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2009.01.23 plan pour paris:

A friend just emailed me, asking for advice on places to visit in Paris. Since I love Paris so much, i might have gone overboard. I've probably mentioned most of these things in my journals from those trips, but nevertheless, I thought I might post it here, y'know since it's already written and everything…

As for Paris, the key is walking. If she's into the touristy stuff, the Arc de Triomphe is excellent to see, walking down the Champs Elysees is a must, and viewing the Eiffel Tower from La Trocadero is highly recommended. If she doesn't mind crowds and long waits in line, going up IN the Eiffel Tower is enjoyable, but I'm still not sure I'd call it worth it on a really busy day.

The Louvre is fantastic and huge if she's an art buff, but unless she's just a huge Picasso fan, I'd skip the Picasso museum (which is separate and in a different part of town). Connected to the Louvre is my favorite of the Paris gardens, the Jardin de Touillerie, which, if you stand at the far end of the courtyard of the Louvre, looking down the path out into the garden, and through the small arc in the courtyard, you can see *all the way* out the garden to the Obelisque, and up the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe. That is one of my favorite views of Paris. My favorite view is at the other end of the garden, in the grassy space up above the gates, looking out into the courtyard with the Obelisque and the fountain(s?). From here, you get a great view of the Eiffel Tower to the left across the Seine, and of the Obelisque and Arc de Triomphe up the Champs Elysees to the right. My favorite spot in all of Paris is that spot, if you go up the ramp (the left ramp if you're walking towards the gates at the end of the garden) you get that great view I mentioned.

My second favorite view of Paris is from Sacre Coure in Montmartre. It feels like you can see the whole city from there. (Sort of like Eiffel, but without the long wait or crushing crowds.) Also in Montmartre, a few blocks from Sacre Coure, is a square where hundreds of artists have booths setup and are working and selling things. around the square are several restaurants, so that's a great place to go after visiting Sacre Coure.

As I mentioned, just walking around is great, especially if you have a companion or two, head down some side-streets and see what you find. My last and most important bit of advice is this: learn enough french to ask simple questions. The most important thing is to be polite and respectful. You walk into a shop, you say "bonjour!" (or something more appropriate, depending on the time of day), when you leave the shop, you say "merci!" If you have to speak to a shopkeeper and don't have enough french for it, the most important phrase in your arsenal is "I cannot speak French, do you speak English?" (in French obviously). *Usually,* making that much effort is enough that they'll be polite to you as well. If they don't, they'll tell you, and you can say "merci" and either gesture enough to get your point across, or politely leave the shop.

Guide to paris streets and public transport.Finally, and especially if doing a lot of walking, the picture I attached is of the book my sister relied on during her five+ years there. Any Plan de Paris should work, I imagine, and there seem to be a few pocket-sized versions around, but this one worked very well for me.

That's not an exhaustive list, for sure, but some of the things I particularly enjoyed. Also, i recommend sitting at the outside tables at a crowded cafe, sipping an espresso, and just people-watching. But that may be just me. 😉

- 12:20 pm - PL ::
categories ::  Uncategorized


2008.12.09 it's what i hate about you:

Things that have been irking me, lately (aside from Mr. "Take Down Your Domain")…

CNN's Campbell Brown. I don't know why she gets on my nerves so bad. Her "outrage" just comes across as hokey and insincere. She's CNN's mad dash to try to court the rabid fanbase of Keith Olbermann, and it shows.

I've also sickened of the suffix of "gate" to any scandal. Just this morning I've read multiple articles about "Zunegate;" there's a rumor going around that Obama uses a Zune, rather than an iPod. GASP!

And, further along that thread, the adding of "punk" to denote some sort of (usually literary) movement. Sure, we had Cyberpunk, then Steampunk, but now they're trying for Atompunk. That's just getting stupid. What's next? A gay porn literary movement called "Dickpunk?" Cat fiction called "Catpunk"?

Of course, this just helps to create a Punkgate. And I've now become part of the problem.

- 10:27 am - PL ::
categories ::  Uncategorized


2008.12.05 5,6, suck my dick:

Dear Jackass That Decided to Harrass Our Hosting Company to Bring Our Site Down,

Fuck you. Eat a bag of dicks.

x:13 design

- 03:24 pm - PL :: 1 Comment
categories ::  Uncategorized


2008.12.02 it was a good day:

This morning when I went out to my car, my driver's side door was frozen shut. This, of course, agitated me. I grumbled, of course. What a shitty way to start my day, right? So I climbed in the passenger side and I was on my way. I forgot to get out to Kroger, last night, so I had to stop into McD's for a sausage biscuit. I hit the drive through. The girl starts talking…and my window won't roll down! Frozen! FUCK!


So I pull around and park the car, bitching up a storm to myself. When I get to the door, the one on that side of the building…LOCKED!

MOTHERFUCKERS! What the fuck is up with this shitty day?!

So I walk around. I get inside, the transaction takes 30 seconds, tops. I have a little laugh with the girl about my morning, and I was out the door.

When I went outside, I saw ol' Bob S. across the street. I had seen him waiting for the TARC there a few times, but never thought to stop. I asked him where he was headed, and it was on my way to work, so I gave him a ride.

I hadn't seen Bob in a while, so it was nice to catch up. He's not really drinking, anymore. He's got a good job. He's living with his girlfriend. He's got a good new band going. He's in a good place. I dropped him off at work and told him he's always got a ride in to work, if he wants it, as it's on my way. No sense in standing in the cold, waiting on a TARC.

I turned it over in my head, on the rest of the way into work. It was nice to see Bob. To reconnect. And then I realized, had my car door not been frozen shut, I wouldn't have had to get out of the car. Had the door not been locked at McDonald's, I wouldn't have walked around. Had I not walked around, I wouldn't have seen Bob and had that chance to reconnect.

This isn't one of those "all things happen for a reason" type of things. I mean…it's fairly simple: Had those things all not happened, I would not have seen Bob. There's a stark zen-ness to it.

And, of course, through the magic of thermodynamics (and/or karma, if you so choose), my car door opened fine, once I got to work.

Good things happened, though I thought they wouldn't.

- 05:12 pm - PL ::
categories ::  Uncategorized


2008.11.06 if i don't win, i'm-a gonna break even:

I probably should have been like everyone else and posted my big political post yesterday, but I just had to take a day off and reflect. That and I'm intensely lazy.

Yeah. So. Wow. How about that? The American people stepped up, said they had had enough of this Bush/NeoCon bullshit, and elected a man who has spent the past two years inspiring voters from all walks of life, all across this country. I'll be honest…I didn't always have faith that it was going to turn out this way. More often than I would care to admit, I lay awake in the dark, thinking about stolent elections, extended wars, and complete economic collapse. I actually (in my head) started preparing for a possible Mad Max style future where I was going to have to convert a motocross bike to run on vegetable oil and live out in the woods, eating squirrel.

So, obviously, I was pretty overjoyed, tuesday night. True, the good people of the great Commonwealth of Kentucky did not oust Mitch McConnell, but I figure it's still a win.

I still don't have much to say about it. I'm probably still in shock. I've come to accept that it happened. That it's reality. I just can't quite put all of my thoughts in order to say much more about it.

- 09:54 am - PL ::
categories ::  Uncategorized


2008.09.26 a long time ago there were pirates:

You know…I almost forgot the form I used to use on these things. Gone is my staunchly anti-upper-case stance. I think that went out the window, once I started writing record reviews (first for 75 or Less, now for local alt-weekly LEO). Who knows?

So what has happened in the past year-and-a-half or so, since I've last posted? Well…I got my shit together, I guess you would say. I met a wonderful girl. I pounded the pavement, and I came up with a pretty decent job. I'm actually pushing the boundaries of becoming financially solvent. That's a scary one.

As far as my last post is concerned, rest assured that I finished off everything on that list. It WAS a good day.

I guess my absence from these hallowed halls could boil down to the mundanity of life. I bore myself typing this shit out and trying to make it interesting. And I'm easily amused. I can only imagine that reading my posts ranks somewhere far below watching paint dry, on the entertainment scale.

I'm really bothered by all the little suggested Wikipedia links below this window, as I type this. Can we turn that shit off? What the fuck? I really don't think I'll find it necessary to post a link to the Wikipedia entry for "watching paint dry." Especially since it just links to the entry for paint, anyway.

Meh. I told Matt I was going to weigh in with my thoughts on ol' John "ex-maverick" McCain today, but I'm going to see how today's economic crisis talks pan out. I'm thinking he's got just about enough rope, at this point…

- 01:06 pm - PL ::
categories ::  Uncategorized


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


2008.07.18 Love ya right back:

found this via the official unofficial Mudhoney fan site—a video wherein the boys of Mudhoney talk about how much they enjoyed their visit to my lovely louisville. <tear>

now, the really funny part of this story, and something I had previously decided *not* to post about after much debate, was the fact that, during the show and much to his embarrassment, Mark Arm gave a great shout out to the place and people of… lexington. it was a pretty funny incident that had him stumbling over himself trying to save face. perhaps it was the chorus of boos and surprised laughter that clued him in.

that's ok Mark, we love you too!

- 11:12 am - PL ::
categories ::  Cool Links - Happy/Love - Local/Louisville - Music - Society - Uncategorized


2007.03.22 it was a good day:

(10th anniversary of heaven's gate)

- 03:04 pm - PL ::
categories ::  Uncategorized


2006.12.14 swallow that until you're full:

So I caught a commercial for pillsbury grands earlier, and they showed them making little pizzas on the biscuits. I took the time to look around the internet for recipes, but none of them sounded like they were exactly what I thought I saw.

So I was forced to go to Kroger and get some supplies and see if I could make my own version. Here's what I came up with:

Old Man Hall's Pizza Grands

1 can Pillsbury Grands biscuits (Flaky, any flavor,)
1 jar Kroger Pizza Zip (I went with Traditional)
1 bag pizza cheese
x amount, whatever other toppings you want

Preheat the oven to 350?.

Split the individual biscuits in half (thinner, flakier crust) and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet (I'd like to try making these on one of those pizza stones) about an inch apart. Then spread one spoonful of sauce on top of each one (I went all the way to the edge). Cheese 'em up to your liking, add any other toppings, then bake for 12-14 minutes. You definitely want to check them after about 10-12 minutes, because the bottoms can burn fast, if you're not careful.

Needless to say, these motherfuckers are delicious. I may want to opt for the half-size package of biscuits, next time. Something tells me I'm never gonna eat 16 of these little bastards, delicious as they are.

- 09:41 pm - PL :: 3 Comments
categories ::  Uncategorized




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