Thursday, December 20, 2007

Oh God.

Something is VERY wrong with society.

JOHNSTOWN, Colorado (AP)
-- Two teens have been charged with killing the 7-year-old sister of one of them by beating her with imitations of moves from the "Mortal Kombat" video game, prosecutors said.

Heather Trujillo, 16, in charged in the beating death of her half-sister, Zoe Garcia, 7. Lamar Roberts, 17, and Heather Trujillo, 16, were charged as adults on one count each of felony child abuse causing death, state prosecutor Robert Miller said in court documents released Wednesday and filed a day earlier.

It's is so terrible...

Who still plays Mortal Kombat?

Morse Code Madness!

This is possibly the best translation software online ever.
Thanks for the heads up Irma.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

street monster

I try to be nice, folks. When I see someone trip and fall, I don't laugh. I pick 'em up.

But this afternoon, I was waiting for my lunch to go order when I came across a flyer for a Japanese Hip Hop Night in the East Village, and I started laughing...hard. For you see, one of the featured sets is of:

Street Monster.

I'm trying really really hard to be nice, but this guy is just begging for ridicule. What kind of evil person lets their friend start a career in music as...

Street Monster.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Blogsploitation: Batmanga!!

The illustrious Chip Kidd ( has been working on this beautiful monograph of 1960's vintage issue Batman manga from Japan. It's serialized original art with Japanese takes on style and storyboard (i.e. not a cut-and-paste of Bob Kane's stuff). It's really quite something (little trade blurb with link at the bottom of post).

Anyway...I'm its translator.

I can't tell you how fun this is. Words can't describe how entertaining it is to have translated the following dialogue from Japanese:

Phipps: Wayne! Wh-what are you doing here?
Bruce Wayne: I'm here to see that painting you wanted to show me.
Phipps: Oh...well I uh, have a terrible toothache, you see. Could you come back another night, perhaps?
Wayne: Sure! (Walks away and thinks to himself) Wait a minute....That can't be Phipps. Phipps wears dentures. He has no teeth that could ache! That's an imposter!!

Or what about the time I tried to find a better way to say "alien life fluid"? (I eventually settled on "bioplasm") And what about the "human mutation-ator"? Thanks to all gajillion message boards on the topic of "obscure superhero villains" I discovered this was actually called a "bioniformer."

So you can imagine the big smile on my Howdy Doody face (note: I just realized, I'm actually wearing a plaid shirt with jeans and hunting boots as I type this), as I deftly navigate my way through phrases like

"Slide down the water pipes with me, Robin!" and
"You want a piece of my alien life fluid, Batman?!"

...until...someone brought this to my attention:

The Dark Knight trailer.

Brrrr...I have not been this excited to see two men fight it out since Tony shivved Bernardo under the highway.

[From Publishers Weekly: ...Frank was particularly enthusiastic about Bat-Manga: The Secret History of Batman in Japan, edited by Chip Kidd, the book designer and Pantheon editor, with photos by Geoff Spear. The book documents a short-lived Batman craze in Japan in the late 1960s that led DC Comics to license the iconic character to the Japanese manga magazine Shonen King. Kidd worked with a collector to track down the original manga and compile an archive of vintage Batman manga from Japan. Mangaka Kiro Kuawata wrote and drew the original Batman and Robin manga stories, and he will contribute an essay to the new book. Frank said these Batman mangas have not been seen anywhere in more than 30 years; “even DC did not have copies.”]

Blogsploitation: For Personal Use Only

Who wants to get down with karaoke action?

I am itching to get my song on.

Don't Call it a Best Of, It's Been Here All Along

Holiday Festivarious: Things to raise your spirits.

The Modern Tribe by Celebration. To Listen. Their name is Celebration for Pete's sake. It's the best $9.99 you'll spend at the iTunes store

His Dark Materials
by Philip Pullman. To re-read. I started re-reading The Golden Compass to enliven my movie experience (and also because everything else I was reading made me feel bad), but the whole trilogy is simply un-put-down-able. AND it's so Wintery it'll give you frostbite.

MW by Osamu Tezuka. To read for the first time. It's holy, it's unholy, it's gay (as in, it's about homosexuals), and it's the most beautiful manga ever. I think one of Alan Moore's snake gods had its way with Tezuka when he was writing this. It is dirty as all hell, and never looks back. And if that's not how you're marching into a new year...well, I'm only going to suggest you re-think your entire life.

Tom Brady
by The Patirots. To NOT feel sorry for. Tom Brady represents the winner's conundrum. I used to feel a little sorry for him because he couldn't have a "normal" life wherein he got to hang with his newborn kid, and he would never shed the shame of his team being caught cheating...and he has that really unfortunate Paleolithic brow bone. But how do you love a team that refuses to lose? Is this a modern dysfunction? Oh this Red Sox-syndrome: when you can't love anything that always wins?

Blue Label by Johnny Walker. To drink. My mother sent this to me for Xmas. It is...amazing. It's all the things I like about blendeds (sweet and smooth) and single malts (peety), with none of the bad things. Well, except for the fact that only my mom can afford to get this for me. Nothing says holiday spirits like whiskey.

I don't actually want to help anyone buy any of the above (except Tom Brady, whose fee is a steal next season, I hear), because I'm lazy and it brings me no joy. This is the cul-de-sac of blogs, folks. No links, but we're all smart kids with Google browsers, right?

Suffice it to say the real meaning of Kwithmuth is love and faith and good cheer and three magi. Hug your neighbor and tell me how it felt.

Friday, December 14, 2007

From The BBC:

A Dutch diplomat has denied trying to "get rid" of a seven-year-old South Korean daughter he adopted as a baby, amid public outcry over the case.

South Korean officials said Raymond Poeteray and his wife gave up the child because she had failed to integrate.

But Mr Poeteray told Dutch media that the couple had parted ways with their daughter because of ill health.

Even if this guy is being sincere, what kind of douchebag "gives up" their child because they're ill? According to the adopting couple, the girl had an extreme fear of bonding that was diagnosed by a shrink. Her illness was that she wouldn't get close to anyone. So of course it makes sense to send her to an orphanage...

Little Jade wouldn't call us mom and dad, so we're sending her to an orphanage in Hong Kong.


Thanks for the heads up, Amy.

Who you callin' daemon, daemon?

After watching and re-reading The Golden Compass, I recently asked on this blog, "what would your demon be if you had one?" Tom responded that his daemon would be a "little Regis Philbin." I thought that was hilarious. Later in the day I was on the phone with my little sister (and when I say little, I mean she's physically teeny tiny), and I thought, "hey, my sister's like my daemon," which made me realize:

What if I'm the daemon and not the host???

So new question: if you were a daemon, who would be your host?


I think anyone who's ever watched a baseball fly out of any stadium has an appreciable thought about yesterday's Mitchell Report. I never thought I'd say this, but my first reaction upon seeing the outed roiders was, "poor Yankees." Their roster was outed harder than Hollywood in Perez Hilton's ass cheeks.

Thing is though, we seem to be more upset about the players' dishonesty than we are about their drug use. So how do you punish a liar?

Not that this would make any sense, or BECAUSE it wouldn't make any sense, I think punishment should be assigned as randomly as the drug tests were supposed to be performed. It could be like a Bingo game. I mean, there are so many players on that list, the Bingo game would at the very least speed things up.

Bingo caller: You know the deal, guys. Each of you gets a couple numbers, no questions asked.

Alright Bonds, let's see what Bertha's got in store for you. (Slowly rotating the Bingo cage) Looks like we have a revoked driver's license and palimony. So you can't drive for a while, but if you're good, we'll let you have a provisional permit - that means you have to have an adult in the car with you at all times. As for the palimony, you can start sending your kids a check for $50k each week at the start of the next fiscal quarter.

OK Pettite, you're next. Let's see...Ahhh, one of my favorites. Chemical castration. I think the board will understand if we let you off with just one number. (Pettite walks off with tears in his eyes, and stops briefly to look into Clemens' eyes before setting his head. Clemens watches him walk out of the courthouse before bursting into tears and screaming "NOOOOOO!")

And who do we have here? (Snickering) An oldie but goodie...Mo Vaughn. Ah, Mo Mo Mo...(Bingo caller visibly upset with the results) Dammit! $80 fine and a day of community service.

Mo Vaughn: (Sliding glasses up his nose) If I am to understand this correctly, I can contest the $80 fine at the county courthouse, but the charge is dismissed if the presiding officer is absent or tardy by at least 15 minutes. Is that correct?

