Thursday, September 30, 2004

Friday On My Mind....

And here's New Dehli's Jama Masjid, literally Friday Mosque, India's largest. Surprisinly, the top attractions in India's capital are all Moslem, simply because the city was never ruled by Hindus until 1948 and independence. It was built by the Moslem Moguls, who ruled until the British came in. I was there in 2001, and saw female Westerners with sheets covering their bare arms and legs. Under the Mosque's portico, I saw sleeping transients woken up with the billy club of a nasty Indian policeman. During my visit, a week before the WTC attack, my hotel was hosting the state's annual gourmet cooking festival, and I set out to eat the slowest, most scrumptious meal of my life, with some success.

And now for some humor, including a cartoon...

Onion 1 - From the Onion Archives of my favorite feature, “What Do YOU Think?
Question 1: “The National Sleep Foundation recently announced that American children are not getting enough sleep. What do you think?”
Answer 1: "It's no surprise. The obese often have trouble sleeping."

Question 2: "Decried as gas-guzzling road hazards, SUVs are also under fire for supporting terrorism by increasing U.S. dependence on Mideast oil. What do you think?”
Answer 2: "Yes, the average U.S. automobile has doubled in weight since 1990, but so has the average U.S. citizen."

this entry's permalink

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Quote Of The Day:
"Comparing (Bush's) grandiose promises to his failed record, it's enough to make anyone want to, well, sigh." - Al Gore, in his excellent NYT op-ed piece of today entitled "How To Debate George Bush."

this entry's permalink

Hello, Mali...

Pack yer bags. Tired o' my own pictures, we're going to Mali, east of Mauritania.. ...and home to many sacred sites. At left, Bina Shrine on Mali's Bandiagara escarpment.

Cartoons will follow at the very bottom...

Uneventful day. I worked a lot. Dis-assembled and re-assembled my computer for absolutely nothing... Some screws just won't unscrew....

Rite of passage ceremonial site for Dogon boys becoming men:

The Dogon village of Songo, with its reknown mud mosque...

Handy map of Mali:

And finally, les cartoons du jour...

this entry's permalink

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Happy Birthday, Brian!

It's the big day for Bri - on Sep 28 of fall after the summer of love, baby Brian came into this world. Our birthday salute to Bri includes photos taken in Paris, Sweden (the tongue), the Norwegian-Russian border, and that happenin' city, Pasadena.

this entry's permalink

Monday, September 27, 2004

Grease In Dubious Formations (Castle Hassle)

Leery Of Lunch: My floor's head honcho had an inspiration last week: offer his co-workers and floormates a White Castle luncheon feast as a morale booster. I think what got boosted the most was Alka Seltzer usage. Uggh.

Mountains of ghastly square burgers with tart relish and a plastic-like texture. Chicken "rings" which I initially mistook for undercooked onion rings, I think this hymn to deep-frying and chicken-reprocessing is what White Castle counts as a "health offering"

Grease-saturated wax paper in corrugated cartons offered us Mozzarella sticks, fish and cheese sandwiches, undercooked french fries... Vive le Salad Bar, baby!

this entry's permalink

Sunday, September 26, 2004

What Do All The People Know? : - )

Vanity Fair was thoroughly enjoyable and engaging, I thought. Good plotting, acting, and dialogue, and glorious period recreation - think of it as a two-hour trip to 1820 England, in interesting company. Not bad for a summer movie headlined by a Hollywood starlet. I'm glad I wasn't deterred by mixed reviews, my gut feeling was it's better to aim high (british lit) and fall short of a perfect 10. True, I hadn't read the book, and thus had no pre-existing images in my mind, esp. of heroine Becky Sharp. Reese Witherspoon (pictured here as pregnant Becky) brought a tough-girl, ambitious, somewhat mocking sensibility to the role, and created a convincing character. My friend Pat, an english lit enthusiast, was not disappointed. Now I'd like to see Bright Young Things, the adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies (title reportedly changed to avoid confusion with horror films!).

This evening I'll post Friday's awful White Castle lunch party at work - the most vile meal I've eaten in ages.

