Sunday, August 31, 2008

forever growing centipedes

Friday nite began on my 5th floor rooftop, peeking out over London turning a darker shade of grey. After being cooped up in the library for the past week, I treated myself to a wholehearted night out -- meg & i went to see synth-rock group The Faint at Cargo, probably the coolest space I've ever been to in London and, happily, just around the corner from my doorstep. I was expecting a dinky, dirty little industrial warehouse type space, but instead we were treated to a fanciful graffiti-painted interior, maroon leather banquettes, and a spacious Caribbean terrace. A club with a tapas menu? yesplz. It was like the freaking facehunter up in there, everywhere I looked was a street style photog's wet dream.

The Faint, of course, was an incredible, energetic, sweaty, charged live act, a way more impressive and personal show than the one we saw in phoenix 2 years ago. Much to the chagrin of some british bitches who literally held their arms out to stop us from moving forward, meg and i got within arm's reach of the stage. (don't they know nasty looks and too-loud kvetching are the only acceptable forms of protest?) we survived the mosh-pit-come-scrum with only filthy feet to show for it, which made me feel really bad later on in another bar when a perhaps fatally drunk english guy who stepped on my foot got on bended knee and insisted on kissing my ankle to make it better.
anyhowz. Todd came on stage in a lab coat and aviator goggles, which was, of course, incredibly zexxy. Jacob Thiele, who we saw DJ at coachella awhile back did some serious elvis-worthy hip swirves around his synthesizer. 

you know those shows you wish you could close your eyes and fully repeat over & over & over again? this was one of them. good thing they're coming back in november.

anything to avoid writing this paper

Friday, August 29, 2008

didn't want to wake you

GAH!!!!!! just walked by my biggest crush of 1994 and again in 1998, Glaswegian actor John Hannah!!!!!! What a lovely surprise on a shitty day after a shitty tube ride home from the shitty library. He was carrying a motorcycle helmet and wearing a leather jacket and had a beautiful weathered face, tan and lean. 

I am smitten-fied by how he pronounces "Helen" in Sliding Doors -- Haylen. ::swoon:: 

just like a pile of leaves

more feministing up on this here blawg:

What to Expect When You're Aborting, a fascinating tumblr in which our unnamed narrator blogs about her experience. Snippet:

"Planned Parenthood: It's Kind of Like Baghdad. That shit is on lock like a fucking Iraqi roadside checkpoint. You have to turn in your phone, ipod, laptop. Bulletproof glass, armed guard. Once you walk into the waiting room a cool air blasts you and bossa nova starts playing. Surreal."
On Romanian film 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days, about abortion: "Honestly, shit is so f*cked up and backwards in Romania you will jump out of your seat and start chanting USA! USA! Like you're watching Shawn Johnson stick a perfect dismount on the mat."


a propos of nothing, will arnett, biking, yum.

Also, today in the library bathroom, at the very moment my index finger pushed the flush button the whole building erupted in sirens. I freaked out and searched the wall but the button I pushed did, indeed, appear to be the flush and not an emergency alarm button. Freaky deaky coincidence. The next time i peed the alarm did not go off, but you better bet I flushed with trepidation that second time.

And with that, I tear myself away from blogs to do Meaningful Serious Dissertion Work.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

between not yet & back then

When asked if her latest collection of stories was autobiographical, Margaret Atwood responded "There has to be some blood in the cookie to make the Gingerbread Person come alive."

I feel strangely connected and drawn to almost every phrase that has ever flown out of her fingertips. Actually, I'm sure her words don't fly. She is deliberate, cunning, and incisive; when I read her I think of sharp blades, glinting off a reflective surface.

you fit into me 
like a hook into an eye

a fish hook
an open eye

I've been spending a lot of time with her words recently, thanks to a looming dissertation deadline, but even boundless theory and dissecting the shit out of her prose hasn't killed my love for her yet. So that's good.

Also I like that she's calling b.s. on theory: "I tried for the longest time to find out what deconstructionism was. Nobody was able to explain it to me clearly...You can read any text any way. You can read it standing on your head. You can use it for toilet paper. It's not a statement about the text. It's a statement about the user." (Ingersoll, Conversations with Margaret Atwood)

Speaking of powerful and creative womyn, Kate Orne's photography is equally resonant. She uses her art to draw attention to sex workers in Pakistan, photographing the interstices of Islam and brothels. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

rub a dub

i'm not very fond of baths, something about bathing in my own filth doesn't really appeal to me.

but these photos make bathtime look lovely

(by molinita)

Also, why didn't anyone tell me that my adolescent crush par excellence is on some tv show named 'house'?? that scene in Dead Poets Society where he stands naked at the window with his sweetly crooked teeth and sad brown eyes...oh, oh...the aching indelible beauty of it all. The film that made me want to go to boarding school. The film that almost made me like Robin Williams. The film that showed me the magic world when boys and books collide. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

i am a big fan of the word mustachioed

Tucker Nichols, ladies & gents.

