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Archive for the 'Raves' Category


2008.10.02 use it like a screwball would:

What a week, huh? The House fails to pass the bailout bill, the markets crash, and there was a period on tuesday where I wish I had $10,000 for about 15 minutes (Google's stock crashed right at close, then rebounded almost immediately in after-hours trading).

And most people are putting the blame for the bill failing the House squarely on John "Maverick" McCain. They had a provisional agreement until he touched down, then the shit hit the fan. Then again, they're also trying to blame Next Gingrich, so what does anybody know? I know that I'm really glad I never started a 401k, that's for sure.

Speaking of Google, I have started to covet the T-Mobile G1 (not in that ugly white, though). I thought, a few times, about switching to AT&T for the iPhone, but it looks like I've been rewarded for my patience. And my upgrade should make it more than affordable. Good thing, too…my RAZR is showing its age. Either way, it should make Matt's Treo look like it has some sort of childhood developmental disorder.

- 08:49 am - PL :: 2 Comments
categories ::  Gadgets - Politics - Rants - Raves - Technology

 

2008.07.26 except for the bits with the bat, man:

(with apologies to the three or four of you who might read this post, as you're probably the three or four to whom i've already talked about it, and you've probably heard most of this from me already…)

Sara and i finally got out to see The Dark Knight thurs. night, and while it exceeded my expectations, i felt it didn't live up to the hype.

let me say first that this was a fantastic movie. all the major characters felt fully realized and deep, and either had strong arcs or a consistency of character that was gradually exposed during the course of the movie… that is, all the characters but one—the Batman. there was a recurring thought in my head as the movie unfolded: "this is a great movie, except for those pesky bits with the batman." after the movie, i reasoned that this movie would have been perfect as a GCPD movie—with all the batman stuff happening off-screen.

the performances delivered by the entire (non-batsuited) cast were absolutely spot-on. Gordon, Harvey, the Joker, and heck, even Lucius and Rachel were phenomenal at every turn. Such fantastic acting, scripting, and directing that there could be an oscar here (or several).

as bruce wayne, christian bale's performance was on par with his co-stars, an unimpeachable rendition of the nuanced billionaire playboy—dashing, vain, pretentious, and ostentatious, while also calculating, serious, and very aware of himself. a perfect bruce wayne. however, once he's in the suit, we're not so lucky.

i do understand that batman is not the suit, but the man inside and the raging, conflicting emotional and philosophical debates that play inside him. however, i feel that bale's portrayal of batman is weak and contrived.

the main thing I hated about the val kilmer batman (aside from the dreadful story and the rest of that horrible movie), was that stupid, insipid, forced gravelly voice thing he did. well, now, of course we've got christian bale doing the exact same thing. it's well established in the comics that batman does speak with an altered, lower voice than bruce, so it's not like the gravelly thing is completely off-base… it's just that it's so bad, and unnatural, and just simply not right. batman just doesn't talk this way, except maybe in one of those weird surreal one-shot trades by some artist with a fixation on the grotesque.

also, this batman just doesn't feel right to me somehow. in the (hand-to-hand) fight sequences, batman seems slow, plodding, and shortsighted. despite the fact that he's just a man with no superpowers, a man who is supposed to be the single greatest fighter in the world should move with more grace, fluidity, economy, and speed. batman's abilities border on the super-human, but with this batman, i don't feel that at all. it just feels like a guy in a suit. as the bat acolyte says, "what's the difference between you and me?" in this movie, the answer is "nothing."

(let me digress for just a sec by reiterating that in the previous paragraph i'm talking almost exclusively about the physicality of batman—we'll deal with psychological and philosophical concepts in a moment)

also, the suit. the keaton suit always bugged me a little, because, like the current suit, it's a little too bulky, a little too stiff, a little too rubbery. however, i felt like in the keaton movies, tim burton worked fairly well around the limitations of the suit, leaving that batman feeling more like a superhero than a guy in a suit. i almost feel that chris nolan just doesn't care to work around his suit's limitations, like he wants it to be more realistic, and thus it ends up being just a guy in a suit. and what's up with the cowl? keaton's was a bit funky, with that stiff rubber, but seems like it was shaped better. bale's cowl feels too ovular, and like he's just got this tiny pointy little face on this great big egg shaped head. i dunno, but i don't like it.

