Thursday, July 31, 2008

How About a Nice Firm Handshake?


3 of my Top 5 movies are gritty to the bone...

My name before and after I got married was Ernessa T. Carter...

I went to a feminist college...

My next book revolves around an all-woman gang...

And I only have four words to say about the upcoming Disney movie which features the mouse's first ever black princess:

I. Can't. Fucking. Wait.

Check it out the teaser trailer:

Not sure about the toothless firefly, but...

I just love that it's 2-D. It’s like they’re going back in time and giving us the black Disney Princess that we actually wanted when we were kids. Also, Annika Noni Rose is beyond perfect voice casting as the princess. And I adore the Randy Newman song, the situation, and “how about a nice firm handshake?” Am already thinking about putting together a field trip, so that I can go see it with all of my girlfriends. Can 2009 get here like yesterday?

Also, many thanks to Kyle for letting me know that my favorite black industrial trance navel-gazers, TV on the Radio, will be hitting The Wiltern in Los Angeles and November. And guess what! Guess what! Guess what!
The band also has announced details on the follow-up to 2006’s Return to
Cookie Mountain. Released by Interscope, the new album will be entitled Dear
Science, and will be available Sept. 23.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! My heart is screaming like a little girl at a Jonas Brothers concert. September 23rd needs to come like super-soon. Sooner than soon. Oh, why do I even bother to try to come up with something new? You guys know what I really want to say: September 23rd needs to come YESTERDAY. See the track listing here. Calling that the "Love Dog" track will be brilliant.

I think I'm going to put on my favorite Randy Newman song, "I Love L.A." to celebrate all of this good news.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm Da Biggest Boss Dat Ya Seen Thus Far

So, I've been jotting down every thought I've had about music since Monday, and the list is getting way long, so I better do a big purge now:

1. A new Whitney Houston track got leaked on line, and it's actually halfway decent. Listen to "Like I Never Left" here.

2. Wham might reunite. My 8 year old heart skips a beat. Read about the current rumors here.

3. Apparently, when Rick Ross claimed to have trafficked cocaine, he meant prisoners.

4. I put in a request for a Let's Go Sailing concert at Eventful two months ago, and apparently only 7 other agree that they should play a show here -- even though they're based here. Sad for me. But watch the underwhelming and chesty (in a weird way) video for my favorite LGS song "Sideways" here.

5. Everybody's raving about "Gamma Ray" from Beck's new album, Modern Age, but I actually think that "Walls" is the best song in the set. Let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments.

6. My favorite French Singer (for now) Yelle threw up some live tracks that she recorded at some festival in London on I-Tunes, and they're just as cutie-pie as she is.

7. For the second frickin' week in a row, the I-Tunes free song of the week was something that I already had. Last week, it was Kerli's "Walking on Air," which I liked at first, but had to stop listening to after 10 plays -- it's like cotton that way, great at first, but you get sick of it fast. And today's was "One, Two, Three, Go!" from my favorite Mexican synth-pop group (for now), Belanova. Highly recommended. So go download it as soon as you finish reading this entry.

8. Top 5 Things that I've DownLoaded since the last time I wrote about the stuff I downloaded.

a. Michael Franti & Spearhead "Say Hey (I Love You)" - not as good as many of their past efforts, but to know Spearhead is the love them -- in a hippie sort of way.
b. "Love Is Noise" - The Verve: Reunited and calmed way the frick down. This is no "Bittersweet Symphony," but my aggressive nostalgia makes up for anything that the actual single lacks.
c. "Cookie Jar" - Gym Class Heroes f/ The Dream - Many of you know how I feel about cheating -- totally heinous and unacceptable, but this is actually a really good song about it, and the Dream chorus is killer. I like girls, and they like me... they look so good... in they're Seven jeans...
d. "Don't Call Me Baby" - Kreesha Turner - I'll admit that I actually love most of Perez Hilton's music suggestions. He suggested this black Canadian singer. And once again, I like the song a lot. Though, I'm not exactly sure why...
e. S.A.M.S.P.A.R.R.O. - Sam Sparro - electronica kid with a newish vibe out of England. I downloaded this b/c I liked another song of his "Black Gold" so very much. Think "Gold" might also have been a Perez Hilton suggestion -- what! he has good taste!

Anyway, this is all to say that I'm still pretty much completely obsessed with The Black Kids Partie Traumatic album, and this is just what I've been listening to when I can bear to turn it off for a few minutes.

But dudes, how sad am I that I only discovered Superaquello like a few weeks ago? They are beyond awesome, and if my friend Gudrun was Latina, could sing dreamily, and liked to clap a lot, she would be this band's lead singer. See the cheap but fun and creative video below:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

R.I.P. Scrabulous


Alas, our favorite procrastination tool, Scrabulous, has been removed from FaceBook. Why is life so cruel? We may never know... I wipe away an existentialist tear.

