Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Career Opportunities

Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton placed the following classified ad in a London newspaper in 1913.

Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.

He received over 5,000 responses.


On rainy, autumn days I get nostalgic.

Today, I searched google images for pictures of my first car: a 1982 AMC Eagle.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

three haikus

-the blue sari -
saw the blue sari
blowing behind Vespa grey
and knew I was here

- Mahatma Ghandi Bus Station -
God, it smells like piss
Telugu script brown skin stare
and open hands ask

- Nalgonda Boy's Government School -
The boys know what is...
and I'm here to change that...
Help is just a word.

***inspired by the poetry previously posted on this blog, i decided to take a crack. my brain doesn't understand poetry so, when writing it, i access it via the most efficient and easy route = the haiku***

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Rather than pick and choose music to suit my mood throughout the day, I went full shuffle at work today. Results were mixed. Tracks that elicited a silent "fuck yea" are in bold and those that were less well received or skipped altogether are in italics.

Isis (live) - Bob Dylan; Wu Tang Clan Ain't Nuthin' to F' Wit - Wu Tang Clan; Midnight -Tribe Called Quest; Make the Night a Little Bit Longer - the Palisades; C.R.E.A.M - Wu Tang Clan; Avalanche - Leonard Cohen; Country Pie - Bob Dylan; Try a Little Tenderness - Otis Redding; It's Your World/Pop's Reprise - Common; Flying - Regina Spektor; Macbeth - John Cale; Spot in my Heart - Josh Ritter; The Natchez Burnin' - Howlin' Wolf; We Don't Belong - Sylvan; Incarcerated Scarfaces - Raekwon; Sleep Walkin' Blues - Ma Rainey; 9 Milli Bros. - Ghostface Killah; Purple Rain - Prince & the Revolution; Funny Feathers - Louis Armstrong; The Blast - Talib Kweli; Three Hundred Pounds of Joy - Howlin Wolf; I Touch Myself - the Divinyls; Hotel Arizona - Wilco; P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Things) - Michael Jackson; It Was a Dream - John Brim; Idiot Wind (NY) - Bob Dylan; Dark Eyes - Bob Dylan; Evil (is Going On) - Howlin' Wolf; My Melody - Eric B. & Rakim; What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong; St. Louis Blues - Django Reinhardt; Whip You with a Strap - Ghostface Killah; Life on Mars? - David Bowie; Raspberry Beret - Prince; 25th Floor - Patti Smith; Still Beating - Josh Ritter; I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues - Louis Armstrong; You're So Fine - Dorothy Berry; Too Late - Talib Kweli; Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya - The Ribbons; If You'll Come Back - Jessie Derrick; Definition - Black Star; Lost Someone - James Brown; Miss Being Mrs. - Loretta Lynn; I Left My Wallet in El Segundo - Tribe Called Quest; Harvest - Neil Young; Blame it on the Sun - Stevie Wonder; Clipse of Doom - Ghostface Killah; Somedays - Regina Spektor; The Blues are Brewin' - Louis Armstrong; He's a Bad Boy - Carole King; Protect Ya Neck - Wu Tang Clan; How Does it Feel? - The Ronettes; Midnight Mood - Bill Evans; Les Trois Valses Distinguees Du Precieux Degoute - Erik Satie; One More Time - The Majestic Arrows; (Night Time Is) The Right Time - Ray Charles; Hello Dolly - Louis Armstrong; Don't Ever Let Me Know - Bobby Fuller Four; Lonesome Day Blues - Bob Dylan; Date Bait - Blue Smitty; Winter Lady - Leonard Cohen; Egyptian Shumba - The Tammys; Pense a Moi - France Gall; Girl - Prince; Try the Worryin' Way - The Fabulettes

Monday, October 20, 2008

What do you see?


I see two women setting down their purses or with feather dusters (and red spots). You?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Letter from Norman Mailer

to the Editor of Playboy

December 21, 1962

Dear Sir,
I wish you hadn't billed the debate between William Buckley and myself as a meeting between a conservative and a liberal. I don't care if people call me a radical, a rebel, a red, a revolutionary, an outsider, an outlaw, a Bolshevik, an anarchist, a nihilist, or even a left conservative, but please don't ever call me a liberal.


Norman Mailer

"How 'bout Ratt? How 'bout Ratt?"

Between his initial conversation with the kids into heavy metal, the delightful photo-op with the ladies who probably don't own a single Dylan record, and the hug he gives his corpulent, bearded, longtime fan, this is easily one of my favorite clips of the Man.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Vampire Romance

I think this looks creepy/lovely.

Great Couches in History

Sigmund Freud's sofa. So fucking DECADENT. I would say terrible things on this couch.

My own personal sofa. I've taken many noteworthy naps here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Corpse Groom

In Memory of the Late Mr. and Mrs. Comfort by Richard Avedon

You can see the whole New Yorker series HERE.

Also check out Avedon's own website. The portrait section is pretty excellent. Personal faves are The Family series, the Literature section, and the John Ford portrait in Film.

Golden Gate

Golden Gate Managers Vote to Build Suicide Net

Published: October 11, 2008
The board that controls the Golden Gate Bridge took a major step toward building a suicide barrier, voting to erect a net under the span.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Spiders on Drugs

Everyone can vote!

I don't have a lot of sympathy for anyone involved in this clip. Encouraging uninformed people to loudly shout their personal/political opinions into a video camera is the moral equivalent of getting boozed-up girls with low self esteem to flash their tits on spring break.

Later that night, the self-righteous cameraman received his comeuppance (and a lesson in irony) when a crowd of folksy racists* and townie homophobes took turns sodomizing him in the alley behind Ruby Tuesdays.

Take that, universal suffrage!

*extra irony: probably the same people who made Beverly Hills Chihuahua the #1 movie in America last week

Friday, October 10, 2008

I remember my name, but

I have no memory of being anything other than what I am in the moment
now: indivisibly helpless and cruel-minded.

Here on rot-stinking shores, diseased with shipwreck,
I abandon hope
a floatless boat,
a flightless bird
with wings for swimming,

a cash-colored imagination, gathering
all that was in one place
piece by puzzling piece, inept and true to life,
choice no longer waiting for itself to divide

into choices made by time alone
to desecrate all that is and was; here,
a focused beam of apathy melts
tragedy into history, big ideas
into empty punctuation.

Is it a virtue to speak without speech? a sin to walk without walking?

My back is behind me for good enough reasons
and I do respect the tide, despite the redundance

of life,

I sit and I sit as if all this were


more than a foggy mirror, my testes throbbing
ancient songs of seasons deep
in throes of repeating
last year (you remember what happened,
risking life for a moment of Good,
looking for God
in the least understood).

Frustration, capsizing
waves of blissful head-shaking,

“Man overboard!” Eternity yells

its reflection aloft. I’ve been here before,
in all this embrace, repeating the words
made flesh to myself
in the dark and in time,
deaf already and losing my sight

in time, as if it were meant to be so, like bacon cooking in its own

white fat, thrashing in mortal thoughts that
pop and splash on everything around
but the eggs,
whose white shells await war-crack release,
a fragile inner peace-plop
lost in the recipe now and forever

as causality (a simple faith in the sense of things
we know we don’t possess) is
there in the eggs as in rain, covering streets
in sloppy-wet kisses,
numbing the feeling that “more” is good,
not a pathetic word ignored when
Art speaks volumes in favor of bad,
in favor of less,
in favor of nothing that can be said

but I seem to have more dreams
when I sit up in bed unasleep,
kept awake by an incantation:

(repeat ad infinitum)

as nightmare flames ignite my soul, daydream embers
keep it warm, lighting wherever I am in vain
with lack to the point that I cannot breathe.

Nonetheless, the seat is mine.
There’s no one else unless you count my Self,
the “somewhere-else-as-always” of me,
the indistinct point of a desperate plea for help
and love on sand of plenty
as waters rising flood the city,
buses colliding with horses on pavement,
loose teeth tugged until off they come
tumbling, threading displacement among
the many, a rush to the end of whatever began
when we didn’t exist, and I wasn’t here,
yelling my head off as if someone would listen

“Chaos offers us healthy disorder.
A dose of destruction is good for the system
when taken with water, but the wet can’t be helped.
They will always be wet and before I forget,
vanity breeds rats on Sundays
to drown on Mondays
and that’s how the mirror stays clean.”

*This is an experiment. It's essentially 3 separate poems I tried lacing together, but I didn't think it was smooth enough to not keep the numbering, which I'm attracted to anyway.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Catching up on the debates

I read an article in the NY Times this morning, which was comparing the Obama campaign to the (Bill) Clinton campaign. There was criticism on the way Obama held back in the town hall forum, and didn't reach out to the people like Clinton did in the 1992 debates. As I was only 7 or so at the time of the Clinton vs. Bush vs. Perot debates, I had to look into Clinton's ability to give a "psychic hug" to a struggling American people:

While I was youtubing this, of course, I stumbled across these debate gems:

A Week Before Christmas

I heard you went to church
that morning. And the rope

was it already noosed? knotted?
I didn't go to church that morning.

I stopped praying when I colored the Savior
black and blue in CCD, his heart gold,

a cold purple crown.

But you went to church early that day.
And I missed the morning.

You would miss the evening.
It will pour on Christmas.

I woke up late,
brunched at the Toast

because Harvey's was closed,
my sister and I, frustrated.

You were muttering. Perhaps
praying? You were silent.

Crying? There was silence.
I had eggs over-hard on toast.

I scraped my plate clean.
And you swung.

Your three daughters are shaking, Donna.
Last night, your eyes were closed like mine

and I saw them screaming, tearing
at their hair, their young faces crumpled,

torrents of tears.
Their fingers only fists.

It was desperate, Donna.
I turned in my sleep so many times last night.

There was nothing else I could do.
You lay in your silence

your last words held fast in a still heart.
Winter settled thickly about you.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Our Sarah

Call me what you will, I thought this was deserving of one good gut laugh.

"We're gonna do a MONTAAAAAAGEyah"

This is the "number 2" training montage in my book.

"Number 1"? Must you ask...

San Fransicko

Tonight, I got drunk
Spoke brashly about Indian Women
And drove home slower than normal
listening to Michael Savage

Earth from Above

The Earth from Above exhibit is going to be in NYC from May 1st to June 29th this year.

I may Fung Wah it down there to check it out.

Yer Darn Tootin' That's Putin

In 9th grade, my history teacher engaged our class in a Capitalism vs. Communism debate where he was pro-Communism and the class was pro-Capitalism. In retrospect, this was an incredibly stupid exercise, although I remember making the argument that Communism doesn't allow for Michael Jordans or Dominic Wilkenses or Larry Birds or Spud Webbs (I was really into basketball at the time). On the contrary, Communism allows for Vladimir Putin, who is apparently a Judo master with a black belt and is beginning to market that fact.

Who do you want to go toe-to-toe with Putin on your behalf, McCain or Obama?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I can't get enough of this.

The Great Ecstasy of the Sculptor Steiner (1974)

A good, swift, violent story

From The Postman Always Rings Twice by James Cain:

"You talk like it was all right."
"Who's going to know if it's all right or not, but you and me?"
"You and me."
"That's it, Frank. That's all that matters, isn't it? Not you and me and the road, or anything else but you and me."
"You must be a hell cat, though. You couldn't make me feel like this if you weren't."
"That's what we're going to do. Kiss me, Frank. On the mouth."
I kissed her. Her eyes were shining up at me like two blue stars. It was like being in church.

I'm 24

on the way home
i threw some
rocks at

these ravens
just laughed

and not quite on
the way home
flew back to themselves

Invitation to Stare

The Up Series

This weekend, my roommates and I started watching the Up Series. It's a series of documentary films following a group of British children as they grow up. They were selected at the age of seven from schools all over England, attempting to get a representative sample from all social classes, and every seven years, the students are interviewed again. The original director believed that the social classes in England were so strict, that they would effectively determine the type of people each of the children would grow up to be.

I've seen "Seven Up!," "Seven Plus Seven," and "Twenty-One Up" so far, and I've found them all fascinating. The last installment of the series was in 2005 when the group turned 49, and a new installment is expected in 2011 or 2012.

The whole series is on Netflix, and many of them are available for instant viewing on your PC.

Monday, October 6, 2008

happy birthday josh

hey everyone, today is josh's birthday. three cheers for his parents having a special moment many years and nine months ago!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Great Characters in History: Omar Little

Unlike movies, where the narrow constraints of plot and length occasionally enable a single actor to dominate and carry the story, television series depend more heavily on the contributions of the supporting cast to facilitate plot development and sustain viewer interest over an extended series (years rather than hours).

Viewed as an allegory for the increasingly transparent political and economic processes in the information age, HBO's The Wire clearly presents the motives and actions of all its characters for viewer scrutiny. Rife with carefully examined subplots from elected officials down to the homeless informants and teenage dealers on the Baltimore streets, The Wire's dramatic tension is derived not from curious speculation (like in labrynthine plotted shows such as Lost, where nothing is simple or clear) but from the grim anticipation of knowing exactly what is happening.

This blunt and forthright form of storytelling is perhaps best exemplified in the story arc of shotgun toting stickup boy Omar Little (Michael K. Williams). Loosely based on the real exploits of Baltimore stickup boy Donnie Andrews and others , Omar, elegant and charismatic, robs drug dealers. While he does occasionally let some of his profits slip back to the needy in his community, he's no Robin Hood and banks most of what he takes, viewing his work as a profession like any other. In one memorable scene he is excoriated by a self righteous defense attorney for preying on the misguided and disadvantaged youth who work in the Baltimore drug trade; Omar narrows his eyes and retorts "Just like you, man. I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase."

Omar might not harbor any romantic illusions about his role in society, but he exhibits a strong sense of the unwritten rules that govern his work and that of his drug dealing colleagues. When angry dealers murder and brutally disfigure his lover Brandon early in the series, Omar takes the excessive nature of the crime personally and he escalates the focus and intensity of his own work. By turns sensitive and unapologetically violent, he has an affection for Greek mythology, whistling "Farmer in the Dell," frequent and emphatic use of the phrase "true indeed," and unlike nearly every other character on the show, never cusses.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Dry Spell

In search of worms,

a small bird hops over many twigs,

beak a bit cracked and empty.

His tiny little belly is a vacuum

of hope,

making his dream of a short year hard.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Date Night

Tonight (for your pleasure),
I’ll wear dark jeans,
a tight, grey sweater,
and lofty shoes.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

you don't need a reason

I Betcha Can't Watch It Just Once

If it is a man of the 90's undeniable right to quench his thirst in his own way, were men of the 80's not granted that same right? I don't like this commecial because it features Richard Lewis or an obsolete "adult-juice box," not the out-right condemnation of a cola-dominated beverage scene, but because the 32 seconds it occupies is even more stupefying to me now than when it first left an indelible impression at 7.

Showering / Life

I open my eyes,
born to a dead mother.

I shower and ask:

"Brush whatnow when?"

I answer with action:

"In order for clean to make any sense,
dirty must first exist

In mirrors,
time reserves the right to itself.

Time is dirt,
which is not

Clean is immortal and human
is clarity,

a reckoning with nothing of any importance
beyond its reckless elimination

in vain.”
I pass the toilet as I exit.