Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010: The Year We Make Contact!

"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!"

W. H. Murray

(via Merlin & Pressfield)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Devastating Douchebags & Heroic Jasper

Data overload.

"This could have been devastating,” Pete King, NY State Rep on yesterday's terrorist attempt.

Governments React After Terror Attempt on Airplane

What's really devastating to people right here & right now is a lack of access to healthcare.

Rep. King's homepage features a video of him speaking out against "Obamacare"

Here's a predictably insane Chart Of The Day - (via Andrew Sullivan) illustrating how little bang we get for our healthcare buck. While choking on data, have another slice.

Can't find the link to the Security Masterpiece Theatre where one response the TSA has taken is to keep passengers in their seats.

Uh, isn't the reason Jasper Schuringa & the passengers on Flight 253 were able to intercept "aspiring" terrorist & all around rich kid and douchebag Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab was that they were able to jump out of their seats to pull his firecracker kit out of the DB's pants??!!

-thx NYT--“it may have been aspirational.” Terror Attempt Seen as Man Tries to Ignite Device on Jet

P.S. Best line on Sparklepants-Jeffery Goldberg at The Atlantic:
"Next item: 'Passengers must remain seated for the final hour before landing. During that time, they may not have access to their carry-on baggage or hold personal items on their laps.' But what about their underwear? Can they have access to their underwear, which is where our latest would-be Muslim martyr apparently hid his bomb?"

Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb, Batman.

12/30/09 Update: "Great, just great. Weaponized emo-kid..." BoingBoing

Even Maureen Dowd is on this one:
If we can’t catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didn’t check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Symbolical Head

Famous Prize Fights

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Chronic City Readathon!

Last night's endurance test at Book Court was inspiring, insane, electric. The marvelite-style sobriquet "Lethal Lethem" was Paid In Full.

Noteworthy act of true grit: Actually doing Perkus's hiccup pauses in reading from 3-4 AM.

Nerdcore Nirvana: the room of hardcore geeks pretty much reenacted the spirit of Perkus To...oth's apartment after 1AM.

"Everything else to everywhere else forever and ever amen."

Monday, November 30, 2009

Why? Why? WHY?

Random bike basket in my neighborhood:

Random public trashcan in my neighborhood (about 2 yards away):

I have used a folding basket on my own bikes to prevent this particular petty cruelty from being inflicted on my trusty steed. Should the city invest in a bike basket shaped trashcan design to encourage litterbugs to reform?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Paul Graham Inc article

I go back to this article frequently.

"Running a start-up is like being punched in the face repeatedly," he says. "But working for a large company is like being waterboarded." Paul Graham

Monday, November 02, 2009

Happy 82nd Birthday-Steve Ditko!

The whole documentary is here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blog Haitus Until Labor Day!

Time to unplug and reenter the WORLD. 

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pondering Mazzuchelli...

Waiting for the full podcast/transcript of Mazzuchelli's MoCCA talk yesterday. One observation he made-that the work which is embedded in our collective cortex (Ditko, Kirby, Toth, Steranko etc etc) always looked so fresh and unlabored because it was done on deadline and with plenty of hustle.

There's always that paradox when artists of my generation labor to print on "just the right" degraded cardboard stock to begin to approximate the pulpy marks which seem more real to us than the so called "real" world.

Whenever I succumb to the temptation to add an additional color plate I am reminded that the masters did it with the most limited means, on the shittiest paper stock possible. (See the Neal Adams interview for more on this) But they brought to bear such intense sensibilities and such killer chops...

Think of Alex Toth working actual size on a kitchen cutting board as his drafting table.

Another great gem in passing was when D.M was asked if he preferred the "real" NY (where, alas, getting across town by webslinging or billy club rope is an insane fantasy) or the Ditko/Kirby one. He answered as we all answer. Of course the early Marvel universe is the one we prefer. The quiet understated amused tone of his matter of fact answer just underlines how much Jules Feiffer was onto years ago.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tuva Or Bust

Great video of Richard Feynman.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Terry Gilliam on Harvey Kurtzman

Really inspirational. Read it here.
At Help! I had to do everything. I had to deal with whatever went on with the magazine, so I’d be on the phone talking to people in a solemn voice: ‘Ah, yes, this is Mr Gilliam, the assistant editor of Help! magazine, I’ll have that package over to you in about, oh, 15 minutes, I’ll tell the boy to bring it in.’ But that boy was me. And I was making two dollars less than I would’ve made on the dole every week. It was wonderful.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Independence Day

"None of this surprised me," he wrote. "I already knew that the capitalist system was also sordid and money–hungry. In one of my first statements after leaving Cuba I had declared that, 'the difference between the communist and capitalist systems is that, although both give you a kick in the ass, in the communist system you have to applaud, while in the capitalist system you can scream. And I came here to scream.'"

