debbie millman

Friday, September 29, 2006

Vaguely Self-Expanatory: Indexed

the genius of "indexed"
Originally uploaded by debbie millman.
Go here if you want to see more. Hurry.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Why I Love Ze Frank

Ze Frank's '10 Stages of ICEC:' Bloody Hysterical

the show with zefrank

Tag from Mary Pages: 20 Questions

What do you eat when you raid the fridge late at night?
vanilla ice cream sandwiches, usually two at a time

If you could have plastic surgery, what would you have done?
nearly everything, particularly after eating ice cream sandwiches

What's one thing you like to do alone?

Do you have a fear?
every minute of every day

What is the little physical habit that gives away your insecure moments?
i squirm

Do you know anyone famous?

Describe your bed.
big. nice sheets. soft pillows. great blanket. four furry friends in addition to me.

What do you carry with you at all times?

How much money would it take to get you to give up the Internet for one year?

What color is your bedroom?
buttery eggshell

What was the last song you were listening to?
flipper: brainwash

Have you ever been in love?

Do you talk a lot?
i blather on like an idiot

Do you like yourself and believe in yourself?
hardly ever

What is your ideal marriage location?

Which musical instrument do you wish you could play?
any and every

What smell do you find sexy?
nag champa

How do you eat an apple
cut up into teeny tiny pieces

What do you order at a bar?
usually a glass of white wine, lately a cosmopolitan

What's one trait you hate in a person?
if they don't like me

What kind of watch do you wear?
i wear a different watch nearly every day, i have a watch fetish

Do you consider yourself materialistic?
see above. (but i wish i wasn't)

What do you cook the best?
i make a killer bernaise sauce

Do you prefer to stand out or blend in?
what do you think??????

Would you ever go out dressed like the opposite sex?
i loathe halloween. loathe!

What's one car you will never buy?
a cadillac

If you won the lottery, what would you do?
i want to say nothing, but it probably isn't i'll go with this:
paint, write, loll about, take care of my friends, start a literary magazine, buy pretty clothes and alot of art, build a house on a lake, make as many people happy as i could

What's one thing you're a loser at?

Do you cry in front of your friends?
as often as possible

What kind of first impression do you think you give to people?
i can't even imagine, probably horrifying

Are you a lover or a fighter?
both, often at the same time

When's the last time someone made you cry?
monday night

Favorite communication method?
in bed

How many drinks before you're tipsy?
two or three

Who do you wish you talked to more?
my shrink

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Now *This* Is Why The Ladies Love Mr. Clinton

Former President William Jefferson Clinton smacks down Chris Wallace from FOX News. Really, really pretty. See for yourself.

Only Because I Have Been Accused Of Favoritism

Please consider this fair play:

Monday, September 25, 2006

Poetry Tuesday: The Landscape

The Landscape
by Robert Desnos
Translated from the French by Don Paterson
(From Poetry Magazine, April 2006, pg. 62)
Selected by Edwin Rivera

I dreamt of loving. The dream remains, but love
is no longer those lilacs and roses whose breath
filled the broad woods, where the sail of a flame
lay at the end of each arrow-straight path.

I dreamt of loving. The dream remains, but love
is no longer that storm whose white nerve sparked
the castle towers, or left the mind unrhymed,
or flared for an instant, just where the road forked.

It is the star struck under my heel in the night.
It is the word no book on earth defines.
It is the foam on the wave, the cloud in the sky.

As they age, all things grow rigid and bright.
The streets fall nameless, and the knots untie.
Now, with this landscape, I fix; I shine.

