9-28-06 (22:34)
  • the strings portion of eleanor rigby is a prelude to phillip glass' entire catalog, and that's not a bad thing.

  • 9-28-06 (16:13)

  • bonzi wells isn't a king anymore. things fall apart.
  • updated movies list.
  • coppola flick wasn't all that bad.
  • sold 808 books the other day. now my back hurts.

  • 9-27-06 (15:19)

  • got a free movie to attend later tonight. it's the new sofia coppola effort, it'll likely be a pile of dung.
  • really happy about the fact that all my reviews can now be accessed from the movies listed page. worked on it for a few hours, but macros shaved days' worth of work off of that task. also added the movies i watched at the end of 1999.
  • updated movies list.
  • feeling really lazy today.

  • 9-24-06 (12:47)

  • ron livingston's job in office space is to redo a bunch of bank software code for the y2k issue. it occurred to me that something like this might normally date a film a bit. in this case, though, it makes the film all the more meaningful. it's such a useless, dated job that it amplifies the mundane futility of his work.

  • 9-22-06 (21:23)

  • what the fuck is fucking wrong with using fucking paper to fucking vote? why do we need fucking diebold to fucking administer our fucking elections? it makes no fucking sense to me.
  • the original rollerball is on right now. jewison hit a homer with that one. the commentary, the photography and that ending.... damn good.
  • completed the "best reviews" page.

  • 9-22-06 (17:58)

  • internet is down so i can't check book orders.
  • was going to watch a movie tonight with james, but it's been moved to saturday.
  • washed the side of the house and the deck. otherwise the day has been slow.
  • worked on my "best reviews" page. finished 2005 and 2006.

  • 9-21-06 (17:34)

  • the true measure of a president is often seen after they're no longer in office. guys like carter and clinton have done huge humanitarian things like global initiative and habitat for humanity. meanwhile you've got ex-presidents like reagan or bush who have done little to nothing. it's as if the presidential office hampers their ability to do what they really want to do. the same thing goes for near ex-presidents like al gore.
  • great site.

  • 9-21-06 (12:13)

  • good prank.
  • usc game madness.

  • 9-20-03 (23:22)

  • was watching a plastic surgery show the other day and it was about a transgender person who was going from being a man to a woman or vise versa, i don't remember. anyway, they were getting breast work done (removed or implanted, again i don't remember) and the show's censors blurred out the nipples when the person had "female" breasts and didn't blur out the nipples when the breasts were small. how freaking stupid. all of a sudden the same nipples were somehow offensive one moment, but not the other.
  • updated movies list.

  • 9-20-06 (19:36)

  • the media keeps talking about the democrats possibly taking back congress. i don't think it's going to happen and i think the anticipation of it happening is going to be more bad news for the democrats.

  • 9-20-06 (03:06)

  • lionel richie kinda sucks.
  • i like conan o'brien and all, but every show is the same. starts with the song, he does his running in place thing, plays with the camera and then comments on the cheers. then he says it's a great show and inserts one of the following: self-deprecating joke, joke about the rest of the shows being crap, but this one actually being good, or joke about him lying - it's not really a good show tonight. then he does his monologue and goes to his desk. they do a skit which is generally an extension of "natural" conversation about the show or something in the business or a conversation with the band (usually max). commercial. then they'll have a skit or a guest. when there's a guest you see his real genius as a comedian. he's got a quick wit and it shows during the impromptu portions of the interview. during the interview he'll always work in a joke about being really white, having fluffy hair, being irish, being a geek, or not being very good at his job. this is the formula so far as i can tell for almost every single show. keep this in mind the next time you watch it and tell me if i'm wrong.

  • 9-19-06 (18:51)

  • heretofore is a cool word, but you never hear people say "heretopost." rather they say "from now on." heretopost i will try to use "heretopost" instead of "from now on." hopefully it catches on.

  • 9-18-06 (13:48)

  • just when you're beginning to think that there isn't any follow through or competence in this world your hopes are raised. i wrote this on 9-16-06 to a parks communication officer at banff/jasper:

  • To Whom It May Concern:
    I recently visited Jasper and Banff National Parks and was struck by the beauty and size. I've been to dozens of parks in Canada and the states and the vistas at Jasper and Banff are among the best. That said, I was disappointed by a few elements of the parks' relationship to its visitors.
    Upon arrival to the park from Calgary I found remarkably little information on the ecologic, biologic, environmental and geologic issues affecting the park. It took talking to several (difficult to find) rangers throughout the parks to get an idea of how the park's mountains were formed, what the fire management policies are, what wildlife issues the park was addressing, etc. It seemed that the bulk of the visitor information services were geared less towards education, information and preservation, and more towards recreation and surface tourism.
    In sum, I loved the parks and thought them to be great preserves of a rapidly vanishing landscape. I urge you to increase ranger visibility and visitor education so that more visitors will realize just how precious the parks are.
    Thank you for your time and consideration,
    Chris Miller
  • and today i received this:

  • Hello Chris,

    I'm glad you enjoyed our parks and I'm sorry you didn't run into more
    education while you were in the park. There IS quite a lot of stuff out
    there, though it is mostly "non-personal" as we have millions of visitors
    and only a limited number of "rangers". For example, a few years ago I
    completed a set of 35 roadside panels all along the Bow Valley Parkway (the
    scenic route from Banff to Lake Louise, driven and biked by hundreds of
    thousands of visitors each year) that explain (for those who stop and read
    them all!) exactly the kinds of things you were looking for (e.g. how the
    park's mountains were formed, what the fire management policies are, what
    wildlife issues the park was addressing). There is also an entire exhibit
    at the Lake Louise Visitor Centre that interprets mountain formation
    (mostly), with some exhibits on mountain wildlife and the park's
    mountaineering heritage. There are also exhibits on wildlife research (past
    and present) at the Banff Park Museum in downtown Banff (run by Parks
    Canada) and about the creation of Canada's first national park at the Cave
    and Basin National Historic Site (also run by Parks Canada). Both Jasper
    and Banff have self-guiding trails and interpretation panels at popular
    destinations like Sulphur Mountain, Johnston Canyon, Lake Louise, Athabasca
    Falls, Maligne Canyon, and many more. All of these educational services and
    facilities are described in our The Mountain Guide, a Parks Canada
    publication with maps and descriptions of the 6 mountain national parks,
    which you should have received at the park gate, or wherever you purchased
    your park pass. We also have Park Interpreters roving every day at popular
    visitor attractions throughout the parks, but with over 3 million visitors
    a year we obviously miss quite a few people (like you!).

    It is also true that we have the townsites of Banff and Jasper (run as
    municipalities separate from Parks Canada -- this is certainly not the norm
    within Canadian national parks, something that happened a hundred years ago
    that wouldn't happen today) within these two national parks, so if you are
    in those Townsites it may appear that there is little education in
    comparison to all the other tourism infrastructure. Collectively, the
    private sector has many more staff than we do in Parks Canada. However,
    there are many places where you CAN find the information you were seeking!
    I'm sorry you didn't find it very easily, and appreciate you sending me
    your perspective (we have to make our stuff easier to find!). If you come
    again, I hope you will drop into one of our Information Centres and/or
    check out our website so we can help you find what you're after more
    easily.

    Our website address is www.pc.gc.ca/banff (or for Jasper:
    www.pc.gc.ca/jasper) -- there's tons of info on there, though again, it's
    not always easy to find it. We're working on it!

    Sincerely,
    Ann Morrow
    Parks Canada
    Communications
    Banff National Park

    9-18-06 (02:22)

  • the state of the world is so depressing these days. generally i just turn off my brain when i take in all the information i see, hear, read on a daily basis. every once in a while, though, i'll think about it and it just depresses the hell out of me.

