I think I have a crush on Craig Ferguson now.
(For what he says, folks. Though that accent sure doesn't hurt...)
I think I have a crush on Craig Ferguson now.
(For what he says, folks. Though that accent sure doesn't hurt...)
Goodness. First it's the Oregon Book Awards, then it's the Booker Prize. Shortlists for both arrived today; in the words of Bookslut, "Tonight, fans of world literature symbolically lock Salman Rushdie back in a closet and inwardly dread the prospect of working through 5,000 pages of something called 'The Northern Clemency'."
Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger
Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
Linda Grant, The Clothes on Their Backs
Philip Hensher, The Northern Clemency
Steve Toltz, A Fraction of the Whole
Oregon Book Awards Finalists make for a long list; see the whole thing here. But special congrats to the locals: Ehud Havazelet (Corvallis), a fiction finalist for Bearing the Body; Lauren Kessler, a creative nonfiction finalist for Dancing with Rose: Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer's; and Cynthia Rylant, a double finalist in children's literature for Alligator Boy and Puppies and Piggies.
Blogging as it goes. I'll try to turn this into something a bit more coherent in the morning!
Last season, I loved this show. This season, 24 minutes into the premiere, I'm not impressed. It's trying too hard to be exciting; it's gone the predicable place already; it's become less plausible than ever before. Two humans aren't going to escape a Terminator. Not without help. I'm already frustrated. And trying to write without spoilers, since I can't remember how to do a jump at the moment.
Also, it's remarkably unclear as to whether or not Shirley Manson's character is meant to have her Scottish accent or not. One second she does, the next it's gone, and regardless, she's a bit stiff. I hope she warms up to it. A nice appearance by Max Perlich â€” toward whom Buffy fans feel a bit of fondness for his role as Whistler on Angel â€”Â seems surprisingly brief, but maybe he'll be back.
Oh, political commercials: "And that's wrong." Speaking of Buffy, all I can think of is Faith in the mirror in "Who Are You?", saying, "Because it's wrong."
And I just keep telling the TV how stupid it is. The kid can't get a chip out of a Terminator's head when it's life or death, but he can hotwire a car in even less time? And yet then he dawdles when faced with the most predicable tactic?
I fail to understand these Levi's ads about unbuttoned jeans. I think it's a scam, a weird experiment on the susceptibilities of the youth of America. There's no other explanation for it. Or for Body of Lies, for that matter. How very tedious it looks.
... and just like that, the show redeems itself. Thank you, Brian Austin Green! (Words I never thought I would say.) However, the kid's total freakout - not that we know exactly what it's over - is a bit much; if they made him a bit more of a believable teenager last season, I'd buy both of his decisions in the second act a bit more thoroughly. They're piling on the push-pull between Sarah and Cameron, and the unlikely affinity John has for machines - but at the same time they're forgetting to give us enough Sarah in the show named for her. Being saved again by her ex-fiancÃ©? The dynamic between her and the other Reese? Setting things up as they are is giving too much weight to the sulky teen, frankly.
... or not. Moments like the scene between Cameron and Sarah in the chapel are what powers the show, what gives it its exceptional heart; moments like the (not surprising, but still enjoyable) appearance of Manson in the bathroom are when it plays for the action fan's heart. The balance is totally vital, obviously.
I'd give this a B-, overall. The first half was tedious, standard action that never truly put any of the principals in danger; the second the character-driven interactions that raise the show above average. And did I mention the tiny, fraught encounter between Ellison and Cromartie? Beautiful. More of that, please. More that looks as good as the preview.
And now it's Monday. Isn't it? I feel a little discombobulated. I'm pretty sure it's Monday, and I'm tired, and I keep babbling incoherently to anyone who'll listen about how much fun MFNW was. Seriously. Babble, babble, ramble, meander.
