Friday, April 26, 2002
My Heart is Crammed in My Cranium
and it Still Knows How to Pound:
Just a quick entry to say that everything is cool with Google now. I received an email from Dan Hersam, who is an editor at dmoz, and he could tell me that not only had he added my URL to the right category (as opposed to the one I had added my URL to. D'oh!), but you can actually add your site to Google here. After studying information and media science for seven years and working for a streaming media company for two years you'd think I'd be a bit more computer/internet literate, but I guess not. So thanks goes out to Dan for making everything alright.
In unrelated news a friend called my today and said that there's a very good chance that I'll be able to move into his old apartment this summer. His parents own an apartment, which he lived in while going to school and when he moved to Copenhagen they rented it out to some girl. Apparently, she's been nothing but trouble and since she's moving out this summer they'd like to rent it out to someone they already know. And this is where good, old, trustwhorthy John enters the picture. My friend is coming to town tomorrow for a get together we're having for a couple of old friends (nothing like The Big Chill. Just a couple of guys going out to dinner and a club) and he'll fill me in on the details. So if that works out it'll really solve a major problem for me, so wish me luck.
I have a major headache today, so I have to postpone writing about the concert I went to last night at Voxhall. I went to see The Handsome Family and it was a lot of fun, but more on that, when I feel a bit better.
- John Fogde 9:49 PM [+]
Thursday, April 25, 2002
Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places:
Google is a pretty incredible search engine. I remember when everyone thought Altavista was amazing, but these days all you hear about is Google. It’s a bit weird, because you can’t add you own site to their search engine and there is no structure to the results you get from searching like at Yahoo!. But they seem to be able to find the most relevant pages for you, so I guess that’s why they’re so popular. I’ve been reading articles about Google bombing and things like that lately, but I’m not completely sure I get how Google works, so they don’t always make sense to me.
But I was very excited, when Google picked up my site. It meant that people searching for my name or some of the records, movies, or TV shows I had written about would be able to find my site.
I checked Google today to see, which other sites are linking to mine. I’ve done that before and been surprised that it said that no sites linked to mine, because I know of at least ten different sites that do. But I was even more surprised today, when I noticed that my website couldn’t be found on Google at all. A search for my URL and for the site title both came up empty (the second one didn't actually come up empty, but it didn't show my site). After looking around the Google site I found an email address for their webmaster and sent him/her this mail:
My guess would be that the webmaster over at Google gets more mail during a day than the entire White House, so he/she probably won’t get back to me right away. So if anyone reading this has any idea as to why this happened and perhaps even when my site will be back in the Google database, I’d appreciate it if you left me a message in the Comments section to the left.
- John Fogde 11:16 AM [+]
You've Been Chosen as An Extra
in the Movie Adaptation of the Sequel to your Life:
I’ve postponed it a couple of times already, but now it’s finally time for the third and final leg of the tour de force know as John’s Excellent Nightfilm Adventure (Had I thought up that name, when I wrote the first instalment it would probably have had a bit more cache by now, but what are you gonna do?).
The first movie I saw Sunday was the Todd Solondz movie Storytelling. I really liked Happiness, I knew that Belle & Sebastian had recorded a bunch of songs for the soundtrack, and I had read about a couple of scenes from the movie that sounded both funny and disturbing, so my expectations were pretty high.
The movie is funny, disturbing, and the actors are great. Unfortunately, the movie will be a disappointment if you’re expecting it to be like Happiness. The movie consists of two stories: One is about a girl, who is dating a guy with cerebral palsy, who gets involved with her creative writing teacher. And the other is about a guy, who wants to make a documentary about a high school kid, who doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life, but dreams about being the next Conan O’Brien. Oddly enough, the first story takes up the first third of the movie and the second takes up the rest, but with no crossover in the storylines. The feeling I had when I left the theatre was that I’d been entertained, but that I never really learned anything about these characters. The movie was intriguing and funny, but didn’t resolve any of the conflicts it presented leaving the characters to continue their weird little lives after the movie ends. So I was actually a bit disappointed in the movie, but since it was so different that anything else you’ll see this year I’m glad I went all the same.
