Monday, November 22, 2004

liberal education

Vocab: A liberal application of butter on my bread. Mmmmm. Butter.

Why does, oh I don't know, learning things mean you are trading off for 'marketable' skills? Why can't the media ever pick a young person that is more interesting and intelligent than a piece of hair?

On liberal education -- what it means, do the students get it (apparently not. They answer "the classes are small" and "the professors care."), what's the point, etc. etc. Ok yeah, so I agree that it's quite a broad term that does little to describe its aims. And I'm not sure who determines these aims. But I take it to mean something like an education where one learns to how to think more coherently, to be more able to engage different perspectives and arenas into some sorts of hopefully meaningful or searching judgments and questions. You learn how to learn. And that's probably roundabout and I've disproven myself by being about as intelligent as a piece of hair. But liberal arts sure doesn't mean that you're being "creative" in some typically arty smarty sense of the word.

Actually, I'm getting kind of angry reading this. A student explains:
"But at a certain point," she says, "it becomes less and less about learning and more about resume-building." Why? Well, Maynard replied, people don't want to graduate and end up as a Starbucks barrista. After she gets her degree in literary studies, she wants to pursue a career in branding.

What the fuck is branding? Branding cattle? Determining what's hot and what's not? And fuck, maybe you might learn something from being a barrista than some kiss-ass who isn't interested in the world around them and can't say that they are passionate about what they do. How the hell can you be passionate about branding. I love that Nike swoosh. It keeps me going when I'm down and out and thinking of slitting a wrist.

Rant finis.

Ok. Angrier than I thought. To each his own and all different kinds of people and their money to make world go round and other such platitudes. Sorrryyyyyyy *giggles*

Edit: All about branding

it's only opera!

Coolfer recently had a tid-bit/link from the San Francisco Chronicle to an interview of classical crossover artist, Hayley Westenra. This is interesting because operanews did an interview with her not too long ago. But this interview was way more funny.
It starts like this:

Q: So your official biography comes out this month. Is it, like, three pages long?

A: I know, it does seem a bit crazy. But it's basically my whole childhood story, and how I got where I am. Hopefully, there's more to come.

Q: Can you explain the best part for illiterate people?

A: Well, I haven't read it all yet. That's what I'm going to do on the tour.

Q: You don't need to read it. You lived it.


I read some more stuff by Aidin Vaziri who is SF Chronicle's pop music critic among other things at other places and he makes me laugh and clap my hands at his cheekiness. He also loves u2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

I missed U2 on a flatbed truck travelling down Broadway. I can't decide whether this was a good or bad thing.

which arcade fire member are you?

Cannot stop it. Before I realize I've gone mad, I'll start running a web-ring of Arcade Fire fan sites, making livejournal and AIM icons and quizzes that determine: Which Arcade Fire member are you?

At least that hasn't happened yet. But TTIKTDA has an mp3 of AF covering Talking Heads' "This Must Be the Place" calling it "Naive Melody" along with a link to some more goodies.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

moma ants

moma.jpg


Went to the newly renovated MOMA when it opened for the little people (cool people, press, and members got a sneak peek earlier in the week) on Saturday with free admission! and rain!! and clean white spaces!!!

There was this one piece there, if I remember correctly, by Rachel Whiteread. I don't remember what it's called. Hopefully not Untitled #8. Maybe Room or Negative Space. Anyways, it was a plaster cast of a room she made, sort of like this big hunking white mass of sand-castlesqueness.

I don't know why I remembered that all of a sudden. I think because the new building is so big and airy that I imagined filling it with white plaster. How romantic.

Now that I've devolved into nonsense as per my usual habit... I'll dance a little Ashlee-jig!

Overall, I thought Taniguchi's design was pretty great. Elegant and simple in a mostly non-boring way. I mean, I don't think you can escape the expanses of white space. But everything flows nicely without being curvy and there are nice corners and peek-a-boo windows into different floors and walkways that seem suspended, evoking futuristic sidewalks in the air.

The place is overwhelming, simply because of how much stuff they have. The floor with the "stars" especially -- y'know, the van gogh, picasso, matisse. They all reside a little uncomfortably close to each other, like neighbors in NJ suburbia.

I'm excited about what MOMA will do in terms of exhibitions and how they will use their new space. Get a membership. It's worth it.

The Duke Leadership in the Arts Program I liked so much I did twice is holding its visual art classes @ MOMA itself and exploring the whole of the museum. My two years we had to schlep all around the city -- and that was cool cuz we got a great, varied overview of the NY arts scene -- all the major museums and galleries, Chelsea, Soho, Queens, Brooklyn -- but I'm still mad jealous and might have to crash some of this year's classes during lunch breaks.

[pic from Tien]

More pics chez Youngna. Some of them are hott.

Peruse MOMA's collection here because you don't spend enough time in front of the computer.

Unrelated note: my friend just sent me this link. It was pretty funny.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

it all comes together

Well. I guess I can't stop from talking about Arcade Fire any more than I can help oversleeping and being late for work. Abercrombie might be all racist and stuff but they, too, love the Arcade Fire.

fratty.jpg
Conversant:
"What's the name of that band that's supposed to be wicked good?"
"Shut up Ken. Just act cool."
"I can't hear what you're saying. My hair deflects any words away from my ears."
Thoughtful:
"Did you starch your polo shirt. God that's sad."
"I've been with hotter girls than this chick. I'm so pretty. My polo shirt is pink."
"Shit, my hair is losing its purposeful waviness. When can I get to a bathroom to put some more hair product in?"
"Shit, my hair feels loose. I can hear what this girl is saying. When can I get to a bathroom to put some more hair product in?"
"I'm hungry. I wonder if Ken will want to stop for some fro yo. Or parfaits. Mmm. Parfaits."
"WTF is Arcade Fire. John Mayer is so awesome. My body is a wonderland."


Okay enough of that.

kevchino.com interviews Win Butler. In response to a question about the whole Neighborhoods deal, Win responds: "Read Plato's republic, then it will all be clear." Is he being his smart-alecky self? Hummmm.

bradleysalmanac has a live arcade fire show from boston's TT the bears - mp3s and pics. He is as eloquent as I was. "Best show Ever." Wheeeeee.

Mmm. Parfaits.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

abercombie crap

racist.jpg
Awwww. I remember this picture. Because it was everywhere freshman year of college -- even on the SNL "Weekend Update" segment. And it has this girl I knew in high school yelling, "Raawwr! Should have used bigger cardboard!!!"

There had been all this to-do because Abercrombie had those shirts with things like "Two wongs don't make a right" or something ridiculous like that. Yesterday's Times reports that a national bias case against them has been settled. A&F, who had been putting hired minorities in the back, cleaning or stocking, will now add more minorities to their advertising and get diversity recruiters and monitors to help them understand that there ARE other kinds of colors in the skin-rainbow.

Shite, what are the Duke kids gonna wear?!??!

Wondering what to get that trendy, politically conscious APA friend of yours for the holidays? Why not a Lauren, the Asian-Pacific-Islander Spoken Word Poet Doll??

laptops can't give hugs

lalipunav.jpg Everybody, this is my older sister, Grace. Hahahahaha. Oh my god, I'm so tired and delirious. Tirelious!!! That sounds Shakespearean. Man, Asian people ROCK! Oh please forget this entry ever happened.

This girl is actually not my sister, nor is she "Chinatown Dumplings." She is Valerie Trebeljahr of Lali Puna from Munich. According to Epitonic, she is " a Portuguese-educated German national, of part Asian descent, writing in English, sampling Spanish voices."

Now that I feel dull as rocks, here's a song that they do: 603. Lali Puna has laptops and keyboards and things with twisty things and a drummer and stuff. Electro-poprock? I hate genres. Just listen to the mp3.

They played a show at the Mercury Lounge. Missed the first opener but also saw Styrofoam from Brussels, where they say "prima" and they don't say "you stupid bastards." They also play laptop music, but more mellow. New album out soon in the States called Nothing's Lost and here you can listen to clips. Ben Gibbard and Andrew Kenny, among others, appear on the album.

Andrew Kenny, from American Analog Set supported Styrofoam for the show. Is 'supported' the right word? I can't think straight. Along with that soothing-like-aloe-voice, the way he dances, or "moves," reminds me of somebody I knew from my doo-shbop college acappella days, who went by his middle name cuz his name was actually Jon Smith -- he also had these cute "moves" - ie dancing with no hips.

I'm so concert-ed out. Totally vegging out tomorrow.

movable blog-o-vision

asobiseksu.gif


Went with YP to Movable Hype on Tuesday night, giving up my usual snarky dosage of Gilmore Girls and Scrubs. Twas a fun night. Met some of the nice Gothamist folks, including Bluejake. It was kind of surreal though, kind of like a house party where everybody pretty much knows each other and you're just one of those people who went because somebody was like, "Yo, I hear there's this cool party at 216 Delaware" and then you go and find that you sort of know everybody because you've been reading their blogs ever since peanut butter and jelly.

Now that I've made no sense whatsoever, I'll move on. Meeting the face behind the words is always kind of interesting. There was just such a preponderance of bloggers that I felt like I was wearing those drunk-vision goggles but they were blog-o-vision goggles. I have to say, just a little weird. "Hi! I know you! But not really!" Creepy in a way. Fandom in another way.

What with the kind of event it was, there was a surprising number of people who didn't want their picture taken. Okay maybe just one girl. YP was doing her picture-thang and this girl was all like, "Don't take my picture bitch." but not as rude as that. And everybody around us was like, you do know that there are currently 38 digital cameras for every one human tonight, don't you ... bitch? And then there was a breakdance fight. Actually, there were a couple camera-offs between Youngna and Bluejake. Frightening indeed.

Anyhoo, brooklynvegan has a linkstastic entry of attendees if you're in that kind of blue clicking mood. I read about 60% of the blogs linked there but thanks to stunning interpersonal skills met very few of them and don't know what they look like. I did spot/recognize catherine's pita, recently of the ipod cozy fame, b/c she posts pictures of herself sometimes. See? This is creepy.

Well, noncreepy was some nice people we met. Tien was one of them.

Oh yeah, the music. Pretty good! We missed the first whoever, thanks to chinatown dumplings. Awwwww, that sounds like a racist term of endearment. Dennis Cahlo of the Sons of Sound (soon to change names) has a wonderful crazy voice, this mix of Bono, Ted Leo, and Jay Clifford of Jump, Little Children (great falsetto). Snowden from Atlanta was arite.

Asobi Seksu was pretty great. Much tighter, wilder, and affecting than when I last heard them in the winter, probably due to touring and the like. Though that makes me sad because their CD really pales in comparison.

Whew. I'm all linked out. How do you people do it?!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

you tooo

Listen to new U2 album at NME:

How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

[link via LHB]

failure

Ever since I moved into Brooklyn in October, I promised myself that I would get up early and read the paper and get some stuff done. Have a morning "routine" as they quaintly call it.

Never been done. Not once.

And almost every night I go to sleep, thinking sincerely that tomorrow will be the day. The day that I don't shut off my two alarms. The day that I don't try to blame anything on carbon monoxide. And yet...

I've decided that this sort of attitude is contributing to a general negative feeling. Because even before my day has really started, I have already failed. But the funny thing is, I can't NOT plan to wake up early, even though this means sure failure. It's sort of a silly situation. In other words, I'm hopeless.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Ode to Craigslist

Look. Craigslist is great. I'm not denying that. Without it, we would not be able to sell not-as-hot tickets for exorbitantly priced hot tickets. We would not be able to laugh at the rants and raves and wonder about the fate of humanity at the missed connections. We would not be able to have one more site to check job postings for that kinda okay paying job that doesn't make you want to kill yourself everyday.

But seriously, NYT Real Estate section. Face the fact that you're catering to an audience that can afford things in your nonintrusive tiffany and gucci ads and make engagement announcements with smiles that yearn to last. So don't pretend you can pull off the Dining section's useful and interesting $25 and under kind of concept by including a yippee craigslist success story even if it is about ex-mormons.

Finding a roommate or an apartment through craigslist is just like trying to find meaning in your everyday existence before your first cup of coffee. And then afterwards. And then when you cry yourself to sleep at night. It's like the outcome of the 2004 elections. You begin, very quickly, to lose faith in your fellow human beings. They lie. They cheat. They expend no energy whatsoever at spelling words you learn in the first grade correctly or proofreading or calling you back. They are all nuts.

It's something you have to go through yes. And I'm happy with the result of my craigslist forays. I have learned a lot. But c'mon, NYT. Fill that space with a pretty picture or something. A coupon for vodka. Or talk about oatmeal.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

i can't stop

regine.jpg


YOUNGNA is cool and in caps. Does she live in microphones to take pics as close-up as these? She photo-chronicles the Arcade Fire/Cornell crazy goodness. Check out her other photo-chronicling.

So cute!!
olsen.jpg


quarter life crisis

The Guardian interviews Zach Braff whilst whispering "Spokesman for a generation." Yes, he keeps in touch with his fans and audience through that new-fangled blogging thing because, as he says:
"With this blog, I thought I'm just going to talk to my audience like I would with a friend. And it's been great for that. Here's what's going on in my life, here's what I'm doing, here's what really fucked me up when I was 25, here's what it's like when I wash my car."

Word. At least you are interesting and entertaining. Unlike me.

Commercial break:
Are you in your mid-twenties? Are you bursting in tears after losing at Literary Trivial Pursuit even with your English degree? Welcome to your Quarter Life Crisis!

While I feel like this is a very real sort of stage of life these days, the melodramatic, peanut-buttery bits sound rather ridiculous. "Are you dead inside???"!! Ah the humans are so funny. Let's refer back to my friend Zach (quote below) who was interviewed at QLC.com. Yes, there's an acronym. And a site.

Hey, so when are my "golden years" supposed to happen??!?!?! I'm waiting!!!!!! Wasn't high school or college or ever. They don't exist, do they? I'll put my faith in edible material goods. Now golden grahams. They exist.

ZB: I think people who are prone to go through a quarterlife crisis are prone to be dealing with these same issues their whole lives. I feel like life goes in waves. The way I describe it is it's like being long overdue for the next chapter of your life to open up, I think everyone can relate to that, life is a series of beginnings and changes, and then there's times in your life where you're like "I am so due for an epiphany, I am so due for something new to happen to me, a new girl, a new job, an epiphany, somebody please send me an epiphany." ....
"Somebody please send me an epiphany." ?? Has he been reading my diary from the past five years? Creepy. OK, my site is quickly turning into a I heart Zach Braff and I heart Arcade Fire site. TeeHee. Girlish giggles dissolving into sobs asking Isn't there any meaning in my life?!?!? What's it all forrrrrrrrr?
Me and my english minor would probably suck at Literary Trivial Pursuit. I mean "I" [sidelong glance].

paul paul interpol

hatpaul.jpg
Saw Interpol @ Hammerstein on Friday. Hail Social, whom I didn't care for, and Calla opened. Calla sounded much more upbeat and loud like Growrrrr! than last time I heard them. Also new members. Aurelio still pretty boy.

Interpol was pretty good but meh, especially after the concert the day before. Lights were pretty cool but backlit the band so much that you could hardly ever see their faces or what the actual color of their clothes were. As usual, Carlos D. cut the sharpest profile and walked around. Dan Kessler still looks like Noah Wyle plays earnestly. Sam looks older but he's cool. I like him. The keyboardist was lost in the smoke machine. And Paul looked hott in a fedora and thanked the audience after every few songs. His voice still can veer into pained sheep. All in all, a solid and cucumber-cool show, as per usual. It was nice hearing the oldies because they actually deviated ever-so-slightly from sounding just like the album.

I don't think I'd pay to see them again in a place bigger than Bowery or Irving. This girl near me kept screaming this very weird scream. It would begin with this splutter of consonants. Like instead of the normal girlie "eeeeee!" or sounds so high-pitched you just have to wonder, it was more like "wblnooooooooooooowwww!" Curious.

[Pic from johnwyles of Texas show.]

Saturday, November 13, 2004

better than rum

arcadebowery.jpg


Alright -- I promise this will be my last arcade fire rave in awhile. Hype pipe mipe. And it's not like I'm going to add anything informative or insightful like I do every single entry. Just some more gushing that is hopefully not so repulsive as to make you not want to check them out. Not like frozen yogurt. I've heard many people rave about the goodness of frozen yogurt. And it repulsed me and in spite of it, I checked the frozen yogurt scene out. Thank god I didn't go as far as bleach my hair or get clothes from Abercrombie and a small purse that curiously can fit little else except all my billz and lip gloss -- cuz it is not so good. If you like the consistency, get some real ice cream, wait for it to melt a little and squish it around. Et voila! Give me haagen daaz and gelato and calories anyday she said, while fretting in the back of her mind about her chubby bunniness.

So, the bowery concert on the 11th, oh that's veterans day, was one of the tippiest toppiest concerts ever. Dirty on Purpose opened and they are one of my fav. local bands (nyc ain't no canada these days) They rocked out more and were tighter than I had seen them last in the spring. I love how the mellow laid-back vocals contrast with the fierceness of their instrumental sound. They still remind me of Explosions but with more poppiness and vocals and a more concentrated, rather than sweeping, sound. I hate how I can't write about music without sounding ridiculous or unhelpfully undescriptive. The drummer reminded me of Karen O. for some strange strange strange reason. I think it was cuz when he was drumming, he would raise his arm real high. Where's the resemblance? Nowhere -- I'm crazy.

