Monday, December 27, 2010

The History of Japanese Pedestrian Traffic Rules

I learned something really interesting on my last trip to Japan, and I know everyone reading this blog reads it sometimes for educational purposes, so...

In the U.S. one customarily defers to the right when walking down a sidewalk, to avoid running into oncoming pedestrian traffic. In Japan however, pedestrians do not defer in either direction when on the sidewalk. It is not uncommon in the land of the rising sun to be caught in a "shall we dance" pas-de-deux right in the middle of the Shibuya Scramble Intersection for hours. I wondered why such an efficient and over-logical people would run into this problem and discovered why.
The origins of this behavior can be found 300 years ago. In the Edo Period, when urban planning began on old Tokyo, people walked right into each other, at which point samurai swords would be drawn (lower castes would draw bamboo sticks, and women would draw ninja stars). Whoever successfully swung the sword through their opponent's torso first would naturally win the right of way, which frequently ends up being a left of way, because sword sheaths are usually kept on the left side.
This practice became unwieldy and messy, not to mention all the deaths meant women were now working overtime to replace human capital with babies. Lots and lots of babies. Women, tired and more fearful for their lives, learned to duck quick when swords were swung at them on sidewalks. They deferred by bowing. This is where the customary Japanese greeting originates. Bowing is a literal "bowing out." Now a de rigeur greeting, bowing is still a traditional Japanese's preferred hello.
Unfortunately, bowing out has become so inculcated in the Japanese moor that no one gets killed in pedestrian battles anymore, and many an educated academic blame this act for the precipitous decline in the country's population. The Akita Prefecture has been hit particularly hard, where the population has more than halved in the last twenty years. It is no accident that Akita translates to "faceless halves."
One peculiar exception to the rule of no rules in pedestrian traffic is on escalators. Misbehaving on an escalator is a crime punishable by excommunication. And visitors are not exempt. Anyone who's been on a Japanese escalator can tell you, one always rides on the left, leaving an aisle open to the right for those wishing to use the escalator as a traditional set of stairs, and step up or down. This practice too, has a peculiar ancient origin.
An enduring myth of heaven and hell in the Shinto religion is "The Stairway to Heaven," believed to have been first communicated in the Jomon period, when the very first steps were created leading up to animist shrines to the Gods of fertility and crop. In "The Stairway to Heaven" myth, it is believed that only those deceased who have had enough faith in the stairs while alive, will be carried to that "other side" in a moving stair. This is where the phrase "spirited away" comes from.
In the myth, those who didn't believe in the moving stairs would of course, start walking up the stairs to heaven. Unfortunately they would end up in hell, as punishment for not believing in the moving stair.
Today, those who still believe in Heaven will stand paitently on the left column of an escalator, while the right side is reserved for atheists, nihilists, felons and Koreans to walk up or down.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Uh, who just left me their phone number without a name?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I will never:

Wear Uggs
Wear cargo pants
Wear polar fleece as my outermost layer
Pick my nose in public
Stop using my hands to eat
Make glottal chewing sounds while eating
Not laugh maniacally

I will, however:

Wear ill-fitting shoes
Wear unflattering clothing
Wear the same long underwear several days in a row under everything
Pick my belly button in public
Not necessarily wash my hands when I should
Slurp my noodles
Fake a laugh


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

Crystal Math

I am insecure and border on psychotic when I weigh over a certain number.
I am an arrogant cannibal when I weigh under that number.
This is what I look like:

95-105 Lbs. This only happens when I'm severely agitated or trapped in a dungeon with nothing but a dripper of fen-phen and a rack of shake-weights. Weightlessness gives me the very courage I need to withstand the fear of yo-yo-ing back my fat. Whenever I'm in that dungeon, I think, "finally, I can live in Japan." Also, "maybe I can eat my way through chicken-wire..."

105-115 Lbs. I love athletic activities but this is my peak confidence zone, so I'll overcompensate with Sex Drugs and Rock n' Roll. Gym? What Jim?

120-125 Lbs. Lock down and initiation of what I call The Cosmetics Paradox. The fatter I get the more makeup I wear. It's also The Workout Paradox. The fatter I get the more often I go to the gym. I reward my good behavior with food and stay fat. Then I hate myself even more, become reclusive. This is also when I get really into building and crafts. The last time I weighed 125 pounds I built a shed! Yeah, installed a drip-feeder and an oscillating dumbell for the small animal I planned on keeping in it...

Now take these numbers and confound them with age.
I am 31 years old, over my number, and could care less. I've dipped below the number and hated myself; jumped over the number and assumed the world. And you know what I've learned in all of this?

Fuck math.

Friday, November 19, 2010

No Holds Barred.

How AIM Saved My Life.
I can be serious when I need to be serious.

I can be mean when I need to be mean. (Though I will always respect a stranger's privacy...)
I can let my guard down when I have to.
And pull out all the stops. I'm fucking hilarious, peoples. A laugh machine.
No holds barred, kid.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fun with Mom

Mom's funny. I love it when she visits me until I can't stand it. But no one needs to know how she drives me crazy. Better you think of her as the silliest person I know.

(note: All this goes down in Japanese.)

1. Mom and I are walking around town on a Saturday in a Hassid neighborhood. Man in Hassid vestiment walks past us on sidewalk. Mom says, "Happy Sabbath!" and cocks her head to the side with a smile and the footstep equivalent of a peace sign: viz. Lollipop Kids from The Wizard of Oz. Man says "why thank you!" Mom explains to me that's what you say to Jews on Saturday. Thanks, Mom.

2. We walk past a billboard for The Tourist (starring Johnny Depp and Angelina MoJolie). Mom says, "I want to touch his facial hair." Stunned, I ask, "what... do you... mean...?" Mom replies, "you don't think he's handsome?" My jaw drops and I look at Mom. She doesn't realize she's just come up with the best euphemism for getting physical since "knocking boots." I eventually tell Mom "yeah, I'd totally touch his facial hair..."

3. Mom's sleeping. Sunlight breaks through a gap in my curtains and would pierce Mom's face but she's laid a sock over her eyes. Viz. Me as baseball umpire: Safe!

4. Mom gets a caramel apple from a Halloween party. Slices small pieces of it to eat throughout her stay, careful to distribute the caramel evenly. By Day 5 of her stay with me the apple looks pretty much done. I throw it away. Mom asks me where the apple is and I tell her. Then, in the angriest I've heard from her since I joy-rode Dad's car in the 10th grade, she whines, "Whaaat?! WhyyYYyyyyYyyy?" (If you know the Japanese or Korean language you'll totally know the tone I am trying to evoke here.) Ten minutes later she's still complaining about how I threw away perfectly good caramel apple. Sorry, Mom.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

via They Left Ghosts

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What do I do with my books?

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

Adventures in Copywriting

My friend Nancy* is taking a copywriting class. Not because she doesn't know how to write copy, but because it might help her find work.

I asked her what she was learning. Not because I don't know what copywriting is, but because I can't imagine how it's taught. Priceless slogans aren't engineered, you know. I was on a twelve hour drug binge when I suddenly came up with "Just Doing It" but some DB accounts guy thought it had more "punch" in the command form. The rest is, as they say, history, which is better known as Nike in the world of advertising.

Anyway, since the statute of limitations on some of my rejected ad copy has passed, and because my blog has always been about shitty plays on words, if nothing else, AND because I'm bitter as all get out, here without further ado:

Fuck off I'm plenty good at writing. My copy would kill your copy in a wrestling match. You just don't see any of it because people don't "get" my "process," "technique" or "skills."

Project No. 1: American Dental Association, Pediatric Development Campaign.
My rejected copy: Only pedophiles like kids without teeth. Don't be a pedophile.
Their response: A restraining order.

Project No. 2: YouTube-Japan.
My rejected copy: Broads cast the yourself.
Their response: A bunch of mis-spelled racist comments written in SMS-ese, and 100 thumbs down.

Project No. 3: Shiseido for Men.
My rejected copy: That's what Shi seido.
Their response: "You know we're marketing this to gay men, right?"

Project No. 4: Viagra.
My rejected copy: Thank you. Come again.
Their response: "No."

*Nancy is a made up name to protect the identity of my friend Tom Cruise. In fact, all of this is made up to protect Tom Cruise.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

NY Cab Conversation

Scene: I'm at the corner of 10th Ave. and 34th St. 7:30pm I'm waving my arm at traffic going North, wearing a hand-made dress from Zachary's Smile, Cheap Monday jeans and lipstick (shoes, a purse etc... just remember, I'm dressed modestly).
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: is good?

This cab driver thought for some God forsaken reason that I was a fucking hooker.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Can I Help You? Well... can I?

