Wednesday, September 03, 2008

One chain of slavery down...

I got rid of my mobile phone last week. Well, let me be honest... it was gotten rid of for me. The friend I'd been sharing an account with freaked out on me and kicked me off his account. I found out over a passive-aggressive email complete with ultimatum/deadline that I received after the deadline. I am not glued to my computer 24/7, so I realized this wasn't the best way to get in touch with me. There's nothing like finding out your phone has been cut off before you actually had a chance to read the email.

I thought it would be the end of life as I know it. In fact, it's been quite the opposite. I'm tasting a freedom I'd forgotten about. I don't have a tether anymore. I don't have to feel like I'm on call every minute of my life. I don't have to live through stupid text conversations. People aren't soundbites anymore.

I got a house phone. Damn, the 70s were so much easier for a reason. Technology just breeds new forms of slavery, and I'm trying to find some more time in my day.

And most importantly, I'm alive. I can do this, and damnit, it's kinda fun.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Agenda: Sam Sparro

The first thing I want to get right is that his name is pronounced "sparrow" like the bird. I don't want anyone else making the same foolish mistake I did of walking around talking about Sam Spar-oh and looking like a total idiot.

Sam Sparrow's debut album is a lot of fun. It's pretty much what you would expect if you crossed Jamie Lidell's soulful sounds with the fun/campiness of the Scissor Sisters. I've listened to the album a few times now, and can heartily recommend it to anyone who happens to like either of those groups - and yes, homos, you know who you are. And yes, homos, Sam is family.

Sam's first single is Black and Gold. I realized I'd been listening to a remix of it for about a month, but never had listened to the original until about a week ago. It's funny how those things work out. If you want a great remix of the song, I also recommend checking out the Russ Chimes remix. I'd love to dance to it in a club.

Here's Black and Gold for your listening enjoyment.

Glowing (which part?) Reviews

I was just reading reviews for the Holga camera on I have the Diana + and really enjoy it, and Shawn mentioned that he'd like to get a camera kind of like it. I was thinking I would get him a Holga for a birthday present, since it's coming up. And now that I said that... I really hope he doesn't know this blog is here.

Here's one Holga review that instantly caught my eye:

I've been shooting porn digitally for years and my results have been getting stale. More megapixel really isn't the way to SEX IT UP. The unpredictable nature of the Holga combined with rich Fuji Velvia 120 gives me the old 1970's look I lost when my models began shaving their kootches.
If that doesn't make you want to run out and grab a Holga, I don't know what will.

Monday, August 04, 2008


Some days it seems like life is like an avalanche, with you trying your darndest to outrun it, knowing the entire time that the smallest misstep will lead to your inevitable demise. It seems like the avalanche used to just be about money. You could never have enough, and the bills just seemed to get bigger each passing year. Then the technology avalanche comes crashing down around you, sending you skittering with refreshed vigor. You need a new iPod so you can watch videos on it, but then you need more albums to download to fill the iPod, and then you realize that the groups you listen to are inferior to the groups your friends are listening to. They rule, you suck... you're not even beginning to realize how the word "obscure" is a badge of honor, not a lack of advertising. You were listening to the new Coldplay when you should have been listening to the new Sam Sparro (which you pronounced incorrectly... it's said like the bird.)

You didn't respond to the text messages quickly enough. You ignored my IMs. I won't respond to your IM until you respond to my text through a text - no, you're going about it all wrong, and my ego is not stroked enough yet. I will throw a few more pebbles on your ever expanding avalanche of money/technology/time/relationship/work guilt that snaps at your heels and constantly threatens to do you in.

Then you find a small sanctuary; a small hiding place where you can stop and breathe and feel a little serene. You watch others running from their avalanches and you start to realize that most avalanches don't need to be so big, and are usually self-created.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Neologisms and Portmanteus

Is it just me, or does there seem to be about 20 new neologisms and portmanteaus every time you read something on the internet? I think it's a requirement for snarky gossip blogs to create at least three new ones every day, and that's not counting the new proper-name portmanteaus being created like brangelina, LiLo, etc. ad nauseum.)

It's nearly as bad as seeing the same 10-dollar-words being used in blog entries over and over - schadenfreude anyone?

I often wonder if the internet and other new media will lead to the complete dumbing down of society, or if the rising ranks of self-published proletarian will revolutionize the English language more than we could possibly foresee.

