Friday, June 29, 2001
Some weeks are good for certain things, and for me, this was a good week for salad. Yes, salad.
It started on Saturday when Mike and I went to the farmer's market a few blocks away. We were walking around and looking at all the produce on the different stands. When we stopped at one of them, the man behind it started talking to us about the salad mix he was selling, and how it was unbelievably fresh, organic, had three kinds of lettuce including baby beet greens -- baby beet greens! -- and was just picked two days ago, and on and on and on. Finally, we just bought a bag so we wouldn't have to listen to anymore. But you know what? It was really, really good. In fact, I've had some every day this week and am feeling super healthy because of it. So now I have to go to the farmer's market tomorrow morning and find the guy and admit that he was right and buy another bag.
Then today, I had lunch at a restaurant in the neighborhood. I ordered a salad that had normal salad greens (not as good as the farmer's market salad, but still good), blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, yellow peppers, red onions, gorgonzola cheese, and some kind of citrus-y dressing. I think it was the best salad I've ever had. I couldn't really enjoy it right, though, like I would if I were with friends or with Mike, because I was having lunch with someone who was talking business and offering me a job. So I kind of picked at it, took most of it home, and polished it off within ten minutes of walking through the door. Good salad!
After reading back over what I just wrote, I'm kind of depressed that salads were the highlight of my week. Maybe next week will be more exciting.
Thursday, June 28, 2001
The worst instance of this bad accent thing is in the made-for-tv version of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment that was on a few years ago. This sounded like a mistake from the start, since made for tv movies usually suck, it's kind of hard to squeeze that story into two hours (with commercials), and putting existentialism on film leaves a lot out because so much of the narrative is the characters' thoughts. But anyway, they did it, and with Noah Wylie, and not only was it god awful, but the fake Russian accents made me cringe. It was just a bad movie all around, and I only mention it here because it's so bad. If I've stopped only one person from renting it this weekend at Blockbuster (because the blasted thing is available on video), then I've done my job. Crime and Punishment is a rather fine book, though, and I'd highly recommend reading it.
Wednesday, June 27, 2001
Warning: Celestial Seasonings Magic Energy beverage will mess you up. Yes, you. I was up until one last night -- very late for me. I had to get up early and was less than chipper. Went to work this afternoon and -- surprise! -- there were some in the help-yourself fridge. So I had half of the bottle this time. I got home about fifteen minutes ago, and boy do I have the shakes. I feel like my lungs are vibrating or something. Magic Energy, my ass. It's fruity speed. Beware. (Unless you're into that kind of thing.)
Tuesday, June 26, 2001
After reading in about two dozen places that Dave Eggers is "the voice" of a generation, blah blah blah, I finally read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I don't know about Eggers being a voice for anyone -- that kind of high-pressure label can get slapped on a writer way too early -- but it is an entertaining read. I sort of wanted to not like it, especially after having to wade through several pages of gushing, lavish praise, but it actually was as good as the critics said. One of the more interesting parts of the book for me was the goings-on at Might Magazine, since I used to really enjoy reading it in college and have kept the famed and fabled issue devoted to cheese (my favorite one).
Was at a board meeting for a few hours late this afternoon. I usually keep my mouth shut at these things, mainly because I don't want to get called out as an obnoxious New Yorker who won't shut up. I probably take the paranoia too far.
Monday, June 25, 2001
I went to the Folklife Festival a few years ago. Two of the themes were one of the smaller Russian republics (I forget which one, but not one of the obvious ones like Belarus or Latvia) and Wisconsin. We ate some fried cheese, and I got to do this weird Russian-republic folk dance with a stocky blond guy. So maybe the Folklife Festival is always weird.
Saw Momento and O Brother, Where Art Thou? this weekend. Momento was amazing and I can't wait to see it again. Well, I'll wait until it comes out on video, so maybe I can wait a little while. Oh Brother Where Art Thou was also surprisingly cool, and I liked all of the connections with The Odyssey, even though Mike had to point a lot of them out to me. I haven't read it since maybe sophomore year of college, so while the sirens were pretty obvious, I still needed him to tell me that -- duh! -- John Goodman was the Cyclops. Anyway, cool flick.
Saturday, June 23, 2001
I feel the need to share this possibly useless information ("But Amy, we don't even get pineapples where I live") because it may drum up business, and then I would be able to get lychees year-round and for a somewhat reasonable price. So, if you've never tried a lychee, please do! And tell a friend! Together, we can make lychees as popular as apples!
Friday, June 22, 2001
"Although many critics saw 'number painting' as a symbol of the mindless conformity gripping 1950s America, paint by number had a peculiarly American virtue. It invited people who had never before held a paintbrush to enter a world of art and creativity."
An interesting point -- but does it belong in a museum? Well, when the New York Guggenheim has an exhibit of Armani suits, who's to say? Next month at the American History museum? A display of those dinosaur skeleton models made of thin wood pieces that snap together.
