Monday, June 30, 2003

Oh dear. Sascha and I look like total fucking dorks in the New York Times. And I specifically instructed that photographer to make me look like a glamourous movie star. Damn her.

At least I'm in London. Hotel is gorgeous, and they're playing new agey music with little bird noises in it in the lounge.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

An old boyfriend has been reading my blog. I really wish he wouldn't. Sometimes I just hate the internet.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

I finally watched Errol Morris's documentary Fast, Cheap & Out of Control, which Belinda has been telling me about for years. It is truly amazing, maybe the best documentary I've ever seen. There is a shot of a four-legged robot bouncing down a hallway that I had to rewind and watch again because I have never seen anything like it in my life.

Of the four people profiled in the movie, my favorite is George Mendonca, the topiary gardener. Unlike the other three, he wasn't trying to change anything or learn anything or prove anything. He just dedicated his life to keeping something beautiful alive.

My affection for George Mendonca is related to Jessica's theory of the Void. All four of the men were in the movie because of the ingenious ways they had found to fill the void inside of them--with tigers or robots or mole rats--but somehow the gardener didn't seem to be trying too hard. His life seemed peaceful. He wasn't bothering anybody, and he didn't have that drive to keep messing with things that just seems to be making our world increasingly insane. He found a good way to be and he stuck with it.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Sascha is on his way to Tokyo. I feel kind of weird and needy.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Juliet's blog is quite brilliant. It makes me laugh every time I read it.

We're both going to be going on our first business trips soon. I'm going to London. She's going to Rochester, NY. Here is what she has to say about it:

"For the first time ever, I will be a business traveler. My company is sending me to Rochester, NY for business next week. Don't know why, but I am excited about it. I guess the fact that some people are so eager to work with me, and they are willing to pay for my travel, somehow proves my importance. I am like a little fish, swimming around at a little corner in a little corporate tank for years, finally have a chance to visit another tank. Even though the fish will be the same no matter which tank you visit, but still, something is happening in my dull corporate life, right?"

The London fish will have glamorous accents. So I'm thrilled.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Another New York Times article about the fire. My dad was quoted by the AP here and by the local paper here. He told me he gave them a much longer quote about environmental responsibility, but apparently that wasn't so interesting to them.

I was interviewed by the Times yesterday myself--on the subject of internet dating and my engagement to Sascha. Today, the photographer came and took pictures of us at home surrounded by computers (we do have quite a few computers). So maybe I too will have my 15 minutes. I do hope we look cute in the pictures.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Oh my God.

This is the town we spent every summer weekend at when I was growing up. Our house there has probably burned down; my dad built it himself. There was a big tree with a swing that went way out over a hillside. There was a trail up to the top of the mountain where there was a spring surrounded by mint plants. The water was ice cold and tasted like mint.

I wanted to take Sascha there. I wanted to take my kids there. I am in shock.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

This is amazing. I am going to take my toilet seat outside and spray paint it this weekend. If it ever stops raining.

I might spray paint a t-shirt too. hmm. I'm feeling all craftsy.

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Two good things that happened today:

1. I saw a man sharpening knives outside of a Pakistani grocery store on 30th Avenue. He was a big guy in a leather apron, and his grinding stone was bolted to the back of a bicycle and plugged in via an extension cord that ran into the store. He must ride from store to store on his bike grinding knives. I don't blame you if you find this hard to believe, but I saw it with my own eyes.

2. It rained very hard with lightning and thunder for 40 minutes and then stopped. Now the birds are singing outside.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Why do people lower their voices and look all sheepish when they describe someone as a "big black lady"? I wish they wouldn't; it gives me the creeps.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

So here is my first question about Matthew Barney and his Cremaster Cycle: Where the hell does he get all that money? According to this website, "Barney spent about $1 million of his own money on each installment of the series, earning it back through the sale of sculptures that were used as props in the films, as well as books and installations derived from them." But where did he get the million dollars in the first place?

If I had a million dollars, I could do better than this.

Question number two: Who wrote the curatorial wall text for the Guggenheim show? Was it supposed to be funny? Because I could not stop laughing. Especially when they talked about the "angry bagpipes".

Question 3: What happened to the soundtrack? Jessica was really upset about the dull and shoddy camerawork, but I could have lived with that if the soundtrack had added even the slightest bit of interest and polish to the proceedings. I mean, say what you will (and I will) about the content of his art; you have to admit the man has a HUGE imagination. If he had taken the time and effort and brainpower that he put towards his amazing strange baroque images, and their glossy, expensive, high-tech execution, and put even a fraction of it towards designing equally extravagant sound effects and an orchestral score...I can't even imagine how much better his films could have been. Really. They could have been wonderful.

Question 5: What does it all mean? This question could have been incredibly fun to ask and to wonder about. Right now, the Guggenheim museum is crammed full of Barney's sculptures, photographs and drawings, and they are amazing. Each one is so full of encoded meaning, and so beautifully constructed and composed. They look like artifacts from an alien civiliation, and you want to ask: What is that tool for? Is that thing edible? What is that buckle supposed to buckle to? What sort of body would that costume fit on? Is that picture frame made out of butter? Vaseline? Human fat?

Unfortunately, Matthew Barney feels the need to answer this question, and his answer makes the whole thing so tedious and disappointing. Why so much interest in fetal reproductive development, Matthew Barney? Does Matthew Barney have a teeny tiny penis? Or is he a hermaphrodite?

And what kind of person buys a souvenir Cremaster sweatshirt?

One thing I liked about Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle at the Guggenheim:

That every object was manufactured specifically for the films. Even things that could easily have been appropriated from elsewhere--a shoe, a piano, a glass case, a picture frame--appeared to have been created from scratch to be part of the Cremaster universe. And they were created properly too...Actually machined, factory-assembled, press-molded. So they look like real objects from a real world.

Check out Jessica's Matthew Barney review here.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Haven't written for a while, as J was visiting, and she is quite a handful.

Also, between making 200 wedding-themed buttons, enrolling in US History 152 (Civil War to the present), and planning S's birthday party, I have been a very busy girl. Stay tuned, though. I'll be posting soon to tell you exactly what is wrong with Matthew Barney and all about the weird dreams I've been having lately.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

This is the best article I've read so far about The Matrix Reloaded. I mean, if you care to geek out about the religious and philosophical symbolism of the movie, and guess what is going to happen next, this guy has some pretty good ideas. One thing I am sure of is that Zion is definitely in the real world. Other than that I really haven't got a clue.

I like how the Wachowski brothers cast women their own age and don't try to make them look young. I also like how the characters have this fixed look of concentration when they're fighting in the matrix that makes them look like they're playing computer games. Because they basically are, right? And also, I like the word Merovingian.