Tuesday, April 29, 2008

st. george, st. george, come out, come out.

Last Wednesday was St. George's day here in england, commemorated with a big celebration in Trafalgar Square, replete with giant fruit, delicious food items courtesy of borough market purveyors, and goofy entertainment. I stopped by between work and the library to czech it out.
Guarding the giant, Dahlian (BFG Dahl, not Dali) strawberries.

kooky english ladies "serving" tea, i.e. babbling to each other whilst posing for photos (p.s. how cute is that old man in the grandpa sweater!)

just a quid for the joyful sensation of swallowing a bit of the ocean. so yum.

mr. wippy & the conettes put on a special pastel show.

'singin' in the rain' aw, shucks, dad, i hummed along and imagined you there with me.

savage grace

oh. YEAH. julianne moore, sexual intrigue, infidelity, possible incest?, need i say mo(o)re?

Monday, April 28, 2008

cupcakes ii

mystery of the cupcake teaser solved. NOM NOM NOM.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

franny and.

zooey deschanel is just, so, wonderful.

mark and i are a big fan of "top" lists. it's pretty much a given that whatever we're discussing, one of us will interrupt the discussion and say "HAY. TOP THREE [INSERT TOPICAL ITEM HERE]." Last nite, it was top three female comedians (we didn't share a single one, odd). Anyway, if I had to choose my top 3 actresses, ms. zooey would be in there. (other 2: julianne moore & catherine keener. i would watch them butter toast.) also i want zooey's hair, really really badly.

the new erin fetherston video starring zooey is on youtube now, and i gotta say, i wasn't as enthralled as i had hoped. the video barely showcases any of fetherston's designs, which are the most lovely, whimsical things, and the concept/direction is pretty underwhelming: zooey prancing around a forest to different songs in the same 2 outfits for 7 minutes. the kirsten dunst one was somehow more engaging, even though it had pretty much the same concept -- altho that cocorosie song! ah, gives me the good chills.

BUT, around the 4:45 mark, the soundtrack switches to an andrews sisters song, "tico tico." my beloved gramma's favorite group was the Andrew Sisters, and we used to play the cassette tape in the kitchen while she cooked or when i helped clean up after dinner. If I was lucky, she would agree to play the album on the record player and we'd listen to the scratchy trumpets blast that inimitable '40s big band sound, and I'd think of my grandma back in her day, wearing all those gorgeous dresses still hanging in her closet, dancing along to the Andrews Sisters in heels and red lipstick, her dark curls shining. We would listen to the album standing side by side at the kitchen sink, my child fingers soapy and pruned, and her spotted, strong hands confidently handling the china plates. Our hips would swing in unison to our favorite songs, 'rum and cola' or 'apple tree,' about a soldier begging his girl to wait for him until he gets home after the war:

don't sit under the apple tree
with anyone else but me
no anyone else but me
til i come marching home

ok, that was a major digression. the point is, zooey dancing around to the andrew sisters is the sweetest thing, it's worth at least going to that minute mark of the fetherston video just to see it. here she is in concert, singing 'i put a spell on you' with that unbelievably haunting, lovely voice of hers.

Friday, April 25, 2008

pretty, preeeeeetty good.

oh YES, people.
LARRY DAVID AND WOODY ALLEN UNITE TO MAKE MOST JEWTACULAR MOVIE OF ALL TIME. here is larry (in his hipster plimsolls and my dad's legs) on the set. ohmygawd, i cannot relate the elation i doth feel. you couldn't pay me a hundred dollars not to see that movie on opening day.

wait, let's re-assess: i currently have 6 pounds to last me thru the weekend til my check clears. i'd take the benjamin, but that doesn't mean i'd feel good about it.

anyway, in honor of woody & larry, mine favorite jews, here are a few photos from the ad-hoc passover seder rebecca & i put together last weekend. we embraced our inner half-jews and introduced our goyem heathen friends to the joys of the haggadah (the telling of the story of passover).

