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"People called her a train wreck, but that’s too simplistic. A train wrecks and is then cleaned up, something Smith rarely was. She wasn’t a train wreck; she was a fireworks display, and it was different every night." Anna Nicole Smith died five years ago today.

February 8, 2012 2:08 PM comments (0)

Audrey Ference on how people freak out at the sight of panties:

It’s so 101 that it’s tedious, and yet the fact that women’s bodies are not the problem never quite sinks all the way in with some people. The response always seems to be like, but panties! What if I saw a girl’s panties, I can’t be held responsible for driving if there are panties around! When there are billboards full of women in panties all over the highway, but more importantly, grow up. Women are people, people in bodies, bodies that need to get from place to place, in public. Clothes shift. Shirts gap. Skirts blow up in the wind. Clothes that are culturally normative don't cover every inch of skin from every possible angle. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been “corrected” by some stranger when I’m in a skirt (and not a short skirt, not that it matters, but I’m talking knee length plus, here) because someone below me on the subway stairs could see my underpants up my skirt. Here’s a thought: instead of me wearing only loose-fitting, long pants and long sleeved, high-necked shirts, maybe don’t look up my skirt while I’m on the staircase! Or if you do, fucking deal with it! It’s just underpants! You've seen them before! They're not going to kill you!
February 2, 2012 7:50 PM comments (0)

"I upload photos to Flickr almost daily, blethered on Twitter with some regularity and most recently have fallen in love with Path. But the place that used to be my heart and soul online? Nada. It used to be that our home pages were the one place we had to express ourselves. Now, we’re torn hither and yon across the internet." Heather completely nailed why I decided to start blogging again.

February 2, 2012 7:28 PM comments (0)

Best quote from Paper Magazine's recent interview with designer and strategist David Gensler:

The British got it right when they invented punk rock. Fashion and youth culture are supposed to go hand in hand, and fashion and youth culture are supposed to push up against the mainstream and challenge it, and where do you see that? The darling of the fashion world, Alex Wang, makes black T-shirts.

If you buy a 500 dollar T-shirt, then the proceeds from that T-shirt better go towards building a school somewhere.

We have no punk rock, New York has no punk rock. The mindset of rebellion -- we've lost it. The youth no longer want to rebel, they want to stand in line. They want to just stand there like in the army and wear a uniform.

Yes on the ridiculousness of $500 t-shirts, and yes on how most people just want to wear a uniform. It's rather depressing to click through street style blogs from everywhere and everywhere only to find everyone photographed, whether they're in their teens, twenties, and thirties, is dressed pretty much exactly the same. I see really interesting outfits all the time here in New York—not outrageous, mind you, but interesting in a day-to-day way that never seems to make it onto street style blogs, and so I'm beginning to wonder how much of that is bloggers feeling like they have to match what they photograph and post to the current prevailing aesthetic.

Also: how much of that is because all the street style blogs I've encountered are either from North America or Europe, or from Asia but clearly looking West? I'd love to see blogs from Asia or Africa with a fresh local points of view, but where do I even go to start finding them?

January 31, 2012 4:05 PM comments (0)

Bo the English Bulldog insists on sitting in a box that's much too small for him:

[via Laughing Squid ]

January 31, 2012 1:22 PM comments (0)

"Uwe Boll has confirmed that the film will have a time travel story where Dolph Lundgren will play a former military officer who is attacked by ninjas and sent through a time vortex where he gets stuck in medieval times. Boll has also gone on to confirm that a dragon will be included in the film." I really need to see In the Name of the King 2, obviously. (I saw the first installment in the theater!)

January 30, 2012 4:20 PM comments (0)

I've never thought myself much of a romantic, and I don't think anyone who knows me well would either, but then how else would you explain my fervent teenage belief in writer's block? My first full-time job, writing for high profile, very high traffic site, quickly disabused me of this notion, as we were all expected to produce twelve pieces minimum each every single day. It was excruciating, and I was pretty unhappy at the time, but it cured me of ever thinking I couldn't sit down on any given day and chip away at something. [1]

Anyway, as a lifelong knowledge worker whose friends are mostly lifelong knowledge workers, I've always found Henry Miller's commandments (from Henry Miller on Writing to be helpful. (I'm still not as productive as I'm capable of day-to-day, nor as prolific as I should be, but I do get better year after year at working with pleasure!)

