Saturday, April 30, 2005

Best 28 Years of My Life

Hey, it's my birthday. I'm throwing myself a party tonight. 101 West 12th Apt. 15B, that's the NW corner of 12th Street and 6th Avenue. Super close to the 1,2,3,9,F,V, and L. Medium close to the A,C,E,B, and D. If you're reading this, you can come. I think it starts around 9:30. I live in an uptight building, please don't stand around in the hallway talking on your cell phone.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Best "Are you Kidding Me? How Genius is America?"

Living in Manhattan is great, but you miss out on some things, like that 7-11 sells rootbeer float big gulps now? How long was this in the lab? Buying one of these will probably be the first thing I do when I go home in May. Also, you can get IBC Rootbeer from a fountain now? How amazing is that?

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Photo stollen from ollietamale.

Best Late-Night Interview I've Ever Seen

Dave Letterman is interviewing Paris Hilton right now and the man is absolutely killing it. He's all up in her business and not giving her an inch and it's hilarious. She's clearly trying to let it roll off her back like it's nothing but she isn't as unflappable as she wishes she were. They'll be talking about this tomorrow on the internerd. I haven't liked TV so much since "My Super Sweet 16."

Updated! A portion of the interview can be found here. Just imagine Dave going on with the same bit for another two commercial breaks worth of material and it'll be like you watched it yourself last night.

Also Check this out. A new Michael Showalter movie. What does it mean? It means people are going to be laughing and that I should have paid more attention to the Tribeca Film Festival.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Best New Weekly Feature, Week Four

It's hard to write these posts about the Firearm when it's finals time, but I said I'd do these every week, so I'm doing them every week.

Volume 1, Issue 6

First of all, perhaps by now you've noticed that each issue features a different little statement up by the title. Thinking up and agreeing on these statements for each issue was one of the things Andrew and I enjoyed most while making the Firearm. This week's statement, "Amor et cautela" (Love and Caution) was one of the first statements we wanted to have . . . better said, we wanted it to say "Love and caution" up there in Latin, but it took us a while to figure out what "Love and caution" was in latin. In fact, we had assigned Andrea Clemmens, a friend of the Firearm, to look it up for us . . . Andrea was great at many things and great for many reasons, but Latin-translation research was not one of those things or reasons.

From the Editor Sleeping With Women In anticipation of Andrew contributing his own commentary to this post, I'm not even going to touch this one. Okay, I'll touch it a little. The summer before I moved into Apartment 120, the residents of Apt 120 (and some of their close associates) went on this enormous bike trip to raise money for this disease (exact details escape me, but you can check out the website for their incredibly successful endeavor). This means I moved into an apartment full of guys who had a lifetime's worth of stories about a huge bike trip that I had to catch up on, this being just one of them.

Editorial Get a Grip! An honest to goodness editorial by me to the Anthrax-fearing denisons of Utah Valley. After writing this article numerous people stopped me on campus to tell me their own great Anthrax-panic stories, there were some really good ones, like an incident involving the University of Utah football team and the chalk used to mark the field, I kid you not.

Communication Phone Message Here's the truth. This is a message Andrew and I left on Dan Hoopes' cell phone. "Rob" and "Matt" were made up names. Everyone else is real. We just felt like leaving Dan a really long message, it wasn't until later that we decided this message would make a "good" article for The Firearm.

Sports Girls Intramural Flag Football I am terribly proud of this little bit of art. I suppose that if this post were perfect, I'd have discovered the old list of 107 girl's flag football teams from that year and made a comment about each team name. Too bad I don't have the list anymore. Eventually I heard from girls who's team name I put down, as well as girls who's team name did well. I guess this is as good a time as any for me to say that I had always wanted to write an article for the Firearm about the BYU Girls Lacrosse team, and I wanted to call it "Lacrosse is My Life," after Hunter S. Thompson's "Polo is My Life." I never wrote such an article, instead, I remained fascinated by the fact that BYU had a women's lacrosse team made up of East Coast girls who had grown up loving lacrosse.

Volume 1, Issue 7

From the Editor Get Ready He wasn't kidding. Issue 8 of Volume 1 was one of the most epic issues of The Firearm ever made and involved actual journalistic daring-do. Just come around next week, you'll see what I mean.

Campus Life Creepy Guys Club This article was born of a conversation I had had after my Hemingway class the year before with Andrew and Adam Bateman. A conversation where I think we were all joking, right? At about this time, people were bugging us, asking for their names to be used in articles, so I popped a few guys' names into this article and then thought, "Wait, what if they're mad that I'm making them into some of the Creepy Guys?" Turns out they were totally psyched to have been in the Firearm. So it goes. In the second to last paragraph, the stuff I wrote about the Hostess Cupcake? I thought it was too creepy and wanted to take it out of the article, but Andrew insisted I keep it in, as creepiness is what I was going for, anyway.

Police Beat Thanksgiving Vacation Another signature bit of Andrew-style Andrew writing. "Rebecca Clark" was the name (still is, I suppose) of one of our teachers from that semester. It was a very small class, maybe there were ten of us, Andrew and I managed to turn the whole bunch into fiends for the Firearm, Rebecca included.

Positivity Corner Things I'm Thankful for On BYU Campus I was always concerned that The Firearm not be considered a negative or cynical paper, so I wrote this bit to bring positivity to the forefront. Each of the 11 items was something that would bring a smile to any Cougar's face, especially Tyler Bruford. Seriously, if you were at BYU between 1995 and 2002, you knew Tyler and also couldn't believe how Tyler was at absolutely every party or event around campus that was worth being at. It just got to be a given that you'd be seeing Bruford, that's why I wasn't even surprised to see him at the bonfire I went to in Newport over break.

Counterpoint Girls Can Be Creepy Too Absolutely a true story. I didn't mean for this article to indicate that such advances aren't, uhm exciting or anything, but the girl wasn't trying to insinuate, she was trying to conversate, and her stabs at wit got away from her. If I remember correctly, she was some sort of turbo-blond in a turquoise shirt.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Best Trainers by the Truckload/Trainers by the Ton

Saturday night I took a break from my weekend-long paper writing experiment in madness to catch Dizzee Rascal at Irving Plaza. This was my third time to see Dizzee--I caught his first ever US performance a bit more than a year ago where he rapped from the back of a flatbed truck out in Brooklyn, and I saw him open for the Streets during the summer, perhaps you even remember reading about that?

