Friday, April 30, 2010

No Shlomo

I love Survivor. Love, love, love, love, love. So if you haven't watched last night's episode yet, SPOILER ALERT, although I am going to remove names so that you can read this interview with the ousted Survivor and hopefully it won't fug you up too much (although if you haven't watched last night's Survivor, you shouldn't be on the internets, you know that.) Anyway. From EW/Dalton Ross's interview with the person who was (SPOILER ALERT) voted off of Survivor last night:
Q: Since your wrestling match with Person X ended way too early for my taste, tell me what would have happened had it continued? Would you have come out on top?
A: Oh yeah, are you kidding me? I wanted Person Y just to get (pronoun redacted) off me, then I was going to run to the bathroom, read the clue, and flush it down the toilet. That was the plan. Then all of a sudden, my weakness is I have a big conscience and I feel bad about things pretty quickly. I’m not Jewish or anything; it just happens.
Let's just go over one little comment in there again, shall we? "My weakness is I have a big conscience and I feel bad about things pretty quickly. I’m not Jewish or anything; it just happens."

UMMMMM. Look, I am not a practicing Jew or anything. But I was raised pretty hardcore culturally (and religiously) Jewish and that included attending Camp Ramah for eight summers where we performed broadway musicals in Hebrew because we were that fucking hardcore, and I feel like that, combined with the fact that I can still read and write Hebrew and read the Torah even if I no longer practice the religion, and also, have you seen my nose recently, gives me the permission to say: THIS IS REALLY ICKY.

Having a big conscience and feeling bad about things pretty quickly is not necessarily a Jewish thing, because if it were, Hollywood wouldn't exist. (ha ha, Elders of Zion joke, ha ha). And look, I'm a not-practicing-but-definitely-a-Jew, and I do feel bad about things pretty quickly, and I have a huge conscience. Like if a 3-inch-tall Jiminy Cricket represents Pinocchio's conscience, then my conscience is one of those ginormous woolly mammoths that they were always hunting in the 3rd book in the Clan of the Cave Bear series. With the spear-thrower. A HUGE, big, keeps me up at night thinking about things I might not have done perfectly or things I ought not to have said out loud sort of conscience.

And of course I wasn't there when the Ex-Survivor gave this delightful little soundbite, but the way that its tossed off -- "I'm not Jewish or anything" -- like this person feels the need to assert that (spoiler alert at this point, fuck it with the pronoun shifting) she HAS TO TELL THE PUBLIC THAT SHE IS NOT JEWISH. Lest we instantly assume that just because she feels bad about things that she is Jewish, and HEAVEN FORBID that we possibly think that this one-time pageant queen and former Miss Montana is a Jew? As in: she is so quick to assert that she is not Jewish that it seems like she would be horrified if we all thought that she was.

It's like the weirdly anti-semitic no homo. "I am saying these things that apply to my own preconceptions of what it is like to be Jewish, and I am implying that I behave in a manner that I am judging to be Jewish, but don't think that I am Jewish, because I am totally not. Do not think that I'm a Jew. I'm not. "

Or, rather: "I like bagels. No Shlomo."

Seoul, I Hear You Calling

There was karaoke last night. I missed it, because I got there late, because I had a show, but Bennett sang Erasure's "Respect." And then Emily mentioned it on her tumblr.


Can we talk about this Erasure song? Because in the video, which was in some episode of Al TV that my brother and I taped with the VCR and then watched and re-watched obsessively, there is a moment when Andy sings "Souuuuuuuul" and they show the logo from the Seoul Olympics (at :48) and for the longest time I was convinced that this song was actually about "Seoul, I hear you calling," like it was some epic anthem for the Seoul Olympics -- except, at the same time, I remember the Seoul Olympics because I am ancient and because I love the Olympics so much, and there was an official anthem called "Hand in Hand" but anyone who is a dedicated Olympics person who then also had to do warm-ups to the song in ballet class will recall that the Seoul Olympics are forever associated with "One Moment in Time" by Whitney Houston, which she performed during the opening ceremonies. Oh wait, maybe she didn't, but it was totally the theme song because DIG THE VIDEO. That is some inspirationally epic shit right there. And just listening to these lyrics makes me want to warm up for ballet class. BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY:

If you think about it, "a little respect" could totally be about the Seoul Olympics, a tiny bit? Like you hear the siren tones of Seoul calling your name and you know that you need a little respect so that you can muster the courage and confidence to do rhythmic gymnastics? Okay, admittedly, if you read the lyrics, I guess it's a really big duh that this song is not about the Seoul Olympics at all, especially when you factor in the line: "What religion or reason / Could drive a man to forsake his lover." (Also: props to Erasure for non ambiguous gender pronouns. A man and HIS lover. That is totally in your face gay. Just like Erasure!)

And yet, there is still something appealing about these lyrics being in a song about the Olympics:
And if I should falter
Would you open your arms out to me
We can make love not war
And live at peace in our hearts
Because I always thought this line was, like, about people doing hurdles or running a relay or a marathon in the Seoul Olympics and, you know, stumbling or something - and it's a plea to the people of all nations to support each other. JUST LIKE THE OLYMPICS.

But that is because I was a child! And confused by the video! Because, man, he is totally not singing about stumbling during the 4x400 relay at the Olympics and metaphorically making love, not war. He is singing about doing it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

One Year Later

My mom died last year on April 29th. It was a Wednesday. That week is really clear in my mind. I went to see her on Sunday and even though she had lost her voice because of the radiation, she seemed to be doing a lot better. She couldn't talk but she could whisper and she was downstairs in her snuggie doing the Times crossword (in pen). When I got there, my dad was so thrilled because he had managed to get her to eat a scrambled egg for breakfast and that was probably the most food she'd eaten in weeks. So she was eating and she seemed like she had a little more energy and she was snarky and witty despite the whispering thing.

I brought all these pedicure supplies because I thought that it would be nice to pamper her a little bit, and we listened to the Beatles while I attended to her toes. I painted them some quick-drying shade of reddish orange. She had lost almost all of her hair because of the chemo but before it started to fall out, she bleached it to a brassy platinum. She refused to shave it, because she thought it was short enough not to be a problem, but there were brassy blonde hairs everywhere -- on the snuggie, on the couch, on the floor. My dad kept up constant dustbuster maintenance. She wore a hat when she went into Mt. Sinai for chemo or to the local hospital for brain and chest radiation. But at home, she just had one little dreadlocked tuft of hair left, right in the center of her head. It was sort of Tintin-esque. She didn't like the fact that the hair was all matted and she asked me to comb it out. I was afraid of hurting her, and when I tried to untangle the hairs, they all came out in my hand.

We spent a few hours together and then she got a blackberry alert that there was some problem with NJ Transit so she insisted that we get going so we'd make it back to the city. She wasn't loud, but she was adamant. My dad drove us to Liberty State Park to catch the Path train but of course we took the wrong Path train and ended up in Jersey City, where we finally caught the correct train back to Manhattan. We walked back to my apartment from Penn Station. I was feeling better about things. It seemed like she was doing a little bit better.

On Monday, I had jury duty and I had already postponed it as many times as I could by phone. I spent a few hours waiting in jury duty, cutting a rough version of a spot for VH1 Mobile on my laptop. After the clerks kept saying things about committing to two weeks of jury duty, if selected,  I freaked out and ran to get an official deferral. I told them my mom was sick and I couldn't commit. They pushed it to October.

Emily and I went to karaoke that night and I drank a little too much and got emotional and sang songs from Barbra Streisand's "Broadway Album" in honor of my mom. Specifically the song "Being Alive," which, if you don't know it, is from Company and is particularly amazing when Babs sings it. My mom's favorite song off that album was "Send in the Clowns" but I couldn't bring myself to sing it.

On Tuesday, I worked on the VH1 Mobile spot and was getting ready to shoot a segment with my friend Graham about the intersection of science and pop culture.

On Wednesday, my dad called early in the morning and said my mom was in the ER and that I should get to South Orange as soon as I could. I called my brother and told him to meet me at the train station. I threw some shit in a bag and grabbed my laptop and ran to Penn Station. I emailed my friends who were supposed to come over that night to watch Top Model that I didn't know what was going on and that we should probably plan on postponing our viewing party.

My brother and I got to the hospital, where my aunt Sherry and my dad were with my mom in the ER. She was drifting in and out of consciousness. I held her hand and told her about singing Streisand for her. She had an oxygen mask over her face and couldn't speak but one tear slipped out of her right eye and slid down her cheek. My dad took us outside to tell us that the doctors were preparing a room for her but that they couldn't get her blood pressure back up and that we needed to be ready for hospice. While we were talking in the parking lot, by the loading dock, my dad's cel phone rang. It was the doctor. He said we needed to come back inside.

My mom was already in a coma when we got back. My aunt called her rabbi to come over to say the things that rabbis say in this situation. The rabbi arrived and said things in Hebrew and we all watched the monitors as her blood pressure dropped lower and lower. The rabbi told us that we should stop looking at the machines and instead spend this time telling my mom that we'd be okay. We told that we loved her, that it was okay to go, that we'd be okay without her.

She was gone in a matter of minutes. Her blood pressure was so low that she instantly went completely pale. I was still holding her hand.

I am not so sure that I am okay without her.

