Archive for the ‘Stuff’ Category

Chickens and Cookies.

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Two interesting things happened recently. First, I was hanging out with my sister K. near her apartment in upper Manhattan and we were taking her dog for a walk. Coming towards us was an older gentleman and his sweet dog who my sister of course knows because all the dog people in her neighborhood know all the other dog people. I ended up chatting with the gentleman for about 10 minutes while they walked their beasties and he informed me that he is an animal trainer and groomer. He said he’s trained all kinds of animals and goes to conferences regularly. Here’s where it got awesomely weird – he said, “I was in Reno recently training chickens using the clicking method. Chickens are tough, they get bored easily and run away and then you have to run around the room trying to catch them. I thought, since we were in Reno, that I would train my chicken using dice. I got one die and started by teaching the chicken to pick it up, then I taught it to drop it at my command. Basically by the end I had taught the chicken to play craps.”

So that conversation happened. I went on Facebook later that week and sure enough, there’s pictures of him training his chicken.

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I didn’t ask his permission to use the images, therefore I blurred out the faces as a courtesy. Because I’m a nice person.

The second thing was cookies! Specifically, I painted cookies. Cricket’s sister was getting married and she was asking various friends and family to contribute their skills and talents. I figured I could paint the bride and groom’s initials on cookies and they could be given away as “thanks for coming” presents. So I was given cookies (I don’t bake so good) and I set up my icing and purple sugar crystals and got to work.

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I officially hate the letter “M.” “D” was so much easier to paint. From now on I will only do this for people who’s names start with “I.” All you Iagos out there, you want cookies? Gimme a call. When the icing was dry I put them in bags with Hershey’s Kisses and tied them with pretty ribbon that I curled myself. There were 42 bags. I curled so much ribbon, guys. Like all the ribbon on earth. I got real good at it too. I am a ribbon-curling master.

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And as people were leaving they could get a bag of cookies and a bottle of wine the couple made themselves. It was a lovely parting gift.

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Things and bits.

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

1: I’m going to need this map. Someone make a kickstarter for this map that I can fund.

http://obviousplant.tumblr.com/post/143170362883/how-many-us-states-can-you-name-left-in-a

 

2: Look at this penmanship. Look at it.

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3: Low Cost Cosplay. A bunch of guys in what I  believe is Thailand take famous characters or celebrities and recreate them using crap found around their house. I don’t know half of the things they’re referencing. Doesn’t matter. Everything they do is a gift. They have a Facebook page that I highly recommend you join. https://www.facebook.com/Lowcostcosplay/

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4: In keeping with the Comic-Con-esque theme of the previous bit, I saw an amazing video of Alina Salina, a polymer artist, making a Cheshire Cat pendant. I’ve worked with polymer clay extensively and I can’t figure out how she did it. Maybe she’s using a particularly hard version of polymer clay, or she puts it in the fridge, but it does not go mushy when she works with it. Phenomenal work. Except for the part where it’s only the eyes and the substructure. That part is terrifying. Other than that, so so good. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W54j-iP9O8

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5: Whenever I have downtime I like to visit The Best Of Tumblr. Tumblr… how does one describe Tumblr? It’s a collection of short thoughts and images and if it’s clever or pertinent enough and gets a ton of reblogs it ends up on The Best Of site. I think this picture is an excellent example. I love both the comments and the names.

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This is also an excellent example of Tumblr. Every person that comments makes it better.

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6: I got an email saying, “Hamilton tickets available now!” Oooh, I’m down for that. How foolish and naive I was. I clicked like an idiot, saw the prices and was all HELLNAWWW.

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The email should have said, “Hamilton tickets available now if you’re willing to sell your plasma forever!” That would have been far more accurate. That’s some tricky BS, Ticketmaster. Shame on you.

Cartoons I be watchin’.

Friday, June 10th, 2016

Sometimes after a long day of attempting to make really dull charts look sexy and inviting I like to decompress by watching cartoons. I realize I am waaaaaaay older than the demographic that these programs are intended for but whatever. I like bright colors and zesty animation and I work HARD, okay? Sometimes a fifteen-minute cartoon is all my brain can absorb. Here are the three I watch regularly right now.

Teen Titans Go! on Cartoon Network. It’s about five teens with magical skills and talents who live together and fight evil. Standard show structure. But it’s drawn in a cool grafitti-style and the writers realize all kinds of people watch it so there are lots of references to 80s culture which delights me. Also sometimes for added effect they deviate from their drawing style and explore other styles which is super-cool to see. The stories aren’t particularly deep (one episode is entirely devoted to celebrating Beast Boy’s birthday so time doesn’t get destroyed) but it’s well-done and it’s like consuming candy corn but in eyeball form. Fun.

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Star vs. The Forces of Evil on DisneyXD. Star, a 14-year-old princess from another dimension, comes to Earth for some reason (I still haven’t seen the pilot episode so I’m not quite sure what it is, I think she was acting up in her world and was sent here to do some growing up). Star lives with a young man named Marco and his oddly accepting parents and goes to high school and attempts to fit in while having a magical wand and monsters that chase her constantly in an attempt to steal said wand. And her best friend is a floating unicorn head. And she has scissors that can cut through dimensional layers. But you know, high school. It’s a sweet show and it’s one of the only cartoon shows that is spearheaded by a woman so mad props there.

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Wander Over Yonder on Disney XD. I saved the best for last. This show was created by Craig McCracken who previously created Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, one of the most beautiful cartoon shows I had ever seen.

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When I found Mr. McCracken had made a new show AND was using one of my favorite voice talents, April Winchell (maker of the magnificent now defunct website Regretsy) I had to watch it. And I have not been disappointed.

Wander is a space-traveler voiced by Jack McBrayer and he’s sweet and kind and good-natured. He has a sidekick named Sylvia who is an abstract sort of horse and they happily bimble around the universe in large bubbles. Everything would be peachy except there are a myriad of evil-doers perpetually trying to conquer the entire universe and Wander and Sylvia get mired in the plots. One particular baddy they are constantly grappling with is Lord Hater, who Wander just wants to be friends with but, you know, Lord Hater is a villain and it’s not gonna happen. In addition to have really interesting plots the cartoon itself is beautifully rendered. Great show.

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Mexico! Part 1.

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

I went to Mexico to study under an artist I have a massive art-boner for, Jan Huling. I’ve mentioned her before. I didn’t really know the other artist who was teaching, Nancy Josephson, but she ended up being a wonderful kind lovely person as well. Her work is more casual and free-spirited so I used her techniques less (I need control and structure otherwise there is chaos and I’m in therapy to deal with this, thank you) but it’s very cool-looking, especially the birds.

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In keeping with my vacation-posting style, you would think there would be loads of pictures and stories to go with the pictures. And there would be, except for The Incident. I brought my phone down to Mexico and used it as my camera and everything was going great on Day 1 when we were in Mexico City. Snorth and I went to see some pyramids, both our first time seeing these pyramids, and they were amazing. I know people throw that word around, “amazing,” but these seriously were. When we arrived they were off in the distance and looked wee and both of us were like, “Eh, those are fine, adequate pyramids. I thought they would be big and imposing but whatevs.” And then the tour we were on went past a field area and holy moly, we were on a massive boulevard called The Street of the Dead and there were mini-pyramids lining both sides and two monster pyramids at the end. One was 22 stories tall. Crazy-big. Now, this would be the point where I would post pictures of those things but, as I mentioned before, there was The Incident. Don’t worry, I’m getting to it.