As it turns out, Ironminds updates on Fridays now. So I'm glad they're not folding, but I feel kind of silly for yesterday's comments. (Except for what I said about Will Leitch. He's younger than me and he has a book deal!)
Thursday, June 21, 2001
If it weren't for all the SUVs and pick-up trucks on the road, I'd want one of these bad boys. Low price, kickass mileage, sporty, and a cinch to parallel park (you could probably do it front first). Plus, if you get sick of the color, you can always buy new side panels; I think they just snap on. Don't think Smarts are legal in the states yet.
Wednesday, June 20, 2001
A small group of their kids were sitting on the side closest to the street, a four-lane road near a fairly major intersection. They were waving to passing cars, and most of the drivers were waving back. This one car drove by, slowed a little, and this college-aged girl stuck her head out the window and said in a weird, scratchy, maniacal voice, "Ice cream is good for your soul! Yumyumyumyum!"
Dude, the suburbs are weird.
Tuesday, June 19, 2001
In the most guilty-pleasure way possible, I really like Outkast's Stankonia CD.
Monday, June 18, 2001
Two of the guys in the band and I played a graduation party on Saturday night, just kind of noodling around. It was outdoors, so of course it was buggy. No one had bug spray (!), but one of the women said that if you put vanilla extract on your skin, it keeps the bugs away. There were all these little bottles of it around the yard. My mom used to douse me in that Avon stuff, so I figured vanilla might work too. But it doesn't. All it does is make you smell like cake. After getting eaten alive for an hour, one of the kids showed up with a big can of Off, which I promptly grabbed. Lesson learned: Vanilla extract is good for making things taste vanilla-y, but bad for fending off mosquitos. In hindsight, it's totally obvious.
Saturday, June 16, 2001
One of the clubs downtown is having a classic metal fest all afternoon and all evening. I was downtown near the club a few hours ago, and there were all these people with dyed black hair, black tshirts, acidwash jean shorts, and white high tops milling around. It was like high school.
Friday, June 15, 2001
I wish people with customer service jobs had this same sense of urgency. It just seems wasted on a little summer rain.
Thursday, June 14, 2001
"There is so much Hatorade being drunk out there," Durst wrote in the message. "Every magazine, paper, band, etc. is on a Limp hating rampage and it is really giving us the fire. We have so much built up inside and we wanna let it all out on the new album."
Now: While I have to admit that no one has done more for men's fashion in the past three years than Mr. Durst -- that white tee, those baggy jeans, that backwards red Yanks cap -- a red Yanks cap! where did that come from? -- his complaint that there is so much animosity toward his band is a bit much. Hatorade? Hatorade? Oh, I get it. He's being clever.
Is it really that hard to be Fred Durst? I guess once you get over the millions of albums you've sold and the bajillions of dollars you've made despite your total and utter lack of talent, and all of the late teen male automatons who really relate to all of the anger you put forth, you need to complain about something. So sure, complain about all the people who hate you, even though you're probably talking about the parents of these teens, and deep down you probably want them to hate you so you can go on about how you're the counterculture and bringing in the next big thing, etc. etc. Or better yet...you know...build it up inside and make an album about it and -- yeah! -- make more money, get more sheep to follow you, help the Yankees sell more red -- red! -- caps, and father more children you'll really never see because you're out on tour with your crappy band promoting the album containing all of the rage you've built up from people not liking you.
I will be so happy when this rapmetal nonsense goes the way of cheesemetal (though I should confess that I did own a Poison album, or cassette rather).
Wednesday, June 13, 2001
Queen of cross-pollination: Martha Stewart, of course. Her magazine hypes her tv show, her tv show hypes her magazine, and her website hypes everything Martha, including her tv show and her website. Multimedia? It's a good thing -- probably.
Tuesday, June 12, 2001
Actually, according to the site, Philip Morris is one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the country, donating money to dozens of causes. Guilty conscience? Or distracting people from the truth?
Monday, June 11, 2001
"Our business is not about persuading people to smoke; it is about offering quality brands to adults who have already taken the decision to smoke. We strongly believe that smoking should only be for adults who are aware of the risks."
It just seems to me that if you're aware and living, you should be aware of the risks. This kind of "quality brands" rhetoric is just a touchy-feely way to mask their objective and, frankly, to clean their hands of any publicly perceived wrongdoing. Come on. If they were so concerned about underage smoking and people taking on this "risky" habit, they'd voluntarily go out of business. But they make cigarettes, and at the end of the day, just like everyone else, the money makes or breaks the business. They need to sell cigarettes to survive as a company. This crap about only offering cigarettes to adults who have decided completely on their own to smoke is ridiculous. They're offering cigarettes to anyone who's buying. If I go to buy a pack of one of their brands, the person selling it to me isn't going to ask me if I've made the decision to smoke all by myself and without the influence of the company. Even if I say that it's all B.A.T.'s fault that I'm addicted, I'm pretty sure I'll still get the pack. Not that I smoke or anything, but just as an illustrative point.
I landed on this page, by the way, because we had a bat in the house again last night. If anyone has any good methods of getting rid of them, please please please tell me.