look dad, i made charoset! (delicious dish of apples & nuts to represent mortar) you'll notice challah in there, that's because the anti-semitic Sainsbury's supermarket DIDN'T HAVE MATZOH. on passover! the eff. whatevuh, i told you it was ad-hoc.

we passed the laptop around the table and took turns reading the haggadah off of a pdf file on my computer since the printer in the computing commons was broken (always).

the tracks of my tears: a drop of wine on the plate for each plague, y'all. (apparently at this point we were only at the reading of the 9th)


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

the way to my heart

review on londonist to come next week.

i throw myself at men

"i have a bizarrely good vertical leap," says Lilly McElroy, photographer extraordinaire whose latest series involved literally throwing herself at men while a friend captured the moment on film. i'm so enamored of her physical play on the loaded phrase. her flying leaps are rad, but the guys' reactions are possibly even more entertaining. look at dude #3! he's not even bothering to try catching her! i don't think he got the memo that it wasn't supposed to be a DudeBro Chest Thump (there's got to be an official name for that).

I gotta get on this situationist-media bandwagon.

via my new favorite blog of the last ten minutes. NO WONDER I DON'T GET ANYTHING DONE.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

contort yourself

wow, i've just found my new favorite web thing, evereverever.

dipsetmuthafucka has filmed himself dancing to a different song, in a different location, every day for the past six months. this video right here is 6 months of daily dancing distilled into 6 minutes, and it's pretty much the most brilliant, joyful 6 minutes ever. think: napoleon dynamite dancing, but bearded and hot, in better clothes, in sundry locations such as on beaches, in vintage clothing shops, in subway stations, and in his grandparent's living room (his grandparents lovingly watching from the couch, intrigued yet reticent). lerv.

touch touch

this is the entry to my bestestbestfriend's website, touchtouchpublishing.

it's her burgeoning publishing company that hopefully one day she (juliet), miranda july & i will all be working on together --

(and paying our writers ADVANCES, unlike HARPER COLLINS, but that's a worrisome publishing story for another time) --

anyhow, you all need to go and visit her site, because until she gets the publishing books end up and running, she is selling some pretty rad merchandise.

such as magnets whose thought bubbles say "LOODILY LOO" and this understated-ly hilarious Michael Keaton tee:
there, now i've added legions of juliet adorers to the world. it's good, as she's rather lovable. <3

Saturday, April 19, 2008

bluebird, ii

Bukowski's voice is startlingly soft, and un-threatening. After reading such vitriolic, aggressive, 'tough guy' writing, I expected a harshness or brutality of tone, but this one is softened with age, with wine, with a bluebird fluttering around somewhere beneath his larynx.

there's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out
but i'm too tough for him
i say, 'stay down.
do you wanna mess me up?
do you wanna screw up the works?'

-Bluebird, Bukowski

Friday, April 18, 2008

this is how i get dressed

I don't have a full-length mirror anywhere, so sometimes I have to improvise to figure out which shoes go best (I went with the boots).

another thing that thrills me:


it was completely serendipitous, i was going to have to begin the arduous flat hunt in the next couple of weeks, which i was seriously not looking forward to doing because it's hell finding a flat in london (i tried it already when i first moved here because I was so miserable with my Draconian student housing complex that I tried to move elsewhere, to no avail).

anyhoodle! the other nite at a book launch party, this girl i had met once thru work and i were chatting, and lo and behold, she needed someone to move into her SICK ASS Shoreditch flat, and I needed a place by summer, and so I went to look at it and OH EM GEE. it is the sweetest fucking flat. Massssssssive common area, living room/workspace/open plan kitchen, 3 really cool arts/design student grads (girls from singapore, denmark, and switzerland), and an adorable little room for yours truly! AND IT HAS A DISHWASHER AND A ROOF GARDEN. SOLD! It's in my favorite area in London, exactly where I was going to concentrate my flat hunt. I can't believe it, it's almost too good to be true. whee. I move in the end of June, just after I return from visiting my wonderful Spaniards in Berlin.

view from entrance

view from kitchen


So, pretty much the best website on Earth linked to MY Londonist post yesterday!!!! WHAT ELATION I DO FEEL!!!!!!!