After the phenomenal pyramid excursion Snorth and I went for a much shorter afternoon tour in Mexico City proper to see the Cathedral and other city-center things. The main square is enormous, the third-biggest in the world. (Number 1 is in China, Number 2 is in Moscow and then there’s this one.) While we were walking past the Cathedral it was crazy-crowded and that’s when I felt it. Something hot was running down my arm. I looked over and it took me a second to figure out that someone HAD SPAT A GIANT SPIT-AND-SNOTWAD ONTO MY ARM AND IT WAS RUNNING DOWN MY ARM AND OH MY GOD. I reacted as if I’d been shot. I froze up and yelled Snorth’s name over and over. She was awesome. Snorth carries a small towel around with her when she travels and she had that translucent nightmare mopped up in a jiffy. I collected myself and continued on my merry way until I decided to take a picture of something and could not find my phone. They had stolen my phone using the phlegm atrocity as a distraction. I have to give the thieves credit. I don’t care who you are, if someone snorks that much stuff on you you’re gonna be thrown off your game for a while which is plenty of time for them to poach your goods. I know I’m prone to exaggeration but Snorth is not and her comment was, “On my drooliest day I don’t think I could conjure up that much mouth-fluid.” It was an excessive amount. I thought a vulture had pooped on me. While this was the worst thing that had happened to me in a long time I was actually a tiny bit excited because who has the best “I was traveling and my phone was stolen” story now? Me, that’s who. And even though I’ve traveled all over the world nothing of mine has been pickpocketed so I feel like I’m in an elite traveler’s club.

I ended depending on Snorth to take the pictures and she did a wonderful job but I was at her mercy so you’ll see what you see and that will have to do. I will pepper that with pics I find on the internet for additional info. In the next entry we will commence with cool Mexican travelry.

Podcasts!

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Y’all listen to podcasts? Well, you should, especially if you commute seventeen hours a day like I do. (Only slightly exaggerating, I commute about three hours a day but still, it’s a looooong time.) Podcasts, in case you don’t know, are basically radio shows made by people for free that you can listen to when it’s convenient for you. You download them to your phone oSometimes they ask for donations, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes it’s weekly, sometimes it’s monthly. Often if it has a big enough listening audience the makers get sponsors and make money that way. There’s a documentary coming out soon about them called Ear Buds. They’ve become so popular that WTF with Marc Maron had Obama on as a guest. Yeah, they’re becoming a big deal. And they are wonderful to listen to while walking to and from the station and while on the train so I devour them like an animal. I figured I’d list the ones I am listening to right now in case you wish to join me on this journey of auditory awesomeness.

Comedy Film Nerds: They are the ones making the Ear Buds documentary. It’s two men, Graham Elwood and Chris Mancini, they’re comedians, and they review films. The title is pretty spot-on. If you like movies and smiling this is a good one to check out. I recommend any episode where the guest is Laura House.

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Sklarbro Country: Twin brothers Randy and Jason Sklar are comedians and they are passionate about sports and indie music. I like neither sports nor indie music yet this is one of my favorite podcasts ever which is a testament to their fantastic ability to talk about whatever and be interesting. I’ve seen them live, I’ve hugged them, they are wonderful people.

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The Dollop: Two comedians in a room. Dave Anthony tells Gareth Reynolds a story from American history. Gareth has not been informed of the story beforehand so he reacts in real time. When it’s good it’s a masterpiece. It’s also the only way I learn anything about history. Start with “The Death of George Washington,” “Owen Kildare,” “The Fans of Philadelphia,” or “David Hahn.” The Dollop is wildly popular in Australia for an unknown reason so whenever they record over there they do a story from Australian history. I recommend “Reg Spiers” or “Prince Alfred Visits Australia.”

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How Did This Get Made?: A podcast about movies that should not exist. I mean the movies should not exist, not the podcast. It’s a great podcast. It’s got Paul Sheer, June-Diane Raphael and  the star of the show Jason Mantzoukas. I would recommend the “Sleepaway Camp” episode, “Over the Top,” “Staying Alive,” or “Hercules in New York.”

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Stuff You Should Know: One of the most prolific podcasts I listen to. It’s pretty much what the title says. Two sweet, soft-spoken Southern men educate you on a specific thing for about half an hour. I now know the story of how Tupperware was invented thanks to them.

