29 August 2007


Everyone knows Susie of boygirlparty fame right? If not, they should because she's an amazing everything. One of her many talents -- and I mean, very many talents -- is being a renowed illustrator and artist. Her online shop is filled with ridiculously amazing things.

Since Susie is yet another of the amazing Ghahremani's I know, I've been fortunate enough to see her workshop and watch her paint with her teeny tiny brushes. It's quite the honor.

She's got a show, entitled "Teacher's Pet," going on at the ultra-cool Giant Robot store in New York until September 12th so if you're anywhere in the area, you should check it out (the pieces are also available for sale online). Susie's stuff is everywhere actually. I'm constantly wandering into stores and finding Susie's signature style and pieces in stores from coast to coast. Susie's like an intergalactic rock star. Seriously.

26 August 2007

Fort Knotts

Someone's been trying to steal my identity and it's not funny. Actually, the person in question doesn't even want my entire identity, just a few hundred dollars from my bank account. It's almost depressing to think that the most valuable part of my good name is its attachment to money. I can guarantee that a few years ago, nobody would have wanted to hack into my bank account for any reason.

Suddenly, as I finally come into (some) money, I'm being attacked. By a Spanish speaker located in New Jersey no less. And they're not even that good at hacking since I found out where they live, their name, and just about everything else about them with my Internet-sleuthing skills. If only they had a MySpace or Facebook to exploit. By the way, is Facebook making a huge push into the market or what?

Coming on the heels of having funds drawn out of my bank account by another Jonathan a few months ago, I've decided that my security measures are really not working. Then again, I'm not sure who to blame because if I have to explain to Paypal's resolution center person how their system works and why there's a weird Catch-22 in it, I'm guessing it doesn't take a genius to crack Paypal's security measures either. Did I mention this is the second time in a month Paypal has failed me?

Anyway, my old password security system -- created maybe six years ago -- utilitized a cunning algorithm of a certain cartoon-ish theme and numbers. It seemed capable of thwarting fools and also forget-proof. You know when IT articles tell you to change your passwords every few weeks? I've decided it's probably a good idea. I've used the same generic password for most log-ins since 2001. It makes it easy to access things but I guess it's probably not that good of an idea.

I just never thought I would see the day when supervillains would target me as a source of potential income. It's nice though, because it obviously means I'm coming up in the world. Unless this guy is the reverse Robin Hood, stealing from the poor to give to the rich. Then I guess I'd be a little embarassed for him since that's not very original. Nor the stuff of legend.

18 August 2007

Stardust (2007)

Where has Claire Danes' career gone post-MSCL? It's hard to name a signature movie for her yet she's been in a ton of stuff. She's on my list of actresses that I enjoy watching but at this point, I'm starting to think it's just because I liked her from MSCL.

I mean, she hasn't really done anything I'd consider a classic or even semi-good. Well, now Danes plays the human incarnation of the evening star fallen from heaven but for some reason, her eyebrows were singed away. It's a bit discomforting. I kind of wish she'd stop shying away from being a redhead again since with her pale skin, it's her best look.

Stardust is being recommended as a "Princess Bride" clone and in that sense, it's spot on. While it isn't going to achieve classic status, the story and plot move along quickly enough to be thoroughly enrapturing for its two-hour running time. There are a ton of name actors/actresses in this movie and that alone justifies the "star" in the title. It's a throw back to the fantasy films of the 80s and the song for the ending credits pays homage -- hilariously -- to that fact.

12 August 2007

El amor en los tiempos del internet (or) Cien anos de soledad

With my copious amounts of spare time, I've got a few projects in the works. "In the works" is synonymous with "probably won't ever happen." The first of these must-make projects will be a dating site for Asians. It's totally racist, I know, but it's potentially very lucrative. In fact, I'm afraid to look around for competitors because I'm sure they already exist. Asians like to date Asians. Like attracts like. With the semi-recent collapse of MTV World, it may be time to try K-Date, C-Date, and I-Date. Perhaps Nintendo can pick up the slack with a Wii-Date.

And if Asians don't want to be segregated from the rest of the dating community, then at least there'll be an online space for Caucasian males to gather and poach. Can you think of a better idea? Probably not. And trust me, after dating a few sexy Orientals, these guys will lose that exotic sense of mystery real fast. (Most) Asian women have serious issues, you knew that right?

The other target demographic for this site would be Asian parents. Imagine how happy they'll be to find a site where they can easily recommend each other's children. It'll give that whole "Kid Test, Mother Approve" slogan a new spin. No more discreetly but clumsily introducing your son to her daughter. Just push the "Your Mommy Thinks We Should Date" button and voila, instant communication and connection -- forever, with lots of grandchildren in the near future or your money back. It's a real shame the Internet is too much to handle for most Asian parents, otherwise I'd focus exclusively on parents' desperate needs to marry off their children. It's a burgeoning market.

Speaking of recommendations, my other big innovation for the online dating scene is user generated reviews. Think about a Match.com combined with a Yelp, with a bit of Friendster thrown in. What do you really need to know about a person in order to date them? Their favorite books, movies, hobbies? Please. Stop right there. Wouldn't it be much easier if you could just read how their past dates went?

We need accountability in online dating. Ebay has buyer feedback, why can't TrueDating.com? Catchy name isn't it? Too bad that URL is already being squatted. Anyway, the idea is solid gold. Allow people to comment on profiles of the dates they've recently been on.
Sample comments might be:
"The picture tells a thousand lies."
"Didn't offer to pay for the meal, yet went in for the good night kiss."
"Not right for me, but maybe perfect for you (if you're desperate)!"
"His mansion in the hills belongs to his parents; they still live there."
"She didn't mention the baby (and baby daddy) at home."
There will be a list of easy drop-down comments for those daters who don't have much time to dedicate to responding. We could even work in a pro membership that allows you to see the comments. Pay to see comments or take your chances with an unrated and uncommented version of the site. Mix in premium comments from ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends, plus advice from an in-house psychologist about their issues (or yours), and everybody will choose to go pro.

What would make you reach for your wallet faster than knowing that for only $49.99 a month you could use the power of peers to pre-screen your dates? Isn't this the greatest idea ever? Dating 2.0? Somebody fund me already.

09 August 2007

The Science of Sleep (2006)

Michel Gondry sure has an eclectic portfolio. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to Dave Chappelle's Block Party? And apparently award-winning music videos? I'm pretty excited about his next movie too (Be Kind Rewind). But what of his most recent creation? I was really anxious to see The Science of Sleep in theatres but then skipped out after some so-so reviews.

After watching it I think I should have ignored the critics. It struck me as similar to "Waking Life," but with a plot. Actually the two movies have nothing in common except dreaming but still. The themes of this film were intriguing and Gondry is excellent at providing visual stimulus at all times.

I really enjoyed how the film unwaveringly intermingled English, French, and Spanish. Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal is at his charming best. He's like the actor Orlando Bloom wishes he could be.