Monday, August 31, 2009

City With A View

Graffiti has long been a fixture of New York City's street art scene, but in the past few years it has taken on a whole new face. With a growing interest in wheatpasting and stenciling, many bombers are leaving the spray cans behind in favor of more complex media. Walking the streets of the Lower East Side and Chinatown, I often come across work by my favorite street artist Judith Supine. Upon first learning the name associated with these vibrant pieces, I thought to myself, "Yes! Another woman making her mark!" but alas I was wrong, as this pseudonym actually refers to a man. No harm done - his work is so amazing that I'll just have to let that slide. The image above captures his latest piece flying high atop the Williamsburg Bridge. Supine, like many other street artists, must remain anonymous but thankfully the Village Voice has been keeping tabs on his work (view his Manhattan Bridge piece from 2007). Ever wonder how he does it? Check out this video to find out:

Via Wooster Collective

Fighting A Case Of The Mondays

No explanation necessary, just view, enjoy, and let that nasty case of the Mondays slip away...

Via Dlisted

Friday, August 28, 2009

Design Within Reach (No, Really!)

Today I unveil another weekly feature to join the ranks with the Fashion Feature, For The Love of Food, and The Video Vault... tada! Design Within Reach (No, Really!) will explore the world of interior design, but in a way that is affordable, accessible and most importantly fun! I grew up in a meticulously designed home, where everything had its place, and most rooms had definite themes, so interior design has always been of interest to me. When I moved into my very own apartment, I was finally able to experiment with design on a larger scale and I realized, "Hey! I'm pretty good at this!" Creating a space that is functional, comfortable, and stylish is a daunting task, but I hope that when armed with a few tricks and tips you'll be inspired to make the most out of your space. After all, your home is your safe haven, a place where the outside world should just melt away.

The amazing photographs above are courtesy of Nate Berkus Associates, and I have to to tell right now that I am obsessed with everything Berkus. The man is a design genius, and I'm not just saying this because Oprah told me to. His aesthetic meshes almost seamlessly into mine, and he often describes himself as 'obsessed' with elements, whether they're decorative accents or storage solutions - a man after my own heart! So when I found myself up last night at 1am watching him talk about his new line for the Home Shopping Network, I knew that I had to spread the Berkus love. Everything included in his HSN line, from furniture, to sheets, towels and wall decor was designed by the man himself, and features natural materials and the high quality you expect. The prices are extremely reasonable (with 420 thread count sheet sets going for under $50,) and the aesthetic is clean, modern and luxurious. But don't take my word for it, check out the collection for yourself - your apartment will thank me later.

Looking Into The Eye Of The Island

For those of you looking for something to quench your LOST thirst in anticipation of the sixth and final season, here are two little tidbits. First up is this amazing ode to Locke (pictured at left) by designer Olly Moss. Although this edition is already sold out, sixteen top designers and artists have come together to create a series in celebration of the show in editions of 200 or less - so you still have a chance to snag a bit of LOST memorabilia.

Last up is an oldie but a goodie. As a global phenomenon, I've always wondered how the show translates into other languages/cultures. I've definitely figured out one thing: LOST is wayyy scarier in German. See for yourself in this season one promo featuring Evangeline Lilly.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Just Dance!

Since those iPod dance commercials came out, I've often daydreamed about busting a move in a public place. Every so often when walking the streets of NYC, the music in my headphones sparks something within me - a guttural reaction to a beat or a lyric - and I just wanna dance! Thank goodness I now have someone to live vicariously through: the amazing David Fishel. In the past two years, Fishel has traveled the globe and danced in over 50 sites across Europe, and the United States. As a dancer, Fishel has no professional training, but for a dorky Brooklyn dude he's got some impressive moves. Fishel is a filmmaker, and an employee of, so it's easy to see how a project as uplifting as this could take off. His videos are goofy, fun, set to great music, and showcase the beauty of many historic sites like the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, and the Golden Gate Bridge. I'd take one of Davey's videos over a postcard any day.

