Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Monday, March 03, 2014

Old and new in beautiful Downtown Oakland.
 
 

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Friday, February 28, 2014

Rainy day treat at Ramen Shop.

Corsair Triple Smoked Malt Whiskey















This whiskey out of Kentucky had all the peaty goodness of a good Islay Scotch but a clean finish that paired well with Japanese flavors. I could drink this all the time. Nice pick by my wonderful and incredibly talented illustrator/bar manager friend extraordinaire, Chris Lane.

tsukemono and pork/squid fried rice
Best fried rice in the East Bay. And OMG, the tsukemono -- Ramen Shop has someone who only does pickles, and it shows. The black radish -- the small slices vegetal, the large ones spicy, taking advantage of natural radish variation -- was to die for. 

sesame-miso ramen w/ ground pork belly



















Broth so rich and thick, noodles with a firm chew, ground browned pork belly nuggets like little treasures to be dredged up from the bottom: a perfect bowl.

Go get some!


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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014















(images from the Vintage Valentine Museum -- yes, that's a thing!)

I really do pine for those handwritten, pre-phone/Facebook/texting days when something like this was a real treat to give to, and receive from, someone special.

(what I'm also saying is that I could definitely be wooed by a gentleman bearing one of these 19th century calling cards *swoon*)

So, accordingly, I've spent the last hour or so online, trying to track down this vintage 1926 German mechanical valentine that my sweetie was only able to give to me electronically, in the hopes of purchasing it to be my forever precious, but it's been all for naught.

So, irony intact, I will be parking this here, on my blog. Maybe I'll even get it tattooed on my person someday.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

Trevor is at a conference in the Polar Vortex. My beloved California is gorgeous -- it was a comfortable 70 degrees today in the Town -- but suffering from a drought.

Yet, Mother Nature still wants us to know we live in a magical world.


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Thursday, January 16, 2014

YES.

Kit Kat Specialty Store Opening in Tokyo

All y'all know I'm not a big sweet eater, but I make room in my Japan bag every year for amazing Japanese Kit Kats.










I've only had green tea, sakura, hojicha, strawberry, blueberry cheesecake, and soy sauce flavors, so you can bet your sweet ass I'm making it over to Ikebukuro (also home to Namja Town and its Gyoza Stadium and Ice Cream City and lovely microbrews, oh yes) every time I visit Tokyo.

This is a big deal, people.

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Friday, January 10, 2014

I was clearly born to host a dinner party in the wrong era.

Liver Sausage Pineapple



























21 Truly Upsetting Vintage Recipes

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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

WUT.

















So deliciously 1970s, and a perfect intersection of my love of the innocent American glory days, 70s trash, and fashion. WANT. This may even usurp my other dream cars (seen here and here).

Base price for this sweet baby was $2500, not including "luxury trim package." Also:

The 1972 Hornet was promoted by AMC as "a Tough Little Car." American Motors promised to repair anything wrong with the car (except for the tires), owners were provided with a toll-free telephone number to the company and a free loaner car if a warranty repair took overnight.

God bless 'Murica.

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Saturday, January 04, 2014

from "Farmers Wary of GMO Crops," The Zimbabwean













I continue to be wary of the long-term health effects of some GMO crops, and the use of the poor, uneducated, and/or malnourished as guinea pigs plus the predatory practices of big BioAg doesn't put me any closer to being on the thumbs-up path; however, in the interest of education, this was a good read.

A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops

Of course, I am looking for answers myself, and thus really try to check my skepticism, but this did stand out to me:

...the risk of [GMO crops] could be reliably tested, and had so far proved safe. "With scientists, we never say anything is 100 percent certain one way or another," Dr. Suzuki said. "We weigh conclusions on accumulated knowledge or evidence..." 

Yes, absolutely. But, the big BUT:  Like organic and conventional dairy and vegetables being deemed equal in nutritional profiles just a few years ago, or the scientific claim that thalidomide wouldn't cross the placental barrier, accumulated scientific knowledge sometimes goes horribly wrong. GMO crops should not be rushed to market or be allowed to propagate and be sold while in litigation, and should also be subject to litigation should there be health problems clearly associated with them; they should also submit to continual testing and monitoring once they are in the market (for now), and the patent holders/users be okay with informing the public with labeling so people have a choice.

