Saturday, May 31, 2008

Creating Space in the Lack

Recently, I've been experimenting with the effects of breaking habits and the strange exposure I feel when I do so. I've been anticipating doing the same thing for a certain period of time just so I can go through the adjustment when I stop. Perhaps I am tackling my fear of change in small, intimate motions like the straightening of hair or the decision to take a different set of stairs to the street from the train.

I can't tell if this is for other people or myself. I planned this week, somewhat meticulously, to wear a skirt every day sans Friday, as if to convey the impression that, this day, Friday, is a different day without doing anything particularly blatant but just a subtle change in my demeanor. I mean, really, I can't quite tell if this is something that is mostly in my head, but I think its way more effective to realize that something is missing as opposed to being an addition. (For the record, I've determined I'm much happier in a skirt.)

Adding things is usually much more time consuming than taking them away. Hair, beards and fingernails all come in gradually, but their removal is always noticeable and usually unsettling, giving an impression of nakedness. This type of approach to appears requires a commitment of time...and maybe a maniacal attention to detail.

All of this came about because I noticed how strange my eyes look not surrounded by liner. I feel kind of guilty admitting that.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wolverine Toads

Despite being the sexiest member of the X-Men (with the possible exception of Cable), Wolverine is also the most vicious. He doesn't have x-ray vision or psionic powers, he is just the perfect superhero: rapidly healing, strong and immensely tough. In fact, the only thing mutant about him is his ability to rapidly heal - which enabled adamantium to be grafted to his bones, as seen in Figure A:

Figure A:

Notice the extendable and retractable claws, that though they appear to have claw condoms built into his costume, still apparently (according to the movie and some additional material) hurt like hell when he extends them.

This quality only appears to be found in one other species - the Arthroleptidae - a type of toad found in remote parts of Africa. Apparently, they have claws. Also apparently, unlike cats, there is no sheath covering the skin to ease the extension of the claw, but only a small bone that disables it from coming out accidentally. So when the poor frog gets threatened, it not only breaks a bone, but a claw comes shooting out of its skin. This is the only vertebrate thats claws need to pierce skin to come into use. Observe in Figure B:

Figure B:

Perhaps both the frog and Wolverine use their claws to physically manifest the emotional pain of being a mutant. And I wonder if you can hear the claws both go *SNIKT*. See the two below in Figure C:

Figure C:

Thanks, scienceblog!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


In the Battledroid world, I'd like to think we crave culture like bats out of hell (what?). I just wanted to give a little shout out to a group of talented dancers that are doing a little performance at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange this Friday and Saturday (my room mate, the sensuous Marisa Wallin, will be one of them).

Since we all hunger to support independent, experimental and localized projects, I thought I'd put up a little information about the performance, which sounds incredibly chaotic and imaginative:

"In The Accursed Items, choreographer Andrew Dinwiddie reanimates the work of other dance and theater artists as discovered in a particular kind of accursed item: deleted scenes and rehearsal videos from never-used and drastically reworked dances.

Alternately austere and rambunctious, The Accursed Items draws from material that was not quite good enough for The Wooster Group, Big Dance Theater, Metallica and others.

Anchored by text from J. Robert Lennon exposing the lingering psychic life of objects, The Accursed Items is a sympathy card for everything that was never good enough. "

I have a tremendous amount of lingering psychic life from objects, and I hope to get it excised during the show. Oh, and in the worst case scenario, they have three dollar beers you can drink inside.
Here is the info:



Pre-show reception
Beer & cheese pairing hosted by Chris Munsey of Murray's Cheese
7 pm | $50 suggested donation
For this reception, RSVP to

Friday's performance features a reading by author J. Robert Lennon and post-show talkback with Andrew Dinwiddie.


Saturday's Accursed Items evening includes performances by Karinne Keithley, Daniel Linehan and Neal Medlyn

Afterparty at Jackie's Fifth Amendment
404 Fifth Avenue (at 7th Street)
9:30pm | $10 at the door

The Accursed Items is being created by:
Katie Brook Frank DenDanto III Benjamin Forster Natalie Green
Jill Guidera Caleb Hammons Tom Hennes Julia May Jonas
Dylan Latimer Kristine Lee Carly Pansula Erin Tracy
Marisa Wallin Angrette McCloskey Daniel Allen Nelson Jessica Wasilewski
Wendy Meiling Yang
With text by: J. Robert Lennon Atul Gawande

Oh, and at $8 for you low-income peoples (us creative types, struggling against commoditizing our art), its totally worth it. Get tickets here, and here and here and here.


Ahh, exclusivity.

So I'm inviting you, my loyal blog readers to join Gilt Groupe, this luxury version of Overstock + sample sales that features high end and completely obscure brands at fairly decent prices, like Varvatos, Badgley Mishka and Valentino. They do sales by the day (one designer at a time) so you have to plan carefully and get up mighty early for the good sizes, but its a pretty good deal. AND they have men's wear as well, for the dudes.

