moved my blogging to .
April 7, 2007
I was one of THOSE people today. The
ones waiting in line on a random corner (Laight St., Varick St., Canal
St. convergence in lower Manhattan) in the freezing cold.. the ones you
walk by and go, "geez people, haven't you heard of online ticket
sales?" And walk on by. Yeah, well, this is the Tribeca Film Festival.
This year they've a) doubled ticket prices b) added more films and c)
apparently neglected to upgrade both their website and their ticket
sales offices and processes. Ugh.
That said, I did stand dutifully in line behind that man who seems to
be in every line ever in Manhattan: he's a balding, spectacled
40-something under his ubiquitous NYY baseball cap, teenage daughter in
toe (she has to pee) and he feels it necessary to comment almost
incessantly during the hour-long outside wait. "You'd think they'd get
it together by now, these festival people... I can't believe they don't
have a bathroom, what, their employees never have to pee? How many labor laws are
they violating here? I'm not letting my daughter use a Dunkin' Donuts
bathroom, no thanks... Half of these movies are showing in godforsaken theatres
outside Tribeca. Who wants to trek to Kip's Bay? ... Who do these pin-striped goombas at the door think they are? They need doormen
on a Saturday afternoon at a high-class venue like this? " And on and on.
So, an hour and a half wait and $84
(with founding sponsor discount) got me 2 tickets each to the premieres
of "The Grand" and "The Air I Breathe."
March 24, 2007
knew MeMe my cat understands that her recent passing was something of a
mixed blessing. She died, in a quick fit (heart attack?) right in front
of me on my new Iranian rug. I flipped out a little, running around
shrieking her name and hyperventilating and then calmed down enough to
put a large towel over her. I called my dear neighbor Ann, 88, who is good in these
situations and she came over and helped me put MeMe in a box. It was
past 8 pm and I didn't know what to do with her, not having had to deal
with a dead body before. I ended up hoisting her into a cab and zooming
off to the all-night animal hospital on the upper East Side where they
kindly took her off my hands. I felt a little freakish when I asked to
have an actual vet declare her dead but dead she was and I went home to
Petey (my boy cat) took it all in stride but still, weeks later, has a
tendency to peer under the bed in hopes his old friend might still be
around. Related images.
We Got A Thing Goin On
March 1, 2007
So thrilled! Got an e-mail from my
personal presidential candidate today. I savored the moment: the
measured bubble-up of my gmail notification (at work, no less!); the intimate "Hi Kit," the unspoken promise of our
new bond of friendship, sealed just the day before with a mere $100
contribution. Update 3/24: Sadly, I had to
unsubscribe after the first twenty such missives; apparently my hundred
clams wasn't quite enough.
Small people, more small people, Gustav Klimt and My Mother
January 29, 2007
Interesting news on the
science front: "The tiny
skeletal remains of human "Hobbits" found on an Indonesian island
belong to a completely new branch of our family tree, a study has
found." (BBC). Apparently the story first broke three years ago but
I missed it then and maybe you did too.
So my mother came to town last weekend
and showed me what it could be like to be a proper New Yorker, New
Yorker in hand. We first visited Murray's Cheese Shop, which I
knew would flip her lid. (I must buy her the T-shirt that reads "You
have a friend in cheeses." As you may or may not know, she is a D.Min.)
Next it was the Brooklyn Museum for the Annie Liebovitz show -- and
because it was adjacent, the Ron
Mueck exhibition which is startling, kind of gross and absolutely
compelling: gigantic, extremely lifelike naked-people sculptures (oh,
and small people too, equally life-like, naked and even more
disturbing). Later we had an interesting philosophical discussion about
the relative merits of photography, shock value in art, hyper-realism,
etc. All very good for the soul -- and that much more entertaining
because of (not despite) our mutual ignorance of art history -- past,
present and future.
We paused for a phenomenal lunch at Bar Pitti (the mozzarella, basil,
tomato salad dish is positively transporting; you must try it.)
Then it was off to the Neue
Galerie, la di da, which I'd walked past a million times, housed in
the old Vanderbilt mansion on Fifth and 86th, ostensibly to take in
Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I about which my
mother just read in (natch) the New Yorker. (She was
particularly taken with Rebecca Mead's description of the subject: "She
was a well-known hostess whom Klimt depicted in a sinuous golden gown
and robe... looking like a Byzantine socialite who has just set down
her cigarette holder and is about to discuss the latest symphony by
that terribly interesting composer Gustav Mahler." Me -- I just want
her dress). Even more interesting to me were the polka-dot walls of the
mansion (there were also stripes... way cool.) Actually, the rest of
the collection is great -- featuring the works of Egon Shiele, Josef
Hoffmann, Max Beckmann, among others.)
