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.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

what is it good for?



protest.jpg


Look, Santa Claus came specially from the North Pole to join the UFPJ Rally protesting the Bush administration and the war in Iraq. My heathen beliefs. More pics of the protest chez Youngna.

It's pretty great to see the awesome turnout. Hundreds of thousands. But in that ironic way Life has, that great a number means people are marching for lots of different reasons, protesting different things, and maybe this all can be summed up as anti-Bush or anti-war, but nothing is quite so easy, is it? It's a sort of double-edged thing (well it's not really a sword) -- where at the very core at the same time as the very general, it was just that: Anti-Bush. Anti-War. Those are the bookends or more visually, an eggshell and yolk but no white. (I didn't say it would be good).

What I mean to say is that I confess now that I wish I had participated (I'm useless in everything in life), albeit my claims (true) that I needed a low-key weekend for personal sanity. It is impossible to number the reasons, the questions, the issues into one simple slogan, one hand-painted sign. It's not that the state of the nation, the world, should have taken precedence over my personal sanity, it's that voicing my beliefs and convictions about such should have propelled me into the city. Does that make any sense? I was, in a way, mired in thinking about what use is a rally, what actual effect results, what if it's 'counter-productive' and makes liberals look crazy, what is it good for if the guy next to me is protesting for reasons I don't believe in? Sometimes, you just have to go out and make some noise cuz that middle stuff, the complexity and nuance, that's not what noise is about. And it was time to make noise on August 29th, on the eve of the RNC.

NYT analyzes the protest, making the point that a peaceful rally is the best thing that could have happened, especially in terms of effectiveness: "The protests are anti-Bush, with heavy antiwar overtones, but this is Chicago without the fisticuffs, without the fight, without the bloodshed - so far ... To interpret this politically is hard, but my gut is that large, peaceful protests are not what the Republicans want. The protesters are stealing the story for the first day and drowning out the Republican message. If there's violence, that could all change."

Rod, the closet Republican gay puppet in Avenue Q , on the upcoming RNC. Pretty funny.

And finally, some food for thought:
Democracy overrated? Elitism -- not so bad? Political conventions more like American Idol? Listen to the segment: "Political Parties: Who Needs Them?" (should be the 2nd or 3rd entry down) starring M. Munger on how our current political system of election and our common perception of democracy just doesn't work out. Excerpts:

"I think democracy is overrated. The idea that we will get wisdom from the least common denominator of the population, most of us don't actually believe it. Most of the people who say they believe in democracy actually mean, 'Do what I think,' and they secretly think if everyone were informed, they would agree.

"I would hope that the people we choose for government are better than we are. This idea that someone needs to be a man of the people in order to be a leader, there's a fundamental paradox underlying that. We need someone who is smarter, better, and harder working than I am."

Any thoughts? Yes, you, one of my five readers, go hit that comment box. I want to know what you, my young, excellent, educated peers think.

Friday, August 27, 2004

you roxor

Romeo & Juliet in online-speak. SSOooooo funny. Ur gonna laff so much, omg! LOLOLOLOLLLLL let's go clubbing! (just click no when it asks you to install stuff)

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

nellie mckay has lots to say

nellie.jpg
I'd heard about Nellie McKay since the release of her album in February:Get Away From Me and avoided it cuz there was so much damn praise. I was like pffft. 'Nother girl with a piano. Though that sorta doesn't make sense, cuz I'm not racist like that. Hahahaha. I was a-mistaken. The praise is everywhere. There's a ton of copy on her. I can't pick. Google her or something if you want to become a rabid fan.

This girl is nineteen (I have done nothing of importance with my liiiiiiife. maybe if I got off my ass away from the computer ... ) and she, no doubt, has talent. According to one site's bio, she went to Manhattan School of Music for two years and "...bored quickly of the routine and the conformity, and dropped out after two years, failing every class but one in her last term." Yessss! What do I mean to say? While I still have yet to get used to some her tracks (like ones where she raps... ), I'm on my way to rabid-ity (sad I missed a bunch of appearances recently... grrrrr. foam foam)! If I had to say her music was rooted in any one genre, it'd have to be jazz. The plus here, though, is her wit and sarcasm. Like a sushi knife. A pessimistic sushi knife. Wasaaaabi!

