Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2006
THE VIDEO OF THE YEAR I've enjoyed many videos on YouTube this year, from Japanese TV commercials to tarsiers to bad hair metal to homo-erotic edits of scenes from Star Trek , but this one is my favorite of the year. It's a nerdy cornucopia of elf ears, diaphanous scarves, spells, plastic swords, rainbow leggings, cheap Casio keyboards, and twenty-sided dice. Sort of like the visual equivalent of filking , but much more fun. It fills me with a forbidden longing to play Dungeons & Dragons. Strangely enough, I first saw this at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as part of an exhibit on artists using the music video form. The group responsible for it is called My Barbarian.
I am the (very small) goddess of hellfire! Originally uploaded by snoopygirl . Metal and Blythe -- two great tastes that go great together.
I, FOR ONE, WELCOME OUR NEW PORCINE OVERLORDS . . . I read an article in the New Yorker (1) last year about the growing threat of feral hogs. Apparently they have become a major nuisance in most of the US, destroying native habitat and species, even uprooting irrigation pipes. Plus, they are so wily and tough that only an expert hunter with at least 4 dogs can defeat one. Now, I learn that wild hogs may have caused the most recent outbreak of e. coli . It's clear what's going on -- the pigs are trying to kill us! Trichinosis just wasn't doing the job. With all the bacon I've eaten, I'll be the first up against the wall after the piggy revolution (here is where my sweetie Dr. Somneblex thoughtfully points out that he's given up pork). Coincidentally, I was just reading Oryx and Crake , which features the protagonist being attacked by genetically-altered super-pigs. Clearly, a pig-related horror movie is going to go into production any minute now. A good title
IN WHICH FAME GOES TO MY HEAD . . . Well, Jfro fans, I'm finally a published authoress, albeit in a narrow technical sense. You see there's this music zine called Chunklet , which is sort of a mutant child of Spy and Your Flesh that satirizes the indie rock scene. A few years ago, my friend Susan wrote an article for them on the big 2002 All Tomorrow's Parties concert in LA, but they edited it too much and she withdrew it. I started reading it, and it was pretty funny. They had a little blurb saying that the next 2 issues were about overrated records and asking for reader contributions. I jumped at the chance to trash my least-favorite musical genre, sensitive-singer-songwriter-twanging-on-an-acoustic-guitar-crap, and they ending up publishing my nasty little screed. Now there's a book version of those issues, The Overrated Book . I'm sure it will sell like hotcakes, just like all the other zine compilations. Remember the Thrift Score book? Retro Hell from B
THE MISFITS RULE, THE HOLD STEADY DROOLS I'm reading the excellent book American Hardcore , the basis for the film of the same name, when it suddenly dawns on me why the Hold Steady annoy me so much: they are the evil antithesis of the Misfits! If Craig Finn and Glenn Danzig were put in a room together, the world as we know it would end. The Misfits played loud, hard and fast, with an singer of unusual range and power in an Elvis/Jim Morrison mold, plus they could write a damn catchy tune. The Hold Steady plays middle-of-the-road Springsteeny roots-rock with a singer whose toneless hectoring would only work nearly drowned out by loud, fast guitars. If there's a catchy tune in there somewhere, I haven't heard it yet. Oh, but their lyrics are brilliant, you say? Well, Craig Finn can write a book, then. I like music for the MUSIC, that's why it's called MUSIC. If I wanted clever lyrics with half-assed musical accompaniment, I'd . . . wait, I never want that.


deuce7show1 Originally uploaded by ash966 . Dr. S. and I went to a cool show for the graffiti artist Deuce Seven at the Soo Vac gallery. It was crowded with hipsters, so I may have to go back another time to look at the art in depth.

Flickr People

flickr people Originally uploaded by LinderRox . Last weekend Dr. S. and I went on a photowalk with the Twin Cities Flickr group. We got a lot of good shots of Lowertown , the river , and Cathedral Hill . Good times!
PUNK ROCK READING LIST My friend Kathy and I just saw the excellent American Hardcore and we were talking about good books on the subject of punk rock. Here are some of my favorites: And God Created Punk Our Band Could Be Your Life Please Kill Me I, Shithead Drugs Are Nice We Owe You Nothing I also need to see Decline of Western Civilization, Part 1 again, but it's not on DVD yet. For shame!

When I am an old woman . . .

