Thursday, December 13, 2007

(short) film news in 'park city'

Some great news for the Hampshire College film program coming out of Park City lately - two films (at least) made by alums are showing at Sundance and Slamdance. Sundance, one of the top film festivals in the US, and Slamdance, playing simultaneously in the same area, might be the queen of the ultraindie fests. If you're lucky enough to head there, here are some films to add to your screening list:

At Slamdance:
COVERED TRACKS: "an experimental documentary exploring the Freedom Tunnel, a fifty-block long train tunnel underneath Manhattan's Upper West Side." Directed by Nate Kensinger, Produced by Kensinger and Meghan O'Hara. this is playing some other fests, too, including SFindie (pic at left). meghan, nate and I are experienced media services librarians.

: " William, a pretentious, disaffected projectionist at a film festival, has high notions of cinema." Directed by Blake Myers and Takuro Masuda. Blake and Takuro aren't HC folks, but another of their documentary projects was in the IFP Doc Lab. Blake also makes bloody horror flicks in Atlanta. maybe this is one of them?

others i'm excited about
NEW YEAR PARADE: Divorce and the mummers parade in Philly. Dir: Tom Quinn - an IFP Narrative Lab alum
WESLEY WILLIS'S JOYRIDES - you know, Wesley Willis.
FRONTRUNNER - an IFP Market project, with music supervision by our friend Brian Liu, who has his finger in everything it seems

and, at Sundance:
A 1960s space mission goes awry, resulting in a strange disappearance and cosmic transmissions. The fall-out of this journey forever changes life back on Earth and launches a counter-culture revolution." Director: Kelly Sears
You can see Sundance's entire '08 shorts program on Netflix, iTunes or starting Jan 18. brilliant!

others at Sundance:
KICKING IT - homeless world cup soccer!
George A. Romero's DIARY OF THE DEAD. film students cleverly documenting the world of flesheating monsters around them.
Michel Gondry's latest: BE KIND REWIND. Jack Black is magnetized and he and Mos Def remake all the great movies - Ghostbusters, Robocop, Driving Miss Daisy.

That's my line-up. Hope I get to see some of these flicks, soon!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

how to occupy time when marginally employed

1. make salsa.
now, i do love burritos, but from the amount of postings i have here about salsa, you would think that I have some kind of obsession. however, this is really just because we grew tomatillos in our community garden plot this year, and they exploded! i know of nothing else to do with these green paper-covered citrusy fruits but salsa. so with jen's goading and the feeling like we shouldn't let such bounty go to waste, I turned to tomatillo-roasted jalapeno salsa.

it was mostly home-grown, though not entirely by us. some jerk pulled an entire jalapeno plant, full of fruit, out of the ground, and left it, and all the peppers, in the compost pile. I greedily stripped the peppers off the plant, swearing about wasteful americans and trying to imagine what i would do with two pounds of jalapenos.
So, into the oven they went, (400F for 20min) until roasty and skins black, sneezing in the house because of the capsicum in the air.

Next, spent a long time online trying to find a salsa recipe that was appropriate for me for canning (tasty, and not giving me botulism). Ultimately bought Ball's Blue Book of Preserving at trusty Frager's Hardware. I was sure they wouldn't give my friends botulism.
spent about half the day making a double-double batch of tomatillo salsa, canned with the aid of some of dave's beer brewing supplies, and a veg steamer at the bottom of the pot instead of a canning stand. by about 10pm, there were 9 pints of salsa cooling on the table. expect to get some in your stocking.

The kitchen has been busy this week. Professor Burpy is gurgling again, filled with a lambic-like prickly pear cactus wheat beer. it smells sweet and is electric pink, flavored juice of the prickly pear, picked by the side of the Beach Rd. in Southern Shores, NC, thisby the thankseating. a loaf of vegan banana-raisin bread has already been devoured, and i may make some coffee cake soon, too.

other projects include: intense planning for hot new years dance party, knitting a balaclava, scheming on some xmas crafts, mustering the courage to ask for a tarot reading, yoga, bicycle-hunting, dreaming up other projects.

do you have a job for me that requires brain power ?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


the odometer in my car stopped running. it could have been today but it seems unlikely that after not driving for several months, that I would have noticed the exact day it stopped turning over. so, my car will remain at 128K mi for eternity, which is good, when i finally sell it. naturally, i'll be honest about that.

in other news, i finally went to Tortilla Mexicana - Los Hermanos today - the tortilla factory at the top of the stairs at the Jefferston St. L stop that also has a kitchen in the front. it was never open, it seemed, when i actually was living here, so now that i've come to retrieve my things and get a dozen bagels, i jumped on one of their tacos vegetarianos. and can i say - amazing! delicious! fresh! the tortillas were def made this morning and the avacado was perfectly ripe. pinto beans, cilantro, lime, tomato, what else do you need?

Thursday, November 15, 2007


happy birthday mom! nice cake, L!
carrots from the lovejoy garden. we grew these! thanks earth! thanks dave for buying seeds!
Korean lunch at a place with a waterfall and white piano. glass noodle mushroom stirfry, tiny sides of two kinds of kimchee, spicy tofu, ambrosia salad, smoked shrimp-something yummy, fish cakes, pickled jalapenos... followed by a barbie pink 'strawberry' bubble tea. thanks amy!
awesome maker of a doclab film about origami sent me this today. anyone know what this kind of shape is called? it's 5 interlocked pyramids - a 20-point star? thanks vanessa!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

celebs i have seen in my three months in new york

Parker Posey - just yesterday! skipping to the ladies room in my office.
Natalie Portman - at The Gate with friends in Park Slope
David Byrne - walking his bicycle in front of gallery openings in chelsea
Adam Goldberg - looking as thou he wants to be recognized? in front of the Antiques Garage
Keri Russell - at an IFP meeting
David Cross? - maybe smoking in front of The Cloisters

Monday, November 12, 2007

two to three lists on new york city

You have to admit that there is something about living in a city like New York that makes you think that you're some kind of loner/artist/writer/poet/ wanderer/freethinker/sociologist/ coffee/whisky-drinking / smoking/beatnik-hippie-punk that makes for endless diary writing awaiting tempura maki and hijiki salad (alone at a table for two, naturally), on the train to wherever you are going, or drinking vodka at a friends bar, there is something about cities like this that makes it happen.

althou, there isn't much of the privileged artsyness that goes with sushi and a comfortable solitude in Chinatown, where i sat writing yesterday at dusk, or in Bushwick where i type now (essentially alone, thou my roommate is plugged into whatever obsessive game hes been doing since i left the apartment on saturday).

Mostly, these places are filled with poverty, although Chinatown is also filled with seemingly endless stalls of strange dried things, questionable fish, even worse durian in yellow mesh bags, cheap vegetables (not organic & with a carbon footprint of >500mi), knock-off purses, watches, belts, dvds, &anything else that can be ripped off, and the holy home of vegetarian drumsicks (along with something called vegetarian fish ham, which, for the record, im not the slightest bit interested in eating).

in addition to trying not to open the bag of drumsticks and sort of wishing we had a deep fryer, here's a list of things i expect i will not be doing in my last four days here:

- visit the Whitney / Kara Walker solo exhibition
- visit the Met who were bold/moneyed enough to install Hirst's The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living which includes an updated shark from the original display in Saatchi's BMA "Sensation" show
- visit the Guggenheim, more for the art cred of having gone. the facade is under renovation/scaffold anyway
-see a film at BAMcinematek, Film Forum, or some other ultra indie or notedly cinephelic theater. In fact, the only film i saw that is likely not available in DC was Wristcutters: A Love Story, at Times fucking Square.
-visit all 5 boroughs. Sorry Bronx and Staten.
-burlesque, strip club, peep show, or something equally old-new-york seedy
-find the international spice market or that huge greenmarket you see on TV cooking shows where tv chefs buy their groceries
-close a bar at 4am.
-walk across brooklyn, williamsburg or manhattan bridge
-find a magically beautiful and cheap bicycle to coast around brooklyn
-make it big time as a Broadway dancer (the stagehands are on strike)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

9 days

left in New York (for now?) and it's finally cold enough to see my breath outside. I've been spending this week in the West Village at a swank members hotel's dark and comfy 'cinema' for the IFP Doc Lab. The filmmakers are amazing, excited and engaged and with promising projects you doc programmers should look out for. i sort of feel like i just figured out how to live here and now i'm leaving. it'll be good to be home and sleep in my own bed and have space and trees and the cat around me, but i'll miss the constantly good people watching, vast options for restaurants and walking aimlessly.
so, I'm here another week and a half, what should I do? also, No Country For Old Men is out this week, who wants to go?

