Harold & Kumar revisited

28 04 2008

My top post of all time on this blog details my supposition that “Harry Potter” combined with “Harold and KumMovie Review Found Herear go to White Castle” would be the ultimate fun flick. You know, Harry & Kumar. (See, there was a reason for this pairing. It’s a clever pun.) So I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I saw the second installment of the Harold & Kumar “franchise,” if you will, and I thoroughly enjoyed it despite nothing more than a “passing” reference to White Castle in the beginning. If you will. The way it skewers racial stereotypes and sneaks in sexual jokes, oh, and pot references, is brilliant. You would think that the whole Guantanamo Bay thing was totally random, but it makes sense. And I want to go to Amsterdam now. Was reading about it the other day. Not that I plan to overimbibe. Just because I’m curious. Some of the stereotypes are annoying and ridiculous, especially the tired Southerners jokes, but oh well. And it *IS* quite dirty, but hey. Shocking is much harder to do nowadays.

Overall rating: It’s da bong. No, I didn’t say “da bomb.” I said “da bong.” My Twitterscale is three-and-a-half Cyclops eyes out of five.





Rainy festival day

28 04 2008

Inman Park Festival rainHere’s a sampling of some of the fun that was had at the Inman Park Festival (referenced in my last entry). The patron at left, like many others, improvised a solution to the wet weather. I know others had better experiences than I did. I was out in the rain. It was still fun, and there were lots of people out there making do. I saw a child being carried in a waterproof stroller-trailer thing with clear walls. Strangely amazing; no photo. Wares that I took home: beaded hippie bracelets, a tiki sign, a PEZ sign and some refrigerator magnets with quaint images on them. All for $30. Pictures forthcoming. This is almost a holiday for Atlanta’s arts community. Joyful, wonderful and totally MARTA-accessible.





Fun with GarageBand

28 04 2008

videoGoofy video that I put together… experimenting with the Mac’s built-in music editor. Wait til I’m on MTV.





Popular culture fun

28 04 2008

Diners, Bowling Alleys and Trailer ParksWhile I wait for some of my more uh, interesting projects to upload, seeing as the popularity of video uploads is driving up conversion times across the board, I thought I would briefly review a book I’ve been reading. It’s called “Diners, Bowling Alleys, and Trailer Parks: Chasing the American Dream in Postwar Consumer Culture.” It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with such strange things. This book was sort of a birthday present to myself (just turned 25 on Friday, which was Day 1 of an excellent three-day weekend) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was purchased in a lovely bookstore in Atlanta’s Virginia Highlands neighborhood. By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, and I had spent Saturday getting through much of this book, I picked up some “tiki room” styled art and a cheesy PEZ sign at the Inman Park festival before dashing out to escape the rain. I have to think that my purchase inspiration was this book… here’s what I learned. First: I’d never heard of Pinboys before, but apparently setting bowling pins was a highly undesirable job back before the automated pinsetter was invented. Thanks to that, we could bowl and live happily ever after. Second, I guess I’d never given much thought to trailer parks or stereotypes, having long seen so-called “Snowbirds” flocking to the Phoenix area each winter like some sort of annual ritual, traveling as they do in their intermittent caravans of fifth-wheels. (Quartzsite is an example of the RV hobby’s popularity in the state.) All in all, for someone like me, this was heavenly. I really loved the diner pictures, too. I’m kind of an enthusiast. Passing by the Majestic diner in Atlanta’s Virginia Highlands neighborhood on Friday afternoon took me back in time.





Bohemian Rhapsody

18 04 2008

Bohemian Rhapsody failed to embed. Sigh. So posting the old-fashioned way. Enjoy this short cell phone clip.





Getting to know the Mac a little better…

18 04 2008

Out of Box ExperienceI’ve written a bit in other places about how I now use a MacBook Standard at home and how weird it is. It turns out that I enjoy this system a lot, but figuring out the Jobsian way of doing things (oh, OK, I drag the mouse and that scans through the photos. OK.) is creating a bit of a learning curve. There’s a few semantics, too, but I’m getting there. The system pretty much can be used at its most basic level with little or no extra learning effort, but mastering all the cute little media applications is a bit trickier.

Today I created a short sound clip of trumpet fanfare using GarageBand. It did a good job of approximating the musical notes (looking over them, they appeared to be for a far better song than I had done.) It’s cool that a computer would include a music-making app. It’s a nice touch. I hope people will learn how to use this software and make their own music instead of ripping copyrighted material. One must, however question the placement of the (only two) USB ports on the left side instead of the right, as well as the lack of anything beyond the most basic features and OH WELL these things aren’t that big of a deal. They’re part of the Mac experience. Coming off a gi-normous HP laptop with every bell and whistle imaginable, including a TV tuner, I’m going to have to, uh, make do with less. But… using the new computer and system has been an overall pleasant experience.

