Posts from — January 2008

In the Year 2000

I’m having some technical difficulties with photo uploading so in the meantime here is another excerpt from my grade school diary. This one was quite a treat since I probably just watched Back to the Future 2 [my favorite of the series] and was looking forward to the technological advances of the next decade.

i had a lot of faith back then

FYI I am still a fan of Lisa Frank stationery. Also please note my valediction. I hope I was just being sarcastic with my diary. :(

January 30, 2008   6 Comments

Life in a Comic Book World

One of my best friend Reyna and my favorite games to play is called “In Our Comic Book World” which is much like the game of “What If?” but with us saying “Imagine if _______ happened….well in our Comic Book World it would.” Of course it’s always some ridiculous cartoon-plot fantasy and one day when I learn how to draw I will make a comic book featuring of all of our dreams.

In the meantime, I like it when I see weird coincidences like this that make me think we might not really be far from a comic book world after all:

reyna and me as a comic

January 25, 2008   4 Comments

Swan Song for Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger is dead. I am quite saddened by this. I don’t know about you, but I can still watch Ten Things I Hate About You about fifteen times or so. Okay, I am alone on that one. Well, now they better never remake one of the best movies in the world.. The Warriors.

A long time ago when I first heard the news that MTV was remaking The Warriors I got angry, then I jumped on my casting couch and hired actors, in my mind. I didn’t even have to think hard about Swan, the lead character. Heath Ledger appeared before my eyes…

heath_swan

Do you see it? I can’t see anyone else in that role! And now, according to Wiki, the remake will supposedly be played by “real gang members to create a modern version of the story set in Los Angeles.” HOLY CHOLY! I wonder if the Warriors will try to make it back to Santa Monica instead of Coney Island. Hmm…that doesn’t work for me. Anyway, if that’s the case, I guess they probably won’t be casting my dream actress for the role of sassy Mercy…

rosario as mercy

I am SICK of remakes. Gawd. The Birds?! Don’t even get me started.

RIP Heath candy bar.

January 22, 2008   2 Comments

Mad Crushin’ on Defekto

Mad Crushin' on Defekto

When I first saw the Flickr photostream of Baltimore-based graphic designer and photographer Jim Lucio, aka Defekto [center above], I thought I was looking at an underground John Waters film. His Polaroid captures of wonderful eccentric characters naturally struck a chord in my lil’ heart. I always appreciate a good chronicling of a three-ring circus and Defekto’s pictures never fail. Let us have a gander at what makes this man tick!

+ How old were you when you first were interested in photography?

I was probably about 16 when I first started having fun with photography. I remember dressing up my little sisters a couple of times, but my mom kind of got pissed when I wanted them to hold knives.

+ How did you learn? Did you go to school or were you self taught?

I would say I’m basically self-taught, though when I was 17 I took a basic intro to photography class and later I took some filmmaking and editing classes–that was in San Francisco. Much later I took a refresher semester at the International Center of Photography in NYC. I’m still learning–and honestly, I haven’t really learned much over the years! Maybe I don’t like perfection because that means I have to work harder. Perfection doesn’t stimulate me. Any decent photo student can have perfect lighting and composition, but I think I have just turned imperfection into part of my style. And individual style is much more important to me.

+ Who and what are your main influences for your work as far as people, film, music, books etc?

I have so many influences. I love pop trash culture. Bad movies, lurid paperbacks, exploitation movie art, weird toys…etc. I don’t know that music has influenced my photographic work, though a band will sometimes form or come through town that is exceptionally visual and that is inspiration enough to want to shoot them. I am an avowed true crime junkie and I love the old detective and crime magazines–they were just so filthy and raw. I especially like posed photos of busted hookers or junkies with their eyes blocked out. Somehow that bar across their eyes always just seemed so much more exploitive.

+ Are there any photographers that inspire you?

When I was a kid, I saw a photo of a child wearing a rubber Frankenstein mask and that was the first time I bothered to find out who took the photograph. I thought, “That’s something I would do.” It was Ralph Eugene Meatyard. Cindy Sherman’s “Film Stills” probably influenced me in some way and I love Diane Arbus and Joel-Peter Witkin. I love their subject matter, in the same way that I actually really like Terry Richardson’s work. I don’t know how many times I’ve had people email me or comment on a photo on Flickr and ask if he’s influenced me or saying something I shot is “very Terry Richardson”. I actually never even knew who he was until people started suggesting that I was doing what he does.

+ If you could do a shoot with any historical person from the past, who would it be and what kind of scenario would you like to put them in?

Hmmm…that’s a hard one. For some reason Josephine Baker comes to mind. She was beautiful and had the best props…banana skirts and live ocelots. I would love to have taken photos of Colonel Sanders! He could have roosted in a hen house surrounded by big big plump chickens.

+ Is there anyone you would like to work with nowadays?

Yes. Photo editors at major magazines, celebrities, starlets, wannabes, visual weirdos, exhibitionists… and in my book, the unknown, regular Joe’s are just as interesting and captivating as any celebrity, so I will always want to just work with the people who happen to be around me.

+ What cameras are your favorite to shoot with?

I have been using a Polaroid Spectra for over 20 years. In the past two years alone I think I’ve gone through 5 or 6 of them. I recently got a medium format Speed Graphic…the same camera that Weegee used. I got a Polaroid back for it and will eventually use it, but I’m dragging my feet because I’m probably afraid the photos will turn out bad because I hate learning how to use new equipment.

+ Most memorable shoots? Funny things that happened? I’m sure there have been TONS.

Most of what I do is just so off the cuff and quick that it never feels like a “shoot”. I just sit someone still for a minute or two and snap. I do have a lot of friends in bands and they frequently ask for photos…and those are usually not paid and not particularly fun either. It feels more like work and less like art to me. I did meet The Goddess Bunny several years ago in LA and I was very excited to photograph her. I had her dressed in a Rainbow Brite nightgown and bonnet. But the photos turned out like crap, so that wasn’t very funny. And I didn’t even have my Polaroid camera with me.

+ Was there a time in your life that you wish you could have captured on film but didn’t? If so, what was it?

60s NYC would have been fun. When I was a teenager I was fascinated with Andy Warhol and the whole Factory crowd. They all looked so good and were all incredibly fashionable….oh, but that was before my time. In “my life”…. well, I lived in NYC from 1993-2002 and I regret not having picked up my camera much. I saw so many wild and crazy things and crossed paths with enough celebrities and interesting people that my portfolio would look a lot different now if I’d been carrying my Polaroid with me wherever I went.

+ If you weren’t doing photography or graphic design, what would you want to be doing?

I’m basically a frustrated filmmaker. I used to work on an animated show at Nickelodeon and still think that one day I’ll have my own show. Or just make porn that turns people off instead of on…I have some good ideas.

+ What’s next in the world of Defekto?

I have a couple of shows later this year that I’m excited about. One is a collaborative show with Chase Lisbon of Supercult fame and the other is a solo show with the tentative title: Icons of Baltimore. I’ll be working on getting photographs of everyone I consider a serious mover/shaker or important person who has come from Baltimore or currently lives here. I’m really excited about this show. And basically, I just need to promote myself a little more and start getting paid to be “Defekto”.

+++++++++++++++++

You can soak up more Defekto goodness at his website, at his flickr and you can now pre-order his new book, MONDO DEFEKTO: The Polaroid Photography of Jim Lucio!!!

xoxo,

Marie

January 22, 2008   3 Comments

Dear Diary

A while back, I started scanning some some entries from my childhood diaries. I recently found even more embarrassing diary entries from my life as a shy child cursed with intense “Bitchface.” I’m going to attempt to analyze them in order to make my therapist’s job a teeny bit easier. Onto the first gem…

I want JUSTICE!!

Tonya was my red-headed babysitter when I was nine years old. The only other memory I have of Tonya was when she changed her maxi pad in front of me and I saw her big fiery bush. This entry also frightens me because of my horrible spelling of the word “excuse.” I actually was a good speller back then, but I lost the spelling bee since I was too cool to study [lazy].
However, I still stand by my theory that the Speak & Spell made me become the spelling nazi that I am today. Does anyone else have Speak & Spell pride? We should get tattoos.

January 19, 2008   6 Comments

Flickr Favorites

January 18, 2008   1 Comment

Dear Menz- With Special Guest Michael Ian Black

dear menz mib

Greetings everyone and welcome to the first edition of “Dear Menz”! This is where I will dig deep and ask the menz a variety of penetrating questions to help us ladies gain enough knowledge to find the thugs of our dreamz…

My first guest is the genius and god among men, Michael Ian Black, who you know from The State, Stella, Wet Hot American Summer, and of course those “I Love the…” shows on VH1. Let’s see what this menz has gots to say…

Is it true that guys don’t like funny girls?

I think guys love funny girls. At least this guy does. Especially if they have funny props like Carrot Top. That shit is hilarious.

When is the best time to slip someone the tongue on the first date?

10:35 pm

How would you feel if you overheard someone say, “I am straight gonna MB to the MIB TONIGHT”?

I guess it would depend on the context – if they were talking about putting their cat to sleep, I guess I would be kind of upset.

What’s your favorite song to dry hump to?

Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus”

What advice can you give someone who’s been looking for love in all the wrong places? Should I just give it up and become a mail order bride?

My advice to any would-be mail order brides out there would be to take a deep breath and consider ALL your options. Maybe you might want to become a high-class call girl instead, or just a straight-up sex slave. Mail order bride just sounds so permanent.

Have you ever Supermanned a ho?

I’m not sure what this is, but probably.

Why do a lot of menz refuse to eat white condiments?

Like mayo? Do menz refuse mayo? In my experience, menz will happily eat mayo.

And lastly, what kinds of freaky shit are you into?

I like Scrabble.

Thank you Michael Ian Black for letting us peer into your brain for our first Dear Menz column! You can enjoy more MIB at his hilarious blog. You can also see him in the soon-to-be-released Kids in America and he also wrote the upcoming film Run, Fat Boy, Run. And get his stand up comedy album, I Am a Wonderful Man, available on Amazon.

January 16, 2008   15 Comments

Appreciating Chola Style

Do you like my new shirt ese?

When I was thirteen, my “cousin” Gigi came to live with us for a couple of weeks. ["Cousin" as in the Filipino way where everyone is your auntie and your cousin, probably even your boyfriend] Anyway, she got into some sort of shenanigans back home and was sent to stay with me, who was a perfect angel back then. Gigi loved cholos, and looked like a chola herself or at least had the hairdo, which was stiff as straw, raped-by-Aquanet, peroxide-lightened hair. In the two weeks Gigi was with us, I learned how to concoct a makeshift cocktail from Boone’s Strawberry Hill and my mom’s mangoes, and we would sip them while sitting in my front yard catcalling at the guys who would drive by in their cars, pumping their music as loud as they can. Gigi called that move “The Mating Call.” I was sad when she went back home since it was nice having a chola sister for a little while.

After years of other similar friendly run-ins, I theorized that cholos and cholas may be the undiscovered comedians of the world. They come up with more pop culture-referenced, witty one-liners than you could ever imagine. Their style was very fashion forward, with their now ironically hip Virgin Mary shirts and other Catholic paraphernalia. They were fixing classic cars longer than your rockabilly boyfriend and listening to the best band in the world, Zapp & Roger.

If you grew up in southern California, then you know what I am talking about. You were probably appreciating cholo/chola style long ago. Of course, Gwen Stefani rocked wife beaters and Dickies back in ’95 and obviously still sports some chola-esque elements. In the past decade cholo/las have become a popular choice in Halloween costumes [aside from Halloween 2007's easy-to-do costume: Amy Winehouse.]

Are you down for chola style and want to know where to begin? Perhaps my do-it-yourself Chola Style Guide can help pave the way.

chola style guide

+ Watch movies about cholos. Blood In Blood Out, American Me and Mi Vida Loca are good starters. Then you can watch Scarface, which isn’t a movie about cholos but they love it and think Al Pacino is a badass just like you do.

to my lovah

+ Refer to this Ultimate Gangsta Starter Pack that I made for Robyn Swank a few years ago when she was obsessed with cholos. The starter pack was my first foray into custom gift basket making [which I will of course get into at another time]. Items included were a 40 ounce of malt liquor [don't forget to spill some for your homies], a switchblade [to cut fools who try to step to you], brown lipliner, an appropriate movie [as reviewed in#1], a hooded sweatshirt featuring a gangsta and his heina with Jesus watching over them, crip slips [even comfortable enough to wear to Coachella! ], a Virgin Mary bandanna, and big gold hoop earrings.

+ Give yourself a chola-themed nickname. In seventh grade I used to write Gigglez all over my Trapper Keeper. If you are a wallflower, Shy Girl will work perfectly. This is pretty simple. As Dlisted pointed out, “Chola girls in High School had nicknames that sounded like the names of the bitches on Flavor of Love.”

+ Write some poetry to your man in lock-up. A chola loves doing this for her man. I know it’s been years since you let your own feelings out on pen and paper. Don’t be afraid to let go and show Chuy just what you mean to him. If you are not poetically-inclined, post the lyrics to “Angel Baby” on his myspace page. When he gets out of jail he will undoubtedly appreciate the sentiment.

+ Last but not least, take some pictures at the mini-mall with your homegirls. Choose your background wisely [you can never go wrong with the classic "Smile Now, Cry Later"], coordinate your outfits, and get together beforehand to draw on each other’s eyebrows and drink wine coolers. My homegirls and I did this a little while ago as you can see up above. Make sure to get a lot of wallet-sized photos because everyone will want one. Don’t worry about covering up your hickeys. Your man likes it when his heina is all tagged up.

January 9, 2008   47 Comments

Why I Want to Get Married

My sweet Loverbot other half, Leyla, showed me this link of a bride who had a cake made in her very own likeness. I like seeing things like this because it makes me feel like less of an asshole. Just kidding. Anyway, in three years when I have my Sweet Thirty birthday bash [which will be just as obnoxious as those teens' on MTV, if not more], perhaps I will do the same, but use a photo like this. Chola cake! Take a bite outta that! ON A FASHION NOTE: Look at that sista’s wedding dress. Is that paisley or butterflies? I hope the latter because it would be very Mariah of her. A girl can dream.

January 7, 2008   5 Comments

Lazy Sundays-Francophile Edition

With the rain beating down today, screwing up my plans to go thrift store shopping, I decided to catch up on some good old netflixing and discovered I must unintentionally be in a Francophile film phase! If only I were eating french fries, french-kissing, and wearing a beret while watching these, I would be filled with much joie. These four Paris-themed movies came out in the past year and I gladly recommend them to you.

Francophile Recap

Paris J’Taime is like eighteen love letters to Paris from twenty different directors, including Gus Van Sant, Alfonso Cuaron, and Alexander Payne. You will automatically want to see the ones with Natalie Portman, who plays a woman in love with a blind Frenchman, and Steve Buscemi as a tourist attracting trouble in a subway. Another favorite of mine is about a family of mimes, since I do love those creepy mimes and clowns…

Two Days in Paris starring Julie Delpy, who was also equal parts writer and director, and Adam Goldberg, was a favorite of mine that I caught in the theatres a few months ago. I enjoyed the funny, fast-paced dialogue between two lovers, who spend, yes, two days in Paris running into her ex-boyfriends. I can’t wait to watch it again when it is released on dvd at the end of this month. I liked how Delpy cast her real-life parents as her character’s mother and father, and how some of the film is autobiographical and improvised. Adan Jodorowsky, Alejandro’s son, who played young Fenix in Santa Sangre [!] has a small part in it too.

Broken English stars Parker Posey who I will always love [long live Party Girl!] but this time she plays a lonely woman struggling with an unlucky love life. After having a few bad experiences with the opposite sex, she meets a sexy, free-spirited Frenchie and changes her ways. But no! It’s really not one of those movies. Trusting herself again with love takes her forever, and you really want to see her happy. Sigh. Her acting is nothing short of incredible. The ladyboner-producing Justin Theroux is in it too. On the fashion front, pay attention to the necklaces she wears. I am researching who made them now…

La Vie En Rose walks us through the tragic life of the famous French songstress, Edith Piaf. The movie shows us her heartbreaking, early years as a young, temporarily blind child raised by whores in a brothel, all the way to her success as a singer basked in the spotlight and adored by her audience as their “Little Sparrow.” After seeing Marion Cotillard emulate Edith’s extreme personality traits: from sassy and stubborn to vulnerable and anxious, I am excited to see what else she has acted in. She was beautiful as Edith, and reminded me of a French version of Zooey Deschanel.

Now I am listening to Edith and longing for a future trip to Paris..

January 6, 2008   4 Comments