Friday, July 30, 2004

It's Always Better on Holiday

So, can my promise of 5 straight days of content be considered completed if the fifth day is a picture and a micropost saying "I'm off to Grandma's, suckers!"? Hmmm, I don't know. But I'm off to Grandma's, suckers. What's the point of this photo? Mostly that I'm so conceited I can't tell if a picture of me is bad or not. So here's what you can think about until I'm back: Is this a good picture of Brigham?

Dear Utahns: Prepare to make your Steady Mobbin' world premiere.

Thursday, July 29, 2004


You know what part of the Batman mythology always interested me the very least? All the mid-70s nonsense about when Bruce Wayne was wandering the world, training with monks and honing his skills and fighting super lame villains like Ra's Al Ghul. And what's the new Batman movie all about? All of that dumb stuff. I'd rather see a Spider-Man movie about how Peter Parkers' parents were secret agents. The new Batman Begins trailer interests me absolutely zero ("Batman Begins?" That's a movie title?) Now, let's just wait a year for my post where I talk about how Batman Begins is the best movie I've ever seen. I've been known to change my mind about this stuff.

And while I'm acting like a movie snob, let me just say that you just have to watch the trailer for the Village a few times to know exactly what the big surprise of the movie will be. I mean, you only have to watch the trailer a few times and think about the premise. Down in the comments I'm writing what I think the surprise is, check it out if you dare. If I'm wrong, you'll never hear me mention this again, if I'm right, I'll never stop talking about it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Best Continued Expansion of the Gene Pool

I just got word that I've got a new niece, Rachel Claire Edwards (daughter of Kristen the sister and Cory the Brother in Law.) No brand new baby photos as of yet, but, judging from her brother Blake, it'd be a pretty big surprise if Rachel wasn't an awfully cute kid. Oh yeah, she weighed in at 7lbs 5oz. I think that's what you're always supposed to say about a baby, what it weighed (although the opposite is true for Baby's Mamas.) So congratulations, Kristen,Cory, and Blake and congratulations to me. Too bad you kids won't have cousins for years and years.

Best Post Written to Make Me Sleepy

So, yeah, it’s what? 1:30 AM? I wish I was better at going to sleep. Here’s some late night thoughts that may or may not be worth sharing.

Garden State opens at 4 theaters (2 in LA, 2 in NYC) tomorrow. While it might not be the best movie I saw this summer, it’s probably been my favorite (think about it, there’s a difference) or at least the movie I’ve been thinking about the most. I urge all interested parties to check it out when it’s convenient for them—I believe I said it before, but I’ll say it again, what this movie has going for it is it charms you to death during the first half so that you’ll accept (or just not mind) the slight quagmire of the second half. Also, this film has the greatest hugging scenes I’ve ever seen. You’ll know what I mean when you see it/them. I’ll be making a post about some real-life Garden State related adventuring in the next few days, so there’s your heads up on that.

The 2004 MTV VMAs are going to be in Miami? How awful. My first great New York City adventure was checking out the red carpet of the 2003s at Radio City. Had I had a briggie dot blogspot back then, I’d point you to a post where I’d be all excited about everything I saw and how crazy beautiful Beyonce was and whatnot—but there was no blogspot back then, so you’ll have to trust me. Have to say I’m bummed that I won’t be able to brave the crowds again this year.

I saw photographer Terry Richardson hanging out on Spring street on Saturday as I was tie shopping. How do I recognize photographers? It helps if they're scummy looking guys who do a lot of self-portraits. In related news, I stumbled across the Vice Photo Issue release party at Seize Sur Vignt after work last week. That I wasn't invited was appalling. I mean, I bought a shirt there once. And I've been reading Vice since 1998--I can't imagine a more qualified possible partygoer than myself.

Clicking around at the iTunes music store tonight I came upon Fatboy Slim’s new single, “The Joker”—and yes, it’s his version of the old song by what’s-his-face. My verdict: incredibly crappy, even if Bootsy Collins is singing it. To think, I was once so amped about Fatboy Slim and ventured out into the London nightlife to catch him at Fabric four years ago. How we all grow up . . .

And speaking of growing up, the iTunes music store, and bands I used to be really into, the snippets I listened to of Ministry’s “new” record “Houses of the Mole” (the sort of “Mole” that rhymes with “Holy”) sounded like their best stuff since their 1992 record (the one that the entire world refers to as “Psalm 69”—yet those words appear nowhere on the record). I guess by saying it sounded (is “it sounded” even proper grammar? Sounds real uneducated to me) like their best stuff since ’92 what I’m really saying is “It didn’t sound like total crap, as has all their “work” since High School.”

If I ever go to Dallas BBQ again, it will only be because I want to make someone else happy because that place is awful and always rips my guts up. I have had so many lousy meals lately. Case in point: that today was 2 Tacos for $1 day at Taco Bell is probably the dining highlight of the past 7 days, except for maybe Thursday, when, as I was going to bed, I realized I had completely forgotten to have dinner.

I’m going to Utah this weekend because I want to, and to have dinner a few times with my Grandma. At first it seemed like a really brilliant idea, but lately I’ve been having this feeling of impending doom about the whole getaway. I think it’s because I know I should be getting ready to move to my new place, not hanging out in the desert.

Look at me. I start writing in the middle of the night and I get all complainy. I hope everyone has a grand Wednesday and, if they’re taking any really long trips, that they bring a calculator. Me, I’ve got a birthday party that I hear will involve fondue to go to, so what am I being so negative for?

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Best Movie in Weeks

Okay, look at this kid (yes, it’s a crap photo, my resources at the Steady Mobbin’ offices are limited). That’s me at age 13. Do I look like the sort of kid who had a lot of positive dodgeball experiences growing up? Do I look like the sort of kid who ever caught a ball on the fly? No, of course not. At Horace Mann, dodgeball was practically renamed “Peg Brigham” (with a great amount of emphasis and bonus points added for hitting me in the head) but, nevertheless, I loved dodgeball. I really loved dodging. I loved dashing about the gym in my short gray shorts with delusions of possessing great skills of evasion. Growing up, delusions of sports-skill were all I had going for me (sportwise)--like the notion that I was a great floor hockey player (Mr. Durkin felt it would be best for my Physical Education and Development to play with the girls.) Anyway, that’s enough back story.

