Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lost and Found

Check out the trailer for the short film based on this book. It was shown in the UK on Christmas Eve and will be released in the US later this year.

Here's a description of the book from Oliver Jeffers's fantastic website:

What is a boy to do when a penguin turns up at his door?

Find out where it came from, of course, and return it. Even if it means rowing to the South Pole.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"Revolutionary Road" trailer

Whatever I think about suburban suicide movies (especially doggerel ones by Sam Mendes), trailers are more about form than content, and this one is very moving. (Again, I'm a sucker for montages.)

I love near the end when you see Kate Winslet screaming and Leonardo DiCaprio covering his ears. And that voice! Nina Simone's creepy, androgynous voice. I wish I could have seen her live.

One comment about the content: I feel like the situation that the couple is in is hard to believe. Who would buy that house and expect it to be temporary? It makes no sense!

Also, check out the hilarious quote on the cover of the novel.

Monday, December 22, 2008

"Would Like to Nurture Elephants"

Watch CBS Videos Online

For me, it's not puppies or kittens - it's elephants. For my journal at school, we had to fill out surveys that asked us our favorite books, favorite movies, etc. One of the questions was what kind of animal we would be. I was going to put down elephant but I thought it would be really conceited of me, since they're almost perfect. So I put down hippopotamus instead. Which was probably more appropriate anyway, since hippos spend so much time in the water. (Though I like to think I'm not as violent when I deal with humans.)

The quote above is what my friend Amshula thought after seeing this. I would too.

More great videos: International Laundry Day!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


These images are from a slideshow on the NY Times' site. I just wanted to see them all lined up together.

Also, watch this tremendous interview with Diana Vreeland on my friend's site. I sometimes get obsessed with the way people talk -- in this case, how she's obviously old-money but without sounding even a little bit snooty.

Finally, check out the Life Magazine photography archives on Google. The first two things I thought to type in were "Madonna" and "Palestine," and the results were incredible.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Wrestler

I was skeptical about a movie that involves Darren Aronofsky, Mickey Rourke, and Evan Rachel Wood. Plus, as much as I like Marisa Tomei, she is playing the stripper with a heart of gold (right down to "giving key advice and serving as a go-between"). But I love the trailer, and I can't wait to see this.

My favorite part: when you see Mickey Rourke's and Marisa Tomei's characters talking about how "Cobain ruined everything." That's the way a lot of older people feel, that there was this tremendous optimism in the 80s -- in the music, in the politics -- and then the 90s kind of washed that all away (along with gallons of Aqua Net).

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

by Billy Collins

You are so beautiful and I am a fool
to be in love with you
is a theme that keeps coming up
in songs and poems.
There seems to be no room for variation.
I have never heard anyone sing
I am so beautiful
and you are a fool to be in love with me,
even though this notion has surely
crossed the minds of women and men alike.
You are so beautiful, too bad you are a fool
is another one you don't hear.
Or, you are a fool to consider me beautiful.
That one you will never hear, guaranteed.

For no particular reason this afternoon
I am listening to Johnny Hartman
whose dark voice can curl around
the concepts on love, beauty, and foolishness
like no one else's can.
It feels like smoke curling up from a cigarette
someone left burning on a baby grand piano
around three o'clock in the morning;
smoke that billows up into the bright lights
while out there in the darkness
some of the beautiful fools have gathered
around little tables to listen,
some with their eyes closed,
others leaning forward into the music
as if it were holding them up,
or twirling the loose ice in a glass,
slipping by degrees into a rhythmic dream.

Yes, there is all this foolish beauty,
borne beyond midnight,
that has no desire to go home,
especially now when everyone in the room
is watching the large man with the tenor sax
that hangs from his neck like a golden fish.
He moves forward to the edge of the stage
and hands the instrument down to me
and nods that I should play.
So I put the mouthpiece to my lips
and blow into it with all my living breath.
We are all so foolish,
my long bebop solo begins by saying,
so damn foolish
we have become beautiful without even knowing it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Honey bee

This is the cover of the new Lucinda Williams album.

More great photography: the William Eggleston show at the Whitney Museum in New York. Here's the trailer to a documentary about him. I love his drawl, and the way he puffs smoke out as soon as his cigarette is lighted (at the 1:10 mark) - it's like he's a dragon. (wow, I should not put the words "puff" and "dragon" in the same sentence)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is Clint Eastwood Insane?

Wow, I will never see this movie, but the trailer is hilarious. This is for Clint Eastwood's new film Gran Torino, coming out on December 17th. It has the same Edward Hopper-style cinematography as Million Dollar Baby, and kind of the same central character too (grizzled; skeptical of priests; rediscovers life through an ingratiating, twenty-something female).

But then it also has drive-by shootings, which is very not Million Dollar Baby. (neither are Asian gangs)

It all makes a little more sense when you find out that it's a Dirty Harry film.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hitler Plans Burning Man

Virginia Heffernan wrote about the recent popularity of videos that take the climax from the movie Downfall and replace the dialogue with Hitler talking about something else - everything from the candidacy of Sarah Palin to problems with playing Xbox live. None of them made me laugh as much as the one in which he plans a trip to Burning Man. As someone who is pretty sure that he hates anyone who goes to that festival, I get a special pleasure out of this.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Night night

I'm so tired, but I had to post this. It's from Emily's page - Adventures in Low Zip Codes.

For some reason this mug reminds me that I need to buy new pajamas.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dolly Parton

This is a great interview with Dolly Parton from Studio 360. I remember how Ms. Cusack in fourth grade would play her version of "I Will Always Love You" if we behaved well. (It was a nice way to end the day.)

I love her sense of humor - how self-depracating and disarming it is. My friend Amanda has a live album by Dolly, on which she dedicates one of the songs to the drag queens in the front row: "Y'all look more like me than I ever will!"

Canadian Geese on Overbrook Road...

Who cares if they smell and always sound like they're balking at something? This is love at first sight! The geese are still around because of the Indian summer we're having, which feels even nicer than the actual summer.

My friend Amneris sent me this photo, which was taken in front of her house.

Friday, October 10, 2008

He'll always be Puff Daddy to me

This is the video to "It's All About the Benjamins (Rock Remix)" by Puff Daddy, who now goes by "Diddy." (Your momma called you Puff for a reason - don't disrespect her!)

I'm actually not much of a fan of the remix or even the video, but from about the 0:55 mark to the 1:55 mark, it's pure genius! Puff and his crew crash a high school dance, where some black dude is singing "Everybody Hurts" by REM. It's the best version I've heard of the song, ever.

Also, check out Lil' Kim slow dancing.

The video is by Spike Jonze.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Culture clash

It's so interesting to see what's acceptable in other cultures. If US military commanders were photographed sitting in plush leather couches, they would be ridiculed. But in Iraq it's apparently acceptable. (Not that I think many Iraqis would feel comfortable making fun of the military if they thought otherwise.)

The photo was taken from the BBC News site.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Cat Power

This is the cover of her new EP. (I tried getting rid of the border and couldn't do it. If you click on the photo it doesn't have one.)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Creature Comforts!

I'm obsessed with this show. It's from Nick Park & company, who also did "Wallace & Gromit." They interviewed members of the Great British Public about all sorts of things -- their jobs, what they like to eat, whether they enjoy the circus -- and then turned them into animals. Genius!

The first episode is called "The Pet Shop," and the second is called "Being a Bird."

You can also check out the very first "Creature Comforts," which won the Oscar for best animated short in 1989. It's much more lo-fi, but still worth your time (if only for the puma).

(Actual) Air

This is a picture of the band Air performing at a club in Beijing. (Still not as great as the Olympics!)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wipeout (I mean, Bailout)

Ummm... when the President says "this sucker could go down," chances are it's your country that he's talking about.  And when the Treasury Secretary gets down on one knee and begs for support from the Speaker of the House, chances are it's your Treasury Secretary doing that.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Yes We Can!

I think this is a phenomenal campaign ad. I'm not usually one for endorsements because I don't trust politicians, and I would hate to tell everyone to vote for one guy and then watch him nuke some village in Kandahar. Still, I can't help getting chills -- and a little misty-eyed -- when I watch this.

It's all in the execution: documentary-like footage of individuals left in the dark during the Bush years, who come together at the end of the ad in arenas and parks to join Obama, just as the sun begins to rise (again). And at the end it says, "You can change the world."

Bravo to whoever decided that the music would fit. It's an instrumental version of a song by The National called "Fake Empire." I had always simply thought the song was a little sad because of the lyrics ("It's hard to keep track of you falling through the sky / We're half-awake in a fake empire"). But it rolls along nicely, and adds a really positive momentum.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's not an opera... It's a stopera!

I had to cancel my plans on Sunday night to make way for new ones. Specifically, the Whirling Dervishes of Damascus! A lot of people don't know what it means to whirl like a dervish. As usual, the combination of YouTube and Wikipedia lets me pretend like I do.

Whirling Dervishes are considered part of the Sufi order of Islam, which is rooted in mystical traditions. They whirl as a way of remembering Allah, and have even played to sold-out crowds in Denver!

About the video: I love how the cover that flies away comes back at the end. (you'll see what I mean) The video also has the best music out of any of the ones with dervishes on YouTube, which are many.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Becky and Marcus's Wedding!

Ryan, Emily, Becky, Me, Matt, and Alex. Becky's holding a felt stitching of the ultimate tattoo - one that combines all the most popular cliches: a flaming skull with a rose in its mouth, whose one eye is a ying-yang and whose other is a peace sign. Ryan and Emily, who I recently visited in Vermont, made it.

I love this shot of Becky and her mom. Try to ignore the guy to the left.

Emily and her stick-on tattoo.

Becky and Marcus unwrap the ultimate.

Becky and I did not get married.

This Rahul's Life

Robert Krulwich talked to This American Life about how he once mistook one his wife's memories for one of his own, which has definitely happened to me (not with a wife, obviously). John Kuramoto animated the story, adding some really nice touches. I love how Robert becomes like Genghis Khan (the 2:45 mark), and how he also seems to think that he raised the flag at Iwo Jima (3:30).

Unstoppable! (Tina and Amy, not Hillary and Sarah)

I don't like either politician, but the idea of more sketches featuring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler sort of makes me wish for a joint ticket. I love so much about this: Hillary's rueful, incredulous laugh when Sarah says that "all you have to do is want it"; also, how Sarah can't help sounding flattered as she tells people to stop objectifying her.

Tina Fey does such a good job! Also check out her impression of Britney Spears in an interview with the TV Guide network. The Britney part really gets going at the 4:55 mark, but the whole interview is worth watching, if only to see how witless the interviewer is, and how badly she hides her disdain for him.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm back!

According to Wikipedia, "the unbroken world record for spinning multiple plates, verified as a Guinness World Record, is held by David Spathaky, assisted by Debbie Woolley, who spun 108 plates simultaneously in Bangkok, Thailand on television in 1996."

My life seems a little more manageable after reading that. I'm gonna set a goal to post at least once a week, on Mondays, and stop letting my friends hog all the fun of the blogosphere.

You can see said hog-friends by clicking on the links to the right. Anna Yanofsky has already won a Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the greatest, hands down, holy shit. (Or maybe I just love anyone who gives out an award for most awkward fashion show.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Luke Ramsey

The trip to Vermont was wonderful. I didn't take any pictures because they would have looked small and stupid, and Vermont demands majesty!

Anyhoo, Ryan showed me a room that his friend Luke Ramsey painted for a nephew of his. Would the fruits have scared me as a kid? I was a very sensitive child...

