Friday, December 19, 2008

Warren Beatty in "Shampoo": an odd movie for an odd time

I woke up at like 2:30am this morning with the TV still on, about halfway through 1975's bittersweet look back at 1968, "Shampoo". For those who have never experienced the magic of Warren Beatty's helmut-haired, characteristically wooden portrayal of a himbo hairdresser whose extreme dandy costumery created the template for the International Male line of clothing, it's very, uh, different.

The movie revolves around the motorcycling hairdresser who spends his days and nights cheating on an absolutely stunning Goldie Hawn with every woman who walks into his salon. The character is a blank slate with no real back story, motivation, desire (other than lots and lots of hetero fucking) or focus. He vaguely entertains the idea of opening his own salon, but gets caught fucking his financier's girlfriend, so that goes down the drain. Oh, and Goldie finds out and leaves him. Then the financier's girlfriend elopes with the financier, and after a torturous, constipated bit of Beatty acting sad, the credits roll. I guess the message is that cheating is, like, bad.

The interesting thing is the frame in which all of the frivolity is set: the eve of the 1968 presidential election, which everyone in 1975 understood to be the moment when the uber villian of that time, Richard Nixon, began his reign. The characters float around a rich hippy version of L.A. with lots of drugged out parties in enormous Hollywood Hills mansions with strobe lights and Beatles music. Everything is free and groovy as the looming bogeyman of the 1970s periodically pops up on TV screens campaigning for president.

It is impossible to understand why anybody liked this movie without understanding the deep malaise of the mid seventies. It feels like the popular culture spent a good part of the 70s asking "what went wrong?" The answer according to "Shampoo" is too much extracurricular fucking/voting for Nixon.

Anyway, "Shampoo" is really a piece of shit in the sun, rewarded by the 1976 Academy Awards with three Oscars, including Best Screenplay!

It's kind of worth a watch, just as a cringeworthy examination of the embarrassment that is Warren Beatty.

And at least it's not Bulworth.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Overheard NYFA student conversation

I just passed by a couple of geniuses from the New York Film Academy having cigarettes and chit chatting.

Student 1 (in a British accent): So Tennessee is a state, right?
Student 2 (American accent): Yeah, yeah. Wait...


Apparently, David Paterson likes Caroline Kennedy to replace Sen. Hillary Clinton because she has raised some $70 million for the Dems recently and can amass enough money to keep the seat for a while.

Can someone please tell me how this is different than Blagojevich's criteria for candidates to replace Barack Obama?

My prediction: no conviction for Blagojevich. If we want to structure our politics around money, this is what we get.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Paterson proposes wine sales in grocery stores?!?

This little paragraph mentions something revolutionary (for New York State, at least) in the midst of the various tax increases Gov. Paterson is proposing:
Beer and wine drinkers may pay higher excise taxes, but consumers would be able to buy wine from groceries and drug stores. At present, beer is available in groceries and drug stores but wine can only be sold at specialist liquor stores.
WTF? I always thought that New York's silly wine-is-hard-alcohol law was some sort of unchangeable post-repeal deal that was worked out between the mob and the Catholic church. I guess hard times = more wine!

I approve.

Best shoe toss animated .gifs

Well, this being the absurd age we live in with this internet and everything, enterprising young people have already gotten their lolz creating these wonderful animated .gifs of our distinguished still-leader dodging a fucking shoe:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Controversy time! An alternate view on gay marriage

Mark Simpson is a British gay contrarian who invented the term metrosexual. He is also very smart. His view is that the fight for gay marriage is largely an emotional and symbolic battle and that equal rights activists should let it go and focus on actual civil rights:
If Christians and traditionalists want to preserve the “sanctity” of marriage as something between a man and a woman, with all the mumbo jumbo that entails, let them. They only hasten the collapse of marriage. Instead of demanding gay marriage, in effect trying to modernise an increasingly moribund institution, maybe lesbian and gay people should push for civil partnerships to be opened to cross-sex couples, as they are in France - where they have proved very popular.

Let’s Be Civil: Gay Marriage Isn’t The End Of The Rainbow

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More Americans believe in the Devil, Hell and Angels than in Darwin's Theory of Evolution

It is a testament to how badly our educational system has been damaged over the last four decades that only 47% of Americans believe in Darwin's Theory of Evolution. It is astonishing that this Theory, which science has relied on for a multitude of breakthroughs, is so widely misunderstood and mistrusted in this country.

Meanwhile nonsense like angels, hell, etc. are treated as common knowledge.


Isn't the real crime the hair?

Monday, December 8, 2008

The magical world of "Stairway to Stardom"

In the 80s in New York, there was a public access show called "Stairway to Stardom" which was like a low-rent "Gong Show", only all of the guests were awful and all were taken seriously. Some kind soul with too much time on his hands has posted a lot of these acts to YouTube and they are going down well on a cold Monday.

Check the entire archive:

Friday, December 5, 2008

Condoleeza Rice: EPIC FAIL

Have you noticed how Condoleeza Rice keeps talking and talking lately? As if anyone is listening? As if she isn't part of a failed, dying administration? As if she weren't an advocate of an utterly wrong-headed ideology and policy so morally bankrupt that it inflamed the world, damaged the United States and almost destroyed the world?

Israelis now have a verb, lecondel, meaning running around and having lots of meetings, accomplishing nothing.

It's like she thinks she can make up for the political and moral failings of the last eight years with some piano playing and tough talk.

Hello, Condi. GOODBYE.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Cocktalians" ruin drinking

Today's New York Times' Dining section is devoted to cocktails. As expected, it's an uptight, upper crusty examination of something that should be fun and messy: getting drunk. But no, the "Cocktalians" in this article don't drink to excess. Instead they spend hours making their own ice, vermouth and syrups, then bring them to establishments that cater to this particular brand of party pooper. Then they sit around and talk about cocktails.

I like a good cocktail or ten, but come on. Must everything be so fucking artisanal these days? I always thought ice was, you know, frozen water. If you want to filter the water, fine, but I mean how much can you really improve upon it? It's fucking ice!

STFU, cocktalians!

A Brotherhood Formed with Cocktails and Ice

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bush doesn't worry about history

Many times over the last eight years we have heard still-president George W. Bush speak wistfully about history. He has often tried to excuse his actions by invoking some future people who will be able to see his decisions in a forgiving light.

But he has also repeatedly said something to the effect of, "well, it doesn't matter, because in the future we will all be dead." What an astonishing disregard for his own children and grandchildren this president displays! Here is a perfect summary of this recklessness spoken from the horse's mouth in his incredible ABC interview:
I don't spend a lot of time really worrying about short-term history. I guess I don't worry about long-term history, either, since I'm not going to be around to read it -- (laughter) -- but, look, in this job you just do what you can.
It is a testament to the strength of this country that America in such good shape, considering the stupefying ineptitude of leadership we have suffered under for the last eight years.

You know what? Fuck you, George W. Bush. If I were you, I would get down on my knees every day and pray to your God for forgiveness, because if your biblical hell exists, you are certainly at the front of the line.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Shout out on Marc Riley's show

Hey hey! The economy is dying, yet we are still stampeding discount stores, terrorists are terrorizing, Iran and Russia are still scary, but...

Marc Riley gave me a shout out on BBC 6Music!

The comment to "Bryan in New York" comes in the first 10 minutes of the Dec. 1 show.

I emailed him the following:

Subject: Mick Jagger

Totally the greatest front man of all time.

You're WRONG Marc. Still love the show.

- Bryan in New York


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

For Sale: Nissan XTerra for manly men

And it totally comes with a pair of MC Hammer pants! I'm just going to repost the whole craigslist post because it's fucking hilarious and these things disappear.

"OK, let me start off by saying this Xterra is only available for purchase by the manliest of men (or women). My friend, if it was possible for a vehicle to sprout chest hair and a five o'clock shadow, this Nissan would look like Tom Selleck. It is just that manly.

It was never intended to drive to the mall so you can pick up that adorable shirt at Abercrombie & Fitch that you had your eye on. It wasn't meant to transport you to yoga class or Linens & Things. No, that's what your Prius is for. If that's the kind of car you're looking for, then just do us all a favor and stop reading right now. I mean it. Just stop.

This car was engineered by 3rd degree ninja super-warriors in the highest mountains of Japan to serve the needs of the man that cheats death on a daily basis. They didn't even consider superfluous nancy boy amenities like navigation systems (real men don't get lost), heated leather seats (a real man doesn't let anything warm his butt), or On Star (real men don't even know what the hell On Star is).

No, this brute comes with the things us testosterone-fueled super action junkies need. It has a 265 HP engine to outrun the cops. It's got special blood/gore resistant upholstery. It even has a first-aid kit in the back. You know what the first aid kit has in it? A pint of whiskey, a stitch-your-own-wound kit and a hunk of leather to bite down on when you're operating on yourself. The Xterra also has an automatic transmission so if you're being chased by Libyan terrorists, you'll still be able to shoot your machine gun out the window and drive at the same time. It's saved my bacon more than once.

It has room for you and the four hotties you picked up on the way to the gym to blast your pecs and hammer your glutes. There's a tow hitch to pull your 50 caliber anti-Taliban, self cooling machine gun. I also just put in a new windshield to replace the one that got shot out by The Man.

My price on this bad boy is an incredibly low $12,900, but I'll entertain reasonable offers. And by reasonable, I mean don't walk up and tell me you'll give me $5,000 for it. That's liable to earn you a Burmese-roundhouse-sphincter-kick with a follow up three fingered eye-jab. Would it hurt? Hell yeah. Let's just say you won't be the prettiest guy at the Coldplay concert anymore.

There's only 69,000 miles on this four-wheeled hellcat from Planet Kickass. Trust me, it will outlive you and the offspring that will carry your name. It will live on as a monument to your machismo.

Now, go look in the mirror and tell me what you see. If it's a rugged, no holds barred, super brute he-man macho Chuck Norris stunt double, then contact me. I might be out hang-gliding or BASE jumping or just chilling with my ladies, but I'll get back to you. And when I do, we'll talk about a price over a nice glass of Schmidt while we listen to Johnny Cash.

To sweeten the deal a little, I'm throwing in this pair of MC Hammer pants for the man with rippling quads that can't fit into regular pants. Yeah, you heard me. FREE MC Hammer pants.

Rock on."

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'll take you back, Ikea, though you do me bad

With my tail between my legs, I ventured back to Ikea on Saturday, this time trying out the new free ferry service from the South Street Seaport. My expectations were low after my last visit in which I attempted to buy a cabinet and was told at the pick up window that I could only go home with all the extra crap I bought on the way out and not the cabinet.

I have to say, the free ferry idea is sheer brilliance. It leaves every 20 minutes, takes 10 minutes, makes no other stops and did I mention it's free? It's always kind of nice to get out on the water and taking a ferry to a big box store kind of gets you out of New York altogether: the whole experience makes you feel like you live in Juneau or Seattle or something. If I lived in the financial district, I'd probably go to Ikea for lunch (not really, the food looks really grey and gross).

I managed to navigate the Ikea rat's maze in record time, watching for shortcut signs, using a laser-like focus with the sales people and leaving Cherie to continue shopping 2/3 of the way down the path so I could get in line to check out.

At this point, I can see doing the whole kitchen project with Ikea cabinets and floors. Congratulations, bad lover, you're back.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ikea nightmare

What is wrong with Ikea? Why have they still not been able to roll out an online ordering system for the stuff people actually want? Why do you never know what they will have in stock, even when you have checked their inventory online? Why is their customer service (at least in the new Brooklyn store) so downright awful?

