Friday, December 21, 2007


merry christmas, i'm a sellout, and i'm moving

hi folks.
so i got an office job which eats all of my time. I am also beginning as a contributor on commonsensedancing. to be frank, it is a much more youtube-based, boy-centric blog than this one. so me and my self-seriousness may crash and burn. but keep an eye out.

Monday, September 17, 2007


if you dont want ot see manda bala or have already seen it

then go to a theater with manda bala, buy a ticket for manda bala, and go see whatever other movie you and yours want to see (3:10 to yuma is quite good). the theater doesn't care. it isn't like you are 15 trying to get inot an R rated film and they still get their money. and manda bala needs the ticket sales so that it can stay in theaters long enough for people to hear about it. it is amazing how difficult it is to get people to see a movie that has no advertising budget.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


manda bala

I am going to use my space and diminished readership to incite you to go see "manda bala." it is a movie about corruption, income inequality, and violence in brazil. it was assistant directed and produced by a childhood friend of mine. It was directed by a friend. it won best cinematography and a grand jury prize at sundance this year. it is playing in most major cities. I waited to see it before telling you all to spend your money and time to go, but I can say definitively that it is excellent and you should go. so, go.

Friday, August 31, 2007


amazing things learned about Ione Sky

1. name is pronounced "eye-oh-nee".

2. is the daughter of Donovan ("season of the witch" is amazing) and Enid Karl. that means her dad wrote "mellow yellow", now that has adolescent embarrassment written all over it

3. she was married to beastie boy adam horovitz, but not anymore.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I have been doing a lot of very mundane editing. Apparently my grasp of when to use "that" and when to use "which" is quite poor; however, I am sticking to my guns on my use of conjunctive adverbs, a good quality semicolon to connect two related independant clauses (thanks lindsay), and hypenated compound adjectives.

I am staying at the lovely apt. of P+K who are away, and I can't make their TV play TV, so I have been engaging in their movie collection to excess. In the last 48 hrs. I have seen bad boys I and II, 50 first dates, fever pitch, the notebook, and the family stone. all of these movies have fatal artistic flaws, but most are very cute in their own way.

questions and comments developed from watching fun, cheesy movies:

Is drew barrymore really like that in real life? If not, does she had just hate getting up in the morning to play that person? Same for Meg Ryan? Also, in "fever pitch", she was hard to buy as the hard businesswomen.

In fever pitch, drew has a coven of female friends, one of whom has a distinctive lantern jaw and prominent teeth. that's right, Ione Skye has resurfaced! (Ione was the female lead in "say anything.") after a short trip down IMDB lane, it seems that Ione's CV for the last 18 years is (to quote triumph) "a who's who of who cares." hopefully she is happy.

What the F did they do to "fever pitch?" Did the writers even read the book? why bother to call it "fever pitch?" it was a totally different story. Zombie branding, maybe?

Bad Boys I and II serve mostly as vehicles for will smith to bring black culture to white people in a palatable way. he sure is good at that. (full disclosure: I know all the words to "parents just don't understand.") and things blow up in that distinctively Michael Bay way. points to Martin Lawrence for making subversive references to other black comedians in this . at one point, he tells Will Smith to "have a coke and a smile."

Rachel McAdams is really cute. Her southern accent in the "the notebook" is awful, and her character in "the family stone" lacked cohesiviness and motivation (possibly not her fault). but she is very cute. she and ryan gosling make enduring all the cultural inaccuracies and general implausibilities of the notebook tolerable.

did the makers of "the family stone" just throw the scripts from "love actually" and "the ice storm" in a blender and produce what came out?

Monday, August 27, 2007


The Stab Master (of Science)

Defence was smooth sailing. thankfully. I am now a master of science for what little that is worth. it was actually fun to get to answer intelligent questions from people who knew what the hell I was talking about.

I saw on the news that police also raided DMX's house on dog-related suspicion. I know this is the sort of statement that gets liberals in trouble, but doesn't this seem more like a racially motivated cultural misunderstanding than a great crime by the likes of Vick et al.? We kill other animals and eat them when they aren't deemed good enough to be breed stock, so why is killing dogs that fail tests so different. it seems a little hypocritical if you ask me. Winnipeg is soothing as ever. full of nice folks and open spaces and the occaisional big sky thunderstorm.
am reaching the post-adrenaline trough where my body has burned all the available glycogen and wants to sleep. sounds like a plan.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

odd time to start blogging, I know. My thesis defence is in 24 hrs and my advisor meeting in three and the presentaiton isnt done yet. (thesis is, thankfully). my laptop has had a tetchy relationship with Blogger, hence no posts. but I am well. back from newfoundland whose accent is a cross between Irish and Pirate. I caught an absolutely enormous atlantic cod on a jig line. It was very odd to be holding such an overfished fish as a fisherman. but as I said after we ate the crocodile our guides caught and insisted on eating in EG, "aside from the international guilt, it is really quite delicious." I particulalry recommend the cod tongue. very creamy.

