Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wolf Man

Mr. Jackman, I do say, your britches fit mighty nicely. From "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," opening tomorrow.

Electric Bird

Courtesy Urban Prankster...


Courtesy of Laughing Squid: If you do a Google image search on the number “241543903” you will see a collection of photos in which people have their heads in a freezer. You will also see instructions for doing so.

This appears to have started with David Horvitz who has done other Internet pranks.

Um, Japan's Annual Penis Festival

You can't make this shit up... Kanamara Matsuri is Festival of the Phallus that takes place each Spring in Kawasaki, Japan.

The origins stem from an innkeeper's daughter who had the poor judgment to match up with a demon who possessed sharp teeth, who ultimately, uh, took residence in her kootycat, then wielding his teeth against any companions who dared to consummate relations with the fine lady. A blacksmith became her savior when he created a steel penis, which broke the demon's teeth.

I swear I ain't lying, cool cats. I'm even sober as I post it.

Astor Place Re-Imagined

Fascinating Web site engaged in re-imagining New York street intersections as pedestrian public spaces. Here's how they propose that the city's Astor Place—right where I used to work—be rejiggered.


Wanna Smell Like NYC?

Not sure why this is a good idea, but this month, a new scent was launched by Bond No. 9 called Astor Place, "a fragrance inspired by New York’s most vibrant arts-and-style intersection."

I'll admit, the bottle—uh, I mean flacon—is quite the artistic achievement, a real beauty. It was designed to "echo the angles and cubes of the Rosenthal sculpture, but renders them in a range of triangles displaying the richest array of colors ever seen in the Bond No. 9 bottle repertory. These triangles also recall Astor Place’s lampposts, curbs and even cracks in the pavement, which are lovingly decorated with mosaic tile shards by local denizens. All this is placed against a golden background, paying homage to the Astor fortune and philanthropy."

Whomever put that sentence together is certainly a master of bullshit, I'd say.

And the scent itself? "An example of when downtown meets uptown. It’s a seductive fresh floral, a freesia-poppy-violet leaf composition that simmers down into the smooth, steady notes of teakwood and musk."

I smell more bullshit.

Astor Place, the eau de parfum, is available in two sizes: 100ml ($220) and 50 ml ($145), and an Astor Place Swarovski limited edition for Mother’s Day, 100ml ($300) at Bond No. 9’s four New York City boutiques, and at Saks Fifth Avenue nationwide. Mercy, that's some expensive terlet water.

Central Park Perfecto

Taking a break from domestic chores, Donna Mae Moose, visiting from Virginia Friday-Wednedsay, and I ventured to Central Park on Monday, including a visit to the zoo, which I had never done in 14 years as a New Yorker. Weather was absurdly perfect: high 70s, at last, with trees in full bloom, and after so much rain in the past couple weeks, the park was a carpet of green. Our leisurely walk ended up a four-hour venture—pretty much the perfect way to meander amid beauty when time holds no meaning... Ah, a perfect day, indeed.Perfect timing, with the trees blossoming.Mae Moose & meeseSo as we reached Bethesda Fountain, a movie was being filmed with a July 4th theme... including dozens of extras... an Abe Lincoln, George & Martha Washington and here, Lady Liberty....And Uncle Sam, with a smile......And the entire spectacle.Let the music play......And play...At last in full springtime bloom. Love how the foliage cradles the classic walkway in Central Park.Two modes of transportation in Central Park... the traditional New York taxi, alongside the classic horse-drawn carraige. Note the purple hooves on this diva. Love!To the Central Park Zoo! Wow, it's, um a red bird with a cool beak...Turtles en masse. Colorful pea...cock.How's your peepaw?Goat, with oddly human expression, yes?Ensemble...
The beautiful male species hetero erectus.Central Park's Great Lawn, full of beautiful young people without their shirts on... um, no, what I meant to say is, green grass and trees in bloom. You betcha.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Casey Kasem

I have essentially embraced three heroes in my life: writer Darrell Laurant, whom I met when I interned for the Lynchburg News & Advance in college, who taught me (by example) that it's as important to entertain the reader as it is to inform. Back then I was too intimidated to actually spend much time with him, but I studied his words and style with fervor and to this day, owe him one helluva handshake. He remains in the same job, a local legend, well-read, respected and maintains a humanity in his journalism that—when I return home to visit the parents—is as fresh as it was some 25 years ago.

Second, there's Dr. Luke Pillis, my high school orthodontist, who put braces on my teeth and corrected my god-awful adolescent buck teeth. God bless this man, who actually tightened my wires ultra-intensely two months before my junior prom so that I could have them off for the event. Now that's empathy. Sadly, today, the doc lives in the same community as my parents, however, Alzheimer's has taken him from us.

