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We’ll be away from our desks the month of August, carrying on with the non-bloggy aspects of our lives, watching mindless movie blockbusters, and indulging in summery drinks made with generous pours of bourbon. During this month, we’ll be linking each day to a different website that we ♥. Hopefully you’ll discover something delightful and new while we’re gone. If not, you are a serious Captain Crankypants and are probably in dire need of a summery drink made with a generous pour of bourbon.
‘Til September, lovelies.
Mark Lisanti is the funniest man on the Internet.
Now before you say, “But what about Gwyneth? He’s a fuckin’ gas!” let me just tell you that I’ve been making this declaration repeatedly since 2004, when I discovered Lisanti’s little H-wood insider blog Defamer (after carrying the site to Gawker-fueled ubiquity, he left his founding editor post in ’08). I blurted the words to him at a poorly-attended cocktail party at Sundance ’06, after an hour of awkwardly hanging out in wait for Robin Tunney’s arrival, when his buddy casually dropped his name and I lost my shit faster than a rookie chili-eating contestant. I say it snarkily at parties, when I realize he’s funnier in HTML than in person (ZING, sucka! I kid, I kid). I grumble it to the sky ever single time the guy outfunnies me on a Facebook wall (this happens more frequently than you would think). And I sighed it aloud yesterday, when I read about his new gig as Deputy Editor of Yahoo! Entertainment Blogs via Business Insider (who I must applaud for choosing a most distinguished photo of the lad to compliment his success).
Super funny people are typically the worst folks in the world to be friends with. For one, the odds of them being totally crazy/depressed/derelict/perverse is about 100%. And two, they spend most of their time with you either being spitefully unfunny (they are, after all, “off the clock”) or proving, at all times, how much more twisted, quick-draw and sharp they are than everybody else. But the thing is, Lisanti doesn’t have to be cementing sticky celebrity nicknames or befriending Tawny Kitaen to make you laugh. He just makes you laugh. I often wonder if he even has to try to be funny, because gentle–but memorable–humor seems to seep out of his pores like joy from a unicorn’s eyes. He is Continue reading DISGRASIAN’s Summer Reading: Lisanti Quarterly
Filed under: Bloggers, Defamer, Editors, Entertainment Blogs, Friends are Nice, Funny Men, Funny People, Gawker, Hollywood, Jersey Shore, Losing Your Shit, Mark Lisanti, Robin Tunney, Sundance, Tawny Kitaen, Writers, Yahoo
My friend Colin took a much-needed solo holiday to Mexico this summer, staying in a villa in Todos Santos a whistle away from the beach. He spent the week sharing accomodations with a lovely couple from Seattle on their honeymoon: the husband a musician, the wife “doing something or other to do with fashion” (Colin’s words).
The musician was actually a man named Yuuki Matthews, who cut his teeth in awesome artsy bands Crystal Skulls and Seldom. He currently plays bass for the Richard Swift band, but also just released his first solo effort, an electro-instrumental chronicle called Music For Savage Tropical Imagery.
Filed under: Crystal Skulls, Debuts, Freshman Records, Friends are Nice, Holidays, Indie Rock, Lovely Circumstances, Mexico, Richard Swift, Seattle, Solo Efforts, Solo Projects, Todos Santos, Vacations, Yuuki Matthews
Names: Cathy Chow And Corina Nurimba
Hail from: Bay Area
Occupation: Boutique owners, co-founders of Tobi.com, a “1-1 online shopping experience”
Why They’re Babes: We love ladies with good taste. And Cathy and Corina, who own SF’s Azalea (selling our favorite kinds of jeans, blazers, smocks, socks), and founded the innovative online store Tobi, happen to have exquisite taste. And sometimes they save you a buck or two, which never hurts in these shit economic times.
And for fashionistas, they’re more sweet than sassy, and more savvy than street. Check the vibe on their web series, Tobi TV:
Sure, plushies are everywhere. But the Dinky Ninja Bears, which we just discovered this week via Twitter, are something special. Is it the indefinite tummy forms? Their tiny arms? Their lack of mouths? We don’t know! But somehow they perfectly encapsulate the essence of adorably incapable silent ninjas with cute little ears and pseudo-appendages, and we can’t stop loving them.
Jen and I are longtime friends and fans of the Good Asian Drivers, an edgy, poetry-based folk duo based out of Boston. They’re an adorable pair with all of the qualities we love: gender/race/sexuality-bending politics, mad Guitar Hero skillz, a hankering for dumplings, and great taste in blogs.
At long last, the band has added a third member (guitarist Ashley Baier) and released their first studio record, Drive Away Home. The album is a delightfully strong, yet casual mishmash of earnest, vivacious, alt-acoustic songs and eclectic, chaotic spoken word tracks. Despite its loose form, the album finds solid ground in its straightforward tone and spine of honesty. Transgender slam master Kit Yan pulls no punches in his spiraling disquisitions, not even when referring to himself: “But are you a man? Or are you a woman?/And you changed your name to ‘Kit’ now, so… do you wanna be straight?/And you look like a boy now, so… you’re straight, right?/But back when you were ‘Laura,’ you were gay/As if sexuality and gender were things that you could purchase on impulse.”
Good? Yes. Asian? Totally. Wherever these cool cats are driving, we wanna go.
xo, Melissa and Kit!
Happy birthday to our lovable, hot friend Kunal Nayyar! He and The Big Bang Theory co-star Johnny Galecki happen to blow out candles on the same day–today, and we hope they do it together while toasting the success of the only sitcom currently on the air that actually makes us laugh.
Have a great, great, great day, Kunal! DISGRASIAN loves you!
Dammit all to hell.
If we had known that G4 was shooting Ninja Warrior on a custom course in SoCal’s sunny Santa Monica, just twenty minutes (or 2.3 hours, with traffic) from DISGRASIAN HQ, Jen and I would not have spent last Saturday doing frivolous, meaningless things like going for dumplings, dealing with our taxes, or attending weddings!
We would have put on our knee pads, knocked down a few Red Bull Lights, and killed that mothafuckin’ course! KILLED IT! MAIMED ITS FACE! RIPPED ITS FUGGIN’ NUTSACK OFF!
Ah well, at least our friend Olivia did:
(Diana works tirelessly in the side office, hiding what she’s doing)
JEN: (pops her head in) Yo. Whatcha doin’?
DIANA: (wildly tosses newspapers over her work) HI!! NOTHING! HI! WHAT’S UP?!? HOW’S IT GOIN?
JEN: Dude, what are you doing?
DIANA: Nothing! Let’s talk outside in the foyer.
JEN: Are you making something??
DIANA: No. (barricades the doorway)
JEN: (pushes her way through) You are! You’re making…
(Jen lifts the newspapers to reveal a bouquet of origami flowers)
JEN: Flowers! For me?
DIANA: Yes, peach. I’m afraid you’ve ruined the surprise.
JEN: But why flowers? Is it my birthday?
DIANA: Nope. It’s our one-year DISGRASIAN anniversary. Well, it soon will be. This weekend.
JEN: You remembered!
DIANA: I did!
JEN: And here I just bought you a new Marni bag to commemorate our union.
DIANA: You didn’t! You shouldn’t have.
JEN: I did.
DIANA: I can’t believe it’s been a whole year. We’ve come so far. We’ve accomplished so much.
JEN: It’s true. Do you think any of our friends will give us presents for our anniversary?
DIANA: Like who? RJ? Ty? Jasmine? Henri? April? Erin? Benna? Slanty? Chris? Jru? Greenie? Angry? G Scott? Eliza? Your Mom and Dad? Um, for starters?
JEN: Yes, like those people. Most of them have the mailing address for DISGRASIAN HQ. And, I mean, for those who don’t, a gift certificate via email can be so chic. Only in circumstances such as this, of course.
DIANA: So chic. Wow, I really love presents.
JEN: Me too. Anyway, I’m proud of us for getting to a year. It’s been a lot of work, pain, tears, bouts of exhaustion, and sleepless nights… but so worth it!
DIANA: Me too! What more could a person want out of life besides a Volvo, their health, Marni, and a rad blog partnership?
DIANA: Happy early anniversary, Jen.
JEN: Happy early anniversary, Diana.
That doesn’t mean that we aren’t psyched for her top 15 finish in this year’s My Grammy Moment contest–which means she’ll be sharing the stage with Grammy veterans The Foo Fighters as part of their orchestra during the big show.
Her friend Pauline was kind enough to tell us about Christine after realizing our power as contest-determining heavyweights. But after watching her entry video…
…we started to wonder why we hadn’t found out about Christine already, all by ourselves.
See more Christine here.
Anyone that knows me or Jen also knows of my our ridiculously deep and loyal devotion to the understated hole-in-the-strip-mall sushi mecca, Katsu-Ya (the original) of Studio City, CA. Because the room seats only about 6 and a half people, you typically spend about 45 minutes waiting in the crowded front area of the tiny room, killing a bottle of Sapporo on the indoor steps as if you were at a college apartment party, or shivering outside while eying the goods at the neighboring pet store and Domino’s Pizza. But after you finally take a seat, the superior gifts that arrive on your table make it all worth the wait, the dinky ambience, the hour in line, the fact that the waitress hit you with the Specials menu easel. Katsu-Ya is a bit like heaven. I was bummed when new, chic, Katsu-Yas started popping up all around town. Philippe Starck designed each to feel more like lounges than restaurants. Still, it meant that Jen and I could get salmon sashimi with caviar or baked crab rolls within 10 minutes regardless of where in Los Angeles we were, and even if that meant dining while surrounded by fish novices, that was a good thing.
Anyone that knows me or Jen also knows of my our ridiculously deep and loyal devotion to the understated hole-in-the-strip-mall sushi mecca, Katsu-Ya (the original) of Studio City, CA. Because the room seats only about 6 and a half people, you typically spend about 45 minutes waiting in the crowded front area of the tiny room, killing a bottle of Sapporo on the indoor steps as if you were at a college apartment party, or shivering outside while eying the goods at the neighboring pet store and Domino’s Pizza. But after you finally take a seat, the superior gifts that arrive on your table make it all worth the wait, the dinky ambience, the hour in line, the fact that the waitress hit you with the Specials menu easel. Katsu-Ya is a bit like heaven.
I was bummed when new, chic, Katsu-Yas started popping up all around town. Philippe Starck designed each to feel more like lounges than restaurants. Still, it meant that Jen and I could get salmon sashimi with caviar or baked crab rolls within 10 minutes regardless of where in Los Angeles we were, and even if that meant dining while surrounded by fish novices, that was a good thing.
Last night, because I couldn’t get the idea of a baked crab roll out of my head, I suggested Katsu-Ya in Hollywood for a post-debate nosh. Being the giving woman that I am, I skipped up ahead with one person in tow to get the party a table. I walked up to the doorman. (A doorman at Katsu-Ya? Only in Hollywood.) How long would the wait be for a table?
Nothing til’ 11pm, said the doorman.
Errrr-okay, I responded, and began making my way in to give the hostess my name.
Nope, said the doorman, don’t put your name down, just um, come back then.
(What? Guess Hollywood kicks ass but won’t take names.)
At this point, the rest of my friends walked up, the party total now at eight. One is an actor, and said to the doorman with a grin, can we get a table in there?
Of course sir, said the stupid fat ugly mean awful not-Asian doorman, right this way. He proceeded to lead the party in, setting us up for non-sake drinks in a room filled with candelabras before taking us to a private table loaded up with Omakase.
(I hate that doorman. I hate Hollywood.)
My pal R.J. leaned over to me as we were seated in the private room by a bunch of young, blonde waiters: “Hoooo boy. Katsuya didn’t know they were dealing with DISGRASIAN!”
He was right. I started to formulate the scathing words that I would share with my faithful readers in mere hours. How disgusted I was with this plastic city and its ability to ruin wonderful understated things, its willingness to bastardize perfection by getting Philippe Starck to mount oversized photos of smeared geisha lips and playing loud acid jazz until midnight. In what world does a sushi empire say no to a fun, cuddly Asian sushiphile and yes to some guy that happens to be in movies sometimes?
Then I took a bite of a pristine soy paper crab roll, followed by a glug of cold booze, and forgot every word.
(We all become hypocrites in Hollywood.)
Our friends in Cavil at Rest introduced us to the soft and sweet strums of the adorable Texasian Kina Grannis. Angry Asian Man loves her, and so do we. What’s not to love–beautiful face, cultural variety, a soft twang in her gentle voice?
Grannis is currently a Top 3 Finalist in a contest called Crash the Superbowl, which results in a cool indie artist’s video being run during the big game. Let’s show her some love and win it for her, shall we? The thought of any of those other nerds taking the prize kinda gives me food-poisoning-style-nausea.
We’ve been listening to our adorable friend David’s band The Color Turning for like, years, now… but we’re still pretty dang excited about them. They’re currently wrapping a new record and we can’t wait to hear it. Check out TCT’s gentle vocal harmonies and charged beats on MySpace, or peruse the gorgeous photography on their most-chic official website. Trust us… it’ll turn you on.