Monday, December 31, 2007

Old lady's dream come true

I have been slacking on this blog lately. The holidays consumed me both mentally and physically to the point where I was barely able to speak English, let alone type in complete sentences.

Last Thursday I hit the road to Arlington with my husband to visit my sister and to catch The Dresden Dolls. The drive was hellacious, I detest the whole D.C. area with a great passion. I got a ferocious headache that never really did go away. My sister accompanied me to the Dolls show, which was an absolute joy in every way possible.

The Dresden Dolls played at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue right in D.C. The incredible facility was built in 1908 and restored in 2002 (see the picture above for the detail of the stage area above). The line to get in the show wrapped around the block, but the seating was such that everyone got a good seat. I had never been inside a synagogue, and it made me want to convert instantly. There's a synagogue around the corner from where I live, I think I'll have to pop in there some time. Attending this concert was like going to church except one of my favorite bands played instead of hearing a boring, depressing sermon about how gays are damned and so am I! The doors opened at 5:30pm and the band started around 6:15pm. Perfect! The show opened with singer Amanda Palmer performing an a Capella version of "The Wind that Shakes the Barley". The acoustics of the synagogue were stunning, the reverb was amazing. Palmer and drummer Brian Viglione appeared to be delighted to be playing together (this was the first stop in their winter tour, their first after a long hiatus). It was a fun, giddy performance full of obscure songs and covers. My sister is a drummer, she fell in love with the band while admiring Brian Viglione's unique and playful style.
All of this, and the show was out by 8:15pm. My dream come true! We left, ate Indian curry and watched "Flight of the Conchords" and I was able to be in bed by 11pm. This is my old lady dream, to have concerts begin at 6pm and end at 8pm so that I can get to bed early. The reason the Dolls show began so late is that they had another engagement in Baltimore later that evening. I bet they had a late night.
Remember, The Dresden Dolls just might be in your area sometime soon! If you are nearby, be sure to see them at The NorVa on Jan 13th! You can bet your bum I'll be there.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I wish everyone a bright and beautiful day today and every day of the year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Howdy folks! I turned on this "comment moderation" feature and it screwed me up. Sorry about that, all of your comments are now posted.

(Caution, a few minor spoilers lie ahead as do a few expletives which are in order. I promised not to post expletives, but I couldn't help this, really I couldn't.) So last night I went and rented the movie Once. I kept reading all of these glowing reviews and some friends were waxing poetic about it. Although I liked the tone of the film and liked the documentary look, it was a bit boring and quite predictable. The indie films think they're being subversive by having the characters maintain unrequited love. Nope, it's getting old. I want the cheesy, sappy, super-happy ending with the girl and guy kissing and maybe getting a little, too. This one is built for the indie rock crowd who fall all over themselves and break their little black-rimmed glasses trying to get tickets for Death Cab for Cutie. It's not horrible, it's just lame. The music is lame and the setup is very unrealistic for a film trying to feel like a documentary. The characters are all pusses, too. No one has any balls whatsoever. This movie makes me think of one word, and that word is "twat". All the characters are twats, the songs are twatty and the movie is one big twatfest. I suppose my expectations were too high (I should know by now not to do that). Once has been dubbed a "rock musical" by numerous writers, this contains as much rock music as Brigadoon. It's a Twat Musical, that's what it is.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I want to eat pie

This past weekend I watched the film Waitress. The film started out nicely enough, but it finished up corny and hoaky. There were some very enjoyable things about the movie, but the main characters were all too broadly drawn and morally questionable. However, the featured pies looked delicious and I'm considering ordering the Border's special edition DVD because it comes with pie recipe cards. Yum!
The great tragedy surrounding Waitress was the horrific murder of writer/director/actress Adrienne Shelly. She was such a talented and beautiful woman (that's her in the picture above). I loved her as Hal Hartley's muse in the films The Unbelievable Truth and Trust. As Maria Coughlin in Trust, Adrienne Shelly shaped an unforgettable character. "I'll marry you if you admit that respect, admiration and trust equal love" she said to Martin Donovan's character Matthew. He agrees, of course. It was a great moment in cinema for me. I must have seen Trust 10 times or more in the mid to late 90s. I'm a little sad that her legacy will be Waitress because I believe that she could have gone on to bigger and better directorial efforts. She was lovely. Everyone should go out and rent Trust right away and see how incredible Shelly was. And even picking up Waitress wouldn't hurt you, either.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The best Christmas special that's not Pee-Wee's Christmas

I should have posted this earlier, but I missed the mark. The second greatest Christmas special is the 1985 Rankin-Bass produced The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. I promise you will never find a Christmas special as whacked-out and unique as this one. I saw it when it first aired in 1985 and thought it was incredible. The images will stay with you forever, especially if you are young. A few years later it aired on television again and my mom wouldn't let me watch it. I believe her exact words were "Turn that creepy s#!t off". Of course, that only made me more determined to see it again.

Created with beautiful puppets and stop-motion animation, the story is adapted from the book by L. Frank Baum (yes, The Wizard of Oz author). The story goes something like this:

A human baby is found abandoned in the Forest of Burzee by the Great Ak, the master Immortal woodsman. Necile the Wood Nymph wishes to keep the child and raise him as her own. Accompanied the lioness Shiegra and a variety of forest creatures, the baby is names Claus and is raised in the forest. Claus finds out that he is mortal and is shown the wicked and ugly ways of mankind. In order to counterbalance man's cruelty, Claus moves to the mortal world and begins his good deeds. As he grows old, the Immortals who raised him must decide by council if they will bestow upon Claus the mantle of Immortality.

Strange? Oh, it's far weirder than what you imagine. In the course of the hour-long special, you get to meet the Immortals (among them a slug man and a screeching wind demon) and you see Claus' adversaries who consist of beasts with spiked jewelry. My favorite bit of craziness is when Claus is attacked by the giant spiders.

I'm afraid that this aired this past Tuesday night. I promise to post immediately if it is scheduled to air again. Currently, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is still unavailable on DVD and is a rarity on VHS. Still, it must be applauded for its shear audacity to avoid all stereotypes and subvert both the religious and secular notions of Christmas and Santa Claus in order to create a unique and transcendent story.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Must have

My gorgeous and talented friend Atlanta has begun selling her handmade jewelry creations. Take a moment to visit her Etsy shop here. You will find beautiful, unique and reasonably priced delights! I already scored a pendant and I'm contemplating more...

Favorite news story of the day

Better than today's headline about some guys who tried to smuggle $10,000 worth of cocaine in a Christmas card is this article on Newsweek.com:

'Avoid Death' is named wackiest label
'Danger: Avoid Death' is chosen as nation's wackiest warning label
By RON VAMPLE Associated Press Writer AP

A warning on a small tractor that reads "Danger: Avoid Death" has been chosen as the nation's wackiest warning label by an anti-lawsuit group.
The Wacky Warning Label Contest, now in its 11th year, is conducted by Novi-based Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch as part of an effort to show the effects of lawsuits on warning labels.
Kevin Soave of Farmington Hills, a Detroit suburb, won the $500 grand prize for submitting the winning label.
The $250 second place was given to Carrianne, Jacob and Robby Turin of Greensburg, Pa., for a label they found on an iron-on T-shirt transfer that warns: "Do not iron while wearing shirt."
Richard Goodnow of Lancaster, Mass., earned the $100 third-place prize for a label on a baby stroller featuring a small storage pouch that warns: "Do not put child in bag."
Contest organizer Bob Dorigo Jones says the silly labels reflect how broken America's civil justice system is.

Read it here if you like.

In other news, finally Jodie Foster came out. It's about time. Good for her.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Wow, I have very little to post about lately. It's slow for me working all the time and spending all free time trying to get it together for Christmas.

Over the summer I became obsessed with the reality television show L.A. Ink. I don't care much for reality shows in general, but I really enjoyed this program about giggly girls creating beautiful tattoo art. Because of this silly show, I started watching Miami Ink but didn't find that as entertaining. I got very, very excited when I saw the preview for London Ink, the new show based in, you guessed it, London. I figured this one would be my favorite, being that London is my old stomping ground. I miss that city every day.

London Ink is utterly boring. The wonderful people I knew in London were crazy and fun and wild and terrific. Of course, my old friends aren't tattoo artists. On the show, there are four artists who create tattoos for customers who are then filmed during the tattoo process. The artists are rather stuffy (though perhaps not by English standards!). The customers are stilted as well. On L.A. Ink, the customers cry when they tell their tattoo story and then go berserk and scream "Oh my God!" when they see the finished piece for the first time. On London Ink, the customers briefly explain the tattoo and when it's finished say something profound like, "Oh, nice one."

I love London, I love tattoos (or, rather, tittoos as they keep calling them on the show). I hope that London Ink delivers the good stuff as the episodes keep coming. Perhaps time helps to warm to each artists personality. Or not.

Plus, they gotta let that stupid David Beckham tittoo rest in peace. Mentioning it once was interesting, five times is just pathetic. They actually claimed that Beckham's "guardian angel" tittoo is the most famous tittoo in the world. I didn't even know about it until the show aired. I thought Tupac's Thug Life tittoo might garner that title.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year

I'm having quite a week, but most of it hasn't been worth blogging about. It's getting to be Christmastime, and anyone who know me understands that I lose any sense that I possess and turn into a retard. I am easily distracted by shiny things, so I LOVE Christmas. I watch all the stupid Christmas specials (only the classics, really, like A Charlie Brown Christmas and How The Ginch Stole Christmas and my all-time fave, Pee-Wee's Christmas Special). I decorate and bake and handmake lots of presents and turn my front yard into a neon catastrophe that can be seen from I-64. I freakin' love Christmas.