I am slowly remodeling my kitchen. As a baby step, I decided to build a slide out garbage cabinet/counter top using a basic Ikea cabinet, door and sliding drawer assembly. I couldn't find sliding drawer hardware on Ikea's site (although I later noticed they carry it at the store) so I ordered this from Home Depot. All I had to do was put in my credit card number and address and click 'Buy'. Done. With Ikea's site, eCommerce is apparently on the bleeding edge of technology and not available for most items yet.

So I checked the availability of the cabinet and door at the Brooklyn store and with reasonable assurance that they would have what I wanted, I caught a ride with my buddy Chris down to the Red Hook store.

This is where my nightmare began.

After completing part of the retail maze that is an Ikea store, I arrived at the kitchen station. With printouts of the products I wanted in my hand, I approached the sales people. They were immersed in their computer screens doing something that looked important, so I waited. And waited. After about 10 minutes I politely asked one of the salespeople if there was someone who could help me. She kind of pointed at the other salesperson and he shook his head and told her to take care of me. She then asked how she could help me. They both literally just ignored me for 10 minutes. I could have stood there an hour. Unbelievable.

I show her the printout of the cabinet and say "I want this". You'd think she would be able to scan it or type in a number and instantly call it up. Instead, she looked at me and said, "What is this?" I read the webpage to her and she began searching her database, seemingly bewildered by the whole process.

Finally we got the cabinet into my order. Now it was time to choose a door finish. You can choose anything you want, but most of them are not in stock and require 2 weeks (I am told that 2 Ikea weeks is more like 4-6 weeks in normal time) to be delivered. You know, if I wanted something delivered I would have rather just done it online. So I pick one they have in stock. They print the order and I'm on my way to the register.

A half mile of Ikea maze later I actually find the checkout lanes and wait and wait in line. I pay for the stuff and am directed to pick my stuff up in an area where there is a huge sign that says "Returns" and a bunch of people waiting around, looking confused and frustrated. I manage to find the unmarked pick up counter and hand the guy my invoice. He tells me that when my number comes up, I should come back to the desk. I wait and wait.

My number finally appears on the screen, but the order isn't ready. More waiting. Finally, the guy explains that even though I paid for the cabinet and it actually is in the store, for some reason they can't access it until a half hour after the store closes, so if I don't mind waiting another hour and a half the guy can meet me in the parking lot with my cabinet. What is this a drug deal?

I explain that a friend drove me here and we can't just sit around and wait, so I would please like it delivered to me at no charge. That's a non-starter. Okay, I say, let me just come back on Saturday and pick it up. No deal. I will need to wait in the returns line to get a refund, come back on Saturday, wind through the maze, order it all over again (assuming it's still in stock), wait in line to pay for it, wait in line to pick it up, wait, wait, wait.

Sensing I have been defeated, I saunter over to the returns line. I now understand why pick up and returns are treated as one in the same at Ikea. Jesus.

What could have been accomplished at with 3 mouse clicks has so far taken about 3 hours out of my life and will probably require 3 more. I am now reconsidering whether I want to deal with Ikea at all for the larger kitchen project.

Fuck you, Ikea. What is Swedish for "you suck"?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

STFU [Name] the [Occupation]

Oh look! Joe the Plumber has a book deal! Although there is definitely a market for crybaby sour-grapes Republicans, I doubt that Joe the Plumber (who along with Sarah Palin, represented most of what went wrong with the McCain campaign) is poised to tap it.

But the fameball cycle has started, and old Joe seems drunk on his own sense of self-importance, even issuing a vague threat to our President Elect:
We wish our new president blessings of wisdom and good judgment, and we pray he hearkens to our voice if ever we feel our American Dream is being threatened. It will be a loud voice, so good luck trying to ignore it.

For a good chuckle, check out the new (retro-web designed) Joe the Plumber website. Once.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Call the waaaaaambulance

So there's this right wing dipshit named John Ziegler who's very upset that Barack Obama won the presidency, so he's determined to explain to the American people how dumb the 53% of them who voted Democrat this year are.

To this end, he commissioned the notoriously unreliable Zogby polling outfit to conduct a survey, of sorts, of self-described Obama voters and test their awareness of a bunch of Fox News-generated B.S. about Obama. You see, if you aren't aware that Barack Obama "started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground", you aren't just skeptical of the right-wing echo chamber, you're ill-informed!

Or if you thought the candidate who said she could see Russia from her house was Sarah Palin, you're wrong! It was actually Tina Fey. You see, Palin said that "you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska". It's such a shame that Obama supporters were so ignorant of the important issues in this campaign.

Anyway, recently, our hero Nate Silver called foul on this nonsense and characterized the whole exercise as a "push poll", or a poll intended to sway the opinion of the person being polled.

Well, big, bad right-wing John Ziegler wasn't going to stand for this so he gave this wonderfully infantile, expletive-laden interview to Nate (via

An Interview with John Ziegler on the Zogby "Push Poll"

Jury Jail

Well, I just completed jury duty and I have to say that despite its horrible reputation, it's a breeze. The only hiccup was discovering a stray percocet in my backpack in line for the security gate (I made a stealthy run by the trashcan).

They start by showing you a lovely Diane Sawyer-narrated video and give you a little booklet that indicates you are always to be treated with respect. Then they tell you about the free WiFi and where you can plug your laptop it, how you go about taking 15 minute breaks (seemingly whenever you want), and where you can buy coffee and snacks. Why do I never get called when I am working a salaried, full-time job. I would have jumped at the opportunity to sit on a long trial when I was working at Weight Watchers.

They dismissed us at 1pm on Monday and 11:45am on Tuesday. That's it. No more jury duty for six years. Can you request to serve?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Raw food diet for cats and dogs

I have been reading about cat nutrition lately and it seems like it's critical that everyone feed their cat (and dog) wet food. Cats get most of their water from the food they eat and it's unnatural for them to drink lots of water to compensate for a dry food diet. They usually end up somewhat dehydrated if they only eat dry food. Our house cats evolved from desert dwelling wild cats who rarely had water and obtained moisture from killing other animals and eating almost all of the carcass.

