Archive for January, 2009


five things. 1.30.09

The first three additions to this week’s five things are related to new music. I had gone quite a while without any new music in my life; neither the “artists I’d never listened to” type of new music, nor the “new album from an artist who is already a favorite” type has recently graced my life. Gladly, that changed over the last two weeks with the introduction of three new albums to my playlist.

1. Merriweather Post Pavilion – The Animal Collective

Merriweather Post PavilionFrom the first category, that of artists I haven’t really listened to before, I’ve really been enjoying the new CD by The Animal Collective. They’re one of those bands I kept meaning to check out, but the list is so long it is hard to really get to most of the bands on the list. Thus far, I really do enjoy the newest CD, which apparently (according to Brian) is already getting buzz as the best album of the year. That’s right, in January.

Thus far, it is one of those CDs that I enjoy a bit more on each hearing. I find myself at a loss to really describe the music. Perhaps this is because they are hard to describe, it could be the fact that I am starving right now and it is starting to cloud my brain. Alas, either way I’ll just have to leave you with the fact that I do enjoy the CD quite a bit.


2. Get Guilty – AC Newman

The second new CD I’ve been listening to quite a bit lately is by New Pornographers frontman AC Get GuiltyNewman. His second solo effort, it is the first that I’ve been exposed to. Since the New Pornographers are on the same list I mentioned earlier, that of bands I need to check out some time, I can’t offer you a comparison between Newman’s solo stuff, and that of the band’s work.

What I can say is that the CD is a great listen, the kind I can put on repeat and listen to over and over again, which is rare for me. The CD is made up of strong, smart, tight songwriting, both from a musical and lyrical standpoint.

My enjoyment of it will certainly get me to emusic to download his earlier solo stuff, and it will move The New Pornographers to the top of said ‘bands I need to listen to’ list.


3. Noble Beast – Andrew Bird

Noble BeastFinally, as far as new music is concerned, I’ve been listening to Andrew Bird’s newest release. What can I say aside from the fact that I love Andrew Bird. To me, his music is at once silly and serious, joyful and melancholy, not to mention fun and beautiful… not that those are contradictory like the others seem to be. Also, let’s not forget that Andrew Bird is, like, the greatest whistler ever.

Noble Beast finds Andrew at the top of his game, and I highly, highly, highly recommend it.


4. Movies With Friends

I add this because it occurred to me yesterday how much more enjoyable it is to watch movies when you have friends over.

Our friends Austin and Danielle came over yesterday to watch Wanted with us. The movie ranged from completely lame to “this scene should be really cool but it is only kinda cool.” Yet, even though none of us enjoyed the movie, outside of the general sexiness of Angelina Jolie and Common (who was badass, but had far too little time on screen), the two hour experience was redeemed a bit due to the fact that we watched it together.

I guess you could transform that old phrase about shared joy and sorrow to fit movies as well: “Sharing a great movie doubles enjoyment, while sharing a crappy movie halves the misery.” Then again, a few of the comments made during particularly lame scenes actually redeemed them to the point of enjoyment, so it doesn’t even just cut the misery in half, but instead can potentially eradicate it altogether.

So, **raises what may well be the last frosty he will ever eat** here’s to friendship!


5. Spring Training is coming…

cubswin9-17-07This is the last ‘five things’ in January. Just one more day to go and we will all be residing in the shortest month of the year. And you know what happens in February right? It is of course when we get to utter the four most beautiful wordsqdxloibl our language has yet formed into a single phrase: pitchers and catchers report.

Pretty soon the time will come when there will be baseball to watch, follow, and speculate on again. Glorious, wonderful, amazing baseball.

It won’t get here a moment too soon.



trailer park thursday. 1.29.09


Who’s Involved?:

Written & Directed by: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck

Cast: Algenis Perez Soto, Rayniel Rufino, Ellary Porterfield

What is it?: A young Latin American man is drawn into a very different world because of his talent as a pitcher.

Why I’m Interested: Great reception thus far, what looks to be a wonderful human story, and baseball… I’m in.



