Thursday, December 29

a bunch of my friends think this guy is AWESOME

um, yeah

Tuesday, December 27

let's get free

Sunday, December 25

pysanky! you're welcome!

this evening me and my step sisters, step brother, their mom, christine, made pysanky!!! **ukranian eggs.** i actually used to make these with my mom and dad for easter back when i was really little and we still all lived together on 11th street. it was a pretty heavily eastern european neighborhood then, from my memories. there are still sundry ukranian, polish, and russian establishments around, but nothing like the eighties. one of my favorite stores - the ukranian goods store on 9th between 1st and 2nd, next to [marble paradise] dinosaur hill - was packed up and closed down a month or so ago, and it well near broke my heart. there's still the ukranian national home, the sly fox, the meat shops and all, but still...

in my building, there were these two polish young ladies - grace and someone else - who would watch me in their apartment when my parents went off to their poetry readings or whatever they were up to in 1985. these ladies would gossip in polish and paint their nails and it was awesome. i remember their linoleum kitchen floor and perfume. they must've been about my age, i guess, but i thought they were so sophisticated at the time. and an old russian lady would call me babushka and sasha and pinch my cheeks in the hallway. i lived on the 5th floor and when i was little it was a long walk up. i would stop half way up and hang out on the steps sometimes, while my parents brought the groceries up. she would pass me on the stairs, old as she was!!! tough stock!

anyway... i used to make pysanky and here i was making them again! if i can i will scan some pictures of mine before i give them away. it's cool cause you paint beeswax on the egg and then dip it in dye and then paint more, etc.
they're like fucking gems!

Friday, December 23

whoOoOoOo is it?!

please note the (eerie?) resemblence of depp to david byrne. it's really quite striking!
my cousin and i rented 'cry baby' night before last. i had never seen it before! it was so campy and good. you can't really make it out here, but that chest tattoo is of an electric chair... the one that fried his mom and dad!!!
i think john waters must've been in love with johnny depp or something because look at all this cheesecake idol worship. in all seriousness, though, he was more beautiful than any woman.... PSYCH!!! (???)

but look how silly he look trying to french kiss! i guess '21 jumpstreet' didn't learn him... just goes to show: you can't have it all!

i'm pretty sure this is his real tattoo, though... TOUGH!

sock it to me

so, a dear friend has found herself in a legal battle with the very aforementioned apparel chain where our other friend has begun her servitude. coincidence? i think NOT. this chain is taking over the world with the skill of the color changing fairies from disney's version of sleeping beauty. this place is everywhere, and soon, like my situation, you will find yourself on the front lines of battle between "funny/daring" and "cool/corporate".
in the great tradition of vice magazine, aa has embraced hedonism as a cultural value, equating crude exoticism close to the godliness of celebrity. i love the idea of "party company" where cool gets you right to the top- i mean, my future's so bright i gotta wear shades. actually, that's just a line from 21 jump street, and i am definately not cool enough to get into this party company.

"they said i wasn't funny."

like denise, my sense of humor is too dark for the party (unless of course someone at the party got some grillz to smile at our jokes- NOT FAR AWAY!!!)
anywayz, they want to sue her for writing a clever jab about the "CEO". (my favorite line: dov charney emphasizes the "tail" in retail. their favorite line: "masturbation in front of women is underrated."- from the spankmaster himself!) but, i guess there's a new class of jocks that like to bully the nerds who make jokes about them: the hipsters!
i love how fast cool changes social hierarchy!
death to the demon american apparel!

Tuesday, December 20

item! first day melee for gal pal.

sarah started her first day at a.a. the other day so my blog-mate (!!! eww!!) and i decided to recommend a special first-day ensemble to wow and dazzle her jaded co-workers.

now, as you may ascertain yourself, this is a MULTI-PURPOSE outfit, suitable for any number of first impression dependent events.

feel free to 'crib' notes and apply lessons learned to your OWN needs! (i.e., three belts signifies and EXTREMELY PROFESSIONAL willingness to keep those pants - or that skirt - UP, in a business appropriate swing-of-things.)

sarah promised, seriously, top wear at least three of the featured items, but then wussed out in the morning. because of this trickstering treacherousness, elizabeth and i administered a lightening-quick punishment, which some of you may have noticed!


baby squid

ficus alba xylem

hot springs in japan

Monday, December 12

the world is changing faster than you can say go!

