Sometimes you take an accidental, two week break from blogging (I’m blaming the stomach virus from Hell, an unplanned four-day weekend, and advanced procrastination techniques), and then when you come back you can only do it by easing your way in with an adorable animal video.
Happy Wednesday, planet Earth. I’m ready to watch ALL of the adorable animals videos. Whatchu got?
I have a few things to do in the city this weekend so the kitchen won’t get my attention for a few days. The past couple of weeks have felt almost unbearably long and hectic. To cap thing off, I spent all day Thursday thinking it was Friday, so today felt like going to work on the weekend. I’m sure it’s Friday for real now, though, and it’s past 5:00pm, so…I’M FREE! I’M FREEEEEEEEE!!! I want to make the next couple of days as productive as possible since it’s been ages since I’ve been at the apartment during daytime hours. Time for a list!
Vacuum, including entry stairs
✚ Cut anti-slip pad for new kitchen rug
Drop off laundry
Bring winter coat to cleaners
Scrub bathroom to death
Put new locks on the windows
Remove air conditioner from window
Vet appointment for Fritz & Bruno
JOHNNY MARR CONCERT AT WEBSTER HALL WOOHOO
✚ Paint the stairs (c’mon, Dorfman, you can do this…)
Dye hair + trim bangs
✚ Write a billion emails
Learn how to properly set the thermostat, then set it properly
✚ Make a big pot of chili (it’s that time of year again)
Belated birthday lunch with Laura
Totally doable, provided I start tonight with the cleaning. I’ve been really lazy about thoroughly cleaning the apartment lately, and it’s starting to weigh on me. I’m not as fastidious about cleaning as my reputation among my friends and family would have you believe, but I do like to be in relatively clean surroundings. Right now there are dustbunnies the size of grapefruits (and no, I’m not talking about Bruno) clustered in every corner, and I can write my name with my finger on any piece of glass in the apartment. Time for a real scrub-down!
Starting a pot of coffee and putting on The Messenger now!
p.s. Yes, those cashmere skull gloves are just as soft and warm as they look. Skull Cashmere very kindly sent me a pair after seeing their blanket in my skull-love post, and I have been waiting for months to wear them. Now I never want to take them off…
On March 25, 1983, Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever was recorded live for a TV broadcast two months later. That broadcast would mark the moment that we all saw Michael Jackson moonwalk for the first time. I was 7 years old at the time, and it was a huge, HUGE deal. There wasn’t a lot of television happening in my house back then so I didn’t see it until a few days later at a friend’s house, but the next day back at school? EVERYONE was talking about it. Everyone. I even remember my teacher saying something. In retrospect, this wasn’t Michael’s best moonwalk*, but it was such a cry of independence and a display of pure magic that it’s impossible to ignore its significance.
*In my opinion, Michael’s best moonwalk happened at the MTV awards in 1995 during this sequence. Whoa. Shivers!
I knew I had done my best and felt good, so good. But at the same time I felt disappointed in myself. I had planned to do one really long spin and to stop on my toes, suspended for a moment, but I didn’t stay on my toes as long as I wanted. I did the spin and I landed on one toe. I wanted to just stay there, just freeze there, but it didn’t work quite as I’d planned.
When I got backstage, the people back there were congratulating me. I was still disappointed about the spin. I had been concentrating so hard and I’m such a perfectionist. At the same time I knew this was one of the happiest moments of my life. I knew that for the first time my brothers had really gotten a chance to watch me and see what I was doing, how I was evolving. After the performance, each of them hugged and kissed me backstage. They had never done that before, and I felt happy for all of us. It was so wonderful when they kissed me like that. I loved it! I mean, we hug all the time. My whole family embraces a lot, except for my father. He’s the only one who doesn’t.
The day after the Motown 25 show, Fred Astaire called me on the telephone. He said – these are his exact words – “You’re a hell of a mover. Man, you really put them on their asses last night.” That’s what Fred Astaire said to me. I thanked him. Then he said, “You’re an angry dancer. I’m the same way. I used to do the same thing with my cane.”
I had met him once or twice in the past, but this was the first time he had ever called me. He went on to say, “I watched the special last night; I taped it and I watched it again this morning. You’re a hell of a mover.”
It was the greatest compliment I had ever received in my life, and the only one I had ever wanted to believe.
✚ Excerpted from Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk, 1988
I’m sorry, I know this is kind of a pointless post, but it’s 1AM and I’m awake because I cough every time I lie down and I can’t help myself. Jen just sent me this video, and it’s the funniest thing I’ve seen in ages. Yes, you need to watch it with the sound on.
