Archive for February, 2009

first thing’s first: this kid’s still on the air. makes me happy. i did some research. his name’s pete wiggins. he’s five. i like that he has a name.

so, yeah, moving along…
a few days late (it’s really hard to summon up the inspiration to comment on an event and telecast that simply sucks the life right out of your lungs… with a rapidity and a fierceness; it’s like the election night of entertainment), herewith is thePinata’s account of them oscars. and who could give a shit.

here’s how this is going to work. to watch the ceremony, we are in two. my fashion consultant, ophelia, is an avid oscar viewer. after all this time, it somehow still remains an “event” for her. she is interested in one thing, and one thing only: who’s fat and who’s not fat. she’s like my own personal joan rivers, minus the terrifying facelifts and the bullshit daughter. no joke, she actually will turn to me throughout the night and say things like, “okay, okay… best dressed man, so far, robert downey jr.” (admittedly, he does look pretty dashing). as in, these are real categories for her. blanks to be filled in. it’s cute.

anyhow, we sit on the floor, we drink cheap wine. we converse surprisingly infrequently. she makes dinner before i arrive and doesn’t warn me (it wasn’t made with me in mind), so i am regretful about my expensive salad. when the night is over, i have had two dinners. go team!

and so it goes.

at 5:07 pm, my viewing experience begins. i have missed the “red carpet” almost in it’s entirety. i am only mildly disappointed to find that the reception at my viewing destination is pretty shaky. but then this is our generation, right? and we don’t pay for cable. we just don’t. as a rule.

FIRST APPEARANCE OF MICKEY ROURKE! having just seen the wrestler this past weekend, i’m pretty high on mickey rourke. seeing as jack nicholson is nowhere to be found this year, mrourke seems to have grabbed the torch. he’s got the shades, and the smarmy grin, and i expect him to be the butt of many overly benign barbs throughout the night. fashion consultant (FC) ophelia tells me that he has already been spotted with his hand down his trousers. the ceremony hasn’t even begun, and this makes my night.

here are some things that they won’t tell you on other oscar blogs:

1. the new salad bar at WholeFoods is bullshit; seriously. they’ve changed everything. no shredded beets? what the shit?

2. i’ve been in bed with the flu for about a week. were it not for that, this account of the 2009 academy awards would have taken place in front of a woodstove, in a remote and cozy cabin deep in the Washington wilderness, in a room strewn with skis and hot whiskeys. rather, it wouldn’t have taken place at all. who wins?

at 5:22, FC ophelia claims that miley cyrus (she’s everywhere?!) looks “vulgar”; she calls her “princess nightmare,” and while i’m not entirely clear on what that means, it seems fairly apt. more importantly, i ask, why is miley cyrus here?

as evidence that fashion consultancy is not exactly my bag, i posit that Anne Hathway looks mermaid-y.

FC ophelia: “best dressed woman, so far, amy adams, and in other shocking news, meryl streep looks less-than-hideous” (NOTE: thePinata hearts amy adams… sort of epically)

on the red carpet, ABC is doing this really weird thing (only for the ladies, mind you) wherein whenever they greet a lady-celeb, run through the typically banal “who are you wearing?” bullshit, they run a ticker on the left side of the screen scrolling through the who-are-they-wearings from previous ceremonies. it is equally jarring, boring, and depressing. this is fashion week goes to the movies. why bother?

FC ophelia: “seth rogan has officially left the fat team. bravo.”
FC ophelia: “diane lane looks better on tv than she did in my yoga class,” a statement that requires a fairly self-explanatory backstory that i’ll not worry about telling.

at this point, it’s time for this blogger to eat dinner no. 1. On today’s menu is a salad (bullshit, i remind you), and black bean soup. I will return with my reflections on hugh jackman’s opening monologue, which is a sentence that i never thought that i would write, for so many reasons. much love, talk soon.


at 5:43, the first acting award is being presented. it’s like a group therapy session of previous winners. it’s goofy. angelina jolie says “literally” like a fancy-pants. god bless her. and she speaks spanish! whoopi goldberg is like the death of funny. but she still tells jokes? go figure.

it occurs to me that we’re going to hear the words “the curious case of benjamin button” about 342 times throughout the night. this makes me kind of bitter. and it has nothing to do with the movie… it’s just a stupid fucking title (sorry, f.scott).

at 5:53, the poor reception on this tv makes it look like hugh jackman has a serving towel draped over his left arm. it’s a funny image. as if a butler were hosting the event. i like this.

at 6:10, the best acceptance speech of the night is a lock, from a japanese dude who’s name i can’t be bothered to write down (it’s kunio kato), who takes home the award for best animated short. between some seriously broken english, he finally gives up and says “domo arigato, mr. roboto.” it’s just awesome. and, frankly, america, it’s what you really want to hear from the japanese. stop trying, man… we want styx lyrics.

at 6:14, pete wiggins (see above) makes his first appearance. i melt.

FC ophelia and i take a break to draw some of the celebrity guests. i prefer to color them in, so that’s what i mostly do. her matthew broderick looks like a yoga ball with legs. it’s a bit harsh.

MY FIRST AND ONLY REAL SERIOUS THOUGHT OF THE NIGHT SO FAR, is that it seems like the MPAA just up and decided to release five films around the third week in december, the “oscar” films. and then the academy just lazily decided to nominate ‘em. and this extends across the board. slumdog, frost, doubt, milk, button… just scatter ‘em about, and you’ve got your ceremony. and aside from milk, i don’t really know anyone who’s seen any of them. or liked any of them. i’m sure they’re fine, and all, but really.

at 6:47, a german man appears wearing the night’s first all-black tuxedo.

at 7:50, (that’s right, we lost an hour there… i was drinking), ABC plugs their new series, THE CASTLE. it stars this guy:

guy you've probably seen on something...

guy you've probably seen on something...

here’s the tagline:
“when they’re not on each other’s case, they have a passion … for solving cases.”
which is about the best tagline ever. it’s just so sublimely lazy. makes me proud. the emphasis isn’t even in the right places (on “each other’s” and “solving,” had they been trying). in fact, it’s totally and completely wrong… on CASE and CASES. someone in ABC’s copy department is onto something… words rhyme with themselves.

does anyone remember an Academy Awards ceremony way back when, where russell crowe was spotted in the audience eating a greasy burger and some fries from a burger bar across the street. it might have been the golden globes. hard to say. are they fed at the oscars?
in any case, it seemed so cool at the time. dude eats HIS way. in hindsight, it’s like the most precious thing ever.

at some point while i was drinking, hugh jackman and beyonce put on yet another musical medley that includes seemingly every musical number ever written. it is contrary to any possible definition of entertainment. it is evil. when it is over, hugh proclaims, “the musical is alive!” oy.

at 7:53, i wonder why bruce springsteen’s “the wrestler” didn’t get a song nomination. upon then seeing the africanized medley of the nominated songs, i start to get a pretty good idea.

the medley, by the way, is like the best gay danceparty ever.

at 8:02, WALL-E proves totally adorbs even as a nominee. how kickass would tonight be if WALL-E showed up. that said, maybe it’s even cuter to think of him like a sort of woody allen character. as in, he’s probably off playing trumpet or something at some fancy jazz club. where he has a residency. WALL-E definitely needs a residency.

i neglected to mention that FC ophelia left to teach a yoga class, which shows you the kind of devotion we have ’round here. frankly, i should have gone with…

Mumbai and Bombay are being used interchangeably tonight. there’s a political commentary in here somewhere. i am definitely NOT the guy.

at 8:06, there is another fairly awesome japanese acceptance speech for best foreign film:

“i am very very happy! i am here because of films! this is a huge [wink] departure for me!” (the winning film is called “departures”; see what he did there?)

somewhere around 8:30, FC ophelia returns just in time to see the ragtag slumdog crew take to the stage and win the award that they all knew they would win anyways. say what you want about that film (i’ll say nothing, as i still haven’t seen it), they cut a swell image onscreen. hard not to be happy for them. but i’m sure we’ll find a way.

and, then, as these things go, hugh quickly wraps it up. it’s funny how a ceremony that is such a chore in almost every conceivable way is always wrapped up about 45 seconds after the last award is given. but jimmy kimmel is up next, and he is not a man to be kept waiting.

FC ophelia and i eat popcorn and watch it’s always sunny in philadelphia. i, for one, am relieved.

the next morning FC ophelia tells me that best dressed was that woman from “benjamin button,” which makes the 343 time i hear that name. my rage is renewed. it turns out to be someone named taraji.

for now, i leave you with the following quandry. who’s cuter: WALL-E or werner herzog?

it's a tie!

it's a tie!


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stay tuned.

rourke attack!

rourke attack!

don’t forget to check in this week to read our first annual not-quite-live blog of the 2009 Academy Awards. the one with the statues.

there might be illustrations. what do i know? -MBD

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26 January 2009: Jack Lewis embarks on a brief-ish European tour with the so-called Fishermen Three. According to Jack Lewis’s MySpace page, I remain a drummer for Jack Lewis’s band. On 26 January 2009, I sit in a Binghamton, NY airport lounge eating coconut date bars, waiting to board a somewhat terrifying propeller aircraft. In a day’s time, I will not be in Europe.

wednesday, 4 february

abc : Glasgow

Today is a day for passing up the opportunity to jaywalk; for waiting at corners for crossing signals; for traversing the street only to have to do it again when you reach your destination. It is a day for dilly-dalliance.

Otherwise, it is what it is.
In all of this—this not-touring, this staying put—it occurs to me that, as much as I’d like to believe otherwise, very little about my daily life is remarkable (literally; as in, worth remarking upon). No big surprises, there, of course. But the act of narrating the whole enterprise makes it all the less, well, enterprising.

That said, today I eat gnocchi that melts in my mouth. That was alright.

Jack Lewis: you are missed.

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not-on-tour diary, part 8.

26 January 2009: Jack Lewis embarks on a brief-ish European tour with the so-called Fishermen Three. According to Jack Lewis’s MySpace page, I remain a drummer for Jack Lewis’s band. On 26 January 2009, I sit in a Binghamton, NY airport lounge eating coconut date bars, waiting to board a somewhat terrifying propeller aircraft. In a day’s time, I will not be in Europe.

tuesday, 3 february

cluny : Newcastle

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) maintains a decidedly notorious presence in Portland. A team of grandparents (literally, I’m sure), they rule over this city’s boozeries with a geriatric fist. Tonight I am shocked (as in, not at all surprised) to learn that a separate license is required to allow patrons to drink inside a door, and then directly outside a door, even when said door remains within the boozery’s domain. While I am only slightly amazed to find that the presence of a swinging door treads the line between lawfulness and crime, I was getting cold anyhow (take that, establishment!), and it’s not that easy to turn a page while sporting two layers of glove.

Inside the boozery (which is not so much a boozery, and more so much a coffee shop w/ booze), there is an extravagant and admirably silly installation along the northern wall. Having seen this work a few times previously, I am amused to discover that it is “best” viewed in 3D. Upon being handed a set of 3D glasses, circa 1986, I become fascinated with the idea that the literal lenses through which we view 3D work have remained entirely static since I was a child (i.e., disposable paper glasses, seemingly mass-produced for the more robotically shaped).

suits love 3D.

suits love 3D.

I think at age 11, I would have imagined that we’d have some kind of inherent ability to produce and view all art in 3D by 2009. That we would laugh heartily at such funky accoutrements of the past. But then, here I am, in February ’09, staring at a wall with cardboard glasses, wondering what all the fuss is about. At 29, I have yet to be even remotely impressed by anything bearing the tag 3D. I can’t simply believe that it’s not out there; that one day I won’t pop on a pair of those funky goggles and find my jaw suddenly agape, and tears of amazement welling up in the corners of my eyes. But until then, guy with the zany artwork at Backspace, I liked your work a hell of a lot better without the glasses.

Jack Lewis is in Newcastle tonight, which is both a football team and a beer. I’ve never been.

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26 January 2009: Jack Lewis embarks on a brief-ish European tour with the so-called Fishermen Three. According to Jack Lewis’s MySpace page, I remain a drummer for Jack Lewis’s band. On 26 January 2009, I sit in a Binghamton, NY airport lounge eating coconut date bars, waiting to board a somewhat terrifying propeller aircraft. In a day’s time, I will not be in Europe.

monday, 2 february

betsey trotwood : London

Lager, please.

Lager, please.

Jack Lewis might not be aware that I’ve been to the Betsey Trotwood. Probably long before he was ever there (take that!). I did not perform, though I drank like a champ.

Tonight, in Portland, I watch House MD, and scrub a few toilets. Such is life.

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We traveled with Lisa Li Lund to Brussels. It was a lively and festive trip with a female in the car. At the show there was a kitten who ran around the place and would show up on stage mugging for attention. When you tried to pet her, she would run. Then we were served some fish for dinner. All of a sudden the kitten wanted to be my friend. But I don’t do fairweather friendships. (Thanks to Alistair for the word.)

I apoligize for my faulty title: There was only one kitten in Brussels



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For previous installments check the comment sections of Mike’s “Not on Tour” section

In Paris we stay with my old friend Jen. She has Guitar Hero, but sadly we don’t get to play it.

While waiting for the show to happen Simon braves the street with Dave “Wave Picture” Tatersal

(#2 on my top albums of 2008/Jan/’09)cold pics

They return with a story of an attempted mugging. After threatening to kill them if they don’t give him 10 euros the man in question greeted a passing youngster on a bike. Simon, feeling the man less threating ushered Dave Wave to the other side of the street and thus avoided further confrontation.

At the fest Damon and Naomi play (of Galaxie 500 fame). I have to tell them that their cover of the Ruttles Cheese and Onions was one of the first songs I ever learned on bass.images

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Does the Pinata Edit?

Breaking news: It’s come to the attention of certain writers here at the Pinata that higher ups may be re-editing their worker’s stories if they speak ill of the Pinata. As a top editor here I assure our readers that we up-hold the first amendment and all that stuff.

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After much pestering and encouragement on the part of the editor, I have agreed to a stint as “East Coast Office/Art Correspondent.” Legally precise and binding agreements regarding such terminology as ‘stint’ and ‘correspondent’ are still pending. Relevant personal details include: 30 years of age, dusty BFA, and non-stifling but non-art-related office job. In  hopes of getting back on the art-making “horse,” I have committed to an as-yet-to-be-determined number of pieces created from pages of work notes (on white and/or yellow legal stock) embellished with only office supplies. Hence, The Office Suite.

Part 1

With some trepidation, I’m posting the first piece I’ve actually completed in quite a while. As usual, I don’t really know what to make of it, but I felt good when it was done. This scan is a bit dodgy, but It’ll do.

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Chew On This

Drawing by Jake Dempsey

Drawing by Jake Dempsey

Fight the power, people. Are robots eating my cereal when I’m not looking? Probably, yes. So next time I see a robot eyeing my Cookie Crunch, I’m going to tell that sum’ bitch robot “out of my face or I will kick you.”

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