DOP - to forget video from the show
2 mp3s here

The second opener, The Hidden Cameras who I've heard was actually supposed to headline before Arcade Fire became the next chai tea latte, was quite entertaining. These kids from Toronto know how to have fun! Yay for fun! Known for the go-go dancers that they like to bring along (they were in ski-masks for our show wheeee!) and their poppiness, they seem like the anti-NY-snooty-hipster band. Smile goddammit! They are another sort of collective, built around the main dude Joel Gibb, and they play like any cool collective these days, an assortment of different instruments. They switch around and decorate the stage. Fun times.

Here is a nice article on them that goes through their music, side projects, plus the history of the band and its association with the church, gay culture, and the Carl Orff method. Now, is there any fun band out there based on the Suzuki school of strings? I think not.

Here's a picture of the Hidden Cameras' cellist, Mike Olsen:
cello.jpg


He also appears on the Arcade Fire album and played a couple of songs with them. My really deep and meaningful reasons for falling in love with him? 1. I liked his hat 2. I love cellos 3. I liked his red shirt which said, "Go home and practice." 4. He was very cute while playing. 5. He was good at it too! As a former cellist, I know these things. 6. And I got this little damper on my heart when the female go-go/semi-stripping/ski-masked was all up in his face while dancing and when he was all bonding musically with Arcade Fire's violinist Sara Neufeld.

When I was at the merch table, Win Butler rushed over worriedly cuz his jacket was onstage and he couldn't get it. I just kinda stared at him with a loopy smile on my face and worried about his wardrobe change as well.

He got the jacket just fine. It had bones drawn on the back.

The Davids Bowie and Byrne were in the audience. This, I missed.

And the Arcade Fire. Better than rum! They make me intensely cathartically (word?) happy. This is extremely difficult to do. So there.

Central Village ran into Win loading the U-Haul, who said they'll prolly be back around February. So keep your eyes peeled.

I'm expecting some cool pics of the Hidden Cameras and Arcade Fire from YP, who went up to Cornell this weekend to check 'em out.

[Pics from Brooklyn Vegan]

Thursday, November 11, 2004

still best drug ever

back from arcade fire concert at bowery.

BEST.

CONCERT.

EVER.

I want to bottle this feeling and not sell it for millions of dollars on the internet, but keep it all to myself like my thoughts.

K, I'm going to sleep while it's way past my bedtime and I'm the happiest I've been since I was like 5 years old eating chocolate ice cream. How long will it last? Dun Dun Dun. So transient and fleeting cuz life is but a dream.

More on concert later. DOP was awesome too and there were inexplicable ski-masked go-go dancers and I have fallen in love with the cellist from the hidden cameras.

Sleeping is giving in, no matter what the time is...

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

i'd like to thank the internet

arcadefiremonta.jpg


gothamist interviews Win Butler from Arcade Fire. I'm seeing them on Thursday. EEEEEEEEEEEE kind of excitement like whoa.

[photos from stereogum via gothamist]

caf�hez vous

espresso.jpg

NYT's William Grimes on home espresso machines. MmmMMmmMm. Espresso. But I'm suspicious of these pod thingies. And you really can't beat real crema. Anyways, coffee and pod are 2 words that don't really go together just like burger and oatmeal. You just have to ask why. The owner of one of my favorite caf�in the city, Tarallucci e Vino, on 1st and 10th, helps tests these thingies out. And Mr. Grimes, I'm concerned about the exorbitant $4 you are paying for espresso. Also, your name sort of sounds like Mr. Grieves and now I have the Pixies in my head.

Best espresso/coffee (and biscotti!) ever? La Columbe in Philly, where you can also observe the Philadelphian garden variety of hipster.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

word-of-blog

I heart KEXP. They're like the cooler older sibling who shares their cooler music with little dorky me.

Right now I'm listening to an archived show and it's playing an acoustic version of YYY's "Maps" that sounds oh-so not Karen O. Like campfire or living room Maps. It's kinda nice. So intimate, those acoustic things. Like your favorite socks.

Anyways, check out Magnet. If you like Elliot Smith, you might like this. He does a cover of Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" with Gemma Hayes that's quite lovely. You can hear that and some other songs at Magnet's MySpace home.

Bon appetit.

drama plans b/c nothing is going on in own life

Sometimes I enjoy the cold. With crisp and/or soft snow. Christmas lights. Hot chocolate. Ice skating. When everybody is complaining about it because I feel contrary like that girl, Mary. But right now? No. It's like getting frozen yogurt, excuse me fro-yo, thrown into your face in front of the Queen and then she looks at you piercingly with her icy, imperious stare. It's making what little heart I have all small and stubborn and chapped with no hope of lip (heart?) balm because it's not in ANY of my pockets!

Here are some plays I want to see before they vanish from NY. Maybe I will write about them if I do... Such. Excitement. !

Reckless with Mary Louise Parker

Comfort Women after I read this and b/c I want to learn about my peoples and you don't exactly run across this stuff every day like you do with stupid people.

and

Sakharam Binder after I read this. I'm all for "frank examination of human behavior."

Thursday, November 04, 2004

fox vs nyt

Friedman's editorial today says things better than I do.
"We don't just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is."

Two Nations Under God
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

Well, as Grandma used to say, at least I still have my health. ...

I often begin writing columns by interviewing myself. I did that yesterday, asking myself this: Why didn't I feel totally depressed after George H. W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis, or even when George W. Bush defeated Al Gore? Why did I wake up feeling deeply troubled yesterday?

Answer: whatever differences I felt with the elder Bush were over what was the right policy. There was much he ultimately did that I ended up admiring. And when George W. Bush was elected four years ago on a platform of compassionate conservatism, after running from the middle, I assumed the same would be true with him. (Wrong.) But what troubled me yesterday was my feeling that this election was tipped because of an outpouring of support for George Bush by people who don't just favor different policies than I do - they favor a whole different kind of America. We don't just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is.

Is it a country that does not intrude into people's sexual preferences and the marriage unions they want to make? Is it a country that allows a woman to have control over her body? Is it a country where the line between church and state bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers should be inviolate? Is it a country where religion doesn't trump science? And, most important, is it a country whose president mobilizes its deep moral energies to unite us - instead of dividing us from one another and from the world?

At one level this election was about nothing. None of the real problems facing the nation were really discussed. But at another level, without warning, it actually became about everything. Partly that happened because so many Supreme Court seats are at stake, and partly because Mr. Bush's base is pushing so hard to legislate social issues and extend the boundaries of religion that it felt as if we were rewriting the Constitution, not electing a president. I felt as if I registered to vote, but when I showed up the Constitutional Convention broke out.

The election results reaffirmed that. Despite an utterly incompetent war performance in Iraq and a stagnant economy, Mr. Bush held onto the same basic core of states that he won four years ago - as if nothing had happened. It seemed as if people were not voting on his performance. It seemed as if they were voting for what team they were on.

This was not an election. This was station identification. I'd bet anything that if the election ballots hadn't had the names Bush and Kerry on them but simply asked instead, "Do you watch Fox TV or read The New York Times?" the Electoral College would have broken the exact same way.

My problem with the Christian fundamentalists supporting Mr. Bush is not their spiritual energy or the fact that I am of a different faith. It is the way in which he and they have used that religious energy to promote divisions and intolerance at home and abroad. I respect that moral energy, but wish that Democrats could find a way to tap it for different ends.

"The Democrats have ceded to Republicans a monopoly on the moral and spiritual sources of American politics," noted the Harvard University political theorist Michael J. Sandel. "They will not recover as a party until they again have candidates who can speak to those moral and spiritual yearnings - but turn them to progressive purposes in domestic policy and foreign affairs."

I've always had a simple motto when it comes to politics: Never put yourself in a position where your party wins only if your country fails. This column will absolutely not be rooting for George Bush to fail so Democrats can make a comeback. If the Democrats make a comeback, it must not be by default, because the country has lapsed into a total mess, but because they have nominated a candidate who can win with a positive message that connects with America's heartland.

Meanwhile, there is a lot of talk that Mr. Bush has a mandate for his far right policies. Yes, he does have a mandate, but he also has a date - a date with history. If Mr. Bush can salvage the war in Iraq, forge a solution for dealing with our entitlements crisis - which can be done only with a bipartisan approach and a more sane fiscal policy - upgrade America's competitiveness, prevent Iran from going nuclear and produce a solution for our energy crunch, history will say that he used his mandate to lead to great effect. If he pushes for still more tax cuts and fails to solve our real problems, his date with history will be a very unpleasant one - no matter what mandate he has.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

just more rambling

haikus just aren't really my style

Both looked into a glass pane, thinking it was a window to affirmation of
the fairest in the land, but instead saw a mirror devoid of any magic but
one reflecting what was merely right in front of it, feeding a kind of
blindness. And in those two neighboring bubbles of self-enclosure, we don't
realize that on each side of that mirror are people saying the same exact
things about whomever they consider the other and not themselves. And now
that the glass has been broken to pieces, one side despairingly poses the
the Alice-in-Wonderland question of well, Who exactly is America? while the other is allowed to remain in a cloud, smug as the Chesire Cat and right now there's no way of getting through that damn looking glass and remain unscathed.

finding meaning

Fuzzy math session: People seemed to have a lot of trouble with the "Vote or Die" slogan. 7 searches for "What does 'vote or die' mean?" [?!!?!! implied] landed here. And considering I have like 4 readers. That makes that like 148%!

