Friday, August 29, 2008

What Shapes A Young Brian Spath?

Quite possibly the most important film of my youth.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

No kidding...

David Duchovny has checked himself into a rehabilitation center for sex addiction. Yeah, uh, no duh...

Reflections of the Early 21st Century

In 2002, a little pop-punk band named Moth dropped a single that was pretty catchy. I enjoyed it a lot and was fairly interested in them. After much consideration (ie laziness), I never pursued this interest. The band subsequently fell of the radio radar. I feel partially to blame. A cross of Green Day and (fill in the blank with any early aught corporate punk band) and you have Moth. Here's a video for their first single, which may also be their only video/single.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Some of you may know of the YouTube phenom, Pruane2Forever. Here's one of his classic videos, with an even better response by our dear, old pal, Shaun.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Growing Pains: A Very Special "What Shapes A Young Brian Spath"

This is a very crazy time of year - or at least it used to be when I was still in school.  The school semester starts back up around this part of August and that always brings new classes, new people, different environments, and different expectations.  At the beginning of each year, starting in about the 7th grade, I would always look around each classroom and think about how foreign and new each room was.  Then, by the end of the school year, I would think about how that uncertainty faded away - unconsciously really - as each class and each classroom became a part of the routine.  

I was big on routine as I grew up.  I was very particular about the time I woke up, the way I would get ready each morning, and what I would do before bed each night.  Part of this routine was watching certain television programs, namely on Sunday nights.  I was a pretty horrible TV junkie growing up: I wasn't very social and I was very much glued to my TV set before and after school each day.  Sundays were always the worst days - still a full free day but that pending doom that Monday morning brought with it.  I used to have trouble falling asleep Sunday nights because I was so anxious (hesitant?) for school on Monday.  I never wanted the weekend to end.  I'm still like that today, but now it's work instead of school that I dread (not that I don't like what I do, I just don't like the notion of work).  

I was particularly fond of Sunday nights because of the programming on PBS: Monty Python's Flying Circus, Red Dwarf, and The New Red Green Show.  During middle and high school, I never knew anyone else who watched those shows, so it was just another form of isolation for me, but that feeling is compounded due to the fact that those shows aren't on at that time anymore (if they're on PBS at all) so it's almost as if that young Brian no longer exists as well.

I was recently watching TV and I saw a promo about an upcoming schedule change for the fall season.  Along with the school year starting, that was another transitional phase I had trouble with: programs I was familiar and comfortable with being replaced with shows I didn't care for or didn't know.  At first this transition was always unsettling, but just like the classroom, the uncertainty would fade - just in time for the change to happen all over again.

Now, these are things I haven't really thought about in a long time, but have been slowly creeping up and over me for the past few weeks.  The new school year would always hold so much promise and then I would waste so much time just watching TV.  I wish I would have read more or even watched more movies (besides the movies broadcast on KPLR Saturdays and Sundays.  When I think about the changes that each fall season would bring, I think about how now most of those changes or those shows are no longer broadcast on Channel 2, Channel 9, Channel 11, or Channel 30.  I wonder what that means for me and the memories I have of growing up.  If those shows are gone, is that part of my past gone as well?  Those half hour increments that I cherished and held onto, do I vanish with them?  Those periods were always a definite sign I wasn't comfortable with change.  I'm still not, but it seemed so much more personal back then.

I think a big reason that period (roughly 7th thru 12th grade) is such a charmingly profound period is because I was so isolated.  I lived in my own little world.  I shared a room with my younger brother ever since he was born until the first time I moved out my mom's house, but I usually had the room to myself.  This meant I had this little section of the house where I could read comics, do (very little) homework, and watch TV, which was especially great since I could make all the great comments I wanted about whatever program was on.  Now, the room is gone, the shows are off, and I'm 26.  I don't watch as much TV as I used to.  If I do, it's syndicated reruns of the Simpsons, Seinfeld, or super hero cartoons.  The climate and landscape of television has changed.  It's so foreign and uncomfortable - like continuously stuck in Sunday afternoon: nothing on TV and no place to go.  

Maybe it's just a quarter-life crisis or post-modern malaise.  TV, and pop culture in general, had such a big impact on my life and continues to till this day.  So much of that came from programs which ran for years and developed an identity - which helped shape my own.  Like I said, the climate of programming has changed.  So much TV just seems to be pandering now.  Our rate of decline has accelerated and we constantly need the next shiny thing.  Alright, now I'm just grandstanding and generalizing, but I think you see my point.  Think about the programs you watched or the routines you developed.  How did the school year impact you?  Or the changing of fall schedules?  I can't be alone in this.  I really, really can't.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Crossover Artist

The Lens, a Cinema St. Louis blog featured on the St. Louis Beacon, has posted a piece I wrote about the film camp I worked with at the beginning of June. My boss, Cliff, gave it the clever little title of "Happy Campers and Jolly Roger." If you get a chance, take a look and let me know what you think.

For my Karibe

To my cuddlebug.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Everybody dance now...

