Monday, September 27, 2010

Television Trisuckta

The other day I was simultaneously watching three terrible TV shows. While this didn't compel me to turn off the box, it was a real eye opener as to what people are entertained by today. On one channel, Entertainment Tonight was doing a long piece on Bristol Palin's triumphant return to Wasila to film an episode of Dancing With the Stars. I can't be sure, but it appeared from the segment that perhaps Bristol is neither too bright nor too interesting. In fact, there was some evidence that all of Wasila is neither too bright nor too interesting, and that Entertainment Tonight is not so entertaining.
Saturday Night Live was on, and Katy Perry was singing. If I'd missed that girl, I would have liked it, but that was not meant to be. I try not to be mean or too negative, but the performance was embarrassingly bad. Truly awful, I tell you. I felt sorry for the band and the back up dancers. They're just trying to make a living after all. They were all dressed up like football players and slutty school girls. It's bad enough that they have to play that crap, but to make them look so stupid is just cruel. Why is Katy singing about her teenage dreams? She's 25! I don't want to say she carries her talent in her tah-tahs, but they were, by far, her most impressive asset. I know this guy who is an animator working on her next video. I don't want to give anything away, but in a surprise move, she'll be calling attention to her chestial area, with what I understand to be nipple fireworks. OK, so I'm not a fan.
The last show I watched I dvr'd, because I thought it would be good. It was billed as a documentary-type reality show about revisiting a high school class in Austin, Texas. It has a name almost irresistible to people of my age - My Generation. It blew so hard I can't even dignify it with description.
While all of this saddens me, it helped me to remember what is sincerely important about time and tv. Time spent not watching Mad Men is better spent watching The Choir or Modern Family, or even POV or CBS Sunday Morning. I must be more discerning, and use my time wisely.
I gotta get out more!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shine On

Yesterday, the 22nd of September, there was a Harvest Moon. That sounds romantic, but I had to look up what a Harvest Moon is; I mean, I am a farmer and all, but not that kind of farmer that knows things about growing stuff. A Harvest Moon is a full moon that falls on the Autumnal Equinox, the last day of summer and the first day of fall. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Autumnal Equinox is on the 22nd or 23rd of September, and this year the Harvest Moon rose five and a half hours after the Equinox began. I don't know when the last time the moon was so close to the Equinox, but it will be a long time before it happens again. That's gotta be lucky. It's going to be an especially good year , everybody!
This lovely picture is by Astropixie. If you want to read a long, groovy, astrological account of what the month of September means to you, check this out:
This is a Half-Cheek Moon. It happened in August. When you see this, it means somebody is drunk. I can't remember who.
This is a song that I love. It's by the great Superfly, Curtis Mayfield. I think it is so beautiful, and I love how it starts out as Hell's Bells by AC/DC, only it is so not. It was written a long time ago, but I think it takes on an unexpected meaning post-9/11.
I hope this plays when you click it. Who knows? Technology! You're so unpredictable!
Here are two vids from the classic Earth, Wind and Fire* song, September. The first appeals to people tripping balls on acid, and the second is for the jovial crystal meth user. Enjoy.

* I like a band that makes punctuation a necessity in their name, don't you?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Flocking to films
So, check these videos out: I especially like "The Door", but they are all good. I can't embed them because I can't figure out how to, but the website's cool and you can peruse it at your leisure now. Edie's one of those people who looks around and really notices things. Then, once they are in her head, she feels them, and the feelings mix with thoughts, and the thoughts gel into ideas, and, after they've baked awhile, the ideas rise up like rich deserts, creative quiches that dance on the tip of your tongue and fill you with whatever they are made of: joy, wonder, amusement, astonishment, sorrow or hope. I guess that's what artists do, right? I really admire those who feel the need to create, and I appreciate the ways the outcomes of this passion to express make me feel. After all, in the end, it's all about me and how I feel, right? You betcha, it is! At least on this blog...all me, all the time! Perfect!*
Anyway, so this blog is about movies.
Here is a movie I am looking forward to:

The man who is shown at the beginning of the movie, Geoffrey Canada, is a hero of mine. I think he's so fantastic; he sees everything all widescreen, and he looks for all the ways to say 'can' in situations that scream 'can't'.