We topped that off with a visit to the Oyster Bar in Grand Central
Station (where we've gone every time my mother
and father visit; it's been closed every single time). We were
thrilled to get a seat at rush hour at the bar and ordered a sensible
amount of oysters and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc each and commented on
how rude the server was. He got more friendly, however, the more we
ordered. Imagine that. We both greatly enjoyed the Kamumotos (I'd never
had before) and got over the fact that there were no Penobscot Bay,
Damariscotta or Pemaquid oysters to be had.
November 26, 2006
It doesn't get a whole lot better than Thanksgiving in Maine. I won't
go into too much detail but here are the salient facts:
I bought a hat at Reny's, the go-to discount clothing store on Main
Street, Damariscotta, thinking myself quite cutting-edge in a retro sort of
way. Come back to NYC to find the same hat (at twice the price) at
every sidewalk stand AND on actual people everywhere. You know the
one.. the lumberjack, flap-eared, fur-trimmed headgear. Sigh..
The RiteAid in Damariscotta, Maine, can provide ever so much fun, even
on Thanksgiving (until 3 pm). "NOTHING will be open," my mom intoned as Jeannie and I prepared to go "to town." Not true. At the store, J. and I, suddenly 14 again,
purchased (among some other nutty things) a 72 oz. clear plastic tub of
Utz cheeseballs to act as a counterpoint to the gourmet foo foo sure to
be served pre-turkey feast. Picture here
(I think the toxic orange of the actual balls zapped my camera's
ability to deal rationally with color nuances).
The actual feast was amazing and everything was delicious, even my
mother's scary-sounding apricot and almond-studded stuffing made with
turkey heart and, like, a half gallon of Grand Marnier.
Good friends (courtesy of my discerning parents) and family members
made the whole thing memorable. Quite the tableau (5.5 MB wmv) -- nearly
impossible to capture the joie de vivre, but I tried.
Goodbye to my grandmother (Gannie, aka Monnie, b. 1911), Marion
Emily Cary. You will be missed.
Well-written "Why Bush is Bad" for Dummies
in this week's NY Times. Perfect primer from Frank Rich entitled, "Has He
Started Talking to the Walls?" Funny and maddening and replete with
links to relevant video and other media. (Times Select only, I'm
afraid. I just signed up... I couldn't bear feeling left out.)
It turns out we’ve been reading the
wrong Bob Woodward book to understand what’s going on with President
Bush. The text we should be consulting instead is “The Final Days,” the
Woodward-Bernstein account of Richard Nixon talking to the portraits on
the White House walls while Watergate demolished his presidency. As Mr.
Bush has ricocheted from Vietnam to Latvia to Jordan in recent weeks,
we’ve witnessed the troubling behavior of a president who isn’t merely
in a state of denial but is completely untethered from reality. It's
not that he can’t handle the truth about Iraq. He doesn’t know what the
I"m a little late tuning in to "Weeds" (Showtime) but am fully addicted
(cough, cough). Thank you Bob D. I was
horrified today to find out that Season 2 --apparently running now --
isn't yet available on DVD. If I had KNOWN... why... I wouldn't have
deVOURED the whole of Season 1 quite so avaricely.
: Election 2006 November 8, 2006
there are! There are so many words and thoughts and phrases and
witticisms and clever-isms, and connecting of the dots (and attempts to
disconnect the dots) that I have no business even weighing in. Can I
assume you know what I'm talking about? Well, certainly not my
birthday, which was yesterday. Election Day. The Day the Tide Turned
(or whatever it will be historically referred to in time).
The New Yorker cover of this
week was so very prescient (George Bush standing in the aftermath of a
bull-in-china-shop scenario [read: Iraq], mouth hanging open in a
"What, who me?")
October 21, 2006
Back from Paris
yet again. This time, though, there are no pictures and
no movies. I forgot my camera. Which is fine, as much of the time I was
not in the mood to photograph anything. I was suffering from what I now
believe to be the toxins of the brown recluse spider. I won't go into
the gory details of the actual bite (and they are deliciously gory;
words like "volcanic ulceration," "necrosis" and "sinking wound,"),
which I had noticed before I left. The bite was behind my knee, so I
couldn't really see it that well and easily ignored for nearly two
After a couple of lovely days running around the city with C. (Sacré-Coeur
de Montmartre, le Marais -- where we stayed -- up and down the Seine,
walking, walking, eating, drinking, more walking) I started feeling
feverish. On the worst night, I was curled up in a ball, shivering
violently, with the worst headache ever. Then I was hot, hotter than
hot, burning up, opening the windows and feeling like death.
