Goin' Out West

Adam West is an American genius.

Channel 33 used to show doubled-up episodes of Gilligan's Island and the Adam West Batman series. The one-two punch of the comedy stylings of Bob Denver followed by the Overactors Anonymous scene-grabbing of Adam West? I was so there. Needless to say, my bum was parked for two hours every afternoon while I thought about maybe trying to start thinking about starting to do my homework.

Which brings up an interesting sidebar: How did I end up graduating from high school? I don't remember doing anything for those four years. Must have been my good looks and boyish charm that got me through. Or the $20 bills I'd paperclip to my book reports/science projects/geometry homework. Or the fact that I wore nothing but tube tops and hot pants for my entire high-school career and would often be seen "flashing some leg" at my female teachers? Aaaah, who cares, right? I gradgiated. That's what's important.

Back on track now... the old-school Channel 33 holds a special place in my heart (check the love for His Royal Darkness, Count Cool Rider over on Mostly Funny), right next to 103.5 - the Edge, Cafe' Espresso Roma and KUNV when it played music that didn't belong solely in elevators. Ahh, nostalgia. Why do you smell like polyester and old D.I. couches?

Going Out

I am sitting in the basement of the Spori building up on campus right now, (check that timetamp, baby!) waiting for the last page to finally print for my portfolio. I have been here since around 7 this evening working on stuff and right now, I really just want to go home. Boo hoo. Waa waa.

Anyway, it finished printing. I'm going to go mount it, cut it out and go home. I am cranky.

Crybaby Jones


100 Degrees

Okay, so I'll hop on board this whole "100 Things" meme if only so I can get the dang thing out of my head. Seriously, it's creepy how ideas like this spread. It's no wonder these sort things are referred to as "viral," because everybody I've shaken hands with on the internet has passed on their germs.


Here goes:

1. I'm more than a little self-conscious.
2. My default is to assume that people don't like me.
3. I like all kinds of music
4. And when I say "all kinds," I mean just that, not that you caught me off-guard and couldn't think of anything so I just said that. I'm not too hot on hip-hop and really can't stomach contemporary pop-country (sorry folks, but it's some dire stuff), but other than that, I'm game.
5. I have close to 1000 CD's.
6. Most of them are legally obtained.
7. I also have a shelf of vinyl records as well as a couple of shoeboxes full of mixtapes that I've made over the years.
8. I am still madly in love with my wife.
9. I honestly thought I'd never find a girl that complemented me as well as Candace does.
10. I miss her when I'm gone.
11. We're totally co-dependent.
12. It's kind of sick.
13. And sort of sweet.
14. Mostly sweet.
15. I am obsessed with the Beach Boys, Guided By Voices, the Flaming Lips and Talking Heads.
16. I used to try and harness the power of the Force to turn on the light switch when I was five or six.
17. I still try it now and then... just in case.
18. I have been obsessed with Star Wars for most of my life.
19. I was - literally - a card-carrying member of the Star Wars Fan Club before the mediocrity of the prequels leached my passion for that universe dry.

Everything in that previous statement cements my nerd status forever.

20. I love comic books.
21. Mainly the mechanics of sequential storytelling - it's a boundless medium, limited only by the imagination of the storyteller.
22. Okay, so I also like superheroes punching each other.
23. I can name a couple dozen X-Men off of the top of my head.
24. I like samurai movies.
25. And kung-fu movies.
26. I can appreciate a good car chase, fight scene and/or an impressive explosion.
27. I am a loyal friend.
28. I like doing things for people I love.
29. I started drawing in the fourth grade.
30. I am still not a great draftsman, but appreciate the challenge drawing, as well as art, presents me with.
31. I have a knack for writing.
32. For a week or so, I flirted with the idea of switching to an English major and writing for a living, mainly because it comes so naturally.
33. I'm glad I stuck with art.
34. I don't feel particularly macho, like, ever.
35. I love the felling that comes after I've made something out of nothing, which I guess is what art is.
36. I love reading.
37. I try to read at least one book a month.
38. I've always wanted to be a husband and father.
39. I love being a dad.
40. Especially a girl dad.
41. I think My Little Ponies are so well-designed.
42. There's not a bad angle on them - they're beautiful from any point.
43. I like modern art.
44. Meaning: Picasso, Duchamp, Warhol, Rothko, Modigliani, Rauschenberg, Pollack and Hopper, to name a few. Standing in front of a Pollack is a pretty heavy experience. It's like the painting is eating you.
45. I love bookstores, music stores and comic book stores, though that last one depends on the store.
46. I am proud to be a Mormon.
47. I like the idea of trying to be better every day.
48. I have done stupid things in my life.
49. I am a registered Democrat.
50. I don't think that being Mormon and being a Democrat are mutually exclusive.
51. I believe in helping others, being responsible for your actions, and in compromise.
52. I think other people have valid points.
53. I get worked up over nothing.
54. I have written - again, literally - hundreds of poems from the age of 15 until around 23 when I just stopped with no desire to write any more.
55. Some of them are actually not half bad. Some of them are quite bad.
56. I was in a band called the Asthmatics.
57. As long as we're being honest, I was also in a band called, well, Sexual Tobacco (and my Accidental Pervert Traffic is on the rise!).
58. We played in our high-school battle of the bands but lost to Plane Grey, which featured Mark Stoermer who's now in the Killers.

