Surrogate

Mentioned a while ago that Amy had a book release party for “Surrogate.” Finally got around to putting the images and essays from the book online today. As I was working with this stuff, was amazed all over again at how good she is, how much I love her work. I’m a lucky guy.

If you have comments on Amy’s photos, please leave them in the LiveJournal account I secretly set up for her : ;)

Lynda Barry

One of my favorite things about Thursdays has always been the Express, one of the three free weeklies we get in the Bay Area. But recently they “restructructured” and removed Cecil Adams (The Straight Dope), Gina Arnold (a music writer who has been with them for a decade) and Lynda Barry, my favorite cartoonist, whose stuff I’ve been in love with since the mid-80s (it used to be called Ernie Pook’s Comeek). The Express is now next to worthless, and Thursday lunches aren’t what they used to be.

Half a year ago Barry was offering to draw a panel “just for you!” for $25, so Amy and I took her up on it and she sent a panel of Marlys tip-toeing upstairs, and even sent a personal note. We gotta frame that one of these days. Fortunately Salon posts Barry’s strip online each week, so all is not lost.

Amelie’s Pupils

She doesn’t have any. I looked really hard too, and not once throughout the film could I even see the edge of Audrey Tatou’s pupils. Spooky. Loved the movie.

Switched from Mail.app to Entourage today. The built-in junk detection is worth the switch alone. Birdhouse is up to 80% spam these days. kissthisguy is well over 95% spam. It’s enough to make me want to ditch birdhouse.org for a year until I’m wiped out of all those databases, but I can’t because family members and friends have birdhouse addresses too. I swear to god spam is the scourge of the 21st century.

Sick again. Thought I had it licked, but sore throat and cramped sinuses, low energy came back with a vengeance last night. Not entirely sure these symptoms aren’t coming from mildew and cleaning chemicals in my office at UCB — fallout from flooding a few weeks ago. I knew it didn’t feel right sitting in that smell all day. But I just can’t be sure if I’m sick from that or whether it’s just coinicidental.

Lord of the Rings

I remember, growing up in the 70s, there was a rash of people naming their cats and dogs “Bilbo” and “Frodo.” Wondering if that’s going to happen again. Keep an ear out for this in the next six months.

Just saw the movie with Amy. Loved it. Even more than we expected to. So rich, in every dimension. Just minutes from the bell, too. Was going to say that Waking Life was the best movie I saw in 2001, but now have to admit that LOTR edges it out. Still, I’m puzzled that Waking Life got so little attention. It rocked my world. One of the most innovative movies I’ve seen in a long time, both plot-wise and visually.

Fountainhead

Just watched The Fountainhead (1949, with Gary Cooper) — the movie interpretation of Ayn Rand’s book. Pretty inspiring testament to individualism in the face of the collective. Great dialog. But I thought it gave short shrift to the collective. Made it out as if the mere fact of society makes it impossible for individuals to rise above. Guess it had to in order to make its point. Anyway, some pretty rousing speeches.

Amy and I thick in the brain with head colds. She’s more sick than I am now. Rainy day. Spent most of it writing reactions to reader mail on the OS X piece.

Wonderful slow winter day.

MightyAssembly

Just when we thought all the dotcom parties were over… went to a book release party last night at the loft of MightyAssembly. Our old friend Colleen co-wrote Macromedia Flash: Art, Design, and Function and they threw a bash to celebrate. Felt like the old days – saw lots of people I once knew, hung out with some of the movers and shakers from the glory days of the SF dotcom scene, drank mojitos… very fun. Good to hook up with Colleen again.

Visit to a Sad Planet

Finally got around to compressing and putting online the first (and so far only) actual DV movie I’ve made (as opposed to travelogues and personal mini-documentary things).

This 4-minute mock “sci-fi opus” is a video accompaniment to Leonard Nimoy’s 1969 monologue “Visit to a Sad Planet,” which is but one in a long series of monologues, poems, and spoken-word pieces recorded by Nimoy and Shatner in the late 60s.

If you’ve got the bandwidth, definitely go for the 30MB Sorenson version. It looks and sounds much better than the 10MB version. Of course, both of them suck compared to the uncompressed 720×480 original, but you can’t just go putting 1 GB movies on the net… dammit.

Waking Life

I have no words for this movie. I only know I feel restored, and that it does something good for my faith in the union of art and technology, which so often fails to actually accomplish anything.

Ditto the 10-minute Bjork video (Pagan Poetry) before the movie.

Coming out of the theater, encountered some drunk teens in shoddy, half-baked halloween costumes and spiked goth hair walking down Shattuck, one (probably faking it) in a wheelchair. A girl among them asked me for two dollars. No. A dollar. No. A cigarette. No. “PUSSY!” she yelled at me. Then she spun around in a circle and fell on her ass.

No bin Ladens for halloween. But there were some cute little fire fighters and fairy princesses. Even a queen (Queen Esther, she called herself).

Panna Cotta

Amy and I celebrated my bday last night with dinner at Mazzini – wonderful restaurant near our house where we sometimes go for special occassions. Discovered the miracle of Panna Cotta — basically cooked cream with a bit of gelatin sitting in a berry sauce. The mouthfeel is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted – I didn’t know the meaning of creamy until last night.

Came home and took digital pictures of things in and around the house, getting jiggy with the look of things. Reminded us of something we used to do years ago when we were first going out — the Otis Panic (now called Sito). Back in the 94 / 95 time frame, some of us were getting really excited about the collaborative aesthetic possibilities of the internet. On Friday nights we’d drop source images into an FTP dir. Others would grab them down, manipulate them in Photoshop or whatever, then re-upload them. It was fast and loose, weird, great fun. Amy and I used to do these Panics for some of our early dates. Hadn’t thought aboout that for a while.