Posts Tagged ‘Tony’

12th January
2009
written by Tony
That's pretty funny, Wesley.

That's pretty funny, Wesley.

Last week I watched season one of Clone High. It was not  a mistake, Wesley (see, you have to be cool to get that joke!). This little gem has been kicking around our apartment for quite some time now, so at Steph’s suggestion I decided to give it a whirl. Why this show only made it through one season is a mystery to me. I suppose, like all truly funny shows, it was destined to fail. I mean, look at Arrested Development. That show was pure brilliance, and yet it didn’t make it. I suppose Family Guy did get a reprieve, but there are a lot of people (Steph) who will tell you it isn’t, and never was, funny, and I’ll admit that the new episodes are a bit self indulgent. So I guess my theory holds – anything that is actually funny does not survive in this world. (more…)
3rd January
2009
written by Tony
1890

1890

Recently, as I was perusing our steadily growing book collection looking for something new to read, I ran into Steph's collection of Oscar Wilde's writing. It is a massive tome, and being someone with a sick penchant for reading thick books, I decided it was time to tackle some Wilde. Reading the book from start to finish (I told Steph it has over 900 pages and she said something along the lines of "you're stupid, why are you reading all of that at once?") the first story I came to was The Picture of Dorian Gray. I'll tell you honestly, it may be a while before you see another book review out of me, as I don't plan on filling our blog with all and sundry Oscar Wilde reviews. Seeing as this is one of his more famous works I decided it would be good fodder for a review. (more…)
31st December
2008
written by Tony
Slightly better than a pencil in the eye.

Slightly better than a pencil in the eye.

Jesus. I like to think that I'm a pretty good boyfriend, but I had to throw in the towel about 45 minutes into this steaming turd of a movie. Fortunately, Steph being a normal person, the feeling was mutual. This movie is an embarrassment, for everyone, not just those who were tricked into watching it. I know for a fact that the only reason Steph got this movie was Colin Firth, which is fine. I've come to terms with the fact that she would leave me for him, cursing my lack of an English accent. Sweet, sweet Colin aside, this movie was terrible. Steph and I agreed that this is the work of alcohol. Let me explain. You see, Meryl Streep, Mrs. Weasley (that's who she is, and who she should stay) and Cybill Shepherd's friend all got together one night, drank a bunch of dirty martinis and sang along to ABBA. Then, in the midst of their middle-aged reverie, one of them (or possibly all three) decided to make a movie where they act like fools for two fucking hours.Which is fine, if you're a drunk 50 year old woman who wants to lose two hours of your life that you can never get back. Never. (more…)
19th December
2008
written by Tony
1989 (kind of)

1989 (kind of)

Let me first say that this book intrigued me for several reasons. One, I loved A Confederacy of Dunces. Two, I love the album of the same name by Arcade Fire, which has absolutely no relation to this book. Three, it's a name that appeals to me conceptually. I'm not the first to say this, but I'll say it nonetheless: if you liked To Kill a Mockingbird then you will also enjoy this book. The simplicity of the writing and the authenticity of the voice combine for an easily digested, yet powerful language that is compelling and engaging. The story is not a complex one, and it revolves around the actions of a simple-minded protagonist named David who is trapped by his poor roots and meager intelligence in a small town in Louisiana. The story is a retrospective told in the first person and generally serves to bring the reader up to speed on the events that open in the first chapter. Each proceeding chapter covers roughly a year in David's life and we are taken from when he is a small child to when he is a man of 19. The back-story on this book is almost as interesting as the book itself, and serves to shed a little light on the brief life of Toole. He wrote this book when he was 16 and it makes me sick. Toole at 16 was already a brilliant writer and it shows in this work. His ability to choose the right phrasing and the right vocabulary throughout the book continued to astonish me every time I recalled that, at 16, I was barely able to express how I felt about even the simplest things with any great aplomb. And here we have Toole who captures the essence of what it is to live in a small southern village and deal with the complex racial and social issues day to day. The book was published posthumously, as Toole felt it was too amateurish to publish while he was alive. (more…)
18th December
2008
written by Tony
1990

1990

Okay. So, apparently everyone thinks Kurosawa is a genius. The best Japanese director ever. Don't get me wrong, it's not that he's necessarily bad at what he does, it's just that what he does tends to leave me high and dry, especially in the case of this particular film. I've seen Seven Samurai, even liked most of it (God, it is long), but as films go it wasn't transcendental or even really all that remarkable. Now wait, before you crucify me, let me explain. It is a good film, and it is deserving of the heaps of praise lauded upon it over the last 50 years. However, it's a good film for reasons that don't really play into my viewing enjoyment. It was the inspiration for The Magnificent Seven, and it is often cited as the first film to use the plot device of gathering heroes to fight a battle. It was an enormous success when it was released in Japan and is one of the few Japanese films to gain wide recognition in the west. On and on and on, the innovation and the power and the glory. (more…)
8th December
2008
written by Tony
1966

