Tuesday, February 26, 2008

All My Children

If you have kids, you probably know what I mean. You try to not play favorites among your children, but the fact is, you do, even if you don't tell them. And you know what? They probably know too, but it's ok to keep the fiction that there is no favorite.

But now and then, you may 'switch favorites' for awhile and it's not for any reason, but truly because you love them all. But maybe one week, one of them comes up and has a hold on your heart, or needs your attention, or has a knife at your throat and you spend more time with that one.

This past month, DJ Evil Twin has been my favorite child. I should be spending time writing my novel, or writing stuff for No Milk Please, but Tracey Thorn's CD Out of The Woods has really inspired me to remix some really great songs in the album to dance greatness. Tracey is the vocalist of the group Everything But The Girl and as usual, she sings with emotion and depth. But underneath the subdued production, I hear the notes that are the bones of a soaring dance anthem.

The album already has a few singles out that have been remixed like "Grand Canyon" (amazing mixes!), "It's All True," and "King's Cross" so I am concentrating on the other album tracks. Of course, I also enjoy designing the graphics that go along with the mixes. I imagine that I am designing the CD covers of these songs if they were released as singles.

Along with the ones I already mixed below, I am planning to do a couple more mixes from the album, probably "Nowhere Near" and "Piccadilly Station." The keys in those songs are itching to be sampled and looped. Stay tuned.

Each mix can take up to a month to do. So if there is no new post here, check out DJ Evil Twin and see what's happenin' there.





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Tracey's CD:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscar Hangover

I lost 5 pounds over the past two weeks and I still wasn't able to wrangle an invite to those damn f*cking gay A-list Oscar parties, so I spent last night gaining all the weight back by ordering a couple of large pizzas (sans cheese) and guzzled it down with some box wine from Franzia.

Is it just me or did Javier Bardem get hot?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Oh Squiggly Line



oh, squiggly line 
in my eye fluid
i see you there
lurking
on the periphery of my vision

but when i try to look at you
you scurry away

are you shy, squiggly line?

why, only when i ignore you
do you return
to the center of my eye?

oh, squiggly line
it's alright,
you are forgiven.


- Stewie Griffin, Family Guy



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Poetry - Schmoetry. Stuff that rhyme and shit. Some of my favorites.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tribes

Waking up is an ache, eyelids ebb to darkness. The sheets tangle my legs like tall weeds, the blanket a weight. This is the first battle of the day, 6 am, mid-winter morning. If I can get out of bed soon enough, I have time to go to the gym. Thirty minutes of cardio, a quick shower and then, I am off to work. I am hoping that this will shave off a few pounds.


It's only been a couple of weeks since I started going to the gym in the morning. More than anything, starting a new routine is the most difficult. Mentally, you fight it, you just want to just sink deeper into the couch and reach into a bag of potato chips for comfort. But today, the imaginary sound of jeering at my lumpy abs pushed me out of bed.

The gym in the morning is not a pretty sight. The people here stumbled out of bed in their rumpled shirts, ponytails, stubble and beards. I call these folks The Determined. They include people who are generally optimistic: people who are determined to stick with their New Year's resolutions; 40 year-old guys determined to lose weight faster than losing their hair; brides who are determined to fit into their wedding gowns by June.

There is hardly any talking; people are either in the zone or they have morning breath. I'm of the latter.

The only people chatting are the ones lifting weights. Weirdos. Who lifts weights in the morning? Besides, it's hard to be chatty first thing in the morning, especially after you just woke and realized that your body has gone to shit and unless you can come up with $5,000 for lipo, you have to be on that damn treadmill.

After my run, I don't dawdle in the locker room. For gay guys, the locker room has sort of a languid effect: we take like 30 minutes to put on a sock when it normally takes seconds. I shrug it off, I can cruise the showers when I come back later after work.

Come back later? Yes, you heard me right. After work, I head back to the gym to do some weight lifting. My biceps cry when I neglect them.

The gym in the evening is a totally different scene. The regulars--the ones who have managed to stick around after their trial membership was over--are a very peculiar bunch. I call them The Deranged: homos in our standard lung-crushing outfits; women in full make-up and hair; businessmen in pit-stained undershirts. Some are multi-taskers, combining their work-out with reading a book, catching up on the news or twirling an imaginary baton.

There are also the American Idol hopefuls, who sing along with their iPods, melisma included; the ones who do little dance moves as they go from machine to machine; and my personal favorites, the rapper wannabe's who rap under their breaths, throwing arms and hands as if they were on BET.

Then, there is Lance. Lance is a tall black guy who does the most insane dance moves on the elliptical machine. He puts on his tunes, then does full-on dance routines as if he was auditioning for Bruno and Carrie Ann. I serious. He crank dat and superman dat ho the whole 30 minutes on the machine. I don't know whether to laugh or give him my phone number.

(And listen folks, just because we have our tunes on, and we can't hear you fart, doesn't mean we can't smell you. So please, at least move to a corner or stand next to somebody really annoyingly skinny before releasing your fumes.)

But I try to avoid going to the gym at lunch time. The people who work out at noon are whom I call The Desperate: brides one week from their wedding day; bridesmaids who don’t want to be the 'fat one' in the party; Adnan Ghalib. These are the people who have the motto "Starvation = Hope," sort of ironic, I think in these post-Katrina times.

I understand completely of course, if I don’t lose 5 pounds before the Oscars, the superbowl of the gays, I'll just die. You know there will be a bunch of A-list parties that won't let me in because I will flunk the body fat detector machine they put by the door.

But I am of The Determined; this is my tribe--for now. It's already working: I pulled out a pair of jeans that I used to wear 5 years ago and I can almost snap the button around my thigh. Pretty soon, I will be able to put both legs in. I still have just a leeetle bit of time to lose some more weight before I have to start working out at lunch...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

First Love



I was blind to you when you loved me long ago.
I switched you for another, like Isaac,
for a smell, and a taste, and an appetite for meat,
for a fragrance of the field, and a house, and a little heat.
I have forgotten the words
of the only letter I wrote to you.
All that I remember is the taste of the glue of the stamp
on my tongue.
The fate that determined us was not really
destiny,
but it was as strong and sure as the finger of the violinist
that determines the fate of a note,
though it, too, is as final and as decisive
as death.

- Yehuda Amichai
(translated, from the Hebrew, by Leon Wieseltier.)



For all lost loves.

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Related posts:

Where My Feet Once Walked - Also by Yehuda Amichai

Poetry - Schmoetry. Stuff that rhyme and shit. Some of my favorites.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Logo Madness

If you haven't noticed yet, the blog has a new temporary logo which will be up until Valentine's Day.

In a fit of creativity, I had created a bunch of new logos for No Milk Please which I intend to put up during the holidays and maybe when I'm feeling bored with the standard logo. But I'm impatient and I don't think I can wait a whole year to unfold these, so I decided to post them now as a little preview.

Seasonal

new year lunar new year valentine's

st patrick's day easter july 4th

halloween thanksgiving christmas

Non-seasonal





Some of them will be up for only a day, others I may keep for the duration of the holiday. I haven't decided what to do about the non-seasonal ones. I thought they were cute, but I can't really have a different logo every week. I thought they were fun to make though.

If you have any concepts you can think of, put them in the comments. Maybe I'll be inspired by them. I think I've exhausted all the evil cow/poisoned dairy themes. You can also send me pics that could be interesting to make into a logo.

If you want to try your hand at a No Milk Please logo, please feel free to send them to me, maybe we could get a contest going. Winner gets to do my laundry.

Also, if you haven't visited the Sidebar lately, this past weekend, I have re-designed the template so that it was more cohesive with the main site. :)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Thinking the Unthinkable


He said, She said. Annie and Paul went to Lynda Barry's writing workshop Writing The Unthinkable. Paul thinks it's changed the way he views writing; Annie is a happy puppy. Read on!

I know there’s a level of trepidation one must feel when signing up for a writing workshop called "Writing The Unthinkable," but if you’re seriously considering it, let me allay your fears: it is not scary, it’s not stressful and it’s not going to be like going to the principal’s office. In fact, instructor Lynda Barry, would probably be sitting next to you getting reamed by the principal.

Yes, it is writing intensive: you will be writing at a level and speed of which you’ve probably never experienced. It’s going to be emotional, because the workshop will be accessing your memories, your deepest feelings and imagination in a very connected manner.

There were a couple of times that I felt choked up during one of the writing exercises. I was writing and trying to hold myself together at the same time because I didn’t want anybody to think what a wuss I was, especially after I took the time to wear a football jersey to convey my masculinity.

Kelly Hogan, our class monitor, thoughtfully pointed out at the start of the class the various locations she placed boxes of Kleenex, probably because she knew from experience how some Asian in a football jersey may need it.

I think that starting out with what the class isn’t may be easier for you to understand what it is. It is not going to teach you grammar, or how to find an agent, or how to write dialogue or plot. It’s not going to teach you how to become a famous author.


read what He said.

The nearer this class got, the more my excitement became nervousness, which then became scared shitlessness. Now that it’s over I want to live there, leaving only for lemon and brown sugar crepe breaks.

Even though "Writing the Unthinkable" was "marketed for 'non-writers' like bartenders, janitors, office workers, hairdressers--anyone who has given up on 'being a writer' but still wonders what it might be like to write," it wasn't until reading Anne Elliott’s blog describing the not just encouraged but mandatory anonymity that I said, "Sign me up!"

And I don't just mean no-last-names anonymity. We're talking Deep Throat anonymity, the kind that allowed you to read your work out loud and be nothing more than a disembodied voice to your classmates. Not that this was enough to get me to participate; some of us require an anonymity of even greater depths. I call this nirvana state annienymity.

Regardless, I still managed to freak myself into a panic attack: What if the rules changed? What if reading out loud is now mandatory? What if it always was but my subconscious desire read the word "voluntary" simply as a coping mechanism? What if my high school nemesis is there, or worse, my WBF (work boyfriend, people--don’t pretend you don't have one)? What if someone writes about their childhood abuse and it gets all group huggy except the girl with the dead heart looking for a way to escape this freakshow? What if everyone writes about their childhood abuse and I write about my cat?

read what She said.



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More Unthinkable:


Recommended books by Lynda Barry: