Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lust Caution

'Lust Caution,' the espionage thriller set in Japanese-occupied 1940s China, is thoroughly engaging and visually breathtaking, and did you expect anything less from Ang Lee's follow-up to 'Brokeback Mountain'?

Lee always elicits the very best from the excellent material he tackles...  He finds the cinematic truth and makes it utterly compelling.. Whether exploring Asia modern ('Eat Drink Man Woman') or historic ('Crouching Tiger'), whether gays in Manhattan ('Wedding Banquet') or in the 60s closet ('Brokeback'), whether 19th century England ('Sense and Sensibility') or Nixon-era Connecticut suburbs ('The Ice Storm').

Here's the trailer...

'Lust Caution' deftly balances suspense and character, and benefits from our innate curiosity about the exotic time and place...  We've seen dozens of European World War 2 resistance films, but none about the brave Chinese underground.   The sex scenes, ten minutes of full-frontal nudity, are perhaps the most passionate and convincing straight coupling I've witnessed on film...  They were cut when the film was shown in China and Singapore..  The female lead is brilliant in a difficult role - an innocent who must must seduce her target...  And the male lead is the ambiguous collaborator target, played by the brilliant Tony Leung.  

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'm up in JP's hometown, Wiscasset, Maine...

Two Weeks Back

My friends congregated to welcome Deena and Dan, and mark another year off Christi's calendar...

Here I am flanked by my nephew Dan & boyfriend JP in my adorable crimson shirt : - )


Here's the birthday girl, flower in her ear...

Dan is a decoration wizard! Who knew?


It was great to have my sister around!

Birthday cake trajectory....

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Friday, May 29, 2009


I'm off to Wiscasset, Maine this weekend to meet JP's family and see where he grew up.... Following this post is a banana-rific surprise....

Here's a 52 second look at a Wiscasset home & grounds:


I've known from age 11 which film was Woody Allen's definitive masterpiece - watch this banana-rific movie trailer:

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Healing

I'm all better! The thumb has healed from my garbage disposal mishap three weeks back...

But it didn't heal overnight.. Here are some images you didn't need to see... Here's an early snapshot of the stitches, just days after the accident :-)


Here's my thumb at the halfway point...

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back In The Days of 20/7

It occurred to me last week that today's youth may haven no idea that TV wasn't always 24/7. My nephew's generation hasn't seen their local TV stations sign off at 2am, with the national anthem...For thier benefit, here's a (recreated) 1964 WCBS Channel 2 sign-off.
It's in black and white, before they invented color. :-)

Often a TV staton would sign off with Our National Anthem..

here's an 80s version from Spokane, in color..

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Well, back to work, such as it is, and normalcy after a long weekend and a 10-day visit from my sister and nephew.... It's so quiet!

Portrait of Durian Green

It can't be legally eaten in a Singapore subway. It's been described as 'eating a linzer tart in an outhouse'! It's Southeast Asia's 'King of Fruits,' the Durian....

Here they are, being sold on Canal Street in Chinatown a few weeks back. Durian are distinctive for being huge (watermelon-sized), thorn-covered, and, most of all, smelly...

Wikipedia says '
some regard the durian as fragrant; others find the aroma overpowering and offensive. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust,' accounting for its banishment from many hotels and public transportation in Singapore...

It takes a special hand to dissect one of these babies!

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Kindly, Politely, Shake It....

'The Bird and The Bee' are an L.A. duo that serves up smart, witty jazz-influenced electro-pop, including today's Song of the Week, 'Polite Dance Song,' which is sweet and droll - but not particularly danceable.... : - )

The "bee" is producer/keyboardist Greg Kurstin who's worked the gamut from popsters Lily Allen and Kylie Minogue to rock royalty Red Hot Chili Peppers and cult favorite Flaming Lips (whose 'Do You Realize?' recently failed to become the official song of their home state, Oklahoma...).  

 The "bird" is singer/songwriter Inara George, who is in two other bands and is the daughter of the late founder of veteran 60s rockers Little Feat.   The twosome launched their delightful second album, 'Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future,' early this year, and showed us how to get to Carnegie Hall (practice, practice, practice....)....

Polite Dance Song.... at World Cafe in Philadelphia back in October...

The group tackle a Hall & Oates classic from late 1981....

The upbeat and unsettling 'Again & Again' was on a Grey's Anatomy soundtrack...

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

My Feet Feel

We hiked 7 miles through Hudson Highlands State Park near Garrison, NY, about 1 1/4 hours north via MetroNorth, halfway to my alma mater (Vassar). 

