Monday, June 23, 2008

am i a lesbian or are the dresses really just that fabulous? : Miss Pride of Iowa 2008

The first question: what to wear to a drag show.

If you wear a dress, is that like wearing white to a wedding? I wondered. But all of my jeans were dirty, so, dress it was.

The second question: who to take to a drag show.

Inevitably, groups are more fun, but, as inevitably nearly everyone was out of town, at work, or doing something more interesting, my date for the evening ended up being just one friend, a girl.

"I wonder if people will think we're on a date," said my girl date as we headed toward the gay bar. "If they do, I'm pretty sure I'm dressed more butch."

As far as gay bars go, Studio 13 is pretty gay. On a regular night you'll see dudes swapping spit and gogo dancers in tighty whiteys. Studio is, however, not too gay for a couple of straight people to have a good time. My date and I have both been there a few times before and each of us has a story, which we swap as we round the corner of her block where I have chivalrously picked her up-- my date's story involves kereoke; mine arriving home with a no-one-ask-any-questions hickey that had me wearing my scarves indoors for a week.

Studio 13 is packed full but, at least for the first half of the show, we get decent spots facing upstage and standing next to the walkway that leads to the stage-- not really a stage, but on another night just a dance floor, with mirrors on the back wall marred with hand prints.

The show begins with 2007's Miss Pride of Iowa, a willowy drag queen with honey brown skin and a beautiful flowing caramel-colored wig. She is in an evening gown and roller skates. Immediately crowd members begin sticking out their dollars to have the former Miss Pride skate over to them with a kiss. Often, the patron and the queen exchange whispers. All of the kissing of cheeks makes it seem like everyone knows each other.

When the contestants are announced, Contestant #1 seems like a shoe-in. She, firstly, looks the most like Miss Pride 2007, with her long hair and long body, heavily highlighted cheekbones, and sequined evening gown. Contestant #2 is smaller with red blonde hair. Her dress is of evening gown length, but considerably less formality than Contestant #1's. Contestant #3's first outfit of the evening is loud, involving large floral prints, fuschia, and boots. She has pretty curls and a bouncy volumptious figure.

Immediately upon seeing the tell-tale pageant walk about, I feel nostalgia for my own little-known experience in a "scholarship program." (I can still walk in heels with a dictionary on my head-- AND turn.) Maybe I can run for Miss Pride of Iowa 2009? How gay does one have to be to run for such a thing?

Between acts of the pageant, the professional queens perform in elaborate costumes involving huge feather headdresses, leopard print, sequins, boas, even Victorian gowns. One of the performers has come from as far as Kansas City. At one point, I see someone slip a queen a ten dollar bill.

"This kind of makes me wish I was a guy so I could dress up as a girl and make some money," my date says.

I was just thinking the same thing.

The pageant, after the initial presentation of the candidates, involves two other presentations for evening gown and talent. Of course everyone's talent is the same dancing and lip-synching. Contestant #1 brings back-up dancers. Contestant #3 has an extremely frilly robe which she removes, after much anticipation, to reveal something like a cheerleader's outfit. Contestant #2, while still performing as much as the others, doesn't have the wardrobe to compete.

"Do you think she's new to drag?" my date asks me.

"I don't think she's in drag," I say. "I think she's a girl."

It is pretty hard to tell. Considering the pageant is taking place during the regular drag show time, it seems like any drag contestants would have the advantage in this venue. I have to admit, this pageant, with its drag performances, is far more fun than the Miss USA pageants I used to watch on TV with my mom.

As the evening progresses, however, people who are inevitably more gay than me find their way to the front and I lose my spot. For a while my date and I balance on stools in the back and peer over the crowd, but after awhile she wants to go into the less crowded front room where the pageant is screened above the bar.

I can't help but think that this wouldn't have happened if I'd brought a guy.

At the end of the night, Contestant #1 is crowned--and the crown is huge, by the way--, with little surprise from me.

"I hope there are flowers," I say.

