Friday, September 28, 2007


Read this book. Read this book. Read this book. Read this book.
Read this book.

DESIGNING DESIGN, by Kenya Hara (Springer/Lars Muller, $50).

I read somewhere that Rem Koolhaas' Delirious New York spawned a generation of architecture enthusiasts. I have a feeling Designing Design is doing the same.

Hara is the guy who gave The MUJI Store (No Logo) its look. Now, you don't have to be a Hara-phile to like this book. I have simply never read anyone describe tactile sensations as well as him (and proper kudos goes to the translators for that too). For example, I LOATHE the way tiny organized dots look and feel (viz: pearls, rosaries, certain backs of ferns, fish roe, rashes, etc.) and I had never been able to properly exaplin why, but Hara does it. He knows what I'm talking about, and when I read his description of that particular design, I felt appeased, like somehow he uprooted the source. Yes, it has healing properties.

So the book is definitely a sort of catalog of Japanese designers, but Designing Design is more like Hara's manifesto on what design is and should be, but 'manifesto' is even too violent a word to describe what he does. Perhaps a better word is design. His design for design. jove,


He even got the title exactly right.

Here's a quote that I hope you all put in your email signatures:

Raising our point of view regarding daily life is like discovering decimals. The future is not where veryone looks for it, "there," right after the present. It's not an integral number in a line: 9,10,11.... It's somewhere like 6.8 or 7.3.

Plus to see what other designers have done with everyday objects to make them more tactiley (or to borrow Hara's language, "haptically") impressionable, is calming and wonderful. Like, "banana juice" is not something I'd ever think about, but when it's packaged like this, I could seriously deal with the consequence of constipation and drink nothing but(t) it.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Metal Macbeth

(Stunned silence. Jaw agape. I can't even blink.) You are reading that correctly - Shakespeare's seminal play Macbeth...

in a metal musical adaptation.

I suppose if Kurosawa made a feudal Japanese version of the same play, and Arthur Laurents adapted the Veronese Juliet for a Puerto Rican played by a WASP (Natalie Wood), a headbanger's ball of royal come-uppance isn't totally uncalled Wait. METAL MACBETH! Who's the genius/idiot who came up with that?

Watch a clip.

(Thanks for the heads up, Nate.)

Tokyo Bar

Last night a couple friends who unofficially make up the US offices of Brutus and Casa Brutus magazine (Japanese style and architecture magazines) took me to one of the most amazing Japanese eateries I've seen in New York. The decor alone blows the mind.

Tokyo Bar, which opened less than a month ago, is the brainchild of Sadahiro Nakamura (famous stylist, trendsetter and hotelier/restauranteur), and a band of bartenders from Angel's Share called B Flat (another awesome Japanese-style bar/eatery).

They have omu-rice (omelette filled with rice), Japanese curry (a much fattier and milder version of the Indian kind) and my favorite - pasta with spicy cod roe and Japanese garnishes. For $12 I got a Japanese-Western dish I can't seem to find anywhere else for less than $18. And their drinks? Well seriously, forget about it. The names are all kind of gay but appropriately, the cocktails are stiff and fragrant.

But the real masterpiece of this restaurant/bar is the atmosphere. I heard a muzak koto-version of Bjork's "Hyper-Ballad" (though it could have been a harp, in which case maybe it's just a Zeena Parkins solo thing but still...). And the artwork adorning the walls is a collection of popular print media - manga panels accesorized with neon lights, and a Taihei Shii installation of paperback book spines - suggesting a psychedelic library cocoon. And according to aforementioned friends/hosts, each and every one of these collaborators (but most especially Nakamura the stylist), is like a Japanese rockstar, down to the guy who created the restaurant's logo - who also designed the Uniqlo signs.

