Saturday, December 20, 2008


No, seriously, I was interviewed! You can listen to the smooth sounds of me. I sound like a Jewish man for some reason, but if you want to know the deep inner workings of ill iterate, the translator, here's my two cents.

Disclaimer to those who listen to the interview: I know that "anale" is straight-up French, and not an "Americanism." Leave Annus Itchii alone.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Overheard on the subway

Man in late 40s, whom I always see in my bus-ride:'s called desiccation. With a hernia it bulges out. Mine are all shriveled up.

Man in 30s, talking to a woman (colleague, possibly) who is very obviously flirting with him:

Joe's the kind of guy who thinks every girl who gives him a lap dance is in love with him. I tell him every time, no, idiot. They're doing a job.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brilliance in Design -- Books

A period-red cooked lobster with a hand for a left claw.
Holding a gun.

It's when I see things like this, that life seems O.K.

Friday, December 12, 2008

In the Presence of Greatness

So I was at an NPR recording studio yesterday for an interview, which sounds more important than it is, since the interview was about my work with people (and things) that are greater than me (which is still an incredible honor in and of itself, don't get me wrong). But I was clearly the context and not the subject.

What's it like working with Chip Kidd?
What was it like working with such priceless comics from the past?
What's it like handling such rare toys?

How appropriate then, that I found myself in the presence of other greatness, in the NPR lobby.

There I was, waiting for the sound engineer to bring me into our recording studio, when a tall elderly black man walks out of it with a small entourage. One of the NPR kids says, "Roy, you wanna sign our guest book? That way we have bragging rights."

So now I know he's famous. Question is, why?

My curiosity majorly piqued, I stare at him with my vacant half-opened eyes, and my mouth is ajar. You know...the whole nine yards (which I'm going to pretend just happens to be the length of a short bus).

He felt my eyes on him, and after we said "hi" to each other, I waltzed over to the "guest book" to uh... sign my own self in. I see an autograph:

R Haynes
You guys are the best!!

Later after I'd already once forgotten then remembered that this took place, I asked a jazz musician friend about "an old black musician named Richie Haynes? Ronny Haynes? Something like that? Ring any bells?"

Friend drops what he is doing and looks me in my (still vacant) eyes:

You mean Roy Haynes?
me (chewing on an orange slice): I dunno. Yeah?

And his jaw fell to the floor. He proceeded to tell me all about Mr. Haynes, from memory. Googled up some videos of him on the spot and asked a bunch of questions.
What was he like? Did he look old? What did you say to him, exactly?

Apparently, I may not have known who he was on sight, but I actually DID know him by sound. In fact, if you listen to any jazz, you're sure to have heard him too. Roy Haynes played drums with all the greats, not the least of whom are Miles Davis and John Coltrane. The guy is 83 and looks like he's 50. It's amazing to see such a human if for no other reason than that he's so healthy and radically good at what he does even at this age. I am frankly embarrassed that I didn't know who he was to begin with.

So now I have effectively blown my friend's mind.

Then, several minutes later...

What was it like being at NPR?!

Always, in the presence of greatness.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

ill iterate is in Neighbor Bee Blog

I love Neighbor Bee. One of the few blogs that covers New York without that "New Yorker" exoticism. Turns out Serena (my interviewer and Managing Editor of this blog), and I are like Oreo cookies stuck on the same splooge of New York culture. I love meeting people that way. You know, like when you have your own organic friendship with someone and find out they were about to be introduced to you at some party the next day.

"You know Andy? No way! We're like soul mates!..You guys are soul mates? NO WAY!!!"

Anyway, shameless pandering, and bookmark Neighbor Bee. Worth reading despite its questionable choice in interview subjects. [Oh, and I'm fully aware of all my typos so don't blame them.]

Monday, December 8, 2008

Two things have just become official:

1. I am drunk.
2. I should never edit drunk...


1. Drinking should only ever be to celebrate and never to mourn (in this case, mourn the hours I spend reading anything other than my own writing or the Dragonlance series).
2. I saw the words "fill in the blank" and thought only of porn.
3. Watching an African-American commentator on "News Hour with Jim Lehrer," I thought of how much more subtlely they incorporate the opinions of black people now that Obama is president. Jim Lehrer should never be accused of racism and there. I just did.
4. I was drunk watching "New Hours with Jim Lehrer," which goes on at 7pm.
4. I'm not done yet.

Yet. Having said all that I have plenty of other things I gotta get done, namely:

1. (Fill in the blank)
Someone else please explain what's wrong with

this article.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

UglyCon 2008, by Anne Ishii, aka "not Sun-min."

Yesterday I participated and worked at the first New York UglyCon, which for the unitiated, is the festival-cum-art-opening-cum-costume-contest-cum-signing event that celebrates The Uglydolls, created by David Horvath and Sun-min Kim.

I was originally going to help in something boring, like eying shoplifters and handing out raffle tickets. Carly (the Giant Robot NY manager) and I even discussed me possibly not working at all, if all the staff showed up and things looked par for the course (in GR art openings standards).

All the staff showed up.
Things did not look par for the course, by any standard.

Waiting outside for UglyCon:NYC doors to open, was a throng of families, spotted with handmade Boo and Poe and Jeero costumes. This was at 11am. UglyCon was to start at 3pm.

I went through the line of Uglydoll fans and handed out raffle tickets that would gain them entry. So far so good. One boy excitedly whispered to his dad, who then smiled at me and said:

dad: Are you Sun-min?
me: No. I'm sorry. I don't think she's coming today.

The kid immediately lost interest in me.

At noon we opened the GR store for general merchandise shopping. Things got a little hairy (kids taking vynil displays and my having to grab them by the nape and throw th... I'm kidding. This was just garden variety GR madness).

A line to meet David immediately formed, and kids were stoked to finally have all of life's questions answered.

Kid A, bouncing up and down, fidgeting with a postcard: Um, um, uh, first question. How many Uglydolls are there? Um, um, second question. What's this Uglydoll's name? Um, um...

Halfway down the line was a man looking at me in half-wonderment. We make eye contact and he says:

I'm really sorry if I'm wrong, but are you Sun-min?
me: No. I'm sorry. I don't think she's coming today.

At 2:50pm we sent everyone outside to start the UglyCon raffle drawing. At 2:55pm, the only computer in the store (the computer that functions as the register, the inventory database, the everything)...went blank. More to the point, someone tripped over the power strip and turned off everything plugged into it.

Carly, with a voice from the very depths of Moldor: FUCK.

So now, Jimmy! Mike and I are handing out juice boxes and snacks; asking everyone to be patient while we took care of some technical difficulties.

Fast forward to 3:30pm. A skinny bald man in his late 30s wearing a black leather jacket and jeans, strides up to the building entrance adjacent to GR. He barks at people to get out of the doorway, and the Uglydoll crowd parts like the Red Sea. Very accomodating. This is not good enough for the man. He wants the crowd to part like the hairline he wishes he had (no offense to anyone balding. My insult is dedicated to this single bald jerk.). This bald jerk looks at me and starts yelling, "c'mon! I've had it with you. Your store is a nuisance. This is ridiculous..."

I apologize with my dryest voice, and tell him, "Look. We'll stay away from your door. You don't have to be mean about it. This is a very important day for a lot of kids."

He rants back at me, unable to make eye contact.

me: Hey! They're kids here! Watch your language.
jerk: Yeah yeah. F*** you.
me: There's no need for that! I'm sorry (I repeat this dryly, over and over). You want a juice box or something?

A handful of parents yell at him. They're real close to using bigger nastier curse words. We make do with hating his guts. Man throw up his hands in defiance and goes into the building.

The crowd shares collective disgust at hateful New Yorkers. For a moment we all chastise the jerk in silence. I mean, some people. Not like us. A bunch people standing outside in the freezing cold for the chance to buy something called a Bob n' Beep. (Not hating, of course. I dropped a load of cash on UglyDolls myself.)

