Half a Month There on Foot

You will find me at the corner of Speed and Power

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Dork out! Buffy-style!


I'm listening to the 'Lost' podcast as I work and just learned that last night's major plot-point episode was directed by first-time director Paul Edwards who is the all-the-time camera operator. The show alternates DPs each episode and directors every three-to-fourish, and Paul and executive producer/director Jack Bender are two central production members in maintaining the look of the show.

Edwards directed a great show, by the way. It's cool the producers would let their go-to guy take a shot at a big episode with so many interlaced storylines and a big reveal. Makes me like the show even more.


I haven't mentioned it, but I may have been in the same four rooms for the last 62 hours. It's a long story. And not really that funny.

But I will mention that I took time out to watch the TV. 'Veronica Mars' and the 'Lost' episodic serials. 'Lost' was really really good, and 'Veronica Mars' was even better. There was a mini-Buffy reunion with Alyson Hannigan and Charisma Carpenter. It was two minutes of some of crackling dialouge and the best line wasn't even their's: "Put Away Wet, meet Rode Hard."

I can see by the way the monitors are starting to talk to me and my desire to type in the code so the "island" won't eat me that this entry is closed.

I'm on Jack's side, by the way, when you break it all down. I think Echo is too, and I like that about him. If he gets axed I'll be pissed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Go big... but without the irony

Franklin McMahon does a podcast called Media Artist Secrets. Really he does three podcasts: Media Artist Secrets, Creative Cow Podcast, and The Model Podcast. And he produces another show with girl hosts doing, one assumes, girl things. I really like Media Artists Secrets, as it's mostly practical advice for people associated with any kind of media.

It's "be your own boss" and "streamline your work" and "here's something that might work for you," but much cooler than I describe it. He's a guy with some degree of success in the industry and a lot of talent http://www.fmstudio.com/blog/index.html And he does a great cast about helping people in the same industry get better. That's people in media and multimedia. Get better. Without sarcasm.

The shows are short, about eight to ten minutes, and always entertaining. The Creative Cow podcast is much longer, about an hour plus, with interviews and reviews and the like. But it's never boring. Or stuffy or cynical. It's actually a little inspiring.

I thought (because you care what I thought) I would try to post really over-the-top inspirational stuff this week. Not "here's Jesus!" or "I fed and clothed the poor and wretched" inspiring but "Muderball really kicks ass" inspiring. I did see 'Murderball' by the way, and I'm still digesting it. It's amazing. It's a great documentary with a bunch of great stories. More on that later.

I was going to mention a couple of things. One I've typed about before, and that's Andrew Smith and Dan Hipp's 'The Amazing Joy Buzzards' from Image Comics. That's right, it's a comic book. It may be my favorite comic book of the moment. The premise sounds so goofy: rock and roll band The Amazing Joy Buzzards tour, get into adventures. The goofy part comes in here: their manager is actually a CIA spook, they can summon a genie who takes the form of a Mexican wrestler named El Campeon, they solve crimes, turn into giant monsters, and have arch-rivals called "The Spiders" consisting of a midget boss, a sexy vampire chick, the studly demon guy, and El Campeon's doppelganger.

There's a pull quote on the back of Volume 2, Issue 2 that reads "It's like flirting (and hooking up with) that cute, smart, funny indie chick at your friends party." Flirting is the perfect word for the fun, smart, tone of this comic. Always inventive and refeshing, I devour each issue then re-read till I'm sick of reading, put it done for an hour and read again. And it's like PG-13 maybe. Maybe even PG. Funny, sweet, dumb, smart, fast, slow, brilliant design... man it's good. Hipp and Smith pull off the best car chase I've ever seen in comics. Every time Steveo jacks the car up over... you should read it yourself. In fact, number one can be found here http://www.imagecomics.com/previews.php C'mon "Revenge is a dish best served cold... and maybe bubbling... with poison also." That's comedy gold.

And inspiration pops up in the strangest places http://www.penny-arcade.com These guys, Gabe and Tycho, are video game rock stars. They review video games. That's kinda it. Their site has unique visitors in the millons PER DAY. They have a chairty, Child's Play, that distributes toys to hospitals at Christmas. And they're funny, caustic, and kinda puerile.

