Friday, July 30, 2010

Umbrella Man

photo via
Umbrella Man is four guys: a standing bassist/ lead singer; a drummer with nothing but a snare, a bass drum and a couple of high-hats; a dude on squeeze box; and a guy on pedal steel.  Could you even invent a better setup?  [I didn't realize until just now that the bassist sometimes plays for Billy Joe Shaver.  Holy cow.]

We went to see them at the Continental Club the other night for Sophia's bday.  She's been going on about them for months, and we finally got to see them put on SUCH a great show.  Sadly, no amount of liquor improves my dancing, but I had a lot of fun anyway.

The guys had a CD for sale, but it doesn't really give you any idea how great their show was.  They told us they're going to release a "Live at the Continental" CD sometime, so I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Better than a Swatch

Good news, Uncle John -- your calculator watch is cool again!

Timex has an 80's throwback watch site called Timex80.  My favorites are the ones you can customize.

via The Preppy Princess

images via Timex

Monday, July 26, 2010

Send help.

I've had seven house guests in the last 10 days who stayed a total of seven nights in my two-bedroom house.

This morning my car wouldn't start.
And then the electricity went out.
When I got to work the network was down.

Back in a bit.

Friday, July 16, 2010

In related news, Ed Wade was named General Manager of Gothamist LLC this morning

Gothamist LLC closed their site, Houstonist, today. As far as I was concerned, Houstonist created some of the most useful (and certainly unique, and most definitely updated) content on the Internet. I have always thought that the one place the magic interwebs sometimes fail to deliver was on information to be used in, you know, the fleshy world. To me, Houstonist did a good job of bridging that gap.

I'm still not sure how this was anything but a good deal for Gothamist: there were certainly ads on the pages, and page views. It appears that the site was built on the same code base that they already had -- and continue to use -- for their other sites. Contributors to the site were not paid. So in spite of steady income, minimal expenses and free labor, Gothamist couldn't turn a profit?

I guess it doesn't matter now. So long, Houstonist. My thanks and best wishes to you all.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What mamacita is...

Last one on the bandwagon is a rotten egg.



Listening to

Why am I listening to this? Even "Keep on the Sunny Side" makes we want to jump off a damn bridge.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Today in Hate: TOMS shoes

TOMS Shoes

First of all, let's get one thing straight: TOMS shoes are manufactured in China.

Now, let's review: TOMS thinks you should spend $44+ on a pair of shoes so that, along with your purchase, they can give a pair of shoes to a barefoot child in another country. They think you should spend $44+ on a pair of shoes that cost less than $1 to manufacture (in a police state by slave labor), so that they can give another pair of $1 shoes to a child. I'm no math whiz, but the way I see it they're making $42 in this deal. Or, you know, 42 pairs of shoes.

I have another idea: if you want a shoddy pair of cloth shoes that was made in China, why don't you buy a pair at your local dollar store? That leaves you $43 to invest at Kiva, where you might actually make a difference to a struggling family overseas.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I Need a Favor

It's been raining for about 3 weeks straight, and the water is starting to rise in the neighborhood. I nearly floated the car on the way home this afternoon, and it was hard to steer with all my fingers crossed. [Emmet was in the back seat cowering at the thunder and telling me, "I told you there would be flash floods!" Fortunately for him, I was too focused on driving to reach back and strangle him.]

Anyway, I'm stuck at home for a while, and I need you all to get to your blogs and start posting incredibly compelling content. I keep reaching the end of the internet, and I need something to distract me from the Kit Kats in my freezer. My gray pants are getting tight, and this is clearly all your fault.

To get you started: What is your favorite thing to do when it rains?

My favorite thing to do when it rains is curl up in the bed with the kiddos and watch movies with rainy scenes. Last week we watched My Neighbor Totoro and Mary Poppins; today they requested Howl's Moving Castle.

Friday, July 2, 2010

What mamacita is...

It's too hot to do anything besides read and watch movies.

Very funny, and so very true. I read his column in Salon from time to time; some of those pieces are reused here, and expanded; others are new. You should definitely read this.

It's been a while since I read an honest-to-God page-turner, but this was one. It wasn't that suspenseful, really, but I was really invested in the characters and wanted to see how it all turned out. I found it a bit rough going in the beginning (i.e. sad) but well worth it for the comedy that ensues.


Highly enjoyable. I had my doubts about this one, but in the end I really liked it. If you're on the fence, feel free to jump in. Also, I don't know if anyone else has ever pointed this out, but George Clooney is not unpleasant to look at.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What mamacita is ...



I Am Love is one of the most (visually) beautiful movies I've seen. And, honestly, Tilda Swinton ... enough said. All of it was well done -- acting, directing, writing, and the COSTUMES -- Lord have mercy, those were beautiful clothes.

Last weekend inadvertently turned into an Italian film fest. When I went to see I Am Love, I saw that Mid-August Lunch was also playing. The poster intrigued me, even though I'd never heard anything about the movie. Papi let me sneak out two days in a row, and I did enjoy it. But if you only get a chance to steal away to one movie at the art house, it should be I Am Love.