He Has His Father's Eyes

I hadn't looked at the JLO twin baby pictures until today because I really don't care what JLO does…until now. As Gawker points out, one of her babies might end up playing a significant role in future events. I mean, just look at that thing! Color me profoundly disturbed.

I especially love the juxtaposition of the unsuspecting smile above the calculating baby head. It almost looks like a movie poster. This kid is one to watch!

NFT Radar: Blue Onion Bistro

X-Posted from Not For Tourists.

Lovers of kitsch (myself included) can’t help but be drawn in by the fifties-style blue exterior of this converted gas station. Continue to delight in the knick-knack adorned walls and velvet paintings of the interior. If you’re like me, you may also recognize their Ikea chairs. But the sign outside Blue Onion Bistro isn’t boasting “Seattle’s Most Comfortable Dining Room.” No, no. It’s “Seattle’s Best Comfort Food.” That is, if “comfort” is code for “greasy.” Blue Onion’s menu of traditional down-home cooking is served for dinner (excluding Monday) and weekend brunch. Dishes like Chicken Fried Steak and Hotdog Mac and Cheese Bake are delicious for the first couple of bites, but soon become overwhelming if you aren’t used to that much oil. If you decide to clean your plate, know that the meatloaf you just inhaled is going to take up residence in your stomach for the next 12 hours. The vegetarian dishes aren’t exempt from the oil-sploitation either. If your mama raised you on heavy cooking, you’ll feel right at home at the Blue Onion. But I prefer to get my comfort from a bento box.

5801 Roosevelt Way NE 98105
206-729-0579
http://www.theblueonionbistro.com

Today's Unsurprising Celeb Headlines

Richie Sambora Busted for DUI.


Gah!

Robin Williams' Wife Files for Divorce. In this case “Irreconcilable Differences” means “I woke up one morning and realised I was married to an annoying schmuck.”

Social Unrest Hits Home. Again.

Saturday, even after a very lovely day of BBQing and pokering and general merriment, our little love nest was once again invaded by some jerks. Beer had been flowing steadily since 4pm so we had some people crashing out in our guest room which is why, even though I currently sleep with a knife under my mattress ever since the robbery, I wasn't immediately startled when I was awoken by a noise at 3:30am. At first I thought perhaps it was one of our guests causing the banging noise. But the banging continued and I became increasingly concerned (and awake). I tried to wake B. who had only recently finished expelling the beer of the day. I asked if he heard the noise. “Uuuuuuuuh”, he responded. So I said I was going to check it out myself. Again, I thought it was just a pre-ordained house guest, so I wasn't too worried about it. I was just going to see if they needed some help!

But as I left the bedroom, I saw both house guests slumbering soundly in the guest room. This gave me pause and I grabbed my knife. The sound had been coming from the basement and the light was on, but I think it had already been on from our rad band recital earlier. Anyway, as I walked down the basement stairs, I noticed a draft and then I saw that the basement window was utterly shattered. There was a broom handle sticking through the window, so I ran back upstairs and peeked into the back yard. I didn't see anyone there so I went back upstairs to the bedroom and woke B. up, all the way this time. I told him what I'd seen and this seemed to aid in his becoming more lucid. Unfortunately we were both still a little drunk. Nevertheless, he grabbed a bat and we both walked around the house looking out the windows. I saw that the gate was open and surmised that a person entered through there and used our broom to smash the basement window but, having seen me running down the stairs, possibly even seeing the knife, decided to take off.

In the morning, we learned that they had also stolen our solar lights that lined the front walkway and brutalized our mail box. I was pretty freaked out. B. only slightly less so.

After our guests departed, we decided to call the cops. I didn't think to call them when it happened because a) the person(s) were already gone and b) last time, the cop that was dispatched wasn't a very big help so I didn't feel like dealing with someone who wasn't going to be helpful at 4 in the morning.

When the cops arrived, we showed them what had happened and they came to much the same conclusion that we had. Someone tried to break in but, for whatever reason, changed their minds. One of the cops, who looked like this:

gave me a bit of a lecture about brandishing a knife. He said that in most cases, the weapon is taken away from the homeowner and used on them so it's better to be unarmed. He also gave us some advice on how to beef up security. We were already working on getting those curtains put in so we don't live in as much of a fishbowl. We are also going to get some motion sensor lights and a security system. His advice for next time (considering this is the second home invasion in 3 months!) is to stay upstairs and call 911 right away. I see his point. If the perp hadn't seen me, he might have stuck around and the cops could have come and nabbed him. On the other hand, I'm less than enthusiastic about lulling a perp into my home with a false sense of security, on the off chance that it takes the cops a while to get there. Either way: WFT?!

I'm just starting to realize how exposed we really are. In the event of a zombie epidemic or other apocalyptic scenarios, House of B.P. must be evacuated for higher ground. We will immediately head to the homes of our friends in second floor or higher condos. Or maybe we should build a moat.

My co-worker mentioned that crime is up everywhere due to the recession. I can understand that. Seeing as how we didn't get our pay checks on Friday, I know that money is tight. And there's always desperate people in the world, but it's shitty that it was us again. And so soon.

Funny Games: A Critical Essay on a 1/2 Dimentional Film

Austrian filmmaker, Michael Haneke, sure thinks a lot of his “ideas”. He has come to the conclusion that people have not only become desensitized to violence, but that we crave it in our cinema. And that makes us jerks. Jerks who must be punished. By him.

The punishment comes in the form of Funny Games, a film deemed so important by the filmmaker, that he made it twice: First in 1997 in his native country and then again in 2008, shot for shot and in English, because he knows that many Americans would miss an Austrian film. Well, it turns out most Americans will miss the film in English. I am among the unhappy few.

It begins with Ann, George and George Jr. Farber, an uninteresting yuppie family, driving to their vacation home. They are immediately unlikeable but that's OK because torture is on the horizon. What you don't know is that it will be you, the audience, who is tortured.

The Farbers arrive at their home and proceed to settle in. Ann (Naomi Watts) sets about cooking dinner while the Georges (Tim Roth, lacking the deliciousness of his bad guy characters, and wide-eyed child Devon Gearhart) work on their boat. Of course they have a boat.

After an excruciatingly long period of watching the family “be real”, a young man dressed in white arrives at the door asking to borrow some eggs. (The white outfit is no doubt meant to invoke A Clockwork Orange, one of many superior films with a similar message.) He “accidentally” drops them and then asks for some more. It slowly dawns on Ann that she isn't in control of the situation and she begrudgingly complies in order to get him to leave. Eventually, he does, but of course later returns with his companion played by the once cherubic Michael Pitt. (Does anyone besides me remember him as the sweet, fawning Henry on Dawson's Creek?!) Soon, but not nearly soon enough, the would-be Droogs make it clear that they are there eff up some white suburban azz.

Here's where things get interesting. Or at least they would have in the hands of a thoughtful auteur. But Haneke would have none of this, how do you say, story and character. “You want torture?” he implicitly asks. “Ooh, yes please!” say my $9. “Well, here's your torture! It will all happen off camera under the ruse that the audience's brain naturally draws more horrific conclusions, but really it's because I am prudish and lack imagination, as proven by the fact that I made a film whose sole purpose is to reprimand people who like violent movies.”


Oh, Henry!

This isn't an interpretation of a subtle film either. He says as much in interviews, but moreover, has his characters say it. Directly to the audience. Michael Pitt's antagonistic Paul (or Jerry or Butthead as he sometimes refers to himself…GET IT??!!) continuously breaks the fourth wall, asking if we've had enough or who we will bet on as the victor. George asks Paul why they are doing this and Paul jokingly delivers a series of cliche excuses for his companion's motives including sexual and classicist frustration and a history of abuse. You see, they are just two evil sons of bitches getting off on hurting people. George replies that he “gets it”, as if to anticipate the audience's response to this transparent sermon. But Paul just laughs. “He gets it. That's awesome,” he cackles. It is the voice of Haneke himself condescending to the people who were foolish enough to buy a ticket. At the halfway mark, you definitely “get it”, but the movie is far from over. Haneke will continue to drive his point home for another hour. It isn't clever and it doesn't make me feel guilty for wanting to see a horror movie. It just makes me wish that I could break Haneke's knee with a golf club.

Haneck's torture of the audience doesn't stop with preachy speeches and the elimination of compelling characters and creative bloodshed. He also draws out every single action and shot to an agonizing length. The worst case of this occurs during the “eye of the storm” in which the boys leave Ann and George to their false sense of security. The audience, having seen movies before, knows that they will be back. But they don't come back until after, in a mostly still shot, George struggles to sit up despite a broken leg and Ann hobbles around the living room and kitchen in her underwear attempting to cut her bindings. Next she helps him (without any help from he with one unbroken leg) into the kitchen where they take turns blow drying a cell phone battery. I don't know how long this scene is. Maybe 20 minutes. It feels longer. But all of this non-action happens in real time. We are relieved when the boys finally come back to finish the job. Of course, that takes forever too.

Michael Haneke is wrong about his audience, anyway. Most of us don't go to violent movies because we are violent people. We enjoy them as a way to relieve aggression without actually hurting people. A Clockwork Orange, Natural Born Killers and The Devil's Rejects have messages about society but they work, in addition to being superior scripts, because there is something satisfying about watching engaging characters kill and/or die in unusual ways. I don't seek out real life violence. Hell, I'm a vegetarian. I know the difference between fiction and reality. But Haneke's smug polemic doesn't just fail because he is wrong, it also fails because he made a bad film. Twice. Perhaps he will now dedicate his life to remaking the film in every language. Perhaps too, he will eventually make a version that doesn't suck.

X-Posted from The Reel

Life Update in Pictures

Here are some things I've been up to:

January 08: B’s company Holiday Party with Sci-Fi theme.

February 08: Flew to Arizona, picked up a car and B. and drove back home.

March 08: Ides of March themed birthday party for Brick.

PS: Yes, I finally bought a flickr account. As an aspiring octogenarian, I am a late adopter.

I Love Everything About This

My God. It's a cake with a hedgehog on it, celebrating the first birthday of a real life hedgehog, also pictured, who is named Shakespeare.

From Cute Overload