chenanceou: (Default)

Things that make me think of [info]redeem147

Shammi Kapoor

Actor, 80
by Bobby Ghosh

Long before Bollywood musicals became cool in the West, they were huge in the Middle East. Iraqi viewers in particular were nuts about Shammi Kapoor, the lovable rogue with the ants-in-his-pants dancing style. When I was TIME's Baghdad bureau chief, the best way to break the ice with people was to ask about "Shaami Kaboor," as the locals pronounced it. They'd grow misty-eyed and nostalgic; they'd recall their favorite scenes of his and shout "Yahoo!" — his signature line from Junglee.

In the summer of 2003, I was reporting from a village stronghold of Saddam Hussein loyalists. When a local colonel discovered that I worked for a U.S. magazine, he picked up his AK-47 and pointed it at my forehead.

"You American?" he shouted.
"I'm from India," I said, truthfully.
"No, you're American," he said again. "You will die."
Panicked, I blurted out, "I'm Indian ... like Shaami Kaboor."
"Shaami Kaboor? You know Shaami Kaboor?" the colonel asked.
"Of course," I said. "All Indians know him. He's a big star."
The colonel lowered his AK-47. He stepped back.
"I like Shaami Kaboor," he said. "I saw all his movies when I was young. What was it he used to shout?"
"Yahoo," I said.
The danger had passed. "You are lucky you're Indian," he said. "Otherwise you would be dead. You should thank God."

In my mind, there was no doubt about whom I should thank.

Ghosh is TIME's deputy international editor

chenanceou: (003)

But diamonds are a girls best friends"

My youngest calls Valentine's Single's Awareness Day. I told her good work with the name, but it can be Couple's Awareness Day just the same.

I remember a Valentine's I got a towel. Not a full set. Just the face towel. Then there are the ubiquitous red roses which I loathe. I don't like roses all that much, but understand the convenience of their availability. The kiss of death is making them red. Not charming white, not vibrant orange, happy yellow or delicate pink.

At least when you're single you don't have to worry about another gift that makes it clear your partner knows zilch about you. My new job, for the benefit of human kind, would be present adviser. Tell me how much you have to $ and grant me an interview. Voila! No crap present ever again.

I know somebody who would like this a lot... **me**

Hope you're all doing well and that this new app works. Kind of lame so far.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

chenanceou: (Default)
Not as bad as it looks... )
chenanceou: (091)
Even though my presence around here has been scarce and I have missed so many birthdays you still found the time to wish me well. I'm very touched and grateful for the e-mails & such. Thank you - it means more than you'll know. My favourite present has to be the young'un's very successful first foray into baking.

My least favourite present? An earthquake. Fine, it was a moderate tremor and it lasted all of three seconds, but damn it - one of the reasons I choose to live in Brazil is because it's supposed to be as natural disaster free as you can get.

It's all quite chaotic for me.

The world needs to stop so I can breathe. Dengue fever epidemic, loved ones in hospitals 6,595 miles away, bathroom plumbing exploding and flooding, too much violence in my neighbourhood and now, to give it some kink, a bloody earthquake.

All I do is worry and very little else. I tell myself it could be worse. But fuck a duck, it could also be much better.

I think it's time for me to go back to therapy.

Oh, I found out I have spent the last 20 + years mispronouncing Mr. Pepys name. Pips? Are you serious?

Fuck me and flip me over because I'm done.

chenanceou: (091)
No, not me. The show. I have to say I like it very much.
I'm still doing what sick people do, only trying to do it better (less cry baby, more stoic) than I had been doing before. I can read for longer now (big YAY) and I'm watching some shows. Looking for the new season of Dexter, hoping the Doctor will return soon and yes, did I mention the new show Pushing Daisies? The nod to Wonderfalls in the pilot made this fan happy.

I thought I'd say hello. Just to let you know I'm 1) alive, 2) not completely out of things and 3) thinking of you.
chenanceou: (003)
In earnest I give to you a piece of advice : Don't go Bunburying with people who Bunbury themselves.

