Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Monitor Lizard

I haven't said much about the movies I've seen lately. Talladega Nights, like Anchorman, will hold up over time. Just today we were reliving three or four scenes at work, almost a month after release. Jacque Smith (not to be confused with Jackie Smith of the Cowboys) didn't like it, but it probably isn't for everyone. I liked it for the supporting cast probably more than Ferrell. Sacha Baron Cohen as Gerard is great and I'm really anticipating Borat. John C. Reilly is spectacular as "Shake" of "Shake 'n' Bake." The end of the credits with an explication of Faulkner's The Bear is worth the wait.

Nacho Libre achieved what it attempted. It draws quick comparisons to Napoleon Dynamite because of the common director. It uses a similar "dork chic" aesthetic. This works sometimes and fails many others. It didn't try to be more than it was (how profound), so it was fine. The key here is expectation management.

Little Miss Sunshine was a fine dark comedy/light dramedy. Alan Arkin is outstanding as the grandpa. Steve Carell becomes so much deeper with a beard. The directors have an interesting pedigree [I suppose this range isn't surprising given that the film's directors, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, also supervised episodes of the subversive Mr. Show, as well as the sweet video for Smashing Pumpkin's "1979," Korn's dark "Freak on a Leash" video, Jane's Addiction's bizarre "Been Caught Stealing" video, and the cheesy black & white classic -- Extreme's "More Than Words."]. Sufjan Stevens on the soundtrack doesn't hurt either.

Now for a quick rundown of the TV I watch. A friend once said, "Everyone is entitled to a couple of vices. I'll take TV for both of mine." I concur, and then I have even more vices than I'm entitled to.

No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain: I happened upon this one, and I'm very glad I did. Sweden, Indonesia, Mexico, Montreal, Edo, Peru, North Korea, and Beirut unfortunately when Israel started bombing. Raw reindeer, spit-roasted pig basted in coconut juice, foie gras, octopus, alpaca, and kim chee are just a few of the dishes he enjoys while smoothly integrating info about the culture and people with impromptu interviews with locals and guide friends. I just finished Kitchen Confidential by Bourdain, on recommendation from Ellen, and he really does a good job of keeping the same tone.

Project Runway: This is one of my favorite reality game shows. The casting brings a nice variety of personalities and socioethniconomic backgrounds. Plus they have a reliable and accessible format. Everyone wears clothes. I think I can tell what is a good outfit and what is a bad one.

30 Days: This one approaches social issues with the ol' walk thirty days in their shoes philosophy. I netflixed the first three episodes of season one, which includes the minimum wage episode, the HGH-testosterone episode, and the Muslim episode. I also appreciated the illegal alien and new age episodes.

The Venture Bros. Metalocalypse: These are my favorite Adult Swim shows. The innocence of Hank and Dean combined with the uber-machismo of Brock Samson (voiced by Patrick Warburton) is animated gold. The villians are great too: Doctor Girlfriend (smokin' hot with the voice of Guido the forty seven year old smoker), Phantom Limb, The Monarch (thinks that because monarch butterflies eat milkweed they are poisonous). Doctor Orpheus, the renter at Venture Industries is great fun too ("Necromancer, not necrophile!"). Metalocalypse is a cartoon about Dethklok, a death metal band. They have some pretty fun fifteen minute episodes. One of the creators is Brendon Small who also did Home Movies, another Adult Swim show I liked. Mark Hamill and James Hetfield do voice work for it as well. You can watch both shows at

Football: Meaningful games started Thursday night (the 31st) and the last meaningful one this season will be played the first weekend of February. Five months of football watching fun. Tonight I toured the $50 mil new Osborne Athletic Complex. (The lockers are carved out of maple and have individual ventilation systems.) To think that the university will get it back in football revenues in maybe three years. Crazy.

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At September 02, 2006 12:51 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

thanks for not linking to my blog.

At September 02, 2006 1:28 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

You're welcome. I figured the interested party could just go to your blog from my side bar links. And now they can get there from your profile in my comments on this post.

At September 03, 2006 1:33 AM, Blogger Michael Covarrubias said...

And I would like everyone to know that the list of television programs is just a partial list (from memory) of shows that at some point I really liked and made an effort to watch every week (or every day once syndicated).

I'm embarrassed about several of them.

At September 03, 2006 3:56 PM, Blogger Buffy Turner said...

Oh, how funny: I didn't know until, oh, about two minutes ago that that little jeu d'esprit-- about everyone being entitled to a couple vices--was Michael's. I read it in admiration; I should have known (my applause referring, of course, to the quippiness therein, opposed to signified content).

And didn't that absolutely slaughter you to see the one solitary book beneath? Amusing Ourselves to Death? Oh, Daniel, you simply cannot know the death I died over that one.


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A Dozen Chicks Were in My Pants Last Night

Literally. In my dreams.

I had a dream that I was in a grocery store and the eggs were old. [How old were they?] They were so old they were hatching into chicks. And for some reason we were trying to gather them all, but I had to shake them out of my pants. At least in my dream world they were a nice fuzzy tickly and not all beaks and claws.

The second half of the dream included more small tactile animals, a rodent, I think a gerbil, because it had a tail but wasn't too rat like, there was a parti-colored coat, pied if you will. This took place in my DAA dream location, like DAA but not. In a space like the north side of the basement library. It was a competition between groups of people. I didn't realise til the end that it was a competition to see who could eliminate the most gerbils in a given time. There wasn't any blood though which probably threw me off. The probable winner and feature of my dream was a group that had a conveyor belt with a vacuum tube with four blades that joined to open and close the tube. Very efficient. Take that Martin Luther King Jr.

(Listening to The Avalanche, Sufjan Steven's latest release, recorded during Come On Feel the Illinoise.)

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At August 30, 2006 11:50 PM, Blogger Voth said...

Dearest Daniel,

There are several things I really never want to hear about. Your pants and what is in them and chickens.

You also are now not allowed any where near Gerbil. I think he is cuter alive.


At August 30, 2006 11:59 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Congratulations, you win for quickest comment on a new post. Well I spent three hours of the evening with you before going to bed, so maybe it has something to do with your company.

At September 01, 2006 8:47 AM, Blogger Angela said...

i feel very uncomfortable.

At September 01, 2006 11:10 PM, Blogger Buffy Turner said...

I miss Angela.

At September 02, 2006 12:30 AM, Blogger Michael Covarrubias said...

Daniel - Have you read the latest few items on the Spectrum Blog? Alex is posting his recent e-mail exchanges with Timothy Puko a journalist. Their conversation includes some very frank and provocative language. The topic relates to investigative reporting on the church organization. One report mentioned is in the current Spectrum Magazine. I have yet to read it (it came yesterday and is sitting on my dining-room table) though it sounds interesting.

At September 02, 2006 4:24 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

I have now. Puko is passionate. Two things:

Puko's plea for a return to the spirit of Adventism fits nicely with Bob Rigsby in the "Featured Columns." I really liked what Bob had to say.

Their mention of the Fourth Estate in a "sevy" setting ties into the microcosm of governing you discussed with Alex in the Losing Our American Soul comment thread.

I agreed with the socratic gadfly cant of Timothy. There are scores of collegiate interns to provide a company line for every conference and union office. Give me what I won't get there.


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Saturday, August 19, 2006

"The Night That I Fell In Love With a Roller Derby Queen"

I had a 7 outta 10 great time at Pershing watching the No Coast Derby Girls: Mary Kay Mafia and Gang Green compete. My favorites were Shiv from MKM and Devilynn Wheels from GG, honorable mention goes to Systa Wrecktomy. I was most pleased with the rules of the derby and the strategies implemented by the teams. As great as the pageantry is, they are still impressive "athletes." The team strategy seems to be a combination of rugby and race car drafting.

OK GO "Here It Goes Again" is a great video.

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At August 22, 2006 6:13 AM, Blogger Voth said...

My fav was the ref, Conan the Vegetarian.

Fun times.

At August 25, 2006 6:48 PM, Blogger Buffy Turner said...

Daniel, Daniel,

I just came to your site to link to Spectrum's, but apparently you scrapped it. How come?

At August 26, 2006 2:42 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

I scrapped it because I wasn't using it. But it is back, and I'll use it more because of you.

