Pony Rides!

Does anybody else remember being blown away/creeped out by these Quizno's commercials? Seriously, I thought it was easily the most awesome/disturbing comercial ever mad ein the history of the universe. There was this one:

And this one:

Just... wow. I think I only saw them maybe once before people probably started having seizures due to their overwhelming awesomeness and Quizno's had to pull them, but... wow. This, ladies and gents, is why they invented television. For commercials. Like these.

Today I Had Hummus!

And it was... not bad. It's one of those whose name doesn't exactly inspire an insatiable desire to try it. I mean, "hummus?" It sounds like someone clearing their throat, or a Yiddish curse, or a radical Middle Eastern group, when, in fact, it's just mashed up chick peas that you eat on a pita. Who knew?

Big Red Robot: Uniting the World, One Meal At A Time.


Quick Addendum

I just realized that I sound less than excited about my new job. I'm not. It rules. Like, seriously. I just need to get my feet under me and I'll be doing fab. Just wanted to clear that up.

Where You Been?

Well, I've been driving. And driving. And... driving. And working. And not really sleeping.

I'm all started here at TWIST and well... it's a little overwhelming, to be honest. I have been put on a very high-profile project right off the bat (basically, a portfolio book showcasing the firm's work that will be given to potential clients. You know... no biggie, just a big deciding factor in their potential business.) and feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. I feel sort of like I've been called up to bat in the playoffs after being pulled up from the farm team (the unbeatable Las Vegas Stars, maybe?) and I just can't stop swinging at bad pitches. It'll get better, I know, but it's a lot to process right now.


Still, it's awesome here. The staff's all very friendly and talented and Cleveland's looking better every day. I'll be a lot more happy when my girls are here are we're settled in, but until then, I'm enjoying it as much as I can.

So, my trip out here (2000+ miles, by the way) was a bit boring, but, sort of fun. Well, except for the whole getting pulled over twice within an hour in Wyoming thing, but that's another story (I hate cops! Yay!). The high point was easily kicking it øld-skool in Chicago with the always-awesome Brandt and Christina (big ups, my nizzles). Went into Quimby's, which is a trip, and Rotofugi where I got some rad little toys (I got Sadie this which is the definition of "incredible," and got myself one of these (He's cute, but looks sort of stoned, huh?) to liven up my desk here at work.

Anyway, so I'm going to try and get back into the rhythm of daily posts, but don't hate me if I can't do it, okay? Okay?!

Now if you'll excuse me, there's a crappy EconoLodge room that's calling my name. Until next time, gangstaz.


As My Homie Prince Would Say: Sign O' the Times, Baby

Oh. My. Gosh. Castlerocker has updated.

Does this mean the End is nigh? If so, I totally have to use those video rental coupons before the world ends. Any suggestions on what to rent? And don't say Pirates of the Carribean 2 - that's just not at all funny.

Man, that movie was atrocious. I get downright vehement when I think of how awful that piece of crap was. (I refuse to refer to it as a "film," because that'd be an insult to cinema... and really awful snapshots. And your high school yearbook photo. And the stuff that builds up on your teeth between dentist visits.)

I mean, Pirates 2 was a multi-kajillion dollar production with roughly three million people working on it throughout its execution and you're telling me that at no point someone, anyone, could have laid off the crack pipe long enough to say:

"Wait, this is really dumb. I mean, there's no dramatic structure here. Like at all. It's just a bunch of stupid set pieces held together by increasingly tiring performances by actors who should really be trying harder and ridiculous special-effects. Maybe we should just burn this and start over. Maybe make a Space Mountain movie instead. I hear Gary Coleman's open. Because this - this is trash. And not good trash, like Dude, Where's My Car? This is like trash trash. The kind you throw away because it's making you gag. The kind you feel bad about making the garbage man have to throw into the truck. This is just... stupid."

No, apparently everyone involved in making this piece of crap is, apparently, completely mentally insane. Just totally crazy, crack-smoking nutjobs.

