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Friday, December 23, 2005  

Santa Drives a Ford
Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

Seriously. I saw him at the FedEx depo in Hollywood. He had green pants and red pointy shoes, and drove a Ford F150 with the license plate "SANTA:hearts:U" and a bumper sticker that said "my other car is a reindeer."

I officially have xmas spirt now!

Merry Christmas everybody, be safe and have a drink for me!

posted by JMV | 12/23/2005 04:18:00 PM

Tuesday, December 20, 2005  

They Make Drugs Out of It…

This was posted yesterday, though I was too zoned-out to notice I posed it to the WRONG blog... So enjoy, and I'm feeling much better.
…And I can see why. I took Sudafed this morning to help with the head-pressure, and ever since I’ve been a zombie. I can barely function, which is weird because I used to take Sudafed all the time and it never laid me out quite like it is doing today… I think the cure is worse than the cold in this case. I actually felt pretty good on Saturday, but evidently over-exerted myself by, gasp, shopping because on Sunday I was back in the weeds. I don’t think I got off the couch for like 10 hours. I actually watched Rushmore on DVD TWICE because I didn’t have the energy to find another DVD to watch. By the time Sunday night rolled around and I was a total bitch because I hadn’t DONE anything but lay around, I didn’t actually FEEL any better, and was pissed about having to go to work in the morning. (I’ll also blame the damned Sudafed for this as it evidently causes irritability and restlessness.) And of course Jules had to bear the brunt of Fussy-John, and I’m so sorry that she had to deal w/ me. She is the most important person I my life, and she deserves some kind of award for being so fucking awesome. Something with Chocolate-sauce…

This fucking cold/flu has also killed nearly all of my Christmas spirit. I’m bummed that we only get to see a fraction of our families. I feel totally trapped in my job, which gets more frustrating by the day and doesn’t actually provide the freedom, financially, that I would have expected 18 months ago when I started. I seriously need a Tiny-Tim moment, a fucking gingerbread man ,or something because right now I feeling pretty Grinch.

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch… Sorry. I did enjoy my double feature of Rushmore and Rushmore yesterday, though the commentary-track with Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwarztman was pretty under whelming and it didn’t offer a whole lot of insight into the story or production. But I love the film, and the performances and script are so perfect that I could probably watch it every day and still see new details. Wes Anderson’s films are both utterly heart-breaking and at the same time wonderfully uplifting, and he is a gifted filmmaker who I am fiercely jealous of.

posted by JMV | 12/20/2005 09:05:00 AM

Thursday, December 15, 2005  

The Bird-Flu Will Destroy Los Angeles
Hollywood has fallen victim to one of the horsemen of the apocalypse. Everyone I know is either sick, or valiantly combating sickness. My office has been at ½ strength for a week as the bug whips through the company like a SoCal brushfire through scrub-bush. I was home from work yesterday, and slept nearly 16-hours and still don’t fell 100%. Still made it out to the opening of King Kong last night, and it didn’t loose any impact on the second viewing. I’ll try to write-up a “proper” review today or tomorrow, but I’ll probably flake on that…

posted by JMV | 12/15/2005 11:32:00 AM

Monday, December 12, 2005  

My co-worker Carl just posed the question of what was the first album that you remember listening to. He had memories of his dad listening to the Magical Mystery Tour, and I had to think about mine for a while before coming up with two possibilities. Men at Work’s “Business as Usual” and Don Henley’s first solo album “I Can’t Stand Still” were both released on 1982 putting me between 3&4 years old. I LOVED the singe from the Don Henley, “Dirty Laundry” and even had a little dance I would do along-with it. I think this is very odd, because Don Henley was the poster-boy for wuss-rock and as a teen I developed a seething hatred for the Eagles, and yet I love New Wave and the Nuevo Wave of recent years. Why would these two albums, so central in the formation of musical tastes, now have diverged so much? I’m always intrigued at how I got to my current sensibilities. Could I, looking back over my personal history, pull-out moments or incidents that directly correlate to what I like today?

How much did my parents influence my taste? IN my early youth, my father was always an old-school Rock-and-Roll guy, mixed with blues and 60s-psychedellia while my mom was all-over the map, including country (back in the day before country meant jack-asses in $6,000 hats) and Rock and Roll (Springstein and the Eagles) and whatever sub-genre Fleatwood Mac created (not to mention more easy-listening staples like Enya and –gasp- Yani.) I’ve hung-onto the blues-rock and psychedelia from my dad and some of the more synth-driven instrumentation of my mom’s eclectic tape-collection. I also have a soft-spot for Roots and traditional early-American instrumentation. Maybe that is a legacy of my inutero Country and Honky-tonk listening?

The very first Band that I claimed as “My Own,” the first fan-club I belonged to and the first act I felt any connection to was, of course, They Might Be Giants. I had seen the video for either “Hotel Detective” or “Don’t Lets Start” on the Saturday-morning music-video program on Nickelodeon, “Nick Rocks!” This initial influx of non-parental music happened sometime between 1986 and 1989 with the purchase of the “Don’t Lets Start” EP (on cassette of course.) I believe that this laid a foundation for my love of “alt-rock” post-punk, and art-rock that continues to this day.

After the discovery of TMBG there was a top-40 radio driven foray into bubble-gum “hip-hop” (C&C Music Factory, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, etc etc.) While this phase was, for the most part, regrettable it did lay the ground-work for my later appreciation of Hip-Hop on a deeper level in college. This puts me into the 90s and in Jr. High where my next major aesthetic shift happened. It is a constant in my life that when new people are introduced into my life my musical tastes are forever changed and the onset of the tumultuous time of middle-school was the first time I really experienced this.

posted by JMV | 12/12/2005 11:31:00 AM

Thursday, December 08, 2005  

At Least the Aren’t Kidding Themselves
Found at Ateaseweb.com (A Radiohead news site):

Here's a little bit from this months Q magazine. An interview with Coldplay's Chris Martin & Ricky Gervais:
How will Coldplay develop? You've mentioned you'd like to work with Timbaland.
RG: What, the boots people?
CM: Yeah, the people who make boots.
RG: Bruce Foxton's got a brand new pair of Timberlands.
CM: Yeah, I thought what we need to do next is a CD that comes in a pair of durable walking boots, so you can listen to it when you're hiking.
RG: You're going for the working class vote now aren't you? [Thinks] Who are your fans?
CM: Ah, man, it's tricky. I don't think we'd be anywhere is Radiohead didn't exist. I think we're like why Diet Coke was big. Because some people couldn't handle Coke. That's how i see Coldplay.
RG: That's very humbling.

Julie and I were talking about Coldplay the other day, and we decided that my unfounded hatred for them probably isn’t fair. But alas, what can I do? They maybe decent song-writers and musicians but something about their aesthetic makes me angry. I’ll even admit that “Clocks” is kinda catchy, but it still smells funny to me. Like it was mathematically designed to be catchy and anthemic. Plus I think that Chris Martin is a Douche.

As proof of Ducheocity, I just found this tidbit on the Wikipedia entry for that band:
"...at one point Martin had considered forming a *NSYNC inspired boy band called Pectoralz."

posted by JMV | 12/08/2005 12:36:00 PM

Tuesday, December 06, 2005  

Thanks to Justin, Julie and I were able to get into a press-screening of King Kong last night. I realize I have a bit of a reputation for hyperbole after seeing these big movies, and I want to try and reign myself in while describing Kong. But it is hard because this movie is big. Looking back to December of 2003 after seeing Return of the King I had this to say:

Against all odds Peter Jackson has gone from making tiny shlock-horror cult movies to one of the biggest trilogies in the history of Hollywood, and it is only fitting that his next project will be to tackle the very heavy cinematic burden of remaking King Kong. I think everyone would agree that there is no need to remake King Kong (again.) The 1933 original is one of the most iconic movies ever made and was to Hollywood in the Thirties what Lord of the Rings is to the Hollywood of today: an impossible achievement. But Jackson has done the impossible more than once, so I'm all for him giving Kong a shot, if anyone can make the big ape as awe inspiring and relevant as he was in the Thirties it's Jackson.

Even before the buzz on production began I had high-hopes for the film, and those expectations had ballooned in the days and weeks leading up to the opening of the film so naturally I jumped at the chance to see it over a week early. The film exceeded every expectation I had. The film exceeded what I thought was possible within the medium of cinema. (Damn-it! There I go with the hyperbole again.) The film is a monumental achievement in Cinema. I could go on, but I’m going to hold-off until after the premiere so I can hopefully have some more insightful comments.

The bottom line is King Kong is movie magic and should not be missed. Don’t wait-around for DVD, this film is meant to be seen in the theaters.

posted by JMV | 12/06/2005 10:30:00 AM

Thursday, December 01, 2005  

I think I missed My Calling...
Chess+Boxing. Who knew?

posted by JMV | 12/01/2005 11:56:00 AM
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