Okay, so "Lockdown," Pretty Much Ruled...

I was gonna be done for the night, but then I decided I'd post this now instead of later. I'll be watching the latest episode of Lost and commenting on it - IN REAL TIME! Feel the technology! Obviously, there will be SPOILERS, so you've been warned.

First off, this episode's written by Damon & Carlton, which means quality. Seriously, these guys love this show. You can hear it in the way they talk about it on the Lost podcast (which, if you're not listening to it, start now or you will have your Obsessive Pop Culture Nerd card revoked and have to watch nothing but Golden Girls reruns on the Oxygen channel).

Okay, Jack's bossiness is getting tiresome, but the head games employed by Mister Henry Gale are brilliant. "I don;t know why you let him talk to you like that." Oh Hery Gale, you sneaky, eyebrow-less serpent.

It's unfortunate that Charlie's character had to take such a retarted turn in "Fire + Water," (man that episode sucked) because I liked him in season 1 and am only now starting to like him again despite the fact he klonked Sun & went all "Darth Charlie Drug."

Okay, Jack's talking to Hurley right now. I love Hurley and the fact that he's one of the only people who calls it as he sees it. There is a little clique, a "loop" especially now that they've got a little ring of conspirators who know about Henry Gale, and it's nice of the producers to recognize that some people (besides "Go BOOM!" Artz) would like ot be one of the "cool kids." Also, I'll just add in that I'm 95% sure that Libby's an infiltrator. I'd go through the reasons why, but just watch her scenes in the first few "Tailies" episodes and see if you don't think so, too.

In the Hatch now. Locke's messing with the speaker. ...And flashback @ the funeral. Nice touch with him forgiving his father who I think it's obvious is the real Sawyer. Poor Locke. He's had some lame moments this season, but I'll admit, he's still probably my favorite character. Kind of reminds me of my dad, but it's probably the hiking boots and brown clothes (C'mon dad, you know it's true). Back to the Hatch. Blast doors shut. Freakin' sweet Indiana Jones slide courtesy of Locke. Now what?

The poker subplot's cool, and a chance to rekindle the Sawyer/Jack spitting contest.

Back to the Hatch - flashback - Locke's checking out with, HOLY SMOKES!, is that Sayid's girlfriend from Iraq? I'll admit that I didn't see the faked death coming, and the tragedy of Locke's undying love for his (fake?) father is really well-done.

Back in the Hatch and I'll be danged if they didn't have me believing, for just a moment, that Henry Gale was who he said he was, no eyebrows and all.

Poker game. Sawyer's getting taken to town by the good doctor. "Should I go and get a ruler?" - great line.

Back in the Hatch - the toolbox is an obviously bad idea. Quick question? Why is Locke in pain when the doors slam on his legs? When he took the shrapnel from Boone's and his catapault-type thing (I know it's not a catapault, but I can't remember the name right now) back in season 1 (when they were trying to get the Hatch door open) he didn't feel anything. Hmmmm? Continuity gaffe, or will Damon and Carlton manage to explain it all in the next Podcast?

Katie Segal's great in these flashbacks, by the way. Also, the toughs, where do they get these guys? Is there a Slimy Character Actors Guild out there?

Poker game and more questions: why's Jack been to Thailand? Where's the tattoo from?

Hatch - Locke's fanaticism for the numbers is great. Did the fact that Henry managed to rattle them back so quickly make anybody else do a double-take?

Poker game - "Jack and Sawyer are finally going to beat each other up." - I wish, it'd make all this macho swaggering end quickly. Sawyer's "Somethin' burnin'" line was funny. Also, on Jack's "When I need the guns, I'll get the guns," line - I'm kind of intrigued that everybody but Jack so far has had to face a major personality flaw. When will his desire to control EVERYTHING, including life and death, be confronted, and how quick will it take until he backslides? We're already seeing Locke slide back into violence and anger, Charlie slide back into (maybe) drugs and Sawyer backslide to his self-loathing rogue routine.

Back to the Hatch and Gale's in the ducts. And...flashback. Sad scene with Locke and his "dad" and his inability to leave him alone. "Then why did you do it?" and...silence. Geez. Just heartbreaking stuff. And both of them, the dad and the lady, just driving off. Man.