just moved into my ugly apartment. just bought a washer and dryer from a pair of irish people whose house was being forclosed. they bought it because it had a bar in the basement with a dragon wood-burned onto the side. They were probably offered a subprime mortgage. ok, off to make pretty slide mostly involving figures lifted out of my text.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


my turn with duke

It is now time to tell a little story about my relationship to duke lacrosse. it is an issue of much debate, both on nakedfobi, banthetubetop, here, and major media outlets. First they were terrible, preppy villians. then they were brave, resilient saints. then there was blowback and people wanted them regarded as thugs. then there was counter blowback about what good kids they really were and how smart and hardworking.

well, i lived through about the most analagous situation that exists. I admit that a lesser charge than racially aggravated rape was involved, but let me tell it and see if it doesn't help your understanding.

when i was a sophomore on the yale heavyweight rowing team, we got accused of hazing our freshmen. the whole thing was based on the report of a single RA (I eventually became an RA) which turned into a precautionary suspension of the program to allow for investigation. now this precautionary suspension and accusation found its way into the new york times (with it's school-girl crush that we often talk of here), and into everyone's consciousness on campus. the suspension for alcohol-related hazing pretty successfully fueled everyone's prejudices about rowing. that we were by and large, rich, white, from prep schools, and kindof boorish (all in large part true). and that of course we would behave in such heartless, stupid, and entitled manner. all the previous convictions for drunken violence came to light as supporting evidence for our flawed character. and we had folks with citations, just like duke. I didn't, but that didn't matter. people saw us as easy villians. and we through the previous decades had made it easy for them.

the problem was that we didn't do it. no one hazed anyone. this was the eventual conclusion of the investigation and the team was reinstated 2 MONTHS LATER.

that being said, we did provide alcohol for minors. that was wrong. but more importantly we forgot the best piece of advice our coach ever gave us: 'everyone is watching you.' you are a large group of large, confident young men. people know who you are. so you must behave as though you are being watched. this advice was actually for airport travel (he suggested we help old ladies with overhead luggage and not be rowdy in terminals) but ultimately it applied here as well. we engaged in questionable behaviour, and the world decided to pay attention. and we paid a reputational price for it. same as duke. the truth came out in the end. everyone was exhonerated, but people didn't look at us the same way. same as duke. sorry, boys. I don't care what the coleman report says about how hard working and cohesive you are, or whether your GPA is really high (so was ours), you were in the grey area and you got caught. and you paid. that's how it goes. you aren't heroes. you are apparently very good lacrosse players (advancing deep into the NCAA tournament). hopefully what you are now is chastened.

I apologize for not telling that story last spring. it was the first thing I thought of when I read the reports was "it sure would be weird if they didn't do it. I know how quickly this stuff spirals out of control." but being who I imagine myself to be, the last thing I wanted to do was circle the country club wagons as yale rowing came to the defence of duke lacrosse. I wanted no part of that. secretly, I wanted them to be guilty because it would have made my collegiate transgressions by association seem that much more insignificant.

Friday, June 01, 2007


how do comport oneself as an eastern intellectual in the west

I just came back from a long and delightful camping trip with springydog to south dakota wyoming, montana, and north dakota. and for those of you who are curious, the mall of america is just a big mall with a county fair-style rides in the middle. that's it. and the corn palace of mitchell south dakota isn't cool. not even ironic, kitschy fun. it is just stupid. that being said, we had lots of delightful adventures. we got a flat tire in spearfish, sd. and no fewer than 5 people stopped to help. and the walmart tire center stayed open late to help us. we got snowed on in yellowstone (I am the moron who didn't account for elevation).

which brings me to another point. it is very important to me that my time out west not be "easterners laughing at yokels and feeling superior because they backpack instead of RV." we were in the North Dakota Cowboy hall of fame (#1 tourist attraction for ND in 2006), and some of the inductees were native americans. One of them in a large framed portrait was labelled in big, black bold letters "Cihef White Shield 1". This is clearly a typo of "chief." but the question became, "do I tell the museum proprietors?" I didn't, but I think I should have. same goes for the obese dude at old faithful feeding the 5-lined ground squirrel by hand. should i tell him that is wrong? I didn't, but i think I should have. again for the backpacking boys who were wearing their framepacks like bookbags instead of using the hip strap to support the weight opn bigger muscles.

I know enough to know that westerns know lots of things I don't know. we would have been sunk of the Lakota man hadn't stopped to explain a better method for covering and securing gear in the bed of my truck. that being said, the cultural trope of eastern know-it-all showing up and bossing people around weighs very heavily on me. how can I share the things that I know while operating within that cultural framework which makes it difficult for me to share knowledge without coming off as feeling superior?

Thursday, May 17, 2007


from the stuplime to the not-so-ridiculous.

this is a very nice (and short) opinion piece about the culture associated with the american college system. it spans a variety of topics quickly and thoughtfully without falling prey to any existing dogma. that is why louis menand is a public intellectual, and I am not. (found via magicpancake.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


It's not a matter of fairness. It's a matter of correctness.....

