Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In other Benjamin Button news ...

Jesus.

The Ultimate in Man Babies

Last night, I went with a friend to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". I loved the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but quickly realized even through the previews, that it wouldn't be the same.
When we were waiting for the movie to start we talked about the normal stuff: New Year's plans, Christmas vacations, and, of course, Man Babies.
We were probably pretty obnoxious to other theater goers because as soon as they showed Benjamin Button as a "baby" we were obnoxiously disgusted. But our loudest guffaw was when Benjamin's mother called him, "not a boy, but a man child".
Please to enjoy, some of my favorite "man childs":

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This is the story of my red, right ankle.

I've re-injured my ankle.
Last time I hurt it, I was doing laundry, fell down (three) stairs and launched into a major panic attack that I was going to die alone at the bottom of the stairs. This time, I hurt it by exhibiting behavior in preparation for dying alone: I was desperately trying to get my cat to pay attention to me.
I got home to California on Wednesday and was alone in my parents' apartment for a few days. My mom and sister were in Colorado, my brother hadn't made it to the West Coast yet, and my dad was working during the day.
So, while catching up on my Maury one morning, I leaned forward on the bed and tried to reach the family cat, Jelly Bean (note: I did NOT name her). As I was commanding the feline to "look over here" and "why don't you love me? I feed you!" I leaned back on my legs and all my weight hit my right ankle strangely and I heard that familiar pop I heard last time.
Many hours later, when my mom and sister came home, I started to whine that my foot hurt - but mostly to get that attention my jerk of a cat was denying me earlier. My mom and sister told me I had a contusion; I trust their knowledge as they are an on-disability nurse and a frequent patient, respectively.
My mom wrapped me up, iced me down and smoothed my hair. Despite asking for an amputation last night, I think I'm going to live ... and not die alone.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up let's go - let's look at the snow!

Happy Holidays from my half-naked, half-cowboy, half-mermaid house to yours.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

How to Make Friends on Transportation: A User's Guide

Around this time last year, I was taking the subway back home from work and saw a guy my age sitting down with a giant tin of popcorn on his lap. I searched his face, and couldn't understand why he looked so familiar. Finally, I remembered where I had met him before.
Months prior, a friend of mine and I were taking the train back out to Astoria after seeing some other friends of mine play at a club in Manhattan. Sitting across from us were an incredibly drunk guy and his seemingly sober friend who was trying to wrangle said drunk. The drunk guy kept falling over wanting to lay across the subway bench. The poor woman sitting next to him was less than pleased. My friend and I weren't hiding our amusement very well when he tried to make phone calls underground - we started cracking up.
I thought this was so funny that I not-so-stealthily started taking pictures with my cell phone camera: We started talking to the sober friend to find out how his friend had gotten that way (bachelor party), where they were headed (the same stop as me) and was his friend going to be ok (no, they had to get off the train at Times Square because his friend was going to puke any second). As the train pulled away and we watched our new drunk friend vomit everywhere, I thought that would be the last time we'd see each other. That December night when we were reunited on the subway, we got to talking and now, we see each other about once a month for drinks (within moderation and not on a subway).
***
This summer, I was flying home to Los Angeles from New York for a friend's wedding. As I wrote about before, I had a stopover in Cincinnati. On that flight, I mentioned I met an actor - and former Blue Man Group performer - who seemed incredibly nice and upbeat. Hoping to set him up with my equally nice and upbeat roommate, I gave him my business card, never really expecting to hear from him again.
Three months later (!) I got an e-mail from him saying he found my business card in his wallet and he wanted to know how I was doing (which completely reminds me of this). We're trying to find a time to hang out, where I can continue to give him a hard time - as I did on the plane - about him only have Tool, Dr. Wayne Dyer and one Bjork song loaded on his iPod.
So, to make friends while traveling is an easy 3-step program:

1) Find yourself in a strange situation, be it with a drunk person underground, or tens of thousands of feet above ground sitting next to an actor with a terrible iPod

2) Utilize your ability to laugh at other people's expenses

3) Wait a few months for the universe to magically reunite you and make plans to build a friendship

Saturday, November 29, 2008

For relaxing times, make it Early Times ...

For the last eight years, I've gone north to my aunt and uncle's house for Thanksgiving to Newburyport, Massachusetts - a sleepy town on the Merrimac River. For the last four years, my brother has joined me in the trek since moving from California to Philadelphia. For the last two years, I've run in Newburyport's Annual Turkey Trot. This year, my brother decided to run it with me.
We woke up early Thanksgiving morning, laced up and headed out into the frosty morning to run 3.1 miles in Maudsley State Park. My brother, who hasn't exercised since 1999, was reasonably terrified. We stood at the back of the 1,500-plus pack of runners, with senior citizens in front of us, runners with small dogs on leashes and some eight-year-old doing military style push-ups before the race. For the first half of the race my brother and I were neck-and-neck, but at the halfway mark I lost him. We both finished at a mildly-respectful 38 minutes (me) and 40 minutes (him) - not bad for two people who rarely exercise, one of them not since the threat of Y2K loomed close.
The soreness set in almost instantly. Mine lifted by the time the turkey was placed on the table, but my brother's ... well, I'm not sure if it's gone yet.
My grammie came over around noon and began her typical questions on repeat: Do you like to cook? (my question to answer) How is school? (my brother's question) When are you going to shave your beard? (I'll let you decide whose question that was) What kind of drink would you like? (a question for both of us)
My grandmother is an expert when it comes to libations. She's been drinking Southern Comfort for years and years, "because it's sweet". Every time we see her she pushes for us to drink up Janis Joplin's cocktail of choice. For years, when my grandfather was alive, they'd have happy hour together and she's sip her liquid "dessert". My brother doesn't really drink much, and, with his body in disarray he decided, to ease his pains, skip the SoCo and to try a little bourbon - Early Times Bourbon.

This bourbon has been in my aunt's cupboard for at least 15 years. The bottle was covered in dust, and she only uses it when she makes Lobster Newburg. I took one sip and started coughing, and my brother took a sip and said, "[he] could see through time." On a roll to prove his athletic prowess, he made a sport of drinking that bourbon and was lightheaded within minutes. And even though I may have won the foot race, he was the true champion of the day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Is Chivalry Dead?