For more information about the Harlem Children's Zone, go to
Something else I look forward to is any opportunity to namedrop, and upcoming films afford me just that: My friend Kari has recently worked on two movies that are coming up in 2011, Puncture and Mighty Fine. I don't know if the flicks are going to be any good, but I guarantee the costumes will be perfect! Yay, Kari, who is my friend and who knows me!
(By the way, you know all that stuff I said about Edie Brickell that sounded like I knew her well enough to talk about her? It's cuz I do! Yup! Another one of my celebrity friends! Oh, how cool I am, and all my famous friends will tell you that just the same!)

This is a movie I think about a lot. I saw it a long time ago, and it has stayed with me. It's hard to watch; it's about the Columbine shootings, and it's...odd, to say the least, but I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it...

Man, I LOVE embedding! It's like magic!
I guess it's become apparent that I'm not so into the comedies. Or anything even remotely feel-good or happy. While this is not exactly true - I loved Spinal Tap and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and I'm pretty sure I've at least chuckled at something in the 21st century- mostly I like a flick that disturbs me or makes me sad. Perhaps this accounts for whenever I choose the movie on a first date, there is never a second date. I do have a sense of humor; it's just that it's not a good one.
Another movie that is coming out soon that I want to see is Howl, which is based on the obscenity trial of Allen Ginsburg. Fun, huh?! I read that poem; I have even listened to Ginsburg reading it, and now, voila! Here, through the miracle of embedding, you can, too!

Beautiful rhythms, staccato and lyric, amazing imagery, and fantastic juxtaposition, but then again, what the hell is he talking about, right? Anyway, the parts that I did understand made an impression on me, as did a poem he wrote for his mother, Kaddish. So, I think Gimsburg himself, the time that he lived and flourished, The Beat Generation, and all the political activism and expression that was him and then, are interesting. I have a soft spot for the Sixties. And, as if that's not enough, get a load of the cast in this flick! First of all, there's Jon Hamm. OOH, how I love me some Hamm! But he's not even the lead! The star is James Franco, one of my TV friends from the fantastic Freaks and Geeks! What a great show! He plays Ginsburg. Mary Louise Parker is in it, but not as the stupid bitch she plays in Weeds. Maybe she'll be more like the lovable lesbian she played in Fried Green Tomatoes, which, I gotta admit, I liked a lot. Jeff Daniels, one of the most lovable, stand-up fellas in Hollywood is in it. I like him, and I even liked that part in Dumb and Dumber where he licked the icy pole. I've done that. Really, who hasn't?David Strathairn adds gravity and legitimacy, and Treat Williams - remember him from Hair? I do so love a musical, especially one that features a transsexual, not that Hair was one of those, but just saying - rounds the whole thing out as an unexpected, but ever so pleasant bonus. Here's that trailer:

Ach. Embedding has exhausted me. What I really wanted to say in this post is that I love the movies. I love the sticky floors and the "Down in front!" and the hushed anticipation as the film crackles to life. I get excited at the previews and want to see all of them when they come out. I love being lost in time, in a story, in the dark, in a suspension of reality that is so sharp, clear and present that it makes you laugh out loud or cry unashamedly. I love holding hands in flickering light. I enjoy being led or balking, being patient, or uncontrollably leaping ahead. My grandfather took my mother to the movies and my mother still takes me, and each time we go, I feel like we've shared something special and important, even if we don't like the film. I love being alone with a room full of strangers, listening to their breath, smiling at their laughter. I love shifting in my seat, being uncomfortable, being still. I love feeling pure emotion, even if it is manipulated.

One day we won't have movies as we know them. Maybe people will only want to watch short snippetts by themselves on their phones, tweeting what they are seeing as the moving screen reflects in their scanning eyes, able only to pay attention for a few minutes at a time, bursts of information exploding, and then fading like firecrackers on a holiday with a forgotten meaning. Already kids don't watch the late show on tv like I did, black and white Hitchcocks showing them of another generations fears, to be dreamed about later when the picture is obscured by heavy lids, or Manchurian Candidates to baffle and thrill preadolescent minds that latch on to whatever they find vaguely dirty or forbidding. Those movies made me think and shaped my sense of glamor and decorum, of pacing and suspense, of language and eras. I'll be sad when I can't go to the movies anymore. I'll miss them like a lost friend.
Fortunately, I'm free Saturday night. Anybody up for a flick?
Jeff Daniels was also in Pleasantville, which featured this John Lennon song, as performed by Fiona Apple. I love the original, and I love the cover. The first time I heard it, I listened to it over and over, back to back to back.

P.S. Thank you, Edie. I tip my hat to you!
P.P.S. Thank you, Kari. I'm looking forward to hanging out with you!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Talkin' Tube

At one point in my life, I had an ex-boyfriend sit down with a boyfriend-to-be to discuss the situation, which was, in this case, not an abs obsessed asshole, but me. They were layin' it down, mano a mano, tellin' it like it be. I wasn't there, and they could say anything, anything at all, as part of a man ritual: the passing of a chick baton. "Yeah," the old said to the new. "She's cool with the tube." Words to love by.
I am cool with the tube, though it's taken me a long time to admit it. First of all, I had to overcome a prejudice, and that was that since tv takes away from reading, and only dumb people don't read (I told you it was a prejudice), if I admitted how much I watch tv, then everyone will know how little I read, and hence what a dummy I actually am. Second, I have not always been the most discerning of viewers. I have watched some things, with great glee and gusto, that are, as they say in the UK, "pure shite." Worse still, lots of crappy tv, made for the consumption of the sentimental, sappy, easily manipulated masses, has made me cry and cry, or smile maniacally, wrapping my arms tightly around myself as if I were straight jacketed, rocking back and forth after a long day's work. I've been moved, more than once, by commercials. I do trust that little Geiko lizard. I'm Joe Viewer, and I'm a teleholic.
That being said, I have embraced my inner sappy dum-dum slug. I enjoy the disconnect that comes from sitting - or, who am I kidding, laying down - and saying, point blank, "You, over there! The one who is emanating rays! Entertain me!" I like to judge and feel real emotion about people and situations that have nothing to do with myself. I like stories. I feel more comfortable with some fictional characters than I do with some family members.
I have taken to watching a series on the BBCA that is shamelessly heartwarming reality show, which is almost the worse kind. It's called The Choir. It's about this guy, Choirmaster Gareth, who goes into different environments and starts choirs. It's riveting, I tell you! Gareth shows diverse groups that they have something within them of which they can be proud. As a teacher, I get a vicarious thrill every time some kid, lonely old guy, or drained housewife looks at him/herself and says, "I'm not 'alf bad, now am I?" As a human, I am reminded again and again that everyone needs to feel valid and valuable, and it doesn't take much to be kind and create opportunities for others to be proud of themselves. There's the extra bonus of having this show set in England; I like their accents and expressions, like "snarky" and "well, it's a crap town, now, innit?" I listen to the BBC radio all night, on account of I have the insom-ni-yay (I'm trying to be positive about it), and I have grown to love and feel comforted by Brit-speak. I am also real sweet on Britney-speak, y'all, but that's a whole different post. Anyway, The Choir rocks. You should watch it. Don't hate! Try it!
