Monday, December 31, 2007
anyway, i usually try to ignore modern love but the premise of this week's column was irresistible: a divorced 46-year-old woman decides to marry her friend's brother. sounds boring and predictable, right? joke's on you - the friend and brother are chinese, and the latter lives in china. having never met the brother, the intrepid divorcee flies to china, says yes to the man's halting proposal, "do you want to marry?" and brings him back to albany, new york.
this discomfiting column appears to be an exploration of the old cliche, "all chinese people are bad drivers". and guess what, it's true! not only that, they speak poor english, albeit in an adorable and semi-exotic fashion (His voice was balm to my nerves, and the monthly rice-paper letters were always from “the brootom” of his heart) and all white people who travel to asia feel like scarlett johansson in my least favorite movie ever (describing the beijing airport: This was unlike an American crowd, where you feel harried, even accosted. There, I sailed comfortably through a sea of introverts.).
ick. i just thought of my first new year's resolution: stop reading modern love.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
i wish they'd sold these posters in the gift shop. i sure would've bought one.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
i've complained from time to time about how bored i've been of late by indie rock. perhaps this is a combination of my own laziness, which has pretty much stopped my pursuit of new music, and the fact that a lot of bands who showed promise seemed to putter out. anyway, i gave a listen to many of the songs on the pitchfork 100 list [insert c4ts' disapproval here], in an uncharacteristic show of...i guess initiative? well, not really - after all, i'm listening to music culled and compiled by a bunch of smug know-it-alls. i'm just a lemming. harvey lemming.
anyway, listening to these gave me some hope, although a fun single doth not a great album make. and c4ts, i wrote this in my comment to your post of jens lekman, but the one single pitchfork chose for this list actually made me angry. i had to stop listening. i find him to be insufferable.
oh yes, i meant to ramble on some about the korean election. i'm a bit torn about this guy. i like his hardscrabble background, the fact that he showed signs of an anti-authoritarian bent from an early age by protesting the government's desire to improve diplomatic relations with japan. not to mention, i always questioned the efficacy of this so-called "sunshine policy". sure, it yielded the lone nobel laureate in korean history (i believe), but kim jong-il be crazy, dude. he's starving his own citizens. call me cynical, but he's not going to capitulate bc you offer some niceties.
anyway, i've not yet spoken with my parents about this, but i think my dad's stance is that "well, lee's the lesser of the evils". but is he? what about this corruption charge? do the koreans really want a president rendered impotent by an indictment?
this lee guy seems very result-oriented, sometimes bending the rules to suit his needs and goals. i'm not sure if i can be fully on board with that. i understand you have to grease some palms to make things happen, but haven't we had enough corruption in korea?
btw c4ts, my friend at work today pointed out exactly why i feel uncomfortable with haircut 400 (even beyond this very perturbing rumor of an extramarital affair. lord, please tell me this man wasn't cheating on his CANCER-STRICKEN WIFE). i admire his message and i think his whole "son of a millworker" thing isn't a shtick. it's damn hard to be in the running for president when you're the son of a millworker. but you know, john edwards just seems to really enjoy his money and flaunt it: his ginormous house, his extravagant haircuts, his general opulence. his actions and his message are completely misaligned and, yeah, i know, i can't vote, but i can't trust this dude either.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
1. it featured "cuisines around the world" - "asia" (moo shoo pork or something, which was tasty, some type of noodle dish which was not. inexplicably, the sushi was in a separate room), "americas" (mini burgers, quesadillas containing what i said was chicken and what my officemate said was potato), and some others, but who am i kidding? i'm at a party with coworkers: more alcohol, pleeze.
2. people are really into the electric slide.
3. somehow they got the rights to put on a display of fireworks over the east river. i was pretty impressed. well, mostly because they coordinated the fireworks to music, including some michael bolton song i couldn't place (something about "belonging here" or "living the dream" - couldn't google it either) and...chariots of fire. very totalitarian. or maybe olympian?
4. i had a good time, but there will be no photos of me dancing by myself on my firm's intranet this time around, as there were last year. slowly i'm winning my dignity back, one fewer hip gyration at a time.
on a semi-related note, i thought that "left behind", that popular series of apocalyptic christian books, was just that, religious. well, who knew it had such a pointed political agenda? i read in an article (was it here?) that apparently, according to these books, after jesus' second coming the secretary general of the UN is the antichrist? is ban ki moon aware of this?
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Ignoring the preliminary questions (e.g., what kind of person, upon getting the shit kicked out of him by neo-Nazis, strikes faux-prize-fighter poses like the Post is his Facebook page?; when the one attacker gets out of prison, having served time for his previous hate-crime, will the military accept his application? (rhetorical, LOL); it really took five people to write/contribute to this story??), can I just say this: this whole affair is deemed newsworthy (or as newsworthy as it is) because a "modest" and "hero[ic]" Muslim saw fit to help a couple of Jews avoid the wrath of psychopaths--that is, a Muslim behaved so far out of stereotypical character he merits "serious reportage" (3rd LOL). Now I know the Post would've run a story anyway, even if the guy weren't Bangladeshi, but the angle of the reporting is what interests me.
And yet, despite the angle, and though my heart isn't warmed--Lord Christ in heaven above--I know this is actually progress for our fat, dumb country. That said, what I still want for ChristmukkahEid (I added the Ay-rab holiday too, like it matters to anybody!; 4th LOL) is for people to stop asking where are all the moderate Muslims? How come they don't speak out? No one's given us much a forum in which to, and the New York Post is genuinely astonished that in the city of New York even one of us exists.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
anyway, the journey toward the union of anat tsipora grosfeld and anthony alexander donn begins on the upper east side, where anat's bridal shower was held (too bad, boyz. ladies only). the invite looked like this (sorry, don't know how to rotate):
there were a few missteps along the way. i dunno, i'd never been to a wedding shower before, so i politely asked the hostess in my RSVP whether i had to bring gifts that complied with the theme. apparently my question was too obvious because nobody responded. i was on my own.
i got off the crosstown bus in advance of the party's start time. i vaguely recalled reading that it's rude to show up early to a party and since i figured this would be a proper event (despite the fact i wore jeans--oops. i think the fact i remembered to bring a camera redeemed me somewhat), i decided to wander a little.
well, thank god i frolicked. look at this store i saw on lexington avenue.
unfortch, catherine keener wasn't there, and both sadly and kind of predictably, it had gone out of business:
delicious fondant cake (i think that's what it's called. anyway, it was mmm good):
anat received a breakfast in bed tray.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Jaleel White is 31
i mean, the olsen twins being old enough to buy and sell a multi-million dollar townhouse is one thing, but when did urkel age?
i gotta go lie down or something.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
yeah, i like jigga-man. "threat" on the black album is one of my favorite songs featuring sound effects (shooting bullets) and i think american gangster would be a worthwhile purchase. turns out i'm not the only korean who appreciates hova. ban ki moon, yes, the secretary general of the UN, issued the following statement about jay-z:
i’m proud that this award has been given to Jay-Z for his work with the United Nations and MTV on “Water for Life”.
My man Jay-Z has been a wonderful partner to the United Nations, and a champion of those in need around the world.
More than one billion people have no access to safe drinking water. Two billion lack adequate sanitation. As a result, thousands of children die every day from diseases that could be prevented.
When world leaders adopted the Millennium Development Goals, they pledged to change all that. They promised, by the year 2015, to cut by half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water.
Let us hold them to that promise.
Let us free all those without water and sanitation from this hard knock life.
Let us give them water for life.
hey, who said blacks and koreans can't get along?
Friday, November 23, 2007
We left early Wednesday afternoon-- bracing for the rowdy, pre-tryptophan crowds--but SFO was a ghost town. The plane ride was memorable only because the mustachioed flight attendant passed out cheeseburgers he insisted were made of soy, despite the 42-point-font "beef" stamped on the wrapper. I love watching people wage losing battles: a whole bunch of perturbed maybe-vegetarians drew the mistake to his attention, but he insisted the label was a misprint. Even an appeal to his co-flight-attendant yielded a dismissive "you must be hallucinating," but he stuck to his guns.
We changed planes in Houston--Bush Intercontinental--where the picture above was taken, and my question to you, reader, is not what's up with the airport bookstore which, along with no fewer than 12 ideologically like-minded great works, put the following books on display in the window? See here, here, and here. (I like that the author of the first two lives in a "secure, undisclosed location," simultaneously paying homage to his bloodthirsty demigod and luxuriating in the paranoid fantasy that he might be some suicide bomber's prime target.)
No, my question is when did George H.W. Bush become motherfucking John Henry--chiseled abs, broad shoulders, Saddam-like stature and all? A man who's most memorable for vomiting on the Japanese Prime Minister and for evoking a Mr. Burns-esque sense of human decay has now been reimagined as some sort of frontier hero. Ninja, please.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
so...one of the innumerable unfortunate fallouts of sasha frere-jones's "miscegenation" article in the new yorker is that it encouraged david brooks to put his two cents in. typical david brooks, his two cents arrived about 6 weeks too late. but he'll have you know, he's hip, he's with it.
i can't even muster up the energy to write about his column. as usual, it boggles my mind that he has this incredible forum and he wastes it on nonsensical drivel like this:
But cultural history has pivot moments, and at some point toward the end of the 1970s or the early 1980s, the era of integration gave way to the era of fragmentation. There are now dozens of niche musical genres where there used to be this thing called rock. There are many bands that can fill 5,000-seat theaters, but there are almost no new groups with the broad following or longevity of the Rolling Stones, Springsteen or U2. (emphasis supplied)
It seems that whatever story I cover, people are anxious about fragmentation and longing for cohesion. This is the driving fear behind the inequality and immigration debates, behind worries of polarization and behind the entire Obama candidacy.
oh hey, look at me! i'm david brooks! i'm on pbs! look how nicely my scant knowledge in music and politics dovetails!
anyway, this gawker post does a better job than i could. besides, is there a better tag than "bozos in paradise"? hehe.
Monday, November 19, 2007
as i wrote before, i hit a snag on my way home from vacation. essentially, my luggage was lost somewhere in brazil because my originating airline (TAM) neglected to transport it to my destination airline (delta). i've had airlines lose my luggage before, and the only way for me to check its status was to either (1) religiously log onto a website and enter the case number or whatever they give you or (2) call a 1-800 number and waste about 30-40 minutes of your day, at which point you end up talking to a random, unconnected individual at a call center nowhere near where your luggage probably is. with option (1), unless the news is good, you really have no relief, and with option (2), whether the news is good or bad, the person at the other end of the phone probably can't do much.
while trying to figure out whether my luggage was insured, i discovered that american express had this program called "global assist". as molly pointed out to me, the main character in the talented mr. ripley goes to the amex office a lot (y'know, cause he's an aspiring debonair international man of mystery). sure enough, the "american express clerk" receives billing in the movie.
long story short, you can outsource this entire process! a very patient and helpful woman from american express called delta on my behalf everyday, then relayed the information to me. i think i saved about 2-3 hours in the aggregate.
look at all of these other things they'll do on your behalf--for free:
- We’ll provide you with the contact of family and/or friends in the event of an emergency situation.
- If you lose something while traveling, Global Assist will help you search for the lost item. We will need to have basic information about the item and where it was lost in order to provide the fastest service.
- Global Assist provides help in arranging bail by locating bail bond agencies that take the American Express Card.
Friday, November 16, 2007
i highlight only the best quotes:
A wall divided the living room, creating a third bedroom. The guys were investment bankers, “and were making way more money” than she and the friends she was planning to live with earned, Ms. Stephens said. (Two-bedrooms in Stuyvesant Town start at $4,025.) The wall was so nicely installed it looked like “part of the original structure," she said.
It was on to Brooklyn. “Every place I looked, I looked because people had told me about it,” Ms. Stephens said. “It was all hearsay: So-and-so is living in this neighborhood; you should look there. I guess we were looking in Park Slope. We didn’t know much about Brooklyn.” But it felt far away, and nothing there seemed worth the price.
[Ed note: these girls were willing to spend nearly $2,500 for a 1-bedroom. What were they looking at?!]
Ms. Stephens had Stuyvesant Town in the back of her mind. Now that she was certain she had a roommate, they could afford a one-bedroom. With a wall, of course. Ms. Pakfar wasn’t sure what Stuyvesant Town was. “I had seen it in a cab going down the F.D.R., and I always thought it was projects,” she said.Both are happy in their new home. “It feels very grown up and clean,” Ms. Stephens said. Some of her colleagues and former sorority sisters also live in Stuyvesant Town, so “I have neighbors I know, which is nice when you are moving away from home.”
[Note to self: don't go to Stuy-town]
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I'd been swept up in the hype.
Then on Sunday I went to see extremely hyped film, Michael Clayton, prepared to be disappointed despite (in fact because of) the critical drool it's inspired, but then another strange thing happened. It was an astonishing. I've little new to say about it, other than the fact that I am thankful there are movie stars like George Clooney around, ones who risk their movie star goodwill for films that our fat, dumb country won't go see. How long can that possibly last? As the writer's strike drags on, and an increasing emphasis is put on the bottom line (especially with b.s. fears that piracy is cutting into studio profits) how many movies for adults can we really expect in the coming years?
Monday, November 12, 2007
1) book your flight out of buenos aires on a barely functioning airline.
2) make sure you make your connection to nyc in sao paulo, at a barely functioning airport.
3) realize - after your airplane has landed at a different airport (campinas?) than its intended destination - that you are 20 minutes away from missing your flight to nyc...the ONLY flight to nyc that day.
4) finally, after landing at the correct airport, finally, neglect to pick up your luggage bc you foolishly believed, as you were told, that your bags would be waiting for you beyond customs.
5) realize this list is both long and boring and just let people know that you were delayed for 24 hours in sao paulo, finally arrived in nyc at 8am and got to work 2 hours later.
6) you are hopped up on caffeine yet borderline comatose.
and your bag is somewhere between brazil and here...
huh what? kanye's mom died?! omg, giuliani won the coveted 700 club vote? oh wait, maybe he won't be prez?
Monday, November 5, 2007
So, it's only sensible that as my homeland descends into typicality, I should feel the urge to blog about it. However, I didn't opine on the state of Pakistani affairs when the chief justice was sacked initially several months ago; nor did I weigh in when Generalissimo Musharraf reneged on his promise not to stand for reelection whilst in uniform. I suppose I was a bit blog-shy because my posts about the dead Pakistani cricket coach yielded little attention from you, fickle reader.
Alas, that said, this news is a big deal, or at least the MSM is making it out to be. I remember when I was a kid it was a big deal when anything related to Pakistan made its way into the newspaper; now Pakistan's as big a story as the Duke rape scandal (though not quite as big a story as the overdose death of a soft-core pornography star). Before the blowhards and alarmists of the world come to completely dominate this story, let me wipe some of the saliva from their glee: It ain't no big deal. Sure, Musharraf's suspended civil liberties, quashed thousands of dissenting voices, made a mockery of the terror threat by exploiting it for political gain, asserted himself in the workings of a so-called independent judiciary, and willfully misinterepreted the Constitution.
But it's how we do in Pakistan; it's how we've always done, and nothing about it should be unfamiliar to those of us who've lived in America the last six years.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
stay with me here, but what's fred armisen all about? where did this dude come from? how did he end up creating this new site with one of the sleater kinneys? anyway, i started listening to the woods this morning and it made me wish for a giant reunion tour--sleater-kinney and pavement. i'll throw built to spill in there, too, although i'm pretty sure they're still together. i'll pretend i'm still 20 and afraid to go to alphabet city.
what's that you say, sasha frere jones?
btw, c4ts - why do magazines in asia always have white women (and blondes, at that) on the cover? shit makes me ill.