Sorry for the sporadic blog postings - It's not school that's keeping me, it's the Olympics! USA! USA! (and all that stuff about international harmony as well)

Friday, August 8, 2008

"A consistent manifestation of unenlightened perversity.”

It's so weird when you're going to Vermont and the featured article on the NY Times site - your homepage - is about going there. Well, more precisely, about a Depression-era travel guide for the state.

The title of the post, by the way, is the guide's take on how outside observers view the "creative chuztpah" that Vermonters have. Amen! I'm hoping to find a lot of such perversity when I visit my friends Emily and Ryan. If you go to the interactive feature in the article, you can even see a short slide show on Brattleboro, where they live.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

North Korean Propaganda

"Let's give a bigger part to the advantages of the socialist treatment system through greater effort!" (The translation is maybe a bit too literal.)

"Look! The face of American imperialism!"

These are both from North Korean Posters: The David Heather Collection.

North Korea is no longer evil, according to the Bush administration. I loved Andy Rash's depiction of the meeting between Condi Rice and Pak Ui-chun. Did they actually look that upset? I can't find any photos to corroborate this (or Mr. Ui-chun's eyebrows).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Patti Smith - Genius

Patti Smith just did an interview for the NY Times Magazine. At one point the interviewer said, "You seem very sane for a punk rocker." I loved her response:

"I had a very good model. My mother had no end of tragedy in her life. She would make herself get up and take a deep breath and go out and do laundry. Hang up sheets. She told me that when she looked at the laundry, the sheets flowing in the wind, and the sun, it was like a fresh start."

The photo is by Annie Leibovitz. You can read the whole interview here. I also really like the part where she insists that she uses conditioner.

Friday, July 11, 2008

"Gamma Ray" by Beck

What's the story here? Who cares? We get to see some great shots of Beck in wayfarers. I envy people who can wear them, just like I envy people who can wear levi's and converses (and trust me, not everyone can).

The song is off of his new album, which I'm kind of lukewarm about - though I do love one song off of it called "Chemtrails," which is this trippy, sad Skip Spence-influenced reverie with lyrics that keep asking "So many people / Where do they go?" Where indeed.

I will post music videos for people other than Beck, I promise.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

America: Bigger and Badder (or at least bigger)

The Centers for Disease Control posted a slideshow that chronicles how obesity has spread in the past 20 years. Scary stuff.

One of my friends thinks that the prevalence of obesity in America is a sign of "late society" - decline brought on by our own success and consumption. She likens it to how the Ancient Romans needed vomitoriums because there was so much binging going on (supposedly, anyway).

Friday, July 4, 2008

"Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes" by Beck

I'm in love with this video. I wasn't even such a fan of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but it was beautiful to look at (Jim Carrey helped). Beck released a whole album of slow, sad songs in 2002, but none of them compare to this one.

The Korgis sang the original version of this song.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Men's Fashion - Spring 2009

Here's an obvious winner. It's from Junya Watanabe, who's been collaborating with Brooks Brothers lately. Of course, this kind of idealization of the stylish traveler is a little absurd (those tight pants will get motherfucking hot on safari, prettyboy) - still, I like it.

This is from Dolce & Gabbana. Try to ignore the face and glasses, and just focus on how freakishly well this suit fits. As someone who wears a dress shirt size that Brooks Brothers doesn't even make (15" neck, 35" arm), I'm impressed.

This is from Miharayasushiro. I'm just going to focus on the top and the bottom. First, I like imagining that a very dark rain cloud is descending over this fellow - that it has darkened not only the collar of his jacket, but also his mood. (The gloominess is just a little more interesting than most models' I think.)

And then there's whatever's on his feet. Is this what Romans used when somebody sprained their ankle? The outfit is strange, but not so much that I think it's beyond the realm of good or bad. I like it - I'm a fan.

Obviously she's not a man. Think of this as a bonus. That hair! Brilliant!
(The dress is Alexander McQueen.)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Somebody's gotta pay...

The US government is taking tips from Chairman Mao in conducting the War on Terror. Let's try to forget that for a moment, and focus instead on one of the more light-hearted (and less reprehensible) things I've come across in the NY Times recently. It'll replenish us for the rage ahead.

This is an article by Karen Karbo, in response to a query from the Times about the effects of rising gas prices. (The graph is courtesy of the National Retail Federation, and is actually pretty outdated. I just like the way it looks.)

By Karen Karbo

In Portland, Oregon, embracing alternative transportation is on par with recycling: everyone does it. Or at least thinks really hard about doing it.

Our family was in this latter, slackerish category. But when the price of gas hit $4.35 a gallon at our local pump, we knew we had to park the car and haul out the bikes, which also meant digging out the bike helmets. And here’s where our family fails to reach a consensus on saving money, not to mention the planet.

It’s not about the bike, it’s the bike helmet, specifically the helmet hair that results after even the least strenuous pedal to the video store.

Portland is almost as bicycle-friendly as Beijing. Businessmen wander the streets in broad daylight with bicycle clips on the pant legs of their expensive suits and no one blinks. But businessmen are not teenage girls who’ve made a minor religion of keeping their sheaves of flat-ironed hair plate straight at all times.

My 16-year-old daughter will bike to the grocery store or gym, but if she’s headed to a social event (school qualifies), she insists I drive her. She claims the few extra dollars spent on gas now will save many thousands of dollars in therapy bills later.

I say, but what about the planet? She says she’ll deal with the guilt. I say, a little helmet hair will not ruin a good time, and anyway, everyone has helmet hair these days. She snorts: not everyone.

Which is the crux of the problem: until helmet hair becomes universally chic, we will never be free of our dependency on mom chauffeuring us to the mall.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Romance! Dragons!

I'm stealing this from Virginia Heffernan. After watching this interview with Judy York, a top romance illustrator, I suddenly find the covers of those novels a lot more interesting. I never really thought before, "Hmm, I'll bet the Knight's Lady wishes she had some antibiotics and toothpaste."

My favorite quote has to be - "Dragonborn by Jade Lee is about a woman who is incubating a dragon." I actually admire that she doesn't see anything funny about that. (It is a really serious problem.)

And since we're talking about dragons:

Sunday, June 8, 2008

This is cheating no more!

I had a rule against posting things that were from any of the links to the right (--->). But no one was actually looking at those pages (even fewer than the number looking at Rahul Owns My Soul). So, times gotta change.

This is from Yuval Ben-Ami's blog. He's in Europe, the bastard (meanwhile, I get to travel to Bronx, NY everyday and go to housing court).

Without the Knights Templar, we might not have had the Crusades...or The Da Vinci Code. But we also wouldn't have magnificent churches like this, which is in the village of Alonei Aba, in Germany.

Six Points to Remember for Your AIPAC Speech

I have my own worthless opinions on America's role in the Middle East, but that's not why I'm posting this graphical analysis of Obama's and McCain's speeches to the American-Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC). Rather, I just love how cleanly it exposes the ingratiating ways in which candidates present their ideas.

Umbrellas of Hanoi

These are pictures my friend Devin took on his recent trip to Vietnam. The umbrellas served as a canopy for the outdoor seating area of a cafe he went to.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

I'm famous! (sort of!)

My friend talked about this jackalope postcard I sent her in a blog entry about the death of postcards (rumors of which have been greatly exaggerated).

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Question: What's your favorite video game at the moment?

Answer: Umm, I'm not a pimply-faced, 15-year-old, masturbating loser, so I don't have one. Instead of violent video games, I like to watch my kids beat the shit out of each other. If I wanna play, I hit one of them.

- Julie Cafritz, of the band Pussy Galore

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"Recount" Trailer

Laura Dern looks hilarious as Katherine Harris. I wish I had HBO and could watch her go.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Return-from-exams Media Bonanza!

Okay, not quite a bonanza (since there are strict guidelines for calling something that), but I've missed updating my blog a lot since exams started, so I'm gonna put together three things that have nothing to do with each other except that I've been looking forward to posting them.