Last Saturday my husband took me to Alley Katz Richmond to see a band called Action Patrol. They were a very popular punk band in Richmond in the early to mid '90s. It was too weird for words. My old teacher from VCU was the lead singer and I probably hadn't laid eyes on him in maybe 7 years. I used to have such a crush on him. He didn't crush me back. He looks the same as he did before. I only ran into a few people I knew, I was trying to lay low. I mostly hung out with my wonderful sister. It was very uncomfortable being back in Richmond, however briefly. The show was good, but I was feeling too out-of-sorts to really appreciate it. In Richmond it always felt like everyone is always out to impress and play "let's see who can be the coolest". It's hipster after hipster and I never quite was able to fit in that niche. I guess that I should be thankful for that!

In other boring news, I watched that timeless holiday classis The Devil's Rejects. I also bought tix to see Rob Zombie in Jan.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Funny pants

I laughed for an hour. This is an image from a catalog my boss had laying around. Every time I look at this picture I can't stop laughing.

Sorry Butch

Musician and producer Butch Walker has not had a very good week. My buddy Sam sent this news release to me:

Malibu Fires Hit Home of Butch Walker
Butch Walker and his family have fallen victim to the wildfires spread
by the Santa Ana winds across Malibu, CA. On November 24th a family
friend was forced to evacuate the singer, songwriter and producer's
Malibu home, which was being rented from Red Hot Chili Peppers
guitarist Flea, due to the rapidly spreading fire. Walker was in New
York City at the time on tour.
Says Walker "I had just consolidated my entire recording studio and
house from Atlanta into the one house In Malibu. I lost everything I've
ever owned. Every master of every song I've ever recorded, every piece
of recording equipment, guitars, drums and things I've collected over
the years, cars, motorcycles, every family memorial, heirloom, picture,
and document we ever had.... Gone. I feel like I finally know the
difference between 'going back' and 'going home'."
Walker and his family request privacy during this painful time.

For those of you unfamiliar, Butch Walker has produced some singles for one of my favorite bands, Puffy. He's also put out some great solo work. Anyway, best wishes and best of luck to Butch.

Friday, November 23, 2007

No Country

Oooh wee baby. It's good. Very, very good.

I noticed a few omissions from the book. Nevertheless I believe it stands as perhaps the most faithful adaptation of a novel that I can recall.

Can't wait to see it again!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Not so great after all?

Thank God! I just read that the band Rocket that I posted about previously was voted off of that crapfest Next Great American band. It's a terrible show that puts bands on parade like the American Idols. It's atrocious. I tried to watch the first show to spot Rocket. It was heinous. It's another celebration of painful, middle-of-the-road drivel that so many people think of as being music. One mundane band after another, each trying to sound like some other "popular" band. It's a nightmare. Supposedly they are currently making all of the supposedly "orginal" bands play crappy cover songs each week. What the hell is the purpose in this? Who plays the most rockin' version of "Do You Know the Way to San Jose"?
I'm delighted that Rocket was voted off. They deserve a lot better than this tripe. Hopefully now they will not compromise musical integrity and will still play the same psuedo glam punk rock that I heard last March.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Woo wee! Another tag!

First of all, let's wish ekroblog a very happy birthday! It was her birthday when I started typing this, now it's no longer her birthday. Sorry for the delay.

Okay, new tag:

4 jobs I have had:

Receptionist at too many different places, waitress, video store clerk (best job ever without $ or benefits), box office hag

4 movies I love to watch over and over again:

Tonari No Totoro, NANA, Almost Famous Director's Cut, Big Top Pee-Wee (a bunch of people probably lost a lot or respect for me just now)

4 places I have lived:

Hampton, VA, Richmond, VA, London, England, back to Richmond and then back to Hampton, wait that's too many!

4 TV shows I enjoy watching (I'm assuming these must be currently airing):
The Simpsons, L.A. Ink, Taboo, My Name is Earl

4 Places I Have Been:

Tokyo, Kyoto, Memphis, your mom's house

4 websites I visit daily:

HamptonArts, Internet Movie Database, Hotmail, Netflix (I'm so boring)

4 Favorite Foods:

sushi, cheese pizza, Indian vegetable curry, huevos rancheros

4 places I would rather be:

Harajuku in Tokyo, at the movies, in my bed, at your mom's house

I tag isoblog, diapers, budgets & paint (geez, Kim, you gotta rename that blog!) and alphabet city because you are the only blogs I know to tag.

Coming soon to a venue near you...