Where's the magic 'morning-after' pill when you need one? Oh, I ain't makin' babies. YOU know that! I mean, I wake up this next morning and find myself at the beginning of, oh those horrible words, four more years. Pop a pill and find myself in .... a different reality! a reality of my own creation! I'll take the side effects of nausea, headaches, and vomiting. Because I'm messily suffering those things as I'm typing anyways.

At least NJ wasn't as stupid as projected to be (F*** you Monmouth County!!!!!). *remember this statement. handy example for what i say below... somewhere below...

It's blinding being in the northeast (or on a college campus �a Duke). Blinding isn't the right word I'm looking for because it conjures up the image of somebody stabbing me in the eye with a freshly sharpened #2 pencil. Maybe blinders... you know, those things that they put on horses so that they can't see things on the side and don't get freaked out and rear with a majestic yet rebellious ne..i..gh...ummm....

So yeah. Blinders. Preaching to the choir. Surrounded by like-minded people, you begin to think that oh man, the WHOLE WORLD is with me!!!!! OK, granted, literally the whole world might be on your liberal side (is that jekyll or hyde? I can't ever remember. Just avoid the musical..), or at least those zany Europeans who will start eating Americans with their superior cheeses and fine merlot... The whole notion that so many people are angry at Bush that we can't possibly lose now!!!! That idea was not just invigorating, it was validating. And what we all like is that one hug from Momma, that one bit of validation, while we don't realize that she's just a boozing loser who doesn't care for anything but her dead dreams and next case of gin....(Not my mommy of course!)

Awwww. Look at how out of control my metaphors are!! It's not as cute as my roommate's cat who is washing his ears with his paws and his spit. Awwwww.

But as much as I agree with you, my friends, who think that a civil war doesn't sound all too bad a prospect (c'mon, we got them surrounded! strategically it's perfect!) or who are packing bags full of frustration and anger to move to Canada or aforementioned fondue-countries, I want to understand.

There are no large majorities here. Generalizing -- that oh so easy, all-purpose bathroom cleaner -- just doesn't clear anything up here. The dirts all deep in the cracks. (Sorry. Out of control, really.) Pro-Bushies are rejoicing by finding people who look like Michael Moore and roasting human Smoores at their campfires, singing joyous strains of Kumbayah (also not a good musical)... Pro-Kerryites are all ravingly furious, angry as all hell, becoming alcoholics so as to be continuously drunk for those touted four more years, and ready to roast pro-bushies over their campfire (even the vegans!), dancing around to U2.
So basically, everybody is ready to turn to cannibalism to deal with our joy and frustrations.
I understand the emotions that the liberals are feeling and the rants they are spouting. And no, I don't, can't really understand the Bush camp (abortion bad, death penalty good? what? explain!!!!) (how do you not make decisions based on your faith-- ie what you believe?? explain... but uh... keep the Bible out of it. No Janet -- youuuu explain!!!) I mean, I chalk their whole attitude to the religious right, and that may very well be true (42% or some other alarming percentage of Americans are born again Christians? I may be off -- don't remember where I read this.) But what I'm most frustrated about is this divide. This inability to talk to each other without getting stark raving mad, and saying the SAME EXACT things about each other. Each side points their index finger at the other saying "man - you so crazy stupid" and then give the middle finger as some sort of 'can't beat the middle finger' pseudo-violent gesture.
I'm not getting to the point. The thing is, we all tend to react to those who are 'the other side' by asking indignantly: how can you not see things the way I do?? Efforts to understand fizzle and we might agree to disagree and sit a respectful distance from each other at the lunch table, but in the end: Different=stupid.
I think it's almost impossible to sincerely cross the line from, Man you're a crazy motherfucker and so stupid because you must think exactly like me to be considered human or will burn in hell for all eternity -- to: Man you're a crazy motherfucker, but you have a right to be one and I'll have to deal with my boozing mother by myself.
So even despite my earnest (earnest-ness was out like in the 1700s) desire to understand everybody a little better, I just want to be more comfortable in thinking that most Americans are not dim-witted, non-listening idiots. That's the kind of faith that I want to have and keep and affirm.
So how does this elitism thing work again??
If anybody can send me links to people who voted for Bush and actually make arguments, please please do....
Blogs for Bush
Meanwhile, these two are like eating food your non-drunk of a mother makes. Comfort food.
Guardian
Slate
My mother does not drink. Really - really. She could probably use one though.

the simple life

Paris Hilton explains all.

Simplicity: "Why you keep losing to this idiot" from Slate

Paris Hilton still alive , despite participating in inexplicable VOTE OR DIE campaign. (via TMN)

And now to drown sorrows away .. take one down pass it around... countdownnnn

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

eeeee pt 2

kerry.jpg

Report from polls at old high school 6:20 AM: Things going smoothly. White-haired ladies at the table very nice. However, no cookies. Not very crazy but steady stream of people, representative of non-WASPy community. Like a skin-rainbow! Not as nice an image as I had hoped. Anyways, fingers crossed. Will need huge coffee(s) to get through day! And will try hardest to avoid Bridget-Jones-Diary-speak in future (fragment-rock!) Wheeeee!

Monday, November 01, 2004

eeeeee


Click for www.electoral-vote.com


After you bite your nails, bite other people's nails... while at the voting booth. Then, use those stubbily nailed fingers and brains to some good. Finally, treat yourself to leftover Halloween candy. Bags of it.

Eeeeeeeee. Nerve-racking.

Friday, October 29, 2004

polyscims

sims.jpg
And what happens when Kerry and W. become Sims characters? See for yourself!. Lots of drama, not to mention making out, to be had, that's for sure!! (via leah.)

Count those electoral votes while you can like clipping coupons. No.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

you're the google to my search

It's that time of the month again. The less bitchy one. How do poor, unsuspecting people mistakenly stumble onto this site? Let's take a peek, shall we? I actually just do this to practice typing because clearly, I should have gone to sleep two hours ago...

Ashlee Simpson new song You won't find it here, my friend. You might be able to hear a recording of it while she has some other ailment like hangnails or the technical term, 'owies.'

the arts of escaping Ah, I owe so much to the great Harry. If only he could have taught me the arts of escaping from the box and chains of myself.

how to escaping Please look up difference between infinitive and gerund. And then tell me.... Fob. I lash out at others to make myself feel better, biyaatch!

I wish I had a sibling .... Well. I do too. For my next number, I'll sing my hit single, "The Only Child Blues"

madeleine peyroux between the bars mp3 Love this cover. Buy the album.

What does the Vote or Die slogan mean? Heehee. Good question.

Hm. No real crazies this time eh?

dial Q for Quirky

Listen to Regina Spektor's appearance on WNYC not too long ago. Host, John Schaefer, seemed delighted with her real quirkiness, as opposed to the stick-on label. Also, if I didn't like her songs so much, I would think her way of speaking was that kind of cutesy-irritating. But she seemed super nice and sang some of her songs. My command of English is so brilliantine. Shimmering intelligence: it's all a fa�e.

She's one of those performers who I have managed to miss because of scheduling and retardedness, after hearing her first open for The Strokes at a concert in Atlanta. She played some shows during CMJ and is currently on tour in Europe, whose inhabitants want us to vote more than we do.

Previous post on Regina Spektor which includes some links to songs and stuff. Her latest album, Soviet Kitsch, is available Amazon.com in various formats. Imagine the link and then go there.

One of her bestest songs is "Braille" off of 11:11, her first release. If you can find a version of it on the thready spider webs of yonder, I'll buy you lunch.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Sea Thai - pretty and yummy. pretty yummy.

seathai.jpg
Went to Sea Thai on Saturday for lunch with ActressKC. It has won a spot in my heart -- fine, ok -- stomach. Stomach? Party of One? So romantic. I really should get to bed. I remember walking by Sea whenever I went to see concerts at Northsix and would scoff (jealously) at the trendy blue glow that emitted from the windows. The decor is definitely fabulous, almost too hip because I had way too much trouble trying to figure out how the sink worked. We want to make the hygienic processes as easy as possible, no?

But, I conquered my blue-glow fears when I learned about the low low low prices. The dishes are not just pretty, there's brain under that blonde! Or more sensically, the food is pretty damn good, suffering nothing for the price. We shared some puffy puffs or curry puffs or some Thai version of a samosa doodads as an appetizer. I had a dish with my favorites things that deserve to be in a song waaaaaay more than brown paper packages tied up with string -- curry with peanut stuff. KC went for the staple food, Pad Thai. Such a staple that I used capital letters.

