Monday, October 31, 2005

happy halloween

Her hair is made of rollerblade shavings. How cool is that?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

girl you know it's true

Since we're on the topic of paganism and ideas of sacrilege, what with Halloween on it's way and all, I might as well declare the obvious, that it is an incontrovertible fact that Black Jesus is the spitting image of Milli Vanilli. The resemblance has been haunting me for weeks now since I recently became aware of it and has gotten to the point where it's preventing me from going to sleep tonight until I spread the word. Maybe this is how Mormons or Scientologists feel when they prostelytize. And maybe I would have been a believer of the Christian faith long ago if I thought Jesus was actually black with the physique of Milli or Vanilli. How is a lady to resist those pecs? And is it really a mere coincidence that their doom, for both Jesus and Milli Vanilli, was based on a question of authenticity? Did you know that Rob Pilatus (one half of the duo) died at the age of 33? The parallels are spine-chilling.

This is totally nonsequitor but my brother used to own a Milli Vanilli album.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

burying the hatchet

As Halloween draws near, we are again confronted with the pagan underpinnings of American society and the basic right of every man to dress in drag or woman to dress as a trashy ho for one uncensored night. It is a time when we celebrate the crackhead in each and every one of us though this may be buried less deeply in some than in others. I, for one, have always considered it my primordial duty to dress up on Halloween if anything to remind us that American society is still too Puritan, too restrictive, and that we really need to lighten up once in a while. Step out of our skins. Therefore, after considerable thought I decided to be Lizzie Borden for Halloween only to discover that not a single person I asked knew who she was. This disturbs me for several reasons. One, I am an immigrant to this country and should know relatively less than the average American born native. Two, she is arguably the most famous murdress in American history, and quite possibly the first documented female criminal of a multiple homicide. Three, I'm beginning to think that I have no useful knowledge of any kind which renders me virtually unable to communicate on a casual level with the average person.

So to bring everyone up to date, let's contemplate this terrifying poem and images:

Lizzie Borden took an axe
and gave her mother 40 whacks...

When she saw what she had done
she gave her father 41.

This is the face of a woman deep in the throes of PMS. At least that's one argument (of many theories) that Lizzie was having her period and PMS-ing really badly when she decided to chop her folks up. Here are some other facts of the murders:

1. The murders took place in Fall River, Massachussets in 1892.
2. Lizzie supposedly took a hatchet to her stepmom only 10 times, whilst her father took 18 whacks. Not your daddy's little girl. Bad daddy.
3. She was a 32 year old spinster living with her parents. Cause enough to kill them to be sure. Someone keep an eye on me will ya?
4. It has been hypothesized that the lack of blood on her dress meant that Lizzie stripped naked, killed her parents, and then put her clothes back on. So she was not only a killer, but she liked to get her freak on!
5. She was never convicted of any crime. Her father was extremely wealthy and she was able to purchase the best defense team available. Who says we never learn anything from history?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

the tweedle olsens

This was bound to happen to me sooner or later. And even as I'm writing this, I'm thinking, egads, why the fuck am I even writing about them. I'm sort of digusted at myself for knowing who they are. But it's as you suspected, I had a run in with the Olsen twins in the Marni store on Melrose today. Not that it was all that exciting but I just want to confirm any suspicion you may have that yes, they are as absurd as they are portrayed in the media, and no, they are not cute, nor sweet, nor undeserving of any public disdain. They deserve it all. The two of them, the anorexic one dressed in the usual getup of wooly blanket-coat and oversized bug-eyed sunglasses (bearing, might I add, an uncanny resemblance to a skeskis from The Dark Crystal) and the other one quite pretty and looking surprisingly nothing like the anorexic one's twin, proceeded to monopolize the only two dressing rooms in the store for over half an hour, leaving me and the other two customers to either wait or try on clothes in the storage room, as the staff apologetically told us. I elected to just try a dress on over my clothes rather than wait. In the process I had to listen to this retarded exchange:

Tweedle Mary-Kate: "God, I sooo like need socks. Last night I was out and I really wished I had socks."
Tweedle Ashley: "Yeah, like socks are really important."
Tweedle Mary-Kate: "Totally. I like looooooove socks."
Tweedle Ashley: "Yeah socks are so cool."

It's true. I'm not making this up. Then they proceeded to smoke cigarettes outside, ask the staff for diet Cokes, and then go into deep analytical debate over whether they should buy the black matte tights or the grey ones.

What was truly remarkable about this event was that I managed to make it out of the store without impaling myself with one of the gleaming lucite hangers or bashing my head against the display case. I left physically intact but spiritually enervated. Now I must go cleanse myself. (And no I did not take this picture.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

not lost in translation

I passed by Hooters today on the way to Santa Monica beach where I saw a couple of the ladies outside, scantily clad as usual and chatting up a customer on the patio, which reminded me of the following conversation I once had with a 40 year old monk from Korea:

"So we went to Hooters the other night to watch the game and..." I tried to say.

"Hoo-ters?" he rudely interjected.

"Yeah, you know that bar in Santa Monica. So I was saying..."

"What is hooters?" he asked.

"Oh right. Um, it's... well, it's the name of a sports bar," I explained feeling a bit uptight.

"What does it mean, hooters?" he asked again.

"Well, it actually is another word for, uh, a woman's breasts." There I said it.


"And it's called Hooters because all the ladies who work there have big breasts and wear tight t-shirts." I was on a roll.


"It's American slang. I think. Funny, huh?" I kept going in complete discomfort.

I expected more silence. But instead he said, "Ah, I see. So at this Hooters, it is a place where you cannot get a job?"

Followed by his ridiculous laughter.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Saturday, October 15, 2005


I once knew a man who would get uncontrollable cravings for avocados when the moon was full. He would walk purposefully into the kitchen, slice one up, and still standing at the counter, would slide piece after slippery piece down his throat, barely chewing it as if he were a penguin eating sardines. Then he would go to work on another one. The most I ever saw him eat was four avocados in a row, all of them in this singleminded way that was driven by a hunger the origins of which medical science as of yet has failed to explain. But it was absolutely riveting to watch.

Apparently the scientific world is still mystified by this phenomenon, otherwise known as the 'lunar effect'. In hospitals for example, there seems to be just as many studies that document more activity in emergency rooms on full moon nights as there are studies that document the opposite. The most convincing argument to explain 'lunacy' is that hospital staff simply notice weird stuff more when there's a full moon compared to nights without one. It then becomes nothing more than a manifestation of the human instinct to assign meaning to things. It's like a self-fulfilling prophecy. You already believe it and then you notice it more.

But regardless of any scientific skepticism, people continue to be fascinated by the mystical relationship between man and moon. A fascination that resulted in none other than the "Sunset-Moonrise hike" in the San Gabriel mountains tonight where it was promised:

Once a month the moon is full because it rises exactly when the sun sets, and the heavenly relationship between these celestial bodies casts a glorious image upon the earth caught in the middle. In order to take full advantage of nature's magnificent monthly trick, we will hike to the summit of historic Mt. Lowe at sunset, and watch as the sun's amber splashdown in the Pacific silhouettes several mountain ranges to the west. As the setting sun unveils the moon to the East, we will watch as the moon's soft light casts its glow upon the lives of 10 million people over a mile below, and the great LA basin spreads itself before us like a jeweled table cloth.

Right, 'jeweled tablecloth' my ass. Nothing of the sort took place. This picture I took, approximately 30 minutes before sunset on the way up the mountain, was fatefully to be the last we would see of either sun or moon. A blanket of clouds blew over the entire mountain, the temperature plummeted 20 degrees, and just as we reached the foggy peak in complete darkness, the heavens opened up and started to downpour on our already trampled spirits. There was no lunar magic tonight.

But regardless, there are still too many unexplainable phenomena to totally discard the possibility of a true lunar effect. We still can't explain why crabs appear to molt according to the lunar cycle. Why women have their period with the moon. Why the full moon seems to aggravate schizophrenics and people with bipolar disorders. Why people continue to anthropomorphosize the moon, why the world is still fascinated with lunar eclipses though we know the science behind it, and why tonight, for the life of me I can't seem to get to sleep until the moon has begun to set in the godforsaken sky.

Monday, October 10, 2005

from the mouths of babes

There are certain sacrifices a parent has to make for their child that tells me I'm just not ready for motherhood. One of them is the fact that children aren't allowed in bars. At least in the state of California. My friend found this out the hard way when he dragged his two year old into a martini bar and was booted to the curb. Come to think of it, maybe he's not cut out for parenting either. I mean, who buys their kid martinis at the age of two? It's clear though that we need to seriously come up with a better system where you can check your kid at the door like a coat, or at worst, affix your kid to a parking meter out front like a bicycle or puppy.

But aside from this (and the mindnumbing amount of fecal matter involved in childrearing) I have to admit that hanging out with a child can be pretty damn enlightening as I realized this afternoon babysitting for my friend. We ate pasta shaped like elephants and angels and then as we were lounging around, shooting the shit, philosophizing about the emotional complexity of penguins, she looked at me and said "Auntie Minsuh makes me happy." Aw shucks. I was feeling pretty special at that point, almost bursting at the seams with the kind of joy a parent might feel basking in the unconditional love of their child, until she cruelly extinguished any such illusions by saying in the next breath, "And the crab makes me happy and the fish makes me happy too!" Referring, of course, to the paper crab and the paper fish that were glued onto the wall. Stiff competition indeed.

