Archive for November, 2008

How Many Inside Jokes Do You Get on

November 29, 2008

Before I reveal my earth-shattering, awe-inspiring score, I implore you, the readers, to join me in this experiment. has long been the ironic t-shirt epicenter of the interweb, providing devastatingly exclusive, inside joke supported clothing that only the wittiest of your friends understand (usually your friends that wear glasses, 9 out of 10 times). The references are wide and varied (read as: if you can’t remember 10th grade history class or you don’t own a TV, then you need not apply). That is, if you are over the age of 32 or under the age of 15, I triple-dog-dare you to understand more than 50% of the t-shirts sold there. Attending or having attended a liberal arts university couldn’t hurt either.

But maybe it can be a learning experience, or a way to “bond” with your kids just before they pretend to love you on the one day a year where they feel obligated to. A brand new Xbox 360… for the 2nd solarium in our house in Aspen? Mom, you really are the BEST. My current total is an impressive 298/310 references, which is roughly 96%. Granted, some of the shirts aren’t quite inside jokes, but consider them freebies for all you noobz0rz. After you’ve tallied it up, post your score here, and then consider your percentage as your “cool” factor or your “essence.” More importantly consider it your “self-worth” in the eyes of the Gods of popular culture (e.g. Lifting Fog editorial staff). Good night, and good luck.

It’s Thanksgiving, So What Turkey Will You Pardon?

November 27, 2008

There seems to be a whole hell of a lot of pardoning going on these days. All of the most famous American republicans have been featured pardoning turkeys this week, animals and humans alike. So as a generally thoughtful young man, I got to thinking… who would I pardon if I could? This begs the inevitable follow-up question that always plagues this type of the-best, the-hottest, the-smartest [blank]; does the turkey being pardoned have to be alive? For the sake of positivity, let’s keep this one focused on the living. After all, thinking about the past can be so anti-Democratic these days. (more…)

The Only Way You Won’t Like ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is if You Have No Soul

November 25, 2008

I saw Slumdog Millionaire last night.

  1. How? One of the many benefits of living in Los Angeles, CA is the fact that people really do care about cinema here and despite the traffic it takes to get to it, you can see limited release motion pictures in top notch facilities.
  2. Why? Slumdog has been seriously hyped for its emotional core and powerhouse directing job by Danny Boyle.
  3. Who? Not even a Michael Cera sighting at the theater could take my mind away from the performances of Slumdog‘s cast including Dev Patel as Jamal and Freida Pinto as Latika.
  4. What? This has been the weirdest post openings I’ve ever written, I thought it would work better. So now, on to the full review… here.

Vampire Weekend Named Most Successful Columbia Alumni… Ever

November 24, 2008

Yes it’s true, Vampire Weekend have ascended to Ivy League greatness, not unlike Rivers Cuomo and Matt Damon (Harvard men, almost). Why is it always the most successful graduates of Ivy League schools are entertainers? Because they’re smarter. Duh. Vampire Weekend have clawed their way into the hearts and minds of even the most precocious middle school gossip circles as early as last summer. Even people who digest indie music faster than L. Lo goes through sexual preferences have paused for a moment to enjoy their debut (and still current album) of the same name.

Their featherlight pop stylings have caused a new craze in America: jumping on indie rock band wagons as soon as Stereogum covers them in a sentence-long blurb. But the Weekend has got the chops to back it all up. Just the other day I was watching MTV’s Woodie Awards on Palladia and I got the chance to see the Vamps plowing through “The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance” with the help of Chromeo! They really are the most successful alumni Columbia has ever produced (I hadn’t heard of any of these no-names, WTF). But what’s the secret behind VW’s domination? Just ask Lifting Fog Editor-in-Chief what they’re smoking over at Columbia and maybe you too can gave a band hyped-to-success by Stereogum and Pitchfork.

Things That Happened In The Past Six Weeks, Part 8 (of 8)

November 21, 2008

So that’s that. In the spirit of forward momentum, I’ve decided to axe the remaining five “Things That Happened In The Past Six Weeks” posts. While there is of course always more to talk about (“Henning vs. The Laundromat,” “Know Your Phone Book”), the time seems right to forget about the past and lunge instead toward the wild, uncertain future. What will happen tomorrow? The next day?

I have no idea! That’s exciting, right?!?

No matter the shape of things to come, rest easy knowing that Lifting Fog will always be there with an arched eyebrow and hands firmly on hips, offering color commentary that you hardly need but of course, can’t live without. Bemused, befuddled… but never bedraggled. We got this.

8) Chuck returned to NBC!

200px-chucktvChuck is the best show on television. There, I said it. While I may fawn at length over “superior” shows like LOST, 30 Rock, and The Office, none of them can match the spy dramedy for consistency of entertainment or sheer likability. For those unfamiliar, some quick bullet points:

  • Chuck follows Geek Squad Nerd Herd computer technician Chuck Bartowski (Zach Levi), recently the unwitting recipient of every U.S. Government secret ever, as he attempts to a) stay alive and b) maintain a somewhat normal life. Secrets!
  • Protecting him are CIA agent Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) and NSA agent John Casey (Adam Baldwin), both of whom must attempt to reconcile their occupational responsibilities and personal feelings. Sarah loves Chuck. And vice versa. But they can’t be together. Drama!
  • Created by Josh Schwartz (The O.C., Gossip Girl), Chuck makes similarly strong use of new music. You’ll want to look up the playlist after each episode. Indie rock!

