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).