She said I am the one who will dance on the floor in the round

Aloe Blacc ("I Need a Dollar") covers MJ's "Billie Jean." So good, it's another instant classic.



A tiny kitten eating ice cream. I mean, COME ON.

Endorsements (June 21-28)

Hi! Endorsements today:

Today, I submit to you things I like for the week of June 21-28:
  • The Boing-Boing endorsed art blog, This isn't Happiness - smartly curated.
  • Slate's Culture Gabfest podcast - A weekly gathering of Slate editors. It's funny, it's snobby, it's eclectic (really).
  • Fatties on Ice - a podcast co-hosted my staffer, Cynara Geissler. No, she's really my master (I am the student). Cynara and her co-host, Jenny-with-the-best-voice, talk pop culture and media from a feminist, body positive perspective. I like.
  • Top Chef - Season 7, and it's still good! I like to watch the celebrity chefs make faces when they taste a bad ceviche. If you like this show, then you'll love Max Silvestri's recaps on Eater.com.
  • Every Person in New York - A sketch blog so lovely, so simple, it makes you forget how New York feels on most days: crowded and unnerving.
  • I've saved the best for last: I just heard "Send Me Some Loving" by Otis Redding on This American Life last week, and I was like, who is this person losing his mind over a woman? You could just hear his desperation, and the liquor, and the sweat in the 20 seconds that they played. Next, I'm on Grooveshark, and now I haven't stopped listening to Ol' Otis for days. Here's a video, I love. Watch the audience get their minds blown.


Vogue vs. Victoria, B.C.

"Vogue's lawyers will not have their Fashion's Night Out trademark tarnished: They threatened to sue a fashion show in Victoria, Canada, for trademark infringement. Victoria Fashion's Night Out, which took place last night, was like a little Fashion Week where Victorian businesses showed their latest collections. Organizers had to scramble to change the name the day before the event after getting a letter from Vogue's legal team.

"It read:

'Our client did not consent to use of its Fashion's Night Out trademark by your organization or its members and is extremely concerned by this unauthorized use of its intellectual property.'"
/via The Cut, NYMag.com

Question: Is "Victorian" the appropriate adjective to describe things based in or from Victoria, B.C.?

Another question: Is it good PR to post tweets like, "Vogue sues fashion show in Victoria for using name "Fashion's Night Out." In other news, Victoria BC is excited Anna Wintour knows it exists," on the Fashion's Night Out (NYC) website ?



Mameshiba: talking beans with puppy dog faces (and a trove of intriguing trivia)

More tragic truth from Mameshiba on Youtube


I just said, "Oh my fucking god, this poster is amazing."

This is the first official poster for The Social Network — David Fincher’s cinematic adaptation of Ben Mezrich’s The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal.

/The Daily What


/via Section Design


Another publishing infographic

Bottom right-hand corner: me.
/via FTPubW

Explain this to me: the Hanson edition

I read today that there was a riot at South Street Seaport in New York City last night; overcrowding at a free concert prompted officials to cancel the much anticipated event. The throngs of fans got angry and things got out of hand. There were police spraying mace.

So why were emotions running so high? Who were this crowd so eager to see? One of the headliners was "the new face of hip-hop," Drake. So there's a lot of teenage girls, Degrassi fans, and/or Kanye West devotees--OK, I get it.

But guess who got almost equal billing? Hanson, meaning that this mystery musical act with a weirdly familiar name was intended to draw a similar sized crowd to the concert.

I was so flabbergasted by the possibility that it could be that Hanson, I went through the whole day thinking there was another indie band named themselves after the MMMbop brothers because it would be ironic. This was not the case.

The Awl confirms that it was in fact that band with Least Desired, Older Brother, Baby Brother, and Brother that Looks Remarkably Like a Girl that was scheduled to perform last night. This is blowing my mind. Who makes up their fan base? Are they the kind of people that still buy CDs? Who is backing this come back attempt? How do you describe Hanson's music now? Do people remember "MMMbop"? Explain this to me.

Meet the Lasandwich

"Between two thick slices of white bread, you'll find a generous filling of diced beef in a tangy tomato and herb sauce, layered with cooked pasta sheets and finished with a creamy cheddar, ricotta and mayonnaise dressing."