I'm not one for a nanny state, but this should be the standard when we screw with the basic building blocks of life, especially ones that have the potential to have profound effects on the population.

There are so many promising things in GMOs, so I really hope I'm wrong, but we have to slow. down.

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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year! All the best to you and yours in 2014.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

This is pretty dang wonderful.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Holy everything that is holy.









Joseph Gordon-Levitt Producing 'The Sandman,' May Star and Direct

OMG.

I can totally get behind JGL starring, though both Trevor and I think my boyfriend would make an even more excellent Dream.

Now, how do we cast the rest of The Endless?

Tilda Swinton as Desire. TRUST.
Bearded Eric Northman as Destruction?
Carey Mulligan as Delirium?

??????????????

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

This is a VERY good, in-depth read:

Steve McQueen on 12 Years a Slave











I love Steve McQueen, and having seen all three of his major films, I think he is a gifted director. While IMO each of his films suffer from the exact same flaw -- always with the scene that hits you over the head with such force that you are pulled out of the film momentarily -- taken as a whole they are consistently crazy well-done.

[frequent McQueen collaborator Michael] Fassbender told me that McQueen “loves human beings,” even terrible ones. “The great thing about Steve, in terms of looking at characters and telling stories, is that he doesn’t judge any of it. It all is what it is. Through observation you try to gain some kind of understanding, as opposed to judgment.” He calls McQueen’s approach “almost journalistic.”

Fassbender famously portrayed Bobby Sands in McQueen's first major film, Hunger. I was talking with a couple of friends the other night about this film, and they were a bit condemning of it as a sympathetic portrayal of Sands, leading one toward a sympathetic portrayal of the IRA. What I tried to convey in that conversation Fassbender says so well. The aim of McQueen's depiction of not only Sands, but both Fassbender's tragic character in Shame and his monstrous Edwin Epps in 12 Years..., is observation -- terrible, magnified observation -- that we can hope leads to some kind of self-reflection about what lurks inside us, our multifaceted humanity.

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I die.



Fan-made and fantastic.

2:40 to around the three minute mark, I had goosebumps THE WHOLE TIME, and I don't even like Matt Smith's Doctor.

Moffat, make it so!

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Monday, December 09, 2013













1964 Jaguar E-Type Roadster

This is a great little story, and reminded me of my dad's stories of picking up a Mercedes wagon off the assembly line in Stuttgart in the early 60s, and one of the very first (bright red!) Toyota Sprinters off the assembly line in Japan in 1968.

While I appreciate this gorgeous Roadster, the Jaguar E-Type Coupe from the 60s is my personal dream car, ever since I saw one on the freeway in Oakland a couple of years ago. Oy vey, thems were the days for automobiles...

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Monday, December 02, 2013

Americans! Hope your long Thanksgiving weekend was awesome. Mine was filled with this.

















Church of Misery and Saviours at Thee Parkside and Oakland Metro

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hat tip to fenchurch for this, the truly Life-Changing Loaf of Bread:













Please note: while I am an enthusiastic cook, I (thoroughly and unequivocally) DESPISE baking for its precision. I (tend to, valiantly and sadly) AVOID modern wheat-based bread for its eczema blues. I was almost ready to chuck my toaster oven for lack of use.

But now, now -- I can't stop making this easy-peasy, delicious bread.

PS: I use flax meal to make it more bread-like and mix and bake in a pyrex loaf pan; as such, rather than unmolding halfway through I let it bake the whole while (about 40-45 minutes) and cool in-pan, and it's totally fine. Just be sure to let it sit for at least 4 hours before baking.

BREAD!

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Monday, November 18, 2013

I am truly fascinated by slash and shippers, but also how media with this kind of fan base (Supernatural and the Twilight franchise come immediately to mind) capitalize on this phenomenon, and the resulting weirdo impact on the real lives of people who play these characters.

So, yeah...

Why is the Chinese Internet Obsessed With Writing Gay Sherlock Fanfiction?

I know there is some hardcore, super cray going on out there as far as Sherlock slash shippers are concerned, but after reading this PG take, a better question is: what makes Asia, and Asian languages, so conducive to teh adorables?

The 37-year-old [Benedict] Cumberbatch, whom the Chinese call Curly Fu, "is the reason a new wave of Chinese viewers have turned to British television." (‘Curly' describes the star's hairstyle, while 'Fu' is a shortened Chinese transliteration of 'Holmes.')

CURLY. FU.

Also: no worries about the impending Chinese takeover of the United States; we will simply harness the power of gaijin catmen.

One journalist with the Beijing-based newspaper Jinghua Times surveying viewers of the 2013 blockbuster sci-fi movie Star Trek Into Darkness found that most had gone to see Curly Fu, a villain they declared "impossible to hate" because they had "never seen a bad guy so handsome before."

As not only a fan of the Batch but a lifelong Star Trek and Khan fan, this line of reasoning is really hard to disagree with. Oh handsome brutality!

Anyway *fans self* what was I saying? Oh yeah, full circle...

Some fans cataloguing [Cumberbatch's] good traits also listed his "cute wife" Watson, whom they call ‘Peanut,' because the Chinese phoneticization of Watson, huasheng, is a homonym for the legume.

Speechless.

promotional photo from the third series of Sherlock









Oh Curly Fu and Peanut, I wish you good luck.

(original article from Foreign Policy, here.)

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Friday, November 15, 2013

James Turrell: A Retrospective at the LACMA this last weekend was simply magnificent.

Afrum (White), 1966
















Turrell's ganzfelds

















At times both meditative and mind-blowing, this was well worth the $25 total cost of admission, museum admission included.

And what a museum it was! I never knew the LACMA had such a fantastic collection. I was shocked to see one of my favorite paintings, as well as so so much of my other preciouses: Bauhausian, abstract expressionism, and pop art.

I mean, I looked at this Paul Klee!

The Fruit, 1932













And this fantastic Christo!

Portrait of Ray, 1969
















Also of note: I'm not a fan of Picasso, but while they had many of his works sprinkled about the galleries, they also had a Picasso room.

Everything was so well-curated and flowed so well, and the vibe was super chill and encouraging of exploration. Love my deYoung, but damn, they certainly could learn a lot from the LACMA about how to make a museum more viewer-friendly all-around.

James Turrell: A Retrospective runs through April 6, 2014. Advance tickets are strongly recommended.

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Not a fan of the mannequin, but this '90s Gaultier and pearl and gold choker from Chanel's summer 2014 collection: dang!




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Thursday, November 07, 2013

I really do love everything about the BBC's Sherlock -- even its implausible British fight sequences -- but there is one itty bitty thing about it that helps it along a bit more than others.














*swoon*

(can't help it, I'm a red-blooded straight woman. sorry lads.)

(photo by Ian Derry for Entertainment Weekly)

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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Remember remember the fifth of November...



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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween y'all!

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

A hand in your darkness, so you won't be afraid...



Postscript: Lou Reed


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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Secret Chiefs 3, blowing my mind all over my face at The Warfield, San Francisco, 10.20.2013













This was the first time I had the chance to see Secret Chiefs 3, and they were MAGNIFICENT. They were the opener for the also amazing Goblin (here for their first ever American tour) but I had bought the tickets mostly to see Secret Chiefs 3. As opening act, they only played for 30 minutes, but it was still the best show I have seen in a long time.

I am excited to say that after the show we talked with Trey Spruance, who was working his own merch table (respect) and he said they will embark on a West Coast tour in February! I am so there.

No video up of the Warfield show as of today, but here's a sample of the awesome from a few months ago:





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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Out on a walk today, and came upon this guy. 'tis the season!

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Yes!









Gays Wed in New Jersey

As couples across New Jersey began marrying on Monday after the stroke of midnight, Gov. Chris Christie abandoned his long fight against same-sex marriage, concluding that signals from the court and the march of history were against him. His decision not to appeal a judge’s ruling that allowed the weddings removed the last hurdle to legalized same-sex marriage in New Jersey, making it the 14th state, along with the District of Columbia, to allow gay couples to wed.

