I think this summer I’m going to study guitar. Nothing crazy, just a few self-taught chords, I think will help me. I make up songs all the time, mostly b/c I like to sing around the house but never remember any real tunes. They’re all usually about two seconds with two lines, and are about some household chore, and go the melody of “My Pretty Pony.” I actually sang a few last night for Jesse’s friend who is a composer — for what ungodly reason, I do not know. Just suddenly seized with a spasm of nothing being shy in my body.
I tend to forget any “original” songs that veer away from an existing melody, like “The Wind is not my friend when I make tape loops” (which I made up when we were taping down table cloths at my friend’s wedding last fall), I always have to ring my husband to remind me what it is. I dunno. Maybe I want to grow beyond “Hutchinson Parkway, Will You Take Me Home” (made up when we were stuck in traffic when we were on the….you guessed it, Hutchinson Parkway, and again, goes to Pony theme.) Here are the others:
* Chita Rivera, Kiss of the Spider Woman (this is only b/c when I’m in black tights, I look like I have Chita’s body at age 79)
* Dream Girls
* F*ck You Stud Finder
I think there are more, which I’ll add later — not to torture you so much as to remind me. I actually have some ambition to create a musical, so learning an instrument with songwriting intentions would be cool. Maybe I’ll regale you with Van Morrison at some point…whoever that is.
So maybe P.S. 1 is not the best place to bring your parents, unless your mom is like a performance artist who likes to smear chocolate on her naked body and call it society sh*tting on her, or what have you — and I’m not even trying to denigrate the work of contemporary artists who use nudity (though it doesn’t really do anything for me.) But the old people in my life like the Met, you know Fauvism, Impressionism, the hits, and I dig that stuff, but I loooooove modern and contemporary art. I love when artists just paint a room blue and you’re suppose to move a penny from one bucket or another. So if I’m playing cruise director to the stars, chances are, you have to go to one of these joints with me.
After our like ninth photo of an erect penis, I turned to the folks and said “I bet you’re missing Monet right now.” But they were fine, because I bought them red wine and a blondie brownie, which they had never tried before and were like paralyzed by paroxysms of joy upon tasting it. I’m telling you, at some point in life, they became four years old again and ice cream just keeps them very quiet and content.
But genetalia art aside, there were some cool pieces. There was a 1968 film Yoko Ono did called “cut” where people were invited to come up and cut off a piece of her clothing. Most men just took a tiny piece, but then there is this one self-satisfied looking jack*ss who comes up and cuts off her dress top, the top of her slip, and her bra. And from her face, you can tell she’s getting nervous and afraid, and I have to say, this gentleman’s treatment of her really p*ssed me off.
(Sorry for all the cursing! It’s the exhibit’s influence!) And one final plug, they have a cool Icelandic artist showing something called “Take Your Time” by Oluaf Gustaferson or Kristopher Kristofferson (I have no idea), and he had rooms full of different treatments of light. I don’t know why. I told the folks that Iceland has really short days (which could be a lie, but I vaguely remember this fact from junior high), thus maybe his obsession. He has one room where the entire ceiling is glowing and I felt like I was in the movie “Sunshine.” Neat.
Yes, itâ€™s a catchy song by Rihanna but umbrellas also are like, to me, a demonstration of some kind of order in the world, a tangible example of karma. It’s odd, but for every umbrella I break or lose, I always find another one. Iâ€™ve found one on the subway, in Dunkin Donuts, in my parents car, wherever. I was thinking about it because Nancy said she needed an umbrella the other day, saw one on the street, and didn’t take it. But later was like, “That was for me!” And I’ve done the same thing — ignored umbrellas, b/c I’m too lazy or b/c I’m not homeless, etc., but then, I realized, these umbrellas are as close to actual signs as I’m going to get in real life. It’s like when you’re playing a video game, and you make your character pick every single piece of gold or a medical package to extend its life span. I’m really good at collecting on that stuff in a video game, so why not in real life? Like Pac Man, after he eats eighty million little pellets and sees that one big, glowing pellet, you think he’s too lazy to not eat that big glowing pellet? Hell no. I’m just saying, don’t ignore these signs. Does that make sense? It’s very possible…that you have no idea what I’m saying and are backing away from the computer slowly.