This is the trailer to Reprise, a Norweigan film that I saw yesterday and can't stop thinking about. I'm impressed that the trailer is able to match the energy of Le Tigre's "Deceptacon," which plays over part of it. For a higher resolution version of the video, click here.

This is a picture of Tegan & Sara, who sing the acoustic version of "Nineteen" that iTunes recently put out (I'm kind of addicted to it).

Finally, here's a picture of my friend, whose blog I've been really enjoying (despite not having enough pictures for someone semi-literate like myself). She's standing in front of a fallen California redwood tree. I can't reveal her name because she prefers to post anonymously.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


My friend told me about this but I didn't believe her (also, what kind of dystopian name for a company is Prosper Incorporated?)

"We're not the mean waterboarding company that people think we are."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

"Standard Operating Procedure"

Being in law school makes it hard to watch movies or TV shows with a lot of emotional substance. It's the stress of studying and the constant interrogation of the way things are and why (and how things should be - always a much harder question).

"Standard Operating Procedure" is a movie I might see were I not in law school (instead I might see "Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay"). Even though I've already seen "Taxi to the Dark Side" and "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib," which critics actually say are much better than this movie, I find the trailer pretty stunning. Plus, I really like the movie's tagline ("The War on Terror Will Be Photographed").

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Sipping on the Sweet Nectar" by Jens Lekman

The John McCain video I just posted was too scary to be the first thing you see on my blog, so I decided to post this very simple, very beautiful Jens Lekman video. I love the first 15 seconds of it - the time of day it is, the way the moon is starting to wane and is that giant, golden orb that you never get to see in the city.

The video was filmed in Iceland, and he's really flying the plane. Anything can happen.

It's Raining McCain!

Wow. Endless questions, really. About the video, about society, about why the singer washes her face with John McCain. (That last part will make sense once you see it.)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

For $500,000, you get 700 square feet in Brooklyn or 320 acres in Wyoming. This is why I love the New York Times' price check feature, which comes out every...once in a while (my memory's too filled with future property interests to remember).

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The edge of the world (Washington State)

Ex-coworker, power walker extraordinaire Ramona K. Holman sent me a slideshow of photos from her recent trip to Washington State. This is possibly my favorite of the bunch - I just like how pristine it is, and how small the people are, and how the tress look like they're falling off the edge of the world.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Danish Poet

Take 15 minutes and treat yourself to this short film (broken into two parts, each more lovable than the last!) It actually won the 2006 Oscar for Best Short Animated Film. ::Sigh:: Back to writing my legal brief...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fashion in the year A.D. 2,000!

This is either an amazing historical relic or just a really entertaining video.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Very transformer-esque"

I feel guilty about not updating my blog even though I'm insanely busy. So here are two completely unrelated things: one beautiful, one terrifying. Enjoy!

The poster was designed by Lilli Carre.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring break...and I'm working

The houses in Franklin, NJ aren't all this creepy. But my friend Amneris passes by it on the way to babysitting each day (which is scarier?)

Something about the picture reminds me of the house at the beginning of Capote, the one that the Clutters were found dead in.

Also check out the cover of In Cold Blood - usually I find pictures of eyes a little undergrad art show, but this is pretty effective I think (if you buy that the killers were actually cold-blooded).

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I really need to see this movie now

This is a clip from "Un Homme et Une Femme" that Virginia Heffernan posted, with that famous song that they use on commercials. It's so beautiful and relaxing (especially when I have a research memo due tomorrow), and I love (LOVE) the part where the guy flashes his headlights and runs to his family.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Photo hunting at 6 am

I woke up early, and felt like it would be a waste if I was too productive. Here are some photos I found that I like (it's too early for video).

The first photo is from the New York Times. The second one is by Michiru Nakayama and I feel like the father and daughter are gonna play air guitar for some reason. The final photo was taken somewhere in Toronto by Sam Javanrouh.