  • 9-17-06 (21:10)

  • went to the usc/nebraska game yesterday with my dad. turned out to be quite an ordeal. game started at 5pm and we got there about 3.5 hours early. pregame activities have always been fairly lively, but it was out of control this time. there were so many people there and all the parking spots ($20-40) were taken so we ended up parking about two miles from the coliseum and just walking. we played some catch, as is the custom, and then went to the campus. 92,000 were in attendance and we were in the student section so things were especially crazy. we waited at the section entrance for over 45 minutes because a couple people needed medical attention and the students (who don't have assigned seats) were sitting in seats which were for ticket holders. quite the experience. the game itself was good too. the defense is twice as good as it was last year and the offense is about 65% of what it was last year.
  • looking for jobs is a depressing process. i've been out of high school for almost ten years and i'm still basically looking for entry level positions. i could go to more school to enhance my poli sci degree - get teaching credentials or go to law school - or i could go to school to become a carpenter, etc. but that requires more money and time and, so far, school hasn't helped me get jobs so it doesn't have much of a track record so far as i'm concerned. at age 16 kids should be allowed to enter whatever trade, profession, etc. that they want. if they want to be lawyers they should start taking political science and law-related courses. if they want to learn a trade then they should get some hands on training in that field. i'm pretty dissatisfied with my education at this point. it's helped me as a person and i learned a good amount of stuff, but i've learned more (on a per day basis) from traveling than i ever did in school. maybe i'm just bitter because i chose a useless major. i guess what it comes down to is that i've made more money from my experiences watching "this old house" than i have from the all college courses i took. half the friends i know have jobs that have stemmed from their interests, rather than their studies. i know that being a college grad supposedly enhances your chances of getting entry level jobs, but i'm not so sure that's how it really works.
  • looking forward to new jackass and jet li pics.
  • niners won today so that's good. didn't get to see the game though. the most encouraging thing is that smith hasn't had an interception in the last two games.
  • pretty frustrated in general lately. listing books on craigslist and soliciting sales is an exhausting process. about 75% of the people "interested" through craigslist will send one e-mail and then bow out. there's a real lack of follow through in general, but especially through that venue. when trying to fix things around the house there is invaribly some problem that arises as a result of a theorhetical improvement. trying to clean out gutters, for example, reveals that there's a broken downspout which leads to more work. trying to save some time on patching holes by using "great stuff" turns out to be more of a pain than one would expect. home depot doesn't have the quickly expanding kind so i go with the slower kind which then spills all over the place and doesn't do the job, thus creating more work. in general, i see people as flimsy, capricious, ignorant and stupid.
  • eli manning's game winning td was straight off the playground - turn head, lob as far as you can while falling backwards, hope for the best.
  • my fantasy baseball team has completely imploded this week.

  • 9-15-06 (22:34)

  • finally finished applying for a position with the sca. they provide paid internships with various NPS run lands that range in time from 3-12 months. i saw about 200 positions available and i applied for about 15 ranging from alaska to tennessee. it would be nice to be able to do several of them over the course of the next couple years and learn a shitload about ecology, biology, geology, education, geography, etc. there's only one in yellowstone and it's a winter internship, but i applied anyway. i have no idea how many people apply for these positions so i have no idea what my chances are.
  • cleaned out the gutters on my grandma's house today. wish i had a house so i could do all these things on my own place.
  • funny, the last two bulletpoints are completely contradictory. i'd like to do a (barely) paid internship for environmental causes, yet i'd like to have enough money to buy a house. ha!
  • fascism.

  • 9-13-06 (22:52)

  • updated movies list.

  • 9-13-06 (15:36)

  • they're remaking vanishing point now. when will it end?

