Friday, December 31, 2004

Best Brief Christmas Rundown

I haven't had a lot to say lately. I haven't been doing too much on this vacation, and that was the plan on all along. But here's some pictures of some stuff that has happened (as you can see, I've been keeping it pretty casual around the house.) First of all, I got a Millenium Falcon for Christmas. Just when you thought my apartment couldn't get any more awesome, how does it feel to know I'll soon have a Millenium Falcon there, sitting on my bookshelf?

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Also, since coming home, I've been trying to teach the dog a new trick: letting me hold her. Training has consisted of various stages of trust-building (as seen here):

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And actual dog-holding:

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Now, remember, I didn't say anything in my first paragraph about this post being interesting. But if you knew our idiot dog, you'd understand how much I've accomplished here.
Here in my Chicago-home the computer sits beside a vent above the cat's room in the basement. I sit here, wishing I could blog, but the stench of left-out catfood wafting up from below is too much for me. Thought you had to know.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Best Contrarian Best of List

The year is dying, and that means everyone is posting their Best of 2004 lists, and for the most part, Best of 2004 lists don't look so different from each other--particularly Best Album lists, particularly when those Best Album lists are put together by internet coolsters. You see a lot of repeated favorites, which makes sense, because there's only so much music all the cool people in the world can be listening too, and since we all know how cool I think I am, if I were to make an official list of my favorite records of the year, it wouldn't be super different either except for a few records that I disagree with very much. So, here's my list of "Albums of 2004 that I'm Saying Weren't as Hot as Other People Say they Are."

Air, "Talkie Walkie" First of all, every time I see this record on a Best of the Year list, I'm just dumb with disbelief. I can't believe people even remembered this record existed, let alone remembered it to be one of their favorites of the year. Here's my brief history of Air records: Moon Safari comes out, everyone says "Ooh!", we're introduced to chill French-electro. I loved this record so hard from 1998-2000, I probably have no idea how much I really listened to it. Then Premiere Symptomes comes out, its a collection of pre-Moon Safari tracks, but it sounds like Moon Safari, and I totally dig it for all of 2000. Also, the Virgin Suicides score comes out, and its good, but all the tracks are too short, although "Playground Love" is a dope track. Right now we've got three records worth of chill French-electro, everyone's cool with it. Then, summer of 2001, the 10,000 Hz Legend comes out. It's like Air's version of Midnight Vultures, it's a total turn-off, the kind of record that at first is panned by critics, then embraced, then panned again when everyone gets their senses together. 2004, Talkie Walkie comes out, its a return to the mellow French-electro we liked on the first three records, with a few twists, a little this, a little that, but guess what? We loved those mello records back in 2000, its 2004 now, Air records age as well as a Nine Inch Nails record. No thanks, Air. I don't need any mellow French-electro right now, and I really don't need car commercials set to the tune of "Surfing on a Rocket." So not a best record of the year.

Madvillain, "Madvillainy" What? I'm calling the year's most popular underground hip-hop collabo a not-the-best-record-of-the-year? Yes. I am calling it that. I was as into this record as anyone else when it first came out, mostly because I wanted to be into streetlevel stuff SO BAD (still do, I guess) but it doesn't hold up to the multiple listens. While the tracks are short and the record is skit-free, 1/3 of it is still nearly unlistenable, and MF DOOM really doesn't rap that much, like, 10 lines a song, maybe. I got into this record because of the throw-back Silver Age Marvel lookin'-video to "ALL CAPS", and I think I'll always like that track and a few others, but just because we all bought this records and listened to it a few times doesn't mean we have to have it on every Best of the Year List. If I was going to pick an indie-rap collab for 2004, it'd definitely be "Ghetto Pop Life" from Dangermouse and Jemini. SO much hotter than Madvillainy. And for an indie-rap solo record, "Tellicatessan" by Rob Sonic. But I'm not hating Madvillainy (I was hating Talkie Walkie, in case that wasn't clear) and I hope any rapper who wears a metal mask finds all the success he deserves, especially when putting out records as "Viktor Vaughn" because that's the best comic-book insider nod I've ever come across in a record store.

Futureheads, "Futureheads" I saw these guys live this year and they brought the fun and made the crowd move. But their record is dead in the water, brings none of the love I felt from their show. Putting this record in a Best of List is like trying to show you were struck by the Franz Ferdinand lightning twice. I bet you're wondering if I'm going to be putting down Franz Ferdinand on this list . . . nope, not gonna. That record really was something, it set something off back in March, some balls really got rolling, people liked it, and I feel that if you live in a land where you're not killing yourself to be into the next big thing as soon as possible at all moments, in those lands Franz Ferdinand can be your next-big-thing for a long time.

The Arcade Fire, "Whatever the Arcade Fire Record is Called" I haven't listened to this record, but it topped lots of lists. I don't know how, they played some soldout shows at the Mercury Lounge and the whole world is losing their mind and this record is topping lists off left and right and I just don't feel I have the energy to be an expert on it. I thought I heard this band has a whole lot of members in it? How can a big band be good? Whatever. If this is your favorite record of the year, then you really, really love being into the hot new music. If this is your favorite record of the year, then you must have seen Franz Ferdinand at Maxwell's last February and laugh at how popular "Take Me Out" still is in Chicago. I, however, thought I could get around to listening to the Arcade Fire and Bloc Party until later on, and now, look. Arcade Fire is everyone's favorite record. If I was going to pick a record from the end of the year by a band with some buzz to go nuts over, I'd pick Death From Above 1979's "You're a Woman, I'm a Machine." To imagine the total amazingness of this record, imagine the White Stripes, but with two Meg Whites instead of a Jack White and a Meg White, and you're headed in the right direction. It has the loudness going for it.

Scissor Sisters, "Scissor Sisters" No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Not cool. Maybe if the whole record was as good as their "Comfortably Numb" cover (definitely one of my #1 Joints of 2004) but it isn't. It's just piano-y songs. These guys should be a weird European techno band that makes one song that gets totally popular in Mexico (that would be "Comfortably Numb") and then no one ever figures out what they were all about, not some band that winds up on SNL in their overalls singing "Take Your Mama Out" or whatever it was called.

The Walkmen, "Bows + Arrows" When this record came out I loved it I drained my iPod listening to it. I also loved the Secret Machines record when it came out. Now, we're reading best of 2004 lists. Bows + Arrows is all up on them, but not Secret Machines. How come one record gets all the love and the other's forgotten? Don't tell me its 'cuz Bows + Arrows is a masterpiece that will be remembered forever, because they're both just rock records. I'm sorry. Maybe I'd still be in love with this record if the Walkmen concert I went to wasn't an encore-palooza. "The Rat", however, was another Top Joint of 2004.

Dizzee Rascal, "Showtime" C'mon, no one really liked this record that much, did they? It had two stand-out tracks ("Stand Up Tall", which set my brain on fire the first time I heard it, and "Dreams") and the rest doesn't sound all that different from "Boy in the Corner" (and you can take that to mean "The rest of the record is difficult to listen to.") And I say this as a guy who has seen Dizzee Rascal twice and would see him again. If you're going to make Showtime one of your favorite records of the year, did you even listen to Rob Sonic?

And Exactly what Best of 2004 lists do I refer myself to here? Pitchfork's mostly, of course. And Stereogum, Tiny Mix Tapes, some others, I dunno, dig around a bit.

I believe I've painted myself into a corner where I'll need to be producing a list of my "Most Slammin' Jams of 2004." I'll try to do that by 2005. It's my end of the year resolution.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Best Killing of the Time

My sitemeter is blowing up, Steady Mobbin' is getting non-stop visitors, and this can only mean one thing: people want content! They're wondering if I'm ever going to post again after Christmas. And most of these visitors are visiting from within my own house, using the very computer I'm sitting at. Trying to come up with content under these conditions is like trying to use the bathroom with someone watching, but here, here's something.

I'm a little bored. I've been waking up, eating, and napping. But I just discovered that there are lots of new movie trailers at the Apple website, so I'm going to evaluate them. This should be good, for a couple of minutes.

The Wedding Crashers looks like a buddy movie starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughan as guys who sneak into weddings that they aren't invited to to meet girls. Reminds me of a similar plan buddy Andrew and I had one summer when Ashley and Melanie were working as wedding caterers. We were thinking we'd spend all summer going to wedding receptions, for dessert, mostly . . . and for that feeling of having snuck into something. We didn't do it once.

The Longest Yard Adam Sandler stars in this remake of "The Waterboy." I did some licensing of songs for this film . . . am I allowed to talk about that? You always hear about "Attorney/Client privilege." Is that what I'm violating whenever I say, "Yeah, I licensed some songs for that." Naw, they couldn't possibly be talking about that.

The Pink Panther Here's what we know: Steve Martin's take on the Pink Panther films is going to be awful, how can it not be? Yet the trailer doesn't immediately betray any of that awfulness to a complete degree. This I take to be clever marketing, if you want to know how terrible this movie is, you're going to have see it yourself. It's like how they wouldn't show Godzilla in the Godzilla trailers and advertisements at first.

The Chronicles of Narnia not a true trailer, but a behind the scenes thing. Blah blah blah we're Weta blah blah blah, you'll remember us from Lord of the Rings blah blah blah look how authentic we're making everything for the Centaurs blah blah blah this movie is going to have kids in it blah blah blah magical memories from your childhood blah blah blah. Because of the Chronicles of Narnia I bought a piece of Turkish Delight in Edinburgh and it was gross.

Kicking and Screaming Will Farrell acting ridiculous and yelling at kids and grown ups? Sure, why not.

Sin City You have to really, really be into comics from the 90s to even pretend that this looks interesting. Robert Rodriguez doesn't really make good movies, and yeah, Frank Miller wrote this . . . but he also wrote Robocop 2&3.

Dark Water These Japanese-influenced horror movies have gone too far. Jennifer Connelly, she moves into a new apartment . . . and it's leaky!

Rebound I clicked the link to see what this movie was, and as soon as I saw the picture of Martin Lawrence holding the basketball too high for the kids to reach it and looking all grouchy, I just couldn't bring myself to click to watch the trailer.

Racing Stripes Do you want to want to die? Watch this trailer. I saw it in the theater this week, I almost didn't stay around to watch the movie. Good thing they played the Star Wars Trailer right after it.

Ong Bak I saw Hero, and it was boring, and billowy, and all they did was talk about their feelings. I refuse to see another martial arts film where everything is beautiful and billowy and they just talk about their feelings the whole time, that's why I'm not even curious to find out what House of Flying Daggers is about. This trailer gives me faith in fighting movies again. And how. And here's another trailer for it, just in case that first didn't make you die from awesome. Can you believe the kicking this guy does? I can't wait for him to star in a buddy movie with a wisecrackin' comedian.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Best Kept Little Secret on the Internet

Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad! Guess what? I've been bloggin' for the past seven months, and, if Kristen and Cory really can keep a secret (and I don't really know where I really stand on that possibility, I'm just so clever, I can imagine Kristen slipping up during a moment of weakness), you aren't finding out about it until right now. While I'm sure you'd probably like to read through this whole magical site full of secrets right away, let me just warn you: if you dig too deep, many of the great surprises I've got planned for your visit to New York will be ruined. So I urge you, hold back, explore no deeper than October. Three months worth of stuff, that's still a lot to get to see.

And to my regular readers: Yes. I really hadn't told my folks about Steady Mobbin' until now. Yes, I am that awful.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


I'd been working on a new post for the last 30 minutes when, all of a sudden, my computer committed momentary suicide. If Blogger were magical, it'd have an autosave feature. But Blogger isn't magical, so all is lost until I feel like writing it again.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Best Year and a Half Under the Belt

Well, I've finished my final final of the semester, that means, in the grand scheme of things, I'm halfway to gettin' my cap n gown on like Young Hov here.
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Me and Jay share school colors. Imagine that.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Best Quote from a Red Tyrant

One more final to go and I think I'm going to die. I'm absolutely ragged. I could barely sit through church today. I'm home now, finding a great amount of comfort in my music collection . . . it makes me think of this Lenin quote. Lenin.

But I can't listen to music too often. It affects your nerves, makes you want to say stupid, nice things, and stroke the heads of people who could create such beauty while living in this vile hell.

Of course, he was refering to Beethoven's sonatas. Me, my nerves are being affected by Death from Above 1979, Buddy Holly, and the Smiths right now. But in less than 33 hours, I shall be free.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Best Home for a Billionaire?

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In a certain sense, the interweb is all abuzz this morning over the announcement that Rupert Murdoch is buying Laurence A. Rockefeller's triplex penthouse at 834 Fifth Avenue. Murdoch is paying $44 million dollars for the 20 room, 8,000 square foot residence, which breaks the city record for "most ever paid for an apartment" (the previous record: $42.25 million for two condos made into one at the Time Warner Center by David Martinez, a Mexican-British finance person.)

But is Murdoch's crib-to-be the most expensive residence on the market in New York? Hardly. Consider the $77 million "Penthouse at the Pierre" on 5th Avenue. Like Ozymandias said, "Look on My Works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Also, there were Elizabeth Johnson's three floors at the Trump International--5 units that she combined into one, decided she didn't want to live in, and then tried to sell for $62.3 million. But that didn't go so well, so they were divided up again into multiple units with an aggregate price of $66 million.

The NY Observer had a good article when the Rockefeller/Murdoch apartment went on sale.

Brown Harris Stevens (the same company that's selling the Penthouse at the Pierre) brokered the Rockefeller/Murdoch apartment, but there's no listing for it on their site.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Best Journey Through Mystery

I'm taking a 24 hr. Take-Home Final Examination in Evidence right now. Yes, as I type, I am taking a test. Sort of. With 13 hours left to go on the test, I am officially "done" and by "done" I mean I that tomorrow morning I'm rewriting this one paragraph and going over the thing for any hellish errors. Otherwise, my scholarly education in the field of Evidence is through.

Let me walk you through all the things that a 24 hr. Take-Home Can Be:

10:00 AM: I decide that, instead of starting the test right away (which I could take at any time, but I've already decided Thursday is all about the Evidence)I should go across the street for breakfast. A nice, big breakfast at the diner with a newspaper, too. I really want pancakes. And sausage. I get to the diner, and soon my hunger for pancakes and sausage swells up into hunger for the "Lumberjack Breakfast." So there I am, working at a great big pile of eggs, meats, and pancakes for a pretty long time.

12:02PM: That's the time my computer tells me that I officially started working on my final. There were lots of things to read ahead of time, and my internet stopped working for a little bit. (You see, I had to use the internet to download the test, and that starts the 24-hr ticker.)