The tickets for the Dresden Dolls winter tour are on sale now. I ordered mine but they haven't arrived yet. I'm just delighted to have shows to look foward to!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lazy day movie

Yesterday was wonderful. I didn't have to go to work. Last week was 50+ hrs on the job, so it was a much-needed respite. I got some chores done and spent the rest of the day being lazy and knitting and watching movies. I watched one of my absolute favorite lazy (or sick) day movies, Me Without You. Starring Michelle Williams and Anna Friel, this 2001 UK film chronicles the friendship between two girls who grow up next door to one another. Michelle Williams is Holly, the mousy, cerebral girl and Anna Friel is Marina, the audacious party girl. Complications arise from Holly's infatuation with Marina's brother Nat (played by cutie Oliver Milburn). I like to watch this movie on lazy days cause my husband hates movies tagged "coming of age". However, I think Me Without You subverts a lot of the cliches with top-notch acting and an incredible soundtrack (Echo & The Bunnymen, The Clash, Nick Drake, etc.).

So this made me think about thos lovely movies like this one that are perfect for lazy days or sick days. I request that you, friends and visitors, leave me comments and let me know what your favorite lazy day movie is.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

How did I miss it?

I just found out that Josh Brolin is the son of James Brolin. The pieces finally click into place. Ah ha! Then I noticed that Josh Brolin got really freakin' hot sometime in the past few years when I saw Planet Terror. I cannot wait to see No Country for Old Men. Of course I loved the book, and I love the Coen Brothers, but heck. The hotness, oh the hotness. I love the 'stache and the boots. Gotta love a cowboy sometimes.
-Also, punchbuggyblues pointed out to me that Brolin, Jr. was the older brother in The Goonies. Definitely not hot then. He wasn't hot in Best Laid Plans, a movie that I really like, either. After checking out some recent photos, I realize that it's solely the facial hair that turns him into Super Hottie. That's strange, being that facial hair doesn't usually have that effect on me. Just this one guy.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Dita XXXmas delights!

Dita is here with her new line of cute Christmas lingerie for Frederick's of Hollywood. My sweet husband just called to tell me that the new catalog arrived in the mailbox today! Although I'm not huge fan of Frederick's of Hollywood or anything, I love Dita and can't wait to go shopping! Of course, I know that donning said clothing will not turn me into Dita Von Teese, but I'm happy to support her endorsements. Since I can't support her new Cointreau endorsement, I can at least get a bra or something.

Why I am not a people person

I transcribed a phone call that I received at work yesterday. No, this is not a joke or some prank call. I attempted to transcribe it verbatim. This is why I'm so tired after work. I fear for the future of the human race and pray that stupidity isn't contagious.

Caller: I’d like tickets for Saturday’s performance of M*A*S*H.
Me: We don’t have M*A*S*H here, m’am. We have Catch-22 that evening.
Caller: Oh! Maybe that’s what I wanted to see. Can I get one ticket then?
Me: You can reserve a ticket using a Visa or a MasterCard.
Caller: Oh no, I don’t want to do that. Can I just buy one?
Me: You can buy tickets at the door, but please call on Saturday just to make sure that tickets are still available that evening.
Caller: Okay, I’ll do that. I really want to see M*A*S*H.
Me: It’s not M*A*S*H, m’am. It’s Catch-22.
Caller: Oh, is M*A*S*H on Friday then?
Me: No, it’s Julius Caesar on Friday.
Caller: So M*A*S*H is only on Saturday?
Me: No, m'am. Julius Caesar will be on Friday and Catch-22 will be performed on Saturday.
Caller: Oh, that's right! I'll call back then.

Monday, November 5, 2007

I heart...

Hans Bellmer.

Books tag

Michael tagged me to do this thing about books. This is difficult as I am barely literate. So here goes:

Total number of books:

I don't know. I don't know if this is number of books I own or have read in a lifetime. But it's a few. More than 5, less than 5 million.

Last book I read:

Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men (fantasic, wonderful, amazing, glorious, captivating)

Last book I bought:
Junko Mizuno's Pure Trance (so that I could understand what my new toys are all about, but the comic is so bizarre that I actually understand less no that I'm in the middle of it).

Five Meaningful Books (important to my life, in no particular order):

1. Bram Stoker's Dracula because I am a vampire buff (but no, I don't file my teeth and drink blood and such). This is a classic for so many reasons.

2. Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita is my favorite novel. Perversions and stigma aside, it's simply a beautiful and heartwrenching love story.

3. Koushun Takami's Battle Royale isn't really a great novel, but it's a freakin' great riff on The Lord of the Flies and it made for one of the greatest films ever made, Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale. This is one of the rare cases in which the film is far superior to the original novel. That movie kick-started my insatiable obsession with contemporary Japanese cinema.

4. Tie: Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer and Anais Nin's Henry & June turned the everyday act of keeping a diary into the creation of literature. Plus, they left in all the good naughty bits!

