Thursday, November 26, 2009

wildcat general strike

if you don't know about 'buy nothing day', listen up. 'buy nothing day' is a culture jamming holiday. it's a day to resist that mad rush toward wasteful consumerism and reconnect with what's important. this year mr. lasn and company are upping the ante. here's what they have in mind:

So this November 27 (November 28 in Europe and overseas), we’re calling for a Wildcat General Strike. We’re asking tens of millions of people around the world to bring the capitalist consumption machine to a grinding – if only momentary – halt.

We want you to not only stop buying for 24 hours, but to shut off your lights, televisions and other nonessential appliances. We want you to park your car, turn off your phones and log off of your computer for the day. We’re calling for a Ramadan-like fast. From sunrise to sunset we’ll abstain en masse, not only from holiday shopping, but from all the temptations of our five-planet lifestyles.

Take the Plunge - you know what they say: a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. You feel that things are falling apart – the temperature rising, the oceans churning, the global economy heaving – why not do something? Take just one small step toward a more just and sustainable future. Make a pact with yourself: go on a consumer fast. Lock up your credit cards, put away your cash and opt out of the capitalist spectacle. You may find that it’s harder than you think, that the impulse to buy is more ingrained in you than you ever realized. But you will persist and you will transcend – perhaps reaching the kind of epiphany that can change the world.

i'll be at work tomorrow, but i think i'll only check my messages twice and log on to my computer once. i will have to use lights so people can see their work, and i'll have to drive there and back. but i'm on board from 5:30 on. i'll post about it on saturday.

now i've gotta make another batch of wild mushroom strudel, bring the painted bookshelf upstairs and get ready to drive to new jersey. this time last year carolyn was snapping her fingers in church and in 2007, i was embarrassed at the ifc.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

brett and stephanie

check out this sweet photo of my cousin brett at his wedding 2 weekends ago!

luca was a little overwhelmed by all the white 80's music, so i let loose just dancing with myself.

Monday, November 23, 2009

nature is satan's church

found some nice photos of trees by french photographer yannick demmerle. he says: "i spend my time trying to photograph the invisible between the trees, for example fear... the tree itself does not interest me."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

happy chic

i have found the interior designer of my dreams and his name is jonathan adler. jonathan, jonathan, please come to my house and make my dining room look like this:

oh no... i think i might have to get his book... or better yet, i'll ask for it for chanukah!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

the best part of monday night

was not when sam told my mom that they were going to "take me places". it was not paula's well-deserved round of applause. it was not beverly's "f-word f-word f-word". it was not angela blue's ego-inflating praises. it was not my total ease in speaking in front of an audience. it was not the oohs and ahs from the audience. it was not my sister coming all the way from new jersey. it was not meghan's gratitude. it was not the avocado rolls. it was not my dad's pride. it was not caroline's tears. it was not seidel's "struggling with venus" remarks (though that came seriously close). it was not people lining up to talk to me.

the best part of monday night was coming home and changing into my sweatpants to watch a freshly downloaded episode of dexter in high-def and eating the chinese food that luca got for me from jasmine's. yes indeedy.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

kidneys in my mind

dear anxiety, my constant companion of late, most unwelcome companion. you are different from the piercing emotions - you hover and surround. you have no point of origin, no satisfying outlet. more like static, yes, a station not quite tuned, creating interference. i try to make you invisible, though you feel so obvious. i try to talk through you but you create this awful distance between the impetus to speak and the manifestation of my voice. it sounds hollow and unfamiliar, running on a parallel track to that other voice, the one that says flee! now! i was so looking forward to class this evening and i feel like you tried to ruin it for me. you kept screaming in my ear, "stop talking! your mind is feeble and fraudulent. you're embarrassing yourself." i remind myself that i am there to learn, not to impress the teacher, but you interrupt my self-assurance with brutality. why do you tell me i am hideous and incompetent? are you really just a product of stress? of one thing after another without a break? or do you merely create a portal for the minotaur to come in and trample on my ego? can i quiet you with relaxation? direct you with my breath? you simmer without erupting. i imagine you seizing me completely, i picture how it would happen. a break in consciousness, panic, escape. i see it happening in my mind, just like i used to imagine it in middle school. back then i imagined hiding in the big tire. someone would find me there, a teacher or a boy that i liked. they would come into the tire with me and we would sit together, apart from the world of haute tension. we would stay there until, woefully, we agreed to go back. what is your function? i thought perhaps you were a signal of uncertainty. your presence an indication of doubt - will you meet an expectation that has been set? can you do the thing you have set out to do or will you fail? but tonight you felt more savage than a question. tonight you wanted blood. i ask my charges, what is the need beneath the impulse? and so i ask myself, what is it that i need? why does my mind attack me? what kind of code says "YOU ARE SO FUCKING STUPID" when it means "you need to unwind and take care of yourself." seriously, if the impulse is signaling a need, why does it take such a hostile form? why does it demand blood and not suggest tea? on monday i'm going to be talking about these things in front of nearly every authority figure in my life. i will tell them about inner monsters and how all they need is love. tonight my monsters are large. katharina? will you take them out to play in the park? they're hungry and they want to eat people. run them around until they get sleepy and small, until their monster costumes turn back into footy pajamas. read to them and kiss them goodnight. i feel better.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