Read about its death by the terrible hands of corporate greed here.

HASTY UPDATE: I just added the Scrabble Beta Application to my FaceBook about 5 minutes after writing this. Is that wrong? Oh, it ISwrong, isn't it? I am the Harvey Dent of the Scrabulous vs. Scrabble debate. But I couldn't help myself. It's so pretty. I mean look at it!

How could I resist?
The Apparently Not Very Loyal,

Monday, July 28, 2008

When Licking Gets Decidely Unsexy

An excerpt from my only-in-my-head autobiographical play, Scenes from the Non-Cliche Culture Clashes of an Interracial Couple.

AT RISE: CH and etc watch CNN's special "Black in America" - which etc privately feels should be called "The Most Negative and Poor Aspects of Being Black In America"

HAVARD PROFESSOR TALKING HEAD: Well, I found a picture of a white slave trader licking the arm of a slave, and at first I was confused, but then I realized that the slave trader was probably checking the future slave for salt content. Basically, if the slave was salty, that meant he had high salt content, which meant that he could probably withstand a boat ride across the Atlantic Ocean. But unfortunately, that might be the same factor that makes Black Americans more susceptible to hypertension.

etc frowns and licks her skin.

etc: My skin IS salty. Wow.

CH: What?

etc: Lick my skin.

CH licks the back of her wrist.

CH: It doesn't seem that salty.

etc: Yes it is, it's so salty. Let me lick your wrist.

etc licks the back of his wrist.

etc: You're not salty at all.

CH licks his own wrist, then etc's.

CH: You ARE salty. Wow... that's why you need to eat your vegetables, honey.

CH actually looks worried. etc purses her lips and brings out her computer to blog about it, doubting that even the threat of hypertension could get her to eat broccoli or (ugh!) brussel sprouts.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bridezilla Botox

Okay, as many of you know, I nearly got into a knock-down dragout with my sister, because she didn't want to get her makeup professionally done at MAC for my wedding. Emotions ran high, threats were made, and at one point, we were both crying. Hard. Eventually, she caved, as she should've since I was the bride in this situation, and if she ever wants me to look crazy in self-applied make-up at her wedding, then I will be fine with that.

However, if anyone ever asked me to get Botox in order to be in their wedding party, I would be like, "Bitch, please. You have obviously lost your damn mind, and we are no longer friends." That would be my answer, I don't care if I was 70 -- I'd answer just like that.

But apparently, there are currently brides who are actually pulling this shit on their bridesmaids and getting away with it. Read about the trend here, and please note that none of the people featured in this article are black.

A professionally made-up but un-Botoxed MKV and Liz at my wedding.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Out for the Weekend

Huh-loo Darlings,

With great plans, come great heaps of work, and I'm starting to get extremely anxious about everything that needs to be done over the next few months. So I've decided to put my nose to the grindstone and suspend weekend blogging until further notice.

But while I'm gone, read this article about a new overbearing breed of sleep away camp parents. Apparently, these people have taken to trying to get their kids' bunks reassigned, making ridiculous requests, giving their kids secret cellphones, and even visiting their kids at camp. 

From ages 7 to 14, my mother sent both my sister and me away to 2-week sleep-away camp every single summer. And every summer, without fail, she scheduled her summer vacation days for while we were away at camp. 

So I can't even fathom this type of parent. 

Do we think parents are becoming too overbearing, or is it the right of every parent to be this fiercely protective of their children? Also, don't parents need breaks from their children anymore? Has family time-off gone out of fashion? 

Read about the clingy camp parents here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Macs used to Crash

So yesterday, while I was collating scripts for the show, I realized something about the rest of my life.

Here are a list of the jobs that I have held so far:

1. Office volunteer at the American Red Cross (12-13)

2. Candy Striper - Barnes Hospital (14-15)

3. Retail Clerk - Blockbuster Music [yes, children, Blockbuster used to have a music store chain, back in the early 90's when they were still with Viacom. This is where I first heard the word "synergy" -- if only it had been the last...](17-19)

4. Computer Lab Assistant (all through undergrad-- yes, I was that sullen chyck, that always acted like you were bothering her, when you needed help with your Eudora. And also the one that told you to double-check that you weren't over your mailbox size limit before she would lift a finger to help you. But in all fairness, that was usually the problem, and I was quick to unjam printers, put in new toner with a smile. And when your PC froze or your Mac crashed [yes, children, back in the 90's Macs used to do that. A lot! And for no reason!] and the mid-term essay you had spent several last-minute hours working on disappeared, I was appropriately sympathetic -- even though there were signs all over the labs, urging you to back up your work often on floppy disks, so that you wouldn't be shit out of luck when this happened. Just saying...)

