Sunday, August 31, 2008

the fuccons

(link to YouTube)

My friend Gina introduced me to the fabulous world of The Fuccons, an insane Japanese program staring MANNEQUINS and created by someone that I can only imagine a) has done/does a lot of drugs, b) is an only child, therefore developed a knack for entertaining himself, c) took "we're going to build this dream together" by Starship to heart. Maybe the existence of this show is only new to me, and if that is the case I'm wondering how I missed it when I was in Japan, and why cruel world, why I did.

Mikey is a tragic but sweet little block of doe eyed wood. Mom and Dad are chipper, off their rocker, sometimes overtly sexual. Emily is a wishy-washy minx. And everyone else is deranged and/or cruel. I think my favorites are the twins; their bratty banter is impressive.

Fuccons Official Site [ ]
Mannequin "Nothing's Going to Stop Us Now" [ YouTube ]
Lady Beware Trailer [ Video Detective ]
Mannequin Wigs [ ]
Mannequin History [ ]

crazy 4 cult

Crazy For Cult is an annual event in which artists reinterpret cult films. The poster above is from last year. I'm not quite sure if it's a throw back to anything in particular but I love it. More information about the print and the artist is available here.

The real treat is the work done for this years' by Kirk Demaris. He has managed to capture the crude style and sometimes janky composition that is found in painted family portraits. He has lovingly recreated two tragic tribes above (sorry about your teeth kid) and below (why the long face Doc and the little boy that lives in your mouth). What I want to know is, where do all of the actual movie props go? You know the portraits you see on the wall in the background. Please tell me they do not get thrown away. I know someone that would give them a good home. Me.

fingertip 911

If you suffer from weak fingers and strengthening exercises aren't cutting it, this is the product for you. In all seriousness I have struggled with pulling a book out of a tightly packed shelf only to break off nails that I don't even really have. It can be painful. Furthermore the battle manages to delay my mind from the entertainment and knowledge it so desperately needs. What I could have done with those valuable seconds that were lost in the fight!

As far as I know this site is the only place to find it. If you read Japanese (who doesn't?) you're set.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

bravo bots

I readily admit that as far as the 12 steps go my biggest misstep is attributed to my relationship with the boob tube. It's on a lot. I will say that much of the time (as if this makes it ok) I'm doing other things when it's on. However when I am deliberate in my show selections and paying attention the channel is often tuned in to Bravo. I'm slowly realizing that a prerequisite for getting or hosting your own show must be how many robotic elements you possess, as it appears to me that many a member of the reality show team are a little short on emotion and are one with Styx.

I have created a short list of Bravo personalities. There are two ranking scales-- botiness and heart. My feeling is sometimes, if exhibiting enough compassion, you can balance out your circuits with some love.

Oh, Jackie. You kind of act like you have a stick up your butt, but I attribute a lot of your personality, or lack thereof, to the immobilized forehead and stifled smile. Your tears tell the true story.

King Robot, but the best robot ever. The Tin Man would be jealous. This man cares and has the vocabulary to back it up.

Does playing a stripper grant you the right to host a dance contest show? I guess. This thing called the "i-n-t-e-r-n-e-t" states that she was in Swan Lake as a child. That must be it. Nomi, I mean Elizabeth, gets through her lines with all the art of a medicated newscaster and an equally fatigued emotional pretense.

Bless him, he's a text book jerk with no filter or sense of appropriateness; I truly think he cares but doesn't know how to show it. He's kind of like a 15 yr old robot trapped in a 40 yr old robot, that never learned the words tenderness or subtly.

She's harmless and a little bit devoid of pep or umph, but it seems like she might be sweet. Maybe she has tricked me with her modeling ways. It's all sort of a guess.