Reinaldo Arenas Before Night Falls

Friday, July 03, 2009


"Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin--impatience. Because of impatience, we are driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return."
Franz Kafka, born July 3, 1883

Biographers have said that it was common for Kafka to read chapters of the books he was working on to his closest friends, and that those readings usually concentrated on the humorous side of his prose. Wiki

"Philip Roth was once asked whether, in writing 'Portnoy,' [Portnoy's Complaint] he was influenced by the notoriously abrasive Jewish standup comics of the period Lenny Bruce, for example. He replied that, if anything, 'Portnoy' was inspired by the work of a Jewish sit-down comic, Franz Kafka." link
Franz Kafka's bday. Onion video to commemorate

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Slow. And. Low.

In lieu of cards and letters and wishes...

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Her aesthetic might not be yours, but damn, this is a great Small Cool Home.

This woman has a combo bookshelf/murphy bed. Best comments:

"ok this may be a dumb question, but how do the books not fall out when you
pull down the bed?"

"looks like the book shelves in front of the bed slide to each side before
you pull the bed down... very cool design"

Apartment Therapy

"This Is A Pretty Good Death Trap"

Right up there with "Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb". Again & again the creators of this cartoon Do The Right Thing.

Bonus: When Batman asked Mr. Miracle how Big Barda is doing, I half expected him to make a wisecrack at Jim Starlin's expense.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

William Knaus on Ellis:

Albert Ellis (September 27, 1913 – July 24, 2007)
"Albert Ellis lives according to what I now see as a core value, or guiding principle: Freedom and liberty. He dedicated his life to help people free themselves from their inner tyrannies and unhealthy restrictions. On the path of freedom, Albert Ellis' footsteps can be found."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Vic Chestnutt's Minimalist Bio, Jonathan Q&A

Vic Chestnutt's minimalist bio is cool. He opened for Jonathan Richman last night at Bowery Ballroom. His crooning & acoustic guitar rock harder than most bands. Tommy Larkins (AKA Tah-mee LAH-kins) backed him on a few songs, adding quite a bit in a pretty minimalist way himself.

JR gets better & better. Though I want to see him do an electric show again sometime (he went though a fuzz-box period in the mid-90's that was never captured properly on any recording) he played a hot non air-conditioned (at his request--"You can blame ME") he did a killer version of Modern World with updated lyrics to open and a perfect version of Springtime in NY as a last encore.

Jonathan still embodies Precise Modern Lovers Order.

Skip the intros on this video, at about 2:42 it turns into an amusing interview with Richman & Larkins

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What's Going On INSIDE MY HEAD?

The KKK Took My Baby Away

Pleasant Dreams is one way underrated desert island album.

Many Ramones fans claim that the song was penned by Joey after Ramones' guitarist Johnny Ramone "stole" Joey's ex-girlfriend Linda from him, although he claims that he wrote the song years before the incident. The KKK supposedly refers, in an extremely exaggerated fashion, to Johnny Ramone's politically conservative views.


What's awesome of course, is that even though they never spoke to one another again, Johnny Ramone PLAYED on this song and not only on the album, but probably more times than some bands have ever played in their lifetimes given the insane amount of touring the band had to do to survive. The idea of The Ramones was stronger than the individual Ramones.

In some way it's utterly numbing to imagine oneself in that kind of straightjacket. Tommy had an excellent idea, they all gave it life and if they had broken up after Rocket To Russia they would still have been influential as hell. Another perspective is that it was the endless grind and reiteration of the basic theme with hardly any variation that makes The Ramones truly great.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Josh Kornbluth Video

The creator of Haiku Tunnel & Red Diaper Baby gets a Flip HD & fulfills the promise of low tech video. We Don't Need No Steeking Production Values! This is as good as it gets.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

He Would Ride Down Your Street In His El Dorado

#Picassso show: "Ditko was a killer cartoonist. Period." Beto. Wd say the same for the Basil Wolverton of Spanish painting.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Buzz Buzz

1 more interview: Grant Morrison explains the hive-mind here

One bee is not particularly smart but group a number of bees together and at a critical threshold something interesting happens - a 'hive' emerges. That is to say, from the aggregation of a number of not very intelligent units, a mass intelligence emerges. The same thing happens everywhere in nature; a single sponge cell is a fairly aimless, hopeless animal but gather enough of them together and a colony intelligence is seen to develop which drives each individual along as part of a group endeavor.

