shake that cola drag

The office-block persecution affinity.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Some days, I just feel like posting a lot.

Due to the wonders of DVD, I have been reliving some late eighties/early nineties musical glories. After my initial feeding frenzy over the Beatles, the first 'alternative' artists I really heard were, lessee, the Cure, the Smiths (obviously), the Wonder Stuff (ex-boyfriend obsession), the Violent Femmes (naturally, since we all have to own that first album at one point), the Stone Roses (the nine-minute 'Fool's Gold'! I didn't even know what ecstasy *was*), Jane's Addiction (school-wagging soundtrack!), the Throwing Muses (how did I manage to find *them*?), the Pixies, and a bunch of bands on Flying Nun (the Clean, the Chills, the Verlaines, the Headless Chickens...). When you're a teenager and you haven't heard too much, your band-love can be really pure and intense. That's cool, of course, but I've found when you come back a decade or more later, it can be a bit horrifying to find out that the artist you've spent all those years remembering fondly is actually derivative, lame, cringeworthy, or downright shitty. (When I was sixteen, I knew a guy whose favourite band EVER was Ned's Atomic Dustbin. Oooooops!) That's why the new Flying Nun retrospective DVD, Very Short Films, and the Pixies Best-of DVD, are kind of a relief as well as great retro fun. Through sheer dumb luck, it seems, I actually liked some really terrific bands, who wrote some fantastic songs. *Now* I understand that David Lovering is a great drummer. *Now* I get the crucial importance of Joey Santiago's atmospheric surf-music-referencing guitar. *Now* the true, catchy genius-weirdness of Black Francis and Kim Deal is actually apparent to me. Whew. And watching the made-for-two-cents videos on Very Short Films is really heartwarming. The ratio of great-to-crap is pretty impressive from 1981 until the mid nineties. How did all these incredibly talented people end up in one far-flung, tiny spot, on one label, writing lovely, odd, mostly-jangly music? And how did they survive when most of the country completely ignored them? Coming back to these bands and knowing that it wasn't sheer parochialism on my part - that they really *were* good - is cheering stuff. Yay.

I can't be stopped. It's photo... MANIA!

Or that Ellie has a BFF, my uncle's (much cleverer, more graceful and prettier, but less goofily good-natured) dog Sass, here pictured just at the moment before a ball is thrown?

And hey, did you even know we have two cats? And a disco ball pillow? And something that looks like a muppet?

And here's my favourite photo of Gary, just because we miss him, and he's the only person in Channelview, TX voting for Kerry...

He wants YOU!

While relieving yourself in New Zealand, make sure you use...

So I just downloaded this Hello programme for photo-publishing (why thank you, Blogger! You read my mind!), and I am filled with joy. It's so *neat*. Yay. Expect more visual representations of things in these parts.

Oh, and if you've ever wanted to know what I look like drinking a forty... your wish is granted.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Hey look, I'm fleetingly famous in New Zealand blog-land! Thanks Fiona. :) (Although the idea that her Public Address compatriot Russell Brown may read her post and idly click on my link is, frankly, a terrifying one. I'm such a dork.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Doggles: sunglasses for dogs. Capitalism is a weird and wondrous thing.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Juvenile? Me?

In Newton, after the Smiths tribute band, Rach showed me this. What else do you have a camera-phone for?

This crisp fine autumn morning, the best song in the world - and most of New Zealand seems to agree with me, given the number of times per day this is playing on our music video channels - is 'Through the Wire' by Kanye West. FUCK yeah. A few weeks ago I even downloaded Chaka Khan's 'Through the Fire' because I love this song so much. (I'd forgotten how bad and cheesy the production is on Chaka's song. Kanye was right to speed it up and boil it down to that terrific melody-line sung by the Chaka-chipmunk.) When you research dude on AllMusic, he's produced, well, practically every US hiphop song I've loved for the last few years, including the perennially-loved-by-me h-to-the-izzo. That's the anthem, get your damn hands up...

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

This morning, the best song in the world is The Isley Brothers' 'It's Your Thing'.

No, I'm sorry. There's no argument. I can't be having debate on this particular point. Today, we must put the fact that it has been sold to all kinds of tacky commercials aside, and bow down before it in all its wondrousness. It's perfect.

Moreover, they're right. It's a universal truth: I *can't* tell you who to sock it to. Funk *and* philosophy.

No, I don't know what the best song in the world is going to be tomorrow morning. These things can't be predicted. Just work with me, OK?

Monday, May 17, 2004

Behold: my new candypink Chucks. I think they are the cutest thing in world history.

Wow. How interesting: the 'obesity epidemic' apparently doesn't exist. It's *fitness* that matters, not fatness.

Oh dear. I think I pretty much fail on either count. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2004

So... have you watched the video? You know the one I mean.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Oh, and while we're here and sharing, check *this* out: a list of terms for groups of animals. A murder of crows, a parliament of owls, sure... but what about a shiver of sharks, a pladge of wasps, or a mutation of thrushes?

(Parenthetically, this new blogger interface is jazzy. Not that you guys can see it, but trust me, it is.)

