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Sunday, May 22, 2005
4:10 PM
i got up in the afternoon, and though i had intentions of breaking in the new coffeemaker, i ran into a problem. when i'd gotten the filter, i'd assumed i'd be getting a cheap coffeemaker, which meant basket-type filter. instead i'd gotten a fancy one, so i actually needed a cone-type filter. luckily, upon recounting the story to lyndsey, she mentioned that she was in fact going to the same mall for some other purpose, and would exchange the filter for me. sweet. yay for friends.

i did a bit of work on the spare bedroom, which will become the toast's room when he returns. i got a couple more boxes worth of stuff out of there, though there's still a lot in there.

i finished 2001, which andrea had interrupted last night. i think this is the first time i've seen it all the way through (albeit in three installments), and i totally love it. when i saw parts of it in college, i had thought it boring, and never watched it again. college me couldn't get into it, current me does.

i also finished the second season of the awful truth. as i said, it's not bad, but it's not a keeper, i don't think.

i popped down to the esquire theater to visit sara, as she was back in town. i stood there chatting for a while, then just decided to see Palindromes, the new Todd Solondz film. i won't say too much about it, for this reason: now that i've seen it without any foreknowledge of the subject matter or style, i think i enjoyed it more due to that lack of foreknowledge.

so, what i will say is that it's a sort-of sequel to welcome to the dollhouse, his first (i believe) film, though sequel isn't really the right word; it's definitely related, though. if you like Solondz, go see it. seriously. and if you own dollhouse and/or happiness, then set aside your dough to buy this one when it comes out. i know i'll be getting it.

if you're not so sure, go dig up ebert's review. i read it, and i'm glad i didn't read it before i saw the film. (we do agree on most points, though.) he just says too much about the film. not spoilers, exactly -- just too much. go see it.

after the film i chatted with andrea again, and then ate some grilled cheese sandwiches while i watched the first half of the live league of gentlemen dvd.

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Saturday, May 21, 2005
2005/05/21: Star Wars and stuff
6:33 PM
ok, first blog-style post in a while.

i got up in the afternoon and took a shower.

the night before i had acquired some coffee (the famous Buzz blend; i have connections... ), so i decided i wanted to go and get a grinder. knodel told me a burr grinder was the way to go if i wanted to grind the beans for both espresso and coffee, which i did: i already have a home espresso machine (though i havent really gotten around to opening it yet) and i was planning to get a coffeemaker soon. he also tipped me off that i should get a gold coffee filter, since in addition to just saving on buying paper filters, it'll let the coffee's oils through.

since i have shopping alone, but most of my friends were either out of town or at work, i called my friend lyndsey, who's just moved back into the area. she was free, so we drove up to the mall. no f-ing around for me; i went directly to williams-sonoma. i'm rich, you know. :) actually, i just know they have the good stuff there.

i ended up with a nice krups burr grinder. the display model was white, but when i made an offhand joke about getting it in black, the lady actually had one in stock in black. sweet. i also got a gold filter, the basket kind. i still didn't own a coffee maker, but i figured i'd get a cheapo $20 one at target or something, thus the basket-style choice. after some quick food at the food court (i sure like chick-fil-a fries, even though i can't eat much of the other items, as they all caontain meat), lyndsey dropped me off at home.

i watched a couple episodes from michael moore's the awful truth. i own the second season on dvd, and i haven't gotten around to watching it all yet, so i'm working my way through it. it's not bad overall, but it's a bit dated and nowhere as good as his films, i think. i'll probably get rid of it eventually, in an effort to keep my dvd collection from getting as needlessly huge as my cd collection.

january fairy called me and confirmed our plans to see star wars episode iii later that night, so i went online and finally tried out movietickets.com, which i've been seeing ads for in the theater forever. the ads are annoying, but when we got there and i put my credit card in the automated box office, it spit out the tickets no problem. incredibly painless. i hate to say it, but i recommend using them, despite their annoying and ubiquitous ads.

so yeah, we saw it. i won't go into too much detail, but i will say that it's by far the best of the newest three. nice and dark, and definitely not for kids, which is weird, because it seemed episode i was a kids' film. it was good to see the stupid "i've got a bad feeling about this" line knocked out of the way early on. ewan mcgregor does a great alec guinness impression, and was definitely one of the best parts of the film, as was ian mcdiarmid. of course, as with the other two prequel films, there was a host of miscasting and bad acting, much of it left over from the other two. sam jackson just doesn't fit as a jedi, and hayden christiansen just plain ol' sucks. as usual, ebert and i agree, so check his review for more.

