Friday, January 29, 2010


I do not want furniture anymore.
And when I say "no furniture," I don't mean I'll live with a janky futon. Don't get me wrong, futon-lovers. I like the idea of it bunching up and memorizing the contour of my dreadlocks and clay-beaded hemp ankle-bracelet. It would match the milk crates I use as chairs and the Greatful Dead stubs that prop up my soul.

No, this isn't faux-hippie or anti-consumerist Anne talking, nor is it my asceticism. I'm simply unable to find The Perfect Furniture For Me. And this is why:

I like IKEA as much as the next guy whose Billy bookcase screams "I'm not in the mood!" whenever I touch it. IKEA is affordable and convenient. Clean lines, fun to assemble (yes, I said "fun") and frankly, where I am financially.

However, at this juncture I can sort of entertain the idea of something a little more special. And yet if I talk to a real furniture dealer they'll always correct my pronunciation of Eames (it rhymes with "douchebag"), and though technically I could splurge some (a friend made a great point that I could think of this investment as what I'd spend on a car if I lived in LA), something dies inside me every time I look at the price tags. Then I go back to Billy but he still won't let me touch him.

What's a girl to do?

I have a feeling asylums are padded with the detritus of furniture.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I like to ask people what they'd do with a million dollars. Everyone thinks they have an idea of what a million dollars would look like in their lives but they frequently undergauge. They'd pay off cars, houses, loans. But unless you already make millions, that won't even cost you half of the lottery you just won. After the dissolution they might want to start a business, take out someone (in both senses), or maybe just have Demi Moore swim in benjamins and make Woody Harrelson watch with a half-boner. So you're blowing 500k on Lame.

So what would you do with five thousand dollars? It's not really enough to do the big things. But maybe it would take care of your debts. Maybe it's your boyfriend's bail. One really lame purse. In other words, if you had to spend money frivolously and a million dollars just doesn't feel ethically frivolous, how about a fraction?


Los Angeles

LA was originally my forgettable hometown.
Later, it was the node from which sprouted the suburb I grew up in.
It became my enemy when I went north for school, and my call of port when I lived abroad.

Now it's Los Angeles and I love it.

Go watch "Los Angeles Plays Itself."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mr. Mom

What's AMC's agenda this week, showing "Three Men and a Baby" and "Mr. Mom"? Whatever it is, God bless ye, AMC. I've come to the realization that Mr. Mom is The Greatest Film on Earth. Not "The Seven Samurai," not "Aliens," not "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari."
Not anything by Fellini, Tarkovsky, Ang or Spike Lee.
Screw the Nouvelle Vague.
Lars Von Trier can cut his own nub with rusty scissors.

Mr. Mom is the best film ever. It deserves a place in a permanent archive and Beetleman Michael Keaton's batjuice deserves an Oscar. I'm willing to go up against A.O. Scott on this.
(Placing nozzle of a .38 against Scott's temple) "Shhhh, A.O. Just repeat after me: Mr. Mom. Perfect film. Fin."

I mean, whatever happened to the accidental Mom-Dad/Man-Woman social comedy genre? Three Men and a Baby, Raising Arizona, Baby Boom, Mr. Mom, all came out in the 1980s. What have we had since? Dan in Real Life? Give me a break.

I know it's four months early but here's to dads. Go rent Mr. Mom and rub one out to Michael Keaton's eyebrows.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Paleo dicks

I recently started the Primal Challenge. Many of you already know what it is. (It's just a six week attempt to stick to The Paleo Diet, which was covered in a NYT article this week.) I want to point out that I'm doing it in solidarity with the Crossfit gym I've been a part of since last summer, and it's more for the "challenge" aspect than the "primal." Doesn't change the fact that I'm a poser, but hey, I got my chin held high. (It's propped up by blocks of beef jerky and fish oil supplements...)

So far, no cravings for the things I cannot eat: rice, beans, grains, legumes, processed sugars and processed fats. I mean, really not that bad in terms of psychological food needs.


I have had debilitating headaches since Tuesday evening. Headaches so awful I dry heaved all morning today because my head wouldn't stop spinning. I'm told this is specifically a condition of sudden grain-cessation. They tell me it will end soon. But My God.
What. The. Hell. Am. I. Doing??

Headaches are strange. They never make me angry, just sad or maniacally humored. Strangely, being on the verge of tears seems to alleviate the pain. Tears of pain or laughter. Fortunately it's been easy to get to this state this week.

With grenades ricocheting off each other in my head, my sense of humor seems to have taken to new testosterones.

Case 1:
I'm going to buy a dildo and tap people on the shoulder farther from me, so that when they turn they'll see a dildo and not me.

Case 2:
Fucking up cornflakes. I said to my crossfit Primal Challenge mentor, "I've never been a breakfast person." She said, "fuck breakfast." That led me to the vision of me taking cornflakes around to a back alley and fucking it up to within an inch of its life. This is an endless source of laughter for me.

