Jul 25, 2013

Papa See: The Civil War from TheaterworksUSA

The Civil War

I love theater. And I love that MONSTA loves theater. She's always ready to go, no matter the show. On this day, it was a musical retelling of the war between the states. It's very well performed, and not a bad show. 

And yes, I did almost stand up and cross my heart when they played "Dixie." 

Read my take over at NyTheatre.com

Jul 11, 2013

A Perfect Song...In Papa's Opinion

Jim James on Letterman. Wow. State of the Art (A E I O U) is the first track off his new solo, and it might be the perfect song. Great composition, a truly nasty groove, and lyrics that matter. No lie: this track has really made me consider my marriage to technology. Am I using it, or the other way around? Worth a think. 

And here, live, it's even better. Jim sliding around, basking in neon, ripping on that 6 strang lightin' bolt. The audience turns into Jim's congregation, and I'll tell you straight up: if church was like this, I'd probably still be going. 

Ol' man Letterman's reaction tells the story. Happy Thursday, Erebody.  

Jul 10, 2013

PS 1: Papa See Some Art

With Hemorrhoid Gate 2013 behind me, I've been itching to burn off a lil' of dis here gut. So Sunday, with WIFE, MONSTA, and MONSTA 2.0 out da house, I grabbed the bike, bolted downstairs (in case they decided to come back), and shot off towards P.S. 1, an outpost of MOMA not far from base camp. As far as museums go, it's very hip, very modern, and not always my cup of tea. But, it's in a gorgeous old public school, and offers two things I'm always in favor of: creativity and free admission. HOORAY for ART! 

Schools have a lot of rooms, which means museums in schools have a lot of rooms that need to be filled. The result is that P.S. 1 is often a mixed bag of great, good, "I get it," and WHA HAPPEN?! Of the current contents (theme: we're totally f'n the planet up, yalls), the most physically impressive piece is this giant wood/skateboard/pool thing by Christine O'Donnell.

It's hard to see, but inside the giant arches are small pools that are open for cooling off bare feet and, hopefully, not much more.

Let's play "Is It Art or Some Kid's NastyAss Undies?"

Other highlights for me are some swell photography by Mitch Epstein, Agnes Denes's "Wheatfield," and a small but impressive exhibition of Ansel Adams (smaller aperture = greater detail...got it...I think.) 

Also worth your time is Meg Webster's koi pond, Dan Attoe's paintings, and Steven McQueen's short but fascinating footage of Lady Liberty ("Static"). I'll also suggest that if you come during a heat advisory, skip the bacteria-party foot pools and head straight for the Cold Room (below), which reminded me of the beer cooler I used to slack off in I worked at Quik Trip

Of course, there's also lots of stuff you'd expect in an SNL sketch about modern art, including a glass encased Evian bottle filled with purple water. But that's par the course, and hardly a reason to skip P.S. 1. 

But lest you think all the good stuff is in museums, on the way home I swung by the new LIC Flea Market, where I bought a very nice, very affordable piece of pottery by the talented and super friendly Bob Bachler. Pay him a visit if you're ever at the market.

And so what that the bike ride home/two-wheel sweat lodge almost killed me? There are worse way to go.  

Jun 7, 2013

Is That a Cactus In Your Bum, Or Are You Just Happy to Have a Hemorrhoid?

It's official: PapaMatt has a hemorrhoid. How? Not sure. But it's happening, and it feels like I'm storing a cactus in my bum. You'd think something that combines MC Hammer with drugs that make you better at baseball would be more fun, but you'd be wrong. It's not. 

On the bright side, I discovered that baby wipes are WAY better than toilet paper. That's a plus, right? 

May 1, 2013

Today is May Day.

Today is May 1, also known as May Day, also known as International Worker's Day. If you get up today and go to work, good for you. If you get up and look for work, good for you. If you've got kids or family members that depend on you, and you spend today doing what you can to give them what they need, and some of what they want, good for you. 

