29 November 2006

"this is a great playlist...too great actually"

kevin's smith presents his celebrity playlist in typical fashion. long-winded story pitting him as the righteous underdog against the blockheaded powers that be, self-deprecating remarks about his weight and his johnson, shout outs to his small but dedicated fan base, just enough jersey so we don't forget he's from the block, and ultimately, a geeky quirky and entertaining result. hey, i can't help it, i just like the guy. enjoy.

26 November 2006

rare and desirable

we college-educated 25 to 34 year olds have been labeled "rare and desirable" by an article in today's new york times. we are coveted by cities across america who are trying - not overtrying, mind you - to be cool enough for us. places like atlanta, ga, charlotte, nc and portland, or are busy stealing us "young and restless" hipsters from the old standbys of new york, dc and la.

wow, i feel like the belle of the ball. suck it, baby boomers.

so what does it take? apparently, we are a skeptical bunch but we do appreciate frisbee golf courses and bike paths. we can also be appealed to by the likes of dreadlocks and mosh pits (!) on marketing catalogs; don't even try to woo us with a sunset, we're waaaaay too hip for that. we went to college, remember? we'd better be able to perceive a diverse and open culture, or else we'll pack it up and move to austin.

but, a word to the wise: a place can only stay cool for too long. there is a very fragile balance when it comes to hipsters, exceed critical mass and suddenly you become a mockery of yourself. (looking in your direction, williamsburg)

today's question: so what's the hippest city in america? where would you live if you moved?

23 November 2006


yesterday while teaching english i felt like a third grader with a writing assignment: what thanksgiving means to me. most spaniards have heard of thanksgiving - have seen it depicted in movies - but aren't quite sure what it's all about. because it is my favorite holiday, i felt it was my duty to inform them.

thanksgiving is about more than turkey, i explained. it's about waiting for this turkey dinner all week long. you spend the entire day smelling it, then steal juicy bites while it is being carved. you have leftovers for the next week or so, to the point where you are just about to get sick of it. then you make turkey soup.

thanksgiving is about a 4 1/2 day weekend. here in spain it happens all the time; a holiday is on a thursday and they throw in the friday for free. in u.s. and a. if you're lucky you might get an extra day at 4th of july, but only if all the stars align correctly and your boss is a sweetheart. thanksgiving is the best because it's just enough time to go home, or not go home, whatever your fancy. and if you do go home you can hang out with your home friends, the ones who came home and ones who never left. you go to the local bars, you drive around, you bump into people.

on thanksgiving you don't have to do anything cheesy or commerical: no cards, no presents, no decorations, no fake religious or patriotic sentimentality. you just eat, watch football and be thankful.

i miss thanksgiving in framingham, but thanksgiving in madrid has its own charm. it will be observed by yours truly on saturday this year. can't wait.

22 November 2006

2006 winner

the novel isn't finished, but the stated goal of 50,000 words has been reached. (note icon at left)

after 3 lazy days of not writing, i kicked it back in today and crossed that first line in the sand. the second goal will be actually finishing the story, which i have eight days to accomplish.

but i've just started to round the bend there, wrapping things up. i'm still not sure of the outcome, but i'm excited to find out.

20 November 2006

team karen

a debate rages about nbc's the office: are you team karen or team pam?

last week's episode ended with karen's declaration "i'm kinda into him." with the stamford crew moving to scranton, jim's gonna have his hands full.

personally, i'm on team karen. ever since jim went to stamford, pam's personality has been nonexistent, while he continues to be funny and charming. he can do better, and karen is smarter, cuter and as of right now seems to have less baggage. she won me over in the first episode of this season with that spot-on impression of jim. every time he shrugs at the camera now, i can't help but laugh.

so which team are you on?

16 November 2006

what, me worry?

there is really nothing more satisfying to me then ranting about something for a week only to have the new yorker arrive -- a week late, as usual -- featuring an article about said rant. it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside; we, the new yorker authors and editors and i, share a common thorn in our sides, the same things make us want to bitch and whine and write.

i jest, i jest.

yet i must contend...last week the glorious democratic victory of the midterm elections was slightly bitterwsweet -- my friends can contest that i was more than slightly annoyed by the lack of voter concern for the environment. thank you my fellow americans for voting correctly. clearly you care about the war in iraq, the economy, corruption in our government and the high price of health care -- all quite valid and worrisome issues, all worthy of a shift in power and the sooner the better!

but friends, voters, countrymen: can we ignore climate change for much longer? are we so blind, deaf and dumb? shouldn't this be but one of several issues impacting our votes? to me this is tragic shortsightedness, blissful self-delusion.

not only are we irreversibly destroying our earth, on a more local level we are hastening our own demise by fighting a costly unwinnable war against an enemy who we are funding through our gluttonous consumption of oil. anybody who isn't convinced by these two facts, who still thinks the environment isn't a relavant issue is clearly smoking the crack and needs a reeducation. i recommend
thomas friedman and npr.

the new yorker spoke to this gaffe in a comment in the nov. 13 issue (now unavailable on the internet) stating that our current inaction will cost us 5-20% of world GDP, calling it the "greatest market failure the world has seen." clearly al gore isn't cut out to be the champion of this global cause, where is the leader who will step up and change our minds?

