Archive for the ‘Teh Intarwebz’ Category

Character actors that I dig very, very hard.

Monday, October 8th, 2018

You know when you’re watching something and an actor shows up and you’re like “Heeeey! It’s that guy! Yeah!” Those are character / supporting actors and I have a few favorites. I occasionally will watch some supercrappy TV or movie simply because one of my favorites is in it. For example, The Leftovers on HBO. If you have depression avoid that show like the plague. My friend called it “grief porn” and it is a colossal bummer. BUT Ann Dowd is in it and therefore I watched one and a half seasons before I had to tap out. So let’s go through my list. I’m sure you have a list of your own. In no particular order:

1. Ann Dowd.

Since we mentioned her let’s start with her. God, I love her. The first time I really paid attention to her was in the first season of True Detective. She’s only in the last episode but whooo is she memorable. Then I started noticing her all over the place. Right now Ann Dowd is a major character on The Handmaid’s Tale and she is KILLING it on that show. Check out her IMDB and see some of her stuff, you won’t regret it.

2. Giancarlo Esposito 

One role. I’ve only seen him in one role. But it’s one of the best pieces of acting I’ve ever seen. Holy crap. Giancarlo’s performance on Breaking Bad was unreal. He plays Gus Fring and if you haven’t watched any of Breaking Bad find out when he starts onscreen and when he finishes and watch those episodes because it is worth it. I just looked at his IMDB page and I see he’s in two of the Maze Runner movies so I’ll now be watching the Maze Runner series of films. I must consume more Giancarlo.

3. Allison Janney

Allison was a slow, slow burn for me. I remember her from American Beauty and I thought she was great there even though she had maybe three lines. Then I saw her in Juno and I thought she was delightful there. Then I finally got around to seeing all of The West Wing and of course she was iconic there. Recently I saw I, Tonya and my goodness, her performance is so on point. It’s really easy for that specific character to become a total cartoon but Allison kept it vaguely grounded. Now I’m watching Mom which is a sitcom on CBS. I actively dislike comedies with laugh tracks (I can figure out where the funny is all by myself, thanks so much) but she’s on it, so I’m gritting my teeth and getting through it. The actor coming up next is also on the show so I’m holding on for that as well.

4. William Fichtner (pronounced Fikner, ignore the T)

Oh my God, I love him. I love him so much. I love how he moves his hands. I love his weird hatchet-esque profile. William has been in everything ever. I cannot remember the first place I saw him but he keeps popping up in TV, movies, apparently he does voiceover for video games, the man keeps busy. I was so psyched when I saw William in the opening of The Dark Knight. I am shocked – SHOCKED! – that the incredibly creepy look he gives when the bank is being brutally robbed is not a meme. It can be used for like eight or nine emotions. C’mon Internet, get it together.

5. The entire supporting cast of The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption is my #1 movie ever. I own it on DVD but if it;’s on TNT with commercials I still have to watch it. I know every line now. As you know if you’ve seen it it’s got a pretty big cast. So every time I see one of the side actors in a different show playing a different role I get very excited. Perfect example: There’s a character in Shawshank called Boggs. He is a rapey psychopath who speaks very quietly and makes your skin crawl. A stellar performance. Therefore imagine my delight when watching Turn: Washington’s Spies and there’s that guy playing a regular-degular guy. Hi actor Mark Rolston! I’m glad you’re not typecast as a gross manifestation of a prison nightmare!

6. The entire supporting cast of Orange is the New Black

I don’t feel like I have to explain this. The people on this show, my goodness. Hey, I watched several seasons of How To Get Away With Murder because Matt McCorry is on it. I HATE that show. It’s a soap opera that airs at night and it’s ridiculous. So many implausible murders and kidnapped babies! But Matt was in it so I watched it. If Crazy Eyes or Black Cindy or Chang are in a major motion picture you bet your sweet butt I would I would go to see it. The sheer talent on the show is immense.

 

The internet has released its bounty and we are grateful for it.

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

1. In Amsterdam they were putting in a new tunnel near or under the Amstel River so whatever the engineers pulled off the bottom of the river was organized and displayed. Some of the items are quite old. I would fly to Amsterdam to see this if I could.

