Music Video Reviews*

December 23, 2009

(Please know I did not select these, it’s just what MTV Hits chose to show me tonight.)

Katy Perry – Waking Up in Vegas

This video is great! Things I like: right size story, amazing costumes, the humorless assistant from Bones as the hilarious boyfriend, and Katy Perry’s amazing rack.

Jesse McCartney – How Do You Sleep?

This video is terrible. Things I do not like: the slow rap he does in the middle of the song, that it is in black and white, his shiny gray suit, the weird race overtones I probably made up, and that I had to watch the whole thing. Also, it’s one of those backstage glimpse things, but who the hell wants that from this guy? That works if you have mystique or something.

Eminem – We Made You

Oh, whatever, Eminem. I’m not coming to you for subtle satire or anything, but this is sub-MadTV stuff. It’s just a list of famous people! Confidential to Lloyd from Entourage: Why did you agree to do this? Things I liked: Eminem’s dancing is actually good/funny. Everything else makes my heart sad.

Kid Cudi – Day & Night

This video is okay. I like the creativity – he walks around and there are MS Paint style effects on the people (funny hair, costumes). I don’t know why they couldn’t sync the lyrics with his mouth. Mostly this is just boring, though. The MS Paint stuff was a cool idea, but nothing happens so it doesn’t really hold my interest.

Chrisette Michele – Epiphany

Did JJ direct this? There is so much lens flare, yet they are not in space. Anyway, this video is also boring. Oh I’m so sad reminiscing about my ex-boyfriend. I feel like I’ve seen this video a hundred times.

Super funny commercial for Easy Curves, or what I call “I Must, I Must, I Must Increase My Bust”

My favorite commercial.

Kanye West – Amazing

Boy am I tired of overprocessed vocals. Anyway, I do not like this video. It’s just pretty scenery and a fire and Kanye looking pensive and saying “so amazing” five thousand times. I think the Earth is the amazing thing? For a while I was worried there wasn’t going to be a scantily clad young lady, but then she showed up, thank God.

Kevin Rudolf – Welcome to the World

I don’t know what I just saw.

*I just found this entry in our draft folder, from May. Timely commentary. You’re welcome.


June 8, 2009

Guys, I have to tell you about the Jonas Brothers’ new Disney channel show. It is called JONAS. I have seen one episode. Here is the premise: The 3 famous Jonas brothers play the famous Lucas brothers. They are rock stars but also go to a private school. They live in a fire station (unexplained). They don’t seem to have parents, but there is an adult wandering around who they call Doug. Also, Bonus Jonas plays their little brother (Bonus’s real name is Frankie, but Bonus Jonas is just too good). He is 8, so the no parents thing is really pretty weird.

In the episode I saw the A-plot was about Joe’s old friend coming to visit. But the old friend, Carl, is too excited about the Jonases being rockstars. He thinks it’s all parties and chicks. He lets the paparazzi in, he puts spray cheese on the walls, touches their guitars, breaks their fancy Cher-in-Clueless-style closet, etc. The boys decide to show him what it’s really like as a rock star. Rehearsing loudly at night, answering huge piles of fan mail, sorting stuff animals (?), and getting mauled by girls volleyball teams. Carl learns his lesson and goes back home with his tail tucked between his legs. He leaves a sad note, though, so our heroes feel bad and throw Carl a party so he can be popular at his school. Then they perform at the party.

There is also a subplot about their school friend who buys a potato chip that looks like Joe. And another one about them playing hide and go seek with Bonus, but forgetting he’s hiding for days and days.

