Thursday, March 31, 2005
This just sucks.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
First of all, not that I have $250 in my couch cushions with which to buy a PSP, but if I did, this right here would give me second thoughts.
Google Deskbar is pretty kick-ass. Now you don't even need a browser to search for stuff.
The cast of the next Surreal Life: Omarosa, Janice Dickinson, Jose Canseco, Pepa (of Salt 'N'), Bronson Pinchot, and some motorcycle guy. It seems like with each season I come closer and closer to actually watching the show. Maybe this will be the one where I finally break.
Thanks to Netflix, I finished watching the first season of The Wire on Sunday. It's so good that even The Shield feels a little hokey now. I'm still watching Shield, though, because they added Glenn Close this season and it's the first good role she's had since... uh... I think I need more time.
More Netflix viewing: the "-Up" documentary series. It started with 7-Up in 1964, which was a documentary about a bunch of 7-year olds in England, and then one of the producers started stalking the kids every 7 years to see what they were up to. Right now I'm at 28-Up and it's starting to seem like they've all gotten too well-adjusted to be entertaining. But I'm sure that will change. I hope by 35-Up they're all in some cult or something.
Coming soon: hardwood floors in my apartment. Finally an answer to the question that has been lingering in my head for much of my adult life: "Why can't I rollerblade from the kitchen to the bathroom?"
Monday, March 28, 2005
Daer Barsyalc Merebm,
Thsi eiaml was snet by the Baralcys sevrer to vreify yruo eliam arddess. You mtsu coelpmte tsih prsecos by ckciling on the lkni bwole and enetring in the samll windwo yoru Barclsya Mhsrebmeip numebr, pdocssae and mlbaromee wdro. Tihs is deno for yruo proitceton - beacuse semo of our msrebme no lregno haev accsse to tiehr emlia adrdesses and we mtsu veriyf it. To veriyf yruo emial adsserd and aeccss yoru bakn accoutn , ckc:
I mean, really. Just because you're trying to swindle people out of their life savings doesn't mean you can't hit the spell-check button once in a while.
Friday, March 25, 2005
1. There was a limo waiting outside the Whole Foods in Sherman Oaks last night. I could only think of one possible scenario to precede that little tableau: "Driver, we need some more champagne back here. And this time, it has to be ORGANIC, goddamnit!"
2. This is where I was the rest of the night. (Photo © Eti)
To paraphrase a power ballad, this show rocked me like a hurricane. I don't know how else to describe it. The Decemberists are just a fucking amazing band, great on CD, twenty times better live. (Which seems to be less and less often the case ever since that big merger between rock and ProTools.)
3. And then, this morning, I unwittingly showered with a friend:
I don't think the digital camera really does it justice. This thing was big enough to occupy Finland.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
The BBC hit "Strictly Come Dancing" is waltzing its way across the pond, as ABC has ordered six episodes of a U.S. version.
Project will be renamed for the U.S., but the concept will remain the same: Eight celebs are paired with professional dancers and train to compete in a live ballroom-dancing competish.
The way I see it, it's like Olympic ice skating, except instead of watching some Eastern European waif getting dropped, we can laugh hysterically when, like, Ashley Judd or Rebecca Romijn-Stamos hits the floor.
The only disappointing thing is that they're going to rename it. "Strictly Come Dancing" is the best title for anything ever.
Monday, March 21, 2005
Now then, a few words on head songs. Songs that get stuck in your head. They've been around forever, of course. I'm sure as Martin Luther was nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church, he was really thinking "Goddamn, why can't I get that one Latin hymn out of my brain?" Followed immediately by, "Oh crap, I'm totally going to Hell for thinking 'goddamn'. I better finish this up and go self-flagellate." However, I think that the recent influx of catchy indie pop/rock songs has really exacerbated the issue. You can't avoid hooky singalong stuff anymore by just not listening to Top 40.
Some examples of what I'm talking about. Some of them are downloadable, but don't come crying to me when you're forced to re-enact the last scene of Pi to recover your sanity.
Belle & Sebastian - Storytelling
Rilo Kiley - Portions for Foxes
Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Futureheads - Decent Days and Nights
Bright Eyes - I Must Belong Somewhere
Loquat - Swingset Chain
The Decemberists - Shiny (I mentioned this one a couple months ago, but in my head it remains)
And then there are mash-ups, which are totally the "new thing" even though they're about as new as representative democracy. Nonetheless, there are some good ones here, and they are also highly subject to stuck-in-head syndrome.