5. English Teacher - Japan (22-23)

6. Temp and freelancer (the pre-grad school Pittsburgh year)

7. Office Slave(the post grad school years)

8. Executive Writer (American Top 40 w/ Ryan Seacrest)(now)

So 8 - 10 jobs so far, not including internships, and only one of them (Blockbuster Music) didn't require the collating of paper.

I realized yesterday that I will probably be collating shit until the day I die. And so will you. Think about it.

Anyway, rest in peace, Randy Pausch:

Fun (but perhaps not appropriate) Fact: This is the same auditorium where I first saw (and fell in love with) Hedwig and the Angry Inch (the movie).

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My New Hyperbolic Statement For The Week

I'm angry, I mean pissed-off, like Christian Bale at a family reunion. Bah-dum-dum.

Too soon?

BTW, I love that Sesame Street tapped Neil Patrick Harris, one of my favorite people right now, to play a shoe fairy -- that's funny, not offensive (I think). Still, I couldn't help but notice that while everyone else got cute and/or clever shoes, Maria, the Latina mom, was given "shoes that make you mop." Nice, Sesame Street. Watch the vid here.

Also, I wanted to give you an update on my Cheese Situation. Go here for the background on that one. I got lots of great advice concerning this terrible problem.

Here's the advice, I forewent b/c I was afraid that it would get me sued:

a. A jar that would deliver a shock every time someone tried to open it to get at my cheese -- Cybele.

b. A set mouse trap inside the bag of string cheese -- Sebrina.

c. Inserting a non-toxic chemical into the cheese that would turn the eaters pee blue -- Brian's mom (who, yes, used to be a chemical engineer).

Here's the advice that I forewent, b/c it was too much work:

a. Getting a refrigerator for my office -- CH and Monique

b. Writing an angry note and taping it to the bag of cheese -- Don't Remember Who

And here's the advice that I actually took:

Putting the cheese in a brown paper bag -- CH and Someone Else (I think maybe Debra???)

I'll let you know if this tactic works out.

That all said, here's a picture of a 2AD bust that looks like Elvis. Courtesy of boing boing. Freaky, right! Click on the pic for the full link.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More Black Kids

So luckily, CH reads this blog or he might not have let me know that The Black Kids are performing at Jimmy Kimmel Live next Tuesday. Then I might have found out after the fact, and that would have been a relationship-tester.

Looking really forward to seeing them next week.

As long as we're on the subject of TV, I'm watching this newish A&E show, The Cleaner as we speak, and it's not quite as bad as all the critics are saying, but it is just okay-- wait Benjamin Bratt just had another obviously expository conversation with God. Okay it is that bad, and BB's cheekbones and Grace Park's presence just aren't enough to make up for it. Skip it.

But if you're looking for a series to rent. Just started watching the first season of Burn Notice, which is really fun, and just terrifically cast. Could Sharon Gless get any more perfect? Nip/Tuck Build-A-Bear Killer and now Hypochondriac Ex-Spy Mom. Wunderbar.

Anyway, here's that Black Kids video that I promised you:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Top 5 Things I Recently Downloaded

I'm going to try to talk about the music I've been downloading more regularly, because I had this meta feeling that you wanted me to tell you about my favorite new music -- plus, I like forcing my opinions on others, so allow me to do so now.


1. The Black Kids - Partie Traumatic -- a young East Coast alterna-cute outfit made of two black siblings and three of their white friends. None of them are too cool for school, but they are angsty to the nth degree. Plus... the singer is too frickin' awesome -- think Kele Okereke from Bloc Party* -- but a lot more cute and precocious. Like many black fronted alternative acts, apparently they're insanely more popular in the U.K. than they are over here. Sigh.

If you just want to sample try in this order: "I'm Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You"** and "I'm Making Eyes At You." Warning: You may be bowled over with how charming both songs are.

2. !Forward, Russia! - Life Processes -- they're not out of Russia, but out of England. And funnily enough, the lead singer also reminds me of Kele Okereke from Bloc Party-- if he were on the straight brink of suicide. Amazing lyricism, but I actually wouldn't recommend listening to the entire album straight through, as it all becomes a little too much after awhile. Sample lyric from my favorite song, "Breaking Standing":

When it weighs too much
think of it as seven times the weight
But when
it cost too much
consider it
but don't come to me for aid

See the annoyingly overwrought, yet somehow still boring video here.


3. Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson - "Buriedfed" -- Black Bob Dylan -- even more impressive because I don't really like Dylan all that much, but I love this song. Most of his debut album is pretty strong, but apparently he's happy and mentally healthy now, so I suspect that the next one will suck. Hard. Ah well...