This is basically any Disney channel show, except it’s incredibly weird and also pretty funny. That is an exaggeration, but obviously I expected it to be zero funny, so. Here are some jokes / plot elements I enjoyed:

  • In the cold open, the boys really want to watch a leprechaun based tv show. They have leprechaun hats they wear while doing this. (This bit is oddly similar to one on the Sarah Silverman show, where the Silverman sisters watch Cookie Time together.)
  • There are too many remotes, though, and one of them cues confetti.
  • While rehearsing loudly at night, Joe Jonas plays a tambourine in a pretty hilarious loose-hipped way.
  • Joe reads Carl’s sad goodbye note aloud. Kevin repeatedly thinks Joe is expressing his own thoughts. “You are annoying sometimes, Joe.” “Don’t say that, you have great hair!”
  • At one point, the boys are startled, and scream. Kevin’s girly scream goes on for like a minute longer than everyone else’s.
  • While messing with the Clueless closet, Carl comes up with a Hawaii/Alaska outfit. Joe says, “While I know I could pull that outfit off…”
  • While they try to come up with a plan to teach Carl a lesson, Kevin says, “I’ve got an idea!” Nick (the youngest and strangely most serious Jonas) says, “Can you explain your idea without using any of the following words: pie fight, trampoline, time machine?” “No.”
  • Also Nick: Carl does a bit where he pretends to be a robot repeatedly running in to Nick. Nick hates it in a way that is very funny, like even real Nick Jonas hated it for real. Kevin claps with glee when Carl does this.
  • When they play at the end of the episode, they begin with “Hello, living room!” in the style of “Hello, [name of city where concert is being held]!”
  • At one point, Doug goes over to the kitchen sink, opens the cabinet under it, and hands Bonus his mail. Everything about that is “?”

Apparently the “critics” (there are Disney channel show critics? Hee!) liken the show to The Monkeees, and that is totally right. I am impressed that it’s kind of absurd and silly. I was expecting it to be really terrible and to be more Jonas-ego-inflating. They are not afraid to look like idiots, though, and I appreciate that. Compare with, say, NSync or the Backstreet Boys, who had basically no sense of humor about themselves, and were clearly afraid to look like dorks.

After watching a lot of other stuff this next generation really likes – Twilight, High School Musical, Paramore music videos, etc. – I was really bummed out. Sentence I’d never thought I’d write: The Jonas brothers give me hope.

By the way, the show is not good, that is definitely not what I am saying. I do not recommend it unless you are me. I am going to keep watching it. I totally love it.

Throw out 50 things

June 4, 2009

Inspired by and because I have to move soon, I threw out 50 things. (Some of it was not actually thrown out, it will go to Goodwill or to relatives). Let me know if you want some mediocre books or video games. It felt really good to do this, highly recommended.

1. Christmas gift wrapping kit. Barely used, low-quality.

2. Old moisutrizer.

3. Yarn.

4. Weird face mask thing. Not that relaxing.

5. Butter dish. I thought I was too good for the fridge door.

6. Terrible flashlight.

7. Mysterious unopened rubbing alcohol.

8. Belt that is too big.

9. Humidifier. Nice, but I didn’t use it all winter, so.

10. Extremely old makeup bag.

11. Useless cat hair brush.

12. Gamecube.

13-15. Gamecube games: super monkey ball, XII, and NBA Street.

16-18. GBA games: Meteos, Urbz, Phoenix Wright.

19. Old mouse.

20. Toaster.

21. Shoes.

22. “Art”

23-30. Books I do not love.

31. Some face thing that came free with something else.

32. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth, which you use for the 6 months before you just give in and get the root canal.

33. Stronger version of #32.

34. Perfume.

35. Eye cream.

36. Ha! This is a monitor cleaner thing I got in law school.

37. Fancy purple paper I bought for a wedding thing in 2006.

38. Last year’s desk calendar. I was keeping it because it is pretty.

39. Broken pen.

40. The stickers that came with this year’s terrible Christmas gift calendar.

41. Old gloves.

42. Old hats.

43. Flor samples.

44. Socks.

45. Underwear (not shown).

46. Weird shirt I can’t figure out how to wear. It’s a fuzzy sweater, but it’s a tank top? What?

47. Shirt from the Gap that basically got holes everywhere the first time I washed it.

48. Pajama pants that I am confused by. What indoor temperature requires sweat capris?

49. Earmuff packaging.

50. Supersize bag of cotton balls, unopened.

Interior Design Blog Pet Peeves

April 29, 2009

This blog entry will appeal to no one, but I have to get these things off my chest. I am tired of:

  • “The mix.” As in, Jenna is really into the mix. I have no idea what this means.
  • “High and low.” No. Stop saying this. I understand that there are word count demands, but this phrase has no substance.
  • Applying almost every design-y word to one room. Like, “this room feels raw, natural, refined, modern yet classic, with lots of neutrals and strong color elements.” Shut up. That is no room / every room.
  • “Offhand.” I saw this first in Lucky magazine, where they talk about how offhand their meticulously planned outfits are. But now I’m seeing it on design blogs. The only thing offhand about interior design is the mess you cleaned up right before you took you AT house tour pictures. Let’s just make a rule – nothing that costs more than $5 can be called “offhand.”
  • Animal hides. There is nothing more hilarious to me than a brownstone with a cowhide in it. WTF? Actually, this makes me laugh, so keep doing it, design people!
  • It’s just Ikea. Look, everyone’s house is just full of Ikea. Okay, let me qualify that – everyone reading design blogs, and everyone featured on them, has a house full of Ikea. That’s okay, but let’s not pretend that someone has amazing taste when it’s 100% Ikea. Ikea has amazing taste.
  • Two prints from Etsy does not make your wall a “gallery wall.”
  • Where are you hiding your cords? Just once I want to see a power strip in a house tour / sneak peek.
  • Misidentifying mid-century modern. Look, not EVERYTHING is MCM. For example, all your Ikea stuff is automatically not MCM. Many people like that style, but it annoys us when you promise MCM and show a coffee table with inlaid glass. No.
  • Knitted throw pillow covers. This is just my weird thing, but knitted pillow covers are a terrible idea. You know what yarn does? It pills. Also, it sheds. This is like covering your throw pillows in dog hair. Oh, AND it’s hard to clean.
  • The Eames rocker. I really like it, but now I’ve seen it in 99% of houses on the internet and I feel like I can’t like it anymore. I hope there is a mysterious accident where all Eames rockers are destroyed and everyone also gets Eames rocker amnesia so I can get one and not feel weird about it.
  • Nice stuff in a shitty apartment. Look, your priorities are none of my business. But why do you have a $300 set of hooks in your little apartment? Maybe you really like those hooks. But they make me sad, like when someone asks Suze Orman if she can buy a Chanel purse on her $1,000 a month salary. (No.) I am not judging you (the rest of these bullet points ARE judging, though), I just wish you DIDN’T want those hooks so bad. Target makes hooks. They are cheap. Also, of all the things to go high-end on – hooks? Really?
  • Glut. The source of all the aforementioned problems is that I read more than 50 home blogs a day. I am only hurting myself. Also, I would describe my design philosophy as “anonymous hotel room,” so I don’t know why I read them in the first place.

Ten rejected blog entry ideas

April 22, 2009

Idea [Reason for rejection]

  1. When is Google going to get rid of the Gmail invites module in my sidebar? [Too Seinfeldian]
  2. Figure out which Rolling Stone cover band/musician has sold the fewest albums. [Only interesting to me, too much work]
  3. Why are my hands different colors? [I don’t want to know the answer. Hand cancer, probably]
  4. Something about my cat. [Violates cat talk ban]
  5. Cliff game news: Jen made me make out with Paula Abdul. [I don’t want to talk about it]
  6. American Idol talk: I do not like Adam Lambert’s voice. [I hate things so often that no one cares anymore]
  7. What’s life going to be like without cable? [More interesting question is when will I cave and get it? I mean, I have to get internet anyway, it’s not THAT much more. Who had “immediately” in the pool?]
  8. This morning the cat… [Oops]
  9. I totally like music now, you guys! [Everyone else already knows about music]
  10. Stuff I invented: grilled cheese, ice cream cake, cardigan over t-shirt, music videos, using a bowl instead of a plate, not putting fabric softener in with the towels, non-vinyl shower curtain liners, cinnamon sugar toast, peeling grapefruit, French, Battlestar Galactica [Jen says I don’t know what “invent” means]

Best Saturday Night Ever?