Spanish Sunday / Domingo en Castellano follows, in honor of Andres in Argentina, who was my boyfriend from 1988-1993 and who I'm still very close to. He recently sent me a great poem...

Hoy es domingo, ya van 5 días que es otoño pero todavía parece verano. Hay mucho sol, lastima que tenga que trabajar por lo menos 3-4 horas para ponerme al día con mis proyectos. Anoche vi "Vanity Fair (Feria de las Vanidades)" una película que me gustó mucho a pesar de la crítica mixta que tuvo. Es a base de una novela de principios del siglo 19 y da un cuadro detallado de la sociedad inglesa de este entonces, vista por una governanta pobre que sube los escalones de la sociedad a fuerza de su genio, belleza y osadía. ¿qué mas? entre las fotos que puse esta semana hay una linda postal que Christi me envió de Cozumel donde pasó 10 días con su hija, hermana, y cuñado dedicada a natación, buceo, y la exploración de ruinas indias. David de Míami envió fotos de su entorno, hoy sufre huracán numero cuatro - la peor temporada desde hace 86 años. Pronto, fotos de perros de los cuatro rincones del mundo, aventuras de Doug en Kazakstan, y el almuerzo intragable que dieron en mi oficina el viernes. Hasta pronto, besos - Aaron

this entry's permalink

Saturday, September 25, 2004


Oh dear.... Tonight's movie choice, Vanity Fair, is attracting some pretty nasty reviews, along with the good ones. You can view 20-odd reviews of any movie at a glance by clicking Metacritic's film page. You'll have my review tomorrow. Meanwhile, here's a sampling of the pans. Meow-scratch!

Boston Globe: "She has been made lovable -- and a Vanity Fair with a lovable Becky Sharp has no reason to exist. It's as if Shakespeare had put Hamlet on Prozac: What's the point? "

Salon.com "Scene by scene and moment to moment, it's a woeful misreading of the book."

NYT: "In mixing satire and romance, the movie proves once again that the two are about as compatible as lemon juice and heavy cream."

New York: "The effect is a bit like watching "Gone With the Wind" with a dumpling substituting for Scarlett O’Hara. "

Rolling Stone: "In an effort to blend Thackeray and "Sex and the City," Vanity Fair ends up nowhere. "

this entry's permalink
uno, dos, tres, catorce... the new U2 single, Vertigo, really rocks!

this entry's permalink


I'm up, caffeinated, and ready to sally forth. Interesting posts await you this weekend, probably starting later today, after I: stroll. exercise. work. repeat. I'm seeing "Vanity Fair" tonight with my friend Pat.

Restaurants with a red-state, red-meat world view: : - )
Cartoon follows...

this entry's permalink

Friday, September 24, 2004

Deep Blue Sea

My pal Christi sent this inviting postcard from Cozumel a few weeks back. Her comments follow... "Cozumel ... Really a beautiful place to visit, especially for divers and snorkellers - there's a huge variety of beautiful fish, including those angelfish on the card! Also turtles (large!), manta rays, etc. Those calm blue Gulf waters make for all kinds of great water sports, even just old-fashioned sunning and swimming. The are a few reminders of the Mayans and/or native cultures, including a small structure called El Caracol at the tip of the island. It incorporates conch shells into its walls so that when hurricane winds blow up from the Gulf the conch shells wail, warning the islanders of upcoming storms. Maybe they should build some of those in Florida?"

Thanks, Christi. I am weeks behind in my sleep. Must rest this weekend. And listen to 40 songs by Ani Difranco, who is, among other things, my favorite CEO. : - )

