Monday, April 28, 2008

...always the best in town

With a shout out to my bro from another mo, Walt!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Leave your worries behind...


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"...I can't always make her laugh, but I'm proud to say, and I won't forget...the time spent laying by her side."

- "Cloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns" - Shine

Andrew Wood
01.08.66 - 03.19.90

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Last night I watched a movie I didn't even know existed until last week called Big Nothing. It stars David Schwimmer (yes, Ross), Alice Eve, Natascha McElhone, the ALWAYS amazing Jon Polito and one of my favorite people, not to mention actors, Simon Pegg.

The film was directed by Jean-Baptiste Andrea and was released back in December of 2006 to not much in the way of any acclaim apparently. Although after viewing the film, I CANNOT imagine why as I found it a great watch.

I'll not go into detail about the film as it would be impossible to even begin to make you understand without re-printing the script. This movie is dark, funny, complicated and well photographed and as Jon Polio himself said "reminds you of an early Cohen Brothers film." And Jon should know since he's been in 5 of those...

One very weird thing about the film was watching Simon perform with an American accent...I mean, he does so without ever giving on that he's British...something so few Americans can do when the roles are reversed...but then maybe I'm a tougher critic about that then most. (I'm talking to YOU DiCaprio! Shame on you for Blood Diamond) anyway...

This entire cast was fantastic save for an over-zealous Mimi Rogers whom ironically some dip-shit from "The Guardian" seems to hold in the only regard for anyone he has involved with this movie. I thought her part, as small as it was, was overplayed and as pivotal as it is to the storyline, was so not in need of being overstated. But, it doesn't ruin the movie by any means, just not on her payroll is all. (smiles)

Long story short, see this movie! It's for fans of the Cohens, darkened, semi-noir, black comedy. Do not however, go into it thinking this is another Edger Wright film. Judge it on it's own merit. This writer did and dug the hell out of it!


Les pieds Blessent ? Arrêter de Chaussure Portant

It took 4 million years of evolution to perfect the foot, and humans have been wrecking that perfection with every step since they first donned shoes, New York magazine's Adam Sternbergh says.

"Everyone who wears shoes walks wrong," he says, echoing the headline of his recent article, "You Walk Wrong."

Sternbergh calls the ubiquity of footwear a "conspiracy of idiocy." He points out the probability that at no point did any shoemaker say, "Let's design something that works with your foot." In the Middle Ages, for example, people began wearing shoes with higher heels to avoid stepping in other people's excrement. Today, high heels are considered sexy. Whatever their reasons for wearing the shoes they wear, people don't usually consider whether a shoe actually works with their foot, he says.

The human foot works pretty well on its own, Sternbergh says, and it doesn't need a lifetime of help from shoes. He explains the basic illogic of footwear by comparing the concept to a perpetual cast. "Imagine if someone put a cast on your arm when you were 3 years old and you never took it off," he says. "Your arm would stop working. That's kind of what's happened with our feet."

Sternbergh cites a 1940s study of barefoot rickshaw drivers in India. Scientists found that the drivers had unusually healthy feet. Sternbergh says subsequent evidence supports the conclusion that feet don't need shoes.

Why are shoes on virtually every foot, then? Sternbergh says the rationale that most urban and suburban people use is that the ground is hard and our feet need the cushioning of footwear. "But in many places in the world, the ground is quite hard," he says. "[Our ancestors] were able to absorb the shock."

Sternbergh concedes that in most settings, some form of foot covering makes sense. "I'm not going to convince anyone to walk barefoot," he says, acknowledging that he continues to wear shoes as a bulwark against glass, grime and gross things.

He may still wear shoes, but Sternbergh has switched to a model from England called the Vivo Barefoot from the Clark shoe family. Galahad Clark, son of the inventor of the Wallabee — a particularly successful, if traditional, shoe — helped develop the Vivo Barefoot. Sternbergh says the shoe is basically a slipper with a Kevlar sole, to prevent puncturing.

"They kill your heels," he says. "A traditional shoe advocate would say you need to switch back to sneakers that have a big cushiony heel." But a barefoot-walking advocate would say, "You're walking wrong," Sternbergh says. He asked Clark for advice or instruction, but Clark said walking in the shoe is instinctual.

"You'll find that your walk starts to change," Sternbergh says. "You land on your heel, but it's a much softer landing. ... A traditional shoe with a lot of cushioning is designed to allow you to walk with the bad habits that you have because you've been wearing shoes all your life." For those who cling to their typical footwear, Sternbergh is sympathetic. "Shoes perpetuate shoes, " he says, referring to the cycle of coddled feet forever needing high-tech swaddling. "It's a classic self-perpetuating system."
Feet Hurt? Stop Wearing Shoes
(article The Bryant Park Project via NPR) (photo by Harry Harris)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tout doit meurt, toutes choses doivent terminer...

If a vase drops to the floor and shatters, you can often times pick it up and glue it together without managing to take away it's original look and feel, but as time roles on and that process gets repeated, the vase starts to loose shape, the cracks become more visible, the paint starts to chip...and you no longer have what was at first, something beautiful.

Eventually, you find that you've dropped this vase one too many times. You try in vain to put it back together but find that it's no longer as easy to do. Pieces are missing and although it no longer has any of it's original charm, it's sentimental value makes you hold on to it despite it's unsightliness and the fact that it's no longer holding water, it's used up. You've broken it way too many times.

The only thing left is to throw it away, it's gone. Just try to remember how it used to make you feel when it held all the beautiful things you put in it. Remember what it was to you before you damaged it so often. Remember it when you replace it, not to break the next one so many times...because even the most sturdy vase can only be broken and repaired so many times before it no longer holds water.
Everything has to die, all things must end...
(((03))) (photo by Samuel Cartwright)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

L'Art Perdu de Garder UN Secret

I've got a secret, I cannot say
A modern movement to give it away
You've got somethin that I understand
Hold it in tightly, call on command
Leap of faith, do you doubt?
Cut you in I just cut you out

Whatever you do
Don't tell anyone

Look for reflections, in your face
Canine devotion, time can't erase
Out on the corner or
Locked in your room
I never believe them and I never assume
Stuck in believe, there is a lie
Promise is promise, an eye for an eye
But we've got something to reveal
No one can know how we feel

I think you already know
How far I'd go not to say
You know the art isn't gone
And I'm taking our song to the grave
The Lost Art of Keeping A Secret


I had my annual review at work yesterday and pretty much everyone who knows me knows that I was kind of worried about it.

I got a great review. My boss was very kind to point out strong points I thought were lost on him and the people I work with for the most part since I tend to work alone and don't really need my hand held.

He was also very positive about my faults. Rather than tell me that they are in fact "faults" he suggested ways we could work on them which I found very constructive.

I walked away from the review with a renewed sense of self and title.

Good for Matt!

Thank you to the people who sent positive vibes my way, talked about it and asked about the situation. Here's to you!

Qui est l'Enfer est Votre Enfer..?

When someone tells you one thing, then does another...

When someone who lies and insists on constantly calling you a liar...

When someone places blame to avoid their own faults...

When someone goes around in a great big circle. Becoming more and more like that person they hate.

Until they can't stand what they've become...
Who's Hell is Your Hell..?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Exempli gratia

On a daily basis, I watch between 2 to 6 shows about food. Whether it be about cooking, about the food or about the cooks themselves, I'm ALWAYS watching.

This has lead me to create my new blog "Exempli gratia" in order to talk about what I fix, what I eat, what I experience and what I watch pertaining to food as there are far too many long-winded food critics talking about places we don't go, eating food we won't eat by chefs preparing food we'd never prepare. Exempli gratia isn't about that. It's the anti-that.

My hope is that everyone will enjoy my newest jaunt, but for the most part...I just wanted another reason to write.
For the sake of example (latin)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Juste parce qu'ils ne sont pas vos sensations ne signifient pas qu'ils n'a pas d'importance

There is an appalling amount of people in this world who have forgotten the gentle art of empathy. So many people seem to make lite of or just plain ignore everyone else and then cry the loudest when they're not heard.

Many will most often throw the biggest fit if they are called out on this issue for fear of being caught being the emotional infant they point their fingers at other people for being. This is all very sad.

When will the world wake up to thoughtfulness? When will we stop putting ourselves in the company of those who are emotionally draining us by accusations and blame placing for the very crimes of which they are guilty? When will we stop allowing such emotional abuse and start locking our doors, keeping the hatred out and the serenity in? It's agoraphobic, but it's necessary.

Pass judgment again, kick them while they are down, put yourself above all others and claim this to be the case with everyone else so you won't have to confront your own short-comings. This will lead to your having no one.
Just because they're not your feelings doesn't mean they don't matter
(((03))) (photo by planoscorpio)

Friday, April 11, 2008

D'une manière ou d'une autre j'ai su qu'il ceci viendrait

Sagittarius 04.11.08

Circumstances beyond your control could cause you to feel a little bit of stress today, so you will have to get some perspective. Think about it this way -- if these things are beyond your control, then what can you really do about it, anyway? Accept what you can't change and stop beating your head against the wall. Your attitude towards the day and your attitude towards what happens today will be mismatched -- there is some disappointment in the air.
Somehow I knew it would come to this
(((03))) (Photo by sfgirlbybay)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

So What's the Good News..?

"And the things you can’t remember tell the things you can’t forget that history puts a saint in every dream..."

- Tom Waits, "Time" '85

I fell asleep last night at around 2:30, in and out of consciousness the entire time, what they call "restless" sleep. I'd slept an hour after I got home yesterday and I pretty much figured I'd fall asleep fast and hard by the time 10 o'clock or so rolled around, but I didn't. 2 and a half hours later my alarm went off and I was up and around after a nightmare for the hour or so of "real" sleep that I managed to actually get.

So I come to work, anxious to hear from someone who manages not only to call and check on me every morning, but who also, no matter what kind of day I'm having, makes me smile and turns everything around. I've got a lot on my mind at the moment, not least of which is a money problem that's reaching biblical proportions, a legal problem that's scaring the shit out of me and an "other people" issue that's not looking too good either.

So the phone call comes in, and bless this person's heart, but it's been near impossible to hear them because of a new hand's free head set they got that makes everything sound like static mixed with skips. It was already racking my nerves within the first few minutes. As the conversation continued, I did a horrible job of attempting to understand what was going on with that person as I was still too preoccupied with my own problems to be a real friend and just listen. I said something smart-ass that opened the flood gates of contempt towards me that quite frankly, I deserved. Rather than respond with an "I'm sorry", I sat there saying "I understand" knowing full well that I was still harping on my own problems to actually do just that.

After getting an earful and responding with more smart-ass comments and crap that wasn't helping anything, I pushed the person to the point of walking away from me, again. This time though, it was different. My heart dropped down into my stomach, my chest tightened and I was having trouble catching my breath. For the first time today, I stopped thinking of myself and my problems and started to try to see things from their side...and I hated myself for having handled (or mis-handled) the situation like I did.

No lack of sleep, or health problems or "issues" made it ok for me to not have been there for that person...then was not the time to try to discuss what is and what has been bothering me. The point is, I was a bastard. And I deserve to be walked away from.

It's not even 9 o'clock and I've managed to turn my world upside down with no light at the end of the tunnel, no icing on the cake and no hope for a brighter tomorrow. So what's the good news? There is no fucking good news, except maybe that sadness is supposed to be temporary...we'll see.

Enjoy your day,

Matthew Kim Amyx III (photo by Dominic)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The world's only BSG 8-minute re-cap re-post that doesn't have the word "frak" in the title...oh, dammit.

For everyone who has said they haven't kept up, Sci-Fi was nice enough to re-cap in 8 minutes. (and yes smart asses, I know it's "Science Fiction" and that I hate when people use "Sci-Fi" in it's place...but Sci-Fi is a name based on a spoken abbreviation, not just an abbreviation...don't understand? Didn't think so, but that's what makes me complex) that I've gone completely off point, watch and learn. Literally.


Friday, April 04, 2008

Quelque chose que nous devons savoir

Speeding on the highway adds a surprising amount to your fuel costs.

With gas prices rising, gas-saving advice abounds: Drive more gently, don't carry extra stuff in your trunk, combine your shopping trips.

This is all sound advice but there's one driving tip that will probably save you more gas than all the others, especially if you spend a lot of time on the highway: Slow down.

In a typical family sedan, every 10 miles per hour you drive over 60 is like the price of gasoline going up about 54 cents a gallon. That figure will be even higher for less fuel-efficient vehicles that go fewer miles on a gallon to start with.

The reason is as clear as the air around you.

When cruising on the highway, your car will be in its highest gear with the engine humming along at relatively low rpm's. All your car needs to do is maintain its speed by overcoming the combined friction of its own moving parts, the tires on the road surface and, most of all, the air flowing around, over and under it.

Pushing air around actually takes up about 40% of a car's energy at highway speeds, according to Roger Clark, a fuel economy engineer for General Motors.

Traveling faster makes the job even harder. More air builds up in front of the vehicle, and the low pressure "hole" trailing behind gets bigger, too. Together, these create an increasing suction that tends to pull back harder and harder the faster you drive. The increase is actually exponential, meaning wind resistance rises much more steeply between 70 and 80 mph than it does between 50 and 60.

Every 10 mph faster reduces fuel economy by about 4 mpg, a figure that remains fairly constant regardless of vehicle size, Clark said. (It might seem that a larger vehicle, with more aerodynamic drag, would see more of an impact. But larger vehicles also tend to have larger, more powerful engines that can more easily cope with the added load.)

That's where that 54 cents a gallon estimate comes from. If a car gets 28 mpg at 65 mph, driving it at 75 would drop that to 24 mpg. Fuel costs over 100 miles, for example - estimated at $3.25 a gallon - would increase by $1.93, or the cost of an additional 0.6 gallons of gas. That would be like paying 54 cents a gallon more for each of the 3.6 gallons used at 65 mph. That per-gallon price difference remains constant over any distance.

Engineers at Consumer Reports magazine tested this theory by driving a Toyota Camry sedan and a Mercury Mountaineer SUV at various set cruising speeds on a stretch of flat highway. Driving the Camry at 75 mph instead of 65 dropped fuel economy from 35 mpg to 30. For the Mountaineer, fuel economy dropped from 21 to 18.

Over the course of a 400-mile road trip, the Camry driver would spend about $6.19 more on gas at the higher speed and Mountaineer driver would spend an extra $10.32.

Driving even slower, say 55 mph, could save slightly more gas. In fact, the old national 55 mph speed limit, instituted in 1974, was a response to the period's energy crisis.

It was about more than just high gas prices, though. The crisis of the time involved literal gasoline shortages due to an international embargo. Gas stations were sometimes left with none to sell, and gas sales had to be rationed. The crisis passed, but the national 55 mph speed limit stayed on the books until the law was loosened in the 1980s. It was finally dropped altogether in 1995. (The law stuck around more because of an apparent safety benefit than for fuel saving.)

Despite today's high gas prices, don't expect to see a return to the national 55 mph speed limit. The law was unpopular in its day, and higher speeds have become so institutionalized that even the Environmental Protection Agency's fuel economy test cycle now includes speeds of up to 80 mph.

Driving 10 miles per hour faster, assuming you don't lose time getting pulled over for a speeding ticket, does have the advantage of getting you to your destination 50 minutes sooner on that 400 mile trip. Whether that time difference is worth the added cost and risk is, ultimately, up to you.
Something we should know
(CNNM) (photo by Sweat Freak)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

La Fontaine

It's true, I have been reviewing a lot of television and film lately, and for good reason too. Because there is a lot of good media out there that no one is watching and that no one is giving props to. Case in point, The Fountain.

Written and directed by the genius Darren Aronofsky (π, Requiem for a Dream) and starring the beautiful Rachel Weisz and the, uh...something, Hugh Jackman (I'm actually starting to like him despite his efforts to get me to think otherwise), The Fountain is essentially 3 stories in one about the scientist, the conquistador and the traveler, all played by Jackman. Little can be said about this movie without giving a large chunk of mysticism about the plot away. Suffice it to say that it is epic in it's vision and glorious in its execution.

One has to wonder what the film would have been had it gone the original route and starred Brad Pitt (who dropped out, probably to pursue another gem like Meet Joe Black) and Cate Blanchett with a budget of 70 million. The studio of course dropped it when Pitt took off (thanks Brad) and was only resurrected after Aronofsky agreed to do it for half the budget. But, you wouldn't know it as he's done a brilliant job with the visuals and has in turn it appears relied more heavily on beautiful storytelling.

If you've not seen this movie, do it. As you get going though, don't get discouraged and a grown up and watch...everything is reveled to someone who watches instead of whines.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008


I remember my initial hesitation at the thought of a "Re-Imagined" Battlestar Galactica. I remember being intrigued by the concept, wondering if it would work, KNOWING that a female Starbuck was a moronic idea. I watched the mini-series, jaw on the floor...and this was all before the revelation at the end. I went downstairs and my wife said all the color was drained from my face...and then I laughed out loud and began to try to explain what I just saw.

Here we are, at the last season of BSG. All questions are going to be answered, Earth will be found, and I'll be watching the re-runs for years and years to come. Never before has a show, much less a sci-fi show dealt so deeply with human struggle and complex emotions on the level that this show has. The realization as we near the end is that we've been given a chance to look at the social relevance of what Adama said right before the Cylon attack: "You can't play God and expect to wash your hands of what you've created..." I forget sometimes that this is even science fiction when faced with the depth of a statement like that.

For the record, there is only one Starbuck, and her name is Katte Sackhoff.

I think it's fair to say that when all is said and done, BSG must go down as THE most relevant and well-executed television events in the history, not only of the genre, but very easily of the medium. Fasten your frackin' seat belts, it's time to find out who number 5 is...if they think we can take it. I have my guesses, and they are probably yours too if you've paid attention. Will we agree? Are we right? Will it shock us? Will it make us have a conniption? And, when they DO find Earth, will it be 1980?