I hat everduddy

On Sunday, I was driving around with Urrka, which is a mixed bag. 90% is excellent because I like to spend time in the car. That's some quality fruit. 10% is terrible because it often means we listen to the radio. I hate the radio more than anything. I was griping about it because it was terrible on every channel as always and Erika said I like 10% of what is on the radio. I think that is a high guess. I like NPR on Saturday nights. That's super. Then I maybe like 2 songs total from all the other stations combined...maybe. I'm pretty sure that's not 10% of what's out there. The radio relates well to Trevo's recent discussion (see Rev Trev link to the right). The radio is not in itself a good or bad thing. They could play excellent jams on the radio (much like some of the stations on iTunes). There is that potential, but it lies within those who run the radio stations. Those who run the radio stations have the same taste as a four-year-old child who thinks that the Wiggles are excellent musicians. Therefore, radio is evil, but only because of the humans behind it.

So this was especially unfortunate because we were listening to my bane, Christian radio. There was this song on that E really likes, so I gave it the old listen. I have no idea what it is called, or who it is by, but I was sitting there driving, and I heard..."My God is all He's gonna be."

No Way, I thought. There's a song against Process Theology on the radio. I was so happy because I thought it was so hilarious and super that there was something so theologically directed in a Christian song. I'm not trying to hate on Process Theology. I actually really respect Process Theology. It's a bit anthropocentric, but what else do we really have to go off of? I kind of dig Process Theology the way I dig many theologies...I don't agree, but I respect the pursuit. Regardless, I couldn't believe this song. I started going on about how great that was, and Euriskow asked me what the heck? It turns out the song says, "My God is always gonna be."

This made me think, what kind of world is my brain living in? I'm so into theology, that I really think there is an East-Coast/West-Coast-rap style feud going on in the world of Christian radio between varying theological traditions. Honestly, I think my brain heard what it wanted to hear as an excuse to roam free like a buffalo who has been locked in the Denver Zoo since birth, longing for the day when a kind-hearted fisherman named Josh Dever would win the lotto and buy himself a nicer boat, a taco bell franchise, and my freedom. He would ride on in to town with 700,475 in cash (that's 2,000 over my worth, he doesn't want any problems with the transaction), hand it over to Ted Billingsly (the Z.E.O.) and we would leave town together, hand in hoof. I would probably head on out to the West side of the Rockies to roam free. That is why I was purchased after all. This makes me wonder how much my perception of reality is skewed by myself. For that matter, how much is everybody's perception of reality skewed by themselves? Eat that modernism. I guess the only reasonable solution is solipsism. So eat it, everybody but me and God. Pals together forever. Like my mind and Josh. Except not really, because I left Josh on the east side of the Rockies. You probably know what I mean though.


I was bitten by the Fashion Bug

Yesterday I came home and Erika bought mini bananas at the grocery store. I can't believe how incredible mini bananas are. Perhaps you're wondering why I didn't know about the glory of tiny bananas before yesterday. You can't expect me to know everything. I'm not a wise sage who has wandered the earth, searching for a giraffe and an octopus peacefully coexisting as a very loving, but totally platonic pair of old pals who are there for each other no matter what. Like the time that ole' Gred (the giraffe) got into quite the pickle trying to get the last pickle in the pickle jar, because pickles rule, especially the tiny ones because they are so crunchy much like how tiny bananas rule except they are not crunchy, and she got her hooves stuck in the jars...all four. Clearly she couldn't go to work with pickle jar hands. She works at dang Fazoli's. How are you supposed to serve up breadsticks with dang pickle jars on your hooves? Heck, how are you supposed to serve breadsticks with hooves in the first place? Only the people who found Gred and Borty (the octopus) know because it's the only place where Fazoli's hires giraffes. So Borty covered for Gred and was even able to serve up 18 times more breadsticks on account of his suckers and tons of legs and stuff. But he still gave Gred all the money from the shift while she got Mips to get the pickle jars off with a cutting torch. Why didn't they just break off the jars? Like I said before, I'm not omniscient. Sheesh.


Don't Stop The Beat

Last week I bought a ticket to see Death Cab in August. I wasn't 100% sure if I wanted to go or not, but I'm pretty excited now. Just now I was checking out some sites for info on tours of my number one bands. Architecture in Helsinki is going to be in NY, so I can't go. Then I went to the ole' Mates of State site, and it said they are in Denver for two days in August. I looked further and found out they're opening for Death Cab. What a beautiful gift from above. I did not expect this and it is the best. I can't believe what good fortune I have as a human being right now. Also, I hate cologne. And sorry I don't post much. I don't like to very much anymore. I'm fickle. Fickle as a pickled nickle.



Today the pool opened up for the summer at our place. Hooray, right? Until I smashed my face into the bottom and got cut/scraped in eight places. The point is not sympathy, it is to share that I have been watching tv/movies all afternoon. Now there's a 100 best comedies special on Bravo. After reading Movie Wars, I should know better than to trust such things, but here are my complaints (beyond the lack of ANY movies that have been made outside the U.S. or before 1970 so far).

-There are some excellent choices, such as MP's Holy Grail, Raising Arizona, and The Big Lebowski...coming in in the 40's and 30's on the list. 40-year old virgin and Legally Blonde made the list before these. I think that they HAD to pull movie titles out of a hat if this is the order. Also, for good stuff like the previously mentioned and Annie Hall, they get good people to talk about it who know what they are talking about. For these other terribles that beat the goodies, they have the senior editor of Teen People, they editor-in-chief of Dailycandy.com, and other people who wouldn't know a decent movie if Jonathan Rosenbaum showed up on their front door with a projector and reel and made them watch it and gave them a 30-point list of why it is incredible and had them type it out while he said it and then printed it off and sent to a publisher, who published it because its so good (we are talking Rosenbaum here) and sent a comp copy to them and they read it and take notes on it and Rosenbaum gave them an exam on it and they got a hundred percent and they still think Legally Blonde is better.

-Comedy? 100 greatest comedies? What kind of comedies? Nevermind the host of other problems, there are too many kinds of comedies. They're on number 30 here, and $50 says Donny Darko and Fight Club don't make the list. They sure should. But with the way things are going, White Chicks is going to be number one, followed closely by Malibu's Most Wanted.

-They breeze over with no commentary, some of the best movies on the list. For example, extended commentary was featured on Austin Powers, and simply mentioned good-os like Good Morning, Vietnam.

Who works for Bravo? They're not very good. I shouldn't be surprised, and I'm not. But it's still lame. On the side, my copy of World Film Directors, vol. 1 that I ordered came today, so I can look at that and feel better about the world. It's the hammer.



It's summer-time for ole' ry-bo. This summer that doesn't mean anything because I have so many freaking things to do. I do have some things that have happened. I saw a bumper sticker with the green mountains (for non-CO's, it is something of a huge deal if you're from colorado (pretty much the opposite of IN), so there are bumper stickers with green mountains that say "NATIVE" in white so everybody knows how awesome you are for not moving here, it's real elitist, arrogant, and state-o-centric) that instead of native said "NO VACANCY". I was pretty excited how unbelievably ridiculous this was. It's completely the thinking that has led to all the ridiculous hatred toward "illegal" immigrants. I'm not going to get started on that whole deal because I get really fired up and it's only 9:40. I don't like to get worked up at least until 1:00 in the afternoon. Then I've got some lunch in my belly and I need something to keep me awake throught the afternoon. Otherwise I fall asleep so fast, you'd think I was some sort of bear that had been living along the same stream for 36 years (I don't know how long bears live). A sleeping pill manufacturer moves in upstream and starts dumping their by-products, which include some of the sleeping agent. All the salmon swim upstream and ingest the sleeping agent. Then I can't believe my luck. Hundreds and hundreds of salmon floating by. But they aren't dead and disease-ridden. They're just in dream-world. I get my pick. I pull out a few dozen every day and eat like a king for a few hours, but then, holy crap, I feel like hibernating so bad. Jeez I'm tired....zzzzzzzz.

Also, I have amazing news. I got a sweet inflatable robot and I can't even describe how amazing it is. It's finally time for me to try to contribute something to the world of short films, so this august, if I have time, I'm going to make a film with my new pal. If I don't have time, I'm going to do it in January when I have a real job. It'll be like a sweet waterfall of juicy juice (100% juice, no preservatives baby).

