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Yves Saint Laurent: His Life and Times

Posted by Miss Ess, December 12, 2008 07:49pm | Post a Comment
yves san laurent
One of the most interesting and endearing films I saw this year on DVD was 2002's Yves Saint Laurent: His Life and Times, a documentary covering the incredible life of the revolutionary designer. His Life and Times is followed by 5 Avenue Marceau 75116 Paris, in which we observe the entire process of the creation of Saint Laurent's final collection. In these films, Saint Laurent is noticeably shy and sweet, despite how luxurious and decadent his lifestyle became as his fashion house's stature grew over 40ish years. He discusses his family, his muses, his lovers, his struggle with his own sexuality, all in a humble and soft-spoken manner.

Saint Laurent began as the head of the House of Dior, appointed by Dior himself, when he was just 21 years old. After a traumatic, hazing-filled 20-day stint in the French Army fighting the Algerian War of Independence, Saint Laurent left the army only to find he had lost le smoking suit yves saint laurenthis job at Dior. The stress of it all led him to be committed to an asylum, where he received electro-shock therapy. When he got out, he started his own fashion house with his intrepid life partner Pierre Bergé, who is also interviewed in the documentary. Saint Laurent's Le Smoking tuxedo suit for women was a landmark and helped his popularity to explode by the mid-60s. Despite waxing and waning drug and alcohol addiction, hIs career continued with success and his House flourished and continues to have booming popularity, although sadly Saint Laurent died June 1, 2008.

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Global Language Monitor's 2008's Top Word, Phrase, Name

Posted by Whitmore, December 12, 2008 04:19pm | Post a Comment

So far we have seen competing Dictionaries select “Hypermiling” and / or “bailout,” as the 2008 Word of the Year, but…
 
The Global Language Monitor not only selects the Top Word of the Year but also the Top Phrase and Top Name of the year… the whole shit and caboodle right here all the way from the fine city of Austin, Texas! Ladies and gentleman once again … the Top Word for 2008:
 
Change
 
The Top Phrase: “Financial Tsunami
 
And the Top Name: “Barack Obama
 
These results are from the annual survey of the English language from the Global Language Monitor. By the way, the estimated number of words in the English language now stands at 998,751. And English-speakers world wide now number about 1.58 billion people.
 
The analysis was completed using “GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), the proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet. The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets, factoring in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum and velocity.”
 
The GLM’s top selections for 2007 were all ‘green’ oriented:  “Hybrid” was the Top Word, “Climate Change” was the Top Phrase, and the Top Name was Al Gore, who won the Nobel Prize for his efforts on Global Warming through his film An Inconvenient Truth.
 
So here are the Global Language Monitor’s Top Ten Words for 2008:
 
Change - The top political buzzword of the 2008 Presidential campaign.
Bailout - Would have been higher on the list but didn’t really appear in the media until September.
Obamamania - Describing the worldwide reaction to Barack Obama’s campaign and victory in the US presidential race.
Greenwashing - Repositioning a product to stress its Earth-friendly attributes.
Surge - Military and political strategy often cited as reducing violence in Iraq.
Derivative - Exotic financial instruments used to cleverly package junk-grade debt.
Subprime - Mortgages that were packaged as derivatives.
Foreclosure - The dead end-result of the sub-prime mess.
Phelpsian - Word coined to describe Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.
Chinglish - The Chinese/English language hybrid that Beijing tried to stamp out before the Olympics began.
 
The Top Ten Phrases for 2008:
 
Financial Tsunami - Describing the worldwide financial apocalypse stemming from the subprime mortgage debacle.
Global Warming - The second most talked about buzzword in the Presidential Campaign.
Yes We Can - Yeah baby!
Lame Duck - The lamest, duckiest of all, but delicious in a sauce of ground cinnamon, allspice, ginger, garlic, chili powder with a tbsp soy sauce and honey on a bed of saffron rice.
Working Class Whites - Apparently code for whites who are working class. 
“It is, what it is” - This year’s “unfortunately, those are the facts ma’am.”
Lip Synching - From the little girl, Lin Miaoke, who didn’t sing the song the whole world saw her sing at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.
Price of oil - Today a barrel of oil was about $47.86 on the N.Y. Mercantile Exchange.
Super Tuesday - Super maybe, but not a hell of a lot got settled that Tuesday.
Suddenness Happens - Top Chinglish Phrase from the Beijing Olympics.
 
The Top Ten Names for 2008:
 
Barack Obama 
George W. Bush 
Michael Phelps
Hilary Clinton
Vladimir Putin 
Bono
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 
Sarah Palin
John McCain 
Beyonce
 
And just for the hell of it, the Top Celeb Couple of 2008: Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni (replacing David Beckham and Posh Spice). The French President and his former supermodel wife were married on February 2, 2008.