we'd consumed a ton of caffeine and sugar before the film, so afterward, we took the time to head to meier so i could pick up a coffee maker. as i mentioned before, i intended to get a crappy $20 one, but i noticed a cool-ass hamilton beach coffee maker with a thermos instead of a hotplate. i was excited; the hotplate is what makes diner coffee taste like diner coffee, and so it's to be avoided if at all possible. i splurged the $60 and picked it up, though i didn't realize that it's also available in all-black (without the chrome). oh well. :)

we did the steak & shake drive through on the way back, which was good; it'd been a long time since my fast food from earlier. :) actually, i don't eat fast food often, so it doesn't bother me too much to hit it twice in one day.

at home, since i was still awake, i put on 2001, which i'd started a week or two ago but fallen asleep on. i also broke out the vodka. i had a slight bit of the ketel one citroen left, so i drank that and opened my new botle of grey goose le citron. the difference was amazing; i loved the ketel one, but the grey goose le citron was fantastic.

andrea called to chat, as she's in chicago this weekend interviewing for jobs. it was late (after 4am), but i was still up, so we chatted for a while. then, while on the home phone with andrea, laura called the cellphone to tell me she'd won $800+ dollars at the casino. i told her that in light of her newfound riches, she'd be taking andrea and i out to dinner. :)

after the chat with andrea, i went to bed, as the sun was already up. no problem; my bedroom is completely dark when i close the door.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005
images are back
9:26 AM
Pan was crafty enough to figure out how to get our images back on the blog.


speaking of images, check out what Matt the PM has done:

Nice one, matt.

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Sunday, May 15, 2005
Vinnie Williams and Tom Willis in CityBeat
7:06 PM
this is a few days late, but i thought i'd mention that my friend Vinnie was featured in this week's "Under the Influence" column for CityBeat.

some of you may know Vinnie from her band Le TechnoPUSS13S; others might remember her from her spoken word piece from a DJ Empirical set at one of the Recycled Rainbow events.

regardless, check the column out, if you get a minute. she's a character for sure.

oh, and i guess i'd be remiss not to mention another friend Tom's appearance in "Under the Influence" a little while ago.

tom is McDeviltoast's brother, and one of the guys in Paperback, who played at the DJ Empirical birthday show last september.

Both photos were done by another friend, Dale, by the way. He's good people, too.

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Friday, May 13, 2005
9:25 AM
Who was smart? My hero, Frank.


- copyright 1983 by Frank Zappa -

Ordinary phonograph record merchandising as it exists today is a stupid process which concerns itself essentially with pieces of plastic, wrapped in pieces of cardboard.

These objects, in quantity, are heavy and expensive to ship. The manufacturing process is complicated and crude. Quality control for the stamping of the discs is an exercise in futility. The system is subject to pilferage (as, in some instances, pressing 'over-runs' have been initiated, with the quantity pressed above the amount of the legitimate order removed from the premises and sold on the black market).

Dissatisfied customers routinely return records because they are warped and will not play.

Large numbers of people are employed in the field of 'record promotion' . . . these salaries are, for the most part, a waste of money.

New digital technology may eventually solve the warpage problem and provide the consumer with better quality sound in the form of Compact Discs [C.D.'s]. They are smaller, contain more music, and would, presumably cost less to ship . . . but, they are much more expensive to buy and manufacture. To reproduce them, the consumer needs to purchase a digital device to replace his old hi-fi equipment (in the $700 price range).

The bulk of the promotional effort at every record company today is expended on "NEW MATERIAL" . . . the latest and the greatest of whatever the cocaine-tweezed A&R Brass has decided to inflict on everybody. More often than not, these 'aesthetic decisions' result in mountains of useless vinyl/cardboard artifacts which cannot be sold at any price, and are therefore returned for disposal and recycling. These mistakes are expensive.

Put aside momentarily the current method of operation and think what is being wasted in terms of GREAT CATALOG ITEMS, squeezed out of the market place because of limited rack space in retail outlets, and the insatiable desire of quota-conscious company reps to fill every available niche with THIS WEEK'S NEW

Every major record company has vaults full of (and perpetual rights to) great recording by major artists in many categories which might still provide enjoyment to music consumers if they were made available in the right way. MUSIC CONSUMERS LIKE TO CONSUME MUSIC . . . NOT PIECES OF VINYL WRAPPED IN PIECES OF CARDBOARD.

It is our proposal to take advantage of the POSITIVE ASPECTS of a NEGATIVE TREND afflicting the record industry today: HOME TAPING via cassette of material released on vinyl.

First of all, we must realize that the taping of albums is not motivated by 'stinginess' alone . . . if a consumer makes a home tape from a disc, that copy will probably sound better than a commercially manufactured high-speed dupe cassette, legitimately
released by the company.



presenting: "Q.C.I."

We propose to acquire the rights to digitally duplicate and store THE BEST of every record company's difficult-to-move Quality Catalog Items [Q.C.I.], store them in a central processing location, and have them accessible by phone or cable TV, directly patchable into the user's home taping appliances, with the option of direct digital-to-digital transfer to F-1 (SONY consumer level digital tape encoder), Beta Hi-Fi, or ordinary analog cassette (requiring the installation of a rentable D-A converter in the phone itself . . . the main chip is about $12).

