Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney Buys Marvel

If they leave it alone the way WB leaves DC alone, we'll be fine. Lots of higher budget cartoons and dvds. But they're not WB. they're Disney and Disney has a very strong sense of their brand. Which does not include blood. If you think the Marvel characters are watered down and whored out now, wait six months.

There's a positive note here. Ten years ago, Marvel was bankrupt. They were being passed from investor to investor. The fact that they're worth 4 billion now says a lot. About Hollywood.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Summer Glau Joins Dollhouse

I'm intrigued. Dollhouse's first season was bad, then boring, then interesting, then less boring, then mind blowingly awesome. And since Summer Glau was the only good thing about "The Sarah Conner Chronicle"s (I like Lena Headey until I realized she had no second facial expression) and she was so incredible in Joss Whedon's "Firefly" I'm down for a second season. When I get my paycheck I may need season one on Blu-Ray.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

15 Movies in 15 Minutes

I do this for Ed Murray. I like him.

Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen movies you've seen that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag fifteen friends, including me because I'm interested in seeing what movies my friends choose.

1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
2. Bill Cosby: Himself
3. The Kids Are Alright
4. Star Wars
5. The Producers
6. The Iron Giant
7. Roxanne
8. Army of Darkness
9. Barton Fink
10. The Third Man
11. John Lennon: Imagine
12. Casablanca
13. Duck Soup
14. Goodfellas
15. Ed Wood

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Got an iPhone!

Now I'm just like you. The cool you at least.

The iPhone launched the day Ben was born. I know this because while we were in the delivery room Apple had a commercial every ten minutes. In 24 hours of labor, that's 144 commercials. Sticks with you.

I waited two years to get one. I loved the idea that I wouldn't have to carry an phone and an iPod in my pocket from the moment I heard about it. But 8GBs was not enough. So I let them take their time.

But the iPhone went in a different direction. People weren't interested in storing lots of music and video. They wanted fast networks and apps. And that's what later incarnations of the iPhone delivered. And still I waited.

Finally this spring they unveiled the 3.0 software. But no new hardware. Three months later, a 32GB iPhone. That's big enough for me. But Renee wasn't convinced. We had to wait for our TMobile contract to end. We had to wait for me to start a new job. We had to wait until time stopped.

Then Renee realized everything she could do with the internet in her palm. We went from her begrudgingly moving to AT&T to enthusiastically buying two iPhones on a family plan. Yay, progress.

I'm totally digging it. Finding apps for ebay, gmail and NetFlix means 90% of my personal websites I don't need to check on my desktop at work. If Ben doesn't try to grab the shiny object in my hand I can check my mail without leaving him in another room. And once I add twitter I can begin to understand why people use it 175 times a day.

One problem. 32GBs still isn't enough. I need a200GB iPhone.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Writer's Room Tonight!



Matt Ruby (We're All Friends Here)
Alex Grubard (Transcendalist Television)
Jon Clarke (Paranoia Film Festival)
Noah Garfinkel (VH1, MTV)
R.G. Daniels (Sunday Night Standup)
Margie Kment
Sean O'Connor (Sean & Jilly)

hosted by Mike Drucker (Saturday Night Live)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Time: 9:30pm - 10:30pm
Location: The PIT
Street: 154 W. 29th St
City/Town: New York, NY

Monday, August 24, 2009

We Feel Fine

As I've been researching for a digital pitch, I'm coming across some cool, unusual websites. So far the coolest is It'a a real-time emotional barometer of the internet.And that doesn't even begin to do it justice.

Friday, August 21, 2009


I'm starting work at an ad agency again. Partly for the money, partly for the next thing in my career, mostly for the air conditioning. As always when I start a new job, I don't know how much posting time I'll get. So I'll leave you with a Ben extra.

I'll be seeing you soon.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Harrison Ford on Cracked

I have no idea if this is a part of the magazine or just posted but it's the funniest thing I've ever seen associated with the Cracked name.


Best caption:

We don't know for sure what is coming around that corner, but we are 100 percent certain that it is going to take a fucking log to the face.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dana Gould on Real Time

Dana Gould's talking about health care. And when Dana Gould talks about anything, I'm gonna post it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Up Too Much

Someone want to tell me why Ben is going to sleep at 10 and waking up at 6? Those are the hours I slept in high school.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Remembering Bjorn

Our friend Alex Ginsberg drove up to Vermont for Bjorn's memorial service Saturday.
In hindsight, I wish I had gone with him. Here's Alex's thoughts.

Bjorn lived in Woodstock, VT, a beautiful converted farmhouse, down a long, hidden driveway that slopes down off the main road. The house itself is sort of nestled against the embankment leading up the hill to the road, and on the other side is a gorgeous expanse of former farmland, now overgrown in spots, plus a few outbuildings.