Because not only did they not send it back, but they said, "Oh yeah! A totally unlikeable Jack Sparrow versus Octopus-Face Man? Sweet! And hey, let's make it so that, like, once you've been watching if for like, 45 minutes you have no idea what's happening! How aweome would that be? I mean, who says you have to understand things like character motivation or setting or even who people are? I say just throw Johnny Depp in some weird rope ball thing and dangle him off a cliff and start counting the money. Oh! You know what else would be cool? If it were two-and-a-half hours long and then just ended! How cool is that? Hey, do you have any more crack that I can smoke because I just smoked all of my crack and now I need to smoke some more crack so we can figure out how to kill Jack Sparrow and make it so the audience could care less. I mean, who says you have to like your main characters? Or your secondary characters? Or the midget with the monkey? Nerds, that's who."

See, it's a bit of a sore spot for me.

Anyway, so I leave tomorrow. I will try to update with some sort of frequency, but I can't promise anything. Until then, peace in the you-know-where.


Blahblahblah... Comics... Blahblahblah...

From Marvel's June Solicits (the only thing that excited me at all when I flipped through them over at Newsarama):

Pencils and Cover by TRAVEL FOREMAN
Her name was Wu Ao-Shi, and she was known as the Pirate Queen of Pinghai Bay...and that all came after she left K'un-Lun and took the power of the Iron Fist with her. Kicking her way out of the pages of THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST #2, this stand-alone issue tells the story of Wu Ao-Shi, from the moment she became the first woman to touch the heart of Shou-Lao the Undying, to her mysterious, controversial and epic ending. At long last, America: someone has combined pirates, kicking, girls, and Iron Fist into a single comic book. You're welcome.

Have I mentioned that, with Nextwave gone (I can't even type it without feeling a sense of loss... is that strange?) this is now easily my favorite book over at Marvel? Well, if I haven't, now I have.


Is It Just Me...

Or does this movie look
of Awesome?

Hint: It's not just me.


Something To Think About

Martha Stewart has been to jail. Think about that for a second. She's been to the Big House, the Pokey, the Hoosegow. She is a hardened criminal. She has constructed shivs from cafeteria cutlery and roughed up other inmates in the showers. She has bought people for packs of cigarettes. She has a tattoo from when she joined the Crips to keep the Aryan Nation off her back. She will cut you if you don't stop looking at her like that. She is serious. Do you think she is joking? Because she isn't, fish. She will cut you.

So the next time you turn on whatever channel she's syndicated on wherever you live and she's chatting with the chef of Chateau de Whatever and she's making a light Hollandaise sauce, take a good look into her eyes and you will see the soul of a barely caged tiger that will strip the meat from your bones if you cross her. Seriously. Think about that one for a while.


A Quick Question

First off, this is quite exciting. Like, "I just peed a little" exciting.

Anyway, I just wanted to ask a quick question: Have you ever been driving behind someone with a pervy bumper sticker that says something like, oh, I dunno, "Your Body Is A Temple, Mine's An Amusement Park," and then passed that person because you drive way too fast, only to find out that person is really gross-looking?

Doesn't that make you feel like throwing up a little? Because I know it sure does for me.


Oh Yeah, I Got the Job

TWIST Creative formally offered me the junior designer job today. I start next Monday, the 26th. I am incredibly excited/nervous/overwhelmed/honored/hungry/enthused about this opportunity. Here's the link for TWIST if you haven't checked them out yet. They just updated their portfolio with some more really good pieces. I am now even more nervous about working there. I am also nervous about driving over the most boring parts of the USA to get there, but that's what iPods and Red Bull were created for, right?

How I Spent My eMusic Downloads

So I must have been suffering from a serious, life-threatening rawk deficiency because I downloaded some R-A-W-K this month.

First off was the Capes' Hello, which is sort of like a less bouncy Futureheads or a toned-down Arctic Monkeys. I had hoped to immediately fall in love with the album, as I'd heard a lot of good buzz about it, bit I haven't yet. Plus, come on, that cover is pretty superrad and their name is clever as heck (though there is a band out there called "Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly." which may have them beat). From the half-listen I was able to give it so far, it seemed catchy and fun, but didn't knock my socks off or anything.