Well, it's time for me to go to the library. The denver library is so amazing. Yesterday I picked up Bunuel's That Obscure Object of Desire, and I'm rull excited to view it. Speaking of film, Wong Kar Wai is the head jury member at Cannes this year. That means that this will likely be the best Cannes EVER. I know that is an absurd statement with no historical perspective at all, but I don't care. What else can I say when my number one of all time director/writer ever is the leader of the jury? Nothing. There's nothing I can say to express how incredible that will be. Even though it might be hard, I will need to get every one of the films that Wong Kar Wai had any bit of approval for. It's almost like I called him up and he gave me his list of faves for the year. There are good and bad differences. On the good side, there is no language barrier (which is my fault) this way, because there is an English version of the Cannes website. On the bad side, if I did call him and we chatted, maybe we would become friends and I could be his personal assistant. That only happens in perfect-world, where unicorns swim and there are Denver Ted's' everywhere.


May Day

Today is a dang big day for we Americans. Today loads of people are marching to fight new bills that will further oppress and marginalize "illegal" immigrants. This morning I went to the march in Denver, and it was absolutely amazing. I'm not sure I've ever seen so many people in the same place in my life. I felt like a part of something so unbelievably much bigger than myself. It was incredible. It was also great to see quite a few people who are pasty Americans who came out to support the cause. I didn't know if I would be the only whitey in the crowd and I definitely wasn't.

As with all marches, there were lots of signs. Some of them were especially poignant. Many said, "No Human Is Illegal." One said, "What Do You Think Of Mexico? You Are Standing In It" (because this is Colorado, which used to be part of Mexico before we stole it). I also liked, "Freedom of Speech Means We Can Speak English And Spanish." One white lady had a sign that said, "My Grandparents Were Immigrants." This is just a small sample of the many great signs that were there.

There was also a group of people from Mexico at the front doing sweet traditional dancing and singing. It was really fantastic to see people able to celebrate their heritage like that.

Ultimately I was somewhat conflicted. Some people had signs for Che and other violent revolutionaries. While I am completely on board for immigrant reform and a better attitude toward recent immigrants (I say recent because ALL americans are immigrants), I also cannot side with those who utilize violence as a means to any necessary reform. At the same time, I do not expect those who are not following Jesus to embrace His message of peace. Outside the Kingdom of God, violence may very well be a necessary method of reform. These are the thoughts that I was struggling with. In any case, it was really great to see and in a small way be a part of something so historic and hopefully non-violently revolutionary for this nation.


Buca di Boydo

Get out your blenders. Pour in some Stan Hauerwas, William Willimon, Walter Wink, John H. Yoder, add some American and church history, and finish it off with some less technical language. Press blend and out comes...The Myth of a Christian Nation.

I received this at the bookstore yesterday. I put it down to go to sleep and class and that's it. Few times in my life have I so wholeheartedly agreed with anything. My only beef is that some of the 'filling in the lines' of what Biblical characters were thinking or feeling is a little too speculative. Other than that, yes yes yes.

Sometimes I think that all my beef with the America and God are buddies sentiment around me makes me crazy. Then I read some Yoder and Hauerwas & Willimon and Wink and I realized that I'm not crazy. I'm just not evangelical. Then Boyd came along and said, "Hey Ryan, it's okay to believe the Bible is totally true AND be a pacifist and think America is not God's nation. In fact, that's what you SHOULD believe if you think the Bible is true." So I guess maybe I still am an Evangelical. I don't know. The jury's still out on that one. Plus what is an evangelical anyway? I'm trying to figure that out and I'm not getting very far as there are loads of different opinions on this.

I especially liked...who am I kidding? I liked EVERYTHING. Perhaps my enthusiasm is clear in that I hate it when people use all caps for emphasis, and that's what I'm doing. My joy and exuberance have superceded my all caps reservations. It is very well informed on all points. Boyd did his research and it shows. Plus I think that it is super-balanced. He is not trying to tick people off or cause division as some people can do. He is trying to tell us what we should have known all along about not just our country, but countries in general and what Christians should be doing. What a guy. What a time. What a baseball game.

The first chance you get, read The Myth of a Christian Nation. If you're familiar with the guys I keep mentioning, parts of it will be either familiar or even redundant. Yet taken as a whole, I think this book is a great read. So read it. Buy it. Write in it. Underline it. And tell me how good it is, because it is that good. I will look forward to us talking about how it is completely right about everything.


Two Great Dates

I have two new favorite quotes. One is serious and one is not as serious. The first one is from Wisdom Ways by Elizabeth Schussler-Fiorenza. I was reading it in the library the other day and I started crying in the library. I cry too much. That's why my nickname was Cryin-Ryan in middle school. Anyway. She is talking about Brecht's method of 'defamiliarization' and applying each type of defamiliarization with the Beatitudes.

