Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

29 May 2009

Inklust #3: Bell-Shaped Instruments of Torture

I finished this book at the nail shop today. My nail technician's daughter Kimmie jokingly observed it was published under Penguin Books' "Great Loves" series, then raised her eyebrow at me like I was a shifty-eyed Harlequin reader.

I couldn't stand for that so I gave her this long awkward explanation about how it's not really what she thinks, and how, after reading a Russian love story, the only thing you'll be lusting for is a natural death, peaceful and alone, with many warm cats.*

But oh, the soliloquies! Nobody does them quite like a glassy-eyed Russe, hardened like the grist of life.
"Women are like empresses, keeping nine tenths of the human race in servitude, doing hard labour. And all because they feel they've been humiliated, because they've been denied the same rights men have. And so they take their revenge by acting on our sensuality and ensaring us in their nets."


"No sooner does a man go near a woman than he falls under her spell and loses his head. Even in my previous life I used to get an uneasy sensation whenever I set eyes on a woman dressed in a ball-gown, but now that sight inspires me with genuine terror: I really do see in her something that's dangerous to men, something that's against all law, and I feel like calling for the police and appealing to them for protection against this danger, demanding that this hazardous object be confiscated and taken away."
-- The Kreutzer Sonata, Leo Tolstoy

*Another awesome book from this series is Ivan Turgenev's True Love, which is, at least in part, about a guy who falls in love with a princess, who's secretly sleeping with his dad, who beats her.

28 May 2009

What's in a Face? Grizzly Bear Illustrates.

I give you the music video for "Two Weeks," the first single off Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest -- a very nice album, btw. The track is dreamlike, distant and nostalgic, as if you're listening from a great distance; but what really gets me is that the video focuses entirely on the slow strange movements of four faces, which have an unsettling quality that hits you from moment one.

Whenever I put this on I can't help but sit still, my eyeballs ravishing what feels like the miles of data conveyed by the slightest change in their expressions.

Everybody I've shown this vid to is creeped out after the first :15 without really being able to explain why. Toward the end, light starts pouring out of the characters' eyes and mouths all sinister-like, and we suddenly feel validated: "I knew there was something off about these guys!"

If I ever doubted the adage that 90% of communication is nonverbal, I certainly believe it now.

19 May 2009

Inklust #2: Anatomy of a Smile

This is post #2 in my Inklust experiment, where I post a quote from whatever text I happen to be reading. None of the passages have to be particularly profound, but people have a way of constructing contexts -- personal omens -- where there otherwise may be none.

That's part of what I think is so interesting about this project. If the quotes affect you in some weird way, then the undertaking will have been worth the toil. So weave at heart's content:
But Perry had told him, "The eye doesn't matter. Because you have a wonderful smile. One of those smiles that really work." It was true that the tightening action of a smile contracted his face into its correct proportions, and made it possible to discern a less unnerving personality -- an American-style "good kid" with an outgrown crew cut, sane enough but not too bright.
-- In Cold Blood, Truman Capote

Image credit: glitter feet.

18 May 2009

I Have Always Wanted a Personal Theme.

For reasons I can't begin to understand, probably having more to do with his kindness than my coherence, Bob Knorpp invited me back onto The BeanCast with Bill Green and John Wall.

This week we discussed:
  • The future of email
  • The Mardi Gras Theory™ (heh.)
  • Whether Hulu is eating YouTube's face off
  • The ability to bid for trademarks on AdWords (Google's PPC platform)
  • The (apparent) trend toward anger-infused advertising
  • Facebook's flirtation with a site-wide e-commerce model
...among other things.

Knorpp also surprised us with the inclusion of our own introductory theme music -- a gift that resulted in the three of us dissolving into flattered, slightly-embarrassed giggles.

Hear it all here. If so inclined, down a tequila shooter every time Knorpp hits "PLAY" on one of our personalized intros.

17 May 2009

You Cannot Make This Country Up.

"Your Chia Obama is a symbol of liberty. Opportunity. Prosperity. Hope."

Send one to a friend. Or display it on your desk. Or at your school.

"Ch-ch-ch-chia!" V-v-v-via.

15 May 2009

...and Then I Realized I Was Very, Very Sick.

: Dude, that's a catchy track. What ad are you watching?

Chelsi: It is not an ad, it is music.

Me: Because it kinda sounds like...


14 May 2009

Experiments in Inklust

Being back in California makes me anxious. As a result, I am devouring books with the gasping, gulping desperation of someone drowning -- or of one intent on drowning herself with ink.

To put all this literature to (what I hope is) good use, I'm going to try this new thing where I post a daily quote from whatever book I happen to be reading. Sometimes the quotes will be in English, other times they will be in French (translations optional, depending on whether I think I can do the original text justice), because I'm also trying this other thing where I alternate between English and French texts.

Logic follows that if reading voraciously as a kid taught me to speak well in English, the same method should help form a solid linguistic foundation in my adopted tongue.