So, now that we have the idea in our heads that 'intelligence' appears when systems become increasingly complex, we can approach my notion of 'living comics.'

"Would anybody like a sourball?"

Great Stan Lee interview from the 60's Via the mighty Tom Spurgeon

Monday, June 01, 2009

This Year's Model

Summer of Riesling 09 will be meaty, beaty, big & bouncy.

SoloPhotostream: Accidents Will Happen

Google creates photo albums by default as a byproduct of posting to Blogger. I stumbled on this by chance. It forms a curious mindmap of postings:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Shoes Master: cool!

Go here.
Saw this cover at Reed Space, which also has coach jackets with the word "studio" where a sport would be. The Singularity seems to be upon us, Captain.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Modes Old Forms

Not only does Twitter contrast greatly with all sorts of media, but I was also thinking about a wall of Polaroids I saw today in Heist gallery on Essex St which were an emulsion based photostream.

Corby on Bagels

Corby might be a PITA, but he's right about alot of things. My Name is Bagel dispatches nattering nabobs of italo-authenticity.

(Yes, this means I am at least lazily/occasionally tweeting as me as well as terroirny. There's overlap btwn "my" voice & that of terroir, but it's not always the same thing. Let's see how it goes...)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hang With Me Joe!

This is perfect:
More here.
Via the mighty Comics Journal blog. That and Comics Reporter are essential.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Napkin dispenser with notebook paper (I.D. Mag)

"There’s something to be said for the romance of the napkin sketch—the informality of the gesture, the unidentifiable food stains. That said, if you had access to proper office supplies at a tapas bar, what better excuse to hold off-site staff meetings? Madrid designer and Fabrica alum Sandra Bautista, whose work was included in 2006’s “Feeding Desire” exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, reloaded this standard tapas bar napkin holder with notebook paper. “It’s a small intervention,” she says, but a useful one."

I love this. Check em all out: I.D. Magazine

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

No Wonder I Have The Munchies All The Time

This article is a treasure trove of pronouncements on our current predicament. Oh shit, I mean MY predicament, who's kidding who here?

He sees our distraction as a full-blown epidemic—a cognitive plague that has the potential to wipe out an entire generation of focused and productive thought. He compares it, in fact, to smoking. “People aren’t aware what’s happening to their mental processes,” he says, “in the same way that people years ago couldn’t look into their lungs and see the residual deposits.”


People who frequently check their e-mail have tested as less intelligent than people who are actually high on marijuana.
And, And:
The Internet is basically a Skinner box engineered to tap right into our deepest mechanisms of addiction.

Sam Anderson, NY Mag

A Rosé is a...

Leo Barrera is to Rosé as Paul Grieco is to ------------------ (for 15 points)

I unabashedly love rosé, following in the path blazed by Leo Barrera and others. Friend and co-Terroirist, David Flaherty, at Grapes and Grains has provocatively posted on the current numbnuts EU debate. Here's my comment, which has grown into a posting somehow as well:

Some thoughts. I generally get out my bullshit detector when I hear a supposed opposition of values, usually suspecting a dialectic in the making or outright irrelevant hairsplitting.

The problem is larger than winemaking, it's that traditional culture has some great, time tested truths that must be respected. But at the same time, if not kept fresh by irreverent experimentalists all culture will stagnate and die.

I don't think that codifying winemaking and categorizing creative activity means shit. Vino da Tavola or IGT? The name of the producer is what counts.

The relevant Star Trek clip is this one from The Omega Glory:

James Hillman wrote about the connection between the radical (who looks to the root, literally) and the traditionalist somewhere. My version of what we are doing at the wine bar is breathing life into moribund forms but always returning to the root in terms of content.

Thackrey is not in opposition to typicity and sense of place, he delivers a critique of unthinking jargon/marketing lingo.

Anyway, that's my take right now.

PS: As always, the EU is wasting time codifying Rosé when they could be feeding people, man!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

One More Imeem: Joy in Repetition

Just saw the Vaselines, wow. The show, at Bowery Ballroom, was filled with perfect moments. The balance of pop, noise and wit was exquisite. Superclassicist anti-rockiest popstars, the driest sense of humor ever, spectacular stuff. Give them $ for the new uberset MP3 link vinyl
(PS, if you buy the vinyl, you get the MP3 for free. Yes, my 2 favorite formats live & cds still get to die. Cassettes/mixtapes I will have to post separately on since that's kind of an emotional thing around here.)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Shake. Some. Action.

