March 29, 2005

Here is where I blog about the USA-European Connection's "Come Into My Heart." Here is another link to the mp3. Voila, actual music content.

March 25, 2005

This morning the legendary Ned Raggett and I had breakfast at the Comfort Diner*! It was quite good, but really this post is just an excuse to post the following photo:

*the original 45th st. location; the 24th st. one, as it happens, no longer exists.

March 22, 2005

Did I say Cooking For Engineers? I meant Cooking For Octopi!

JBR's Fucking Ten of the Week

2) Polish poster art of the '60s-'80s
3) Richard Benjamin
4) Mayim Bialik in Fat Actress
5) 70% cacao Colombian espresso chocolate with a wonderful ganachey texture
6) Better Homes and Gardens' Famous Foods From Famous Places
7) good covers of "Eleanor Rigby" (not so much the Beatles version)
8) black pepper
9) Rego Park, Queens
10) Jim Capaldi, "Shoe Shine"

March 21, 2005

When I was a little girl I wished I was a boy
I tagged along behind the gang and wore my corduroys.
Everybody said I only did it to annoy
But I was gonna be an engineer

Mamma said, "Why can't you be a lady?
Your duty is to make me the mother of a pearl
Wait until you're older, dear
And maybe you'll be glad that you're a girl.

Dainty as a Dresden statue, gentle as a Jersey cow,

Smooth as silk, gives cream and milk

Learn to coo, learn to moo

That's what you do to be a lady, now.

When I went to school I learned to write and how to read
History, geography and home economy
And typing is a skill that every girl is sure to need
To while away the extra time until the time to breed
And then they had the nerve to ask, what would I like to be?
I says, "I'm gonna be an engineer!"

"No, you only need to learn to be a lady
The duty isn't yours, for to try to run the world
An engineer could never have a baby
Remember, dear, that you're a girl"

She's smart --- for a woman.

I wonder how she got that way?

You get no choice, you get no voice

Just stay mum, pretend you're dumb.

That's how you come to be a lady, today.

Well, I started as a typist but I studied on the sly
Working out the day and night so I could qualify
And every time the boss came in, he pinched me on the thigh
Said, "I've never had an engineer!"
"You owe it to the job to be a lady
The duty of the staff is to give the boss a whirl
The wages that you get are crummy, maybe
But it's all you get, 'cause you're a girl"

Then Jimmy came along and we set up a conjugation
We were busy every night with loving recreation
I spent my days at work so he could get an education
And now he's an engineer!

He said: "I know you'll always be a lady
The duty of my darling is to love me all her life
Could an engineer look after or obey me?
Remember, dear, that you're my wife!"

As soon a Jimmy got a job, I studied hard again
Then busy at me turret-lathe a year or two, and then
The morning that the twins were born, Jimmy says to them
"Your mother was an engineer!"
"You owe it to the kids to be a lady
Dainty as a dish-rag, faithful as a chow
Stay at home, you got to mind the baby
Remember you're a mother now!"

Every time I turn around there's something else to do
Cook a meal or mend a sock or sweep a floor or two
Listening to Jimmy Young - it makes me want to spew
I was gonna be an engineer.

I only wish that I could be a lady
I'd do the lovely things that a lady's s'posed to do
I wouldn't even mind if only they would pay me
Then I could be a person too.

What price for a woman?

You can buy her for a ring of gold,

To love and obey, without any pay,

You get a cook and a nurse for better or worse

You don't need a purse when a lady is sold.

Oh, but now the times are harder and me Jimmy's got the sack;
I went down to Vicker's, they were glad o have me back.
But I'm a third-class citizen, my wages tell me that
But I'm a first-class engineer!

The boss he says "We pay you as a lady,
You only got the job because I can't afford a man,
With you I keep the profits high as may be,
You're just a cheaper pair of hands."

You got one fault, you're a woman;

You're not worth the equal pay.

A bitch or a tart, you're nothing but heart,

Shallow and vain, you've got no brain,

Go down the drain like a lady, today.

Well, I listened to my mother and I joined a typing pool
Listened to my lover and I put him through his school
If I listen to the boss, I'm just a bloody fool
And an underpaid engineer
I been a sucker ever since I was a baby
As a daughter, as a mother, as a lover, as a dear
But I'll fight them as a woman, not a lady
I'll fight them as an engineer!

