Saturday, September 26, 2009

One more favorite artist to add to my list

So I'm flipping through my latest issue of Juxtapoz that caem in the mail, and omg...Rockin' Jelly Bean, just fuckin' amazing. This issue is also fully rocking my face off because they're also featuring one of my old-time faves, Takato Yamamoto...I'm not sure how wise it is to say Yamamoto's one of my faves considering the whole body horror tangent I went off in a previous entry, but whatever.

But, yea, I just wanted to share that. I know, so random. I really wish I would've been brave enough to follow the art path. A couple of months back I got to go to a free seminar/talk thing from one of my favorites, and it was just so cool. It was at SVA and as I watched the students file in (it was open to students and the public), it as like, "Damn, that could've been me in school."

The above is the story behind why I can't wear my white canvas Chucks to work anymore. You see, what had happened was, I'd rushed down there after work, and folks had actually brought in her artbook and stuff to get signed. I had no such thing, but I couldn't just bounce like that. I was all fired up and inspired and all that, you know? So I barely stammered out my "I...I'm a really big fan and it was an honor" to her before my brain went, "Your shoes...YOUR SHOES! And you even got a fatty permanent marker in your bag"

"Um, I don't have a book with me or anything because I, um, just came from work, would you mind signing my shoes??" I blurted out.

So now my shoes have "Just Fuk It" written on them, hahahahaha. I mean she signed it, and drew hearts saying "this is a reference to my earlier heart-shaped girls with their backs turned work," so it's all kinds of awesome, but I don't want to get called into HR because of this.

I had a friend weirded out that I still wear them at all and I don't get them bronzed or something. I don't know, it feels more proper. I asked her to sign my shoes, so I wear them because they're shoes. I don't know, keeping it real I suppose.

No roof party =(

Probable bad weather has put a hold on that party. Though honestly, it's probably for the best. I've got folks to see at a brunch thing to go to on Sunday, so this back to back business might not have been the best idea.

I might just sleep in tomorrow, but I realized something today. It's been a while since I've done the "lie wrapped up in a blanket and watch Zatoichi" Saturday ritual. Back, waaaaay back, in my first apartment in the city (I like to call it the House of Mouse, and I only put up with it as long as I did because of the washer/dryer in the kitchen), I'd wake up on Saturdays just in time to catch Zatoichi on IFC. Considering how chilly it's going to be tomorrow, I'm contemplating doing just that. maybe make some hot chocolate. Zatoichi won't be on IFC, but I did buy a box set of them a little while back that I never got around to watching.

Unless I can think of something to do last minute. I don't know if that motivated to figure out a way to spend money. I really need to do some clothes shopping, but I'm trying to be good and wait for the next pay period. I did give in and bought myself a faux fur hat from H&M. It was only $12.95. It's basically a wannabe ushanka. I'll probably get a real one one of these days.

Lately I've been tempted to take out my Holga and roam the city, though I'd have to buy some more film, so there's that...

I've still got five days of vacation days left. The travel itch is coming back. I'd like to go back to London or Dublin, or places new like Amsterdam maybe? I don't see how I can make any of that happen though. I'd be happy just to go back up Toronto or maybe try out Montreal this time. If not, I guess I'll just swing down to Philly or D.C. again.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pecan sticky buns, roof party and life casting

So this weekend I made pecan sticky buns. They were ridiculously good. I'm immensely surprised at how well they turned out because I was convinced our oven was too quirky to bake bread products. For some reason I could never get my challah to taste right in that oven. It was either too yeasty or tasted undercooked. It smelled awesome though, just wouldn't taste right. Anyhow, the sticky buns came out soft and delicious and the whole apartment smelled like bread and cinnamon. I'm going to make some freakin' cinnamon rolls next.

I've been preoccupied with trying to buy half-gloves. I don't feel like laying down $50 for a pair from Patricia Field. I want something cheap that even if I spill alcohol on them and get a tear from dancing too hard or whatever, it's not going to be a problem to chuck 'em. Why? Because my friend Chris is having a rooftop party. This isn't too out of the ordinary because his roof parties happen pretty frequently BUT the invitation for this one sounds pretty ridiculous. There's promises of a dj and a live band. I don't know how that will all fit on this small roof, but this is a party that requires an outfit, so I've been trying to figure one out.

I really shouldn't be spending any money though. Not that I'm trying to buy a lot. I'm trying to track down these half gloves...maybe a over-the-top top (get it?) to go with my skirt (which I already own, along with violet tights and bright yellow high heels). I kind of want a statement headpiece too though. And I've already decided on added a layer of red glitter to red lipstick. OK, I admit, that bodysuit is definitely pushing the boundaries of "NO." I'm just saying, I'm going to dress the FUCK up. I can't believe I can't find half gloves at Ricky's. I might have to stop by Trash and Vaudeville. If not, maybe a costume store?

Speaking of costumes, I'm trying to set up a "life casting date" with my friend Tom. I'm trying to figure out what my costume will be for his Halloween party so I'm trying to see if I can feasibly make a mask using a mold of my face. The theme is Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. My costume from last year would've been good for this theme, but I don't want to repeat it. I have two ideas for Death, but I might try to rework the idea from last year and make it completely new for Pestilence.

Anyhow, I put out the APB on Facebook that I might need help with casting a mold of my face and Tom came to the rescue. I just have to promise to help cast his face too. My friend Dianne voiced concern that this could go horribly wrong and I'm nervous, yes, because I saw that episode of Rescue 911 where the art student chick got plaster of Paris stuck to her face and crap =(...that's why I asked for help. Anyhow, I thought her concern was hilarious because this mutual face mold casting does sound like something out of a French body horror film.

...I'd totally be in that movie as long as Gaspard Ulliel is cast my opposite. It'll be a Frenchy, artsy, sexy thriller type horror dealing with identity issues and a mild BDSM undertone thanks to hardening plaster on body parts and allusions to breath play when things start happening with the straws during the face casting climax scene. It'll be like Repulsion with a little mix of creepy obsessive need for control over an object of lust from Boxing Helena and May (Oh, shit, I just remembered how much this movie creeped me out when I first saw it because May liked Adam's hands, and I like hands and I was all "Noooo, I'm not creepy like that, am I??" But that's another story for another time).

Shit, that's actually starting to sound like a pretty decent movie, and with Gaspard Ulliel, mmmm Gas.........whoa, yea, OK if it wasn't already weird before, now it just did.

Anyhow, this costume needs to happen, so I guess I'll have to start trolling some thrift stores and costume stores before the Halloween rush happesn.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year

I don't fancy myself much of a nature person. I'm not outdoorsy. I don't go camping. I don't hug trees, save the whales or shop only for local and organic goods. The closest I ever got to anything like that is whenever I have a pang of guilt throwing away those plastic rings that hold soda cans together. I'll remember reading in Highlights or seeing something on TV when I was a kid about how animals choke when they get all tangled up in those rings, so you should always cut the rings or some such. So I'll reach for the kitchen shears.

I say all this because, even though I'll probably never go all Thoreau and just up and "Walden" my ass out into a cabin in the woods, it doesn't mean I'm not sentimental about nature. I don't know, it sometimes surprises me how much something minor or subtle cue from the natural world will make me slack-jawed with awe. True awe in all sense of the word. Most people think "awesome" just means...well, awesome, but forget that besides denoting wonderment and amazement, awe also is a feeling of fear. A fearful respect of something that amazes you so that it transcends words or comprehension.

A couple of weeks back I was taking out the trash. I live in a particularly suburb-y and residential part of Astoria. On one side bordered by the ConEd power plant that hums quietly into the night, only making me notice its presence late at night when the humming stops, and lying in bed I realize the silence I had been hearing up until that point was not silence at all. On the other side, rows and rows of houses that spread out and with the neighbors I rarely see thanks to my schedule and its evenly packed streets still seem quieter and lonelier than the quiet self-satisfied humming of the power plant.

Usually I end up taking out the trash late at night, making it an experience in trying not losing my nerve and making sure I leave the door open behind me so that I may run in in case any bogeymen bursts from around the that I think about it, after the dumpster jump scare in "Mulholland Drive," taking out the trash was never the same for me (WARNING: Spoiler for those who haven't seen the film, though I have no idea how you could spoil this movie when you can't figure out what the fuck is going on the first time you watch it. And also warning, because seriously, dudes, it'll freak you out).

Anyhow, on such a night I again found myself stepping out alone into the quiet sidewalk, but something was different. It was dark, yet everything was illuminated. So bright, yet not. There was just a glow about everything. I looked up into the sky to see a full moon beaming down on all of us. But it wasn't just the moonlight. Thick tufts of clouds had broken in the sky, almost framing the moon. It acted like a gel on a stage light, amplifying and softening at the same time. And at the same time, the light of the moon highlighted all the depth and crests of the clouds, illuminating and shadowing to show perspective. How some clouds were closer and lower, layered in front of those further away.

I stood there just looking up at the sky for the longest time. I almost wanted to sit down on the steps leading to my door and just watch the moon all night. Part of me marveling at the sight, another part of my afraid that if I turned away the big round moon would swallow me up to its other side. It was beautiful and I was afraid because it made it jarringly clear I was alone not just against the great dark expanse up there, but also in the dark street corner down here. And I think ultimately, what scares me is what makes me sad. It's not movies filled with hacking of bodies and screams of nubile, but I guess a certain melancholy and despair about existence.

Like the moon that night, there are a few things about nature that can give me pause. One are still summer nights, because they always take me back to when I was younger and my summer break would finally overlap with the summer break of my friends who went to Korean school and we'd attempt to make the most of this eclipsing of our worlds. We'd sit outside and try to hold the night at bay with our endless talking. Or how quiet it'd be in the late night/early morning as either I'd start walking home or curl up to sleep on the couch to sleep at my friend's house after a group of us had gathered for another marathon weekend session of playing survival horror games. I may not like summer's heat or its sun, but every now and then the smell of one of its still nights will put me in that mood again.

And then fall. It's the twilight of the year. In Korea, they used to say that fall is the season of of loneliness, and I agree with that. Winter too is lonely, but it is too harsh and cold. It is hardened by bitterness so that the lonliness doesn't bit as hard. Spring is saccharine with its budding feelings of love, summer is hot and swept up in passion, but fall is fading. Demeter again sends her daughter away to languish in Hades with a god disliked and shunned by people and other divine ones alike.

Again, it's the smell of the air. Not just that it's colder, but how it's crisper. Anyhow, tonight has been one of those nights when I could smell that difference. It's been getting progressively cooler and I feel fall coming over me. With the window open I can smell it, and hear it in the rustling of tree leaves, and I am sad. At the same time this sadness comes with a bit of excitement, and with excitement your pulse quickens and that's one of the symptoms of fear and I've come full circle with it. I'm not particularly afraid of anything I suppose. If anything, I feel like there's so much that can happen, but I guess maybe that's what I'm afraid of. The smell of the open air and the sounds of the window signify something wide and open that I don't know, that I can't comprehend. And like that glowing, low-hanging moon I am reminded that I am in awe because I am amazed and I'm afraid.


Ah, I guess I'm in one of those moods again. Ha, what can I say, it's becoming fall, right?

I've been debating whether or not I should buy The Path already, and that game probably would just add to this weird seasonal feeling. I'm also a little afraid about the prospect of playing that on my own.

It might be a chicken or the egg type of thing, but I've been in the mood for Okkervil River quite a lot lately. Or maybe listening to Okkervil River is putting me in this mood. But as I walk around in the cold early morning air or walk home in the evening I catch myself humming "For Real" to myself quite a bit.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Time travel in 1m35sec

Early in the morning as I walked one of the two usual routes I take to the subway, I saw in the distance a mass of black robes and black wiry beard. An Orthodox priest stalked his way up the block, one hand to the side of his head. I saw his lips moving and the entire tableaux looked as if he was hearing the voice of God himself instructing him to hurry and make his way to the home of a certain Mrs. Stratakos, who in 1999 had a dream in which Matthew the Evangelist told her that if she did not give up her monthly habit of going to Atlantic City for the casinos, in 10 years time he will come to collect an impious life and in the next ten minutes Mrs. Stratakos is about to open a boiling pot on her stove, only to have the chicken she was cooking in the pot lift itself by hooking its little wings on the rim of the pot and announce, "Yea, you have been judged and found in wanting" through its fatty neckhole, causing Mrs. Stratakos to collapse from a heart attack onto the hard cold floor in her little house in the middle of Astoria. Whether the talking chicken was an aneurysm caused by the blood blocked in the right ventricle, a message from God, or a trick of the Devil, no one knows, but the point was she was going to need help.

The priest threw me off a little, as the Orthodox priests I see now and then in the neighborhood tend to do, mainly because they look like they were out taking a walk one morning back in time and by taking a wrong turn found themselves in 2009 Queens. I nervously continued to watch him. From far away I could tell he was super tall and thin, his black robes whipping about the his body like banners on a pole. His thin, gaunt, serious face covered on the lower half with a rough beard that didn't really blow in the wind, more so than it stubbornly puffed about. Like the bristly beard was trying to resist the wind and only giving in when its strength left it.

"Oh, man," I thought. "Dude looks straight up something like you see in an ambrotype stuck between the leaves of a collection of Pushkin's poems tucked in the bottom of a trunk along with a tattered doll, some dried flowers, a lock of hair, a single glove, and a bigass stack of letters that some construction workers in Saint Petersburg dug up while trying to build a new apartment building. And a note with the ambrotype would say, 'To my dear Mashenka, may I see you again in the spring. With love, your brother Kolya.' And then you find out like the trunk belonged to a 15 year old girl who died in 1890 from tuberculosis and her brother became a priest, only to go mad and be sent off an asylum in Irkutsk, though he thought he was being sent to some kind of religious college and never knew his sister died and wrote her a letter every week promising to see her in spring he himself died at age 45 or some shit like that."

As I was contemplating all of these things, the priest was now just a couple of steps from me. His face still intense as his lips moved, his hand still caressing the side of his head. As he walked closer, I began to hear him say in a VERY Queens accent:

" yea, how much is the insurance on dat? Yea?..."

And everything I was imagining shattered away thanks to a cellphone conversation. Ah, well.

Anyhow, listening to this song reminded me of that brief moment of living in my head earlier this week for some reason. I don't know, I guess the Pixies singing about Eiffel is kind of anachronistic in some kind of way and made me think of that. Who knows how my brain works:

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Oh, my aching bones

I was out at the West Indian Day Carnival Parade in Brooklyn and my calves are still sore from it. It's kind of sad actually.

My friend and I got there in the afternoon, getting off at Franklin. The MTA wasn't even trying to bother stopping at Eastern Parkway. We walked down the sidewalk (or tried our best to), only to reach a total bottle neck as people were dancing.

"Huh, that must be the party float. I don't think we're moving this spot."

My friend looks to see what truck was so special and goes, "Oh, hey! It's Elephant Man!...and Shaggy!"

So we backtracked and danced along the sidewalk to that particular float and finally stopped only to see the truck turn off. After that we stuck in one spot and continued to watch the parade happen.

When it finally was over I realized I hadn't gotten anything to eat. In fact, I'd only had coffee earlier and now I was starving. Considering the cops were trying to get people to close up their food stands, we had to act quick and ended up getting a deal with fire sale $5 plates of jerk chicken (me) and chicken curry (my friend).

Afterwards I figured we'd get ice cream from the ice cream truck, but my friend went, "Coconut Bake!!" and we looked to see a little table set up on the front lawn of an apartment building. I was game to try this. I was planning to share my plate of coconut bake and salt fish with my friend considering we'd just eaten about 2 minutes ago, but the guy misheard and made another plate. We apologized saying we only wanted one and started walking away, but he told us we could have the extra plate. We hung out in the yard that was now just a block party at this point with the parade long gone, eating and chatting.

It was fun, the weather was amazing, unfortunately I was also super tired and drained today...I could go for some more coconut bake.