Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I trod on my glasses! Pulverized, to quote Ralphie. Fug.

Monday, October 29, 2007

When I have this kind of a cold, I always feel like a hamster. Or a gerbil. Buzzing my way through Kleexes, flinging them in a growing pile around me like in a hamster cage. A giant, mouth-breathing, red-eyed, TV-watching hamster.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Must read the new Judith Jones book (boy, talk about a Zelig-type...I think there are photos of her in every food book I own). Always kinda curious about her and that hottie husband. I really like the title and the use of Brillat-Savarin...a blessed respite from the usual over-useds.

Nuture, Love and Respect

Marvin: Ah, yes, but I have to replace them every month or so.

Kermit: Flat? You mean, out of tune?

Marvin: No. Flat. Like teeny pancakes.

Kermit: What happens to them then?

Marvin: That is something you don't want to know.

---

I highly recommend the Marvin Suggs Muppet Wiki entry. Hilarious. There's no point to this, btw, I just had forgotten about Marvin Suggs and somebody reminded me and boy did I miss some Suggssubtext as a kid, although I loved how he danced around and the idea of mashing the Muppaphones.
My grandmother's china was featured on "Antiques Roadshow" tonight. Woo! That is to say...a more valuable, non-faded, non-chipped set of it, full of cool unusual serving pieces and lidded dishes I don't have. It was still kind of neat/weird to even see the pattern on TV, familiar as it is.

I'm really bummed. Right now I'm supposed to be partying on down with the fatties in the suburbs wearing a hastily flung-together Hallowe'en costume, but instead I'm hanging around home, dozing fitfully/feverishly as I fight this cold. It's amazing, I haven't gotten any of the colds floating around the last few months, when there were a lot of stressy reasons I should, but still. What? I don't need to get this sinus infection now to prove any kinda point! For now: Lots of zycam and water and sleep. (I am all about the Fiji water these days. That stuff is one of the bottled waters out there that makes me think it's not all Lake Michigan tap water. It has a very different texture, soft. It goes down really fast and doesn't make me hiccuppy and heartburny, which still water sometimes can (strangely).) Anyhow...I'm disappointed! I would much rather be partying than at home with one nostril watering as a spot under my eye buzzes with sinus pain. I mean that sincerely, and not passively-agressively I-just-wasn't-in-the-mood-ily, either. This was not a massive scheme to stay at home and wish I did housekeeping. Although I do wish. I did housekeeping.

I'm feeling sort of materialistic these days. Right. Very handy, that, given that I am not entirely employed. Regardless, I'm full of sat-on longings for a few things: silver, especially severely plain silver boxes (old, English), flatware (I'm dying for a good set instead of my un-ergo dinged-up Ikea set), textiles. Just having some nesty hankerings for things like that (also craving a garden and a porch). "Materialistic" is such a loaded term, but I think it's the right one? Maybe that's not what I want to say.

TV is full of horrible scary horror movies right now, how boring. I should note, though, that I, through a long series of events, finally, intentionally saw a scary movie (B. Witch Project) to see how it would go, with a chaperone, natch. Two keys were that it was 100% scary/0% gross on the scale of such things; also that as a fake documentary I had the leverage of knowing more than normal it was all fake (a fake doc being fake-r than fake fiction, somehow). And I handled it fine while I was watching, didn't leap out of skin or anything, but what's funny is that it's gotten scarier in retrospect. I was pretty creeped-out at the time, but now I am more so when I think of it, or when it's on TV, as it was today. With commercials, and I still got all freaked out. Weird, eh? Raises (duh) distinct possibility of psyche's collusion in being scared. Although with the gross/scared combo...all bets are off. I can't even watch the commercials for Saw IV. YICK. Seriously. Anyhow, slowly isolating the factors at work here.

I finally got my professional website up and going...'twill post a link to blogroll on right shortly.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Can't lie, I'm not feeling the bangs thing. Tyra, Halle. I think the look is dopey, not sweet or chic.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sandra Lee was dressed up as Barbra Streisand this past weekend. I don't really know what to say. Also other singers like Madonna, but that's all I could take, about 4 seconds of that. It really scared me. See?

I would really like a nice boy to buy me See's Candies, and you may parse that sentence/put the emphasis wherever you'd like.

There is this funny, buzzing crackle you hear just in one corner of my bedroom. It sounds exactly like the fizz from a carbonated beverage after you pour it, and it's making me kinda crazy because it's constant, and that sound should End. I'm not quite sure what it is.

I think it's hilarious how Bob Blumer has re-arrived at the Fud Network all re-jiggered and macho after his sensitive Surreal Chef years. Now his show intro is all...glutton for punishment! Risk-taker! Adventurer! Bourdain-manque! And now he has biceps.

Did anybody see the story of Jessica the Hippo on Animal Planet? Oh GOLLY. This couple in South Africa adopted a one-day-old orphaned hippo who has now become a 750 lb house pet who sleeps on a mattress on their porch and enjoys aromatherapy sessions. The sight of this hippo being all out-sized yet cartoonishly adorable yet enormously threatening all at once, not to mention opening doors with her hoof and clopping into the kitchen for a treat is fairly unbelievable. Just amazing.

The Kashi commercials have been driving me nuts. Yes, okay, whatever, but still. They have. One in particular uses language about how food comes from nature ready to eat, we just need to try to stay out of the way of it. Which...is true, yes, but 1) is hard to take from a company that's still doing what Nabisco does, no matter how you slice it and 2) and actually isn't *entirely* true. Nuts taste better toasted, fruit goes bad if not preserved, etc There's this kinda coy idea that in our natural state we walk along plucking green nuts and wriggling live fish for our delectation. Not...quite true. Especially if you want us to go to a grocery store to buy yer product.

Because The Sopranos is new to me: 1) Did David Straithairn's character really have a Carleton banner in his office? 2) It is amazing how Polly Bergen's voice HAS NOT CHANGED. It even freaked me out a little to hear that voice coming out of an older version of PB in a recent episode of the Sopranos, because she sounds just like the PB of yore. More power to her, and how wild. Voices really almost always age, but hers...I suppose it helped that hers always had a slighty middle-aged buzz to it, but still. Amazing!

I've been trying to drink beverages with acai berries in them but apart from their intense spendiness they are just a very intense flavor to drink! Like tutti frutti gone mad.

More things relating to coveting and the Fud Network: All of a sudden I was really jealous of Ina Garten's all-male gay army (as a friend once called it), all of these successful, sweet, solvent men who can show up with hundreds of dollars worth of rare tulips at the drop of a hat. How nice is that.

I saw not as much of the Louis Malle marathon as I wanted but to note: How freakin wonderful is Zazie dans le Metro (that's 1) and 2) I watched a fair amount of God's Country, his look at life in Glencoe, Minnesota, in 1979 and again in 1985 and it almost did me in. All these small farm-farmers battling the vagaries of the Reagan administration which in retrospect seems so terribly thin edge of the wedge...this bit of American life that's vanished in my lifetime. I suppose I am an enormous sap, but it just about stopped my heart I was so overwhelmed with feeling. I knew a little of that Minnesota, just a very little.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

10-film, 2-night Louis Malle festival on TCM this week, all uncut/commercial-free. YAY!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

"No exaggeration, I could not love a human baby more than I love this brush," is when I really started to laugh (3:00 a.m.).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Deborah Kerr died...oh geez. I just saw a movie of hers recently I had never seen before (Please Believe Me) that reactivated my Kerr-like. Plus I recently finally saw Tea and Sympathy, saw what the fuss was about (definitely one of those old-fashioned yet shocking films...I really liked her in it). And...she was cool. Smart, pretty, cool, didn't give everything away, yet was vulnerable.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

crazy quilt

• How do moderne womens acquire that timbre to their voices? Wholesale, I mean? That nouveau Valley Girl up in the top of the palette nasal ohmigod...thing? It's kind of an inch back toward the throat from a babytalk sort of position. I dunno. All I know is if you have the TV turned to WE and can't find your remote...it's ringing in your ears.

• I have now eaten these!

• First thing I do when I get richnfamous? Acquire a car and driver. Why...why... Wait. Let me say this again...WHY do famous youngsters insist on driving on their own cars? E! Daily News has basically become Celebrity Car Accident Round-up. I know sometimes you just gotta feel the wheel under your hands, but if I were one of thse folks in the Military/Proactiv® Solution industrial complex, with my first paycheck from a first 2-line speaking role on Two and a Half Men I'd buy a bullet-proof sedan and a fierce terrorism counter-trained Israeli driver and let them handle it.

(BTW, I hate to be lugubrious or even weigh in on this shite, but the celebrity machine is really not gonna be happy til Ms. Spears is dead. That's what we see through those lenses, fame eating her. Why do we think this has no implications for regular folk? Why do we think this isn't gonna happen?)


• Congrats to Skip! She's engineered a super-cool and expected life development with a grace and power that is nonetheless incredibly inspiring. Go darlin freundin, go!

• I'm starting to be overwhelmed by architectural ghosts in Chicago. I was in a cab going up Ashland Ave. this weekend and it was downright haunted. In the most classical ghost-like way. I saw spectral outlines of buildings everywhere--also signs, and businesses, types of architecture and types of city resources, everywhere, all torn down, turned into either empty lots, condos or new-old Irish pubs. Sometimes I think it is this, more than anything, that will make me leave this city. I didn't know where to look, it was very unrestful.

• Over the last year my taste in pasta has become ruthlessly al dente; less-than, really. I like it almost under-done. Throw out the over-done stuff. Weird.

• People who abuse ellipses on the internet...what, she says, employing them herself, can we do to stop this travesty of modern life? The way some people create prose with ellipses as their sole conjunctive device is fairly homicide-inducing. Drifting from topic to topic...limply...like an annoying overcome attention-getting woman lying on a chaise...expecting you to follow from idea to idea or even from listening mode to doing mode...listen to me...do this for me...laugh with me about this...ah here I comment on myself...freshen my drink, would you... They ought to be sent to boot camp.

• A seal on a fairly cavernous chasm has been breached: I saw my first Law & Order! Ever! (Did I mention I was unemployed?) It was Law & Order: Spinoff Twelve or something. L & O: Bad Bad Things. L & O: It's All Over in an Hour. L & O: I Want an Emmy. Whatever. But you know...I kinda liked it. Worried I have a way now to do nothing else.

• Really fabulous exclusive shots of Abby the orphaned otter at cuteotters.com, back through the end of September. Oh that otter... She is just the most!! Kills me. Those on the left are some of the news photos that came out when she was first rescued.

• It is an odd experience, the reading of Martha Stewart Living sometimes. Sometimes it feels like she's working her way through all the domestic phenomena of your past. Like, right now? She's reinvigorating crewel work. It doesn't always make me feel good as one after the other she tackles these things. Raspberry fool. French ivory. Chintz-covered sofas. Whatever. For one thing, she makes everything more expensive. And...she didn't invent this stuff, but somehow she gets credit for it. Oh, I'm being cranky. I like looking at the pretty photos. But somehow I hear my grandmother when I read these articles, debunking all the gushing descriptive language and reinventing-the-wheel smugitude. What MStew has in the market she's cornered is an inexhaustible supply of Topics, working her way back through the history of antiques, decorative arts, crafts, housekeeping. Nobody else puts their proprietary stamp on them quite as she does.

One thing in particular has twanged my strings so hard I can't even look at the article! It's about the Mercer Museum/Henry Mercer House in Doylestown, a place that I credit with sparking about 85% of the major interests in my life, including decorative arts, lettering, and a desire to own/decorate an architectural folly made of stone. I just don't wanna hear what Martha has to say about it. Yet. Even looking at the website for Fonthill makes me so hyper I can't breathe.

I think this is a fairly lame part of my personality, this "caring too much I can't even look" thing. For instance, for somebody who cares terribly about calligraphy or cooking or whatever, I avoid writings about these things in enormous clumps. Sometimes it's a strength, to avoid the blah-blah--and after seven years at a newspaper I am dying to swim out of the information stream and just let things go by--care about what I care about and not have to know a little about everything--but at the same time. Shite. Could read a paper every once in a while. Oh well, enormously complicated, whatever.

• Will I ever escape the long arm of Grease? Ever? I had no idea when I saw it for my 12th birthday party that it was planting the seeds it was. It didn't feel like it. It felt inevitable and huge and big, but it didn't feel life-changing. But now it's just constantly around! Still! I've seen it more than a few times recently and I am startin to think I can't avoid a think-piece about the ending. Again. Maybe it's payback for loving all the time-telescoping improvement montages in film, but the ending, in which Sandy must Slut, is too fraught and huge to just Watch. Oh, okay, I dunno what to say here and now, but...GAH. GAH!

• If you never have...you must. Actually had this happen to me recently and couldn't stop gigglin.

• Another thing dying to write about? The bizarro, Woody Allen-manque, barely Eric Rohmer, here-are-the-adults world of the Alan Alda film of the 70s80s, films which in retrospect are less well-written than your average sit-com. The Four Seasons is so BAD! I mean...really bad. Hilariously, fascinatingly bad...the Vivaldi is the best thing about it, hands down. Would be kinda fun to tackle that ouevre.

• The best shot in The Natural? Three-second clip of the grey scoreboard as the number "2" is slowly put up after Roy's first big hit. The music in that movie doesn't age well, but some of the editing in those sequences is still really amazing, with bits like that interspersed with other elements at different speeds and feels. Like the series of shots interleaved in the sequence when Roy pitches for the hell of it when you see the Duvall character, twice, then from the same POV his empty seat... Really good.

• I had a tarot reading recently!!!! Thank you darlin Hanne. I am still...metabolizing it. Really interesting.

• Needed on men's personal ads: a small designation (maybe "+ NH"/"-- NH") to show whether men are either before or after di rigeur heterosexual male transformative experience to connect them to demands of Domestic Life and human connection. K? ("NH" = Nick Hornby)

• Been craving donuts recently, must really be fall. The whole-wheat ones from Gibson's in Oberlin. Pppppliiiiiiiz! Also gebakener Camembert and good brie and spaetzle and other German fuds...it's the fall. Nostalgia + the climactic whip to the appetite. Calvados...sage.

• Went to a lovely reading by John Porcellino Friday night that was to do with his new King-Cat anthology. It's a really beautiful book, I highly recommend, as I do all of his work. So great.

• With unemployment: more laundry, not less. Why?

Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My apartment is getting somewhat....little Edie. Why does it take so little time for this to happen?
Love Me or Leave Me is on today...oh frabjous day. A happy happy thing for Doris Day lovers. It ain't a happy movie, though.

The movie is interesting/anomalous for several reasons, maybe most because DDay gets to be sexy. She didn't start playing the virgin until later in her career, so it's not so much that as that she pushes past cute into sexy/kinda venal to play ambitious and not entirely nice Ruth Etting. It's also fabulous 'cause Jimmy Cagney is so insanely great in it; how can you not love somebody willing to be so horrid? So horrible and grasping and insecure and hyper? It's also great to get to see Doris act; she matches him step for step, I think. She was always a lot better than people gave her credit for. This is one of the few times it shows. Plus...the whole Marty Melcher thing...hard not to think on THAT, hm. I'm not saying anything new here, just...appreciatin'. There is something real and naked about this funny film that is fairly unconvincing as a period piece but still so good.

I think Love Me or Leave Me was the first DDay album I ever owned (that makes it sound like I was eight; I think I was around 30), and I got to know it way too well from constant overuse. Once I realized how different her singing is here from other times I figured I should treat it as more of a one-off, but the truth is I like her singing here better than almost anywhere too. It's partly how good the songs are, but her use of lower register...being 'somebody else' while she sang...pushing past/using differently some of her normal tricks...it's a great soundtrack. And nobody, nobody ever sang "10 Cents a Dance" like she did. Although I think I like her "Sundown" best; wish you heard all of it. Anyhow...go Doris go. Yer the best.

The Angel in the House

A new laundry animal has entered my life. It's sold under various names, but the version I bought is called the Wonderwash. It's been in my head to do so for a long time, a through-line amidst my never-ending laundry dissatisfaction ever since I saw the infomercial, years ago now, and I finally decided to get one. As someone with enormously strong feelings about laundry, well...this doesn't escape either.

I'm sorrry to say it doesn't cure every laundry ill. I'm still waitin for the big front loaders of my dreams which will spirit me away to a beautiful life in fluffy mules and pegnoir sets to do that.

It's pretty handy for what it does, it's just...you know, another gadget in the end. Not *the* gadget. Here it is crowding absoluely everthing off my bathroom counter. A tub with a screw-on lid with a hand-crank, with the drainage tube in place.

It's a fairly clever, although not completely realized design. You put the laundry in, with not much water/soap, the air expansion from even a little heat in the water helps force the dirt out/through the fabric as you spin the tub. You loosen the clever pressure-controlling lid, and drain the water out the bottom (it's kinda cool to see physics in action and the water speed up as you loosen the top). Repeat with plain water to rinse.

Problems? You need room to do this, really. The Wonderwash is popular in crowded Asian cities and in campers, but it's really best for outdoors where the water has room to drip and spray. And speaking of centrifugal force...it's very hard not wish/wonder why this thing can be designed to use its force for spinning dry. Retrofitted in some way. If the drainage tube weren't blocked by the supports, you could spin it with the tube in, but as it is...dripping laundry.

I think it's gonna be great for small loads of delicates and pre-soaking things. I haven't yet given it a whirl for something like super-dirty socks in need of sanitizing and I'm not sure I would. But it pre-soaked a sheet really well and did a good job with some stockings. And I do like that it saves water, and that you don't need to plug anything in. But why do I feel that I just spent $45 in the wrong direction? Yet another thing I'll be selling at a garage sale someday should I be lucky enough to have one?

You should see what my laundry room is going to look like some day. It will be so beautiful... I just don't wanna be all Miss Havisham about this thing that will never happen. Maybe I can get front-loaders on the Dem ticket for 2008.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I just found a grain of Reza's Persian dill rice in my hair. Strange how very identifiable it is.
Cannot get over Snowball's crazy bird dance.
On my Yahoo headline scroll this a.m.: "Stiller's 'Heartbreak': Not No. 1 at box office." Note: This the (raging definition of) non-news, so many ways, includin whothefuckcaresaboutbenstiller.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

err...cats

Cat #1 (middle name: Holepunch) really likes boxes. They both do, but she is a little obsessed, both with punching holes in them with her teeth, but also just squishin herself in em. Here she is 1) squashing herself in a priority mail box 2) after ousting cat #2 for some coveted carboard box territory, enjoying her victory 3) seemingly all stoned after a big doobie, but lookin very cute.





























Cat #2 (middle name: Polydactl) is more obsessed with colonizing the laundry basket. Here she is 1), 2) lolling amongst in the laundry cage, making me insane by shedding all over stuff and 3) stretching out her paw for help (seemingly), although look at all those freaking TOES! Now that is a paw. That cat coulda boxed professionally. That's all one paw in pic #2, too. Insane, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Bread and Jam for Frances RAWKS.

Monday, October 01, 2007

There is something about the new J-Lo video that makes me wish the Baffler were still being published. It is so....crafted. Envelope-pushed, in the most empirical, yawning, shocking ways. Fetish fetish fetish. +1 +2 +3. Oh, and I like the samples much better when Mr. Cheeks was using em! Love that (his) song.
Heh.