I know complaining about customer service in NYC is like taking candy from a child, which is like the most awful expression ever, but here is an astounding lapse in courtesy I felt like sharing anyway:

UHAUL. I arrive at the U-Haul counter at 4:30pm. No one's in line, and the clerk looks up from her computer screen, makes eye contact with me, smiles. I approach her and say, "I have a reservation for a cargo van." She says, "sure, no problem." She picks up a regulation office phone receiver, dials a number, waits a few seconds, then says...

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.

She lets out an audible sigh. Types into the computer. Then says:

License and credit card, please.

I blink. I look behind me and ask my imaginary Yelp commentor, "did that just happen?" He answers, "yes Anne, that really happened." Of course I eventually get my cargo van. I just hope the gasoline I poured over Jane's shrimp lo mein tasted good.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Briggs Meyer... Shivers

This is what The Briggs Meyer Test has to say about me.
[And in parentheses, what I have to say about it.]

People naturally confide in the Champion (ENFP). [This statement implies that the confidence is misplaced.]

That's why they make such good mediators, counselors, teachers, consultants, and reporters. [I would suck at all of these positions. Especially the teaching bit. But I guess I can make an exception for one of these jobs--consulting--which I currently hold. Honestly, I'm just glad I have a job, even if it means having no clue what I do and some days I wake myself up screaming into a pillow. Damn. That describes 80% of the teachers I had growing up in the public K-12 system. I guess I would be cut out for teaching after all.]

Any position that outreaches to others can fit the Champion. [OK this is just a really PG way of saying I'd make a good hooker.]

They can be columnists, journalists, publicists, copy writers, advertising account executives. [I can't think of anything more diametrically opposed to an ad accounts shlub than a journalist. Whoever wrote this has clearly never worked in advertising. I doubt if Edward R. Murrow would ever take a dozen Japanese businessmen high on MDMH to a champagne room in the Bronx just to seal a Daihatsu Account.]

In the arts they can be character actors, cartoonists, art educators. [Correction, I'd make a poor hooker.]

If they choose jobs such as restaurateur, be sure that their business sites will be unique and designed for a particular type of customer. [What the fuck does this even mean? Who's making sure my business site is unique if not The Champion herself, hellooooooo.]

Don't be surprised to see them as an inventor. [Don't act surprised. Shhhh. She thinks we're not onto her! Tee hee...]

This type of personality wants to experience the whole of life and may change careers more often than many other types. [OK this might be true. Just replace the word "career" with "boyfriend" and "types" with "humans with a modicum of morality" and you got yourself Anne Ishii.]

Says Charles, "I've had a number of jobs and when there is nothing left to create, I move to something new. I want my life to be spiced with newness, love, and joy." [Absolute lie. Charles never said such a thing, now did you Charles. Charles, I'm not feeding you till you put the fucking hand towels in the right cabinet shelf...]

Famous ENFPs: Phil Donahue and Joan Baez.
[Awesome. I can aspire to looking like a lesbian and then pretending I'm not one.]

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Famous Virgins. Boys-to-Men.

1. It's hard to believe but it's true. Carl Sagan (the Rocosi Freddy of Quantum Physics) said it himself in Cosmos (anagram of "Splooge"). Sir Isaac Newton died a virgin, but then again... he discovered gravity and intertia. Same difference as fucking.

2. The Jonas Brothers. As long as they know that incest counts as sex, they'll be fine.

3. American Pie, cast. All of that sex they pretend to have in the montage sequence was actually just rubbing "varsity patches."

4. Soichi Negishi, from DMC. My pointing out his virginity is a shameless plug (pun completely intended) for my work.

DMC 6 comes out (more intended, shameful punning) this week.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I hate to be the pretentious pseudo-luddite, but...

Getting rid of my TV has been one of the greatest things I've done for myself.
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

10 Guan

Watched "I am Love" last night. Amazing movie, that. I highly recommend it.
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

Philosophical Sycophancy

I have this haunting para-fantasy of college where I'm undone by cheap poetry because I am still at best a dilettante in affairs of the... oh I'm getting wordy. Let's just say there's a thread in here:

Philosophy Major Come-ons.

Version 1. Cartesian.
[Skinny dude with a ponytail, on one knee, to girlfriend]:
I think (pause), therefore I am (longer pause. Then, closing his eyes, he whispers) with you~

Version 2. Lacanian.
[Post coitus, a young man nervously pulls up the sheet over his nipples and looks around confused. Asks]:
Was that as good for me as it was for you?

Version 3. Kantian.
[Junior varsity athlete (he thought philosophy would be an easy major, confusing it with sociology) approaches a hot chick at the bar. Frames his crotch with splayed hands and smirks. Says:]
It's not the size of the ocean, babe. Bu--t actually it pretty much is.

Elsewhere at the bar:
Version 4. Sartresque.
"You had me at hell is other people."

Version 5. Nietzchean.
"Let's make a bet. If you pronounce this word (he shows 'Nietzche' on a piece of paper) incorrectly you have to go out with me. If you pronounce it right, I take you out and date rape you anyway."

Version 6. "Buddhist" (emphasis on the airbanging)
"Let me guess... You're Chinese? Wait, no... Korean? Wait, no..." (He repeats this to death, comes back as Nicolas Cage's sperm, miraculously "gets it right" in the next life and achieves Nirvana, where he is confused and disappointed because there are no hot Asian chicks. Just a bunch of old white dudes with ponytails.)

Monday, August 2, 2010


Japan has a population problem. It's rapidly declining because the kids aren't reproducing like they used to.

Not sure what made me think of that when I read about the Telenoid R1, but I don't... think... it's... helping.
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

Dating awwwww

There's an old (circa 1990s) truism about the milemarkers of dating.

If after three dates you haven't slept with him/her, dump him/her.
If after three months you haven't said "I love you," dump him/her.
If after three years you aren't married yet, dump him/her.

I don't prescribe to or proscribe this schedule but its quality lies in its simplicity, because the reality is much less succinct (if funnier):

If after three dates you don't know anything about him/her, you're just a lay.
If after three months you aren't talking "love," you (i.e. she) will start fighting.
If you keep at it and are with them for three years but aren't married yet, you're going to get divorced whenever you do decide to get married (which you will, because you won't have the courage to dump him/her).

Here's the new truism.

Go on three dates with someone you loved at first sight.
In three months, give them something small but valuable. A word, an object, a gesture.
In three years, go back on a date with this person. It's cheaper than a wedding.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It already smells bad, go ahead and fart.

My month-long sojourn to Los Angeles draws to a close this week. Here are some highlights.

Bald body builder with a titanium leg trolling around the streets of Long Beach with the sun in his face. Tells me to smile when I cross his path. Applauds when I obey.

Every unique, dispossessed, splintered (and in every case very likely schizophrenic) vagabond on the Metro-Blue Line. Including but not limited to the woman who will not protect Curious George, the old man from Washington St. in Arkansas, the gay street punk who kept telling himself his feet will "get cut by the nurses again," and the frustrated black woman who threatened to "cut that bitch (i.e. me)."

Bearded homeless man drinking from a 2-Liter bottle of Pepsi filled with clear water, highlighting in fluorescent yellow, a stack of documents in a manila folder.

Proto-1970s Californian home architecture.

Loud music in a small car.


Chicano English.

Hanging out with Dad, who is now an uncle. Hello, Uncle Dad. I can't reciprocate your new found affection for me because you broke that part of my soul fifteen years ago.

Hanging out with an old flame, who is now a flamer. Hello, boyfriend of a boyfriend. I am curiously flattered by this news.

Hanging out with Mom, who is now my child. Hello, child mom. What do you want for dinner?

Hanging out with a New Yorker, who is now an Angeleno. Goodbye.

Driving Metaphors:
"I don't even have the gas to drive the car to get to the store that has the words I need to find for this conversation."

"Advance 200 feet and U-turn."

"Turn on your blinker."

"Your blinker's still on."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I've always liked to mess with people in my auto-replies. We should definitely have auto-replies for more human situations than absence from the office and customer service confirmation.

Boyfriend Auto-Reply:
"Thank you for writing. Your message is important to me. I respond to every email in the order in which it was received but if you have any pressing questions please call directly."

Bad Ex-Boyfriend Auto-Reply:
"You've reached a girlfriend who is no longer listening to you. Move on. If this is an emergency, please contact another ex or your mother."

Good Ex-Boyfriend Auto-Reply:
"I am currently away on vacation. Yeah, uh...vacation. Not a new man. A vacation... Let's talk in a couple months?"

Bad contractor's Auto-Reply:
"I am currently on vacation in your offices. I will have only sporadic interest in checking my emails from you and will not make myself available for anything other than group takeout orders and my bonus check. Thanks in advance for the job."

Parent Auto-Reply:
"Delivery failure."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Allegory of My Life Today

On the blue line to Long Beach this morning, a morbidly obese woman wearing matching heather grey sweatpants and sweatshirt, white hair pulled up into a high bun, spoke to herself at my 8 o'clock. Canvas bag full of bright objects between her legs on the floor. Despite the elements, a beautiful woman with a clear and bright face.

And in a calm, even tone:

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

Inception Within an Inception

So Inception is the movie to beat, eh?

I saw it last night. Thought it was beautiful. Think it's funny that Leonardo DiCaprio played the same exact role in Shutter Island (psychosis within psychosis) and The Departed--gang within a gang. Are we reaching a tipping point here?

What other "X within an X" formulas can Leo play?

1. Line within a Line. Leo waits at the DMV and finds out it was a line to Popeye's Chicken the whole time. He orders a bucket of chicken and then dies of a heart attack but no one knows he's an organ donor because he never got that driver's license.

2. Marriage within a Marriage. Leo marries a hot Swedish model. Turns out she's secretly married to Hugh Grant, which means Leo is now married to Hugh Grant. They have to consummate the marriage in ten days or someone will make another sequel to Saw.

3. Tweet within a Tweet.
@LeoDiCap @@@@@@@@@@@

Monday, July 5, 2010

Plane-mate, Episode "Unemployed"

On my flight to Chicago a couple weeks ago I sat in my window seat hoping no one would fill the middle spot. As seems frequently the case, the more tardy said middle-seater is, the more colorful their personalities. [ibid.]

This time it was a woman in hand-torn black T-shirt, sweat pants and an anklet.
She smelled like a party three days ago in her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend's back yard, if you catch my drift.

If you don't, try a bowl of salsa with a few stray corn nuts, cigarette butts, beer and vaseline. Put that bowl in the sun and come back a week later.

The woman was a talker. Talked the ear off the man sitting in the aisle seat. Conveniently chose to ignore me. Started calling everyone on her Favorites dialing list once it was announced we were going to be sitting on the tarmac for another hour because of weather delays. She complains loudly that she rushed to the plane for no good reason, not realizing we're actually in a closed cabin on the tarmac.

Flight attendant comes down the aisle asking people if they want to buy headsets.

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...

Ten minutes later the woman calls for an attendant.

Woman: Do you have a pen I can borrow during the flight? I'll give it back, I promise.

The attendant brings back a pen for her. The woman pulls out a huge folded stack of paper from her huger bag. A ziplock bag full of burnt CDs falls out, along with her CD-man. So ok, the punchline here is her ziplock bag of cds, but when was the last time you saw a CD-man?

The woman unfolds her documents: Laser color printouts of job listings from the internet. She starts reading down the list and circling what I presume are all the jobs she might take. Suffice it to say she circles almost every listing.

I start to feel enterprising. Want to tell her how to be more efficient about her situation. A.) Don't go to Kinko's and pay a buck a page to print out 40 color pages of job listings if you're unemployed. B.) Never not have a pen on you. Especially if you're looking for work.

I sleep instead of proselytizing. Keep waking up to the sound her talking to the other neighbor, who is fully immersed in the Mahut/Isner tennis match. He fails miserably at explaining to her the phenomenon that is taking place on TV: Tennis.

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.)

When I look back at her screen she's variously watching FoxNews and Friends. I reserve judgement and go back to sleep.

As the plane starts to make its final descent, I notice the woman is switching to listening to her CDs. She pulls one out of the ziplock bag to insert in her CD-man. Scribbled in Sharpie ink are the words:

Three Doors Down

I didn't realize anyone besides AMC theater patrons waiting for their movie to start ever listened to this band. Much less burnt their albums. I no longer reserve judgement; start thinking about how to tell this story.

When we land the woman immediately calls what sounds like her ride from the airport.

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...
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...

I hope for her sake someone eventually explained how tennis works.

I Feel Bad For Him

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.”

That's the T-shirt I want.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Tidbits about Chicago:

1. For all the glory of its architecture, downtown Chicago has no clock monuments. In New York you can't turn a corner and look up without seeing at least the remnants of a broken clock. (Observed)

2. There is more oxygen in the Chicago air than a rain forest during summer because the corn crops in Illinois sweat. (Learned)

3. You have to turn in your driver's license if you get a traffic infraction. Any infraction. (Chicago's stupid)

4. Didn't realize it but Sun Ra's from Chicago. (I'm stupid)

5. Rent's cheap. (New York is stupid)
6. And there are possibly as many musicians as there are hot dogs in the city. (Score)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I have a tumblr acct


iamilliterate tumblr com


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Books We Pack

We pick up a lot of cues on compatibility from cultural currency. Yankees fans, Dead Heads, foodies--we learn from all these symbolic appellations, for better or worse.

