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.