Next up was Rocket From the Crypt's mid-90's Circa Now! which is good, but not great. The mid-90's Nevermind-ish production excludes a lot of the bombast that later RFTC albums excelled at (I'd recommend Group Sounds or RFTC for a good introduction), but it's a solid look at one of the best rawk bands on planet Earth.

Last, but most assuredly not least is Guitar Wolf's Jet Generation. Back in the day I owned Guitar Wolf's Planet Of the Wolves but I must have temporarily lost my mind and sold it. I really don't know what I must have been thinking other than "Well, if I keep this record, I will most likely sustain serious ear injury by listening to it over and over again because it is LOUD stuff." Seriously, think of the loudest Ramones song ever imagined amplified with an awesome old tube amp cranked past "11" while someone screams completely indecipherable Japanese/broken-English over it and you have Guitar Wolf. I mean, how can you go wrong with a band who has song titles like "Kung Fu Ramones," "Refrigerator Zero," or "Cyborg Kids"?

Plus, this album has a brilliant cover of "Summertime Blues" in which the only part of the song you can understand is when the title's screamed during the chorus. Plus part 2: dudes are hardcore. Check it:

Don't you wish you could look that cool? I would look like such a tool in a leather jacket and wrap-around shades, but not one but all three of them pull it off with ease. They played at the Wet Stop years ago and - again, temporary insanity must have struck - I didn't go. I still kick myself now and then for that one but I justify it by telling myself that, had I gone, my head would have probably exploded in the presence of such raw power and at least now I'll have a better chance of hearing my future grandkids' voices.

So class, what did we learn today? Well, eMusic rules, the Capes album is pretty good but won't blow you away and, finally, Guitar Wolf is cooler than you. Way cooler than you.

Class dismissed.


All Caught Up

And now, a picture of a sort-of wall-eyed kitten sitting on a weird wicker chair surrounded by fake flowers and bounded by a cheesy beveled border:

And I am now caught up from my vacation. 365 posts in 365 days! You had best believe I will do it. For I am OCD like that. Hollah!

I Am Overly Excited For This Album

Okay, so LCD Soundsystem's self-titled debut was one of the surprise favorites that I purchased last year. I had heard a couple of singles on MTV2's Subterranean show as well as a couple sprinkled through Gap Muzak CD's and liked what I heard, but didn't quite "get it." I think I worried that liking this sort-of-dance music would mean that I'd have to become a "techno guy," and... well, I'm not that hep on a lifestyle change at this point in my life. It's sort of the same thing with hip-hop, y'know? I'm not a "Hip-Hop Guy." It's just not me. It requires a level of commitment I am not ready to agree too. Not now. Maybe not ever.

Anyway, so I went back-and-forth on it ("I dunno Dylan, that 'Daft Punk Is Playing At My House,' song makes you want to shake your tailfeathers... ADMIT IT!!!" And yes, I always have a highly accusatory internal monologue...) until I was talking with Jesse when I had dinner with him in NYC last February and he gave it the green light, so I downloaded it. And lemme tell you, I Wore. That. Album. Out.

And, lo and behold, I'm still the same old Dylan. I have no desire to check out the Chemical Brothers or buy a pair of raver pants from Hot Topic or shake glow-sticks while sucking on a pacifier while also wearing a Cat In the Hat hat and tripping on ecstacy.

In fact, once I heard the album, I recognized a lot of what I love: shades of Brian Eno, Modern Lovers wry wit, punk rock sound/ethos and 80's Talking Heads white-boy funk all peeking out from behind some solid grooves. Basically, it kicked major Pic-ass-o, if you know what I mean [a-wink, wink].

So anyway, the follow-up album, Sound Of Silver is out next week. I am really far too excited for its release. Here's the video for the first single, "North American Scum":

So yeah, the video's dumb, but it's a good taste of what LCD Soundsystem (which is really just James Murphy) does best: fun, somewhat absurd, punk-rock dance music. What more do you people want? Buy the new album or kittens die.

Oh, Colbert, How Come You So Funny?