Lets see if this works:

Copy/paste that bad boy (this is invite only) and see if you can join. They email you, show you sneak peaks, and then let you at the sales like the hungry wolves that you are.

Since I can't find any good images besides brands, here is a royalty free picture of a happy happy shopper:

Monday, May 26, 2008

Clinical Joy

Sometimes I really like when design forgets to take itself seriously.

UK firm VITAMIN just put this crazy IV pot for your plants into production, allowing amateur botanists to regulate the amount of water their plants receive, while at the same time giving any room a kind of hospital-y, clinical chic. Its fiberglass, so it wouldn't be as heavy as it looked.

I like the white way better. If you are going to get the whole ER vibe in your living room, don't go half way. This reminds me of this restaurant/club I read about in Singapore called The Clinic which has this whole "outpatient" theme going where you drink out of IV's and eat in stainless steel kidney shaped bowls and sit in wheelchairs. They also have art by Damien Hirst lining the walls, and its very surreal/super saturated.

I like that we have finally embraced the glory of being sick.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I think New York is experiencing kind of a gothy renaissance. There is a release of the New NIN album alongside the final Ministry tour and Meatbeat back again and the surge of uninspired, vaguely tortured bands like Salem, everyone from Burberry to Karl Lagerfeld is doing spikey bracelets (we actually had the Lagerfeld in our office for a while - it was heinous) and just a general and all pervasive sense of unease I think we've been feeling - all signaling that now is the time to paint your nails, cut your nylons and go to Manic, BK's best (and only) goth night:

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I feel like I am revealing some deep, internal secret but I wanted to reveal why I love eBay so much.

I monitor my favorite eBay stores religiously, and a couple of these girls have some really amazing vintage finds. I also like the independent, DIY nature of the eBay store and its a really great excuse to watch the different way people wear things. Perhaps I should try my hand at selling online as well...

This is Noelle at Maki Maki. Shes a super sweetie, and she manages to find some dresses that are mind blowing. She gains cred too because she's down with Canadian Sharon Davies, a photographer that has snapped us both (and a fellow friend of mine from Montreal). Her style is phenomenal, and she always starts everything at $9.99 - though, because she has such good finds and wears them so well, they usually end at MUCH more. She also needs to tell me where she gets her shoes.

I also really dig the items I can find from fellow New Yorker thrift wares. She does avant garde, hard to find 60s and 80s gear really well (you know, as only a New Yorker can do). I don't really know the girl behind it, but she seems incredibly laid back and my room mate thinks the reason I like her so much is cuz she looks a bit like me (or I look like her...) Any way, she has a lot of great black and post-punk items, and her page is presented very coherently. And she is really prolific too - she always gets new stuff.

Noir Ohio is based in the Midwest, and being from the center too I know that the majority of of coastless people have no idea what the value of their thrift clothing is. I think that Noir tends to have the most consistently awesome stuff - I buy from them constantly. I also really dig the font she has on her back tattoo, and I can appreciate Alex & Chloe. Her styling is very edgy/ultra-hipster but she has a solid selection of day/night wear.

For good mod/day time stuff, I really like Retrogarb. I just recently got a military style jumper-dress from them and they are good for beautiful items that are a little more on the simple, feminine side (nothing overt). And the girls over there are super adorable too.

I will be totally irritated if any of you outbid me. But check these girls out.

Friday, May 23, 2008


This basically talks about this guy in Berlin who just converted an abandoned Nazi bunker in a contemporary art museum-cum-apartment for his family and himself. And this guy, who is clearly nuts-but-in-a-good-way, got legitimately famous artists to come in and put pieces in his concretized museum, like Tobias Rehberger, Wolfgang Tillmans (who is phenomenal) Olafur Eliasson (whom I had lunch with recently. No joke).

His name is Christian Boros and he some how got absurdly rich in advertising. His policy on purchasing art is, apparently, to buy art he doesn't like (which must explain why he own Damien Hirsts. Badum!) because it makes him feel uncomfortable because thinking something is beautiful is too easy. Which I can kind of relate to, because I think WWII architecture is arguably gorgeous.

The structure itself was originally intended to shield Berliners from Allied bombing, but was then taken over by the Red Army right after the fall to use as a prison. If that wasn't enough, in the Russian occupation converted the bunker into a space to hold bananas imported from Communist Cuba. And then, in the nineties, it became a club for hard techno and fetishism Deutschy style. Basically, it has the best history in the world and everything I love about Europe all rolled into one (Nazis, Russians, techno, bananas...wait. I can't tolerate any of those things.)

Here are some pictures from his site:

The outside of the bunker

An Olafur Eliasson

Bunker Detail

Inside the bunker

I cannot begin to imagine what this was used for


I believe this is Santiago Serra, not sure

No idea who this is...but I really like those untreated walls

More atmosphere

There are some other pictures but I would get fired for showing them because of "copyrights" or something, but you can go see it yourself for ten euros in Berlin, once a month in June. Or once a week in June. Something insane and eclectic and rich like that.

Here's the website:

And at five stories tall, I bet that thing is totally haunted with really great ghosts.