We were totally better.

59. I really like Jack Kerouac, Kurt Vonnegut and Thomas Pynchon's The Crying Of Lot 49.
60. I married an artist.
61. Which is rad.
62. I am afraid of snakes, the dentist and old people. Seriously.
63. Retirement homes make me very nervous. Like "I have to get out of this place before I start screaming uncontrollably," nervous.
64. I was voted "Class Clown" of my high school.
65. I don't think I'm particularly funny.
66. I am a little too organized.
67. Bordering on OCD.
68. I love seeing live music.
69. I like clothes.
70. And shoes.
71. Sometimes I worry that I'm just not butch enough.
72. So I go cut a tree down with an axe. Then I shoot it full of holes. Then I blow the tree up. Then I scrath myself and belch a half-dozen times. That usually solves it.
73. #72 is a total lie. I really just mope about it until Candace tells me that it's okay.
74. Which I love her for.
75. For an incredibly white guy, I have an unhealthy love for the music of James Brown. The man was a genius. May he rest in funky peace.
76. I have seen Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure way too many times.
77. I consider The Goonies to be one of the best films ever produced in modern cinema.
78. Top 10 for sure.
79. I know a lot of random things.
80. Like, seriously, it's kind of weird. And that's coming from me.
81. I like office supplies.
82. People often tell me I look like Conan O'Brien, which is, surprisingly, not very flattering.
83. I think Woody Allen is (was?) a genius.
84. If you doubt it, watch Take the Money and Run and then tell me I'm wrong.
85. If it were, or ever is, possible, I would seriously consider living on another planet. How cool would that be?
86. I waited in line at midnight at Tower Records on Maryland and Flamingo for Pearl Jam's second album, Vs.
87. While I liked growing up in Las Vegas and have alot of history/roots/family there, I would be okay never living there again in my life.
88. I think the Simpsons was the funniest show on television from the fourth season through the eighth season.
89. After that, not so much.
90. That show, Friends, freaking annoys me.
91. We haven't had TV reception in our house for a year.
92. I kind of like it.
93. Someday I will have enough time and money to read everything I want to read, listen to everything I want to listen to and sleep as much as I should.
94. I have a hard time going to sleep before midnight.
95. I am not a morning person.
96. My wife has helped me become a better person. I know it sounds cliche', but it's the honest-to-goodness truth.
97. In the end, I just want to be happy.
98. I know that stuff isn't important. But I like having stuff.
99. I'm glad I am who I am and look forward to becoming who I am becoming.
100. I seriously didn't think I'd manage to squeeze 100 out, but here it is, 100 randmom things about me.

So, there you go. I gave into peer pressure and you know what... it felt good.

*Title from the Shout Out Louds' debut album, Howl Howl Gaff Gaff.


Whip It

Let's face facts: grizzly bears are terrifying death machines. Huge, hairy beasts capable of tearing your head clean off your shoulders with just a carefree flick of their wrists. Makes you feel a little less safe to know they're just walking around out there, driving our cabs and mowing our lawns. Maybe even teaching our children in our schools.

Somebody has to stop them.

And that somebody is...

Catch all the thrilling excitement on Alan Thicke: Grizzly Killer. - "When grizzlies go too far, things get Thicke." Wednesday nights on Fox. Be there... or be bear... uh, food. Yeah.


Seymour Stein

You're all winners to me, but some of you are more winners than others. Sorry, them's the facts. Also, there is no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny and I'm pretty sure the Tooth Fairy's fake, too. Also, you were adopted.

Those people who are just a little bit more my favorite are as follows:

*Shon (!)
*Robin (Robin exempted herself, but she'll get something cool)
*Patti (!)
*Bride (!)
*Christina (!)
*Courtnee (!)
*Chanel & ...
*Sarah (!)

If you have one of these - (!) - thingies by your name, it means I need a mailing address for you. If you would e-mail them to me at hello@dylantodd.com, I'll get those out really soon. Probably Monday, but... we'll see. I'm a busy guy. A jetsetter.

Big ups to everybody who participated. If you didn't get a CD, don't freak out, I'll most likely be doing another one of these every couple of months or so. Stop sobbing. It will be all right. Well, maybe it will.

But it probably won't.

Okay, so I feel like I have to apologize to everyone who tuned in to Lost this last week on my recommendation. This week's episode was incredibly weak sauce, indeed. I apologize and feel your pain. Trust me, I feel your pain. Hopefully next week's Hurley-centric episode will set things right. I think this is the one with Cheech Marin guest-starring as Hurley's estranged dad. If nothing else, Cheech will be worth watching. Plus, this is Lost, so maybe by the end of the season this episode could prove to be incredibly important (though I sincerely doubt that. Seriously, just... weak).

As long as I'm talking TV here, is anyone else watching 30 Rock? I've been following it via NBC.com (we don't get TV reception up here in Hicksville, USA, and stopped paying for satellite a year ago) and man, it is really good. I just watched the "Black Tie" episode that guest-starred Isabella Rosellini and Paul Reubens - aka Pee Wee Herman and, well, I peed a little. I think it's finally hit its stride and, hopefully, it will live a long, healthy life and not end up in the "Brilliant But Short-Lived" bin alongside Arrested Development, Andy Richter Controls the Universe or Stella.

But it will die. [sigh]

Man, am I a bummer today or what?

