Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Things

Sometimes…

TTMMW: Overdue

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It’s been months, so if this is all old news, well excuseeeee me.

READ

Alexander McQueen was inspired by Friends.

Rock Hudson was gay. Here’s a look at his hidden “bachelorhood.”

A woman got really unhappy because people were putting plastic Flamingos on her lawn. So she’s basically an idiot, because that is a fine fine gift.

The guy who designed the literal Wheel of Fortune and did art direction for Jeopardy! died. His name was Ed Flesh. Yes. Also the man who invented Doritos died, and he was buried with them.

Linda Ronstadt is writing a memoir. So is Neil Young. And Patti Smith’s Just Kids will become a movie.

A very thorough look at time zones and how ridiculous they are.

I appreciate any recent reference to Simply Red.

Make some egg salad sandwiches, but in a very classy way. Also make some potato pancakes with leftover mashed potatoes courtesy of Gretchen (as if there would ever be leftovers!)

A glimpse of anything you ever wanted to know about Paul Taylor and all that dance is now available.

Roseanne is back with a vengeance, with her major policy position based on legalizing marijuana.

As if we even thought it was possible, Craig Ferguson steps up the crazy and films a week’s worth of shows in Paris.

LOOK


My piano teacher growing up would have been all over these.


I would stay in this hotel in a hot second. If I had my stockpile of old magazines with me right now I’d pull out this amazing Times Magazine where these designers used salvaged oil tankers as rooms in their homes.

Pre-fabs and contemporary ranch style homes? Sign me up (and remember the great MOMA exhibit on pre-fabs from a couple years ago).


Glass Beach is in MacKerricher State Park in California. There’s all this sea glass because of years trash being dumped nearby.

A connect-the-dots Mona Lisa, and a Mona Lisa made of far fewer dots.


An Apple tree.


There was a Playboy gallery exhibit. NSFW images, obviously – which isn’t stopping this little boy.


More stamps for people who like good looking things.

Dress your life like you’re in Benny and Joon.

Girls and boys growing up.

And photos of your favorite country singers (and some less impressive ones too, what can you do).

LISTEN


Steve Earle’s “Galway Girl.” Fun fact: He’s been married seven times, twice to the same woman (the current wife is Allison Moorer, a talented singer-songwriter in her own right). Must be why his music is so good.

LOOK & LISTEN

Do a day in the life with Pixar genius John Lassater.

Running on Empty (Revisited) from Ross Ching on Vimeo.

LA didn’t have cars for a bit and it was glorious.


Check out “The Secret Life of Swimmers,” by photographer Judy Starkman. She took photos of people who swim at public pools. It is a bit of a secret club.

TTMMW: Read, Look, Listen, Look & Listen

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READ
Patti Smith is writing a sequel to Just Kids. Yes yes.

Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory and Lee Pace of Pushing Daisies under one roof? Yes please. (Also Ellen Barkin).

Is Roger Federer over? For Anna Wintour’s sake, I hope not.

Willie Nelson is both the subject of a documentary directed by none other than Billy Bob Thorton, and a drug bust for marijuana (again), where a judge JOKINGLY said that if he sang a song, he could go free.

Atlantis for realz?! I hope so.

There’s dramz involving Etta James’ estate. I really really hope this gets wrapped up in a way that would make her happy, because this is just too sad.

Miles Davis biopic. If anyone can do it, it’s Don Cheadle. Not to be a downer, but it’s rarely easy to sum up a life in a movie.

The funnest of facts about the Toy Story trilogy. But one of the most interesting facts isn’t even about Toy Story or its sequels; did you know that Alice and Wonderland is the sixth highest grossing movie of all-time. Yea, that weird Tim Burton remake version.

The New York Times is reviewing children’s books online. Legitimating the genre, or responding to Park Slope parents?

LOOK
Young hollywood hotties looking old and vintage. About half of these are from Vanity Fair‘s “Vanities Girls” series, so there’s no deep-digging here, but it’s still nice to look at.

Take me here now please. More shots at the jump. It’s Switzerland, of course.

Live in an airstream; it’s the life.

This exhibit of photos of African American images of beauty from the 1890s to Present looks awesome

B. Deck’s cut her hair and it looks good!

I need more information about this product, specifically, where I can get one:

From her biography, which I still haven’t read; please, Jessie, just leave it at my house and I will roll through it.

These plans for the New York City waterfront look excellent.