Bingo caller: (Gritting teeth) Yes.

Whoah, where did you come from?

Space filling preface: The Holiday Season officially started yesterday when I looked for "Baby It's Cold Outside" sung by Carmen McRae (rrrrrr). Suggested Winter listening: Carmen McRae, CocoRosie, Fridge, Stars...

Moving on>> I'm not going to diss Pitchfork, but I was watching close to all 50 "top music videos of 2007" on Pop Music Uber Alles when I noticed a trend.

It's the "whoah where did all those people come from?" video (aka the verizon network video).

Case one:
1,2,3,4 by Feist (mash-up with Gloria Estefan's "1,2,3" anyone? Anyone?)

Case two:
What's a Girl to Do, by Bat For Lashes

Case three:
All My Friends, LCD Soundsystem

Case four (which wasn't on the Top 50 but should have been):
Sentimental Journey, by Yuki

link to The Top 50

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Kenya Hara pictures

A couple weeks ago I assisted the inimitable Kenya Hara (art director of the MUJI/No Logo Store and conceptual designer at large) on his jaunt through New York and Washington D.C. I have never met a designer with such a knack for rhetoric in both Japanese and English but somehow I was consigned to interpret for him.

I would have posted pictures a long time ago...HAD THE HARD DRIVE MONSTER NOT EATEN MY PHOTOS RIGHT AFTER HE LEFT. Fortunately his assistant (who's actually one of his senior designers but speaks fluent English) had taken some pictures, which I just got today.

Some choice bits of Hara wisdom:

"I call it 'emptiness' and not 'minimalism' or 'negative space' because I'm Japanese, and those are not Japanese words."

"I am the exact opposite of Karim Rashid. He's obnoxious."

"Everyone was trying to figure out what 'no design' meant, and it took a while for us to figure out it really just meant 'perfect design.'"

"They used to call me spider (kumo) because I was so spindly, but now I'm fat so they call me bear (kuma)."


I go back and forth with fashion mavens. One day I'll think they're all douchebags for making people feel so bad about themselves, and the next day Marc Jacobs shows up to his own Christmas party looking like this, thereby redeeming the whole industry:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Dentsu versus Biegel, part 3: The brothel-happy CEO is also an anti-semite.

But how do you use bias to disdain bias? The ex-Dentsu America creative director claims Dentsu Corp. uses "token Jews" to placate the chosen employees; to stay a toe ahead of equal opportunity employment.

"Defendants have openly discussed firing Mr. Fidoten, as well as removing his responsibilities," Mr. Biegel said in the statement. "Mr. Fidoten is quite literally a token Jew, presented as a fig leaf to hide the simple fact that Mr. Andree and his fellow gentile managers have in one year eliminated every Jew in the creative department at Dentsu."

Reminds me of the Biden "Obama's a clean cut guy for a black dude" gaffe.

Uncle Tom if you do, Uncle Tom if you don't. [BTW, how long has it been since I saw the word "gentile" used in a non-secondary, contemporary context?]


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Chris Butcher from The Beguiling has posted an in-depth article on yaoi manga at Xtra (queer site). Nothing brand new for the mangaficionado, but he does direct our attention to yaoi manga starring "bears, cubs and daddies." A sub-genre I for one know nothing about.

But seeing as how we're talking about Japanese comics...are unhairy bears still bears? I'd probably call them seals or walruses. Maybe even "chu toro" and "o toro." Hehe....Torotaro....hehehe


Relegiance, or Tap That (Comp)ass

Just saw The Golden Compass. I give it a "meh" but as many have already remarked, the panserbjorne were worth the ticket price. The poor film can't win though - it's too atheistic or too disloyal to the original story depending on who you ask.

I was conversing with friend Sanford about the subject of religion and the masses and realized how ironic it is that the masses would be politically mobilized through religion. People typically tend towards church in times of trouble (what my childhood Sunday school teacher would have called "poor weather Christians"). So it's ironic that certain politicians (Bush admin) should rally the church, since its congregants were swollen with economic and health-care related miseries of their creation. Tsk tsk.

But I digress. The question is, if you had a daemon (assuming we're all adults and so it would already be settled, unlike Lyra's Pantaleimon), what shape would it take?

vortex continues

Well, it's officially a vortex. I got wiped out by a cold over the weekend, and now my roommate is throwing up everything that goes into his mouth.

But there's some silver lining here, if silver is the sometimes color of magic. I'm working the Giant Robot store (on 9th at A y'all. Come say 'hi'). And no joke, there is a hawk or eagle, trapped behind our building. I keep hearing "skreeeeee!"


Can't find it, otherwise you know I'd rock the falconer's pose out there. I'm wearing my LL Bean hunting boots and everything (which btw, have become indispensible. If you're in a cold place, I highly recommend buying a pair. It's worth every cent.).

Then as if in a Kozlowski film, this old mute woman gestured at the locked door to let her in. I unlocked the door and explained that we weren't open yet but she gave me these sad eyes, so I thought, "damn it is cold out there" and let her in. She walked down the galley moaning approval of the comics and stickers, then picked up an Adrian Tomine postcard and walked out. She walked over to the adjacent Gallery and did the same exact thing.

Anyhoo, none of the magic or sickness prevents me from rolling with the blog show. I'm conscripting myself to write today. (Cracking knuckles)

First, as I'm completely sure you all know, PornTube is being sued for copyright infringement. Yes, you heard me right. PornTube. That it exists, though not surprising, is the real gem in this story. Go ahead, laugh. It's so quietly deliciously hilarious.

Speaking of porn, I was recently shocked to learn that women are no longer saddled with just the prospects of a more youthful vulva (rejuvination), but also with the prospect of "virgin pink nipples." Someone is making and selling "nipple brightening cream," folks. I can't tell you how many ways this offends me. As if we didn't hate the way we look enough, now the tips of our bzonkadonks are too dark. For some reason, this offends me way more than any other kind of cosmetic procedure. Yet I am as offended as I am philosophical. It reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend, whose girlfriend didn't shave her armpits but did shave her Y. The boyfriend said, "same difference. Both shaves make her look younger than she is, and she just doesn't care as much what I think of her armpits, so it actually makes more sense." No, friend. Not the same difference. But why not?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Vortex and Literature

This posting is the fourth, maybe fifth draft thereof, and I owe/blame it all on the tiny little vortex I'm in right now. I suppose it should be of some comfort that "when it rains, it pours," since that must mean good things also happen in droves. 

But mostly it's bewildering. I mean sure, getting my bike stolen, my myspace account hacked, and losing my hard drive in the same week is pretty bad, but last night, my friend Nate and I were talking about the Virginia Tech Shooting, and how society is so ______(fill in the blank) as to have already created offensive pornographic parodies of the shooter. I added that the event went from "tragedy" to "phenomenon" in a matter of days, leaving very little time for the nation to mourn, opting instead to deconstruct the media and race relations in some attempt at logical erasure.

Not two pauses after this heavy conversation did we start talking about where each of us wanted to go to in the eventuality that we left New York City. (Nate is finishing up his PhD and will be looking for academic jobs soon, so location is more of a crapshoot for him.)  He said, 
"If the only position available is in Omaha, that's where I'm going." To which I responded, "I hear Omaha is actually pretty awesome. It's like Portland (Oregon) ten years ago." We went on about how Omaha might actually be pretty rad.

I can't tell you how hard my jaw dropped when I read news of yesterday's mall shooting. Nate was pretty gobsmacked too.

Ironically, it's been almost 10 years since the horrifying Thurston High School shooting just outside of Eugene Oregon. Not quite Portland, I know, but the resemblance in history is kind of frightening.

Now, forgive my sudden veering of course but...
One nice thing about such vortexes as described above is that I, for one, felt compelled away from the computer. And once far enough away, I found I had a tall stack of books I had/wanted to read. And I think I've just broken a personal record - I'm counting over a thousand pages of lecture over the past few days.

The first book is more like an anecdote: Was She Pretty by Leanne Shapton.
Anyone with a Trojan Myth of an ex in their own past-ure (past + manure = pasture) or their current partner's, will appreciate this, as I had. But you'll also appreciate the book being torn to pieces by Marisha Pessl in The NY Times Book Review because yes, it sucks to have to live up to the pageantry of exes, but it also sucks to pick at nasty scabs.

Next, Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love. (She has an exhibit up at The Whitney through February btw) As much belles lettres as monograph, "wow" is really the only reaction I had. 
Neuter or Naughty, wow. 
The End of Uncle Tom and the Grand Allegorical Tableau of Eva in Heaven, wow.
Letter From a Black Girl, wow.

At night I was reading the frequent victim of my name-dropping, Scott Westerfeld. I finished the third installment of his Uglies Trilogy, Specials, in a night.
He's a YA author, and it's funny, but only two books have every brought tears to my eyes. One was There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar (of subsequent Holes fame), also a YA novel; and here-mentioned Specials

After finishing Specials I couldn't fall asleep so I re-started The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman.

I also found myself bored enough to read Richard Russo's Empire Falls (which I bought after a lovely weekend in Camden, Maine, where he's from and writes about). Eighty pages was about all I could handle because it's about a divorcé who's nostalgic for his ex-wife (ibid: the first book about exes and you do the math).

Unfortunately, the next book I started reading (this one an assignment for a job), was a Japanese novel called Parallel, about...a...divorcé...nostalgic...for his ex-wife...sigh...I just can't get away from these guys, can I?

I figured if I was going to do this for money, I may as well do it in a good mood, so I put Parallel down for later post-coffee reading and picked up Kelly Link's Stranger Things Happen
and darnit if my heart didn't just go KLUNK right there. The first story, "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose," is about a freaking dead husband pining over his now widowed wife, from the after life.

Vortex, people. Vortex. I've finally thrown in the towel and come back to the computer. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

When it rains it pours.
First my hard drive, now my MySpace account.
FYI, if you think you're getting a message from me via MS, ignore it. I may have a colorful sense of humor but I'd never forward you links to pictures of private parts. Not because I'm a prude, but it's so junior high. (pshaw! whatever...)

Will be back being regular blogger and by a computer tomorrow (fingers crossed).

Monday, December 3, 2007

Overcoming Rage

Hard drive crashed...F**K!
Smug techies don't help my mood.
Costs too much to fix.

This is the second time in my life that a hard drive has crashed. First time with a PC and this time in my MacBook. I suppose it's what I get for traveling with a big magnetic appliance as if it were made of rubber. 

I'm pretty upset about all the data I lost, but I think about how this reflects on my relationship to technology. I might be a cyborg, in the mundane but philosophical sense of my dependence on computer technology, but through crashed hard drive I have come to the realization that all talk of artificial intelligence is necessarily "kid's stuff" compared to organic intelligence when you see how RELIEVED I am to lose all this "data." As a cyborg, the organic equivalent to this lost data is breaking a smallish bone - temporary handicap, potentially costly recovery, six months to get back to Doh (Solfege, not Simpson). 

But if I'd lost organic intelligence in a "hard drive crash" of the physiognomy, man, someone would be helluv pissed (probably not me per se, because I'd literally be out of my mind).

Don't get me wrong. I went through a moment of rage upon first discovering my faulted hard drive, but a part of me is excited to have lost four months of data (four months because the last time I backed up my HD was in July). 

To add ironic insult to injury, do y'all remember I'd blogged a few weeks ago about my bike being "stolen.?" A short week later I found out it had not in fact been stolen, rather I had locked it up at a bar and then got a ride home later forgetting I'd biked there in the first place.

So far so funny, right? Dumb Anne, got drunk, "misplaced" her bike and got mad at the world for no reason. Lesson learned...Not so fast.

A few days ago did I lock my bike on a busy corner of Brooklyn and leave it there from noon to 4pm (i.e. in broad daylight). And so just as I had locked it, had the lock been undid and had Anne come back to a bikeless expensive ass Kryptonite lock. Yes people, my bike REALLY got stolen. 

In the end, I didn't get to  be enraged that my bike actually got stolen, because I'd already gotten so enraged the first time around when the thief was my drunken forgetfulness. My ego cried wolf and the whole village of my emotions turned the other way.

(Funny also that two things I had believed to be invincible - the Kryptonite lock and the Apple computer - are as penetrable as anything else I own.)

Folks, turn off your computers for a second. Now walk away from it. And stay away from it for like a whole day. Make it a day that counts. Monday before a deadline or something. It will feel really screwy at first, but then really good real quick. (Disclaimer: when you get fired don't look at me.)