Pack Rat is sitting in the club car, drinking rum and Karma-Kola
Hmmm. Seems I am really into videos recently. This post makes three in a row. I hate getting stuck in a rut, but I just saw the music video that goes along with Oren Lavie‘s song “Her Morning Elegance,” and I felt compelled to talk it up. On one hand, if you want to be a negative Nelly, like SOME people, you might take a look at this stop-motion animation, co-directed byYuval & Merav Nathan and Lavie, and comment, “That’s a total Peter Gabriel rip-off.” But, while Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer video, directed by Stephen R. Johnson in the late 80s was all about the flashing neon lights and the hyper jerky surrealism of stop-motion animation, all orchestrated in such a way as to make the viewer slightly discomforted, the video for “Her Morning Elegance,” is meant to charm. A young woman has the sleep walk of her life as she floats and flutters through a whole world caught up in her bed. The stuttering images inherent to the medium mirror the rhythm of the train in Lavie’s song, while his sweet vocals (more like Nick Drake than Peter Gabriel) provide the same sort of soothing comfort as a rocking train car. There’s something magical about the superimposed two-dimensional reality of this woman’s bed world, the way that it trumps the more mundane third-dimensional reality gives the whole piece an illustrated children’s book-type quality. And the directors were smart enough to give the piece five acts, so the concept never gets too cutesy or stale. And my favorite part is the scarf jelly fish.
In the words of the priest who blessed the cow pasture, HOLY SHIT. Have you people seen the trailer for the new X-Men movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine? This is like if Awesome and Hot Damn got drunk and fooled around one night, woke up the next morning and promised that it wouldn’t change their friendship, only to find out Hot Damn was pregnant. Pregnant with this movie.
O.K. I admit a little bit of skepticism and perspective are in order here. As anyone who has ever picked up an X-Men comic book before the year 2000 will tell you, the X-Men trilogy of movies was God awful. Or, maybe not so much bad as sacrilegious. And I had such high hopes, too. After growing up with these characters, to finally see them on the big screen was so exciting…until I actually saw them on the big screen. And realized that what I was getting was the watered down, Reader’s Digest condensed version of forty years of story telling. Plus, Rogue sucked in the movies and if there’s one thing Rogue doesn’t do in the comics, it’s suck.
So realistically, since they managed to botch not one, but three movies about the X-Men, I probably shouldn’t get my hopes up about Wolverine. It’ll probably be too much action, not enough character development. They’ll probably miss-cast all of the characters in an effort to get “it,” name brand stars (although I have to say that I just about peed myself when I saw Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights as Gambit). They’ll probably do a hack job editing Wolverine and Sabretooth’s back story (oh, I also almost soiled myself when I saw Ryan Reynolds was Dead Pool). And even though I love Hugh Jackman (plus, Hugh Jackman’s in this movie!!), I do have to admit that seeing him with steroid bulging, veiny muscles is kind of a turn off. If the past has dictated anything, then the odds are stacked squarely against this movie.
But have you see the part in the trailer when Wolverine is being chased by a Jeep and then all of a sudden the Jeep blows up, rolling ass over tea kettle, a huge gasoline plume of fire shooting out it’s ass, a helicopter hovering over head and all you see is this little dot flying through the air toward the helicopter? THAT DOT IS WOLVERINE!! The dot flying in the air and landing on the helicopter is freaking Wolverine. Sign me up. I am on board. May 1, 2009 son!
Pack Rat will always fight the enemies of love. We promise to Shine On.
I offer you a few of my favorite new eweb finds. They have tremendous re-visit value. And if laughs were some kind of plastic explosive, they would be dropping bombs left and right.
First up are the comic book kids of Questionable Content. They’re like every indie punk rock listening, ironic t-shirt wearing, body piercing, withering glance giving hipster you know, except they only exist for six panels of comic goodness a day so they are actually funny and not, you know, immensely depressing. It’s fun to play “non-mainstream” bingo with the many band references, and the creator/writer/illustrator Jeph Jacques gets that the “counter culture” his characters inhabit is a bit insipid and so dishes out the skinny-jeans cool with a generous helping of self-deprecation.