I don't follow video games very much, just as a sidenote to tech stuff usually. I often skim their news page just to see what's pissing them off or who they're pissing off, and read the comic. Recently, like the day of the X Box 360 streeting, Tycho's wife had a kid. So in with all the usual nonsense he's writing about meeting his newborn. The entry has the jokes and video game references but it's a little more tender and "soft" than normal. This is the first bit:

"Craven sham that it is, typically the vile consortium of formula manufacturers and department store child photographers has already chosen the Baby of the Year by September, leaving their despicable agents to go on evil vacations or whatever it is they do. But there are times when a spoiler baby, or spiele-katzen, crops up 'round November or so, and a deep fracture forks up their trained facade.

Elliot Jacob Holkins is just such a baby."

Funny, sure, loves his kid like a parent. The next bit made my day. It's the stuff after the Transformers reference:

"I am not trying to jostle for primacy over the birth act, the utter valor of which is indelible - I'm fairly certain the credit is going to the right people. There is, however, a parallel experience that I never hear much about, something amazing and profound about the helplessness, the desperation of events which are perhaps a million long miles beyond your control. I just want to find other fathers and, looking at them across the aisles in the grocery store, hold my right fist aloft. I am with you.

Let me suggest that the hilarious episode of Three's Company which depicts a human birth is not sufficient to prepare a man for the genuine article. I can tell you that Brenna managed this shit like some kind of fucking Amazon warrior priestess. I told her that she probably just had indigestion, even when she was shuddering over a holiday display at Fred Meyer. So it's good that somebody had their shit together.

They handed him to me, eventually. Not first, now - that's not done. The physchological weight of him nearly shattered my legs. This must have been how Ultra Magnus felt, I thought, when Optimus Prime gave him the Matrix of Leadership.

I'm kidding.

I very nearly buckled. Not struck dumb, but struck, as a string might be struck, into sound:

It's me, I said. I'm the one who sang to you."

Having read Tycho for so long, it wasn't a change up I was expecting. "It's me, I said. I'm the one who sang to you." Doesn't that just close it out? Doesn't that just simplify any attempt to verbalize it?

Anyway, I thought it was inspired.

Those were just a few things the last few days that gave me pause. There're so many more real-life things that are inspiring than comics and some video game review guy gushing over his kid, but I'm in a better position to link to those things on a website than I am to talk about the other stuff.

Franklin McMahon signs on with a pre-produced VO guy saying "Make it big... and make it happen." I always need that kick in the ass.

Monday, November 28, 2005

You can find it online at Dvorak.org/blog

Holy shit! Is Dvorak in my head?

... well, yes: http://www.iptvdaily.com/ I can't believe it's Dvorak. I so want to be Kevin Rose http://www.digg.com/ http://revision3.com/

On the plus side, no spam and all.

If you live in CA and need a photog, I got one

http://www.chetwilliams.com/ Buddy from another job living in CA. Hadn't heard from him in a bit, but he's got his own site now. And he rocks it. Nice guy with a tremendous eye and great sense of humor. Give him money.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Giant Monkey

Giant ape, really.

Somebody at Thanksgiving dinner made some kind of snide remark about the trailer for 'King Kong,' "It looks like computer game graphics!" Well, no, it doesn't. It looks damn good. The CGI is just a by-product of the story.

The 1933 original 'King Kong' had a huge impact on me. Still does. Every time I see images from the Peter Jackson version I feel eight. Not many things make me smile with glee and uncynical delight.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10216525/site/newsweek/ links you to a Newsweek piece on the movie. My favorite quote, from co-writer Boyens, gets me way too excited about December 14th. I know it's hyperbole, I know it's smack talk, but c'mon, if anybody could deliver the goods, it's Peter Jackson:"I know I shouldn't say this," she begins, "but when other directors see this movie, they're going to f---ing give up."

Friday, November 25, 2005


Wow. Never before (before you guys, I guess) have I been so let down by my speculated Turkey Day meal. The meal was GREAT, but there were significant absent dishes. Chiefly among them, macaroni and cheese. My cousin Jim, my mom, and a few other assorted peeps agreed that macaroni would have been good, if only they'd thought of it.

There was:

- great turkey
- great ham
- great mashed potatoes
- mushrooms
- asparagus
- pumpkin pie (homemade with homemade crust)
- cheesecake
- rolls
- some kind of fruit salad thing that was crisp and delicious
- stuffing
- sweet potatoes with marshmallows
- peas

Like so many things in the last 38 hours, I'm somewhat sad.


Thursday, November 24, 2005


Alright, fifty-two minutes before Thankgiving lunch/dinner. I'm only aware of two dishes (a cheese cake and a casserole).

