Tuesday, December 18, 2007

So, So Done.

The quarter is finished! Grades turned in, papers written and books read. Now I start that loop again in a few weeks, but its break time now. When I get free time though, its hard to be motivated to do things. All I want is some rest, maybe I will ask for that from Santa.

One of my favorite things being on a college campus is the odd bits of conversation you hear in passing. My favorite from this quarter was between two guys walking past each other.

Guy 1: "Hey, I thought you graduated last spring"
Guy 2: "Yeah, me too, but I guess not. Don't have time to talk right now, I'm 20 minutes late to class"

In other news, we went and saw "Juno" again and its even better the second time. Some of the dialogue is so quick and snappy that you need multiple viewings to catch it all. I'm also loving the soundtrack, all of them great songs. I have also added a new link to the right. "Timothy McSweeney's Internet Tendency" is a great online spot for some cool quirky humor. Definitely check out the archives that have. Well that's it for now.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

End of Quarter

Finals week is here! That means lots of work and little time. I've got one class finished and two more to go. All will be done by friday. I hope.

The movie class has wrapped up as well. The last two were "Atonement" and "The Kite Runner". Both were excellent films that dealt with adults being forced to deal with mistakes/actions taken while children. I think KR was a little better given its relevance to our times. The disparity between the Kabul of the character's youth and the one he visits in 2000 is devastating and shocking. More when I'm done.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Do j'know Juno?

You should. Juno is another movie I saw in my film class. It comes out in two weeks, and I can't wait to see it again. It's about a teenage girl who becomes pregnant and the choices she makes afterwards. The acting was really good, especially Ellen Page and Michael Cera. What really got me hooked on the movie was the soundtrack featuring Belle and Sebastian and The Moldy Peaches. They just did a great job of using music to set the tone of the film as her pregnancy progresses. It is also hysterically funny, much in the same vein as Little Miss Sunshine. Definitely check this one out.

Last week, we saw "The Band's Visit" in the class. It's an Israeli comedy about a Egyptian Police Band that ends up in the wrong town in the Israeli countryside as they make their way to a cross-cultural celebration. I didn't know any of the actors, but the story was good and the mistaken understanding of both groups creates a great setting for the story.

I got up to Sacramento last week for Thanksgiving. It was so nice to be away from Irvine for a few days. It was cold, so cold; and it was good. Hung out with family, ate lots of food, and watched lots of sports. I also ended up playing lots of catch and learning about Pokemon. While up there, I saw "No Country for Old Men" and loved it. The setting, story, and acting were fantastic. Not really a holiday movie, but I enjoyed it none the less. Tommy Lee Jones has to be nominated for his role.

More later.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Well, that how you pronounce it at least. Actually, the latest sneak peek film we saw was something called "War Eagle, Arkansas" It was an okay film, but not really my kind of movie. It's about a high school baseball player deciding between staying in his hometown and going to college. See, the topic just doesn't catch my attention. Probably wouldn't have seen it, if not for the class.

The weather, however, has been awesome the best couple of day. No direct sunlight, lots of clouds and in the sixties. So nice.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Big Mac(intosh)

Yup, I've made the switch from a PC to a Mac. I love my Compaq, but it has finally started to slow down, make grinding sounds, and not open programs correctly. I waited til Apple released the new Leopard OS last week, and got my new computer last weekend. I'm still getting used to some the programs and the one click mouse, but over all I am really happy with it. It also works super fast. It seriously has no startup time, which really surprised me at first. I was kind of like, "that's it, really, cool".

Not much in other news, mostly just reading and writing. I am loving Heroes, The Office and Scrubs though. That's about the current time limit I can devote to TV right now. Yeah, just two hours.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

So This Is Pretty Cool!

Trying to find ways to relax, I decided to sign up for a "Sneak Peek" film course, that basically just entails me getting to see movies before they are released. The first class was this last monday, and we got to see "The Savages". It stars Laura Linney and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. It's dramatic tale of adult children forced to deal with their aging father. There are a few funny scenes in the movie, but for the most part this is a serious film that explores themes of child/parent relationships and how people overcome challenges in their own lives. I think the movie was great, and both of the actors convincingly portrayed their characters. I enjoyed it and think this is one that people should keep their eyes out for in the near future.

In other news, the fires have died down, the smoke has cleared and we can finally see blue skies again. Luckily, the fires were not as damaging as they could have been. It still sad that they happen though, especially when started on purpose.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Love those Santa Ana Winds

Fire, high winds, smoke and ash covering everything! Just another joy of being in Southern California during the fall. Even better, they say this will be a La Nina weather pattern year, so that means no rain all winter. At least our place smells a little less of smoke than it did yesterday. The sky is still all smoky though. The winds are supposed to die down tomorrow, and I sure hope they do. I'm tired of them. At least the summer heat is gone now, and I can only hope that cool weather is on our way, even if we get no rain.

School has been keeping me extremely busy, so we haven't been doing a lot of fun stuff recently. We did make it out to see "The Darjeeling Limited" though, and I have to say that it was hilarious. My favorite Wes Anderson movie is still "The Royal Tenenbaums", but this was is now second. I love the story of the three brothers traveling by train, and the interaction between Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and Adrian Brody is spot on perfect. They seem like real siblings. On the tube, I am so happy that "the office" and "Heroes" are back on. I've only added one new show to my viewing schedule and that's "Chuck". It's funny, spy-themed, and all around awesome!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Bad Idea Bears are awesome!

So I have seen two musicals in the last two weeks and both of them were really good, but for different reasons. I saw Wicked at the Pantages Theatre in Hollwood and it was fantastic. The sets were just amazing. What I really enjoyed was the story though, the songs were okay, but it was the overall story that I really got into. I highly recommend it.

This last weekend we saw Avenue Q at the Ahmanson Theatre in LA. Have you ever thought to yourself, "Musicals need more swearing, political incorrectness and crude innuendos"? If so, this is the show for you. The story is so-so, but the songs are absolutely hysterical. They are just so wrong, that you can't stop laughing. I loved it.

Back to school in 3 days, so I'm enjoy the last bit of summer/early fall.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I've seen three documentaries in the last week and all of them were realy good. First up are "The Aristocrats" and "Murderball". They are a few years old, but I finally got around to seeing them. The Aristocrats is a great look at the comic community and how a single joke has taken on a life of its own. Very funny and crass. Murderball is about the U.S. Quadrapeligic rugby team. These guys are hard-core kick-ass athletes.

And finally "King of Kong". If you ever thought video games were boring you need to see this film. It looks at the world of competitive video games and the rivalry for the highest score in the world at Donkey Kong. It was great, funny, and at times actually sad. Go see it!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Ocean Can Be Vicious

Well, it has been an interesting few days. We went to Crystal Cove over Labor Day weekend and the ocean stole my glasses. And man, am I blind without them. Too bad this happened on the sunday of a three day weekend. I was lucky to get some trial contact lens on tuesday, so I can see now. But the day and a half of being sightless was weird. People kept telling me to look at things and I was like "why? I can't see it anyway." Then I finally found some frames I liked, but had to order them online because my doctor doesn't carry them. They are ordered though, and will be here soon.

It made has me think though, do I like contact or glasses better? I have always had glasses until the last few days. I keep going back and forth on it. I like not having something on my face, but I hate putting the contacts in.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Stuff

Well, by a vote of 2 to nothing, people agreed that Karl is King! I agree, and will put a pic of myself wearing my new shirt proclaiming the fact soon. I will make new polls as I think of fun stuff.

Mostly reading this week, but there are a few new things. Goodreads.com is a cool site to see whose reading what and to get honest reviews of stuff. I have been adding stuff that I remember reading and will keep it up-to-date with my oral readings, exactly the stuff people want to read reviews of, I'm sure.

I am adding some more comics too. A Softer World is kind of weird, but occasionally funny. Penny Arcade makes fun of the gaming world, and "Strindberg and Helium is a collection of short videos about the depressed playwright and his imaginary friend, Helium. All are really good and make me laugh on a regular basis. Back to work

Friday, August 24, 2007

Pro-crastination and other thoughts

I say "Pro" because I feel I am mastering it as an art. I have a lot to do, and I have been avoiding most of it; much to my own chagrin. I really wish I could feel so motivation.

I think I have reached the age, 28 and a half, where you begin to enjoy NPR. I have never had an interest in radio news, ever! But in the last few months I have been finding myself listening more and more to NPR in the mornings. Specifically KCRW in Los Angeles. While I still get most of my news online, I think this must be a sign of aging or something.

In sports news, my Cubs are looking good. I have high hopes for the Pennant Race. My Melbourne Demons are at the bottom of their league and I can only hope they improve next year. Football is starting soon and the Carolina Panthers' chances of making the playoffs are promising I think, especially after Michael Vick is out of the picture for the year.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Am I a Simpson?



