mixpharmpills.com <body><a href="http://mixpharmpills.com?epl=70IfRrbqReYSOldPPol_5yA5dzwaEgqnSO7ih7A5HperqDSoWMknKPA_YtekK7IERQVBAgYIs_4JGK54yBQm605M0sqIBtZAeBKZOhMShAdHUC5Za3kqvhRhHQ2MU0ezCHUHW6OYdkC6lpkYrskeuffNYDQaGqlp0xNqNE1PNUDyNI2GRgONpp56VEOVACDQ3u-_AADgfwEAAECA2woAAMm549FZUyZZQTE2aFpCmwAAAPA">Click here to go to mixpharmpills.com</a>.</body>

from the steps of the Sacré-Cœur, Paris
Close
from the steps of the Sacré-Cœur, Paris

from the steps of the Sacré-Cœur, Paris

HHaving seen the deceptively simple movie “Happy-Go-Lucky”, in which a thirty-year-old Londoner’s effervescence makes you feel giddy (or shitty, as you please), you might be struck by any one of its gems: the realistic depiction of adult female friendship (a gift of the director, Mike Leigh), the delicate portrayal of indefatigable courage bordering on stupidity, or perhaps the simple telling of a story in which women are not tangential. These things are thin in the air of a movie theater, or they exist in so-called “chick flicks” (pet-peeve term alert!) which do not garner much attention.

As for me, I can’t stop thinking about the characterisation of Scott, an eccentric driving instructor with bad teeth who teaches Poppy, the protagonist, how to drive. (I have been to London; driving in that city is No Joke.) If, like some people, you are annoyed by Poppy’s buoyant attitude, Scott is your spokesman –until you realise that things are not quite “okay” in the “head” of this quirky fellow. Reportedly, Leigh studied the jargon of driving instructors, phrases like “peep and creep” and “if there’s a van, there’s a man”…these useful aphorisms take on an eerie mantra-like effect when intoned by Scott, who adds the flourish “EN-RA-HA” to remind Poppy about the “ever-seeing eye” at the top of the windshield. It’s hilarious and sad.

How does the ego, that deeply-lodged menace inside each of us, present for one man a small matter of keeping the lawn cut, and for another the slippery-slope descent into crazyland? My connection to mental illness is very personal: bipolar disorder, manic depression, paranoid schizophrenia and schizoid personality disorder have afflicted various people in my life… but there is a story that haunts me the most.

She was strong, tall, of Teutonic stock, shorn hair, long lashes. Her thick voice said to me, “den Himmel so Fern” when I asked what she was doing in Thailand. Though I had no German then, I understood. In the way that we glorify our lovers and overlook the presaging signs of weakness in them (a peculiar odor, a facial tick), I did not pay attention to her rants against the Catholic Church. Who doesn’t have a mild grudge against the Catholic Church? To hear her voice, the sensual sound that emanated from her throat and intermixed w’s with v’s, comfortable with consonants and very long words, I fell under her spell. “The number for the Catholic Church is six-six-six,” she would say, “and the number for Satan is five-five-five. The number for mankind is seven-seven-seven. If you look at all religious texts, the total sum of their pages is…” and so on. I didn’t hear the words, so transfixed by her was I, so helpless at the sound of her voice! Had I any sense then, or any sense of mercy, things might have turned out differently.

But what’s a girl to do? We were in love. We wanted to have cats together. Three years later, she accused me of selling transcripts of our phone calls to the German Deutsche Welle airwaves. Because, Schatz, I can see in the faces of people on the street, they are knowing my private business. How much have they paid you?

I pleaded with her to seek help, I tried reasoning. I tried coercion. I even appealed to her superstitions and “saw signs” that she should get help. These attempts only made me suspect. We broke off contact and for years I wondered about my beautiful friend. Did she ever find her heaven? Was it so far away?

To this day, I get the heebies whenever someone starts to talk about the intrinsic meaning behind numbers, or the sneaky presence of Satan vibrating within certain colors. I’ve all I can do to keep the zombies at bay…so please, Scott, keep your EN-RA-HA to yourself.

{ 2 comments }

Nice, summer 2008
Close
Liszt, Grandes Etudes de Paganini no.6

Liszt, Grandes Etudes de Paganini no.6

II was dreaming about a tattoo parlour called “Graceland”, in which people pay to be marked by branding irons, when my phone buzzed under the pillow. A text message said: “There is going to be an opera sat eve in williamsburg. To be inside a one hundred year old restored building.” I fell back asleep, and in a new dream I went to the opera. Packed house, the scent of crinoline. I shuffled in with the crowd, worried that there’s no room for me. Did I buy a ticket? I didn’t buy a ticket! One by one, the seats filled. Shifting from foot to foot, I skimmed the sea of hair-do’s and spotted the last empty seat, toward the back. Sorry, excuse me, pardon me, sorry. The Last Empty Seat had been saved for me: there was a red rose lain diagonally across its cushion.