Boy oh boy oh boy oh boy. I think he is the guy that A.I. was based on, but WAY less endearing. Like not at all. Shallow, a kiss ass, and so unbelievably, painfully rigid and douchey he makes me want to punch the T.V. or break something. When he grins I can hear the gears struggling. I almost feel bad for him. I can relate to shy; I can relate to trying to overcome a painful social situation, BUT he's completely unaware of himself. I sincerely believe he is convinced he's the most successful charming man boy around. HE REALLY IS A ROBOT, I swear it. I graciously give him half a heart for feigning interest in forging a better relationship with his father.

Did I just add to the list of reasons I'm going to hell? I promise, I'm a nice person. I just get riled up by bad robots.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

polaroids and moving pictures

I got to take a couple of Polaroids for a local film. They will serve as props for one of the lead characters. I know... it's not super stardom or anything, but it was a lot of fun. I pretty much savor anything that gives me an opportunity to take pictures. In other words, name the time and place and I'm there. You're doing me a favor when I do you a favor.

um... awkward

(link to Sexy People)

Never has a site deserved the "photo magic" label more than this. I know that web collections of tragically funny and accidentally campy pictures is nothing new, but it somehow never really gets old either. Maybe this all goes back to the statement I repeatedly make about myself, that somewhere along the way I have lost my soul. Oh, well, at least I'm laughing. And yes, I do accept my impending fate. The list is already long, and now I can probably add that I will be blessed with toothless cross-eyed offspring with bad hair wearing acid washed jeans.

The simple fact that the above picture was featured on a site called "Sexy People" makes this wrong. But really, what's worse/better is the photo itself. My mind and my tongue are completely tied and I'm not sure whether to laugh or cringe. So I'll just enthusiastically say "bah!". Sort of sums it up.

I strongly urge you to spend some time taking a look at the site. Depending on what side of memory lane you are on, you'll either cackle or cry.

magnum p.i.llow

How wonderful! Aching to play dress up with someone but no-one is available? Problem solved. Pluses: a variety of moutaches to choose from, can't sass you, and you can cuddle when it's over. Minus: pillow does not solve crimes. I would buy this if I felt certain my dogs wouldn't tear his face up and eat his staches. You can purchase it here for $60.

Monday, August 25, 2008

riding through the storm

Yesterday was the third annual Summer Extrav-o-ganza, a boat party on the lake put on by Austinist, Party Ends, and Green Potato Ventures (among others). Party barge... check, beer o'plenty... check, burgers... check, water noodles... check, sunshine... doh.

Yep, the weather did not quite cooperate. In fact I was having flashbacks to The Perfect Storm for a moment. Alright, so we weren't in the middle of the ocean, or deep sea fishing, and George Clooney was not there, but it was a little rough looking for a minute, plus I sometimes have a flair for over dramatizing.

Although the clouds never entirely passed the rain did subside which was a cue for the swimming, dancing, and music makin' to begin. In some ways the event was a little like opposite day when compared to last year's, or like a kinder, gentler version... a little less rowdy and few traces of sunburn. This should not be confused for less fun however. White Denim put on a great performance, the crowd was friendly, and the general vibe was relaxed. Mother Nature was foiled if she was trying to rain (sorry) on our parade.

paramount brows

On Saturday I went to the Paramount for an afternoon showing of Hitchcock's classic (and arguably best) film Vertigo. It doesn't take much for me to be excited when it comes to seeing a Hitchcock movie, but on the big screen... AND a 70mm restored print. I was not missing this. I had seen it before but this viewing certainly tops the TCM or DVD version. 1950's San Francisco as the backdrop, rich colors (the red walls of Ernie's, the flower shop, the green of the hotel neon), wonderful costume design, Barbara "Miss Elie" Bel Geddes' comedic genius, Jimmy Stewart's perfected obsession, Kim Novak's eyebrows... wait. OK, actually those waxy looking boomerangs on her forehead were the negative, or I should say distraction.

I fully realize that trends change and certainly that the makeup over the last 50 years has experienced several shifts in terms of what is deemed enhancing. This seems a little... um, bold. But what do I know? Let's just say I won't be trying this look out. At least until I'm 70 (coupled with a boa and lots of jewelry perhaps).