Our starting point was across the river from West Point (on their graduation day), and we could see that bastion from the ridgetop....  Of course, it's Fleet Week, and the streets of our burg are rampant with uniformed testosterone..  I'm surprised the Fleet drugstore product company never thought of a tie-in...  : - )

After fumbling to find the trailhead, we surged up the ridge on a cool, overcast day to take in the mountain area and give our feet, legs, and buttocks a royal workout..

I was the 'co-leader' of the hike, but it's fortunate indeed that Steve wasn't illin' too badly to lead since I would have been clueless to a high degree...

 By the way, have you ever heard of turn-of-millennium musical artist 'Laptop'?   He really rocks!  More about him soon..

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

I Scream For

I'm a sucker for neon. Last night was great - roof garden at the Met Museum, a quick bite, and some alone time with my baby..

This sculpture truly dominated the roof garden, literally overflowing and encompassing the rich, diverse sunset museum crowd..

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Friday, May 22, 2009

My Life and Flowers

I've been very busy hanging with my visiting sister and nephew!   They lucked into a week of spectacular weather.   They are headed out to Long Island for the weekend.  Now, I must clean my place!   It looks like good weather for the hike I'm co-leading tomorrow..

I'm happy to report a successful mission to the Israeli consulate!  Signed, sealed, delivered after a security screening and three lines.  Deena fed-exed the results to Israel and hopefully they will bloom into an inheritance!  Hey, every little bit helps...

For their theater outings, Deena and Dan chose 'In The Heights,' the hip-hop/salsa musical set in Washington Heights that I thoroughly enjoyed a few weeks back, and, one I haven't seen:  the intriguing 'Stomp,' which consists of no dialogue but endless energy and musical inventiveness.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ye Olde-y but Goode-y


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009


On January 10, the day before she closed in 'Gypsy,' Patti Lupone stopped in mid-song and went ballistic on a picture-taker in the audience, berating him and refusing to continue until he was removed from theater... For your pleasure, below we have Patti's actual rant, followed by a humorous 'remix' version' - Enjoy!

The rant....:

The remix... : - )

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hive Of Fashion

I was intrigued by this beehive-themed window display at Anthropologie on Fifth Avenue, here captured both night and day..



Path of the bee...


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Monday, May 18, 2009

Violin, Whistling, Mandolin, and Glockenspiel...

...these are a few of my favorite things that Andrew Bird knows how to play... That makes him a 'multi-instrumentalist,' on top of being tuneful, witty, and whip smart...  Bird's dreamy, strumming 'Fitz and the Dizzyspells...' with its mini-wall-of-sound is today's Song/Video of the Week... 

I love this artist, who hails from Chicago and spent the late 1990s working with Squirrel Nut Zippers...  He's not your average indie-folkie -too much melody, too quirky and off-center...  He shifts tempos, textures, and structure in mid-song and makes it work!  For this Bird, 'Imitosis' sounds like a lovely title for a hit (not!) single... In lieu of a full band, he records with multi-tracking and loop petals, drawing on his proficiency with 'non-mainstream' instruments....  The best way to learn about Andrew Bird is just to watch and listen...

'Fitz and the Dizzyspells' is lead-off single of Bird's latest triumph, 'Noble Beast' - just try not to tap your foot and whistle to this one... - Live at Hiro Ballroom NY Oct 2008

'Imitosis' was a single off his last album, 'Armchair Apocrypha', from 2007...

Fake Palindromes from 2005's 'The Mysterious Production of Eggs,' performed live here in 2006 at the Bonaroo Festival in Manchester TN...

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

In A Blue, Blue Neon Glow, Part 1

On Friday we saw a terrific music/performance art show by the amazing FischerSpooner!  
 Their show is rather remarkable - cutting edge and high-tech on a shoe-string budget....
Polar opposites in many ways, Warren Fischer is a straight, middle aged classically-trained musician and Casey Spooner is a video-artist and experimental theater performer.  

They met in the late 90s and formed a their own 'troupe' 

Their albums are wonderful, but they produce one every four years...  That's three songs a year, folks...
Just for good measure, watch them peform, at Coachella festival, song that put them on the map, 'Emerge...'

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Christi!

Christi's just about the sweetest, most endearing person I've ever met!
I just live to make to Christi laugh!  Her laughter is like a beautiful waterfall shimmering in the sunset glow....

Christi seems to look better and thinner each time I see her.  She's the poster girl for aging like fine wine...

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