Monday, November 29, 2010

DJ Shadow

Last Sunday I attended the DJ Shadow show at the Ogden Theatre here in Denver, Colorado.  It was a marvelous show. 

DJ Shadow is a legendary DJ and turntablist from California.  I’ve been a fan for over 10 years.  Of course, I love Endtroducing… and Preemptive Strike as well as his contributions to Dr. Octagon, but The Private Press and the most recent album, The Outsiders, didn’t quite grab me in the same way.

Some interesting facts (kindly compiled by wikipedia):

[DJ Shadow] is considered a prominent figure in the development of instrumental hip hop and first gained notice with the release of his highly acclaimed debut album Endtroducing....., which was constructed entirely from samples. He has an exceptionally large personal record collection, with over 60,000 records.

The fact that Endtroducing…was “constructed entirely from samples” is really amazing.  The video of Midnight in a Perfect World below, though not my favorite song, shows how various songs and samples come together.

Now, I know that some don’t see this kind of music as “real” music since it basically takes music that already exists and mixes it together.  But, to me, it is just the natural evolution of art.  Don’t we already see the constant influence of other TV shows on the current ones, similarly with film and all other forms of art.  To be truly original after so much that has gone before becomes more and more challenging.  DJs just embrace it and create a new type of art. 

Back to the show. While some part of me desperately wanted to hear a mix of Endtroducing…and Preemptive Strike music, I was overwhelmingly pleased with what I did hear.  I heard a splendid mix of everything, including quite a bit yet-to-be-released material.  There were elements of the familiar in style but really fresh in delivery.  It was one of those shows where you can feel the music (the music moves through you!).

The visuals deserve some note.  This “Shadowsphere” was a large presence in the performance.  The Shadowsphere is an orb in which DJ Shadow does his work.  It is all white and images were projected on it as well as the screen behind it. 

This is a shot from the backside:


These are two photos I grabbed off the interwebs of the front side.



At first I thought it was a little cheesy but it was actually well done.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


So, as a modern woman I have been thinking about bikini waxing. Of course, as a modern woman, I employed the great and mighty Googles in my research work (Note: I definitely refrained from searching images). I found some interesting information.

First, what are the options for a bikini wax? There are basically three options from what I can tell.

  • bikini - for the “Modest”…hair is removed that extends outside of the panty line or crease of thigh.
  • Brazilian bikini - for the “Wild”…all hair is removed including backside.
  • modified bikini - for the “Adventuresome”…a thin strip of hair is left down the middle of the bikini area (a.k.a. a “landing strip”).

If you want to search wikipedia, there are photos that show all three of these options as well as another photo titled “natural” (or something like that) for comparison. I’m not posting those!

Second, in this research I came across some curious new trends.

  • Vajazzling:  The bedazzler might come to mind. Well, that’s not too far off.  This is a “vaginal adornment” – for the exterior, that is. Yep, rhinestones are applied in a design to a just-waxed pubic area.  I have no idea why someone would do this nor do I have any thoughts on how one’s partner might react upon encountering a vajazzled hoo-hoo.
  • Vattoos: Temporary vaginal tattoos – you know, another way to accessorize the newly bald area…  From what the interweb tells me, vattoos “are generally done post-Brazilian wax (you need a ‘clean canvas’ for the artist). They're applied a few inches above your actual girlie bits, and the airbrush-and-stencil ‘vat’ washes away after a week.”

Third, there were also more serious thoughts on the general trend towards hairlessness. 

  • The Psychology Today web site has a “Sexuality Today” blog and on this blog I found a November 2010 post entitled, “Contemporary Sexuality and the Brazilian Wax.” The post asked some interesting questions about why recent generations are disgusted with body hair, which includes the oiled, hairless-chested male models as much as the women with bald vaginas.  Taking the discussion a bit further, the author lamented that the “efforts [of previous generations] to encourage young women to celebrate their bodies come to this - to their having to alter them so their partners won't be disgusted? This can't be progress.”  This hadn’t occurred to me but is a question worth asking.
  • A article provides some insight as to what it’s like to be one who does the waxing.  Whether or not one has had a wax, one has likely thought how odd it must be to have a job where you look at panty areas all day. 

I’m not going to comment on whether or not I actually walked into the waxing studio and took the next step. I just thought others would be interested in the research.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

5.3 days (or 127 hours)

Went to see a movie in the theater today! 

127 Hours (2010)

I quite enjoyed this one.  For a movie that is primarily a one-man show, it was captivating and affecting.  Going into it I knew that Aron Ralston (the real life person portrayed by James Franco) cuts off his arm.  I wouldn’t have thought to call it “surgery” per se but I imagine the theater was challenged to think of what to say exactly (this was the sign on the box office today):

Nov142010 048

So, where to start…the movie is based on a book written by Ralston about his actual experience being pinned by a huge boulder and having to free himself by amputating his own arm – Between a Rock and a Hard Place.  The director, Danny Boyle (director of Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, and – of course – Slumdog Millionaire), handled the translation from book to movie quite well.  Going in I thought it might have a Touching the Void feel but it didn’t at all.  The first quarter of the film was pre-rock fall and was obviously meant to show what a lively, vivacious life Ralston has and juxtapose that exuberance with a grave situation. I liked the way that bit was filmed – very energetic. 

The rest of the movie was basically Franco stuck with the rock in a canyon in Utah, which brings me to Franco’s performance.  From a Fresh Air interview (or it might have been the Colorado Matters interview), I learned that Ralston was a participant in the filming and he allowed Franco to see the video he took during the situation.  In the movie, Franco talks to the video camera and occasionally screams and yells but there was no voiceover/internal dialogue.  This was not a problem because from his expressions, even silently, Franco conveyed everything.

I covered my ears during the part that showed him cutting off his arm.  I had been tipped off by the Slate Culture Gabfest discussion of the movie (the “Farewell to Arms” edition) that the sounds were almost worse than seeing it.  I didn’t actually watch that much of it either.  The parts I did see were pretty gory.

Anyway, see it!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

next blog

Last night I was doing the “next blog” exercise, which means I was in Google blogger just jumping from one blog to the next by hitting “next blog.”  Through this, I came across “Kissssing: a love blog” and I was taken by it.  It’s so simple yet so exuberant with it’s photos of classic couples and quotes.  The photo below was my favorite – it’s from The Royal Tenenbaums, a photo of Margot and Richie.


This recent quote also grabbed my attention: "Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired." -- Robert Frost

Interestingly, one of my regularly-patrolled blogs had a love-themed posts today, titled “I was lucky to find you.”  This was the post:


Usually the next blog exercise is fairly fruitless and yields blogs in foreign languages or full of poetry or god-centric.  I guess I got lucky.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Yet more movies

These are three I’ve actually watched in the last 30 days. 

Green Zone (2010)

As a liberal who believes that the US is in Iraq unnecessarily, this movie appealed to me.  It asserts that US officials fabricated a source that told them that there were WMDs in Iraq (gasp!).  It goes on to overtly imply that we are trying to put a stucco cap on a pond of toxic material by pushing a democracy on a country that has a far more complicated past then we recognize.  That said, it was basically an action film – I mean we’ve got Jason Bourne/Matt Damon as the lead.  A lot of military maneuvers and helicopters and gun fights.  Overall I was sort of lukewarm on it.


The Missing (2003)

In this Ron Howard-directed western, Cate Blanchett is a kick ass frontier woman that goes after a band of nasty brutes to get her stolen daughter back – with the help of her faux-Native American estranged father (Tommy Lee Jones). The movie was a bit long and the “Native American” Tommy Lee Jones got a little old, but I never tired of Blanchett.  It was, at times, an emotionally-charged film and I certainly felt it when one or two characters died. It was just a bit too long…


Death at a Funeral (2010)

I don’t know what possessed me.  Must be that everlasting search for a “comedy” that is actually funny. This movie isn’t going on that list.  This quote from the Onion AV Club review sums it up: Death At A Funeral has two primary tones: broad and Tracy Morgan-covered-in-Danny Glover’s-crap super-loud.


Sunday, November 7, 2010


I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about the probability of success for the bike share program (Bcycle) that started in Denver this year.  I think they started with 45 or so locations and 500 bikes. I thought they might not have enough bikes and were maybe putting them in locations without enough density. I don’t actually know what level of success the program has achieved but personally I love it!

In July we did the “Tour de Bcycle” which involves renting a bike at one location, going to another Bcycle kiosk, docking that bike, getting another bike, going to the next Bcycle kiosk, and on and on until you’ve hit every Bcycle location in a single day.  It was a great way to spend the day after Independence day and turned into a little bar crawl after 5:00 pm with only a handful of Bcycle locations left.  Here are some photos from that day:

bcycle 033 2

bcycle 017 2

The Tour was my first introduction to Bcycle and an excellent way to get to know the system and become comfortable with it. Since then, I’ve won an annual membership and use it fairly frequently.  Of course, my work and home locations are ideal for its use – I work downtown and live about a mile away in Capitol Hill. 

Speaking of happy hour, last night we made our own little Bcycle bar crawl. We hopped on a Bcycle at 13th/Pearl.  From there we docked and went to the Great Divide Brewing (home of Titan IPA) tap room and enjoyed yummy, fresh-brewed, Colorado craft beer. Next was Tamayo for some mezcal.  We grabbed yet another Bcycle and rode all the way to the Botanic Gardens – free night and has a Bcycle kiosk – to meet friends. We capped the evening at City o City back in the hood.

I was able to wear open-toed shoes and just a sweater because the early November Colorado weather was perfect! The only photos that turned out are one of me and one of Tony Everhart eating a cupcake.  Unfortunately no action bike shots.

photo 1

photo 2

Saturday, November 6, 2010

movie wrap up part 2

This is a companion post to my previous attempt to close out on the movies I’ve watched but not blogged about.  I’ve been struggling with some of these so my goal is to be brief!

New Jack City (1991)

I watched this late at night on streaming Netflix.  I honestly don’t remember much and, thus, have no opinions. 

I Heart Huckabees (2004)

Fantastic cast: Dustin Huffman, Lily Tomlin, Jason Schwartzman, Mark Wahlberg, Naomi Watts, and Jude Law.  Plot wrapped in existentialism and nihilism with a background of corporate greed and environmental ravaging. This was my second viewing and I liked it a little less than the first time but I still quite enjoyed it.


Greenberg (2010)

I was a little disappointed with Noah Baumbach (director of The Squid and the Whale and co-writer of The Life Aquatic)on this one. The main character, while somewhat humorous with his intense social awkwardness, was just a monster to his “romantic love interest.”  I didn’t hate it but it wasn’t my cup of tea.


A Town Called Panic (2009)


Tag along for the small-town adventures of plastic toys Cowboy, Indian and Horse when they buy 50 million bricks, setting into motion a crazy chain of events at their rambling rural home. Now trekking across distant lands, they end up in another world plunged under water.

Hilarious but bizarre! Only 74 minutes but worth it.


Youth In Revolt (2009)

I have to admit that this was funnier than I thought it was going to be but the expectations were low.  I feel like I’ve seen Michael Cera just a bit too much.  The bad boy alter ego was a refreshing element though. Oh, the marijuana brownie/cookie scene was actually really funny. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it…


Thursday, November 4, 2010

blah/not-so-blah life

I have been struggling with posting because there isn’t much happening in the blah life*.  I mean there was that whole election deal but I’m not much of a political blogger.  Sure, I have opinions but they aren’t groundbreaking. 

Life has felt extra blah lately and I think it’s because the weeks previous to this one have been so not blah, if that makes sense.  October was a fabulous month of travel and taking in new things and meeting truly interesting people.  I went to NYC, San Antonio, and Portland, Oregon.  When I was in the office there were tight deadlines and fast-paced action.  Things in life felt…active, lively, engaging!  Here are some photos of me that express these feelings:

NYC 2010 S 018

NYC 2010 S 050

s iphone 5 

Since I’ve been back I’ve been itching to meet people and do things and get out!  Luckily for me, my girlfriends have been happy to help with this, but mostly I’ve been going to yoga, reading transit news, and spending endless hours on itunes and youtube in search of new music. 

The point is that I don’t have any interesting blog material. This is especially true because I’m going on a mental diet – I’m cutting out the cute stuff.   I mean I can’t even find the Icanhascheezburger app for my phone.  This cute stuff supplied some good material but some part of my brain was atrophying due to overexposure.


*I must admit that the blah life isn’t bad – I’m not in a refugee camp and my town isn’t about to be covered in lava or toxic material that broke loose from a detention pond.  I know I have it good, but everything is relative, right?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Anxiety-fueled run

“You’re a real trooper.”  That’s what my dentist and dental assistant said to me repeatedly during my two-hour appointment today. 

Now, the truth is that I am not a real trooper.  In fact, when getting dental work done I normally get “the gas” – i.e. nitrous oxide. It helps but they rarely turn it up high enough to cut through the anxiety. I go to a dentist that specializes in patients with anxiety related to dentistry.  You’re probably thinking “who doesn’t have some anxiety related to going to the dentist?”  Well, I’ll tell you.  I’ve been to dentists that basically told me that I needed to buck up or leave.  The difference between those dentists and my dentist is that my dentist is empathetic and gentle, which should be the norm but really isn’t.

I went in for two fillings and a crown.  When I was informed today that the gas was in use by other patients and not available for me, I became, let’s say, visibly fearful.  The dental assistant was so comforting and sweet.  She actually started tearing up when I shed some tears of fear.  The lesson for the day for me is that a little kindness can go a long way to making someone feel better. 

After arriving home post-appointment, I quickly changed and went for a great run.  I think my body was charged with pent up anxiety.  Also the temperature was perfect just after sunset in Cheesman Park.

I took some photos of myself and my numbed lip but I’m not going to share them.