Friday, August 31, 2007

new pix

Got some photos from rachel from the weekend on the beach. Like one of them enough i think i may go ahead and change the ID pic for this blog. What say you?

short films galore

Oooooh, there's actually tons i want to write about today. Maybe i'll visit in fits and starts.

First, last night i went to not one but two screenings of short films at MoMA. The first one was superfab, featuring shorts from...

Laurie Anderson

cloned herself as a dwarf, to share in the work
and the press obligations
male, moustacchioed and distorted
wearing a windbreaker

well, cloning technology is still imperfect, isn't it?

Here's a different Anderson video for your enjoyment and edification:

Miranda July

people on payphones @ the airport
lecture list of fears
naked baby silverware drawer sculpture
paper smile

And now this isn't the kind of thing i associate with miss miranda, but it's a sleater kinney video, so how wrong can you go?

Pipilotti Rist

extremity of proximity
and perspective
can eroticize
or frigidify

So here's a fragment from one of her other viddies -

...and some others, good, bad and indifferent.

The second screening was kind of lame. Kind of really lame, with a couple pieces whose point clearly was that they went on WAY TOO LONG. Which is fun in theory, but a pain in the ass to sit through. 'Nuff said about that.

So to wrap up for now, please enjoy this bitchen video of the múm song "they made frogs smoke til they exploded" directed by Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir. Rad animation. Go iceland!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Point of precision

And it's a small point, but...

Flaunting is not flouting. And vice versa.

Guess it doesn't come up all that often, in general, but a couple times in the last week or so, I've heard a commentator or interviewee on NPR misuse the term, saying "flaunt" (to display ostentatiously) when he means "flout" (to disregard blatantly). And NPR is supposed to represent the smart guys, right?

For instance, I heard someone being interviewed yesterday say, "Sudan is flaunting the U.N. arms embargo."

No they're not. If they were flaunting it, they'd be waving it around on a flag and yelling "Hey check out this bitchen arms embargo - we are totally LOVING enforcing these rules!" rather than, um, keeping the trade in illicit arms going strong, keeping up the violence in Darfur, and thus violating, or flouting, said embargo.

Once again, kids: You flaunt your wealth by spending $1,100 on fuck-me boots. Then you flout traffic laws by using those boots to cross the street in the middle of the block (the boots were, after all, made for walking).

The fact that the president says 'nucular' instead of 'nuclear,' and comes up with terms like 'strategery' is not a good reason to get mixed up language-wise. In fact, it might be true that simply because he revels in these types of errors (intentionally?) it's not a good idea to get this sort of thing wrong too often.

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Kismet, Fire Island

Exhausting, as my 'vacations' tend to be. And should be. No sinking into the sand for this group.

First time to F.I. for me - i can't remember ever having gone to a beach in New York at all. Other than Coney Island and Jones Beach, but I didn't go in the water in either case.

So, LIRR to van to ferry to Kismet to the house, which was then our home base for the next three-and-a-half days. Sun and rain vied for primacy, but we danced with the choices they gave us. Which included actual dancing, at a bar called 'the out.'

Speaking of 'out'... we did visit a couple 'clothing optional' beaches, which yielded one of the funnier sights of the weekend: a guy who wore a hat, shirt, shoes AND socks, but no shorts of any kind. Yeah, takes somebody pretty specific to rock that look. One for the ages.

Highlights of the trip:

  • Warm sun, clean cool water
  • Tennis with Rashmi, Susan, Aaron and Sherin
  • Yahtzee on the beach, Celebrity, Loaded Questions, Phase Ten, Scrabble and Poker, Poker, Poker (this group was pretty game)
  • Sherin and Johnny Thunder dancing at The Out
  • Good beer, wine, and gin & tonics (plus that bloody mary that showed up in the nick of time...)
  • Visits from Shannon's folks and Rachel
  • Great music at the house
  • Meal after amazing meal
  • Huge waves after the storm - way fun!
  • The long walk to Ocean Beach
  • No TV the whole damn time
Hope to post some photos soon. Also hope you had a good weekend yourself.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday? It's Thursday?!

Ok, it's been a little crazy, and the days melt together just a bit...

But there has been fun to be had amongst the madness. So, for a little bit of each:

  • In the last couple days, i found out that it's incredibly hard to find a swim suit this time of year. Even for a guy, even (especially?) in new york, they run out of all useful sizes by august.

  • Last night was about 2 things: laundry, and hard cider. A friend brought some direct from london and gave me a couple strongbows. Not a 'drinking' night, as such, but i had one with dinner.

  • Today, i had lunch with my oldest friend, and we spent almost the whole time doing the new york times crossword puzzle (yesterday's and today's). Which was actually kind of wonderful...

And in case you might be interested in such things... i came across this photo from i'm guessing 2nd grade:

Hehehe. Gotta love the ol' 44! Points for the folks who know why that number's important...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

vegetarians beware

Well, maybe not 'beware,' but you won't find much for yourselves here today.

People who occasionally indulge in barbecue, on the other hand, have come to precisely the right place. This week i had occasion to enjoy not one but two superfab soulfood establishments in our fair city.

