Monday, July 28, 2008

arty shopping, mostly etsy

Lion ring on etsy
White Fizzy Pop hankie (inspired by Willy Wonka, I assume?)
Jonathan Wright Company greeting cards
this pouch on etsy
Personalized calling cards
this coin purse
I think with the powers of these things combined, I could pretend to be Amelie pretty easily. I'd accomplish a slightly twee, slightly nostalgic public persona in a snap. I stole this image from here.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Best of Youtube

This Flight of the Conchords song, which unfortunately didn't make it onto the cd.

Also, this video by She & Him.

And last, but not least, cell phones popping popcorn.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Awesome Gifts, Past and Future

These are some awesome things in my house that were gifts from, in order, my parents, my brother, our friend A, and our friends R and T.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dark Knight

A year ago, Stephan and my brother were working insane hours doing this. Great work on a great movie.

Stephan's location work:

My brother's internship in the stunts department:

Images care of here and here.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Lincoln Park Zoo


Saturday, July 19, 2008


Stephan and I are watching Nirvana Unplugged, and I suddenly realized that we are now older than Kurt Cobain when he died. Image.


For Rachel

Friday, July 18, 2008

Top 5 TV Creatures

1. Fraggles from Fraggle Rock. I didn't expect two top 5's in a row with Muppets on it, but this list DEMANDS Muppets. And Fraggles fit the category of 'creature' perfectly--unlike most Muppets, they're not monsters, they're not animals, they're not people. They literally are creatures.
2. Centurions from Battlestar Galactica. The skinjobs get all the attention, but the Centurions won everyone--including me--over when one tilted his head at Baltar's speech about slavery.
3. Hanky the Christmas Poo. South Park has brought out many absurd creatures, but Hanky is the most endearing.
4. Gob's puppet Franklin in Arrested Development. Racist and hilarious.
5. The smoke monster in Lost. I'm hoping Lost really fulfills all the early promise of the smoke monster. The more I see, the less I like it, but the smoke monster was so cool in the early Lost days.

Images from here.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Season 2 Speculation, Season 1 Spoiler

Does Betty Draper read as preggers to anyone else in this image from the Mad Men site? Maybe it's just an apron, or maybe MM has cried wolf too many times.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I'm dipping back into the animal well again, but this 19th century artist is capital-A Awesome. The NYT referenced William Holbrook Beard in this article, and I looked him up. This blog points out that the monkey paintings may or may not be problematic, but this bear painting is so odd and great, I'm hoping for the best. And, as you can see, he has the best grave ever.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Top 5 TV Shows to Teach an Alien about Earth

I should note, before I begin this list, that I am not actually listing any of these top 5's in any particular order. #1 is not #1, etc. Here goes, top 5 list number 3.

1. The Wire. The Wire both captures contemporary American politics and transcends time with Shakespearean-level tragedy, all in one spell-binding package. I haven't watched seasons 4 or 5 yet, but watching seasons 1-3 was enough to cement this as one of the best shows ever.

2. Bewitched. This is my dark horse. There are better portrayals of family, there are better shows from the 60s and 70s, and there's probably better politics out there. This spot should go to MASH. But you know what? I've only watched a few episodes of MASH. I really really loved this show about a witch, her husband, and his mother-in-law and so did my mom and we watched it together. And since this is my list rather than an actual critical list, this goes to Bewitched.

3. The Twilight Zone. There's been a lot of scifi on tv, and I've loved a lot of it, but it all started here. TZ did it right, handling the issues that just weren't clear unless they were treated in alternative realities, dreams, dystopic futures, or in a world where everyone but you had a pig face. I know it's trite by now, but it's ubiquitous for a reason.

4. The Simpsons. I almost gave this spot to Seinfeld, but I just can't. Simpsons does everything. It hits every tone. Satirical. Heartwarming. Slapstick-y. It hits every issue. Community. Family. Working. Disco.

5. Sesame Street. I have to balance the Wire out with a little hope. I don't want the aliens to think it's all bad down here. The image is available here as a 5 ft by 8 ft mural.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

NYT did an article on this youtube video, and it is pretty damn great.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Robot News

We've seen Wall-E (twice). I really really like it. That said, I think the movie would have been perfection with a much more devastating, much less kid-friendly ending that I won't describe due to spoiler issues. It's so good though. I stole the image from here.

The G4 network told Stephan that there's a robot race between Japan and Korea, much like the space race, but with robots.

I found this owl robot my brother had on ebay. Man, this robot is so much cooler than the crappy robots currently at Toys R Us.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Top 5 TV Episodes about Loneliness

Given my age and memory, I suspect a lot of these top 5's will be based on really recent television shows. I'm going to try to mix it up as much as possible, but I have my limits. Also, given there's way fewer tv shows than movies, this might also be a short-lived series on the blog, even if I am using episodes rather than shows. So far though, I like having the structure. Here are my top 5 episodes about loneliness, inspired by the top 5 movies about loneliness at Filmspotting.

