Posted February 26th, 2012 in Comics, family, art, TV, rant, Culture, entertainment, Arts Commentary, Adventure, movie, insomnia, acting, performance, gay, mulling, Chinese New Year, holiday, theatre, Twitter, Current Events
It’s been a fun week following the adventures of
|Kristyn Burtt as she covers the Oscars and all things related for a second year. Burtt is smart, classy, savvy and a huge(and self proclaimed) Oscar Nerd who is tracking down Oscar stories for Mingle Media TV, StarPulse and other outlets. I first “met” Kristyn when she hosted/created The Web Files and it’s been very cool to see where she’s taken things from there.
But after trying to keep up with her racing around this week (when I wasn’t at the theatre for May The Farce Be With You), today I realized that Oscar Week with Kristyn Burtt is another holiday for me. We all grow up with annual events we are born into. For me, it was Christmas Eve on the couch watching the Bishop’s Wife, staring at the Christmas tree lights in the dark and going outside to count the stars, New Year’s Eve with my aunt and letting her eat all the creamed herring, Easter dresses and orchids, summer swims at “the lake,” birthday pancakes and bowling, first day of school new outfits and notebooks.
But then, I think we develop our own personal calendars as we start to have more control over our schedule and choices and new people and cultures expand our worldview. So my current holiday slate goes something like this:
Advent (month of December) with quiet, contemplative Wednesday nights at church when I can; Christmas Eve with music, Christmas tree lights (although sometimes no tree, one year there was a ladder) and still counting stars; Chinese New Year when I spend two weeks refocusing my art through the animal of the year (this year, Water Dragon*); Opening Day: I’m a Mets fan, I’ve always been one, I love watching baseball; Opening Night: an opening night of any show I’m involved in is a celebration of effort and art and collaborators; Fourth Of July: I am not proud of politicians, but I am proud of this country’s founding principles; Election Day: voting is an important choice to make as a citizen and I am appalled at the low voter turnout for most elections; Thanksgiving: when family can make it and we throw around a football and play videogames and/or Settlers of Catan; Olympics: I enjoy the spectacle, the competition and so many of the sports you don’t often get to see; mood: October: Halloween has morphed into me working on something creepy scary fun for the month and it’s one of my favorite times of year, I’ve always loved the crispness in the air and the wind so often sweeping summer heat into clarity.
It’s a holiday list I’m happy to add Oscar Week with Kristyn Burtt to. Try it yourself, start with part of a day, Oscar Sunday, and follow along on Twitter @KristynBurtt.
What holidays do you actually look forward to celebrating? Share a new one. I miss back to school shopping in September, but I comfort myself with not missing early am classes that much.
Oscar movies: watched The Help tonight. They did not hand out enough Oscar nominations to the cast. So much excellence. Jessica Chastain did a standout job, as well as Allison Janney. And of course, Davis and Spencer. I liked the movie so much more than I expected to.
Hmmm, anything else? Oh yes, how about a #donatediversity day. I’ve decided to encourage people (yes, you) to get their libraries to acquire (or you, yes you, donate them yourselves) copies of Kevin Keller and Hopeless Savages. Too many stories with gay characters assume there’s a fringe element, a necessary weirdness or misery. Yes, there is the essential weirdness of growing up and discovering who you like to look at/be with/talk to, but I think we could stand to see more characters who are stable people with supportive families. There is as wide a range of behaviors and beliefs for gay teens as for straight and I don’t think that ends up being said or represented as much as it needs to. There is too much emphasis on the sex part of identity and picking sides. And too many suicides and graphic descriptions of suicides and gay being used as a political bludgeon for both sides in the current political wrangle.
We are all so much more than that. I get so aggravated when people make it sound like there are separate species based on gender or sexuality or race or culture or religion. Such assumptions undersell and disrespect the full spectrum of experience that makes up any individual.
End rant. Thanks for stopping by. Celebrate your own personal holiday. Make it a fun one. Most of mine seem to tend toward the working sort, but that’s what’s working for me at the moment. It’s always interesting to see how things (and holidays and habits) evolve. Happy Year of The Water Dragon, whether or not you missed the actual Lunar Festival, may it bring you many good things and interesting people.
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Posted February 25th, 2011 in Animation, design, robots, Culture, entertainment, Arts Commentary, movie, acting, performance, Blink Kitty Love, Current Events, t-shirts
From the Blink Kitty Love
Well, you can’t vote and get Mark Wahlberg an Oscar nomination (more on that later). But rather than hit you up with a Shirt O’the Week, we’re going to hit you up for votes for designs we REALLY want to wear that haven’t gotten the appreciation we think they deserve. Because who doesn’t love dragons, robots and girls who kick ass.