As you’ve probably read in all the major daily newspapers, about four years ago a movie called “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” came out, and I finally went to see it this week. As awesome as I wanted it to be, I sensed a heavy air of crap about it-my first problem was with the subtitle, my next was I had that feeling that I had seen everything funny about it in the previews. But I knew I needed to see the thing, and, with magical student tickets in hand, Mike and I went to see what it was all about.

Turns out Dodgeball was all about being the most awesome movie I had seen since Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.

That’s not some sort of joke.

Both Dodgeball and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle give you this: unrelenting dedication to a theme and the exploitation of that theme to it’s highest degree. For Dodgeball, the theme is: “We Will Give You People Getting Hit By Balls and No Subtlety At Anytime In All Things.” For Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle the theme was “We Will Give You Out of Control Fights, As Many Different Sports Cars as Possible, and No Subtlety At Anytime In All Things.” Both movies: so great. I especially liked the unicorn jokes in Dodgeball. And I just found out there was a “surprise” after the credits, so I guess I get to go see it again.

Also, it needs to be noted that Mike and I held a high-fashion showdown that afternoon. Here Mike can be seen sporting the spoils of his modeling career, you see, Marc Jacobs pays Mike in clothes. Clothes that are covered in pockets.

Not to be mistaken for a chump, I strike back with my hardcore Canal Street Louis Vuitton belt. I was also wearing my “cool shoes.” (You’ll have to imagine them.)

Monday, July 26, 2004

Best Spelling Bee of My Adult Life

I'm leaping over many already written, yet-to-be-posted posts worth of backlogged content to bring you this critical update. Tonight I attended a real life spelling bee for grown-ups way up in Harlem. Competition was fierce and the words (all drawn from the official Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee website) ranged from simple ("cousin") to extremely difficult (that Canadian fish whose name I spelled right, whatever it was). In the end, I finished 3rd (first amongst the fellows) to these young ladies: on the right, First Place Spelling Bee Genius Sarah Jane Udall (sporting her "The Best" Pin) and, on the left, Runner-Up Rebecca McConkie (sporting the "Sparkly Rainbow" pin). Go to shutterfly to check out more pictures of the competition. (Login using my NYU email, password is "pictures.") Really, go check them out.

If I pace myself correctly, there should be spankin' new content everyday this week. So you've got that to look forward to.

Saturday, July 24, 2004


The title for Episode III was revealed this weekend at the San Diego Comic Con. If you know me, you know my love for Star Wars is unconditional, unquestioning, and unwavering--but when I first heard Episode I would be called "The Phantom Menace" I was a little "Huh?" and when I first heard Episode II was called "Attack of the Clones" I was very "What?" But "Revenge of the Sith"? Talk about a title people have been waiting for. I mean, I remember talking with my friends in kindergarten about how "Revenge of the Jedi" was being changed to "Return of the Jedi"--now, just 23 years later, we're getting a Star Wars movie with "revenge" in the title. So best. I'm a geek. This movie will rule.

Check my facts, this isn't just a rumor.

Best Post Related to Previous Content

Here's a confession: When I'm at work, and I get a little bored, I read my own blog. Partly to go over the spelling and grammar and to consider hyperlinks I could add, but mostly to entertain myself--I guess I'm like those folk who really like looking at themselves in the mirror all day. This past week, whenever I typed in, I was often quite bummed to discover that there was no new content. Of course, I had only myself to blame. I guess it's nice to have real life activities to do instead of time to write about those activities. So, anyway, here's some Saturday afternoon content to hold you over until I can post some new stuff (I've got plenty to get around to). You may remember, back in June, when I reviewed Dave Hickey's "Air Guitar"--well, I've found the article I wrote for the law school paper that started my whole Dave Hickey adventure. So, basically what you're about to read here is a months old article about a now closed art exhibit that I wrote for a completely different "publication" (I put "publication" in quotes to express hesitance towards use of the word to describe both this blog and the NYU Commentator) but perhaps you will find it clever, interesting, or slightly smart. Or you will find it to be something you can read. That's mostly what it is.

The Whitney Biennial is Back Again

The Whitney Biennial has come to town once more! Of course, I write this as someone who only moved to New York eight months ago and hadn’t even heard of the Biennial before it opened in the middle of March. You’re certainly entitled to ask of me, “Then what qualifies you to be writing a review of this preeminent survey exhibition of the goings on in contemporary art?” Well, I am the Commentator Arts editor, aren’t I? (And still you may ask, “And what qualifies you to be the Commentator Arts editor?” To which I can only reply “Well, I wrote a review of the Whitney Biennial, didn’t I?”)

But anyway, in case you (like me) didn’t know, every two years the Whitney museum (that big modern grey gargoyle of a building on Madison Avenue) holds their Biennial (yeah, that was a little redundant) to provide a general view of what’s happening in contemporary art. For a casual art fan like myself, nothing could be better. Paintings, sculptures, photographs, and video installation after video installation are spread out over three of the museum’s floors and give provide the visitor with a wide range of things to think about, admire, or turn their nose up at. The collection ranges from Schiele-like contour line portraits by one Chloe Piene to a room full of projections of deconstructed scenes from Super Mario Bros. 2 by Cory Arcangel. Despite the little show I put on in the first paragraph, I’ve been to enough exhibitions to be past the “You Call this Art?” phase of exhibition-attendance, but the Whitney Biennial contains a good number of pieces that would fall into that category. But for every wigwam made of white pelts filled with white powder (and a sculpture of ET) inside, there’s a properly-titled “Pictures of What Happens on Every Page of Thomas Pynchon’s ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’”by Zak Smith—a series of 755 small drawings, paintings, and photographs illustrating, well, what happens on every page of Thomas Pynchon’s “Gravity’s Rainbow.” (Having tried to read the book several times, I was especially taken by this piece and excited to recognize the occasional page.) Then, there are pieces like assume vivid astro focus’ “assume vivid astro focus”—a room sized installation that can only be described as a psychedelic dance-club super explosion (complete with thumping Mexican techno) that transcend both inexperience and snobbery and exists on the “I’m glad someone thought of this” plane.