I like his drawrings (I'm Simon):

But most of all I love his Windows series, even more than I love the word 'mustachioed,' and that's a lot:

It's like large-scale David Shrigley, whee.

Monday, August 25, 2008

i'm driving a prosthetic leg to my grandpa in kansas

When i've had my day's fill of literary criticism and gender theory, I've been turning to The Potential Hazards of Hester Day. By 26-year old Mercedes Helnwein, this is just the latest in a series of young novelists to carve deeper into my inferiority complex. Not only is she a stupidly young published novelist, but she's stupidly beautiful, and the book is effing great. A wry, witty mash-up between Tao Lin and Richard Milward, a dysfunctional new-millenium Kerouacian romp through the bowels of mid-town America.

Some excerpts:
(Hester, identifying exactly how I felt around 9 years ago)

"I tried sometimes to be tackled by mysterious depressions and problems that would make life interesting. I tried to be engulfed in frowns that nobody could possibly understand and so be looked upon as a beautiful, tragic enigma. That was my ambition for awhile -- to be incomprehensible. I realized later that I had been incomprehensible lost of the time anyway, just not in an advantageous, romantic way."

"You see, for so many years, every time I talked, people looked at me like I was really just vomiting in a public space."

(And pin-pointing exactly how every girl feels when she inevitably discovers that a burst of passionate activity measures nowhere on the guy's scale of significance:)

"How do you pretend you aren't interested? It was strange, fixating so hard on nothingness when it is such a blatant lie. How do you avoid the impertinent embarrassments of reality? How do you sit through that and smile with the nonchalance and grace of boredom?
'I just want to know why we would make out like we did yesterday."
'I dunno. Jethro was taking a piss. Seemed like the thing to do at the time.'
That made me feel like scratching a long line across the hood of his car with those scissors we kept in the glove compartment for self-defense. But I guess I was too old for that. Or too sensible. Or too senseless. Something like that. 
'Well,' I said, reaching for the door, 'I'm going to start smoking again.'" 

[further reasons to love her: her love for the white stripes goes deep, too.]

Sunday, August 24, 2008

and then

i went for a paddleboat ride on top of london

no really, there i am putting my high school crew team skillz to the test

and then we happened upon an impromptu outdoor big band performance with hundreds of people jitterbugging all over the place.

meet my new boyfriend:
we clicked, what can i say.

this is what screwing myself over feels like.

so jetlagged i slept til 2 pm.

this morning i learned that our flat's internet will be out til tomorrow. this was welcome news, since i have wayyy too many thousands more words of my dissertation to write by next week. {i am trying not to panic.} however, i have managed to pick up a rogue un-locked connection, so i've managed to keep procrastinating, don't worry about me.

other things to help me procrastinate:
1) discovering a sparkling bright chinese market a block from my flat, massive twig of ginger for 11 p ! wee cuttlefish! tofu for a quid! 
2) brick lane produce market just up the road. the vegetable man asked me to take him home with me along with his broccoli and carrots. i rather gracefully demurred.

it is a Bank Holiday here and so no libraries are open. I'm finding it difficult to concentrate on symbolism and gender and modernism and whatnot here with the French and New Zealand and Singaporean accents swirling around my door. 

We live above a bar. I couldn't even be pissy at the insanely loud music at 3 am last night because it was so good. I almost wanted to jump downstairs in my pj's and say "hey -- nevermind keeping it down -- who IS this?"

Friday, August 22, 2008

now that's some good baggage

Heathrow, 8 am, off the red eye from Chicago on which I slept nary a wink, and who's standing next to me, waiting for HIS luggage? 

Oh icky thump, it was Jack motha-uckin' White!! The ridiculously, bizarrely sexy musician who is just as pale and even better dressed in person than you'd imagine. He had feathers! Sticking out of his fedora!! And the sexiest suit I've ever seen. He was surrounded by the Raconteurs, who were all heavily be-spectacled and suavely dressed in fantastic suits. When I walked by him I definitely saw my rad scarf catch his eye. I'd like to think it was me that caught his eye, butl let's be real here, the man is married to Karen Elson. I stood next to him and waited for my bag, wrestling with several inner me's over whether to approach him and fawn over him, or just say a simple "I think you're an incredible musician" and walk away coolly, or just ignore him like I do with most non-celebrity guys I'm interested in. I chose the latter, because I'm a pu**y and more importantly, because I didn't want to be THAT person calling attention to the man who's just trying to get his luggage and move on. Anyway, it was a thrilling sighting, better even than hot Real World C.J. at douchey Les Deux in LA last week, although certainly not better than running into dear Danny DeVito. : ) 

I leave you with the inimitable White Stripes rendition of Dolly Parton's Jolene. Heavenly in her arms, rabid anguish in theirs. Fantastic.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

to recap:

Wrapping up my dissertation in london and then winding my way back west as soon as i can. I'm so giddy with anticipation i can't fall asleep at nite thinking of saddling up the old trusty Nissan and taking the California Trail out west...hopefully with a stop off in Nashville.

A very bizarre dinner at Maghreb. Utensils weren't allowed, but skillful belly dancing and tea-pouring more than made up for it.

sunset coasting along the pacific coast highway:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

what a rush of ripe elan

a city oozing with relaxed joy, warmth, engaging friendliness, and some of my best friends? planning my {permanent} escape now...check, please.

Monday, August 18, 2008

never leaving.

that is all.

...also, Diablo Cody met her husband on a Beach Boys message board.

celebrity count so far: 7

lunch at the ivy today, then flying home


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

los angeles, i'm yours

i'm going to see the folks i dig
i'll even kiss a sunset pig
california i'm comin' home

I'm heading to lalala lovely los angeles tomorrow. I'll be driving thru the streets of the past with mum at my side, listening to the same albums we listened to over & over (eric clapton, richard thompason,  desperado soundtrack) in the six months we lived in LA when i was a skinny tow-headed 11-year old. In addition to reliving the past, I'm extraordinarily excited to see my best friend for the first time in something like fifteen ridiculously long months. mahboob reunion nation!!!!!

If you have any suggestions, places i must must see or things i must must eat, pleaaaaase drop me some hints in the comments or email me. Mozza, adorbs molto mario's resto, is on the agenda, as well as echo park/silverlake shopping, Pinkberry binges, and wrecking my stockings in various jukebox dives, starting with Cinespace. 

most likely our first stop out of LAX:

photos via here and here

poor old walt has a polyp in the duodenum

why i love j. peterman -- the superbly inane seinfeld character and the man behind the catalogue, which, as we can see above, is still crafting the unintentionally (?) goofiest clothing descriptions around. this ain't no garnet hill.

"flanked by your eunuchs." - not merely flanked by regular ol' eunuchs, but "YOUR eunuchs." amazing.

Monday, August 11, 2008

yes i understand i cannot live on this land

i woke up today in a very simple way

in the morning all i could do was sing
yes i understand i cannot live on this land

but does that truly mean i have seen all that can be seen?

Ah, the farm weekend: gloriously slothful, cornfields as far as the eye can see bathed in soft pink sunset light, antique shoppin', duke ellington to cook to, bob dylan to wash dishes to,'02-era hip-hop to dance in the grass to, giving the locals something to talk about at the local bars, neighbors dropping off a massive bucket of fresh corn because they just happened to notice some new cars out front...2 days never enough down at the farm. 

Sunday, August 10, 2008

mad, mad world

This is...disconcerting. I had to do a double-take before realizing it was the Mad Men cast. Hot damn Don Draper/Jon Hamm is sexxxy. That voice! Those blue eyes! Those dapper dan suits! My friend m, who was in the vagina monologues with me in college, just had her wonderful guest-debut on the show last week...I will be seeing her in LA in a few days and I plan on grilling her on cast gossip. Obsessed.

Friday, August 08, 2008

those darn dawson's river kids

i was never that thrilled with michelle williams on dawson's creek -- actually her character irritated me most of all, but in the last few years i've really warmed to her. she's got a mia farrow-ish elegance and grace that's hard to deny, and she was pretty fantastic in brokeback mountain (not to mention the highly entertaining but i'm a cheerleader). anyhow, i really like her modeling boy.'s new line of clothing here.

it'll be quiet here on the flamelikeme front for the next few days, as the ladies and i are taking a little road trip downstate this afternoon to kirsten's family's farm for a quiet weekend of vegetation and inebriation. see you sunday! <3

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

when your eyes are all painted sinatra blue

some kind of lovely from the uber-talented elias tahan

In other news, I'm a brunette now. My hair stylist begged me to stop bleaching my hair, to which i sighed "Okay, OKAY, I'm done with that now." Three mind-numbing MarieClaires later (did you hear? PURPLE AND PLAID are big this autumn. Plaid being au courant every single other autumn in modern fashion history...mere coincidence.), I'm several rather drastic shades darker, and likin' it.