rants & ramblings

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Rants & Ramblings has MOVED!

Yo. This blog has a new technical framework for 2007 and therefore has had to move to a new link (believe me, I tried to avoid this, but...):

This older version will stay in place for now, but this is the final post to this location. Please visit the new link and also make sure to update your feed—new feed link:

Thanks for your patience. Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Daily View, 12/21

Monday, December 18, 2006

Daily View, 12/18: Ghost from the past

When I was 14, I spent a summer learning French in Morzine, a small Alpine Franco-Swiss border village. There were ten American kids and seventy French kids... needless to say, for a few weeks the overwhelmed American minority stuck with their own (except for Will, who refused to speak to any of us—refused to speak in English at all, mostly. He was pasty and bovine with feminine hips. He buttoned his polo shirts up all the way and knew all the names and numbers of the planes that flew overhead. As you can guess, most of us were happy not to talk to Will). Nancy and Susan were from the rich St. Louis suburbs, sweet and sheltered. Kathryn and I were both from U. City, which walked a fine line between ghetto-style hood and culturally-rich progressive liberal enclave (thus messing with our identities in ways that still impact, even now). Alex and Lucy were from a school in Arkansas—Alex was handsome, silent, wore a Black Flagg t-shirt the entire time, while Lucy was a pseudo-homely blonde who managed to use that to her popular advantage in a way that only southerners seem to be able to pull off. Jesse was a weaselly little skate-rat... not sure where he came from.

Finally, Tim and Olly were pals from a wealthy prep school in Tennessee. They were privileged, smart and funny as hell... but kinda nasty. Tim was the nicer of the two—mild-mannered but naughty, soft-spoken and gigantically tall with dark dark skin (the French crassly called him simply "Le Grand Noir" in a way that horrified Kathryn and I, who would have gotten our asses kicked at school had we ever referred to anyone as "The Big Black"). Olly was the shit-stirrer. Raunchy, devilish, bordering on cruel, he was an owlishly piggy boy with sharp beady blue eyes and a wicked sense of humor. He and I hit it off right away. Kathryn and I ran with Tim and Olly for the entire session, and even did a bit of writing back and forth after we all went back to our separate corners of the US. We forgave them for trying to convince us that they'd touched us in adolescently-unexplored places while we were asleep on bivouac (in the hayloft, of course). We aided and abetted them as they tried to steal wine from Madame Bouet—running gleefully into the corn, we crowded around Tim as he took a giant sip... then spat in revulsion (it was vinegar) at the very same moment one of the wild mountain horses appeared and nipped him from behind as Olly's choking laughter rang down the mountainside. We helped them terrorize Jesse, we conspired with them over which of the twentysomething counselors were having sex, we tried to help them bust Philippe et Martin getting it on under their covers at night in the boy's upstairs, we taught them all the curse words our French girlgang roommates taught us, etc. I have fond, slightly unsettling memories of those guys. But, despite our occasional correspondence (which, looking back on, I'm impressed we even made that effort), we fell out of touch.

So today, full-grown Olly pops up on CoolHunting, a site I follow with some regularity. I'd heard something about him developing technology, but now I have a full update—complete with video. Kinda creepy, really. The piggy boy initially grew up into a piggy adult but has since morphed into a Danny Houston-ish bear of an art collector, visible on this video (takes a while to load) and in this bio page. I kinda want to contact him and rip on him a little bit for the cheesy ass adult he has become, but 1) that would just be bad form and 2) he is clearly way too LA-cool for peasants like me these days anyway. The whole thing has kind of shaken me up, to be honest, and I'm starting to realize that Danny Houston-esque boys have been coming in and out of my life since I was a young teen—what is that about??

The only other person from that French adventure that I've ever encountered again is Susan—she and I ended up across from each other at a bar, doing the how-do-I-know-you squint at each other across a table full of mutual friends (perhaps inevitable—there are less than six degrees of separation between any social group in St. Louis). After I finally figured out that it was Susan from Morzine and we had our gush session, she confessed that she'd had some sort of sexual misadventure on that trip involving the slightly predatory French boys, which shocked me. Yet another reason I kinda want to contact Olly—what was his impression of that trip and had he had any shocking misadventures (outside the hayloft, of course)?? So I've become a professional creative (what a bullshit term), Olly has become a Hollywood networking tech developer/art collector/schmooze and Susan has become a Protestant Minister. Wonder where everybody else is (well, except for Will—he's either an airplane pilot or a serial killer, I'd bet money on it).

And this would be the rambling part of rants & ramblings... ;)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Daily View, 12/17: Helsinki Complaints Choir

From Eva, who is attempting to actually learn this language (granted, she's half-Finnish...). Why is the cord of the vaccuum cleaner too short... just like summer...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Daily View, 12/16, Gothamist Edition

Many of my news feeds were neglected this week, which proved to a be a nightmare marathon of 12-16 hour workdays (except for Apocalypso night—thanks Kenbe!). Now, finally able to catch my breath here on a sunny Saturday, I've just caught up on some of my news. A troll through a week's worth of Gothamist has yielded enough for a separate Gothamist-themed post:
  • Table for One: the world of the solo diner. I have always felt like I should be better at dining alone, since I'm usually wandering around by myself. But I suck at it. (Rather, I suck at it when I'm on my own turf—when I travel I have zero problem sitting alone in a restaurant.) I hate sitting at the bar, much less eating there, so the usual routes of camouflage don't work for me. But I'm glad to see proud solo dining is on the rise. Maybe I'll take myself out to dinner. Meanwhile, the comments on this one are pretty interesting—a guy took himself out for a four hour, 24 course meal??

  • Damn, I'm always late catching on—this weekend is the three-day only open house for the Wooster Collective, a house entirely covered in street art (inside and out). After tomorrow, all art will be destroyed. Apparently it's quite a site. I may try to rush down there now...

  • Also this weekend: Lebowski Fest. Don't miss the "two minute symphonic f-bombardment" video at the bottom of the page—the entire movie, summed up in a continuous string of fuckenfuckenfuckenfuck.

  • Oh, Rosie... Gothamist makes fun of her non-apology ("at least she didn't say 'solly'") and wonders what people in China have to say, if anything. Meanwhile, the comments on this one run the gamut of wrong.

  • Bob Dylan protests Factory Girl, further delaying the it-girl buzz vehicle for overrated non-actress Sienna Miller. Hayden Christensen as Dylan? Come on, that's got to be a sign of the apocalyps...o. More from Gothamist on the film and the Dylan/Warhol/Sedgwick thing.

    Meanwhile, side note: Life on Mars is used in the Factory Girl trailer, further cementing David Bowie's status as a whore and a genius. Let other artists be protective of their usage rights—Bowie seems to let his stuff be used whenever, wherever, and it's paying off. He's creating a nice modern presence for his past persona, while at the same time living his current less-visible life as Mr. Iman and mogul. He's everywhere, effortlessly, and seems like a fresh fit. Makes other older artists who are hovering protectively over their catalogs seem like dinosaurs. Personally, three years ago, I knew one Bowie song (two if you count the muppetty stuff from Labyrinth). Today, simply through soaking it up through film and media, I have learned quite a bit about Bowie. My point: I have not sought him out. He has been delivered to me. Bowie, cheerfully allowing his fans to infuse the modern media with accessible entry points to fandom... sly. Life on Mars wasn't released until 1973—Sedgwick had been dead for two years already. Yet here's Bowie on the soundtrack of her life. Most people don't pay attention to the details, further lining his pockets and legacy. Kinda brilliant. Wrong but brilliant.

  • The 29 most important families in New York include the usuals (Trumps, Hearsts, Laurens, Huntzbergers Sulzbergers) but also throws a bone to the Schnabels (which the art world knew already) and—really?!—the Foer brothers (as in Jonathan Safran).

  • RIP Peter Boyle.

  • And finally, One Punk Under God, the reality show about Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's alterna-thumper kid, has hit the airwaves after much buzz and argument about whether this is legit or just more bullshit exploitation.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Daily View, 12/15: Gondry vs Rubik's Cube

So does this mean he qualifies for a competitive internship at Dean Witter?

UPDATE 12/21: Yeah, it's fake. So tricky, that Gondry:

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Daily View, 12/13

  • AT LAST, I may finally be able to have my own action figure—though admittedly DIY is hardly as cool as being one of the X-men or a Batvillain. Sigh.

  • 50 greatest commercials of the 80s (and the sequel 50 more 80s commercials) takes me right back to the days when I thought all cool people put sticks of gum in their mouth like that. Stadium not included? Bastards. How creepy is it that I know all the words to the My Buddy theme song? Yikes.

  • Because this is too weird and fascinating and mildly violating to keep to myself (poor *g has already experienced it): turtle sex. Give it a second, then prepare for some reptile vocalization... the screaming of the lambs...

  • Apocalypto recut by SNL. And perhaps you'd like some Hot Chocolypto to go with your lacerated flesh (though... cayenne pepper?).

  • Classic Christmas specials redubbed—Frosty wants your soul, foulmouthed Charlie Brown, etc. Burl Ives is spinning in his grave.

  • More graphic nature videos (though no turtle sex this time, I promise): Great White shark attacks are dramatic enough without slow motion and psycho violins, though admittedly this is quite a stunner. Poor Anaconda. And lions attack their zookeeper. I'm telling you, this shit is like crack. No wonder people are addicted to reality TV. Bonus: ligers (which were awesome long before Napoleon Effing Dynamite, thanks) and superlions.