Friday, April 18, 2003
and now presenting ... wait, wait, no.
like that song "who let the dogs out", bryan adams may no longer have the power to make girls take off their shirts, but he'll always be around for baseball games.
like capri pants, bryan adams may be a couple seasons late but i still keep him in my closet.
oh well. what's up, bryan adams. welcome to the party. everyone, this is bryan. bryan is funny and wicked smaht. bryan, this is everyone. and, well, they're a giant mass of people and relatively indistinguishable from here.
now - mingle.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Thursday, April 17, 2003
i'm waiting impatiently for the inferno
i know you're all going to hate me for saying this. but i'm itching for summer to get here. my feet are poised above the sparkly strappy sandals. my skin is waiting hungrily for that glowing humidity that makes my cheeks shine and my eyes twinkle and my hair curly. my stomach is ready for summer too - for the watermelons and the hamburgers and the mangos and the ice cream and the margaritas and the sangrias. a veritable smorgasboard!
other things i'm eagerly anticipating: barbeques. ful's backyard. brunches in the slope. rooftop sunsets in astoria. exercising in triboro park. steve's place for sunset beers. summer weekends in rhode island. sticky sweet sundays at coney island. the 'clone. feet hanging off the pier, eating churros. flowery sundressed and sticky cotton-candy smiles. cotton-candy kisses. hot manhattan sidewalks. the freaks in washington square park. going to the met to cool off. walking around the apartment in my skivvies and a smile.
sea coming home. sunday mornings reading the paper in bed. the fifth harry potter book read-a-thon. screaming profanities at the ice cream truck. making margaritas. making margaritas, while drunk. having my scrabblemate back again. outdoor cafes. tanned freckled shoulders. flip flops.
what do you love about summer?
* * * * * * * * * * * *
people who are bored have no inner resources.
i get bored, at work, a lot. usually this occurs in between doing little bits of menial monkey work. during the actual menial monkey task, i am not bored, because my brain is doing something.
then, the menial monkey task ends and its time to move on to another small menial monkey chore. and this is where the boredom kicks in. you know what i do?
i play pretend.
sometimes, its just a little game i play with some friend online. "yarr!" i'll say. "are you a pirate?" they'll ask. "ar. and i've come to shiver your timber." this usually ends right about here. something about saying "yarr!" for no reason really cheers me up.
sometimes, i'll distract myself by pretending i'm buying a luxury home, somewhere exotic. i will plan the whole thing. i will pretend-purchase a round trip first class top notch air ticket. i will pretend-rent some sort of car - a bentley, or a snazzy-colored convertible. i will then pretend-shop for a home. depending on how bored i am, i will come up with a name for my pretend-ranch, my pretend-soulmate, and my pretend-animals.
this usually distracts me for about 17-29 minutes.
my favorite thing to do, though, is chat with ful. i love chatting with sea too, but he just doesn't get silly with me. ful will make a little pretend-bird, and when i say, "that's me in a nutshell", ful's pretend-bird will eat my nutshell, leaving me completely shell-less. then ful will engage in an absurd argument with me about what kind of nut my shell came from, and whether or not it was fair of his pretend-bird to eat the shell, and how to beat a bird to death with a pretend-dead-sea-lion [my weapon of choice of late]. ful will allow this sort of absurdity to go on for up for 45 minutes at a time. he will discuss fashion items with me. he will console my neurotic boy-wonderings by little e-pats [pat pat pat, he says]. i command him to help me come up with all the ways you can answer in the affirmative. he does. without a minute's hesitation.
ful, in short, rules and is my best defense against boredom. but best of all, we've come up with a silly new game .. the introductions game. we come up with pithy, scathing and funny little introductions for all the people we know.
"this is ful. he does some techie thing that is entirely unrelated to his personality. he likes to make his mother squirmish by pointing out iconically-gay pop stars, enjoys playing with his mohawk and blinking sarcastically at most things petit hiboux says. he doesn't realize that everyone already knows how incredibly smart he really is." - petit hiboux, introducing ful.
