Tag Archives: 30 days of jasmine

401: the 30 days of jasmine – day 16

So originally I wasn’t going to write anything until Saturday morning, but I had to tell you all about this man I saw at Borders. I was there buying a present for Khloé, who graduates from business school on Friday. She has a wishlist on Amazon, but I wanted to bring her an actual present instead of just, ya know, printing out an invoice, folding it into an origami crane to make up for the fact that I’m giving her a scrap of paper, and then present it to her while she gets posher gifts from people who have money.

But I digress. So I’m in the cookbooks, looking for her present. Can’t find it, so I wander over to the DVDs and pick something out. Before checking out, I cruise over to the magazines so I can pick out something for the train ride home. I usually hit the magazines first but when I got to the store the magazine racks were blocked by suburban matron types killing time before the 7:30 show of Wicked a few doors away.

Women with major French manicures and gigantic heads of hair flipping through The Lovely Bones or Morning Has Broken: A Couple’s Journey Through Depression by plus-size supermodel Emme. Underdressed women who have hair like Pam on The Office. Hipsters trying to look cool by the European editions of the fashion magazines. Why didn’t these fools know to leave me alone with the periodicals? Bitches.

The magazines section was clear by the time I was ready to check out, so I made another pass to see if I could score a hit of Jane magazine. And I was able to, and this time I was met by the sight of a man wearing a parka, dark to match the rest of his clothes. Bald with a full beard, I thought maybe he was talking to himself until I looked closer and noticed that he was talking alright, but not to himself. He had a full on conversation going on with Oprah Winfrey herself. Who cares if instead of the woman herself she was represented by her glossy photo on the cover of her glossy self-titled magazine? This guy had jokes, he had lines. He leaned on the rack, hands planted on either side of Oprah. Step aside, Ladies Home Journal and Self, this man had to get his mack on.

You’ll notice that I’ve given up blogging for every day of the 30 days of jasmine, but don’t be fooled! You must still be observing the 30 days of jasmine with the same level of mirth that I specified when i began.

So don’t give up on me or on you? Besides, we’re almost there. And did I tell you that the 30 days of jasmine actually won’t end until April 1? Only because Jacinda, tired of my ass dragging on birthday plans, did the sensible thing and made dinner plans for Friday, March 31 for me, her, and anybody else who is interested. I’m really looking forward to this.

Love,
Jasmine

PS: Hey — Matt Irvin? HAPPY FREAKING BIRTHDAY YOURSELF!

*songs*
Tito Puente – Varsity Drag; Dusty Springfield – Take Another Little Piece of My Heart; Devendra Banhart – The Body Breaks; Delta 5 – Now That You’ve Gone; Jay-Z – Dirt Off Your Shoulder

*links*
“jasmine looks like” (Google)
Boobie Name Generator (BT)
“Diversity lacking in crowds at large museums” (CST)

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400: the 30 days of jasmine – days 12, 13, & 14

I took the weekend off from writing because I thought I deserved a break. Also because I honestly believed I would get some housework done — laundry. Finally tidying my room. Going through my wardrobe to take out the winter sweaters for dry cleaning, going through old t-shirts and figuring out which ones to give to the Salvation Army. But alas — no. I did, however, manage to ship Maria’s computer to her (the guy who works at the UPS Store in Wicker Park on Saturday mornings is very groovy and was listening to Jesus and Mary Chain B-sides when I came in), accompanied Molly to Gus’s Recycling to drop off some cardboard and to the Humbold Park library to renew some books, and picked up lunch at Sultan’s Market on North Avenue. I ate my lunch at home while I caught up on my Netflix viewing:

To Kill A Mockingbird: I’d forgotten how perfect this movie is. Remember that part where Scout sees Boo Radley behind Jem’s bedroom door, moments after he saves them from Bob Ewell? Just the revelatory look on her face, where she recognizes the stranger with whom she’d been friends for a year, brought me to tears.

