Saturday, December 06, 2008

dancing queen



I can't shake it. But I could bop to this. I need energetic study music instead of all my mopey crap.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

every week is new years



I find myself exponentially outpaced by the tumblr crowd and also mumbling to myself about varoius things. (Now, there's an idea. mumblr. The blog platform for the painfully shy. They type in corners.) There is a lot of grumbling and grousing, especially in the mornings. Every morning is like Monday morning. So, through no connection of logic at all, I shall mumble more to the internets. Also, I make this resolution every few months. Just like every week, I decide, Oh yes, I shall wake up early and never be rushed. Such human dramedy, this thing called delusion.

For example, news of note today: 1) I sort of rinsed off two dishes and put them into the drying rack and then realized that the drying rack is not the dishwasher. And 2) I bought a brussel sprout tree today. I will have to take pictures.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

voting with your stomach

My ballot's in the mail on it's way to my home state.

I will have to say, it was tempting to vote for the All Day Breakfast Party candidate running for House.


Friday, September 05, 2008

panther




Another gem from Sarah Haskins.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

joe's shanghai

Joe's Shanghai is a restaurant that offers delicious soup dumplings. I would like to eat ten of them right now. Yes, soup dumplings, the perfect anytime snack. Just like go-gurt! Comes in its own handy -- and yes, edible! -- package!!

This week's Project Runway challenge was to design something for Diane von Furstenberg's fall collection which is inspired by the 1948 movie, A Foreign Affair. I'm not sure how relevant a few key-word terms bandied about like spy, Berlin, Shanghai are to the movie plot, but of course the designers run with what they can. Shanghai is popular. ASIAN INFLUENCES. Oh people love indiscriminate Asian influences.

I almost missed this but I think Joe, while making his "Shanghai-inspired" outfit and showing it to another designer, breaks out into ching-chong-song.

Oh no you didn't.

SIGH. I don't get it. I mean, dude, you are on television. You are being filmed all the time. When is doing that ever okay? Or in any way funny? LAME. And this kind of thing is caught so often in the media (hello Spain's Olympic basketball team). What the hell? P.S. the outfit sucked. I rate you three lames. LLL.

Monday, August 25, 2008

oh, fine.

Some lady got arrested for overdue books at the library: "I said, what could they possibly do? They can't arrest me for this... I was wrong..." She is from Grafton, Wisconsin which made me think, oh very logically, of cheese. But Grafton Cheddar is from Vermont.

So return your library books before your brain becomes cheese like mine.

(via bookslut.

Monday, July 28, 2008

time flapping its wings... in my face



I've been told that when you're not working, you lose track of what day it is. And that makes sense. In the office, you're confronted with the time and date at every turn. E-mail! Deadlines! Schedules! Meetings! Weekends! (Oh, the gorgeous weekends.) And without that sort of structure in your face, time gets all melty.

My last week of work was the first week of July, and time has turned Dali-mode since then. Apparently it's the last week of July now. WHO KNEW? Besides looking for a new home-sweet-home in DC, a couple outings, and frantically working on two articles, I can't figure out what else I've been up to these past three weeks, twenty-one days. I feel like I've been busier than when I had been working. People, I've been missing episodes of So You Think You Can Dance.

So I'm kind of spiteful about the fact that I haven't been able to exactly enjoy my time off. The whole reason I ended work with a cushion of time before starting law school was so that I could decompress and take a vacation, maybe go somewhere nice for a few days. But life was like, no that plan sucks because you are totally lame and won't be able to find decent housing in DC until the end of July. And then I was like, Okay, fine, life, I just want the simple luxury of hanging out 'til I'm just kind of bored. And irritably life dismissed me with, chuh, whatevs, you know you're starting school in a few weeks, you have to get your shit together and starting packing up things and also deal with your for-some-reason super-cranky parents, and what? you haven't signed that lease? And then I was like, listen, bitch, you're a cereal.