In discussing the concept of libraries with the fine folks at Observatory (link at end), and then packing my own ad hoc library of books, I went through a laundry cycle of emotions as I handled the books people have given or recommended to me.
Imagine, a taxonomy of these cues.

Think of the Wodehouse collection.
Would I have ever read Maugham were it not for him?
How many double-takes have you gotten from Blood Meridian?
How many reference books were gifts? And all from the same person?
I will never read that conspiracy theory on 9-11 gifted by the Frenchman,
nor will I ever forget being read Possession in bed by the American.
How strange that two totally unrelated and wildly different people should recommend Flann O'Brien. One because he loved him and the other because she didn't,
but thought I would.
Pattern Recognition, a bible to so many.
Airport paperbacks, trash to so few.
Instead of lending my cues, I tell everyone:
take it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Wind's Song

I am going to hell and back because the return is always faster, more pleasant. There was a devil's whistle. A fierce wind. Free me, my head. Now.


mongolian wind from Ill Iterate on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What part of Manhattan Are You?

You meet a very stylish stranger who compliments you on a pair of unremarkable and ratty shoes. You think:

A. I love these shoes too! Awesome.
B. Ew. He wants to sleep with me.
C. He/She must work in retail.
D. I'm in.

You buy a six pack at the local deli and it's:

A. 8pm
B. 5pm
C. 7am
D. I'm in.

The clerk behind the register says "how are you, (insert your name)?" You respond:

A. Good. How about you, John?
B. (To self: fuck, what was his name?)
C. Not bad, Nelson. Uh... is Jose still selling the weed I bought last weekend?
D. I'm in.

An ideal roommate situation for you is:

A. Your wife/husband and kids.
B. Your future wife/husband and your brittany spaniel.
C. Anyone you've met at the local deli.
D. I'm in.

You do your banking with:

A. One bank
B. Two banks
C. The local deli ATM
D. I'm in.

If you had to live anywhere else in the U.S. you'd live in:

A. Manhattan
B. France
C. The local deli
D. I'm in.

If you answered mostly A you're not anywhere near Manhattan.
If you answered mostly B you're in the West Village.
If you answered mostly C you're in the East Village/Lower East Side.
If you answered mostly D you're in.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Hardest Laughter

I can think of a handful of occasions in which I laughed myself into a complete splinter.

Once, replete in a marching band uniform pepping up our high school football game, Albert Morales and I (drum line, whut?!) started talking about how ridiculous it looks when kids get their heads stuck in the neck of their sweater. Yeah, we were wearing shakos and making fun of kids taking off their sweaters...

More recently, Urian Brown was describing JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (still arguably the most ridiculous manga in comics history) at Gobo in Greenwich Village. You really had to be there, but just imagine someone named Urian Brown acting out this:
and there's a chi-chi juice bar in the background.

In grad school, I almost got expelled for laughing during a speech because the female Korean professor kept being referred to as Ja instead of Ja-Hyun, and my stoner buddy Andy Rodekhor kept muttering, "Ja, Rastafari." (Sigh) College...

Last year Michelle and I rolled up and down Park Avenue laughing after a long night drinking at some Irish pub by Irving Plaza. Michelle told the bartender her name was Anne Ishii and then started sucking his face off. Yes. That's what made us laugh hysterically.

But now:

The Hardest Laughter.

The Hardest Laughter from Ill Iterate on Vimeo.

I'm back up at YOMYOMF today. (link at end)

Because the piece is about Asian cowboys, I figured I'd take the opportunity to showcase one set of Mongolia pictures I took with toy cameras.

The Men.

Mangolia (YouOffendMeYouOffendMyFamily)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Photo Break


Ulan Baatar

Name another country who's one international airport is named after a 12th century warlord.

I wonder what Chingghis Khan would say about his Mongolia today. The capital city of Ulan Baatar looks like something in Blood Meridian. The capital has moved over a dozen times before settling here. Appropriate avatar for nomadism.

Another Mongolian Tale:

Day 1: Anne arrives at airport and looks for driver with sign, arranged for by Michelle. Driver nowhere to be seen. Arrival floor ratio of solicitous drivers to actual arrivers--2::1. My impression from epicanthal Y-chromosomes is already profound.