French Fry Day follows cartoons / Apres les desseins suivra vendredi français

Salut, les garçons! Quelle semaine. J'suis a bout de forçes, faut dormir longtemps c'weekend. De bonnes nouvelles - ma soeur peut quitter l'asile geriatrique qu'elle a supporté pendant 3 semaines et rentrer chez soi attendre la chirurgie. Elle en est bien contente. L'infection s'en va peu a peu, apres ça on pourra l'operer. Quoi encore? Jeudi j'ai eu un rendez-vous avec ce mec que j'ai connu sur AOL, on a bu un verre au restau thailandais du coin, mais il ne m'interessait pas du tout. Faut prendre beaucoup de verres avec des grenouilles pour trouver un prince, je suppose. Christi m'a envoyé une jolie carte postale de Cozumel, ou elle est allé passer 10 jours. Elle a fait du snorkelling pour voir les poisson rouges. Ensuite, des ruines maya. Grosses bises de NY. - Aaron

this entry's permalink

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Memories Of Chair-Man Mao

This is Mao's country house, now a museum. Y'all drop by anytime you're in Wuhan, China... : - ) We didn't expect to be there, either, but rather floating down the lovely, atmospheric Yangtze river.. But heavy flooding docked our boat, and we had to travel by bus through the farms of Hubei province to Wuhan, the provincial capital. Hubei means 'north of the lake', and Hunan, 'south of the lake.' I freaked my Mom out a little by slipping under the velvet rope in the conference hall of Mao's vacation home (pictured below.) Nothing happened, of course. Which means it's safer than NY's High Line. : - ) The cool and charming lady in the chairman's chair is Liz Allcott, with whose family my Mom and I toured China in August 2002. Liz hails from Oregon, and, being 19, was able to confirm to me that hip hop has indeed replaced rock as the primary music of young people of today : - )


this entry's permalink

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Great news! They're letting my sister out of the nursing home! She can await surgery in the comfort of her own living room... for which she wasn't ready today, still too infected. they will evaluate again next week.

this entry's permalink

Go South, Young Man...

Dialogue Of The Day:
Burt Lancaster: "Why did you bolt your cabin door last night?"
Eva Bartok: "If you knew it was bolted, you must have tried it. If you tried it, you know why it was bolted." : - )

Ridiculous Invention Of The Day:
Musical Baby Diaper Alarm. Three women from France marketed this to moms in 1985. It's a padded electronic napkin that goes inside a baby's daper. When it gets wet, it plays "When The Saints Go Marching In..."

Pictured left: Pastel façade from Miami, snapped by my friend David. Pretty, huh? Below is his day view. One more reason to tolerate category 4 hurricanes.. : -)

this entry's permalink

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

"And the colors are gonna be
ones that you've never seen
so say goodbye to green...
'cause here it comes in incredible yellow,
and edible orange...
and you can just get on down
to the feel good hit of the fall..."

- !!!, "Feel Good Hit Of The Fall", 2002

this entry's permalink

(Reach Up For The) Sunrise

Sleepy. Yesterday sped by quickly. Feeling more energized at work. I am slowly watching Dogville, the 3-hour allegorical movie Lars Von Trier shot on a bare soundstage last year, with a highly talented cast in fine form. I'm bracing myself for Von Trier's usual emotional punch in the stomach, but so far, so excellent.

At right, some painting I downloaded from God knows where. : - )

humor, Maestro, please...

this entry's permalink

Monday, September 20, 2004

Quote of the Day:
"Humor is emotional chaos observed in tranquility" - James Thurber (actually he said 'remembered' but I think 'observed' is more on target)

this entry's permalink

Take Me To The River...

Don't bathe me in these waters : - ) But how prettily they shimmered yesterday under the resplendent pre-autumnal sun. I took my bad self to Hudson River Park, Greenwich Village section, to a long pier, with a lawn and benches, jutting a hundred feet over the river and ringed by chrome railing (see picture below). From the far end, I could see, gleaming in the distance: the towers of Jersey City, lady Liberty, and the Verrazano bridge, which has the thankless task of uniting Brooklyn and Staten Island. Later, I thought I saw a friend there, sleeping shirtless on the grass, peaceful, oblivious to the pigeons pecking at his torn jeans. Turned out later that I was mistaken.

A nice, quiet, very musical weekend (my new Nomad Jukebox kicks major hind quarters! what an improvement! goodbye to you, Archos.) A sunny weekend, a social weekend, a reflective weekend. Summer's last. The 6:50pm sunset drove that home, as shadows covered the canyons of Manhattan around five-ish and the wind blew cooler.

this entry's permalink

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Park Slope has the architectural charm of yesteryear with Manhattan-like eateries and shopperies. : - ) 'Twas the scene last night of a lovely dinner with Bart (pictured left) and Ashley, as I visited their expansive, high-ceiling new apartment, quite a step up from Bart's cage-like studio near W 4th St. Bart is also switching jobs, leaving Staten Island's Arts & Sciences and starting at the Hudson River Museum. Goodbye Ferry, Hello MetroNorth.