I also learned recently that this is the restaurant in the beginning part of Garden State. Sadly, Zach Braff was not around to notice what a cool friend I'd be. (Honestly, I think my entries are getting pathetic-er and how!)

Zach Braff was a waiter before his acting took off zoooom!

Awwww, we Dukies all need to rant a little about something. Of course you're entitled to some Garden State hatin' and I do agree with some points made here, but the piece came off rather shrill. Did I like the movie more because I have this almost shameful thing called jersey pride? Yes. Did the writer have to stick in a definite article "the" before the title of the movie so that she insulted a whole, belligerent-peopled state? No.

But I learned some things. I guess the lesson is, if you are introduced to cool music by a movie soundtrack, you're not allowed to listen to it and enjoy. And then also, be really careful about definite articles. Good night.

rambling row

I'm no snob. It's not like some poor blokes don't need money. The Walkmen need to eat too. Modest Mouse shouldn't have to stay modest forever. But I'm still sometimes taken aback when so-called indie is put in the poppy context. This comes up often in clothing stores. Like the time I heard Interpol at American Eagle way before they were 'in' (braaaaag) and the first cd price climbed back up to $13.99. I shall describe, through my lonely tears, two instances where this has happened recently, because really, I don't have anything going in on my life.

I heard "Mushaboom" by Leslie Feist of the Broken Social Scene collective at Gap, returning a scarf I plainly just didn't need. I do like my neckwear though. Trendy AND functional. What's not to like? Anyways, I don't think it was the album version, but her mellifluous voice did improve my farewall to scarf experience.

I love the acoustic demo of this song, so much that I can't find it [sad face]. That one was all melancholy and wistful while the album version, also lovely, is whimsy and buttercups and includes some "shboomp shboomp"s (you could turn it into a mellow drinking game and drink a shot on every shboomp... but watch out towards the end! Don't get messy!).
the video (scroll to bottom)

Mushaboom Right click save away.

I'm hungry.

Also heard clips of explosions for the trailer of a Billy Bob Thornton movie, Friday Night Lights, on TV. It was kinda like seeing somebody you know in a play or hearing them on the radio or something for the first time as an actor or a dj. Context, I think this issue is called. So apparently, EITS pretty much scored the movie, working off of old stuff to create something new. That could've been pun-worthy, as it's about football, but are puns ever funny? Ok no, I just watched Conan's 10th Anniversary special and there was this joke/pun that still makes me giggle. (the SECRETS segment: Snoop Dogg saying if he ever left rap to open an ice cream shop, he would become Scoop Dogg. Heeheee)

Drummer, Chris Hrasky, mentions the soundtrack work, in this interview.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

vote or die

Vote or Die! ... Perhaps the worst slogan ever.

Better idea:

Get Off the Internet and Vote

pretend that nothing ever happened

It's that British cold and cruel rainy weather that produces that stiff upper lip don't say boo to a goose devil may care attitude that I am utterly lacking right now. I just want to turn around three times like a very cute kitten and with the light pitter patter of raindrops on roses, nestle to sleep. Nestle, I tell you. Don't put that long E on the end of that and make this cosy image into a chocolate. I'm not in control of your weight. You are. (Sorry, I caught some of that show, "The Biggest Loser," or something inane like that before Scrubs. They lose weight to win. And goddammit, those Law & Order thingies, no matter what kind, can suck you in if you start watching.)

I'm feeling like a duskily blue. Also I'm listening to Cat Power and Elliot Smith. A correlation of sorts like a rolling moss gathers no stones. Today is messy metaphors, adages askew, and idiotic idioms for dessert.

"It's true I do imbue my blue unto myself I make it bitter." One of my fave Fiona Apple lyrics. Man, she's way overdue.

What was I even updating about anyways? I mean, what can YOU do for ME? (Hold on, can I call you back? I'm singing the Anthem of the Selfish.) You can't bake me york-brownies, you can't make the work week 20 hours, you can't put together two index fingers and stop time so I can take 24 hour nap, can you? (Gah. What was that show called??) Nestleeeeeeeeeeee

Oh yes. One thing I did do yesterday was watch Tarnation with YP. It was kinda intense and made me feel like I have an utterly noneventful life and grateful at that, to be a wallflower, never having had joints laced with pcp and dipped in formaldehyde. Now, there's your antidrug. Otherwise, too tired (imbuing blue, making it bitter, etc) to comment. trailer

Well, also I kept thinking that the filmmaker's last name Caouette had an equivalent in French, like cashew. But no. Cashew in French is anarcadier. Couette, however, does mean "feather bed."

Here's a random EITS track from how strange, innocence (2000):
Remember Me as a Time of Day
I Heart them.

And welcome back the sassy Miss Modern Age back to the bloggy fray. Years, years ago, in early 2002, I discovered this newfangled notion of music blogging chez elle and marvelled at the verdana words.

Look at how many words I can get in when I'm trying to procastinate! Such a long entry! So little substance!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

no place like home

homesongs.jpg
Man, I've been updating a lot about music, but c'est la vie .. at least this past week .. soo... c'est la week. La semaine, right? All those years of French, blown away with the grenouille. And how is your watermelon? Now I feel stoopid.

Anyways, this li'l tidbit goes out to Adem. They opened for one of my favorite bands, Explosions in the Sky always puts on an awesome live show; they make sublime, intense instrumental rock-ish music. That sounds like a ridiculous string of genre -- instrumental rock. Reeks a little of folkish elvish moon rock.

Adem opened for the both times I saw EITS, and then I went to a KEXP live broadcast set as well. (Free=Best). I've been on a kind of mellow kick in terms of music lately, so Adem has joined that starry acoustic-y mellowdom. He makes some lovely quiet and warm, almost folky music, with lovely instrumentation. Stuff that he found at flea markets and such. A thing called an autoharp, a harmonium, and a round thing of bell thingies that can only translate into whimsy and charm. Sometimes the percussion will be somebody rattling his pocket full of change. If you haven't noticed, I can't tell whether I should refer to Adem as a collective band or the guy, Adem, who made the songs.

Adem's music is best set for intimate spaces, meaning sometimes live the slower songs tend to bog down a little, but they always sounds great when everybody in the band sings harmony (awwww acappella memories). I could not help liking the banter between the members, as they are British and exude that offhand sort of charm. These guys seem cool guys to a hang out with, have a beer, and then they'd make music for you, she said, living in her head and ignoring all reality and the fact that she doesn't really know anything about these people except that they play the autoharp.

Other fun fact, Adem is bandmates in Fridge with Four Tet's Kieren Hebden. The CD, Homesongs was recorded in a living room or something cosy like that. They continue to tour with Explosions and then mosey around the States later on with Badly Drawn Boy.

Check some tracks out:

two here

two more here

and PS, no not the kind where Columbia student sleeps with Laura Linney: if you are a college acappella fan and know a thing or two about nonsensical syllables like "doo" and "bah" and "chuh" and "dow", check out Milkpan's radio show today at 7pm.

korean rage

Did somebody say, "Korean rage"??? Is my mom around here with her illusions of her daughter's new professional degree and many figured salary and doctor husband prospects? Nooooo.

Get out your markers and gold stars and make an X on the vast wasteland in Asian (American) Actor-land. (Hey that includes Canada too.) Sandra Oh stars in the movie, Sideways, which is a wine buddy movie? Something like that. I remember seeing the preview for this before Garden State and getting confused. Who's that lady? She looks Asian. Oh? That's Korean! What's going on here? Was Lucy Liu too busy? I'm soooo confused. Do you sing K-pop songs?? *kekeke*

NYT talks talks to Sandra Oh, sprinkler of expletives. Yayyy expletives! It's interesting that she claims that the roles are better on TV, which now that I think about it, could make sense. There's the whole time factor, which gives a character more time to flesh out, rather than play to an ethnic or racial stereotype. Still, it seems pretty bleak either way. (Hey, Zach, where are all the Asian doctor/interns on Scrubs??? Even ER has Ming-Na..... Is that a good thing? ponder ponder)

Oh, on Margaret Cho: "Koreans didn't support her because of their own [expletive] bias, what's the word, something -ist, not racist but just that [expletive] where they only want Asian stars who look like [expletive] Asian kewpie dolls."
Yeah! Fuck kewpie! What the hell is kewpie?? Kidding. Just a word I think is kinda dated and only now used disparagingly. Actually, maybe it's code for... Korean Power!!! Wowowowowowow (korean power sound effects) stars shooting ***** Except... what happened to M-Cho? Why so skinny? Nobody really knows. Ok, I don't really care that much, despite previous mentions of her in cette site, but recent pics of her are jarring.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

careless love

peyroux.jpg
Now I feel all wonky. My nose, it makes the sound 'Honk' 'ksshh sniffle' and my head it says, shut up and go to sleep. I hope it's not the flu, because I'll fly the coop, the coup. I could blame not making sense on something else but why try?