I didn't connect the spider bite until I finally got home and felt it
-- golfball sized now and very painful. I really should have gone to
the doctor then, but I didn't. The fever finally faded and I seem to be
on the mend, with just a red and tender site on my leg that kind of
looks like I've been shot. I'm going to the dermatologist next week and
I'll be able to run my theory by him. The theory includes the fact that
global warming is driving predominantly mid-Atlantic dwelling critters
north to places like New York City and into my livingroom.
August 29, 2006
On the grayest Manhattan day, I've found something to be really happy
about. Simplistic as it may sound, it's just the knowledge that I'm
alive in the same century and eon as Bob Dylan. OK, I'm unduly
influenced now, this evening, by Bob himself on his new album Modern
Times, which I dutifully downloaded via iTunes, hoping for the
best. I really like it. Haven't read reviews yet but it strikes me as
-- oh shit, I don't know. I'm not a critic. Dylaneque?? Alright, I can
try to be a little more articulate. The single "Blood in My Eyes for
You" reminds me of Leo Kottke's "Corrina, Corrina" - it's that striking
and heartfelt (though not quite as good). The wierd thing is I can't
(at this moment) figure out what song came when on the album (CD,
whatever). I mean, on iTunes it comes into my library, at least,
alphabetically. Which places the longest song, "Ain't Talkin', first.
Which is nuts. Not that it's not really, really good.
Say what you will about iTunes but how utterly cool is the ability to
watch mini music videos in the corner while listening? I know I'm
easily impressed but I don't care. And to have lyrics right there? For
Bob? There aren't words. Er... well, you know what I mean. "Jokerman"
transports... naturally. The levee breaking song touches on the Katrina
horrors just obliquely enough to satisfy and not be maudlin or
disturbing. And yet is... disturbing. At least coming right now, on the
even of the one-year anniversary. If the song had been more morose or
piercing, I bet CNN would be using it RIGHT NOW as a musical backdrop
to the "looking back" footage. As it is, the song is just... bluesy Bob
at his best. "Things Have Changed" is lovely; the accompanying
star-studded video is bizarre and hilarious (Michael Douglas
lip-synching? Katie Holmes??).
August 6, 2006
Meaning only that not every post deserves a title. I write a lot of
headlines for my job and they're usually dull as dirt. Except when
they're brilliant. Ha. Ok, so I'm listening to Yo Yo Ma playing Bach's
cello suities and eating oatmeal, tofu and blueberries which tastes
much worse than it sounds. Life could be better. I could be on a beach
-- but oh, I will be next week, in Maine.
Speaking of which, some lucky NYT's writer got to cover the
Maine lobster roll trail up from Kennebuckport on up to New Harbor.
Of course, they hit Red's Eats (kind of hard to miss, positioned right
on Route One before the railroad tracks and the long bridge to
Edgecomb. I don't think they quite captured the slavish loyalty with
which people patronize Red's -- have you seen the lines? Dear
Damariscotta was only briefly mentioned, oddly, as "a fishing village
with a well-stocked bookstore." Huh? Are they trying to say something
there? First of all, it's hardly a fishing village and the bookstore is
lovely but they totally missed Reny's!
Oh well. Glad the southern coast got some press.
I'm still looking for some software that will give me comments like a
normal blog (sniffle) and I did install an SQL database but only
managed to find a rather overly robust content management program
php-fusion which is brilliant, with a message board and "shout outs"
and "post a link... website... article... news" and is somewhat
customizable but doesn't quite work for... HERE. Sigh.
Current reading: The
Looming Tower, by Lawrence Wright.
I'll be following this one closely: U.S.
threatens suit if Maine probes Verizon ties to NSA. Talk about
frivolous lawsuits. I hope they go through with it. That would teach
those uppity Downeasters to not question that government's war on
American... I mean ... terrorism. War on terrorism. We need a new war
on a new -ism. This one's getting old, I'm sorry. Interesting article
on the top in this month's Atlantic Monthly:
The United States is succeeding in its struggle against terrorism. The
time has come to declare the war on terror over, so that an even more
effective military and diplomatic campaign can begin.