I start calling numbers. People are antsy and want to get in. Mostly because it's just cold outside. We've run out of the hot pads I brought for them.

Fast forward to 4pm. Still not a lot of movement in OR out of the store, but not for lack of trying. It's a GOOD thing when people want to stay in your store. We politely asked people to mind the other fans waiting to come in, but hey.

In the midst of the drawing, a middle-aged man comes up to me and asks if he can come in just to look at other stuff. I tell him no. He doesn't like that. We argue. Jimmy takes over and placates him. He doesn't like that either. The parents take over and placate him. He REALLY doesn't like that.

Man: Look at me. I'm not here for the Uglydolls. I promise. I just came in from Long Island to buy other things. Let me look around. I didn't spend 2 hours to be turned away. (etc. etc.)
me: I can't let you in unless you have a ticket right now.
Man: Can I have a ticket?
me: No. We're at capacity.

Man asks people in the crowd for anyone who has a ticket they want to give him. He gets one. His number gets called. Everyone wants to kill him. I'd already told him he'd be going in just to stand in an hour-long line to buy whatever it is he wants, but he really wants to "buy something that's not related to the Uglycon."

Several hours later, I see him talking to David, GETTING UGLYDOLLS AND PRINTS SIGNED. Money for GRNY means we get the last laugh. And I totally believe in karma. He drummed up enough negativity from all of us to last a lifetime.

Back to present.

4:45pm. David has come back from lunch and gotten settled back in so we start the costume contest outside.

There are some wicked awesome costumes. One girl was, I kid you not, wearing a brown polyester laundry bag over her head with two pillows stuffed on top, and the bag was cinched at her chest. This costume had no breathing holes or viewer. Loved it.

Two costume contestants left, when...


Feces has officially hit the cieling fan.

David immediately calls the cops who never show up. Thanks, NYPD.

Kids are now crying.
Mothers are yelling at me that this was the worst experience of their lives.
I beg everyone to calm down and at one point mutter that we shouldn't reenact Wal-Mart.
Later, one mother said to me, "there were definitely some Wal-Mart families here for sure." I don't think she knew about what happened at Wal-Mart in Long Island.

We finally decide the raffle tickets aren't going to work. There are only fifty people waiting to get in now, so we get a bunch of them inside the store to fill up GRNY to max cap, and Upper Playground is nice enough to let the remaining freezing and now wet ticket holders hang out inside their store till I call them to the gallery.

I go into Upper Playground at one point to check on the UglyCon-ers, and God bless Upper Playground, really (Priscilla, if you see this, you are a saint.), and I know very little about cutting edge hip hop or hip hop culture, but the music playing in their store featured with crystal clarity, an MC describing what I can only approximate as getting the "cheese" sucked out their "Doritos" and then "dipping" the chip into really wet "guacamole" and then smoking something that rhymes with the Lackawanna Canal.

There was one kid, standing completely still in the middle of the store, unsure of what to look at, and so looking straight at the door.

Fast forward to 5:30pm. Most everyone who came out for the event is in, or has now been through. I tally two children who went home deferred, unable to wait any more, their hearts broken. Possibly more adults, but who knows. Everyone else got in. David promises to mail gifts to the especially heartbroken.

Almost everyone stops to say how great the whole experience was despite everything. A lot of people said it made their experience that much more gratifying after all the difficulty. Kids were stoked. One kid said it was the best day of their lives. All the adults looked at me like we'd just gone through Abu Ghraib. We smiled and hugged and promised to keep in touch. One man had a quivering tear waiting to fall from his left eye as he mouthed, "thank you."

One more man comes up to me and I already know what to expect.

Man: Are you David's wife?
me: No. I'm really sorry. I don't think Sun-min's coming today.

7pm. The last of the UglyCon-ers are getting merch bought and signed. The last man, an Asian guy about my age, gets a bunch of dolls signed, then brings them to me and asks ME to sign them.

For exactly one second, my heart soars, thinking "wow. This guy is in love with me and wants to remember this wonderful experience by getting my autogr..." and I interrupt my false-fantasy with the realization that:

me: I'm not Sun-min. I'm really sorry. I don't think she's coming today.

Man drops the hands that are holding Wage and Wedgehead, and stops smiling. Turns around and leaves.

Sun-min, wherever you are, I hope I did right by you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I go Lewis Black on Apple

OK. If any of you wondered why I haven't blogged in a while...


Suddenly I didn't want to (cue the most acerbic, sarcastic, and simultaneously erotic finger-quoting gesture ever) "keep up a blog." I lost a full work day to this theft (thank you, robber-asshole. I hope my shit-core porn and Anal Cunt B Sides make you pissed you ever lifted my greasy machine in the first place). And one day without a computer ended up being more than my mighty labor-threshold could handle this week. And you know what the fuck else? I was so mad at the world after the theft that I couldn't stand to look at this stupid blue and orange bubbly Blogger-interface anymore.

But you know what else this MacBook theft signified?


iPod #1: accidentally dropped part of it in water. (Apple replaced it for free)
replacement iPod (#2): became obsolete after my damned hard drive crashed before I backed up the music. (I did not bother getting another one. Fuck it. I got a car stereo.)
iPhone #1: touch-screen magically stopped being magical. (Apple replaced it for free)
iPhone #2: STOLEN on a plane. (Apple did not replace for free because THEY REFUSED TO REPLACE AN OLDER MODEL IPHONE WITH ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE 3G)
MacBook with Tiger: hard drive committed suicide.
Firelite external hard-drive purchased at Apple Store: crashed. (Had to pay through urethra to retrieve data)
MacBook with Leopard: ENTIRE MACHINE STOLEN.
Apple earbuds: broken, broken, constant static electricity shocked inside of my ears (no, seriously), broken.

We buy Apple products in part to avoid all those PC viruses and pop-ups and bullshit, but you know what? At this rate, the damage and theft that Apple is prone to, make it about as costly as PCs can be frustrating.

And I love Apple. I am saying these things like a doting mother. But! When I go into the cubinomicon at Central Park's Southeast corner during a lunch break, panting, asking how Apple Care can help in my stolen laptop situation, this is not what I want to hear:

You need LoJack to protect your computer from theft (hyuk hyuk), not Apple Care.

Thanks, dickwad. This rectal lint really said that to me. I wanted to remind him right there who his mother was. (Answer: my slave.)
And we're buying the Apple products to be cool. How many mothers can call their children dickwads, right? I AM the coolest.

Fuck you, son.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Deep" Thoughts

I had a funny conversation with a group of variously acclimated foreigners in the US the other night, when we started talking about the election. It occurred to me, and was echoed by others that "election" sounds just like "erection" when you phoneticize it in Japanese.

Ironically so, given how LONG, HARD, and MORE FULFILLING this election was than any of the others I've been around for...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Me: Mom, so you know Barack Obama, he —
Mom: Huh?
Me: Obama. Barack Obama?
Mom: Oh, you mean the Pokemon?
Me: No! The guy running for president!!!

Looking to fill the void left since Stuff White People Like went analog?
My Mom Is A Fob should do the trick.

(Thanks, Andy)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama Dos and Don't-Dos

The Root suggests looks that won't work for president elect.
I personally think a Mr. T Mutton-Mohawk combo would look fabu.

(Thanks Yani)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Mythotypes and Remakes

I have to say this out loud because I want to know I'm not the only one who thought it, but when "Sideways" came out, a couple of us Asian-(North) American ladies thought it a horrid horrid irony that Sandra Oh played the super sexbot sleeper star of the film...what with the title of the film being, well, "sideways"...

(long pause)

Now The Guardian reports there's a Japanese remake of the film in the pipeline...and I can't help but think who's gonna be the "sideways" love interest with a Japanese cast? Directional orientation is in the eye of the beholder, maybe?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

JFK Terminal 5 went to the future and came back

It's been all of four weeks since I was last at JetBlue in NYC, but I was stunned to be rerouted through a Skywalk to what looks like a weird appropriation of the future-past as airport terminal. Everything is designed around the shape of a circle, and feels like an international airport. There's even a duty-free shop.

But check this out:

I go to the food court to get some overpriced dinner before I board, when what to my delight there is an Asian food stand with things like "charbroiled pork bao" and "udon noodle soup." I wasn't that hungry so I ordered the $4.50 hot n' sour soup (you really can't fuck up with h n' s, I say -- you cover a bunch of vegetable quotas, plus it's spiced with vinegar instead of msg).

Anyway, $4.50 is a lot for poor-man's Chinese-American stew, but it's an airport so I'm forgiving.

Then, the cashier hands me this:That is a HALF-GALLON of soup.


Best of the Election 2008

(thanks, Ryan)
Best Cartoon

Best media commentary:
(Something to the effect of) "This shouldn't be America's excuse to say it doesn't have race problems. It should be an opportunity for us to talk about the ones that exist." --Tavis Smiley

Best joke:
"The election was called early because McCain probably wanted to go to bed." (Thanks, Sanford)

Best reaction:
Jesse Jackson

Worst part of the coverage:'s hologram "popping" on CNN to Anderson Cooper

First thing I said when the cameras panned over Hyde Park:
"A lot of children are going to be conceived tonight."

"Ladies, shave your coochies in honor of Obama's win. NO MORE BUSH!!"
I just thought of an amazing new euphemism for meals composed of seafood and land mammal food:

Net and Cage

haha awww

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

About a phone booth

It just occurred to me that suspense-action film will lose its last shred of dignity when phone booths disappear for good. I mean, Superman hasn't gone into a phone booth since at least 1983, and I'd argue anything after Superman 2 wasn't worth watching anyway. Trinity and Neo converged at the end of their phone booth honeymoon to "Zion" and look what happened. Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions sucked Hugo (Weaving) balls.

And of course, without the phone booth, The Bourne Identity/Supremacy would just be Matt Damon looking like a refugee; Law & Order would never have a phone trace to the nearest dumpster (where the gun/drugs/dead hooker ALWAYS is); and Colin Ferrell would never have had the chance to star in this gem:

Putting a little extra honey in the pot -- T-shirts!

Alright kids. It's election Tuesday. You already know what to do.

Moving on...

I came
I saw
I Concord!
(qty is listed as 15 but I definitely have more, and they're actually a heather grey short-sleeved Hanes shirt)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

(Picture taken in a real costume shop today)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hard Times...


At a recent auction in London:

The most dramatic moment was the silence that fell when Murakami's 6.5-metre-high fibreglass sculpture Tongari-Kun (2003-04) failed to attract a single bid. It was expected to fetch at least £3.5 million. The Japanese artist, clad in a black puffy jacket, laughed after the lot was passed in a hushed room.

ill iterate is in The New Yorker!

This is true. I have made it into the New Yorker!
But it's not quite the mention that will dry the angst of my super novelist dreams deferred...who'm I kidding I'm friggin' STOKED to have my name printed in there at all. I'll relish while it lasts.

(Visual: Anne stroking two inch 8-point mention of self in NYer, singing "You're Gonna Make It After All" in falsetto...through Batman mask...and tears.)


(This is my last Batmanga post for the day, swears.)

Batmanga Update

Hey everybody. Thanks if you did and thanks if you didn't make it to Chip's talk at The Strand last night. Just wanted to let you know:

Last night was the only instance in which The Director (Chip), The Curator (Saul Ferris), The Photographer (Geoff Spear) and The Translator (Anne) were all in one place to sign copies, and we signed a lot of them for Strand stock. If you buy one of these babies and then got the original Batmanga creator (Jiro Kuwata) to add his autograph, you'd have the illest copy of the book.

Go get the second illest copy at The Strand.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chip Kidd's BATMANGA release "party" at The Strand, tonight! 7pm! He's introducing his team, which includes me, so hopefully I'll see y'all there.

Events at The Strand

ill iterate is ill-hungover

While I wait for my equilibrium to settle back in, I'm going to drop my kids off at the blog pool.

1. What are the odds of this very true fact happening: I moved into an apartment in Red Hook Brooklyn last year, to discover the third of three apartment tenants is a Japanese woman. It was a pleasant surprise for me, as it allows for some Japanese banter in the foyer, and if banter's good for anything it's to practice a foreign language, n'est-ce pas?

Then, one day I came into the foyer and found on the ground, a Japanese flyer for a neighborhood church. "Seek salvation in Him."
My mom sends me stuff like this all the time, hoping I'll start going to Sunday school again, so I took for granted that it might not be my flyer. So I took it inside and was about to (mom, close your eyes) throw it away, when I noticed penmanship not belonging to my mother, at the top of the thing. The flyer was addressed to a "Tomoko Tanaka" (this is clearly an alias. The Japanese equivalent of a jane doe or joe six-pack.). Apparently, the woman who used to live in my apartment a couple tenants back, was also a Japanese woman. Also, the landlord is not Japanese.

Is that odd, or is it just me?

2. Speaking of Joe Six-Pack, whatever happened to the other "Joe"s?

Joe Seder Plate
Joe Momma
Geo Prism
G.I. Jane
G.I. Lynndie
Cho-cho san
Yo soy el yo-yo

Why Anne Ishii Can't Do Nothing Right

Uh oh. Looks like the blog police have come out to radio my anus with the walkie talkie of comments:

"This is pretty banal...Your other posts have been significantly above this in quality."

Thanks, "anonymous." I take that as a backhanded compliment, a chocolate covered brick, an HIV positive feedback (Psst Daniel L. -- now THAT would make an awesome "before and after" for Wheel of Fortune).

Thing is, my idea of good writing has fluctuated of late. I look at virgin paper and think, am I going for funny? Profound? Righteous? Origami? And frankly, I've heard it from colleagues with other esteemed blogs: Anne, your blog just ain't funny like yous used to be.

Anne: You kiss your mom with that mouth? Cuz if not, I will.

Oh please God help me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Brilliance in Design

I'm not a graphic design aficionado, but this cup struck me as perfect. Ironically, I purchased this coffee in Brooklyn.

C'mon Brooklynites. If our outrageously expensive neighbors to the northwest can be the big apple, what do we GowAnus cAnal-ites have to say about ourselves?

Some of my useless candidates:

The Big Adam's Apple
The Big Snapple (locally run out of Red Hook y'all)
The Little Rotting Apple

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Random Observations in NYC

1.) In the subway the other day, a rotund/obese middle-aged white man in navy blue Dickies, translucent white shirt, suspenders, VA cap and chunky resin glasses waltzed into the train and started singing in perfect 1950s timbre:

When women are frustrated, you must have sex with them.

He repeated himself in this perfect classic piano bar intonation. A doubly large black woman seated nearby, who was eating Wise chips from a large bag (I'm not kidding!) shook her head and responded:

Nu-uh. Not true.

It was like a beautiful little duet the universe had unfolded for an audience of commuters. God, I love New York City.

2.) A while ago, my Korean-American friend accused me of being WASP-y when I said I hated being asked how much I made. I added, it was tacky. Recently I complained about a new question I get asked lately, which she also said was me being WASP-y. The question:

So how do you know (insert name of someone mildly more important than you)?

An even more tactless form of this question I've been asked:

How do I get to know (insert name of someone mildly more important than you)?

Trust me here guys. This will be in some publicists handbook soon. So start now. Don't ask how or why I know people. If you have to ask, as Louis Armstrong once said, you'll never know...

3.) There is a kind of woman I meet at parties lately: The Dater Betty. She's like a skater betty -- which as most of you already know, is someone who gets skater community cred or skater community poser cred by default of dating a skater. They learn all about the scene and soon they are talking the talk. Myself having sort of been a skater betty once for a flash in the pan, I can add that once you break up with the skater, you stop caring about the scene. Pretty much, altogether.

The Dater Betty is someone who like the skater bettery, is pretty "whatever" about "the scene." If the scene is "NY dating," Dater Betty secretly believes in true love, she believes in marriage, probably thinks about weddings and wants kids. But a Dater Betty, i.e. poser hedonist, dates Cassanovas and pretends she loves the heartache of non-monogamy and mornings spent alone. She talks about all her non-attachment, and her total indifference, and complete disdain for the traditional relationship, because her man's a douchebag.

4.) Men feel small next to the words "black man." Even black men.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

GWAR in The New Yorker

The New Yorker's "About Town" events listing is an interesting example of all the inherent fallouts of a liberal approach to "entertainment." Listings like,

Mark Morris interprets hip-hop.
Jonathan Safron Seagull on the meaning of 'writing.'
And because it's not fair to list only "M.A. fare" occasionally they pop in with the Coca-Cola equivalent of a trend that the Astors and the Andersons can both buy into. "Best Chinese restaurants in Flushing...great stopover after your U.S. Open!"

No no, you're right. I'm being completely unfair. The New Yorker is never excited enough to use exclamation points.

But you gotta love them when they DO speak "to the common people."

In this week's election special double-issue, they list...


I never thought I'd see the day.



Wednesday, October 8, 2008

NYC is the toughest city in the world!

Not really the toughest, but...

About a year ago I was on a subway platform and heard a pretty dumpy looking guy make a cat call to a good looking woman:

Hey, gorgeous.

She immediately stopped in her tracks, spun on a heel, gave a long neck roll and started a tirade that went something like this:

(Incredulously) Hey?
Do YOU want to talk to ME?
You want to talk? Alright. Let's talk.
Let's talk about YOU instead.
Let's talk about your yellow teeth.
Let's talk about your beat up timberlands.
What about your dirty clothes?

Etc. Etc. The dude started walking away from HER and frankly, as funny and redemptive as I found the woman's riposte, I was a little embarrassed for him. Then, the woman decided to let it go, and finished with Shakespearean volume:


Today, not disimilarly, I was walking through SoHo, thinking about crazy Tokyo fashion (who isn't?), when in the distance I saw a crew of GLAY-lookalikes who had clearly just gotten off a flight from Narita. I thought, "wow. Harajuku halloween," upon eavesdropping, they did not fail. They were "cool."

Glay 1: That was a sick shirt.
Glay 2: Man, for real.
Glay 3: Hey guys, I gotta take a mad piss, like, now, dude.

These are approximate translations, mind you, but just take my word for it. These were confident young men (in skin-tight pleather pants and wearing eyeliner).

Fast forward a block to them walking past a group of NYC SCHOOL CHILDREN who literally, point, and, laugh. Glay went dead silent.

It's a tough city, my friends.

Ladies First

Interesting NYTimes article about gender biased food service. (see below for link)
What I didn't realize is that those computerized server tablets let waiters/waitresses have "gender" line items, so that food is prepared and sent appropriately. i.e. Ladies first. The best part is, the designation is, in fact, "ladies." Like, old school chivlary in triplicate!

According to the piece, restaurants are trying to do away with the old school chivalry but then customers complain. "Ladies first!" [Can you imagine what that might sound like chanted by thousands at a Palin rally?]

Anyway, this being New York City, and myself having once been a waitress at a sushi bar in lesbian capital of California (Santa Cruz) I wondered, "what about gays and lesbians?"

Host to waiter: I put a two top at table 8.
Waiter to host: Ha! They definitely look like two "tops." But who do I serve first? I need there to be LADIES so I know what order to follow!!!
Host: Calm down. Just serve whichever one who says the bitchy thing about our salad dressing first.

Ladies First

Monday, October 6, 2008

After weeks of sounding important...

I finally feel "normal." Yes, I was derailed by myself for a moment there. Business is calm now, considering we have a future of poverty to look forward to, but business is also pleasure, because I am in the business of being myself. Constantly at odds when asked "what do you do?" I finally realized last week while in Los Angeles for Imprint Culture Lab that the problem isn't that there isn't a sufficient word for my work. The problem is that I care what my work is called.

I blame capitalism (and I think this mundane blamership is clear indication that I'm back to feeling normal, actually.)
Capitalism is a strange thing. Certainly when you freelance, or work in the ephemeral state of "marketing" like I sometimes do. Because you see, marketers are nothing if not self-referential. We quote Rushkoff, Walker, Gladwell. We make fun of our other marketers. We don't see any contradiction in "selling the noose with which to hang capitalism" (Trotsky). This is the sole and mind-numbing onus of our responsibility -- self-reference. Self-reference. Self-reference.

What do I mean.

Marketing is fueled by the work of idea-men. This work cannot be accomplished without convincing idea-men to sell their ideas wholesale, to others. We are recruited by the conviction that we are "special," "on it," "plugged in," "hot," "deserving of more." Because the reality is that we're doing precious little good. Then, your ideas are borrowed from, reconstituted, sometimes rejected. In the midst of building for others, our personal identities become powerful antidotes, artisinal artifact, precious secret, a safe place we call home, whatever. And whenever the identity is compromised (i.e. every single day), it hurts. You protect your identity even more. Repeat.

But you wouldn't have cared what happened to your identity if no one noticed you in the first place.

This is what I mean by self-reference.

I thought it was just me, but in talking to several people, there is a consensus; that unless we are producing a tactile experience or being paid butt loads, our egos will never be fulfilled.

One friend recommends taking up skill-based hobbies for the disenchanted marketer to counter his or her malaise. Another reminds himself everyday he could be shoveling manure for a living and that would be much worse. But here's the kicker: everyone agrees to either one or the other of the following statements.

Your work will be meaningless if its not authenticated by your life.
Your life will be meaningless if you buy the b.s. you're selling.

What if my work is selling my b.s. life?

Thursday, September 25, 2008



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

British Eyes, Asian Teeth

This has to be the most astute observation anyone's ever made to me:

"Brits are to teeth what Asians are to eyes."

That's Patrick Cox, who sent me this article about 'American v. British Teeth' in The BBC Magazine. If we Asians can be scientific and call it an epicanthal fold, the Brits most certainly have what could be called maxilofacial gold. (Thank you thank you I'm here all week...)

Patrick, by the way, has what for my money, is the best podcast out there on one of my most favorite subjects: language. PRI x The BBC's "World in Words" gives you the "hmph, I had no idea" feeling you love in books like "The Man Who Loved Only Numbers," or "The History of Names" (EDIT: It's actually "Names on the Land" by George R. Stewart) If you like reading wikis and other in-depth trivia, this podcast is a must-listen.

Let me elaborate.

I know a lot of people like myself, who get excited about etymologies and are particularly entertained by puns, and the history of words, and neologisms such as "maxilofacial gold." (Thank you thank you...)

But when you think about it, everything is a neologism. Some are older, but still...And rather than look at the world through the lens of politics or a philosophy of art, why NOT through the lens of populist linguistics?!

Here are some "hmph, interesting" tidbits from The World in Words:

Did you know Ghanaians are named after the day of the week they're born?
Do you know the taxonomy of IKEA products?
Know anyone named Defecacion? Patrick does! (err, he knows someone who knows someone...)

Anyway, go check out the podcast. Subscribe, join their Facebook network, etc etc.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I love poor picture editing

So I get news of this scandalous film censure taking place in Bangkok via KineJapan:

There are reports that the Bangkok Film Festival dropped Sakamoto Junji's new film Children of the Dark (Yami no kodomotachi) because of objections by the main sponsor, the Tourism Authority. The film deals with child prostitution in Thailand.