A Day In The Life of Jean Michel Basquiat: Downtown 81

From the DOWNTOWN 81 website:
DOWNTOWN 81 is a feature film starring the legendary American artist Jean Michel Basquiat (1960-1988.) Basquiat was a 19 year old painter, graffiti artist, poet and musician when he played the lead in this film, which vividly depicts the explosive downtown New York art and music scene of 1980-81. Basquiat was an important figure on that scene. He had yet to have his first exhibition. But his paintings and words were part of the city landscape. Today, his paintings hang in museums and important collections around the world and he is internationally recognized as one of the most important artists of the late twentieth century. The film is a day in the life of a young artist who needs to raise money to reclaim the apartment from which he has been evicted. He wanders the downtown streets carrying a painting he hopes to sell, encountering friends, whose lives (and performances) we peek into. He finally manages to sell his painting to a wealthy female admirer, but he’s paid by check. Low on cash, he spends the evening wandering from club to club, looking for a beautiful girl he had met earlier, so he’ll have a place to spend the night. Basquiat is a natural actor - witty, radiant, the epitome of coolness and artistic exuberance. The cast includes Deborah Harry, and leading bands of the era including Kid Creole and the Coconuts, James White and the Blacks, DNA, Tuxedo Moon, the Plastics, and Walter Steding and the Dragon People. Also heard on the soundtrack are rap legend Melle Mel, John Lurie, Lydia Lunch, Suicide, Vincent Gallo, Kenny Burrell and Basquiat’s own band, Gray. Downtown 81 not only captures one of the most interesting and lively artists of the twentieth century as he is poised for fame, but it is a slice of life from one of the most exciting periods in American culture, with the emergence of new wave music, new painting, hip hop and graffiti.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Poetry Tuesday: The Snow Man

The Snow Man
by Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Rothko, The Greatest Kitty in the Universe

singing rothko
Originally uploaded by debbie millman.
For the full portfolio of greatness, please go here.

All photography by Bryony Gomez-Palacio

Friday, September 15, 2006

Signs of Hope

Originally uploaded by debbie millman.
The summer is nearing an end here in New York City. It hardly seems possible that the months have passed so fast, so much has changed and yet so much has stayed the same. I can’t help but think back to the moments before the summer began. I think that I love the moments before things begin the most—when there is still a wonderful, anticipatory optimism—when everything is in front of you and anything is possible. There are signs of hope in all those early moments, before things really begin—signs of buoyancy and a dreamy kind of idealism and innocence that everything, everything will be perfect, this time life will be exactly, utterly as you hope and dream and wish for.

And then time takes over and you are smack! right in the thick of things: in the midst of your own life, and the lives of those you love, and the lives of those that you like, and the lives of those that annoy you or perplex you or frighten you. I was frightened a lot this summer. I was frightened of a war that won’t end. I was frightened waiting for a five-year anniversary that still makes me cry. I was frightened by a writing class that I felt unqualified to participate in; I was frightened by a dark haired ghost that resurrected some bad behavior. But in all that fear, I came to a realization about the nature of fear. In my quest to combat some of these demons, I realized that fear is a little like courage masquerading as faith. The desire to overcome fear becomes evidence of a certain kind of hope for things to be different.

I think that hope is one of the most wonderful words in the English language. Hope is a word that conjures up faith and confidence and magic and, again, that which is most optimistic. I think that hope is a particular state of grace, and this summer I looked for signs of hope in all the fear that was surrounding me.

I tend to see signs in inanimate objects and random events and scenarios around me. I eavesdrop as people walk and talk around me and wonder if there are messages inherent in what I hear. I watch as people live their lives around me and try to understand who they are by the way they move and speak and gesture and dress. And I have to admit that I worry sometimes that the inanimate objects around us really have souls and we humans just don’t have the power or the ability or the desire to see or feel or heed them. And I imagine what they would say to us if they did.

I think they would say this: Please be careful. Please be careful to notice the people and the pets and the friends and the enemies around you. Please notice that we have more than we need. Please share. Please be grateful to those that love you. Please be thankful that we still have long hot summers and Septembers that are cool, and winters that are cold. Please consider that you might not be right all the time and that other people might have answers you are avoiding. Please realize that you are lucky if someone loves you. Please remember that if we pay attention to the signs around us, some will move us to make a difference.

This past summer, a group of like-minded individuals came together to offer up signs hope and inspiration. Three organizations: The Times Square Alliance, World Studio Foundation and the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts joined hands and started the Urban Forest Project. This initiative brought 185 of some the world’s most celebrated designers, artists, photographers and illustrators to New York City’s Times Square. Each artist created a street banner utilizing the form of a tree, or a metaphor for a tree, to make a visual statement. For the first time ever, these banners have created a forest of thought-provoking images in one of the world’s most emphatically urban intersections. Some of the banners embody visceral responses to environmental, political and social issues. Others use the evocative power of nature to develop patterns and abstract forms that delight or entertain or enrage or share. But the common denominator is this: they all contain passion, thought, and energy—qualities that only emerge when a group of people commit together to something that they truly believe in. It is an awesome and daunting exhibit and one that is beautiful and meaningful and sincere.