Monday, October 29, 2007

other party

zombie julia child is making braaaaaaiiinnns crepes. for your mother-in-law.

more pics here.

halloweekend party

gracious hosts Astronaut Jones and his bustalicious martian babe

bun-in-oven and tourist new baby-daddy.


bjorks heart sexy chef

halloween picmails

patterson ave. pumpkin

nurse ratchett hair

puppies love you.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Night Walks

Walked around Prospect Heights with s.m. last night, there was a nearly full moon and cool air and it was great.
Came across a film shoot, all the trailers, a huge Arri truck, and knew something was happening. The permit posted said the film was 'Righteous Kill' but i'd never heard of that and was wondering if you could put pseudonyms on the permit. Everyone here is abuzz about the new Cohen brothers movie Burn After Reading with Brad Pitt and George Clooney, so we pushed our way thru - not really there wasn't much security so we just wandered in.

But no, it was Righteous Kill, stars none other than Al fucking Pacino and Robert fucking De Niro; Scorsese is rumored to be IN it, along with 50 Cent and John Leguizamo. Some hardboiled New York cop crime drama, not the metalhead horror flick we were assuming based on title. We might have seen a scene involving Shirly Brener or Trilby Glover or some other blondie standing on the stairs of a brownstone. I really wish we'd hung around a little more.

Monday, October 22, 2007

secret vegetable! (butternut squash)

Once, Dave received a 'secret vegetable' in the mail, the previously unknown butternut squash, a hard winter squash from the Hampshire College CSA share i had with Mod 80.
Unknown, as in 'What the fuck do i do with this?!' Because soup or mash w/brown sugar can only be tolerated for so long, because it is cheap as hell and in season right now, here is what you do:

Butternut Squash-Black Bean Tacos
serves 3
  • find a small butternut squash in the fridge where you are housesitting, at the farmers market or grocery. if you are feeding more than three, get a big one!
  • chop it in half with the biggest knife you can find. watch your fingers, these things are hard! peel the skin off - it will help to cut it into even smaller pieces. some schmancy stores sell the squash cut/peeled already, but using this method also uses more packaging, so forget it.
  • cut the peeled chunks into small pieces - about 1/2" cubes.
  • get out a big frying pan and heat olive oil in it over med-high heat. add the squash, try to make sure its only in one layer on the pan. Saute squash about 8 min until it's nearly fork-tender and browning.
  • while squash is sauteing, mash 2 cloves garlic, chop fresh sage, and slice a red bell pepper. when squash is tender, add all to the pan.
  • Continue saute about another two minutes, till peppers are soft, then add 1 can black beans, with most of the water drained off.
  • season with the juice of half a lime, hearty shakes of cumin, salt, pepper, hot sauce, adobo powder, whatever else you like.
  • When everything is hot and delicious eat with corn tortillas, guacamole, tomatillo lime salsa(if you're feeling like you love my recipes), cheese and on the couch in front of trashy television like Cribs, garbage pop videos, The Office or Dr. Who. or at the dinner table discussing your day, politics, art, and social constructs, like normal people.
House-sitting for a friend in Prospect Heights, and it's changing my whole attitude about New York. Of course, it helps that she has an effin YARD that includes a patio, sage & roses, a blue jay, & a Sunday morning wedge of sunshine to sit in while you eat breakfast and listen to the church bells. While she seems to have scored a good deal for a small apartment with a yard and a short walk to the subway, it's all relative, and dave and I would both have to be earning three times what we are to afford it. Sad!
But, this fake living in Prospect/Crown Heights has made me feel more excited about the potential to live in Brooklyn for longer than three months.
Went to the Farmer's Market Saturday, and made out like a bandit with local apples, yellow wax beans, garlic, red chard, red pepper, green grapes, cheese, tomato, pear cider and wheat boule. $20. The strange fall weather is putting tomatoes and fresh corn on the same table as winter squash. J & I feasted on butternut squash-black bean tacos before freely-poured wine at Patio Lounge. Tonight: something with yellow beans &/or chard.

Friday, October 19, 2007

movies on a rainy day!

wowee-wow-wow! there's a lot of cool movie news today!

1. Spike Jonze (director, Being John Malkovich, assorted music videos for bjork, rem, etc.) and Dave Eggers (writer, McSweeny's, A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius (which actually just might be)) have be shooting an adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are due out December this year. 'Someone' has leaked a still of it and it looks beautiful! can't wait for the trailer!

2. "Twin Peaks" gold box edition. oh god. i want it. all episodes, two pilots, effin POSTCARDS, and oodles more. Not to mention, it's full of secret-filled coconuts, checkered rooms, and dancing midgets. i heard that gum you like is coming back in style. if you're shopping for it too, amazon's got it for $65.

