Sunday, November 30, 2008

College is Awesome and Life Rocks

Being back in Boston for thanksgiving brought back all sorts of memories that I had sort of forgotten. Most especially I remembered how much being in college changed my life, and more specifically, how much Emerson changed my life. Although I had been to 2 schools before Emerson, something about the transition across the country and being around seriously creative people had such a huge effect on who I became, it's not even funny. I met some of the greatest, most interesting people I know while living in Boston, and not all of them were students at Emerson now that I think about it. They know who they are.

I started off my college career at my backup backup school. Some people don't know that USC was actually my first choice, but unfortunately, that's a pretty darn hard school to get into, and on the whole, I had good grades but I was a more or less average student. In the long run I'm thankful because at a school of 30,000 students, I feel one tends to become lost. At Emerson, I was one of 4,000. I saw the same faces everyday and I had the same professors for more than one class. I felt that I was really a part of the student body. And I love living in a metropolitan area. I had tried a college town school (Western Washington University) and don't get me wrong, the school is great, but not for me. Even now I go to Hunter, which essentially has the same plan as Emerson; three tall buildings at a single intersection. That's basically it. And it's awesome.

I left Seattle without much of an idea of what was going to happen in Boston. I knew nobody. I'd only visited once, and that was after I had decided it was Emerson or nothing. It was sheer dumb luck that I was accepted, I hadn't applied for transfer anywhere else. I'm not sure what I would have done had I not gotten in. That might be the single greatest thing that changed my life in terms of my future. I don't even know what kind of shit job I might have right now. I would never have met the people in Boston I know and love. I wouldn't be in New York, making the most of this city.

I'm a west coaster at heart, and I will always return to Seattle. It's where I feel most comfortable and where I will spend the rest of my days. But Boston is where I really found myself, and I realize that it's almost necessary to leave what you know in order to find out who you are. That includes all parts of my life. I understand more about what I enjoy doing, what my political leanings are, how I love and lust, how I dress, how I interact with people and everything under the sun. I can stand up for myself better, I walk down the street in the middle of the night without thinking twice because I know I can defend myself. I talk to strangers on the subway because I know I have something to offer a conversation. I do things I never thought I was capable of because I'm stronger than ever.

I love Seattle for what it will always be in me. I love Boston for what it gave me. I love New York City for what it is showing me.

Add to Your Playlist:
"All For You" by Sister Hazel
"Catch My Disease" by Ben Lee

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pig Tattoos!

I got this from a friend, and it's pretty much awesome. I would totally tattoo my pigs if I had any. As long as it doesn't hurt them, rock on.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Last night I was sitting at home, watching cool videos with one of my roomies Johanna. I had just been reading the latest National Geographic and there was a little ditty about the Siamang, so we youtubed some videos of them singing. If you've never heard of a Siamang, you're in for a treat. These crazy apes (apes, not monkey, apes) are probably the most vocal animal I have ever heard. Back at home we could hear them at the zoo from like 2 miles away. I think these guys must have been where they got Tarzan's howl. The quick and dirty wikipedia summary of a Siamang is this:

They hail from Southeast Asia where they are the largest of the Gibbon family (their arm span can reach 5 feet, compared to their mere 3 foot stature). They can live to be 30 in captivity and form life-long monogamous bonds which usually produce only a few babies. Their real stand-out feature is the enormous "gular sac" which helps to resonate their intense calls or "songs."

My own personal bias is that they are the most adorable of the gibbons and are really amazing to watch and listen to. There are plenty of zoos in the U.S. that have Siamang populations, including Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, the Memphis Zoo and the Honolulu Zoo (and really that's only naming a few). There are probably plenty internationally as well, I don't know so much about that. They are an endangered species due to both being hunted and caught for pets, and because their habitat is being destroyed. Go see them at your local zoo, listen to their song, they're gorgeous creatures!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Photo of the Week and Schocholautte Update

So Schocholautte had another amazing show last night at their favorite haunt, Niagara Bar, down in the East Village. They play there once a month as part of the Antagonist Art Movement, which is thursday nights. The crowd was big, loud and rowdy, though sadly, Lorenzo did not end up on James's shoulders this time, however, it is possible that I just had too many drinks and missed it. My friend Rikki was awesome and brought 6 of her friends, plus there were groupies and other fans galore, it was definitely one of the better shows! Hit up their myspace!

