Friday, November 28, 2008

.My Loopt

If you're interested in more frequent updates about the things I'm doing and the things being done to me, check in the "OTHERS" section of this blog, and click on ".My Loopt".... there you will find a GPS-based Photo Journal that stretches back to September, and will continue to have updates on a regular basis... or at least, more regular than this blog.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tea Party 2008!

Alice, will you come join our tea party?

Alice - March Hare/White Rabbit - Mad Hatter

Clean Cup! Clean Cup!

Alice, is this the moment where the white rabbit bites its own head off?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Swann's Way: My First Blog after Halloween & Obama

She wore a white hat, that sat a little too highly on her head. Her scarf seemed handmade. There was a moment of eye contact, but it was by no means flirtatious.  Rather, it was the eye contact people give to me because they want to make sure that the crazy wild-haired giant that suddenly appeared in front of them can be trusted in such close proximity.

She was reading Proust's "Swann's Way" in English. She was laughing. I did not think of Proust as an author who provoked laughter. So I kept watching. I've only read excerpts of his work. Then, somewhere around 42nd Street, she switched to a French copy of the same text. I was impressed, and I thought maybe she was laughing at the translation errors between the two texts. That's when I had to take a picture, to remember to find out more about this.

Turns out it is the first book of Proust's major work, "The Remembrance of Things Past", which I come to find is now being translated as "In Search of Lost Time", which provokes many different connotations to this English ear. So I kept looking for information, but the Internet Bible (Wikipedia) was unclear as to whether the text contained humor or not... so as I fall asleep tonight I am no closer to finding out whether or not the text itself is funny, or the translation is funny, or both... can anyone help me with this?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

September... and then October

So, the blogging has really dried up here at iBellum. But what else is to be expected, now that I have been sucked into the twin engines of work and school? Every spare moment is spent on thinking of shift routines and Petrarch's letters, profit and loss statements and More's "Utopia", disciplinary meetings with unionized staff and the themes and methods of Humanist Literature in the 16th century.

Really... when there is all of that, how could there be time for anything else?

But there are a few fun things to report:

1. Went to see Built to Spill again... they played "Perfect From Now On", and it was a fantastic show.
2. Celebrated my friend Ray's 40th birthday... and what a clusterfuck of wine drinking that was... I don't know if you're supposed to get that  hammered on multiple bottles of vino at a co-worker's birthday party with all his friends and family in attendance, but that is certainly what I did, and it seemed like we all had a good time. Granted, my perspective was somewhat skewed...
3. Snezan introduced us to "Underground", a titanic 3 hour film about Yugoslavia. Everyone should see this movie... they drink, yell, dance, lie, love, and suffer through 40 years of Communist dictatorship... and through it all they are constantly surrounded by gypsy street performers playing a drunken variation of the music "Beirut" is so clearly inspired by.... Awesome!
4. Bob Dylan released "Tell Tale Signs", and I think I might finally care to listen to Dylan again after a year long fascination with Neil Young. I haven't really gotten involved with Dylan's last two albums, and the brilliant 70's work by Young has taken up a lot of my time and interest lately... but this Bootleg Series always finds a way to share a new side of Dylan, and I like what I'm hearing.
5. My iPhone continues to run my life... I don't own it, it owns me.
6. As you can see from the picture above... I had a chance, after a doctors appointment, to bike by the MET and have a martini on the roof amongst a few works by Jeff Koons. A rare and lovely afternoon away from work.

And in the near future I will be attending a Dance performance involving a neighbor, midterms are fast approaching, and I am involved in a plan to actually take part in Halloween this year... the first time since I was 12. I will try to put up some pictures of that insanity after it all goes down.

So... that's all I have time for. I am now very late to work, but I felt a strong need to put something out on this blog. It's not very clever or well-worded... but its something to hold us over till I find the time and the passion to start blogging again.

Take care everyone.