The Last Empty Seat has been saved for me, but by whom?
The Last Empty Seat has been saved for me, but why?

Until November 16th, the Morgan Library is running an exhibit called “Liszt in Paris“, featuring the letters, manuscripts, and first editions from the Hungarian pianist’s time in the City of Light. Only twelve years old when he arrived in Paris in 1823, Franz Liszt was denied entry to the Conservatoire (due to a recent law banning foreigners), but by 1830 he had started to situate himself well within the city’s cultural and monied circles. His red hair, good looks and precocious technique had become trademarks: everybody loved Liszt!

At a benefit concert in April, 1831, Liszt heard the violinist Paganini’s “24 Caprices” for the first time and was invigorated. He determined that he should play the piano as Paganini did the violin, with a technical and expressive mastery hitherto unknown. By 1838 his Études d’exécution transcendante d’après Paganini was completed. The two composers remained friends until Paganini’s gruesome death in 1840. I find it touching that the elder Paganani influenced Liszt so profoundly.

If you live in New York City, get yourself to the Morgan Library! Admission is free on friday nights, with a classical ensemble on the ground floor. There’s also an exhibit of the Babar drawings…you remember Babar don’t you?

{ 4 comments }

Procession of the Ghouls

by CSLi on November 8, 2008

Grand Procession of the Ghouls, Halloween NYC, 2008
Close
Grand Procession of the Ghouls, Halloween NYC, 2008

Grand Procession of the Ghouls, Halloween NYC, 2008

WWhat did you do on Halloween?
This is a question best avoided if your answer is: I stayed in bed, under the covers, fearing that zombies might scramble toward my window at any moment. What better night than All Hallow’s Eve for them to freely roam? I’m not sure when my ambulothanatophobia took root, but it maintains a stronghold on me. I watch zombie movies alone, I write about it, I do anything conceivable to confront my irrational feelings, but these efforts merely result in an entrenchment of the fear. Maybe I should do as others do, and avoid zombies.

This year, I did not stay in on Halloween. At the behest of my piano teacher, I attended Ralph Lee’s Halloween Extravaganza and Procession of the Ghouls. (Mr. Lee is famous for creating the West Village Halloween Parade). This year’s Extravaganza featured a screening of the 1925 Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney, accompanied by Cathedral Organist Timothy Brumfield. There’s something perfect about watching a creepy silent film in the world’s second-largest Cathedral (not that anyone’s counting), a perfect joy matched only by that of witnessing demon hordes sauntering down the aisle of said Cathedral. It reminded me of a recurring motif from my childhood, the wicked movie Legend.

{ 2 comments }

tekkaku

by CSLi on October 30, 2008

tekkaku
Close
alles in ordnung, beauty in precision

alles in ordnung.

TThe past month has seen me strapped to my lucite desk like a Korean scholar from ages past, bent over, topknot bobbing. I have been studying ways to make this site prettier and more functional. Along the way, a small word got itself lodged in my brain: “tekkaku”. Had I been watching too much hentai? No, not possible. “Tekkaku” means “accuracy, precision”. I sat with a cup of coffee, for weeks I sat there with it, reading about CASCADING STYLESHEETS, tekkaku. Learning about SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION, tekkaku. I want everything to be accurate, precise and beautiful. Somehow, it must be beautiful.

The internet is a sea of blogs — now almost all sites are built on blogging platforms. People like to be heard, people like to be seen. How to stand out in this sea? After all, I don’t even know how to swim. Everyone seems to want site traffic, favorable page rankings, even residual income derived from advertising placed in their sidebars. What do the Killer Concubines and the Meek want? I am happy to have a place for my ideas, and among life’s pleasures I know few better than that of a good conversation. A handed, chiral conversation with thoughtful people: that is what I want.

This is a wordpress blog using the robust Thesis theme. I chose Thesis because it was built for designers and developers alike. Everything on this page is customisable, which cannot be said for other themes, and because of the custom files, my coding will survive any upgrades. The images employ a cool script call Highslide JS. Each image on this site is set to enlarge onlick, and the thumbnails can be controlled with the arrow keys. Go ahead, try it! Control is fun! The photos on this site were taken with a Canon EOS40D, 17-55mm lens (one day I may get fancier camera equipment…for now, it suits me fine). As I learn a bit more each day (about web design, css, php functions and things not-invented-yet), I hope to improve this site on a regular basis.