Also, once a week I'm going to put up a picture, probably taken from my phone and give a little story with it. Today, its an image of where I woke up this morning. Niagara Bar is down in the East Village, and yet this morning I woke up on a couch in the Upper East Side. I think that I made my way there via a diner called Sidewalk and another bar on Macdougal street that I never got the name of. But I do remember playing Fußball. And kicking ass. I have only recently arrived home because I went and got bagels (if you'll remember, that is something I always do after a night of drinking) and the guys at the bagel shop love seeing me come in hung over, or in this case, still un poco bebido. They always tell me I look tired, which is usually the case.

Schocholautte Myspace
Antagonist Art Movement

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mid-Week Art Fun

"Balloons for AmyGoodGorilla"
Haley Jane Samuelson

With this weekly piece of art blog, I think that I'll start with a good friend of mine and my absolute favorite photographer ever. Haley Jane, a recent MFA graduate from Parsons The New School for Design, lives and works in NYC but she's really from all over the place, like Colorado, the Netherlands, Pluto, you know, weird places. We met more than a year ago via a craigslist calling for artsy people. I kind of showed up and just never left.

Every picture I've seen (and I've seen lots) radiate with vibrant colors and scenarios that are all too real in their dream-like state. Some things appear as if born from nightmares, some lead the viewer into complete other dimensions and realities, where Ducks and Bunnies live together, drink whiskey and murder people. The image above is one of my favorite of the older photos and I still get chills when I look at it.

I admire her work to no end, especially knowing how much time she really devotes to it, spending hours and hours sitting in front of the computer, getting every little detail correct and making Photoshop prove its worth in this world. I'm not here to critique or analyze or anything, I'm just telling you what I like and that you should go find out more for yourself. Check out the rest of her work on her website. Email her, hire her.

Haley Jane Samuelson Photography

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Theory of Bea

So, my last name is pretty weird. It's impossible to spell if you have only heard it, and it's impossible to pronounce it if you've only seen it written. I've had a few people in my past who have done it correctly, but for the most part that's been sheer luck because they mostly assumed it was pronounced strange and just guessed right. Anyways, my point is, I have a few theories on the origin of my last name and I thought I might share them. I'm sure other members of my family have ideas about where it originates, but we'll go with mine. First off my last name is spelled B-E-A and pronounced BAY. Some people in my family think it's pronounced BAY-UH, so even we don't agree amongst ourselves. Now, my first theory (and this one is a long shot) is that it's from Turkish origin. I have no idea if I have any sort of Turkish in my background, and I really highly doubt it, but nonetheless, it is possible that my name is somehow derived from the Turkish equivalent of Mister. Bey (bronounced BAY) in Turkish is a title given to men and it very simply means "lord." Ok, now that I have that crazy theory out of the way, theory number 2: it's German and I am somehow related to a German cardinal who lived from the end of the 19th century through the mid-20th century. The only Bea I've ever found that has a wikipedia article (or any article for that matter) is Augustin Bea. He was born in Riedböhringen in 1881 and died in 1968. Our family connection would have to go back further than when he was born but it's not a common name, so its all too possible. Granted just because his last name is Bea also, does not mean that it comes from a German origin, which leads me to my third theory which I think has the most probability. It's an Irish name. There is a Catholic high school back at home by the name of O'Dea, and it is pronounced OH DAY. After I realized this I thought about all the words that look one way in Irish but are pronounced another way (take Siobahn for example). There was also a Saint Bega of Celtic origin which is sometimes cited as Saint Bey or Bee. I kinda like the idea of being descended from a saint.

I think I'm going against the grain in my family, they all think it's definitely form German origin, and by golly, they might absolutely be right, which would be great because I just want to know. But I like throwing my wild theories out there. Anything is possible in this day and age. For your consideration, here are some articles, think about this...then question your own last name.

Augustin Bea
Mister Bey
Irish Language History
Saint Bega
Bea Death Records

Monthly Book Review

Three Apples Fell From Heaven by Micheline Aharonian Marcom

Three Apples Fell From Heaven is a fictional account of the lives of characters living through the Armenian Genocide during the years 1915-1917. The title, based upon a derivative of the folk tale ending “...and they lived happily ever after” is repeated throughout chapters in the story, creating a beautifully interwoven subtext of hope and strength in a book that highlights much of the cruelty of humanity. The reader gets to know individuals such as Dickran, an infant whose mother must abandon him in the desert during their forced march to certain death. There is Anaguil, a teenage Armenian who, along with her younger sister, is safely housed among friends, but must now live her life in the guise of a Muslim. A young poet, named Sargis is kept in the attic by his mother, who can not allow her youngest son to be taken away to his death, but in turn he is driven mad by isolation. This is just a handful of the souls whose lives touch these pages. The lack of a chronological order between chapters lends itself to a swirling mix of names and circumstances which ensnares the reader and in effect brings them into the world of the story. This is a fictional story set in the real-life atrocity that was the Armenian Genocide. The recognized first day of the massacres is April 24, 1914 when hundreds of community leaders were arrested and executed in Constantinople. The Turkish Government, known as the Young Turks, is responsible for systematically trying to remove all Armenians from the Ottoman Empire by using deportation, starvation, massacre and other such cruel acts. The first round of genocide concluded in 1918 but started again in 1920 and finally ended in 1923 after the estimated death toll had reached one and a half million Armenians. This is from the only two million who were estimated to be living in the Ottoman Empire at that time. The world was also in the throes of WWI and though many countries, including Great Britain, France and the United States, condemned the actions of the Turkish government, no serious steps were taken to stop the massacres, nor was the governement made to pay restitution to the Armenians afterwards. To this day Turkey still does not recognize that a genocide occured.Three Apples Fell From Heaven was an absolute gem to read and worth reading over and over again. It is almost certainly necessary to read it twice because the reader can lose him or her self in the beautiful language and often glaze over the horrid details of the story. By no means does this detract from the message however. If anything, the picturesque language brings the reader back again and again, to re-remember the individuals enclosed within the bindings and the stories are no less heart-wrenching the second, third or fifteenth time through. I have read the book twice and I intend to read it again in hopes of finding new pieces of insight that I missed before, which is all too possible with the way all of the characters lives are intertwined, if only just.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I love tattoos. I'll just let that out there right now. Most people who know me know that tattoos are one of my favorite things of all time. Hell, I'm planning on writing my dissertation someday about tattoos. I've watched dozens of friends and family get tattoos over the years (my proudest moment: my mother) and each time I've been there, I get such an awesome sensation that this underground culture is finally finding its way back into the mainstream after so many years as a taboo form of self-expression. Yes it was once very much accepted, royalty had tattoos for christs-sake. Personally, I plan on finishing sleeves, my back, feet and ankles, hips, chest and possibly various other places that I haven't thought of yet. My mom can no longer groan when I tell her what I want since she has come to the dark side. Dad still grumbles, but secretly he likes them all. I love art, and what better way to stay in touch with art than to wear it? The skin is such a maleable, accepting canvas. I enjoy having people on the street walk up to me and ask about the woman on my shoulder or the shapes on my forearm. I've had some of the most enlightening conversations of my life with people who were only asking about my tattoos. We trade stories. Tattoos cross culture boundaries too, since every continent on the planet (besides Antarctica of course) has a history of the people tattooing themselves. This is no joke. Look it up. China, New Zealand, all over Africa, South America, Europe, India, the list goes on and on. I feel that not only am I contributing to my own personal beauty, but I'm participating in a long tradition of body adornment, something that started thousands of years ago and can still be seen on mummies. It really comes down to the human need for adorning themselves to show off status, beauty, strength or any number of reasons, depending on the culture. The next time you see someone with an interesting tattoo, I highly reccommend that you ask about it. You might be surprised with their answer.

Read more in this article below:

NY Times Tattoo Comeback!

Learning to Dance

So I just had the most fabulous evening. I went dancing, but not just your typical dancing. I went to a club where everyone (and I really do mean everyone except for myself) was hispanic. However, this really isn't the point of the story, because in fact, it didn't really matter. Yes, I got a few stares, people doing double takes like "who brought the guera?" but after a bit, I stopped caring, and everyone else did too. The real cool part was that I learned something amazing about another culture. I learned a few new dances: Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia, Salsa and even a little Reggaeton (which isn't really a dance, more grinding in a very sexual way to some awesome music but whatever). I caught on to the Bachata which, needless to say, made me feel right at home after a while, and you could tell that when I got on the dance floor and people looked at me and saw that I knew what I was doing, they just kind of smiled and thought, "sweet..." My friends from Brooklyn Bagel....(Roberto and Eusebio) taught me lots of cool stuff, I got sweaty and tired and my feet hurt. I had margaritas and tried to understand the words of the songs but they were all in Spanish so really that didn't come to frutition. I'm pretty sure it cost an arm and a leg to not only get into the club but to purchase the drinks and everything, but neither Roberto nor Eusebio would allow me to buy things so I'll never know really how much it cost. One of my favorite parts of the evening was when we first came in to the club. They pat you down. And when I mean pat you down, they did a better job than the airport. I had a woman all up in my boob area, checking the cuffs of my jeans and feeling in my pockets. The "dancing" music didn't even start until exactly 11PM. No one would go out on the dance floor until the real music began, but when they did dance, it was so great to watch. Everyone knew the songs, the proper steps and all the variations in between. Lucky me because I got to dance with two gentlemen, both of whom knew how to dance very well (contrary to what they each thought) and I had an absolute blast. Perhaps because I grew up doing so many things that left me as the minority (all-asian basketball team, all of middle school...etc) I didn't feel out of place in any way. And lastly, it was such a great workout. The merengue kicked my ass, but I got it down...sort of.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Clemenza and Tessio