Monday, August 25, 2008

August Recap

Well, its been a quiet month here on the ibellum blog... and there were good reasons for that. As the summer days began to fade into fall, a kind of frenzy over took me, and I tried to wrap my legs and arms around each day and struggle it to the ground and have my way with it. When such aggressive "living" is going on, there is little time to log on to a computer and comment about it. So, in the interests of world history, I've decided to recap a few highlights from the last month, in no particular order:

-Tapes&Tapes and the Black Keys in McCarren Pool Park
-Jessica's Birthday in Little Italy
-My Credit Card information was stolen for the first time
-Bob Dylan in Prospect Park
-Got an iPhone (and started to Loopt my life, rather than Blog it)
-Jessica's Softball team finished Second in the League this year
-Became even more obsessed with biking, and I'm about to ride to work for the second time this morning
-"Vicky Cristina Barcelona" was a masterpiece of a film... welcome back Woody!
-Teresa's, in Brooklyn Heights, was discovered to have cheap drinks and delicious pierogies
-Biked to the Astoria Beer Garden with Will, and discovered Miss Favela
-Watched them filming a scene of "Gossip Girl" at Columbia
-Finally started hanging out with our cool neighbors upstairs in 4C
-Welcomed Snezan to the neighborhood, and the hood is already better for it

Well... that's good enough, and I'm out of time. Peace in the Middle East.


Friday, July 25, 2008

From Erotic, to Aerobic

At first, I think I'll let the picture speak for itself...

If you want to understand the picture, look below to read an excerpt from the New York Times article that accompanied this picture:

BEIJING — Clad in knee-high leather boots, spandex shorts and a sports bra, Xiao Yan struck a pose two feet off the ground, her head glistening with sweat and her arms straining as she suspended herself from a vertical pole.

“Keeping your grip is the hardest part,” she said. “It’s really easy to slide downward.”

Ms. Xiao, 26, who works as a supermarket manager, is one of a growing number of women experimenting with China’s newest, and most controversial, fitness activity: pole dancing.

“I used to take a normal aerobics class, but it was boring and monotonous,” Ms. Xiao said. “So I tried out pole dancing. It’s a really social activity. I’ve met a lot of girls here who I’m now close friends with.  And I like that it makes me feel sexy.”

A nightclub activity mostly considered the domain of strippers in the United States, pole dancing — but with clothes kept on — is nudging its way into the mainstream Chinese exercise market, with increasing numbers of gyms and dance schools offering classes.

The woman who claims to have brought pole dancing to China, Luo Lan, 39, is from Yichun, a small town in Jiangxi Province in southeastern China. Her parents teach physics at the university level.

Ms. Luo said she struggled in 20 different occupations — secretary, saleswoman, restaurateur and translator among them — before deciding to take a break. She traveled to Paris in 2006 for vacation. It was there that she first saw pole dancing.

“I wandered into a pub, and there was a woman dancing on the stage,” she said. “I thought it was beautiful.”

Those who embrace pole dancing for fitness are a snapshot of urban youths whose values are changing from those of their parents.

Jiang Li, 23, a pole dancing student; "A lot of people expect Chinese women to be subdued and faithful, that we should marry and take care of kids at an early age,” she said. “But I don’t think that way — I want to be independent. I’ve been studying traditional Chinese dance for many years, but this is totally different. I feel in control when I do this.”

-by Jimmy Wang

God bless fusion cooking, rule breakers and rule breaking, and cultural appropriation from all sides and in all things... and special blessings today on Luo Lan who took erotic performance art and turned it into a profitable aerobic exercise concept in a socially repressive country, bravo! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

So I survived my first crash...

There I was... heading down Bergen Street to get myself to Grand Jury Duty in the Borough Hall area. Just as I was crossing 4th Avenue, I looked left, and the van that cut across my path looked right, and we didn't see each other till we smashed together. I rolled to the ground, unhurt and full of adrenaline, and after we assessed each other we went our separate ways. It wasn't till later that I realized the back axle of bike was broken... but I walked away from that crash, so I have no complaints.

Bike riding in the city is a wonderful thing... if only there were no cars.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The New Me

Reading the NYT this morning, I found myself swept away in unbridled enthusiasm for a new sport... no, a new way of living.

