Feeling a bit burnt out after last month, I’ve decided to take a summer vacation and so there will not be a post for July and maybe even August. A bit of a personal update, but what’s not a personal update on here?
I’m thrilled to be heading home to California tonight for MuseumCamp at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. I hear we will be learning about social impact assessment and exchanging lanyards. I’ve never done formal research in social impact and haven’t made lanyards since elementary school, so I’m sure it will be an enriching experience.
I hope that you, too, are having an enriching and enjoyable summer.
Today marks two years since I published a blog post on the Village Vanguard with the same enthusiasm and excitement I have for each of my pet projects. It has been great having a platform to share my writing and I’ve been able to observe more than toilets and jazz along the way.
I noted that most readers assumed the writer to be male when I first launched this blog. I’m beginning to think about what it means for writing to be gendered and specifically what it means given that I write in English, a language without masculine and feminine nouns like the romance languages.
In the past two years, the JAZZ TOILET team has reviewed toilets in thirty-eight jazz clubs and collected translations of “Where’s the restroom?” in over thirty-eight dialects, spoken by as many as 848 million in Mandarin, as few as 400,000 in Luxembourgish, and by an unknown number in a space alien language.
Special thanks to my friends at International House for providing many of the translations, Blue Note Entertainment Group for continually reaching out, and venues to remain unnamed for taking the time to reject us. It has been an interesting two years, meeting curious people, lonely people, creepy people, and talented people.
There are shifts in the works for the year or two ahead, though you may not notice any immediate changes on the blog. Expect a comeback of the Extra Edition covering jazz-incubating locations other than clubs and revisits to venues with new information on their toilets. I still plan on one Tuesday Toilet Talk per month, though not necessarily on the second Tuesday, as my main priorities are to engage in fewer heartburn-inducing activities and invest more time in people. Eliciting shock from friends who run into me gets old fast; I’d rather be a familiar face. I also hope to become a familiar voice to you as JAZZ TOILET continues to develop.
Readers, I am thankful for you and wish you a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. While unable to return home to LA this winter, I am grateful for technology that allows me to stay in touch. Now that my whole family is on FaceTime, my dad can point out blemishes on my face without having to see me in person, taking care of much of the ritual of the family gathering online.
In this Thanksgiving post, we say thanks to KMac as he steps down from the men’s room correspondent position he has dutifully held since our inception. I am proud to say that he is moving on to bigger and better things, leaving New York to fill the drum chair in the Navy Band. Look out for a special issue in the next year, when we visit him in DC.
Before he left, KMac gave me a book by Ben Ratliff titled The Jazz Ear: Conversations over Music for what he called my journalistic aspirations. I, in turn, got him something for his sartorial pursuits because he kept telling me about how cool he plans to dress when off-duty. It’s just as well that we are parting ways because clearly, we have different priorities.
Farewell Petty Officer KMac—we salute you or whatever it is they do in the navy.
And Ken®—you’re fired.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
I hope those of you in the States had a relaxing Fourth of July. Since Ken® is away for the holiday weekend, I’m filling in once again and this time to rally for bidet awareness.
The last time I was in Korea, I pressed the most prominent button on a fancy public toilet to flush and ended up running away in shock when the toilet wouldn’t stop squirting water at me. Having spent a good chunk of my life in bidet-free USA, I was unaware of such a modern advancement, dating back to at least the 1700’s. In fact, I only learned while researching for this post that bidets in many countries, including France where it originated, are actually separate fixtures and not integrated into toilets, like in Korea and Japan.
Here is a SNL clip on the bidet.
Check out my new digs—a pinstripe suit from our publication advisers Angela and Casey with a pair of navy oxfords to match! Casey also got me what he thought was a “murse” but I think it’s a slightly oversized wallet.
Not only that, they got me a new iPhone. What more could a toy ask for? I want to give a shout-out and say thanks Casey and Angela! You two are just far out.
Catch me in my new suit at our editor-in-chief’s commencement ceremony today, the upcoming summer weddings and the snazzier jazz clubs.
Staff writer/model Ken® has appeared in the short, Hawaiian Vacation (2011), and numerous other features, making his first appearance in the 60′s. He has been named (the boyfriend of) one of the most influential cultural icons of the century and is a true renaissance man, with skills ranging from leading safaris in the wild to shaving without gel in the concrete jungle. Ken® currently resides in Manhattan but vacations frequently at his dream house in Malibu.