Get Me This Shirt

October 29, 2018

Anyone who has seen Synecdoche, New York and doesn’t think it perfectly encapsulates the despair of human existence I sadly must unfriend.

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Bathroom Porn

October 24, 2018

Once, I had an idea that I was going to do a blog post that was only pictures of clawfoot tubs, because I love them.  Then I forgot about it, or maybe I just decided it was something Honestly WTF had already done at least once (it appears they’ve done one on cast iron tubs, which appear to be… the same?  Mostly clawfoot?  It’s like an SAT problem).  Anyway, yesterday, while drooling over this real estate listing for the apartment I would live in if I were 98 years old and had gone full-on rich eccentric, I actually felt my limbs go tingly while gazing upon the amazing green bathroom.  You could just die, right?

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Found!

October 22, 2018

Do you guys remember Found Magazine?  Turns out it still exists, I just haven’t thought about it in a while.  I used to send shit to them all the time!  And I still enjoy the odd found piece of ephemera.  The other day, while walking down a particularly stretch of road in Red Hook, Brooklyn, I found a crumpled piece of paper that had fallen out of what was clearly someone’s printed novel manuscript.  Herewith, the excerpt––what do we think?  Is it good?

“Adam didn’t even want to let her in,” the old woman continues, as though Ava hadn’t spoken.  “But I thought: Why not, after all these years.  What harm could it really do.”  She gives a rueful laugh.  “She used to make fun of me for that.  How gullible I was.  People don’t really change, in the end.  Do they.  My mother––she was a psychoanalyst––used to tell me that.  They may defy expectations.  But they don’t change.”

She is leaning against the door now, her eyes distant behind her glasses.  “But of course.  I thought there still was a chance.  I brought her upstairs, all smiles and welcome.  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

Ava blinks.  “Boy?”

“Nothing.”  The thin lips twist bitterly.  “Just my own gullibility.  I gave her iced tea and a bit of lemon shortbread.”  She is staring not at Ava, but at the table between them.  “When she first apologized, I thought it was simply over never having said goodbye to us.  You see, she’d come to see me before I left.  She brought me a book.  And she’d promised to come back, but she never did.”  She shakes her head.  “When she told me she’d really been spying on us, at first I didn’t understand.  I thought she was making some sort of horrid joke.  But then she was crying, and saying how ashamed she was of her behavior, and how she wanted to apologize to Franz in person as well.  And I finally put it together: the Gestapo took my brother away because she’d given him away to them.  It was her fault.”

She takes a sharp, shaking breath in.  “I told her Franz was dead.  That they’d come for him because of her.”  She locks eyes with Ava, unblinking.  “I told her she was a murderer.”

This is from page 439, by the way.  For whatever that’s worth.  I guess it’s a climax, of sorts.  I mean, if calling someone a murderer isn’t at least an extremely dramatic moment, I don’t know what is.

Wouldn’t’ve Guessed!

October 17, 2018

My son really loves the Edward Gorey book The Doubtful Guest, which is great for me, because I also love Edward Gorey, and I hate reading dumb children’s books!  But I noticed today, when reading it for the umpteenth time, that when the creature is said to like “peeling the soles off his white canvas shoes,” it appears he is wearing… Converse All Stars?

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Cute!

I was like, is that possible?  I checked the copyright: the book was published first in 1957. Converses had to be from the 1970s, no?

No!  Chuck Taylors were first designed in 1917 and then redesigned in 1922, and have basically looked the same since then.  Isn’t it great when a company is like, we do this one thing really well and so we think we’ll just continue doing it this way?  (Cough *Gmail* cough.)

Some fun facts about Edward Gorey, while we’re on the subject:

*His roommate at Harvard was poet Frank O’Hara

*Although people often thought he was British for obvious reasons, he only traveled outside the US once in his life

*He was probably asexual

*The music video for Nine Inch Nails’s “The Perfect Drug” was designed to look Gorey-esque (didn’t succeed if you ask me, but I guess you didn’t)

Troll Idea

October 5, 2018

Sometimes I just want to create a grammar troll avatar, and then underneath all the comments with poor punctuation and spelling I come across while browsing the Internet, I’d just write things like “*you’re not your” or “*too not to.”  It would be like a massive prank on the whole web, but surely no one would ever connect it and I would just be doing it to amuse myself.  Which doesn’t really distinguish it from lots of other things I do, come to think of it…

Rav Kook in London

September 16, 2018

Who wouldn’t want to attend a seudah shlishit with R. Kook?  (Even I would, and I––don’t tell–-don’t love SS!)