12:42PM: I'm getting the hang of the fact pattern and then all of a sudden, BAM! My lumberjack breakfast hits me. I can't keep my eyes open. I roll over and sleep, for a little bit. (Yes, "roll over", that means I was doing my test while lying on my bed.

1:11ishPM: I'm awake, I start with my answers, but I'm just not feelin' it. My apartment just isn't the place. I better go to school. Yes, it was my option to take the test home, and now I'm taking it back to school.

1:30PM: Run into Bryant, Nate, and Ajay. They're on their way home from celebrating finishing their Tax Final with some Johnny Rockets. That's how you celebrate finishing law school finals. I find myself talking to Ajay for a while, a good while, and then I head to school. For real.

2:00PM: Now I'm at school. And I have to check my email, and maybe read the news a bit, and play a little RocketMania, but then I really start. I really, really start being an Evidence genius, hardcore.

Okay I'll admit that "being an Evidence genius, hardcore" doesn't prohibit numerous bathroom breaks and several additional games of RocketMania.

6:00PM: Starting to get hungry, starting to get tired of writing . . . but if I just answer three more questions, then I'll be done with the biggest part of the test, just hang in there, man.

7:00PM: Done! (With the big part.) I can't believe it. I made myself sit down and do it, and I did it. I run out for a quick bite, and a little re-energizing. Maybe I'll go to the Dumpling House on Eldridge.

9:45PM: Crap. Right after I left school I got a call from a friend in the neighborhood and we decided to meet up for a little grub at this Indian Place and no joke it took an hour for our food to arrive. And an hour to eat it. And we had to walk down some neat West Village streets, too. But now, now I am back to school. So glad that I just have the little part left.

10:45PM: And the little part is done. With time to spare. But now I'm just repeating what I said in the top paragraph.

So, yeah, sorry. That's all you're getting from Steady Mobbin' today, a rundown on the first 11 or so hours of my 24 hour take home final. Yes, the numbers might not add up right, but I am certain that this thing has to be turned in by 12:02 tomorrow. That much I know is true.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Best Tuesday Night Miscellany

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First of All New Yorkers, did you noticed that someone tagged-up our city with the word "Utah" over the summer? I've seen "Utah" on Bowery (or was it 2nd Ave?) near Houston?, where I took this photo. And I saw "Utah" somewhere in Soho very close to Canal street, and I saw it (multiple times on one building) in midtown on 2nd Avenue near the tunnel, I even saw it in the background of the Beastie Boys' "Check It Out" video the one time I watched it all the way through. So, who could this Utah be? Why did he choose Utah as his moniker? And most of all, I know Utah, so is it possible I could know Utah? Pro'ly not.

Next of All You know how some people refer to horse races as "the ponies"? Like, "Stan's down at the ponies" or "Do you like the ponies, Stan?" What if people referred to dog races as "the puppies"? Like, "Stan's down at the puppies" or "Do you like the puppies, Stan?" Just a question.

Last of All Not the best manners in the world to be posting personal emails I've received, but my buddy Jeff, the Columbia Lion and Sullivan and Cromwell Associate-to-Be sent me this message after getting home from the Pixies tonight:

they were too good I couldn't handle it.  every song I love was played. except I really, really really would have liked to hear"dig for fire" but I guess 90 minutes only lasts so long.

how rockin was tame?


Pixies concerts. Officially the Official Respite of Takers of Law School Finals.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Best Little Mid-Finals Rock-Out

First of all, my corporations final? Really weird. Three questions (pretty standard for law school) with four hours to answer them (also pretty standard). The questions were fairly tricky in their wording, but if you just stared at them long enough, you'd eventually see very simple, direct problems with very straightforward answers readily extractible from one's notes. And that's all I had to do for that final, read the questions until they made sense, then find the right bits and pieces in my notes, and that was it. Also, I don't know why I was up all night getting Insider Trading straight yesterday, there wasn't a single question on it . . . had I known it was going to go like this, I wouldn't have had to have bailed on this Christmas party in Brooklyn that I had to bail on. Seriously, if the party throwers are reading this, for what it's worth: I'm really, really sorry I couldn't make it. I really, really wanted to go. I hope I get to prove my ability to attend parties when the next decent holiday rolls around. Back to the test: Perhaps I'm finally figuring out how to study for law school and how to take tests for law school, or maybe I just completely failed a test without any clue that I was doing so poorly.

And now, the Rock.

The fact that Pixies have sold-out 8 concerts (on 7 nights) at the Hammerstein Ballroom has to be some sort of record, it just has to. And the Hammerstein is a pretty big place, 8 sold-out Hammerstein gigs have got to equal one Madison Square Garden, right? But who wants to wind up in the upper reaches of the Garden when you can sneak like a coolmando right up as close to the stage as possible and witness this great early 90's four-piece in all their mid-00's glory? Let the informal concert reviewing begin.

First off, big, big line to get into the show tonight. It stretched down 34th Street in various segments, I'd never seen anything like it at the Hammerstein and don't really know what it was all about because once we got into the show it wasn't terribly crowded (and there had been a lot of people in front of us) and we were able (We? Meddling Sariah and I) to get pretty close to the stage . . . and every time someone slipped out to grab a beer, we were able to slip even closer to the stage. But, seriously, in two paragraphs pretty much all I've been able to talk about has been getting closer to the stage.

Tonight's (I'm talking about Dec 13 here) opening act was the totally old dudes from Mission of Burma, a band from like the 80s or something who I don't know anything about, but they've reunited in 2004, just like the Pixies, and they weren't bad at all. In fact, they were quite good and they really knew their place (something to hold the masses over until it was time for the Pixies) but it was clear that there were a number of certifiable Mission of Burma fans in the audience very pleased with the performance. I bet if I worked at a record store, like at a medium-cool record store ala 2nd Hand Tunes or Val's Halla Records back home in Oak Park, I would be the biggest Mission of Burma fan and I'd always be trying to get people to buy Mission of Burma or Husker Du records.

I had heard that the Pixies took the stage Sunday night at 9:15 and that's pretty much on the dot when they came out tonight. I hadn't expected Black Francis to be so fat. Or Kim Deal to look so much like Erin Sanchez (that's a friend of mine, not some obscure celebrity namedrop) or maybe a really nice aunt. Or for their drummer (sorry, I'm a Pixies fan, not a Pixies FAN) to dress in a shirt and tie and white pants combo that reminded me of how athletes in High School dressed on game days . . . and when I say the guitarist, I was pretty sure he couldn't be from the original Pixies lineup because he looked too thin and cool (or "normal rockstar") compared to the rest of the band.

The Pixie's set, except for a space of about 5 minutes where the whole band left the stage after the first two songs because of some problem with the monitors, was continuous and relentless, one gentle verse/hard chorus song after another, with the occasional gentle/gentle or hard/hard number thrown in for good measure. There was pretty much no onstage banter, Kim was about the only one who spoke at all. Man, I really, really like it when bands don't talk and just rock instead. And rock they certainly did, at times their set struck me as the most bombastic thing I'd witnessed since the time I saw Jay-Z in Utah (not a joke)--the sound of the evening was big and strong, hitting hard and often and it's just a miracle of sorts that old Black Francis can howl just as well now as he did ten-plus years ago. Seriously, his "I am un chien Adalusia"s sounded as raw and bloody tonight as they do on Doolittle.