"Finally, one can defamiliarize the text by spelling out the situation in which the text is heard today:
Blessed are the poor--Never again Rwanda; Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice--Never again Auschwitz; Blessed are the peacemakers--Never again Baghdad and Kosovo."

I just started crying a bit again when I was typing this. I'm a putz. Anyway, I think that speaks for itself.

Now onto my other favorite quote. This is really self-indulgent, because I'm the one who said it. Yesterday we had to do inventory at work and my boss said, "I hope this doesn't take all night." Then I said,

"Hope only pays the bills in unicorn world."

Feel free to use that whenever you need to. I'm pretty proud of it. I guess that means I will get no props from God for it. Oh well, I probably wouldn't get Divine Props for something like that anyway.

Hummus Taters

My faith in American film has been renewed! (I only get two exclamation points in my life, so using one on this is pretty amazing) I don't watch that many American films anymore, because I'm trying to get through all the foreign films in the Criterion Collection (which if you are not familiar with it, contains about a thousand films...I have a long way to go). Yet two movies in the last week have made me glad for American film.

On Thursday, I went to the library and The Squid and the Whale was available for me. I was expecting it to be pretty fantastic, but what a beautiful piece of art. As I was watching it, I thought that it bore Wes Anderson's flair for subtle and beautiful characters and moments that point to life experience with ingenious charm. Then the film ended and it said: "Produced by Wes Anderson" Oh yes. I couldn't believe what a time it was. This is the kind of thing that puts America on par with the rest of the world in film-making.

I realize the Squid and the Whale has been out for awhile, but it takes a long time to get newer stuff from the library. So everybody should see it (except maybe Trevor because I think you hate Wes Anderson's work).

The second deal was Naked Lunch. I know I'm a huge jerk for not having seen this when I was in high school, but I didn't, leave me alone. I don't know what is so appealing to me about absurdist films, but I love them so bad. They make me very happy and enjoyable. I was reminded of such great films as Brazil, Breakfast of Champions, and of course Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (it's probably not coincidental that Vonnegut, Thompson, and Burroughs are three of my favorite authors).

All this is to say that you can't say that all American films are bad. Nobody would try to say this so my point is completely useless. Thank you for indulging me. Hoozah.


Grandma's Toys

The other day I was driving in my car. I popped in the ole' Brand New's Deja Entendu. The combination of those tunes combined with the warm weather that has now come forth made me super-nostalgic for living on Himes St. in Huntington, hanging out with Caleb and Tim, complaining about things. Then the next day I started thinking about getting a full-time job after I graduate and how it might be pretty cool compared to now.

I now realize that for a good long while now I have been longing for days past and days to come. Of course, when I think more thoroughly on my times on Himes St. I was always looking forward to getting out of Huntington. At my brother's college baccaloureate (how the nutters is that spelled?) service, my dad spoke about how we need to learn to appreciate the present. At the time, I really took that message to heart, and I think that's why it keeps popping up in my life. I have the tendency to forget anything bad about the past. Plus, this is especially poignant for me as a spacio-temporal relativist. Longing for the future or past is like longing for a delicious unicorn steak. It's a waste of time.

So I am now enjoying how great it is to hang out with Erika a lot, live in my brother's backyard and learn about stuff.


America, We Stand As One

So whenever Trevor does some blogging, it's usually thought-provoking and good. I'm going to take a stab at that. Today I was driving to work and there was a car in front of me with a big American flag decal in the back. That fad seems to have passed so I was reminded how crazy it was when it was popular. Honestly I was kind of annoyed by the whole thing because I wasn't really sure what purpose it accomplished. The whole nationalism thing has always been lost on me. The especially interesting thing is that in the constitution, it expressly states that no flag should be displayed that cannot wave freely. Thus, by getting caught up in the nationalistic wave, many people were compromising the wishes of the constitution they so wholeheartedly endorse. I wonder in what other cases this takes place. Perhaps the way that the cross has become such a symbol of Christianity when it was a torturous instrument of death. It should cause us grief. I realize Christ's death is one factor in the source of our hope and joy, but the popularity of the cross seems to ignore its brutality.