The music by Belle & Sebastian wasn’t very prominent (except for the use of The State I Am In, which is an old favourite) and I thought most of it sounded like Air, so I won’t be rushing out to get that soundtrack anytime soon (nothing against Air, though. I like them a lot).
Later Sunday I got together with a couple of friends for pizza (mozzarella, ruccola, and fresh tomatoes make surprisingly good toppings together on a pizza) and went to see In the Bedroom. I honestly had no idea what this movie was about. I knew who was in it, but I didn’t have a clue as to what the story was about. But actually that’s kind of nice as opposed to going to see a movie, where you’ve already seen all the action bits and the funny bits in trailers and behind the scenes programs. So with that in mind I won't say what the movie is about, but just reveal that it’s about a family, which has to go through some serious changes. It’s actually a fairly suspenseful story, but at times I thought it was told in a too slowly paced tempo. As a friend remarked afterwards, “We haven’t seen a movie that slow since Ulee’s Gold”. But generally speaking it was a pretty good movie with a cast of pretty incredible actors.
However, I just have to mention that I still get spooked whenever I see Sissy Spacek. I don’t know if it’s Carrie or those pale eyes and that pale skin of hers, but she really freaks me out. Big time! And for some reason Mare Winningham has kinda the same effect on me. Don’t ask me why.
But getting back to Bedroom, I thought it was a good movie and it made for a nice ending to the five day long tour de force know as John’s Excellent Nightfilm Adventure (now that I made up a name for it, I better try to sneak it in a couple of times). I saw eleven movies in five days, which was a bit much, but still fun was had by all and I got to spend a lot of time in Øst for Paradis hanging with my buddies. So that was great and now I can get back to chronicling my exciting everyday life again.
- John Fogde 12:03 AM [+]
Wednesday, April 24, 2002
Maybe you Could be a Writer, You Could do Worse:
I’ve just found out that unless something truly incredible happens I’ll have to move out of my apartment before the 1st of July. I knew this was where things were heading, but now it's a fact. I've thought about moving to Copenhagen, but given my current financial situation I very much doubt that I'll be able to afford it. I’ll probably have to try to find a smaller place here in Aarhus, which leaves me with the same problem I had, when I moved from a two bedroom apartment into my one bedroom apartment last year: Where will I put all my stuff? I have so much stuff that I could fill up half of Buckingham Palace and still have shelf space issues. But that seems to be the only alternative to living on the street, so I guess I’ll just have to deal with it. The thing that bugs me the most is that I know this will only be a temporary solution and that I’ll have to move again sometime next year. And as I’ve stated previously I’m not really into moving.
But I’ll dispense with the whining for a second and tell you about a cool thing that happened yesterday. I’ve been asked to write a couple of reviews for musik.dk from the Spot 08 Festival, which takes place in May. The festival is a showcase for up-and-coming Scandinavian artists and it’s usually pretty cool. And this probably also means that I’ll get to see David Fricke give his speech on Scandinavian music, which ought to be interesting. This will be the first articles I write for them, so hopefully they’ll like them and decide to give me more assignments later.
Monday I mentioned a couple of online golf games, but if you want a real time stealer look no further. Yesterday I rediscovered the genius that is Rock & Roll Jeopardy! I had played this before, but had completely forgotten about it until yesterday, when my brother and I had trouble logging on at the online darts website (What’s that you say? I should be working instead of playing obscure online games? Well, you should be working instead of reading my blog, so I guess that makes us Even Steven!). Anyway, it’s a really cool game and if you’re nuts about music trivia like I am you should check it out.
- John Fogde 2:06 PM [+]
Tuesday, April 23, 2002
What's the Deal with this Pop Life:
I usually read the Miss Truth column over at CDnow every day and it's usually pretty good. But
Now I don't want to offend anybody, but the members of the American record buying audience is anything but highbrow. If they were highbrow NSync wouldn't have sold 2.4 million copies of No Strings Attached the first week it was released. Hell, if they were even remotely highbrow NSync would be using those cool headsets to take orders at Mickey Dee's. Just look at the charts or go one step further and look at the crap that was nominated for at the Grammys this year and then tell me there's a highbrow record buying audience in the US. I'll agree with Miss Truth that the state of the British charts is pretty appalling, but that doesn't mean the American charts aren't equally horrific.
