April 30, 2010

The future is a week from tomorrow

It's Friday, and you would know what that means if I could ever stick to a posting schedule. That's right, it's Do What I Tell You To Do Day, and I have two recommendations. First, the traditional mp3 link. In celebration of the upcoming album by the New Pornographers (streaming here for a few more days), here's a hard-to-find bonus track from the Japanese edition of their outrageously catchy 2005 album "Twin Cinema": "High Art, Local News". It's an outtake from the same recording sessions, and there's no particular reason it should've been left off the album except that all the other songs are just as good, and the New Pornographers know the value of an album that doesn't wear out its welcome by going on and on and on.

Second, may I direct your attention to Dystopia Gardens, a hilarious hybrid of a play and a sketch comedy revue. It's a difficult balancing act, sending up sci-fi cliches while telling a coherent story via the points of view of dozens of different characters, and being ow-my-sides funny the whole way through -- but they pull it off. It's sort of like a sci-fi "Life of Brian", except with only two guys doing all the parts and with indoor plumbing. Really...memorable indoor plumbing. Anyway, it was scheduled to end in April but has been extended for four more performances, so you should totally go see it.

Posted by Francis at 02:28 AM | Comments (1)

April 21, 2010

What's the Buzz?

It's time once again for my latest Onion crossword. The theme in this one is pretty straightforward, but I went overboard on the amount of theme material -- of the nonblack squares, 92 are themed and 91 aren't. The word count is low too (74 words); I originally had another black square breaking up 14- and 65-Across, but the fill in the upper left was weaker with the black square in. Anyway, that's all the sort of thing that only matters to other crossword constructors; feel free to just enjoy the puzzle and not give any thought to how masterful and painstaking my cruciverbal work was.

(Live the carefree life of a crossword solving person with Across Lite. Or solve from a pdf instead.)

Posted by Francis at 02:36 PM | Comments (1)

April 18, 2010

Mockery only encourages me

Recently I was contacted by someone from VH1 who asked if they could use some photos from the tie project for a show they were producing which would include a segment on men who wear unusual ties. I said, well, I was interested in hearing more, so I asked them to give me a call...and learned that it was for a show called "Undateable" (based on a recent book). "But it's not as bad as it sounds!" I was assured. "There's a positive spin too!" Uh-huh, I thought, imagining that the positive spin would be about the myriad benefits of not dressing like a weirdo. Still, I was possibly interested in the opportunity of counter-mocking the show for its narrow view of what makes someone dateworthy (since I have my own views on the subject, as outlined in this video that longtime readers of this blog will recall), so I said, well, let me know which photos you want to use so I can give you individual permission for those -- I wanted to make sure that the outfits represented would be ones I thought were actually successful -- and let me know what you're able to offer as compensation for the use of the images. ("We can offer you a little," I was told, "but not too much. You know, the economy.")

Anyway, I never heard back from them after that. Presumably they thought I was too difficult to deal with, since I didn't want to have my outfits made fun of for free on TV. Oh well.

However, this did remind me that I've been letting the Tie Project languish. I've fallen out of the habit of taking daily photos, and hopefully I'll pick that up, but in the meantime, I should at the very least post some of the backlog of pictures I actually did take but never got around to posting. After day 272, I have no idea what order most of the rest got taken in, so rather than try to stay in chronological order, I'll just post whichever ones I feel like. Anyway, here are some more outfits you won't see on VH1 (unless they try to ignore the "non-commercial" part of my Creative Commons license, in which case they'll be paying me after the fact):

Day 258. Yowza! Loud enough outfit to restart the project, you think? I wouldn't wear this on a date, incidentally. Not on a first date at least.


Day 259. Meh. I probably haven't worn this outfit since the first try. The tie's a little too bright for the shirt, which is itself maybe a little too boring.


Day 260. Not too bad. This shirt is hard to match so I just went with something mostly black-and-white that had a hint of purple in it.


Day 261. A lot of extraneous colors in the tie here. I think part of the reason I was undermotivated to post this batch was because I didn't love a lot of the outfits that were coming up next.


Day 262. Now this is more like it. The orange in the shirt and tie isn't in the fab vest from Lorinne, but it fits in pretty smoothly.


Day 263. Not as flashy as yesterday, but I like this combo too. The tie is hand-dyed by an eccentric fellow in the East Village who sells clothes from his stoop. I think it was a kid's tie, because it's awfully short.


Day 264. I got this tie at a friend's wedding; it belonged to the groom's grandfather. I told him I liked it and explained the tie project to him, and he said that he actually hated wearing ties -- and then he took the opportunity to remove it and give it to me instead, so that I could enjoy it and he didn't have to keep wearing it.


Day 265. I know this is a lot of photos to post at once, but now that I'm past the bad outfits, I want to post more of the ones I actually like.


But maybe that's enough for now. Best wishes to you, VH1, in all your future endeavors in this difficult economy of ours.

Posted by Francis at 02:58 AM in Ties | Comments (6)