4. Nas f/ Keri Hilson - "Hero" - somehow all the N-word contro had made me forget just what an amazing rapper this man is. Plus, I've been watching Keri Hilson work it behind-the-scenes as a writer for a while now. And I find her very exciting. Totally worth the download. Also, whatever side of the N-word as album name debate you stand on, try not to have a moment of breathless pause when he delivers this line about the record company forcing him to change the name of his album to Untitled:

Nas the only true rebel since the beginning... Still in musical prison... in jail for the flow... Try telling Bob Dylan, Bruce, or Billy Joel... They can't sing what's in their soul... So untitled it is"
5. Fucked Up - "Year of the Pig (Japan Edit)" - Yeah, as a matter of fact, I am in a weird mood today! How did you know?

And just barely missing the Top 5:

Tricky - "Council Estate" - Despite the hours that I've logged watching British movies and TV shows, I never did figure out the dealy with council housing. I think it's supposed to be like affordable housing over here, but not quite the projects. And unfortunately, I don't have the attention span to really read the Wikipedia explanation, but maybe you can get through it.

You might remember Tricky as the bandmate who broke Lyn's heart on "Girlfriends" -- back when it was still good (and on the air). He's kind of got this intriguing so-ugly-he's-beautiful thing going on. Anyway, though he's made tons of money as a world-and-critically-acclaimed artist, apparently he still represents for The Councils ( mayhap b/c it's more lucrative than representing for the mansions). Check him keeping it real in the video below:

*If you don't know who Bloc Party is, slap yourself. Then slap me for being friends with you. That's awful. Get thee to an I-Tunes store and download "Hunting For Witches" yesterday.

**YES! I'm aware that The Black Kids Video for this song is super-cute. Don't worry, I'll post it tomorrow.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fierce And Nerdy

I'm SO excited. I mean like Patti-LaBelle-on-speed-at-a-singing-chipmunks-convention level excited.

Check this out:

Yes, that's actually the holder page for the much-fabled Fierce and Nerdy blogsite, which I've been trying to put together for about a century now (give or take 99 years). Click on the pic to see the actual holder page at

That all said here are the Frequently Asked Questions, that you haven't actually thought to ask yet.

So what's going to be different about this site?
Well, for one, it will have contributors, so no more having to put up with 24/7 me all the time.

Also, More of the technology, music, news, literature and all the other stuff my fellow fierce and nerdy chycks are interested in and less diary -- though we'll see how close I can stick to that promise. I mean, if somebody steals my cheese from the work refrigerator, how can I NOT bring that problem to The People???

I've already talked to many of you about contributing, and I'll be reaching out to a lot more of you over the weeks to come. But if you're interesting in contributing, drop me a line. If you were with me for the wild after-Japan, pre-grad school days of CoolChyck, this is a lot like that, but with word limits.

That holder page is dope, but when is Fierce And Nerdy actually coming?
Mid to late August. But don't worry, as we get closer, I'll be blogging more and more about it. Trust me, you won't miss it -- because I won't let you. Stalker eyes.

But Ernessa, does that mean you won't be begging us to come out to all of your Filly Film Cult events? You know we can't live without experimental short film festivals! It's the air we BREATHE!
Oh yes, darlings, I know, I know. But no worries. Filly Film Cult will have its very own page on the Fierce And Nerdy site. Also, keep your eyes here, because there are some behind-the-scenes busy-elf stuff things going down, and I'm hoping to make a big FFC announcement fairly soonish.

Hey Ernessa, your male fans here -- both of them. This site is kind of sounding like it's just for chycks. Will we feel shut out?
Um, I hope not. I mean I've seen every Bond film that's come out within my lifetime, watched a bunch of Monty Python, and I also got about a quarter of the way through Blazing Saddles, so hopefully I've built up enough crossover credit myself, that you'll stick with me on this new venture. Though, the site will specifically target Fierce and Nerdy chycks, I'd like to believe that there'll be something there for everyone.

And how about that novel that you've supposedly been writing almost as long as you've had this blog? Will we ever get to see that? Or is that just something you pretend to do, so that you can seem a lot cooler than you actually are at parties?
Though, I'm not above trying to appear a lot cooler than I actually am at parties, there is definitely an (almost ready) novel in the works. So expect to see a print and audio first chapter and a book trailer on the new site before the end of the year. Also, I'll be logging in a weekly writing blog as I walk the road from having written to (hopefully) getting published.

So where do we come in? How can we help out with developing Fierce and Nerdy? Glad you asked. In the weeks to come, if you read something you like, let me know. That way I can do more of it when I switch over to Fierce and Nerdy.