Saturday night/Sunday morning, Rainy Spring night. Perfect weather to powerpop. 

What is the connection these deceptively cheery sounds have to melancholy? This stuff, The Raspberries, The Records... all these upbeat songs have a kind of yearning jangling feeling somehow... 

What does Norway Actually Produce?

"Norway trade union: Boycott Israel if peace process fails"

Well, good luck without cellphones, computer chips or medical advances. But what in the world do those hypocrites actually contribute so that they can be boycotted in return?

OH, Norwegian SALMON? You mean fancy LOX? Bring it on, Norwegian trade union. Who the fuck do you think is eating all that smoked fish? Hint: probably not our Palestinian brothers and sisters!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Independent George for Friday

Damn. This snippet is like a koan I can watch on repeat all morning. And I have.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Start small. Do what you can with something you care about so deeply that you simply can’t not do it." (via tferriss)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Comics great Jaime Hernandez: “That was kind of our punk mentality at the time: If they hate it, that’s good too!"

Friday, May 08, 2009


"Do you get all hot and bothered when you find an profile that includes the words "obscure" and "groundbreaking" or "influential" in close proximity? This group is for you."

Our Band Could Be Your Life group.

Damn, the best typography when the mainstream culture was eating Reagan's shit 24-7.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Fuck THAT

Obama To Fire His First Gay Arabic Linguist
Do we ever get out of high school? Enough is enough. Fire homophobic assholes. Fire republican hypocrite pederasts.


CHOI: Well, when I got the letter, I was extremely angry. I was angry -- I mean, the letter is basically saying bottom line, Lieutenant Dan Choi, you're fired. You're a West Point graduate, you're fired. You're an Arabic linguist, you're fired. You deployed to Iraq, you're willing to deploy again, doesn't matter. Because you're gay, that's enough grounds to kick you out.

But the biggest thing that I'm angry about is what it says about my unit. It says that my unit suffered negative good order -- negative actions -- good order and discipline suffered. That's a big insult to my unit.

I mean, all the insult that the letter can do, to say that I'm worthy of being fired, you know, that's nothing comparing to saying that my unit is not professional enough, that my unit does not deserve to have a leader that is willing to deploy, that has skills to contribute.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

One More Video: Ramones, MENTAL

"Men like the same item the same way over and over again. I wear mine until they’re finished, and then I want the same exact pair."The same applies for every piece of clothing I own. Justin R. Saunders, fashion person, NYT.

Yeah. Let's take that one step further. Men like the same 3 min song...

After Party Schmafterparty

Have I reposted this recently? The scene in Hannah & Her Sisters where Woody slips into a theatre and regains his will to live via The Marx Bros rings true. "The Management Requests Absolute Silence During The Following Presentation..."

It also seems reminiscent of the royal afterparty held in my honor the other night at Terroir.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Meta to the max

Mimi Zeiger: still thinking about the neuroenhancer article. the new yorker as a gateway drug?

Steven Solomon:
You start out reading NYT online, end up FB'ing your Tweets which link to your blog and then post it on a comment. I swear I just did that, in between answering emails and replying to tweets. Not joking. Help.

(Now posting all of this to the blog to see if I explode or what.)

The Name of This Company is Steven Solomon

I lost the Beard award, but being a finalist nationwide (out of 3) the first time out of the gate pretty fucking much establishes me as a force to contend with in the world of fucked up animated GIFs & swearwords on restaurant websites.

"I will fucking brand your fucking winebar and it will fucking STAY branded, motherfucker!!!" is my corporate mission statement.

A Stefan Sagmeister shaped suit would still chafe and constrain, only a custom StevenSolo suit would make sense. But The Sag would make the most sense as a reference if one is needed here. (While staring at framed, tattered newspaper pic of David Carson on a surfboard and lighting a candle at the Ramones belt buckle of ARTURO VEGA, who donned the luchadore mask while I was still in high school.)

The most important bit of business at the moment is getting my own pair of the loaner silver Nikes I wore, courtesy of a fashion forward friend here in NYC. Friends in Rome are scouring the Eternal City as we blog.

(P.S. Yes, I copped the title for this entry from the Talking Heads. Respect!)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

THANKS for your support, fun ride, now back to work damnit.

Jeremy: THANKS FOR THE SHOES! They killed last night.

