Showing posts from May, 2004

Rabbit, rabbit

Oh, most important album to be released in many a month, Wilco's A Ghost is Born, way to get put up on their official website for all to listen (to)!

I am a psycho linguist

I'm still slogging through Foucault's Pendulum, slogging being used affectionately here as I do like it. Scotter gave up after 40 pages or so which was a mistake, but it's definitely in the same vein as Gravity's Rainbow or Infinite Jest in that it starts off right in the middle of things (or, in the case of IJ, the end) and goes a bit before giving any sort of backstory. But once you get to the explanations of everything that's going on, Foucault's Pendulum is quite accessible and not considerably easier read than you'd think. There isn't a whole lot to it though.
Anyway, I bring this up now because I was reading this in the Times about what would seem to be a similar book (they compare it to The Name of the Rose, but they're all the same, I'm sure). I have no desire to read any more secret society/occult/mass conspiracy books right now, but what caught my eye was this: "The novel will make a debut at No. 6 on The Times best-seller list on …

Most of their free time is spent flying, but sometime they stab

Cicadas are a specialized breed of ninja.

On Williamsburg

In addition to seeing poor movies on Friday night, I also ventured to Williamsburg for dinner with folks. Now, this was my first time in
Williamsburg as a civilian (i.e. not as part of a Lubabvicher youth mission--"Excuse me, are you Jewish? Do you want to be?"), and I
don't know. I think the part we went to, around Bedford Ave (jeez, I was at the complete other
of Bedford today), was the nicer, more expensive portion, and it was pretty nice. And certainly less expensive than anything in
Brooklyn Heights. And there were girls, girls with piercings in places that didn't make them look too revolting--the girls with revolting
piercings probably inhabit points east.
But I would grow to hate the L train more than the F (which I really have no legimate reason for hating, as I never ever ride it), and it would fuck over my commute. So no Williamsburg. I think there are plenty of girls with piercings in Boerum Hill.
Oh, and if you happen to have $500k, that's what they'…

My Big Fat Greek Epic

Form posted this is the comments to Banana's review and I am hereby elevating it to an actual entry. Thanks, Dave!
Sharon wanted me to take her to see Troy for her Birthday/Graduation present, and she made me promise not to read Anna's review until we went. But last night I saw the movie and this morning, I read the review, so now I post without regret. This movie pissed me off. Not so much that I would sit in my war tent and sulk. But enough to tie the DVD to the back of my car and drag it around my house seven times. If Wolfgang Peterson came to my house to ask for it back, I wouldn't allow the funeral games to be held for it.
Peterson is a great director, and I say that because he directed "Das Boot," the greatest submarine movie of all time. At the end of it, I actually felt bad for the German soldiers. And as we know, the "go to" villain in this age of moral relativism is the Nazis. You can hate them without having to apologize to anyone, but Peterse…

Coffee & Cigarettes & Chatter

I saw Coffee & Cigarettes last night. I knew it wasn't particularly well-reviewed (and it won't be here), but I was
kind of excited by the cast. And the director directed Ghost Dog, which I never actually saw but had come close to seeing at several points in my life, so this was atoning for that. Or something.
Coffee & Cigarettes isn't a movie; it's a bunch of 6-10 minute scenes with famous and not-so-famous people talking and sometimes not-talking (though usually talking), ostensibly linked together by certain thematic and visual elements (c.f. coffee and cigarettes). Now, maybe three of the dozen or so scenes were genuinely entertaining, but I'm not even going to mention which on the off chance that someone out there might be intrigued and see the movie just for them. Don't do that. Even your typical artsy Sunshine Cinema crowd was walking out of the theater bitching about the movie.
The only bright point was the air conditioning, which was in full effec…


Oh, man... updates to follow.

Irreverence dependence

I feel so out of sorts on night when The Daily Show is a repeat. That's probably not healthy.

Dave Form, reporting

A news flash from Columbia's 250th Commencement ceremonies:

During President Lee Bollinger's commencement address, he was interrupted by an animal rights protestor, who rushed to the podium, took control of the mic, and proceeded to inform the parents of Columbia University's needless torture of animals. Being the advocate of free speech that he is, Bollinger allowed the man to continue. Security was no where to be found. In fact none of the people sitting around Bollinger did anything, until Columbia Trustee and NBA Commissioner David Stern got up and wrestled the man away. Does that mean that Stern is suspended for the next two graduations for leaving the bench during a brawl?

No animals nor Jeff Van Gundys were hurt during the incident.

A Man, a Clan, the Banal: Troy

Bananabread, who clearly knows from epics, has written a review of Troy in what appears to be the traditional 24 chapter format. Being the trusted staff writer that she is I am posting this without having read it, but I look forward to reading it just as soon as it goes up, and you should as well!

I think I’ve figured out what went wrong with Troy. Writer David Benioff and director Wolfgang Petersen probably had the same experience everyone has with the Iliad. You read halfway through, realize you’ll never finish in time for Lit Hum, say, “fuck it” and dash off to class to find out the ending from someone who’s done the reading, preferably Julie Epstein. Benioff and Petersen probably figured they’d read enough to fake a little discussion, but come October, they cajoled their professor into letting them make a movie instead of taking their midterm. When they got to the parts they’d skipped, they copied some key passages into the script verbatim and filled in what they think Achilles…

I need some celebrity interviews

From a New York Timesinterview:
SENIOR Now that "Fawlty Towers" is back in our living rooms on BBC America, I'm curious: what do you think of that network's big hit, "The Office"?
CLEESE I think it's very, very good.
SENIOR Do you think an American adaptation could be successful?
CLEESE I doubt it. I've seen an enormous number of English shows adapted for America. They've three times tried to adapt "Fawlty Towers," and each time it was very poor. They always decided they needed to change it. The second time, they wrote the character of Basil Fawlty out of the series.

I'd have to agree with him about an American version of The Office. Oh, and there's a special Christmas Episode of The Office that was shown on the BBC but not included on the DVDs. It's floating around on the Internet though. I haven't watched it yet.
I feel very good about myself because my website is currently more entertaining that John Cleese's. We'l…

Information on Gluten-free Products

(In honour of our new favourite food allergy! I took this from a celiac newsletter which was kindly forwarded on to me.)
We want patients with celiac disease to be aware of the variety of gluten-free grains that are available. In previous news letters we have provided information on Montina, Teff, Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat and Amaranth.
We would like to update you about another gluten-free product, a bean, Chickpea.
These cute little legumes are sometimes called garbanzo beans, ceci beans or even Egyptian peas. What ever you decide to call these tasty beans they offer a bounty of nutrients.
Chick peas are an excellent source of protein, calcium, phosphorus and iron. In addition they provide needed fiber to the gluten-free diet. The chick pea is usually light in color.
The flavor is a mild, nutty taste similar to chestnuts.
The chick pea is also very versatile. The bean can be used as a side dish, in salads, or soups. It can also be used in many types of main dishes such as casseroles,…

I believe a guest movie review is forthcoming

In what could only be described as the telos of the gratuitous product placement in movies trend, I hear that the ship-catalogue sections of the Illiad have been replaced in Troy by a fawning description of the new 2005 line of Toyotas.


Honestly, I don't know who started all this nonsense about Rumsfeld resigning. The man's been in Iraq for, like, two days now, going around and looking at stuff, and lord knows that's the most dangerous and fucked up place in the world. We need more displays of bravery like that from Washington.

The batball

The New Yorker doesn't seem to have Ben McGrath's piece on knuckleballers online, but if you have the 17 May issue, give it a read. Chances are you have what it takes to be a major league pitcher--who knew?

Ad hoc contestry

I'm listening to Automatic for the People right now because it's awesome. Feel free to post comments detailing why or why not you are or are not (any permutation thereof) listening to Automatic for the People right now. And then I guess we'll judge those comments and the winner will be rewarded, but handsomely.

A highly-placed executive in a former Spectator administrations says...

Did I ever link to Isolde's article on the Spec office? I don't think so. All that stuff was supposed to be off the record... damn left-wing media.
Unfortunately, neither the picture of the dead bat nor the guide to Spec-cest are present in the web edition.

Virtual Monday Night

Ryan, Dave and I had a mini Monday night down by NYU, which is Dave's current University in the City of New York. I don't think there was
a quorum, but it was sweet nonetheless. I miss Monday nights.
I've had some West End pictures sitting around on my hard drive for many, many years now--my guess is that they're of the first
Monday in September, 1999. Lord knows who even had a digital camera back then. Anyway, heretheyallare (that's four
links). I used to think it was cool to have my beard and my hair the same length. Much love to everyone in them, maybe even Scotto.
Probably not Ben.

