Friday, April 28, 2006

magneta lane

Sorry I've been away again. I've been sick. There was this confusion between allergies vs cold or whatever. In any case, I'm happier when I'm all drugged up full of over-the-counter medications.

In other news, here's the latest INDIEROCK review:

Magneta Lane - Dancing With Daggers

Friday, April 21, 2006

getting colder

Overheard at a pizza place today:

Girl who looks like Bratz doll on the cellie:
"Oh my god did you look at those hot pictures of the party? They are so hot. We looked so hot."

What is socially acceptable in such a situation? Instead of meekly receiving my pizza slice and muttering like a crazy person, could I have, to the applause and cheers of the other diners, thrown crushed red pepper into her eyes and said, "No! That's hot!"??

mosto mangiare

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The other night was springey and breezey, like a good fabric softener. Clunk! Anyways, it was time to dine by a large window or outdoors, as is common springtime in the city. So whilst strolling in the east village, the restaurant was chosen by such criteria: Window! Check. Evening air? Check. And lo and behold and nevertheless, the food was quite good! (SUPPLIES!!!!!, they shouted with glee.)

(I had trouble remembering the name of the restaurant when I got home. I kept thinking "Mongo" but you go try searching on the interweb with "Mongo" and "italian restaurant" and see how far you get. It doesn't even sound Italian. It sounds like a silly British word, a cross between bongo and mung bean or something rather ridiculous. But it was easy to find the right name ==> MOSTO. Which according to my handy translating widget thing means MUST in Italian and makes much more sense. Because who the hell would name a restaurant Mongo. Yes, maybe me.)


The Mosto Osteria (osteria is the equivalent of French bistro?) is airy with varied lightings to suit your moods, and it transports you a bit out of New York. Or maybe I'm projecting. But the waitstaff speaks Italian, and they serve tap water in bottles and have wine available in half-liter carafes and play euro-hip thumpy music which, while not really my cup of tea, keeps up a sort of energetic vibe.
We opted to skip the appetizer and instead went for a pasta each and a shared entrée, so we got that real multi-course sort of feel. I suppose I wasn't expecting much because Italian food in the city, it can go this way or that. But I was very pleasantly surprised with my spaghetti alle vongole. The pasta was firm and the dish well balanced, not too oily or garlicky. And ... so many clams!!! Don't they look happy all empty of their meats? My face was just as happy and bright too, especially after sopping up the lovely juices with some crusty bread.
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Continuing our delight with containers, Mosh was taken with the fact that the parmesan came in a big mug. Her penne all'arrabbiata was also top-notch, the sauce being all robust and kicky. Our shared entrée was Gamberoni Grigliati con Crostino (at least according to menupages), which the dude made me say once more (with feeling!) because I was being all tentative with the Italian. The grilled shrimp (prawn? what's the difference?) were seasoned well and served with these fabulous tomatoes over toasted bread, which made for nice textures. They were just super tomato-ey. Mosh and I spent a good few minutes discussing whether they were treated with some sort of tomato sauce or something because I couldn't conceive of these as just really good fresh tomatoes (because where do they get them and I want some). I hope they were...But I suspect not... On the side, a lightly dressed salad of greens and a buttery dome of basil couscous and yum!
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After that, we were stuffed like gobble-gobble so we had to say no to dessert even though the server was pressing the panna cotta. This means I'll have to go back soon to try their desserts, because you see, desserts and me, we have a relationship. The prices were pretty decent for the quality/quantity, especially if you stick to one main dish. Hoo-ray for eating! And Hoo-ray for chancing upon places to eat! I'm putting Mosto on my imaginary list of places to go back to and Mongo on my imaginary list of idiosyncratic restaurant names.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

merits of music

I did a Q&A with Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields, and many other groups, a little while ago about the release of "Showtunes," a compilation of his songs from the three musical theater works that he did in collaboration with director Chen Shi-Zheng. He has an interesting theory about climate and instruments. Doesn't that just pique your interest and tickle your fancy? Anyways, that's that.

Some clips from Showtunes.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

plus ça change, c'est la même chose? or where I pretend to know math

... continuing the theme of self-absorption...mmmm spongey!

I've been thinking a lot about change lately. And why my life has been pretty much same old same old (plus la même), while my pretty li'l heart beats itself to a pulp (but not grovestand!) drowsily dreaming about change. New places, new faces, green eggs and ham on a bus, on a train on a plane, that sort of thing.

Life has been relatively stable. If it were a graph, it would be pretty much a line. The kind of line you learn about in whatever grade when you first start to plot points and connect the dots, without having learned about variations or anything weird yet. Straight-forwardly horizontal. Well, not much forward about it.

Because after college, there was this almost-surprise!! job!!! thing. And then I moved, I guess, though not very far. And the points plodded along and here I've been thinking for awhilewhilewhile along this x-axis (where x=t=time!), it's T for something else.

