Wednesday, January 31, 2007

SB Wednesday: Anonymous Edition

Who on earth doesn't just love John Doe? He has earned his spot in the pantheon of Secret Boyfriends. On this Secret Boyfriend Wednesday, we shall let the John Doe Flag fly.










[On a related note, doing an image search for "John Doe" will bring up a lot of non-SB items. I had to use my information professional skills to separate the SB-wheat from the non-SB-chaff.]


As you can see, John Doe has mastered the SB-enhancing trait of aging gracefully.









In addition, he knows how to rock.















Look at him rock!










He also rocks fictionally, with the likes of Dennis Quaid (have you seen Great Balls of Fire lately? It is a work of genius.) He has also acted in about ninety-billion things.

Hats off to you, John Doe. Whoever you really are...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Egg Art

I had a sudden urge for hard-boiled eggs when I got home from work today, so I boiled up a couple. Unfortunately I was a little aggressive when putting the eggs in the pan, and one got a teeny crack in it. I boiled it anyway, and it resulted in this crazy yolk leak. From now on I will slightly crack all eggs before boiling and document the yolk patterns. This will become my life's work.

And the egg tasted just fine.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Flat

A link to this page came up on the border of my Gmail account the other day, due to some unknown combination of keywords in the emails I was reading. While I can appreciate that military families, especially those with little kids, really miss their deployed family members, and have to do something to keep everyone's spirits up, I find the whole idea of a life-sized cutout of the soldier serving overseas as, actually, really really creepy. And kind of sad.

That being said, I'm having a "Flat Kristy" created as we speak. I think it will be a big hit at parties.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cultural Overload

Yesterday I went to a five minute play, saw a three hour movie, and read 110 pages of a novel. I think it was a good use of my time.

First, the play: it was part of 365 Days - 365 Plays, a series of plays written by Suzan-Lori Parks. She wrote one play a day for a year in 2002/2003 and the plays are now being produced, one a day for a year, in ten different cities. Going to this play made me really want to see more live theatre. I used to go to plays a lot in Lincoln, but this is only the second live performance I've seen in Austin. Amy S. and the rest of the gang did some very interesting things with the very short script by Parks. It really felt like a collaborative effort where each person's ideas added to the whole and made the piece into much more than it was on paper. It was also fun to be all sleepy with wet hair and a cup of coffee in a classroom in the drama building on campus on a Saturday morning (well, noon) with a bunch of other friends and acquaintances.

Next, the movie: David Lynch's Inland Empire. I'm overwhelmed with feelings and ideas about this movie, so I don't think I'll say much about it (so you should also check out what Dr. M has to say). If you are in Austin, you should take three hours of your time and go up to the Alamo Village to see it. I was amazed that there were only maybe twenty people in the audience when we saw it yesterday afternoon. Lynch is distributing this himself, and so far it has only been shown in New York, LA, Chicago, Washington DC, Seattle, and Austin. It was wonderful. Laura Dern is the best in it that she has ever been, and she is pretty consistently great. So go see it, and then we can talk about it together, because its more of a movie to have a conversation about than one to sit alone and write theories about.

Finally, the book! Middle Passage by Charles Johnson (1990). This is our latest book club book, and a National Book Award winner. I'd never heard of this book or this author until Tina suggested it for book club, and I'm really glad she did. His language is very rich and interesting. He has the kind of vocabulary that makes you want to look up every word you don't know so that you can use it in conversation later. The plot is engaging and exciting, and the characters are uniquely drawn. In fact, it was so engaging that I read the whole thing in two days, after ordering a copy on Amazon that never came, and then checking it out from the library (which I probably should have done in the first place). Go read this book. And if you read it before our book club meets, come meet with us and talk about it.

On top of all that, I also watched one episode of COPS, one episode of Kids in the Hall, and two episodes of Tales from the Darkside.

Today I'm just going to drink coffee, read magazines, drink beer, and watch TV. I'm not culturally adventurous every day for heaven's sake.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Gospel of Chipotle

I know you love to eat hamburgers. We all do. But sometimes hamburgers can get a little boring. Do you want to make the best hamburger you have ever had? Do you want it to take only 5 minutes longer than making a regular bore-burger? Try this:

Finely chop up half an onion. The finer the better, although it also works if you just sort of half-ass this step, like me, because I have no patience for chopping finely.

