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hoogerbrugge, get down!

10 Apr

I’ve been a fan of Han Hoogerbrugge’s art and animations for a few years. I’m ecstatic that he has put up his whimsical and dark and hilarious short snippet animations on his site. You have to hover on them or click them to make them work. Oh, the hours of joy one can find on the nets.

a whole 30 minutes of being a celebrity

20 Jun

Andy Warhol once said “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” I feel lucky since this last weekend, I got to be famous for a whole 30 minutes.

SFShenanigans, the Improv Everywhere-inspired group, had their second antic, called Create Your Own Celebrity, and I got to be the celebrity. So I was the French-speaking Norwegian Pia Haraldsen, who was supposedly rumored to have something going with U2’s Bono, and who was followed around by a group of very-exuberant fans.

walking.jpgAs Pia, I walked down the street, accompanied by my bodyguard who walked behind me and who wouldn’t let any of the plebian masses get too close while I did a little shopping. And this wasn’t any normal shopping. I walked into the most fancy stores around Union Square, such as BCBG, Prada, Emporio Armani and Bulgari. Usually I would hesitate to go into these because I’d be afraid that the people who worked there would turn up their noses at me, but being dressed nicely and being accompanied by my suit-and-sunglass-wearing burly bodyguard made me fearless. I felt like I was right at home casually looking at jewelry that probably cost more than my yearly salary, and saying nonchalantly to those who asked if they could help me that I was “just looking.”

My favorite part was when I went into Bulgari to look around, and a few of the fans rushed in to try to follow me and take pictures. A couple of the Bulgari security guards jumped forward to usher them out, telling them that “they couldn’t do that in here” and that they had to leave.

It was hilarious and awesome to see them move into action to protect me. They locked the stores doors behind me so that the fans were stuck outside, and told me that I could stay there as long as I needed. They could see that I was worried about the fans that were following me, and wanted to make me feel comfortable that I was safe in that elitist place where the special classes could be separated from the lower ones. I couldn’t believe I was being guarded by f’in Bulgari security, as well as my own bodyguard who was stationed at the door, ready for my command.

I told them in my French accent that I would look around a bit more, and then when finally I was ready to leave and the fans had moved on, a guard unlocked the door and said “Au Revoir” politely to me.

When I was out of the stores on the street, I was almost constantly followed by a group that kept asking for my picture, an autograph, or just screamed, “We love you, Pia!” One of the fans even asked me for a date, saying, “What does Bono have that I don’t?” I occasionally turned around and gave a quick autograph, or a demure smile for the camera, but then there were a few times that I blocked the camera from seeing my face or asked my bodyguard in French why these crazy Americans wouldn’t leave me alone.

It sounds like the group of fans got a lot of people curious about who I was. Everyone wants to be able to tell a story to their friends about having got to see a celebrity up close. Some tourists around Union Square who weren’t part of SFShenanigans even took pictures of me, and some even pretended that they’d heard of me when the group explained who I was. It was great fun to be part of an antic that caused such curiosity and excitement. I can definitely see both the attraction to being loved and followed everywhere, and how it would get to be a bit of an annoyance if it couldn’t be escaped.

More pictures of the antics on this Shenanigans flickr set and a debrief of the event on the Shenanigans site.

my favorite podcasts

16 May

Here’s a list of all the podcasts I subscribe to:

  • Radio Oh La La: The only music podcast I subscribe to, this exceptional one is dedicated to French pop music from the 50s and 60s. High camp, classics and fun.
  • The Sound of Young America. Just the tongue in cheek description of it being a “Public Radio Show About Things That Are Awesome” and the fact that the host and producer Jesse Thorn calls himself “America’s radio sweetheart” delight me. The show features intelligent interviews with authors, film makers, comedians, artists and more. True to its jingle, this is “maximum fun!”
  • Boing boing boing. A very seldom podcast from the makers of boingboing.
  • The Onion Radio News. You can get the Onion in pod form!
  • Yoga Today. This video podcast is the only reason I’ve kept up with my yoga regularly, and I highly recommend it for those who need direction in yoga and don’t have time or motivation to go out of the house to do it. They do a different hour session of yoga everyday, and it’s great to be able to pause to look at certain poses in detail. You can fast forward through the ads at the beginning.
  • With this steady diet, I have enough entertainment to last a lifetime!