So, there's this group called the Red Hat Society , and they are all about women over 50 getting together and having fun. I'm all for that, but most of the things they do don't interest me. So when I get that age, I plan to start my own Red Beret Anarchist Knitting Society with my friends. Here are some things we might do: 1) Go to Balls or some other cabaret or open-mic night, and do some weird performance art thing. I'll wear a really bizarre outfit, too. 2) Go to a punk rock show and stand at the very front. Moshers wouldn't dare slam into a bunch of old ladies, would they? It'd have to be early evening, though, I already have trouble staying up 'till one AM. 3) Karaoke of New Wave hits of the '80s. 4) Do some graffiti. No one would arrest a bunch of old ladies for expressing themselves with spray paint and stickers. Or, we could combine street art and knitting like the gals of Knitta , thus avoiding accusations of permanently damaging public prop


radgeezinsane Originally uploaded by ash966 . I have an irrational desire to win one of the photo contests that this Twin Cities Flickr group I'm in has. This month's topic was fall foliage, which I'm not really into, but it was nice last Sunday, so Dr. S. and I took a walk and I was able to combine the topic of fall with my interest in street art.

Bearded Monkey

bearded monkey Originally uploaded by ash966 . It was a lovely Indian summer day in St. Paul, so we went to the Como Zoo.


oxbreakfast Originally uploaded by ash966 . Dr S. and I had a lovely day walking down Nicollet Avenue and having brunch at the Bad Waitress with our new friend, Black Ox .
Sorry for the delay in posts, Jfro fans, I did a number on my back and couldn't even stand to sit at a computer for several days. I do plan to get to the August mini movie reviews eventually. Until then please enjoy this not-safe-for-work video that explores Spock and Kirk's pent-up desire for each other to the strains of "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails. Pure genius! PS. Tetris is now available for the iPod. Yay!
Too few rock bands provide us with medieval-barbarian-related entertainment these days. The Sword is bent on remedying this lack.


sleepinglemurs Originally uploaded by ash966 . Dr. S. and I had a lovely day at the Minnesota Zoo last week.


andreasnoticboard Originally uploaded by ash966 . Andrea's Notice Board. Thanks to this web site , I generated my own personal "On Notice Board" of things that chap my ass. Thanks to Michael Stephens for the heads-up .
Magazines Oh, how I love magazines. I get excited when they come in the mail. There's just something about flipping through a big pile of magazines that makes me happy (I always make an initial run-through to see what I have in store for me before getting into the articles). They are great for riding the bus, for reading in bed, for long hot baths, for during the commercials, and forwhen you are too tired or sick to concentrate on a novel. I don't drive and I prefer to listen to music in the morning or when doing chores around the house, so magazines serve the purpose that NPR does for other people (No, I don't listen to NPR unless I'm in someone else's car. Don't tell anyone, or my Masters of Library Science degree might be revoked). I was starting to feel like my subscriptions were getting out of hand, though, and that I might have to join Maga-holics Anonymous and admit my powerlessness over my addiction to magazines, so I bit the bullet and cancelled my subs
Nancy Pearl vs. the Sea Monster Well, I've starting taking a few toy photos for the Secret Life of Toys Flickr Pool , but I never thought of using my Librarian Action Figure . The creator says she was inspired by my Read Posters Pool to create her own group . Cool! Maybe I can get everyone at work to bring in their Librarian Action Figures and we can have a photo shoot.
Art Weekend It was a busy weekend. Me and Dr. S. and our friend Wee Ninja went to Mr. Aimes-One's show at J. Hunter, then the Art Car Parade and a brief visit to the B-Girl Be show at Intermedia. Oh, and I caught Wee Ninja lurking in the bushes near my house. I'm sure you're all watching Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo after reading my review , but if not, part five has giant robots !
Last weekend my sweetie and I did a photo-crawl for street art by the railway tracks near 94 and 280 and between the Lake and Hiawatha and 38th and Hiawatha light rail station s , with a stop at one of my favorite local stores, Ax-Man . Here are some of the photos I took. Next project: some toy photos for The Secret Life of Toys Photo Pool .
Once a month there will be a new feature on this blog, Jfro's Movies of the Month , listing the movies I've enjoyed watching the past 30 days. Here is the list for June. I won't have time to review them all myself, so there will be links to reviews for at least the non-Hollywood-blockbuster type movies. Thanks to Cary for the idea. Now you have my books, my links, my photos, and my movies, a veritable cornucopia of Jfro-liciousness.
I'm just getting into LibraryThing . It's social networking for book geeks, so it's surprising it took me so long. Here's my catalog. I'm also linking to it on my web page and over on the left here. I don't feel that I have to limit it to books I actually own, so I'm including books that I got from the library and excluding useful but boring books that reside at my home. I think it will be especially useful for remembering what books I've read in the past year that I could recommend to or buy for friends and family. There isn't a specific place to put in year it was read, but I could add that info. I might also find some titles I want to read by looking at who else has read books in my catalog.
Hellbound has an insightful post on her blog about email forwards, to which I posted a comment. Will these people never learn ?
Since I heard about there being a library in the Second Life virtual reality environment, I sent my avatar, Jfro Gyoza, to visit . I had fun visiting, but my poor spacial sense made it hard to move around. Maybe I have a strabismus and my stereo vision is defective . I can never see those Magic Eye thingies, either. Probably, though, I just need a new computer and a trackball mouse or game controller. Who knew that my lack of interest in 3rd-person video games could become a handicap, if this is the learning model of the future anyway.

