Archive for May, 2007

links for 2007-05-31

May 31, 2007 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

Reviews: Persepolis, Ice Haven, Klezmer

Comic books have become part of my steady diet of reading material. Between academic survies, the economist, and the occasional art or book review my reading has become dry to the point of needing some small, fresh, entertainment and in the case of these books they might be a little enlightening.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Marjane Satrapi was born in Tehran (interestingly I meet a jew seller from there the other day) and her book Persepolis is memorable not just unique for having the setting of being the daughter of a liberal family in post-revolution Iran, but for her tone which unwinds her story in slow arcs of minor maturity moments and humor. Ms. Satrapi is a good story teller and her book has an appeal similar to Art Spielgman’s Mouse books. It lacks the perspectives that other stories have (Ms. Satrapi spends little time envisioning the lives of Iran’s willing revolutionaries) , but it is a memoir and hence might be strengethened by restricting the POV. Like a good conversation you walk away entranced wishing everyone you know was this interesting.

Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes

Anything by Clowes is memorable, but Ice Haven might stand above other Clowes books becuase for a second Daniel lets the seams through. Ice Haven is haunted by the comic critic Harry Naybors who explicates his theories on comics providing a kind of reflevitity that might reveal some of the author’s own polishings of the comic form. That said, Ice Haven’s story lacks the turns of Like a Velvet Glove or David Boring, but like all Clowes each panel feels intentional and different comic forms are used to express the magnificent differences between characters mental states and misinterpretations. For instance Vida, an aspiring writer, gives Random Wilder a collection of her writing. Overcome by Vida’s talent ilder throws it away in a fit of depression only for Vida to find the book and assume Wilder threw it away in disinterest. Many of Ice Havens plots and sub-plots are a tad cliched (the above reminds heavily of Henry Fool and in turn etc. etc.) and the murder story doesn’t quite enthrall, but Clowes managesto bring so many varied personalities to life while writing with a fluid by concious use of the form for meaning that Ice Haven’s meager 89 pages could be read several times before any coherent meaning might emerge. Mr. Clowes is one of the better authors in the world today and this is another collection worth taking in. On another note a friend of mine once meet Daniel Clowes and thought he would immediately take a shining to her becuase of their similar tempermants, but walked away feeling like he only saw her as just another one of his characters.

Klezmer: Tales of the wild east by Joann Sfar

I shy away from stuff with a strong Jewish identity. I have no interest in exploring an ethnic heritage regardless of how storied it might be, but Joann Sfar’s book goes well beyond the constrains of ethnic fiction prefering to use Jewishness as a spring board for excellent characterization and simplistic tales of malevolence punctuated by an energetic plot. Klezmer is the story of the only survivor of a polish klezmer band, two theives thrown out of their schools, a woman who runs away from home, and a gypsy with a good amount of street sense. Sfar additionally has painted each panel in water color obscuring detial to further add accentuate the simplisticity of his stories, but taking in the depth of his characters. Like Persepolis, Sfar is probably a highly skilled conversationalist who can tickle your humor, play on our passions, and ultimately win us all over. His characters are larger than life, but Klezmer is perhaps about that moment right before the music takes us, we are stuck in a giant hopefull arc of emotions that doesn’t dissapate, but only like a well improvised klezmer piece, builds on each piece untill it’s absurdly rickety frame work is held aloft by the belief of the audience alone.

May 31, 2007 at 12:15 pm Leave a comment

links for 2007-05-29

May 29, 2007 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

notes on flax seed or organic hormone therapy

Flax contains ~301129 µg phytoestrogens per 100 g

1000000 UG = 1 gram. Patients about to go under sex change surgery are injected with 2.5 to 5 miligrams of premarin. 1 gram = 1000 mg.

basically 100 g of flax contains about 3 MG of phytoestrogen.

you could pretty easily extract more than enough from 100 g of flax.

This does assume though that phytoestrogen is a good sub for the real thing (it doesn’t appear to be)

actually no it doesn’t. there’s a difference between pure estrogen and taking supplements that encourage the production of estrogen. Hence the effects of lignans would have to be measured in how much estrogen it actually causes your brain to produce if it does at all.

May 29, 2007 at 2:14 pm Leave a comment

links for 2007-05-27

May 27, 2007 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

links for 2007-05-22

May 22, 2007 at 3:21 pm Leave a comment

a couple of small inversions

Shopping in the Emperuim I come across an old copy of Sweet Sixteen. Years back I paced to the trux wondering down halls and across sidewalks, today it doesn’t hold the same resonance. For a second I see my fascionation the way others do, as a fad that passed and perhaps should be around today. Album is still ok and with time could be a favorite again but so removed.

Saturday drum and bass turns out to be horrible. After 2 months of straight deep, broken, and tech house wityh Masa, Goru, Yoshi, and others I can’t dance to it. I sit there while Lek talks to some boy who speaks perfect Thai, why does anyone listen to this music? This is drum and bass mind you, had they played some idm wank fest I would probably have felt really annoyed.

for the first time in about 4 years I’m completely vegeterain again. For awhile in Orlando Amanda used to ask, you eat fish etc I didn’t. Being vegetarian turns out to be a pleasure, noodle shops improvise leeks around sweetened broths of yellow noodles fried in palm oil, a veggie curry place down the street sells curry for less than 1/2 the price of sukumvhit road places and then it closes. I spend 2 hours looking for veggie food in my borough. No luck. For awhile I walk around with Dan gilbert in my mind, what makes you happy? I have a 30 minute daily commute by bike (longer by bus), food is hard to buy, I buy a fruit salad and seaweed chips and walk across the street, the noodle place (the good one is closed for the night) makes an absolutely horrible mixture of mushroom and cabbage. Most places when you tell then you’re vegetarian (maunsauwirot, konginjee, ahan jay, etc) just make fried vegetables and then throw them over rice. It’s really awful. But here is the problem, what isn’t awful? my job requires excessive amount of paperwork, one parent doesn’t want her child taught by me, etc. At what point does unhappiness start? Bangkok’s major pro is that I’m about to start a night again (dj’n with Masa), that it has a “scene” in which to engross yourself, but I have to be up at 6:25 every morning to make work. The thing about Bangkok is that it’s expats are here chasing some delusion of freedom, one which the city in reality doesn’t just lack, but actively despises. Like people everywhere, most folks are conservative, hardworking, and dislike the impractical. Am I seeing this as a sign of Asia, or merely of learning the reality of the everyday?

p.s. gay sex is great.

May 20, 2007 at 8:52 pm 2 comments

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