It was really great to watch this movie with a crowd. There was unanimous laughter during scenes that before just struck me as chuckle worthy, but in this new environment were, yes pretty darn funny. Some of Jimmy Stewart's lines were priceless, particularly when in make-over overdrive. When "suggesting" Kim Novak's Judy change her hair: "Judy, please, it can't matter to you!". He's so intuitive; women generally like to be told how to look, especially when meant to resemble a dead ex.

The Paramount's commitment to cinema, in it's choices and presentation, is unmatched. The Summer Series continues through September. I may need to mark my calendar for Anatomy of a Murder and Rear Window.


I almost forgot to post this picture. I saw this fabulous (inexplicable but brilliant) pig-mobile on my walk back to the car. I think the lady that owns it also owns a pot belly pig. She might like pigs. Just a hunch. There a few more pictures here (look towards the bottom of the set).

Saturday, August 23, 2008

forest creatures

Last night marked the return of The Laughing, debuting their new EP Jungle put out by Artifact Workshop, the joint venture of Erik Horn and John Gross. The album was not the only debut, as the band line-up welcomed Sean Neesley on bass and Ryan Lawless on synth (with longstanding members Logan Middleton and Grant Van Amburgh still in tow shaking their money makers). The group's set featured a mix of fresh material as well as songs from the previous album Tiger Cry. Sweaty, loud, and rockin', their tribal spirit (sort of like Teen Spirit but muskier and more dangerous) was successfully on display.

A real standout to the release party was the unique packaging concept for the CD jackets. Upon Artifact Workshop's conception the label declared that one of their aims would be to incorporate and release dynamic one of a kind packing, rounding out and extending the musical experience. During the show artist Bryan Keplesky painted a large mural that later would be disassembled, with pieces used as individual covers. So not only did the crowd have an opportunity to get a solely original CD (for a measly $3!), but they were able to witness the birth of their memento. I doubt few can say that about most, if not all, of their present music collection (sans Miley Cyrus I'm sure). All told the evening was full of promises made good, all made possible by a wonderful collaborative effort.

Friday, August 22, 2008

captured me

My friend Will Elliott recently did an illustrated rendering of me, along with some other folks. I didn't give him much to work with, as my facial expressions generally give the impression that I took a dump in my pants or I hang my mouth wide open in an attempt at a smile (looking much like a butterfly catcher), but I really like this. He's a super talented artist with a website debuting soon. Keep an eye out for, which will feature work from him and his partners in crime.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

tropical storm offensive

As you may have heard Tropic Thunder has elicited some strong opposing opinions from disability advocacy groups, notably for the depiction of mental retardation. Well I saw the movie yesterday and I think a few more groups need to add their voices to the mix. I mean, really, who does Ben Stiller think he is. Comedy, blatant joking, and poking fun at your own industry's ineptitude is just not funny. So I expect we have not heard the last of the uprising.

POTENTIAL RETALIATIONS (if you haven't seen the movie you might want to hold your horses here or wait for The New York Times headlines which I'm sure are only a matter of time):

1) The African American community-- hello... Soul Man; it's still too soon for black face.

2) Amputees-- for featuring a character with claw hands, then exposing the claw hands to be fraudulent; clearly mocking the disabled community.

3) WWF (World Wildlife Fund)-- for depicting Pandacide

4) Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese & Oliver Stone-- for stealing serious scenes and spoofing them for purely laugh inducing gains

5) Vietnam Vets-- war is not funny; there has never been a comedic war movie before in the history of time and it should be left that way.

6) Rosie O'Donnell-- for Jack Black looking too much like her, further perpetuating the idea that lesbians look manly

7) Hairy men-- Tom Cruise is a poser; actors should not ever pretend to be something they are not. Clearly he is mocking the follicly blessed.

8) Drug addicts-- "Jonesing" is more unfunny business; drugs kill. Showing drugs in film also makes it seem ok for kids to do drugs and it teases the addicts.