- John Fogde 8:00 PM [+]
The Prettiest Place on Earth was Baltimore at Night:
I’ve already covered the first three days of my five day Nightfilm festival extravaganza, so now we’ve come to Saturday, which was the only day I only saw one movie. That movie was John Waters’ Cecil B. DeMented starring Melanie Griffith as the famous actress Honey Whitlock and Stephen Dorff as guerrilla filmmaker Cecil B. DeMented. Cecil and his merry band of filmmakers kidnap Honey, whom they want to star in their movie Raving Beauty, and then force her to participate in the shooting of scenes where they storm a local cinema and trash a banquet. Obviously, Honey goes Stockholm on them before you can even say Patty Hearst (which is punched home by having Hearst play the concerned mother of one of the kidnappers) and starts doing scenes voluntarily. The point of their movie and guerrilla group is to bring down Hollywood, which leads to a long line of jokes at Hollywood’s expense. But even though the movie packs quite a few laughs, the over-the-top acting is too much and the story (and subsequent ending) is beyond weak. I like John Waters and I love the fact that he gets to make movies like this. But both Pecker and this one weren’t up to the standard of Serial Mom, which is my favourite Waters movie.
However, it was great to see a movie shot in good, old Charm City again and I enjoyed seeing shots from Inner Harbour, a shot of the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon, and I think one of the movie theatres in the beginning is located out near the Towson Mall and is called Towson Commons. According to this article there has actually been made quite few movies in Baltimore, so if you're not sure where the scenes from Sleepless in Seattle were shot (before she goes to Seattle, silly) here's your checklist.
- John Fogde 1:43 AM [+]
Monday, April 22, 2002
Tell Me Now, How Do I Feel?
The weather here is amazing right now. The sun is up and it's quite warm, but even if they were giving away free ice cream and sodas I wouldn't be caught outside for all the world. Because today is Blue Monday! I don't know how things are where you live, but here when people reach the age of 13 they usually have a confirmation in church with all their friends. The confirmation (the time when you're confirming your belief in Jesus and God of your own free will as opposed to the baptism) is a nice enough tradition, but here it has become this monster, where families throw huge parties for their teenage sons and daughters, which results in the kids getting an obscene amount of gifts. It's not unusual that someone will get cash gifts to the amount of $1000 or $2000 plus a variety of other stuff, which I think is an insane amount of bread to throw at any kid.
So if you've been confirmed on a Sunday and you have a thousand bucks and change burning a hole in your pocket, what do you do? You get together with all the other people who got confirmed and the next day you swarm into the city like a pack of wealthy Cossacks turning the city centre into Mardi Gras for 13-year-olds (which means no beads, no beer, and therefore no flashing). Kids get confirmed on different Sundays in different counties, which means that this Blue Monday thing doesn’t take place on one Monday a year, but rather on a long line of Mondays in April and May. I realized it was Blue Monday today, while going to get bread this afternoon, but fortunately I was only outside for a few minutes, so I wasn’t in direct contact with any of these Donald Trump for-a-day teens.
I don’t want to come off sounding like a bitter, old man. It’s just that almost once a year I forget what day it is and I go through town to pick up an album or maybe a t-shirt. And the intensity of these kids, who are high on sugar and a mob spending mentality, is just too much for a peace lovin’ hermit like me. They run around screaming and laughing, shooting off this sticky, multicoloured snot-in-a-can, while stuffing their faces with Big Macs and whatnot. So instead of going outside and getting agitated into a heart attack I think it’s safest for everybody if I just stay inside today.
I’ve been searching for interesting blogs for the last couple of days and so far I’ve bookmarked a bunch, which I’ll link to if they keep on interesting me and they get updated on a regular basis. However, I did find the blog Catch Dubs maintained by NYU student Nick Barat interesting enough that I thought I’d link to it right away. Coincidentally, it turns out that he reviews music for Silent Uproar (a site my brother pointed me towards recently), so that just adds to the coolness of his site. More on other blogs and the missing movie reviews will follow shortly.
- John Fogde 2:23 PM [+]
Damn the Game If It Don't Mean Nuttin:
I noticed on Blogdex that a lot of people were linking to FHM Magazine's mini golf game. I've played Electrotank's mini golf game previously, but this new one is fun as well. And it didn't hurt that I got an amazing 7 under par in my first game. Now you give it a try.