Get a can of chipotles in adobo and chop up at least one big pepper.

Use your hands to mix together the onion, the pepper, and a big spoonful of the adobo sauce with a pound of ground chuck. Add more adobo if you need super adobo-power.

Form a couple of patties.

Grill them up (I used my George Foreman grill, but I'm sure they would be even better -- if that is possible -- if you grilled them on an actual grill).

Put them on a good bun, and top with mustard, pickles, swiss cheese, and anything else your heart desires.

Eat them up. Yum!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Secret Boyfriend Wednesday: The Obvious Edition

I would imagine that George Clooney is the secret boyfriend of nine out of ten people, regardless of whether or not you think you even have secret boyfriends. He is such an obvious choice, that he almost gets forgotten due to his high level of SB inertia. Today, I'm giving him his due. Kid, you've got the goods.

Looks good in a suit.







Looks great with a beard.















Looks very nice in the water. (But does his have any tattoos?)












And he is even an SB from my youth, since I've been ogling him since his days on Roseanne. I have never seen a single second of a single episode of ER, though, so I guess I missed that whole section of his SB development.

Looking good, George.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Young and the Restless

My latest random book-reading adventure took me to Josh's copy of Shakey: Neil Young's Biography by Jimmy McDonough (2002). I've always liked Neil Young, but I didn't know much about him beyond his music, and even my knowledge of that was based on just a few albums. Since he is potentially Josh's favorite musician of all time, I figured it wouldn't hurt for me to read a bit about him.

This biography is really an interesting read, and not just because Young has led a very interesting life. McDonough sets himself up with the task of writing a biography of a notoriously private man who, as we see through the course of the book, is very spontaneous and changeable in his enthusiasm for projects and people. Young's willingness to cooperate with the biography ebbs and flows over the decade that McDonough was at work on the book. Although there are extensive interviews with Young, the clearer picture of the man comes through those who are close to him, and the author spends time with seemingly every technician, musician, producer, roadie, and relative of Young's that would give him some time.

Although it covers a long period of time and a gazillion interviews in its 738 pages, the book reads very smoothly and never seems choppy or unfocused. Kind of like Young himself, who tries on different styles, technologies, and personas, and seems to constantly forge and break friendships, but always manages to remain himself.

Plus did you know that Neil Young owned a large interest in the Lionel Train Company and personally worked on the design of a new sound system for model trains, which he proceeded to demonstrate himself at major train convetions and corporate meetings? I love that.

Reading this book has inspired me to go through and listen to the Neil Young albums that Josh has on CD (because I'm not going to try to dig through the giant cassette crate of mystery, and I can't figure out the turntable). So far I've gotten through both Buffalo Springfield albums, Neil Young, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Neil Young and Crazy Horse Live at the Fillmore East, After The Gold Rush, Tonight's The Night, On The Beach, Zuma, American Stars & Bars, Comes A Time, Rust Never Sleeps, Hawks And Doves, Re-ac-tor, Trans, and Everybody'sRockin'. So I've gotten through 1983, and there are still twelve CDs on the shelf.

[Now if only my book club book would arrive from Amazon I could start reading it -- I don't want to start something else until it gets here, and I don't want to be behind my book club friends! Why, Amazon seller, why can't you send me this book. I paid for expedited shipping, after all.]

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Button it

I bought a pair of button-fly jeans for the first time in maybe 15 years. They are strangely satisfying. Who knew it would be so fun to button instead of zip?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Surchargey

I just stopped at Kinkos to drop off some files for an exhibit I'm doing at work (they need to be printed and mounted on foam core) -- and the jerks wanted to charge me $2.50 per file to convert my perfectly acceptable .jpeg and .doc files into PDFs. Obviously they can print my original files if they can open them up and convert them. And obviously it does not take $2.50 of work to convert a .jpeg into a PDF. I got kind of huffy, but not too bad. I'll just convert the files my damn self at work on Monday and go to Kinko's again. Luckily it only takes 24 hours to turn around the order and I don't really need it until a week from today.

All this after I even typed up very nice and organized instructions on what to do with each file. At least the guy at the counter was impressed with my instruction sheet.

Stupid Finkos.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Secret Boyfriend Bomb!