You may ask what business I have recommending heading to the Upper East Side to visit a museum as finals are approaching, but, fortunately for all, the Biennial runs until May 30th. That leaves you with well over two-weeks to get up to the Whitney after you’ve sent your last test off to the ExamSoft mainframe. And to help you plan your visit, keep in mind that Friday nights from 6 to 9 visitors of the museum may pay what they choose (instead of $12) for admission—a great deal, but it draws crowds big enough to make getting around the museum a little uncomfortable—and when admiring the madness of assume vivid astro focus, you might find you need a little more room for dancing.

Addendum: Wow, it's like everything I write has to mention Thomas Pynchon. For more on the now-deceased Biennial, check out its still living website.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Best Summary of Bad Health

So, I was sick for a week. That’s a long time to be sick in the summer. At least I didn’t have to go to work, it was like a really lousy vacation. Here’s the day by day summary. Don’t worry, I’m keeping it light on the biological elements.

Monday: For dinner I have soba noodles with a breaded pork cutlet. I remember thinking: “Hmm, interesting texture this pork has. Must be Japanese.” I also have a small popcorn while I watch Anchorman. But the popcorn couldn’t have made me sick, because it was free. I think my last thoughts before falling asleep were, "Is something wrong with my stomach?"

Tuesday: Wake up and I’m ill. I’m scheduled to go into work at 1, and I spend the morning going “Ugh, my stomach.” I throw up before going to work. This will prove to be the only time I throw up all week. I go into work, wrap up an interrogatory, and call it a day after an hour and a half. I’m too excited to not be at work to take a nap when I get home. A few hours later the PR department comes by with some popsicles and conversation. What a great PR department. I don’t sleep at night.

Wednesday: I go into work for about two minutes before they kick me out. Come home and lie in bed, not sleeping, wondering what’s wrong with me. I start to wonder if I have an ulcer. I drink so much of the pink stuff. At night I think I’m getting better. So I eat a bunch of pizza. Because I really know how to take care of myself.

Thursday: I wake up. I’m definitely not better. I’m so not better that I go to the Doctor. It is the dumbest visit to a Doctor ever. They didn’t even take Blue Cross and all they can gather is that I’m sick. I eat a bunch of McDonalds. I watch DVDs all afternoon at the Angel of Christopher Street’s. That sentence should’ve said: “I begin my descent into DVD hell.” The PR department brings by more popsicles. I like the green ones. And the red ones. What a great PR department. In the evening Laura Young shows up, a little while later Patricia and Genevieve show up. We descend into an “I Love the 90’s” hell. Then Karisa, SJU, and Archie come over and we chat on the roof. You know how in Mrs. Doubtfire there’s that part where Robin Williams has to be himself and Mrs. Doubtfire at the same time at the restaurant? That’s what I tried to do, entertaining my roof friends and room friends at the same time. I realize I’ve left my popsicles at Karisa’s, go pick them up, and come home. I’m feverish all night. I don’t go to Volume, like I had been planning all week.

Friday: I’m pretty sure I will die. But I don’t. Instead, I watch too many DVDs. It makes me feel dirty. And they weren’t even very dirty DVDs. I don’t go to Palmyra like I’d been planning all week, or North Six, as I had been planning to if I didn’t go to Palmyra. I’m certain I have an ulcer.

Saturday: I really feel I should go back to the Doctor’s. But I don’t. Instead, I also don’t go to the Siren festival. Would you believe I watch more DVD’s? And I probably eat something that isn’t good for the ill. I think Saturday is the day I bought my Fall CD for $3.99 (or however much I said it was in that other post) amazed by the price, I buy the !!! record because I am sick and not thinking straight. Fortunately, it turns out I like it. I get a whole bunch of books from the library, because sometimes, when you’re sick, you feel the best thing to do is really apply yourself. I go home, listen to music, read, and worry about my ulcer.

Sunday: I just wake up sick of being sick and determined not to be sick. So I go to church. And then I come home. And then I think I’ll go to Lexia’s for dinner, but on my way I realize I’m way too sick to walk to the East Village. So I go to Bryant’s. Then I buy a salad at Wendy’s. You see, I’m learning to take care of myself. Also, I bought a cheeseburger. I go to bed resolved not to be sick anymore.

Monday: I wake up at 4 AM feeling great. I do all sorts of stuff around the room, and then I go to work in Jersey. There I realize I only felt comparatively well and shouldn’t have gone to work. I get a call from the NYU health center, they tell me my problem was salmonella. I feel pretty bad that I didn’t have an ulcer and wonder if I’ll ever grow up. I start telling everyone at work about the salmonella diagnosis, and they all have stories about the times they had food poisoning and were sick for three weeks and had to go to the Mayo Clinic and stuff like that. I go home. Nap. Decide not to be sick anymore and really apply myself to it. The next day I wake up pretty much all better and put in ¾ of an honest day’s work. Sure, I should’ve written "Tuesday: I wake up . . ." but I actually have a separate post to make about Tuesday later on.

So that’s my sick week. Sorry it wasn’t such a good summary, but I was sick, what do you expect?

Best Sight to Start the Day Off With

I looked out the window and what did I see? Tiger Woods fixing the roof of the building across from me.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Best Records of the Week

!!!, “Louden Up Now”

While tales of how she and her MG terrorized Benny Profane piqued my interest in the first chapter, my fascination with Rachel Owlglass began in the second sentence of the second chapter of V:

An hour or so later, Rachel Owlglass, Profane’s Rachel, passed by the spot they’d abandoned, on her way home. There is no way to describe the way she walked except as a kind of brave sensual trudging: as if she were nose-deep in snowdrifts, and yet on route to meet a lover. She came up the dead center of the mall, her gray coat fluttering a little in a breeze off the Jersey coast. Her high heels hit precise and neat each time on the X’s of the grating in the middle of the mall. Half a year in thei scity and at least she had learned to do that. Had lost heels, and once in a while composure, in the process; but now could do it blindfolded. She kept on the grating just to show off. To herself.

Whoah. Trucking down the street, heels hitting the X’s of the grating perfectly with every step. That image really stuck with me, and once I found out that Ms. Owlglass was 4’10”, I became obsessed with meeting a 4 foot 10 person, just to get an idea of exactly how small that is (I’ve yet to really meet a Four Tenner, though I think I saw one at a bar once. If you know anyone that short, please let me know.) Anyway, this weekend I realized what it sounds like when Rachel Owlglass performs her sensual trudge, it sounds like !!!’s album “Louden Up Now”, particularly, it sounds like the intro to their “hit” “Me and Giuliani Down By the School Yard (A True Story)”—all throb and pulse and struggle and get down now.

Typically, nothing can make me less interested in a band than hearing high praise for their bassist or their level of “funk” especially if I’m being told it’s some sort of post-punk band that’s “teaching kids to dance again” with their funky sound—and that’s exactly the sort of press !!! gets. (Oh yeah, the sticker on the CD and the articles on the internet all say !!! is pronounced “chk chk chk”, but the important thing about their name is that it is un-Googleable, and that trips up the internet research a bit.) But life has thrown me stranger curveballs than the discovery that I dig !!! and that “Louden Up Now” makes great headphone adventure music, a perfect library stack or supermarket aisle browsing soundtrack. As the tracks of the disc go by, the strum and thunk of the band and the cooing and purring of the singer all blend together into one viscous, well, punk-funk success story that I can’t be mad at, so, hey, maybe you won’t hate it either.

But, seriously, earlier I would have wagered it was as likely that I would like !!! as I would like an Eddie Vedder side project.

The Fall, “50,000 Fall Fans Can’t Be Wrong”

I became aware of the Fall back in 1996 when a Maximum RocknRoll writer praised Thee Headcoats’ “In Tweed We Trust” for sounding like them. Well, as I’m an unconditional devotee of Thee Headcoats (and anything else Billy Childish has had anything to do with), I made it a point to get my hands on something by this “Fall” and find out about them right away. Well, just eight short years later I scored a copy of their new double-disc “Greatest Hits” type of compilation, “50,000 Fall Fans Can’t Be Wrong” (I scored a copy, sans-packaging, for $3.99 at Other Music—and they say there aren’t any deals to be had in New York City) and here’s the verdict: Thee Headcoats don’t sound like the Fall and the Fall don’t sound like Thee Headcoats, but forilla gorilla, this record kicks. How many bands must there be out in the world that I continue to neglect (or not even know about) who have been around for ages and rock so hard? It’s like how I only just found out about the Modern Lovers back in January and now I need them like I need the Velvet Underground or the Slits, or, yes, Billy Childish.

But anyway, after spending a weekend listening to the Fall, it feels like I’ve been listening to them for my entire life. And I’ll tell you the astounding thing about this compilation: typically, when you deal with compilations from bands who have been together for decades, it’s safe to expect their “later years” stuff to be crap (consider your 2Tone records compilations or your Beach Boys Greatest Hits stuff)—but here’s the thing, the back end of the second disc of this set is as hot as the front end of the first disc and both discs just get better and better as I listen to them more and more. I hope I secretly have had a friend who knows lots about the Fall and can tell me which one of their records I need to fill out my Fall experience, because these guys are prolific—stepping into them is like discovering you like a fellow named Tom Waits and heading to the music store to pick up one or two records to know everything about him.

Could Rachel Owlglass be the reason behind my fascination with Sarah Lewitinn? Probably.

Sunday, July 18, 2004


New iPod?  A millimeter thinner?  Are you kidding me?  Hot!  But I must wait for the 60 Gig model.  Because there will be a 60 Gig.  And that's the one for me.   I can't wait to have a job.  In two years.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Holy Best Website in the World

I didn't have to live in New York long before I became fascinated with the Manhattan real estate scene.  Here's my new crack, the real estate blog Curbed.  Want a good residence to start off with?  Check this out.  Other great sites to get interesting real estate news (and by "real estate news" I mean details on the prices and specs of out of control New York homes and the people who are buying and selling them) are Manhattan Transfers at the New York Observer (which, this week, happens to feature the same apartment I linked to at Curbed) and the Gawker real estate posts.
And, fer yer infermation, I've been too sick to work, let alone blog, since Tuesday.  As soon as my strength comes back, I'll be writing about Latin American Art and Rock n Roll.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Best Googling Results Ever

Whoah, wait! Don’t hit the back button yet! Steady Mobbin’ isn’t turning into an aerobics-fetish site, there’s a story behind that picture . . . and I’d say it’s one of the best stories I’ve had to lay on you yet—even though I’ve pretty much already given away the ending.

Saturday night I was hanging with Pete and Hannah, talking about people we went to High School with, and I ask “Whatever happened to Gabby Resnick?” (You know, Gabby, the girl from English Literature that I got to know that time I actually had a detention and then we took expository writing together senior year. The girl with the boa constrictor, the girl who tried to grind off her pores, the girl with the dad who had to live in the Bahamas because of some investment thing . . . or at least that’s what everyone else said. That girl.) Almost as if he already knew of the treasure we were about to find, Pete whipped out his iBook and googled Gabby and low and behold, while I have become a law student (well, that’s what I suppose I’ve become), Hannah has become a jewelry maker and Pete has become a food and restaurant person, Gabby has grown up to be a fitness model under the pseudonym of “Gabriell Resnick.” And apparently, she’s also a female wrestler.

This, of course, is amazing to me.

I can’t even think of what else to say about it. Except people in the world of fitness modeling are cheap, because there seem to be a lot of galleries of Gabby out there, but they all cost money to see. Yet one could argue that I’ve already seen too much. Geeze, I knew Gabby was into eating good and staying healthy, I just didn’t know it’d go this far. Hey, be like Gabby and chase you’re dreams, that’s all there is to it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Best Bunch of Stuff for Forgetting Last Week With

Here's a bunch of stuff worth feelin' good about. Yeah, yeah, most of this only applies to me . . . but you can be happy for me, right?

First off, out of nowhere good old Ashleigh Chamberlain shows up in New York city Sunday night and we took a long, healthy walk with her brother (I completely forgot his name, my bad, dude)and paid a visit to the girls with the accents at Mary's Dairy. Ashleigh is going to go play lady's basketball in Europe. Whoah. To think I knew her back when she was just a nice kid with troublesome cousins.

Next, that movie Anchorman? Turns out it's great. And there was a Mexican restaraunt in it called "We Spit in Your Food." Finally, this second language I speak serves for something.

Thirdly, do you realize that the B and D make no stops between 4th and 34th Street? How hot is that?

Fourth, I'm about to close the deal on my very own Manhattan dream apartment. This is what counts as a dream these days: No roommates. A seperate kitchen (I use the word "seperate" loosely, but it's mostly true). Two big closets. A real bathroom. Proximity to the L train. Capable doormen. Heritage and history. That the building is called the "John Adams."

My Mac is fixed!! It's a miracle! I can load up my iPod again! I can get rid of this crap PC that's the curse of my life! Get lost, crap PC!(Muchas gracias to Jeff R., of course.)

I think I've invented a new phrase/expression that could do the world some good, "Forilla Gorilla." It takes "for real" to the next level. Here's an example of it in use: "Hey, did you know I got a new set of rims?" "Forilla gorilla?" "Forilla gorilla, bro." I think this is my best contribution to the Enlgish language since my safe swear, "futch", back in 2000.

Can anyone remind me where my commas are supposed to go in relation to my quotation marks? I know the American rules are the opposite of British rules . . . but that doesn't help if you don't know what rule to follow in the first place.

Okay, you got me. This was just a post for me to toss up a few things before going to bed.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Best Book for Last Week

Absolutely everyone in the world had a bad time last week. I know of 3 major breakup disasters, 2 major hookup disaster, many cases of directionlessness or joblessness, friends and family who were over-jobbed, beaten-up by motorvehicles, suffered unhealthiness and general unhappiness, crashed Cadillacs, lost cellphones, and broke bones (like the pelvis)--everyone had a bad week. Of course I was tempted to stew over my own badness, but when I started finding out about everyone elses' crap situation(s), I just sort of started cracking up. So stop feeling so special because you felt rotten last week, EVERYONE felt rotten last week, and now you can feel even sadder because you aren't unique (or special).

And here's your perfect Worst Week coincidence: this week I also finished "Jimmy Corrigan: The Smarters Kid on Earth", Chris Ware's 380-page graphic novel. Typically the expression “graphic novel” makes me cringe, but in this case that’s definitely what we’re dealing with: 380 pages of simple pictures of so much beauty it’ll make you cry, and approximately 378 of those pages have this story to tell: there is a lonesome man named Jimmy Corrigan and he has the most depressing life. Ever. Sure, Jimmy passes many low moments that I think we’re all too uncomfortably familiar with, but the combined awfulness that Jimmy deals with must be his superpower. While bullets bounce off Superman, sorrows find Jimmy.

I don’t mean for you think that this book is page after page of zany accidents happening to Billy. Instead, it’s page after page of chilling loneliness and lowliness, 378 pages about a lonely man who goes to visit his father for the first and only time ever while dealing with all sorts of other stuff that's so pathetic it'll make you sick. A sensible person would ask themselves, “Why does Brigham bother telling us about this bummer of a book?” But I can only ask, “Why would Chris Ware bother telling such a long bummer of a story?” I kept reading the book for one simple reason: the illustrations are absolutely beautiful. Numerous times I’d turn the page and almost drop the book at the stunning sight of the next two pages of illustrations. Of course, this begs the question, why would Ware choose to tell such a sad story with such sad pictures? Perhaps if I had been reading smart books for the last year and engaging in some real deal literary criticism instead of trying to learn the Rules of Civil Procedure I could put some ideas down on that. Instead, I’m confused, but not turned off. There’s something really great about this book, and it’s worth taking a look at, but everyone needs to be told what I was told as I was borrowing it, “This is the most depressing book in the world.”

But not when you compare it to books about the Holocaust. Those are more depressing.


Also, it’s with a sense of snobbishness that I have to mention that the tale of Jimmy Corrigan were originally serialized in this free newspaper in Chicago that I used to read during my last year of High School. I used to really wonder what the whole story was about, now I guess I finally know. Sort of.

Also, it needs to be noted that when I say I “read” this book I mean it in the way people say they’ve “read” Infinite Jest. There is too much information in this book, too much small print crammed in obscure corners for a casual reader who wants to live his life to conquer.

Best Thing to Come Back Into Style

A while ago I pretty much swore off running into celebrities. It was just getting out of control, and the people I was seeing were getting too exciting and too popular. But, now that three weeks or so have passed, I've decided to let celebrities back into my life. But my new rule is that they have to be standing on street corners and that they can't touch me. I don't want them bothering me at my meals or bumping into me unexpectedly or appearing in crowds, duos, or threesomes.

The first celebrity I let appear before me was Gael Garcia Bernal, who stepped out of Tower Video when I was on my way back to work after lunch last Friday. (It should be noted that during that lunch I ran into the elusive, astounding Elna Baker, a celebrity in her own right.) I won't have anyone saying Senor Bernal isn't hot, because, listen: he's hot. That's the long and the short (mostly short) of it. New Rule: if you're a celebrity and I run into you, it helps if you've dated a celebrity I've already run into, and I'm not even going to act all weird about it or pick sides or anything.

Then this morning I saw Harold Ramis (Dr. Egon Spengler, Mr. "I Wrote and Directed Caddyshack") on my way to work, crossing 3rd street at Thompson. I guess this is my other rule: if you're a celebrity, I'll only run into you on my way to work. Mr. Ramis looks like a Dad, or one of your Dad's friends. I want to see more famous people that look like they might work in my dad's office. Can you do that, celebs?

