Saturday, November 28, 2009

If asked to make a list of favorite music videos from this decade...

...this one would be near the top:

For the record, this list will never happen. The less meaningless pursuits I partake in, the better! I'll leave that to Pitchfork and the A.V. Club (because they get paid to do this stuff), then complain about the obvious omissions, just like everyone else. HA!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Brother Ali on Thanksgiving (via Twitter)

Brother Ali 2
Brother Ali at the Pyramid Cabaret: October 10th, 2007

The Minneapolis emcee sums up how I kinda feel about the Yankee holiday (and the Canuck version) in a handful of posts: (one/two/three/four)
So, in other words, quit yer bitchin' for one day and take a moment to appreciate everything that's amazing around you. Now that's what Thanksgiving is all about to me.
I know I'm one to talk, but being thankful about life in general everyday is a step in the right direction. Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Yankee homies.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Off the Wagon

Shaw Remote
Here comes trouble.

My wife and I were offered two months of free cable by the good folks at Shaw – no strings. We said, "sure." As I had mentioned in a previous post, I kicked TV out of my life three years ago, or at least TV in my own home.

Now it's back. And I'm somewhat uneasy. I shouldn't be. I mean, I'm able to exhibit a certain amount of self-control...for the past three or so weeks, I've quit energy drinks and excessive snacking. So far, so good. Procrastination, however, has quite a hold on me and I'd hate for TV to be an additional agent of distraction.

Even though I'm chained to the internet, I've gotten way more done over the past little bit without TV around, and I aim to keep it that way. Personally, I'm sticking to three things TV-wise:
  1. Wrestling. Well, duh. Thanks to Figure Four Weekly, I realized I missed all of the good shit WWE was doing via RAW in 2005, and I often cursed myself for cutting my TV service. Time to play catch-up and see how horrible some of these newer folks on the roster are. Hell, I'm even going to watch the continuity-challenged TNA! I'm that committed to "the sport".
  2. Food Network. Utopian TV. Unless Ramsay is yelling at some hapless fucker, or Jamie is reaching out to troubled youth via cuisine, there's nothing wrong in the Food Network universe. Famine, war, racism – non-existent. Who needs drugs with type of action? Plus, any excuse to watch Nigella cook is a good one.
  3. Discovery Channel. Mythbusters (Oh, Kari...), Daily Planet, and Cash Cab. 'Nuff said.
Time to dust off the VCR (shut up).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Random Thoughts: November 22nd, 2009 – Lucky Number Seven!

Lucky Number Seven!
Feelin' that seven year itch.
  • November 8th, 2002. That's when I started this blog, with only a rather vague notion of what blogging was and what it was capable of.
    I'd say that this blog has pretty much stayed true to its roots: it's about me, and the stuff I like! I still mention my personal struggles, but I'm complaining a lot less. I did enough of that in my 20s. One thing I know for sure, is that I really enjoy writing, and I hope you kinda dig what I'm putting down. I thank you very much for reading The Place Where Al Dwells... Here's to another seven years (God willing)!
    I need to give this place a face-lift before that anniversary comes around.

  • Still Bill. See this film. I implore you. Never will you see a man more sure of what he wants in life and how he sees things. He's the epitome of soul and wisdom. Props to Scott Campbell for hooking up the Winnipeg premier poster.

  • Eating healthier. I'm making little changes: smaller portions, healthier snacking – not to mention less snacking, more water, and switching to Diet Pepsi and Coke Zero. I haven't had a sip of Amp in three or so weeks, which is quite a change from ten cans a week. Now I just have to do something about that exercise thing.

  • Jonas Bergstrand. Totally blown away by his work. Kudos to Grain Edit for putting me on to this man.

  • That's pretty much it! Bedtime. Truthfully, I should put an end to this turning-in-at-5:30/6 AM thing, but it probably won't happen. I'm stubborn.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I needed this bit of awesomeness in my life.

View this joint a lil' larger by going here and click "all sizes".

This beauty that I picked up from Harajuku resides between my computer and drawing desks. I hope it serves to inspire me for years to come. By the way, if you haven't read the translated Rockin' Jelly Bean interview on Juxtapoz, you should.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Dream Recollection 5: November 7th, 2009

Just had a dope dream. Forgive me for rambling...I just woke up, and I'm trying to remember everything.
I was part of a WWE event in a stadium. Strangely, I never saw a ring, and there was WAY more talking that there should have been. Even more strange: there was a children's choir involved, with WWE talent interspersed. That talent included me and some giant black dude I had never seen before. Things started to take off when I decided to quit in the middle of this convoluted angle, convinced that Vince McMahon – who was on air with us – was "playing the race card", and I wasn't having it. So, I angrily ripped off my tie (?) and confronted him. Naturally, he was pissed. I can't remember if there were cheers, but I'd like to think there were. I think there was security intervention, too. I was then demoted to "tarp layer" ("This is your job now," spat Vince.). Did I mention it was raining? Looking at this large bag that had tarp with ads on it, I decided that it wasn't for me. Besides that, folks were already putting tarp out on the field.

So, I decided to leave. While choosing an elevator, Lil' Wayne appeared. Of course, "A Milli" was playing in the background, and he jokingly smacked me on the ass with a wad of cash. Y'know, just to say "whut up?"

From there, things get a little foggy. There was a cool 90s soundtrack, probably based on some of the stuff that Co-op was spinning at the Art of Storytelling last night; plus these archaic, scratchy, yet color-saturated filmed vignettes of dating tips for girls.

So now, we're either on the second day of taping, or coming back from a long-ass commercial break, but Vince is making the rounds of the stadium, surrounded by cops. Somehow, I'm able to get close enough to trade middle fingers with him rather passionately. Getting outside of the stadium, I saw real-life WWE road agent Rick Steamboat, running in the rain, yelling something into the headset he was wearing. Me and some disembodied voice admired him, as we both knew that "he's still got it".

From there, a riot broke out, possibly stemming from my firing/demotion, and two runaway escalators injured and/or killed people. One of these escalators had jaws, and several people were released from its grasp. One female victim of the mouthed escalator breathed a sigh of relief, only to find that large, clean, cartoonish chunks were taken out of her. Death was imminent but it didn't come for her while my mind's camera was on her. She was comforted by folks nearby, one of whom told her that she should wear a certain outfit in her coffin, as she would look really hot. Macabre? Yes. But she seemed happy to oblige.

Cut to another dating vignette, then to a party, where The Rock – temporarily out of retirement – is practicing a promo. There's much slow-motion revelry and confetti, plus a great, poppy Sonic Youth/Choir Practice-sounding track in the background, melding my 90s nostalgia with something present. And I totally scooped the girl at the end. My line: "You haven't had any cake yet!" I think she was a combo of this girl I went to college with (ain't naming names) and Penina Segall from the 80s sitcom Sister Kate. How's that for obscure? She's the cutie in the wheelchair.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Random Thoughts: November 1st, 2009

Darren Merinuk
King Merinuk! Taken at a Dirtbombs show in 2006.
  • In the Rubber Room. I'd like to take this opportunity to give my man Darren Merinuk some shine, as he's one of the reasons I'm doing posters. Basically, I just wanted to kick as much ass as he has in the service of good music and all things cool. Lately, he's been tooting his own horn via his blog, In the Rubber Room, and believe me, it's a been a long time coming. As much as this dude does stuff on an international level (record labels and magazines throughout the US and Europe have utilized his talent), he's a rather quiet fellow that isn't known as well as he should be in his hometown, IMHO. Go to his blog, and get familiar. You won't regret it.

  • RAW! My homies DJ Brace and Birdapres recently put their heads together and created the dopeness that is RAW. Bird on the beats, Brace on the cuts. Such a simple formula; RAW is an apt title. You need to experience this, so get your ass on over to so you can see what I'm fussin' about.

  • Peter de Sève interview. This is simply the most entertaining interview I've heard with an illustrator, and the fact that the subject is one of my illustration heroes doesn't hurt at all. Props to the guys at Sidebar for asking all of the right questions. Get it here. Hey, while you're at it, read Peter's blog!

  • Bed time. Peace.