Celebrating the 4th annual Christmas is the BEST holiday extravaganza!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 12, 2008 03:28pm | Post a Comment
Christmas is the Best CD by Uni & Dr. Trucker
A couple of years ago some friends of mine, Uni (of Uni & her Ukelele fame) and Dr. Trucker (also known as Amoeba's AV master Gabe Wheeler), made their very own Christmas CD called Christmas is the Best! It's chock full of hits, literally with one song actually being titled "The Hit," and exciting original material that has come to be cherished and celebrated in the annual holiday showcase of the same name. This year we'll be cooling it down and heating it up with Uni and Dr. Trucker and frMariel a la Mode performs at Christmas is the Bestiends on Sunday December 14th at Annie's Social Club in San Francisco so get off the couch and come on down to see what all the fuss is about!

Beginning at 7pm there will be crafts and arts including popcorn and cranberry garland threading as well as countdown-to-Christmas paper chains and snowflake cut outs and face painting. Also, please feel free to bring any crap gift you've received for the "shitty re-gift exchange" and, if you can spare any, please bring a non-perishable food item for Mariel a la Mode, our near and dear (and very hungry) sassy, sweet burlesque darling who will also be performing in the show (if you bring something tasty you just might see her pasties). Other acts include the comic stylings of Amoeba's own Sean Murphy, Jumpin Justin of Apple Pie Hopes, Tippy Canoe, Dottie Lux, Ricky Berger, and the fun and unusual vocal duo Corvette Summer who promise to display creations of Christmas never before imagined. Joining the above of course will be Uni & her Ukelele and Dr. Trucker performing songs from their Christmas is the Best opus with Emily and Double DIPtheorya -- a dramatic dance team featuring yours truly. Expect a few surprises as well as an end of the night "smooth and sweaty" dance party to top off this once a year confection of holiday highs and Christmas, umm, thighs. Everyone wins! As Uni and Dr. Trucker would say, "It's Christmas Time -- I'm soooo EXCITED!" Do yourself a favor and come on out to the show, especially you Scrooge McHaters out there...at worst you'll have the best Christmastime of your life, I can guarantee it!
uni & dr. trucker perform it's christmas time!
uni & dr. trucker christmas is the best dance partyuni dances at christmas is the best
                                                                                                                                                                         Here is Uni & her Ukelele and Mariel a la Mode performing "All I Want for Christmas is U" with a special guest appearance by Nappi:

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It's Getting Bleak Out There; Therefore, We Have Leonard Cohen

Posted by Miss Ess, December 12, 2008 01:45pm | Post a Comment
As the weather turns chillier and the sky is becoming both bleaker and darker and darker with each passing evening, I'm feeling more and more introverted in general and also more contemplative in my quieter moments. In these times, I turn to Leonard Cohen.

leonard cohen

His voice is macabre and deep as he delivers masterfully written lyrics, lyrics which slowly and delicately unwrap like layers of an onion, leaving the listener with a sombre, twisting, truth-filled puzzle to muddle and steep like a bag of tea in his or her mind. Here are two of his performances that I find particularly striking as the temperature drops.

First, "The Stranger Song" from Songs of Leonard Cohen.



Then, "A Singer Must Die." I apologize that there is no video for this one, but the song is so heavy and evocative on its own, I don't really think it needs one in the end. Each line contributes to the forming of a developing picture in the mind. The song is from Cohen's album New Skin For the Old Ceremony.

St. Lucy's Day (Sankta Lucia)

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 12, 2008 10:28am | Post a Comment
Lucia by Carl Larsson 1908

Tomorrow is St. Lucy's Day, a holiday primarily observed in Northern and Central Europe, and the Upper Midwest. If it seems odd for Lutherans to observe a St. Day, it's because it sort of is. Then again, as with most Christian observances, the holiday's roots have nothing to do with saints or Christianity.

St. Lucy's Day begins with a young girl clad in white with a lit crown of candles positioned in her hair in a fir wreath (or lingonberry or whortleberry twigs). She leads a procession of candle-bearing girls with coffee, ginger snaps, glog and St. Lucia buns (lussekatter). Sometimes there are boys in conical hats known as "star boys." The children sing Lucia songs which provide a welcome break from Christmas Carols.

Legend of Santa Lucia

Falling near the longest night of the year, the symbolism of young maidens bearing light-bringing fire and bounty isn't too hard to figure out, but if you must know the official Christian version of events, then here you go. Officially, Lucia helped the early Christians in Italy who hid in the catacombs. In order to see, but needing to bring food in her hands, she contructed a wreath of candles. Yeah... right.

Lussi die dunkle kidnapping children

The truth is that before the light-bringing Lucy was invented, Germanic people and their neighbors observed "Lussi Night." The figure, Lussi die dunkle, was a dark, evil female spirit that came on the 13th of December to punish those with uncompleted tasks. Similar (and perhaps to related) to Lillith, the Mesopotamian storm demons, Lussi also preyed upon children. In fact, a whole mob of Lussiferda (Lisle-Ståli, Store-Ståli, Ståli Knapen, Tromli Harebakka, Sisill, Surill, Hektetryni and Botill) would go around an enter houses through chimneys to kidnap children. Sound vaguely familiar?

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