30 March 2007

Justin Timberlake, anyone?

I wrote this on a bit of a deadline, so I by no means have anything formal worked out in my head, this is just something I have been thinking about this week. So here goes. Justin Timberlake.

Last night, a magazine treated a media agency to seeing Justin Timberlake play at the Continental Airlines Arena in Jersey. I happen to work and be friends with the boyfriend of one of the girls attending (Lucy). He would have rather died than attend this concert with Lucy, I think, so he asked me to go in his place.

After a short but very sweet opening by Pink (one that involved crazy Cirque du Soleil-style tricks), Justin Timberlake wowed us for two and a half hours. Literally wowed. At least he wowed me. He danced (like liquid), he sang (well), he smacked girls' butts, he played the piano, the keytar and the acoustic guitar. He also lept huge distances between the different levels of the stage. It was a literal show. a full-on, well-rounded, bang-up performance.

Something interesting happened the night before I went. Almost every single person I told about the concert was excited and jealous. My elitist-as-f*ck musician/producer/mixer/hipster friend. My no-nonsense, perfectionist business professional coworker. And if they weren't excited, they would at least raise a curious eyebrow. Nobody had a single bad thing to say about Justin Timberlake.

Why in this case does a hipster respect the same thing as a hip-hop fan? As a fifteen year-old girl? As a middle-aged man? As me? What is it about this guy. So I asked some people.

Heron Preston, urban culture maven extraordinaire : "He's kind of a regular guy, has sexy girlfriends. He's not a whack dude, like, he's cool."

Kate Ferris, preppy girl meets New York City : "He really seems to be original and good in writing his own kind of music as opposed to the boy band Justin Timerlake."

Dylan Trees, folk musician : "I like his producers. Timbaland is a huge genius. The textures, the rhythms."

So. Is it because he's a renaissance man? Is it because he is very down to earth and humble? His voice is genuinely good? He has found his own path throughout his lengthy career? Timbaland is an incredibly talented producer? All of these things together? Who knows, but he's doing SOMETHING right so that he maintains his street cred after playing a keytar.

26 March 2007

Taxi Driver

My roommate Laura and I watched Taxi Driver last night - we had been meaning to since we first went into Film Noir Video several months ago.

I really liked it a lot. If the whole movie was a photograph, it would have been cross-processed or shot with a lomo. The camera focused on nice things, too. rain on windshields. an analogue cab meter (I want these back). That reverse golden hour of dawn (which made me miss falling asleep at 6.30am). Alka-Seltzer fizzing into a glass of water. Travis's handwriting.

I liked when he read his journal entires out loud. I liked his apartment. I liked his little details, like "I had black coffee and apple pie with a slice of melted yellow cheese. She had coffee and a fruit cup, but she could have ordered anything." I want to try that pie-with-cheese thing, I think I would like it. I DO eat toast with cheese and preserves, and I imagine it would be similar. I liked how Iris changed sunglasses in the middle of her breakfast with him.

Travis reminded me of Billy from Buffalo '66 in a lot of ways, and it made me adore him. A little awkward, quick to lie to impress his parents, sincere. I wonder what this archetype is. Not one of the thirteen that I studied. not The Hollow Man either. I guess it's not a global, universal one. maybe unique to our culture. Not sure, but I want to keep thinking about it.

21 March 2007

a smart theme

Normally I would react to the new Google Homepage themes with a loud "neat!" and spend several minutes choosing my favorite one. And that would be it. But this is truly great - the themes are dynamic! Here is a screenshot of the one I chose:

Now, see how the sky is purple and it's nighttime? Well, that's because I just took this screenshot, at 9.54pm. When I chose my theme, Google asked me for my zip code, so that the scenery could change along with my actual surroundings. It was pinkish as the sun was setting tonight, and before that it was bright yellow at around lunchtime. I wonder if it reflects the weather as well, and not just the time. Maybe I want another ice storm here in New York just so I can see. The point here is that Google always takes everything a couple of steps farther. I love it.

EDIT | see?! It's the afternoon and it looks like this:

happy birthday

Today is my piano's first birthday. I got her as an early graduation present last year, and since then Astrid has vastly improved my quality of life. My playing has almost strictly been limited to Yann Tiersen and my own music (I haven't written too much, so let's just say Yann Tiersen). She traveled with me from my apartment to temporary housing in Richmond; and a long one-way road trip last August to New York. She is now firmly in her third home in Brooklyn, and she will stay there for a while.

I'm in the middle of learning a song called La Chute (by, guess who), and it hurts my arms. so difficult /tricky. But I'll get it soon. Regrettably, I cannot bake one cupcake for each of Astrid's speakers tonight, like I had hoped. My schedule this week is pretty crazy. We will celebrate this weekend, though. expect photos.

15 March 2007

Naked Sydney

Originally uploaded by diablogue.
Faris writes: Prostitution is legal in Australia and, due to our name and location, we sometimes get the wrong sort of leads coming up to the fifth floor...

11 March 2007

medical house calls

After being sick for four days, I woke up this morning feeling terrible. I had all the symptoms of sinusitis, which I get slightly more than once a year (on average). I didn't know what to do - Sunday, don't have a doctor, rapid care walk-ins would be a madhouse.

