Friday, November 10, 2006

first dance

This is at Erin & Ed's wedding 10/28/06 in Princeton, NJ. Sorry there is no audio (it was Moon River) and I'm not such a great videographer.


Currently for sale on ebay, just three grand.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

17 weeks pregnant

17 weeks pregnant
Originally uploaded by mattbucher.
This was last weekend at a wedding in Princeton. Now the pregnancy is almost half over!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Pet of the Month

Birthday Dog
Originally uploaded by mattbucher.

Go Here:

To vote for Riley as pet of the month (at our vet's website). If she wins pet of the year, we get free dog food for a year! It's kind of like american idol but with pictures of animals (oh wait....).

She recently turned 1 year old and the only party hats at target were Dora the Explorer.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Books on the nightstand

Philippe Sollers / The Park
Herman Melville / Moby Dick
Meg Wolitzer / The Position
Judy Budnitz / If I Told You Once
Shirley Hazzard / The Great Fire
Michael Cox / The Meaning of Night
Colson Whitehead / The Colossus of New York
The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Volume 1 (5th Edition)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Vanishing Point

Fichte died of typhus at the age of 52.

Karl Marx had a long battle with pleurisy, but still made it to 64.

Wittgenstein died of prostate cancer just after he turned 60.

Stephen Crane died at 28.

Jack London barely made it to 40.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I have to call out this podcast as incredible. If you aren't a fan yet, get on it!


Monday, September 11, 2006

Recent Netflix viewings

- Barry Lyndon
- Syriana
- Rent
- Friends With Money
- Freaks & Geeks disc 1
- V for Vendetta
- Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!
- Love Liza
- The Last Picture Show

Friday, September 01, 2006

Baby is growing fast

Sonogram - 8 weeks
Originally uploaded by mattbucher.
Now a baby shape is starting to form.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Mary, Call the American Embassy

The all-time funniest SNL skit.

The acting is flawless, incomparable to SNL's current incarnation.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Books on the nightstand

Kings of Infinite Space by Jim Hynes
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
The Method Actors by Carl Shuker
Rising Up and Rising Down (1 vol. compilation) by William T. Vollmann
Mawrdew Czgowchwz by James McCourt

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Originally uploaded by mattbucher.
Here is our new Toyota Yaris. We tried to find a Honda Fit, but there were none to be had for miles around. In fact, one waiting list for them stretched until November. We also had trouble finding the Yaris in stock. This was really the only one we could find, but we really wanted something that could get close to 40 mpg. I felt like writing my congressman and demanding that auto manufacturers not only produce more compact cars, but produce them in large numbers. I mean, technically the Yaris and Fit exist, but buying them is extremely difficult (or downright impossible in some areas) because they are manufactured in such low quantites. Dealers are not eager to take on lots of them either because they have very little markup built into their prices.

Friday, June 23, 2006


I'm supposed to be reading The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake for book club, but I am just not that taken by the stories. I can't get into the collection because it seems affected and a lot of the prose is really overblown and these are supposed to be mood pieces rather than plot heavy so I'm just not digging it.

I am still reading Upton Sinclair's Oil! I'm at "The Killing" now and the plot is really bouncing around. He's a master at slowly building these plot sequences that will affect later plots and his characters in this one are pretty complex.

I've also been recaptivated by the story of Douglas Mawson. Maybe the baddest dude who ever lived. Next in the queue: Running After Antelope by Scott Carrier.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Holy Crap

I just realized that the guy who played Lazlo Holyfeld in Real Genius played Uncle Rico in Napolean Dynamite: Jon Gries.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Honest to God quote in the Tyler Morning Telegraph

"All of our lives since the fourth grade we've been told 'Your senior year when y'all get on varsity, that's y'alls year.'"

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bennie Bickers

I am trying to compile some facts related to one of Dallas's most colorful figures: Bennie Bickers. Maybe someday this will be a scholarly paper or a piece of amateur history or something, but right now it's just a collection of facts (and theories) the really interest me. Here are a few:

- Bennie Bickers owned the University Club from 1953 to 1962.

- The University Club was about a block away from Jack Ruby's Carousel Club on Commerce St.

- There were 12 nightclubs in a six-block square of downtown Dallas in the early 1960s (The Colony Club, The Theater Lounge, The Egyptian Lounge) and a hundred others around town ( Eddie's Room, Top of the Hill Club, The Silver Spur, The Longhorn Ranch Club, The Vegas Club, The Cipango Club, Chez Maurice). I'm not sure about the location of all these places yet.

- According to his testimony, Bickers had known Jack Ruby for approx 20 years dating back to Ruby's time in Chicago.

- Supposedly a meeting took place at the Top of the Hill Club & Casino in 1948 wherein LBJ met with Meyer Lansky, Benny Binion, Benny Bickers, Jack Ruby, and other club owners/ Mobsters to discuss some campaign fundraising from the clubs. At this time, Lewis McWillie was also working at the Top of the Hill.

- McWillie is the one who took Jack Ruby to the Trescornia jail in Cuba in September of 1959. Was Ruby carrying the mob's bribe/bail money to release Santos Trafficante?

- Bickers was likely a lieutenant under Dallas Mob Boss Ben Whitaker.

- Bickers' son Mickey still lives and works in Dallas.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

According to iTunes...

Whenever we leave the house for a couple of hours we try to turn on the iTunes so that our dog doesn't get too lonely. She prefers softer stuff like Beth Orton, Elliot Smith, and some jazz and classical, but lately I've turned on some audiobooks of John Updike short stories. According to iTunes play count, she's heard the story "Killing" twenty times now. So, if she's feeling a bit melancholy or restless, I try to remember this and wonder what she thinks of marriage now.

What does your dog listen to?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Thank you, Jesus!

Judge: Web-Surfing Worker Can't Be Fired
Published: April 24, 2006, Filed at 9:26 a.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Saying surfing the web is equivalent to reading a newspaper or talking on the phone, an administrative law judge has suggested that only a reprimand is appropriate as punishment for a city worker accused of failing to heed warnings to stay off the Internet.

Administrative Law Judge John Spooner reached his decision in the case of Toquir Choudhri, a 14-year veteran of the Department of Education who had been accused of ignoring supervisors who told him to stop browsing the Internet at work.

The ruling came after Mayor Michael Bloomberg fired a worker in the city's legislative office in Albany earlier this year after he saw the man playing a game of solitaire on his computer.

In his decision, Spooner wrote: ''It should be observed that the Internet has become the modern equivalent of a telephone or a daily newspaper, providing a combination of communication and information that most employees use as frequently in their personal lives as for their work.''

He added: ''For this reason, city agencies permit workers to use a telephone for personal calls, so long as this does not interfere with their overall work performance. Many agencies apply the same standard to the use of the Internet for personal purposes.''

Spooner dispensed the lightest possible punishment on Choudhri, a reprimand, after a search of Choudhri's computer files revealed he had visited several news and travel sites.

Martin Druyan, Choudhri's lawyer, called the ruling ''very reasonable.''

Monday, April 17, 2006

three movies that sucked

1. A History of Violence. Just got around to watching it this weekend and was very very underwhelmed. The ending was dumb (the killer dad sits down at the table), the violence was not that graphic (at least not on the scale of something like Saving Private Ryan), and the plot was just weak (did anyone really think this would be a film about mistaken identity? No, it was clear that "Tom Stall" was really this "Joey" guy but was just too dark and complicated to talk about it.). There was like a five minute sequence showing Viggo Mortensen driving from Indiana to Philadelphia. Dear Cronenberg, please edit out the driving sequences. Ask Vincent Gallo about this if you don't believe me.

2. 40 Year Old Virgin. Everyone raved about this, but no one told me it was over 2 hours long. And again, no suspense. We know from the beginning that he's eventually going to get Catherine Keener, but the film is so intent on taking itself seriously (for a comedy!) that it wastes time on all this "character" development stuff. There is, in scripwriting, a term called "The Big Gloom" which is supposed to be the last obstacle in the character's path toward a happy ending and everytime it looks like there is absolutely no way things will work out, but then of course somehow they do and The End. Well, 40-y.o.v. has like three or four big glooms and I can't think of any purpose they serve except to stall. There were a couple of funny jokes, but a lot of material fell flat and just sat there. Something I didn't like about either one of these is that they both seemed to take themselves too seriously, they were both earnestly trying to be A Great Film and we all know you just can't try to be cool.

3. Prozac Nation. Maybe the worst film I have ever seen. I could not finish half of it. Seriously, do not waste your time even reading about how much it sucks.

4. On a non-sucking note, I can recommend the movie version of "The Safety of Objects" as being not-all-bad. It's barely faithful to the book, but still entertaining in its own right (minus Joshua Jackson; I cannot stand that guy). The best movie I've seen so far this year: The Squid and The Whale.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Attention Authenticists!

One thing I really hate about teh internets is this self-congratulatory hipster egoism of getting there first--the authenticity of being a 28 year-old "oldtimer." I'm noticing it more and more, on a large scale.

A couple of examples (out of the million or so I could dig up):

1. From:
"I started using flickr back when it was a flash-enhanced backchannel chat at etech many moons ago, and when it was finally released to the world, it was built off the previous web trend of social software."

2. The complex sarcasm tied up in megnut's statement here:
"all of us narcissistic a-list weblogers stopped frequenting this site years ago..." (I think she's being sarcastic, but clearly there's a grain of truth there as she did not post a comment on MeFi in 2004 or 2005 except to defend Kottke; and clearly the crowd who consider themselves "A-list bloggers" like kottke, megnut, and anildash HAVE stopped frequenting MeFi.)

