Tuesday, 3 January 2012

In spirit of celebrating Portlandia's second season commencing January 6th 2012, I too played on the Portlandia activity book http://portlandia.ifc.com/activity-book/avatarmaker.php and created my alternate ego if I was ever native to Portlandia...and had a moustache...and was a team member of the sherlock homies (fingers crossed!eek!)

Velvet Blue Bird, a regular at the Portland libraries, bookstores and coffee shops.

I feel like I should have an alternate name...hmm...any ideas? Something worthy for a Portlandian!

Put A Bird On It - AGAIN!: Portlandia Season Two

Hold the bloody press!!! It seems as though Laura Mulvey and colonial film theory have caused me to temporarily forget some important dates in the early new year, yes yes, 4th of January dentist appointment at 13.00 PM, dinner with Philip at mystic pizza on January 5th st 8.00 PM and OH MY GOD YES, PORTLANDIA SEASON TWO: JANUARY THE BLOODY 6TH (On IFC)!!!!
The excitement? indescribable! the tears of joy? pouring as we speak, splashing down on my keyboard as I write this post! Everyone, write it in your agendas, girlfriend's/boyfriend's forehead, fridge, cat, rear view window, stick it on a post-it, stick it on a bloody bird and put the bird on all of the above, but definitely save that magical date as that is when Carrie and Fred will be back in our lives with even more precious, quirky and lovable characters from Portlandia, Oregon - a possible destination for my honeymoon (?) - but until then lets refresh our memories with all the wondrous values of Portlandia!!!

Sneak Peak into Season Two? Yes, please!

Doug & Claire get sucked into Battlestar Galactica

This news, will definitely motivate me to get my work done!what a treat!

Book Club

 Dai Sijie's Balzac and The Little Chinese Seamstress is the book I've sunk my teeth into for the start of the new year. Im already half way through, as it's romantic quality makes it unputdownable, but unfortunately I must resist as I am amidst a busy period of writing two big essays to complete my first semester of my masters at St. Andrews. So while I pine away at psychoanalysing Mitchell Lichtenstein's Teeth (2007) and Karyn Kusama's Jennifer's Body (2010) and whilst applying eurocentric theory to Zoltan Korda's Sanders of the Rivers (1935), I am comforted to know that during my break I can return to the pages of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, and travel with my minds eye to the rural, hidden villages of the Mountain of the Phoenix of the Sky at the time of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and be re-educated, not by the political aim's of Mao's values, but by the spiritual awakening that the protagonist undergoes when he reads his first Western novel, Balzac's Ursule Mirouet. So far what I'm enjoying is that fact that by reading this book I can celebrate the magic of books and literature, and how deeply connected they can become with the first emotions of life, and their experience forever encapsulated or memories reverberate within favourite quotes of great books! 

Thats all for now, I will let you know more when I'm finished!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Let's Make It A Good One

Time to start afresh, time to turn over a new leaf and set out once again to aspire for those wishes and dreams that were not fulfilled in the previous year and to dream of those soon to come this year! I believe that is why new years exist, instead of existing in one strand of endless time and numbers we are given many little strands of which it is up to us to make the best out of what we can, the best out of life and ourselves!
Filled with lots of hope and eagerness for an adventurously rich, inspiration and creativity plenty 2012, I am writing my new years resolutions list of which I plan to tick of its many contents with a satisfied smile! This list I plan to slowly reveal along the way and archive what I hope to be a very happy & arty year..

Image from ffffound.com 

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Adventures of the North Fork

What a hot, relaxing and delicious summer day in Long Island. Today my family and I adventured into the North Fork of Long Island making an emphasis on tantalizing our taste palettes and expanding our gastronomic experiences as well as doing some light sight seeing along our little road trip, of course of course.

Our first stop was at the most adorable, quaint, little sleepy-town road called 'Love Lane' (how fitting!) Stepping onto this road was like time traveling back to the fifties. There we decided to pop into a cheese shop cafe called 'The Village Cheese Shop', a small little shop that sells fine cheeses from around the world as well as little condiments and other cupboard goods such as Argentinean Dulce de Leche and Italian Biscotti, *I noticed that the French Baguettes were very popular amongst the customers..* ((Mental note: must go back and get some!)). I was also delighted to see that they had a selection of cheese crackers from 'The Fine Cheese Company' all the way from Walcot street back in Bath, UK, a cafe which friends and I use to go to for tea and sandwiches during my student years there..Sitting for a little while in the small conservatory we enjoyed croque monsieur and toasted baguette topped with sweet red peppers and salty anchovies, quiet refreshing for a hot summers day.