1966

I will preface, for those of you who don't want to read a rant, that I liked this book (look to the last paragraph for more on Lot 49 itself). However. I still don’t like Thomas Pynchon, and as a result, most of this review will be about the bloated disgrace that some modern literature has become. You see, Lot 49 is unlike any of Pynchon’s other works in nearly every way (it’s only 150 pages, for one). So there isn’t a lot to say about it in context of itself. So instead, I’ll focus on the reasons behind why I was so surprised when I ended up liking it, reasons that deal with how much I hate Pynchon's other work. I wanted to read Pynchon before, so I picked up some of his stuff while at a bookstore. Apparently Gravity’s Rainbow is about a man whose erections signify V2 rocket attacks. That just sounds tiresome. So, in my quest to read some Pynchon, I instead tried Against The Day and, honestly, it just didn’t work out. I’ve heard all the talk about what a literary genius Pynchon is and how his works are pithy and wonderful and all of that. Everyone seems to think so, though I haven’t spoken to someone who has read one of his books to completion who feels this way. In fact, I haven’t ever spoken to someone who has finished one of his books at all. Interesting. (more…)
7th December
2008
written by Tony
2007

2007

I’ll admit it. This was one of those books. Much like one of those albums, back in the days when I still bought CDs, the cover was just too visually appealing to pass by. This is a risky business, I’ll admit (but it is also the bread and butter of my fellow designers), but sometimes I get that feeling that tells me, deep inside, that the designer who made the cover of this book was really in touch with the content, and subsequently my purchase will not be in vain. I’d give my success rate with these types of purchases slightly better odds than chance. Not a lot, mind you, but probably seven times out of ten I get at least a little lucky. (more…)
23rd November
2008
written by Tony
I've got something you can do to yourself...

I can think of something you can do to yourself...

Recently I was wandering through a bookstore when a particular title caught my eye. Now I've seen this book before, and books like it, and every time I do, it kind of makes me want to find the author and use the book to do very illegal things myself (who needs professional criminals these days?). Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for saving money and cutting out the middle man, I mean, I'm a card carrying Sam's Club member. That's essentially a big screw off to traditional grocery stores. There is, however, a difference. It's not the money saving thing I don't like, it's not the personal initiative that bothers me. It's the mentality behind this kind of thing, this populist attitude that shouts "I know the only reason you're a designer is that you can use Photoshop!" Or even "anyone can take wedding photos, they just need a camera like yours, right?" Someone actually said the latter to me at a wedding that I was shooting, for money paid by the person saying it. My ideal response would have been, why have you hired me? Why am I even here if any jackass with a camera can do what I do? My actual response was more along the lines of: "If it were that simple, I don't think I would have gone to school for it." (more…)
23rd November
2008
written by Tony
Ah, clients. Perhaps this is the perpetual sigh of the designer. Certainly in my industry there is a rather unique relationship with the client, one that most other design, and even service related industries, are not saddled with. We design tradeshow booths. Like most people, when I started I had no idea what this even meant, or even that it is a 35 billion (!!) dollar industry (that's 35 billion American, buddy). So some of how we interact with potential clients was new to me. Most of it, actually. (more…)
23rd November
2008
written by Tony
Some nice light on the Captiol dome.

Some nice light on the Capitol dome.

Recently I took my first trip to our nation's capital. Steph was giving a talk at the SFN (Society for Neuroscience) conference on her research and I thought it would not only be a great chance to see her in her element, but also to take some time to explore a city that greatly interested me. The more research that I did the more enthusiastic I became about the prospect of wandering around the city. From what I could gather from my initial research, the metro system around downtown was fairly extensive and would offer more than enough mobility during our stay, which it did admirably. More on that later. Of particular interest were the Smithsonian museums, which to my delight I discovered were all free admittance. I've always been fascinated with the museums, especially the Air and Space Museum and this chance to see it first hand was something I'd been wanting for a long time. Our first day in the city was spent visiting the monuments, which did not disappoint. The weather, however, did. The first day was rainy and slightly cold (though not terrible). The rain did diminish the experience of the outdoor monuments, to be sure, but they were still impressive to behold. (more…)
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