Tonight was the second night of this show I've been working on, and it went more or less like yesterday. Some cues were off, some lines were mixed up, some of the lights and sounds took a little longer to gather than I had thought, but in the end, people laughed and were telling us how much they loved the show. The fact that many of them had multiple drinks and were fairly knocked by the end probably had nothing to do with it. We're halfway through the run, its only four shows long so by the time I really get down all the light and sound cues, it will be over. No matter I guess, this week will give me a lot more time to work on my next show, plus homework, my job, trying to work things out with my theatre company members, working on some Schocholautte stuff (go to their myspace and check them out!) and basically trying to organize my life again. I really need to clean my room and do laundry first and foremost. But I also need to get back on applying to grad schools, studying for that damn GRE that I need to take before grad school can actually happen, and the billions of other things I have put on my own list of things to get done. Tomorrow will be spent probably hung over and studying furiously for my midterm on monday, which in reality I should have been studying for long before this, but since cram sessions are totally "in" and "hip", I figure, why stray from the flock?

Clemenza and Tessio Tickets!

Bagels Galore

In the spirit of the name of this blog, I figure it's only right to write something about bagels and coffee. Currently I'm sitting in my local bagel shop, which just so happens to be my favorite bagel shop in all of New York. It's saturday, so I'm actually lucky that I even got a seat, their line is out the door, even though it's pouring rain outside. The rain is the reason I'm even sitting here in the first place. I was supposed to have a soccer game this morning, but due to the "inclement" weather, it was cancelled. In retrospect, this gives me a wonderful opportunity to work on homework and regular work and things I was going to squeeze into tomorrow. But I really would have liked to play today. But I sucked it up and went for a bagel (oh the sadness). I walked the 15 minutes in the absolute downpour, my feet are soaked, my sweatshirt is soggy, and the bottoms of my pants are now another color. But the reason I go through such trials to get to this place is because they really do have the best bagels in NYC, and as an avid bagel eater since young childhood, I think I know a thing or two about bagels. Not only that, I worked at the best bagel shop in Seattle years ago, and these are definitely comparable. It's called Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company, though ironically their 3 locations are in Queens, Queens, and Manhattan. My local store is the one near the Astoria/Ditmars stop, I've never actually been to the others ones. I don't think they ever had a location in Brooklyn, so where the name came from is beyond me. The people who work here are fabulous, I'm in here so often that they know I drink my coffee black, they know that I can't have regular cream cheese because I'm a vegan, and they always have a smile for me, even when you can tell they've been having an absolutely wretched morning. I'm the kind of person who can't do my work in my apartment because I'll just get distracted and ignore it, so I'm always sitting here for hours on end, working, studying or stuff. And they never mind, on the contrary they always seem to wonder why I leave. I bring everyone I know here. After a night of serious libation: bagels. After a one night stand: bagels. After a soccer game: bagels. I undoubtedly eat too many carbs, but I figure, you only live once right? This is the bagel Mecca, come in and if it's not too busy you can even ask them to teach you a word or two in Spanish, they'll happily oblige.

Below you will find an article that I just happened to pass on the world wide web. Gives some cool info about the bagel.

First Posting, Music to look out for!

So really, on a first post, something should be spectacular. And what better way to start than by helping to promote new music? I have a few friends, they have a band. And no shit, the band is good. Like really good. The kind of music that makes you want to sing along, dance, laugh, cry, and all that good stuff. So, without further ado, their website (for the time being) is as follows: . Yes it sounds like the french word for chocolate. We all just had a big meeting this evening about future plans and I thought this was a good way to start making those plans a reality. Check out their myspace, friend them, come to shows, keep in touch. They hand out free candy sometimes too, but only if you show up.

That's Michael P. below!
Oh My Dear