4.21.2005

TwentySeven

yesterday i turned twentyseven.

hello, my name is emily carsldfjujfifoidhf, and i'm twentyseven.

HI EMILY!

i don't feel any older. i don't feel sad. i don't feel like i should lie and say i'm twentyfour (ahem ahem.) i don't feel much of anything...except totally loved. and extremely grateful.

my friends threw me a fantastic fiesta on the roof, in the sunshine. it doesn't get much better. well, see for yourself.

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getting the party started

bonnie snuck out of the house, headed to cake love to procure some delectable cupcakes, and she even decorated them herself!
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see how delectable?!?!

i also got a pink flamingo martini shaker - to match my pink flamingo tumblers i got last year! it was awesome.
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AND A NATS HAT!!!
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which are very popular...
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for the first time in twentyseven years, i had ethiopian food. YUM-MY.
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my friends even showed up dressed. don't they clean up good?
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but really, everyone knew all i wanted was some hot mens.
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it was a wonderful night! thank you to everyone who came and ate and drank and made me laugh. but most of all, for not telling all those stories about little miss wonderpants. i love y'all.

4.19.2005

It's More Interesting That Way, You Know?

A Graffiti Legend Is Back on the Street
By RANDY KENNEDY

Published: April 18, 2005

He arrived on foot, and on time, wearing heavily grease-stained beige overalls and boots. He seemed to be in his late 30's or early 40's, with thinning light brown hair. He had the windburned eyes and blackened fingernails of an ironworker, along with the vaguely feral intensity of someone on the lam.

But he hardly looked like the kind of shadowy revolutionary figure who had once declared that his goal was to "tear the city to pieces and rebuild it." Now, he says, smiling weakly, "I stop at stop signs; I pay taxes; I get up and go to work and get a paycheck."

In the New York graffiti world of the early 1990's, he was everywhere and larger than life, sometimes literally: the name Revs, usually accompanied by that of his partner in crime, Cost, could be found scrawled, wheat-pasted or painted in gargantuan white letters on overpasses, walls and roofs from SoHo to northern New Jersey. The work upended many traditional notions of graffiti and helped inspire a new generation of so-called street artists.

Then in late 1994 Cost was arrested for vandalism. Revs went underground and left the city for Alaska. And when he returned, his work went mostly underground, too - into the subway, where he painted long, feverish diary entries worthy of a Dostoyevsky character on dozens of walls hidden deep inside the tunnels. (He called this a personal mission and said he did not care if anybody else saw them.)

But over the last few years, he has re-emerged into public view and reincarnated himself in a way few of his fans ever expected, as a legitimate and (mostly) law-abiding sculptor. He has made dozens of works using construction-grade steel and other metal parts and has sought the permission of building owners to weld and bolt them to the outsides of buildings in the meatpacking district, the East Village, the Gowanus Canal area and Dumbo, where the gentrifying but still half-deserted streets have become a veritable Revs gallery.

Yet unlike many former graffiti artists who have turned their street credibility into successful careers as graphic designers or youth-market branding gurus, Revs has continued to shun, angrily, the worlds of conventional art and commerce. He makes his living about as far from the art world as possible, as a union ironworker, surrounded by co-workers who mostly have no idea of his reputation as a near-mythical deity of the graffiti world. His only gallery show, in Philadelphia in 2000, was to raise money so he could pay a lawyer after he was arrested for the subway graffiti. Otherwise, he has refused to sell his work or take commissions for it.

"To me," he said recently, in a rare interview, "once money changes hands for art, it becomes a fraudulent activity."

He also continues to avoid publicity. In order to find him, a reporter contacted several graffiti aficionados, most of whom warned that Revs, whoever he was, would probably not cooperate. Calls eventually led to Julia Solis, an author and photographer who specializes in charting forgotten and subterranean New York. She agreed to pass a message along to Revs. A day later, a call came to the reporter's home from a man with a thick New York accent who agreed to an early-morning meeting in Brooklyn, at an intersection almost beneath the Manhattan Bridge, on the condition that his photograph not be taken and his name and age not be revealed.

He apologized for the cloak-and-dagger routine but said that his anonymity was still his most prized possession. "I don't want to become nobody; I just want to do what I do," he said, stressing, as a kind of implied message to the police, "I'm not trying to stage a major comeback or anything." (The New York Police Department confirms that he has not been on the radar screen of the Citywide Vandals Task Force since his arrest in 2000.)