Truth is... that being indisposed and handicapped for so long [even if the word holds a gravitas that by no means applies to my case] has made me repetitive with my excuses. I'm not one of those silent, strong, stiff upper lippy people. I'm one of those "Why in the @#$% me?!" belligerent with fist shaking at the firmament, dripping with caustic mordancy bores. I, centre of all universes, kept letting people know I was too sick to move [or go to dinner, attend an auction, a family lunch, a couple of baptisms, one bar mitzvah, start a war in a third world country, elect a new president...].

A sweet and perverse friend, with a very proper sense of humour, sent me a garland of flowers. It arrived yesterday morning. A funerary garland. You know the kind, with all the white carnations and a sash with gold paper letters glued across it? It [the sash] said - Far from our eyes, but not from our hearts [literal translation, but crystal in its significance].

Deserved? I'm afraid so. It has been months. My eyes will always be an issue in some shape or form and I should just get on with it. If the days of reading a book in one sitting are gone and done with, c'est la vie - there's the BBC and audiobooks. If there are people out there with perfect eyesight who don't write, don't own books other than those pretty things on top of coffee tables bought to match the chintz and who don't paint - life was never meant to be fair. Before I end up in a barrel, grumbling about people blocking my sunlight, I'm going to make an effort to rejoin the world.

I'll go Bunburying no more.
chenanceou: (035)
Why did the mushroom go to the party?
Because he was a fungi. Get it? Fun-gi.

What's orange and sounds like a parrot?
A carrot.

What's red and sits in the corner?
A naughty strawberry.

What's green and sings?
Elvis Parsley.

Courtesy of the lovely [& vegetarian, [ profile] rusty_halo] Alan Davis who, along with Stephen Fry, has done wonders to brighten up my [very long and achey feet] day. Right. Time to go back to rehearsal.

Quote of the day?
Make it your motto day and night.
And it will lead you to the light.
The apple on the top of the tree
Is never too high to achieve,
So take an example from Eve,
- Experiment by Cole Porter

chenanceou: (041)
Apparently, I'm not too old for rock concerts. I survived another one. Things I found out 1) backstage passes aren't all they are hyped to be. [You feel like you are in the way and the talent? Well they only show on stage when it's time to actually be on it.] And 2) free vodka, beer and campari [eeww] will invariably add to a lot of people getting quite drunk [and quite unpleasant].

Good Charlotte begs the question: How does it feel to be a rock band whose fan base is comprised of screaming 12 year olds? Very Leo post-Titanic.

Flaming Lips. Sorry, I missed you. After hours and hours, I was busy trying to get myself something to eat that didn't look like an advertisement for food poisoning.

High Point of the Evening: Iggy Pop driving the crowd absolutely & completely wild. Iggy's ass popping out of his very low riders after a somersault over the sound box. Iggy prancing around the stage. Iggy telling people to come up onto the stage. Security going bonkers when dozens of people obeyed Iggy. Iggy yelling at security to leave the kids alone and security leaving the kids alone. Iggy finishing the song and telling the kids to leave and, once again, the kids obeying. Iggy being called back by hundreds of hundreds. Iggy coming back to what sounded like a million people cheering. Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Priceless.

Sonic Youth. Sorry, but never ever again.

NIN [Nine Inch Nails] had the well produced show - with lights and effects. Very thrilling. Their playlist had the usual suspects [which I knew due to the wonderfully knowledgeable [ profile] rusty_halo who gave me rec's] - Closer [I liked it better live], March of the Pigs, Sin, etc... Don't get me wrong - I really liked their show. It's just that they came, they played and then left. Very professional. Like the top neurosurgeon who comes in, opens your brain up and cures you of whatever ailed you, but never smiles or wastes time in small talk. While I don't mind that on a neurosurgeon, a band that's there to entertain me [yes, and the other people there]? I'd like a little warmth. Though they were polite and said Thank you after it was over.

Note to [ profile] rusty_halo: I met a guy who came from New York for this and was on his way to the next city, following the band. I was impressed. I went to Woodstock once for a band, but that's as far as. It was funny because I remembered you saying something about somebody coming to Brazil to watch the show. He just started talking to me while I was waiting for my food. I know - but what can I do? People just start talking to me.