Black Orpheus is an amazing movie, and this breakdown of how to “live in it” can make you too feel as though you’re in Brazil during Carnivale.

Jello is super cool. Here are a few more reasons to love it. I fondly remember my family reunion in Iowa in ’98 where we were served green jello with marshmallows and I just…gaped.

LISTEN
To Paul Simon’s new album.

LOOK & LISTEN
Cab drivers are required to pick you up if their light is on. KNOW THE LAW.

New York, way back when. It looks almost fake.

Marcel gets his own show…on SyFy. Dear god. It gets better: the show is called Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen.

Nicole Miller tv. She was the first designer I remember being enticed by through advertising. I wanted that skirt made of ties.

Jennifer Aniston “sex tape.” Not to take away from her accomplishments, but I do wonder if she would have been as famous without Brad, and vice versa. Probs not. It really is the Eddie Fisher – Elizabeth Taylor – Debbie Reynolds love triangle of the 21st century.

David Letterman is a creeper and you can see so yourself by watching these clips of him checking out his lady guests. But like, what else is new?

Thelonious Monk Memorial Weblog Post Week 5

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1) Patti Smith Could Get No Cooler
I really like how she’s a huge fan of Law & Order: SVU.

The Unpredictable Patti Smith’s Favorite Cultural Moments of 2010 [NYMag]

2) Blake Edwards Dies
Really, really sad. Husband of Julie Andrews, he directed her in one of my favorite films, Victor/Victoria. He also directed and wrote the original Pink Panther movies with Peter Sellers, not the bad ones with Steve Martin (sorry Steve).

3) A viral video of all the black people ever on Friends hits the web
The list (though I think it might be incomplete, I won’t bore you with my endless knowledge of trivial Friends Facts, or what I consider Fun Facts).

Jorge Luis Abreu – The One with the Birth Mother – The Waiter
John Eric Bentley – The One with the Blind Dates – Waiter #2
Mongo Brownlee – The One with Unagi – The Instructor
Sean Corvelle – The One with the Holiday Armadillo – The Salesman
Monique Edwards – The One with Christmas in Tulsa/The One with Phoebe’s Birthday Dinner – Claudia
Jonathan T. Floyd – The One with All the Candy – Gary
Jason Winston George – The One Where They’re Up All Night – Fireman
Ron Glass -The One Where Joey Loses His Insurance/The One Where Ross
Hugs Rachel – Russell
Joyce Guy – The One Where Rosita Dies – The Supervisor
Teck Holmes – The One with the Mugging – Jordan
Michelle Anne Johnson – The One with the Mugging – The Casting director
Cleo King – The One Where No One Proposes – Nurse Kitty
Phill Lewis – The One with the Lottery/The One with the Mugging/The One Where Rachel Goes Back to Work – Steve
Tembi Locke – The One Where Ross Hugs Rachel – Karin
Keith Pillow – The One with Rachel’s Dream – Customer #2
Ron Recasner – The One with Unagi – The Doctor
Dennis Singletary – The One with Joey’s Porsche – Guy #2
Tim Edward Rhoze – The One Where Joey Speaks French – Director
Michael D. Roberts – The One with Ross’ Library Book – The Head Librarian
Timothy Starks – The One with the Boob Job – The Handyman
Aisha Tyler – The One with the Soap Opera Party/The One with the Fertility Test/The One with the Donor/The One in Barbados: Part 2/The One in Barbados: Part 1/The One After Joey and Rachel Kiss/The One Where Ross Is Fine/The One Where Rachel’s Sister Babysits – Charlie Wheeler
Gabrielle Union – The One with the Cheap Wedding Dress – Kristen Lang
Janet Hubert-Whitten – The One Where Emma Cries – Ms. McKenna
Barry Wiggins – The One with the Holiday Armadillo – The Man

4) I went to see Mark Morris’ The Hard Nut at BAM Again
This ballet will probably always be my favorite. A modern adaptation of The Nutcracker, I first saw it at the age of four when our good family friend, Clarice Marshall, was the lead, Marie. I even dressed up as her for Halloween the following year. In the following video, which features clips of different performances of The Hard Nut, but a great deal of footage of Clarice in the original production, Morris explains how the holiday party scene at the beginning of the ballet is influenced largely by improvisation, which I feel largely explains why it is some of his best work.

His Company’s productions benefit hugely from the individual attention that all the dancers get; even those that are not leads have their moments, and he does amazing work with partnering. Something that has always set The Hard Nut apart from more traditional ballet is his use of both men and women in scenes that would historically feature only female dancers. While some might find it “gender bending”, Morris sees it differently: “The topic of the snowflakes and the flowers is an interesting one, because I guess because traditionally in most Nutcrackers, those are danced by women, because most women are more like flowers or snowflakes. And as far as I’m concerned, flowers have different genders, there’s a male and a female flower. Snowflakes I don’t believe have sexual characteristics of any kind, so what I wanted really, frankly, was a stage full of people, and my company is fifty percent men and fifty percent women, so if I want a big crowd of people, it can only be that big with everybody. And so that became a political, socio-political sort of thing, when in fact it’s just, bring on the snowflakes!”

5) Norman Rockwell, the Photographer?
I can’t wait to see this show at the Brooklyn Museum of all the behind-the-scenes pictures he used to paint his works. I love how he thought using photographs was cheating, but he did it anyway. When my dad was in art school, he never told anyone that Norman Rockwell was his favorite artist, for fear of being considered a sell-out. The point that “Rockwell must be rolling in his grave” at the thought of this show is definitely an apt one.

6) A few ways to experience Christmas
Not only has Wendall Jamieson written a very touching story about an important male role model, it really reminded me of my dad, right down to the details.
The Man Who Hated Christmas [NYT]

If you’re in the mood for something more upbeat, the Irish Repertory Theater in New York is putting on a reinvention of Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas In Wales. The poem/story with very long sentences is a great way to be introduced to Thomas’ work in a more humorous manner. It also definitely helped me bridge the generation gap with my parents, as I was shocked to read that sometimes, people have relatives who get so drunk as to throw away presents in the fire as they try to burn up all the wrapping paper.

7) Kathleen Hanna Tells Us A Long Story About Kurt Cobain
And now we know how the most famous Nirvana song came about and what “us guys can do to help you feminists.” I also had no idea that there are strippers out there who dance to The Red Hot Chili Peppers, which sounds like a show to see. There’s so much goodness in this video, as well as being a really interesting cover; though I’ll always love this one.

Steal This Book

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Actually, buy it.

Robert Mapplethorpe, 1975

I just finished reading Just Kids, Patti Smith’s memoir of growing up in New York City, with her best friend Robert Mapplethorpe. Though after reading the book, I almost feel as if describing their relationship as just that is too simplistic. If there ever was a time for the use of the dreaded word “soulmates”, this would be it. For much of their lives, they lived and worked in tandem, and to Smith, Mapplethorpe was the driving force in helping her create her art. To read Smith’s book is to understand that there are certain people without whom we could never have become what we are.

Of this image, which graced the cover of Smith’s first album Horses, she says,

“I had my look in mind. He had his light in mind. That is all…When I look at it now, I never see me. I see us” (251).

Smith is a true artist. She manages to sound like less of a jack of all trades, and more like someone who was talented and flexible enough to have found dozens of ways of expressing herself. Her dedication to collecting, to creating from the bare minimum, flows through the entire narrative and made my fingers itch to produce things. She is incredibly honest about her life, without oversharing. Despite the drastic differences in the New York City’s we have grown up in, I felt connected to Smith by her commitment to the energy of the city. I almost envy the hunger she had to stay here, which was enough to get her through the times when she was, in fact, very hungry.

One of the driving forces of her narrative seems to center around belongings, despite often having very few of them. They were her art, her way of remembering and creating. She often describes shifts in her life around moving and leaving things behind, around the importance of what she chooses to bring with her. In describing the impact Mapplethorpe’s death had on her, Smith says,

“Why can’t I write something that would awake the dead? That pursuit is what burns most deeply. I got over the loss of his desk and chair, but never the desire to produce a string of words more precious than the emeralds of Cortés. Yet I have a lock of his hair, a handful of his ashes, a box of his letters, a goatskin tambourine. And in the folds of faded violet tissue a necklace, two violet plaques etched in Arabic, strung with black and silver threads, given to me by the boy who loved Michelangelo” (279).

As much as I feel overwhelmed by my pack rat tendencies, and as much as a show like Hoarders sickens me, belongings are always going to define us. They remind us of where we have been, and where we want to go. Though I admit that keeping my calculus notes doesn’t fall under the same category as collecting polaroids of my life, Smith seems to sadly acknowledge that when we are gone, all we have to hold onto is what we left behind.

As a bonus, my favorite Smith song, with Bruce Springsteen, of course. Listen up:

Because the Night – Patti Smith

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