Yup, I was one of those people who contributed 31 million dollars to this movie's first weekend take, and you know what...I'm glad! This movie was hilarious. Funniest thing I have seen since "Knocked Up". Seth Rogan is quickly becoming my new favorite comedic actor; and he even co-wrote the script. The film is really two great stories; Evan and Seth in their search for booze/girls and McLovin's night on the town with two cops. I'll say no more, but trust me its sooo good. I laughed through the whole movie.

I'm know reading three novels and beginning to prep for my Oral Exams at the end of the coming school year. I need to finish the fiction soon because there will be no time for it beginning in about a month. That's when year three of grad school begins! Not much else going on, except for the flipping of pages in books.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Make It Right

So if you know me, you know I love coffee, and my favorite drink is an Iced Mocha. When made right, it's the greatest thing in the world, but it can be easily screwed up. Peet's Coffee makes it right. Mix chocolate syrup with the espresso and then pour equally with the milk over ice. Almost everytime its perfect, but occasionally its a little weak because you get too much milk. Starbucks uses syrup, which is the NECESSARY ingredient to make it correctly, but they use way too much and they burn their beans. My teeth usually hurt after drinking theirs. The trick is to ask for half the normal amount of chocolate and then it is drinkable, but still not great. Some places like Diedrich's Coffee use chocolate powder. It is passable, but I don't like it. You end up with grit at the bottom of the cup. Now for the two worst possible ways to make the drink.

1. Almost all the coffee shops in La Jolla, CA use chocolate milk in their drinks. I have no idea why they do it, but it tastes terrible. Luckily there is a Peet's there now.

2. There is a bar/smoke den/coffee shop in the student union at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee that offers something they call "Daddy's Mocha". The rancid smell of cigarette smoke should have warned me, but I really needed coffee that day. They mixed regular black coffee with a package of swiss miss hot chocolate. It was one of the worst things I have ever tasted. One sip and I threw it away. Why didn't they tell me the real coffee shop was in the bookstore? Their coffee was much better.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Twenty Days

Twenty days have passed since the last post, and while I don't have any new pictures, I have been busy. I was in Sacramento for a weekend, which was fun and very hot. I also have watched a ton of movies. Ratatouille, Die Hard, and Harry Potter, all of which I recommend. Mostly I've been working and that always seems to eat up so much time. Last night, however, I went to see Guster play the Orange County fair. So awesome! My first time seeing them play and hopefully not the last. I mean, come on, you gotta love it when the drummer plays with his hands most of the night. Watching him wrap medical tape around his fingers between songs just made me wince. It was a great show and they played all the songs I wanted to hear. In honor of the show I am adding their website to the links.

In other news, I also want to highly recommend the new Interpol album "Our Love to Admire" it is a great follow-up to "Antics" and have been listening to it near non-stop since it came out two weeks ago. Go buy it!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Milwaukee: More than Meets the Eye?

Sorry. Couldn't help throwing in the Transformers reference. Saw it the other day and have to admit it was fun. Two hours of mindless entertainment. Big explosions and a nostalgic trip. What more do you want for 8 bucks?

So the conference in Milwaukee went well and was fun. I personally love the city. The weather was perfect, I learned a lot and sucessfully delivered a paper. I have included some pictures from the trip.

Here are two pics of the Calavatra extension at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The wings actually open and close. One is from the outside, and the other is looking up from inside.

Here is a shot of all the bridges going up as a boat passes underneath.

Here is a duckling statue along the river. There is a series of these, commemorating a duck that stopped construction on one of the bridges while they waited for her eggs to hatch. I think this one is Millie.

One of the things I really love about Milwaukee is the architecture. Here is a quick sample. A church on the Marquette campus, City Hall (currently being renovated) and the federal courthouse (which really looks like a castle).

More to come soon.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

End of the Year

Well, I officially finished my second year of grad school, but still have work to do. Polish a conference paper, and TA this summer. Its good to be busy, but tiring at the same time. So quick movie notes, Go see Day Watch, it is awesome. "Smokin' Aces" was not so smokin, buy okay. Epic Movie just sucked and, with a 67 minute running time, might be the shortest wide release movie I have ever seen.

I am reading fiction again too! Dave Eggers' You Shall Know Our Velocity. So far, really good. Great story and extremely well written.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Promised Pics and more

So the promised pics of Big Bear are below, but first... I actually watched three movies this weekend, and highly recommend two. Go see "Knocked Up"! It is hilarious and a wonderful movie. The jokes are great, lots of pop culture references, and a good story. I also saw "Confetti", its a British import about three couples competing in the most unusual wedding competition. It is a mockumentry and really funny, especially the tennis couple. Just see it. The last film was "Trust the Man". Avoid it. It was an unfunny version of Knocked Up without the baby. That's just the easiest way to describe it.

And now for pictures.
Here is me standing outside of our tent.

Big Bear Lake from the top of our hike up one of the mountains.

Me standing near the "Solar Observatory" which oddly enough is run by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

And finally, Charli and I with the lake in the background.

And finally, how about the fact that Cubs win a game, but their manager is suspended indefinitely for arguing with a umpire???

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Crooked French Canadians are awesome!

It has been a busy month, with almost vacations and real ones taking place. The title refers to the song "July July" by the Decemberists. I have been listening to them a lot recently and I highly recommend all of their albums. I'm not sure how to describe their music besides saying its catchy and full of great lyrics.

As for the almost vacation, we were going to head out to Catalina Island. Unfortunately it caught on fire and that trip was finished. Last weekend though, we went camping out at Big Bear Lake. I had never been up there before, but it was beautiful and quiet, even for Memorial Day. It kind of reminded us of miniature Lake Tahoe. Really, it was just nice to be away from school and email for three days. It recharged my batteries as we head into the final two weeks. I have pics, but they are saved on my other computer. I will post them soon.

As for Sports, well my Cubbies are not looking good. They are playing terribly right now and last night the pitcher and catcher got in a fight. Generally, fights break out between teams, not within them. My Melbourne Demons recorded their first victory of the season last night. Too bad it came in Week 10 of a 22 week season. I somehow doubt they will be in the playoffs this year.

That's it for now, more soon.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Where do you go to relax?

For me it has to be Portland, OR. A friend got married last weekend, so we had the opportunity to go up. Actually, it has been 3 weddings in 3 years, all of them in Portland. Here is some pics from the Trip. First up is Powell's: the greatest bookstore in the world. I spent quite a bit of time in there. This is the newer entrance, and rumor has it, the ashes of a man who wanted to be buried in Powells are encased in the statue of books in front of the door.

Here is the only rose that had bloomed yet in the Portland Rose Garden and the worlds laziest squirrel.

And finally, here is an "Only in Portland" picture. I have no idea how these two coexist next to each other.

It was a great weekend, fun was had by all and I got some rest. More to come soon.

Monday, April 23, 2007

See this film for the GREATER GOOD!

Okay, I have been looking forward to "Hot Fuzz" since I starting hearing about it last year. "Shaun of the Dead" is one of my favorites, so how could these they go wrong with a buddy/cop comedy. They couldn't, and further more they didn't. I saw it this weekend and loved it. Easy enough to say, if you loved Shaun you will love this. This film plays to a different audience though too. It spoofs so many cop films that I lost count, however, it is not just a spoof. It has a real story and developed characters. Plus, some gore and lots of cameos by bigger name actors. Overall, best film I have seen so far this year. So please go see it for the greater good.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

In facing danger, it is best to have a badger at your side

This has been really busy week, but I get a day of rest now. So I can update what has been going on. First there was Easter. Charli and I dyed some eggs and here is a pic of them. We were using rubberbands and so got these cool stripes. I really like the green/orange one that I made. I also baked a small ham, which was a first.

In the last week, things were more hectic. I presented a paper at a conference this weekend and helped run the catering for the conference as well. Charli took some pictures, and here is one. I was nervous to start off, but in the end I think it was a great experience. Speaking in front of 15 people and sharing your research kind of breeds anxiety. What if they think your wrong? But I got great feedback and got through it.

However, the thing I was most worried about was presenting a lecture in the class that I am TAing for. 15 people is one thing. 200 undergrads looking for you to explain the importance of World War I is somewhat different. Standing down at the bottom of a lecture hall with everyone watching you is kind of creepy. But, after starting a little rough, things calmed down and I had fun with it. I think the most important thing was using examples that I know really well, so that I wasen't just reading through the notes, but rather just talking to them. I'm glad I did it.

As for other news, lets just say that neither my Chicago Cubs or Melbourne Demons have started well this season. It could be a long summer of sports...

Friday, April 06, 2007


Yeah, its that time of year, Cubs baseball. I think they have a good team this year, even though they have started 1-2. I'm more worried about the anticipated sale at the end of the season. It already sounds like it will end in a mess. Really, how could you sell the team without Wrigley? That field is an intricate part of the team. Most of the potential bidders have already made that clear. No stadium, no deal.

I spent the last weekend down in La Jolla/San Diego relaxing before classes start back up. It was seal cubbing season, so I got to see tons of baby seals. Here is a pic.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Done, Done, Done, Done.....I'm Done.

Well, almost. Just need to turn in my grades tomorrow and that's it. On to next quarter. And which looks to be fun. Two classes that sound great, I mean come on, being assigned to go watch 300 is awesome and TAing again. However the work starts this week as I need to get ready for my conference presentation. Within the madness, I did see two flicks. "Volver", was ohkaey. Not what I was expecting, especially since the last flick I saw by Almodovar, "Mal Educacion" was execellent. I do recommend catching "Idiocracy" on DVD. Made by the same guy who did "Office Space", it imagines a much, much dumber future. later.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Finals Week

You know, I thought grad students were suppose to be pretty much work free during finals week. However, I've got two papers to finish, an essay to grade for 50+ students and their final exam. So not much is going on here. I did get to watch Borat and Stranger Than Fiction this last week. Both are great films. Stranger, was the better film though, as it exceeded my expectations greatly. Definitely check it out. More soon, when I get an assignment or two finished.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Ah, it is such relief to finish a huge assignment. At least for now. And so what do I turn to for relaxation? Demons Football. I'm not talking that XFL crap from a few years ago. I'm talkin about AFL. Australian Rules Football. Melbourne Demons! Think Rugby, but more violent. THe season is just starting downunder, and while they lost their first game I got hope for the season. The only hard part is following games at midnight. If we could just get rid Hockey here and replace it with this awesome sport. For those interested, I added a link to the team's website. GO DEMONS!

Monday, February 19, 2007


Here is a pic of Lucinda as her alter-ego, Racer Pig. Usually they are both kind of mellow when on the floor, but every now and then, Lucinda will start running back and forth across the living room at full speed. When she does it, she sort of makes this, "thump, thump, thump, thump" noise. It is hilarious. I will put a pic of Olivia when she is in a photogenic mood.

As for me, here is a shot of my life as it currently exists, doing lots of work. I have also included a self-portrait pic. Who says a picture taken with a camera at arms length will never come out good?

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I realized that even though I have given the site the name "Rusted Coffee", I have not given a shout out to my favorite drink in the world, you guessed it, COFFEE! Yup! hot, cold, iced, whatever, it is good. My favorite drink has to be Iced Mochas, especially from Peet's. And for coffee shops, you cannot beat Peet's. Everything they have/make is great. They are based in the Bay Area, but luckily there are enough down here in So Cal. that I can get my fix, although they are now within driving distance rather than walking distance. Oh well, that seems to be the standard measurement of distance here. Ah, I remember when I worked right next to Peet's in San Francisco...those were the days; knowing staff and getting free drinks. Included here is a pic of coffee beans. I took it at a coffee plantation we stop at in Guatemala two years ago.

Monday, February 12, 2007

RANT: Post Offices

I need to vent my anger at the postal system! Why does the post office that serves all of campus and parts of Irvine have to be so small? I waited in line for 30 minutes to send one thing. Newport Beach's post office is huge and spacious, with like 7 or 8 tellers. We get 3! And why are they so slow? I mean really, if you see 20 people in line...Don't stop to have a conversation! If only I had quicker way of getting to any other postal facility. Arggghhhh!

It's only been two weeks since the last post, so I take it as a sign I'm getting better about writing. Illness, excessive school work, and lamenting the Bear's loss in the Super Bowl have taken up a fair bit of time recently. I am hoping to get back on track this week....we'll see if that happens.

As for movies, go watch "The Five Obstructions" a great little documentary about challenging a film director to remake one of his finest films 5 times, each with different rules he must follow. Skip, "You, Me and Dupree" just not funny. By the way, have I mentioned my love for "Heroes". Best show on TV right now. More soon. with pictures (maybe)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Wow its been a long time...

Well, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's have passed since I posted last. All of those holidays were really good. I ate alot, had fun and relaxed. I also aged another year in there as well and now set at 28.

Everyone needs to check out the Decemberists. My friend recently recommended them and they are awesome. I have been listening to the first two tracks of their "The Crane Wife" album a ton. Also, how cool is it that Little Miss Sunshine is up for 4 oscars!!! That is by far my favorite movie of the year.

In other news, school is keeping me totally busy and has been the main reason for my pseudo-disappearance. I am going to try and get better at this...