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Gluten Free Bitches is a side project of the Lipschtick Collective, a borscht-belt-inspired multi-media performance group.

Julia and I wanted to know what would happen if we just let our mouths run on camera.  It’s a shoe-string operation, which has meant that we’ve been able to put together five episodes in the last few months.

Shelli + KC are two friends with a lot in common. They diet together, craft together, politic together and live together. Each episode reveals just how [insert almost any and all demographics here]-phobic these characters are, but I swear to G*d neither Julia nor I have anything in common with them.

Our subconscious probably does though, so, let’s call them what they are, drag queens of the subconscious mind. Eh.

Here’s a link to their latest, a holiday episode wherein Shelli and KC reveal their controversial dieting techniques. You can check out the Shelli + KC Blog for Intense Women to see all five episodes.

Other Lipschtick performances coming up, Rabbi Lipschtick and Sons for the Frontera Festival in Austin. Altso, Southern Fried Queer Cabaret in NoLa in February, more information TBA.

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I’ve been thinking about Y2K a lot lately. Thank goodness that we made it through 2000, so that we could greet 2011. In just one more year it very well might be the end of the world… drink up!  I made three liters of mulled wine a few weeks ago to store for the upcoming 2012 apocalypse. So, cheers to a good year ahead!

On that note, for the past month I’ve retreated from my work in order to play. Now that it’s January, I figure I should wrap up vacation in a few bullet points:

  • A new word:

Eidolon– In ancient Greek thought, which has influenced modern literature and Theosophy, an eidolon (Greek εἴδωλον: “image, idol, double, apparition, phantom, ghost”) is a spirit-image of a living or dead person; a shade or phantom look-alike of the human form. If of a dead person, the phantom can appear under certain conditions to survivors of the deceased.

  • Three of my best friends and I started a production company called the Lipschtick Collective. We have a website, but don’t look! There’s nothing on it yet.
  • A bunch of us (Julia, Becky, Gelly, Marcella and I) took a bus for $16 to New York. It was cute, everyone fell asleep at the same time and woke up at the same time. On the ride back this loud Bostonian woman woke the entire bus while talking on the effing phone. Embarrassing for her, annoying for those that were asleep, and entertaining for me:

You have to understand, my father only wants to feed his chickens. My mother wants to be alone, my father wants to be alone. It’s a compulsion. He’ll take his money and spend it all on his chickens before his kids. Duh!

  • I have only two resolutions for the next year: “To think and produce work more often” and to wear glitter as often as possible. The first I wrote when I was less than sober.
  • This Mary Oliver poem:

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

  • Watched a truckload of movies. Black Swan, which is pretty damn predictable. Who knew violence against women could be so sexy?! Everyone. Everyone knows, Darren. Your movie is poop. But then I saw Nora’s Will which is a cute little film about an older Mexican Jewish couple and their family. The wife commits suicide and her bitter “ex” husband has to pick up the very neat mess she left for him. It was a touching film, really. And then I saw Sex and the City 2 because I hate myself. I wonder which film is worse for women, Black Swan or Sex and the City 2. It’s a toss-up for me. If sexual violence, eating disorders, suicide and exploitative lesbian sex scenes don’t trigger you, then maybe Islamophobia, classism and racism will! When having to choose between the two, I choose neither.
  • Melissa Harris-Perry on Rachel Maddow talking about the DADT repeal. I know it’s a little after the fact, but it’s worth your time if you haven’t seen it.
  • I went to a Gogol Bordello concert. My friends and I hung out near the middle of the crowd, bouncing off each other and jumping into the air the whole time. We were on the outskirts of the mosh pit.  Every time someone bent over to tie their shoes, crowd members circled around to protect whoever it was from being trampled. And Eugene was in full swing with his big bottle of red wine and 100% kicks-ass mustache. After the second encore he yelled to the audience, “We are here to party, after alllll!!!!!!” and he started singing and strumming again.

Anyway, you’re all perfect and don’t you forget it over the next twelve months!

I-VOICE in studio, photo taken by Taylor Pichette and Dylan Collins

We just finished making a music video for the Palestinian hip hop group I-VOICE, one of the artists at eka3,  check it out on youtube by clicking here!

Photo by Taylor Pichette and Dylan Collins

More from I-VOICE:

http://ivoice.jeeran.com/

http://www.myspace.com/theivoicee

and soon:
http://www.i-voiceonline.com

Hello and welcome to my brand spankin’ new blog about my semester abroad in Beirut, Lebanon. This first post is to answer some of the questions I’ve been getting from people who wonder why I would ever pick this place. Worry not, I have my reasons. And good ones too!

  1. It’s warmer in Beirut than it is in Western Mass.
  2. I’ve been in the mood for some really tasty hummus.
  3. Studying, living and working in Beirut is relevant to my concentration (Hampshire College’s word for major). I study film as well as U.S. visual culture. When I write “visual culture” I mean representation/misrepresentation in mainstream North American media. I’m curious about how images inform the way communities perceive each other. Yvonne Rainer says it better than I could, “My God! Can theater finally come down to the irreducible fact that one group of people is looking at another group?!” Actually, many groups of people are looking (and characterizing) one another. I’m studying in Lebanon because I want to know how identity informs perception, for myself and for others. As I take courses at the American University in Beirut (on Middle Eastern history) and shoot footage for my division three (senior thesis), I will continue to ask questions about the relationship between identity, perception and their greater influence on public affairs.
  4. I want to steal Martine Andraos’ crown for Miss Lebanon.
  5. Last but not least, I have an internship with a music organization called eka3. Walla! Here’s a bit about it: “eka3 is the first and only regional organization dedicated to supporting and popularizing smart Arabic music; not music that plays in the background during dinner; music that grabs your attention, moves your senses, and provokes your thought. Whatever the genre may be, we seek the original, the rich, and the Arabic.” I’m looking at the eka3 internship as an opportunity to get involved with what seems like a dynamic and energetic alternative music/art scene. I will be helping plan a workshop and concert between the artists this coming spring. My internship supervisor, Kinda Hassan, is a video artist as well. To read more about the organization and hear some of the music visit this link: http://www.eka3productions.com/

Check out my earlier post to read more about eka3.

Halas.