The idea of chivalry stems from the Medieval Times. History (and a two-page Where's Waldo? spread I remember) tells us that prior to chivalry becoming widespread, manners were secondary, barbarians roamed the streets of London and women were treated less than kindly. After the savage time passed, men were to treat a woman with kindness and regard - up on a pedestal, without looking up her skirt.
I've heard since I was young that "chivalry is dead", but I refuse to believe this. After talking to a few friends, it’s clearer that it may not be dead, but it’s certainly on life support - it's a muscle that needs to be exercised.
One of my best friends said chivalry is definitely a tool for men to use in the ways of wooing a lady, but it's not without its rewards. Unfortunately, she says, and especially in larger cities, men think they can get the next hottie down the line without trying, "little do they know, with that behavior, they’ll also get herpes".
Another friend of mine agrees with the sentiment that chivalry tends to be exercised on a reward basis - it "communicates intentions". He says, "At the end of the day, you have a bunch of guys with drying flowers and good intentions asking themselves if it was worth it. Moreover, they’re watching the drunk guy with unwashed hair taking someone else home." Those feelings aside, he says he opens doors and acts chivalrous to every woman, no matter if they have boyfriends or not. He even humors me when we eat together and I ask him to order for me saying, "The lady will have ... "
Until recently, I’d never been on a real-life date. I’d always jumped from relationship to relationship, which promotes an instant comfort-level with me and my then-boyfriend. Without courting, there aren't many opportunities to open car doors, pay for meals or show up with flowers. And, my favorite rule of chivalry, placing your coat upon a puddle so my petticoat doesn't get damp, was difficult to execute as I came of age in Southern California.
But, even when I was in relationships you may be thinking that chivalry could have still existed. My first boyfriend was and is incredibly sweet. I was insistent that I didn't want a boyfriend in high school, so we got together a week after I graduated. He was a gentleman, affectionate and clear with his feelings. In fact, he even lit my pipe for me when I tried pot for the first time. He’s still one of my best friends, and I truly cherish our time together. I was off to a great start.
My second boyfriend, during freshman year of college, had never had a girlfriend, had never kissed a girl and had never gone on a date. Boy, oh boy. It’s too soon to talk about.
My third (and later, sequentially fifth and sixth) boyfriend actually thought holding a door open for a girl meant the man goes first and then holds it open behind him so it doesn't slam in the girl’s face.
Then, my fourth boyfriend also had something in common with two of the others: they came from a family with no sisters. I truly feel that if you come from a family with sisters, you’re automatically going to be kinder to women. I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule, but not in my relationship experience - so who cares if I’m wrong if it doesn't affect me, right?
My sister and I have had this conversation before as we think our brother is the sweetest boyfriend around (some may find this creepy that I’d say this, but I did give my brother mono after all, so there’s that)
For example, one of his high school girlfriends was a waitress, and we went to breakfast together at her restaurant and he left her a nice tip and flowers; he gave another girlfriend a subscription to US Weekly - the quickest way to a woman’s heart.
Another part of the family tree that should be held responsible is parents. My paternal grandfather and grandmother met a dance when they both worked at Pratt & Whitney on the night shift. My grandmother, an absolutely beautiful woman (pictured below), clearly had to be courted and wooed because her dance card was full. My grandfather, a high school basketball stud, worked hard to make her fall in love with him and on leave from World War II they were married and had my aunt and father years later.
My dad came of age during the feminist movement, which is sometimes blamed for the death of chivalry (bullshit). For my grandfather, chivalry was expected, like having to number 2 after eating Taco Bell. While for my father it may have been something he should have been taught.
My parents haven’t always been devoid of romance. I remember times when they would cook dinner together - just the two of them - and candles were mandatory (also mandatory: “For the Longest Time” HAD to be on the stereo. God, they love that song).
If I have sons, I’ll definitely make it a point to have them act with chivalry. Even if I have a daughter, I’ll teach her the same. I don’t think chivalry is dead, but I do think it’s morphed into a universal value: be polite and kind to people. Personally, I am a feminist striving for equality. I think every woman and man deserves to feel special and taken care of every once and awhile. I think it’s important for women to take men out on dates, too. It’s not just saved for Sadie Hawkins dances.
For years I've passed the door test, not just with men, but with women too. I was chivalrous towards my ex-boyfriends, towards my friends and my family. With today’s standards, treating people how you would like to be treated seems like the way to go - but for christsakes, somebody please put their coat on a puddle for me someday. Oh yeah, and buy me stuff. And, tell me I'm pretty. And that I smell good. And open my doors - the right way.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tears of a Clown

A few months ago, I was riding the subway home with a friend of mine when we saw a clown get on the train at Queensboro Plaza – the first stop in Queens on the N or W line. We didn’t think much of it. After all, I’ve been groped on the subway, fallen in love, met a new friend, been stared at by a really creepy girl – nothing really phases me.
Now, I’ve never been a big fan of clowns, and for the same reason as any other sane human being: Pennywise.
When the clown got on the train, at about 11:30 pm, he started doing various clown things in front of my friend and me. He raised his eyebrows, played peek-a-boo – he must have still been on the clock. We started talking to him and found out his name was Goofy Gary and he was just coming back from working a child’s birthday party in Manhattan. He handed us his business card if we ever needed his services.
I asked, “Do you do balloon animals?”
He said, “No.”
“Do you do magic tricks?”
“No.”
“Do you ride a tiny tricycle?”
“No – geeze, you really know how to make a clown sad.”
I felt terrible, but what else is on a clown’s resume under special skills? And, if you visit his Web site, you’ll see he says he can do magic tricks and balloon animals – c’mon Gary. (And my favorite part of his site is under “What People Are Saying About Goofy Gary”. One fan says, “He's magic. He's goofy. Is his name really Goofy Gary?”)
Since that night, I’ve seen Gary on the train at least two more times in full make-up. I always avoid his eyes because I’m afraid he’ll remember the night some condescending clown judger was less than impressed with his repertoire.
But now, the MTA is planning on removing one of the subway lines that runs from my neighborhood to Brooklyn, so there’s an even stronger chance Gary and I will meet again. Maybe he has learned how to make balloon animals by now, or perhaps my penance will be to assist him on a singing telegram job.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Preserve, Cherish, Protect

One of my favorite sites is Passive Aggressive Notes. If you've ever lived in a dorm-like situation, a multi-sibling household or anywhere with a white board you've experienced a passive aggressive note.
My brother lives in a multi-floor, multi-resident, always smells like curry apartment building in the West Side of Philadelphia.
He came home after dropping a friend off at the airport to find about FIFTY of this little beauty posted all around his building:

Text, for the hard of seeing:
Hi Everyone:
Yesterday because of the rain I spread my wet umbrella in the hall of the third floor around 10PM. Unfortunately I forgot to bring it back at night. But this morning I found my umbrella missing.
Yes, I know that the stuffs placed in the hall are often free for everyone. But I think my umbrella is an exception because of the heavy rain and I spread it. So maybe someone has taken my umbrella away unintentionally.
I hope that the person who took my umbrella could return it to the same place. Our environment need all of us living in this building to preserve it, to cherish it, to protect it.
One resident.

Man, my heart goes out to this one resident, but I'm afraid they'll never get their umbrella back. But, the real winner in all of this is us: we've learned in order to have a robust life full of proper morals we need to preserve, cherish and protect.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm Turning Into The Fly

In the 1986 re-make of The Fly, Jeff Goldblum, turns into a creature after an experiment goes terribly, terribly wrong. Geena Davis is the first to notice these changes when she catches a glimpse of some very thick hairs growing on his back: Now, I've already talked about my rapidly-growing, single back hair. But recently, I've sprouted some Fly-esque hairs between my eyebrows.
I come from a proud tradition of the unibrow. My father has a unibrow, my grandfather had a unibrow and I'm sure his father's father felt the winds of the Atlantic tickle his unibrow on the boat to French Canada many, many years ago.
My sister and I have been waxing our eyebrows for years in hopes to discourage hair growth - it's worked to some extent. But, now, even the sweet lady who reshapes my brows frowns at the development. I get the frown, the "hmmmm" and the hope that maybe if she leaves the wax on longer that hair will wave the white flag.
I know stray hairs are something that happen as you age, but why does one have to sprout right between my eyeballs? Any suggestions besides looking forward to having 4,000 lenses in each eye?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No Shot in Hell

Tonight, some co-workers in my department are challenging two other departments to a shot contest. Nothing says "Veteran's Day" like a night of shooting booze competitively. How do you determine who wins, you ask? I'm fuzzy on the official rules, but I believe that whoever is sick first is eliminated.
It's all going to happen at 1-2-3 Burger Shot Beer in Hell's Kitchen. This bar's gimmick is $1 burgers, $2 shots and $3 beers. I was asked to represent the team, but there is no way I can compete. I've had a long-running history of poor decisions and consequences once I've taken shots.
The first time I ever tried alcohol was by way of a shot. During a spring break in high school, I went down to Ensenada in Baja California, Mexico with a friend of mine and her parents. My friend's parents were the ones whose drinking motto was, "I don't care if you drink, as long as it's in my house (or with me in another country)." They also thought the best way to get drunk for the first time was to get there as quickly as possible.
We went to a bar, akin to Senor Frog's, and they ordered us a bucket of beer. I was so scared being in a (kinda) foreign country, about to have a drink. (to set the scene a little further: I was such a good kid growing up; I think I was still in Girl Scouts at the time, and there's a 95% chance that I was wearing khakis and a cardigan from the Gap when this happened) While waiting for our beer, a man wearing a black leather apron was walking around the bar with a whistle in his mouth. My friend's parents motioned him over, where, following their direction, the leather man grabbed my cheeks to open my mouth. He poured tequila down my gullet, put a napkin over my mouth and shook my head - all while blowing his whistle in my ear. That was it. It was over. Drunk. Drunk. Drunk.
This is where it all came off the rails. Within an hour, I rode a mechanical bull, took a picture with a donkey named "Bimbo" on the street and sliced my forehead open with a butterfly knife - because at that point, I didn't understand the mechanics of a switch blade.
There are more stories, even leading up to last weekend, but I think it will be best to avoid the contest tonight - for my safety, my career and my loved ones from the workplace.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Can't Spell Drug Bust Without B-U-S