Michael Stephens' OPAL presentation, SL cam

Michael Stephens' OPAL presentation, SL cam Originally uploaded by informationgoddess29 . Virtual reality isn't just for gathering together with a wizard, a troll, and an elf to kill a dragon anymore, now you can take library science workshops there.
We do need another hero, gosh-darnit While new Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman movies are all well and good, they are indeed iconic figures that can be revisited and viewed from a different angle and blah-de-blah, Hollywood has yet to do much more than scrape the surface of comic-book superhero possibilities. I'm hoping that the rumors of a Namor: the Submariner movie are true. Now there's a conflicted character--half-man, half-fishguy, he vacillates between helping humans and beating them down for disrespecting his watery home. All this global warming fooforah must be making him awfully pissed. The main trouble is that non-comic fans might laugh at the little wings on his ankles which somehow allow him to fly, not to mention the fact that he goes around in nothing but a swimsuit all of the time. But hey, they changed the X-Men's costumes, they can give him a new one, and maybe some gills and a few scales so he looks more amphibian. I'd drop the whole flying thin
Hollywood rips off Asian movies, part 356 I saw a trailer for The Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Drif t this weekend. It claimed to be the first movie about a type of racing called "drifting". Um, no and no . Par for the course, I know, but I just hope it's not all white-guy-and-his-black-buddy-vs-the-evil-Asians, which is what it looks like. The director is Asian-American, though. Strangely enough, I'd just seen the Hong Kong version of Initial D last week. I have no interest in cars in real life, but they're fun to watch in movies. I liked the way racing was treated like a martial art, complete with the hero having unknowingly aquired just the skills he needs to win, the worthy noble opponent, and the old drunk guy who seems useless but actually has the talent needed to train the hero. Instead of learning to use special weapons, the hero learns to use a different engine. Plus the great Anthony Wong as an alcoholic widowed tofu-maker! But it's not ju
I went to a workshop on RSS feeds last week, and now my blog is RSS-enabled. Here is the feed URL: I tried it in My Yahoo! , Google Reader and Bloglines , so avoid the rush and subscribe now! Also, if anyone has a blog or a Flickr photostream or something that I don't know about, please let me know so I can subscribe to it. It's so much more convenient than going to all the sites individually. PS. More info on RSS and web feeds here .
My pictures from the May Day Parade are up on Flickr now. Part of the parade had a book and library theme, I assume to celebrate the opening of the new Minneapolis Library .
Confessions of a Mac addict Last night I had an erotic dream about the guy who plays a Mac in those new " Get a Mac " ads. Justin Long was good in Dodgeball and Jeepers Creepers , but I'd never thought of him that way before. It must be due to my Apple obsession. By the way, I liked Jeepers Creepers , but was I the only person who thought it was weirdly homoerotic? JC seemed to prefer the boys, and in one scene you almost thought he was kissing one of them. Maybe the filmmakers wanted to avoid all the women-in-distress scenes endemic to the horror genre, and the tone ran away from them a little.
There's a stupid Crest Whitening Strips commercial where a woman asks if we can tell whether she would have had a crush on David Cassidy or Ralph Macchio in high school. Now, that's why I think lying about your age is ridiculous. I don't want to study Backstreet Boys fan pages in order to convince people I graduated high school in 1998, it's just too much work. You could pretend you were living in a remote African village or that your intellectual parents prevented you from watching TV even at a friend's house, but we Generation Xer's bond on the basis of shared popular culture, so what would you talk about? Do women still lie about their ages on a regular basis, with the taboo against younger men/older women mostly gone? It's so fifties, like Blanche DuBois hiding in dim light so Mitch won't see that she's older than he thinks in A Streetcar Named Desire. Don't reject her because she's older than you, Mitch! Reject her for her habit of seduc