And I follow the link.
"Vicky Christina Barcelona" gets brief mention in this news item, yes. But Woody Allen's picture? IN A PIECE ABOUT CENSURING THE STORY OF UNDERAGED ASIAN SEX WORKERS?


Monday, September 22, 2008

Voicing Approval Versus Voting

As many of you know, there's a PBS poll being taken right now which asks the question, "Is Sarah Palin qualified to become Vice President of the United States?"

Regardless of how honestly we can answer that question, the issue seems to be that the Republicans and Democrats are campaigning for us to vote out the margins on this issue by going online and clicking "yes" or "no."

I can't imagine everyone's not cheating. You can answer the poll as many times as you want, making this the most unscientific tally since American Idol and "eenie meeenie miney mo."

Now, I'm not telling you how to vote in the general election, honestly. Far be it for me... But I did notice: it's amazing this election season how fixated we are on ancillary popular opinion polls (i.e. polls that don't ask how you're going to vote, but how you feel about someone who isn't the top of the ticket), and it forces me to think we're being corralled into polling because both sides assume the "undecideds" are so stupid they'll just follow a majority. A majority created by clicking on a button over and over.

"Look Anne. 54% of people polled on CBS/PBS say they think Palin is qualified. I'm sold. I'm votin' for John McCain!"

And then there are the "guy you'd rather have a beer with" questions. It's like being asked what celebrity you'd most like to fuck. A reasonable person would have an answer, chuckle, then add, "BUT OF COURSE, IT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN."

Don't forget, people. You and I will never ever kick back and have a beer with McCain or Obama, we will never ever make moose stew with Palin, or share a microwaved nachos from the food car on the damned Amtrak to Wilmington with Biden. Ever.

And so if you really want to express your approval rating, I highly recommend you do what you do with anyone else you can't sleep with and rub one off. (Then go vote at that PBS poll)

Friday, September 19, 2008

what CAN'T this guy perform?

Gangster, hobo, lover, Ghandi, vampire priest...

Now Ben Kingsley is Ian Makaye.

Sir Ben Kingsley STOMPS into the shoes of Minor Threat's Ian MacKaye from Mean Magazine on Vimeo.
(via VICEland)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Palinmania fuels sales of Japanese glasses"

My half-assed feel good story of the week:

Kazuo Kawasaki, who designed Sarah Palin's non-allergic titanium rimless eyeglasses, has seen exponential sales growth since she hit the tv-waves. He's grateful, and adds she'd look good in anything.

From The Telegraph

CD That Plays Different Song Every Time You Play

...and no, I'm not talking about the iTunes "random" button.

From The Wire (UK Magazine, not Baltimore PD show):

[Tim] Hodgkinson met software designer Andy Wilson. Together they investigated ways to locate a selection of sound files within different contexts and to use them in different that repeated plays produce a stream of previously unheard music.

Yes, that's right. Every time you play the CD, it plays different parts of the same track.

This reminds me of The Finder: Talisman, by Carla Speed McNeil, in which the content of a book changes every time you read it. But of course, that was sci-fi, if really friggin' awesome sci-fi.

In the case of this CD, the future is now!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lalapipo versus Oscar Wao

I was just having an argu-sation about gender with a couple writer friends the other day, that made me think: what price equality? Scorcese would fail miserably with an attempt to incorporate a Merryl Streep or Frances McDormand type in Casino or The Departed. Likewise, I don't really care what Candace Bushnell thinks of boxing.

So, a few weeks ago I read a book called Lala Pipo, by Hideo Okuda, in one day. It wasn't just that my previous employer published it (there's your full disclosure), or that I like funny stories about perverts. It was simple, direct, "honest," very clear in its conceit, and yes, a hilarious send-up of so many societal ills that would seem macabre in any other light. Think Chuck Palahniuk and Todd Solondz, or Tom Perotta and Ron Jeremy.

A few nights ago I started The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Juno Diaz after months of feeling like I really ought to. This book too, I could not put down. It isn't just that the narrator makes brilliant and copious use of the f-bomb or name drops otaku icons with just as frequently. Or that I like funny stories about masturbators, as well as comic books and Tolkien. It was experimental while germaine, historicist while postmodern, metafictive while populist genre-rific.

What these two titles share is a narrative conceit, comparable to the game "Telephone" or a relay race. The books are made of a bunch of stories that take place in genetic-geo-temporal proximity, and share one prescient theme bifurcated by two other ones. In Lala Pipo I'd argue it's sex bifurcated by labor and "the city." In ...Oscar Wao, I'd argue it's family, bifurcated by language and sex.

But this is where I run into an enormous conflict. "Oscar Wao" is more deserving of praise, perhaps because it tries harder and accomplishes more, but it fails so magnanimously, so obnoxiously, at one thing, that it becomes almost impossible for me to give the entire book, both my thumbs. And that one thing, is the narration of Oscar Wao's older sister, Part 2 of the novel.

Part 1, mind you, is one of the most amazing "short stories" I've ever read in my life. So are Parts 3 and 4. The last part of the book is just fine (awesome if you feel comfortable making fun of gentrifying New New Yorkers without calling attention to yourself). Point being, if you want to read an exercise in amazing beginnings, start with this novel.

But man if I didn't want to burn the book halfway through Part 2. It was so full of cliches, unironic stereotypes, and really poor qualifications of female issues (literally: menstruation, hair, breast cancer). It makes one wonder if Diaz does it on purpose. I am reserving judgements against Diaz's own gender, but this is the most astounding schism I've ever encountered in such a brilliant novel. Imagine watching "Glenn Gary Glenn Ross," or some Lars Von Trier like "The Celebration": a chamber piece, if you will. Now imagine one of the main leads is replaced by Paris Hilton or a tenth grader in fourth grade remedial math.

In contrast to this, "Lala Pipo" is no "Glenn Gary..." or "The Celebration" (and just so it's clear, I'm not comparing the narratives of "Oscar Wao" with either of those films. Just the chemistry of characters, and intensity of performances.). But "Lala Pipo" isn't trying to be anything like that. It's more like an episode of some FX original sitcom. It's just really entertaining. And, well, all the women in the book are kind of... stereotypical idiots. Truly the lesser half.

And this is where I come back to the argument about writing up gender.

Do I laud a misogynist his expose on perverted men because he's been forthright?
And do I then fault a genius his very short attempt at a woman's bildungsroman because it feels disingenuous?

Monday, September 15, 2008

envy comes in pairs of women.

Envy is such an awful feeling. Especially when you know there's no calculable intrinsic superiority between the envier and envied. I mean let's be honest, most of us are raised to think we are the eye of the tiger itself. Rawr. (Note: tigers are cats and cats are catty.)

I'm not that bad when it comes to professional competition. I'm happy to cede the yardsticks. I will never make loads of money (read: publishing is labor-of-love), and I value hard work without the titles. I'm even pretty good about platonic female competition, because it's just embarrassing when women get catty. It's an embarrassment I compare to shopping with my mom when she asks the most uppity looking clerk if she gets a discount for being a senior citizen (true story). But this jealously line gets thin when female friends are actually sexual rivals.

You see, recently I was bombarded with the positive reviews, hipper-than-thou blurbists, interviews, endorsements, amazon recommendations, crescendo-accelerando applause, for the latest book by a sexual rival.

How dare she leave the positive markings of a novelist, a bard threatening MY medium, haunting the mausoleum of my closest neighbor, terrorizing my ego!! (cue: "O Fortuna" Anne sheds tears of blood.)

Oh lord.

But then just as all seems an attack on my patient life of quiet contentment, I see this hilarious send-up of womenvy. Contextual humor makes everything ok.

God bless Hillary Clinton, and god bless being allowed to like that catty bitch again.

RIP David Foster Wallace

What a strange week in suicides.

David Foster Wallace was found dead with a noose around his neck.

Tennis anyone?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I must have been a terrible stewardess in a previous life.

I don't know if it's JetBlue, global warming, or karma, but I have not had a "normal," much less "tolerable" flight to or from Long Beach airport (CA) in the last six months.

Now I know some of you are thinking, "What. That's like two flights, tops, right?" or you're thinking, "Gosh. I had no idea Anne was such a high maintenance flyer."

You're both wrong.

Am I a nervous flyer? Yes. Do I take dramamine and pray the engine doesn't explode, everytime we take off? Yes. Do I happen to have to fly to Southern California every six weeks or so? Unfortunately for the nervous flyer, yes. Yes yes yes to my trans-American career path.

No no no to JetBlue.

Let me give you an approximate look at the horror that has been flying as Anne Ishii:
June, 2008. JFK.
Flight to Long Beach is delayed several hours.
Returning flight is rerouted to Rochester "for some reason. I (pilot) don't see any weather, so there must be something else going on on ground." Our landing is delayed a total four hours. I get sick with the flu that night.

July 2008. Long Beach.
I get a courtesy call: "Your flight has been cancelled. Please call 1800-jetblue to reschedule..." I call only to find out that because I was redeeming True Blue passes, I can't just take the next flight out. I have to PURCHASE a ticket on a flight leaving TWO DAYS LATER.

September 2008. JFK.
I WAIT SIX HOURS IN A CLOSED CABIN. Not only are we delayed. We are delayed in a closed cabin. They refuse to take us back to the gate, and then are forced back in order to refuel. On my way out of the plane which finally lands in Long Beach 7 hours after planned time of arrival, MY IPHONE HAS GONE MISSING. I ask flight attendants to help me find it. ONE of them looks under the seat cushion I was sitting at. I ask the airline desk if they have a lost&found. They shake their head in annoyance and simultaneously walkie-talkie the same flight un-attendants I just spoke to, sighing "did any of you find an iPhone on that flight from JFK?"

Basically, because everyone (including staff) was delayed six hours in their planned day, no one wanted to take an extra minute to help me find my phone.

Whatever. Fine. I lost my phone...while on a plane...for 12 hours.

Four days later I'm at the same airport, and MY RETURN FLIGHT IS DELAYED TWO HOURS!!! While waiting, I hear on the PA system, "if anyone has lost an iPhone, please come to the TSA desk. We have it in our office."

I had to look around for Rod Serling to make sure I wasn't in the twilight zone. This announcement irked me as it meant there IS a place for lost items.

When I get on the plane, there are a scant number of seated flyers, and as I approach the back of the plane where I'm supposed to sit, the luggage compartment directly above it is closed...but there are also like, no people sitting in that row, so I assume the compartment is going to be empty.

When I open it to find it stuffed with food and blankets, the stewardess nearest me looks hard, and rolls her neck, then says "the CLOSED overhead compartments? Are full."

Thanks. I didn't know I was on the short bus.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

RIP Nagi Noda

My god. She was so friggin' young. (Some of you will remember Nagi Noda came up in this blog a few times for a collab set of Tezuka shirts at Uniqlo as well as some killer videos also uploaded by fellow GR-blogger Aaron.)

TokyoMango news posting

Friday, September 5, 2008

Oprah doesn't want to talk to Sarah Palin.
I wonder if she'd take Bristol.
The most shocking moment in the last night of the RNC for me was not the anti-McCain saboteurs in the stands. It was that the night ended with the song "Barracuda" by Heart.

It comes as absolutely no surprise that Heart immediately issued a "cease and desist order" to McCain/Palin 2008 whom Nancy Wilson (of Heart) claims did not ask permission they would not have been granted, to use the song.

I can think of TONS of republican musicians who'd love to have had their music featured:

Toby Keith
Garth Brooks
Kid Rock
Daddy Yankee

Oh wait. They're all tools. I get it now.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Fly.

Remember that movie? Jeff Golblum, David Cronenber, a fly, a bioniformer cabin...

Reading the LA news, I triple-taked on a banner ad for:

The Fly: The Musical
Starring Placido Domingo

What. The. Fly.

catch phrases in ascii

From Pink Tentacle:

Anata to wa chigau n desu (”I am different from you”). In the few short days since Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda uttered these words to a pesky reporter after his shock resignation, Japan has witnessed the birth of a new buzz phrase online.

Follow link for awesome computer-love/art of Fukuda being different from you.
(Thanks, Nate)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Japan-America Film Relations

The news: Kristen Bell is going to be a leading voice on the Astro-Boy movie, and Dark Knight BOMBED in Japan.

Observation 1: I've been hearing about an American Astro-Boy movie for what feels like an eon. My anticipation of the film is as high as a Humboldt freshman, but my expectations are only as high as a carrot. I'm excited to see that the voice used to narrate a soap opera about teenage girls seeking acceptance by sucking on boners (Gossip Girl), is also playing the cryptically designated role of "voice" (, in a movie about a cyborg toddler seeking acceptance by licking aliens.

But "voice" notwithstanding, there's no way Astro-Boy will live up to the expectations of the Japanese collective subconscious. I mean, imagine if the Japanese remade Mickey Mouse. It would take A LOT for it not to bomb. It would take...Hillary Duff?

And hence, Observation 2: Of COURSE Dark Knight bombed. It didn't have Hillary Duff...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Dude. What is going on! The second Premier of Japan to resign in as many years. Whatever happened to "faito!"

In other news, a fantastic article about Yellow Peril Sci-Fi, on io9.
Gonna point out something sort of self-serving, but I was somewhat surprised that the thesis this posting -- that Asian characters represented "evil" in 1920's-1930's sci-fi, and represent "the future" in the 1980's-1990's -- doesn't address its equally popular female post-war counterpart: Yellow Poontang (ibid: "Fan Tan" by Marlon Brando)...who then becomes the Yellow Poontang Emancipated (ibid: "Memoirs of a Geisha" "Snow Falls on Cedar" "Twin Peaks") in the 1990's and 2000's. But of course, io9 is a sci-fi blog, and I am the one self-righteously publishing book reports on "lady Asianica"so it's probably only right that it wasn't mentioned at all. Two JA chicks with different axes to grind online would form a vortex of meta-criticism and then we'd all tear through the fabric of time-space continuum and end up on the wrong side of a Bladerunner screening in kimonos. Whooooa

(Thanks for the heads up, Eric S.)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

How to Start a Fire

The single greatest thing about camping in the great outdoors, is building a fire.

I credit fire-building to soothing the deepest emotional wounds, and I suppose if the LPGA pissed me off enough the fire could also inflict the deepest physical wounds too...which is another sort of "healing," if a felonious one.

And if building a fire doesn't fix you, you're not doing it right. I'm not talkin' lighter fluid, bonfires, or barbeques. This is campfire 101, meant only to heat your food, your body, and your soul.

Step 1: Find twigs in the area. You'll see here I've chosen to raise them on a platform of an old half-burnt log. The ground was really damp, and sometimes you'll need a little platform like this to get things started.

Step 2: Actually what you really need is some newspaper or the local pennysaver to start the fire. Hierarchy of wood product to burn should be paper-twigs-logs-logs with sappy bark.
Step 3: I like to pile my logs like a pyramid or teepee. Trick here is to create an air funnel. See those flames? I'm not blowing air on it. There's no gale wind. It's the physics of a vacuum. Plain and simple. Those logs will very quickly turn into "coals" and then you can roast the really sappy barky pieces of wood. Mmm...Once you got that fired up you can basically cook anything. I like cans of soup and roasted veggies.

Step 4: Most important in your fire-building is a "poker." If the kindling is "excelcior," the poker is Excalibur. Find something pretty raw, so it don't burn up or snap off when you're moving coals and logs.

F*** the LPGA

First, let me say I am OUTRAGED, and am boycotting the LPGA until they get their racist white trash mentality out of their hairy white trash assholes.

Second, let me explain.

The LPGA is planning on instituting an English proficiency requirement on all its members, punishable by suspension of their membership.

This is the equivalent of forbidding Raphael Nadal from playing tennis if he didn't pass an English exam; or preventing Michael Phelps from swimming in Beijing because he only knows "hello," and "thank you."

There are two things that make this simultaneously "unique" and "racist as fuck." The only group of people who were pulled aside in a special closed-door meeting to learn about this LPGA requirement, WERE THE SOUTH KOREAN WOMEN.

If that's not blatant racism, I just don't know what is.

Now, I'll grant that I may be biased myself because I am of Asian descent. Maybe my skin's a little thin here. And if that's the case let me refer to the Irish Number 3 seed PGA player and my new hero Padraig Harrington's reaction to the ruling:

Someone was reading the paper and brought it to my attention, as in, when they read it they were so amazed by this that they actually had to bring it to my attention. The person that brought (this ruling) to my attention asked, 'Does that mean ifyou're mute you can't play golf on the LPGA tour?'...
What if you have a person who genuinely struggles with learning new languages, they have a learning disability? That's tough to ask somebody with a learning disability who might have found golf as the saving grace in their life, to ask them to learn a different language or else you can't play...There's people out there who don't naturally pick up second languages...They could make an effort but it would just be difficult.

On top of feeling personally defensive for Koreans who've been singled out for not being chatty, I am also an avid golf fan and offended for the sport that an organizing principle would take into account such superficial difference. I am one of the ten people in the world who actually sort of follows...correction, followED what the LPGA was up to, and it appals me that they'd risk losing face with our demography (Asian women), since we apparently made up enough of their membership that they thought to antagonize them in the first place.

Here are some things the LPGA and supporters of the requirement are saying:

In the sports entertainment industry, it's important for our pros to communicate effectively with sponsors and the audience to promote the game. (Libba Galloway, Deputy Commissioner of LPGA)

My response: GOLF ISN'T WRESTLING. There isn't some hackneyed dialogue or fake rivalry to prologue the tournaments. Let me ask you hypothetically: have you EVER heard golfers talk at a tournament, except to say a few words upon victory?

Tiger Woods has like a dozen tv commercials airing right now, variously for Gatorade, Nike, Buick and some razor brand. In NONE of them is he talking.

I can guarantee you, as a publicist and marketer myself, that sponsors who want their logos on their players' hats/shirts/pants/clubs/bag, don't want someone wearing that attire "talking up" their brand in broken ass English.

They don't want the number 3 woman player in the world, Yani Tseng of Taiwan, to try to be a Kathy Griffin.

Another comment I heard in support of the ruling:

If the international players could just learn to say simple things like "Hello," and "Thank you very much," the game would already be so much better. It's not like the LPGA is asking its international players a lot. They get two years to learn those simple phrases.

Highly suspect, lady. Who in the developed world DOESN'T know "hello" and "thank you"? If the English requirement were really that baseline, the LPGA would not be creating AN EXAM for its players to pass.

And here's my favorite comment pro-ruling:

International players have to learn to...rationally communicate with the sponsors... Suspension is a necessary measure to enforce communications. YOU HAVE TO TAKE THEIR LITTLE TOY FROM THEM TO REALIZE.
(Ted Tryba)
(emphasis added)



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm probably really late to this but the People's Improv Theater has a live talk show about comic books that looks worth checking out.

Can't help it snark: I'm tempted to start bets on how long it will take for a totally irrelevant actress to be the guest star talking about being an extra in the next Sin City, but because this is NYC I'm sure it's just as likely Penguin will launch its inevitable yaoi imprint here.


Two videos on demography points came into my mailbox this morning. Both hilarious. Only one of them supposed to be.

The Onion's 400+ new demographic groups the presidential candidates must win over, including Dinty Moore Single Dads and Necktie Asians Who Live Above Frozen Yogurt Shops. (Thanks, Nelson)

An early Jell-O ad which demonstrates the Western spoon's superiority over the Eastern chopstick by shitting all over a Chinese baby. (Thanks, Nate)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Vanity Sizing for Men

My friend Ryan C. made a good point the other day about men's shoes that gives me a kick.

While women have vanity sizing in dresses to make them feel un-fat, men have vanity sizing in shoes to belabor the myth of foot-to-penis-size ratios. At least in the US.

For the record, as if you didn't already know, that 1. size doesn't matter, and 2. shoe size doesn't indicate how big your dong is.

Let me elaborate with some anecdotes:

I was astounded when I first went to France, to find that most men wore much smaller shoes than Americans. I thought, "they couldn't all possibly have smaller feet, could they?"
I mean, I'm talking size 5's and 6's. And yes, part of me thought, "does this mean they have small weiners too?" [I've related this story to Americans and many of them, incredulous, will say "there's no such thing as a men's 5." Au contraire mon ami...5's abound in the sea of men's shoes.]

Well suffice it to say the French probably don't have small weiners. And when I mentioned to one Frenchman buying small shoes about this "penis size shoe size" correlation, he laughed.

Bahn, ouee fransay, iss more eemportahnt to us ze how do you say, WIDTH of foots, razzah zen LENGTH. Ouee have same length az zee womens, but much thicker.

I found it ironic, the allusion to yet another male genital-to-quality of sex myth...(shaking head).

But meanwhile back in the States I got a male friend shopping for shoes telling his attendant that the shoe he's just tried on is too big. "Could you get me a 7?" And he swears he hears her snicker to her colleague on her way to the basement to look for this elusive "7."


Anyway, Ryan C. joked that it would be funny to see a man publically announce he needs a size 12 only to get a size 7 in secret. And that got me to thinking. I bet dollars to nuts if a shoe clerk, maybe a cute female clerk, guessed a straight man's shoe size in the absurdly large ranges, the guy would buy anything she offered him. Even mandals with sequins.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

House of Latex Ballroom

If you live in New York, you no doubt have an image in your head of a pretty cool looking person, in the context of the city. Not out of context, like cosplaying a dwarf French maid ninja in Tokyo, or the image of a cool person in the context of a different city, say Los Angeles, where a cool will frequently mean board shorts.

I've noticed that one of the looks for men in NYC, has included a form-fitting tartan check woven shirt, untucked, but buttoned all the way to the Adam's Apple. Almost a gay lumberjack approach to the iconic look of SoCal chicanos. Pair this with some tight but low-slung dark jeans, and a brand new baseball cap and you got yourself a Fall day in lower Manhattan.

Variations of the look might change up the shirt according to weather, but I sort of always assumed it was a decidedly straight look.

I was so wrong.

Last night I went to my first ball.

There, I saw what looked like a line outside BAPE or Opening Ceremony on New Shoe Day. Forgive my Aunt Mable approach to the look, but it was a lot of brightly colored brand new sneakers, and New Era hats with flat bills, gold stickers, and sports teams that don't exist. I'm pretty sure these weren't derivatives. I would have let any one of them into a Pharrell Williams party, but I'll grant that I'm not the best person to bounce this party.

Now, in the line were a lot of "children" greeting each other with sidewise cheek-kissing and pinching. Many of them had aliases, not uncommon in urban culture, but so far as I know Butch queen is not the way anyone at a PW party would describe themselves. Much less win awards for "realness."

It was a sort of forgettable look until last night. My favorite deconstruction of The Lumberjack: man-as-man wearing aforementioned tartan check shirt buttoned to the gills, sailor motif sports jacket on top (gold epaulets and cuffs), blond afro, Sally Jesse Rafael glasses (or American Apparel for that matter now), and (wait for it) fishnet stockings.

What impressed me most about the night's looks though, was how completely gender was bent, and frequently to no availing of a cause or case. It wasn't "I'm gay and fucking proud of it." It was, "guess whether I have a penis or vagina. On second thought don't. Just drink in this whole thing. It's here for a limited time only."

I mean to some, these looks may seem too decontextualized to exhibit cultural artifice (read: cosplay), but when the context is this big, and when The Look mimics the status quo SO EXACTLY, even the most homophobic, sexist, misogyne will not be able to do anything but awe.

Or maybe I'm making my case too naively. In any case, someone's paying attention. Someone always is.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

F.I.T.T. Revival -- East of Krakatoa

Hey everyone. I'm reviving the FITT for a spell and taking it around the block, where I will make her work it for a couple benjys.

Remember, the Finger In The Throat report takes pulp fiction starring Asians, and rates it by the choice morsels that induced vomitting will produce. The reconstituted product is always a little more versatile anyway. Like kamaboko or imitation crab meat.

I'm coinciding the FITT revival with Dry T-Shirt Contest #4.
(btw, Hawaiian Jon, I swear your cucumber shirt is on the way. Same with Mr. Korean-South. I just need my photoshopper around to do the graphics.)

DTSC 4: Best worst rice-chaser t-shirt slogan.
Example: How Yu doin'? (Picture of "that guy" with the sleezy come-on face)

Alright so let's start the FITT revival vomitstravaganza.KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA
By Michael Avallone

Krakatoa, East of Java or "Crackheads Toe-up, Feast on Tapas" as I would call it if it were my book, is about a bunch of sailors, divers and prisoners aboard the Batavia Queen on the Indian Ocean looking for refuge from the hard seas, only to find themselves beholden to Southeast Asian melancholy and good for nothing (but raping) girls. But if loving tiny Asian ladies against their will is wrong, I don't want to be white.

Oh and they're trying to get away from the exploding volcano.

So let's examine.
Merchant sailor Harry Connerly has just sexually assaulted an "Oriental." He is being punished for it by being hung up in a bamboo cage above the ship's deck, for all to see. No love. (Anne fist bumps guy who made bamboo cage.)

And then he gets to thinking:

The cage was awkward, cumbersome...In fact, the Oriental mind alone was capable of devising such an instrument of torture. The one euphemistically known as the Little Ease. In the cage on the aft hatch, Harry Connerly was forced to squat in a hunched position. [Do I smell Asian squat contest comin' up? Huhn? Huhn? (eyebrow dance)]
And for what? Away from his laudanum and his hallucinations, Connerly could only realize that Hanson had ordered such a summary punishment for the attempted rape of one of the Jap diving girls. That was a laugh.

It's ok though. That Jap diving girl gets hers. More to the point, she gets an Italian luvah:

[Toshi, the Jap diver speaking] "When you are dancing tinikling, I looked up. (The Italian lovah dancing...Filipino folk dances...on the ship's deck) Your father watching you. Because you laugh, he smiles, he is happy." Toshi shrugged simply. "So you see, I know (about filial intimacy)."
(Leoncavallo) was moved by her insight, by the fact that a little Oriental girl had taken note of his relationship with Giovanni Borghese...
He slowly drew her to him. Her piquant face curved up like a lotus flower to meet his. Their lips were a breath apart. Leoncavallo's heart soared. [I will dance tinikling for the person who can explain to me what this piquant face is.]

So all is not the laughable "crime" (super-emphasized air quotes) of "attempting to rape" (same air quotes) a Jap diver. It's also the Jap diver's lovable, piquant, lotus flower of a face. I give this book a rating of 2 air-quote fingers down my throat.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I saw a TV commercial for the remake of George Cukor's The Women last night (granted around 2am and already in pain from a weekend of hiking) and was incredulous. Hollywood has given up trying to even pretend it's going to market its movies.

I know I know. Hollywood has sucked for ages now. But it's not the quality of the narratives or the b.s. about Christian Bale donkey punching his mom.

OK what the fuck is Anne talking about:
Unless it's Pixar or about war, most of the blockbusters (or attempt at one) in theaters this year have been exclusively gendered for either men or women.

And in case you weren't sure which one's for you, the movies are given titles like The Sisterhood of the Mamma Mia Women.

I mean seriously. I do remember a time when men and women were enjoying the same movies, but the last three adult live-action movies I've seen -- Dark Knight, Iron Man, Mongol -- had only one or two women characters in them. I'm assuming it's the same with aforementioned Traveling Mamma's Pants. In fact the only reason I haven't seen the lady-films is because hetero-normative boyfriends would rather go to the corner store and buy you tampons than go to a chick flick.

Oh well. I suppose it's appropriate that the only two places where the genders have to be totally sequestered is the cineplex and the shitter.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I think everyone's eyes just went un-slit

You've got to be kidding me.
(Thanks Ryan S, Ryan K, Jenny...fuck...everyone, for the head's up.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Strangest "Spanish Option" Operator Voice

(It's Con Edison's Pay-By-Phone number)

Now I know what you're thinking.

"But Anne, you just farted all over the Spanish basketball team for making fun of Asians. Now you're making fun of the Spanish language?"

No. No I'm not. I'm making fun of the operator's voice. I think my favorite 1-800 operator is actually JetBlue, because the English and Spanish announcements are made by the same person, with the exact same intonation, and inflections, which is to say, she sounds like she's speaking English in BOTH announcements.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Everyone Knows How to Pronounce It, Dude.

When I was in high school, it was normal to make fun of people who were willfully intelligent; to mock the deliberately good students on honor roll, who practiced SAT vocabulary in real-life situations. Then one day, I became an adult, and I stopped making fun of smart people because, well, it's stupid and immature.

Yes, stupid and immature.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Athelete Tongue Twisters

Pujol's poo hole poos pooey holes in the pool hall.

Favre favors football fields far from farms...and Le Havre.

How much wood would wounded Woods chip if Woods could chip with woods?

Malone's lone bologne boner slaloms alone at home.

Never knew ya, Lorena Ochoa.

Hamm's man's a damn fan but man, if lamb ain't ham.
(ok that made no sense.)

If Federer fed airs in fairness heirs reared fairly far wouldn't dare.

I was able to stop puking for just long enough to point this out to y'all:
"Life as a Runway: On the Brooklyn Prairie: Red Hook" (NY Times)
Thus concludes my hiatus from anti-Brooklynology.

[So it's clear: my problem is this contrived coverage, and not the Brooklyn businesses they cover.]

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

top 5 asian phalluses

(In no particular order)
1. The "bachelor" radish kimchi:

I'm told this kimchi has two different names that actually translate as "ponytail" or "bachelor" (or bachelor with a tail like a pony's?) kimchi, so the comparison is thoroughly embedded, but...if it is in fact a "bachelor" phallus, it's a one.

2. The geoduck, aka mirugai:

Did you know geoduck are more commonly found along the western coast of the US, and that as a sashimi item it's really a crossover import?

Ah...sushi...memories of my first waitressing job...the owner of the sushi bar would run these things under cold water to make them "stand up" and then run around poking the waitresses from behind, for example. Can't say sushi ain't classy...

3. The Dosa:

I've just made this comparison up myself , but I can't imagine there haven't already been Punjabs described as having "dosas with the mostas"? Alternately, one could say they'd just gotten a "punjab."

4. The Egg Roll:

Pretty much.

5. The Bowl Cut:

I believe it's called a Hapax Legomenon when a word or phrase occurs only once in the context of a single language, and since I have not seen reference to the bowl cut as resembling an erect circumcised dick anywhere else but in this manga, The Bowl Cut is not just an Asian phallus, it's a linguistic phenomenon.