At August 26, 2006 10:40 PM, Blogger Buffy Turner said...

I only just now actually watched the video link. That's awesome.

And I promise I'm done leaving comments under the penultimate post. I'd add one last note saying, "The End," but I'm so sure something of censure might pop up on the screen telling me my allotted space has long since been exhausted.

But it was such a fun one, ya know?

But I can move on. I really can.

At August 30, 2006 10:48 PM, Blogger Cerise said...

Those names are amazing!

At August 30, 2006 11:56 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

I'm glad you appreciate the names Ceri. Ms. Welch works with Botox Betty and there is a Roller Girl Registry for names, serious stuff. You can see more by searching for No Coast Derby Girls on MySpace.


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Friday, August 18, 2006

Gettin' Busy at Work

I mean order volume, not this. This is good because it matches exactly with the influx of our student workers, who are mostly new and seem very capable. Yesterday I was tired, but I remained energized throughout the day.

Last night was my penultimate Thursday Night: Bean Bags and Blubarb. That means that next Thursday, the 24th, at 7 pm will be my last of the season. This doesn't mean that I won't continue baking pie and playing bean bags, but I will be less deliberate about it. So, come one and most, and bring a friend and a dog. There will be blubarb pie and rhubarb crisp and maybe a surprise dessert.

Tonight I go to my first ever roller derby. The Mary Kay Mafia are taking on Gang Green. More on this later.

And if you haven't been to my other blog, Word Hoard, I invite you there. Just click the link "More of Me."

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At August 20, 2006 5:42 PM, Blogger Michael Covarrubias said...

Looking too literally at the antecedent of "this" your first two sentences leads to a disturbing claim about what happens at your work. I'm starting to wonder about what other "husbandry" honours I could order from AdventSource.

At August 21, 2006 11:03 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Thank You! I initially read your comment in my email box and didn't see what you meant until now. Very funny stuff. The bit about being tired yet remaining energized is the best.

At August 26, 2006 12:59 AM, Blogger Buffy Turner said...

Oh, I seriously can't stop dying over the whole antecedent-of-"this" affair.

I just keep reading Michael's comment, going back to the original entry, dying, ad seriatim, ad infinitum.

Oh, seriously. I could do this all night.

At August 26, 2006 2:45 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Buffy, you're such a phoenix.

At August 26, 2006 2:48 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

And I think the French call this un petit mort.

At August 26, 2006 9:54 PM, Blogger Buffy Turner said...

That "un petit mort" concept is fascinating. Michael and I just googled it.

Or as Michael reads it, "a little more."

Oh, doesn't that kill you? How does one get over jokes like these? How?

Good one with the phoenix line, too. I only wish you could've heard Michael's orotund bass-of-a-laugh over it.

Yes, yes. Me and my funeral pyres. I'm no dabbler when it comes to death, I know.

And who other than Michael could deliver such delightful death again and again and again?

Of course I speak of his humor.

At August 26, 2006 9:58 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Sure Buffy, sure.

At August 26, 2006 10:03 PM, Blogger Buffy Turner said...

But don't you s-e-r-i-o-u-s-l-y die over the line about your workers being new yet seeming quite capable?

Michael paid me the same compliment some time ago.


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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Morgan Spurlock

To start with, what a great name. He also makes good documentaries, the most recent being his TV series 30 Days on FX. Last night he had an atheist woman live with a Christian family in Texas for 30 days. The previous episode was a border patrolling minuteman of Cuban descent who lived with a family of illegal aliens from Mexico. Next week is a gentleman who has a very stressful life and will live in a New Age compound for the thirty days. There is also an episode where a gentleman who lost his job to outsourcing goes to India. Thank you Morgan for giving us reality television.

The Bears play their first game, preseason against the 49ers, of the new season tomorrow night. I'm excited. My family is coming down today to bring Marcy, who will eventually start at Union. I also have made another blubarb pie and some banana bread, which turned out great (Kudos to Janice Heinrich, whose recipe was in a church ladies cookbook).

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At August 10, 2006 11:37 PM, Blogger Buffy Turner said...

Morgan Spurlock's on Letterman as we speak. It's a rerun. Did you see it?

And did you see the picture of you, with us, in Chicago? Michael found it, so I put it on my slideshow.


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Monday, August 07, 2006

"You still don't like to leave before the end of the movie."

This weekend I watched Clerks II, Lady in the Water, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and Tully. Lady in the Water was the only one I didn't enjoy. Part of my hang up with it was that the story, with narfs and scrunts and tartutics, didn't match linguistically for me with the Asian family that was relating it. Clerks II could be offensive to some, but it was funny and balanced the comedic rants of Randal with a more distinct plot nicely. At the end of the credits of Talladega Nights, there is a fun explication of Faulkner's The Bear. Tully takes place in Nebraska.

My pie has been figured out. One cup of normal sugar, instead of 1 1/2, did the trick at toning down the sweetness. This next Thursday will be a fun one with my family bringing my sister down to start at Union.

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At August 07, 2006 8:56 PM, Blogger Buffy Turner said...

Narfs and tartutics! What lovely words!

But it's you, and your little pie preoccupation, that really kills me.


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Thursday, August 03, 2006


Artois, that is. She is my new roommate now that Scott has moved out. She is Belgian.

Now let us play a game. I am going to name actors that have been in the same film. Your part is to see how many actors it takes to guess the film. Bud Cort, Henry Rollins, Tone Loc, Dennis Haysbert, Mykelti Williams, William Fitchner, Tom Sizemore, Danny Trejo, Natalie Portman, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Jon Voight, and now the give aways-- Val Kilmer, Robert DeNiro, and Al Pacino. I find it interesting that all these actors were in the same movie. Henry Rollins and Bud Cort? Crazy.

I didn't mention it, but my penultimate post was my sesquincentennial post.

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At August 03, 2006 10:21 PM, Blogger Michael Covarrubias said...

I'm amazing! I got as soon as you said Robert DeNiro. I didn't even have to see Pacino to get it!

At August 05, 2006 7:33 PM, Blogger Buffy Turner said...

But Daniel, isn't sesquicentennial a 150th anniversary? Have you been keeping your immortality a secret all these years?

Oh, and congrats on the new roommate.

At August 07, 2006 1:27 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

I'm focusing on the 150th aspect, not so much the anniversary aspect. And who says I'm immortal? I'm just old.

Stella and I thank you for your kind regards.

At August 07, 2006 8:48 PM, Blogger Buffy Turner said...

Oh, dear. Stella is androgenous. I completely missed it. To Michael, I was all, "So Daniel got a girl roommate, huh?" He laughed loudly and set me straight.

But then, why not "sesquibloggial" anniversary? I do think it behooves us to excise the "centennial" part.

At August 08, 2006 9:54 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

But the "cent" is what we are getting half of with the "sesqui." (see sesquipedalian) Maybe just sesquicent. The more I look at it the more I really like it.

At August 09, 2006 12:29 AM, Blogger Buffy Turner said...

Oh, Daniel,

When I read your final sentence I let out the loudest laugh. Seriously. Outloud. I could just hear and picture you, feeling pleased and proud after a thoughtful pause over it.

I don't know how I overlooked the "cent" part. Forgive me.

I agree: sesquicent is splendid. Absolutely splendid.

At August 10, 2006 9:38 PM, Blogger Angela said...

i love that i have absolutely no clue what you all are talking about. i see the big words and i just let them float right through me.

At August 10, 2006 10:14 PM, Blogger Michael Covarrubias said...

You know, Angela, that is precisely Lester Burnham's advice for achieving happiness. Just let the beauty pass through you. If you try to contain it you will explode. If you try to observe it you will implode.

At August 11, 2006 9:05 PM, Blogger Buffy Turner said...

Oh, dear, Angela,

Michael and I have now had a lengthy and heated argument about observing versus/and/or letting something pass through you. You don't let something pass through you without observing it, sayeth I. Or if it should pass through you without your notice, it's not really passing through you. It's passing past you!

Oh, there's no point in going further with this.

But at least we know now why I'm always exploding.

At August 16, 2006 1:33 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

does the stella artois get to sleep in my bed? i'd say she's the perfect bedfellow...

At August 16, 2006 7:36 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

She even makes breakfast for me.

jaqnqcki (totally scott's boss' doppelganger)


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