Wednesday, March 30, 2005

regina spektor


I donned the photo dunce cap once more. You really would've thought that I would learn how to use the damn camera but no. It was on some sort of strange, slow trippy non-auto setting so that most of my pictures came out in a drunken fuzz. In my loneliness, even my camera goes drinking without me.

Anyways, our lovely Reginka, she done good. Sean Lennon opened. He is the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Tempting to say, 'nuff said, but he is his own person! (Are you yours??? ). I dunno. His last song on the piano was Debussy-esque and his songs were both charming and melancholy and his falsetto lovely, reminding me randomly of jump little children's older slow stuff.

Regina was lovely and charming as well, and in great voice, with her wide range of jazziness and yowls and accents ranging from bronx to ezra pound, words from french to russian and those found in spektor's thesaurus. Thanking the audience repeatedly and looking a bit awed and abashed at this sold out crowd in her home city, she was just very cute and warm. Like mittens! Except maybe with claws. So kittens. She's the queen of dark quirkiness, playing with words, playing with sounds, playing around. I noticed for the first time that she mentions death in a lot of her songs. She also played quiiiite a long set -- over 2 hours -- with lots of new stuff, even one from 11:11, and all in between, taking requests, goin' acappella or on the piano, even the guitar, sometimes accompanied with bass and cello.

I was almost not gonna go, cuz I was feeling like mistress mary, quite contrary. But yay for going to nice concerts. And to regina, for singing what we maybe keep inside and reminding us all about stories and sounds.

One of my favorites from that first album 11:11 called Braille

Monday, March 28, 2005

praise cheeses!


My roommate celebrated part of her birthday by coloring some easter eggs. Aren't they nice? Easter is such a strange holiday for those who don't celebrate it. So is the Charlie Brown Easter special. So's your face. OhhhhHHH!

In the past couple of days, I've committed a couple faux pas. Among other things, I've sent an email to a deceased person, I've dried my hands on some woman's shawl thinking it was a towel (it was so fluffy and soft!!!!!!) and I set a firewire cable for my digital camera on fire. Well, let me just tell you... I'm on a roll.

All my efforts to focus, gather myself together, to emerge new and admirably yet unirritatingly productive and sparkling and hello wonderland and adios kansas continue to be foiled by me time and time again. Must I ask that big hopeless question: Is Change Possible?

My mother tells me that to be happy I should Look Happy! I'm splashing back to my muddy waters. Well so just wring me out and hang me up to dry. I'm less use than quilted paper towels.

Friday, March 25, 2005

muppets, my moppets


Walking by Macy's yesterday, I couldn't help but notice my old friends in the windows in scenes from the wizard of oz plus the annual flower show. hiiiiiiiiiiiyah!


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

feisty one, part deux


My picture-taking skills have clearly not improved. Whatever.

Let It Die is her 2nd album, and originally I really enjoyed most of the tracks and found some songs a little hokey, but I think that's mostly an issue of the arrangements. And that I have an icy heart and that I need to learn to relax and breakdance fight. Anyways, live, everything comes off beautifully, more raw and less shiny, more joyful and magical, etc. etc. and her voice is just lovely and ribbony and so flexible. I shall call her.... Chanteuse. She's my choice for a music duel in some sort of Canadian pokémonesque fight.

It was a fun show at Joe's Pub, she bantered naturally and worked some mikeloopin' magic. I could banter unnaturally for a little bit but I'm not gonna waste your time any further so I'm just gonna point you again to tofuhut, who has a thoroughly researched History of Feist, charting her way through Peaches, sock puppets, Broken Social Scene, Canada, and then dun dun dun, the world! With LOTS of audio goodies.

Her site.

Stream of live show from the netherlands.


This one's from brooklynvegan who has some great pictures. She's slow dancing by herself here. If it were anybody else, it would seem sad or contrived or too quirky, too Amelie. But her, no. Chanteuse!

she's a feisty one

Went to hear Feist yesterday at Joe's Pub. Fantastic. More later. (yay! she's opening for british sea power in may. bsp also added a show. may be hottest show ev-errrrr)

tofuhut has feist w/ jane birkin mp3. clickity click.

Bad updater! Bad bad! I'd like to say it's because I'm busy being fabulous. But let me take off my pink glasses and say, look how gross it is outside.