Who’s Involved?:

Director: Nikita Mikhalkov

Writer: Nikita Mikhalkov & Vladimir Moiseyenko

What is it?: A new interpretation of 12 Angry Men, “12 jurors must decide the fate of a Chechen teenager charged with murdering his stepfather.” [IMDB]

Why I’m Interested: I love artful reinterpretations, and 12 Angry Men is a great story. It’s the perfect combination.


my new scarf.

I mentioned my new scarf in last Friday’s ‘five things’ post, and I promised more information. Well, here it is.

My friend Kj makes scarves. She has a remarkably awesome process of making said scarves which includes a pre-scarf interview to get your general feelings about the as yet non-existent scarf, a wonderful naming of the scarf by Kj, an official bestowal ceremony where pictures of the new friends (in this case me and the scarf) are taken, and a post-scarf interview that becomes part of a blog post Kj writes about every scarf she creates.

I highly recommend checking out **her new post about my scarf,** which, as I said, includes the post-scarf interview, and Kj’s thoughts on the creation of ‘Arcade Philosopher’ (which is the name of my scarf). Although, I should point out that Kj speaks flatteringly of me to the point I think she may be confusing me with one of her other friends.


with eyes of flame. [clip of the week. 1.28.09]

This week’s clip, or clips to be more precise, are a bit of a departure from the recent music videos, but it is music related nonetheless.

Not being one to watch any reality television, I had never even heard of the show “America’s Best Dance Crew” before, and if I had heard of it, I wouldn’t have watched it. It’s general premise too reminiscent of titles like “America’s Got Talent,” for my taste. This being the case, I’d never heard of the Jabbawockeez until they made it into that “G” Gatorade commercial. Originally, I had no idea what G stood for, or who the Jabbawockeez were, so I went to the internets to do some research.

I’m damn glad I did. Perhaps you’ve all heard of these guys before and I’m the last to the party. If not, believe me when I say these guys are ridiculous. In the vast, barren deserts that are Hip Hop dance and reality television, the Jabbawockeez are a bright, shining gem at the bottom of a beautiful oasis. Normally, dancing in popular culture doesn’t excite me much, mostly because it is usually awful. Not so with these guys, they’re the real deal!

They have a level of individual talent and overall tightness that is awe inspiring. The masks are great too, both because they accentuate the fact that they dance as a unit, and because they’re damn cool.

I confess, watching them just flat out makes me happier than I had been.

Eh, enough of my raving, on with the clips of the week! I wanted to post some videos separately as opposed to in a compilation, but each routine is great, so it is worth the eleven minutes. I promise! Watch it now. Do it. (If you don’t feel like watching the whole thing, I suggest at least watching the last half, especially the Michael Jackson themed on about 5 minutes in and the second to last routine.)


five things. 1.23.09

So, I’m sorry this post went up twice without being finished. That’s what happens when you schedule a blog that isn’t done yet, and then get too busy to finish it. Alas, here is this week’s five things in their actual form.

1. Netflix on XBOX 360 – The first two of this week’s five things require credit being given to Waldo, who blogged about each of them himself, in a single post no less, quite recently.

I’d been one of the seeming few who held out with Blockbuster Video’s online rental plan while it seemed most had jumped ship to Netflix. The ability to walk into a store to trade a mailer in while receiving an in-store rental plus another mailer was too good to pass up. Yet, now that I finally got my XBOX Live working (thanks in no part to the people of Microsoft’s customer service), Netflix has a new advantage for it in that I can watch HD movies. We don’t have a Bluray player, so the fact that on our 360 we can watch available films in HD is sweeeeet! It was enough to get us on board for a free two week trial.

It’s only been about a week, but I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

2. King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters – Again, Waldo already blogged about this one. I finally saw it myself, and I’m glad I did. It’s a documentary, the story of a guy who can’t seem to catch a break in life, who tries to acheive the highest score on the classic Donkey Kong arcade game. The primary challenge is that a remarkably arrogant, unintentionally hilarious man name Billy Mitchell has held the record for two decades and is best friends with the organization who keeps track of these types of records.