I also think I like Louis CK's new show on FX, Louie, which just finished up its first season. I am not sure if I truly like it, because sometimes it's hard to take. Louis CK is a comic, and he's funny, but sometimes the shows are more disturbing than they are amusing. Still and all, two of the episodes I thought were terrific. The first was from 8/26, which was all about religion. In the beginning of the ep, Louie is in the bathroom, washing his hands. An average guy, dark suit and nondescript face, walks in, does his business, and heads for the sink. He spies a hole in the wall that has the word 'heaven' written above it in shaky caps. You can almost see the light bulb go on over his head as he unzips and moves towards the hole. Glory be! Louie is alarmed.
"Hey! What are you doing?"
"Oh, I'm sorry," the man says pleasantly. "Were you going to use it?"
"No!" Louie cries out. "You're not really going to stick you're penis in that hole are you?"
"Well, yes I am," the man replies.
"Have you done that before?" Louie asks incredulously.
"Nope!" says the balding business man, smiling.
"Why would you do it?" asks Louie, still trying to understand.
"You gotta have faith." That's the answer. Faith. You just have to believe that despite all evidence and speculation, sticking your dick through an opening in a dirty bathroom because someone who went before you described it as 'heaven' is a good idea. That's just the beginning of this show. I loved it, and thought about it for days. Hang on....I was just thinking about it again. That's good stuff.
The other ep I really liked was the season finale, when Louie has a really shitty night in which he tries to combat his crushing loneliness. It's bad, and it never gets better. It's an entire evening of hope dashed. Who does a season finale about loneliness? That's not uplifting! Loneliness isn't zany! It lacks the wacktackular, but it's real. I'm not sure every episode is so great, but if he doesn't get cancelled, I'll be back next season fo' sho'.
I love The Daily Show. I love Jon Stewart. He's smart, funny and hot. That's right; I say GRRRR! I lovelovelove him. He had Jon Hamm of Mad Men on the other day. I love when guys named Jon without the 'h' who are on a show I love have other guys named Jon without the 'h' who are on a show I love..
Have I mentioned I love Mad Men? I so do.
I like some other popular shows also. Modern Family - funny, and that one lady from Colombia is my new lady crush. She's smokin' hot and completely non-threatening. Most of my lady-crushes could crush my head like a walnut; I can't help it, I like the fierce ladies. This one is way out of my league, but a real nice person, too. Nice.
Parenthood - I am sucked in, and I like that the message at the end is so Sister Sledge. The Bravermans are now part of my tv family, and I'm not ashamed to say it loud, say it proud. Also, Dax Shepard, who is in the movie I'll talk about later is in this show. How's that for a coincidink.
I watch Project Runway, though I hardly ever like the clothes, and I watch Weeds, though I hate the main character.
Some shows I just don't get. I tried to watch Jersey Shore, but I ended up feeling bad for those people and for the state of humanity. Don't they know how they are? Watching it is like standing on the corner and making fun of the short bus. I tried to watch True Blood, but that Anna Paquin; she's so, how can I put it, shitty as an actress. Insipid, I tell you. My friend Chi-Toh watches it, but he says he's only in it for the sex. I like sex, but I don't think I'd be into vampire sex. I'm Team Mammal. Vampires are all greedy and selfish, on account of they only want you for your blood, and I hear they are cold, freezing cold, including their vampenises and vampginas. Why get involved? Needy vampire, who will kill you but never really let you die, or frozen pudding pop, that will achieve basically the same effect if correctly and creatively applied, but that has the bonus of being delicious and providing the recommended daily allowance of calcium? It's a no-brainer to me.
I saw one of the most resonant movies I have ever seen on TV, Idiocracy. I saw it late night one insomniac evening, when it came on after Pauly Shore's classic Son-In-Law, which I watched solely because I am credited at the end of it. No, really. I am. I have had a long and interesting life, and that is just one tiny part of it. Even the thrill of dubious fame doesn't make it worthwhile to watch Son-In-Law. I do, however, think of Idiocracy, an almost equally shitty movie, at least once a week when I am at school. Though truly bad, it is totally prophetic.
I'm not sure what language the subtitles are in, but so what, right?