14 November 2006

soundtrack of my life

there are certain albums that i associate very strongly with the exact time of my life when i listened to them the most. where i was, what i was going through emotionally, who i was hanging around with, perhaps what i was reading.

i remember being sixteen and in florida on vacation, listening to under the pink over and over and over again. i had it on tape and while sunbathing i would listen to one side, then flip the tape over and flip myself over. i fell in love with that album, fell hard. it was just the perfect expression of angst, beauty and obtuse lyrics, perfect for a sixteen year old in her own head.

the summer after freshman year of college i lived in utah with my boyfriend and we each brought maybe fifteen cds with us and were pretty sick of them. our friends there were cowboys, mormons and navajos and what those groups have in common is a love of country music and ac/dc. understand that we were a good four hours from the nearest wal-mart, let alone a decent record store. so one day my boyfriend's tooth broke in half and we had to borrow a car and drive the four hours into town to find a dentist. we bought two cds that blew my mind, one was odelay by beck, which i think most people can agree was mind-blowing in 1996. the second was 12 golden country greats by ween, which was just perfect because i was so immersed in and fed up with country music and ween nailed it spot-on with their usual dose of irony.

white ladder by david grey reminds me of the grove street apartment in san francisco. i remember the day corby brought it over, he had found this gem that was going to change our lives, which it kind of did for a while. those were the days when we were four girls and many other various and sundry couch crashers, boyfriends and out of town guests populating our two bedroom. we were innocent and hedonistic, and we listened to that album alot. also from that time period, the first dealership cd and stan getz's bossa nova disc.

while traveling in southeast asia with ange it seemed like the only cd anybody owned was big calm by morcheeba. the disc had already been out and overplayed for what felt like years, suddenly the song 'over and over' was like a record skipping, playing out of the sound systems of every single last bar and restaurant. one time in laos we opened the bar's 3-disc changer and realized that two of the cds inside were big calm. i'm still sick of those songs. also from that trip, the first gorillaz album.

then there are the sad memories, the songs i shared with people i loved, albums i can't really listen to anymore. these include stories from the city by pj harvey, that cornershop one and practically anything by sebadoh.

i get the feeling that when i look back on that month in madrid when wrote a novel, i will think of the hour of the bewilderbeast by badly drawn boy. i remember this album from when it came out, i had it downloaded from good old napster on my work computer in san francisco. recently i have rediscovered it, and for some reason it is the perfect writing music, it is the ideal blend of melodiousness and edginess. sometimes it sounds like belle and sebastian and sometimes it sounds like the dandy warhols. it is just backgroundy enough to allow my mind to not concentrate on the lyrics yet i find myself typing in rhythm to the beats. i think i've listened to it fifty times in the past two weeks.

today's question: what music do you think of when you think of me?

13 November 2006

progress check

i have been ignoring my blog, but paying lots of attention to my novel. the writing is going well, i am spending about two hours a day and i'm up to almost 35,000 words (64 pages). i'm hoping to keep this momentum up for the rest of the month.

writing fiction is a blast, i have really been enjoying it. not ready to share the details of my story yet, but i'll say that it takes place in new england, it is a mystery, and although i intend for it to be suspenseful, i'm not sure if i am suceeding there.

i come back to blogger to find a new beta version, which has made it very simple to upate my template and tweak a few things. i wonder if people who actually know how to code are annoyed by this, this paint-by-numbers dumbing down?

jack bauer must die

check out the trailer for season six of 24

did you notice:

one of the kids from lords of dogtown
palmer's brother as president? or working for the president?
jack screaming "put down your weapon!" in classic jack style
curtis lookin mighty fine
one of the lawyers from ally mcbeal?
silver fox buchanan, lookin extra steely
karen hayes at the white house?
field agent chloe?

in other 24-related news, get your CTU ringtone here. then go here to upload it to your phone for free.

today's question: should chloe and jack finally get it on, or what?

08 November 2006

"sea change"

the new york times is calling it a "sea change." whether that is true remains to be seen, let's just hope montana and virginia come around.

this is the first time i've been happy looking at election results in a long time. the state i voted in, new hampshire, took two seats in the house. it feels good to vote in a swing state, actually.

let's just hope the democrats can keep their shit together for two more years.

07 November 2006

please vote

it is vitally important that you vote today. as much as i would like everybody to vote democrat, the truth is that i'd rather you vote republican than not vote at all. the citizens of the united states have a powerful -- yes, probably too powerful -- responsibility. the actions of our government shape the world, and i assure you from here, across the ocean, that the world will be watching what we do today.

even if the much-anticipated power shift does not occur, i believe that a strong voter turnout sends the message that we are active members of our democracy, that we are interested and care about the future of our world, rather than apathetic couch potatoes who can't be bothered to take ten minutes out of our year to be citizens. even if you are from a district deemed "no race" by the red/blue maps, your presence at the voting booth is essential, your vote means something.

i would love nothing more than to wake up tomorrow and see that a large majority of people showed up at the polls. it would help me believe that we are a country of intelligent, involved americans.

well, that's not true, exactly. i guess i would like nothing more than to see the democrats take the house and senate and end the autocratic one-party rule we have suffered under for the last 6 years, but i digress. go vote, please. make me happy.

today's question: in spain you get a day off from work to vote. that's sexy. do you think more people would vote in the us if they gave us a holiday?

04 November 2006


"apart is the new together" - zoe benedict

i think this could be the catchphrase of the last five years of my life. as well, the moral of the story of this blog. se nota.

02 November 2006

november is here

the novel writing started yesterday. off to a good start, i have over 3,000 words and am enjoying the exercise. although, let's face it, it's only the first day. this is the part where the blog posting drops off. i'll try not to abandon you completely.

today, some of what i've been reading around the web
  • nintendo bucks recent trends in video games and introduces a console aimed at people who are intimidated by complex contollers and complex plots. the wii will feature a simple controller, realistic game scenarios and a lower price tag than competitor sony's ps3.
  • these couples are bored
  • are you a real new yorker? take TONY's quiz
  • the npr live concert series. streaming indie gold.
  • jewish holidays for hipsters. best: pabstover