Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just Make Sure You Flush Staten Island

Hello and welcome to the first and last installment of Das Vidanya's "Remember The Daze" series. Today we address Soap shoes.

These shoes were once worn by many people at my middle school who would grow up to not be ashamed of owning a Trapt CD. There was a gnarly rail in the back of this middle school, and the same five or six guys would be out there Soapin' it up each afternoon. This rail has since been skate-stopped, but since the cream of the crop of this group could only average about a foot per grind, it doesn't really matter.

Soap shoes, as the reader has no doubt realized at this point, had a brilliant invention on their hands. They provided a common-sense solution for every young man around the turn of the century who fancied himself a latter-day Bart Simpson but who could not afford the risk of having his skateboard confiscated while carving it up on school property. Of course, now every kid worth a damn has those shoes with the wheel on the back of them, and Michael Jackson is dead.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Taylor Swiftboated

So who saw that Pitchfork best music videos of the 00's list? What a crock, right? No 99 Problems or Hurt for one thing, but they also missed these masterpieces:

Speaking of Yelle, she's amazing right? I mean, Rihanna is good and everything I guess, but how much better would the "Umbrella" video be if she was wearing french fry sunglasses and a McNuggets blouse? And if Jay-Z was wearing a Sacred Geometry BAPE jacket?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Whenever life gets me down, I just turn to this video and remind myself that things could be much, much worse. You should probably watch this:

You see, it only takes one viewing of that video (that is if I can mentally prepare myself to watch the entire thing) to remind me that whatever my problems might be, they can in no way compare to those of Mike Muir of Suicidal Tendencies. What a burden it must be to have parents who are genuinely interested and concerned in the mental well-being of their son; they even go so far as to commit the heinous act of letting Mr. Muir know that they are there for him if he needs to discuss his feelings. The breaking point, as you have no doubt seen through your tears, comes as Mike's mother cruelly informs him that she will not wait on him hand and foot. Truly a punk classic!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Everything In Moderation

At work the other day I made a moustachioed man a protein smoothie. While I cleaned the pitcher, spatula, and other implements used to make the drink, the man departed the smoothie bar to pay the cashier four dollars. As I scrubbed away the stubbornly caked-on protein powder, I saw the man return out of the corner of my eye.

"I don't know if you're the manager on duty or what," the man said, "but you need to start implementing some cross-training at this gym, because I just had to wait for this guy at the front desk to figure out what kind of smoothie I'm buying and what I had to pay for it. This is BULLSHIT!"

I stared at the man without responding. Less than a minute had passed from the time he left the smoothie bar to the time when he began his rant. He stormed off.

This sort of thing happens almost every day where I work. I don't like seeing things like this on the news.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Just Remember

It was all better before you were born

Friday, July 10, 2009

Is Steve Wozniak My Hero?

THA WOZ is riding around on Segways and doing local car ads that seriously bite Auto Connection's shit.

Can someone from VH1 or Bravo please, please convince him to do an Eccentric Rich Boomer reality show with Richard Branson? Would it really take that much convincing? Wozniak already did Dancing With the Stars and Branson is no stranger to MTV, seeing as how he showed us his island that he rents out to Mariah on Cribs. This seems like the next logical step. And you KNOW that together they could figure out how to fly to the moon and make it affordable for at least the lower rungs of the super rich; this would of course be a reality show in itself. Nicole Richie and the son of the Executive Vice President of Brookstone dealing with the effects of zero gravity and a liquid diet? S'il vous plait!

Make that check out to cash if you could, Brian Graden.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ernie Pyle

This man was awesome
Immediately above the fires the sky was red and angry, and overhead, making a ceiling in the vast heavens, there was a cloud of smoke all in pink. Up in that pink shrouding there were tiny, brilliant specks of flashing light – anti-aircraft shells bursting. After the flash you could hear the sound.

Up there, too, the barrage balloons were standing out as clearly as if it were daytime, but now they were pink instead of silver. And now and then through a hole in that pink shroud there twinkled incongruously a permanent, genuine star – the old-fashioned kind that has always been there.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ordinary Hood Shit

Today I saw a toddler walk face-first into a glass window. His mother crouched down to pick him up, attempting to comfort the child while at the same time not letting him see that she was laughing.