--"I'm Gonna Be an Engineer," Peggy Seeger, 1970. Copyright Stormking Music, Inc.

(35 years later, Cooking For Engineers makes it possible for a lady to fight 'em as an engineer AND wait hand-and-foot on hubby! Now that's what I call progress.)

March 19, 2005

I'm fascinated with this guy Kevin Trudeau. Multi-level-marketing watchdog site MLM Survivor calls him "marketer extraordinaire, with a more-than-checkered past," which includes a history of pyramid schemes, credit card fraud, several investigations, and a cease-and-desist order from the state of Michigan (his primary base of operations). A press release from a co-defendant, TruStar Global Media, simply calls Trudeau a "consumer activist."

You might have seen the chatshowmercial for Trudeau's book Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About (the scare quotes are his; I'm guessing you're supposed to voice "they" with a big deep booming elongated vowel, Mr. Moviefone-style). You might have seen him prior to the "Natural Cures" program, advertising miracle-cure herbal supplements -- in fact, the FTC shut his ass down and had him barred from making any more commercials (i.e. "appearing in, producing, or disseminating future infomercials that advertise any type of product, service, or program to the public, except for truthful infomercials for informational publications"). "Natural Cures" is part of that clause.

Evidently, he's unsavory, untrustworthy, universally hated, and by most accounts, completely full of shit. I'd be a moron not to take his "miracle cure" claims with a grain of salt. But I do think he's on to something. He's right when he says that the FDA and FTC don't have our best interests in mind, that they're sucking some major pharmaceutical-industry cock, that any hint of financial crippling to the U.S. drug trade (e.g. people crossing the border to buy medicine in Canada) just makes the pharmas even more mean 'n' nasty and predatory and paranoid about little well-meaning (legitimate) organic hoonja-doonjas that could never pose any real threat to anyone in a hundred million years. And when the pharmas are unhappy, the invisible top-brass billionaire occult is unhappy. So the FDA/FTC/pharmas will keep pushing addictive drugs that only work just enough to hold the user over until the next dose; they'll convince the user that the drugs need to be taken every day for the foreseeable future if not the rest of his life; they'll keep upping the dosage and making the user believe the only true path to recovery is more drugs. Etc. When in truth, there are often cheaper, quicker, more practical solutions: hey, maybe that thing you've been diagnosed with is actually a reaction to a food additive! Let's try a change in diet and see what happens! Great idea, but exactly the sort of thing the FDA regards as witch-doctor quackery.

Not that I entirely believe Trudeau has our best interests in mind either -- he's totally on the defensive and he wants revenge.

Whatever his motives are though, it feels SO GOOD to hear somebody on TEEVEE stickin' it to THE MAN! I almost wanna steal a copy of his book to see what else he has to say about what "they" don't want us to know!

March 15, 2005

A brilliant idea for a flash mob: buy several of these for you and a group of friends, meet up at a crowded sports bar during a Big Game, and sit back and smile as a few dozen angry drunks wonder why all the TVs keep going off. Viva performance art!

March 13, 2005

ILMiXor is getting buzz buzz buzz all over intertown, and now Mr. Tofu Hut buzzes in with his own short writeup ("probably the hottest and most exciting new musicblog to hit in awhile; the writing is uniformly fascinating and excellent and you never know what might pop up. This is what happens when da revolution done come"). (Farmer in the City called the project "a brilliantly simple idea," while admitting, rightly so, that the corresponding ILM administrivial threads "[read] like the duck's feet thrashing around furiously under the water while the ILMiXor duck gives the impression of floating gracefully along the surface.")

March 08, 2005

The U.S. has hooker motels, of course, but they're anonymous-looking flea-infested dumps like you see along the highways running through industrial suburbs. Japan's love hotels have a slightly different aesthetic. Love hotels, at their most bizarre and intriguing, can out-creative the Vegas strip a hundredfold: there's a scale replica of the HMS QE II (the Sagamiko Elizabeth Sekitei) for the seafaring pervert, an Alcatraz-like "prison sex" hotel (Hotel The Rock) with a robotic warden, and, if you're into twee S&M, a hotel (the Adonis) with a Hello Kitty room. (These and many more here.)

