Apropos of nothing: If anyone is planning a biopic of my hero Orson Welles, I hope they will consider my other hero Jack Black for the lead.
Steelers win. Worst ever Monday Night Football game, and possibly worst ever NFL game. But we won, and it counts.
Starting my NaNoWriMo writing for the day … now. Yeah, it sucks. Even my mom thinks I’m not going to meet the 50K goal. But she’s kind of a pessimist.
Will be drawing during breaks in writing.
Wish me luck, because I need it.
If you’ve been following my Month of Challenges, you know that today I planned to finally catch up on NaNoWriMo. You also probably know me better than I do, and guessed that I would not succeed in this plan.
I went to an event in McCandless today, a suburb north of Pittsburgh, to check out the filming of the reveal of a home improvement show, and the surrounding hubbub and block party. The show is called MyHome2.0. It’s created and produced by Verizon, so there was a lot of marketing of Verizon products, especially FIOS. And there were lots of giveaways and goodies, including some earmarked for bloggers and podcasters like me who attended and wrote about the event.
I was given a cute little Flip Videocam — just like the one Oprah has been giving out and using — so I shot a little footage at the event.
Considering how small and light and simple this camera is, it shoots good quality footage. That is, it would if handled by an operator with steadier hands and more experience and skill than yours truly.
Here’s my clip of Brian, one of the on-screen gurus from the MyHome2.0 show, talking about the challenge of supplying a family that includes nine kids.
The episode of MyHome2.0 that was filmed today and this week won’t air for a while of course, but the first episode is showing. You can see find clips and podcasts online at the 2PointHome website, and in the Pittsburgh area you can watch the episode Sunday morning at 11am on WPGH Fox 53. You should check it out at least to see the three gurus in action. They are kooky, lively, smart, and quite engaging. And the stuff the team puts in these houses they renovate is drool-worthy.
The day was fun, especially seeing behind-the-scenes and how a show like this is created. Just snippets, but good stuff. The block party Verizon threw for this was huge, and while a number of neighbors were probably inconvenienced the folks I saw seemed happy, excited, and interested in what was going on.
Several other bloggers and podcasters were on-hand or dropped by — I’ve never seen so many video cameras and high-quality TV cameras in use at the same time, and as many people filming other people, filming crowds and whatnot. And afterwards a bunch of us headed over to Mad Mex for beer and food. A fine fall day.
Tonight I made one more drawing for DrawMo, which I’ll post tomorrow.
No noveling, as I mentioned. I received an email from Neil Gaiman (as did everyone else who’s signed up for NaNoWriMo), and in it he encouraged us all not to give up, to keep writing. In my case, to restart writing. OK then!
For unexplained reasons, iTunes will not let me buy anything this morning. Thus, I cannot purchase “The End of History” by Fionn Regan. I’ve just learned about it (ads and banners on the web work at least some of the time), and it sounds interesting and singer-songerwriterish, nice for a summer Sunday. But iTunes says I must wait a while and try again.
Fortunately, Youtube is willing to let me watch a couple of videos from the album, and even to share them with you.
“Put a Penny in a Slot”
“Be Good or Be Gone”
An update on the Beastie Boys’ new album, The Mix-Up: so far, so very groovalicious. This video isn’t much to watch, except to glimpse the hair of Adam Horovitz (on the drums), which has blossomed into a wondrous Jew-fro. A thing to admire.
Bonus recommendation: I’m also enjoying the new White Stripes album. Gritty, funky, delightfully unbalanced.
Upcoming dates of importance to me:
June 26 (today!): New Beastie Boys album released. Supposed to be as good as Paul’s Boutique and Check Your Head! Must download before heading out of office.
July 10: New They Might Be Giants album released. Sounds dark, discordant. Excellent.
July 11: New Harry Potter movie opens. More Gary Oldman and Alan Rickman? Yes please!
July 21: New Harry Potter book released. There goes the weekend.
July 24: New Tuesday Next novel released. Another two days lost. Maybe one if I read quickly.
Let’s be clear: There’s a lot to scoff at in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
Here are my two biggest problems with the show:
First, it takes itself way too seriously. I could make a list of the ways it takes itself seriously and the ways that seriousness is a problem, but Heather Havrilesky of Salon has already written a thorough and delightfully snarky analysis.
Second, and more significantly, Harriet, “the most gifted member of the cast of the ‘show-within-a-show’ and an ex-girlfriend of the program
Speaking of fashion, tonight brings us a new episode of Project Runway. I didn’t want to like this show, but I’m drawn to it — the design challenges, the psychological battles, the excellent and horrific outfits, and Heidi Klum’s hypnotizing smile.
My pick for winner is Laura. The dress pictured here (or maybe it’s a top?) is one of her creations for tonight’s Fashion Week episode. My other favorite designer is Michael, who has sharp style and comes across as the nicest fellow.
Incidentally, when I grow up, I want to be Tim Gunn. For those who don’t watch the show — and that’s probably most of you — Tim is Chair of the Department of Fashion Design at Parsons The New School for Design, which is where “Project Runway” happens. He’s also co-host of the show. His bio is here. Tim walks through the workroom door many times each episode. He explains the challenge, brings in the models, sternly instructs the designers how much time they have left to finish their creations and get their models to the Tresemme hair salon and L’Oreal Paris makeup room, and kibitzes on the developing designs.
I love to see the creases gather on Tim’s forehead as he stands, finger held thoughtfully to lip, and looks at a partially constructed dress — particularly if it’s a really awful dress. You can see he’s trying to figure out how to fix it, even when it’s clearly a lost cause. He’s so helpful, so kind, so concerned about these designers as they try to claw their way into the self-important world of frippery that is modern fashion design.
Of course Tim has a blog for the show. Nothing shocking, just summaries of what happened and reiterations of the collective judgements regarding the results. Yet each week there are hundreds of comments on each post. Everyone loves Tim.
From “Much ado about pumping,” The Economist, June 3rd 2006 (subscription required):
In the film “Zoolander”, some male models stop to refuel their car and, just for fun, spray each other with petrol (gasoline). One then lights a cigarette. They all die in a vast fireball. The film-makers appear to believe that male models, though beautiful, are stupid. When it comes to crafting policies to deal with the price of petrol, American politicians appear to believe the same thing about voters. Except that they do not think voters are beautiful.