From a future episode of The Michael Showalter Showalter, Paul Rudd and MS re-enact the I Heart Huckabees video. Brilliant:
Grambo has a nice writeup of Ritalin Readings, with photos (check out Emily's rack!)
He'll be happy to learn that, starting next month, the time limit WILL be enforced. With SuperSoakers! (Really.)
Also, I'm going to do a thing where I point out people in the audience who need drinks.
Ritalin Readings was so fun! Next month's will be on April 24th, and there will be a THEME. There will be a podcast up THIS WEEK if you missed the show. For real.
Gabe, who drank less than me last night, has written two posts about it. To this one, this is my answer: I will become blood siblings with you but only if I'm allowed to use a finger condom. (Also, check out that link for the world's lowest paid hand model.)
I saw my first finger condoms while working as a waitress at a country club in Tallahassee, Florida, and was delighted by their endless comedy potential. Finger condoms are funny because guys get weird around them. Especially when a waitress is holding one up and yelling "You dropped your specially designed condom for your penis!"
Anyway, finger condoms. hahaha. I just alienated my male demographic.
One of John Green's fans made a video using The Sims 2 based on John's first book, Looking for Alaska.
I had never seen Sims anything before, but the video is impressive. It makes me excited for the movie Looking for Alaska, which will be written and directed by Josh Schwartz (The O.C. creator). Josh sends John mix CDs of potential soundtrack songs for the movie. How cool is that?
DOORS/SEATING/DRINK ORDERATION AT 7PM / ACTUAL SHOW AT 7:30 PM
The most excellent lineup:
Emily Gould (Editor, Gawker)
Ben Greenman (The New Yorker, Author of the new book A Circle is a Balloon and Compass Both: Stories About Human Love)
Heather Lawless (Comedian, Premium Blend, Variety SHAC)
Todd Levin (Comedian, Premium Blend)
Max Silvestri (Comedian)
'These Modern Socks' (Darci Ratliff and Matt Tobey of Junkiness, in NYC for one special night!)
RIP my left back molar, 1984-or-something - 2007, which was
extracted torn out of my head in the most violent, athletic way possible by my dentist this morning. Valuable Lesson: when they say you need a root canal, don't be a scared little pussy and put it off "because it doesn't hurt right now!" Upon my request, the dentist gave me the tooth in an envelope, in 3 pieces, two of which aren't gross. I might make a necklace. I wanted to do a version of the old "Doctor, will I be able to play piano?" joke but with "give good bjs" in place of "play the piano". But I didn't, for obvious reasons (hi future employers!)
But seriously: no fun! And even though I don't think it will be detectable, I really don't appreciate the meth-y, trashy implications of being a person who is missing a tooth.
REMINDER: RITALIN READINGS IS TOMORROW NIGHT!! It's the comedy pick of the week in The Onion. It's going to be a great one.
I've had it on my to-do list for weeks to write a thing about how there's going to be all this hype about Dana Vachon's "Mergers and Acquisitions" and that a lot of it is going to probably make him sound like this rich preppy fuck and you're going to be like "fuck that dude!" but that you should read the book anyway because it is INDISPUTABLY hilarious (okay, nothing is indisputably hilarious, but if you don't laugh out loud at least 20 times I think there might be something wrong with you) and actually kind of really down on greedy rich people (it is satire, after all), but the hype has already begun, so despite the fact that, for instance, this "A Night Out With" Styles piece makes me nauseous (then again, they all do), M&A is NOT just a book for people who, like, think watches are important and don't read books. In fact, it's not really for those people at all because those people won't catch most of the sly subtle wit on every page (though someone is clearly marketing it to them, probably wisely.)
I happen to read books, and one of my big faults that I need to work on is my lack of sympathy for people who grew up wealthy (the "born on third base but think they hit a triple" set, and whatever, fuck that, I'm never going to work on it) and I curled up with M&A on one bleak February Saturday, and didn't put it down all day, and laughed, and wished that I could write as well as Dana, and I think you will too, whether you share my reverse-classist world view or not.
What I'm trying to say is: because it's the easiest angle for media people to go with, Dana may come across in the media as a rich preppy fuck*, but he's a rich preppy fuck who can write, and I don't think anyone could credibly argue otherwise. I am truly impressed with this book and I think it's deserving of the praise and the promise and the hype. It is a much better book than it needed to be, if that makes sense.
Mergers and Acquisitions: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
* I've met Dana several times and he's an instantly likeable, affable guy and not a fuck of any kind.
Almost two years ago I bought a box of over 100 photos for $10 at a flea market in Vermont. (I also bought a little boy's scrapbook from the 40's or 50's, but that's a whole different Amelie ripoff project.) The photos seem to be the collection of one family, and from what's written on the backs, go back at least as far as 1898. Anyway, here's the first one I scanned in -- chosen because it was the first one I grabbed out of the box:
Two things about this project:
1. I'm scanning the photos in as-is -- no retouching of any kind. If you want to retouch these photos or do anything with them you want, be my guest (I wanna see, though!)