The first one was Spoonbread, on 110th between Columbus and Manhattan Aves. Apparently this is a place Bill Clinton likes to order from, but you shouldn't let that stop you. Went there only moderately hungry and shared the sampler plate, which included: fried catfish, smothered chicken, a short rib of beef, a pork rib, black eyed peas, green beans w/garlic and mac & cheese. I'm drooling all over again writing about it. Oddly enough, the things that really stood out as 'so good you won't be able to find the like elsewhere' were the vegetable portions - the green beans and the stab of collard greens i took from a friend's plate may have had the most potential for a spiritual experience. But everything was very good (and i may have to get the book that supposedly started it all...)

Went to the other, less famous, place yesterday for brunch. It's called Pies-n-Thighs (gotta love that name) and, well, you might not think it's worth taking the L out to Bedford, then walking down to South 5th, then cutting almost all the way back over to the river to sit beneath the Williamsburg bridge in a 'courtyard' surrounded by barbed- and razor-wire when you're already insanely hungry because one of the guys who was supposed to meet you didn't bother to show up or call and you waited for half an hour before deciding he just wasn't showing (those of you who know me know that i HATE that), but believe me, it is. The only reason i don't hesitate to write about it for fear that this tiny place will soon become crowded is that most folks won't believe me, and/or suffer from that obnoxious fear of leaving Manhattan that plagues so many otherwise reasonable people. But this place is borderline transcendent. Had biscuits-n-gravy with eggs: so, ok, i'll get the nitpicking out of the way - the eggs were too done to be properly 'over easy' and the gravy may have been just a teensy bit milky and thin. But it tasted so good, that it would be almost a crime against food to get hung up on such details. The biscuits were, um PERFECT, and the gravy was superdelish, with big giant chunks of sausage in abundance. And, oh that's right, i had a friend with me too - she had hash-n-eggs (the menu features many dishes with an -n-). By now you may not be surprised to find that this was no ordinary hash: its base is big chunks of barbecued pulled pork that was smoked in the big ol' smoker that stands there in the alley with us (i couldn't bring myself to call it a courtyard again).

Omigod omigod and they have pie!!! We were sufficiently full at this point (in spite of how hungry we were when we arrived) that we decided to share a dessert. Which dessert was a peach, raspberry, blueberry crumble. Oh. My. God.

I'm just going to stop now before i commit an act of violence.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

steady diet of jazz

Kind of rough going this morning. Last night's storm turned into today's urban steambath. Crowds getting antsy, sweat dripping from everything, trains not feeling cooperative, and their air conditioning even less so. These pipes beneath our city seem to be wearing out, or is it my imagination?

Yesterday was a bit of a roller coaster emotionally, topped off with happy hour with j.p. followed by a trip to the gym against all odds. What, you say it's maybe not smart to go work out on a hot night after you've had a couple beers? Pshaw. It's good for ya.

So this morning, the sitch kind of blew. Thankful for some kind people, fellow travellers who don't mind commiserating along the way.

And once again, music to the rescue. Jazz cooled me off as the steam built up around me. In random mode but nudged along by the skip-ahead button, ye olde mp3 hooked me up with -

dave brubeck, lush piano falling into sweet synchopated counterpoint with the band

mellow coltrane, letting some spirit in

jimmy smith, gettin' messy southern-style, let me revel in it for a while

frank sinatra, bringin' it all back home to hoboken

and sarah vaughan swinging some bernstein/sondheim, word mixups and all (who wouldn't mix up some words on a morning like this?

And of course, when you think you're having a bad commute, you may want to remember Minneapolis...

Friday, August 03, 2007

haiku ode

Maggie Gyllenhaal
sexy indie geek chic queen
your smiirk may kill me

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Playlist for Pleasure

Ok, in contrast to the entry about Minneapolis, let me share some random radness.

Had my iPod on shuffle this morning on the way in to work, and it was one of those days where the tunes just landed pretty much perfectly. Helped the mood, fit the reading i was doing, and just kind of clicked.

I'll resist my temptation to comment on it, and just list the playlist as it came up.

...on the bus:

  • The Shins - Mine's Not a High Horse
  • The Dears - Hate Then Love
  • The Smithereens - Alone at Midnight
  • Ani DiFranco - Independence Day

...down to the train:

  • Ani DiFranco (again - huh) - Make Them Apologize
  • Miles Davis & Gil Evans - The Meaning of the Blues
  • Franz Ferdinand - Cheating on You
  • Sarah Vaughan - I Could Write a Book
  • Son Volt - Afterglow 61

...up to the street

  • Fleetwood Mac - What Makes You Think You're the One
  • Mosquitos - Rainsong
  • R.E.M. - Swan Swan H
  • Galaxie 500 - Spook

So there that was.

Oh, for the love of God!

Ok, this Minneapolis bridge tragedy has me a little freaked out.

I mean, of course it does, right? So frightening and upsetting. What's more disconcerting than solidity suddenly giving way and tumbling down? (This is why earthquakes are perennially at the top of my list of irrational fears - when terra firma goes all wavey, i wake up screaming)

But of course, the Minneapolitans don't get to wake from the dream.

I very selfishly checked in with my friends who live there first thing - they're ok, thankfully. Ditto the friends and family members of my friends.

Went on with my day, and checked in with Katie*, whose brother lives there, and she alerted me to our President's remarks.


He uses this tragedy to pick at Congress's budget ideas, in effect blaming the Democrats for 'infrastructure' problems. Very, very low, Mr. Bush.

Hard to imagine, but he's actually still able to surprise me with his tastelessness and gall.

Wish i could wake up screaming.