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The Cracked Podcast: Want to learn something while also being depressed by your fellow man? Then this is the podcast for you! It’s actually really good and informative but it tends to take the negative side of topics. I still like it though and I’ve learned bunchie-wunchies. Sometimes knowledge is a bummer.

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StarTalk Radio with Neil deGrasse Tyson: Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist and the head of the Hayden Planetarium in New York. He’s also the coolest person ever. Here he is on The Nightly Show being his bad-ass self.

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/rca4i7/the-nightly-show-with-larry-wilmore-neil-degrasse-tyson-slams-flat-earth-theorist-b-o-b

Anyway he invites his fellow awesome friends like other physicists and astronauts and they chat about science and it’s great. Did I mention that Dr. deGrasse Tyson was a ballroom dancer in his past? Because awesome.

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Welcome to Night Vale: Weird. So weird. But so good. This is the artsiest of the bunch. It’s a fake local radio show for a town called Night Vale. Night Vale is plagued by odd occurrences but everyone treats these occurrences like they’re normal.

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For example, this is the sign outside the dog park:

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And here are some of their tweets:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/tweets-from-night-vale-that-will-make-you-question-realit?sub=2595168_1615445#.eaBgpwgqv

Because the people who write this show have crafted such a lush and intriguing world, many artists have chosen to interpret aspects of this world and the work they create is beautiful. Here are some examples I have found.

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There’s tons more and if you start listening to Welcome to Night Vale you’ll see why. I recommend starting at the beginning.

If anyone has any cool podcasts you’d like to tell me about please do. I’m always on the lookout for good listening material.

TV posters and my present obsession.

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

As I walk to work every day I am passed by a ton of city buses that have advertisements posted on the side. They zip by rather quickly so you only have a second to absorb the information presented. Which is how I got two shows very confused. See, there’s a show about what appears to be a family with a gay son.

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Okay, fine, but there’s also a show that I believe is about a son that disappears and a kid who shows up years later and claims to be that long-lost son but who knows?

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The posters designed for buses are nearly identical in structure with the son in the center and two family member on either side in a row. Long story short – I thought they were the same show for several weeks and was very confused and a bit offended. Why is it shattering this family that their son is gay? Is this 2016 or what? C’mon, Mainstream America, get with the program. Then I saw a 30-second spot for The Family and they didn’t mention homosexuality at all which threw me for a loop. Seriously, it took waaaay too long for me to figure out what my issue was. It’s a good thing I’m so pretty because Lord knows I ain’t smart.

Sometimes I go through a phase where I need to see every single YouTube video on a topic. For while it was power-washing videos. Then it was cyst-popping videos (don’t judge, it’s a thing that’s very popular, I am not alone). Now it’s nail tutorials. Oh my gosh, so much glitter. I don’t even really paint my nails because I need them short to type and work on my artsy endeavors but I’ve been like, “I’ll just wash one or two videos…” and then next time I check the clock is six hours later and I’ve grown a Rumpelstiltskin beard and Trump is already president. There are two channels I watch the most of. First there’s Naio Nails out of Yorkshire, England. I tell you the English bit because the accents of the ladies explaining are glorious and they thrill me no end. Really any video is good because they talk in all of them. Their voices are so soothing. Here are some of my favorites.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clo4pqeJ7GI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Mw1o4iMPYA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEcZt4dOdDE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCY5xLRFz-k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcXSJs2KThc

The other one is Simply Nailogical. The woman who does this channel, Christine, her voice is… less soothing. I sometimes watch her videos with the sound off. However she does some great techniques and she uses so so so much glitter. It heals what ails ya, all that glitter. Here are some of my favorites of hers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ffd58TL8wls

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYxhMJWi82I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZYG5jSGqpI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2CjRKxsgIY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBSWTiaouPI

Beware, the nail tutorials. They will steal your soul and all your free time.

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Bits and pieces.