In Adrspach (an area in the Czech Republic) there is a long history of real men living real lives... and the way they prove this to each other is not through the purchase of the latest technical gadget, nor through an ability to spawn numerous copies of biological self from the beleaguered wombs of their women folk, nor in the more typical fashion of participating in carefully modulated and commercialized and homogenized sports traditions like basketball, football(soccer), baseball, jai alai, football americano, cricket, etc. 

No... these men prove their truth by taking rock climbing to the next level... they climb to the top of tall rock towers, and then jump from one to the other, always striving to find the most difficult and most dangerous jump to perform... they jump, that is all, just jump. But take a look at this jump....

They jump when the situation is most dire, when the possibility for injury and death are most pronounced. This is no elfin-dance Triple-Jump like they perform at the Olympics... this is a jump of manhood. 

Boys climb the rock towers, and Men jump...

So... who wants to put their life on the line to prove themselves to a bunch of Czech adrenaline junkies and death-wish afficinados who have nothing better to do with their time than get drunk and dare each other into life-threatening situations? Will you risk it all to gain the socially constructed concept of "manhood", so that you can affix that title to the masthead of your personalized stationery/webpage for the rest of your life?

I'm on the next flight to Adrspach... are you with me?


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The People Spoke, the Company Listened

We Are Keeping Netflix Profiles

Dear Robert,

You spoke, and we listened. We are keeping Profiles. Thank you for all
the calls and emails telling us how important Profiles are.

We are sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused. We hope the
next time you hear from us we will delight, and not disappoint, you.

-Your friends at Netflix

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Wyoming Circle

The Wyoming Circle: Starting from centrally located Riverton, going west to Dubois, to Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons, up thru Yellowstone National Park, to Cooke City (in Montana), back down through the mountains to Cody, to Thermopolis, and right back to little Riverton.... the Wyoming Circle. This is a trip I first went on in 1988 when I was 11 years old, when Yellowstone burned and burned... I remember the smoke from all the fires just starting to fill the sky as we left.

I returned to Yellowstone National Park twice more in my life before this year, but I was never lucky enough to travel "the Circle" again. This time I was able to share this wonderful trip with Jessica. This time it was snow, rather than smoke, that filled the skies of Yellowstone. This time... I saw grizzly bears.

Many thanks to Wesley James Bell, who carefully organized and narrated this trip for Jessica and I, and for good measure, even drove us the entire length of the trip. His knowledge of biology, geology, history, and local lore proved invaluable and indispensable. It would have been little more than a long car ride through pretty scenery without his presence and presentation. Thank you Porkchop, we couldn't have done it without you!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Those Heartless Bastards

Netflix just sent the following email to my girlfriend, who is the primary account holder in our apartment, and who has been kind enough to share her account control with me by giving me my own profile and queue:

"We wanted to let you know we will be eliminating Profiles, the feature
that allowed you to set up separate DVD Queues under one account,
effective September 1, 2008.

Each additional Profile Queue will be unavailable after September 1,
2008. Before then, we recommend you consolidate any of your Profile
Queues to your main account Queue or print them out.

While it may be disappointing to see Profiles go away, this change
will help us continue to improve the Netflix website for all our

If you have any questions, please go to or call us anytime at 1 (888)
638-3549. We apologize for any inconvenience.

- The Netflix Team"

How the FUCK will taking away the already established and successful practice of separate Profiles help improve their website? Where will all my ratings and all my reviews and all my Netflix friends go to now? What did I do to deserve this suffering, this humiliation? Must my queue and my ratings now be mixed with those of another? No offense to my girlfriend's taste... but by my taste I will be recognized, and without purity of profile how can my taste be determined... those thousand plus films that I have rated on a five star scale system help create a vital part of the truth of my identity, of who I am to me and to others!!!

This aggression will not stand! Rise up fellow Netflixerians, and call them
                                                                 1 (888) 638-3549
and make your voices heard! Don't let them do this to us! Identities will be blurred and obscured, marriages will crumble under the stress of decisions, children will weep and gnash their teeth when dad's Film Noir shows up instead of their "Finding Nemo"... stop them before they ruin our lives (real and electronic)... you can make a difference... call now!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

All Day at Work

It has come to my attention that there is a nasty rumor 
going around about me, and I want to dispel this 
patently false information before it gains any further 
semblance of authenticity. First, it has been said that I
took the day off of work this Friday, ostensibly to prepare 
for my trip to Wyoming. 

