i have a soft spot for inxs. for reasons now buried in the sands of time, my fourth grade boyfriend and i would sit for hours listening to kick (especially "guns in the sky"). i excavated my tape for the first time in years on (what i later learned was) the night michael hutchence died, which spooked me enough that i hid my cure albums for a week, just in case. though joe and i figured a reality show based on replacing him would be rather ghoulish, in practice it's both respectful and horribly addictive. an accomplished house band cancels the weird karaoke effect that soured so many american idol performances, and the contestants themselves are (mostly) older, seasoned performers. brooke "i replaced demi" burke is ryan seacrest's vapid analogue, but she's much easier on the eyes; dave navarro, in turn, is so very preferable to paula abdul that he should replace her as a general proposition. with the exception of j.d., a canadian former elvis impersonator who acts like creed's scott stapp and began a queen song by whispering "shh, shh...we are the champions," i think any one of the remaining singers could cut a respectable album with the band.* attention network execs: take a good look at rock star - inxs and adjust your reality projects accordingly.

*but IMHO, suzie or mig - even though, or perhaps especially because, he's in a band called mignition - should win.


101 in 1001: 031 visit the cloisters [completed 08.27.05]
the halls of stairs at the museum entrance had a heavy cinnamon-cedar smell. i asked the docent at the ticket counter about it; "we've got a few flowers up here," she said, gesturing at vials of anise. "there's also a ghost in that hallway who has great perfume." though the buildings themselves were erected in the '30s, most of the cloisters' doors and archways (and a few larger pieces) were trucked over from europe and incorporated in the architecture. the collection is itsy-bitsy compared to the gargantuan met's, of course, but quasi-functional galleries are far more interesting than your average flea market-style museum spreads. my amateurish photo set is up on flickr; the cloisters' loo, in which fellow touristas went medieval (shame, ladies!), is not pictured.


101 in 1001: 005 sell handmade (by me) goods at a craft show [in progress]
pack your bags for ohio, beanie koi: i got an acceptance note today for plush rush (online and) at acme art company's holidaze this christmas. the profit margin is low-to-nonexistent here, given the terms of submission: i'm sending 3 pieces, paying for shipping, and forking over 40% of their purchase prices if they sell. that said, they'll get some nice online exposure, i'll have commercial experience to flaunt in future pitches, and (most importantly) i have a time-sensitive reason to figure out presentation and pricing. hang tags are a given, but i'm on the fence about going complicated-cutesy (take-out boxes, inflated pet store fishie bags, something else?). have a look at the three travelers (a, b, c) - what fripperies could make you want to buy them? how much should i ask for each one?


despite valiant web efforts, no announcements on the 101 in 1001 front today. i thought of killing two birds with one stone and seeing elvis costello lecture and sing next month, but i don't have the $50 to spare. joe and i will be in arizona and california over the holiday weekend; maybe i'll do some heavy lifting out there. on that note, i've been shopping around for a new gym so i can get a few of those 100 workouts under my belt. the copy chief and i toured new york health & racquet, where the highly paid beautiful people take yo-tox classes and the saunas are lined with eucalyptus; the sales dude wildly overestimated my interest in luxury. "anyone can get a car," oozed he, "but people like us want the lamborghini." literally and figuratively, my reaction is the same: i can't even drive stick. i've been screening his calls and will check out the bally across the street next week.

as i write, i'm hunkered down between the roots of a tree in central park. when i look up, i see this:


we like new york.


new addition to the column at top right, as i've hopped on the 101 in 1001 bandwagon; briefly, the idea is to create a list of tasks to be completed over the course of a few years. my tasks range from gimmes (visiting a psychic, closing gaps in my reading list) to pie-in-the-sky stuff (visiting iceland, a bunch of publishing hurdles) and long-term craft projects; i think i'm pleased with the mix. progress will be cross-referenced in blog entries, ex

101 in 1001: 082 become an ordained minister [completed 08.19.05]
this was a total gimme, but hey, a girl's got to start somewhere. i applied to the universal life church in modesto on the strength of a link from modern bride; i wasn't particularly concerned about accidentally joining a cult, but references never hurt. per the confirmation of ordination, i can perform all rites and ceremonies of the church (except circumcision) and am "entitled to all privileges and courtesies normally offered to members of the clergy." i'm totally going on a blessing spree at lunch today.