You can stream clips of the album at her official web home. And a bunch of live tracks here. I'd recommend the Joe's Pub sessions for sound quality.

Some of my fav songs:
I Wanna Get Married from this past July at South Street Seaport. "i wanna hear the sweet tune/ of sally's little vroom vroom/ as she zooms/around my broom/ as i exhume the gloom/ of my shallow life"

From 2003 thing at Joe's Pub:
David mister bushie says/ i'm your president/ i have lots to say/ hey hey hey!

Change The World.

a-z-n

How's Harold and Kumar doin? Not so well, it seems, despite its critical and azeean praise. In comparison to the big leagues of course. This article suggests that maybe it's still successful, considering how 'historic' it is. I guuueesss so. That wraps the movie all back up in all that baggage, when it is simply a funny, not flimsy comedy. How well its doing is just an indication of society as opposed to the movie. That was just all not deep and perceptive. Sigh. Hopefully, it'll take off as DVD or be one of those slow-but-steady deals.

Milkpan says that this is indeed what Margaret Cho looks like. She looks mad freaky and like she should be on xanga. And eating some mad cake. But then I did hear she got that gastro-something-something where if you eat too much you explode.

Monday, August 23, 2004

hodgepodge

Patchwork of subjects. More patchy then usual, even.

Anybody know anything about the all-female band -- The Organ ? They're supposedly the female Interpol. Intriiiguing! They're from Canada and they don't sound screechy thank goodness from the mp3 samples they have up on the merch section of site. But the samples aren't long enough to hear the goodness that some attest to. Curious.

$650 - Nice Apartment - But Not For You
So this was funny when I read this (cuz I wasn't supposed to be doing work ... at work .... err) in the morning but dramatically less so when it popped up again at 5. I'm done stalking craigslist. I might have found a place (yay!) but if this doesn't work out, I'm taking a break. *sniffle sniffle* It's not you, it's me! Actually, in this case, it's you. Stupid money grumble room uncertainty grumble grumble perfect place not landing in lap rumble umble.....

So, two nights ago, I experienced this crazy thing. I couldn't tell whether I was dreaming or awake, but I woke, or felt-awoke, up to this feeling that I was being suffocated. I couldn't breathe and some ... "thing" was pressing down on my chest. I was paralyzed and couldn't scream for help while my mind/brain was totally alert. MAD FREAKED ME OUT. DAM MAD. Like, I felt 20% of me knew that there wasn't anything else in the room with me but the other part really (or seemed to really really) feel a physical presence.

This turns out to be something called sleep paralysis, where according to this article in the guardian, "the body and brain enter REM sleep, the muscles relax and the brain blocks signals that would normally allow the limbs to move, so preventing the body from acting out its dreams."

It's apparently a common experience. Korean people have a word for it that loosely translates to 'pressing scissor'. CK also says it's because I have a weak chi. This means I deserve more ice cream. And this is a block-y but interesting tidbit on how people in different cultures and time periods refer to it.

Very freaky. I hope it never happens again.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

the hunt

And the search continues... spent most of today schlepping around in the humidity and pouring rain sans umbrella (parapluiiiieee!) looking at apts. Two I liked a lot so hopefully that'll turn out with a yay. Discovered to my utter dismay that I've developed a tendency to say "totally" a la valley girl. By itself, as affirmation, opposed to my customary "werd" (not that that's any better). But it'll make its way into regular sentences. These very nice people would be showing me around their homes and I would affirm their lovely choice of decor or description of utilities with, "oh that's totally great." ---> -----> -------> arrows of self-loathing! I'm turning into everything I hate!

Our efforts today were rewarded periodically with bubble tea from the fabulous St. Alps and a lunch-dinner (supper? 5 o'clock meal) at a pretty good sushi place on St. Mark's called something combining the terms zen, cafe, and noodle in an order I can't remember.

On the way back home, we passed by Daniel Kessler from Interpol at the Union Station subway stop. It was revoltingly hot and humid outside and he was all decked out in signature fashion. Suit, yo.

