Monthly Archives: June 2008

I don’t care what anyone says….

…. but this was the zenith of Jim Carrey’s career, in my opinion.

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Tickle Me Surprised!

Let’s take a quick trip back in time…back to the year 1994.  Shit was pretty awesome back then, as I don’t really need to tell you:  Clinton was in office,  Global Warming was just alarmist hippie bullshit,  Nelson Mandela was South Africa’s first Black President, Bill Bellamy and Idalis presided over the MTV Beach House, and the image of Linday Lohan’s and Britney Spears’s genitals were not yet a piece of the public consciousness.  Sure things got rough in there when Kurt died,and Forrest Gump was such a big hit, but Biggie was still around, and then SPEED came out, and the economy was just sailing right along….

This was also the year that my Ali, my best friend at the time developed an intense and consuming crush on a boy we will refer to as “Elmo.”  Elmo has a real name, but for security purposes, Ali and I felt it best to conceal his identity whenever we spoke, alluded to, or obsessively passed notes about him. Due to the rabid insane popularity of Tickle-Me-Elmo at the time it was an innocuous, oft-heard name that would draw no attenton. 

Elmo was the kind of guy who was considered “cool”, but not because he was a rich-kid-alpha-male douche, like the majority of the guys at our school, but because he was a nice, laid back kind of a guy who didn’t have an attitude and who seemed to like everyone.  He was also cute, in a non threatening, floppy-haired sort of a way that makes the hearts of pre-teen New Jerseyans beat a little faster.

So Ali was smitten, and didn’t know what to do as Elmo had heretofore been dating Beth one of the more gregarious and adored girls in the class.  Who despite her conventionally unattractive appearance managed to snag Elmo, one of the most coveted bachelors in the class.  THis was my first lesson in the power of confidence.

 Unable to publicly declare her love (or “justify her love” as was the parlance of the time) Ali ached with it secretly for an entire semester.    The details of what happened in 8th grade are somewhat hazy:Beth broke up with Elmo the day before Claudia Near’s 14th birthday party and shit got pretty real.  He totally broke down and cried in school over it, which just made him more endearing for being so in love and so sensitive and able to show his emotions. 

Shortly after the breakup was the 8th grade Halloween dance.  I’m pretty sure I had a shitty time, cause 8th grade kinda sucked. Anyway Ali decided that enough was enough; Elmo was single, her heart was afire and time waits for no man. 
The next day, a Saturday she called him from a friends house. 

I wasn’t there at the time, so I don’t feel comfortable interpreting what happened but from the details I do have, it seems that Ali asked Elmo out, he stammeringly changed the subject and presently the phone call ended.

The next day, Sunday, she called him to “follow up” as they say, and get his answer.

He said he “thought she had been joking”.

Kinda brutal.

Anyway Ali got over it pretty quickly but she and I sort of stopped hanging out and then my family moved and then everyone went to college and then a couple of April’s back, at a Nouvelle Vague show, I ran into Ali for the first time in almost eleven years.  It was refreshingly awesome to run into someone you used to know and find that they not only didn’t turn into a complete asshole, but actually have become the adult version of their younger awesome self. 

We found out we live near each other and see each other from time to time and gchat and whatever. So a couple days ago I get the following chat message

Ali: I don’t know quite how to say this….

Stella: ?

Stella: WHAT?

Ali: I think I’m being stalked by ELMO

Ali: I just got this letter…i just got an email on my work account that says this: “Sorry if i have the wrong Ali. This is “Elmo” from  . I know this is random, actually, u probably have gotten a few of these emails lol. I saw u in a music video on youtube (note to reader, this was a small part in Ali’s friend’s music video which you could only find if you googled her name), and i decided to poke around the internet to see if i could find an email or something. It seems youre doing cool things?  You looked gorgeous by the way. I hope all is well, just wanted to say hello and wish you well. Take care. “

So clearly the only way Elmo could have found her is by googling her.  Clearly the only way he could have seen that video is by searching her WHOLE NAME. 

A few keystrokes and a visit to facebook later revealed that Elmo is a video game and gambling  enthusiast living in East Newark NJ

As I’m writing this, Ali is totally over it, but I’m still fascinated by this turn of events.

 On television and in popular culture the myth of adolescence is that cool guys who rejected you will grow up to be brain dead losers subsisting on cold pizza and Coors Light in their mom’s basement, or if you prefer, East Newark, a 10 minute car ride away from their mom’s basement.

They also lead us to believe that given thec hance these once-cool guys who were too cool for your introspective, intelligent, non-slutty self back in high school, but are DEFINITELY not cool now, would jump at the chance to date the hot sophisticated, accomplished urban woman you have become.

