Monday, July 28, 2008

Comic-Con International, quickie highlights

Where do I begin?

I hear the most succinct "dialogue" of the weekend, from the point of view of Floor Trolls:

The Scene: Man in mid-twenties, standing upright, chest out, feet shoulder width apart, he's Mercury, he's Hermes, he's wearing BirkenTevaCrocs, cargo shorts and a No Fear T-shirt. He has no fear.
Said Man faces what looked like his girlfriend: Woman in mid-twenties, pulled down through arms with a fake tattoo of hooker herpetic kiss, two big muumuu-like sacks full of catalogs, postcards, probably an Eddie Campbell drawing sticky with dreams of Paul Pope, knock-kneed and wearing matching BirkenTevaCrocs and possibly about to throw up and cry at the same time. 

Man says:

"Well I'm having fun."

They probably stayed at the Con an extra few hours, but he probably also lost any bed privileges for the rest of the week, including the right to sleep on one not made of sofa cushions stained with Paul Pope love marks.

Best neologism I hear from the Booth Trolls:

Twitties. Firstly meaning "people who use Twitter." Secondly as demonstrated by accident in the following sentiment:

"She's got a really popular blog...and has major Twitties."

This turns into reappropriation of common phrases into such gems as:
I like a girl with big twitties
I would twittie f**k her
(Anne would like to apologize to anyone with titties...but not twitties.)


I somehow end up in a tiny red Honda with the Samehat crew, Viz editor Kit Fox, Hellen Jo and her man Calvin. (I'll give you a second to figure out the car seats-to-passenger ratio.)
Cheek to cheek with my San Francisco treats, we pull up to an intersection. At the corner nearest us, is a blonde in high heels and a black handkerchief expertly draped to look like a dress. Long legs, big twitties, the whole deal. Behind her is a shorter man, in Banana Republic and crew cut. He is so stoked to be with this woman. She is on the prowl for a cab.

The contents of the tiny red Honda all make fun of them because they only wish they were one of us: slack-jawed, unevenly proportioned bodies, myopic, known mostly by avatar...From inside the car, we're invincible.

Calvin, who despite being mega-awesome, does epitomize the very je ne sais quoi of nerdiness: slight underbite, glasses that reflect all light...asian...After we each take our turns mocking the frat party on the corner ("How did you tan your boner, Kyle?" "Does my anus look fat in this dress, Kyle?"), Hellen's man Calvin takes his turn and says to them under the protections of a sound-proof car:

Yeah...I bet you don't even know anything about comics.

I bet they don't...I bet they don't.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Digital Comics on the Wii

Manga on your Wii. Another reason to get Anne that Wii she's always wanted (every time there's an upgrade like this).

The new manga platform is available only Japan now, but its existence probably means it can easily be manipulated into American consoles.

Other cross-platform ideas:

Draconomicon on xBox. We've all seen glimpses of role-playing in MMPRPG in computer games (I'm sure I'm mis-acronyming that), just as the Wii has demonstrate anime in their genetic makeup. If Wii can publish old school static manga in their proto-futuristic console, by Jove xBox should be able to publish the Draconomicon. Also, The Book of Elves, and The Bard Book, but not the Player's Handbook as that would be unfair advantage.

Bible DS. Also The Devil's Advocate (DS). You ever notice some of Bible-references are equal numbers evangelizing and refuting contemporary Christianity? (e.g. "It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!" "'Take of my flesh?' what are you, a cannibal?!") Why not make a game of it? It's a glorified digital debate, but at least you'll look cool with it in the subway.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

purple nurple

Y'all remember that Dave Chapelle bit about "purple drink"?

As if coming full circle on the pop culture train, I just stepped out for a snack and on my walk back to the office, was given a free sample of Purple. The thing is called, Purple Drink. wtf?

Also, the Purple Rain screening at Pier 54 at Hudson River Park tonight has been cancelled. I wonder if Prince was threatening to sue the parks department for copyright bullshit again. (Did you hear the one about Prince vs. Radiohead?).

The World reports on a Lebanese cafe called Buns n' Guns:

Lebanon has seen a lot of violence in recent years. So much, in fact, that many Lebanese worry that their country could easily slip into a civil war. That didn't stop the owners of a new restaurant in Beirut called "Buns and Guns." The restaurant's theme is all about Lebanon's violent side.

Shibani says he’s not trying to glorify war, but poke fun at Lebanon’s troubles, something that all Lebanese share regardless of which neighborhood they’re from. On the menu is a Terrorist Meal and Lebanese Resistance Bread. The rest of the items read like a litany of weaponry.


Clock Digest

I see the Uniqlock everywhere now, so I felt a little clock (note: NOT wrist-watch) digest was in order.

Yugo Nakamura, who designed/programmed the original clock-language for Uniqlock, has the most awesome website ever. I don't want to sound hipper-than-thou, but I actually downloaded one of his first screensaver clocks (the very first one is no longer available) about 8 years ago when a computer engineer told me all about him.

Computer engineers, or engineers in general, are possibly the most interesting people you will meet. I know, I're thinking, "uh, my dad who does civil engineering for the latest airport upgrade is not interesting at all. Neither are my Indian friends at Cal Poly." But I'm telling you, go to a party of engineers, and it's guaranteeing you all the things we in the media only pretend to have: 1. diversity 2. intelligent women who may or may not be hot but no one cares 3. answers to EVERYthing.

At the most recent engineers function I attended, I met this woman. She created a robotic etch-a-sketch clock!
Of course, digital clocks are a cultural phenomenon in and of themselves. Both Yugo-p and Angela's clocks are based on chronometrics, and numerology has long signified the future. The history of Zero is interesting in that respect. We have no idea how old we are. When calendar years were based on monarchs and dynastes (e.g. Meiji 10, 1980 A.D.), speculating the future becomes inevitable, because you really are guessing the mortality of an era.

Remember millenialism? Y2K?
Wanna assume the year 5000 anyone?
I'm guessing our existing digital count-up calendar is going to expire before the human race.

But it's all chronometric numberology until you get a manual clock. A manual clock implies no future. One might argue it even suggests the past. Look, there's me now, there's me 45 degrees ago, or about 7 minutes.

And of course there's the hour glass. Arguably my favorite kind of clock. It's long been a symbol of "time running out," but to me, it's about precision engineering, a beautiful figure, and controlling your countdown. Just turn it upside down when it's done oppressing you!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

She's sort of a personal hero of mine, Tracy Quan. She has a piece in The Guardian in observance of Mary Magdalene Day.

I climbed the Sainte-Baume mountain to visit a cave where my patron saint is said to have spent her final days. As you reach the top there are 150 stone steps, in case you're travelling with rosary, as many visitors have done over the years.

The best passages from the Sermon on the Mount - Beatitudes - are inscribed on stone tablets alongside the stairs. "Blessed are those who have been persecuted." The eighth beatitude struck me then as intensely comforting and still does. In 2008, it just might be the message Mary Magdalene wants us to hear on her particular day.

The Guardian
Tracy Quan

You guys...(head cocked, fists on hips)

The entries are already "piling" in. I laughed out loud they were so funny.

From John:
One in hand is twice in the bush.

From Anonymous:
I pickle my own.

Is that a Japanese cucumber in your pocket or are you just Japanese?

I "heart" cucumbers (sexually).



And though it's not quite a slogan yet, this entry from Jimmy could be the beginning of a Catherine Hardwicke film:
I was trying to come up w/ some before I went to sleep last night but I READ the post yesterday morning (sigh). Anyway, you should just put "The earth is my boyfriend" and have the cucumber above that text. I can't imagine any girl wanting to wear that though, not any girl I'd respect. Then I was trying to see how I can bring that "cum" out of cucumber and work w/ that somehow, but I couldn't.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dry T-Shirt Contest #3

A month ago:
Cucumber Forest!
(Insert inappropriate phallus joke here)

So I'm back on my contest-silkscreening kick again. I owe at least one of you a T-shirt of a Korean holding the Stars & Bars, for being the only one to submit an entry to Dry T-Shirt Contest #2: Korean Tourist Slogans. (Actually if you send me a monochrome image to burn I'll happily do it asap-er.)

Just to refresh everyone's memory, Dry T-Shirt Contest #1: D.R.U.G.S was never won by anyone because it was like a five-way tie of single votes. So, I sent my reward (a Maine-themed T-shirt) to the only person whose submission actually came from The Vacation State.

But Dry T-Shirt Contest #3 is the Dry T-Shirt Contest to end all Dry T-Shirt Contests...Literally.

The best cucumber-phallus joke gets their joke on a T-shirt. It's that simple.

I know how hard this is going to be, but I believe in you. More importantly, I believe in cukes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dangerous Streets of New York

This whole neighborhood has been under construction lately. The sidewalks are now improvised by orange cones, fences, and slow/stop sign-wielding workers. Then THIS just happened!
(Look for the little white bus crushed into the side of the building. It looks way gnarlier in person.)

Cross Culture

Exhibit A from The LA Times:

Randy Newman’s getting his apologies out of the way early. His new album, “Harps & Angels,” isn’t out until Aug. 5, but he knows he’s going to take some hits for the song “Korean Parents,” a portrait of race relations as played out in public education.

Korean parents for sale
You say you need a little discipline
Someone to whip you into shape
They’ll be strict but they’ll be fair

Exhibit B from Playbill:

The new Broadway production of the landmark musical West Side Story, directed by librettist Arthur Laurents, will begin previews Feb. 23, 2009, at a Nederlander theatre to be announced, the producers confirmed July 16.

The production "will introduce the unprecedented element of selectively weaving Spanish throughout both the book and songs," according to the July 16 announcement.

Sorry, Korean parents.
West! Side! Story!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fist jabs and gang signs

Apparently the NFL is reviewing tapes of players who are ostensibly acknowledging gangsters with gang signs, which I think is totally bogus. If you want to get them on something, what about the gang called Heaven, where more often than not, athletes of all stripes will point to? It is not as if people are ordering assassinations via professional sports on network tv. They're probably just saying hi.

But I have just developed a theory as to why whitey is so scared of black hand gestures.

Now, NFL-stars' affiliation with tawdry groups of delinquents notwithstanding (eat your dog out, Michael Vick), "giving props" on the political dais or the football field, is not something human adults ought to be babysat over.

It's condescending.

But whitey is scared of them because we're so fascinated by them. I myself used to want to be fluent in American sign language till I learned it wasn't just pointing at things and spelling entire sentences. Anyway, whitey has given birth to some of the most salient semifores of contemporary culture:

Exhibit A: Calling baseball pitchesBaseball's actually a great example of our acute sensitivity to hand gestures. You fuck up a hand sign and your team's screwed, or the pitcher's called on a balk. Also, a catcher pointing at his scrotum in any other circumstance, or a manager stroking his shoulders like The Macarena, would both be signs of another game entirely. A game I call Loading Bases With Balls.

Exhibit B: The Peace Sign
This hand gesture is dear and close to my heart, as it has so effectively taken over the Japanese handscape. But when black people make the gesture, horizontally, they're gangsters. (Shaking head)

And what about Exhibit C: The punk rocker sign?

Millions, dare I say billions, of people use the hand gesture every day without knowing it actually means you've just had two abortions in back to back visits to the country doctor.

Ok, maybe that's not what it means, but such speculation is as foolhardy as anything The New Yorker would ever joke about (btw, I read the controversial issue in question from stem to stern last night, and it's unfortunate how upset people are about it because the issue might be hands down, the best one I've ever read).

And of course, there is Exhibit D: The Bird.
Man, if Bush can flip the bird doggy-style, Obama can dap his lady, and the 'roid machines can finger all the gestures they want.
I just did a Google search for "Kodak promotions," looking for the film company's awesome proprietary merchandise.

What to my surprise, the first search result was "Americans For Truth," which tells you which corporations are "pro-homosexual," but in case it's not clear, they do this so that you might think less of those corporations.

"Welcome to Americans for Truth (dot com), a newly reorganized national organization devoted exclusively to exposing and countering the homosexual activist agenda."

Well as you might imagine, almost every company in the northwestern hemisphere is more or less pro-homosexual. For starters, IT'S ILLEGAL not to be. Well, today, their home page consists of a Coca-Cola and Best Buy logo, and according to AFT, these companies are not just gay-friendly...they are both "100% Pro-Homosexual Corporations." (sic)

Of course, ultimately all this site suffices to accomplish for me, is make their featured corporations sound pretty awesome. In fact if you ignore the mawkishly barrel-bottom html style, and telltale URL, you'd think you were reading a page from PFLAG.

Furthermore, I used to think CC and BB were lame megaliths of capitalism, but now they're lame megaliths of capitalism that I get to call Mary. How awethome is that?

Anyway, I suppose this means Kodak is gay-friendly, but if anyone wants to help me find their promotional merchandise director, well, just call me Barbara.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Poem From a Bon Vivant

He requested anonymity, but I for one would be proud to have penned this:

There once was a girl named Anne,
who was not the least bit bland.
From dress to blog,
As far as I see,
The taste of her -- O-ishii!

There are so many layers to this. I mean, they're all visible layers, but layers nonetheless.

On a related note, I recently went to a garden party for some wealthy Japanese businessmen, where most of the women were really tall, leggy, large-breasted, glossy-lipped, long-haired Asians or Eastern Europeans. It occurred to me very quickly that they were likely in the adult industries (exotic dancing, hostessing, hooking, etc.).

Some other tell-tale signs:
None of them was wearing perfume or fragrance of any kind (which I learned in Diary of a Manhattan Call-Girl, is to avoid smelling like a potential John's mother).
One of them volunteered some of her broken Japanese: "daisuki" (I like you a lot), "aishiteruyo" (I love you), and "kakkoii" (that's hot).

It was interesting to say the least.

I just bought a pair of these: Anglomania Mary Janes by Vivienne Westwood for the Brazilian recycled shoe-maker Melissa. I bought mine at Epaulet but you can find them online, too.

I rarely get all Carrie Bradshaw about this stuff but these are out of control awesome shoes. Comfortable and killer hot. What the photo doesn't really show is the rivets molded for the little toes.

In other news, I will be at the San Diego Comic-Con. If you see these shoes, they're likely on me. Say hi.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Hybrids in Music Genres

As chance (or foresight) would have it, I've been given a handful of books to read that all have to do with pop music fandom. Fiction, mind you, but right on the money.

I'll make my list later, but meanwhile, I got me to thinking of new hybrids in music genres. For example, I still remember hearing "Carny Core" to refer to Black Heart Procession. "Jurassic Core" to refer to Envy. I'll never ever understand "acid jazz," because it will always only sound like techno music and the Buddha Bar to me, but I like the nomenclature.

Here are some ideas I had for other hybrids. Ideas I would love to fully execute if anyone wants to join.

Bourgeois-core: we play in kakhis and polo shirts, top-siders and ponytailed straight long hair (unless you're a dude, in which case you have a crew cut and wear a bjorn full of The New Yorker. Instead of booze we drink coffee from Starbucks, java jacket and all. Band name: Jayden Pierce Blues Explosion

Cougar Metal: We play to the Hanson (as in MmmBop) crowd, but we're "luscious babes in our dotage." Band name: Le Tourneau

Original English Nips (OEN): Taking cues from Original English Manga (OEM), we play as if a Japanese band, but "we" are all non-Japanese. Fuggit, make that non-Asian. Trademarks of the OEN act include producers that eclipse the fame of all the band members, EXCEPT for possible guitarist who IS the producer, and the twee girl singer. Band Name: Asobi Fakku

RIP Rocky Aoki

I know the bigger headline is Tony Snow's passing, but hiding in the obits was Benihana creator and donner of the only Asian jerry curl, Rocky Aoki, who has died at the age of 69.

Will this mark the end of a family feud?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Curious Neighborhood Things

Gene Simmons is signing books at the B&N on Fifth and 46th today, near where I'm office-sitting. What first caught my attention were the people waiting outside the store -- a hodge-podge of pasty-looking KISSers young and old, but some of them are like 12 year old girls. I must have missed something in the news. And yet, the line's not as long as I'd have predicted. 20 deep?

Then again, maybe he's not coming in till late tonight.

Anyhoo, appropriate for the celebrity in question I suppose, but walking past the line on my way to the office I saw the grossest thing ever:

Middle-aged woman in line, seated on her butt with knees up, wearing cut-off jeans...commando. Bearded seam, y'all...


Speaking of bygone music stars, Hot Water Music at Terminal 5 on Saturday? It has been an age since I heard the name, and it's weird to feel nostalgic for college days, of all the things...Oddly, I feel good about feeling older, more distant from the nebulon of early adulthood. Full-fledged is the way to go.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

jon bon jovi in the mta

what the heck? bon jovi gets his own subway directions from the mta?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Nickel For Every...

Brooklyn Love-Hate Story of the Week:

WITH a trunk full of cod, brisket, blackberries, arugula and antifreeze, Alan Harding drives down Smith Street, past American Apparel, past the Michelin-starred restaurant Saul and past Patois, the bistro he helped open 11 years ago.

Back then the neighborhood was a more likely destination for drug deals than dinner. Patois, where he was the chef, is often credited with seeding the culinary flowering of Brooklyn.

Does he ever quietly congratulate himself and say, Hey, I made this street?

“Naw,” he answers with gruff bravado. “If we hadn’t done it, somebody else would have. But I just wish they’d thank us instead of chasing us through the streets with pitchforks.”

From The NY Times.

I'm sorry, did he really ask if this guy says to himself in self-congratulation, "hey I made this street?" What is this, The Godfather?

Seriously though. The epistemology of Brooklyn is disproportionate to how cool it is. I'm a major perpetrator of Brooklynology because I miss Manhattan so much, but that's it. No more. I am forbidding myself talk of The Other Borough after reading this ridunculousy self-congratulatory and condescending article.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My Happy Fourth

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Overheard in Midtown

Man in mid-40's, very tanned, curly hair gelled back, big ole beer belly, tight white t-shirt, bermuda shorts, mandals, one gold chain says :

Women come up to me all the time cuz I'm tanned!