There is, of course, only one university in Britain, and that is Oxford. Many other cities and towns claim that they also have similar establishments, but a true chap would blush from spending three of their formative years in some concrete monstrosity of the Midlands, or the dark satanic mills of the North. One is not to be fooled either by members of the royal family who opt to join the arts-and-craft communities of our Caledonian cousins. Intelligent homosexuals are permitted to attend the University of Cambridge, which offers a variety of courses on espionage leading to worthy careers working for the KGB in mysterious buildings south of the Thames.
Go rent The Heroic Trio or My Father Is A Hero or Drunken Master 2 or Miracles or even A Better Tomorrow III and get to know her if you don’t already.
(I normally don’t care about celebrity deaths, but she was a gem.)
You know, morning is a little bit better when Thelonious Monk is playing you to your desk at the office. I used a gift certificate provided by Kristin’s lovely (and very nice) family to procure a nice chunk of jazz recordings yesterday, including two recordings by Monk, Solo Monk and Genius Of Modern Music Volume 1, Sonny Rollins’s Way Out West, an album of Count Basie’s orchestra doing James Bond film music, and Karma by Pharoah Sanders. The last one has “The Creator Has A Master Plan,” which I discovered in reverse form – there was a drum and bass remix of a cover of the track by Brooklyn Funk Essentials on a mixtape that Bobble made for me during his “ambient jungle” phase in 96. This tape is, of course, either lost forever or buried in a box in our spare room and I don’t even have a tape deck anymore, period. Last year while digging through some $1 CDs at a local used CD chain, I found the single by BFE, featuring the remix I liked so much.
In another $1 bin at Cheapo Records (Central Square, Cambridge), I found this CD, which has an edited version of Sanders’s original track, along with some other gems (Archie Shepp’s take on “Girl From Ipanema” goes down a treat, I tell you what.) It was love at first listen. (At this point, I’ll note the criminal injustice that is this CD getting only two stars from the Giant Allmusic Computer, as it has tracks from Trane and Mingus among others.)
Seek out this song. You won’t be disappointed.
I have discovered it. The secret. The secret that will make you happy, my friends.
And I will share it with you.
First, go to your local pub. I hope you have a decent one, not some seedy juke joint blaring David Lee Roth while a guy who’s been unsuccessfully been trying to grow out his mullet tells you about this amazing opportunity with Amway. Bring a book, go by yourself – this is critical.
Order the special. In my case, tonight, it was the steak tips (medium rare) with salad. No starch, as it impedes my desire to get buzzed as quickly as possible. Get a Guinness with it. This is a very critical portion of the whole secret-obtaining process.
I hope you get a server like Lisa. Lisa and Teresa take care of me at my pub. Fine, Irish lasses with a twinkle in their eyes and a gentle lilt that you wonder at in the wee small hours. She brings you your drink and you read your book and all is good. Then, remarkably, as you’re halfway through your Guinness, Lisa drops off another.
“I poured one too many.” She says. There’s a wink. You do not acknowledge the wink. Don’t. This spoils the secret.
Eat your meal. Read your book. (In this case, it was You Shall Know Our Velocity by Eggers.) Lisa takes your plate away. Asks if you want anything else. Say you want a Scotch. 12 year.
It gets brought to you, along with the check. You are charged for the steak tips and the first Guinness. You tip Lisa $15 and walk out. If you are very lucky, there’s a coffee shop next door where you can read some more of your book and have a coffee to shake off the lethargic buzz. I daresay this was the point at which the secret became something I felt like I must share with you.
In short: Guinness, meal, Guinness, scotch, coffee. Write this down. Carry it with you.
Good night, god bless.
THREE THINGS THAT SCARE ME
- Republicans (in general.)
- Strident liberals who are as bad as Ann Coulter in their own way. (Hi, Michael Moore? You scare me sometimes, even if I liked your movies, except for Canadian Bacon.)
THREE THINGS I DON’T UNDERSTAND
- Quantum physics.
- How the people put up with media manipulation.
- The Current State of Pop Music.
