Thursday, March 27, 2008


"Ganymede," if mispronounced, is a Chinese epithet. Sort of. I just watched "Lust, Caution" and loved it. It's better than No Country and There Will Be Blood; watch it. No, no, take it back...if you're Chinese, watch it. Otherwise, the movie will confound you like it did so many American reviewers. After I watched the movie, I read some reviews of it and came away with the impression that critics are carbuncled barrow boys too arrogant to admit that the people making the movie are more intelligent than the people reviewing it. For example, in his review, Ed Gonzalez, who usually has some decent things to say, doesn't recognize that the point of the newsreel interruption in the scene that he mentions is not the cheap irony of the Western media influence but the bitterness of triumphalist message about the end of Western imperialism being forced upon a Chinese audience by Japanese colonizers. Ed Gonzalez doesn't understand this because he doesn't understand Chinese history and he has unfortunately learned nothing of it from the movie because he has been too busy chasing the red herrings of his interpretive imagination to pay attention to the lesson. He probably doesn't understand that there are at least five languages at play in the movie (Mandarin, Shanghainese, Cantonese, Japanese, and English), because the subtitles don't indicate when the languages transition, and these shifts add meaning to the movie. This is not to disparage Ed Gonzalez, but just to point out that there is no audience for "Lust, Caution" in America. And by filling the movie with sex, Ang Lee has also sabotaged its reception in China.

Which is to say, it is the ultimate Taiwanese-Chinese-American lamentation of unbelonging! Thank you, Ang!! Go Blue!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

la menu

Ever since apparently eating feces on Saturday night, I've eaten:

8 Saltine crackers*
3 cups rice porridge
4 pints Gatorade **
12-15 pieces of penne pasta
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup chicken soup***

*Six came up immediately.
**One came up immediately.
***This came up and went through immediately.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Hello! Back from a week in Lawrenceville, Georgia and surrounding environs, with a new big bug in my stomach! I have spent the day alternating between sipping Gatorade and emptying it quickly thereafter from my bowels! It's really amazing how quickly things can move through your body. I shat myself on a plane yesterday* - after assuming pavana-mukta-asana ("The Wind-Releasing Pose") to relieve a little high-altitude tension, then said, "Whoops!" and ran toward the bathroom like Dominic Monaghan on the first episode of Lost (which I incidentally watched on my spring break!) and barely made it without passing out (instant cold sweats, and my hearing was as if my ears were clogged with cotton balls!) but managed to fumble off my belt and the sweatshirt I had tied around my waist to disguise any unslightly spotting. I seriously felt like I was dying and thought it would be much easier just to collapse on the floor shitting myself and vomitting - someone on the plane would've been in charge of taking care of me, right? I didn't even bother to close or lock the bathroom door. Someone walked in on me as the waterworks started and said, "Oops, sorry!" but I didn't care because I was leaning against the wall of the bathroom very precariously and trying very hard not to slide off the toilet. It was like a gallon of spicy water that came out of me! And get this: at the exact same time, I threw up three times into the bathroom sink (the one that is conveniently at head level when you sit on the airplane toilet) the half pound of Hot Tamales and Popeye's fried chicken I had ingested the night before when watching the aforementioned first episode of Lost! I remember thinking "Very pink!" before hanging my head between my legs for the remainder of the time it took to get the leftover fluids out of both ends of my body.

I did have cantaloupe two days ago at a Sweet Tomatoes in Duluth, Georgia (which is in Gwinnett County, where many others have been sickened by cantaloupes!). The thing I suspect to be in my bowels is pictured above. Now, who should I sue?

* Lucky for me, my maxipad caught this drainage! Just how gross can one person be???

Thursday, March 13, 2008

good grief

I found some blurry old pictures! I was 20 and a dirty hippie when this picture was taken. Constance, I hope this shows you how mere months later I was living with a woman who saved all of her handmade menstruation rags until the end of the month to soak in hot water and water the houseplants with. This was years before I got two types of parasitic butt worms!

Now look at the effects of sun exposure on my face.


I wrote this on my hand during my morning commute, in large clear letters: "This man's style of playing Tetris reveals his problem with futurity." Then I put my hand on my lap and waited for the man stacking up Tetris rows like so many misaligned layers of Fallingwater to look over at me and notice my message to him. He didn't look over, of course, and instead played the game furiously until very quickly his pile reached the top of his screen, and he exclaimed something like, "Rrrgh!" Sir, when you ignore the cardinal rule of Tetris (don't cover the holes!) you lose very quickly. I wanted him to know how ashamed I was of him, because he looked exactly like my ex-roommate (you know, the one whose girlfriend kept exclaiming, "Joshua! Joshua! Joshua! Joshua! Joshua!" from atop his soiled sheets) who owes me somewhere between $90 and $300.

Also, ELIOT FUCKING SPITZER WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. The details are so sordid. Must you pay for your poke? Can you just penetrate an unpaid intern with a cigar?

I'm going to Georgia for spring break; oh let the bun beat down upon my face.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I did my presentation today. Thank God! I feel like the clown over my bed has been blown away. Now time to learn Led Zeppelin songs on the guitar. "Ah, ah. Ah, ah. Ahhh, ah. Ahhhhhhhhh?" is why Robert Plant is such a great lyricist!

daylight savings

I've been stuck indoors for the better part of three weeks trying to get my Crim Lit brief, my A Paper, and my Hays memo done. One down, two more to go. It's not pretty - one is overdue by 18 months, and the other is due in three days and I got nothing down on the page yet.

I went out last night to watch my third and last MOKA performance at NYU. It is a fine event that draws extraordinary souls out from the sepulchral lawyerly forms in which they are ordinarily confined, and reminds us that we are still young, creative, performative, and fun, unlike the professional tradition we have indentured ourselves, via Debt Ellis, into. Sonia's reading of Elizabeth Bishop's Questions of Travel late in the evening's performances nearly brought me to dumbstruck tears. Before she went on stage, I snatched her crumpled notes away from her and read through her handwritten diacritics, the lines that told her to emphasize now and now speak slowly; when she read it, I heard an elegy. The poems final two lines ask, "Should we have stayed at home, wherever that may be?" And of course not: there is no choice between staying at home and going out to watch strangers in a play, because there remains no home left for us to go back to. Here we are, finally, in the artificial solstice of a foreshortened spring Sunday in the last semester of a strange decision we made, unbeknownst to each other, to travel together until May.

So after the show, we traveled upstairs to the lounge that is the student coffee kiosk in the daytime and the afterparty by night, and took hesitant sips of our vodka tonics (or at least I did) and urged our poor old bodies to move in time to skipping Latin tracks being played off somebody's laptop. So many of these beautiful people looked so happy. Alejandro led me in a dance so aggressively that his body odor was imprinted into the left shoulder of my t-shirt; Sophia was a gentler lead during a cha-cha. The clocks had already been set an hour ahead so we all felt more noctural and more dangerous than we really were (or at least I did). Somebody kept trying to turn the lights off, and somebody else kept trying to turn the lights on, so the room went between states of illumination. One person expressed his surprise at the concept, generally, of weaves, and leaned pleasantly into everybody else.

I walked with Oliver to First Avenue and 14th Street. Along the way we resolved to form a secret society, known by the initials S.T.M. (only members can know it, but membership is open), dedicated to the appreciation of our last two months in this city, this mischievous monument which not to look upon would be like death. The last line is pretty, but it is not mine; E.B. White wrote it.

What is it? I'm feeling old, folks. I felt old when I was nineteen, but now at twenty-seven I feel like a ripe fossil. When I was younger and more anxious I thought aging through one's twenties was like walking through a graveyard of all the things you thought you could be, and all the headstones would say pat things, like "Astronaut," or "Hannah Arendt." I certainly did not expect to exit this graveyard with only a business card imprinted "Esq." What am I doing? Whatever happened to unpredictability? Is it too late to leave this place to become an artist?

Elizabeth Bishop says yes. My body also says yes - I have wrinkles, gentle readers! I broke up a marriage, gentle readers! Daylight savings upends me, gentle readers! I want to go home, but I love you all too much!

[Sorry. Like I have said before, caveat emptor, cave canem and res ipsa loquitor. I get my melancholy blues once a season when I can't sleep. Welcome to the here and now! I saw my old friend Fist Fuck on the First Avenue L train platform, but his friend Bat Face was not with him, just a brindle dog who kept looking at me because I kept looking at it.]

Sunday, March 09, 2008

soldier of love

I want to be bombarded with kissiles.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

scenes i see in art law

It's dark, and we're watching a movie about Albie Sachs. I can't see anyone's face. I only catch glances at a very long email open on a computer one row in front of me:

"I kind of wish you hadn't sent that . . . Hooray, you're not a complete waste. It's not a work ethic you need, it's focus and discipline . . . [At the end of the email:] I love you."

The blond woman reading the email hits "Reply" and writes only "I love you." before moving the cursor to the "Send" button and, after a pause, clicking it.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

help me name my guitar

My new favorite way to waste time involves tracing the edges of the pentatonic box on the fretboard of my guitar. It is a blue agave 2005 Fender Standard Stratocaster with two single-coil pickups and a humbucker at the bridge - this is not necessary to know but admiration of the instrument's unfathomable electronics and smoove patina is part of my daily guitar worship, so why not write it down? It has a little sticker of a strawberry on the pickguard by the first string. I've sort of fiddled with it for a few years but haven't really sat down to learn anything fancy until recently. I'm still terrible at it.

It doesn't have a name yet, which is strange because I have named almost every other significant possession I own. I would like to name this guitar Brian, after my favorite guitarist Brian May, but my brain is named Brian and it would be too confusing to call my brain and my guitar the same thing. I thought a good alternative name would be Barry (for the sticker), but my crocheted strawberry is already named Barry, and that too would be very confusing. Other names that are already taken up by other possessions are Freddie, Jondolar, Jondolar 2, Rrose Selavy, Lefty, and Bobby Lee.

So folks, please help me name my guitar. Also, please someone write my A paper for me.