Friday, March 25, 2011

40 Things I Miss About Greece

Shout out to my fellow Olympians and Nafplioli. I will return to Greece at some point, with everyone I love. Hopefully their economy stays in the can.

From Acropolis

- good ass feta
- ancient history around every corner
- indoor smoking
- old men EVERYWHERE
- ubiquitous ouzo
- living in 5-star hotels
- some amount of the weather
- being cat-called?
- gypsies
- those single-packaged, chocolate-filled croissants
- spanicopita and those pannini things
- crazy Euro clubs that we snuck into
- the stray dogs in Athens
- the stray cats in everywhere
- people with mythological names, and Giorgos/Yorgos
- pebble and non-pebble beaches
- relaxation
- weird museums
- twisty, beautiful roads
- 50 cent water
- Euro-trash
- talking with people over wine and ouzo
- accurate Greek salad
- frappes
- souvenir shops
- cheap clothing stores
- the Palaka
- Zorba's Coffee and Music Bar at Olympia
- bikinis
- Greeks speaking English. And Greek.
- hearing American dance music from 5-10 years ago
- German tourists
- Spain winning the World Cup
- tour guides
- feeling like a native in a tourist town
- daredevil taxi drivers
- the few hours we spent not on winding roads on buses
- joking about the Elgin Marbles
- beautiful Byzantine churches

Share your own?
Holy crap, and saganaki.

25 Telltale Signs of a Really Good Orgasm

Probably TMI, hopefully applicable to more people than myself. Pretty much all from personal experience, and achieved with much practice. I apologize to anyone who hasn't been able to enjoy the same for whatever reasons.

- temporary blindness
- immediate and lasting paralysis of various limbs, possibly tingling as well
- immediate random hunger pangs
- narcolepsy and muteness
- muscle twitching in various areas
- humming (from the mouth)
- dry-mouth (apparently...)
- temporary out-of-body sensation
- near-deafness in one or both ears
- weak knees and weak everything actually
- uncontrollable laughter or shit-eating grin (not a scat reference)
- immediate desire for more
- breathing difficulty
- ability to feel/hear your heartbeat intensely for a moment
- overpowering affectionate urges, not in a mushy way

Many stereotypically male sensations there, unsurprisingly: I just want to pass out, without pillow talk please, and maybe eat a sandwich first.

Some, mostly men, have also mentioned an immediate existential feeling of emptiness or something like that, which I haven't personally gotten. I hope that's not just a male thing, but I am sympathetic. Also I wonder what other male post-and concurrent-coital sensations are like, what overlap and differences there are. I want the gift of Teiresias. Also I'm kind of weird and perverted, as has been thoroughly established by now.

Tura. Fucking. Satana.

Don't call her Miss. Don't call her Tura SAYtana. You call her Tura Fucking Satana and you pray for mercy and sex.

I have a number of other entries in my head, many of which feel too masturbatingly self-centered to post in a row. I have no qualms about full disclosure and self-reflection, but I know how the Internet works (my boyfriend bought me this book!), that its primary purpose is exhibitionism which, if abused, is god-awful obnoxious and arrogant, even if the content is self-effacing (= compliment-demanding, often). One of these, however, is a very serious and pointed essay on a large life decision I've made, which I want to share with anyone who'll read it and hopefully gain understanding and acceptance for it. It has to do with putting medical school on the back-burner, or tabling it for good, in favor of opening my options to other, equally exciting and meaningful paths. In a non-hippie way. I'll give you the details later.

For now, something more important compels me. The death of Elizabeth Taylor, our fag-hag ally advocate beautiful scandalous queen-on-earth, pains me, makes me want to watch Suddenly Last Summer or Cleopatra or another of her masterpieces - and her compatriot in beauty and awesome, Jane Russell - but beyond this, it reminds me of another recent death...A death honored admirably by many, but only in very specific segments of our world, and much more widely overlooked. The death of an amazing, awe-inspiring, actual hero-goddess of a woman:

Tura Goddamned Satana.

