Sunday, January 28, 2007

My black boxes

Evidently it is impossible for all the little black boxes in my life to work in unison. I opened up my iPod again and it now seems to be in working order. The repairs may not last forever, but it's good enough for now. My little computer is working properly, which only leaves my phone.

It disappeared.

I rarely lose things. I can tell you where most everything I own is located. Saturday morning I realized that I was no longer in possession of my phone. I had had it an hour previous in the library and had it no longer. I wracked my brains to determine where I could have left it, to no avail. I have put several hours into searching, but there are very few places it could have gone. The answer: a hobo now owns my Chocolate phone.

I grieve.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

And the Oscar SHOULD go to . . .

I’ll now impart on you who should win the Academy awards, despite the fact that I’ve seen very few of the contenders. A lack of knowledge has never kept me from having opinions before.

Best Picture

Little Miss Sunshine, with The Departed a close second. I’ve seen Sunshine and it was great; I only suspect that The Departed is great.

Best Director

Martin Scorsese for The Departed. I realize that the Oscars are based on individual achievements and not for life long work, but it was pretty ridiculous that Scorsese has never won for best director. I’m not a huge fan but there’s no question that he’s incredibly influential, very talented and deserves to have won at some point. I didn’t see this movie (I wanted to, but didn’t have the time) but I’m throwing him the Oscar anyway.

Best Actor

Forest Whitaker for Last King of Scotland. Go Ghost Dog!

Best Actress
Meryl Streep for Devil Wears Prada. I can’t say that I’m at all enthusiastic for this category. But Meryl is the only one that I saw perform, and she was amusing.

Supporting Actor

This is a hard one because I like each of these actors, but only some of the time. And since I didn’t get around to seeing most of these movies, I don’t know if I liked this particular performance. But Alan Arkin was very entertaining, despite single handedly making the movie R.

Supporting Actress

I considered heaping praise on Sunshine, but I’m not going to give the little girl this award. I’m morally opposed to giving awards to pre-teens. So I’m giving it to Rinko Kikuchi, who I hear is amazing in Babel.

Foreign Film

Pan’s Labyrinth. I haven’t seen it yet (perhaps this weekend) but I’ve been looking forward to this for six months. I love horror, I love fantasy, I like Del Toro. Go Pan.

Adapted Screenplay

I’m tempted to give this to Borat for it’s shear originality, but I don’t think it had that great of a screenplay. It was improvised; funny, but improvised. So I’ll give this to Children of Men, which should have had a best picture nomination.

Original Screenplay

Sunshine vs. Pan. Pan wins out, because I like writer/directors and because it’s a trippy film. That’s got to be hard to write.


I couldn’t care less. Where’s the anime? Stupid Academy Awards. I’m voting for Scanner Darkly.

Art Direction

I liked Good Shepard’s art, and I liked The Prestige’s as well. But Pan wins again.


Children of Men, all day long.

Sound Mixing and Sound Editing

No one cares, except for sound mixers and/or editors. But I feel bad the Apocalypto didn’t get more nominations so I’ll give it this.

Original Score

It wasn’t nominated, but Marie Antoinette gets its. Sorry nominated folks.

Original Song

I’m abstaining from this category. 3 songs from the same movie? This automatically disqualifies all of them. I won’t vote for Randy Newman. If I had to vote it would be for Melissa Etheridge by the process of elimination. But I’m not voting for her either.


Once I’ve seen Curse of the Golden Flower, I might vote for it. But for now I’ll go with Marie Antoinette. It was practically about the costumes.


I think there’s little doubt that An Inconvenient Truth will win this. I think it also deserves it.


Children of Men. I think I have awarded it every category it was entered in.


Pan again, though Apocalypto gets a close second.

Short Films

Haven’t seen any of them, haven’t heard of any of them. But one is called the Danish Poet, so it wins.

