Friday, June 29, 2007

Indie comics!

This past Sunday I went to the MoCCA Arts Festvial in the Puck Building. Such a cool event. I saw some familiar faces - the Dumbrella guys, the good folks at Top Shelf, and the power couple of the NY comix scene - Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer.

There was so much amazing art, comix, stickers, t-shirts - very cool stuff. I got a few books, a print, a t-shirt from Squidfire, some stickers and a bunch of minicomics. I really dig the new trend of micro-mini comics!

Street Theater & Comedy

Street Theater
Originally uploaded by Mirka23

I left my apartment this evening and saw a crowd of people with umbrellas standing on the corner, watching a perfermonance by two people wrapped in cellophane. Someone actaully told me that this has been a regular occurance on that corner for a while now, but I forget who it is that's behind this street show.

I was actually on my way to the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater to see a show called Shut Up! I Hate You! It's sort of a pop culture/current events round table hosted by Scott Brown (a hilarious guy that I used to work with) and Anthony King. The two of them also co-wrote Gutenberg! The Musical! which I think is simply brilliant. Hmm, I just noticed that they seem to like show titles with multiple exclamtion points...

Anyway, I had never seen Shut Up! before but it sounded like the kind of thing I would enjoy. It was very, very funny. It's hard to be specific, because it was pretty free-form. They showed video clips and then the panel - consisting of the two hosts plus Jason Mantzoukas, John Mulaney, Rebecca Drysdale and Josh Tyrangiel (Managing Editor of - would comment, discuss, make jokes, do impersonations, go on wild tangents, crack up, interrupt each other, etc and it was thoroughly entertaining. The next time they do this will be end of August, I'll have to go check it out again.

After the show I ran into Charlie Todd (his weekly improv smackdown show, Cage Match, was up next). I happened to be wearing my Improv Everywhere shirt, and he seemed to approve of that.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mermaid Parade

Coney Island Mermaids
Originally uploaded by Mirka23

On Saturday I went to the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island. For nearly 7 years I have been saying that I would go. And finally I did! It was a beautiful day for it, not too hot. I got there two hours late, but the parade was still going on. When I first got to the boardwalk, I ran into two guys who I had played poker with the night before! Pretty weird, considering how crowded it was.

There were some really amazing costumes there, I have to say!

Update: I loaded up a bunch more photos. See my complete Mermaid Parade photoset here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hack Day London

Me and Chris
Originally uploaded by Mirka23
I've started to add my photos from Hack Day to Flickr. The photo at right shows me and Chris, trying to continue our hack after being evacuated from the West Hall into the adjacent Palm Court (where there were no power cords, and no wifi). See the rest of the photo set here.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

How rainy is London?

Today, at the first day of Hack Day, as I was listening to the conclusion of a very interesting talk about new Geo mobile APIs from Yahoo, there was a dramatic booming sound, the ceiling opened and it started raining inside the building.

See the video for a further explanation of what happened.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Off to London

I'm heading to London this evening. This will be somewhat new for me, because even though I've been to London 4 times in the past 6-7 years, I've only ever gone in late Fall or Winter. I'll write more about what I've been up to when I get back.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Shakespeare in the Park: Romeo & Juliet

On Sunday I went to see Romeo & Juliet, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. This is an annual summer tradition. My friends and I pick a weekend day, go to the park at an absurdly early hour, and wait for free tickets. We bring blankets, food, games and books and the time usually flies by.

This time we got the best seats we've ever had - second row! Lauren Ambrose was Juliet and the role of Romeo was played by Oscar Isaac (who was in Two Gentleman of Verona a couple summers ago). I thought they were both fabulous. In all the times I've seen R&J, in one form or another, I have never been so highly aware of how much Juliet escalated the impetuous romance.

The set was this amazing rotating thing, filled with water in the middle, and a giant configurable arching stairway that I can't adequately describe. It was quite wonderful, but also kind of noisy when it was turning. This was a little distracting when they turned it while someone was speaking, but not too bad if they turned it between scenes.

A note for Brian, one of the few people I know who reads this blog regularly - Go see Lauren Ambrose in this play! Skip work if you have to!! I won't tell anyone :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Slight Fracture

Saturday I was playing in a video scavenger hunt. Early on we were running around at Coney Island and I attempted to do a weird little dance routine. Somehow, in the course of doing a high kick, I found both my legs flying out from under me. I landed on my butt, and broke my fall with my left hand. Much to the detriment of my left elbow.

It was swollen for a couple days, but I figured it would be ok once that cleared up. My regular doctor sent me to see a hand specialist, who took an X-ray and told me I have a small fracture in my elbow. It already feels a lot better, but I have to wear a wrist splint and keep my arm in asling for the next 3 weeks. This is going to be tough.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Sundance Institute at BAM, continued

Tonight I went to BAM to see Chasing Ghosts, another Sundance film that I didn't get to see out in Park City. The film was really good: a documentary about video game champions from the '80s (think "Dogtown and Z-boys" with Pac-man). But I was kind of tired and not in a great mood. After about 40 minutes I started feeling like it was too long. If it had been an hour-long special on TV, it would have been perfect for me at that time.

When I left BAM, I saw JJ Lask riding up on a bike. His film, On the Road with Judas, was screening next. That's one that Rohanna and I actually did see when we were out at Sundance. Kevin Corrigan, one of the stars of the film, came walking along after JJ. Without realizing what I was doing, I waved "hi" at Kevin, like a complete dork. He gave me a confused look, like "do I know you?" and I quickly just kept walking. What the hell? I never do that!

Kevin Corrigan
Originally uploaded by Mirka23

The only way I can explain this is that, when I saw JJ, I wanted to say hi to him. Because, see, we did actually talk to him at the screening. And Rohanna's roommate works for him, and was an extra in the film. So I guess you could say I'm two degrees from JJ Lask. But then he zipped by so quickly on his bike and my brain fixed on the next person it recognized, who happened to be Kevin, and transferred the greeting to him. Yeah, that sounds like a plausible theory.

Anyway, Kevin probably doesn't remember it, but I did have my picture taken with him at the film's premiere, back in January.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Pipettes

Originally uploaded by Mirka23

Tonight I went to see The Pipettes at the Highline Ballroom. I got their CD last fall, on a trip to London. They're just now releasing the EP here. They were pretty damn bubbly and fun.

Part-way through the show I noticed that their drummer is Joe Van Moyland, who plays the composer Thomas Tallis on Showtime's The Tudors. That was a little surreal.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Flashback: 90210 Weekly Wrapup

Before TelevisionWithoutPity there was the 90210 Weekly Wrapup. I don't think Daniel Drennan official had anything to do with TWoP (which was actually called Mighty Big TV when it first launched), but they definitely were inspired by him and his brilliant, hilarious, sometimes rambling recaps of Beverly Hills 90210. Here's one of their writers that even acknowledged it.

I watched Bev9 until the bitter end, but sometimes it was painfully bad. For the last few seasons, until the middle of the 9th season (when Drennan stopped doing the Wrapup for a while), reading his commentary was more entertaining than watching the actual show.

If you ever liked the show, I recommend reading some of the wrapups, and check out the Wrapup FAQ. Even that's hilarious! And if you find yourself really enjoying Drennan's writing, check out his book, New York Diaries.

The MTV Movie Awards Pre-show Sucks

I intended to watch the MTV Movie Awards the other day, mainly because I think Sarah Silverman is hilarious. I made the mistake of putting on the pre-show beforehand. It was truly awful.

When it wasn't a 30-minute commercial for The Transformers, they were making awkward comments about Lindsay Lohan's latest bout of self-destructive behavior ("We've all heard the rumors."), or awkwardly interviewing Paris Hilton, out there being a professional party-attender one more time before heading off to jail. The only thing that could have made it more awkward would be asking Paris what she thinks of Lindsay's self-desctructive behavior.

I really need to never hear or read anything about Paris Hilton again. I've said that many times before, but seriously, every time I do I just get annoyed. I try not to, I really do.
(After that, I couldn't quite stomach watching the awards show. It's on the DVR. I'll check it out later sometime and probably fast forward through most of it.)

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Baby Pigeons

Baby Pigeons
Originally uploaded by Mirka23
Last weekend I discovered that my air conditioner no longer works. I've had it for 4 years, so it wasn't that big a deal, I suppose. Yesterday I was measuring the window, with a mind to get a new AC, and I realized that the pigeon that likes to hang out on the thing had made a nest. Which was housing two baby pigeons.

Um. Luckily I had already decided to get a bigger AC this time, and it wouldn't fit in the same window. So, I can hold off on getting rid of the old one until the birds vacate. When I was installating the new one, I peeked out the window at my new neighbors, and man are they ugly! I thought baby animals are supposed to be cute! These critters are hideous!

Top 10 Movies: 2005

My favorite films from 2005, in no particular order:
  • Kung Fu Hustle
  • Czech Dream
  • Howl’s Moving Castle
  • March of the Penguins
  • The 40 Year-Old Virgin
  • Everything is Illuminated
  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Brokeback Mountain
  • The Squid and the Whale
  • Walk the Line
And a few that deserve honorable mention:
  • Me and You and Everyone We Know
  • 2046
  • Serenity

Friday, June 1, 2007

Top 10 movies: 2004

My favorite movies of 2004, in no particular order:
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Choking Hazard
  • Super-size Me
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Napoleon Dynamite
  • Garden State
  • Harold & Kumar go to White Castle
  • I Heart Huckabees
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • Sideways

And a few that deserve honorable mention:

  • Last Life in the Universe
  • House of Flying Daggers
  • The Incredibles

Sundance Institute at BAM - Opening Night

Over at BAM they're showing a series of films that played at Sundance this year. This is great because it means I get to see some of the films I wanted to see, but didn't get the chance. The opening night film was Son of Ranbow, which got a lot of good buzz when it screened in Park City.

So, I was expecting to like the film. What I didn't expect was Robert Redford introducing the mini-fest. It makes sense, I just didn't expect it! He said some very nice things about why Brooklyn, and especially BAM, is the perfect place to expand his famous independent film festival. I didn't realize this is only the second year they've done this.

The film was fantastic. An entire opera house full of people cracked up, numerous times. I highly recommend going to see it when it comes to theaters.

Director Garth Jennings was also quite charming and funny. That's him at right, greeting people at the reception after the screening. At one point, as I tried to make my way across the very crowded party, I realized I was walking aside Wes Anderson.

R2 Mailbox

R2 Mailbox
Originally uploaded by Mirka23
I read about these a while ago, but this is the first one I saw. I love the fact that Neckface tagged it, but as a Jedi!