"Hey. This is petit hiboux. She's great at applying makeup, being witty, and looking sultry. She lives too far away from everybody, but is slowly being subsumed into the Park Slope Collective nonetheless. She is good at giving advice and somewhat resistant to taking it, but she comes around eventually. She has already moved away from more places than I will ever move to. She has a newfound love of discussing masturbation, so just ask her if you have any questions." -- ful, introducing petit hiboux.
he's also really absurdly good looking. which is nice.
he's the best guy pal ever. and deserves a crown.
but instead, i will have poles at my wedding. he knows why.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
written by a team of llamas
i'm feeling rather stodgy and boring this morning. so instead of saying anything of substance [because you all realize how overwhelmingly substantial yesterday's post was] i'm going to fall back on seastreet's post instead. if you have the inclination [and you should], go there and answer them for him as well.
okay, i'm ready for my close-up now:
(1) What personal qualities and skills do you think politicians should have, if you hold out for politicians with qualities and skills at all? Explain.
aahh, crap. i'm failing the test already. well, since sea thinks i should run for office someday, i guess i'll just be cunning and parrot back what he always says to me. politicians should at least have gotten into the game for noble reasons. ignoble reasons include but are not limited to: because your daddy was a politician. because you are attention-hungry and desperate for acceptance. because you think god wants you to. because the army wouldn't have you. because your mother didn't love you.
my point is, i think people should run for office if they feel like they've got some fresh ideas to contribute to the dialog. they should be agressive and passionate without being bullheaded, and always remember the point of democracy is to come to conclusions together. while some element of meglomania will exist with any public figure, they should know that they're only as good as their constituency believes they are, and work hard to constantly prove their worth for the job [sadly, except for the supreme court... they get to be as pigheaded and arrogant as they please. regular machiavellis, the SC.] and yes, politicians need to be people-people. they need to be able to work with people, please people, and be open-minded.
(2) If you're to design a semester's curriculum for a literature course, and your students can buy and read ten books, what do you put on the list, and why? What's your course called?
ooh. this one is more fun. i'm not going to bother giving this course any kind of title. it's going to be my maniacal attempt to teach people how to appreciate great literature, both contemporary and more classical. the books are chosen simply based on what they have to impart about the craft, about life, and about humanity. they're vastly different novels, and all of them have something different to teach their readers - when the readers come to it with the joy of reading and an open mind.
candide, by voltaire. because satire never goes out of style, and voltaire makes the journey fun and exciting to the point that you don't really notice his grand final point until, well, the grand final end. and by then, you'd believe him if he told you the sky was made of marshmellows.
the count of monte cristo, alexandre dumas. you literary snobs will probably turn your noses up at this choice, but i think it's an important inclusion to show how plot can be carried out so precisely, and so minutely detailed, without a single slip. and what's more, still concentrating on the vital character development that lends gravity and severity to the twists and turns of .. well, outrageous fortune. ha. that was almost a pun.
the hotel new hampshire, john irving. again, turning up your noses will do you no good. irving is a master of the storytelling genre, but he does it with more humor, wit, satirical observation and flair than the colleagues he shares a stage with ... king and his ilk. the book is a marvel of characters, of narrative, of wit and compassion alike. irving's special talent of affectionately toying with the lives and dreams of his characters deserves a closer look than more airport-book-store readers bother to give him.
the unbearable lightness of being, by milan kundera. chosen for its brilliance. pure and simple. and more specifically, kundera is the master of an often confusing medium of writerly styles - weaving social and philosophical values and ideas into an engaging and revealing story-line. many others have done it, but i would argue not as well as kundera. the effortless way he threads new, invigorating ideas, with age-old philosophical wisdom, and allows his characters to portray them without cramming it down your throat is a skill all serious readers must come to understand .. in order to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to philosophical literature.
white teeth, zadie smith. this might seem like a premature choice for such a weighty class. smith is young, and perhaps in ten years her seminal first book will be considered trite and sophomoric. but there's a valuable lesson to be learned from smith herself, as well as through her clean, revealing writing style. smith has written with passion and clarity about growing up mixed in north london. the novel is about religion, love, sex, race, poverty, class, passion, friendship, family .. it's about everything. and perhaps, our protagonist is smith herself. but the most telling, beautiful thing about the novel is that smith allows her writing to stand alone. unlike eggers, she doesn't beat you over the head with the facts of her life. she writes it, revealingly, open-heartedly, but at the end, allows it to be its own piece of art. i have enormous respect for that, in an age of tell-all and reality-life-brow-beating. smith may very well be that mixed girl from norf lundun, but she is first and foremost, the artist behind a creative, powerful, and fearless work ... of fiction.
i think five is enough for now. you can tell, at the rate i'm going, this'll take forever. to be dissected and explained later: one hundred years of solitude, gabriel garcia marquez. kavalier and clay, michael chabon. anna karenina, leo tolstoy. gravity's rainbow, pynchon (once i read it. which i bloody well will if it kills me). and one of my favorite works concerning feminism from one of my least favorite authors, thomas hardy's tess of the d'ubrevilles.
phew. next question: (3) What book has influenced your life more than any other?
you should know better than to ask me this. all of the above, you dolt.
(4) What's your impression of the study of philosophy? Useless bourgeois indulgence? Useless intellectual indulgence? Useless bourgeois intellectual indulgence? [nearly nonsensical rambling a la seastreet replaced by me pulling an irritated face and turning his words into so many little dots] .......................
i will admit, i've never been able to read straight philosophy. sure, its a luxury of those with roofs over their heads and a diversified-enough social framework so that there could be people to sit at home and navel-gaze and come up with brilliant concepts. and sure, all those old greek guys have their place in history, for what is a human if not a constantly evolving, self-analyzing, rational creature? i have respect for philosophy. but if i'm going to spend my time reading weighty complicated life-questions ... it's going to be politics.
(5) I'm thinking of something... green. Something green.
(5) That was a joke. Ha, ha! Seriously. Is this the fifth question, or the sixth?
seastreet: brilliantly absent-minded, or absent-mindedly brilliant? i'm still not sure.
(5) The posers of the previous question have been sacked. For keepsies this time. Sleeping with your coworkers. What's your feeling? (Not that I am now or have in any way considered sleeping with coworkers lately. I promise.) Have you ever? Do you refuse? Morally wrong? All your coworkers are ugly/stupid/boring/probably bad in bed?
you have so considered sleeping with your co-workers, you little rosy-cheeked liar you. my feeling: one shouldn't if one has constant/direct contact with said coworker all the time. unless you're running for office and sleeping with your puppet-master campaign chief, in which case you'd just be an invicible hot power team and probably get a cameo on the west wing. have i ever? does being editor of the phoenix count? and yes, all my current coworkers are one of the above, or married. but if i was working alongside, say, colin firth, i'd say .. bring on the office sex!
that's all, kids. now it's your turn. let me know where you've posted your answers ... i, too, am interested. unless this is one of those surveys that only nerdy verbose obnoxious book-snobs like seastreet and i actually enjoy answering. at which point, you can just read the self-love post again. have it your way.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
mirror, mirror, on the wall ... and in the bed ...
when i was a wee whippersnapper, my mother bought me this book. it's all about these two hippos [george and martha] and in the book, george gets so tired of martha looking at her reflection all the time that he paints and ugly picture on the mirror to freak martha out. although i would never endorse the freaking-out of hippos [trust me, i've been there, it's not pretty] ... the story had a big impact on me, because i was always looking in the mirror.
my whole life, i've been a touch vain. when i was little, i would stand in the bathroom on tiptoes and make funny faces at myself in the mirror, or talk to my reflection, for hours on end. after my mother bought me the george and martha book, she took decisive action on this habit, warning me with a "martha, martha!" every time she caught me indulging in the cult of narcissus. but i persisted. as i got older, the mirror habit got more discreet, but no less persistent. now, the only time i spend staring in the mirror is, oddly enough, when i'm on the telephone. i'm pretty sure i'm the only person who does this. for some reason, i find it comforting to be looking at a face when i'm on the phone, even if it's my own.
but the vanity doesn't end with mirrors, alas. there's one more little thing, so little, that i forgot to tell you. there's a peculiar result when you combine a relatively skilled portraitist photographer and a vain little mirror-starer - the indulgent art of self portraiture. and when i've got a digi on hand? why, i can barely take my eyes off ... myself.
