Archive for November, 2007

Bundt Jell-O and Fugu.

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

It was a lovely Thanksgiving. My momma made a typical authentic Thanksgiving meal with green bean casserole (wheee! French’s Onions! I love it!). And she also got creative and made a Jell-O strawberry mousse in a bundt pan, AND she got it out all in one piece. Impressive. I took a photo:

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It was delicious too. Go Momma.

So everyone knows the Japanese are the masters of cute, right? They made this, and this, and also this. So walking past a restaurant naming Asuza, I noticed something interesting. First of all, they sell fugu. Fugu is a Japanese pufferfish. So what, you say? Oh, there’s more. Fugu pufferfish have poisonous toxins in their ovaries and livers and skin, so if they’re prepared incorrectly, you DIE. Like DEAD. From a food item you chose to eat. And a couple Japanese people die every year from improperly prepared fugu. I guess if you are a restaurant and you pay top dollar for killer pufferfish, you use all the (nonpoisonous) parts of the pufferfish. So I photographed the menu with an all-fugu all-the-time menu.

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There’s fugu appetizers, fugu broth, fugu sashimi, grilled fugu – even sake infused with fugu. Okay, you know what, that’s too much damn fugu. But this is not why intrigued me about this restaurant. See, Japanese restaurants like to have plastic models of some of their more popular dishes in the windows of their establishment. But Asuza has very limited window space, so they made MINIATURE models of all their dishes. See?

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Is that not precious? Everytime I think the Japanese can’t top themselves in the adorable-ness, they make whatever it is smaller. And rounder. And add sparkles to it. Brilliant, I tell you.

The apartment I’m buying.

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Since it’s occupying all my time, I figured I’d share the whole-apartment-buying thing. It helps to know whence I came to appreciate why buying the apartment I’m buying is so nifty.This is my present apartment on 57th and 10th in Manhattan.

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This is the view of my apartment from the hallway.

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You see those windows in the first picture? This is me standing at the windows photographing the front door.

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This is a close-up of the kitchen you see in the second picture. From left on the bottom: refrigerator (no freezer), teeny-tiny sink, and teeny tiny stove with oven that I have never opened.

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This is the view from my bed. There is my beloved glass teat, the television. And also there is my formidable collection of art, graphic design and beading magazines.

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This is my giant closet. Seriously, it’s like the closet from “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe”. It goes back four feet. All my earthly possessions live in it. Sometimes it is tidy and clean. More often it is not. This is a picture of “not”.

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This is my bathroom. My bathroom rocks. It is nicely sized and has all new fixtures and tiles. There’s an industrial toilet (no tank) so when you flush it, it sucks the first two layers of skin off your ass. The shower gets nice and hot quickly and nothing leaks.

Now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “That’s nice, but what about the other rooms?” There are no other rooms. My apartment, in its entirety, is 11 by 19 feet. I cannot have a full-sized bed because then I could not walk around. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love this apartment. This apartment has served my needs admirably for two years. It is close to my job. It is close to Lincoln Center and the theater district. It is close to a delightful myriad of restaurants. It is close to the subway. There is a concierge. There is laundry in the basement and I don’t have to drag my dirty clothes around the streets of Manhattan to a laundromat. The apartment doesn’t take more than three hours to clean top-to-bottom. But it is expensive ($1400 a month) and I simply cannot afford Manhattan anymore. So I am buying an apartment in White Plains, NY. Here is a floorplan of my new apartment:

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If you look carefully, you will see that my present apartment can fit in its entirety into my master bedroom. This apartment, aside from being mighty big (1200 sq. ft.), comes with a dishwasher, two ovens, a concierge, a garage parking spot (no chiselling the icy crust of winter off my windshield and cursing) and windows. Lots and lots of windows. See that edge-of-wall at the bottom of the floorplan, underneath the names of the rooms and their sizes? That’s all windows. In my present apartment, I look out on an airshaft. It’s always dim, even in the middle of summer. Now I’m going to have my favorite kind of houseplants, cactii and succulents (need lots of sun, not much water). There are setbacks, of course. Not being in Manhattan is a big one. I will miss that greatly. But White Plains is a fairly big city, and I am eight-tenths of a mile from the center of town which contains: A 15-movie multiplex, Barnes & Noble, Target, P.F. Chang’s, Hot Topic and Torrid (long live mall goth!), a creperie, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store, Beadworks, Sephora, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, Filene’s Basement and a whole lot more. I can walk to those. And I can walk to the train station (also eight-tenths of a mile). If I drive, hell, I can do anything. There’s a huge Asian community living near me so all around me are cool Asian grocery stores (Japanese? Okay. Korean? You got it. Chinese? Not a problem. AWESOME.) And there’s an art-supply store and a 24-hour CVS a little over a mile from my apartment (also AWESOME – Maalox at two in the morning is important, trust me). And a million billion other things all around me. I just have to get used to it not being smooshed right up against me, Manhattan-style. And if I hate and I can’t stand it (“It’s so peaceful and soothing out here! Ahhhhh! And what’s with all these goddamned trees?!??”), I can always sell it and move back into a prison cell in Manhattan.

My spam and my hair. But not spam in my hair.

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

1. I get quite a lot of spam comments on this site. They are always porn. Always. Also, they always have a theme. When I’ll go in and delete them all in a bunch and it will be MILF DAY! ALL MILF PORN, ALL THE TIME! (a MILF, for those of you not familiar with the term, is a Mom I‘d Like to “become extremely intimate with”, ahem). Then one day it was FAT INDIAN WOMEN! Then it was TEENS (which, honestly, is not original at all and I’m kind of disappointed with you, spamming porn site, for not pushing the envelope more). Today it was INTERRACIAL MIDGETS!* However, peppering my festive array of pornyspammyporn today is this:

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Ummm, I think they’re trying to hawk medicine, maybe? I don’t know. It’s either written by someone from a foreign land (like Neptune) and they went through the New York Times and picked bits of sentences they thought were pretty, or perhaps some people were playing a game of Madlibs while on Xtasy. I actually took time out of my busy schedule to try and read this, and then I was like “whatever” and deleted it. But it bothers me still. A little. Not much.

2. My hair. I have had the same haircut since I was eleven which is: some semblance of “long”, one-length hair tied back in a ponytail. That’s it. The “long” part has varied over time (down to the small of my back, brushing my shoulders, etc.) but it has alwas been one length tied back in a ponytail. Then last year I thought, “Bangs! Bangs will add excitement to my mundane existence! Wheee!” Then I did requisite research in Us Weekly and People magazine and found a style of bang I liked, tootled off to the hair-hacker and got me some bangage. My hair wants to curl up and frizz, so on mornings when I don’t give a rat’s patoot about dealing with hair I put on a headband, but when I feel like attempting prettiness, I try to wrestle my bangs into prettitude using water and straighteners and wax and slime and bee armpits and whatever other hair products I’m told will fix this. If I don’t use much goonk, it does this little peppy flip at the end, so I look like a Farrah Fawcett rollerderby Xanadu wannabe, and if I use heaps of goonk, I look like something between a drowned cat and Adolf Hitler. The next person who gives me helpful hints on my appearance will receive a detailed description of “that time I thought it would be a good idea to get bangs” plus a kick in the shins to punctuate the tale.

P.S. Another reason I got bangs is that I have a big ole pale forehead (it’s so big, it’s a fivehead! Har har har!). Cricket likes to say it’s a “billboard they can read in Zimbabwe”. I grew weary of the giant white expanse so I thought instead of getting a tattoo on there (I was thinking M•O•M and an anchor), bangs would be the way to go. So technically they are serving their purpose, but they’re doing it so… not fashionably.

* Really. I’m not making that up.

The Chocolate Show.

Friday, November 16th, 2007

There was the chocolate show in New York this past weekend, and you can bet if they’re handing out chocolate, I’m going. So (surprise!), I went. It was a hefty and daunting entrance fee ($28) but I’m still glad I went. And now, a recap.First of all, I got out at 18th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, which was one block over from the chocolate show. So I walked that one block and I was SO HAPPY. One that one block was a used-book store, a used CD-and-DVD shop, a printing shop (with a giant purple printing press!), several interior design shops with vases and furniture and other goodies, a children’s-book store and Cupcake Cafe. I don’t particularly care for the Cupcake Cafe’s cupcakes (too rich and sweet) but the way they decorate them is stunning. Here is an example I found online.

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What a marvelous block o’ Manhattan. I must investigate it more when I have the time. On to the chocolate show. It was packed. I must have touched and been touched by a hundred people. But, whatever, chocolate.

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As you come in you see these chocolate sculptures. Do you see that egg-shaped chocolate with white chocolate decoration? I couldn’t help thinking it looked like Homer Simpson when he says, “Mmmmmm, doughnuts,” and drools.

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See? See what I mean? And now I’ve ruined that sculpture for you forever. You can thank me later.

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Bloomsberry & Co. had one of the best booths. As you can see, they designed it to look like a living room. I didn’t taste their chocolates, but I can say their boxes were brilliant. Whoever is their designer needs a big smootch for the boxes. Here were some of my favorites:

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Bloomsberry & Co. Check them out if you have the chance.

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There was a lot of chocolates that looked like this. So pretty you almost don’t want to eat them. Almost.

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Look! Little chocolate animals! So cute!

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This was a Japanese booth called Mary’s, based in Tokyo. They made the most insane green tea confections. Funny story, sort of: The very nice Japanese man gave this small child a sample of the green tea niblet. Now, I don’t know if you know this, but green tea can be kind of bitter. And this niblet had green tea powder all over the outside. So the child did precisely what you would expect her to do – put the niblet in her mouth, make a face like someone gave her earwax to eat, then stuck her tongue out and let the green tea niblet fall to the floor. I could have told Japanese Confection-Making Guy that that was a bad idea, but I guess in Japan they’re used to the flavor of green tea. Hey, more niblets for me!

Then they had an area with the chocolate fashion show. This I don’t get. You want to cover yourself with a food item that melts with your body tempurature and is oily, stain-y and sticky? And at no point do you eat it? I iz confoozed. Also, the fashions were bah-heinous. I mean, super-ugly. Here are some samples of clothes I would not wear if given to me as a gift with a check for a large amount of money tucked into the sleeve.

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Arr, that be some craptacular garb these mannquins be sportin’. I don’t think I’ll go again next year (did I mention the $28 entrance fee?) but it’s worth checking out once.

In case you’ve been wondering…

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

… I have not forgotten to post artwork I’ve been working on. I’m just in the middle of trying to buy an apartment and it takes up all your time. Not some, not a little, ALL. ALL your time. So I haven’t had much of a chance to really bang out anything in the last two weeks. Oh, but just you wait, I’ll be posting arty-goodness before you know it.

Frog’s wedding.

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

I got a phone call in Mid-October. “Hey!” said my super-longtime friend Frog (we’ve been friends since she was eleven and I was twelve). “I’m getting married to Tex!” I was delighted. And then she sprang an interesting tidbit.
“Would you like to be my bridesmaid?” She said.
“Sure!” I said.
“Good, the wedding is in three weeks.” Frog said.
“…” I said.

But luckily she wasn’t doing that whole crazy matching bridesmaid dress thing, and I was actually the only bridesmaid in the whole wedding party, so no biggie. She gave me some color options and all went well. It was a delightful wedding.

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Awww. Look at Frog in that picture. Doesn’t she look beautiful? I’m the purple creature with the sunflower bouquet. While this is a lovely wedding moment, I included it especially because of the groom’s hair. Yeah, that looooooong brown tail hanging out of the back of his head? That’s his hair. He can floss his butt with that thing.

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The wedding took place at a mill in Pennsylvania (note mill-wheel in background). Actually, it took place in the heart of mushroom-growing country. This had me concerned. You know what mushrooms grow in? No, not poo, that would be too easy. They grow in compost, which is hot bacterial poo. And it smells mighty ripe. And this was an outdoor wedding. However, I was assured that mushroom season was over and indeed, the wedding smelled terrific.

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The bride sported white combat boots. The piece of blue mylar was the “something blue” that brides are required to have. It’s some kind of joke between Frog and Tex. I was too lazy to find out what that joke is.

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Dy, my favorite guest. All the guests pretty much looked normal and boring, and then there was Dy. He was wearing a suit that was half-black and half-white and he had spiked his mohawk with a considerable amount of hair-glorp. The best part was the koala doll attached to the top of one of his mohawk points.

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You know, sometimes after a rousing round of dancing, one needs a Mountain Dew…

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… and some smoky treats. Nothin’ prettier then a bride hittin’ the cancer sticks, I’ve always said that.

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Okay, this was awesome. It was a Halloween/autumnal-themed wedding, and the cakes were Carvel cakes! With ice cream and Oreo crunchies inside! I’ve never been to a wedding with that before.

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Important note: When stuffing ice cream cake into your bride’s face, make sure none of the chilly ice cream falls into her cleavage, because then she makes this face, and later on she kills you and feeds you to the cats. Just so you know.

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Also, she wangs the cake into your mouth so you have white icing all over your mustache and you look like you just walked out of the bathroom in Studio54 with a mirror and a razor blade.

It was an excellent wedding. Lots of love and family and friends. All weddings should be like this.

A horribly delayed “The Police” Concert entry.

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

This week has be cah-ray-zee. I’m trying to buy an apartment (we will discuss this later when I actually have more information on it). And I’m trying to make product for my online store. And I’m trying to build my online store on the computer (soooo much more complicated then I anticipated, must leave lots of time for that). And I’m trying to move out of my beloved tiny Manhattan apartment. And I’m trying to do all these thing RIGHT NOW, which means I am running out of time for things like blogging and breathing and bathing. But enough with the complaining. The Police! I saw them at Madison Square Garden! And it was neat! I will give you a succinct review right now: Their music continues to be awesome, but because they are old (by punk standards), they don’t have the fire that is required to really bang that music out. I must say, though, that all three of them are consummate musicians and while I originally came to see Sting, the real star of the show was Stewart Copeland (the drummer). He was working the kettle drums and these wee chimes that go tingy tingy and a gigantic gong. He was spectacular. And the guitarist Andy Summer was also amazing, but he has the personality of wet dead fish, so however good he is, he is still difficult to watch. It was Halloween and it was no shocker he was dressed at Charlie Chaplin. Now he can use his costume as an excuse to not talk or really move around. Good choice. Sting was dressed at a harlequin with a yellow and black diamond pattern and a festive glittery codpiece, lest we forget his tantric eight-hour love-making sessions. Stewart was dressed as a zombie with an Egyptian headdress (a cobra I think) but since he kind of resembles a zombie to begin with, not much of a stretch there for him. And now the pictures.

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On every seat in the whole freakin’ arena (30,000 seats) they put masks on each armrest. Because it is Halloween. Isn’t that nice?

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Close-up of the mask. You can’t appreciate it in the photo, but it’s a sparkly holographic mask. Oooooooh.

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They has some of the best lighting design for this show. They had lights all around the edge of the oval stage and then lights that moved up and down behind them. And, AND, they had the required screens so people in the nosebleed section could see Sting’s face. Underneath that they had another screeny thing that projected patterns. It this particular picture you can see the 80’s style lighting they chose to open with.

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In this picture you can truly appreciate how dead Stewart Copeland looks. He’s on the screen on the left.

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And then they had lights! Lights all over the audience! Whee! Lots of lights! Can’t remember what song this was for, but it worked with the big white lights flashing all over the arena.

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And then they sang “Roxanne.” The lighting designer heard the phrase, “You don’t have to put on the red light” and all he heard was RED LIGHTS! LOTS OF RED LIGHTS! The photo above is only the beginning.

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TURN ON THE RED LIGHTS! TURN ON THE GODDAMNED RED LIGHTS, ROXANNE!

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Then Sting took off his harlequin mask and sang “Every Breath You Take” which is my favorite song from the 80’s and one of my favorite songs of all time. And it was LAME. You need a certain sexy psycho stalker vibe going on when you sing that song, and Sting is old and has like ten kids and he’s over the stalker crazy thing, so he sang the song like a stinkin’ lullaby. I was sad. And that was the end of the concert. I would say it was good and I would recommend that you go because the three of them are amazing musicians, but don’t expect the same fire and vigor that they had in their heyday. But worth going to.