Monday, April 28, 2008

Wipe That Shit OFF Your Face

Today, boys and girls, we’re going to talk about a little something people like to call “the ironic mustache”.

But first.

The internets are back in my home. They were put there today by a messenger from god. I don’t know who’s god. You can take your pick…there’s a lot of them out there. But this messenger took the form of a Comcast Cable Installer. I have no idea if he glowed with divine light, because I wasn’t there to greet him. I took my sick ass to work. Yes, I have a cold. And it makes me angry.

Not having been in any city but my own lately, I don’t know if this trend is taking over other metropoli ™, but here les yeux have been getting assaulted on a daily basis by the newest hipster craze, the ironic mustache. Young, otherwise good looking, men have decided to sport a seedy banner of skeez on their upper lips and the epidemic is becoming positively RAMPANT! You know it’s serious if I use all caps and an exclamation point.

I don’t get it. Mustaches belong to fathers back in the 80s. And hippies in the 70s. And maybe on the occasional Civil War soldier. Other than that…they are a trend that NEVER needed to return…and certainly not to men in their 20s or 30s. I get the other shit, you know? I get the black glasses. I get the tousled hair. I get the tight jeans that are ever so slightly saggy in the ass region. I get it all. I don’t agree with it all, but I get it. I do NOT get the sudden urge to reinvent the porn ‘stache. Put that shit away! It’s bad enough that I saw some asshole walking down the street in acid washed jeans the other day like they were hot shit. It’s getting out of control.

Someone needs to be brought it to control it.

Suggestions are welcome.

And none of this "oh,'s not so bad as, say, leg warmers". Yes it is, people! This is my dating pool that’s being fucked with here. It’s a fucking red alert situation! I will never date a porn ‘stache supportee.

My other big issue is the term “ironic mustache”. To hipsters…and really anyone of this generation…the term “ironic” is worn as an accessory far too often. It’s like the mass produced individuality of a Hot Topic-type place, it loses its point when it becomes popular. The face velcro may have started out in an “I’m anti this ‘looks are everything’ world so I’m going to fug myself up with a poorly groomed mustache”…but when 5 other dudes in the coffeeshop sport one too…then it turns into “I’m pro looking ugly…because ugly is hot right now”. And BOOM, you’re Paris Hilton. It’s a slippery slope, you don’t even realize.

Look at this shit. I went to the site of a local venue and found several bands that illustrate this point BEAUTIFULLY...this is how prevalent the problem is:

I almost wish them harm. Really. I'm not going to any of those shows in protest of their stupid 'staches. Well, I actually really like A Hawk and a maybe I'll go to that one and just not look at the dude.

But I'm not the only one taking issue with how people decide to adorn their faces. Check this little
nugget of gold from Andrew. Someone I should've linked long ago, but haven't because I'm lazy.

I'm going to go be grumpy in the sunshine.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

And Here I Thought You Were Dead

I feared they were gone forever. That haunting voice. The electronic waves that induce shivers. The two albums I never get tired of…a staple of my teenage years…the mood setter of my dating twenties. My darling Portishead. They’re back. After almost 10 years. Finally.

I really never thought it would happen. But a friend just came by and plopped the cd down on my desk. I feel as though I’ve just peeled back the Wonka bar wrapper and saw a flash of gold.

So now I’m listening to it. They’ve definitely tried to evolve their sound. If that’s not the uppityest sentence you’ve ever seen in your life, then I don’t know what is. But yes, they’ve changed. You can’t just put this cd on in the background and go make out. It requires attention. It requires notice. It requires a volume dial that goes to 11. But honestly, they really can’t fuck up in my eyes. It’s experimental…less melodious…Beth Gibbons doesn’t wail the way she used to, which is a bit of shame since she can wail like no other…but that’s ok. Maybe she felt the need to evolve away from the wail. Maybe I just really enjoy using the word “evolve”. And maybe you should just shut up about it for once. Jebus.