With that in mind, I started investigating raw food for pets. It makes perfect sense really: animals do not cook their food and their stomachs are evolved to tolerate a wide range of bacteria that humans cannot. Raw chicken? No problem.

But you shouldn't just feed your cat cheap meat from the butcher though. Cats also need nutrients that come from the entire carcass which are added to cat food mostly as amino acid supplements.

I bought a bag of frozen raw lamb patties, including organ meat, ground up bones, supplements, and a small percentage of fruits and vegetables (that in the wild they when they consume the contents of a prey's stomach) yesterday and defrosted some of them for Dusty. He ate one today and liked it (although this is a cat that will literally eat plastic, so he's easy to please).

I'm hoping that a 50% raw food diet for Dusty will keep him healthy, and, ahem, improve his behavior.


Am I alone in sort of freaking out about the amount of oversharing that is going on in people's blogs? Did I ask if you slept with a married man last night who has a huge cock? Do I need to know that you fucked your gay friend and it was kind of odd, but good and ultimately bittersweet?

Do you pick your nose and eat it? Don't really want to know.

Friday, November 14, 2008


As long as we're on the morning junkie theme today, I thought I'd mention the legendary, tragic Milano's Bar on E. Houston. On my way to work each day, just before I encounter the methadone/'scrip crowd on Broadway and Houston, I pass by Milano's and peer in the window. I am always fascinated by the workman-like rigor these morning alkies have. Do they, like, set their alarm for 7:30 so they have time to do a couple of errands before their drinking day begins?

Every morning there is at least one person sitting right in the window nursing what is usually hard liquor. I have to admit I have been tempted once or twice to stop in for a JD & soda to take the edge off my workaday world, but thus far, happily, I have resisted this impulse.


Every morning I walk by the building on the southeast corner of Broadway and Houston and without fail there is a gathering of middle-aged, smoking, drug addled people milling around in front. There has to be a methadone clinic in a nearby building.

I applaud these people's efforts to kick their habit, but the truth is, they still really look and act like junkies. I cannot imagine any of these people holding a job or having a normal life.

A 2005 HBO documentary Methadonia exposed the recent phenomenon of methadone patients mixing it with prescription drugs like Xanax or Klonopin to get a heroin-like high, and I can't help but think that there are 'scrip dealers among the morning throng. The thing is, since they are "in program", it's all normalized.

It reminds me of the old East Village when half the neighborhood used to line up when a certain building had heroin.

Maybe these people are a little better off not doing heroin. In the last few years I have substituted my raging cigarette addiction with addiction to various nicotine replacements and occasionally revert back to cigarettes. I know I am better off chewing nicotine gum or using a dissolvable tobacco like Ariva, but I cannot for one minute imagine living my life without nicotine.

Thank God I never tried heroin.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cracking the Sarah Palin code

Here's another Palin doosy from Daniel Larison's helpful post about cracking the Palin code:

Sitting here in these chairs that I’m going to be proposing but in working with these governors who again on the front lines are forced to and it’s our privileged obligation to find solutions to the challenges facing our own states every day being held accountable, not being just one of many just casting votes or voting present every once in a while, we don’t get away with that. We have to balance budgets and we’re dealing with multibillion dollar budgets and tens of thousands of employees in our organizations.

Bidens to meet with Cheneys today

Wow, how would you like to meet with that one over there scowling at the left? Particularly if your name were Joe Biden. Talk about awkward!

If I were Biden I would politely refuse any offer of food or drink.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Camille Paglia still hearts Sarah Palin

Oh, please (via Salon):

"I like Sarah Palin, and I've heartily enjoyed her arrival on the national stage. As a career classroom teacher, I can see how smart she is -- and quite frankly, I think the people who don't see it are the stupid ones, wrapped in the fuzzy mummy-gauze of their own worn-out partisan dogma. So she doesn't speak the King's English -- big whoop! There is a powerful clarity of consciousness in her eyes. She uses language with the jumps, breaks and rippling momentum of a be-bop saxophonist."

Yeah, jazz! That's it! Here is Palin apparently riffing like Coltrane on the economy:

"That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, we're ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh -- it's got to be all about job creation too. Shoring up our economy, and putting it back on the right track. So healthcare reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade, we've got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, um, scary thing, but 1 in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We've got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that."

Ms. Palin, you insult our intelligence, and Ms. Paglia, you insult be-bop.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Embracing my liberalism...

Now that we liberals have been vindicated by the election results, I find myself feeling no shame in becoming a caricature of the Chardonnay swilling, Volvo driving, pot smoking, abortion loving big fat liberal.

Today, I ordered a Chai Latte with skim milk.

And it tastes great!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gawker is no longer mad at me...

Just as mysteriously as my commenting privilege was revoked, it appears to be restored!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Oxford compiles the top ten most irritating phrases in the English language

via The Telegraph:

The top ten most irritating phrases:

1 - At the end of the day

2 - Fairly unique

3 - I personally

4 - At this moment in time

5 - With all due respect

6 - Absolutely

7 - It's a nightmare

8 - Shouldn't of

9 - 24/7

10 - It's not rocket science

iDJ2 - What I know

Hey, now that this election is over and the barracudas are safely back up north, we can get back to debating frivolous bullshit!

Actually, I want to lay out what I know about my new Numark iDJ2 digital DJ station in the event that others are searching the internet for knowledge of this device and coming up with nothing, the way I did. Since Numark is being very secretive about coming features and they have apparently *shut down* their discussion boards, it's time to take matters into our own hands.


  1. Supported File Formats
    The iDJ2 only fully supports MP3, non-DRM AAC, and WAV files. That's it. You can play copy-protected AAC files (but not Apple Lossless) in iPod direct mode, but switching back and forth to this is not recommended in mid-party. Don't believe the (mostly British) websites that say it supports FLAC and Ogg Vorbis. It does not. I believe it will in a future firmware release, though, which would be awesome.
  2. Unstable Numark Keyboard
    My cool little Numark keyboard which comes with the excellent flight case is working sporadically. I have to repeatedly unplug it and plug it back in to make it work. Numark told me to try another USB keyboard, so we'll see. I may have to exchange mine.
  3. Drive Disconnections
    I've had some weird disconnections from the USB thumb drives I am using. Numark didn't have an answer for this. By connecting a 4 port USB hub (which you will eventually need anyway) and connecting my thumb drive to that, it seems that I have improved the fit between the connections. We will see if this completely solves the problem.
  4. USB CD Drives
    Hidden in the 1.09 release notes, there's section about how USB CD/DVD drives are now supported. This is amazing, because you can take an old drive and basically turn it into a CDJ1000. You get complete pitch, scratch and search control, like you do any other drive. Just don't try to play two tracks off the same CD at once. It won't work.
  5. File Quality/Provenance
    It is critical that you get the highest quality digital files that the device supports and know the provenance of the files. It may be a WAV file, but if it came from a compilation CD where the producers ripped from a record on their own semi-crappy turntable, it won't matter what format the file is in. It will suck either way. I have found from the live gig I did that the best sounding track of the night was JayDee's "Plastic Dreams" downloaded legitimately from as a WAV file. It had a clarity in the mid-range and bass that other files lacked. That said, 320K MP3's really aren't bad. Hopefully, the next release will support FLAC and/or Apple Lossless, so we don't have to settle for lossy compression at all.
  6. Prepare for the future
    In ripping digital files from my records, I am planning on using 88.2/24-bit wav files for archiving. This way I can render down to 44.1/16-bit with minimal digital artifacts and either use those files to DJ or further compress to 320K MP3 or some flavor of AAC. I'm not sure there's a difference.
More to come...

The iDJ2 claims that there is no standard for tagging within WAV files (this is debatable), so it does not support tags for WAV files at all. My understanding is that the emerging format is ID3v2 tags within the RIFF portion of the file. Instead the device just presents the filename as in the Title field.

This is somewhat confusing because the standard for music file naming is [Artist] - [Title]. Searching filenames with the title would work fine though.

Numark iDJ2

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bryan Keller's fantasy art

I have long talked of organizing a Bryan Keller convention with all of us Bryan Kellers (or Brian Kellers, I suppose) coming together for a boozy weekend at some hotel near an airport. Everyone thinks it's a ridiculous idea, but wouldn't it be freaky to get together a bunch of people with the same name? You could order pre-printed nametags in advance!

Anyway, I was doing a 123 People search for Bryan Kellers and guess what I came up with? Fantasy artist Bryan Keller! I like his style:He has loads of weird paintings online, including this poignant and tasteful tribute to the victims of 9/11:

Manhattan went 85% for Obama

Yes we did (via

Republican meltdown postmortem: Palin didn't know that Africa is a continent

Wow! I wonder if she knows that Led Zepplin is a band...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's been real, Republicans, whatever

London reacts to Obama winning the same way I did

Time to measure the drapes

By the way Missouri and North Carolina...

Hai! Totes hope you figure out who you voted for. Don't really give a shit either way!

Still in (joyful) tears...


In Tears....

Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 Final Election Projection

Today's Polls and Final Election Projection: Obama 349, McCain 189

More wisdom from Nate Silver

Nate Silver over at has ten reasons to ignore exit polls tonight. Basically, they tend to be inaccurate and overstate support for Democrats.

Ten Reasons Why You Should Ignore Exit Polls

Definitive, concise election watching advice from Nate Silver

Nate Silver is the smartest person in the world right now. He has run his election polling aggregate site for months now and has developed some seriously pointy-headed algorithms for averaging dozens of polls to produce overall numbers for the presidential contest as well as congressional races.

I don't understand half the stuff on his site, but here's his easily digestible take on how it goes down tonight (via
It appears almost certain that Obama will capture all of the states won by John Kerry in 2008. Pennsylvania, while certainly having tightened somewhat over the course of the past two weeks, appears to be holding at a margin of about +8 for Obama, with very few remaining undecideds. Obama also appears almost certain to capture Iowa and New Mexico, which were won by Al Gore in 2000. Collectively, these states total 264 electoral votes, leaving Obama just 5 votes shy of a tie and 6 of a win.

Obama has any number of states to collect those 5 or 6 votes. In inverse order of difficulty, these include Colorado, Virginia, Nevada, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Missouri and Indiana. Obama is the signficant favorite in several of these states; winning any one of them may be fairly difficult for John McCain, but winning all of them at once, as John McCain probably must do, is nearly impossible.
There you have it folks. Get your tequila ready. It's gonna be a hell of a night...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Why Gawker, why?

Well, I have had no reply to my two polite emails asking the gatekeepers at Gawker why I can no longer comment. It is either a mistake, or I may have been silently reprimanded for this comment:

Regarding Bravo Chief Determined To Be Cooler Than You

Nic Fit
9:38 AM on Fri Oct 31 2008

I totally thought that was Steven Cojocaru at first


Okay, it seems like a relatively mild (although looksist and totally unnecessary) comment to me. The thing is, Bravo is a major advertiser on Gawker and I could see Nick Denton looking at my bitchy, juvenile comment and thinking, give it a rest for a while, buddy.

Fair enough. They didn't ban me though, and they didn't even remove the comment, so it's hard to say.

Maybe they just realized that I was an unrepentant Gawker comment addict and grew tired of enabling my habit/having to see my comments on every single fucking post.

That said, if anyone has a line into the powers that be at Gawker, could you please beg for my reinstatement?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Banned from Gawker?

What have I done to piss off the gods of commenting over at Gawker to the point where my account is "not enabled" for commenting? What will I do all day when I should be working? I'm thinking it's a mistake because I can still post comments on their sister sites, but it sent a Halloween chill down my spine.

