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Tuesday, August 30, 2005  

Dry Well
Well, I obviously didn’t post a “From the Archives” picture today. I didn’t have anything sitting on my work computer that I wanted to upload…
Work is also very busy.
I kinda just want to sleep for a week. Or get roaring drunk

posted by JMV | 8/30/2005 06:03:00 PM

Monday, August 29, 2005  

Quiz FIx
Jonesing? Julie has take up the quizmaster torch over on her blog, so if you wanna answer questions, pop over there and have at it!
In the meantime I'll throw out one question for old times sake. What was one highlight of your weekend (or for the retail monkeys outthere your Saturday-Sunday.)

posted by JMV | 8/29/2005 05:51:00 PM

Thursday, August 25, 2005  

Answer Time
Morgan: I want people to ask me questions that they actually want to hear the answer to. And then I’ll answer them. And then people will send me $$$. That is how I want it to work.

Jason: I’m not sure that we will be able to continue thinking of intellectual property in the same way a physical property for much longer. It seems to me that IP is too much of a blanket. An oil-painting, a short-story, a symphony, a new invention, a new chemical formula, and a new piece of software should not be treated the same in the eyes of the law. But honestly, I know very little about IP law…

Greg: the best sporting event that I’ve ever been to would probably be on of the Angels games I saw in highschool. Nothing beats yelling at and harassing the 3rd baseman or bass-runner!

Chun: I think he will be grievously damaged during the second act, but then re-apear for the climactic battle and he’ll be stronger-than-ever.

Anne: My favorite food is either A) pizza, and there is just something about a coke with pizza. Or B) Mexican food then it is Margarita or Pacifco all the way.

Mom: I’ve often tried to think of what my first memory is, and I honestly have NO idea. I have a lot of memories from Kindergarten, but everything before that (at least without some kind of catalyst to jog my memory) is pretty foggy.

JoFo: My favorite episode of friends is the Thanksgiving episode when Joey makes Monica bake him a turkey and he swears he will eat the whole thing. I can’t imagine all of everything exists as a random collision of particles in the vacuum of space, but “a god” might be too pedantic of a concept. Suffice to say there is some thing or some force that ties everything together. In Highschool I fancied myself a “deist” though much living and many experiences later and my feelings towards the universe tend towards a hippie-metaphysical-taoist thing. Currently I try not to get wrapped-up in divinity or the cosmos; I just know that love is the only thing that really matters. I generally don’t eat pancakes, though I’ll make ‘em from scratch as I don’t keep mix around the house. But if I’m going to the trouble I’ll make Crepes instead.

posted by JMV | 8/25/2005 03:09:00 PM

Wednesday, August 24, 2005  

Ask and ye shall receive
Greg requested another "ask John" day, so how could I say no? How do you want this to work? Just ask me anything, or shall I provide a "theme"?

posted by JMV | 8/24/2005 02:52:00 PM

Tuesday, August 23, 2005  

From the Archive 5
Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

Taken way back in Febuary of 2002 moments before Todd's wedding. Of the 8 men in this picture, 4 are now married.

posted by JMV | 8/23/2005 11:18:00 AM

Friday, August 19, 2005  

Alternate Future
Last night we got to check-out an advance screening of Steve Carell’s new film, “40 Year-old Virgin” and it was a hoot! I expected a formulaic sex-farce with lots of visual gags and some really funny moments. But the film actually turned out to be much more than that. Helmed by Judd Apatow (of cult-classic “Freaks and Geeks” and slightly less-so “Undeclared” fame) the film not only had real heart, but also turned out to be a pointed critique of misogyny and geek-culture. Steve was MUCH more than just a lovable geek, and he convincingly played a guy who has no idea why, but suddenly finds his world unraveling around him. Oh, and the movie is DAMN funny. I heartily recommend it if you want a good belly-laugh this weekend! And remember there was no fake-hair in the (soon to be classic) chest-waxing scene; that was real pain on Steve’s face.

posted by JMV | 8/19/2005 04:17:00 PM

Thursday, August 18, 2005  

It Takes Two
I’m a little ashamed to admit, but I came to the table pretty late. The first time I ever heard the White Stripes was when they played “Fell In Love With A Girl” to a throng of matching fans at the MTV VMAs in 2002. I clearly remember thinking “who are these people, and why does everyone else seem to know who they are?” I wasn’t an instant fan, but once I had listened to White Blood Cells a few times I was hooked. Last night I finally was able to see them live at the famous Greek Theater.

The show was simply awesome. They kick-ed off with a double-time version of “Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground” and then slid smoothly into a 10-15 minute medley of several songs including a very different version of “Blue Orchid.” I was unprepared for the power of their opening volley, which was 100minutes+ of peaking crescendo w/o all that messy foreplay: A live-music quickie, an appetizer before the banquet. After this medley Jack and Meg left the stage and when they returning a few minutes later jack explained, “I wanted to make you think we were playing an encore, so maybe you would make some noise for the first time tonight.” And with that they launched into their full-set. As this was their 3rd of four nights playing the Greek, they seemed to stray-off the beaten path and play a lot of b-sides and album tracks while glossing over nearly all of their big singles. I have to say I’m the tiniest bit disappointed that they didn’t play more of my favorites. No “Ball and Biscuit” or “Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine,” or “Jolene,” or “I’m Bound to Pack it Up,” or perhaps most missed “Red Rain.” But they did play a blistering version of my #1 favorite song, “Death Letter” (which I hadn’t let myself hope they would play) that had the most incredibly intense and face-melting slide-guitar solo, so that just about made up for it.

They stretched their wings a bid and branched out from drum-and-guitar-blues-rock with Jack playing (his newly acquired) Stienway on several songs. Jack also took-up the Mandolin for a the jangly “Little Ghost,” Meg played tympanis (and a triangle) for the brief “Passive Manipulation,” and during “Ugly as I Seem” Jack quietly played a worn acoustic while Meg sat next to him on the stage and played a bongo. However, the giant marimba that dominated center-stage was left untouched (which I didn’t terribly mind as the songs that feature it are not among my favorites.) Jack was energetic and convulsive on-stage and he flailed-and-wailed his way through the 90-minute set. Meg infused her drumming with a sultry swagger that I found tough to look-away from. She has to be the hottest woman in rock, and had we been closer to the stage I would have been tempted to do whatever the male equivalent of throwing panties onto the stage.

One of the biggest highlights of the night came when they remounted the stage for the encore, this time joined by a third. Jack sidled up to the mic and mumbled, “Mr Beck Hanson.” That’s right “Silverlake’s Own” (as Jack would later remark) Beck and Jack shared a mic as they played Beck’s"Cold Brains". He then took-up the bass for a swinging version of “Denial Twist” that really brought the house down (my voice is still jacked from all the “woo”ing.) Beck slipped backstage again and the twosome finished off the night with their live staple “Bol Weevil.” I had very high expectations for the show, and even though their set-list and my wish-list didn’t overlap as much as I would have liked, The White Stripes surpassed them all. I only wish I had tickets for tonight’s show…

UPDATE: I found a complete set-list of the show here.

posted by JMV | 8/18/2005 12:08:00 PM

Tuesday, August 16, 2005  

From the Archives
Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

From the Archives 4
Taken at the final party in Santa Cruz in August 2003. Chun was operating the video camera and we caught Mary in a "crossfire." If I was on-top of things I would post the clip from the videocamera so we could get both angles. Alas, that seems like way too much work...

posted by JMV | 8/16/2005 10:22:00 AM

Monday, August 15, 2005  

Not-So-Secret Show
Late Friday I began read/heard a rumor that Fiona Apple would be playing a set at Largo on Saturday night. Julie and I are both big fans of Fiona Apple and were very excited by the prospect of seeing her in such an intimate local. So I did some investigating and pretty much confirmed the rumors and booked a table are Largo for the night. It was billed as a “book signing” for Zach Galifianakis with special guests and a performance by Jon Brion. Julie has a good account of the night up on her site, so I’ll just add that even though she only played 4 songs I thought is was a great performance. She sounded very good, her voice was strong, and I really liked the two new songs she did (very folk-y/southern-spiritual.) It is going to be tough to see her in a large venue when she tours in support of the new album, which she confirmed would be out “in about a month.” This story on Pitchfork mentioned that Jon Brion is NOT the producer on the re-worked “Extraordinary Machine,” and that the new versions sounds “radically different” which I have mixed feelings about because I really LOVE the arraignments and instrumentation of the leaked Extraordinary Machine (which was produced by Jon Brion.) I guess we’ll see!

posted by JMV | 8/15/2005 12:24:00 PM

Friday, August 12, 2005  

Caption this:
Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

posted by JMV | 8/12/2005 11:43:00 AM

Thursday, August 11, 2005  

From Amanda: “What is your favorite Christmas memory”
Hmm Favorite is either getting Ginger (my puppy) or the first year that I came home from Clairo’s (the Italian market where we would buy all the cold cuts for our traditional Christmas eve meal) during the day on Christmas eve and joined my father and uncle in the traditional pre-pre-eve cold cut sandwich as we put away all the meats and cheeses. I felt that moment was the most salient “coming of age” in my life as I was fully aware of the transition in focus from presents to celebrating with family.

From Russell: “What's it like being a no-quiz-posting douchebag?
Similar in most ways to being a douchebag that stopped answering the quiz weeks ago.

From Chun: “Who's going to win the NBA finals this year?”
I had no ideas that Lawyers had a winner. But I’m going to support Matt Holohan in this one…

From Anne: “Do you really think the Honda Element looks good?”
It is just different enough to titillate. I also like the two-tone design and the “squatness,” I think it strikes a good balance between too boxy (the Scion xB) and too Lozenge-y (The Marango.) But the best part is the interior, which is really super-cool!

From Matt H(olohan): “What time is it?”
4:30! Its not late, it is early EARLY!
(or alternately Happy Hour, Miller Time, time to get a watch, or 12:14pm)

posted by JMV | 8/11/2005 03:59:00 PM

Wednesday, August 10, 2005  

The Quiz is Dead. Long Live the Quiz
I’ve grown bored of the weekly-Wednesday postings, and I feel like if I’m resorting to gimmicks, I should at least keep them fresh. SO today I’ll try out “Ask John.” Use the comments to ask me anything and I’ll post my answers tomorrow…

posted by JMV | 8/10/2005 04:26:00 PM

Tuesday, August 09, 2005  

Desert Apple
Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

From the Archives 3
This shot of NY-NY hotel/casino was taken during the fall 2001 Vegas trip, and I belive the morning after I proposed to Julie.

posted by JMV | 8/09/2005 09:26:00 AM

Friday, August 05, 2005  

OctopusHat Caption:
Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

Post your coments below.

posted by JMV | 8/05/2005 02:02:00 PM

Wednesday, August 03, 2005  

Wednesday Again?
1) Pancakes or French-toast?
2) What song would you like to hear covered, and by whom?
3) Do you share more qualities with your mother or your father?
4) What is your favorite ride at Disneyland?
5) What do you typically do on a weekday evening?
6) When did you realize that you were an “adult?”

posted by JMV | 8/03/2005 12:24:00 PM

Tuesday, August 02, 2005  

From the Archives 2
Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

This shot is from spring-time of 1996 during my senior-year photo class and depicts my Uncle Tony relaxing on the patio of my old home in Irvine. While I like the tones in the picture as well as the afternoon’s lengthening shadows, I’m not too thrilled with the framing and composition. I re-cropped the picture to improve it a bit, but the merge of the poll sprouting from Tony’s head bugs me.

posted by JMV | 8/02/2005 11:17:00 AM

Monday, August 01, 2005  

Birthday Weekend
Since Monday birthdays are stupid, Julie and I celebrated over the preceding weekend, and it went down something like this: After work on Friday I sped home and changed and then we headed downtown to check into the Standard Hotel where Julie had booked a swanky room for the night as my birthday present. Even though it was all of 7 miles away from our Hollywood home, it felt like we were on vacation (and we even got to test-out the new luggage that we bought for our upcoming Fall road trip.) After some brief relaxing in the room we decided to hit the Daily Grill for dinner since it was literally across the street (our room actually overlooked it.) Dinner was tasty and I had a damn fine Manhattan to start off the evening. Unfortunately we were unable to save stomach real-estate for the hot-fudge cheesecake, so we just had some espresso and then headed top the kick-ass rooftop bar for drinks. The DJ was kinda sucky, and all the make-out “pods” were occupied, but we snagged a couch and settled in for a while.

Saturday the plan was to hit the Olivera Street market, but first we needed coffee so we walked down a black to starbucks and on the way back to the hotel decide to explore the Central Library which was very, very big and very cool. So after taking some pictures of the grounds and getting new library cards we retrieved the car and headed to the oldest street in LA. Olivera Street was cool, if a little “touristy” and I had the best churro EVER. We finished up a lot sooner that we had planed on so ended up driving around the fashion/jewelry/toy districs for a bit before eating lunch at Philipes for the OG French dips then headed back to Hollywood for a nap. My mom came up that evening and we headed to El Cholo, one of LA’s oldest Mexican restaurants (open since the 20s!) where I attempted to consume the “Taste of History” (Enchilada + Tamale + rolled taco + chile relleno + rice and beans.) I think I started to hallucinate about 2/3 of the way through it, but it was DAMN good.

Sunday was very low-key: sleep late, get coffee, drive to Burbank and try to find new shoes (I failed, but I did get a kick ass shirt that I’m looking forward to wearing tonight.) And speaking of tonight, I’ll be gathering a posse to go to an as of yet undecided restaurant for food and libations!

posted by JMV | 8/01/2005 12:24:00 PM
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