Oh! Double embed! Yes! I'm on fire!
I could probably write for hours about tv, and lately I've been really glad to have it. I think it's part of getting back to school. I go to work, deal with all this stuff I never imagined I would have to think about, and come home, as the lovable Brits say, "positively knackered." All I want is to let go, to relax, and not have to make decisions that are important. I don't want anyone to depend on me, and I don't want to have to be tactful or polite. I want to hang out in my boxers, eating fiery hot pickled green beans out of the jar. However, immersing myself in a world that has nothing to do with reality, and in which the relevant human contact is negligible, I am lonely, like Louie. Not season finale lonely, but lonely none the less. The more I watch, the more I realize I have nobody to watch with. Sometimes the only sound in my house is the sound of my fake friends fake laughing. It's quite the paradox. I crave the solitude, and I when I get it, I'm saddened. Only one thing to do: wait until 10 when Jon Stewart comes on. He loves me and I love him, and we are oh-so-happy when we are together. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

P.S. This post goes out to Em, who invites me over to watch our stories, and who opens a bottle of wine and gives me a blanket and makes me feel like the guest of honor every Friday. We pause the shows and talk about the week , and we laugh, and sometimes we even dye our hair or do a little dance. Good times, Em! This Friday, I'll bring the cheese and crackers!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bizniss 'bout the blog

Now that I am completely computer savvy (perhaps you've noticed that I can embed video right into my blog), I have learned how to use the Internet to gather pertinent information about said blog and those who read it. For example, the most popular keyword search that has led new people to my blog, "sedona cocksucker rock"* has been replaced by "justine bateman godless", which I think is lees a speculation on her religious leanings than a hapless misspelling. I have learned that there must be an infestation of nutria in the UK, Germany, and parts of Asia, as people from those regions tend to go to Google Images and find a picture of the disgusting cheeto-fanged rat I displayed. Once there, they check out the fascinating factual content I posted, learn a little something, and then move on, enlightened and empowered. According to my statistic counting tool, this scholarly study takes them 0.0 seconds.
If one was to search The Smaller Adventure under Google Images, which I have done strictly for research purposes, one would find a number of photos I myself have taken, yet for which I have received no credit, nor royalty payments.My team of lawyers is working on this, as I am sure thousands of people have stolen my art for their own purposes, be they pleasure or business. I can't blame them, as gems like "Freaky 70's-looking Bass Player with Fat 'Stache and Sweatband" or "Boring-looking People Under Sign That Says They Are Boring" are virtually irresistible when it comes to downloading for free. You can print these photos out and frame them for personal enjoyment in your home or office. What is strange to me is how things that I ripped off from Google Images have become attributed to my blog. It's as if the universe has said, "You, Smaller Adventurer! You deserve to have these images! Take them freely, and claim them as your own! " Mostly, people look at the picture of the nutria or of this tube of Monistat I used for my "Happy Yeaster 2010" post. I'm thinking the toothpaste from the last post is going to become mine soon, which is just great by me, as I find it to be post-realistic in its simplicity and post-modern in its statement in the squeezed-out nature of its inherent innocent sense of purpose and purity. I'm deep like that.
I have also learned that out of all the people who visited the blog from all over the world -no really, ALL over; it's very cool to see all the people in all the different places that have checked out this blog - only about 6 of you actually read it, and I am probably related to most of you. (Shout out to person in Washington, DC, and other person in Potters Bar, Hertford, UK - I don't think I know you, but thanks for coming back, even after you saw the Monistat tube!) While it is true that people who write their diaries on the Internet obviously crave attention, I guess it is OK that most people aren't tuning in for my stimulating prose. Now that I know they won't be offended, I can write bad things about my friends and family, even those who say they are my followers, because I can rest assured they'll never see it. What happens on Smaller Adventure stays on Smaller Adventure, and it'll just be between the six of us, okay? Anyway, to you who read this because you care about me and want to know me, I thank you. Even though I don't really know who you are, I'm sure I like you a lot, and you're a real nice person.You will probably go to Heaven. No matter what, it's nice to know you're out there. Sincerely, it is.
Here are some pictures that Google Images can later be sued over.
This one is called "Dropping acid in Gym class was not as fun as I thought it would be and all my friends are dicks."This one is called "But She Said She Was 18...and A Real Live Human...Anyway, We Were Just Talking"This one's a picture of my shoes. Cute, non? I got them on sale.