japanese elves decorate trees for christmas

so, despite what we may (or may not) have thought about poles, the north pole appears to be migrating toward siberia, and fast! now that's a loaded sentance!
but really, did anyone know that these things move?
things are aparently happening on both poles though- in antarctica, glacial rivers of ice carry giant masses of water ready to be melted, potentially uncovering the LANDMASS antarctica, a landmass that has not been exposed for a Really Long Time.
lucky for me today at work will be spent playing with my 3nd favorite friend, the internet, as i have forayed into bringing my 2nd favorite friend, my computer, to work with me and am using my 8th favorite friend, the cakeshop, to cyphen their wireless.
exciting things in my life today are: i have returned to new york, hitting the ground running. yes, yes, exciting things are happening. for instance i have great ideas for paintings which i am about to start once i move back into my room. i also have a new fun housemate that plays live music in our living room. i brought back fabric from la, that i am planning on making some wintertime frocks out of. also, i have made the decision to stay in nyc for christmas, so this will officially be my first christmas to make into whatever i please. !!! i think i will have to have an advent party where we have christmastime craft-making and hot drinks!

christmas is celebrated in spaceship (kyoto, 2005)

in regards to the paintings, i have come back very inspired by my trip to japan. i have also brought back my paints and other art supplies from la, so these combined factors point to a painting renaissance! i was reading british vogue (far superior to the american rag), and was further inspired by their article about the frieze art fair. art fairs themselves, do not sound like my thing at all, but making art for people to see (as opposed to making art that i am supposed to think about conceptually) makes me think that painting might be the way after all. not that making art to think about is necessarily bad, but in my exerience in liberal arts college art-making, i would prefer a lighter, more flexible, aesthetic approach. and the idea of an art fair sounds really fun (from what i read, frieze is equated to glastonbury).
thank you internet, thank you british vogue, for making the slowest day of work i have ever had bearable.

Wednesday, December 7

cuddle my cuttle

niigata is a port city in the northern honshu region of japan. russians like to come here to buy used cars and bicycles. there are a number of russians staying in my hotel right now! they are tall!
today i went to the niigata city aqarium and had a delightful time paying penance for past wrongs. you see, the last time i went to an aqarium, it was the monterey bay aqarium. it was 2 days before i left to go to europe for a year, and i had a wonderful time, mostly becuase i made friends with some cute little cuttle fish. cuttle fish are really cool becuase they can change color and are smart, able to communicate with one another using their 4 tenticles. they are also the source of sepia, like all those nice sepia tone photographs. so, hanging out in the monterey bay aquarium, playing with the cuttle fish by signaling to them with my fingers was like this magical little goodbye to california and the untied states, and all other fun oriented times in the near future.
because, then i was in europe. on spring break, i went to venice with my then-boyfriend, a trip that turned disasterous for many reasons. firstly, the place where we stayed was inhabited by the horrible contiki travellers (if you've ever traveled, you have probably encountered the contiki tour to that destination- the age 18-35 let's-get-drunk-and-fuck-in-the-hostel bunch). then, i got feverishly sick, bedridden at said contiki inhabited camp site. then said boyfriend tried to leave me at said campsite while he went sightseeing (i pursuaded him agaist such a heinous betrayal). but then, the very worst, most traumatizing event of venizia 2004 was the ill foreboded trip to the glass making island of murano, where by horrible horrible mistake, we ordered cuttle fish for lunch.
then-bf, being the waste-not/guilt-ridden crusader, suggested that we eat the cuttle fish to do their sacrificed lives justice.
it was a bad bad trip. and to finish any bad trip properly, when we tried to develop our film in budapest, we recieved it back with no pictures, totally exposed, with the simple hungarian excuse, "rosz" ("bad!").
anyways, today i set things right again, here in niigata, where, again, i played with the cuttle fish and later saw them on a menu and Avoided ordering them!
the aquarium was awesome though. fist of all, did you know that sea lions actually sound like lions? (i mean, yeah, obviously, that's why they're called sea lions, but i guess i forgot or something?) there was this Huge sea lion that was 3 times the size of the others- the size of a hippo or something- and it would come out of the water, all massive, and jump up 7 feet onto a platform. i can't even really convey how amazingly gigantic this sea lion was, but i will say, i've seen alot of sea lions in my lifetime and this one will go down as Freakish.
there is something amazing about giant mamals that can swim: next i saw a dolphin show with these cute squealing dolphins that could do lots of tricks and jump really high. there's something better about seeing such shows with little wide eyed japanese babies squealing with joy by your side.
so niigata has turned out to have desirable offerings after all!

