Andrea Harner
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January 31, 2007

First successful federal capital punishment prosecution in New York in more than 50 years

Jury Agrees on Death Sentence for the Killer of Two Detectives by Michael Brick.

After the verdict was read, the defendant, Ronell Wilson, 24, rubbed his palms, looked at his mother, then stuck his tongue out at the families of his victims.

Uuuummm...mentally stable much??!!

Visiting Cuba

I really wanna go. AndreaHarner.com field trip??!

Devil's Playground by Lucy Walker

Last night we watched Devil's Playground which follows a few Amish kids during their Rumspringa which begins at 16 when they are allowed to live with the "English", aka the non-Amish and do all the things we do in the devil's playground in which we live. During that time they are supposed to get their sinning out of their systems and truly contemplate whether they are ready to join the Amish church and if so, make the lifelong commitment to living the Amish way. The main character is an insightful kid with a meth problem. Through his actions and questions we're able to see what some Amish kids battle and it's tough to say the least. This doc suffers the problem lots of docs do and perhaps so because of their nature but it doesn't satiate all your curiosities. It does successfully portray a harsh dichotomy though. As Jonah said, "I hate both these worlds!" and by that he meant the stifling Amish life and the drug-feuled, teenage life. Amidst all that it's plain and powerful to see how wonderfully community-minded the Amish culture is yet painfully clear how it's achieved at the expense of even the slightest individuality.

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Stolen by Rebecca Dreyfus

It has been a doc marathon around these parts! and by that I mean we watched a doc last night and another the night before that. Two nights ago we watched Stolen which investigates the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist of several prized art works especially Vermeer's The Concert. This journey is taken primarily by an older gentlemen who is himself, extremely interesting. This is juxtaposed with Blythe Danner narrating Isabella's letters to her art collector/gallerist and his responses are narrated by Campbell Scott. It is clear that her art was her greatest love and her relationship with art contained all the juicy bits of any love story including the longing, the elusiveness and finally the fulfillment. The downside of this film is that it leaves lots of questions unanswered: Why weren't the guards who were on duty the night of the heist, interviewed? What percentage of stolen art is recovered? Undoubtedly and understandably the filmmaker made choices in order to create her story about this fascinating topic. Instead of a comprehensive treatment of art crimes containing all the interesting facts, it's a story about ISG, her collection and the people who have gotten pulled into the orbit of this crime from the journalist, the art historians to the art detective. Bonus: Camera work by Albert Maysles!

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The Homogenization of the Champs Elysees - The Parisians won't stand for it!

Megastores March Up Avenue, and Paris Takes to Barricades by Elaine Sciolino.

Yay Frenchies, do what you do best! I hope you're successful so when I visit Paris next, I don't discover that I could have shopped at the same, big, boring stores a few blocks from my apt!

There was a time when the Champs-�lys�es stood for grand living, high style and serendipity. With the Arc de Triomphe on one end and the Tuileries Gardens on the other, you could discover an underground jazz band at midnight and down oysters and Champagne at dawn.

But the road where de Gaulle celebrated France"s liberation from the Nazis, the one known as "the most beautiful avenue on earth," has, like Times Square and Oxford Street in London, turned into a commercialized money trap.

Most of the music clubs are gone. Movie theaters are closing. Sometimes, all that seems to be left on the 1.2-mile stretch are the global chain stores that can afford the rent.

And so, in a truly French moment, the Paris city government has begun to push back, proclaiming a crisis of confidence and promising a plan aimed at stopping the "banalization" of the Champs-�lys�es. The question is whether it is too late.

January 30, 2007

Goodbye Barbaro

Look at this breathtaking picture:

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The ending of Barbaro's life has made me sadder than I had anticipated. If his veterinarian had not become emotional and nearly unable to talk I would have been concerned that they had the wrong vet all along.

There's just something about horses.

At Ease, Mr. President by Gary Wills

This is a fantastically to the point Op-Ed on this administration's misuse and abuse of "commander in chief".

Full Op-Ed:

We hear constantly now about "our commander in chief." The word has become a synonym for "president." It is said that we "elect a commander in chief." It is asked whether this or that candidate is "worthy to be our commander in chief."

But the president is not our commander in chief. He certainly is not mine. I am not in the Army.

I first cringed at the misuse in 1973, during the "Saturday Night Massacre" (as it was called). President Richard Nixon, angered at the Watergate inquiry being conducted by the special prosecutor Archibald Cox, dispatched his chief of staff, Al Haig, to arrange for Mr. Cox's firing. Mr. Haig told the attorney general, Elliot Richardson, to dismiss Mr. Cox. Mr. Richardson refused, and resigned. Then Mr. Haig told the second in line at the Justice Department, William Ruckelshaus, to fire Cox. Mr. Ruckelshaus refused, and accepted his dismissal. The third in line, Robert Bork, finally did the deed.

What struck me was what Mr. Haig told Mr. Ruckelshaus, "You know what it means when an order comes down from the commander in chief and a member of his team cannot execute it." This was as great a constitutional faux pas as Mr. Haig's later claim, when President Reagan was wounded, that "Constitutionally ... I'm in control."

President Nixon was not Mr. Ruckelshaus's commander in chief. The president is not the commander in chief of civilians. He is not even commander in chief of National Guard troops unless and until they are federalized. The Constitution is clear on this: "The president shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States."

When Abraham Lincoln took actions based on military considerations, he gave himself the proper title, "commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States." That title is rarely - more like never - heard today. It is just "commander in chief," or even "commander in chief of the United States." This reflects the increasing militarization of our politics. The citizenry at large is now thought of as under military discipline. In wartime, it is true, people submit to the national leadership more than in peacetime. The executive branch takes actions in secret, unaccountable to the electorate, to hide its moves from the enemy and protect national secrets. Constitutional shortcuts are taken "for the duration." But those impositions are removed when normal life returns.

But we have not seen normal life in 66 years. The wartime discipline imposed in 1941 has never been lifted, and "the duration" has become the norm. World War II melded into the cold war, with greater secrecy than ever - more classified information, tougher security clearances. And now the cold war has modulated into the war on terrorism.

There has never been an executive branch more fetishistic about secrecy than the Bush-Cheney one. The secrecy has been used to throw a veil over detentions, "renditions," suspension of the Geneva Conventions and of habeas corpus, torture and warrantless wiretaps. We hear again the refrain so common in the other wars - If you knew what we know, you would see how justified all our actions are.

But we can never know what they know. We do not have sufficient clearance.

When Adm. William Crowe, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, criticized the gulf war under the first President Bush, Secretary of State James Baker said that the admiral was not qualified to speak on the matter since he no longer had the clearance to read classified reports. If he is not qualified, then no ordinary citizen is. We must simply trust our lords and obey the commander in chief.

The glorification of the president as a war leader is registered in numerous and substantial executive aggrandizements; but it is symbolized in other ways that, while small in themselves, dispose the citizenry to accept those aggrandizements. We are reminded, for instance, of the expanded commander in chief status every time a modern president gets off the White House helicopter and returns the salute of marines.

That is an innovation that was begun by Ronald Reagan. Dwight Eisenhower, a real general, knew that the salute is for the uniform, and as president he was not wearing one. An exchange of salutes was out of order. (George Bush came as close as he could to wearing a uniform while president when he landed on the telegenic aircraft carrier in an Air Force flight jacket).

We used to take pride in civilian leadership of the military under the Constitution, a principle that George Washington embraced when he avoided military symbols at Mount Vernon. We are not led � or were not in the past � by caudillos.

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan's prescient last book, "Secrecy," traced the ever-faster-growing secrecy of our government and said that it strikes at the very essence of democracy � accountability of representatives to the people. How can the people hold their representatives to account if they are denied knowledge of what they are doing? Wartime and war analogies are embraced because these justify the secrecy. The representative is accountable to citizens. Soldiers are accountable to their officer. The dynamics are different, and to blend them is to undermine the basic principles of our Constitution.

Garry Wills, a professor emeritus of history at Northwestern, is the author, most recently, of "What Paul Meant."

I won't be happy until I lose my legs

I've been fascinated/perplexed by this topic ever since I read an Atlantic Monthly article six years ago about these folks: A wanna-be amputee (woman with BIID) tells all to The Guardian.

Thanks for the article, Jason!

January 29, 2007

NYC's True Graffiti Problem: Ain't this the truth!

A fantastic Graffiti Research Lab (of Eyebeam) & Anti Advertising Agency collaboration:

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Video: Amy Sedaris on Conan 11/21/06

Amy Sedaris, always a pleasure - a treasure...with no measure*.

* Too much wine!

Video: Jay Z and Timbaland in the studio from Fade to Black

I could watch this over and over. And I do. It's so cool to watch the process of Timbaland playing the beats he's come up with to Jay-Z who fishes for the big wig among them.

Video: Bjork's Hyperballad in Japan

I saw her in concert at Radio City Music Hall during this tour!!!

Video: Jay-Z & Phish in Brooklyn 2004

Hilarious collaboration!!

January 26, 2007

Jewhab: Great new word!

Am I the only one who just heard this word for the first time?? They say the first time is the best time!

Jimmy Carter will shamefully have to follow Mel Gibson to Jewhab.

Prince will indeed make it a Super Bowl!

Funny how much I'm looking forward to the Super Bowl this year especially the midpoint.

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* via Kottke.

Catwash: MEOOOOOW!!!!

Look at how happy this kitty is.

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Video: Hilarious/horrific haunted dog

Poor pooch has an evil leg:

Hilarious/Horrific and Horrific/Hilarious

You'll notice that I use these self-penned expressions recently. Aren't they spot on? So many things are just perfectly h/h....or h/h.

Insider's note: You can tell if I think the described thing is a little more hilarious than it's horrific or a little more horrific than it's hilarious by which comes first. Lucky you!

God hates fags: Horrific/hilarious or hilarious/horrific video?

Is this real or not???!!! Sadly I think it's horrific/hilarious = real.

Warning: If you're laughing so hard you can't resist watching again and laughing more, be prepared to find yourself going about your mundane Friday, in the comfort of your colleauges and boss humming, "God hates fags."

Thanks to Jonah and Edward for sending me this video independently, knowing it was great andreaharner.com material!

Chinese Idol: Name that panda!!

Who can do things on their own anymore? Not me! Who needs to ask the internet for help with minor to major decisions?? Me and China!

Got a good name for panda?? How about TP? For Tupperware Panda. :-(

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January 25, 2007

A Hostage Who Stayed a Few Steps Ahead by William Grimes

A crazy yet authentic New York story. Stanley N. Alpert's book about this experience is out now: The Birthday Party.

Ziggy Sobotka & Andrea Harner: BFF

At Mary's birthday dinner last night I had the good fortune of running into accosted Ziggy to take a picture with me. I was slightly embarassed at my audacity and borderline rudeness but secretly proud of my audacity and borderline rudeness.

I wonder if I'll ever think of him as being a real person named James Ransome, or PJ as Mary calls him or if he'll forever and always be Ziggy to me, the total fuck up son of Sobotka who nevertheless occupies a special spot in my heart (the part of my heart reserved for The Wire characters).

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Thanks for the picture Zig! It made my night! I hope I didn't ruin yours! :-)

The Three Faces of Mary & There's Something About Mary for sure!

Last night was Mary's super fun 55th* birthday dinner (I know, she has aged well!) - not only did about 300 people show up but a very exciting (to me) presence was also there - that was your teaser - stay tuned for the next post to find out (people expect too much instant gratification these days - not here, not on AndreaHarner.com!). This will be the format of this blog going forward - I string you along with a teaser you're barely interested in, then when I reveal it to you, you discover either that you're even more uninterested in my niche obsessions or that you're into it too!...about half as much as I am. We are a partnership - let's keep it up!

Pretty Mary:

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Shy Mary:

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Dirty Mary:

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* JK...Rowling. She turned 30. We all have to face the music sometime.

Video: Sleepy dog tries to sleep standing up

Watch the left paw:

MySpace for Dummies: Really???!!!

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* Bed, Bath & Beyond, Sixth Ave @ 18th St.

January 24, 2007

Momofuku Ssam Bar was deliciousS!!

We made the brilliant decision last Saturday evening to check out the Momofuku Ssam Bar which recently received a great write-up in New York Magazine. It included this great photo of the unapologetically carnivorous chef David Chang:

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We got there at 7:15 and the place was packed - mind you it was Saturday night in NYC (we thought it was highly unlikely we'd be able to be seated but figured it was worth a shot) and were told it was a 45 minute wait. We put our name down and walked down a block to a wine bar, had a glass of wine and 30 minutes later returned. We waited 5 minutes and then were seated - a surprisingly pain free experience! Plus, the vibe was fantastic - the excitement as a result of the NY mag coverage was palpable:

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The restaurant is primarily a long counter with a few tables behind the counter:

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We were seated at a great spot at the counter, in front of the bright, open and bustling kitchen:

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And look who we saw hard at work:

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The famous (infamous to vegetarians) chef David Chang himself!

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I was slightly worried because contrary to everyone else in NYC I am unimpressed with the Momofuku Noodle Bar. I am a noodle connoisseur and can bore you to death with the subtleties of every kind of noodle dish and let me tell you - that ramen is bland and fatty - not yummy. Nonetheless we ordered full speed ahead!

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First came the oysters for Jonah which he, before devouring, made me taste one and it was the first and only oyster I've ever enjoyed. Jonah popped it in my mouth and said, "close your eyes and imagine you're in the sea" and that's all it took. I could hear the Little Mermaid soundtrack and I was an octopus, dancing and singing and having fun with my ocean friends. That's how it has to be for me ~under the sea~ !

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Then came the brussel sprouts and squid salad which were both so flavorful and tasty! These two adjectives are a thread in this meal - nothing bland here!

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The Korean burritos which this restaurant started out serving exclusively were truly delicious;

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This is what it looks like to eat a korean burrito with hoochie nails:

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Here's a ham eating a korean burrito:

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The pork sausage wraps were also to die for:

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And finally for dessert, the mochi ice cream was not great but was good. The salted apples were interesting and quite good.

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Super duper contented and delighted...we'll definitely be back!!

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Virtual nails are a great reality!

I have wanted to try long, acrylic nails (aka hoochie) for the longest time...I finally did it! It's important to notice however that I made a very clever decision which was to choose the healthier alterative: Virtual nails from Dashing Diva which don't necessiate you shaving down your nails to glue on the acrylic - virtual nails need no shaving down, just glueing!

I did made the horrible mistake though of asking for them to be long - I coudn't text, I couldn't type, I couldn't button my jacket, I COULDN'T PUT IN OR TAKE OUT MY CONTACTS - I never realized that women with these nails are effectively, cripples.

I've since had them cut down but here they were originally:

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And here's me, the nails and looking like a tranny!

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You too can achieve this look - good times!

Do You Believe in Magic? by Benedict Carey

Another NYTimes article examining our simultaneously rational and irrational minds.

A graduate school application can go sour in as many ways as a blind date. The personal essay might seem too eager, the references too casual. The admissions officer on duty might be nursing a grudge. Or a hangover.

Rachel Riskind of Austin, Tex., nonetheless has a good feeling about her chances for admittance to the University of Michigan's exclusive graduate program in psychology, and it's not just a matter of her qualifications.

On a recent afternoon, as she was working on the admissions application, she went out for lunch with co-workers. Walking from the car to the restaurant in a misting rain, she saw a woman stroll by with a Michigan umbrella.

"I felt it was a sign; you almost never see Michigan stuff here," said Ms. Riskind, 22. "And I guess I think that has given me a kind of confidence. Even if it's a false confidence, I know that that in itself can help people do well."

Oscar nominees!!!

Boy are they weird. I guess the category that most excites me this year is Screenplay. It's also interesting to note the takeover of British actresses - Helen Mirren of course deserves the Oscar.

I will most definitely be watching, critiquing and worshiping the festivities though!!

January 23, 2007

Tokyo '06: A night out

Attractive:

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Tokyo's classy Sentaagai area:

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Edward helps lady whose stilleto was stuck in the grate:

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I'm a real gentleman:

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So it doesn't count that you pushed her into the grate right?

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Wiiiiiiiiiii!

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I love Tokyo~~~~~~~~!!!

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Function Junction, baby!

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Group shot:

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BWN (Bored at Work Network) taken to the extreme

This is a sad and hilarious sign of our times: Woman fired for writing about avoiding work.

"This typing thing seems to be doing the trick," she wrote. "It just looks like I am hard at work on something very important."

Bauer also wrote: "I am only here for the money and, lately, for the printer access. I haven't really accomplished anything in a long while ... and I am still getting paid more than I ever have at a job before, with less to do than I have ever had before. It's actually quite nice when I think of it that way. I can shop online, play games and read message boards and still get paid for it."

Another bad sign for my GRE score

Constantly open in my browser and often referenced:

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OJ: Cash-in confessor...oh and murderer

EEEEEEWWWWWWWW:

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10 Top Foods To Help You Fight High Cholesterol

To show you that I care: 10 Top Foods To Help You Fight High Cholesterol.

Close to 107 million U.S. adults have cholesterol levels of 200 mg/dL or higher, a level that the American Heart Association says increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. At least 12 million of these people are taking statin drugs to lower their cholesterol levels, but there are more natural options out there.

According to the American Heart Association, "You can reduce cholesterol in your blood by eating healthful foods, losing weight if you need to and exercising." What follows is a listing of the most potent foods to add to your diet if you want to fight high cholesterol and drive your levels down using your diet as a primary tool.

1. Shitake Mushrooms

The active component in shitake mushrooms--eritadenine--has been found to lower cholesterol levels in animal studies. The more eritadenine the animals received, the more their cholesterol levels dropped.

2. Walnuts

A study in the April 2004 issue of Circulation found that when walnuts were substituted for about one-third of the calories supplied by olives and other monounsaturated fats in the Mediterranean diet, total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol were reduced. Walnuts contain the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to be excellent for the heart.

3. Uncooked Soy

A new study found that eating two servings of soy protein a day can lower cholesterol by up to 9 percent--but it must be uncooked to have benefit. "Soy protein increases the activity of low-density lipoprotein receptors primarily on the liver that clears it from the body. Eating soy protein increases the activity of these enzymes that break down the cholesterol," said study author James Anderson, a scientist at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

Good soy sources would be edamame or soy nuts. "Soy-fortified muffins, cereals or nutritional bars in which the soy protein was baked at high temperatures do not provide the benefit," Anderson said.

4. Blueberries

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture have identified an antioxidant in blueberries called pterostilbene (it's similar to resveratrol, the antioxidant found in grapes and red wine). This compound has effectively lowered cholesterol levels in animal studies.

5. Salmon

This fish is a particularly good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to lower LDL cholesterol while raising the good (HDL) kind.

6. Garlic

Numerous studies have demonstrated that eating garlic regularly reduces LDL cholesterol and raises HDL levels.

7. Avocado

Avocados are rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat known to help lower cholesterol. In fact, one study found that people with moderately high cholesterol levels who ate a diet high in avocados for one week had significant drops in total and LDL cholesterol levels, and an 11 percent increase in the good HDL cholesterol.

8. Black Beans

Black beans and other legumes are high in dietary fiber, which is an excellent cholesterol fighter.

9. Apples

Rich in both pectin and fiber, along with powerful antioxidants, including quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid, apples help lower bad cholesterol while raising the good kind.

10. Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Family Heart Study, participants who ate four or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day had significantly lower levels of LDL cholesterol than those who ate fewer servings. Among the most powerful veggies are the dark green, leafy variety, such as spinach, kale, collard greens and Swiss chard.

January 22, 2007

Welcome to the unhappiest day of the year.

So far, it's representing pretty well!

Tokyo '06: $200 melon

Don't know if I've ever eaten a $200 melon but Japanese melons are hands down the best melons I've ever had. I'm certain this melon was delicious.

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God I love Prince & miss the 80's

Head:

Erotic City & Housequake:

Julia Child & Andrea Harner: Two peas in a pod

I didn't know much about Julia Child except that she's a cooking legend and that she's old. Reading this interview however showed me that we have some things in common!

They are...

There is nothing worse than grilled vegetables.

I'm awfully sorry for people who are taken in by all of today's dietary mumbo jumbo. They are not getting any enjoyment out of their food.

Moderation. Small helpings. Sample a little bit of everything. These are the secrets of happiness and good health.

You need to enjoy the good things in life, but you need not overindulge.

The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person. You know they're right if you love to be with them all the time.

The problem with the world right now is that we don't have any politicians like Roosevelt or Churchill to give us meaning and depth. We don't have anyone who's speaking for the great and the true and the noble. What we need now is a heroic type, someone who could rally the people to higher deeds. I don't know what's to become of us.

You must have discipline to have fun.

Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper. Everything can have drama if it's done right. Even a pancake.

I don't believe in heaven. I think when we die we just go back to the great ball of energy that makes up the universe.

Hell only exists on earth, when you've made mistakes and you're paying for them.

* via Kottke.

When you have a third nipple, pierce it for god's sake!

People are so very interesting!

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* via Kottke.

For the Worst of Us, the Diagnosis May Be 'Evil' by Benedict Carey

Not a recent article but nonetheless an interesting NYTimes article on using the term 'evil' to describe horrific human behavior.

SOS. Dying of cuteness.

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Thanks to my MnL Della for this photo!

January 19, 2007

Be afraid: Single women are taking over everything!!!

A trend here and in Japan too. Great dicussion topic for your dicussion group.

Expert Ties Ex-Player's Suicide to Brain Damage by Alan Schwarz

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This interesting NYTimes article suggests that concussions sustained during football play can cause depression and ultimately lead to suicide. The football industry is less willing to accept this causality.

Excerpt:

Asked in 1994 by The Philadelphia Inquirer to count his career concussions, Mr. Waters replied, "I think I lost count at 15." He later added: "I just wouldn't say anything. I'd sniff some smelling salts, then go back in there."

Mr. Nowinski also found a note in the Inquirer in 1991 about how Mr. Waters had been hospitalized after sustaining a concussion in a game against Tampa Bay and experiencing a seizure-like episode on the team plane that was later diagnosed as body cramps; Mr. Waters played the next week.

Sweet and Vicious the other night

Couples swap! JK ROWLING!!! How dare you think such an unseemly thing! Shame on you.

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Look at how cute these people are...especially in the middle and to the right:

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Can you guess which liqueur I'm most intrigued by but also know that it's certain to taste disgustingly like egg???

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Kate Moss has got a hold on me

Even in Tokyo (Omotesando) I had to document Kate Moss - just in case she wasn't documented enough already:

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I may or may not have recently purchased this Kate Moss necklace:

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Boozy lunches are fun!

This past Sunday was one of those perfect Sundays. Everything seemed on the up and up so I suggested to Jonah, "let's have a boozy lunch!" We headed to Otto where we've had fun memories of eating and drinking at and around the bar...on weekdays only. New York is of course almost entirely unmanageable on the weekends due to crowds, too many drunk people and crowds. Sunday at 3:30 at Otto almost counts as a weekday because it's such an off time - we successfully had a weekday-like experience.

There are few things more exciting then sitting at one of the window nooks by the bar, studying the menu in great anticipation:

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Champers!

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An ad for Otto:

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All done! Satiated...

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This new camera is perfect because it doesn't capture life as it is, it captures life as a drunkard sees it!

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Contented couple:

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* It's a bit of a splurge but highly recommended for special occasions!

January 18, 2007

Republicans cutting and running (from Bush)

Finally!

TOKYO STYLE REPRESENT! REPRESENT!!

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* Shibuya Sentaagai, 12.06

Majorly crushing on Jay-Z right now

I just told Jonah he should get a suit vest made :-)

This is a rad clip:

Longer, full clip:

I knew I was in trouble when...

I found myself looking this up while studying for the GRE:

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There was a time when this would have been metaphorical Mecca for me

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* Chinatown, NYC

Weird and cute socks from Japan!

Thanks to my obachan for this great gift that makes me smile every time I look down - I wear them daily - the bottoms have crusted.

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January 17, 2007

Always Revealing, Human Skin Is an Anthropologist's Map by Claudia Dreifus

This NYTimes article came at the perfect time for me. For the very first time last night as I was washing my face before bed and putting on my plethora of skin creams, I saw my skin differently - in a (metaphorical) light I've never seen before. I noticed the lines and grooves forming in my undereye and crows feet area and felt extremely happy, endeared and touched by was developing. I felt like they were telling me a story of my life, my adventures, misadventures and my tendency to squint and to smile a lot. At the risk of sounding completely retarded I finally felt love, respect and appreciation for living life fully, without fear of aging and for my unique epidermal expression of that.

* via Kottke.

World's Smallest Nintendo Controllers!

Thanks to my dear friend Zee (who thank god is going to move back from Japan soon!) for giving me this incredible gift - look at how cute they are!!!!!!!!!!

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What's their size, you ask? Little, tiny, earring size:

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A(ndrea) to Z(ee) Productions

During a jaunt back to NYC, Zee paid me a visit - she also managed to lose her passport but who needs to bring that up?!

It is always a true pleasure to play with silly Zee.

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OK. Over. We're easily bored.

Thanks to Andy Ortiz for the photos!

Take it from Mii - Wii will kick your ass

We played Wii at Meg and Jason's the other night and ow, it still kind of hurts to move my right arm around. If you're like me and like to be dramatic with your tennis serves and hardcore in your upper cuts you'll be extremely sore for days. I think that using the elliptical machine at the gym might be easier than a Wii Fitness Plan. Never thought the gym would be the easier option.

January 16, 2007

Can Johnny Come Out and (Be Taught to) Play? by Benedict Carey

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An interesting NYTimes article on a new look at playground design and asks these fundamental questions:

How much help do children need to do what should come naturally? And to what extent does expert guidance � embodied by the so-called play workers � represent adults� expectations of children, rather than what the youngsters themselves want or need?

Golden Globes synopsis

As is usual with these awards ceremonies, it was a love fest to Jack Nicholson who I'm convinced remains seated in that front row seat all year round. A new phenomenon was the love fest for Emily Blunt. I have only seen her in Devil Wears Prada in which she stole the show - her dress was so awesome:

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The other dress I adored was Cameron Diaz's and she looked radiant - you truly brought sexy back, girl:

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And for the cutest girl on the planet:

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Oh god, who brought the old hags?

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And unfortunately there isn't a photo of Prince receiving his award because oh right...the little purple majesty was stuck in traffic.

Did you see Prince at the Golden Globes last night in a gold suit? Represent!

LOVE him - here's a nice little clip of the genius you may recall - after a great acoustic medley he's interviewed by Sway during which time he gives props to Outkast & Alicia Keyes - rightfully - although no one can top the one and only Prince!

Lion love

An inspiring story of a woman and a lion in love, desperate to wed. JK Rowling!

Watch this:

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Introducing Natalie Johanesen!

Late last year, this little baby was born to Chris and Amy. I am delighted to see that she is already a very funny gal and am looking forward to more! Congrats on the great procreation, guys!

My all-time favorite of Natalie so far:

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Yay! I'm the ruler of this household!

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~Feelin' irie~

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Sometimes I fear people. They're still new and weird to me. NJ, take it from me - it doesn't get any better!

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Mirror image of me sleeping:

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P.S. I had a strange but certainly true premonition when looking at the Natalie's Funny Faces page: I am certain that when I have a baby my photo albums will consist of only that category, the best category - funny faces!!

January 15, 2007

Happy MLK Day!

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The Ideological Animal by Jay Dixit, Psychology Today

As a psychologist in training, I recently subscribed to Psychology Today mostly because there don't seem to be any other psychology mags out there let alone any interesting ones (let me know if I'm wrong). I was pleased to find The Ideological Animal in this month's issue. Here's a long excerpt which I'm highlighting not to be incendiary but because my life experience strongly agrees with the studies' conclusions - do you agree? disagree? Ridiculous comments will be deleted.

"All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats," quipped Groucho Marx, and in fact it turns out that personality differences between liberals and conservatives are evident in early childhood. In 1969, Berkeley professors Jack and Jeanne Block embarked on a study of childhood personality, asking nursery school teachers to rate children's temperaments. They weren't even thinking about political orientation.

Twenty years later, they decided to compare the subjects' childhood personalities with their political preferences as adults. They found arresting patterns. As kids, liberals had developed close relationships with peers and were rated by their teachers as self-reliant, energetic, impulsive, and resilient. People who were conservative at age 23 had been described by their teachers as easily victimized, easily offended, indecisive, fearful, rigid, inhibited, and vulnerable at age 3. The reason for the difference, the Blocks hypothesized, was that insecure kids most needed the reassurance of tradition and authority, and they found it in conservative politics.

The most comprehensive review of personality and political orientation to date is a 2003 meta-analysis of 88 prior studies involving 22,000 participants. The researchers�John Jost of NYU, Arie Kruglanski of the University of Maryland, and Jack Glaser and Frank Sulloway of Berkeley - found that conservatives have a greater desire to reach a decision quickly and stick to it, and are higher on conscientiousness, which includes neatness, orderliness, duty, and rule-following. Liberals are higher on openness, which includes intellectual curiosity, excitement-seeking, novelty, creativity for its own sake, and a craving for stimulation like travel, color, art, music, and literature.

The study's authors also concluded that conservatives have less tolerance for ambiguity, a trait they say is exemplified when George Bush says things like, "Look, my job isn't to try to nuance. My job is to tell people what I think," and "I'm the decider." Those who think the world is highly dangerous and those with the greatest fear of death are the most likely to be conservative.

Liberals, on the other hand, are "more likely to see gray areas and reconcile seemingly conflicting information," says Jost. As a result, liberals like John Kerry, who see many sides to every issue, are portrayed as flip-floppers. "Whatever the cause, Bush and Kerry exemplify the cognitive styles we see in the research," says Jack Glaser, one of the study's authors, "Bush in appearing more rigid in his thinking and intolerant of uncertainty and ambiguity, and Kerry in appearing more open to ambiguity and to considering alternative positions."

Another video in the Irreplaceable series...it's irresistable

P.S. Bought the ring tone for $2.50.

January 12, 2007

Did you know that Barack Obama smokes??!!!

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Best Pain au Chocolat: Dean & Deluca

It has two strips of chocolate and it's hearty and fluffy. It is divine. $2.50 plus tax.

January 11, 2007

Alas, my black laptop has a fine black camera accompaniment!

Thanks to Jonah I now have this gorgeous little camera to replace my old Pentax point and shoot. The Zeiss lens and the interface are already extremely promising and it's gorgeous of course.

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My laptop is still nice to look at but the static sound problem persists and is so annoying! What is wrong with Apple?? Design doesn't have to be at the expense of function!

Volver

I loved Volver. As with all Almodovar movies it was a visual feast of colors and colorful characters. Penelope Cruz's character must have been a dream role for her - she did it beautiful justice. American movies are so overly cliched and categorized into one genre or another. This was everything...a slice of an interesting life.

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Gates or Jobs? Who's your daddy??

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I'm a Gates girl, myself.

Have you heard this song before? It's brand new but here it is especially for you.

~I can have another you in a minute, matter of fact here'll be here in a minute~

Rhyming minute with minute! Pretty ballsy!

January 10, 2007

Zoo: You'd be weird NOT to be intrigued by this

I'm fighting the urge to vomit but I still really want to see this.

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I just started taking the Kaplan GRE course and I hate it.

Took the diagnostic test on Saturday and am certain when the teacher passes back my test this Saturday she'll be looking around the room for a retarded person to hand it to.

Tokyo '06: Midori Zushi

The line at Midori Zushi - Jonah's circled:

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Finally, sushi!

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Sushi delight!

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Snap! Back to eating...

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Sushi serious eating time:

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P.S. What's your favorite sushi place?? NYC and beyond, please!

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Mariah's Don't Forget About Us: Currently obsessed with the song

* For fellow karaoke enthusiasts, here are the lyrics.

January 9, 2007

Tomato Angst

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What you can and can't do to your muslim wife

Thanks for the infuriating link, bro! :-)

What makes a cartoon New Yorker worthy?

I love cartoons for realz!

via Kottke.

January 8, 2007

The new clothes dance, compliments of my brother Edward Harner

When you buy $500 worth of t-shirts and sweatshirts in one store, in one fell swoop, the excitement (yay! I don't have to shop for a long time and these clothes are awesome!) and nervousness (did I make a $500 mistake?!) make you do the new clothes dance:

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Bonus tip: Watch my mom's disapproving expression in the third frame.

* Our apt in Tokyo, 12.06.

Off to DC & MD for the next two days

I'm not going to the DC Comics headquarters and to the hospital, silly!

Ugh. Make me stop. And my insomnia induced stomach-ache.

World's smallest things on fingers!

Click for more!

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Thanks Noa!

Stickam: What it's come to

Stickam, where we can finally connect in potentially sweet ways and certainly perverse ways.

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See who's live and broadcasting themselves.

I look forward to when my future children, at age 11 or so, start making their live selves available to internet strangers.

January 5, 2007

Powerful people on drugs

I love discovering stuff like this. Gives me hope. And nightmares.

Shanghai '06: KFC love is global

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* Shanghai, in a busy KFC.

Some kitties need extra love

GOT IT???!!!

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Shanghai Tang tea set

I am seriously coveting these items. I saw them in Shanghai and thought the 900 or so RMB price tag (roughly $110 US) was a good price for the whole set until I discovered it was just for the teapot. The tea cups are pricey too.

But aren't they beautiful and cool??!! I'd love to get my greedy little paws on these beauties!

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Self-congratulatory post

For acing my classes last semester!

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January 4, 2007

Shanghai '06: Amy & Andrea @ Dim Sum

Had a short but sweet reunion with Amy in Shanghai and here is the photo shoot by Jonah!

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So this is what it feels like to be jealous of a young girl!

Thanks to my bro for this video!

Creme brulee in a box

Those who are fortunate enough to know me get to hear me go and on about how I don't like sweets. Well...As Walt Whitman wisely said, "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes."

So here is one of the few sweets I adore - the creme brulee - this one is a mini one from Ceci Cela on Spring & Lafayette - the cuter the better of course:

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P.S. In case you were gearing up to say creme brulee is like pizza in that 'pizza is like sex, even when it' s bad it's good'...stop, you're dead wrong. Bad creme brulee is horrific and no cute analogy could save it.

Thanks to Jonah for surprising me with this the other night - deeelish!

January 3, 2007

Shanghai '06: Chicken feet for sale at convenient store

Don't forget to pick me up some chicken feet, k?!...is how the saying goes...

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* Shanghai, China 12.06

Tokyo '06: Syuri strikes again

Some photos of this little awesomeness:

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* Ochanomizu sushi bar, Tokyo, Japan 12.06.

Jet laggin': Wide awake at 3:09 am

Update: Never went back to sleep. Operating on 4 hours of sleep. Fun!

Thoughts of a jet lagging fool:

Am I using too much of my GMail storage? I should check on that.

Living in Tokyo again would be great. I hope it happens.

Jet lagging during the day yesterday was fun because it felt like I was slightly sedated. GOOD TIMES!

I'm sad the holidays are over. Now I'm a freak if I have holiday cheer. Sucks.

I miss Japanese melons. A $15 slice at breakfast was RIDICULOUS! but it didn't change the fact that it was delicious. And juicy. And perfectly sweet. And a great green.

I miss my family but happy to have had a great trip with them. Mom's still in Japan but is my dad on his way back to Shanghai right now? I hope my brother isn't partying too much now that all his business school applications are in. Am I an over-protective sister? Is that bad?

I'm so grateful to have Jonah in my life. WAIT. How is it possible that Jonah doesn't ever have jet lag!!?? How can he sleep through it all??!! Maybe I'll wake him up, lunge my probing eyes to within an inch from his, and grill him on his jet lag avoidance secrets...

I love the name Miuccia.

I can't wait to be a mother.

Maybe I should pluck my eyebrows. Yeah, I should get up and pluck 'em. Leave them thicker where they begin but thinner as they go out. Yeah, that's gonna be AWESOME!

January 2, 2007

Shanghai '06: Where did I leave my meat and underwear?

Oh, right! Silly me, I hung them out to dry!

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* Taken in Shanghai's French Concession 12.06.

Shanghai '06: Always reach for the stars

Once in a while I actually love a photo of myself - one such photo has come along:

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* Taken by Jonah just outside of Shanghai's newly relocated illegal market with pirated DVDs, fake bags, watches, clothes etc - like Canal Street but literally underground.

World's worst psychic?

Funny video from my brother:

I can't believe anyone actually believes this crap. So weird.

January 1, 2007

Happy 2007!!...and let's not forget, happy birthday Jonah!!

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* At Steakhouse Hama in Roppongi, Tokyo, 12.06.

** We leave for the airport in a few minutes...blog you soon!

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