Sunday, January 31, 2010

Random Thoughts: January 31st, 2010

Me on Westminster
I removed the coyote ruff, because it made shoulder-checking while driving very difficult. I'll re-attach it for walking. Not only for warmth, also looks pretty dope.
  • This jacket rules. The Canada Goose jacket I'm rocking in the photo above is a gift from my mom, who rules. Initially, we went to Cabela's looking to settle with a cheaper coat, and got talked into the Resolute Parka. Any misgivings I had about the price tag disappeared on the first day I wore it outside. It was -18ºC or something and I felt nothing. Nothing but warmth, that is. All I need is for this thing to be bullet and stab proof.

  • My Favorite 2009 Albums. I was going to elaborate on my choices, but I'm not feeling like it anymore. The last thing I want to be is boring. Here they are:

    Neko Case's Middle Cyclone
    Tanya Morgan's Brooklynati
    Nestor Wynrush's Trinnipeg!78
    Marco Polo and Torae's Double Barrel
    Grand Analog's Metropolis Is Burning
    Mayer Hawthorne's A Strange Engagement
    Mos Def's The Ecstatic
    DOOM's Born Like This
    The Foreign Exchange's Leave It All Behind

    I will speak on this last choice, however. I bought Leave It All Behind (FE's second album) on a whim, originally looking for FE member Nicolay's City Lights 2: Shibuya project at my nearest HMV. Wanting to leave with something, I picked it up and haven't regretted it for a second. It's a compelling hybrid of soul, hip hop, and shimmering washes of keyboard-y/electronic goodness that's less rap heavy than their debut, from all accounts. I really need to buy Connected when it's back in print. Now, I know this was released in 2008 – I picked this up two days short of its first anniversary – but I can't say there's another album I listened to more in 2009. Also, they got a Grammy nomination!

  • Haiti poster on podcast. This was totally unexpected, really. On their second Twitter-based episode, The Reflex Blue Show mentioned my Haiti poster. Listen for yourself! Thanks for the nod, fellas.
    While I've often disagreed with Nate Voss' views on gigposters, I haven't let that get in the way of listening to The Reflex Blue Show, or reading Nate and Donovan's blog, 36 Point. I don't know of anyone else that handles design news and opinions with the same amount of joviality and sarcasm, so they're worth checking out.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haiti Earthquake Fundraiser Poster

Haiti Earthquake Relief Fundraiser poster

If you're like me, you've been feeling rather helpless due to news about the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti. That's why I was stoked when my man Cass of Mass Appeal (cumbersome Facebook link here) asked me to donate my services to make a poster for a fund-raiser at the Lo. It's gonna be an amazing night of rappin', and all of the cash goes to Oxfam Canada.

I didn't notice it until I got home, but man...I totally had a Saul Bass thing going with this. No, I'm definitely not tooting my own horn or comparing myself to the legend; I couldn't help but notice some similarities in what I came up with. As I mentioned on the Flickr page for the poster, it was totally subconscious. Right off the top of my head, I kinda see Bass' posters for Anatomy of a Murder, Exodus, In Harm's Way, and The Man with the Golden Arm in this – all of which you can see here. I figure it's natural that I'd be influenced, as Bass has long been one of my faves.

Don't mind me. I just wanted to put everything on the table, because the last thing I'd ever want to be accused of, is biting. Okay, there are a number of other things that I'd hate to be accused of, but I digress. To paraphrase a fellow member: with the internet, never has it been so easy to rip off artwork, and to get caught doing so. Personally, I'd be mortified to be the subject of a thread like this, or this, or part of a witch hunt at You Thought We Wouldn't Notice.*

But enough about me, this is about Haiti! Simple n' plain, this is a chance to do your part, and have a damn good time in the process. I mean, look at that line-up! That's some of Winnipeg's rap elite, Holmes. Act like you know, and hit The Lo on this Monday (and every Monday, for that matter. Mass Appeal is spot!)

*I don't want it to sound like I'm hating on those folks, as they exist to expose the wack, and I support that. With that said, sometimes they get it wrong, but as far as I know, they're quick to apologize when that's the case.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

MPLS2010 - Final Post / Birthday #35

Me at Texas Roadhouse, Grand Forks, ND
Sarah at the Bad Waitress
(top to bottom) Me at Texas Roadhouse in Grand Forks, Sarah at the Bad Waitress in Minneapolis.
  • I'm home. Sarah rules for driving the whole time and setting up the entire weekend. Love you!
  • Yesterday, I had the best damn omelette I've ever tasted. My taste buds were blessed and caressed. A visit to Al's Breakfast is now an absolute must for every trip I make to this lovely city. It's super-narrow and small, so it's packed all the time. Be prepared to wait for a seat – your patience will be rewarded by kick -ass food at great prices – and end up sitting beside someone you don't know. Sarah and I were on culinary Cloud 9 after dining. I don't know how she stayed awake to drive to Grand Forks, but I'm certainly glad she did.
  • Texas Roadhouse of Grand Forks, I love you. Pleasant service, fall-off-the-bone ribs, and a handful of thick waitresses. That's all I need, really.
  • Hey...I've started to put up photos. So there.
So...I turned 35 yesterday. I've been anticipating (read: dreading) this for several weeks. What can I say? Me and the passage of time don't get along that well. I'm prone to thinking about the past and moves I should've made, but didn't*. The thing is, I'm actually in a better spot than I ever have been in my life, so really...I should just shut the fuck up and enjoy the ride before God punches my ticket. With that said, I should head to bed, because complaining ain't sexy.

*Breaking resolution #1. I'm fighting against my nature.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

MPLS2010 - Post 3

  • Today, the eating was epic.
  • If you're in town, be sure to visit Hell's Kitchen. Ralph Steadman art on the walls...instant cool points. We decided to check out their gospel brunch (complete with vocal quartet and keyboard player), and it was terrific. I had a truly filling and lovely bison burger topped with blue cheese and a side of fries. The fries were a vehicle for their amazing homemade ketchup, which couldn't be more tomato-y. Oh, I forgot to mention our starter! Two words: sausage bread. It's de-fucking-licious. Combined with Hell's Kitchen Peanut Butter, you've got toast that puts a foot in that ass. I bought a large jar of their PB for home. It had to be done.
  • We must've spent three hours at Ikea. End result: we now own a Verksam chair, which has great back support. That, and a shoehorn that looks like a snake. Ssssss!!!
  • I've admired Murray's from afar for years, and I decided that it was high time I admired it from inside. Yo...I can't remember the last time I was so stuffed AND happy. Silver Butter Knife Steak for two with potatoes au gratin, sauteed mushrooms, Caesar salad, and a mountain of shoestring onion rings. Steakgasm. Icing on the cake? Our waiter, Dennis. So suave. Fuck this graphic design and illustration shit...I wanna be him when I grow up.
  • Tomorrow: Al's Breakfast and Texas Roadhouse in Grand Forks.

MPLS2010 - Post 2

  • It's 12:13 AM. Adult Swim time. I'm preparing to sit through an episode of Bleach, and two episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist for one episode of Cowboy Bebop.
  • A packed day! Breakfast with Lon, his lovely daughter Alice, and the super-awesome Dale Flattum was terrific. Corn pancakes, y'all.
  • We went to Electric Fetus right after breakfast, followed by Robot Love, Soo Visual Arts Center, a nearby art store, and Cheapo. I'm coming back home poor.
  • Had lunch at the Bad Waitress. Food = terrific. For non-alcoholic drinks, I recommend the Robert Palmer.
  • From there, Sarah left me to my own devices at Big Brain Comics, while she found an amazing deal on shoes at Avenue.
  • Have I mentioned how much I love Big Brain? I probably have. It's the cleanest and most organized comic store I've ever been in. While there, I heard the new Tom Waits live album and Grant Hart's new solo recording. Both are great. Again, more money was spent.
  • Missed out on visiting the Who Made Who folks, so we briefly visited a nearby record store, then dined at Pizza Luce.
  • Pizza Luce is my kind of place. The staff is fun, and the menu copy is suitably cheeky. We had some of the dopest wings I've ever tasted, followed by a killer 12" pizza, and an incredible sundae. God-willing, I'll be back.
  • In the morning, Hell's Kitchen, then Ikea.

Friday, January 08, 2010

MPLS2010 - Post 1

  • Howdy! Typin' atcha live from the Microtel in Bloomington, which is 10 minutes by car from the Mall of America.
  • Left a Super 8 in Fargo for Albertville, MN this morning. Did a lot more shopping than either of us bargained for. Started that off with lunch at Culver's, a place I'd marry if such a union were legal...and if I wasn't already taken, of course.
  • From Albertville to MOA. More shopping. I have new shoes. They were needed. Baked spaghetti at Tucci Benucch, followed by cheesecake. Stuffed as fuck.
  • In the morning, breakfast at Maria's with Mr. Unitus. Peace!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Make the move?

For once, I have Posterous on the brain instead of posteriors. For the moment.

Tonight, I was reading my Google Reader items, when I came across this blog post by illustrator John Martz (also the creator of the kick-ass site Drawn) where he outlined the migration of his blog to Posterous. This piqued my interest, as I've been looking for a way to fix up/make-over this nearly decade-old blog. From what I've been able to gather, a Posterous user can not only make posts easily via e-mail (yes, I know Blogger already does this; just keep listening), but you can also tie together a bunch of your social media stuff, post audio and video, and much more, apparently. Also, they now have customizable themes, which makes me very happy.

After several years of holding out, I've gone over to the "new" Blogger, which has jacked up a few things around here format-wise, but I was expecting that. I have to admit that I'm not liking how the banner is looking. It's akin to a broken window. Apparently, Posterous is very customizable, especially if you know HTML/CSS. I guess I oughta cop me a Dummy book to go with my W3 bookmark.

In addition to the aesthetic breath of life I could get with Posterous, I could get down with mobile blogging with ease. This has been swimming around my head since I got the nerdphone for Christmas. Man, this totally coulda came in handy during the Japan trip.

I'm seriously considering this. I think I'll sign up and give it a test run. That is, after some sleep. It's like, 5:47 AM.