It’s a cheesy assumption, and its as unfair to judge someone for their lifestlyein their crisis-inducing 20’s as it is during their teenage years, but still some part of me is pleased by it.  Not in a gloating way, although there is a bit of validation there, but more because of how strange it can be when your old self catches up with your new self. Like that  William Faulkner  quote that said “the past isn’t dead, it isn’t even past.”

Weird.

 

 

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Brush It Good

Yes, it’s another concert review post. 

Last night at McCarren Pool I saw Dan Deacon, The Tom Tom Club, and Devo.  Because this was clearly an 80s band night, I was fortunate enough to bear witness the following:

1. What appeared to be an HR director gone wild– smoking pot, flailing arms, the whole 9.  She was also wearing parachute pants, and had clearly gone straight from work to the show.

2. You know those sort of novelty pictures you see of Santa Claus on vacation in Mexico, or somewhere tropical, like wearing like sunglasses & bermuda shorts?  Yeah, apparently groovy vacation Santa Claus likes Devo.

3. Some strange sickly looking stick-thin man who seemed to have drawn his wardrobe and hair inspiration from Hitler. 

4. Some lady dancing in that 1920’s style where you like wiggle your knees around.  You know which dance I’m talking about.  Momdance city, dude.  “Mom’s drunk!”

5. The 8 millionth time, a world record shatteringly tall man stands directly in front of me at a concert.  Where do these giants come from??

6.  With Momdance lady, some weird buzzcut meathead old guy that looks like he could be the chief of police at the Las Vegas Drug Convention in Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas.

7.  Some guy that I randomly slept with this past winter.

8.  A friend of a friend wearing strange red jeans that somehow reminded me of mickey mouse.

9.  And this is actually awesome– I got a Devo toothbrush that plays “Whip It” as you brush your teeth. It’s actually a slightly different version called “Brush It,” and it’s timed for exactly 2 minutes, so you know when to stop brushing your teeth.  AWESOME!!

 

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Heloise and the Savoir Faire at Bowery, or why I am a total Asshole

So last night I went with the boyfriend and some of his work friends from Blue Ribbon to see Francis and the Lights and Heloise and the Savoir Faire at Bowery Ballroom. Francis works at the Sullivan St. restaurant and Heloise I guess used to work at the Bakery but that was before my time.

Anyway the boyfriend and I arrived around 8 and were drinking some beers in the basement and minding our own business when through the door strode a tall skinny white guy  with what can only be described as an Anna Wintour bob crafted out of white boy dreads. He was dressed simply, in a too tight vest and jeans so low slung that the crack of his ass shone like a star.

I know it doesnt sound that extreme especially for New York but people, it was. We later learned that he was the frontman for the band Unisex Salon, and I think I now must defer to their website which says it best:

“Imagine if New Wave went down on glam while being double penetrated by Pop Rock…”

Yeah.

and it goes on like that.   click on bio and photos for mankind at its douchiest. 

Anyway, after their “performance”, (which allegedly included the extraction of a candy cane from theaforementioned asscrack), Francis and the Lights went on.

I suck at describing peoples “sound”. Music writers are always talking about how someones sound is a little a this and a little of that . “early joni mitchell tossed with some Moody Blues, and a dash of Weezer  crossed with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings if Sharon Jones had spent her summers in a Danish hamlet manufacturing candy animals and the Dap Kings were secretly into freebase.”  whatever. So clearly I’m not even good at making that shit up as a joke, so like all ignorant people I’ll just say what I know. 

Francis and the Lights sounded fucking awesome.   It was like  the same fun, synth sound that made people care about artists like Huey Lewis and also had a sort of a freak out, diva- Prince thing going on.  THe band was sick and their music was awesome. He is a fantastic singer and an incredibly magnetic performer.  Everyone was feeling it.

Next  Heloise and the Savoir Faire  were like a post-punk dance outfit with such a rich heavy sound that it was like watching some sort of operatic, psychedelic musical. Her and her bandmates are ridiculously energetic, have a blast without taking themselves too seriously and her voice is of a quality that most singers on major labels can’t achieve even with generous applications of “Studio Magic.”  It was masssive.  The crowd loved it and as the boyfriend pointed out, it totally ignited the fire under each and every homosexual in the audience.  Gay men who had nodded politely and maybe swayed a bit during Francis’s set, were totally unhinged, dancing and flailing wildly.  Heterosexual men were eyeing each other warily, unsure whether it was okay to be into it, or whether or not it was “too gay.”  Being a girl I had all options opened and was happy to dance a little bit.  By the end the whole crowd was a sweaty euphoric mess.  I wish I hadnt worn a silk scarf.

Towards the end of her set my best friend Abby pulls me over and whispers in my ear:

Abby: (hushed voice) “There’s a Hobbit standing next to you.”

Stella: (drunk party voice) WHAT?  A HOBBIT?

Abby: (controlled whisper) Shut. Up. And. Look.