I am ending my summer now, today, feeling a bit lucky. I think there will always be a part of me that will be somewhat fearful, but today, I’d rather try to be hopeful. I’d rather witness the signs of these times as opportunities for inspiration and change and believe that in every first moment there is the wondrous, magical chance for love and healing and beauty. It is in these moments we can find what is grand in both each other and ourselves; together we can face forward, fearlessly and greedily, and together we can heed all that we wish to be possible.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Very Special Design Matters, Friday September 15th

Joining me on a very special Design Matters tomorrow, Friday, September 15th, are the designers and thinkers behind The Urban Forest Project in New York City. The Urban Forest Project brings 185 banners created by the world’s most celebrated designers, artists, photographers and illustrators to New York’s Times Square. Each banner uses the form of the tree, or a metaphor for the tree, to make a powerful visual statement. Together they create a forest of thought-provoking images at one of the world’s busiest, most energetic, and emphatically urban intersections. Following their display, (September 1–October 31, 2006) the banners will be recycled into tote bags and sold at auction, with proceeds going to scholarship and mentoring programs that benefit students of the visual arts. Some banners embody visceral responses to pressing environmental, political and social issues. Others use the evocative power of nature to develop rich patterns and abstract forms that delight the viewer. All contain passion, thought, and energy—qualities that only emerge when the world’s finest creative minds apply themselves to a brief they truly believe in.

You can view all of the banners in the project here:

Tomorrow's show will feature the following guests: Tim Tompkins, Alan Dye, Mark Randall, Alice Twemlow, Paul Sahre, Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Rob Alexander.

Design Matters is from 3-4PM EST and you can view the VoiceAmerica Business site and listen to the show here:

Everyone is welcome to call in live and toll free--the number is 1.866.472.5790.

We are very proud to announce that Design Matters now has about 140,000 listeners. We were also voted a "favorite podcast" on IF's Marketing Podcast survey at, and the show is available as Podcasts on iTunes, where over 45,000 people download the show every month. The show is also regularly in the Top 100 Business podcasts on iTunes as well as a featured podcast on the site.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Case Against the Portable Public Chorus

via my very smart friend Emily...

Poetry Tuesday: The pennycandystore beyond the El

The pennycandystore beyond the El
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The pennycandystore beyond the El
is where I first
fell in love
with unreality
Jellybeans glowed in the semi-gloom
of that september afternoon
A cat upon the counter moved among
the licorice sticks
and tootsie rolls
and Oh Boy Gum

Outside the leaves were falling as they died

A wind had blown away the sun

A girl ran in
Her hair was rainy
Her breasts were breathless in the little room

Outside the leaves were falling
and they cried
Too soon! too soon!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Later: A Scientific Perspective

The American Scholars Symposium Panel Discussion, June 2006

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Music To Live By

Ben Webster plays with Jo Jones
Maria Callas sings Il Trovatore
Glenn Gould plays Goldberg Variations

Friday, September 08, 2006

Film: Powers of Ten by Charles & Ray Eames

A treat for a lovely, sunny Friday...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Best Quote Ever

", see...see a, there's this...and...what, and then, uh...nevermind, forget it, you wouldn't understand anyway."

-bruce, from the flipper tune 'brainwash' on the album sex bomb baby, 1990.

note to readers: yeah, yeah, i know...lots of "bests" this week.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Poetry Tuesday: The Best New Poem I Have Read This Year

by C.K. Williams

That girl I didn't love, then because she was going to leave me, loved,
that girl, that Sunday when I stopped by and she was in bed in her nightgown,
(it only came to me later that somebody else had just then been with her),

that girl, when my hand touched her stomach, under her nightgown,
began turning her stomach to wood—I hadn't known this could be done,
that girls, that humans, could do this—then, when her stomach was wood,

she began turning the rest of herself to perhaps something harder, steel,
or harder; perhaps she was turning herself, her entire, once so soft self,
to some unknown mineral substance found only on very far planets,

planets with chemical storms and vast, cold ammonia oceans of ice,
and I just had to pretend—I wasn't taking this lightly, I wasn't a kid—
that I wasn't one of those odd, potato-shaped moons with precarious orbits,

then, it was Sunday, though I don't recall bells—I was out, in the street,
and where is she now, dear figment, dear fragment, where are you now,
in your nightgown, in your bed, steel and wood? Dear steel, dear wood.
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