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Anyway, I caught the show with Rebecca Paterson, who's face hasn't popped up on briggie dot blogspot since the Dictatorial Costume Party (scroll down for the Tennis Player.)

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This is me trying to look real street.

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One of the reasons I went to catch Dizzee a third time is that Pitchfork had a really great review of one of his shows from this tour that made me really want to catch him again. Unfortunately, if you read the review, you'd know everything Dizzee was going to do because his show seemed a spot on imitation of the show reviewed by Pitchfork. For example, Dizzee and his hype man opened by performing "Sitting Here" while sitting in the dark at the front of the stage (pretty cool how my low speed shot caught someon else's flash lighting up the front of the stage, huh?)

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And then Dizzee launched into a set that proved to be, as Pitchfork said (and I would have said anyway), got all kinds of bananas.

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Did he rap "Jus a Rascal" over "Wanksta"? Yes. Did DJ Wonder switch it over to "Hip Hop" halfway through? Absolutely. And the crowd lost it. Did he rap a part of "Dream" over "Juicy"? You bet, but I'm glad that he performed a good deal of the song over the original track, as "Dream" is the grime equivalent to the Kings of Convenience "I'd Rather Dance With You" video.

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And then Dizzee called it a night for a moment before returning to the stage to encore with "Fix Up Look Sharp" and "Stand Up Tall", just like Pitchfork said he would . . . but it's not like that wasn't the easiest encore to predict since the Pixies in December. But there was one surprise: three-quarters of the way through Stand Up Tall DJ Wonder switched in "Lean Back", so that was an exciting bit of unexpectedness . . . not that I doubt he did the same at the show reviewed in Pitchfork, they just didn't mention it.

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Dizzee's deejay, DJ Wonder, opened the show with a DJ set "titled" "The History of Grime," which I suppose was supposed to be a sort of primer for us Yanks on this exceptionally rugged sort of UK hip-hop. Will it ever be super-popular in the US? No, it's too rough (beat wise) to catch on full force, but elements of it will show up here and there (or I suppose they already are as TVT recording artist Pitbull has just released a grime track, and of this I am proud).

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But, for me, the highlight of Wonder's set, and perhaps the highlight of the whole night, was when, well into his set, he took the microphone and asked the audience "What if I turn up the tempo a bit?" and then closed out his set with fifteen minutes or so of honest to goodness mid-nineties style jungle (not drum 'n bass, not speed garage, real deal jungle). After spending plenty of time listening to (and enjoying) grime tracks that were completely new too me it was great to realize that I was actually hearing songs that I had thought had been cremated and spread over out of fashion specialty record stores . . . it was pretty great to for once hear Shy FX's "Original Nuttah" from a real soundsystem and not my Dad's Ford Taurus SHO (back 10 years) stereo.

Also While I have no regrets about catching Dizzee, it looks like the show to have been to on Saturday night was the Desmond Dekker performance at the Knitting Factory. Sounds like the old dude absolutely murdered the joint. How was I supposed to know it was good? When I saw that this Godfather of ska was coming I thought "Hey, Desmond Dekker, that's neat . . . wait, isn't he old?" Years ago my buddy Chip told me not to go see Dick Dale because he has a ponytail now and just plays his modern compositions, and then someone else told me that Lou Reed shows are embarrassing these days . . . so how was I to know Desmond would keep things so real? My bad.

And Also I forgot to mention the bass situation at the show. Bass nearly shook my skull out. Awesome.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Best Signs It's Spring

While the weather turned rainy and mean on Saturday, last week was ridiculously nice in New York City and gave us all reason to hope that spring was definitely, officially here. Flowers bloomed, jackets were left at home, parks were crowded, and celebrities were popping up left and right. In the last week (adding a day or two for the sake of thoroughness) I saw (and some of these I announced earlier, but I'm announcing them again, again for the sake of thoroughness) Sidney Poitier walking down Waverly, Chris Noth walking down Lafayette, Tim Robbins skating around in SoHo, John Waters walking up 6th Avenue, Ron Perlman (Hellboy) walking down 6th Avenue, Ron Perlman (the next day) walking along 3rd Street, Judah Friedlander (for the purposes of Steady Mobbin', he's a celebrity) browsing at Kim's, and Susan Sarandon leaving her apartment on 15th Street this morning. Yes, it's spring time again.

Another sign of spring: finals are here. More or less. Or at least the crush before finals is finally here. And while I have previously disclaimed that finals were about to effectively shut down blogging operations only to post like crazy over the next week and a half, this time I really mean it. I'm expecting a major content drop-off . . . just consider last week: not so post crazy, really, when you think about it. And that was the week before the week before finals start. Now that the week before finals start is officially about to start, I'm guessing that people seeking their briggie dot blogspot fix best explore the archives, because I've got almost a year's worth of content for you to be enjoying. (That said, I've already got two significant and substantial posts that I know I'll be making this next week . . . but aside from those? Who knows.)

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep coming over to see if I've done anything. 'Cuz I like it when you do.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Best Interim Arrested Development News

As reported in Variety, as reported at Darkhorizons

Whilst the fate of Fox's acclaimed comedy series "Arrested Development" remains uncertain, many of those involved are teaming together at Universal Pictures for a comedy reports Variety.

Will Arnett will play a guy who attends his 20th high school reunion and tells his dream girl a pack of lies about being fabulously wealthy and successful back in New York. When she shows up in Gotham, he goes to extraordinary lengths to keep up the ruse.