y2K ala passé

25 Apr

y2kimage5.jpgI love past depictions of what people thought the future would be like. This collection is especially magical, as it includes a water-unicycle, slidewalks, locomotives pulling houses, personal airplanes, weather control systems, amphibious railways, police X-rays for seeing through walls, and zeppelins.

beetles in love

3 Dec

At Okay Mountain during the East Austin Studio Tour a few weeks back, I saw the works of Peat Duggins for the first time and fell in love with his illustration style. Fortunately, they had a work of his in my price range that I can’t wait to hang up. This adorable artwork from his website ( is similar in theme and style to the smaller one that I bought: 
bugs in loveSo cute!

zombie rights march: my first boingboing contribution

12 Oct

I’ve recently learned that the best way to increase traffic to your site is to feature pictures of zombies and/or pirates and then have link to it. I didn’t even think when I submitted my flickr photoset to them that they would post it since the title “Zombie Rights March Protested by Pirates” seemed too ludicrous to be featured on any site. I laughed wildly to myself as I typed up this absurd (but true) description of it:

Here’s a flickr set of pictures documenting the zombie rights march to Austin’s City Hall last Friday. The zombies’ signs in the march included badly spelled slogans such as “Mairage = 1 Zombie + 1 Zombie”, “More Binifits for Zombie Vets in Our Necronomoconomy”, “Brains…The Other White Meat”, “We’re here, we’re dead, get used to it!” and “Zombies Was People Too.” The zombies, shouting “What do we want? Brains! When do we want them? Brains!” was unhindered by a group of pirates protesting the undead’s demands for their rights.

In the day or two that followed, I was very glad that I hadn’t posted the images on my own server since the photoset ended up getting over 20,000 visits. Ah, the excitement of being boingboinged. And the silliness that I can use that or “google” as a verb and have so many people know what I mean!

fountains of diet coke

9 Jul

zefrank syndicated this lovely video which elaborates the artistic fountain possibilities inherent in the combination of 101 2 liter bottles of Diet Coke with 523 Mentos.

coffee time

16 Jun

Wowsers. I love coffee. I don’t love Folgers, but this bizarre commercial done by Saatchi & Saatchi sums the love up pretty well. And it’s invigorating!

browser overload

27 Feb

Can one ever have too much functionality in a browser? This person who installed 100 of the most popular Firefox extensions seems to think that one cannot. They wrote that

It was really extraordinarily stable. The work of hundreds of programmers who had no idea their code would be used together, coexisting happily in the browser.

I have fourteen extensions installed and that’s all I think I really need. I’d love to know others’ favorite extensions, so feel free to comment if there are any you can’t live without.

honda civic ad

21 Jan

I dig eclectic and experimental music. It’s nice to see something in this vein used effectively in a mainstream ad. Check out a choir making the sound affects for a Honda Civic in this video.

(Thanks, James!)

how do you say “virtuous shell” in chinese?

11 Dec

Last night I went with a friend to see “Napoleon Explosive: The Chinese Napoleon Dynamite” at the Alamo Drafthouse (which is one of the many places that I consider makes Austin the wonderful place that it is.) It was Napoleon Dynamite in “Chinavision,” which basically means that they show a DVD of the film from China which was subtitled in Chinese and then translated back into English subtitles. It was very surreal.

I completely understood the translation of “Napoleon Dynamite” to be “Napoleon Explosive,” but how did Pedro’s name translate to “Virtuous Shell?” Is it a phonetic thing? Hopefully there is someone reading this out there who knows some basic Chinese and can resolve these profound questions of life.

One of my favorite translations from the movie was when Napoleon asks about the chicken’s “large talons”, and it was translated to something like “big marketable skills.”

For those wondering, no, alas, I was not one of the lucky ones to win a “Vote for Virtuous Shell” t-shirt. I like how those shirts made what was originally a somewhat obscure movie reference (and which became so mainstream that even Target was selling “Vote for Pedro” shirts) back into an obscure jest.

sushi cutouts

27 Nov

This page, "Sushi, Do you eat?" combines three things I really like: Engrish, paperworks and sushi. It’s an adorable resource for all those who want to cut out high-resolution graphics to make their own paper models of sushi; it even has the beer accompaniment and little faces on the egg and rice.