Monday, August 30, 2010


Zenobia Taylor (dancer/choreographer), and her husband Spencer Driggers (actor/director)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chilean Miners

I can think of nothing more harrowing than the psychological terror that 33 men trapped in a mine in Chile are currently being subjected to. They are stuck in a collapsed mine 500 meters below ground. Rescue efforts are said to take as long as four months - Christmas - to complete. In spite of which, the men have sent video footage to the surface in which they sing and give thanks for the efforts of the rescuers. This video from an English news broadcast outlines the rescue options.

On a separate note, and not to belittle the deeply felt sentiment of the above...the tie that the newscaster is wearing at the open of the broadcast is a doozy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Frost vs The People

The Frost Bank Tower, in Austin.

I'm one of the few people in Austin I'm aware of who likes The Frost Bank Tower. I know many people hate it. There's no great surprise to me in this. What I've found in two years of living in Austin is that my aesthetic is diametrically opposed to that of the majority of people with whom I come into contact. Which is just one reason why Austin is for now, but it won't be forever.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Heavenly Body Works

The first time I became aware of fashion house Commes Des Garcons was, naturally enough, through David Bowie. Then, there was Mickey Rourke's classic '80s wardrobe in 9 1/2 Weeks, a film that gave inspiration to style watchers and filth lovers alike. In 2010, this is the Commes Des Garcons showroom, tucked away on a side street in the Chelsea Art District, NYC. 

The sign above might also mark it as a plastic surgery office for porn stars.

Monday, August 9, 2010

What I'm Reading: Hitch 22

   Actually, I just finished reading it. I read it mostly for the literary gossip, for Hitchens' high-style, and for the man's remarkable erudition. What I didn't especially read it for was the political backdrop, which it must be said, probably doesn't predispose me towards the book, considering how much of it is about the author's political development.
    Hitchens is worth hearing on most things. Still, I don't sit on the same side of the political fence as he does, and  I was amused that he'd take umbrage to Julian Barnes's snipe that he'd made 'the ritual shuffle to the Right.' What's revealed is that Hitchens tendency to snobbery was always there, that he's the product of an English Public school (read, 'private' in the US) and that the intellectual condescension was always going to unpack itself eventually. Probably he is the most fearsome debater in the public intellectual realm today - though what I noted in reading this is that he uses a familiar tactic, i.e. stating something with such authority that to attempt to repudiate it already marks one as foolish,  regardless of argument. It's a 'tactic' I've often been guilty of employing myself -  to state something so that the act of saying it makes it incontrovertible, at least in the moment.

I Am The Proletariat
    Hitchens describes his mother's social climbing aspirations (without convincing anyone that the leaf really didn't fall very far, etc), and describes a visit to a babysitter's 'council house' (i.e. public house) in Fifeshire. The babysitter is describes as a 'large, ruddy motherly proletarian.' Hers is the kind of home in which the lavatory is referred to as the 'toilet,' and in which dinner is called 'tea.' The dinner itself is described thus, 'a meat and potato fest, rammed home with a mug of sweet brown nectar.' There is much 'hilarity' at the expense of the woman's unsophisticated husband, who on occasion eats from his knife...
      Fifeshire is in the northern British Isles. I too am from the north, and this all reads familiar to me. About which I feel no shame. I still have no compunction about using the word 'toilet.' It's more accurate to me than  the word 'bathroom' - I've been directed to many a 'bathroom,' a room in which I've usually found nothing to bathe in. It's not the 'proles' who lack dignity in this particular tale, nor in the telling of it.

James Fenton and the Postscript.
       The book is dedicated to the poet James Fenton. Along the way, Hitchens credits and thanks Fenton for introducing him to the twin pleasures of cigarettes and booze. A cruel twist of fate then that soon after publication of the book, Hitchens was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus - the same disease that killed Hitchens's own father. One wonders how Fenton feels about that section of the book now...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Made For Walking

Custom cowboy boots, made for James Holmes, chef/owner of Olivia Restaurant

As the boots suggest, Olivia practices Nose-to-tail, Farm-to-table cooking.

And can be found in South Austin.

The boots were made in El Paso. And they weren't cheap.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Rehearsal

Future 'So You Think You Can Dance' contestants, working out the kinks. Wedding, NYC.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Plato says that the unexamined life is not worth living. But what if the examined life turns out to be a clunker too?
                Kurt Vonnegut

No Theatre of Dreams

Manchester United's football ground is known as The Theatre of Dreams. This clearly isn't it - there are cheerleaders on the field, for a start. We'll have none of that razzmatazz in Blighty, thank you.
What it is is Reliant Stadium in Houston, Tx. And, a beautiful stadium it is, too.

This is goal number 3 in Man United's 5-2 win over the MLS All-Stars. Below, the goal as it looked on television.