A little bonus is that the hero of the film is from Redmond, WA, so it was like rooting for the hometown guy.

If you haven’t seen it, check it out!

3. Assassin’s Creed

My sister-in-law bought this game for me for Christmas, and let me tell you, it’s awesome!

When I was in second grade, our teacher asked our whole class what we wanted to be when we grew up. She made a list, then had us draw pictures of said profession and put them in the hallway for our parents to see when they came in for the school’s open house. When it came to my turn, I boldly declared that I wanted to be a Ninja when I grew up. So, in the midst of all the crayon drawings of doctors and firefighters, my parents had to look at future Scott, dressed all in black, with a bloody katana blade in each hand.

My dream was of silently slipping through the shadows and taking the lives of my enemies. Assassin’s Creed makes that dream come true.

Sure, I may have grown up to be a man who doesn’t believe in war, who rants and rails against the myth of redemptive violence to all who will listen. But, somewhere deep inside there is still an assassin my friends, and as Assassin’s Creed’s hero Alta’ir, that internal assassin moves across the rooftops of the Middle East during the crusades and kills with no discrimination.

It doesn’t hurt that the game is visually beautiful, especially in HD!

I highly encourage anyone in the area who is interested to come over and give it a try. Austin, Tim, Brent… you know you want to.

4. Where The Wild Things Are – Most of you probably remember this children’s book. By this point you may or may not know that Spike Jonze is directing a film based on the book. I wasn’t sure what to think, but I must confess, these recent promotional photos make me happy: (Please excuse the fairly lame skateboard theme of the promotion)


5. My New Scarf – My friend KJ makes scarves, and recently she made me one. I won a silent auction at the MHGS Christmas party for it. I’ll have a link coming soon to show you all, so there is more to come on this one.


trailer park thursday. 1.22.09

It’s been a pretty slow week as far as good movie trailers go. Thus, only two trailers, and one isn’t even included because I want to see it. Sad, but true.

500 Days of Summer

Who’s Involved?:

Director: Marc Webb

Writer: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber

Cast: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

What is it?: “This isn’t a love story, it’s a story about love.”

Why I’m Interested: I actually saw this trailer last week immediately after posting ‘trailer park thursday.’ First off, to its credit, it features the lovely co-winner of Paste Magazine’s Album of the Year, Zooey Deschanel.

As far as the rest of the film goes, I’m not sure what it may be, is it a musical? There was definitely some dancing in there, was that a dream sequence of some sort? I don’t know what it is, but I like it.


Who’s Involved?:

Director: Jonas Akerlund

Writer: David Callaham

Cast: Dennis Quaid, Ziyi Zhang, Clifton Collins Jr.

What is it?: If the trailer is to be believed, I think a few studio execs were sitting around when one said, “Hey, Seven was a successful movie right? What if we just borrowed most of that and pretended it was something new by focusing on Revelation instead. Let’s see if we can get the ball rolling on that.”

Why I’m Interested: The reason I’m interested in this trailer isn’t actually because of a desire to see the movie, but instead because I am continually amazed by how consistently studios try to recycle the past in order to avoid risk.


the other journal.

Tuesdays are the days I spend at The Other Journal, interning it up. I figured, in order to share TOJ with all of you, and to get TOJ a small amount of increased exposure, I should try to remember to link to some interesting new posts, articles and such.

This week: (below are links, even if the color doesn’t look different enough that they are links, which has been a problem with links in this color scheme in the past).

An interview by Shannon, a fellow intern, with Sister Helen Prejean, who, if you don’t know her, is the nun played by Susan Surandon in Dead Man Walking.

An interview by Chris Keller, the guy who started The Other Journal, with Vinoth Ramachandra, author of Subverting Global Myths: Theology and the Public Issues Shaping Our World.

As well as:

A Message To The Fine and Shabby: James’s Epistle on Poverty by J. Lyle Story


Embracing Sister Death: The Fraternal Worldview of Francis of Assisi as a Source for Christian Eschatological Hope by Daniel P. Horan

Check them out if you feel so inclined.

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