Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Chipped a tooth

Sometime between 8AM and 3PM yesterday, I chipped my front tooth. There's no negative space when I smile or anything, the tooth itself maintains its sleek perimeter, but when I run my tongue over it I can feel a declivity with sharp edges on the surface of the enamel.

Dang, it's my GOOD tooth, too!
After I'd gone through all this trouble to pre-cook a week's worth of super-soft food for my lunches: cooked squash, shredded barbecue chicken, cheesy grits. There's so much to do in the office with the graduation ceremony coming up, who has time to chew? And I know I should immediately make an appointment to go see a dentist and get it spackled before something worse happens to it, but watch me--just WATCH me--decide that the old chomper can take one more for the team for now.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

It's the Egg Holiday!

I wonder at what point in recent American history the Easter Bunny became a Santa Claus-like figure, where you sit on his lap at the mall and he hides things on your property in the middle of the night for you to find the next morning. In fact, when did it become THE Easter Bunny instead of AN Easter bunny? When did a rabbit come into play for the resurrection of Jesus?

I don't have to ask where the eggs came from, though. We have eggs at Passover. Jesus was probably eating them at the Last Supper, along with crackers and nasty low-proof wine that tastes like cough syrup.

Whether it's Passover or Easter, though, I love the egg holiday. I love boiled eggs to either eat or decorate. I love that activity where you blow all the liquid out of the egg and decorate the hollow shell while you eat omelets. One year, I blew some eggs and used Elmers Glue to encrust them with glass beads and loose jewels. I hoped we stashed those in a safe place.

Of course I have loose jewels just lying around, I'm Catwoman.
Most of all, though, I love hiding the eggs and finding them again. It was always our tradition to hide and find at least two or three times on Easter Sunday because it's just so much fun! They're bright and cheerful, you get to put them in a pretty basket, and if you break one or lose one in the woods, it's no big deal--you'll just find it several months later and get the joy of squishing some gross rotting thing to see how gross and rotting it is. Few joys in a rural childhood can equal that.
Berry picking is fun, too.
 Even the Daifukuji Soto Mission hosts an annual egg hunt for the children. They usual schedule it for the same day they celebrate Buddha's birthday because everybody loves an egg hunt.
Even Buddhists.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hawaii Writers

Last night, the BF and I went out to our friend Rosa's birthday party in Bedstuy. Two weekends in a row I've been out now! The season really is changing.

I bring this up because a few weeks ago, I took Rosa to a reading of Hawaii writers at the Asian American Writers Workshop. Rosa told me afterward that she normally hates going to readings, because her family works in publishing and she's seen too many readings of pretentious New York writers whining about their waning libidos.

Girls can be eerily accurate sometimes.
I'm flattered to report that Rosa's trust in me was not misplaced. She said it was the best reading she'd ever been to, that the work was interesting and funny and sincere, and that she wants every one of those authors to be her aunties.

Stop, you're embarrassing them!
The woman in front, second from the right, was actually one of my classmates in college. We took a course together called the Sacred and Erotic in Lyric Poetry (yes, conservative fears about education in the liberal arts and humanities are all true!). She's a damn good poet, and has the best name for a poet ever: Christy Passion. She remembered me from back in the day, and we squealed and quoted lines from each others' poems, so a good time was had by all.

Not much else to say, except that the weather is warm enough that I have my windows open and the bonsai out on the fire escape. I guess I had to wait until spring before I could talk about Hawaii writers, otherwise it's just too damn hard to be shivering in Brooklyn while all these wonderful writers are back home in the islands.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hurrah! A Bolt of Light! CD release show

My co-host did the math. He determined that after doing our radio show from June of 2012 to April of 2014, where we've hosted 60+ live local bands and played music from at least another 60, I have gone out exactly once.
It's just so comfy here...
In my defense, I went out A LOT when I first moved to New York and was working on the street team with the Village Voice. And like a little kid overdosing on Pixie Stix and Raven's Revenge one fateful sleepover, for a long time afterward, the thought of having to put pants on and go rub shoulders with sticky yahoos in a noisy bar made me feel a bit pukish.

Also, I've been around a lot of loud things in my life and I get a faint ringing in my ears sometimes.

But I lost THAT job back in 2010, so it really is time to get back on the sticky, noisy yahoo horse and be part of the scene again. Last Saturday, I went out to Rockwood Music Hall to Hurrah! A Bolt of Light!'s CD release show.

Hurrah! were our guests on the Rodent Hour back in Fall 2013, and at the risk of making all our other guests cry, they're my favorite. They have this big, magnificent sound with really catchy, poppy hooks and an underlying darkness to the lyrics that's just a joy to listen to.

And happily for me, they had a special guest percussionist playing with them that night, Seth. Seth is in one of my other favorite bands from our show, the Nightmare River Band. He is possibly the only person on the planet who can make the tamborine badass.

Seth on the left. You might tell from the lack of captions above that I don't remember any of the other guys' names.

What else can I say? The band was great, it was a good crowd, and the venue was super close to a subway station on my line. I went alone, didn't drink, and was home by 11:30.

I'm easing my way back in. Don't rush me.

Hurrah! A Bolt of Light! is selling their self-title album on their bandcamp site. You can listen to the whole thing for free first if you're not sure about spending $7 on a band that will blow your panties off with awesome.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Exciting updates from the Great Unthawing

I got this post title from a group of men the BF and I saw walking down the street. We were going to the grocery store and passed a quartet of Young Men in Brooklyn, with their narrow trousers, fancy socks, and fedoras. We could barely wait until they were out of earshot before we judged them.

"They looked like an indie album cover," I said. "'Hi, we're just going to play one more for you. It's our song Tree Stump, from our album Unthawed.'" 

Readers outside New York should consult this diagram.
But unthawed we are in this fair city! I even have the window open right now. And it's a good thing, too, because I suffered this last winter. I was going through one of my paper journals and came across this gem from the depths of Snognarok:

"JUST FUCKING SNOW ALREADY! You know you want to, you miserably tenacious shitslipper of a season."

It's not for nothing that my coworker told me I have "the illest potty mouth."

Seriously, that was a bitch of a winter right there. I wore my fur coat more times this winter than my previous five winters in New York combined.

Here I am wearing it in the radio station, which has no heat, hence my pissy expression.
That fur coat is real fur--it was ripped from many small dead animals of indeterminate origin, and it feels sinfully good to touch. Also, I look fabulous in it. Though if you'll remember from my night at the opera last year, it also smells overwhelmingly of dead animals when it gets wet. Probably punishment for the animal cruelty.

The story of the coat goes all the way back to the summer of 2008, when I moved to New York from Honolulu. I was still living at 187. My upstairs neighbor Yarrow, who'd hooked me up with my roommates, called me up to the third floor and asked if I wanted her grandmother's fur coat, which was cool but took up too much room in her closet. I looked at the coat and thought, "It's 90 degrees in this apartment. When the hell am I ever going to need that?"

But I took it, cuz fur coat!

Six weeks later, I was sleeping underneath it because I couldn't figure out how to turn on the heat in my new apartment. I kept going to the thermostat and punching the "up" arrow, but nothing ever happened. I called the super and told him the heat was broken, and that's how I learned that some thermostats have an "on" switch that you have to press before the heat will come.

An addendum to that story: another time that winter, I was trying to get the plastic cover off the thermostat to turn the heat up (my roommates and I were in a constant struggle for how hot the apartment should be, because I wanted it to be tropical and they didn't want to pay for tropical). The plastic cover wouldn't come, so I wrapped my stumpy little fingers around the whole thing, and I swear the phrase "RACHEL SMASH!" popped into my head at the exact second that I ripped the thermostat off the wall. I was left holding a plastic box and a bunch of wires, which I crammed into the hole in the drywall I'd just created, thinking, "Maybe no one will notice."

I'd like to say that six winters later, I've gotten better at dealing with the cold. But my sister reminded me that every single year, she tells me to seal my windows, and every year I don't do it.

"I lived in old buildings on the mainland for ten years!" she said. "I know what I'm talking about. And I know I've told you this before."

I heard her husband in the background, "Yeah, you did, you told her last year."

Well, it's spring and I didn't seal my windows last winter. Maybe next year.

Also, I got a new computer last week! My college graduation gift laptop finally gave up the ghost, so I bought a new one with a much bigger screen. "Game of Thrones" is going to be so much more fun to watch now!