Archive for January, 2013

Videos on the internet that make me laugh.

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Racist yard sale. How I felt when I was in Belgium at the antiques market.

http://youtu.be/12mQBH6pI3o

 

True Facts about the Angler Fish. I crack up ever time. Also funny: True Facts about the Seahorse and True Facts about The Tarsier.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-BbpaNXbxg

 

This is funny. I want it to be not funny. But it is. I chortled repeatedly.

http://youtu.be/hTR2tVr2a6A

Unrelated things.

Monday, January 28th, 2013

1. I went to a cowboy-related bachelorette party. All the other ladies tried really hard to remain lovely and feminine. I did nothing of the sort and put on a Tom Selleck mustache without haste. I think me and my hot-pink leggings look dope.

2. I finished frost-embroidering five of my leaves. That’s all the silver stitchery around the edges of each leaf. My journey to finish this tapestry in the next 300-odd days is well underway. Five more leaves to go and then I do extended frosty pointy thingies. I know that doesn’t really make sense, but when I do it I will take pictures and perhaps that will be clearer.

3. I was riding the ole Metro-North the other day and I saw a poster for The Americans. Now, it’s not just me on this – look at Keri Russell’s neck. It’s, like, crazy-long, right? Is she a member of that tribe in Burma that puts the rings around their neck and compresses their collarbones? It seems like a weird choice. Good poster design otherwise.

Addendum: I did a little photographic research, and my girl Keri does indeed have a long neck, but she is not an ostrich. Definitely some Photoshop in play.

Two more movies! I’m busting it out in time for Oscar season.

Monday, January 28th, 2013

1. Django Unchained.

  • STOP SAYING THE “N” WORD. STOP IT. They say it, like, fifty billion times. White people saying the “n” word makes me recoil every time, like getting slapped in the face with a handful of cold bleach.
  • In the beginning of the movie, Christoph Waltz (did I mention Christoph Waltz was in this film, because he is and he’s awesome again) rides on into town with a dentist wagon with a tooth on a spring on top. It’s goes dingle-doingle when he rides around and it’s delightful.
  • When Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx rolled into the first town and the barkeeper turned around, did no one else notice that the swinging light fixture hits him in the back of the head? It’s really funny. The guy has a line first. “Whoa, whoa, whoa!” *donk* “What the hell you think yer doin’, boy?”
  • Ummm, has Quentin Tarantino ever seen a human body? Does he know how it works? Because in Quentin’s world, when someone gets shot they explode like water balloons filled with blood. For real, one guy lying on his back gets shot and a geyser erupts out of him about three feet in the air. Now, I’m no anatomy expert, but as far as I know we are not ripe grapefruit bloodsacks. I haven’t seen a movie this squelchy since 300.
  • Samuel L. Jackson speaks like Gollum. “Why is you lying? When Mr. Candi talks to you, you answers.” The only thing he doesn’t do is refer to himself in the plural. (“We eats it, don’t we, Precious?”)

2. Silver Linings Playbook.

  • Why is this movie nominated for eight Oscars? Is there a blowout sale on Oscars and they’re givin’ them away for free? This is a weak rom-com. I love Jennifer Lawrence (J-Law) and Bradley Cooper is his usual blue-eyed goodness, but… why is this nominated for eight Oscars? I know I just said that, but it’s completely bewildering to me.
  • This movie’s two lead characters are mentally ill and the film touches on an issue that I feel very strongly about. You should see it just so you understand why I’m saying this. IF YOU ARE BI-POLAR, OR SCHIZOPHRENIC, OR MANIC, OR DEPRESSED, OR WHATEVER – TAKE YOUR MEDS. I know they make you feel groggy and fuzzy and mush-mouthed. All drugs have side effects. It sucks, I know. Take them anyway. Otherwise you are intolerable to be around at best and violent and dangerous at worst. Don’t cheek your pills. Take them. Wrap them in bacon and cheese like you are feeding a dog and take them.
  • Jennifer Lawrence in the dance scene at the end of the film… okay, I’m not gay, but her butt, I think it’s magical. She’s my new favorite actress because I love her acting style, and I love her in interviews, and now I love her intoxicating rump. The way she talks erases all the memories I have of the way the Kardashians talk. Her voice is a healing balm. She better not go all Lindsay/Amanda Bynes and lose her mind and bash her car into things. That would seriously bum me out.

Addendum with mad spoilerage, like a fridge that has had no electricity for four days: I was talking to my black co-worker Saurus and it’s interesting what bothered her and what bothered me. She was horrified by the abuse of the slaves – the whipping, the forced fights, the dog-ripping-apart-the-slave scene. While I of course found those scenes extremely off-putting (as I imagine most non-sociopathic people would), I was more upset when the white characters were horrible and demeaning. Leonardo DiCaprio has a scene where, in order to prove some horsepoop phrenology theory, he saws through the skull of his beloved childhood caretaker like it’s nothing, like he wasn’t a person, I had to look away. I got seriously queased. Saurus found the character Samuel L. Jackson played to be intolerable and she wanted to kill him, whereas I just found him to be slippery like an eel. We really had different takes on the whole thing. Here’s an interesting article on the character Samuel L. Jackson played:

http://www.torontosun.com/2013/01/06/samuel-l-jackson-on-despicable-role-in-django-unchained

    Would you like some charts? I think you would. And perhaps some Grumpy Cat as well? Alright then.

    Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

    So, charts.

    Everyone who reads this blog, I will assume, is familiar with Grumpy Cat, yes? In case you are not, here is some pictures of said cat.

    Well, because Tardar Sauce (the cat’s actual name) is so super-photogenic, people have been making art based on her. And some of it is really terrific.

    I am usually not pro-meme-tattoos (you know that’s, like, forever, right?) but that is a fantastic tattoo. That tattoo will stand the test of time. You can join Grumpy Cat’s facebook page and enjoy daily pics and art, or you can go to her webpage and enjoy daily pics and art. Either way you win.

    In completely unrelated news, the “*&%#$!” you see in cartoons in place of cursewords is called a variety of things – grawlix, jarns, nittles, or quimp are all acceptable. My Scrabble game just improved.

    The internet is a treasure trove of magic. NSFW magic. Plus, fish.

    Monday, January 21st, 2013

    1. This story is disgusting and extremely well-written. I laughed. You should read it.

    http://pamie.com/2012/11/how-i-might-have-just-become-the-newest-urban-legend/

    2. There’s a site called Jezebel which talks about the news that most women would find important. Their articles are good, but whoever comes up with their titles makes me especially happy.

    3. For New Year’s, Cricket went scuba-diving with his sister in Honduras. He took pictures and another guy took pictures and some of them are very nice.

    This is what some of the ocean creatures looked like.

    And this is what some of the fish looked like.

    Cricket saw an octopus:

    Some eels:

    A sea turtle:

    A jaunty stripey shrimp:

    And a stonefish, who can kill you.

    He also encountered a cute tiny fish that lived in a cute tiny hole in the coral.

    As well as a cowfish, a favorite of mine.

    And a flying gurnard! That does not fly. But is still lovely.

    My favorite was the insane-looking lobster. That’s a lotta colors there, bud. If you went to Brasil’s Carnivale with that costume on, people would tell you to tone it down.

    I’ve seen some Oscar-nominated films! I have opinions about them!

    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

    Out of the ten nominated for Best Picture, I’ve seen three now: Argo, Lincoln and Les Miserables. That’s pretty good. Hollywood tends to nominate movies that are so depressing you want to get a eyelid-waxing because it would hurt less. Remember that year I swore I would see all five (that was when it was still five) of the Best Picture movies? And how I still haven’t recovered because it was so unbelievably glum? That was a rough year. I was going to see Amour last month, but then I read this review and I was like NOPE. I do not need that in my life, keeping me from falling asleep at night, thanks. I still want to try to catch Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook before the awards, but whatever happens happens and it’s all fine. I’m going to review Argo, Lincoln and Les Miserables now, and most likely there will be some spoilery bits, so if you don’t want to know, maybe don’t read it.