Anyway, that's your update. Regular blogging resumes on Tuesday - though unfortunately no more 2-a-days. I have a little too much behind-the-scenes work to pull that off. But looking really forward to the next phase.

100% Love,

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Your Favorite Narcissist

Your favorite narcissist may just be a jerk or really self-confident, according to today's NY Times. Often real narcissists can't function in society -- so if you're friends with someone, chances are they don't need that label. Also, the celebs that are accused of being narcissists are not so much that, but products of being catered to all of the time. And in the cases of athlete attitude -- well that's what happens when you're better at something than almost everybody else and get a lot of money and attention for it.

If you live in L.A. or New York, you'll probably find this article especially interesting. And if you're a self-described narcissist, have fun trying to figure out whether you're really self-confident or a jerk. Either way, download the full article here. Cheers!

P.S. - My favorite "narcissist" right now is Imani Coppola from Little Jackie. So if you haven't downloaded her hit (if Ernessa ruled the world and determined what was a hit) "The Whole World Should Revolve Around Me" yet, do so yesterday. Also, the Little Jackie album, The Stoop, is totally worth a full download. Love, love, love this act. Other songs worth downloading if you don't want to commit to the entire album: "Liked You Better Before" and "28 Butts."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dude, really?

You still haven't seen "Dr. Horrible's Super Sing-A-Long"** yet??? Why oh why?!?! Joss Whedon, Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, that bowl-cut guy from "Big Bang Theory," an exceedingly well-written and fresh take on the superhero-villian-sweet girl love triangle -- and c'mon it's a musical!!! How have you not already watched this ish like 3 times yesterday?

BT-dubs, the whole thing will no longer be available for free as of Sunday, July 20th, so don't procrastinate. Click the picture to watch.

**SPECIAL THANKS to Karen F. for sending me the link to the brilliance.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

Okay, as many of you know, I'm a little beyond bad at making real-world decisions.

If I'm writing, and I have a main character on top of a building with a posse of robots coming up the stairs after, and score of fighter jets shooting at her from the air -- no problem, I can easily make the decision for her to rappel down the side of the building, steal somebody's shitty car, and lose both robots and air brigade in the subway tunnels of New York. That's easy.

But, real-world decisions almost always stump me . And I can't, for the life of me, come to a firm conclusion, about what kind of New Bein' (get it? Nubian - New Bein' - New Being) hair jewelry to wear, though my best friend Monique introduced me to it a week ago. So instead of obsessively going back in forth with myself, I'm asking you to weigh in.

Which of these bands do you like best?

a. b. c. or d.

And which of these charms do you like best?

a- peacock tail b-scarab c- Om. or d - eye of hera

Leave your opins in the comments section. Thanks!


My iGoogle Widget Fortune for Friday:
"Everything will be just tickety-boo today. "

That's not really turning out to be true so far, but I just love that word "tickety-boo." I'd never heard it before.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Economics of Love

So I've always had trouble defining how I feel about love. I wouldn't call myself wildly romantic, or even just plain romantic (though I remain and aspire to always be deeply in love with my husband). On the other hand, I wouldn't call myself completely practical (though I am quite practical when it comes to love) or negative (though I'm sure an ex or two might disagree, to which case I might reply, "I wasn't negative about love, I was negative about you" -- I guess I'm also a little mean when it comes to love.

But today, I read a terrific article by Ben Stein about the Economics of Love in The Grey Lady, and I found myself agreeing with so many of his points, that I've decided to relabel my particular love philosophy as "economical."

Some highlights from the article including the following points:

1. High investment should equal high returns.

2. Don't invest in junk bonds. The returns aren't high enough.

3. Think long-term. Short-term investments don't yield high enough returns.

4. Do your research before making a huge investment.

5. Go in with realistic expectations.

6. Get a dog and/or cat, so that you'll always have an unfailing source of love in your life. Not sure what that has to do with economics, but he follows it up with a Benjamin Franklin quote about dogs, and Benny was pretty economical, so there you go.

We have a cat (though he is not at all affectionate), and this weekend we're hoping to rescue a basset hound. So all in all, I'm thinking that I'm a pretty good little economist.

Check out the full article here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Random Wednesday

Just for the jolly heck of it. Things that have been making weirdly happy as of late, in no particular order:

1. My new BFF, Kindle.***

2. Tom of Maine's Orange-MangoToothpaste. I now realize how gross all the other flavors were, and will never, ever go back. Plus, no lingering after-taste. Right on!

3. Bumble Bee Lemon & Pepper Tuna Medley. Pretty much the most perfect pre-lunch snack ever. I eat the tuna alone and follow it with the crackers. This is one of those perfect ideas, that you once you've tasted it, you're like, "Why didn't anyone think of this sooner." Especially me, b/c I've been eating plain tuna for awhile now. Now I know how my dad felt, when he first saw technicolor. There's also Italian and Spicy Thai Medleys. Those are tasty, too. But the Lemon and Pepper are the best (in my opin).

