QotD: Today’s Top 5

Books, movies, music; what's in your top 5 right now?

The O'Jays' "Backstabbers," aka my cell phone's ringtone (this week, at least. Next week it might be Peter Bjorn and John's "Young Folks," Kenny Loggins' "Heart to Heart," Pavement's "Cut Yr. Hair" )

Natalie Hopkinson and Natalie Y. Moore's "Deconstructing Tyrone: A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation"

"Shortbus." Best American movie of the year, so your Hollywood studios' Oscar-bait releases are just so much kibble and chum. folds arms

My One True Music Collection's looking pretty good at the moment. O Gurusonaa, mighty, mighty backup hard drive of mine, I'd sing your praises if it wasn't already clear that you have more than enough songs on you to do it for me.

I was slowly making it through Michael Ondaatje's "The Conversations." I'd like to pick up steam and just plow through it before month's end, but I don't think it's going to happen. If only I moved through media more quickly. I could watch (and make) more movies instead of just reading about them.

Snap, crackle …

[…] Time changes when you listen to Steve's music. It is, or rather was, so
unorthodox, that the pulse and rate of breathing, thinking, and being,
changes. It's like someone invented an alternative way of keeping time.
A more human way – reflective of the ominous pain inherent in modernity
and the future – whatever it may hold for us. So debased and insulted
by the abomination that is the modern pop single, humans have forgotten
how to actually listen to music
– music that shows us something other
than which clothes to buy, or how much to spend on that Sweet Sixteen
Party, or which ride to pimp. Steve shows us that there is a different
way. Would that we could all listen to him. […]

Sam Gustin, Huffington Post, "Steve Reich Rocks New York"

Peter, Bjorn & John - Young Folks
Peter Bjorn and John - Young Folks (Live in Glasgow)

[…] If lyric poetry is, as Czech novelist Milan Kundera recently wrote,
"the most exemplary incarnation of man dazzled by his own soul and the
desire to make it heard," surely the pop song is the highest
incarnation of all-consuming love and its fundamental need to be

Marc Hogan, Pitchfork, "Peter Bjorn and John, Writer's Block"

QotD: Good On A Cold Day

What food or drink do you love when it's cold out?  (Recipes and recommendations, please!)

One cup of hot sake.One sake, two sake

Drink? Hot sake. Tokyo Lobby serves it in a tall white pitcher that looks like a futuristic milk bottle. Diners then pour it into tiny white cups. Prism Cafe poured it into these clear plastic tumblers. Either way, I remember it taking the edge off the late-winter chill. I don't remember trying the sake at Yoshi's yet. Bringing a bottle back from the market, sitting it in a pot and warming it on the stove? Eh, I'd rather pour into a glass and zap it in the microwave. (Yes, that's "Mr." philistine to you.)

QotD: On Podcasts

Do you listen to podcasts?  Are there any you'd recommend? 
Inspired by Alex.

I suppose this is as good a time as any to put up last week's conversation with Cecily about John Cameron Mitchell's "Shortbus." Cecily and her husband R. were part of the packed house that got to see it at the Vancouver International Film Festival earlier this month; A. and I caught it in  a nearly empty San Francisco theater a weekend or two ago.

Cecily and I talked a week or two ago, but today's Violet Blue column in the San Francisco Chronicle on the movie got me in gear about sharing it here. We liked the idea of capturing and storing pieces of conversation about bits of media — music, movies, plays, books, essays — that one or both of us have come across and want to talk about. I joked that this was our "conversation piece time, or 'C.P. Time,'" but time will tell if that name will stick.

Oh, other podcasts: I came late to Rocketboom (How late? Um, June, after this year's Vloggercon). When I think of movies, I remember spending a lot of time in the last year or so with Elvis Mitchell's "The Treatment" on KCRW-FM. For music, I think the FADER's monthly to semimonthly podcast, which it unfuckwithably pairs with a PDF of the magazine, is essential. (Speaking of good music, I still have a lot of Mashuptown.com MP3s to go back through, and I ought to go see how Benn Loxo du Taccu's doing.) On books, no one can touch Bat Segundo when when it comes to deft, funny and wildly unique interviews with authors.

Look and feel

[…] In her book “Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage Girls Talk About Sexuality” (Harvard University
Press), Deborah Tolman, the director of the Center for Research on
Gender and Sexuality at San Francisco State University and a professor
of human sexuality studies there, found that some 30 teenage girls she
studied understood being sexy as “being sexy for someone else, not for
themselves,” she said.

When the girls were asked what makes
them feel sexy, they had difficulty answering, Dr. Tolman said, adding
that they heard the question as “What makes you look sexy?”

women’s costumes, with their frilly baby-doll dresses and high-heeled
Mary Janes, also evoke male Lolita fantasies and reinforce the larger
cultural message that younger is hotter.

“It’s not a good long-term strategy for women,” Dr. Tolman said. […]

So that's settled, then: Tuesday after next, I'm passing out copies of Stephanie Rosenbloom's New York Times article "Good Girls Go Bad for a Day" in my naughty-schoolgirl outfit.

(Not necessarily humorless editor's note: An earlier version of this post was titled "Look and feel, aka "You can't say 'Halloween' without 'all-new hoe.' " No garden tools were harmed in the creation of the post.)

QotD: My Earliest Memory

What is your earliest memory? 
Submitted by Megan.

I was sitting in the dark at a small desk in our Wagon Way house's living room. My dad had just turned out the room's light and said something about how I could stay there all night if I wasn't going to finish whatever I was writing (neither homework nor coloring; possibly penmanship practice). I was three.

So, um, yeah, me and deadlines. Pals from way back.