9) Pink Smoke-- certainly better utilized in an array of Prince concerts

10) Energy Drinks-- who invited this promotional part-time go-go-go juice to the club. You're either committed or you're not.

11) Gay men-- there is nothing wrong with being gay; why does Alpa Chino not immediately shout from the rooftops that he loves Lance Bass. Hiding who you are in fictitious comedy is not funny.

12) C. Thomas (Soul Man) Howell-- for being bested by Downey

13) Rae Dawn Chong-- for not being cast in what could have been her comeback

14) Tivo-- for abuse and destruction of a perfectly good device

15) Jelly beans-- for not truly being jelly beans, rather an addictive narcotic. Drugs still aren't funny. Jelly beans are, but not when doubling as drugs.

16) Heroin dealers-- for heroin being masked as jelly beans; customers will expect them now.

17) Denture wearers-- it's not funny to have missing teeth; clearly Stiller's lack of consideration displays prejudice against the toothless.

18) Dramas-- nothing should ever be funny or an attempt at humor; tears, bleeding hearts, raw emotions only. Comedies mock everything dramas stand for, that life is serious and only serious.

19) Star Trek-- for getting a mere 5 seconds of screen time. William Shatner should have made an appearance just 'cause. He's serious.

20) Thunder-- did you hear any thunder? I didn't hear any thunder.

Laughter and being able to decipher comedy vs. condemnation is for the heartless. These are all very serious matters. Who's with me?

(If you can't tell how firmly my tongue is planted in my cheek, don't even bother seeing this movie)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

no. thank you!

Are canvas bags supposed to be trendy? I really have no idea. I think I heard that somewhere. Frankly I don't care. When function surpasses fleeting fad, the trend aspect doesn't even matter. If anything it gives me strength to look at myself in the mirror and not be ashamed of any bandwagon tendencies I may have.

I really like this bag. You can buy it here. Now they just need to make a companion piece that sports a friendly smiley face.

flickr color: ulf

Pretty, pretty. I love this picture. Shades of Punch Drunk Love.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

bad words

What possibly happens when a Golden Book author goes mad or becomes terribly resentful of children, spelling, animals, and the state of the world.

Monday, August 18, 2008

swimming in the middle of the night

Yesterday was a day for swimming... sort of. In a weird inescapable string of coincidences, bathing beauties jutted their way into my consciousness. I did purposely search Ebay for the elusive Weeki Wachee view master reels I've been wanting forever. I found some, but I'm sure like past searches I will forget in a day that I have them on my watch list. All I need is a "buy it now" option and the justification to go through with the purchase.

Then in the middle of the night I woke up from one of my frequently occurring allergy fits. I turned on the TV until the Claritin kicked in. On one channel Olympic synchronized swimming. On another channel a documentary about the great MGM musicals of the past. Typically I am drawn to neither. I kinda loathe musicals and have never bothered to give the swimming much attention. Maybe I was delirious from lack of oxygen due to the whole I can only breathe through one nostril thing (and barely that) or I was still half asleep, but I found both to be more entertaining than I thought. The documentary gave special attention to the films of Esther Williams. She was cute as a button and I'd have to be color blind not to get excited by the fantasy like hues.

The Olympians scared me a little with their clown mask "energy faces" but that was quickly replaced by awe. I am pretty much a dog paddler or sitting "swimmer" so of course I am dazzled by people that can flip, kick around, and spin under and in water AND at the same time as someone else doing the exact same thing AND make it look good. Maybe someday I can be a bathing beauty vs. the bathing blob. In the mean time I will continue my search for inspiration via Ebay and NBC.

More Weeki pictures [ The Owls Go Flickr Profile ]
Esther Williams Swimwear Collection [ ]
Ralph the Swimming Pig [ Edwards Aquifer ]

understanding how to stop

My friend Skipper told me about this video and it's HIlarious, mainly because I can imagine such a "meeting of the minds" happening. Nothing is sacred or too functional in this day and age. Instead of "we can rebuild it", "we MUST rebuild it."


(via thresca)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

cheating on polaroid

I have a Fuji Instax (crazy looking/bulky) camera that I don't use very often. Mainly this is because I don't know where to get the film locally so I try very hard to use what I have sparingly. But I decided to bust it out tonight. I kinda like it. I'm pretty partial to the square format of Polaroid but I also like the really wide, almost Cinemascope look of this film. The color tones are also a little deeper and less washed out when compared to its instant cousin. Time to get busy on Ebay.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

hop on my guilt train

Another part of "Dear Me", I bring the guilt train. You can't really see it, but the back of the picture has a slip of paper that you can slide through the cut out window. Again, I'm not sure what that is called, but it's another flourish I remember from activity books of my childhood. For a closer look at each you can go to my Flickr. I know this is not super ingenious, but it was super enjoyable to play with and make.

Oh, and thanks stranger for letting me take your picture.

new hope-ish?

A few months ago Polaroid announced that they are producing a new product which is a portable printer, as seen above. Using zero-ink technology (Zink), the printer is a handheld cordless/computer free device that works with a digital camera or phone and prints 2 x 3 images. In a possible effort to ease the blow of the death of the instant camera it seems Polaroid is planning on taking the next step. Currently they are working on a camera and printer in one which would print 4 x 3 images.

You know, I get it. Times are a changing. Digital is king. Blah, blah, blah. I think it's a valiant effort on their part too, and who knows, I might warm up to it or get suckered by the allure of a snazzy new toy. But it feels heartless, and to me the magic of Polaroid is not convenience. What I love and will miss is the unsophistication, the slight grain, the imperfections, the screeching sound as it comes out of the camera, and the fact that each image is solely unique and one of a kind. Digital is the opposite of everything the conventional Polaroid camera represents. So, close but no cigar. I say this in vain, but trying leaving well enough alone.

Friday, August 15, 2008

try some s

I think had way too much fun working on this. Eyelets are my new obsession, and I can't believe that statement just came out of my mouth. I was a little reluctant to cut up a Polaroid; something about it just seemed really wrong, but I ended up going for it. The teeny tiny vinyl letters were somewhat annoying and I felt like an old woman working in a sweat shop by the time I was done, but sometimes there is pain in pleasure. I'm not sure what you call the device but I was going for a children's book effect. You know... the circle that spins and through a window different words or pictures are revealed. This is part of my "Dear Me" series. I can take a whirl and try out an s. Yes, that's right. My day hinges on what the Polaroid prompts. OK, not really but the range in my actions truly is sometimes that limited.

For a closer look at each you can go to my Flickr.

if a cowboy falls in the woods

What a difference a few decades and an ocean make. The first image above is part of a new ad campaign in France for Wrangler jeans. Based on some internet reading I guess there aren't many fans of the direction this campaign has taken, citing that it's exploitive, demeaning and glamorizes murder (more here to get a better idea). OK, sure, I see that, I suppose. I don't generally get bent out of shape when it comes to advertising though. It's advertising... in most cases it's dumb (slick, soulless, manipulative, and based on the main assumption humans need to be told what they want), and when it does actually prompt you to buy something, well then they've done their job and we're the dopes. Maybe there is something wrong with me for not getting riled up; maybe my heart is black for not caring about the fragility and vulnerability of mankind when it comes to the threat of denim pushers of the world.

My reaction is better described as befuddled. When I think Wrangler I don't think tall dirty models emoting in European woods. Wrangler... wrangle... cowboy... even kitsch. They're high waisted, ill fitting, often ironed, classic Texas jeans. And that's it. Thoughts finished.

and the doctor said

Doctors are supposed to have bad handwriting right? Anyway, the gist of this says "take better care of yourself using common sense."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

secondhand walls

(if photos aren't viewable in reader click here)

Any time I'm set to move to a new place the decorating juices start flowing. The urge is actually always looming in the shadows but it is rejuvenated when faced with a new palette. I love buying furniture but I've come to grips with the fact that if I get anything else I might need to seek out some sort of treatment. I am then left with the accessories, which there is always room for (and costs WAY less). I don't know that I will be adding wallpaper to my house anytime soon as it may induce seizures, but it's one of my favorite things to look at... vintage wallpaper mind you-- nutso graphics and patterns meet crazy colors. These are my top eye candy picks from Seconhand Rose.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

flickr color: ricohmatic

Fun and kitschy polaroids from Benjamin Long.