4. "Dumb it Down" by Lupe Fiasco. I've had this brilliant album for a few months now, and a few weeks ago, this song just jumped to the forefront. It seems to be one of those freak of nature songs that only gets better the more I listen to it, and I encourage everybody to buy this ish like yesterday. See the just-okay video for this stellar song here.

5. iGoogle Artist Themes: This is basically the trick that got me to change my homepage to iGoogle. Really neat-o if you, like me, much prefer bright, colorful art. If you don't have an iGoogle homepage yet, get on the bandwagon here.

6. Feist on Sesame Street. This one took me by surprise, because before watching it, I didn't think it could be humanly possible for me to love Feist anymore than I already did. But I was wrong about that. So very wrong.

Anyway, if you're having a bad day, watch this, and it will definitely cheer you up. The only thing that could've made this any more perfect is a Count Dracula cameo a-ha-ha-HA!

And as long as we're on the subject of Sesame Street, I'll throw up my other favorite guest singer spot. Do you remember Smokey Robinson and the Letter U? It was funny because it was a large letter "U" and she was sexually harassing him. Check out the vid and Smokey's sweet tache below:

***CORRECTION: I should have said "my new inanimate BFF, Kindle." Monique King-Viehland remains and will always be my animate BFF. Also her son, and my godson, Sekou, is obviously on this list, though of course, that goes without saying since I gushed all over him last weekend.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kindle Lights My Fire

So I think CH might be regretting getting me a Kindle, because I became obsessed with it in like zero seconds flat. Here's the good, the bad, and the ugly so far:


1. Easy to read, navigate, figure out. Very user-friendly. Think they must have tested it out on senior citizens, b/c it's kind of crazy easy to use.

2. Electronic paper. Yes.

3. Light-weight and Convenient. One Kindle as opposed to several books, yea! I can carry it around everywhere.'

4. Tons of books. Most of what I wanted, I've been able to find on here, most often cheaper than it would be at a bookstore or online. From books at the top of the (critical) charts like Junot Diaz's The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao, which I'm reading now, to newbie stuff, life fellow CMU Writing program grad, Frank Politio's Band Fags, which I'm reading later.

5. No more having to figure out where you were when you close the book. When you turn the Kindle back on, it remembers were you left off in every book, even if you're reading more than one (like me).


1. The well-documented too-large page button problem. It's way easy to scroll way past your page if you pick it up while it's on. Also, the buttons are too easy to accidentally hit. Kindle 2.0. definitely needs to shorten the page buttons.

2. No page numbers, so when I accidentally hit the "next page" button to many times, it's hard to find where I was. Also, there are some little dotties going across the bottom of the screen, which I think indicates progress, but I'm still not sure where I am in Oscar Wao. I'm at the bit were the mom gets a job in a Chinese food restaurant. If you've read it, please let me know if that's towards the middle, or if I'm still in the beginning.

3. Only 16 magazines available. And the ones that they do have are a little confusing to navigate. Ranh.


Dude, why is it white? Most of you know how I feel about white anything. Slate gray would have been much better for someone like me. I just know it's going to get all mussed up with fingerprints and random stains and pen marks -- like everything white that I've ever owned. And unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a sleeve for the Kindle. Hopefully Belkin will get on board, before I get it too dirty.


All in all, the good far outweighs the bad and the ugly. So I'm giving The Kindle a huge thumbs up.

Though, if you want a second opionion, click here to see novelist's Christopher Moore's take - although, unlike him, I find reading on the Kindle extremely easy. Don't want to use the "O" word with one of my favorite authors, but it might apply in this case. Sorry, Chris...

And click here for Stephen King's review of the Kindle, which pretty much sent me into a fit of Kindle lust, when I read it back in January.

Did I say back on Monday???

I meant that I would fall into an unexpected coma at 8:30pm on Monday, only to be awakened when the prince (read: CH) kissed me at 10:30pm and said, "Honey, you need to take out your contacts."

Ah, the new romance. I went right back to sleep after that and didn't wake until 7 this morning. Apparently, I was a little exhausted.

But I'll make it up with the afore-promised Kindle review later on today. 

Until then, here's your moment of Len:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

No Hellboy III Tease

So I've been running into a ton of coincidences this weekend:

1. While reading Esquire on the way to New Jersey, I came across an article by Barry Levinson on the Kindle.

2. Also in Esquire, a huge profile of my other political crush, Corey Booker, the mayor of Newark -- which I've quoted quite a bit since getting to Trenton, since my best friend works in government. It's like I unwittingly did advance New Jersey research.

