March 9th, 2009
|11:42 am - Weekend Report: Kindles, candied baby crabs, and Japanese underwear|
I was invited to a dinner party this weekend by my friends Kaz and George, who I was introduced to by LJ buds Mark/bikerbearmark and John/subwoofr (who have since forsaken LJ for the brevity of twitter). They live in a lovely two-floor penthouse in a Hell’s Kitchen walk-up, partially in the Japanese style, so check your boots at the door.
They’re both serious techie bears with every shiny device known to man, including every version of Sony’s Reader and Amazon’s Kindle which got pulled out to compare, so it was fun to get to handle and explore the latest Kindle, which is kinda cool but not for late-adopter me, at least until it becomes a lot more multifunctional, smarter, and with a color display (the b&w is fine if you’re a heavy reader of books, but most of the magazines I read are well illustrated). So get back to me with the MaxiKindle3000 in 2014 or so. I’d probably feel differently if I had a longer commute, but right now I’m 25 minutes door-to-door, and 40 minutes if I walk it, which I do in the spring and fall.
The menu was eclectic and delicious. We started with some great versions of Greek/Mediterranean appetizers, then moved on to a Korean hot pot, the spiciness of which I think helped drive some of my cold demons away. The side salads were Japanese, one was cucumber shaved paper-thin, marinated in gin, and tossed with crushed wasabi peas. The other had strange Japanese “mountain vegetables” – one of which, sliced, looked disturbingly like Dr. Scholl’s Corn Pads – that no one could identify by name, with enoki mushrooms and garnished with quail eggs and (winner of the strangest ingredient of the evening) croutons of candied whole baby crabs. With this we consumed several bottles of wine (my contribution), and finished with an American chocolate cake with buttercream frosting.
Kaz, a veteran of 13 years with Microsoft, had some hilarious stories about and even impersonations of Bill Gates, who he had given several presentations to in his tenure there. The conversation was wide-ranging on all sorts of subjects, including show-and-tells about the merits of Japanese underwear, and a comparison of different lockable ball weights.
It was a delightful evening. My current apartment reached critical mass several years ago with about 5,000 books and too much other media (and I won’t say too many boots and too much gear, but they do take up a lot of room). My next apartment will be large enough to be able to entertain in again.
|02:04 pm - May I take your… SVASTIKA?!|
It always burns my biscuits when the Nazis at Photobucket decide to censor one of my images. (It also compels me to repost them, as I’ve done here.) Mostly because you get no warning, and unless you’ve given the photo a very specific name, you have no idea what photo so offended them – it’s just wiped out, gone. I have to do a hunt and search through my Live Journal postings, and since I tend to dump all of my photos for a given year in the same folder, that sometimes nears being an impossibility. Thankfully, the year’s only nine weeks old, so I was able to figure out which one it was.
This image was included in a post regarding the character and costume design for the movie Watchmen (as photographed by Clay Enos for a coffee-table book tie-in merchandise). I have to say I didn’t even see this character in the movie – apparently the Axis powers had a “crimefighting hero” during WWII, too – he probably appeared extremely briefly in the opening montage of historical photos and film clips. I suspect the fetishization of the uniform (including some impressive junk) made it all the more offensive to the Pb censors.
There are many other swastikas if you search for that word at Photobucket (including an aspiring racist flipping off the camera with his ink marker tattoo – and apparently it’s just fine to use the epithet “faggot” anywhere you want on Photobucket), but they’re mostly just the symbol by itself (including many of the sacred “reversed” one), devoid of any historical or personal context. “nazi uniform” will give you only 24 images out of their seven billion, most of them well grounded in historical context, although one girl-on-girl action fetish shot has eluded the delete key so far.
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