Wednesday, February 26, 2003

I Lied...

Not long ago, I said "My Friends Are Cool... But I Am Not."
Turns out it was a lie. I am cool.

This is the article from the New York Times. Sunday's hard copy had several pictures of Ryan.
Sunday night, I got an email from the Raleigh News and Observer's Fashion and Style editor. The letter ran:

"Dear Mr Eckard
Can we call you Jay?
First of all, congrats on being included in Ryan McGinty's new show in New York. We're sure the after party was fab!
We'd love to sit and talk with you about your New York society experiences, the underground scene there and McGinty's photography of the "Indie" World. It's to be included in an upcoming story in our Sunday Stylin section.
Just contact us at [their email address and telephone number].


Very chatty for an newspaper editor, I thought.
Nice story, though, right?
The catch: I've been to New York only once. New Year's, remember? I doubt McGinty was combing the streets of Manhattan in the freezing rain looking for soaking hayseeds in leather car coats.
I'm not in any of his pictures.

I can't decide which of the three options to follow:

A) Balls it out big time:
"Oh yeah. I almost skipped the gallery completely. My date -- Jeff Buckley -- and I tottered out to see a show during the opening. We came back for the afterparty. It was totally gear. Mad booze, man, mad booze. I was standing talking to one of those Le Tigre girls -- can you keep them apart, I can't! -- when Ryan walks up to say hello. Of course, I play it cool, cause everyone knows Ryan is really a pain in the ass, but hey, it's his night, you know? When Mick Cooke threw up on my shoes, it capped the night. It was a statement really..."

B) Lie, but close to reality:
"Yeah, I went with my two friends Brian and Laurel. We pottered around the gallery for a while, kinda late cause we went out drinking first. The party was huge, and Brian and Laurel knew like everybody and I knew four people, so I stood in the corner, drinking. After a while, I worked up enough courage to talk to a boy in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. He was cool. Later, I got the number of a really cute boy from Weehauken when he realized I was in one of the photos. I left earlier than most."

C) The truth: "I'm not in any of his pictures, but I would like to meet some of the boys who are."

The truth may set you free, but it's not nearly as much fun.

Speaking of amusing...

At work, we wound up talking about crazy high school stuff, and I told these two tales. Both true.

My senior year of high school, we gave out awards to the teachers. They were "The Armour Brand Potted Meat Food Product Awards for Excellence Above and Beyond the Call of Potted Meat Food Product." The Committe of Three -- my friends Darren, Chris and I -- would select an appropriate teacher and anonymously deliver a can of said brand Potted Meat to their desks.
We did it all year, but no-one ever figured out who was doing it. We even heard teachers debating who would get the next one in jealous terms.
At the end of the year, we chipped in and got a can of Spam Bronzed for the bronzen Spam Award, the year's culmination of monthly awards. Dave Thomas, master of Social Studies, was the recipient. He proudly bore it on his desk. At last report (last year) it was still there, six years later.

Collegiate non-sense

It is a little-known fact I had a political career.
I was the leader of an independent country for an afternoon. Since it lost its war with the US and had its sovereignty dissolved, I am a Minister in Exile. Just like the Shah of Iran.
During my summer job at the Elizabeth II in Manteo one year, we discovered that part of our island flooded when it rained. You have to understand the E-2 was moored off Iceplant Island, an Island in Shallowbag Bay, off Roanoke Island. Therefore after the flood, we were an island off an island off an island.
Naturally, we declared independence.
We read that in war, to formally end, the country must be officially recognized.
We knew that to shoot a Coast Guard vessel was an act of war.
Our friends were passing by in a CG skiff.
We had a gun with blanks.
We fired.
Fortunately, our friends recognized us and went along with it. They filled out the appopriate incident forms. Our country was The Independent and Sovreign Republic of St. George; its capital was our little shrine from the soldier's camp, St Jay's By the Soundside; it leader, the First High Minister, Jason-Andrew Collins Le Fey Eckard. Population: 6. Government: said High Mininster, Ross Braxton Bryant (Minister of Culture) and Paul Anderson (Deputy Minister in All Affairs).
Our country ceased to exist at 5.03 pm, 28 July 1999, after existing since 12.40 pm that afternoon.

We mourn for her still.

Book of the Day: White Darkness. I'm still getting over how odd this version of Dr Who is. Bitchy, gun-toting companions. He finally switches out of his TV get-up (that stupid Question mark pull-over) for a sweet linen suit, silk shirt and jade green cravat. Topped off with a cream fedora with paisley band. Nice sense of style.
The writing is bad, clunky and unfinished with little editing. The ideas are not bad or un-developed, just... derivitive? Not quite... Immature, I think, and rushed. Virgin's Dr Who department was putting out one book a month with virtually no experienced authors to a pretty bitchy audience, so it was surprising the work wasn't total shit. No suprise was its nick name, The Fiction Factory.

Dr Who of the Day (yes, more...) Masque of Mandragora, part 2-4. Ooooh. Swell. Plus que swell. The same script editor/producer team that created my very favourite story (The Pyramid of Mars) return to the same kind of story. Alien influence in a historical setting. This time the Mandragora Helix (intelligent energy spiral) versus 15th Century Italy by means of the revived Cult of Demnos.
San Martino come to us from a little Renaissance town built in Wales (no, I have no idea why, boyo, but it makes a change from t'Pit I geuss). And since Aunt Beeb is the patron goddess of period drama, it looks gorgeous. The plot works well -- destroy Science before it was born and take over the world by a little cult (Hey, don't knock it. It worked for St Paul...). The acting is great and Heiroynmous is superbly Over the Top. And there's swordfighting.
A new console room is introduced, all maghony and brass. Forgotten for years, it's prescient of the Let's-use-all-the-buget-on-one-set console room extravaganza from the US Telemovie with the Pertwee Logo.
Highly Recommended.
Repeat Offender: Norman Jones, the evil astrologer Heiroynmous was Major Baker in Doctor Who and the Silurians, where he spread the plague that almost destroyed the world. He was in The Abominble Snowmen, too, but nobody's seen that since the Seventies when it was junked.

I can't think of a good word of the day. You tell me one for a change.

The entry brough to you buy: "Not Quite a Yes" Arab Strap, "Hallelujah" Jeff Buckley, "Chicago at Midnight", Spoon and "Living Room" by Tegan and Sara.

Recommended Television: None. I haven't seen much this week except this extremely disturbing Elementary Maths show with a multiplication X with two heads called Multiplex who asks questions like "Can you recongize this pattern made with /shapes/?" It's called MathMonsters. Still better than FOX, though.
Damn. I need cable. Stat.

I haven'd been to XDU to snoop around on good new music yet this week.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

By Demand

So I was harrassed the other day about not updating.
Thank you, Mr No-Blog.
Expect reciprocity when yours is up and running. ;)
Accordingly, here is the demanded update. Be warned. You asked for it.

First things First

I was the Recommended Blog of the week at Recro-Secretarial this week!
Everyone should accordingly go there and take in the bliss therein contained!
It's not for no reason she's called secsy.
(It's a pun, geddit?)

Also, I was the second person to sign up for the Sinister Weblog.
Set up again by Secsy. Check the new neato ad down to the bottom of the page.
I imagine it'll be huge by next week as these things spread like no-one's business and every Sinister kid and his brother has a blog, but I was in On The Ground Floor. Oh yes.

The I Still Don't Get Girls Dept.

I found the most disturbing document I've ever seen at work today.
We have unisex bathrooms (ick) because it's Whole Foods Market. I saw a slip of paper on the floor there, and being bored, picked it up and read it.
It was the directions for our Organic Tampons.
Ew ew ew ew!
They were explicit, dude. Like more explicit than any girlfriend I had ever was with me! "Use your hand to ease open the skin that covers your vaginal opening."
Now, I'm intentionally ignorant of how these things work, but do they really need INSTRUCTIONS?
It got worse the more I read. The last instruction: "Never insert more than one tampon at a time."
I mean: ??!?!
The icing on the cake: "Always remember to remove the last tampon at the end of your period."
What, do you forget these things are up there? Honestly!
I was so disturbed I couldn't talk to a girl for over an hour...

