party people, it has been far too drizzly for me to camp in the plaza and write out posts; for that i apologize. little of interest has happened this week, though i can report that the celebrities are surging ahead once more in their smack-down with the union inflatables. last friday i paced around the courtyard next door with peter gallagher, who looks exactly like peter gallagher. i would have made my customary asinine "o you're neat!" comment - and damn it, i had my digital camera and everything - but i recognized him and made a face that said "ah, you're the one i was hired to kill!" rather than "sandy cohen, woo!", so he scurried away once he hung up his cell phone. this was probably for the best.

rats: 3.5
star: 4

via caterina, another music prompt:

total volume of music on my computer: 2.21 GB. i've been lazy about schwonking things from home to the ipod.

the last cd i bought: maple leaves, jens "fifteenth hottest swede" lekman. not as utterly solid as the you are the light ep, but "black cab" is the best song i've heard in a year. captures a customary mood of mine quite handily, and it's purty.

song playing right now: "lost in the supermarket," the clash.

3 songs i listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:
"one more night," the stars. introduced at the concert as a "hall and oates" song about "fucking someone in order to kill them." can't comment on that, per se, but it's stoic and haunting and, well, mint. in heavy rotation for the last month.

"500 (shake baby shake)," lush. carefree britpop love song to a car with simple, feel-good rhymes and a catchy guitar line. i hunted for this (and sang it for a few unlucky record store employees) for years before learning the real title. i can be slow like that.

"don't mug yourself," the streets. though i've lived with the joe for (gulp) five years, i think it's safe to say no one is whipped. this track is worth it for the goofy ending alone, but the laddish advice is pretty solid as well. mike skinner, my panties are yours.
3 people to whom i'm passing the baton: commenters, this bud's for you.

every few years i return to the opinion that, though i don't really care for the great gatsby, fitzgerald is one of my favorite american writers. this time the tide of warm fuzzies is due to a copy of afternoon of an author that fell into my lap last weekend. "how to live on $36,000 a year" (cough) and "how to live on practically nothing a year" remind me of the new yorker's better "shouts and murmurs," and the basil duke lee stories - particularly the last few lines of "basil and cleopatra" - are the sort of pitch-perfect stuff on adolescence i'd give my left eye to write:
The wind blew through them, trumpeting that high white note for which he always listened, and the thin-blown clouds, stripped for battle, passed in review. The scene was of an unparalleled brightness and magnificence, and only the practiced eye of the commander saw that one star was no longer there.
i was thinking about that on the way to work this morning - the body parts, that is, i'd be willing to swap in exchange for a kick-ass book of poems. if, say, satan popped up and wanted to make a deal. about six toes would be okay, or six inches of overall height. an ear could be negotiable, or something on the right hand. i get the feeling i've been watching too many prime time medical dramas, or that i'm approaching writer's block in the wrong way.

post script: stewart reports that he would give satan just about anything that wouldn't kill him in exchange for the solution to global warming, which is how we know that he's a better man than i am.


ass adventure part iii. omen #1: the mannequin butt-and-leg i found on the street last fall and installed on our fire escape never enjoyed the seasonal decorations i'd planned: on a stormy night a few months ago, it went missing. joe blamed high winds for its disappearance, while i figured the building manager's aesthetics clashed with mine. i considered asking an earnest local government candidate about it at "drinking liberally" awhile back, but the mystery went unsolved. omen #2: i joined my boss and a few co-workers for tag-team visits to the guys selling $40 jeans from a truck on friday. after quick changes in my office / 'dressing room,' i sized up to a pair that, by the time i'd worn them around town on sunday, was several inches too large. where'd the ass go?

the signs became clear today, as my ass was dropped from the magazine. it's not my fault, the photo editor explained: initial cellulite wasn't there, my treatment didn't produce results, and (in a sense) my ass was cut for space. better to focus on big ticket procedures like acupuncture and lasers than on humble butt cream.

i feel a bit rejected, honestly. it took some nerve to offer myself up, raging insecurities and all, for a national publication, and come on, sticking those pictures in a scrapbook with my other 'published' stuff would have been somewhat awesome. then again, i mistook my ass for yet another co-worker's as i paged through the proofs in production today. what ownership can i claim of a body part i can't pick from a lineup?

at the end of the day, the adventure was still worthwhile. i won't have big glossy photos with which to people my grandchildren's nightmares, but i'm not planning on having grandchildren anyway. more importantly, i don't have to worry about future mutations of the college episode when lukas's co-workers found my column about him and pasted it (with author photo) all over the office. those? weren't pretty.


since i waited, what, four years to add comment links to the 'champ, you should know that i expect brilliance. or obscure soviet jokes. or galloping gangrene. bring it.


ass adventure part ii. [see posts 03.22.05, 03.23.05] as yesterday was the "after" photo shoot, my bum's progress is no longer news and i've said goodbye to the tub of jiggle-banisher. more outlandish poses requested at the studio, this time to make me look svelte and goo-transformed. i was shocked by the fine ass in the first resulting images; then i realized we were still looking at shots of my co-worker. my ass is virtually identical to its "before" shots, though the beauty editor likes my even tone and noted that, erm, i "tilt." initial conclusions: fanny cream isn't magical, but it did prompt me to tell people to touch my butt at parties. reports on pre-publication - as the ass-folder begins to make its way around the office - to follow.


though it seems incredible that our television could feel underappreciated, the television itself felt otherwise and went on grainy hiatus, last wednesday, to show us who's boss. pathetically, i watched scrambled sand-sculpture versions of lost and alias anyhow. when reception came back the next evening, we'd lost tbs (whatever) and gained the polish channel, cinemax (?!) and nyc tv 25, of which we'd never heard and to which we're hopelessly addicted. in addition to bringing us a brazilian girls music video featuring 1) shriners dancing with hot dogs, 2) a woman dressed in ikea paper lanterns and glasses made of thorns, and 3) arrogant monkeys, it introduced jens lekman, a swede who croons like morrissey, writes like stephin merritt, and was recognized by swedish elle as the fifteenth most attractive person around. i got his you are the light ep yesterday and have since improved myself with songs like "i saw her in the anti-war demonstration," i.e.
You're looking for me in the demonstration
Well I have already lost patience
And you might find me sitting by the pavement
Or maybe not, 'cause I have shrunk
I fell in love with a punk and she took my breath

Now there's nothing left
Of blood enough to feed a family
Well I just wanna feed Emily
With lukewarm English beer and vegan pancakes


the stars show at southpaw on saturday revealed several important things, a few of them being that indie gigs have no bad seats (i'm taller than most of the women and everyone else wears flats), good things come in greg kinnear-like packages (torquil campbell has the endearing habit of acting out his lyrics), and we need to see more acts in brooklyn (comfy venue, $5 drinks). i thought about buying a shirt, but i'm poor and the image of a seated man on fire has historical implications i didn't want to explore. instead i began a photo essay on hipster bathrooms (on my flickr page, now linked at top right).

in other music news, i checked in on trespassers william (local friends' band; my mother tells me anna-lynne and i were jungle gym buddies at costeau park way back when) and learned that said anna-lynne supplied vocals for "hold tight london," a track on the new chemical brothers album. bearing in mind that i know next to nothing about big beat, or anything else, it's pretty slick.