The Beat My Heart Skipped: I’ve never seen Fingers, the English-language original of this French remake, but it is now on my Netflix queue. I wish I spoke French better (okay, at all) but I sometimes felt like I didn’t need to. I have to confess I got this because I liked the title, but the movie ended up being very good. Lots of passion directed into violence, sex (occasionally), and music, the last being the most satisfying. I think this movie should be shown to people like me who give up on an instrument when young because they get lazy or simply lose interest. It’s been about twenty years since I last took lessons (from a Filipino lady who would spend most of my lesson gossiping with my mother over glasses of too-sweet Lipton’s iced tea made from a mix), and this movie (about a real estate shark who, upon a chance encounter with his late pianist mother’s booking agent, tries to return to the piano after not playing for ten years) made me think that I should find a teacher and start lessons again. PS: The character of Aline wore this really great outfit that, when I think about it now, is something the editors of Lucky magazine were gaga over in their April issue. Skinny leather bomber jacket over slim blouse or jersey tee, pencil skirt and medium heels. Dammit are those French women ever chic.

Michael is in town through next Sunday, so I didn’t feel so bad about not coming out Friday (though Jacinda and Joe told me I missed a good time). I got myself out the door Saturday night for dinner at Jin Ju with Michael, Kevin, Sean, and Ryan. Dammit, it was delicious, both the food and the busboy. Post-dinner drinking and foolishness were at Cocktail, then at Spin. I’ve never been to Spin. It wasn’t all crazy like I thought it would be. I did get my diet cokes for free, though. I noticed somewhere between Cocktail and Spin that my carefully applied eyeliner, which had withstood rain and a long bus ride to dinner and enduring heckling from the drunk yuppies who have taken over Bucktown, had now smeared that by the time I checked it I looked like a sad panda in drag. Oh boo. Whatevs. The lighting was never bright enough that the smudges were super-noticeable, and it’s not like anybody was checking my ass out. Okay, maybe the drag kings at Spin, but I was too transfixed on video images of Madonna’s crotch to notice. I left around 1pm, taking the Clark bus until a traffic accident forced the bus (and me with it) to detour to Halsted. Got a cab home from Webster and Halsted, and not too soon as I was outside an Irish pub full of drunken Trixies tugging on sequined green halter tops (Saturday was the downtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade) and I was not trying to hear any of their bullshit.

Sunday was quiet. Molly was gone by the time I woke up. A quorum of supafriends, joined by Andrew (aka “The Hasidic Warrior”) for an afternoon showing of Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. A great movie — highly recommended, if only for Dave riffing on any and everything. The two kids from Ohio who got to attend the block party at Dave’s invitation. The Central State Marching Band accompanying Kanye West on a searing rendition of “Jesus Walks”. Erykah Badu ripping off her afro wig and just cutting loose. The Roots, Jill Scott, and Erykah Badu performing the Roots’ most perfect “You Got Me”. Lauryn Hill’s scary unkempt eyebrows. Afterwards, tacos and Uno at my place where I came up with the title for the first track of the rap album I will one day release: “It’s Hard Out Here For A Flip”. Thank you, thank you bitches. Also, “Big Flippin'”, and the video would feature me on a yacht pouring diet ginger ale onto the naked hairless torsos of hot male models. Oh it would be awesome. My weekend came to an end with the season premiere of The Sopranos and the series premiere of Big Love. Both were great, but I missed Grey’s Anatomy. Anybody tape it and want to lend it to me?

Monday was slow, though it was a co-worker’s birthday so we celebrated with an absurd number of baby bundt cakes from The Corner Bakery. Holy balls are those things good. Though the CB no longer has the carrot cake baby bundts that I love so much, the new banana flavor is scrum-diddly-umptious. On the way home from work, Michael texted me some lyrics for “Big Pimpin'” which, sadly, I erased by mistake from my phone. Argh. Oh, and it was, like, really windy here in Chicago. Things falling off buildings. Tornados in the south. Um, when does spring start again?

Tuesday — again, not much to report though I did finally get the OK for my April vacation in New York. I will definitely hit Philly if the usual friends want to see me — maybe even get concert tour t-shirts made up to sell. Also, I got a manicure. Bright red nails – they look utterly fantastic, but I don’t count on it lasting long as I’m bowling Saturday night. Ladies, what do you do if you want to bowl but do not want to ruin a fresh manicure?