Go See This Film

Metropolis, Fritz Lang, 1927.
My hokey. This is the most incredible thing I've ever seen.
I've seen German Expressionism before (like The Cabinent of Dr. Caligari) but it never worked like this. This was beautiful. The imagery was genius. It was beautiful and powerful. The Overcity was Epic, Megalithic, but simple and understated which made it more effective. Think: a modern Stonehenge.
The Undercity was bent and exaggerated, perfect for the sunconscious mind.
And the acting. The acting! It came off perfectly even without sound. It was stylized, but it was so in sync with the rest of the production that it wasn't an irritant like it could have been. There was a fluidity of movement counterpointed with mania that gorgeous. It was like mime.
It was simple enough to be mythic and archetypal but complex. Actually I think simplicity is an illusion created by functional complexity. It all comes together in a unity of purpose, function and uniqueness -- Aquinas' claritas, unitas and quiditas -- so seemlessly that looks easy. Everything occurs at once together without conscious effort. Understanding occurs spontaneously. That's why the fairy tale that is a depiction of the ego versus the id or the concsious verus the subconcious or the workers verus the elite is so deceptively simple.
That sums up what I like best about it: everything in this works together in the telling of the story. No disperate elements. Of course, that's how it's supposed to work always. The danger with expressionism, I find, is that the conventions used overshadow the story instead of serving it.

This Week's Big Idea

Actually, I've been noticing this for quite a while recently, and I imagine I'll go on for some time.
It's music producers' work, or what you hear when in a song.
I was listening to Belle and Sebastian's "Seeing Other People" on their mixtape I made that I always listen to in my car when I noticed Belle Campbell sawing away on her cello at the end of the song. I'd never noticed before. I went back and listened, and it's there the whole way through, but very quiet up until the end. It adds so much to the song to have that there at that point, I think this great, solid bass sound underneath the rest of the music.
SInce then, I've been listening intensely to all the music on that tape (and everywhere else). I think it has to be music you know very well to really appreciate it, to hear something different the 150th time, but it's very rewarding to suddenly realize:My god! The drums in Lazy Line Painter Jane!
Actually, I LOVE THAT SONG. The organ in that has done to save my soul than anything else in my life. I listen to it obscenely loudly. In summer I will make an ass of myself as I have been screaming along with it this winter with the windows up and will continue to do so with them down when it is warmer.

Book of the Day: White Darkness. The TARDIS arrives in Haiti, 1915. Ancient evil stirs. Vodoun (apparently how you really spell voodoo, along with zombi or jumbi for zombie) appears. World War I is waged in Europe and the US prepares to take over Haiti. Egregious references to H P Lovecraft arise (The local pathologist cum anthropolgist [Is this an odd combination to anyone else?] is named Howard Phillips. Cue the subtle flashing neon light.)_
Did you know the US ruled Haiti from 1915 to 1934? Me neither.
I realized with a start this book is TEN YEARS OLD. I remember buying it in Waldenbooks in Valley Hills Mall. I haven't read since I first bought it. It seems clunky and a little hacknied, which isn't too odd as it is the author's first novel. And it's strange how the series has changed from the uber-manipulative seventh Doctor who is actually not very heroic and strangely distant with a transparent past to the all-too-touchy feely Human Eighth Doctor with no memory.
Not that I'd know. I haven't read a new Dr Who book since June. June, people. Please, Britons! Pity me and bung one in the post for me! They're cheap!

Word of the day: houngan: a voodoo priest

This entry brought to you by: Perry Como, "Papa Love Mambo"; Baxendale, "Music for Girls", Harry Belafonte "Man Smart, Woman Smarter"; Art Attack, "I Am a Dalek"

Recommended new music from WXDU: Pac/Cal and Survive and Advance, Vol II (a new comp from MERGE records, featuring Lampchop, the Buzzcocks, the Magnetic Fields, Superchunk and lots of other great stuff 16 of 18 tracks are unreleased matieral)