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Guess who has two thumbs and was sent home from work last week with a stomach flu? Me, and don’t touch my thumbs. Go wash your hands right now. It was so sad. The whole situation was like a physical manifestation of that Sarah McLachlan song they use in ASPCA commercials.

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It started the night before. I thought it was general bodily malaise but I couldn’t sleep all night because my entrails felt sunburned and ouchy. Eventually I said what the hell and went to work and that’s when the muscle aches and skin pain kicked in. Børkke found me at my desk weeping softly and sent me home where I writhed in bed because when your stomach is upset you’re not supposed to take Tylenol or Advil but my muscles and skin were so sore and there was naught I could do. You know how they say “Necessity is the mother of invention?” I thought back to all the episodes of Intervention I had seen and all the ways I could get painkillers into my system bypassing my GI tract. Cricket had to deal with texts like this all day:

“Do you have any injectable Dilaudid and a syringe?” (No.)

“How about Fentanyl patches?” (No.)

“Okay, do you have any Oxycontin that I could put on a piece of tin foil and light from underneath, inhaling the fumes?” (Stop.)

“How about an anal suppository sprinkled with opium–” (I’m coming over.)

Eventually after moaning to Cricket for three hours (he’s a very patient boyfriend) I fell asleep and woke up the next day much improved but I’m still wondering, why don’t they sell non-oral pain suppressants? I’ve been told it’s because it’s difficult to regulate the dosage but how is it harder than a pill? Someone get on this. Me wants some stickers that make the owwies go away.

In a vaguely related note I worked a obscene amount in January. Like, all of January. To repay a designer who gives up sleeping and bathing for a month an account team will buy them a thank-you present. It’s usually a bottle of good liquor or a gift card to someplace nice. Those are crap gifts. I got the most magnificent present ever from the team I worked with – a zebra-print felt hoodie with AN INFLATABLE NECK PILLOW BUILT IN. You feel that? That feeling is jealousy.

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It’s glorious. I am not a fan of animal prints in the slightest but I was delighted by this zebra print because what the account team not know was that several years ago Neenernator bought me a zebra print Slanket. Therefore I got to spend Valentine’s Day wearing this exquisite ensemble. Brace yourselves.

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Christmas Windows!

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Yeah, I know it’s around the end of February. You shush, I can get to things when I get to them. I saw very few windows this year and I don’t mean to sound like a jaded bourgeoisie snotbag but there’s only so many times you can see super-ornate windows before you’re like, eh, another super-ornate window. And many stores (I’m looking at you, Bulgari) do the same thing every year so it’s mind-blowingly awesome the first time you see it but as my grandma always said, “You see one giant glowing hinged snake covering a building, you’ve seen ’em all.” This year the two windows that really spoke to me were one specific display at Lord & Taylors and Bergdorf Goodman. First, the Lord & Taylor one. It was a cuckoo clock, a big one, all white with cute forest creatures hanging off and rotating around. I’m a sucker for a squirrel and a bird and a bunny so I tried to get out of people’s ways and watched for a while. It was so soothing and pleasant. Thank you, Lord & Taylor.

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Bergdorf proved something I’ve been saying for forever which is if you cover something with crystals it immediately becomes fantastic. I make a point to avoid using crystals because even though it works I consider it an easy way out. Who doesn’t like sparkly-sparkly? I think I mentioned this while working on the Ocean Reef Costume. Yup, yes I did. Bergdorf Goodman did a partnership with Swarovski Crystals so the encrusting, it was crusty. I must say I’m insanely impressed at the amount of work that clearly went into these. You need to glue each crystal down onto the substrate individually. So. Much. Work. Much props to the artists who worked on that. There were five major windows of note. First, the royalty one. Winner of that window: The small green Chinese Crested dog.

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Next, the purple mining window. I thought this was the weakest of the lot. The gigantic resin stalactites looked weird. Don’t get me wrong, it was spectacular, but it was the least spectacular of the bunch. There was a winner here too: the bat in the corner.