3. Flickr even puts this into their login screen whereby those with pre-yahoo logins get to sign in under a different button, highlighted by the phrase "Rock On! You're Old Skool."

4. Caterina claiming that "Web 2.0 isn't all that" because here company made it, got bought by Yahoo!, made her a million bucks, and so the trend is over! We were here first! You guys now are all just lame! Except for the companies started by my web 2.0 friends whom I'm also advising!

Now, there are some legitimate cases where this might be OK, whereby someone who's truly an internet giant can stand up and pontificate on the history of particular applications or remind us our history, but most of the time I feel that this is just used as a badge of honor: "I've been doing this forever and let me tell you what it was like back in the old days. I'm so cool now that I jumped off the friendster/myspace/flickr/web2.0/blogger/digg/metafilter/
bittorrent/whateverthehellyouthinkiscool" bandwagon a loooong time ago. This is why I'm not into to "indie" rock. However, "the internet" and its many applications are too big to be confined to the esoteric authenticity wars of this coolness debate. Or are they? It's a small world after all.

I had some of the same issues with Yankees fans. Now, I consider myself a Yankees fan, but when I go to Yankee Stadium and end up making small talk with some guy wearing a Ron Guidry jersey in the bleachers, inevitably it will degrade into a game of one-upmanship of how this guy was born across the street from the stadium, saw Mickey Mantle hit home runs, caught a Reggie Jackson world series ball, etc., and that all this inevitably makes him a more authentic or real fan that someone who's recently moved to New York and also likes the Yankees. I say Screw That. In fact, that kind of I'm-authentic-you're-not might be near the root of some types of xenophobia. Anyone can be an authentic legitimate fan of a team, or user of a website. Accept it. Don't look down on people because they don't remember back when slashdot ran Java 1.1. You are a geek. This need for social heirarchy is simply clinging onto to the only remaining shred of power you can squeeze out of being an unemployed loafer who produces nothing in life but a website and a bloated ego. I'm sick of you all. You really are narcissitic egotists who can only feel important by claiming elder-statesman-status in a medium that changes every second of the day. You are all boring and will be forgotten.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Excuse for Absence

Haven't posted in about a month, mainly because we just bought a house.


That's the other folk's furniture in there. We've just started moving some of our stuff over so that explains the total absence of books in these pics. Now the eternal list of home-repair projects commences...

Words I love to say (usually not aloud)

1. fecklessness
2. Cold Spring Harbor
3. mollycoddle
4. Katwijk Aan Zee

Monday, March 06, 2006

Quotable Quotes

"You there, fill it up with petroleum distillate, and re-vulcanize my tires, post haste. And none of your usual boobery!"

"Hello, I'd like to send this letter to the Prussian consulate in Siam by Aeromail. I too late for the 4:30 autogyro?"

Rob (High Fidelity):
What really matters is what you like, not what you are like. Books, records, films, these things matter. Call me shallow; it's the fuckin' truth.

video backpacker, Slacker:
"To me, my thing is, a video image is much more powerful and useful than an actual event. Like back when I used to go out, when I was last out, I was walking down the street and this guy, that came barreling out of a bar, fell right in front of me, and he had a knife right in his back, landed right on the ground and... Well, I have no reference to it now. I can't put it on pause. I can't put it on slow mo and see all the little details. And the blood, it was all wrong. It didn't look like blood. The hue was off. I couldn't adjust the hue. I was seeing it for real, but it just wasn't right. And I didn't even see the knife impact on the body. I missed that part."

Audience: Boo! Boo!
Burns: Smithers, are they booing me?
Smithers: Uh, no, they're saying "Boo-urns! Boo-urns!"
Burns: Are you saying "boo" or "Boo-urns"?
Audience: Boo! Boo!
Hans: I was saying "Boo-urns."

More, Slacker:
"I've had a total recalibration of my mind, you know. I mean, it's like, I've been banging my head against this 19th century type, um, what? Thought mode? Construct? Human construct? Well, the wall doesn't exist. It's not there, you know. I mean, they tell you, look for the light at the end of the tunnel. Well, there is no tunnel. There's just no structure. The underlying order is chaos."

Stranger: ". . . How things been goin'?"
Dude: ". . . Well, you know, strikes and gutters, ups and downs . . . Yeah. Thanks Gary . . . Well, take care man, gotta get back . . . "
Stranger: "Sure. Take it easy, Dude."
Dude: "Oh, yeah."
Stranger: "I know that you will."
Dude: ". . . Yeah, well . . . the Dude abides."