More to love, after the jump!

New Gmail Themes Are Just What My Doctor(s) Ordered

November 21, 2008

For weeks now, my life coach has been bombarding me with advice on how to turn my life around. Don’t worry Mom, everyone has them out here in LA, even Tom Cruise. After hours and hours of in-one-ear, out-the-other psycho babble and a $700 weekly bill at Starbucks, everything has finally clicked for me. Gmail themes are here, and finally, my days don’t seem quite so dark. Have you seen Sunset, or my current choice, Mountains? Cold Shower is equally divine.

God bless those tech wizards at Google

God bless those tech wizards at Google

I had been waiting for this day my whole life but I didn’t even know I was waiting for it. It was like the first only time I got drunk in college; is there truly such joy and happiness in the world that I was previously unaware of? For some of you non-web based email users, this is but a drop in the pond, but for full time web-based Gmail addicts like myself, it’s like a breath of fresh air. I was so sick of staring at that boring blue and white background with yellow sub-windows day after day that it became a routine. Who am I, Truman Burbank? Now, I can have a new theme for each day of the week (or if you have Gmail open all day like me, two-three changes a day). It’s time to accessorize girls, what’s your favorite theme?

2009 Can’t Come Soon Enough

November 20, 2008

With Watchmen and the fifth season of LOST (three-hour premiere airs Jan. 21st!) double-teaming the geek lobe of my brain, it’s all I can do to finish out this year with any sense of propriety. Posters like the one below (courtesy of Ain’t It Cool News) just make the task that much more difficult.


What was good about 2008, anyway? While it would be nice for LOST advertising to move beyond its lingering blue period, I’m still totally jazzed by the design. The Oceanic Six… castaways still stuck on the island… society… wilderness… order… chaos. Dichotomy! Only LOST affords me the chance to write navel-gazing bullshit while simultaneously name-dropping philosophers in a way that’s only sort of douchey. God, I love this show. See you soon, Kate…

Things That Happened In The Past Six Weeks, Part 7

November 19, 2008

After Steve’s lovely ode to John Lennon and the age of activism in music, I thought it only appropriate to take my post in a completely opposing direction. Quiet reflection? Sensitivity? Only when I drink. Instead I offer Part 7 of the seemingly endless “Things That Happened in the Past Five Six Weeks” saga, today the story of my baptism into the New York City driving community. No tissues or peace signs needed here, just a taste for the absurd. I promise* to keep it short.

7) I Learned to Drive in NYC

chitty1While currently counting food stamps on the unemployment line with my friends, there was a time not long ago when I did hold a job. Not a staggeringly fun job, or all that fulfilling, but something that kept me off the streets (and from referring to vendor hot dogs as “luxury items”). For three months, I was the Assistant to the Coach of Columbia Men’s Swimming. The job covered more ground than might be expected; from coaching (obviously) to filing, teaching, recruiting, and networking, I was asked to be a chlorinated Renaissance man. Me being me, of course, I tackled every request or assignment with trademark panache. Everything, that is, except driving. Cue ominous music.

They Don’t Make Rockstars Like They Used To

November 18, 2008
They served as the voice for many 

They served as the voice for many

Here we find ourselves in the third week of November, 2008, and another rock great has just passed away. As opposed to the obligatory obituary post in honor of Mitch Mitchell, I decided to tackle my old adage of “What’s older is always better” from a different angle. Last night, while viewing an utterly amazing documentary centered around John Lennon (it’s called John Lennon: Imagine) on MTV’s new HD channel, Palladia, it finally hit me. They don’t make rockstars like they used to.

While observing Lennon battle with reporters during his legendary stand against the Vietnam War in late 1969 in New York City with Yoko by his side, it occurred to me that there hasn’t been anyone quite like John Lennon to walk the earth since. No duh, right? But the more I thought about it and the more I thought about the way the media has handled things that are considered milestones for my generation, the more I thought about how the media has failed me (us). In a tizzy, my mind began racing. The question I struggled with was this: do people like John Lennon still exist (and the media fails to give them proper attention)? Or is there no one willing to stand up for what they believe in and force the media to listen by the slight of their own celebrity status?


Start Your Week Off Right

November 17, 2008

Actually, that header is completely inaccurate. If you were in fact starting your week off right, well… you wouldn’t be here. You’d be working (or filming a Kellogg’s commercial). Does your boss know how much of his time you waste? Regardless, we’re happy you’re back for another week of esoteric rambling and pointless pontificating here at Lifting Fog. While DJ Steve and I reignite our writing engines, we hope you’ll be tided over by the embedded YouTube video. Nothing that special or timely (it’s November 17th, 2008 – two weeks after the election and one week before Thanksgiving – and a fairly ordinary, boring day), but foreign communication issues are always good for a larf.