It's pretty much a hipster heart attack, but to be fed hard-to-find Japanese-style western food (they call it New Japanese Comfort Food) for under $20 in TriBeCa in a quiet environment is anyone's dream come true.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Library Talk in Long Island

I woke up at 6 this morning to get to Long Island by 9, to participate in a panel discussion of "graphic novels for adults in the library." It was really quite interesting. Librarians ask the tough questions. Sometimes they even state the tough truths without any need for answers. Some favorites:

My friend said she read a comic book she thought was racist, and I said to her, "if this were 1955 and that comic book was Mein Kampf, would you carry it?" and she said, "yes." So you see, it's all context. Your racist is not necessarily someone else's.

H-what?! I'd give anything to know what comic book warranted comparison with Mein Kampf (she couldn't remember what her friend said).

I mean, I bet half the people here don't know who Neil Gaiman is. (Well-meaning young male librarian, who was greeted with a pretty rapid shooting of arms from about 95% of the room after that comment.)

But the best, and I mean the best, comment:

Well, comics turning into movies and all that is just the dumbing down of America. I mean, publishers are all just about marketing and publishing books that are all dialogue, and you (pointing at Marc Seigel of First Second Books) only publish things in paperback. You're only making books for kids. It's the dumbing down of America.

The best part of that last comment was that the speaker said it not a milisecond before we had to close the discussion, and though it warranted another two hours of follow-ups, we were physically forced to end the panel.

Lots of people came up and more or less apologized for that librarian, but truth was we on the panel all kind of agreed with her. "90% of everything is dumbed down" (Marc Siegel).

Later on the train ride home Matt Murray (president of MoCCA) said there were too many great comebacks he wished he'd uttered right after that comment. I suggested the following:

(In Brooklyn accent) Who you callin' stupid, stupid?

U.S.A! U.S.A! (While pounding fists on table)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Organized or Regimented?

I had a realization the other day about my habits: I am able to tell people what to do and how, but someone else has to tell me when and where. This led to my realization of the following taxonomy of habits:

There are those who are regimented but disorganized (typically this is a very messy person who "knows where everything is" and whose day is divided by specifically timed rituals - breakfast at 7am on the dot...number two right after concert band...). Let us call this person, Matthew.

There are those who are organized but unregimented (typically someone who keeps a clean living environment and an actual paper-notebook weekly planner, but who constantly forgets things and procrastinates). Let us call this person, Mark.

There is the type who is both regimented and organized (at best, a quiet minimalist, and at worst, someone who brags to friends about a new storage system for their action DVD's involving CaseLogics and an MS-Office label program). Let us call this person, Luke.

And of course, there is the person who is neither regimented nor organized (usually someone you can physically smell from a few feet away, who at best, is a mad genius, and at worst, the guy sleeping on your couch who insists they didn't smoke your green). Let us call this person, John.

Which of the four disciples are you?

Let me also take this opportunity to plug a great film: Secretary. It's a spectacular view of all nodes on the organization/regiment axes.

Ninja My Ninja

This is not supposed to be funny, yet it can't help but be hilarious.

"A ninja-clad burglar was sent scurrying from a Staten Island kitchen early yesterday when the homeowner stabbed the samurai sneak in the shoulder.

Phil Chiolo said he had just gone to bed when he heard what sounded like a pan hit the kitchen floor about 1 a.m. in his Jefferson Ave. home in Dongan Hills.

'When I got into the kitchen, the door was jimmied open," Chiolo said. "To my surprise, there was a man standing there dressed in a ninja costume, with nun-chucks and everything. All I saw was his eyes.'"
(NY Daily News)

Ninja. That's definitely a word for the day. I propose we all replace the words, "nimble," "silent," "masked," "dangerous," and "fighter," with "ninja." If you are uncomfortable with incorrect word agreements, just add "ninja-like" to the end of any statement describing the above replacement-words.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Old Man and the C-notes

By all appearances, 71-year-old Shozo Ikeda leads a life many men of his age would dream of. For starters, his wife, Jo, at age 42, is young enough to be his daughter. The happy couple live in Thailand, Jo's home country, where the low cost of living means that Ikeda, a former taxi driver, can live like a king on his pension of ¥160,000 a month.