So for March 15, 2006, day 15 of the 30 days of jasmine, observe the Ides of March by renting the first season of Rome on DVD. Feel free to watch the last episode first, so you can see Julius Caesar enjoy his last Ides of March. Or just do what I like to do and just look for all the naughty bits scattered throughout the season. A friend would probably also want me to remind you that March 14 was either Pi Day or Steak & a BJ Day. I think it’s pretty clear in what way both holidays should be observed, in which case feel free to spare me the details.

Love,
Jasmine

Pootie Tang will draw you a picture of how he gonna kick your ass, then mail it to you ten days in advance. The picture gets there right? You’re goin’, ‘What the hell is this?’ and then Pootie Tang knocks on your door, promptly kicks your ass and you still won’t know what happened to you!”

*songs*
Jens Lekman – Pretty Shoes; Catherine Wheel – She’s My Friend; Earth Wind & Fire – Reasons; Frida – I Know What’s Going On; The Chemical Brothers – Galvanize; Guns N’ Roses – Patience; Tim Buckley – Strange Feelin’

*links, bitches*
“Big Nintendo Pimpin'” (CRBT)
Crash Consp
iracy Theories (FT)
Having a Kid Does Strange Things to Your Internal Dialog (HE): a link for Andrew and Rozi, and my co-worker Dave and his wife.

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399: the 30 days of jasmine – day 11

I meant to write Friday night but I was simply exhausted. Worked all day, then accompanied Cynthia and her children to Nordstrom Rack to buy them shoes. A lovely way to spend an evening — precocious children, sarcastic pal, discount footwear.

The place was a madhouse — tons of clearance items, spring collections were in, and I went crazy trying on impractical yet totally adorable espadrilles. I’m not tall, but I think my legs are bit longer than normal because I looked smashing in every pair I tried on. I eavesdropped on the conversations of women who tried on canvas Coach flats, spangly strappy sandals — everybody was buying pretty party shoes while I was pricing boring yet comfortable Converse All-Stars.

Cynthia and I would have been happy with fast food for dinner but the children insisted on Bennigan’s. The venue had been suggested by Cynthia at the beginning of our evening together, when we had energy to spare and were not laden with four pairs of children’s shoes. We waited at Bennigan’s for 25 minutes until we were seated right next to the hostess who, for a tiny girl, had an awfully big voice. All the better to butcher your name with.

I briefly considered an adult beverage but then reconsidered as I did not want to confrot the children with the sight of “Aunt Jasmine” gasping for breath after a sugary confectio of vodka and various fruit juices. Dinner was leisurely, though not so long as the party next to us — three women, four children, all of whom took about 20 minutes after the end of the meal to apply eye makeup to themselves and to each other instead, of say, paying the bill and getting the fuck up out of there.

By the time I got home, it was nearly 9pm and I was too tired to meet Michael and a bunch of folks at Big Chicks. The gay bar scene had to survive another night without me.

*links*
Hungry (Hungrymag.com)
Jin Ju in Chicago (Metromix)

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398: the 30 days of jasmine – day 10

I had a productive Thursday evening, even though it did not involve catching up on my homework. I stayed home to work but instead I fried chicken, made rice krispies treats, watched “Flash Gordon” and wrote a piece on spec for an on-line food magazine.

* fried chicken — I used a combination of butter and canola oil. Heating the oil to the point of fragrance, I slipped in the chicken (washed in milk, then packed in a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper), turned the heat down and covered the chicken. I always find this incredibly difficult to do, covering the chicken so I can’t watch it to make sure it does not burn. I flicked on the overhead fan, and listened to the snap crackle pop of the chicken in hot oil and butter. I used my last few paper towels to drain the chicken, which is consumed by me, Molly, and Kathy while we watch Flash Gordon.