Back to the Hatch - the blacklights come on aaaand...let the Internet begin a-buzzing. The map's been dissected in a million other places by people more determined than me, so I'll leave that for you to look up, but I'll admit to a fluttering in my little nerdy heart whan that map flashed up. Here's a pic:

I know that it's sort of in vogue to complain about the questions being drug out, but I'll admit to a certain fondness for that, and I guess I just have enough faith in the producers to believe that they'll follow through - eventually - with the answers. in the end, it's just a TV show, It's just entertainment, and good entertainment at that. Also, nice touch having the reflection on the eyeball, a la Desmond in the hatch and Jack in the first episode (which, by the way, the Ultimate Lost Theory - google it - has a great image of the first shot with what appears to be the black smoke monster - the Cerberus referred to in the map? - reflected in it. Hmmm.

Locke's comment to Henry, "Thank you for not leaving me," is sad, and you just know that Gale's going to have Locke's undying love and support after that - he's now "the one that stayed" and, in this very episode, we've just seen how illogically loyal Locke can be.

Kate and Jack in the jungle, all junior high crush talk. The blinking light...and this is where the episode goes from "really good" to "friggin' kicks." When the travelling three show up alongside the parachuted ration delivery, you just know that Sayid dug up that grave and that things don;t look so good for the ersatz Henry Gale, the eyebrow-free human pincushion and punching bag. Also, I don't buy that Gale had no part in the lockdown ending and his headgames here: "Well, it's your Hatch," are really creepy. Then Sayid, Darth Charlie and Ana Lucia come in with Jack and Kate (now part of the Cool Kid Clique again!) and call him on his fake-ness and you know that he's just about to crap his pants. And the "KHooM." sound and we're left until teh next one.

Well, there it is. Another awesome Lost episode with the patented "Big Red Robot Useless-o-tron 3000 Commentary." Man I just love this show to bits. I'll leave you with another question sparked as I trolled thefuselage.com message boards: The real Henry Gale, the black guy on the I.D., how much you wanna bet that's Rose's brother? Just something to think about.

AIGA Portfolio Review In SLC

Went down to Salt Lake for the AIGA student portfolio review. It was a really great experience. Got some good feedback and an overwhelmingly positive response from the educators and professionals that viewed my work. It was a great dress rehersal for my interview with Brian Peterson this Thursday.

Also got to hear Dana Arnett from VSA Partners (they do phenomenal work, check them out at www.vsapartners.com) speak and he was insightful, inspiring and, well, hilarious.

Here's some pictures:

Getting set up at the Crandall Building, a cool old building that must have been a bank or a jewelry store (there were two huge vault doors at the back of the room) in a previous life.

Me minding the shop.

My table. The modular calendar sitting there was a really big hit. I think I'll submit it in the student art show along with a few other pieces.

End of the night. Tired as heck but still smiling.

This was a great opportunity and an excellent educational experence. It was nice to know that, well, I don't suck. I was talking to one of the reviewers who was complimenting my work and I asked him, point-blank: "So I don't suck?" The conversation went pretty much like this:
"No. This is good work."
"Thank goodness. The worst part about sucking is that you don;t know that you suck."
So, I don't suck. Yay!

My Computer Rocks. Does Yours?

As promised, here's the track listing for My good friend Ryan's CD, "the computer rock." Tried a little experiment and had iTunes do most of the work of song selection and think it turned out pretty dang good. See for yourself:
Spoon - Sister Jack
Cake - Is This Love?
Ryan Adams - Cry On Demand
The Beatles - I Want To Tell You
Neil Young - I Believe In You
Of Montreal - Requiem For O.M.M.2
Chuck Berry - Too Much Monkey Business
Pearl Jam - Faithful
The Weakerthans - (Manifest)
the Hackensaw Boys - Smilin' Must Mean Something
Elliott Smith - Let's Get Lost
Bob Dylan & the Band - I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
The Flaming Lips - Turn It On
M. Ward - Hi-Fi
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
Kenny ROgers & the FIrst Edition - Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)
The Beach Boys - Let Him Run Wild
Nirvana (w/ the Meat Puppets) - Plateau
The Thrills - Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far)
Little RIchard - Jenny Jenny
Ben Folds FIve - Jackson Cannery
Beck - Hell Yes
The White Stripes - Little Ghost

And here's the cover:


I Loathe This Guy

Captain Feathersword, friend of the Wiggles, is my enemy. Seriously, as annoying and, let's be frank folks, fruity as the core Wiggles family is, this guy takes the annoying, fruity cake. I mean, look at him:

Dontcha just want to kick him in the nether-regions? Really really hard? Okay, I'm cooling down now. Sadie got a Wiggles DVD in the mail today and I just remembered how annoying I think this guy is. Carry on.

