27 April 2009

Profile of a pocket rocket

Asked which tattoo is his favorite, [Nate Robinson] hesitates. Then, pointing to a leg, he says, “Well, I like this one down here. It’s brand-new.”

It is a large cross with the words GAME TIME below.

“That’s not ‘game time,’ ” Robinson corrects. “It’s G.A.M.E. Time … God Asks for Me Every Time.”

Nate Robinson Blasts Off

26 April 2009

R gets old

After K and S' wedding shindig, I head over the the Empire Hotel to celebrate R's birthday. He's doing it up in style with bottle service and a whole crew of friends. The line to the hotel rooftop bar is ridiculous, and I'm so tired I almost head home. D slips the bouncer a twenty, and we bypass the line.

With G and M on the rooftop.

Wedding at St Barts

After returning from Connecticut to cheer T on in her competition, I head home to change clothes and head out again to K and S' wedding at St. Bart's Church. The service and reception were beautifully done.

This is M and me at the reception, which began with drinks and nibbles on the outside patio of St Barts. We later went inside the reception hall for dinner and dancing.

25 April 2009

20 April 2009

Happy birthday, M!

M celebrates his 34th with a family brunch at X Restaurant and Bully Boy Bar. It was lovely to spend time with M and his family.

Brunch was amazing. I'm now a huge fan of Peter Xaviar Kelly, Iron Chef winner. I look forward to visiting his other restaurants.

M's birthday creme brulee.

13 April 2009

Will the Real Slim Shady please stand up?

Forget about Bernie Madoff for a minute. Let's talk about Marc Dreier. His story is the stuff movies are made about. I can't believe it's not getting as much press as Madoff.


Dreier’s motives were at once shallow and profound. Even by New York standards, he was wildly ambitious. It wasn’t enough for him to be a successful lawyer; he had to be the most successful lawyer in town, and he needed everyone else to know about it. You could see his obsession reflected in the $10 million Beacon Court condominium, the fully staffed $18 million 123-foot yacht, the $40 million in Warhols and Lichtensteins and other artworks, the Aston Martin, BMW, and two Mercedes, the two Hamptons homes, the Anguilla property, the Park Avenue headquarters with his name emblazoned on the side, the star-studded charity golf tournament, the girls. When he’d couldn’t come by all of that honestly, it seems, he found another way. The whole operation was audacious to the point of sheer recklessness—from the start, he was just one due-diligence phone call from being found out—yet the very boldness of his plan was central to its success. Who would believe that such a respected and apparently successful attorney would knowingly peddle hundreds of millions of dollars worth of nothing?


After law school, Dreier went to work as a white-collar defense litigator at the New York firm Rosenman & Colin. “He was one of the shining stars,” says Donald Citak, a former colleague. “He was ambitious, bright, and full of energy—hyper but personable.” Dreier pitched on the company softball team and was always up for drinks, often at the Beach Café at 70th Street and Second Avenue, a few blocks from his bachelor apartment on York Avenue. But even Dreier’s friends didn’t fully trust him. “He never put other people’s interests first,” one friend says, “and he’d make no bones about it. Part of him wanted to have friends, but all of him wanted to be admired.”


12 April 2009

Blake Lewis beatboxes Bon Jovi

I have a man crush on this guy because he can beatbox AND dance. Double threat!

Er, buy low, sell high?


You have to love the way mergers and acquisitions work. The Skype founders sold Skype to eBay for $3.1 billion and investment bankers collected millions in fees. Now the founders are hoping to buy the company back for far less money and investment bankers will collect millions more in fees. Meanwhile, eBay shareholders have been taken to the cleaners and no value was created.

10 April 2009

So true

A friend recently wrote an extremely insightful piece about being ok to be mediocre or to fail. It spoke to me because I often put so much internal pressure for me to meet my own standards at everything I do, that I end up over analyzing or over stressing myself out to the point where I am paralyzed by fear of failure and can't make a decision. It's one of the reasons I no longer play the violin, it's one of the reasons I don't play team sports, and it's been one of the central reasons why I haven't been aggressive about looking for work. It's good to be reminded that failure can sometimes be a victory. It's ok to be mediocre, it's ok to fail, because it gives room for improvement. I thought I'd share his words with you:

Instead of writing about massage this month, I thought I'd tell you about my student teaching I've been doing this spring. After 6 intense but successful weeks at a performing arts high school, I've spent the past couple of weeks at an elementary school. I don't mind telling you those kids have been kicking my butt! While it's true that I get along with the youngin's very well as individuals or in pairs, I seem to be less successful when there are 25 of them in a classroom. I was kind of caught off guard by this fact. After all, back in the day I used to counsel camp without any trouble, so how different could it be?

Let me tell you, it's different. First of all, camp has a completely different discipline code from school. At camp, a bit of hyper-activity is accepted. From my memories, it was even encouraged. It's part of camp culture, and the good news is it only takes about 2 minutes to realize that this doesn't translate so well to the school environment. The bad news is, by then it's too late. It takes a far subtler skill than I currently possess to regain control of a roomful of kids who think your exasperated efforts are a funny game. (The teacher I work with can do this as if he has a magic wand- I have no idea how!)

The second difference is, when I was 18 years old, I was often still able to work under the assumption that I could do anything; if no one got seriously maimed, I must have done a good job. I didn't get trapped by my own self-awareness, and in return I did things more naturally, learning new skills without stress or burnout.