The Pixies played for a little over an hour and a half, including their encore, which was one of those sorts of encores where the band doesn't leave the stage, they just step forward to take in the applause while their roadie straightens things up a bit and then they nod at each other and play a few songs. A note on taking in the applause: I don't know that I've ever seen a rock band ever accept their applause so gratiously and earnestly. The four of them honestly looked a little touched to see the Hammerstein spilling over with people clapping and cheering for them . . . although everyone was standing anyway (it's a rock concert, you see?) there seemed to be a collective intentionality floating about that we were giving the band a standing ovation. And they deserved it, it was just a plenty solid, plenty good rock show where the band played the songs people wanted to hear (well, I would've really dug a little "Head On" and "Planet of Sound", but I've no complaints [Honestly, I wasn't so suprised not to get "Head On" but no "Planet of Sound"? That struck me as odd.) (Yet we did get both versions of Wave of Mutilation . . . that's like a treat for collectors of import records or something) That they played "Broken Face" makes up for whatever I didn't get to hear, I suppose.

I could probably just go on making notes about the songs played, instead, here's what I jotted down as the setlist. No, I don't know the name of every single song, there are some question marks, there's nothing I can do about it:

Is She Weird?/Something Against You (gap where everyone left stage) Bone Machine/Cactus/I Bleed/Caribou/Dead/Broken Face(!)/U Mass/Mr. Grieves/?/?/?/Babylonia (pretty sure that isn't the name of the song, but that's what I'm going to call it)/Ed is Dead/Gouge Away/Wave of Mutilation (rockin' version)/Monkey Gone to Heaven/Crackity Jones/One of their Spanishy ones?/?/Tame/In Heaven/Wave of Mutilation (not-rockin' version)/Here Comes Your Man/?/Nimrod's Son/Vamos (featuring totally out of control extended feedback solo by guitarist)/Where Is My Mind Encore: Debaser/Gigantic

Noteworthy Concert Attenders: Mr. David Byrne sitting where I saw Bowie at Interpol (it must be their rock legend section.) And the two fratty-boys who were singing and "dancing" by us the whole time like they were having the absolute best time in the world. I bet they hooked up afterwards.

Of Minor Importance: I just want to say I totally predicted the encores, you can ask the Meddler if you don't believe me. But it wasn't any big trick, just like counting cards in a game of black jack (that's the game where you count cards, right?) Because you know that, among other classics, there's no way that the band wouldn't play Debaser or Gigantic.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Best Monday Morning Journal Entry

I'm just a few hours from taking my Corporations final. You know you're in a weird spot when you're thinking "I can't wait to get this Corporations final out of the way, because then I get to study for Evidence, and I bet that'll be really fun." Also, a good reason for me to be looking forward to this test being done is that tonight I'm going to see the Pixies. I've barely been able to think about this concert since finals started, but I imagine that, had I been thinking about it, I'd be pretty excited. But, instead, I've been studying and haven't even been reviewing my Pixies CDs, as I should . . . I mean, I've been memorizing the details of the Williams Act when I should be making sure I've got the words to "Monkey Gone to Heaven" memorized. Oh well. I'm just glad I remembered I had tickets for the show (I bought them back in August, afterall). Last Monday I had tickets to see Bill Clinton here at school and completely, totally forgot to go. I was walking down the street and saw all these big, black Suburbans and baricades and I'm all "Hmm, looks like someone important is at the Kimmel Center . . . I wonder who?" And then it occurred to me. And then I slapped my forehead really hard.

In about 8 days you won't have to hear me talking about finals anymore. I know. It's been rough for all of us.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Best Return to the Land of the Living

Earlier this week a little dream of mine came true, I got an invitation to a dinner from Mary Benac. It seems friends of mine are always being invited to dine with Mary and Ram, so I was pretty excited to have the opportunity to be counted among the ranks of "Those Who Have Dined with Mary and Ram." And the occasion of the dinner itself, the celebration of the recent birthday of Ms. Emily Kunz, Esq., was something I was definitely willing to support, too. And since I took my first final today and I had spent the week in near-complete study lockdown, I felt I deserved a little socializing.

The dinner was at Jules, a fake French bistro run by real French people on St. Marks place. A little advance research had me a bit worried about the quality of the food to be had, but I'm happy to report that the food was fine, the conversation was lively, and the lighting of the restaurant inspired the taking of poorly-lit photos of people who've never been on Steady Mobbin' before.

Counted among the revelers were the incomparable Molly Ryan
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and the one-and-only Tina Baker. (With Myung and Alexandria chatting in the background.)
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Here are Mary and Ram starring in something I like to call "The Best Underexposed Photo Ever Taken"
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And this is a Perrier bottle with candles and Emily poking at her palm pilot in the background.
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Mary gave me one of her scallops. I hope this photo adequately expresses the joy I derived from her generosity and the thrill of the taste of that little butter-drenched mollusk. I wonder: is there a difference between a scallop and a sea scallop? You see a lot of "sea scallops" on menus these days. (Also: note finals-related facial hair situation)
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Here are Mary, Emily, and Alexandria outside of the restaurant. Considering that the dinner was in honor of Emily and everything, I sure should've gotten more pictures of her. Please, don't sue me. (Funny, I'd usually consider myself above such a lame little law joke [or is such an otiose attempt really even classifiable as a "joke"?])
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Afterwards there was a little after-party dessert action at, man, I forgot the name . . . an old, famous Italian dessert place at 1st and 11th. There I was served a tiny little cheesecake sitting atop a coffee lid. Now I am at home, ready to go to bed and wake up tomorrow to totally study corporations with all my might non-stop until Monday afternoon.

Also the first time someone asked me how my final went today I nearly answered "Piece of sweat, no cake." Seriously. Is that a Spoonerism? Or some other sort of transposition?

To my dinner companions If any of you want big versions of any of these dark but awesome photos, let me know.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Best Setting of the Bar for Crazy

So, here's the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory trailer. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are clearly out to prove that they can still do weird. And how. From now on, instead of asking people "Are you on crack?", I'm going to ask them "Are you the Willy Wonka trailer?"

I didn't mean to set out on always posting Willy Wonka news, it just sort of happened.

And Here's something almost as disturbing: I was home for a minute this afternoon and caught a bit . . . okay, almost all of this new show (or maybe its a one-shot?) called "John Mayer Has a TV Show." First off, John Mayer? Probably the musician I'd least like to be listening to ever, but we all know he has a tiny bit of cred because he did that one skit about white people dancing with Dave Chapelle, right? Well, if there's a white version of Chapelle's Show, it might be John Mayer Has a TV Show. Seriously, and I know I sound stupid saying that. But it was full of good jokes, like John Mayer taking Trick Daddy to Nashville to get into country music, or John Mayer wearing a bear suit making fun of "John Myer" fans in the parking lot before one of his shows, or John Mayer rounding up some teenage fans for a focus group to rework his image. Uhm, I guess you sort of had to be there. Here's a description of the show from the VH1 website. Nothing I read on it seemed to have any relation to what I saw on TV this afternoon.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Best Short Little List of Complaints

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1) If you use Hotmail, and usually get emails from me, guess what? I've been getting all these emails telling me that stupid Hotmail doesn't want to accept my emails. So it's not like I hate you, it's like Hotmail hates me.

