season's greetings from hell's kitchen!
*gratuitous side note: my sister-in-law and i ordered the presidential special, which is what george w. bush ate when he visited the place on a campaign stop in '04. unusually, he made an excellent choice.
*i wasn't particularly excited about giving wal-mart money anyway, so that was fine.
Dear Daily Show Audience Members,i reserved those tickets back in june, man! i don't mean to whinge - being a thwarted daily show audience member is a lot better than being a daily show staffer right now, to be sure, and we're flying out west tomorrow anyway* - but that sucks.
Due to a writers strike, “The Daily Show” taping on Wednesday December 12th, 2007 has been cancelled. Unfortunately, we have no additional information as to when this strike will end. Your cancelled show tickets will NOT be automatically rescheduled, you will have to start the process again. If you would like to attend a future taping of the show, please reserve tickets on our website at www.thedailyshow.com. Since we have no direct control over the strike, we cannot guarantee that the show will actually tape on the new date that you select. Of course, we are all hoping for a speedy resolution to the labor dispute.
The impulse to keep a diary is to actual diaries as the impulse to go on a diet is to actual slimness. Most of us do wish that we were slim diarists.the whole feature is great, both in little bites like those and because of menaud's larger points about what makes someone a great diarist (warhol was, reagan wasn't). it made me want to be a diarist, or to have a diligent and affectionate editor who could unpack my writing (i should be able to do that for myself, of course). read, internets, read! if you yourself have a diary, and/or a blog, consider what menaud calls the id/ego/superego theories** of diary-keeping: do you agree with any of them?
At least one person has read the entire “Journals: 1952-2000,” by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. (Penguin; $40), from start to finish, and this person can report that the work yields the exact degree of pleasure that can be derived from standing on a moving sidewalk: it’s painless, you don’t want it to stop, and there is not a single surprise in it.
*we planned the trip after the strikers settled in for the long haul.
Writing is onerous (especially with an ultra-thin pencil)—writing feels like work because it is work—and, day by day, life is pretty routine, repetitive, and, we should face it, boring. So why do a few keep diaries, when diary-keeping is, for many, too much?
Three theories immediately suggest themselves. They are theories of the ego, the id, and the superego (and what is left, really?). The ego theory holds that maintaining a diary demands a level of vanity and self-importance that is simply too great for most people to sustain for long periods of time. It obliges you to believe that the stuff that happened to you is worth writing down because it happened to you. This is why so many diaries are abandoned by circa January 10th: keeping this up, you quickly realize, means something worse than being insufferable to others; it means being insufferable to yourself. People find that they just can’t take themselves seriously enough to continue. They may regret this—people capable of taking themselves seriously tend to go farther in life—but they accept it and move on to other things, such as collecting stamps.
The id theory, on the other hand, states that people use diaries to record wishes and desires that they need to keep secret, and to list failures and disappointments that they cannot admit publicly have given them pain. Diary-keeping, on this account, is just neurotic, since the last thing most people want to do with their unconsummated longings and petty humiliations is to inscribe them permanently in a book. They want to forget them, and so they soon quit writing them down. Most people don’t confess; they repress.
And the superego theory, of course, is the theory that diaries are really written for the eyes of others. They are exercises in self-justification. When we describe the day’s events and our management of them, we have in mind a wise and benevolent reader who will someday see that we played, on the whole, and despite the best efforts of selfish and unworthy colleagues and relations, a creditable game with the hand we were dealt. If we speak frankly about our own missteps and shortcomings, it is only to gain this reader’s trust. We write to appease the father. People abandon their diaries when they realize that the task is hopeless.
"If parents see (the movie) they might think, 'What a great Christmas gift idea? [sic] Why don't I get little Johnny or Sally the trilogy?' But if that happens, then little Johnny or Sally will wake up Christmas morning to a candy-coated message of atheism," [a spokeswoman for the Catholic League] said.*is "candy-coated message of atheism" a memoir or a garage band? can it be both?
*my favorite comment on that story: If your beliefs are so flimsy that they are swayed by a movie with a talking polar bear, you should probably stay home and shut off the electricity.
*and no hot showering, apparently. they've been real creeps about consistent heating thus far this season - trying to freeze the sweet old ladies out of the building, i'd imagine.
**on a treadmill, mind you. i'm wa-ay too self-conscious to run in public.
*i'd gone once this year (cough) before that.
*by the by, i've never really figured out where i fall between the two. it's argued that x cuts off at 1980, but, um, i obviously don't remember watergate. where should the split be?
**and carded everywhere for everything when we were visiting jen last month. why so uptight, chicago?
***i know this is pathetic, i'm just saying.
Black Kids are such good-natured pop-cultural sponges that they opened their fateful Athens Popfest set by reciting a screwball exchange from the Jim Henson-directed David Bowie fantasy film Labyrinth (a back-and-forth borrowed from Cary Grant's The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer).
*by the by, i passed on my opportunity to buy tickets to see the spice girls this winter. they were going to be very expensive, and far away, and joe would have broken one of his own limbs to avoid having to come along, but i still feel that i've failed 1997 lauren.
**and hide in the corn. i really need to stop patterning my field trips on stephen king adaptations.
*i come from a long line of bad liars. on that side, at least - dad's is full of attorneys.
**how, one wonders, would old wagner feel about his motto stamped on a j.crew card? the american dream works in mysterious ways.
With the win, Stanford football’s back on the national consciousness in a big way. “Cardinal Rule” proclaimed ESPN.com’s frontpage headline, “Absolutely Stunning” read SI.com’s. That the game went final at 11 p.m. Eastern made it the perfect lead story for that night’s TV shows and the next morning’s newspaper’s. Even the New York Times got in on the act, with the nation’s preeminent newspaper giving Stanford’s shocker top online billing, over stories on Medicare billing scams, and ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Congo.we what? in something other than air hockey? fantastic! that excerpt from the daily is kind of disturbing (over iraq?),* but i loved the coverage of how excited the kids on campus were that night. they started a fire! my little successors!
*and okay, the copy editing - let's not talk about it.
No longer is it enough to share an interest in piña colada or getting caught in the rain—today’s singles want to know whether potential partners are fit and how often they work out, among other personal details. And then there’s the friction between vegans and vegetarians.you know why? because some vegans are assholes. i should qualify that a bit: i admire their commitment, and i know several who are fantastic people. i've encountered others who proselytize in a way that would be wildly socially inappropriate if they were talking about anything other than animal rights - like, say, the magical love of jesus.
It might sound counterintuitive; after all, neither group eats meat. But for many vegans—who also eschew animal products like the dairy and eggs eaten by vegetarians—love may not be enough to conquer ideology.
“I’m in a relationship with a murderer,” bemoans Carl, one of many vegans who wrote in to the “Vegan Freak” podcast for romantic advice. Carl, who didn’t give his last name, says his girlfriend is a regular vegetarian, and their differences are becoming a major source of tension. In the vegan world that’s not an uncommon dilemma.you know what, carl? your girlfriend should leave you for paul williams.
“I know it sounds corny,” says Paul Williams, a 35-year-old vegetarian in Atlantic City, N.J. “But basically I want to date someone with a good heart that can understand why I’ve chosen to be a vegetarian.”respect!
*and what's with damon albarn dissing that album? it's always been one of my favorites.
A favorite show is a tip-off to personality, taste and sophistication the way music was before it became virtually free and consumed as much by individual song as artist. Dramas have become more complicated; many of the best are serialized and require time and sequential viewing. If anything, television has become closer to literature, inspiring something similar to those fellowships that form over which authors people say they would take to the proverbial desert island. (People who say “Ulysses,” on the ground that it would use up more time than almost any other novel, would also probably bring “The Wire.”)the paragraphs on battlestar galactica are especially ego-boosting, as it's our current show of choice (i'm going to try to be starbuck for halloween, which will be either fantastic or deeply embarrassing). of course, the ego boost is all about the elitism stanley mentions near the end of the piece:
Television used to be dismissed by elitists as the idiot box, a sea of mediocrity that drowns thought and intelligent debate. Now people who ignore its pools and eddies of excellence do so at their own peril. They are missing out on the main topic of conversation at their own table.
Before the Internet, iPhones and flash drives, people jousted over who was into the Pixies when they were still a garage band or who could most lengthily argue the merits of Oasis versus Blur. Now, for all but hardcore rock aficionados, one-upmanship is more likely to center around a television series — like metaphysical clues buried in “Lost,” whether the current “Battlestar Galactica” is an affront to the 1978 original (some bloggers sneeringly refer to the current incarnation as Gino, short for “Galactica in name only”* ) or who discovered “Flight of the Conchords” when it was a comedy team performing in concerts, not an HBO series.good tv isn't really new, nor is the concept of water cooler and/or status shows, but its influence in, say, my office is still pretty incredible. when i was hiring someone for my old job, my cube neighbors less-than-half-jokingly said i should try to find someone who watches lost, the office, and 30 rock. i did, as it happens, and her happy patter with them emphasizes my comparative tv torpitude (i watch only lost, and i usually watch it a day late, which disqualifies me from the first half hour of chat on thursday mornings). pop media fixations are par for the course at a mainstream magazine like ours, of course - our tuesday production meeting began this week with the deputy editor leading the editorial staff in a lengthy facts of life singalong. does this happen at your office? and hey, what do you watch?
*they're right about that, thank goodness.
[S]ounds like a marvelously ugly, hateful all-American text. Tasty, like Rocky Mountain oysters dipped in ketchup. I never made it past Kesey and Ferlinghetti as a teenager: I don't think Kerouac or Cassady ever seemed much like kindred spirits; they seemed more antsy than zany. On the road with a bunch of semi-closeted misogynists? Sounds pretty boring to me. I think I'll read popular science books and Camus instead.kerouac was, well, a marvelously ugly, hateful all-american, which brings me to a question pica asked a few months ago:
Could you read, and love, a literary work by someone whom you personally know to be a crappy human being?my answer at the time was OH HELL NO! - or it would have been if i could comment on vox blogs (you have to have an account). my answer with old jack kerouac in mind is - apparently yes. i've little (personal or professional) patience for the beats (burroughs in particular - if i had a time machine, i'd head for tangier in the '50s and punch him in the face), but under the influence of my hippie freshman roommate, i read a shitload of their stuff (and wrote several papers on them). kerouac, the chigger, got under my skin: to this day, for me, two of the most resonant passages in modern american lit are his (one from on the road, one from dharma bums). it breaks my heart to know that you'll never read on the road, pica - it's a frequently tiresome book from a frequently tiresome man from a fr - anyway, but its moments of brilliance are more than worth a few hours of holding one's nose.
*yes, it's pathetic that i snapped an empty stage. it's tough to sneak a photo when one can't disable one's flash, internets, and i didn't want to be rude (or kicked out).
I stood up and spoke to the group about the vibrant and active DIY market that's booming elsewhere- to a roomful of blank looks. And, a few who didn't like the suggestion that they were, possibly, just maybe, slipping out of touch with a very important market. I realized they didn't know where the new needleworkers and crafters had gone. But how do you tell them?
I also learned that 'crafting' was a dirty word to them (they are 'needleworkers', while 'crafting' suggests projects with popsicle sticks), and they don't spend a whole lot of time reading BUST, ReadyMade, CRAFT or looking at the interweb for alternative resources outside of the ones they already know. They need serious help. I was going to have to do double DIY duty: educate these retailers on how to attract our market ("Don't fear tattoos and pink hair! New needleworkers might have facial piercings -this is okay!") and appeal to our own community on why we should cross the thresholds of the shops that seem so, you know....squaresville to many of us.