"Is he okay?" I asked.

"This has really never happened before," she responded.

His older brother, who was not too far advanced from toddlerhood himself, looked me straight in the eye and flashed me a knowing smile.

July 4:

Saturday, July 4, 2009


My family vacations here sometimes

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Weekend Movie Spotlight!

Street Dreams is finally out; you can catch a sneak preview here.

The brief YouTube clip begins in a somber, almost elegiac tone that suggests impending tragedy. For my money, I'd bet on Paul Rodriguez being cast in the Morris Chestnut archetype of the promising young'un cut down before he has the chance to really show his potential. Ryan Sheckler will clearly play the Ice Cube role. A few other things:

- "I thought you got popped!"
- Being a true skater means making fun of the filmer who almost got busted by the cops alongside you because he is a nerd.
-"Aw shit D, look like he talkin bout yo moms man"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Journey Into Darkness: Liveblogging the June 11, 2009 episode of Jeopardy!

7:27 PM: Unlike ordinary sprays, Comet Gel sticks to mildew.

7:28 PM: Pat and Vanna make some imaginary small talk. I wonder if they ever Facebook chat?

7:29 PM: This Domino's commercial is making me so hungry. Will I make it through an entire episode without a snack?? Oh wait it just started.

7:30 Pm: The contestants look like weirdos, big surprise. There is always someone from the DC area on this show, and today is no exception. Trebek's suit isn't all that great but it could be worse.

7:32 PM: Contestant Kyle looks like he could use a Queer Eye makeover, but I don't think he is a straight guy in the first place. Haha Contestant Beth just said "Deep Throat." This stuff is all pretty boring, it won't get really rolling until Alex talks to the contestants.

7:34 PM: Commercials time; maybe I will go for beer instead of snacks.

7:35 PM: I can't wait to get to know factoids about the contestants, but I know it won't live up to the contestant I saw about six months ago who made up songs to sing to her cat.

7:36 PM: Beth likes to knit.

7:37 PM: Kyle likes to hold little pieces of Darwin in his hand. Actually his story was pretty cool, I'm worried about myself.

7:38 PM: Contestant Jason just crushed a whole category, in much the same manner that I am crushing this beer.

7:40 PM: Kyle's hair and goatee is really 90's, but his waistcoat screams "I'm going to screw up this Daily Double!"

7:43 PM: Nobody is going to pick "The Music of Ballet."

7:45 PM: Alex's supercasual Canadian sweater is by far the highlight of this evening; it's perriwinkle!

7:46 PM: Hey Beth, Carson McCullers wrote The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, not Cormac McCarthy, YOU DUMB BITCH!!

7:47 PM: I bet Kyle loves to do "The Saber Dance."

7:48 PM: God I would love to have a job on the Clue Crew, no matter how many silly hats they made me wear.

7:49 PM: "One-Word Movies" could have easily been renamed "Shitty Movies of 2008."

7:50 PM: Beth is in the lead but I think Jason is going to pull out the win. Too bad, I kind of wanted Kyle to win even though half of all these posts have been for the sole purpose of making fun of his gayness.

7:52 PM: That hip couple will never stop reading the New York Times. They even like the Jayson Blair articles!

7:55: I really don't see why they had to change the Final Jeopardy music. KYLE LOSES.

7:56: Jason has vanquished all foes and is given the honor of finishing out the week with Alex and the Judges. I can now see Kyle's entire wardrobe and it is blowing my mind. Peace Connecticut.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Beef and Broccoli

Can't stop watching this

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Frank Sinatra in Richmond, VA ca. 1950. Photo by Stanley Kubrick.

c/o Vanity Fair

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nick, Russell, and Delia

Can this be real? I love Nick Cave, and The Proposition was pretty good (albeit thanks to a big assist by Ray Winstone), but this thing sounds only a cut or two above a piece of Gladiator fan fic. I think Australia is trying to put one over on us!

