Friday, November 23, 2007

You have got to be kidding me!

That's what I say everytime my upstairs neighbor turns on her vacuum cleaner. Which is like five times a day. Sometimes as early as 7 a.m. It's not even 11 a.m. yet and I've already heard her run it three times this morning. I keep wondering, does her dog shed that much or is she just OCD?

UPDATE: In the 1 hour and 15 minutes since I made this post, she has run the vacuum four more times. Four. More. Times. In 75 minutes. I would also like to point out that her apartment, like mine, is on the low side of 600 square feet, less than half of which is carpeted.

A Radiant Decay

I'm still working with the graffiti, but as you can see, I'm starting to find some new subjects as well.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I am a feminist

This quiz confirms it!

You Are 90% Feminist

You are a total feminist. This doesn't mean you're a man hater (in fact, you may be a man).
You just think that men and women should be treated equally. It's a simple idea but somehow complicated for the world to put into action.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Translating Pearl Jam

Why is this so funny? Maybe because after 16 years of loving this song, even I don't have a clue what the frickin' lyrics are.

Monday, May 07, 2007


American Idol is now down to the four performers I actually like. I'm rooting for Melinda to win although Blake is the performer who's cd I'd be most likely to buy.

I finally found a new apartment to move into as my current building is going condo next month. My new home is a little bit a lot smaller, but it's a little bit cheaper, it has a washer and dryer, and, best of all, it's only five blocks from work.

This video could very well be the cure for the Mario Madness gripping you, me, and millions of other hapless Wii and Gamecube players.

Mario: Game Over - Click Here for more great videos and pictures!

Is it just me, or is Mario freakin' hot?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Going vegan for a month

Anyone who has sat down to a meal with me since July 2004 is likely aware that I’m a vegetarian. That means I don’t eat meat. I do, however, still consume dairy products, eggs, honey, wool, or any other animal product that doesn’t kill the animal to produce said product. In my head, I’ve flirted with the idea of trying a vegan diet for a time, partly to see if I can make better ethical choices about what I eat, and partly because the 10 pounds I lost when I began my vegetarian diet have slowly crept back onto my ass.

Justin Droms, a carnivore, contributed an entertaining article to the current issue GOOD Magazine chronicling his one-month vegan experiment. In 30 days, his weight and cholesterol improved. But his blood pressure and sugar got worse (because of his increased intake of salty and high-carb foods).

Still, I figure I’m halfway there already. The hard part would be figuring out all the ways I still eat animal products and then coming up with alternatives to them. These are a few animal by-products that I enjoy a on a regular basis that giving them up will test my willpower:

o Yogurt in my cereal each morning.
o Half and half in my coffee.
o Eggs in my favorite Pei Wei Pad Thai, hardboiled with a salad, scrambled.
o Honey in those terrific Starbucks hot chai tea lattes. (My vegan friend Paul says he eats honey on occasion because only happy bees make honey. So, he doesn’t feel like he’s oppressing them by partaking of it.)
o Cheese on pizza, on salads, on sandwiches, on vegetables, as a dip for chips, as an hors d’oeuvre, on other kinds of cheese, etc. Cheese is one of those high-fat foods along with peanut butter (and to a lesser extent avocado and hummus) that I will eat until I am too fat to move. I wonder how much of my goal I could accomplish simply by resisting the cheese?

This is, of course, only the first part of the process. Next, I suppose I should come up with a list of vegan equivalences or other changes to my diet (do I have to have yogurt with breakfast everyday, for instance?) to replace the ova and lacto I’m currently consuming. Then I suppose at the end of the month I need to have some kind of “results show” where I catalog any health benefits or detriments I have observed in the preceding 30 days.

Droms shares from the pamphlet “Why Vegan” by Vegan Outreach a few of the more compelling reasons to hold to a vegan lifestyle. My favorites are:
o The American Dietetic Association reports that, on average, vegetarians have lower body weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, and rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, prostate cancer, and colon cancer.
o Having enough compassion and discipline to choose the vegan lifestyle permits you to smugly refer to nonvegans as “murderers” while they eat.

Comments? Suggestions? Ridicule?

(photos published by GOOD Magazine)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

My favorite Onion article ever!