5. Dita Von Teese's Burlesque and the Art of the Teese/Fetish and the Art of the Teese for all the reasons that I would have never expected. I bought this out of curiousity, and it turned out that Dita is my hero. Yes, Dita is beautiful and the photos are stunning, but there's a heck of a lot more to it. Instead of making me feel like a lumpy, bulbous slab of blubber like usual, Dita makes a very strong argument that beauty is an illusion that you can create. She states that she works very hard to look like she does, that beauty is not necessarily effortless and that every woman can achieve beauty with a little patience and a lot of hard work. Instead of feeling grotesque and inferior, this book actually boosted my self esteem a tiny bit which is no small feat. I generally feel like a female, semi-human version of Jabba the Hut. Dita made me feel like an attractive woman, or at least potentially attractive. I'm forever a Dita fan and I can't recommend this gorgeous book enough. I know this is more of a photo book that a novel, but I don't care.

I tag anyone who feels like doing this. This was time consuming which is good cause work is making me insane today.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Something to get excited about

This year has managed to be a decent one for movies. I've been able to get super jacked up about the release of a few. Earlier this year it was Grindhouse and the Satoshi Kon's Paprika. Now I've got another couple of films that look as though they'll exceed all expectations (which are very high). The first, of course, is the Coen Brothers new adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men. The book was phenomenal, as all McCarthy's novels tend to be. The film looks like it sticks to the book pretty faithfully, so we may have a stunning return to form for the Coens. Then we have Julien Temple's new documentary, Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten. Okay, maybe it's not the perfect film if you are not a Clash fan. But I am indeed a Clash fan. I wasn't a huge fan of Temple's Sex Pistols documentary The Filth and the Fury, but I think this new one will surpass his previous work. It's about damn time someone made a documentary about Strummer. Last night I watched Transformers and it was so painful and lacked all the things a good movie needs, namely a script. Therefore all the more reason to get excited for something good.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Iso.blog tagged me

I don't really understand, but apparently I'm supposed to respond to being taged with this:

Rules: Once tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you. Then post the rules before your list, and list 8 random things about yourself. At the end of the post, you must tag and link to 8 other people, visit their sites, and leave a comment letting them know they’ve been tagged.

1. I was the president of the Science Club my senior year of high school. We went dolphin watching. I think we saw one.

2. I hated school. I would never go back to school. No way. I hated all school, from elementary right through to college.

3. I have six tattoos (no, you can't see them all, but you can see some). I have plans for more on the way.

4. I got to meet Hal Hartley very briefly. He's the director of one of my favorite films of all time, Amateur.

5. I worked at a car dealership for almost 3 months as a receptionist. It was awful, just miserable. It was sleazier than you could imagine. Car salesmen are the scum of the earth, they'd run over their grandmother to make a sale. I basically got myself fired on purpose by bringing in a book of Joel Peter Witkin photographs. F^c! car salemen. F^!k car dealerships everywhere.

6. My favorite actress is Fairuza Balk.

7. When I lived in London, one of my housemates was a crazy but sweethearted German guy. I once saw him eat a raw bacon sandwich.

8. In the summer of 1992, I joined two fan clubs. One was Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and the other was Deee-Lite.

Okay, so now I'm supposed to tag others to do this. So please ekroblog and punchbuggyblues do this, too. You're the only two I'm tagging, so have fun!

super nerd

As a birthday present, I got a three-day pass to the Nekocon anime convention here in town. I went two years ago and had a pleasant time. Yes, I know that there's a stigma attacted to attending an anime convention, and I'm okay with that. I don't do cosplay and I'm not really all that interested in anime. I like some stuff, like Satoshi Kon's work and everything by Studio Ghibli (of course!). Mainly, I love people-watching and shopping there. They have great shopping! Plus, you can watch videos all day in different screening rooms. It's like a sample platter for anime. I have to work some this weekend, but should be able to get some nice shopping time in. I have to remember to take some pics this time. Last time some guy did a killer costume of the Prince from Katamari Damacy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween disappointments

Wow, today bites. I had to judge a PTA Reflections contest. How does this happen to me? Is it simply a well-known fact that I am not child-friendly, therefore people think it's funny to subject me to this crap? More importantly, I must ask myself why the heck I agree to do these things (at flippin' 8am, no less). I have a hard time saying no when people ask for favors. Still, I must learn to say no. They gave me a bizarre Halloween coaster for my efforts. I think it's a painted roof shingle.
Now I'm exhausted and my workday stinks. There's a performance tonight so I'm stuck working while my husband gets to have fun scaring small children. This is the second year in a row that I'm stuck at work on Halloween. I have no costume cause I figure I'm scary enough as it is, especially today.
So help me keep entertained at work and tell me what you and your families and/or pets will be doing for Halloween and if you'll get dressed up. I need some vicarious fun, folks!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Great weekend!

Thanks to everyone who made my birthday so wonderful! It was an excellent weekend. The Bellydance Superstars put on an incredible show and I got lots of warm wishes from friends and family. My amazing husband bought me a Vivienne Westwood ring (image coming soon!). I also got the new Puffy album Honeycreeper (finally, yes!) and many other treasures and delights. It was an amazing and memorable weekend.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Birthday to me (and to Atlanta, too)!

Today is my big day. one of the most important days of my life. It's my fifth anniversary, or birthday as they call it in some circles. Five long, hard, wonderful years.
I thank my amazing family (Mom, Dad, Lucie) whose support got me through the roughest times, and I certainly wouldn't have made it through those initial ugly months without them. I thank my dearest friends Carolsue and Sam who make it easy on me and never judge me. Most of all, I thank my husband Matt whose incredible, unwavering love support is the reason that I get to celebrate this fifth birthday today. Thanks to all my other friends, too, who have been so terrific these past five years.
Enough with the sap. I'm so freakin' happy!
Happy birthday to Atlanta, too, who celebrates her actual birthday today! Happy birthday, sweetie! Hope it's a magical day!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

They're here...

Oooh wee! Hot stuff, baby! Tonight's show is going to be a ball. Finally! We sure have had some boring s#!t here lately.

So excited, my special birthday is one day away....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


For those of you who haven't been privy to all of my obsessing in the past few years, here's a big one. Two years ago I fell in love with a manga called "NANA". Written by Ai Yazawa, "NANA" details the relationship between two young girls, both of whom are named Nana, who meet on a train to Tokyo and end up becoming roommates and best friends despite their differences. There is Nana Osaki, the hot punk rocker who hopes to hit the big time with her band Black Stones. Then there is the yin to her yang, Nana Komastu, the cutesy girl who moved to Tokyo to be nearer to her boyfriend.

It's a Japanese soap opera with good fashion sense. The movie version of NANA arrived in Japan in Sep. 05, followed by NANA 2 last December. I was fortunate enough to get to attend the international premiere of NANA 2 at the IFC Center in New York with lovely Leah. Actresses Mika Nakashima and Yui Ichikawa were in attendance. It was so surreal to watch two actors for two hours and then have them magically appear (dressed in character) right before your eyes. Beautiful! The first NANA film is by far the superior film, but the second one is lovely, too, if you go along with the weird cast changes that occurred and the incessant crying. The first movie was a massive hit in Japan and spawned all sorts of merchandising as well as an anime. NANA may not be everyone's cup of tea. It's certainly a girlie thing, but the story is captivating and human, and I totally obsessed for a good year over this corny stuff. I still love it and will love it forever. For the best and most comprehensive Nana fansite, visit www.nana-nana.net.

Elect the Dead...

...is everything I had hoped it would be. He's a gyspy, he's a hierophant, he's a genius. The songs are like heavy metal Oompa-Loompa songs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The wait is almost over...

Today is the day...Serj Tankian, lead singer of the band System of a Down, releases his first solo album, Elect the Dead. He is credited with playing writing each song, playing almost every instrument and producing the entire record. Having heard the first singles "Unthinking Majority" and "Empty Walls", I have high hopes for this effort.

In my humble opinion (and many will disagree, strongly), I firmly believe that Tankian is this generation's answer to John Lennon. Tankian's activist stance flows through his music and lyrics. Although he is a peacemonger and a pacifist, Tankian promotes support of fighting for political and social freedom through grassroots action. Check out Axis of Justice for more info about his politics. Tankian works to open the public's eyes to the realities and futilites of war through his music and art, and it works without coming across as preachy or patronizing. Plus, Serj looks like and sounds like a complete maniac. I love him so!
Photo by Daragh

Thursday, October 18, 2007

In case you didn't know...

Billy Drago is the greatest actor of all time. Every movie would be a lot better if he were in them. He's incredible, a force of nature. He's pictured above with co-star Youki Koudoh and master Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike (whose Masters of Horror installment Imprint made full and complete use of Drago and his talents). Imprint is by far my favorite Masters of Horror episode and was my fortuitous introduction to the marvelous and unparalled Billy Drago. If you don't know Drago, start here. If you know Drago and need more, look here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Memories of Matsuko

I have decided to keep posting about films that get overlooked here in the US that deserve attention. I know some of my friends who check this blog from time to time would be interested in seeing the incredible Memories of Matsuko, the latest from director Tetsuya Nakashima (Kamikaze Girls). Memories of Matsuko is like a Lars Von Trier film on a colorful Asian acid trip. The film begins with a young man who is told to go clean out the apartment of his deceased aunt Matsuko. Previously unaware of Matsuko's existence, the nephew sets about discovering who his aunt was and what led her to exile from the family and from the world. Turns out Matsuko,(played by a pitch-perfect Miki Nakatani) like Von Trier's heroines, is a beautiful woman who makes fatal mistake after fatal mistake while trying to save the men in her life. Playing out like an English kitchen sink drama, disaster strikes again and again for Matsuko, whose faith in horrible men destroy her faith in herself.
Sound like a downer? Yep! But it's a glorious downer, and a hell of an experience. The film bears more visual resemblance to the films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet than those of Von Trier. With stunning musical numbers and a vibrant color palette, Memories of Matsuko is exhilarating and heartbreaking. Unfortunately, no release date has been confirmed for a domestic DVD release. So go hunt it down from your favorite shiesty import DVD seller on ebay or get the excellently subbed Chinese R3 release and watch it on your region-free player.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The great American band?

Last March I had the great pleasure of seeing all-girl band Rocket open up for Butch Walker and the Let's-Go-Out-Tonights at the NorVa in Norfolk, VA. Rocket was energtic and fun, made up of five of the cutest and coolest young ladies you could find. The lead girl even strapped on a keytar, which earned the band an instant place in my heart. With a sound that fuses glam rock with the sweetness of '60s girl group pop and contemporary punk, Rocket was far more entertaining and listenable than headliner Butch Walker (sorry, Butch, the album is just far better than the live show).
I got to meet Rocket after they played while they hocked their merch. The girls were actually prettier up close. Even better was that they were super nice, friendly and laid-back. These girls have everything, the look, the sound and the personalities.
Last night I was watching The Simpsons and saw a commercial for some craptastic American Idol rip-off called "The Next Great American Band". I hate reality shows save for "L.A. Ink" (I love watching people get tattooed and I love the artists). I have never watched "American Idol" except for the first round in which all the terrible people sing and I get to laugh. I have never watched "Dancing with the Stars" or the top chef shows or the top model shows, and I certainly had no interest in watching "America's Next Band" or whatever its called. That is, until I saw a fleeting glimpse of Rocket on the commercial for the show last night.
I am baffled and confused. A band like Rocket doesn't seem like it would be part of such drivel. However, perhaps this show will give them some exposure and have them "rocketing" to fame (hee hee, bad pun). I don't know which is worse, pandering to the lowest common denominator of the American television-watching population or having a great band never recieve the attention they rightly deserve (of course, this is true of most great bands). I suppose Rocket could be hugely popular, but at what price glory?
I have no idea if I will tune in to the show. I probably will out of morbid curiosity and the desire to "cheer on" Rocket, even though I am pretty sure the outcome of the show has long since been decided.
So here's hoping that lovely Lauren Rocket and beauty Kelly Rocket and brilliant Roxie Rocket (who was so cute it was impossible not to instantly fall in love with her!) make the big time but without compromising, without sacrificing and without changing their style or their sound.
There was one other reality show that I watched. It was the greatest show I've ever seen on tv and I wish to the heavens that they would put in on DVD. It was called "The WB's Superstar" and there will never be anything that good on tv again.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Have I lost my freakin' mind?

I have fallen head over heels in love with the art of Junko Mizuno. Junko is a Japanese artist who's style fuses manga cute with evil weirdness. She publishes warped manga fairy tales. For instance, Princess Mermaid concerns mermaid sisters who dismember and eat humans. Yay! So the famous toymakers kidrobot have paid homage to the lovely Mizuno with two limited edition vinyl figures. I evidently lost what little mind I ever had and bought both of them. I can't believe I spent all that stupid money on toys! And yet I'm so very thrilled and excited.
They have both arrived and they are so, so cute! Very detailed, very odd little dolls. The nurse reaches about 8 or 9" high, the blonde is seated and reaches 5.5" inches. They are now living a glass display case for my guests (and me) to oooh and aaahhh over.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Only in America...

would they give me this ridiculous beast to drive. It's a rental that they gave me while they attempt to fix my anti-lock brakes that they "accidentally" disconnected when attempting to fix some recall problem with my cruise control (which I never use). What a mess. They drove me to two different Enterprise Rent-A-Cars in order to set me up with this monster truck! I have no idea why they gave it to me since I told them that any make or model would be just fine. They were hellbent on giving me a truck since I already drive a truck. But my little Mazda truck is a tiny little thing compared to this gas-guzzling behemoth. And I will be tooling around in this tank for anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks. (The picture is inaccurate cause the one they gave me is burgundy).

Monday, October 8, 2007

Music for a mindmelt

I have been dutifully enjoying PJ Harvey's latest, White Chalk, since it was released last Tuesday. It's lovely, simple, and more reminiscent of my favorite, Is This Desire?. It reminds me of the happy times of 1998. I'm not sure Polly is capable of making a crappy album. She has never disappointed me, and for that I am grateful. Most artists (and people) can be crushing disappointments.
However, most music lately hasn't been ground-breaking or life-altering for me. If anyone has any suggestions for music that might inspire me or maybe just pleasantly distract me , please let me know.

Friday, October 5, 2007

so bored, so let's rock!

It's an insanely dull day at work. I've done all the busy work that I can think of to do. No one wants tickets at 5pm on a Friday. So I'm blogging and listening to AC/DC's Back In Black. I hadn't owned a copy of that album since the cassette tape I lost in 1992. Dang, it's so sweet hearing "Hells Bells". Hells yeah.

Who's my fwuffy wittle baby?

After Matt's dedication, numerous vet visits, snake shots, snake medicinal drops, snake baths and snake ointments, it appears that Testes the ball python is a healthy young man. Here's a picture of the strapping critter.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I, knitter

I made these. I am so pleased, my first intarsia project was a decent success! Thanks, Pretty in Punk!

The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai

I have to post about this movie. It's not a great movie, but people should see it anyway. Nevermind, it's pretty great. It's certainly unlike anything I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot. This movie has finally received a U.S. domestic DVD release, so go grab it from the video shop or add it to your Netflix queue right now (if you are over 17). Why? Here's the plot:

The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai is a Japanese film that concerns a not-so-bright "adult" entertainment worker named Sachiko who is accidentally shot in the head during a robbery. The bullet hits her brain in such a manner that she becomes extremely intelligent and starts spouting existential philosophy (usually while she is, um, otherwise engaged with men). Meanwhile, after the robbery Sachiko picks up what she believes is a tube of lipstick. It turns out that she is hunted down by gangsters because of the contents of the lipstick tube. Inside the tube is the cloned finger of President George W. Bush which will be used to set off nuclear weapons. Sachiko finds out what it is and conveniently stores the finger in a safe (and warm) place.

And there's more, but I hate to give it all away.

Be warned, it's a "pink" movie and contains lots of simulation, if you dig.

Here's the official website that contains adult material, so watch out if you're at work! http://www.glamorousmovie.com/

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Yes, oh yes. Joy of joys, love of loves!

Dreams do come true. From February 7-17, 2008, The Kennedy Center will present JAPAN! Culture + Hyperculture, an exhibit featuring some of the greatest visual and performing arts of traditional and contemporary Japan. Featured in this festival of sorts are two of my three favorite Japanese artists, Mika Ninagawa and Yayoi Kusama. The only one missing is Nobuyoshi Araki, but that would be asking too much anyway. He he were there to complete the triumvirate, I would surely die of visual overstimulation on the floor of the Kennedy Center lobby. I had one of the greatest and most unforgettable days of my life seeing Kusama's "Eternity-Modernity" exhibition at the Kyoto Museum of Modern Art. This festival at The Kennedy Center will surely be extraordinary. I encourage everyone (especially the Arlingtonians!) to see this. The visual exhibitions appear to be free, also. I'm so excited, I could barely get to sleep last night! Ninagawa and Kusama in the same place! Hurray!

Monday, October 1, 2007

My crazy fad of the week

The Bellydance Superstars are coming to my lovely workplace in a few weeks. My boss gave me some DVDs to watch and now I'm totally obsessed. I begin my first bellydance class on Sat. Oct.13th. Although the Bellydance Superstars touring group is an utter commercialization of raq folk dance, it's infectious. Plus, the Tribal Fusion dancers are kickass (click the pic above for larger detail).

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Baby

This is Whitey, my baby. He's got funky teeth and he's wonderful.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oh, come on now. Really?

I am a fan of the work of Phil Spector. I own a box set of his sixties recordings. I even like what he did with "Let It Be". I love his extravagance. But I read Be My Baby by Ronnie "Ronette" Spector and the mother is crazy. Not a little crazy, but a lot crazy. Phil Spector was a crazy mother in the sixties and he's even crazier now. And he DID THAT SHIT. You know he did it. Mistrial? Really? Just look at the hair and the answer lies within that big mess 'o crazy.

Ghibli Heaven

I do not consider myself to be an anime freak (how many conventions must one attend before they get that crown?). However, I am a worshiper of Studio Ghibli and master Hayao Miyazaki. Tonight theatres across the nation are screening the 1979 Miyazaki film Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro as part of the Anime Bento film festival. Yep, a 1979 anime playing at an AMC Theatre near you! Although it's cheaper to actually buy this DVD, I'll happily drop $10 a ticket if it means events such as these continue.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My new favorite movie

My new favorite movie is Sakuran. It is directed by the lovely and incredible Mika Ninagawa, my favorite contemporary photographer. It stars the lovely and talented singer, model and actress Anna Tsuchiya. I want to live inside of this gorgeous movie.

A brand new day, a blog of envy and love

Hello friends! I have been very envious of my friends' blogs lately and keep checking them to see if my friends do interesting things. They do indeed sometimes do interesting things. Though I rarely do anything of interest, my envy of their cute blogs has driven me to create my own. I will occasionally post things of interest, but mainly I will post boring ramblings while I am at work.