The Agenda: Adele

I love my iPod shuffle most days, but I especially love it this morning. I was just walking to my favorite coffee shop when a song by Adele came on the iPod. I've listened to her album a few times, but I don't think I've ever really listened to it. As the song started to play, I realized it had a haunting piano melody very reminiscent of "Breathe Me" by Sia. Then, I realized I was getting that same choked-up feeling I get when I listen to that song. I could feel the pressure behind my eyes begging to be released in a flood of tears, despite the fact I really didn't feel the need to cry any time soon.

About 10 seconds later, I heard the lines "I like it in the city when the air is so thick and opaque/I love to see everybody in short skirts, shorts and shades" and I was instantly transported back to England. I miss it at times, but I think I miss the urban experience and the freedom more than I actually miss England. I experienced the same thing on my recent trip to Seattle. Maybe it was the rain, or leisurely wandering around downtown, but I felt so alive all the sudden. Idaho can make you feel like dust at times. It wears you down and dries you out, and you wonder if you're even alive under the layers of discarded skin and dead memories.

I've been wondering what to do with my future. Shawn really likes it here now, and I've got a sweet deal with the university. Hell, it will cost me about $150 to take 7 credits this fall semester, so I can't really complain. But honestly, I feel this need to move on. This need to get away from my family and their silly drama and how sick it tends to make me, physically and mentally. The mental seems to always hurt the most. It hurts me, it hurts Shawn. I've got to figure something out.

Anyways, here is Adele's "Hometown Glory" in all of its mp3 glory. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quote of the Day

Greece persists in being very hot and beautiful. We saw giant turtles being chased like they were starlets without panties.

Such beautiful prose
with a pop-culture twist!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hack/Slash Annual

Reading the Hack/Slash "SuicideGirls" Annual comic while you wait for your Chinese food in a very public area probably isn't the best idea. Who knew you could put so many cartoon titties on a two page spread? The story is interesting, but like Shawn said, it feels like a Lawnmower Man ripoff.

I don't get the appeal of the SuicideGirls. I keep hearing about straight guys who can't get enough of them, though I'm forced to question why. Is it their "individualistic" fashion sense (which is all "individualistically" purchased at Hot Topic,) bad tattoos, bad hair, faux-lesbianism, lack of personal hygiene (come on, you know these girls are a day away from getting Toxic Shock Syndrome) or penchant for taking nude pics of themselves? I just don't understand the fascination.

Just one more probing question, but a rather important one; shouldn't "SuicideGirls" all have to commit suicide at some point, or does that qualify as false advertising?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

O.S.C. is G.A.Y.

Shawn found out the other day that Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game was going to get the comic book treatment. Or, maybe it was a movie. Frankly, I couldn't be bothered to keep it all straight. Either way, it reminded me of OSC and my long-lost obsession with him.

I went through a phase in either junior high or high school where I read nearly every Orson Scott Card book I could find. The phase ended when I read the crappy space series that was just the story of Nephi and his family from the Book of Mormon rehashed. If we're going to start writing science fiction based on LDS stories, I'm going to write a masterpiece based on Johnny Lingo in space. Mahana will be a 10 Darlaxx woman now, rather than being purchased in cows. Oh yeah... now she's twice as hot.

One thing that always struck me as a little bizarre was that OSC had a few homoerotic themes running in different books. In Songmaster, the proponent is a castrato singer who ends up taking it up the butt from an older guy. And this wasn't just hinted at, it was drawn out in every gay detail you can imagine, and this was the sort of homoerotic writing that could make Poppy Z. Brite blush. The thing is, this is only one of his novels where homosexuality is not a major theme, but a pretty significant one.

So imagine my surprise today when I discover that he's now a huge homophobe who is championing the LDS Church to fight any form of gay rights. He's written some very interesting opinion pieces lately that try the whole "love the sinner, hate the sin" meme that always equates to a gooey Jesus coating with a hard gay-bashing center. Card maintains that he's not a homophobe, and that he loves gays. Yes. I would agree that he does love gay men. How can you write about gay sex scenes (in more than one book) and not love gay men.

Sadly, I think OSC is your average case of self-loathing gay man who has decided to suppress his orientation to elevate his faith. You see this much too often in the Utah/Idaho area, because of the strong LDS influence here. They're the guys who reek of The Gay but are the first to talk shit about out gay people. They're the ones who howl with some twisted sense of schadenfreude when they see guys like Ted Haggard get busted in gay-sex scandals. They're the guys who think everyone is as deceived as they've deceived themselves about their sexuality, even though if you get close enough, you can almost smell cock on their breath because they're so gay.

I guess I'll just go back to forgetting the existence of OSC for a while. He can get his books turned into comics, or movies, or whatever he's doing, and hopefully in a while, I'll see his profile appear on Bear411 or BearCiti, and we'll have a good chuckle over how deluded he was.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Things Raising My Hackles Today

Reading the sentence "I have to say, I really admire how much Chris Brown and Rihanna are changing the sound of American pop," and realizing there wasn't any hint of sarcasm.