Another umbrella story: Last week, I was leaving a restaurant and watched this man turn from his meal to watch my friends Alex and Kurt look for their umbrellas in the bin by the door for a good five minutes. And I couldnâ€™t stop laughing, because this man was staring because he was just worried that they would take his umbrella. Thank You Sir! Itâ€™s so nice to meet someone more anxious than me! What a gift. See? Universe lessons courtesy of umbrellas. Thank you.
Does Atari even exist any more? I still remember when my cousin Ed got his Atari system when he was like 6 that the game Combat came with it for free. Iâ€™m pretty sure the object was to just shoot each other. I just remember the animation being completely one-dimensional and monochromatic. Compare it to Grand Theft Auto. I mean, itâ€™s almost as if someone created Combat out of construction paper. Like Matisse, in his arthritis years, could have created Combat. Still those old games gave me a lot of pleasure. I particularly enjoyed Space Invaders, from which I earned the requisite thumb blisters from holding the joy stick. In my sticker collection, I had a bunch about Space Invaders. I couldnâ€™t get into Pac Man though. Made me too anxious, you know, b/c Iâ€™m such a low-key, mellow person.
It’s too bad Britney imploded, b/c I just listened to this album, and it’s pretty good! I mean, I want to see “step up” and eat up whatever “Grey’s Anatomy” ladles out every week, but I still thought the lyrics were clever (there’s one that rhymes “karma” with “mama” and “drama,” with the refrain “my derreiere–AIR, re-AIR”) and songs had a catchy unique sound. You know, all these commercial ladies get the same song writers and Timbaland, the result of which is we have a lot of white female Top 40 artists who have hits with rapping, and sound EXACTLY the same: Madonna, Nelly Furtado, and who else? I can’t recall. But did you hear “Four Minutes” by Madonna? Completely generic.
In any case, I’m on jury duty and am excited to share thoughts on it but have to wait till I’m done.
You don’t want to be the house guest who stays on after everyone else has left the party. You don’t want to be “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” when it hung for years after its peak at second season. It’s just not a gracious way to go. There’s always the next election, when McCain is up for re-election. (I’m sorry, guys, I just don’t have the faith that the Obama phenom will go all the way to the top).
I heart Hillary.
Yes, I know, my husband and I are among the last six on earth who still watch this show, and the other people are probably writers of cast members of the show, but what of it? Ha. I caught a recent episode that featured a young Korean patient, who arrives beaten up, and discovers he has cancer while in the ER. Now I happen to know the young actor who played the part (an American), and I thought his acting was really connected and strong work, but his accent…ay caramba.
This is not an indictment of that young actor not doing the homework. No, what I realized wtaching is: Let’s face it. Korean American actors cannot do a good Korean accent. None of the actors who grew up in this country can do a Korean accent. We just can’t. I know we have to keep schlepping out that sad, sorry excuse of an accent for a million auditions — please, I’ve been there, and I’ll be there again — because that’s what people want to see, but there’s an elusive quality that not even the most nimble actor manages to nail. What comes out sounds like a meeting between a French and Tinkerbell accent — a French Tinkerbell accent. Do you know what I mean?
The best Asian accents I’ve heard is Margaret Cho imitating her mother, which is so recognizable it resonates in my gut when I hear it — and randomly enough, Sarah Jones (a biracial black/white performer) who dons a Chinese accent to play an immigrant character in “In Transit” show. It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty damn good.
Okay, maybe Daniel Dae Kim, who grew up in Pennsylvania, is starting to speak a better broken English accent on “Lost.” I will conceded. (My husband hits me every time his character speaks English because I can’t stop laughing.) But I still remember the first season where he had to repeat “Others” three times — once to a character on his left and right, then one final to the evil approaching them on the horizon. The words came out accent, accent, then total lack of pretense of accent: “Othas, Othas, Others.” Rad.