Monday, December 27, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
This is the first Christmas Card I’ve ever received from my father. At my 31 years of age, it was fifteen years in the making. I assumed it was a twenty dollar bill sandwiched in a Hallmark, to make up for lost time. A tax. I stuffed it in my purse and we walked into the restaurant for “catch up family dinner.” And I pre-empted the duty with wet-eyed boasting that I loathe Christmas.
Anne: It reminds me of all the things I want but don’t have.
Dad: You’re too young to hate the holidays. You gotta take it easy.
Anne: So… what about that North Korea, eh? Crazy town.
He tells me I ate a lot of sashimi as a toddler. When I was three all I wanted was sashimi. My sister laughs, “and what did I eat?” she asks.
Dad: You ate a lot of udon.
So funny. No wonder we look nothing alike, my sister and me.
She tells me she’s jealous of our ability to converse at length in Japanese about “issues.” Like North Korea’s embargo on conversations about Christmas joy.
Dad tells me we ought to go hiking/camping soon, but that I probably couldn’t handle the mountain he’d take us to. It’s 8 hours of difficult climbing, he says. It takes five teeth to hold my tongue.
As we part ways he tells me to call on him for moral support more often. I want to punch him in the face with my saddest stories. But I am satisfied. We’re one small step closer to whatever that pit was he left when I turned sixteen.
I open the Christmas Card in my sister’s parking lot, and I cannot read the English.
I cannot read the English.
I cannot read the English.
I cannot read the English, because the handwritten Japanese, in a beautiful long-hand I’d always tried to emulate, blinded me.
This is for 15 years of Christmases I missed.
I hope we have more now.
I am buried in the fear of an emotion I worried I would never have again, but I am going to use this fear to create a courage. To take the risk fifteen years in the making, of refusing to fight.
Tonight, I become a pacifist.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I have hundreds of books I’ve recently decided to get rid of. More accurately, I’m getting rid of approximately half of my inventory. The half that made my library a plenary wall of colors. Science fiction was cheaper than art, and memoirs were slightly more sophisticated than plastic wood. Not anymore.
So I’m willing to give some of it away, for the sake of convenience. I won’t sell off my stoop because I am scared of my stoop. But if anyone has bright suggestions, I’m all ears.
What do I do with my books?
Friday, October 15, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Cab pulls over, I get in.
Anne: Hi. Greenpoint, please. Take the midtown tunnel to the Pulaski Bridge and turn right on F____ Street.
Cabbie: OK. Greenpoint.
Cabbie: You're coming back here tonight, right?
Anne: (Text-messaging and anyway, oblivious) Yeah maybe... I might stay there.
Cabbie: Uh huh... OK...
[I look up at the rear-view mirror and he's staring at me. I am now wishing I didn't have that conversation with a complete stranger. No one needs to know where I live or spend nights. But. For the record: The only reason I'm not sure where I'm ending up this night is that I crash on said friend's couch after long nights in North Brooklyn all the time.]
Cabbie: Are you going home to Brooklyn or you live in Manhattan is what I'm asking.
Anne: What? I live here. (We're still in Manhattan)
Cabbie: Uh huh... OK...
Fifteen minutes later, approaching F____ St.
Anne: Right here's fine.
[Cab slows down.]
Cabbie: So...business is good?
This cab driver thought for some God forsaken reason that I was a fucking hooker.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Hi. It's (Jane) at U-Haul. (Pause) Yeah I'd like an order of Shrimp Lo Mein...(pause) yeah, exactly. With extra vegetables. (pause) Yep, exactly. (Laughter) I know (pause) Same thing every time. (Laughter) Alright see you in a few minutes.
License and credit card, please.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Now, I should to say for the record that I didn't give up TV the way people give up drugs or porn addiction (e.g. in 12 steps). There was no purposed health benefit or some public message I wanted to make in the boycott of mass visual communication and commercial marketing. I work with an ad agency for crying out loud.
I just got rid of my piece of shit roundscreen TV when I moved last year, intending to get a nice new one, but never did. Besides, A.) Because I travel so much I get plenty of hotel and "mom's house" TV B.) The Internet, and C.) My friends with cable want nothing more than for me to come over and hijack their remotes so that I can flip back and forth between reruns of The Golden Girls and Cheaters.