Saturday, June 9, 2001
Not in a writing mood. Sorry. It's finally hot out, and besides, game 7 is on!
Friday, June 8, 2001
The woman today wasn't quite as good as the UB archivist, but was still helpful and knowledgeable about the county, even though she hadn't lived there long. And, I had called her yesterday and told her I was coming, so she pulled all the relevant files for me and had them waiting on a cart when I came in. Unfortunately, I don't think archives people get the recognition they deserve. (Because many of them are women?) Every archivist I've met -- not a lot, but a few -- has been cool. In a nerdy way, but still cool. Maybe not my first choice for a drinking date, but they're all good people to talk to for a few hours. Plus, they usually have tons of cool photos to show you. Anyway.
So, after spending the day with hundred-year-old newspaper ink on my fingertips, I came home, ate mashed potatoes, and did what any self-respecting fact-digger would do: I watched Making the Band. Dude, those guys crack me up. "I want to talk about my feelings." "No, I want to talk about my feelings." "Guys, we have to record this song." Wow -- campy.
Thursday, June 7, 2001
Wednesday, June 6, 2001
I used to want a poster of this photograph when I was in high school. I'm still not sure what the hell I was thinking. One day I found one while poking around some store in the Village. When I found it, I quickly decided that a blooming mushroom cloud was the last thing I needed to be looking at before going to sleep. Haven't wanted one since.
Switching topics: I saw Kathy Lee Gifford on The View this morning. I kind of feel bad for her. Besides all of the Frank-found-with-other-woman crap she has to deal with, Kathy Lee so desperately wants to seem deep and insightful, but whenever she tries to make a big, grand, profound statement, it's just laughable. Quote from an interview a year or two ago (yes, I remember these things): "I can be bitter or I can be better. It all comes down to 'I': I decide if I'm going to be bitter or be better." See?
Tuesday, June 5, 2001
Also picked up two news discs. I figured as long as I have the means to listen to them without dinky little headphones or through my iMac, I'd splurge. I got Amnesiac by Radiohead and Poses, the new one by Rufus Wainwright. (Here at amyscoop.com, we heart Rufus Wainwright.) I've listened to each once so far. Radiohead is good, and like all of their other CDs, I think it will take me a few listens before I really love it. The Rufus Wainwright one is beautiful: a lot less show-tune-y that his first recording, and something in the production sounds smoother, though I'm not sure what it is. The song "California" alone is worth the price of the disc. Rufus rocks. Did I mention that?
Monday, June 4, 2001
And regarding yesterday's post about censored cartoons: a nifty link from Diana containing a list of scenes that got snipped out before recent airings. (She was careful to point out that she lifted it from MetaFilter. I appreciate the honesty, but I don't care. I mean, if you can't lift links from MetaFilter, where can you lift links from? And yes, I know I ended that sentence with a preposition. And no, I don't care about that either.)
Sunday, June 3, 2001
"Cartoons have always played to our most unfiltered, primal selves. 'We're prone to cartoon stereotyping because that's how we think, how we hold images in our heads,' said the comic artist Art Spiegelman. 'It's preliterate thinking. They scare us because they cut deep, through all our layers of verbiage. It makes them seem charged and dangerous, and they are. But that just means you have to treat them with respect.'"
From what I understand, this is what media literacy is all about: taking in media with a critical eye, or understanding the bad to understand the good. The Cartoon Network is taking a small step toward this by having a documentary made that includes clips of the 12 censored Bugs 'toons. They nixed the idea of showing them with a disclaimer. I think they should be shown as part of a discussion, maybe with a panel to discuss the cartoons, but definitely as some kind of family program with continual acknowledgement of the offensive content.
My feeling is that they're part of the historical record. Sure, they're only cartoons, but they're documentation of media from that time period, and they shouldn't be ignored. (Not to compare Bugs Bunny to Shakespeare, but I wouldn't want to censor " The Merchant of Venice" just because it contains blatant anti-Semitism.) The past may be shameful, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from it.
Saturday, June 2, 2001
One of my favorite sitcoms that went downhill in a hurry was "Caroline in the City." The moment was pretty obvious, I think. As soon as Richard and Caroline started sleeping together, everything got god-awful. I think the earlier episodes had some decent writing, and the tension between the characters was usually interesting in a Sam and Diane way, but once two main characters get together, it's boring as all hell because that's usually where the tension ends. Reading any Jane Austen novel will teach you this. Anyway, it seems like "Friends" is heading in the same direction, though I've only seen two or three episodes this season so I'm not really sure.
Friday, June 1, 2001
For some reason, every June 1 I think of my second grade teacher. I remember that June 1, 1982 was a particularly dark and rainy day, and there were all these black clouds outside. As soon as class started, my teacher wrote the date on the blackboard and said that it didn't look like June at all, and that she hoped the rest of the summer was sunny. I'm not sure why I remember this, as it doesn't seem like it should be a poignant moment or anything, but still, I've probably thought about it every June 1 since. Weird.
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