Point number 2. The current fad is the yellow ribbon on the back of your car to support the troops. I wonder what it means to support the troops. I'm sure that most people who display such stickers would say I don't support the troops because I am a pacifist and non-patriotic. But the thing is, I wholeheartedly support provision for soldiers and their families, especially if they are injured in service to the nation. I don't agree with methods utilized in 'protecting' the country and so forth, but I still certainly support the people involved. I certainly hope that everyone can survive the conflicts they must be involved in, and in return they should be well taken care of. So I don't support the decisions of the leaders of the country, but I support the troops. Also, the ribbons seem to serve a greater purpose than the flags because I think the profits go to assist soldiers (this may be wrong, I just heard that somewhere). I hope this isn't too offensive, but given my knowledge of my readers, I think I'm in the clear (not for you agreeing with me, but at least not being offended). Some may say this is a false dichotomy, but I do not believe this is so. Ultimately my point here is that so many people say to support the troops, but I think this means very different things to different people. This seems to take place often in the world. People can mean such different things by affirming the same concept.

I guess the second point doesn't spout profundity, but the decals are related, so it follows. Plus, this is one of my first attempts at being serious. Enough excuses.


ADM Business Machines

JJay - What are your favorite Arrested Development moments? Mine are when George Sr. teaches George Jr. a lesson about teaching lessons to George Michael, GOB's Chicken Dance (every time he does it, but the #1 is when he does it to Buster on the construction site...Buster's reaction is television gold), and the Hermano confusion (specifically all the times that GOB says brother to Michael in various languages). Sorry to not include you here Trevor. You can borrow the first two seasons if you want. It's up to you. I'm not making you. Quit acting like I'm making you.

Pobre David

Warning: If you like the American version of The Office and haven't watched the original, you should do so, but there also some plot spoilers for what will certainly be coming on the American version...

I'm watching Bones right now (I'm not sure why. I don't really like it, but I'm on spring break so get off my freaking back) and as a special guest star, David Denman is on the show. The odd thing is that his character is engaged to a woman who cheats on him and leaves him.

Perhaps you're thinking, who is David Denman? Let's go over some of his recent work.

-Most notably and recently, he plays Roy on the American version of the Office. In the Office, Roy is engaged to Pam, who is currently falling for Jim, and will eventually leave Roy for Jim (I know that has not yet come to pass, but come on. You know it's coming...between the current build-up going on and Dawn's decision in the original, seriously). Engaged to a woman who cheats on him and leaves him.

-In Film, he played Don Price in Big Fish. In Big Fish, Sandra is engaged to him and then decides to leave him for Edward.

What's going on here? Typecasting? If so, I feel bad for David Denman. He better watch out. There's another David D. who played the same type of role for too long and couldn't get any other roles. How many people have seen House of D? (It's good, by the way). Of course, I don't know if the same can take place when he keeps playing smallish roles. David Duchovny was the main character on a show for years, so maybe it's all a bunch of crap. All I'm saying is, if your name is David D. and you are an aspiring actor, try to mix up the roles. That's good advice from a big silly man.


Greg Cannot Have My Bread

Are you ready for good news/bad news? Let's do good news first just to construct a mess hall out of crude materials. I just found out that Arrested Development Season Three will be available for purchase on June 13, 2006. Interestingly, that date falls approximately three weeks prior to my birthday (for those of you who enjoy a relationship with me that involves gift purchases, feel free to fill in the blanks of my subtleties and draw the conclusion that some things just mentioned are by far number one on what I would enjoy for such a time). Then I can sit and enjoy until you won't believe.

Now it's time for the bad news. The other day I saw a preview for a new show. I don't know what it's called, but it may be Brothers and Sisters (yes, like the under-rated ep from Coldplay). It seems that it is about a dysfunctional family and is supposed to be some sort of subversive new satirical sitcom that changes the way we look at sitcoms (does it seem to be coincidental that this is the exact description/definition one might assign to a certain brilliant long-syllabled show that might be called Arrested Development?). Earlier, when I asked about plagiarism, I now have an absolute ostensive definition. I know I shouldn't wish ill on others, but I hope this show crashes and burns, because it stole the brilliance of a ratings-challenged show that was forced into cancellation way before its time was up. If this show succeeds, it will be sucking from the teet of someone else's mother. I realize I say all this without ever having seen a single episode, but it doesn't matter. Plus, I will never watch a single episode to avoid the misunderstanding that I have any amount of support in my system. I have done all I can to support Arrested Development, and it was all for naught (at least fox is kind enough to share the episodes in dvd form).