* rice krispies treats — I’ve had marshmallows in the house since last Halloween, when I bought them for the express purpose of making popcorn balls. I failed in this effort, as I would just eat the popcorn as I made it, and ended up setting it out in big bowls along with the candy, the spinach balls, and the tater tots. So what do you do with marshmallows if you’ve no hot chocolate to drink, s’mores to toast, candied yams to serve to a batch of hungry guests? You make rice krispies treats, which is almost as easy as boiling water. The thing to remember is that when you have a molten ball of marshmallows, butter and rice krispies which you are desperately trying to wrestle into a buttered dish, it’s no use trying with a spoon or a spatula to keep your hands clean. Just use your hands already and press that wad into submission.

* Flash Gordon — There are so many things I want to say about a movie that I loved as a child but can’t help but laugh at as an adult. A pre-007 Timothy Dalton swinging about on fake vines, clad in green tights and an unconvincing mustache. A queeny Max Von Sydow, baldcap pulled tight and eye makeup appropriately kitten-ish, as Emperor Ming: I kept picturing him flouncing about in Hannah & Her Sisters, where he played Barbara Hershey’s moody painter boyfriend. Long story short: I see Flash Gordon now, and I think: “soft core porn film version of Puccini’s Turandot set in a roller disco”. Xanadu crossed with The Last Emperor meets Battlestar Galactica on the way to a hoedown with Star Wars.

* writing — yay! I wrote something about fast food. But boo! I did not do my homework. I’ve decided that I will do homework tomorrow afternoon after my morning errands while I do laundry, which I’ve been meaning to do for a month. Uh huh, I know I’ve said this all before but this time: I mean it.

You’re becoming as prolific as Stephen King…if he had a blog. And it was not scary.
(Ramone)

*songs*
Massive Attack – Angel; Company B – Fascinated; Sam Cooke – That’s Where It’s At; Elvis Presley – Hound Dog

*links*
Gorgeous photos of Hanoi (Photoeye via Heading East)
The Cutting Edge cuts a big one (TVGuide)
NPH rocks the subway (Gawker)

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397: the 30 days of jasmine – day 9

Not much to report but I am filled with glee because:
1. Chloé Dao is the winner of season 2 of Project Runway.
2. A good good friend is moving back to Chicago some time this year.
3. I worked out today and endorphins make me giggly.
I accompanied Cynthia to her gym for a workout. She goes to Women’s Workout World. Just as a guest, though the terms of membership are so cheap that I could see doing this instead of, say, going out to dinner one less time than I do currently. I had hoped it was like the gymnasium in The Women, with medicine balls being used as ottomans by plumpy, pampered women who smoked on the treadmills. Went for facials and manicures and wore heels to racquetball lessons.

Seriously — it wasn’t super-fancy but I really dug this treadmill I used. Series of colored lights track your progress as you climb an imaginary mountain, the outline of which is drawn in more colored lights on the console of the treadmill. It was like a video game (if not a very good one). I huffed and huffed until I realized that I could tell I was working (heart rate) but I wasn’t killing myself. So I guess that would be a long-term effect of not smoking anymore. Interesting. I think I may take a hip-hop class next week — depending on how that goes you may see me shaking my ass in Missy Elliott’s next music video.

For March 9, 2006, day 9 of the 30 days of jasmine, as the day is almost over, you should eat something you’ve never eaten before for dinner. Like beef tongue or pork elbow or some mysterious though groovy-looking shrub at your local hippie health food restaurant. Only don’t come crying to me if you get food poisoning — discretion is between you and your local restaurant inspector.

*songs*
Ryan Adams – English Girls Approximately; Santana – Oye Como Va; Tito Puente – Oye Como Va; Celia Cruz – Oye Como Va (Latin/Trance Mix)

*links*
http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/chicago/events.cfm
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasmine/110289421

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396: the 30 days of jasmine – day 8

1. dumb shit

a. During WGN’s pre-Oscar coverage from the red carpet, the station aired a clip featuring spas popular with celebrities for Oscar-week pampering. I don’t remember the name of the spa in question, but the voiceover for an Asian-owned spa went something like “This Asian-themed spa is where Best Director nominee Ang Lee can return to his Chinese roots.” I was shocked those motherfuckers didn’t include the sound of a gong being struck.

b. Copy in promotional e-mail from Vivre.com: “Vivre introduces a new collection by Andrew Gn, renowned for his couture designs expertly cut from luxurious fabrics and for intricate accessories that fuse an East/West sensibility.” Is it just a coincidence, or is it really true that all Asian and Asian-American designers and artists are required to demonstrate this kind of bilingual, bi-cultural cliche when producing and promoting one’s work? How would you market an Asian designer whose work does not provide the kind of visual clues (or stereotypes) we identify as being “Asian” or “Oriental”?

