Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We've Found a Solution!

Fear not, America. We’ve discovered a solution! Truly our nation, nay, our planet has been in crisis recently and it seems like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. Also, the tunnel is really long and smelly. The newspaper brings more bad news every morning and personally, we at the Institute of Applied Science are darn tired of it. Thus, we are proud to announce that the Institute of Applied Science has developed a time machine to go back and prevent the New Facebook from being created.
Let’s face it, most of today’s problems – the economy, terrorists, The View – are caused by one root problem – the New Facebook. Our explained reasoning is not necessary. Nevertheless, the new, far more confusing and harder to manage Facebook, has finally given us a legit reason to build a time machine, receiving full financial backing from our government and parents. Surely, this technology has existed for several years, we were simply not motivated enough to act upon it. However, with New Facebook, our bellies have filled to the brim with fire.
Now we cannot ignore the butterfly effect, especially after seeing that film -The Butterfly Effect 2. If we destroy the New Facebook before it begins its terrible reign, will this not simply cause a newer, possibly more terrible Facebook to be created? Personally, this is a risk we at the Institute of Applied Science are collectively willing to take.
With its irrationally complicated interface, cluttered format, and super-duper confusing applications system, New Facebook is to Old Facebook as something not-at-all-cool is to something cool. Plus, people’s exasperated status messages expressing disdain for the New Facebook are growing tiresome and no longer witty. We at the Institute of Applied Sciences would much prefer our Facebook friends go back to status messages referring to whatever music is currently changing their life, an inside joke between them and one of their closer friends, or the bafflingly unoriginal “is.” Plus, we would like to go back to stalking girls we find pretty without everybody knowing about it. For these reasons it is our duty to travel back to Spring 2008, find Mark Zuckerburg, punch him in the nads and tell him “No!” Then perhaps take out our stock in Lehman Brothers, and travel back in time for the new Gossip Girl. This is the least we can do to save our future, which according to Robert Zemekis, includes hoverboards. And hoverboards are cool.

The Institute of Applied Science was founded last week by a guy who said he graduated from Harvard. Since he was wearing glasses, the proper authorities thought not to question him. You shouldn’t either. They had their first annual Family Fun and Sun employee picnic last week. Mrs. Rosenburg’s apple strudel was a moderate hit.

Guy Named Dow Jones Tired of Lousy Publicity

The effects of the American economy’s recent collapse have had far reaching consequences. From Wall Street to Main Street, everyone has felt the heat of this financial disaster. However, the problem is felt greatest in the small town of Danbury, Connecticut, where local man Dowland “Dow” Jones has lived his entire life. Since the recent financial collapse, Jones has been “sick and tired of all the papers saying bad stuff about [him]”.
A lifetime pottery salesman, Jones cannot even eat his morning Apple Zings cereal without being insulted by the daily post. “It’s just a lousy way to start your day,” states Jones, who has low self-esteem to begin with. “No one ever talks about all the good stuff about the Dow Jones, but the bad stuff gets magnified like a bajillion times. It’s less than pleasant for me.” Ever since he was a young man, Dowland has lived a peaceful life, receiving a public school education and three years of pottery salesman training at the University of Connecticut Schools. He remains unmarried and lives with his dog, Ruffems, who normally would console his master in times of trial, but sadly not so now.
“It’s everywhere – the news, PBS, even the local morning comic strip makes some unflattering reference to me on a daily basis,” laments Jones. “My father always said I’d bring the nation to its worst recession since the Great Depression, but I thought he was being symbolic.”
Local thugs and previously friendly neighbors have been sending Jones more hate mail and death threats than usual. Even Jones’s eHarmony.com profile and craigslist “casual encounter” listings has been receiving several fewer responses as of late. However, is Dowland Jones really to blame here? “Probably not,” states local thug Jimmy “Cheez-Its” Romirez, “but it’s just easier this way.”
Though it is easy to blame the recession for Jones’s recent woes, it should be noted that he was not all that well liked prior.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Mike Hadge Trio - Jesuit

Okay, for serious. If I had one band to bring with me to a desert island, it would definitely be the Mike Hadge Trio. Their tunes are just the rootin-tootin'est, and they seem like they'd be cool to hang out with in a desert island setting. Plus, if we run out of food, and need to turn to caniballism, I know they'd be totally cool with letting me eat them. That just seems like how they roll. Anyway, their latest tune has just dropped, "Jesuit". It speaks to me and if it thinks you're cool enough, it might speak to you too!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dear establishment, take THAT!

Subway platform ad vandalism is, in my opinion, one of the top art forms of this or any time. To be able to look at any advertisement and know exactly where a well placed Hitler mustache, blacked out tooth, or penis is appropriate takes a skill that Van Gough would have sold his other ear for. However, as with any art, there are beginners out there who don't quite...get it, abusing the privilege that comes with owning a black sharpie and carrying it around with you at all times. A prime example came today, as I traveled on the Subway from 96th street. At said station, there was an advertisement for the Showtime network's fine gaggle of original programming, including spots for "Californication", "Weeds", "The Tudors" and "Dexter". However, where "Weeds" was written, with white lettering over a black background, some two-bit ad vandalist had blacked out the "S", having it read simply "Weed". Now, if there's one way to stick it to society, it's the use of singular tense where plural tense was otherwise intended? I guess? The worst part was that the vandalist simply stopped there. He didn't draw a mustache on Mary-Louis parker, or black out David Duchovney's teeth, or draw a penis next to the mouth of the guy from The Tudors. Nothing. He was that proud and content with his singularization of the term Weeds, that he could just pack up that black sharpie and move on, telling his friends of his S-blacking out escapades along the way. I, as a subway-riding member of society, feel burnt by this young man, but probably not for the reason he intended.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Mike Hadge Trio - Dayum Sarah Palin, You Fine

OMG guys, I just discovered this great new band! I don't think anyone's heard of them, so they're okay to listen to. I just saw them at a club downtown and it was like I was being painted with the insecurities of my own psyche. But then again, I've always had issues. Anyway, here's their latest tiz-une. Enjoy it and send it to all your friends! All your cool friends, anyway! Wow, these guys are so real!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I’ve been in a rut. You know the type – you wake up in the morning and the only thing that’s getting you excited is the prospect of a new Family Circus comic strip in the daily gazette. Searching for a new job and preparing for some large changes in life, I’ve just been relatively stuck in a constant state of bleh. As anyone who has experienced a similar state is well aware, recovering from such a lack of groove, as it were, is no easy task. Sometimes, a hobby is the key. After attempts at taking up knitting, ping-pong, and Lamaze, I realized this was not one of those times. I needed something stronger.

As often is the solution, I turned to the television to provide me with short term, and perhaps life altering, answers to all of life’s questions. As soon as I press Power, I discover that no flipping, nor channel surfing, will be necessary this eve. Like God saying “here you go, buuuddddyyyyyy”, How Stella Got Her Groove Back was showing on TBS. At last, here’s a film that truly captures where I’m at right now. Like Stella, I too have somehow lost my groove, and would like ever so much to retrieve it. A more relatable character I was not likely to find, despite the fact that she’s a black career woman in her forties. Technicalities aside, Stella’s mirrors to my own life would surely help me climb out of this put of mediocrity.

Unfortunately, a quick glance at the program listing revealed that How Stella Got Her Groove Back was in fact twenty minutes away from being over. Surely, a just comparison of Stella’s demeanor pre-groove verses post-groove was long out of the question. Now, How Stella Got Her Groove Back is not one of those films you can just jump into. Clearly, the groove-loss-and-recovery arc is the focal point of the whole story, and if any piece is missed, you may as well have stayed home, Sally. However, I did my very best to get what I could out of this point in Stella’s journey, my tardiness to the party aside.

At the point I entered the film, Stella was dating a much younger Jamaican guy named Winston. Longtime fans of the film will know how their relationship came to be, and if in fact he was the harbinger of Stella’s groove. I only assumed this to be the case, but the onscreen Stella did not appear to be groove-ful in any way. I’m not sure if this was a script problem, or if the blame should be placed on the actress, whom I am too lazy to look up the name of on IMDB. Either way, I left my mind open to the possibility that the groove-rereceiving scene had yet to arrive. In the remaining twenty minutes, Winston bought Stella a lot of stuff, she got a promotion, and then Winston proposed to her. Any viewer would have expected these events to be thrust upon an individual who very much had a groove, but as I stated, I remained unsure. Now for those who have not viewed How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and plan to do so in the future, I must warn that the rest of this piece will be spoiler heavy.

At the point of Winston’s proposal, Stella states that her heart says yes but she’s going to have to think about it. Winston seems okay with this. Now, the fact that Winston proposed would again imply that Stella has a groove, as I can’t imagine the much younger man would want to marry a middle-aged woman sans groove. Then again, I’d have to ask the screenwriter, who I am also too lazy to IMDB. Anyway, after the commercial break, Winston seemed very suddenly frustrated by Stella’s indecision. They proceed to have a minor spat, and the next day Winston announces he’ll be leaving for home, which I imagine was Jamaica, the next morning. Stella seems concerned about this, but still, not that affected either way. The next morning, Winston gets in a cab, arrives at the airport, and finds Stella there waiting, and she says “Yes” to his proposal. Fade to black (sort of).Cut to credits. If Stella hadn’t gotten her groove back up to that point in the film, I imagine the airport scene was where she got her groove back. Pardon this viewer if he feels a bit cheated. As someone looking to get their own groove back, this film’s answer seems to be seduce a younger Jamaican man, get him to buy me a ton of stuff, have him propose, not give him an answer, then give him an answer in an airport without any discernable scene that explains my change of heart.

Ultimately, the film is hardly the groove-getting-back tutorial that it claims to be at the outset. Regardless, how Stella got her groove back remains a mystery to me. I guess I asked for it, tuning in to the film eighty percent into its running time. Still, I can’t help but feel mildly disappointed. My rut continues, and I’ve wasted twenty minutes of my life, not to mention the ensuing seven minutes it took to write all this up. I expected a film that gave me some guidance, some direction! I don’t think that was too much to ask.

Luckily, Diary of a Mad Black Woman was on next.