Here are a few things that happen when you don't have a television:
1. When I do finally watch TV, I am agog. Everything is amazingly awful because I haven't had a chance to be pulled in by some flimsy yet narcotic narrative. Plus programming turns over like hot cakes these days, and each time, the reality TV fodder is that much worse. There is actually a fucking show called "Dating in the Dark."
What this show demonstrates to me is that ABC couldn't get clearance on blind soft-core porn because Disney is blind.
2. The commercials actually seem novel. Since I'm not subject to watching the same commercials over and over, a lot of them are still sort of entertaining, or at least easy to shit on. Like the Windows 7 commercial with the American in Germany doing tongue-ups on a wood floor. [I cannot WAIT till ten years from now when Tosh 5.0 cans some laughter making the obvious cunnilingus joke.]
3. Local news looks like nothing more than Youtube virals.
"Local man gets arm trapped in radiator. Cuts it off with the nearest sharp object: a toenail clipping."
"Irate Hanson fans throw chairs at the Southside Seaport when forced to wait ten minutes for them to appear on stage."
"President Obama's Labor Day Speech. What the half-literate man we cornered in front of the subway station has to say about it, next."
4. I've discovered incredible physical and mental health benefits in this absence of television and think everyone should re-consider their relationship to mass media and commercial marketing. It's evil.
5. Netflix/Hulu/DVD addiction.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
As it happens, one of the trailers was for "A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle Shop" by Zhang Yimou, which is based on The Coen Brothers' "Blood Simple," also an amazing movie. Here's a trailer for the Zhang adaptation.
Check it out.
You know how I can tell it's a Chinese movie from this trailer? The main characters are haggling over 10 guan.
A Woman, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop
I am Love
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
The Telenoid R1 is meant to be a minimalist human, so details are restricted to its eyes and face, which are strangely realistic. Its body is limited to flipper-like arms and a stylized torso that ends in a mermaid-ish taper.Telenoid users interact with people at a distance through a laptop, as shown in the video below. The control system tracks the user's face and head motion and captures his or her voice, then relays them to Telenoid, which expresses them. It's about 31 inches tall and weighs 11 pounds.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
You're dead meat.You're torn meat.They're going to tear you up.And I won't stop them.I won't do anything about it.I won't keep them apart.You're dead meat, Curious George.Don't ask for a damned thing.If they beat you up and call you mean things,I won't stop them,because it's all true.Looks like it's gonna rain.Hope it does.Cool things off.Help flowers grow.Losers get out and drive.Winners walk.Yes, George, tell them you're my son.They'll come back for you.You don't hit me, I don't hit you.Is something wrong with my eye sight today?
Monday, July 19, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Woman: How much are the headphones?Attendant: Two dollars.Woman: Oh, I thought they were five. Do we get to keep them?Attendant: Yeah. (Notices she already has earphone) You know your earphones will work just fine.Woman: I know, I just wanted to know how much they cost. I thought it was five. Two dollars for headsets though...Attendant: We're all trying to make money where we can.Woman: Yeah, but two dollars...
Woman: Do you have a pen I can borrow during the flight? I'll give it back, I promise.
Woman: I don't get it. They only have to get seven points to win a match?Man: No, each "point" is actually a game.Woman: So they play seven games?Man: No, they have to play till someone's up two games in the seventh set.Woman: You know what, no offense but I don't get tennis so I'm going to watch something else.Man: (Visibly unoffended.)
Three Doors Down
Woman: I don't know why they lied to us about the weather to delay us for so many hours. I mean it's all sunny here and shit...Yeah, just pick me up outside...What? You want me to pay for gas?...That's not what we talked about last night!...If I knew I had to buy your gas I woulda taken the train...No...No...No!...You know what just forget about it. I'll just have to figure it out with my credit cards. I won't be able to buy food or cigarettes the next couple of days but I'll pay for gas it's fine...No, forget about it...I'll buy the gas, forget about it...
If anyone else watched the Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on TV yesterday, you probably couldn't eat the rest of the day either. I know the meme of the day was "Free Kobi" but that's missing the trees for the forest, in my humble opinion.
After witnessing the drama involving Kobayashi, however, (contest-winner) Chestnut said, “I feel bad for him.”