I have no idea why World Wrestling Entertainment Smackdown superstar and World Heavyweight Champion Batista is one of my SBs. He is way too muscley. He almost never smiles (unlike formerly featured Wrestler/SB The Rock). He has really stupid facial hair.








He does have nice tattoos, though. And he is a Good Guy. He is The Animal, for gods sake, and he has an awesome signature move called The Batista Bomb that never fails to hurt his opponents. Oddly enough, the Batista Bomb involves lifting the other dudes up and kind of putting their head in his crotch like a lever, and then flipping them up so that their crotch is in his face, and then bashing them down. It's kind of weird (and, thanks to YouTube, demonstrated below).

My favorite thing about Batista, however, is his entrance on Friday Night Smackdown (which, by the way, is shown for a couple hours every Friday night on the WB starting around 7:00. You should watch it.) The entrance involves a lot of pyrotechnics and a machine gun pantomime. I do this move around the apartment a lot. I like to use it as my entrance from the kitchen into the living room.

And do any of my other SBs have their own video game and their own action figure?

For your entertainment, here is a Batista montage video (with really dumb music, just turn your volume down) showing his entrance and a never-ending stream of Batista Bombs.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Smarter Than Who?

Would you like to be a part of the next meeting of the Smarter Than You Book Club? If so, get started on Middle Passage by Charles Johnson. I just ordered a used copy yesterday, because even though I love libraries, I also really like to own a copy of all the books that I read. And lord knows my book pile isn't big enough already.

Although no date has been set, I'm guessing that we will probably meet up more than a month from now but less than two months from now. All your friends will be attending. Virtual comments will be accepted and read into the record at the official book club meeting. Oh yeah, we also have a tendency to drink a bunch and also talk about non-book things.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Give me a hand

There are a lot of reasons for you to go and see Pan's Labyrinth, but the number one reason is to see this guy in action. He is one of my top five favorite movie monsters and just looking at his picture makes me wish I could watch his scene from the movie over and over again a thousand times.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sci-Fi Saturday

The latest in my pile of science-fictiony book reads is Fritz Leiber's short story collection, A Pail of Air (1964). Have you ever read Fritz Leiber? I'd never even heard of him, and now I can't wait to read more. This was awesome. To illustrate, I'll give you the first sentence of a few of the stories:

The Beat Cluster (pictured on the cover above): "When the eviction order arrived, Fats Jordan was hanging in the center of the Big Glass Balloon, hugging his guitar to his massive black belly above his purple shorts."

Pipe Dream: "It wasn't until the mermaid turned up in the bathtub that Simon Grue began to wonder what the Russians were doing on the roof next door." (so weird and great that I can't even describe it)

Bread Overhead: "As a blisteringly hot but guaranteed weather-controlled future summer day dawned on the Mississippi Valley, the walking mills of Puffy Products ('Spike to Loaf in One Operation!') began to tread delicately on their centipede legs across the wheat fields of Kansas."

In addition there is a story that is actually called Rump-Titty-Titty-Tum-Tah-Tee in which a drum riff and accompanying paint splatter take over the world, a future where the only mail ever sent is advertisements and a young man breaks the system by trying to send a love note, a family managing to survive on a frozen earth that got knocked out of orbit by melting pails of air from outside, and a long but surprisingly interesting exploration of a computer entering in an international tournament of chess masters.

I'd tell you more, but I think you should read it.

Back cover here.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The silver box

Since we got an exciting 80 GB Ipod for Christmas, I have been spending a lot of my time and money on purchasing and figuring out different cables, cords, chargers, and my latest and greatest purchase, a 320GB external hard drive that was, for some reason, designed by F.A. Porsche.

The design is nice, don't get me wrong, but isn't it just a little silver box? Kind of minimalist, right? I'm pretty sure that this would be the first design for an external hard drive that I would come up with if I had never seen a hard drive before and wanted to come up with the most basic thing. Is that what we should expect from "one of the leading luxury brands in the high-quality men’s accessories business" (according to their website)? I'm thinking maybe they could at least have put some flame decals on the side of it, or given it a little hat or a scarf or something. [Note: this is why I'm not asked to design products.]

Design questions aside, I am very pleased with my hard drive -- and since my whole computer is only 80GB, I really needed a little extra burst of storage to hold our entire CD collection plus any other songs that find their way onto our computer. And, you know, backups. I'll get around to those some day.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Secret Boyfriend Wednesday: Not-so-distant-future Edition

How on earth did I never before realize how totally hot Clive Owen is? He is practically a textbook Secret Boyfriend, and yet I just didn't see it until I spent a couple hours watching him try to help the only pregnant woman on earth in the not-so-distant-future of Children of Men (which, incidentally, I really liked).

Not only does his character have one of my Secret Girlfriends as a wife (Julianne Moore = yay!), he is also tough, gets shot at a lot, gets all dirty and sweaty, and takes care of business. All while looking very soulful and intense, but not in an irritating way.

I saw Sin City, and I thought he was okay looking in it, but the SB just didn't burst through. Maybe I was distracted by all the stylization? Maybe I don't love comic book characters? The world will never know.

Here he looks more goofy and dorky than sexy, but wouldn't you look dorky too if Goldie Hawn was laughing it up right next to you like that?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Serious Reading for the Serious Reader

My final reads of the old year wrapped everything up Achewood style with: Volume VII - Kiss My Ass, Bitch. I'll Be At Duane's (title based on this memorable strip); the new edition of Roast Beef's Zine: Man Why You Even Got To Do A Thing, Vol. 1 No. 3 (author pictured here); and the newest book by Peter H. Cropes (aka Nice Pete), A Hilarious Comedy.

These are all great, and you should buy them. And if you don't buy them, you should at least read Achewood every day. It is Spacebeer approved.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I Make a Very Wet Souffle

I have spent at least half an hour of my weekend searching YouTube and the internets for some video of Carol Burnett and Albert Finney (as Mrs. Hannigan and Daddy Warbucks) singing "Sign" from the 1982 John Houston film of Annie. Why can't I find this anywhere? It is driving me crazy and to compensate I have to sing the song over and over again while dancing around the apartment and making my husband insane. I might just have to rent the whole damn movie.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Xmas Super Recap

I am slowly starting to feel like my own self in my own life again after a fun-filled week of travelling, visiting, and not working. With the exception of the last two days of icy-snow driving, the trip was a success, although I wish we could have stayed for more than two days in each location. Some highlights include:

1. Getting to meet and play with a hairless cat, live and in person. He was a little weird at first, but you get used to him in minutes and then he is really rather charming. He is still a kitten so he jumps around and plays just like one. I am curious to see what he will look like all grown up, and secretly hope he gets kind of fat because I think a hairless fat cat would be cool. I also loved seeing one of my favorite cats with hair.

2. Snow! Even though it slowed us down, I still like it. I miss you, seasons.

3. Bartleby with a coat on.

And of course, all those family and friend types that we kept seeing all over the place. You guys make me all homesick, so maybe you should move down to Austin?

Full set of 149 pictures, each one better than the last, available here.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

SBW: Geeky Comedy Troupe Edition

I know that one of the Kids in the Hall is a secret boyfriend, but I just can't pick which one. Each one is totally cute and awesome in his own way -- the secret boyfriend hidden among them can't be picked out and analyzed, instead you will have to bear with me as I inaugurate the first group SB in SBW history.

I'm not sure why I think they are all so cute. They are, in fact, rather normal to weird looking, and don't boast the usual manliness that I demand from my SBs. Maybe it's the comedy?







If I was forced to pick just one favorite Kid, I would have to cheat and pick two. First there is Scott Thompson. Really funny, really cute. (And really gay, but that doesn't matter in the land of SBs. If I can have dead SBs, I can also have gay SBs. So there.)

And finally, Bruce McCulloch. Who is very short, and yet totally hot. Just watch him in action in my current favorite sketch of all time: These are the Daves I Know. I promise it will be in your head all day, but you won't mind.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Hangoverless

I think this is probably the first new year's day that I haven't been hungover in about ten years, discounting the first year Josh and I lived in Austin and we stayed home playing trivial pursuit and not drinking that much because we didn't know anyone in town.

To all those who invited us out to do stuff last night, I'm sorry I didn't get to see you and I wish that I could have given you a new year's kiss, but after two 11 hour days in the car driving through ice storms and snow storms (more on that later), I wasn't very good company. And I couldn't stand the thought of getting back in the car, even just to drive over to your house. Suffice it to say I held it together until midnight and promptly went to bed at 12:01 for the best night's sleep ever.

So, Happy New Year, fools. Enjoy your hangover while I enjoy many tasty new year's beers.