2. It's a long shot, since the latest photos I have appear to be from the 50's or early 60's, but the dream would of course be to return this collection to its rightful owners, so I'm going to leave out what little details I have about them in case by some stroke of luck someone recognizes their family members.
The album has a total of four photos now, but I'm going to try to put up a new one every day.
I am constantly baffled by people who can't calculate a tip. I used to think that these people were retarded, but now I think they're just cheap: they're afraid of accidentally leaving an extra fifty cents that, if invested in a Roth IRA would be thirty bucks in 2066 or some shit. So, as a service, here is how you calculate a tip:
Look at the amount of the bill. Say it's 23.47.
Now, in your head, move the decimal point one digit to the left. So now it's 2.347.
Still with me? Okay, now round that up to the nearest 50 cents. So now it's 2.50
Double that. Your tip is five dollars. And if you've ever worked in food service, you'll make it six.
I perform this trick in an average of 3.47889 seconds every time I eat at a restaurant. Try doing it that fast with your stupid ipod software thing, yuppie scum.
(If you're thinking: "this is so obvious, everyone does this in their heads and figured out how to the first time they ever had to leave a tip", I applaud you, but why are they still making tip calculating software?)
Matt Tobey found some Patton Oswalt musings on A Special Thing (comedy nerd message board) and put them on the Comedy Central Insider (it's ostensibly a thread about Friday Night Lights, which I've never seen):
"You know how, when you're nineteen, and terrified of what everyone thinks of you ("You are what people perceive you to be...") you do that disdainful bullshit, where you say, "Oh, he doesn't like SPINAL TAP", or "Oh, she likes FAMILY GUY", and you follow it with the phrase, "...and that tells me all I need to know about him/her".
That's kinda cute when you're nineteen, because older people hear it and have a hearty chuckle behind your back. Because -- tee hee! -- saying that tells everyone else everything they need to know about YOU...
I listened to this Kasper Hauser This American Life parody podcast on Sunday and it was so funny I actually picked up the phone and called two people and told them to listen. I don't think you'll get it if you don't already listen to TAL, but for the longtime fan it was pitch-perfect. Parody is the funniest form of flattery. (You can listen at that link, download the mp3, or, even better, sign up for the podcast.)
I remember a lot of glorious and not-so-glorious dawns in Williamsburg, but none of them included fancy exclusive dinner parties:
Also check out the Delahaye/Silvestri fake flame war on the Gawker post.
This was a human-interest-isn't-the-weather-nice photo on the front page of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in 1981 (I was famous!):
Anyway, I bought a scanner, and starting very soon (like tomorrow), I'm going to have a separate site for my found photograph collection that spans the 1890s to the 1960s (mostly from a box I bought at a flea market in Vermont a few years ago.)
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the first episode of the TV version of This American Life is already on Showtime OnDemand (so I assume big fans have already seen it?), but this animated preview of a future episode (by Chris Ware, natch) is going around:
(I tried to embed it but it's HUGE! (That's what she said.) So: here.)
I was going to review the first episode, but I don't really "review" things, per se, so I'll just say that (Spoiler Alert: if you don't already listen to This American Life regularly you might want to just wait for the show). But go ahead and order Showtime now and tell them it's because of TAL, because who knows? Maybe that works...
Via dealspl.us: Free Crossed American Flag Lapel Pin
"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."
- Thomas Jefferson
I think you know what I'm getting at here...wink wink.
Update: My "subversive" act of patriotism (ordering a pin with the comment "Thomas Jeffrson (sic) wanted this country ruled by Jesus and so do i (sic)!" was foiled by their system not recognizing gmail.)
Last night I had to miss What's My Line? Live due to being sick (including one puking incident that would have occurred while I was ON STAGE, thus ending my brief and already awkward stage 'career'), but luckily, friend of the panel Bastard Keith filled in. And the celebrity guest was.....
Randy Jones, original cowboy from the Village People!
I'm sorry I missed it. The next What's My Line? Live will be on Wednesday, April 18th at Parkside Lounge.
Also, huge congrats to Jonny Porkpie, whose Pinchbottom Burlesque was featured in New York Magazine's Best of New York issue last week.
Last night I dreamed I was playing around on an awesome new website. It was called "fairuse.com" (taken, I bothered) and it was exactly like YouTube, only legal, because before you could upload anything you had to use the (many, awesome) tools provided to slightly alter the video (or song, or whatever), thus getting around copyright laws.
The point is: not that this idea would be legal or would work, but that I'm F**KING DREAMING ABOUT THIS SH*T.
Next week, probably: a sexual fantasy about Search Engine Optimization, starring Clippy!:
I gave you $100 for a lifetime subscription when I was a student paying my own way through school. Since I'm still paying off my student loans, that $100 is probably $500 now. Also, I think at that point it was the most money I'd ever spent on one thing.
In short, no f**king way.
Lindsay Robertson, lifetime subscriber since 1999
The Voice's Tricia Romano does the best job of trying to explain the Ultragrrrl phenomenon I've seen so far: In Defense of Ultragrrrl
I don't think Sarah is definable or explainable, and that's what makes people who don't know her uncomfortable with her. They don't know what to do with her or how to label her or how to become like her, because it's impossible: Sarah was born Sarah. And that drives some people nuts.