On verra. In the meantime, French-speakers can feel free to correct me. =P

Today's quote:

Garder un appartement propre, gai et vide de mauvais ki changerait l'image que nous donnons aux autres, même si nous sommes à mille lieues de notre habitation. Nous devons rester en union parfaite avec notre intérieur, où que nous soyons. Laissez une maison impeccable en partant au bureau le matin et toute votre journée s'en trouvera transformée !

Maintaining a clean apartment, cheery and devoid of negative energy, alters the image we convey to others, even if we're a thousand miles away from home. It's imperative to maintain a harmonious union with the space we inhabit. When you leave an impeccable home behind you in the morning, your entire day is transformed!
-- L'Art de la Simplicité, Dominique Loreau

'He was so discouraged that he wanted the water to swallow up and corrode his vision...'

MoMA weds an unapproachable piece of abstract work to la vie quotidienne -- gently altering the vision of jaded eyes, and grafting human flesh onto cold metal.

Directed by Azazel Jacobs for agency Taxi; part of "I See," a new annual series of films by up-and-coming film makers. This and others will appear before screenings at MoMA's Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters. Creativity Online interviews the folks involved.

13 May 2009

Jack Debunks Myths About McDonald's Japan.

I think the only time I ever used sign language was to sign "Climb Every Mountain" on Parent Night in fifth-grade. So I have no idea what this guy is saying.

But even when there's no hope of communicative cohesion, you still find yourself leaning in, trying to isolate the data being conveyed, with your eyes -- and, to some extent, your ears.

When the video ended I was left teetering over the brink of understanding, stretched so far outside myself that it took a few minutes of quiet to reel me back into the present. Kind of amazing where we can go, without going much of anywhere.

08 May 2009

A Tribute to the Abstract and Aesthetic

What's good about a crappy economy is that advertising takes on a neat evolution. At first you see more direct response stuff -- the result of marketers returning en masse to tactics they know to be sharp and sure, if a little blunt.

Then, as outlook slowly begins to improve, you start seeing well-thought-out pieces that speak to people's now-habitual compulsion to think harder about purchases than they used to. We hark back to discretion, and old tropes about a languid, less obnoxious form of luxury.

That's when you see lovely things like the spots below, which emit a kind of damaged, slightly warped innocence:

"Le Sens Propre" (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Blacklist's Cisma for Adobe's "Shortcut to Brilliant" Creative Suite 4 campaign):

"We Need a Change" (for H&M's Matthew Williamson line):

The Schweppes Coquette, featuring Nicole Kidman (I don't like this much, but it helps illustrate the point, sooooo...):

Welcome respite from the primary colours and hard typefaces that accompany the Constructivist style -- another communications approach that blossoms under ad mens' nimble fingers when the market gets dire.

07 May 2009

The Definitive Star Wars Wedding.

Complete with storm trooper wedding gown.

Maybe kitschy themed or just generally playful weddings are the way to go. What couple fondly remembers the flawless variety?


Hypothetical flawless-marriage couple, 25 years in:
God, it took FOREVER to find just the right flower arrangement. But I do think the azalea sprays were worth it. And that cake! -- didn't I tell you vanilla bean was tops?

Hypothetical Star Wars marriage couple: That shit was off the chains. Hey, where'd you put the matrimonial light sabers? I can think of a few new uses for them.

05 May 2009

My 2nd-Favourite Thing in the World Today.

By now you're thinking, "Your love, Angela, is cheap." Whether or not that's true is another story, but the crucial thing for you to do right now is push play (again, yes, again). Because this is Audrey Tautou and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, back together, reinterpreting Chanel No. 5.

See the making-of at Chanel No. 5's website, which rivals the above-embedded film in precious charm and mild laggage.

Oh, and love out to @angil for bestowing me with this 'net gem.

My Favourite Thing in the World Today.

I give you "Eras" by Young & Rubicam for Bacardi. My review here; but don't read now, push play.

01 May 2009

Girlfight, Meet Gchat.

Chelsi and me are supposed to meet up today. But she keeps pushing the time back, and I keep toggling between Skype, Gchat, AIM and Twitter.*

So to get my attention, she goes,

...and it was like,

And then I wrote this post to kill time because, well, I still have to wait for her ass to be done "drying her hair" and whatnot.

(*taps desk, scowls at the laminate*)

I think I'll go read Sabriel.


*It's complicated to explain why I use them all separately, but I guess the short answer is I get fatigued with one group and need to rest, but still need to talk to people, so I go somewhere else. But I can't do all at the same time.

The RFP that Ate My Life, and Yours, and Twitter's.

Dolla make you holla! Who's In -- and Who's Out -- in the First-Ever TwitteRFP.

Also, this just in: based on the small avalanche of responses, has decided to extend the number of RFPs to 17 entrants, most of which will have come from #twitteRFP, instead of the original 5.

Current's Jordan Kretchmer: Originally, the RFP was going to be distributed to 10 total. Was hoping for 5 to come from #TwitteRFP.

Not one to miss an opportunity, Adam Wohl's already come up with a new hashtag for the impending clusterf...