Late in the day on Saturdays, Rav Kook would hold seudah shlishit––the third meal of the Sabbath––in the Hasidic style, with singing and evocative homilies.  The meals brought him an eclectic group of followers: Hasidim and intellectuals, East End Jewish radicals, workingmen, pious Jews from Leeds and Manchester as well as from all over London.  On th eShavuot holiday nights, as he had in Jaffa, he would stand all night at a lectern, lecturing on Maimonides’ Book of the Commandments and the roots of jurisprudence.  During zeppelin bombings, he would stand by the door of the communal bomb shelter in Chaikin’s basement, the better to see anyone wandering in the street and call them in.  When they were all safely inside, he would, in a mix of prayer and pastoral becalming, sit and recite, over and over, the six verses of Psalm 43: Grant me justice, O God, and wage my struggle with a faithless nation, from a man of deceit and injustice save me…

Also, how lovely is this?  (From Rav Kook himself.)

When I lived in London, I would visit the National Gallery, and my favorite pictures were those of Rembrandt.  I really think that Rembrandt was a tzaddik.  Do you know that when I first saw Rembrandt’s works, they reminded me of the legend about the creation of light?  We are told that when God created light, it was so strong and pellucid that one could see from one end of the world to the other, but God was afraid that the wicked might abuse it.  What did He do?  He reserved that light for the righteous men when the Messiah should come.  But now and then there are great men who are blessed and privileged to see it.  I think that Rembrandt was one of them, and the light in his pictures is the very light that was originally created by God almighty.

Agreed!

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The Official Ruling

September 5, 2018

MB: Hey!

ID: Hi!  What’s up?

MB: Is it too early to be having a mid-life crisis?

ID: Nope

ID: Lots of people I know have had one.

ID: I had a mini-one

MB: Okay then it’s official

Princess Diana’s Burka!

August 30, 2018

I know it’s sort of lame to publish two image-only things in such short succession but YOU HAVE TO SEE this sketch for the BURKA Princess Diana was contemplating wearing on an official visit to Saudi Arabia!

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Honestly this is super cute.

Also I love how the Telegraph article is like “it has emerged” that this is what she was thinking.  This information just popped up and was deemed relevant or somehow interesting more than twenty years after her death?  Honestly, who cares?

Theresa Duncan’s (Missed) Yahrtzeit

August 29, 2018

So this is truly embarrassing, but I had it in mind to write something acknowledging the 10 year anniversary of Theresa Duncan’s death, and I thought it was somewhat recent, but then I Googled it just now and saw that it was actually LAST summer.  This is what having an infant/toddler will do to you.

Anyway, I wanted to memorialize the summer of Duncan’s passing, which of course, being twenty-three at the time, I made into a commentary all about me, but obviously I’ve missed it.  And so did, it seems, everyone else: there was no gossip-y Nancy Jo Sales piece, no memorial service at Saint Mark’s Church, no biopic from Brett Easton Ellis playing at my local Alamo Drafthouse (although I’ve always thought the story was better suited for avant garde opera, no)?  There was a pretty good essay about it by a writer named Patricia Grisafi, although clearly not timed for the anniversary; there was nothing specifically mentioning the anniversary on her mother’s blog homage (blomage?) to Theresa, but then again, maybe she doesn’t mark the anniversaries the way us Jews do.

And also, maybe there weren’t those things because… there isn’t really much to say?  I’m realizing now that I don’t have anything to add to the story except that we should try not to forget these two people, or at least that I don’t think I will be able to forget these two people, which is something else entirely.  Wherever you two lovebirds are, I hope it’s sunny.

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LOL the Headlines

August 23, 2018

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