Saturday, October 31, 2009 :::
It's not that I haven't been posting. It's that my hosting company wasn't letting me publish to my website. I hadn't had anything interesting to say lately, so it didn't bother me all that much, but I got it all sorted out today, and just in time to say Happy Halloween!
Unfortunately I'm old and tired and boring and I don't do that dress up stuff anymore. I did carve a pumpkin, though:
It was supposed to be a Goonies skull, although now that I look at it, it kinda looks like a cross between the skull in the Goonies logo, the skull on Chester Copperpot's key necklace, and the skull shaped cave that the Goonies escape into when being chased by the Fratelli's.
I think Chester Copperpot would be a good Halloween costume. I'm going to think of a way to pull that off one of these years.
::: posted by dan at 1:32 PM :: [ link ] :: (1) comments
Friday, October 30, 2009 :::
Last week was all about cute pets. But sometimes cute isn't as entertaining as mean is. So here are some mean pets.
Mean pets are mean. Why do they gotta be so mean?
::: posted by dan at 8:30 AM :: [ link ] :: (0) comments
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 :::
Swing Flu is so last week. Stop giving me the death tolls, Local News. It didn't work with Bird Flu, and it ain't gonna work with Swine Flu neither. There are much more interesting ways that people are dying out there. Give me something brand new and even more horrible to be scared about already!
But for real, I have nothing interesting to post about and I thought that pic of poor little Piglet was sooper cute.
::: posted by dan at 8:55 PM :: [ link ] :: (1) comments
Friday, October 23, 2009 :::
I have a friend who is getting ready to buy a new puppy. Puppies are cute. I like puppies. I like cute pets. Here are some cute pets:
Don't Know What the Eff This Is But It's Cute
(Apparently is something called a Loris? I dunno.)
To balance out the cute, next week's animated Friday will be all about not cute pets.
::: posted by dan at 12:26 PM :: [ link ] :: (0) comments
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 :::
I love shows like any of the bajillion incarnations of Law & Order or CSI because they require little attention or thought and if you miss ten in a row it won't make a lick of difference. But as anyone who has watched an episode of either of these shows with me can tell you, I can't stand how they misrepresent technology and computers. Cuz I'm a computer nerd. And computer nerds are fickle.
I especially hate it when they are doing things like searching databases for a fingerprint match and they show a computer screen flickering through a million different fingerprints looking for a visual match and scanning through all the possibilities. Why would the creator of that program even make a visual representation of the search? What possible benefit could there be to staring at a flickering screen as a hundred fingerprints flash by in the blink of an eye? You know how much work it would be to develop an interface like that? Why would they even bother? I'm positive that the majority of that kind of DNA/print-matching stuff happens behind the scenes, but I suppose that wouldn't make for dynamic television now, would it? But still, I make a point to annoy whoever is watching with me while I bitch about it.
The absolute worst is when they scan and zoom in on some small area of some low-res closed-circuit security tape and it's all crisp and clean and solves the case. There ain't a video enhancement program in the world that can pull that off. That's just not how digital video works. It drives me bonkers. So when somebody emailed me this the other day, I found solace in the fact that I wasn't the only one who could see through the lies:
I just wish I had thought of mocking it first, cuz I got better photoshopping skillz.
::: posted by dan at 5:40 PM :: [ link ] :: (6) comments
Thursday, October 15, 2009 :::
Stacy and I went to see Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black at the the Pantages Theater tonight. It was a super funny show, and I was able to laugh whole-heartedly during the entire event, even through the thick stench emanating from the smelly-haired slacksters sitting in front of us. (FYI: Slackster™ is my newly-coined term for a slacker mixed with a hipster).
After watching the two Michaels for years in Wet Hot American Summer, Stella, and The State, it was awfully strange to see them live in person. It was like witnessing wax figures come to life. Not that they looked waxy or anything, I just don't think I had even considered them to be real people before. It was mesmerizing.
But then afterwards came the horribly awkward ordeal of getting their autographs. First, I was wearing a brown leather coat, which for some reason felt entirely inappropriate, although I couldn't for the life of me tell you why. Second, there's something terribly uncomfortable about the subservient act of standing in line to watch someone write their name for you. It exacerbates my self-consciousness to the point of dumbstruck insanity because it is completely impossible to come off as "cool" in that situation. And who doesn't want to look cool in front of Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black?
