Sunday, January 27, 2008

Another weekend, come and gone


It didn't bode well that the first human contact I had yesterday was with two very tall middle-aged men in my foyer. I knew right away, from the end of the hall, that they were Jehovah's Witnesses. And I was right. They were very pleasant, even when I refused their literature.

Thrilled with the SC outcome, even though I still want M. Dowd for Prez. But Barack will do.

So, movie tonight with S. and dinner (yay). Then more memorizing (presentation for SF trip next week - ugh).

Update: Worst. Movie. Ever. (Untraceable) Better dinner... steak au poivre at Jean-Claude. Yum.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Creepy crawlies

Interesting confluence of non-events. Much like my life to date. Weekend update. Firstly, I trudged to Filene's Basement for a pair of tights and while groveling through the Petite section's 60% racks (who knew!) there was a sudden kerfuffle, a small gasp, a scream, and some indecipherable muttering over by the dressing room area, which I normally avoid like the plague.

It took me a while (loitering in the Junior's sportswear section nearby, where I have no business) to figure out that it was a RAT!!!!

No, it wasn't. It was a.... gigantic cockroach. Which is like 10 times worse. By this time, the screams had reached fever pitch and I was rendered paralyzed near Puma until someone said, "oh, now it's on the wall." I left shortly thereafter.

Earlier, I had watched the History Channel's "Life After Humans," a pretty well done piece of work* (which of course spotlighted our cockroach friends as survivors), so I was able to superimpose Life After Humans onto Filene's Basement, which is pretty cool. Lots of crappy cotton jersey and one-ply cashmere to devour. Not that I myself partake of that shit.

Oh. Two more things. I was reminded -- thinking of the possible rat (see above) of the writers' strike (which makes me think of gigantic blow-up striking rat which made me remember New Year's Eve and the lovely woman I met who actually worked at Troma Films (Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke 'Em High) briefly. How cool and weird!. Just after film school, I interviewed with Troma's Lloyd Kaufman, was offered an impressive $14K a year job, left with a -- well, creepy-crawly feeling -- and never looked back. Looking back now, however, I wonder how differently my life might have turned out.

The road not taken, at any rate, seems as littered with creepy crawlies as the one taken. Now for some tea and Jane Austen. Good night.

* "Life After Humans" also mentioned my beloved home state of Maine (Black Island, precisely) where abandoned stone structures apparently just "melt" after fifty or eighty years, due, in large part, at once to the surprisingly verdant land and the corrosiveness of salt in the air and water.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

NH Primary '08

How to get all this down. Hm. Okay, we'll start with my mother, since I started with her. You know, originally. I called her today after the NH primary, waiting precisely 16 hours to make sure she had time to get over her angst and grief re: Obama/Hillary.

And she didn't disappoint, being the funny woman she is. She went through the stages, she said, from feeling like punching someone, to reading the Times -- and specifically Maureen Dowd's "Can Hillary Cry Her Way to the White House?"-- which was apparently the cure to her (Mom's) woe. (I think I forgot a stage or two; sorry Mom.)

Right on, sister. Those tears, man. Genuine? Sure. (And I refuse to see the video.) But acting? Sure. Hill (not my mom) is too smart to have a true moment of private sadness in public. It's hard to fake tears but stress helps alot.

Other talking points via mom:

1) Hillary can't use tears again. Can't can't can't. For the remainder of the primaries. So she used a lethal weapon way too early.

2) Obama IS electable. But only if the right-minded (and I mean left-minded) folks who keep whispering "But do you really see a black man in the White House?" stop it. Just stop it. As a nation, we're highly unlikely to get more progressive and suddenly enlighted, so why are we waiting for the fucking chimera of that future day?

3) I went to bed after the news and fell asleep listening to NPR, heard Obama's speech and thought: he's gotta watch it. He sounded too oratorily (is that a word?) hortatory and leaned a little too far into the preachy rhythms and repetition that bring to my mind a Jesse Jackson or an Al Sharpton. That technique can work but can also be very off-putting. Politics is rhetoric, sure; adding the gloss of the preacherman cadence can effectively tarnish the message. I may be overthinking it, but words and sound are my thing...

4) My mother howled at friend Bob's explanation of the weird discrepancy between the early polling in NH and the outcome. He said that (and I'm totally paraphrasing but it rings SO true to me, having relatives there) that New Hampshirians (is that a word?) hate unsolicited phone calls and, being bombarded with them due to the primary, just started saying whatever. Not lying, per se, but.... whatever. So. There you go.

