Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Quintessential Living Arrangement

From the land of glass covered sidewalks, built to scale man-made replica islands of the world and Sheiks with underwear more expensive than Raef LaFrentz contract comes the unveiling of the world's first SHAPE SHIFTING SKYSCRAPER.

Uh, yeah.  This is basically a big middle finger fuck you "I Win" out to the rest of the architecture world if renowned techy David Fisher can pull this off. Completion date: 2010

Here are the need-to-knows:

420-meter rotating skyscraper
Each floor rotates independently. What?!?!?!
Powered by Wind Turbines filled between floor? Oh, so its Green as well

So, I guess I'll believe it when I see it

Fan Mail

The sports world is officially dead as of this weekend. After KP dominates the draft once again, what is left to watch? Tiger is out, Euro Cup is over, no football news for a while - just baseball, plugging away, playing their insane number of games and inspiring yet another year of apathy until September. So this time of year lends itself to reflection. In the case of one loyal QLE reader, reflections on the love that sports inspire. You can love your car, you can love your dog, you can even love a sports team, but can you love your sports columnist? A reflection of Deeks Mangreen's struggle to answer that question below.
Dear Bill,
I started reading your column in the summer of 2007, and I must say: I love your stuff. But I seriously kind of hate you.

You are in fanhood euphoria while I am stuck on planet earth. Back-to-back-to-back sports seasons where your team competed for a championship (RedSox, Patriots, Celtics). I swear, that is just not right.

I'm torn and am not sure exactly what I think about you. Love/hate relationship? Maybe, but I'm more of a "this or that" kind of guy. Don't like sitting on the fence.
I was an econ major in college and learned that a cost/benefit analysis can help you figure out just about anything, so I'm going to lay out the costs and benefits of me reading your column.

: You are a total fan!!! And I can totally relate to that! (Ignoring of course the fact that you are a total homer fan of teams I happen to hate.
COST: You're a total homer fan of horrible teams that I happen to hate.

: You are f'ing funny. I laugh a lot when reading your stuff.
COST: Totally blows my cover at work. I work in finance and let me tell you, the stock market isn't exactly hilarious these days.

: I'm convinced I'll be cursed and have 3 daughters just like my uncle. You gave me hope in Learning About Sports From a 2 1/2 Year Old that if I only have daughters, I'll be able to convince them to like sports ... at least during their formative years.
COST: Me thinking that having all daughters really wouldn't be THAT bad further ensures that I will only have daughters.

: It was really nice of you to warn me not to read this column wherein you BLATANTLY HATE on the future of the NBA.
COST: Of course I read it you dummy! And you totally pissed me off. You were just jealous. 2 blazer fans? Seriously? I have steam coming out of my ears right now.

BENEFIT: Your luck as a fan gives other fans (me) hope.
COST: All of your teams are firing on all cylinders right now. Literally all of them. That has NEVER happened to me and gets me so fired up.

This list could go on, but making the list has already helped me gain clarity. Look ... It's not like I ever think that the Blazers will win an NBA championship, followed by the Oregon Ducks winning the BCS, followed by the Cleveland Browns winning the Super bowl (don't ask about the Browns thing ... it's a long story involving a friend buying my buddy and I as many free hot dogs as we can eat if we go to Cleveland and watch a game). I know that the chance of all of my teams having your teams' success probably isn't going to happen. But the fact that the last 8-9 months have been so practically perfect for you (everybody knows you jinxed the Pats, so it's your fault it wasn't 100% perfect ) - I guess it teaches me to not totally give up hope. Because afterall ... isn't that what being a fan is all about?

So ... at the end of all of this ... I will keep reading. But seriously, don't write stuff about the Blazers like that again. Oden will punish you for it next year, I promise. Thanks for all the hard work - and enjoy this 1 good year of Celtics hoops b/c they are old as dirt and don't have much gas left. Meanwhile, my team has a good 8-12 solid years left in Roy, Oden, Aldridge.

Your Reader,

The new worst movie of '08

First off, my apologies to Kevin Bacon and all the tiny minds responsible for Death Sentence. I thought you had the stranglehold on the worst movie of 2008. Unfortunately you have been replaced. Now, this isn't to say that Be Kind Rewind is actually a worse movie overall, but seriously, BKR, what is your excuse?

My justifications for watching in the first place:

1. Starring Mos Def (#69 on Stuff White People Like), Jack Black, and Danny Glover, all people who have made me laugh and entertained me at some point.

2. Directed by Michael Gondry. He has made music videos for some of my favorite bands and directed great, award winning movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

3. A 67% on Rotten Tomatoes. Usually a pretty good guide, but a good lesson - always read the synopses and I would have seen warning words like "schmaltzy" and "corny cool and beautiful."

So it shouldn't be horrible, right? Wrong. It was apparent in about the first 10 minutes that we were in for an aimless, boring, overly sentimental crap fest full of rambling side stories, unclear plot motivations and irrelevant Jack Black "comedy."

The story was boring and sappy, the jokes were painfully obvious and I found myself repeatedly wondering: did all of these people sit around and have to convince themselves "Jack Black wearing a colander on his head will be REALLY funny!" I would expect that out of summer camp skit, not a lineup of this caliber.

Update to Shaq the Rapper

Well, turns out that Shaq's night job (being a fly MC) is interfering with his other night job, being a deputy sheriff in Phoenix.

You may be familiar with Joe Arpaio. He's the Phoenix-area Sheriff who clearly idolizes the warden in Midnight Run. No, he doesn't break prisoners' feet on a regular basis, but he does make them eat green bologna and live in tent cities in the Arizona desert all while wearing pink underwear. You get the picture - don't cross Joe, you'll be sorry.

Apparently Joe doesn't like quasi homo erotic rhetorical questions about the taste of Shaq's ass either, according to this story. Part of me likes this - it's true, no special treatment for Shaq. Part of me can't help picture a kid on the day they visit the firehouse in grade school getting the sticker-fireman's-badge ripped unceremoniously off his chest for pulling Suzy's pigtails.

The good news is he can always move to Portland where apparently anyone can become sheriff no matter how big of an a-hole you are.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Shaq Attaq!!!

You may recall Shaq Diesel. How about Shaq-Fu? Or maybe Kazaam? All three rap monikers of the Big Aristotle back when he was laying rhymes over less than dope beats. 

Last weekend we witnessed the lyrical renaissance of the Phoenix Suns Center at a small NYC Club. Notables to look for in the footage include Shaq blaming Kobe for ruining his marriage, knocking Kobe for not being able to win a Championship and asking Kobe a less than appetizing question about his posterior. 

Shaq-Fu, Da Return........

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Girl Talk - Free(ish) Music

Girl Talk is sick. Some people don't know or don't understand, but it's only because you haven't thrown on your headphones and listened to the ridiculous intricacy of what this kid does.

You can give it a listen on this "fan video" of my favorite song off the last album Night Ripper here on youtube. Or, an alternative version here featuring Hillary Clinton dancing to Girl Talk - not sure if it's even funny, but man Youtube is a weird place.

He leads off his latest release, Feed the Animals with a 17 sample mix up as detailed here on Wikipedia:

"Play Your Part (Pt. 1)" - 4:45

The good news? Illegal Art and Girl Talk are offering the new album for download "Radiohead-Style." Jump on the Illegal Art site right here and download it asap. According to Wikipedia if you opt to pay $0, you have to fill out a questionnaire (in short why the eff are you so cheap?). So download it and check it out, oh, and watch Hillary Clinton bounce that one more time.

Some Dude vs. Chris Martin

We've seen it 1,000 times. Coldplay releases amazing album featuring summer song Viva la Vida. Album shoots to top of charts. Chris Martin gets celebratory BJ from Gwyneth. Some dude (Andrew Hoepfner of Creaky Boards) says CM stole the song from him after attending a Creaky Boards show in NYC. Story detailed here. Be sure to check out the bulleted comparison of the bands at the end of the piece. Strangely enough, no one but Stringer actually believes that Coldplay stole their #1 single from some HD in NY. Hoepfner put together a little Youtube ditty to let you be the judge. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Not Quite the Adidas Slogan

Last night the NBA Finals ended in less that dramatic fashion with Boston chowdering a 40pt blowout of Kobe and his two first team all "Cic-ers"

After the game, always persistent Michelle Tafoya clamps onto KG and asks him, "NBA Champion. How does that sound?"

Kevin Garnett replies, "Man I'm so hyped right now. Anything is Possible. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE."

Then he proceeds to thank a handful of nicknames, letters and acronyms that nobody in the viewing audience understands. But, that's not the point here.

The point is that KG is an adidas shoe and clothing monger and that their tag line is "Impossible is Nothing."

So, was KG stoked on the happenings and ready to down some Remy in Boylston? Or is he just a buffoon and completely butchered the adidas slogan that has been shoved down our throats that last year and a half.

Either way, Adi Dassler is turning in his grave today with the organic branding opportunity that could have been.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Quote of the Day

Dick Durbin, the other Senator from Illinois and the majority Whip, on rising oil prices...

"In two days, the price of oil rose $16," said Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., at a joint hearing of two Senate panels on oil speculation Tuesday. "Did I miss something, was there some war in the Middle East?"

"No, something is going on besides supply and demand, and it could be excessive speculation," he added.

Did he just ask if there was a war in the Middle East then answer "No" to his own question? Good one Dick, and great picture with the corpse formerly known as Joan Rivers.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Another Entry in the "No Shit" File

Another entry into the "No Shit, Sherlock" news category.  Turns out, some of the food you can buy at movie theatre concessions stands is bad for you...

According to the article, Six Worst Things to Eat at the Movies (and this may shock you) the large tub of heavily buttered popcorn you just crushed before the movie was 10 minutes old?  Yup, just as you suspected.... BAD FOR YOU, to the tune of 1,283 calories 78 grams of fat, 49 grams of saturated fat (2.5 days worth)!

A full box of "bite sized Snickers?"  ALSO bad for you!!!  It only gets worse, nachos with fake cheese, whoppers, super-tankers of pop.  None of it good for you.

The best part?  The URL: "" - really?  It took an expert to tell us this information?  A health expert?  God save us all.  It only gets worse when the user generated content section tells us that "78% of users found this article helpful!"  Holy hell.  We are doomed.

If I may challenge the health experts at - I could rewrite this article a bit more briefly:
100% of snacks at movie theater are unhealthy, possibly deadly, served in portions that could kill someone from Mississippi.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pet Names

It's hard to name a pet. I can't necessarily tell you why, but anecdotal evidence abounds. My own family has failed to rise to the challenge  - Grey Cat, Tootsie - more than once! So I reside in the glass house and would never, etc., etc.

There are other potential pitfalls, not the least of which is that people seem to forget that they will, at some point, have to yell their pets name in public. Do you really want to stand on the front porch (dog park, playground, local hip shopping area where you're trying to meet chicks) and yell "BUBBLES, COME! COME HERE BUBBLES!!!"

I would also argue that your pet will act in accordance with its name. For example, the Rat Terrier at the park the other day running, jumping, freaking out and generally ignoring everything it's owner said... "BUGGY, SIT! BUGGY, you come here right now. Buggy, why won't you hold still? Buggy, why are you freaking out?" When you named your high-strung dog Buggy, what did you expect?

Then there is the name overuse. Every black lab in the Pacific Northwest is named Porter. Every filthy hippy has a dog named Mary Jane (so clever!). And for some reason, it is way hip, as a 20-something woman, to name your dog Lola. I know 3 people who have recently done it. No joke. Just think of the mass hysteria when the couple, on a dog walking date call "Lolaaaaa, Porrrterrrr, comehereandgetatreat???!!!!???" Muddy pants, paws in faces will certainly abound.

So, good luck with that, but final word of warning. Don't get too fancy with the name. You may end up explaining to children at the dog park that "It's the name of a city in Italy. What's Italy? Never mind, just call her D Dog."
*Disclaimer - I love animals and all of my friends pets and I am NOT making fun or anyone or their precious pooches.

Summer Drinking Pitfalls

Turns out, this summer, fit is the new fat.  Everyone is getting in shape.  Running, lifting, riding, jumping, playing, swimming - you name it, people are feeling motivated and ready to get that gut into shape for the summer.  One of the biggest motivations?  The plan for most summertime activities involves limited clothing and maximum consumption.  

But, there are potential pitfalls, according to this hard hitting piece in Newsweek: The Summer's Six Most Fattening Cocktails.  This is laugh out loud funny, some high points appear below:

- Drinking ONE mudslide is approximately equivalent to a Carl's Junior Loaded Breakfast Burrito at 820 Calories and 27.2 grams of fat.

- A margarita can get you with an astounding 850 calories.  That's ONE serving.  Ignore the fact that I washed down my recent Enchiladas and 4 baskets of chips dinner with the "48
 ouncer" at LaCostita.  I THINK we've found the problem...

So, what's a summer drinker to do?  Well, Miller has their suggestion: the new MGD Light 64 calorie beer.  That's right - about 1/2 your typical Booo Laiiii so now you can drink twice as much with half the guilt.  Or something like that.

Oh, the other pitfalls?  
Public Urination, assing out at weddings, assing out at company functions, knocking over dart machines, sleeping on railroad tracks, drunk dialing people who are now married, etc. etc.
Good luck this summer.

2 For One Entertainment

Although summer's just getting started, I am ALWAYS looking ahead to winter and the coming ski season.  I guess the fact that we're experience a "Juneuary" in the PNW makes it a little easier to ignoring the pending joy of summer and think about skiing again...
But, June is when Rage Films releases their annual ski film teaser.  A couple of minutes dedicated to sick, new school skiing, amazing cinematography and, as always, the hottest new track.  So, if you've never seen a Rage Films (or are already a fan) check out the teaser for "Such is Life."  As a special bonus, you will be introduced to MGMT with their cut "Time to Pretend."  Now you're in the know.

Friday, June 6, 2008


I love internet language and I hate filling up my SUV.  Happy Friday.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Weeds Season 3 - Watch It

Season 3 came on DVD. It is great for the following:

1. Mary Louise-Parker is hot and manages to drink something out of a straw every episode (HELLO internet fanboy - sorry, it just kind of came out).

2. Kevin Nealon is absolutely brilliant.

3. Short but sweet. No fanatical devotion required.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Reflections on Kanye

Although it would be a bit Kanye-esque to say this entry is a result of popular demand - a couple people inquired as to the quintessential health of the QLE so I thought I would check in with some thoughts on my experience at the Glow In The Dark Tour last night.

There were a variety of reactions when I told people I was going to the show. Most laughed, a few were jealous, and a surprising number of
people said: Kayne, oh, I can't stand him, he is soooo arrogant (conceited, egotistical, cocky, etc.)! This struck me as slightly ridiculous for two reasons:
1. Yeah he is, he's one of the most famous pop stars of his era. And admit it, you love or have loved his music. It has played at your favorite parties, been on your workout mix or has bumped in your car.
2. Who gives a shit? I am not going to a massive arena pop show to see someone up there be self deprecating and humble. I want the guy to go nuts and put on a visual-musical spectacle worthy of my time and money, and I would contend a large ego is necessary for that!

This show was huge - almost 5 hours of music from some of the best pop acts out there - N.E.R.D., Lupe, Rhianna and, of course, Kanye. This is the first arena pop show I have been to since TLC, Mary J Blige and Bobby Brown (Humpin' Around) in '92. Combine that with the fact that I was the oldest person in Sec. 114 without a kid in tow, and I was a little self conscious in the beginning.

Is it really cool to go nuts, jump around and pound out some white guy fist pumps to radio-ready pop music? You bet your sweet ass, and I had a great time doing it, grooving to Lupe, bouncing with N.E.R.D., singing um breELLA, ELLA, ELLA, EA, EA and throwing my diamonds in the sky, because it's obvious I felt the vibe.

After an almost 90 minute set in which I imagine he played 20 songs, the show appeared to be over - the house lights even started to come up - but Kanye had other plans. He took the moment to go on a pretty impressive rant - against critics, against media (kind of) and in favor of art, musical expression and having a well developed love for ones self and what they do. The guy likes himself, he knows we like him, and he likes it. Granted, interspersed among the rant were hints at schizophrenia, some name calling and some non-linear logic, but overall it was pretty solid and entertaining.

Ultimately, Kanye asks, what's so wrong with having high self esteem, to liking ones self and what they do? It reminds me of Kobe Bryant. People love to hate Kobe, they call him arrogant, conceited, etc. But think about it this way - it feels good to be good at something. It feels even better to be better than others at something. Imagine if you were better than all 6 Billion people on Earth... I give the guy a pass on feeling good about that.

So, was the show life changing and analogous to a James Joyce novel as Luciana Lopez suggested in her pre-show drubbing of Kanye? Nah, but as my Uncle would say, it was significantly better than a sharp stick in the eye. Equal parts Vegas style stage show (yes, Kanye did some acting), Disney ride and mega-pop tour, it was an amazing time had by all, great music and a welcome change from the hipster asshole crowd who take themselves and music oh so seriously.

An interesting post script - Luciana (the pop critic for the Oregonian) apparently has a bit of a hubris problem as well. Check out her review in today's paper where she writes (and seems to believe) that Kanye's rant about media and all the haters in the world was directed solely toward her. It's clear she has the John Canzano syndrome, but we can get into that later...