The album is called Third. And if you don’t have a friend to randomly drop the cd onto your desk, you should go out and actually purchase it. "Deep Water" is a random track, but the others are definitely shiver-inducing. There are a couple of songs that could almost be the musical score to some sweet “futuristic” sci-fi flick, like Bladerunner. Of course it (Third) will never replace Dummy or the self-titled album that continue to have a steadfast place in my musical affections. But I have no problem with additions. No problem at all.

Oh, and happy belated Earth Day. I celebrated in the manner below.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Nonfat Chai, Please

I'm having to do this from a coffeeshop since the internet moved out with Kansas. My home is very empty now. And quiet. Even emptier and quieter without internet. But I'll fix that on Monday. Soon my abode will be filled with the laughter and childish voices of and youtube. I know what's important in life, don't you think I don't.

When I asked the coffeeshop dude in the derby (I'm not sure it's actually a derby, but it's some kind of fancy hat that a lot of jazz basists seem to sport), anyway, when I asked him if this place had WiFi he was like "of course". And then he made made me a chai. With nonfat milk. And he spilled some of it on the counter. But that's not important. What is important is that I am able to blog for at least as long as my battery lasts (about an hour) because these old dirty hippy victorian houses don't have an overabundance of outlets. Selfish.

I've spent the whole weekend going to various happy hours and soccer games and generally boozing and laughing my way around the city. There's always something to do here, despite the fact that it's not Seattle. I don't get the big todo about Seattle. It's just like Portland, only there are more hills and longer distances between the cool neighborhoods. As a lazy cyclist (which is precisely what I am), I find this offensive. Plus it rains more. 9 months out of the year here in any more than that is just stupid. And that's what Seattle is to me. Even if Radiohead is playing there this summer and not here. I'm trying really hard not to take that personally.

The fact of the matter is, people pee themselves on a regular basis over this dumb city. And by pee themselves, I mean they pass through on a road trip or what have you, go home, quit their jobs, leave everything they know and move here. This happens on a regular basis. Belive me, I've done the research. 1 out of 10 people I meet are transplants and they all have the same fucking story. "Visited here and fell in love with the place". Yeah, that means they came here in summer. The other three seasons are a different story.

I've been trying to leave this town my entire life. New Orleans was a good place to start, but I moved back here right after college due to some...situations. Condsidering the hurricane a few years later, it probably wasn't the worst decision I've ever made (despite the fact that I moved back to Oregon when it had the worst unemployment rate in the country...because I do clever things like that). Since I've been back these 5 years, I've come to terms with the fact that this is an acceptable city. I've embraced the bike culture, become attuned to the difference between an IPA and and Amber Ale (which is NOT called an AA...and I think that's a shame) and most heartily ebraced the pub theaters even more tightly (until they had to ask me to stop), found a music scene that jives well with my style...etc. The size is still a factor given my unlucky habit of running into old boyfriends or bad dates that I never called back. But it usually happens with a drink in hand, so I can usually keep it graceful.

Anyway, this isn't meant to be a travel brochure. Do not take this as an invitation for you all to come visit. Because if you do, I know what will happen. And there's no more room.

I really don't have the right to be so self-righteous about being a 'native'. Me pappy hails from San Fran. But he knew what was up in the 60s and moved here all early-like to go to college. Smart man. But Mom...Mom's from Tillamook. The land of the best cheese known to civilization. They also have a race there every year at the county fair where you grab a greased up piglet and have to start and drive a Ford Model-T around in a circle without dropping the pig. That's class. But that means I'm almost 2nd generation. It means I was here when St. Helen's blew (granted I was 3 months old and it's actually in Washington, but Portland got ashed to shit), and when Goonies was filmed, and when the Blazers didn't suck, and when Tanya Harding introduced ice skating to henchmen, and when Keiko joined the aquarium, and when Modest Mouse was $5 to see live, and when Gus Van Sant got a DUI and of course when St. Helens blew up again just a little. That was fucking weird. So I guess that right there is my justification of self-righteousness. I win.

The end.
I would just like to add - last Saturday it was 75 degrees. Right now it's snowing outside. You can't tell me this place doesn't suck just a little.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Slow News Days Are Universal It Would Seem

Last night, as I was trying to fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the BBC World news, I listened to an interview with some researcher/archeologist/idon’tknowthefuckwhat guy who examined what was left of the Titanic. He went into this elaborate explanation of how this and that was faulty or cheaply made. On and on about how fraught with error the manufacturing was. The bolts could be easily stripped or whatever. I don’t know details, I was half asleep.

But here’s what woke me up…

Once the spiel was finished, the interviewer was like, “but it wouldn’t have sunk if it hadn’t had hit the iceberg, though”

The (American) scientist or whatever was like “well…”

And the interviewer continued, “I mean, that company built several other boats that sailed successfully for many years (insert factual data for the backing up of such a statement)”.

The scientist, “well, yeah”.

Worst and best interview ever. Must’ve been a slow news day.

Anyway, people have been bugging me about these for a while now…so if you’re favorite thing in the world is to sit at your computer and look at somebody else’s vacation pictures – then this is your lucky day and I’ll take your thank yous in the form of candy. Gummy candy. And I mean like worms and bears…none of this Dots crap.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fresh Ink

I did my state taxes during a conference call today. Sometimes I have no right to complain.

So I got my second tattoo last week. Well, in actuality, I got my second and third tattoos last week. A lot of thought went into it. And some pain. But that came later. But I got it and I'm extraordinarily happy with it. And I've tried to take pictures of it without totally succeeding.'ll see it on here.

This is my first "public" tattoo. I have another on my back that only makes appearances in the swimsuit season...and sometimes not even then. I got it when I was 19 and it's my homage to Egyptian mythology. It's lovely but I always swore it would be the only one I would ever have. I liked that it could be hidden and it's situated just so, so that in the event of sudden mass won't stretch into Jaba the Hut. All things I thought important at the time.

Then 9 years passed. I changed a bit. My perspective...all changed. I used to be so concerned about maintaining a certain standard when it came to my skin. I'd look at chicks with tattoos on their stomachs, legs...the fleshy part of the arm and I'd think, "when they get old that's gonna look like a rubbery turtle". But then I thought about getting old...something I don't generally like to think about, given my hatred of all things elderly, and I realized, what the fuck do I care if I look like a rubbery turtle? Your skin rots right off you're body when you age. Who cares if it's less than peach? What am I preserving it for? It's not like I'll be sporting a bikini...and if I try to, I invite anyone with a permit to take me down on site.

So what I'm saying here is, I decided to get a second tattoo...and in that same little internal planning session...I decided to allow it to be visible. Now I have it. And it currently itches like a motherfucker.

I enjoy that my generation is such a fan of the ink. This social acceptance allows me to have a corporate job and wear and look how I want without any fear of losing my position. In fact...I have several colleagues who are much more colorful than I. And I enjoy it. Not so of my parent's time. Sucked to be you, parents.

The pictures aren't very clear...but no one else was here to take them so it's all you get.They're a stylized adaptation of a swallow brooch from the 1950s. According to people who may or may not know what they're talking about (in other words...lore) sailors would get a tattoo of a swallow for every 5,000 nautical miles traveled. There's more to it than that, but I've grown weary of typing and you all know how to use google...or a library. Anyway, I've traveled enough that I should've gotten something like ten...but in case I didn't mention it before, tattoos fucking two it is. And this picture's just kind of awesome because the blurriness gives them a 'mid-flight' appearance.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

In Case You Ever Wonder What Insensitivity Looks Like

This is it:

[13:26] Marie: "Chuck Norris can eat just one Lay's potato chip"

[13:26] Marie: nobody can do that

[13:26] Kara: chuck can

[13:32] Marie: the hold music for the Pods people sounds like a massage place

[13:32] Marie: like all mystical and soothing

[13:32] Kara: you can get massages in the Pods

[13:33] Kara: but when you come're a white slave in Bombay

[13:33] Marie: ouch. or, you are dead.. like the folks who suffocated the other day. did you hear about that?

[13:33] Kara: no...but i could use some good news

[13:36] *** You have been disconnected. Thu Apr 10 13:36:04 2008.

(fixed connection)

[13:40] Kara: ok, now you can tell me

[13:41] Marie: about what?

[13:41] Kara: the dead people

[13:42] Marie: oh. that's it really. people died in a container. do you want to know much more? no

[13:42] Kara: what kind of container? a pod?

[13:42] Kara: getting massages?

[13:42] Marie: yeah.

[13:42] Marie: they went happy

[13:42] Kara: that does take the term 'happy ending' to a new and disturbing level. oh god. i've just disgusted myself.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

When Hotness Expires

Rachel did a post about how she’s not affected by the death of Hollywood Icon and shakey NRA spokesperson Charlton Heston. I commented on several of the reasons why my life will never be the same without him. I then realized there were more reasons than I was willing to put down in the comment section of someone else’s blog, so I’m going to put them here. Read her post though. I get what she’s saying…it’s just…he was Judah Ben Hur for chrissake!

From Rachel:

Charleton Heston has passed. His hands are cold and dead.

And I don't care.

My comment:

yeah but now we can finally pry that rifle away! huzzah!

i have to gotta respect the guy on some level for spending so much time on screen shirtless when Bowflex hadn't even been invented yet...

AND, if it weren't for him, i wouldn't have a Dr. Zaius doll to top my Christmas tree...

nor would i work so hard at finding occasions to say "unhand me you damn dirty ape!"

But here are his Other Contributions to Society:

He was the proof that Moses had a beard

He was the first man named Charlton to play a Mexican

He opened up the silver screen to dirty words like “damn” and “hell” to be used in less than biblical ways…a glorious day for us all

He made chariot racing hotter than it already was

Two words – soylent green. It’s the only reason we’re not still cannibals today, people

He brought sexy the NRA

Ok, I could only come up with six…but that’s more than could be said for my own life were it to end today. My list would be, like, 3. And most of them would only matter to my mom. I love you, mom. Oh, and my cat. I love you, Tallulah…but not when you scratch on the furniture. Then I want to throw something at you. And not when you wake me up at 4:00 am because you want to play with a plastic bag. Then I want to kill you.

Anyway. We’ve lost an icon. And I’m sad. But then…I think we lost him a long time ago…around 1975 when he stopped being useful in cinema.

Ok, I have things to do. I can’t let the sadness impede my productivity.

Stop laughing.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

On The Town

New York City hates me...or at the very least it has a vendetta. I'm going there in a month with Marie and the city is doing its very best to prevent it. First it used United Airlines to block my path with ridiculous schedules and unhelpful automated telephonic voices. But I fought my way through those obstacles and now have a plane ticket in my hot little hands (well, not little...I kind of have man hands). THEN I managed to annoy the shit out of the Daily Show people trying to get tickets for the one day they're taping while I'm there. The nameless, faceless audience department managed to insert impatiences into written text. Amazing. Quality writing down to the last detail. And NOW...we can't find a damn place to stay. It's not even Memorial Day weekend! They've even got Craigslist in on the conspiracy. All these apartments listed...but none of the proprietors answer our inquiries. I guess they just post their 800 sq ft SoHo and upper East Side brownstone vacation rentals to taunt us. Me. It's personal.