veering away from the negativity a bit, but continuing with physicality, i have to say that the driving and flying sequences were great. all very well done, and enjoyable to watch. batman on a glider is one of my favorite things, and this movie didn't disappoint in this area. some of his toys were pretty nifty too. however, i do have a beef with the whole "skyhook" thing. it's a fantastic idea, don't get me wrong, it looked pretty awesome, and i know bruce wayne is rich as fuck, but seriously, the way that went down was not batman's style. a charter plane, or involving the U.S. military, either way, it's not his style. i mean, you can pursue realism all you want, but there is a line.

i mentioned earlier that all the characters were deep and well-realized. this is also true of batman (even though i don't care for the portrayal). the concepts dealt with in this movie—duality, sanity, purpose versus principles, and escalation—are indeed quintessentially batman concepts which have been dealt with extensively in the comics and other movies. so, yes, the batman's arc in this movie is also fantastically conceived… if only it was executed as well.

finally, we saw the movie in the IMAX theater, with seats near the middle on the second row about 100 feet or so away from the screen. perhaps i was too close, or perhaps i was too engrossed in the movie, but i can't say that i ever noticed a single bit that was IMAX. i will also say that it was very disappointing that there was at least some component of the projection system—the screen, the booth window, the project, or even the film—that was very dirty. there were black spots all over the screen.

given all the above, and my love of batman (in general), i figure that i will like it much better after a second viewing. now that i have traded expectation for experience, and having already said my peace about bale's bat, perhaps i'll be able to sit back and really watch it, enjoy it, and not let the bad bits color my perception of everything else too much.

anyone willing to give it a second look?

- 04:29 am - PL :: 5 Comments
categories ::  Comics - Indifferent - Movies - Pop Culture - Rants - Raves - Uncategorized

 

2007.04.05 a list:

a cow-orker was asking about Sonic Youth today, specifically for a "best of" type of list. i responded with a limited list and the stipulation that i never feel comfortable picking favorites. i figured, with my resurgence on ye olde bipolar, it might be an interesting thing to pass along.

the following list is primarily made up of my highest rated SY tracks in iTunes, though i haven't rated every track that's in my library, so i don't claim it to be a complete list. i did cherry pick a couple of tracks from among the currently unrated ones, to fill out the list.

Washing Machine
Skip Tracer
No Queen Blues
Becuz
Confusion is Sex
Inhuman
Confusion is Next
A Thousand Leaves
Hoarfrost
Hits of Sunshine
Sunday
Bad Moon Rising
Death Valley '69
Flower
Murray Street
Disconnection Notice
NYC Ghosts & Flowers
NYC Ghosts & Flowers
Dirty
Hendrix Necro

so, if you've never heard of 'em, or you just haven't made up your mind about 'em yet, i'd say these are a really great starting point.

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- 05:17 pm - PL :: 1 Comment
categories ::  Calls to Action - Happy/Love - Music - Raves

 

2007.03.31 a gathering of old men and their ladies:

last night, after a two year absence from the stage, saw the re-emergence of Louisville's own Old Man. It was a great show, with some old classics and new hot ones from the album that's in the offing.

The Rud was much the same as I remember (my band also hasn't had a show in quite some time, and we haven't played the Rud for quite some time besides), but now they've settled on the "back stage," which i think is a major improvement from the "mid" stage. The sound is still mushy as ever. I think the Rud's sound system (or sound guys, i'm not sure which) is better suited for simpler acts, like… well, mainly vocalists, poets, plays, etc. I think you throw some guitars and drums in the mix, and the system has to work beyond it's limits to get the sound out there. Which is not to say that it's bad, just that there's some color to it. I still think the Rud is a great place to play, and a great place to see a show.

so Old Man rocked it out, did a superb job, and i enjoyed it thoroughly. oh, and there was a song with neil on the harmonica, putting the folk into "punk/folk." very cool.