This weekend I went to Philadelphia to spend some time with my brother and sister. We didn't do much, but it was still good to be in the same room with both siblings.
On Sunday afternoon, my return trip to New York was relatively uneventful, until we exited off the New Jersey Turnpike an exit sooner than we should have. The bus slowed down and someone wearing a backpack jumped off in a very seedy looking part of Jersey City (note: Does Jersey City have any non-seedy parts?). A lot of people on the bus were confused by this, gaping out the window as the gentleman jogged away.
I wasn't as shocked as my traveling companions because this same thing happened on another bus I took a year ago. At the time, I was on a bus traveling towards Philadelphia to see my brother. The driver exited the New Jersey Turnpike and was taking a more rural route - a short-cut, I thought. Until, the bus slowed down to about 5 m.p.h. and a guy jumped out of the bus and ran off towards a gas station.
I honestly don't mind being an accessory to whatever crime there is for passengers wearing backpacks and running into the jungle of Dirty Jersey. I pay $10 for a ride that keeps me on my toes, I get to hear loads of new curse words in Chinese and get a little adrenal pumping. Plus, I've always felt prepared for a hard-knock bus ride. After all, in eighth grade, I owned the Dangerous Minds soundtrack on cassette (which my mom took away from me) and I watch The Wire (not very courageously as evidenced last night by me gasping so loudly at a shooting that my sister, in the other room, burst through my door to make sure I wasn't dying in my sleep).
I just wonder how I can get a little more involved in this operation; I think I'd be the least suspicious-looking drug mule around: Cardigans? Check. Loafers with tassels? Check. Mopey indie rock on iPod? Check. Where do I sign up?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Missed Connections

I missed my subway to work four times this morning.
After sleeping a measly three hours, I woke up at 6:30 am to escort my beautiful sister - who is visiting the East Coast for a week - to a bus in Chinatown headed to my brother's apartment in Philadelphia.
When I dropped her off, I headed north to Canal Street on my way to work. My first mistake was going underground on the wrong side of the street. It wasn't a big deal, but I had to go down stairs and then upstairs to run and try to take the N train that just arrived in the station uptown - miss number 1.
Another N train came a few minutes later and it was express. I didn't think about this clearly enough, and the train zoomed right by my work's stop at 49th street - miss number 2.
The train made it to the 57th street stop; I went up another flight of stairs, and down another to head back downtown. I hopped on a W train and was so busy looking for a very specific My Morning Jacket song to make me feel better that I didn't realize the subway was at my stop until the doors were closing again - miss number 3.
I got off the train at Times Square to head back uptown. I went up the stairs to cross over to the other side of the platform. I heard a train I needed pulling into the station, but am so afraid of falling down stairs, that I gave up the chase and decided to wait - miss number 4.
This is just the beginning of what is sure to be a very Charlie Brown Halloween.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Advice for the Ages

I recently asked a friend for a bit of advice and she said:
"Listen to Beautiful by Christina Aguilera, drink a glass of wine to calm your nerves and BE YOURSELF!!!"
While it doesn't matter what I needed advice on, it's probably some of the best and most universal advice I've gotten.
Feeling down in the dumps?
"Listen to Beautiful by Christina Aguilera, drink a [bottle] of wine to calm your nerves and BE YOURSELF!!!"
Nervous about a big presentation at work?
"Listen to Beautiful by Christina Aguilera, drink a glass of [a corporately-approved beverage] to calm your nerves and BE YOURSELF!!!"
Constipated?
"Listen to Beautiful by Christina Aguilera, drink a glass of [liquid laxatives] to calm your nerves and BE YOURSELF!!!"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gadgets That Have Changed My Life

In order of appearance, here are a few gadgets that have changed my life:
1. The Barbie Dream House: For so long I'd been playing with The Heart Family dolls, the least popular, now discontinued, toy for young girls and confused boys. The Heart Family was designed to teach kids the importance of family and the answer to why Barbie can't have kids: because she's not married. You can't have kids outside of marriage, you know? One Christmas, my younger sister got the Dream House, complete with elevator, squealing tea kettle and "working" faucet. My dad set it up in our garage; we played for hours, inhaling gas fumes all the while.
2. Talkboy: Again, a gift for my sister that changed my life. It was mostly for my love of Home Alone 2, although I recorded myself singing a song about "losing my shoe" that my sister later discovered on the tape. She said, "That's really good! I don't remember singing that, but I sound good!" With arms crossed, I smiled smugly whilst dreaming of my recording contract with Frankie Sharp of Sharp Records.
Fast forward many years, ok maybe 1 or 2 ...
3. iPod and all its various accoutrement: This may seem obvious, but for many years I had a Dell DJ - again, the less popular of what was available. I got it for Christmas because my mom saw it was one of Oprah's Favorite Things, which I'm very grateful for, but it became unusable when I bought my beautiful Mac computer. Dell didn't make software to upload songs from a Mac (and their customer service rep basically said, "duh" when I asked if they did), so I had to make the switch last year. Now, I listen to it all day at work, I have a speaker dock for my room, one of those obnoxious arm bands for outdoor runs and a chord in my car.
4. Bluetooth Headsets: It's only changed my life in that now I know what unbridled hatred for an inanimate object feels like.
And, finally, the newest addition to gadgets which have changed my life. This little guy:
5. An (illegal at work) space heater for my office: My friend - some may say best, now - is loaning it to me until her side of the office feels like the tundra mine does. I can't even tell you how warm my legs are right now.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I Now Pronounce You Embarrassed and Unrecognized

This weekend my mom was visiting the East Coast. She flew into Philadelphia to see my brother, see Amish country, shop The Christmas Tree Shops, but mostly she was here to attend the wedding of one of her best friend's daughters.
After work on Friday, I drove up to Connecticut from New York to meet my brother and mom at the hotel near the location of the wedding. My brother and I have always been confused why we're invited to the events of our mom's friends, mostly because we don't know any of their "kids" as well as I think their parents wished we did. While all the kids are lovely and accommodating, we're sure they don't want us at their weddings either.
My parents, brother and I were all born in the same town in Connecticut. My mom's best friends and their children were also born in that same town. The difference between us and them is that they've lived there their entire lives, while my family (with sister added in West Springfield, Mass.) has moved seven times removed from our roots.
Last summer we went to another one of these functions, meeting many people we didn't think we'd see again.
Well.
In order to be helpful, my brother and I went over to the wedding site early and set up where we could, as there was another wedding wrapping up minutes before the next was to begin. There was nothing for us to do except not look forward to the next five hours of our lives.
With arms crossed, we talked away the time and eventually people started to show up. A guy walked up to us and said, "Hey, I think I met you at another one of these things last year."
I said, "Oh, yeah, [mom's friend's daughter's] wedding ..."
Then my brother says, "Who are you again?"
"I'm the groom."
Ouch.
"I'm going to leave you guys alone now."
Wow.
The best part, outside of the WORST kind of embarrassment, was his best man snickering in the back at my brother's mistake. To be fair, I was seconds away from asking this guy the same question, but saw that he was wearing a tuxedo. Thank you, context clues.
After shot-gunning a few drinks to ease the tension, my brother and I ran into another wedding guest: the son of one of my mom's best friends. He walked right up to my brother, shook his hand and said, "[Brother], how's it goin'?" I extended my hand and said, "Hey! How have you been?" The amount of dead space in the gaze returned my way could only be explained by Carl Sagan. He had absolutely no idea who I was. Meanwhile, a few feet away from the awkward exchange was a photo collage including a picture of us STANDING WITHIN INCHES OF EACH OTHER. (Ok, the picture was taken when I was four years old, in a kiddie pool, also known as the first and last time I wore a bikini. Whatever.)
Suffice to say, my mother assured us we would never have to attend another event of people we didn't know, and who clearly did not know us.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Crush Out of Context

