ilona the pest

insecurity + narcissism = awesome!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


my friend jk and i were recently reminiscing over email about our old band -- how much we rocked, and how much fun it was. inspired, after going to the beach to cool off, i hung out at my bf's music studio for a few hours this afternoon. we recorded a cover of New York City by They Might Be Giants (with some influence from Cub's cover). [CORRECTION: i am a loser. the song was written by Cub, and covered by TMBG. so reverse that.] i was going to add piano but i couldn't figure out a good part in time. it's not super-polished, but i think it's pretty cute!

i should really play music more often. (mid-year's resolution?) it's a much more satisfying way to spend my free time than eating candy and watching reality TV.


it is so hot in my apartment it's almost unbearable. it's too hot to sleep. the thermostat says it's 90 right now (at 9:00 a.m.). okay, i'm sure people throughout history have had it worse, but i'm just not used to baking indoors like this. i had to sleep with a wet handtowel draped around me, to encourage evaporation & cooling (it's surprisingly effective).

this situation is ironically caused by san francisco's generally moderate, cool temperatures -- no one has air conditioning, so we roast the few days a year that it gets above 75. my current apartment is particularly poorly set up for ventilation -- it only has windows on one side, so there's no circulation, and those windows get baked by the sun all day. thank god we're moving in a couple of weeks! the new apartment won't have A/C, of course, but at least it has windows on three sides, and seems to be more shaded by trees. and it's on the ground floor rather than the third floor.

until then, i'm just going to have to sip ice water and go to the movies as often as possible.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

jewish museum (jewseum?)

last night we went to this all-night party celebrating the opening of the new Contemporary Jewish Museum in san francisco. well, we didn't stay all night, but it was still pretty fun. among the weird/cool things to see:

- a live performance by the cambodian pop-style band dengue fever. (no, i have no idea what they have to do with judaism, or jews.)

- humorous modern interpretations of the mostly obscure 613 mitzvot (commandments) from deuteronomy, courtesy of this handy interactive website.

- a delightful exhibit about famed children's author and illustrator william steig. remember Sylvester and the Magic Pebble? (oh, and he was the original creator of Shrek.) his stories and drawings are so deeply rooted in my subconscious from childhood, it's almost spooky to see them now. but spooky in a good way. plus i got to learn all about his other career as a cartoonist for The New Yorker. awesome.

one slightly weird part of the evening was that i'm pretty sure a lot of the people we met/hung out with assumed that i'm jewish, which i'm not. i felt a bit like an impostor, a spy in their midst, laughing along (feeling secretly guilty) at the self-deprecating jokes about jews and trying not to look too confused at the casual references to unfamiliar religious traditions or yiddish words.

the most dramatic example of that was when we met a hasidic rabbi and his wife: i was rebuffed when i went in to shake his hand, because he can't touch women. ah. of course. (charming tradition, that.) they were extremely friendly and invited us to their house for shabbos dinner sometime, presumably with the idea to bring back into the fold a couple of secular jews. little do they know that not only am i a shiksa, but ongoing association with me will in fact defile the actual jew in the family. awkward! :-/