Thoughts From the Road

Having driven over 1200 miles over the last few days, I had a few thoughts on travelling that I'd like to share:

1. The leftmost lane is the "passing lane." You use it to pass slower cars. This is why there are all those pesky "Slower Traffic Keep Right," signs scattered by the side of the road. Because you should get over if you're going to go slow. It's not difficult. Unless you are passing other people, don't drive in that lane. Seriously. If you insist on sitting there, and driving under the speed limit, expect a lot of nasty looks at best.

2. Utah people cannot drive. I don't know if it's the fault if the DMV there or if there is something in the water, but they either go way too fast or way too slow. It's very scary.

3. The "Shuffle by Album" setting on the iPod is the greatest invention since, uh, the iPod. Well, unless you hit an album you don't want to hear at that moment, then it's the bane of your existence.

4. Beef jerky rules.

5. Dr. Pepper is delicious, but it will make you pee a lot, which means using a public restroom, which means feeling like the bottom of someone's shoe no matter how many times you wash your hands.

6. Speed limits are for sissies.

7. There are a disturbing number of beer bottles on the sides of the highway.

8. If you absolutely must sit down in a men's public restroom, don't look at the walls. Or the ceiling. Or the back of the door. Or the floor. Just close your eyes and for goodness' sake, make sure the stall door's locked!

9. How come nobody writes anything nice on bathroom stall walls?

10. 99% of billboards are U-G-L-Y. Just hideous. I find it hard to believe that people get paid to design those things. Maybe poorly-trained, brain-damaged chimpanzees as a form of therapy, but people? Yuck.

So there you go, a few thoughts from the road. It's no Kerouac, but what is, really?


I So Want To See This Film

Helvetica, a documentary about the Swiss International Style typeface that is used, well, everywhere. Seriously. Your computer has it. I guarantee it. Corporations everywhere use it, because it's clean, legible and completely rational. Sure, it's a little boring, but also beautiful in its simplicity. You can check out clips here. Am I a nerd that I find this fascinating? Because I so do.

Vegas, Baby!

So, I got my schedule for next week and... nothing until Wednesday. February and March are notoriously slow for retail and consequently, I was off Friday through Tuesday. So, we decided at noon yesterday to head down here. And here we are. It will be good to visit family, hang out and kick around town for a few days, especially since we have no idea when we will be able to again.

I promise, we're not here for NASCAR, which is apparently in town for the weekend. I have standards. And my parents aren't first-cousins.

So... Vegas, baby.


This Will Freak You Out

I read this article in this month's Wired on my flight out to Cleveland. And it scared the bejeepers out of me. There's something that's not entirely comforting about knowing that your government is secretly working on genetically-enhanced super-soldiers. Or that your tax dollars are paying for it. This is how bad science fiction happens, people. Welcome to the future. Scary, huh?

Just In Case You Haven't Seen This Yet

Now you have. Aren't you glad?


Cheer Up, Little Buddy...

At least you're not this guy:

"Super Star," indeed. See, doesn't that make you feel better?

Boo To the Hoo-Yah!

Finally figured out how to insert an image banner, though don't ask me how I did it because I'm really not sure. If someone with more than a basic (and I do mean basic) knowledge of HTML actually looked at it, I'm sure they'd recoil in fear. Truly it is the Elephant Man of code-writing. But hey, it works. And it only took me like a year or so to figure it out! Yay me!

It's Comics-Related, So You Don't Have To Read It If You Don't Want To...

Marvel has killed Captain America. Which is sort of a big deal. Behind Spider-man and maybe the Hulk, he's one of the more recognizable icons in the Marvel stable. And he's dead. Shot by a sniper on the way to prison for being an unregistered superhero.

Now I'm not such a big nerd that I'm outraged by this. These are Marvel's toys. They were here before I was and, until the bottom drops out of the comic industry (which is another post entirely), will be here for a while to come. They're not "my" characters, though I do have an emotional attachment to some of them. In the end though, they're imaginary beings and, as John Seavey reminds us every Monday, storytelling engines.