 

2. I don’t like horses normally but I would learn to ride just so I could ride this horse. Holy crap, this horse is amazing. I HAVE ARRIVED AT THE SUPERMARKET ON MY MASSIVE PREHISTORIC STEED. FEAR ME AS I PICK UP SOME ESSENTIALS LIKE TOILET PAPER AND YOGURT.

 

3. There’s an aquarium in New Zealand where they have penguins. Some of the penguins are good. Some are bad. Here are the reports.

       

 

4. These are all excellent responses if you’re transgender and you get that ever-so-common question. I heartily approve of all of these.

 

5. This is the best description of a thing possibly ever. I would like to be described like this. #Lovely #Skulking #Riparian #Denizen

 

6. Also from Audubon, an article about coot feet. I’ve always wondered about them and now all has been revealed.

https://www.audubon.org/news/better-know-bird-american-coot-and-its-wonderfully-weird-feet

 

7. Final bird thing: I saw this and immediately began singing Taps. Go with God, Chandelier Dove.

Bonus: An oldie but a goodie – When Obvious Plant renamed paint colors.

http://obviousplant.com/post/121284665608/follow-obvious-plant-on-facebook

Some good design. And some less good design. One might say garbage design.

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

I encounter a lot of design choices every day. Possibly no more than any other person, but I’m hyper-aware of them due to my career. I’ve talked about how I have binders full of design ideas that I collect in a folder and print out from time to time. So when I see good design it jumps out at me. And when it’s not good it also jumps out at me but it also vomits ectoplasm in my face like the ghosts in Ghostbusters. Let’s start with the good.

Some people have problems with their joints – they pop out, they’re too loose, they click and hurt. Normally they have to wear lame finger and wrist devices that are boring and sterile-looking, it’s an outfit-killer for sure. Which is why when I saw Silver Ring Splint Company I was impressed. Good for them, creating things of beauty out of necessity.

And now onto less good design.We’ll start with something light. I walk past a McDonald’s on my way to work and my distance eyesight is getting worse due to sitting in front of a computer all day so when I saw this sign I could not make out the “Our” smashed in between the “Join” and “Team.” I therefore read it in as a yelling Russian voice. “JOIN TEAM! YOU JOIN TEAM NOW!!” Until I walked up close to it and saw the “Our” I thought McDonald’s was getting a bit aggressive in their tactics.

Second unfortunate example: Whilst perusing Amazon or some such site I saw a banner ad at the top of my screen. I think they were going for a cloud with three bottles of Olay on it.

What I saw (because humans are predisposed to see faces in objects) was a wino who was down on his luck. Maybe just too many Christmases alone, or maybe his liver is finally giving out. I’ll zoom in so you can see.

Here’s a version I photoshopped to make it even clearer for you.

My point being my first reaction to this ad was not “I want to smear your fancy skin cream on my face” but more like “I am concerned about the homeless senior citizens is my area.”

The answer to this is easy: Never structure a group of products in anything that might be construed as a face. Three bottles in a row, decreasing in size. Simple. Non-facelike. I will make you a rough example.

See? That took me approximately fifteen minutes max and while it’s far from perfect you know what it doesn’t conjure in your mind? An alcoholic who looks like the physical manifestation of a defeated sigh.

Third and final failure of design: I also walk past Sax Fifth Avenue on my way to work and they change their windows up pretty regularly. Most of the windows are awesome tailored suits for women. I liked almost all of them. Look at this series of baller jackets and pants.

And nope. This is a hard nope right here.

Taking a shapeless garment and hot-gluing a bra onto the front of it with the hook parts hanging down ain’t gonna cut it. If one person says it’s fashion I will throw my shoe at them like that guy and President Bush, so intense will be my rage. C’mon now.

A light smattering of internet. Mostly nature-related.

Friday, August 10th, 2018

1. A VERY important article about the our friend the boxfish.

http://anklecrack.tumblr.com/post/174496481893/its-hip-to-be-square

 

2. I don’t know what ballet this is from but I REALLY need to see it. If anyone knows, please tell me so I can buy tickets asap thnx.

http://10knotes.1000notes.com/post/80231584492

 

3. Look at the beautiful pattern of weathering on this chainlink fence.

It reminds me of the graffiti artist El Mac and the circular patterns found in his work.