following Old Man was an actual old man, alone on stage with his acoustic, strapless guitar, and his haunting voice and often nonsensical lyrics. i think everyone was pretty much alternately astounded and confounded by the performance. some of the lyrics i couldn't make out, and the ones that i could, well, some didn't seem to make any sense at all, as if they were just words stuck together for no particular reason, others made complete sense, but perhaps the most interesting part was that there was a deepness of emotion behind every lyric. in the end, the only pronouncement i could make was, "it wasn't good, but it was awesome." oh, and i told neil somebody should do a study on the guy, see how his brain works.

most of the rest of the evening was spent hanging out with friends, some of whom i haven't seen in several months. it was good to catch up, hell, it was good just to be around them again. it also gave the prick an opportunity to talk about finally making use of the practice space we've had for a month now. hopefully this week, we'll at least be able to get our stuff moved in, which will act as a catalyst towards getting us to the practice space at least once a week to *use* that stuff. i'm looking forward to it. i'm excited by the idea of a "new beginning" for the band, and have been itching to strum the strings for a while. (i'm a terrible guitar player, if i'm not at practice, i hardly ever touch the thing, except to move it from one spot to another.) if all goes well, perhaps we'll be ready for our resurgence party in 6 months or so.

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2005.07.19 not so humble:

wow, we actually got to go see a movie!

seriously, it seems like we've not gotten to go to a movie in an insanely long time (though we did go see Batman Begins on our honeymoon). but, we finally managed to get out of the house to go see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which i loved. i loved the original movie, and i love this version of the story too… they are so completely different, it's hard to even compare the two. unfortunately, i haven't read the book, so i can't really say which is the more "accurate" version.

finally had a little job interview today, which i think went pretty well. it's actually a little surprising, as generally, one of my hallmark traits (self-promotion wise) has always been a heaping helping of humility. strangely, during the last few interviews i've been much more "at ease" and confident about my abilities and about my inter-personal interactions with the interviewer(s). it's a very weird experience for me to not be timid around people i don't know and who could have some influence on my career. at a few points during the interview, i actually felt like i was delivering some kind of post-shakespearian monologue. perhaps i went a little overboard at points, but i think it was ok. i think i might've overdone the hand-talking… but otherwise, it seemed to go well.

on a more local level (bipolar-local, that is), i've been trying to spruce up the gallery scripts a bit, since they suffered some after the move to the new server and directory structure. i've managed to get the galleries themselves working and displaying properly, but there're some issues with the (still relatively new) "view by date" code that i haven't been able to spend enough time to massage out yet. and thus far, brian's joycamproject is still utterly non-functional, which is probably also a result of directory re-organization more than anything. hopefully, i'll get a chance to fix that up here soon, then help brian get the actual joycamproject implemented with the designs he's come up with. once that's accomplished, i intend to kick up development of a ground-up recoding of the gallery scripts… something i've been contemplating for a while now.

should be fun and challenging.

last but not least, i took a few moments yesterday to register our RSS feeds on Feedburner. so if you're subscribed to our feeds through an RSS reader, you'll want to update your subscriptions to the following:

main feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/x13design/bipolar
brian's feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/x13design/bipolar/left
matt's feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/x13design/bipolar/right

now, the fun aspect of this change, is that Feedburner allows you to integrate a couple other sources into your standard feeds. so, brian's feed is integrated with his flickr account, and will intermix any new images he uploads there with his posts here. for me, i don't have a flickr account yet, so i'm integrating my del.icio.us bookmarks feed into my bipolar feed. so… one beautiful side-effect will be regular updates (of the RSS/Atom feeds) even if we don't necessarily post on that regular of a basis.

now, these things aren't integrated into the main bipolar feed (though they could be if "demand" is there), so to take advantage, you'd have to subscribe to our individual feeds.

another good thing about Feedburner is that we're no longer stuck (well we never were before, but i could never be bothered to create an Atom output for MovableType) with just RSS… feedburner will serve up whatever type of feed your feed reader asks for… Atom, RSS 0.9, RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0 probably others… so… subscribe away!

2005.01.25 rio, montego? oh, no:

sara and i finally decided on our honeymoon destination: Amelia Island, FL. promises to be relaxing, exciting, and enjoyable. now we just gotta find us a money tree.

we also finally figured out just how much we're willing to spend on a house, so that search will pick up speed (which is good, since the lease at my, Paul, and Allison's place is up approximately April-ish). wish us luck.

and finally, if you haven't checked out Battlestar Galactica you are doing yourself a grave misservice. if you like Sci-Fi at all, i mean even the slightest bit, you must watch this show. pick up the miniseries, download the first three episodes (or all 12 that've been released in the UK already) and plop your ass down in front of the tube for a while. it's worth every minute.