If you know who she is, you know enough to know that her death is a loss that the world does not deserve. Hopefully you've read other elegies that do her even more justice than my paltry words might. Despite this, I am driven to personally express my grief and worship of this hero of mine, who even to her death remained an image of sexiness, confidence, intimidation and beauty in all forms, longevity and not-putting-up-with-your-shit-ness.

Her most powerful and career-defining role is without a doubt in the overlooked classic by that mastophilic master director, Russ Meyer: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! You must, must see this entire black-and-white magnum opus in its entirety, not even just in shitty quality on YouTube, but here is one of Tura's best scenes, delivered in a shout that pierces heaven and jock-straps alike:

She plays a thinly-veiled reflection of herself, named Varla. Varla is a tough fucking bitch with a black-belt in Aikido, a pair of otherworldly orbs barely restrained by a tightblack dominatrix gang-girl cat-suit, hair and eyes that could slice through granite and a chip on her goddamned shoulder. She can out-drive a cyclone. She can karate chop the pussy out of you. She's probably bisexual because what wouldn't want her, what couldn't be subdued by her power beyond human words? I hate to break it to you, but nudity is absent from this film. Close, but not nearly to the extent one would hope, especially comparing to Meyers' later, debatably better works like my personal favorite, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Far from being pigeon-holed, Tura owned the face out of her role and lived the life of Varla, the clothes and the attitude and the hair, to her grave. She gave it to the world at large at conventions for the benefit of humanity. Her other roles were meaty but she wisely and without resentment never tried to surpass or shed the skin of Varla the Mighty.

Tura went on to star in such classics as The Astro-Zombies and a few others, which I thankfully still have time to enjoy. From what I've seen, her assets and attitude are on display as they rightfully should be, but an alarmingly less butch aesthetic is employed – strikingly refreshing, arousing, and a testament to her damned good range as an actress and as a body. Her body and sex appeal were by far not all there was to her, but she had no shame in them and owned them as much as Stephen Hawking owns his intellect, or George Carlin owns his wit.

Perhaps the most amazing and admirable aspect of Ms. Satana was her life itself. Her back-story is widely accepted to be right out of one of her pictures, a parade of sex, violence, exploitation and vigor, a crime novel of epic proportions, the origin story of an amazonian warrior queen. Born to a Japanese father and a white, Native-American mother, Tura moved from Japan to America at a young age, in a time far from ideal for an interracial, and especially part-Japanese, girl. She spent time in an internment camp with her family. She reportedly developed her trademark chest at a painfully young age, and this only heaped more ridicule upon her from her peers.

Here is where a tragic turn morphs into a legend. I accept that it will incur skepticism, and probably rightfully so, but I embrace it as Christians embrace scripture, but with even more credulity and empirical standing. Tura was gang-raped at the age of 9 by five men. Her response? Throwing herself into an intense study of martial arts, primarily Aikido, to the point of mastery. The judge who heard her case, supposedly bribed by someone, and in a period known for its ignominious categorization of rape and tendency to blame the victim or overlook the crime entirely, let the criminals off the hook and sent Tura to good old-fashioned reform school, that den of forced lesbianism and gang violence.

Perhaps eschewing the lesbianism, Tura duly made herself at home in the gang community, and went on to establish a girl gang in her home town, rightfully standing as its proud Caesar, which was dedicated to hunting down and brutally punishing the men who mistreated women and girls in her neighborhood. She claims the girls of her town never felt safer than under their guardian fists. And in the meantime, Tura went on to utilize her newly-seeded aggression, confidence and physical skill to purposefully hunt down each and every one of her attackers and dole out precisely the vendetta-motivated, dubiously legal justice they deserved. It is unknown whether they lived, were sexually assaulted, or otherwise maimed, but Tura claims they didn't recognize her until she told them, and she showed no mercy.

After this, at the age of 13 or so, as we are told, Tura got eyes for the big lights and made her way to Hollywood. The beloved star of silent screen and director Harold Lloyd was instantly enamored, along with the rest of the world, and simply had to take somewhat sensuous photos of the girl with the fake ID. Some pictures out there claim to be from Lloyd, and may very well reveal her overdeveloped 13-year-old self, but this is probably less likely than the existence of the Traci Lords tape. Yet it is without doubt that her sex appeal was both inherent and thoroughly owned by her at a young age, in defiance of her young violation. I believe Tura went on to dance, tried to make it, then received lead poisoning from her makeup and went back home or elsewhere, unable to paint her face as was the custom.

Tura then went on to a successful career as a shameless, proud exotic dancer. She did burlesque. She did plain old stripping. And she was quite literally nationally regarded as among the very, very best at it. Her face, personality, style, body, danger, and everything about her smashed audiences into submission and made them want more, want to be dominated and to dominate alike. She later decried the recent burlesque renaissance and wore her stripper crown without qualms. Her parents were even supportive of her titillating stardom.

The rest is history, as she found her way to Russ Meyers' doorstep, followed by Traci Lords', jumped from one exploitation flick to another, and made her way off into the night for many years to live a somewhat normal life stripping, then nursing, then doing whatever it was a woman of her mettle can do in the world. She married, she had children, she was shot by an ex-lover and kept kicking in her latter days as a nurse and on the convention circuit. In retrospect she got the goddamned respect she had deserved from the first. She gained weight and nothing, nothing changed.

Listen to it in her own brazen, man-melting words:

Tura Satana died only this year. She gave Quentin Tarantino tentatively her blessing on his supposed remake of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! The false rumor of Britney Spears' casting elicited the threat to “castrate” Tarantino, and her contribution to the original film as well as advising the as-yet-unmade remake ended up surpassing that of the actual filmmakers. Most recently, I believe, she guested in the upcoming Sugar Boxx, whose trailer outrageously neglects to include her posthumous image, far as I can tell. Among other things, it looks like a winner on all counts:

There is no doubt much more to be said of Tura Satana. Many writers have done her greater justice. Those lucky enough to survive her presence, her biography with Russ Meyer, and the preserved image of the woman herself attest to her divinity and sinfulness. She is one of few heroes of mine, up there with Oscar Wilde, Stephen Fry, and Alexander the Great. I hope those of you culturally-deprived enough to have overlooked this goddess have bothered to scan to the end of this too-long post, or at the least have enjoyed the pictures and maybe even videos. I don't believe in an afterlife, but if she was lucky enough to end up in an alternate universe version of one devised by Michio Kaku or some other quantum asshole, I am confident she has since pounded the ever-loving shit out of it until it winced the words, through bloodied teeth, “TURA. FUCKING. SATANA.”

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Gay Agenda

Much of this has already been said, but it's still funny I think.

Nod to my Harvard Queerz.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Project: Hair Forecast Tracker

Suggested by my roommate and hero-love, Marco Chan. One of the ways I try to feel better about my appearance, deal with boredom and depression, and do artsy crap is by frequently changing what my hair and face look like. Rarely are the results anything approaching cool or unique, so please don't interpret them as attempts at such. Just kind of ends up being what I enjoy at the time, for a period of 2 weeks - 6 months or so. So, for ease of recognizing me in the street and to elicit criticism or compliments (once again, not trying to be desperate, dude), I will try to post a portrait chronicling my current hair appearance. Yes, this includes eyebrows but probably not wigs. Here is our starting position.

The "Slippery Slope" Argument

Here's the first of three comics I was inspired to make during orgo section yesterday. I might try to get it in The Crimson, but might be shooting myself in the foot by posting it previously on the onlinez. But I don't really mind. Sorry if the image quality is sub-par - please let me know and I'll try to fix it.

I have an idea for a whole bunch of ideas for a "logical fallacy" series of comics, inspired by people like Steve Novella and Richard Carrier (Who I also naively totally wish would like them and link to them because I love them so very much okbye). And I think I can make them moderately funny because logical fallacies are logical hilarities.

So far the critiques have been that there's too much text, at least for a print cartoon, not internet. Obvious nods to xkcd and qwantz/dinosaur comics for that. Add your own critiques for enhanced funtimes.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Things I miss from olden times

Mostly actually things that I was not alive to experience but really totally wish I was. Also most of them are completely outdated and have their serious problems but WHATEVER I STILL LOVE THEM WITH SUCH ROMANTIC VIGOR.