Note to the other Fiddler's Green people: One of the encounters of the evening was with a guy who started to [literary] cry on my shoulder [the drunk girl he had been making out with had started to make out with another drunk guy]. He had a huge Death on one arm and a Dream on the other [the Bachalo versions].
So, he [Mr. Gaiman] still has the nicest fans - but not when those fans get plastered.


Nov. 22nd, 2005 12:31 am
chenanceou: (001)
Bad kissers. The kind that are all about too much or too little [tongue, saliva, vacuum]. Sometimes even both too little and too much. Sometimes it crosses over into instant what was I thinking?! and that's it. The thing is, you don't find out until you do kiss and first kisses are so wonderful that when one is spoilt by a bad kisser - well, it's criminal.

Interesting thing I found out - what one person will deem as a bad kisser will do just fine for somebody else. Years ago, by chance, I found out an ex was now a friend's current. She raved about him and then turned to me, in a surprisingly sophisticated way might I add, and said: But you know what a good kisser he is. No, I didn't. He actually was one of the worse kissers ever - the kind that couldn't have gone from zero to hero in twelve months. Don't worry. I didn't say a thing.

What got me thinking about all of this? I promised her I wouldn't tell anybody [crossed hearts and hoped to die]. So I won't.

And no, I still haven't been able to sleep.

My Life

Nov. 20th, 2005 12:30 am
chenanceou: (Default)
It's like being a nun. And, never having gotten myself to a nunnery, I'm guessing.

These days I go to rehearsal. I then complain about my sore feet [my sore back, my sore arms] to anybody around. I go to bed and don't get any sleep. I give up and answer some of my e-mail. That takes some time as my e-mails are notoriously long. I make myself something to eat - I've mastered the art of making miso [and yes, from scratch]. I try and write. I more often than not fail. Then the whole dawn thing happens and suddenly it's time to go back to rehearsal. There I get yelled at - a lot. Somehow all the yelling makes the extravagant compliments bestowed, when I do get it right, even more enjoyable. I know, who would have thought? Masochism usually doesn't work for me. I've been questioning myself - why go through the blisters, the sweat, the pain - when dancing is not my life? I don't live to perform. It was pure chance I ended up getting into this [and the long black hair?]. I'm thinking it's the drama. Olé!

So I rehearse. Over and over again. Between that and the lack of any sleep at all I'm slowly, but surely my friends, going bonkers. I know the whining is getting old and there are so many times you nice people can tell me how sorry you are I can't sleep. Trust me, I'm boring myself here. It's frelling Saturday night and instead of being out there where the lights shine and the people laugh, I'm in here too exhausted to do anything but limp my way across the keyboard.

Thank the deities for phones, e-mails, LJ and... what's that thing called? Ah! IMs. It helps to have some semblance of a social life - even if these days it's a virtual one.

Rinse. Repeat. Tomorrow there's another rehearsal.
chenanceou: (091)
Have you ever stared at the ceiling at three in the morning and tried very hard to not listen to the little voice in your head saying, in the calamitous tones reserved for villains in cartoons, that you'll never, ever, ever sleep again?

If your answer is yes - I'm so very sorry and, unfortunately, I know how you feel.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about you won't understand the utter despondency of the insomniac that has failed, once again, to get any sleep. This cursed* tribe can tell you that if you think television programming is bad during the usual hours, the programming that holds you through the night is much, much worse [hence my stupefying enjoyment of Underworld].

I finally broke and took a sleeping pill. I took it and the thing made me ill, but didn't work [and it reminded me why I never take them]. Ocean sounds? Cricket sounds? Massages? Tisanes? This last week has been an exercise on the futile. I'll end this with a whimper: I just want to sleep.


I'll eventually do the back paddling thing and catch up on LJ. I sincerely hope you all have a wonderful - is this Wednesday already? Bloody hell...

Proof of sanity: On one channel they had The Naked Lunch, on the other [and unrelated channel] they had Beat. [One by William Burroughs, the other on William Burroughs.]