It seemed like only moments later that I once again fell prey to her diabolical wiles when she handed me something stuck to her finger and said innocently "What's this?" I don't know, what was it? I took it from her, rolling it between my fingers, noting that it was white and slightly sticky. When I asked her where it came from she said matter-of-factly, "My nose." Doh! Foiled again!

What I learned from this experience in pretend child rearing was this. First, all adult food should be served exclusively in recognizable and entertaining shapes. Next time I pay good money for a steak dinner I want my plate fixed up to look like Fenway park. Spinach would make a great Green Monster. Is this really asking too much? I also realize that when you go head to head with a child, the real victim will generally be you. Don't be misled by their feigned innocence, their effortless laughter, their penchant for being tickled, for they are in fact little dominitrixes who just happen to wield crayolas instead of whips. Don't be fooled.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

jesus is batting for the other team

I blame the collapse of the Red Sox on Jesus. The melting polar icecaps, the two supreme court nominations, Brad and Jen's breakup, the Tony Danza show, and now a 3 game sweep. . . Jesus is throwing his flock to the wolves. I think he better let up on the "batting practice" and get back to work if this Christianity thing is going to stay afloat.

Not the best marketing concept, but the truly devout can purchase these disturbing figurines here. Though I am heartened to know that Jesus appears to receive as well as he gives. (Let's thank the Reverend Doctor for the link.)

Monday, October 03, 2005

hello october

There is something extremely unsettling about the month of October. Unsettling because it is a time of transition where nothing will be the same come one or two weeks time. The shortening of the days, the cold bite in the air, the finality of summer. The season finale of Battlestar Galactica. All this change makes you feel extremely conscious of being alive, though more in that extremely terrifying way like being strapped to an electric chair can make you super conscious of living.

Every time the school year begins, I have painful flashbacks to when I first started college, a time of debilitating anxiety and fear. A time when you make friends with the first person to say "hi" to you. That's how I became friends with two people on the first day of orientation who not only stayed my friends until graduation but whom I then proceeded to excise from my life almost immediately thereafter. My best friend, Nancy, was one of those "beautiful people". So beautiful in fact that most girls would not want to hang out with her because her flawlessly glowing skin and glossy hair would make the average co-ed look like a rat's ass. Though she quickly had a slew of men totally smitten with her from afar, she had trouble making friends. The reason I ended up being friends with her was because I just didn't know any better. I don't think I realized how pretty she was because I was too busy going to frat parties to get drunk. All I wanted from her was someone to make sure I found my way back to my dorm at the end of the day. She did a fair enough job. My other friend, Eric, was a big goofball, with looks and mannerisms that were an exact cross between Hugh Grant and Gomer Pyle. He also happened to have the physique of a Greek god, which was not a bad thing considering how often Nancy and I saw him come out of the shower. Of course, most of the people on his floor thought the three of us had some perverse menage-a-trois going on, something which we didn't really dispute, but in fact we were, allof us, pretty sexually inexperienced and generally just gosh-darn innocent. We balanced each other very well as a trio. He was the approachable everyman, she represented sobriety and elegance, and I was the no-holds-barred party animal. We were a sort of social sandwich, self-contained but went well with everything.

For reasons that are not totally clear to me to this day, I dropped them from my life and never looked back. The last I saw of Eric and Nancy was at Eric's wedding when he got married to Aerin Lauder, the next in line to the Estee Lauder empire. It was one of those ridiculous affairs with 400 guests, comprised of a motley assortment of famous people (Oscar de la Renta, Dr. Quinn medicine woman, Liz Hurley and yes, Eric's bizarro world twin, Hugh Grant) that marked a major turning point in our relationship, a point from which there was no return. From that time on Eric, as the goofy friend from college that I knew and loved, was dead to me. May he rest in peace. He now exists almost exclusively as a charity event escort and sperm donor. And my friendship with Nancy didn't survive a phase I went through where I thought she was just too materialistic for buying $300 shoes.

Since then, I have bought my share of $300 shoes and every time I do so I have to cringe with regret at losing what was once a very good friend. You'd think this would either make me call Nancy up and see how she's doing or at least stop buying expensive shoes. But to no avail. Instead, I sit here, thinking of her at this time of year, when the deepening of fall reminds me of things and people I have lost along the way. Living in LA generally deprives you of this sense of the passing of time. While many people glory in the monotony of southern California weather, I personally hate it. There is something to be said for nostalgia, for clinging desperately to the summer, for experiencing the sadness of having something slip out of your fingers irrevocably out of reach that more than anything reminds you of your own mortality.