What do you like on your ice cream? (I am trying to get some new unspammy comments, but not doing so with well-written thought-provoking text. instead, unelegant to the point of brash, ungainly unsightly thinly veiled short questions. Kind of like in chemistry when a solution gets supersaturated and all you need is a speck of something and then crystals form. Or kind of nothing like that. Nobody ever answered my What's your favorite blog? I would think that would be simple enough. Like you don't have enough to waste your time with already...)

Ok back to the blushing, flushing lenses. There's no other way I get through my day unless everybody around me is a peculiar shade of pink. Oh my!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

apple juice

The whole extraordinary Fiona (via productshop and grande venti chocolate covered grazie to geekdreams)

world briefing

Somebody had fun writing this one. (via NYT)

GERMANY: BOMB SCARE DEFLATED A parcel that vibrated and made noises set off concern at a post office in eastern Chemnitz among workers who thought it might be a bomb. The police were called, and when they brought the parcel's sender to the scene, he disclosed that the cause for alarm was a vibrating, inflatable erotic doll that he was returning because it kept turning itself on. Calm was restored after the sender removed the batteries in the life-size doll. (Reuters)

Hhahahha. Cuz it kept turning itself on. eeheeeheeee.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

bloggy frog blobs

the 2005 bloggies are out.

I like, meaning I dislike, how in every nyt article that mentions blogs, they have to clarify, "weblog."

What are some of your fave blogs?

My new favorite blog, cuz it talks so much about chocolate!!!!! Has a pretty spiffy design too. Good enough to eat, of course, not in that creepy red riding hood human eating wolf way.

everything in its right place, or spam


While at a bustling NJ Barnes & Noble this weekend, browsing through the cookbook section like a good little foodie, I noticed amongst the cuban and indian and bobby flay (blaaaaugh!) fare, a cookbook devoted to spam. My friend who was with me chimed in suspiciously, "Don't Korean people really like spam?" recoiling from the book at the same time, retreating into a corner of Anthony Bourdain and french bistro recipes.

I thought back in my disorganized file cabinet of a brain, or maybe more like land of lost socks of a brain. All I remember was this one childhood friend who absolutely adored spam, even over actual foods like the incomparable deliciousness of bulgogi.

So of course, I answer, "Yes," noddingly solemnly, conferring upon the land of my roots, honorable title of Spamnation.

Afterwards, thinking long and hard about the congealed nature of spam, I started wondering about how the term got to be used to describe unwanted/junk mail. This sounded like a job for the Word Detective.

Maybe you are all "smrt" and knew this already, but I didn't. Maybe I'll go watch extreme makeover home edition and cry my eyes out for two hours to make myself feel like a normal human being.

(Photo from an amico in Italy where prosciutto and all its buddies make spam cry.)

Monday, March 14, 2005


Go see my roommate this week! Not at my house when I'm not there. That would be just plain awkward, especially considering your social skills. You may, however, say hello to the cat. He will most likely be asleep or ask you for food. He's a sensible cat, that Mikhail.

Untitled Theater's 24/7 Festival
The Untitled Theater's 24/7 Festival consists of one-act plays created within a day. The writers start writing at 10pm the night before, and rehearsals begin at 9am of that day. Each day has a theme, and they are all part of Untitled Theater Co. #61's mission to present a modern theater of the absurd.

More info at Untitled Theater and tickets.

If you're one of those types who likes computers, photography, blogs, and computers that sound like coldplay-paltrowbabies, you can't go wrong at NYC Photobloggers 3 at the Apple Store, where many local photobloggers of repute, including Y to the P, will converge to take over the world, one pixel at a time.

Alas, I am not in any theater productions or photo shows, nor do I have any creative output that I don't immediately eat or pack in tupperware to bring to work for lunch the rest of the week. Tough luck, my socially challenged friends... Maybe I'll buy you some pizza. Look! Veering towards incoherence already!!

My friend, MM, who does not, contrary to popular belief, have a colorful candy shell, hooked me up with a free month of netflix. And I stayed up until 3 am on saturday adding movies to my queue. A horribly beautiful thing, I call it.