Case 3:
Any instance of exclamation points. They all look like abstract boners.

Case 4:
Idea for a movie: Illicit romance of shopping mall Santas who aren't out. Title: Santa Closet.

NYT Paleo piece.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Postcards From the Edge Benefit Show

Postcards From the Edge is to VisualAIDS what the Post-It Show is to Giant Robot. (Of course, if you're not fully immersed in both GR and VA, that analogy won't make any sense to you...)

OK let's try this>>

There are entire days I wish everyone could use the FUBU (LL Cool J's "For Us By Us" brand) moniker without having to wear jersey tracksuits that make you look like a creamsicle cross-dressing as a Disney rapper.

Populist Art Culture has never been more important than it is today in an income-starved USA with almost no more compulsory arts education. Populist art does not deign to or disdain from class or quality, but avails itself to only three basic facts: (a) whether they know it or not, everybody can create artwork, because (b) whether they know it or not, everybody loves artwork, but (c) not everyone can afford it.

Everyone can afford a postcard or post-it. That's what makes shows like this so rad.

VisualAIDS' annual benefit show is also unique in that all proceeds go to supporting artists living with HIV or AIDS, and also to AIDS research.

I went to the preview show last night. Gotta say, it was the first time I went to a Meatpacking District gallery show and stayed for the whole two hours of the reception (and those in NYC know how near impossible that is short of the artwork being your own craptastic bullshit).

There is a lot of awesome affordable artwork in there, folks. Including GR's own pretender to the Throne of Illustration, Adrian Tomine.

And if you won't take my word for it, take VANITY FAIR's.

Cuz postcards are the isht. Am I right, or am I right? I'm looking at you, Ryan "EA-Z Boy" Sands. [And I swear to you sooner than later I will deliver something.]

In sum: if you are in the New York area, I highly recommend you go to the show. Last bid: It's an unapologetically gay cause, so if you love cock or have the sense of humor of a nine year old it might be worth it for nothing more than the many interpretations of erectus phalli.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New meaning to "frigid"

I dreamt last night I had drinks at a bar on a cruise-liner with an old flame, who said, "watching the woman's mind become one with her body is such a turn on." I then made several failed attempts to light a cigarette. When I looked up it was snowing against the dark ocean sky and I thought of Tromso. Later, in a hotel room in Los Angeles, I was writing a letter to said flame, with just one word on a post-it affixed to the hotel letterhead: gâter. I changed my mind and wrote another word: gâcher.

When I woke up I thought of how difficult it would be to go back to Tromso (answer: not difficult at all), but then dreaded simply the idea of being in an airport again, not to mention a U.S. airport...right now.

Minutes ago I received an email from Arild in Oslo, asking how the end of my sejour in Tromso was. He reminded me what it really meant to be cold. Below, said explication. Now, I really want to go back.

Norwegian weather - temperatures:

+15°C / 59°F
This is as warm as it gets in Norway, so we'll start here. People in Spain wear winter-coats and gloves. The Norwegians are out in the sun, getting a tan.

+10°C / 50°F
The French are trying in vain to start their central heating. The Norwegians plant flowers in their gardens.

+5°C / 41°F
Italian cars won't start. The Norwegians are cruising in cabriolets.

0°C / 32°F
Distilled water freezes. The water in the Oslo Fjord gets a little thicker.

-5°C / 23°F
People in California almost freeze to death. The Norwegians have their final barbecue before winter.

-10°C / 14°F
The Brits start the heat in their houses. The Norwegians start using long sleeves.

-20°C / -4°F
The Aussies flee from Mallorca. The Norwegians end their Midsummer celebrations. Autumn is here.

-30°C / -22°F
People in Greece die from the cold and disappear from the face of the earth. The Norwegians start drying their laundry indoors.

-40°C / -40°F
Paris start cracking in the cold. The Norwegians stand in line at the hotdog stands.

-50°C / -58°F
Polar bears start evacuating the North Pole. The Norwegian army postpones their winter survival training awaiting real winter weather.

-70°C / -94°F
The false Santa moves south. The Norwegian army goes out on winter survival training.

-183°C / -297.4°F
Microbes in food don't survive. The Norwegian cows complain that the farmers' hands are cold.

-273°C / -459.4°F
ALL atom-based movent halts. The Norwegians start saying "Faen, det er kaldt i dag! (Damn, it's cold outside today!)"