The Village Cheese Shop, Mattituck, NY

Our destination was Mill Creek Tavern and Winery to sit and picnic while watching the sunset over acres and acres of luscious vines! Continuing our little expedition, after having driven through fields of sunflowers and corn and spent some time walking along the beach overlooking Plum Island, it was time to make our next culinary pit stop to refuel with food to take for our picnic at the vinery. To fill our picnic basket we visited Brauns Seafood Company in Cutchogue, were we picked up crab salad, lobster rolls, manhattan clam chowder and a 2 pound lobster! Brauns Seafood Company is a mandatory experience if you are a sea food lover like myself! To its benefit it is located right near the Peconic bay, amidst fields and fields of green which make lunch or dinner there a very relaxing and pleasurable experience. Once we had stocked up with our goods, we were on the road again to Mill Creek Tavern, a pleasant little vinery located at the head of 30 acres of vines. We quickly settled down and enjoyed our food and Bedells first crush white wine - whilst ignoring the offensively loud cover band playing hits from the 60s and 70s. Eventually the quieted down and we were able to enjoy the twilight over the vines and the fireflies amongst the hydrangeas, a perfect summer evening.

View from the Mill Creek Tavern balcony

If your ever in the North Fork and have loads of free time on your hands, then I definitely suggest you check out these fantastic places, you wont regret it!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Young Love

It was a quiet and slow afternoon in Manhattan, Madison was in a hazy slumber and it seemed that the entire city was deep in a summer siesta...

For about a month now I have been helping out at a consignment store on Madison (which will remain un-named) which has served so far as an excellent centre-point in glass casing New York's finest characters. From my observation deck (the register) I have observed the odd old ladies with far too may hat pins, the trophy wives with a touch too much of botox, neurotic women with gay chihuahuas that reserve tables in the finest restaurants for themselves and their dogs and (my favorite), the occasional cross dresser that drags his mother along for her opinion on what dress would suit him best for his summer outings...A fine selection indeed! 

Work is always exciting, whether it is the clothing, the jewelry or the customers there is always something happening...but like I said, it was a lazy and quiet afternoon, I was settled in behind the register sipping on mint lemonade and working my way through J.D. Salinger's 'Franny and Zooey', convinced we weren't going to have any customers till closing time but alas the doorbell rang and a young couple came in. Grungy and sunburnt, she in her microfloral shorts and 'All Stars' - he all quiet with sea breeze hair, scruffy vans and Black Flag t-shirt. She was looking for "something long and pretty, something with flowers, something I could get married in" (!). This young couple, glowing with happiness, radiating with youth, music and literature - unconformed, scruffy and totally drunk on each-other - life through Super 8 glasses, curled up on the couch reading books, paintings and records leaning against walls, cutting each-other's hair, colorful cooking, that sort of thing - restored hope in me that love like love read in literature has not disappeared. I think thats a pretty good formula for a happy life - something thats completely missing in todays culture. They just really made my day and I really wanted to share it with whoever reads my blog. I wish them, wherever they are, a happy and pink life together!

For the rest of the day I had "Marry Me" by Suburban Kids With Biblical Names playing in my head...give it a listen and tell me how fitting it is!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Laughing Lotus is Good for the Soul

One of my favorite activities when lounging around the Hamptons (yar yar) is attending all the different Yoga classes that they have going on..I must admit, I don't go as often as I like but when I do manage to go it is totally rewarding. Up till now I have only really experienced very strict, disciplined and quite archaic yoga classes - which - isnt it ironic towards the ethics of yoga? ("...relax, be free with your body and soul etc...") have only managed to some how make me feel slightly self conscious about myself and my yoga practice...
But not until till today, attending the yoga class "Hips and Twists" at the Prevention Yoga Studio in Southampton, was something so refreshingly progressive that I cant wait to put on my leggings and get into downward dog again! Our yoga instructor, Dana Trixie Flynn (the source of all this excitement) of Laughing Lotus Yoga Centre back in NYC, sets a totally friendly and happy vibe that flows through the entire room, her selection of great reggae, ska and even hip hop (!?) could only emphasize the pleasure and enjoyment of the exercise! What I liked about it the most was that it was loud, colorful may I even dare to say sexy! (?). By the end of the session we were all flushed, drenched and smiling -actually giggling through our namaste's (!). 
Dana Trixie Flynn of Laughing Lotus

P. S. This yoga actually came close to good sex! I hope that sells it to you ;) ...

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Music Sessions: Eternal Summers I Heart You!

Eternal Summers

Last.fm's description of these guys is that they 'hail from heaven' - of which I completely agree. I was just looking over an article commenting on their album 'Silver' and how bands like Eternal Summers, Best Coast and other sunny, minimalist, female-fronted retro-post-punk bands are in a unannounced rivalry between each other. But its a shame really, I dont like thinking that my favorite bands are artistically struggling to overpower one another but are in fact all friends that hang out together in the same bookstores and coffee shops and ask each other for favours (if they can sow some buttons, or if they could use a cup of sugar..) But at the moment I'm finding myself totally in love with Eternal Summers.

With Nicole Yun on guitar and vocals and Daniel Cundiff on drums, they keep the essential jangly sounds such indie punk bands need. Maybe its Nicole's angsty yet vulnerable voice that makes me feel utterly girly when listening to them, or the tweeness of the simlicity of their melodies and rythyms but this band makes me feel all fuzzy inside. 

Eternal Summers - Pogo

I wish this band was around when I was 16. Its the kind of music you want to listen to when getting ready to go to a house party and you know the boy from art class you totally have a crush on will be there and all you need is their song 'Pogo' to boost your happiness. Eternal Summers makes me want to twirl around, and jump up and down on my bed in my pyjamas. Another favorite of mine, however not so dancy is 'lighswitch' from their album 'Eternal Summers', this is for after the party...after you've held the hand of the boy from art class that you are now in love with.

Eternal Summers - Lightswitch

Eternal Summers

Line Up : No Age - Athens, Greece

Have you not heard?!
If you havn't, then I'm proud to be the bearer of good news!
Two very lovely boys known for their band 'No Age' are visiting Athens, Greece all the way from sun soaked Los Angeles, California for a one night show - what a great way to bring on spring!

NO AGE live at SIX DOGS on Thursday the 28th of April! wee!!
((and what from what I found out; the tickets will be 17 euros))

Six Dogs
Αβραμιώτου 6-8, Μοναστηράκι

Buy Tickets @:
Ticket House, Rhythm Records

If your into west coast lo-fi punk and if you have not yet been acquainted with these kids then I suggest you lend them an ear and allow yourselves some acoustic enjoyment - and then get some tickets for the show because your guaranteed a great great night! I definetly recommend their album 'Nouns' & 'Everything in Between'!...Im about to give 'Weirdo Rippers' a listen...I shall be posting about it in the near future! But they are defintely worth checking out...

Dean & Randy of No Age : Whats in my bag? ((What a genius idea to get artists to pick out their favorite stuff! I discovered this on the official Amoeba website: http://www.amoeba.com/whats-in-my-bag/index.html#/page1 )) Check out what No Age picked out!

No Age

Saturday, 19 February 2011

M.I.A. - TAKES A MUSCLE ((Get Drenched In This!))

Having shamefully only just discovered M.I.A.'s relatively new release, having had it lingering for quite a good while on my ipod and having ignored my dear friend Anestis's glorifications and practically 'lectures' of how magical her new single is, I finally got around to listening to it yesterday on the train ride to downtown Athens.
I'm a big admirer of M.I.A.'s vivid jungle themes, the colour and the exotic tastes that transcend through her music. From her album 'Kala' I had personally singled out '$20', I cant ever get enough of it - I think the dragging beats, morphing melodies and not to mention MIAs in-your-face-attitude made me adore this song like no other on the album!'$20' held position no.1 for quite a while but all that ceased when I hit play on 'Takes A Muscle'..In a matter of minutes '$20' was bumped down to no.2 having been toppled of its thrown with a new song wearing the crown. 
I have specifically made playlists for my urban journeys in Athens, but yesterday I left those unsatisfied because I think I must have listened to 'Takes Some Muscle' for all my journey's worth of time. Within the first few seconds of listening to it I was surfacing through turquoise water of an exotic beach and enjoying a bicycle ride somewhere in the Carribbean- and not in a dingy, overcrowded wagon of a suburban railway train! From what I have deduced from her previous work, her sounds are mostly jungle influenced and slightly African-esque, with the humour of dubstep but 'Takes A Muscle' has reggae roots which are having a romance with electro. This song is the epitome of a perfect summer tune, perhaps a year late I can only say that this will be my summer song of 2011, for lazy moments at the beach, for balmy midnight summer drives, for mojitos out with friends somewhere in the city - this will be that song!! What I 'dig' most about this song, besides the music, is the lyrics themselves. M.I.A states "It takes a muscle to fall in love"..what I take away from his is that it needs strength and courage, it also takes a brave heart! And Im a total sucker for these kind of lyrics. 


So finally, I just wanted to say - thanks a million M.I.A. you brought me the sunshine and sea during a gray winter- the wait for summer will not be a difficult one now that I have this track...