- 01:18 am - PL :: 8 Comments
categories ::  Calls to Action - Cool Links - Friends - Happy/Love - Pop Culture - Raves - Travel - TV - Wedding - Wife

 

2003.02.27 Paris: Final Thoughts, Feelings, and Observations

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Paris 2002

One of my personal philosophies that I've developed and repeatedly referenced in the last 10 or so years is that "every place is the same." I suppose this is akin to the phrase "no matter where you go, there you are."

Essentially, the idea is that every place has the same components. They may be bigger, faster, older, or cleaner, but it's all basically the same stuff. The names may be different, but the story is still the same. This is becoming increasingly true with this whole global culture and corporate globalization thing that's going on nowadays.

I've noticed this in pretty much every city i've visited–you've got the same collection of bars and restaurants, churches and malls, tattoo parlours and trendy fashion boutiques. Every city has the same sections–the white trash neighborhoods, the ghettos, the ritzy affluent suburbs, and the bohemian avant-garde artsy areas. When you first get to a new city, either to visit or to live, it's always an exciting time of discovery and finding new places to spend your time. After living in a place for a while, you begin to think about it the same way you thought about all the other places you've lived–that there's nothing to do, nowhere to go, and that things just aren't happening the way or as fast as they should.

Anyone who's ever talked to me about moving to a new city, at least in the last several years, have heard the same comments and questions from me with regard to their reasoning. Quite often, the reasons for people moving are not things that are going to be effected by a change of location. In other words, it's not the place that's the problem, it's the person. If you're bored, unhappy, unsuccessful, or otherwise disenchanted with the current state of your life, the only way to make a change is to change yourself. Sure, moving to a new city will, at least temporarily, provide you with the impetus and fuel for a brief change of lifestyle and the introduction of unknown and exciting events. If you want real, permanent change, you have to make the change within first.

To bring this back to the subject at hand, however, i have to say that Paris is the first place that didn't give me this feeling–of sameness. I walked into Paris and perceived a very distinct feeling of difference. Maybe it was just the fact that all the language within my sphere was foreign, that nothing was immediately or easily understood… that i had to struggle to make sense of certain things that, in an American city, would have been more easily accessible. But there were also certain other subtle differences, not all of which were immediately apparent.

Thinking back on it now, it seems to me that people were not as interpersonally involved, they had no desire to know "my business." There seemed to be more personal respect there, the belief that my business was my own and that i, being there, must know what i'm doing there, and that that was good enough for them. I noticed on many occasions, as i watched the crowd, or singled out certain people with my gaze, that often-times that look would be returned with an equally intense look of perplexity–people who i was looking at were looking at me, trying to figure out if they knew me, and if they didn't, they were wondering why exactly i was looking at them so intently. Who must i be to be so blatantly interested?

And the differences didn't stop there. Another thing that struck me as interesting was the fact that Paris is the most pedestrian friendly city i've ever seen (this may not be saying much, considering the breadth of my experience, but no matter). Between the subways, the bus system, and the taxis, there is essentially no need to own or operate a vehicle in Paris. The only reason you might need one is if you frequently travel outside the city either on business or for pleasure. Despite warnings received before i left, i found the public transportation (and, in fact, most of Paris in general) to be quite clean and well-kept–it was not the foul, dirty, smelly place i'd been told to expect. The only exception to this was the fact that pets are allowed to shit on the sidewalks, and the owners are not obliged to clean up afterwards. Of course, i've been told there is an ordinance making this a punishable offense, but obviously no one was very concerned about it and the ordinance is not generally enforced.

Another telling expression of the pedestrian-friendly nature of Paris is the fact that in a large amount of the city (especially newer larger roadways) there is almost as much sidewalk space as driving space. In the states, it is not unusual to find sidewalks that will barely fit two people abreast, but in Paris it is more common to find sidewalks with seating for fifty that still have room for more than two people walking side-by-side. This, of course, leads to another of those subtle differences… in Paris, on pretty much every street, there are cafes that have outdoor seating, but not like the outdoor seating at American restaurants. In Paris, you'll usually find several rows of small–two person–tables outside, with all the chairs lined up in rows facing towards the street. Even the inside seating nearest the windows is often lined up like this, so that the patrons can look out at the world moving about them, rather than simply at each other or the walls or effects of the restaurant at which they've stopped. In America, however, you usually see large round tables with bench seating for 5 or more. More often than not, these tables are placed at the side of a restaurant, and also often with some protective barrier between the patrons and the outside world.

Parisians seem to be more generally involved in the enjoyment of and celebration of life than the typical American. There are many traditions and social conventions that i was introduced to that drove this point home–hand shaking and bisous on meeting/departing, ensuring that you meet eyes with the person whose glass you're clinking after the toast, serving food for your fellow diners rather than making everyone serve themselves, breaking the meal down into courses rather than throwing everything upon the table (and your plates) at once… these are just a few things i remember. This all points to the desire deep within the French soul, expressed by these social habits and expectations, to take things as they come, and to live and enjoy life to the fullest.

Above all though, for me, Paris felt like somewhere that i could call home–a place i could claim as my own, that would welcome and accept me. I've been to other cities and never felt that draw–that urge. Louisville is such a place, which is why i've chosen to "hang my hat" here. Paris is only the second city i've felt i could live in, and it's nice to finally have another option, should the need or desire to relocate ever arise. Of course, i've also decided that, when i retire, if it is at all possible, i'd like to retire to Deauville, or some equally quaint small French town, preferably on or near a beach.

So, to sum up, i absolutely adored Paris, and have become enamored with French culture in general. It will not be soon enough when i am finally able to return.

- 01:53 am - PL :: 11 Comments
categories ::  Family - Happy/Love - Politics - Pop Culture - Rants - Raves - Society - Travel

 

2002.12.23 may your days be merry & bright:

well, christmas time is upon us, and i'm heading out of town for the (now twice yearly) visit with my grandmother and extended family. i'm looking forward to being able to relax and enjoy the holidays, because it seems like i've been just running about like mad for the past two or so weeks… christmas present shopping, christmas party planning, lucifigous prick show planning & practicing, and website moving. feels like there've been too many stops & starts in the past few weeks–run about like crazy working on five things, then briefly stop, slow down, and enjoy one of these things that i've worked very hard to make or help make happen. then crank it back up and work some more 'til i can enjoy another one of them.

i've also been spending a large amount of time with the new lady in my life–a wonderful beautiful girl with whom i have fallen deeply and blissfully in love. i'm trying to take advantage of her free time right now, because i know that when she starts school in the Fall, i'm not going to get to spend nearly as much time with her. and speaking of this new love of mine, this will be the first christmas in many years when i've actually been with someone and had to leave them behind during the holidays. it's going to be such a mixed emotional bag, this christmas, but i think i'll survive.

anyway, it's been such a ghost town around here lately, what with the server problems and us both having new ladyfriends and thus not posting a whole bunch… i just wanted to make a post before i head for the mountains of Virginia to wish you all happy holidays.

may you all find warmth and happiness among family and friends.

2002.10.21 Paris: Day Four

This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series Paris 2002

i actually managed to get up early enough today to go meet Sara for lunch, and we went to a little place near her work & got some regular French food (i.e. not fancy, but still decidedly French). i was struggling with the concept that i would look "silly" if i ordered coffee with the meal. it's been four days, and i think i've had maybe six cups of coffee, four of those being espressos. What i wouldn't give for a good cup of Kroger brand automatic-drip right now. i've been staving off the cravings with Earl Grey since Sara showed me where her teapot and tea stash were.

Anyway, after lunch, Sara headed for home since she wasn't feeling well and was taking a half-day off of work. i headed to the Trocadero for a good look at the Eiffel Tower.

It is quite a site walking out on the terrace of the Palais de Challot and getting the first full-on unobstructed view of the Tower. Of course the Trocadero is a major tourist attraction, so i didn't allow myself to feel like a heel for grabbing my camera and taking several shots.

Interesting thing was, as i was meandering on the terrace, 2 couples and one giddy little Asian youth asked me to take pictures of them standing on the terrace with the Tower in the background. i briefly debated asking them to return the favor, but decided that pictures of me with the Tower would be silly. if i regret that decision later, i can always drag my brother down there and have him take some.

After some pics from the terrace, i walked down the steps toward the Tower. Crossing one of the streets, i found a vendor selling souvenirs, and i made my first souvenir purchase of the trip.

i crossed the Seine and approached the Tower. At the intersection of roads running in front, i stood at the corner and took several more photos. Then i walked down along the Seine to the Place de la Resistance, where i searched for a bit before finding the dog-shit sign my sister had told me about at lunch. i took some pics of it for her.

Next, i crossed the Seine again, stopping to take a few shots of the river, then went back to the little cafe from my first night in Paris–my first official Parisian navigational landmark.

i stopped at the cafe and successfully ordered "un caf?" without having to resort to english. i sat for a while and rested from my walk.

After coffee, i set out initially to find a Metro station so i could buy some more tickets. i didn't actually find the station i was looking for, and figured back-tracking to an uncertain location would be a waste of time. i pressed on, heading for the Arc de Triomphe.

i got there with no troubles, and took several daylight shots of the arc which, since i'd remembered my wide-angle lens this time, included some full views instead of the partial views i got last night.

Satisfied with the number of pictures and feeling body-tired, i walked down Av. Foch towards "home." Before i turned onto Faisanderie, i walked down to the nearby Metro station and bought my new tickets.

[map]Once i got home, i realized i was completely exhausted and didn't want to go back out immediately, so i hung out with sis, read a book, and had dinner with Sara & Andrew a bit later. After dinner, and after washing dishes, the debate raged… go out now for only an hour or a little more, or read and go to bed early…

i decided to stay in for the night to give my muscles a little break, and so i can get to sleep at a "more reasonable" hour. Of course, it's now 2:14 am… which, by some standards is still quite unreasonable.

But hey, at least i'm finishing my journal entry at 2:15, instead of just getting started on it.

and thus went my most "productive" day in Paris. it was a good day.

- 10:11 pm - PL :: 11 Comments
categories ::  Family - Happy/Love - Raves - Travel - Upset/Dislike

 

2002.10.03 just another manic… fucking week:

well, i've been back from France for about four days now, but i've been so busy trying to play catch-up in my "real" life and my "work" life that i've not had time to write a new post. i've finally gotten a moment to breathe tonight, though, so here we are.

France was awesome. i think i've said this like 200 times in the last four days. i loved it, thoroughly, but, i'm not going to get into it too much right now, because my ultimate plan is to transcribe my journal entries here for you guys to read/ignore.

i also took 11 rolls of film with me, and finished off every one of them. hopefully, i'll be getting the pictures back this weekend or early next week, and i'll work them up using my handy-dandy developed-for-lucifigousprick.com photo gallery scripts.

there's also a plan in the works to collaborate with jason (who i met in deauville) on a site just to commemorate my sister's wedding.

needless to say, when i was leaving Paris on the last day of my trip, the only thing that i could think of was that i didn't want to leave. i am so enamored with Paris that i want to get back there as soon as i can. hell, i've even entertained the possibility of moving there, which for me is a huge/strange thing. i also love louisville, and, until seeing Paris, i couldn't have imagined any place i'd rather live than here. but, with the slight scent of change on the winds the way it's been in the past few months, it seems that this thought of moving isn't as absurd as it would've seemed even a year ago. (i know i've just opened myself up to about 6 months of "so, when're you moving up here" from nathan, but that can't be helped.)

there's also this feeling in my life right now… that i'm on the verge of something, awaiting something. i can't quite pinpoint it, but the feeling is there… something is happening, or will happen. hopefully, it'll all be good, whatever it is. but it's put me in this state where i'm just thinking that i have *got* to get my shit together. maybe i'm just headed into one of my manic cycles, i dunno.

expect journal entries shortly. like, maybe as soon as tomorrow, if you're lucky.

- 11:20 pm - PL :: 1 Comment
categories ::  Bipolar: News - Happy/Love - Nostalgia - Personal Projects - Raves

 


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