And then there's Casey Kasem, who turned 76 on Monday. As a kid—like so many of us who grew up in the '70s—I listened to "American Top 40" every week and wrote down the countdown by hand and would all but memorize it by the next weekend. As a freshman in college, a classmate informed me that Billboard was carried in the student union, with the whole Billboard Hot 100 in print (including Sheena Easton's early career, which I obsessed over week by week). But that didn't stop me from listening every Saturday night.

Casey hosted the Billboard Radio Awards in 1997 and as radio editor at Billboard, I had the daunting task of writing his script for the show. Talk about surreal. He was an absolute gentleman, and meticulous in making sure that he had every pronunciation down pat. I had the opportunity to share with him what he had meant to me—and actually teared up as we said our farewell. Truly one of the most memorable events of my career.Within the year, I again approached Casey, asking if I might write a 2,000-word article in Billboard about his accomplishments (such exhaustive pieces simply no longer exist today). He obliged, making for a story that I embraced with much love. So happy birthday, indeed. I celebrate my hero with gusto.

Monday, April 27, 2009


The world's second-greatest singer, Sheena Easton turns 50 today! Whoo-hoo, coolio catlets!Sheena, version 2007

Sunday, April 26, 2009

R.I.P. Bea Arthur

"Golden Girls," "Maude"... two TV shows that never wear out from repeated viewing. God bless Bea Arthur, who has died at 86. Saw her one-woman show on Broadway several years ago, and that caustic, hilarious delivery with a one-liner was wholly intact. A real classic. R.I.P. girl.

Mae Mae's Visit

Donna Mae arrived in NYC Friday afternoon in time for us to take a wondrously warm-weather walk from Penn Station to Fish's Eddy in Union Square to the park a couple blocks down, where we sat for a good half hour to Lunasa for happy hour to Arrow for Bram's heavy metal DJ set... On Saturday we got to work on the domestic tasks in front of us—recrafting the apartment bedroom with a new carpet, hanging a giant B&W canvas view of Manhattan on the wall and streamlining the room in general. We were so damn dedicated, in fact, that we took no pictures. Can you imagine?

Next came a walk up Fulton Street Mall, on the other side of Brooklyn Heights, where I discovered a store named after you, my faithful cool cat visitors! Then it was on to Sid's Hardware to buy paint primer, back home and start the major project that I have been determined to accomplish: repainting the living room from the gold it's been for nearly nine years to a rich, regal gray.

First, Donna and I attacked another major project: replacing the carpet in the bedroom that once belonged to my great aunts in Virginia. At one point, I'm sure this antique oriental heirloom was worth a pretty penny, but at this point, it was about as ragged as your mammer's hairline. So tough love: forget Craigslist, etc. It simply went down to the trashroom, replaced with the fun, fab new rug that I bought online some three months ago that has been awaiting its bedroom debut.

Okay, so I'll admit it took us almost three hours to figure out how to maneuver the bed, the old carpet, the new carpet... and ultimately realize that by lifting the mattress and bed springs, we would have saved outselves a bit of time. Okay, bite me. I never claimed to be a physicist, ahem.

Next it was on to priming the living room walls, cool cats, to move past the gold walls I've had for the past nine years, to replace with a rich, regal gray. We bought the primer, carried those heavy mothers back and set about dividing the room into quadrants. We got a good 35% done, hurrah. We were damn impressed with ourselves.

Ooh, is it nighttime? Fabulous. Time to head to Tribeca for my former workmate L.B.'s going away party. He was once an intern at Billboard, got a degree in film at NYU's prestigious Tisch School (where Ayhan also graduated with his master's in musical composition), and he was so fucking smart, he was then hired fulltime at BB. Now, a couple years later, he's moving to L.A. on his own to pursue film-making.

Ayhan joined us at the Patriot—one block from where I lived in 1999-2000 with Francie and Debbie, and boy, the neighborhood has come to life in this past decade. There's actually shit to do there now, unlike when I lived there, when there was little more than upscale restaurants and low-scale dive retailers. Seems it's at last found a bit of a groove. So Ayhan, Donna and I had a good ole time, indeed.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lunacy @ LUNASA, April 24, 2009

Tonight's Lunasa adventure was multi-layered, with a couple of groups throughout the evening, followed by an outing at metal bar Arrow in the East Village. Special guest: Donna Mae visiting from Lynchburg, Va.!The gang(s)Ayhan, Donna Mae, meese, Christa, Susie V & AllieiciousWhat a Peach!God's perfect food.Katy, meese, Bram, Tina, Patty, K'tina & Donna MaeThe terlet at Arrow. A lovely NYC icon, no doubt.