There are not.

As I walk home for the night, I contemplate what I would have performed in. I realize that what I really want to do is just put on a huge dress and spin around on a stage. Which is what all little girls dream of, right? Whether they fill the dress naturally or use girdles and falsies.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

pretty tomatoes

Hello all. Your resident aspiring food critic here.

Since the recipe runs in black and white, I just wanted to show you all how beautiful these tomatoes were before I ate them.


Friday, June 20, 2008


I'm a little geographically challenged when it comes to Iowa since I recently moved here. Even though I familiarized a few crucial locations (my apartment, friends' houses, Coralville mall, Jimmy John's for after-hours pickle binges, etc...), for the life of me, I couldn't figure out where the damn floods were breaching. I idiotically assumed that all my top places to go were safe and sound. So you can imagine how completely and utterly devastated I was when I eventually ventured out to the only grocery store I can afford right now: ALDI.

My main source of sustenance is now surrounded by a large puddle. I should have known!

As I was forced to turn away, sobbing, I noticed that the Waterfront Hy-Vee and their damn 5-dollar generic mayonnaises remained unscathed by the waters except for a minute portion of their matching gas station. And I don't even like mayonnaise! I don't like anything from a grocery store that costs more than $2 or is not a b.o.g.o. Or not a bonus buy. Or not on sale. Unless it's some great, Italian Parmesan or something. Whatever, I'm done complaining. I miss you, Aldi.


Thursday, June 19, 2008


In 2002, Shannon and I convinced her dad to drive us to Omaha to see our obsession of the moment, the So-Cal rock outfit Rooney, at the now-defunct Ranch Bowl, which also served as a bowling alley, mini-golf course, beach volleyball pit and, of course, bar. With disposable cameras in hand, I captured every moment of the exhilarating set while Shan's dad slept in the minivan parked at the Arby's across the street. I bounced along with Princess Diaries jam "Blueside," felt embarrassingly dirty during "Shakin'" and decided I wanted my future boyfriend (who would obvs be Robert Carmine, duh) to serenade me with "If It Were Up to Me." I left with a signed CD and feelings my adolescent heart didn't know it could feel.

Who's the better Schwartzman: Robert or Jason? I'm willing to argue for either side.

And then six years passed. The heartsickness faded, the music got stale, and I moved on. But what else was I supposed to do? While Rooney had been poised on the brink of breaking big while riding the O.C. success craze, they subsequently misguided their career by delaying the sophomore album release by four years and taking opening slots for the Jonas Brothers and Kelly Clarkson — not exactly the artists a rock band needs to accumulate some credibility (although I'm not too cool to admit that I don't also enjoy a little sugary pop goodness every now and then).

So when I bought tickets to see Carmine (err... wait, I think he changed it back to Schwartzman?) and Co. play at Irving Plaza last Sunday, it was make or break. Either my faith would be restored in this band or I'd be forever jaded. Yes, that was the ultimatum I presented Rooney (and by presented, I mean told Shannon in line). Tough, but fair.

Umm... the only time I've ever envied Mischa Barton. Lucky girl!

And you know what, they did it. I'd forgotten how catchy their retro-rock sound is, how adorable those boys are and how much fun classic bubblegum pop is to bop along with. But besides all of that, what really made me a born-again was Rooney's self-awareness: Before playing a b-side track, Carmine addressed the crowd, asking if anyone knew the band had recorded two full albums between the debut and Calling the World, and then promised to never make fans wait four years for new material. They played a long set because this was Rooney's first headlining tour to support Calling the World — I know, WHAT? That's ridiculous. But here's a tip for next time boys: Don't end with a cover, even if it's a fist-pumping rendition of "Helter Skelter." You've got legit songs of your own. Play them.

Susan (ah, arts blogging.  it's been too long, DI)

100 years...100 reasons to shut the hell up, already

Hellohellohello, your friendly A/C summer editor Anna here.

Actually, not feeling so friendly at the moment—I wiled away about 3.5 hours last night watching the "100 Best Songs of the 80's" countdown on VH1 and doing a bastardized form of liveblogging through text-message with friend and former DI-er Louis Virtel, only to find that, apparently, Def Leppard outranks Michael Jackson and Prince, "Thriller" doesn't make the Top Ten, and Bon Jovi is better than Journey, Madonna, Run-DMC, U2 and R.E.M. Not that I'm still upset or anything.

Phew. Anyway. I don't what is it that has countdowns and lists attracted to me (or vice versa, perhaps) lately, but in the midst of looking something up on the all-knowing Wiki last night, I stumbled across this, which I, a Cinema major and all-around movie geek, had been previously completely unaware—AFI's 10 Top 10.

Pardon my language, but come the hell on. According to that link, this is the 12th such list that the American Film Institute has done since beginning them in 1998 with the granddaddy of 'em all—"100 Years...100 Movies." I used to tune in breathlessly, not just for that one, but for "...Laughs," "...Thrills," "...Passions," "...Heroes and Villains." They were all pretty solid outings, or at least as solid as a pretty BS institution like the AFI's gotten to be, and at the very least they were super fun to watch, reminisce over, quote lines along with, and bicker with my watching companions.

Basically, I'm always in favor of things that put classic movies back in the public eye, and no matter how hokey the AFI stuff was, even at the start, it did that. Forgive me for sounding uber-lame, but if one person wondered who this Atticus Finch person was, outstripping Indiana Jones and James Bond and whatnot, and then went and watched To Kill A Mockingbird for the first time, then the whole thing is completely worth it.

This latest outing in nonsense is not worth it.

"10 Top 10," is, at the very start, annoyingly reductive and repetitive. The AFI has chosen ten genres, then listed the ten best films in its given genre, leaving no room or recognition for films that attempt to do more than one thing. Sure, Chinatown is a fantastic mystery film, but leaving it out of the "Gangster" genre is incorrect. It could also go ahead and fit into "Epics," if you ask me. "Romantic Comedies"? Okay, fine. But what do we do with all the amazing movies that have romance dripping from the screen, but don't make you feel like laughing—Casablanca for example, wouldn't have a spot in this ridiculous list.

Don't even get me started on the utterly bullshit "Animation" category.

"•List breakdown
Disney ruled the animation category with nine animated films that they either produced (seven) or released under their Walt Disney Pictures banner (two produced by Pixar). The only non-Disney cartoon is Shrek."

Oh, really?! I'm stunned. Utterly shocked that this giant corporation that, until extremely recently, has had a chokehold over the animation market in the only country in the running for this countdown "ruled the countdown." (Seriously though, if this was an international countdown, Miyazaki would have done some serious ass-kicking, or I'd be even more fired up than I am now, if you can even imagine it.)

Awesomer than many Disney films (why do you think they want to own the rights so badly?). And I say that as a Disney fan, former Girl Scout's honor.

And the top film is Snow White?! Seriously?? Has anyone at the AFI watched Snow White lately? Not only are all the messages in the film extremely questionable (not to get all feminist, horror of horrors), but that flick is straight-up boring as hell. Just because something's the first doesn't make it the best. Otherwise the best film on the original list when they started counting down ten years ago would have been The Birth of a Nation, and they would still be battling the NAACP over that.

Sigh. Now I'm all worked up again. Oh AFI. I don't like it when we fight like this. Let's just. Go back to promoting interest in old movies together, and restoring film stock, and it'll all be okay again. Okay.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer in the City

Ok I know, horribly kitchy title, but it's the best I got. It has been a long, long week as we all know but it seems that relief is finally making its way to our sleepy little town. One of the greatest losses, I feel, incurred through the flood is that what was once green and flush is now brown and mush. We have lost our summer color. However (oh, there's always an "however" is there not?), we can bring some of that lost vibrancy back into everyone's lives via our clothing.

Courtney Lyn Clarke, 22, Recent graduate in 3-D Design and Art History, sets the most high of examples in how to bring effervescence to a subtle style.

How would you describe your style?
Japanese Nantucket.

What are you doing out walking at 9:00pm on a Wednesday?

I’m walking to a friend’s house. But shouldn’t I be asking you the same?

Good point. I’m working though, for the DI. Do you guys have similar styles?

Sorta. She’s cool. But she’s more Nantucket than Japanese. It’s like she’s a hipster from the Hamptons.

What’s the story behind the clip?
I bought it at Artifacts and it’s awesome. It was made in Montana and made by Indians. And I thought it was Cowgirl-Harajuku.

Do you have a favorite designer or artist?

Oh God. Oh, I really like Maria Filo. It was just this little shop I found in Rio. It’s more ready-to-wear.

What do you think of the flood?

It’s awesome. It gives me a rush. Tornado, earthquake, fire, flood. I’ve survived all four in the past three years in Iowa City.

Through bold colors and strong contrasts in solids, her outfit is attention-grabbing but classy. Fun and also practical accessories make her look whimsical and youthful, without looking like she's a mannequin from the Juniors Department. Not only that, Courtney's personality shined not only through her clothes but also through the interview. She was composed but light-hearted- what every girl should strive for.

So, keep it light, keep it fresh, and always keep it you. Love to you all. Hope to see you soon.


p.s. 9 and 1/2 weeks is an awesome movie- hyper-sexualized 80s gold.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Piece of Advice

Do not see The Happening.
It's awful. Like, really awful. Like, "Is this actually happening?" (no pun intended) awful.

To accompany - or rather emphasize - my review yesterday, I found this list of 18 Reasons Why The Happening is the Worst Movie of the Year. [Link contains many, many spoilers, obviously.]

On a good note, Tilly and the Wall's new album is BOMB. Loving it.
The video for the single "Beat Control," which isn't actually on the album (it was released just as a single earlier this year), but showcases the band's new, experimental, electro sound.

Peace out.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

alex suarez can grill me a sandwich ANY time

Yo, folks, Anna here. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Alex Suarez, the bassist/hotass (hey, I like a dude who can multi-task) for the dance-rock band Cobra Starship, who plays The Picador tomorrow night. (Hopefully. Damn you, flood!)

Despite my fear that I would get cut off prematurely by the really!cheery! PR rep who had given me a 10-15 minutes time limit—10 to 15 minutes, seriously? I can't ask my friends enough questions to figure out anything in that time, what the hell—she must have forgotten or whatever, and I actually got to chat with Mr. Suarez about non-Starship related things. Namely:

This. The dude, before picking up a bass for his actual job, went to cooking school! How sick is that?! So, we talked about how someone who subsists on a little more than Pokey Stix survives on a bus where the chef's area has the suffix "-ette" tacked onto the end.

"Alex, I've also read that you are a trained chef—correct?"
"Yes, I am—certified."

"Certifed, huh?"
"Certified by the, oh, what's it called? I forgot—I'm already out of the loop. National Culinary Federation? I believe it is? American Culinary Federation. I'm a certified culinarian."

"So, how have you been surviving on a bus with only a little kitchenette?"
"No, it's really hard to cook. We have a George Foreman Grill on the bus that we use to press sandwiches and make grilled cheeses, but. I get really creative on the bus, like, I make pasta dishes, stuff like that. Touring has actually changed my diet quite a bit. I stopped eating meat because I kept getting sick from like, deli meat that we kept getting on the last tour for like sandwiches and stuff, and I was just kind of repulsed by the whole thing so I just quit eating meat a few months ago."

"Yeah, it's been a lot more interesting, actually. I don't do anything with chicken— I was never really a steak kind of guy, and I think chicken is kind of nasty as it is, so. I'll still cook meat, I'll still eat it...I'm not like a crazy vegetarian who like, if there's a pasta dish with chicken in it I'm like, 'Oh, I can't taste that, there's chicken in it.' As long as I don't get any chicken, I don't really care. But yeah, I don't really have a problem with eating meat, I think there are healthier alternatives and stuff, it's made me a little more creative when it comes to cooking. I've had to cook with a lot of things I don't normally cook with, like vegetarian substitutes tempe and tofu"

"I actually just recently lost the use of my car, so..."

"I know! I miss driving, really, a lot. But the point is I haven't gotten to go the grocery store in a long time, so my own cooking has been uber-restricted as well."
"Yeah, one thing I do miss a lot is fish. I miss fish like crazy. That's one of my favorite things to eat and cook. Actually, grocery shopping is one of my favorite things to do in the world. I love that. It's so fun to me—I don't know why. Whenever we have a day off on tour, we go to Trader Joe's and just stock up on stuff."

"Yeah? What's your favorite bus recipe?"
"Let me see...I don't get too intense with cooking. I tend to get pasta like orzo, because it cooks the fastest, or like, angel hair, and boil it in the microwave. I'll make some cous-cous on the bus. I think what I really get into on the bus, is I'll make really fancy cheese sandwiches on the Foreman grill with tomatoes, and like, all different kinds of cheese, and really good mustard and all sorts of things like that. It sounds pretty boring, but when you bite into it, you just like 'Oh, Mylanta, this is amazing!' and it's over."

"Well, hey, as someone whose roommate just moved out and took the George Foreman Grill with her, that sounds pretty good to me!"
"Oh, yeah!"

And, just for good measure:

Shut your mouth and get down on the floor,

Dancing in the Rain

Hey there, devoted readers. Hope you're staying dry in all this chaos.

Speaking of K-Os (see what I did there?), here's a great song and an equally tasty video by the man 9 out of 10 dentists agree is the leading candidate to usurp Michael Jackson's throne as the "King of Pop." Incidentally, that's a completely fabricated statistic.

The dancing in this video was choreographed by Victor Quijada, by the way, who is bringing his Rubberbandance Group to Carver-Hawkeye Arena this Saturday at 2 p.m. If you like breakdancing (and who doesn't, really) check them out this weekend. It beats wading around waist-deep in Iowa River water.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Spectacular View

Boo. Floods suck. A lot.
Since it's a rainy day, what could be better than sitting on my bed in my PJs, eating some fresh-out-of-the-oven tater tots, writing a fabulous DI blog, and preparing for a Lost Season Three marathon? Nothing I tell you. Honest to blog. Lulz.

I've been on this crazy Rilo Kiley kick lately. No reason really, their latest album has been out for many months. But the other day our current houseguest overheard me playing the song "Silver Lining" and said she really liked it. Later, my roommate played some more for her and she is now a full-fledged, Omaha-lovin' fan. So since then, I've been on a strictly Jenny Lewis diet.

I've been going back and listening to their older stuff, stuff that I don't really pay too much attention to as of late, and it's wonderful. So in that spirit, I decided to blog about my 10 favorite Rilo Kiley songs ever!!!!! Haters can step so far to the left that my peripheral vision will fail to distinguish you from the clothes hanging in my closet. (Note: They're not really in order. The top one is my fav, though).

10. The Good That Won't Come Out
God, do I love the guitar in this song. The hi-hat, bass combo is fab, and Jenny's (Ms. Lewis if you're nast-ay) voice intro is deliciously eerie.

9. Love and War (11/11/46)
Rilo rocks out!! I bought this album when I was, like, 16 and thought I was way bomb when I cranked this song up in my car and totes rocked out erryday.

8. I Never
If you can resist Ms. Lewis's gorgeous opening line "Iiiiiiiiii'm only a wommmaaaaan..." and/or her Whitney Houston moment in the song's bridge, you have NO heart.

7. Glendora
OMG I'm so cool, referencing a song from their original EP. Really, though, I just like it.

6. Paint's Peeling
For some reason this song reminds me of the movie Carrie. No idea why. "It's a hard day for breathing...again..." Loves it.

5. Go Ahead
Awww, Jenny Lewis just sounds so adorable here. I love how it's so great, with just her and a guitar most of the time. To quote Jessica Alba in Honey, "I like you, ya flava's hot."

4. Pictures of Success
The band gets poignant. And I get touched every time.

3. Close Call
Ok, so Under the Blacklight wasn't their best album. I know. But it was darn catchy. And this song shows that Rilo's sound has matured (instrumentally and vocally), but they still have the ability to create ridiculously infections guitar hooks and melodies. Jenny Lewis's voice sounds the best it ever has on this record. Before I figured out that the KRUI DJ playlist editor records how many times you play songs, I used to play this song, like, every week.

2. Science vs. Romance
Retro and modern sounding all at once. Simply put, brilliant.

1. A Better Son/Daughter
Can you say ANTHEM?! The song goes from 0 to 60 in an instant (fans, you know EXACTLY the moment I'm talking about), requiring the classic fist-in-the-air hand action as you realize that "You'll fake it if you have to/And you'll show up to work with a smile." Without sounding too yuppie, the lyrics are so definitive and relatable you'll swear you wrote them yourself. The song is gorgeously climactic, you'll want to go outside, walk into work/school/whatever, and show everyone that you are the best at whatever you do.

There you have it. My indie cred has either significantly increased or decreased with this blog entry. I don't even know/care. So go make a playlist with these tunes and forget about all your problems. Just be sure to turn the volume low enough to hear the approaching tide.

He gone!


p.s. Tyra is so boggled by the choices of great songs, she doesn't even know which to listen to first!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Does the Internet Byte?

2008. It has officially been half of a century since the Advanced Research Projects Agency devised a simple and complex and fascinating and dangerous and accessible and virtual sort of technology: The World Wide Waste of Time. Er, I mean.. the Internet!

Let me be succinct, it's actually been 50 spankings since the US government initiated the research of newer technologies. I doubt that in 1958 the ARPA's malnourished MIT super-grad whipped together a baby version of Firefox, wrapped it swaddling clothes and gifted it to the military in exchange for his freedom...

I mean, should we sing it a happy birthday or something? It's older than me but I suppose that doesn't mean its none the wiser... To me, the Web is sort of nightmare-ish. Here's why:

-Anyone can find anyone on the Internet.
-People (meaning businesses, agencies, IRS, CIA, FBI, etc, etc...) can monitor what you do on the Internet.
-There's no legitimate excuse anymore for disappearing for a few desperately needed personal days, avoiding your acquaintances, employers, or that character you gave your name/number to last night who won't leave you alone today and who bears a striking resemblance to this. I say with confidence that most Americans have access to a computer with browsing capability or own a cell phone with Internet access. (Yes, I've seen homeless people with cell phones, I've seen tweenagers with Blackberries!)

It's ridiculous! There's just no privacy anymore. The government created it, techies perfected it, and now I think we have a festering monster on our hands. Everyone everywhere can do anything online: from paying your Gap credit card bill to X-core biatching your sister's ex out via Facebook wall post. Ouch!

I think I have a rather ambivalent relationship with the online realm:

I use Google multiple times per day, I do most of my networking online, I can watch all the vids and listen to all of the music I want--Coldplay's Viva La Vida is streaming here, by the by.

I'm online WAY too much. I'm hopelessly addicted to social networking and I begin to chew on my nails if I don't check my email tri-daily.

What is wrong with me?! Am I the only one feeling this way? I want my mantra to be "less is more," but how can I even think to utter those words if I spend half of my time online?

Speaking of the Web (as if I was talking about anything different in this monster blog), pretty soon, Google won't just be Google. I remember watching a movie in my freshman journalism class about big dot coms joining forces with other companies (i.e. Google merging with Amazon) to create a behemoth of an enterprise: GOOGLEZON.