I will say that when I had first heard about this, I was more than a little cynical. This death comes on the heels of Marvel's über-event, Civil War, and, from where I was sitting - out in the hallway, so to speak, as Civil War didn't interest me in the slightest, though I have kept up via online messageboards, blogs and reviews - it seemed like a cheap way to add meaning to what was widely considered a weak crossover. And cheap it may be. But maybe it isn't.

Maybe, just maybe, it's a really smart move from a publisher that's running remarkably low on them as of late.

Having read the Ed Brubaker interview here, I am removing myself from the "cynical" camp and placing myself in the "Okay, I'll bite" camp. Brubaker's a heckuva comics writer. I count his Catwoman run as one of the best in recent memory and he's doing some exciting stuff on Daredevil and his work with Matt Fraction on the Immortal Iron Fist is comics awesomeness at its finest. I've been meaning to get into his Cap run, as I've heard good buzz around it, but I just haven't had the cash lying around to catch up in trades. Bru's A+ in my book and is more than capable of turning this into a memorable and interesting run on a character that, despite his iconic appeal, hasn't had anything remotely interesting happen to him in a long time.

So, nerd speculation time: Who's gonna be the new Cap? The recently resurrected Bucky, aka the Winter Soldier (that's where my money is)? Iron Man? The Punisher? Paste-Pot Pete? M.O.D.O.K.? Time will tell whether this is an engine tune-up or screw-up, but for now, color me interested.


This Is What Heaven Looks/Sounds Like

Did that just blow your mind? Because if it didn't go see a Mindologist because you most likely have no mind to be blown. Long Live Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp.


Quote For the Day

"I was tired of working in the lumber industry," Phil said. "I was sure I could find a better job, and look at me now - cook on a dilapidated submarine. Life keeps on getting better and better."

Lemony Snicket
A Series Of Unfortunate Events
Book the Eleventh: The Grim Grotto

p. 43

"And now I'm Back/To Show You I Can Really Shake 'Em Down..."

Okay, so Cleveland was... well, it was good and bad. Mostly good though. Like an 80/20 split.

The good:
*My interview went extremely well. I'm not saying that I for sure, 100%, have the job, but I honesty don't see how it could have gone better. I, as we say in the bizzz, "nailed it." We shall see.

*Cleveland is a cool city. A lot of history, a lot of cool things happening. It's a little... ghetto-ish in some sectors, but you get the feeling that it's making a turnaround. It's kind of an underdog city. It's not as cool as say New York or Chicago, but it's making a comeback. And you know I'm a sucker for underdogs (thank you Star Wars for ingraining that mentality into my three-year-old mind).

*I read a couple good books: The Grim Grotto, book 11 in the Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket (which I'll post a quote from soon); Dan Hipp's cool revenge tale, Gyakushu! vol. 1 (Hipp was the artist in the sadly overlooked Amazing Joy Buzzards) and half (of the 900! pages...) of Stephen King's Wolves Of the Calla, book five of his epic Dark Tower saga (basically a violent, crude, mash-up of Spaghetti Westerns and Lord of the Rings, with robots, time-travel, monsters and multi-verse dimension-hopping thrown in for good measure). I also skimmed vol. 1 of the Essential Thor, which was fun, if not amazingly mind-blowing, though there is a story where Loki escapes from Asgard and travels to Earth to cause mischief by turning all the cars in NYC into ice cream. Mmmmm, mischievous and delicious.

*I got three free round-trip tickets through United for giving up my seat on the flight back. Which brings me to...

The bad:
*I spent a lot of time travelling. I woke up at 6:30 am Mountain Time yesterday morning and got home, here to Rexburg, at 11:30 pm.

*I only got one other appointment set up (and they weren't looking for a print designer, like, at all), so I spent most of Thursday night and Friday sitting in my hotel room, watching whatever was on TV, wishing I was home. [sigh]

*I missed my ladies immensely. I'm glad to be home.

So, that's my trip to Cleveland. I'll probably post some pictures once I finish off the disposable camera I picked up. Meanwhile, I'm going to start hitting firms in Portland and see if I can't drum up some interest there while I wait for Twist Creative (who I interviewed with, check 'em out here).

So, I'm back.Internet, beware - you will be rocked.