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nighttime challenge

"Nighttime" is one of the current JPG themes. Voting for Issue 19 ends in 48 days. You can vote for my submission by following this link.

happy birthday alfie

Happy Birthday, one of my favorite directors ever, wherever you are. I'm sure you're hanging out with some misunderstood blonde bombshells swapping stories with Jimmy Stewart. Mr. Alfred Hitchcock would have turned 109 years old today. Hitchcock passed away all the way back in 1980.

4 Hitchcock Secrets [ Mental Floss ]
The Birds Barbie Doll [ Entertainment Earth ]
Hitchcock Filmography [ IMBD ]
Hitchcock Posters [ Vintage Movie Memorabilia ]
Hitchcock Quotes [ Quotations Page ]

wyeth hansen

[ Wyeth Hansen ]
[ Labour ]

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

elephants are good

1. Erin Roddy 2. d u m m y 3. & 4. esoule 5. & 6. Super* Junk 7. nanaCompany 8. Eatliver 9. Myla Kent 10. Howard Penn Photo 11. snailbooty 12. Heaven's Gate (John)

Very, very good. I really could go on and on. Next step, making the tattoo version come to fruition.

Elephant Pillow [ Design Public ]
Painting Elephant (again) [ You Tube ]
Eames Elephants [ Eames Gallery ]
Elephant Tea Towel [ PataPri Etsy ]

breakfast of champs

I think it's safe to say that Olympic fever has stricken me. What better way to continue the theme than to highlight the breakfast that makes victory possible. Maybe if I had opened my heart to this magical cereal I'd be in Beijing right now. It's a theory.

Wheaties History [ ]
Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions [ Wikipedia ]
Sausage [ ]
Personalized Wheaties Box [ ]
The Breakfast Club Trailer [ ]

more olympic postage

I wasn't feeling good for most of the day. So as is sometimes the case when stationed at home but bored, I went back to my nostalgia vaults and got reacquainted with my scanner. After finding my '84 Olympic stamps I figured I'd go back for a second look. Roundup #2 brings the rest of my lot. Some I like better than others. Overall though I'm sort of digging this hobby and may actively revisit it.

In related news... I watched some of the events tonight.

Sasha Artemev on the pommel horse gave me goose bumps [ Washington Post ]
This commercial is the new "reach out and touch someone" and makes me teary [ You Tube ]

Conclusion... I am just the gal propaganda loving corporate America must be looking for. OR... I have a heart.

Monday, August 11, 2008

needless things with a sense of humor

Inventive, boastful and sometimes wonderfully inappropriate Atypyk has an endless supply of products no-one needs but if embraced might make life more enjoyable, or at the minimum provoke an interesting two minute conversation with house guests, co-workers and/or friends. Not meant for those that take themselves too seriously, you will find such novelties as a crucifix doorstop, chocolate poop and a handkerchief with a pre-made breakup letter written on it (smart or offensive?).

And for no reason that I can figure they also have a section of their site devoted to PEZ that they have lovingly transformed. As a dispenser junkie and mildly strange person I appreciate their twisted take on this iconic toy.

[ Atypyk home ]
[ Atypyk shop ]

fly to me!

Japan's Superheadz and Powershovel is about to release this twin-lens reflex toy camera called Blackbird, Fly (or BBF). Modeled after traditional TLR's in appearance, this camera does not however require medium format film, rather takes 35mm. That's pretty much all I know about it... oh, and that I want one.

Below is a quick video overview.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

flickr color: elif sanem karakoc

And here's some of her lovely divinely muted color photography, which I equally love. Titles are "3-D Rainbow" and "Ideal".