Stella (looking around. same drunk party voice) OH YEAAAH…THAT GUY TOTALLY LOOKS LIKE FRODO…HAHAHA FRODO

Abby (looking straight ahead): shut. the. fuck. up.

Stella: WHAT?

Abby: HE CAN HEAR YOU!

Elijah Wood aka Frodo aka That Kid from THe Good Son was standing right next to me (Apparently he owns the record label that Heloise is on)

And just like that, I am a total loudmouth asshole. The kind I swore I’d never be.

Frodo, if you’re reading.  I’m sorry. 

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Ladytron at Terminal 5

I saw Ladytron last night at Terminal 5.  It was the first time I had been to this venue.  And though, admittedly, my shoes were totally killing me & those 2 margaritas I had had earlier were making me sleepy, I can honestly say that this venue pretty much sucks balls. 

A Swedish band called Data Rock opened, and while I appreciated the matching tracksuits & enthusiasm, I honestly couldn’t tell whether or not they were shitty because the sound in there is so bad. 

And since I actually know what Ladytron sounds like, I came to the conclusion that, yes, the sound in Terminal 5 fucking unbelievably terrible.  However, they did have a rather entertaining light display, and their performance wasn’t too badly damaged overall.  It was sort of surreal to hear “Seventeen,” though, because, and this is really embarrassing to admit, that song was the first I’d ever heard by Ladytron.  The really embarrassing part is that it was because I owned the soundtrack to Party Monster– a period of time when I was still living in Southern California when all I could think about was how much I wanted to live in New York and totally glorified it to ridiculously excessive degrees.  So, I guess listening to this song performed live now, especially with Debbie Harry in the audience, was kind of like a weird dream.  One of those things that you don’t really expect to happen because it lives in such a sort of fantasy world, and then when it kind of does happen, you’re like, where did all time go?  I devoted so much energy to wanting to move & live in New York, and though, by no means do I consider myself a “success” or a person who has “made it,” to borrow the old Frank Sinatra cliche, it kind of weirdly clicked somehow last night that this is actually my life.

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Kitchenette: A Review

After picking up my 4th of July Sonic Youth tickets over in the World FInancial Center Plaza, my roommate & I decided to eat dinner at Kitchenette (for some reason, their address is incorrect everywhere, it’s actually on Chambers St.) in Tribeca.

The vibe of this place is sort of a kitchy home cooking/southern food type of thing.  Basically, the decor/ambiance is what the now-defunct Union Picnic should’ve been (now replaced by Jimmy’s Diner…take my word for it, seriously, don’t even think about going there.  I know a guy that works there as a chef, and I wouldn’t even let the guy in my house, honestly).

Anyway, we had these chicken/corn cakes with chipotle BBQ sauce that were AMAZING.  The free bread they give out beforehand is also fantastic, BTW.  My roommate had the special soup– some melon yogurt thing that I didn’t try, and a side of mac & cheese.  I have to say, it’s no “Dumac and Cheese”, but it was pretty damn good all the same.  Much better, anyway, than my chickpea burger.  I found it bland & boring.  It came with garlic fries, which were ok I guess.

But, the best part is that you can have a kid birthday party there (I don’t know if there is an age limit technically, because believe me, if they didn’t limit the hours to “afterschool” weekdays between 3 & 6, I would be all over that shit), with cookie & cupcake decoration to your heart’s content.  It reminded me of the time I was going to have my birthday at Color Me Mine— you know, one of those places for kids where you get to paint pottery.  Sadly, that never happened.  I really don’t get why people don’t care for that sort of thing as much as me.  Same with tea parties– what ISN’Tthere to like about pink lemonade, cute tea sets, petit fours, and being dainty?  I swear before the summer is over, I will have some form of a tea party.

Anywho, back on track, long story short, Kitchenette is a’ight, if you’re in the area.  But in terms of straight up good Southern food, Old Devil Moon is where it’s at.

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Before Blogs

This question came up as me & my roommate were having a conversation about being bored at work: What the hell did people do before blogs?  I guess people just played minesweeper and snood all day.  Surely we are all so much more enriched in this day & age because we don’t have to resort to playing solitaire over & over again.  Right? 

I’m not sure if it’s because I started working at office jobs right as blogs were becoming a “thing,” but I really can’t seem to remember a time that I didn’t read some sort of blog– whether it be The San Diego Union Tribune, The New York Times, or Go Fug Yourself.  Is this a good thing or a bad thing that I can’t remember?  All I know is that when there are period piece movies being made about 1994, something just isn’t right.  I heard that VH1 is having some new “I Love the..” series about the Millenium.  WTF?  How can you really be that nostalgic about like, 5 minutes ago?

Should we as a culture be concerned that we may all be suffering from some sort of collective amnesia?  Or not amnesia, but like, at what point did it become normal for me to think to myself: “Wow, I really need to update my facebook pictures, they are sooooo 2 weeks ago” ?

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