Special Effects

Superman Returns had some very cool effects. But Pirates had cool effects going 24/7. It was mediocre in every other way, but the effects were cool.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Aiding Your Consumerism

I would like to official endorse Diet Rite: Pure Zero: White Grape. Yes, the name is far too long, but the soda is delectable. It’s a solid mix between grape soda and sparkling grape juice, with the calories of neither. Splenda, blessed be thy name. My habit is to have a case of Diet Dr. Pepper in the cupboard, plus a box of something else. Normally this changes every couple weeks, but this is my third box of DRPZWG in a row. I’ll probably swap it out for something else this coming week, but still it’s been quite the run. I’ve also taken to freezing Clementine oranges and using them as ice with the White Grape. It probably doesn’t change the flavor that much, but how else am I going to finish a whole box of oranges before they go bad?

I’m close to withdrawing my iPod endorsement. Last year at about this time my iPod broke and I bought a new one. Guess what happened this week? My new iPod broke in exactly the same way. It permanently thinks that it’s locked, making it a dang expensive paperweight. When this happened last time I eventually had the iPod fixed by a specialty store. It took the guy a whopping 2 minutes to fix, but cost me 20 bucks. I’m morally opposed to paying some random guy ten dollars per minute, and don’t know where I’d go in Columbus anyway, so decided to fix it myself. I borrowed a friend’s tool that assisted me in prying the iPod open. Unfortunately I was unable to locate the exact problem, so just tried to clean out the locking mechanism. I’d like to say that I fixed it, but I only half-fixed it. Now I can get the iPod to work, but I have to squeeze the top portion of the screen as I mess with the buttons. It’s quite inconvenient so I’ll undoubtedly end up at the Apple store some time in the next couple weeks.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It's a liopleurodon Charlie!

Original content: coming soon.

Until then: Charlie the Unicorn

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Sorensene Day

Saturday was one of the longest days of my life. It wasn’t bad at all, just insanely long. On Friday I finally came home at 7 pm, after having studied on campus all day. I was immensely tired and decided to remedy this by going to sleep. Unfortunately this meant that I woke up at 2:30 am, having already received a full night’s sleep. Bryce and Mark were still up from the previous evening and were quite surprised to see me waking up at that time. Luckily I had a presentation to work on so had plenty to keep me busy until 8, when I had to go meet with my group. I was busy all day running errands, putting together the presentation and getting ready for Saturday night. What was I preparing for? The Sorensene Film Festival!

Several people had repeatedly asked to watch my BYU movies, mostly due to the relative popularity of my most recent movie. I like people watching the movies, but really don’t like watching them much myself (I spent far too much time watching them over and over again in the editing process) so put together this event so everyone could watch the movies at once.

The festival was pretty successful. We crammed about 30 people into our front room, which undoubtedly violated any number of fire codes. I had planned on about 20 people, though admittedly I didn’t have a plan to seat that many either. But we made do, with the help of extra blankets, pillows, a Lovesac and people that enjoy sitting on each other’s laps. Like any good film festival I made sure we had a Cookie Buffet to keep everyone satiated. I decided that since I was pressed for time I wouldn’t make cookies, but would instead buy Oreos and decorate them. This ended up taking nearly an hour, so will probably never be repeated.

I think the movies went over quite well. I made up a Glossary of terms to help people understand the BYU jokes in the movies. The dating film is pretty universally appealing to a Mormon audience, but the Cops movie definitely needed some explanation. The SWKT movie had a mixed reaction, as it always does. The combination of historical jokes and snarky dialogue require a very specific audience, which may only include myself.

Afterwards we had a much smaller contingent that stayed over to watch the Eagles play the Saints. I have relatively little interest in the NFL (it being a sports league) but I was happy to see the Saints win. Afterall, they are one of my dozen home teams. I only bring up this game-watching because I couldn’t go to sleep until everyone left, which wasn’t until after 1 in the morning. Normally this is no problem, but since I had been up since 2, it made for a 23 hour day. I’ve pulled plenty of all-nighters in my life, but it was unusual for me to have a 23 hour day with a full night’s sleep before and after. Such is my life.