Questionable Content and image copyright Jeph Jacques
Next is the brillance that is Dr. McNinja. Has so much information ever been conveyed in one name? Maybe Bronze Medalist Patty McShitsalot, but that’s about it. The brain child of comic artist/author Chris Hastings, Dr. McNinja heals with one hand and kills with the other. He is aided in his many random adventures by a man-child with a SERIOUS moustache named Gordito (the man, not the moustache) who rides around on a dinosaur, and Julie, his gorilla secretary. Unlike Questionable Content (which is drawn as a fully contained story every day), Dr. McNinja is published in issues (like a paper comic book), with new pages of each issue coming out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. He is currently working on the mysterious case of “Death Volley.” Get caught up immediately.
Dr. McNinja and image copyright Chris Hastings
And Finally, the video you’ve all been waiting for, even if you weren’t aware that you were waiting for it. I would go so far as to say that I’m not sure how I ever lived without it, it’s THAT good. The song is called Shine On and the music video is by L.A. musician Chris Dane Owens. You need to see it before we can talk about it. I’ll wait. Take your time–you have to see the whole thing to really appreciate it. P.S. definitely worth watching in high quality. You may even want to see it direct from his website, which has it at the highest quality.
Right? RIGHT?! I seriously can’t get enough. I heard about this while reading The New Yorker blog, of all things, and I have to say that this video is probably the best piece of information that I’ve ever gleaned from The New Yorker. Chris Dane Owens is like some alien time traveler, alternating between a parallel, magical universe and 1984. There is so, so much to love about this video (unsurprisingly directed by a wiz in the special effects biz). And it’s astonishing how much one well-placed ‘stache can actually up someone’s masculinity. Here are my top ten favorite Shine On moments (but don’t hold me to them. Every time I watch this video I find more to love).
10. The Karate Kid moment (1:30 into the video)
9. His unexplained, un-introduced posse (1:36 & 3:06). What happened to the bandanna guy?
8. Slashing sword=massive boat explosion (1:51)
7. Push it out! (1:59)
6. Some how it all leads up to his chest lighting up… (2:20)
5. And then, the whole thing is just too overwhelming for him… (2:25)
4. Which causes him to mince his way into a fire. (2:34)
3. RANDOM CROCODILE! (I think their budget may have run out on dragons)(2:43)
2. Classic, classic slow-mo jump off the cliff (CLASSIC!) (2:49)
A long time ago, when my grandma was cleaning out her basement I acquired a bingo game set. I’ve never been a gambling kinda gal (I’d rather keep the money I earned, thanks), but I loved to play bingo growing up because of those translucent, brightly colored chips you place on your bingo card. Fast forward several years and that same bingo game was shipped off to the Sal. I wanted desperately to keep those chips, but I just couldn’t come up with any good projects on the fly. I should have taken notes from MOCKFROG Jewelry. I just love this bingo chip bracelet ($16). It’s whimsical and vibrant piece of bling. Or, I guess since bingo chips can get you money, it’s pre-bling bling.
Pack Rat is currently using the Sword of Omens’ Sight Beyond Sight function to suss out how long the lines at Target are
I am in love. I know, I know, you guys must get tired of me swooning every day over a new artist/blog/etc. But I can’t help it! There’s so much good stuff out there to see. Today, via Junk Creation blog (which I also adore), I came across Craftynest and the home stylings of Monica Ewing. Her low cost, recycle-based projects are the bomb diggity. (Remember when people used that phrase? Oh 1999. What were you thinking?) I was especially taken with her very smart, very chic modular bookcase made from salvaged drawers. It seems that I’m always passing dresser drawers in my many roadside scavanges, and this is an excellent idea for how to repurpose them. And she is not only inventive, but helpful–as she has supplied a how-to on her blog for copy cats like me. Take a gander at the before and after below.
Pack Rat hangs out with Melissa and Aaron in The ‘Bu. But not Brett. Because you can’t trust a ninja.
Well, I don’t know why I’m surprised anymore when I find out there is an on-going, heated debate about anything on the Internet any more. I came across this older ad for the Honda Accord and fell in love with the art and precision of it’s production. Word on the street is that everything in the video is real, with all of the objects reacting according to the laws of physics or some junk. Doubting Thomas’s abound, however, and some get rather nasty about insisting that it must be done with CGI. I certainly don’t have any answers, but because I’m an optimist and a romantic, I’m going to believe the rumor that the shot took over 600 takes to acheive and that the shot in the commercial was the last one (the director was ready to quit if it didn’t work that final time).
Pack Rat smells like we sound, we’re lost in a crowd, and we’re hungry like the wolf
Rainy days were always rough growing up. Who didn’t wish for some sort of Cat In the Hat like interventionist to come in and shake up those rainy day blues? What I got instead was my mom dragging out that God aweful Monopoly board, which took forever to set up and twice as long to play. Only later in life did I discover she found the game as tedious as my brother and I (I guess it was better than the total anarchy that would have occurred if we tried to entertain ourselves). But, after seeing this hilarious Monopoly Smackdown print by artist John Tebeau ($19), I think that all the game really needs is a fresh marketing campaign and a bold new look to make it more exciting. Dear Parker Brothers, please get on that. Because the red houses and green hotels? Totally not working for me.
Good Monday morning to you all! When I was little, I used to be OBSESSED with Garfield cartoons. Garfield, as some of you may know, hates Mondays. They are the arm pit of the week. So I don’t know if it’s being an adult and having to go to work on Mondays, or whether that fat orange tabby predisposed me from a young age, but Monday is my least favorite of the weekdays. Fortunately for me, I am super lucky and managed to snag a job at a super awesome school that let me have TWO WHOLE weeks off for the holidays. Boo-yah! So today isn’t as much of a drag as normal. But just in case, here’s a little pick-me-up for you and me both, in the form of today’s internet discovery.
We all need to spend plenty of time at Leethal.net reading, watching, and absorbing creativity via osmosis from Lee Meredith. This young lady is a whirling dervish of activity, be it knitting, sewing, screen printing, or ‘zining. Her latest ‘zine, Do Stuff, is dedicated to her favorite things, including an incredibly cute monster hat that she provides instructions on how to create. She is such a flurry of activity and ideas that I feel all motivated to get going on my own projects after reading one of her blogs (note: check out her recent post about her new Bad Movie Bingo creation. Sounds like it could be a good drinking game ). Read over her site. Gawk at her recycled fashions (love the tea t-shirts!). Buy the ‘zine. And get moving on your own creative cocktail!
Pack Rat resolves to be 42% more righteous in 2009
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Boy oh boy, where has the time gone? 2009? Really? Does anyone else feel like Y2k was just yesterday? Maybe I’m just starting to get old. Perhaps I’ll start questioning my own mortality. Am I mortal? There, done.
I thought it might be fitting, what with everyone reflecting on the year past and looking forward to what’s next, for us to visit Before IDie I Want To… This Polaroid photo project by Nicole Kenney and ks rives is both an homage to the dying medium of Polaroid photography (apparently Polaroid has announced that it will discontinue making its cameras and film. Can you imagine? In ten years, the new generation won’t even know what a Polariod looks like! Or a walk man!), as well as a motivational tool, of sorts.
The concept is pretty straight forward. Polaroid photos are taken of people in six major American cities. Once the photos come out, the subject writes down one thing he/she wants to accomplish before death in that little margin at the bottom of the photo. What is interesting is the spectrum on which these people’s response fall. Some people take the question extremely seriously, other people…not so much.
For instance, looking through the photos that hail from NYC you come across the grinning, jovial face of a young man in a vest and green tie. He looks a little michevious, and more than a little playful. But the caption of his photo reads “I want to find my birth mother.” In another, there is a pair of sunglasses and a smile dominating most of the photo, with stacks of bracelets in the background, and the woman in the image writes “I want to be able to wear every piece of clothing in my closet.”
Kenney and rives are most interested in the questions this project raises. They write on the website, ”Hearing hundreds of different answers to this question from hundreds of different people makes one wonder: What make some people more aware of their own mortality than others? What motivates people to take action in their lives? What values do we hold as a society? And what values do other societies around the world find important?” While they might find no definitive answers, the search itself seems to be rewarding enough.
As we move into a brand new year, why not go ahead and ask yourself what is it that you really want to do with your life? And then, hell’s bells, get out there and do it! You never know what tomorrow will bring, so don’t put your dreams off.