Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Let's talk about villains for a hot second.

I’m home sick today and taking the cure in the form of the second season of the BBC’s Robin Hood, AKA the Battlestar Galactica of the 1100s.

This show is unbelievably awesome. It’s like someone plucked what I wished was going on in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves from my ten-year-old brain and mixed it liberally with dashes of political commentary, sex, and Keith Allen.

But a full-on geek out on the merits of this delightfully well-written, trash-tinged series will come later. For now, I’m all about this pastel-rendered mofo.

Introducing Sir Guy of Gisborne, the Sheriff of Nottingham’s second-in-command, generally tortured torturer, giver of sighs and dubious glares that could rival those of a teenage girl’s. He is the heavy to the Sheriff’s wicked dandy, and what a pretty heavy he makes. If he were one of those free gifts from Lancome he’d be all black eyeshadow and cuticle-pusher-backers. He doesn’t know if he wants a soft, sparkly life or to keep toeing the line between pleasure and pain. Bring unjust death upon poor peasants who steal to live? Sure thing. Bring unjust death to noted Robin Hood enthusiast and codpiece-tease Maid Marian? Uh…only if he really has to and/or she’s dressed as the Night Watchman.

Here’s why I dig this guy. In addition to being fairy-tale-prince-gone-wrong hot, the moments where he doesn’t know if he’s coming or going are the best. He is a man whose sole purpose is to act as another’s blunt instrument. When he does come into moments of clarity or self-assertion, it’s terrifying. He could do good or evil. The anything-could-happen tension charges every scene he’s in. He is mad with love, lust, and self-hatred. He’s not a bad boy, because that denotes some reckless, carefree spirit. He has no spirit. He’s absolutely broken, and the pleasure comes in watching sparks of soul come through him, and inspire him to splint some part of himself with twisted cruelty or tender truth.

Most of the time it’s twisted cruelty.

Most of the time it’s twistedly hot.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


One thing I am not is a technology geek.

I have nothing against it, but I am just not into anything overtly technological. Blogs may well be a byproduct of all that has screens and metal and wires sticking out of it. I'll take it. But I won't obsess over it as I do 19th-century moral codes or TV on DVD.

My techie disinterest usually only works against me when film shoots are involved or I'm driving a Prius. I'm not averse to the wonders of the modern world, and can figure most stuff out with a little time. Still, there is one skill I have yet to master and actually hardcore wish I could.

How to block people forever on gChat.

Though at first glance that might seem like a pretty pathetic tech skill to "pwn", I think if we all take a second to realize how awesome it would be to never see an ex-friend's Busy Status again in your life, you would appreciate the viability of my desired tech superpower. Let others be great at creating clever iPhone apps, conducting robot-aided heart surgery, DVRing things.

I'll just be good at making bad people disappear for fake on the internet.

Friday, October 24, 2008

the state that I am in

Katy, a friend of mine, contributed a great, funny, heartbreaking piece on Belle & Sebastian to, a music blog by people who a)know their shit and b)know how to write.

It stirred up many Belle & Sebastian-related memories for me, primarily of high school and Octobers past. I have always loved this season. Dead things are on the ground but everything else is just starting: school, new chances, the best season for clothes.

I figured I'd post my response to Katy's post here as well. Consider it my crispy fall leaf treat to you.

Growing up, I lacked any older sisters/brothers/cousins who could have educated me musically. So until I met that high school boyfriend who got me watching Hype and Singles and playing The Cure: Show on repeat, I rode my own musical melt: which meant my Mom’s Chicago and Springsteen records and stuff on The Mix.

The first real record I ever bought was Tigermilk by Belle & Sebastian. (And by record, I mean CD.) I was in seventh or eighth grade, stalking the soundtrack aisles at the Borders two towns over from mine, seeking out the two-disc original Broadway cast recording of RENT, when I saw the album in the Staff Picks bar above the rest of the CDs. I was a sap for pretty words even then, and the title drove me to find the CD in its alphabetized cubby, flip it, and fall in love with the song titles and drawings on the back of the case.

I took the album home and listened to it before I fell asleep that night. It was kind of like the first time I French kissed: initially overwhelming and sloppy, ultimately the best thing ever. Stuart Murdoch’s geeky, soulful croon scored my own multitudes-heavy teenage years: years I spent in common social exile with similarly goofy outcast friends, like all the best people and sociopaths. I had a particular fondness for “Expectations”, a sort of geek-girl anthem full of sass and longing; for genius, respect, and boyfriends.