5) There's certainly still hope. Obama needed a small failure to galvanize his support -- and earlier is better than later.

6) The media suck. Why talk about actual issues and position in depth when they can pant about the horse race? [insert sports metaphor here]

7) Whoever uses "hope" and "change" next in a speech deserves to lose. Hello, get a thesaurus.

8) The nightmare scenario brings it all home: President Huckleberry. We then veered off-course to discuss whether plastic surgery can give us dimples, since they're so effective as a"likeability" factor.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Life in the Holocene

I'm trying to take the long view here, people. We live in the Holocene (which does, unfortunately, sound like Hollow Scene). I'm trying to figure out what the next age is going to be called and when it'll start but I'm not finding it. I'll keep you posted.

Bad news on the fitness front: my new small terrorist cat popped my giant FitBALL™. I only wish I had been there to witness it. And thanks, Salsa, for yet another good excuse not to do sit-ups.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Die Neue Haas Grotesk


Helvetica. Possibly my favorite movie. Not, no, that one would see, it, like, 10 or 2 times, but still. At once a love song and a cutting swipe at a font praised for its "modernity and human-ness" and its "banality and authoritarianism," the documentary is one of the most well done I've seen. I had not read any reviews (just assumed it would be cool) .I'm not going to attempt to be a critic here, but if you love design, philosophy, visual creativity, communication, and humanity -- well. Here you go.

Just a few random notes. The predominantly Swiss and German and male designers interviewed (sigh) all had a single or sometimes double strong vertical line(s) between their eyes like, well, exclamation points, perhaps, from squinting, (that's how you know they're authentic). Thankfully, the vitriol AGAINST Helvetica was proffered with a sense of humor in most cases. The cohesiveness of the movie stemmed from the very font itself: egoless, clean, communicative, and neutral above all else. What came before it, what came after and why -- that's what it's all about. That, and the ubiquity of the font itself, to this day. Bottom line: I laughed ... I cried. 5 stars.

A new crisis. Cat ripped off the Backspace key (oh, look, Helvetica! even though it's not a default font option on my pc or yours) and I'm torn: crazy-glue back on (and all the trouble that can cause*), tap it back on (which makes for MORE mistakes) or leave it off (can I get electrocuted?) and probably get a blood blister on my middle finger after 3 posts) OR just NEVER CHANGE MY MIND AGAIN.

* I once was doing some stupid project probably involving repairing earrings, alone in my large apartment in the East Village, sitting cross-legged on the floor working over a low glass-top and wrought-iron coffee table, not noticing the Crazy Glue pooling just under my forearm and well, suffice it to say, I learned patience that day as my roomate didn't return for hours and even then didn't know how to separate me from the glass. We almost called the Fire Department. And probably should have, as my small scar, nearly two decades later, lingers on.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Sit still, damnit!


And here's O. Henry and proof positive that he simply cannot be photographed properly while he's awake. Maybe I need a special camera or something.

So I had to tell Obama today that he HAS my vote and please stop emailing me. And stop his brother and his wife, too. It's a bit much.

Interesting article in this week's New Yorker about architectural preservation in NYC. Or lack there of. Alack... alas.

New Year's Eve


Fun party in Hell's Kitchen (which, if you ask me, is a little too close to Times Square for comfort, but which definitely has personality -- the apt. of P.'s friend I. is practically above the famed Rudy's bar and would have a view of the ball-drop if it weren't for just one building). Amazing food, including P.'s phenomenal brie pie thing (yum!). Good people. My pictures mostly suck, which means I was having a jolly time*.

Had a small mishap beforehand. I had gotten my nails done the day before (nothing crazy about that; I do it every week or so since I have to keep them short due to contact lenses AND of course current fashion). I had opted sensibily for "Like Linen" color, which is like, um, pale linen color and anyway it looked perfectly fine. Until the next day when suddenly it turned blue-gray and I looked positively cyanotic. Perfect for Halloween. New Year's Eve? Not so much. The undead is NOT a good look for me. So back to the salon on the busiest day of the friggin year. I had to suffer through People, Us, and Star magazines (poor me, I know, but NO ONE brings a book to the salon. I'm serious.)

Good bye, 2007, maybe the worst year ever.

* Which is to say I was feeling a little awful, but only on a sort of sub-atomic level. Hard to explain...

 
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