Finally, to end this grab bag piñata colada of fun, grrrrlpower!!!!
There's been a dearth of women writing serious opinion pieces for top news organizations, even as there's been growth in female sex columnists for college newspapers. Going from Tess Harding to Carrie Bradshaw, Dorothy Thompson to Candace Bushnell, is not progress.
I used to enjoy Maureen Dowd's columns for their connection to popular culture and liberally pointed barbs, but now I usually find her way over the top and playing cutesy wootsy with punny names. But this, she has a point. Get writing, sisters. I mean.. sistahs.

Friday, March 11, 2005

search terms

the interesting search terms which lead unsuspecting people to this X-marks the spot, no treasure-site:

"le yummy"
insane banter
natural depression fighter

My question. For reals. So what's a twigster?

i'm just mad about dunkin donuts and saffron

My excellent emu of edison pals didn't miss this scrumptious tidbit now did they?

Mumbai to Midtown, Chaat Hits the Spot

No article about Indian-things-in-general-around-here is complete without mention of... you guessed it! Oak Tree Road! ...Oak Tree Road serves a knowledgeable clientele and has the best-quality sweets and chaats in the region: all the major manufacturers have shops there, and even amateurs like Shalimar and the Galaxy food court serve lively chaats with startlingly fresh flavors...

And no discussion about these here parts and neck o' the woods is complete with a little D&D. No, not dungeons & dragons, you nerd. Slate talks about their campaign to elegant-ize it up to offset that warm welcoming color palette that feels like home. Dunno 'bout you but D&D doesn't need to yearn to be like the behemoth S and do preposterous things like lattes when they're in the burbs... cuz there's just nowhere... else... to ... go.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

words words words and not a book to read

This article about Random House makes me sad-face.

For a house that made its name publishing James Joyce and, more recently, E.L. Doctorow and Norman Mailer, Random House has had an unusual last year. Its two best-known, best-selling authors in 2004 were Donald Trump and American Idol's Clay Aiken.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

partners in mime


You say peanut butter, I say jelly. Green eggs go hand in yolky over easy hand with ham. Tequila runs around with limes. And salt comes tumbling after. But to my surprise, I must add a new pair to my shopping list. Korea and Qatar. I can sense your quizzical looks, my friends, and let me glare at you superciliously, though in truth, superficially .. cuz I had to look it up. Geography Bee, I am not, despite the buzz.

Do not fear, as you might have when you looked at that cloudy, romantic image and thought I turned into a xanga girl with many cellphone accessories. I stumbled upon this article from the Korea Times - "Korean Soap Opera Boosts Relations With Qatar." I admit, you could tell from the wildness of my eyes that I was a little bewildered, a little lost.

Apparently, a Korean soap opera, "Hotelier," will be shown in Qatar, and help "enhance relations" between the two countries. S. Korean satellite channel also has begun Arabic programming. Cultural exchange. Student exchanges. And... it's the economy, stupid.

Still, this all rung a bell. A tinny one, that sounded like a particular Korean soap opera very popular in the Philippines, according to my sources. Am I Daniel Okrent? I don't need no public editor! My source knows who she is. So I did some sleuthing, otherwise known as googling and my gumshoe fingers report: This soap opera must star a certain Bae Yong Joon. I like the quotes in this article reporting on his visit to Japan.

"I’m so happy—I could die now with no regrets!" sobbed Noriko Fukawa, 48, after catching a glimpse of the star.

“He is so handsome,” she said, wearing a T-shirt with Bae’s photo printed on her chest, holding his poster cut in the shape of a heart. “He looks so pure, graceful and gentle. No Japanese men are like him.”

Ouch! Right now, I would want a photo of Gumby printed on my chest. His rubbery image makes me sleep more secure at night.

Despite being of the Korean roots, I have no knowledge whatsover about this Asian phenomenon. No, I'm not talking about Michelle Kwan. (Oooh. I had to struggle to think of one. Isn't that bad news??? Errr. Lucy Liu? I mean, she does get a lot of cameos...) So I turned to this google find, which I felt would answer all my lingering questions, entitled: Why is Winter Sonata a Big Hit in Asia?. Looked promising but then I got lost at the plot twisty description with all those names and because the author writes without the least bit of self-loathing or dark humor. Instead it's all about "puppy love" and "love story" and all that, though I did perk up at "drinking stupor."
So my questions remain unanswered. Luckily, I can watch episodes and work on my mother tongue. Probably while being yelled at by my mother.
The stills actually do look quite nice and perhaps the series is good, despite my ribbing. When I saw the title, I thought for a fleeting moment that there might be some connection to Bergman's Autumn Sonata, which I think is a better season-title match. There just is not as much to sonata about in the winter. Perhaps the connection between Korea and Sweden will be made clearer another day. Probably in a short news report about how people are tragically trampled during the opening of a new IKEA store.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

this is it


Always waiting for the train.

(graphic from threadless - they have cool shirts)

this ain't no party, this ain't no ab workout


Isn't this picture nice? It was taken at some assuredly fantastic place in Italia by a friend of mine. Do you think that really straight-growing one is looked down upon by its tree peers? "Get your act together! Work that chlorophyll!" Clearly, I don't remember any of my honors smhonors biology. But damn, I can draw a mean lookin' amoeba and mitochondria, powerhouse of the cell! Watch out, Brian Greene, there's a new scientist in town.

Sigh. I wish I could be in Italy, even if I were some uncool pariah tree. I could eat sweet lemons and gelato and espresso and pasta and wine and never get fat. Cuz I am a tree. Kind of a serene image eh? They don't have to have office jobs, they don't have to do their taxes, and this variety, being so naturally slender, doesn't have to worry about some dubious thing called "club abs" at the gym.

So I've gone from being "down in the dumps" to the less smellier, but no less thrilling place of "There must be some reason that I should get out of bed in the morning. Please!" And here I am, mushroom risotto (thanks giada!) and many ginger snaps later, kinda just.. tired. And still mulling over the same old, same old, growing fuzzy mold that makes you go ew and clean me out of the fridge. Lotta future stuff.... How do people do it? The 9-5 every day. Lack of Sunlight. Though it becomes fodder for certain drews – for me, it only means one thing. Find a crusty (in manner, not in hygiene!) and grizzled, but softie on the inside, sea captain and travel the seas, chasing my fortune, my dreams on the waters of adventure and fabric softener.

Blah. What a stupid entry. I'm conforming to boring bloggerdom.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

sleeping is giving in


I've been having problems with, oh, living. Even with my rose-hued specs, the glass, my little brioches eyeing my curiously, is a quarter of the way full. I suppose it's the weather or my refusal to fill up at the gas station of soul. Hahahahaha. That one was awful. It's time for sleep. Perhaps tomorrow's chilly winds will cause some grubby paper bag to whirl by me, filled with motivation. Or maybe marshmallows.

Sometimes, I just want to be like Mikhail, my roommate's cat. Here he is doing his best impression of a fuzzy slipper. However, I will not be doing impressions of fuzzy slippers in the near future.

turtles can fly


I can be one of those cryers at movies. Like not just crying. Weeping, I think is the better fit, my cinderellas. So while I'd been meaning to go watch Hotel Rwanda and get my weep on, it appears my tearducts had other plans, preview of le deluge. Anyhoo, last weekend, watched Turtles Can Fly by an Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi. Set in Kurdistan on the outbreak, if one can call it that, of the war in iraq, the movie focuses almost entirely on children.

The kids' world here isn't anything remotely near frosted cereals or winnie-ther-pooh. They clear land mines for money. I get a papercut or they run out of coffee and it's the end of the world. Among the maimed, the ravaged, the orphans, there is this incredible strength, warmth, humor, pragmatism, anguish. They are children but at the same time they are little adults, which makes their situation all the more heartbreaking -- they shouldn't have to be adults, little or otherwise. Ghobadi's hand appears to stay removed from the film, which doesn't seem manipulated like a chess game with messages that stay tidily in a box. It also includes the most tense scene in a movie I have ever experienced and this heart-breaking girl, Avaz Latif, who portrays the only female character in the film. Clearly a girl, her stature small, her face and eyes sometimes run a million years old. Or at least middle age. Haunting.

If you have a chance to see this movie, go for it. It's worth your money way more than Constantine is. Okay, you can watch Constantine afterwards. Cuz who would we make fun of without Keanu?

trailer (subtitled in french)

AO Scott's review