Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Friday Boggle

Avid fans of Faulty Feet (for the purpose of this post, let's say they exist) will remember my last Scrabble post, in which I shed light on the tendency that non-competitive people have to let their playmates put words on the board that are not exactly words, per se. Well, once again, the hour of unconventional rules to word board games has stricken (stroke? striked?). This time, we’ll take a look at Boggle. Basically, if the word ‘should be a word’, then it is. 
Here are a few of the words and their imaginary but nonetheless valid definitions:
Pumis - either a hummus filled public bone or a dried up penis that is used as a pumice stone. (ew.)
Yumbits - no need for a definition, chances are you know exactly what these are. Om nom nom nom nom.

Telemody: of Telemundo
Mylon: not your nylon.
Doy: a Yiddish version of Homer Simpson’s ‘Doh!’
Heman: words applicable to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rod Steward and John Hamm only.

Ok, this isn’t a made up word but look, it’s a tapir!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Let's have bizarre celebrations

Today we had a fairly important presentation at uni, which involved me in a group with two others giving a powerpoint presentation. (Yes, I am going to modestly brag now.) Recently we've had a lot of snowfall (very, if not extremely unusual for this region at this time of year), so everyone is in christmas/winter wonderland mode. To celebrate this, I included some fancy-ass powerpoint animations that involved a little christmas hat bouncing in on the screen and landing on the first letter of the title in the last slide. The teacher (a Danish man who I've somehow come to respect) laughed, and afterwards when he was giving the whole class general feedback he singled me out and complimented me on my powerpoint skills. Sad part? That was probably the proudest moment in my entire non-existant academic career. And it will probably remain that way for quite some time. 

Anyway, keeping with the mood I included a "bizarre celebrations christmas navel". Although, the irony is kind of lost in this one, because if he was really desperate to open it he could use his teeth. (Unless he has none?)

I took the photo with iPhoto so it's kind of crappy quality... Anyway I'm not really happy with it, I refuse to accept it as a legitimate christmas Navel. 

I haven't been drawing any Navels because I felt that I had "outgrown" him and wanted to pursue more complicated things than a bean-shaped fetus. I was trying to squeeze out a drawing the other day and failed miserably, which is when I drew a crying Navel. That's when I decided that maybe I need a little more Navels in my life. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday cleaning

I have nothing interesting to write, so i'm just gonna talk about sunday cleaning. The cleaning of our collective surfaces (kitchen, living room, BATHROOMS) has been a recurring topic and the cause of much passive-agressive behavior recently. We've tried several different strategies, everything from lists to chore wheels, but they haven't really worked, because SOME people don't to their work - usually me, but i'm not the only one. A recurring phrase from our corridor meeting is the standard "It's no use pointing fingers, they know who they are, but SOME people aren't doing their bit" (this followed by a meaningful stare at SOME people)
 Anyway, to cope with the increasing amount of dirty dishes and spotted toilet seats, we divided up into cleaning pairs, each pair getting one week. I was teamed up with tall nordic man, he lives at the very end of the hall and barely ever says anything (I've insisted on greeting him every time I see him in the kitchen, thus essentially "training" him in social contact. In fact, today we reached a new milestone - he said "hi" before me)  Anyway, so today we very swiftly negotiated the terms of our cleaning partnership - he does the bathrooms, I do the living room and the kitchen. This may or may not later have led to a slightly panicky phone call to my cousin about which mop to use, but I still think I got the better end of the deal.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mommy Squirrels Don't Have Pouches

Last Friday I went to Buffalo Exchange - one of my favorite used clothing stores. In the fitting rooms, I found that a little creature was staring at me while I was trying on a jumpsuit that I couldn’t possibly pull off. This guy:

Cute right? So, look at that picture. No, really look at it. Why is this squirrel surrounded by fur, you ask? Possibly it’s because it’s a Baby Squirrel in Mommy Squirrel’s pouch... (after writing that, I now realize that I know nothing about squirrel child-rearing. Help me out Wikipedia). Ok, they don’t have pouches. Yes, I knew that. 
But I digress.
Now, those who know me will tell you that I’m not the most generous person. That being said, I really appreciate those who are. Charities are good is what I’m saying. And that may seem like an unnecessary thing to say, but I think it needs to be said before I get to my point. The reason why the squirrel is surrounded by fur is...

I’ll let that sink in a for minute..........

“Give your furs back to the animals!”. So, as I understand it, Coats for Cubs takes furs and uses them to make beds for baby animals. I guess they’re trying to make good use out of the killing of animals for fashion but... this seems ever so slightly extreme and, to be honest, a little cannibalistic. I don’t know... if I was an "orphaned and injured wildlife", I wouldn’t want to run the risk of using my murdered mother’s skin as a pillow.
I’d love to hear thoughts. Perhaps in comment form?

Monday, November 22, 2010


I've been taking Speech classes for the last year and a half... so I'm pretty sure this wasn't my fault.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Smack Talk

Sally: Your mama
Charlotte: No, your mama
Sally: No, your mama
Charlotte: No, your mama
Marissa: Everyone's mama
Sally: Mother Earth!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Saturday Scrabble

        Last Saturday, Maya was off at a gala and Marissa was in Connecticut, shooting a film. That left Sally and I alone. Now, New York City has a lot to offer on a Saturday night. We could have, for example, attended the “Zero Film Festival” in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where 20 local short films were shown along with some independent art installation. Or we could’ve gone to “The Return of Rococo Party: A Baroque Bash”, in alphabet city, an underground party inspired by 1770s Paris, featuring live art, fire-dancing, wire-walking and live techno baroque rock music (whatever that means). Or maybe we could’ve gone to “Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art Resurrects Warhol’s Factory”: a gathering of Brooklyn-based artists where they are invited to draw burlesque queens and underground performers costumed as Warhol’s favorite subjects. (*Note: these are all actual events that were taking place last Saturday)
OR we could’ve stayed in and played Scrabble. Which we did.
Now, neither Sally nor I were feeling in a particularly competitive mood, which resulted in a very ‘original’ final board. Let’s just say that if you are a die-hard-Scrabble-rule-follower, you may not want to look at what’s below.

Let me define some of these for you:
Knived - /naɪvd/: If you stab someone, that person can very well scream “I have been knived”. This then resulted in Sally trying to convince me that the word for “to cooperate secretly; conspire” was spelt ‘knive’... After a few minutes of debate, dictionary.com proved to be on my side, as it is, in fact, spelt “connive”.
Joinudity - /dʒoɪnudɪti/ : Sally had ‘nudity’ and there was nowhere else to put it and I wasn’t going to be evil enough to say no. “Joinudity” is either that feeling of elation that takes place right after disrobing or is the slogan for Naturism Promoters.
Trailen - /treɪlɪn/ : When you’re tracking an animal, following their trail, once you’ve gone through that trail, it has been trailen.
Ono - /ono/: As in Yoko.
Avibrate - /eɪvaɪbrɪt/: An object which doesn’t have the ability to vibrate is "avibrate". 
Mind you, these were just the highlights. I am very aware that words such as ‘St’ and ‘Mc’ and ‘Faust’ and ‘IQ’ are suspect, at best.

In case you're wondering, here are the scores, written on the back of a receipt:


Saturday, November 13, 2010

I'm going to continue along the lines of historical crushes. I know it's very cliche of me, but they happen to be two Russians (and by Russian I mean Ukranian)

Firstly: Ilya Repin.
Because he was a genius. One of the great proponents of 19th century realism - breaking away from ornamental art and instead depicting social tensions and the general misery under the Czarist regime. He later became a kind of cult figure in Russia, and was one of the artists that Socialist Realism was modeled after. There's a sort of far-fetched irony about that.

Anyway, this is him:

This is one of my favorite works by him, it shows Ivan the Terrible (czar) and his son on November 16th.

Ivan was always crazy (and by crazy I mean he liked to watch animals die for his own amusement, and in general worked very hard to deserve his nickname), but they say that after his wife died he went over the edge. On November 16th he allegedly murdered his son.

Now, my second crush is so cliche that it's ridiculous. But you can't NOT notice it - (even though he was an evil dictator and role model for several other evil dictators throughout Eastern Europe, waged war on civil society and independent thought, masterminded purges, killed people that aspired to the same things as our beloved Mr. Repin) Stalin was a fiiine looking fellow back in the day.

And then a poem. Because you posted one, so I'll post one.

I am not in gentle nature
Among the blooming bowers.
Under the smokey sky in the factory
I forged iron flowers.

Mikhail Gerasimov,
"Zheleznye tsvety" 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tales from the East Village

        It's very hard to describe what goes on in our apartment. Granted, most nights it's just Maya and I in one room and Sally and Marissa in the other, all four of us writing essays or learning lines or editing music videos or reading Madame Bovary, with the occasional "Hey you know what happened..." or "Oh, I forgot to tell you..." or "Do you remember when..."
        But then there are the other nights, when things happen.
        The mood has to be just right for such things to occur. Usually it's when one of us has a lot of homework due the next day and it's already 10 p.m. and that person has no intention of getting to work anytime soon.

        So, when these little things happen, I'm going to write them here. Here are two that come my mind.