-300°C / -508°F
Hell freezes over, Norway wins the Eurovision Song Contest.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Language Musings

Some funny Franglish mis-pronunciations/mis-understandings:

Audrey: We're like The Agence Tous Risques. (Name of "The A-Team" in French)
Me: How are we like The Agence Tourisme?
(French airport security looks through my carry-on luggage. Takes out a small tub of lip balm)
Me: It's a baume. I mean, lip balm, not a bomb. (Laughing very uncomfortably)
Security: (Smiles) I know. For your lips right? Hmm, rose mint. That's nice...
Me: (Laughing uncomfortably for totally different reason) Thanks. (Walks away quickly)
Me: (Talking in high-pitched baby voice to a six year old) So glad to have met you! I hope I see you again soon!
Kid: (Blank and confused stare)
Kid's grandmother: Honey, did you understand what she said?
Kid: No.
Me: You know Hall and Oates?
Audrey, who knows the entire 1980s catalog of pop rock by heart: No.
Me: Impossible. You gotta know who they are. "Private Eyes"? "The Kiss"?
Audrey: No.
Me: I'm positive you know them. (Pauses. Shamefully attempts a french accent) You know, all eh oeutz?
Audrey: Ahhhh oui! Of course! all eh oeutz! Sheez goet zee kiss, zee kiss, itz woeut I misss.
Audrey: (Asks a reverse-negative question about how she looks in a new pair of sunglasses)
Me: (Watching television) Yeah. Totally.
Audrey: (Looking astonished) Great. Thanks for being honest... Did you hear what I said?
Me: (Still watching television) No. I wasn't listening to you. (Turns and faces Audrey) Want to try that again?
Audrey: Just say "that looks great."
Me:That looks great.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

How the french eat.

Last week I went to Caullery, France (population 300) to have dinner and catch up with a family I hadn't seen since 2002. It was great. Seven years of stories to tell in one night and we succeeded. The night ended around 1am after a discussion about euthenasia instigated by the phone call we received from a local hospital announcing the death of an elder relative. The news was tragic but fitting.

I ended up crashing there as I had so many nights before, and slept in Marie-Caroline's room, which is now for her two infant children when they have sleepovers "chez Memée et Pepé." Also, me. After a deep sleep in completely dark silence I woke up to Roselyne (Memée) softly calling my name to breakfast. Something about the way this sixty-year-old woman talks to me always comforts but scares me. Like she's detected a cancer I don't know about yet. I feel like I'm in a Nancy Meyers movie.

I put on a bra under my pyjamas remembering how cold it is downstairs in the first hour of being awake in this house, and rinse my face before carefully sauntering down the steepest spiral staircase in the world (seriously: stairs are so steep in almost every country outside of the U.S. but these take the cake).

In the living room at the 10 foot long oak table where the Vitoux have broken bread for the past thirty some-odd years. It's the house Roselyne built with Jean-Pierre right after the former had their second child. The house is a perfect symbol for this family: sturdy, constantly growing, lined with plants tended to carefully by Jean-Pierre, and decorated inside with flowers Roselyne culls. In their backyard, an exotic shrub that yields the best (if the only) kiwi in all of this region. I already know what I'm going to eat: brioche-nutella, coffee, OJ, a few kiwis.

I prepare my plate and eat with the grandchildren, who have returned after sleeping at their mom's house a block away. Jean-Pierre emerges from the kitchen ready to head out and make arrangements for his deceased uncle. He's brought out the cheese plate and a baguette. He tears off the end of the bread. He looks at my breakfast and then looks at me.

"Brioche nutella? You keep eating that for breakfast and you'll get fat, you know." Such frankness about getting fat also strikes me as a trait shared by everyone but Americans but what he does next is pure French. Without dropping a beat, he spreads at least fifteen cubic inches of butter onto his baguette and slaps on a triangle of brie so big it could feed New Guniea, then takes a huge bite.

"Well, I'm off. You know where everything is so help yourself. (Pause. Then, incredulously) Brioche nutella... sheesh. I wish I had your metabolism," and he takes another bite from his Panzer-sized brie sandwich.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

With a bend of the knees and an arch of the back, a Japanese engineer today set a world flight record for a paper plane, keeping his hand-folded construction in the air for 26.1 seconds.

Using a plane specially designed for "long haul" flights, Takuo Toda narrowly failed to match his lifetime best of 27.9 seconds, a Guinness world record set in Hiroshima earlier, but achieved with a plane that was held together with cellophane tape.

Today's flight, inside a Japan Airlines hangar near Haneda airport in Tokyo, was the longest by an unadulterated model. "I felt a lot of pressure," Toda told the Associated Press after his feat. "Everything is a factor ‑ the moisture in the air, the temperature, the crowd."

The record was all the more satisfying for having been achieved with a plane that stayed true to the traditions of origami, the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. He folded his 10cm aircraft by hand from a single sheet of paper and did not use scissors or glue.

Toda, who is president of the Japan origami aeroplane association, said the secret to a successful launch was to avoid a flat trajectory and get the plane as high in the air as possible to give it time to circle slowly towards terra firma. "It's really a sport," he said. "The throwing technique is very delicate."