One block east, the Mr. Biggs Bar & Grill at 10th Avenue and West 43rd Street is on the site of a dive bar, the 596 Club, which Mr. Coonan owned in the 1970s. In 1977 he and his crew murdered and dismembered the loan shark Ruby Stein there. The torso was later retrieved from the East River.
Mr. Robbins said macabre stories about the 596 Club still float around Hell’s Kitchen. Old-timers remember jars behind the bar that held the severed fingers of guys who had crossed the Westies. There’s the one about gangsters rolling a severed head down the bar.
“I’ve heard a lot of that kind of stuff,” T. J. English, author of “The Westies,” said in a recent interview. “Normally you’d dismiss it as absurd, but since it was the Westies, who knows? That place was certainly the proverbial bucket of blood.”
Scott Rudnick, owner of Mr. Biggs, said the place had its share of ghosts when he first opened 13 years ago, but the introduction of karaoke nights “spooked the spooks out.”
*speaking of diana fayt's (amazing, amazing) ceramics, she's going to have stuff at candystore in the mission soon - you san francisco types should get on that. it's gross that i'm slowly turning into a shopping blogger, but pimping independent design is at least slightly acceptable, right?
*which, by the way, was such a letdown; being married saved us a grand total of about $100 for fiscal year 2006. a marriage license costs $35 and a ceremony at city hall is $25; all told, i've saved more at barneys warehouse sales.
**i always want to take a picture of this, but it'd never work; everyone would wake up and howl.
Marriage counselors say they're increasingly hearing couples vent about electronic clashes. More than that, they say, the inherent solitude of Web surfing -- keeping tastes in music, movies and literature locked on their own computers instead of visible on the bookshelf -- sometimes adds to intimacy problems. "People have grown up in a more isolated world, so that coming together to share domestic life is a bit more difficult," says Danille Drake, a marriage counselor in suburban Washington.
Of course, sharing can create its own problems in the event a couple breaks up. Peggy and Michael Andrzejczyk, a recently divorced Detroit-area couple, are feeling the digital fallout. Peggy, 50, and Michael, 49, are still using their joint email address, although it's meant they've had to see each other's online dating alerts. They split amicably, Ms. Andrzejczyk says, but it was still strange when he remarked on her potential dates: "That's a little uncomfortable, when your soon-to-be ex-husband says, 'Hey, there's nice guys on there. I like Number Three.' "
For Derek Powazek, 34, there are limits to what he'll share with his wife, Heather. The San Francisco couple has separate blogs; his focuses on digital media, hers on photography. Mr. Powazek says he sometimes sees her quoting his best jokes on her blog, and he tells her not to steal his material (she credits him after the fact). As for sharing one blog, the idea "never came up," he says. "It would be like saying, 'Let's share our underwear.' "
Partly because online activities can feel so solitary, some couples look for ways to achieve togetherness in their digital lives. Sherry and John Cheung created a joint "johnandsherry" email address. Ms. Cheung, 28, says the shared address makes her feel more like she's part of an official couple.GROSS. we have an official couple thing, too: i call it an apartment.
"It's a 'We're the Cheungs' type of thing," says the telecommunications manager in San Ramon, Calif. She says she's more likely to use it when she's writing her married friends (many of whom also share addresses) because they understand she's operating as part of a unit now.
But Ms. Cheung's friend Hui-Lin Grecian balks at writing to "johnandsherry." Ms. Grecian says she worries Mr. Cheung might forget to pass along a message if he checks the email first or might feel left out if she fails to include a greeting for him, as well. "A little more thought has to go into it," Ms. Grecian says.
*rumor has it that the owners want so very badly to turn their prime midtown real estate into a mcskyscraper that they book shitty flicks on purpose; in theory, bad receipts would make it a bit easier for them to rezone the property.