No other article, either serious or humorous, has ever summarized my relationship to my family as well as this item from The Onion circa 2003. Read it and share in the flood of conflicting emotions:

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Frowny Face of Doom

It was bound to happen sooner or later. I went to sync up my iPod last night to add the new Thelonious Monk/John Coltrane reissue and got an error message from iTunes that the device might be corrupt. All attempts to restart/reset/restore the iPod failed.

This was actually my second iPod. I got my first in July 2004. It served me well for two years till I had it replaced literally two days before the extended warranty expired for "battery issues." I got the replacement not long after that and it worked well for nine months. Which is kind of a ripoff, if you ask me.

Now I'm kind of stuck. I know the iPhone is coming in June... and a new generation iPod is probably right behind it. So it doesn't make any sense to buy a new iPod now since it will be outmoded in three our four months. But what to do until then? Carry cds around again?

UPDATE: It's an Easter Miracle. I was trying to show my co-worker and fellow iPod owner Pam what the "You're Screwed" Sad iPod Face looked like when, instead of frowning at me, the unit actually booted up. Attempts to play it, however, were fruitless as it appears to no longer have any music on it. Capacity = 37.1 GB. Available = 544 MB. Songs = 0. And the lock button indicator seems to turn on and off for no apparent reason. Maybe I'm less screwed than I was before. But it's still looking like I'm in the market for a new iPod.

UPDATED UPDATE: I tried to sync the iPod to iTunes again over lunch. Got the prompt to try and restore it again which iTunes couldn't do. Also still couldn't restart or restore the device. And now it makes this "whir-click" noise repeatedly until it cycles through its unsuccesful attempt to boot up. Fortunately, AppleInsider is reporting analysis today from Citigroup claiming new iPods are on the way. Unfortunately, they won't arrive until probably August or September. Has anybody upgraded to a new iPod and have an old unit just lying around I could borrow in the meantime?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Super Sweet

For the first time in ages, my minimum monthly credit card payment is less than it was last month. The new job with the higher pay is beginning to show dividends. And, after this next payment, my balance will be less than half of my total line of credit.

Of course, this would be better news if I hadn't run up $500 on my Best Buy account to get a Wii and a new external hard drive (one of those items, however, was an absolute neccesity. I'll leave it to you to decide which it was).

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tear It Down

I had the distinct pleasure of once again seeing one of my favorite bands take to the stage and deliver a raucous set that proved rather definitively that they're one of the best live bands going.

Old Crow Medicine Show made its fourth stop to Little Rock and first at the 600 seat Revolution Room which was packed to the gills with Fat Tuesday revelers, new fans that have become acquainted with the band through its appearances on CMT and other television outlets, and old fans who discovered the band busking on the street or in the pages of the Oxford American magazine.

For the uninitiated, Old Crow Medicine Show play Country Music. But they don't play the slick, polished pop/rock with a twang that passes for country today. They don't even play what you might call "classic country." No, these guys would've been called "old-timey" by Hank Sr. OCMS' passion is for the itenerant country, folk, and blues "string" and "jug" bands that traveled the American backroads prior to the Great Depression, before even radio was a reliable avenue for popularizing music. Clearly, these guys live and die for this music, but instead of the staid reverence of most folk music societies, OCMS attack the songs with a ferocity akin to punk rock, reinvigorating them with the eternal energy of truly timeless music.

Old Crow Medicine Show has released five albums (and a few EPs) since the 2000 release of its first independent cd, "Greetings From Wawa." For my money, you can't get a finer introduction to the group than its second full-length release, "Eutaw," and the concert recording "Live," both released independently in 2001 and 2003, repectively, before the group hit the big time. These cds are not available in stores, but can be purchased through the band's website or at shows. But a love for these early releases should not imply a slight to OCMS' major label releases: "O.C.M.S." (2004) and "Big Iron World" (2006), both of which would make fine additions to your music library and are readily available where ever music is sold. You can hear a few songs at the band's myspace page, as well.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

"Suffer the little children"

The Catholic Church in Britain, much like its counterpart in Massachusetts, is moving to scuttle its adoption services rather than to offer those services to gay and lesbian couples wishing to adopt a child, as a provision of a new anti-discrimination law in the UK would require.

From the Guardian:
Cabinet sources said the new proposals would require Catholic adoption agencies to consider gay couples - or close down - after a reasonable delay that would allow them to ensure that the children in their care are properly dealt with.

This means the Catholic Church, as a world-wide body, apparently, think it is more important to discriminate against gays than it is fulfill Jesus' own command to care for orphans. Let me restate this: It is more important to the Catholic Church to break the Christ's command to not judge than it is to keep his command to care for "the least of these."