May Day isn't just for unions, and it certainly isn't a tribute to Communism. It's an annual reminder to America that everyone who wakes up, gets dressed, and pitches in towards the daily effort of keeping this ship afloat should have decent housing, job security, affordable health care, and enough money to eat the food we're meant to eat. There's nothing union vs. non-union, boss vs. worker, Republican vs. Democrat, or Occupy(Insert name here) about it. This is, or should be, fact. 

Remember: no matter which side of the bed you sleep on, we ALL want to enjoy where we live. Lose sight of that and we're doomed. 

Apr 24, 2013

There's Two Sides to Every E-Coin

It's pure cliche, and really outdated, to call technology a "double edged sword," but it's true. Every tech advancement - the nuclear bomb aside - carries great light and terrible darkness. Just think: the same web that lets you donate to worthy causes via Kickstarter also gives you on-demand episodes of "Live From Daryl's House." Like I said: the good with the bad.

But here's a more personal example. This past week, two brothers, both younger than me and my brother, decided that the answer to whatever was bothering them was to blow up a group of innocent people in Boston. And no matter what their reasons were, I'm betting they used the internet to learn to do most of what they did.

Now I've never googled "make a bomb," but I'm guessing some stuff comes up. What fascinates me about this is that until recently, that information was almost impossible to come by. It got me thinking of a guy I knew in high school. A nice guy, whose dad was, everyone said, a local NARC.  And because of this, one day the kid snuck into school his dad's copy of The Poor Man's James Bond. I still remember the "holy grail" vibe the book gave off, which I was told was some legendary how-to on making weapons and explosives. The excitement though wasn't because we wanted to go out and blow shit up. It was that because of my friend's dad's profession, we were granted rare access to this information. Now? It's a click away. The dark.

At the same time, MONSTA was given a very unique school assignment: interview a family member about what school was like when they were her age. She chose my mom. After an insane amount of coordinating schedules, we used Apple's FaceTime to speak face to face with "Gigi." It was like a commercial. I sat to the side, watching them talk, completely amazed at this technology that allows MONSTA to physically see her grandma, even when separated by nearly 900 miles. The light.

I'd say it's a Brave New World, but there's nothing brave about blowing up an eight year old, whether by home made bomb or unmaned drone. But it's certainly a "new world." And with it comes new chances to use what we have for good, or bad. I'm raising my kid to do the former, and really, really hoping that everyone else is too.

Mar 20, 2013

PapaSee: Bello Mania with Bello Nock!

this fat ass is funny, ya'll. for real.
I took MONSTA to see this and had a really great time. Both of us. And don't worry: Bello is nothing like the creepy, lives in a windowless van-type clown we're all afraid of. Check it out if you're in New York. 

Mar 6, 2013

Hugo Chavez: 1954 - 2013

I think we can all agree it's going to be a very tough week for Sean Penn and the Castro brothers. You're in our thoughts. Really.

Mar 5, 2013

Help Me Watch Girls, Or Don't.

Look you guys. It's a garage sale, but I'm calling it a "boutique."
I want to know: are you watching Girls? Because if you're a reader of my blog, then I imagine that we're similar. And if you're watching Girls, then maybe I can learn to watch it too. 

For now though, I don't. And it isn't just because I don't have HBO. I did have HBO when the show started, and I didn't watch it then either. I say "didn't," but the reality is that I couldn't. Something, or someone - a little hater buried somewhere between my liver and kidneys (are they in the same area?) - refused me that freedom. And try as I might to change his feelings, I just couldn't tune in. 

It's odd. Everything about it I should be into. The lead is a hard-working, creative woman who wrote, shot, and promoted a small film (Tiny Furniture) that got her this show. I totally respect that ethic. Also, I live in New York, and always enjoy movies shot on locations I recognize. And the music is mostly stuff that I listen to. So I should be a fan, right? 