And lest you think I wouldn't be continuing my nj motif (analyze that!), Maxim picks the Grease Trucks at Rutgers (specifically the Fat Darrell, that's chicken fingers, mozzerella sticks, and french fries thank you very much) as best sandwich. Mmmmmm. grease trucks. sooo bad for you, soooo good. I always found it funny that they put lettuce in there. It's just for color.


totally. *giggles*

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

olympics wheeee

Why are the Olympics way more fun than I can remember? I have no recollection of the Sydney games. I think it was the settling into freshman year of college that was distracting, all that ker-az-ie partying, sitting in a corner with a bottle of wine and crying myself to sleep. Man I should have written poetry, about such poignant subjects as the freshman fifteen. So deep I can't get rid of it.

Everything is so much fun to watch! I try to avoid the NYT site so I don't know the results before the broadcast. I do fairly well, since I find other ways to procrastinate at work, but today I caught that Paul Hamm had won the all-around gold. And it was still mad exciting, cuz I thought I had been stupid and read it wrong. But that crazy comeback! Amazing!

Those Olympian athletes make me feel like such a wuss. I've been winning the Tired Olympics. Ahurhur. I mope and grumble around at work, at home, and I haven't been going to the gym. Meanwhile, people younger than I are popping around winning Olympic medals and eating 3 stacks of pancakes before I brush my teeth.

Not much else going on. Was tempted to write Chronicles of Craigslist, some brilliant words on finding apartments in nyc. But I'm too tired. And besides, it sucks. It's too much like trying to find a job -- you want interesting, not homicidal/boring/stupid roommates and the right place for you, so you have to be like, "yeah, I'm cool" and hope those who have deigned to not send your email or voicemail into the void, where resumes and cover letters also abide, pick you. One really surprising thing about craigslist has been the spelling. Maybe cuz my work entails getting all nit-picky about spelling and stuff ... but really, some of the misspelled stuff on there worries, even disturbs me. brooklynn? zacuzi? curtsy (courtesy)? Of course, I can't think of good, outrageous examples right now so you're looking at me pityingly. Go 'way.

Popped over to Tower during lunch break today, meaning to see if the new rilo kiley album was on sale. (wasn't). Just started listening to their stuff a few weeks ago. I likes it. I'm still feeling the lesser quantity of compelling bands (ie. not solo artists, hello) with female singers. Any suggestions?

So, while I was there, I saw that the Garden State soundtrack was the #1 seller. (I bought it cuz it was mad on sale.) It's #1 over at Amazon as well. So, yay. Take that Ashlee and NOW16! Who buys those NOW compilations anyways? Yay for Zach, who doesn't know he is my friend ... [darkly] yet. He's funny.

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwnn

Saturday, August 14, 2004

spektor-ific

Regina Spektor, self proclaimed "via-Moscow-Bronx classical-music punk girl," catches the attention of the good ol sunday times. The article talks about her latest release, Soviet Kitsch , which used to be sold at CD Baby but I guess now it's up for 'major'release or something. This week, the album will be released by sire in digital form (huh?) with the actual CD out in February.

It's too bad that the article doesn't mention her two previous CDs, 11:11 and Songs, which I think are both better. They're all pretty different albums, especially since she starts out with a very jazzy sound and goes on to encompass all sounds in between from classical to punk. She tries to keep it interesting throughout these three, changing up the tones of her voice, pronunciation of vowels etc. as instrument or percussive sounds. Cool stuff. Most people seem to become smitten with her, or think that she is annoying.

Clips from early album.

On the Soviet Kitsch album:
clip from "Flowers"
clip from "Poor Little Rich Boy"
"Us" via WFME

Next NY appearance at the Knitting Factory - Thursday, September 9.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

in the flesh

rushdie.jpg
It's always interesting to find out what authors look and sound like, apart from their words. This past wednesday, I attended "State of Emergency:Unconventional Readings" held by PEN, which included readings by 15 literary and arty luminaries -- among them Don DeLillo, Ariel Dorfman, Eve Ensler, Francine Prose -- of works by other writers, commenting leftily on the current state of the state.

I had expected Don DeLillo to look much beefier. But anyways, Salman Rushdie, the current president of PEN, was charming and funny. I hear from people who have attended his readings/appearances that this happens even if you think Rushdie is a bit of an ass. So, the event was a tiny bit of "The Rushdie Show" but you totally went along with it. Cuz he's so charmant. And he is the president. (Tangent: This fall, you will be able to hear Haroun and the Sea of Stories opera based on Rushdie's children's book by the same title at the New York City Opera.)

