I’ve had too much going on to do much fun stuff on the internet for about three weeks, and Jeff and Phet are chilling with Mom and many other Holstads on a family trip to Norway… it’ll be unusually quiet around here for another month or so, unless Dre or Brent or one of our other intrepid posters drops by.

The Dan Band on Bravo

The Dan Band, a popular Los Angeles band about whom I have posted before, will have their special re-air on Bravo today and on several other future dates. They are know for their stirring live renditions of such memorable songs as
Shoop, by Salt n’ Pepa (Pepa, coincidentally is on this season of the Surreal Life with Jose Canseco)
Hold On, by Wilson Philips
Milkshake, by Kelis
and most famously
Total Eclipse of the Heart, by Bonnie Tyler, as seen in the movie Old School.

It really is worth tuning in. Details below.
Set your TIVOs & VCRs

“Dan Finnerty & The Dan Band:I Am Woman”

The one hour special on Bravo
directed by McG and Executive Produced by Steven Spielberg
will be re-airing this summer on the following dates:

(we suggest recording it and watching it at a cooler hour, since these times are tragic …)

Wed 7/13 3pm and 2am
Fri 7/15 noon
Sat 7/23 midnight
Tue 7/26 3pm
Wed 8/10 3pm
Fri 8/26 noon


Cracker Camp Out

Cracker Camp Out is something where you camp out in the high desert in early September and listen to Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven, and other associated musicians play. Kind of like Coachella, only affordable. Kind of like Burning Man, only less insane, since it’s just a couple of days, everybody and their mom hasn’t heard of it so there’ll probably be a little more elbow room, etc.

It looks way cool. Let’s have a JesusH meetup there!

World’s First Phone Glove

I was just randomly traipsing the interweb when I came across this gem. Some jackass combined a glove with a bluetooth cell phone headset, which allows him to actually make phone calls by using the international “I’m talking on the phone” hand gesture (ie. the speaker is in his thumb and the microphone is in his little finger… check out this excellent picture if this seems confusing).

Pure genius.

Restaurant Review: Brians’

Deb and I went to Brians’ American Eatery (and by the way, WTF? We’re in America. If you just say “Brians’ Eatery”, people will know you are an American Eatery) on Washington tonight for dinner, and I’ve been to Brians’ several times previously, and I’m bored. Hence the review.

I want to like Brians’. I really do. It’s got a nice friendly (and very gay not that there’s anything wrong with that) vibe, it’s bright and clean, and it used to be Topsy’s, where I would ditch school and go with Deb back when we were first going out. Ah shit.

But the price to value ratio is really debatable. Tonight, we split a prime rib. It wasn’t particularly good, and the herbs and spices and stuff that they used smelled good but tasted like corned beef, which is a decidedly different quality of meat where I come from. The vegetables were mediocre. The carbonated beverage selection was supplied by the jackholes over at Pepsi. The price was eighteen goddamn dollars.

Eighteen dollars? What are we, Black Angus? No, we’re a damned glorified diner! Let’s act like it. You don’t see the assgoblins over at Denny’s trying to pull that shit, do you? If I’m getting the quality of a casino coffeeshop prime rib special, I really ought to be paying casino coffeeshop prime rib special prices.

(I have to admit, though, the salad with the yardbird and nuts and cranberries in a white sauce is really, really good. And don’t worry, the white sauce isn’t creamy at all, which is what I was worried about when I first got this. It’s flavorful, but light. I shoulda got that tonight. That would have fixed everything.)

It’s Z-Bar time, bitches!

Our Friends Across the Pond

In the wake of this morning’s terror attacks in London, I am reminded of how the world, and particularly the UK, stood with us in the days after 9/11. Of course, the U.S. has little need for foreign aid, even following an epic tragedy. But I recall being moved nearly to tears when the Queen ordered the Royal Guard to play The Star Spangled Banner at the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace – an unprecendented show of respect and solidarity.

I’m not spiritual or particularly sentimental, but I’m pausing this morning to pay my respects to those who were violently killed on the other side of the world.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

It’s a Big Movie Weekend

Deb and I caught a couple of flicks at the movie house this weekend.

Howl’s Moving Castle

The latest from Hayao Miyazaki, who you might remember from Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away–his most recent U.S. releases, which made it into the theatres and were widely praised. But I don’t remember Miyazaki from those–I think of Warriors of the Wind, which I caught as a kid on some high-number cable channel in the mid ’80’s.

Miyazaki’s got some very distinctive design elements in his pictures. I liked a lot of things about WotW’s look–the byzantine gun-metal lumpy aircraft, with viewports everywhere and guys in glass turrets hanging off randomly; the freedom of Nausicaa’s flight on her rocket sled; the Roman and medieval elements of the troopers; the anarchy implied by the dark oranges, reds, and browns in the broadstroke combat scenes. I barely remember watching it, but a lot of the images in WotW really spoke to me, and I was drawing elements of the half-remembered movie for ages afterward. But I discovered that it was one of Deb’s favorites from back in the day as well, and she grabbed her grandfathers’ aged VHS copy, and we watched it. All that stuff came back to me.

The thing about WotW that really stands out in all of Miyazaki’s movies that I’ve seen, though, is that I understood it. I watched Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away in the theatre, and I liked them, but I don’t think I understood them. I felt the same thing watching Howl’s Moving Castle. It ended, and I was left saying “well, I liked the animation, but I don’t really know what that’s all about.”

I’d be more forgiving of that if I was continuously amazed by the animation, but a lot of those WotW design elements I liked just show up again here, without much to supplement them.

Novelty’s worn off, and I didn’t get it, but I didn’t hate it either.

War of the Worlds

Ehhh. Special effects were pretty good. Tom Cruise was basically Tom Cruise. The directing seemed assured. I didn’t look at my watch.

But if you had a problem with the ending of another recent alien invasion sci-fi flick, I’d love to hear your explanation for this one.

The best thing about War of the Worlds existing isn’t anything I saw in the movie itself–it’s Jeff Wells’ recent riff on a publicity shot from the movie (see the content under the “Distractions” header).

A thoroughly 116 minute movie.