The house is filled with the smells of soapmaking, as his wife, Kirsten, runs a soap store in the town of Woodstock and Bjorn was helping out both the manufacture of the soap itself and the store's web interface.

When I arrived, Kirsten and Bjorn's sister (also named Kirsten) and other relatives had arranged artifacts from his life on tables in front of the house. There were books, which, in typical Bjorn fashion, ranged from one esoteric subject to the next. Calculus, Japanese art, etc. There was a little rowboat he made - yeah, made - for his stepchildren. There were paintings he had done, some relatively recent, and other from when he was obviously just a boy. He learned to write his name the Norwegian way: Bjørn. Photos were on display of Bjorn from all periods throughout his too-short life.

Bjorn's maternal uncle, an Adventist minister and former missionary, Leif Lind, led the memorial, reading the 23rd Psalm (The Lord is my Shepherd..) and the shortest verse in the entire bible: "Jesus wept." (can't remember the chapter and verse there.) His mother, Elsa Lind, said, "We are so bereft." And she said something to the effect that she believed in the Second Coming and at that time "I believe I will see Bjorn again."

His father, Doug, told everyone that "Bjorn was my son and my teacher." His sister, Kirsten, talked about how the two of them had only each other during the years they were growing up, in places like Uganda, India and Bangladesh.

Kirsten, his wife, talked about how he loved Vermont, loved the farm and loved working on it. She told a story about one day finding him with stakes in his truck and when she asked him what they were for he said when he walks in the forest he sometimes sees old apple trees that need a little help standing up. Two apple trees were planted there in his memory.

His in-laws spoke as well, and it was clear they grieved for someone who was like a son to them and obviously loved their daughter. In fact, although Bjorn certainly left a great number of people hurting, and hurting very, very badly, there was not a soul present who believed for one minute that he somehow wanted that.

I was not planning to speak, but I was asked to read a note that John had sent by email. This worked out well, because John put together something absolutely perfect, far better than I could have done. I told everyone that besides John and me, there were many, many people back in New York - a chapter of his life that was really a mystery to everyone there - who were thinking of him. Many people came up to me afterward to thank me for sharing my thoughts (I kept telling them they were John's thoughts, but somehow I kept getting the credit). They all said, if you hadn't been here, we would have had no idea of what his time in New York was like.

At the end, doves were set free from cages. They flew off in a big messy mass, then regrouped and buzzed the tower in formation.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Les Paul

Les Paul passed away yesterday at the age of 94.

Les Paul may forever be known as the namesake of the classic electric guitar but he was much more. His jazz records are incredible. Fifty years later most guitarists can't touch them. In teh studio, he made even greater strides. He invented multi-tracking. Multi-tracking! That means if you overdub anything, you owe Les Paul.

I saw Les Paul at the Iridium once and he was still an amazing player. He was also tehw armest performer I've ever seen on stage. Lara Yaz used to work the Iridium and he said he was that great every week. The world will mourn not only the passing of a musical legend but the loss of a shining personality.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bjorn Smith

Johnny just forwarded me this email with sad news.

I am sorry to be writing you with news like this.
> After a long struggle and many attempts to help by those of
> us who loved him Bjorn took his own life last Thursday,
> August 6th. He did it in the most considerate way
> possible to those of us he left behind. His obituary
> has run in the Valley News on Tuesday and in the Vermont
> Standard tomorrow. We will be having a memorial
> service for him at our home on Saturday the 15th at 2:00
> pm....(this is just for your information...I know it would
> be impossible for you to attend).

Long time friends will remember Bjorn. When my Astoria roommate drank up the rent and skipped out, Bjorn stepped in and stayed for the next three years. He was still there when I moved out to live with Renee and kept the place going through 9-11 before returning to Vermont. We'd lost touch after that but Johnny would hear news (they were friends since college) and pass the info along. Unfortunately, that's what he did today.

Bjorn was one of the most fascinating, brilliant men I ever met. He had the widest range of talents I'd ever seen. He had an open mind that was always ready to hear about a new concept or idea. He had a Czechoslovakian heavy metal guitarist ex-brother-in-law who also lived with us and became a great friend.

Sadly, we knew each other at a point in our lives when we rarely slowed down to talk. Or take pictures. I don't have a single one. And I'd really love to see one because I miss him already.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tim Warner in Seattle

Tim has been in Seattle about six months. Looks like since Kurt Cobain's dead, he's the angriest guy there.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Last Week

I didn't post once. I did a block party in Long Island then went straight out to North Carolina for a family thing. I got back Saturday and was still too tired to post.

Here are two things that happened this week: