Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Red Paintings - Walls

The Red Paintings's EP, Walls, and the same-titled song never fail to blow me away. I love the video for the song quite a lot as well.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

When Do Friends Become "Old Friends"?

(First grade field trip with some old friends. I'm on the left!)

I asked myself this question just yesterday. I first had to think about the definition of an old friend, and why they're called an old friend in the first place. Surely it wasn't how long you've known each other, or how much you like each other or get along, but rather that you were once good friends with them, and now you may not even know them anymore. You either live far away, or have drifted apart, and then instead of introducing them as a friend, you introduce them as an old friend. I've fallen victim to this many times. I guess it's useless to try preventing changes from happening, and drifting from happening.

Thinking about this in regard to my summer-long trip to New Orleans that is coming up, though, just made me sad when I realized that I don't really know any of my old friends any more. We grew apart, moved apart, and now I have a sinking feeling that they're all completely different and I wouldn't be able to recognize a spec of their personality by now.

This just made me wonder whether I'd want to bother trying to get together with old friends there, or not. With this, I thought: Maybe it's not too late to make new friends with my old friends. Get to know them again, however different or the same they might be. Thinking about this just fills me with hope that all of my old friendships are not lost.

I think that perhaps everyone should do this if they ever have a chance.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Coffin Joe: This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse

I caught a few minutes of this Brazilian horror film on IFC Halloween night last year, after a big bottle of wine and watching a French movie with a friend. The title burned in my brain, so I looked to see when they'd air it again, and they did! This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse is the follow up to At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul, and Coffin Joe is still looking for the perfect woman to create a son with. He puts the women in terrifying situations to see how they react, as he is looking for a fearless woman, apparently. The movie is a great bizarre little movie. One of those old ones where you laugh so hard because it's not very scary, but it's still awesome in any case.

Ice Cube Tray Update

There are many other ice cube options, apparently. In the first five minutes of my searching, I found out that you can make the following: bone shaped ice cubes (for the dog lover in you), star and fairy wand ice cubes, penis ice cubes, female silhouette ice cubes, skull and crossbone ice cubes, and heart and dolphin ice cubes. My personal favorite are the heart ice cube trays.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Smiling Ice Cube Trays

There are a lot of bizarre things you can buy out there, but Frozen Smiles from Urban Outfitters is my recent favorite. Imagine how cool it would be if you were to drop in one of these ice cubes into a guest's water glass or drink. Seeing this makes me wonder how to make these trays; I have an urgent need to explore making the trays and coming up with other cool molds. Ideas for all those ice cube tray makers out there (& I'd like to meet each and every single one of you): hearts, Mickey Mouse ears, bears, stars, lips, and pretzels.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Polanoid Pick of the Day

If you haven't made a visit (or two, or three, or four . . . ) to Polanoid, you are sorely missing out. Here is my favorite polaroid of the day. Shame on them for deciding to discontinue polaroid film; polaroids are so beautiful!

Pringles Can: Macro Lens?

(The tip of a match - Photo taken with a macro lens made out of a Pringles can, by this guy.)

I'm always looking for cool DIY things. Even if I rarely actually do them, just thinking and reading about someone who was able to figure out how to do it yourself is pretty cool. Here's an example: Extreme Macro Photography on a Budget. Will I likely ever try to make a lens out of my Pringles can? Probably not. Just that someone actually can do that messes with my brain in a trippy way, though.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Vedera - Desire on Repeat at El Rey

The more I watch this video, the more I fall in love with Kristen May's voice! Swoon.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Keith Thompson

I just discovered Keith Thompson's art, and wow. It's really beautiful - some a bit eerie, but beautifully eerie. Here are some of my favorites.

Necromancer: Madame Theodosia hearkens from the Aeolian islands and is part of a long lineage of necromancers. Growing up in a family with a long tradition of raising the dead, she was uncharacteristically shaken to learn of her barrenness, and in a rather emotional state vowed to give birth, if not to a new life, then to an already passed life. For this purpose she had found assistance in fashioning a steel, pressurised womb in which the souls of the freshly dead were to be trapped and condensed. This gestating entity came to be referred to in hushed tones as The Collect. The expectant mother now unnerves her followers with a detached resignation towards her eventual agonizing death; a necessity to feed her newborn babe in a self-sacrificial fashion akin to a mother spider.

Judith & Holofernes: Conviction took her as she approached the wretch; he lay swooned from drink and debauchery. She gripped him by the hair as she brought his own weapon down upon his neck. Halfway did it stop and and he lay there breathing quietly from the cleft in his throat. “Beast of land with tough neck as if of knotted wood!” she lamented. Again a blow rained down sending the head of Holofernes rolling from the bed and across the carpeted floor of his tent. “Glory! Glory! Glory!” crooned the scaled cherubs “do not settle as of yet, dear lady, bid your maid do retrieve the head and place it in a ration sack.” This she did, following the urges of the divine voices, and she rolled his body off the bed, and rent the canopy from its posts.

Scribe: A scrivener automaton working in a rather wealthy merchant's library. The arcane procedures for creating automatons are as varied as their appearance and roles in society (servitors, military, labour, prostitution, etc). The taxidermic use of cured human remains is legalised, economical and common place in their construction (similar to how the powdered wigs in our past often used the hair of corpses). However the practice of "rendering" down living persons into an automaton state is outlawed, it is frequently employed since the resultant product tends to outperform the legal alternative. The merchant who owns this particular scribe automaton has some very extensive paperwork detailing her conformity to all applicable regulation. Despite this assurance, those who deal with her have noticed how quickly she learns new tasks, and have caught her smiling when backs are turned.
Patron of Poor Minstrels: Proud arm in the pantheon of misfit gods. Her cacophonous playing offended all but her own misshapen taste. Mutilated, hanged twice, and wrists nailed to tree trunk by the other gods whose ears bled. On she played. And during that playing she gave life to a daughter never meant to tread the earth, and slain before birth.

Siouxsie and the Banshees's Dear Prudence Cover

Rarely do I ever find a cover of a Beatles song that I enjoy, and this one is an exceptional exception. I guess it's no secret that I like Siouxsie and the Banshees a lot, and that I think Siouxsie Sioux is one of the coolest people ever, so I may be biased (just a tad...). Still, this cover gives a twist to the song while still recalling the feel of the original song. It's not all crazy and out there, or too similar, like most people do when covering the Beatles. Il est parfait et la vidéo musique est magnifique! Comment tu trouves ça? Oh, shoot me for using French. No, really, please shoot me: I'm fairly certain that I am butchering even the simplest of sentences.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins - Quote

"There is lovemaking that is bad for a person, just as there is eating that is bad. That boysenberry cream pie from the Thrift-E-Mart may appear inviting, may, in fact, cause all nine hundred taste buds to carol from the tongue, but in the end, the sugars, the additives, the empty calories clog arteries, disrupt cells, generate fat, and rot teeth. Even potentially nourishing foods can be improperly prepared. There are wrong combinations and improper preparations in sex as well. Yes, one must prepare for a fuck - the way an enlightened priest prepares to celebrate mass, the way a great matador prepares for the ring: with intensification, with purification, with a conscious summoning of sacred power. And even that won't work if the ingredients are poorly matched: oysters are delectable, so are strawberries, but mashed together . . . (?!) Every nutritious sexual recipe calls for at least a pinch of love, and the fucks that rate four-star rankings from both gourmets and health-food nuts use cupfuls. Not that sex should be regarded as therapeutic or to be taken for medicinal purposes - only a dullard would hang such a millstone around the nibbled neck of a lay - but to approach sex carelessly, shallowly, with detachment and without warmth is to dine night after night in erotic greasy spoons. In time, one's palate will become insensitive, one will suffer (without knowing it) emotional malnutrition, the skin of the soul will fester with scurvy, the teeth of the heart will decay. Neither duration nor proclamation of commitment is necessarily the measure - there are ephemeral explosions of passion between strangers that made more erotic sense than many length marriages, there are one-night stands in Jersey City more glorious than six-month affairs in Paris - but finally there is a commitment, however brief; a purity, however threatened; a vulnerability, however concealed; a generosity of spirit, however marbled with need; an honest caring, however singed by lust, that must be present if couplings are to be salubrious and not slow poison."

Everything this man says in his novel is making absolute sense to me an extraordinarily lucid fashion.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines by Dylan Thomas

Light breaks where no sun shines;
Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart
Push in their tides;
And, broken ghosts with glowworms in their heads,
The things of light
File through the flesh where no flesh decks the bones.

A candle in the thighs
Warms youth and seed and burns the seeds of age;
Where no seed stirs,
The fruit of man unwrinkles in the stars,
Bright as a fig;
Where no wax is, the candle shows its hairs.

Dawn breaks behind the eyes;
From poles of skull and toe the windy blood
Slides like a sea;
Nor fenced, nor staked, the gushers of the sky
Spout to the rod
Divining in a smile the oil of tears.

Night in the sockets rounds,
Like some pitch moon, the limit of the globes;
Day lights the bone;
Where no cold is, the skinning gales unpin
The winter's robes;
The film of spring is hanging from the lids.

Light breaks on secret lots,
On tips of thought where thoughts smell in the rain;
When logics die,
The secret of the soil grows through the eye,
And blood jumps in the sun;
Above the waste allotments the dawn halts.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Muxtape Stumbler

By now, everyone's surely heard of Muxtape. One of the things I didn't like much about it, although it was still fun, was that I had a hard time finding mixtapes that contained music that I would like. That's why I love Muxtape Stumbler. With this website, you can type in bands that you like, and come up with a list of mixtapes that you will likely enjoy. They show mixtapes that contain bands you type in, and similar artists. There is also an option to uncheck the box that searches for mixtapes with similar artists, and if you do that, it will only show mixtapes containing the artists you typed in.

I hope this is helpful! It sure helped me out a lot.

Also, here is one of my muxtapes, if you care to listen to it, hee.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

PJ Harvey - Good Fortune

This video epitomizes everything I'm feeling right now. I really want to walk all over the city, dancing and flailing my arms like crazy, singing at the top of my lungs. This is one of my favorite videos, just because of how spontaneous it seems, and how it really seems to capture a lot about the singer, which usually doesn't ever happen in music videos.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day, a Day Late.

(Mom in '79.)

Mother's Day is always something of a tough day for me. My mother passed away two years ago last November. It was so sudden, and because of that, I've struggled with coming to terms of why she was taken, and at such a young age. I miss her a lot. We were best friends, confidants, and always perfectly understood each other. Even though we both had red-hot tempers, and would get into massive fights sometimes, it was always followed with a long, calm talk that would perfectly explain why we were both so angry at each other. I never am able to do that with anyone else, and I wish I did have it.

Usually I try to ignore Mother's Day, but this year I looked through old photos (what's left of them - most were lost in Hurricane Katrina, but that's a whole other story). I wrote some non-blog related things, mostly about or inspired by her. I even wrote a letter, however geeky that may sound, and watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, one of her favorite movies.

So, Happy Late Mother's Day to all mothers out there. Here are some pictures to further celebrate the day.

(Mom & her mom.

(Me & mom a long, long time ago, thank goodness. I was such a geeky thing.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ferenc Cakó - Sand Animation

At the very end of summer last year, I went to the Orange County fair, not expecting much, but just wanted to check it out. Turns out I didn't do much besides ride one ride called Kamikaze (I sometimes blame my love of PJ Harvey for this) because I honestly thought the prices for the rides and food were ridiculous.

Just when I was about to go home and cut my losses, my friend told me that he was sure that Ferenc Cakó, a Hungarian artist who does a thing called sand animation, was going to be performing soon. It sounded interesting, so I stayed, and I'm glad I did! What he does with the sand is really almost unbelievable. He makes such real looking images with the sand, and works so quickly that it really is as if you're watching an animation, seeing a story lay out in front of your eyes.

For more info on Ferenc and videos and pictures of his work, be sure to go to his website.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

since feeling is first by e.e. cummings

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a far better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
--the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for eachother: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

Pink Martini - May 8, 2008

I left my post here on the 8th and 9th to go see one of my favorite bands ever: Pink Martini. They were playing at Pechanga, and it was close enough, so I made a mini-vacation out of it. I arrived there a few hours before the show, and ate at the buffet, because it seemed like a thing to do when you're at a casino. Unfortunately I had forgotten that I hate buffets, and ended up eating about 5 desserts and none of the, courses.

The show itself was great. I had wanted to take photos, but they were strictly not allowed in the casino's show room. China Forbes's voice is absolutely stunning, and sounds just as great as on the record (see, this is always a fear I have when I see a band live - that they won't sound as good). The set list, as best as I could remember it was:

Tempo Perdido
Anna (El Negro Zumbon)
Donde Estas, Yolanda?
Over the Valley
Cante E dance
Amado Mio
Hey Eugene!
Dosvedanya Mio Bombino
Bukra wba'do
Brazil (encore)

There were some really cute/funny moments of the night, like when Thomas Lauderdale (the pianist and band leader) was asking why the security guards were facing the crowd and not the band. China Forbes asked, all innocently, "They don't like the show?". Then she reasoned that they had to keep an eye on the crowd, because we looked very suspicious. The banter continued until Thomas actually brought a guard to the front of the stage and said, "Let's get to know you!". So, Michael from Temecula who is a security guard for Pechanga, nice to get to know you.

Also, during Ojala, Timothy Nishimoto's (vocals, percussion) little niece and nephew came out to be dancers for the song. It was very, very cute. The boy even dipped the girl a couple times, which won tons of approval, cheers and laughter from the crowd.

I was so disappointed that they didn't do Let's Never Stop Falling in Love or Hang on Little Tomato or Lilly or Everywhere or a million others, but that's life!

Once I got back to the hotel room, I celebrated the evening by putting on my newly bought t-shirt and fixing up one (or a few) pink martinis - also known as Cosmopolitans OR Carrie Bradshaw's drink, whichever you prefer.

And, here I am after everything exciting has already happened! How long till The Long Blondes show again?

Convert Images to ASCII

(Original Image - Miranda July!)

Do you remember when everyone had those ASCII images of tigers and boobs and ice cream cones and hearts in their AIM profiles? Well, you can relive those days with this website. Just upload an image, or the link to an image, and watch it work its ASCII magic. Imagine how much trouble this would have saved the boys in Me and You and Everyone We Know.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Jason Castro

A moment of silence, please, for our favorite stoned (former) American Idol contestant, who was voted off last night. Looks like Jason didn't care (or was incredibly happy). In fact, on Tuesday night, I'm fairly certain that when Ryan was reading off the numbers that he mouthed, "Don't vote". That's why I love him: anyone who can recognize that American Idol isn't all that is my kind of dude. Still, I'll miss him. Now there are no funny characters, and quite frankly I'm going to skip the rest of the season. I should have decided that a long time ago.

So let's say it once more: "I was thinkin' Bob Marley!" and say goodbye. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

New Orleans in 1908

(Mardi Gras parade.)

1908. The year my grandmother was born. The year these photos of New Orleans were taken that were sent to me by my aunt. Usually I'd skip over forwarded emails from her, but I thankfully opened this one. These photos are absolutely gorgeous, and actually makes me feel a little love for my hometown, which is something that doesn't come easily. Usually, after living there for so long, I just don't think of it as magical at all, but looking at these, I can feel the magic.

(Jackson Square.)

(French Quarter.)


Clothing Predictions for the Year 2000 from the 1930's

This video from the 1930's shows a very amusing prediction of what women will be wearing in the year 2000. Everything from transparent net, the disappearance of skirts all together (excuse me while I have a flashback to the required uniform of overalls of all members of the Party in 1984), electric belts that adapt the body to changes in climate, and flashlights tied to the top of the head is predicted. Funnily enough, heels like these actually have been seen recently. Also, gotta love the narrator's commentary. "Oooh, swish!" & "Containers for coins, keys and candy for cuties"? Like I said, gotta love it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ninja Warrior

(Stage Three video of Yasushi Yamada)

Ninja Warrior, broadcasted on G4 in the US (which is mostly a gaming network), or Sasuke, as it's called in Japan, is this completely insane Japanese obstacle course and competition. There are four stages - the first three so extremely difficult that the final stage almost seems anti-climatic. There have only been two contestants, I believe, that have completed the entire course, and after each time that's happened, the courses have been completely remodeled.

My favorite part of each competition is the first stage! Seeing so many people falling into the muddy water after making wrong moves...there's just something so much fun about it. There are so many great characters, my favorites including "The World's Toughest Transexual" and the Octopus.

It's even become so popular that it spawned a competition for women only, and also special competitions for even children and also for older men and women.

You are seriously missing out on a whole lot of entertainment if you've never seen or heard of this show.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Never Try to Trick Me with a Kiss by Sylvia Plath

Never try to trick me with a kiss
Pretending that the birds are here to stay;
The dying man will scoff and scorn at this.

A stone can masquerade where no heart is
And virgins rise where lustful Venus lay:
Never try to trick me with a kiss.

Our noble doctor claims the pain is his,
While stricken patients let him have his say;
The dying man will scoff and scorn at this.

Each virile bachelor dreads paralysis,
The old maid in the gable cries all day:
Never try to trick me with a kiss.

The suave eternal serpents promise bliss
To mortal children longing to be gay;
The dying man will scoff and scorn at this.

Sooner or later something goes amiss;
The singing birds pack up and fly away;
So never try to trick me with a kiss:
The dying man will scoff and scorn at this.

Ellen von Unwerth

If you haven't heard of Ellen von Unwerth by now, shame on you! She's a very popular fashion photographer, whom I love because of the fact that so many of her photographs have such a vintage feel to them. These are my most recent favorites:

(Vanessa Paradis.)

(Rose McGowan.)

(Kate Moss.)

(Marion Cotillard.)

(Lou Doillon.)

(Devon Aoki.)

(Devon Aoki.)

(Rose McGowan.)

(Milla Jovovich.)

(Zooey Deschanel.)

For more EVU, this site is amazing - I could spend hours and hours browsing the photos.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

When Jean-Luc Godard and The Magic Numbers merge...

The members of The Magic Numbers obviously took some notes from Jean-Luc Godard's À Bout de Souffle (Breathless) for their video for I See You, You See Me. In fact, almost shamelessly so, right down to the actress with the Jean Seberg haircut and wardrobe choices. What can I say, though? I love Jean-Luc Godard. I love Jean Seberg. I love The Magic Numbers - even Ringo loves The Magic Numbers (!).

What's not to love about this video?

Condolence by Dorothy Parker

They hurried here, as soon as you had died,
Their faces damp with haste and sympathy,
And pressed my hand in theirs, and smoothed my knee,
And clicked their tongues, and watched me, mournful-eyed.
Gently they told me of that Other Side-
How, even then, you waited there for me,
And what ecstatic meeting ours would be.
Moved by the lovely tale, they broke, and cried.

And when I smiled, they told me I was brave,
And they rejoiced that I was comforted,
And left to tell of all the help they gave.
But I had smiled to think how you, the dead,
So curiously preoccupied and grave,
Would laugh, could you have heard the things they said.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Photos of Jane Birkin & Family by Gabrielle Crawford

(Jane Birkin, Serge Gainsbourg, Kate Barry)

I love the several photos of Jane Birkin and her family that Gabrielle Crawford has taken. They are so beautiful and have such a natural, relaxed feel to them.

For those that don't know, Jane Birkin is a British singer and actress (and of course! the famous Birkin bag is named after her), who was married to French pop songwriter-singer, poet, actor, director. He wrote many songs for lots of French pop singers, including Jane Birkin. Jane & Serge had a daughter together, Charlotte Gainsbourg, who is probably most recognizable from the movie The Science of Sleep and from her most recent solo album, 5:55. Jane also had two other daughters through two different men (John Barry & Jacques Doillon): Kate Barry (photographer), and Lou Doillon (model and actress).

I have been completely in love with Jane Birkin and her family for quite a while, and these photos by Gabrielle Crawford made me fall in love even more.

(Jane Birkin, Lou Doillon)

(David Birkin - Jane's father, Jane Birkin)