3. Star Trek XI: Wherein Kirk Loses His Virginity & Becomes An Intergalactic Slut. Im a nerd. i blame juliana for my thinking its ok to like this show. there's a new movie coming out, a prequel to the original set of movies, showing Kirk and the gang at Starfleet academy! oooh! honestly, i'll probably netflix it, but they've cast real trekky Simon Pegg (Sean of the Dead) as Scotty, and a teen heartthrob (and former L.Lo co-star) is Kirk. amazingly, both Leonard Nimoy and the bad guy from Heroes are playing Spock. Very illogical. Will this manage to be as full of racial stereotypes as the original? only time will tell.

4. Movies I want to see:
My Kid Could Paint That - silverdocs alum Amir Bar-Lev's doc about a young girl who might be a genius painter, or maybe her parents are fakers. you decide!

Darjeeling Limited - the latest from Wes Anderson. three brothers owen wilson, adrian brody and jason schwartzmanon, a train trip, with the always elegant angelika houston as their nun-mother, and another excellent soundtrack by Jim Dunbar.

Random aside! Dunbar is apparently also doing the soundtrack for an upcomng narrative adaptation of the Maysles' bros. cult documentary Grey Gardens starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange! omg!

Wristcutters - A Love Story - a roadtrip in purgatory? Tom Waits as some kind of sage? im intrigued!

coming soon: No Country For Old Men. the new one from the Cohen Bros. and a return to their darker days. looks scary, about a guy killing for fun, and unlike anything i would normally go see. out Nov 9!

ok, thats a lot of movies. now that the sun is out (briefly i think) im off to eat some food. another productive day at the office!

Friday, October 12, 2007

al gore, peace prize winner

You've probably heard well before reading it here that Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize, along with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -
"for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."
Now, I agree that this is a very important issue, vital to the survival of the Earth, at least it's survival in a way that makes it still inhabitable for the rest of us. And, that Gore, and An Inconvenient Truth has been a good face for the movement, somehow giving a kind of red-carpet celebrity cred to usually dry science. But is it worthy of a Peace Prize?

Is Al Gore, made of the same kind of stuff as the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King Jr, the Quakers, the Red Cross and other non-violent leaders? Is global ecological stability the same field as peace? Some have argued that drought and the resulting population displacement are the catalyst for the war in Sudan, so if atrocity like this could be prevented by reducing greenhouse gasses i suppose that is akin to peace. but, is it the same? be continued with a rant about why Dems should stop worrying about Gore as the top candidate for POTUS. get over it...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

life plan?

PurgeandSerge boldly posted her life plan this week for the world to see. a life plan is scary; do i really want to commit, on paper, or even mentally to hard goals to achieve? what if i don't accomplish them; then where will I be? what kind of goals are appropriate for a life plan? should a plan necessarily have deadlines? Isn't the five-year plan for yuppies and bankers?

but, i do sort of have one. Mostly, it involves being happy and creatively engaged in my life and work and having a plant-filled porch, stoop, balcony or even a yard, definitely a cat and probably a dog & my inspired and satisfied fellow, and could even include some brilliant and unique munchkin of mine running around (but not for a good chunk of years), in some city, somewhere. a good view of the moon and stars at night is preferred. Piles of money gained thru surprise inheritance or the Virginia Lottery are optional.

I went to a psychic this weekend and she told me to make three wishes & tell her two. i sort of made up some bullshit on the spot, because a wish seems a lot to think about and i don't really wish for things. I mean, i wish for the new Puma Ferro boots that are hot and $400, a vacation to somewhere beautiful like the Icelandic hot springs, and other obtainable but not really financially reasonable desires, but i don't think a hot autumn wardrobe was the wish she had in mind.
Am I supposed to wish for big things?
I feel like all the things i want are, for the most part, within my grasp, and if they're not, no wishing will make it true. was I supposed to wish for peace? for that big pile of money? Not that she really could have helped me, she's not a genie, and mostly 'Mama R' was a lot of showman ship, but she did prime me for an upcoming meeting with another gifted friend, sometime soon...

so, what do you think, am i just a hardened cynic and a realist? do you have three grand wishes?

give me a break.

Apparently, Warner Bros. president of production has decreed that "We are no longer doing movies with women in the lead." Can we all say "What the fuck?!" loudly and in unison? This per the Deadline Hollywood Daily blog (Huffington Post cited it, so perhaps it is really true?). ugh. apparently their reason (blatant sexism) is the declining box office - definitely the result of casting women as leads, and not just green-lighting terrible, not believable, trite and recycled films.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

the best thing i've eaten this week (so far)

Rickshaw Dumpling's Chocolate Shanghai Soup Dumpling.
Mochi stuffed with liquidy chocolate rolled in black sesame and fried. hot, sweet, chewy, delicious.

