Friday, December 28, 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)









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Now playing: Big Audio Dynamite - E=MC2
via FoxyTunes

Monday, December 24, 2007

FOR YOUR HOLIDAY ENJOYMENT . . .

Here's the Star Wars Christmas special. It's even more horrible than I'd hoped. Bea Arthur in the cantina!

Monday, December 17, 2007

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.



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Now playing: The Go! Team - Panther Dash
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, December 02, 2007

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.

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Now playing: Sleep - Evil Gypsy/Solomon's Theme
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, November 29, 2007

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).

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Now playing: john cale - heartbreak hotel
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, November 18, 2007

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 shows.

Alan Moore has a great voice. He would be good as a wizard in some fantasy movie. He had the best dialogue of the episode (paraphrased):

Bart: "Alan Moore! I loved the issues of Radioactive Man you wrote!"
Alan Moore: "Even though I made him a heroin addict who wasn't even radioactive?"
Bart: "I don't know, I just like to see him punching things."


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Now playing: Groove Radio
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, November 11, 2007

NOTICE OF MOVIE REVIEWS HIATUS

Sorry, Jfro fans, this year has been busy, so I haven't been able to do mini-reviews for a while. Here's the list of Movies of the Month for Jan- Aug, I'll try to write some more mini-reviews starting with September 2007.

"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 they can condescend to you as a naive third-world artisan.

That said, Kala isn't as good as Arular, but most second albums aren't.



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Now playing: Groove Radio
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

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)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

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.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

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 feel like it, and the brand-new title Otaku USA, whose editor-in-chief is the great Patrick Macias of Japan Edge, Toykoscope, Japanese Schoolgirl Inferno, Animerica, Pulp, etc., etc. A man who loves anime, kaiju eiga, and Eurotrash cinema is one after my own heart. I never imagined in 1995 when I saw Ghost in the Shell that it'd be possible to bankrupt oneself by buying English-language anime publications.

Another new trend is art toy magazines like Hi Fructose and Super Seven, which I don't subscribe to but pick up now and then.

I did try to drop my subscription to Readymade, because it's cool and all but I don't ever make the stuff, and somehow I renewed it by accident while trying to get my sister a gift subscription. Then there's the free subscription to MacWorld that seems to keep going on and on . . .




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Now playing: Groove Radio
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, September 30, 2007

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

MORE SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION

This photo has been published in the Schmap Minneapolis guide.


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!




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Now playing: Groove Radio
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, September 13, 2007

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 that successful, such as Angel and Forever Knight in the case of Moonlight (yes, I'm still bitter at Angel's cancellation). Ironically, I might have to give it a try, since the delightfully snarky Jason Dohring from the tragically cancelled Veronica Mars plays a supporting role. Big Bang Theory sounds like a rip-off of the failed 70's Adam Arkin vehicle Busting Loose. Did anyone else but me watch that?



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Now playing: Bo Peep - Step 1, 2
via FoxyTunes

Monday, August 27, 2007

GRUMPY'S HEAVY METAL PARKING LOT

rockinout


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 definitely kept pretending to forget their name--"Thanks to Omelet for letting us open up"; "Next up, it's Hamlet!")

Even though they didn't play the super-slow songs I love from Bullhead and Ozma, the Melvins are still one of the best live bands ever, and Dale Crover is definitely the best drummer of all time. It's like the drumbeat replaces my heartbeat. Their new bassist with the beard, braids and muumuu was good, too. I first saw them around '87 or '88, someone on the entertainment committee at Macalester liked them and invited them to play in front of the student union on a bright spring day. Most students walked away nonplussed, but I fell in love with their sound.

I hope this becomes an annual event, we need more outdoor shows for us old folks that can't stay up till 1 AM anymore.



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Now playing: Groove Radio
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, August 16, 2007

FRANKENSWINE

wartypigs

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?



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Now playing: Generation X - Ready, Steady, Go
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, August 11, 2007

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--does anyone feel the latter is better? Are those two, You Only Live Once, Gun Crazy, The Bonnie Parker Story, and Bonnie and Clyde all remakes of each other? What is the relation of The Road to Perdition to Lone Wolf and Cub? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Monday, August 06, 2007

UPDATE

Update to this entry:

Freemap.com, my submission to Web Pages That Suck, has made the top 10 Worst Web Sites for the first half of 2007. Only one more step to worst of 2007, I hope, I hope.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

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.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

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?

Friday, July 13, 2007

ALT-WEEKLY DEATH WATCH?

Here's an interesting article on New Times 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 old and jaded, but getting the new CP just doesn't excite me the way it used to. The Pioneer Press weekend section is just about as hip, covering lowbrow art, alternative craft shows, zine fests, and manga art exhibits. To be fair, CP's art coverage has always been pretty craptastic. I just hope doesn't get as bad as the New Times-owned SF Weekly, AKA "oops-I-meant-to-pick up-the-Bay-Guardian".

Sunday, July 01, 2007

wallomedia

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 to tell who's who. I guess to me, the true spirit of geekdom is when you do what you do because you have to, not to get money, power and sexual partners. Although I don't believe in judging art by intent, poseur-ness usually comes out in the results sooner or later. On the other hand, you can be sincere and still suck.

As for Deacon's music? It's OK, I think it would get pretty repetitive after a while, though. When it comes to "geek rock" it's nothing compared to my beloved Unicorns LA.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

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

Monday, June 18, 2007

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:

deccafront

deccaback

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.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

triumphant

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?

Monday, May 28, 2007


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 good shows left are The Office and 30 Rock, but with sitcoms I don't feel the same urgency; I can wait to catch it again in re-runs or on DVD. I'm afraid The Office may jump the shark next season if Jim & Pam get together, and 30 Rock can be a little too-quirky-for-its-own-good.

Unfortunately, like radio, TV isn't driven by what people who are real fans love, but by what people who don't really care can tolerate being on in the background. At least we have DVD's now, so even the most short-lived show can be immortalized (I didn't see Firefly until it came out on DVD). Dare I hope that pre-DVD cult shows like Quark and The Associates will someday be available?

Friday, May 25, 2007

lovecdcover

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.


Love/Cinerama
Someone I Care About/The Modern Lovers
Gorilla/Rubinoos
I Think We're Alone Now/Lene Lovich
Green Eyes/Husker Du
Need You Around /Smoking Popes
When My Baby's Beside Me/Big Star
Crazy/Silverfish
Fragile/Wire
I Second That Emotion/Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
This Can't Be Love/Count Basie & Joe Williams
Straight To You/Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Only You/The Flying Pickets
A Natural Kind of Joy/That Petrol Emotion
More Than This/Roxy Music
My Funny Valentine/Elvis Costello
Cast A Shadow/Beat Happening
Gigantic/The Pixies
I'll Be Your Mirror/The Velvet Underground
You're So Good To Me/Langley Schools Music Project
Wicked Little Town /Hedwig & The Angry Inch
Maps/Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Love You More/The Buzzcocks
No Matter What/Badfinger
The More I See You/Dick Haymes
Everlasting Love/Carl Carlton


Monday, May 14, 2007


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 says my "Death of a Fly" 7" is worth 40$!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Update to my previous entry:

Freemap.com made the Daily Sucker!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

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 here:

http://del.icio.us/ash966/ash966ontheweb

Well, at least my web site isn't as bad as this one:

http://www.freemap.com/

These are nice people, I'm sure, and I used to buy maps from them when they had a brick-&-mortar store in downtown St. Paul, but this site is just horrifying: a bunch of cells of all different sizes, left-right scrolling, animated globes, and no clues to navigation whatsoever, just a bunch of things stuck randomly on a page. I think I'll submit it to Web Pages That Suck.

Monday, April 23, 2007

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:



<span class=
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.

<span class=

A loose adaptation of George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, with Pearce as Orwell.

<span class=

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.


<span class=

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.

<span class=

America Ferrara is a naive young librarian who falls in love with Jose Luis Borges (Benecio Del Toro) in 30's Buenos Aires. Written by Michel Gondry, who also directed the surrealistic scenes where Borges' stories come to life.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

MY PHOTOSHOP KUNG FU IS STRONG!

Yay! I am a winner! My plan to achieve micro-fame is working.

socialsoftware2

Thursday, April 12, 2007

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 words "sullen", "wooden" and "ennui" pop up in show reviews often enough, just stay home and listen to your Pavement CD's over and over again.

Unfortunately, the reverse is not true. If a band's recorded output makes you want to puke, it's not like you're going to go see them because some guy says, "They shred live". Besides, I refuse to give Craig Finn money he can use to record his horrible, horrible songs.


Bands:

If you don't actually like performing live, why are you doing it? Like a bad whore, you take our money and just go through the motions.


Producers:

I don't know why, but every song can be improved with the use of rhythmic hand-claps or finger-snaps.


Everyone:

Every day, in every way, think about how can you be more like Glenn Danzig and less like Craig Finn.

Monday, April 09, 2007

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.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

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.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

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.

Monday, March 12, 2007

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.

Monday, March 05, 2007

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 complaints of offensiveness, although the book was there to indicate that the character lived in the sleazy underground of 60's Hollywood, and I find it hard to believe that anyone would think Chiappetta was promoting bestiality.

Either way, it may be a minor matter, but it gives me a creepy, 1984-ish feeling, as if my memories are being fiddled with. Yes, the author has the legal right to change things and the person who is depicted has the right to ask for a pseudonym. I just have more respect for creators who renounce work that they consider inferior or that no longer reflects their views, rather than sneakily changing this bit or that. They can refuse to perform the songs (like Weezer with Pinkerton) or refuse reprint rights (like Octavia Butler with Survivor). This may annoy me as a fan, but at least the artwork exists for me to decide whether I agree or not, though it may be harder to find. If it was Porcellino asking for a pseudonym, I just think that the first publication is the time for that. So many indie cartoonists write autobiographical stories which feature friends and spouses who are also cartoonists that it could get pretty ridiculous if they rewrite history whenever there's a falling out.

Well, dear readers, if I convert to radical anarchism in the future and renounce Odd Obsession in favor of chaining myself to trees and sticking it to The Man, I promise to just leave it up on the Internet as is, rather than adding political messages to each post.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

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.

Monday, February 12, 2007

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?


Monday, February 05, 2007

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.

Monday, January 29, 2007

I'm still slogging through the backlog of movie mini-reviews after the holidays. Here's the ones for October.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

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 "Maverick".

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.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


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"