Aaaaah! The Sweet Stink of Nostalgia

Went to the library with Sadie today to pick up Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, which was being held for me, and saw this beauty of a book as we were walking out.

Well, you know I just had to check it out. I've been glancing through it and let me tell you, the stench of sweat, sand, summer and imaginations running wild is all over in this book. Mmmmm.

Weather's been nice. Went to the park with Sades and ran around for an hour or so. Candace had to work today, but it was fun to have some time, just me and her. I miss her and Candace a lot lately, seems like we're hardly together some days. Oh well, it'll all be over soon, right?

Bottom line: I love that girl and I love being a dad. Also: G.I. Joes rule.


Art Seminar Last Night

Okay, so in order to graduate I have to take this class, Art Seminar, four times. Basically, six times throughout the semester you go and listen to lectures from different people who work in the arts, take notes and that's it. Last night was a ceramicist, Larry Davidson, and I'm sorry to say but he was boooring. It was just killing me. I'm not the type of guy who falls asleep during things, but I swear that last night I wish I was. The guy was going on and on about feldspar, carbon impregnation and silicates - really exciting stuff.

I must admit that ceramics isn't my favorite subject. I admire the heck out of the work produced, and Mr. Davidson's work was especially beautiful, but I have no natural aptitude for it and find that the discussion surrounding it quickly devolves into chemistry talk, which fascinates me not at all. Here's a teapot by Mr. Davidson:

Anyway, so during all of this talk he starts talking about ash glazes and how he gets his ashes from his brother's fireplace. Now in order to fully understand the next part you've got to understand that this guy had a kind of lisp. Anyway, so this guy starts in on ashes and informs us that most people don't properly wash their ash (try saying it with a lisp...), which induced a giggle, but then he began to talk, for roughly three minutes about how he thoroughly washes his ash and the way he washes his ash. Well, I lost it - for a while. It was the kind of laughing reserved for prayers, the kind that only grows as you supress it. I was literally crying and felt like I was going to throw up because I had a bit of a burp caught in my throat as he started in on washing his dirty ash. I was sitting behind a couple of friends who are clowns (not literally) and that only made it worse. Just when I thought I was done, I'd hear one of them start up again and I was launched into another fit of uncontrollable, barely supressed giggling.

Moral of this story: washing yor ash is funny.



Okay, so I got an e-mail from iTunes about the new Flaming Lips Album, At War With the Mystics, telling me that if I pre-order it, I can get a load of bonus tracks. Now I normally don't download music cuz I'm old-school and like poring over the packaging but shoot, I'll be darned if I didn't just pre-order it. I got to download their new single, "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song...(With All Your Power)," and it melted my brains - in a good way. I know it's cool to not like these guys anymore, but I don't care - they rule. Looking forward to it.

Also, I'm gonna make a CD for my good buddy Ryan, who's a bit stressed out about his upcoming move to Denver. I'll post the tracklist and maybe the cover once it's done. Ryan, if yr reading this I love ya. Peaceoutdawg4evah!!!1!


Yeah, Another One...

I always do this. I'll go like a week without posting and then infodump all of a sudden. So I was going to call it a night when "Cuddle Up" comes on my iPod and I'll be danged if I can't help myself from writing a post about just how gorgeous Dennis Wilson's songs are. I really need to track down a copy of his incredibly rare Pacific Ocean Blue LP. I bid on one on ebay, but got outbid @ $25 and that was my limit. Someday.

More Work

Another poster. This one's for the Hysterics, which is basically Comic Frenzy when they're not performing on campus. Quite the cottage industry this has become this last month. It's nice to get paid to design. I could get used to this fo sho.

Was Sick as A Dog

got the flu or something Monday night after I set letterpress type @ the campus. Spent all of yesterday and a good part of today recouperating. Watched the Goonies for like the millionth time and sttill chuckled and got swept up in it. It seems a bit longer near the end than I remember it being, but still, one of my top 20 favorites.