There's alot to be written about being a Beardie nominee, sitting in that audience waiting to hear the winners announced for hours is a roller coaster ride that I would not have missed. And, for all my skepticism about awards in general there were many moments that were meaningful. The tribute to Totonno's pizza was cool. Feeding America infomercial and the hands down best speaker of the night: Jack Arnold, who just owned the room with dry drawling wit.

Eating, like 4 pounds of octopus carpaccio and uni cuban sandwiches was cool. Minor disappointment: the Illy capsule espresso maker doesn't offer Nespresso a challenge at ALL. I want Illy to do better as they are way cooler.

Drinking at events like this is more a matter of avoiding drinking too much for me. Champagne at the Terroir afterparty was delicious, that was the real moment. (With Rocket To Russia blasting.) The Terroir afterparty was so blissfully fucked up that it's hard to imagine it being better if I were wearing a medallion with Lex Luthor on it! What would have happened if I won? A nuclear explosion on East 12th Street?

Paul Grieco, human fireball. David Flaherty, criminal mastermind.

The amazing support of all my friends was a bit overwhelming

Seeing so many people from my restaurant life was surreal. Note to self: go OUT in Boston & get to Myers and Chang already.

In retrospect, being a dark horse for the nomination suits me just fine. Kudos to The Korn Group.

The sneakers were a loaner from friend Jeremy and changed my life. They were real Nikes so they were not only sick shiny but actually bouncy and sneaker-y. Awesome.

OH, and it's Sampanthavivat!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Inside the baby mind: (Boston Globe)

Baudelaire was right: "Genius is nothing more nor less than childhood recovered at will."

Although scientists have long held the lack of a functional prefrontal cortex responsible for all sorts of "childish" behaviors, researchers are beginning to realize that, sometimes, it might actually be better to allow the prefrontal cortex to loosen its grip.

A recent brain scanning experiment by researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that jazz musicians in the midst of improvisation - they were playing a specially designed keyboard in a brain scanner - showed dramatically reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex. It was only by "deactivating" this brain area that the musicians were able to spontaneously invent new melodies. The scientists compare this unwound state of mind with that of dreaming during REM sleep, meditation, and other creative pursuits, such as the composition of poetry. But it also resembles the thought process of a young child, albeit one with musical talent. Baudelaire was right: "Genius is nothing more nor less than childhood recovered at will."

The immaturity of the baby brain comes with another advantage: utter absorption in the moment.

I Want To Bite The Hand That Feeds Me

THIS is the shit, Elvis C. at the point of maximum impact. Anyone potentially doing a public presentation, say, at an awards ceremony or something, should study this carefully.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Strummer on Suits

"My bummin' slummin' friends have all got new boots
An' someone just asked me if the group would wear suits"

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sneaker Quote

I am thinking of a nice "Woody Allen escorts Betty Ford" kind of sneaker.

From Time (!):

"The sneaker is not so much an object as an idea, a symbol of values that America has always taken pride in: social and physical mobility, practicality, informality, even rebellion (such as when Woody Allen wore a pair of Converse high-tops to escort First Lady Betty Ford to the ballet in 1975)."

Can't find a good pic of this right now.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Want to get ahead? Sleep in

Late Riser's Club: Not just a member, I'm the president... Full article here.

...there are no “late-riser” special discounts or idioms such as “the night owl catches the worm.” That's because of societal pressures, says Prof. Peigneux, co-author of the study. Those who hit their stride at midnight are often required to then get up early for work or school. They may appear to be lazy or unmotivated – but are really just sleep-deprived.

“If you allow them to live on their preferred schedule, then they can outperform the morning types,” he said.

The study measured the part of the brain that is home to the circadian master clock that operates according to a day-night cycle. Sleep pressure dampens the circadian signal, and activity in this area decreases the longer the person is awake. The night owls were more resistant to sleep pressure.

Also see : Guido Sarducci

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bolinas = Pussy Galore

terroirNY Thackrey Aquila Sangiovese went back to the Blood of Jove concept. If Tuscany=Beatles, then Bolinas=Pussy Galore.

Friday, April 24, 2009

" 'I am because I am accessible' - does not, repeat, not, put an end to my aloneness but rather intensifies it"- James Hillman

45 RPM

"The single must be a distillation of one's powers, the most exciting slice of noise a person can cram between the lip of the disc and the edge of the label,"
-Mac McGaughan, Superchunk

Skip Steps 1 & 3

Via Tullycraft

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thing I Wish I'd Thought Of

Yep. That's my Airport Express.
As promised, originally uploaded by merlinmann