Wiccans Support Obama

In a "big tent" party you get support from all over the place. The question is, can't the Wiccans just cast a spell on McCain? Why do they bother with putting Obama links on their websites?

The Wiccan Pagain Times

Thursday, October 30, 2008

NYFA: Overheard convo

So I'm in the elevator where I work on the way down to the lobby, and guess what? It stops on the 2nd floor, the home of fake college/enterprise/whatever New York Film Academy. These two lovely young British girls get on, one of which is gently praising her new, entirely paid for, Manhattan apartment:

Girl 1: Yeah, it's really simple, just a room and a loo. But it's in Chelsea, which is pretty nice.
Girl 2: Oh, yeah, Chelsea is really cute.
Girl 1: ...and there's a Stahbucks right downstairs.
Girl 2: Well that's what matters, roight?

This is the state of young "artists" in New York. Used to be, you moved into a rat-infested raw space in an abandoned neighborhood. Now your parents select your multi-thousand dollar studio based on its proximity to chain stores.


Modern Times: Numark iDJ2

Oh happy day! Yesterday I defied the shit economy by marching into B&H Photo and dropping my hard-earned cash (or credit, rather) on this baby:

It's the most awesomest thing ever. You just stick a thumb drive in the back and start mixing your tunes. You can also plug in turntables or other external devices.


Numark iDJ2

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Best passive-aggressive notes ever

From the Passive Aggressive Notes blog:

Men who look like old lesbians

Modern Times: Buying a pack of gum

This is a true account of buying a pack of gum at Duane Read today:

I put the gum on the counter.

Cashier: Hi do you have a club card?
Me: No.
Cashier: Would you like to sign up for a club card today?
Me: No.
The cashier types in $1.35 and the register adds the tax, totalling $1.51 (why don't they just price the fucking thing with the tax at a round number?). I hand the cashier two dollar bills and fish around my pockets for a penny. In that time the woman has typed in $2.00 and the register indicates that I am getting 49 cents change. I find the penny and hand it to the cashier. This causes some confusion.
Cashier: well, I don't have two quarters so I'm going to have to give you...
Me: Fine.
The cashier extracts a quarter a dime and three nickels from the register, waits for the receipt to print, puts the receipt in her hand and the change on top of the receipt. I take the whole ungodly mess and leave the receipt on the counter.

I walk out feeling vaguely guilty that I have left the responsibility of throwing out the goddam receipt for my pack of gum with the cashier and determine that I will blog about the absurdity of modern life.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thank you, Christopher Hitchens

Hitchens can be a real pain in the ass, particularly for a few years after 9/11 which he spent being sort of a neocon, but he hit the nail on the head on Slate today eviscerating Sarah Palin:

This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.

Sarah Palin's War on Science

Friday, October 24, 2008

Just to get that hideous Ashley Todd image off the top of my blog

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

On looking in the mirror and carving a 'B' in your face

By now we have all met Ashley Todd, the enterprising young Republican alleging to be the victim of a political hate crime: Todd claims that a tall, scary black man robbed her after she had used an ATM and upon seeing a McCain bumper sticker on her car (wait, now it's a McCain button on her lapel, because she couldn't explain how he knew which car was hers) carved a B in her cheek. B for Barack, yo. Naturally, Todd refused medical treatment as would anyone who wants a permanent 'B' shaped scar on their face.

Oh, and the B is carved backwards. A mirror image of a B if you will. Like if you were to look in a mirror and carve a letter in your face and were too dumb to realize things appear backwards in a mirror. Also, that black eye looks like makeup.

These conflicting details have moved Todd's story from 120 point red type at the top of the Drudge Report to regular size type among links to stories about how Obama's lead in the polls is causing the financial panic.

Fameball falling fast.

UPDATE: Hey hey! No sooner do I post my bitchy fuck you to Ashley Todd and wonder whether I may have to eat my words do we learn that the whole thing is, in fact, bullshit. Charges pending.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

At the Table with Anthony Bourdain: Why ?

I love Anthony Bourdain. Everyone I know loves Anthony Bourdain. From his junkie/chef memoir "Kitchen Confidential" to his magnificent food and travel show "No Reservations" (which has inspired several imitators), he has always come across as the type of guy I'd like to have a drink or ten with.

So why is his new show "At the Table with Anthony Bourdain" so awful?

At 52, Bourdain is hitting his mid-thirties — quitting smoking, having a baby, etc. — and I assume he wants to spend more time with his family. So now he's doing this show where instead of flying to Laos or Dubai every other week he cabs it to a New York restaurant. Fine. The problem is that the new richer, more famous Bourdain seems kind of full of himself, and shows about people bullshitting their way through a meal don't work.

Bourdain has become caught in the same narcissistic muck that director John Favreau wallowed in several years ago with his loathsome watch-the-celebrities-eat show Dinner for Five. You can understand the thinking behind these shows: we all have a good time having dinner and getting drunky with friends, and as the night goes on (and more wine is consumed), everything seems so funny and interesting and hey, wouldn't this make a great TV show?

But a dinner party is not a television show; your dinner party is fun and interesting to you because you are with your friends. Your insidery repartee is great within your group, but when broadcast it takes on the quality of a loud conversation at an adjacent table, at best irrelevant, more likely annoying and offensive.

Which brings us to the first episode of "At the Table", featuring an unpleasant supporting cast of well-heeled, jaded New Yorkers: ex-celeb-club maven/perennial irritant Amy Sacco, Page Six gossipeuse Chris Wilson, New Yorker contributor and charisma black hole Bill Buford, along with the usually tolerable straightish guy from "Queer Eye" Ted Allen, who struggles in this company to be appealing and reasonable but is generally ignored or shot down.

Bourdain opens with probably the most inappropriate convo topic of late '08: is it morally wrong to spend $1800 on dinner for two? Oh no, everyone agrees, if you have the money, just enjoy it. In fact, why even discuss the morality of gluttony? Everyone knows that rich people should never feel guilty about spending gobs of money on whatever frivolous shit catches their fancy. Bill Buford helpfully adds that if you didn't spend the $1800 on dinner it's not like you'd give it to the poor or anything. Okay, next topic! But first, let's pause for the waiter to serve and explain these tiny plates of nitrogen-frozen fois gras with a tarragon foam and truffle shavings.

Jesus, how out of sync with the times can a television program be? This show isn't just alienating to the red state "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" crowd, it's alienating to anyone who doesn't go on speaking tours.

This is television created by and for rich people, and it's an embarrassing and sad departure for our former New York everyman.

Tony, please, please leave the wife and kid and get back on a plane. Or write another book. Or just go away for a while.

UPDATE: you get the feeling from the promo they think the show is kind of crap too...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gawker fameballs

This skyscraper ad placeholder has been in rotation lately on Gawker. It's a collage of some of the notorious nobodies they have elevated in order to shoot down over the last year or so.

My personal favorite is the cash fan waving dude with the Kanye glasses.

How many can you name?

Brit atheists to spread blasphemy across England!

I love this (via BBC News):

Bendy-buses with the slogan "There's probably no God" could soon be running on the streets of London.

The atheist posters are the idea of the British Humanist Association (BHA) and have been supported by prominent atheist Professor Richard Dawkins.

The complete slogan reads: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

Bizarre Japanese toilet training cartoon

Since almost all my friends have babies now, here's a public service in the form of an astoundingly weird Japanese cartoon (via Gawker):

Monday, October 20, 2008

One good thing about L.A.

Although I generally feel that L.A. is a loathesome, soulless place, it does have excellent radio. Coming from New York, where the middle of the dial is dominated by tacky lowest common denominator shit, turning on the radio in L.A. can be an exhilarating experience.

In L.A., KCRW and KXLU are great options for alternative or just downright weird music, and when I was growing up KDAY (1580 AM) was one of the first stations in the world with an all rap format. And let me tell you, in 1988, it was off the chain.

This last time I was in L.A. I discovered Indie 103. At first I was like, oh God, another corporate entitity appropriating the term "indie" to push populist corporate dreck. But the DJs quickly put me in my place with The Juan Maclean, The Duke Spirit, obscure 80s stuff, and the better part of an hour dedicated to verbatim Motown covers - in German.

Sure they had to play some lesser Death Cab for Cutie tunes and TV on the Radio and Does it Offend You, Yeah? etc. But they counterbalanced that with free-spirited programming unheard of outside of college radio, practically rising to the gold standard set by BBC 6Music.

Indie 103

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Okay, officially sick of L.A. now

Yeah, I've been running on the beach every morning and the weather has been 75 degrees and sunny everyday and they have like a dozen Trader Joe'ses, but honestly this place sucks. There's just no life anywhere. I think the only people having any fun are the gangbangers in their El Caminos. And I am terrified of them.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Camille Paglia: Palin's Not Dumb!

Professional contrarian Camille Paglia has a long respond-to-emails piece on Salon that, among other things, heaps praise on Sarah Palin. Paglia has long used the discourse of academia and feminism to attack academes and feminists, so I wasn't surprised to see her sycophantic fawning over Mrs. Palin. But, for chrissake she just sounds so inane! How can you so vociferously defend the intellect of someone who cannot name one newspaper or magazine she reads? It may be chic in conservative academic lesbian circles to tout Palin as some sort of amazon warrior goddess or whatever, but this is just ridiculous:

One of the most idiotic allegations batting around out there among urban media insiders is that Palin is “dumb.” Are they kidding? What level of stupidity is now par for the course in those musty circles? (The value of Ivy League degrees, like sub-prime mortgages, has certainly been plummeting. As a Yale Ph.D., I have a perfect right to my scorn.) People who can’t see how smart Palin is are trapped in their own narrow parochialism — the tedious, hackneyed forms of their upper-middle-class syntax and vocabulary.

Yeah, whatever, Pags.

Nobody’s dummy (via Salon)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Christian Audigier - WTF?

So up and down Broadway everybody and his brother is wearing these Christian Audigier shirts and hoodies lately. Huh? They look like King Midas threw up on a Guns 'n' Roses album. But for $200 and change you too can stroll down Broadway looking like you can't afford $200 t-shirts.

Full disclosure: in the early 90s I rocked baggy, faded Girbaud jeans to look like all those Puerto Rican kids who used to dance to acid house in front of Unique and hit the Red Zone every night. I have to believe that the effect was somewhat subtler than the Baroque mess you see here. One would hope.

But if you must:

Luxury Streetwear Produced by Christian Audigier

King Bloomberg

Regarding Bloomberg's effort to extend term limits so that he has something to do for the next four years: just say no.

I thought we went through this debate after 9/11 when Rudy Giuliani wanted to get an extra term because of extraordinary circumstances. At that time Mike Bloomberg and pretty much everyone else rightly said forget it. The voters have twice affirmed the term limits for city politicians. You may not like it, but too bad. This issue is settled.

Now Bloomberg wants to give himself a third term because of financial crisis. Extraordinary circumstances. Really? So 9/11 wasn't that big a deal then?

It's common knowledge that once you've been Mayor of New York, there is pretty much no place else to go. In the senate you'd have to compromise too much. Governor of New York is kind of a demotion. You could always try running for President, but your best shot is probably writing film reviews for a neighborhood paper.

In any event, I don't need any more of Bloomberg's volunteerism. If I had the kind of money he has, I'd buy a fucking island and teach myself to fish. It smacks of desperation that he needs to be Mayor so bad that he's willing to do an end run around democracy to stay in power.

No thanks.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More on the Times Style section expose on Men and Cats

Today Slate has a fairly nice evisceration of the Men and Cats piece in the Times Styles section.