Also watched Walk the Line and loved the blazing hell out of it. Just a sweet, real life love story, the kind that you want to hear. Talked to Bryan about it and he said he thought it was too much about June Carter and not enough about the legend of Johnny Cash, but I don't see how you could talk about one ithout the other. She obviously made him the man he was, the strong, cool sonuva he was, is and eternally will be. She pulled him up and made him be something better than what he was, made him be the legend that was lurking inside him. To try to separate the two would be dishonest and unfair. The film's a beautiful testament to their lovein specific and to the transformative power of love in general, and for that, I admire it.

And as long as we're talking about the transformative power of true love, I love Candace. I'm a lucky man to have found her and for having her stick around. She's one in a million. Love ye, baby.

Perfect Albums, v.2

This is a good one, and an album that took me totally by surprise. Change by the Dismemberment Plan. Picked it up on a whim @ Big B's and was promptly blown away by its sheer awesomeness. They've since broken up, and while former lead singer Travis Morrison's solo album Travistan was good, it doesn't quite reach the heights this album, along with its predecessor, Emergency & I managed to. Their earlier work (speaking primarily of their debut album !) is stereotypical math rock (weird time changes, skronky, angular guitars) and while there are echos of that on this disc, there's a much stronger, emotionally arresting honesty that cuts to your center without managing to snivel all over like an emo band would.

Favorite lyrics (as of right now):
"And it should be as easy as telling a scab from a scar/Well I don’t know." - Come Home


Some More Work

Here's some of my recent work.

A poster I did for Comic Frenzy, a comedy troupe on campus. I like it, though some student felt the need to notify me that it wasn't funny via some grafitti on one of the posters.

Another Comic Frenzy poster, this one for BYU-Idaho's Mother's Week. I was a little scared of this one because I was warned that they might be reall ypicky about this because the Mother's Week show's a big one for them but then it sold out weeks ago, so I was given carte blanche to make this monstrosity. Fun stuff.

Here's another Mother's week poster, this one for Activities Communication, my other job. It's for a mother & son/daughter bake-off. The little "It's On Like Donkey Kong" easter egg wasn't picked up on until after th posters were printed, which makes me very happy.

Another Activities Comm project. I was given the Heritage Week Showcase job with about three days to come up with an interesting concept that could be carried through: a 44" x 45" kiosk poster, a 22" x 45 " half-kiosk poster, an 18" x 22" easel poster, 11" x 17" posters, a web banner, a quarter-sheet flyer, and table tents. Basically, the whole kit & kaboodle. i came up with a quick concept and got cracking. I actually love this project, as did the client. When the project manager brought it to their meeting, it got a standing ovation. Yay.

Here's the kiosk:

The half-kiosk:

The easel:

The 11" x 17":

The web banner:

The flyer:

The table tent:

I liked the idea of taking this simple, iconic image and repeating it with subtle variations rather than just taking the same image, same size, etc. and just repeating it exactly every time.

Perfect Albums, vol. 1

I was thinking about this album this evening as I drove home. Nilsson's probably my favorite vocalist of all time. Seriously. There's something that I find awe-inspiring about his voice - it manages to be warm, sad and funny, all at the same time. It's a shame that his career was so spotty quality-wise because man, he had it, y'know. Luckily, he left behind this album, a perfect example of him at the top of his game.


Netflix Roundup

Watched The Corpse Bride the other night. It was good. It was pretty and moody, but I really could have done withour the singing. I could never get into Nightmare Before Christmas because of that selfsame reason. Still, It's a beautiful film and a remarkable achievement. Character designs were great, too. Made me want to go rewatch Sleepy Hollow.

Is It Just Me...

Or did the last episode of Lost rule? After the semi-suckiness of "Fire + Water," it was nice to have the magnificent goodness of "One of Them," (that guy with no eyebrows is sooooo an Other) and this week's "Maternity Leave." Some cool revelations (Mr. Friendly's not a dirty island bum? Danielle wasn't in on the kidnapping?), good character moments and more questions (Why does Zeke/Mr. Friendly have to dress up? Is there an infection?). Typical Lost episode. I [ triple heart] this show. It hits all my nerd buttons, sometimes simultaneously.

On the Comics Tip

Went to the comic store this last weekend to pick up my pile. Got the following (in the order I read them - I'm a backwards reader - least favorite first, favorite first, delaying gratification and all that...):

X-Factor #4 - Decent issue. Artwork on this series is kind of pissing me off though. Half overly-dramatic Ryan Sook in full-on noir mode, half some other guy with a TOTALLY incongruous style. Still, David's writing is top-notch, which means I most likely won't be dropping this title any time soon. Also, I think the cover's ugly. Del-Otto does nothing for me. Actually, there's one thing I do like about this cover - the midground Jamie's left hand. Seriously, look at the fluidity of that line. Nailed the gesture perfectly. The rest however...meh.

Nextwave #2 - Freakin' kicked. I literally laughed out loud more than once. I mean, it's funny, it's manic and stuff blows up - perfect palate cleanser. One of my favorites as of right...now.

It's like what you wanted G.I. Joe to be - explosions, swearing, violence and cool heroes fighting ridiculous monsters. I mean, check out this solicitation for issue #3:
"ATTENTION SCUM!! It’s a special issue of NEXTWAVE. The characters learn the values of compassion, kindness and 5-megaton nuclear weapons! KABOOOOMM!!!! Forget about compassion and kindness, NEXTWAVE #3 has dirty cops, giant deranged robots, enormous guns and schoolchildren! Pulitzer Prize, HERE WE COME!!!"

Ellis is in rare form. No unnecessary scientific explainations for superpowers, just a hyperactive sugar rush of a comic book with amazing cartooning from my newest hero, Stuart Immonen. Is this guy versatile or what? Hearken back to his Ultimate FF run's minimalistic cartooning, juxtapose that with his moody pseudo-realizm in Superman: Secret Identity and try to not hate the guy for being able to pull off this slick, Saturday Morning cartoon stylizing with such panache. Also, in stark contrast to my earlier X-Factor comment, the covers are just beautiful for this series. #3 looks even better. Andy Warhol lives again!

Something this beautiful cannot live long, I fear.

Gødland #8 - Another one of my favorites. The secret origin of the Gødland universe is laid out in all of is mythological huge-osity. Killer Gods, head transplants and sibling rivalry, all in 32 relatively ad-free pages. Looking back over the last eight issues, I can't think of anything that's been glaringly wrong with this book.

From the weeks prior:
Legion of Super-Heroes #15 - Honestly, I'm REALLY close to dropping this book. It's a solid book, but in the end, it just isn't doing it for me. We'll see. This issue was a fill-in by Stuart Moore and, being a newbie to LoSH, too much of it went so far over my head. I'm guessing they're hinting at Hypertime by trotting out all of these "lost stories" of iterations of the Legion that now no longer "officially" exist, but othe rthan that, I found nothing interesting in this issue. Sorry.

Iron Man: the Inevitable #3 of 6 - Again, Casey's really on a roll with me lately. I'd almost written him off as "Another Well-Regarded Writer Who Just Doesn't Do Anything For Me," (the list also includes Geoff Johns and Jeph Loeb, if you're at all interested) but he's one of my favorites as of now.

X-Statix Presents: Deal Girl #2 - Aaaah, X-Force/X-Statix, how I loved thee. Dr. Strange and Dead Girl storm Heaven to get their army together: Ant-Man, the original Old West Ghost Rider and...[giggle] the Orphan! Yay! As fun as this book is, it really just flames my X-Force/X-Statix nostalgia.now I've got to track down the X-Statix trades.

Almost picked up:
Batman: Year 100 #1 - Paul Pope is my hero, but six bucks for a comic book? Seriously, I'll wait for the trade and save some cash, thank you very much. But I WILL be getting the trade. Oh yes, I will.

Hellboy:Makoma #s 1&2 - Richard Corben drawing Hellboy! So pretty! But, right now, not six bucks of pretty, unfortunately. This one was hard to pass up, but will I be able to say no to the upcoming Duncan Fegredo mini! Tune in here to see!

This Album Is Pretty Dang Good

LCD Soundsystem. Punk rock dance music. What more do you need?

Favorite track as of this minute? Losing My Edge:
"I heard you have a compilation of every good song ever done by anybody. Every great song by the Beach Boys. All the underground hits. All the Modern Lovers tracks. I heard you have a vinyl of every Niagra record on German import. I heard that you have a white label of every seminal Detroit techno hit - 1985, '86, '87. I heard that you have a CD compilation of every good '60s cut and another box set from the '70s."