 

4. I love that the artist Alexis Pavlantos is making dung beetles with felted dung balls as jewelry. I went to the site and no items related to the dung beetle is being sold which is a bummer, but it’s still cool as hell. Maybe Pavlantos will bring back the poop-pushing jewelry line. Let’s hope.

 

5. The Audubon website recently had an article on the gorgets of hummingbirds. The gorget is the bib area and it is often really bright and metallic. This particular photo blew me away. I never realized that each of those little peaks and valleys is one feather, not the whole curved scale section. Those feathers are teeny-tiny.

 

6. Trees no want to make touch.

It’s so cool and no one has a concrete answer on why trees do it. Wikipedia has some theories.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_shyness

 

7. Uhhhhhh, I don’t know what kind of filter or video-editing program this is but I kind of want to edit everything to be like this. That is trippy as hell.

http://photoelectron.tumblr.com/post/133267929461/walking-down-a-trail-in-charlottesville-a-few

The Internet is a gift.*

Friday, July 13th, 2018

1. The Bulgarian Kukeri Festival! Who’s coming with me?

The definition according to Wikipedia:

Kukeri are elaborately costumed Bulgarian men who perform traditional rituals intended to scare away evil spirits. Closely related traditions are found throughout the Balkans and Greece (including Romania and the Pontus). The costumes cover most of the body and include decorated wooden masks of animals (sometimes double-faced) and large bells attached to the belt. Around New Year and before Lent, the kukeri walk and dance through villages to scare away evil spirits with their costumes and the sound of their bells. They are also believed to provide a good harvest, health, and happiness to the village during the year.

The kukeri traditionally visit peoples’ houses at night so that “the sun would not catch them on the road.” After parading around the village they usually gather at the village square to dance wildly and amuse the people. Kukeri rituals vary by region but remain largely the same in essence.

 

2. This earthworm is called a Fried Egg Earthworm. It is extremely well-named.

 

3. Everyone is familiar with The Bean in Chicago, yes? Big silver blobule in the middle of a plaza? People were setting up group meetings on Facebook and the poor Bean got roped into it. What did The Bean ever do to you, Chicagoans?? Leave The Bean out of your shenanigans! #BeanDrama

 

 

4. Badly placed quote marks range from not-quite-right to ominous to terrifying.

 

5. While I have no particular desire to go to Coachella I would have liked to have seen this wire building in person.

Here is an article on the artist. https://www.curbed.com/2018/4/13/17236160/edoardo-tresoldi-coachella-etherea-wire-mesh-sculptures

 

6. I think I got it. The bikers and dogwalkers yield to the hikers who yield to the horseback riders and all of them yield to the truck. Am I right? Did I win something?

*When curated well. Otherwise, it is awaaaaaaaaaaaash with garbage and nightmares.

A little amuse-bouche of charts to brighten up your day.

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

Recent side-project. NSFW maybe. Depends on where you work. Make a judgment call for yourself.

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

I am a huge proponent of helping ladies doin’ their own thing so I’ll take on work pro bono for them in my free time. (Free time! Hahahahaha!) I’ve designed some logos for women starting their own businesses and presentations for masters’ theses, etc. A co-worker of mine recently started recording a podcast with her friend where they talk about sex and dating issues that women are dealing with today. It’s funny and light and positive and she needed a logo design. Since it’s a small industry I can get a little more loose and free with what I can create. I’ll explain. I created a very basic logo based on the name they gave me.

The reason I kept it so simple was I was inspired by the Absolut ads of my youth, where the shape of the bottle is the only constant from ad to ad.

So I thought it would be cool if for every episode the text remained the same and in the same position in the box shape, but everything around reflected the topic being addressed. Kind of a bespoke logo per episode, but still recognizable. I came up with some samples. I won’t specify what topics I was referencing because some of them are a bit blunt but you can guess if you’d like.

They’re all bright and cute and fun and not straight-out vulgar, more “tee hee” in nature. I was inspired by the webpage of the podcast Criminal.

I mocked up an example of what The Get Down Lowdown website could look like.

I also thought of the poster from The Dollop podcast where it’s the two hosts and a collection of characters they’ve discussed in the past.

I think it would be cool after The Get Down Lowdown is on for a while and I’ve made a large quantity of these individualized squares if I make a collage poster based on some favorite designs. Then The Get Down Lowdown girls can sell it or give it away to Patreon subscribers. There’s a lot of directions this could go.

 

Addendum: They’ve finished editing their first episode. And I have made their logo for them. It’s super-classy.

I made a thing.

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

Does everyone know about my ongoing feud with Russia? Specifically, how goshdurned good they are at crafting and how I feel compelled to crush them with my talent? I believe I mentioned it here. And here. In keeping with this quixotic quest I received an email from my sister K. with pictures of bead-woven necklaces from a Russian website. Even though I couldn’t read anything I looked at the pictures and I really liked the wildflower look of the pieces.

Specifically this one.

While viewing this unabashed awesome talent I got all huffy and was like NOT THIS TIME, RUSSIA. IT’S MY TIME TO SHINE. So I decided to make a lariat for myself using only beads I already own with leaves and seeds at the bottom. I found a whole bunch of really pretty twisted metallic / rose gold-like bugle beads so I worked off of that and made this. I think it turned out pretty great.

If you decide to make a necklace like this, might I recommend what I did which is build all the leaf / seed elements separately and then assemble them as you make the dangly components. That way if you make something that isn’t working (which happened to me) you can simply unravel the cord and remove the leaves and seeds, then fix it and put them back on. No harm, no foul.

Fun fact: I did a Google image search to find out the name of the artist of those wildflower necklaces and it is… Margo Fields. A woman from New Mexico. Not a Russian. I got all riled up for nothing. I don’t regret creating the lariat, it is a piece I will wear and it was a nice stretch for me, but perhaps in the future I should do research before I get a bunch of cyrillic bees in my bonnet unnecessarily.

 

Podcasts that are simultaneously fascinating and appalling. Enjoy!

Friday, June 8th, 2018

I had to build a massive project and I wanted something nice to listen while I was enmeshed in work hell so I went to Snorth for a list of podcasts to plow through like it was my job. The project is over and I’ve made it through a goodly portion of Snorth’s recommendations. She and I both like a good true crime podcast and here is the list of what I’ve listened to so far. Warning: these podcasts will not increase your love for your fellow man. Many, too many folks are made of paranoia and hammer claws. Every episode has me making this face:

Like, I get you have to kill that person. They wronged you, I understand. But did you need to do weird stuff with the body? Was that completely necessary? Cut them up? Shove the parts in a tree? Eat the remaining bits? It’s too much.

True Crime Obsessed. Here is the description from their site:

This podcast is a place for you to get even more information on all things true crime. We’ll be talking about podcasts, documentaries, movies (as in “Zodiac”), books, television shows, you name it. 

There is so much out there and we’re going to tell you about it in a knowledgeable and, let’s be honest, funny way. We will always be respectful but we’ll also sprinkle some levity in there because if we don’t we’ll all be miserable, depressed messes. These are the true crime conversations you’d have with your friends… if your friends didn’t think you were a total creep for wanting to watch “There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane”… again.

It’s two people, Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle, two theater nerds who I believe host a Broadway  musicals podcast together as well. They are gloriously sassy and opinionated and they ring a bell when they like someone (“Hero Bell!!!”) or when they do not like someone (“Garbage Bell!!!”) (it really helps that they announce what kind of emotion they’re conveying with the bell because it’s the same bell for both). True Crime Obsessed predominantly covers documentaries but they’ll branch out to other mediums on occasion. They have a Facebook page where they take suggestions. It’s about as much fun as you can have listening to horrific stories about liars and cheaters and murderers. I definitely recommend it.

 

Criminal. Here’s the description from their site:

Criminal launched January of 2014, and is based in Durham, North Carolina. New episodes come out twice a month, always on Fridays. In 2015, we won a Third Coast International Audio Festival “Best Documentary” award for our story, 695-BGK, and were chosen as an iTunes “Best of 2015.” In 2016, we were featured in “Best of” lists in Wired, The Atlantic, USA Today, and Rolling Stone. We travel all around the country to interview people, and sometimes take the show on the road to tell stories live.