2. speechifying

So I have acceptance speeches, remarks, and statements at the ready should I ever be so fortunate to work my ass off for/be lucky enough to get a Nobel Prize (peace or literature), a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation, Pulitzer, Emmy, Academy Award, Booker Prize, etc. Well, that’s not true. I have ideas, a plan to act modest while looking effortlessly gorgeous in a couture gown (I’m thinking Cavalli, Versace, or any vintage from Lily et Cie or Decades in Hollywood). Naturally, I turn first to the Beastie Boys for some inspiration, specifically track 1 of side 1 of Paul’s Boutique:

    Yea…
    To all the Brooklyn boys
    To all the French boys
    To all the Oriental boys
    Chinese…
    Japanese…
    To all the Swiss boys
    To the Italian men
    To the Upper East Side nubiles
    To all the Jamaican boys
    And to the shower dancers
    Australian…
    And Brazilian…
    To the Southern Belles
    To the Puerto Rican boys
    To the cabin boys sailing around the world…

Then I give a shout-out to all the fancy edumucated people I know, the requisite industry/showbiz folks, and then friends. My family, and lastly whoever I’m currently married to, sleeping with, or have retained as my walker for the occasion. If there’s time, I’ll try to say something lovely in my “native language”.

3. rain

For March 8, 2006, day 8 of the 30 days of jasmine, make sure you watch tonight’s season finale of Project Runway. Oh, and work on your own Oscar acceptance speech.

Cheers,
Jasmine

*songs*
Usher – Yeah!; Basement Jaxx – Rendez-Vu; Jay-Z & DJ Danger Mouse – 99 Problems (Grey Album)

*links*
one more Oscar link (Village Voice)
CuteOverload t-shirt (Glarkware.com)

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395: the 30 days of jasmine – day 7

1. i want to be a celebrity

Oh we’re late this morning, aren’t we? The flip front is on Filipino time, suckas, and you’re just gonna have to take it.

Now that I am officially over the Oscars, I find myself at a bit of a loss. Awards season is over, and I have no celebrity jamboree of self-congratulation to anticipate. No stories of celebrity gifting suites, over-stuffed goody bags that yes, do have to be declared to the IRS, and publicist shoot-outs at after-after-parties in the Hollywood Hills. I guess this means that, writing-wise, I should get back to work.

My screenplay has been languishing on my iBook. I’m about a week behind on my homework for my television class, and I haven’t calculated the Hot Mess Index for Pop Culture Junkies in over a month. Celebrities have passed away, gotten engaged, broken up, gotten back together, and won awards, and I’ve let it all go, seemingly unnoticed. Not because I’m disinterested — who else but me would care that 2006 Oscar nominee Michelle Williams brought Busy Phillips as one of her guests to the awards ceremony this year? Meanwhile, everytime I look at George Clooney I see George the Cypriot handyman from The Facts of Life, or Booker the hunky factory manager on Roseanne. Oh, yeah, and that doctor guy on ER, but I was never an ER fan so I don’t swoon over the sight of him in a lab coat. I am waiting for Laurence Fishburne to be nominated for an Oscar again so the celebrity gossip magazines will run pictures of him as Cowboy Curtis on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.

