized that Odd Obsession 's one-year anniversary was on the 5th. Yay me! What's your favorite post been so far, loyal readers?
MOVIES OF THE MONTH, NOVEMBER 2006 November was a busy month, so I didn't watch as many movies as usual, but the reviews are here .
Meredith, in her excellent library blog, tagged all her readers to participate in this meme, so here goes . . . FIVE THINGS YOU PROBABLY DON'T KNOW ABOUT ME 1. I can play "The Irish Washerwoman" on the recorder. 2. My least favorite color is yellow. I rarely use it in art and design projects, and I always try to avoid getting the yellow piece in Trivial Pursuit. 3. I know all the words to the theme from "Mave rick". 4. My grandma was friends with Jessica Mitford . This makes me four degrees of separation from Hitler. 5. The first rock album I ever bought was Squeeze 's Singles --45's and Under. Luckily, I didn't really get into rock until high school, so I didn't buy anything embarrassing. I just digitized this for my iPod recently (not the actual same LP, I dropped that one in a tragic accident). OK, now it's your turn, Kathy, Mali, Hellbound, and Dr. Somneblex.
dungeons&dragons Originally uploaded by ash966 . NOW I HAVE TO GET SOME 20-SIDED DICE . . . Well, I finally lost my Dungeons & Dragons virginity, my New Year's resolution being to fill in this one gap in my claim to be Queen of the Geeks. Here's my character, Jfroella-of-the-Glade, and her stats. Thanks to Dr. S for being a great Dungeon Master. That one episode of Freaks & Geeks has more meaning to me now. if anyone is interested in playing RPG's, let me know. I would enjoy being a cyborg or a ninja or a space cowgirl as well. I've got the Dungeon Master's Guide. I've got a 12-sided die. I've got Kitty Pryde And Nightcrawler too Waiting there for me. Yes I do, I do. --Weezer, "In the Garage"