2) Looks like I have to re-install Windows on my PC tomorrow. Because I have a test to take Friday morning. And I'll need that my computer works by then. I've been backing that cursed thing up all night. No wonder I named it "the Stepchild."

3) They were filming a new TV show, "Jonny Zero", by school on 3rd Street. I'd be upset that I didn't have my camera with me, but it didn't look so cool.

4) My jeans are full of holes. They're just falling apart. Now I need another pair of jeans . . . again. And jeans are expensive in this town.

5) There was this weirdo standing in front of me in line at Kentucky Fried Chicken today and it took forever for him to order. Usually, if something goes wrong at Kentucky Fried Chicken, they give me an extra biscuit. I didn't get one tonight. And that's the complaint, because the guy that took forever to order was weird, but funny.

6) Phase One of my Totally Awesome Christmas Present for Everyone has been completed, and it is a success. This is not a complaint, in fact, it is the opposite of a complaint. Because I want to end on a high note. And believe me, should you get to partake in the Totally Awesome Christmas Present for Everyone, the note is very, very high.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The Best I Can Do as I Get my Study On

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Apparently the Mulcock brothers have had a website for months and I only just found out.

I've eaten a lot of cheap falafel around my school, mostly from all the joints on Macdougal, but last night I ate at this place on 4th street between 6th Ave and Macdougal and it by far the best falafel I've ever had. Granted, I got their "super combo falafel"--but it was still the best super combo falafel ever. Also, I was really, really hungry.

Biggie Smalls Che Guevara shirt? Sometimes you know exactly what you need to get yourself for Christmas. (About 7 or 8 items down.)

I need to see the Incredibles again.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Best Subway Portrait

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Tonight, as I rode the 1 home from up by Lincoln Center, I found myself being the subject of some subway portraiture by a gentleman by the name of . . . well, judging from his signature, "B Owe"? "Bowe" maybe? I think he did a fine job of capturing my typical subway riding smugness and now my walls are one piece of art richer than before. Also, this is the picture of me that will be on the inside of the hardcover book that I write. Now that I think about it, the portrait sort of looks like me crossed with the Gerber Baby or something.

Want a bigger, closer look? Click!

Amazing Discovery! The McDonalds at 40th and Madison has $1 Double Cheeseburgers! They're $1.50-$1.80 everywhere else in the city. Also, I am told that they have $1 Hotcakes. Which is great, I guess.

Well Finals are upon me again. This seems to happen every four months, but after this round I'm halfway done with law school. Anyway, I'd like to imagine that I'll be so consumed by studying that I won't be bloggin' much, but I imagine my impending excessive hitting of the books will fill my head with ideas for content. Still, I'm under a lockdown of sorts until the 21st. Any donations of food, compassion, conversation, or FedCrim notes will be greatly appreciated.

Also Was anyone around the time I used the word "hagiography"? I remember saying it recently, but I can't remember the place or the context . . . I think I was talking about hagiographies. With hagiographers?

Friday, December 03, 2004

Best 556th Page of Anything

Say you decide to read Finnigans Wake. Say you read it and read it and read it. Most of the time, it is a mess. Slowly, you begin to think you recognize certain recurring elements, you think you might be unraveling some of the wordplay . . . but still, who are we kidding, it is a big huge mess. Onward you trudge.

And then, you get to the second to last chapter. Scholars will tell you that now the day is breaking and that Earwicker's dream is ending. Suddenly, at page 556 (just 72 pages to go!), just four paragraphs into the chapter, you find why you've been sticking with this book for so long:

night by silentsailing night while infantina Isobel (who will be blushing all day to be, when she growed up one Sudnay, Saint Holy and Saint Ivory, when she took the neil, the beautiful presentation nun, so barely twenty, in her pure coif, sister Isobel, and next Sunday, Mistlemas, when she looked a peach, the beautiful Samaritan, still as beautiful and still in her teens, nurse Saintette Isabelle, with stiffstarched cuffs but on Holiday, Christmas, Easter mornings when she wore a wreath, the wonderful widow of eighteen springs, Madame Isa Veuve La Belle, so sad but lucksome in her boyblue's long black with orange blossoming weeper's veil) for she was the only girl they loved, as she is the queenly pearl you prize, because of the way the night that first we met she is bound to be, methinks, and not in vain, the darling of my heart, sleeping in her april cot, within her singachamer, with her greengageflavoured candywhistle duetted to the crazyquilt, Isobel, she is so pretty, truth to tell, wildwood's eyes and primarose hair, quietly, all the woods so wild, in mauves of moss and daphnedews, how all so still she lay, neath of the whitethorn, child of tree, like some losthappy leaf, like blowing flower stilled, as fain would she anon, for soon again 'twill be, win me, woo me, we me, ah weary me! deeply, now evencalm lay sleeping:

And so, I ask, what will you do with your life?

"The wonderful widow of eighteen springs" Are you kidding me? If I were to excerpt each of the lines from that paragraph that give me goosebumps and mist up my eyes, I'd wind up rewriting the paragraph three times over . . . but I can't resist "for she was the only girl they loved, as she is the queenly pearl you prize, because of the way the night that first we met she is bound to be, methinks, and not in vain, the darling of my heart . . ." This must be how fathers feel about their baby daughters, I can't imagine it's any other thing. "how all so still she lay, neat of the whitethorn, child of tree, like some losthappy leaf . . . win me, woo me, we me, ah weary me!" James Joyce: more awesome than the Wu-Tang Clan.

"we me"? wow.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Best "So That's What Was Going On?" Revelations of the Day

After class yesterday there was a lot of activity on 6th Avenue of the firetruck and worried people sort. Something was clearly up with the subway, what do I mean? Oh, smoke was billowing out of subway grates, firefighters were rushing in and out of the West 4th station, firetrucks could be seen every few blocks, confused looking commuters stood on the street with a real "what do I do now?" sort of look to them--and the same sort of stuff was going on up at 14th street, too. It was the sort of thing that makes you go home and turn on the TV to see if you can figure out what was going on. Well, thanks to this article at Gothamist, I now know what had happened: some sort of big third rail fire of some sort. Yes, Gothamist is where I get my hard news now.

Also Follow a couple links on today's Gawker and you'll wind up at this article "outing" Alias actor Victor Garber . . . funny, I remember posting about this same sort of thing in my very first Steady Mobbin' post. Did I have a scoop or sorts? Guess that was my moment for internet gossip glory.

Best Weird Makeover

WELCOME GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCHERS: To everyone coming to this post from 8 years ago, maybe you'd also like to see my more recent post about similarities between Moonrise Kingdom and other Wes Anderson movies?

Dude, what happened to Wes Anderson?

The Wes We're Used To:
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The Wes of Today:
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Trust me, that's him. Look at his mouth. And his girlfriend, Tara Subkoff.

Yes, I stole that second photo. I'm going to stop even saying that I stole photos, I average 8 hits a day.

But I didn't steal this photo. More Neckface! Spotted down by my job.
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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

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This cat would drink anything.
Yes, this is a mysterious post of minor significance to only a few.
Also, yes. I spent most of Thanksgiving in sweat pants.