THREE THINGS I’D LIKE TO LEARN
- How to make the perfect Maker’s Mark Infusion.
- How to teleport.
THREE THINGS I AM WEARING RIGHT NOW
- Doc Martens dress shoes.
- Green t-shirt.
THREE THINGS ON MY DESK
- CD player.
- CDs (Cowboy Bebop soundtracks, Thelonius Monk’s Chris-Cross and the latest 9 Lazy 9 release.)
- Big Water Bottle.
THREE THINGS I WANT TO DO BEFORE I DIE
- Watch every Kurosawa film.
- Visit space.
- Make it with Angelina Jolie.
THREE GOOD WAYS TO DESCRIBE MY PERSONALITY
- Somewhat intelligent, when I feel like it.
THREE BAD THINGS ABOUT MY PERSONALITY
- Lazy. (See #3 on previous list.)
- Overly critical.
THREE PARTS OF YOUR HERITAGE
- Some Scotch, but we don’t talk about it.
THREE THINGS I LIKE ABOUT MY BODY
- Grey hairs.
- Fingers. (Even if I never see ‘em fing.)
THREE THINGS I DON’T LIKE ABOUT MY BODY
- My beer / chinese food gut.
THREE THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME
- I cry at the drop of a hat in a movie, but rarely at real-life events.
- I’m quite a good dancer, in my own way.
- I’m dead good in bed. (No, really. I didn’t believe it myself until recently.)
THREE THINGS I SAY THE MOST
- “Fuck’s sake!”
- “Great Caesar’s Ghost!”
- “Thank you for calling Merchant Warehouse, this is Kevin.”
THREE PLACES I WANT TO GO
- Portland, OR. (Again. It’s nice there and the people are keen.)
- NYC, but only when it’s emptied of the teeming hordes.
- London. (“Let’s do it. Let’s break the law!”)
THREE NAMES THAT I GO BY
THREE SCREEN NAMES I HAVE OR HAD
When I got back, I got to meet my man D. Kasak and his lovely girlfriend. I only got one usable picture out of that night. This is it. Clicking makes it big. That’s Kasak back to the left, Laura in the foreground (here’s where I mention that the girl is hot and far too good for his lame ass) and TV’s Spatch back to the right.
So, my cellphone didn’t actually charge last night and I left the camera at home to deep-charge the LiIon batteries before our trip to beautiful Cape Cod on this festive holiday season. I am remarkably free of digital technology, excluding my discman, but that’s so ubiquitous that it might as well be an extra hand or something. It’s a balmy 53 degrees out there, which means the whole “Christmas Spirit” thing is eluding me even more than usual.
Last night, I came up with what would be the most politically incorrect holiday special ever. Little Hitler’s Worst Christmas. Upon hearing the name, longtime associate Josh Krach stated that it should be like the prologue in Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade and show the origin of the haircut, the moustache, and his hatred of the Jewish people. The only line I came up with is “But mummy, vhy does Mister Goldstein get eight days of der holiday und I get only vun?” The BBC had the balls to do a sitcom about der furher, but even their site admits it wasn’t very good. Of course, I’m curious about this. If you are disgusted by the idea of a cute, lovable Hitler, send your hatemail to the usual location.
Some of these did turn out pretty dark, but I have to say the photo of Kristin looking out the window made the entire set worthwhile. I suppose I need to sit down with a good photography book and get cracking.
Something I wrote on the Dirty boards about Underworld and me.
“Hey, dude.” Ryan always called me ‘dude.’ I have no idea why, as I’m not a very ‘dude’ sort of guy. “Next time you’re at Tower, get this single by this new band Underworld. It’s called ‘Dirty Epic’ and you get 70 minutes of remixes and shit for like 6 bones.”
This was on my answering machine.
It was all downhill after that.
I got Dubnobasswithmyhead and was enthralled. It was the gestalt I’d been seeking – rich, layered textures, lyrics that were mostly gibberish yet made perfect sense, and an unerring sense of rhythm. Suddenly, acid house seemed a dim memory and the way was pointed by three guys from Essex, two of whom had been in a previous band of the same name that I outright dismissed as sub-Prince white funk.