- John Fogde 12:52 PM [+]
Sunday, April 21, 2002
I’m Sleeping My Day Away:
The Nightfilm Festival ends today, which means I’ll be able to get back to living a normal life as soon as I’ve seen In the Bedroom tonight. That’ll be the last of the eleven movies I’ve seen over the last five days, so I think I’m all movied-out for the next couple of weeks. I’ve already talked about the movies I saw Wednesday and Thursday, so now I’ll get to the ones I saw Friday.
Friday afternoon I went to see Waking Life with my friend, who works at the local art house cinema Øst for Paradis. Waking Life is the animated movie, which a lot of critics think were robbed of an academy award nomination. I’ve seen four of Linklater’s movies so far, and although they weren’t all brilliant (Dazed & Confused is by far my favourite) at least he’s trying to do something innovative. Like Slacker this movie doesn’t have a storyline, but is more a series of conversations between characters. But where Slacker was carried by characters bumping into each other in bars and on street corners, Waking Life seems to take place in a dream state, which means that characters sometimes just seem to appear from out of nowhere. There is a main character, who encounters a lot of different people, but there are also scenes with other people, who have nothing to do with the main character. The whole movie is a string of intellectual conversations about life, dreams, movies, reincarnation, and connecting with people, and although this might sound pretentious (and also might feel pretentious while watching the movie) it is bound to spark conversation afterwards. Some of the conversations in the movie are carried out by actors, while others are carried out by professors, friends and there’s even an appearance by Steven Soderbergh. This means that a few scenes don’t work that well, but in general there’s a real enthusiasm to the discussions which can be really infectious.
I think we spent an hour discussing the movie afterwards touching on everything from who the actors were, the technique used to make the movie, when the main character was dreaming and when he was awake, and some of the points made in the movie about filmmaking. I thought it was a truly beautifully made movie and although some of the philosophic rants went over my head I still quite enjoyed it. For more information I recommend reading Roger Ebert’s review and the checking out the official Waking Life site.
Later that day we decided that I should postpone watching Hedwig and The Angry Inch (which was playing at midnight), so I could watch Fast Food, Fast Women with some of the people at Øst for Paradis, who would then watch Hedwig afterwards. They were only playing the one movie late that night, so the employees, who had gotten of work, could put on whatever movie they wanted on one of the other screens. So around 00:30 a.m. we saw Fast Food, Fast Women and then at 2:30 a.m. we saw Hedwig. I didn’t know the first thing about Fast Food, Fast Women, but I thought it was pretty good. It’s a very sweet, slow paced movie about people trying to find love in New York. The main character, Bella, is a waitress, who gets set up with an author/cabdriver. She’s already seeing an older, married Broadway director, so she’s not too interested in meeting someone new, but obviously that changes. There are other characters, who also try to meet someone and although this movie doesn’t really bring anything new to the table it’s a sweet and life affirming movie.
Later we saw Hedwig, which I had already seen. I liked it, but I wasn’t as impressed this time as I was the first time I saw it. John Cameron Mitchell is still fantastic in it and I quite like the music as well. But I think it loses tempo in the final third of the movie. The part where Hedwig meets Tommy Gnosis and the final concert doesn’t really hold up second time around, which was disappointing. But more surprising was the fact that the people I saw it with were a bit disappointed by it. They found parts of it amusing, but didn’t think it was that great. I was completely blown away, when I saw it last year, so I had hoped that they would be as well. After the two movies we sat around drinking beer for a bit, so I wasn't home until after 5 a.m..
In an hour I’m going to meet some friends for dinner and then we’ll go see In the Bedroom. I have no idea or expectations as to what this movie will be like, so we’ll just have to see if I’ll like it or not. I’ll try to add my thoughts on the other movies I’ve seen tomorrow, so I can move on with my life. I haven’t bought groceries this week and I haven’t worked on my thesis this week and I still haven’t decided if I should buy Design for Community, which sounds interesting and could be helpful to my thesis. So I’ll have to look at all that tomorrow.
- John Fogde 6:14 PM [+]