Meanwhile, in cool dead people news, I only found out about this chick the other day. WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME

Friday, May 1, 2009

Auto Connection

When the time comes to purchase a new car and your credit is terrible and you need that car or else you're so fired from Kinko's AGAIN and you live in the Richmond/Norfolk/Tidewater area, there is only one place to go SEE VIDEO:

Confidence: INSTILLED. That dog will sell you a car for 300 bucks, and since he's the bank and the law, he can get Will.I.Am to write him songs.

Auto Connection commercials
occupy a strange netherworld between terrible-on-accident and terrible-on-purpose. The pop song adaptations, horrible production value, and endless, endless uses of Mack Mack are obviously tongue-in-cheek to an extent. But there is still an inextricable awfulness to these commercials, regardless of how self-consciously budget they are.

A huge part of the inescapable seediness derives from the customer testimonials. Obviously, no attempt is made by anyone to sound convincing, and whatever is said is so clouded by the garishness that is going on around them that it really doesn't matter. Also, I have to say that on YouTube and in the link above, the audio is much, MUCH better than I have ever heard on TV. On my $40 set, everything the satisfied customers say is completely unintelligible.

In fact, no one can really get a sense for these ads without seeing them on television. This is because no one can ever be fully prepared to see an Auto Connection ad. Witnessing, say, "I'm On Fire" sandwiched in between two other relatively normal commercials is a complete sensory overload; by the time the wicked discofire effects, sweet views of Midlothian Turnpike, goateed Jimmy Buffet fans (I think that guy owns the place), real Mack Mack, anthropormorphic Mack Mack, and Virginia residents dropping down and getting their eagle on have clattered to an abrupt and jarring halt, any normal person will have lost all will to watch the denouement of "Frasier," no matter how wickedly farcical it might turn out to be.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Strong Steps

Pyongyang says the test of the three-stage Taepodong-2 rocket was a success, putting a satellite into orbit which is now transmitting data and revolutionary songs.
Watched a show about the Antichrist on the History Channel recently. They trotted out a bunch of possible explanations for what some of the more cryptic passages in Revelations could mean. Needless to say, they missed the most blatantly obvious one:

GOD, David Thewlis is an underappreciated actor. He basically made up all the shit in that scene off-dome, ya know. Last I heard he was playing a British Nazi in a WWII movie that wasn't as popular as "Valkyrie".

Peace out

Monday, April 6, 2009


On May 29, 1913, Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" premiered in Paris. The crowd at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, confounded and angered by the atonal, primal nature of the music and the racy theme of Nijinsky's accompanying choreography, descended into a riot that could not be quelled even by the Paris police force. Stravinsky's ballet itself, of course, is now recognized as a milestone in classical music and perhaps the gold standard against which all modern classical music is judged.

Everyone knows that the classical music scene has been mad boring since then, with the only excitement coming from the occasional theater fire or recital at Stonehenge. For the last 96 years, palms have been sweating, hearts have been palpitating with anticipation for anything that would compare even in the slightest to the epochal event that took place that day in 1913.

That's why, if you live in the Richmond, VA area, do not even THINK about being out of town on April 25, 2009; that is when VIDEO GAMES LIVE is coming to the Landmark Theater.

Video Games Live is a spectacular concert event featuring music from the most popular video games of all time. Join the Richmond Symphony and Richmond Symphony Chorus for exclusive video footage and music arrangements, synchronized lighting, solo performers, electronic percussionists, live action and unique interactive segments that create an explosive entertainment experience!
Don't even call yourself a member of the human race if you miss this opportunity.

Ok but seriously though what is the deal with this phenomenon? How can anyone love video games so much that they need to experience what was once just a midi file blown up to ridiculous proportions and synchronized with lights and dancing I guess? Maybe I just don't understand because I'm not a big video game guy (except Goldeneye; if anyone knows how to beat the Aztec level btw, hit me back).

But wait! I like other things!

Like movies, for example. Like Bernard Hermann, for example.

The man created some of the greatest film music of all time. But for me, personally, like speaking from my heart, I would never go to a recital of his music in any form. I think that in removing his music from the context of the films in which they appeared, something is inevitably lost; something not worth forking over like 50 bucks to see performed live. Why wouldn't it be the same for video games?

