Thursday, May 31, 2007

NEW DBC Airs Friday!

Well, I only had to squeeze out a few guts, tears and bloody nipples to finally finish the May episode of The DBC. And look at that, it is only one month late ! Not bad at all for a deadbeat!

DBC 31 (The Very Late Episode)
May 2007
Fridays at 11:30pm
Sundays at 9pm
Playing for 1/2 of June

In addition to a brand spanking new episode of DBC airing Friday, there will also be a new show on VCAM entitled, you guessed it, Stuck in Vermont. It is a good way to see the STVT vlogs without all that nasty YouTube compression (which is getting better vlog by vlog I hope). Oh boy!!

Baby, Cats, Fuzz and the Winooski River

Saw Hot Fuzz this weekend. Loved it, loved it. Fished without a pole and met two great babies. Saw some salmon spawning and some teenagers up to no good in the bushes. Tsk, tsk.

Ate so much food at Sneakers that we nearly burst at the seams...mmmm, a side of blueberry pancakes please. Later in the same day ate so much Chinese food that we nearly fell down the parking lot steps/make-shift dining room table and died in a puddle of grease, heavenly grease...

Love holiday weekends even if I had to pull a massive sleep-deprived all-nighter to get the marathon vlog ready to go after all my eating and meandering.

As I get ready to fly out to California next week (be still my heart), there are about 10 gazillion loose ends to tie up - and the most frightening loose end of all - Friday morning I am gonna float really high in the air in a wicker basket.

Jeez, I am scared half to death. With my luck and clumsy balance, I will be over the side and splatting on the ground in no time. How do I get myself into these things?! And do they let you wear a parachute in a hot air balloon!?!?

Dream House

dreeeeeammmmm, dream, dream, dream, dreeeeeeaaaammmmm....

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Why I Love YouTube

Go Blog It!

Similarly, Bell and Gemmell would like software that organized the contents of the archive into movies—something, at least, to compress and shape it, to summarize its parts.

“Auto-storytelling,” Gemmell calls it. “My dream is I go on vacation and take my pictures and come home and tell the computer, ‘Go blog it,’ so that my mother can see it. I don’t have to do anything; the story is there in the pattern of the images.”

...What Bell and the others imagine, ultimately, is a function by which a computer assembles a person’s autobiography, which he or she authorizes and passes on.

- The New Yorker, Remember This?: A project to record everything we do in life, by Alec Wilkinson

Yikes, if this software catches on, I might be out of a job. People can just go to an event, a Black Fly Festival, a German cabaret or a marathon and say to their computer, GO BLOG IT! And there will be no need for fools like me to stay up all night snipping away.

Memory revises itself endlessly. We remember a vivid person, a remark, a sight that was unexpected, an occasion on which we felt something profoundly. The rest falls away. We become more exalted in our memories than we actually were, or less so. The interior stories we tell about ourselves rarely agree with the truth.

Someone uneasy with the candor of his archive could delete the material that pained him. People do it all the time: they destroy papers; they leave instructions in their wills for letters to be burned.

In the novel “So Long, See You Tomorrow,” William Maxwell writes, “Too many conflicting emotional interests are involved for life ever to be wholly acceptable, and possibly it is the work of the storyteller to rearrange things so that they conform to this end. In any case, in talking about the past we lie with every breath we draw.”

In “The Seven Sins of Memory,” the Harvard psychologist Daniel Schacter mentions the work of Shelley Taylor, a psychologist at U.C.L.A., who has written that optimistic people tend to recall their pasts more favorably, and that the versions of their selves that they recalled contributed to their mental and physical health.

- The New Yorker, Remember This?: A project to record everything we do in life, by Alec Wilkinson

This is the sort of thing I have dreamt about since I was little, without even knowing what the hell I was dreaming about. I religiously saved every paper, exam and note from an early age, with hopes that someday, somehow, this would prove useful to me. That someday I would be able to tell "my story" with all these bits and pieces of nothing.

Turns out I am not the only history-obsessed egomaniac on the planet. And there is some software being built for people just like me.

SenseCam, Lifelogging, Lifebrowser, a memex - these new technologies all sound so tasty! Or are they scary? Threatening even? Is this beginning to the Terminator movies? Are computers rubbing their gray computer chip cells together and preparing to take over our planet??

Or is this the pre-story to The Matrix? Are the hyper-intelligent computers preparing to turn humans into battery packs to run these crazy programs? How dependent on computers should we become? And why does the following excerpt frighten me just a little?

At night, he said, he sometimes hears his computer working. “I hear the fan, and I think, My system is consolidating new memories,” he said. “It’s like a human being dreaming.”