The way I could see it, there were really only four ways Stacy and I could have played it:
1) Act normal for the role. Meaning: act excited and fawning and say things like "Great show!" and "Oh man I totally love you guys!" Might as well. We had been snapping photographs and waiting patiently in line so I think there was a clear understanding amongst all parties involved that we liked them more than they liked us. This was no time to have pride. The only problem is that this method isn't very memorable. We'd be just one in a million adoring fans, easily forgotten.
2) Act blasé. Meaning: don't let the celebrities think they are better than us just because we were willing to wait in line to watch them sign their name on a piece of paper. We could simply pretend like we could take them or leave them. We could be too cool for school. The only problem is that this method isn't very believable. We basically waited in line just to get a close-up glimpse at them ferchrissakes. The jig was up. Plus, it's kind of a douche move.
3) Act funny. Meaning: try to be memorable by saying or doing something clever... something they had never seen or heard before... something they would laugh and talk about for years to come. But this method doesn't work either, because they are professional comedians. They are funnier than other people by default and they've heard everything. It would be like bringing a guitar to a Cream autograph session to play a lick for Clapton. It's a game you just can't win.
4) Act insane. Meaning: the only way to really make an unforgettable impression would be to do something genuinely creepy or truly frightening. Like hurdle the table and straddle in their laps. Or start scream-crying like a baby. Or try to lick their signing-hands. Or ask them if they have a used tissue we could keep. Or throw up. But this method is dangerous, because there are always bodyguards in close proximity and because maybe being that memorable isn't a good thing.
Unfortunately, I was starstruck and dumbfounded and so I kind of combined all these possibilities into one giant mess of forgettableness. In my nervousness, I lost control of my facial expression and I think it landed somewhere between a half-awkward-smile and a half-blank-stare kind of look. Then I think I remarked to Michael Showalter that he had signed my T-Shirt in a different place than he had signed Stacy's - a completely useless remark that I was surprised to hear leave my mouth. He replied something about "changing it up a bit" and then passed the T-shirt off to the next Michael without ever making eye contact, which was probably a good thing considering my slack-jawed mug.
It was at that point that I suddenly remembered a past incident at a Star Trek convention. A friend and I had waited in an autograph line for an hour. At the end of this line sat Tuvok from Star Trek Voyager, and Odo (that Rene Auberjonois guy who acted on Benson) from Deep Space Nine. But for some reason we didn't want Odo's autograph, we just wanted Tuvok's. So after we got Tuvok's autograph we just pushed through all the other people waiting in line and walked right past Odo. He even looked up and watched us walk away, avoiding him. It was really awkward and just a tad cruel.
So back to the present, this memory apparently made me absent-mindedly mumble to Michael Ian Black, "Would it be mean if I just skipped over you?" and he played along while signing my T-shirt, "No, everyone has their favorite. Michael is my wife's favorite, too." Again, the lack of eye-contact probably meant that I had not made any sort of impression, and as I walked away, I noticed that his signature on my T-shirt looked more like it read "Jo-Beth" than "Michael Ian" and I wondered if that was his way of exacting revenge for my stupid comment.
But all my regrets have since been replaced with the fact that I get to wear my cool autographed T-shirt all over town, since I doubt I'll ever have to be embarrassed in front of either of the two Michaels again.
But I do extend my apologies to Rene Auberjonois. That was just mean.
::: posted by dan at 11:41 PM :: [ link ] :: (6) comments
Saturday, October 10, 2009 :::
I know it's been a while since I gushed about The Decemberists, but Stacy and I went to their concert last night and it pretty much ruled all up in our faces and stuff.
Lead singer Colin Meloy even performed a brand new song which I thought was awfully nice, although I'm pretty sure that Stacy and I are the only Decemberists fans that read my blog, so none of you will really care all that much to know that I risked being tossed out of the concert to record it for you:
In unrelated musical news, I was watching the craptastically awesome movie Femme Fatale on HBO the other day when I noticed Rebecca Romijn
I gasped and shouted with excitement when I saw it on the TV. Suddenly I realized why gearheads love cars so much and why people buy Macs when they cost twice as much as PCs for half the hardware: it's because it's entirely possible to irrationally fetishize a mechanical device. (No, not that kind of mechanical device, you perverts). I heart my jukebox, so now I finally know exactly how those gearheads, Mac snobs, and Rebecca Romijns feel.
::: posted by dan at 5:45 PM :: [ link ] :: (8) comments
Thursday, October 08, 2009 :::
So enough of all this fancy art, religious relic, and exotic travel stuff. Now that I'm back home it's time to bring planetdan back down to where it belongs: the gutter. How about we start with an unintentionally vulgar logo?
In case you can't see it, or in case you like vivid details, you can click here to reveal an interactive illustrated explanation. WARNING: the content at that link is slightly X-rated, but even planetdan has to "work blue" sometimes.
::: posted by dan at 7:20 AM :: [ link ] :: (3) comments
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 :::
Right along the Grand Canal in Venice is Peggy Guggenheim's house, which since her death in 1979 has been turned into a museum. Peggy was an eccentric heiress who collected modern art and hung out with hip artists and wild celebrities. I imagine her house to be like Studio 54, only decades earlier and with less cocaine.
On the trip we visited to the museum and I thought it was slightly disappointing, but she did have a couple of nice Magrittes and this stunning sculpture by Marino Marini in her backyard, facing the canal for the whole world to see as they float by:
Originally, the pointy metal phallus was designed to be detachable, so that one could remove it before parties if one didn't want to offend one's more conservative guests. Of course, someone eventually stole the removable "piece" and so they had to replace it with a more permanent one. But I like to imagine that the bronze ding dong disappeared during one of Peggy's later debaucherous Hollywood parties, and that perhaps Dennis Hopper or Christopher Walken or even Jack Nicholson has the thing resting on his bookshelf as we speak.
So even though you can no longer take any of it home with you, the sculpture's history is still worth remembering. Luckily, it's also available in T-shirt format, with all formally detachable parts still in tact:
I think this represents planetdan very well. Thoughtful and expressive, yet just a teeny-weeny bit subversive.
*I can't stopping looking at my weird chin in that picture. I shouldn't have cropped it so weird. It looks like an extra elbow or something.
::: posted by dan at 9:51 PM :: [ link ] :: (2) comments
Sunday, October 04, 2009 :::
I'm finally back from Italy.
I took a TON of pictures. Of course, I'm usually the only one with a camera on my trips, so if I want pictures of me then I gotta take them myself.
Me in the Sistine Chapel:
Me by the School of Athens
(aka "That painting from the cover of that Guns 'n' Roses album"):
Me taking advantage of a rare empty art niche:
Also, have you ever wondered what the FLOOR of the Sistine Chapel looks like?
Interesting, no? Anyway, you can see all the photos here, but I warn you that there are hundreds, and rarely are they interesting to anyone but myself.
::: posted by dan at 5:59 PM :: [ link ] :: (2) comments
Saturday, October 03, 2009 :::
I'll take pictures of anything I damn-well please, thank you very much!
Seriously? Who do they think they are?
::: posted by dan at 1:50 PM :: [ link ] :: (0) comments
Friday, October 02, 2009 :::
We've been touring a LOT of churches and cathedrals across the Italian countryside. I can really only see so many altars, baptisteries, frescoes, and marble bishops before they all sorta blend together into one ginormous monster church in my mind. Of course, I've taken pictures of all of them to help keep my memory straight.
But no matter which church or cathedral we enter, there is always one thing they will never allow me to photograph: the gruesome relics. And of course, they are always the items that pique my interest the most. So I had to scrounge the Internet to find images of some of the creepy things I've seen over the past week. Here are a few of my favorites:
The Hair of St. Clair:
Yeah, it looks sorta just like a fright wig in a box, but still. Gross.
The Tongue and Jaw of St. Anthony:
They also had his vocal chords, which basically just looked like a black wad of dried-up glop, but the lumpy black tongue was by far my favorite. Grosser.
The Finger of St. Catherine:
This one shocked me the most, probably due to how it was mounted into what looked to me like a gilded lipstick container. Plus, it's just so weird to have a lone bony mummified finger pointing to the sky like that. Grossest.
Italy is awesome!
::: posted by dan at 1:14 AM :: [ link ] :: (2) comments
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