--TESCO press release for the Lasandwich

/via the Guardian

In your opinion, how does this compare to the KFC Double Down? Comments on presentation, packaging, overall health concerns, taste, potential tastiness while stoned/drunk, and all pertinent characteristics of these two sandwiches are all welcome. Unfortunately, both products are not available in Canada, so most of us will just have to speculate.

Newspaper publishers: Read this article or you will die

A great critique by Sara Williams at Made by Many (via Shannon) was the first blog post I've read that gives some very real instructions to the magazine and newspaper biz about how to survive in a world of free content. Williams doesn't miss a beat here in explaining why charging consumers for content that's not enhanced by curation or context has two central and detrimental consequences: first: content can be found somewhere else, and second: being the snobby kid in the playground that doesn't want to share is not going to make anybody like or admire you more. You are not being invited to any birthday parties. It's going to be awfully hard for me to link to you next year, New York Times.

Maaaybe though, you'll get that really awesome pool and the XBox,* and I'll suck up to you. We'll see.

*Someone has got to let me know if these metaphorical statements are getting out of hand. Just tell me, "Megan, say what you mean." If they strike you as humorous, well, if you said so, you'd make me a happy woman.

the relationship between feedback and morale in the publishing intern

by Cynara Geissler, genius

Emwow and the Shampon


Somewhere - thoughts on a trailer

It's been four years since Sofia Coppola's last film, Marie Antoinette. (I've been digging the soundtrack for that movie, which I recently bought for 50 cents - value!).

Earlier today, the trailer was released for Somewhere (in theatres December 2010). It's entirely possible that Coppola recycled her Oscar-nominated script for Lost in Translation: the story begins in a luxury hotel, where an older actor (Bill Murray/Stephen Dorff) is regularly reminded of the loneliness that dominates his life, and the emptiness of his career. A surprise encounter with a much younger blonde (Scarlett Johansson/Ellie Fanning) prompts new excitement in life, punctuated with small moments--"real" and simple. They exchange knowing looks, share moments of affection while watching TV in bed and character development happens in a pool. The actor has loving feelings for the young woman and at the end of the movie, must make a decision whether to return to what is easy and familar, or opt for the life he wants. Pastel cinematography is set to the sounds of Phoenix.



A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

... so this is like writing a 9,000-word blog post (plus captions), right?

Welcome to America. We almost got busted for having a salad that took up a quarter of the trunk.

Apparently, A&W is all-American food. I was not aware of this. Canadian burgers and American burgers taste pretty much the same but the ordering is different. This looks like a take-out window but you're actually not allowed to stand there, nevermind order.

This is Lake George, NY, which was, I later realized, a favourite summer spot for Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Steiglitz.

Welcome to our apartment. Those, over there, in the right side are 1,000,000-thread-count sheets, we're sure. While we made a mess of his house, our host, John, spent the weekend in the Hamptons. La-di-daa. (Oh, and there's nothing on Tracy's face. That's something on the lens)

Here we have Highline Park, barely a year old. It's on the edge of Manhattan in Chelsea, built on a defunct railway perched above the city. Beautiful wood features with concrete accents and lush landscaping. It's a very, very pleasant escape--and hip to boot.

The view from the 20th Street entrance.


If I never go Times Square again, I will be a happy woman. Here a middle-aged Korean woman poses with American tourists in her international garb.

A New York sunset. Hipsters line the boardwalk at Battery Park after being turned away from the ferry to Governor's Island (for the free Yeasayer concert).



Whew! I never thought that moving to a new city would mean living in many other cities at the same time. Four weeks after moving on Montreal, I've also done amazing things in Toronto and New York. In fact, it feels like I've barely worked, which is probably why I'm having some major career anxiety (where I am going?).

At least, I haven't had to get coffee for anyone. Sometimes people buy me coffee -- novel! In Montreal, Tracy makes stir-fry, we drink wine, we live on the Internet -- life is good.

Still, I thought it might be nice to reflect on the last two weeks and share things I've learned, read, and thought about while jetsetting between borders (provincial and national).