Best Begging for Your Patience

Dearest Readers,

I know for a fact that at least 3 people visit this site regularly. To you three, and whoever else might be wondering where the content is, I apologize that I haven't added anything new for days. Real life experiences have been taking up my time, and I'm backlogged. But should you remain patient and willing to wait, the following can be found among my content waiting to happen:

-A Review of the Best Book for Last Week (with accompanying amazing astrological associations and coincidences)
-Best Googling of High School Friend Results Ever
-Best 30 Minutes of Culture on a Saturday Afternoon
-Return of Celebrity Sightings
-Best Surprise Visit in Weeks
-Bringing Back the Rock, Again

And who knows what else. Stay posted to what's posted. And if you get bored, read The Smoker, for crying out loud. I'm begging you. (Broek and Jeff are excused.)

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Best Post Whipped Up to Pass the Time

On Wednesdays and Thursdays I have the dubious honor of being one of three people left at my office until 9. I'm supposed to be the assistant to this one lady, but she's usually too busy to need assistance. So, if I've finished my work from earlier in the day (often the case, because I'm a dutiful worker) I'm left killing a little time until it gets close enough to 9 to annouce that I'll be taking off. Well, I've got at least an hour to go right now, so here's some stuff that has crossed my mind lately.

-I've now seen my third Rolls Royce Phantom on the road and my umpteenth Maybach--I wonder if I'm seeing the same Maybachs over and over, they're all black. The Rolls Royces I know are different because they're different colors. Anyway, I've seen my first Maybach being driven with complete reckless abandon, though. I thought they were supposed to be chauffer-driven land boats, not competition for bullet bikers weaving in and out of traffic. Anyway, forget all that because I saw my first new 2004 Bentley Continental GT on the 4th. Scratch "saw," I mostly heard it. The roar of its motor was a sound to behold, and the blur of its tailights an image to remember. I'd marry one, if I could.

-For a while I had no problem telling people that I thought Britney Spears' song "Toxic" was the joint, no matter what nonsense she'd recorded before. But now that I've discovered that another track of her's, "Breathe on Me," is rather good, I've got to wonder: could "In the Zone" be a good album? I mean, it's got a song with her and the Ying Yang Twins on it, so that's got to be good, because the Ying Yang Twins are among the reasons I'm at this very office, typing at this very keyboard. UPDATE: I walk by Britney's apartment building on my way home everyday. Tonight there were a bunch of black SUVs parked outside, I hear that's a good sign she's home. You'll never see me write so much about Ms. Spears again.

-I just looked at an ad and did the math and realized that VH1's "I Love the 90's" starts next week. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, it's cool to complain that it's too soon? I don't care, should my weeknights be so open next week that I catch any episodes, I'll be a happy guy. Who knows, might be the source of all the content I'll have to give next week. Here's a Preview: Steady Mobbin' Loves 1993: 1993 is the year I first heard someone (Erin Kelley in US History with Ms. Marquez) say that something was "totally 80's" (her own jeans). If we could do it in 1993, why not 2004?

-Thanks to some blessed coincidences, I'm about to close the deal on a really great place to call my crib starting in August and lasting for a long time (I hope). Would-be visitors from out of town: start scheduling your visits now. Friends in the city: get ready to carry some boxes.

Best Way to Keep Down Property Values, the Revenge

Another one of these arrived in my inbox. Enjoy, in that sick way that these things are enjoyable.

A - Age: 27
B - Band listening to right now: Some Crunk compilation. For work
C - Career future: Ruthless young associate
D - Dad's name: Randall Brim Barnes. He’s a lot more on the internet than I am.
E - Easiest person to talk to: Hmmm. Myself? (See “W”)
F - Favorite thing about yourself: My Grandma says my eyelashes are beautiful, I think she might be right.
G - Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms: Worms. More gummy per animal.
H - Happiest memory: This question was definitely on the last questionaire
I - Instruments: Piano and Violin, but that was long ago
J - Job: Legal Intern at Volunteer Lawyers for Justice and TVT Records.
K - Kids: Kids are cute.
L - Longest car ride ever: I’ve cross-countried it, multiple times. Once a family drive to the Boundary Waters took exactly twice as long as it should have.
M - Mom's name: Claire Taylor Barnes. She lost her middle name, Louise, when she got married.
N-Number of people you've slept with: Hi, I’m Brigham. I’m Mormon.
O - Octopus or Octopussy? What? Well, I remember my Mom not letting me watch Octopussy on TV at Zion’s National Park when I was a kid. (See also “P.”)
P - Phobia[s]: Underwater creatures. Portions of just about any airplane ride.
Q - Quote: Me: “There’s a doorman.” Jeff: “Shhh!” Me: “What do you mean, “Shhh!”? He knows he’s there.”
R - Reason to smile: Hope. Foolishness.
S - Song you sang last: Hymn number whatever.
T - Time you wake up: 7 AM or 10 AM, nothing in between.
U - Unknown fact about me: I’m watching the Ashlee Simpson show right now. I’ll never watch it again.
V - Vegetable you hate: Peas.
W - Worst habit: My officemates have taught me to silently announce what it is I’m doing, I’m already trying to stop doing that.
X - X-rays you've had: X-rays I haven’t had would be shorter. A million on my knee, chest, elbow, bonescans, catscans, MRIs. Name it.
Y - Yummy food: Real Mexico City tacos al pastor, tostadas de tinga, yeah, I’ve answered this one before.
Z - Zelda level that is your favorite: It’s pretty exciting to go into Level 9 for the first time. Spectacle Rock, yo.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Best Trip to Jones Beach Ever (or "I Got 99 Problems, But a Beach Ain't One")

To celebrate the 4th of July Observed, I joined a small band of beach fans for a trip out to Jones Beach (which seems to be somewhere on Long Island) on Monday, July 5. I think it was my first time in the Atlantic Ocean, and the great body of water welcomed me by not holding back one bit and tossed me around like I could take it. Despite a general haziness to the weather and the fact that the concession stand ran out of hot dogs (for real) I had a pretty great time. How great? Would you believe I'd recommend you go to shutterfly (login with my email address, password is "pictures") to check it out? As you'll see, I went to the beach so hard that it hurt the city's feelings.

