30 September 2006

movies avoided

here are some movies that i haven't seen and will never see:
  • Snakes on a Plane - even if it was starring Eric Bana, Wentworth Miller and Gael Garcia Bernal...and it was called Garden Snake on a Plane...it would still be on this list.
  • Anaconda - what's worse, hundreds of normal-sized CGI snakes or one huge CGI snake...and j.lo? discuss.
  • Titanic - from the hype to the assurances of everybody i knew that this movie was really good - especially the part where the boat sinks! - to the horrendous song that had dialogue from the movie in it to this very moment - i have never and will never see this movie. i promise.
  • Dancer in the Dark - but, you'll say, it's bjork! have you no heart? actually i do have a heart, i just don't need it ripped out and shredded, which is what apparently happens to you when you see this movie. if i wanted to be depressed for 3 days i would watch Before Sunset again.
  • Braveheart - another case of me being stubborn. and with mel gibson's recent antics, i'm now rewarded with a bonus sense of smugness. it was so worth it.
movies i'll definitely be seeing: the science of sleep, alatriste, the departed.borat

28 September 2006


i have been feeling a stronger connection to my jewish heritage lately. i have never had any religious faith in judiasm, and in fact currently i would best describe my religion as athiesm and self-belief. lately i am more interested in ritual as it relates to a sense of self and a connection to community. for me, jewish traditions play this role in my life.

the past two years living in madrid i have come into a group of jewish friends and together we put on seders that can't be beat - and which have been instrumental in developing my own sense of jewishness. maybe it is only when we make our parents' traditions our own that we really become adults. far from my family and with no partner or children i have friends, and through them i have interpreted my jewish heritage in a way that feels correct.

i have always loved seders...i like the idea of a group-led religious service in the home. celebrating and praying with family, telling stories of old traditions and making new ones has always seemed a very vital practice. not to mention the value of taking a long time to have a meal: in america it can require the formality of a religious service to keep people seated at the table for longer than twenty minutes.

last weekend my new roommate, who is also jewish, suggested having a rosh hashanah dinner on friday night. i agreed, mainly because i like dinner parties, but i realized that i hadn't celebrated the jewish new year since i was a kid. i like having special nights to celebrate, away from the normal holidays.

so in keeping with the high holiday swing, i'm thinking of fasting for yom kippur - the jewish day of atonement. rather than confess every week, jews group it into one day. one day for mourning, atoning, and perhaps repenting. and fasting. i like the cleansing aspect of this ritual, and despite the fact that i have to work on monday - which is against the rules - i would like to fast, to reflect. and, thanks to my new jewish roommate, i've been invited to a break-fast dinner! bonus!

i'm interested in feeling connected: to myself with the feelings of reflection and hunger; to my family by participating in a tradition; to other jews who observe the fast on yom kippur.

today's question: do we ever really atone, or just make ourselves feel better?

new music

some new music i have been listening to lately, and liking:
  • feedback (jurassic 5) - good to hear from these guys again. the last song in particular "Canto de Ossanha" is a lovely listen. they're coming to madrid in october. i will be there. who wants to come?
  • the garden (zero 7) - nice chillout music. these brits are consistent.
  • respect m.e. (missy elliot) - greatest hits from one of the greatest. she always gets the best cameos and that is showcased well here. i have most of these tracks already, but somehow it's nice to hear them in a row. she played in madrid monday night to poor reviews. apparently her set was an hour long, only half of which featured missy rapping. boo, girl. for 37euro, your fans expect more. glad i didn't go
  • i am not afraid of you and i will beat your ass (yo la tengo) - they always come up with the best album titles. these songs are all over the place, these guys can do anything well. i missed their free show in prospect park in july, but i will be there when they play madrid in december. who wants to come?
  • waving, not drowning (citizens here and abroad) - a little bit darker than their last album, but i have only listened to it a few times. something tells me it will be growing on me.

27 September 2006


my summer has followed a weird trajectory...intense work/friend environment in new york: compressed. then bursts of travel around the US, friends, family: refracted. back to spain with visitors: hectic. two weeks waiting for work: a slow dragging finale.

summer ended quickly, as it always does. it pulled the rug out from under me...everybody asked "are you ready to go back?" i dont know if i'm ever ready for anything, i just do it. after having so many plans, trying hard to experience each one and not just check them off, yet somehow breezing through the months of july and august without a feeling of accomplishment or productivity, i have now ground to an expectant halt with my head spinning.

i'm trying to be productive but am increasingly self-aware, making it impossible. next week work starts again and i think the structure will be good for me. a new trajectory.

today's question: am i moving in forward-moving cycles? or tail-chasing circles?

photo by stib

26 September 2006


i'm normally very punctual.

but with blogging i'm showing up seven years late. or rather, i showed up seven years ago to the party and this is the first time i've opened my mouth to say anything. i wonder if everybody else is so wrapped up in their conversations that nobobdy will notice

why start now? a few things. for one, i want to get into the habit of writing every day for an upcoming project. also, i am interested in certain questions that i want to pose to myself and to anybody else, for consideration. finally, i'm not a diarist and i'm hoping to better keep in touch with myself and others

so, here it is. 7 years late.

today's question: how does one announce a new blog to friends and family? mass email? word of mouth?

i'll have to consult some experts. for now, perhaps a subtle gmail signature.