Eighteen was about the age my self-awareness started catching up to me. Through most of my 20's, with everything I did, every new skill I learned, I tried too hard, thought too much. At first I got a lot of praise for this, but eventually I started to run into brick walls. Tension started catching up with me, and I began getting worse at all the things I wanted to get better at. About the time I started massage, I began to figure out the error of my ways. As I learned that new skill, I also started learning how not try too hard, how to give myself space to be mediocre or downright bad at something, then calmly and slowly figure out how to make it better. Then I could usually find the balance between instinct and analysis, and gradually improve.

Nowadays, learning a new skill is a strange and interesting process. Particularly when the skill is one you have to learn publicly. As a teacher, you can't hide when you don't know what you are doing, and your audience is not going to be patient and polite while you figure it out. And so everytime I step in front of a class, it is a nervous, stressful experience. On the other hand, I've done enough things badly at this point in my life that I'm not scared of being scared anymore. Part of me can step back, watch myself in the third person, and enjoy seeing the process unfold. This allows me to jump in and take risks with the same sort of abandon I did when I was a teenager; only this time I have a better sense of where I want to go and how to try to get there.

Will I be able to figure it out with the elementary schoolers? Will I be able to find the magic my teacher possesses? I don't know. I may not have the time to find out. To the relief of all the mothers reading this, I hope to work at the high school level. But either way I've got a lot of learning to do. I don't know a teacher of any age-group whose first year was not a stressful, steep learning curve. I can only hope do it smoothly as possible, and still find enjoyment in the process. Even on the days I'm no good at it.

The U.S. Economy as told through a game of Monopoly

From K.

08 April 2009

Ophir Kutiel's cool funk mashups

I read about this in the New Yorker, so I decided to look it up on youtube. It's pretty cool.

This looks cool

Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the American West

March 29, 2009–June 8, 2009

Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the American West examines how photography has pictured the idea of the American West from 1850 to the present. Photography's development coincided with the exploration and the settlement of the West, and their simultaneous rise resulted in a complex association that has shaped the perception of the West's physical and social landscape to this day. For over 150 years, the image of the West has been formed and changed through a variety of photographic traditions and genres, and this exhibition considers the medium's role in shaping our collective imagination of the West.

Into the Sunset brings together over 120 photographs made by a variety of photographers. These works illustrate photography's role in popularizing ideas of the sublime landscape, Manifest Destiny, and the "land of opportunity," as well as describing a more complex vision of the West, one that addresses cultural dislocation, environmental devastation, and failed social aspirations. Organized thematically, Into the Sunset includes photographs dating from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries, incorporating a range of artistic strategies, motifs, and concerns, and featuring the work of approximately seventy photographers, including Robert Adams, John Baldessari, Dorothea Lange, Timothy O'Sullivan, Cindy Sherman, Joel Sternfeld, Edward Weston, and Carleton E. Watkins. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog.

Organized by Eva Respini, Associate Curator, Department of Photography.

The The Impotence of Proofreading

It only does what you tell it to douche...

05 April 2009

my american dream

my parents were the first people in their families to finish high school and go to college.
for dad to finish high school, his older sisters had to drop out of school and go to work so they could support his studies. mom finished high school, but didn't go to college until years later, when dad had finished getting his degree here in the US. by then, k and i were already in grade school.

we immigrated to the US when i was 6 and k was 2. i often ask myself why we moved to the US. dad tells me it's because he wanted to provide a better life for his family, which is why he decided to apply to schools in the US. although it still stumps me why he happened to apply (and get accepted) to a university in one of the most intolerant and fundamentally religious states in the continental US, because that was probably not the best start to a better life for his family.

our first eight years in the US weren't really the better life dad envisioned. we scraped by on the grace of the Salvation Army, food stamps, the National School Lunch Program, ramen noodles, inexpensively priced overripe bananas, boiled potatoes wrapped in foil so we could take it with us whenever for when we needed a snack, and roadtrip vacations sleeping in our woody station wagon at inexpensive campgrounds.

when mom would get mad at dad over some perceived infidelity that happened over 10 years ago, it would start with yelling. when dad wouldn't respond, she'd throw things. usually dinner. and when that didn't get a rise out of him, she'd start to throw dishes and appliances. i always knew the outcome of those fights. inevitably, she would kick dad and me out of the small cinderblock box that the university called graduate housing. dad and i would spend what my small child-brain thought were weeks but were in reality probably mere days showering at the university gym and sleeping and studying at the university library.

the university library had a small selection of childrens books, Highlights, and Jack and Jills, so while dad studied, i read and reread every single child's book i could find. my favorite story was the one of pocahontas. not the real story of pocahontas, because if i had known of the crappy things that the white people did to the brown people-that-lived-in-North-America-before-white-people-came-and-screwed-things-up and how women were treated like property, i would have probably felt differently about pocahontas.

the story that i read and reread was of the indian chief's daughter who falls in love with a white person, marries him, goes back to his country where she meets the queen and is a success, thereby sticking it to the man. it was a girl empowerment book full of adventure and romance. for a chinese girl who barely spoke english and was ridiculed for her accent and clothes, it embodied the american dream.

How Michael Osinsky helped blow up Wall Street

by building the CDO software that helped create the real estate feeding frenzy that played a vital role in putting the world economy where it is today.

It's an interesting article: http://nymag.com/news/business/55687/

How does that saying go again? Put shit in, and you get shit out.