As a Japanese living the high life in Thailand, Ikeda is hardly alone. In the city where he lives, Chiang Mai, an estimated 3,000-4,000 Japanese are long-term residents. Like Ikeda, most are elderly and male.

What's the draw? According to the magazine, it's largely the local women.

I don't think old men with money marrying young women without is news to anyone from any part of the world in any moment in history. And mixing up the formula by getting married in foreign countries is just a minute detail of globalism. But every time this topic comes up, I am forced to wonder what's worse:

women marrying for old money, or men marrying for young poonany?

60 minutes

Editorial note: thank god. It wasn't Mike Wallace. It was Scott Pelley. (I didn't want Wallace to be the bad guy here.)

Mike Wallace gave THE WORST interview in interview history last night, and with the worst person to have a bad interview with - Iranian premier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Other anti-Americans are going to eat this up.

I know technically I am eating this up, but my anti-Wallace rant doesn't mean I'm an anti-American. I do realize he was interviewing a Holocaust-denier (so please don't send me weird hurtful emails about my loyalties).
But to further my anti-Wallace interview rant:
1. Wallace was condescending. Flat out.
2. He didn't ask a single question about the Ayatollah, or domestic affairs, which is the widely acknowledged populist president's nominal responsibility since said Ayatollah is the de jure leader.
3. "If I were President Bush, what would you say to me?" followed by, "I talked to President Bush and he asked me to tell you..." is the worst interview thread ever. Second-hand diplomacy on national what's supposed to be a watermark establishment of tv journalism??

Has TV journalism become an oxymoron?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Dude Where's My Concubine?

It just wouldn't be right to let two years pass without another "Dude Where's My Geisha/Concubine/Hot Asian Girlfriend" film. This time they're calling it Silk.

Based on the Alessandro Baricco's novel this is the story of a married silkworm smuggler, Herve Joncour, in 19th Century France who travels to Japan to collect his clandestine cargo. While there he spots a beautiful Japanese woman, the concubine of a local baron, with whom he becomes obsessed. Without speaking the same language, they communicate through letters until war intervenes. Their unrequited love persists however, and Herve's wife Helene begins to suspect. (

The confusing grammar notwithstanding ("...the concubine of a local baron, with whom he becomes obsessed." - the concubine or the baron??), I can't help but grimace at the thought of another one of these movies hitting theaters.
But it gets better.

When war breaks out in Japan, Hervé must leave for France, warned never to return to Japan. At home, after hearing nothing from the mysterious concubine, he at last receives a letter from her, written in Japanese. Hervé takes the letter to a French-Japanese brothel owner, Mme Blanche (known for giving the small blue flowers that she wears to her clients), who translates the letter into French.

The story ends when Hélène dies and Hervé finds a tribute of small, blue flowers on her grave. He realizes that the letter was not from the Japanese concubine, but from his wife all along. Hélène had Mme Blanche translate the letter for her, knowing that her husband was in love with a Japanese woman, and wanting him to be happy. Mme Blanche tells Hervé that, more than anything, his wife loved him, and Hervé is left wondering if, whilst she lived, he ever truly appreciated her.

So not only is the dude a rice-chaser, he also has a super-passive wife who lets him cheat on her, and she's such a pushover that she doesn't say anything until after she's dead, in a note written in a language she had to learn for the express purpose of such pushover-the-top satisfaction of her husband's extramarital obsession. That is some hard core passive-agression.
("Of COURSE I don't mind if you would rather screw your little Asian girlfriend, than a plain ole me. I'M GOING TO DIE ANYWAY.")

And the poster for the film is misleading.

Judging from the poster, I'd guess the movie is about an oriental sexual healer who is helping the two "Out of Africa" Brits find a way to spice up their boring love lives. The healer 's first piece of advice is to get silk sheets, and Silk brand lubricant. It's written in French here because Japanese people can't pronounce the word "silk" without making Americans laugh.

The original Bathing Ape himself makes a New York appearance in Central Park this Saturday with his hip-hop crew (are they still called 'crew's?) Teriyaki Boyz.

NIGO® (A BATHING APE®) and his super crew the TERIYAKI BOYZ® have just landed in NYC for Saturday's NYTMF!!!

If you don’t know who the TERIYAKI BOYZ® are, they are Japan's Hip-hop All Star Team, the brainchild of the Japanese fashion designer NIGO® – mastermind behind the A BATHING APE® (BAPE) brand, who guides them as their executive producer, creative director and DJ.

More info here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Gordon Ramsay's American "Kitchen Nightmares" sucks.
What a huge disappointment. Fox turned a perfectly fine show and made it "foxy," which can be done with the following ingredients:

1. An outfit of string players and a cymbal to play the Fox Sports intro every other ten seconds no matter what's going on (signifies suspense).
2. A marimba playing that ubiquitous American Beauty track (signifies pensiveness).
3. Cut out all silent pauses between two sides of an argument. Mash all dialogue together (signifies conflict).
4. Insert pregnant pauses after really provocative comment. If really provocative, also add the sound of a record being suddenly halted by a DJ (signifies shock).
5. Long Island

[Oh my god I just had a terrible idea - a reality show pitting TV show orchestra players against each other...with typical TV show orchestral foley.]

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Narcissus and The Golden Rule

It's hard to stay news-relevant when your blog isn't intended for the promotional purposes of one company (read: my old blog at Vertical). Even harder when it's a self-ascribed Blog à clef. However, as I sit here waiting for emails and try to squeeze in as much internet power from this local bakery whilst awaiting the repair of my home office ISP, I feel web-responsibility weigh down on me.

So here are a few news items I want to chime in on, keeping in mind I may be a narcissist but not an arrogant one, so I'd never opine on matters far from my expertise.

1. DC Comics has a new distributor - Random House.

My old employer was distributed by Random House so I can say from experience that they're pretty much Number One at their game. You want a book sold, you do it through them.

But DC Comics is not just a book publisher. They're a comics powerhouse, and the epistemology of comics has been turned on its head since the pretense of "graphic novels" and big-box retailers took over America (coincidentally at around the same pace and at the same time). This changed the way publishers like DC packaged their books, and how stores sold them. And change is fine. After all, chain stores can't deal with unwieldy serialized floppies, and Jane Doe reader didn't want them anymore. I think ironically in this age of convenience, it's because floppies are too disposable. But I think everyone knew floppies would become more or less obsolete. The question was whether it's vinyl records-obsolescence or Betamax-obsolescence. Obviously it's more like LP's, since bagged and boarded comics still account for a hefty share of the comics market. Any of these debates can be followed in detail at The Beat or The Comics Reporter (who are in my blogroll, along with many other comics blogs).

Anyhoo, DC used to be distributed to the trade (i.e. chains) by Norton after Time/Warner sold its books division, and to the direct market (i.e. comic shops) by Diamond. So it's not like DC wasn't already serious about selling comics to bookstore, but Random House is the Nike of publishing.

Now. People I knew back in the day used to hate on Diamond for feeding a community that was too insular. However, insular also meant unique. Those comic bookshops we all disdained for being shweaty boys clubs were independently run, and provided one-stop content shopping for movie producers and future otaku everywhere. And the opposite of "insular" was "inviting," which also meant "lowest common denominator for the general public." That's partly why comics have to mimic regular books - to suck in Jane Doe reader.

Yeah, sure. Superheroes are overrated, and manga is taking over the world anyway, but aren't we all going to cry a little bit when the corner trading card/hobby store that's easily confused for a porn shop goes permanently out of business?

2. Japanese Primier Shinzo Abe resigns, collapses.

Sigh. I know it's old news now, but this is kind of a big deal. Everyone else in his cabinet committed suicide (literally). Why didn't he?

No, but seriously, while Abe didn't send tens of thousands of his countrymen into battle fighting an invisible enemy in Iraq, his leadership and his cabinet have somewhat mimicked the patterns of Bush Jr. Cabinet reassignments, resignations, blanket vetoes and all.

So picture this - Bush resigning? No way right?
Our threshold of corruption is seriously on steroids here in the USA.


I Have a Swim-Cap Fetish
by Dan Savage
September 18th, 2007 5:59 PM

Q. I have a swim-cap fetish. I don't know why; it's not like I saw my grandmother bathing with a shower cap on or anything like that. My GGG girlfriend is willing to wear a swim cap during sex, and I think that's wonderful, but it goes beyond that. I go to the pool several times a week on the way home from work—not because I like swimming or need the exercise, but because I want to see women in swim caps. My girlfriend doesn't know about this; she thinks I am just working late. I feel bad about lying, but I can't bring myself to tell her. Is this cheating? —SWIM CAPS ARE REALLY EROTIC

From this week's Savage Love Column.
I haven't laughed out loud that hard in ages.
(Oh yeah baby. I want your head to look like the tip of a condom.)
Also, why does this dude think a swim-cap fetish would be justified by having seen his grandmother wearing one?
(Oh yeah Nana. You look like a gangrened dick.)

Other potential sports accesory-oriented fetishes:
Nose-plug, ear-plug, scuba mask fetish (for water sport-orientation)
Rock-climbing harness, Nalgene, Teva fetish (for anyone in the Pacific Northwest)
Weightlifting brace, sumo sash fetish (for gamey fat dude lovers)

Word of the day:

Main Entry: har·py
Pronunciation: 'här-pE
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural harpies
Etymology: Latin Harpyia, from Greek
1 capitalized : a foul malign creature in Greek mythology that is part woman and part bird
2 a : a predatory person b : a shrewish woman

I saw the word used in a (p)review of Gossip Girl the TV show, and I've been smiling all morning since.

Question to the general public - do you have words that make you smile?

I know some people have words that make them frown. Moist is a popular unfavorite, as are many words describing the female reproductive organs, and most people can't stand the way their name sounds from foreign mouths. (It's Ahn-DRE-ah, bitch. Not Anne-dree-ah.)
I don't really have words that make me ill. I don't even care when people screw up my name anymore. It's interesting, if anything, to see how the simplest phonetics can elude people, which is proof positive there's nothing that beats ear training.

Yankee-slugger Johnny Damon has a face that looks like it must absolutely and always utter: Pampers. And I could listen to people who can't roll their R's (it's genetic) for hours. Edith Piaf couldn't roll her R's.

What words do you love/hate?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I was at my sister's recently, where I came across an old issue of Allure magazine, and what to my amazement...a nude-op of Chloe Sevigny! It's an "empowering" feature not necessarily meant to titillate, but then Sevigny let's the shoe drop and suddenly radical feminism (which is more like traditional feminism now) has run its course. Quote:

Nobody says, "Oh, look at Chloe. She has such a good body," she explains. "So it'll be nice for once to have people talk about something other than how I dress or the roles I choose."

Has anyone seen that episode of Arrested Development where Lindsay first agonizes that her dad only cared about her looks, and then agonizes that none of his prisonmates wants to sleep with her?

It'll be nice to be noticed for my looks and not my talents??


Though to be fair, I don't disdain her for being honest. I have been at least as facile in the war between "good personality" and "good looks." I disdain Allure for using THAT as Sevigny's pull-quote. Besides, if I judged Sevigny by the roles she chose, I'd say she likes giving ugly dudes blow jobs.

Narcissus and Glasses

Back in the day I used to wear Sally Jesse Raphael-worthy glasses. Big ole tortoise-shell resin frames that would leave creases on my cheeks. I did it because I thought it would be ironic, hip, fun (not funny). However, I learned quickly that Asian-Americans can't be ironic about nerdy glasses. It just makes us look, well, Asian.

Over the years, eyeglass-wear has evolved to shape more beautifully around all varying facescapes, and cosmetic topologies. Thank Jebus.

Next I got into wire-rimmed roundies. Much like the kind Ghandi wore. That was short-lived, as my head is so large the roundies had to be really large to rest reasonably within my head-width.

I learned quickly that the only glasses I could wear were obnoxious rectangular resins. The kind drag queens wear when they're pretending to be housewives. Rhinestone adornments, odd colors, exaggerated cat-eyes, etc.

In my perfect world, Oliver Peoples and Selima would have a kid and be forced to marry me. Then that kid would make me glasses every day. I secretly long to have a wardrobe of eyeglasses, but simply can't afford it. One at a time like any decent American, thank you.

Until recently I had couched under the protective ego-boost of my most perfect pair of glasses. Electric blue fades with medium voltage cat-eyes. Then one day, I did a cartwheel to impress a boy and kablewy - they broke beyond repair.

I've settled for a similar pair in sea green but it's not the same. I have a backup pair coated in rhinestones, but it's not the same. I've gone back to the original optical boutique and nothing there's the same.

Funny aside about the optical boutique: I picked out a pair of televisions in white (viz: Elton John), and the French manager said bluntly to me:

O, I dunn o eef ziss glassEZ ware meant for people like yu. It eez mar four eep-opp ra-pearz (hip hop rappers), you know? Eep-opp ra-pearz av many many glassEZ and zey like zee big ones like ziss.

Sigh. So I started wearing contacts more often than not. If I couldn't feel powerful behind my cool glasses, I would have to join the million-fish march and pimp my natural look. I started wearing foundation, tried a little harder to suck it in, and dare I say, CARED about being attractive. I missed hearing, "nice glasses!" What would it be now, "nice eyes!"? And Jebus if I weren't a friggin' narcissist. How frightening. My glasses baited people in to the world of number one.

It kind of sucked not having the bait so you know what I decided to do instead of give up and go the way of wallflower for good? I did the next best one-at-a-time existential wardrobe change: rockstar haircut.

Monday, September 17, 2007

So I'm reading the news and I see Emmy this and Emmy that, but I'm having an: I'm sorry did you say something?-reaction to it all because I've discovered two things that have altered my tv habits forever:

1. Gordon Ramsey (on BBC America, not that shlizz on network tv)
2. DVD-R

I have essentially one hour of tv-viewable free time these days, so I'm watching "Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares" exclusively. For anyone who knows me, and anyone who's seen the show, I'm sure there's an uncanny connection you haven't yet been able to define, since it took me three episodes to get why I was so entranced, myself. I mean, I hate reality TV, and I don undstahn holf o' waw the brits aw saying a any given toim.

And ok, sure...I'm learning how to run a proper restaurant in Westcanturshiresberry-upon-Avonderrydaleshire, but the créme de la créme (so to speak) of this show is its homoeroticism, carried in beligerent spades.

On each episode, Ramsey is a locker room shower away from falling in love with various maitre d's and sous-chefs. In fact, at some point in production, he apparently found it necessary to bring a 5 x 7 framed photo of his wife to dinner with him so as to make it clear he's straight as a british flagpole (though the photo looks like it came with the frame). So he's not "gay," but the pope isn't wearing a funny hat if he doesn't want to play Marco Polo with his bangers and mash. Don't take my word for it.

Here are some of Ramsay's more choice sound bytes:

C'mon! Get your bollocks out of your ass and rub them in my face!
Stop wankin off and show me your bollocks!
I want to Ram(say) this plate up his arse. Sideways!

Apparently there are some gays who agreed with me about Ramsay's indefatigable 'moroticism. Power to Ramsay, man. Power.

Friday, September 14, 2007

BTW, you can post comments on this blog now.

What I really need are pictures to make this complete. But shit if I done forgot my battery charger and the D50 was a useless hunk of plastic this week. Agh, just go to Martin's blog for photos.
But so...Imprint: Culture Lab was a few things to me:

1. My first "gig" for interTrend.
2. A really awesome but undeniable sausage party.
3. The only conference I know of that was able to congregate a 17 year old Fat Lace intern and a 50-something JC Penny executive over Tokyo Dance Trooper (interesting sidenote: that Storm Trooper is shoe maven Jimmy Choo's son).

I think for anyone into street culture though, it was:

1. A wet dream.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sounds weird, but I for one have never seen pictures of Japanese anything dating as far back as 1850. That's just 11 years after photography was invented! So if any of you are near Notre Dame and not interested in football, you should go see this exhibit, "Rarely Seen: Selections From the O'Grady Collection of 19th Century Pictures of Asian Women."

According to the linked-to story, producing glass negatives in Asia was really common (surprise surprise - it was cheaper), so there were lots of photography studios, and then of course, lots of photographers, and then lots of models.

I smell a great book proposal in all this...
There's some praising going on at IHT over Shiseido's new ad campaign that hinges on one shocking precept:

That Japanese women are "now finally" self-confident.

Shiseido's new shampoo, Tsubaki, is advertised with one bold line:
Japanese women are beautiful
It supposedly follows in the tradition of "black is beautiful" and the new Dove commercials (though showcasing hot Japanese women in bikinis is kind of a joke compared to American women in underwear, fists resting on their slightly oversized hips).

So after reading this article and getting over the initial gag reflex of anyone having to point out that "little janie's all growed up and done gone become a woman," I finally got excited to see the ad.

The ad.
But for the horrible boy-band track it's nice. But the boy-band track! You're advertising woman power...why not foley it with a beautiful woman's voice? That's like shooting an ad for football with "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" playing on an organ.

There just isn't anything as delicious as ochazuke. There just isn't.

I just had some for lunch, using leftover brown rice from dinner last night, and a couple "kimchi chazuke" seasoning packets.

So, I got a ridiculously late start today in the midst of a series of what I call Reality DV (Dream Vision). Bear with the cutesy chessy language, will ya?

We all know that half-awake half-asleep dreamstate well, I'm sure. Well, since I started working from home, every morning I dream the first twenty minutes of my day and then wake up startled to discover those 20 minutes never took place. So the first time it was a banal dream that I'd just woken up, went to the bathroom, started a pot of coffee, etc. Then it turned into a sex dream involving intruders, and I woke up panicked. (Yes, the truth is I'm a 15 year old boy.)

Day two, same thing. Dreamt the beginning of the day and wasn't the wiser till another "intruder" dream startled me awake.


I've never had repetetive dreams like this, but I can think of a few things that might give it cause:

1. I'm a baby, and babies need lots of sleep and the morning dreams are a way of keeping me in bed another twenty minutes.

2. I'm a teenager and a wet dream is a wet dream by any other name.

3. I'm an adult and I'm permanently such and patterns/repetition/habits are the makings of any adult.

Now, from Kerim, another kind of unheimlicht:

Andy Warhol doing a Japanese tv ad in Japanese. I.e. Japandering.

Monday, September 10, 2007

After some debate, I decided I would in fact post this entry about what I did this summer. You see, in Japanese school, everyone has to write a sakubun - kiddy essay - called "My Summer" when they get back from vacation. So,

My Summer, by Anne Ishii

This summer, I miraculously attended three weddings and a baby shower.
The first wedding was in Miami and a lot of people cried. It made me realize how weak and susceptible we are, to big groups of people saying "I love you." Also, to Florida.
The second wedding was in Los Angeles and a lot of people did not attend.
It made me realize wedding invitations are more like subpoenas. If you do not show up, there will be punishment.
After the second wedding, I hosted and attended my first baby shower. There was a lot of smoking and drinking taking place at this shower. The mother's last hurrah was seemingly our last hurrah.
The last wedding was not called a "wedding" because the couple, though straight, did not want to offend gay people who cannot get married. It was the funnest wedding...also the gayest.

What I learned from these experiences is that though you cannot put a price on love, throwing money at it proves newlyweds and parents really mean it. And as a friend, agreeing to be inconvenienced beyond normal standards proves you really mean it, and that when it comes to gifts, it really is not just the thought that counts. It's mostly the gift.

Friday, September 7, 2007

(Via Bookslut) The Steelers have a cache of poetry written by fans, sponsored by the Pittsburgh local news website. My favorite stanza:


A "forth" poem, eh?

Last year I wrote a re-appropriation of Frost's "The Road Less Taken," dedicated to Lance Armstrong. It's called "The Nut Less Taken," and it goes a little sum'in lak dis:

two nuts diverged in a yellow leotard
and sorry i could not take both
and be of one nut, long i cycled
and looked down at it as far as i could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;
then took the other, as just as fair,
and having perhaps the better cling,
because it was hairy and wanted to be scratched;
though as for that the passing there
had worn them really about the same,
and both that morning equally lay
in pubes no bike seat had trodden black.
oh, i kept the first for another day!
yet knowing how nut leads on to nut,
i doubted if it should ever come back.
i shall be telling this with a sigh
somewhere balls and balls hence:
two nuts diverged in a yellow leotard, and i -
i took the one less healthy,
and that has made all the difference.
First they were screwing little kids, now they're screwing nunsLink.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Isn't this just an example of the pot going to see the kettle whistle? It's the Olympics, man. A rigged contest. Of course W's going.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

No real surprise here, but women read more fiction than men.

Related segue: a few months back, a couple friends and I celebrated the release of my friend Elizabeth's collaborative book This Is Not Chick-Lit at a semi-tony bistro. Our waiter saw the book on our table and asked what it was all about (I think a safe description is just "good fiction by women unyoked by marketing to marriage-happy single girls who like martinis and heels."). The waiter then examined the book and said two dumb things that I think in retrospect are pretty genius:

If a chick wrote it, how is it NOT chick-lit?

Francine Prose? That's got to be the worst pen name. It's so obviously fake.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Oh my God.

A Texas rock musician was shot to death here early Monday by a neighbor who fired through a closed door, thinking he was scaring off a burglar.

The incident occurred just three days after a new law took effect strengthening the right of Texans to use deadly force to protect themselves and their property.

The musician, Jeffrey Carter Albrecht, 34, a keyboardist with Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians and the Dallas rock band Sorta, was shot in the head after he startled a man and his wife about 4 a.m. by pounding and kicking at their back door, the police said. Mr. Albrecht had just assaulted his girlfriend, who lives next door and had locked him out of her house, the police said.

Jebus. Why are we still allowed to carry guns? Remember that Japanese exchange student who was shot to death by a paranoid neighbor because he was Trick or Treat-ing on the wrong night?
Herro. My name is Anne Ishii and I am the latest addition to the blogroll known as Giant Robot Dot Com. Here's a picture of me in my new "office" also known as the mud room behind my new backyard in my new apartment in my new neighborhood of Red Hook Brooklyn.

I just took this picture with the Photo Booth program in my newly requisitioned MacBook that was originally purchased by my old employer, Vertical, Inc.

My new employer is me. I'm a full-time freelancer now, after years of selling you books and consumer friendly feminish, asianish, comicsish shtuff via newsletters and social butterflight. I now sell consumer friendly parts of me from a corner. It's all brand new.

So suffice it to say the theme of my life now is novelty, freshness and the unknown. But none of that is to be confused with naiveté, virginity or the dark.

Just new.

(I'm realizing now that in the background of this picture is a birthday candle I got from an old intern, but it looks suspiciously like a vibrator. Or at least like my vibrator.)

I will do my best to at least make this news-oriented, so you'll come back. For starters, everyone, regardless of residence, should make a habit of reading the best newspaper out there.