Monday, August 30, 2004
a good (and fairly obscure) percy interview that i hadn't read.
"personal goal: to survive my own bad habits."
this should go on every form i ever fill out.
Sunday, August 29, 2004
welcome to the lizard motel.
"''We can't ever say we don't like the books,'' Alex tells his mother, because, according to his teacher, ''if you're not liking the books, you're not reading them closely enough.'' The books are so depressing -- '' 'Everybody dies in them,' he told me wearily'' -- "
went with shirley, alice and the boys (for shirley's bday) to see the lance letscher exhibit. lonanne went a few weeks ago so i knew what to expect. but still, i was blown away by this guy's work. he creates intricate and abstract collages out of found paper. it sounds silly or maybe even junior high school(ish), but he really breaks out of the mold.
here's another good article on him.
a compendium of warhol stars (warholstars?) and their tragic fates.
Edie Sedgwick, “falling apart” and “hooked” on drugs “goes through eighty thousand dollars in six months...” ONDINE became her French maid “serving her drug paraphernalia and a saucer filled with speed” for breakfast. “Desperate for money, Edie steals English antiques and pieces of art from her grandmother’s elegant apartment and sells them to buy drugs.” (UV211) “Dealing drugs, she gets busted, goes to jail briefly, and is put on probation for five years”. (UV212)
Lou Reed on Frank Zappa: "He's probably the single most untalented person I've heard in my life. He's a two-bit pretentious academic, and he can't play rock'n'roll, because he's a loser. And that's why he dresses up funny. He's not happy with himself and I think he's right." (UT65)
saucers filled with speed? lou reed badmouthing frank zappa? and to think. you could go your whole life without knowing this stuff.
republicans for kerry
Saturday, August 28, 2004
funny send up of the celebrities showing for the rnc. what about bruce willis? or larry gatlin? ok. ok.
random christian rock confession: nobody's ever heard of him, but i actually saw larry norman in concert back in la porte in 1988. he's considered the father of christian rock (if you didn't consider jesus the father. or God the father.) his band back in the 60s actually opened for the dead, the doors, joplin, etc. read the bio if you have time. he was an enigmatic character to say the least. his concert actually felt like a full-blown rock show (and blew me away at the time) and his songs aren't of the sexy jesus variety mentioned in the article. more of the jesus freak type (seriously, there was a jesus freak movement). one of his more famous songs was "why should the devil have all the good music?"
via kevin: joe rank's brother was arrested for wearing an anti-bush t-shirt at a bush rally. no two ways around it. that's retarded.
note to self
i think i have two paintings by this guy. when my memere died, my uncle told me i could come in before the estate sale and take anything i wanted as something to remember her and my papaw (who had already died) by. i took two sets of paintings and pawpaw's pipe. my friend carlos was the first one to notice that one set looks pretty much like marin (down to the signature). i keep meaning to go get the stupid things appraised, but never have the gumption. it seems like the last time i called, they wanted a hundred bucks or so to appraise them. so, next hundred bucks i win at poker...
another free poker tournament in austin for those interested.
maybe they'll get carter to "monitor" our upcoming election.
Friday, August 27, 2004
i realize it's full-on gay to like u2. or perhaps just easy. i've said thie before. everyone likes u2. they're latest pap is fairly depressing to me, but i just put in the unforgettable fire and, damn, i forgot all the great songs on that album. promenade. bad. elvis presley in america. mlk. i tend to always look at the cover and think of bono with that fem-mullet, dancing his gay dance on that empty stage and belting out pride (in the name of god stop playing that song). still, i'll dredge up my old argument. they're a more influential band than nirvana (for the record, both nevermind and achtung baby were released in the fall of 1991). while nevermind influenced the whole grunge/post-pop-punk scene, i think it could be successfully argued that radiohead or the whole host of other bands (coldplay, beta band, the walkmen?, chemical brothers?) who used dance/electronica to experiment with and distort the rock/pop format wouldn't have happened without that achtung baby album. i think it busted things open and popularized a style that was up until that time an underground sound. (this is formally known as kyle-baiting)
and while we're full of piss and irish blood and i'm documenting all my hopelessly arrogant weaknesses, boxing is the hardest sport. wrestling's for pansies. you hear that kenton? so's cycling. bicycling up a french mountain is not only retarded, it lacks half the heart and endurance it took for sugar ray to stay in that ring with duran the first time around. fuck if that wasn't two gods tearing down the mountain.
do the olympics matter? i'm ambivalent. i haven't watched any of it. seems a lot like watching golf to me. a lot of sitting around and waiting for something to happen. however, the human interest stories that bubble up are sometimes amusing or interesting. the storky russian gymnast korkiwhatsit. mia hamm. the women's softball team? uh, michael what's his name...phelps? ok, i'm reaching. oh yeah, our suck-ass men's b-ball team. there you go. that's fun to watch. go puerto rico.
via jlist: otomo katsuhiro (directed akira) has a new movie out. get ready for steamboy. prob. be stateside by november.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
a readable history of the crisis in sudan.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
cross out your birth month:
Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to takes things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn't pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves (own) children.