Friday, March 18, 2005
Well, if you read in the news tomorrow that someone held up a bank for $350 plus tax, don't point the finger at me. I was at home with my Netflix, and my witness is the pink-haired chick with the Robert Smith t-shirt who stalks me.
Monday, March 14, 2005
Anyway, on to the point, which is that Podcasting rocks. It's like Tivo for the iPod, sort of. The idea of it is that people do radio shows (mostly talk shows or entertainment shows, occasionally music shows), which they record as MP3s. You use a program called iPodder (created by former Dial MTV host Adam Curry, I shit you not) to let you know when there are new shows you're interested in and download them to your iPod. Most of the shows are super-indie, but KCRW has started putting most of their shows into Podcast form -- and not just the boring shows like To The Point, but also cool shows like The Treatment, The Business, and Harry Shearer's intermittently funny Le Show. Then there's Adam Curry's own show, The Daily Source Code, which is only about 75% as geeky as it sounds.
With a bunch of good Podcasted shows on my iPod, it's almost like being able to watch TV while I'm out walking. The gap between exercise and sloth is steadily closing.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
But the interesting part is here, on Yahoo's front page, where they're hyping the image search. They decided to use four different pictures (with captions) to demonstrate the kind of stuff you can look for. You'd like to think that a lot of thought goes into this type of decision, but it seems to me that they relied on a focus group of one 13-year old girl with ADD. Because the four pictures are:
I really would like to have seen the meeting with said 13-year old girl. I bet she tried to get Uggs onto the list too, but they ran out of space.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
It started (I think) with someone describing to me how one time the traffic on the 405 south was so bad that they had to get off at the 10, take that to the 110, and then take the 110 back down to the 405 to avoid all the backups. (I'm aware that makes no sense.) After that, I was suddenly in the car (an open-top Jeep, I think), driving down some freeway where I had to exit onto another one. I don't know what freeway I exited onto, but it quickly turned into some kind of large wildlife preserve. Like the African sahara, maybe. It was unpaved (of course), huge, green, all kinds of weird trees and rocks and stuff all over the place. Eventually there were some pterodactyls. I didn't think they were especially out of place. There were also some other assorted dinosaur bones, and one huge dinosaur-looking thing that was either a full-size dead T-Rex or just a full-size model somebody built and left lying around. (I considered both these possibilities in the dream.) Finally, I got to the end of the wildlife area where we had to wait for some boats to take us to the next place. (I don't remember who I was with.) Somebody in the waiting area told me that there was a famous house on the preserve that a lot of famous people have lived in over the years, and is currently occupied by Janeane Garofalo. I was annoyed that I hadn't noticed it on the way, but there wasn't really time to go back. Jason Ritter (actor/son of John Ritter) was also there, and I think that's because I saw someone in Westwood yesterday who sort of looked like him.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Anyway. I took an all-day course in Microsoft Access today, and it was so boring that I fantasized about less boring activities such as ironing, sorting socks, and reading up on the mayoral candidates. (Maybe not the last one.) I don't want to say that it was cruel to make us sit in front of that program for six to seven hours, but I actually saw the instructor consulting with Alberto Gonzales before the class started. (The humor gets even worse from here on, I'm sorry to say.)
But I had to entertain myself one way or another, so I used the Mail Merge exercise to whip up a quick Mad Libs. You know, mail merges are where you export a set of names, addresses, etc. into a bunch of form letters using a template and--oh, hell, you've all temped, you all know what they are. This was pretty much the only opportunity all day to exercise any creative freedom, so I did what I could.
[First Name] [Last Name]
[City], [State] [Zip]
Dear [First Name],
Happy Birthday. Good luck and everything. But I wonder what the hell Ma and Pa [Last Name] were thinking when they named you [First Name]. I guess that's just how those crazy folks do things over there in [City]. By the way, what the hell kind of zip code is [Zip]? Is that even in the state respresented by the postal abbreviation "[State]"? I swear, [First Name], I just don't get you.
And that's the level of humor I had to resort to in order to maintain my sanity. (The jury's still out on whether I was successful in that regard.)
But I can sure query the shit out of a database now!
Friday, March 04, 2005
Personally, I think she could make a great contribution to a certain film franchise, resurrecting a couple of other careers in the process.