:: 101 in 1001 ::

the premise, per triplux (a fine source for tips, scripts, and links to other lists):
The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as new year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

start date: 19 august 2005
end date: 16 may 2008

items completed: 036
items remaining: 065

items completed have bracketed numbers; i'll alter stats and supply completion details as appropriate. without further ado and in no particular order...

the list

001 write (publish) 3 'letters to the editor'
002 publish in 3 new (to me) literary journals
003 take trapeze lessons
004 visit iceland
[005] sell handmade (by me) goods at a craft show [see 08.26.05, 12.06.05]
006 crochet or hand-quilt a blanket [see 10.09.05]
[007] go vegan for at least 1 month [completed 02.01.06 - see 01.03.06, 01.10.06, 01.23.06, 02.01.06]
008 volunteer at an animal shelter for at least 1 month
[009] attend a taping of the late show with david letterman [see 10.19.05]
[010] attend a taping of (jon stewart's) the daily show [see 03.13.08]
[011] watch all of krzysztof kieslowski's dekalog [completed 01.27.08]
[012] write (publish) a mcsweeney's list [see 03.23.06]
[013] donate platelets at least 12 times [completed 03.26.08]
014 read gravity's rainbow (thomas pynchon)
[015] drink a pint of ale in oxford for my grandfather [see 08.20.06]
016 make felt out of cat hair
[017] work out at a gym at least 100 times [completed 03.30.08]
018 swim with the coney island polar bear club
[019] leave a casino with more money than i had when i entered [see 12.27.05]
020 take a road trip long enough to require a motel
021 take a foreign language class
[022] read the catcher in the rye (j.d. salinger) [see 10.04.05]
[023] read the grapes of wrath (john steinbeck) [see 10.20.05]
[024] grow kitchen-worthy herbs from seeds [photo set]
025 become certified to perform CPR
[026] quit smoking [last cigarette: 11.23.07]
027 sponsor an endangered animal
028 attend shabbat service at a synagogue
[029] visit jen and tom in chicago [photo set]
030 open a long-term savings account and reach a balance of at least $1000 [opened account 08.22.05] [current balance: $243]
[031] visit the cloisters [see 08.27.05]
032 read the book of mormon
033 read dianetics (l. ron hubbard)
034 learn to make swanky candles
035 see elvis costello in concert
[036] have a meal at a 'raw food' restaurant [see 10.16.06]
037 go one week without wearing black (including accessories and underwear)
[038] participate in a charity walk [see 03.09.08]
039 visit an acupuncturist
[040] have my palm read in a psychic's parlor [see 05.15.08]
[041] watch das kabinett des doktor caligari
[042] watch the terror of tiny town
043 sew an article of clothing
044 wear said article of clothing to the office
[045] earn (and get) a raise at work [see 04.12.06]
046 buy an apartment
047 get my initials on the galaga high scores list at crif dogs
048 contribute work to a gallery show
[049] get my damn wisdom tooth removed [see 01.07.08]
[050] complete at least 3 more learning to love you more assignments [completed 03.27.07]
[051] watch the godfather (parts I-III)
052 pet a skunk
053 visit a nudist colony
054 write a decent short story
[055] walk through a corn maze [see 09.16.07]
056 develop a kick-ass tofu recipe
057 get my name printed in the new york times
058 play 18 holes of golf
[059] score at least 3 bylines in national magazines (mine counts) [see 09.22.06, 02.07.07]
060 learn to drive stick
061 visit at least 3 cemeteries in the new york area
062 visit jake at penn state
063 attend mass at st. patrick's cathedral
064 participate in a parade
[065] (re)visit 221b baker street [see 03.23.06]
066 write in wet concrete
[067] find, purchase, and wear a decent pair of sunglasses [completed 04.17.08]
068 read a book assigned by paul [tristram shandy, laurence sterne]
069 take a computer-related class
070 clean the apartment within an inch of its life without help from joe
071 go to a fetish club
072 participate in a political campaign
073 visit utah for the sundance film festival
[074] tour the winchester mystery house [see 04.22.08]
075 spend the day at coney island
076 learn to read music
[077] visit a working farm [photo set]
078 design and print a (non-company) business card
079 learn to make preserves
080 send at least 12 homemade gifts for non-holidays [1/12 as of 09.16.05]
081 tour an abandoned subway tunnel
[082] become an ordained minister [see 08.22.05]
083 go on a hayride
084 submit a crossword puzzle for publication
085 perfect an oxford-worthy pudding recipe
[086] tour arizona mining towns with joe [photo set]
087 win a costume contest
088 volunteer at a community garden
089 frame my college diploma
[090] walk the length of manhattan [see 05.14.07, photo set]
091 play chess with a stranger
092 buy a jaw-dropping gown
[093] attend a lecture at the 92nd street Y [see 09.06.07]
[094] win at least $10 with a lottery ticket [see 12.27.05]
095 learn to identify at least 12 constellations
096 go birdwatching
097 take a martial arts class
098 finish watching all leprechaun movies
099 take joe to disneyland
100 make a rag rug
101 get a 'sister tattoo' with em and jo


jake was right; there are bagels in new york you just can't get anywhere else.