During my little Oscars viewing party, we spent some time talking about the time limit for acceptance speeches and how, if you’re one of a group of winners, you won’t get to say shit if you’re not the first person to speak. So you’d better get to the mike first, and have your list ready. I’ve had my speech written and re-written in my head since adolescence. What changes most is the people I thank. Do I stick to the usual agent/producer/cast/crew/family? Or should I feel free to thank whoever the hell I want? I can’t help but think it’s like planning a wedding. You may not be able to have 12 bridesmaids, but you want to single those people out for being especially supportive. I was thinking that, should I have the opportunity to make an acceptance speech at such a grand occasion, I could use hand signals — my lips thank one group of folks while my hands give non-verbal shout-outs to everybody else.

2. scenes from the Oak Park Library

Jacinda went to the library yesterday and had this to report (note that the Kofi in ‘Kofi-esque’ is an old co-worker of mine who is the combination of good looks and good nature that you think cannot possible exist outside of fantasyland):

    “I am startled by little shrill voices and upon looking up I see a little boy and girl — brother and sister, about 6 or 7 with what looks like their VERY handsome Kofi-esque dad and their grandma — singing the chorus to ‘Gold Digger’ by Kanye West with all their little hearts? Awwwwww. I laughed. The dad laughed, too, but he seemed a tad more, um, embarrassed…

    “They were so cute singing their best little imitation of a Mr. Foxx falsetto. I mean, these kids were NOT much higher than three feet. I didn’t join in but I cracked a big smile as it was all I could do to keep from breaking into full-on laughing. The dad saw me and started smiling back in a way that said ‘Yes, those ARE my six year olds singing “she takes my money…yeah, she’s a trifling friend indeed.”‘ Then he totally looked embarrassingly at the ground trying not to laugh, so I had to look away and try not to laugh myself. But not before catching the confused look on the grandma lady’s face which said ‘What the hell are these kids singing and why is everyone laughing?’ The kids, however, took no note of any of this and just sang on through the parking garage as happy as little clams. Tee hee. That’s culture for you.

    “[U]pon walking into the Oak Park Library’s cafe, I am startled by the under-age employees who are, as they serve me my coffee, babbling about how this weekend they’re gonna have a big-ass poker party where they’re just gonna ‘play cards and get wasted.’ Ah, gambling and booze by 17. Awwwwwwww. This did not make me laugh.”

3. spring flowers

For March 7, 2006, day 7 of the 30 days of Jasmine, start counting down to the first day of spring. I don’t know how one does that, but my guess would be prepping your windowboxes and gardens, buying seed packets, checking your gardening gloves for holes, and stocking up on allergy medication. Also, getting some rubber boots or shoes for mucking about in the dirt. I tested my new pink galoshes this weekend by splashing about in a gutter because I am, as we all know, actually four years old.

Smooches,
Jasmine

*songs*
The Jimmy Castor Bunch – It’s Just Begun; LL Cool J – Doin’ It; The Beautiful South – I Started A Joke; Willie Nelson – Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly (Fond of Each Other); Rufus Wainwright – The Maker Makes; Amerie – 1 Thing

*shoes & boots*
wellie-boots.com
LL Bean Women’s Wellies
LL Bean Puddle Stompers
LL Bean “Bean” Boots
Smith & Hawken Dahlia Boots and Clogs
Smith & Hawken British Wellies
clogsonline.com

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394: the 30 days of jasmine – day 6

1. I need stop eating white rice.

2. I need to show restraint at Indian buffets.

3. I need to thank Kathy more for driving on all of our adventures.

4. I need to thank Kathy period for driving on all of our adventures.

5. I need to gossip less about celebrities.

6. I need to say no to ice cream.

7. I need to get over Crash winning the best picture Oscar, as it’s not fair to criticize movie I’ve not yet seen.

8. I need to get up early Monday and walk before going to work.

9. I need to spend more time talking to my roommate.

10. I need to kiss cute boys.

11. I need to write Molly’s parents a thank you letter for breakfast this weekend.

12. I need to do my taxes.

13. I need to do my laundry.

14. I need a vacation.

15. I need more money.

16. I need to sleep.

17. I need to stop worrying.

18. I need to find out who Jake Gyllenhaal brought to the Oscars.

For March 7, 2006, day 7 of the 30 days of jasmine, you all need to get off that thing and dance ’til you feel better. Put on some James Brown and the Famous Flames and practice your splits. Dig out some old house sides and do the Percolator while you wash the dishes. Pogo to the Buzzcocks until your roommates think you’ve gone nuts.