3. Much to the delight of Brian and Monique, apparently the Paranormal Headquarters where Hellboy lives is located in Trenton, New Jersey.

4. Brian's mom brought up all sorts of plants for their garden and CH loves to garden. He was quickly put to work.

5. CH and I both packed our Carnegie Mellon T-shirts and chose to wear them today -- at separate times. We're not one of those couples -- yet.

Anyway, the main point is that my plan to see Hellboy II: The Golden Army today worked. Mainly because Monique read my blog this morning, and asked Brian's parents to babysit. See behind-the-scenes machinations really do work! The more you know...

Hellboy II was not without it's problems, but the visual effects made it beyond worth it. And don't bother waiting through the credits (like we did). No Hellboy III tease. Alas.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Doing Important Work in NJ

Hey Guys!

I'm in New Jersey for our godson Sekou's baptism. He is so crazy, crazy cute, it's at a level that can't even be described in words. So I'm posting a pic.

But more important than the cuteness and even the baptism, is that I'm trying to convince Sekou's parents, Brian and Monique, to fob the 3-month-old off on Brian's parents, so that we can see Hellboy II: The Golden Army on Saturday.

I can't wait - I can't wait - I can't wait to see this movie.

So like I said, I'm doing very important work in New Jersey. Some churches might even call it a divine mission.

Anyway, see my friend, fellow blogger, and sometimes wedding DJ, Clark gush hard on Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro here.  And wish me luck with Brian and Monique.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I'm headed to New Jersey tomorrow, so not sure how much I'll be able to update. Might not be back up and blogging until Monday.

Until then, here's your moment of Ben:

TV on the Radio

So, as many of you know, I am obsessed with TV on the Radio, and actually paid money to see them last year and even bought a sweatshirt for 25 bucks afterwards, which is now my favorite sweatshirt of all time, and the answer to the Jeopardy question, "What is Ernessa T. Carter most likely to be seen in on winter weekends when she has no place to go and/or be seen?"

This obsession can be broken down in the following way:
  • 50% because they're a beyond kick-ass band.
  • 25% because they're a mostly black, nerdy glasses-wearing, trip-hop, spaced-out urban phenomenon, that actually produce music as cool as they look.
  • 20% because CH and I saw the teddy-bear-looking one with the the Afro at the ArcLight, and he was both taller and cooler than he looks on camera. So celebrity sighting worth talking about.
  • And 5% because if I were a man, I really do think that I'd look exactly like the lead singer of this band, Tunde Adebimbe. Well, maybe not exactly like him, but enough, that I harbor serious affection.

Anyway, I finally got around to looking up a lyric from their song "Dreams," which has been troubling me for some time now.

Now I thought the lyrics to the best chorus in the song were:

I know your heart can't beat
What your eyes can't see
But you were my favorite moment
Of the tenth century

I know your heart can't beat
What your eyes can't see
But you were my favorite moment
Of the tenth century

Which while lovely, kind of doesn't make any sense. So almost 2 years later, I looked up the actual lyrics:
I know your heart can't grieve
What your eyes won't see
But you were my favorite moment
Of our dead century

I know your heart can't grieve
What your eyes won't see
But you were my favorite moment
Of our dead century

So that's my TV on the Radio PSA...

See the low-budge and badly-lit-even-if-they're-going-for-effect video below.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A Problem for the Ages

Somebody at work keeps stealing my cheese. Seriously. I've been buying packages of pepperjack and marble string cheese, which I snack on once or twice a day, along with a cup of Mott's Grandma Smith applesauce -- because it makes me feel French (don't ask).

But someone in the office has been stealing one and sometimes two sticks of cheese from me everyday. I tried putting my name on the package, but it happened again. And today I opened up the refrigerator to find an empty package with no cheese in it. Muy horrible, right?

I feel like I have a mouse problem. And I really hate rodents. Really, really hate them.

Has this ever happened to you???

What should I do? Life isn't worth living without string cheese, but it requires refrigeration. Alas, alack!



Today my iGoogle homepage fortune cookie widget read, "You would make an excellent critic."

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I rarely catch viruses. Except for RickRolling. That ish is brilliant.

However, the below video made me so weirdly happy today -- I'm a cynical writer, yes, but I was powerless against its "we are the world" zaniest. Anyway, I'm reposting, just in case there's anyone left on this earth who hasn't seen it already.

Learn more about the dancing fool here:

Get The Grey Lady's take and his backstory here:

And watch the video below:

Monday, July 07, 2008

Diving into the Movies

So, we ended a movie drought, with a full on movie plunge. This is how the week went:

Tuesday: Hancock. I took CH to the ArcLight as one of many anniversary activities and told him that he could pick any movie he wanted. I thought he would choose Mongol, but as it turns out, Ghengis was no match for Will. I L.O.V.E.D the twist that all the critics seemed to hate! I thought it was fresh and fun, and really enjoyed the entire movie. So there.