closer to fine

-james, guess why i'm so happy today.
-because your skin is so soft and you smell so good?
-because i finished my ulysses reading for class tomorrow night and i saw my first private practice patient.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

coffee shop review: infusion

7133 germantown avenue
philadelphia, pa
(215) 248 1718

my new local coffee shop is just a hop, skip and a jump over to germantown avenue. it certainly has its plusses and minuses, but all in all it's not a bad haunt. the plusses: walking to a coffee shop! one of life's great pleasures. also, infusion sells my favorite brownies from vegan treats and bubble tea too. for the most part, they play good, unintrusive music, making it suitable for reading and working on presentations about art therapy and eating disorders. the minuses: service is a problem. the folks behind the counter seem pretty disinterested and if you don't watch them closely, they'll probably forget to use soy milk in your soy latte. they also sometimes run out of soy milk. infusion is also hella expensive. for a brownie and a chai it's nearly $8 and you can't pay with an atm card if your order is less than $10, so if you're like me, and never seem to have any cash, that means you'll be taking a raspberry crumble bar to go as well. they also don't have iced coffee off-season. so don't order one or they'll just water-down some espresso with tap and add a few ice cubes. yuck. infusion's vegan offerings are limited. they sell some of moshe's prepared wraps at jacked up prices and a really yummy hummus wrap called a zorba. in addition to the vegan brownies from my facebook friend danielle konya, they also have cookies and aforementioned raspberry crumbles. no cake, unfortunately. if infusion would get some peanut butter bomb and chocolate covered strawberry shortcake action up in that joint, i would stop complaining about the service and the prices. so it's a mixed bag. i'm sure i will keep going to infusion for as long as i'm living here and maybe even supply them with some vegan treats of my own.

Monday, November 9, 2009

on being an extreme embarassment

This is an urgent request to cancel this order immediately, as my daughter Zoe Brasi made an error in the process of ordering. Unfortunately, she ordered 12 large plates instead of several place settings adding up to $675 with shipping and giftwrap for SS and BK. I need to speak with you as this is extremely embarrassing and must be corrected. I can be reached this evening until 8:25 pm at 212-555-7418. After that, I can be reached on my cellphone 215-555-7231. Tomorrow morning I can be reached at 212-555-7418 until 1:00 pm and in the afternoon and evening on my cellphone. Thank you in advance for your immediate attention to this matter. 
-Marjorie Prizer

Saturday, November 7, 2009

the box

after a strange quilt-making workshop that left me and lauren feeling like sweatshop managers, i came home and began mechanically filling more spice jars until i found myself just staring off into space. luca wanted to go see the box in bala since we missed it last night. samara has recently taken an interest in horror movies so that worked out nicely. nothing like a paranoia movie about existential dread when you're already soaked in anxiety. critics always seem to have disdain for creative or audacious film-making; southland tales was one of my favorites from 2006 and it was completely dismissed by the critics. same story with the box. it's "a mess", "a failure". yawn. i thought it was pretty kick-ass, despite the humorously shlocky exposition. the premise: a down-on-their-luck (or so it seems) couple, are visited by a creepy stranger with a horrendously deformed face, who presents them with a mysterious present - a choice. they are given a box containing a button, that when pressed, guarantees them a million dollars. at the same time, someone unknown to them will die. the movie is infused with a pervasive feeling of intense dread and guilt as the protagonists make their choice and find themselves entangled in a sinister and metaphysical morality test that is at times bewilderingly overstated and at others ridiculously oblique. i was surprised by the experience of being pulled in and out of the emotional texture of the film. in some scenes the feeling of inevitable doom - the unshakable "it's already done" creepiness - is unbearable. and then james marsden is being followed through a library by an apex of zombie-looking people and absurd humor eclipses the dread. i also felt connected to the love between the characters. you feel that they are truly in this together, and that their devotion to each other must be their salvation - but then these moments of transcendence melt back into fear. the allusions to lynch and kubrick were appreciated as well - much of the drama felt like an amped-up sci-fi psychedelic version of eyes wide shut, where the overmatched male lead struggled to maintain composure and control in the face of something much larger and more powerful than he could ever hope to grasp. then in a quick turn, the powerful forces seem silly and shlocky again, clearing the fog of dread. is it real? are there consequences? what if there are? no, it couldn't be... but... what the?... i quite like richard kelly.

and luca, i will try not to objectify cameron diaz anymore. because it's wrong.

calgon take me away

alone at night i go over escape routes in my mind. this painting arrives in my inbox - "midnight sun, norway", david hockney.

mmm, it's made of watercolor and gouache. not enough to look at it on my computer screen. i want in it. such a futile yearning. that sunburst, pulling me endlessly toward it. norway. there's other intangibles too, like mingling with the ghosts on forbidden drive. must preserve the memories, protect them from what happened after. longing for the autumn trees that canopy the path, but it's so cold outside. they entice you and ravage you.

the tangibles are unhelpful in a different sort of way. chocolate comforts but only to a point. take more than a little and it starts to taste like unmet needs, like sneaking love when no one's looking.

the best moments of solace in this sea of anxiety: filling my new spice jars and listening to laurie anderson in the dark. this one takes me there:

Pieces And Parts - Laurie Anderson