Friday, February 18, 2011

Thank god I wasn't wearing headphones

Overheard at the Teach for America conference last weekend:

"Yeah, teaching's cool. Except for, like, the kids."

Friday, February 29, 2008

Lunchtime Outrage

Dear Izumi Sushi,

How many gastronomic injustices must one suffer in a day?

Your “restaurant” just delivered my “sushi.” You forgot the soy sauce, a minor crime on most days, but a major one today: if I am to decide, due to extreme hunger, to eat slightly dodgy sushi, that decision must be based on an abundance of cute green and white Kikkoman packets. The large ball of wasabi and 10,000 napkins you did include is generally helpful, but no match for browned and chunky yellowtail, even when paired with avocado (surprisingly, not brown).

While I hold you primarily responsible for my gnawing hunger and unhappiness, I also must admit that my coworkers have played a part by withholding my monthly bagel breakfast and purging the generally unruly condiment drawer, where I otherwise might have found soy sauce.

Yours miserably,
Lunchless in a Cubicle

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The nation's only organic chocolate waterfall

I have a meme:

I have a meme that repeats itself, day in and day out, in the form of a television commercial for No Idea Bar, a seemingly pedestrian bar on 20th and Broadway that can, suprisingly, afford prime television advertising each and every night.

I have a meme that bares its soul during the Daily Show, with its kooky bartender pouring coca cola on the bar and its regulars dressed in Forever 21 evening gowns playing ro-sham-bo in the background; one day, I will visit No Idea with its ugly blue lights and obiquitous exposed brick wall and see if the infamous name night promises a night of free drinking for me.

I have a meme that will one day be replaced in my mind by ads for Gallagher's strip club, where aliens travel all the way from outer space to Queens to get a lap dance and a Budweiser.

I have a meme that one day I might witness firsthand: the organic chocolate waterfall that the bartender boasts of in the ad, that I might have my champagne wishes granted--"every bloody one of them"--every cocktail shall be pint-sized, the regulars massaging other patrons will be present and the glory of No Idea shall be revealed in a drunken evening.

This is my hope. This is the faith that I go back to my neighborhood dive with. With this faith, I will dream of No Idea bar until I imbibe their promised liquor for myself.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Nabakovian Monday Wisdom

As far back as I remember myself (with interest, with amusement, seldom with admiration or disgust), I have been subject to mild hallucinations. Some are aural, others are optical, and by none have I profited much...I am pestered by roguish profiles, by some coarse-featured and florid dwarf with a swelling nostril or ear. At times hoever, my photisms take on a rather soothing flou quality, and then I see- projected, as it were, upon the inside of my eyelid- gray figures walking between beehives, or small black parrots gradually vanishing among mountain snows, or a mauve remoteness melting beyond moving masses.

And I thought this was just because I drank too much coffee...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Apparently, Bono is good for something.

After a year-and-a-half of blog silence, he's managed to piss me back into action.

So, in a half-assed tribute, half-resurrection of the "don't listen to this" series, I leave you with these lyrics from U2's (aptly titled) Bad Lyrics:

If I could throw this
Lifeless lifeline to the wind
Leave this heart of clay
See you walk, walk away
Into the night
And through the rain
Into the half-light
And through the flame

After all, where would bad songwriting be without someone walking in the rain?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bono is the new black (red)

He's more mysterious than Sting, but less smooth jazz. Equally tantric. If he were a meat, he would be salted pork housed in a dingy corner of an 18th century galleon. Film character: satyr.

My first concert was the Oakland Unforgettable Fire tour. As I stood there at the age of 11 cursing my parents for denying me access to the Purple Rain tour a year earlier, I had my first musical epiphany: people who don't give a fuck about making good music can actually perform. In public. To impressionable tweens.

The problem with Bono is, like the status quo, he's just there. All the time. Achtung Baby, sunglasses, iPods, tight black jeans. He's like Madonna but without the reinvention part. And now, like Madonna, he's adopted Africa.