Friend of Steady Mobbin' Sariah has started Meddling Sariah, a place for meddlesome matchmaking, commenting, observing, and advising--or, as I see it, a way to keep Sariah off the streets after school now that the teen center at the library has been closed down. But, f'reals, visit it. Just don't forget to keep reading Steady Mobbin'.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Best Unmerited Seriousness

The New York Times has a good article on my "boss" Lil' Jon today. Probably too good of an article. It's weird to hear crunk discussed so seriously, as if it's legitimate. Believe me, it isn't legitimate.

Do you remember how I posted a link to Drop It Like It's Hot back at the beginning of September? I just wanted to remind you that I did that. That's how much Steady Mobbin' loves you, bringing you today's hits three months ago. Of course, I haven't done anything like that since then.

More Thanksgiving activities: Went and saw "Finding Neverland." If you don't love this movie you don't have even 1/2 of a heart. The Lake was nothing but a bunch of sobbing grown-ups by the time it ended. Me? I won't grow up, never grow up, not I. Also, I went with my Pop to the Cunning Little Vixen. No, Randy and I didn't go to a strip club, it was an opera. About woodland creatures. So there you are.

Coming Soon Steady Mobbin': We Break Into Your Homes and Play With Your Cats. And also, so many people are having birthdays these days. Happy Birthday to all of you, especially those of you that visit the briggie dot blogspot ever.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Best Thanksgiving This Whole Year

Here's some Thanksgiving break stuff that's happened.

1) I was on one of the last planes to make it into Chicago last night. I flew into Midway, rumor has it O'Hare was closed. Actually, Midway was closed for a while, they had us in a holding pattern waiting for the winds to die down so that they could reopen the runways. I guess it's a Thanksgiving miracle I made it here at all. Also, while I was at Newark, my flight was momentarily delayed 4 hours. There's nothing quite like hearing that your 4:30 flight is going to leave at 8:30, and then to hear that it's been moved down from 8:30 to 5:00? I don't even want to know the true story behind that.

2) Last night I got the whole family, (Mom, Dad, Grandma, Owen, Greg, Emily) to sit down and watch Arrested Development with me. I thought we were just going to watch the pilot, but we made it through the whole first disc of episodes. You know you've made yourself a funny sitcom if Grandma is quoting it a day later.

3) Also, something funny Grandma said: "I want that Napoleon Bonaparte movie for Christmas." (She was refering to Napoleon Dynamite, of course, which she had gone to see with her fellow San Marino widows at some point.)

4) We all went and saw National Treasure today. Inoffensive yet completely generic, they could have just called it "Caper Movie!"

5) BUT I did finally see the Revenge of the Sith trailer with it. Making me probably the last person in the world, but man, what a beauty. It's going to be such a best movie of 2005, I just know it.

Monday, November 22, 2004

"Best New Music"? Yeah, no kidding.

Maybe you read Pitchfork yesterday and saw that (via a nearly unreadable review) they gave the M.I.A. mixtape "Piracy Funds Terrorism" an 8.5 and stamped it with their covetable "Best New Music" decree that they give out every now and then. Well, I can only agree with the Pitchforkers on one thing here, "Piracy Funds Terrorism" certainly merits the "Best New Music" tag, but the record is more of a 12-out-of-10 than an 8.5.

Simply put, M.I.A.'s mixtape (so blessed by its association with Hollertronix . . . who, aside from being extremely capable DJs also have about the best name there is) is an example of a record that sounds exactly like I want my music to sound. Heavy, crunchy, gutsy, I haven't been so immediately pleased by a record since "Fever to Tell." I mean, seriously, look at this girl:

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Is there any conceivable way that her music isn't going to be awesome? Clearly the girl can work the crowd like it's Fall 2003 and her name's Howard Dean. (Yes, you're right, I stole those pictures.) If anyone is going to make Sri Lankan Dancehall/Hip-Hop hot, it's gonna be her. On "Piracy Funds Terrorism", M.I.A. does her thing while appropriating elements of some of the more popular rap (What Happened to that Boy?, Big Pimpin', Pass that Dutch, etc.) and dancehall (Heads High, Limb by Limb[!!]) hits of the last few years and it's no crime because she keeps it so tight--I know, I know, I, Brigham Barnes, have no authority to write "and it's no crime because she keeps it so tight" but that's just the only way I can put it. One of the most noteworthy things about the mixtape is that the last, hmm, third of the record is pretty much all Brazilian funk. It's probably the first time I've heard such a difficult to like sort of urban music sound so legitimate. If you like your music to be awesome and for cool people, you should try to get your hands on this not-entirely-legal CD. Especially if you're Broek, because, believe me, Broek, you'd dig this thing. If you don't already have it.

More stolen photos, cuz I can't resist:
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I once saw pictures of M.I.A. that were she was partying even hard than in these, but I can't remember where.


Christo is going to wrap up Central Park in February. Now that's something to look forward to.

Best Sign School Has Taken Over

So, I've got 4 tickets to the "secret" U2 show tomorrow in DUMBO. But you're supposed to get there at 2:30, and I have Corporations at 2. We're going to be starting to talk about Insider Trading. I really think my sense of duty to the studies is going to win out over my desire to see a band that I've never been super interested in play songs I've never heard from a new album that I'll probably never listen to . . . but even I can tell I'm passing on a memorable experience by doing so. Like, that'd make a good blog post, "Best Secret U2 Concert Ever." Who knows what will happen. Stay tuned.

Oh, and those other 3 tickets? Not spoken for, but I need to be there. If you want some of your own, contact me, I'll tell you how to get them. It wasn't that hard at all.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Best Post for your Computer to Hate

Sorry, so many photos, I couldn't resist.

Saturday night we all went to KCDC in Brooklyn
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It was me
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And Lexia
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And Robin
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We went there to watch Josh skate
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I'd long wanted to see Josh skate
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And I wasn't disappointed
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At all
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Other people were skating there too. Like this guy
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And this guy
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I believe this girl's name was Wendy. She totally ate it out there.
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I haven't seen someone so excited to have cut up their lip before
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But here's the crazy thing, in the same building as the skate shop was . . .
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A heavy-metal hipster aquarium
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They were blasting the music in there and there were all these aquariums
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Williamsburg, you're full of surprisesImage Hosted by
On my way home I discovered graffiti genius Neckface had tagged my hood. Awesome!
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And there were these little troublemakers hanging out in the kid's store
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Friday, November 19, 2004

Best Durn Thursday

On Monday I had my final argument for the Moot Court Competition. While educational, fulfilling, and at times exhilarating, the entire ordeal left me feeling . . . well, I suppose most people would say that it left them feeling “like a good, stiff drink.” Me, if left me feeling like a “good, juicy steak.” Unfortunately, sometimes you don’t have the time to grab a steak right when you want one, and I had to put off my steak-grabbing until Thursday night.

But what a night for steak-grabbing it proved to be!

While dear old New York features several steakhouses I’m aching to visit (Peter Luger and the Strip House, in particular) I decided to go out to Dumont in Williamsburg. I first heard of Dumont months ago and had long longed to visit it. Noticing two different steaks on their menu, I figured Thursday the perfect chance to try the place out.

Situated on Union Ave between Metropolitan and whatever (it’s not like I walked to the other end of the block when I didn’t have to) Dumont isn’t much to look at from the outside, especially with its shuttered windows, you wouldn’t even notice it if it weren’t for its, uhm, great big green neon side. Inside, Dumont isn’t too much to look at either. Dim, smallish, almost dingy, really, it’d probably be a little discouraging to walk into if all the tables weren’t packed with people enjoying delicious looking food. By dumb luck we got our table right away, but I was surprised to find it so busy on a Thursday night at 7 . . . I guess Thursday nights are as reasonable a time as any for a restaurant to busy, but I now know better than to expect to be able to show up and sit there at 8pm on a Friday.

Enough of the set-up, let me talk about food:

Appetizer: Had the crab cake. It was the type of delicious that you notice the second it touches your lips, and an exciting indicator of what was to come for the rest of the evening. An appetite-zer, indeed, or whatever. The cake itself was an “A” on its own, but it was served on a really piquant green salsa (yes, I feel I need to use the word “piquant” here) perfectly offset by creamy avocado on top—the entire result? One of them “party in my mouth” sort of experiences. I could’ve eaten like five of them or something.

Dinner: Yeah, so, I got their NY strip with fries and peppercorn sauce. Just perfect. Exactly what I wanted. The fries were insanely crisp and tasty. Just so perfect. If I remember right, I ordered it straight-up medium and that’s what I got, an absolutely medium steak (usually I go medium-well, but Thursday night I just I felt a little pinker than usual)

Dessert: Split their “evening special” pumpkin cheesecake and “normal” (yet equally special) fallen chocolate cake. The cheesecake was really delicious, I had been a little worried about how pumpkiny it’d be, as I’m really just nuts about normal old cheesecake, but the flavor situation was under control, and, as stated above, really delicious. The fallen chocolate cake was also magnificent, one of those little pieces of gooey-hot chocolate cake served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream like you can get at lots of restaurants these days, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

It was one of those meals where you just talk about how good the food is the whole time and start making plans to come back before you’re even done with the appetizer. I’m looking forward to returning as soon as possible (as it’s right off the Lorimar stop on the L, it’s no trick getting there). I’d really like to try something a little more flavorful than steak for my dinner next time, not that there was anything at all wrong with my steak.

In summation: Dumont. So much the best meal I’ve had at a restaurant in a long time. I think I need to mention that both of the place’s chefs cooked at Gramercy Tavern. I haven’t been to Gramercy Tavern (yet), but I know it’s important to mention when a restaurant has something to do with the Gramercy Tavern. Oh, and the waitstaff? Chill, cool, and capable. My favorite kind.

Completely Unrelated Do you know what song is just the joint? "Fire" by Joe Buddens. Most repeat-worthy track I've heard since "Toxic." I wouldn't even know this song existed if it weren't for the party scene in Mean Girls.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Best Unrelated Bits of "Information"

1) On Saturday I babysat a bunch of kids all afternoon with a bunch of other babysitters. When the first mom showed up with her 18 month old this is the first thing she said: "This is Jill*, she has the worst yeast infection right now." And then she started handing me all these tubes and ointments. So that was great.

*For some reason, I've changed the baby's name to protect its identity.

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2) Do you know who rocks? Slayer rocks. I write this as a 27 year old. I had friends who started listening to Slayer when we were 13, at the oldest. 14 years later, I'm listening to "Seasons in the Abyss" for the first time . . . and It. Is. Awesome. Especially the song "Skeletons of Society." Finally, I'm starting to get metal.

By the way, that's the cover of "Seasons in the Abyss." It's not Jill*, or anything.

3) I like Blue 9 Burger. Best Double-Cheeseburger in the city. But the Burger Joint is still my favorite single-patty cheeseburger. I've read plenty of comments comparing Blue 9 to In-N-Out, but as someone who didn't grow up in California and feels he must talk about In-N-Out all the time, I have no comment to make on this.

4) Here's what I have to say about the television: The new show, Lost? It was good the first few times, but I don't have it in me to keep watching it. The new season of South Park? So far, not so hot. The first episode of this season of the Simpsons (not counting the Halloween Special)? Surprisingly good, I had been ready for this to be the season that the show was clearly not good anymore. They're 1/1 right now. The second episode of the second season of Arrested Development? Pretty great. The new season of Amazing Race? So many boneheads, it's incredible.

All of a sudden it seems like I watch a lot of TV. Would you like me to tell you about the Paramount/Viacom merger instead? Or maybe the moot court competition?

If I don't think of something intelligent to put on this blog soon my head is going to shrink down to nothingness.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Best Couple at the Dance

I can't remember where I downloaded this from.
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I can only imagine it was a magical night for the two of them.

(This is my new strategy for when I haven't anything to blog about: post photos I find on my computer. I first did this last week with that whole deal about Tiger.)

Sunday, November 14, 2004

"Baby, Baby, You're Really the Best"

This is my Interpol show review post.

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First of all, that is so not my own photo of the concert. It's not even a photo of the concert that I was at.

Second of all, I definitely like Interpol a whole, whole lot. But even I notice that their lyrics . . . sometimes their lyrics are a little ridiculous, especially when coupled with Mr. Paul Banks' sort of robotic delivery. For example, this line from "Say Hello to the Angels": "Your hair is so pretty and red/Baby, baby you're really the best." Perhaps it's irony? Pop-trivialities transplanted into hard and heavy art-rock? But, then again, I like it when he sings "You are the only person who's completely certain there's nothing here to be into" in PDA, or when he suddenly says "Oh look it stopped snowing" in Roland.

When I saw Interpol last year (on the night of the Cubs' final game before not going to the World Series) they had just put out one album, so they didn't have too many songs to play . . . yet they still didn't play one of my favorite songs from Turn on the Bright Lights, "Obstacle 2." So, going into Friday night's show, I was pretty sure I wouldn't be hearing "Obstacle 2" (and I was right, they didn't play it) but I also correctly predicted that if Interpol didn't play my favorite Turn on the Bright Lights song, then they wouldn't be playing my favorite Antics song, "C'mere"--and I was right, again. I suppose I love being right.

Here's the "review" I wrote of the show for the NYU Law School newspaper:

Any night of the week, New York City offers a dizzying array of options for diversion. Should you have the time to take it up on any of these options, it’s easy to be left wondering if you picked the right way to pass the evening. Is this the right bar to be hanging out at? Is this the best restaurant to be eating at? Am I watching the right limited-run foreign film tonight? One often wishes for some profound indicator that they’re spending their free time in the best way possible.

While I didn’t feel I needed much reassurance to know I was at the right concert when I caught Interpol’s second of two sold-out shows at the Hammerstein Ballroom Friday night, I found reaffirmation in my choice when I noticed David Bowie (disguised in a fake mustache—I kid you not) enjoying the show just to my right. When you’re at the same rock concert as David Bowie, it seems a safe bet to say that there’s not a better show to be at in the city.

Not that Interpol needs a rock legend to validate their skill. Just as N*Sync came to dethrone the Backstreet Boys as Boy Band Kings, and Enrique Iglesias overtook Ricky Martin in the battle to be the heart-throbbingest of Latin Heartthrobs, it seems safe to say that Interpol is showing signs of having overtaken the Strokes as the band to be remembered from the recent New York City scene resurgence. Playing songs from their debut album, Turn on the Bright Lights, and their solid follow-up, Antics, Interpol kept their fans rocking through a twelve song set and two encores.

