Saturday, August 30, 2008

Shocking News! Acting Debut Surfaces on Internet

It's just the price you have to paywhen you're famous--racy videos of you appearing on the internet. I am no exception. My acting debut recently found its way onto the world wide web. (Thanks, Ike.)

Back in the innocence of 2002, I had a video production class at the U. Our final project was to create a five minute video based on the theme "The Odd Couple." We split up into groups of five and started brainstorming. We went around the circle trying to figure out if anyone had anything cool to contribute.

Ike had access to a mailman hat, I had some hand puppets, Rashed had the fact that he was from Kuwait, Brett knew to handle the production, and Becca mentioned that she happened to live in the basement of a mortuary. Thus Rashed's Neighborhood was born.

The best part for me was Rashed trying to get the grasp on the whole thing. He was an exchange student and still working on his English. He'd obviously never seen Mr. Roger's Neighborhood before, but he watched a couple of episodes for research. His Mexican girlfriend was also an exchange student, learning English. Together, the two of them worked on learning the lyrics to the theme song. They tried their best, but usually here's the best they could come up with:

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, beautiful day neighbor...hood.

Ah, close enough.

So, with no further introduction, here's Rashed's Neighborhood. (Notice my lush, full head of hair.)

Here's Ike's (a.k.a. Speedy Delivery Guy) version of the story.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

All The Things Curtis is Not

Curtis shows the happiness that comes from Grandma giving you 'business hair'

Paige spends every waking moment talking. She comfortably executes both sides of the conversation, but still has to be acknowledged in everything she says.


PAIGE: Where's Danny? (the drummer in my band)
ME: [I am forced to repeat this question in order for her to answer. If I don't she just keeps asking, FOREVER.] Where's Danny?
PAIGE: He's at playing the drums.

We have this same conversation about airplanes, helicopters, grandma, kids in her nursery class, and the moon...every day.

The other night, Traci was at work and I was hanging out with both of the kids. Paige and I had to have the following conversation:

PAIGE: Is Curtis a refrigerator?
ME: Is Curtis a refrigeratior?
PAIGE: No!!!
PAIGE: Is Curtis a window?
ME: Is Curtis a window?
PAIGE: Nooooo!!!

This went on for about half an hour. We were able to determine that Curtis was not in fact a kitchen, a ball, a dog, or a computer (thank goodness!); nor was he in the swing, in the tub, or outside. Fortunately, we did get to the bottom of the mystery. Paige was able to verify that he was "a cute little guy," "a little brother," and "on the floor." Phew. I had really been worried that Curtis was either a lamp, a couch, or a tuba.

MHS X: The Mixtape

Though the reunion may have been a bit of a disappointment, it wasn't a total loss. I had a little nostalgia trip all by myself. I was asked to put together a mixtape for the event, allowing me to dive headfirst into '96-'98 mode.

I avoided all temptation to put in my own personal favorites and went straight for the hits. And man, what hits! Chumbawamba, Savage Garden, Backstreet Boys. Music was never better before or since.

Here are the top song 100 of 1996, 1997, and 1998.

Digging through these songs was kind of like the reunion itself. For me, 1996-1998 was more about watching Local H at Saltair or driving to Sacramento to see Millencolin play than doing the Macarena. But Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" automatically produces a mental snapshot of every dance my senior year.

The songs that really meant a lot to me in '98 have made the journey with me throughout the past decade. I was just listening to Millencolin last night. They keep putting out new records, and I buy (actually buy) all of them. And believe it or not, Local H will be playing at the Big Ass show next month.

It's pretty much the same with friends. I've kept in touch with a number of high school friends (plus I'm married to one of 'em) over the years. They've been there for college and weddings and parenthood and I'm sure they'll still be around in another 10 years. So it's not really that big of a deal to seem them at some awkward event.

Regardless, it feels great to hear to Jewel, or White Town, or even NSync once in a while. Just like it's nice to run into an old prom date at the Wal-Mart. Hooray for forced nostalgia. I guess I'm going to have to start posting old dance pictures on the blog. Whatevs.

Here's a few tracks from the MHS X mix...

Friday, August 22, 2008

MHS X: The Recount

Spencer & Ramsi

Three weeks after the infamous High School Reunion, I am finally able to pull myself up off the ground and write about the all of the drama and excitement. Oh wait, there wasn't any. On an interesting scale from 1-10 it was about a 1.

I think I was hoping to see classmates who had become superstars, drug addicts, cross dressers, millionaires. Nope. I guess if you fit into any of those categories you have better things to do than go to your high school reunion.

Everyone looked pretty much the same, though a lot of dudes had less hair (which made me feel better about my male pattern baldness). The usual conversation went pretty much like this.

"Er, so what's been up with you for past 10 years?"
"Uh, I've got some kids and a job and stuff."
"Sweet, see you in another 10 years."

I thought I'd at least be able to count on some reminiscing and nostalgia, but none really to be had. Fortunately, I found all of that elsewhere. I was put in charge of making the evening's mixtape...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Say It Ain't Lo

The Hills is back and I couldn't be happier. Unfortunately, with the premier episode of Season 4, I had to face an inconvenient truth. I hate Lo.

