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Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated [18 Apr 2010|03:53pm]
Greetings all! I am, contrary to specious and undocumented reports, alive and well. ;) Lots has gone on since last I posted here. Most notably, I've sung in four operas (one of which was reviewed in the New York Times, along with a handful of other sites), and I've had surgery (laproscopic cholecystectomy).

While I do still read and comment, I have largely abandoned posting on my LJ. I hesitate to say that I'll never post here again - one never knows, do one? - but it may be a while. Please come hang out with me elsewhere on the internet, where I maintain an active presence. Here's where you can find me now:

I love Twitter. Most anything that I would've once posted to my LJ about, I now tweet about instead. Life's too short to write blog entries. (I'm glad all the bloggers I enjoy reading don't feel that way, though!)

I spend the better part of most days reading bajillions of blogs and feedsites on my Google Reader, and I share items constantly. Relatedly, I also use Google Buzz.

I'm rarely on it, and I loathe it with the fire of a thousand suns (and if it weren't completely necessary, for professional networking, I'd kill my profile altogether), but if you insist you may find me on Facebook.

Oh, and here's some video from the aforementioned oft-reviewed opera - Die drei Pintos by Carl Maria von Weber and Gustav Mahler, staged (for the first time ever in NYC) by the Bronx Opera this January, featuring yours truly in the role of Inez.

Inez' Act 1 Aria, Die Drei Pintos from Eapen Leubner on Vimeo.

Die Drei Pintos- Act 1 Duet from Eapen Leubner on Vimeo.

Be good, y'all. I'm quiet, but I'm watching. :)
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"She'd rather go to the store on Market Day and choose her own fish." [18 Jan 2009|07:50pm]
I knew that actor Patrick McGoohan had died this week but, to my shame, I've never seen a single episode of the show in which he played his most well-known role, The Prisoner. However, I recently rediscovered that fact that he starred (alongside Karen Dotrice, who then went on to star in Mary Poppins) in one of my all time favorite childhood films, The Three Lives of Thomasina. I love this movie! And I totally didn't realize that Patrick McGoohan was in it!

I made this rediscovery tonight because I suddenly found myself trying to remember how the title song from Thomasina went.

"Yes, I am Thomasina. This story's all about me." Loves it. :)
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OFF-BLAST! [16 Jan 2009|01:26pm]
Thanks to my beloved Bean's birthday benevolence, I am now the proud possessor of this marvelous thing:

Thank you, Bean! I lurve you so hard!
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The Strata [13 Jan 2009|12:55am]

Many thanks to rachtrumpetess and her manfriend Max for finally putting this video up for the enjoyment and edification of the public. ;)
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A Gift! [23 Dec 2008|04:46pm]

Thank you, petulantfrenzy! I love it! :)

(Despite what it looks like from this photo, I'm actually smiling, not frowning. There was a weird shadow or something.)
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Sexmap! [20 Oct 2008|10:24pm]

Find out where I've journeyed
on the Map of Human Sexuality!
Or get your own here!

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"Today, 46th Street! Tomorrow....Madison Square Garden!" [14 Oct 2008|09:09pm]
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[06 Oct 2008|04:37pm]
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Fellow language nerds, take notice [03 Oct 2008|09:54am]
[ mood | awake ]

With thanks to my best beloved fellow language nerd, operaben, for sending this my way.

You think English is easy?

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce .

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible

PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick'?

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Homoriental [13 Jul 2008|05:24pm]

His name is Azis. In Bulgaria, he is a famous chalga singer. (Chalga is Bulgaria's brand of pop-folk, incorporating a blend of Arabic, Turkish, Greek, and Roma (Gypsy) influences, as well as motifs from flamenco and klezmer music.)

He married his husband, Niki Kataetsa, in 2006. Their marriage is not recognized by the Bulgarian law.

That's a billboard of Azis sucking on his husband's chin, which appeared all over Bulgaria before Boiko Borisov, mayor of Sofia, elected to take down billboards, stating that the posters were too graphic. Much more explicit advertising could be found all over Sofia, which of course gave rise to speculation that the same-sex nature of the ad, as opposed to its racy content, led to its removal. The scandal surrounding this billboard was instrumental in inspiring the foundation of Bulgaria's LGBT social movement, Gemini.

But really, anything more I could say about Azis would be insufficient. Instead, watch him swirling about like a dervish in drag, surrounded by Bulgaria's answer to Tom of Finland softcore bear porn.

This is basically the greatest thing I've seen all year. It combines some of my favorite things -- pornographically gratuitous shots of big sweaty bears doing hard manual labor, Eastern European languages, and eye make-up. I mean, really, could it be more perfect?

Here's another one, featuring Azis (dressed as a guy, sorta, this time) and Malina, a gorgeous scantily clad Bulgarian fag-hag, writhing against a wall, inbetween shots of them lounging in bed together the way only a drag queen and his femme gal pal can.

He's so PRETTY! Those beautiful creepy lady eyes over that sleek silver fox 'stache and goatee of his. Mmmmm....

And look! He doesn't even mind getting a bit of straw on his junk! He's a MANLY MAN!

-sigh- I think I'm in love.
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Leningrad Cowboys & the Red Army Choir [19 Jun 2008|03:13am]

The Leningrad Cowboys is a Finnish rock and roll band famous for its humorous songs and concerts featuring the Soviet Red Army Choir. The band was an invention of the Finnish film director Aki Kaurismäki, appearing as a fictional band in his 1989 film Leningrad Cowboys Go America. The fictional band, however, was made up of members of a real Finnish band, the Sleepy Sleepers, plus some additional people. After the film, the band took on a life of its own, recording music, making videos and giving concerts.

Currently, the band has eleven Cowboys and two Leningrad Ladies. The songs, all somewhat influenced by polka and progressive rock, and performed in English, have themes such as 'vodka', 'tractors', 'rockets', and 'Genghis Khan', as well as folkloric Russian songs, rock and roll ballads and covers from bands as diverse as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, all with lots of humour.

Here, they perform "Sweet Home Alabama" with the Red Army Choir (Choir Aleksandrov) which is a performing ensemble that served as the official army choir of the former Soviet Union's Red Army.

copy from Wikipedia, because I was too lazy to parse and rephrase
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Rape [15 Jun 2008|10:31pm]
This scene from Gaspar Noé's disturbing and controversial 2002 film Irréversible is VERY NOT SAFE FOR WORK, so mind what you're clicking on, all you cubicle mice. It features the brutal beating and anal rape at knife point of Monica Bellucci's character in a scary red-lit underpass -- the rape itself is filmed in one static nine minute long shot, and is definitely the most awful thing I've seen this week.

I think I may be having a PTSD reaction to this video. I've been feeling sick to my stomach for hours, and my roommates are asking whether I've got a fever, because my eyes are all glassy and my face is flushed. Evidently the film used extremely low-frequency sound to create a state of disorientation and unease in the audience, causing a huge number of walk-outs (Newsweek magazine stated that this was the "most walked-out-of movie of the year").

Y'know what the most distressing part is, I think? The point, about 5 minutes in, where you see that someone has walked into the passageway, and sees the rape in progress...and then just turns around and walks away.

I feel sick.

(If the embedded video won't play for you, go here to watch it at the site.)
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Root Canal #2 (also, tits and dick) [06 Jun 2008|06:04pm]
Dentist today. I need yet another root canal. I basically have the rottenest mouth ever. Except maybe for this guy.

Anyway, I'm easing my pain with shemale porn. Why can't I find more porn involving shemales and women? C'mon internet, gimme that girl-on-Tgirl goodness!
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...and the Swedish Music Video Choreography Award goes to... [13 May 2008|11:22pm]

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Why not have a parade? [03 May 2008|12:34pm]
My neighborhood is typically very noisy. The boom-ts-boom ts-ts of reggaeton, pumped from just below my window out of car speakers that cost more than the car itself, is a near-constant undercurrent of my life here. I've grown some what inured to it over the years, but I can't say I'm a big fan of being woken up at 3am by the sound of eight cops gently tazing a screaming meth-head across the street. Its just something you have to put up with when you live around here.

But I will say one thing about this neighborhood which consistently brings a smile to my face -- they're always having parades. For no reason! About once a month, when its temperate, I'll hear the sound of drums and whistles, and I'll look out the window...and there'll be a motley, disorganized, noisy, colorful, laughing, dancing, tweeting parade going down my street! Girls in short skirts waving flags and doing cartwheels, costumed characters on stilts, at least three different marching bands, a drum brigade or two, and inevitably a parade dragon. Why? Why not!

Just now, a parade went by. I took a few pictures out my bedroom window. They're grainy and blurry, but then, so's the weather -- and THAT never stops the parade! They'll have a parade in the pouring rain here, if they feel like it!

These two stilt-walkers didn't stand still long enough for me to get a really good shot of them. I didn't know you could run so fast in stilts. :P

More (grainy, blurry) parade pictures under hereCollapse )
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Award-Winning Mother's Day Gift [29 Apr 2008|06:22pm]
I got Anne Sofie von Otter's autograph today at rehearsal for Les Troyens, as an early Mother's Day gift for my mom. She's a huge fan. That is to say, my mom is, of Anne Sofie von Otter. I'm fairly certain Anne Sofie von Otter has no feelings one way or the other about my mom.

Anyway, check it out:

My mom's gonna flip when I send this to her on Mother's Day. Shhh, no one tell her, I want it to be a surprise. ;)
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I Feel Pretty [18 Apr 2008|04:23pm]
Today, as I walked through Downtown Crossing, a bum said good morning to me, very politely. I smiled at him as I walked past, and I heard him murmur "...and so pretty, too" under his breath. Am I the only one who gets a glow when street people give compliments? I know its silly, but it really makes my day.

And, y'know, strutting down the street in my hot new shoes, I probably was lookin' "so pretty", so at least he wasn't lying. :)

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-snerk- [15 Apr 2008|09:49pm]

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Hannibal Lector goes to the dentist [08 Apr 2008|09:46pm]
About a year ago, I broke my tooth.

Being without dental insurance, I decided to leave it alone. It wasn't hurting me, or anyone else, and it kinda looked cool.

About a month ago, I started having stabbing hideous pains in my broken tooth. Dental aid became necessary. I bit the bullet (gingerly) and went to Gentle Dental, where they gave me to this very nice Asian dentist lady, who took one look at my x-rays, grimaced, and said the magic words: "Root canal."


After taking out a loan for two grand (-wince-) to cover the cost of the procedure, I had the first part of the root canal that same day, and it proved to be fairly painless. Indeed, I felt better immediately, after she sucked the damaged nerve tissue out of my mangled fang. But this morning, I went in for the second part of the procedure, confident that it would be fairly harmles...and OHMYFUCKINGOD did it hurt. They had my jaw clamped open for two hours, poking and prodding and stabbing, while I whimpered and trembled, until finally I couldn't take it any more and burst into tears. I have to go back for a third round of this torture, to see a specialist this time who will with any luck conclude this root canal quickly and painlessly.

Here's me, mid-procedure

looking uncommonly like Hannibal Lector.

It'll be a good month or so before I can chew on some fava beans OR your liver, however. :P
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NE ME QUITTE PAS [27 Mar 2008|10:26pm]

(Subtitled version here)
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