Monday, August 23, 2004
taking a break from the 527s for kerry...err, i mean lying, cheating, stinking swifties for bush debacle, here's some good news out of afghanistan.
Saturday, August 21, 2004
my good friend kyle now has a blog. not just any old blog either. if his only accomplishment is to promote awareness of the official ninja web page and its accompanying book, he's done the world a public service. i laugh out loud every time i go to that site.
via scott g: make new york new york again. my gut reaction is "fuck straight." let's put one back in the eye. seems better than the half-hearted craporama design that won. i also don't understand why we wouldn't want to rebuild in a manner that was befitting of the old towers. simple. magnificent. elegant. have we lost these words in the rush? these thoughts? two elongated bricks of steel full of human activity.
where is fancy bred? in the heart or in the head?
via lonanne: a blog by lorie's (co-founder of lonanne's company) brother. he was a successful software developer who decided to quit his job and join the army reserve as a civil affairs specialist.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
quick guide to book reviewerese
norman podhoretz in commentary on world war iv. let's call it a thoughtful counter-narrative. at the very least, it's tonic for the mundanity and utter confusion/despair the everyday drips of news bring.
Monday, August 16, 2004
well, it's that time of year again. thomas starts 2nd grade on tuesday and william will be in preK at faith lutheran. we had a blowout last weekend of summer, going to the san antonio zoo on saturday and a back-to-school party and volente beach today. the kids are zonked. we're zonked. i don't think any of us is ready to start getting up at 6:45 a.m. again. there should be a law against school starting before 8:00. 8:00 is a good time. that's a reasonable time. maybe even 8:30. 8:30 would be fine. i'd deep six the entire school budget for an 8:30 a.m. first bell. first bell at 7:40 a.m. is ridiculous. RIDICULOUS.
anyway, i built the new gullett gecko web site (finally). i procrastinated all summer and then did it on mon/tues night of last week. dotnetnuke if you're the slightest bit curious. free. .net. etc, etc. mostly just easy.
Thursday, August 12, 2004
cassette vs. iPod. i'll give you three guesses who the winner is.
maybe they'll make a movie about bonhoeffer one of these days. pros: he wasn't a nazi and he was imprisoned and executed for trying to assassinate hitler. cons: he was a christian theologian, not some drunken, callow industrialist named schindler. ah well, back to the dustbins.
"it is never too late to be what you might've been."
the tragicomic and clear-eyed life of rodney dangerfield.
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
via shirley: a fairly objective source for facts on the various political spins of the day. seems to cut both ways.
Saturday, August 07, 2004
bad acting? jerky digital camera? a threat you mostly don't see? i predict this'll be the next blair witch. which is what everyone is predicting. so i don't predict it. but at least ten people will come up to me over the next six months and ask me if i've seen it. i'll tell you one thing. if lonanne sees it, there's no way she's EVER getting back in the water. she won't get in dark swimming pools b/c of jaws.
Friday, August 06, 2004
frank bascombe is back in the latest richard ford short story in the new yorker. this really doesn't live up to independence day (netted him the pulitzer), which didn't really live up to the sportswriter which pales in comparison to rock springs. (powell's link for brent...we'll see if he ever reads this thing) rock springs is pretty damn near as good as it gets for short story collections. that or stuart dybek's the coast of chicago. read "pet milk" if you ever get the chance. i was talking to rob about it the other day. i'd saw off my left arm to write a story like that. but anyway, i still like ford. he shows flashes now and again and he does things in his stories (even still) that tend to put the bitch in the buzzsaw with their starkness.
incidentally, ford often cites walker percy as one of his primary influences and counted raymond carver as his good friend.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
in other news, lonanne has been working on the house of larry gatlin's daughter. that's right. larry gatlin of the gatlin brothers. she got to see him at the house and even sent him off to target to buy supplies. pretty strange.
side note: doesn't he look like troy aikman in that picture on their site? i seriously thought to myself, "man, i'm getting sick of that troy aikman. he's everywhere."
also, a good brief economic history of clintonism. you know, that fairy tale the democrats like to tell each other about how clinton was the savior of the known universe. right before the evil republicans were popularly elected into the majority of both the house and senate and balanced the budget for the first time in twenty some odd years. but i digress.
another good dissection of kerry's speech. forget vietnam for a brief second and all the political folly on both sides in pursuing it any further.
here's the real question: what will kerry do differently than bush? if he was for the war, then not for the war, then simply not for funding it (after he was for it), and now, finally, for increasing our military spending and the number of soldiers by 40,000 (but not in iraq! as he said in the speech) then what gives? i mean, so far it's a vague proposal to get other countries "on board" to shoulder the burden. that sounds fine, but it's a little like saying we could've convinced france and russia to go to war with us in the first place. why would france and russia contribute troops at this point? but even putting that aside, what's he going to do? i mean, it seems like he has two options. either he increase the resources over there to truly bring about a democracy or a nation or at least not a resort destination for hezbollah trainees. this would cost more money that everyone is currently bitching about losing to the war and that he voted against spending, so that doesn't seem likely. or he figures out some sort of back door strategy where we leave them to their own devices. sort of like vietnam. this is what i'm afraid of. if we leave now, we don't only leave those people in a mess, we leave another place where terrorists could really take root and flourish. i've had several conversations where people bash bush for not really anticipating the costs and the resources needed to rebuild iraq properly. but what they'll never answer is what should we do. i don't think kerry has either.