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Then the Neptune window. Most people don’t know but Swarovski, in addition to making crystals, makes high-quality fake pearls. That was what this window highlighted. The winner here: it’s a tie between the sea turtle and the jaunty shrimp.

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Ah, the sugary treats window. By far the most impressive, not because of the content, but because both all the items displayed AND the entire background was covered in hand-placed crystals. The amount of time that must have took is mind-boggling. The winner of this window: that crazy-intense background work.

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And finally the psychic window. The big wheel in the background spins slowly. The winner: the giant left hand.

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They show a bit of the creation process in this video I found.

The Room.

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

I finally saw the movie The Room. You may think I’m talking about the movie Room that recently came out and might win some Oscars but I am not. No, I am referring to the movie that came out in 2003. It cost six million dollars. It takes place in 2.3 locations. The acting hurts your eyes and ears. The sex scenes might make you sterile. It is notorious for being one of the worst movies ever created and now that I’ve seen it I think that’s a pretty accurate description. If you’d like I’d be happy to give you a synopsis of the “plot” as I remember it so you can be spared from seeing this unfortunate garbage dump of a inflated student film. It’s fine if I don’t remember things correctly, it doesn’t affect the movie in any way.

Before we get into this a bit of additional information. Does everyone remember Mystery Science Theater 3000? If not, their theme song will explain their show to you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcUkKltAidM

The MST3K gentlemen still watch movies and add their commentary and that’s what I went to see. I was so extremely grateful for their continuous input because I don’t think I could have made it through without them. Also you should know about the writer/director/producer/actor of this thing, Tommy Wiseau. He is an age, but no one knows what it is. He is also from a country, not an English-speaking country, but no one knows which one. He’s short and creepily muscular with shoulder-length dyed-black hair in desperate need of a deep conditioning treatment. The MST3K fellows described him (extremely accurately) as a life-form completely made out of Madonna’s arms.

tommy-wiseau-liverpool-fact

Okay. Here we go. The Room opens with lots and lots of shots of San Francisco. We are then introduced to an apartment that looks like it was decorated with things found at your local high-end Salvation Army including a framed portrait of a spoon. A female who will be called Dumpy Debbie Gibson (or DDG from this point on) and Tommy Wiseau (playing her fiancé Johnny) are doing or saying… something. It doesn’t matter. Johnny gives DDG a red dress that not flattering to anyone with limbs or a torso. He then says she looks beautiful and then start to head upstairs to make the love but the teenage neighbor boy Donnie comes over and the three of them engage in an awkward conversation where Donnie mentions he wouldn’t mind watching them get it on. (?) Johnny and DDG go on upstairs and proceed to have sexual relations in a bed surrounded by mosquito netting because we all are aware of San Francisco’s malaria epidemic. They have sex as if someone explained to them how humans mate but they’ve never seen it. Johnny kind of pushes his hip corner at her with each epically slow thrust which is not where male genitals are located. When I was in theater in high school we were taught to “open up” to the audience, meaning when you have a conversation with another actor you both turn slightly outward so the audience can see your face and hear you better. DDG and Johnny were doing that but in bed. I think Johnny then heads out to do something (I believe his character works at a bank doing banky things so maybe that) and DDG opens the door to find hot neighbor guy and Johnny’s best friend Mark there. She confesses she no longer loves Johnny, she doesn’t want to be his wife and she says Johnny hits her. Mark says it’s not a good idea for them to get it on but he cannot resist her because she is so beautiful. Then DDG and Mark have some sad version of intercourse on a spiral stairway. I cannot imagine for the life of me a more uncomfortable place to get naked and squish components with another person than a cold and oddly shaped metal staircase with jutting angles. That sadness ends. Mark leaves. Following that DDG’s mother comes over and they have a weird conversation where the mother confesses that she has breast cancer, DDG tells her not to worry and it is never mentioned again. (???) Somewhere in there there’s yet another sex scene with two completely irrelevant characters where the male makes the weirdest faces while receiving pleasure.