    1. Lincoln. I am kind of ashamed to say this, but this is the first film I have ever seen with Daniel Day Lewis. The first. Never saw the foot one, or the New York one, or the blood one. I don’t know why, I just didn’t. I was psyched to see him do that thang he do, but it turned out that I loved this film because all of the side actors. It takes a mildly interesting chunk of history – the attempt to get the 13th Amendment signed by the House of Representatives – and, by having some of the best actors in America right now filling out the roles, turned it into one of the best films of the year. If someone had filmed me watching this in the theater, they would have seen me do this over and over :”Hey, it’s that guy! From the thing! I love him!” There was the oddball chemistry guy Gale from Breaking Bad! And the skinny uncle from Winter’s Bone! Murrow from Good Night and Good Luck! Lane from Mad Men! The lady Lieutenant from Law and Order! And then big stars I did not expect playing small-ish roles! Tommy Lee Jones! James Spader! Joseph Gordon Levitt! It was an astonishing cast. Someone at my job summed it up pretty well, “It’s a B+ movie starring A+ actors.” Good stuff.

    2. Argo. More amazing character actors wearing period clothing with small roles rockin’ the world! That was a tension-filled movie. I will never stand in line for the airport to get my ticket stamped the same way again. I’m surprised no one in line started laughing uncontrollably, or pooped their pants. I would have done either, or both. All. I would have done all. Some swarthy Frida-Kahlo-eyebrowed man would have yelled something at me in Farsi that sounded like “Ad neygom manacheh khaseem teshlah!!”  and I would’ve promptly and quietly dropped all my paperwork and died. This is a perfect example of a movie where, had it not been based on a real thing, would have been thoroughly and utterly preposterous. One of the things that I really liked is that Ben Affleck changed all the logos and titles and credits to look they way they would be in the late 1970s/early 1980s. That was a really nice touch.

    3. Les Miserables. I was putting this one off for a while. I think there’s a rule, at least with the people I grew up around, that when a girl experiences menarche, along with Always and O.B. products, she receives her copy (in my years, on tape or CD) of the Broadway Cast Recording of Les Miserables. It is her duty to learn all the songs word for word to be recited any time a bunch of females gather together to do those things that they do, I don’t know, straighten their hair or wash clothes in the river, whatever. I did not have this important womynly gift-giving moment so when everyone else was auditioning for high school shows singing exceptionally nasal versions of “On My Own,” I went in and sang “Le Poissons” from The Little Mermaid. However, in my last year of high school I finally saw the Les Miz and then years later I fulfilled my lady-duties and learned about 75% of the words to this three-hour opera, which is a pretty good amount. I get anxious when musicals get made into movies with some non-singer leads… you know, singing. The opportunity for failure is rife. So I fought going for a few weeks. Finally, Børkke, who loves this musical and knows about 90% of the words, insisted that we go together. And we did.

    Here’s the deal: You would think that because we know almost every single word they are going to say and every single thing that’s going to happen, we would not be super-moved by this. I certainly thought that. And I wuz WRONG. We started crying about three seconds into Anne Hathaway’s interpretation of “I Dreamed A Dream*” and pretty much either sniffled or outright ugly-face-cried through the rest. Børkke and I walked out of there with damp balled-up tissues clutched in our hands looking like wrung-out dishtowels. Some things about the film:

    • It made a really big difference to see scenes happen in actual places. The Broadway show is a completely black stage with little bits of set pieces brought out, but nothing else. Here, things were taking place on city streets and in real rooms and that definitely helped me have more of an understanding of the plot. (In case you don’t know, the plot is: No matter how hard we try, nothing ever changes and the only escape we have from this wretched existence is the warm embrace of death. Enjoy your popcorn.) Having the characters die (they all die) in a more real-to-life setting was helpful.
    • I’m tired of Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter. Is there no one else who can play those roles, and also possibly sing? No one in all of England and America? I find that hard to believe.
    • On the topic of not being able to sing, Russell Crowe. That was rough. I think he was concentrating so hard on singing well he forgot to act. Seriously, he has some really important scenes where he’s skeptical, or distraught, or jazzed up for war, and Russell’s face? Nothing. It did nothing. I’ve seen the man act before, I know he can. Fun fact: at the end of his big “I’ve been wrong this whole time!” number, when he throws himself off of the bridge into the water, did we really need him to hit the cement and hear his spine snap? Why couldn’t he just drown quietly like he’s supposed to? Børkke and I behaved like we were in the Maury Povich audience when that happened.

    • Eddie Redmayne took a lame-o character (Marius, who falls forever-in-love after seeing Cosette for a total of a second) and made you root for him and care about him. Keep an eye on Eddie Redmayne, he’s something. He’s going on my list of “if he’s in a movie, I will see it” people.
    • Sadly, they cut out my favorite song, but I’m not surprised. It’s awesome and gross, but it doesn’t move the plot along, so I’m not surprised it’s gone. It happens right after the battle scene, when Mr. Thenardier is going over the dead bodies in the sewers looking for valuable trinkets he can steal off the corpses and sell. The Moomins visibly flinches when I sing that at her (not “to” her, “at” her). If you ask me nicely, I will happily sing it at you at inopportune times, like in a supermarket, and make you have social anxiety.

    * A lot of people think Anne is a smug, stuck-up b-word, but let me tell you, that girl can EMOTE. She kicked me right in the feels.

    Important stuff.

    Sunday, January 13th, 2013

    1. Rocks bouncing on a frozen pond sound like a laser gun. That’s cool.

    http://twentytwowords.com/2013/01/01/rocks-bouncing-on-a-frozen-pond-sound-like-a-laser-gun/

    2. Ask a Mortician. This very nice lady teaches you about the oft-taboo world of death (which is odd to me, since it’s one of the only things we all have in common). Watch the Hawaiian episode first. Super-interesting.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/OrderoftheGoodDeath

    3. I was watching the season premiere of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo the other night which had a Halloween theme. At one point, the family traveled to a farm to pick out a pumpkin and there is a corn maze. Alana asked what a corn maze was and Mama June said, “A corn maze is um where they grow corn to make it like … like a corn maze.”

    Okay, two things. First of all, this is GOLDEN opportunity for a pun. Did no one think of a Corn Maize, or a Maize Maze??? It’s so easy! Number two, I started yelling at my television, “No! That is a crap description! A corn maze is like a labyrinth, or a series of walls creating corridors and dead ends where, through a series of turns, one can navigate out the other side! Didn’t any of you study the story of the Minotaur?! Probably not, because none of y’all are worthy of sacrifice ’cause none of y’all are virgins. Boom! Greek mythology burn!!” What we have learned from this situation is that puns are being wantonly abandoned where they should clearly be, and I remember more from my sixth grade mythology class than I thought I did. See? Honey Boo Boo can teach you the most important things – things about yourself.

    4. I buy craft supplies all the time. Really, all the time. I saw this today on Facebook and I’m a little bummed this has never happened to me.

    Three artists I am diggin’ on right now.

    Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

    1. Louise Hibbert. She’s an Welsh artist – well, here’s her description from her website.

    Louise Hibbert is a designer-maker who graduated from University of Brighton in 1994 with a BA (Hons) in 3D design -specialising in Wood and Plastics. She makes a range of practical items (salt and pepper mills, bottle stoppers) but recently has been focusing much more on creating her whimsical one-off pieces – boxes and vessels. Her ideas derive from an exploration of form, texture, colour and symmetry. Inspiration has always been dominated by a fascination with the natural world, particularly marine life, and Louise uses wood to reproduce and emphasise certain decorative aspects that these creatures possess and combine them into single pieces. After careful planning on paper each piece originates on the lathe and then carving, airbrushed inks, and applied resins are used to create the required effects. The majority of her work is made from native kiln-dried timbers. Sycamore is a favourite as it has a pale, even grain to act as a blank canvas for her designs and a wonderful translucent quality that makes the colours glow in a similar way to those of the creatures which inspire her work.

    And here’s some of her pieces. I love them. They are spiky and pod-like and clearly inspired by nature. When I look at them, I see atoms and anemones and avocados, all kinds of things.

    Louise sells her work on Etsy and if I had the money I would snap up a few of her pieces, no question. Especially this one ($1020, oy):

    2. Betsy Youngquist. I found out about her work from being friends with Jan Huling on Facebook (here’s my post on Jan Huling) and I was immediately taken by her mosaic style. Here’s her info from her site.

    Betsy Youngquist’s mixed media beadwork reflects a fascination with the intersection of humans, animals, and mythology. Stemming from a life-long love of all creatures great and small, Betsy’s work weaves together the human and animal spirit through a surrealistic lens. When creating her embellished objects, Betsy often collaborates with sculptor R. Scott Long in designing and constructing the forms. Each piece starts as a unique carving. The surfaces are encrusted with beads and found materials in a mosaic process, sometimes incorporating fragments of old porcelain dolls. During the past dozen years, Youngquist has exhibited her work at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, D.C., the VIDA Museum in Borgholm, Sweden, and recently, Betsy and Scott completed an installation project for the Racine Art Museum in Racine, WI.

    She uses doll heads and normally that would shkeeve me out, but the snail thing, that is great. I would totally want that in my home. And that butterfly sculpture is so impressive, with the wings on the back and the vertebrae. Great stuff.

    Betsy also has a store on Etsy, but it’s closed right now. I’m interested to see what she’s going to sell in it.

    3. Noon Tattoos. He’s a tattoo artist, but he really goes outside the box. Here’s a review from a magazine:

    The tattoo artist’s name is Noon. I love this guy, so here’s more of his tattoo images. Yeah, I know about Filip Leu and Guy Aitchison and Paul Booth, but, to me, Noon is as valid a tattoo artist as any of them. He’s inventive, funny and, graphically, taking more chances than ninety-five percent of the world’s best known inkmeisters. For the naysayers, it’s like looking at Picasso’s “Nude Descending a Staircase” and proclaiming, “That dude can’t draw.” Ridiculous. Picasso was way past representational art. And, safe to say, so is Noon (although he does, at times, include precise photographic images as part of his freaked-out renderings). First, everybody did the same Tasmanian devil, then the same biomechanical rip-offs. After that, it was koi fish and dragons. Everybody became Japanese. Now, everyone thinks they’re Bob Tyrrell, and Dimebag Darrell is the tat du jour. Not in Noon’s world. I didn’t say he’s the next Sailor Jerry Collins, but just as Collins merits his own star in the tattoo universe, so does Monsieur Noon. Except his has six points with a pair of lips and curlers in its hair. – Bob Baxter, Skin & Ink Magazine

    I adore his graphic style and textures. Good for him for trusting his passion and skill would find an audience.

    I think he’s based out of France, so if you want to get a tattoo you would have to go there.

    Wow. Just, wow.

    Monday, January 7th, 2013

    While everyone with an ounce of taste and culture was watching the Season 3 premiere of Downton Abbey, I spent the day watching a Honey Boo Boo marathon and don’t you judge me. I’m just starting Season 2 of Downton and I didn’t want to jump ahead so shushit. After the season premiere of Honey Boo Boo there was a one-hour special called “Best Funeral Ever”, about the Golden Gate Funeral Home in Dallas, Texas. Apparently, a portion of the Southern African-American population observe something different than a funeral, something called a “homegoing”, because the deceased is going home to Heaven. And an even smaller portion of that group takes their homegoings to a new and special place, a place I have never been before, frankly, an insane place. I’m all for celebrating the life of the dearly departed, but this was crazypants. Please understand everything I say after this point is what I saw. I am not making any of this up.

    The show followed around various Golden Gate employees. One of them was an out-and-proud homosexual named Trendnard who wore gloves that only covered his fingertips. He was forced to work with a lady named Eplunus on a Christmas-themed funeral where there was a nativity scene and farm animals. The coffin was brought in on a sleigh pulled by pallbearers wearing reindeer antlers. The ushers were dressed as elves. One of the attendees was a giant gingerbread man. It started snowing in the middle. But that wasn’t the most epic event. The mind-blower was the homegoing of the guy who wrote the Chili’s baby-back ribs jingle. His homegoing’s theme was a barbeque. There was a BBQ sauce fountain. All the funeral employees wore tall chef hats. The coffin was shaped like a smoker. The family was encouraged to get up individually and dip a rib in sauce in memory of their loved one. Then, THEN, a troupe of dancers dressed in white came in singing “Go Tell It On The Mountain” while carrying enormous Styrofoam racks of ribs on plates. It took four of them to hold one plate, that’s how big the ribs were. They would tip over the Flintstone car, they were huge. The least crazy was the guy who had spina bifida and therefore couldn’t go on any amusement park rides, so they brought his urn of ashes to the state fair and took him on all the rides. Big golden urn on rollercoasters. That was the least wacky. And I’m just going to say two words: professional mourners.

    This show is supposed to be a one-off, but if it becomes popular enough they may make it into a series. And while I’m appalled by some of the aspects of this show, if the people who are in grief get solace from this, I wish them only the best. They are not hurting anyone. I imagine TLC will play it a bunch more times, so tell your DVR to tape it. Amazing.

    I found a snippet of video on the BBQ homegoing.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/07/best-funeral-ever-singer-bbq-theme-video_n_2422725.html

    My resolution and some killer cookies.

    Friday, January 4th, 2013

    Happy New Year everybody! Did you have a nice celebratory time? I had a moderately good holiday season. I was supposed to go to Publicis’ annual holiday party where there is food and drink and music and merriment, but there was a pitch the next day so I was not allowed to go. It’s probably for the best. I make myself all fancy, all dressed up and get my hair did and put on fake lashes and I think I look like this:

    But honestly, I usually look more like this:

    Cricket went to Honduras with his sister Mishi to scuba-dive and left me all on my lonesome for New Year’s, so I made a really sad face and finally my friend JR included me in his plans. So I accompanied him and his preggers wife to a fabulous party where they had set up a photo booth. Here is a photo of the three of us.

    On New Year’s I like to make super-basic, easily attainable resolutions if I’m going to make any at all. Last year I decided to learn to drink coffee. I now occasionally drink coffee. Hooray for me! This year I decided that come hell or high water, I am finishing that stupid leaf tapestry I started in the paleolithic era. It’s enough already. This year, it’s gettin’ done. I think I first designed it over twelve years ago. I blogged about it four years ago. You’re starting to see the glacial slowness with which I have progressed on this damned thing.

    http://design-newyork.com/blog/2008/12/26/stuff-ive-been-making-recently/

    I finished all the leaves and now I’m starting the frost. I’m using a silver foil thread which is troublesome because it tends to snag on the fabric and other threads and molecules in the air. But it’s creating the look I’m going for.

    In completely unrelated news, I was looking at the various blogs I look at every day and I saw some seriously cool cookies. First, on dessertgirl.blogspot.com, there are adorable, Asian-inspired animal cookies. They are so effin’ sweet.

    And then on semisweetdesigns.com, there are amazing steampunk cookies. These look fantastic. Be sure to go to her website and see some of her other designs, like the ambigram Halloween cookies.