Song of the moment: “I Can’t Decide” by Scissor Sisters

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Post 202

I decided to mimic a buddy of mine and create a mix for the year. Some people received it for Christmas, and the rest of you will just need to go buy 21 CDs to make your own. I present ChrisMix 2006.

1. Take Your Mama Out – Scissor Sisters

This band is chock full of 70’s goodness. I lack a proper way to describe them, but I’d say they’re like the Bee Gees, only they’re cool. This track is from their first album, but they’re new one was released a couple months back and is also great. Blast this as you drive and have a great time.

2. Manchester – The Beautiful South

I had a Beautiful South phase this summer that lasted several weeks. They have a unique way of combining light and fun melodies with some edgy vocals that I find quite appealing. Here they sing of the glories of Manchester and raise the question, is it the rain that makes Britain great? I pretty sure it’s not.

3. Fidelity – Regina Spektor

I had been meaning to give this artist a listen for some time now, but only recently stumbled across her on the radio of all places. Hurray for WBER! Wikipedia claims that she sings anti-folk music, which seems to be complete gibberish. What exactly is the antithesis of folk music? Certainly not this. But her unconventional singing and occasional nonsense lyrics are certainly enjoyable.

4. Stoppin’ The Love – KT Tunstall

I had a chance to see KT in Columbus in September and sadly missed the opportunity. My roommate and I were going to find dates and go, but the combination of our studying, laziness and poor knowledge of available girls in the Columbus area kept us from attending. It’s a shame because I am confident that her brand of folksy rock would have been great in a live performance. Maybe next year.

5. True Affection – The Blow

I almost left this out of the mix because it doesn’t quite fit in with the other songs, but it’s what is currently stuck in my head so thought I’d be remiss to not impart it unto the rest of you. I love the stripped-down, laid-back tone of the song. You can almost imagine the group laying around as they perform. Maybe I’m the only one that thinks that’s great, but I do.

6. Blue Monday – Nouvelle Vague

Honestly this isn’t my favorite Nouvelle Vague song (I love their cover of The Killing Moon) but I thought it was the best introduction. This is a French group that sings bossa nova covers of New Wave classics. It’s an odd concept, but it creates some dang-catchy tunes. The group claims that they only sing songs if they aren’t familiar with the original English versions, which seems dubious. But regardless of their originality, I still enjoy the reinterpretations.
7. Haunted – The Pogues and Sinead O’Connor

Sinead is probably the best known artist on the list, though I’d guess that Joe Everyman probably hasn’t listened to the Pogues. It’s rather remarkable that I hadn’t heard this song until this year, but such is the case. I like the contrast between Sinead’s ethereal vocals and Shane MacGowan’s, who sounds like Oscar the Grouch. Also of note is that this is the fourth song on my iPod titled Haunted.

8. Overkill – Colin Hay

It’s sad that my musical tastes are influenced by television, but it’s true. I’ve sought out plenty of songs after hearing them on House or Alias, or in this case Scrubs. In fact Colin Hay (the lead singer of the erstwhile Men At Work) appeared in the episode where he sang this number, and has contributed several tracks since. I can’t say it’s as memorable as Land Down Under, but it’s almost certainly better.

9. Gotta Have You – The Weepies

I also had a Weepies phase this summer, immediately after the Beautiful South period. They both have male/female lead singer pairs, but otherwise I’m not sure what got me onto them. But they’re a talented little group with a pretty good variety of songs.

10. In Your Arms Tonight – Hedwig and the Angry Inch

I’d heard glowing reviews of this movie/play for a couple years and finally investigated it. Honestly, it doesn’t live up to the hype. It was good, and the music is great, but it’s not the opus it’s made out to be. Some of the songs are very specific to the plot, but this one rings true on its own. I enjoy the tribute album that was released, but the covers just can’t achieve the bombast and passion of the original versions.

11. That’s Me Trying – William Shatner

That’s right, I’ve got Captain Kirk on this CD. Who knew that his album would actually be listenable? It certainly doesn’t hurt that his backup vocalists are Ben Folds and Aimee Mann. Although he doesn’t actually sing, he does give us a touching monologue in a melodic voice, which works better than many songs on the radio.