So here's to the new Brothers and Sisters show not getting picked up for more than its initial batch of episodes (which is hopefully eight or less, we wouldn't want anyone laying hold to any bragging rights beyond the episode duration of Freaks and Geeks or Undeclared).



Most of you know that I really dislike poetry and I have for a long time. This is one of those things you're not supposed to say if you want to sound moderately intelligent, but it's true. I tried to like Kerouac and stuff, but it wasn't happening. However, I realized that I do like poetry that comes from music (I know it's a little late in life for me to realize this, but bugger off). I must clarify that probably 90% of music is not poetry at all.

Anyway, so I was thinking of my favorites, and some of the choices are obvious, but I don't care. Here's my top five, Hornby-style...

5 - Ben Folds - I am often moved to tears by the incredible elegance of his music independent of any awareness of what he is really writing about. Then I hear him talk about its meaning and things become even more incredible. Plus, anyone gets on the list for writing a song dedicated to my number four pick.

4 - Elliott Smith - What needs to be said of Elliott's transcendent song-writing? Someday when I have a kid, I'm going to name him/her after Elliott Smith in the hopes that he will halfway live up to the breathtaking artistry of his/her namesake.

3 - Nick Drake - We all know (yes, this is one of those times where I take what I think and extrapolate to all people in the hopes that someone agrees with me) that to be incredible, artists have to be troubled. If this carries one to the point of suicide, we know it's the real deal. I'm not trying to make light of suicide. In three short albums, Nick touched the world with much more honesty and brilliance than most people can muster in their entire lives.

2 - Sufjan Stevens - First, I have to put him at least in my top five since I'm from the midwest. His masterful song-writing brings me to a place of such intense emotion that I'm generally not completely comfortable listening to him around other people. What great joy and sorrow are wrought by the golden tongue of Sufjan.

1 - Benjamin Gibbard - I know it's grotesque to place Ole' Ben at the top of this list above the others, but we're talking strictly poetry in music here, not music all around. I place him here because his poetic voice is the most appealing to me. I think that he most embodies poet-as-musician for me. This is especially apparent in his four solo songs on Home Volume Four. I also think that his poetic style has developed over the years into such beauty. I say this because the lyrics that grab and shake me the most come from more recent albums. Musically I prefer earlier stuff, but lyrically, the new stuff is crazy touching. I know he can be overly melodramatic, but I really like it (see comments above). For the sake of brevity, here are a few of my favorite lines sans context...

"Sorrow dripts into your heart through a pinhole.
Just like a faucet that leaks and there is comfort in the sound.
But while you debate half-empty or half-full,
It slowly rises, your love is gonna drown." -Marching Bands of Manhattan

"And I'm thinking of what Sarah said
That love is watching someone die
So who's gonna watch you die?" -What Sarah Said

And since it's my favorite lyrically overall, here is all of my favorite Ben Gibbard poem...

Title and Registration

The glove compartment is inaccurately named,
And everybody knows it.
So I'm proposing a swift orderly change.

Cause behind its door there's nothing to keep my fingers warm,
And all I find are souvenirs from better times.
Before the gleam of your taillights fading east,
To find yourself a better life.

I was searching for some legal document,
As the rain beat down on the hood.
When I stumbled upon pictures I tried to forget,
And that's how this idea was drilled into my head.

Cause it's too important,
To stay the way it's been.

There's no blame for how our love did slowly fade,
And now that it's gone it's like it wasn't there at all.
And here I rest where disappointment and regret collide,
Lying awake at night.

So there it is. I made a long one here and you just read it and I appreciate and respect you for it. I know the order of my list has no sense of history and there are plenty of people who should have made the list (Devendra Banhart, Leonard Cohen, Damien Jurado, Dan Bejar, etc.) but it's my top five, and I'm not suggesting that it is the best. It's the best for me, cuz I'm real pomo like that. Deal with that, Enlightenment.


Best MacGyver Ever

I just found out Damien Jurado is coming to the Marquis at the end of March. That'll be splendid. I bet I'll even go. This past weekend, Sigur Ros, The Photo Atlas, and Damien Jurado all played, and I didn't go to any. Euriskw got super-sick, so I stayed home to take care of her. Insert applause here. I can't believe what a good hub-sand I am. Seriously. I deserve a medal or something.