And if you were wondering, I got that awesome shirt from Emily and Marsha.

Oh, at Shutterfly you'll also find a new gallery of photos from Chicago, but they're mostly of Mexican food.

Best Roosevelt Island Rooftop Fourth of July Party in Ages

On Sunday, the Fourth of July, Nicole Newton held a big party in the apartment she's sitting and everyone had a great time. While I was in Chicago my Mom gave me these special "3-D Fireworks Watching Glasses" that help turn boring old fireworks into visually exciting bursts of color--if you press the lenses close to your eyes. So, if you go to shutterfly and login with my email address and then use "pictures" as the password, you can see plenty of pictures of people on a roof trying out 3-D Fireworks Watching Glasses--you'll be able to see from many of the facial expressions that the glasses also make the flash from a camera more exciting. Also note how excited, happy, and attractive everyone can look during the magic of the 4th.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Best Cast I've Read About In a While

Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory just started filming. After doing a little research on the actors mentioned in the article (most easily done here, of course)it's safe to say it's a pretty great line-up. The naked guy from Waking Ned Divine as Grandpa Joe? Perfect. And this will be Charlie's second film with Johnny Depp? How interesting. Just wish I knew who Christopher Lee will be playing.

This post is dedicated to Jen Gurney, of course.

Best Retraction Ever

Sometimes, I like being wrong. The Canadian Fratboys (if that doesn't ring a bell, read this post right now) turned out to be Canandian Cleaning Ladies in disguise and I came home Sunday night to discover my kitchen and bathroom sparkling ("sparkling" in the guys' apartment sense.) I know a real retraction would require me to take down the first post about my visitors, but that thing took me a really long time to write. But I officially retract all my hard feelings, although it would've been nice to have slept a little more last week.

Best New Vice

Thanks to PF Meehan, I've had my first New York City taxi ride. Yes, yes, I'm that much of a hayseed, I lived on Manhattan for ten months without a single taxi ride, thriving off waiting for busses, trains, and walking incredible distances as if there was no other option. But Saturday night, after Spider-Man, Pete put his foot down and we took a taxi home and it. was. aweSome. So fast. So relatively affordable. So fast. Mostly, it was fast. I never knew the 30s could be so close to the 3's. Can't wait for my next taste of sweet, sweet convenience. I am so backwoods.

What did you think I was going to write about, strippers?

Sunday, July 04, 2004

I Got 99 Problems, But Writing 1000 Words Ain't One

I've been debating whether or not to post this, but why not. Frankly, I'm a little disappointed in the content I've provided this week, especially what I wrote after getting back to New York from the charming hamlet of Chicago. A variety of forces kept me from feeling very bloggy, and when I did have stuff to write, I certainly could have done better. I mean, look at my Streets review: there is nothing clever about it, and I didn't even work in that that evening I ate my first lox and cream cheese bagel or that I found a possible perfect apartment. Anyway, in an effort to strengthen my imaginary bond with you, the reader, I'm going to lay on you some of the stuff that's been keeping me down, despite the risk of it making me sound like a big wimp or the fact that this is the internet and my words could come back to get me.

The key problem has been a lack of sleep. But lacks of sleep don't just cause themselves. I woke up Wednesday morning around 4:30 to catch my flight to New York, and just as I was about to try to get my nap on proper, I heard the sound of 5 Canadian Fratboys entering my kitchen. "New York CitEE! YeAH!" "Aw dude, $10 says Dony is passed out in this bathtub by tomorrow morning." "New YoRk CitEE, Brah!" After a quick firing of neurons I remembered, weeks ago, when my roommate, the original Canadian Fratboy, asked if it would be all right if he had some buddies over for the 4th of July. I suppose sometimes the 4th of July starts on June 30th. So, yeah, no nap that afternoon, caught the big show that night, the show got me worked up enough to have a pretty hard time falling asleep until the Canadian Fratboys came in at who knows what AM, causing another bump in my sleep schedule.

Thursday morning I learned it’s traditional to celebrate Canada Day by leaving non-Canadians a surprise in the toilet. Then it was off to start my first day of my new job as a legal intern for a record company down the street from me. I worked the 1 to 9 shift, I filed like a mofo with the reckless energy of an intern who is trying to say “Hey, look at me filing like nuts all alone in this room far away from everyone else!” Whatever plans I had of meeting up with anyone that night were instantly nixed when the whistle blew at nueve and I headed home to fall asleep as soon as possible. Of course, that night the Canadian Fratboys had a wrestling contest to hold at 11. And 2. And 4:30. Also, they really needed to blast “New York, New York” over and over again to sing along and get even more excited to be drinking in New York.

Friday, on what little I had, it was off to put in another day’s work at the record company. This time I got to file in the main office space, whistling along with a great variety of crunk compilation CDs. Let me tell you, nothing puts you in the mood to file like some classic New South Crunk. YeAHH! During lunch I discovered that the landlady of my potential perfect apartment was quite hesitant to rent to me because I’m from Chicago, this taste of midwesticism sat quite poorly with me all day, oh, wait, it still sits poorly with me. I can only hope for the best when I speak with her on Tuesday. A full days work (even if they did let us out two hours early for the weekend) left me with just barely enough energy to try my hand at fashion consultation in Soho and then eat a bunch of watermelon. By the middle of a visit to the “Wall Street Rocks” festival at the South Street Seaport my tank was empty and I couldn’t even muster the energy to conversate by the river or on the way back uptown (in an actual car), so I skipped out on what was probably a great dinner to go honor a previous commitment with Mr. Mike Lemmon, and by honor, I mean show up after the band I was supposed to see had already played and leave before the next band started. Arriving at home, I found an enormous purple puddle on the floor outside my elevator and the entire kitchen floor was sticky. My kitchen table resembled the remains of a ransacked full bar, and there were mugs filled with who knows what in the bathroom. To bed I went, of course, and, as the Canadian Fratboys didn’t get in until sometime between 7 and 10, I had a fairly decent night’s sleep.

