Friday, May 29, 2009

Organizational Experiment

I desperately need more desk. I recently moved what felt like twenty pounds of paper over to a filing unit I found on the street in Williamsburg (it's solid metal so no bed bug worries), and yet my desk is full of crap. So as an organizational experiment, I thought I'd list everything on said desk:

+"Fight or Flight" by Moira Hahn. (above)
+Framed picture of my sister asleep on a floor using one of her shoes as a pillow. (It's as funny as it sounds.)
+Framed picture of my mom on the beach.
+Framed picture of four different shots, circa college: me, a Wet Willie toy, Chris, Shin.
+Garbage Pail Kids: Ann Chovie, courtesy of Eric at Viz.
+Paper weight made of quartz I got from ex-boyfriend's aunt.
+Blackbird, Fly camera, courtesy of Nick at Powershovel.
+Eyeglass cleaner, courtesy of Coen's Optical.
+Rubber cement.
+Neutral pH Adhesive.
+Dinosaur fingerpuppet from ex-boyfriend.
+Pot of green tea. Cup.
+Americans UK CD, Rocktronic, courtesy of JTR3.
+PowerShovel mix CD.
+Phone bill.
+DMC Vol. 1, English
+DMC Vol. 7, Japanese
+Pile of receipts.
+Maybe Later, by Dupuy & Berberian, bartered from Peggy at D&Q.
+Cup of pens and pencils.
+Box of pens, stickers from my mom, birthday card, bookmark, Duracell batteries, paperclips.
+FM3 Buddha Machine, unbelievably gifted from Daniel Handler. (Yes, I just name-dropped, but if Lemony Snicket gave you a Buddha Machine you would too.)
+Framed picture of me and Matt canoeing, taken from top of adjacent mountain by an old couple of random hikers who later found us and offered to send said picture, who incidentally, are now pen pals of ours.
+Piece of quartz...from mother of aforementioned ex whose aunt gave me a quartz paperweight. (Yes, they are hippies)
+Tiger Balm, courtesy of Asia Kissko (real name).
+Figurines from "Salmonella Men From the Planet Porn"
+Paper cup filled with dried lavender from my yard.
+Air Plant Warrior Princess (I call her Theba) I made out of mini water bottle, plastic hands and sword (courtesy of Viz), and an air plant.
+Wallpaer City Guide to Milan.
+Mix CD by Douglas Wolk. (Self-Assessment)
+Empty vase.
+Astro-boy battery-powered fan.
+Astro-boy tin full of paperclips, staple remover, that doohicky that cuts through seams, a heart-shaped patch, thumb tacks, and a bluetooth for iPhones.
+Plastic box lid filled with business cards.
+Plastic box filled with even more business cards. (Do I ever refer to them? Surprisingly, very often.)
+Chambers Dictionary of Etymology, courtesy of yet another ex.
+Book holder filled with stamps, paperwork and Loups Garous by Natsuhiko Kyogoku.
+USB Speakers.
+MacBook Pro.
+BLADs for Museyon.
+Contract for an illustrator.
+Six pads of post-its.
+Cardboard coasters from various sources. (I love cardboard coasters)
+My shitty cell phone.
+A Compass-Thermometer.
+Notebook of Japanese terms I pick up while translating.
+Camel Lights. (I know, I know)
+Cheap glue.
+Tube of foundation I've never used.
+Needle and thread.
+Rebel Fux by Kate Huh.
+Roll of film.
+Evah Fan print, courtesy of essayist Michelle at Giant Robot.
+Full-length mirror covered in post-its.
+Alvin cutting mat.
+Diet Journal.
+Butterfly letter holder.
+Empty chawan and chopsticks from breakfast.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Band Names Inspired by Contractors

This is dedicated to the two respective teams of builders working separately on my stoop and the house behind my apartment. The two cacophanies rising like thunder from hell and making my life one too. =) No hard feelings.

This Mortar Coil
Band of Hoses
Regina Inspektor
Keith Urban Planner
Big Daddy Crane
Herbie Hand Caulk
The Paint (as in "The Faint" if a Pinoy said it)
The Doors
Boards of Canada
Grizzle Behr

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Two Feminisms

From Marie Claire Magazine:

[Marie Claire]: Are there some great literary lines that a person can use to flirt?

[Jack Murnighan, editor for]: This--from Boccacio's THE DECAMERON--could be useful: "No mortal who is without the experience of love can ever lay claim to true excellence."

Every time a piece like this gets written, somewhere a writer dies... hopefully the author of some martini n' heels series.

I suppose it's good to know we're putting up a façade of intellect over beauty (how many articles are about head-turning clothes and makeup, right?).

Here's an even better way to do it:

High School Students Petition Against Degrading Music at Their Senior Prom

"We are not trying to push for abstinence," senior Lani Luo,said. "We are just trying to advocate for respect."