* There's a story somewhere about how people who failed to do their duties for having fallen asleep are condemned to come back as insomniacs - perpetually awake. I must have screwed up something really, really big. You know the Trojan guard in charge of keeping an eye on a certain big wooden horse? Probably me.

Last night.

Nov. 1st, 2005 10:25 pm
chenanceou: (002)

Last night, well last night wasn't a good night.

I was born here and I grew up knowing and well aware of the violence in the city. I was fortunate and made it through in one piece.

Last night, around 7PM, some people decided to use a crowded shopping mall as a place of business. And, of all the places in the mall, they chose the food court. The food court. If you've been to a mall around dinner time you know what the food court looks like. This particular mall has a cinema, a theatre, a mini amusement park for little kids and a dance school [how I get in] - among other things. The police tried to make an arrest. The dealers had armed bodyguards who took action and responded.

I've lived in some belligerent places and I've been through some tight spots. This, with the absurdity of the brightly lit, pedestrian setting and the palpable panic and fear - this one really left me... I have no words, not really. I could say I was speechless, scared, impotent, angry as hell, helpless - and none of it would mean much.

I tried to write about it before, but couldn't really articulate anything and, in an odd way, went about business as if nothing had happened at all. Until the newspaper short circuited me and-

The food court. Fuck them all.
chenanceou: (092)

The Rabbi's Cat
by Joann Sfar

This one was good for me. Sfar is a French author with a humorous approach to serious things [Tatsumi's The Push Man had left me in bad place for a tad too long. Which goes to prove, again, that those people who say comics don't grab you emotionally the way films do are full of it.]. You can read this for the humour and/or you can read it for the commentary on Jewish culture. I read it because S. from Comic Relief in Berkeley told me to. The last part of the book with its Chateauneuf-du-Pape drinking and the cultural shock of meeting the secular in laws? Truly priceless.


I went out to dinner with somebody I hadn't seen in 10+ years.

I have to be honest and say that on the way there I wasn't very enthusiastic about the idea and the awkwardness of our first hellos didn't assuage my fears [We got caught in the whole do we hug, shake hands, air kiss thing. What can I say? I don't do the whole touching thing easily.]. I shouldn't have worried though, because it quickly became clear that we could still talk to each other about everything and nothing for hours.

There are some people who have known you for so long [30+ years] that you can't 'hide' and for somebody like me, who has spent a life hiding, it was a delicious respite. It was also interesting to note how much he's changed and how dissimilar we've become when, once upon a time, we undoubtedly belonged to the same tribe.

Still, it was an easy and pleasant evening and when we parted I had no problem hugging him good-bye.
chenanceou: (Default)
June, too soon
July, stand by
August, the worst
September, remember
October, all over.*

Another one?! Wilma. I just hope the thing goes back to being a #1 and all the hype of "biggest Atlantic storm ever" fizzles out.

One thing: naming these things is really unfair to the people who happen to share the name. I'm pretty sure Katrinas and Wilmas everywhere are none too happy with the [dubious] honour.

*I borrowed the hurricane mnemonic from [ profile] makinglight.
Tsunami. Earthquake. Flood. Hurricanes. Is it me or has 2005 been especially cataclysmic?
Trial of the 21st Century? Well, I hope so - that will make it a pretty tame century. Though it would also mean that everybody else got away.
On a personal note: been three weeks since I managed a full night's sleep. The good thing is that it has led to much writing; the bad thing is that nothing that sleep deprived me has written makes any sense.
chenanceou: (003)
To call today stressful would take an act of restraint beyond my reach at the present - and yes, I probably should look for my lost perspective at this point.

I did end up going out tonight for drinks (in my case lemonade) & tapas with A. after he complained I had neglected him when I was here last (a week ago when [ profile] rusty_halo and I painted the town a goth black) and that didn't suck. I found a store full of gypsy skirts I fell in love with (baby blue line) and that mitigated the turmoil raging in my bosom. Helped with the migraine too.

Operatic or not, the point is that reservations were screwed up and instead of being up north, chez [ profile] redeem147's, I find myself still in New York.

and I can't wish [ profile] elizard100 a Happy Birthday in person. Sorry, pet. IOU a hug & more.