And the best part of MFNW? Les Savy Fav. Saturday night begins like the other two nights: At the Wonder Ballroom, where there is a giant freaking line that reaches all the way down Russell. I cross my fingers that the magic bulldozer passes will work as I walk up to a friendly-faced fellow who asks, "Did you have a question?" "No," I say, "I have this." I hold up the pass and he waves us in. Awesome. Even the bar line isn't as long as it has been. Not that I'm going to sit in the bar for LSF, but I've got to get through Ratatat first. Ratatat has one song I like; all their other songs sound like variations on it to me. Naturally, they play this one song last, after battering the Wonder with truly epic amounts of bass. My cell screen vibrates. The window behind me knocks in its frame. We bitch about the bass for most of the set.
And then I bid adieu for the moment to my starving boyfriend and begin swimming upstream against the tide of sweaty, exhausted-looking Ratatat fans. It's delightfully easy to get right up front, which is where you must be for Les Savy Fav. It is the vantage point from which to properly appreciate the mad genius of singer Tim Harrington, who comes out with tissue paper wrapped around one arm and a towel around his neck. He's got a weird little hat on and is explaining that he got in a car wreck. They don't have their flutist or bongos. He says. It's all very funny. And then the music starts, and Harrington is flailing and leaping into the crowd and spitting water into fans' mouths (ew!) and generally being the most entertaining performer you could hope to see. At some point, a ladder appears, and he hands it to the crowd, gesturing for them to put it on the floor. But they don't. They don't want to. And so he crowd-ladder-surfs to the lighting rig a few feet back, where he grabs a light and twists it to point downwards. Back onstage, he says, "That light was really bugging me."
That light now creates a little spotlight into which he wanders, later. They play all the right songs, except "Wake Up" and "Dishonest Don Pt. II," and I pogo and dance as best I can while pushing moshers out of my way. Dudes, c'mon now. You DANCE to this music. Seriously. Really. I've seen entire floors dancing. It's rock you dance to. It's not an oxymoron. But this weekend, Portland has two modes: standing stock still and flipping the fuck out in a dude-heavy frenzy. Two kids, one with braces, decide this is the time to take up crowd-surfing. I am not amused, but I just get out of their way.
Sweaty, sweaty, sweaty. Someone gives Harrington a fork and he combs all available hair (on his own body) with it. At one point, he yelps, "What's the difference between me and a pit bull?" The crowd responds, "Lipstick!" Harrington says, "I have human intelligence!" and tears into the next song to a weaker barrage of cheers than I expect.
For the encore, he comes out in orange thigh-high tube socks, red underwear and a hoodie, which he quickly removes as sexily as possible. The crowd is more frenzied than ever. By the time the set is done â€” the almost perfect set, all that booty-shaking total guitar-rock beautiful contradiction stuff tied for the best thing I've heard in ages â€” we're all damp and breathing like we ran here from the Crystal Ballroom. I stumble out the door and down the block and pull myself onto a stool at the BBQ pit where my boyfriend has ridden this one out, and proclaim it the best show ever, and by the way I could really use some water. The bartender overhears, obliges, and we chat for two seconds about the Les Savy Fav show being the show he most wanted to see during the festival. "I'm sorry," I say. He shrugs. "I'll get over it."
I dunno, man. That was pretty unmissable. Next time!
We opt for a quieter stop next: Horse Feathers at Holocene. I love Horse Feathers, I love Holocene, I love my delicious cocktail; I'm clearly having a Musicfest Moment. Horse Feathers are delicate and beautiful and heartbreaking and sometimes, in the instrumental-only moments, put me in mind of music that'd be used on Deadwood. I dream idly of being able to play the violin. The girl in Horse Feathers has the prettiest voice and is wearing huaraches. The singer is in the Sam Beam vein - not just that he sings gorgeous acoustic songs, but that he's a blond, bearded fellow. This is about the extent of my capability for thought at this point. This, and that I need to get my hands on the newer Horse Feathers record.