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Our lil brainiac

Our lil brainiac
Originally uploaded by mattbucher.
We hear a book fall off the bookshelf and find that our dog has opened the pages of "Ulysses" (and she's not trying to eat the paper). She's also been known to bark aggressively if Oprah comes on the TV. I guess she hates what Oprah did to James Frey. And yes, that's duct tape on the book.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Valentines, yo

chocolate bar2
Originally uploaded by mattbucher.
shipped from NYC to Austin just in time. Nothing can make you forget real estate woes quicker than some truffles. Highlights include the pb&j truffle, the key lime pie truffle, and the kahlua truffle.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Tasty Delicious

Originally uploaded by mattbucher.
Did I mention that my wife used to be the cupcake froster at the famous Magnolia Bakery??! Well did I??

The Double B

Originally uploaded by mattbucher.
If I had cattle, this would be my brand.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Pre-decimal British currency

1 pound = 20 shillings
1 pound = 240 pence
1 pound = 1 sovereign
1 crown = 5 shillings
1 half crown = 2 shillings, six pence
1 florin = 2 shillings
1 shilling = 12 pence
1 penny = 4 farthings
1 groat = 4 pence
shilling = "hog" or "deaner"
half crown = "tosheroon"
sixpence = "sprowsie" or "tanner"

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

You would think we are a dentist's office

We subscribe to:

New York Times (Sunday)
New York Magazine
The New Yorker
Vanity Fair
The Atlantic
US Weekly
Texas Monthly

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Four jobs I've had:
1. editor
2. ditch digger
3. copywriter
4. house painter

Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. The Big Lebowski
2. Office Space
3. Bottle Rocket
4. Ocean's Eleven

Four places I've lived:
1. New York, NY (Brooklyn and Manhattan)
2. Denver, CO
3. Austin, TX
4. Tyler, TX

Four TV shows I love:
1. The Dog Whisperer
2. Six Feet Under
3. Baseball Tonight
4. No Reservations

Four places I've vacationed:
1. Zihuatanejo, Mexico
2. Galveston, TX
3. Amsterdam
4. Las Vegas

Four of my favorite dishes:
1. raw fish, which is my favorite dish
2. Katsu Don Buri
3. roasted chicken
4. massaman beef curry

Four sites I visit daily:

Five places I would rather be right now:
1. in a library
2. at the French Laundry or Per Se
3. Playa La Ropa
4. upstairs at the Stage Door Café, Breckenridge
5. Takamatsu Japan

I tag all three people who read this.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Nelly song

In one verse of one song, Nelly manages to rhyme


Is there a song that consists entirely of end-rhymes?

Monday, January 30, 2006

SXSW Interactive

One of the coolest events to occur in Austin every year is the SXSW film, music, and interactive festivals. This year's South by Southwest Interactive Festival features a keynote "conversation" between two of our favorite bloggers: dooce and kottke. The problem is, the rest of the festival doesn't really interest me and a single badge costs $275. So, for the wife and I to attend this one lecture it would cost us about $550. Now, I really like these bloggers, but I'm leaning towards saying no to the $550 cover charge.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Bibliomania, part 2

One of my New Year's resolutions is to consume less media in order to write/create more, but I appear to be failing (see Netflix mention below). Maybe I will post a short story soon.

Reading/recently read:

Black Hole by Charles Burns / This is the guy who draws the cover of The Believer every month. This is an awesome book, part teen horror comedy, part sci-fi thriller, part Daniel Clowes.

The Areas of My Expertise by John Hodgman / Former Professional Literary Agent and renowned smoking-jacket/Tolkien/attack-ad expert Hodgman takes us on a tour of Complete World Knowledge. For example:


Jorge Luis Borges was editor-in-chief of Games magazine from 1980-81.


There is the famous list of 700 hobo names and a study of the Lycanthropic cycles and their antidotes.

Warlock by Oakley Hall
This is a New York Review of Books reissue of a classic western about a Tombstone-like town called Warlock. It's supposed to be this end-all, be-all Western myth, and I am so far very impressed with the writing style and plot.

Memories of a Catholic Girlhood by Mary McCarthy

I'm re-reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" and my favorite detail I'd forgotten is the way the country kid Walter Cunningham answers in the affirmative: "Yeb'm."

Also, we just subscribed to Netflix and our first two movies were "Broken Flowers" and the Johnny Depp "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." I really didn't want to like the Tim Burton "redoing" of a classic, but I have to admit that I really liked it. I thought "Broken Flowers" was OK--a lot of Jim Jarmusch trying to be unpredictable (which I like) and Bill Murray as his own sad clown (which was good the first couple of times, but felt kind of half-hearted here, like Murray was getting tired of it. I'd like to see Bill Murray team up with Harold Ramis and do "Stripes 2" or something like that. Any suggestions for the queue?

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Originally uploaded by mattbucher.
Bill Murray was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

electrical fire

electrical fire
Originally uploaded by mattbucher.
We had a small electrical fire the other day.