GOOGLEZON (I have to capitalize every letter in order for you to begin to wrap your mind around its vastness), I believe, can be Wiki'd (thank you, Web). Alas, I found it! Not like it was hard to find online or anything... According to Wikipedia,
GOOGLEZON is a fictional company created when Google merged with in the popular flash movie EPIC 2014, released in November 2004. As the story goes, Google, having consolidated all of its services into the Google Grid – a, 'universal platform that provides a functionally limitless amount of storage space and bandwidth to store and share media of all kinds' – and, with its, "social recommendation engine" and, 'huge commercial infrastructure' combine forces to battle with Microsoft and its fictional Newsbotster. This leads to the 'News Wars of 2010', which are, 'notable for the fact that no actual news organizations take part'. GOOGLEZON triumphs and unleashes EPIC (Evolving Personalized Information Construct), a universal, personalized news submission and distribution system that is so popular it effectively puts the fourth estate out of business.

I'm sure many of you know more about the ever present GOOGLEZON than I do. I'm often left in the dark with the latest high-tech discoveries, even if they are big jokes. (I still think that Snake game on the old skool Nokia phones is genius. Pathetic, I know.)

But I digress. Let's trot back to the the Web's big birthday dealio. I cannot lie, it's incredible what the right (and wrong) people can do with technology after five decades of advancement. After all, the Internet gave way to many talented people (paging, Diablo Cody). A few duds managed to find their way out of the Internet, too but I'm not even going to dignify their names in text. And true, I wouldn't be sitting here bloggin' away right now, either. The Internet has done some good for us, but who knows what the future will hold...

So I got to thinking about perils of i-research, e-communication and the like last night when I paid a little visit to a pro-liberty website. It was an exposé site of sorts--the kind of site that le gov doesn't want you know about. As I was clicking from link to link, Brian, my boyfriend, told me I'd better watch out.

"You're on a list now," he said. And he's probably right. Like I said before, the government birthed this bad boy; they've likely got their hands on every binary digit floating around out there!! I wonder if some secret government website monitoring agency has read this already. Patriot Act, anyone?

Monkeys! I feel like I have to monitor my every move now. (Note to self: donate 1/3 of time and money to the United States Government to save face.)

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, sad birthday, Internet, you scare the bejesus out of me.

--Adios babies, Kathleen.

P.S. If you want to read more on the 50th Anniversary of the Internet, you can read the Vanity Fair article, which I found here. It's nine pages. Enjoy! Also, I would like to know what YOU think. So, what do you think? Let me know below.

Style has meandered its way into the Heartland

I am no Prada, no Carrie Bradshaw, and certainly no supermodel, but I know style when I see it. And I see it here. Iowa City, by means of acting as a magnet of people from all over the country and the world, has a definitive fashion sensibility. Directly affected by weather and culture, Iowa City sidewalks are adorned with style that reflects the UI population and the community of the town. And so being new to the DI staff, and being a young duck eager to get my hands dirty with initiative and ideals, I suggested (and the staff warmly accepted and encouraged) a weekly column profiling someone who's fashion I believe is not only inventive and awe-worthy, but that is also tres Iowa City. This weeks first victim:

Frannie Owens, 22, Art student, Graduating this summer – picture taken on Washington St.

Do you have a style mantra or something that directs your dress?
If it’s clean, I’ll wear it.

What is your favorite item of clothing?

My Cheap Monday raw denim pants.

Do you shop in Iowa City ever?

No. Online.

The interview was brief (she was in the middle of many errands she told me), but I love the look. Lots of prints and ideas are connected by a similar color scheme that is succinct and cohesive. The look is feminine and utilitarian and it works.

So, there it is. Comments, suggestions, and praises (if you could be so kind) to this baby-of-a-column would be so very greatly appreciated. Look for Frannie's printed profile this Thursday in 80 Hours.

Peace out, mes petits fashionistas.