On a similar plane of existence, I got A Long Way Down from the library (finally), so I've been reading that and I really enjoy it greatly. Ole' Nick is quite the beautiful man. Also, I managed to get my hands on TWO DISCS of Sigur Ros live from Grand Rapids. We're talking about beauty that makes the tears form. Geriatric-style

I guess that's all that's new. JELLY


Busby Berkeley Dreams

First, Erika got me L'Absente by Yann Tiersen for Valentine's Day. Talk about a good valentine. What a woman.

Now, here's what I've been wondering. At what point does homage become plagiarism? Here's what got the juices flowing. In a recent episode of Scrubs, Mandy Moore guest starred as JD's girlfriend who doesn't laugh at anything, but says "That's so funny" to everything. Clearly, this is taken from "The Switch" episode of Seinfeld when Jerry's girlfriend doesn't laugh at anything but says "That's funny" all the time. At first I was kind of annoyed because I like Scrubs. I don't like them to steal stuff. But is this homage to Seinfeld? In season 2 of Scrubs there is a JD vision of JD being Jerry on stage with the Seinfeld music playing. But I think this is different. In the prior instance, it is not a subtle nod to another show. It is the exact same idea.

Of course everything is borrowed in any creative endeavor, but there is a difference between giving respect to the people who influenced you and ripping them off. Things are easier in school here, because of footnotes and so forth. Here's an example of appropriate homage...Even the most casual listen to The Early November leads one to notice the influence of early Get Up Kids on the band. Thus, in Baby Blue, they give respect by quoting No Love. What's the difference? I'm not sure. That's the question I'm asking.

In film, some techniques and story-telling devices are borrowed from other film-makers (i.e. everything French New Wave directors ever did is used by others), but many times this can be attributed to the development of the craft. For example, a filmaker could give their respects to Fellini and Godard by making a fictional film about filmaking based on their experiences in the business. Or this hypothetical film includes a writer making a script based on Ulisses or a director dancing through the hallways of a hotel to avoid/deal with all the people bothering him. Perhaps any of this would be plagiarism. Perhaps none of it would be.

All this is to say that I want to know if there is a set of universal criteria in determining the distinction between homage and plagiarism. Tell me.


Dark Enterprises

Happy V-Day everybody. Just because I'm such an incredible husband, I'm ditching my wife to go see Reggie and the Full Effect tonight. Okay, I'm not really ditching, since she has class until later in the evening. I'm not that bad (actually I probably am).

Even though this is my third Reggie experience, I'm pretty happy about it. Oslo, I found out the gender of my next relative to come hang out in the world. What will the child be? I'm not telling because it's laid out like that. I'm pretty happy about the way things shaped up, although I don't think I would have been let down either way because I am that great as an uncle.

Say uncle, Okep is back in the States which is probably a mixed bag for him. But we're happy to have you back here fella. Greetings. Nosterblaster.


Totem Recall

I FINALLY got the chance to view A Very Long Engagement for my viewing pleasure. Somehow, I have the feeling Paco saw it 2 years ago as a special screening with Jeunet himself because somehow that's how he rolls. Anyway, it was superb. It seemed to me that it may be a bit more mainstream, which isn't necessarily bad with JPJ because Alien 4 was still pretty good even though it was in English and big and all that. And the Long Engagement was so much more than I had hoped for. JPJ's style definitely was present and is even maturing a bit I think. However, I don't mean mature like when an infant matures into toddler-hood and is more fun to play with. More like when a band like Ozma matures. Their sound may become a bit more complex and intelligent, but the earlier stuff will always be the best no matter what. Nothing JPJ ever does can top Delicatessen or City of Lost Children in my book.

All of this is to say that A Very Long Engagement was an incredibly beautiful and somber film that made me weep like I was back in seventh grade (that's right I cried a lot even as old as seventh grade, leave me alone). It was a totally brilliant dive into the human condition, the twisted ethics in the face of war and love, and all kinds of other great pictorial insight that JPJ can't stop dishing out and I can't stop consuming.

Speaking of crying, I was listening to Ben Folds yesterday (another guy whose incredible prowess at his craft is matched only by his ability to touch my life force) in the car yesterday and Gracie made me cry really hard and I don't even have a daughter. That's what is so magical about Ben Folds.

Speaking of Ben Folds, I heard that he was going to be on the show Love Monkey last night, so I sat through the whole thing for him to be on it for about 21 seconds. That was not awesome.

Oh well, that's the way life goes sometimes when you're representin.



Before the semester starts, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my nephew Isaiah for standing up on his own for 10 seconds this morning. Huzah.

