Friday, March 27, 2009

Charles Phoenix (Redux)

Saw Charles Phoenix at the Gamble House last week. This time the theme was "Southern Californialand". He was in much better form than at the last Holiday Spectacular. We laughed pretty hard.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Little Red Books

This is my collection of little red books from the Studies in Philosophical Psychology series edited by R.F. Holland and published by Routledge. As you can see, Holland somehow managed to commission some real classics.

When I was a little kid in Tanzania, guys from the Chinese embassy were always trying to give me a copy of a very different little red book. I still have my copy of that one somewhere.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lincoln & Rose Logo (Redux)

I really do like this logo. How many strip malls can be said to have a logo? How many strip malls can be said to have a logo that tells you where they are located?

Sunday, March 22, 2009


This might be the only photo of this hat of mine. I wore it quite a bunch in the summer of 2004.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Art Deco Society of Los Angeles

As a way of introducing herself, the woman on the left said to us, "I'm an art deco addict." She then held up her wrists and said, "Cuff me."

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Monday, March 9, 2009

New Yorker

I'm really worried about the point at which I'll start to consider myself a New Yorker. I think the sign will be when I start to think of myself as different in kind from the rest of the world, just in virtue of living here.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Q: The Winged Serpent (1982)

As much as I liked Johnny Depp as Ed Wood, I'm not really a fan of B-Movies. That's why I was surprised by how much I enjoyed "Q: The Winged Serpent". I initially put it on because it was filmed in NYC and is a forgotten instance of the enormous-monsters-running-amok-in-NYC genre of NYC movies (e.g., "King Kong", "Ghostbusters", "Cloverfield", etc.). I assumed I would watch it for a few minutes to see where it was shot in NYC and then turn it off. But I watched it from beginning to end and enjoyed the whole thing. The special effects are ridiculously bad, and there's plenty of inane dialogue, but the plot is fun enough and the lead actor--some dude implausibly named "Michael Moriarty"--is amazing. There's a scene in which he plays the piano and scat-sings along with it that's totally unique. Also: animal rights activists will love the scene in which shots of a chef preparing Peking Duck fade into shots of a ritual human sacrifice in which a person is flayed alive.

Locations prominently featured include the actual interior of the very top of the Chrysler Building and tons and tons of aerial shots of Central Park and the rooftops of mid- and downtown. The ending features a building that's topped with a ziggurat, which I assume is a real building that I just didn't recognize.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

NYC Directions

From Google maps:

Keep right at the fork, follow signs for I-678/Van Wyck Expy S and merge onto I-678 N/Van Wyck Expy N.

Argument from Illusion

These are from a museum of optical illusions that I went to in Tokyo. The bottom illusion was the most compelling. The question is: what are you looking at in this photo? The answer: two different rooms. There's no mirror. The thing was, when I first looked into the room on the left, I had a weird sense that something was unusual about the room, but I couldn't specify what it was. It only gradually dawned on me that I couldn't see a reflection of the other person in the room, in what I had assumed was a mirror on the wall. I can now say that I know what the phenomenology of being in the grip of an illusion is like.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Jeeves & Wooster

"Oh, Jeeves," I said; "about that check suit."
"Yes, sir?"
"Is it really a frost?"
"A trifle too bizarre, sir, in my opinion."
"But lots of fellows have asked me who my tailor is."
"Doubtless in order to avoid him, sir."

From "Jeeves Takes Charge"