This was the plan as I originally designed it, but was 
not what actually ended up happening. If this 
misinformation was all that was being spread, I wouldn't 
bother to contradict it. It is neither here nor there. I work
hard, and if I need a day off to prepare for my vacation,
then so be it.

But sadly the vicious slander that has reached my ears, and 
probably yours, suggests a second fallacy which is that
I not only stayed home from work, but actually spent the
day home from work playing violent video games... 
specifically, GTA IV. 

This is a complete lie, and I have the photographic 
evidence to prove it. 

See below:

These pictures clearly show that I arrived early that morning
for work, like always, and left after the sun had already set,
again as per usual. That's just how I roll at work... dedicated,
focused, part of the team, present and at 100 percent every
day of the work week to make the Columbia experience the 
best it can possibly be for all of our guests.

I hope this has cleared up any confusion, and destroyed the 
false structure of lies being constructed against me by my 

I am not paranoid.

Have a good night.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend

A four day weekend for me, that was much needed after the 
full-on insanity that was Commencement Week. Friday I spent
playing GTA IV, and found innumerable pleasures in running 
over pedestrians and stealing cars and bikes from unsuspecting 
residents of Liberty City.

Then Saturday came, and with it, a plethora of friends and options.
Jason and Heather came in from DC, and we went to Tom's Diner 
for a quick and friendly neighborhood brunch. Then we drifted 
down into the Slope and did some shopping, and some drinking. 
Eventually we found ourselves in the backyard of a lesbian bar 
called Ginger's.We were met by Jessica's friends Scott and Danni, 
also from DC.

Sunday we all awoke hungry and hungover. So we took Jason and 
Heather to Le Gamin, which is a personal favorite of Jess and I, and
happily I believe J&H enjoyed it thoroughly as well. Brunch led us to 
the Botanic Gardens, and then to Prospect Park, where Will & 
Christel & Lil Geneva joined us for some Aerobie acrobatics. 

Then Will & Christel went back to meet with Laurel & Matt, and the 
rest of us headed to Bushwick. Snezan, a strict vegan, was 
apparently grilling meat and needed us to come and eat it. 
He had never yet had the pleasure of meeting J&H, and fittingly,
he was drunk and up a 30 foot ladder on the side of 
his building when we first arrived. 

First impressions...

The grilling was fun, if a little over-run by pretensions and pets. 
On Monday morning, we went once more with J&H to Le Gamin. 
I transfered 300 stolen songs from my laptop to theirs, and then
we sent them on their way.

Nothing fancy, nothing worthy of too much note... but I did spend
four days without ever once thinking of work or school. And that 
was a blessing. Thanks to all those who travelled and entertained.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Do I have to put my handcuffs on you momma?

Well, I just read about a popular new trend in Christendom... the Purity Ball. Fathers and their daughters go and eat a nice dinner, pray for each other's sexual purity, and then dance the night away in front of a large wooden cross. 

I am not making this stuff up...

And all I am wondering is why we've given up on the most effective means of sexual purity... handcuffs and chastity belts. 

I must admit that after reading "Discipline and Punish" and "Genealogy of Morals", physical restraints seem a lot less creepy, and a good deal more honest, than spiritual constraints. 

At least the body is an actual physical reality that cannot be denied, as opposed to the metaphysical construct of the soul which it can be argued is an invented concept used to dominate the populace through morality/karma policing.

