Monday, October 29, 2007

Simple Elegant Halloween with Drunken Sluts

Part of the joy this holiday season is being able to make oneself sick to one's stomach seeing all of the scantily-clad sluts in Halloween costumes. As Mean Girls proves all too well, you can take any costume and turn it sexy by removing a few of the non-essential items and adding more cleavage, and most essentially, the shortest skirt/shirt/shorts possible. Sexy nurse, coming right up. Sexy firefighter girl, I saw one of those too. Sexy cannibal, well, that's a little trickier, but I saw it done. And it was frightening.
Costumes this season include horny devils, an audio tour of famous artworks, and I was Wikipedia, complete with printed-out entries that would be stuck to my body throughout the night. I found some interesting articles, including the only known photograph of Frederic Chopin, and a 'list' of the two hockey teams in Alberta, Canada (thanks to the 'random article' function). I was surprised to find out that a lot of people don't know what Wikipedia is (or perhaps my costume wasn't clear enough?) but even after I explained that it's a user-editable encyclopedia they don't really get it.
Of course, the best costumes involve the most intricate details, and the winner of intricate details goes to Sally, who was Bjork.
Now there are two people in the world who can pull off wearing a swan dress with glamorous nonchalance.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sexy bongo-bassoon grooves

Fall is abuzz with chamber music. I have at least two pieces being premiered in upcoming concerts, which is something exceptional, and one piece is programmed for two recitals- this is definitely the most performances of my works in one season. Not to mention the Saxophone Quartet which is being played a gazillion times for high school students in New York. So, if you're in Pittsburgh, and would like to attend, you can hear:

Nov. 2- possible art songs, TBA, Shadyside Presbyterian Church (this will be pretty last-minute in a Concert for Peace, but it could be lovely.)
Nov. 11- Four Lovers (bassoon and one percussionist)- This one is the percussionist's recital.
5pm, Alumni Concert Hall
Nov. 15- Songs for Pittsburgh (flute, harp, and viola trio) at the Student Composer's Concert
7pm, Kresge Recital Hall.
Dec. 1- Four Lovers- This recital is for the bassoonist, for whom the piece was written.
5pm Kresge Recital Hall.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Idea for a youth 'subliminal values' book: antismoking theme meets aquatic adventures.
The little fishie says: "when I grow up, I want to puff just like him!"
That pufferfish is pretty cool, but man, is it hard to keep that cigarette lit underwater.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Recipe for Fall

It looks like Fall is finally here! Get out your beakers and stir up a recipe for a season of crunchy leaves, cool evenings, and appley everything. I can finally wear a blazer, and perhaps a scarf, and real pants. This makes Midnight a happy man, and out of place, 'cause everyone else is cranky that seems so dreary out.

Friday, October 05, 2007


It took me no less than twenty-seven minutes today from the moment I pulled a number at the deli to the time I was handed my TWO items: a pound of turkey and a half-pound of salami. Normally I wouldn't stand for such madness, but I've been craving turkey sandwiches for lunch, and I had to buy groceries sometime, and well, I'm at the grocery store now and I won't come back just to go to the meat section. With scant help, and ten people waiting ahead of me, there was little I could do but be lucky number 37.
On a side note, thoughts about the Shadyside Giant Eagle Market District Fancy Pants Grocer Bistro and Part-Time Massage Therapist.
1. Lots of gay boys like this grocery store. Why didn't I dress up?
2. The man ahead of me at the deli is super-fashionable. I wonder if he's gay. Well, that confirms it- he's ordering prosciutto.
3. No spousal arguments allowed in the aisles.
4. There are shanks of cactus for sale in the produce section. Have I ever in my life seen a cactus on a menu?

There's lots to think about when you have 27 minutes to wait by the roast beef.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Girl Hit By Bicycle Hit By Bus

I was witness to a traffic accident the other day which surprised me that no one else seemed shocked (or even amused) at the situation. The bus I was riding on clipped the mirror of a bicyclist, who was attempting to swerve around a pedestrian on the sidewalk. The bicyclist then crashed into the girl, who was sent, arms flying (you know those sitcom choreographed motions of people who trip over things? That kind of arm-flailing), onto the grass of someone's lawn. Thankfully no one looked too hurt, and I lost my view as the bus sped away from the scene. I drew this Richard Scarry-esque cartoon to help illustrate.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Stolen Identity Irony

In what can only be described as a case of stolen identity irony, Banana Republic sent me a letter today saying that my social security number (from a job application last year) may have been taken, inside of a laptop that was stolen from some corporate whore's office. However, it's not serious, and the computer was probably only used to look at porn anyway (I'm assuming that's what stolen computers are used for; Banana can't comment at this time). The irony of the story is that in the envelope which my letter was mailed, someone else's form was stuck in accidentally. Name and address and everything. Isn't the point of this letter to inform you about keeping one's personal information private? And now I know that this person lives down the street from me, by the grocery store. can call me Ms. Kendra Jenkins from now on. After all, I did get her mail, and I can be anybody I want to nowadays.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Kings of Convenience and Erlend Oye

The Kings of Convenience are a band that I've known about for a few years, thanks in part to my friend Ryan, a baron of indie credibility. They've got two albums out, and one 'remix' album. Norwegian in origin, their music is usually composed of two nylon-strung guitars (or soft instruments) and duetting baritone vocals, which are conveniently in my own range for once! And being Scandinavian adds an extra cool element. Not to mention all of their incredibly thoughtful lyrics, which are full of stories and verbal puns (their first album is titled Quiet Is The New Loud), and that the volume never rises above mezzoforte, even with drums and cello and piano involved. I'm a big fan of their 'hit' song I'd Rather Dance With You, which has a cute video and dance moves like I do in my living room. Their latest album 'Riot on an Empty Street' also has two songs featuring Feist.
Well, lately, I've been discovering the offshoot projects of the solo Kings of Convenience, and it's so exciting to find new music that you love and never knew existed! Erlend Oye is the more prolific of the two singers (he's pictured at right with his trademark retro-thick glasses) and Eirik Glambek Boe (slashes through all the O's) is the other, who has a solo band on MySpace but no album that I know of. Erlend has a solo electronic music album out, called Unrest, a DJ Kicks remix album (of other people's songs) and he also has a live 'band' under the band name 'The Whitest Boy Alive'. The electronica album is especially good- I prefer warm sounds and soft beats with keyboardy noises for my electronic music, rather than industrial sounds. Every piece is definitely a 'song' rather continuous 'unsuh unsuh unsuh'.
Encompassing several different genres, Oye's wittiness and clever songwriting stays strong. The melodies are catchy but not fluffy ; the instrumentation is clever and sometimes funny, but spare. I'd also like to point out the music video for the Unrest album includes slow motion, sexual innuendo with roosters, egg-smashing, and baton-twirling. Check it out.
I saw Kings of Convenience once in Boston, and the music was so wonderfully quiet that the cash register at the event was making too much noise for the performance. It was difficult to hear the major-seventh chords quietly plucked out of a guitar over the 'ch-ch-ching! Zip zip zip zip' of the receipt printer. Now that's my kind of pop music. Perhaps in a future album tour they'll be passing my way again. Or I may just have to fly to Bergen, Norway for my fix.