Brian Grazer and Imagine Entertainment will produce and Joe and Anthony Russo are set to helm an untitled Chuck Martin pitch with Will Arnett set to star. Arnett appears in the show, Martin is one of the show's writers, and the Russo brothers helmed the show's pilot

Sounds good to me. Plus, I can already imagine it in my head.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Best Jam You'll Be Hearing All Summer Long

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(I liked her better when she was bigger)

Missy Elliott has a good track record of putting out a monster single every year (and this is just her solo stuff without going back to the 90's.)

2001: Get Your Freak On
2002: Work It
2003: Pass That Dutch
2004: I'm Really Hot
2005: On and On

Maybe you read the Pitchfork review that gave her new track four and a half stars? Maybe you were wondering where you could get a copy of it from? How about from me, is that okay? Click that link above, but the file won't last forever.

I think it's a bit less dynamic then many of her other songs, but I still liked the song after about three seconds. Her rapping is really up front and direct on it.

PS If you don't have Blue Orchid, the new White Stripes song, I've posted it here. But for crying out loud, why didn't you already have it?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Best New Weekly Feature, Week Three

Maybe you're detail oriented and a regular reader. If you are, there's a small chance that yesterday you said to yourself: Hey, where's Brigham's weekly Firearm commentary? It's supposed to come out on Tuesdays, just like the Firearm did. Well, get this. By issue four of volume one, Andrew and I were beginning to realize that it was rather difficult, an relatively expensive, to put out a Firearm every week. So we went biweekly. Or bimonthly? We never really got the terms straight. Also, we started publishing new issues on Wednesday. This was probably because one night we couldn't get the paper done in time for a Tuesday, so we said "That's it. The Firearm is moving to Wednesday." It's not like we expected anyone to mind, pretty much anytime we gave a repeat reader a new issue they'd say, "Hey, all right. You're still doing this?"

Volume One, Issue Four

Issue Four was the first truly great issue of the Firearm. That's what people told us, and that's what Andrew and I felt in our hearts. Just read the thing. Three and a half years ago, these were funny, funny jokes.

From the Editor: Like I said above, we went biweekly. Or was it bi-monthly?

Arts and Letters/Linguistics News: You don't have to know a lot about Mormons or Provo to know that Mormons, especially those in Provo, often substitue really dumb words like "flip", "fetch", and "freak" for the real F word. And they use these fake swears like crazy, every Cougar probably had a roommate that said "fetch" so much it became far more vulgar than any conventional swear. And making fun of Mormon fake swears is one of the easiest ways to joke about BYU. So that's what I did in this article. Actually, the summer previous I had invented my "perfect" Mormon swear, and the Firearm seemed the perfect forum to release it into the world. Anyway, my invented word was "futch", a slight modification on the word "fetch", but the results are really, really gross. In fact, before writing this article, I had probably never heard the word "futch" uttered out loud, but after the article, when I started hearing people say futch, I just couldn't believe how bad it sounded. (True Story: one night I was trying to sleep as some people [let's call them complete strangers whom I had never met and never did meet] were running around on the courtyard of the apartment complex where I lived. At first I was pretty mad that they wouldn't shut up, but then I realized they were yelling things like "get away from me you futcher!" From that point, I was too proud to sleep.) Also, regarding the final paragraph of the article, this was back in 2001 when people didn't know "sheezy" from "shizzle." How far we've come!

Letter From Logan/Waiting for Death: An Andrew masterpiece. Everyone loved this article. My parents still talk about it. Pretty much everything in this article is true (I won't say what isn't, but a couple things are made up.) During that fall, Andrew kept having to go up to his family home in Logan when his parents were out of town to care for the family's dying dog. Andrew recently told me that this article really changed things between him and his Mom, it taught her that he didn't love animals as much as she thought he did.

Corrections & Clarifications: Jerusalem Center. BYU has a magnificent campus in Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives. I got to spend a few days there while visiting Israel one Christmas (previous to 2001). Each semester, a group of students would get to go study there in Jerusalem, it was a major get to get to go to the Jerusalem Center (presuming, of course, that you were a person who wanted to study in Jerusalem.) As a student at the Jerusalem Center, you got this special backpack (seen here) with the Jerusalem Center logo on it to use while in Israel, and then you got to walk around with it when you returned to Provo, being all "Hey, look at me, I studied at the Jerusalem Center!" (If I seem bitter it's only because I didn't get one of the backpacks when I was in Israel.) Anyway, Fall 2001 the Jerusalem Center was closed down (for reasons you might be able to figure out) and no one got to go . . . this article was a little joke about keeping the old Jerusalem Centersuperiority thing going on despite the closing down of the center. After this issue came out two dudes I barely knew cornered me at a Banana Republic to tell me how awesome they thought this article was. Thanks, dudes!

Volume One, Issue Five

Our second truly great issue.

From the Editor: Another attempt to get someone to email us. Pretty much no one ever did.

Local News / Crisis in Apartment 120: I was really into this article when I wrote it, I just loved the concept of it, the amplification of the bizarre experience of walking into your living room and finding people you don't know sleeping there amplified into a peace of real panic news. The article also features a shout-out to Downey, Idaho, the pond the Barnes family crawled out of when we evolved. And I name one of the characters "Dan Lund", after a High School friend. 120 was our real apartment number, things like this made people say that The Firearm was about the Avenues (the apartment complex where Andrew and I lived.)

Survivor / Maize: A common thing to happen around the Firearm Offices was for me to have a bunch of articles written that I was trying to choose between and for Andrew to have no ideas and to be next to refusing to write. So sometimes I'd lend him one of my ideas. This time I lent him the idea of writing a Heart of Darkness sort of piece about someone getting lost in a Corn Maze (corn mazes: SO SO popular around BYU at Halloween time). If you're asking me (are you? I don't know, but at least you're reading) Andrew knocked this one out of the park. Quite possibly my absolute favorite article by Andrew.

Ward Announcements / Break the Sabbath: Just a little jab at the tendency for things to get a little rowdy and un-Sabbathy on a Sunday night around BYU. On fast Sundays most wards have a dinner activity called a "Break the Fast," so that's where the catchy title for this one came from. Come on, it's catchy. Admit it.