It's the early afternoon on Sunday and the weekend has already been pretty hectic. Friday I had lunch with Thomas Crone at Mangia Italia and he let me borrow David Lynch's Zen inspired book - sort of like a phrase of the day motivational, creativity spurning Daily Affirmation. Karu and I went to the Rx Bandits show at 2¢ Plain. It's been a while since I've seen the Bandits live and I was very excited for this show - if only the show had lived up to the hype. The crowd was filled with Bros, Dudes, and Hoochies - how disappointing. The room was thick with smoke and high-fives, Kara was disappointed and angry, & I found myself more infatuated with the Cards-Cubs replay than the actual show. 2¢ Plain gets two thumbs down. The reason the bands you want to see no longer come (or never came) to St. Louis is because is there is no decent place for them to play. Deal with it - St. Louis is the arm pit of the already downtrodden Midwest.

On Saturday, Dan, Rich, and I went to see "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." I didn't mind the movie, it wasn't the greatest or worst Star Wars film, but that's not saying much. Afterwards the three of us ventured over to Johnny Mac's and picked up our new roller hockey jerseys - they are sweet. I'll hopefully have a few photos to post here soon. Today will be our first game fully decked out in our sweet, new attire.

Here's a little video I came across on YouTube - I don't buy it: the girl looks like a model or fledgling actress and the announcer even states that it's the day before April 1st. Add it up!
*My sister has pointed out that the announcer stated that it was the day before Valentine's, not April Fool's. This is, of course, because it was April Fool's Day and he was playing a trick on us all.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Let's All Go to the Lobby!

On Tuesday, Kara, the Callahan's, and I went to see "Pineapple Express."  While not a great movie, nor the best of the Apatow produced films, Express was goofy and fun - a great escape film.  There were a few problems (underage girlfriend, poor use of Ed Begley, Jr., useless appearances by both Rosie Perez and Gary Cole), but the movie is such an exaggeration and departure for typical stoner movies that I let it slide.  I just realized that Gary Cole is one man way from being short and black.  Think about it.

Yesterday, Kara and I went to see "American Teen."  There has been a ton of hype building for this documentary since it screened at Sundance.  I really didn't like the it - it's manipulative, redundant, and predictable.  The film is staged and cut together in a way to make the viewer identify with the kids (the point, I know), but the savvy filmgoer will notice several sequences and errors which take away from any validity the film tries to stand on.  If you're interested in seeing high school through the eyes of an awkward student trying to fit in, check out Billy the Kid (reviewed on March 10).

After the movie, Jeff Elden came over and we quickly cobbled together a short opening to a summer ending scavenger hunt he put together.  It was fun, hot work but the end product was pretty funny (which is a biased opinion since I was in it).  I'm going to post the video to YouTube in a little while and then I'll post the video here.

Today I had Grand Jury Duty.  I got out of work around 11am, headed home to get a book, and then headed to the Carnahan Building to report for duty.  I spent most of the day sitting in a pain-inducing pew.  I was called around 3pm and spoke with the judge for 3 minutes and then took my seat back in the courtroom.  Around 4pm (even though not everyone was interviewed) 12 jurors and six alternate jurors were selected and everyone else was free to leave.  Luckily, I was among the many who were allowed to leave.  Though the pew part wasn't too exciting, the day spent in a courtroom did give me an opportunity to finally start reading "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay," by Michael Chabon - a must read for any comic book geek.  The novel won Chabon a Pulitzer Prize and is one of the many reasons comic books/graphic novels are being taken a little more seriously nowadays.  I know I still dive into the four colored worlds of capes and jaw dropping feats, but a story like Chabon's lends that world some legitimacy and shows the depth of character and humanity behind all of those stories.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pangs of Youth

I'm not in the mood for blogging, yet I still find myself here. Sometimes the world just does not seem right. Or maybe I am just not in sync with the universe if you buy into all that Hindu, Zen principle mumbo jumbo. Now I'm just being mean. For whatever reason I have an ingrown hair right above my upper lip, just below my nose. I don't get it. I tried digging it out yesterday to no avail and today it bled for half an hour. What's wrong with me?

Do you ever think about moments? Or catch yourself drifting to moments and that reflection makes you feel like warm honey inside? I started a blog earlier (which I just deleted) which centered on three topics: frogs, bikes, and loneliness. Maybe not so much loneliness, but you get the picture.

I think I've over extended myself and now exhaustion is catching up to me. There's so much I want to try to get in done over the course of the next month that it's starting to become overwhelming. Everything is always so serious all the time. That's not who I am. Maybe now it's not who I was, but something I have to become comfortable with.

I feel dirty and cheap. Moments or memories have a way of kicking you in the gut and knocking the wind out of you. Man, I think I am just babbling. What I am getting at is I am just really whiny right now and lashing out. For whatever reason my mind will act out and flash memories of long forgotten childhood moments and that's just weird. Farm scenes, riding bikes, parks - for whatever reason I feel deep feelings of longing for those memories and how vivid they used to be or seem.

Maybe I'm just a robot shell with Brian's brain and he's trying to cope with having been blown to bits and transformed into a humanoid. Time will tell I suppose.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

October. Soon. Please.

I'm ready for hockey season.