I've been gone far too long...in recompense here's a Lorrie Moore story I just read in the New Yorker yesterday while returning Christmas gifts.
Since I've blown right past the holidays, here are some pictures from our Christmas to keep the voyeurs occupied:
Our first turkey: cooked, stuffed and designed by JM. It tasted fantastic.
Our first tree--small, but what a great nook, eh? And let me tell you, it always looks like a lot of presents when you have a tree this size!
Since we now have a fireplace that has the right kind of hooks, the tradition about stockings suddenly makes a lot of sense.
Here's hoping your holidays have been as fun and festive as they can be, without leading to death or dismemberment to you or your loved ones.
Q: What kind of an idiot posts about being a bad cop?
A: The kind of person who is a bad cop.
A Michigan law student takes some time out to break out the legal ramifications of Sauron's offer to the Dwarves from LotR.
The Times has an article today on the overabundance of standing ovations. I tend to sit during ovations if I'm not into giving one, so I get to look at people's asses after the show--but I will add that this is more of an issue for Broadway houses than any other size, and the article should have considered that element--in smaller houses in New York there isn't any sort of guarantee that a standing ovation will occur, and generally I'd say that was a good thing.
I've received a flood of responses confirming that Portland is the mecca of stripping--apparently a combination of loose laws and laissez faire attitudes in the Northwest combine to give Portland an amazing quantity of strip clubs, making it the per capita leader in that area. Go Oregon!
From one of the responses:
I heard a similar description of Portland, my hometown, a couple months
ago, and I was puzzled too. I didn't think we had more strippers than
anywhere else, but maybe things have changed in the 16 years since I
moved to New York. I can tell you that I avoided strip clubs while I lived
there because I had at least three high-school classmates and two friends
of friends who were strippers, and I didn't really want to walk in and see
somebody I knew, um, performing. That's more strippers in Portland than I
know stockbrokers in New York, if that means anything.
I do have a happy holiday story to tell you. I worked at the Portland
newspaper for three years, including nights, weekends and holidays, and
one Christmas I was working the night shift and getting hungry. I called all
over downtown Portland and couldn't find a single restaurant open -- until
someone suggested calling the Carriage Room. In addition to offering
exotic entertainment, they could provide cheeseburgers for all. I walked
the two blocks from the office, and the only other people in the place,
besides me, the girls and the cook, were the cops. They have to eat too.
One of my loveliest Christmas memories.
Cops, strippers and stockbrokers. God bless us, every one.
Just got back from seeing A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant at the Housman. Very interesting and at times weird, it was a light entertainment with some great production values...I'm meeting with the folks who put the show together next week. If you can score a reduced price ticket it's totally worth gawking at--I think they are available at the 1/2 Price Booth in Times Square.
I was just reading an article which mentioned off-handedly that Portland, Oregon is the strip club capital of the United States.
What? Over Reno? Over Vegas? Over...a lot of other places? It just seems ludicrous. Does anybody know anything about this, or is this article just smoking crack?
Sign you live in New York City: on a whim you decide to get your Christmas tree at 2AM, and not only is that possible, there's a choice of vendors within walking distance so you can haggle a bit.
A week of silence. What happened? Updates later.
Meanwhile...from Mr. Tynes:
Online computer games often feature player-organized clans who play together on
multiple games, generally with colorful names ("The Blood Wargs"), a hierarchy,
rules, and the like. Then there's this guy on the Pirates of the Burning Sea
forums who uses the name "Ira Glass":
Some User: "Is this THE Ira Glass from TAL?"
Ira Glass: "I only wish I could be that cool. No, this is Ira Glass from the
(slightly misnamed) "NPR Clan" that was formed to play Return to Castle
Wolfenstein and has lately been capturing points in Battlefield 1942. You might
also see my friend Noah Adams, or my girlfriend Nina Totenberg.
NPR Clan : Excellence in broadcasting, asskicking."
This is a heads up for tonight: I will be reading at THE HAPPY ENDING READING SERIES, with Neal Pollack and Whitney Pastorek. I'll be discussing my own small experiences with literary feuds, and then drinking. The Happy Ending Bar is located at 302 Broome Street @ Forsyth; the reading starts at 8pm. Please drop by if you've got the time.
My good friend Colleen sends the best internet trash...what follows is a Christmas poem submitted to a human-computer interaction listserv with a focus on Children's Technologies (?) by one of its members.
Christmas time is mine,
It is all for me,
My sexual is it see,
Cubism did not fine.
I can line when I am hine,
I've got the sign,
It's dine, he died for me,
Not his mother for a fee.
Goodness is there, in stood,
Mankind shall stare and see care,
Gladness gives to me in there,
I can play and get my hood.
I hung it up, regality,
When I made the Mac, I made thee,
I could not slurl, for viscous joy,
In that I had my toy.
Oi, for I so loved the world,
That I sent my Son to furled,
So that anyone who fees
Do they say? No, I am the way,
I hay, bay bay bay,
Hay, hay, I May live,
Well, I say thrive.
They got it right, his sex and hers,
And assessed the earth for fare's,
I my intensions are with my,
My ram did not die, die, die.
The little dittie was a visual,
Mall did work, son, for all,
I got up and I did bay,
God loves us, me, I love you for the ball.
No, not iball.
Don't lay pray,
For I got god as well
Dr. Gilbert Cockton
Neat collision of graphics, porn, sociology and art: you can find portraits created by taking the mean average of every Playboy Playmate from the respective decades here. Particularly striking is the ongoing blondification.
Saw two pieces of pop culture tonight, one illuminating and the other deadening.
BAD SANTA: a fantastic romp, with more life and liveliness than the last ten holiday works I've seen come out of Hollywood. It's pricelessly campy and gross, and by blowing past all decency it actually finds a heart late in the film...I was really surprised at how good this film was.
THE SIMPLE LIFE: Paris Hilton's vehicle that sucked so much ass it resembles Paris Hilton in full slut-princess form. Hey, I like PAGE SIX--I am a longtime follower of Paris. Nevertheless, this is an insipid and limp excuse for a show, and the fact that FOX just paid $3 million more for another show with Her Nibs means brain death for everyone. We thought it would be funny to laugh at--we were wrong. We were so wrong.
My thanks on so many wishes for health and recovery! JM and I are feeling much better--we are condemning some sort of freefloating bug, or perhaps an errantly-cooked piece of calamari. The upshot is that we're back in action.
My friend John Moe did a piece on All Things Considered about the true ending to how the Grinch stole Christmas.
Chez Daisey is a house of illness today. If you're wondering where I am, I'm in the bed, convalescing.
Blogger was down for most of the weekend intermittently, so not so many updates...that's okay, as mainly you would have heard the sound of wind blowing and snow falling. It's quiet in the city.
I did go to a delightful show last night--Innocent While You Dream. I can only find this online for the show, from their audition calls, but it captures a bit of what we went to--short playlets set with a 4-course dinner in a SoHo dance space/loft. It ain't perfect, but it was a lot sharper than I thought it was going to be--NYC never ceases to amaze me with its small discoveries. The chef for the piece works at Chantrelle, and his work cemented my desire to eat there this winter.
Well, back to work--Monday comes up quick tomorrow, and I want to be ready for a new week.
My appearance on TechTV last night was a big success--I can tell because I've gotten a flood of mail from people who liked the segment, and I thought it went well, too. Ironically it is because i was late that it went so well--I was caught in a "terrorist check", or something like it, when they stopped my F train uptown at East 4th and held us there. Police then made everyone get off the train and dogs were sent up and down the train--presumably searching for something other than piss-stained winos and lechee nuts left by friendly Chinese men.
Then they let us all back on the train--fully half the people looked askance and didn't want to get on, but I was late and didn't think twice. After all, this train has been actually *checked*...I don't usually get that level of comfort.
Long story short, all these bomb-sniffing dogs made me almost miss my segment, which I think lent a harried, frenetic quality to the show which actually worked quite well. I don't want to do it quite that way again, but I can't knock what works.
The big storm has sprung early on us here in New York. Here are some photos:
This is the view out my front door, about an hour or so ago. Now drifts are actually forming and blowing up to the door--longtime readers may recall that last year we were actually snowed in, literally, after the biggest storm of the year.
This is our corner tree lot, where Christmas carols play continuously every last minute through the season. It's tremendously cute, a little too expensive and a lot of fun, principally because I don't live next to it, and so do not have to hear the music all the time. They're actually open 24 hours through Christmas, because if they leave the lot unattended people will steal trees.
I was planning on going to my LAIR in Dumbo today to work, but the snow caught me early. Now I am working away in the back while JM does the same in the front room--it's a small house of much typing in the snow this Friday.
I'll be on TechTV this evening, discussing Macintosh news and gossip, at about 7:10pm EST. I still haven't exactly established what I'm specifically talking about, so if anyone has a proposal, feel free to email me.
Not to belabor the obvious, but I am now back in NYC, readapting to the city, remembering where I left my socks and trying to get into the swing of things here.
Last night was the Little Gray Book holiday lecture and auction, an annual component of my holiday festivities. The bidding was fierce--I very nearly won a case of Wild Turkey whiskey for an absurdly low price before the rest of the room woke up to its value, robbing me. Oh well--it was worth it for the moment when Jean-Michele stuck her nails through my arm and hissed, "Why are you buying this?" Small pleasures.
I had an interesting experience at the lecture--an idol of mine was there and I didn't even know it. Because I have gone to so many LGB lectures, I don't prescreen them--I just go and see what happens. Consequently when a Welshman was introduced by Hodgman as a wildman and a player in many bands, no bells went off. Hodgman then listed a bunch of fake bands this performer had been in, ending with, "The Mekons"...and all I thought was, "Huh. That's funny. The Mekons are a real band."
Then the man got up--a largish fellow with a recalcitrant amp and an excellent guitar. And as he unfolded his story of being a wayward art student I realized slowly, ever so slowly, what many readers of this site already know because they are not as slow on the uptake as me--the guy was from THE MEKONS! It was Jon Langford! Holy shit on a cracker!
And man, he can play. And man, those songs were great...because I listened to them all summer in '92, and because it was so blessedly unexpected, and because, because, because. Between that and the live foie gras cooking demonstration on stage it was an absolutely kickass evening.
It's sad when your old employer's turn pathetic and senile--Tim Noah does an excellent shaming of Amazon's customer service. Namely, they work hard to ensure that you won't be able to call them, because that's convienent for them, especially as they fired all their experienced CS people a number of years ago and have been shipping as much of the work overseas to India as they can.
1-800-201-7575. That's the number. 1-800-201-7575.