Since Interpol are known for their dark and stylish look with its accompanying cooler-than-thou-yet-gloomy mood, it may come as a surprise to people used to listening to the band through the subdued medium of headphones how hard and loud the band is live. While the band remains nearly motionless during performances (save for bassist Carlos D.’s strutting about stage), they produce a magnificently loud, crowd shaking noise. This was especially apparent when the band performed its “hit singles” “PDA” and “Slow Hands” and in its first-set closer, “Roland,” which ended in such a harsh wave of reverb that, for a moment, I thought I might be knocked over by the sound.

But it’s not to say that Interpol is incapable of being dark or moody live. The evening was begun with the organ-based Antics opener “No Exit” and closed with “Untitled”, the first track off of Turn on the Bright Lights (what parallelism!), both songs rendered especially moody and transporting by the Hammerstein’s stage lighting.

The concert’s crowd (aside from Mr. Bowie) was diverse collection of people who’s dress and behavior belied the neighborhoods they’d be returning to at the end of the evening—from Williamsburg hipsters playing it cool around the edges of the main floor to Upper East Side girls dancing in the balconies—it all served as an indicator that Interpol is branching out beyond their flavor-of-the-month early adopters without changing their sound to pander to popular tastes. If things keep going like this for the band, they’ll only continue to increase in popularity and release a style of music that is distinctively their own and remain the band to see when they’re in town.

Since I took the trouble to write it down while I was at the show, here's the evening's set list:
Next Exit/Say Hello To The Angels/Narc/Public Pervert/Evil/NYC/Hands Away/Slow Hands/Not Even Jail/Obstacle 1/Roland
Encore: Leif Erikson/PDA Second Encore: Untitled

Yeah, not only are some of their lyrics dumb, but most of their song titles are pretty odd, too.

Not Best

Ol' Dirty Bastard (of the Wu-Tang Clan) dropped dead in a recording studio tonight. ("Tonight" is Saturday night) I know Steady Mobbin' isn't a news source, but there are some things I can't knee-jerk react post to. Here's the news story. It's been a while since we've had a posthumous rap album release, so good thing ODB had been working on a record for over a year.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Best Minor Prank

Yesterday someone hacked into something and made the signs at the West 4th Street Subway say "Pretty Girls Don't Ride the Subway." That's funny. Gothamist has the "complete" story. (With a picture)

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Best Couple of Things I Didn't Realize Until Now

Hey, here's some fun facts about November 11th that you might not know . . . or remember.

1) Apparently it's Veterans Day. Huh. Imagine that.

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2) Also, it's Kurt Vonnegut's birthday. My man is 82, and a veteran himself. Here's an article about him from his birthday three years ago (The first line? "He should be dead by now.") I'll confess I haven't read all of it yet, but I'm guessing it's good--it's about him teaching at Smith College, or something. The most interesting item? Apparently he is working on another novel after all, or at least he was three years ago. And here's a link to a post from earlier in the Steady Mobbin' days (back in June!) that has to do with Mr. Vonnegut("has to do"="is about").

Here are some great Kurt quotes, not that there aren't a million more:

"What is flirtatiousness but an argument that life must go on and on and on?"
"My soul knows my meat is doing bad things, and is embarrassed. But my meat just keeps right on doing bad, dumb things."
(all right you pervs, that's from Bluebeard, where the protagonist, an abstract expressionist, views human beings as neon tube souls trapped in corrupt bodies of meat)
"Belief is nearly the whole of the Universe, whether based on truth or not."
"If you really want to hurt your parents and you don't have nerve enough to be homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts."
"History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again."
"The two prime movers in the Universe are Time and Luck."
"Roses are red and ready for plucking
You're sixteen and ready for high school."
"Pretend to be good always, and even God will be fooled."
"Every passing hour brings the Solar System forty-three thousand miles closer to Globular Cluster M13 in Hercules -- and still there are some misfits who insist that there is no such thing as progress."
"Take Care of the People, and God Almighty Will Take Care of Himself."--(That, right there, is the universe of Vonnegut's philosophy summed up in 13 words)
"Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae."
"One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us."
"There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don’t know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president."
"Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative."
"Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything."
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be."
"Men are jerks. Women are psychotic."
"Ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones."
"People don't come to church for preachments, of course, but to daydream about God"
"The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest."

Sorry, I got a little carried away there--just a little googling and cutting and pasting and there I was. Still, I couldn't find a favorite quote, this one about authors always having beautiful wives. I'll find it over Thanksgiving.

Seriously, if any of you haven't read Cat's Cradle yet, get to it. And then read the rest. Here's a fun fact: while my dad talked a lot about Ice 9 as I was growing up, it took a recommendation from John Wedoff to get me started on the works of KVJ. Seriously.

I saw Kurt speak earlier this year. All I want to do is grow up into man as old and as cranky and wise as him who can keep a room desperate for his every word as he did. Telling stories, wearing sweaters. What a life. God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Best Photo I Found Last Night

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This is a picture of my old roommate Tiger from when he graduated from the University of Utah. Tiger was an awesome, awesome roommate. I lived with him, no, he lived with me in the fall of 1998. I had two Korean roommates that year, Ken and Tiger. They seemed to be good pals, but they had their differences: Ken was more polite, agreeable one and Tiger was the more argumentative, opinionated one . . . thusly, Tiger was the more awesome one. An example of their different personalities: when Ken and Tiger were going to move out of the apartment, my roommate Matt and I made them T-shirts with our pictures on them, so that Ken and Tiger would always remember us (I think the shirts said “I Love Brigham and Matt” or “Official Member of the Brigham and Matt Fan Club”). Ken graciously thanked us for his and put it on, Tiger seemed to think the shirt was some sort of joke and kept trying to give it back to us. Also, Tiger and Matt would get in the biggest fights over the temperature in the apartment . . . Tiger always found it to be too cold, but I think that was mostly because Tiger was always hanging out in his gym uniform.

When Ken and Tiger first moved into the apartment their English wasn’t so good. For example, during one get to know you talk, we spent about 20 minutes trying to figure out if Tiger had seen the 5th Element or not. He owned the video, and said that it was a good movie, but kept telling us he hadn’t seen it. We tried to break the examination down into yes/no questions, but that didn’t get us very far. Seriously. Asking the question “Have you seen the 5th Element?” only produced more confusion. Also, we couldn’t ever figure out what school Ken and Tiger went to, because sometimes they’d need rides to BYU, and sometimes they’d need rides to UVSC (the local junior college). So, when I received pictures of Tiger’s graduation from the University of Utah, it seemed to make perfect sense.

Tiger got lots of phonecalls from people that didn’t speak English. From this I learned to do phonetic impersonations of Korean phone call conversations. I can’t even begin to think of how to type what it seemed they were saying.

We didn’t hang out with Tiger outside of the apartment very much, but once we went to the Training Table, and he seemed to have a good time. And once I had lunch with him at Fuddrucker’s after he had moved out of the apartment, and he gave me a pin with a little Korean kid on it. Oh, also, we went to the James Bond movie with Denise Richards in it. Even Tiger could tell it was lousy. Last time I saw Ken or Tiger was at the Gateway Mall in Salt Lake, they were at the Brookstone trying out the vibrating chairs. It was a joyous chance reunion.

I miss old Tiger. I can only imagine what he’s up to these days. If you (reader) ever see me, you should ask me to tell you Tiger stories, because I’ve got lots of them, and I tell them with enthusiasm.

Also I think I just saw Ashley Olsen, but it's so hard to tell. All these tiny ratty-haired blondes running around with gigantic sunglasses on, she could be any one of them.