Showing posts from 2008

Bruce Vs. the Uppity Pricks: Bruce Campbell LIVE at the NuArt, Saturday, December 20, 2008, Pt. I

Onstage at the NuArt Theatre in Los Angeles, Bruce Campbell referred to the New York Times movie critics, as a whole, as “uppity pricks.”

While I myself read the Times reviewers somewhat thoroughly each and every week, and particularly like A.O. Scott’s writing, I found it hard not to agree. Knowing full well that Campbell was referring to a recent nose-thumbing by someone on that paper towards Campbell’s latest directorial, producing and acting effort, the obsessively self-referential My Name is Bruce, I was pretty certain of the attitude that the review likely took.

Sure enough, returning home that evening and checking out the squat, barely five-paragraph long review from a few weeks back (which I somehow missed, and which therefore adds a touch of truth to my previous phrase “somewhat thoroughly”), I found an article titled “The Evil Dumb” and a statement from writer Stephen Holden which basically posits that My Name is Bruce, a low-budget meta-B-movie venture is the type of film tha…

Notes on Seattle, November 29, 2008, Pt. II - A Sonic Disappointment, A Visual Skullpoke

Anyone that knows me even slightly well understands how much music means to me. Those that know me pretty well are aware that I have an immense affection for Louie Louie (with comma or without) which gained massive prominence via the music scene in the Pacific Northwest in the 1960s, and that after collecting music most of my life, I now own and cherish a great many versions of the song. Those that know me extremely well know that I rave once in a while about a band from the Pacific Northwest called the Sonics, and that I would devour the souls of those that would come in between me and the music of the Sonics.

And so I find myself in the Experience Music Project, basically a shrine to Jimi Hendrix and the Seattle scene overall throughout the history of music, staring at what amounts to a "oh, yeah... there were these guys" plaque and a couple of album covers as the main testament to the fact that the Sonics even crawled out of the local area. Of course, they would say, spac…

Notes on Seattle, November 29, 2008, Pt. I - Robot Talking All Day Long

Mind wakes up at 4:30, and I can definitely tell the gin is still soaking my system. Didn't have a crazy amount of it last night, but it was more than Thanksgiving night -- Chris made my first G&T especially heavy on it, and my last drink I downed half of it in a slug instead of sipping, and it was right before bedtime. Slept better because of this, but still my unusual amount (and I say "unusual" because it contains the word "usual," meaning the amount sufficed for my own precious self, but would be "un-" for nearly everybody else in my realm of existence). I laid in bed for another hour though, trying to shut down the thought processes long enough to catch a bit of a doze, but it doesn't work, and I arise just after 5:30. Within minutes, I have popped open a giant bottle of Pellegrino to try and flood the gin out of my blood cells, and have started writing on the Maakie (that is my term of endearment for the MacBook Pro I have liberated from…

Notes on Seattle, November 28, 2008, Pt. III - My Enemies Now Have the Proof That They Need

Chris and Chelz tell me of a Lenin statue in Fremont, and I immediately hear them say "Lennon." In a town so filled with rock history, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if someone erected a statue to John Lennon, even if he had, as far as I know, nothing to do with Seattle, except perhaps in the overall influence he has laid upon the whole planet.

"No, not Lennon," Chris says. "Lenin. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin."

"Oh," I reply, rather bemused. "Fantastic. Everyone calls me a commie at work anyway. By all means... let's go!"

Fremont seems a rather cool place, with a barbershop that we pass holding a copy of Giant Robot in its magazine holder. And sure enough, while more weirdly unbalancing than cool, there is a monstrous 16-foot high Lenin statue standing oddly in front of a Mexican restaurant. Apparently saved from a mudhole in Czechoslovakia by a local carpenter who mortgaged his house to acquire it, Vladimir Lenin is a strange sig…

Notes on Seattle, November 28, 2008, Part II - The Path Includes Mole Sauce and Zombie Finger Puppets

While the intent straight upon leaving Fantagraphics was to get some food, after Chris and I wander around Georgetown before finding out Chelsea is already back in the car, we each declared that a restroom was to be called for immediately. We drive to the International District and stop at the Uwajimaya Market, not just for some easy bladder relief, but so that the Eel and I can look at the section of Japanese toys, hoping for some swell kaiju-related items. About a year back or so, I was taken on my first visit to a 99 Ranch Market store, a rather large Asian-based superstore which has several locations in our area. (Raw Meat and I stocked up on tasty and often smelly snacks, which we snuck into a showing of Satoshi Kon's Paprika.) Uwajimaya reminded me of a larger, more hopping version of 99 Ranch, and indeed, "larger" includes its own parking garage, a bank, numerous other services, a food court with about nine different specialty counters and an entire apartment com…

Notes on Seattle, November 28, 2008, Part I - The Eel & Chelz' Path to Enlightenment

One thing I forgot to mention yesterday: the relations did ply me with drink, as they did the same to themselves, though each to his/her own particular taste, and so I went to bed groggy Thanksgiving night from something else besides mere fatigue and the mythic (and silly) mega-dose of tryptophan. My brother Chris, who often goes by the self-given appellation "Eel," knows well of my predilection for the ol' gin and tonic, and when I arrived, I found that having such items on reserve coincided neatly with the fact that we would not be leaving the environs in any way for the evening. Such fortuity was not to be believed, but so it happened to be, and thus I did make way with a couple of rounds of my favorite spiritual mix.

Not surprisingly, given the way things tend to work for me, I woke up at my normal time Friday morning, or slightly before that "normal" time, really. And my head was fine. A little too much so it seemed, as I immediately began my usual course o…

Notes on Thanksgiving in Seattle, November 27, 2008 Pt. II

Chris met me at the airport in a new disguise to my eyes: a full beard jutted out from his face, and it came equipped with a mustache almost dandily curled upward. I told him he looked a bit like Doug Martsch from Built to Spill (not really the mustache though, just the beard combined with my brother's overall features), and Chris says that Martsch hasn't had a beard for a while. Such trivial blather works as a comfort saying between us, not as any form of code but just the way we converse. Unlike with many families or siblings separated by distance, there is no awkward "getting to know you again" stuff between Mark and Chris and I when we get back together again. I cannot speak for the other two, but I know that I am my most at ease around either of them, even more so than with Jen, and especially more so than with any of my quartet of parents (but "no disrespect though," as Jon Stewart would say in a mock Bronxian tone).

Within minutes, we are in Chris'…

Notes on Thanksgiving in Seattle, November 27, 2008 Pt. I

Left on a jet plane (please cue my favorite song by PP&M -- written by Mr. Denver -- from when I was five) at noon to see Chris and Chelsea for Thanksgiving dinner later in the afternoon. They told me previously they were extremely excited to cook their first attempt at a Turkey day soiree -- at least they seemed excited on the phone. I don't really care what the result is... seeing them again is the important thing. I have decided that beginning next year, I am going to try to make two trips a year to see both Mark and Chris. Mark is easier because he is so much closer, but Seattle is close enough to not make it a difficult undertaking. The trick in taking multiple trips is getting Dad and Joann to understand how important it is to me to see my brothers, both emotionally and artistically. I do want to get up and see the parentals once a year as well, but all of this needs to come with the understanding that the other parties need to make the attempt to come down and see us i…

Why I Am Heading Out of Town for Thanksgiving Day...

I thought Big G was done eating Steve on Halloween, but apparently it is a tradition in his family, and Steve's it seems, that extends across all holidays.

Just not safe at work sometimes, and I live pretty close to the office as well. Best to get out of town. Seattle, here I come!

The Bohemian Artifact Wing #2: Boog & Bear's Friday the 13th Marathon, Part 1

It started as what seemed like a joke to me: “Hey, we should watch all of the Friday the 13th films in a row, back to back, all the way through!”

