Sunday, November 30, 2008


I was disappointed in Hancock. I had been looking forward to seeing it for a long time. I loved the premise: an alcoholic near-do-well fuck up guy who is also a super hero and ends up with a PR rep. That part of the movie was fairly good, but then it got into this supernatural stuff and just went off the deep end for me.

I was also bored with all the violence. I was beading a box while I watched it, so it was good as something to have on while I did something else.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ernest Concepcion

I saw an exhibit of Ernest Concepcion's work at Kentler International Drawing Space in Red Hook today. The show was called The Line Wars Deluxe. It included very large scale, detailed pen and ink drawings of animals fighting as well as some figures that looked sort of superhero-ish. It was a small show in an interesting intimate space.

Friday, November 28, 2008


I've had Happiness at home for several days, maybe a week, and never quite felt like I could handle watching it. I saw it when it first came out (ten years ago! I can't believe it was that long ago!), so I knew it was intense and I was kind of scared of being depressed and over-identifying with the characters.

It's such a good movie. Very brutal scenes, brutal acting. It's about ordinary people, but there is so much disturbance in their emotional lives, that they aren't really ordinary. I don't think. Even if there's a lot of despair underneath most people's exterior, I don't think there is psychopathy. I don't know. What do I know.

The frank discussions about masturbation between father and son, Philip Seymour Hoffman masturbating while making crank phone calls, the father masturbating to the teen magazine in the car -- it was all kind of too intense for me. I was trying to eat a shrimp burrito and felt sickened. I also felt self-conscious, like if a camera were on me now, at home alone on a Saturday night watching a DVD on the computer with my ordered-in food amidst a messy apartment and three cats, and piles of printed out articles for the dissertation that is taking forever... Would I hold up to scrutiny? Could I be a character in a meanly yet tenderly drawn Solondz film?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Manhattan Murder Mystery

I watched Manhattan Murder Mystery on Netflix Watch Instantly while eating terrible steamed Chinese food -- tough and gooey shrimp. Yuk. Anyway, the movie is okay. Woody Allen got on my nerves the whole time, and the talky talkiness of it was irritating as well. But, I became engrossed in it and in the end found it entertaining.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I just finished Anagrams by Lorrie Moore. I had read her first book, a short story collection called Self-Help when I was in college, I think, and I loved it. I found an old copy of this novel in the laundry room. I'm glad I did. I really, really, really enjoyed this book. It is crisply wry and insightful and every sentence crackles. I became very bonded with the main character, and sort of with the writer. It has a very sad ending, though. And I feel bummed out.

Also, I sense that novels aren't her forte. Anagrams starts with a few stories with the main character in different lives, before it gets into the main one, and I just get the sense that Moore is probably more gifted and adept at short stories. I'm going to buy one of her other collections and read it VT!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Prokofiev at the 92nd Street Y

I went with a friend to hear a concert at the 92nd Street Y that was part of the Bard Music Festival with a focus on Prokofiev and the silver age of Russian music. The performances were so wonderful. There were piano solos, vocal and choral numbers, string quartet pieces and a cello solo. It was really a delightful mix. I didn't save the program so I can't remember the names of which pieces I liked best -- the Ariel String Quartet numbers were definitely favorites. I had a lovely afternoon.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mitchell Marco at Christopher Henry Gallery

Last night I went to the opening of Mitchell Marco's exhibition Ordinary Childhood at Christopher Henry Gallery on the Lower East Side. I hadn't seen Mitchell's work in a couple of years, and was really impressed by how his images continue to evolve. His work is always thought provoking and evocative. Simple and crisp, and yet nuanced and mysterious. Very mysterious, actually. There is always something going on behind the scenes, or immediately prior to the image, that the viewer can never know. But it's there.

The gallery's copy reads: The images reflect upon a time in which the family structure was simpler, evoking a bygone era of black and white media. However, the past is never simple, and Marco shows us that the eternal conundrums of human psychology are always present just beneath the surface." Very true.

I couldn't find an image of his current work on line, so simply posted a photo of the artist that I found.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

I watched Kung Fu Panda tonight on a friend's recommendation and have to say I really loved it. The colors and Chinese motif were beautiful, the animation was breathtaking at moments.

It's weird, it has all this Buddhist philosophy throughout; I mean, it's pretty explicit. Do kids get that stuff these days? It's surprisingly sophisticated if you ask me.

The plot, however, wasn't. It was fairly typical, although there were some emotional moments. I loved the wise old turtle the best; I loved looking at his neck. And I loved the chubby bear portrayed as an emotional over-eater.

I love bears, but not panda's. The markings around their eyes freak me out and remind me too much of raccoons, which I hate.

Angelina Jolie and some other famous actors did the voice work. I don't get that. Her character was pretty thin and not too important. Why have a big star do that? There's nothing distinctive about her voice. And you don't get to see her face, which is her big draw.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gary Gulman at Gotham Comedy Club

Last night a friend and I went to a comedy club and had so much fun. The headline act was Gary Gulman, whom I had never heard of, but who was so charismatic and funny. The other acts were great too. The evening was hosted by a woman who had a whiny good-naturedness to her that I found very entertaining. She made a lot of jokes about having small children. Then there was a guy who I don't remember as well. He was quite funny, but his personality didn't quite emerge in the same way. Oh, he did make some good comments about what kind of people would never become president (openly homo or midgets). Then a superbly funny geeky guy with an undercurrent of hostility. Finally, Gary Gulman, who as I said was really charming.

I think I like comics best when you can warm up to their persona. Like when you enjoy watching and listening to them even when they are not laugh-out-loud funny. When they are taking their time setting up their jokes. Also, there is a kind of brilliant, incisive humor that can be very mean-spirited, which often makes me uncomfortable even as I am laughing. Last night wasn't mean-spirited at all, and I had a wonderful time.