I will do a recap of the trip - more for myself than for anybody else (only because I tend to think what is interesting to me will not, necessarily, be interesting to others) - but not today. It's late and the only reason I'm still up is because I did finally get my reservations straight for tomorrow and am too excited to sleep (I last saw [ profile] redeem147 in Vegas and that was way too long ago).

I do have to say that San Francisco left me both fascinated by its beauty and infuriated by its horrible, horrid and horrific traffic. Though I'm sure to forget the traffic and remember only the joy of eating a whole crab on my first night in the city down by the Fishermen's Wharf and how, when stopping for a bite at Boudin, I found out that my waiter was a grad student from back home and that I could speak my own language for some glorious, precious minutes. San Franciso was also where I read my first Jonathan Carroll novel, White Apples (I have no excuse for not doing that sooner). And I'll for sure remember the cable car rides and how I ended up getting on the same car so many times the guy greeted me as if I was an old friend (yes [ profile] rusty_halo, it seems I end up doing that everywhere) and tourists asked me for directions.

The last time I managed to get online I was on my way to Los Angeles, by way of Monterey (one week with basically 10 minutes of computer time and I survived!), but a number of mishaps made my fellow travelers and I turn back (superstitious or not, it was sort of bizarre to deal with: live deer, dead bloated deer [not in that order]; rosary broken; losing the exit and then getting lost, full stop, when Monterey sucked us in and would not set us free - in under 3 hours).

This also happened on the way to Monterey.
Would you have ignored the signs?

We turned and never looked back. Say goodbye to Hollywood, goodbye to my baby... and no West Hollywood Book Festival. Sniff. Oh and I had what could be classified as a total and complete exhaustion episode at this point (not to be confused with the boom goes the dynamite episode in the car when stuck for 4 hours in San Francisco traffic).

I leave you with some images. Those are worth a thousand words they say. As somebody who cherishes words, I'd beg to disagree - but not tonight.

Goodbye and thanks for all the fish )

Golden Gates )

The Strange and Unusual )

Half of Me )

Coreline? )

Here Lies Emperor Norton I )

MirrorMask )

And that's all she wrote. Letterman is long gone and now so must I. To bed.
chenanceou: (Default)
I never knew what the guy yelling after me was going to say. It probably would have to do with Jesus - lately a lot of people are blaming the coming of the Messiah for a whole bunch of things that are most probably nature doing what nature does and the ineptitude of human beings.

Or perhaps the gentleman calling after me at midnight, down 24th St. wanted to warn me, a la War of the Worlds, that aliens are coming down 9th Avenue so I should hurry up, lest they catch me.

Or... It could be he was talking to somebody else and I'm swimming in my own little pond of beer paranoia.

Let me see - These last days have been fun. I`ve seen people I hadn't seen in a long time. I've hugged, kissed and talked way too much these last days (in the good form that 'way too much' can take). Honestly, I don't *think* I talk too much - but I do notice that I have a tendency to try to take over conversations and lead the witness. I blame it on the whole only girl in the family deal and I'm sticking to that story.

[ profile] rusty_halo btw is a magnificent listener. Seriously, awards should be given. She heard me whine about the strenuous task of writing about something I love - writers, traveling and how is it to jump from city to city to city - and didn't scoff or mock and instead patiently pointed out all the cool things about doing 4 cities in 3 weeks. What concerns me is that it has already started to show how much I miss the three little (and not so little) people who I left back home. Hopefully they don't miss me as much and will do what they usually do when I'm off doing stuff - write e-mails sporadically that contain long lists of things that they would like me to get them. These things cover the whole spectrum - from Psycho Girl T-shirts to comics for the young'un - if I went through the whole thing I'd do nothing else but shop.

And I have things I actually have to do this time.

I'm tired enough now that all the noises I'm not used to will not keep me awake.

Night to you.