Kisses,
Jasmine

*songs*
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPublishedPlaylist?id=736860&s=143441

*links*
http://www.defamer.com/hollywood/oscars/we-are-all-in-this-thing-together-liveblogging-the-oscars-158481.php
http://theenvelope.latimes.com/news/env-2006razzies,0,2188797.story?coll=env-lat-homepage
http://movies.monstersandcritics.com/news/article_1134822.php/Oscars%AE_06_Heard_on_the_Red_Carpet

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393: the 30 days of jasmine – day 5

Was your day 4 good? Mine was. After last night’s breakdancing and butoh, today’s breakfast with Molly and her parents (who are totally adorable). We walked to the Riverside Deli which was not crowded — I guess everybody who turns up for their Sunday brunch buffet is unaware that on all other days of the week you can still get a delicious breakfast that will not break the bank. I didn’t have the Lox Benedict this time, but I did get scrambled eggs with tomato, onion, cream cheese, spinach, and lox. This is, I feel, my ideal breakfast.

So much delicious food while we talked and wondered about the old photographs and butcher’s saws that decorate the place. Dusty Coke bottles, marble shelves, and mirrored built-in cupboards. The Riverside, being appealing and inexpensive, is a popular place to take your parents when they come in to visit. Also, very low-key for those post-coital breakfasts, though if you’re feeling shy you can just get food from the deli case — breaded pork cutlets, stuffed peppers, fish cakes, and empanadas, among other treats — and eat it at home in bed. Or so I hear.

After breakfast, and a long walk to the grocery store to buy chicken for tomorrow’s adobong manok, I was all set to spend my afternoon doing laundry and cleaning my room. Naturally, Kathy and her need for shopping company ruined my plans, yet again. Before shopping, Kathy dropped off some items for donation at the local Salvation Army. All I will say about this stop is that the donations staff is very friendly.

We hit the big chick store, as Kathy is tall and I am very round, to see if we couldn’t find Kathy some black jeans. The place was full of ladies, trying on sparkly tops and crinkly cotton skirts. Whenever I hit this particular chain of stores, the only guy I ever see is the security guard. And the further I can get away from the eyes of the guard while I paw stretch jeans and beaded bracelets that have extra beads so the thing fits and doesn’t pinch so much that I feel like the Pillsbury Doughboy’s Asian Cousin, the Pillsbury Chinese Roast Pork Bun, the better.

There was a cute round lady with cute glasses being followed around by her husband, who was not a big guy. While I skulked near the tunics and the trousers with the elasticated waists, I’d peek at him, this normal-sized man, a regular kind of guy. Not because he was especially hot but because I wanted to read his face. A mixture of bemusement and bewilderment as he wandered the store. I wonder what he thought of the scene before him — a bevy of ladies, none of them smaller than a size 14, plenty of them explaining dismay or pleasure when trying items on to see exactly where they fall size-wise. Let’s take for granted that they, I mean we, are all rocking the double-digits. For some of us though, the truly compelling question is how far north or south of 20 are we? I kept having to banish from my head the idea that he thought it was like being on safari, where the twist is not so much that none of us were skinny, but that for once, the air was not ringing with the sounds of shrill female voices asking plaintively “Does this make me look fat?” Because, well, by and large, we do. But do we look hot? Do we look cute? These questions are, I feel, much more important.

So post-shopping (where Kathy found no jeans), post-lunch, post nap on purple couch for Kathy (and some web surfing for me), I decided that we will not spend another weekend night on the couch, watching television, and ogling cute boys on the screen. I decided we should go to The Tasting Room and just be out to see if we could ogle cute boys in person. So out we were — Scotch flight for me, Champagne flight for Kathy, and cheese and olives for all. Kathy mentioned that The Tasting Room would be a great place for a date, which immediately got me plotting and scheming on how I would organize her social life because, well, I am a busybody and this is just how things go. We talked about being ready to date, being prepared, which got me thinking about (instead of acting on) my own thoughts about men.