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
a very thomas (and william) blog. i actually found this cool kid-focused blogging software and helped the guy debug some of the windows features in return for a free license. i recommend it. thomas is having a bit of a difficult time grasping the whole "posts" concept. he thinks he's creating a new website every time he posts and so he wants to end every post with a ".com"
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
to counter the sins of eurobad, i give you mocoloco. some really nice modern designs here. plus, i'm a sucker for things like the toaster cube.
amazing electronic symphony made from nothing but windows alerts. and you thought i had too much time on my hands.
Monday, August 02, 2004
Eurobad '74: the worst european interiors of 1974. some of these are laugh out loud funny. some are creepy. some look like our house. (not really).
copyright law and the jibjab cartoon. although it has little to do with the article, i like the idea you can gauge how much time someone spends online by how long it takes them to find the film and forward it to you.
Sunday, August 01, 2004
i read about this guy in the journal a while ago. he was teacher of the year in new york state, had multiple teaching awards, etc, etc, and at the height of his career, he quit, apparently fed up with public education. now he's written this book and made it available online. it's called the underground history of american education. i tend to agree with the notion (and am of course horrified by it), at least, that schools are simply holding pens for our kids. of course, there's socialization and learning how to interact with other kids (this latter argument seems especially stupid to me...kids don't know how to act around other kids? they need 12 years to figure it out?) and blah blah blah, but the truth that most parents come to realize or hide from themselves is that public schools are fairly worthless. i don't mean to assign blame to anyone or take a conservative bent. i'm just speaking the truth. given their druthers and the financial possibility, most parents would opt for some other option. in our case, we really do like the public school thomas attends. the teachers are friendly, the principal is without peer, the parent organizations are phenomenal. but i don't kid myself for a second about the educational aspects of the classes. thomas isn't reading at a third-grade level b/c of his teacher, or the well-planned curriculum. he's reading well b/c we read to him and him to us. and this goes for everything. he plays guitar b/c he practices and we do it with him. everyone says it, but it's true. the parents make the difference. kids aren't gifted or stupid. they're either challenged or they aren't. i think this guy takes it even further. he's arguing that the socializing tendencies of the public school don't just fail to ready children for real life, they create passive individuals and are directly opposed to parenting. they remove the parent from the equation. anyway, if you have kids (or don't), you should find this book a provocative read.
at the very least, you'll get an idea of what you're up against.
funny wrap up on dem convention and the lameness of both parties.
It may well be true that, as a number of pundits have claimed, Kerry gave the best goddamned speech of his career last night. But that's a little like saying Yoko Ono's latest CD is her best-ever: It may well be technically true, but so what?
fake democrats vs. fake republicans. that about sums it up right there.
unconventional study on the al-Qaeda archetype. turns out the average terrorist isn't all that poor. or uneducated.
i love the simple, understated design of this new photography magazine. easy to navigate. not a lot of flash crap that doesn't make any sense. the windows change to fit the dimension of the pictures. it's hard to find this sort of design anymore. people either want flash(y) designs or they overcomplicate the interface with too many options. i struggle with that at work myself. everyone and their brother wants some crap on the home page, half of which, you know the average user wouldn't give a rat's ass about.
via buzz machine: striking fotolog from an iron worker working on a bridge in manhatten.
latest on dharfur
question to the blood for oil crowd: is this another case where the u.n. doesn't want to antagonize oil interests in the region? or, financially-speaking, aren't we oil-consuming nations better off just letting this tragedy unfold quietly while we pick up the checks from the sudanese gov't? if so, would the u.s. acting outside the u.n. to pressure the sudanese gov't be a) acting in our oil interests or b) perhaps risking some oil interest for the sake of preventing a bloodbath? keep your eyes on this one. it should prove illuminating in either case.
don't hate me because you revolve around me
running afoul of the sun haters could cost you your job.
Sun awareness campaigns focus on malignant melanoma, moles which turn cancerous. Yet these are a relatively rare form of skin cancer and the one least related to sunlight. The majority of skin cancers in America and in Britain are basal-cell or squamous-cell carcinomas, both of which are highly correlated with sun exposure and which commonly appear on the head, neck and arms - those parts of the body where skin is most likely to burn. These two cancers are more common in middle-aged or elderly men than in the young; they tend to grow slowly and are quite easily treated with surgery or radiotherapy.
concise and informative debate btwn. hitchens and monbiot. good overview of the main points on both sides.