Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sahar B: Almost as good as David Hockney

David Hockney is a well-renowned artist. Recently, he's been making covers for the New Yorker on his iPad. Most people think they are ugly because they kind of are. This summer I won an iPad from a raffle at Tekserve because my life is just that awesome. I downloaded an app called Brushes and I've been making very serious and sophisticated artwork with it. I will share some of the best pieces with you now:

Edit: Yassi, my sister, wanted to share the one she made tonight.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

If You Are My Friend, I Will Make You Things Eventually

Lately, I've had a lot of time on my hands. I've been doing crap, like this and this among other things. (Please hire me! I make nice stuff! Check it out here.)

One of the things I do often that I enjoy the most is make little presents for my friends. If you are sad, messed up physically (or mentally), or just turning 31 or something, I will make you a card or mixed CD or like, a photoshopped picture of robot wearing a bow tie (I have not actually made that, but I will eventually). I'd like to share with you some recent things I've made to show my affection toward some awesome people.


Adam is my coolest friend who I rarely see. You should check out his site and look at his beautiful video art. The problem with being friends with cool, smart, nice people is that they have lots of friends and therefore they are hard to track down. He is the best person to go to karaoke with and I am afraid that everyone else seems to know that too.

A few months ago, Adam turned 31, which is an age a person can be. I made him this very sophisticated card. If you are a follower of my work (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!), you'll notice the motifs of skeletons, dinosaurs, and cuddly things. Sorry that the photo quality is so bad, I took the pictures with my phone in a dark room.

This is the outside.

If you can't read my chicken scratch handwriting, it says "You are 31 because you haven't died yet! Love! Sahar." Adam says it is the most accurate card he has ever received.


Marianna and I once shared the grossest apartment any girls have ever lived in (the grossness of boys is held to a higher standard). Seriously, after one crazy weekend, our place looked like an anti-drug commercial. She is also very pretty. She is so pretty that you can see her beauty despite the fact that she wears high waisted pleated floral shorts that she buys on sale at thrift stores. To reiterate that is not "for sale," but "on sale." At thrift stores.

She and her boyfriend broke up and she was sad, so I decided to make her a sad mix to listen to while wallowing in self-pity. I am one to mope. Sometimes you just need to lie down in the dark, put on Antony and the Johnsons, and lose it. I know I am not alone here.

I went to Portland last week to deliver this to Marianna (and do some other stuff) only to learn that the couple has reconciled. I feel like they should have stayed broken up long enough that this would still be relevant.


My last post was actually about Eric. Much like Adam and Marianna, Eric is awesome. While he was out in the woods "finding himself," which in Eric's case was whittling and taking pictures of interesting fungi, he f-ed up his back and contracted a condition called, "Radiculitis," which sounds fake, but is not. That sentence was unnecessarily long.

Rebecca and I decided to send Eric a care package, which had some candy from an discount candy store and some pizza flavored chips. Rebecca wouldn't let me buy him a Princess Jasmine Pez dispenser because "He would hate that." Whatever. We also made him a mixed CD each. Mine was overly complicated and that made Rebecca up her game and then her CD was actually cooler than mine. If she wasn't my favorite, I would be totally jealous.


This is the cover. I drew the type by hand!


If you read the title tracks one after another, they tell a story. A sad one.

Eric thought I had made both of them (which I found very flattering).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Prossessing Through the Post

I have this friend, Eric, who used to teach remedial math in the Bronx to pregnant teenagers and the boys who impregnated them. After a few years of doing this, he decided to live alone in a secluded Montana cabin for a while. He wanted to grow a really long beard, do math, and possibly write a manifesto. We told him that if he got aviator glasses and a hoodie, we'd turn him into the the authorities.

A huge part of what made him excited about this trip was to be away from the internet and phone for a few months. The only way we have to communicate with him is through the United States Postal Service. I am sure he would have accepted telegrams if they still existed. Every couple weeks, I get a letter from him in the mail that he wrote on a vintage typewriter. It's not as twee as it sounds, mostly because he uses boring envelopes.

Earlier this year, I took a class to learn this programming language called, Processing. You can do super awesome things with it. I am not sure exactly how to make awesome things with it, but I try! I told Eric about it since he likes math and nerdy shit. He was better than it than i was. He also taught it to the pregnant teenagers and the other teenagers who impregnated them and they were also better at than I was. Whatever. Did they ever make a hamburger clock? Warning, if you click on it and you don't have a 15 or more inch monitor because it will look pretty dumb. And it might make your browser barf and cry. My friend Davida with some people at Pratt did something with Processing and a breathalyzer test.

Here are things that don't look dumb that you can do with processing.

Anyway, I would make him a simple program in Processing, write it out by hand, and mail it to him. The idea is that he would just have to imagine what it looks like until he has access to a computer.

Here is what the code looks like:

//October 13, 2010

//Hi! Eric!

//I wrote you a program in Process. Since
//you are living an antiquated life, I am writing you
//with a bamboo pen and ink. I thought you could just
//imagine what it looks like for now. When you return to
//civilization, you can look at it for real.

float skyChange=.1;
int r = 194;
int b = 244;

float y=15;

void setup () {
size (600, 600);
frameRate (5);

void draw () {

background (r+skyChange, 214, b-skyChange);

for (int x=0; x<(600); x+=40) { { fill (242, 101, 34, random(150)); noStroke(); ellipse(x, y, random (25), 30); y=y+random(1); } } for (int x=0; x<(600); x+=70) { { fill (181, 56, 35, random (200)); noStroke(); ellipse(x, y-25, random (10), 15); } } for (int x=0; x<(600); x+=20) { { fill (133, 50, 178, random (100)); noStroke(); ellipse(x+15, y-10, random (5), 10); } } for (int x=0; x<(600); x+=15) { { fill (133, 50, 178, random (100)); noStroke(); ellipse(x+15, y-30, random (5), 10); } } if (y>600) {
y=580; }


//I hope you are still having a good time!



Here's what the letter looks like:

If you can't imagine what it looks like, you can see it here.

These Blogs Are Not Mine, But They Are Still Good.

My wonderful friend Davida started a couple of hilarious blogs. Not enough people are reading or commenting on them and she is sad. So check these out, dudes!

Photos My Phone Took In My Pocket!

This blog features pictures that Davida's very very not smart phone takes in her pocket. Sometimes her phone will take so many pictures of the nothingness in her pocket that her phone starts deleting pictures that were taken on purpose. So sad. Here is a picture taken in her pocket.

Sergent Pluck Speaks "Excellent" German!

This blog is simply awesome. It combines two of my favorite themes in art and literature: Art and German-Stuff. Davida writes in German, a language I am not entirely sure she speaks, a narrative about the life of her beloved kitty, Sgt Pluck. Then she "translates" them back into English using babelfish or something. The results are magnificent.

Here is a taste or Geschmack :

Mein Liebling Fernsehbuchstabe ist- Oscar die Klage. Er lebt in einem Abfalleimer. Ich dachte, möglicherweise meine Miezekatze möchte in einem Abfalleimer leben. Aber sie wollte nicht im Abfall bleiben, also mussten wir sie in ihm halten. Ich dachte, dass sie es möchte, aber sie nicht warten könnte, um hinauszugehen und so erklärt mir, indem sie meowing.

My favourite television actor is Oscar the complaint. It lives in a trash can. I thought, possibly my kitty would like to live in a trash can. But it did not want to remain in the waste, therefore we had to hold it in it. I thought the fact that she would like it, but she not to wait to go out and so explains to me, by it meowing.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Prune Muffins

Prunes have a bad rap. I think this stems from their association with the elderly. That's ageism people! Stop being so bigoted and enjoy this natural treat. Old people are awesome. I can't wait to be super old! Old people get to bed as early as they want, put together so many jigsaw puzzles, and sport the very best vintage cardigans.

Perhaps people are wary of prunes because they are afraid if they eat too many they will poop a lot. But if those terrible Activia commercials (with that creepy arrow pointing to the groin area) have taught me anything it is that people don't poop enough! Gross anecdote time: Once one of my friends sister was in town. Let's call him "Jim." So, yeah, Jim's sister couldn't poop. So I gave his sister a bag of prunes (because I like to keep them on hand). Apparently, that wasn't enough. She even ate a whole another bag to no avail. I am actually not too sure how her problem was solved come to think of it. Anyway, I was telling my dad this story and he said, "But why was she constipated? She is of Guatemalan descent." I was like, "Wuh?" He thought I was talking about Jim's girlfriend. My dad apparently thinks that only white Americans and African Americans get constipated due to their cultural fear of fresh fruits and vegetables. So, yeah, that is both a story about prunes and how my dad is a bad listener.

Okay, I will finally get to the point of this post. Last night I made my specialty, prune muffins. Pretty much what happens is that I take Mark Bittman's basic muffin recipe from How To Cook Everything (my favorite book!) and jazz it up a bit. I used to spelt flour that I'd buy in bulk from the food co-op when I lived in Portland because I was a big ol' communist hippie back then. To the recipe, I added a half cup of walnuts, a half cup of prunes, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. They turned out pretty good. I think it could convert a prune hater.

For some reason, Mort had access to my book and changed to the word "muffins" to "muffings." I asked him why he did it and he seemed just as confused as I was.

Whiter than North Dakota: Flour, baking soda, and sugar.

Diverse like California: added cloves, ginger, and cinnamon.

Wet ingredients.

All Done!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Coney Island With Sami.

On Thursday, Sam and I went to Coney Island. Sam is one of my all time favorite people and best friends. We were roommates in college and after college. She still lives in Portland, but came to the east coast for a long due visit. She was with me the first time I went to Coney Island and the first time I went to Williamsburg actually (summer of 2005 on the same day). We are very good at making adventures happen.

Before we even left the house, we had some lunch at the cafe near my new apartment. It was too pretty not to photograph.

Sam and her muesli.

My salmon and beets matched Sam's dress.

We took the Q, which was the train I took when I first moved to New York. I lived in what I "affectionately" call "Crown Heights Lite." No one came to visit me. Prospect Park Stop! How I don't really miss you at all!

It took us a little more than an hour to get there, but most of the ride was above ground. It was nice to see a part of Brooklyn with houses that look like regular families live in them. We were excited to finally see the Wonder Wheel and the ocean.

To be perfectly honest, the main purpose of our visit was to find some pistachio soft serve that Sam used to love when she was a little girl. We found the soft serve within five minutes of arriving (I'm not exaggerating for once). It was right next to this bumper car place, with their tastefully done signs.

The thing that bothered me about this sign is that they obviously were afraid to show a human's buttocks, but really wanted to. So they did a half-assed (I know, not funny) job by just making a donkey look like it has a human's butt. It made me uncomfortable.

They made up for it by having this guy. I love his teeth.

The Disgusting Beach!

Sam wanted to put her feet in the water. I didn't. The sand was hella gross. It was like 75% sand and 25% sketchy garbage. It was nice seeing all the families and little kids relaxing and running around in the surf.

I don't know why, but it was strange to me to see all these generic looking housing developments so close to the ocean.

She was especially having a wonderful time.

This guy kept whistling. We couldn't figure out who he was whistling at. We came up with a theory that he just wanted people to look at him and his pectoral muscles.

The Wonder Wheel

We decided it was only worth spending money on one ride and we chose the Wonder Wheel, which is 90 years old and because of that scared the crap out of me. I'm getting old and I am not as fearless as I used to be.


It is no secret that I love clowns. I love them because they are supposed to be cuddly, innocent, funny, and cute, but mostly just end up scaring the crap out of people. There were some nice clown murals under the Wonder Wheel. We were please to make their acquaintances.

Beasts: Both Hideous and Adorable!

Since Coney Island is in touch with its carnival roots. There are lots of scary things and plush things made for hugging.

Sam said that this guy looked like he had a good sense of humor. I am inclined to agree.

Did any of you know that Winnie the Pooh is a college graduate?

GHOST HOLE! It sounds like a bad band name. Like one that has a member of the band who wears an ironic Native American head-dress and has cover art drawn with markers. Barf in a bucket.

Speaking of barf in a bucket. Check out these bros.

Architecture and Art

They are sort of trying to make Coney Island into an art center or something. I was too lazy to look into it. But they painted these murals over old signs of the carnival signs. I enjoyed them.

We walked to the end of the boardwalk and found this thing. it is famous, but I really don't know what its function is.

We also found an old roller rink in a beautiful building. We were sad to see that it was no longer operational. We both really love rollerskating and hadn't gone in a couple years.

Mighty Poseidon had some vegetation growing out of his head.

We also went to the Museum about Coney Island (it is connected to the Coney Island Freak Show). I recommend it. It is pretty cool and only 99 cents to go in.

I drank this beer on an empty stomach and consequently, forgot to document our excursion to Nathan's Hotdogs for cheese fries and Duncan Donuts (Sam wanted to eat her favorite donut from childhood to see if she still liked it). When we got home, I made us a dinner that mostly consisted of fresh vegetables to make up for the fact we ate so much delicious crap on Coney Island.

I feel that all in all, it was a successful trip.