Lo, you can't get your feelings hurt when Audrina says you'll never be friends. You don't like her. You're not nice to her. Oh, Lo, what's happened to you?

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Grumbly Knight

I really enjoyed the Dark Knight, but I was a bit bugged by Christian Bale's "Batman voice." I guess that's just how superheroes have to talk these days. However, I was happy to know that I wasn't the only one to find it a bit ridiculous.

You only need to watch about the first 30 seconds to get the point, but the punching is generally funny throughout:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Second Kid Blues

Curtis is right to be frightened of his scary big sister

I can already tell that Curtis is getting different treatment than Paige did. Case in point, we made Paige wait until the mature age of two years old before going to her first concert. Curtis got to see Nada Surf at just three months. Lucky dude.

The show was at the Gallivan Center and I thought we'd be able to find a place where we could sit down and see the band. No. Having to settle for one or the other, we chose sitting down. Traci and Curtis spent the evening on the grass. Paige and I alternated between sitting with them and watching the show. I gauged her enjoyment level by the intensity with which she pounded my head while she sat on my shoulders.

I was very happy to get to see the band and the rest of the family seemed to have a good time as well. The last song, however, reminded me that I might want to keep the kids home for a few more years. Singer Matthew Caws encouraged the crowd to join in the refrain of "The Blankest Year," by screaming "*&$# it! I'm gonna have a party" repeatedly. After the second or third time, I was sure that Paige would have learned a new phrase. Fortunately, she wasn't paying attention.

I know she catches on to lyrics. She has to sing and dance along every time we see the Ting Tings iPod commercial. When it hits the chorus she loves to yell "Shut up and let me go. Hey!"

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Life of the Pool Party

Curtis made his swimming pool debut tonight. It took a half hour to pour him into this getup (at 3 months, he’s a bit too big for this 6 month swimsuit). After five minutes of having his feet in the pool, he promptly fell asleep. Party animal.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Endlessly Walking Through the Desert: Daft Punk's Electroma

From the human body/dog head awesomeness of Da Funk, to the anime-tastic to full-length Interstella 5555, Daft Punk has always had great visuals. Thus I eagerly anticipated the French duo's directorial debut.

It's no surpise that the movie is about two robots named Daft Punk. Though Electroma is an hour long, I can give you the whole script in 30 seconds. SPOILER ALERT!!!

Robots drive through desert (10 minutes).
Robots reach the equivalent of Burley, Idaho. All inhabitants look like Daft Punk (5 minutes).
Robots go to old rec center administration building to receive putty-based human faces (10 minutes).
Townsfolk don't appreciate the faux humans (5 minutes).
Putty faces melt off in the sun. The robots are very sad (5 minutes).
Robots walk endlessly back through the desert (10 minutes).
One robot is so sad that he is not a human that he chooses to self-destruct (5 minutes).
Other robot walks for a long time before he realizes he is sad, too. He chooses to set himself on fire and walk off into the distance. (10 minutes).

The film includes absolutely zero dialogue, extremely minimal ambiant sound and about 10 minutes of music (not Daft Punk music).

After I watched it the first time, I was a little disappointed. But after I sat back and thought about it, it turns out it was the best movie in the history of the world.

Here's a clip:

Thanks to Traci, you can't rent a copy down to the Murray Library.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Heard It on the Internet: Burntpiano

For all the hype, the MGMT album is not that great. However, I really like this instrumental cover of "Kids.".

Burntpiano was bored at work so he just went ahead and recorded this track.

"It was a slow day at work today, so I was messing around with some new synths, trying to find new sounds. I started playing everyone's favorite synthline, and one thing led to another, and I had a half finished track. I went home and finished it up. The track I guess really isn't a remix, but rather a cover, since I didn't use any elements from the original. And the vocals (which may piss some off) are from a computer. Not anything trying to replace the original or the upcoming soulwax remix, but just something fun." (via Southside Discotech)

MGMT - Kids (Burntpiano Robo Remix) [MP3]

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Do It Again!

I put Curtis in the tub for my first time the other day. I get intimidated by the fragility of newborns, so I let Traci handle tubby time. I usually wrestle with Paige instead.

But Traci was at work and I was feeling brave so I decided to give it a shot, with Paige's help of course.

Things were going well. Paige and I were both hunched over his little tub scrubbing him down when a high-arching spray shot right for us. Luckily we were both able to dodge it. I was caught off guard and thrown off of my game plan. Paige, however, was blissfully amused.

"Curtis squirt!" she squealed. "Do it again!"

I was happy, Paige was sad, when he didn't do it again.

Our little spelling bee

Paige loves to spell. She has moved on from asking us to spell words and then just repeating. Now she has to spell them herself. She's pretty good at spelling "mom," and usually "dad." But when she tries those words back to back, sometimes she gets a bit mixed up.

Spencer: Paige, Can you spell dad?
Paige: M...
Spencer: No, it's starts with an D.
Paige: Oh, D-A-M.


The Reunion

I survived the reunion. Details to follow...