- The New Yorker, Remember This?: A project to record everything we do in life, by Alec Wilkinson

When I was little, the concept of blogging my daily activites for anyone in the world to see would have blown me away. To take a picture of the tree in my backyard and my recently skinned-knee, and then write a story about it, well, that would have seemed crazy to me.

But if I was busy blogging my activities, it is more than likely that I would have spent less time running around the neighborhood late at night with a pack of hooligan kids. I would have been trying to capture a time in my life that was most likey too slippery to bottle up. And now all I have left from it are tattered old revised memories, re-worked time and time again in my dusty nogan, and maybe, that is how I like it.

“People argue about the need to forget things,” he says, “but if you look at business discipline—advising that you write everything down, your goals and objectives, and return to them to see how you did, examining what went wrong—I think the same thing could happen with our personal lives.

Being able to say, ‘Now I realize my tone of voice was threatening’—I think there’s a real positive aspect in having the real record of what things looked and sounded like, and sequences of events, because we often end up believing things that are not based on facts anymore.

Of course, the question built in there is how much can we take? How much do we need not to know reality because we can’t bear the truth?”
Aside from issues of self-consciousness, being an entry in someone else’s archive is a problem, although not a new one. People have for centuries betrayed themselves in letters and diaries, and they have used them to betray each other. A videotape, an ill-considered answering-machine message, makes an impression that is not easily undone.

- The New Yorker, Remember This?: A project to record everything we do in life, by Alec Wilkinson

PS And may I just say, for the computer recording my daily thoughts, that catching up on a pile of old New Yorkers with one's morning coffee on the backporch is tantamount to heaven in my dusty old book....

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Deadbeat Club Is Not Dead

Here is the thing. I blame Casey and Brooke.

That's right, if that pint of Bud Light to celebrate/mourn their impending departure had not turned into FOUR bottles of bubbly-something-or-other, well, I would not be so damned late on this May episode of The Deadbeat Club.

Ok, perhaps blaming Casey and Brooke is silly (very...sniffle). Maybe I will blame the SpielPalast Cabaret and all those days of rehearsals and dancing around in my skivvies.

Or better, yet, I could blame Stuck in Vermont for all those exciting vlog assignments and late nights spent editing.

Or I could just shut up and say that if anyone watches The Deadbeat Club anymore (harder to do now that my YouTube channel was suspended), there is a May episode coming. I swear. It is shot and everything.

I just need a smidgen of time to edit it. And it will most likely air in June. I find May and June to be pretty similar months when it comes down to it. I mean really, what is the difference?

Yes, I am a lazy loser. I know this to be true. But I wouldn't be true to my deadbeat roots if I wasn't, right!? And this heavenly hot weather makes editing in a dark, cold basement that much harder.

In other news, be on the look out for a Stuck in VT show airing on VCAM. Just imagine seeing your favorite VT culture scene tid bits without the crunchy, pixelated mess!

To quote the amazing Colin the Magog who scared the pants offa me whilst I was riding my bike Thursday, "Yow!"

PS In other news, when bloggers collide! It is so nice to see bloggers in three dimensions talking and drinking and smoking and wearing fancy shoes and earrings. Bloggers Unite and Drink Booze! Yow!

Friday, May 25, 2007

SpielPalast in the Freeps

SpielPalast Cabaret pictures by Jordan Silverman that appeared in the Burlington Freepress with a ghostly greenish tinge. The online version is luckily green-tint-free.

The captions are entertaining. I love Laura's face (above) and love the fact that it was on the cover of the paper (sadly, with a greenish tinge).

Sigh, I miss the cabaret...I think it is finally hitting home that the fun ride is over.

Demba Raps All Over Burlington

Perhaps you remember Demba Sene at the SpielPalast Cabaret where he tore the house up in the first scene of Act 2. If you missed it, you should be sorry.

Demba turns to fire when he dances, he is a marvel to watch as flies up into the air over people's heads and shoots down the stairs and into the audience on his stomach. And did I mention that he is wearing tiny gold lame underwear when doing this?!

Inspired by his mother, a Senegalese
musician, he recently recorded his first rap track. The song is a call out to his mother, who is no longer alive, and a message to his friends and family in Senegal about his experiences living in America.

We spent this hot HOT Friday traipsing around the VCAM studios, the railroad tracks behind the studios, over message-covered trains, in the water at Oakledge and searching for back up dancers on Church St. Watching Demba perform is always a treat, he managed to ignore the heat as he repeated his song over and over again in different locations, each time it felt fresh.

We spent a lot of time down on the railroad tracks and a nice gentlemen let us climb all over his idling, graffiti-covered train Cool!

