thanks to slow workplaces before the long weekend, joe and i made it to the ziegfeld on friday for an early indiana jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull fix and were on our way home by a quarter after six. he asked me what i thought and i complained that i always have to go first: what did he think?

he thought it was EXECRABLE. that's a tough descriptor to sell in casual conversation unless you're gore vidal, but joe pulled it off: he oozed so much contempt for that movie that a word coined after 1800 just wouldn't do. he (like a lot of reviewers) loved the first fifteen minutes or so, but he hated shia labeouf. and the CGI. and the silly close encounters sequence at the end.* it was so execrable he was almost angry.

i'm...not, even though i don't really disagree. were i a monkey in the 1950's, there's no way i'd fight with shia labeouf the greaser, even against communists, even if i had been computer-generated by spielberg's personal monkeys. i hate almost all alien storylines, which is why i find the x files both wonderful and terrible (i love monsters-of-the-week and david duchovny and can take or leave the show's a-plot). thing is, indiana jones isn't meant for me. there was a young kid sitting behind us in the theater who kept piping up to his dad (and pissing me off): "why are they chasing him? what do you think's in that box? look at that!" i was going to be the mean old lady who shushed him, but i probably whispered the same things when i was ten, seeing the last crusade with my mom. i adored that movie, but i'm not sure it was umpteen times better than this one was: as many have noted, spielberg makes films for kids. i think raiders of the lost ark holds up over time, sort of, but have you seen temple of doom, complete with kate capshaw shrieking like betty boop every ten seconds, in the last decade or so? harrison ford has never really been able to act, and there have always been weird critter sequences and ridiculous side-by-side set pieces (the patch of street outside our apartment is rougher than both the jungle paths in crystal skull and the mine car tracks in raiders of the lost ark). sometimes the ridiculousness works: i giggled with delight at the motorcycle chase across the college campus early in the movie, which was up there with the hiding-in-a-basket scooby doo silliness i remember from raiders. sometimes, as when cate blanchett was squishing giant ants between her sexy stalinist kneecaps, it's just ridiculous. the formulas have always been there, though, and calling spielberg out for them now is rather beside the point.

long story short, this was easily the worst of the indiana jones movies - but if you're shorter than this sign, you will think it's boss, and that's fine with me; at least we were spared kate capshaw. what did you think, o internets? give me your best gore vidal.

*per joe, the alien stuff might have worked if it had been revealed that indy himself was extraterrestrial; it would explain why harrison ford was able to avoid getting nailed by fourteen thousand soviet machine guns at once.


this weekend's craft prototype for the cold war kitchen, or eatin' on a jet plane:

cupcake stand v1 (2 of 2)

i lost my shit when i saw last wednesday's design*sponge DIY project: thrifting! ceramic art inspired by sarah cihat! displaying of cupcakes! i've been fixated on retro cake stands for the last month or two, even though i've made a grand total of three successful desserts in my life (as baby jo noted yesterday, only half of the women in our family are bakers; i actually took a french pastry class in college, and it was far more grueling than first-year russian, if tastier): my interest in dishes makes up for my lack of interest in most sweets, or so i like to think.

enter the recycled cake stand project, and the small forest of mismatched candlesticks and plates now cluttering up our pass-through. in this first attempt, i learned that contact paper (cut in the shape of a jet to let the pattern on the little german saucer show through) does NOT create much of a seal with porcelain, especially when you ask it to bend; when i work up to more complicated shapes (the blue plate in the background will feature either an octopus or an anglerfish), i'm going to have to be much more careful about placement. i also learned that i am no banksy: spray paint is a bitch (i still have to redo the back lip of the saucer and a few weird spots on the underside). then there is the issue of food safety, and how i'll have to switch to much more expensive (and more difficult to apply) ceramic paint if i wish to use these to serve non-wrappered food. all that said...i think it'll work next to the bill-clinton-and-his-mistresses nesting dolls above our stove. any thoughts on future shape/color/design combos?


101 in 1001: 040 have my palm read in a psychic's parlor [completed 05.15.08]

eleventh hour 101 in 1001

i've had the friendly neighborhood psychic (not this one) tucked away in the back of my mind ever since i discovered her on my birthday last year; really, what could be more painless than ducking out to see her on my lunch break? today was my very last chance to do so (list ends tomorrow!), so i headed over at about noon - and immediately chickened out. what if someone from the ladymag saw me going in? a psychic's parlor isn't as bad as a sex shop or, i don't know, a liposuction van, but i'm already the office eccentric; i don't need to make things worse. i also didn't have exactly $10 and didn't fancy the awkwardness of trying to figure out whether or not to tip. after much hemming and hawing and walking around the block, i buzzed - and got no response. the universe did not want me to see the mysterious mrs. king. i decided that if i was really meant to rock the ESP today, it would throw me another psychic. it did: this place materialized as i emerged from a thrift store with a sweet $5 candlestick. a good, lucky time to have my palm read (two annoying little boys who hovered outside muttering about wasting money notwithstanding). i toyed with taking off my wedding ring and, like, coating my hands with squid ink to confuse the reader, but decided to go in as i was and roll with what she told me. here, then, is what i learned.

- i will live to be 80 or 90, and my death will not be tragic.*

- i will write something important when i'm 40.

- joe is very stubborn. his way is the only way.

- joe is my soul mate.

- in two years, we will have two children.**

- i will get a promotion in august, but someone will try to block it.

- a 35-year-old man will try to make trouble in our marriage.***

- this will be the best year of my life.

- i will take a long voyage over the ocean.****

- there is a great deal of trouble on my left side.

- i have had my palm read before.*****

*thinking about that now, it's kind of insulting, no?

**i had to challenge this one; i told her i wasn't planning on having kids. she said i would realize that our relationship was just so wonderful that we had to have children.

***it's totally going to be someone from the darts team. they will steal joe! or maybe david blaine.

****hee. i followed up on this one, too: where? she didn't know.

*****i told her no, but she was right, if you count girl scout camp. no mention of life or love lines; i was simply told i was lazy (true).


how i spent my stimulus act payment (or sweet liquor eases the pain):

how i spent my stimulus check

here's hoping ginger liqueur blunts the sting of putting the vast majority toward loan repayment and epic vet bills ($400 just to confirm that the little cat's kidneys are still broken - and learn that the wily black cat's thyroid will probably crap out soon. more fun to be had at next month's follow-up tests and dentals!). i reserve the right to blow off additional steam by sending obama some cash - or by fedexing new york a few boxes of fresh turds for suggesting i trade my check for tortured baby eels at le bernardin. how about you, internets? respackling the bat cave, giving to charity, bronzing your panties? does anyone else feel weird about getting the funds as a general proposition?

on a less conflicted note, the liqueur really is amazing; i had it in a Girl Drink in monterey last month and have been thinking about it ever since. could replace zubrowka in my affections, though those are strong words.


god hates umbrellas (1 of 3)

god hates umbrellas (2 of 3)

god hates umbrellas (3 of 3)

mine expired as well - the foul winds of midtown snapped its spindly aluminum neck as i scuttled back from columbus circle on my lunch break - but i brought it home to our building's trash chute, so that its spirit guide will know where to find it for its final journey to umbrellavalhalla.


Philosophy works