But no need to get esoteric about this.... lets all remember what George Clinton taught us; sometimes the threat of physical restraint should be enough:

"Do I have to put my handcuffs on you mama,
do I have to keep you under lock and key?
Do I have to put my handcuffs on you mama?
Now we both know that's not how it should be!" - Parliment

Sunday, May 18, 2008

No More Margaritas

That's it... I am done with Margaritas. Two times in a row this spring they have knocked me sideways, and left me blacked-out drunk. And on neither occassion did I actually imbibe very many of these delicious blends of tequila, triple sec, and lime juice.
The first time I lost my virtue to this devilish drink was on the opening night of GTA IV at my apartment... all I remember of that night was that the cops and pedestrians were quite a bit more aggressive than in GTA III, and I found myself continually running for my life. Running from mere pedestrians, rather than gleefully destroying them without fear of reprecussions... this Liberty City was going to be a challenege. But very soon I let Will Smallman take full control of the game, becuase I couldn't seem to stay focused enough to even run away succesfully. Keep in mind, I only had 3 or 4 margaritas that night, and that is a fraction of my normal consumption of alcohol. But the proof of the margarita's newly corrosive affects on my mind and body were abundantly clear as I quickly lost control of both mind and body, and both suffered painfully all of the next day.
(This was the day I wrote my final paper for my Literary Theory class... for which I recieved an A, which is wonderful and surprising, and either says a lot about what passes for Literary Theory, or for my ability to write with a hangover.)
Then this Friday night, which was the last night of the regular semester operations, I visited the Heights Bar&Grill near Columbia University, ran into some co-workers and staff, and again lost my mind to margaritas. I also lost my new Razor phone becuase of those nasty South-of-the-Border monsters, and have no idea how I ended up in a cab heading downtown several hours later. Again, I was caught off guard becuse I only had a few... and in between the GTA night and the Heights night I have drank all sorts of different types of drinks on numerous occassions with no problem... but after years of enjoying pitchers of margaritas on warm summer days, they have decided to exact their revenge. Is it the triple sec, the tequila, the lime juice? No matter, I'm done.
So that's it... I'm swearing them off, and will never touch another margarita again.
Now, who wants a mojito?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Austria 2008

Austria 2008
(Warning: Contains a few historical pictures of a disturbing nature. Not meant to offend, merely to provide proper context. )

As with the the Romania pictures, there will be further commentary forthcoming... but better to get this out now, as I am about to go on another trip in June and will then have to sort those pictures and post about them as well. It never ends...

Romania 2008

Romania 2008

It has taken far too long for these pictures to go up... I keep hoping to write a nice commentary to go with them, but that desire keeps stopping me from just getting the damn pictures up... so here we go.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Remembering Why I Do This

You know... I've been busy with school, and so I still haven't even gotten around to posting my Romania/Austria Pictures (which are coming soon)... and I was starting to think about stopping this silly enterprise. I mean, who really needs my ironic bullshit, random story-telling, and pictures of people that only I know?

Then I was scrolling through other blogs, as I do on occassion, and stumbled upon this little gem of a blog that is titled ....

"REDEFINING DOMESTICITY: You Gotta Fake It Till You Make It"

This blog is filled with a variety of pink hues, digitized virtual kitten widgets, and thousands of baby pictures... so I'm not sure exactly what is being redefined, nor what is being faked, but I fear asking too many questions of this blog lest it lash out at me in crazed pastel inanities.

Now I know that this may seem mean-spirited and petty, my teasing this housefrau whom I have never met and seems to mean no one any harm, but the truth is far more complicated that that. Yes, I am at some level critiquing her and her blog, but much more importantly she reminds me why I need to keep writing my blog... because we must have all the voices of a culture represented, and they should not be in their own little cliques, but rather they should be rubbing right up against each other, making heat and energy....

We need integration, conflict, learning, disagreements, friction... and in this spirit I want to publicly thank the Fix's for adding me to their Friends and Family list, which is a great step in allowing different worlds to mingle and mix, and hopefully grow in the process.

So... in conclusion, I also want to thank Jenny, for reminding me why I continue to write this blog.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Disassociation of International News

This morning, at 3:10am, the New York Times reports: "Two trains, one heading from Beijing to Qingdao and the other traveling between Yantai and Xuzhou, collided around 4:40 a.m. outside the town of Zibo, Shandong province. Witnesses said one train derailed on a bend in the tracks and then struck the other, throwing at least ten carriages into a ditch.The crash killed at least 66 people and injured hundreds more, authorities said, making it one of the deadliest rail accidents in recent years."

