knox snooze

Succotash my Balzac, dipshiitake.

The good fight

Friday, July 30
If you thought that all municipal building and zoning committee meetings were nothing more than a bunch of old guys sitting around a big table interpreting real estate law, then you were wrong.  Well, half-wrong.
Yesterday's meeting of the Better Building Board (hooray for alliteration) saw Matt Edens and John Bynon nearly go to fisticuffs...a brew-ha-ha...a donnybrook...they almost beat the hell out of each other.
The topic of the meeting was the fate of Pickle Mansion in the Fort, but the cage-match-that-nearly-was resulted, mainly, from Edens and others from Knox Heritage not grabbing their ankles in sufficient haste in the presence of Bynon.  He is, after all, the chair of the some respect.
Now, I'm not Edens' biggest fan, but I got $5 that says he whoops the shizzle out of Bynon.  He'd probably whack him over the head with a stack of the Metro Pulse and then cut him with the edge of his bus pass.
You gotta watch out for those neo-hippies, man.  They bring the noise.

Wheelin' and Dealin' Librarians

Thursday, July 29
The new Metro Pulse features a cover story by Jack Neely about the state of the proposed new downtown library.  Neely, always prolific, has poured his vast resources into writing the most comprehensive examination of the library/wheel tax/county vs. city situation yet, and he has devoted this week's Secret History column to the origin of the library's name..  It's also the longest Metro Pulse story in recent memory.

Summer reading

Wednesday, July 28
The Missuz and I have not exactly had the laid back, reading and writing filled summer of leisure we were hoping for when the spring semester ended.  We are buying a house, and have been to a couple of weddings, and when we actually have an evening or two to do whatever we want, we have gotten pretty good at wasting it in front of the TV instead.

In spite of not finishing (or even starting) all of the reading I wanted to, I have managed to finish a couple of good ones in the last week or so; Everything Is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer, and War In Heaven, by Charles Williams.  Both are novels, but they're radically different.  I am too damn lazy to write a full review for both of them here, but I thought they were both very good.  Foer is genre-breaking and hilariously creative.  Williams is (was) a brilliant story crafter who creates an almost tangible mid-20th Century England.

Read more, kiddies.

Theater Thursday

This week the topic is YOU.
1) If there was a movie to be made about your life, what actor/actress would portray you?
Drew Carey with Jack Black on stunts and body know, for the steamy stuff.  Got to give the ladies what they want.
2) What actor/actress would portray your love interest? Your best friend?  
Jason Biggs has always reminded me of my best man, and I think my wife looks a lot like Claire Danes...only, you know, way hotter and more likely to sleep with me.
3) What would be the title of your film?
Jackass II: More Jack, More Ass

Bonus) What moment of your life would be the highlight of this film?
The making of the film itself.  Whoa, it would be so totally self-reflexive and Rashomon-esque.  Like American Splendor, only without the happy ending. 
Play Theater Thursday.

It's all about cooperation

Today's KNS examines the current expansion and relocation options for the Knoxville Community Food Co-op.  While they don't mention any specifics, I've heard the 100 N. Broadway Building tossed around as a possibility.  I'm a member, so I probably should know more about this than I do, but I really don't.

I'm such a bad hippy.

Raining like a fothermucker

Tuesday, July 27
Yes, it is.

Still raining...

Word to your mothers

It was an exciting weekend: friends getting married, other friends getting drunk at the sight of said friends getting married, driving through huge freakin thunderstorms in a Saturn with the structural stability of a waterski, and getting the all-day stomach-cramping volcanic liqui-shits (probably related to the celebration of newly married friends).

Yes, it was a good day.  Or four.

Lessons learned this weekend:
1. Yes, cigarettes will float in the pool, but no, they will not stay lit.
2. I can float in the pool as well, but unlike the cigarettes, I stay lit.
3. When the hotel pay-per-view goes out, and they promise to comp you three movies the next day for your troubles, the hotel pay-per-view will likely still be out the next day.
4. Pack extra socks.

Good News

Thursday, July 22
I've finally figured out who I am.

What Classic Movie Are You?
personality tests by

Theater Thursday

This week's Theatre Thursday is dedicated to those Onscreen Moments that stay with you forever.
1) What moment from what movie still makes you laugh out loud - no matter how many times you see it?
The scene at the cottage of Miracle Max in The Princess Bride.  Never fails.
2) What moment from what movie still makes you cry like a baby - no matter how many times you see it?
Ok, this is bad, but you know when the old dog comes over the last hill and his family sees him in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey?  Yeah...I've been known to get something in my eye right then.
3) What moment from what movie made you actually turn your head from the screen - either in fear, revulsion, or contempt for the fact that you actually paid money to see the film?
Driven.  Pretty much the entire film.  I still cringe when I think about all the good those $7 could have done instead.
BONUS) What is one single moment from a film that is indelibly etched in your brain? Not a scene or a sequence exactly, but three or four seconds from a movie that contain an image or phrase or concept that transcends normal movies?
The image of Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke when he's digging and re-filling the hole in the prison yard and saying, "Yes, Boss" over and over.  I'm not sure if that's a scene or a moment or not, but I've never watched another 2 minutes of film that made me sympathize so much with the protagonist.  If you don't hate the prison bosses by the end of that sequence, you ain't got no heart in you.

Play Theater Thursday

TV Tuesday

Tuesday, July 20
*beep* *beep* *beep*  We interrupt your normal TV viewing for this special report!!!    You guessed it, this week's topic, Special Report interruptions!  *grin*  
1.  On a whole do you feel most Special Reports are really that special?  Or are they simply annoying?  
Generally speaking, they are pretty important.  The ones that bother me are when it's just a "special" news conference called by the president to remind us that the terrorists are still the bad guys, and that we don't like it when they terrorize...stuff.
2.  What special report has effected you most?  (IE:  (9/11, Reagan being shot...etc)  
The death of Princess Di was right in the middle of a really good episode of SNL, and that kind of ticked me off.  I know that's totally heartless, but I was really into it.  I remember thinking, "They would never pull this 'special report' crap on Comedy Central."
3.  Do you stay tuned in for Special Reports or do you reach for the remote?
I usually watch them.  I'm just like every other TV-fed American...I can't wait for the next big crisis.
~Bonus~  Not exactly a special report but more on special coverage.  What are your thoughts on some of the "Special Coverage" spots that have hit TV lately?  One that comes to mind for me is the 24 hour a day coverage of Ronald Reagan's body laying in state at the White House.  Something we needed to see or just plain morbid?
They usually aren't too bad.  I mean, they aren't any worse than most daytime TV, so it's not like they are really interrupting much.  If you want morbid, you need to listen to the radio whenever there is a severe thunderstorm warning.  I love it when the automated voice informs me that "the storm is capable of producing winds up to 60 miles per hour, which could push over small trees and break branches about the size of your wrist."  Who came up with that image?  I never fail to immediately visualize people walking out of the mall or something, and grabbing onto their hats, only to have their hands snap off and go sailing away in the high winds.

Play TV Tuesday

Mating season

Thursday, July 15
Adam Felber is funny. That's all there is to it. He's probably ugly, though. You know what they say about people in radio, right. They are ugly. Or wait, maybe it's that ugly people are in radio. Now I remember: There is an ugly person inside your radio...or something.

Anyway, I know it's a week old, but Felber was damn funny about Kerry selecting Edwards as his running mate.

Wilco review

Stephen Metcalf has an interesting review of Wilco, one of my favorite bands, at Slate. It is not a bad column, but it doesn't really fit well as an album review. It ends up being more of an explanation of why Wilco exists and has become something of a cultural quasi-icon. Metcalf paints their music as a kind of "Intro to Indie 101," but he is not too harsh.

His musings on the influence of Tweedy's personal idiosyncracies upon the band's sound and direction are well thought, though I don't know how well he actually describes the man. I was in a dressing room with him at Bonnaroo for about 30 seconds, and all I could think was, "Holy Shit, that's Jeff Tweedy." For what it's worth, though, he walked out of Wilco's set with a couple of songs left to play at Bonnaroo.

They still rock.

Basilio, the fool

I know you are on the edge of your seats wondering what I think about Tony Basilio's column in the new issue of the Metro Pulse. Think what you will about our current military involvements overseas, and about the ensuing protests and various demonstrations. Basilio attempts to gently drag Carlos Delgado across the coals for his recent refusal to stand during the playing of "God Bless America" during major league baseball games. Basilio disagrees with the action and gives it more weight than I probably would. I mean, it's not the national anthem and they don't even play it at every ballpark. Whatever.

What gets me, though, is the fact that Basilio refers to Delgado's social work in Puerto Rico as though it's another country. I know that most people don't immediately think of San Juan when they think of great American cities, but it's definitely part of this country. I tried to give Tony the benefit of the doubt as I read through the article, but the last paragraph gave it away:
He has a great love for his people, and that’s commendable. But it’s time for Delgado to show the same kind of respect for the people of this country.
This country? Tony, he's from this country. Dumbass.

Oh, and by the way, since you've now written a column about his protest, you have just legitimized it. Carlos: 1. Tony: -4

Theater Thursday

This week sees the opening of the film adaptation of Isaac Asimov's classic "I, Robot" starring Will Smith.

1) Who or what is your favorite movie robot?
This is so lame, but I always liked Data from the Star Trek movies. His "detached" observations on human life were such over-the-top commentaries on American culture by the writers. Plus, they went the extra mile to make him look human and gave him that oily-ass complexion.

2) Will we ever see the day where walking, talking robots truly become a part of every day life?
You mean, like, besides Dick Cheney? Yeah, probably.

3) Should a robot ever be programmed to kill a human?
No, unless they invent one to battle Bud Selig to the death. That would be awesome.

BONUS) If you had a personal robot, what would you call it? What would you like it to do for you?
It could blog for me. You know, just sort of keep track of all the meaningless drivel I spout all day. I want a damn BlogBot. Or a RoBlog.

Some friendly advice

Wednesday, July 14
The Chatterbox column over at Slate today points out a possible misstep by Dairy Queen and its product branding. Not that it's the first time the chain with the naivete to call itself anything "Queen" has found itself with a mouthful of shoe, but calling their new frozen coffee drink the "MooLatte" is a new milestone in what-did-you-just-say stupidity.

Just say it out loud to yourself a few times and try to remember what your crotchety old grandad used to call people of multiple ethnicities. Think about the color of the frosty treat.

MooLatte. Ohmygosh.

Chatterbox has a healthy perspective of the issue:
Moreover, the name of a commercial product should never spotlight, even unintentionally, the physical similarity between that product's appearance (in this case, hue) and that of any class of human beings. Being of Jewish ancestry, Chatterbox would certainly object loudly if Dairy Queen started selling coffee-flavored Italian ice cream with a big-nosed logo on the cup and called it the JooLato.
C'mon, people. That's funny.

Sounds like a hair style

The new signs for the Broadway on-ramp to I-40 West have been unveiled. These are the signs that will alert drivers that the poorly named "blow-and-go weave" from the ramp onto James White Parkway is now considered a traffic violation.
As a former Broadway-to-UT commuter, I appreciate the danger of the intersection as well as anyone. Something needed to be done, and, though it is very inconvenient, this is probably the best short-term solution.
It is also another frustrating example of TDOT's "fix it later" approach to highway design around Knoxville. I wonder what their solution will be for the excess traffic re-routed down North Fifth Ave as a result of the new prohibition. Coupled with the proposed closure of Magnolia Ave with that traffic re-routed to West Fifth Ave, the cluster of narrow-shouldered intersections near South College and Chicken City (also a stone's throw from the KAT bus lot) will likely become downtown's newest headache.

TV Tuesday (one week late)

Tuesday, July 13
Everyone knows all of us who "stay at home" for one reason or another do nothing but sit and watch TV right? That was a joke, just for the record. Most people get a chance to watch TV at some point during the day and this week we're going to explore your watching habits! This week's topic is daytime TV!

1. Daytime TV: "Gimme my soaps", "Talk shows please", "More of a Game show person", or "Home shows are best!!"
I honestly don't get to watch much during the day, but I catch some on my lunch breaks every now and then. I saw a little bit of Curb Appeal this afternoon, so I'll go with Home Shows.

2. One of the latest trends in Daytime TV is re-runs of 80's & 90's hit shows, what is your favorite that's re-running now? If you don't have one which show would you like to see re-running?
Seriously? When did this start? I see The Andy Griffith Show on in the afternoons, but I didn't know they do this with other shows...or wait...are we talking about Matlock and In The Heat Of The Night and that kind of crap?

3. What's your all time favorite day time show?
Square 1 TV. I know...that probably doesn't count for most people, but I'm going to make a judgement call on this one.

~Bonus~ There's lots of noise about Daytime soaps pushing the limits of what's acceptable on TV, but the soaps claim they're just keeping up with changes in society, so which is it? Are the soaps over the edge? Or has society brought it on itself?
Soaps are teh stoopid...not edgy at all. There is nothing more trend-conscious in US pop culture than soaps.

Just another fake preacher

Monday, July 12
Brenda Gorst of Jonesborough has been arrested for impersonating a minister. She ran a wedding chapel and performed hundreds of marriages. Now she claims she was ordained by the internet.

Me too.

Not iTunes

iTunes has officially gone skipping profitably past the 100 million song mark, and it's as popular as ever. I only tried it once with one of those free downloads from the Pepsi caps, but I could not get the song to sound right. I don't even remember the song now, but it was choppy and slow. I still prefer just ripping my own CDs to mp3 and then sharing with a couple of friends.

Special RIAA Addendum:
The contents of this blog are not an accurate record of all the author's thoughts, and should not be perceived as such. Please don't arrest me.

UN AIDS Report

Kofi Annan anounced in South Africa today that efforts to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS are falling pretty short of the projections made three years ago.

I wonder what the status is of the $15 billion President Bush was supposed to get from congress for AIDS research and treatment.


DeBeers appears to be buying its way back into the US industrial diamond market. It will plead guilty to fixing diamond prices worldwide in violation of Sherman Anti-trust laws. DeBeers, which made nearly $700 million on over $5 billion in sales last year, will fork over $10 million as punishment.

Welcome back, crooks.

Carlos turning me into a Boozer

Friday, July 9
Just when it looked like there was reason to hope the Cleveland Cavs could have a decent season next year and build around their young, talented nucleus, Carlos Boozer gives them the shaft.

Thou art the bane of mine very existance, Carlos.

Theater Thursday

Thursday, July 8
This week, it's all about your favorites.

1. If you could watch only one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Damn, do I have to watch it continuously, or can I wait until I'm in the mood for it? I'd probably have to go with Henry V, the Kenneth Branagh version. I mean, it would probably take me the rest of my life just to figure out all the things they are actually saying in between the spitting and the dressed-up accents.

2. What is your absolute favorite movie soundtrack?
Magnolia was pretty good. I like Aimee Mann a lot, and no one uses non-diagetic songs (not just the score) quite as well as P.T. Anderson.

3. What's your favorite movie-time snack?
Buddy's Bar-B-Q and Chocolate-covered pretzels. And beer. Yeah...I'm not very popular at most of the theaters around Knoxville.

4. Favorite Actor:
Probably Branagh, Paul Newman, or Brad Pitt (I sound so gay)

5. Favorite Actress:
Dame Judi Dench or Nathan Lane.

6. And last but not least, what is your favorite kind of movie: comedy, drama, action...etc.,???
I'm a big fan of the drama that develops very naturally and slowly (The Terminal was good. Last Orders is another). I hate plots based upon maintaining a hoax, and I despise about 90% of what is generally called "Romantic Comedy." I wish Tom and Meg would get over each other already.


Wednesday, July 7
I'm back for now. I hope I'll get caught up with the blogscene pretty quickly.

Life update: My wife and I are placing an offer on a house tonight. First house. In fact, it's the first one we've ever been in. First one that's for sale, that is. We've been in other houses before. I think.

So yeah, it's good to be back.

Saturday, July 3

Sorry I haven't posted a little more regularly as of late. Just so you feel caught up with everything, this is a picture from last weekend in Atlanta. The blurring is actually a pretty decent representation of my actual experience. Posted by Hello

Still awake

Thursday, July 1
I haven't exactly gotten all of the reading and writing done that I wanted to, but I've made a dent in it. This morning, actually, all I'd like to do is read the new Metro Pulse, but it still isn't up yet.

Guess I'll have to go back to actual work. Damn.