Monday, March 31, 2008

overheardinnewyork cont'd.

GUY #1: The Jehovah Witnesses say the world is ending and the good will inherit the earth... So then what? The less good people will be the bad people, and little things will seem worse?
GUY #2: I don't get it, these religions are inconsistent. Is Jesus taking the good people with him or do the good people inherit the earth? I hope he takes them with him.
GUY #1: I spoke with Jesus and he doesn't know what's going on: he just got the Xbox 360 and said he could care less.
GUY #2: He sounds like a good guy.

--Port Authority


From Jeffrey Eugenides' otherwise predictable "Great Experiment" in the new yorker this week.

"When Kendall was growing up, American politicians denied that the United States was an empire. But they weren’t doing that anymore. They’d given up. Everyone knew about the empire now. Everyone was pleased.

And in the streets of Chicago, as in the streets of L.A., New York, Houston, and Oakland, the message was making itself known. A few weeks back, Kendall had seen the movie “Patton” on TV. He’d been reminded that the general had been severely punished for slapping a soldier. Whereas now Rumsfeld ran free from responsibility for Abu Ghraib. Even the President, who’d lied about W.M.D., had been reĆ«lected. In the streets, people took the point. Victory was what counted, power, muscularity, doublespeak if necessary. You saw it in the way people drove, in the way they cut you off, gave you the finger, cursed. Women and men alike, showing rage and toughness. Everyone knew what he wanted and how to get it. Everybody you met was nobody’s fool.

One’s country was like one’s self. The more you learned about it, the more you were ashamed of."

Friday, March 28, 2008


again, i am the oldest person i am working with.
it should not seem weird, but maybe when i preface all conversations with, "you probably would not remember this but..." i should just shut my old pie hole.
and the end.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

cable tv.

so, for the first time in along time i have "cable." i know this sounds kind of quaint and whimsical to some, with your tevo and dvr. i'm pretty sure i have over 80 channels. 80. again, it sounds so antiquated. but i am so bored by all of it that i made it thru all 80, and just pulled out the cable. cause i've forwarded my nexflix, got my hulu, got richard price's new book. and i think i'm done with tv.
although, i did watch rr prepare a dinner that i would eat. however, as i was watching, i kept thinking... who is the moron that can't think up boiling up some pasta and making a salad in 30 minutes? jesus, do you have opposable thumbs?

things i have learned about bal'more

1. don't get lost.
2. you can walk everywhere.
3. unless you're lost.
4. from your window, it sounds alot like brooklyn.
5. great crabs.
6. people like to sleep in your car.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


just listen to the I Am Sam Soundtrack and call it a night. i think i threw up in my mouth a little bit after 28 minutes.


One of many in this sentient, powerful and beautiful speech:

"And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.
I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love."

This reminded me of driving to sunday dinner, after picking up bread and the sunday paper with my irish american grandfather. i don't remember the context, but here is what he said:
"....he was sweating like a nigger going to an election." i think i was 10. i have never forgotten that quote. i knew it was wrong. he was a good man but he was wrong. but i still loved him. "these people are a part of me."


i googled myself. sad but true. what i found out was that there are several women who carry my name. and all of them, ALL of them, are more accomplished than me. this is what i've found out about "myself":
1. i am a famous engineer.
2. i am the first woman to run a bank.
3. i have a successful tv and recording career.
4. i am an award winning poet.
not bad. now if i could just write that ode to micro-loans for the women of Bamako, set it to song while working on my sustainable bio-dome, i would be awesome.

Monday, March 17, 2008


aside from this being one of my favorite words ever, it is also now one of my favorite movies. it was shot essentially without a script so most, if not all of the dialogue is improvised. the "actors" were given a basic outline for a given scene and it was shot, usually with only one take. this is not a hollywood film. it is a Belpre, OH film. it is cast entirely with nonprofessional actors from the area. there is something about these people that is infinitely interesting. they are all people we know. especially if you come from a small town.
there is nothing revolutionary about the story. in fact, it is secondary to what is going on in the faces of these people. it is quiet and simple and about as claustrophobic as a coffin.
i think i watched it 3 times in a row, including the director and actor commentaries.
let me make it clear, this is not for everybody. not alot happens. nothing gets blown up and there are no money shots. i'm not sure why i had such a visceral reaction. as i watched it the first time, i couldn't decide whether i hated it or loved it. as i said to my friend e, "it hurts my chest a little bit." but i was glad for the discomfort.


i can't stand watching a film or a tv show in which some actor starts to sing or play an instrument really well. it always feels so gratuitous and always takes me out of the story. i'm not talking about musicals (which i LOVE). i'm talking about minnie driver singing in the riches, or jeff goldblum playing the piano, or gregory hines being forced to tap dance in EVERYTHING he worked on, or any one of a dozen moments where actors have to show how multi-talented they are. my feeling is, you're acting, so you're already doing your job. concentrate on that. we don't care that you took music lessons. say your lines. tell the story. then sit down and shut up.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

this made me laugh out loud....on the subway.

i don't usually go for this but the game was kind of amazing. i got 13 out of 15 right. made me wonder about the other answers too...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sunday, March 9, 2008

pennsylvania...oh, pa. what am i gonna do with yinz.

i come from a small(ish)town in western pa. where jack murtha is a patriot and a saint and also fuel for fodder...
but i also grew up as a republican. my father was an elected state representative. then he ran for state auditor general. he was a delegate, as a moderate, for bush, the original. then Reagan Happened.
here is the deal. my cousin is the Head of the Republican state committee, my brother was the deputy secretary under Ridge and then became Secretary of the Legislature of Pennsylvania. it does not get any deeper.
then i found out another cousin (we got alot of them, we're irish) was running for my dad's seat in Pa. as a Democrat: Bryan Barbin (who now lives in my father's childhood-home). i immediately emailed him and sent money and a note about my party affiliation, and so did my roommate (thank you eben).
Bryan wrote us back: ".... if your dad switched places with me today, he would also be a democrat and would have gone through the same difficulties.... "
so i write to you my friends...please help my cousin win my father's a democrat...andtheend.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008

cai guo-qiang

this was amazing. my friend chris sullivan and i went to the gugg show and not only did i want to start to blow shit up after, but i began to see the visual arts in a different way. i think i've written earlier in this blog about my lack of interest in anything other than photography, but this lifted my head to a new level. i will say that we both opted for the (free) audio sets which really enlightened me to the "pieces" (i hate that word, almost as much as "the space", but not sure what else to call them). and although i provided that link to "head-on" in the berlin show, it was nothing like walking up to it and watching it wind around you and to see the ultimate end, a half circle ahead. you saw it ahead of you, but then you walked under these "wolves" and their faces, and as you got closer, the energy to these sculptures became sooo intense. so, in this instance, "the space" TOTALLY the gugg usually does. mr. guo-giang's work was presented in a most exceptional way.
yes, there were political overtones, cultural overtones, socio-political, socio-aesthetic-eastern-western-divide overtones. but it was so visceral, and this was exceptional. i don't have the art history skills to explain why a certain work works for me, but this did. it was just a decayed, hollowed out boat, surrounded with broken white plates and broken ceramic idols. he found this wreckage in japan, washed up on the shore at low tide, and the community there helped him make this art piece. and this was a chinese, expatriate in japan. and don't the chinese and the japs not get along? (aka. nanking). cultural divides came together to make this happen. a ray of hope.
i was worried, meeting chris, cause i get a little cynical when i'm faced with ART. and i have not hung out with chris in a long time so i was afraid that i might come across as the art meanie...but it was nice not to have to walk around and talk to someone. we did our own thing and talked afterwards and it was wonderful to find out that we were both on the same page. even if we felt differently, we could talk about it...on our way to Payard.
don't judge me.