Gimme Cover

I am sorry I am not sorry that I always begin my posts with a lolcat. Personally, I just don't get people who don't get it. Whatevsies. On to the fun!

I set aside my blog about "Top 10 songs for the Deluge of 2008" to think about something a little more pertinent to my interests. Also I am sick of trying to figure out how to get out of Iowa City from my apartment without drowning. It's hopeless. So I promised a list of best covers a few months back, and I've been hoarding them ever since, scoping out top 100 lists and friends' iTunes for weeks. It's been a long and arduous task, but I am committed to this list. (I wish I could also make a list of my favorite songs that have been covered. "Zombie" by the Cranberries would be right at the top.) These aren't the best. These are just my faves. I promised. I delivered. Bam kazow in yo teeth.

Hot covers (for a hot humid muggy mosquito day):

1. Bamboo Banga, M.I.A. (Modern Lovers cover, seriously doctored to cool status)
2. Tainted Love, Marilyn Manson (Ed Cobb cover covered/made famous by Soft Cell and many others)
3. Exit Music (for a film), Vampire Weekend (Radiohead cover, duh. I'm not a VW fan in general (probably one of the few admitting it) but this is a sick cover. They managed to screw up the 2:50 swell. i.d.i.o.t.s. oh well.)
4. Personal Jesus, Marilyn Manson (Depeche Mode cover, also see Johnny Cash's version. glorious.)
5. I Am The Walrus, Bono and the Secret Machines (Beatles cover)
6. Teardrop, Jose Gonzalez (Massive Attack cover)
7. I Want Candy, White Williams (This is single handedly the most covered song in the history of music, according to me. oh wellz, because this one's still got my vote)
8. The Man Who Sold The World, Nirvana (David Bowie cover)
9. Sweet Dreams, Marilyn Manson (Eurythmics cover. I know it looks like I listen to a lot of Marilyn, but these are the only 3 songs I have by him. I promise.)
10. Seven Nation Army, The Flaming Lips (White Stripes cover! sirens galore! weeeeee!)
11. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Cat Power (Rolling Stones cover. Cat Power's album The Covers Record is phenomenal in general.)
12. All Along the Watchtower, Jimi Hendrix (Bob Dylan cover. Everyone covers this one as well.)
13. Born to Run, K-OS (Bruce Springsteen cover)
14. Dear Prudence, Siouxsie and the Banshees (Beatles cover)
15. God Only Knows, Petra Haden (Beach Boys cover)
16. Higher Ground, Red Hot Chili Peppers (Stevie Wonder cover)
17. Heartbeats, Jose Gonzalez (The Knife cover. Jose has the Midas touch. I kid you not.)
18. I Think We're Alone, Girls Aloud (Tommy James and the Shondells cover)
19. The Chauffeur, Deftones (Duran Duran cover. This is such an amazing b-side.)
20. World in My Eyes, The Cure (Depeche Mode cover)
21. Within You Without You, Sonic Youth (Beatles cover)
22. Superstar, Sonic Youth (Carpenters cover. I realize it is impossible to match Karen Carpenter's glassy voice, but this is a fine fine cover- also on the Juno soundtrack.)
23. Psycho Killer, James Hall (Talking Heads cover)
24. Because the Night, 10000 Maniacs (Patti Smith cover. incredible how much their voices sound alike!)
25. Love will Tear us Apart, Susanna the Magical Orchestra (Joy Division cover. again, hard to beat, but it gets the originality points.)

Bam kazow in Yo Teeth. Feel free to leave a nasty comment about some awesome cover I left out of my list.

Stay Hot. Be Cool.

P.S. Best lyric of the week? Young Jeezy, "Put On"
"Passenger's a redbone, her weeve look like some curly fries /
Inside fish sticks, outside tartar sauce /
Pocket full of celery, imagine what she tellin me /
Blowin on asparagus, the realest shit I ever smoked /
Ridin to that Trap or Die, the realest shit I ever wrote /
They know I got that broccoli, so I keep that glock with me."