Finally relent to a cabbie that's been vising me since I stepped out of customs and take the overpriced ride to The Seoul Hotel. Cab-music is strange techno of the following words, which will run on repeat in my head for the succeeding 24 hours:

Rainy days, can't you feel the rain in your face.

Finally see Michelle. We get me some food, then head to second floor bar/stripclub at hotel. See an old white dude get down with a semi-nude local on the dance floor. Embarrassing/hilarious/deflating.

I make eye contact with "Anna." Anna is an Asian goddess.

She comes over and without provocation starts dancing straddling my legs. I keep my head low and talk to Michelle like Anna's not there. Anna eventually starts The Lap Dance, putting my hand on her flesh, pressing her breasts against my face.

Reminder: I've just deboarded from 26 hours of transit and am dead tired.

Michelle's laughing. "Grab her ass!" Though Anna's the one almost totally naked and failing to turn me, I'm the one embarrassed and looking around the room for compassion. I notice Anna's left nipple is only half-erect.

After what feels like an eternity I finally indulge Anna, stroke her ass and smile at her. I look over at Michelle. "They know not to try this with me. I'm not making eye contact with anyone."

Eye contact...

A confused exchange of money ends my lap dance, and I ask to take her picture. Anna SQUEEELS. Michelle: Yeah, noooo. Don't do that. Anna's madam-boss looks up from the computer she's been playing online poker at in the corner since we got in. Pause. She returns her gaze to the screen.

Michelle and I go back to the hotel room and I crash like a stock market. Wake up the next morning more anxious than ever to get the fuck out of this city.

Ulan Baatar from Ill Iterate on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The First

Michelle Borok. Essayist, Businesswoman, The Giant's Robot, Member One of the "Best People We Know" Triad, Mongolian.

Someone once explained to me that the only reason parents can afford the risk of not vaccinating their children is that everyone else's kid is. I could only afford the risk of taking this trip because Michelle had already vaccinated us from danger and ignorance. So first off: thanks, Michelle.

Beauty, nature and ten days without technological communications all highlit the steppes. All that notwithstanding, the 200 mile trek around the Terelj region in Mongolia showed me only one thing: humanity. [Sidenote: Most of the pictures I took were on film and of people. When they're developed I'll dedicate another post/page to just them.]

Watching Michelle's humanity was a wonder. It took her five days to even mention life back in Los Angeles, the game-players, the game-changers, the cunts, the idiots, us. That might be a world record. And then she fell in love. And then she fell in love.

Watching people fall in love is pretty amazing.

Say, won't you stay for a while

I saw Mars. I saw roads dotted with quartz, slate, crushed by hooves, drunken ambling, the human toxic faces the great outdoors unlocked and it's a wonder to hear the silence in my head is a rope of water running from the back of my head, a faucet, an Indian breeze is my hair.

Thank you, Mongolia.

Monday, May 24, 2010


There is much more to say about my trip than I can pump out of the world's largest Samsung "laptop" on borrowed time at an internet kiosk in Incheon International Airport, where I wait for the last leg of my flight back to NYC to start boarding (seriously, this computer is ridiculous), but let's reverse-engineer The Trek with today. The last day.

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


on the eve of my departure for mongolia i decided to see my dad for the first time in 14 years. i asked him to meet me at the Long Beach Aquarium upon someone's suggestion ("It's quiet, it's public, it's fun. You guys won't feel any pressure."). it's also spitting distance from interTrend, where i go in to work every few weeks from NYC. i'd never been to the aquarium before but it's adjacent to the beach i go to most every morning before work to sip my coffee and unwind. it's the beach i affectionately call "mine."

i've spent many hours there thinking about you, about me, about other things i affectionately call "mine."

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 my beach.

it was mine.

(my beach. remember?)

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Anyone want to help me design a new website for me?

Friday, April 30, 2010


You Make Me Feel Like

"So hot it's cool so cool it's hot."
Damned Pop Tarts.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Where the hell am I.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Just, don't.

If you're sensitive to male-bashing I suggest you stop right now and go read Hypebeast, download a rap album and buy some hand cream.

I (and to some degree, my friends) have been dying to tell these stories all year, and think the statute of limitations has finally just gone up so here goes.

