best when viewed in low light

10.30.2011

happyblog: who are you?


i'm trying to come up with two sentences to kick off the bio on kenobi. one of them needs to say what i do. the other needs to explain how i do what i do differently than everyone else. and this isn't just about branding, or market differentiation, although it is about those things. it also requires a certain air of ambition and aspiration, because not everything i've done in the past reflects what i hope to do in the future.
but i usually have a lot to say, so cramming in a lot of thinking about both topics into two sentences is a bit daunting. not because i think my potential clients should have to read everything i have to say...WAIT! i just thought of a solution to this problem.
but anyway...at the suggestion of ATA, i started just jamming on everything i would want to convey without space limitations. i got this so far:
I write. I make up worlds. I design everything. I care about beauty and equality insofar as things can be the same and different. Balance and decay and struggle are beautiful, along with simplicity, synthesis, generosity, and ambition. Learning is what it's all about. There is poetry in honesty and forthrightness. We should all have a path to power, whether our influence extends to the boundaries of our physical self, our family, our community, our planet. Full transparency means full responsibility, and accountability, and it's ok that it will take a long time to reach for that. We are mammals. We can organize for innovation, creativity, agency, authenticity, and art. We all innovate, create, act, embody, and express. Solutions are more exciting than achievements. We must move forward together, so there can be no absolute but life, which is change. When I look at the world I see stories, and when I look at stories I see the world as it is/was/wants to be. So we weave messages of self consciousness into laughing, frolicking good times, because it's easier to feel good than to feel that you must.
i'd really like to do stand-up comedy. i'm not that funny to other people, but so much of the world is funny to me, and perhaps i could provide the world a valuable service by pointing these things out. par exemple, i read the paragraph above and i have to laugh at myself for the following: 1) i go from talking about myself to the entire species in 3 sentences, 2) i use nice words to talk about things that are yucky, because isn't that juxtaposition so artistic? 3) i really, really want to give it all away. like, ruin the punchline, open the curtain, give tours of the sausage factory, hand over the keys...give it all away! i have no mystique. in fact, i revolt against the whole idea that mystery is alluring. uncertainty is cool, unpleasant/awesome at times, but mystery just sounds like an obstacle to me. unknown variables can't be accounted for!
so i can go off on artistic tangents, check. but i'm also really good at overview and organization, and telling people what to do. i used to say "organized," but it's really not true. i am good at putting things in their places. can i be a taxonomist? it's more complicated than that. i can see the best in people, and i have a real knack for encouraging people to get what is inside of them out into the world. i facilitate. and i can prioritize ideas across timelines and hierarchies, and i am not afraid to say that something isn't good enough. i edit. for some reason, people trust me on this. people tell me i should be running things.
"writer" seems limited. "designer" seems technically inaccurate. "producer" seems too financially responsible. "project manager" seems too detail driven. "creative director" seems too authoritative, and definitely too cool. "artist," "curator," "director" seem dubious.
really, i can be any of these roles. i am not any one of them. i am the combination of all of them.
so, what is that?
no, seriously. i'm asking YOU. what is that?!
xop

10.29.2011

happyblog: yogasmic


it's a gift from the universe when someone enters your life and consistently brings good energy. Becca is one of those people, and yoga is one of the things Becca brings to me and to the world.
this article by Maureen Dowd on the awesomeness of yoga is just another in a long line of Becca's blessings.
about two months ago, in typical Phoebe fashion, i decided to start a year-long yoga challenge. i would do yoga every day for 365 days, come hail or sleet or snow. i have to be that all-or-nothing or else i don't feel like it's a real commitment. but, two months later, i've been to yoga probably a dozen times. maybe more, but definitely not every day.
usually, i'd consider this a big failure and either trash the whole idea or start over again. but there's a lot more to yoga than yoga, and i think i've actually been pretty successful at approaching my life as a breathing practice. and, y'know what? every day is both unnecessarily absolute, and also unrealistically arbitrary. i don't need to go to a yoga class or do a sun salutation every day to get the benefits of mindfulness and deep breathing.
that sounds a lot like a justification, but isn't everything? life changes every day, so we must yoga accordingly.
it's already been a journey!
after almost a year of going back and forth between power vinyasa and bikram, i felt like the first thing i needed was a more relaxed approach...and that lead me to Abhyasa and J Brown. it was like a deep exhale just walking in the door. i learned how to go softly through a series of poses and work as hard as i could at the same time. (here's where it gets fluffy) there's a lot of love in that space.
i will probably always go back to YTTP as long as i live in new york, even though it is a yoga factory, it's humid with sweat, and packed with NYU students. but that doesn't matter. they do an hour-long, intensely demanding power vinyasa flow that makes me feel flexible and strong immediately...and, after a week, makes me feel like a superhero. the great thing about a yoga practice that's so anonymous (so new york) is that you can really go there and get whatever you want to get out of it. there's no one looking at you, so there's no need to please or compete. or...i should say, i feel no need to please or compete in that space. that's a rare luxury for me.
and i will always bow at the altar of Tricia Donegan. she is a goddess, and i adore her. her bikram studio is a show (and her friendship with Gaga makes this more noticeable every day), but as soon as i step in the room i am only there with myself. when the weather gets cold, and it's dark in the afternoon, this is where i will be. maybe not every day, but a lot. Becca and i started a 30 day challenge (she completed it!) our first month at the studio, and after 15 days i've never felt better! then on day 16 i got sicker than i've ever been and could barely get out of bed for water for two weeks. i hope my body can find a better way to get rid of all my shit this time around.
the biggest place where deep breathing has been of service is in this whole love thing. i'm not accustomed to vulnerability, even though i long for it, and every time i reveal something of myself to him it's like pulling out internal organs. so i walk a lot, and ride my bike a lot, and breathe deeply every day so i don't vomit on him. he says i act like i've never interacted with anyone like this before, and that's true. i don't interact with anyone in the same way, and i never know what to expect. in the past, i've always been the last to know how i feel, and now i know and i don't know how to process it. it's a constant stretching while trying to stay connected to myself. in a way, this is the hardest part of my yoga practice.
Becca suggested a while ago that i need a couch for romance. a transitional space between chairs and bed that lets you be together but not too intimately. i still do not have a couch, but i am working on being flexible enough to switch between chairs and bed without having to overcome my own obstacles every time, but also knowing where to put the boundaries so i still protect myself. it's about balance, and about staying in a position that's hard and uncomfortable at first, but sticking to it. and about knowing where and when to be soft. and just letting things happen while i breathe, and trust that i'll still be myself on the other side.
the axiom is wrong: practice doesn't make perfect. nothing does. practice makes practice. and that's good enough.
xop

10.28.2011

happyblog: wonder woman in real life


i love the storytelling possibilities in comic books, but truthfully, i'm not much of a collector.
my adoration and dollars have been spent on one, wonderful heroine: Wonder Woman! who else?
a child of the very late seventies, i grew up watching the lovely Linda Carter fulfill all our voluptuous, feminist fantasies on tv. and, of course, i loved the Bionic Woman (talk about making lemonade!) and She-Ra. and Facts of Life, and Three's Company, and Who's The Boss, and Charlie's Angels. and the Smurfs, because really Smurfette was the only one with an identity. and my mom made me wear overalls no matter how hard i yearned for pink frillyness, and i had a ridiculously awesome metal dumptruck and backhoe. even i'm shocked that i'm not a lesbian.
more to the point, though, is that Linda Carter actually lived in my neighborhood. i went trick or treating at her house once, and i don't even remember whether or not she came to the door! my anxiety/fantasy about meeting her in person so totally overshadowed the physical reality that it didn't even matter. just goes to show that dreams are just as real as reality.
this month is the release of the "New 52" Wonder Woman, and i went to the local "nerd hut" (thank you, MJ!) to pick one up. well, they were sold out or something and i didn't get it, but i did get the recent storyline of back issues, a summary of which i have attached below:
i sure would like to write these books. it's not that i don't like what's there...i do! usually more than i think i'm going to. but there must be more to WW than the usual 1) battle with herself, 2) confrontation (good or bad) with her mother, 3) reminder from the gods that she's the chosen one, and 4) the part where she gets believably beaten up, but still wins. it's a great formula!
but that struggle is the past. it's time for WW, as our role-model/sister/leader to find herself. to make peace with her oedipal urges. to embrace her divine origins, and accept her humanity as the strength it is. to kick the life out of all comers, and know she's not going to get a scratch on her! not because she's perfect or invincible or anything, but because she knows she's that good.
what we need from her is a strong, coherent reminder of what it means to be an American in a global society, with competing needs and shared resources, and many many gods and goddesses, some of whom do not happily coexist. i'd like to see her resolve some problems that are not superhuman, and to do that in a superhuman way. not because she's better than us, but because she has a longer timeframe on which to see our behaviors. because she's just enough removed to see us clearly, and to expect better from us as a nation and species.
i will say one thing about the costume: you will never get it better than the original, so just stop remodeling. or, since she's such a cult of personality, why not have a closet full of designer gear in WW themes that she rotates like a real life celebrity? i mean, a uniform is so old fashioned, and if it's not a fixed part of her identity, then let go of it entirely. we women like to change clothes, it's true, but changes in clothes only reflect what changes for us internally. if we want to be representational, let's go with that. and if not that, then let's give her a more dynamic externalized personality.
xop

10.27.2011

happyblog: so long, steve!


it makes sense that it was the end, for him, because otherwise he would never have retired. but i am sorry to see that we will not have the benefit of Steve Jobs's vision as an eminence gris - he is one of the few who have seen the future as we will want to live it.
i know no better way to pay tribute to his unwavering:
i am now working on my fourth Mac - this one's an Air, and i don't even miss not having a slot for my collection of dvds
i have slept with every Apple i've owned
i've taken my Mac to school, to work, and on vacation
sometimes, in the coffee shops where i work, there are only Apples in the room
i read an amazing book about the history of Apple called...i don't remember and can't find it now...but i remember how sure the Steves were about what they were doing. i'm convinced that is what innovation requires: absolute certainty.
i want more from you, Apple, especially now. i want an ipad the size of a paperback book, that fits in the back pocket of my jeans. and i want an ipad the size of a tabloid sheet of paper, that i can mount on a wall, or use as a table-sized touch screen. and a wireless silicone keyboard that i can roll up and stick in the other pocket. and i want a slightly smaller iphone to link and remotely control them all. and i want all my data stored in a virtual hard drive, so i can replicate any content on any screen at any time. and a bunch of stuff i haven't thought of, but i'm sure i will want/need when you make it.
happy trails through the undiscovered country, sir. your dreams will, perchance, make more sense in the sleep of death than they do here in our waking life.
so, now you know i'm an Apple gal. (phoebe brand update!?!)
xop

10.26.2011

happyblog: open your heart


i'm really afraid of getting lost in this.
i mentioned in my first post that establishing (refining? refreshing? flexing?) my professional identity was happening simultaneously with falling in love. (well, i suspect that's what this is.) i mention it because they're related, and i think today i figured out how.
finding myself professionally is like hatching. pushing and kicking and scratching a space for myself in the world. violently struggling for substance in the ether. you feel me. right? and after 33 years of getting to know myself a little bit, i finally feel like i've got a grasp on what it is to be myself...so all the time gestating isn't wasted so much as it is servicing a greater existence. and i've gotten really good at fighting for myself. though i'll admit i've spent a lot of that energy fighting against myself, or against someone or something else. (ah, it's a vicious circle!)
so now i've got the battle skills, and i think i've identified the battlefield correctly. finally. maybe.
but here i am in a circumstance that demands a surrender. not unequivocal. not i-give-everything-you-give-nothing surrender, but i-give-everything-to-get-everything surrender. an opening. but i have this innate fear of getting lost in 1950s housewifery - the kind that inevitably drives women to disappear inside something or someone else...their superstar kids, their prototypical husband, their organic pickling...
i live in absolute terror of that sublimation. even though i'd like to be a domestic goddess, i'd rather make piles of cash and hire a nanny, a cook, a tutor, a personal shopper, a tailor, a driver, and a maid. because i don't want those jobs. i want to be a loving and devoted wife and mother, but i don't see all these roles coinciding in the way that ideal has been promulgated. if we're picking goddess archetypes, i'd take Artemis (Athena, even) over Hera every day!
and he wants me to be more myself at the same time as making lots of room for him. it's stretching in both directions. or maybe it's not stretching, so much as becoming fluid. gosh, even that sounds intimidatingly self-less. but i guess if i think of this like an element...and i feel myself elementally...
for the past couple days, i've been saying to myself "no one else can make you do something you don't want to." but i realize it's not someone else making me do things i don't want to...it's wanting to do things for this person that i don't want to do for anyone else (even myself)!
the point here is that i'm putting more of myself out there right now than i thought i could. i won't run out of any of this power, will i?
wow, this is related to everything.
xop

10.25.2011

happyblog: open your head


i mentioned in my first post that i am working to hone my creative identity, and this is the first time i've ever thought about this as a conscious process.
in the past, i have been focused on ideas - having them, discarding them, investing in them, representing them. but it has become clear to me as i experiment with this whole freelance writing/designing/producing thing that people--clients--want something more than that. they want an identity. they want me - but not just me, they want a version of me that is consistent with the ideas i present, and with their impression of me. and also consistent with how they see themselves and their project(s).
this isn't a bad thing, but it is a challenge. the challenge, of course, is in crafting a role for myself that is both authentic and aspirational.
so here's what i'm working on: this blog (which is "just me" but more thoughtful and certainly thoroughly edited), reworking my website (which is, of course, a curated version of my identity as a writer/designer/producer), and developing an (aspirational) portfolio of work that represents both who i am, and what i want to do.
i think for many of my friends and collaborators, they find it unbelievably frustrating that i haven't already figured this out. so to you, dear friends, i say this: i may be slow, but i am quick to act when i do get it. and thanks for believing in me the whole time.
xop

10.24.2011

happyblog: girl effect on the world bank


The World Bank and Nike are pushing girls: The Girl Effect

10.23.2011

clube de spamo


according to my stretchtastic yoga amiga--code name Sarcastica--who just got back from Hawaii, a lot of SPAM eating goes on there. right there in the middle of paradise, where the mangoes actually grow on trees instead of shelves. maybe meat doesn't keep well there?


From: Clube do Ricardo
Subject: Clube do Ricardo
Date: October 23, 2011 8:20:17 PM EDT
To: Phoebe Elefante



Olá Galera! 


A Ricardo Eletro está com uma promoção de tudo 90% de desconto...


Basta se cadastrar!


Não é virus!!!


Entre no site e participe...




https://www.clubedoricardo.com.br/Home/Index/417451

happyblog: first post

[a word or two of introduction: i've been exploring the idea of starting another blog. primarily at the request of the extremely strong urgings of the guy i refer to below. it's been interesting to come face to face with the reality that i want to please him. and then i completely reject that idea in favor of continuing to be myself. but this log is mine, even if it is angry. and it's been part of my life for too long to abandon just because he thinks so! so...no more moving around. instead, i've decided to create a second blog--not to replace this one--that is so essentially me it's hilarious! check it out: twentydollarversace]

two big things are happening right now: i'm working to hone my creative identity, and i'm pretty sure i'm falling in love.
it's oddly personal to say that out loud, don't you think? either one, really, is admitting - confessing - something in public that probably ought to be hidden. so i can appear...what?...more confident? more credible? more professional? but what can we learn from that?
the truth is that sometimes you need someone else to see yourself clearly. so that's why these things are happening at the same time, and why this blog exists. sometimes you need help to close one door and open another. he's right, calling what i wrote in the past "the angry blog." and i'm still angry about a lot of things, but so are you, and there's no purpose belaboring the point. it's about getting past that.
xop

9.29.2011

Kids today!

“In my day young lady, we passed the Dutchie on the left hand side. Not on the right, not down the middle, but on the left. And we didn’t have the medical marijuana store, where you could just walk in like you were buying Tic Tacs at Rite Aid. So you remember that the next time you’ve got your $200 vaporizing bong out, and you’re paging a guy in a BMW to bring you some tree. God damned kids.” [via regretsy]

9.26.2011

9.22.2011

Cheap Laugh: Inbred Cat

[Also in honor of this awesomely horrifying website that my friend ATA made called Barely Feral...and look who's in the Voice!]

[@blowuprobot is gonna LOVE THIS!]

9.12.2011

Snow White Redux

Snow White in the Glass Box

Time is relative here. Sometimes I count out the seconds, but starting from anytime and counting to a hundred, a thousand, as high as I can go without losing track of digits. It just makes the space feel bigger, longer, unfathomable and unending. But it will end. I’m not dead, yet.

I’ve replayed memories in my mind so many times that I’ve started to entertain myself by changing them – the characters, the situations, and me. I’ve imagined this narrator’s voice, and this audience. I’m really just bored by my self.

I keep coming back to the number seven. There were seven little men, I remember that pretty clearly. Seven days in a week. There’s probably some symbolism there, but to me seven seems pretty arbitrary.
Not like three. Three is in everything: my father, my mother, and me. Three drops of blood. Three times my stepmother tried to kill me. That’s how I got here. I don’t remember that clearly at all, but I know it was her. Pfft. Bitch.

Mostly I imagine what I’ll do when I get out of here – assuming there’s a way out that isn’t death or starting over. Maybe forgetting all this would be for the best. I’m tired of keeping my thoughts so orderly.

This place is big. So big I don’t ever see all the rooms. And there are people here I see and never see again. Especially the ones with the desperate faces who come to see my father.
I don’t listen, but I watch them to see if he gives them what they want, or what they need. There’s a real difference. When they get what they want, they leave looking smug – as if they never had to ask someone else to give it to them. When they get what they need, they look disappointed. It’s so annoying.
I want to yell at them and tell them how he has a lot of people to take care of, and he tries to give them all something without losing. That’s why he has the biggest chair – it holds the weight of all those burdens.
I know my father is not just a man. I wonder if I will ever love someone as much as I love him.

I thought beauty was supposed to make people love you. That’s not at all true. Beauty makes people love things, which reflect back on them. Beautiful people just remind you of all the ways you are not beautiful. It’s really just a commodity, I think.

I hope some day someone will look in my eyes and kiss me on the mouth, and it will mean something. Maybe it will mean love, but I really just want to belong to someone. And I want him to be proud because of it, and proud of me for giving myself to him.

The day her voice changed I could hear the hatred growing. Something shifted, and she didn’t want to try to be my mother anymore. That’s when I tried to please her, as if – now that I knew I never could – I could achieve something by it.
It wasn’t about giving me what I needed anymore. It was all about her, and she was so needy.

This place is so small, and everything in it. It feels so much safer, but suddenly I am the mother. The mother of seven little men who have no mother. I do all the things a mother is supposed to do, but I don’t love them.
They don’t need anything from me, and definitely not love. Their brotherhood is enough. It’s like they’re all one person, together.

I get scared when I get to the end of a thought. Like I’ll never think of anything again and just float in this box of air, nothingness, forever. That’s when I count, and eventually I think of something again.

Like two. Two makes me think of the future, out of this box. Someday I will be one of two – an us. A we. Like my mother and father were when they made me.
And two makes me think of her. Number two. The second – the other mother. The one who wanted to get rid of me – number three – so she could be just two with my father.
Two makes me wish for a sister. Or a brother, but a sister would understand when I wanted to hate her but couldn’t. A brother would always have him, and he would always get to leave without asking anybody.
If I ever get out of here, I’d like to have two kids. One for each of us; a girl to stay and love, a boy to leave and protect. And one other for each of them.

When I see him, I’ll know it right away. I wonder if he’ll feel that way, too?

I am flying over a waterfall – a big one that spans half the horizon. I swoop down with the falling water and then I’m just falling. I know I will hit those rocks, and then I don’t.

I run through stone corridors that turn but never end, and then I’m in a vaulted room that feels deep underground. I look around but the edges recede when I try to bring them into focus.

I’m in a crowd, but my father appears and the people part to let him come to me – but he doesn’t. I’m lost in the crush, even though I yell to him over and over. He wasn’t looking for me, even though I’m sure our eyes met.

[To be continued and improved...]

9.11.2011

Remember this: "I Love You More Than Words Can Say"

[Otis, of course]

SPOM: Stormy Monday

See you in September

It's such a hubbub, it seems necessary to say something about it. Or, what is it about a decade?

It's been ten years since the World Trade Center towers disappeared in a cloud of smoke and dust, settling over new york and the rest of the country like the pollen in a field of poppies...is this when we lost our way?

I lost my innocence, in a way, that day. But only because I believed in things then that don't seem to matter now; twenty-three has it's own idealism.

Here's what's significant to me, ten years on:

We still don't have a tower there.

We're at war - the war that started moments after - and we're not winning. We may not even be fighting the right battles.

We've become a country divided by political polemics that set past (or maybe, it's today) against future, tradition against progress, emotion against intellect, symbols against symbols.

We still think it's our job to run the world, alone, even though no other country seems to see us that way (anymore). And really, why would we want to?

We still don't know what that act of terrorism meant. Sure, we have our own interpretations, but we have only been able to cast the opposing side as devils, which makes it hard to see it their way...and that makes it impossible to see ourselves from their viewpoint. A most informative perspective, lost.
And this is not to say we should have embraced the terrorists and done what we could to appease them. Absolutely not. Simply that there was careful thought, purpose, and meaning in what they did, and we've given little consideration to what that was.
Who are we in the world that so much time and so many resources went into the planning and execution of such an act against us? I have my own answer.

There has been so little healing accomplished. I lost something intangible, but I was lucky. I know so many who lost so much more, everything, life, and they are haunted. They may be forever, but the contextualizing of this 21st century myth leaves little incentive for those that survived to open their hearts again, in spite of the pain. "Heroism" seems a thin comfort.

Now we are a country of victims - it pervades everything we think and do.

To those born in the 21st century, this event is nothing but the myth it's become.

Someone's tenth birthday is today, and that life matters more than any that were lost. It is a harsh thing to say, but it is true. That living, breathing glance into the future is more important than all of those that were lost, and we are doing little to serve her, to honor her, to smooth her way into the world she will someday rule. We argue over borders, and budgets, and individual rights that were passe in the time of Democritus, while this ten year old learns fear, and hubris, and a deep undercurrent of uncertainty.
Fortunately, she is human, and she may find a new way forward.

9.08.2011

MLK Memorial

Rapunzel

[Here's another shot at a fairy tale retelling.]

Rapunzel! Rapunzel! her mother called from downstairs.

What is it, mother?

Come down and eat your breakfast! Big day ahead, dear.

I’m not coming!

Rapunzel, really! Why must you resist the simplest things?

I told you, mother, I am staying in my room!

Alright, Rapunzel, you win. But I am going to town, and I am not going to tell people you’re sick again. They must think I take such awful care of you when all the while…

Rapunzel turned again towards the window and resumed her combing. She let her mother’s grumbling die into an unintelligible mumble, and began to hum to herself. As she hummed and combed, she admired her long, long, luxurious hair and smiled.

I have the most beautiful hair, she thought. It is golden, with streaks of nearly-white and shadows of almost-brown. And the way it sparkles in the sunlight! She ran her hands through the mass of it, letting each strand fall through the bright light angling in from the window.

She put down the comb and grabbed the ends, searching through each perfect tip for the beginnings of a split end. She gasped. Not one, not two, but three split ends! She reached for her brush and began furiously to brush out the tips of her seemingly endless locks. After she dealt with the splits, she calmed herself and went back to her careful preening.

Rapunzel!

She sighed. Who was it now?

Rapunzel! I can see the light off your hair, I know you’re up there!

She giggled a bit to herself, and leaned over the sill.

Rapunzel! There you are!

Osgood, what do you want?

I saw your mother and she said you weren’t coming to town today…but you know that today is the dance!

I do. So?

Well, ya see. Well, Rapunzel, I was hoping you’d come with me! To the dance, I mean.

Did I tell you I would go to the dance with you?

Well, no.

Then you can’t be disappointed. Anyway, I’m not coming.

And why not?

I’m washing my hair.

Osgood’s face crumpled into an angry disappointment. Ya know, Rapunzel, with anyone else I’d never believe it, but with you… Well, see ya.

Rapunzel went back to brushing, and passed a pleasant afternoon in her room, admiring herself, and especially her hair. Towards sunset, she heard a hearty laugh and giggle on the path, and leaned over to see Osgood walking home with a bright, amiable girl around her own age.

Hmph! She thought. That girl is no prettier than I am! And look at her short, mousey brown hair. Why, there’s nothing so special about her!

But a twinge of jealousy wrinkled her nose, and made her brush all the harder. It was easy to put Osgood out of her mind – he was so cheerful and good natured, she hardly had the patience – but she did sort of want some young man to admire her, and especially her beautiful hair.

As evening darkened into night, she heard her mother come home and busy herself downstairs. Rapunzel was a bit miffed when, after smells of fresh goose and vegetables began to waft to her window, her mother didn’t call her down to eat. Nor did a plate of food appear at her door as she expected.

Humph! Rapunzel thought, Who cares about that mean old woman and her goose!

And just to spite her mother in case she changed her mind, Rapunzel gathered up the many yards of her hair into braids and hefted herself into bed.

She woke the next morning to the sound of the front door shutting, and heard her mother’s solid footsteps walking away from the house.

Good! she thought, at least she won’t pester me to go to town today!

She spent all that day up in her room, combing and brushing and admiring her lovely locks. But when evening came, there was no sign of her mother. And now she was getting hungry. Frustrated and hungry, she cried herself to sleep.

But when she woke up the next day, still her mother had not returned. And so it was the next day, and the next.

By this time, Rapunzel was hungry and a bit worried. Perhaps her mother had abandoned her, a possibility she was only too ready to accept. As she pondered her next move, she heard horse hooves on the road near her house, and she got to the window as fast as she could, pushing and shoving and lifting the long hanks of hair out of her way.

Mother! Mother! she yelled.

Just then the horse came into view, and riding it, the most elegant and magnificent looking young man Rapunzel had ever seen or imagined.

He waved to her from the horse, and rode a bit closer.

Were you yelling, young lady?

Oh! Yes! I was.

And why, may I ask, were you yelling?

Oh, well…I thought perhaps you were my mother coming home.

He chuckled. Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you. When do you expect her?

Oh, I couldn’t be less disappointed, she cooed. But, she added, I don’t know when my mother is coming home! She left some days ago without a word, and I’ve been left here all alone!

My goodness! I’m terribly sorry to hear this. You have no idea where she went?

No, I don’t.

I’d like to help you, but before we set off to find your mother I must ask you for a drink of water for my horse, and perhaps a bite of something for myself.

Oh! she cried. I’d be happy to give you a drink and some food, but, you see, I have had no food or water myself for all these days. So I have nothing to offer you. But please, do come in!

What kind of a girl sits at home in her room without food or drink or a mother for many days and does nothing?

Why, I was busy combing and brushing my hair.

Your what?

My hair! And she pushed the great mass of hair over the sill and out the window. It fell in great heaps on the grass and rolled in a mass just to the hooves of the young gentleman’s horse, nearly carrying little Rapunzel with it.

Hmmm. I see, he said. This hair has kept you busy for all these days and nights?

Why yes! And for many more than just these past! Isn’t it beautiful?

It is beautiful, but no wonder you’ve been stuck in your room. Even if you had the will to do for yourself, how far could you go carrying such a mass of the stuff?

Well! cried Rapunzel. She could not help but be hurt by this young gentleman’s rude dismissal. After all, she had worked so hard on her beautiful hair hoping that someone just like him would love her.

I’m sorry if I’ve offended you, called the young man, but your hair – however lovely it may be – is long past the point of being beautiful. Now it’s just a heavy inconvenience. And, I might add, it’s done nothing to aid in the development of your personality.

Rapunzel had heard these words before, but coming from her mother they had no effect. But here and now they hit her differently, and she couldn’t stop the tears from falling.

Sniff. That’s just what my mother says, she admitted quietly.

He considered her for a moment. He wondered what she might be like without all that hair, and all that hassle. She was lovely, and she needed his help. And after all, he had come this way seeking adventure.

He unsheathed his sword, and yelled at Rapunzel to hold still.

Oh my! What are you doing? she called, just as he swung his sword through the thick ropes of hair hanging from her window.

I’m saving you! he called. From yourself!

She stood up immediately, feeling a great burden lifted from her shoulders. She ran – for the first time in many years – lightly down the stairs and out the door. As she rushed to him, she could feel the tips of her hair brushing the backs of her heels.

He met her with a laughing embrace, and looked into her eyes. As he held her, he ran his fingers through her golden hair.

Now that’s a beautiful head of hair!

Nicholas Satterlee

Nicholas Satterlee is my maternal grandfather, but he died before I was born. I've seen pictures of him, and I knew he was an architect, but I've only seen one or two buildings he designed.
Recently, my aunt forwarded a link to a house he designed in DC that's now for sale, and it got me thinking that I'd really love to see his whole portfolio! But I have no idea how to go about finding it.

Here's the listing:

Nicholas Satterlee was one of the leading mid-century modern architects in Washington. Satterlee had partnerships at various times with Donald Francis Lethbridge, Arthur Keyes and Chloethiel Woodard Smith before striking out on his own in 1963. Satterlee helped Smith with the Redevelopment Plan for Southwest Washington (1953-55) and won, along with Smith, the American Institute of Architects Merit Award for the Capitol Park Apartments, Section I, the first building erected in the redevelopment area. Other work included Holmes Run Acres and Pine Spring in Falls Church, Capitol Park II, Temple Sinai on Military Road and the Chevy Chase (DC) Library (1967) and the adjacent community center on Connecticut Avenue.

Satterlee also designed custom homes in the area, including this 3 bedroom/3 bath flat-roof ranch with pool on 1.5 acres in McLean.

9.07.2011

Beauty & the Beast

[This is the first draft of a retelling of Beauty & the Beast. Keeping my fingers crossed that mom is gonna take this on as an illustration project.]

Beauty & the Beast

Page 1:

Beauty woke up as usual, tossed on her tunic and took off for the wooded stream beyond the olive trees. The mangy Gaul who ran her father’s slaves watched her go, intending to tell her father should she take longer than expected. Dashing along the foot-worn path warmed her legs and she dripped with morning dewdrops by the time she gained the water. Pausing just long enough to toss her covering cloth, she dove directly in.

Page 2 & 3:

She saw it clearly as she surfaced. A raging pair of eyes and dark white teeth. She stepped onto the sand and the thing shrank into the shadows.
Fear not, said Beauty, as the swaying leaves closed over the space where the beast had been. The suckling spaniel that lived at her heel whimpered in response. Beauty exhaled as she sank into the pool’s depths. She would meet her husband tonight.

Page 4 & 5:

Her father let her pursue her interests from a girl, and her mother had lived only long enough to instill in her all the values that might be fitting in a young woman of privilege. Courting seemed a waste of valuable air and sunlight when the world was open to Beauty. She traveled well and far with her grandmotherly chaperone, and she radiated health in mind and body. When the war stripped her father of cash and chattel, he made for her the first marriage he could find.

Page 6 & 7:

Still, she appeared lucky. Though he was several years her junior, the son of her father’s liege was chosen. Beauty’s handmaids twittered interestedly on her good fortune. Beauty was uncertain.
He was handsome, and well-born, and possessed all the qualities her father could want for her. But though he seemed to admire her, she could not meet his eye, try though she might. She watched their marriage ritual as through a looking glass.

Page 8 & 9:

A moment after their arrival at her husband’s villa, he bid her goodnight and left her standing in the archway. Several days passed before his man came and asked if she was in any way displeased. Having resumed her routine immediately, she asked only for directions to the nearest freshwater pond; she was eager to bathe unobserved. He showed her the path and returned to his master. She ran to the water, shedding clothes as was her custom, and dove in momentarily.

Page 10 & 11:

She floated alone in the pool long after the mood rose. As long as her husband had no need of her, she thought, the nights were her own. She relished this small freedom, but something ate at her – how could he be so cold? To leave her alone in their house without a word of explanation! She resolved then to seek him out, and move to her clothes. It was the beast she had seen before, lurking in the dark, reflecting moon beams from his eyes and teeth.

Page 12 & 13:

Beast! she commanded, and saw it pause for a beat, as if stung, then leap into the underbrush. Hurrying into her clothes, she rushed back to the house to search out her husband, and – without other reason to disturb him – request his protection from the beast.
Coming in view of the house, she saw her husband’s shadow in the doorway, and she hastened to him. As she reached the light, she saw that it was her father standing impatiently with her maids. Perceiving her approach, he dispatched the girls with a short order and met her on the steps. “Your husband has done with you! We depart directly.” She followed him wordlessly into the carriage, and left without looking back.

Her father’s displeasure was unbearable, and she felt it keenly. She was surprised by the thorn of hurt left by her husband’s dismissal. She could see no reason that, without giving her a moment’s recognition, justified such summary judgment. Though she resolved to set it out of her mind, it was difficult, and she spent many hours seeking distraction.

Her old routine seemed unwelcome with her father’s sullen resentment seething in every corner of her childhood house. She walked without destination for hours in a day, often losing herself and her old granny guardian in dense underbrush in the wilderness around her father’s house. She would return to the old lady, napping unmolested in a grove somewhere near the place that her path had gone past the familiar. This reassured her, but each time she ran back near dark imagining bloody scenes featuring the beast. She was most horrified by the beating of her heart when she envisioned the beast’s eyes – bloodshot and feasting on her, specks of her granny’s red flesh in his fur. Beauty shivered with pleasure.

On this particular day, Beauty lost herself more readily and wandered much further than she intended. She was far beyond the boundary of her father’s holdings, and saw nothing she recognized. Suddenly conscious of the sinking sun, she turned towards the way she thought was home. She was running, but was getting no closer to finding a familiar field or forest path. By this time her breathing was hard, and as she slowed she heard heavy panting that was not her own.
She saw the glow of the beast’s eyes between the leaves by her hip. Without thinking but with a hunter’s skill, she sprang on the beast to kill it.

As they battled, she heard gruff laughter, and before she became conscious of the change, she and the beast began to wrestle with no thought of winning or losing. If she stopped long enough to catch her breath, the beast would nip her ear or shoulder, baiting her to continue. They carried on in their mock battle for what felt like an eternity. As they learned each other’s weaknesses, they laughed louder and lunged again to press the advantage – one over the other. Exhausted, finally, to her core, she pushed the beast playfully away and lay in the mossy undergrowth.

Just as her eyes drooped closed, the beast nudged her, but she ignored it and drifted off. She woke with a start – seconds or hours later, she could not be sure – and sat up looking for the beast. She feared it gone, but she found the glowing eyes only a few feet in front of her. She heard the gruff laugh as the beast blinked and turned into the woods.
Beauty ran until her lungs were ragged and her legs moved muddily, tripping over every obstacle, but on she ran. She followed the beast instinctively in the dark, turning when her ears pricked and trusting that the blackness would become darkness only when she could no longer feel his presence.

Light from torches filtered into the trees, and she knew the beast was no longer in the woods. She turned towards the unknown villa, realizing as she trudged through the fields that this was the house of her husband. The house that, for a short time, had been hers as well, but from which she had been so recently dismissed. She loathed the sight but could discover no other means of reaching her father that same night. She continued on, expecting no mercy from this man that was her husband, but hoping she might have the chance to question his harsh treatment of her.

Rage just below the calm surface, she approached the house in shadow. As she marched through the open archway, she was stunned by the sight: the beast lay prostrate on a thickly padded mat, writhing in pain and losing chunks of flesh and fur as he struggled.
She ran to him without thinking and held his dear head in her lap. She stroked and pet him as she watched her beast transform into the person of her husband. Relieved by the apparent cessation of his pain, she bent down to kiss his smooth forehead. Beauty found herself kissing his cheeks and whispering sweet words into his ear. When his breath finally settled, the beast – her husband – held her face in his hands and returned all her kisses with words of love and gratitude.

Dawn found them still in each other’s arms. In the language lovers use alone, he made known to her the reasons for his rough treatment and the ancient and powerful curse that made him take the form of the beast until his true and equal love was found. And with the same meetings of the eyes and lips and fingers, Beauty let it be known how thoroughly she loved and needed him, and that – should he ever turn into the beast again – she knew where in the woods to find him.

With this understanding, and full hearts, they lived happily ever after.

8.30.2011

lemonade stand aka i have officially no heart



one of my personal rules in life is to ALWAYS stop at kids' lemonade stands, and to exponentially overpay for my glass of often powder-made lemonade.

but today i officially have no heart. two kids walked into the coffee shop sporting plastic-beaded bracelets for sale to support their block party and i balked. fumble.

not only that but i talked to the kid - he wanted a cotton candy machine and a moonbounce - and then, because i didn't have change for a tenner, i did NOT buy his bracelets.

once i realized what a jerk i was i checked to see if they were still in screaming distance...but my god, the fact that they were out of sight already speaks to the amount of time that i pushed being a total shithead out of my mind.

never let that happen again!

this number is unreachable

sometimes i wish this log was private. and sometimes i wish it was easier for me to tell people what's really going on in my life.

i realize trust is a big issue. i'm not sure where that came from.

the only time i've ever really been in love i got really, tremendously, inexpressibly crushed. but i'm not really sure why. he never told me that he was in it for the long haul. i just ignored that, cause if i've learned two things in my life it's that 1) people almost never tell the truth about themselves, even when they're trying to, and 2) men prefer to believe they're not in love and that it matters to them.

like, matters to their day to day survival. which seems so insane to me. what else is there?

it's been a long time since him. i almost fell for someone else, but it was so clear from the beginning that it wasn't going anywhere that i just refused to go there. (see point 1 above)

like three weeks ago some punk ass young kid stopped me on the street and - through some magical combination of being stunningly gorgeous, persistent and clever - talked me into giving him my number. i have never done that before. but then, even when i have given men i actually know my number, they never call. it's like a 100% reliable way of getting someone to f_ck off. i totally wrote him off.

almost two weeks later i get a call from some number. no message.

two hours later i get another call. same number. no message. who the f_ck is this, i think?

i text back: who is this? why don't you leave a message?

i get a text back: it's Punk Ass Young Kid. kinda bad about leaving messages. lol.

i text back: how else am i sposed to know it's you?

he texts back: i'm at a bbq down the street, you should come. i'll be at your door in a minute.

props to him for being bold. i went. sparks flew. we actually got into a fight that night (he's a macho, self-denying chauvinist...just like i like it, evidently.) i wrote him off again.

he called the next day. i didn't pick up.

he called the day after. i didn't pick up...but i texted back: you rang?

he called again. i picked up: hey. him: i'm at your corner. open your door. me: (who the f_ck does he think he is?!) ok.

i let him in. i can't explain it. he acted in every way that i find to be sophomoric and sexist...yet somehow charming.

i read an article that says women who sleep with pick-up artists hate themselves. am i one of those? i sure like myself a lot for someone who hates herself. (see point 1 above)

we didn't sleep together. i was just wondering.

after two days in my house he left. he said he was coming back in a little bit - we were going for a walk. he didn't. he called and said he'd be later. i went for a walk by myself.

i woke up the next morning alone. he never called. he never came back.

he left his phone charger at my house. i left it on my stoop for him to pick up. he hasn't.

now when i call him it says: this number is unreachable

8.23.2011

Took too long to get this


but now I can't stop laughing

Red cyanobacteria


oxygen-producing micro-organisms that are the progenitors of land plants and responsible for nearly one half of the Earth's current primary productivity

8.22.2011

Yoga Day 1

I've committed to doing 365 days of yoga, starting today.

My goals are:
1. spend some time at different studios
2. try all kinds of yoga
3. find the best teacher training program
4. practice, practice, practice

I'll report back.


8.19.2011

Robot Dream

When the robots came, we did not know they were robots.

I was culled years later, when the myths of their rule on my planet had already overtaken fact. I was 19 and clever, but confident I was going to die.

I was brought into the city in the hold of a transport ship. Through the bars I could see their migration, or formation for war. We didn't know. There were massive, golemlike Stalkers - high as skyscrapers - remote controlled and used to pick the urban landscapes clean of hiders. These guarded the Cullships, floating barges for bodies. The robots made no distinction between dead and alive until you didn't follow orders. They didn't understand disease. The Cullships reeked.

The human-sized robots were skinned, with hair and clothes, but their thin-lipped mouths did not move to talk or eat. Their eyes were replaced by a strip of smoky glass - a screen embedded in an expressionless face. Their hands fell lifeless at their sides - they gave orders telepathically. No force necessary. If you refused, your body simply stopped working and you fell to the ground. Dead or asleep, the ones who watched never wanted to know.

I was lucky because I was pretty. I had three silly boyfriends back in my bumfuck town and, it seemed, the robots had a taste for beauty, too.

Off the Cullship, they shuffled us underground and through corridors. I was ordered into a room crammed with people. It looked like it had been a worker's dorm - a small bed, a tiny closet, a set of drawers with people sleeping everywhere, huddled together and probably wishing they would wake up from this robot dream.

I was given orders to be ready in my suit in an hour, so I didn't sleep. Being late was reason enough to be frozen, and my whole mind was occupied by staying alive.

In less than an hour, I stood by the door in my suit - a dark blue sack that was one size doesn't exactly fit all. I remember thinking how funny it was that my vanity was a bit injured by being forced to look ugly.

More crowds, lines, corridors, and I was thrown in with two other girls about my age. We didn't talk.

Halted for a second in front of a glass wall, streams of blue suits on the other side plodded in the opposite direction. An old man, in a fuzzy gray sweater, backpack and glasses stopped and stared. He was so bold and without fear that I should have guessed he was with them, but at the time I thought it was endearing in a cute, lecherous kind of way. He looked at me, and then the girl to my left and to my right, and back at me. Then he looked at the warden and mouthed some words to her through the glass. He scanned the three of us again and then walked off.

The warden pulled us out of line and ordered us into a small side room with a huge bath tub, told us to wash up and to be ready in six hours. Sleep! I was ecstatic. After a quick discussion with Sophie and Jamilla, we agreed to bathe and sleep in shifts. When my skin hit the water, I felt my whole body sigh with relief. I hadn't been warm in days and I could not have imagined being lucky enough to be clean, too. I figured I'd already be dead.

When the warden came back, she was alone. She lead us into a much fancier area of the complex. The corridors were marble and carved or mirrored glass rather than concrete, and we began to see brightly lit signs and doorways, like a city shopping center. Through a curving, glass enclosed staircase we went down - passing a sign in vibrant red light that said "Men of a certain age."

When we came to the bottom, we were in some kind of store, with no sales clerks or other shoppers. The warden ordered us to "shop and have fun." We looked at each other, questioning it, for a moment. Was this some kind of trick? Or was this robot empire a paradise instead of the nightmare?

Sophie was the first to crack - she squealed with a giddy, silly abandon and ran into the racks of clothes. What else was there to do? Better to shriek and enjoy it now than think about the horrors that awaited. We had no choice, and no control anyway.

We tried on clothes for what seemed like hours, flattering each other mercilessly and running around like headless chickens. The warden stood by the stairs, watching or not watching. Who could tell?

Sophie was the first to find the lingerie. She came dancing out in some frilly white thing and pranced around, doing a childish impression of a sexy strip show. Jamilla, jealous, ran into the rack and found her own vampy gear. I watched as the warden turned her head almost imperceptibly to follow them, her eye screen seemingly focused on the scantily clad girls. I thought it best to follow suit.

It took a long time for me to find what I was looking for, and when I came out - dominatrix diva all the way to the whip - I saw the old, sweatered man stop at the top of the last step. I watched his hungry eyes sweep over the girls and lock on me. His eyes moved over every curve, saliva gathering in the creases of his softly muttering mouth. When his gaze finally met mine, I could see anger and excitement in his expression. Could almost read as, "this one will be the most fun to tame," telegraphed across his mind. I smiled wide, opening my lips just so and dropping my eyes. Playing the docile, dirty girl always did it for the old men in town, why not this one?

When I raised my eyes again, he was gone. The warden ordered us up the stairs. Sophie stopped, "what about our clothes? I don't want to walk around in this!" The warden's face didn't flinch. And, still across the room, I could see Jamilla touch Sophie's arm softly and whisper something. But Sophie was unhinged and she understood what was coming, but her mouth just wouldn't shut. Under her breath the words flowed, but the fear forced the volume up and out, and before we could make her stop, she was screaming "...can't make me! I will never, never, never go with that old man! You can't make..."

She went rigid and dropped to the floor like a board. In what felt like three strides I was at Jamilla's side, hands on her shoulders, pushing her towards the stairs. The whole time whispering "Jamilla, do not scream. Do not refuse. Keep walking and everything will be ok."

8.12.2011

Happy Faking Birthday!



Today is really my cousin's birthday. I went on fb and congratulated him.

At the same time, I noticed that it was also the birthday of a "friend" of mine.

(I say "friend" because we don't really know each other that well, and because our only association in the past was really professional. In real life, we are acquaintances...in fb terms, everyone is your "friend.")

Though I wasn't really confident that I wanted to sat anything at all, it's been a while since this "friend" and I have been in touch, so I thought: hey, may as well say happy birthday and take a step towards reconnecting after a while.

I went to his page and wrote the following message: "happy birthday. you're looking quite dignified these days. also, you have the same birthday as my cousin S____, which automatically makes you one of the raddest people in the world."

I scrolled down a bit and noticed something rather odd. Most of the other "happy birthday" posts from his other connections were in a somewhat or entirely skeptical tone. And I thought to myself: You know, I thought R_____'s birthday was in the winter. Didn't I get an invite to a party or something?

And then I read one of his comments: Seems like I just had a birthday a few months ago. I will try to have another soon! Thank you for all the good wishes, it's really a joy to see them all. It's like the opposite of being at your own funeral! #internuts

And I realized that, of course, it was not really his birthday.

And I get the joke, from his point of view. fb is, of course, an indirect means of establishing and/or maintaining relationships. You don't really know all the people you're connected with, but our sense of politeness or internet connectedness has us doing things like wish each other happy birthdays or congratulations for life events that we are totally disconnected from. And I see your point. Touche.

BUT, from the perspective of the responder, the non "friend," all I can really think is: What a dick!

Congratulations. You've fooled people who don't know you, but do care for you in some way - even though it may be impersonal and indirect - into conveying good wishes. And then the joke is on us.

I would argue, though, that the joke is really on you, sir. YOU are the one who established and/or agreed to these connections. And if they are superficial, that is because YOU want them to be. And when these people take the time to sincerely convey their positive feelings towards you, you turn it into a joke on them. You've managed to reflect negativity and alienation when others are offering you positivity and connection.

So, to the inanity of conventions in virtual networks, I agree with your joke and offer you a sincere "ha!"

But to you, sir, I respectfully say: I will never consider us "friends" or friends from this point forward. Thanks for illustrating that truth so pointedly.

8.09.2011

Two boys in a coffee shop

two boys, barely earned their scruffy unshaven faces, sit back at the coffee shop and impress each other with wisdom.
like:
do you think our minds really adjust to inflation?
you mean, that the value of money decreases every year?
yeah.
and then:
the worst thing about that is even if you put your money in some bank and leave it there, you lose money.
unless you get a good interest rate, and there are no good interest rates anymore.

oh, the weight of the world. how do we bear it?

but really, how do we?

does knowing the troubles of the world help us to solve its' problems? or even our own?

it's hard for me to believe it matters at all. perhaps it's narcissism or nihilism, but the way we muddle through seems so irrelevant. injustice continues in some form - whether we stifle in the rigidity of tribal isolation, or stumble through the self-seeking, self-service of contemporary western individualism. and though we rarely see past ourselves - here in 21st century america, at least - our individual destinies do not matter to the world.

the only thing that matters is that two of us survive to reproduce, to continue our species to the next cataclysm in evolution. and we can't see our way towards that point, or through it.

even if we were able to comprehend long term planning, or collective action, or common goods, the next super volcano or climate rocking comet or plague will kill us off at biologically precedented rates.

this is not to say that what we do until then - individually and collectively - is and should be out of our hands.

the opposite is true, in fact.

if we can't see past our survival, why don't we live like today is our last day on this earth? but not a wasted day. the one day we have to define ourselves. not to fuck and eat and cheat each other with animal abandon, but to transcend our animal bonds and become human. one day to love and respect and protect and relish the paradise in which we exist. profit means nothing here. hierarchy is ridiculous. inequality inane.

relieve these boys of the burden of philosophy and let them, let us all LIVE. today is the only day.

maybe i'm feeling sentimental cause i'm out of a job, for now. or maybe it's hot out and i'm feeling heated and moody. or maybe riots and fires in london seem like the only rational behavior. order is overrated, but i'm no anarchist.

listening to those two boys - or any dilettantes like them - raises my hackles. but i see myself in them. drinking coffee that costs almost as much as wine and is as meticulously cultivated...

i feel like i'm in rome. but though i'd like to believe i'm the one putting on the show in the coliseum, i know that's not true. only the show has changed. or, perhaps there's another ring of watchers, just outside the walls, that cater to the self-appointed masters and fool them into thinking their wine has no water, and their show is the one to watch.

i see the course of history like an increasingly fractaled vortex, where our observations of ourselves have become so rife with symbols, and symbols of symbols, that we begin to see only reflected pieces of ourselves and not the original. we can no longer see what is, we see only what was in the past or in a representation of an event. we are more likely to reference a movie to describe an event than we are to speak in factual terms about what is actually happening.

it's like this whole S&P downgrade debacle. if the government hadn't made a big, unnecessary stink about raising the debt ceiling - this really should have been a mechanical piece of legislation, passed in the dead of night like all the others - then the S&P would never have had "concerns" about the state of the US economy. but because it was used as a vehicle for political machinations, it brought attention to the instability underlying the US economy. an instability, mind you, that has been made worse by the politically charged negotiations over a pitiful $3 trillion dollars.

so what does the downgrade really mean? well, nothing. it's symbolic. just like the stock market, just like the debt ceiling, just like all the other policies that aim to impact the economy. what's really wrong with the US economy? everything! but those symbols aren't there to reflect that; worse, they're not going to change it, no matter how much debt we're legally allowed to accumulate, or how likely the S&P believes our ability to pay it back (the debt, just like the rest, is a symbol...it will never be paid back).

so, for these two young boys, i sympathize. how do you become men in a world where nothing is safe or sacred? how do you know where you stand, and how do you make a difference? more simply: what do you make? and what value does it have? when it comes down to it, we'd all be best served by creating farm cooperatives and growing food. because food means something. you can eat it when you can't sell your art, or your tortured novel, or you lose your job selling fixed gear bikes to college kids with dwindling trust funds.

i know i'm going down with this ship. what about you?

7.31.2011

11 Madison Park

Just ate the most exquisite meal, and met/watched these two in action.

Represent! Represent-sent!

Ils sont extraordinaire.

7.27.2011

Dildo/Pussy Thrower

Sometimes I come across a term that is absolutely perfect for an application other than its originally intended usage.

I submit two such terms for your review, Dear Reader:

1. Dildo (noun) - A man who's only redeeming qualities are a pulse and an erect penis. As in: "He's gorgeous, but that guy is a dildo."

You may find the Dildo referring to himself as a "player" (or, more harshly "womanizer," for those of the hetero persuasion) but we find that this gives too much credit to his ability to instigate casual sexual interactions. Truly, this is the guy that admirers will speak of in harsh terms, except where his availability and virility are concerned. Typically, he is found to have few positive personality traits.

2. Pussy Thrower (noun) - A woman who pursues any and every technique for making herself sexually available to a desirable male. As in: "I was at the bar with my date, and this girl I *thought* was my friend came over and totally tried to steal him...she's such a Pussy Thrower."

We find the Pussy Thrower most often in situations where there is one sexually desirable male, and multiple women who may be interested in bedding said male. The Pussy Thrower is the girl who will stay longest at the bar/party/wedding reception in the hopes that her patience will pay off. She is also likely to behave in the most overtly sexual ways in a group of women to be confident that she is the only one absorbing the lecherous attentions of the one (or more) male(s) in the surrounding area.

7.19.2011

Super Mario Bros can make even Converse cool

I hate Converse shoes...but I can't hate these.


It probably goes without saying that Super Mario Brothers is the best game ever made, and given how many posts I have tallied with some SMB remix, my personal favorite.

7.14.2011

Tres sauvage

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Dan Savage
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive


the problem with what dan savage believes about straight women - and what they should or should not expect from men with respect to sex - is that he assumes straight women want sex less than men. we've all been trained to believe that it is evolution, based on physiology, that has determined we women should desire safety or resources over sex.

but let's get real about the sexual economy. men desire sex above all else, and they've teamed up to provide women with every possible disincentive to offer it freely. this is what makes a patriarchy possible - because only with a rare supply of p_ssy can men compete for resources and thus enforce a hierarchy of status, partly based on their access to that p_ssy... which they pay for by amassing piles of disposable materials.

it's not that we desire sex less than men, it's that - for straight women at least - we don't want to suffer the consequences of acting on our constant, intense desire for it. I mean really. imagine (assuming you have a penis and testicles) if you could have a wave of orgasms increasing in intensity and varying in duration from several seconds to several minutes, without stopping. would you want to do that a lot? or better: why wouldn't you?

so men create this fantasy of an instinctual chastity in women so they don't have to actually satisfy that profound and endless desire. it's understandably intimidating. and goodness! what if all women acted on it?! the universal distribution of p_ssy would keep us all so busy! who needs to kill someone when you can lie around and f@%k again?

I don't really listen to/read dan savage, but I've heard what he's said secondhand from reliable sources and he seems pretty clued in. but on this point he has - like most (gay) men - missed the essential nature of womanhood by presuming that the paternal projection of woman is accurate. truly, it's a sad caricature of what people with p_ssies actually are.

but the mistake is not essentially his - this began with the murdering of the fertility worshipping matriarchy and destruction of every vestige of that cultural heritage in a methodical and violent manner. and now we all precipitate it. so in no way do I mean to vilify savage - he's a progressive voice in a frighteningly stifled society. but if EVEN HE believes that straight women just need to accept the consequences of the male libido with respect to monogamous commitments, and make no mention of a woman's right to demand the same acceptance...then we're all f@%ked (in the head).

7.11.2011

Best work I've seen in a while



Canada National Parks centennial worship project

7.08.2011

It's about time



Mom and Dad are back from La Biennale and raved about Christian Marclay's The Clock.

Like a Douglas Gordon, it takes a really simple idea and makes it utterly transfixing. But until I can get this on my laptop/iphone/etc as a real time-keeper...I just wouldn't call it "art."

Save that discussion for another time

6.24.2011

ICB on Lost "star" underage bride



Wow.

Let's translate this "controversy" into reality:

He's 51 and FLAMINGLY GAY but trying to hide it (I don't know why, I thought you had to be gay in Hollywood).

She's 23, has some of the biggest fake boobs I've ever seen, and wants to be famous but not in porn (again, I don't know why, she looks really well suited for porn).

Both of them are trying hard to combat oblivion - then again, maybe that is a match made in Hollywood "heaven."

6.17.2011

SPOM: Throw it Away

Well hello there, Ms. Abbey Lincoln!

6.16.2011

Knowing


I've been all in a tizzy for a little over a year now because I don't know where I belong.

It's one of those low-level, bassline thoughts that dictates the rhythm of life - you have those too?

Until I graduated from my masters program, I knew exactly what I was doing, where I was going. Defined completely by what I wanted to know and do.

Well, now I know I don't know much about anything. Almost nothing about what I want. Less about who I am and what I should do.

This internal debate is embodied in the DC v NYC debacle: Stay or move? Stay put or stay away? Go home, go back, go beyond?

Really, it's all about knowing and being known.

The gritty, hostile and raw anonymity is what drew me to new york - becoming known in a place where no one knows anyone. It's the dream of all transplants.

The gritty, hostile and raw reality of who I am drove me from DC - being known in the place where I know everyone. I had to escape!

But now I know that new york isn't as gritty and raw as I'd imagined. And for those that know me - well, so much for anonymity! Purple pants indeed!

Now something is driving me home. I want to be known. I want to know myself better, and I think maybe being with the people who know me best is the way I want to be defined.

So I think I know...at least this one thing.

6.15.2011

TV is a bad word



I don't know why I'm watching this. I know how expertly manipulated I am, and I actually enjoy submitting to the emotional onslaught.

Does every town have a Showtime at the Apollo style weekly amateur performance run-off? Sh-t, I feel like you could do this every night and-if people were in the habit of leaving their screens for entertainment and social interaction-pack the house!

I like pretending that it's all real, even if it is overly and overtly produced.

In the past...