Another impulse-ish buy at Tower last week was Madeleine Peyroux's recent album Careless Love. There was some confusion because I didn't realize I had to go to the jazz section (growing out of narrow minds, the mold of ignorance is actually an antibiotic. Don't mind my lack of mind filter, driving me to make medical refrigerator poetry..) Anyways, if Norah Jones is in the "popular" section, why can't Madeleine Peyroux too?

I was driven to buy the album b/c 1: I had dl-ed an mp3 of her cover of Elliot Smith's "Between the Bars" which is absolutely lovely, from where I do not recall, fluxblog perhaps? and 2: what more to perk up a workday than a new CD? (#2 will ironically become demise of monetary savings -- do I hear the violent knocking of student loans at my poorly-constructed door???)

Comparisons to the ubiquitous Norah Jones may abound -- she did make a song with Jesse Harris of the Jones camp. Peyroux has that I-embody-smokey-jazz voice with fans/listeners buzzing about the similarity to Billie Holiday's. The voice definitely does have an almost anachronistic quality.

Listen to her appearance on WNYC's Soundcheck back in September.

Free download of "Don't Wait Too Long" at Salon. I hadn't read Salon in years b/c I got scared away by their frightening ($) membership requirements. Little did I realize the beauty of the free day pass. This same Salon article also reviews the disappointing brilliance of Bj�and mentions everybody's new favorite band even with the hype -- Arcade Fire!!

Still haven't painted my room yet. Might opt for a deep, warm yellow instead of cool pale green. Thoughts? I also haven't read in ages... but you, surely you have read some good words... Do share.

Ok, time to zonk out with some PM cold medicine. zonk zonk.

Friday, October 15, 2004

arcade fire - my antidrug

arcade.jpg


I don't need to be thinner. I don't need a boyfriend. I don't need drugs. I don't need to be fitter. Because to be happier, alls I need is a dosage of Arcade Fire. I managed to squeeze into a full house (room) at the Museum of Television of Radio for a live set broadcasted over the most excellent KEXP Seattle, all part of the craziness that is the CMJ Music Festival.

Seriously, this day will stand out in my memories as one of the best days ever. (This was also helped by the company of friends and a fanastic burger and fries and butterscotch pudding dinner at Sweetwater.) But I came out of that set giddy. And it wasn't a specific giddy - like I got my dream job, I'm in love, I won the lottery giddy. It was just this wonderful general emotion. And that's mighty difficult to accomplish. It takes a lot to strip a person down (whoa there, not like that!) to just a listener so simply. The Arcade Fire, live, is just pure exuberance, intensity and joy that the album, Funeral, captures only a part. I was crossing Sixth Ave and almost got run over and would have died with a smile. And that would've been, somehow, fitting.

Far from being some sort of inane, relentless cheer, their music is like a wise child. Wonder and bitterness weave through bells and charm and simple rocking out and hitting drumsticks, your hands on any surface available. Dammit, they have a violin and an accordian and it WORKS! Making music that takes you to a sadder, melancholy edge is easier. But this is more complex. It takes a lot for me to get so emotionally positive, so energetic, and ready to take on life to make it better, fuller. If only they could play for me every morning!

Music is so hard to word-ize about. Can I just transfer this feeling to you? Ok ready? Download this feeling. Hahaha. That'll become a new jazz standard "Downloadable Feeling" and put as an extra track to the special edition "I know kung fu" Matrix DVD set. Digressions....
So: Listen. Look. Scream. Jump. Sing. Cry. Verb. Hahahahahaha. Get their album. Go to their shows.

Stream songs

Wake Up mp3

KEXP live broadcast. Archived audio - fill in: October 14. 5:07ish pm.

YP, as always, has awesome pics, plus this great reaction from KEXP's DJ Kevin Cole being blown away at the first song.

Jinners also has great pics from the CMJ Merge showcase where they headlined (Oct 14 entry). Yes, they need those helmets... Safety first. Dirty on Purpose opens for them in November at Bowery.

Monday, September 27, 2004

lingonberry color swatches to the beat

Well, I went to Ikea this weekend with my momz and got some things with umlauts in their names and made out of all-natural particleboard. She got all whiney, so we had to go home without any lingonberry ice cream.

I'm worried about the color coordination of my new room. So worried that I spent far too long looking at how to make little boxes of color to show you kind people who have better things to do than online interior design. My coding skills are far from wizardry levels, though I am late for the Quidditch match. Har har. I can hear the staleness of the air.....Anyways, I think I'm borrowing my friend's maroon carpet and painting the walls a light apple green.
DUCK WADDLE
Obviously I didn't figure out how to make little boxes w/o using a graphics program. Poo-Poo to you too. What do you think? Total crap (poo-poo?) or go with the color called "Sweatshirt Gray"?

I'll be moving in this Saturday (eeee!), but I'll still be coming home every Sunday to tutor -- it brings the crackly under-the-table bacon. I actually just make the kids clean the bacon grease off the kitchen floors for an hour. So I'll be shuttling back from home to home, such a difficult thing, being a single parent of none. The things we do! Upside: I get to eat home-cookin' and say: "My home, well, one of my homes." but in an un-snotty way.

    Other points:
  • This is one reason why moving is thumbs-up. Luckily, I got home at a reasonable hour. Beastie Boys should make another song called "An Open Letter to NJ Transit." The chorus can include your favorite stops --

    Elizabeth, Newark, Metropark and Linden
    From the capital to the suburb of Edison
    Asian, Middle-Eastern and Latin
    Black, White, Transit you make it happen

  • Yay Conan! Hope there's still room for silly at 11:30... You deserve it cuz you're way funnier than Leno, and you can hear this right now, just like all my other celebrity friends! Ooooeeeooooo!

  • Chapter one excerpt from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book) by Jon Stewart and The Writers of The Daily Show. It seriously only gets better from here: Vomitoriums aside, Rome's biggest contribution to American government was probably its legal system, which codified key concepts like equal protection, "innocent until proven guilty," and the right to confront one's accusers. These very same issues would later form the basis of both the Bill of Rights and a mind-numbing quantity of Law and Order scripts.


finis

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

i wish i had a sibling

Toothpaste for Dinner has a sister!!!

Interview with Drew Toothpaste. Or would it be Drew Dinner?

no visitors EVER

Well, I finally won that game where you look for a month and a half for a decent place to live with non-insane, non-dirty, non-stupid people. Wheeee!! I think I made the right decision in turning down the place with the girl who said, "You can't have visitors ever." It was the "ever" that got to me, not the scary shrunken heads. Anyways, this is a hard game, I've decided, not for novices. Beginners can start easy with things that can't consciously (though perhaps karma-tically) reject you... like what to order at a diner when you don't feel like fries or pancakes. Then, slam a door repeatedly on your fingers as well as your eyeballs. And then maybe you'll be ready for the pain.

So yay. I move in in the beginning of October, with the tantalizing-at-least-for-now possibility of decorating and arranging and the like of my not very big, cosy room. At least for the next six months, I will not have a tortured and hatefully consuming relationship with Craigslist. And maybe during that time, people will learn how to spell easy words.

Speaking of spelling, somebody stumbled onto this site looking for zacuzi. (For a moment, I got paranoid and thought it was maybe some actual word. But no, it isn't.) I think if you own a jacuzzi and you are renting out your place, you should be able to spell it. If not, give me money or chocolate.

    Other interesting search phrases:
  • listen to Ashlee Simpson turn on the radio? don't come here

  • zach braff ethnicity -- Well, he just seems ... white to me. New Jerseyan? Ok, that's enough. He continues to be funny. May he continue the never-noble quest of blogging. Some of the comments are creepy, as fans can be. And then I get creeped out that I am spending time reading comments for a celeb's blog. And a lot of them don't spell correctly either. I really didn't realize this was such a rampant issue. Like pillaging.

  • Music and words to thank a mother Yeah. I got lots of those. It's okay Yahoo; your search engine is fabulous, life is fabulous, those shoes, fabulous!

  • web I almost don't know what to say. Post-modern?


Sigh. You're still here. Amazing.

Yesterday night was opening night at the Met. I was hanging out by the Lincoln Center fountain after work (that's where all the cool kids go. I was, like, waiting for Robbie to pass by. He, like, totally asked me to borrow a pen in Trig today. And I was like soooo squeeeeal!!) ... .. . to enjoy lovely weather and that chlorine smell. There were all these elderly people, making their way to the opera house, all decked out in finery. It was entertaining for about 5 minutes, like the Emmys. Oh who am I kidding. I teared up at that stupid last-show-montage and that stupid Sarah Jessica Parker speech. Stupid.

boydog.jpg
And then I bid my new bronze friends goodbye and skipped off on the path (metaphorical. Not actual capitalized transit system) to golden New Jersey. My "new friends" are part of a public art thingy going on for a few months all over La Grande Pomme, whimsical bronze sculptures by Tom Otterness, whose work you have probably encountered if you ever take the L train at 8th Ave.