Belle & Sebastian felt like my secret. I got every album and single I could get my hands on, and terrified my mom when I made a wall-height poster of the naked-lady Tigermilk the shrine-like center of focus in my pastel pink room. The best part of the secret was my ultimate B&S jam: an even sassier geek-girl anthem, “La Pastie de la Bourgeousie.”

And you love like nobody around you
How you love, and a halo surrounds you

That song felt like my reward for being true to myself. It was a promise: Girl. You’re smart. You’re going to get out of this place and do great things, and hot boys from the UK are going to write you love songs and beckon you to open fields of eucalyptus, westward bound.

Imagine the crushing blow dealt my heart when I found out all the film school fucks who I hated even more than my high school bullies knew all about Belle & Sebastian too. That they had been to their shows in the UK. Had every import. Were dating a girl who dumped Stuart Murdoch. That Belle & Sebastian wasn’t just for the outliers, the awkward, the heartfelt. I should have known: they have Borders everywhere.

For awhile I felt betrayed by my favorite band. What kind of crap were they trying to pull, appealing to the heartless masses as well as snowflakes like me? I avoided them for awhile. Got into Patti Smith and Television and The Stooges. Shit that involved razorblades-as-personal-political-statement, angry shit that would have turned Stuart Murdoch’s elfin white skin ash grey with fear. Years later, when my class issues quieted (just a bit), and I was feeling in need of a strong dose of my fearless teenage self, I dusted off the old iTunes and downloaded that old anthem. And now I’m wise enough to admit mass appreciation of incredible music is a good thing. Because this song still instills me with hope and courage and romance.

You’re too tall, much too tall for a boyfriend
They run and hide, from your buckteeth and split ends
Don’t be scared of the books you’ve read
You’re the heroine, you’ll be doing fine

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Kelly Link Likes my Music Video

Forever ago, I made this music video:

Extra forever ago, I fell in love with the writing of Kelly Link. It was the first book I ever bought in NYC (where I went to film school). I got it in a bookshop complete with snobby shopkeeps and a fat cat. I judged the book by its cover completely. Can you blame me?

I took it home to my cramped Washington Square dorm and curled up on my extra-long twin bed. It was my freshman year of art school, and if art school kids are square pegs in round holes, I was the L wrench that came in the box: inexplicable, perhaps useful, shiny and out of place.

I cracked the book delicately and started to read. I was absorbed into a world of sadness, magic, triumph, and lists. Sets of names of forgotten lovers, sets of ways to spring a trap, sets of twins and sisters---all coded in myth and mystery. The stories contained some of my favorite things: heart, wit, and girl detectives. In the beginning of that awkward year, they became something good to fold into and grow out of.

I think children who were avaricious readers grow into adults who are avaricious readers, and the avariciouser we get the harder it is to fall in love with a book: to be taken in by it, feel connected to it in a visceral and emotional way. I still connect to this book, even though a few of the stories have changed their meaning to me. I'm no longer a fierce and fumbling eighteen-year-old away from home for the first time, getting lost in the scream and flash of a city I had dreamed of since a kid. I'm pleased to find a constant in content like this, something that grows with me or was always there waiting for me to see the change, what more there was beneath the surface.

But enough love lettering! The point of this misty meander down memory lane and cheery clip up...present & future drive is....Kelly Link thinks my music video is cool!

Fall in zombie love with her here.

(you can read the full text of many of her tales online, and download a complete copy of Stranger Things Happen on this site.)

Or cut to the chase and read Flying Lessons, one of my favorites, now.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Gaim Plan

I'm going to see Neil Gaiman read from The Graveyard Book tomorrow night at the Tivoli Theatre. If you're going too, let's share a cosmic high-five then lope around in a soulcandyfed daze.


Name the different kinds of people," said Miss Lupescu. "Now."

Bod thought for a moment. "The living, " he said. "Er. The dead." he stopped. Then, "...Cats? he offered, uncertainly.

a brief note before more geeking

Copy is not enticing.

Sandwiches are enticing.

Also, tv on DVD boxsets. Or men with strong eyebrows.

Never copy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I am going to the Bristol Renaissance Faire this weekend. And I am as psyched as a virgin maid on the cusp of becoming a robber princess! Aieee!

I am going with a fun group of guys and gals who are considering dressing in:

-Star Wars costumes.

I admit, being good-naturedly anachronistic at a Ren Faire is tempting. But I'll be damned if I can still fit into that Stormtrooper costume from back...never.

This guy wins:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Gaim ON!

Neil Gaiman is coming to Chicago for his Graveyard Book tour!

These are the only details available as of yet:

Thursday, October 2nd–
Chapter 3 Chicago, IL
6pm Tivoli Theatre, hosted by Andersons Bookshop
5021 Highland Ave
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Contact: Becky Anderson Phone: (630) 355-2665 Note: The venue is a beautifully restored 1920s movie palace with seating for 1000. This will be a ticketed event, 1 ticket = 1 book. After the reading and Q&A, 'Stardust' will be shown.




(unicorn sex.)


Facts & Figures

# of times I banged my head on a pipe while doing laundry last night: 6
# of times I banged my leg on the dining room table while folding said laundry: 3
# of times I think about something I want to geek out/blog about but don't because I fear getting fired from my job for further extolling the virtues of Simon Pegg, examining the elation LARPing seems to bring to so many of my fellow geek people, dishing on shooting the latest ep of MTSS, or rambling aimlessly and gleefully about pop cultural milestones and yardsticks and thimblefuls of human experience, revelation, and progress---while at work: 1,000,000,0000000 yes an EXTREME MADE UP NUMBER OF TIMES.
# of times I realized I frakking love rambling aimlessly and gleefully about the goodness and darkness of people as expressed through the written & performed word, dramatic storytelling, the moving image, and/or via vampires, girl detectives, and Simon Pegg---and that I should ramble forth freely because any day my brain could be smashed in or my hands could be lost or my sight or my tongue or my internet access:

1 time. Last night.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

of course the new band I like is an icelandic indie-folk rock band

What is Iceland made of, anyway? Wispy ghost songwriters with love on their minds and melody in their blood?

jesus chrICE.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My 5-Second Review of Get Smart

Steve Carell: so hot he's out of CONTROL.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gods & Monsters


My cubicle walls are decorated with drawings I've done and images I've loved for a long time. Sketches of zombies at prom and vampire co-eds face Van Gogh's Starry Night, some screengrabs of Tim Burton movies, various posters boasting comic book characters I love in rich black and cream or bold color. At first they were just the sum of their parts: pretty distractions from the workaday world I've gotten myself into. But yesterday, something clicked: they all shared color schemes. The lines had some kinship to them. It looked like they could be photos from the glossy pages of a brochure for my brain: a travelogue of my inner landscape.

I love moments of clarity like that. When you realize you have been shaped by people you've never met and never will: that someone's imagination spread and spurred your own. It makes me proud to be a human, and thrilled to be myself, and happy to be joining in the cycle and experience-however stumblingly slow.

I don't have any Stan Winston stuff on my office walls. But the man features prominently in my travelogue. Looking back at these images, I realize he had a heavy hand in writing the book.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Ira Glass's Twitter Account: An Update

He has posted no new tweets since joining up several days ago.
Yet he has several thousand followers.

My thesis: Ira Glass never intended to be a full-fledged Twitterer. He wanted an instant ego boost, one his harem of bespectacled brunette intern girls could no longer adequately provide. So instead of taking stock of the number of times his smirking mug appears in the margins of Myspace and Gawker Media pages, he made a Twitter.

And then he watched the numbers of Followers swell, till their number became as engorged as the hard-ons hipster intellectuals have for his radio program.


PS: Ira Glass is still not really one of my favorite pop culture obsessions. And he is STILL not following me on twitter.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I'm Following Ira Glass on Twitter

And Ira Glass is following ten cute (guessing smart) brunette girls and one sandy-haired boy with a Mac.

(ed. note: I'm not so much an Ira Glass person as I am a nerdy-white-boy-with-prominent-nose-and-thick-black-rimmed-specs person. Ira is a salt-and-pepper hair too cocky for my taste. So smug in his exalted hipster-geek status. Oh who am I kidding who doesn't like This American Life?)

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Internet is a Conspiracy!

And it wants to spoil the frak out of Battlestar for me. Every time I log on I learn a favorite character of mine is ACTUALLY A CYLON! Or that Starbuck is "back." Back? I DIDN'T KNOW SHE WENT ANYWHERE?!