*'sedona cocksucker rock' really is a phrase that was searched - three times - that led people to my blog. Who does that? I mean I wrote about it, but who thinks to search that shit?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Truer words seldom spoken

Over the past few weeks, I have gleaned a fundamental truth from Jon Stewart's "The daily Show":
All of humanity share two universalities - peristalsis and masturbation.
The man is brilliant.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Art Appreciation

How cool is this?!

70 Million by Hold Your Horses ! from L'Ogre on Vimeo.

Thank you to Michael by way of Trixie!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dirty Knobs

The other day I had a ridiculous early meeting at school and then a preposterous late meeting at the theater, so when I came home it was dark. The motion detector on the light at my back door had burned out, so I fumbled for my keys, and when I finally turned the door knob, it was all caked with mud.
"Oh no! I've been robbed again!" I thought. Some crook with muddy hands had broken in and ransacked my home and stolen all the worldly goods his criminal brethren (I believe that's the second time in as many posts that I've managed to use that word, but who's counting, right?) had overlooked the last time I got jacked. The house was dark as I made my way through the kitchen and flipped on the light.
False alarm! Nothing was amiss, nothing awry. Yay! Tragedy averted, confidence restored, worldly goods safely hidden in a box under the brown boots in the bottom left hand corner of my closet. Hmmm... perhaps I've said too much...
Still one thing puzzled me; why had my door knob been mud encrusted? I poured a glass of wine and mentally relived my day...
Alarm goes off. Nina Tottenberg talking loudly, then louder. I hit snooze. Second alarm goes off. This one is in the living room. I throw first alarm clock at second, but miss. I have to get up. I do, and remember the early meeting. I get dressed in a hurry. My shirt is inside out. I make coffee and decide I really should shower. I do, cuz I'm professional like that. Time's ticking. Gotta make that meeting. We'll be talking about foldables and word walls*, and I can't be late for that. I put on my little teacher shoes and go outside. Forgot my lunch, gotta go back in. Notice I also forgot my coffee. No wonder I'm so sluggish. Lock up, head out. From inside I hear my cell phone. Forgot my cell phone. Dammit! It's my mom. She's calling to make sure I'm up. She's a real nice lady, and we have a real nice chat. I lock up again and go outside. I'm going to be a teeny bit late for the meeting, but I'll still be able to sign in as if I cared about making it on time. It's been raining all night. My little kitten heel sinks in the mud, and's all coming back to me...then, knowing I was about to be mighty late, I went over to the garden and dug my hand in the ground, to feel just how much it had rained. Plenty, as it turned out. That garden was muddy, I tell you what. That's what happens when it rains. And that reminded me that I was supposed to present an article about recycling in the classroom, so I went back inside to get it, and then I headed off to school, where I was 20 minutes late for the meeting, but, as it turned out, didn't miss anything of consequence.
Mystery solved! I darkened my own doorknob! And look! There, on my wrist and palm, a streak of mud remained. Still there, after all the doo-dah day.
I still don't know why I felt the need to touch the dirt, or why I sabotage myself so that I'm late for inane meetings every time they are held, or why when I touch a dirty doorknob I immediately assume I've been robbed. Such is the mystery that is me. I am not proud of the fact that I walked around from dusk until dawn with a yucky dirty hand, or that I never succeeded in washing it off, though I swear to you I really do wash my hands whenever I...well, at the usual times when people wash their hands for all of those reason that we do. I don't even know why I've written about the whole episode here; it's not really interesting, and is probably better left unsaid.
It's official; I am an enigma, even to myself.

* Foldables are papers that you fold. Word walls are words you stick on the wall. This is what high school administrators think will save the youth of America from failing test scores and a depressing creativity crisis. Both "strategies" are mandatory in my school, according to the bonehead who led the meeting I should have skipped.