So I called Sickday, which is a medical house call service in Manhattan. It was a flat fee of $250 (not sure yet whether my insurance will reimburse any of it). Stacy (PA) was at my door in 45 minutes, and she pulled out all her doctor tools (I have a slight fever too, great), diagnosed me, wrote me a prescription and gave me advice on over-the-counter things to take in addition to my antibiotic. She also is going to call me tomorrow to see how I'm doing.

I'm really impressed. I didn't even have to leave my house and I got wonderful care. I also have Thrillist to thank, since they alerted me to Sickday a week or two ago. Call these guys if you're ever sick and hate the thought of waiting for hours to see your doctor. Oh, and they will go to your office too (perfect).

08 March 2007

Ah, look!

Ah, look!
Originally uploaded by tokyohanna.
This was delivered to Naked today from my darling friend Nicole. It's called OK OK OK by Mike Slack. Doesn't just looking at that cheerful cover make you want to smile?

I don't know too much about the photographer or the book, but I love it. There is a single instant photograph on each page. And it was signed. The photos are of things that one might pass by every day without a second glance. Reminds me a lot of William Eggleston. I love the aesthetic of Polaroids, love how minimlist and straight-forward it is. What a beautiful book. Thank you, Nicole.

07 March 2007

Marc Evan

My friend Marc, knowing that I was coming down with something (and a little miserable about it), just doodled this for me:

He is a wonderful artist whom I met on a flight to Florida a couple of years ago. We kept in touch, and now we are friends who actually live in the same city. He's great. See some of his art here.

location of a state schema.

Holy shit.
Originally uploaded by tokyohanna.
I have been wanting to write about this for a week and a half, and now I finally can. You see, I have a pen pal in Quebec named Julie. We are painfully similar, and I wrote to her about this almost as it happened, and wanted her to be the first person to read about it. She has gotten the letter, and now I can share with the rest of the world.

If you're into this kind of thing, you will have heard about the current Jeff Wall exhibit at the MoMA. Well, I didn't know about it when I went to the museum last month (my recent move temporarily screwed up my member newsletters). I wandered to the 6th floor and saw that there was a members-only preview of the exhibit that was to open the following day. Guys, this thing hit me like a truck. The first thing I saw when I walked in was The Destroyed Room. You may recognize it from the recent Sonic Youth album cover:

The photographs were color transparencies in light boxes. absolutely breathtaking and gorgeous. As I stood in front of A Sudden Gust of Wind, I experienced a state schema. It was dark, the HUGE photograph was glowing at me, there was a murmur of fellow MoMA members walking around slowy, and the opening track of Benoit Pioulard's recent album (Précis) was playing. It was so powerful and everything aligned so well that I was nearly moved to tears. It was one of the best ones yet.

I will be returning to the exhibit this weekend with the visiting Dylan Trees. Hopefully he will be willing to see Comic Abstraction too, since it was still being worked on at that point (and is now open).

Guys, go see Jeff Wall's lightboxes. The MoMA is free on Fridays.

PSFK conference

It was delightful. I was happy to help in exchange for catching some of the presentations and panels.

Something interesting that Grant McCracken said during Got Trends: What Now? (I am paraphrasing): "Grad students have no knowledge of trends, but a ton of intuition about human nature. Marketers are the opposite." Kind of scary, if you think about it, but maybe optimistic for our future (if we're thinking about grad students that will ultimately end up working with us). He followed by giving an example of television networks that get it all wrong: saturating us with reality show after reality show. Latching onto a trend and then milking it for all its worth, and then "there is nothing compelling anymore." It's the difference between knowledge and meaning in trends, he points out.

Anothing thing I loved (also something that Noah (and probably more) pointed out): Mike Byrne, CD at Anomaly. He gave the closing speech and talked about being spoken to as a child. "The best brands are those that can talk to kids. Products can be sold as products... or as physical manifestations of hope." I couldn't agree more. My favorite part, though: his opening questions and observations. "When are we told to stop asking questions and being curious? It's only with the help of adults that we become self-aware, and detatched, and stagnant." beautiful.

06 March 2007

trends & inspiration

I'll be helping out at the PSFK Conference today. I might be Twittering throughout via text message (or browser, if there is wireless around and I can use that on my N95), so keep an eye on that little thing. Otherwise, I'll talk about it tonight or tomorrow. See you there!

01 March 2007


...is what I'm doing. Click on this photo. Examine it. Read fine print. Even if you're not a music nerd (look at those accidentals! pyramids of whole notes! ribbons of naturals spanning clefs!), you'll at least giggle. or even think of giggling.

(Yes, I know my posting is very very erratic. This does not a good blogger make. Oh well.)

Naked NY, circa 1986.

[click for bigger. Trust me on this one.]


My dreams may be coming true. I randomly clicked on the tokyo link on my ZoomCloud just now, and was taken to this entry. I saw the bottom comment, typed super milk-chan into Google Images, and this is what happened.

[click for bigger]

me! third result! Suffice to say I'm thrilled.
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