Must see TV

I wrote this a long time ago for Specwords, but the Friends and Frasier finales brought it to mind--the title is
the best part. And I'd like to start writing about fatalism, which was one of my original intentions when I started this blog. So

Being a votary of fatalism, it was kind of cool to hear some mention of it on this Sunday's season premiere of Six Feet Under. As was asked, do you really think your consciousness affects sub-atomic particles?
This being HBO, maybe the theme will go somewhere this season, which I don't think would ever happen on current network TV. Friends would lose a lot of its popular appeal without the illusion of free will--it's depressing to think that all fate has in store for the bunch of 30 years olds is wasting their days at a coffee shop (doing so by choice is more palatable, somehow). And Fraiser recommending Stoicism as the answer to all his radio callers' problems wouldn't go over well, either.
Who knows if fatalism will…

It'sa-me, Mario!

I'm going to have to tread lightly here as there are some egos involved, but it was an interesting pool match last night between Erin Beth, Scotter, and me. Let's just say we "tied" two games to one to one. And I'm not going to mention who had the two games.

Philosophical discourse

Overheard in the office: "I missed Survivor last night but I heard Tom was kicked off. Do you think that was just?"

Because you had to watch

Well, they answered the question that's been on everyone's mind since they announced Friends was ending: Rachel's breasts are 32Cs. One would assume that Jennifer Aniston's breasts are also 32Cs, but then again maybe she's just acting.

Having fun, getting preggers

My flatmate was just commenting how many pregnant people (women, mostly) he's seen around recently, and I think there might be something to that. If you see someone on the street who's pregnant, ask her what's up with that?


I was doing my laundrying a bit ago, and when I took my whites out of the dryer I discovered two black socks in with all the undershirts and whatnot. And you know what? Nothing happend to the white stuff. I've been lied to all these years about separating colours. Just like they lie about the dangers of drink driving. Muthafuckas.

Like me, they have a blog

Rich is apparently going to start his blog up again, and we're all lucky to be able to read it for free as he is a professional writer. So ya'll are supposed to go there are post comments or somesuch.
D. Sloane segued from Imperial Pint to Steak Cheval, and the staff of 34 wishes him all the best with his new venue.

So many mazel-ness!

Since 34 could, occassionally, I guess, be construed as a legitimate source of information, or at least a source of legitimate
information, Dave has asked me to let it be known that he and Sharon are going to be renting an apartment on Lex & 97th. It is close to
the train, their shul, a gym, and more importantly (to me), the best donuts in the city.
The problem with the apartment building is that the front doors are electronic, so Dave and Sharon can't, like, go inside on Shabbos.
Because G-d doesn't want them to. Unless
someone opens the door for them. So sign up in the Comments section for rotating Shabbos
doorman duty. The pay isn't good, but at least you get to
break one of the Ten Commandments.


I finished Positively 5th Street, sort of, in that I skipped the last 40 pages or so--everything after the tournament ends. And I never do that. But I think I got all the poker advice, which really was quite helpful, and didn't care too much about the murder aspect of the story. So that book gets a good, with a possible elevation to good if the poker advice actually pays off and I start winning some games. Which we played on Friday and I didn't.
Next up is Foucault's Pendulum, which Scotter and I were planning on reading at the same time, but I don't know what his deal is. I'm planning on liking it. If nothing else, it's a lot more sophisticated than walking around with The Da Vinci Code.


If I visit the Friendster gallery page and it can't find anyone, does that mean that the 55,034 people I'm connected to don't exist
anymore? I hope Friendster's programmers understand the type of power they wield. If I just suddently lost 2752-score faxes, there'd be
bloody hell to pay.

Like Pilate, I have a blog

The ghetto-ass machine that 34 used to live on in the Spec office has proved much too ghetto-ass for anyone's good, so I've blog-segued yet again. This time it's to a machine sitting in my roommate's room. It's a Sun box castoff from Equities at Goldman Sachs. Props to Josh for hooking me up, yo.
So 34 is once more. I appreciate the concerned cards and letters (really!).

And I have better pocket presence, too