I am trying my damnedest to avoid these things called "websites" and "the pop culture", but to no avail. Not to worry, though. I've already chewed through the second season in a week. I've got my eye on you, Season 3 (thank the gods for Who needs sleep (whenyou'reactuallyacylonsleeperagent OH MY GOD WHAT AM I SAYING? WHO AM I? Keep me away from the small arms locker....)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Paul Thomas Anderson's First Draft

Captain Jack Harkness: Dr Who's Flavor-Blasted Goldfish


ME, to WTTW BOSS: So, you have anything pressing for me to do today?

WTTW BOSS: Um... Have you heard of Doctor Who?

And so commenced a marathon of collecting soundbites for a Who-A-Thon promo writ by yours truly, which way or may not include the phrase "Who's Your Daddy" and clips of Simon Pegg as The Editor.

It was a joyous day! I watched a smattering of episodes from the last season shown on WTTW (Chris Eccleston as the Doc), including a zombie-child attack two parter set during the Blitz that introduce the character Capt Jack Harkness, aka Innuendo-Addled Be-Dimpled Goonball and Star of the Dr Who Spinoff Torchwood.

Harkness is everything cool about the doctor amped to ridiculous degrees. Sometimes this works against him...okay, I haven't seen much of Torchwood but I can see it probably always working against him. But the upside is- He's as sassy as the Doctor (Eccleston's at least, don't hate), and a shimmery column of slut waiting to happen. And, he's bi! Boy on boy action AND time travel? I'm in!

And I just found out his arch-enemy is PLAYED BY SPIKE!!!

Oh, I do love a good bit of sci-fi laced mansluttery.

And such inspired lolcats.

"Captain John Hart, played by American actor James Marsters is a rogue Time Agent of the now disbanded Time Agency and former partner of Jack Harkness, both professionally and sexually. He has been in rehab for drink, drugs, sex and murder. He first appears in the first episode of the second series, entitled "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang".[1] James Marsters discussed some of the character's background in interviews, explaining that John is essentially a doppelgänger or foil of Captain Jack: both are pansexual time travellers, with their key difference being that John never reformed. The character exaggerates many of Jack's qualities, for example displaying zoophilic attraction to non-humanoids such as poodles, in addition to men and women.[2]"

-from Wikipedia

-from Me

Friday, March 21, 2008

Why Can't Comic Con just be BattleSpacedGaimanlactica Con?

A geek milestone for me is fast approaching: Comic Con.

I have never been to Comic Con before, and will be attending this one as a fan and also to pitch a manga-inspired comic book I've co-written with my best bud and partner in Veronica Mars superfandom, Joe T. I can't wait to go but have no idea what I'm doing. It's turning out to be an expensive trip, even without factoring in all the Veselka and Italian pastry and metrocards I need.

I have no idea what my weekend passes cover. Can you go to panels for free? Is everything cool a ticketed event you have to fork over even more cash for? Will I be shot on sigh tif I don't buy Awesome Official New York Comic Con Merchandise Enhance Your Comic Con Experience! ?

I do know I'm going to a special Neil Gaiman ticketed event and I am thrilled to British scifi fantasy author pieces about that. And that the powers that be in charge of the Comic Con are looking out for my best interests, as this excerpt from their website illustrates:

If you're bringing, buying, or selling something that could maim, damage, or cause serious bodily harm, we're going to take issue. Please read our Costume Weapon Policy and Weapon Sales Policy before attending or exhibiting at New York Comic Con with a weapon.


I also know I'm going to dress up for Comic Con. It shouldn't be hard. I'm going as my alter ego Kim Pine.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Also: My Patronus Is Corporeal


It makes me so happy in a silvery-stag-in-the-woods kind of way. Dementors beware.

Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little George Michael

Big news in geek town:

Michael Cera is slated to play Scott Pilgrim in Edgar Wright's film adaptation of the best comedy/romance/adventure/ninja-vegan-ass-kicking/manga-inspired comic EVER!