True Story! Tonight at 9!

You guys. I am trying to distract myself from things. I am doing a storytelling comedy showthing tonight. At 9:30 pm.

The Tank

354 West 45th Street

(between 8th and 9th Avenues)

April 29th, 9:30PM

$10 and CHEAP CHEAP Drinks!


Your host, Rob Gorden (Spike TV, The Food Network)


Brad Lawrence (Author: Monsters in the Wood)

Bex Schwartz (VH1)

Fiona Walsh (Creator: "Sundays at Seven" at the Irish Arts Center)

Andy Christie (Master and Commander of "The Liar Show!")

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Take Off Your Thirsty Boots

I wanted to listen to Eric Andersen's "Thirsty Boots" because I was thinking a think. For whatever reason of awesomeness, one of his shows from 1970 is on youtube.

I want to go to there, really really really badly. Those Canadians don't quite know the lyrics yet although the Judy Collins version came out in 1965 and Eric Andersen's version dropped (ha! a folk album dropped!) in 1966 -- maybe it took longer to get to Canada? Or maybe I am just really familiar with Judy Collins because "The Fifth Album" was one of my mom's favorites, although less beloved than "In My Life" and certainly no match for Wildflowers (but how do you match Wildflowers? You don't)  --  and when Eric sort of plaintively cajoles these late-blooming Canadian hippies to at least hum the melody, and then no one sings when he asks them to - well, it just breaks my little hardened heart.

Also, there is a version of "Thirsty Boots" on youtube with Judy, Eric, AND Tom Rush and Arlo Guthrie. If you were also inside of my brain right now and you were listening to this, you would be crying.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fox 5's Weird Early Primetime lack of dayparting spoke in class today

There was an ad for the Dr. Oz show about having your best orgasm ever after age 40. On tv! Primetime! At 8:51pm. During "House!"  Surely there are a lot of kids who are watching tv between 8-9pm! And maybe they don't know what an orgasm is! Consider their minds to be blown. LIKE IN JEREMY.  (not really like in Jeremy. I was thinking about what it would be like to be 8 years old and watching tv with your parents and seeing this promo. And in my head, a sort of metaphorical Jeremything would happen). It's a metaphor! A metaphor for being 8 and seeing this promo and being like "say what now?"

I don't know. I was in the kitchen draining my edamame (not a euphemism) and I heard the tv talking about orgasms. I thought it was a wee bit early for that. But, I suppose, it's important for the children to know.

And this is a stupid remix thing but I made a minivow that I had to make whatever weird stupid video mashup thing went through my head, so, I made this. It is dumb. But I am entertained by it.

And I actually didn't watch it until 11:00pm because I timeshift all my television so forgive my delayed response.

This metaphor is an analogy for something that is not meant to be interpreted literally!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Favorite Twitter Exchange of Recent Memory

starbex: A haiku: "seltzer while in bed / Thirst-quenching! What could go wrong? / Spilled it down my shirt."

noahsam "But when seltzer spills / a paradoxical mess / for it cleans itself."

starbex: "the zen of seltzer / a spill, yet nothing ruined / just a wet tee shirt."

noahsam "dudes say, 'wet t-shirt: / not a mess, but a success!' / yay chauvinism!"

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Stars, The Moon - They Have Been All Been Blown Out

This is my new favorite song in the entire multiverse. Florence + The Machine, "Cosmic Love."
I am totally a year behind on this one but if you haven't heard this song and let it blow your mind (or just my mind, I am in a weird place), you should listen to it right now. (the rest of the album is amazing, too).

Or rather: if you want a direct link to my heart, it's probably via this song.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Puh Puh Puh Puh Platypus Puh Puh Puh Pokerface

 Puh Puh Platypus is my favorite thing of the day:

(credit to Popwatch/Margaret Lyons).

I can't sleep even though I am SO tired. So this happened:
Puh Puh Puh Puh Puh Pokerface Platypus:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bear / Sloungewear

Just thought maybe you wanted to look at a bear wearing a sloungewear.
Remember sloungewear?
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


This is why I want to move to Thailand:

A Thai police force has begun taking a monkey dressed in officer's uniform on patrol each day to help improve relations with Muslim separatists.

 (hat tip to my brother Adam!)



Monday, April 05, 2010

Snurfle snurfle snurfle snurf snurf snurf

I am single and I have a lot of time on my hands. And apparently my new hobby is making sounds for animals that I think they ought to make. (You guys can stage an intervention at any point, really). So, in my head, I think that a goby fish climbing a waterfall would go "snurfle snurfle snurf snurf snurf!"

This one is for Joey who requested it after the mudskipper thing.

Mudskippers, Mudskippers, Fight Fight Fight!

This is how mudskippers fight.