It was kind of cool to see all these great people all in one place. A bit inspiring, even if it was all preaching-to-the-choir. I haven't read much poetry at all, but I really do love hearing it. Poetry-readings have a much too hippie reputation, but most of it is written to be heard. Look, there's Captain Obvious again. So that's another project to add to my ever-growing list, to get familiar with more poetry...

Village Voice coverage of the reading

Check here for coverage, digital video, and transcripts of the readings.

Learn about PEN's Campaign for Core Freedoms, and sign the statement to restore reader privacy and call for a review of the USA Patriot Act.

Monday, August 02, 2004

creep

This animated video for Radiohead's Creep acoustic is pretty cool. It took a long time to load though. (via 1024 green street)

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Harold & Kumar


whitecastle.jpg


Eheeheehee... Just watched Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle with lots of applause and cheers, especially when they mention New Brunswick. Cuz that's where it was. More cheers for NJ! And asian people! And Doogie Howser!!

The APA community is all going crazy about this movie, I'm sure. But hey, good reason to, no? It's kinda funny that this movie will probably end up getting cited in textbooks and academic papers. Giggle.

Linktastic!!
Angry Asian Man interviews John Cho & Kal Penn.

"It's so funny that this is revolutionary. It may turn out to be a baby revolution, but it's a revolution." Baby revolution

It would've been nice of NYT critic Stephen Holden to have gotten a clue and gotten the characters' ethnicity correct in his review. Though it's kinda telling, seeing how he glosses over, well, everything in the movie, managing to write nothing that wasn't evident from the trailers whilst actually using "muck of perpetual puerility." AO Scott was much more perceptive.

the irony of new jersey


gardenstate2.jpg


So the question many NJ-ans are asking is: why is Garden State playing in only one movie theater in New Jersey? It doesn't make sense!

Ah, but it does. The Jersey sense. * I think I got the black lung pops...* The kind of sense that explains Jersey pride, how swampy, cranberry-boggy, suburban grounds can give rise to a number of interesting artists, and why it is okay to give a bracing slap to anybody who allows "what exit?" to escape his/her naively grinning lips.

I watched GS this past Wednesday in NYC...

It's being advertised in various ads and things as this year's Lost in Translation and grouped immediately with movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's just that kind of movie. "Artsy" ... "Indie" ... blahblahblah

Sure. A+ for adjectives! Really, I came to this movie with a certain amount of expectation. It's like when I see Crème Brulée on a dessert menu. I love creme brulee, even without all the accents. It's the kind of food that is easily found in a mediocre state, especially in the unsatisfactory forms of crackly sugar, but since it's one of my favorites, I'm bound to eat it. The kind of movie Garden State was advertised to be was like my creme brulees. [end useless metaphor]

So needless to say, I liked it a whole lot. Yummy. Braff would've majorly had to screw up for me not to. Of course there are some weaknesses, as many of the reviews point out; the relationship with the dad was especially disappointing and unfulfilling. And then I had some problems with Natalie Portman's character, Sam, at first while she was alternately endearing and irritatingly super Quirky. There's this one part, when she shows Zach's character some funky dance... she has consciously made up her mind to do this thing that is quirky and weird, expressly for the purpose of trying to be original. But then again, she's not like that continuously throughout the movie and I think she ends up, thanks to Portman and Braff, showing a depth of character that leads one who might cringe at these outbursts of whimsy to reconsider her character.


There's the sappy ending but it's mitigated by a nice closing shot and ending with a question. There are some great visuals throughout the movie, though I especially loved the scene with the pet funeral in the backyard. You see the autumn leaves all over the plastic tarp in the pool and you hear the sound of the train in the background. Yep -- that's my home. Plastic and noise pollution. And it can be beautiful? All in all, it was a lovely movie, somehow managing sap and melancholy, and it'll be interesting to see what Braff does next...

And that song "Let Go" by Frou Frou? At first I was like, "ew who is this Dido?" but then it got on the obsessive repeat list. quirky!!! slap!