The Hudson Hotel basement—last night’s black lit venue—prompted memories of laser tag birthday parties. I had really hoped to score at least 1/2 of The-Dream banner posters that were hanging from the mezzanine, but I saw a guy in pink shorts run out with one at the very very end, so I can only assume its pair is long gone as well. Does a highly air-conditioned venue lessen the live music experience? Not in my books. But then again I have soccer-parent instincts; fated to keep fold-out chairs in the family car. Leon got an unconventional shout out from Wavves which came across like counterintuitive middle school flirting.
***Biding my time is not a state of being I digest well. It feels similar to coiling electrical wires or sharpening boxes of pencils or folding shirts at Men’s Gap; all things I have done in the past as a volunteer job or a paid gig.
**Mindless acts that require little to no thought are what I fail at THE MOST. Especially taxing is when these activities are perceived as important and/or pressing.
(Those who are skilled at untangling fine gold chains fall under some enigmatic mean where mindlessness meets prowess)
*Artificial urgency is an oppressive invention and abused by those who live with many regrets OR as adults are still champions at Frogger OR never botch a recipe.
Permed George Orwell hair with a young Gérard Depardieu nose and eyes
indieScreen, the new Williamsburg movie theater on Kent, has designed seats that disallow anyone to sit back with their feet up. One can hardly shift positions, sink deep in boredom, or re-cross his or her legs.
Strict intent posture for ninety plus minutes is a heavy-handed request, and especially onerous if the films being viewed lack studio racket and stunts.
A couple sitting in front of me discovered a way to tilt and rest their heads on each other. But I’ve always found that particularly union awkward and self-conscious.
Also, modest-sized screens are movie killers.
Six or seven years ago my mother hosted three Cuban guests in our tiny upper duplex in Montreal. In exchange for an annual Cuba trip she planned for her students, a few old school revolutionaries would stay at ours in the summer months that followed. My mother would organize panels and meetings for them, a few parties, and some tourist extras. I became very fond of the Cubans in the same way children in movies whose parents own B&Bs develop a rare acumen for hospitality and closeness to the guests; mischief encouraged by generational tests and discord, unusual privy to foreign habits and manners, maturing of sidekick tendencies, ’new tricks’ apprenticeship with someone who isn’t a teacher or family.
During their stay we went through buckets and buckets of vanilla ice cream. They absolutely loved vanilla ice cream. After every meal, we’d all sit quietly and eat a bowl as the dining room fans would hum and rotate and lift the hair from my sweaty neck.
- Ellison’s heralding description of Coddington, “…a halo of hennaed frizz that stands off a forehead of Elizabethan proportions and sprays out either side of her shoulders in an equilateral triangle…” elicits a character from The Simpsons; more specifically, a hybrid of Mr. Burns and Sideshow Bob.
- It’s a shame Ellison missed out on a perfect opportunity to reference T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, (what ultimately inspired the musical…). Coddington too has a book about cats, The Catwalk Cats, “in which she re-imagined her life at the shows and on shoots through the eyes of her then litter—Coco, Bart, Puff, and Henri—and had them all strutting around in Marc Jacobs and Chanel.” Both enjoy feline burlesque; something I will never wrap my head around.
- Coddington’s eyebrow twitches as interpretive tools are an excellent way of decoding her enigmatic, sometimes aloof tone. I am now at my desk cataloging all of my eyebrow turns and maneuvers, which I will then print on standard size business cards and hand out at parties.
- Karen Elson’s doppelganger portrait of Coddington is uncanny.
- Her office space at Condé Nast sounds a bit too much Gene Roddenberry: “Hers is small corner office on the twelfth floor, reached via a warren of corridors, and shared with her current assistant, Stella Greenspan, an amazonian brunette in patterned leggings and combat boots who just celebrated her twenty-fifth birthday.”
- Coddington owns 150 Steiff stuffed animal cats!
Spotting Dickensian characters on the street is NOT an easy task and does NOT present itself as often as I’d like it to.
(I might consider amending, or at the very least storing this chagrin with ideas I’ve had orbiting in my head for some time now about street style photography and Jane Jacobs urban planning critiques. Separation of uses!)
BUT TODAY, blessed with kismet circumstances, I spotted a man similar in Ogre-build to Mr. Boythorn. He had a ferocious air, impelled further by his angry stride. He checked his watch twice as he crossed 7th avenue.
Urgency! “Unimaginable energy!” Arms swinging!
Of course I pictured the little canary that sits atop Boythorn’s massive grey head. Of course I’ve always thought him a personified cuckoo clock.
Perched in the back of a venue, I might have renewed or at least revisited my appreciation for live music. I can only assume that this is a passing sentiment, largely chaperoned by particularly paean music.
ALSO: Dashiki inspired sartorial choices win!
Intuitive plotting/things get incisive as the day progresses:
On the subway ride to work this morning I stared at the Brooklyn Bridge and imagined its stone masonry piers as giant, wrinkled elephant legs. See!
Later, as I changed the ink cartridge in our printer at work, I noticed that the cardboard holders that hug each end of the packaged cartridge look exactly like mini sandcastles. See!
I was immediately reminded of this quote: Clive James on Proust and À la recherche du temps perdu:
It reminds me of a sandcastle that the tide reached before its obsessed constructor could finish it; but he knew that would happen, or else why build it on the beach?
Don’t know what any of these associations mean. Will keep you posted on outcome/fallout.
- I thought Agota Kristoff was a funny way to say Agatha Christie.
- I thought Jay Lenno was a funny way to say John Lennon.
- I didn’t think György Lukács was a funny way to say George Lucas but goddammit I came close.
I thought Mick Jagger was McJagger; Lucille Ball was Lucy O’Ball; Guccio Gucci was Gucci O’Gucci. Dad thought Eminem was an Arabic rapper: “Em-een-im.”
For a good while I thought the Pulitzer Prize was the Pulitz Surprise! As if someone would show up at your door (think Publishers Clearing House) with a giant check.
1. Device used to create intrigue in one’s writing? Use this sentence: “Anyone who knows me, knows that…”
2. I am never at ease when I go to taïm or Doma for lunch or after work. Only ten steps apart and a minute from my office, I experience this tiny turmoil regularly. Though one is less hectic than the other, both extract from me some of my most city-specific anxieties; not having enough cash at a cash only place where when I reach to pay I can feel the long and urgent, hungry and beautiful line behind me; young creative and industrious types who initially appear bored and uninterested until suddenly, someone shares something loud and juicy; business partners collaborating on future plans on napkins/an iPad; women who layer effortlessly/who still look fantastic even when their shirt collars are half folded under a crew neck sweater.
3. Earlier this year I interviewed Emily Blunt. She told me about the movie she was filming at the time with Matt Damon. For the role, she’d started taking ballet classes with The New York City Ballet. When I saw the trailer, I was reminded of all the funny and sometimes rude things she had shared about the dancers. I wish I had saved that recording. Not to share, just to enjoy like an old memory.
Is sailing camp the new childhood hobby ‘I wish my parents had forced me to continue’?
See also: chess, piano, tennis, kids who got cameras for Christmas and started making home videos early on, kids who got Adobe Photoshop for Christmas in the early 90s
Enjoy the luxury of parents living in the same city, are mentees, understand (and benefit from) air miles, order shoes online, grasp cricket/play backgammon, speak German, are handy with power tools, look great at 3pm, have iron stomachs, have lived more than two and less than six years in a suburb subdivision, are sensational at beatboxing, are sage magnets for minutiae.
Fundamentals: (as portrayed in the trailer for Somewhere)
- Hockney blue, Capezio pink, hotel lobby gold, Deco cream & ecru
- Petit Bateau
- room service
- women that look like prostitutes
- ALL CAPS
- Françoise Sagan
- Half Phoenix/Half Strokes
- Juergen overexposed, mounted flash
- gossamer girls
Cold Weather, which is screening at BAMcinemaFEST, scores big. It employs some of my favorite elements of entertainment, and it does so bashfully:
- crime capers
- a brother sister bond
- brunettes I recognize from TV Dramas
- romantic incidentals
- clumsy leads
- coastal, stormy landscapes
The man sitting on the seat in front/below me as I stood this morning on the subway had very discernible hair plugs. Normally, based on my interest in antidotal techniques and my enthusiasm for all kinds of emergency curative disguises—homespun stain solutions, nausea tamers, office boredom panacea, makeshift arm slings, unconventional homeopathy—I should find hair plugs fascinating. Well today I learned that I don’t. It seems as though hair plugs fall under the category of things I can stare at for a good while, but that will do nothing to alter my state—bland hypnosis/subway anesthesia.
That said, while eating lunch at my desk, I couldn’t help but Wiki ‘Hair Transplantation’…its history, procedure, and side-effects. Reading the words ‘scalp’ and ‘follicle’ over and over is far from gratifying, yet paired with lunch—sweet corn chowder with a couple drops of soy sauce—the experience had added sensual appeal because in practice I should have been completely repulsed. But I wasn’t. Unplanned fortuitously engaging exposure (esp. when eating) can never disappoint; the satisfaction is similar to optimal exchange rates when traveling on the cheap.
There’s a fat man who sits outside the Psychic’s on 4th every summer morning. I pass him on my way to the subway. His belly sits on his body like a medicine ball made of animal hides and filled with sand. He wears a gold chain that catches the morning sun in the cheesiest way. In one hand he holds a slippery bottle of baby oil that he lathers all over himself. In the other, his phone. Everyone stares. He’s a neighborhood spectacle, shamelessly near naked, with a body so extreme—round and hard, ripe and perennial. Like musical instruments, whose curvatures and bowed crescents yield purpose, this man’s shape appears built for some larger and unanswered intent.
I cannot think of a context where this man’s presence would not fall on cliches. Sometimes, I imagine gladiator sandals strapped onto his feet, tight against his shins. Other times, because his posture is very ‘pool side’, I decorate his close proximity with yellowed lawn furniture, and touches of neon pink: his plastic visor lid, a logo on his swim trunks, his beer cozy, his wife’s flip flops which he wears.
My one little puzzle with this man is the color of his skin. I cannot place it; nothing fits. Unlike his entire self which playfully fits into many scenarios, his color is a very set shade of burnt red that I have zero comparison for. His dogged tanning has created the most distinct and raw hue; a likeness that might only be debunked in a year or two.
Discovering just the right movie to screen while I try and get some writing done is a mini-triumph that further sanctions my belief in multitasking as fertile grounds for meeting a deadline.
By midday my desktop is a patchwork of open Word documents, patent references, and my daily fix of sites left ajar. I’ve come to know this pastiche of windows very well; my very own tartan perhaps? Some kind of ruminative, two-sided mirror?
Alice Gregory on Vada Sultenfuss on Childhood artifacts on Mr. Bixler on Firing potato guns on Adolescent overvaluation on Sunbonnet Sue quilts on Hyperextension on War and Peace on Madison, Pennsylvania on Topanga-esque vulgarity on Superficial mimicry on Perverse fantasies about being orphaned.