Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Top Ten (November 2009)

I can't believe a month has blown by since my last Top list. I guess I've only blogged a couple of times since then, too. Heck.

Well, it's been a good month with some prime pickin'. Let's see:

1. GOOGLE SESAME HOMAGE. In case you missed it, Sesame Street just celebrated it's 40th anniversary this past month. Google knows a good thing when google sees it, so Google did a week's worth of Sesame-inspired Google logo treatments. Good on ya, Goog. (Now, pardon moi for all the scrolling...)

2. CHICAGO HUMANITIES FESTIVAL PANEL. The title of this panel discussion, from Nov 7, was The Not-So-Funny Situation of Alternative Comix. It was a dream panel. Lynda Barry, Jules Feiffer, Chris Ware, and Matt Groening. The discussion was comics, specifically the demise of the comic strip in alt-weeklies like the Village Voice and the Chicago Reader (panel was moderated by Chicago Reader's Michael Miner). Lots of talent, lots of laughs, lots of fun. One of my favorite moments was when Chris Ware stepped off-stage for a few minutes, then came running back on when it was time for his slide show. And said, "when you spend a lot of time at home, your bladder shrinks down to the size of a shallot."

3. CANON EOS REBEL XSi. Our first digital SLR (single lens reflex). Takes a great looking picture. And it's so much better in low light situations than our old point 'n shoot. Even though this cam's, like, amateur hour for you serious photographers, it's fits us nicely in performance and price.

4. CAKE BOSS. Julie's got me watching TLC now. Which I think (ironically?) stands for The Learning Channel. Which doesn't quite add up because it basically seems like a "reality show" cavalcade of hot tempers, multiple pregnancy families, little people, overweight people, BBQ competitors, and bikers. Nevertheless, a personal favorite in "learning" is the CAKE BOSS. Billed as a bakery reality, it's painfully obvious when there's a blatant setup, plot fix or unreal moment happening. And it's spilling over with Jersey Italian stereotype (lovably). But I love watching them construct the custom cakes. Airplane or Leaning Tower of Pisa or NYC cityscape or your basic "old school" icing piped beautifully on a 4-tiered wedding cake. Talent. Like edible sculpture. Yum.

5. CHRISTOS' FALAFEL, PHILADELPHIA. Julie and I came upon this street vendor while on a recent trip to Philadelphia. It wasn't your typical cart. This was a spanking clean and shiny silver cart without any obvious signage/pricing. But with big tasty smells and lots of fresh herbs, garlic cloves and flowers adorning the front. After asking the line of regulars what smelled so good, we found out it was Greek char-grilled chicken breast, falafel, and lots of other savory homemade Mediterranean sides. Totally tasty! And fresh. Once we got home, we found out this dude is kind of a legend. People seem to liken him to Seinfeld's "Soup Nazi". Though we found him to be quite pleasant. A neat vid/write-up about this here.

6. BOB DYLAN PLAYS HANK WILLIAMS. I've been on a Hank Williams (Sr.) kick this month. I remembered there was a clip in DON'T LOOK BACK where Dylan picks out some old Hank tunes. Found a clip of it on YouTube. Dylan, Joan Baez, Albert Grossman, etc. And a good hair day for Dylan. That classic Glaser silhouette.

7. MUPPETS BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Two tips of the hat to Henson Studios this month. I realize most anyone who's been on the internet recently has either heard of or watched this vid. But I would be remiss in my work as an art blogger and as a Henson worshiper if I didn't also recognize this brilliance.

8. THE CURIOUS GARDEN. This gem by ├╝bertalent Peter Brown was one of a stack of picture books Julie and I picked up at ALA this past summer. It was only just recently that I seriously gave a look. Beautiful. It's all abuzz from the kidlit crowd. Rightly so.

9. FANTASTIC MR. FOX. Really dug this Wes Anderson and co. adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel (novella?). And I read the book just after. I do very much like Dahl, but I dare say the film was even better. Maybe just for the insanely good stop-motion animation. Liked the cuss outta this flick.

10. ROMY STANDS! For her next trick, Romy has solved that whole "how does one stand?" riddle. Sooooo big!!


Chloe Donile said...

cake boss is now my fav show so funny!!!

James Preller said...

I love this monthly feature, Matthew. Could you do it every week?

Matthew Cordell said...

Chloe--tis true, tis true. Love your drawings!

Mr. Preller--thanks, man! Every week would be fun only it takes me a week to put together this post for a whole month. The blogging is slow like that these days...

Kyle said...

Fantastic Mr. Fox rocked! The details and the old school stop mo were incredible. I loved it and so did all my kids.

Matthew Cordell said...

Kyle--totally awesome, wasn't it? Being a collector of useless stuff, I keep wishing you could buy a Mr. Fox and his gang to have around the house.

mewmewmew said...

Kyle--totally awesome, wasn't it? Being a collector of useless stuff, I keep wishing you could buy a Mr. Fox and his gang to have around the house.

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