Ughs for Chris Christie, but at least he knows when to quit. You go, New Jersey!

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

I periodically need to watch this to maintain my mental health.



Bonus today: Jimmy Fallon fangirling Alan Rickman as he tells a story about his first movie role as Hans Gruber in that iconic American classic, Die Hard.

Alan Rickman Hurt His Knee in Die Hard, Discovers Punk in “CBGB”

Adorbs all around.

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

And now for something completely different.

What We Eat Affects Everything

This is an excellent interview with Robynne Chutkan, MD, an integrative gastroenterologist, founder of the Digestive Center for Women, and the author of the new book with the really awful name, Gutbliss: A 10-Day Plan to Ban Bloat, Flush Toxins, and Dump Your Digestive Baggage.

Y'all know about my obsession with nutrition and wellness. This interview really explains the why around the increase in gluten-sensitivity, as well as explaining the fascinating differences between men and women's GI tracts. The interview is super informative, but it is fairly long. For those of you not down with the text heavy pages, a couple of highlights for me:

It's really about the 80 percent rule. Most of us are “toxing” 80 percent of the time and detoxing 20 percent of the time. And we should really think about flipping that—we should think about detoxing 80 percent of the time. And I’m not suggesting anything extreme. Today I did some work at home, I made a fruit and veggie smoothie for breakfast, went to spin class, I met some people for lunch, and I had a kale salad with roasted chicken and a big bottle of water. Nothing so profound, but all healthy stuff that made me feel good. And if you're doing that 80 percent of the time, you can tolerate that 20 percent of debauchery in whatever form that might be, whether you’re drinking a bit too much, or not exercising, eating the wrong food, having too much ice cream. And then we don’t have this need to constantly be detoxing and cleansing all the time.

Does your daily food intake look like this...












Or like this?











Oy vey, the band-aid of constant tox/detox/tox/detox. Ugh, just take care of your body most of the time! This is how I rationalize whiskey and the occasional Sherman (and cookie), and why I'm confident I'll look as good as Christy Turlington inside and out in my mid-40s (and hopefully 50s).

You mentioned going gluten-free, and I wanted to get your take on that. It seems like a lot of people going in that direction don’t have a diagnosis of celiac disease. What do you tell people who are interested in trying it? Is there evidence that people who tested negative for celiac disease still benefit?

First of all, I think it’s important to distinguish celiac disease from gluten sensitivity, because celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that is associated with a lot of other problematic things, like osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia, arthritis, diabetes, even cancer. And if you have celiac disease, whether or not you have symptoms, it’s important to come as close as you can to 100 percent avoidance of gluten, because the ongoing exposure to gluten can damage the small intestine and lead to some of these other associated problems. So that’s the first thing I tell patients, is that we have to figure out what’s going on. And some patients say, Well, can’t I just empirically avoid gluten? And I tell them, no, because if you have celiac disease, you have to be 100 percent regardless of whether you have symptoms. If you have gluten sensitivity (but don't have celiac disease) and you want to eat an almond croissant, go for it. Part of the issue is that the wheat itself is not what it used to be. It’s been hybridized and had different things done to it to increase the crop yield and shorten how long it takes for the wheat to bear. One can make all sorts of scientific and unscientific arguments about what we’re meant to eat, but I don’t think we’re meant to eat animal crackers, for example. I think it's a stretch to call the refined, processed wheat products a food group, but I also don’t think everyone needs to empirically avoid them all the time.

Certainly if you’re having digestive problems, it’s worth trying. I usually tell people to do a six-week elimination trial; if you don’t notice a difference there’s no reason to avoid it. But my biggest caveat is to tell people there’s no point in doing this and then eating gluten-free bread, and gluten-free pancakes, and gluten-free cookies. It’s sort of like sugar-free. If you’re diabetic, I would say to you, you should think about having fruit for dessert. I would never recommend that someone have sugar-free ice cream or a sugar free drink, because that stuff’s worse than the sugar quite frankly. The same thing applies to gluten. If you think you’re gluten sensitive and you feel poorly when you eat gluten, you should avoid wheat. It just makes sense. If you’re lactose intolerant you should avoid dairy. This is your body giving you feedback saying no, I don’t like this thing. But if you decide once a month, I’m going to have a sandwich using regular bread and I may not feel so great, but I don’t have celiac disease, just a sensitivity, I think that’s okay and I think that is preferable to eating gluten-free garbage every day. Gluten-free processed products can be just as bad for you as the regular stuff that contains gluten. They’re not providing you any nutrients, they’re empty calories. So that’s a big challenge that I face with some of my patients. If you’re just gluten sensitive, have a pancake on the weekend if you really want it, but don’t eat gluten-free cookies every day of the week and think that somehow this is being healthy. Just like I would never eat low-fat or sugar free ice cream. If I’m going to have ice cream I’m going to have the real thing—I’m just not going to eat it every day.


Amen. I may not have mentioned before that I have been following a low-gluten diet for the past couple of years. This diet has accomplished something that an army of Western dermatologists, acupuncturists, and Chinese herbalists were unable to do: rid me of my eczema. I still eat the occasional wheat-crusted pizza and white flour tortillas and hand-pulled Chinese noodles and other deliciousness, but in both small quantities AND good quality.

It can be done, people.

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Sunday, October 06, 2013

Six pages of Republicans holding the government hostage, war, death, invasions of privacy, fear fear fear. I had literally just put my head in my hands and then I glanced at the Chopard ad and the thought raced through my tired mind: "I just want that right now." No. But then the eye roams; "stop dreaming and start cooking."












I worked in marketing; am I reading too much into this, or do you also wonder about advertisement and placement?

Stuttered-over-again world
where I shall have been
a Guest, a Name,
sweated down from the Wall,
that a Wound licks up.


~ Paul Celan

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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

OMG, Gina Gershon as Donatella Versace? Gimme.



I've never been a big fan of Versace couture or ready to wear -- everything looks a bit cheap, a bit too Eurotrash -- but no one can deny Versace's influence on very specific fashion landscapes.

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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Good morning, US of A.



If it turns out that President Barack Obama can make a deal with the most intransigent, hard line, unreasonable, totalitarian mullahs in the world but not with Republicans, maybe he's not the problem.

Wow, even the mainstream rags are going to town on this.

Though I still let out a big ol' le sigh, because sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

(at which point I transition away from the depressing and/or infuriating news of the day and aim my post toward the slightly less frustrating but more entertaining and sense-making (if I do say so myself), world of my bloggity blog, in abstract.)

Still with me?

I've been blogging here since March 2, 2006. I know! And teh internets are like dog years, which makes me, oh, at least middle-aged in internet time. Yes, I am not a Millennial! Microblogging, what? Nope, just me and the year to year grind of blogspot, baby. But if you're closing in on ancient like me, one thing that time and being both politically inclined and shallow in equal measure -- as well as holding on, pitbull-like, to your granny technology having archives -- will get you is teh hits. I've been getting a lot of hits lately where folks are clicking through my tags (which only date back to like, 2007, but whatever, that's almost 7 YEARS of my world), so, in an effort to placate my vanity see how consistent I am, I've been reading through my old posts.

Some observations...

I made a lot more time to write when I was a dewy-eyed 30-ish than a glassy-eyed [shut your mouth!]. Before I had a smartphone, or teh facebooks; when I had crappier jobs with more time that paid me more back then when I was building my career than now where I am in the midst of it; when I was less tired of EVERYTHING.

Again, the more things change...the more they stay the same.

Even though this ride has been less than a blip, a nanosecond in the life of mankind, it's been nearly a decade of mine and my contemporaries' lives, so it is disheartening to see that we're still fighting the same old battles forever and ever, and harnessing the same old fears to hasten the trading of freedom and scary civil rights violations for perceived security.

But we're winning a lot in a short time too. And even in this forever recession (RIP, amazing 21 Grand), my friends and I who were making art are still making art and living joyous lives.

Interesting, this internet life; one that is stored on both human and mechanical servers, to be reviewed at any time and, given circumstances, assessed in vastly different ways. Short and sweet, but forever there for somebody.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hmmmmmmmm.

Burying the Hatchet: The Death of the Negative Book Review














(illustration by Jordan Awan for The New Yorker)

I'm an editor at a micropress publisher (of POETRY, for god's sake), a huge supporter of my friends in the literary and visual arts, and a de facto agent for my wildly talented poet husband, so you would think I'm down, but I just can't play.

In a nutshell: I fear we are becoming a people who cannot take a punch, or give or receive criticism, or who are increasingly discouraged to practice intelligent discernment. Yeah, I rail against social media and the 140 character thought too, and lament what I think it is doing to us individually and culturally, but the hallowed book review shouldn't pander to the lowest common denominator, regardless of perceived bloodsport, or the possibility of the reviewed's death knell, or any comment on the self-worth of the author of the review.

Sorry for my obsession with this text at the mo', but I find it a bit micro-meta that the author mentions Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Sigh.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

This.



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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wow, I love this kind of stuff! But, ummmmm, 1) do they not do common sense investigations in Oklahoma like they do everywhere else? Did no one watch Fried Green Tomatoes? and, 2) holy smokes, that Camaro STILL looks sweet










Submerged Cars Found in Oklahoma May Solve Cold Cases

Mental note: do not go missing in Mayberry.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sometimes, I forget that I'm a girl, and then...











(ice cream cone brooches, 1986)

"Jewelry is not only about carats and diamonds," said [jewelry historian and curator of the Bulgari vintage collection Amanda] Triossi, "it's also about design - a work of art in its own right, which is why it should be featured in a museum."

The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, 1950-1990.

Show opens Saturday and runs through Feb. 17, 2014. M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, S.F.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Oh how I love Rebecca Solnit.
















Diary: In the Day of the Postman

Where do I begin with this? At the beginning.

In or around June 1995 human character changed again. Or rather, it began to undergo a metamorphosis that is still not complete, but is profound – and troubling, not least because it is hardly noted. When I think about, say, 1995, or whenever the last moment was before most of us were on the internet and had mobile phones, it seems like a hundred years ago.

Now, "our lives have ratings."

The new chatter [of social networking, constant access to email, texting, constant internet access in general] puts us somewhere in between [solitude and communion], assuaging fears of being alone without risking real connection. It is a shallow between two deep zones, a safe spot between the dangers of contact with ourselves, with others.

The older people I know are less affected because they don’t partake so much of new media, or because their habits of mind and time are entrenched. The really young swim like fish through the new media and hardly seem to know that life was ever different. But those of us in the middle feel a sense of loss.

I am one of those in the middle. In 1995, I had just transferred to 4-year university after a trip overseas where I "travel[ed] across the world with almost no contact with the people who loved me, and there was a dizzying freedom, a cool draught of solitude, in that." I remember the fear I had in signing up for a university email account -- my first email account -- and the class I took where the instructor grudgingly asked if we wanted to turn in homework via email, which was met with a resounding "no" from the class and a sigh of relief from the instructor. I remember "dialing up." And yes, now I find myself mourning even as I check my smartphone when the conversation lulls.

It’s hard, now, to be with someone else wholly, uninterruptedly, and it’s hard to be truly alone. The fine art of doing nothing in particular, also known as thinking, or musing, or introspection, or simply moments of being, was part of what happened when you walked from here to there alone, or stared out the train window, or contemplated the road, but the new technologies have flooded those open spaces. Space for free thought is routinely regarded as a void, and filled up with sounds and distractions.

I watched an excellent documentary a few years ago, Walking With Cavemen, about the evolution of man. The thing that has always stuck with me from this program is the idea that it was harnessing fire that propelled our evolution so rapidly. The why is what is so profound. Without fire, we were forced to live in a state of constant fear and hypervigilance to predation. Fire allowed us some sense of protection against those creatures that might make us a meal. It created down-time, introspection, a time to contemplate and think without the constant yoke of fear. A time to dream.

What has happened to our open spaces? We can dream, and this is the world we made?

Right now we need to articulate these subtle things, this richer, more expansive quality of time and attention and connection, to hold onto it. Can we? The alternative is grim, with a grimness that would be hard to explain to someone who’s distracted.

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(UPDATE 9/16/2013: The transcript of The Guardian's original interview regarding Cumberbatch's views on Manning, et al has been placed on their site, and though his misguided quotes are still there, this does serve to soften via muddling his position a bit.

What to take away? The internets: never what they seem -- even this -- and designed for hits, full stop. Actors' -- even the smartish ones -- opinions: still generally not a great foundation to base your own views on, and who knows what they're actually thinking, though good on Cumberbatch for recognizing his power and reach, and/or simple need to preserve his reputation in attempting to clarify that he isn't a daft monster. Cumberbatch does truly own the internets, and damn, I wonder how much his publicist makes.

If you're still wondering about why anyone would care about what someone like Benedict Cumberbatch thinks is at all important: The Banality of Systemic Evil)

Okay, okay.

Giving 26 interviews a day, being thrust into the spotlight because of a starring role in something that tackles extremely complex issues, and being just a plain old human with human vanity and human verbal diarrhea are probably factors. But still, I hate when this happens.

Benedict Cumberbatch: Chelsea Manning Got What She Deserved

Ugh, so disappointing.

But [her] superiors might have been right to say to [her], it’s not your position to be worried about it within the hierarchy of the military organisation, which is why [she] had to be sentenced. [She] took an oath, and [she] broke that oath.

Lesson numero uno, actors: don't open your pie holes when it comes to politics unless you're extremely well-versed in your comprehension of the issue, and your name is Matt Damon.

If they are saving lives, how can we say that’s less important than civil liberties?

Ummmm, maybe I should just stop reading about your opinions and just enjoy the shiny shiny? Oh god, can't. stop. reading.

Isn’t it hypocritical to say, we should know everything about you as a government, but the government can’t know anything about us?

For the reals? Mayday, mayday, hurtling uncontrollably toward becoming un-Batched. Sad panda.

And now a word from our author:

What is heartbreaking about this set of sentences? Aside from the abandonment of the notion that individuals are obligated to the best of their ability to discover and struggle for what is right—especially as they grow up—it’s the contradiction involved in simultaneous claims to sympathy for one’s fellow humans and unthinking deference to authority. With this statement, Cumberbatch leaves us to wonder whether he understands that governments are run by groups of individuals who often use state power for their own underhanded purposes[...]America’s founders accepted a measure of mass insecurity to preserve the personal liberty they knew was essential to democracy and human dignity and happiness. Cumberbatch is not an American, but one could think that the last two-and-a-half centuries of Western fealty to this idea might have made an impression on him.

Thank you for writing what I've been thinking, Alexander Reed Kelly.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Some shameless, sort-of self promotion...

Spooky Actions Books (which I co-edit) will be releasing our second chapbook, yolotl by Lourdes Figueroa, on September 13th! Lourdes will be reading from yolotl, along with Wendy Trevino and Nicole Trigg, at Small Press Traffic on September 15th. If you're in the Bay, we can finally meet!











(gorgeous original artwork for yolotl by Hanae Rivera captures the essence of this body of work beautifully)

Please come by, say hello, and hear Lourdes read her wonderful work. Books will be available at the reading and at our website.

Trevino, Triggs, Figueroa at SPT

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As if I need to remind you, 1) about how real men should dress, or 2) of my forever love for British fashion house Alexander McQueen and how their great accessories can make anything pop, or 3) about why Benedict Cumberbatch.













(Press photo for The Fifth Estate press conference at TIFF)

Cumberbatching aside, I write because I also love fashion and cinema; there's been a lot of jabbering about whether or not Cumberbatch's fashion choices for his full-on three film assault on TIFF 2013 are too conservative, uptight, and British.

This surprised me, because his fashion choices are clearly those of a man who has the right people in his corner to go about crafting a career and public persona based, in part, on his quintessential classic Britishness, sure, but who also dress him** beautifully while adding just the right amount of whimsy to keep the look young and current. Perfect.

Anyway, to wit: the slim cut suit in dark blue, the crisp whites with just enough cuff, and the pocket kerchief square are givens, but it's all about that tie. Isn't anyone paying attention to details?













**or, he's getting his cues himself from Sherlock as well as recycling that tie for a long-ass time. Big ups either/or.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013