Is this good or bad news? MC is funny, sure, but Scott is supposed to be hot. A ladykiller in shaggy sandy hair and a Smashing Pumpkins t-shirt. But eh, I'm sure the young Canadian will do a fine job playing a young Canadian. The real question is who's playing KIM PINE?!? The second: who's playing Wallace?!? The third: will Edgar Wright dip into his vast stores of British comedians to fill out other roles? WILL BILL BAILEY PLAY KNIVES CHAU?!?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dark Marks and Bookmarks

Working at a tiny, "well-curated" bookstore in an esteemed private research library/historic landmark in Chicago's upper-crusty Gold Coast means your customers are going to tend to be drenched in perfume and politesse. Their tastes are fine. They will usually enjoy slim hardbacks about Queens doing silly things like reading, Philip Roth novels, and travel literature. Especially chronicles of romping through Italy. They can also be THE HOUNDS OF HELL. Nay, the PURSE DOGS OF HELL.

And some of them even work here.

One demon hellbitch in particular is always well-dressed and evil. She never smiles or speaks above an irritated, droning whisper. Her color palette is cream and grey and beige. Smooth, soft colors. Deceptively enrobing the bitchass viper beneath.

She graces me with her presence every other week or so, never missing a fraying seam on my workaday peasant garb, or a blemish on my cheek. My reading material usually chafes her brain as well: this time she caught me surfing, a feminista pop culture e-rag that is usually witty...except for when they post gigantic (and dreamy) pictures of Jake Gyllenhaal that fill the screen.

She throws items down at me, clucks her tongue ever so, and gives off the impression that she has never experienced joy in her entire life. Think Cruella De Vil, if Cruella De Vil didn't love killing puppies for sport and outerwear.

After she painedly paid her fee today, I googled her very specific and ridiculous Norse-sounding name to see what dirt I could dig up. Who knows, maybe she was a dominatrix in younger, happier days. Or a serial killer.

But what I found was even better than all that.

Someone put her in Harry Potter fanfiction.


Her AND her granddaughter, who, I fact-checked, is indeed named Julie. Some creep out there has quite the thing for ol' Julie and her "soft, near-perfect skin, even whiter against the small mole on her cheek". My meanie is a wheezing crone who offers her services to the Deatheaters.

How appropriate!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Robot Love?

I recently stumbled across something semi-humorous, semi-silly, and wholly disturbing whilst being a geek and reading this daily sci-fi nerd blog I read: a prediction that within 5 years humans will find it the norm to have sex with robots, and within 40-50 years we will actually be falling in love with them. Someone, a man named David Levy in particular, has written a book about the subject aptly titled "Love and Sex with Robots."
Here's a link'>">link to a clip of the author on the Colbert Report, basically getting ridiculed and calling his thesis "not science fiction, but science fact."
Science fact is that peeps have been doin' it with robots since the dawn of vibrators and those terrifying machines I have glimpsed from time to time when in the company of my more internet-porn-adventurous friends. But falling in love with them? Programming them to love you, and as the good (mad?) doctor says, ocassionally reject you because "an important part of sexuality is "the possibility of failure or denial," and thus sexbots will need to be able to mimic human "capriciousness." ??? That is a freaky possibility. I imagine this superlovebot would be a combo of an high-end "lifedoll", those expensive German vibrators they sell at high-end pleasure boutiques, and an iPod shuffle. On one hand, I see something as fantastical as this making some truly lonely people happy, but on the makes me want to stockpile all technology and burn it in a sparkly display of rejection: rejection of the walls we put up to keep each other out in favor of some perfect thing that does exactly what we want all the time, never challenging us or teaching us anything. I think expecting whomever (whatever?) you love to be a conduit for your every whim and desire is pretty jacked.
Though I'm totally reading the">book when it comes out.
And on the lighter side, which of these robots would win your heart?

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Fellow aspiring screenwriters (or scribes as us hepcats say in the trades)...I have just come upon a divine internetic loophole. And you might already know about it, if you are a slightly-more-on-the-ball aspiring scribe, but still...

REAL movie scripts ONLINE and FOR FREE and...


Glory be, hallelujah. Now I can dissect the "quirky dialog" of Juno with my trusty quirkometer, at length, in the comfort of my own living room...FOR FREE!

Follow the link below for the internetty amazingness.

There are scripts for Waitress, No Country for Old Men, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly...

It's so exciting!

Almost as exciting...someone is selling paintings from The Royal Tenenbaums on eBay here:

Which is a little sad. Wes Anderson should have invented his own version of eBay, a prettier, more precious version, where you pay with white vinyl Kinks albums instead of Paypal.

Oh, happy day!