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Thursday, May 29, 2008

New My Morning Jacket

I first saw MMJ opening for Pearl Jam back in '07. Holy fuck. Since then i've seen them several other times in Chicago and have never been disappointed. Their last album, 'Z' was near perfect. This gives their latest album, Evil Urges, a lot to live up to. Based on preliminary listens, they seem capable of redefining their masterpiece album with this latest release.

Here is "I'm Amazed," the radio single from the album which is due next week.

Bringin the Weez

Weezer is one of those bands that have wrapped themselves so heavily in this post-ironic rock band shroud that by now their music seems pure and honest. This song, I am the Greatest Man that Ever Lived, which comes from their upcoming red album, is probably one of their most ambitious since their Pinkerton days. Self-references and spoken word narrative notwithstanding, this piece actually deserves more than one listen.

Thanks to casTRO.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

grilling fever

This memorial day weekend I'll be joining my fellow countrymen in the great tradition of outdoor grilling. Not only will I be visiting friends to feast all weekend, but we are planning a cook-out of our own on Monday.

Currently on the menu are pulled pork tostadas topped with guacamole as appetizers. I'll be slow-cooking 4 pounds of pork shoulder roast on the grill and then serving the pulled pork on sturdy Milagro tortilla chips, the perennial favorite when it comes to great taste and crunch in a chip. These 100 or so teasers will be topped with my fiancee's famous guacamole.

For our main course we will be serving your standard hot dog and hamburgers fare. Last weekend we experimented with bison burgers and that seemed to go well, so I might toss a few of those back on the grill. Regardless I'll be sure to use 80 per cent lean ground chuck. Chicago hot dogs will be available as well, with all of the necessary ingredients, including vienna beef hot dogs, poppyseed buns, short peppers, mustard, sliced onions, sliced tomato, pickle spears, and celery salt.

I'll post pics of how everything turns out.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Green Wedding

This summer my fiancée and I are planning to get married. Following a popular but very important trend, we have decided to have a green wedding. This means that we are taking any and every reasonable effort to help minimize the negative impact that our wedding has on the world climate. We know that in the big picture of things our wedding is really a tiny event of little circumstance to the global climate situation. But we are not trying to change the world all at once. We simply aim to generate discussion and provoke inspiration, to help inspire others to walk away from that night re-examining how they might go about living a greener lifestyle.

One initiative of our green wedding lies in our invitations. Working with a local stationary boutique, Anjenu, we have ordered our invitations to be handmade and derived from 100% recycled off-white wildflower paper. The ink used to print the invitations will be hand-pressed with soy ink, avoiding the use of harmful chemicals. The invitation itself contains implanted seeds that can be planted and grown in a household planter. They are being custom made from On The Earth, an earth friendly wedding invitation supplier.

We believe that the use of the eco-friendly invites will serve both an aesthetically pleasing invitation to our wedding as well as set the green, earth-friendly theme. More details on our initiatives to plan our green wedding to follow. For now, the picture below illustrates an approximation of what our invites will look like. You can make out the seeds implanted in the paper.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Starfruit Review

It seems that almost every week there is a new storefront popping up in our lovely neighborhood of East Village. Being as it was a nice day for a stroll, the significant other and I decided to stop into the newish Starfruit, a shoppe that serves a yogurt-like dairy product named kefir in smoothie or yogurt cup form. Kefir is a fermented milk drink that originated in the Caucasus region. It is reported to have health benefits relating to digestion.

With a nice, bright interior reminiscent of a candy store, Starfruit has a very light-hearted appeal as soon as you walk in. I had a small kefir strawberry-swirl yogurt cup topped with raspberries and tiny M&Ms - the subject of my banner picture above. By itself, I'd say the taste of kefir is somewhere between tofu and recycled newspaper. The toppings are really what complete the product offered by this storefront.

Despite the bright atmosphere, some of the staff suffers from the disaffected hipster attitude that plagues too many inhabitants of the Wicker Park area. Asking for a personal explanation of kefir from the guy serving us illustrates this syndrome. His version of a personal explanation was more like pointing to the signs all over the store with his eyes. Yeah, dumbass, I know how to read ... but if I'm going to pay five dollars for a teaspoon of fake yogurt I expect your ass to have some descriptive adjectives or a verb phrase or some shit for my ass AT LEAST. I take my over-priced yuppie food without the extra eye-rolls, thank you very much.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Web Zen

"Which are the advantages of having a blog?
There are many advantages If I have a blog. If I have blog independently , I can use it without any risk.

How do you intend to use your blog?
I intend to use my blog to learn web lessons through your web sites."

Random blog search.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Osama Bin Bloggin

I've been tweaking with the site a bit and moved things around. I've also discovered a nifty migration tool from previous livejournal and blogger blogs. Blogger only allows 50 posts per day, though, so it's going to take a while to upload my 530+ unique posts from the past 7 years.

Of course as I go through this process of housecleaning, there will be plenty of nostalgic "Oh-I-remember-when-I-wrote-about-that" moments along with plenty of "OMG-WTF-was-I-thinking-when-I-clicked-the-publish-button" moments to share.

And now, time for a blast from past:

Pope John Paul II (RIP) being attacked by a dove.

Bioshock Movie

Holy Crap. The writer and director for the movie based on the critically-acclaimed video game "Bioshock" have been selected.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

All of the Simpsons Couch Gags

The video below is a four minute compendium of the couch gags for all 19 seasons of The Simpsons.

A good way to kill 4 minutes at work.

Friday, May 2, 2008

GTA IV Review

In any class on the finer arts you'll come across this idea of verisimilitude. How a piece of art, or a work of literature begins to so closely approximate the reality it is describing that you can begin to experience it through the work itself, how a certain life begins to emerge from the work.

Any great masterpiece has this quality. In The Grapes of Wrath, the accents and voices of Steinbeck's characters become audible through his written word. A close listen to early Hendrix shows how he made his internal visual landscapes come alive through the manipulation of a six-string guitar. Picasso's Guernica enobdies the torture and anguish of innocent villagers being bombed by air raiders:

These and other great artists spent years mastering the technical details and conventions of their art form and, in their stokes of genius, they blew those conventions to pieces through amazingly creative and ground-breaking pieces of artistic perfection.

The designers of Grand Theft Auto IV have achieved this same extraordinary feat. They have mastered the techinical details of real-time interaction in a completely virtual environment. From the character modeling and realistic physics engine, to the voice-over acting and Hollywood caliber plot lines, this game is perfection on many levels. Considering the jaw-dropping level of detail - from the way the main character rotates the steering wheel hand-over-hand, to the voice-guided GPS system in yuppiemobile hybrids, and the way your car speakers buzz whenever you receive incoming phone calls (just like mine do!) - this game is also amazingly true to life, it is verisimiltudinous to the reality it approximates.

Other reviews will tell you more about gameplay, multiplayer options, and how many hookers you get to bang. I'm here to say that yesterday when I was taking a cab to work and watching the motion-blur of the tree leaves and street lights pass me by, I remembered seeing the same things in the same way in a scene in GTA IV. The reality of the game was still with me, indelible like the Hendrix's tortured guitar tones. I knew then that this game has achieved the same life-emergent and immortal quality of so few masterpieces before it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Facebook vs. Myspace

This is a hilarious video that does a great job of framing a situation that anyone with more than one social networking profile will be all too familiar.

Thanks to Milt for the link