Ashley works at the Brooklyn Historical Society in Brooklyn Museum. I should go to their evening beer garden exhibit, Fridays this month only.

this entry's permalink
It's beautiful today - NYC is drenched in sun. And out I go into the 65F crisp autumnal air...

this entry's permalink

Saturday, September 18, 2004

A Bicycle Built For Eight...

With the pedallers in a circle, like spokes! Last night, met two of my newer friends for a scrumptious meal at Pam Thai on 49th and 9th, followed by a humid evening stroll through the Great White Way/Restaurant Row, where we saw the bicycle revellers. And on 42nd St! Looked kind of scary, but also fun... If only I'd had a camera. I can't even find a picture of these contraptions on line. I don't even know what they're called. I searched under 'multi-seat bicycles,' 'novelty bicycles' etc. My friends said they'd seen these in Central Park before.

Here's a postcard from the Queens Library Collection: "In the 1890s, the bicycle craze swept the country. The new safety bicycle, with two wheels of the same size, replaced the big-wheeled velocipede, which was difficult to master. By the turn of the century, men and women had formed dozens of cycling clubs across the City. Wheelmen—and women—anxious to tour the countryside around the City pushed local governments for better roads long before the automobile age. "

this entry's permalink

Friday, September 17, 2004

Want To See A Really Good Movie?

"We Don't Live Here Any More," a tale of infidelity and two marriages in trouble, offers complex characters, emotional truth, sharp observation, compelling acting, and deft directing. One-line summary: guy cheating with best friend's wife as both relationships hit the breaking point. Four amazing actors bring the two couples intensely to life and leave indelible impressions. These actors' credits are practically a compendium of this decade's most distinctive drama: Mark Ruffallo of "You Can Count On Me" and "Eternal Sunshine," Naomi Watts of "Mulholland Drive" and "21 Grams," Peter Krause, the emotional center of "Six Feet Under," and Laura Dern, whose slightly older masterpieces include "Rambling Rose" and "Blue Velvet." This unusual and interesting film was aptly described by NY Times as "an uncomfortable four-way game of envy, longing, and dissatisfaction."

French Fri-Days / Vendredi Français - after the cartoons - aprés les desseins

Happy Weekend, everybody!

weekly summary, en français, pour mes amis de la ville lumière:

Cette semaine j'ai eu mon jour aux tribunaux! Apres avoir attendu deux heures sur le trottoir devant la porte, on m'a conduit a la salle de justice, ou j'ai regardé un melange personne de different races et classes sociales. La moitie était lá accusés de petits delits, vol de marchandise chez Daffys, par exemple; l'autre moitié se trouvait lá a cause d'infractions civiles qui ne sont guere des crimes - jetter des ordures sur la route, faire la bicyclette sur le trottoir, faire du bruit insupportable a 3 heures du matin. Bref, la juge a regardé mon dossier et a dit a l'avocat que l'état m'avait fourni: 'ce dossier est annulé. le prochain, s.v.p.!' Donc issu de cette aventure, pas d'amende, pas de service communautaire, meme pas de dossier. Comme si ça ne s'était jamais passée. Ma vie en rose.... / Mardi j'suis allé avec Thomas (qui part ce soir pour San Francisco) á Irving Plaza voir 'Snow Patrol', qui font du rock intelligent et subtile a la Coldplay ou U2 et habitent Belfast. Ils étaient très sympa, l'humour modeste de l'irlandais de province. Leur tube 'Run' est une balade qui fair venir une tourbillon d'emotion, qui se deploie peu a peu... / Hier soir j'ai travaillé jusqu'aux 11h / Ce weekend, diner avec des copains de Denis et Chrisitian ce soir, diner avec Bart a Park Slope demain, des films, du dodo. A bientôt, j'espère..

this entry's permalink

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?