A long-running joke, that is... The statement above would bounce back and forth between myself (who, in this particular section of the Pylon, will usually referred to by my Bohemian alias “Boogieman” or, most often, “Boog” – nobody in Alaska calls me “Rik” or “Rik Tod”, not even in formal settings… alas…) and my pal of long standing, Robear (again, known as Robert to the general populace, but every Bohemian goes mainly by nicknames, sometimes piles of them). I thought for a while that it was mainly one of those time-filling “we should do this” sort of statements that friends toss about while lounging about on a dull afternoon, but of which none of the parties are ever truly concerned of committing and following through. I had always considered the Friday the 13th statement to be along those lines. But Robear was actually deadly serious about…

Dylan Goes Select-Rik: Shuffle Mode, Friday Morning 11.21.08

Isn’t the whole point of shuffle mode that you get a decently mixed selection of the music on your iPod, regardless of how many songs you actually have on your iPod? I understand if you have an iPod Shuffle with only enough room for a few dozen tunes and you end up the same artists (assuming you have multiple songs from the same artist on your Shuffle) over and over again. But I have 16,000-plus tunes, and possibly about a thousand full albums, jammed onto Ymir (the name of my particular iPod). So you'd think that my little metal monster would have no problem throwing down clear lines of division between similar artists. 

But… well... apparently not.

As you can see on the list below, in the space of seven songs, I end up with two each from the Davies brothers and the Johns – F. and L., respectively – and the iPod goes on like it had done its job properly and all that. Wait a minute, Ymir… didn’t I hit shuffle mode? And please don’t use the excuse that it's because I have so man…

Dylan Goes Select-Rik: Shuffle Mode, Thursday Morning 11.20.08

Normally, the aural pathway on which I tread is paved solely with albums, and generally those of a single artist, but every once in a while, contrary to my nature, I need a little variety on the headphones. So it goes occasionally on my morning walks to work, on those rare days when I just can’t decide which album to give a listen. So I hit the ol’ Shuffle Mode, and roll with whatever hits the ears. Sure, sometimes I get a little shocked by what I hear: “Do I really have that on my iPod, let alone my collection?” or “What the hell is this???” When you have crammed over 16,000 songs onto an iPod (and it will get worse when I jump up to 160 gigs from a mere 80), you can often get lost in the mass of artists and albums. Especially when you drop on compilations or soundtracks, which you probably purchased for three or four songs at most, and you have never really become all that acquainted with the rest. Sometimes these surprises are grand, and sometimes they are a sign that you have a li…

Kir, Keeper of the Histories, presents - The Bohemian Artifact Wing #1: The Scribblings of the Nuncle

Know, O Polliwogs, that there once existed a time, long before you wasted away your own lives in misplaced worry and fruitless excess, from whence there sprang a race of beings known (somewhat ironically, in some cases) as the Bohemians. Clad in armor forged from the freezing winds of the remote Alaskan frontier, these Bohemians thrived in a time which, coincidentally, ran concurrently in the same general area as a certain recent vice-presidential loser. Whether their paths crossed hers at any given time is lost to the mists of time, and perhaps because of this, it was a time of youthful frivolity, though the blitheness of their manner was balanced overall with a passionate love and extraordinarily strong work ethic regarding the theatre. It was a time of staging fights in malls, skipping school in costume, and swiping towering piles of Pennysavers for no decent reason except to just do it. It was a time of hiding from people nicknamed Larry. It was a time of waving pots and pans at p…

"Their world crumbled. The cities exploded. A whirlwind of looting, a firestorm of fear. Men began to feed upon men..."

UPDATED TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2008 (See note at bottom of post*)

We should all wake up to a blue sky. Or at least the prospect of a blue sky dawning, should the sky happen to be dark with clouds on that day.

I thought the sky was just dark with clouds on Saturday.

I had looked out of our living room window on sporadic occasions throughout Saturday morning, and had just thought it was going to rain at some point. I noticed the wind was whipping up to enormous gusts here and there, and figured we were in for a crazy storm. Into the afternoon, with Jen arising for the day, we configured a plan to take the recycling out and then head to the Cinema City Theatres for a hopefully comedic double feature of Kevin Smith's Zack and Miri Make A Porno (you'll see no pussyfooting around that title here, pun intended) and Paul Rudd's Role Models. And then some light shopping for household necessities.

And then I stepped outside. There was an acrid taste to the air, and I noticed that the sid…