BTW - I'm going to have the sign above my desk back home - the one that says Writers Write - framed. So very true and I keep hearing it repeated by all sorts of people, therefore it must be true.
chenanceou: (092)
I'm very grateful to the person who passed me the link to Overheard in NY. [ profile] perletwo is my prime suspect. Was it you, P2? Whoever it was [ profile] sp23, thank you!!! Overheard in NY rarely fails to make me laugh and, an unexpected perk, reassures me I can't be as stupid as I sometimes fear I am.

Today I've baked until I could bake no more (waves at [ profile] elsaf). Ganache covered cake, madeleines, quiches and a terrine that kicked my ass are all done (Where the recipe asks you to press firmly, don't be fooled - it should say sit on the damn thing already!).

I'm tired, but Frank Harris and his My Life and Loves are waiting for me. Though Saki and Reginald are also smiling invitingly and Reginald always makes me feel so decadent.

Feeling decadent after having one's ass kicked by what basically is a chunk of deceased duck seems like a good idea.

Well, then - it's Saki in bed. Harris and his life of Victorian scandals will just have to wait.
chenanceou: (091)
I found out that the apartment in the city is going to be unusable for 2 weeks - from the 17th to the 24th. Guess when I needed the blasted thing?


Great. Just great. The one freaking time I need something.
chenanceou: (030)
When you are dieting believe the scale when it tells you that yes, unfortunately you are still too fat to try to fit into that so-expensive-it-hurts skirt you got before you put on 20K (+- 40 pounds). If you insist, the lovely skirt will tear and you will cry. Like a child who lost her pookie-poh blankie.

Don't trust that other people will get your sense of humour when you are out trying to buy a present for that family member you used to spend your holidays with. A black leather wearing teddy bear that says naughty things when you squeeze its arm isn't everybody's cup of tea. And no, it doesn't mater if the same person used to be the party animal back then, they like to pretend it never happened.

Don't tick off your cousin's wife. She will sit you next to the priest who doesn't bother with the black skirt and Mao collar and you will be informed, in the middle of your broken record (please not again!) thing about the law for same sex marriage taking too damn long to be passed, that no, not only does he disagree with you, but it's his job to think you and your friends are going to burn in hell forever and ever. Addendum: priests can be quite mean.

Don't talk about that time you did that thing with that guy to the woman who is next to you without checking to see if the camera is on or not. You are the poster child for Murphy's Law and the audio will be picked up and people will hear it and will look at you with both disbelief and amazement in their eyes (I wasn't always this old).

Never say never because you know the universe loves proving you wrong and you will end up searching high and low for a manga title. Lone Wolf and Cub #17, where are you?

Don't watch Definite Article and Dressed to Kill back to back for the whole thing will lead to lovely musings which will make it even more evident that you love Eddie Izzard way more than you should love an executive transvestite you have never met.

I've been properly chastised. Will keep my mouth shut, will not tick off people who do the sitting arrangements to long dinners, will stick to the blasted diet, but there's no way I'm giving up Eddie.

Edit: I put the events in order.
chenanceou: (37)
I used to think of myself as different, weird even. It was bound to happen if you take in consideration where I was born (a photophobic in Tropical Brazil?), how I was raised (no contemporary music until I was 13 - yes, really) and my innate rejection of anything I perceived as ordinary.

Life taught me different. I'm in no way unique and there are others who share my idiosyncrasies - maybe not all of them at the same time, but get 2 or 3 people (in NYC or Gotham) and that's me right there.

That's why I'm sure there are others who also find Almodovar's movies incredibly romantic. Take >Tacones Lejanos< - it's what I would consider the #1 effective date movie (i.e. resulting in beard burns and/or carnal knowledge). It's sexy, it's original and as romantic as bit of spoils ) which, in my opinion, is very.

I saw it recently (for the 4th or 5th time) and was, once again, ga-ga over Miguel Bose's character (You probably know him from >La Reine Margot<. What?! You didn't watch that? Please, do!). Which got me thinking - Eddie Izzard is on my list*. So is Mr. Laurie, after I saw him in drag as Georgina, the doomed sweetheart in Black Adder III.

I must fancy girls.


* AKA The List - I never committed it to paper, but it's there, floating in the ether.


chenanceou: (Default)

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