Via FlavorWire

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Smells Like Teen Spirit

1. Dos Gardenias Shorts, $40;, 2. Floral 1460 by Dr. Martens, $128;, 3. Gloria's Garden Rug, $348-498;, 4. William Morris Daisy Print Garden Tools, $32;

Until my senior year of college, I was anything but girly. Yes, I had discovered that I could indeed be sexy, but I hadn't explored the power of my femininity. I didn't feel comfortable in pink, ruffles, or heels, and my color of choice was black. I was never a Goth, although often accused of being one, but rather a Punk Rocker with a heart of gold. When I look back on it now, I realize that although I still love the music, the fashion was more of a protective shield than anything else. Yes, I had fun pretending I was Kathleen Hanna, but eventually I shed that rough exterior in favor of more delicate ensembles. Queue my summer obsession with floral prints in every form - I just can't get enough. Add some color to an otherwise bland room with Gloria's Garden Rug, or garden with colorful accessories to brighten your mood. When it comes to the clothing, I feel like I just discovered Angela Chase all over again. I just can't help but love her, and her crazy 90s Grunge style. After all, wasn't Grunge just Punk Rock's depressed, younger cousin?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Final Frontier

Many films often gouge their way into the future, revealing a world in which chaos and destruction reign king. As a genre, science fiction films are more susceptible to this technique, and for good reason: the future is unknown, their dark depths threaten us, and send our imaginations into overdrive. We've seen films like Blade Runner, and read novels like 1984. The genre even extends to television programs like Star Trek and most recently LOST, and we never grow tired of the mystery and adventure that so often make up their plots. With the release of Neill Blomkamp's critically acclaimed District 9, science fiction is once again in the spotlight. Having seen the film last week, I now know why Peter Jackson wanted it released on a global scale. The film is both poignant and violent, full of emotion and brimming with jaw-dropping special effects. This really is the must-see blockbuster of the summer, for Sci-Fi geeks and the rest of the lot.

For those of you who would like to skip the ticket lines, and the incessant ramblings of the Trekkie behind you, there's the classic 1985 Terry Gilliam flick Brazil. As a member of Monty Python, you'd expect Gilliam to pump audiences full of laughter, but as a director Gilliam does so much more. Brazil's lavish set design and costumes reflect Gilliam's past, but the subject matter here is pure apocalyptic Sci-Fi madness. Jonathan Pryce stars as Sam Lowry, a young man living in a dystopian world where humans rely on poorly maintained machines, and the government is an Orwellian wet dream. Brazil is a gem that is often overlooked, and it stands the test of time as a true Sci-Fi treasure. Take a peek at the trailer below:

Monday, August 24, 2009

For The Love of Food

With all the salads I've been consuming this summer, I had a hankering for some pizza (carbs!) last night. I've been tightening my belt lately, both metaphorically and physically, so I decided to forgo a decadent pie from Lombardi's in favor of a homemade version. I've never made pizza before, so this was an experiment in patience and control - rolling out dough?! how many toppings is too much?! So many questions. Instead of following a recipe, I decided to heed my friend's advice, and create something from the heart. I'm a chronic recipe follower, so this was a little daunting at first, but once I got to the grocery store I found some choice ingredients. The key ingredient of the pizza was the inclusion of plump organic mushrooms, both baby portabella and shiitake. Once I had mushrooms in hand, I built the rest of the pie around them, and was back home at the chopping board in no time. My Baby Portabella, Shiitake Mushroom Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella and Asiago Cheese was on its way! I was amazed at how easily the whole process went, and the final product was cheesy, and crispy - with a hint of earthiness from the mushrooms. Mission accomplished!

1 ball of whole wheat pizza dough
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
5 baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
5 shitaake mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
5 tablespoons pizza sauce
1 medium ball fresh mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Position one rack at top of oven. Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface, starting in the middle of the ball and extending outwards. Dough should be rolled out to your desired thickness (the thinner the dough, the crunchier). Brush rolled out dough with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and transfer onto floured baking pan for cooking. Add desired amount of pizza sauce (5 tablespoons makes a less saucy, crispier pie). Let stand at room temperature while preparing the vegetables.

Mix 3 remaining tablespoons of olive oil with chopped garlic, then toss with mushrooms. Slice the fresh mozzarella into rounds, and place cheese on pizza dough. Arrange your vegetables as desired, as a final touch add asiago cheese as final layer of pizza. Place pizza in oven and let cook until cheese is melted and bubbly, and crust is golden (approx 15-20 minutes).