His recent spot as guest editor of Vanity Fair's Africa issue proves that Graydon Carter has officially lost his mind. Once the literary home to original voices like T.S. Eliot and Dorothy Parker, it has now allowed the mediocre rocker who borrowed a borrowed line from Led Zeppelin take his red pen to an entire continent. From the editor of Spy Magazine to a guy with hair like a maxi pad who allows his magazine to turn into a giant ad on behalf of his "good friend" Bono's (Red) campaign, Graydon has lost sight of what journalism truly means.

The issue, which features a 20 different covers with 20 different celebrities, is a glossy advertisement that tries to sell Africa as the new "sexy." While (Red) has raised millions to provide lifesaving AIDS medication to people who would otherwise be unable to afford it, it's spent far more in feel-good marketing the (Red) brand.

The campaign has also spent far more in in continuing to manage, rather than beginning to prevent, the epidemic. While pictures of Bono with world leaders abound, there has been little evidence that he has actually met with Africans who are working on the ground in their communities to stop new infections. Or that he's met with Africans who suffer from the horrible side effects from treatment medication. Or that he's met with teenagers who don't know how to use a condom because U.S. funded "abstinence-only-until-marriage" prevention programs prohibit community educators to discuss contraception methods.

Gender discrimination and weak health systems fuel the epidemic, and infections among youth and women continue to rise disproportionately. And while anti-retroviral drugs extend the lives of those living with HIV, they are hardly the "Lazarus Effect" that Vanity Fair describes, particularly in countries where those living with the disease often refuse testing due to fear of stigmatization and violence. What is needed is more money for prevention, more money for reproductive health services and comprehensive sexual education for youth, and the political will needed to change faulty foreign policies (like the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), yet Bono's Vanity Fair doesn't even touch on these points.

The capacity to change the course of the AIDS epidemic is so great, and the power of celebrities today to mobilize political and consumer will is unprecedented. It's a shame that the whole lot of them, led by Bono, take the easy way out by marketing it as the 21st century celebrity burden.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

With the reigns to the world gripping a smoke

The other morning, I got slimed in my eye when some red headed redneck shouted a racial slur at my cabbie, then proceeded to spit at the cab. Somehow, his disgusting ball of spittle made it through the three inch crack of my window and landed square in my right eye. Unfortunately, my cabbie didn't want to back over his cracker ass then ship him to Pakistan like I suggested, so I cleaned out my eye and we drove off. All morning, I've been researching whether low intelligence can be transmitted through saliva, although the evidence I've found seems to suggest that I'll probably just wind up with hepatitis.

Other than that, I'm listening to Electrelane wondering why offices bother staying open the day before Thanksgiving. No one is around, and the only thing that seems to get done is mass emails telling people to have a nice Thanksgiving, complete with a little smiling emoticon. I fucking hate emoticons and LOL. All of this abbreviated, feel-good language reminds me of peppy high school yearbook signers who used to embellish their messages with things like BFF (Best Friends Forever) and LYLAS (Love Ya Like A Sister). If adult emoticon freaks tapped into these memories, they would realize that BFF didn't actually ensure that people would remain best friends forever, and would therefore realize that their email probably won't make the recipient LOL.

Instead of sending emoticon-filled messages, I've been surfing the Seventeen Magazine website today. A friend who was staying at my apartment for some time was a Cosmo subscriber. Since she hasn't yet changed her address, I've been flipping through the pages of the magazine, and am now convinced that its editors must think that all women are indeed retarded. One section with tips on "conversation starters" when talking to men actually suggested the following:

Tell him you like his jeans, then ask him what brand they are. This will surely lead to him asking you what your favorite brand of jeans is, and will provide an entry into further conversation.

The only situation I could foresee whereby a straight boy would be interested in the brand of jeans I was wearing would be if manufacturers invented a pair that gave blowjobs or had breasts tucked inside the back pockets. The funny thing is that there's not much difference between the text of Cosmo (supposedly for adult women) and Seventeen (supposedly for teens). Both have advice columns with similar tones and text on similar topics ("how to deal with his ex"), beauty tips and "celebrity" interviews. Even the "holiday fashion" spreads are incredibly similar, which makes one wonder whether editors are trying to make teen girls dress like women or make women dress like teen girls.