Ever since I moved into my new neighborhood in May, I've seen this guy I've developed a major crush on. Sometimes we ride the train together (the best mornings!), I pretend to read, but I'm so busy staring at him. We get on the train at the same stop and exit at the same stop, we're clearly made for each other.
He's got a sense of humor (he participated in Moustache May, which was step 1 in making me fall in love with him), he's smart (he usually reads The New Yorker), he loves music (he's never without his iPod), he is a snazzy dresser (he was wearing a suit with a VEST underneath it once) and he's handsome (in an off-beat way). Actually, he's a hotter version of Dave Foley.
I know this sounds very Fatal Attraction, but I also know I'm not alone in falling in love on the subway.
I should probably just say something to him, but I'm afraid he's going to open his mouth and ruin the crush. Or, what if he has a secret "subway girlfriend" crush on ME and I ruin his crush by saying something stupid. I told a friend of mine that it was my goal that by the close of 2008, I'd at least smile at him.
Well, last night could have been my big chance. I saw subway boyfriend at the grocery store at the end of my street. It was so out of context that I panicked: it wasn't morning, I looked terrible, we weren't on the subway platform, I wasn't wearing my iPod. He looked right at me and smiled, and what do I do? Run down the cereal aisle.
I picked up what I needed and saw him in line for the check-out. I should have stood behind him in the queue. Instead, I went to another check-out and quickly paid so I could see which direction he lived. I was too late. Gone ...
... until of course, I see him again this morning, with his New Yorker, in a suit (on casual Friday!), listening to his iPod. I ask again: Why am I single??

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Facebook: The Pinnacle of Maturity

For the longest time, I forgot I had Facebook until a friend of mine from college reminded me of it by friending me. Since then, I've been reconnecting with friends online. It's obviously a stalker-esque tool, so you can see what everyone is up to: Who's married? Who has kids? Who is voting "YES" on Proposition 8?
Someone I went to high school with recently friended me and displayed on their page that they were voting against same-sex marriage. I don't want this to necessarily be a forum to discuss politics, but it's certainly a forum to discuss rage and disgust with people in my age bracket.
While I'm not living in California anymore, it's still such an important issue to vote "no" on. I even called my dad, who until then hadn't spoken to for two months, to make sure he a) is voting for president and b) is voting "no" on Proposition 8. My father, who supports the Patriot Act and worked on Nixon's campaign when he was younger, said even he isn't voting "yes". He said it's not up to him to decide who "the gays" want to marry.
So, in a most mature fashion, I've decided to have one less friend on Facebook; I think they'll appreciate it, too. Who would want to be friends with someone who supports same-sex marriage anyway?

Rejuvenation Vacation

Last weekend, nine of my friends all went up to Bennington College in Vermont to stay in the alumni house. My friend went to school there, so we got to reap the benefits. I can't say much more than these pictures can, but spending the weekend in absolute fresh air, seeing stars, apple picking and petting goats was so beneficial for me. I rarely looked at the clock, and yesterday at work I thought I was exhausted, but I think I had just reached a new level of zen - a level I thought I could only experience while eating tacos del carbon from Del Taco.









Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fairy Tales Do Come True ...

My humble little space on the Internets is listed on another site telling others that it's a great place for Nick Lachey news, photos, videos and MORE.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Why You Shouldn't Eat Lunch after 3 pm

Being insanely hungry when I went to heat up my lunch at 3 pm; I bit furiously into an apple and a large chunk got wedged in the roof of my mouth. Thank God no one walked into the work kitchen as I was heating up my Lean Cuisine and carving away at the stuck apple chunk with a plastic knife.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bro Time with Okkervil River

Last night, after some delicious pierogies at Veselka and a stop at the Dessert Truck, my brother - in town from Philadelphia - and I went to see Okkervil River at Webster Hall.
Doors were at 7 pm, so being ever-so-punctual we got there around 7:30-ish to find the band wasn't even going on until 10 pm. We walked over to Union Square to try to see a movie, but nothing was playing (well, Beverly Hills, Chihuahua and Righteous Kill do not count) so we browsed a Halloween store where my brother finally got his first monocle - a lifelong dream. Then, we went to The Strand to read for a few hours. We separated in the store, but when we met up again on the ground floor, it turns out we were both reading the same book, the Zombie Survival Guide - no wonder he's one of my best friends.
We got back to a packed Webster Hall to catch the tail end of the second opener (yawn). Then Okkervil River went on and it was one of the best shows I've been to in a long time. I don't know much of their earlier stuff, but their last two albums have been really solid.
Also pretty solid was the 8 foot tall man who stood in front of my brother and I at the show. Seriously, he reminded me of Al from the Naked Gun movies. He only gets an honorable mention for "Worst Person at a Show I've Been To". Last night's winners were these girls who'd clearly been drinking all night; they insisted on texting on their iPhones through the whole show and talking during the more mellow songs. Maybe talking isn't the right word, it was more of a shrill pitch, especially when one of them squeaked, "GIRLS! Who wants a CO-RO-NA?!"
(other people awarded "Worst Person" honors this year were both at the Josh Ritter show in Brooklyn earlier this year: one guy was freaking out and flailing during the whole show and my friend grabbed him and yelled, "COOL OUT!" to which he responded, "ROCK OUT!"; and an annoying hipstery girl who stood right in front taking pictures of Josh Ritter all night - worst was when he turned all the lights off in the house to really take it down a notch and the girl used her flash with such reckless abandon I was afraid someone would murder her on the spot)
Despite some of the people in the crowd, it was such a good show that I'd recommend seeing them if you get a chance.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Idol Time

Yesterday I had the greatest pleasure of going with a friend of mine to see Judy Blume speak at the 92 Street Y. She had extra tickets as part of a furniture-selling deal; she is the greatest friend for inviting me along.
Judy Blume's written so many books that I LOVED growing up, specifically: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. If you haven't read it, it's a "coming of age" story that covers all the stresses of being in sixth grade after having to watch "the video" and have "the talk" with your mother. It discusses everything from religion to menstruation belts to increasing your bust line.
The night before I could barely sleep; I was so excited. I have always been a big reader, so it was like my friend was asking me to go to Stony Brook, CT. to hang out with the Babysitters' Club or like Nancy Drew showing up at my house and saying, "C'mon, we gotta go check out this lady's twisted staircase - shit's haunted."
The best part about the event was all the little girls who were there, and just as excited as we were. I got choked up during the question and answer session when a little moppet asked, "Does it make you happy to write?" And later, when another couldn't help herself and yelled out, "I love that book! I've checked it out of the library like SIX times already." It was such an inspiring afternoon, and I'm so glad I got to see someone who is doing something I truly admire.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pumpqueens: Update!

I just had lunch with my pumpkin pal, and she had this to show me: (that's her elbow)
Apparently, after "Poop" and I put her into a cab to drive her six blocks home, she fell out of the cab onto the sidewalk in front of her house. Normally, you'd just dust yourself off and head inside feeling a little embarrassed, or laugh really loud to signal you're just fine. Not my friend - no way. She decided to lay on the sidewalk for a full minute soaking in what just happened, until someone walked up to her and said, "Are you ok?" to which she responded, "It's cool!" and then lit up a cigarette. Also, at some point a pint glass broke in her purse. Why was she carrying one, you may ask? Because we stole them - she stole two. She woke up the next day to find her cigarettes and lighter outside on her stoop.
However, this isn't the strangest discovery she's ever made the next day after some drinking, debauchery and general rabble rousing. One time, she fell in the hallway of her apartment building, came to on the floor who knows how much later, and crawled inside (the worst part was that her roommate heard her come crashing down and didn't go help/ask her about it until the next morning). The next day after that fall, she found a melted Chipwich outside her door.
I love you, buddy, and I'm glad you're ok.

