30 January 2007

You too? Take two

Thought I'd try my hand at posting a poll in my blog. So I'll use that U2 column (see below) as poll fodder. Here goes...

If U2 were recording an album of lullabys, what's the best name for a song on the record?
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (My Binky)
Sunday, Poopie Sunday
Who's Gonna Ride Your Rocking Horses?
Dried (In the Name of Luvs)
The Unforgettable Pacifier
Where the Sheets Have No Stain
pollcode.com free polls

You too?

Back to work. Feeling a lot better. ...

I had a fun piece in the paper today that pondered how to rework some of U2's songs into kids music. My favorite: "Where the Sheets Have no Stain." I was also kind of proud of "Sunday, Poopie Sunday."

You can see the full list in the column, but I thought I'd throw it open to you guys for any other suggestions...

Anyone, anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

29 January 2007

Crap, crap, crap

Maybe I should post for some help over on Allison Kennedy's Spin Cycle blog (find the link on this page). The temp's back up to 100.4, edging back through the "smooth FM" band, but hopefully not into classic rock territory on the radio dial (nothing against Rock 103. Just not my ideal body temperature, you know?).

Anyone know any tricks to making fever go away? Preferably ones involving shots of whiskey.

Outsider art, outside

Still home sick. The temp's down to 99.5, which is a more respectable public radio frequency. Should be back to work tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'm blogging out of boredom...

-- B


About 15 years ago, I had a buddy, Gary, who collected folk art. So one weekend, four of us guys loaded up in a car and drove all up in central and north Alabama and northwest Georgia, so that he could buy some pieces from these artists. I think there was some beer involved.

I met Mose T (rest in peace, buddy), Howard Finster, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, and a couple of other folks. My friend had one Finster piece that was a 5-foot tall piece of wood cut like a Coca-Cola bottle. He gave us lots of insight through the weekend. Don't buy from Finster now, because the old guy had taken to using pens instead of paint, and there were rumors his kids were doing some of the work. When you buy from Mose, go to his house and see what colors he's got open while he's working -- so you can buy a piece with those colors and be sure you're getting his work. When we found Sudduth's place, the artist showed us a shed attached to his house. It was full of art. Gary went through and picked a few pieces to buy. I was blown away that there was this much cool art stacked up outside this little house.

So anyway, two weeks later I read something in a newspaper about an investor buying every one of Sudduth's pieces. I got angry. This guy was inflating the costs of the work, and he probably took advantage of Sudduth lack of business acumen. Mostly I was mad that no one else would get to pick through his stacks of work for the piece that struck them.

Seale, Ala., folk artist Butch Anthony was one of the first people I met when I moved to Columbus. Maybe because of that road trip 15 years ago, I've taken to folk art, or "outsider art." Well, we're near a hotbed of it, here in Columbus. Butch is joined by John Henry Toney and Buddy Snipes in Seale. Floria Yancey's over here on the Georgia side.

There are others. Anyone wanting to see what it's all about should check out Parading Chicks, a folk art gallery at 1145 First Avenue.

But for the most fun, pencil in the third Saturday of March, when Pittsview, Ala., will hold its annual Outsiders Outside Do-Nanny at The Mayor's Office. There's usually some cheap wine and cheese if you get there early, and BBQ sammiches for sale. And artists from the region and beyond. You can find details here. But really all you need to know is turn south on 431 and go about 20 miles.

Folk yeah!

28 January 2007

Report card

OK, so yeah, I did lousy on my weekend picks, thanks to the Siberian Death Flu. And in addition to those things, I intended to go see Continue & Save at Rhino's and Valerie Hemingway at the library (she's the former assistant to Ernest and the former wife of his son, Gregory. I wrote this about her).

Didn't do any of that. I have, however, watched the 4.5-hour extended version of "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" without stopping (Jenn doesn't get why Miranda Otto is hotter than Liv Tyler. But she is), "Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit," "Who Killed the Electric Car" and "Talladega Nights." I've also been playing a lot of "Fight Night" on the PS2 and losing pretend money at PokerStars.com.

Jenn was supposed to cover for me on the picks, but she got a mild version of the same bug. She's mostly better already. Trollop.
So I get a failing grade this week, unless you guys will accept a doctor's excuse.

26 January 2007

Hack, cough, wheeze

So I guess I finally caught the flu that's going around. I think everyone in my department has already had a bout, so my time was inevitable. My weekend picks are in jeopardy. I'm definitely going to miss the auction tonight, but Jenn will soldier on without me. Do I get partial credit?

Writing from home, pondering what to throw in the DVD player to help while away the hours when I can't concentrate enough to read. Ugh. I watched "21 Grams" this morning and came to the conclusion that depressing movies are best left to the times when you're not feeling blue. Ironic, eh? Even a very naked Naomi Watts couldn't stir my spirits.

I'm leaning to something from the "Lord of the Rings" canon, or maybe Indiana Jones, since that stuff's all pretty lively. Or I might boot up the PS2, where I can further the career of a boxer in "Fight Night Round 3" (fantastic game, by the way). I created a boxer using the old rules for my soap opera name (you know, take your middle name, then add the street you grew up on). My boxer's dubbed Michael Moreno; take that, "General Hospital."

I'll post more this weekend, after the crud's gone.

24 January 2007

"Queen" quandry

OK, so I saw "The Queen" last night, and I must say, I was pretty disappointed that it wasn't about Freddie Mercury. I kid, I kid.

I never really thought much about the monarchy before, so it was good from that side. Also, great acting by both Helen Mirren and the feller who plays Tony Blair (Michael Sheen's his name). Probably not Best Picture, in all, but very worth seeing.

For those who have seen it, I've got a question. Jenn and I have been debating the symbolism of the 14-point buck that's killed by hunters. She thinks the deer represents Diana, standing alone, hunted and killed. But the movie really was unsympathetic to the princess, so I don't agree. I think it represents more "the monarchy," which may have suffered a fatal blow, or the death of "tradition."

Thoughts, anyone?


The (sausage) party's over

I had a buddy tell me my blog, thusfar, has been too "man-centric." So I'm looking for an excuse to put in some pictures of hot women. Which brings me to the CW. Why is it that this network has so many shows with hot women (answer: to get ratings), yet performs pitifully in the ratings (answer: "Everybody Hates Chris").

I actually caught myself watching -- brace yourself -- "Beauty and the Geek" the other day. Not that I knew what I was watching. Sonya Sorich helped me figure it out the next day. I got sucked in because the buxom beauts were having to interview a New York Times reporter who penned a bestseller. Only one of the contestants actually read the book in advance, even though it was given to all of them. So it was kind of a guilty pleasure watching them fall on their perfectly blushed, tweezed and eyelined faces.

I've never seen "Gilmore Girls," but I understand there's quite a split on whether the mother or daughter is hotter. I'm going with the daughter. No wait, the mother. Oh, why do we have to choose?

I'd talk about "7th Heaven," but that show tires me. It used to be like a dramatic version of "Full House." I guess now it's supposed to be hip. Whatever. More like "7th Plane of Hell." Let's get back to the Gilmore girls debate. The mother. That's final. Sort of.

23 January 2007

It's the Oscars, and I'm the grouch

So I'll have a piece on which Oscar-nominated films are still playing locally in the Wednesday paper. Look for that. Some random thoughts as I was scrutinizing the list:

* I'm very glad that "Little Miss Sunshine" got the Best Picture nomination. But I think I would've sacrificed it to put "United 93" in there. I'm convinced that movie didn't get nominated because most of the folks who got to vote didn't have the cajones to actually watch the film. It's phenomenal. Better yet, leave "L.M.S." in the running and cut out "Babel," which I think is just an odd mash of "Syriana" and "Traffic." ("Syriaphic"?)

* Among animated feature film nominees, whither "Flushed Away"? You can't tell me it's not better than "Happy Feet." (Didn't Academy members realize that that's Robin Williams' voice in there? And isn't he still on strike from appearing in movies that are, you know, good?)

* Next year, how 'bout we just make a new category for Best Film Directed by Someone Named Guillermo? Congrats to Guillermo del Toro for the "Pan's Labyrinth" nomination, and, I suppose, to Guillermo Arriaga for "Babel." By the way, thanks to high school Spanish class, I know that Guillermo is the Spanish form of William.

* I know I've ranted plenty about "Borat" in the past. But what the hell earns it a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Adapted from what -- his character on a TV show? I don't think it counts as an adaptation when he's doing the exact same thing, only with more footage and a better camera. And, as co-worker C.J. points out, what screenplay? The movie was funny enough in places, but it was criminally overrated.

* I can't tell you how happy I am that Ennio Morricone got an honorary statue. Everyone, hum the theme to "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" with me now. ("Ooohweee-oooohweee-oooooh. Wanhh-WANHH-wanhh.")

22 January 2007

Report card time (so, who out there can forge my mom's signature?)

Time to 'fess up on how I did with my weekend picks, I suppose. ... I'd claimed to be going to see one of the movies that just opened that were likely to get Academy Award nominations, and I planned to see either -- or both -- The Dempseys at The Loft and Sun Domingo at the SoHo.

So how'd I do?

The Dempseys

Well, on sheer numbers, I was 1-for-2. Saw "History Boys," but didn't see either concert. Before you fail me out with a 50% score, I should add that I also saw "Stranger Than Fiction," which might get a nod for best comedy or best screenplay. That should be worth at least 20 percentage points in extra credit, I think, which kicks me up to an acceptable C. We'll find out tomorrow if it's in the running for an Oscar, when the A.A. noms come out.

"History Boys"

Speaking of coming out, "History Boys" is very good, very funny and unflinching in its exploration of discrimination against gay people. That's not all it's about, of course. I'd say it's largely about the potency of abstract thought and the multivitamin that is an education in literature, history and -- thank god this was included -- pop culture. Knowledge is power, as Schoolhouse Rocky used to tell us. Check it out while it's at Carmike's screening room at the Peachtree 8. It'll probably be, er, history after Thursday.

19 January 2007

New movies

A buncha cool artsy-type movies just opened here, including a return of "The Queen." My favorite, though, is "History Boys," which Carmike refers to as "History of Boys" in the newspaper ad.

That's a whole 'nother movie, I think...

"Don't you understand? I'm a dentist! A DENTIST!"

Don't you love leaving the dentist after you've just had a filling, and your tongue's still numb on one side, and you can't feel your chin over there? It's as though one side of your face is all swollen, even though it doesn't look like it from the outside. Then, the feeling starts to come back, and the teeth on one side of your lower jaw feel alien and pointy from where they plastered it over with composite filling. You know, of course, that in a few days it will feel normal to you, but now the new edges have worn a sore spot on your tongue. And then all the local has finally worn off, and your jaw starts throbbing and aching and you can't concentrate on work anymore and all you can think about eating is mashed potatoes, which your wife lovingly makes for you when you get home, but you still snap at her because you feel like crap.

Sorry Jenn.

Happy Friday, y'all.

(The quote in the header's from Daniel Day-Lewis in the bizarre "Eversmile, New Jersey.")

18 January 2007

Abandon all hope, ye who enter...

So it's come to this...

I was just thinking, you know, the world needs more disposable "literature." So here it is, via "Barnes' Storming." Call it lit lite. First of all, I should point out that I wanted to call this thing "Brog." You know, like an amalgam of "Brad's Blog"? I could see the title in all caps, only with the "AD'S" and the "BL" crossed out to create the new word. Smarter heads prevailed. This was my second choice.

I'd like to keep this thing pretty free-form, which means I'd like to hear from you guys as to what y'all want to talk, or hear me rant, about. But fear not. Just in case no one's reading, I've got a slew of topics I'm ready to cover.

For this, the first posting, I thought I'd just run through some of the media I've been playing with in the past week.

Movies: I watched "Miracle," over the weekend. It's the Kurt Russell movie about the U.S. hockey team's run in the 1980 Olympics. I was a little worried that, since it carried a G rating and was put out by Disney that it would be a soap-sudsy telling of the story. It was actually really engaging. Russell proved himself a (cough-cough) pretty good actor. And he said "screw" at one point. Huh-huh. He also has an awesomely bad 'do... Hoping to get out to see "Stranger Than Fiction" before it leaves the dollar house. I'll let you know what I think if I can get there afore Friday.

Music: Catching up on last year's buzzes. Grabbed the new Keane disc and finally got the Arctic Monkeys. Not blown away by either, but maybe they're too hyped by the time I'm actually checking it out...

TV: I'm amazed that the quality of "The Office" never seems to drop. There's at least three laugh-out-loud moments every week, like last week, when Dwight makes Jim walk in front of him, so he can be better prepared for Jim's attacks, and Jim just slaps him in the face. OK, you had to be there. Tonight's ep is new, we're told. Also looking for the return of "Studio 60" on Monday. (Anyone who watched the Christmas episode and loved the New Orleans jazz players' version of "O Holy Night," go here and download the mp3.

Button mashing: Wrote a review of "Rogue Galaxy" based on the demo of the game. The 10 best reviews win a free copy. It was pretty good, but I'm not much of a fantasy RPG player. So if I win the game, I'll probably try to swap it at yon Electronics Boutique for something else, like "Okami." If I don't win, I'll post my review here, so y'all can laugh at it. There's some clause in the contest that says the review must be unpublished, so I'll have to wait, though.

But enough about me. Let's talk about you. What do YOU think about me...?

15 January 2007


First post. Just testing the blog, fellas.