1. Veronica Mars pilot: her best friend is dead, her boyfriend won't talk to her, the rest of the school hates her, and her mom left town without explanation. All she's got is her dad, who she certainly can't tell about losing her virginity after being roofied. High school is all about alienation and loneliness, but the Veronica Mars captures it at its most noir-ish. Image and summary here.

2. The episode where Miranda's mom dies on Sex and the City: This is my favorite SATC episode. It perfectly encapsulates how lonely you can feel when a loved one passes away, even when you're surrounded by people who love and want to comfort you.

3. The season 1 finale of Deadwood. Though the Seth Bullock and Alma storyline is great, Al Swearengen's storyline is the one that fits the theme here. It's also the episode that won me over to Al Swearengen for the rest of the series. In it, the reverend is incredibly ill; he's had some sort of stroke and spends most of the episode out of his mind and writhing in pain. At the end, Al goes to the reverend and suffocates him to death in an act of self-sacrificing mercy. And then Al goes and kills another man in cold blood to protect his own skin. It's an insane juxtaposition; but it also shows that Al is all by himself, mostly of his own doing. Al Swearengen is the kind of character that this article is talking about. A character who's a bad person, but who's written in such a generous way that we have to forgive him.

4. The Shooting episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation. As I said above, high school is all about alienation and loneliness, and this is a perhaps less sophisticated, more heavy-handed version than Veronica Mars. The episode is in part a tribute to Carrie, but mostly Canada's attempt to wrestle with alienation's real-life manifestation in Columbine and other school shootings. One thing that's pretty amazing about this episode is that it really does reverberate across the rest of the series.

5. The autism episode of First Person. I like Errol Morris's TV show even better than many of his movies. This episode in particular really captured me. It was about a woman with autism who couldn't relate to the people around her, but had a deep connection to and sympathy with animals. Standard stuff so far, but basically what ends up happening is that she designs a more humane slaughterhouse using the same sort of situations she finds soothing--in particular constrained space and a kind of tunnel vision. Loneliness put to the most unexpected use imaginable. Life really is strange.

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Google is cutting back on the daycare available to its employees. The lack of affordable and acceptable daycare in this country is a travesty.

Scandinavians 2000 years ago were more ethnically diverse than they are now.

Apparently making access to the means of suicide more difficult actually reduces the number of suicides. People don't find another method.

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Leia Look-alike

I was searching for old Hollywood tobacco cards on ebay and ran across this one of Myrna Loy and Reginald Denny. Myrna Loy has Princess Leia's hot-cross-bun hairdo!

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Top 5 Best Dressed Characters

One of my favorite podcasts-- Filmspotting --has this gimmick each week where they pick a theme and choose their top 5 movies based on that theme. I had the idea that I should do a television version of their top 5's, where appropriate. Recently, in honor of Sex in the City, they did their top 5 best-dressed characters. So here are my top 5 best-dressed tv characters, both male and female, in honor of Sex and the City.

The Ladies:
1. Rachel Menken in Mad Men. I've posted about Betty Draper's clothing twice already, so I'm not sure how much more I can say about her other than that her clothing is gorgeous. But I haven't talked about Rachel Menken's clothes. She matches Betty's budget, unlike Peggy, and modesty, unlike Joan. But Rachel Menkin has the female executive look going, matching all the men in suits I list down below. I don't always love the hats, but the suits, gloves, etc, are all amazing.
2. Lilly in How I Met Your Mother. So admittedly my love of Lilly's clothes is slightly narcissistic since she has worn two shirts I own.
3. Veronica in Veronica Mars. Mmm, this is narcissistic again. Veronica Mars owned my green Lucky hoodie.
4. Alma in Deadwood. You just can't beat corsets and hoop skirts.
5. the models on Project Runway. Not much explanation needed here.

The Men:
1. the boys from Stella. Crisp NY suits.
2. Kramer in Seinfeld. Hipster before there was hipster.
3. Don Draper in Mad Men. Crisp 1960 suits.
4. Jin in Lost. Jin pulls off island chic the best of the boys, in my opinion. Lots of button-downs, and his hair doesn't scare me.
5. Fox Mulder in the X-Files. Crisp FBI suits. Unlike Scully, perfection from the get-go.

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Haunted Houses

I love haunted houses; they combine action/horror with domestic drama. It's the perfect genre mash-up. Here are a few of my favorites.

A real house constructed with a real mystery. I want to marry this architect. Savvy guy too. I bet he's the only architect with business right now. (via kottke)

Two of my favorite books: one of the original haunted house novels and a terrifying tribute to it.

A review of a pilot I was really excited about last summer.

I've always wanted to visit the Winchester Mansion, but in the meantime I content myself with occasional visits to the House on the Rock.

The Filmspotting review of the Haunting.

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