I'm guessing the following:

- green beans
- homemade rolls
- turkey
- ham
- some kind of chowder, probably corn
- limas
- mashed potatoes
- and of course, macaroni and cheese

And the PC version of the Blogger interface indeed has an HTML editor. How about that? Crazy. I should figure out some links to post.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Mac and Me

Alright, Buttercup, this may make or break us: macaroni and cheese on Thanksgiving? A tradition? An interesting choice? Or just something mockable?

Some of my "friends" have never had mac and cheese on Thanksgiving and accuse it of being an "anytime" kind of food, while Thanksgiving meals are reserved for "traditional" foods like... turkey and mashed potatoes. And, you know, bread. That's a rare one.

Really, you can't make room for one more (and my impulse here is to use the f-word just so you understand the severity of this situation) starch? Your precious (and I really want to use perhaps my favorite swear here, the Lord's-name-in-vain one just because I know it'll tick you off more) cholesterol can't afford the mac-and-cheese hit? Your Yankee (and faux Yankee) superiority won't allow room for this, one of few traditions to which I adhere? And, thanks to mean Bryan and his hatin', I find out this was the plot for a 'Friends' epsiode, the lowest of the low, the spiteyest of the spiteful?

Have we come to this? This is what does us in? You won't allow delicious, homemade, baked cheese and pasta goodness at your table?

I used to love you, you know. I don't even know who you are any more.

I've got to ready the traditional "I-can't-believe-your-sister -is-doing-this-to-me" headdres and the "What do you really do all day?"kilt.

Guess who isn't coming to dinner at your house. I'll be celebrating by eating macaroni till it comes out my nose.

Monday, November 21, 2005

My name is Joey, and I'm a bad movieaholic

I have a Cinecast confession: I find bad movies comforting. Not "bad" like "That movie is degrading to yellow midgets named Petey with speech impediments" but bad like "Tango and Cash." If I have extra time and I'll be alone and cleaning up around the house or working, I usually turn on a bad movie. Keep your alcohol, stowe your porn, hand me the soda: I'm habituated to bad movies.

This past weekend I went into the video store and rejected so.many.good movies: no Hotel Rwanda, no repeat Batman Begins. My weekend was Land of the Dead and Sahara. Both were really really bad. Really bad.

Land of the Dead was actually, in some ways, better than Sahara, but c'mon, that's like saying "This pile of dung... not nearly as stinky as that pile under the dead possum." It's George Romero not really returning to his roots. The social commentary is there but not subtle. The action is there but not suspenseful or kinetic. The gore is very "you have a budget." Part of what makes the original Dead movies so good is that there was no money, there were no expectations. The overtones were daming. Hell ran out of room for the overtones, that's how daming they were.

Then we get Land of the Dead and Dennis Hopper and John Leguizamo and Simon Baker and Dario Arogento's kid. The dialouge is bad, the acting is laughable, and the effects are sub par. It's just plain not good when the DVD extra made by an outside company is BETTER than the movie as a whole (Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright have cameos and made a fifteen minute documentary that's leaps and bounds better than the movie).

Sahara is just mediocre. There's enough to not offend, there's enough to be "okay." It beats around the Movie-You're-Better-Than-This bush, but it never goes anywhere. The main characters are treasure hunters looking for a U.S. Civil War era battleship buried in the Nigerian desert while helping a perpetually pouty Penelope Cruz hunt down the source of water contamination poisoning all of Africa (yup, that ol' chestnut). There's some fine bits by Steve Zahn and William H. Macy, and the leads all seem to like each other and the direction is all competent and what not and the lighting is good.

There's a line that shoulda made the movie but instead sums up the mediocrity of the exercise. Our leads are racing against time and the villans to uncover a buncha secrets and treasures on camelback across the desert! And, paraphrasing, Steve Zahn is asking Matt McISmokeThePot if he remembers running into those guys from high school who are in a job they hate with a family they may not want and a beer gut that's never going to leave. Zahn asks him when they're going to get those jobs.

This could have been a very good moment, a very self-reflective moment. When I was a kid one of my favorite Bloom County strips has Milo turning down the oppurtunity to chance a life of advenutre and daring, of boldness and uncertainty, for all the reasons you'd turn down "risk" for "safe," and that's a very real theme to life, I believe.

Does Movie play this in a way that matters, in a way that inspires? You know with the set-up here it just sort of peters out. Nuthin'. The thought, and the moment, die on screen.

And why is all this strangely comforting? Is it white noise in the background of a bunch of head noise? A glint of superority to failed efforts, some good ol' fashioned Schadenfraude?