last night, it happened again. it started innocently enough - i was testing my new makeup. but then of course, i got to staring at how enormous and sultry my eyes looked, and how pouty my lips were. and my hair! it looked like chrissy hynde, all rocker-messy. and before i knew it, i was dragging the trusty tripod into the bathroom, and setting up the nikon. after a heady fifteen minutes, it was all over ... and i was left with a spent roll of film and the sinking feeling that i'd done something incredibly naughty. but my hair still looked hot, so i trotted off to bed, and needless to say, the shameless self-love continued.
i am somewhat ashamed of this dirty little habit. the camera one, that is. i've seen what happens when this gets ugly. people with entire webpages devoted to their moony attempts at artsy self-photography [without naming names]. amateur porn. the guy at your photo lab looking at you funny. and of course, that irritating little feeling you get after making photographic love to your own reflection, that feeling that says, 'is there such a thing as too vain?'
is there even a difference between physical self-love [which dr. ruth tells us is healthy and sexually necessary] and the more apparent narcissism of self-portraiture? they're both things we do alone to make ourselves feel beautiful, satisfied or desired. of course, a lot of artists like cindy sherman and yasumasa morimura have made their living off the social commentary of self-portraiture, and i don't know too many public masturbation artists. and i went to sarah lawrence. but ultimately, they're both expressions of the same needs - the need to love and appreciate yourself ... either sexually or physically.
i'm kicking down the door of this particular closet. self-love, self-portraiture .. i'm an avid fan of both. and on that note, i'm picking up my film today at five and i still hope i look as hott as i felt last night. both times.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Monday, April 14, 2003
various and sundry
i try and keep my posts relatively cohesive, with a clean middle, beginning, end, you know, an instinctive writers' tic. but there are many disparate things to be said today, so instead, we will have sort of a list-y thing here now. ready?
first, first first: matthieu, as many of you know, has been really special to me. anyway, unbeknownst to readers of my page, our shy matthieu also keeps a livejournal site that he may think nothing of, but i love reading because he writes ... well, he writes just like he talks. he writes about nothing, and then you'll get this moment of brilliant, brilliant matthieu. it's the man [that used to be the boy] that i know and love, and i will cry at his wedding because someone else was lucky enough to keep him, cry in the best possible way, cry because he's my friend and i love him. that matthieu. he keeps a live journal. and i check it, often. so i hadn't checked in a while, and i went back and started back-reading today. and i got to a post about his other major exgirlfriend and [you knew i would, mattchoo] started formulating a rant in my head for not writing that sweetly about me. then i went down another post, to the friday, april 11 post. and read all the sweet things matthieu had to say about me. go, read it. that's what friendship is, no doubt. i love you, mattchoo. for all that and more.
secondly: perhaps there will be an interesting chapter six after all. or, at the very least, an epilogue. no more will be said on this matter until, well, mid june. sorry kiddies. some stuff simply has to stay under wraps, n'est ce pas?
thirdly: this weekend had many, many layers to it. there was friday night movie marathon, with fulminous and the lovely shiverylove. then on saturday, there was an ill-advised but thrilling cosmetics shopping spree. then sunday brought brunch with pennyfunk and some unexpected crying-into-the-pillow afternoon action. this was ameliorated by drinks with mulzer and chris - mulzer and i meeting each other through seastreet, continuing to prove his excellent taste in friends. it was a good, full weekend. nothing productive was accomplished. hurrah!
fourthly: i think i have invented a word. i like collecting offensive state-insults. because it's funny. like, massholes. and floridiots. and mainiacs. but i think i came up with this one on my own. why? because people from illinois are? that's right ... illinoying. spread the word, kiddies. and remember... you heard it here first.
and fifthly: the best quote from the weekend was roomie genevieve saying, "well, everyone has to deal with .. their own face." another brilliant, timeless, nugget of wisdom from the pigman herself.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
relax. we're professionals. this is designed with your well-being in mind.
welcome to the new spring palate at petit hiboux. come in. have a cocktail. stay a while. we've chased winter away for good ... he won't be bothering us anymore.
so get out your floppy straw hats, your favorite tatty flip-flops, and a blanket for the park ... it's spring!
the one hundred things have been moved, cats. from that horrible, embarassing jpg to their own sleek page, here. from now on, that page will have all the about stuff, as well as a couple pictures on rotation. so check it out every now and then.
* * * * * * * * * * * *