Mmmm. Fries and pancakes....

Sunday, September 19, 2004

music like whoa

funeral.gif

Band: Arcade Fire
Album: Funeral
Hype/Praise: Freaking well-deserved. Bestest in awhile.
Buy: Merge Records

Stream: 3 songs
MP3s: List of Links

On your webby way, now... click click click, there's no place like put-album-on-obsessive-repeat home!!!!

emmyay!

Yay for Arrested Development for winning Emmys!!!. Watch this show!!! FOX Sunday nights. 8:30 I think? Hahaha. "Check your local listings." There's something I thought I would never write out. This is the only honestly funny sitcom on network TV left besides Scrubs.

sky captains <3 Huckabee

skycaptain.jpg


Watched Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow on Friday and I have to say, it was quite an entertaining movie. People compare it to Indiana Jones and Star Trek and say it falls short, but I don't think these are the same kind of movie. The plot is almost kind of inconsequential. Apocalypse prevented. Romance. But it brings all these different elements together, like the Wizard of Oz, crazy robots, comic books, this really (I thought) cool art deco aesthetic with a twist, everything made from CGI or something computer-y... the actors filmed in front of a blue screen, new york, nice banter/relationship between Gwynnie's character and Jude's (dreamy sigh), Giovanni Ribisi was not annoying but actually awwww. I did that a lot. I gasped, I 'awwwed' -- it's that kind of movie. One of those you see at the theater with your buddies with some smuggled candy.

My boss sometimes calls me "girl reporter" which I have turned into "super-girl reporter." Does this mean I can wear a cool hat like Apple's mom? Sigh. Of course not.

It's the year of Jude, hey! Durrrr. I'm intensely curious to see I <3 Huckabees. The Nudist Buddhist Borderline-Abusive Love-In offers some intriguing glimpses into the making of the movie.

My favorite part of that article is this:
Perhaps Mr. Russell is trying to free his actors to be as outrageous or ridiculous as he is. The script will require the actors to risk embarrassing themselves thoroughly: Isabelle Huppert is to perform a sex scene while covered in mud, Mark Wahlberg must repeatedly punch himself in the face, Jude Law will vomit into his own hands and Naomi Watts will essentially be driven crazy by her own physical beauty.
The scene at hand is a climactic moment in Mr. Law's character's breakdown, requiring the actor to cry and tear at his clothes. After several takes in which Mr. Law says the lines he has memorized, Mr. Russell is now yelling at him with new lines, even as the camera rolls. Mr. Law, exhausted, finally ad-libs a string of expletives, shrieking and beating his fists into the grass. "I am lost in the wilderness!" he cries. In character (or maybe not), Mr. Hoffman and Ms. Tomlin look on in pained sympathy.
Mr. Russell shouts: "Eeeeee! Eeeee! Keep rolling!"
Mr. Hoffman: "We're rolling. What's `Eeeeee'?" There is no response, but Mr. Law keeps emoting.

Ahahahahahahahahahah! Can you just imagine that scene? It's the 'Eeeeee!'s that kill me.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

America the Bookiful

cover
Jon Stewart wants to be my friend? What? Man, I have so many on the list already. Do you think he'll apply for waiting list? (No, Stanford, I don't still hold a grudge, really...) I digress. Jon Stewart and the Daily Show team are mad funny and smrt. I don't have cable, and I know this.

Actually, because I don't have that newfangled cable business, I thought I might as well get America (The Book). Even the Times book review people thought it was funny, and who knew they had a sense of humor?

My friend, Jon Stewart, will be at the Union Square Barnes & Noble on Oct. 8th to discuss and sign things. Probably not body parts though.

The Union Square Barnes & Noble has lots of good "events" in the next coming weeks. Art Spiegelman, Howard Dean (sans RAAHRRRR?), Maya Angelou, Daniel Liebeskind, and Roddy Doyle are all dropping by. There must be some Food Network thing going on cuz that channel's denizens are all stopping by and have books as well. Alton Brown, Tony Bourdain (so great!), Jamie Oliver (so cute but it's just cuz he's british!), Rachel Ray (some find her irritating to the point of inviting murder. I don't find her that bad. But quite the perky one. Too much perkiness invites at least a maiming.), and Nigella Lawson (is she still on the food network? all the guys want her ... and her food.)

Food Network, the only other reason to get cable.

in my head, in my heart, in my soul

modest.jpg


Y to the P, as usual, has some great pics of the 'secret' Modest Mouse show. Twas lots of fun. I was a-skeered that I would be all falling asleep at a rocking-out concert. Oh, excuse me. I meant, rawking out. There. Rawk is a word like crunk. If I use it again in another entry very soon, I will have to start an emo band.

They played lots of stuff from their latest, most populist album, Good News For People Who Love Bad News. The crowd didn't go crazy for "Float On" until the vocals came in and I felt mildly proud and pretentious for recognizing it from the loop or whatever you call a computer-y thing. Ha. They should have a children's story like Pinocchio, for hipsters. The "almost-real" boy's nose would just turn up and up and up and his limbs would remain wooden and clacky, wear stupid clothes, and have a small, squishable (but unsquishably moral!) insect-like friend. They opened with "Paper Thin Walls," great for leading the set and I liked the show a lot, even though I'm not very familiar with their older oeuvre. They played "Ocean Breathes Salty" - yayyy- That's one of my fave songs. It's even on the radio as their next single. What if people start liking the radio again? Huh.

Apartment search continues to sap my life away. I haven't really read the paper since maybe Friday of last week. My Sunday times is still sitting fatly, unloved, and yellowing. So far I only vaguely know of hurricanes and tropical storms, the Dems are all despair and doom and gloom about not being able to beat the W, and I've learned that you really should be careful to not sleep on the train so that there's no Real Danger of it taking you away from your destination and into the who-knows, "yard," and that apartment searches are depressing, causing me to eat a lot, because food is my metaphorical yet tangible (no sense!) home, and that I feel like an anorexic girl (fat and hungry) without the actual anorexia. I think that's called empathy.

I also thought musicians would've been able to be a little more eloquent. Though, I like the big smile Ted Leo has holding his "Not Insured" sign. I'm getting mixed signals. Though he is coming out with a rawkin (last time) album, I hear.

And, hey, at least I stay informed about opera like it's my job or something, right?

Sunday, September 12, 2004

offering

I meant to update this weekend. Right now, I feel like there were lots of topic, full of interesting zing and zoom. But of course, I don't remember right now. So all I can offer you is 1) an image of how awful this apartment-searching is being to me and 2) a cookie recipe.

1) Boring way: Like pulling teeth.
Better and far more accurate way: Like pulling teeth from your ears.

Better things will follow ... right... now!
2) I made these ginger molasses cookies twice. Both times fantastically delicious. And easy!! Clink the link. Click the lick. A hit at the office! Win more friends!! Answer to all problems! Panacea! Yeah, SAT vocab. Coming in handy at life, aaaaas usual!

They go well with chai.

Thanks Brenda Hall from allrecipes.com!
3/4 cup margarine, melted
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup white sugar
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DIRECTIONS:
In a medium bowl, mix together the melted margarine, 1 cup sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; blend into the molasses mixture. Cover, and chill dough for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Roll dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining white sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until tops are cracked. Cool on wire racks.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

icelandic pixies

medulla.jpg
Who am I kidding. Umlauts wouldn't help me piece my life together any more than Ashlee Simpson would (pieces, pieces of you ... what's the rest of the song again? Where's my long island iced tea?). Some people find Bj��eird. Is she still going out or married or whatever to Matthew "Vaseline" Barney? Does Bj�do things like marriage? Does she drink orange juice? Too prosaic! Who knows? I certainly am not familiar with the realm of Icelandic pixiedom.

I saw a pixie on the subway the other day. He was tall, lanky, red-headed, small pointy nosed, pointy eared, and wearing green. I'm sure his wings were under his hipster-cool trackjacket. Hipster-pixies ... outfitted by Puma. Chuh, sellouts.

Anyways, back to Bj� Her latest album, Medulla, was released.. not too long ago. Oh durr, it was this past Tuesday. Y'know... Tuesdays. Better than Mondays. Thanks and "durr" is acceptable in all official correspondance. So, after reading this actually interesting and decently well-written review and hearing all the ker-az-y werds on the streetsizzleshizzle, I wanted to hear it ... w/o buying it, of course. Well, at work I am not privy to those kiosks (what a funny word) at mega music stores that sometimes work or maybe just in the left earphone, but I did manage to find a place that streams the album if you give them your soul. I mean your email address. You can listen to the whole album at XFM London as well as commentary on each song by Bjork, which is pretty cool.

On first listen, I thought it was pretty neat. The whole album is mostly vocals, a little piano here, a little synth or something there. But seriously a cappella. With collaboration with a guy from The Roots and some amazing Japanese beat-box guy, a choir, some pixie dust... Okay I'll stop with the pixie thing. Mmmmm pixie sticks. I love the stripped down sound, even if some aspects have probably been very manipulated. Not that I'm going to be as stupid as to try to genre-ize her music, but some tracks, bordered on some sort of edgy/supermodernclassical. It's the choral sound that does it.