It is interesting spending the day with someone from another country. I started to see America through his eyes, foreign and strange. Dimba has been here a couple of years and speaks pretty good English. Some things still stump him, like the ATM at Shaw's, but he is so friendly that he figures everything out. Even if the fish at Henry's Dinner was a little bland for his taste, some salt made it ok.

Want to dance with Demba? Hit up the Memorial on Thursdays. Thank me later.

Sweet Caroline Rocks the Half

Sweet sweet Caroline O'Connor rocked the 1/2 Bar last night. Outside, Church St was abuzz with recently awakened summer activity, but inside it was all cooool.

Some may already know Octavia Blaze from the fabulously talented SpielPalast Band (perhaps you recall her sultry rendition of Minnie the Moocher, yes sir!) but Miss Caroline writes her own tunes as well. Oh yes, her smoky voice filled the dark sardine-shaped room with heart-felt original lyrics that make one's spine tingle.

Caroline switched from guitar, to harmonica, to piano, to sax - making one wonder what instrument she does not play. Some visits from Matthew on bass and Zoe on sax rounded out the evening - the show was awesome. Way to rock it Caroline.

And did I mention she massages as though gifted with hands of the gods? And her name is even on a fancy gold plate on the door! Jeezum! What a lady!

PS And cabaret girl sightings were pretty cool too...make a girl squeal with delight.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Me Without You

My favorite movie right now as of this moment, Me Without You, the best girl growing up story you will ever see. It is the movie Sofia Coppola wishes she was deep enough to make.

Not to be mistaken with Me Without You, the band and their tasty website.

This heat is heavenly. Time to retire to the sun porch and my snifter of booze (thank you Magic Hat!).

Stuck in VT on the News

Oh yeah, check out the video from WCAX's YouTube series, "All About You" featuring ME! And above, check out my hand holding my fucked up camera with a Channel 3 logo attached to my thumb!

One of the best parts being that I am quoted saying the hard to spell word, "whoooh!" Personally, I would have included an "a" but that is just me. Tough call.

The other good parts, lots of love for the Stuck in Vermont logo (thanks S.R.Wild) and theme song (thanks Smittens) AND for SpielPalast Cabaret (check out Seth, David, KJ and Emer)!

Thanks Kate Duffy and Channel 3!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Eva on WCAX Wednesday

Wednesday on Channel 3 at 6pm,
watch me blab about YouTube and my internet "life."

Kate Duffy, a WCAX reporter, is doing a series on Vermonters who use YouTube. Her goal is to open YouTube up to viewers who may be intimidated by this new media.

I got to see a little preview of the segment tonight (there is another preview airing tomorrow on the morning news). It consists of a clip of me filming Seth and David at our last SpielPalast Dress Rehearsal at Contois and a sound bite of me saying enthusiatically, and with much gesticulating (surprise, surprise), "A friend told me about YouTube and then my world OPENED UP!"

Then they did that funky news editing thing where I was still talking BUT they cut the sound and I continued blabbing silently. I find that disturbing.

Also disturbing, I think my title was "Local Celebrity" but it was so fast, I could be wrong. I don't recall being asked what my "title" should be. I would have opted for, "Scary Monster and Super Freak" or "Professional Deadbeat."

The interview experience was interesting. I am so used to being the one sticking a camera in people's face and peppering them with questions. It felt nice to be the one answering the questions for once. And, as you may have guessed, one I got started, they could not get me to shut up.

Kate Duffy and her camera guy Andy were super nice and set up really efficiently. It is always nice to see how professionals work. They were also generous enough to run a blurb on the nightly news 2 weeks ago about the cabaret.

After the sit down interview, they told me to go about my "vlogging business" as if they weren't there. I proceeded to film Phinn and Roxanne as they lugged props up the steps into City Hall. I cornered David and Seth and started asking them questions.

They got the added fun of talking to me on camera as Andy was filming all three of us. It was pretty meta. That was one of the clips that aired in the preview.

They also filmed me interviewing the most amazing Esse, AKA the formerly-mute Bitsy. I hope they use that clip. That kid is a star.

All in all, it was fun but stressful. I was split between vlogging the cabaret, trying not to look totally foolish on camera and getting into full make-up, hair and costume (no easy task, I assure you) on time for our dress rehearsal.

In the end, it all worked out ok. And I can't wait to see the segment! How nice to be edited by someone else for a change! The best part is the cute way the WCAX anchor person announces the clip and pronouces "YouTube" like it is some nifty new rocket powered device the kids are using. I am not making fun, I really do find it charming.

And in other news, you might be seeing more of me on Channel 3 in the future. Say no more!

Black Flies Are Stuck in VT