I already thought Fritz might be at least 1/2 goat, but now I’m thinking he’s about 85% goat, 15% Martian. That whole “Chihuahua” thing is just a cover.
I’m a big fan of symmetry when it comes to designing book covers and taking pictures. If we’ve ever watched a Kubrick movie together, you know it’s not unusual for me to pause the action mid-scene (no matter how dramatic a moment, sorry!) just so I can freak out about the awesome (yet imperfect) symmetry. Kubrick was the master of one-point perspective, and when combined with that slightly-off, not-quite-right imbalanced symmetry he loved so much (think of the Grady twins in The Shining—almost the same, but not quite), you have a forward-moving, focused TENSION that just won’t quit. I love it.
This video compiles some of Kubrick’s best one-point perspective shots into just under two minutes. Fun to watch…
✚ via Quarrygirl
I have posts coming, I promise! My schedule has been jam-packed for the past week and a half, but I’ll be back soon. I’m tired of seeing my face at the top of the blog, though, so here’s something else—one of the best songs ever by one of the best bands ever with one of the most happymaking videos ever to accompany it. How can you watch this and not smile?
By the way, thank you so much for all of the thoughtful questions on my Go Ask Anna post. I had a lot of fun answering them, and I’ll definitely work on expanding some of the trickier (and broader-interest!) ones into full blog posts soon.
See you very soon!
(I edited in the also-awesome live version from Stop Making Sense just to have an excuse to listen to it again…)
I grew up in a very small town with an incredible independent movie theater, and as a result I went to see a lot of cool stuff back then that I probably wouldn’t have heard of otherwise. There wasn’t a whole lot for a teenager to do in Rhinebeck other than walk to Upstate Films to see whatever was playing, and thankfully they never checked me or my friends for proof of age. In the summer of 1990 they were showing Wild At Heart, and I went to see it without knowing anything about it other than that it was directed by the guy responsible for Twin Peaks, the new TV show I’d been slowly growing obsessed with over the previous few months.
I loved Wild At Heart, and it got me curious about other movies David Lynch had made. I remember renting Blue Velvet with my friend Paul and just being totally entranced. It immediately became one of my favorite movies, and 22 years later, it still is. I’ve seen it so many times, and it never gets old. Like every David Lynch movie, the casting is absolutely perfect. This was my first real exposure to Isabella Rossellini outside of the context of being cover model (yes, she was in Wild At Heart, but her role in that film is very different and far less direct/personal—the affectations and appearance of the character are more compelling than the actor, if that makes sense), and her performance had an enormous effect on me. She has remained a constant source of inspiration in my life, and it all stems from the way that she portrayed Dorothy Vallens.
About ten years ago, I finally got to see Blue Velvet on a big screen. BAM did a special showing, and Isabella Rossellini was there to watch with us and to answer questions from the audience after. That was a wonderful experience.
Anyway, there is actually a point to this post! From Dangerous Minds:
Blue Velvet’s original shooting script is reputed to have been over four hours long. The theatrical release came in at 120 minutes. An additional hour of deleted footage was thought to have been lost when the producer of the film, Dino De Laurentis, sold his company. Fortunately, the footage was located and was released as an extra on the Blu-ray edition of Blue Velvet.
Nearly a full hour (!!!) of unreleased footage from Blue Velvet—an amazing thing to think about, right? It’s out of context and sequence (and without a full score), of course, and I’m hoping that another Lynch-obsessed person out there will take the time to do a fan edit of the movie with the deleted scenes replaced. In the mean time, it’s very, very cool to add an extra layer of fascination to a movie I’ve loved for so long and seen so many times. The dimension this footage adds to the character of Jeffrey Beaumont in particular is kind of mind-blowing. I almost feel like I didn’t really know who he was until now! I’ll leave my reactions beyond that out of this post, but if you’d like to discuss it further in the comments, I’m game.
(This probably goes without saying if you’ve seen Blue Velvet, but some parts of this video may be NSFW—depending on where you work, of course.)
I have some real posts lined up (including some pictures of the apartment—finally!), but right now I just want to take a quick ART BREAK. Here’s a brief history of John Baldessari crammed into six minutes…and narrated by Tom Waits. PERFECT. Two of my most favorite guys. I love this.
Commissioned by LACMA for their first annual “Art + Film Gala” honoring John Baldessari and Clint Eastwood.