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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weekend Warriors

The weekend is for looking at stuff online that you can't look at when you're at work, didn't you know?


NYTimes has an article in the science section this weekend about how some evil geniuses made a machine that could create a black hole that would do whatever it is that black holes do to planets. No biggie.

Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho contend that scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, have played down the chances that the collider could produce, among other horrors, a tiny black hole, which, they say, could eat the Earth. Or it could spit out something called a “strangelet” that would convert our planet to a shrunken dense dead lump of something called “strange matter.” Their suit also says CERN has failed to provide an environmental impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.


There's also a piece in the NYT City section (what, JA isn't good enough for the Styles?) called Channeling Carrie that spends a good portion of time talking about Julia Allison:

Ms. Allison knows the adventures and misadventures of Carrie & Company by heart, and she uses them as something of a road map for her own life.

Julia "quit" her blog on March 6th, saying: "I'm done. I can’t do this anymore. It’s ruining my life." (Her blog has been updated 17 times since then, but always timidly and apologetically.) Anyway, receiving press in the Times is probably just the sort if gentle cooing she needs to get back in the blogging game.


I love the idea for Paul Ford's Six-word Reviews of 763 SXSW MP3S. It's a really handy guide and can be used in a number of ways.

1. Go through the list and see how many songs are by people you've actually heard of:
Martha Wainwright: Great, commercial-proof lonely woman lament.

2. Go through the list and see how many bands are from Boston--cringe at bad song reviews.
Neptune: Sounds more like your Uranus! LOL JK.

3. Go through the list and check out songs that got a good rating by clicking on convenient link:
Mittens on Strings: This song could date my sister.

4. Read pithy obervations dispersed throughout:

Many people don’t write songs for an audience. They write songs for Gray’s Anatomy, for Zach Braff, and for Apple advertisements (Volkswagen if they’re not ambitious). If I was in a band I would write a slow song with an 808, reverb, and a female vocalist, and call that song “Zach Braff’s Eyes Reflected in My Nano.” I would make sure it got to the right people. By which I mean Zach Braff, or one of the leechlike marketing creatures that feed from the skin of Steve Jobs under his mock turtleneck.

[Ed. Note: "Zach Braff's Eyes Reflected in My Nano"--ha ha ha.]

5. Get mad in a "Hey, I've been saying that for the past three months, but wasn't clever enough to write it down" way:

“So there’s a broken mirror on my bed. I’ll clean it up. So what? You don’t have to be such an asshole all the time. Awwww, don’t be like that. Ha ha. (Hic.) Whooooo, ooo ooo oo oo, a uh uh oh oh oh.“ —The Virgins, Rich Girls.


Two useful music links:

Muxtape allows you to make your own mixtape and share it, or just listen to other people's.

Pandora lets you create your own radio station. You put in bands you like and it plays those bands and other bands that sound like those bands. I listened to it all day long at work the other day after putting in about five artists' names. Awesome.

These College Humor Prank War videos aren't new, but I just discovered them. If you watch just one, I would suggest Prank War 5: Amir's Big Break (with Human Giant). They are all so so painful (in fact they're so over the top mean that I half question their authenticity). Happy Schadenfreude Sunday!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

TOTALLY BORED the musical

Ryan Adams has a Tumblr:...and I highly recommend reading it.

I am in no respect a Ryan Adams expert. I don't listen to his music very often. I've never seen him play live. But I think I just fell in love with him.

Not Just Pants

The other day I proofread Luke's review of Xiu Xiu's live show for him.

Me: Your article is so smarty pants.
Luke: Does it sound smart? Or just pants.

Oh Great.

No! Seriously, great. I can't wait to see this Julia Allison reality tv show play out. (Her besties--sorry, CO-STARS--can be found disseminating fashion opinions here and Geeking Out! here.)

For now, this is my favorite JA televised moment:

(go here for the the full dramz...reality! tv!)

Oh, Jules. I remain, your humble conflicted follower, & etc. etc.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

If Songs Were Acorns

Remember when Zooey Deschanel sang in the movie Elf? She was really quite good, wasn't she? Now she's a hot ticket in a collaboration with M. Ward called She and Him. A bunch of songs are on their myspace for your listening pleasure.

My favorites:
Sweet Darlin'
Why Do You Let Me Stay Here
I Was Made For You

Related: Elf is a really, really good movie.

Frumpy Like Me

I enjoy these photos of celebrities before they were professionally styled.

Stars, they were just like us!
(Via ex-Gawker Doree's blog.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


My nascent beginnings as an internet over-sharer can be observed through these Xanga screen captures. Evolution is cool.

