Saturday, April 13, 2002
We All Want Something Beautiful, Willie:
I woke up at 8:15 with the worst headache I've had in ages. I tossed and turned for a bit until I noticed that my stomach started to cramp up and I felt totally nauseous. What a way to start your Saturday morning. I thought I had the flu or something and I wanted to stay in bed, but my head hurt so much that I couldn’t lie down. So after a quick shower I headed down to the store to get a bag of coffee and on my way back I went past a coffee shop to get a cup right away. All this took less than fifteen minutes, so in order to stay outside in the fresh air for a bit longer I went to the top of my building, where we have a terrace. It was grey and a bit cold out, so I’ve probably looked pretty pathetic at 11 a.m. on the terrace clutching a Styrofoam container, while leaning over the railing and looking out over the city. So that was only fun for so long, so I soon went back downstairs. I headed straight for the couch and the remote, but after flicking through reruns and documentaries for a couple of hours (a highlight was a look at Victoria Wood’s career, which ended with The Ballad of Barry & Freda, which I think is a funny song) I had had enough and I popped Beautiful Girls in the VCR.
I think if I had to make a top five list of my all-time favourite movies Beautiful Girls would be on it alongside When Harry Met Sally, Reservoir Dogs, Annie Hall, and Singles. It’s just one of the most well-written, perfectly cast movies ever with a killer soundtrack to boot. I actually felt a little sad, when Ted Demme died recently. Not because I'm a huge fan of his other work (although Denis Leary: No Cure for Cancer is an absolute killer), but because that means he’ll never make another movie like this again (selfish, I know). The script is written by Scott Rosenberg, who also worked on the High Fidelity script, and it has some of the best dialogue (not written by Woody Allen) ever. You don't believe me? Then check out these quotes. Everybody in that movie is great (even Michael Rapaport), but there can be not doubt that Natalie Portman steals every scene she’s in. Maybe that’s why I like the movie so much: Because I understand Timothy Hutton’s character’s fascination with this girl. And I love the conversation he has with the Mo character about waiting a few years until she old enough for him to date, and he says that all he wants is for her to say to him: “Take me with you, when you go” (which may or may not be a reference to a song by The Jayhawks). But he also knows that he’s like a dirty old man (not Roman Polanski, but like a character from a Nabokov book), which brings on the necessary guilt for him to do the right thing.
So after watching Beautiful Girls I actually felt a lot better. I went out for ice cream, made some coffee, and now I’m considering getting ready for my friend’s birthday party. But I have to clean up a bit, because I haven’t shaved for awhile and I look like The Wild Man of Borneo (which my uncle Cathal, after having used the expression, noted was a weird expression, since no one seems to know if there ever was a real Wild Man of Borneo, what he looked like, and exactly how wild he was). And it would probably also be wise to eat something other than a strawberry sundae before going to the party.
I went to the Blogger site, so I could post this and noticed that I (alongside TrendMacro) was one of yesterday’s “Blogs of Note”. I think that’s totally amazing, especially since I’ve only been writing here for about five weeks. So a big Thank You! to the good people at Blogger and to you for stopping by.
- John Fogde 7:31 PM [+]
Friday, April 12, 2002
Everybody Needs Good Neighbours:
Everything was quiet, when I feel asleep around 2AM last night except for the low rumbling coming from the club down the street. However, when I woke up at 4AM I could hear loud R'n'B music and people laughing and running up and down stairs. Who starts playing loud music at 4AM? My neighbour, that's who! At first I couldn't make out, where the noise was coming from, because the acoustics in this building are weird and I was a bit groggy from having just woken up and all. But after awhile I could tell that the music and the sound of excited, drunken, hoarse voices came from next door.
My neighbour is a 20-something girl, who's apparently the only one in her group of friends, who doesn't live at home with her parents anymore. Or else it's just that they prefer partying at her place, because she lives downtown. Either way they party here a lot! She appears to be a big fan of J-Lo and Destiny's Child, but actually the music didn't bother me last night until they started playing the same Enrique Iglesias song over and over. Obviously, they sang along as well, which didn't exactly improve on the vocal stylings of Old Molehead. I hate that guy and his stupid videos, where he gets to make out with Jennifer Love Hewitt and Anna Kournikova. Hero, my ass!
So this went on until around 5AM, where suddenly they turned the music off and within 10 minutes everything was dead quiet. But I didn't fall asleep again right away, which meant I didn't wake up until around 1PM, which means today I haven't done anything besides answer emails and get movies tickets.