I want to see Panther, and the Shaky Hands, but I've spent a lot of time at Holocene already. We drive back to the west side, translate weird visitor parking signs so we can figure out where it's safe to leave the car overnight, and proclaim ourselves foot-bound for the rest of the night. On a whim, we trek down to Fez for Blind Pilot and have to pull magic-pass rank to get in, which is good for the band â€” the existence of the line of fans, I mean â€”Â and makes me feel like a dick yet again. But there's no beer on tap, the room is weird and the band is still soundchecking long after they should have gone on (this is extra weird, as everything else has, delightfully, been incredibly well-timed). We stay long enough to hear "Two Towns From Me," which is so catchy (and fantastically embellished by the handful of extra musicians onstage tonight) it spends the next 36 hours running around my head, alternating with Oxford Collapse's unexpectedly beautiful, oddly sad "A Wedding." It's a slightly unnerving pair of songs to have stuck in one's head that long.
From Fez, we head up Burnside to the Towne Lounge for Eskimo and Sons, having heard enough good things over the last few days about this about-to-go-on-hiatus band that we can't miss out. And it's fantastic. It's sing-along central with the Old Believers; it's packed; I can't even see who's doing what and I don't care. We perch on the back of a banquette and I love everything about the show, including the clubby feel. I don't know the songs, and for once it doesn't matter. They all sound familiar; they all sound perfect.
And that's it. We walk out of the Towne Lounge and down 23rd to the New Old Lompoc, where we discover too late that late-night snacks translate to a $4 Reser burrito (or fair approximation) served on a lettuce leaf. Thankfully, it comes with a side of salsa for drowning the thing in. We never leave beers unfinished, but tonight, we make an exception. Oh, the tiredness. But it's all worth it. Musicfest NW has proved to be fantastic - though I do have to wonder if it's as much fun for the non-press-pass holding folks. We would have spent a lot more time in lines were it not for that (so thanks, MFNW Powers That Be!). On the other hand, there was almost always another show I would have been happy to be seeing; the list of shows I wish I'd squeezed in includes Hot Water Music, Centro-Matic (my most sadly missed band!), Nada Surf, Menomena and Helio Sequence (though I can see both of those bands this weekend at the Eugene Celebration, so all's well there), Chris Robley and the Fear of Heights, Norfolk and Western and more I've blocked out so I won't regret not having seen them. It's a lot of a good thing, MFNW. It's so much of a good thing that I have, for the first time in months, this giddy-happy feeling about new music and seeing bands and all that good stuff it's sometimes easy to get jaded about. So thanks, you guys. I'm already excited about next year. Especially if The Thermals play. I'm just sayin'.
So I got a little behind. Forgive me. Let me shift into present tense so I can pretend I'm not writing two days late.
Friday! Friday is a day for sleeping in and enduring unsuccessful shopping trips. However, it's also a day for lucking out, and for arriving at venues in time to walk right in (for the most part). I turn up at the Wonder Ballroom at about 5:15 for Britt Daniel's 5:30 set and there isn't even a slip of a line. However, there is â€”Â in what becomes the theme for the evening, and for the Wonder â€” a line for the bar. A line in which I stand, briefly, before Daniel goes on and I realize it was a stupid idea anyway.
I have a confession: I only really love one Spoon album. Just Girls Can Tell. And thus, once Daniel closes the goosebump-raising "Me and the Bean" I think I'd be happy to leave were I not holding out hope that he might also play "Anything You Want." He does play another Girls song, and some other songs I recognize, as well as one song on the bass and several with the nearly ubiquitous Janet Weiss, who plays with everyone and is so awesome her frequent appearances are never less than delightful.
Daniel is charming and sort of adorable in his tousled-bedhead way; he says he's been living in Portland for three years and it's still magical. I'm pretty sure he actually says "magical." It's sweet. The short is set and also sweet, and involves a song for which Daniel has to stop his drum machine, practice the chords and start again. I don't know why I find musician fuckups so charming.
Outside, I find Chuck and his friend, grumpy about the no-magical-press-pass access at the Wonder. The line for Built to Spill is long, and I don't envy those who get in the realization that they most likely won't be able to get a beer. BtS is beer music. I'm leaving 'cause I've got to get dinner, but also because I'm still bitter that they're playing Perfect From Now On rather than the clearly superior Keep It Like a Secret. I was in denial about this for so long that I convinced myself it was the latter album. Whoops.
After dinner, we head to the Towne Lounge for the Old Believers, whom I wrote about in July when they played Cozmic Pizza. That night, we missed most of the band's set because they went on long before we'd expected them to; tonight, we catch most of it, and it's fantastic and nostalgic and lovely and graceful as expected. There are other folks onstage with the core Believer duo; later I found out these other folks were Eskimo and Sons, but that's a post for Saturday's eventual blog. There is a sizable Willamette Week contingent at the Old Believers show, which leads me to some internal speculation about music for alt-weekly staffers that goes absolutely nowhere. Also, the Towne Lounge sells 24-ounce cans of Pabst. I should be immune to this sort of gimmick now, but despite my dislike for the gut-twisting cheap brew, I consider it. Briefly. The bar is a little bit dinky and a little bit dingy in just the right way and I think I would like to see more bands in its dark environs, often.
As the Old Believers come to a hand-clapping, crowd-pleasing end, we split for the Roseland and arrive just in time to get in another bar line. We stay in this one, though; I text with Chuck about Portland's best bands and the fact that the Crystal Ballroom, where he's seeing the over-hyped Vampire Weekend, has an actual press space. Crazy. Jaguar Love takes the stage and I immediately have a shit-eating grin on my face, because I love these guys. I love their batshit craziness, stupid white pants and singer Johnny Whitney's tendency to scream EVERYTHING at incomprehensible levels. (Check out WWeek's Musicfest diaries for an accurate and entertaining take on the band.) I love that they make catchy music that veers from almost power ballads to almost-Michael Jackson pop, but coat it all in a layer of noise and ridiculousness. I love that some of them used to be in two other awesome bands.
The bad thing about Jaguar Love is that most of Portland is standing still and staring blankly at the stage. I posit the theory that some of them are convinced this is a test of their TV on the Radio loyalties. Eventually, we make it upstairs and obtain beer from the fastest bartender on the planet. My friend Toby sends a text from Brooklyn that ends, "FUCK THIS SHIT I AM MOVING TO PORTLAND," which, well, hey, at the moment, I'm pretty in love with PDX myself, even if its denizens seem to dance even less than Eugeneans. As the show winds down, Whitney screams, "JAGUAR LOVE! JAGUAR LOVE! JAGUAR LOVE!" over and over again, and we can't contain the laughter. A bearded dude in a baseball hat one row up catches my boyfriend's eye and high-fives him. I wonder if he's laughing with the band, like me, or at them.
Musicfest runs like clockwork, so it's almost weird that TV on the Radio goes on a few minutes late. Downstairs, no one is dancing, which makes me cranky even though I'm sitting on my ass with a pint of porter. Eventually, I make my way back downstairs, stuff tissue in my ears, and slip through the crowd to near the front, where I find myself stuck behind a very tall blonde who keeps punching the air. I'm not sure this is the most ... understandable? response to TVOTR, but whatevs; at least she's into it.
But it's not their best show, to be honest. It's the fourth or fifth time I've seen them, and something just seems a little less vibrant than usual â€” though at least part of that could be chalked up to the fact that the crowd is waiting for the band's new album rather than excited about hearing new songs they've come to love already. But singer Tunde Adebimpe (full disclosure: I knew Tunde in college) has enough personality to carry any TVOTR show through, and there's something sweetly (that word again!) appealing to his demeanor as he thanks the crowd; it's in such contrast to his constantly-in-motion, shimmying, magnificent and oratorial presence during the band's songs. If memory serves, the main part of the set ends without "Staring at the Sun," so of course they're going to do an encore. Of course. And it's â€” to borrow a word from Britt Daniel â€” damn near magical.