I think it's about time I shared a few thoughts about current television joy.

1. Coronation Street showed its first gay kiss last night. It was rebuffed rather angrily, but it's OK! I have been reading ahead on UK sites (yes, I am lame) and have discovered that Todd *will* find love! Although not with his angrily homophobic but very pretty live-in girlfriend's brother, perhaps. Bad move there, homeslice. Aren't you thinking of poor Saaaaaa-rah and Bethany?

2. Unintentional hilarity section: The Apprentice. One of my main prerequisites for truly enjoying any reality television is profound hatred for all the show's 'cast members'. (There must be some exception to this rule, but in terms of trashy entertainment, I can't think of one.) This show fulfils my requirement to overflowing, and it's only the second episode. God, I absolutely HATE these people! I hate Donald Trump! I hate his hair! I hate his flunkies! I hate the weaselly little fuckers, both male and female, who uncritically yearn to sell their souls to the corporate juggernaut! And they're all so *lame*! So deeply, deeply lame! And as if the *premise* of the show wasn't retarded enough, the *execution* of that premise is totally inconsistent and insane! I am reminded of nothing so much as America's Next Top Model, in which the 'judges' basically bitch at everyone involved and seemingly choose someone to eliminate at random, but pretend that there are valid reasons for their removal. And then there's the time-honoured 'old-switcheroo' maneuvre, in which the person you'd *think* would go (dude who fell asleep under the whiteboard, anyone?) is kept on at the last minute, while the person who *thinks* he's safe is out on his ear! Ahhhhhh, it's all so stupid, and directing my scorn to the screen fills me with such glorious warmth...

3. Intentional hilarity section: Arrested Development. Please don't be cancelled! You are far, far too funny to die! If I hadn't seen David Cross play the same sexually ambiguous fey dork several times on Mr. Show, it would be perfect. And let's face it, I would watch David Cross doing just about anything several times over, because he's hilarious. (Whither Bob Odenkirk, the true genius of Mr. Show?) Best line of last night's episode: 'Everyone's riding, and smiling, and cornholing... except Buster!' Just having a character called Buster is worth a lot to me.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Hmmmm... I think Ellie's love of our new heater has less to do with her well-developed kitsch sensibilities than I would have anticipated....

(Yes. Our carpet is brown. Shit-brown. Thank you, landlord.)

I have now had a) one driving lesson yesterday and b) two other driving attempts today behind the wheel of our stereoless (grrrr) car. I understand why people say your spouse shouldn't teach you. It's not that Brent is impatient at all. In fact, he's very outwardly calm and gentle and sensible. However, I *know* him. I know him so well that I can feel the waves of worry coming off him at every intersection. My driving instructor, Eleanor, could be totally freaking out, but I only just met her. I wouldn't have any idea how to tell if she was having some kind of anxiety attack!

Don't get me wrong. I think I'm doing OK. I haven't hit anything, or had anyone use their horn, or used my indicator on the wrong side, or not given way to the right at a roundabout. (I had some issues with turning into our driveway. It's a dodgy one though, with a ditch on either side.) But this is a weird kind of skill. It's not like the usual sorts of things I'm really good at picking up: database searches, historical facts, the mood in a room full of people, lyrics, gossip, recipes. Well, I suppose it's most like cooking, really. You have to keep an eye on several things at once and make certain events happen in the right order. Of course, with cooking you don't have to do anything with your *feet*. And if you forget to put the peas on or add the baking powder, that doesn't necessarily mean you're going to kill or maim someone. You could just eat later after the peas get done, or end up with flat muffins.

My head aches. And I'm learning in an automatic car! As Jane at work says, that's not even real driving! Imagine if I had to change gears!

Actually, let's not imagine that.

Friday, May 07, 2004

It's fortuitous that I saw Coal Miner's Daughter for the first time just before Van Lear Rose was released. I am in the middle of a full fledged love affair with this woman and her music. Loretta, bless you.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

I love you, New Zealand Music Month. I just saw videos for the Scavengers' 'Mr X', the Tall Dwarfs 'Turning Brown and Torn in Two', and the Swingers 'One Good Reason', none of which I had ever seen before! Plus two old standbys in the Clean's 'Tally Ho!' and the Verlaines' 'Death and the Maiden'. (Yes, Rach, Graeme Downes *was* kinda hot back then.)

Monday, May 03, 2004

To the little thieving bastard or bastards who stole our car stereo from our garage last night while we were sleeping: you suck. Big donkey balls. Now we have to pay several hundred dollars to replace our nice MP3-playing car stereo which was only a year old, and our insurance excess is so high that it's hardly worth using it. AND we're going to end up being those annoying fucking wankers on the street with a car alarm. On an average-condition eleven-year-old car! I hope you're happy that you've increased noise pollution immeasurably in our neighbourhood, because those bloody things go off *all the time*. But now we have to have one because of you. I am sending snotty karma your way, arsehole.

(It is, however, kind of amusing that Ellie slept at our feet right through the entire exercise. Watchdog, schmatchdog. Although now I'm a little worried about the contents of our house.)