Or maybe that's not how it went down.

Also, though I think I've written about this before, remember that game, Life, with the blue and pink cars and stuff? That game is totally not fun when you are actually an adult and have to do those things for reals.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

il faut pratiquer

A year or so ago, I was looking around for some whatever French music to listen to and somehow try to gain more French language by musical osmosis, I ended up downloading Carla Bruni's Quelqu'un m'a dit album and now every time it comes up on shuffle, I have to stop and think and say huh, this is the First Lady of France.

Bruni's La Derniere Minute via Ceci N'est Pas un Blog's nice collection of French tunes in honor of Bastille Day.

(Also, I almost always listen to my music on my computer on shuffle unless I got a new album to check out. Which is just now striking me as weird. I know I'm losing the sense of the album etc. etc... but I like the randomness of it.)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

post its



Here's a short animated film by Jeff Chiba Stearns that I liked. 2,300 sticky notes were used.

I've only recently started composing to-do lists, realizing that there was a lot of little stuff at work I would not remember to do. My lists are super boring and full of lame. I feel like I should spruce my to-do lists up with megalomaniacal ambitions and whimsy. Maybe I should remember how to spell megalomaniacal first without checking the dictionary. That is number one on the list.

Friday, July 18, 2008

devils food

A friend of mine recently told me that he'd just finished some volume of Proust. And the other day I watched Super Nanny. Madeleine or naughty chair?! Anyways, I responded immediately with, man, I haven't read anything in the longest time.

Except I was reading something. I was in the middle of Marco Pierre White's memoir Devil in the Kitchen. Obviously it didn't make much of an impact on me.

I find I often have problems with memoirs. The main reason is that there is usually a great reason for writing a work about the person. The problem is that the writing and editing can fail to live up to the material. And then the book, in turn, fails to live.

Marco Pierre White is a superfamous, influential British chef and one of, if not the, originator of that bad boy chef persona in and out of the kitchen. Without him, there'd be no Gordon Ramsay, no Hell's Kitchen, no publicity for cooking mavericks. The book takes you through his lonely youth and passion-fueled career and various business and personal relationships. Though there are interesting insights into working in the restaurant business littered throughout and you get the sense that White is struggling through some tough personal memories, it all seems to fall kind of flat and generic -- the very opposite of his culinary creations and his own singular character. There's little of the personal analysis or shared introspection that Anthony Bourdain brings to the table (but perhaps his writing skills are better than his cookery?) in his food-world books.

In the photos that are included in the middle, MPW looks much happier, smiling, fishing and with his wife and kids. At least he seems much more content and at peace with himself.

le burger

It's sort of funny that it took a transplanted Frenchman in America to help start a French craze for the oh so American burger in France. And it all wouldn't have happened without the popularity boom of upscaling the 'humble' burger and its variations on America's own dining scene. And then, doesn't it just go back to simple but good ingredients and a happy context? There's something about that aspect which jabs at the idea of a trend.

Whatever, I know I'm not making much sense. But what I really want to know, is what is the rectangular block accompanying the burger and the salad in the lead photo in the article??? Is this rectangular block tasty??? Now THAT's a story.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

runs on [pause] imagination!



I'm all for the health of kids. But I think I do miss the all-out gluttony of Cookie Monster. Well, I guess he still has monster-like eating habits, even for the fruit. And that is what is endearing.

My favorite monsters on Sesame Street were Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster. Telling eh?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

chickens back from the shore



Everything is better with muppets! For a second, I was scared that Feist would foist her loopy counting from the original song: 1-2-3-4-5-6-9-10. But that would've been silly. I learned how to count up to 10 in Spanish from Sesame Street. And that's the random personal factoid of today.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

wha?

The other day at work, we received a promo disc of Gregorian chant sung by Cistercian monks in Austria, innovatively titled: CHANT: Music for the Soul. The product description on Amazon helpfully offers: "Chant has proven to heal, calm and also give strength; its power is timeless and universal. Previous albums of chant have sold in the tens of millions."