Here I am, in my broseph's house, waiting for the waiting hurt. Last night I finished the first volume of Samurai Champloo. That's right, I watch anime. Here is my confession. I love Ghost in the Shell, Samurai Champloo, and Cowboy Bebop (#1 forever). That's all though. No mas. So deal with it. I don't know how you think I'm gonna try to hear that.

But the best news of the year...PACO'S COMING HOME SOON. Of course, this doesn't mean anything to me initially. In fact, it means I have to miss out on tons of fun parties in Chi-town, H-town, and IU-town. There will be insane gravy with super-bros sans Ry-Ry and I'm probably going to pout for awhile. However, there are some possums that O-P will head up one mile to Denver (what-what) and talk about Afgy and Paky at a lot of places here in fulfillment of contractual obligations to the nation of South Korea. If such deals could come to pass, I would rejoice.

Speaking of rejoicing/mourning the Oz-man cameth last week and it was super-deluxe grande depot station. We kept it real for reals...Jeff-style. That's another hopeful possum. That 42 Euros will move here. So many hopes dreams, I need to read Moltmann while listening to Keane.

Don't fake it or you'll break it.



On Sunday morning we had communion as always at church and I noticed some great hilarity (perhaps communion is not the best time to make hilarious observations, but what am I supposed to do? Not observe. Although I have always had a difficult time observing things such as the milk in the fridge when it is right in front of me or my wallet when it is in my back pocket, but I have somewhat keenly developed my powers of observing human phenomena to a level that has unfortunately led me to cycnicism which I am trying to grow out of and shed like an old snake living by the riverside who doesn't have much left to live for except the occasional tired rat or bird egg that slowly wanders by that has even less to live for (although one may presume that an egg has plenty to live far as it hasn't really done much of any living yet) and allows the old snake to eat it thanks to its ambivalence to life and such growth pursuits seem to be effective).

When I was going to a Lutheran church and everybody had to come to the front for communion, everybody pretty much got the idea. First row people get up and form a line...when possible, second row people get up and join the back of the line, etc, ad infinitum, until everyone has taken part and been seated. The same is the case in the Catholic churches I have attended. People get it.

The hilarious thing is that at my current church and the church I was recently attending, nobody gets it. Everyone gets up all at once and mashes into a huge blob vaguely resembling a line like the church is going to run out of bread and wine (or grape juice as the case may be) before they can take part in the Sacrament. Why is this the case?

Because evangelicals don't seem to be accustomed to getting out of the ol' chair for some communion. This isn't scathing criticism, by the way, more of an observation that really amused me (and Urrka for that matter, so I'm not the only one). This is probably a thing you had to be there for, but Joe, imagine 150 people in folding chairs, suddenly mashed up into a big jam, and you may find some entertainment.



Gorgeous George

IN ADDITION (to the post below, because things go from the top down with the top down in my top down), I need to send out some respect, because I realized my suggestions that T-Rev is my sole reader may be completely offensive to some of my important importants.

#1 - PACO - While changing the world by creating peace and learning 57 languages, he still sets aside expensive internet time to read my crap here and write stuff to me. I am very honored, and he does make it up to 3-5.

#2 - JJAY - I guess it's not really as much of an accomplishment, but what a buddy who teaches, learns, and reads my junk in the trunk.

#3 - JOEY L - I just found out he reads up and I got to hang out during Indiana time. Good times and great oldies

Much love to the Wraps and Raps (good raps Joe). Chant with me: BFF...BFF...BFF...BFF...BFF...BFF...
BFF...BFF...BFF...BFF...BFF...BFF..., the end.

Shire of Worchester

I haven't done said nothing in a while, so here it is. It was pretty fly to see some gang-time over the break. I saw me some good pals, although there were some gaping omissions. Dang. I just picked up Mr. Show Season 4 with my Best Buy gift card, so I am looking forward to some quality time with the television. That's a pretty sad statement. Oslo, I'm bout to get me hard drive, so I don't have to lose thesis work over the next number of times.

Speaking of times, I wish I had mo money so I could go snowboarding more. It's so dang expensive to go out here. And by dang I mean dang.

In oddission, I watched the Longhorns beat the Trojans last night and was happy for Andrew V, because he probably doesn't care that much about the horns. I guess that just goes to show that trombones trump condoms. Exciting

I was just thinking about Cris Craigo. Paco, JJay, and I sure had some good times with CC back in the day.