Monday, July 30

Excerpt from Scott Spencer's MEN IN BLACK

After years of trying to make a go as a serious novelist, the narrator, Sam, has agreed to write a quicky book about UFOs under a pseudonym. This book, though, has become wildly popular, earning what Sam--after years of scraping by--calls a "fortune." (His brother Allen sets him straight: "It's not a fortune. I don't make a fortune, and I'm an oral surgeon. What you're making is called a LIVING.") In this section, Sam has to go on yet another book tour to promote his UFO book:

Inside the store, there was a large crowd, mostly of the sort of people I was coming to expect-not for me the girls in their summer dresses, the sultry women in their black leotards, the grad students with pulsating eyes, the latter-day bohos in berets. No, my readers had casts on their feet, Ace bandages on their ankles, patches on their eyes; they received radio signals through the fillings in their teeth; they needed to lose weight, gargle; they had lost their meager inheritances in pyramid schemes; they wouldn't mind selling you mail-order shoes or Amway kitchen cleansers; they rattled around the country on secondary roads where the gas and food were cheaper; they tested their cellars for radon; they called the Culligan Man; they watched the Christian Broadcasting System; they looked for stores that still sold eight-track tapes; they lived near electric-powerline towers the size of the Washington Monument; they had guns.

Sunday, July 29

TIny Polaroid

Tiny Polaroid
"Have any picture turned into a miniature crumple-proof, water-proof, live forever acrylic Polaroid."

Video Bulb
"A lipstick-shaped tube that you plug into your RCA jack on your tv... and along runs this black and white pixel movie. Apparently great for parties, and a fun screensaver." Here's the video.

Airstream 75th Anniversary Edition

These campers are insanely gorgeous.

Ziplock bags by Todd Oldham.

Portion control dishware.

Poltrano Frau

Look at this amazing collapsible desk!

Thursday, July 26

Rude Boy

Today, on a whim, I researched the term Rude Boy and its origins, discovering that all three leading theories are phenomenal:

"The term 'rude boy' may have been associated with an extremely potent rum-based drink called Rude to Your Parents."

Rude To Your Parents! That's so great. The next theory is just as good:

"Disaffected unemployed urban youths sometimes found temporary employment from sound system operators. Wearing sharp suits, thin ties, and pork-pie or Trilby hats, they would gain admittance to competitors' dances, then proceed to disrupt the event by acting rude."

Oh. My. God. Is this still a viable employment option?

"It may also be related to the term 'rudeness,' which was used in Jamaica in the 1950s and 1960s in reference to sexual intercourse."

The term has seen a resurgence of late, which has been traced to a cabbie's frequent use, beginning on the evening of July 25, 2007 and continuing for the next four months..


Sunday, July 22

La Fin Absolue du Monde

I thoroughly enjoyed 200 Bad Comics. I hope you do, too.

I also like the guy's prints, even though one of them features a robot hobo (!):


Seven days of outfits in the life of Matthew Josephs, who is apparently a dude:

I'm not *too* crazy about his outfits, I'm mostly just interested in the "seven days" thing being applied to men's fashion. I know it's a staple of women's magazines, but I've never seen in done on an alleged guy.


Andrew English Wedding Band
Commissioned bands are delicately hand-engraved with the fingerprint of your partner and therefore completely unique to each couple.

Gazebo Chess Set

Dream Dollars

Monsters And Dubious Characters



Amenity Nursery

Freestyle Desk

You didn't even know you WANTED a fire extinguisher, did you?

(The subject line is french for "The Absolute End of the World.")


In a 1988 interview with John Waters, he mentions that when he was in high school, most of the girls had beehives...but then a few of them started showing up to school with super-straight hair. This was referred to as "going Joe," short for "going Joe College," i.e. becoming a beatnik.

I want this to come back, but age-reversed. For example, when discussing a 26-year-old broker who wears Abercrombie & Fitch and drinks too much Budweiser, one could say: "He's a nice enough guy, but I could never get serious with him...he's still Joe."

Get on this.


This Washington City Paper article, about a MySpace-like network for young affluent DC types, is fascinating.

Obviously, the Internet is alive with condemnation for the people profiled, but what strikes me about it is how out-of-time, even innocent, their revolting behavior is. Even the "have you done it up the butt?" bit, though grody, seems more grade school than frat reads as though he just found out about the concept and was eager to share. It's not's pre-childish.

But the most interesting thing for me is their simultaneously crude yet almost chaste attitudes towards sex. "You don't think all the sex they talk about really happens, do you?" that one guy as much as asks, and there is a certain amount of prudishness on display. I've seen this in my cab among the upper-upper-middle class; excessive fooling around is seen as almost declasse.

This is most obvious with the girls in the middle of the scene, especially the so-awesomely-named Coventry Burke, who seems more like a Radcliffe or Barnard girl that William Safire and Calvin Trillan was pie-eyed over than the coked-up whooHOO-er I was expecting. I'm sure she's an awful person to be around, don't get me wrong, but not in the way I thought she would be when I first started reading the article.

Mostly, though, I came away from the story wishing it had been given to a better journalist, one capable of somewhat more complicated thinking than the OMG tone used in this piece.