And then my favorite: "Further fueling the huge general demand is Chant's use in the smash-hit computer game Halo - this is chant for a new computer-gaming generation."

CHANT FOR A NEW COMPUTER-GAMING GENERATION!!! I can't think of anything more amazing. That utterance will surely grab that segment of consumers!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

join the slow club



Ugh. I am sucking at life. Because my attention is being caught by a hundred shiny things. Or my attention span is composed of a hundred shiny things. Twinkle twinkle. Any focus contained within me refracting (diffracting?) into a lot of little parts. Or maybe just mush. I'm either a bunch of sand or a pile of mashed potatoes. I vote to be mashed potatoes. With lots of butter. There, I feel better about myself.

I think this is because I am in between stages or chapters or whatever. That part can suck. Like what is ever between chapters, except maybe a page that says "Part II" or sometimes it's a nice picture, but usually it's nothing and dependent on the nice transition or narrative skill of the writer. MY LIFE HAS NO NARRATIVE SKILL.

This bridge hasn't really happened since that stage between high school and college. Here I am in what I've been doing and there, over yonder, is that future plan that will come to pass. Provided I am not run over by a bus. And then these past four years have been just floating around somewhere. But now the water is draining out and I feel like a pile of mashed potatoes.

When I know where I'm living, I'll feel like I've got butter, at least. And even garlic. If I had more money, I'd even be truffle oiled. But alas.

Uh. Yay metaphors.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

pun on seoul

I've come to expect an article about some aspect of Korean culture to pop up every few months in the NY Times. Oh Koreans, we love: golf; kimchi; learning English and studying a lot; drinking; drama; Rain; the internets; and changing social/patriarchal codes. These nutshells provide quite the concise kaleidoscope of a culture! I've been wondering how or why such coverage gets such regular airtime. Or maybe it's just one of those things you notice once you keep an eye for it and there are plenty of regular features on like Norway or Toronto or Indonesia.

Sometimes there are pieces that are like styrofoam that get into print for reasons that elude me. So many things irked me about this NYT Lives column -- a first person essay about an American living in Seoul. Perhaps his intention was to provide a lens, himself, through which we could understand something larger, something sharper, something clearer. But all Narcissus does is hold a mirror up to himself and admire it.

He's all: I am a foreigner in Seoul but that's okay because I feel like I belong! Because even though I do not speak the language, I can tell you the names of dishes and what they mean! I will even go so far as to use both the Korean and English term for dumpling, because either I or my editors forgot to include italics or parentheses. If it works for Little Caesars, it works for mandu dumplings! Seoul is, like, from the future! And the women here are, like, 75% plastic! And did I mention my students bow to me? Because I am the teacher, the Ivy-League Manliest American Writer and Gourmand. Dumpling dumpling! Bow to me, because my Korean girlfriend says I eat Korean food better than Korean men do. Bow to me because I have a Korean girlfriend! Bow to me, because I am so capable of understanding that Korean men think that I am stealing one of "their own" and I can use quote marks to indicate particular awareness of cultural sensitivity. Bow to me, because I am big enough to admit that I, too, have had to adjust to this Matrixy-Plasticky-Spicy world - I mean, what a surprise. Bow, kowtow to me because I take up the spotlight, I run the show.

*Grumble.*

p.s. I don't even know where to START with this vile vapidness.

*Despair, blurgh*

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

priscilla ahn ep

Priscilla Ahn's A Good Day is released today. I reviewed her EP awhile back but never linked to it. Maybe because the writing was clunkier than I would've liked. Clunk clunk clunk. That's me trying to write in a suit of armor. It is hard to type that way.

She has a very pretty, clear voice and the stuff I've heard off the full-length seem to escape the few complaints I had about the EP. Here's my favorite song off the EP which appears again on the album -- Dream.