Love Is: A comic by Matt Lemmon. Matt, an aspiring cartoonist at the time (maybe he still is now, but mostly he talks about the songs he's working), drew this perfectly based on instructions I gave him. I was pretty amazed/very pleased when it came in the mail. Because BYU students don't have a lot to talk about, back then the boys and girls used the school open debates and the newspaper opinion page to argue over whether or not capri pants were stupid. Boys would say "Capris are stupid!" Girls would say "No, they're cute!" Back and forth, on and on. My take? If there is love, you will shut up and let her wear whatever stupid capris (even if they have beaded tassles) she wants.

And now, as an incredible bonus, I have an amazing announcement to make. My old Firearm Editor-In-Chief, Andrew Berthrong, just mailed me his own thoughts on Issues 4 and 5. This is what he had to say (as you can see, our stories pretty much match up)(also, it's clear that Andrew was excited to be writing these comments and full of ideas, as he should have been) (also, if Andrew reads what I wrote above [who knows what he reads these days] he'll realize that he is wrong about "Dan Lund", but his guess isn't too outrageous):

Issue 4

I wrote all the "From the Editors" as if to a large, tightly packed,
though invisible, audience and, as I reread them, they tend to show
it. I seem to suggest, especially in the 5th, that these are a
tentative sort of people who reverence the hands behind the text with
a detestable shyness. I was, it turned out, either dead on or
embarrassingly wrong, but even that huge space for error did not
matter. We were not ever contacted. (That is a lie, but it suited me.)

Both issues currently under inspection share a common format: The
short, pleading smile of the "From the Editor," then two medium-length
Brigham pieces sandwiching a longish, somewhat unfocused Andrew.

Brigham's linguistic news, normally a rather dull subject, was
whopping success. People instantly took to 'futch' in a big way,
saying things like, "Hey guys: 'Futch!'" or maybe just, "Futch,"
context-free. But to us: like a baby's first step. Somehow.

"Waiting for Death", you'll be surprised to know, wasn't a letter at
all, and, in fact, there is nothing all that lettery about it from the
get-go or in the end-all--it wasn't addressed to anyone, nor did it
ever see the inside of an envelope. Oh the things the public will
believe! But actually my mother did kind of take it as a letter to
her, an irreparable misunderstanding for which I am still paying.
After a childhood spent caring for pets, it shocked her into a still
current bereavement that my previous animal-loving sensibilities might
have died with that dog. Or killed it. She has not, I don't think,
ruled out that possibility. But it should be understood that I wrote
that piece when I was hopped up on Hardy, and for those of you who've
read Tess know how gray things are afterwards. Incidentally, the times
in that story are all invented, all lies. Ha!

And finally Brigham's "Jerusalem Center" occupies a special place in
my gall, ever since a roommate returned from there, noticeably
altered, subscribing to "The Modern Archeologist" and pontificating
generally. Brigham can probably speak more to what motivated this one.

How Issue 5 started has already been discussed, so on to new territory:

Brigham's "Crisis in Apartment 120" contained the only (to my
knowledge) clue as to our whereabouts, and a significant clue at that.
How many 120s could there be in Provo? Certainly any self-respecting
zealot (I intentionally avoided "stalker") worth her (indulge me)
soft-soled shoes and binoculars could have tracked us down, but our
luck no doubt consigned us to the adoration of half-witted Columbuses
(he did, after all, miss India by quite a little bit) we never saw or
heard from in any of those delightfully freaky ways. Here Brigham also
mastered the art name grafting, a method by which he would fuse the
names of two different Provoites together into one, both as a sort of
compliment and also, I think, as a bit of taunting. Thus we have "Dan
Lund," (Dan Hoopes + Dave Lund), both intriguing people in their own
ways, but not to be taken completely seriously. But then none of us
are to be.

"Maize," a simple word play that still gives me immense pleasure, was
conceived somehow but now I can't remember how some (forgive me). It's
a pretty straightforward story, albeit full of silliness. It will
surely surprise you to know that prior to writing it I had never
before entered a corn maze. So the staggering detail and accuracy is
inexplicable. Of course, I committed one small oversight (I have since
been in one of those mazes) by suggesting that anyone has spent more
than twenty minutes wandering about such a field, past which each step
is one towards more and more absurdity until cheating becomes noble,
an ethical obligation. The story, now that I think of it, may hint at
that descent but for entirely different reasons.

"Break the Sabbath" is probably Brigham's (and perhaps The Firearm's)
first gloves-off, deep-cutting social commentary. Note his use of the
word 'biggie', clearly a self-reference, as if to say, "Here I am. I
am not scared of writing gloves-off, deep-cutting social commentary,
and to prove it I will write the word 'biggie.'"

"Love Is . . ." was Matt Lemmon's only acceptable contribution (Brigham says: HA! Good one, Andrew!) to The Firearm. People those days were wearing funny looking pants and so we
really gave it to them for it, but also we liked the idea of being
champions of love under the most dire circumstances. Matt was the only
one we knew who could capture both derision and affection with the
deft stroke of the pen, and who would dare say he failed? Heaven help
us all if he did.

In both issues, as in all our issues, the bottom right corner solicits
meaningful human interaction. It's hard to say how much either of us
we really wanted it on those terms, but, luckily, we never had to

Bravo, my Editor-in-Chief. I'm going to have to be a little more eloquent next week before the public demands

Don't get it? Check out:

Firearm Post One
Firearm Post Two

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Here are three new Revenge of the Sith ads. All three are fast-paced, up-beat, and contain footage (including plenty of General Grievous) that hasn't been used in any other ads or trailers. If these don't get you excited about Episode III, then I just don't know what to do with you.

Jedi Action 1 Jedi Action 2 Unite

Monday, April 18, 2005

Best Guess Who's Going to Dinner

This evening, on my way to my Admiralty Law class, I ran into Sidney Poitier as he was crossing Washington Square West (MacDougal) at Washington Square North (Waverly Place). I'm guessing he was headed to Babbo. Mr. Poitier was dressed in a nice suit and walked with an elderly caucasian gentleman along with their respective wives/girlfriends/daughters/who knows?

