Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Spring's a-comin' ... in two more months or so. Here in Chicago, we're on that short yellow bus schedule.

Anyway, I'm all about a new opportunity to buy shoes that may or may not be worn. Thankfully, some of my guilt will this time be assuaged by my affinity for an earth-conscious collection. Terra Plana, with an eco-sustainable approach, allows me to feel that I'm actually helping the earth by buying shoes.

Note: I own a pair of Terra Planas, and they are ridiculously comfortable. The rubber soles are great too.







Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Not Biting, But They're Chewing On Something

Remember when Chico (DeBarge) got out of jail back in '96, '97 and dropped Long Time, No See? Yeah, I was geeked, for all of the usual chick reasons. After cutting that Flock of Seagulls bouffant and gaining that young jail body, he was foine, so I bought the album. (I did things like that. How do you think I became an Eric Benet fan?)

Anyway, revisiting that album today got me thinking again about musical influences. Ain't nothing wrong with 'em. We all absorb influences, ideas, thoughts from somewhere. Sometimes, though, the influence is so strong you can't help but hear a legend being regurgitated by a newbie. Por ejemplo,

That entire Long Time, No See album should be entitled I Love You Marvin Gaye: Troubleman/Let's Get It On Part Deux. Tell me I'm wrong.

"Trouble Man" - Marvin Gaye

"Love Still Good" - Chico DeBarge

And Rahsaan Patterson? Clearly a huuuuuuuuge Chaka Khan fan.

"We Got Each Other" - Chaka Khan

"Get Here" - Rahsaan Patterson

I love Raheem DeVaughn to pieces (pieces!!!), but that latter half of Love Behind The Melody was straight Marvin too.

"Distant Lover" - Marvin Gaye

"Desire" - Raheem DeVaughn

That's it.

Oh, I saw Coraline in 3D today. Really good.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bebe Zahara Benet

Just in case you didn't know, Bebe Zahara Benet is more fierce than you.

Do yourself a favor. If you're not watching RuPaul's Drag Race, go on over to LOGO and rectify that situation. Okay?

Dial M For Murder was pretty good. I guess that weak-assed Gwyneth Paltrow vehicle The Perfect Murder was supposed to pay homage, huh? For shame. At least it had Viggo Mortensen.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


You know, I'm surprised there hasn't been any serious porn exploiting this guy's name. I mean ... Hitchcock. Yeah.

Anyway, one of my favorite directors, blah, blah, blah. Love his movies, doody doo. Since I'm on this hiatus from life, I figured I'd watch all the Hitchcock I haven't seen. (See? That sentence makes me feel dirty. *shudder*)

Spellbound - Many a day in undergrad spent watching this one. Gregory Peck was a looker. Good movie, but the inferior version of Marnie in my opinion.
Marnie - Severely underrated. Perhaps my favorite. No one plays beautiful and dangerous ice queen like Tippi Hedren. Sean Connery did some horrid, horrid things in this, but my was he smmoth with it.
The Birds - Creepy and fantastic. In the top five.
Vertigo - Jimmy Stewart's my favorite Hitchcock leading man.
Psycho - Honestly, who hasn't seen this? Way to milk the franchise, greedy hollywood.
Frenzy - Surprisingly violent and disturbing, which means I loved it.
Rope - Another underrated piece featuring the man, Jimmy Stewart.
Shadow of a Doubt - Good stuff, man. Uncle Charlie was just plain bogus.
The Trouble with Harry - Hilarious. Who knew a corpse (that's not reanimated) could be so much fun?
Rear Window - Part of the cultural fabric. How many parodies of this one have you seen?

Kinda Seen, meaning was on TV as I did other stuff and intermittently paid attention.
North by Northwest - I do like Cary Grant. So smooth, that one.
Torn Curtain - Starring the most attractive white man the white world has ever offered, Paul Newman.

Seeing Soon - I came up at the Walmart a few months back. Twenty Hitchcock movies--mostly the older ones, including the first version of "The Man Who Knew Too Much," four discs in total--for only five bucks. This is what I got, a frickin' steal.
Dial M For Murder - Watching it tonight.
The Lady Vanishes
The 39 Steps
Strangers on a Train

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Watching The Watchmen

first off, the book and the movie are two different vehicles. read it. say it aloud. accept it as truth. also, this is not a proper review, more so me trying to work out my feelings about the movie. no spoilers, so feel free to read it.

my feelings about this movie are complicated because i can't be sure if i liked it or not. the director, zack snyder, was obviously intent on remaining true to the source material, and it shows. most of the visuals and dialogue were snatched directly from the pages of the novel, with few, very few, exceptions. as i watched, i knew what each scene would look like, sound like, as panels from the novel appeared in exact succession with characters saying nearly exactly what they say on page. after a while, i was left feeling no anticipation, just expectation. i can't say that this is the director's fault. i was the one, after all, who decided to read the darned thing, but i think there's a useful discussion in here somewhere about the merits of risk taking in film adaptation. despite snyder's near perfect reverence for the text, i almost found his need to simply provide a slide show of the text somewhat dull, without risk and boring.