readers, i have failed. i sprinted out of work on friday, hoping to put together a wee photo essay on the general lee's appearance at the 56th street hooters, but rain was dissolving the group shot by the time i was within range. i got a picture of jumpsuited dukes of hazzard promo guys and an accidental two-second movie of a hooters girl with fat arms (ha!) running for cover, both nixed with a slip of the thumb on friday evening; sincerest apologies. in lieu of boobies, my favorite snippets from pauline kael's new yorker film reviews (june 1983 - july 1985):

(on footloose)
Footloose is what they're not.

(on risky business)
There's a stale cuteness in the idea; it's like a George Bernard Shaw play rewritten for a cast of ducks and geese.

(on al pacino's tony in scarface)
He's a pig rooting around in money and cocaine, and, as things go wrong, he snorts more and more. (This could be a summary of how some movies are made now.)

(on against all odds)
God, how I have come to hate car chases.

(on prince in purple rain)
He's a cutie when he dances.


as evidenced by my weekend of ovary smut, i have no problem with girlie trash. i find it nice, as a matter of fact - as long as it doesn't think it's something else. lauren weisberger's everyone worth knowing, for example, tries to pass itself off as a defense of the romance novel; no. jane austen stumped for the novel-novel (a "work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language") quite pleasantly in northanger abbey ; weisberger, on the other hand, sends her heroine to a weekly meeting of harlequin junkies who must be on to something good because, in all other respects, they're so damn hip. honey, no. we're also expected to believe in Big Romance because bette's final affair resembles one - but weisberger is too lazy to flesh out her analogies ("it was, i had to admit, a sex scene straight out of a harlequin"), and the 'real' courtship is too skimpy to serve her purpose. then there's the issue of satire, the reason i decided to read the thing in the first place; weisberger leads the reader to believe she's gonna nail the PR/events industry. there's no denying that she knows the scene; i met most of the types she describes, minus the coke binges and bungalow 8 fixations, in my year as a press-schmoozer. that said, bette never really realizes that publicists are Evil; she simply objects to real work, evil or otherwise. worst of all, the book just isn't funny. i hate you, lauren weisberger.

the encyclopedia of exes, on the other hand, is a pleasant surprise; i expected vapid short stories to match the gimmicky premise (26 male writers riff on breakups - alphabetically!) and got a reasonably tight anthology. lethem's "five" (originally "five fucks" in wall of the sky, wall of the eye) is a solid highbrow excuse for picking the book up in the first place, and panio "never heard of him" gianopoulos wins my heart with "murmur," a piece whose love affair ends with the narrator petting a cat that has a serious spinal injury. the bad news? we're reviewing everyone worth knowing, and the encyclopedia of exes got tossed and forgotten on the free table. the good news? i picked it up, so you can borrow it and get happy. i love you, injured cat.


thanatette (6:00:04 PM): what will you name your wine fridge? and do you plan to drink enough white wine to justify it?
thanatette (6:00:21 PM): most importantly, can we have a stevie nicks dress-up night?
Unideli (6:00:47 PM): 1. i will name her claire.
Unideli (6:00:52 PM): 2. it's for red wine, you dolt.
Unideli (6:00:55 PM): 3. yes.


i stitched up another beanie koi. mmm, beanie koi.

beanie koi: the revenge (2 of 2)


i will spare you most of the details of my intensely girlie weekend; food photos are over at flickr, and i'll dry heave over lauren "devil wears prada" weisberger's latest tragedy at a later date. let us summarize with movie cinquains.


is not the stuff
of high romance, but i
wouldn't kick paul bettany out
of bed.

the wedding planner:

and utterly
satisfying. i cried
when yicky j-lo got her man.
help me.

mean girls:

by far than what
i've come to expect from
SNL alums. only two
fart jokes!

ms. gaw asked for a list of my favorite ten poems. sadistic girl! that's harder than choosing a favorite child, and i'm a baby-hating dink. here's an attempt, though i would note that i excluded all pieces i've already excerpted or otherwise pimped. in no particular order,

quarantine, eavan boland
the dover bitch, anthony hecht
the taste of rain, jack kerouac
a supermarket in california, allen ginsberg
with mercy for the greedy, anne sexton
do not go gentle into that good night, dylan thomas
a cloud in trousers, vladimir mayakovsky
song, seamus heaney
you're, sylvia plath
this, osip mandelstam

most of those are brief and/or maudlin and/or abrasive, which shouldn't surprise anyone who suffered through poetry 92 with me. go team go!