This is old news, but since sex and tourism have more or less built the backbone of a successful internet, it's only natural that it's a popular story.

Related links (NSFW):

-Pantiespantiespanties' Travel Report: Osaka Love Hotels
-HotelChatter's Osaka Love Hotels: The Room Menu
-Gridskipper on The Ins and Outs of Love Hotels

March 05, 2005

I want EVERYTHING these weirdos make (follow link for sound samples, but as the site warns, "Our mp3 demos can't do full justice to the violent EVIL the TM-1* is capable of").

*and TM-2 through 5, too**!
**I'm not sure I'm ready for the special edition Agonizer, though:

"fully OPTIMIZED for bad tone and crappy sound" !!!

Gloria Trevi, "En medio de la tempestad"
Thank you Pepsi Música for introducing me to the best 3-minute, 46-second Mexican pop song ever to encompass Cher-trance, Meatloaf/Branigan/Etheridge constipomp, and a middle eight by the Buggles.

And thanks for the first Gloria Trevi video I've seen since our cable package came with The Box (a typical day of Box programming in the summer of '91: the uncensored "Pop That Coochie" video every 15 minutes) (democracy in action, folks). But cable's pretty hot right now too -- even if I only got the Discovery Channel, HGTV, FMC, and the random Spanish station I tuned into today, I'd never need to watch much else.

March 04, 2005

The DUST BUNNIES FROM HELL are coming for YOUR COMPUTER (and this time they mean business, especially those furry creatures that live inside the front grille of your case and tie themselves in dainty, flammable bows around your power cables).

March 02, 2005

You can never have enough World's Fair nostalgia. (Well, you can, which is why I probably wouldn't have gone to Forgotten NY's tour of Flushing-Corona Park even if I'd gotten the memo in time. Been there, done that, seen the city in panoramic miniature and the Unisphere and the beautiful mosaics.) However, it's a true fact that you can never have enough World's Fair tchotchkes, and blogger JanJan has some great ones.

OOH OOH OOH (and about fuckin' time)!

A Trader Joe's is on menu for boro


Chalk one up for the gourmands of Brooklyn.
Trader Joe's, the laid-back purveyor of gourmet foods, is looking for a storefront in the Borough of Kings.

"We've been looking in Brooklyn" said Audrey Dumper, a spokeswoman for Trader Joe's. "But we need to find a deal that makes sense for us."

The California-based grocery chain sells inexpensive luxury foods like organic snacks, fancy frozen foods and olive oils from Greece, Italy and California.

They have 220 stores in 20 states but none in New York City.

Stores are typically between 8,000 and 15,000 square feet, a fraction of the size of big-box discount stores like Costco.

"We've identified some areas that we're very seriously interested in," said Dumper who declined to name any particular neighborhood.

The company also is still looking in Manhattan.

Employees at the off-beat grocery chain wear Hawaiian shirts and products have names like "Prelude to a Quiche."

Many shoppers load up on the store's special line of Charles Shaw wine, better known as "Two buck chuck," for its $1.99 price tag in California (it's more in other states).

With Trader Joe's in the mix, Brooklyn may soon have its own gourmet gulch.

Whole Foods is opening a 42,000-square-foot organic foods supermarket in Park Slope with as many as 220 parking spaces.

In Red Hook, Fairway is converting a 19th-century warehouse at the end of Van Brunt St. into a massive supermarket slated to open in the fall.

The fancy food influx is scaring some longtime grocers.

"We don't feel like it will be the end of the coop," said Joe Holtz, manager of the Park Slope Food Coop. "But it will be less crowded in here."

"They have parking and we don't, so that could make them more attractive," he added. The coop is considering expanding its hours and adding services such as helping customers carry groceries to their cars.

Trader Joe's is still considering how much parking it will need.

"We're trying to be open-minded," said Dumper, "because that area is different than any other store we've opened."

Originally published on February 17, 2005

March 01, 2005

jbr's book cover hall of fame, exhibit a:

exhibit b:

March is here, it's queer, it's a bum steer, and so on.

Team Christo started taking down the Gates yesterday morning, and given that I didn't blog about the exhibit once during the entire month of February (and I was working there, selling merch to celebrities and Germans!), I've gotta do the Jody thing now and deliberately come late to the game. These were taken last week with the shitty camera on my Nokia 3650, in and around the park.