Pumpqueens

Last night I had grand plans of going home, making a nutritious meal, going to the gym and watching the Vice Presidential debate. That all came off the rails rather quickly when I heard a bar in my neighborhood was serving not one, but two, kinds of pumpkin beer.
I LOVE the fall: the scarves, the flavors, the colors. (In fact, next weekend I'm going up to Vermont with some of my friends to take in all the fall glory; we rented a house and will wear sweaters, hike and apple pick. I can't wait.) So, my neighborhood fellow fall enthusiast and I decided to tour the flavors. We met up around 6:30 pm and I didn't get home until 3:45 this morning. It was a good night.
They ended up having three (!) different kinds of pumpkin beer. The first, Elysian Pumpkin, was pretty tasty but didn't really scream pumpkin deliciousness. The second one tasted like the brewer jammed his Thanksgiving table through a sieve and into a very festive bottle and named it Pumpking. King indeed. We raved about it so much, a married couple sitting next to us had to order it, too. Towards the end of the night, the bartender rolled out a new beer for us to try, the Smutty Nose Pumpkin Ale. I've had this before, and it's good, but nowhere near as good as our second beer as far as pumpkin-nicity goes. (Also, I may be in love with the bartender; every time he came to our side of the bar he called me "pumpkin" - that's all I want out of a relationship, really.)
We weren't planning on staying as long as we did, but with bellies full of pumpkin beer, we were having so much fun. And of course, they were setting up for karaoke. I know everyone says this, but I have the WORST singing voice. Really. Despite the handicap, my friend (who has a lovely singing voice) and I sang 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton, The Weight by The Band and I Love Rock and Roll by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.
Prior to last night, I have only done karaoke four times. I've always been an enthusiast (in junior high I used to go with my friends to a local pizza place just to watch people sing karaoke, cool, right?) but now I might have to become a regular performer.
We met some fun people, I fell in love, I ran into someone I never thought I'd see again, I met a dog named Cupcake and have a new number programmed in my phone labeled as "Poop" - overall, it was a great night with one of my best friends.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Taking the Fun out of Fungi

I've been thinking a lot lately why I've probably had bronchitis twice in the last two months (I say probably because I haven't actually been to the doctor. I picked the wrong insurance plan - the one with an insane deductible and also the one with mental health coverage for my inevitable nervous breakdown which I can't afford - mentally or financially).
Yes, bronchitis voice can be sexy - Rod Stewart made a career out of it. But, outside of topping the Billboard Charts, spitting up green globs, stifling coughs during conference calls at work and constantly clearing my throat is less than attractive.
Two nights ago I had one of the worst nights I've had in a long time; I shivered so much from my fever that my jaw was sore the next morning. For whatever reason, I still decided to go to work but arrived looking menopausal with sweat teeming down my face. My boss sent me home and I slept for an impressive 21 hours.
I feel much better now, but have a new development: when I exhale or yawn, my fingers get very tingly. I did some research, and the Internets have told me that I have multiple sclerosis. Has this sensation happened to anyone else? (outside from eating a York Peppermint Pattie)
After my extensive research (read: Google), I looked around my apartment for clues why I might be sick.
First, in my bedroom I have one window that still has the air conditioner unit in it. This air conditioner is very old - it wasn't mine to begin with, it was my ex-boyfriend's, but I decided that if I had to pay for our sin apartment all by myself after he moved out, I could at least keep the AC. I'm sure it's seeping death/failed relationship particles into my room at night, but one of my best friends/resident male handymen recently moved back to Chicago. I'm usually not THIS girly, but I do need a man for a few things.
Then, there's my Brita filter. I have not changed this filter since I moved back to New York ... in April of last year. I've essentially been sifting dirty New York water through a dirty Brita filter into my body. No wonder my lungs feel like those of an 80-year-old smoker.
Since I was in my kitchen, I looked around for other signs. Here is a towel where my roommate and I dry all our dishes. Full disclosure, sometimes these dishes sit here for days not being put away. But, look at what we have here - mold!:
Then, I knew what I was going to find in my bathroom. I've been ignoring it for a long time - passive aggressively hoping someone else would buy a new shower curtain liner. I'm embarrassed to share this, but if I put it out there, maybe I'll change it:
I've taken the same passive aggressive approach with the Irish Spring in the shower, too. Whose IS that?
I can't keep spending money on NyQuil knock-offs and killing my lungs, especially if I refuse to pay my voodoo doctor more money to cure me when I know what I'm doing wrong. Tonight after work, I am going to clean my apartment head to toe to make sure I don't get sick anymore, because if you want something done ... wait until you're on your death bed and are finally forced to do it yourself.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Overheard Conversations I Wish I Didn't Overhear

Woman on phone: Yes, hello. I need to make an appointment for another pap smear.
...
Woman on phone: When? Well, I'm wide open.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Urinspiration

Yesterday was a relatively uneventful day.
For work, I went on a tour of our warehouse out in New Jersey. We met with various departments, placing names with faces, eating cafeteria food and taking in the glory that is the New Jersey Turnpike.
We left around 3:30 pm to head back to the city so we wouldn't get stuck in traffic coming back through the Lincoln Tunnel, which is always the idea, but you're inevitably going to hit it no matter what.
There were four of us in our rental Prius, and when we looped around to face the Lincoln Tunnel, one of the passengers realized they really had to go number 1. It would be at least 45 minutes before we'd get back into New York. The passenger had to make a decision, a decision you never want to have to make in front of co-workers.
Someone had eaten a fruit cup on the drive back - the passenger looked at it. The passenger looked at all of us, then unzipped.
Those of us in the backseat texted furiously, 'OMG' and 'Help Me'. We turned the radio up and averted our eyes, screaming. I'll never be able to listen to The Beatles' "When I'm 64" again.
I felt really bad for the passenger, but also admired their courage - and aim - as I can barely pee when I'm supposed to.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bozo on a Wire

On my lunch break today, I went to see David Blaine hanging upside down. That's about all there was to it. Except, he was wearing those pants that zip into shorts; I really hate those.

These Boots are Made for Sulking

I recently bought a pair of boots that I thought only existed in my dreams. I wanted a brown, slouchy, cowboy-esque pair that would last through the seasons and I could walk in them all day without any pain.
I found them last weekend, wore them out on Saturday for a Ladies Who Munch dinner with nothing but supreme comfort. At work today, I paired them with a cute black dress and a blue button up shirt - marveling at my warm calves.
Stepping out of the bathroom at work, my heel caught on the tiles and I stepped forward one inch lower than I had started out. The heel was sliced in half; the cleanest break I'd ever seen from a shoe.

I'm so sad. But, at least I still have my drawer 'o shoes at work to choose a new pair from:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The BInGe E

Yesterday I went to the Big E in Western Massachusetts with my brother. It's a giant, annual fair displaying New England's best livestock, best carnival games, best childhood obesity and best in menswear and ladies' fashion (I saw more leather vests, fanny packs and overalls than I have in years. One woman had TWO fanny packs on).
Most importantly, they showcase all the food you shouldn't eat. Each state has its own expo house, and we hit them all. Here is what we ate:

- Baked potatoes with sour cream, butter, bacon bits, cheese and chives from Maine
- Maple candy from Vermont
- Cheddar cheese from Vermont
- Italian sausage from heaven
- Hot dog with cheese on it
- Root beer floats from Connecticut
- Blueberry pie a la mode from Maine

This doesn't include the Goldfish crackers I ate on the two and half hour drive up, or the pizza I ate when I got home while watching "The 750-pound man" on TLC (spoiler alert: he dies!); I needed a confidence pick-me-up. My poor tummy, my poor waist band, my poor toilet.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sore Loser

I hate pilates.
In my new strides toward a fitter me, I took a pilates class last night with a friend of mine and it was terrible. I've done four mile races, Turkey Trotted my way through a local park in the rain, I've moved entire apartments by myself and endured the harsh winters of the east coast after spending most of my childhood in the California sun, but my god - ask me to hold one position with my legs and arms in the air for more than 10 seconds and I want to scream bloody murder.
Going into the class, I figured it'd be easy enough. I'd just work on my core, improve - ok, get - some balance and roll around on the mat for an hour. It was my first studio class after a two year absence. I stopped going to anything yoga or mat-related after an unfortunate farting incident at my old gym. "It happens!" is the response I always get, but you try living on a high-fiber diet and doing the downward dog position and not letting something escape. The knowing look from the instructor was enough to keep me away.
So last night, even as my friend and I were leaving the class, we could tell today was going to be rough. I'm sore in places I didn't even know you could be, like on my lower back where I should have gotten a tattoo during Spring Break '04 in Cancun (although, that could be sympathy sore for all the tramp stamps girls are rockin' at my gym). It hurts when I burp, and I can't find a comfortable sitting position right now. I know being sore means "it's working" but I think I'll just go back to running for now.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Mama Bear!

Today is my mom's 54th birthday. She's had a rough few years, but I hope everything gets better for her. Moms are a special kind of frustrating sometimes, but here a few reasons why my mom is incredible:

- She never holds back on telling me how she feels, which I've realized is incredibly rare
- Every time I go home for a visit, I can count on her to squeal with glee and give one of the best hugs I've ever gotten
- If I need someone to get excited with or for me, I can always count on her
- She always tells me I'm pretty, even though she HAS to, I get the feeling she wants to
- We moved seven times when I was a kid, and ever the nerd-breeder, one of our first stops would be the library to get cards in our new zip code
- When I was living in Los Angeles two years ago, she covered the bathroom mirror with words of encouragement for my first day of work
- She still talks to me even though I was an awful, moody teen
- When I was in college she used to send care packages to all of my roommates and me "just because"
- She bought me The Newlyweds DVDs for Christmas one year and gave them to me in a brown paper bag because she knew I was embarrassed over my love for Nick Lachey
- I know she's had an incredibly difficult life, but most of the time you wouldn't know it
-To this day when I say "I'm just tired" she knows there's more to it and won't give up until I spill the beans
- She tried to grow pot in our backyard

And even though she doesn't read this, I wanted all four of you who do to know why I love my mama.

Monday, September 15, 2008

C'mon Get Happy

I need a quick reminder of what makes me happy. Monday was not my best day. After I saw my car's damage, I kicked into full "woe is me" gear. I cried in front of my boss, which is so tacky (and why a woman can't be president!), but in my defense he asked me how I was doing. We all know that is the worst question to ask when you're in a sour mood.

I've snapped out of it, with a little help from running this morning to get the endorphins going. But, here are a few things that have made me happy as of late.

Veggie Corn Dogs for dinner:

Sunday's Pickle Festival (check out the creepy glove action):

Hot Guys. On Bikes. Playing Polo:

This guy's jean cargo shorts:
A ferris wheel in the middle of a downtown New York street:

Re-reading one of my favorite books:

Happy Monday!

What I find this morning when I go to move my car for street cleaning:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bonus panties!

After coming home from a night out with my friends at 5:30 am like some sort of Van Halen groupie, I found ANOTHER box from Victoria's Secret at my door with two more pairs of underpants. Amazing!

Friday, September 12, 2008

I think I'm in love

Last week, I sent a big box of books to my friends and the most adorable baby alive in California. Said baby, Eleanor, and I are both big fans of Ian Falconer's Olivia character, so I had to hook a fellow fan up.

I came home from work last night to a giant package outside my door. My friends bought me eight pairs of underpants from Victoria's Secret as a thank you. It was one of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever received. Because of them, I can stay alive and well for eight more days than before.

Check out my new knickers:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Game! Horse Face

Last night, my friends' band was playing a show downtown. I got to the lounge around 9 pm. They were originally supposed to play at 10 pm, but then it got pushed back to 11 pm.

We had a lot of time to kill, and a reprehensible opening act to drown out, so my friend Matt and I decided to take pictures. I came up with an idea for a new game called Horse Face.

Rules:
1. Take a picture making a silly expression
2. Review the picture with your opponent
3. Your opponent must copy the expression to the best of his ability

If the expression is a match, the opponent counter-expressions. If it's a dud, you get a letter. The pictures we took are amazing; I hadn't laughed that hard in a long time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Grope Gripe

On the commute home last night I got really excited when I saw a seat available on the subway. I took out my iPod and book and started reading.

The guy sitting next to me had a backpack on his lap and looked like he had a rough day and probably needed the love a good woman. Unfortunately, he decided to choose my left thigh as a good place to start.

When I sat down his hands were underneath his backpack; when I sat down he placed them at his sides - this isn't proper train etiquette.

I continued with my book (read: using my peripheral vision to keep an eye on his hand) and within seconds, the guy had his palm resting on my thigh. Mistakes happen, so I gave him the "what the fuck" eyes - the same eyes you give to someone talking in a movie theater. He didn't flinch, just looked back.

Had this worked for him before?

I got up immediately - sad to relinquish reading time - and scowled the rest of the way home. It might be time for New York to adapt like the Japanese.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why I was late to work today

1) My building ran out of hot water; there was some sink bathing

2) I had to move my car (parked a 20 minute walk away) for street cleaning

3) Frankie got shot. I was driving around looking for a space when I turned down a street with a long line of cars. The line crawled forward and a cop stopped me because they were filming something. A car screeches forward, a man jumps out with a prop gun and screams: BANG! BANG! And then an actress screams at the top of her lungs, "Oh my god, you shot Frankie! My husband, Frankie! Ohhhh."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kermit Bale

My friend just let me know there is a lot more in common between two of my favorite actors than I had thought.

Kermit the Frog and Christian Bale.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Laundro-loathe

I hate doing laundry. And, now, even my mom hates when I do laundry.

Last year, after letting my laundry pile grow for a month I waited until the last possible day before I had to do it: the day I ran out of underpants. I changed out of my work clothes - sans underpants - laced up my shoes and headed down the steep steps of my apartment building and the rickety steps out the back of the building with a bag that must have weighed at least 50 pounds.

I had three more small steps to conquer before I could get into the communal laundry room. I'm not sure what happened but I fell and heard my ankle pop. I was still hugging my laundry bag and sprawled out over the cold, dirty concrete crying. Instead of surveying the situation, I just continued crying and having a panic attack. I thought I was going to die alone and no one was going to find me. No one in my building would come looking for me and they'd find me days later, tears frozen to my face and not wearing any underpants beneath my jeans (I don't recommend this).

After a few minutes, I realized I wasn't going to die, my ankle wasn't very swollen and I wasn't even bleeding. I crawled into my laundry room and put the clothes in the wash. After all, I didn't have any underpants. I hobbled back up to my apartment and rolled up my pant leg to reveal this:

I called a friend of mine in the neighborhood who was nice enough to take me to the hospital. I was so embarrassed because I've always been told to wear clean underpants in case I have to go to the hospital (among other reasons). And, I was really messing up that life lesson. I got an X-ray and the doctor told me it was broken. The next day my brother was nice enough to drive from Philadelphia to take me to get it casted. After another X-ray, it turns out it wasn't broken.

But, now there is nothing I dread more than doing laundry. I get a knot in my stomach; I'll delay it any way possible. I've worn bathing suit bottoms instead of underpants to delay it one more day. I've purchased new underpants. I had to do laundry today, and I survived. My mom called me to let me know she was thinking of me and to remind me to take my time going down stairs and remain calm. It looks like I'll be safe for one more month.

Everybody Wants to Be Cool

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Just a little dab!

I came home last night to discover my box of Proactiv products had arrived. So excited to have skin as nice as Jessica Simpson and Puff Daddy, I opened it immediately and went to work.
Over the last few years I've started getting more and more pimples that I never had in high school. Maybe it's from stress or New York's nasty air, but it was time to take action.
I used all three steps and my skin immediately started burning like crazy; it felt like that scene in Indiana Jones and Last Crusade when that Nazi melts after he "chose poorly".
My Friday night went from the hope and excitement of glamorous, beautiful skin to laying in my jammies in an air-conditioned bedroom whining to myself with a cold washcloth on my face listening to the Muppets Take Manhattan.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ghostbusters reunion?