When Jesus told us to "suffer the little children," I don't think he literally wanted us to make children suffer.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Love God's Way

This is THE viral video of the day, and dammit, I'm not gonna be the only queer blogger not to post about it. The question is, however, have ANY straight or christian blogs written about it?

"The Bible Says" is either Sasha Baron Cohen level satire or one of the most hateful set of words set to a lite-FM beat. I'm voting for comedy. Well, satire, anyway. It's comedy in either sense, even if Rev. Davies is playing it, er, "straight" and not just with a straight face.

It's possible some straights have picked up on it. His myspace friends are comprised of an alarming nubmer of christian rock bands (who are either much cooler or much more homophobic that I thought). The funniest part of his site is the list of Gay Bands, or bands that will make you gay if you listen to them. Funniest entries include: Sufjan Stevens, Ghost Face Killah, Jay-Z, Eminmen (sic), and Metallica. (Another clue that Rev. Davies may be in on the joke, he has apparently been reading the blogs all day and adding "gay" bands to his list as they are recommended in the comments sections of various blogs who are reporting on his video.) The equally laughable "Safe Bands" list includes the HRC/GLAAD performer of the year, Cyndi Lauper.

Watch the video. Laugh. Cry. Rant in the comments.

The Bible Says

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Can't wait for the iPhone?... this will have to do for now

Just print, cut, and fold.

I wonder if I can fit my Treo inside?

It also sets me to wondering how many of its features will appear on the 6th gen iPod:
  • Multi-touch widescreed is to be assumed.

  • As is the automatically re-orienting, light adjusting screen?

  • Will the proximity detector shut off the screen when you put it in your pocket? How about when you put it in an iSkin?

  • 120 gig capacity is a pretty safe bet (HD manufacturer is already leaking rumors).

  • Will the accelerometer lock down the harddrive while exercising?

  • Will it feature the "Home" button and multi-app, customizable desktop?

  • Will it run OSX? Widgets? office apps? eBooks (iBooks)?

  • How much HD capacity will the OS take up?

  • Bluetooth is a given (along with bluetooth headphones, remote, etc.), but will it also have wi-fi?

  • If so, will it run Safari? Check email (push or otherwise)? iChat or other messaging? YouTube?

  • Will it allow sharing songs/photos like the Zune? (the iPhone does not)

  • Will it sync wirelessly with iTunes? Airport? appleTV? (the iPhone does not)

  • Will it access the iTunes Store and allow for instant purchases downloaded directly to the iPod? (the iPhone does not)

  • How many unsupported features will they add by firmware/software updates before making everyone buy a new iPod?

  • Will it have a camera?

  • Will it squeeze all that into a casing that's less than 4.1 x 2.4 x 0.5 inches?

  • Will it have the aluminum/polymer casing like the nano/shuffle/iPhone? (it would have to if it supports wireless features)

  • Will you be able to disable that stupid "cover flow"?

  • Will its new version of iTunes support dvd ripping? divx?

  • Will the next nano be multi-touch and bluetooth? Will the shuffle get bluetooth?

  • Will it drive your car? Fly a plane? Walk your dog? Make you breakfast?

Do I ask for too much?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Simon Cowell thinks Kelly Clarkson is more talented than Bob Dylan

I'd be angry if it weren't so absurd it was funny, American Idol Asshat Simon Cowell (ironically, the only judge whose opinion I have hitherto respected) said in an interview with Playboy Magazine that Bob Dylan is dull and less talented than American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson.
"Do I prefer Kelly Clarkson's music to Bob Dylan's? Yes. I've never bought a Dylan record. A singing poet? It just bores me to tears," Cowell tells February's Playboy, [according to the New York Post. The acerbic "American Idol" judge adds: "I've got to tell you, if I had 10 Dylans in the final of 'American Idol,' we would not be getting 30 million viewers a week. I don't believe the Bob Dylans of this world would make 'American Idol' a better show."
Somehow I think the world is more of a better place for Dylan's words and music than it is for American Idol. Still... I wish this quote had been publicized a few months ago, if for no other reason than to see scads of people on the AI auditions covering Dylan just to piss Cowell off. I wouldn't be surprised (and even would like) to see a Dylan themed program as part of American Idol in the future... except that it's more likely than not that Dylan wouldn't participate. But, then, Zimmy did shoot a Victoria's Secret commercial a while back. So anything is clearly possible. I at least expect one or two of the hipper, smarter, more contrarian contestants to select a Dylan cut, especially if they really want to play up a rivalry with Simon to win sympathy from the crowd. But, I suspect the crowd really won't get Dylan either.

