Tuesday, January 29, 2008

the new mars volta album is quite good...

...but I'm still not used to Omar's in-your-face style of production. Most of these songs are little armies, full of personality and life, that are constantly bombarded by some fire breathing alien life form, smashing drums and squealing horns.

Clarification, maybe: every single song on this album is great. It's a wonderful album. But my brain kind of works like this:

Put album in CD player. Start car. Wish I had a good sound system besides the one in the car. Begin to drive. HOLY SHIT music. This is loud. And it's kind of...okay, it's definitely loud. I like it, it's nifty. I wish there was a song here...oh there it is. And it is MIGHTY FINE. Yes this is good, keep going with the...ah, it's loud again. Man, this guy pounds the shit out of his drums. He's fucking good. Okay, whenever the song does this, I'm gonna listen to the drums because this guy is fucking great. Okay...here comes the noise...wow. I wish I wasn't wasting so much gas. I saw a funny T-shirt today that said "Some Blood for Oil." Haha. It's so true. I love having gas in the car. Hey this sounds different. Check CD player. Oh, this is song two. Wow, that was SEAMLESS. And it's still noisy. Hm hm hm. Tap fingers on the steering wheel. Air drum. This guy just keeps going, does he do this live? Cedric's voice is good. Oh music I can understand again. Alright, sweet.

And on and on. Cedric talking in a robot voice makes me sit up and pay attention. The mad grooves on this album, they make me giddy. I like them. And most of the album is this way. I have a feeling that after a few more listens I'll be able to sift through that strange manic alien sound machine that keeps coming down to fuck with the songs. Find out maybe that there's a lot of interesting and unique things going on there, too. Or maybe not, whatever. Point being: "The Bedlam in Goliath" is really very good, their best since "De-loused", and it will maybe take up more time in my CD player than Lupe Fiasco's "The Cool" and Unkle's "War Room". Maybe.

Currently reading: "Tree of Smoke" by Denis Johnson

Sunday, January 27, 2008


I'm pretty sure watching SNL play worldless on a tiny TV screen was a defense mechanism. Until I acclimated I kept my eyes on a steady track, float down to the TV screen, up to the poster on the wall, down to Rios, say something, look at Shelly saying something, look at Katie saying something, back to Rios, back to the TV. My throat was closed, the music was loud, I'd have to raise my voice to be heard so I just smiled. The crowd of people shoved their asses into crotches and danced and danced and threw their hands up and went 'oh.' Rap music is loud. Rios had a drink that was green-blue and smelled like Everclear. We asked for no Everclear. When we asked Shelly what it was, she explained that it was Mountain Dew and Everclear. Rios traded it for a red drink with Tequila in it. I had a Keystone Light or Lite, I can't remember. It was cold.

People danced and Rios and I noticed that as soon as a group of girls would start dancing, a young man with shaggy hair would appear out of nowhere, all face and alcohol, and he'd be in the middle of everything, grabbing booty, tits, hips, whatever, and holding his beer in one hand, always.

There was a walkie talkie hanging from the wall and I asked about it and Katie told me, That's random. Random. If you knew the girl who lives here it'd make more sense. Later on that evening, she had a dance off with a black guy that could pop his ass and move over the carpet like it was ice. I was impressed and laughed and I only had two beers the entire time. A group of Air Force guys were there, and one of them had a bluetooth and seemed very small for his clothes and talked how a select group of young white people seem to think young black men talk and sometimes, inexplicably, he would lift his shirt as he was talking, as an exclamation point, almost.

There was beer pong which I did not play. I almost did, for a second, someone needed a partner and I said "okay" and threw one ball before an alpha male in a horrible green shirt that was opened slightly at the top yelled that it was his beer and he and his friend, a young black man who dressed handsomely and who earlier had high fived me and explained that he was smashed son, fuckin smashed, nigga, were going to play. So I sat in one of those fold out camping chairs, made from the kind of material that makes you shiver if you scratch your fingernails over it, and I watched and listened to Rios and Shelly talk and then Rios and I left. We were there for two hours, and this party was like no other one I'd been too. I've been to bigger ones, but never with so many good looking people, so few (that is, none) punks, and no fights or aggressive activity. It was polished, loud, fun, and there were tons of drunk bitches. And it was hot, let me tell you.

Friday, January 25, 2008

is daniel plainview really evil?

2007 has given me two of my favorite movies.

There Will Be Blood was fucking awesome. Excellent. Among many things, including the music, the cinematography, the first appearance of that one guy from "The Mummy" since "The Mummy", Day-Lewis absolutely killed it and turned Daniel Plainview into my new hero. Sorry, Captain Planet.


I like Rotten Tomatoes, even though their Beta version looks like shit. However, I can't for the life of me understand why their synopsis for this movie calls Plainview "a consummately evil man."

Why was he evil?

Because he hated people? There's nothing inherently evil about misanthropy. It's a preference.

Because he bought up poor farmer's land to use for oil drilling? That's business, people. He never strong armed anyone that I can remember, though he did pay people significantly low sums of money. Which is business. Don't hate the man, hate capitalism, you pussy.

Because he developed a drinking problem? People with drinking problems are evil?

Because he killed the man pretending to be his brother? I'd've popped that fool too.

Because he sent his deaf son away when the kid lit shit on fire? He doesn't know how to handle people, he panicked, and he regretted it. Evil?

Because he called his son a "bastard in a basket"? Come on, the kid was leaving him to start his own business. He was watching maybe the one person he loved become the kind of person he hated most: a competitor. He reacted with alcoholic rage.

And finally, because he murdered that preacher? That tension had been simmering the whole flick. And that little bastard was easily more crooked than Plainview was.

I don't buy him as an evil man. I'm thinking of the scenes where he shows love to his son. The scene where he promises to cut the throat of the man who "tells him how to run his family".

You see his regret at having a brother he never knew. You see his sadness through the annoyance at the revival scene, where the preacher makes him say that he's abandoned his son.

And finally you see it in what I think is the pivotal scene in the movie. The key to understanding his character. Or at least where it dawned for me. When he's in the bar and the important oil men walk in, watch it very carefully. It demonstrates how Daniel's love for his son parallels that of his business, and how the two go hand in hand.

If you take the first scene between Plainview and the oil men, where they are offering to buy his land and where he subsequently turns them down, you'll notice that he becomes enraged at two things: that they feel that he is not capable of building the pipeline, and that he is not capable of dealing with his son.

By the time of the scene in the restaurant, Plainview has successfully built the pipeline, and has brought his son back from exile. He succeeded in one endeavor but not the other. Though he regrets it, he has failed as a father. However, notice as he goes to the oil men's table to gloat about the pipeline, he repeats the line about "telling him how to run his family". That is his focus. Even though his son is bitter toward him, his success as a father is what he brags about. This means many things. One, it shows himself almost trying to convince himself of his worth as a father, and on that note is quite sad. Secondly, and most importantly, it shows that his son is really inseperable from his success at his job. The two are interchangable, both things he wishes to succeed at. Finally, it shows that, as is also demonstrated in the final scene between him and his son, that his son is the face of his success. The cute face that sells his business and makes him successful. And it makes you wonder if that's not why he loves his son so much in the first place.


Go up to the City and watch it. It's awesome.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

cloverfield first impressions

I don't like writing reviews, I more just ramble. Sorry. If you haven't seen it, don't read this.

"Cloverfield" is sort of clever, and sort of very scary, at least in the beginning. It has no climax really.

The special effects, I hate to say, need improvement. While some of it is great (the night vision bugs, the monster getting bombed, etc.) other scenes look ridiculous (the monster up close).

The acting in any other movie would be considered terrible. So I won't pretend like it's not. It's soap acting and soap panicking and soap running. Okay maybe I made the last part up, but this chick runs from monsters in her heels, I mean come on.

What's good about it is the sense of terror you get watching it. If you suspend the disbelief for even a second, this shit is scary. There were scenes where I had my mouth open.

The black guy next to me informed me that he thought it was wack. I disagreed, but could see where he was coming from.

The bugs look like Starship Trooper bugs.

Nobody said "fuck" once the whole movie. There was some R gore, though, for sure. How they got away with the soldier's open chest cavity and the chick exploding I'll never know.

Who would have thought that the only survivor would be the brother's girlfriend?

What did you guys think?

Friday, January 11, 2008


The new Lupe Fiasco album is fantastic. The beats and flows are insane. It seems kind of like he's still kind of finding his voice as an emcee because it's kind of all over the place, but it's still quality shit. Check it out.

My dog is bad but I'm trying to improve her. I think the key is to be consistent. Always be there to correct and reward.

Went to eat pizza at Falcone's and drank coffee at Starbucks in Bricktown. Rios and I went to check out the new bowling lounge by the canal under the Starbucks and the hostess looked at us like, "Uh-huh" and we realized that everyone in there looked rich and white. I had half the equation down but not so for Rios so we split and went home and watched Dave Chapelle's Block Party.

I'm about to begin some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training. I need to scrape together about $200, but the class is waiting. I'm ready to get my ass kicked by some soccer moms. Bring it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Raintree County

The Book Stall on Main had "Pillars of the Earth." Didn't take long to get there. Next to a yoga parlor and an exotic Asian goods store. Inside the bookseller has it waiting for me, spine broken.

Seller rings me up and says, Good author. Good book. Have you been here before?


He's old and friendly and his front teeth are gigantic. Four dollars.

I reach into my pocket. The bills are wadded up.

You go to school out here at OU?

Yes sir. I do, I'm a student at OU, the university. I pull the bills free.

He takes them. What are you studying?

I tell him that it's creative writing.

He says, Oh, that's what I used to do. Write. Wrote a play once, probably something I'd be embarrassed to look back on, but I got it made. But I gave it up. But I got into the book field. Got four of these shops open around town. Try to read everything that comes in, but gave up on that. Used to work at the newspaper, used to be a printer's devil.

Printer's devil?

Yeah, printer's devil. Like a janitor.

Oh. Very cool.

I go around to the other side of the counter, towards the door. The bookseller says, I want to recommend a book to you. It's called Raintree County. They're reprinting it for the first time in I believe fourty years.

Who's the author?

Ross Lockridge, Jr. They made a movie of it. Butchered it. He killed himself over it. Must have worked on it forever. I believe he worked to about fifteen or sixteen drafts. Liz Taylor was in it.

And he just killed himself?

Yeah, and for the longest time no one could figure out why he did it. This young guy, must've made a fortune, the book was a great success, and he just offed himself. I think it's because they butchered his book when they made it into a film.

I promise to check out the book and leave. I get into my car and go home, the whole time secretly hoping that this old man was the one who wrote Raintree County, that he faked his death to escape the spotlight and retired to Oklahoma, more content in selling books then writing them.

I look at Wikipedia. Raintree County the book was published the same year Lockridge poisoned himself with carbon monoxide, 1948. The film wasn't made until 1957.

In the credits to the film they misspell his name, listing him as Ross Rockridge, Jr.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Working at Kirkland's sometimes I poke my head out the front doors and look out at the people walking by. Kids screaming because the playplace is right there. Today I saw this guy in a Led Zepplin t-shirt and he was staring at a girl with big doe eyes in a white sweater with pink flowers on it. She was staring at Dippendots. The way he stared with his mouth kind of slack squishing his stubbled double chin might seem creepy through words but his eyes actually looked at her without lust. More like longing. You will only ever see guys look like that once in a blue moon. So you tend to remember it.

Got tips on how to better crush my trash in the compactor from the janitor who used to manage a grocery store until him and seven of his friends caravaned to Oklahoma to live in a house on a few acres for $25 grand. He wears glasses and his greased ponytail combs over a large bald spot. He's friendly.

I watched this movie, "Election", it's from Hong Kong. I had no idea what the fuck was going on the first two thirds, but there is a neat sword fight and the end is good so it's okay in my book. Certainly not "The Best Film of the Year" so fuck off Quentin Tarantino.

I finished reading my second book of the year. I set my goal at 50.

The first was a reread of "No Country for Old Men."

The second was "I Pass Like Night" by Jonathan Ames. Good shit, but I'm a sucker for the "Catcher in the Rye" formula. This book, "Hairstyles of the Damned", and "The Average American Male" all have appealed to me. Same vignette style, same lack of a plot, same concentration on one character's development. I don't know why I like these kinds of books so much. The next one of this kind might be "Snow White and Red Russia" by this Polish writer. Same idea.

I'm halfway through my third, "Drown" by Junot Diaz. Good stuff so far.

After that I've got "The Alphabet Versus the Goddess" by Leonard Shlain, maybe something by Tom Piccirilli, and "The Fighter" by Craig Davidson. I need suggestions. I really want to read "The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett but I'm scared how far back that would set me as far as my 50 book goal goes.

Have a great day.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

fist pounder

The new Radiohead album is great.

I want to see "There Will Be Blood" but it's not showing anywhere around OKC anytime soon.

I went to the bank today. It was the one on Main because the one by Blockbuster was closed. It's clean and white inside and everything seems to be new and square. When I was there I saw a woman lose her shit. She made a payment for something and the receipt showed that she'd made it on 1/07/08 which is due to a technicality with "business days" and whatnot. But the bank clerk explained that the funds should go through and that there shouldn't be a problem. She turned to her husband saying "They've got me heated already" and I thought she was being a bit silly. The bank clerk said "Sorry" and the angry woman said "I want you to write down, just get something on official paper that says I did this on the 5th" and clerk said she couldn't and the lady said "Well, when I get the $39 late fee you're gonna split it with me." The clerk said "Ma'am we're...not responsible for that." The lady began to yell and growl. Many 'fucks' were said. There was tension everywhere. I laughed as I watched, because it was funny. On one hand I felt bad for the clerks because it's not their fault, remember people, it is NEVER the clerk's fault for bank policy. It's also not the bank's fault, clerk or no, that you waited until the last second to pay your bill and maybe now you're going to get that $39 fee you're pounding your fist about. On the lady's side, though, it is bullshit that there is such a thing as a "business day" and if you paid for something on the 5th you should get credit for that and not have to pay a fee.

Christ that's a long paragraph. Anyway.

New Y the Last Man is coming. I'm excited. The new Northlanders was good, as was the new "Omega the Unknown". Anyone who digs Lethem will dig his comic series.

That's it for now. Later.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year's and the Flaming Lips

Let me tell you about New Years. It was about two days ago.

Rios and I watched "The Bourne Ultimatum." It was solid and the fight between the assassins in Tangiers was fantastic.

We left for the city at about 8. Found five dollar parking in Bricktown after fifteen minutes of cruising outside the Cox Communication Center.

Come in at about 9. Stardeath and White Dwarves are ending their set. Whatever.

We kick kids out of our seat. We get laser pointers. The stadium is hot, and smoky. I watch the people in the crowd and everyone points at other people with their lasers. There is a man with dreadlocks and an umbrella hat and he is covered in Christmas lights. There is a girl with large pink hair. A man dressed as a Centurion and an astronaut.

The group of people in front of us are drunk and fun to watch. The show begins and they dance and fall over. I laugh and Rios laughs. The couple next to us gets offended and I hear, "It's really a self-reflection" and they leave. The man says "Excuse me" when he leaves like he's just pissed at the world and I'm not sure if the girl he's with is drunk or just can't keep up because they charge up the stairs with her headlocked and bent over. Thinking back on that, I wonder why they left that way. Hopefully they fucked and it all ended well.

You can't spend time worrying about other people at a kickass time like that, or you're just a tool and it's obvious that you prefer bitching to fun.

The show was loud and they played songs and there were lights during "Vein of Stars." It was great and typical of the Flips. I think I've seen them too much lately. I know their sets well, down to Wayne's speeches between songs.

Bohemian Rhapsody was fun to sing.

When we got home Rios put "Guero" by Beck on Jimmy's radio and we danced and I drank a fourth of that bottle of Basil Hayden's. Rios made spaghetti, it was the shit. My nose felt stuffed so I thought it'd be a good idea to drink tabasco. I drank some. Then my lips burned. So I drank milk.

Some combination of the three released upon my skin some horrible rash. Red like a burn victim and spreading over my back, I calmly informed Rios that I needed to induce vomiting. So I did. It was massive, crusting a half inch on top of the toilet water. Spaghetti noodles lodged in my throat.

I laughed about it and so did Rios but she claimed the smell was horrible. I threw up a bit on my socks, and the next day I forgot about that and wore the socks again.