Now, I have a newer computer at work, too, and the process of migrating everything over created a couple rough spots, methinks, but it will be totally awesome once that’s resolved. Hey, no one said progress was easy.





No reservations

18 04 2008

ReservedLast week was fairly eventful as my life goes… highlights included a great local performance of Urinetown on Saturday and serendipitously getting into a Spoon concert on Monday. The latter event was great except for the staid crowd that pretty much sat there the whole time and chastised anyone that stood up by sticking a “Reserved” sign to their butt, not that I happen to have any specific examples of this happening. Oh that and the stupid Camel marketing everywhere, punctuated by thick clouds of smoke. Long story…

Urinetown is a great premise with great execution in the performance we saw. The problem lies in the actual writing of the musical itself. The “fourth wall” narrator gives it all away shortly after the show has begun, not that you couldn’t figure it out yourself. Still, not too shabby. Here’s to more fun in the future.





‘Evidence’ that spring is here

12 04 2008

pollenicooooleBefore I go into the pros and cons of spring’s arrival, I’d like to address an important issue. A recent comment on this blog suggested that my Peeps clip resembles footage that would typically be garnered from camera hidden in a flower stamen for potential criminal evidence in the Court of Law. This reminded me of that poor Zebra they found recently off I-75. (“They” being the overseers who control the Matrix and thus our thoughts.) The police kept using the word “evidence,” so the new caretakers were calling the Zebra “Evidence.” Anyway, can you imagine what you would say if you found a zebra on the side of the road? I guess you’d say, “I just found a zebra on the side of the road!”

In other animal news, it’s spring and that means spring-loving animals are out and about. Most “spring-loving animals” either have lots and lots of legs or the capability to fly. The giant bees are back to their typical antics and I’d like them to buzz off. They tend to not see the big picture window in my living room and thus fly straight into it, making a loud “smack” every so often. Another fun-filled feature of spring is the large amount of pollen scattered everywhere. But, thankfully, besides casting gloom and doom over the city, delightful spring showers are washing all the pollen away. This of course means that you never know when it’s going to rain. Tornadoes are still a vague possibility and I don’t know how well my apartment would stand up if one came through the north side. But it also helps the drought, so hey.

In other news, I’m finding that “Robot Chicken” is great to have on when you’re doing housework because the skits are so short that you don’t have to worry about missing too much. It’s also a good way to put some cheer, joy and offensive humor into your day. Cheerio!





Flickr allows video posts!

12 04 2008

peeps test video on flickr And this is what I do with it… it’s not easy to embed, though. The code I grabbed showed up as a white space. I had to just grab the thumbnail and link to the video, which is the old way of doing things…

I like this feature though, in terms of my own personal use. It’s helpful for those times when you have good photos and video but the vids don’t stand on their own. YouTube, it’s not, and it’s not trying to be. (Here’s the other mini-peeps-production)

The story behind this video? It’s an outtake from Monty Peeps and the Holy Grail. I started working on it over my “spring break” in the PHX but didn’t do much with it. I filmed the parts up to approaching the cute bunny, but I haven’t finished filming the elements featuring the bloody battle.

The yellow Peep chick is the bunny, and the purple thing is actually a lavender-colored peep. I stuck a straw in its side to serve as a sword, and the paper stuck through the straw is a “shield.” It’s kind of a hack job, but I thought it was kind of amusing.

I tried to put it together with Windows Movie Maker on my old PC that remains at the parents’ house, but the stop-motion segments combined with the video were too much for it and the whole thing kept freezing up. I’m wondering if iMovie will handle this any better. (I’m now a Mac user; hell hath frozen over. I love my speedy, agile little MacBook. It even runs Second Life. I’ve never seen a PC that could do that, other than a Dell XPS upstairs at work.)





Sports things

11 04 2008

We had a little mini-JMMF-powwow in north Atlanta the other day and it was really nice. This of course was the day before the Augusta Nationals [EDIT: My slang term for the Masters tourney held at the Augusta National Golf Club], and we had some wonderful conversation…. the food was good, too. The whole evening really made me think. I got involved in all this because back in college, sports was a big issue and I worked for the college paper. Nowadays I’m more distanced from it; however, the recent torch relay protests demonstrated to me that sports is still at the forefront of current discussion.