The funniest coincidence out of all of this is Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" randomly played through my iTunes just as I started reading the story. How sychronistastical.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Gnyahhhh. Pfffffft. Haaaaaaa!

It's the iPhone.

I'm speechless. No, I am beyond speechless. I can't make intelligible sound. I am the anti-buddha I am so consumed with desire.

Over the last month I've been considering upgrading my Treo. No more. I'll hold out five months till the iPhone rolls out. I also can't wait to see how the innovations on this bad boy translate to the next generation iPod.

From Towleroad:
It's a widescreen iPod, mobile phone, and "internet communicator" all in one using a touchscreen navigation. Only one button, the home button. Thinner than any smartphone. Comes with full-featured internet browser, integrated Google search and maps, free Yahoo push IMAP email (like BlackBerry), runs OSX, widgets. Shipping in June in $499 and $599 models, exclusively with Cingular.

Thankfully, I'm already a Cingular customer. Hopefully, websurfing, checking email, chat/messaging, etc., will be specially packaged so as not to run into exorbitant fees or evaporate monthly minutes.

Everything synchs through iTunes, just like an iPod... hopefully apps will be available to synchronize data from outlook adderess books, calendars, etc., too. I suspect it already exists, I just don't know how to use it.

I start saving my cash today. Hopefully I can knock back $150 a month before this thing hits stores. Maybe I'll take up a collection. Or I can tell everyone to just chip in towards the cost when my birthday rolls around in March.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

My Favorite Movie Picks of 2006

As an addendum to yesterday's post recording the Manny Perry Movie Club's year end movie poll, I offer today my own individual ballot as well as a recap of the movies I'm still feeling as we begin a new year

My Year-End Top Movie List (gut reaction scores)
1. Brokeback Mountain (9)
2. Match Point (8)
3. V For Vendetta (8)
4. The Departed (8)
5. Blood Diamond (8)
6. The Squid & The Whale (7.5)
7. Transamerica (7.5)
8. Akeelah & The Bee (7.5)
9. Tsotsi (7.5)
10. Water (7.5)
11. The Prestige (7.5)
12. Casino Royale (7.5)

My Year End Top Movie List (reflected rankings, including non-movie club selections(*), listed alphabetically)
Apocalypto* Masochistically violent, possibly racist, but in many ways unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan*
Probably the funniest movie I’ve seen in many years. I think it’s the kind of comedy Andy Kauffman envisioned 30 years ago.

Brokeback Mountain (9)
One of the few adaptations from a book that preserves the literary qualities of the source material.

Casino Royale (7.5)
Bond’s reboot finally gives the franchise the post-Cold War perspective it’s been struggling to find for over a decade, oddly enough, by going back to the hero’s origin from the hottest period of the Cold War.

The Departed (8)
Leonardo DiCapprio is now officially off my “I Hate Leonardo DiCapprio List.” Taken along with Blood Diamond, the man has turned in some stellar work this year. Scorcese not only delivered his best film since Goodfellas, but may have topped that definitive critical and commercial work.

Though I’d only objectively rank it an 8 if it were a movie club selection (as it may very well be this week), subjectively, it is hands-down my favorite movie of 2006. The songs work. The actors work. The chemistry on screen is tangible. Dreamgirls delivers old-school, hardcore movie musical magic.

The Heart Of The Game (7)
Inspirational sports documentaries are nothing new, but few offer such a unique perspective on the importance of girls in sports, or tell their stories with as much (forgive the pun) heart.

Munich (7)
A grim, riveting film about the politics of retribution and mutually-assured destruction. "An eye for an eye leaves all the world blind."

The Queen (7)
A landmark performance for Helen Miren. Her sensitive, emotionally restrained, but insightful performance as one of the most unscrutable persons on the planet is truly Oscar-worthy.

The Squid & The Whale (7.5)
A highly personal tale that any child of divorce should find a piece of themselves in.

Tsotsi (7.5)
Africa’s struggle to cope with entering the modern era has inspired a wave of films (Tsotsi, Blood Diamond, and Catch A Fire, all opening this year) and shown a spotlight on the personal struggles that have inspired a political movement.

V For Vendetta (8)
An action film in the vein of Blade Runner and Alien that presents a dystopian future as a metaphor current political and social problems. V for Vendetta may wear its message too much on its sleeve to attain the status of the previous films, but it certainly proves the Waschowski Brothers have not squandered their talent after The Matrix.

Water (7.5)
Women have typically gotten the short-shrift in film, either as the subject or the maker. Water deftly gives a perspective to Western outsiders and illuminates the harsh injustice for women in arranged marriages by framing the entire narrative from the point of view a child.

Movies I haven’t seen yet, but I’ve heard really good things about and hope to see soon:
Half Nelson
Pan’s Labyrinth
Children of Men

Little Miss Sunshine. This movie got the best reviews of nearly any film this year. And, while I found it enjoyable, it honestly failed to make any impression on me that lasted beyond the movie theater parking lot. It is a prime example of when critical praise is more hype than substance.

The Science of Sleep. This film could easily also be on my best of the year list, but ultimately, despite the fact I really enjoyed it, I think it falls short. I appreciate the fact that Michel Gondry left the film unresolved in many aspects. The structure of the film appropriately reflected Stephane’s deteriorating mental state, but the screenplay would have benefited from collaboration with Charlie Kauffman, who is not only a master of incorporating Jungian and Freudian concepts and images to illuminate the characters’ conflicts of the conscious and the subconscious mind, the id and the ego, and their often conflicting personal motivations and desires, but he also creates an emotional resonance within each character and scripts them as seemingly realized persons beyond just their quirks. Gondry, it seems, only gives you an impression of most of the characters. My defense after the seeing the film, and still is, if the film is from the point of view of Stephane, and all he knows of his neighbors and associates is his impressions, imaginings, and preconceived notions, then perhaps the characters are appropriately realized. Unfortunately, even Stephane is not even completely realized, so, at the end of the film, the audience doesn’t fully understand his motivation, confused as it may be.

New year, new diet

In this, the first week of January, I, and millions like me, face the new year with a grim determination to lose 20 pounds by the time the apartment complex pool opens in May. To help all of us in that task, the knowledgable folks at have created an entry called "What 200 Calories Looks Like." The entry features photos of various foodstuffs (What!?! no Chips Ahoy!?!) in a 200 calorie portion that hopefully will help us all make wiser choices as we try to cut calories in the New Year.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Manny Perry is not in any of these movies (I think).

It's the end of the year, so those of us in the Manny Perry Movie Club assembled for an evening of wine and food to enjoy each other's company and reminisce over the 47 movies we'd watched the previous year, both good and bad. We came up with two "best" lists: a list of our ten favorite movies after reflecting over the whole year, and another of how we ranked the movies we saw by our gut reactions just after seeing them. I'll post both lists and let you all ponder both the similarities and differences between the two lists. Tomorrow, I'll post my personal lists.

Manny Perry Movie Club Year-End Favorites:
1. Water
2. The Departed
3. The Heart Of The Game
4. Little Miss Sunshine
5. Blood Diamond
6. Brokeback Mountain
7. Munich
8. The Squid & The Whale
9. An Inconvenient Truth
The Queen
Thank You For Smoking
10. Casino Royale
The Next Five:
11. Akeelah & The Bee
V For Vendetta
12. Wordplay
13. Match Point
14. This Film Is Not Yet Rated
15. The Prestige

Manny Perry Gut Reaction Favorites:
1. 8.58 The Heart Of The Game
2. 8.50 Akeelah & The Bee
8.50 The Departed
3. 8.36 Blood Diamond
4. 8.30 Wordplay
5. 8.25 The Squid & The Whale
6. 7.86 Syriana
7.86 Brokeback Mountain
7.86 V For Vendetta
7. 7.80 Why We Fight
8. 7.75 Little Miss Sunshine
9. 7.71 Water
7.71 Hollywoodland
10. 7.67 Thank You For Smoking
The Next Five:
11. 7.57 Transamerica
12. 7.50 The Illusionist
13. 7.36 Casino Royale
14. 7.25 Cars
15. 7.21 This Film Is Not Yet Rated

All in all, it's been a really good year for going to the movies. If there's anything on these lists you haven't seen, you really owe it to yourself to check out at least some of them in the theater or on dvd. All of them offer a lot of entertainment and not a little intellectual stimulus.