Thursday, August 31, 2006

Typical Conversation

“I want to meet a New York Times reporter,” my roommate tells me last night. I’m sitting at my computer, trying to think of something to do.
“I’m sure you will,” I say.
She says she wants to speed it up, do something drastic to get their attention. Like go on a killing spree and give the exclusive interview to the Times. She starts imagining headlines and subtitles.
"Journalist goes on Rampage," I suggest.
“It would probably include journalism terms,” she says. “Journalist’s Rise to Fame Shorter than a Nut Graf.”
“Who would win in a fight, The Economist or the New York Times?” she asks.
“The NYTimes,” I say. “There’s more weight.”
“Who would win in a fight, the NYTimes or the NYT [pronounced Nyit]?” she asks.
“Um, I don’t know,” I say. “The NYTimes?”
“Yeah, probably,” she says.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Top Four

I don't own a TV. Instead, I have a subscription to Netflix and thus everything I watch must be out on DVD so I can watch it on my computer. It seems to be the better deal, anyhow. When I was home with my parents a few weeks ago, I found out they got TiVo and now were obsessed with recording shows and sports so there was "always something on". My father was watching a baseball game he was simultaneously recording. He explained to me that he had started watching the recorded version about a half hour or so after the actual start of the game, so that he could fast-forward through all the commercials, and by the end of the game, he would have roughly caught up with the game in real time. But as he clicked through the guides and channels as he explained, he accidentally clicked back to the real game, and ruined the whole complicated thing. "What's the point of watching the whole game if you can know what the score is later?" I asked. I forget what he said, and I don't have a good grasp on why you would watch sports on TV in the first place, but if I was him, I probably would have muttered something like, "Technology."

Here's a self-indulgent list of some of the entertainment I've been enjoying.

The Office

I'm referring to the BBC version. It is harder to understand than I expected, due to heavy accents and weird Brit slang ("round here we say birds, not bitches") but it's well worth the strain on the ears. There's nothing like a show that makes you feel like you're being tortured at the same time that you're about to die laughing. I watched it with a friend who actually screamed every five minutes. What I love about the show is that it's the pinnacle of modern tragedy. The office is supposedly all about "having laughs", but it also shows deep inequalities between gender, race, and class, plus the general tragedy of working a miserable job with an incompetent boss.
Tragedy is something that I don't think the new American version can handle. I haven't seen it, but I caught Conan's thing with the Emmys on YouTube, and I feel justified in judging it. The characters are cheap, accentless ripoffs of the original character. Tim's counterpart is named "Jim." How original. "Jim" is not cute at all.

Arrested Development Season 3
Just came out on DVD yesterday, I believe, and was celebrated by a marathon at the Black Sheep. I couldn't stay for the whole thing, as watching episode after episode of a really great TV show is like shoving an entire bar of Swiss chocolate in your mouth: It's really delicious and indulgent, but leaves you with sort of a headache and a feeling of regret because you somehow know you'll never have another bar of Swiss chocolate like that again, and you totally should have savored it. As this was Arrested Development's last season, it's completely like that.

This show is in its second season now, and I hear it's hilarious, but alas I have no access to current Cinemax shows. I'm looking for someone to invite me over to their hooked-up house on a weekly basis.

Annie Hall
Sometimes it makes sense why Europeans are in love with Woody Allen and want to go to New York.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Some photos from Chicago.

Puppet shows are the ultimate in creative street expression.

I enjoy transportation-themed restaraunts.

This is how close I got to Irving Welsh, author of Trainspotting, after about an hour and a half of wandering around Hyde Park with my friend Burke (pictured in foreground). We missed all of the reading, but could catch a few of the questions if we listened really hard. Welsh has a wonderfully soft Scottish accent, but his new book, "Bedroom Secrets of Master Chefs" got a painfully awful review in the New York Times.

On the door across from the bathroom in a Thai restaraunt. Other statements included: "No boy allowed" and "I hate you."

Hipster at a happening.

This man, called Random, is painting this canvas as part of a tour sponsored by a table tennis video game. However, right now he is getting a different kind of game on.

Crap in a Bucket

So, this is my blog. It's called "Crap in a Bucket." You may wonder why. I don't know why. I'm just attracted the the sound of the phrase. They remind me of being told not to use "bathroom" words, and then finding out that everyone uses those words, but they somehow feel compelled to hide it in front of young children. This is the essence of Crap in a Bucket. When you don't want people to know what you do in private, but everybody does the same thing. In a bucket.

Have I ever crapped in a bucket? Yes.