Monday, June 09, 2008

you gogurt



There's a supermarket in my town that is totally lame and should have given way to another REALLY NECESSARY bank branch or drug store. It's the store where one grabs one or two things because it's on the way. A recent trip there included a five minute search for avocados. When we found them, we realized, Oh, it's because they look like shriveled green walnuts. GROSS. Were they fossilized? Tiny New York bodegas are stocked better, luxuriously even, in comparison.

This particular supermarket, like many others, has a wall of yogurt. Next to the six brands of shredded cheese. MM! Mexican cheese! This particular wall of yogurt seems to offer that proud American freedom of choice. The challenge?? Finding full-fat yogurt. Not one. A WALL-FUL OF SUBSTITUTE FOR HUMAN EXPERIENCE!



Thursday, June 05, 2008

now that's chicago manual of style

Slate blog Trailhead notes that Michelle and Barack exchange a close-fisted high-five before his big speech. Aw!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

a note of truth



Remember that Hungry Hungry Hippos game? Who knew hippos actually eat like that!! Jessica the pet hippo has the life, doesn't she? I love how she opens her mouth so expectantly: FEEEEED MEEEEE!!!

And in other news, there's apparently going to be an opera based on... INCONVENIENT TRUTH. There are so many aspects of this that I am incapable of comprehending.

I WOULD RATHER ATTEND AN OPERA STARRING HIPPOS.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

brain switch off



So! I figured out how to upgrade and un-break my website!! I was so excited last night I went to sleep. That is the equivalent of a pat on the back for me.

I wanted this first unbroken entry to be like, wham! zoom! pow! exciting but whenever I want something to be good, I blank out. Like when I have to name a place to eat right away, it's as if I've never heard of "restaurants" before, much less good ones.

I am having an absent-minded professor sort of stretch. Except I'm not a genius to make up for the absent-mindedness. I almost got run over by a bus. And I walked through a subway turnstile, with GREAT PURPOSE and great force, only to be stopped by the missing swipe of some meaningless, unrecyclable plastic. CHUH. And I spelled "habit" yesterday, "happit" (in an e-mail about Gossip Girl), then blithely corrected myself with "habbit." Dangnabbit.

I am listening to Andrew Bird right now. He is totally filling a void that had appeared in my day. A Bird-shaped void, which looks like a fiddle.

Huh. This is disjointed isn't it? Well, when have I ever offered a direct line from point A to point B? So much has happened while this has been dormant. I'm going to law school! I'm moving to a new city! The back of my mind has some neurons or something that are freaking out. But the rest of my slightly overcaffeinated brain is just cruisin'.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

broken

Workin' behind the scenes... to fix the brokenness that is this site... and myself. Hohohoho.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sifting

The Morning News went through all 763 mp3s of the acts appearing at SXSW and wrote six-word reviews and rated them. I can't imagine that it was very fun. I'd rather shell 763 pistachios. (And then eat them.) Or make a chain out of 763 paper clips.

I skimmed and listened to like 10 of them. Only Son Lux stuck. Son Lux is Ryan Lott, who apparently is classically trained. I, too, am classically trained. And yet, here I am with all these pistachio shells and paper clips. That sounds like the name of a Joanna Newsom song.

I don't immediately gravitate toward Lott's voice. There's a bit of a brokenness to it, though that adds to the moodscape of his music. And I haven't listened to the lyrics so closely yet, but so far, I really like how his songs are constructed. I think I've heard other artists use or go for similar effects but they often don't have as nice a contextual integration, if that makes any sense.

Here are some songs!
Break

and a remix of Beirut's A Sunday Smile... more broken-ness. Hm.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

favorite things




While this space was lying fallow and empty of the usual loop-the-loop mess that is my typings, I was doing other stuff. SOUNDS INTERESTING! Maybe that just means the loopies stayed in my brain instead of out in the wilderness of the internets. The loopiness is a zero sum game. No, maybe more an imaginary numbers game. Lose lose.