Thankfully, my cable came back on this afternoon, so I get to watch the Andy Warhol special on Swedish TV and The Osbournes tonight. It's gonna be awesome.
- John Fogde 6:36 PM [+]
Weird Scenes Inside The Goldmine:
The Natfilm Festival begins next week here, so I went to get tickets for The Royal Tenenbaums today. On my way to get tickets, and later food, I saw a couple of weird things:
1) A guy painted completely yellow sitting on a box in the lotus position staring straight ahead. He had a jar in front of him and quite a few people were standing around looking at him. Why? I have no idea.
2) A guy driving a remote controlled mallard that had a "Feed the hungry mallards" sign on it up and down the street.
3) A vagabond, who called me "Chief".
4) A guy walking his dog and wearing sunglasses (although it was completely clouded outside), while singing Guantanamera, substituting the lyrics with "Tom's karameller", into a cell phone.
5) Kellogg's Cornflakes boxes now come with CD-roms with computer games instead stickers and plastic figurines.
6) Two drunks hugging in front of my building (which wasn't cute in an Ironweed sort of way, but just plain creepy).
- John Fogde 4:45 PM [+]
Thursday, April 11, 2002
Something To Write Home About:
A guy from my old company emailed and asked if I could stop by today and help out answering phones. I said I No Problemo, because I'm still good friends with the people there and I'm sure they'll rehire me, when they find a project I can work on. So for three hours today I answered phone calls (10-15 calls at the most), got a free lunch, surfed the net, and read parts of the new issue of Rolling Stone with Shakira on the cover (I have a rant brewing about RS and their choices for covers, but more on that later). And as a Thank You, they gave me three bottles of wine from this awesome shop around the corner, which I thought was pretty generous.
While I was making dinner a friend of mine came by to eat his dinner at my house. I live next door to a pretty great burger joint and my friend eats there whenever he gets the chance. Personally, I'm not crazy about their burgers (however, their pepperoni pizzas are pretty great), but that's just me. Everyone else thinks they're the best around, so whenever people stop by we usually get food from there. Anyway, my friend has a car for the next couple of weeks and he drove from his house to this place to get food and then decided it would be nicer to eat it at my place than in some smelly burger joint. So he stopped by and hung out for a bit, which was a nice surprise.
Other than that I've just been listening to Four Minute Mile by The Get Up Kids, because someone has been dropping Get Up titles like a juggler with arthritis (because if you had arthritis and tried to juggle, you'd probably drop your
- John Fogde 11:19 PM [+]
I'm Shy, It's Endearing!
I just watched the two first episodes of Andy Richter Controls The Universe and they were pretty funny. I thought the pilot episode was better than the second episode mainly because it was weirder and the second one focused too much on Richter's relationship with the Wendy character. I thought Richter was very funny on Conan and I think he's just as funny here. The only thing I didn't quite like about the show was the Byron character, who I thought was a bit annoying. Oddly enough the cast consists of people, who were on shows which were quickly cancelled (Love & Money, Grosse Point, The $treet, and the impossibly named Encore! Encore!). And how do I know this? Unfortunately, I've seen these shows and although some of them had their moments they weren't exactly great.
But with Andy's new show and Greg The Bunny, it looks like the fall replacement shows are pretty good. Unfortunately, in my opinion both of them have "Destined for cancellation" written all over them, so I'd be surprised if there around in June.
- John Fogde 12:00 AM [+]
Wednesday, April 10, 2002
I Used To Care, But Things Have Changed:
I'm so unbelievably old it's not even funny. I went down to get a refund on the DVD thing I bought Saturday, and then I went over to this new record store called Music that opened a couple of weeks ago. I honestly went in to get albums by The Hives, BMRC, or something like that, but because the store just opened they don't have a lot of new stuff yet (they did have the new Gomez album, but for some reason I didn't get that), so I started looking for old stuff instead. Apparently, the thing you do, when you open a record store, is get a hold of a lot of back catalogue albums to fill up the shelves. And for some reason the people at Music have decided against getting newer indie albums and instead getting stacks of Billy Idol, Grace Jones, and Beatles albums. The last thing makes sense, but how many copies of Nightclubbing are they honestly expecting to sell?