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Video Vault: Fim Do Verão

The sultry sounds of Brazil always have a relaxing effect on me. Whether I'm dredging through the snow on a bitter winter day, or soaking in the sun, I can always count on some Brazilian flavor to put a swing in my step, and a smile on my face. With summer slowly coming to a close, I've found myself drawn to this slightly schizophrenic music. Upbeat melodies accompanied by an undeniable sadness... isn't that the most satisfying and haunting of combinations? Case in point Brazil's sweet songstress Nara Leão. Leão's father gave her a guitar at age 12 in hopes of vanquishing her shyness, and soon she was being taught by popular musician and composer Patricio Teixeira, and classical guitarist Solon Ayala. As a teenager she met many of the key players of the burgeoning Bossa Nova musical revolution, and that promptly sealed her fate as "the muse of Bossa Nova".

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Don't Get It Twisted Honeycone!

If there was any doubt that HBO's True Blood has a cult following, that doubt's been staked! Check out Andy Swist's amazing paper dolls for the TB fan in your life - just print them out and start reenacting all your favorite scenes from the show, and the Charlaine Harris novels. Take a queue from the hilarious video below courtesy of Andy's blog:

Via Dlisted

Can You Dig It?

With last weekend's 40th Anniversary of Woodstock, and the release of the new Ang Lee flick Taking Woodstock on August 28th, I've had hippies on the brain. It's strange to think that after all this time Woodstock remains one of the most iconic moments of the past 50 years - whether you were there or not, the music, the images and the memory of Woodstock still touch everyone. The legendary Richie Havens was the first performer to take the stage, and he took on that challenge wholeheartedly. Many of the musicians that were set to perform before him were delayed by traffic, so Havens performed ahead of schedule, and continued to woo the crowd three hours into his set. Encore after encore Havens continued to play, encouraged by Woodstock organizers, and the crowd. Eventually Havens ran out of songs to play, so he improvised a tune based on the old spiritual 'Motherless Child'. The song eventually became 'Freedom', one of the most haunting and anthemic songs of that generation:

It's safe to say that my generation has yet to experience a unified movement of Woodstock's magnitude, but this past year we got pretty close. Here's hoping we'll be inspired enough by the past, to look bravely and optimistically into the future.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

She's Got The World On A String

There's something undeniably intoxicating about Dita Von Teese. It's partly due to her immaculate style, and her coy demeanor, but what makes her so jaw dropping is her incredible magnetism. She oozes sensuality even when outfitted in a demure 1940s ensemble, and that's something that comes from deep within. Only a woman with unwavering confidence can exude that kind of sex appeal, and I think that's why I am so enamored by her. She struts her stuff, and let's it all hang out there with such ease - don't we all wish we had the chutzpah to do that!? Dita has said in the past that 'sexy' emerges when you don't try too hard, and she really does have a point. It's always the confident, headstrong women that emit the most charisma, because they're truly comfortable with themselves, both inside and out. So let's take Dita's lead, and let our erotic creatures out to play! Below find an introduction to Dita's world, as well as a promotional video for her 2nd Wonderbra collection, Party Edition by Dita, hitting Europe this September.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Little Wonder

I've loved terrariums since I was a child, and decided to put one together when my succulents were massacred by Mr. Littlejeans. Terrariums are easy to take care of, protected from my felines, and most importantly add a much needed pop of color and life to my apartment. Bringing the outside in is natural to us now, with indoor plants and fresh cut flowers populating the corners of our small living spaces, but when did this practice begin?

The history of terrariums goes back to the early 1800s. Discovered by accident in 1827, by London physician Dr. Nathaniel Ward, they have remained a popular option for urban dwellers. While experimenting with cocoons in covered jars, Dr. Ward also discovered tiny plants growing in the soil. Unlike many plants in his backyard that died from the polluted London air, these covered plants actually thrived. Dr.Ward then began experimenting successfully with enclosed containers for ferns, and as their popularity grew they were dubbed Wardian cases, the first terrariums.

Putting together one of these little wonders is really easy: all you need is a solid container, multiple layers of soil and drainage stones, and some flora. I found everything I needed, including various species of moss and ferns, through the fantastic DIY website Etsy. This is a great project that doesn't require much work, and doesn't break the bank - all you need is a dash of landscaping creativity to set the scene.