Guys with popped collars. Especially if they're layering collared shirts. Just add a bluetooth headset, and you've officially upgraded to a Douche Bag Deluxe.

People from the department down the hall bringing their crotch fruit to work like it was a state-registered daycare facility.

The downstairs neighbors saying they would rather water the lawn than mow, yet never putting a drop of water on the grass. It will be watered with their blood if they don't get to it soon.

Magazines becoming D-grade blogs in paper form: Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, and the Advocate instantly jump to mind. You have to learn to compete with the new media, not ape it in a less interesting way.

Speaking of the Advocate, please stop putting (allegedly) *cough* gay people on your cover who refuse to admit that they're gay. Anderson Cooper must be a lesbian's walking wet dream, because he's one of the biggest twats I've ever seen.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The REAL Family Circus

I came across this on KnuckleCrack's blog. Ironically, I just watched the movie "Go" last night, where Timothy Olyphant's character reminds us how much The Family Circus sucks.

The Other Family

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Haloscan Back

I finally remembered the original email/password I used to set up my Haloscan comments. I'd forgotten that it was set up under an email and password I haven't used for a really long time.

I even got the colors of the templates to match. Hooray!

Now, if I ever get comments again, I'll see if it was worth all the trouble. ;)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Template

I was getting really tired of the old layout, so I upgraded to a new template. I forgot that my Haloscan comments would get lost in the process. I'll have to work on getting those back up.

In the meantime, enjoy the new look, and hopefully I'll get something more up soon.

Dr. Horrible

How did I not know about Joss Whedon's new online musical Dr. Horrible? I had to find out about it reading Katie's copy of TV Guide this morning. I want to see the first episode, but the website has been down all morning. *sigh*

Here's to hoping we can see it later.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Traveling With Film

If you're like Syndie and I, and have decided to selectively ignore the digital revolution, you may be interested in knowing how to get camera film through an airport. I bought a Lomographic Society's Diana+ camera a few months ago, and have grand intentions to take fun photos during my trip to Seattle. I'd love to take some pics at the George Michael concert, but I figure I'll get enough dirty looks in my kilt, let alone with a plastic 1960s replica camera around my neck.

Since I haven't traveled with film since the early 90's, I thought I better do some research. After numerous Google searches, and an intense fear of having to buy an expensive lead bag for my film, I realized I could have just gone to the TSA site and gotten the information. Oh well. My researching pain is now your convenience.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sexy Summer TV

I've happened across two of the best written and sexiest shows I've seen in a while. The first I happened to come across by chance on tv last Thursday night. It's Swingtown on CBS, and it's an incredibly intriguing show involving a couple who moves into a new home, and their open-relationship neighbors who are determined to help them blossom. I happened in on the second episode of the show, and I was instantly hooked. I just watched the pilot, and was in awe. I can't wait for the third episode tonight!

The other show is Secret Diary of a Call Girl from the UK's ITV2, but is being aired on Showtime in the US. It features Billie Piper (Rose from the revamp of Doctor Who) as a community sex provider (aka prostitute) in London. I'm only halfway through it, but it was good enough to stop and blog about.

I'm looking forward to a summer full of great television, for the first time in a really long time.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Agenda: MGMT

This week's Agenda is dedicated to the band MGMT. They're one of those bands who leave you scratching your head wondering how they actually got a recording contract. I don't mean that in the "how the frak did Scarlett Johansen get a recording contract because she can't sing" kind of way, but in the "wow, there really isn't any commercial appeal here" kind of way. They certainly defy the homogenized sounds you so often hear on the radio these days. Hell, even the iTunes top albums are pretty rancid for the most part. Then again, that's what happens when you let 13-year-old girls dictate pop culture.

But I digress. I've been listening to MGMT's album for a week now, and it's definitely an eclectic affair. They go from sounding like a lost brit-pop group circa 1992 to sounding like James Murphy's lost love child. Personally, I'm digging it quite a bit right now. They kind of remind me of Ghostland Observatory, because they're quirky, fun, mellow, and exotic, all at the same time.

I also just watched their video for the new song Electric Feel on their homepage. I'd link to the video, but it's in some weird QuickTime format that looks pretty damn amazing. I suggest you head over to their site and give it a look. It's kind of like a scene from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe if they'd decided to use futuristic-retro neo-pagan slacker-hippies instead of CGI animals and had thought it would be a good idea to drop a bunch of acid and make the movie. I also need a pair of 3-D glasses because I really want to see the 3-D version of their video for Time to Pretend.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Quick TV Observations

1. The faux-hawk is dead. Tired. Finished. Please stop sporting it, people. Oh, and apparently it is still the hip hair du jour in SLC (at least at Pride) but that doesn't make it right. 3000 SLC homos CAN be wrong.

2. Rachel Ray: please never wear the blue silk top that had the weird knot piece below your breasts. Blech! The color was all wrong, the drape was rather dowdy, and most importantly (and sadly) it made you look portly. Yes, I just went all "Project Runway" on your ass. Now fire your stylist before I feel compelled to comment on the new hair.

3. TV on Monday nights is the true abomination in Gawd's eyes. It's all either family-friendly drivel, or political pundits playing the straight equivalent of angertwinks on the news. Either way, both types of programs are equally likely to give me shingles.

4. Bill Engvall was on CMT doing some stupid interview, and he was looking good. Keep up the good work, Bill.

5. My Firefox browser has stopped displaying images or playing mp3s correctly. While this is not connected to the tv at all, I will still blame it on the tv, because it is a big black box of suck.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Been Sick

I got sick this week. What I thought had just been bad allergies transformed into a bad cold sometime between sleep and waking on Wednesday morning. I think the transformation was pushed along by the smoke in the bar on Tuesday night. Shawn decided we should go out Tuesday night, for one beer and one karaoke song. We ended up staying for almost 2 hours, as I got suckered into the karaoke contest (which I won, and now have a standing date for the last Tuesday of the month to compete in the larger contest... sheesh.)

I ended up missing 2 days of work, which sucks because I've now used up all of my paid sick leave, as well as losing the paid vacation hours for this pay period. Being an adult totally sucks. Being responsible is highly overrated. I wish I was a kid again. I'd gladly give up my economic freedom (what tiny bit there is) for being able to just play with my Transformers all day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Agenda: Amy W.

I just decided that I'm going to choose Amy for the Agenda this week. I know that most people have heard her Back to Black album, but I'm surprised how many people in the US don't even know that she has another album, which was her first.

So, in honour of Amy and her issues, here's Help Yourself from her album Frank.

Amy Winehouse

She's in the news again. This time, it's for a video of her doing a footie chant that had a lot of racist terms in it. Her husband recorded it one night, when he'd told her he wasn't. Amy claims that she didn't mean to be a racist, and she isn't a racist, and that it was just a footie chant. After hearing some of the late-night drunken footie chants while living in Plymouth, it sounds completely true to me.

I was just listening to her two albums. She's amazing. I wish she'd get off some of the drugs, but I'm not going to judge or castigate her because of them. Hell, how many other celebrities do drugs like I do antacids? People need to cut her some slack and leave her alone. I think the media (worldwide) was so happy to watch Britney implode that they're doing their best to replicate it with Amy.

Keep on, girl. You're better than them.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Sex and the Town

Shawn and I went to see Sex and the City: The Movie this Saturday. It's the first movie we've gone to since The Orphanage scared the poop out of me last winter. Don't get me wrong; I see a lot of movies, just not at the theatres.

I have to say that SATC:TM is one of the best films that I've seen for a while. You get the closure that you never really got with the ending of the series, and you also get some resolution to a few things that may have rubbed some viewers the wrong way with the end of the series. The movie is also really long but it didn't feel long at all. It felt like you were watching an elongated episode - but I mean that in every best sense. Hell, they even wink at themselves when there's an order of cosmos that comes to their table. And damnit, I wish I was there with those fun-loving women.

I've heard some bitchy reviews for the movie, but they all seem to be from men, and one gets the general impression they either never watched the show, or didn't like it. Entertainment Weekly offered a fairly misogynistic article about how they would shorten the film, full of spoilers and bitterness. I had a mixture of disappointment and disgust when I read it, but shouldn't have been surprised, since that seems to be my general impression of EW the past few months.

I suggest you get your finest Prada bag out, grab your Hermes jacket, and head to the nearest theater to see this one.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Lost a Contract

I lost my contract with the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center for doing their brochures for the fall/spring season. I lost the contract because I didn't get back to the woman on time, and she went through someone else.

It's a mixed blessing. I'll miss the money, but it was such a pain last year that it really put me off working for them again. There were a million last-minute changes and sudden side projects for them, and although they paid me, it wasn't a good experience. I also haven't done any kind of graphic arts work in over 6 months, so I think I was a little scared of what I would produce.