Close 2nd: Juliana's veggie tomato sauce. fresh and savory. thanks!

(thanks internet for this photograph)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

in continuing with my theme of hidden evil,

Ii'm pointing you to the notorious Crazy Mike's Maine-based photoblog, in which he shows that he lives between good and evil, and that the devil drives a dirt bike.

woodland creatures

if i had a yungun, or if i loved someone that did, they would always be getting knitted toys like this one from the latest knitty:

because amorphous creatures living in a tree are everyone's favorite.

then again, maybe it's a great, lightweight prop for a Log Lady halloween costume.

Why Am I obsessed with David Lynch today? ("My Log has something to tell you.")

david lynch hearts gucci?

Selected for his "holistic ability as an artist," strange film auteur David Lynch has done a perfume ad for Gucci.

Looking not unlike Inland Empire, lights flicker and women dance alone in palatial rooms to Blondie's "Heart of Glass," thou they're more brightly lit than typical Lynch fare. Unlike IE, the women don't have Lynch's favorite look of 'a woman in trouble' thou it seems he wishes they did. The fear and trepidation of real trouble never glimmers behind the model's eyes. Dressed in Gucci's trademark brown satin and talking on antique telephones, these women just seem a little drunk.

Nevertheless, when a major filmmaker, known for bizaare, scary, nonsensical films, undertakes a 30-second spot for haute couture, it's worth a look. Is he broke? Is he throwing himself into work after a breakup with his wife? Is he model-hunting? Or, does he just love any opportunity to work with beautiful women, a full crew, and on someone else's dime?

In other Lynch-related news, did you notice that Leland Palmer (Laura Palmer's dad on Lynch's Twin Peaks; Ray Wise to his family), is playing the Devil on the CW's new mad-cap soul-stealing comedy "The Reaper"? Directed by Kevin Smith (Clerks), it's no short leap to assume that Smith cast Wise because of Twin Peaks, and his strange and disturbing performance as the Season 2 embodiment of Evil BOB (hope I haven't spoiled the ending for you). Smith is a sucker for an obscure pop culture reference (me too). And honestly, BOB is one of the scariest villans ever. Even this photographgives me chills and I might have to take it off the blog; i just can't have him creeping around down here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cooked Books: Apples

Cooked Books: Apples features a recipe for mac+cheese with an apple compote. i was just pointed to this blog by the NY Public Library's cookbook expert and I'm already in love!

how does email posting work?

here's a test email post of an old pic of me and Jim Jarmusch and Tiffany from AFI.


funny, just found this pic on my jumpdrive, and not sure why it's there. it's from x-mas. top left is elise giving jesse some kind of hot latin something, and kirsten who was sister-babyfocused at the time is top right, blown out-dave below - all at helens. juliana eats a sandwich somewhere in richmond.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

one breath away from mother oceania

hi! missed you at Bjork last night. an amazing show. she was wearing some ridiculous-amazing gold lame ruffley-flouncey dress and silver tights, barefoot, with the Icelandic Wonderbrass band, giant towers of fire, confetti and streamers, lasers and smoke machines. Her voice gives me goosebumps and has more emotion and joy than one usually encounters. She sang hyper-ballad, pagan poetry, cover me, i miss you, oceania and new stuff I haven't memorized yet. Our seats were mediocre, but we could see and hear.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Went home to this weekend and was happy to see that our community garden plot was overflowing with the tomatillo plant. Good to get into the garden and squeeze the papery husks trying to figure out what a ripe tomatillo might feel like, pick green-beans and see what our neighbor-growers have going.

With our bumper crop and two batches of Tomatillo-Lime Salsa under my belt, dave, jen & I made a tasty, citrusy Tomatillo Ratatioullie with 1 medium homegrown eggplant (stolen from a lazy harvester), a glut of tomatillos, 1 can diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, cheap white wine and wholepaycheck's 'sicilian spiced' green olives (with mustard seeds?). pretty tasty served with polenta and some Chimay hard cheese. a fine end to the last day of summer.

Dave finally found a suitable case for the theramin he's been working on all summer; so stand by for his photos & hopefully sounds of that... I love that so much is home-made here; somehow there is time & space & creativity to make all sorts of homebrews (including dave's recent endeavor with our bumpercrops - basil infused vodka). basil-lemon beer to follow? I miss the falling apartment, and I can't believe that the Chois (our bodega-running Korean landlords downstairs) are thrilled to see me and give me free bottled water on my depart. Dave & I are like their weirdo foreign kids. It only reminds that this is where i'd much rather be; if only the rest of DC were so inviting....xoro