Archive for May, 2007

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Love the Ad, Never Saw the Show

May 24, 2007

Here’s the postcard design for a student art show in Philly. I love this design, simple and clever, but didn’t get to catch the show:

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The Widgets

May 23, 2007

The widgets I’m using and how I’m using them. Notice that Google Calendar is empty — I don’t hardly know how to work that thing. It’s iCal for me.

Music: Muse, “Shrinking Universe”

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Loot

May 23, 2007

When I travel, I shop. Instead of food, I buy books, CDs and DVDs. Things bought from used bookstores and record stores in other cities are somehow better than the things I could buy at home. As it stands, I now know more used book stores in Philadelphia than I do in Atlanta. I was there for two days, I’ve been here for two years. This is because I was visiting Philly but I’ve never visited Atlanta. I moved here. Hence, I buy new books here and more interesting, used books there (wherever “there” is).

This is not a philosophical thing or a statement of intent. It’s just a thing I do.

The last week or so I’ve been in Chicago and Philadelphia. Here’s what I got (most of it used):

Yesterday, a Korean sci-fi action thriller starring Kim Yun-Jin, who plays Sun on Lost.

Night Stalker, the complete series on DVD, not because it was good but because I liked it.

Memento, soundtrack by David Julyan and various artists. I thought this was a little more exotic than it turned out to be, but it’s proven to be fine sounds for working.

28 Days Later, soundtrack by John Murphy and various artists. I’m still hoping there’ll be some kind of soundtrack release for the sequel, also scored by John Murphy.

Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut. One of those Vonnegut books I’ve never read. From the look of the nation’s book stores, the time to stock up on an author’s ouevre seems to be when he dies.

Walking to Martha’s Vineyard, Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry, by Franz Wright. “The world is filled with people who have never died.”

Travel in the Ancient World, by Lionel Casson, expands on the revision of the historical notion that ancient people seldom got around. It’s got chapters on ancient inns and restaurants, Roman roads, and forgotten museums — purchased not just for gaming purposes, but yes, for gaming purposes.

The Golden Section: Nature’s Greatest Secret, by Scott Olsen. This is a silly pop-mysticism bon-bon I picked up at the magnificent Prairie Avenue Bookstore down by Printer’s Row, in Chicago’s Loop. I’d never been in there before, and it’s excellent; the kind of place filled with 200-page, $50 paperback theses like Urban Memory: History and Amnesia in the Modern City, which I’ll be saving my pennies for.

Layout Workbook: A Real-World Guide to Building Pages in Graphic Design, by Kristen Cullen. This is the other book I bought at Prairie Avenue, the one of substance. I bought this one because I should be better informed than I am.

The Packaging and Design Templates Sourcebook, compiled by Luke Herriott, published by RotoVision. This is actually Sara’s book, purchased from Prairie Avenue, which she’ll be using as a guide for future handmade books, boxes and other craft projects that fall under her “hackbooking” hobby.

Parapsychology: Frontier Science of the Mind, by JB Rhine and JG Pratt. The title page describes this as “A survey of the field, the methods, and the facts of ESP and PK research.” It was published in 1957, and I seem to have a first edition.

Conversing by Signs: Poetics of Implication in Colonial New England Culture by Robert Blair St. George. I could not quite figure this dense thing out in the store, and I was desperate for some kind of early American occultism, so I took it home. From the back cover: “By exploring the linkages between such cultural expressions as seventeenth-century farmsteads, witchcraft narratives, eighteenth-century crowd violence, and popular portraits of New England Federalists, St. George demonstrates that in early New England, things mattered as much as words in the shaping of metaphor.”

Life on the English Manor, by HS Bennett, is a rundown on peasant living conditions between 1150 and 1400, as it looked from the modern day of 1937. (My copy was printed in 1962.) Why I am fascinated by outdated history books, I can’t tell you. But I’m sure it’s meta.

Duruy’s Middle Ages, by Victor Duruy, is a condensed history of the Middle Ages with a copyright date of “1898 and 1900.” I can’t tell when my copy was printed, but it’s not a young book. Still, it looks like all of its little folded maps are still here, tucked between pages. The first chapter of this book is, “The Barbarian World in the Fourth and Fifth Centuries.”

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The Thing Is

May 10, 2007

It’s 11:36 am and I’ve been awake for 19 hours. The goal is to stay awake for at least 22 hours, maybe 23, and then sleep for fewer than three hours. Then, tonight, I’ll go to sleep at a time suitable for living people, and get up in the morning. For the last few weeks, I’ve been up all night and going to sleep somewhere between 4-8am. The prescription sleep meds, they do nothing.

Not so much with the normal.

Music: Kraftwerk, “Metropolis”

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Raines

May 10, 2007

RAINES: You hear that? That’s the sound of a thousand complacent yuppies thinking about their money.

The show is almost good in a gleefully formulaic way that, especially when counting its opening title sequence, recalls character-driven cop shows of the 1980s. The show is almost good as an ensemble of characters with modest conflicts that ultimately make you feel all safe on your couch. The show is almost good.

In truth, I ended up watching quite a few episodes of Raines, despite its flaws. That might be ’cause I wanted it to do well (and grow into itself), or because I enjoyed it (and thus it is better than I think, on some level). I really don’t know. The fact is, I hope it gets both darker and funnier and returns to the air. It will probably do none of those things, though.

Also, whoever designed that police precinct set loves The Shield like crazy.

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Jet Girl

May 7, 2007

Holy shit. Naomi Watts was Jet Girl. I had no fucking idea. But the good news is that she was the one I fancied in Tank Girl, so I’ve had dibs on her all this time.