This is the problem for me with reading international news... there is a lack of immediate connection that I experience because of the epic physical distance that separates me and my life from such a far distant event. That lack of connection, for just a moment, allows my brain to wander unbounded by the rules of decency and decorum. Woody Allen said, "Comedy equals tragedy plus time." I would like to suggest that an analogous equation is: Comedy equals tragedy plus distance.

Here I am in the pre-dawn of a Brooklyn morning, sitting in front of my laptop computer, eating yogurt and reading the online version of this venerated newspaper, and this article about a train tragedy in China that occurred 7,000 miles away from where I live is the first thing I am reading... but because the physical context for this event is so outside my normal frame of reference, my first thought is not empathy or a profound sense of loss... but rather, I think:

"Hmmm, sounds like one of those high school math problems --- If a train leaves Beijing at 3:15am, and another train leaves Yantai at 2:45am, at what time will they collide outside of the town of Zibo in the Shandong Province, and how many people will die as a result?"

Of course, being raised a Protestant, my next thought is remorse and guilt for having had a such a thought, but still... the joke was my first thought.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Irish Day Parade

Irish Day Parade

Kind of disappointing... I expected more Catholic Catharsis.

I went looking for loose women and drinking in the streets, and instead found a family friendly event with a couple of excited (but mostly sober) teenagers passing through the crowd from time to time.

All things must pass I guess...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Can you hear me now?

Can you hear me now?

New blog settings allow me to send immediate email notifications to all of you about any new posts on my site... allowing all of you the freedom to never check my blog again, till you get an email update.

You're welcome.

The Order of Things

The Order of Things

This is a digital viewing of my book collage (which is better appreciated in analog form). It is a mixture of two discourses; the scientific approach to the human body and the scientific approach to the human dominaton of this planet, all inlaid upon a 1970's children's poetry book.

Hope you enjoy it...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

So, I had this great post...

So, I had this great post all typed out, and then Safari froze up, and it was all lost. And now I really don't have the energy to do it all over again.

It was a post that included my reactions to La Strada (a stunningly emotional film, that is limited by rigid and patriarchal definitions of gender), ethical equations on the matter of being personally tempted by payola, ruminations on my current angst concerning my identity and self-efficacy, and all of this culminating in a stunning little commentary from my friend Snezan about how we should not torment ourselves in an attempt to be all of one piece without contradictions because "we are not one-dimensional characters in a comedy".

Truly, a fantastic post.

...too bad its gone.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Does this mean I'm cool now?

A recent article from the Columbia Blue&White Blog:
The Sound of Music
For careful listeners, the best soundtrack on campus is the rotation of Vampire Weekend, Radiohead and other indie darlings at Cafe 212. Bwog cultural correspondent Merrell Hambleton sits down with the man behind the mix. 

I find CafĂ© 212 manager Robert Bell working to hang up two small bulletin boards. "I'm actually doing something with the music," he says. "The music" he's referring to is precisely the reason for our meeting—Bell, tall with longish brown hair, dark framed glasses, and a neatly trimmed chinstrap, has earned a reputation in his year at Columbia for playing some non-traditional Muzak. In fact, its not Muzak at all, it's actually, well, good. If you're haunted by memories of 212's old soundtrack, you'll likely be pleased to hear the likes of Radiohead, Cat Power or the of-late-ubiquitous Vampire Weekend while you wait in the sandwich line. 

So what prompted Bell to buck the trend of non-descript instrumental world music and hit-or-miss pop (read: Ferris Booth)? The Virginia native moved to New York (Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, to be specific) in 2004, where he first "got excited by working with food" while working at an Au Bon Pain branch. But chain stores don't offer a whole lot of flexibility. According to Bell, "One thing that really bothered me... was they had this Frank Sinatra thing going on. They had it very carefully orchestrated, so in Hong Kong they had an Au Bon Pain that was also playing Frank Sinatra at 8 AM." 

