Sunday, April 29, 2007

Beer

Say what you will about the value of your fancy imports and lagers-- the Guinness, the Yuengling, the Grolsch, the Moosehead.

I realized with in the past week that few compare to the refreshing crispiness of a Coors Light, be it in cans from a bodega, or preferably, in a large pitcher at Pugsley's accompanied by a slice and karaoke.

I know-- few have accurately been able to identify just what the beer at Pugsley's is. But I think it has at least the Coors Light idea behind it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Smoking Gun

The Smoking Gun has as its featured article a play written by the Virginia Tech shooter on its frontpage.

It's a curious thing, because I usually associate The Smoking Gun with taking on celebrities and sensationalism. I guess who's to say that gross tragedy isn't sensational-- in some ways, it's among the most sensational of topics. The fact remains, though, that The Smoking Gun is a great site because of its fusion of sensational topic and presentation, with the hard facts of legal and other written documents. To wrap the Virginia Tech shootings in sensationalist wrappings (default formatting of the website as they are), still, just doesn't seem quite right.

Flipping the coin, though, and looking at what's put out as an offering, I also can't help but think that it's an extremely intriguing thing to have out there. We often hear about the diaries and writings of deranged and sick people, and the "warning signs," but we are not often privy to the content itself, those forecasting signs that everyone claims to have seen. There is something more immediate and substantial to reading a play that he wrote, rather than reading the quotes and descriptions of it.

Or maybe it's just a preference for looking at primary sources.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Floral Margarita



I don't get the idea behind these. For a lady, will this disappoint? For a fella, would you pay $69.99 on the chance that it won't?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Fun with XP







Robloglite at tumblr.com

Started a tumblog as an experiment, plus an easy way to push out of my brain stuff that might be post-worthy that I don't take the time to post.

Link below, and to the right.

http://robloglite.tumblr.com

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bale vs. Jackman vs. Is Scarlett doing that thing again?



The Prestige did not disappoint.

I can't say it's one of my favorite movies-- even though I want to.

The fact of the matter is, it was quite engaging and watchable throughout, but not totally compelling. For 130m, I'm fairly certain a few chunks could have been cut out.

Without giving a total spoiler, it has the absolutely most compelling third act since The Sixth Sense-- better, in fact, because while the Sixth Sense gave you the clues and bits (if you knew to look for them)-- in The Prestige- the film actually trains you to look for deception, swaps, sleights of hand. And though it's possible to guess the ending, it is this very possibility that you can figure it out-- that ties the film together, as well as proves the film's points on deception and secrets that are more overtly made in the dialogue and scenes.

I can't help but have a flashback to Batman Begins-- with Michael Caine, Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale working on the same films. In particular, when Bale is brought into jail at the beginning of the film and Jackman scales a snowy secluded mountain (for the secret that presumably lies at its top), even the look of it can't help but be nostalgic of Bruce Wayne in a Chinese prison, then scaling the mountaintop.

When I think about the film version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I always think disappointment-- disappointment because the book does something very clever and crafty in how it propels its readers through the final bits of plot, while throwing them through a crazy and shifty time-warp that actually makes the original story that much more engaging. As much as I enjoyed the third Harry Potter film, the time-shifting sequence that brought so much thrill in the book became more of a chore to be finished with in the film.

Nolan's work on The Prestige, though admittedly-- I have not read the book, most likely captures the shifts of time and revelation far better than the adaptation of the Prisoner of Azkaban. The diary sequences, as well as the final pages, demonstrate Nolan's ability to weave a story from multiple points, string the audience along so that they might guess the ending, and yet still "wow them in the end," as Brian Cox's character from Adaptation would be apt to say.

Also, I have come to the conclusion that the majority of Scarlett Johanssen's film roles define the term strumpet.

PS- 2:06AM update: SPOILER ALERT!!!!




After finishing the movie think about the birds. I just realized this as I was ironing my shirt just now

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Neat Music Video

The following was tagged onto the tail end of the most recent episode of The Merlin Show, featuring the 2nd half of the interview with Peter Hughes, of The Mountaingoats. Thus continuing my near endless linking of content from the TWiT/digg folks...but I guess such is blogging. I'll just have to diversify my sources.

Anyway, the video is pretty neat.



I don't know too much about the Mountaingoats' music. I downloaded the free tracks from their site, but since most of them were live shows with low levels (and I didn't tweak the levels much in iTunes), they did not jive well with the morning commute of cars and subways and I can't say I got that great a listen.

The video and lyrics are a bit emo-y. Which is taken as a criticism because of people's reluctance to accept emotional content in pop media-- we don't do well with fellas singing about how they are sad or upset. The video would seem disingenuous or a gratuitous invitation for pity, were it not for the "self-awaredness" of the situation's comedy-- the bouncing zebra, the near motionless face, the trick of the huge coffee cup, and the play of the screens and the camera zooming in and out. These bits let us laugh at the lyrics, and the playfulness lets us accept the singer's emotional plight. This tends to be a prerequisite for our acceptance of emotional pleas-- as long as the emoter can laugh at their own emoting, and cynically look at their situation as a bit ridiculous, we are ok with it.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I Owe New York State $1

"Choose the payment method you want to use to pay your New York balance due of $1."


Crazy.

You Pay New York to Live Here.

"City of New York Resident Tax $424"


Turbotax calculation of my State of New York tax return.