You can't read the whole article unless you subscribe. Subscribe! It's
worth every penny.
July 29, 2006
Woof. Seriously. It's 95 in the shade, and even the shade seems to have
snuck off to the Hamptons. I frittered away this afternoon (dressed in
gym clothes, ready to go) fixing up my archived pages which are a
complete disaster. I need to go through the code with a fine-toothed
comb and pull out all the malevolent font tags that Dreamweaver refuses
to fix for me. I discovered the joys of CSS late but will never worry
again. I think what I'll do for now (to fill up some of this new-blog
whitespace) is excerpt from the archives so you don't have to go there.
"Preserved in Amber"
March 21, 2004. Thank you 60 Minutes.
Richard Clark blows the lid off the current administration's ineptitude
and its dangerous and quite probably criminal war-mongering, comparing
the Bush administration to bugs preserved in amber from the prior
President Bush's cold-war oriented milieu. Dick Clark (not to be
confused with the other Dick Clark (who does seem to be preserved in
amber), told Lesley Stahl, well, all. Now let's just see if anyone
Quining the Qualia
February 12, 2003. I've been doing a little light reading
in hopes that a mental workout might unfreeze my neural connections. So
far, I'm just getting a headache. I'm spending the morning divining
words that encourage my velleitous imagination, that make my heart leap
or that I have to look up.
A Hair-raising Experience
February 23, 2004. My singular goal for the weekend was to get my hair
cut. Those who know me well know that I would rather go to dentist
every day for a month rather than get my locks trimmed. It just kills
me to pay upwards of $100 for a marginally better look. On a whim, I
decided to try a barber-type place. All I really need is someone with a
really sharp pair of scissors who can discern a straight line. There's
a little hole-in-the-wall place on Spring St. that I pass by often. In
my mind, it was warm and welcoming, and where the old guy is a coiffing
genius merely disguised as an old-time barber. I poked my head in and
he said he'd take me in 40 minutes. I went home and asked C. for
advice. He told me to go for it. So I did. When I went back to the
place, I was dismayed to see three or four men in there. I was hoping
the barber would say something like "So, what brings you to our fine
establishment? Then I could say I had lost a bet or that it was an
emergency and all the other shops were closed or booked. No such luck.
I also almost keeled over from the smell. I
think it's still in my nose and I don't know exactly what it was -
shaving lotion, cheap aftershave, something rank and old-man-smelling.
Yuck. But I took a seat and started looking through the magazines. When
I noticed that most of them were Playboy I started to feel a little
nauseous. I bet I'm the only woman to ever entertain the idea of
cutting her hair here. Once in the chair, things did not improve. I
focused on not breathing through my nose and on the amazing
dissimilarities between the places I usually go - and this. First of
all, no modern techno-dance music, just a tv in the corner showing some
movie with some woman on a bed about to have sex (that much I could see
out of the corner of my eye. Not the kind of thing you want on a sunny
Sunday afternoon). Instead of the neat, clean shelf with funky hair
products (Bedhead, Tea Tree, Bumble & Bumble) this not-so-clean
shelf held a kitchen timer, some manly shaving brushes, some hair, more
hair, Brut 33 and combs in a jar of blue liquid.
Instead of a shampoo, head massage and deep conditioning, I got sprayed
like a dog with a bottle of cold H20. Instead of complimenting me on my
unique and clearly homemade haircolor, he noted that I "needed a
touch-up." Hey, hello, first semester Beauty School rules dictate no
making fun of the customer! As he clearly didn't have any hair
clippies, he had to just sort of throw the twisted spirals over the
other side of my head, where of course they wouldn't stay. I will say
he was quick - the five requested millimeters were gone in a jiffy and
he was blow-drying me - thwapping my face with the cord and then
burning my neck and scalp. I finally jumped up and said we were done. I
put my damp hair quickly into a ponytail, threw the man a twenty and
peeled outta there.
So, you ask, was it worth it? Well, I
saved between 60 and 100 dollars, got a perfectly fine trim, and
something to write about. But no - I miss the pampering and music and
the smells and the product array of my half-dozen other salons and I'm
pretty sure I will never step foot in that toxic Hair Box or Hair Bin
or Hair Hoppers or Hair Hell or whatever it was called, again.
Horses Can't Throw Up
February 9, 2004. In other news (to me), Kim reports that horses can't
throw up. Something about the sand they ingest while eating hay and the
attendant psyllium that acts like gelatin. Something like that.
Gay Fruitflies, etc.
April 13, 2005. Dear to my heart
is Harper's Findings, a seemingly random compendium of scientific
findings, some of which fall into the "well, duh" category (and makes
you wonder who's paying for these studies) and some are awe-inspiring.
I believe that reading these improves the brain, makes those little
neurons work, connecting the dots or trying to make connections between
such proclamations as:
- Geneticists succeeded in giving fruit flies a gene that
makes them gay.
- Scientists studying the endangered Devils Hole pupfish in
Nevada accidentally killed eighty of them, about one third of the
remaining wild population.
- Scientists found that subliminal happy faces can persuade
people to drink more, and that compliments can make women feel better
about their bodies. A British charity concluded that Aka Pygmy men are
the best fathers.
- Microbiologists discovered that some pollution-eating
bacteria can generate electricity
Fortress of Solitude
October 7, 2003. Reading J. Lethem's Fortress of Solitude. A ticket to
the Brooklyn of my false (but not so far off the mark) memories, cadged
from some other book or movie. Brooklyn in the Seventies, with honeyed
sun filtering through the trees that line the streets where kids play
arcane forms of ball and struggle to define themselves in an
unforgiving and ultimately too-forgiving urban landscape. A ranging
novel not nearly as funny as Motherless Brooklyn.. EATMEBAILEY! But,
really, better and deeper and more satisfying.
Move along, people. Nothing to see here.
On the Death of Loiseau
The great French chef Bernard Loiseau died today in an apparent
"Loiseau's death recalled the legendary
17th-century Francois Vatel, said to have killed himself over a failed
meal at which King Louis XIV was the star guest. The fish had
reportedly arrived late." more... (NYT-AP)I didn't know him, or even of
him, but I feel for him. His name caught my eye and I thought
immediately of Wallace Shawn, the actor and playwright who played a man
name "Oiseau" in the highly enjoyable 1988 Alan Rudolph film, "The
Moderns." Wally, if you didn't know, has been in an amazing 73 movies,
mostly rather bad ones, from the brilliant "My Dinner With Andre" to
the probably not-so-brilliant "Nice Girls Don't Explode." I like the
guy but he once cut in front of me in line at Drama Books. Oh well.
I'll be closely following the Battle of the Wedge wherein
our two protagonists, architect Daniel Libeskind, winning designer for
the new buildings at ground zero, whose work has been described
alternately as "brilliant, complex, radiating, emotional, spastic,
genius, embarrassing, towering, lovely, sick, astonishing, plagued,
quintessential, incomprehensible, simple, elegant, and fatuous" and
architect Eli Attia, who designs very big, shiny, rather cold but slick
and elegant buildings, as they battle over the idea of sunlight. Yes,
the idea of sunlight. I'm going to try to sum up the controversy in
their own words. Or something like their own words.
Mr. Libeskind: The sun will shine without shadow.
Mr. Attias: That's a lie.
Mr. Libeskind: The effect is not linear but a three-dimensional
phenomenon about the ambience of light and the reflections of light
between the buildings.
Mr. Attias: [It's] a virtual smorgasbord of narrow-minded incompetence
in urban planning and architectural design, garnished with a rare blend
of political propaganda.
Mr. Libeskind: harrumph...
Mr. Attias: ...a figment and a sham memorial in which the defining
image and metaphor is shadows conquering the light
Mr. Libeskind: This is about radiating light, reflecting light, the
atmosphere of light.
Mr. Attias: It's a national embarrassment.
Mr. Libeskind: It's not about tricks of light but about how light
behaves when you look at the sun in three-dimensional form.
To be continued...
|Extremely Loud and INcredibly Close
Jonathan Safran Foer
Bret Easton Ellis
|Snow Flower and The Secret Fan
|The Asian Grocery store Demystified
|The United States of Arugula
|The Happy Isles of Oceania
|I Am Charlotte Simmons
|the looming tower
|The Foreign Correspondent
|The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loanna
|A Disorder Peculiar to the Country
|Garlic and Sapphires
|Thank You for Smoking
|How to Be Alone
Dance Dance Dance
2004 - 2006
2003 - 2004
2002 - 2003
(may require Windows Media Player)
At the Louvre (9.3 mg)
Slideshow: Paris '06 (3.8 mg)
Movie: Winter '06 is back (4.9
MOMA with Carm
Slideshow: Paris '05 (5.9 mg)