Sally's Cat Poop Problem:
        Sally has a ceramics class and she was telling us about this one place in France that specializes in porcelain and, in order to differentiate between the different kinds of porcelain, they add this special kind of dye that goes away when you fire it. Sally, because her mind just works that way, was immediately reminded of a time in her life when her family owned three cats and one of them wasn't potty trained. "We would only find poop on flat surfaces, like on top of our upright piano, or the top of our SUV and maybe even the stove", she said. The problem was: they didn't know which cat was guilty. So, they went to their vet, who shall remain nameless but whose name I wish I could reveal because it is a great contributor to the hilarity of this story. The vet, in Sally's words, "is just a really brilliant man, really well-read...". So, naturally, Sally and her mother asked the doctor what they should do about this abundance of cat feces. Without hesitation, the man answered that they should get three different colors of crayons, shave them into little flakes, and gradually add them to the cats' food. You know where this is going. So, having gotten their answer from the wise doctor, Sally and her mother bought some crayons and got-a-shavin'. This is when Sally sat down and showed us how difficult it was to shave a crayon and how they hadn't really planned that it wouldn't take that long and, every time the cats' dinnertime arrived, they would try to quickly shave some crayons, but it was never enough. Long story (relatively) short: the experiment didn't work. "So yeah, if you ever have to determine which one of your cats is the pooper, you should really set aside a time to shave a lot of crayons so you have a good supply".

"With new colors such as Jazzberry Jam and Outrageous Orange you can test up to 64 cats!"

Marissa is a 50s Gal
        A few days ago, Marissa decided she was going to make rugelach for her class so she set about taking everything out of the pantry and getting ready. Meanwhile, I was in the shower. When I got out, this is what I found:

That's right. She had dressed up to bake. A vintage dress and apron to match, along with... heels. All the while, Nat King Cole is playing on the iHome while she hums along.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And the occasional contraction of syphilis.

There is nothing more frustrating than an historical crush. Someone in history who you know, without a doubt, would make a great companion, except for the fact that they're six feet under.
Right now, mine's Charles Baudelaire. This guy:

Okay. I picked one of the most flattering images of him... Because actually he looked more like this:

I know, right? Probably wouldn't sit next to that guy in the subway. 

Baudelaire had the average miserable life of an artist: overbearing mother, opium addiction, debt, bankruptcy, accusations of moral depravity, frequent patronage of prostitutes, and the occasional contraction of syphilis. But I can't help but think that he was a great guy: passionate, giving and just a sexy rebel, a 19th century Danny Zuko, if you will. 

There's competition, however. His life-long mistress, but never wife, was Jeanne Duval. Her existence is truly the greatest obstacle that comes between me and Charles, because who could compete with such an enormous dress?:

Seriously. I don't own anything half that size.
I guess I can find solace in the fact that Charles left me (yes, me.) his biting poetry. Seriously, read this and dare to tell me the man wasn't a bad-ass

To the Reader
Folly and error, avarice and vice,
Employ our souls and waste our bodies' force. 
As mangey beggars incubate their lice, 
We nourish our innocuous remorse.

Our sins are stubborn, craven our repentance. 
For our weak vows we ask excessive prices. 
Trusting our tears will wash away the sentence, 
We sneak off where the muddy road entices.

Cradled in evil, that Thrice-Great Magician, 
The Devil, rocks our souls, that can't resist; 
And the rich metal of our own volition 
Is vaporised by that sage alchemist.

The Devil pulls the strings by which we're worked: 
By all revolting objects lured, we slink 
Hellwards; each day down one more step we're jerked 
Feeling no horror, through the shades that stink.

Just as a lustful pauper bites and kisses 
The scarred and shrivelled breast of an old whore, 
We steal, along the roadside, furtive blisses, 
Squeezing them, like stale oranges, for more.

Packed tight, like hives of maggots, thickly seething
Within our brains a host of demons surges. 
Deep down into our lungs at every breathing, 
Death flows, an unseen river, moaning dirges.

If rape or arson, poison, or the knife 
Has wove no pleasing patterns in the stuff 
Of this drab canvas we accept as life — 
It is because we are not bold enough!

Amongst the jackals, leopards, mongrels, apes, 
Snakes, scorpions, vultures, that with hellish din, 
Squeal, roar, writhe, gambol, crawl, with monstrous shapes, 
In each man's foul menagerie of sin — 

There's one more damned than all. He never gambols,
Nor crawls, nor roars, but, from the rest withdrawn,
Gladly of this whole earth would make a shambles
And swallow up existence with a yawn...

Boredom! He smokes his hookah, while he dreams 
Of gibbets, weeping tears he cannot smother. 
You know this dainty monster, too, it seems — 
Hypocrite reader! — You! — My twin! — My brother!