Friday: Wanted. It was hot as frick in Paso Robles, and it was either go to a movie or melt into a chocolate and vanilla swirl puddle on the sidewalk. Loved the direction. Angelina Jolie is so ridiculously hot and kick-ass in this, and they made the very wise choice of giving her very few lines that had more than 3 words. It was all, "Shoot," "Get Down" and "I'm on it." I think her longest line might have been, "This is a bad idea."

Perhaps this director (same guy that did Nightwatch) realized that she is vastly more appealing as a sexy set piece and action figure than as an actual actress (see all of her serious dramas). I call this the Keanu Reeves School of Perfect Casting. Anyway, if you can totally, totally, totally suspend your disbelief (the most egregious plot device might have been when the main character Wesley Gibson types in his name into Google without quotation marks and gets 0 matches. Yeah, right!), then this is a totally, totally, totally awesome movie.

Saturday: Wall-E. Paso Robles was hot on the second day of our trip as well. As ridiculously cute as everyone says it is. Also, I love Mac products, so it's good to know that in the future, all non-trash compactor robots will look like I-Pods. However, my favorite Pixar film remains Ratatouille. Recognize.

Sunday: Persepolis. We went to an outdoor screening of this film. The black and white animation was just gorgeous against the night sky. Everybody go see this outside as soon as you can. Also, the best usage of "Eye of the Tiger" in a film outside of Rocky, that I've ever seen.

Can you believe...

I survived a holiday without any internet???

Yeah, I'm shocked that I lived to tell about it, too.

Blew back into town from Paso Robles yesterday, full of wine and good food. Full round-up coming tomorrow (I hope).

On the way back into town, their was a radio station promoting" stay-cations"(get it?) because of gas prices. But I overheard someone at the Justin Winery, saying that business was actually up this year. Box office receipts are also up, which just goes to prove that when the economy gets gloomy, people want to drink and veg out even more.

Though, of course, our wine-tasting trip was purely for educational purposes.

Anyway, this is all to say that three-a-days probably aren't going to happen. Between my 2-hour bike commute and trying to squeeze in more writing time, I think two-a-days are the happy conclusion.

How are you?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Ack! Can't believe I forgot to tell you...

CH, ever the perfect husband, got me the perfect gift for our Paper Anniversary (which he let me open one day early b/c I was having such a bad Monday): A KINDLE!!!!! I'm soooooooooooooooo excited. I usually go through 2 or 3 books on vacation, so this is going to help me pack lighter. Will definitely blog about it after I use it.

Yes, I said after I use it. You know that it's the week before the holiday and that you are way too stressed and busy when you get an em-effin Kindle on Monday and don't have time to use it until the actual holiday. If I hadn't taken a sick day on Tuesday (on our actual anniversary - so sad), I might have taken a Kindle day -- I'm sure my boss would have understood.

Yeah, I'm a geek. And CH apparently understands that, which is why I love him AND my new Kindle. Just in case I'm not conveying my excitement: Yea!!!!! Double Yea!!!

Braking 2 Electric Bicycloo

Crazy, crazy week. But I'm fully recovered and even biked into work this morning. Some further observations about the electric bicycle:

1. Man, is it nice to have a little electric engine. I love the extra momentum coming out of stops, and it's also nice for when you want to get across an intersection super-quickly.

2. L.A. needs a better system of bike paths and/or better bike streets. I technically live in a biking neighborhood, with lots of biking lanes. But they don't extend very far, and they're non-existent on my ride to work. I'm aware people have been complaining about how un-bike friendly L.A. is for a while now, but since we're probably going to see more people commuting to work in the gas-price-rising years to come, maybe something will finally be done about it. Anyway, the current biking situation is bullshit.

 3. Biking is a great writer's activity. All the repetitive motion. It seems like I come up with 2 or 3 really good plot ideas each way. Which is good, since I'm in the process of starting a new book, which hopefully won't take 3 years to complete.

4. The electric bicycle helps, but won't completely carry you up really steep hills. Ah, nuts. Well I needed to lose a few pounds anyway, and my legs are my hugest trouble spot.

5. Still trying to figure out where to get some kick-ass stickers for my helmet. Might try Wacko's Soap Plantation. 

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Not Feeling Well

For reasons that would be WAY too much TMI to explain. Complete bummer, since today is CH's and my Paper Anniversary. Relive the ETCH wedding details herehere, and here (scroll to bottom for last "here"). 

I'm trying to re-up and get back at you tomorrow, so send good vibes.

Until then, here's your moment of Mayan M&M (ETCH edition):