I still get the chills, sometimes. I have a CD of MP3s from various CD releases by the band that’s abused pretty constantly by my Discman and there some moments where it’s so crystal, so clear why I love their music so much. “Spikee” hits like crank the first time around, but the high only gets better. “Jumbo” is bliss – face against the bus window on a sunny day music. Then there’s “Born Slippy (.nuxx)” – sure, the lager louts had it for a while, but we got it back, didn’t we?
Yeah, ten years in a couple of months and I think the honeymoon’s still going on. Thanks, lads.
As noted in the comments of the previous post, it looks like my pictures look a lot better on some machines / monitors than others. Looks like Macs and LCD monitors win right now with Dell (my work monitor) and Sony (Aaron’s) tube-based jobbies falling far behind.
I watched Kurosawa’s last collaboration with Mifune over the weekend. Red Beard was one of the fastest-moving three-hours movies I’ve ever seen. (Considering it’s a black and white foreign film, that’s saying something.) Very episodic storytelling with one of my favorite performances that Mifune’s ever put to film. He plays a doctor in charge of a hospital in rural Japan in the 19th century where Yuzo Kayama’s character has come to visit and then finds he’s working there, against his wishes. Of course, he learns to cope with the environment and eventually turns around, but the insight into class structure at the time made it a lot more than Yet Another Feel Good Movie. There’s only one slide into maudlin hysterics near the very end and it’s so unexpected caught the lump in my throat barely in time. Recommended very highly.
I also watched the first of the Shintaro Katsu Zatoichi movies. Good, but not the mind-blowing experience I had expected. Honestly, there wasn’t much action for the first 3/4 of the movie, with the pace exploding in the last half of the third act. Nice performances, and the final swordfight was enthralling.
Clicking makes these big. (Jeremy razzed me a while back about my images being big and making the blog go slow. It’s only because I love him so much that I did this.)
I think I’m in love with my new camera.
Liz pointed this out to me – American Brandstand. Funny look at music and branding.
I watched Castle In The Sky last night and it’s very good. I don’t think I adore it as much as Spirited Away, but it had me hooked very effectively. Followed it up with The Way Home, which left me tear-riddled. It walks that fine line between sentiment and being cornball. I don’t think it would work in America, actually, because an American director would have gone for the obvious buttons.
An orangutan raises his arm after knocking out his fellow primate during a kickboxing match at a theme park in Bangkok on Saturday. The privately owned theme park bills the event as “the world’s first and only orangutan boxing show.”
“KENNEWICK — Forced to clean up an increasing number of jugs and bags of human waste along highways, the Adams County Waste Reduction & Recycling office took out a full-page newspaper advertisement to combat the problem.
The ad features a photo of a plastic milk jug filled with urine, and the message, ‘Okay, One last time: This is not a urinal.’
From March 4 to Nov. 27, 2002, one Adams County highway cleanup crew picked up 2,666 jugs of urine and 67 bags with human excrement in them.”
At this point, I have nothing nice to say about my fellow man. (From BoingBoing.)
Saw The Cooler at a preview screening last night. Man, William H Macy can motherfucking ACT. I know his sort of nervous energy doesn’t play well for some people (Hi, Aaron,) but if you stick him and the brute force that is Alec Baldwin With A Decent Script in the same room, magic just seems to happen. The plot is simple enough: Macy plays a “Cooler,” someone who brings bad luck to people and is employed by a casino to end someone’s winning run. This works wonderfully until he falls in love and starts bringing good luck to everyone on the floor. Baldwin is the casino boss, who’s being pressured to change the place into one of the Disney Monstrosities that plague the city and suddenly starts losing money because of Macy’s change. There’s some brutal bits of violence in this flick, which sort of underscores the emotional change that Macy’s character, a lifelong loser, has by serving as a counterpoint.
Enjoyable, and it features Maria Bello, who was hot on ER. She’s hotter in this. There was also free scotch provided by Glenfidditch, so Lynn and I were pretty much set.