I checked the internet to make sure Sidney Poitier wasn't dead before making this post. That would've been embarrassing.

Best Quick Pair of Real Estate Listings

Pedro's house is for sale. click.

So is the loft from the "tragic" half of Melinda & Melinda. (Arguably a bargain as the price hovers below $1000 sq/ft. and maintenance is only $1000) click.

Also, this weekend I saw Chris Noth ("Mr. Big") in sweats walking down Lafayette and Tim Robbins rollerblading around SoHo in a full roller-hockey gear.

Best Big Friday Afternoon and Evening

Friday afternoon I went over to Cooper Union to meet Bryant. We were going to go check out Brian Drury's (who's artistic talents were previously features in this post) Senior Show. On my way over to Cooper I ran into Tina, who was going to meet up with Lexia to check out the show, too. And then Tom came over with Bryant for the show. So coincidence piles on coincidence and all of a sudden there was a whole bunch of us.

Like I just said, before finding Bryant, I ran into Tina.

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While small, traditional landscapes made up much of Brian's show . . .

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The undisputed centerpiece was this portrait of Jeff Rasmussen.

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Which Lexia can be seen imitating here.

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I just can't get over how amazing this painting of Jeff was/is. Please, click here to see a close-up of Jeff's face (make sure to click the image to see it as big as possible.) (If I had it in me, I'd link to some previous posts featuring Jeff so that you could marvel at the photographic quality of this painting, but I don't have it in me right now)

Cooper Union also featured very homey and comfortable seating areas.

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Look how homey and comfortable everyone was getting. (Everyone = Lexia & Tom)

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Numerous hours later, I went to eat some of the only decent Mexican in the city with Amber. After dinner, we came across the new painting of Pope John Paul II on Houston at Avenue B (they painted over the Celia Cruz portrait). I was going to take Amber's picture in front of it, but a friendly intoxicated gentleman offered to take a picture of the two of us. As he knew I was trusting him with my camera, he let me hold his wallet until I got my camera back (just look at my right hand). What a nice drunk.

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Then, amazingly, I saw my second Ferrari Scaglietti in two days. This one was parked on 2nd Street between 1st and A. Am I a little naive, or can I be surprised to see a brand new, $250,000+ car parked in the East Village across the street from public housing?

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We went over to CBGBs to check out Locksley. They're a local band that plays early-Beatles style rock. I don't have a problem with that, but if I were in Locksley, we'd be a little more rambunctious.

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Half-way through the set, someone accidentally turned on the house lights over the stage.

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I think the Locksley singer could be a Mulcock.

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After Locksley we stuck around for this other band. I don't remember their name, and I don't feel like looking it up. That should sum up how I felt about them. Don't be deceived by how things may appear in this photo, the band was not awesome.

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Howerver, their Animal-istic drummer reminded me of Wiggles Martini, and the fact that I couldn't take any non-blurry pictures of him attests to this.

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Sunday, April 17, 2005

Best Movie of Next Summer

I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it. I've got a very good feeling about the new Superman movie. Especially now that these photos of Brandon Routh as Clark Kent have surfaced on the internet. Can you believe this?

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It looks to me like Singer is going to do right and keep stuff traditional for Clark Kent and the rest of the Superman world, which is about the opposite of how things look for this summer's Fantastic Four (yet I'd be thrilled if that turns out to be a great movie.) It's funny, the older I get, the more I like the comic book characters that I thought were so lame when I was in High School, ahem, I mean, err, that I thought were so lame when I was a kid.

I suppose I should toss in a little Lois Lane, too.

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These were all stolen from Superman Homepage.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Best Emergency Post

This morning I did a week's worth of dishes and then ate hamburger scrambled eggs to begin the next pile of dishes for me to do in a few days.

Sorry, I haven't had a lot to post about lately.

But I did see a Ferrari 615 Scaglietti yesterday. One of the more beautiful sights of my life, it'll be a while before I'm thinking about Aston Martins again.

Oh, and for the parties involved that don't already know: I picked the salmon/pink tie and the interview went well. Fingers remain crossed, which makes writing this post awfully difficult.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Best Dinner-Outing Deja Vu

Last night there was a little gathering at Lombardi's because Sarah Jane is going home to Utah to get ready for her wedding to Nate. This would be Sarah Jane and Nate right here.

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I consider this photograph of Craig and Kristin Mills one of the greatest things I have ever done in my life.

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We were seated in the basement of the restaurant right by the bathroom. It was like our own little party room, with the occasional interloper passing through to use the facilities.

Here Jenna shows that she can eat a slice and totally not even care about it.

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After dinner we crossed the street to Rice to Riches. It all seemed so familiar . . .

Here's Jenna's Brother, Jenna, and Jenna's Karisa.

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And that was the Tuesday Night Activity.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Best New Weekly Feature, Week Two

My history of The Firearm continues . . .

UPDATE: I'm learning that this might not be obvious to all, but if you click the underlined text (that means it's a link) where it says "Volume One, Issue Two" or "Volume One, Issue Three" your computer will download a .PDF of the issue that I'm talking about, and then this whole series might make a bit more sense.

Volume One, The Issue Two That Never Was

Once Andrew and I had written everything for Issue Two of the Firearm we found ourselves involved in a pretty intense discussion over the issue’s From the Editor before heading off to have our copies made. You see, more than anything, we did not want to cause any serious trouble with the Firearm at BYU because the BYU powers-that-be will come down on you hard for anything that seems out of line. While we were shooting for campus fame, we didn’t want to draw much attention at the same time – something of a paradox, I know. The debated “From the Editor,” which encouraged people to share The Firearm with everyone they knew, ended with some “joke” about being at airport security and saying “I have a whole bunch of Firearms in my bag”, something really weak like that. Since I’m the one writing now, I’ll say that I thought the joke was a little suspect (and may, as it occurs to me now, also not funny?) and Andrew thought I was being a wimp – but it easily could have been the other way around, the memory gets a little fuzzy about some things after three and a half years. Anyway, it was decided that the joke would stay in the paper, we went to Kinkos, copies were made, issues were placed in backpacks for the next day. The next day was September 11th. It was quickly decided that maybe it wasn’t the best time for our dumb fake paper, or its dumb fake joke. So, the secret can now be revealed, there was an issue of the Firearm that was written, printed, and never distributed. I suppose the 200 some copies that may or may not exist in an Kinko’s box that may or may not be in Andrew’s possession would rank among the most valuable issues of the Firearm among collectors.