Moe over at Jezebel linked here to my piece about misogynist British National Party leader who wrote that husband rape is "not violent" and is akin "force-feeding a woman chocolate cake." OH.MY.GAWD. Seriously thrilled. My favorite website links to my Londonist rant!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

new banksy

the latest from guerilla graffiti artist banksy.

there is one CCTV camera for every 13 people in london. it's creepy, and even creepier is, after 6 months i've almost become used to the cameras smattered in every building, every doorway, every train station, every escalator, every gate, every...

the publishing/art design company i worked for last semester, sweet dreams security creates provocative design for the everyday security-conscious world that we have seemingly almost blindly come to accept. Matthias's work has been exhibited at MOMA and has been named one of london's rising 'art stars' many times over -- his "meow" cat cover for CCTV cameras is one of his tongue-in-cheek designs that addresses this constantly watched existence. check out his stuff, it's pretty brilliant.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fashion Gets Political: My Aunt's Musings

"How can these women deny abuse? LOOK AT WHAT THEY'RE WEARING. That's not abusive??"

ain't no sunshine when she's gone

Today may look like this:

But thanks to a looming essay deadline, it's all about this:

this makes me happy (and hungry for frosting)

Stop-motion cupcake waltz

In other baked-goods news, sam & i made flapjacks last nite. Flapjacks are like the quintessential british sweet, less high-brow than scones and far easier to make. We literally dumped a shitload of butter, sugar, golden syrup (which came in a tin that read PERFECT FOR PUDDINGS! in Old-Tymey script) and oats into a pan and baked it. They were delicious, but even better before we put it in the oven. we made ourselves slightly ill with repeated dips into the saucepan whilst the ingredients were melting. Yummm.

Tonight we're watching the last episode of Skins. Anyone else out there as freakishly obsessed with this show as I am??? It's like the british version of 'gossip girl,' but far better written and not as glitzy. And it's got the dude from 'about a boy' in it, all grown up and HOTTT with three t's.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

read to me.

i'm particularly excited about the concept behind this new service...

so excited i may entrepreneur my way into making my post's projection into a reality. maybe? is that crazy? at first glance, perhaps, but i can envision this kind of thing actually taking off outside the confines of a hotel, in our 'get it, want it now' culture, i can see this maybe being a hit, in new york at the very least...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

this modern love

nostrich has written a highly entertaining take on modern courtship. he wonders what's happening to this world, when flirting used to mean guys placing themselves in strategic view of the tits of their crushes, leading to cross-room flirtation, which has now somehow been distilled to drunken full-name confessions out taxi windows, hoping for a late-night facebook stalk. when i first moved here 6 months ago, i was in the yoga studio's changing room and i heard two 30somethings complaining about the very same thing to each other --

"He didn't even ask for my number, he just asked for my name so he could look me up on facebook!! This is happening all the time now~!"

I just remember being surprised that women their age had and actively used facebook accounts...i don't plan on having one past my twenties, but hey, i'm a purist. i don't think facebook should be for job recruiting or career networking or keeping up with your 55 year old third cousin. I think it should be for posting drunken photos of you and your friends from the weekend and sending quick and easy messages to friends. Friends. You know. people you actually KNOW, or at least, have met. I can't tell you how many high schoolers across america add me on facebook or myspace each week because of Matilda --sometimes messages are attached ("hey were u that grl in matilda??? lol"), but not always. I don't know who the hell you are and you're in HIGH SCHOOL. why the eff would we be facebook friends??

Ok, that was a rant. go look at nostrich's site. he's entertaining, and now i fancy him, because if you're clever and funny and write well, i'm sold. i'm easy like that.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


(photo courtesy of digital hooligans)

I'm writing a paper on Bukowski, and reading through all his interviews, the man gives some pretty fantastic sound bytes. Case in point, on faith:

"Faith is all right for those who have it. Just don't load it on me. I have more faith in my plumber than I do in the eternal being. Plumbers do a good job. They keep the shit flowing."

(Interview magazine, by Sean Penn, 1987)

Monday, April 07, 2008

the commute

the mundane commute. you make your way down the escalators, into the train carriages, you transfer down long, fluorescent-lit hallways, you shuffle step by step in throngs of people queuing for the narrow stairwells, you pass musicians and, most likely, you don't stop to give them money, much less stop and pay any more than a moment's worth of attention to what they're playing.

The Washington Post just published a fantastic piece by Gene Weingarten on what you're potentially missing on your daily commute. They teamed up with Joshua Bell, the most celebrated and talented contemporary violinist, and to do an expose-type mission. They had Bell play his 18th century violin in a D.C. train station and they planted cameras and journalists to see what would happen.

The results are fairly chilling, i got goosebumps just watching the video. Less than a handful out of over a thousand commuters stop to listen to him deftly playing some of the most emotional and technically challenging compositions in the history of music, and he makes less than $40 in an hour of playing. Bell sells out massive European tours, but reported feeling embarrassed and awkward in front of this massive crowd who didn't seem to appreciate his playing whatsoever.

It's a fascinating piece, and brings up some really interesting questions about art -- namely, that old question, if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it matter? Considering Kant's theory that the conditions surrounding where you experience the art need to be "optimal," it stands to reason that a train station is quite the opposite of 'optimal' and thus the 'audience' weren't necessarily a-cultural morons but simply not prepared to properly receive -- aurally, intellectually, emotionally -- what was being offered. Hence, a painting in the National Gallery is going to garner a lot more respect, consideration, and admiration than if it were hanging in a pub up the road. So, then, does art need to come with the hifalutin status of a $100 seat at the symphony, or a world-class museum ticket, for it to be truly appreciated/recognised, for it to really be 'art'?

flowers in your hair

preeeeeeetty. she runs a vintage shop on ebay, too -- chockablock of enviably lovely vintage pieces, which is why i had to close the window immediately after sharing it with you.

i made you a present

so pitchfork has gone and created its own video site, pitchfork tv, and man o man, is it sooo gewd. they have a great selection of videos up so far, it's got a really nice sliding horizontal interface, and excellent quality video. best of all, one of the videos they've already selected to feature is my favorite Menomena song, 'wet and rusting,' and holy shit does it have the sweetest fucking video ever.

most of the time, music videos are repetitive and easily switch-off-able, but i didn't even want to blink and miss one moment of this one -- it makes you want to be best friends with them. i saw menomena in a sweaty little venue off Indian School Road in Phoenix exactly one year ago, and they're a fantastic & engaging live act, and they sound really great live, which ain't par for the course with many indie rock bands.

(photo via their myspace page)

check out their freggin rad ass website. i'm pretty much in love with all 3 of them. oh, and best? their tour blog gives links to 1) their website 2) their myspace page, and 3) the wikipedia definition for 'heebie jeebies.' ... lervvvvvvvv!!

other videos worth checking out on pitchfork: creeeeeeeeepy awesomeness in Squarepusher's 'come on my selector,' also creepy 'itsu' by Plaid, 'sweaty' by Muscles and obvs any of the live Kraftwerk videos.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


From a University of Florida study via Londonist: "Interested in cross-cultural differences in touching, Jourard watched pairs of people talking in cafes and coffee shops and counted the number of times that they touched each other in one hour. In San Juan in Puerto Rico the total number of touches was 180, in Paris it was 110, in London it was 0."

Tell me about it!