All accounting for royalty payments, billing to the customer, etc. would be automatic, built into the initial software for the system.

The consumer has the option of subscribing to one or more Interest Categories, charged at a monthly rate, without regard for the quantity of music he or she decides to tape.

Providing material in such quantity at a reduced cost could actually diminish the desire to duplicate and store it, since it would be available any time day or night.

Monthly listings could be provided by catalog, reducing the on-line storage requirements of the computer. The entire service would be accessed by phone, even if the local reception is via TV cable.

The advantage of the TV cable is: on those channels where nothing ever seems to happen (there's about 70 of them in L.A.), a visualization of the original cover art, including song lyrics, technical data, etc., could be displayed while the transmission is in progress, giving the project an electronic whiff of the original point-of-purchase merchandising built into the album when it was 'an album', since there are many consumers who like to fondle & fetish the packaging while the music is being played. In this situation, Fondlement & Fetishism Potential [F.F.P.] is supplied, without the cost of shipping tons of cardboard around.

We require a LARGE quantity of money and the services of a team of mega-hackers to write the software for this system. Most of the hardware devices are, even as you read this, available as off-the-shelf items, just waiting to be plugged into each other so they can put an end to "THE RECORD BUSINESS" as we now know it.


he wrote that in 1983, over 20 years ago.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005
"I couldn't wait no longer...."
1:20 PM
Posts like this one are why I love dooce.

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Monday, May 09, 2005
revisiting great films
4:20 PM
so, one of the benefits of dating someone who enjoys films but hasn't seen many is you get to revisit many great films that you may not have watched again any time soon, somewhat under the pretense of "educating" that person.

that being said, Andrea and I watched Memento this weekend. i havent really figured out her tastes yet, but on the other hand, she hasnt hated anything we've watched, either, so i thought i'd try memento out on her.

i havent seen it for at least a year, and quite frankly, i'd forgotten how good it is! for the uninitiated, the film is told in (mostly) reverse chronological order, with some back story scenes interspersed in chronological order (and in black & white to help minimize confusion). it's a testament to chris nolan's writing that despite seeing the "ending" right at the front of the film, there's not only a "conclusion" at the end of the film, it's satisfying and interesting, and rewarding upon repeat viewings.

i have the limited edition 2-dvd, and one of the features is a chronological edit of the film. to access it, though, you have to traverse no less than half a dozen (and closer to ten) dvd menu screens, with a puzzle at the end (Nolan really went all out on the packaging for this thing!). i watched probably a third of the chronological edit. the black & white back story is about half an hour, and focuses largely on the Sammy Jankis stuff. i'll watch the rest later this week, i think.

we also watched Leon (aka The Professional). it's an odd landmark for me, this film: it's where i first saw Natalie Portman (who i think was unfortunately at her peak here), it's where i first heard of Luc Besson, the director, and it's where i first really became aware of Gary Oldman. we watched the "european edition", which restores something like 24 minutes to the american version i'd initially seen a decade ago.

it's a great film, with a good amount of "head stuff" (character development, etc), which i usually need in an action film for me to buy it. as i said, portman's at her peak here, in my opinion, and the restored scenes (esp. the restaurant scene) really show it. oldman's good, too, though he's been better elsewhere. reno is great as Leon, as well -- his voice just kills me.

oh, and the trivia section on imdb.com reveals this:
According to Luc Besson's first script-draft, Léon's full name is Leone Montana.


next on andrea's movie education curriculum: the blues brothers. :)

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Sunday, May 08, 2005
server change » blog weirdness
10:42 PM
my dude Pan, who drives SR (the host of this and all the quahogs-ent sites), just changed the server again (he had unforseen hardware issues the first time a few weeks back).

unfortunately, one of the features of the new server is a weblog service which, unbeknownst to anyone, clashed with how i'd set up this blog. so, for the past few days, the blog has been gone. luckily, things are almost back to normal. you'll notice that there's a new URL, and it's shorter, so that's cool.

the images are all down, though. pan's trying to figure a fix, but until then: suck.

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Thursday, May 05, 2005
a Tone-Loc tidbit
3:53 PM
i got this in my latest popbitch gossip email:

>> Ice and slice, Tone? <<>

The US producers of I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here contacted Tone Loc to see if he'd appear as a contestant. His reply was to fax them a copy of his 2004 tax return, showing more than $1.5m in post-tax earnings.

Tone Loc credits George Hamilton for showing him how to build a well-diversified
portfolio of commercial and residential property.

sweet. even if he's not all that well respected as a rapper (not having actually written his hits), at least he still has the dough.

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