  • fountain pens
  • little boys in shorts
  • when black people called each other “brother”
  • when non-black people called each other “brother”
  • tea time as a universal institution
  • piano bars
  • live Harlem Renaissance music
  • avocado-green furniture
  • the old Castro
  • actual burlesque
  • horn-rimmed glasses
  • anything that cool old English professors still use/wear
  • flappers and everything about them
  • prohibition, kind of
  • '70s punk scene
  • mandatory awesome hat wearing
  • the world of Holly GoLightly
  • semicolons used properly
  • zoot suits (?)
  • silent movies (I still want to be in them)
  • ancient Greece (too obvious)
  • ladies from the 1930s
  • widespread afros
  • smoking indoors, at least in some places
  • drive-in movie theaters
  • gay porn socks
  • film

    This is by no means complete and will no doubt be added to at some point. Feel free to add your own odd nostalgiasticz.

oldies: Top 10 things to do at age 7

May 8, 2010

From a list that my mother found somewhere in our house.

10. Go to a dance with a cute boy.
9. Go back in time.
8. Get $20 million.
7. Publish a book.
6. Drive my own car.
5. Go to the beach.
4. Go to Chicago.
3. Go to Reno.
2. Go to New York.
1. Go to Mexico.

I know for a fact that I had already accomplished a few of those things by that age, so I don't know what's going on there. Still haven't gotten to Mexico though. I was an odd child.