So I dunno, if you want to get high on Sour Patch Kids and go see Video Games Live, do it. But you won't find me in the Landmark Theater on April 25! I'm getting fitted for new dentures that day.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pop Music: Early 2009

Working as I do at a gym equipped with Sirius Satellite Radio that is ninety-five percent of the time tuned to a top 40 station (Sirius Hits 1), I've become familiar over the months with the latest and surely the greatest tracks that 14 year olds and gay men are sweatin lately.

Sirius Hits 1 mostly concentrates on a heady and aromatic blend of confectionary electro-pop, blond-streaked Tapoutdouche rock, and the All-American Rejects. It is almost interchangeable with the hip-hop and R&B station that is sometimes played ("K-'s a hip-hop faggot," as one of my coworkers put it to me recently), yet the gym members are very wedded to SH1, and complaints are inevitably logged if another Sirius station is chosen in its stead.

Since the gym is a warehouse-sized echo chamber and I have things to do during my job that prevent me from focusing all my attention on SH1, I have only a vague grasp of what the majority of these songs actually sound like. Nonetheless, here are my reviews of some of the standouts:

Britney Spears - "Womanizer," "Circus," "If U Seek Amy"
Confession time: it took me forever to figure out that "If U Seek Amy" spelled out "F.U.C.K. Me" or "Fuck Me." I even read an internet news article about the hidden meaning and couldn't piece it together. "IfYOUSEEkamy?" I said out loud to myself. "IfyousEEKAMY? Well, I don't see what's so objectionable about that."

These are three of the worst songs I have ever heard in my life.

Eminem feat. Dr. Dre and 50 Cent - "Crack A Bottle"
I think it's fair to say that for anyone within about five years of my age, Eminem and Dr. Dre played a monumental role in shaping their worldview as it pertains to, among other things, women, black culture, stress management, and marijuana. These men taught us how adults function in society, and for that we owe them a debt of gratitude.

This song, which I guess is supposed to be either on Eminem's new album or Dre's thing that's supposed to have been coming out for the last ten years, represents a clean break from Eminem's previous woe-is-me angst tales; from the title, there is abundant evidence that Marshal Mathers III is now all about partying and having a good time. Em's verse and the song's chorus name-drop a number of fun things, like condoms, group sex, and Chevy Tahoes. Dre has a whatever verse and 50 Cent stops by for literally about 10 seconds.

I don't know if Dre produced this but if he did it sounds really
phoned in and if Eminem produced it, it is the best song Eminem has ever produced.

Adem(?) - Song about blowjobs
This song is really annoying because it goes "So addicted to/all the things you do/when you're going down on me/in between the sheets" so immediately you have to picture a guy who looks like Criss Angel without the goth fixation receiving fellatio. It is also annoying because it is a really, really bad song.

Lady Gaga - "Just Dance," "Poker Face"
These songs are so, so catchy, which is funny, because there's not really anything exceptional about them. They're pretty Kylie-y, you know, pulsating electrobeats that would sound good at a really clean-looking club, don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about when I'm talking about Kylie.

Anyway, whoever wrote these hooks (the man I'm picturing looks something like Giorgio Moroder with a gold lame tracksuit and Osiris D3s) is a genius-caliber svengali, because they are mad going through my head right now. Actually, he probably looks more like Scott Storch than Giorgio Moroder.

Theory Of A Deadman - "Bad Girlfriend"
This is a song about how the lead singer of Theory Of A Deadman's girlfriend acts all Coyote Ugly when they out at da club but then he says something like "but she's comin home with me tonight!"

For the longest time, I thought this was a song about how the guy's girlfriend slept around on him. That was until one of my coworkers started singing his own made up version of "Bad Girlfriend" along the lines of "She likes to shake her titties/She likes to suck my dick/Yeah yeah/She's a bad bad girlfriend" and I insisted that we look up the real lyrics. It was then that I discovered just how nuanced this song really is, while still being absolutely god-awful.

T.I. feat. Justin Timberlake - "Dead and Gone"
This is definitely my favorite song that is currently being played on SH1. The production is cinematic but gritty, Tip's flow is on-point, and Justin is unobtrusive and effective, sticking to singing the hook and the bridge. See, I can't stand it when guest singers on hip hop songs decide to become the main focus of the song. I'm looking in your direction, Mary J. Blige (more on this later).