But Revs fans can be forgiven for thinking a comeback is in the works. Over the last several months, pictures of the sculptures have shown up on several street-art Web sites. This has prompted graffiti cognoscenti to scour the streets to find - and in a few places, to wrench loose and steal - the works, most of which are clustered in or close to Manhattan, although some have been discovered as far afield as Queensboro Plaza.

"He's huge, you can't deny it," said Will Sherman, a photographer who operates a Web site called untitledname.com and has scouted out several Revs works recently. "I have a lot of respect for him not just as a graffiti artist or street artist but as an artist in general."

Peter Sutherland, another photographer, spent a year tracking Revs down. Last year, in a book of portraits of graffiti artists titled "Autograf," he featured a picture of the artist himself, though his face is completely covered by a cap. "I'm a photographer and I don't usually get intimidated or impressed by celebrities," Mr. Sutherland said. "But when I met Revs, I kind of geeked out."

During the recent two-hour interview in Brooklyn, Revs conducted a proud tour of half a dozen of his metal sculptures, only one of which he said he installed without permission: a tall, heavy piece that spells out "Revs," welded several years ago to the top of an abandoned loading dock. Asked how he was able to weld something so large and distinctive to a building without attracting a crowd and eventually a phalanx of police, he shook his head.

"I can't talk about my techniques," he said sternly. "It's a trade secret, you know? It's my cloaking device."

Over the last few years, he said, he has made more than 100 metal pieces, some weighing hundreds of pounds, and he estimated that he has installed about two-thirds of them with permission, including nearly all his most recent sculptures. He says that while he may not be a guerrilla street painter anymore - some of the 1990's wall paintings were more than 10 feet tall in the middle of sheer walls, most likely requiring a harness and ropes to accomplish - he is still a fully committed outsider, and his work will be seen only outside, on New York City streets, as long as he keeps making it.

He kicked one the pieces, made from two-inch-thick steel, part of a column left over from a construction project where he once worked near the Port Authority bus terminal.

"A car can back up into it," he said. "Somebody can get their head cracked open on it. A dog can go on it. Somebody can paint it if they want. It rusts. It's more interesting that way, you know?"

But is it any less interesting because it's legal?

He smiled. "I might still have a few little knickknacks scattered around in places where they're not supposed to be, who knows?" he said. "I'm not commenting on that."

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i think if i met borf i would 'geek out.'

4.14.2005

Cheese Porn

last night i attended a wine & cheese event at national geographic. i arrived with every expectation of working the event, but short of laying down a few plates of cheese, my friends & i were guests. we were treated to rounds and rounds of wine and cheese. and when i say cheese, i mean obscure, raw-milk cheeses from france that dance on your tongue and make you "mmmmm!" and "aaah!" with pleasure. it was unbelievable.

steve jenkins from fairway was our featured speaker and cheese monger for the evening - and that man has a passion, a fire within, for cheese. at one point during the discussion, well, a lecture, really, on how ridiculous it is that the FDA won't allow raw-milk cheeses in the states, steve worked up a sweat from yelling and waving his arms. he was like a baptist preacher. about cheese.

after the seventh or so cheese we tasted, my friend leaned over to me and said, "this is like cheese porn!" and she slumped back in her chair, acquiescing to the decadence on her plate and in her glass.

but it didn't end there. from the tasting we headed back to the store for more discussion on wine with the ceo & founder of the company. champagne, brunello, port - you name it, we opened it. and from there it was on to dinner ohmigosh i can't believe i was able to eat any of that crabcake salad.

and you know, the night just unraveled. i'll never understand how my life unfolds - but then again, i don't really want to. it just rolls over you. one moment it's work, the next it's cheese porn. first it's a lazy saturday afternoon, then it's margaritas on the porch with ten friends. one minute you can't believe that you're actually there with the asshole who will only say one thing all night and the next you're lost in thought dreaming about his hands. pardon? how did this happen? how did i get from there to here?

this is like my current theme - the unexpected just happens, and you have to roll with it. when you do, life is better than you thought before. i'm just thrilled.

4.08.2005

Conversations with Los

[los:] what up, homeslice?

[dad:] yo! tell me about your trip.