NYFA elevator skills

Okay, so the kids down at the New York Film Academy on the 2nd floor of the building where I work have elevator issues. First off, why ever take an elevator to or from the 2nd floor unless you have lots of stuff or are on crutches? Really, will it kill you walk up or down a flight of stairs and not tie up the elevator? Or will it just impinge on your self-defining sense of entitlement?

Also, it is not necessary to ask the people in the elevator whether it is going up or down every time it stops at your floor. You see there are these little arrows by the door that light up to tell you where the elevator is headed. Isn't that neat? You don't even have to know how to read.

And it's not just the bubble-headed students who apparently don't know how elevators work. Today two "professors" or whatever they call them there got in and were so surprised to see we were headed to the 11th floor.

I know there are no GPA requirements, letter grades or standard academics at this, um, school, but can't they just offer a Remedial Life Skills 101 unit or something as a favor to the rest of us?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Men and Cats

Fans of this blog know that it started as pastime/chronicle of my summer off, then turned into a kitten blog about my beloved Dusty, and now it's just a bunch of random rants and political stuff.

Well, the NY Times has a piece about Men and Cats, and how there is a growing movement of men who ARE DEFINITELY NOT GAY who are obsessed with their cats. There's lots of Styles section pablum including quotes from professional upper middle class Manhattan women about how great cat-owning men that they've dated are, as well professional upper middle class Manhattan men with cats talking about how secure they are with their sexuality, and so on.

And of course there is now an obligatory blog about Men and Cats, Men and Cats.

Does every aspect of life need a blog? I guess so.

No I don't need a receipt, thanks

Okay, at what point did it become mandatory to get a receipt for every single thing we buy? Pack of gum? That'll be 65 cents. Thanks and here's your receipt. But why would I need a receipt for this? Am I going to return the gum if it doesn't fit? Will I put this in my "gum and candy" file for next year's taxes? Am I keeping a record this year of all my chewing-related expenses? No. There is no conceivable reason I would need a receipt for a pack of gum, and you really don't need to waste the paper printing it out. Oh I see you are going to print it anyway. Oh and you are putting it under my change so that if I want my goddam 35 cents back I must take the receipt. Shall I be passive-aggressive and leave the receipt here on the counter for you to throw away? Then I would just feel shitty.

Okay, you win. Thanks for the change and the receipt. Now I just want to litter.

Friday, October 3, 2008

More racist Obama opponents

I really want to publicize these incidents of overtly racist Obama opposition we are starting to see around the country. Unlike the relatively mild sexism directed at Hillary during the primary , there are almost daily acts of outright racism occurring as the McCain wackos get more and more desperate. Today we feature a Florida teacher:

A Florida middle school teacher has been suspended for writing a racial comment about Barack Obama on the chalk board at school.Greg Howard is a seventh-grade teacher at Marianna Middle School, about 60 miles west of Tallahassee. Howard reportedly wrote the word "change" as an acronym and wrote a derogatory word with the letter n.The teacher will be transferred to an adult education program. "

Hmm...a derogatory word with the letter n. Way to go Republicans! You're so gonna lose.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

International Male revisited

For those of you not familiar with the now defunct clothing retailer International Male, it was a legendary over the top catalog retailer for men with highly flamboyant taste. At first glance you think, oh these clothes are supergay. Deeper investigation reveals that the aesthetic was way beyond gay, more like an alternate universe of dandyism so extreme that it demanded a gender and sexual identity of its own.

Anyway, I recently stumbled across an old Radar piece where they paid the writer to traipse around New York in International Male duds for a week and write about people's reactions. The results are hilarious (with more pictures):

Adventures of an International Male

Update: "Worst of" pics from the final IM catalog (via Jezebel)

Obama: Muslin?

So this is what the Obama opposition has come to? At least this dipshit in Florida has the guts to put his ignorance on a sign and post it in his front yard. When I hear people say things like, "I'm just not ready to vote for Obama," and "I just don't know him," make no mistake, this is what they are trying to say.

Perhaps worse, though, are the people who say things like, "I'm leaning toward Obama," or "I just haven't heard anything specific," or whatever. For chrissake people, we've had 17 months of non-stop coverage of this friggin election! Should we just have a full four year election cycle, and require every candidate to sit down with you in person and explain their positions?

If only there were some way for people to access information about the candidates in their own homes at their convenience, some sort of communication system where they could do research and interact with other voters and learn about the candidates in depth. Well, we can dream...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Middle class offered one of John McCain's mansions

via Wonkette:

"It’s a 5,000+ square foot estate with nine bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a seven-car garage, an entire extra gourmet chef’s kitchen out by the swimming pools, a 1,750-square-foot guest house, and it’s all on 2.7 gated acres. Remember, you’re middle-class if you make up to $5 million a year, so following the old rule about buying a house — the purchase price should be no more than three times your gross annual income — you can easily afford $12 million. But go ahead and offer $7.5 million, because the real-estate market in Phoenix is wrecked."

New York Film Academy Schwag

I have noticed recently that the kids at the New York Film Academy (whose classy side of the bus ad campaign is pictured above) just love wearing their NYFA t-shirts and bags. Like all the time and everyday at school. When I went to NYU Film School in the late 80s/early 90s, we always thought that the kids who wore the NYU Film threads were douchebags. They were.

University wear has always bothered me anyway. When I see those groups of girls in the airport waiting to board an international flight rocking "MICH U" across the asses of their sweatpants, it makes me cringe. Why would anybody, particularly outside of this country, care which 3rd tier state school you go to? Get a life!

As for the NYFA students, is it not enough that your parents pay $34,000 a year for a no-GPA-requirements, drop in-drop out crap factory, but must you also advertise this fact to the world? I'm glad your parents have money. Really, it will make your life much easier when your aspirations of directing prove to be too much of a hassle. Or maybe mom and dad think you need a six figure cash infusion to become the next Shia LeBouf. Fine, good luck with that. But can you just wear a t-shirt that says something like, "I'm a rich, uneducated asshat who hears Hollywood calling" instead? It would be helpful to those not familiar with your little school/enterprise.