oldies: The 4 am bird

May 8, 2010

There is a bird who cries outside of my window on DeWolfe Street every evening – or every morning – at 4 am sharp. Perhaps it also chirps at later times of the day, along with the other cackling birds, or perhaps he goes to sleep or goes out for food and entertainment during the day. Either way, he only comes to my attention at this particular time, and it could certainly be my human ignorance of the subtleties of bird speech, but I am fairly certain that it is the same bird I hear every night. Every night, at 4 am, when my lights are out and my computer is off and I am lying in my bed, eyes closed and facing this way or the other with my blankets haphazardly wrapped around the bare parts of my body and my arms locked around my pillow, I hear this bird. Every night as I try to think the most banal or comforting or blankest of thoughts in the hopes of lulling myself to sleep, shutting out the songs which play on repeat or the rehearsed conversations or the bits of movie scenes or the grocery lists which cycle through my weary mind, as I open my eyes to see the orange light buzzing beneath my curtain and the various LED lights which bedazzle my room, hearing the white noise of the rare taxi cab driving by or group of college students stumbling home, this bird continues his monologue, wherever he is. His clear voice is my only company this time of night, especially during this time of year when students go to bed early or stay inside to study, and I am his only audience.
But his song doesn't strike me as a performance. Surely he's not trying to woo a coy female, who I might hear twittering in response to his powerful alto whistle – alto in bird-terms, I would think. What could he possibly have to say, to communicate, at this time of night, when I can hear none of his companions cry in response? When no humans are around to intimidate him on the sidewalk, or drop bits of food for his pleasure and their amusement? Perhaps he is in the same position I am, the only nocturnal bird on his block – or at least his other nocturnal friends are enjoying their own insomniac shame in isolation, as is fit. Perhaps he is too stimulated by the nighttime world: the neon lights, buzzing street lamps, bitter cold wind and stars and murky clouds in the sky and the strange apocalyptic overtones of the barely-empty, damp streets of Cambridge. Worms are coming out to enjoy the evening moisture; surely there is no competition at this hour, if his solitude is any indication. I imagine all sorts of bird fodder come out to roam their turf above ground at this hour of night, and that can't possibly be easy for a hungry insomniac bird to ignore. Perhaps, like myself, he gets the early worms before the morning early worms come about, missing the dining hall's breakfast hours, because he then proceeds to sleep in through the morning and early afternoon after his exhaustingly thoughtful night. These thoughts and sensations must be coursing through his little bird's brain with as much vigor and insistence as my own racing thoughts about my life, my worth, my duties, and the world at large. But since birds lack the luxury of an internal dialogue – so I presume – this bird of the night sings out his racing bird-thoughts to the empty streets and cantankerous evening taxi cabs, while his apathetic bird-audience are snug in their nests like normal birds and await the dawn to get up and discuss the weather. Though he has no one to share his observations on the dewy grass by the river, the ominous chill of the wind, or the questionable integrity of the branch he is perched upon, still he is plagued by them and cannot help but utter them aloud, echoing against my building to his unintended yet intent audience who sadly cannot understand his sentiments. And were I a bird or sufficiently deranged with furious insomnia, I would gladly answer his calls with my own rushing thoughts, though not as clarion-clear as his own, telling him perhaps about the conversation I plan to have with my mother at some undetermined time, or the various facts about the Hellenistic diadochoi that I must, must remember for my exam tomorrow afternoon. Of course, he would understand me no better than I him, and would likely not even notice that I was talking to him at all, as he has more interesting things to think and sing about than a random, inelegant human voice echoing through DeWolfe Street. But maybe, if he gets any solace from doing it himself, if I spoke out my racing, banal and often pernicious insomniac thoughts to the empty streets at night at 4 am just as he does, I would be able to relax and move on easier, and finally attain sleep.
Tonight he sang for about half an hour and I haven't heard his distinctive voice in a good five minutes; he is usually quite talkative. This is probably how long he sings every night, after which he proceeds to – what? Sleep, go out to do his morning rituals, muse more quietly to himself or perhaps rouse a friend to share the morning with? Perhaps there is an agenda here, in which my friend will chirp at 4 am on the nose for a short period, and then move on to the rest of his day, whereas my 4 am musings are, though rather predictably frequent, ultimately something I try to avoid and do not fit into a planned course of action. And maybe his song is not simply the chanting of racing thoughts that I experience, but a routine melody which signals something to others, or to himself, which is once again simply a part of his daily doings – and I have, in my sleep-deprived, frustrated romanticism, projected my perplexing insomniac experiences on a banal coincidence to anthropomorphize a creature with no real connection or similarity to my 20 year old human student self...I loathe people who do that sort of silly thing. But be that as it may, I am still both comforted at the unexpectedly reliable company at this odd hour and immensely frustrated that I find myself in his presence at this time so very often, and that I am unable to shut out his voice in my attempts to clear my mind and drift off to sleep. I would mention it at some point to him perhaps, but I think it is well established by this point that there is no use in me trying to relate to a bird outside my window at 4 am in the morning.

Ok for real this time you guyyys

Hey. Remember when I like started a blog forever ago and said it was going to make me write again and I was totally gonna use it and shit? And then I posted twice in like a week and then stopped forever? Yeah, that didn't work out. Which is pretty much what has been the case historically any time little Felice tried to start a journal she got from an aunt on Christmas - I think there's exactly one of them that has a timeline longer than the first two weeks.

I had a really good streak on Xanga, followed by Livejournal, then petered out for some reason. Depression, probably. Which made me stop doing a lot of things back then but whatever, so like over it. And now that those are way too old and uncool, I have a blogger instead, which is nice because I've embraced Google as my online and mobile overlord for the sake of convenience, good services and design. And to support my friend Petch kinda.

So I'll post those timeless two posts from the old blahg, then I'll get started on this one. I actually have ideas for a bunch of shit I want to write this time, instead of having this idea of some Herculean effort to force myself to be a writer again, goddammit. The format will be fairly random, but generally a combination of comics (yep, back to that shit), random essays and commentaries on what have you, some introspective navel-gazing stuff but hopefully not in an obnoxious way, and with any luck, some fiction. Not feeling that at the moment though. Also tentatively videos and pictures I produce? Perhaps if that's where life takes me at some point. But I don't think I'll end up doing the lame picture-a-day-meaningful-type bullshit. Go to fuckyeahdykes on tumblr for that, please.

Without further ado: here's hoping I defy all feasible odds and don't fail this time, too.