07.21.11: the dirty dozen {twelve youtube comments on the original "space oddity" video}

01 I heard this song in an English class in MEXICO
02 I'm 13 years old, I'm from Canada, and I love David Bowie. I feel like I should have been born in another time era.
03 This song is #1 of the top 13 songs about space travel.
04 that's not david bowie.. this looks homemade. i detect a trololo
05 1:13-1:20 I think the camera guy insisted on more and more crotch. David handled it well with that little maneuver.
06 Ground control major thong.
07 Is it cold in space Bowie Do you want to borrow my jumper Bowie
08 ocarina schmocarina
09 the cat power version is way better
10 It's too literal and far too low budget.
11 damn it, how i want that helmet!
12 good float man


101 in 1001 {II}: 039 visit an acupuncturist [completed 07.05.11]

i could tell you that there's a noble ladymag tradition of covering acupuncture, that western institutions are warming to it, or that our living near chinatown has piqued my curiosity about traditional medicine* - and all of those things are true - but let's be honest: acupuncture ended up on my list because needles amuse me and it looked fun. i found a groupon, and away i went.

the studio i chose was down in the financial district; 1 world trade climbed into the sky just down the street, and i reverse-commuted against a school of suits on their way north. downtown manhattan in the early evening is an abandoned reef: buildings folded in on themselves like concrete brain coral, grotty storefronts shuttered like barnacles. i like that it's been constructed and reconstructed for so long that it feels organic again. i also like how acupuncture appointments enable super-cheesy city-as-ecosphere analogies! wall street, you smell like fish.

as the studio's website explained, treatments take place in a single large room partitioned by screens (as opposed to in individual treatment rooms) in order to keep costs down.** on one hand, that means that i got to walk past people having all sorts of exciting treatments (gal covered with seaweed! guy wrapped in foil like a big old potato!) on the way to a zero-gravity table; on the other, i was desperately afraid of falling asleep and flashing the room (i was wearing a minidress, for i have a magical ability to dress impractically at all times). though i filled out an online questionnaire about my kidney qi and other energies of interest prior to my visit, the heartbreakingly lovely acupuncturist who arrived to spirit me to my table flustered me, and i agreed to chat about my reasons for visiting*** instead of just asking her to grab the chart the office had generated for me. which is fine, i guess, though walking someone through the details of my menstrual cycle in mixed company is something i can live without doing again. surprise the first: the literal needling was not only painless but virtually imperceptible. i noticed the first few in my feet and the one she planted between my eyes, but i had to sneak looks at myself after she'd left my life forces to redistribute themselves to figure out just what had gone down. surprise the second: the waiting. i assumed the puncturing itself was the main attraction, but it seems that one must lean back, absorb inoffensive world music, and stay just on this side of wakefulness for forty-five minutes or so to truly reap the benefits of the wee needles. so i did; mare's-tail clouds drifted between the buildings outside, a fidgety girl in electric-pink underwear rose and set like a satellite on the table across from me, and i contemplated my inner aspect. i imagined how pleasant it would be to watch snow fall past the window. i must have looked disappointed when my statuesque acupuncturist came to rouse me, for she offered to let me lounge a bit more while they closed the studio for the night. no no, needle-lady; all things in moderation.

did the conditions for which i presented myself - stress, omphaloskepsis, a tendency to wake up feeling as though i've been dropped from a great height the morning after i've run a long distance - resolve themselves? not really, though none of them afflicted me while i was on the table. i did feel a bit more centered as i rode the train back up to the lower east side, though i suppose that could have been because i was virtually alone. i will be back for another round of acupuncture; i forgot to cash in my groupon, for one thing, and for another it's terribly exciting to use qi in a non-scrabble context. onward and inward, team.

imaginary reading group discussion questions

01 have you ever had acupuncture? why or why not?

02 if you have, did it cure what ailed you?

03 did you know coral is extremely finicky? it's true: a guy i worked with at the san francisco SPCA had a massive saltwater aquarium that thwarted almost all of his vacation attempts (as he only had one coral-sitter capable of keeping things going in his absence).