West Side Story

Last night I saw the bilingual Broadway revival of my most favorite musical/film ever.I felt it bore reviewing, so here it is:

Experiments in multilingualism will always win in my book, but I can objectively say this was a successful endeavor. Curiously, because almost all of the Spanish-only sections were relegated to intimate conversations between Sharks-Ladies, a whole new window to the traditionally "Puerto Ricans versus WASPs" storyline was opened: Girls versus Boys.

When "I Feel Pretty" and "A Boy Like That" are sung entirely in Spanish, you know it's Theirs, and not Yours. And that makes the taboo of Jets-Sharks interaction so much the more palpable. The snide jokes about Tony not speaking Spanish, of Gladhand toolishly attempting to translate the obvious, of the Sharks-Girls making fun of each others poor dye jobs... Wonderful. And for the record, Tony was no, THE OTHER Tony. The Tony Award that went to Anita.

Best. Anita. Ever.


The Shark-Ladies were ferocious (Maria threatening to shoot Diesel, execution style, anybody?). And if the PR girls were like Amazonas, the Jet-Boys were like...

Hot Cops from Arrested Development.

This isn't to say The Jets were fée. That would have actually been nice. It's to say they were like strippers playing gangsters. It's to say there was no empathy. It's to say that like strippers, they was all lookie, no touchie, no promise of a future together. No jazz, no pizazz. No... No...

Hmmm. Let me put it this way. In the original versions, I can feel a chorus of Castrati singing in my heart. In West Side Story 2.0, I felt like I was in a Jersey gym. I'm guessing the new crew tried to update the feel of a street gang by making them slightly less gay than they were in the 60s. But c'mon people. In 2009, street gangs don't dance in skin tight jeans unless they are ironic delinquents from Williamsburg anyway, so keep it gay. Make me love you, Jets!

Before I move on maybe I should explain the story. You know, in case you haven't watched it 2 million times like I have. In a nutshell: The year is (supposed to be) 1957. Hell's Kitchen. Maria is Puerto Rican and Tony isn't. They meet at a "Get Together Dance" and fall in love; their respective crews get pissed. They Do It; their respective crews get pissed. Tony dies.

If this is the only version of the play you see, you won't be able to say he didn't have it coming.
Worst. Tony. Ever.

Again, gayness notwithstanding, he sounded like Wayne Newton sitting on a vibrator. The durogatory kind of gay. It's any wonder his big solo was "Maria," which of course is Spanish for "Mary."

Consolation comes with the fact that Tony and Maria are actually the characters of least consequence in this musical. West Side Story is about Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurentis, Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein, and I was certainly the worst person to judge this thing. No one's expectations were higher than mine last night.

Still, I think it's worth it to see some outrageously amazing women steal your hearts; steel their nerves; really update the classic without compromising its archane virtues.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More Stuff from Mom

More evidence my mom is rad, if a little cuckoo. Another package from her arrived from Japan today, and the insanity starts with the postage. This is just one quadrant of the actual postage, but she paid international parcel rates ENTIRELY IN STAMPS. This is: Flowers from Tokyo, some kind of palace, Utamaro, and Doraemon.

Contents: Mosquito repellent hanger strip (2), garden shears (2), a miniature scythe, dark chocolate (2), pencil lead, and...

long underwear.


Holy cow. A bifurcated thumb.
(This is the contractor fixing the steps to my apt. btw)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Story Corps doesn't do anything for me 99.9% of the time but they play clips on WNYC, which functions as background for morning routine. In other words I don't listen by choice.

The featured story this morning, however, almost made me cry.


I just bought a bunch of rad Seibei shirts that are on sale to make way for the newest collection. Go there now.

While you're helping out clearance, unbelievably, Evisu jeans has marked down their selvedge denim pants 75%! Go there now.

The two make a great pair, but only for this limited time is it gonna be affordable so do it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why My Mother is Certifiably Awesome and Insane.

I got a birthday package from my mother today.
The contents: Birthday card packed in an envelope taped down with mini stickers and a picture of me.
Front of card: For my daughter on her birthday. I loved teaching you things when you were a little girl. Inside: But did you know how much I was learning from you? (Card goes on for another paragraph about growing into a woman) Signed, "Minah"

Anniversary card that my mother mis-construed as a parental love card. Front: Forever... Inside: That's how long I'll love you. Signed, "mom"
Musical birthday candle.

Three pairs of socks and a handkerchief.
Mosquito repellent incense with holder.
Seeds for alfalfa sprouts and cucumbers.
Mini Post-its.
and a funky cloth purse that she has clearly stolen from an onsen.
I love my mom.

Friday, May 15, 2009

There is a God.
The Federal Trade Commission is attempting to shut down three companies that the agency alleges have bombarded millions of consumers since 2007 with deceptive "robocalls" to sell them phony extensions to their original vehicle warranties. Story
No there isn't.

If this guy thinks I'm racist because of a ginormous Japanese cucumber phallus (reverse-racism?), wait till he hears what I'm saying on Patrick's The BBC-World in Words podcast. (No really, LISTEN TO ME.)

BTW, anonymous commenter, I appreciate criticism, but for the record, a. I grow Japanese cucumbers, and the shirt was originally intended as gardening humor and not making statements about dong, and b. I can't claim to have come up with the gem of a slogan, alas. That honor goes to Hawaiian John (where you at?)

Go to DMC! Go to DMC!

Never let it be said Anne Ishii doesn't have a sense of humor about herself.
...or Viz Media for that matter.

That's right, folks.
It's not Itis. It's not Anus. It's:

ANNUS ITCHII. I'd show you the copyright page proving it's my rightful translator alias but my scanner doesn't work, and well... what's copyright law on copyright pages? hehehe

Oh and BTW, if you have any thoughts on indie rock or death metal... ANY thoughts, you MUST buy DMC.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Is that a Japanese cucumber...

Alright. IT'S IN.
Fellers, I'm officially taking orders for this. Hawaiian-John, I'm talking to you.

I got some new digs

Hey kids-

Still bloggin ye ole ill-iterate-anne semi-regularly, but just letting you know I'm compartmentalizing some of my noodle and takin' the Asian "rant" over to

Status Quoted, where right now, for no money down, you will find out who's winning masturbate-a-thons, who speaks Chinee and who don't, why SW Airlines did nothing wrong (for once), and stuff.

Update your feeds accordingly...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I periodically get these business cards in my door. And you know, I get it. My door looks ready to be busted down.

I am not actually condoning this, but you know what would REALLY convince me they're a good locksmith and that I need a new lock?

If they left the business card, INSIDE my house.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Touring With the Tatsumis

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of sitting in on a lifetime's worth of stories with the Tatsumis, as their intrepreter during the PEN America Festival. Yoshihiro Tatsumi (husband-half) is of course, the author of the gekiga movement, and firestarter of the gekiga renaissance, grace à Drawn & Quarterly.


So imagine being able to spend a week with the foremost eye-witnesses to two generational crossovers in the manga medium. Frankly, it'd be unprofessional of me to disclose some of what I learned (psychotic manga artists who throw their food at people, anyone?), but hey... offer me a book deal and... oh who am I kidding it was just awesome to hang out with such cool 70-year olds.

The most important thing I learned, though:

Sure, Mr. Tatsumi, master mangaka, was something of a rich resource, but if there's a successful woman behind every man, MRS. Tatsumi would be the queen of Sheba.

...or a Yoko Ono lookalike.

Kai-ming and I got a real kick out of how fashionable these two were, and THEY ATE UP the compliments.

In the middle of day 4 Mrs. T said she really dug my shoes and asked to try them on...then added that she's a size 35.5, and my shoes were too big.

Anne: They probably make a size 35 or 36, if you wanted me to look.
Mrs. T: Oh would you?! THAT WOULD BE GREAT. Then mail them to me.

(Incidentally, I've had no luck finding these suckers. If any of you have ideas on where I would find Keds flats from like three years ago I and Mrs. T would be grateful.)

If it's any indication Mrs. Tatsumi wears the pants, here she told her husband to strike a pose for me and he whipped this pose in total vogue:

It's blurry but that's Mr. T being cute. He said "arigato" like a schoolgirl and went back to personalizing sketches for fifty billion more copies of his book. 'Tis the power of The Burns. Am I right, Comics Industry?

Did I mention how stylish Mrs. Tatsumi is? She made a point to declare a taste for tattoos, adding, "they don't bother me at all you know. In Japan it's taboo but I think they're just gorgeous! Now take a picture of me with this young man." (Nate Doyle, incidentally, who is a rockin' comics artist and indeed, has beautiful tattoos.)

I then proudly showed her my own tattoo, and she so astutely said, "yeah, but that's just symbolic. It's not like art or anything."


Friday, May 8, 2009

Slogan for CPA Firm

Our Numbers Count.

Think about it. Wouldn't that make a brilliant slogan for like, H&RBlock?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Pay a Palestinian $30 to tag The Wall"

I'm convinced now that Banksy goes so thoroughly anonymous because he's secretly an ad exec. His artwork is "immediate" and "transparent," "pro-active while humorous" and most importantly, taps into the most elusive "demographic" clients would sell their identity for: young men.

Don't get me wrong. Ad execs can be positively brilliant.
(via Dan)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Feliz cinqo de mayo!

Swine flue is a wanin' just in time for Cinqo de Mayo. Doctors fear it'll just come back during the "regular" winter flu season. I predict we'll be renaming it Chupa Cabre Flu.
(Symptoms will include an uncontrollable thirst for sheep's blood.)

I plan on celebrating by turning all my punctuation marks upside-down.