Monday, December 5

come join the niigata dinner hour learning special

admittedly, i have been spending too much time drinking and playing on the internet in japan. but, my time here is coming to a close, the roger wagner chorale has almost sung its last song, and the month of luxury vacation that i have been graciously been given to sqander has almost ended.
so i guess it's time to get back in touch with the rest of the world (via the internet!), especially becuase i am in some industrial port city and it is 35 degrees outside. things are Different here at the hotel okura in niigata: Toilet Seats Are Not Heated (that's an actual sign on the top of the toilet- psych!!!!!) the hotel has a shining-esque air about it- 70's interior with creepy standards playing in the elevator. too many free attendants waiting at the entrance. the doors to the rooms creep open on their own accord and the air is dead stuffy.
but. i see that in ny it is even colder and snowing! that's exciting. we all know that cold + snow = winter wonderland. right? no? ok...
so. lets reacclimate over a drink with the news!
first order of business is the fine american language tradition of poetics and rhetorical arts. for those of you who were educated in the last 10 years in the united states, you will not be privy to such fine examples of literature such as this poem published in pakistani textbooks. now, we all know that one of the us' finest suits is io (information ops) backed up by public diplomacy to make everything seem healthy. (in short: information warfare is in full swing, io has melted into public diplomacy, and therefore, there are no qualms in planting propaganda) anyways, this blatent case of the abuse of education wouldn't be so disturbing, except that it has taken place in another country (imagine what type of sumbliminal shit is planted in american education). but hey- no one really knows where any news and other written works come from, so there is no real reason to feel manipulated.
but, lots of shit sucks, right? maybe all those dicksuckers in the government will work it all out though? if you notice the distance between interviewer and interviewee in the linked-to video, it seems much more than usual? "shagrinned?" is that a word?
bla bla bla.
the saddam trial sounds totally insane- defence threatening to walk out becuase the court is illegitimate? That sounds pretty crazy. defence lawyers being assassinated all over the place? it seems like they might have a long way to go. the pictures of the trial though, i have to say, are fantastic.

on happier note, gay weddings are legal in the uk. that's nice. the uk is so wierd in the mysteries of its conservatism... as an aside, thank you competitor for bestowing links to the london bridge song amongst the usual goodness.
ok. enough news. after a few drinks, this hotel room grows further creepy.

Thursday, December 1

news from japan vol. 4

to be discussed in this article:
the floating world

so, i went to the hokusai exhibit at the tokyo national museum, which proved to be a very thorough introduction to japanese art viewing. hokusai was part of the ukiyo-e print making tradition, where art became a part of the middle class than solely the realm of the elites. ukiyo-e means floating world, a term that was supposed to describe the every day life of tokyo (edo)- it is also meant to describe the gestalt of the time. our friend who knows alot about japanese prints can tell us:

they store sake kegs at the temple

"The term 'ukiyo-e' is composed of three Japanese characters: The first two are shown on the left. The top character is read as 'uki', which means "floating," "cheerful," or "frivolous." The second character reads 'yo', which means "world," "generation," "age," "era," or "reign." The third character (shown at the right) reads 'e' and means "picture," "drawing, " "painting," or "print." Thus the standard translation of 'ukiyo-e' is "Pictures of the Floating World." In its usual sense 'ukiyo' suggested "transitory world," but it also had such connotations as "everyday world," "present reality," or "world of the here and now." In ukiyo-e prints and paintings there was a special, formalized reality, a combination of stylized artistic conventions shared by most artists and the personal reality of the individual artist, which constituted imaginative retellings of life in the Floating World.

There was another character used to write 'uki', which means "sorrow," "grief," "distress, " or "melancholy." When that alternate character was used in the compound "ukiyo" (shown on the left), it meant "sorrowful world" and thus had Buddhist or religious connotations. As with the earlier term for 'ukiyo', it also implied a "transitory world," but with the implication that the present "reality" was ephemeral, or an illusion, a preparatory stage before a more meaningful afterlife. Many writers have linked the two ways of writing 'ukiyo' as two opposites of the same perception of transitory reality, the religious emphasis being on the sorrow of daily life, the merchant emphasis on temporary escape and enjoyment. Neither view denied the pessimism experienced in an ephemeral world."

interesting. more interesting though, was going to the actual exhibition, where as i have found, japanese people swarm in massive numbers. ok, so imagine you are in one of those nature shows where the salmon are trying to swim against the current, up a rapid. this is kind of what it is like to go to a museum. to see exhibitions (this was confirmed upon multiple occasions) you have to wait in long lines outside the museum, and once in, you have to weave through thick crowds of people, most of the time 5 people deep, to see a painting. it's crazy. and this is on a weekday in the middle of the day- can you all believe how much these people love art? i mean, they are dedicated, becuase the only reason i could see anything was because i was a head taller than everyone else. anyways, that was pretty fun, especially the ghost pictures.

let's pray!

anyways, the museum is in this really cool park, ueno park. contrary to any preconception of japan that i had, crows seem to be the most common bird. wierd. i have spent more time in close proximity to crows in the past week than i have in my whole life. crows are actually really big, which i also forgot about, and they're really loud. but they are nice birds that like to hang out with eachother in the park. there are also alot of other things in the park, like temples,homeless people and this giant overgrown pond.

how to drink water from the fountain

this is a pond