First, to answer the questions about whether or not I like my job: yes. I am learning lots about magazine publishing and I get to choose content for Reader's Digest, and edit without much supervision. Plus, I am being moved to a cubicle with next to the floor-to-ceiling windows in a corner. CORNER OFFICE, foooos!

That's next week. So let me recover the trip to Toronto, which was at the end of May. I headed to Canada's biggest city to visit friends from MPub, to hang out with old colleagues, new friends, and of course, my brother. William and I shared his tiny studio apartment, which is so small the bathroom and the kitchen share a sink. And since my brother is a hoarder (I might nominate him for the TLC show), there is barely room for one person to live. Guests staying over, such as myself, need to find room for a sleeping bag between stacks of Wallpaper* (he's a designer) on one side, the defunct toaster oven filled with interesting packaging on another, and snuggle up close to the overflowing laundry basket. Also, there was no Wi-Fi so I considered moving out (just kidding... kind of).

Anyhow, Toronto, I am told, has the highest rate from point to point for any public transportation system in the world. The price sort of confines you to staying within a familiar radius of restaurants and shops. Luckily, William lives in the Annex, where he's close to some of my favourite places in the city-I-love-to-hate: Kensington Market and the Annex. Unfortunately, that meant that I have been missing the wonders of Toronto west: Trinity Bellwoods Park on a nice day is actually nice. Plus, Type Books is a fantastic indie bookstore -- interesting curation and lovely attention to presentation/merchandising. Some points lost for obnoxiously loud staff but I would never complain about spending an afternoon browsing their shelves.

Toronto also offered some culinary treats: I sipped beers on patios, devoured jumbo empanadas, and slipped into small restaurants in Chinatown's basements for juicy dumplings.

Ultimately, the primary reason for coming to Toronto was professional. I came to see David Granger, the editor-in-chief of Esquire, speak about mags, ketchup (the squeeze bottle makes it easier for consumers to get the same content as the old form! Where's the squeeze-bottle parallel for modern magazines?), and wining-and-dining your staff (Oh, so American! Oh, so New York!). Granger was a charismatic speaker -- a salesman at heart and a gifted storyteller.

Inspired by Esquire's front-of-book section, "This Way In," here are some of my notes from the talk without any context:
  • All magazines and great things start from disappointment, depression and despair
  • The magazine is at its best when it is simply an expression of our love of life
  • Hates Dave Chappelle
  • ...And it makes readers mad
OK, I picked up some great tips about making magazines, too. Granger noted that a pretty package was essential to bringing a reader into a magazine. When someone in the audience implied that the repackaging of the magazine four years ago meant less consideration for "content," Granger was quick to point out that no one remembers the writing (unless it's stunning), and no one will even approach it if the design is sloppy or boring.

He stopped short of saying that design and visuals are content. And I think that would've have been important to point out. Photography, typography and illustration are integral to the modern concept of magazines. They deserve equal recognition in magazine publishing. Give the art department some respect, please!

However cursory the 60-minute keynote was, I left feeling inspired to go to New York offer my own talents to the magazines I get excited to read each month. I felt that if I could be confident about offering my opinions, at least people would know who I was. Granger has taken risks over the years, even admitting that some of the covers he has signed off were "gimmicky." But even now, years later, he stands behind his decisions, able to offer convincing rationales for doing some very advertising-oriented work. For this, he's been highly criticized but in the end, he's one of the most recognizable faces in American magazine publishing, and a highly respected one at that. Also, have you really not read that Chris Jones story I endorsed? Seriously, what are you waiting for?

Right after the talk I whisked myself out of the fancy (hors d'oeuvres and wine, thank you) Yorkville Hotel and ran into the Annex to pick up my things. Perilously, I took the TTC, Toronto's public transportation system, and made my way to the airport. Some years back, I took this route in the middle of a snow storm and the journey took three-plus hours. I nearly missed my plane. This time, I made it to the airport with time to spare, and time to get thoroughly searched at security and lose my boarding pass.

...I was dead-tired... as I am now. So, part deux tomorrow: reflections on New York City.

A preview: "The Leap," the cover story from last week's New York Magazine about the sudden suicide of a gifted New York teenager with a mild form of Aspergers. This piece is not for the faint-hearted, but even if I step away from the phenomenal tragedy told, there is some deft, powerful writing here.