Saturday, September 30, 2006

Art Bot!

They have invented a robot that makes its own art! While I don't think this will replace traditional artists, I still like the idea. Especially that he can tell when the art is done and then give it a little bot-signature.

I wish they made the bot cooler looking though. He kind of looks like an art tray crossed with a motherboard. Couldn't they give him a face? Or like a beret and a little moustache? Also, if you try to do a google image search for "art robot" the results are very disappointing. I think someone could do a much better job of designing the art robot carriage.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Give it

I found out today while donating blood at the Austin Blood and Tissue Center that you actually lose about a pound in the fifteen minutes it takes a pint of blood to come out of your body. Who needs fad diets when you can donate blood?

Of course, I probably eat enough cookies to gain that pound back after the blood is gone. I don't like cookies really, or peanut butter, but after giving blood nothing sounds better in the world than a snack pack of Nutter Butters. Explain that.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Secret Boyfriend Wednesday: In Theatres Now!

Gael Garci­a Bernal has always been a bit of a secret boyfriend. Just look at him sitting there on the couch. Pretty cute, eh?

But after seeing him in Michel Gondry's new movie The Science of Sleep, he attained super priority secret boyfriend status. Because secret boyfriends are always more boyfriendy when you see them be a little goofy.

Or when they wear purple suits and hang out with Josh's secret girlfriend, Charlotte Gainsbourg.

And if Gael Garci­a Bernal can even look cute while sitting on the toilet, who am I to stop him?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Not Squishy

From the UT Campus Watch:


Suspicious Activity: Two non-UT subjects were discovered attempting to climb on top of the inflatable dome. When stopped, both subjects stated they had climbed the brick wall hoping the dome was "squishy", and were disappointed when they found out it was not "squishy." Both subjects were issued a criminal trespass warning and escorted from the area. Occurred on: 9-22-06, at 8:56 PM.

Honestly, I've always assumed that the ridiculous covered football practice bubble was squishy too. Luckily these drunk people tried it out for me and now I won't have to risk citation and disappointment by trying it myself.

Monday, September 25, 2006

I'm a Dummies

When I'm not reading book club selections or really long biographical dictionaries of film that I'm on page 614 of but still have 349 pages to go on, I like to brush up on a little real estate investing. In this case: Home Buying for Dummies by Eric Tyson and Ray Brown (2006). I figure that someday I will be grown up enough to buy a house, and when that time comes, I would sure like to know what the hell escrow is and if equity is good or bad.

These dummies books are kind of silly, but I really like them for a basic overview of a topic. I don't want to become a real estate agent. I probably won't even start looking at mortgages and such for nearly another year (wait till car is paid off: yes), but I do want to have a vague idea of what I might possibly be getting into sometime in the unspecified future.

For that I give these dumb guys two dumb thumbs up.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I've always wanted to be a member of a bookclub -- not a cheesy Oprah kind of bookclub that takes itself all seriously, but a fun bookclub where you read stuff you might not read otherwise and drink a bunch and talk about it and have fun. At a Labor Day party a few weeks ago, me and two other friends revealed in a fit of drunkenness that we all had the same bookclub dream. Thus our nascent bookclub came into being.

The first book we're reading is Prague : a novel by Arthur Phillips (2002). I didn't like everything about this book, but I did like a lot of things about it. It concerns a group of young Americans (and one Canadian) living in Budapest in the early 1990s, just after the fall of Communism. None of it actually takes place in Prague (which, tangentially, I always want to pronounce as Pray-guh instead of Prah-guh because that is how they pronounce the name of the tiny Czech town in eastern Nebraska that my grandma is from). And one of the characters is actually from Nebraska. Overall, the book gets a thumbs up, and there are scenes and characters that I am still thinking about. I don't want to say too much about it, though, because then I would totally blow my bookclub wad and then what kind of a bookclub member would I be? Not a very good one, my friends.

I even found a webpage for the book that includes a "reading group guide," but I think the questions are kind of lame. Plus, who wants to sit around and read a bunch of questions?

I'm excited to see how our bookclub goes, and if any of ya'll in Austin feel like joining us, let me know and I bet I can let you know about the next selection. Our drunken plan was to read one modern book and then one classic, which seems like a good way to shake things up.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Secret Boyfriend Wednesday: Where SBs Stick Together

Oh John Lurie, what don't you do?

You are a sexy sax player...

You act in a movie made by one of my secret boyfriends.

Then you act in another one...

And you are solely responsible for the wonderous show Fishing with John, giving me a secret boyfriend confluence not just once....

....but two times!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I Don't Got To Do A Thing

Have you ever wanted to know about the main trends in today's porns? Your erotic horoscope? How to make a "Derring Do" cocktail? What Copumammary is? Or what tips you might be able to get from the guy at your high school that always knew all about sex?

Well, my friends, you are in luck.

Mr. Roast Beef Kazenzakis of the Achewood concern (pictured on Roomba at right) has released the second volume of his zine "Man Why You Even Got To Do A Thing," and this one is The Sex Issue!

Lay down the $6 and buy this zine, dear readers. If you don't, you will always be haunted by the knowledge that you could have learned how to please a woman in every way from Ray Smuckles.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Fashion dilemma

If you were a Texan gentleman of a certain age, what on earth would you wear to Ann Richards memorial service? Why, a big black cowboy hat, of course.

I happened to be walking over by the Erwin Center this morning shortly before the service started, and I spotted no less than ten black cowboy hats walking towards the service.

Actually, I wouldn't have minded going to the service too, as Ann Richards is pretty alright in my book, but I wasn't really dressed for it. And memorial services make me kind of antsy.

[As an aside, at the bottom of that UT press release, it interestingly notes: "There will be a pressroom with wireless connections. A limited number of tables for bloggers will be provided." I wonder when they started doing that?]

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Tuesday evening after dinner I looked out the window to see if it was still raining and instead found this happy little rainbow! I hadn't seen one in a long time, and I think this might be the first one I've seen in Texas. We took a walk to look at it and enjoy the semi-coolness of between rainstorms, and a few streets down from our apartment we saw this big heron (or something? I'm not good with birds) that flew right over us, all low and everything. Most of our walks don't turn out that surreal.

In other news, I am on vacation! I took today and tomorrow off to play hostess to a friend of mine who is staying with us while she goes to the Austin City Limits Festival. While she is out rocking I will do fun stuff like read and drink coffee and go get my oil changed and not go to work.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Secret Boyfriend Wednesday: Sexy Sexton

Charlie Sexton is almost so attractive that I don't like him, but there is just a little something rough in there that places him right smack into Secret Boyfriendville.

He also plays in Bob Dylan's band, so he gets some points for that.

And he played in the band in the movie Masked and Anonymous which I really liked but which most people didn't see. Did you see it? Because you should. It also features last week's SB, Luke Wilson, and was directed by Larry Charles who wrote a ton of the Seinfeld episodes and directs a ton of the Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes. Three other reasons are John Goodman, Jessica Lange and Bruce Dern. Plus the music is awesome. And Bob Dylan.

Does eighties Charlie pass the SB test? I say yes, although I'd probably make him take out that earring before hopping into bed. I do have some standards.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

This is not the new cosset of boys.

"As skateboarding and ice skate are still growing, a new item of more cool body building and leisure, you can’t seize the wind of fashion .Hop, bowling, net bar, skating and dancing blanket are popular in short time. People will ask what’s the fashion next? Can you cater for it? The answer is crystal clear………."

Does anyone actually read their spam anymore? Somehow an intriguing letter from a Chinese factory jumped into my work account today and led me to The FlyJumper. My theory is that foreign interpretations of the English language never get old.

Why just look at the function of this product:
"It’s the unique product that can promote your whole joints. Passed many tests with many people: the product has many functions: e.g. Helpful circulation of blood, Growing up, Reduce weight, Bodybuilding, Benefit to your intelligence, Eliminate hemorrhoids and so on."

It's got a great warranty, but "Contrived damage is not included the range of repair only, excluding slingshot."

The site also includes some good advice, like: "If you are fractured, injured by a fall, in the poor health condition, or reaction slowly, please don’t use it."

I also like that the link to the safety equipment is labelled "Kneecaps" -- makes sense...

Monday, September 11, 2006

That Man is Wicky

Even though I really like Neil LaBute, and am generally a super fan of Nicholas Cage, I can't help but warn you away from any theater playing their remake of The Wicker Man.

However, if you want to see Cage punch out a young woman while wearing a bear costume, engage in endless detective work that consists of basically opening up drawers and rifling through them, and scream out "You bitches!" in possibly the most hilarious context ever, you should probably rent it sometime.

And if you want to see a really great movie, just rent the original version.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Port it, Don't Pot it

Do you all realize that my very trustworthy current favorite morning anchorman, Fred Cantu, told me that 40,000 Buckeye fans are coming to Austin this weekend for the football game tomorrow? 40,000? I find that to be a ridiculous number. In addition, there is no way in hell I am leaving my house tomorrow night. Crazed. Since my sister lives right near campus in Columbus, I have heard stories and witnessed events that speak to the craziness of these OSU fans. Longhorn fans also have a tendency to get riled, and while I'm curious to see what happens when you add column A with column B, I don't think I'm going to hang around and find out.

My other theory is that the only OSU fans who can take a weekend off to fly and/or drive down here and get a hotel room and all that other stuff are the older alumni that I saw driving their RVs and walking around outside my building all day doing wholesome things like visiting the LBJ Presidential Library. These folks will probably be fine, open doors for ladies, go to bed right after the game after clapping politely, and let you pass them while driving. If Ohio can rustle up 40,000 of those type of fans, I have no complaints. As long as they don't go to the grocery store or any of the restaurants I may want to visit this weekend.

Finally, let me tell you about port-a-potties. Every time there is a home game, the UT facilities folks drop off port-a-potties all around campus for tailgaters and other fans to utilize instead of peeing behind trees and in the parking lots. Usually they drop four of those bad boys right in front of my window at work. This kind of ruins the view, and is particularly gross if they decide to leave them out for an extra week when there are two home game weekends in a row.

And yet, even though we had a game last week, the facilities dudes picked up and (apparently) cleaned the pots, and when they brought them back they placed them all the way on the other side of the parking lot. Wonderous! This makes me hate football slightly less.

[And let me also mention that the photo above was found on some slightly odd trying-to-be-hip church youth group site. The caption: "Stuck in a Porta-Potty."]

Thursday, September 07, 2006

When interminable road trips pay off

Best sign seen on super long work-related drive (In Giddings, TX): "Fresh Donuts and Seafood Restaurant"

I would go back to Giddings just to check this place out.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Secret Boyfriend Wednesday: In (Some) Theatres Now

We here at Secret Boyfriend Wednesday are nothing if not up-to-the-minute on-top-of what is happening out there in popular culture today. In our never-ending quest to increase our hyphen use and sample from all of life's wares, we occasionally go see a film. And sometimes those films remind us who our secret boyfriends really are. In this case: Luke Wilson.

Just look how the guy handles a tie. Perfect.

The Royal Tenenbaums,
an arguably flawed and yet overall good movie, that just happens to demonstrate how cute Luke Wilson looks with a beard. And a sweatband.

Some people say Owen is the cuter brother. Those people are deluded. Brown hair always wins over blonde, and they should just recognize that fact.

Finally, doesn't he look cute riding around with the President of the United States in Idiocracy? Why of course he does.

[And if it is playing near you, which is somewhat unlikely since it is only playing in something like seven cities around the country, go see it. My favorite line right this second: The future slogan of Carl's Jr. -- "Carl's Jr.: Fuck you. I'm eating."]

[And don't you think that Luke Wilson looks a little bit like last week's secret boyfriend, George Eads? I used to call Nick on CSI "the guy who looks like Luke Wilson" until I got wise to his name.]

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I'm nearly halfway done with the monumental New Biographical Dictionary of Film
by David Thomson -- I swear I've been reading this guy for a month, and I'm almost through the H's. But its been fun, and I'll write more about it later.

Back when I was on the G's, I hit what is so far the longest entry in the book, on the writer Graham Greene. In his entry on Greene, Thomson mentioned that he had been involved in a nasty libel suit in 1937 when he dared to write that Shirley Temple was a "totsy."

Having never heard the word totsy before, I had to do some investigating. this article nicely summarizes the scandal that ensued when Greene reviewed the John Ford movie Wee Willie Winkie, staring Temple. In a longer quote (I couldn't find the whole article), he writes: "infancy with her is a disguise, her appeal is more secret and more adult... in Wee Willie Winkie, wearing short kilts, she is a complete totsy... Her admirers - middle-aged men and clergymen - respond to her dubious coquetry... only because the safety curtain of story and dialogue drops between their intelligence and their desire."

History seems to judge Greene better on this -- Temple really is used as a bit of a totsy in her films, although I'm sure she never intended it that way. And one person's precocious performance is another person's kid acting a little too grown up. Not that we ever see any of that these days.

But back to totsy: what on earth does it mean? Where did it come from? Well, I went to the source (the Oxford English Dictionary) and its earliest use of the term is by Greene in his 1938 book Brighton Rock: "The atmosphere of innumerable roadhouses, of totsies gathered round swimming pools." In case you are wondering, the word is related to the British slang term "totty," which started as a diminutive for "tot," then gained the secondary meaning of a "good-time girl" and currently can be used for any group of "people (esp. women) collectively regarded as objects of sexual desire."

I'm going to use the hell out of this word from now on. You bunch of totsies.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Lessons Learned

1. Salmon flavored cream cheese is initially not as bad as you would think it might be. A few seconds later it becomes much worse than you would have imagined. I think someone should do a study on this.

2. We almost never see roaches in our apartment, and yet when we have people over, one always comes out. Its like they are just hiding and waiting to torment us when there are other people around. This one hid under our couch and didn't come out again until this morning when Josh hit it so hard with a newspaper that it disappeared. That's completely possible. No joke.

3. Twang is more funny to buy and say than it is to drink, but unlike the salmon cream cheese, it is mostly inoffensive.

4. Hummus tacos are great.