Hic sunt dracones, a design by amarillo started at shirt.woot and is now up for voting at Goodjoe. We love the way it…ok, we just love everything about its cool cragginess. This is the country we would rule, given a choice of crowns. Hic sunt us.
And now for the promised robot + girl awesomeness,
|Star Power, now up at shirt.woot in the double take derby. It’s a collaboration between one of the best robot* artists (rglee129) frequenting the site and one of the best just the right amount of sexy, reminds us of our favorite comics artists (kaseyfleming).|
So do us a favor and vote these designs up, if you’ve got an account at either site. Thanks!
And now Wahlberg. We’ve always liked him and we think he was the heart of The Fighter. The three actors from The Fighter with Oscar nominations, well, there should have been four. Wahlberg is the heart of the movie, with one of his better performances. We appreciate movies and actors that are more physical than cerebral and Wahlberg has a quiet, solid presence that allows Bale and Leo to bounce their flashier performances into the Academy’s stratosphere. Amy Adams has never been anything but excellent so she and Wahlberg suit each other well.
*you know about us and robots, right? You have seen our favorite TV show, right?
Enjoy your weekend!
Posted April 20th, 2010 in art, music, entertainment, Arts Commentary, Financial Times reference, mulling
Or at least, I need to go to a concert.
The tangent stream: The Runaways the movie has led to Joan Jett the music mogul and taking a listen at the Blackheart Records artists. Which led to the Girl In a Coma (band name homage to The Smith’s Girlfriend in A Coma) Adventures in Coverland promotional e-mail in my inbox.
Just read an FT article about Right But Wrong, an exhibit of classic album cover art by Storm Thorgenson which also discussed whether or not covers retained any relevance in this day of the digital download. So album covers and their art and purpose have been on my mind. I’ve been considering taking out my camera and doing a series of album art cover shots for imaginary singles. It’s an interesting creative puzzle.
Then I open the Adventures in Coverland (did I mention, I’m also a sucker for a good pun — I could show you the t-shirts) e-mail and discover Blackheart Records is making a game of the 3 Coverland album covers (each album costs $1.99, includes two covers of songs that influenced the band and is also available on vinyl so it’s actually more single than album). Interesting strategy — plus, bonus way to promote the tour. Click through and besides seeing the game set up, you can sample their Coverland covers (see, I told you, punny), including The Beatles “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
So yes, here I am listening to their cover of David Bowie’s “As The World Falls Down” while mulling their contemporary cover interpretation and attempt to capture audience interest visually and interactively, as well as musically.
And I really want an electric guitar, although perhaps first I should pull my acoustic (love at first sight/touch) out of its case and give it a strum. That was always fun; it’s just the thought of taking CLASSES to learn to play that gives me a twitch.
Posted April 8th, 2010 in art, Culture, entertainment, writing, Arts Commentary, Adventure, mulling, Twitter
It’s Spring and time for some new growth. Add to that the reading of Seth Godin’s Linchpin and an upcoming new webcomic (you heard it here first) that will consolidate my position as an expert on crushing your way through the universe and you have the announcement of my new blog: The Crushing Edge.
The Crushing Edge will be a home for a more analytical look at the passions that drive creativity, my ongoing explorations of the intersection of artistic + entrepreneurial instincts and a map for where artists are leading the culture. Join me at The Crushing Edge.
N.B. Fear not, loyal readers, Shakespeare, poetry, movie, TV, randomness and insomnia talk will continue here, same pond time, same pond channel.
Posted March 25th, 2010 in Comedy, family, books, Culture, entertainment, Arts Commentary, Financial Times reference, movie, acting, Shakespeare, web, #merven, Chuck
Fun Periodic Table of Periodic Tables.
David Mamet gives advice to the writers of The Unit. Not a great fan of his plays only because I don’t pay much attention to contemporary American theatre but love his books. I am a fan of his movies — Spanish Prisoner and Redbelt both excellent. He gets great performances out of actors. Reading True and False is one of my favorite prep steps every year before directing whatever Shakespeare’s next on the list (Merchant of Venice/#merven for those new or not paying attention.)
Surely you’ve seen the Scott Pilgrim trailer? Love the style, the energy and the flash though still not sure about Michael Cera. But I’m not the director + so far, score about a dozen points for inventive visual fun. I may have to watch Hot Fuzz (if we ever get Miss Pettigrew into the DVD player for a night of revelation).
Last week’s The Web Files was a great episode with the charismatic creator/star of Chick, which looks like a fun + superheroic web series. I’m looking forward to maybe catching a few episodes next week.
I have decided Chuck is really Cinderella, with Chuck the Prince who’s supposed to rescue Sarah from the evil stepmother CIA. I have also decided Chuck NEEDS Anna back. The Buy More is listing to the side without her and requires a splash of her vinegary tart energy.
Excellent analysis of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho by Nigel Andrews. Is it the atom bomb of cinema, breaking open a new, more terrifying world.
This week’s book is Patti Smith’s Just Kids. It’s simple and sweet. If you’re looking for lurid Mapplethorpe details, it’s not for you. It’s a tale of discovery and art and two people who looked out for each other.
Last week, I tried non fiction, Zadie Smith’s Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays. I got halfway through and tired of literary criticism, although I might give Middlemarch and E.M. Forster a try based on her commentary.
Still no movie reviews, we don’t seem to be a movie household at the moment.
I’m about several weeks behind in everything because my Dad ended up in the hospital ten days ago with cardiac arrythmia. So pay attention to your health, darn it, and no, that is not opening the floor for a political debate.
That should be enough to get you through the weekend, so good night, take care and laugh at something.
Posted February 3rd, 2010 in Culture, entertainment, Arts Commentary, movie, Blink Kitty Love
Yes, we’ve been hibernating. It’s winter, we’re mammals, get over it. We’ve been indoors, keeping warm, with a stack of DVDs and an even bigger stack of cold cuts, french bread, condiments, trimmings and everything you need to make a Dagwood sandwich because, well, he is the master.
And in honor of Kathryn Bigelow’s historic Directors Guild of America win for directing Hurt Locker, we’re going to pick our favorite movies by female directors (the good thing is women directors can’t be covered in 4 or even 5 movies; the bad thing is for big budget productions, it wouldn’t take many more). So congratulations to Kathryn Bigelow, good luck with Oscars and we hope you inspire more women to bring their visions to a screen near us.
Ty mood: feeling fine
Strange Days directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Tammy mood: colorfully exotic
Frida directed by Julie Taymor
Tinker mood: armed, dangerous, darn cute, etc.
D.E.B.S. directed by Angela Robinson
TK mood: known for other things (and still can never just pick one)
Yentl directed by Barbra Streisand
A League Of Their Own directed by Penny Marshall
Posted January 2nd, 2010 in Animation, Comedy, family, art, TV, design, rant, Disney, robots, Culture, entertainment, Lonely Pond Productions, Inc., Arts Commentary, Financial Times reference, Adventure, movie, insomnia, Cary Grant, gay, mulling, Blink Kitty Love, holiday, theatre, Twitter, Shakespeare, Nick, Current Events, Warehouse 13, #merven
Greetings, o most loyal and amazing blog visitors. Happy 2010. I’m going to give you a fairly thorough round up as I would really like to be taking a couple of weeks for some R + R while it’s cold and all my baser instincts are saying, “Stay under the covers, it’s warm.” I am not particularly good at the R + R things so I may be forced to resort to things like read all the Harry Potter books, read all the Sarah Caudwell books, read all the Terry Pratchett Watch themed books, read my MFK Fisher + Elizabeth David, dig out my Raymond Chandler and Peter Cheyney, read through the pile of newspapers, watch all the movies I’ve borrowed from friends (Tristram Shandy, Bubba Ho-Tep, Steam Boy), watch the movies I watch every year and skipped in ‘09 (the original 3 American Pies, Tomb Raider, Bring It On, The Bandwagon, Strictly Ballroom, etc.)
Lunch With Tristram Stuart who feeds people from discarded food to highlight wastage.
Article about really cool jazz pianists CD collections I can’t afford.
The FT’s this year in culture quiz…
Stefan Stern’s suggestions for movies to watch and pick up business tips from this season (for the rest of you who don’t do R + R).
Very cool story about a native Gypsy theatre experiment/troupe in Spain. I am always amazed by the effect theatre can have on both audience and performers.
Umberto Eco’s latest looks to land on a list of fun reads.
Hoping to catch Nine at the local cinema…doesn’t look like Orson Welles and Me or The Station will make an appearance here; bumped Moon to the top of the Netflix queue and may soon give in to the buy Star Trek and/or Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie DVD urge…also on that list, the Cary Grant double feature — The Bachelor and The Bobby Soxer and Walk, Don’t Run, which I just saw on TCM and laughed at the frequently priceless moments.
TV: Zeke and Luther’s I, Skatebot episode looks cool, a bit worried about Wizards vs. Werewolves (Wizards of Waverly Place) — perhaps too soon after Wizards vs. Vampires and what will be left for Max, Wizards vs. really grumpy mythological creatures left out of the Twilight series — not really watching much on Nick at the moment except for late night What I Like About You, Top Gear kicks off a new season soon (Gayle very excited), I still miss Warehouse 13 and I really need to spend more time reading.
Merchant of Venice (#merven) planning not kicking into gear — but it’s early yet. Trying to get an artist for the logo, Gayle’s scheduling shows, I’ve decided to have people audition with their cool electronic gear (cell phones, laptops, etc.) Need to read through the play again; concerned about the Bassiano/Antonio axis –and no, I don’t mean in the gay way, just in the everybody’s always so concerned about Portia and Shylock, but hey without these two, I’ve got two right side wheels on a vehicle that needs two on the left as well.
The Lonely Pond Productions, Inc. annual meeting went in unexpected directions. But Google Wave worked well when the snow prevented travel. I need to put together scripts for a short live action adaptation and a few animations. And mull over movie related issues some more.
And Sarah Hemming’s “Twelfth Night” review left me grumping about people who weight down comedies with misery so I have been considering exactly how tragic the characters of Malvolvio, Sir Andrew, Wile E. Coyote, Elmer Fudd, et al are. And her Rope review makes the show sound like an excellent experience to have in a theatre.
Speaking of Hitchcock, there was a Vanity Fair photospread (thanks @njtam, a fellow Hitchcock fan) of modern stars in classic Hitchcock scenes…the women do better than the men, who seem to suffer from not being Cary Grant or Jimmy Stewart.
My current favorite breakfast is oatmeal with hot apple cider for a drink, my current most likely to be worn shirt is this one (it amuses Gayle) and I heard this amazingly goofy song at one of our favorite restaurants that Google has been no help with finding the title of…the lyrics as we can remember go something like this: “you’re good cause you don’t do things like (or that) you should…you’re cool cause (cuz?) you don’t do things by the book.” Sounded like a guy singing, it was a Spanish-Peruvian restaurant where music usually has spanish lyrics, it was chanty, and if you drop the title/artist in the comments, there will be a reward.
And I think that gets you up to date — and should tide you over for awhile. Wishing you the best of 2010’s. Stay warm.
P.S. Cool toasters…I need one.
Posted November 16th, 2009 in art, design, Culture, entertainment, Arts Commentary, Financial Times reference, theatre, Twitter, photos, Current Events
Peter Aspden on the problem defining cool + if Miles Davis is the solution.
Fashion Bloggers in the front row…Nicola Copping on how bloggers (example @bryanboy) are gaining influence with designers. Fashion Blogs I follow, well @meandmarisa found me on Twitter and I’ve been enjoying their photos and fashion thoughts.
Sarah Hemming talks to set designers about…set design.
Mexican left-wing printmakers took on church, politics + culture. Review of exhibit at British Museum.
Christine Lagarde, French Finance Minster, ranks #1.
Vanessa Friedman on how dressing for the EU President job will be almost as difficult as landing it.
And to end w/ a dinner tomorrow thought: a pumpkin risotto recipe. Also must make single serving apple crisps in these deep, white ramekins we have — feeling inspired by the season and the big nubbly apples sitting in our fruit bowl.
Posted November 10th, 2009 in Comedy, Culture, entertainment, Arts Commentary, Financial Times reference, movie, acting, performance, theatre, Twitter, Shakespeare, web
Do The Chump, yes do The Chump, chump (amusing myself, no offense intended)…my friends @TheWebFiles interviewed Jeremy Redleaf of Odd Job Nation last week so I checked out his show and darn funny. Watched all three episodes and by the time they were doing The Chump at the end, I wanted more.
So, this’ll have to cover you for a bit…TV reviews later. The Big Bang Theory both hits and misses (or should I say fumbles) and has iCarly lost all of its charms in a cloud of mean mischief and shouting. You’ll want to know. Stay tuned.
Posted November 1st, 2009 in art, Culture, entertainment, Arts Commentary, Financial Times reference, movie, acting, gay, theatre, photos
The FT’s* exploring mentoring and how artists learn w/ the sponsorship of Rolex and the two articles so far on participants in the program have been good.
Martin Scorsese talks about how he works, what movies inspire him and how he was treated when he was trying to learn the craft of movies.
Kate Valk describes the interesting and masked approach The Wooster Group takes to theatre as they develop performances.
Peter Aspden has been knocking out excellent columns. This week he talks to Martha Wainwright about interpreting Edith Piaf, Wainwright’s musical family and how she maintains her individual drift.
Several weeks ago (yes, I still have a pile of newspapers I’m working through), Peter Aspden wrote aboutPatti Smith now, and her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe then. I remember seeing “The Perfect Moment” Mapplethorpe exhibit - there was a clarity and an aggression that made them more vivid than any other photos I’d seen to that point. I think that’s when I realized photography could be art.
*Financial Times, my current newspaper of choice.