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February 13, 2006

Pay it forward: Sara Juli's experiment begins Wednesday

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There is a school of thought that believes exposure to one's fears can, over time, diminish or eliminate them.

Sara Juli (above) is a dancer, choreographer and producer who, like many people, finds money to be a terribly difficult subject.

She told Steven McElroy, in a conversation published in yesterday's New York Times, "I take work that's super personal, issues that are driving me crazy, and I make dances about them."

She may have created a masterpiece with her new piece, "The Money Conversation," opening in two days.

Long story short: she's going to give away her entire life savings — $5,000 — to the audience during her performance; it's up to them whether they keep it, give it back after the show is over, or perhaps even pay it back with interest.

Here's the Times piece, which I found extremely interesting and thought–provoking.

    A Truly Generous Performance

    Onstage, Sara Juli gives of herself. And her bank account.

    When Sara Juli's fiancé suggested it was time for the money conversation, that squirm-inducing talk a couple has before combining finances, she wanted to flee.

    That feeling might have driven someone else to second thoughts about the relationship.

    But it drove Ms. Juli, a dancer, choreographer and producer, to think she should come to terms with these issues by giving away her savings.

    Thus she has drained her account — $5,000 total — for a solo dance-theater piece, "The Money Conversation," running for six performances starting Wednesday at P.S. 122 in Manhattan.

    She plans to hand the cash to audience members each night; whether they keep it is up to them.

    "I take work that's super personal, issues that are driving me crazy, and I make dances about them," she explained.

    Her past solo pieces include "Burden," about falling in love with a member of another faith, and "How to Forgive Yourself in Bed," about what she describes as "reconciling my promiscuous past."

    This time, though, it's all about the Benjamins.

    "Everyone has a relationship to money and everyone has a relationship to your money, if you put it out there," she said.

    "I think by being in the audience you can't not assess your own relationship to money."

    Herewith, excerpts from Ms. Juli's conversation with Steven McElroy:

    Q. You've done this once already, right? And you recouped all of the money?

    A. I tried it out with $1,000. I wanted to test the waters and I learned a ton. And I did get 100 percent of the money back. See, here's the thing: I don't really want to lose all of my money. I'm just willing to let it go to help me readdress my relationship to it. But there will be a creative mechanism that lets the audience give it back at the end. Or give more. There will be people who are handed a couple of hundred dollars and they'll have to make a choice. They can walk away with it, but they'll be taking all that I have.

    Q. You're using the whole $5,000 in each show?

    A. The show is built around the $5,000. It may become less, or it may become more, depending on the choice each audience member makes.

    Q. Can you tell who's who? Will people take it and think, "She'll never know I kept mine?"

    A. I'm not tracking that — it's a risk that I'm taking. The idea of confronting the fear behind losing everything you have to your name is, in and of itself, a healing process.

    Q. How does that process work?

    A. The solo performance that's really investigative and personal and made public is extremely healing. And it's actually funny. When you give away really personal information about yourself it often makes people laugh. ... So it's enjoyable and each person will take something from it — either literally or figuratively.

********************

Sara Juli's solo dance–theater piece, "The Money Conversation," will run for six performances beginning Wednesday, February 15.

Showtimes:

• Wed./Thurs./Fri. Feb. 15/16/17: 8:30 p.m.

• Sat. Feb. 18: 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

• Sun. Feb. 19: 4:30 p.m.

P.S. 122 is located in the East Village at 150 1st Avenue, New York, NY; 212-477-5288/212-352-3101.

Tickets: $10-$20

February 13, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Silas Stingy Money Jar

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Official piggy bank of The Who.

From the website:

    Coin Counting Bank

    Money jar actually counts cash!

    Now you can know exactly how much change is in the jar.

    Bank automatically calculates new total each time you add more change.

    Great for teaching kids to add and save money.
    Plastic.

    4¼" x 4¼" x 6¼".

$19.98 (batteries and coins not included).

Haven't you ever wondered if the Coinstar machine at your market is skimming on top of the stated commission?

Here's one way to find out.

February 13, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This and that at bookofjoe

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I went back and counted how many posts so far this month, before today, resulted from readers' contributions: the number is nine.

That's out of 12 [days] x 8 [posts/day] = 96 posts total.

9/96 = 9%, consistent with my impression over the past months: about one or two posts a day via reader input.

Keep 'em coming.

On another note, after the passage of a week it would appear no one noticed or —far more likely — cared enough to remark on the fact that I conducted an experiment on Super Bowl Sunday, February 5: each of the eight posts was in some way food–related.

You could look it up.

I plan on more of these unannounced theme days.

Why?

Because it amuses me — same reason I produce bookofjoe.

The secret to happiness in life is to be easily amused.

And you can quote me.

February 13, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Rock & Roll Guitar Watch

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From the website:

    The perfect gift for your favorite musician.

    The smooth lines of an electric guitar create the perfect setting for a wristwatch.

    Features include an 8" strap crafted to look like the neck of a guitar, a sweep second hand and quartz movement.

    Packaged in its own hard–shelled guitar case gift box.

    Ideal for both men and women.

    The Rock & Roll Guitar Watch makes a great collectible.

    Features:

    • Anodized Aluminum Case

    • Stainless steel back

    • Plexi crystal

    • Silicon rubber straps

    • Quartz battery–operated Miyota 2035 movement by Citizen of Japan

    • Battery life of 2 years from manufacturing date

    • Length of case (maximum): 49 mm

    • Width of case (maximum): 35mm

    • Strap width (bottom): 18mm

    • Strap width (upper): 12mm

    • Weight: 1.5oz

In red or silver.

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$29.95.

No computer?

Call them: 800-631-0160.

February 13, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A day in Iceland with Jeff in the summer of 2002

Rift

Last weekend while I was looking for a picture to accompany John Ashbery's poem "Plainness in Diversity," I happened on an absorbing web posting by a man named Jeff about his trip to Iceland in the summer of 2002.

Gullfoss

It was accompanied by some wonderful photos (above and below).

Ghosts

As Ted Mooney wrote, easy travel to other planets.

Money

FunFact: "Several years ago there was a rock concert on a huge float in the middle of this

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lake. Bjork was one of the people who played!"

February 13, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Third Eye Blind Micro LED Headlamp

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$25.

February 13, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tadao Ando's first project in New York — Morimoto Restaurant — is now open for business

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Tell you what: I'm going there for the concrete, not the food.

I have read so much about this celebrated architect's affinity for concrete, his ability to make of it a substance nearly other-worldly, that I simply must rest my cheek against it in homage when I finally visit.

Aric Chen wrote about the new restaurant in the February 9 New York Times "Currents" feature in the House & Home section, as follows:

    The celebrated Japanese architect Tadao Ando has completed his first project in New York: Morimoto restaurant at 88 10th Avenue (16th Street).

    Named after its chef, Masaharu Morimoto (a k a the Iron Chef), the $12 million restaurant features ceilings draped in undulating fiberglass-reinforced canvas, evoking the raked gravel of Zen rock gardens; furniture by Ross Lovegrove; a traditional noren curtain and Mr. Ando's signature use of concrete.

    The lighting, including a wall of L.E.D.-illuminated water bottles [below] is by Arnold Chan.

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    "Mr. Ando wanted something serene," said Stephanie Goto of Goto Design Group in New York, which collaborated on the project, "a Japanese sensibility without being overtly Japanese."

February 13, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Vibrating Self–Shaking Salt Shaker

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That's right.

You pull the little cord (above) and the shaker vibrates and drops your salt (there's also one for your pepper) in the designated zone.

$14.98 (salt and pepper not included).

February 13, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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