  • 9-11-06 (15:57)

  • was listening to the radio and heard some idiot talking about the excessive coverage of the events of 9/11. his main thesis was that we are all tired of it and it needs to end. his theory on why we hear so much about it was that all the media outlets are based in nyc and that 9/11 has become a nyc-centric memory. i agree that it's gotten a little out of hand and that 9/11 is generally portrayed in how it affected nyc, rather than d.c. or pa, but this is perfectly understandable. i don't see the coverage as a conspiracy of any sort, rather it's an extension of the fact that we only have footage from the two planes at the wtc. furthermore, there is a symbolic element which said idiot clearly didn't think about. a field in pa has no symbolic meaning and the pentagon, which does have symbolic meaning, is back to normal. i think he was saying all this to be outrageous more than anything else.
  • sports are the best example, that i can think of, of a meritocracy in our society. people like latrell sprewell, mike tyson, t.o., and ron artest are a testament to this fact. if they were politicians they wouldn't be elected. in music, it's not about your merits as a musician (which are admittedly subjective), rather it's about your image. the same goes for people in film and tv. in many other fields it's about bogus test scores, class, connections, or something other than your ability. in sports, though, almost all things can be overlooked. if you're in the ghetto it's not a problem - recruiters will come to you. if you've got attitude problems or a criminal record, it's okay we'll work with that too. of course there are limits. marcus vick is a very good athlete, but not much of a qb or wide receiver, and he's a pain in the ass. still, though, he's got a job on the second squad of the dolphins. even after stepping on opposing players, getting in trouble with the law and getting kicked off his college team, he still has a good chance of being in the nfl. i'm not making a value judgment, i'm merely pointing it out. what's more, is that many people don't seem to like sports because they are meritocracies. they point out the seemingly unfair fact that those guys who are a pain in the ass are able to still find teams, just because they're good. what they're really pointing out is that it's unfair that some people are better than others. of course it slices the other way as well. teams will take into account what kind of locker room presence a player has. jerry rice, at age 43, was still finding places to play because he's a positive example. if he had a mike tyson attitude along with his 43 year old legs, he wouldn't have a job.
  • motown and soul is basically just 50-60 year old pop, but the production so superlatively superior to today's pop. just listen to the instrumentals on tracks like will you still love me tomorrow, do i love you, locomotion, get ready, roadrunner, needle in a haystack, heat wave, everything by brown and wonder, sliced tomatos (sampled on rockafella skank), 1-2-3, mr big stuff, dancing in the street, etc. and those don't even really get into the big hits like respect, gaye's hits, the temptations' big hits, the supremes' big hits, etc.

  • 9-9-06 (20:43)

  • afi has their 100 most inspiring films on bravo right now. cool hand luke is only in the 70s, as is dark passage. jeez. good watching nonetheless.
  • i have mixed feelings about texas getting their ass kicked tonight. of course i'm happy to see them get knocked down a peg, but i also harbored secret hopes that usc would meet them again for the national championship. oh well.
  • day the earth stood still is in the high 60s on the afi list. that was on amc the other day. great film.
  • shane is #53. brilliant film, should be top 20.
  • there's some singles website that advertises 6 free months of their service if you don't find love in the first 6 months. i know that you can argue they're only trying to bring people together and that's a nice service, but it's marketed fairly unscrupulously, if you ask me.
  • shawshank redemption at #23. definitely top 20 material.
  • on flew over the cuckoo's nest #17. probably top five for me.
  • apollo 13 #12. way too high.
  • heard an interview with one of the five fcc members trying to justify the various decisions they've made recently. from the bono incident to the choice to allow saving private ryan to be aired, unedited, on network tv. he admitted that they've tied themselves into a legal knot because of their inconsistency. they allow SPR to air because it's a realistic portrayal of real events and contributes to society, but they don't allow the word "shit" to be uttered in a blues documentary. there were several other examples that he gave, but it just further proved to me how silly the whole institution is. apparently, legally they're not allowed to outright ban words before the fact because that would be a restriction of free speech, but they are allowed to fine networks for indecency. the result is a self-policing that relies on inconsistent rulings and unclear boundaries. as a result networks are increasingly reluctant to test the boundaries. this would explain why, seemingly all of a sudden, there seems to be an absence of utterances of "bitch" and "ass" on the networks. not sure when all this changed, but i would imagine it was under michael powell and around the time of the infamous 'wardrobe malfunction'.
  • breaking away #8. great film, wouldn't place it in my top 10 though.
  • grapes of wrath #7. likely top five for me.
  • it's a wonderful life #1. overplayed for a reason.
  • full list.
  • a few they forgot graduate, gabriel over the white house, rollerball, paths of glory, ikiru (not eligible since it's not an american film, but i have to list it), magnolia, goodbye mr. chips, beau geste, great escape...