I guess I've never really been one for drastic changes. Like any homebody, I'm fond of familiarity. And baking cookies. And seeing dearest friends, which of course are my only friends. But I've never really felt so much before that I was closing myself off to some possibilities than I do now (perhaps I wasn't). I'm neither the kind of person that has a plan nor the kind that jumps around with wild spontaneity. I don't think I've experienced, nor can I sit around waiting for, that life-changing illumination. I can never answer those stupid questions, what book, experience, event CHANGED you and why? Please refer to my graph, I write down neatly. Or have I? And just do not approach memories in that manner? In any case, as of late, and less late, I feel in a bind. I'm not crossing the street with brio or staying on the sidewalk with caution. I'm sort of waveringly, most dangerously, in that do-i-cross? mode where the hesitation lands you in front of an oncoming car and I wave a goodbye as my plodding life flashes horizontally before my eyes to the dear friends who are, frankly, scattered about and scattered themselves.

Am I just afraid of oncoming cars? (Well, if so, I am in the wrong city.)
But why, then, is this desire for change a mirage? I think I want it, and I sort of get there, and it disappears. And I'm just left thirsty.
Is it fear? Is part of me afraid of change and not willing to admit it? Does part of my brain not want to speak to the rest of me? Is my amygdala a little hermit, sitting there eating its cookies and speaking to no one? Something doesn't make sense. Something is not quite adding up.
I know a lot of it is inertia and that one must, sigh, Make things happen. Life is, despite my sometimes doom n' gloom attitudes, okay. Not excellent, but certainly not bad. But does this mean that I need such a heavy weight to pull me out of my currently plodding, line-plotting trajectory? Though all around me are these little gadfly weights, my peers, who are starting different things, plotting changes, on the cusp, about to take steps, taking steps.
If I am the tortoise, going slow and steady, what am I doing if there is no finish line. Am I going along this line, with little to no slope, gaining or even losing anything at all? Or this a sort of life that is flat-lining?
This is also exactly the type of thinking out-loud that I often find tiresome in other people. I'm tiresome too! Bring on the cookies, amygy, ol' pal.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

the big questions in life

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Lately I've been asked more than once the weighted "what's up?" — like the kind you ask somebody you haven't seen in awhile, which has happened fairly frequently these past few weeks thanks to such and such events. I never really know how to respond to this question, like I never really know how else to answer the concerned "how are you?" The weighted, concerned are no different from the regular ol' business of Marco! [pause] Polo!: What's up? Not much. How are you? Alright.

But with these people you haven't seen in awhile, their expectant faces scream out: NEWS! GIMME! Momentous stuff, that newsboys with those darling caps will yell out about. Not 'not much' and 'alright.' Because then they have to think about something else to talk about.

But life is not so much big moments, at least right now. It's more that sort of unnoticeable, incremental change thing. Like you realize you just ate a whole chocolate cake. Or the recycling has suffocated the cat. Little by little. All of a sudden it's now and you think, how the hell did that happen? Oh, inexorable time, boats against the current and all that.

Still, I can't really rid myself of the feeling that I should be making moments, concentrating all my powers on doing something "constructive" or putting my life "in order" or some crap like that — no matter that I know that life will never really be in a,b,c order and I will never really be constructive, unless I hammer some nails or something (forgive). Why am I waiting for something to magically pop up in my head, some epiphanous moment which will send me trundling down whatever rocky path and I will be able to answer to What's up? Hey, look at me trundle! It's not happening. I want the gum off my shoe and some of the cotton out of my brain, even if life's b-a-c, as long as it's not apbiawpoeifopwaefuvvvo. How are you? Well, do you have a keyboard I can mash?

Anyway, in truth, I spend most of my time thinking about what's for dinner. That's really the big question. The thinker, the philosopher, c'est moi.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

musicks

For those of you keeping up with my indie-windy reviews, I've had two put up while I was mia. galang galanga galang. (Oh like you haven't heard that joke before.)

House on a Hill - Ladyslipper. Meh.

Young People - All At Once. I wanted to be blown away by this cuz I'd grown to love their last CD War Prayers. But the wind was medium to welldone. Not Rare! MOooo.

And I just wanted to note that I totally called out Devics' suitability as tv music. They were tinkling over some part of Grey's Anatomy a couple weeks ago.

Okay that sounded like a peeing reference. And just how many times can I mention this show? A lot. I have no life.

the pirate's life for me!

Hello! Where have I been? Nobody knows! Covert mission and all... being a pirate. Saying arrrr and bloody hell and drinking lots of rum in bottles that have skulls and crossbones on them. And oh, the duels and treasures and rescuing mans in distress. (I tried to come up with the male equivalent of 'damsels' but failed.) Thar's swashbuckling fer ya!

Thanks to the outcries of about two people to finally update the ol' blog already, I decided to give up the sea-faring life and come back to the computer. Decidedly less exciting. Just kidddding. You guys are sooooo exciiitttingggg – because you are bored and you are checking this to see if anything is new, unlike today's episode of Grey's Anatomy.

But enough presumption. I've just been pretty lazy-bones and inertia-bound. Life has been same o' same o', like a box of cheerios. ooooooooooo

But things must change. Or else I will get all soggy and gross and mushy. And life will not be ooooooooo, or ooooooooh! It will be eaivuhjdpaobiwepgoijfef.

Welcome back to blather!