So say I like vaguely athletic or at the very least not-fat guys — should I feel guilty or hypocritical about that, given my present… physicality? Is it fair for a chubby girl like me to be attracted, on occasion, to the skinny indie rock guy? I don’t know about fair, but who gives a shit if it’s fair or not? I understand that most guys are attracted to girls with “hot” bodies, but isn’t there often a gap between what you fantasize about and what you are happy to have? I guess for those guys who have no such gap, you are either fooling yourselves, you are profoundly lucky, or you are the kind of guy who would describe yourself as being “the total package” without any irony whatsoever. In which case, you probably get what you deserve. And for those of y’all with that gap, well, how big is it really? How important is it to close that gap? Do we even all have the same idea of what constitutes hot?

So when I was in the fifth grade, should I have been offended when the girls in my class (none of them my friends, really) all said that I should “go with” this one guy in my class because he was both chubby and Asian? Why couldn’t I have a crush on the wiry Puerto Rican boy, just like everybody else? I guess what it boils down to is like what you like, love who you love, and act accordingly. Above all else, love your yourself.

For March 5, 20006, day 5 of the 30 days of jasmine, though I know it’s a holy day to the Christians (especially as it’s Lent and all), feel free to fantasize about whomever or whatever you choose. Or if you feel that this borders too closely on the salacious, then do something that makes you happy. Feed the ducks at a nearby pond. Go to church and count the number of funny hats. Watch DVDs of “The Benny Hill Show”. Kiss your dog. And remember to tell me all about it!

Love,
Jasmine

*songs*
Van Hunt – Seconds of Pleasure (I told you this song was good); Dolly Parton – Travellin’ Thru; Ms. Dynamite – Krazy Krush; Liz Phair – Friend of Mine

*links*
http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/article/ds25058.html
http://www.whopperettes.com
http://www.tlcwine.com
http://www.breakfastqueen.com
http://centerstagechicago.com/restaurants/riverside-deli.html

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392: the 30 days of jasmine – day 4

Last night I enjoyed an evening of breakdancing and Butoh in Wrigleyville. Also present were Christine, Ha and Ha’s friends Andrea and Carrie.

I didn’t know that this frattiest of neighborhoods could be some to hip-hop and Japanese avant-garde dance. In a small studio just south of Wrigley Field, limber young men twirled to hip-hop in front of projected images from anime, The Matrix, Tron. Then, 30 minutes of a pale young woman as she contorted herself and moved around the same space, sometimes in complete silence. I could see that she was talented, and the performance was striking. But it also felt like what would have been produced had the creepy dead girl from The Ring been invited to participate in a dance recital. But seriously — it was nice. And the audience was full of perfectly-groomed girls which had me wondering where all the cute boys were. Oh yeah — they were the breakdancers. So these girls, with their copiously applied eye makeup and expertly fluffed hair — were they groupies? Next to them I felt very old and sloppy.

Afterwards, we went to the Pick Me Up — the girls required dessert while I needed a sandwich. Service was, as ever, poor — I was last there six years ago and I had hoped that the years gone by would have given the place some much-needed, I dunno, sense of how to serve customers efficiently. But I guess I was wrong. For some reason, the sing-song voice which the waitress employed to say “Your ice cream sundae?” (yes, it sounded like a question, going up at the top) reduced Carrie and Ha nearly to tears.

For March 4, 2006, day 4 of the 30 days of jasmine, you should go see Dave Chappelle’s Block Party with your favorite movie-going friends.

Really. That’s it. No conjuring your least favorite memory of me and you involving paper goods, or 100 reasons why I am your favorite Filipino. At least not today.

*songs*
King’s College Choir – Magnificat in C major: Et misericordia (Pergolesi); Love As Laughter – The Square; Shakira – Estoy Aqui; Styx – Lady; Tommy James & the Shondells – Crimson And Clover

*links*
What is Butoh?
<a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/fashion/sundaystyles/05love.html?_r=1&pagewant
ed=print”>A Girl Could Get Cornered in a Tiny House

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