12. Fresh Feeling – Eels

I’ve liked the Eels’ Novocain for the Soul for many years, but always figured that they were 1-hit wonders. Turns out they have some great songs that have never seen the light of day. I’m always a sucker for rock songs that feature a string section.

13. Your Ex-lover is Dead – Stars

Another song with a string section helping out. Also throw in a fantastic opening speech and you’ve got a winner. Any song that has an opening speech has potential.

14. The Way We Get By – Spoon

iTunes has been recommending that I purchase Spoon music for over a year now and I ignored them. You don’t know me iTunes! Stop telling me what to do! But it turns out that they’re pretty great. I guess that Steve Jobs knows what he’s doing. Their music is featured rather prominently in Stranger Than Fiction in case they sound familiar.

15. Lucky Me – Sarah Slean

Sarah has been around for a while now, and always does quality work. She normally does slower, folksier stuff, but occasionally she moves in the pop direction with a song like this. I can dig it.

16. Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix) – Feist

Take a good singer and songwriter like Feist, and throw in the excellent production of Postal Service and you’ve got an award-winning combo. Well they haven’t won any awards, but they should. This is one of the cases where I can’t listen to the original version any more because it likes the energy of the remix.

17. Destroy Everything You Touch – Ladytron

I wanted to include a pretty basic dance track, and this one won out narrowly over Paul Oakenfold’s “Faster Pussycat Kill.” Although this song can’t claim the celebrity vocals of Brittany Murphy, their vocals are better. Just consider yourself lucky that they’re not in Bulgarian, as Ladytron often does.

18. Chelsea – Stefy

Generally I ignore pop music, considering it the junk food of the musical world. But Stefy puts out some delicious junk food. Hopefully she can stay closer to her Eurythmics and No Doubt roots and steer clear of the pop diva sector, as that has never helped anyone musically. But seeing as this song appeared on the John Tucker Must Die soundtrack, my hopes may be in vain.

19. 9 to 5 – Lady Sovereign

I discovered Lady Sovereign in the nerdiest of locations: the Adultswim album. Although she didn’t rap about cartoons, as did many of the other artists, she does like to rhyme about being short and wearing oversized hoodies. This kind of material isn’t going to change the world, but it’s a refreshing break from the majority of rap lyrics. Hopefully she moves past the epithet of Feminem and can shift her British success over across the pond.

20. Beating Heart Baby – Head Automatica

I realize this brand of rock isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it’s great. They’re a little bit screechy and a tad generic, but they’ve got some great energy. This song is from their 2004 release, which I won from a radio contest. Their 2006 album isn’t as good, but is still a fun listen.

21. Space Game – MC Lars

This is the nerdiest song ever created. And I know my nerdy music: I have raps about superheroes, Space Ghost and Star Wars in my collection. But this takes the cake. MC Lars, who performs on stage with only a laptop, throws in dozens of sci-fi references, then moves onto literature and art. You can judge how nerdy you are by how many of the references make sense to you. And in case this is depressing you can take solace in the fact that I understand 95% of the first two verses and a good 70% of the last.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007



Brutus puppets, masks, sweaters; anything you can imagine. There is no limit to ther merchandising possibilities of the Buckeyes. Posted by Picasa

True Buckeyes


Here are some lovely ladies watching the game. There were probably more girls at the party than guys. It could be that they love the game more than their male counterparts, or perhaps they just love the host. But it certainly makes viewing more pleasant. Posted by Picasa



There were many treats at the event, including: Gatormeat (pork dyed green), Buffalo chicken dip (fantastico!), Muddy Buddies, Bratwurst (courtesy of Bryce), baklava, and a chocolate fountain. A chocolate fountain at a football game? Weirdos. Posted by Picasa

Big "Screen"


We did have to watch OSU get ignominiously defeated, but we watched it in style. Lolly has a projector and a large white wall, and we greatly enjoyed both. Posted by Picasa