Friday, July 2, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Michelle Borok. Essayist, Businesswoman, The Giant's Robot, Member One of the "Best People We Know" Triad, Mongolian.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Day 12: Anne heads home.
My flight to Seoul is scheduled to leave from Ulan Baatar at 6:45am, so I need to arrange for a cab to pick me up at 4am. I need to go to the lobby of my 3-star hotel. You would not be remiss to assume the three stars represent how many things worked in the room. 1. The door, 2. the refrigerator, and 3. the phone. My bed was missing one of four legs and hobbled. The ceiling had shit stains (not making this up), and our door was half-broken. The floor, pieced together with what felt like driftwood and rope, was covered in a vomit-stained carpet (still not making this up), and the shower dribbled lukewarm water for only a minute at a time. Not complaining, really. Just funny.
I go to the lobby and ask the receptionist first if she speaks English. She does. I request a reservation for a taxi to take me to the airport the following morning at 4. I have to be explicit about it because the taxi that was ostensibly reserved to pick me up from the same airport had never showed up. While I'm talking to her the phone rings. She picks up the receiver and gently hangs it up. Like she doesn't want to interrupt our conversation. I pause incredulously and look at the phone before repeating my taxi request a second and third time. I think she got it. I wonder who called.
3:50 am, I saunter down the stairs (elevator doesn't work now, naturally) with my heavy luggage, and the noise I'm making wakes up the receptionist and doorman who are both sleeping on the couch in the lobby. Doorman doesn't bother opening his eyes or standing up, but the receptionist quickly tucks her shirt into her suit-skirt and pulls down the matching vest to align her gig.
She gestures out the door to the cab waiting for me. Turns on one lamp and unlocks the front door.
Cab takes me to Chingghis Khan airport 60km/hour over the speed limit. Mongolians drive like they want to die.
Chingghis Khan airport has all of 2 gates. Neither of them have signs. Yet it miraculously has one of the only real coffee machines in possibly all of Mongolia (all the coffee here is freeze-dried powder. Again, not complaining. Just an observation). The real coffee is surprisingly OK. I'm beginning to feel like a bourgeois cunt again. I start checking email. 50, 60, 100, 300 new emails... ugh.
I hear a sound on the PA.
"Ishii, Anne Makiko what sits in 16F please go to Gate 1 please."
(repeat at 2 minute intervals for ten minutes)
(repeat consecutively for another ten)
Thing is, I am AT Gate 1. There is not one employee there. I try to flag anyone wearing a suit with pins on it. None of them want to help me, or they don't understand my sign language. I enunciate to a confused woman in a suit with pins:
Someone is paging me.
She says, "Bejing you! OK," and points at the mob of people standing between gate 1 and 2 (which are really only ten yards apart). I walk away from her and try someone else, who says in broken English to follow her. She opens a door and points down. It's a stairwell. I walk down it.
I walk down the stairwell directly to a storage closet full of stacked plastic chairs and a woodscreen. I feel cold air leaking through broken windows and someone behind the wall talking loudly over clanging metal (probably cooking). So now I'm in a storage closet. Alone.
I run back up convinced I just escaped a Mongolian airport gang rape, to what I thought was Gate 1. Still no one there, still my name being paged. I flag someone else down and say, "someone is calling me" and point at the speaker in the ceiling two feet above my head. Miraculously, he speaks solid English and knows what's going on, but the explanation is still disconcerting.
"Don't worry. Your bag being checked at customs. Ignore naming."
It's 6:45 now and our flight's supposed to have taken off, so now I'm worried I'm actually on the wrong planet. I ask the people around me where they're going.
I run into a couple Hungarians Michelle and I happened to meet on the last day of our wildnerness trek. They are apparently boarding a plane at the same time out of the same gate as me. I don't try to unravel the logical impossibility of three flights boarding at the same time out of the same gate, and just push my way to the front of the "line" (more like the trading floor of the NYSE). I get on a plane following the snippets of Korean and Japanese I hear (all equally confused as me).
It's the first time in my life I actually feel safer on the plane than on the ground.
The flight attendants welcome us to "Flight 501 to Tokyo via Seoul" so I rest easy and fall asleep through the three hours it takes to get out of Mars.