Everyone is going to Berbati's after this, so we decide to follow along just to see what all the fuss is about. When we get there, we finally get to use the magical part of the magic bulldozer passes and waltz right in, only to realize we don't want to be there. There's a stomping party vibe that doesn't sit right after the epic density of TVOTR. I stand in the bathroom line, sweating, and get a text from Chuck: "Donuts sound better than this band." Voodoo Doughnuts is down the block, and it's a tossup whether there's a longer line for sugar-coated treats or The Builders and the Butchers. We pass on both and call it a night. One more to go!
Honestly? I didn't think my first night at MusicfestNW would involve staying out until after one in the morning, allowing my ears to be totally fucking battered, but lo, it did, and it was a little bit awesome. I did stay at Holocene all night, true, but I knew Calendar Editor Chuck Adams was out and about â€” I'm sure he'll check in later about Battles and M. Ward â€” and, well, see, it's more fun to have someone to talk shit with at shows, and the only other person I knew who'd be out last night was at Holocene. So at Holocene I stayed (after a brief and unsatisfying trip to the super-speshul VIP tent outside the Wonder Ballroom, where the cocktails, though they don't deserve the name, were all made with Vitamin Water. I ditched mine â€”Â nasty! â€” and grabbed two tiny bottles of the stuff for later. I'm a sucker).
The Holocene lineup looked like this:
Silver Summit kind of went in one ear and out the other. Pretty enough, but not enough to grab my attention; I bought an old-fashioned (they make really good ones at Holocene) and snagged a little table, and spent most of their set making doodles in my MFNW schedule.
I just saw Oxford Collapse at Holocene a few months ago (with my new favorite band, Frightened Rabbit), and while I tend to avoid writing much about them (the aforementioned Only Person I Knew at being in the band and all), this show, I've gotta say, was a notch or two up from the last. And that one was good, too; this one was just better, and not only because singer Mike Pace kept cracking the crowd up by commenting on the various perks of the festival's corporate sponsorship (something about how drinking from mini-keg shaped cans of Heineken makes you look like a giant). I'm sorry to say I don't have the band's new album yet, so I can't tell you what the name of that new song I really liked was, but so long as they play "Please Visit Your National Parks" and that one other song I don't know the name of, I'm happy.
As for Bodies of Water, the less said, the better. I'm not proud of my bitchy judgmental side, but frankly, the chances of me liking a band in which one of the members is wearing a full-body leotard are pretty small. They weren't terrible; they just weren't my thing. Plus, it was more fun to stand in the hallway, catching up with my friend and watching various people (from a guy with a book-related website to two busty blondes) come to talk to him about how much they liked Oxford Collapse's set. There was a fair amount of kicking each other every time a member of Sleater-Kinney walked by, also. (Two outta three, if you're curious.)
Eugene shout-out moment: Former Horsehead bartender Kris Clouse turned up. Hi, Kris!
Starfucker was cool, but seemed to go by awfully quickly. I felt like I never quite got a sense of what they were doing. In retrospect, this could have had something to do with my being chatty instead of paying attention. Sorry, fellas; I liked your band, I just need to go back and actually listen.
Deerhunter, on the other hand, provided one of those moments when you see a band and are half overwhelmed and half entranced, half thinking about how you want to listen to them again at a lower volume so you can think straight and half incapable of thought. In short, it was fucking loud. I'm listening to them via MySpace right now and it's not even beginning to approximate the sensation of leaning my head against the wall and feeling my brain rattle.
Photo by Jeff Walls. I should point out that he had a crazy flash; it was super-dark in there!
They're also quite funny, these folks, and watching various members of other bands stand to the side of the stage, engrossed, was an added level of entertainment. (Also entertaining: Holocene's hyperactive, totally funny soundwoman, whose energy levels I seriously envy.) There was a whole thing with the bassist being a shapeshifter, the possibiltiy of puking, a Q&A session somewhat inspired by/in rebuke to a Q&A Crispin Glover had about a movie he made ... yeah, it was complicated. And awesome. And loud. And shoegazery â€” a My Bloody Valentine comparison was made, but I think it involved extra decibels â€” and assaultive and kind of intense. I kept being reminded of seeing Mogwai; if you're not up for what you're in for, you aren't going to like it.
I liked it. I also liked stealing a seat in Holocene's weird little side-of-stage nook and finally getting off my feet for the first time in hours, and enjoying corporate-sponsor-provided beer while trying to have the kind of conversations you have when the band is so loud, you hurt your friends' ears trying to yell loudly enough that they can hear you.
I have high hopes for tonight: Britt Daniel! Jaguar Love! TV on the Radio! Fuck yeah! But first: shoe shopping and, er, failing to resist the urge to go buy Deerhunter and Oxford Collapse records. Yep.
I started to write a post. It covered football, New Orleans and Minneapolis. It didn't cut it. So I'm just going to give you links.
I'm pretty sure you guys can point out the numerous things wrong with both these pictures without me. And you don't need my pithy comments on Mike Bellotti's crappy goatee â€” or on Sarah Palin's ability to say exactly the kinds of things that make me want to tear my hair out â€” either.
So I'll just keep reading.
I have a tendency to avoid blogging things if I think everyone's already seen them. Sometimes I'm totally wrong, like with that damn fonts video I sent to Chuck a month or so ago. It was only kinda funny then, and now that it's making the rounds, it's getting annoying. But these two things are still cool! I swear!
1. Yeltsin video for "We Will Become a Factory"
2. The Daily Show demonstrates proper snarking techniques with a billboard near the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, welcoming RNC-goers:
Well played, Jon Stewart. Well played.
I haven't been able to get this song out of my head for THREE DAYS. It's from Hamlet 2, which opens tomorrow and promises to be hilarious, at least for certain folks. (No one else in the theater for Tropic Thunder on Monday laughed during this preview, but then, a considerable portion of that audience though the very funniest thing in Tropic was Jack Black's elaborate description of the sex act he'd perform for the person who untied him from a tree, so ... take that for whatever you think it's worth.)
... at least not if you watch this alternate ending. It's not perfect, but it's got balls. I like that.
It's that time again. It's that wonderful, entertaining, aggravating, astonishing, hysterical-laughter-inducing time again. Oh, the replies! Oh, the campaigns! Oh, the ballot stuffing!
BRING IT! (But not the ballot stuffing. C'mon, now. Ballot stuffing doesn't really help your cause in the long run, as it tends to make ballot-counters resentful and cranky. Creative responses, on the other hand, can win you fans for life.)
Pizza Research Institute now has another award to hang next to their handful of Best of Eugene certificates: The delicious pies and slices have led the tiny, tempting-smelling joint to be selected as one of the country's Top 10 Vegan-Friendly Pizzerias. They're sitting nicely in the middle of the pack at number five; the press release from PETA says:
The Pizza Research Institute is a much hipper place than its name implies. However, with all the one-of-a-kind pizzas they offer, you would think that there really were a staff of scientists in the kitchen. Health-conscious diners will find on the menu such items as the Chef's Choice, which redefines â€œveggie lover;â€ the "3P" with pears, potatoes, and pineapples; and toppings as far-out as corn on the cob.
Congrats, you guys! Funny, now I think I'm hungry for pizza...
This one made me whimper aloud: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince pushed back to summer 2009. The details are all in that link, but here's a key quote from the press release:
In making the announcement, [WB President Alan] Horn stated, â€œOur reasons for shifting â€˜Half-Blood Princeâ€™ to summer are twofold: we know the summer season is an ideal window for a family tent pole release, as proven by the success of our last Harry Potter film, which is the second-highest grossing film in the franchise, behind only the first installment. Additionally, like every other studio, we are still feeling the repercussions of the writersâ€™ strike, which impacted the readiness of scripts for other filmsâ€”changing the competitive landscape for 2009 and offering new windows of opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of. We agreed the best strategy was to move â€˜Half-Blood Princeâ€™ to July, where it perfectly fills the gap for a major tent pole release for mid-summer.â€
OK, I lied: The most disappointing bit of this release is the news â€” not new, but still, it hurts â€” that David Yates will also direct the two-part Deathly Hallows. Yates directed the last HP film, Order of the Phoenix, and to my mind stripped it of a very key point: In the film's climactic sequence, the kids hardly did any fighting. They weren't in the battle; they were in trouble, then they were rescued by adults. That's not what happens; what happens is they become really aware of the seriousness of the fight they're in â€” not just because of a certain death, but because they're casting spells and fighting for their lives in a way that only Harry has experienced before.
In Yates' film, though, the older generation saves the day. There were other changes, of course, and the film was too Cliffs-Notesy, lacking emotional heft, but that was the most egregious mistake of the lot.
Sad. Sad, sad, sad. Bring Alfonso CuarÃ³n back, damn you!
Anyway. None of this makes the first trailer for Half-Blood Prince any less awesome:
Presented without comment, because, well, I think this pretty well speaks for itself:
Has anyone made a video of Obama misspeaking? Could it even faintly compare? I'm betting not.
It's a bad sign when I haven't got a single post in the recent blog posts column. I've got no excuse, really, except that I got blogged out â€” in the reading sense â€” during Comic-Con (which I really do prefer calling Nerd Prom). News! Trailers that stayed up for less than 24 hours! (Why is Emma Frost in Wolverine: Origins? Do I care? I love Emma Frost.) Twitter updates from attending friends! Emailing other friends to beg them to nab stuff for me! ACK!
There was just too much excitement. TOO MUCH, I tell you. And in roughly the same timeframe, the internet was exploding over two things:
1. The apparently unbelievable crappiness of Stephenie Meyer's fourth book about the OMG PERFECT vampire Edward and basically OMG PERFECT â€” but clumsy! â€” teenage girl who falls in love with him. (That link isn't quite as mean as some but it's a) funny and b) a very good illustration of what precisely the fuss is about.) For a good take on that fat book you might see everywhere that isn't by J.K. Rowling, see Salon's "Touched By a Vampire."
2. Some people didn't like The Dark Knight! And these people were immediately met with insane outpourings of fanboy rage, which then turned half the TDK discussion into a frothing meta-mess of Why Critics/Fanboys Are Idiots/Smarter. Because we needed another one of these navel-gazing conversations, clearly. Also worth a good (if slightly bitter) chuckle: George Bush is Batman (or is it the other way around?). I've meant for, what, weeks? now to post a much longer and much more spoiler-involving commentary about TDK, but I seem to have lost some momentum. Maybe next week.
In totally unrelated news, I heart Sherman Alexie. The linked article, "Sixty-one Things I Learned During the Sonics Trial," includes the following gems:
"15. In writing, thinking, and talking about the Sonics' possible relocation to Oklahoma City, I shuffle like an iPod through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, and Hall & Oates."
"21. Yeah, I cuss a lot. Get over it. In writing about basketball, it would be utterly hypocritical to abstain from cursing. Did you catch the last four minutes of the Boston Celtics game six tap-out of the Los Angeles Lakers? As they danced together on the sidelines and celebrated their world championship, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce danced and sang so many "motherfuckers" that the bleeped-over broadcast turned into a John Cage sound collage."
And many more. Is it basketball season yet?
And that's it for now. So much else out there. Let's see if I can't blog at least twice next week.