Volume One, Issue Two

But, fortunately, we just used all the same content from the previous week’s non-issue for the “real” second issue. But there was a new From the Editor, of course. The From the Editor refers to Firearm “I Got Issues” T-shirts. This was the original Firearm marketing scheme, a night or two before the first issue came up we spent a great amount of time ironing letters onto t-shirts for ourselves and our small band of distributors – the T-shirts said “I Got Issues” on the front and “The Firearm” on the back. The idea was that all the distributors would wear their shirts on days when there was a new Firearm and that somehow people would learn to ask for Firearms from these people—it was a little tricky loophole Andrew and I invented. While we never checked to see if it were so, we imagined that BYU had a rule against handing out publications like the Firearm on campus, so we figured that if people were asking us for Firearms instead, then that would be a different thing altogether.

Health Watch/How Firm a Foundation? was my first Oniony “fake news” article for the paper—while I always considered these sorts of pieces “lesser” journalism, they sure were popular and I sure wrote a lot of them. The article was inspired by all the ridiculous super-thick sandals that girls were wearing on campus, you know, those flip-flops with three or four-inch thick soles that may or may not still be incredibly popular around Provo.

Firearm Mailbag/Letters to the Editor. When we started the Firearm we really expected people to actually email us their thoughts and comments. It pretty much never happened. I think Andrew wrote all of these letters, I can’t really remember. It is possible that Willie Deford really wrote that one letter. Wait. Willie did write us a letter that week, but it was a super-serious opinion piece on September 11th that, while good, wasn’t fit for printing with our planned nonsense. Or maybe our nonsense wasn’t fit to print with it? Depends on how you look at it.

At a Glance/Amber vs. Ashley. This was my first bit of real news reporting for the paper, and pretty much the only thing printed in the paper that required actual research. The article explains the purpose the graph is intended to serve and the means by which I collected the data, and “Ashley” and “Amber”, to this day, remain popular first names, if you know what I mean.

Volume One, Issue Three

This Firearm starts off with a very important “From the Editor” dedicating the issue to our new head of distribution, Dave Lund. Dave was a roommate that wound up living in our apartment that just LOVED distributing the Firearm. At first Andrew and I assumed it was some sort of joke where he was pretending to love the Firearm, taking a bunch of issues every week, and then throwing them away – but a little bit of research revealed that he was actually distributing tons and tons of issues throughout campus. A few times we even caught him at work, harassing people into taking the paper from him. He also really wanted his name and phone number to be in the paper, so that was part of what he received for his September Spirit Award. (Perhaps some of you are already familiar with the notion of a “Spirit Award” and to that familiarity all I have to say is “Yes. Exactly.”)

Another thing about Dave was he was a very aggressive cell phone salesman who partly (or was it “entirely”?) inspired my Overheard in the Wilk/Cell Phone Salesmen article (if you don’t know, the Wilk is BYU’s student center). I wrote this dialogue (of which I remain proud to this very day) about 10 months before I even owned my first cell phone, so a lot of what I wrote was just made up stuff that sounded like the cell phone talk I had overheard up to that point. Also, this was written way back when cell phones weren’t in color and didn’t take pictures or go on the internet or anything, so it’s kind of wild to see that all the stuff I made up for cell phones to be able to do to seem extra outrageous has now come true, except for the monkeys.

As for Andrew’s Fashion/The Low-down article, what’s the deal with the Firearm having footwear related jokes one issue after the other? I suppose we were just a brand new paper back then, any content was good content.

If you don’t understand what this post is about, maybe you should read this from last week.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Best New Album Title

According to the newest news on the internet, the new White Stripes record (due in June 6) is going to be called "Get Behind Me Satan." I see no reason for it not to be awesome. I never liked the title "Elephant" and everyone knows that album was solid gold, so how best will it be when the Stripes release something with a monster title like this one?

Read about it at NME or Triple Tremelo.

Curiously, the Stripes' first confirmed US appearance after the release of "Get Behind Me Satan" is at the Music Midtown festival in Atlanta, June 10-12. (Heads up courtesy of Get Off Your Duff) The White Stripes? Interpol? The Pixies? Bloc Party? The Killers? Louis XIV? Lou Reed? Def Leppard? $75 for 3 days? Welcome to Atlanta where the playas play indeed.

Best Because You Decided to Visit

Maybe it's Monday morning, and you're getting to work, or getting ready to leave for work, or you don't work at all and you're thinking "Hmm, maybe there's something new at It's been a whole weekend, I'm sure Brigham came up with something." Well, just thinking of that scenario makes me feel I ought to have something for you, dear reader, so here's the best I can whip up. What can I say? It was a studying weekend, more or less.

Friday, after class and before the books, I went up into Chelsea to check out a couple of shows at some galleries. Here's the thing: if you're going to journey to the depths of Chelsea, way over between 10th and 11th Avenue, it's best that you have more than two galleries that you want to see, because galleries aren't big, and, if you're like me, it doesn't take a long time to look at stuff, so the travel time vs. art observation time ratio is like 9 to 1. But at least I saw this polar bear:

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At night I ate duck legs with Mike and Meg at a hole in the wall on the Upper West Side called "A." (Sorry, no link. It's pretty hard to search the internet for a restaurant that's just called "A", as google ignores the wore "A" when it searches). Look at him tear that thing up.

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Saturday I had a quick catchin' up lunch with Sariah and then did some important recon in midtown . . . what for? To be revealed later, I hope. Post-recon I came across this, the Uberorgan. It was big, and conceptual, and not working, to say the least. Then I went to school and did an incredible amount of school work, came home, started cooking dinner, burnt my hand like crazy (forcing me to cancel a spy-trip I was going to take with Ashley Furst and to turn down a rock n roll situation with Jeff R.), and spent the rest of the night soaking it in ice cold water, watching Saturday Night Live, and calling people while out of my mind on Tylenol 3.