(This is long so I'm putting it after the jump.)
Last month I really enjoyed Jonathan Lethem's essay in Harper's "The Ecstasy of Influence", where he used the words of others (credited in the end) in an essay about plagiarism. I also listened to him on the podcast of To the Best of Our Knowledge (where I learned, really late, that it's pronounced "Lee-thum")
Anyway, Jonathan Lethem will be doing a Q&A over at the Jane Magazine forums today at 4pm EST.
Also, aside from the fascinating issues raised by Jonathan's essay, I was delighted to find one of my favorite quotes in it: "Collage is the art form of the 20th Century", a quote I originally heard in one of my favorite movies (and plays), Six Degrees of Separation by John Guare. In the play/movie, the quote is attributed to Donald Barthelme, and I've come back to the idea again and again while living in and observing the early 21st (and often thought it applies more to our century than the last). In his essay's bibliography, Lethem gives this credit:
"the line about collage being the art form of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries...I heard filmmaker Craig Baldwin say, in defense of sampling, in the trailer for a forthcoming documentary, Copyright Criminals."
I just found it totally appropriate in the context of the essay that even this line was altered and then re-appropriated to defend the popularity of an art form that its original author (if Barthelme was the originator) could only dream of. (I know, they had sampling when Barthelme was alive, but it would be hard to argue that this quote was more descriptive of his times than ours.)
Will Leitch is down in Austin this week for SXSW. He just sent this hysterical IM:
"I swear to God, I just had this conversation with someone calling my hotel room phone.
Caller: Yeah, Don?
Me: No, I'm sorry, I believe you have the wrong room.
Caller: Really? They said this room is registered under "Leitch."
Me: Yes. That's me. My name's Will Leitch.
Caller: Your last name is Leitch?
Me: Yes. Honest.
Caller: Oh. I'm trying to reach Donovan.
Me: Donovan Leitch? Donovan Leitch is in this hotel?
Caller: Yeah, and I thought this was his room.
Me: I've always wanted to meet him. We have the same last name and all, and it's somewhat unusual.
Caller: You sure he's not there?
Me: Well, I haven't seen him, but I've been kind of busy and haven't had a chance to scan the room.
Caller: OK. Well, when I find him, I'll tell him there's another Leitch in the hotel.
Me: Please do."
LOL. I hope Will runs into Donovan at the hotel.
(I'm 30 today, hence the Google-inspired header. Thank you to my friends for all the fun last week!)
1. Sarah Silverman
3. His dead-on description of Jared Leto in Page Six today:
"He was so insufferably satisfied with himself that I wanted to strangle him."
It's like he knows it's my birthday or something...
* That's from 13 Going on 30. I would never actually say-that - say-that.
I just called and ordered Showtime in preparation for March 22nd's premiere of This American Life (the TV version), and discovered that the full first episode is already available on demand. This fact isn't even on the TAL website yet, so I win.
Full review on Monday, because it's Saturday night, but I couldn't wait to share the news (hint: *****) Order Showtime! They also have Saw II right now if that's your thing.
Larry Birkhead: kind of loveable? But because he's retarded? You know? I get the feeling that he really, truly loved Anna Nicole Smith, and that he's lost without her, and that she was the Henry Higgins to his Eliza Doolittle. Poor Larry Birkhead. That is all.
(A post without a point):I am so gay for my new macbook, and it just came in the mail to work and I haven't even set it up yet. Following in the tradition of naming things after tragic scandalized children (RIP, JonBenet the Bunny), my new macbook is "Danniellyn" (though I'm sure this is the last time I'll call it that.) Now that I'll actually have a working computer in my home, there's going to be a lot more blogging 'round here, for better or for drunker and/or for worse. (This is my first brand-new computer ever so just let me have this one consumer-y blog post, ok?)
(Oh, and note: I decided to buy a Mac because of John Hodgman's ads. Get a mac Apple commercial Justin Long I got a mac because. That's an SEO joke. I think.)
And I'm totally going to put band stickers on it even though I'm going to be 30 on Monday.
(UPDATE: IT WORKED AGAIN! Thank you to everyone who emailed, especially the one who got her a place. Yay.)
One of my best friends, a female in her late 20's, is looking for a temporary sublet (room, not full apartment) starting April 1st (or before) preferably in Brooklyn. She doesn't spend a lot of time at home so it's more like a place to put her stuff. I've lived with her a few times over the years and she's the perfect roommate and the most polite and considerate person I know. Literally. If you know of anything (cheap, it's a sublet not a lifestyle), email me!
As Worker pointed out in the comments, God Tube does indeed demand further investigation. He found this awesomeawesomeawesome video:
(Um, Dear God: embedded videos that play automatically are, like, an abomination. Here's the video.)
(Instant update: this has been on regular secular You Tube for a while, says Worker. Still awesome, though!)
As a resident of Chinatown, I must say one thousand times thank you to Radar for this investigation into the spitting epidemic. I doubt it will have any effect, but at least they're making it okay to talk about openly. You can say what you want about gentrification, but people who don't curb their dogs get fined, and spitters should, too.