Hand crafted ceramic terrarium accessories (pictured above, ceramic mushroom and flowers) and vintage glass mushroom from Michael McDowell. Moss kits available from Teresa's Etsy shop.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hot Fun In the Summertime

New Yorkers have been seeking refuge from the stifling summer heat for decades, and for those who can afford it, the Hamptons continues to be an ideal destination. Before I moved to New York City, I had heard that elite phrase on occasion, like a mysterious whisper. I pieced together a few facts: the Hamptons was a high society playground in the summer, and a solitary nest during the wind swept winter months. I conjured up images of Big & Little Edie, along with Upper East Siders with palatial properties. The plot thickened when I watched Woody Allen's 1978 film Interiors, and saw the Hamptons captured on film, with its sandy dunes and fragile wooden fences. When I finally made my way to the Hamptons for the first time last year, I was less than impressed by the towns themselves - why would New Yorkers come all this way for Saks and Citarella? I judged, and I judged hard. The quaint paradise that Allen had captured in the late 70s was overun with the pretentious descent of designer labels and wealth. Had the relaxed escapism of its past been lost forever?

This weekend I was lucky enough to get a second chance. What I realized as I dipped my toes in the ocean, is that any place as beautiful as the Hamptons can be redeemed by the company of good people. When you breathe in the fresh air and feel the breeze swirl around you, any preconceived notions you may have had fall to the wayside. The Hamptons may be about social standing and power to some, but to me it was the summer escape I craved - sand, sun and a whole lot of laughter.

The Perks of Being Unemployed

Some days I miss the warm drone of office banter, and the comradery that often forms after working in the trenches. But then videos like this remind me to thank the heavens above that I'm no longer part of the corporate machine. Even this exaggerated portrayal of corporate America is enough to make me shudder... and laugh. Leave it to those Lonely Island boys to brighten up my day:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dirty Business

Two things that must be stated before you view this video. First, this is my first attempt at putting together a viral animal clip, so be kind. It was slapped together with the help of my shoddy cell phone camera and iMovie, so once I get my hands on a real camcorder things should improve. Second, this is not cat porn so it is SFW... although the poor quality and soundtrack may hint otherwise. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

For The Love of Food

Silverware is overrated. Who doesn't enjoy the freedom and fun of diving hands first into an incredible dish? So wash up and get ready, because I've compiled a list of my favorite New York City spots to eat with your hands. It may sound barbarous, but in a city where the knife and fork have reigned supreme, its nice to know that low brow street food has made its way into the culinary hearts of New Yorkers.

First up is NYC's hottest ramen spot, Ippudo. Even Frank Bruni has boarded the ramen train, and he was thoroughly impressed by Ippudo's bravado. I discovered this portal to Japan through Mika the Nail Diva, and although it boasts increasingly long waits due to its popularity, the wait is always worth it. Once inside you must try their deconstructed steamed buns which come with either chicken, pork or shrimp - light, fluffy and delicious. Ippudo, 65 4th Avenue, between 9th & 10th.

Mexican food isn't exactly the lightest fare, but the tacos at Mercadito are incredibly fresh and flavorful. I was never that enamored by tacos, but that changed after I took my first bite at Mercadito's. Their pescado tacos pop with the addition of homemade tomatillo salsa, and their mole tacos are heavenly. Mercadito, 179 Avenue B, between 11th & 12th.

An open-faced sandwich never sounds all that enticing until you see what Cafe Gitane has hiding up their sleeve. The cozy French-Moroccan cafe serves hands down the best summer sandwich I've had in the city. Their Pains Garnis, or sandwiches to you Americans, are all fantastic but the real gem is their smoked chicken on cranberry-nut bread with mango, arugula and mayonnaise. Cafe Gitane, 242 Mott St, between Prince & Houston.

My love affair with oysters began last year and it's still going strong... okay, I'm obsessed. The second anyone mentions oysters I become a raving lunatic. So having an authentic seafood oasis around the corner from me is both a blessing and a curse. The Mermaid Inn is always stocked with amazing oysters from both the East and West coasts, so when a craving strikes I know where to get my fix. The Mermaid Inn, 96 2nd Avenue, between 5th & 6th.

Last up is my favorite cafe in the city. It's spacious, comfortable, and packed exclusively with Italians. Everything about Epistrophy Cafe is authentic, from the wait staff to their unbelievable cappuccinos, and rustic food. I often spend hours there with my laptop, grateful for their free WiFi, and crispy paninis. A real Italian experience isn't complete without an amazing meat and cheese platter, and Epistrophy's Tagliere di Terra truly offers a taste of Italy. Epistrophy Cafe, 200 Mott St, between Spring & Kenmare.