I need to do some graphics work soon though, because I don't want to lose those skills by not doing them. I keep thinking about working on the indie magazine I proposed a few months ago, but haven't done anything about it. Maybe now is that time. Maybe I'll do a little side project, similar to the Weather (our coffee friends in Poky know what that is) just to do something.

The Agenda: Santogold

Santogold is getting a lot of comparisons to M.I.A., but I don't really see it myself, except on two songs. I actually like that her album tends to go from a MIA type of sound to full-on dance rock. It's a fun album if you listen to the full thing in context.

I did read an interesting review in the iTunes store saying that it was about time an alternative-music artist who was black came along. I guess Kenna hadn't been on their radar yet. ;)

Here's Santogold's Say Aha. I tried to go for a song that's more of a combination of the two musical poles Santogold tends to swing between.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Peaches or Coconuts?

I was just watching a travel show where the host was discussing a chat she'd had with two French men. The men had said that there are two people in the world: peaches and coconuts. Peaches are all fuzzy on the outsize but have a dark, hard pit on the inside. Coconuts are hard on the outside, but are sweet on the inside.

After being in Europe, it actually makes a lot of sense. People there are initially more reserved and inaccessible, but after a short time, you get to really now them. People here tend to be open and friendly at the beginning, but then you realize you probably won't get to know the real them, and usually it's pretty bitter at its core.

I never thought I'd say this, but hopefully I'm a coconut. Then again, I'm becoming pretty frakking jaded, so maybe I am just a peach.

Taco Hell

I ran into my old boss today at Taco Bell, and was reminded what a huge douche bag he is. I saw him get out of his car ahead of me, and almost considered going somewhere else, but decided I hadn't ever done anything wrong, and he should be the abashed one who went elsewhere. I said hi to him, because he was staring at me on my way in, but I wasn't polite. I didn't hold the door for him, and ignored him the rest of the time I was in there.

I tried to leave that job on a good note, but he wouldn't leave me be, and thus deserves nothing but my condemnation. What he demanded I do on my second to last day was unethical and illegal, and adding the phrase "you're still under contractual obligation" just made it even more so on both ends. I realized today how angry I still am about the situation from last fall.

Oh, and here's a news flash dude; you're not a real ally to LGBT people at all, because you exploit them to further your own professional status. You're just as disgusting as those fascists at Focus on the Family. Actually, you're worse. At least they have the dignity to be open about their willingness to use and abuse LGBT people for their own personal gains, while you rely on subterfuge to get the same end result.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

California Dreamin'

The Agenda: The Ting Tings

I have an agenda. It's to get people to listen to more diverse musical acts, and experience an artist they might not normally gravitate towards. (Unless you're Rui, in which case you probably heard their album 2 months before I even heard of the group. He's amazing that way.)

This week's spotlight artist is the Ting Tings. I don't really know much about them, and can't be bothered to look up info about them. I just know that they kind of sound like a quirky mix of CSS and New Young Pony Club. One of their songs is on an iPod ad right now, but our tv reception is crap so I haven't seen it. I just listened to the clips on iTunes and though the album was worth checking out.

Since today is cloudy and gross, I decided to add a sprinkle of sunshine by offering the Ting Ting's Fruit Machine. Enjoy!

Storm is comin'

Our weather has been really odd as of late. It's gone from the mid-60's last week to the lower 90s over the weekend, and now it's going to return to the 60s for a while. I really just wish it would find some consistency, rather that be warm or cool.

There was a big wind storm this evening. Shawn and I got to see all of the lights on Yellowstone Ave. go out as we pulled into the Fred Meyer parking lot. I know it sounds dumb, but I thought I'd gone blind or something, because suddenly there was no light except the dashboard in the 4Runner. It only took me a second to figure out what'd happened, but I felt like the blind sister in Little House on the Prairie. Scratch that... I totally felt like her hot blind boyfriend. Shawn could be the blind sister.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pandora Radio

I usually love Pandora radio, because you're able to create your own stations and tailor it to your own tastes. I have an adult alternative one, a Brit(ish) one, a mellow jazz one, well, you get the idea. Lately though, it seems like they've been picking some seriously odd songs, or just playing 10 remixes from the same LP over and over. I swear if I heard one more crap remix of "Ice Cream" by New Young Pony Club, I was gonna throw the work computer off the desk.

Hopefully it gets a little better soon, or I figure out how to make it better.

Well, if Opieblue can do it...

I just saw that Opieblue was blogging again after a year, so I figured maybe I could too. Perhaps I'll get some of the diaries I've posted over at Pam's House Blend and post them here for filler. Perhaps I won't. Either way, I feel inclined to blog again. And yes, I did say that just a few months ago and then drop it. Such is the way of life.