*Title is from Belle & Sebastian's sophomore album, The Boy With the Arab Strap. It's a song about the former head of Sire records who shepherded acts like Talking Heads, the Ramones and the Smiths. The song's sung by guitar player and every-once-in-a-while singer Stevie Jackson (rather than most-of-the-time singer Stuart Murdoch).

There's a great lyric there that says "I heard dinner went well/You liked Chris' jacket/It reminded you of Johnny/Before he went electronic," referring, if I'm not mistaken, to Johnny Rotten who went from anarchic punk band the Sex Pistols to electronic post-punk band Public Image, Limited (aka PiL).

Lucky Day

There is one, I repeat one, CD left. Who wants it?

One more question: Who would in a fight between Sasquatch and Nessie, the Loch Ness monster? The answer will be in the comment section.

*Title from the Tom Waits/William S. Burroughs collaboration, The Black Rider which is as weird as it sounds. Good weird, but still weird.


Perhaps "Vampires" Is A Bit Strong, But...

I am convinced that Pat Sajak is a vampire.

Seriously, dude's gotta be like 95 years old, but he looks like he's 15. What is up with that?! And that glassy look Vanna always has in her eyes? She is totally in his vampiric thrall. And why is Wheel Of Fortune travelling all the time? Did Pat suck SoCal dry? On the run from vampire hunters? Did that hobo you had as a snack after lunch ("I'll have the steak... very rare") at the Palm have a family after all? Somebody got a stake with your name on it, Sajak?

Stock up on garlic, buy some crosses, make up a batch of extra-strength holy water and for goodness' sake, don't invite Sajak in! Haven't you seen the Lost Boys? Pat Sajak is going to suck your blood... TONIGHT!

*Title from the Arctic Monkey's hecka-long-titled debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not.


Get A Faceful

So far, we've got the following winners of the Mixtape mix CDs:

*Christina &...

Which leaves (say it with me now, and cheer up, Charlie...) three golden tickets floating out there (four if Robin has exempted herself... have you, Robin?) in the ether that is the internets. Ryan/Chanel? Jesse? Chris? You know you want one. Just comment. Everybody else is doing it. Just once won't hurt. And after that, we can jump off a bridge together. It'll be fun.

So, my time has been spent lately getting ready for, and trying to set up, job interviews. See, no sooner had I changed the description text in my header to say "Are You Ready To Rock, Cleveland?" that Cleveland answered me. The answer, apparently, is a resounding "yes."

I'll be flying out to interview with Twist Creative, who I applied with ages ago (It was my first application). They do really cool work and it would be great to work there. Right now I'm trying to set up a couple more appointments there to hopefully justify the cost of travelling, as well as getting my portfolio reprinted, getting some leave-behinds put together, getting some resume' holders ready (hopefully to mail out to the places I'll be interviewing with to get them a little excited about seeing me... just a cool little extra type of thing) and building a portfolio case. Yeah, I've got a lot to do.

I started screen-printing the other night and... it went pretty well. My first screen - the one with the finger - wasn't the most attractive thing, but it worked well enough. My second screen - with "HELLO" on it - was a lot cleaner and turned out a lot better. I just have to screen the front of the leave-behind covers and I'll be done screening.

Anyway, so that's my life right now. Sorry it's not funnier, though if it's funny you want, just head over here. Ryan's post from the other day is funny and my response is, hopefully, funny as well. We start off with a mentally-impaired Emeril, move on to Charlotte's Web, the Law of Moses, Hell, the pyramids and end up with Count Cool Rider, he of late Saturday nights on the old-school Channel 33 fame.

Until next time, true believers! Excelsior!

*Title from Robert Pollard's Normal Happiness.


Prove My Love

Okay, so I'm going to try and buy your love. See, I made a little something for those of you who are regular readers. Including you lurkers. Yes, you. Did you think I couldn't see you hiding behind that shrubbery? Puh-lease. I got like superpowers and stuff.

I have 10 prizes that will go to the first 10 people to comment on any - I repeat any - posts starting... well, once this is posted. Just 10. Any post. The first 10 comments. Are we clear? Because if we're not, you probably should go see a doctor or something. Maybe that fall the other day messed up something in your brains?

Anyway, so here's the rules for getting one of these magic things that I'm giving away:

1. One per household. Don't try abusing the system Adamseseses. I know how you people operate. I am, as we say on the streets, "on to you."

2. If you're not set up through Blogger and decide to post anonymously, make sure to include who you are. I may have x-ray vision, lasers in my fingertips and control over the weather, but I am not, unfortunately, psychic. If you want your swag, you must introduce yourself.

3. If I find these prizes posted on Ebay, we will throw down. And it will be epic. And you will lose. I will explode you. Somewhere over Tokyo. It will not be pretty. These laser fingertips aren't for cuddling. They're for blasting. It's what they do. They blast.

4. The prizes will go to the first 10 people who comment. I'm pulling a "Tickle-Me Elmo" here and intentionally making these things scarce. I only have that many - again, for those of you in the slow class, this many [I am holding up all my fingers... just play along] 10, "X" for you Romans out there - so you can duke it out. To whomever makes comment #11, I'm sorry, but them's the rules. Better luck next time. Suck it up and walk it off and all that stuff they say in sports.