When I turned 30 last year I decided it was high time I became an adult woman. I cleaned up, upgraded everything, started wearing a little rouge. I bought clothes that fit me and took myself more seriously. Heels, skirts and a purse later, I learned that as complex as serial monogamy is with a "good personality," meeting people solely on the merits of a look brings out the dumbest in dumb.

So if you'll allow my good personality the missive, here are words to give the wise an edge.

Guys, these are not the ways to woo ladies:

1. Brag about your dong.
I like talking about genitals as much as the next alcoholic, but the amount of time you spend bragging about your dong is inversely proportionate to how awesome it is. This is a law of rhetoric.

2. Brag about what your exes said about your dong.
If someone loved your dong and you're not with them anymore, well then it stands to reason the rest of you is useless.

3. Call your penis a dong.
I'm thirty, people. C'mon.

4. Call at 2am and ask who I'm with.
Aside from the obvious fact that it's no one's business who/what/when/where/why I'm doing what I'm doing, you're not going to like the answer if you have to ask the question. This is another law of rhetoric.

5. Tell me I look like Yoko Ono.

6. Waffle.
You've asked me out. I've said yes. Don't then make planning the date the main event. Just tell me where to go.

7. Unless it's a trip hop show.
If I wanted herpes I'd be dating online.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Good evening, Park Slope

The Park Slope I love.
The Park Slope I hate.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

This picture. Made. My. Day.
Thanks, Nick.

(BTW: I'm making a funny face to friends on purpose... in case that's not entirely clear.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I have an announcement to make.

My announcement is purely symbolic, as my intended audience is all but deaf. In my childish pride I feel all of you can be the testament to my last oblique blathering about This Thing That's Been Driving Me Nuts For The Past Few Months.
(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.

Done. from Ill Iterate on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Classics Written by the 21st Century Middle Class

Cat on a Hot Sun Roof
The Online Gambler
Death of a Sales Rep
The Red and the New Black
Madame Ovary
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

The Existentialism of Hurt

Hurt Locker has been an interesting cultural phenomenon, and for me, not the least of reasons is that the word "hurt" is very potent.

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.

A Day With the Littrells from Ill Iterate on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Marketing Jargon

I occasionally have to analyze how I feel about marketing jargon and I've recently decided there is nothing wrong with marketing jargon. Just a matter of perspective. Jazz music critics have gotten away with all kinds of neologisms, for example, but who's gonna slap the guy who writes McCoy Tyner got all pentatonic on his bebop? No one. Actually...maybe that's a bad example, as I'd probably slap the computer screen upon reading that.

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

Heads Up

And these two pictures were taken in completely different golden-halves but belong next to each other.

My Los Angeles.

My New York.


Heads up, New York

Some cool pics of New York.

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.

Heads up, LA

Some rad pictures of Los Angeles. Rad partly because on analog everything that comes out nice feels twice as good. (Pardon the weird part in my bangs)

Taken with a Golden Half.

Mid-70s all week.

And no smog?...anything can happen.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Rehab. Re:up.

What a zonker of a month. TGINFA: Thank God It's Not February Anymore.

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

Imperfect as they are.

Some of us get dogs to cure our loneliness. Others get cats. Yet others find themselves boyfriends or girlfriends.

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.

The Architecture of Insults

Exhibit A:
Your Mother + Racism

Exhibit B:
You + Racism

Exhibit C:
Your Girlfriend + Racism

Exhibit D:
Your Mother + Sexual Promiscuity

Exhibit E:
Your Girlfriend + Sexual Promiscuity

Exhibit F:
You + Sexual Orientation

Exhibit G:

Monday, March 1, 2010

Social Networking in a nutshell

Twitter: you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you
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


I like Tokyo just fine and each time I go there I like it more. Probably just because each time I go there I meet more people. The odds of my hitting an ace acquaintance get better each time. My biggest hangup is still the gender divide, but as an American visitor it's nothing I can't pretend gets isolated on this side of the Pacific.

Observation 1: Made by Alvin.
"Japan has mastered a brilliant system of mind-control." (inre: cultish purchasing habits, and business morale)

Observation 2: Made by my Korean Grandma.
"When the kimchi's good, everything is good." (after a sub par KBBQ experience saved by panchan)

Observation 3: Made by Julia (in reference to time zones and where we were currently)
"Right now is today's now."

Observation 4:
This is what karaoke should always look like. (ps: I have just realized I've been surrounded almost my whole life with handsome friends. I must have hated men in a previous existence.)

Observation 5:
Tokyo is a city of solitude.