March 29, 2009

Two weeks ago I had to go to DC to coach one of BU’s moot court teams at a competition. Said competition was over by Saturday afternoon, and after spending the afternoon walking around and visiting with an old friend, I decided to camp out in the (fancy) hotel room, get takeout, and watch TV. I really, really like staying in hotels. Also I was coming down with a cold.

Anyway, I went out, found thai food, and came back to start flipping channels. I got to TNT and it appeared that something terrible was on. Something terrible and maybe Japanese? Oh, no, wait! I had happily stumbled upon The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. YES. As any thinking person knows, the final chapter in the F & F series comes out this week. I KNOW! The first two were very entertaining, but I’d skipped Tokyo Drift on account of it seeming totally unrelated to the other two, and lacking the fine acting spectacle of either Paul Walker or Vin Diesel. But now that it was on TV and I had nothing better to do, I decided to watch. And I would like to provide sort of a “liveblog” of what I saw.

The below was written in an email while watching the movie, and only slightly edited for you:

I missed the first 10 minutes but it seems Slackjaw, our hero, is in Tokyo because his dad is in the Navy? People keep accusing him of being an Army brat and he keeps denying it, and then we got a shot of his dad in a Navy sweatshirt. See what they did there? Not really? Me neither.

Slackjaw was eating lunch, and then a sassy black dude befriended him and took him to an underground race at a parking garage. Slackjaw hit on this dude’s girlfriend and then that dude, who is apparently yakuza, was a dick, so Slackjaw decided to solve this problem by agreeing to race him even though he has no car. But wait! Then some other yakuza dude (I am going to call him Candy because he is always eating candy) said Slackjaw could borrow his. This turns out to be a bad idea, as Slackjaw does not know how to “drift” and totally he smashes up Candy’s car.

Slackjaw got home and his dad was mad. “Are you racing? Answer me!” His delivery was WAY too intense. Also for some reason, this is the “last stop” for Slackjaw, and if he gets kicked out he will go to jail? Unclear why.

Candy has decided that Slackjaw can pay his debt (from wrecking Candy’s car) by being his driver sometimes when he goes out to collect money for the yakuza, and also by being the person who has to get the money from people. Some hilarity with a sumo wrestler in a sauna ensues.

That other yakuza guy (Angry Face, that’s his name) is pretty mad that Candy is having Slackjaw do this.

Um, now they are all at school? Sassy friend, Slackjaw, and the girl, anyway. Is it a school for 30 year olds? It must be.

Heart to heart between Candy and Slackjaw. “I have money. What I need around me is trust and character. And one car in exchange for finding out what a man’s made of is a price I can live with.”

Thank GOD. Candy has agreed to teach Slackjaw how to drift. He learns in what appears to be one training session lasting 3-5 hours.

Heart to heart with girl! “I realize now, outsider or insider, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is going after what you really want.”

We just heard the boring story of how Girl learned to drift. Also I think she’s British? And we learned that Slackjaw got his first ticket the day he got his license, and then won his first race the next day.

Uh oh! Angry Face just showed up and started beating the shit out of Slackjaw, I guess because he was hanging out with his girl. Also, we learned earlier that Girl’s mom died when she was two and Angry Face’s grandma took her in (for some unknown reason). So they grew up together, but now are dating. Gross.

Ohhhhh! Girl is trying to break up with Angry Face! Apparently he has changed. Oh! He just accused her mom of being a whore!

But then I guess he let her go, because here she is at the garage where Slackjaw is.
Angry Face’s actually scary Yakuza uncle just showed up to check on business and grab his cash money. He looks like a 20s gangster. And apparently Angry Face’s partner is stealing from them, and he failed to catch it. Yakuza Uncle just gave the WHOLE “for want of a nail” speech. In Japanese. Slowly. With subtitles.

Oh! The partner is Candy. Ok.

Oh! Fight! Angry Face pulled a gun on Candy, and some quick thinking by Sassy Black Friend distracted him long enough for Candy to knock the gun away. Now they are in a car chase through the streets of Tokyo.

It appears that “drifting” is accomplished using the same maneuver you would use in Kart to get blue sparks.

This is the longest, most boring car chase ever. It involves a lot of drifiting, and Slackjaw’s and Candy’s cars are getting pretty messed up! Oh no! Candy just got hit by an unrelated car, HARD. His car flipped. over. Oh shit, it just exploded! He didn’t look good before that happened so I suspect he is dead. Slackjaw and Girl are running away.

Angry Face was waiting for them at Slackjaw’s house, and when Slackjaw and Girl got there, pulled a gun on Slackjaw and tried to make Girl go with him. Slackjaw’s dad showed up in the nick of time and pulled a gun on Angry Face. But then Girl went with him anyway. Slackjaw’s dad wants to send him home but: “I’m responsible for this mess. I gotta do this. Can you understand this?” “Please do not redo my mistakes.” Uh, then Slackjaw walked away. Hey! Thank your dad for saving your LIFE!

Duuuuude, Slackjaw showed up at Yakuza HQ with something for Uncle! Oh, he is returning the money Candy stole. And he is apologizing. For embarrassing himself along with Angry Face. Hee! He is offering a “peaceful solution,” specifically, a race that will settles things once and for all.  The loser will leave town! For good!

For SOME REASON Slackjaw’s dad is helping out with this insane idea by giving his son a Viper car body to use. You know, since Slackjaw wrecked his car as part of the chase that also killed Candy.

I am tired of this Bones commercial.

Dangerous race on curvy road commences. Slackjaw pulls ahead. Angry Face tried to run him off the road.  Kids with cell phones are lined up all down the road shooting video and apparently streaming it to the people waiting at the finish? I don’t think phones work that way, guys. Maybe in Japan? Ok, this race has been on for like 20 minutes. Oh! Angry Face just went off the road, hard, and over a cliff edge. As Slackjaw went around the next bend, Angry Face’s car nearly fell on Slackjaw’s. There was some slow-mo. Uncle says Slackjaw and Girl are free to go. Having learned no lessons, they are hanging out back at the garage where they usually race.

Some was has turned up to challenge the new “Drift King”! He knew Candy! So they will race. Hey, it’s Vin Diesel! Hi!


What I Read Today

October 2, 2008

I opened up Google Docs today and found a bunch of documents called “What I Read Today,” all dated late last year. This is one of those things I do and then completely forget about. Anyway, I thought it was a neat idea (I think all my ideas are neat, which is a character flaw that I find adorable). So, this is what I read today:

  • A short story by Stephen King entitled “A Very Tight Place.” It concerned two wealthy men who are business enemies and then one of them goes a little nuts and traps the other one in a port-a-potty, which he then tips over. It’s been modified so the man will die in there. I would call the story “good” and the description of the poop smell “gag-inducing.”
  • A short article about the bailout and McCain’s reaction to it, from the New Yorker. Conclusion: his was not the reaction of a good President; if he wins we should all put our money under our mattresses.
  • Five emails from Jen.
  • 112 work emails.
  • One jillion articles about Sarah Palin.
  • A short article about Liz Smith, who I do not understand. She’s Perez Hilton for old people? Is that the deal? I’m surprised by her continued ubiquity. Everyone seems to know who she is, but why? Also, isn’t her gossip always wrong and/or akin to celebrity press releases? Why do I have so many preconceived notions about Liz Smith?

That is all. Wait, I can’t end that way, because that is how John Hodgman ends his posts.