[los:] i know, i've been meaning to call. but can you believe i've been busy everynight this week?

[dad:] call this weekend. REAL tomato ketchup eddie?

[los:] yes sir. a liger? it's a cross between a tiger & a lion. it's practically my favorite animal.

[dad:] stop right now and go fix yourself a DANG quesadilla!

[los:] GAH you're bruising all my neck meat!

[dad:] no fair. that was going to be my next one.

[los:] i could have ripped your mole off.

[dad:] well, stop eating all the steak.

my dad is totally cooler than your dad.

4.06.2005

What Gilligan Really Needed

i spent last weekend in mexico city (insert woeful and longing sigh here) and it was a dream come true. you know when you build things up in your head and there's just no possible way reality can keep up? yes? well, this wasn't it. reality was even better.

during the weekend we took a side trip to san luis potosi for a rugby match. on the way back, our companeros had a little car trouble: the engine was overheating. on the side of highway 57, two men, ofo & jeffrey, peered under the hood of the car trying to fix the problem while roxy & i tried to stay out of the way...of them & oncoming traffic. after five minutes or so of pure dicking around, i suggest to the boys that a good solution, albeit temporary, is to turn on the heater.

"really?"

"si, really."

heater on, temperature guage takes a nose dive.

and we're off again! ... but not for long.

a mile or so later, jeffrey's car pulls off to the "side" of the road - into a dusty patch of dirt that backs up to a strip of cinderblock structures. a sign on one of the stuctures announces that they can fix tires. great! perhaps a mechanic is there, too?

no. of course not.

so as jeffrey & roxy wait in the car, ofo & i head off to find a mechanic. after stopping in to see at least four different mechanics, we finally stumble onto two young guys who look more like cholos than anything else. they offer to come with us to attempt to fix the car. as this is sunday AND we've found no better options, we take them up on it.

the cholos proceed to do the following in an attempt to fix the car: pull out several really big tools, get their hands really dirty, and flush out all of the antifreeze. still, nothing.

in all the to-do, several large, and some shirtless, mexican men have come out of the aforementioned structures to see what's going on. what do they find? two city boys who can't fix a car, a mexican model, and, probably, the whitest person they have ever seen. i felt like a spectacle.

after several hours of sitting in the sun and dust (and did i mention peeing in the mexican brush?), the car is started using only water & a very small peice of plastic.

evidence A of what gilligan really needed.

so, once again, we're off! ... but not for long.

not a mile later, ofo & i hear this thumpthumpthump and the car starts shaking.

"what's that?" he asks.

"i think it's a flat tire..."

"FUCK."

so, we're once again on the side of the road. we not only had a flat tire, but, as jeffrey said, ofo tore the fuck out of it. it was a goner. but ofo changed that tire, by himself, in less than five minutes and he hardly broke a sweat.

(glorious and totally sexy) evidence B of why gilligan was screwed.

so we're off! ... and for long. for about four hours this time.

we're just pulling into mexico city when we hear the all too familiar thumpthumpthump. yes, internet, a second flat tire. i started laughing and could. not. stop. i was completely amused. who cares that it's dark and we hardly have any money; this is hilarious.

(needless to say, ofo didn't find it quite has funny as i did.)

luckily, a tow truck stopped for us in less than five minutes. after a brief conversation, ofo comes running back to the car and says, "okay, i took care of it. he's going to fix it. get your stuff."

"uh...we're going with him?"

next thing i know i'm in the enormous diesel truck, flanked by ofo & the driver, and we're going over the edge of the highway.

after a brief drive and one unsuccessful stop, we finally stop at a little shack that looks strangely familiar to me...oh yeah, i had noticed it from the highway two days before. but tonight it is bustling: two men barely five feet tall, covered in grease and grime, are throwing around tires big enough for a semi truck. seriously, the tires are almost as tall as they are. and they're working on more than one tire at once - it was incredible.

i decided it was safe to venture from the car once several of the male customers had left. the truck diver and i start talking, and he realizes i'm from washington, dc.

"so, you must know world-wide currencies then?!"

"si..." the question was so absurd i almost thought i had misunderstood him.

he reached around to his back pocket, pulled out his wallet and showed me a foreign bill.