Day Off

Today was a very lazy day. Just me and my slippers.

How Embarrassing.


for about two months in 2006 I wrote an ill-fated Entertainment column for the Lowell Sun. The concept was "Dinner and a Movie." I was supposed to see a movie and then relate it thematically to a dining establishment. For the record, I thought this was a horrible idea, but I was operating under the belief that I should write ANYTHING an editor asks me to in order to get clips and make connections.

I could never even bring myself to look at the edited versions online, because I knew that they were adding in even lamer lines than I had already written. Good thing Ricky Gervais wasn't around in those days. Dude can be so ruthless.
(Link is to a video of Gervais making fun of the Lowell Sun, if you don't feel like clicking through. Relevance!)

Here is one of my hack articles, horrifically cheesy and lame, in its unedited entirety:

Usually fairy tales and dreams only come true at the movies. Take
She's the Man, a goofy comedy that pulls a quill from Shakespeare's
pen. Modeled loosely on Twelfth Night, teen queen Amanda Bynes plays
Viola, who poses at school as her twin brother Sebastian, which
results in countless goof-ups and gender bent tween-appropriate jokes.
The dream here belongs to Viola: to make the male's soccer team by
feigning masculine and prove that she's as good a player as any boy.
There's an unlikely romance or two along the way, and it doesn't ruin
any of the fun to tell you that the fairy tale ending is predictable
from the get-go.

Shakespearean comedies always whet my appetite, how about yours?
Especially Twelfth Night, which was first performed at the close of
London's long winter feast in 1602. Belle's Bistro, a romantic
hideaway with a charmed tale of its own, is likewise welcoming
winter's end with a new menu to celebrate spring's arrival. Head over
and check out the new additions and old favorites. With highlights
like grilled tuna over spicy stir-fried vegetables and sea scallops
with an applewood smoked bacon risotto, you'll have more to look
forward to than fair weather.

Bynes is surprisingly funny as a prepubescent manchild who, in an
attempt to be one of the dudes, says lines like "I'd tap that," with a
southern twang. When she's not busy donning fake sideburns and
avoiding group showers, Viola is preparing for the debutante ball,
where she'll be presented to society as lady. But she seems to be
picking up bad habits from the guys; at a charm class Viola is
instructed to "Chew like you have a secret," after scarfing down
chicken wings with reckless abandon. Don't worry, there are no such
constraints at Belle's. Just be sure to say hello to the owners'
Burmese Mountain dog Belle, who likes to hang out when the climate
suits her.

Opening last July, the story behind the Bistro attests to the fact
that dreams can come true even off the big screen. Owners Nancy
Blanchard and John Mastrangelo hoped to someday own a coffee shop,a
comfortable space where people could hang out. That day came sooner
than expected when they saw the local Beef and Ale for sale in
Westford. When they began renovations, the idea was to specialize in
beverages with the food playing a supporting role. But when chef Glen
Jordan walked through the back door a month before opening to see if
he could help, the vision for Belle's changed to a gourmet restaurant.

Such a star-crossed path and serendipitous fortune seems like the
stuff that only Shakespearean plays are made of. Lucky for you it
occasionally happens in real life too. Go see for yourself why
Belle's is undeniably "the man."


On the bright side? Rick Gervais is in Lowell filming a movie! And blogging about it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

JuNo, No, No

I know that a lot of writers on the internets didn't like Juno when it first came out in theaters. Now that Diablo Cody won an Oscar, they EXTRA don't like it.

But I stand by my assertion that I would watch Juno 100 times. Looking forward to it, even!

However, this post on Stuff White People Like does make me feel really, really dumb. And really white.

From #57 Juno:
...the film takes place in a fictional suburban town in Minnesota, but imagine the same storyline in say West Baltimore or Socorro, TX. My guess is that there would be less qurkiness, less acoustic guitar and zero references to Dario Argento.

Some other posts with snippets that I (a white person!!!) liked:

#38 Arrested Development
Firstly, since the show was cancelled before it jumped the shark, it’s effectively like a rocker that dies at 27.

#26 Manhattan (now Brooklyn too!)
Often times if you ask a white person about where to travel, you will get a lot of responses. But if you ask them about New York, white people will go nuts. They love the city universally and all either live there, have lived there, will live there or want to live there.

#1 Coffee
I promise you that the first person at your school to drink coffee was a white person. You could kind of tell they didn’t enjoy it, but they did it anyways until they liked it - like cigarettes.
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email: mishka.frances at gmail dot com.

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