Tuesday, April 29, 2008

hard to please

Lately it seems that enjoying something entertainment wise is getting harder and harder to come by. I don't think 30 Rock, The Office, or CSI have returned in full force post-strike, and I could write a 2,000 word essay on what I don't like about Battlestar right now. In fact, the only thing remotely guaranteed to please me on TV right now is new Doctor Who.

What I have been enjoying immensely is plowing through some graphic novels. Reading a good graphic novel is like watching a good TV show without clunker episodes or poor casting. I've read through 75% of Planetary, reread a majority of Fables, and hit volumes 2,3, and 4 of DMZ.

It's nice to have something that surprises you, and lately that's only coming from the printed page.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I used to get a kick out of seeing people leave the gym and light up a cigarette. Now I get a kick out of seeing someone leave the gym, light up a cigarette, and drive away in their Prius.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Did you know there's a French film festival in LA? Not a festival really, but a showcase of major french films each year that get screened at the DGA regardless of a distribution deal. It's called COLCOA (City of Angeles/City of Lights), and last night Peter brought me to see Paris, the new C├ędric Klapisch film. Pretty exciting since Klapisch's film L'Auberge Espagnole (also starring Romain Duris) is one of my favorite movies of all time.

I'm sure if you look at the poster you'll understand why I didn't do a word balloon review.

I'm sad to report that watching Paris is like being on the outside of an inside joke. It's true I did laugh a few times, but uproarious laughter came from the mainly french crowd routinely throughout the film. It's not that the humor didn't translate, its that it was so specific and neither Peter nor myself had a good point of reference. The closest thing we came to an analogy was that it's probably like people in China watching a Woody Allen film.

Good performances exist throughout, but it was a bleak exercise in "slice of life" filmmaking. Many storylines take unexpected or contrived turns, we openly asked ourselves if this was the French equivalent of Crash (complete with a contemplative closing monologue regarding the nature of Parisians). Honestly, I doubt I'll never know. L'Auberge Espagnole is so universal because it's about finding your place in a wildly different world, while Paris is the opposite.

It was a truly foreign film.

Monday, April 14, 2008

newly beloved

I must confess, that while I've read Kavalier and Clay 3 times and claim it as my favorite novel, I could not get into Summerland or The Yiddish Policeman's Union. Still, today I picked up and purchased Maps and Legends, which is Chabon's first non-fiction book, as well as a book that sports a triple layer wrap-around Jordan Crane cover.

I have to say that my somewhat unrelated motivation for buying the book aside from its packaging was Chuck Palahniuk's essay collection Stranger than Fiction, which I enjoyed immensely and often flip through at random. Like Chuck's book, I have almost no idea as to the stories I'm in for, which sort of makes it exciting in this age of blurbing and over-review.

I'll let you know how things shape out.

naked lunch

Thursday, April 10, 2008

no money, mo' problems

It's estimated that the Iraqi occupation has cost each American family $16,500. And the government is giving us $600 back. Which I'll either use to pay for gas or to nurse the deep wound taxes left of my wallet.

There should be a way for you to specify where your tax dollars go. Think of it. The Midwest would keep the military going while the coasts paid for education and healthcare. California would pay for alternative energy research while Florida kept Social Security on its feet.

We've been crazy busy with work at the house, but I will put a stop to everything for new 30 Rock and the Office tonight. I missed them with a rabid passion undetected until now.

Kinda over American Idol. We fast forward through most if, stopping only for Carly and the Davids. Sometimes Jason Castro. Wish he'd cut his hair.

I have several new paintings that need to be finished, but work just keeps pouring in. A lot of it is for the military, who are turning to Madison Avenue to lure in new recruits. Still, if I must work for the Navy, at least I can have something good to look at: