Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More on India, this time from artnet.


It might be flavorful, but it certainly is tasteless

Get it? The Cultural Revolution. It uses live cultures, it's a revolutionary product, it's maybe the worst name for organic yogurt ever.

Thank you to Joanne for brightening my morning by showing me this -


Yesterday was Dev's birthday, and to celebrate we went to the (exhaustively titled) Shanghai Natural Wild Insect Kingdom. Shanghai has two world-class aquariums and a nice zoo, so I had high hopes for the SNWIK.

The SNWIK is fronted by a number of lop-sided, hastily constructed model insects, each about the size of a large dog. Inside, the first room is given over to the pleasing if perplexing combination of ferrets and fish. A small wooden ferret house is filled with a pile of 6-8 sleeping ferrets at the edge of a large, murky koi pond.

Past the fish, you enter the butterfly tunnel - which is, in fact, just a tunnel surmounted by a tangle of netting strewn with dessicated butterfly corpses. The tunnel does boast a parrot, two foxes, and more than a dozen adorable pygmy marmosets; the foxes dining on a meal of dog food, popcorn, shortbread biscuits, and chicken bones. The tunnel reeked of feces.

Past the butterfly tunnel is the "frog area," as well as like areas for snakes, turtles, and lizards. Several reptiles live in a reconstructed cave environment decorated with black construction paper bats like a kindergarten Halloween art project.

Next was the insect area, which I studiously avoided, as I am terribly frightened of insects. On the other hand, perhaps it wouldn't have been so bad, as Dev assures me that many of the cages contained only model insects.

Past the insects was the assortment-of-cute-mammals room, with baby goats, dwarf hamsters, rabbits, chinchillas, squirrels, and more ferrets.

Then, the gift shop, which sold an assortment of insect paperweights and unlicensed rip-off Jurassic Park toys.

So, in short - a world-class educational institution, and a world-class birthday.

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Part two of my article on Indian weddings.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

The first day of spring has arrived and all the women in my neighborhood are strolling through the afternoon with their parasols - Shanghai is becoming quite a lovely place to be.

In other news, I have a Bollywood gossip article up on Tripmaster Monkey - stay tuned for part two!


Thanks to Grant for this wonderful selection from a Paris Review interview with Nabokov.

Nabokov: I detest Punnigan's Wake in which a cancerous growth of fancy word-tissue hardly redeems the dreadful joviality of the folklore and the easy, too easy, allegory.
Interviewer: What have you learned from Joyce?
Nabokov: Nothing.
Interviewer: Oh, come.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

I'm happy to announce that starting next month I will be writing book reviews for Small Spiral Notebook. I've wanted to work with SSN for years, so I'm very excited to be part of their team.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

My interview with Wayne Belger is up on the ALARM website, as well as published in ALARM #26, on newsstands now.

I have several more pieces coming soon, including new art reviews for artnet and ALARM #27. I'm working on pieces for new venues like Tripmaster Monkey and Newsweek, as well as old favorites like the Chronicle, that's Shanghai, and that's Beijing.