5. Uh, I guess that's it.

So, now that we've got the rules down, let's tell you what you're playing for, shall we? I can only play coy for so long. The cool thing you'll be getting for your precious little comments is this:

It's a mixtape. Well, a mix-CD but that doesn't sound as cool. 23 tracks, lovingly sequenced and culled from the worlds-famous Dylan Todd Massive Music Archive Project Initiative Thingy Project... Initiative. Each cover is hand -stitched, -titled and individually numbered for maximum collectibility. The special ingredient used is love. It's embedded in every zero and one by nanobots. That's tiny robots for those of you that aren't nerds. Tiny robots full of love. And wires. But mostly love.

It's a little thing I do for people I like - I make them mixtapes. And I like you. But only if you comment. But seriously, you'll want to comment. I make some good mixtape. My skills are legend.

So, there you go, my bid for buying your comment love. I'll post the winners when the CDs are all gone. Good luck. Let's keep it clean folks. No hitting below the belt or eye-gouging. Okay, some hitting below the belt. And maybe a teensy bit of eye-gouging. But only if it's funny.

Without further ado: Let the game begin... [I'm making that drumroll sound with my mouth and yeah, it does sort of sound like a helicopter, but I'm an artist not that guy from Police Academy that can make all those noises with his mouth, so get off my back, okay?]... NOW!

Oh, and sorry Candace, but you're exempt from this one. It wouldn't be fair, beings as we're all like romantic and whatnot. Sorry.

Let's Get Lost

Okay, so for those of you who aren't watching Lost because it's, well, a little complex (Caitlin...), now you have no reason no to.

"Why is that, Dylan?" you may ask. Well, I'll tell you. ABC ran a catch-up epidosde titled, "the Lost Survival Guide," where the show's producers, Damon & Carlton (we're on a first-name basis. Well, technically we're on a first syllable basis, but I figured you wouldn't understand if I referred to them as "Day," and "Car." We're tight like dat...) basically do a fairly good summation of the first two seasons as well as the beginning of season 3. They hit on all the major characters, sum up important mythology points and lay out the overall idea of the show. It's a really good crash course of the world of Lost.

So, to get caught up so you can be awesome - and so you can be prepared for this week's episode, "Stranger In A Strange Land," -
1) just head here,
2) cycle around until you see Lost,
3) click it and
4) select "the Lost Survival Guide," and
5) watch it.

Easy, right? You can also watch the last 2 episodes (which rocked, by the way) "Not In Portland," and "Flashes Before Your Eyes," from there as well, as they're not recapped in the "Survival Guide," though they were pretty rad.

And now you have no excuse for not being awesome.

* I would add that while this is good solution if you're wanting to just jump into Lost - which I am totally down with - it's much more rewarding to watch the series from the beginning. If you're planning on going back and watching it from the beginning, just know that some stuff will be a little - not a lot, but a little - spoiled for you. But it's okay because it's still teh awesome. Also, yes, I am totally in love with this show. It owns me.

** Title from Elliott Smith's posthumous and uneven final release, From A Basement On the Hill.


Get Back

So, my eMusic downloads refreshed on birthday eve and I hadn't posted about what I got this month yet, so here it is.

The Hackensaw Boys - Get Some

First off, this album brings to light a little-known fact about me: I am in love with bluegrass music. Well, at least when it's played as rockingly as these boys play it. I've tried to find similar bluegrass bands, i.e. ones that don't sound bo-ring and academic, ones that rock, but the only other band that's on par with the Boys would have to be the Old Crow Medicine Show,* whose Big Iron World I downloaded last month (And it's good. Maybe better than their debut, O.C.M.S. Tough call cuz it's a solid album. I mean, how can you hate on a band that has lyrics like "If you don't believe that cocaine's good/Ask Karl Rove or Elijah Wood"? - from their reworking of the traditional song "Take Whiff On Me," which, by the way, the White Stripes cover on their excellent live DVD, Under Blackpool Lights but this little parenthetical aside has really gone on too long, so I'll just stop. Okay. Done.).

Out of the two, I prefer the Boys, mainly because O.C.M.S. comes across as guys who have a love for the music, but aren't as tied to it as the Boys are. I mean, the Boys named their tour bus "the Dirty Bird," so they're legit as far as I'm concerned. They're O.C.M.S's smelly little brothers, I guess. We saw the Boys when they played between sets during the 2002 Unlimited Sunshine Tour and, well, I was blown away. I'm not unfamiliar with roots music, as my dad has a love for folk/country-tinged 70's rock (uh, my name's Robert Dylan, as in Bob Dylan fercryeye, and I own the entire Old 97's catalog, everything Ryan Adams has produced either solo or with Whiskeytown - including the sucky stuff like 29, wow, that album's boring - so yeah, I like a particular type of country music, I guess), but to hear this old, rootsy music delivered so forcefully, and with so much joy, well, I haven't been that moved by a type of music since I heard the first Clash album back in the day.

I mean, there they are, something like 8 guys all huddled around a single microphone singing songs about how Nashville broke their hearts and minds while they hammer away at banjos, mandolins, washboards, stand-up basses and the voices the God gave them. How can that not move you?

In fact going back to the Clash connection, bluegrass has a lot in common with punk music: It's immediate, street-level, real (when done right) and developed by lower-/working-class people to vent their frustrations with the world around them - whether it's by dancing as in the case of bluegrass, or well, beating the snot out of each other in the case of punk.

Anyway, is Get Some any good? Well, yeah. Of course. It's the Hackensaw Boys. I'm not going to call it a masterpiece (that would, however, be applicable to Keep It Simple, their 2002 release), but it's solid, dirty, rocking bluegrass that is guaranteed to put some pep in yr step and some pride in yr stride. And that's a fact.

A.C. Newman - The Slow Wonder

Let's be honest, this is, ostensibly another New Pornographers album. I mean, Neko Case is even all over the backing vocal tracks, and that's never a bad thing (Girl. Can. Sing. For. Reals.). In fact, I wish I'd heard it before I heard the last one from the N.P. - Twin Cinema. I probably would have been a little more immediately smitten by it rather than having to try really hard to look past the saggy bits for the throbbing muscle that lies beneath Cinema.

I guess a lot of why this album and Cinema don't click with me immediately has a lot to do with precedent. If you're going to produce two albums of mind-blowing, solid, unrelenting pop music (Mass Romantic and Electric Version), don't give me an album that's only half-full of aforementioned pop and expect me to warm to it stat.

That said, Wonder is a perfectly good album. Not my favorite album ever, but there's a lot of really good songs in here - "the Town Halo," "Miracle Drug," "On the Table," are all really good, and that's just off the top of my head. In any case, it's worth the listen whether or not you're a fan of Newman's other, more famous band.

Also, I should note that I think the cover is pretty cool.

M. Ward - The Transfiguration of Vincent

I've already gushed about M. Ward. He's just an amazing musician and if you haven't checked him out yet, well, you're a dirty, filthy Commie and you are hereby cut off. No more funny for you. Now come on, We're through. Close your browser and go sit in a corner somewhere and think about what you've done. No sobbing. This is your choice. It's hurting me more than it's hurting you. I like pie.

Just kidding. We're still homies.

But seriously, check him out if you haven't. This is the predecessor to his lauded (and rightly so) Transistor Radio, which was one of my favorite albums of recent years. It's a lot more polished and sure than his debut, The End Of Amnesia and even includes one of Ward's trademarked covers: a spooky rendition of David Bowie's "Let's Dance."

I am totally M. Ward's street team. Dude rules. Nuff said.

Anyway, so that's that. Three cheers for new music. If anybody out there wants a free eMusic trial, e-mail me and I will hook you up. Because I'm a homie like that. Ans because it's a cool service. And because I get free downloads if you sign up. Sorry, I know I have a problem, but... enable me.

Edit: When I was talking about good roots/bluegrass music, I forgot to mention the indomitable Langhorne Slim. I just put on his When the Sun's Gone Down album and it's some rollicking good stuff. Plus, dude's got a great name.


Letter Never Sent, Vol. 3

An open letter to the old guy whose tapered jeans were altogether too high and too tight:

I could totally see the outline of your junk. That's gross. Seriously, it looked like the album cover for Sticky Fingers by the Rolling Stones. Nasty. That strangling feeling you experience whenever you wedge yourselves into those stonewashed relics is your boys being crushed. Just break down and buy some jeans that were made some time in the last decade or so. The universe, your boys and I (especially I) thank you mightily.


P.S.: Chuck Norris, you are hereby exempt from this open letter. Keep on karate kicking drug dealers in them tight-old Wranglers. It's just too hilarious for you to stop. The universe desires, nay, demands you keep on kicking in them tightie-bluies. That is all.

Letter Never Sent, Vol. 2

An open letter to the girl I helped in the fitting rooms who kept caling me, "Sir":

What is this, the Army? Calling me "sir," is really unnecessary. "Your Majesty," will do just fine, or just "Milord," if you're into the whole brevity thing.


Letter Never Sent, Vol. 1

An open letter to the guy in the Chevy Tahoe with his hat on backwards and the Oakleys who couldn't just park his car and let his lady walk from there and instead made me wait behind him for his lady to get out and walk into Target:

Seriously, you parked like, 15 feet away. I promise, the exercise isn't going to kill her. In fact, given the size of her caboose, it would probably be a good thing.


P.S.: Also, hat on backwards? Really? Did you not get the memo that that's kind of stupid?


No One Knows I'm Gone

Okay, so I took my buddy, Batzorig Chimeddorj, to the Idaho Falls airport so he could pick up a rental car and head off to Denver to look for work. Bat's a swell guy and a great designer. Check out his website. See? Dude's got wicked Art Fu.

For the last few years, I have almost always had a class with Bat and he has consistently inspired me to try harder, to do better and to be better. He's always been a good friend and a good sounding board, helping turn my so-so ideas into something much better.

And now he's gone.

I'm sure I echo a lot of people's sentiments when I say that this signals the end of some sort of era, as Bat's become a sort of legend; a Mongolian art machine with a big smile and a warm heart.

True story: we were coming back from a portfolio review in Salt Lake. I was sitting next to Bat and we were discussing how we respond to art (he's more intellectually-based, I'm more of a gut-reaction, visceral type of guy) or something like that, and we're sitting behind Kelly Burgener, the Dean of the Art College and Scott Franson, aka, my favorite teacher ever. So it's March and Bro. Burgener's driving. It's getting late. For some reason, Burgener's got the fan running and the air's a bit cool.

It's also hitting me right in my crotch.