Saturday proved to go well enough. An angel offered me her apartment as a weekend escape, although I eventually decided to risk it with the Fratboys instead of trying to sleep above the beat of a Christopher Street gay bar. Fine Mexican was enjoyed at 4C, and, as the combination of refried beans cooked in the remains of a goose confit and a wearying week doesn't leave anyone in the mood to get down to the laptop sounds of Kid 606 at the Knitting Factory, I topped the night off with a little Spider-Man 2. Considering that the 4th of July weekend couldn’t possibly run any longer than July 6, I think I might make it out okay—yet now I must tackle the question: Which is more offensive to my sense of realism: An elevated train running through New York City (along with numerous Chicago landmarks) or miniature suns which produce no heat? (Or, I suppose, a man with the powers of a spider?)

Of course, I do myself no favors by staying up until 2:30 in the morning writing this stuff.

The Two Best Things Marlon Brando Ever Did

I had been hoping to find the perfect picture to go along with this post, but the internet appears to have won this round. Anyway, it's super old news now, but Mr. Kurtz, He Dead.

Like most youngsters that were raised on VHS tapes rented by parents fearing for their children's moral well-being, my only exposure to Marlon Brando for a good while was in the movie "The Freshman" where I couldn't even get half the in-jokes. But, by the end of college, I had seen a few Brando films and I can tell you what I like best of all that he ever did (both come from "On the Waterfront"): 1) When Brando is walking through the park with Eva Marie Saint and he picks up her glove and brushes it off (that's what I wish I could've found a picture of) and 2) Later on in the film,when Brando bashes down the door and, well, forces Saint into submission from behind a wall.

I first saw "On the Waterfront" in my freshman (no pun intended) Intro to Film class at BYU and remembered liking it enough to catch it again many years later at the Varsity Theater--I knew I was in the right place that night when my linguistics hero Royal Skousen sat in front of me with his wife and growled (because dude is a lot like an angry old badger) "Aw yes, Marlon Brando."

Although the only person in the world to whom this makes any sense currently lives in Honduras, for a while it was my wish to go Shark-Caging with Mr. Brando. Some other time, I suppose.

And you know what, I'm not inserting a hyperlik to the imdb listing for "On the Waterfront" because I think my readers are all better educated than to need one.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Bringing Back the Brit-Hop

My first exposure to the sort of overwhelming breaking-band buzz I deal with on a daily basis here in New York back in 2002 when I was living in Southern California and the Streets "Original Pirate Material" was coming out. The Streets were all that magazines like Vice wanted to talk about, cool stores always blasted the album's catchier tracks, people in record stores would just stand around talking about how great "Original Pirate Material" was. Myself, I was hesitant to check the record out because of what it was: British hip hop, but the buzz continued like a headache and, while visiting San Francisco for a weekend, I found myself at the Amoeba on Haight and couldn't take it any more. I was helpless, I grabbed a copy of the CD so that I would no longer have to deal with people talking about a record I didn't know at all.

As I first listened to "Original Pirate Material", all I could think was: I have completely wasted my money. It wasn't until a few weeks later that I dared listen to it again, and I liked it a little better, my curiosity was piqued, at least. And curiosity kept this cat listening to the record, and before I knew it, I was nuts about the album and nuts about the Streets. So I consider myself rather lucky to have scored a couple tickets to the Streets and Dizzee Rascal at their second of two sold-out shows at Irving Plaza this week. The performance certainly didn't disappoint. As "the Streets" is just one MC, Mr. Mike Skinner,it was interesting to see that live he chooses to perform with a live three-piece band and a backup singer. The band did a rather impressive job of replicating teh sound of Skinner's studio-crafted tracks and it was entertaining to see how positively at ease Skinner was rattling off his lyrics with total nonchalance.

As the Streets is a band built on the buzz of hipsters, it was odd to be at a certifiable hip-hop show with a 99% white audience, but the crowd got down the best it could. Skinner started his set with "Turn the Page", which he began rapping from off stage. By his third or fourth song he had already sung "Let's Push Things Forward", as the track is definitely his most well known number, it could be argue that he came out too early with his big guns, but it certainly got the crowd going. After the main set the band performed an encore of several numbers (one of which was interrupted by a fairly dramatic fight on the dance floor) and came out for a second encore to end with "Don't Mug Yourself", a favorite of mine that I had feared would go unperformed (like "Sharp Darts", unfortunately.) All in all, it was a pretty great show, enough to please Streets devotees and neophytes.

Upon moving to New York, my first exposure to the type of overwhelming breaking-band buzz that deal with on a daily basis now was over Dizzee Rascal, who everyone seemed to be losing their minds over even when he had no domestic release lined up. Buzz lead me to catch his first US show at Volume in February where he performed from a flatbed truck. Catching him a second time now was plenty good, he didn't have any new material (that's the price you pay when you're trying to be the coolest), but Dizzee's rapid fire delivery is something to see. While it isn't easy to understand what he's saying most of the time, it's clear that he's really good at what he's doing, whatever it is.

Best Abbreviation of a Weekend Full of Adventure

These are all the things I did over the weekend that I was going to make a big write-up about, but I was getting really carried away and lengthy, so I decided to tell about them as quickly as possible.

-The ritual of buying a polo shirt from Seize Sur Vingt.
-The series of thoughts that lead me to foolishly order a catfish sandwich at Cafeteria.
-Watching "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" at Office Ops.
-Deciding against seeing Les Savy Fav at Volume
-What an absolute pain it is getting to the Newark Airport.
-Surprising my Mom by showing up in Chicago for her birthday just like the guy in that coffee commercial from back in the day.
-Eating pork loin wrapped with rabbit at Bice.
-Taking the folks up to Wholly Frijoles for what’s probably the very best Mexican in Chicago, a city, which if you didn’t already know, is full of magnificent Mexican restaurants.
-Picking up my Sister and Nephew from the airport so that they could also show up unexpectedly for my Mom’s birthday.
-Teaching my nephew Blake to like snakes. It was easy.
-My Mom deciding to (crap!) cancel her birthday reservations at Spiaggia to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken on our back porch instead.