But the city will not win. I will have my long weekend of metropolitan gaiety and I will have a place to sleep when I do so. I may be stuck going to see Conan instead of Jon Stewart...but I bet the guest will be someone great like Tray Ullman or a guy who trains frogs or something...and we will be amused. We will act unimpressed at any celebrity sightings and overly interested in any popular instillation art pieces that spark conversations with hipsters dressed in excessive layers. I will not see some horrible show off Broadway with unnecessary levels of nudity simply to 'push the envelope'. I will pay $7 for a Pabst tallboy in a dive bar...and it will taste like Cristal because I'll be back in one of my favorite cities after an almost 9 year absence.

Since I believe the city might have changed a smidgen since then, I'm up for suggestions on shit I shouldn't leave town before doing.

Fuck, it's late. I have an early meeting. I blame you all if I'm too tired to be useful tomorrow.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Something Already.

First of all…I’d like to thank the people who have taken the time to click on a button and vote in my poll.

Second of all…23 people?! Piddly! Come on lurkers…vote or die!

Third of all…today is Modest Mouse day. Sometimes I pick an artist in my iTunes at work and just dedicate that day to them. So today is Modest Mouse day…which indicates that I feel like stomping things. Yes. But not in a bad way. Positive stomping. Yesterday was Interpol day…which indicates that I was mellow and introspective.

Something special: I’m going to enlighten you all a little today with something I learned. The Word of the Day today from Merriam-Webster is opmphalos, which means “a central point” or some junk. This is not interesting…but in the description of its origin, we find out that this word: made another contribution to English via the word "omphaloskepsis," which means "contemplation of one's navel. Um. How fucking great is that? I finally know what to call a good 15 minutes of my morning ritual. Really THAT should’ve been the word of the day…not stupid old opmphalos. But that’s all I have to say about that.

So I’ve sort of got the Dictaphone working…but not well enough to post anything with it. There’s a lot of “what’s this button do?” and “Which end has the microphone”? Stuff like that. Non-gripping stuff. So you’ll have to wait for that for more gripping stuff. Just WAIT. God.

Speaking of music (before all this Word of the Day nonsense), there was something I wanted to say about that. Last weekend I finally went to see There Will
Be Blood. It’s disgusting that it took me this long for the mere fact that I LOVE everything Paul Thomas Anderson touches. I still try to sell Punch Drunk Love to people. Sometimes they don’t buy it. And then I hate them.
I know I had to read some Upton Sinclair in school…I don’t remember which book it was, but it was about living in tenements and t’was very stark indeed. So of course I was excited about Anderson’s adaptation of Oil. And Daniel Day-Lewis was to be in it. A man I’ve lurrrved since middle school when I got my giant Last of the Mohicans poster and it stayed in a special spot on the wall over my bed until I was ridiculously teenaged.

Anyway, Marie, MM and I went to go see it at the pub theater on our third bottle of wine. What. It was a beautiful movie from beginning to end. The cinematography was haunting, the performances eerily moving and the soundtrack was second only to Psycho’s in the way that it helped guide your internal reaction to certain scenes. Seriously, at some points it stopped being music a
nd just kind of turned into sound. Plot-driven sound. I can’t explain it...just see this movie. Dude was robbed of Best Picture; Coen Brothers be damned.

I will say that there were two moments where we totally lost our shit in that classic “third bottle” way. At one point toward the middle, the term “brother from another mother” is used. We collectively burst in a very…very quiet theater. And then…the last line was just gold. GOLD. But I won’t write it here and ruin it. Because I don’t ruin things. Not like other people do. I’m not lik
e other people. Let’s just say that if you consider “I didn’t hate it” as a good review of Eastern Promises…you can consider “I fucking LOVED it” as an even better one for There Will Be Blood. And I’d totally go cougar for Paul Dano. He holds his own with Day-Lewis (and he has twice, if you’ve ever seen The Ballad of Jack and Rose). So of course that’s hot. Not quite as hot as Day-Lewis himself, but you know…those are big shoes of hotness to fill. Huge, really.

Uh oh…maybe it’s not Modest Mouse day…the Kinks have infiltrated.

Take my poll, suckas!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Looky Here!