Some of it is very beautiful. Some of it will make you have a quizzical look. Just like her. Apparently, there is a video for "Oceania", the song specially composed for this year's Olympics opening ceremonies (remember her dress that turned into the world?? here but I haven't seen it cuz Quicktime gets all crunky on me.

Ok, well check it out. I can only foresee the album growing on me after more listens cuz I'm buyin'.

New Yorker's Alex Ross on Icelandic music.

P.S. How's the apartment search going? This pretty much sums it up.

Monday, September 06, 2004

oh, craig

Craig(slist), I can't get over you.

Sure, people suck. Especially when can't spell and don't know what commas are for. But Craig, you sound so harmless and honest. I can't stay mad at you. Now I have to go back and check apartment listings for the 20th time today and pretend it's my 5th. Oh my god...

I'm a craisglist-o-holic.

And I need help.

Not an original thought in me

Well, there goes my stab at creation... this guy has beat me to the phrase "escaping words" by a couple of years in poem form. Now, he may be a sweater-vest? wearing angry writing snowman, but I'm just ... no, I'm not going to try to compete with that. (limply) I just don't have it in me. His poem is "about the compulsion to write." What I thought previously and naively a unique turn of word usage is supposed to mean that my words here have escaped from my brain filter. Therefore, there is no guarantee that they will be any good. Or that I am trying to catch the ones that are good and meaningful. Less so the latter situation. See, I'm not making sense already.

Dammit, why can't I just be Bj�and be all inventive and quirky-insane and an Icelandic pixie? I'm sure that would solve all my problems. I would say a bunch of words and it would be lauded poetry and song. And I'd have an umlaut in my name. J�t. Umlauts. The Quicker Fixer Upper.

Hhhhrrmmmm. So what's up?
Oh, not much.
That's cool.
(pause)
Well, I gotta go.
Ok, bye.

Sorry, I was just practicing being inane. One small letter away from in�. Hehehehehe. Too much fun.

Sighs. Well, it was nice being able to sleep in. Here's some interesting, not-very-enlightening reading...

Ehee ... Literary doping makes me feel better about my unproductivity in regards to writing. "I would explain my high productivity by my desperate loneliness and my pathetic sadness that causes me work to extreme lengths to fill the hollow void that is my life."
I just use TV and sleep and cookies. Cookies are good for the void.

Okay, liberals. The answer to winning elections is the opposite of eating babies!!!! Now go procreate!

The field of philosophy is more like soft-rock'n'roll, then regular. Is popular philosophy possible? I'm kinda curious about these books that are mentioned. Not that I've gotten through and taken in any "primary text" philosophy of late besides some Plato and that was during school ... maybe I'll check some of those "bite size" phil books out after/if I finish Brothers Karamazov. Or maybe, like, I'll do my nails. *giggles*

Saved the best for last!!!! Cello is the new punk!!!
This article has shown me how the addition of "cello" to any word usually will make it funny. "cello revolution" What is "straight cello rock"?? The whole idea just doesn't sound very good. Like cellos should. But who knows.

Jump, Little Children is one of my fav bands w/ a cello, though cello-rock it is not. I haven't been keeping up with them lately. I hope they don't suck.

Whoooo, this was a long entry. Even though it was all links. The highlight of my weekend was hearing "Bohemian Rhapsody" as piano-muzak at Nordstroms. Man, that guy played well...I'll remember him forever. Rock on!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

mother embraces technology

That's right, folks. My mother, who isn't exactly a Luddite, but might as well be ... (we just got a microwave like two years ago.... and an old, donated one at that) ... got her first cellphone. *teenage squeeeeal!*

Before she's all txt-messaging her friends about that hot guy at the korean video store and saying stuff like lol, fo shizzle, and r u in luv??, she's gotta figure out how to dial numbers and answer the phone. Despite many tutorials, she hasn't gotten it all down yet. In the beginning, I programmed my work # in as speed dial 3. Thus, all functions of the cell phone became "press #3?" "No Mom, you can't do anything with 3. No, when you want to pick something, press the big OK button in the center of the arrows. Oh, just give me that."

Today, I took a shower and found her waiting in my room, asking about voicemail. I proceed to tell her how it works. "Mom, can I um... finish getting changed?" "Okay... (pause) ... can you call my phone and leave message?"

So now, as Wan's mom has so aptly put it, my mother has a direct remote control to me at all times.

Did my sanity mention that I need to move? She's on top of things. Those sane ones, ha!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

drinking water ... good thing

Well, I'm taking a break from craigslist. I've decided that we're not good for each other anymore. He just can't love me the way I need to be loved. Now watch me eat a pint of ice cream! Actually, there has been a stark decline of postings (mmmmm. postings) as the Sept 1 move in date has now passed. If I do not find housing away from the matriarchal 'rent, I will fluctuate between the dangerous-stabby-kind-of-insane and the dangerously-i'm gonna take up gardening and watch extreme makeover-insane.

Well, while most, if not all, of you have nice water to drink and nice homes to live in and nobody coming after you in that genocidal way.... (yeah, that was unfunny in that inappropriate way)... the conditions in Sudan continue to worsen. The NYT reports figures of around 50,000 black Africans killed and 1.2 million displaced. The US, pretending to have learned something from Rwanda circa 1994, has only gone so far as to call the situation a 'genocide.' Nobody has taken any decisive action.

The Guardian has good coverage of Sudan.

Bands, including REM and Badly Drawn Boy, get together with Oxfam to put out a compilation album with proceeds going to aid. (I resisted saying bands band together... is there hope yet?) Each album will pay for drinking water for 15 people. Or you can donate in other ways -- The Guardian assembles a list of groups, outlining what these funds will be used for.

Oxfam Int'l

Monday, August 30, 2004

aint no pouncing

(Sketch #Noir3: list of craig, subtitled "It's funny cuz it's true")

No, I don't think 7x7 is an allowable bedroom size. I'd like to live in a room that's bigger than my current bathroom.

I don't want to live with seven cats, even though I applaud your efforts at rescuing them. No, actually I don't applaud you for anything. Let them die.

I love not getting answers back. Because it is just the courteous. thing. to. do. Especially when you give the impression of agreeing to let me have a room.

No, jacuzzi does not start with a "z". I don't want to leave you a "massage".

I don't think anybody wants to live with you for free, Sleazebucket, if you want women to walk around naked for rent. I mean, maybe there are interested parties out there, but clearly, by the 10th time you post the same listing, you'd think you could be killed by a meteor-hint.

I do not want to live in an apartment where I am absolutely not allowed to step into the kitchen. Or have guests. Or drink. Water. That would probably take up too much space anyway.

Yeah, okay... I'm sure you're "cool". Get back to me about that. Wait, on second thought, just think about responding to me. It'll be like the same thing!

Right, I can't afford the places that sound deliciously grass-is-greener and whose posters can spell correctly because money is everything in this world.

No, posting in an ugly-ass large font does not make your place more unique. It just makes it ugly. And making a hallway into a bedroom is not unique either. Or trendy. or cool. or humane.

No, I don't want any drama either. But maybe if everything weren't ugly, even your cats, maybe I'd be nicer, more responsible, fitter, happier, more productive, more lovely sparkling and lemon-fresh. No, limes are the new lemons. Lime-fresh.

It's great you are moving in with your significant other... Give me your room. It's too bad you broke up with your significant other. No, splitting up the "living room" to make another BR doesn't sound like the right answer. There is, on the other hand, that guy who is posting for free apartments if you take off your clothes. Lower East Side. It's hip. Three birds. One stone. You get a boyfriend, free rent, and I get a place.

I'm not European, or vegetarian, or Buddhist, or a cat-rescuer, or a massage therapist, or a gay friendly male.... Dammit I just don't feel special anymore!!!! I'll get back to you when I'm a Bible-fearing Christian. Shit, I fucked that one up didn't I? $666 sounds like a suspicious rent figure to meeeee... I'll get back to you guys on that "Stan. A"...

Metuchen, NJ is a bargain. Maybe I'll go there to spend $800. Metuchen, the new Brooklyn!

Well, it sounds like most of you are never in your apartments anyway. What with all the crazy stuff there is to do around and the jobs and the cats, of course you're hardly ever around but when you are, you do, I'm afraid, have to step in my 8x7 ugly lofted area to get to the kitchen.

You, yes you.... thank you for telling me absolutely nothing about your apartment in the span of some paragraphs. All I know now is that there are some rooms. Some of which are bedrooms. And they are cool. And you are cool. There is a sweeeeeeet zacuzi. And there's a kitchen. But you're not allowed to step into it. Upside is, you do have 999 cable channels, or was that 666? Don't bother to respond -- Remember, just think about it. It's the same thing.