Ok, three posts in one day, but a Ghostbusters reunion?

That would be amazing. What's more amazing is I thought about the Ghostbusters this morning at the gym when I saw a woman on the janitorial staff with wearing a vacuum that looked exactly like the ghost trap in the movies.

It's SHOWTIME!

Last night I went to a newly-opened neighborhood bar that an acquaintance of mine just started bartending at. I met up with a friend of mine and her boyfriend at the back of the bar where they had free pool all night.

After bragging that my (now M.I.A.) uncle was ranked number 3 in the state of Florida, I promptly scratched every ball (TWSS) and failed to honor my name.

We kept trading off the table with a younger, neighborhood fellow (who some say looked like Jake Gyllenhaal) wearing a shirt that said, "Someone in Compton Loves Me" and an older gentleman who looked exactly like Martin Landau. (I couldn't remember his name at the time until I looked at my copy of Crimes and Misdemeanors at home. At the bar all I could think about was Walter Matthau). Martin Landau introduced himself as Jack. He seemed like a class act, a real prince - until the bar started giving out free kamikaze shots.

I'm not sure exactly what happened. Maybe it was the shot mixed with his chain smoking, the heat of the game, the mysterious wet spot on his T-shirt, wearing topsiders with no socks - I don't know. But, Jack lost it. He wanted to play teams, and he wanted me. Every shot he said, "It's showtime! SHOOTER!!" He played out of turn, he was solids AND stripes - he couldn't be stopped - until it was my turn to shoot. I scratched the ball AGAIN and he pounded his cue into the ground. Shooter was displeased. We lost the game to my friend and her boyfriend and then I overheard him telling the guy in the Compton shirt that it was my fault. "I woulda won if it wasn't for her."

After I left, apparently Shooter was accusing my bartender friend of stealing the money he was putting down on the bar. Even later, my friends went for a nightcap at a bar around the corner and Shooter was there still living it up. Shooter can't be slowed down, so don't even try.

Down of living in New York City

There are so many different languages in Queens, you can't learn them all. I wish I knew Greek so I could dicepher the words to go along with all five of the obscene gestures two young Greek gentlemen were doing on the subway this morning.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Beauty School Drop-out

I've been going gray since the age of 18. Genetics being the clever mistress they are, my mother started getting her Bonnie Raitt streak since that same age.

With her sympathy and in happier economic times, my parents would pay for me to get my hair dyed all sorts of different colors. I've had red hair, blonde highlights, chestnut brown - everything. Each hair cut and dye job cost about $120 at a chic salon (read: overpriced with half-naked, boob implanted stylists) near my house outside of Los Angeles.

Now, after a debilitating year of bills I'm forced to dye my own hair. This isn't the end of the world because I could never rationalize spending $120 of MY money on anything these days.

Two nights ago I decided it was time to dye my hair because I had quite a few gray hairs on my scalp and a new bonus since turning 26 (last week): gray sideburns. I bought one box of "dark brown" hair dye and went to work. I've dyed my hair so many times I didn't pay much attention to what I was doing. I should have because after it dried I looked like a leopard.

Now, I'll be wearing an executive ponytail to hide my hideous coloring job until more grays start coming in because I can't afford to buy another box of dye and continue to ruin my hair.

Fortunately, this isn't the WORST coloring I've done. In college, I thought it'd be "cool" and "edgy" to dye my bangs and tips of my hair black. I ended up looking scary and goth and two steps away from buying JNCO pants.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Morning confrontations

You know how sometimes in the morning your voice is quiet and gravely because you haven't used it yet? Well, I've been sick since my birthday and it's particularly raspy and Rod Stewart-y in addition to the morning phlegm.

This morning at the gym:
NYSC employee: "Good morning! Enjoy your workout!"
Me: "[Something akin to a growl]" (which may have nothing to do with being sick, I was working out at 6:30 am)

At Target last week:
Check-out Girl: "This dress is taller than me!"
Me: "[Possibly a duck quacking]"

And now, it's getting me into trouble because someone didn't hear a pleasantry exchanged. I was getting some coffee and someone said, "Good morning!" I responded, she must have not heard my sad little voice, so as she's walking away she says, "Damn, good morning to YOU! Bitch."

Monday, September 1, 2008

The ups and more ups of living in New York City

After a relaxing Sunday night of pizza and movies with my roommate, I walk to the end of my street to find this:

Blocks and blocks of a street festival:

And, of course, D.J. Mixx.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The ups and downs of living in New York City

You walk to the subway and see the same homeless man in a mesh shirt you see every morning on the way to work; only this time, he's proudly standing over a pile of poop. His own.

Then, you wait for the subway and see the operator in the front wearing a skeleton glove on his hand to drive the train, and this excites you to the point of joy that totally redeems what just happened.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bathroom etiquette

I've had issues with my work bathroom before.

I'm finally going in there again, but there is this girl who always uses the middle stall to go number 2, which makes it very uncomfortable in a three-stall bathroom. I'd imagine, for boys, it's similar to what happens when someone stands right next to you at the urinal.

I know it's the same girl because she has the WORST taste in footwear: all her shoes look rather hooker-ish (except for her Baby Phat shoes, I loves Baby Phat footwear). Of course, every time I go into the bathroom and there's someone in the middle stall I have to peek at the feet. It's her EVERY TIME. I quietly grimace and shake my fist and the pee anxiety sets in.

Without water running or someone else peeing I totally freeze up. I need encouragement. It becomes even more of a problem with someone is sitting right next to me probably going through the same anxiety as me - only, she's trying not to fart, probably.

So, my message is, don't use the middle stall if you're in a three-stall situation. Give your fellow pee-mate some privacy in an already uncomfortable situation. Oh, and also, stop wearing hooker shoes to work.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jack Donaghy

I just got lunch at the Rock Center Cafe with my old boss and as we're strolling back to the office, we spot Alec Baldwin about to film a scene for 30 Rock. My old boss says a LITTLE too loud, "You nasty little pig!" as we're walking by him and his handlers.

Calling all babies!

In the kitchen at work there is the creepiest flier posted on one of the cabinets.

I've seen ads for roommates needed, shopping promotions and some great passive aggressive notes, but this one is by far the worst.

The headline? Calling all babies!

For what? An uncompensated photo shoot where they dress your baby up to define Yiddish words. They want babies of ALL shapes, sizes, races and dispositions.

If anyone would like the information to sign your baby up, please let me know.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Green thumbs

You could say my parents are plant enthusiasts. This is what they got me for my birthday:



We've always had a beautiful garden full of flowers, and when there was the room, vegetables.

A few years ago, when my parents were starting to become real, actual people, not just boring old parents, we went out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. The conversation switched to drugs, naturally. My dad said, "Well, there's a reason I don't order mushrooms on pizza."

That was funny, but I wanted more. What other drugs had they tried? How old were they when they first smoked pot? Did they smoke when we were asleep? I shared my experiences and learned a few doozies about them, but this was the best one of all:

When I was in high school, they thought my brother was a major stoner. So, doing what parents do, they started snooping through his bureau. They found what they thought were pot seeds. You'd think they'd react how you're supposed to, right?

No. My parents decided to put their green thumbs to use and try to harvest their own supply of marijuana in our backyard. Much to their chagrin, weeks later beautiful marigolds popped up instead. My brother had gotten the seeds from an insurance company's promotion and they had probably spilled out in his drawer.

As of two nights ago my dad won't confirm nor deny the story to my brother (who, in high school, was just shy - not a druggie). But, would you really trust anyone who got stoned halfway through his wedding and is featured wearing sunglasses in half the photos?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Keeping tradition alive

It wouldn't be my birthday if I wasn't sick. On the eve of my 26th birthday, my eyes are starting to close because of my "Nighttime" high (CVS' answer to NyQuil), I keep clearing my throat every few minutes and I'm consuming an insane amount of honey lemon cough drops.