Why yes, I do like playing Centipede , thankyouverymuch I was in one of my videogame-playing moods, the other day (for some reason when I don't feel well enough to concentrate on a book or movie I can still play video games), and the thought came to me: I like to destroy stylized things, but I wouldn't like to kill realistic centipedes, space invaders, blue ghosts, or play with realistic concrete blocks. The stylization makes the game experience better for me, it's not just some nostalgia for 80's arcade games. I enjoy when new versions of these games come with cool cartoony graphics , but I don't understand the importance of a realistic environment in gaming. How does it make the gameplay any better? Games are too realistic now. Look at the Sims . I can't even keep a plant alive, but I'm supposed to make sure a virtual person goes to the bathroom? If I wanted to do that, I wouldn't have "forgotten" to have children. I'm going to start my
Internet 2.0 Weekend This weekend I got all Internet 2.0. I finished adding all my links to, subscribed to blogs on an RSS feed reader , and started a Flickr pool. The pool is for creative versions of the American Library Associations READ posters, so if you have any, please post them! I'm going to pick the best one and give the winner a free t-shirt and poster from Cafepress .
I'm working on DVDtalk's list of top ten anime of 2005 . This is what I've seen so far: 1. Samurai 7. I don't if I'll watch this, frankly. Who needs a remake of a masterpiece like Seven Samurai. There's already a decent Hollywood version , a Japanese schoolkids-versus-bikers version, e ven an outer space version . Japan! Don't catch Hollywood's unnecessary-remake disease! If you do, what next? Citizen Kane: The Anime? The Godfather: The Anime? Once Upon A Time in the West: The Anime? Actually, the last one might be kind of cool. 2. Ghost in the Shell: SAC (2nd Gig). I've seen the first two DVD's. I loved the first Stand Alone Complex, and this is shaping up to be just as good. In addition to the issues of what it means to be human in a cyber-world, these shows built on the political intrigue that was part of the original comic book, but (understandably) did not feature in the movie. 3.Fullmetal Alchemist. I've seen the first six DVD's.
***Warning!****the link below may not be appropriate at work or around small children! If you remember those old "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, you may enjoy these parodies. I laughed so hard at #3 on page 5 that I nearly asphyxiated myself.
I just finished reading Guided By Voices: Twenty Years of Hunting Accidents in the Forests of Rock and Roll. It was much more interesting than I thought it would be. I mean, I love GBV dearly, but they don't have a history of acting freaky in public or having torrid love triangles and their drummer didn't lose an arm or anything dramatic like that. In spite of that, the book manages to give us a good portrait of a cult indie-rock band in the 90's. Sometimes it's more instructive to view an industry from the bottom or the middle than the top, like reading about a cult actor in Psychotronic versus a big-star puff piece in Premiere . Those big stars never tell you anything interesting; they have too much to lose. Here's the top three scandalous revelations about GBV from the book: 1. Sometimes, when it looks like Bob is chugging a beer on stage, he's really intentionally spilling most of it down the front of his shirt. 2. The song "Teenage FBI" was in
Favorite Movies Branded To Kill Full Contact Eight Diagram Pole Fighter Valley Girl Yojimbo The Warriors Shoot the Piano Player Tetsuo Ghost in the Shell Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Bedazzled Once Upon A Time in the West Perfect Blue Eraserhead Avenging Eagle Sunset Boulevard Sweet Smell Of Success Jackie Brown The Man in the White Suit
Well, my sweetie finally gave me his list of favorite songs. It was fun making the list and I got a lot of insight from everybody's else's, not to mention ideas for more songs to listen to. if anyone else wants me to post their list, send it to me.
Kathy gave me the idea for a list of favorite songs, I think she got the idea from Derek. Here is her list of Kathy, Paul, Debi, Derek, Tim, and Mark's favorite songs.
My Favorite Songs Here's my list. It's not rated, just alphabetical. I didn't include anything from the past year or so because I may get sick of them eventually. These are songs that have stood the test of time for me. Some bands (Sonic Youth, Flaming Lips, Tricky) or genres (stoner rock, math-rock, psychedelia) are more album-oriented, so I might have different choices for best albums. Conversely, genres such as power pop and 60s garage rock are more suited to singles. I think a band can have one great song while the rest of their work is mediocre. Obviously, I don't think there is such a thing as music "everyone" must like or musical "essentials" Academy Fight Song--Mission Of Burma The Ace Of Spades--Motorhead And Then Again--Arcwelder Another Girl, Another Planet--The Only Ones Baby Baby--The Vibrators Baby Come Back--The Equals Boombastic--Shaggy Both Ends Burning--Roxy Music C’est Si Bon--Eartha Kitt Complicated Fun--The Suicide Commandos Craz