When he arrived at Columbia in 2007, Bell had the opportunity to indulge his pop sensibility—which began, unsurprisingly, with the Beatles. "My dad had a copy of Yellow Submarine, which has got to be the worst Beatles album, but it had 'Hey Bulldog' on it." From there, Bell's taste has expanded significantly, though when I ask if there's a band he plays more than others, Bell admits, "there're a lot of Beatles on." (As we talk, "Get Back" is playing—part of the "Brit Pop" mix). Spoon has been on heavy rotation lately, and when In Rainbows came out Bell let the whole record play through. "Vampire Weekendand Cat Power's Jukebox came out a few weeks ago and I mixed that together and played that in the morning." Of course, Bell doesn't have total freedom, even if the boundaries are self-imposed. "You can't play Gang of Four; you can't play J.U.S.T.I.C.E. here when people are trying to study and digest." 

The music Bell plays is almost entirely his own. "Because of the way the music is set up here," He says, "I play CDs, so its not like I'm streaming Pandora... I actually mix CDs from stuff that I have, which fortunately at this point is a large amount of music." Aside from living in Brooklyn and frequenting the Siren Festival, Bell used to read Inkblot Magazine to keep abreast of new bands. "I think a couple of those people broke off and went to PitchforkPopMatters is another one." 

When he isn't re-ordering Movie Size Junior Mints (incidentally, these are selling really well) and feeding ravenous undergrads, Bell is in class. Intro to Comp Lit is the second course Bell's taken with Bruce Robbins and he claims to be "enjoying it thoroughly." Though not a matriculating student, Bell hopes to apply in the next year or so. Minus the Dining Services jacket, it seems like he'll fit in pretty well. 

So does Bell's presence signal a new, edgier direction for Columbia Dining at large? It doesn't seem likely. Ferris is still blasting the Grease Soundtrack on a weekly basis. Still, Bell says he'd like to get the Ferris manager's input. "I think he likes metal."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Own Chef Coats

New Chef Coats
Now the uniform is complete. First I ordered Aramark pants, and
now I have my own personalized chef coats. As long as I work in
food, I might as well look the part... and avoid having to spend 
my own money on work clothes.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Passport

Is it prophetic or in some way indicative of something about me that I have received my new US passport for my upcoming trip to Romania the same day the US embassy was attacked and burned by an angry mob in Belgrade? 

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Be Kind, Rewind

So Jessica and I stood out in the cold for about an hour last night to go to the new Deitch exhibit at 18 Wooster (thanks to Snezan for organizing the visit). The exhibit itself is a fantastic low-fi creation of various archetypal scenes and settings that might be used in a movie,  and the idea of the whole project is to initiate audience interaction in actually creating short video movies on site... which was not possible on opening night, as the place was packed with people just trying to figure out what was going on or what was expected. But, if one had the time and was so inclined, all you have to do is sign up for time in the exhibit to go back and make your own movie. Gondry will keep one copy, for who knows what sort of eventual video collage of amateur film or whatever further mutation he might have in mind, and another copy is given to you.

I only hope that the space is used by people with ideas rather than just pretty faces, but of course, if the two could be combined that would be best... it is a visual medium after all.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More Shoe News

More Shoe News
So, I still haven't purchased the Bruno Magli boots, but I did find a 
great deal at DSW on some Natha Boots. The best part, the 
salesclerk did the math wrong, and I ended up getting 80% off the 
original price, plus a $20 coupon that was the reason I was there 
to buy shoes in the first place. $120 shoes for $20... now that
is competitive shopping.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Snezan's Birthday

Snezan's Birthday

A wonderful dinner party at North East Kingdom, located in
Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Janie joined Jessica and I in 
celebrating with Dawn and Snezan, on the occasion of Snezan's
27th birthday.

Or we joined Janie...

I didn't mean to imply that only singles join up with couples
and not the other way around. I could have written it
either way, and I would not have been trying to attach any
specific meaning of partiality by the order of the phrasing,
know what I mean? 

Anyway, moving on...

We ate nice food, drank many drinks, and had a stranger 
passionately accost us when I gave Snezan an old copy of "Finite 
and Infinite Games" by James P. Carse. She held the belief that 
he was the greatest game theorist of our time... I thought it 
was just a cleverly titled book with little to say beyond its first
10 pages, but that Snezan would enjoy it for what it was.

All in all, a lovely night.