  • 9-7-06 (00:11)

  • alaska: land of over 3 million lakes.
  • 10 ways to make yourself popular at the office:

  • "10. Keep telling the same person that they have bad breath even if they don't, and then punch them in the mouth.
    9. Announce in a meeting that you have AIDS. After everyone gives you the sympathy remarks.. tell everyone how you're just kidding.. and tell them that they are all a bunch of queers.
    8. Before a meeting, fill your mouth with custard- then during the meeting put one finger in the air and make like you are hocking up a big loogie - then spit the custard into a clear glass and hand it to the person next to you and say 'Beat that!'
    7. Inform a male coworker that he 'wouldn't make a good hooker,' then piss in his coffee and tell him he needs a good 'ass fucking.'
    6. Always walk around with a big smile and keep one hand down the front of your pants.
    5. Answer every question asked to you with 'fuck if I know!' then call the person a racial slur that doesn't even match their race.
    4. Brag about the fact that you own a gun, and keep playing with your nuts. Get them really sweaty, and then walk around shaking everyone's hand.
    3. Run down the hall with your dick out while urinating all over and yell, 'It won't stop! God help me! It don't stop!' Then when it stops... look down and say... 'Oh!'
    2. Ask to borrow someone's pen- bring it to the bathroom - stick it in your butt - return it and tell the person to smell it - when they tell you that it smells bad - be like, 'It should! I had it in my butt!'
    1. Shit on the floor in your office and when someone comes in and sees it, tell them it's the fake plastic kind- when they try to pick it up, and realize that their hand is full of shit, laugh and point."
  • that one's like an old friend that i have to revisit every once in a while. it really doesn't get old. hopefully i'll still laugh at that kind of base humor when (if) i'm 87.

  • 9-5-06 (15:54)

  • i'm not too surprised by notre dame's lackluster performance this weekend. i thought they were a little overrated last year. they did have a great showing against usc, but they had a couple close wins against ranked teams. top ten, but not top five.
  • it's always funny to see how people react after one week's worth of games. that said, it's sort of justified - in no other major sport is one game so important. one loss and you're likely out of the running for a national championship, that's the only benefit of the bcs system. for cal (9) or miami (12) to make it to the national championship they have to run the table and hope for losses from a few teams at the top.

  • 9-4-06 (23:32)

  • when i first heard about steve irwin i laughed, but it's actually kinda sad. on the one hand he's a fool because he was asking for it, on the other hand he helped educate people about wildlife. that said, i don't particularly agree with his invasive methods.
  • went to my mom's today and did some house work. i should make buying a house a goal of mine. i've always wanted one and i've always been interested in home repair, but i've never been very interested in making money. probably need a job first.
  • tomorrow should be a key day in determining how the next couple weeks will go.
  • updated movies list.
  • the 2006 rose bowl and seinfeld are similar in that if you're on the wrong side i can pretty much guarantee you're not a friend of mine. if you dislike seinfeld or if you rooted for texas then you're probably a bad person.
  • i've been very deprived of music lately. on the trip i listened to a good amount, but lately i haven't. to compound the problem i've been away from my system for a while. can't wait till i fire it up again. there's nothing as good as loud music on a good system.
  • murs references kamloops canada in his (awesome) song "bad man." i've been there.

  • in light of their last ten years, it's easy to lose sight of how good metallica actually were at one time. oh well. i guess the same could be said about a lot of artists. i have to wonder how much of michael jackson's former greatness can be attributed to paul mccartney and quincy jones.