I try shutting the vent, but that only creates an annoying whine, so I decide to just take it. So I lean over and sort of whisper to Bat, "Man, this air's blowing right on my crotch." To which Bat responds - and we're sitting directly behind Burgener an Franson, mind you - rather loudly with the query "What is 'crotch?'" Both Franson and Burgener are cracking up at this point as I try to delicately explain to Bat what the word means without upsetting the young girls in the back seat. "Is it your neck?" Bat asks.

"No. Uh, lower."

"Your belly?"

"No. Lower.



And that, my dear readers, is the story of how I taught my Mongolian friend the true maening of the word "crotch." Awkward, but funny.

So, travel well, Bat. You'll be missed. I know you'll do well. Keep in touch and best of luck, gangster. Peace.


Geek USA

Okay, so I keep feeling the need to apologize for this, so here goes: I watched the new Sci-Fi channel Battlestar Galactica miniseries, the one that feeds into the new series...

And I liked it. Like, a lot.

Now don't misunderstand, it's fairly nerdy sci-fi stuff, (cooler than anything Star Trek related, but still...) but I freaking ate it up. With a doggone spoon.

I remember thinking the 80's series was petty boss, with that robotic dog thing that looked sort of like Barkley from Sesame Street reworked buy the guys who built Robocop, but then again, I was in love with shows like the Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider and the Fall Guy, (not to mention the Greatest American Hero, a.k.a.: "That show was awesome!") so I don't know if pre-teen Dylan is a good arbiter of boss-ness. In fact, he wasn't. I'll just settle that here and now.

Basically, this show is Star Wars Lite (the best parts of the classic - starship dogfights - and prequels - political intrigue) with a little bit of Blade Runner/"Second Variety" Phillip K. Dick "What defines someone as 'alive?'" postmodern identity politics thrown in for some complexity. The acting's competent, the writing's slick and the production design is - for a basic cable-produced sci-fi show - pretty impressive.

So, basically, I'm hooked. Season one disc one is next in the queue and well, it's on like Donkey Kong. I'll try not to bore you with any posts about its radness, but, well, I can't promise anything. Now let's go blast some frakkin' Cylons.


(I'll Love You) Till the End Of the World

Happy Valentine's day. Hope you have a good one, but remember that Saint Valentine would want you to keep it safe and sane. I mean, he did chase all the snakes out of Ireland so we could all be safe, right? Of was the Saint Patrick? Which one's the patron saint of chronic back pain? I'm so confused.

Anyway, it's been an awesome day. You can see our cards for each other over at Candace's blog here and here. I don't want to get all mushy here on the internets, but I will say that I loves my lady. She is the bestest that ever was, is and will be.


Spider In the Snow

Question: how awesome was Lost last week?! With the crazy room and the Juliet stuff and the Kate going to shoot the guy in the kneecap and the crazy room and did I mention the crazy room?

Answer: super duper awesome.

*Title from the Dismemberment Plan's Emergency & I.

Let's Dance

So, my birthday was pretty cool. First Candace & I went out Saturday night - a.k.a. Birthday Eve (I always have "Eve's" for whatever holiday it may be, which might be because we always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve around the Todd household) - to the always delicious Pineapple Grill (I refuse to call it by it's proper name "Da Pineapple Grill," sorry, I know that it speaks to its Hawaiina-ness, but it just sounds stupid) and the... well, the grocery store - which makes me feel like an old person - and finished the night off with a sundae at Mill Hollow.

Speaking of sundaes (see how I did that...) Sunday was the Birthday proper. Pretty chill. Went to church, came home, ate some peanut butter and honey sandwiches on this awesome Grandma Sycamore bread, went for a ride to get sis to sleep, took naps ourselves, opened presents, talked to my parents & siblings, grilled some burgers, lit a cake on fire, blew it out, lit it on fire again, blew it out again, ate some of said cake, put sis to sleep, went to the emergency room. All in all, it was a pretty cool day. Well, except for that last one. That sucked.

See, my ears have been sort of jacked for a week or so. I got this cold, I'm assuming from Sadie, and my ears have been sort of muffled for a while now, but last night, my right ear was acting all weird. Thinking it was just (I know it's sort of gross but it's my body, what can I do?) waxy build-up, I had Candace put some Debrox (an ear-wax softener) in there and that's when it started to hurt like a sonuva.

With a pain in my ears that would preclude any sleep, I decided I would get help at the only place open in Rexburg on a Sunday night: the emergency room. Within an hour I was home with a handful of ear-drops and a sample pack of Keflex (an antibiotic) because... (say it with me now) I have an ear infection. Yay! So yeah. My ear killed all night, feeling sort of like someone jabbed a railroad spike in the side of my head and just left it there, leaving me with the advice to "Get some sleep now, birthday boy!" Oh yeah, I also have no insurance, so it should be fun to see what this little birthday present ends up costing us.

So yeah, my birthday was 90% awesome, 10% screaming pain. I got an Amazon gift certificate (the online store, not the ferocious tribe of female hunters) which is, of course, already spent, a handsome shirt (featured in these pictures), a cool book on stencil graffiti and this sweet bracelet:


Anyway, thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday. You're a bunch of swell folks. I can't believe the big Three-Oh is here. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go put a bunch of medicinal crap in my ear and fumble around the house half-deaf. Seriously, I feel like Brian Wilson. Only, you know, not a genius. Peace.