04 do you call cirrus clouds mare's tails? joe mentioned the term the other night, and that when he was little he thought it was "mayor's tail" clouds, a la rich uncle pennybags's morning coat in monopoly.

*mostly the proximity to chinatown makes me want to buy a durian; don't they look like something a lakitu would throw?

**this sounds unforgivably cheap, but i actually found it endearing; they also had a pay-what-you-wish fee structure.

***because it seemed like the mellow thing to do? laid-back health care, you disconcert me.

07.15.11: the dirty dozen {twelve things i pass on my walk to work}

01 doughnut plant
02 carnegie hall
03 the pickle guys
04 lee's art shop, home of fine plastic animals
06 zafis luncheonette
07 abrons art center, home of the steampunk haunted house
08 church of st. mary (bingo saturday sunday 7pm)
09 pizza school
10 morning glories
11 jerry seinfeld (twice)
12 a pit bull wearing a fur coat (once, but i can't stop talking about it)
07.13.11: {cibo matto @ brooklyn bowl}

brooklyn bowl ceiling

In Bowling Alleys
1. At least sixty seconds of "Know Your Chicken" shall be recorded for beloved roommates.
2. One shall jump up and down and up and down.

{setlist, jumping here}


princess sparklepants

Across State Lines
1. Sparklers shall be held as close to the face as possible.
2. Photographs of said sparklers shall be posted on Mondays for Maximum Psychological Benefit.
3. Photographers shall sing off-key for fifty minutes when returning home via public transportation.


101 in 1001 {II}: 038 cook with 12 ingredients I’ve never used before [completed 06.29.11]

01-03: jicama, honewort, kale
04-06: key limes, sunchokes, mochiko
07: dahlia tuber
08: cream of tartar
09: saffron
10: lavender
11: okra

12: nutritional yeast. our extremely eco-capable friend melissa (who composts, occasionally tends large boxes of worms,* and makes her own seitan) has been telling me for years that nutritional yeast plus tofu adds up to a transcendent breakfast scramble; i keep forgetting about it, which explains both my misery circa the vegan experiment of '06 and, perhaps, the fact that i've been flunking out of blood and platelet donations left and right for the past year (nutritional yeast, as the name implies, is full of b-complex vitamins and protein). what might have been!

the earnest yeast finally made it to our table when i inherited a grow your own mushroom kit; i perked up at the idea of cultivating something exotic (i can't keep, like, mint alive, but i can grow the hell out of rainforesty stuff like tillandsia and staghorn ferns), and joe made appreciative noises at the oyster mushroom pasta in pink sauce recipe (featuring nutritional yeast) that came with the fungus farm.

the shrooms, they grew and grew heartily; everyone deserves the right to save images like that for moments of peak psychological fortitude, but click away if you so choose. the first several days were, i'll not lie, kind of off-putting, but after a week or so we had some fine forest friends. and then we had super-homemade pasta.

pasta with pink sauce and home-grown oyster mushrooms

the recipe needs a bit of tweaking, i think - not enough tomato paste, perhaps, and i had to reduce the sauce for ten minutes or so, as it was initially pretty thin - but it's quite satisfying. the yeast isn't quite a cheesy flavor (as some say), but as an almost brutally nutritious seasoning, it's pretty unimpeachable. i'd hide it in other pasta sauces and even chilis without batting an eye (and probably will, in fact, since the container i bought is kind of a monster), and melissa's mythical tofu scramble will finally make it to the plate this weekend. the sleeper hit of this mystery-ingredient round is, of course, the home-grown mushrooms; i'll be re-soaking my eco-kit and summoning a second batch of them over the next few weeks, and i might order a more exotic kit (reishi mushroom patch!**) in the fall. you guys are getting some freaky holiday gifts this year.

*i really want a box of worms, but it has been explained to me several times that we are not to invite invertebrates into the house.

**this is probably last night's acupuncture talking. more on that soon.