Thursday, December 31, 2009

Under my feet, the earth moves

Up the saturation on this color palette!
Cue the cellos! (fp cres.)
Intensify your screams of agony!

I believe that to be believable, you must portray the believable in an unbelievable fashion.

Move aside, circumnavigate this convoluted world of yours.

You ain't got nothing on this.

Happy New Year to me. And to you, partner in crime.

But not to you, Sarah Jane. No, not you.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Failure to communicate.

Austin, we've got a problem.

I feel that what we've got here is a solid disconnect.

Fixable? Probably negative. The chasm is of a size far too great now. Perhaps if I had an infinite supply of 2x4's, one heavy duty hammer, an abundance of nails, and the will power to bridge that gap.

A bridge abridged.

I'm no civil engineer.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

These Holidays

I've taken this break to catch up on certain things that once defined me as an individual. I mean specifically, film & music. These are all things that I've ignored pretty much all year in the wake of my full-force career goal shift towards a less creative industry. Left behind a lot of things that I'm going back and picking up. Still several things that needs mending.

Since I'm doing all this revisiting and since the last few days of 2009 are approaching, I'd like to go back and highlight some of those great "naughties" moments that I remember quite vividly.

Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice" music video directed by Spike Jonze featuring a dancing Christopher Walken.

Then of course, we have Zenadine Zidane's headbutt during the 2006 World Cup finals between France and Italy. France lost 5-3 in the end.

I haven't compiled any sort of best films of the decade list or anything, but hands down, my favorite would have to be Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, released in 2004, the year in which I really fell in love with cinema.

"Can I borrow a piece of your chicken?"
"I prefer to be Ruth, but I'm flexible."

This decade, I also fumbled my way for the first time through James Joyce's Ulysses. Although the novel is not specifically a product of this decade, this is definitely an accomplishment I want to highlight.

In terms of advertising, this is probably one of the best commercials to have been made this past decade. I know I posted this on my tumblr/facebook already, but I think it deserves another mention. This is Ogilvy & Mather's "Evolution" for Unilever's Dove Campaign for Real Beauty Fund.

That's enough for now. Until my next entry.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

25 Best Albums of the Decade

25 Best Albums of the Decade
Or, the albums released between the years 2000-2009 that mean the most to me:

1. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
2. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It in People
3. Radiohead - Kid A
4. Arcade Fire - Funeral
5. Modest Mouse - The Moon & Antarctica
6. Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism
7. Cat Power - The Greatest
8. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
9. The National - Boxer
10. The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free
11. The Postal Service - Give Up
12. The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
13. Beck - Sea Change
14. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
15. Spoon - Kill the Moonlight
16. Cat Power - You are Free
17. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
18. TV on the Radio - Dear Science
19. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
20. Björk - Vespertine
21. Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose
22. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
23. Aimee Mann - Bachelor No. 2
24. The Antlers - Hospice
25. PJ Harvey - Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea

Oh, god. I know this looks like something off pitchfork, but I guarantee you that I created this before looking through their list.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Let the Listomania Begin!

Best Albums of 2009

1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
2. The Antlers - Hospice
3. The xx - xx
4. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
5. Passion Pit - Manners
6. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
7. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
8. Karen O and the Kids - Where the Wild Things Are [OST]
9. Taken By Trees - East of Eden
10. Antony & the Johnsons - The Crying Light

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tomorrow Morning means Golden Globe Nominations

And I have no clue what's going on with that. For the past four years of my life, I have been on top of awards season, ready with my predictions, formulating my own upsets. What happened to me? I know nothing. I've seen a mere 7 films released this year.
  1. District 9
  2. 500 Days of Summer
  3. Star Trek
  4. Watchmen
  5. Drag Me to Hell
  6. Bruno
  7. Me and Orson Welles
This semester -- no scratch that. This YEAR has been too damn busy. This winter break, I must catch up. Hopefully, I will also be able to make a Top 10. We will see.

Seems like we may have our first female Best Director in Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker). I will be previewing her work in the next couple of days too. Jason Reitman is 3 for 3 now with Up in the Air, starring a Best Actor-worthy George Clooney. Many great animated films this year as well -- The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Ponyo, Up!, The Princess and the Frog, Coraline, etc. And Mo'Nique may have a new epithet in a couple months -- "Academy Award winner Mo'Nique" -- thanks Lee Daniels's Precious.

Enough musings. For now, I must run to HEB to buy Sunkist in preparation for my apresentação português amanhã.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


From howstuffworks "How Sharks Work" article:

We do know that sharks are solitary animals, for the most part. They typically live and hunt by themselves, joining up with other sharks only in certain circumstances, such as mating. Some sharks will form schools on occasion, however. Researchers aren't really sure why this occurs because sharks don't really need protection from predators and they don't feed in schools. At this point, it's still unclear why sharks behave this way. In any case, the occurrence is very rare. Most of the time, sharks swim alone.

Friday, December 4, 2009

December is the Ultimate

Ultimate, not meaning the greatest but the last.

The last of many, many things. It's the ultimate month of this decade. It's the ultimate day of school (excluding finals of course). It's the ultimate minute that I will get to see some great professors.

We just had a sending off for Dr. Charles Rossman, Joyce Scholar and UT English Professor. Great, great guy - super enthusiastic about Joyce, embracing of his students, and obviously loved by his family: two kids, one who graduated from Law school, the other with an MD, both of whom traveled from Houston to sit it on his ultimate day of teaching, documenting with a cute little point-and-shoot the ultimate hour that he will share with young minds the wealth of knowledge and the years of research he possesses on Joyce. And this woman, who I mistook for someone simply wanting to return to college for reasons that I presumed to be a desire to increase her literary knowledge -- well, it turns out that this is his wife. She sat through the entire class and read through Ulysses for the second time in her life just so that she can spend with him his ultimate semester as a Joyce Scholar at the University of Texas.

This is me being sentimental and slightly envious. Envious because - well, have you seen those movies? Wonder Boys, The Squid and the Whale? I wonder if student-professor relations actually blossom the way they do in these films. Not exactly the way they unfold in these films, of course. But I mean, do they bloom? Do students (particularly undergraduates) actually form long-term real relationships with their professors?

Anyways, this is one reason why I'm really glad I'm graduating with a liberal degree here at UT. How can a student really relate to a professor on things like marketing strategies? Or multi-variable calculus? Or fluorescent microscopy? Or MATLAB (say what!?)? I don't think a student can. Beautiful humanities.

I'm feeling quite sentimental right now. It's December. It's snowing like mad in Houston. Biting, cold wind here in Austin with all 750,000 residents hoping and wishing for but one snowflake. One little snowflake. I woke up at 5:00 a.m. before the sun rose and listened to The National. It's the ultimate day of the preantepenultimate semester of my penultimate year of college. And this is me documenting this morning. If I'm this sentimental now, I wonder what the ultimate day of the ultimate semester of my ultimate year here will be for me. Guess, we'll have to see.

Ultimately, I want to say that I'm very sorry that you all will not be able to take Professor Rossman's James Joyce course. My apologies indeed.

And as one ultimate reminder for all those who may stumble upon this entry:
Remember, Madam, I never eat muscatel grapes.