Photograph by Maya from Itinerant Foodies

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The King

My first serious crush was on a gentleman named Elvis Aaron Presley. Everything about him screamed out to me: his music, his style, his moves, and most of all, that hair. There's something about a well executed pompadour that makes me wish I could go back in time - if only to witness a world in which men actually cared about their locks. In celebration of Elvis Week (August 8 – 16) and in honor of my everlasting love for The King, here's a video of a 1956 rendition of "Blue Suede Shoes". Throughout his career Elvis carried himself with unmatched charisma and charm, and a sense of humor that could never be crushed. In every performance (even this staged one) you can tell that he lived and breathed music, and loved the spectacle of it all - his chuckle and knowing smile say it all.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Animal Within

1. Betsey Johnson 'Carlos' Bootie, $200;, 2. M·A·C 'Style Warrior' Lipglass in Liberated, $14;, 3. Leopard Risky Business Sunglasses, $14;, 4. Bernie Dexter Rebel Knit Pullover Top, $85;

A little leopard can go a long way. Whether you're offsetting a delicious LBD, or unleashing your inner sex kitten, animal print is a frisky way to up your ante. I've long been a lover of these ferocious prints, but there's a fine line to be walked when it comes to a pattern as bold as this. One toe over the line, and you end up looking like Linda Richman from Coffee Talk - that's a look we'll be reserving for retirement thank you very much. So keep it minimal: if you're rocking Bernie Dexter's Pullover, then make sure to pair it with black high waisted capris for a 1960s bad girrrl vibe. Be bold, be brazen and have fun! You'll be sure to find purrrfection.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Just Like The First Time

Almost every weekend I make the trek over to Brooklyn for some celebratory antics, and later find myself in a late night crossing of the Williamsburg Bridge. It is without fail that on these crossings, with the wind in my hair and the sound of the cab roaring, I look out at the New York City skyline and am filled with love. Love for the city, love for the people, love for everything that New York City has come to mean to me over the past three years. I never know if it's the power of that famous skyline, or the warmth of a few beers in my belly, but without fail something is triggered within me and all I can think is "I love New York!" That's why I can't wait to see yet another homage to this great city, from the producer of Paris, je t'aime. New York, I Love You which will be released in October, takes on the same collective structure of short films intertwined to tell the story of the city, and the many love stories found within it. The trailer is pretty enticing... and if you think I'm a sap, a sucker, or a blubbering fool you can blame it all on the power of the Big Apple.

New York I Love You Trailer - Watch more Movie Trailers

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sweet Tooth

One distinct difference between American culture, and Japanese culture, is their meticulous attention to detail in every aspect of life. From their traditional and extensive tea ceremonies, to their obsession with fashion, not one detail is overlooked. A friend of mine recently said I was born in the wrong country, that I was meant to be born in Japan - I think that was her kind way of telling me that I have OCD tendencies when it comes to certain things. One of those things being my attention to accessories, both those firmly affixed on my person (I consider hair and nails important accessories,) or those carried on my person. And what do people always carry with them? Their cell phones of course! A couple months ago when I purchased a new phone, I was ecstatic to find that I finally possessed a phone with accessory capabilities. I promptly went to my local Japanese boutique (in this case Soho's Kiteya,) and stocked up on danglies and doodads. The sweets pictured above are just a taste of the myriad of options available to those who want to sweeten their load. Whether you're adding some much needed funk to a calculator, or some ice cream to your PDA, you really can't go wrong. This trend, like many other Japanese trends, hasn't exactly crossed over to North America yet but that hasn't stopped me from dressing up my phone, and envisioning the streets of Tokyo. Super kawaii!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Breaking The Habit

I'll be the first to admit that when I get into a show I'll consume it 'til the last drop. I drank down the first season of Dexter in two days, and months later gorged on the first four seasons of LOST, but I'd like to think that my addiction never superceded other elements of my life. In this hilarious sketch by Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen, and fiancée Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) we see what could happen if I really went off the deep end.

[FunnyOrDie via Jezebel]

The Video Vault: LIVE

Blonde Redhead is on my list of "Favorite Bands Of All Time" along with, of course, Fugazi, The Smiths, and Les Savy Fav. What I love so much about Blonde Redhead is their constant sound evolution. I was first introduced to their music at age 15, when a dear friend from New York sent me a mix tape... that mix tape would become my music bible. It was chock full of melodies and orchestral magic - Morrissey, Built to Spill, Enon, Blonde Redhead, and much much more. It was with this introduction, and my consequent purchase of Blonde Redhead's 1995 album La Mia Vita Violenta that I fell in love with the Italian twins, and their Japanese songstress. Flash-forward to 2008: I realize one morning as I leave my apartment, and turn on my iPod to that very album, that 2/3 of the band is standing right in front of me. Such a small world it is, most notably when you're idols end up living next door. Below find a performance of one of my favorite songs, "In Particular" from the album Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons (2000).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back In The Day

When you're a celebrity, whether you're an actor or a senator, your past becomes an open book. Unlike us common folk who can easily hide that devastating senior photo, or that late night karaoke explosion, for celebrities their past is often documented and broadcast for all to see. Case in point these 90s era commercials starring Jeremy Davies (Saving Private Ryan, LOST), Seth Green (Austin Powers, Family Guy), and Paul Rudd (Clueless, Knocked Up). These dudes are hawking Subaru, Nerf and Super Nintendo - how totally 90s of them! There's a real sense of enthusiasm from these young actors, and considering the amount of success they've had since these ads first aired I'd say that enthusiasm paid off.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pressed For Success

This summer I've somehow found myself consistently surrounded by flowers. Whether I'm roaming the streets in a floral print dress, ruminating about my fire escape garden (more on that later), or buying a bouquet at the corner deli - I just can't escape them! And I'm not complaining. For the past few years, my mother has told me that I should always have a bouquet of fresh flowers in my apartment, but it's just so sad when they shrivel up and wilt. I admit, there's nothing like fresh flowers to brighten up a space, and any woman who says she doesn't like getting flowers is lying. So what better way to keep 'em fresh than to seal them in CalGel on your very own nails? That's right, those are real dried flowers you see above courtesy of Mika at Valley... now if only I could figure out how to get those darn squirrels out of my flower box.

Nail photograph by Christophe Tedjasukmana.

For The Love of Food

There's nothing like watermelon on a hot sticky day. Today is one of those days, so in anticipation of the heat I whipped up this Chopped Veggie Salad with Watermelon and Feta Cheese last night. Honestly, it is one of the easiest and tastiest summer salads I've ever had - and it'll impress the pants off of anyone (not like I've tried). Although it's popular for breakfast in Israel, it can be eaten at any time of day, and it also works really well as a BBQ side dish. I adapted this recipe from one I found featured in Bon Appétit last summer, but nixed their yogurt dressing in favor of simply delicious olive oil. This sweet and savory combination hits the spot every time...

1 large tomato
1 cup seeded watermelon, cut into cubes
1 large red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into cubes
1/2 large seedless cucumber, cut into cubes
1 cup cubed feta cheese
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a smile.

Note: This salad gets pretty juicy as the salt works its magic on the veggies, so drain it on occasion to keep the salad as crunchy as possible. Say no to soggy veggies.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Har Maru Superstar

You are staring into the eyes of Maru, one of Japan's biggest internet stars! Maru's Blog is frequented by people all over the world, itching to see this Scottish Fold ragamuffin in action. Like most adorable felines he loves boxes, sneak attacks and seaweed. But somehow the fact that all of his antics take place in a pristine Japanese apartment, make his endeavors even more endearing. His owner peppers the site with pictures, videos and hilarious recaps of all of Maru's adventures. It was recently announced that Maru will have his very own book, available in Japan in September. Although international sales are pending, I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of this fellow over the next few months. I mean, come on, how can you resist that face?! Below view some classic Maru skills:

American Sweetheart

As a lover of film, I often watch in amazement as an actor embodies their character wholeheartedly. When this happens, it's almost as if I forget I'm watching a film - the actor disappears and all that is left is a parallel world, untouchable, but real if only for a few hours. These actors transform themselves both physically and emotionally, hoping to convince us that they have become someone else. Roles that immediately come to mind are Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf, Heath Ledger as the Joker, and Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman. Although Bale didn't have to starve himself for the role of Bateman (unlike his recent role preparations) he still managed to bring Bret Easton Ellis' character to life for the screen adaptation of American Psycho. Ellis is one of my favorite authors, and although the film deviates slightly from the book, most people agree that it succeeds in capturing all of the novel's horror.

The art of acting is a fierce creature, always evolving. The next logical step is actors who recontextualize silver screen characters, along with those who played them. Queue up-and-coming thespian Miles Fisher. Fisher takes on Bale's Bateman with the kind enthusiasm and accuracy usually reserved for theater. Check out his interpretation of American Psycho, set to a cover of my favorite Talking Heads track. (Note: The video includes simulated nudity, and other Bateman weirdness so it's probably NSFW).