Dreams of the Open Road

/via Ryan on the road, driving across AMERRRRCCA



Lovely Day

Having a love affair with Bill Withers

Inspired by Aaron Leaf and Sasha Frere-Jones


Eating Animals

Last summer, just as we were sending our first mag to print, Lono Ranger and I went to see End of the Line. The 80-minute documentary turned me off fish and for almost 12 months, I've managed to stay away from salmon, tuna, swordfish, and halibut--the big fish. Cautiously, I'll eat little fish like herring, sardines, and sometimes mackerel... because it tastes good.

But yesterday, I read an adapted excerpt from Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals and it may be turning me into a vegetarian. (Did you know there were three contemporary authors from Brooklyn with the name Jonathan? Ames, Safran Foer, and Lethem.)

Read Safran Foer's piece in the New York Times Magazine. Rather than being a polemic against eating meat or an annoying declaration of self-righteousness, the novelist delivers his case in stories relatable to anyone whose family traditions involve eating meat:
"While the cultural uses of meat can be replaced...there is still the question of pleasure. A vegetarian diet can be rich and fully enjoyable, but I couldn’t honestly argue, as many vegetarians try to, that it is as rich as a diet that includes meat. (Those who eat chimpanzee look at the Western diet as sadly deficient of a great pleasure.) I love calamari, I love roasted chicken, I love a good steak. But I don’t love them without limit."
Finally, a vegetarian that admits that meat tastes good! And before I know it, I'm totally won over by Safran Foer's handsome prose and his sentimental portrayal of family. In the end, it might have been the writing that made me swoon more than the reasoning... when they make the movie version of this, my long and loving relationship with meat might finally end.


Marina Abramović at the MoMa

Performance artist Marina Abramović is all over the Internet so I've just discovered her work though she's been active for more than 30 years. Her work uses the body as a site of violence and a symbol of resilience. Abramović's performances are disturbing and challenging. Just reading her Wikipedia entry makes my stomach uneasy.

Currently, the MoMa is running a retrospective of her work. While Abramović is performing an original piece in the main atrium, other artists are upstairs recreating some of her most famous works.

In "The Artist is Present," Abramović is seated across a table from another chair where museum visitors can sit as long as they like. Some visitors have been brought to tears, while others only stay for a minute. The artist will be performing from opening to close for three months until the end of May.

The MoMa is posting photos online of all the participants on their Flickr stream. The brutally sharp photos are meant to be a documentation of the audience's experience; they say so much about the way we perform with art in a museum space.


The Man's Guide to Love
/via New York


Slate led me to my favourite website of the week, Longform.org. Longform was started by Max Linsky and Aaron Lammer to share their favourite pieces of journalism.

I think every writer and aspiring writer keeps a folder of favourite articles (e- and hard copy versions) they've read. This is the website I've always wanted: a place to dig into the archives and find gems you've never heard of but other long-form J fans have loved.

The articles date back as far as 1966 (Esquire, of course) and others can be found on newsstands currently. Writers represented in the latest Longform.org lineup are the usual suspects—Susan Orlean, Mark Leibovich, Mark Bowen, James Fallows, Simon Winchester, David Grann, Michael Lewis, Jeanne Marie Laskas, John Sack, Jeffrey Goldberg.

Bonus: LongForm works closely with Instapaper (possibly the best app out there) so that you can save and read these great pieces on the go.

Werner Herzog Reads...

a.k.a. sure ways to pervert your childhood reading memories.

Death Metal Lyric or William Blake Quote?

1. "Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead."

Find the answer at McSweeney's

Reason No. 368 to Love Kristen Wiig

These photos from V

/via USA Today

Esquire loves Lace Bodysuits

Exhibit A:
Gaga in Esquire May 2010

Exhibit B:
Amanda Seyfried in Esquire April 2010

Ah, reality.

"Heidi 3.0" is the main event in the final season of The Hills. Oh, when she cries!

Speaking of plastic surgery, there's a hopeful article in the NYT about overdone actresses, with some quotes from Mrs. Pratt and some digs at her too.

Is Anybody Home?

Perhaps my absence here needs a little explanation: you see, a year ago I signed up for this really great Master's program in publishing. I had four months off before it all began, during which I diligently blogged and ate food with my friends and helped to launch a magazine (have you heard of Sad Mag?). Oh, we had such a good time!

And then September came and the program started. There were eighteen of us out to navigate the very confusing landscape of publishing in 2010. We became MPubbers--a special breed of grad student that's able to copy edit passages about the salmon life cycle, design a marketing plan for a national magazine, and parse the cultural impact of Facebook on biography and the archive. It was hard, and there were just a lot of emotions. And too many days spent in the windowless offices, which spun into psychotic, oxygen-deprived nights.

Eight months later, we've finished our coursework and are in reasonably good mental health. I learned so much. My brain exploded at many points (and was expertly put back together by the incredibly patient Andy, and the very necessary support system of more-than-understanding friends and colleagues).

I barely made out alive, while other MPubbers thrived. Not surprising as some of these gals are bona fide superwomen (Shout out to Hur Publishing, Shan's Ride to Conquer Cancer, aaaaand you're all amazing--but maybe not Internet linkable). Some of us managed to blog the whole time; Kristen, you are a machine.

Meanwhile, I've been less than diligent about keeping my Internet home in good condition. Spending your day reading, writing, and creating in front of a screen is not exactly conducive to coming home and seeking out more work on one's computer. There hasn't exactly been time to bathe and sleep, so blogging hasn't been my first priority.

But I'll make it up to you with a summer of regular posts, which begins today.

Oh, and I'm moving to Montreal temporarily. So it will be the QC version of Nutty, Dry and a Hint of Vanilla for the summer from May to September. You can look forward to my social follies as I navigate a new city without adequate language skills. Also, I might be launching a new blog with the multi-talented Tracy Hurren. So, Tracy, if you're reading this, this is me publicly pressuring you to start a blog with me.

Anyway, thank you for staying on and asking me to blog again.

Love you. Miss you already.


Postscript //some other MPub blogs:
New additions on my blog roll as of 26.04.2010

/via Andy



Solange, You Can Cover Anything

Solange performing with the Dirty Projectors at the Ace Hotel NYC Opening Ceremonies event, Feb 18.

Groove Theory - Tell Me