Here is a small list of medical ailments/unfortunate events that have happened on or around my birthday over the years:
- The aforementioned fainting on a subway platform/relationship break-up/grandfather passing
- On my eighth birthday, I set up our MINI-trampoline right next to the swimming pool in our backyard so I could jump up higher and right into the pool. I attempted the jump and my feet got stuck under the cloth covering the springs. My body went up and got yanked down with my knees hitting the pavement full force.
- I wanted to see the latest Woody Allen movie on my birthday, when my mother discovered - as we walked towards the theater - what she thought were SCABIES on my arm. She thought I could have picked them up at the retirement home where I was a waitress. I spent the rest of the day with the doctor. (in retrospect this was a good thing as Curse of the Jade Scorpion was TERRIBLE)
- I had lice. I still went to my birthday party, but endured the most violent and rigorous of RID treatments before and after. My friends commented on how shiny and beautiful my hair was; they had no clue I'd been raked over for the past week.
- My mother scheduled a dentist appointment on my birthday (at least it wasn't a lady doctor appointment - she liked to book those on Christmas Eve)

There are more honorable mentions, but it's certainly a proud tradition. In fact, one year my sister got very ill on her birthday and said, "But, [my sister] is the one who's supposed to have the terrible birthdays!"

Despite being sick, I'm planning on making the best of it tomorrow. I'm driving back to New York after a very relaxing weekend in Northern Massachusetts (I can actually hear frogs outside right now). Then I'm going out for Mexican food with some of my favorite people.

p.s. Happy Birthday Brooklyn Sea Hag!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Stick it to me

Among my swaps at the NY Gift Fair, I mentioned I got an acupuncture treatment. I give this woman all of our New Age books and she'd give me acupuncture. My back has been really bothering me since then, and now I'm afraid this woman used some sort of voodoo on me.

It wasn't your typical acupuncture treatment with needles, she used an electronic acupuncture tool that shot electricity into my "trouble spots" to "open up my vessels". Essentially, I was being electrocuted. When she was applying the tool all over my upper back, I would spontaneously spasm and my arm would move and I'd get goose bumps, then I lost feeling in my hands. They've been a little tingly ever since.

While giving me the treatment, she said I had a lot of tension in my shoulders. I explained it was probably because the night before I had carried four laptops over five avenues from the Javits Center to my office. Now, since getting the treatment I keep getting a sharp pain in my right shoulder blade.

This isn't the first time I've experienced adverse effects post-acupuncture. Last summer, I tried it because my doctor - whose waiting room has a serenity waterfall - suggested it. She said it wouldn't hurt (it did) and it would alleviate my stress (it didn't). I was in her office because a few weeks prior I had fainted on a subway platform at Astor Place. I was taken to the hospital and they recorded an irregular heartbeat. Apparently, my irregular heartbeat is likely to be activated by stress, which at the time I had plenty of: the same weekend my boyfriend of five years was moving out of our apartment, my grandfather died.

When she put a few needles in my ears, I was immediately uncomfortable and lost sensation in my hands. Then, she put a needle in my calf and I instantly burst into tears. I wasn't in physical pain, but she hit something that all I could do was cry. Buried emotions? Hitting a nerve? I have no idea, but I immediately asked her to turn off the Pure Moods CD and let me go home with a prescription for Prozac.

If I have to find a silver lining in all of this, it's that now my back feels extra sensitive. So sensitive, I finally have found that stray hair that I know has been growing on my back that I couldn't feel until now. I have one over-active hair follicle and my ex-boyfriend used to groom me and it hadn't been found since we broke up. So, you can imagine my excitement of extracting a two-inch hair from my back while in the car today.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mob Mentality

I've been working the New York International Gift Fair for the past week hawking books and I have never been happier to see something end. The manner in which it ended, however, was absurd.
I had heard that at the close of the show it gets crazy because we give away all our product and people stop by in droves. But, I didn't realize that I would lose my temper, yell at old women and have to physically remove people from the booth.
All day people were stopping by to ask when we were giving away our books, and can they reserve some for later because "I have the cutest granddaughter" or "my son would really love this book." I said no politely at first, but then I had to put my foot down and say, "Lady, everyone has an adorable granddaughter - no piles, no reservations, no exceptions."
The only exception of course was if you were willing to trade me product from your booth. I got some LOVELY items including a "Glow-in-the-Dark Flesh-Eating Zombie" figurine set, a business card holder, an acupuncture session and a telephone! Seriously.
We were giving the books away at noon, and by 10:30 there were people milling around holding stacks and stacks of books. One woman started loading them in bags; when I saw this I politely, yet firmly reminded her that the show was still going on for another hour and half. "But, people have already taken them from outside of your booth." She was right, people had started to steal all the books I couldn't police anymore. But, this woman was trying to negotiate with me why her rude behavior should be acceptable. By 11 am, there was this nutty woman who brought FIVE boxes and said she was mailing them to Israel.

Finally, my boss showed up and laid down the law with an announcement to the tune of "You are allowed only five books each, the show isn't over, you people are greedy animals." This hit the Box Woman really hard, who had come by the booth five times prior to let me know her plans with the books.
We had over 200 books in the booth and at noon, it took 5 finutes for them all to be gone. I heard one thank you.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pop Quiz

Why am I single?
A) I am halfway through completing my "Love Can Wait" Su Doku book.
B) The only boys I've interacted with lately have been on cross-country flights and proclaim their UNDYING LOVE for Dane Cook.
C) I haven't gotten a pedicure in so long that my toe nails have been cutting my other toes when they're crammed into one of my many pairs of pointy-toed shoes.
D) All of the above

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I don't fit in at my gym.

Here are a few things the girl in the first row of treadmills thought about at the gym:
I hope they're playing my favorite House music re-mixed by DJ Clue.
There better be at least five guys who can bench press double my weight who will stare at me as I mount the treadmill.
I hope the booty shorts I decided to run in don't cover up my Playboy Bunny tattoo I had strategically placed on my lower back for such occasions.
The shirt I decided to wear looks really great on me, but you know, it looks better off of me and hanging on my treadmill.

Here are a few things I thought about at the gym:
Doesn't my iPod volume go up any higher to drain out this awful music?
Good lord, why couldn't every guy decide to skip the gym today, I'm sweating too much.
It's best to wear two sports bras at once to create the best pancake boob effect I can.
My droopy sweatpants and extra large Loveburger shirt are perfect to exercise in because you can't see any of my parts moving.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What I learned in Cincinnati

I flew home last week for a wedding and had a brief stopover in Cincinnati.

On the short flight from LaGuardia to Ohio, I sat next to a very friendly actor from New York who used to be in the Blue Man Group. We talked about all sorts of things: Sigur Ros, Dr. Wayne Dyer and our parents' and grandparents' relationship when it came to war.

I told him that my grandfather gave my dad a hard time for not enlisting during the Vietnam War and how he thought my dad would miss out on a great deal of camaraderie. Of course our conversation shifted to the current conflict, and if we knew anyone over there, etc. I said I felt so far removed from the war and didn't understand how it affects families whatsoever. That was, until I had a few hours before my connecting flight to Los Angeles.

I was sitting in the terminal - people-watching - as a gate was emptying. I noticed a few families with balloons and signs waiting at the gate exit, which was bizarre to see because that's not generally allowed. As passengers were filing into the terminal, they weren't rushing to their next gate or the baggage claim. They were gathering around the families with the balloons and signs to wait with them. People walking by stopped to watch, and the whole terminal was captivated by who was coming off the plane.

Then, a woman who was milling around the gate screamed at the top of her lungs, "Bobby!" She ran toward a man in an Army uniform and jumped on him, wrapping her legs around him. She couldn't stop screaming and crying, and soon tears were streaming down my face as well. I looked around self-consciously, but it didn't matter because EVERYONE was crying. The terminal erupted in applause, which made me sob more.

Later, another soldier exited to more applause. And then another.

While I still can't fully comprehend what it's like to send a child, husband or brother off to war (whether you agree with it or not); I'm glad I got to witness what it's like to see them come home.