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Sunday was epic in the way Sundays can be. The weather out here has turned crazy perfect. Oh yeah, I also got a haircut on Saturday. At first I really liked it, now I think it kind of makes me look like a bowling pin.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Best Barely Blogging

And all of a sudden . . . I don't really feel like writing about everything and taking pictures of everything. But, hey, you were thoughtful enought to type in "" today (or perhaps even click on a bookmark, a notion which flatters me to my core) so I've got to give you something, right? Here I go . . .

Question: If Emily Kunz's out-of-control successful Thursday Night Dinner Group were to pick a restaurant in Brooklyn, would anyone go?

Answer: Pretty much no. Jacob and I were the first to arrive at Sea in Williamsburg (which, if you're a loyal reader, you'll remember I visited in the fall) and Kelly showed up a few minutes later. Another few minutes later, Ryan showed up. And then we waited and wondered where everyone was. Also, we worried, because Emily, the Boss, wasn't there. Eventually we tried to redeem the group's reservation, which lead to us sitting in the lounge area for way too long . . . an hour and a bit later, we decided it wasn't our night and went to find another place to eat. We wound up at a restaurant nearby that I think was called "Thai Thai Food" and it was fine. When I got home, it was raining hard but still warm. It's crazy warm (not hot) out here in New York.

Jacob, Kelly, Ryan. Sitting. Waiting.

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Watching the door. Waiting.

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Hanging in there best he can.

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Sitting in the lounge, waiting, leads to pictures of furniture.

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Unrelated On Wednesday after class I saw Bernard Goetz in Washington Square Park. That's pretty much a Top 10 Celebrity Sighting if I've ever had one. If you don't know who Bernie Goetz is then you either totally aren't New York or you weren't a grown up in the 80's. He's pretty much the Naked Cowboy of people who have shot people on the subway. Google him yourself.

Upcoming To a select few I have already bragged about my new coffee table plucked from the refuse along 6th Avenue two nights passed. As soon as I got it I wanted to start photographing it and talking about it, but I've realized that pictures of just a coffee table are boring, so I'm holding off on the coffee table news until I've got pictures of people and my coffee table, together, perhaps eating off of it, or playing a game of some sort. Maybe just studying? Or folding laundry? We'll see.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Best Break From Hanging Out With My Family

On Saturday night I went with Amber to see LCD Soundsystem at the Bowery. Much like the Kaiser Chiefs show the week before, this concert had been sold out for a long, long time. And, once again, I (in this case "we") paid $16 for the show at the door and walked right in. After my luck with the Kaiser Chiefs I really didn't think it could be so easy to get into the Bowery every time it sold out, but I'm 2 for 2 now and feeling invincible. I may never ticketweb another Bowery show in my life.

Another great thing about paying $16 at the door? I heard a guy at the show saying he had paid someone $60 for his ticket. Come on you people!

The Modern Age has a very detailed and correct review of the show, so I'll leave it to her to provide the details and I'll submit this one word review. The show was: Bananas.

(You may say that that's a four word review. But I'm saying "Bananas" is the review, the rest is just set up.)

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Perhaps you've heard a variety of electro-dance-punk or just plain poppy bands described as "teaching the cool kids to dance again." I'll submit that LCD Soundsystem is "teaching the cool kids that had been dancing to mosh again." And why not? Someone clearly has been teaching the cool girls that to pierce their noses again. Show got a little rowdy, but it was all in good fun.

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(see the blurry kid with the hat and glasses? he was skanking all night, I promise.)

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(standing still man in white looks like he's about to catch a vicious long-distance elbow from dude in red on the right)

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Casa de Punk has a review of the show that's so caught up in the scene that my head nearly fell off from rolling my eyes at it (and usually I pretty much enjoy Casa de Punk, I hope he was at least half joking I take it back, dude is a complete idiot). Want to know how hard it is to be the cooolest New Yorker? Click. On the off chance that I was ruining the Soundsystem's cred by going to this show, sorry, but I had a good time.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Best New Weekly Feature

A while ago, when many of you weren't even into Steady Mobbin', I had a post announcing that it had been discovered that the website to The Firearm, the independent student publication with which I was involved during my last year at BYU, was still online. Ever since then, I've been meaning to force the Firearm down your throats a little bit more, and now I'm finally getting around to doing it.

What I intend to be setting out to do is provide a weekly "director's cut" behind the scenes story on two issues of the Firearm every week for the next eight weeks. As I mean to burden you with substantial Firearm background details right now, I'll only be discussing one issue (Issue One of Volume One, actually), but just wait until next week when I lay the tales of Issues Two and Three on you.

Anyway, way back in the summer of 2001 I was preparing to return to BYU for my last year of studies. I was to be living in a new apartment with new roommates, one of which was my buddy Andrew whom I had met the summer previous in London. Andrew told me that he wanted to start a newspaper with me that year. I said OK, but only if the newspaper could be called "The Firearm." Why The Firearm? You'll have to read the final issue of the paper to find that out. (Don't worry, you can download it from the Firearm site right now, if you want.) I'll later detail The Firearm's eventual rise to Provo infamy, but now let me focus on the humble beginnings of the paper.

On a single drive up to Logan shortly before the first day of school Andrew and I discussed our project at great length and came up with a grand plan of attack. We realized that it would be no simple task to produce something clever with much regularity, so we gave ourselves a very narrow set of "rules" to follow. We figured that the key to our success, if we were to find any, would be a lack of ambition. We would produce an edition of the Firearm every 7 days, the Firearm would be printed on one side of one piece of paper and, no matter how popular we got, we wouldn't go any longer than that. We would have no advertising. We would charge no money. We would xerox copies and give them to our friends to give to their friends. We would solicit content contributions, but not try very hard at that. And then there were two very important factors: 1) Our first issue would come out on the first day of school to show the world (or Provo, at least) that we were really going to make this thing happen and that it wouldn't just be something that Brigham and Andrew talked about on their way to Logan and 2) Our final issue would come out at the end of the school year and then the Firearm would be done forever and we wouldn't seek successors or entertain notions of keeping the paper going post-graduation. Having a certain end in sight, a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, is probably what kept us going when it seemed all too easy to quit. Also, we needed jobs. Andrew would be the Editor-in-Chief because it was his idea to start the paper in the first place. Also, as Editor-in-Chief, he would pay to make all the copies. I would be Head Writer. This means I was to make sure the Firearm actually had something in it every issue.

Now let me boast. At the same time that the Firearm was coming together right before school started Andrew and I received word that another fellow in our apartment complex, a real go-getter, was planning an independent student publication of his own. When he heard about our little project he invited Andrew up to his apartment for a little meeting where he invited Andrew to set aside his little project and write for the other paper (I believe it was to be called "The Iceberg" because the guy loved salad) since dude's paper was going to be 8 pages on newsprint and he had investors and advertisers and all sorts of brilliant folk lined up to make the thing happen. Andrew politely declined. We went to work. At the end of the year, there had been 16 issues (I'll explain why that happened next week) of the Firearm and we were distributing 300 hardcopies of each issue of the Firearm and our website was getting 1000 hits a day. Not a single issue of the Iceberg was ever printed. Go us.

And now, Issue One.

First off, Andrew designed the Firearm layout. At first he was thinking about having a graphic designer friend do it for him, but this looked good enough. It was decided that each issue was to contain a "Letter from the Editor" mostly because that would be a good way to establish some sort of direction for each issue and would take up some space.

The layout of the Firearm, with the article categories and article titles, was inspired by those articles in the front of the New Yorker (if I had an issue around the apartment right now I could tell you what section I was referring to.) While we were constantly being compared to the Onion, it was always my ambition (back in 2001) that The Firearm would be something more like the New Yorker (originally a humor magazine, after all) and the smart parts of Vice Magazine . . . but with a lot more stuff written by me.

"Married People!" was actually a toast I wrote from my friend Brandon to read at his sister's wedding that summer. We kind of spent a lot of time getting the skeleton of the Firearm put together for that first week, so I was a little short on ideas for new content . . . figuring that only a few hundred people in Texas had ever heard this bit of brilliance (that's what I was told it was by the bride and bride's brother) I rewrote it a tiny bit and there it was, my first article.

Andrew's first article, "Mochas", was a story I had heard him tell before that I wish was a story that had happened to me. It's a great example of the sort of absurdist realism the Editor-in-Chief would be providing for every issue. It's also an example of an article that Andrew sat down and wrote without me cornering him in the kitchen and chewing him out for not having an article for the paper yet.

As we originally expected the Firearm to be full of contributions by other people, we had our roommate Dan write a step by step explanation of how to rip a phonebook in half (as Dan was/undoubtedly still is very good at ripping phonebooks in half.) Dan's original explanation was much more detailed, but, instead of removing a single word from Andrew's or my articles, I cut Dan's article down to almost nothing, but he was a good sport about it. As Dan was very good at doing lots of different stuff, we figured we'd have him write a "How To . . ." column for each issue. This was the only "How To . . ." article ever published in the Firearm.

Ah yes! The Funniest Joke Ever. I used to ingratiate myself with others by telling this joke. Approximately three people heard the joke and nearly dropped dead with laughter. About 300 (not counting readers of the Firearm) looked at me like I was an idiot. Myself? I first read this joke in a magazine at a library and had to leave because I was laughing so hard. I guess it just touches certain people in a certain way.

And there, at the bottom of the page, is our first solicitation for contributions. Over the lifetime of the Firearm, we probably (no, we definitely) received four contributions to the paper that we didn't commission others to write. Of those four, we almost published one. It didn't take long for Andrew and I to realize that we didn't want to share the Firearm.

And that, my friends, is the first of eight overly-long remembrances of things four years passed that you can look forward to on every Tuesday, as Tuesday was Firearm day way back in the day.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Best Visitors

Last week my family (minus the sisters) were in town. Mostly this meant I went to school and studied while they walked around, and then I met them for dinner. Together we ate at Peep, Cafeteria (the restaurant with the best worst service in New York), Freeman's, Tavern on the Green, Dumont, and Five Points. And I went to see Fiddler on the Roof with them (it was totally good, I had never seen it before, not even in High School) and some of us caught Don Giovanni at the Met on Friday night (also totally good, but the Don Giovanni gets dragged down to hell scene was a little disappointing.) As I was/am still a little worn out from taking so many pictures over Spring Break I went a little easy on the picture taking when they were around, but I submit this account of our dinner at Freeman's as representative of the times we had.

Freeman's is a restaurant that my buddy Pete made famous (am I taking credit by giving it to him?) that became even more famous when it was rumors of the Bush twins being denied entry surfaced. Relying on the notion that anyone can probably get a table anywhere on a weeknight if they get there early enough, the family and I went to check the place out on Thursday night.

Before we go on, you need to know that Freeman's is hidden at the end of a long alley off of Bowery. Just imagine that as you look at these pictures.

First off, we found the well-appointed interior to be very nice.

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We ordered every appetizer (except for the hardboiled egg) from bacon-wrapped prunes stuffed with stilton to cheddar toasts to meat pies to artichoke dip to maybe some other appetizer that I forgot to name.

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My brothers ordered the pork chops. They were the biggest pieces of pig I had seen since my last trip to Vegas. The pork chops, not my brothers.

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Mom and I both had the filet mignon, Dad had mac and cheese. Then we ordered just about every dessert that was on the menu. Mom was very delighted with the sight of her apple-based dessert, but everyone decided the winning dessert of the evening was the baked lemon pudding.

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By the time we were done with dinner the place was super-packed and full of people trying to talk themselves into a table. Also, many a car service was found waiting on Rivington. This is the family, full of dinner:

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Something else we did as a family was take this picture that made the guys hanging out in the subway station laugh.

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You see, we were making a joke based on these posters in the subway stations that just can't be serious, can they?

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