(Also, expect to hear me say "turbo" about a million times in the next few weeks.)

Young Offenders

Laptop Tattoos
Oh my god oh my god oh my god I want one SO BAD. (You know what else I want so bad? A laptop.) Surprisingly, I like almost all of these, except this one and this one (yuck). I think this one is my favorite, though.

Another Blik deal

More pictures here.

Nueva Linea
My quest for Catcher Block's apartment just got a lot easier. Again, more here.

Tabletop Fireplace

I love how this elegantly suggests a fireplace without being a literal interpretation of one.

I like this belt.

Le Creuset Petite Blueberry Casserole!

You can't figure it out from the site, but Flocks are sweaters made from the wool of a single sheep, and come with pictures of said sheep.

Nike Vintage Running Shoes
Oh my god: WANT. Running shoes with 1977 design but 2007 technology. (Click on Collection at the bottom.)

Ocean Levels Are Rising Faster Than Ever
Clever billboard from WWF. (Not the World Wrestling Foundation.)


Have you tried the Doritos "flavor experiment" X-13D?

First of all, the bag is awesome.

Dear America: Please start putting everything in Cold War MRE packaging. Thanks!

I had half of a bag the other night, and they're weirdly awesome. Only half a bag because I picked up a high-functioning crackhead who, seeing me eat a Dorito, begged "Oh please mister let me have a chip you gotta let me have one chip I just can't stand it." You have to choose your battles in this world, and nowhere more so than in the frontseat of a cab, so I decided that giving her the rest of the bag was easier than listening to her beg the rest of the way.

Anyway, the taste is so close to what they're trying to emulate that it's a little uncanny, but unlike those disgusting candy bar milks (which taste exactly like you smooshed up a candy bar and poured milk over it), the proximity is curiously delicious.

As for what the taste IS, I've revealed it below in ROT13 in case you wanted to try the chips first (which I highly recommend, by the way):

N purrfrohetre - fcrpvsvpnyyl gur ovgr jvgu cvpxyrf naq bavba cvrprf.

The marketing behind this is genius...I'm genuinely impressed. The only minor flub is the ambiguous "Name It" portion of the contest. Most people have interpreted this like "Name That Tune," which isn't that tough; they taste exactly like a big bite of purrfrohetre. Instead, the contest is to come up with a name for the product.

Oh, and the winner gets a year's supply of Doritos, which is...what? Five or six bags?


Upon further reflection, doesn't it seem a bit old-fashioned that in these allegedly health-conscious days a chip company would give away massive amounts of its product as a prize? I'm not saying it should necessarily be like this, it just has a curiously outdated ring to it, like a contest from 1978.


Hey, what does Rita Moreno, Mel Brooks, John Gielguld, Helen Hayes, Audrey Hepburn, and Mike Nichols have in common?
Answer: they've won an Emmy, an Oscar, a Tony, and a Grammy. There are nine altogether...the others are Rodgers of Rodgers & Hammerstein, and some dudes named Jonathan Tunick and Marvin Hamlisch.

There are a few more if you count Daytime Emmies (Whoopi Goldberg), International Emmies (Andrew Lloyd Webber), or non-competitive Special Awards (Barbra Streisand & Liza Minelli).

Also, "two of the people on the list, Richard Rodgers and Marvin Hamlisch, are also recipients of the Pulitzer Prize." Jesus!

Sunday, July 15


As a follow-up to the post below, here's an artist who goes beyond the self-kiss and into a self-relationship:

Kelli Connell: Double Life [NSFW]

As with every other photography site on the web, have fun trying to figure out the unusable Flash interface. Note that there are four pages of images, and you somehow access them with the arrows on the bottom. I've looked at this site for half an hour now, and I have no idea if I've even seen all of the pictures or not.

I like these two kids; I hope they work it out.

Saturday, July 7

Conduct Unbecoming A Hobo

His Serene Highness, Prince Robert de Rohan Courtenay:
(Photo by Diane Arbus, November 1961)

From a 1949 issue of Time:
The shifting tides of social acceptance were charted in the 1950 edition of Manhattan's Bowery Social Register (also known as The Almanac de Skid Row), blue book of U.S. hoboes. Blue-penciled out this year by Bowery News Editor Harry Baronian: Crown Prince Bozo, for conduct unbecoming a hobo; Frisco John, for abusing people who turned him down for a handout; Buffalo John, for taking a dental bridge from the mouth of a sleeping companion.

In the book this year: Prince Robert de Rohan Courtenay, for inventing a new poetic medium called Pling Plong; Box-Car Betty, ex-hula dancer and snake
charmer, for research indicating that the flavor of a cigar is enhanced if dipped occasionally in beer; Harvard man ('11) Joe Gould, perennial Greenwich Village
drink-cadger and author of an uncompleted 9,000,000-word book (An Oral History of Our Time), for turning out a new couplet: 'In the winter I'm a Buddhist/In the
summer I'm a nudist.'

Incidentally, Gould was the subject of two classic New Yorker profiles by Joseph Mitchell: Professor Seagull, and the book-length Joe Gould's Secret. The latter is exquisitely moving, and both can be found in Up In The Old Hotel. Recommended about as highly as possible.