Thursday, January 28, 2010


I'm about to start teaching economics for second semester and will be teaching the concept of marginal benefits and marginal costs. For the guys, I'm going to use a Lakers example to discuss the idea.
What would be more valuable to the Lakers: a trade sending Kobe in exchange for Lebron, or a trade sending relatively unknown player A in exchange for relatively unknown but significantly more productive player B. Any ideas as to who I could use for the second trade? (I will be giving them the stat lines.) Pineapple? Huevos? MB?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Corner

Many of you Wirephiles out there may already be acquainted with David Simon and Ed Burns's book (and the miniseries it spawned), but for those who are not I would recommend it. Published in the mid 90's it is essentially the inspiration for the drug culture/poverty side of the Wire. In fact, there are lines and passages that were essentially passed straight on to the series (Bunny Colvin's speech about the paper bag is almost word for word). Essentially Simon and Burns just hung out for about a year in a particular neighborhood, and eventually got to know old junkies, young wannabe gangsters, and the few law abiding people still living in the neighborhood. Like the Wire, I found the Corner to be almost unbearably depressing and like The Wire it is long on angry diatribes and short on anything in the way of solutions to the problems depicted. However, the length of their experience in the neighborhood and the length of the book give amazingly in-depth depictions of the four or five main characters and even another five or six peripheral characters. Of particular note is the passage about teenagers having kids, which I thought was really interesting and went to read to Mrs. PC. She cut me off before I even started and gave the same explanation that Simon had (and that she has seen in her own job).

Anyway, the book probably isn't going to change anyone's mind about Simon and Burns, but if you liked the wire you'll like the corner. Anyway this whole post may have just been a thinly veiled attempt to reignite the wire conversation now that I've seen the series. Also, for an amazing story about the inspiration for omar (although one that includes a spoiler for one character from the book) check this out.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This is why I had to quit

Drinking Mountain Dew is hazardous to your health. Damn cops.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


The Wal Mart in Stillwater Ok was/is one of the ten busiest walmarts in the country. For two years I worked in a video store housed in one of those little cubicles at the front of Walmart and basically watched the world go by. Although I tried to shift our product towards a higher aesthetic (earning managerial ire by selling the only copy of Bad Boys, which was the highest renting title of all time among the older movies), the truth was that I worked in a video store where you simply could not keep Patch Adams on the shelves. I never saw the vast majority of these things but this video certainly takes me back. Someone told me this is basically a compilation of pictures from a website called people of wal mart. Also, sorry I'm too dumb to just post the video instead of the link. Maybe someone can tell me how.

(thought i would take the liberty...good shit. - HM)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Acceptance Speeches

After watching the Golden Globe Ceremony I was sort of bored and disappointed in the acceptance speeches (with a few exceptions). So I searched for some better speeches and found this one and loved it. I guess some of you have probably seen it. Thought I share it anyway.

P.S. Thanks for the movie discussion. I had no idea how clueless I was about good films in 2009.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Breakfast. We took about 450 pictures, at least 300 of which were of food. I know you don't want to see 300 pictures of food, but if you want to see 30 or so, head over to my other blog.


Chinatown, Bangkok.

Not really THEE Golden Triangle. Just a point in the triangle they decided to surround with casinos and tourist traps and opium museums.

One of my favorite Thai dishes, made with eggplant and chiles and eaten with pork skins, cabbage or cucumbers.

Never underestimate the power of a three hour long air-conditioned ride down the Chao Praya river on a boat provided by the Shangri-La hotel featuring a surprisingly good buffet (I'm generally not the biggest fan of buffets).

I'm about to eat you.

I took this picture as we were about to leave this little mountain village we visited. Our middle school aged guide took us to see where they grow what she said was opium (who knows what it really was, or maybe it was opium) and then to a dark, Texas Chainsawesque, cabin where she showed us a gallery of preserved items ranging from a monkey fetus to a two-headed snake. I kinda wanted to take a picture but Joyce advised me against it.