*The title's from the spooky M. Ward version of the David Bowie song, found on his second album the Transfiguration of Vincent which I just downloaded from eMusic. And which is also pretty dang good.


The Door To This House Remains Open

(or) The "Thingie" Thing

As you get older, you start to look back on stuff you did in your younger years and say, "what the heck was I thinking?" For example, one time, when I was in second grade, I drew a, well, a "thingie," (pronounced: "a weenie") on an illustration of a dinosaur on some hand-out they gave us in the library. I remember thinking it was hilarious and the kid next to me thought so too. This was in Utah, too by the way. Lehi, Utah. I got caught and kind of got in a lot of trouble. I can only imagine how horrified my poor parents were, which sort of adds to the funniness of the story in retrospect. Such was the beginning of me doing stupid stuff for laughs.

I'd like to say I outgrew this sort of stuff, but well... you all know me. "StudipStuffForLaughs," has become my other middle name. Besides, you know, Dylan. It's sort of become my schtick, if you will.

I'm turning 30 (30? Really? Already? Weird.) tomorrow and I still sort of think that the whole "thingie" thing is kind of funny. Candace & I went out on a date tonight (it was fun, by the way) and, somehow I brought this up and we were both laughing pretty hard about it. Is that wrong? Should I not find this funny any more?

Because I still kind of do.

So there it is: I'm 30 years old and I still think dinosaur genitals are sort of humorous.


Carnival Kids

How awesome would it be to name your son Kungfu Grip? Think of how cool it would beon the first day of school, when they're calling out names to hear, "Kungfu Grip Todd?" Wouldn't you be so excited to raise your hand and say, "Here, sucka?" That'd be super boss.

My name was always mangled in elementary school (in my entire public school carreer there was never another Dylan, I think in high school there may have been a Dillon, but I always got pronounced "Die-Lann." [sigh] Now I can't go to the grocery store without some mom around my age yelling at some snot-nosed, faux-hawked brat: "Dylan, put that down! Right now, mister!" Kids these days.) Anyway, what do you think? Kungfu Grip Todd? It's awesome, right? Right?!


Selfless, Cold & Composed

I bought this yesterday:

I don't know what it is about Paul Pope's art that grips me, but it does. It's messy and heavy and sort of ugly and I could look at it all day. Plus, Villarubia's colors are seriously impressive. I flipped through it at Barnes & Noble and knew that it was too cool and too beautiful to leave there. I knew it would be coming home with me. Batman as anti-fascist freedom fighter in a dystopian future with ultra-rad Pope mechs? I'm so there.

I don't know if it ranks up there with the Dark Knight Returns or Year One, but I think it's one of the better Batman stories I've read. Pope's Batman is Batman as I've always imagined him: tough, resourceful and grubby. He's dressed in repurposed gear and gets banged up repeatedly. His sleeves are too short and you can see his wrists between the end of the sleeves and the top of his gloves. His utility belt is, well, utilitarian and not a catch-all full of deus ex machina superspy gear. He's a fast, tough man in a creepy mask trying to scare the bejeepers out of the bad guys. He's the Batman.

Dead Melodies

From Beck's Mutations album. I prefer "weird Beck" to "folky Beck," but this album's quite good. It's a little dull at times, but the highs outnumber the lows, unlike the more applaudded, but ultimately more dull, Sea Change album. And neither of them add up to the one-two explosion that is Midnight Vultures and the Information.

So, I finished my second and, for this project, final screen. No photo. Sorry. It looks a lot better than my first one, that is fo sho. I didn't realize on my first screen that I was supposed to put emulsion on the bottom and top of the screen. Oops.

I'm hoping to get over to the school and purchase some bookboard and bookcloth so I can get started printing these babies. Probably tomorrow. After work. I'm excited to get started on this. I have everything ready, just have to mix the ink and I'll be ready to print.

Also, new Lost is tonight. One of these days I'll work up my theory and post it here. Because that's what the internet was invented for: nerds who feel the unnecessary need to share their opinions with everybody. Peace.


Green Arrow

Indie Rock Fun Fact: Did you know that the Shins' leader, James Mercer, lives in a house that was previously inhabited by none other than the late great, and I do mean great, Elliot Smith? And Mercer didn't figure it out until after he'd moved in? Weird. Well, now you know.

Skin Parade

First off, I'm trying something new with the titles of my posts - I'll be randomly selecting a song from iTunes and making the title of that song the title of my post. Reduce, reuse, recycle. That's my motto. Well, that and "Do A Good Turn Daily," and "Who's Got the Cookies?!"

Anyway, so today's title comes from a Guided By Voices album, Universal Truths and Cycles, which marked their return to big indie label Matador after trying to break into the big time over at TVT with their previous two albums: Do the Collapse and Isolation Drills. For what they are, both of those are decent rock albums the latter being my favorite of the two despite containing the most personal songs in the GBV canon (just give a listen to "the Brides Have Hit Glass" to see what a 40-something Midwestern rock god sounds like when he's in the midst of a divorce).

That said, Universal Truths and Cycles is a passable GBV album, ranking somewhere near the bottom of the list. There are a couple of truly excellent songs on here, "Cheyenne," and "Everywhere With Helicopter," are the type of anthemic rock songs that Robert Pollard can, and given the sheer mass of the man's catalog, apparently does write in his sleep. But the album as a whole sounds weak, and a little tired. Sort of defeated, maybe. The follow-up, "Earthquake Glue is a step in the right direction, but nothing substantial when held up to earlier classics like Propeller, Mag, Earwhig! or Under the Bushes, Under the Stars let alone the career-defining and wholeheartedly recommended Bee Thousand.

So, anyway, this is what I've been up to the last day or two:

This is my first prepared screen for printing. I'm using it to print on the back of 10" by 13" envelopes that will include my resume and some work samples. The finger will be printed on the back and slightly overlap the flap. I'm excited to print it tonight after the touch-ups I just put on there are dry. It's been a cool learning experience and, hopefully, it'll print. The next one will be a lot better, fo sho. Cross yr fingers. I'll have photos up when I get some packets put together, so you can get the full effect. In the mean time, I'll tease you with this because I'm tricky like that. I'm really hoping that this will "wow" possible employers into taking a chance on this young, studly recent grad. We shall see.

Anyway, I've got to go get the oil changed in the car and then it's off to work. Raise the roof.


Justin ¡@#$%^&*! Timberlake

We finally got our issue of Entertainment Weekly after being without for the last month or so and whose mug is gracing this week's issue? Justin ¡@#$%^&*! Timberlake, that's who. Does he bother anyone else? Because he bothers me. A lot. Seriously, what can this guy possibly have to say that I want to hear? Why should I take him and his ex-Mouseketeer @$$ seriously at all? Am I really supposed to believe that this guy is anything approximating a human being at all? It's like he's a Martian, he's so removed from reality. And not a cool Martian, a lame one. A lame one that used to be in a ridiculous boy band and was once a Mouseketeer but is now a "serious R&B singer." Seriously, I skimmed the article and he's all huffy because people always refer to his music as "pop music." Seriously? You're Justin Timberlake, not James Brown or Al Green or even freaking Cameo. Talk about delusions of grandeur. You are lame and you'll be lucky if 10 years from now you're anything but a question on Trivial Pursuit: the Lame Edition.

And now he's an actor, too, so I'll get to see more of him promoting stuff I could care less about. Yay me. Here is an open letter to the Justified One:

Dear Justin Timberlake,
Please go away. You are annoying.

Thank You,

Seriously, if anyone can forward this to JT, that'd be great. And ask for an autograph while you're at it.


Dinosaurs Would So Eat Us If The Terrifying Things Were Still Alive Today

So I haven't posted in a while. Well, I've posted, but not posted posted. You know what I mean. Anyway, there are some reasons why this is. Mainly because there's nothing really going on that is in any way post-worthy. Also, I just thought it would be funny to post old pictures of weird looking guys saying funny things. And also that awesome Fatlip video.

So lately I've been spending my time looking for a job with approximately... zero results. I've been rethinking my strategy and have come up with a better way, I think, to go about looking for a job. I'll post more on it when it's more complete, but I think it will definitely get better results than what I've been doing, which is basically sending things electronically. You know, resume's and samples. It's a lot easier to delete an email than it is to throw out a cool resume/work sample packet you got in the mail, and a lot less impressive to view something on a computer screen at 72 dpi than it is to hold something in your hand.

Which got me thinking. As much as I love the internet and technology - and trust me folks, I love the internet and technology but not as much as you you see... always and forever, always and forever... - it's no substitute for the concreteness of holding something and being able to manipulate and interact with it physically rather than through the interface of a computer. Which is why I've always been a lot more drawn to print work than motion or interactive, as impressive as that stuff is. I'm far too tactile to spend hours working on something that isn't, at least as far as my 2007 narrow definition is concerned, "real." That is, something I can't touch. Like Woody Allen said, I don't like anything I can't reason with or fondle.

There's a lot of talk about society becoming paperless, and while I think there are definitely things that can benefit from the translation to a digital form (newspapers, namely), but some things, like books or magazines or posters, just need to be hefted or touched in order to really work. There's something missing when I browse a magazine's website or try to read anything of any great length on a computer screen (Like this post, for example). The smell of the paper, its texture and sound. These things can't, and shouldn't, be replicated in digital form. To do so would be to cut off an important piece of the experience, a part that is intricately linked.

Call me old school, but I still miss CD packaging now that most of my music comes through the internet. Shoot, I still miss LP's. Are we throwing things away that still work? Or is this just the sound of nostalgia creeping in as the world moves on? Will I be caught huddling in a corner with all my obsolete junk when the technological revolution goes marching by or will I be there, marching along into the future? Can't I have both? Please? Can I march with at least some of my junk?

Also, dinosaurs are freaky scary. Can you imagine seeing one? I can imagine there were a lot of messy cavemen undies when our sloped-foreheaded progenitors were confronted by one of those shocking creatures. Even the small ones would be enough to do me in. They were chicken-sized. Can you imagine being attacked by a chicken? With teeth? How about a tyrannosaurus? 40 feet of pure flipping-my-wig terror. When you're roughly the same size as something's teeth, it doesn't exactly inspire anything but dread. And a gigantosaurus? A GIGANTOsaurus?! I don't even know what that is exactly, but it doesn't sound too promising.

Anyway, I'm out. 8:30 church comes pretty early. Especially if you've been having nightmares about being attacked by dinosaurs all night. Which I will be. Peace.



That blew up pretty good.