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to "Black Spring."
  3. Don't be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can't create you can work.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don't be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it the next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

Bonus! People share Miller's commandments all the time, but the next section is just as important to work/life balance, especially for freelancers—and most especially for introvert work-at-home freelancers such as myself, for whom making the time to socialize can require a lot of effort.



If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.
If in fine fettle, write.

Work on section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions. Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.

See friends. Read in cafés.
Explore unfamiliar sections—on foot if wet, on bicycle, if dry.
Write, if in mood, but only Minor program.
Paint if empty or tired.
Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.

Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.

The only improvement I'd make to Miller's daily program is to get a dog—if you live in a city, having a dog both makes it easy to get regular exercise and be social, because taking a dog for a walk instantly means you'll meet a lot of people in your neighborhood. [2]

[1] Having said that, while writer's block doesn't exist, the zone does. Working with people who never get there, and thus have no respect for it, make getting shit done hard by doing stupid things like organizing meetings in the middle of the day. Most meetings are pointless.

[2] The last time my mom came to visit me here in New York, she wondered why people kept waving at me while we walked around my micro neighborhood on the Lower East Side: "Are you the mayor or something?" I explained that everyone knew me because they were all Friends of Jarvis.

January 30, 2012 1:22 PM comments (0)

Pamela Paul of the NYT Sunday Book Review wants to know why grown women don't read science fiction:

What is it then that makes girls averse to science fiction? Could it be the pronounced boyness of the covers — the same signal that deters girls from switching to Superman after their Betty and Veronica days have passed? Science-fiction books, whether technologically elaborate, intergalactic stories by the likes of Arthur C. Clarke and Hal Clement or the so-called “soft” science fiction of Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick, often wear dark washes of black and navy blue with 3-D fonts and brutal images of fire and destruction.

Yet there isn’t anything inherently unfeminine about science fiction. Some might say the dystopic fantasy, apocalyptic tales and paranormal romance so popular with today’s teenage girls are actually couched “girl-friendly” variants of science fiction. Perhaps. But why should science fiction proper be any less welcoming to girls?

January 27, 2012 9:03 PM comments (0)

My favorite bits from the Wikipedia entry for the ellipsis, which I'd somehow never read till today:

  • from the Ancient Greek: ἔλλειψις, élleipsis, "omission" or "falling short"
  • The triple-dot punctuation mark is also called a suspension point, points of ellipsis, periods of ellipsis, or colloquially, dot-dot-dot.
  • In reported speech, the ellipsis is sometimes used to represent an intentional silence, perhaps indicating irritation, dismay, shock or disgust. This usage is more common amongst younger, Internet-savvy generations.
  • When applied in Polish language syntax, the ellipsis is called wielokropek, which means "multidot".
  • As the Japanese word for dot is pronounced "ten", the dots are colloquially called "ten-ten-ten" (てんてんてん, akin to the English "dot dot dot").
  • As a device, the ten-ten-ten is intended to focus the reader on a character while allowing the character to not speak any dialogue. This conveys to the reader a focus of the narrative "camera" on the silent subject, implying an expectation of some motion or action. It is not unheard of to see inanimate objects "speaking" the ellipsis.
  • Although an ellipsis is technically complete with three periods (...), its rise in popularity as a "trailing-off" or "silence" indicator, particularly in mid-20th century comic strip and comic book prose writing, has led to expanded uses online.

And because I'm not afraid to be servicey: instead of using three periods in a row, hit option + ; on a Mac or alt + 0133 on Windows to get a proper single character ellipsis and save yourself two whole characters on your next tweet. You're welcome!

January 27, 2012 2:51 PM comments (0)

This tweet made me laugh out loud for real the other day:

  1. Note that there are very few vegan-friendly Filipino dishes—the Philippines is, after all, a country where vegetarians barely exist, and the few that do routinely get asked things like "but you still eat pork, right?", because pork is really fucking delicious and why would you ever stop eating it if you can afford it?
  2. Man, homonyms are the best.
  3. If you want to know more about longganisa, the always amazing Market Manila has you covered: from recipes for longganisa and longganisang hubad a la Market Man, to a post on Vigan longganisa, to the strange beauty of longganisa burps.
  4. If you're in New York and want to get your hands on longganisa: I've seen some for sale at Asia Market and Han May in Manhattan Chinatown, a bunch of the Filipino groceries in Woodside like Phil-Am Foods carry longganisa as well, and apparently (I haven't been yet, but I'm very curious) the new-ish Maharlika in the East Village has it on their menu.
January 23, 2012 9:46 AM comments (0)