See? i. This is what you have been missing. Not much.

So I thought I'd make a list of some things that I've enjoyed during the past few months. Because I don't really have anything to talk about anyway. And also, I keep making mental notes of things that I'm hating and it's just so easy that I figure I need an exercise in positive thinking.

Book! I'm reading again! Isn't this lovely?! One recent read was Mavis Gallant's Varieties of Exile, a collection of short stories, which is not as heavy as that title seems to me at the moment. I am hearting NYRB! That is not so difficult.
I've also gone into Barnes & Noble a few times to gaze at the books but not buy them just yet, because I have a gift card and you know, I want to buy the bestest books ever. (Any recs???) So for now, I'm just eyeing them all. But sometimes they are just very pretty. Is it me or are books prettier nowadays? Wow, that sounded inane. A few weeks ago, I was walking with a friend and actually asked, "What is that white stuff that is falling from the sky?" It looked like styrofoam and I didn't feel cold. HOW COULD IT HAVE BEEN SNOW??? Um, back to books...I forget how I came across this link, but I do love Peter Mendelsund's fabulous book cover designs. He works for Knopf. What a funny collection of consonants. Knopf.
Even though it was started back in November, the NPR (mostly) music blog Monitor Mix written by Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney fame has finally entered the blogroll (I'll have a cinnamon bun, chocolate croissant and a blogroll... hahahahaha.. undercooked!). She's a great, exploring writer and pretty damn funny at times in a totally understated way, whether writing about being at SXSW in her latest post, liveblogging the Grammys or making her own Maxim-style "pre"-reviews. Sometimes she writes about music that I really have little to no familiarity with, but that's OK! Cuz she's grrrrreat. Also, hadn't listened to S-K in awhile, and why did I forget that they totally rock??
One last thing for today, but oh so definitely not least, is actually also NPR-related. Oh the many hearts I have for Radiolab. This jewel of a show is actually a few years old, though with very few episodes a season because they take so long to produce and put together. It explores various science-y/big topic matters like Morality or Sleep or Stress, weaving together interviews and exposition and sound clips along with the musings and banter of the two hosts Jad Abumrad (hello radio voice crush!) and Robert Krulwich. The show is constructed a bit like you're discovering things along with the hosts and it feels like a little journey into something big! and important! The show's one of those things that I am not devouring greedily but savoring so, so slowly, picking and choosing among the archives and relishing the fact that there are more episodes to hear.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

in a while, crocodile



Obviously I went on another one of those "sabbaticals" from me ol' blog, to pursue pebble paths of piffling and pishposhery. Obviously my inexplicable fondness for alliteration has survived, intact, with nary a crack.

I'm one year older! Wow. It just gets better and better doesn't it? Maybe one of these days, I won't be carded at carousing establishments. Maybe that'll mean I'm eighty years old. Or maybe one day I'll actually frequent carousing establishments. The Carousing Carousel would be a fun name for a bar wouldn't it and it would spin round and round and everybody would get sick. Bad idea bear.

Anyways, I seem to be regressing yet again. Livin' in the old family home in Grand Suburbia and all that. I had to go to the orthodontist last week because part of my "permanent" retainer broke off. The orthodontist office looks exactly the same as when I had to go in middle school for my braces. The nice orthodontist lady looked the same (maybe she gets carded too), there was the same board of "snacks" that Braces-People shouldn't eat — Taffy, Doritos, Wrappers — the same
hotel room teal-ish and pink color scheme, the same Monet water lilies picture in front of the chair. I wasn't expecting to step back in time. But then I had to dig out my credit card to pay for everything.

And now I also have an ear infection. So I feel all extra off-kilter and a bit like a cranky toddler who needs to take lots of naps. Okay, maybe that part is not so different from before.

At least I don't have to practice piano!!!