So now, here: Killer Concubines and the Meek Shall Inherit the Earth. And who better? Picture the young Cheng I Sao on deck, commanding her fleet of eighty-thousand pirates, cold air on her face. Picture Elisabeth the First, who married England and no man, standing, for days, in one place. Karen Carpenter blesses the Beasts and the Children, with that milky voice in her throat, and I sing along. I wish for an accurate, precise, and beautiful life. Somehow, it must be beautiful, tekkaku.

{ 4 comments }

land of plenty land of fun

by CSLi on October 9, 2008

Land of Plenty
Close
Michael Garman's Magic Town, CO

Michael Garman’s Magic Town, CO

{ 0 comments }

The Priest, the Lady and the Assassin

by CSLi on October 6, 2008

Love Triad
Close
Kate, Amanda and CS

Kate, Amanda and CS

WWhen I met Amanda in New York, years ago, she told me her name was Leslie –but many lasting friendships begin with one good lie. I cannot now imagine life without her, my crazy blonde jewess of the midnight movie run, rain-soaked and giggling, with popcorn butter on her chin. Oh, wait –that’s me. Amanda is the friend who dances well, dresses fashionably, and gets more than her share of the Male Gaze when we‘re out on the town (it’s true!) –but more importantly, she’s the friend who listens to my man-troubles, job-troubles, and troubles with, well, everything. Then she smiles and says, “let’s get bubble tea!”

Here’s how the story ends:

“So it came to pass, in a sleepy Colorado suburb, that The Lady, the Priest and the Assassin went looking for trouble fun. The Priest and the Assassin, though opposed to each others’ methods, turned out to be ideological bedfellows, so to speak, and they shared many expensive hygiene products too. They’d been traveling the Wild West together for nearly a month, seeing many sights, tasting many foods. Whenever the Assassin got an urge to kill someone, the Priest would say to her, “Hey now, you can’t really go through life killing folks! Think of the lowly squirrel, and you will see the error of your ways.” This stopped the Assassin cold; you can’t win squirrel arguments. Likewise, when the Priest got an urge to kill herself, the Assassin would say to her, “Hey now, if you kill yourself, who will talk me out of killing others?” and this was enough to prevent the Priest from committing suicide. Days passed in this lovely way, until one afternoon a fateful thing happened: The Lady rolled into town.

Now, The Lady’s coming was both foreseen and welcome, but it spelled one thing for our heroes: fun trouble. They saw many things together in cowpoke Colorado, drove around, ate food. There was a baby sleeping on a couch. They lusted after Javier Bardem on the big screen, each in her own fashion. This was before the time of chocolate overload, when all things (even the lisping actor) were forgotten, followed by a visit to the world of Men and Floozies (see: Michael Garman’s Magic Town). And then, as it does, the inevitable happened.

The Priest fell in love with the Lady, but was very conflicted by it, as The Lady was most surely a sinner. The Assassin, on the other hand, had developed a yen for the Priest, and so you have it: the classic Love Triangle. There was a great to-do, a certain incident involving pancake batter, and all relations between the three heroes soured to the flavor of moldy pickles in a jar. In the end, the Assassin discovered the lovers conducting one of their private “prayer sessions”, drew her sword, and in a single motion murdered The Lady, sepukku-style. The Priest’s eyes flew toward heaven and she said, “Thank God she was Jewish. They don’t go to Hell.”

{ 3 comments }

[an aside]

by CSLi on October 1, 2008

Dufur, OR
Close
plant near Dufur, OR

plant near Dufur, OR

II am back home in Brooklyn, land of glowing brownstones and a certain Tree that Grows, piecing together in my head the final bits of our trip: the last gasp before real life …my real life which involves, apparently, sitting at a computer for untold hours each day.

But my desk is lovely –I want to tell you about my desk. It’s a large, L-shaped lucite thing, made by a designer couple in Chelsea. They were moving to Chicago to be among the comix people –and who could blame them? I’ve strung holiday rope lights (classy!) underneath the inch-thick lucite causing a surreal little “glow from below”. Like the red candle in a Lutheran church, these lights are always on; they signify the presence of God. You know –”May the Lord bless you and keep you, May he make his face to shine upon you, and give you peace.” Such pretty words. Surely the most practical agnostic can see how pretty. I sit at this desk with my legs bent under me, typing or reading or (most usually) editing photos. Often a whole day will pass before I realise I haven’t eaten or left the house.

Today, there is a cool breeze coming in through the window. Someone nearby is playing a saxophone, and the sound trickles into my ear like so much teasing. I don’t WANT to sit here anymore. I don’t WANT to work on these pictures!

The human body wasn’t designed for a sedentary lifestyle. Save me, oh Lord, from my aubergine Steelcase chair!

{ 0 comments }