So I look around for a bit and notice that a lot of the old CDs have a Nice Price sticker on them and cost about 8 bucks. That means all plans for buying new, expensive CDs are out the window and I end up picking up Springsteen's The River and Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited (I also came close to buying Dylan's Blood on the Tracks and Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys, but didn't). So all indie cred is out the window and I'm now officially an old geezer, who listens to old geezer music. But I don't really care. I listened to the lyrics to The River, and they're honestly better than anything you'd ever hear on the radio today.
And I just love the opening line from Hungry Heart:
"Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack
I went out for a ride and I never went back"
- John Fogde 6:08 PM [+]
Television, The Drug of a Nation:
As previously mentioned I love TV. And because we don't get shows when they premiere in the US, no matter how many shows I follow I feel a little behind the times. So when I found out at there are people, who encode shows and make them available through Kazaa and other file sharing tools I could barely believe it. So I started downloading all these shows, and it's just incredible. Without Kazaa I would never have seen Undeclared, which is probably the best new show since Sports Night, or The Tick for that matter.
The latest show I've found is the pilot for Greg The Bunny, which caught my attention for different reasons. Wil Wheaton mentioned that he really liked it, Seth Green is in it, but more importantly so is Sarah Silverman. I saw her on Conan O'Brien once and I laughed so hard I damn near fell out of my chair. Her sense of humour is unbelievably black and apparently it has caused some controversy over there, because someone misunderstood (or chose to misunderstand) a joke she did. She is really funny (and hot!), so I knew I had to get a copy of the show as soon as possible. So I found it and watched it this morning and it's great. Unfortunately, Silverman wasn't featured that prominently in the first episode, but that was to be expected as they had to establish the Greg character and introduce all the other characters. But overall I thought the show was really funny and I can't wait to see more episodes.
- John Fogde 12:51 PM [+]
Worst Movie Ever:
This is the funniest article I've read in a long time.
- John Fogde 1:40 AM [+]
Tuesday, April 09, 2002
I'll Miss You When You're Just Like Them:
I really like Jimmy Eat World. I first noticed them, when the appeared on a Duran Duran Tribute album and about a year later I bought the Clarity album. That's a really good album, so my expectations were pretty high, when I heard JEW were releasing Bleed American. The first couple of times I listened to it I was a little disappointed, because it was a lot more straight forward rock (and therefore less Emo) than their earlier stuff, but after a while I really got into it. Rachel Haden appears on the album and I love her voice. I'm a huge fan of That Dog and I love the stuff she's done with people like The Rentals and Beck.
If you don't know that much about JEW you can now check out the Members Area of their website for free until the the 12th, and after that you'll need to buy Bleed American to access it. I recommend downloading the acoustic version of The Middle and the bonus track (Splash) Turn Twist is also pretty cool. And supposedly they'll update it after the 12th, so all the more reason to pick up their album.
- John Fogde 11:05 PM [+]
And The Hits Just Keep On Coming:
While I was making breakfast (around 1PM) a card was thrown through my mail slot. When I picked it up I could see it was a notice that the cable company had switched my subscribtion from Premium to Basic. So I ran out to catch the guy, but he was long gone. So I called the cable company to tell them that they're idiots and that they should get someone out here right away to fix the mistake. But before I even got to that the customer service person told me that apparently the tenants association in my building (who collect the cable fee through the rent and then pay the cable company) had ordered the switch or less they wouldn't have performed it. So now a representative from the tenants association has to contact our contact person at the cable company and get it fixed, so I can get my channels back. Can you see where this is going? Yeah, chances are they won't get it fixed this week, so I'll miss ER, The Simpsons, The Osbournes, Smallville, and whatever else may be on this week.
And yet I'm not as bummed as you'd expect. When I read the card I completely flipped my lid, but after watching the finale episode of Clerks and eating my "breakfast" I visited the Adidas website. They have a contest there, where you collect hidden logos (trefoils) and then you use them to enter a raffle for Adidas items. I won a t-shirt i January (which I haven't received yet) and there are some cool items I'd like to get as well. It's like a treasure hunt and it's really quite addictive. So finding a bunch of trefoils cheered me up a bit. And listening to "God Bless the Blake Babies" also helped.
- John Fogde 3:10 PM [+]
By The Power of Greyskull!
How often do you get to read articles about the Masters of the Universe or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons? My guess would be not that often, so it's nice to know that you can find stuff like that over at X-Entertainment. I haven't read that many articles there yet, but so far my favourite is a review of an episode of Saved By the Bell. It has to be one of the dumbest shows ever and the review does a great job of summing up a lot of the questions you'll inevitable have after watching an episode. Now if they would only review a couple of Sweet Valley High episodes we'd really be onto something.
- John Fogde 1:19 AM [+]
Monday, April 08, 2002
Things Here Are Different:
I'm in a really pissy mood now. I can't find the power cable for my record player, which I wanted to hook up last night. I've been down to the basement three times to look throught boxes and bags and I just can't find it. And every time I go down there it's like I'm in a Laurel & Hardy movie. There's a light switch by the door and when you hit it the light stays on for about 30 seconds. So while you're going through a bag the light will suddenly go out and you have to make your way back to the door in the dark. That goes on for a while until you finally drag the boxes and bags you want to go through up to the door, so you don't have to run back and forth like an idiot. So I go through all this crap several times and I still can't find the damn cable. So I give up and go through the apartment knowing full well I won't find it there and I didn't, so that pisses me off even more. And I honestly have absolutely no clue where the damn thing could be, so now I'll have to figure out some way of getting a new one.
So then I go to the weird electronics store and get the scart thing I needed for my PS2. And I hook the machine up to the TV and it still doesn't work. I try everything and get a hold of a friend with Trillian, but it still doesn't work. So according to the manual the only answer is that my TV isn't NTSC compatible, which is weird because my VCR can play NTSC tapes and that works fine with the TV. So I've just wasted 40 bucks on useless junk and spent hours trying to make it work, when the whole thing was doomed from the beginning because of my stupid TV.
So now I'm completely bummed! I wanted to listen to albums and watch DVDs and I can't do either. And because I've been trying to get all this stuff to work I haven't done anything else today, which means the stuff that I should've done won't get done until tomorrow. The only good news is that Michael Rosenbaum is hilarious. He plays Lex Luthor on Smallville and he's the main reason I watch the show. I read an article about Smallville in Rolling Stone last night and he was really funny. The other two didn't come off as charming as they do on the show, but Rosenbaum came off as an absolute riot. There's even a reference to him having sex with Superman in the article, which completely cracked me up. So that rocked! But other than that things here are sucky.
- John Fogde 5:25 PM [+]
Sunday, April 07, 2002
How come every time you buy something it doesn't work or there's a part missing or you can't get it to work and you end up feeling like an idiot? Or is that just me? Either way, I bought a thing so I can watch American DVDs on my PS2 and after trying different stuff it turns out the scart adapter I have isn't "fully loaded", so I'll have to get a new one on Monday. And this I find out after I've bought the thing and visited a friend to get actual DVDs to test the sucker out. And obviously they only sell the adapters at this obscure electronics joint that for some reason closes an hour earlier than regular shops.
But thankfully until then it can still play European DVDs, so I watched High Fidelity (again), which I had also borrowed. I think John Cusack is about as cool as you can get. I saw Say Anything for the umpteenth time last week and he's just great and you can totally tell how much he's learned from Cameron Crowe, when you watch Hi-Fi. So now I’m listening to the soundtrack and half watching Fucking Åmål (which might be called Show Me Love where you live) and thinking about how I need to get some old records. I have about a thousand records and less than five percent of those records were made before 1980. I love The Velvet Underground and I would love to have a bunch of records that sound like Who Loves the Sun, which is weird because I’m such a huge fan of Love Reed and it’s actually Doug Yule, who sings on that track although it was written by Reed. I think I need to get more Dylan records and at some point I should definitely buy some Beach Boys and Beatles records. I don’t really get black music, so y’all can keep your Otis, Aretha, Wilson, and Stevie records, while I concentrate on music written by depressed white guys.
I did some other stuff today, but my main concern and the main thing on my mind has been that I'll probably miss this years Roskilde Festival, because a friend of mine is getting married that weekend. That totally sucks! I don't want to miss his wedding for the world, but I don't want to miss the festival either. The programme kinda sucks right now (except for The Beta Band), but who cares? There's always something worth watching and those four days just make my year... every year! I live for going there with my friends and when I walk onto that field with my tent and bags I feel like I've come home. Like a footballer at Wembley or a druid at Stonehenge. This is where I'm supposed to be and missing it will bug me for years. I'm going to try to work out some compromise, but I already know it's going to be an either/or situation that'll end up with me going to the wedding, which pissed me off even more, because I hate not having a choice.
- John Fogde 12:57 AM [+]