mike-face-2

Johnny goes to buy his beloved DDG some roses in what is one of the worst scenes in ever. He walks into the flower shop… you know what, I can’t even describe it. I will find a video for you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S9Ew3TIeVQ

That’s it. That’s the entire scene. I did not move the dialogue around, that’s the order it’s presented and at that speed. The only good actor in that scene was the ancient bloated fart pug on the counter. Or possibly the door. Awful, just awful. Johnny comes home with roses and he and DDG have sex again but instead of filming a totally new sex scene which may have proven fatal for everyone involved Tommy simply reused the EXACT SAME SHOTS from their previous sex scene, but faster. Here’s where things start to get fuzzy because the same conversation happens with different configurations of people. DDG no longer loves Johnny, she loves Mark. DDG’s mom (you know, the one with the breast cancer that’s never addressed again?) says DDG needs to stay with Johnny because he has money and can give her a good life. We also learn that Johnny kind of adopted Donnie and got him an apartment in the same building and that’s why he’s around all the time. Donnie fawns over DDG and tells her how beautiful she is and how he wants to get with her. This I don’t understand. DDG is not hideous but she is definitely not a smokin’ hot babe. “That nice girl who works at Auntie Anne’s Pretzels at the mall” would be a good description of DDG but every guy acts like their loins are magnetically drawn to her. I think in the reality of this movie all the other women in San Francisco are dead, perhaps killed off by that malaria epidemic and DDG is all that’s left. Another important thing is some of these conversations happen in the apartment and some of them happen on the roof. The roof is a whole other can of worms. The roof scenes are filmed surrounded by green screen and then San Francisco was added in afterwards but it doesn’t quite line up perfectly so it feels a bit trippy. The finest piece of acting in The Room is done as Johnny enters the roof and sees his friend Mark there. I have found it for you. You need only watch the first ten seconds or so.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQ4KzClb1C4

Then some indeterminate amount of time passes and there’s a party for Johnny and DDG’s wedding where DDG lies about being pregnant and starts making out with Mark in front of Johnny and Johnny is like oh hell no and kicks DDG out. He then goes on a rampage through the apartment like Frankenstein’s monster, rips DDG’s dress and humps it (badly, but that goes without saying since Tommy has no concept of how mammals express sexual love). Then Johnny puts a gun in his mouth and dies. DDG, Mark and Donnie find him and they fake-cry and blah blah blah the end. That’s it. There are other things that happen in The Room. Often a football is tossed around by the menfolk during conversations in the most awkward way imaginable. In one scene they toss the football around wearing tuxedos. It’s all a mess. Her’s a helpful video that summarizes everything I attempted to convey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvuwldnG7c0

Now I have seen this iconic cinematic treat and I feel fully comfortable never seeing it again.

Two artists that might make me not scared of dolls finally.

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

Dolls are inherently creepy. The unblinking eyes. The unmovable expressions. Hell, a new horror film is coming up built on that premise. Remember my trip to Germany last year and the doll restaurant? Yep. Not a big fan of dolls. However, there is always room for change. And that change happened when I saw these handmade dolls from Russia. Two different artists. Russia is known for exceptional detail in their artwork. Their icons from many centuries ago are ornate.

Christ.the_.Pantocrator Iverskaya-Mother 160N08844_6D4HJ

And little has changed. One dollmaker is named Marina Bychkova and she is amazing. I know that word gets thrown around frequently, but hear me out. Marina makes articulated porcelain dolls with poseable limbs. She paints their faces. Then she embroiders and hand-beads their clothes. AND those metal headdresses, she makes them too. See? Amazing.

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Then there are the Popovy Sisters. Their work is more modern but I love it as well. It reminds me of Alexander McQueen’s work but wee.

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I could get on board with these dolls. NOBODY START SENDING ME DOLLS, THOUGH. FOR REALSIES. WORST NIGHTMARE. Unless they are by these artists. Then, mildly okay. OTHERWISE NO DOLLS.