Diary of an Ass Monkey
23 August 2010 @ 09:38 am
I've been ignoring this poor blog lately, so here's an update on what I've been up to.

Saw Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World two weekends in a row. Love that movie. Our friend Patsy from Michigan (formerly known as our friend Patsy from Malaysia) came and stayed with us for a while. I made fig ice cream with freshly harvested figs from our tree last week. It's intensely figgy! Saw Dean Wareham play a whole night of Galaxie 500 songs, which was absolutely amazing.

The writing has been going excellently. I think I've averaged 10-15 hours per week this month, which is freaking huge for me. I'm way past the halfway point on the first draft and finally cruising along at a respectable speed. Writing at home is still hard for me, so I've been taking my little netbook over to a bar called Lucky 13 and working there. The good music, surrounding conversations, and ballgame on the tv provide a nearly ideal level of distraction for me. The only potential downside is my waistline, but I've been upping my salad intake and sticking to light beers, so it should work all right.

Listening to: The Blow - "True Affection"
Diary of an Ass Monkey
12 July 2010 @ 09:36 am
Had a great time in New York last week. Got a couple hours of writing done on the bus ride up. Held in the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, The New York Asian Film Festival was great. I even won a prize: a giant pack of ramen noodles with black bean sauce that tied into one of the movies.

SCANDAL MAKERS was a cute Korean comedy about a bachelor whose life is turned upside down when he discovers he's a father and grandfather.

SYMBOL was a strange and funny Japanese film following two storylines: one about a Mexican wrestler's family on the day of a big match and the other about a man who wakes up trapped in a bizarre white room that is featureless except for little baby penises covering the walls.

DOMAN SEMAN promised to be good, a contemporary Japanese mystical adventure with little details that reminded me of Grant Morrison's The Invisibles. Unfortunately, like most movies shot on digital video, the direction was aimless, the acting weak, and the editing virtually non-existent. I gave up half way through and went to a fancy, yet surprisingly affordable sushi bar. Came back for the Q&A with the filmmakers though which was actually pretty interesting.

The Korean film CASTAWAY ON THE MOON was the big winner of the day. It was about a regular guy who has sunk into debt and decides to kill himself, but the bridge he jumps off is too low and he washes up on a little island in the Han River in Seoul. Unable to swim, nor convince the police or his ex-girlfriend that he's not joking around before his cell phone dies, he's stranded there right within view of the city's skyscrapers.

The next day, I strolled through Greenwich Village until the heat got too annoying, then holed up at a bar called Amity Hall, where I did some writing while waiting for my buddy Joel to get into the city. We had some tempura spring beans and buffalo chicken eggrolls. After a few more drinks there, we headed uptown to The Breslin to continue drinking somewhat nearer to where I was catching my bus home. We noshed on the terrine board, which included guinea hen, rustico pork, rabbit, and head cheese. It was all very soft and jellied and strange, but went down surprisingly easily.

And then when I got back to Philly, the Danger After Dark film festival began here in Philly. I'll talk about that tomorrow.

Listening to: Virginia Dare - "Camellia"
Diary of an Ass Monkey
06 July 2010 @ 09:42 am
A lot of minor calamities this weekend, but nothing that stopped it from being a fun holiday weekend. We got to visit with three different groups of friends, eat lots of good food, and even dared to bake in this ridiculous heat wave, so we have lemon cupcakes with cherry icing to help us ride out the rest of the scorching weather.

To make matters even better, today is the only day I'll have to be in the office this week. Tomorrow, I'm going up to Manhattan for day 12 of the New York Asian Film Festival. I'll be watching SCANDAL MAKERS, SYMBOL, DOMAN SEMAN, and CASTAWAY ON THE MOON. And then since my last movie runs a bit to late to make it back to Philly, I booked a cheap hotel in the city, so I'll spend Thursday bumming around the city before making my way home. Should be fun.

Listening to: Rufus Wainwright - "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk"
Diary of an Ass Monkey
28 June 2010 @ 10:54 am
Saturday, I managed to drag my slightly hungover self out of the house for the US vs. Ghana match. Such a bummer. They really did outplay us, but I feel like if we could have held to that draw a little longer, Landon Donovan would have won a shoot out.

Finished the sour cherry frozen yogurt, so at K's request, I took a stab at a lemon-blueberry batch that came out quite nice.

On Sunday, K. and I zipped up to Feasterville to watch our friend Poppy skate in the East Coast Extravaganza roller derby event. It was great fun to see her. After that K. and I grabbed some grubs at Nifty Fifties and then hit the outlet mall for some air conditioning and summer clothes. And then home again to fry up some chicken.

Watched the season finale of Treme (a week late). Sad, but still great. Can't wait til season two.

Can't wait for the for this hot spell to break tonight. Supposed to drop nearly twenty degrees in the next couple days and stay around sweet 80 for the rest of the week. Bring on that storm!

Listening to: Robyn Hitchcock - "The Cheese Alarm"
Diary of an Ass Monkey
I'm getting psyched for the USA v. Algeria match in an hour. Wish I could be following it from the bar instead of my cubical. Maybe I'll use an hour of personal time for the last hour of it. England and Slovenia will be playing at the same time, so Group C will be decided by lunchtime. And we'll know who we'll be clashing with out of Group D by the end of the afternoon.

A month ago, my parents gave us their old cream maker and last night I finally made use of it. I whipped up a delicious batch of sour cherry frozen yogurt, a super refreshing combination of tart and sweet. K. and I are already debating what to make next. Cake batter ice cream? Tangerine sorbet? Mojito gelato?

Writing's gotten back on track this week. Worked a couple hours a day Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. I have no idea how this novel is going to read as a whole, but I like it scene by scene.

Listening to: Astrud Gilberto - "Who Needs Forever?"