It's a beautiful place.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
after my father and i did a quick pass through the overpopulated aquarium, my dad said he wanted to take me somewhere. he drove us over to the Long Beach Museum where we had hamburgers at the outdoor cafe. on the way out of there he tells me:
This is Esperanza St. and when you were born this is where we lived. Right here. You should remember this. For the first 2 years of your life we lived here. I was always busy with work but your mom would walk you in the stroller to the beach every day. One day a car hit you while your mother walked you across the street. She called to tell me, "Makiko popped out of the stroller he hit us so suddenly!" I'm sure your mother still bears the scar on her hand.
it was my beach.
it was my beach.
it was mine.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
(And I apologize in advance for what will be the last cheesy blog post from me for a while. I promise.)
So without further ado, The Announcement:
I am done with you.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
The Online Gambler
Death of a Sales Rep
The Red and the New Black
The Second Sext
Crime and Time-Served
Eighth Level Elvin Mage of the Rings
Blog Postings by Montaigne
A New Yorker Piece of Two Cities
Gatsby Facebooks his Ex
Bridezillas and Prejudice
A Farewell to Archive
Conventionally Grown Grapes of Wrath
Hamlet: The 40 Year Old Virgin
The Golden Netbook
A Downtown Studio of One's Own
The Bible in 3D
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I hurt. (transitive)
I hurt. (intransitive)
Sometimes, the best way to hurt (both in the transitive and intransitive senses) is physically. Physical pain can assuage emotional suffering. I believe this now.
Toward the end of last week I compulsively exercised. Two lifting classes in 12 hours, a one hour run, horse-riding... And I compulsively ate. Sound of body, sound of mind. Both sounds are soft today but in perfect pitch.
Now, for the PSA:
If you or someone you know hurts, spend a day with The Littrells.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Marketers are unfortunately just tacky. Our language is derivative but efficient.
THAT SAID. Here are some things I (have heard but) will never say in the context of marketing:
Lock and load.
Make this thing pop/jump/fly.
Let's start throwing some dates around. (As opposed to just asking, "when are you free?")
(Sorry to those who use those phrases. Again, don't have a problem with hearing them. I love all sinners.)
ALSO. I'd love to hear these other metaphors in their stead.
I might even take bets they'll start circulating:
You ready to fight?
Let's lube this thing so everyone's happy.
What's our equinox?
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Cool for the same reason I think the LA pics were rad.
I love this camera.
Thanks for the Golden Half, Powershovel-Nick (pictured here in golden halves).
They say the grass is always greener on the other side but I actually think the sky's bluer on the right.
ps: the sunglasses I'm wearing just went on sale.
He's like a chicken with his head cut off. Better get a pretzel.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Travel. Lots of travel. It's become a sort of metaphor. "I been movin around a lot."
Between jetlag, gutrot and brainfreeze I'm sure I need a good month of rehabilitation. To wit, I'm going back on the Paleo Diet that ended a couple weeks ago. This time cutting down on me ole smokey treats and the mead and adding some productive R&R (as opposed to self-imposed exile). Wait patiently for heartache to grow up and leave the house.
Detox requires a certain environment and several rations. For example:
Canned wild salmon: $4 a can.
Omega-3 Supplements: $30
Other various mineral supps: $20
Organic and free-range/grassfed produce and meats: $50
2Lbs of coffee beans: $10
New coffeemaker (I now have three different coffee making systems sigh): $90
Mongolian expedition: $1500+
Spending money as defense mechanism: Priceless.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I found an imperfect little video camera.
Some of you have seen the nano films I've shot using this semi-precious gem, and if it meant anything to you, then I don't need to say much more about the product. I can't say enough about it, but even better than my words are the artifacts left by others.
Powershovel is exhibiting a mighty fine roster of Digital Harinezumi films created by artists, musicians, filmmakers and other ordinary geniuses.
March 19 6:30-8:30 at the New Museum.
Please come and keep us company.
Monday, March 1, 2010
you you you you you you you you me you you you you you you you you
Facebook: me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me
me me me me me you me me me me me me me me me me me me me
Myspace: Myspace Myspace Myspace Myspace Myspace Myspace Myspace
Myspace Myspace Myspace Myspace Myspace Myspace Myspace Myspace
Friendster: social networking social networking social networking social networking
social networking social networking social networking social networking social networking