I don't really have an answer, just an addiction. If you'll pardon me, there's something starring Patrick Dempsey circa 1987 on and I've really been meaning to sweep up in here.

Drop that participle!

I have too many friends who are grammer dorks. Too many. The most conversation in forever was generated by that last post.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

You see, I am a seven-year old girl writing poetry

I'm pretty bad with a lot of basic gammer rules. I violate them in writing and more often in speech. My infinitives are split, my gerunds don't compliment anything, my bus ride ends in Prepositionville.

Having taken the high ground because I admit a grammer deficiency (see how I justify?): every time I read "You see..." as the big change up, the transition into "Here's the reveal," my head explodes. It's like writing your wedding vows and having them rhyme.

You see, it was me who was that little boy. You see, big government owes me money because geese fly. You see, I've never read anything other than Hack Writers magazine and cannot stop writing "you see."

This ain't rocketry. No crisis is solved and I'm not helping humanity. It's just one of those things ("anywayS" is a close second today) that gets my goat.

Too grumpy for a Sunday? We'll see.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

You say you want a Mac revolution?

http://www.curtsmedia.com/cine/1984.html is a look at the Apple advertising venture that's so textbook I'm shocked it has avoided being cliche. Learn how it almost didn't happen, how much Ridley Scott got to make the spot (it cost more than the ad time during the Super Bowl) and how Woz was going to pay for HALF the air time.

Man, say what you want about Apple, but they're the guys in the drivers seat. Woz rules.

And so does Ridley Scott. C'mon, we HAVE to forgive his misfires, right? Like the last 10 minutes of Matchstick Men. Or anything he made in the '90s.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

There's no way Fonzie could jump that shark

Remember all the "I love Gilmore Girls" "Gilmore Girls is dead on this season" "I'm gonna marry a Gilmore Girl?" Well, this season is great... except for last nights episode. I said "What the hell?" out loud about five times.

There were a few "revelations" that completely took me out of the show. Since some of you refuse to catch up to us in 2005, I won't say what they are, but the gear change is so severe there's a "we're-having-a-baby-I'm-your-long-lost-twin-Willie-Ames-is-joining-the-cast" feeling. I know it's Sweeps, but the teaser for next week makes me even more wary.

Don't fail me Amy Sherman-Palladino. I need you to not stink up the joint.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

She lifts up her shirt and underneath it says "K-E-N"

http://www.dconstruction.org/ has TWO hours with Old 97's lead guitarist Ken Bethea. Old 97's are my favorite band of the moment, the last few years really. Paul Westerberg is my favorite SOLO artist, but the Old 97's are my favortie band.

Scroll down for his interview/segments. It's Texas guys sitting around talking about music, sampling a bunch of new bands and shootin' the breeze. Ken is incredibly articulate and funny (and vulgar so watch the kiddies and their ears).

I listened to the first half hour driving back from the dentist (that's a fun one) and the show is you and your buddies talking about songs and bands. Great so far, about to start on the second hour.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Bird in the hand

From a report on Brad Bird accepting the Tex Avery Animation Award:

"One of the girls had him sign a full frame Incredibles DVD. I could see Brad just wince in pain. He took this girl aside and literally went into why she should only buy widescreens and never full frame and gave her examples of it."

Maybe we convert these people one at a time. Sounds snobby, I bet "No! You must see all my artestry the way I intended you to view it for I am beautiful!" but really, what other medium do take the content, take away more than half, and have it sell? I go to the Raphael exhibit but I make sure I get some cataracts before I walk in.

Bryan and Justin, check me on my snobbery here: Am I off on this? I always feel like I get dirty looks...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Fscriptedbleepk Fox


"'Arrested Development' gets the ax
'7th Heaven' also ending run

LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- Two TV families appear to be getting the boot.

The Bluth clan of Fox's ratings-challenged "Arrested Development" is also headed for the exit after Fox cut the third-season order on the Emmy-winning comedy to 13 episodes."

Well, I'm honestly surprised it lasted as long as it did. The show was odd in structure, bold in topic, all over in comedic style and payed off more if you payed attention. I'm surprised we got 'Arrested' for as long as we did. TV shouldn't be that good, and now it won't be. Cue up those 'King of Queens' reruns World: you got what you wanted. The tapioca can now be spooned directly into your brain.

Just sit it by my Peabody

Gotta shoot today with a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer. How 'bout that? I'm very English-major dorked out.

...more so than usual.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Quick TV geek out

Apparently I am a woman. The two shows (next to Arrested Development) I'm the most "into" this TV season: Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls. Both shows feature female protagonists (in the case of Gilmore Girls TWO femlae protagonists) and both shows are kicking my ass with how good they are this season.

Both shows are funny, smart, warm, surpriing, and well structured. The acting is above par, the technical aspects of the show are solid week in week out. And both shows have managed to synch up the technical, the storytelling, and the presentation to engaging, universal yet nuanced shows.

Seriously, I'll fight you all.

My Tivo is set to Veronica Mars later in the week and Lost tonight. I'll be watching Veronica Mars when it airs tonight though, not just for the Joss Whedon appearance http://www.calendarlive.com/tv/cl-et-mars9nov09,0,6318565.story?track=widget

How is it the best written shows on TV right now are about girls and their relationships? I want my damn western-spaceship show back.

I'm in love, what's that song

I'm pretty happy to be in 2005, but today I'm fixating on 11/20/1987 Beacon Theater NYC and The Replacements. I'm listening to the show on repeat and it's never been more glaring obvious who these guys were and what they did. The live show is stunning, the energy and ability is staggering. I'm not sure of what other act in '87 you'd get manic depression, covers of Johnny Cash, the Stones, and Lesley Gore ("Downtown" and 'I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend"), forgotten lyrics, excuses, improv, a band at the height of its power, and the best version of Bastards of Young I've ever heard (this should have been THE song, the one that Cobain obviously had in mind at the outset of Nirvana).

The guitars and Paul Westerberg's scream FIGHT to see who has more power and rawness. Anybody who can do that and their version of Downtown without any irony should be seen live. Or should've been. Being 11 at the time, I concede that getting to New York to see a band I'd never heard of would've been tough.

Tommy Stinson really was rock and roll. Color me impressed.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Yellowed Kid?

http://www.slate.com/id/2129373/ (yup, still no direct links) is an short essay on Calvin and Hobbes. Launch the slideshow for additional commentary.

While I agree with most of the points writer Chris Sullentrop makes, I think there ARE a few good comic strips out there, though he's correct in his assertion that none have tapped the cultural zeitgiest the way Calvin and Hobbes did. http://www.muttscomics.com/ Mutts is my current favorite strip, clocking in above my beloved Bloom County/Outland/Opus. McDonnell not only tackles relevant issues with a deft, "soft" handed approach, posing questions more so than asserting his answers, he utlitzes ever inch of the page he's got with wit and style.

And, and he says ready to beat back naysayers, For Better or For Worse is an excellent strip http://www.fborfw.com/ I'm not as in love with it as I am Mutts, but it's a great strip that often surprises me.

I don't always like or agree with Aaron McGruder http://www.boondocks.net/ but I like that he's trying, and has a voice that's being heard. The stuff that comes out isn't always my cup of tea, but c'mon, art/entertainment is bound to be a little obnoxious, make you think about the points.

Of course there're great strips that exclusively appear online http://www.pvponline.com/ http://www.penny-arcade.com/ http://www.blanklabelcomics.com/

Funny how the funnies aren't that funny any more.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Go. Read.

http://www.happynews.com/news/10252005/transmetropolitan-graphic-novels.htm All you people that like media and journalism go and read this review then buy those and thank me. Copy and paste: I still can't make blogger work on OS X.

Can't seem to recall

Remember when this dumb blog had some regularity? Ah, that was the September. How about interesting things? That's right, it was never interesting.

We hit the second business fair in two weeks and it's just put us behind.

I'll update on the knee: getting better. Not doing as much as I'd like, but my short (like thirty feet) runs with the dogs have no discomfort.

If you like good writing, good sports writing, or running I encourage you to pick up the issue of Runner's World that's on the stands now. It's their annual "heroes" issue. Running isn't a high dollar, well attended sport, but, next to baseball, it's got the best stories of inspiration and triump.

There's a very well written, smart piece about Willie McCool, the pilot of Shuttle Columbia. He was a long distance runner, among other things. The shuttle wreckage has been pretty well examined at this point, and we all know that a piece of foam broke off during liftoff caused the fatal damage.

NASA's official report is inconclusive, but one of the theories, according to NASA investigator Jim Clark (whose wife Laurel also died on the shuttle) is Willie McCool, who knew death was inevitable and imminent, was at the stick trying to manually manuver Columbia out of it's death spiral.

Jim Clark is quoted as saying that what McCool did in his last moments as the shuttle pitched and spun towards Earth was "A very big deal."

I really want to go for a run.