“A true­ crime podcast that understands crime as something sociological, historical, even anthropological — that crime is a function of people, time, and place. With incredible sound design, marvelous writing, and a boldness in the way it makes its choices, there are few shows that feel more alive.”  –Vulture

This is a very NPR-y type structure. The nice lady who hosts, Phoebe Judge, has a strong case of soothing NPR voice which for some reason I find wildly irritating. I feel compelled to post Patton Oswalt’s bit about NPR whenever I mention NPR. However, I girded my loins and gritted my teeth and now I don’t even hear Phoebe’s vocal stylings at all. I built up a tolerance, I guess. It’s a well-researched show that interviews the victims (when possible because, you know, sometimes they’re dead) or the family members so it’s not second-hand. Unlike Serial each episode is its own entity which I did not realize until the third episode. I was SO confused. It’s an excellent podcast to listen to while you’re organizing files or color-correcting images. Interesting, engaging but not overly or unnecessarily dramatic. Also, someone draws a little descriptive sketch for each episode and I am a big fan of hiring illustrators in this day and age.

 

Small Town Dicks. Worst name for a podcast ever. Here’s the description from their site:

Small Town Dicks is a podcast about the big-time crime that’s happening in Small Town, USA. Each episode features the detectives who broke the case in their small town, and includes assets like jailhouse phone calls, suspect interviews and 9-1-1 calls. The show is anchored by veteran, identical-twin detectives Dan and Dave, and hosted by actresses, Yeardley Smith and Zibby Allen.

Do you recognize that name, Yeardley Smith? It’s because she’s the voice of Lisa Simpson. Let me tell you how weird it is to hear the voice of Lisa Simpson ask a police officer, “So, when you found the corpse did you run a rape kit or wait for the coroner?” Aside from the culture shock of Yeardley’s voice, it’s taken from the point of law enforcement and what see and encounter when they go to crime scenes as well as how they they interrogate the people of interest to sort out what happened and who’s responsible. It’s interesting to hear the perspective of cops and detectives on the crimes they experience.

 

Sword and Scale. This podcast is a grim one. Here’s their description:

Sword and Scale is an internet radio show and website covering the dark underworld of crime and the criminal justice system’s response to it. The show and website were launched January 1st, 2014 and feature stories of murder, abduction, rape and even more bizarre forms of crime. It’s the purest form of true-crime where nothing is off the table. Everything from 911 calls to court testimony, interviews with victims and sometimes with perpetrators give listeners a 360 degree look at the entire story. Told from the narrator’s point of view, Sword and Scale goes beyond the news clips and the sensationalist headlines to give listeners the whole story and deeper insight into the cases it covers than any other medium.

They don’t cut corners. They don’t soften the details. You’re gonna learn all the facts no matter how upsetting. Sword and Scale plays a great deal of the 911 calls so get ready for unintelligible screaming. I do recommend it though, but don’t binge-listen like I did. It will give you a big case of the gloomies. Maybe alternate with a comedy podcast, or one on wine-tasting, something light and refreshing with laughter and pleasure.

Some artists I am feeling right now.

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Oh, there’s a good crop of artists out there this spring. So much delicious, delicious talent.

First, there’s Amanda Louise Spayd. I had seen her work on various websites and every time my eyes would be immediately drawn to it. She works in mixed media using (from what I can tell) resin, fabric, polymer or epoxy clay, wire, vintage bits and bobs and buttons, etc. I love how all of Spayd’s soft sculptures have a look that’s a mix of horror and concern.

Spayd works with other artists and also sometimes moves away from the cloth-based interpretations into harder mediums. And she does super-sweet drawings.

Her is her website: http://www.amandalouise.com/

And here is her shop: https://www.bindlewood.com/

It appears that she doesn’t sell her soft sculptures in her store, you probably have to contact a gallery that sells her pieces.

 

Then, there’s Philip Barlow. I am a huge fan of photorealistic paintings. I have a poster in my home by Richard Estes of people in phone booths that is a favorite of mine.

I think what I love about Estes’ work is how he makes the most mundane of imagery into works of art.

Philip Barlow does something similar. He takes a very ordinary subject, people going about their daily lives, and by taking the reference photo out of focus and then painting the result, creates beautiful color fields filled with colored circles where you know most of the information but there’s enough left out for you to imagine.

If you have mad cash you can purchase his work here: https://www.everard-read-capetown.co.za/artist/PHILIP_BARLOW/works/1599

If you’re more like me you can purchase prints of his work here (and they have a great selection): https://www.icanvas.com/canvas-art-prints/artist/philip-barlow