"i found this in the airport a year ago. i've been carrying it around but no one can tell me where it's from. i'm sure you can, since you're from dc."

so i look on one side, examining the text and the images - i have no idea. it's worth 10,000 whatevers, though. i flip it over, and i see 'zagreb.'

"this is from bosnia*! see this word here? that's a city. wow - bosnia. so cool, no?"

he didn't know bosnia.

"how much is it worth?"

"i have no idea. really, no idea."

"please, guess. it's very important. in american dollars, how much?"

"gosh, maybe $10? $20? really, i don't know."

"so, 100 or 200 pesos?" and he smiled.

this exchange, this improbable, totally coincidental moment, made me very, very happy. it made me feel like we were karmically even: he stopped to help us; i satisfied a mystery.

so the tire is fixed by the little, greasy man. the driver takes us back to the car. he and ofo replace the tire with sychronized, smooth movements.

evidence C.

once back in the car, i say to ofo, "i'm not sure if it's 'cause i'm a girl, or if it's cultural, but i'd never trust anyone who stopped to help me on the side of the road. never."

"oh, i didn't trust him either. i had my knife in my pocket the whole time."

evidence D.

if i were ever stuck on a deserted island, what would i take with me? not my lover, not my dog, not my best friend, not a book or music, not a water distiller...not even sunscreen.

i'd take a mexican. any ole mexican.

they're friendly, they make really plain food taste incredible, and man, they can fix things.

had gilligan had a mexican he'd have been off that island in no time at all.

************
*e2theLos realizes that the bill is croatian, not bosnian. but, it's practically the same thing.

4.01.2005

Bearer of Bad News

The Lamb here, guest posting by request from the Los.

As you all may know, it's the FIRST ANNIVERSARY EDITION of e2theLos! So it should be an exciting, fun day, as I have been wanting to guest post for months, and here I am, finally, just in time for a special occasion! But it should be the Los who is writing here, laughing and celebrating her first anniversary.

Instead, the Pope is dying and Los is sitting at home, alone (save Squirrelly), probably watching Days and Jerry Springer. She might even be drinking - who knows? Is she crying? Probably not - she doesn't really cry over stuff like this, and besides - there's too much irony here for her actually to be upset.

The Los was DOOCED.

Wednesday afternoon she was sitting innocently enough at her desk, carrying on 14 email conversations and reading the comments you lovely readers left about her wine store posting. A stifled laugh (in response to the squirrel reply) elicited interest from her boss, so he sauntered over and asked what she was reading. She told him about her blog, and he was totally intrigued - he read over her shoulder for a bit. He seemed interested and wanted to read more on his own, so she kindly emailed him a link to her beloved blog, which he spent the next hour and a half reading.

At the end of the day, he called her into his office. Their conversation went something like this:

"Your blog is great! I've never even been sure about what a blog actually was."

"Thank you - I'm so glad you liked it!"

"I read a lot of it, and it's obvious that you've put a lot of work into it."

"Absolutely - I try to write every day, but sometimes it takes so long to plan and get each posting just right, I really can only get one in every few days."

"It's lucky this isn't one of the sites we've blocked, isn't it?"

[This is where she could have had a bit more foresight:]

"Really! Especially because I don't even have a computer at home - I wouldn't be able to do this at all!"

"Well, that's what I thought - I just wanted to be sure I understood correctly. So you've been working on this pretty much every day for the past YEAR?"

"That's right - my anniversary is Friday! Any ideas for how to celebrate?"

[Long pause...]

"I don't think you'll be celebrating - you're fired! The blog's great, but we haven't been paying you to work on that crap! Do you think we're all a bunch of idiots? Pack up your stuff and be gone within an hour."

So I hope you've all really enjoyed reading. Los's devotion (and trusting nature, and uncanny ability to multi-task for so long that it took her boss a WHOLE YEAR to notice anything) got her fired. DOOCED!!

For those of you who are relatively new readers, you might not catch the full irony here: it was the blog Dooce that inspired e2theLos, and the Dooce was fired for her blog - not for spending too much time on it, but for what she said in it about her coworkers. You can read about it at http://www.dooce.com. Since I'm new, I don't know how to make this just a link. But I'll figure it out eventually.

I guess it all depends on how long it takes the Los to find another job - she could fall back on the wine store, but she doesn't have her own computer there. So for a few weeks at least, I'll be here.

You all knew she'd get you somehow - that's right: April Fool's!!