Brits are notoriously hyper-aware of other's personal space (although you wouldn't know it from the state of the tube at rush hour). Hugs are uncommon here and often awkward when offered, and the standard method of greeting here is a stilted half-wave, close to the chest. It certainly makes things a bit more difficult here, especially for a friendly, smiley Yank like me who proffers hugs easily. Much of the time here, I'm torn on whether to obey the silent but universal social codes of respect, subtlety, and hands-off socialising, or just to say "what the hell" and be my effusive, sassy self. I usually wind up being the latter, hoping not to offend.

photo via matt eason

It's certainly a world apart from my experience living in Europe 3 years ago. In Rome, you're greeted with effusive, drawled Ciaos!, often accompanied by inappropriate glances or ass-grabbing, depending on the social circumstance, and in France, you've always got the lovely double-cheek-kiss, which automatically brings you closer to an otherwise stranger. England has none of that, which is why I was thrilled at the FREE HUG DAY in Trafalgar Square a few months ago, when a group of about 20 people organized themselves in the square and held up "FREE HUGS" signs, joyfully hugging all the tourists who shyly approached them for a welcome embrace.

photo via simon-k

In other news, I'm the new London On the Cheap columnist for Londonist, so if you're looking for fun, free things to do in the city this week, read here.

snowy sunday laugh


via nevver

Friday, April 04, 2008

weird fishes/arpeggi

1st photo - Angela Tamboura 2nd - source unknown

well, it happened.

It hasn't happened since a train in Prague, 3 years ago, but on the 73 bus today, direction Stoke Newington, which I only hopped on for a lousy, lazy three effing stops, my wallet was stolen. The bus was stuffed, I was pushed into a corner near the door, listening to In Rainbows, and my beloved Longchamp tote (labelwhore moment, but it's a seriously fantastic bag) was unzipped and my beloved cupcake wallet from Kirsten was stolen, along with all my IDs, library cards, drivers licenses from arizona AND illinois, bank cards, and seven lousy, measly pounds. : (

More than the inconvenience it causes, it just makes me so frustrated with and disappointed in HUMANITY. why, humanity, why??? NO ONE carries cash anymore since the invention of the debit card, so i hope you really enjoyed your seven fucking pounds, asshole.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

i just came here to bounce

justice's DVNO video is so flashy trippy 80s tshirt graphic shiny neon rad.
oh, i so cannot wait to dance to this song (live!) on the spanish beach at the Benicassim festival...

the inside of your eyelids

lovely diptych

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

you ain't nothin' but a

so. effing. dreamy.

via farpitzs

fun fact: i grew up with an Elvis shrine in my house. my mom wrote and directed a (fantastically funny) play about the debauched ghost of Elvis who comes to visit a lonely, depressed woman on Christmas Eve, and because of this my mom received every Elvis-related gift known to man -- Elvis-stitched pillows, Elvis dolls, books about Elvis, hell, even a VELVET PAINTING of Elvis. Instead of leaving this scattered all about our home, mom fashioned a shrine to him that remained in our dining room for years. So he will always hold a special place in my heart. Plus I listened to his cassette tapes on endless repeat from ages 8-10. And I read Priscilla's autobiography. Riveting, people.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

my mom is highly entertaining, part one

email from mum this week:

[referring to 'under the same moon,' documentary on Mexican immigrants] i loved every scene even though I FUCKING HATE MARRIACHI MUSIC...although not as much as Jazz...here's my riff on jazz...it is inconsiderate music. people don't live long enough (assuming 80 years) to listen to a note or a riff that goes on for twenty fucking minutes...who is supposed to be enthralled by that?

hahah. god i miss her.


Bjork's latest video, courtesy of creators Isiah Saxon and Sean Hellfritsch admitted the concept behind the psychadelic clay-esque naturegasm of a video was inspired by a shroom trip. Like you couldn't tell by watching it. Awesome.