Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Criterion Contraption - click on title

There is an excellent new blog by a guy called Matthew Dessen. He's reviewing all the films in the Criterion Collection, which is quite a feat. The Criterion Collection is a great list if you're wanting to see old, classic, or just great flicks. Way better than the AFI top 100, which is actually quite embarrassing for what they include AND for what they leave out.

And he's a great and astute reviewer - he's seen so many things in Rushmore I will have to watch it yet again... sigh... And it's probably the only review so far that includes a mention of David Foster Wallace - check it out:

"When you get past the extraneous bullshit surrounding Anderson's films, the crux of disagreements about him reminds me of disagreements over David Foster Wallace (or Dave Eggers, or Thomas Pynchon, or even Vladimir Nabokov). It comes down to this: Are Anderson's stylistic tricks and distracting plot elements smoke and mirrors, or do they bring something unique to the stories he's telling?1 In the case of Rushmore, I think the answer has to be the latter."

And if you're a Rushmore fan, he's right - the DVD extras are some of the best I've ever seen, and include Wes' versions of Armageddon, The Truman Show, and Out of Sight performed on the 1999 MTV Movie Awards featuring the "Rushmore Players" directed by Max Fisher - seriously the funniest satire I have ever seen, or else the only satire involving Max Fisher.

And grant me one final note about Rushmore - I just watched it again the other night with a Rushmore virgin - is the Albert Markovski character in I Heart Huckabees not Max Fisher at 21? I'm not saying that Jason Schwartzman cannot play more than one character - I'm saying that it's an inside joke and that Max is now having a major bout with existential angst - just the next step in his 'coming of age' drama. Check out this pic:

You rock, rock.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Back to Work

Well, despite my best efforts to stay home and play with mosaics, I got a contract job. Not a bad one though - get to work from home, choose my hours, and it's writing and graphics. What's weird is that the content is very similar to all the content I worked on while at the Supreme Court, so it should be pretty easy.

Started a day sooner than I expected so I didn't get to have a last freedom day. Oh well, in seven weeks I can have a freedom day...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New stuff

Vivian commissioned a piece to be fashioned from her broken raku pot...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

5 Reasons to Blog

Tagged by Ken at Fretful Porpentine. It's interesting because a couple weeks ago I had someone tell me how to increase my blog traffic, because that is what one wants to do with a blog. Actually, my blog is just for people I know, although I include those I "know" from various online communities. I find it amusing that people make assumptions about a new medium, especially one so wide open (read, free), that few precedents have been set for its various usages. Like usual, their suggestions tell me more about them than about me. Sure, people make money off their blogs, but probably at the same rate that they would win in Vegas.

So here goes 5 Reasons to Blog.

1. Boredom at work - I started the blog when I wasn't doing enough creatively at work (past job). Whatever writing was required tended to be tedious and style-guided to death. This kills creativity; hence, writing with no parameters about whatever one wants seemed to be a wonderful new kind of freedom.

2. Insomnia - One of the best features about this kind of posting is that you can put fictional time on it. I mean, the time is real, but perhaps not accurate. So I may be writing at 2, or 4, or the middle of the day. You just don't know. When I send out emails in the middle of the night, people don't read the content, they just go "were you really up then?" Why insomnia? See Reason No. 1.

3. New stuff - Rather than send pics out of stuff I'm working on in the studio, I like to post them, so everyone can see the comments. It's a public critique. People are almost always polite, which is disappointing. And sometimes I sell stuff this way, but that is not why I blog. :-)

4. Dial-up - Until recently, 3 of my relatives had dial-up. So yes, 4a Reason to Blog would be to keep in touch with family, most of whom are 2500 miles away, and probably 4b would be dial-up. In fact, my brother, an IT professional, had dial-up until about a year ago. Welcome to the 90s David. And 2 still do, although one seems to be caving. Well, one can't send out a ton of pics of New Stuff - see #3 - when one knows that the receiver's email will just sit and sit waiting for those images to download, and tie up the phone line to boot. I don't know how they stand it. Even typing that sentence made my stomach a bit queasy.

5. Spark conversations - I don't know about you, but I haven't had the longest, most satisfying conversations lately. People are busy, they're working more hours, they want to see films instead of going for meals. Sometimes what I post, especially if it tilts toward a rant, tends to start long, sometimes ongoing conversations with people in real life. This is good.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Photo of the Week - click on title for site

Ryan Malone, The Artist Lies

Click on the photo to see it larger and brighter.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

New stuff

New birdbath

Progress on front porch mural

Friday, March 02, 2007

Cool new site connects "notable" people to other people and topics. It's an interesting way to find out about a topic without going through Google just to see what you get. Here's a blurb from the "about us" page:

The Internet is a reflection of society, constructed by and primarily about people. Using notable people as an anchoring point, Knover mines online articles to extract an algorithmically generated social network of history's most influential, celebrated, and notorious people. Using the Internet as our universe, Knover allows users to understand the undercurrents of society by focusing on these notables and their relationships to other people and topics.

So let's say you want to find out about Anna Nicole Smith. Just kidding. Let's say you have that experience where the same topic keeps popping up all around you, and you feel like an idiot because you never heard of it before but everyone else seems to know what it is. (They're probably faking it, no worries.) Or let's say you're a Republican but your girlfriend forced you to watch An Inconvenient Truth, and now you want to see if other, 'normal' people actually believe this weird shit.

You go to and type in the topic. I'm picking WiFi, because people ask me that a lot - what is WiFi? (Why do they ask me? I have no idea.) Sure, you can look at wikipedia or google for the definition, but to really see how WiFi is influencing the telecommunications infrastructure of the world (and I KNOW you want to know that), type it into Knover. It's very cool.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Zoe on the Ledge

Zoe the cat on the window ledge at Allison's house in Tucson.