Saturday, June 1, 2013

restless suburban kids

After about a month in the neighborhood, we got antsy and spent a day in the never-ending foresty labyrinth that is the neighborhood abandoned lot with a fisheye lens and a gold leaf crown.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


If you know me at all, you know that I love film, but lately I just can't seem to get enough of documentaries. Listed are some notable great (and generally understated) documentaries I've seen lately, which doubles as a limited "favorite documentaries of all time" list, in no particular order.

1. Spellbound (2002) - an unprecedentedly riveting movie about a diverse bunch of kids participating in the national spelling bee championship in the '90s (when spelling bees were a really big deal). I wouldn't recommend this if you have a heart condition because the success and failure of these eight wunderkinds will skyrocket your anxiety.

2. Deliver Us from Evil (2006) - a look into the life of pedophile priest Oliver O'Grady, his victims, and the culture of pedophilia within the clergy, centering around disturbingly nonchalant interviews with O'Grady about his past crimes. Basically, it's a documentary about the devil in human form.

3. The Cove (2009) - a call to action to cease dolphin slaughter in a mysterious cove in Japan. Intense, beautiful, enlightening, and horrific all at once and probably my favorite documentary ever.

4. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011) - a stunning documentary about a humble yet renowned restaurant in a basement in Japan, and the master who therein redefined the art of sushi. If you don't already love raw fish, chances are that you will after watching this movie.

5. Catfish (2010) - a super relevant account of an online relationship gone astray in the early days of social networking. Worlds better than the MTV show by the same name.

6. Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present (2012) - an emotional and inspirational film about performance artist Marina Abramovic and the culmination of her retrospective and most recent piece, The Artist is Present. I don't cry a lot during movies but I'll totally admit to blubbering at the sight of Marina and Ulay's reunion.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

suburbia pt. 2

I took a walk in my neighborhood yesterday right before sunset. It's so peculiar to wander around in a place where the streets are clean and quiet, where the aroma of roses and the subtle scent of cigarette smoke exist in equal measures, and where blonde soccer moms stand in front of their big houses with their tiny dogs and their tiny athletic outfits to gossip about the latest divorce until sundown. Suburbia is the most beautiful, ominous, and mysterious place.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

free drugs

I've found myself with a host of trippy images, songs, and harmless activities that simulate drugs and hallucinogens and have decided to compile them in the following list. Who needs real drugs when you have the internet?

John Lodge "Natural Avenue," Steve Frankfurt

For a hallucinatory cinematic experience, I recommend watching Enter the Void - the movie equivalent of drugs. It's visually psychedelic, extremely cerebral, and simultaneously the slowest and most fast paced movie you will ever watch.

For a musical trip, isten to Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion with a set of fantastic, visceral headphones - like the really big ones you probably wouldn't wear in public. The songs are fluid, hallucinatory, dream-like, and best of all, the album cover is an awesome optical illusion that mimics what one might visualize on LSD. I see what you did there, Animal Collective.

Animal Collective - Bluish

Animal Collective - My Girls

If you don't think the Inception app is awesome, that means you haven't tried it yet. Download the Inception app on your iPhone, or if you don't have one find someone who does and force them to let you use it. Bring headphones. It launches you into a variety of different "dreams" in which sounds from your surrounding environment are altered in the app and played back to you in real time through your headphones so you feel like you're dreaming or hallucinating. My favorite is the "Sunshine" dream, which you can activate if you use the app during the daytime. Playing with a bag of chips will never feel more gratifying.

Hausu (1977)

Friday, March 15, 2013

summer colors

It's not even spring and I'm already preoccupied with the notion of summer. Here is some summer color inspiration based on some paintings that my professor showed in class, noting the similar color schemes because they're his favorite colors. They're slowly turning into mine as well.

William Eggleston, Piet Mondrian, David Hockney, Unknown, Wassily Kandinsky

Thursday, March 14, 2013


I'm heading back to my blooming and strangely idyllic home town in Northern California tomorrow morning. It's funny what being a west-to-east-coast transplant has done to me - especially moving, for college, from arguably the most picturesque suburban neighborhood in existence to one of the most dangerous and povertous cities in the country, where fluctuating weather actually exists and 75 degrees is not to be expected year round. This change has really made me embrace the idea of suburbia, despite the monotony it may represent to some. I'm fortunate to come from a suburb that actually boasts a variety of interesting architecture and landscaping, but the repetitive nature of suburbia has always captivated me as well, especially exaggerated neighborhoods like those in Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands or the "little boxes" in Jenji Kohan's Weeds.

When I returned home a few months ago I made sure to take a some snapshots of my neighborhood transitioning into the winter:

I can only imagine what it looks like now that Spring is in full bloom. I guess there's always room to romanticize things, but living in Baltimore for six months has really brought out my love of suburbia - its perfectionist beauty, serenity, and I suppose the nostalgia that I associate with it. I can't wait to immerse myself back in my home and the coast where the weather plays no pivotal part in how I dress in the morning.