....that is what stu jackson had to say on why he suspended amare stoudamire and boris diaw for NOT HITTING ANYONE at the end of game 4 of the suns vs. spurs. this is the most assinine defence I have ever heard. The league is saying it has a "zero tolerance policy" for leaving the bench. I think all sentient adults can realize that zero tolerance policies are goss oversimplifications that result in comical rulings (suspended 2nd graders with tylenol and whatnot). To fall back on a policy even when the extenuating circumstance show that it is clearly generating an inappropriate ruling shows a lack of will and a real fear on the part of the administrator. this ruling is just the latest outgrowth of the fact that the NBA fears its players' "thuggishness" (see also: blackness) and must institute a reign of terror to keep them in line after the Pistons/pacers fight. Anyone who has every watched a hockey game knows that things get chippy at the end and that you can't allow lesser players to take liberties with your skill players. that is exactly what happened in to steve nash. and in that situation in a dirty series, stoudamire and diaw were right to instinctively defend their (smaller) teammate. If haymakers had been thrown, this would be another story. but to alter the course of a playoff series on a technicality is a shame.

in a fantastic bit of narrative symmetry, about 1.40 into fat joe's "make it rain" (the make it rain link from yesterday) Diddy makes a 1/2 second cameo. i figured i would explain because the likelihood that anyone made it that far into "make it rain" was very very low. l'il wayne's hook is pretty damned catchy even if fat joe's rap is repetitive and boring. I caught myself walking into school singing "I make it rain (I make it rain) I make it rain on them hos." not exactly conduct becoming of an officer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

odd occurances of the past 24hrs.

1. met my first Eli in Winnipeg: a homosexual flight-instructor named robert who was '97 Branford. how did i meet him? He bought my table and chairs off of craigslist. and paid my exorbitant fee to use my truck to move them. coincidences. and it should be noted that he dropped all the hints about "new haven" not me. I try my damnedest to avoid being Tom Buchanon, because I totally can be and it is a bad habit. for those of you who don't want to play "literary allusions," Tom Buchanan is Daisy Buchanan's husband in "the great gatsby." He is a muscular upper-class formerfootball star who enjoys polo. he is kindof like a turn of the century banker. the descriptive line about him that always stuck with me was something along the lines of "he made it clear that it wasn't a big deal that he went to yale, once you knew that he had."I read this in 1997 well before i knew about college, so the endurance of this line is not rooted in the vanity of name recognition. rather it has come to be more and more meaningful as I have more adult social interactions and see the not-so-subtle subtleties of the sharing of information and leverage. while we are on the subject of gatsby, someone once suggested to me the P. Diddy was the new gatsby. sadly I can't remember who it was, because I loved the idea. I think this insight was also more poignant when Diddy was more relevant, say, 1999 during the height of the "white party" and such.

2. I threw the badly water-damaged rusty metal and particle board desk off my balcony. (it had moss growing on it when i moved in). it was too heavy for me to carry down the stairs alone so I tossed it. it made a tremendous crash and broke into pieces which I could drag to the dumpster. There is still a primal joy and throwing things from high places and watching them smash.

3. I read a thesis chapter from one of springy's classmates about Brett Easton Ellis's American Psycho. I read it because there was not a written word (or a stick of furniture) left in the apartment besides that. (I found it cleaning out the closet.) I am tempted to rain judgement about it, but i am chastened by wittigenstein (via tom friedman) who says "when a man tells you 2+2=5 it is a mistake. when he tells you it equals 97, he is using a whole different logic from you." and I fear this may be the case with literary academics. I will rain judgement later, once I better understand if this work was a 5 or a 97.

I am well aware that the actual expression may be "reign judgement" but I find the image of "raining judgement" like "raining men" or "making it rain" much more compelling.

the chapter did include a reference to the word "stuplime" which is a descriptive term for things that are both stupid and sublime coined by some critic named Ngai. it is meant to describe the work Samuel Beckett and Gertrude Stein as being both boring and shocking simultaneously, but i think this term can break its narrow literary shackles and be free. could paris hilton be stuplime? Bam Margera? Iraq war news? I welcome any other submissions of stuplimity (Ngai's noun formation, not mine).

Monday, May 14, 2007

never clean your oven before breakfast. particularly is that oven belongs in a rental apartment that has been passed down from dirtbag to dirtbag leaving you holding the bag when it comes to cleaning and moving out.

the grime was so strong even oven cleaner couldn't get it off. I was chipping at it with a knife (just as my mother advised. and on mother's day no less). for those curious, oven cleaner is lye (NaOH) (remember, like in fight club). so it goes down the sink with water where it turns into salt and water. however, aerolsolized in your lungs, it does the same thing it does that that grease--chemical reduction by a strong base. so wear a mask when you clean your oven and ventilate the area well.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


let's just hope it never enters a relationship with the passive-aggressive pike

ladies and gentlemen, I give you the belligerent sculpin (Megalocottus platycephalus platycephalus). found in the UK and Northern US, this fish is pretty boring except for having an absolutely fantastic common name.

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