At the foot of the 200 or so steps to one of Thailand's most famous temples.

We hung out with, and got pretty close, with a number of elephants in Thailand. It was cool, aside from the fact that they had been kidnapped and exploited a bit. Not as cool as monkeys or Costa Rican night safaris, I guess.

Eating worms.

A large reclining Buddha.

Me eating durian. Not really enjoying it.

Some other things about Thailand:
1. The traffic in Bangkok flows a bit differently than the traffic in the USA. Whereas rush hour in the USA operates on the assumption that everybody follow the rules, traffic in Bangkok during rush hour (basically all the time) is founded on the idea of everybody simultaneously and cooperatively breaking the rules, and it seemed to always work.
2. We watched Sherlock Holmes in a plush theater with comfortable reclining chairs, drink service to your seat, assigned seats, frigid air, and a blanket to keep you warm. All for $8.
3. The flight kind of sucks. On the way home, though, we had Inglourious Basterds, Funny People, and the Informant, which made it a bit better.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


have y'all seen "fringe"? it's awesome. check out this clip (pay no mind to josh jackson, he just broodin'!!!): (pace, HM, it won't let me embed it)

it's super-weird, and if you're like me then you'll take good, weird sci-fi where you can get it. it's the closest thing to the x-files since the x-files (it's not that good, though, although it's just as ambitiously weird). the characters are pretty stock for the most part but they've been filled out over the course of one-and-a-half seasons and are accordingly being allowed to act more like recognizable human beings at present. the coolest part, though, and the reason to watch if you're a sci-fi fan is the slowly unfurling mythology of the show's fictional universe(s). i think it's pretty genius and i've been thinking a lot about the feasibility and pseudoscience behind it a lot lately. i won't give it away but you guys should give it a chance--don't h8 just cuz it's on network tv.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I went to see SOnic Youth the other night and was ready to leave after the first song. Either (a) I've seen too many shows and just don't really care anymore or (b) it's because I really just can't stand the new album. I've had fun at plenty of shows in the last year or so so I think it has to be (b). First time I've ever left a Sonic Youth show, out of 9 times seeing them, before the encore was over.

I did get to see these guys, which made it worth it.

Also, just got back from Thailand. Will post some pictures and words on the trip in the next few days...

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Top 5 Flicks of 2009:

my personal top 5 of the year:

1. Inglourious Basterds - Tarantino's best since Pulp Fiction. Wildly effective movie: funny, brutal, smart, fun. Colonel Hans Landa joins the cannon of all-time movie villians; brutally intimidating without being physically so.
2. District 9 - best sci fi movie since....what....Terminator 2? Alien?
3. Away We Go - sam mendes flick probably hits home particularly well for me as it follows 30ish hipster-leaning profession guy/couple who are trying to find where/how to settle into adulthood. The stereotypes of the people they visited might be labeled a little heavy-handed...but i thought they all worked (and were plausible). And the Krasinski/Rudolph leads are excellent. Didn't get a lot of buzz, but i found it to be a perfect, beautiful little film.
4. Bright Star - this period piece was centers around the three year unconsumated love affair between poet John Keats and the "girl next door" (though she is more the lead). True story. Prospects for marriage cut off by his poverty, illness, and then death at age 25. Beautiful film, very touching. May propose it as a Price & Prejudice stand-in at my family's next christmas.
5. The Hurt Locker - simply a fantastic modern war film, follows a bomb disarming unit in the streets of baghdad (i think). does not gloss over the brutality/madness of war. lead jeremy renner is great, and continues to grow on me.

2009 movies i still need to see, and that could well make this list when i do: a serious man, the informant, bad lieutenant.

good, but getting too much buzz in my opinion: up in the air

your top fives?

Friday, January 01, 2010

Let's "Turn On" 2010 right!!!

I would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year!