But even with so much in the good column, the "hell no not now not ever" column is even taller. First off, I can't stand the flighty, disconnected hipster world view that's so ingrained on Girls. It drives me crazy in real life, so why do I need it on TV, too? There's also the fact that most of the leads are related to famous people. Alright, being the daughter of the drummer from Bad Company is pushing "famous," but you get the idea. Were they right for the role? Maybe. If my parents were "in the biz," would I hate them forever for making me start out scratching and clawing for an Empire Carpet commercial? Fo...sho. But none of that makes it any easier for me to watch the cast of Girls without a strong sense of disgust at the obvious nepotism. (It's also why I hate watching the oldest daughter - another Mamet - on The Neighbors. That, and she's a pretty one-note crap actor.) Also, no black people. Really?! In Brooklyn? 

Here's why I'm asking. Game of Thrones, along with that naked dragon lady, is returning, which means WIFE will demand we get HBO again. With that comes full access to all episodes of Girls, which part of me really wants to get into. I need to know how I can push through and watch it. Or if I even should. 


Mar 1, 2013

Scarlett Johansson's Amazing Pipes

I'm the first to admit that watching the Oscars with me is no fun. This year was better, but not by much. Why? Because I have standards, damnit! Also, I was born spouting an opinion. ("Could you tug me a little harder next time, doc? Geez") So I complain, and I moan, and I bitch - loudly - about how the craft of acting  in my country is a joke and empty and practiced mostly with little to no training (at least in film). 

Call me a hater, but I'm right.

One of my common targets has been Scarlett Johansson. I first saw her in Ghost World, and while I loved the movie and kind of liked her, I always felt that Thora Birch was way better. But she doesn't look like Scarlett (and apparently has a cray cray daddy), so Team Hollywood chose the other one. And of course, Scarlett does have that "something," and was pretty good in Lost in Translation. And sure, if she asked me to dinner or coffee or wanted me to join her in Fiji for a month, I'd probably go. The actor in me, though, has never felt her work lived up to the hype, especially when asked to play a role that isn't so sexpotty. 

Cut to the Oscars. They're playing the nominees for Best Original Song, and I hear this magical, sultry, totally emotional voice come on the tv. It's playing over striking images of glaciers and other cold stuff, and I'm moved. Like, totally moved. Voices always get me. And just like the first time I heard Robert Flack, or Johnny Cash, or Jerry Garcia towards the end of his run, I found myself getting really churned up by this voice. So I go to Google and...

Can you guess who's it was? Ding. Scarlett Johansson. I was shocked then, and still am. But Papa Matt is happily eating a big ol' mess of crow, cause the girl can sing. Listen for yourself. 

Feb 2, 2013

Looking for Love on the R-Train

Handwritten "personal" found Saturday night on the R-Train from Queens. I PROMISE.

Are you recently out of a relationship and ready to jump back in the dating pool? Maybe just looking for a little adult fun time? If so, I think Papa has found your guy.

DateDating30@gmail.com is on the town and looking for Mrs. Right! If you enjoy things like "cigarette meet dates" and "the aquarium," this may be your fella. And what about "dutch dating," a "cake and ice cream date" or just a quick chat over "soda." You have to admit, this guy is creative. 

Of course, DateDating30 is also cool with "One Nite Stands," but only those that can earn his ALL CAPS Seal of Approval.

Is it risky to go on a blind date with someone you found while riding the R train out of Queens? Sure. Is it really, really possible that this guy is a total Dexter? You betcha! But as writer Chuck Palahnuik says, "The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open."

Well said, sir. Well said.

Location:New York, NY

Jan 28, 2013


Jan 24, 2013

APB...The Sweet Pickle Bus

Remember this thing? Remember how even when it was new, it looked beaten up and old as hell? But a lot of kids learned to read from this thing, so good on you Sweet Pickle Bus.

(FYI: I guess some people are now naming their Party/Stripper Buses after the books, so if you do a Google search, know it ain't all SFW.)

Jan 9, 2013

PapaSay: Greek Yogurt

Once, I met a Greek guy who told me all about how much better Greek yogurt was than American yogurt.  "Oh Greek guy," I thought, "always bragging about much better stuff from your country is."  But you know what? He was right. George was right. This stuff really is outta this world.