it wasn't all bad, though. often i found myself remarking aloud about the beauty of the film. it was gorgeous in many places, and sometimes, the faithfulness of the adaptation was exactly what was called for. mr. manhattan's famous exile, for example, was beautiful. i found myself nearly as arrested by the film's rendering of it as i was by its textual counterpart. entertaining, too, were the fights. the violence was particularly graphic, so much so that my mom, brother, and i often found ourselves gritting our teeth. it was strange in a way, the stillness of the film juxtaposed with the brutality of its fight scenes. i figured snyder was attempting to satiate watchers who would be bothered by the lethargic pace of the film.

another problem was a few of the casting choices. i flat out disliked the actress playing laurie/silk spectre II; she was annoying and wasn't talented enough to give the character any depth. laurie was my least favorite in the novel, too, but a good actress should bring something to the table. what REALLY annoyed me was the choice for ozymandias. this guy and his character are so integral to the plot that his less-than-stellar acting was seriously lowered the quality of the film. though he is regarded from a distance as golden, in addition to his intellect and physical prowess, adrian veldt is likeable and radiates a personality that draws people in. i did not get this from matthew goode at all. in fact, i found him pompous, stiff, and unsympathetic. jude law probably would've been the better choice.

jackie earle haley as rorschach was perfect. seriously, every time he appeared on screen, things picked up again and you finally found yourself feeling any sort of kinship or sympathy for a character. jeffrey dean morgan (bizarro robert downey jr.) was also good as the comedian.

fans won't be satisfied if they're looking for the same amount of depth in character development, allegory, and themes. there just isn't enough time, but i do think that the idea of self-chosen superheroes, regular people who have chosen this burden for one reason or another, is interestingly handled and results in a movie that is beautiful and provocative. a better movie, one that is all those things AND entertaining would've needed more editing, a better pace, and a much better cast; however, i'm glad i saw it.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Getting My La Pasadita On

I used to have a tradition called Hot Dog Fridays that featured Hot Doug's. That eventually evolved into Taco Fridays featuring La Pasadita.

Tonight, I wanted to revisit those times and attempted to emulate La Pasadita's taco. It definitely wasn't the same, but it was damn tasty.

Word to the wise, do not attempt to drink eisbocks and be functional. Those joints are mad strong (and delicious).

Also, tomorrow I'm getting my left arm all kinds of illustrated, and I'm having doubts. Unfortunately, the sugar cube was dropped, leaving room for the robot parts, cheeseburger, and stick of butter only. Apparently, this whole exercise will take about 20 hours. Yay?

Watchmen tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

WOOOOOooooOOOOO/Sci Fi Reading

Remember this post about my tour through sci fi classics? I haven't forgot. I'm just lazy. So far, I've waded through three and a half short stories, two of which I'd already read, and one-half a graphic novel.

"The Veldt" & "Zero Hour"/Ray Bradbury - I'd read both of these before, more than once as a matter of fact. Luckily, I'm on borderline Alzheimer's status, so I enjoyed them as if they were new. Also, I had luckily kept The Illustrated Man, the book in which they appeared, checked out on October 16, 1989 from The Ray School library. That's right, while you were playing and having fun, I was stealing books from school libraries. I'm BAD!

Both stories deal with the private worlds of children and their potential dangerousness when left unattended or ignored. Bradbury's writing has always struck me as very sensitive and lyrical. His description of scenery is so vibrant, characters so seemingly realsitic (even his Martians in The Martian Chronicles are "normal") that you often forget that you're reading fantastical tales. Both are recommended, fun tales that aren't mindblowing but are entertaining.

"Nightfall"/Isaac Asimov - I don't know how I've never read this one. Pure Asimov, an interesting concept brought to life through well-written dialogue and an incredible use of tension/suspense. No spoilers: The story centers on the concept of a planet bathed in sunlight as the result of having multiple suns, a once millennial eclipse, and the effects of darkness on a people who have never experienced it. Incredible story. Read it!

In the middle of Heinlein's "The Roads Must Roll."

Started The Watchmen last night in anticipation of Friday's movie debut. Got half way through. So far, it's busy but compelling, if only because I want to see how the characters' threads and the many asides come together.

Monday, March 02, 2009

In Fatter News ...

I'm slowly reverting back to my former habits. This morning I made waffles (approximately seven of them), and this evening I made chocolate chip cookies. I'm gonna stop fighting it; I was meant to have high LDL levels and intermittent chest pains from all the fat I consume.

For Schmoe Diggla's Mama's birthday, we hit Chi-Tung. People were dangerously close to food coma.

See? Jimmy has collapsed over his cookie.

My delicious fruit punch backwash remains untouched cuz I have
approximately 14 pounds of food in my stomach.

However, the random Asian food gods have some good news for me.
Perhaps they refer to a cholesterol test.

To keep the fat fattening, I plan on having a pepper crusted steak and a potato gratin tomorrow. That means I'll have meat, potatoes, and cream for dinner. Mmm ... food.

I guess this is a good enough space to make a random Alton Brown allusion. "Oh, bother."

Also, there are some bloggers out there doing wonderful things for food. Thank you.
Coconut & Lime
Closet Cooking - singlehandedly responsible for my love of orange root vegetables with blue cheese.
101 Cookbooks
Orthogonal Thought

Finally, the Fat Boys had it all figured out: