Monday, February 28, 2005

Proclamation

WHEREAS Eyewitness News has tracked a noreaster headed straight for my town; and
WHEREAS an anticipated fourteen inches of snow will blanket the roads in a matter of hours; and
WHEREAS it would be unconscionable for my company to have me risk life and limb driving home at 6:30 in the evening,

I HEREBY DECLARE, this twenty-eighth day of Febrary, 2005, that in all likelihood I will be going home early.

As a kid, the only thing better than a full snow day was an early dismissal. True, you still had to get up early and you probably even had to go to math or--God help you--gym, but there is no joy comparable to the unbridled elation of twelve hundred kids learning they can leave RIGHTNOW. The announcement would always come during fifth period in high school, right in the middle of class. You'd be mid-proof, or mid-essay, or mid-half-assed-discussion-of-Julius-Caesar and with one single crackle of the intercom system you (like every single student in the school) were stricken inhumanly silent, so tense with anticipation that you found yourself gripping the sides of your desk.

I don't think I ever even heard the entire announcement. It would always go something like "Attention all students and teachers: Due to inclement weather, the school board has decided that all students must go..." followed by a window-shattering scream. Doors were flung open. Teachers half-heartedly attempted to keep kids in their seats, but we fled our classes with an urgency usually reserved for P.O.Ws escaping a labor camp. Books were thrown. Chalk fell to the floor with the vibration of the stampede and was pulverized underfoot. Desks were toppled. There was hugging and kissing in the hallways. And, just as the roads reached that stage of icy one could justifiably call treacherous, Yorktown Central Schools loosed hundreds of freshly-licensed drivers into the great, increasingly white, beyond.

Early dismissals are honestly my greatest childhood memories. I can't imagine that going home early today will be quite as exciting, but that's not to say I'm not fantisizing about smashing my coffee cup at the first sign of precipitation, kicking over my chair, screaming "YES, YOU MOTHERFUCKERS, I'M GOIN' HOME!" and sprinting for the elevator with one arm in my coat.

Until then, though, I've got to look busy.

This weekend, Kai and I saw Cursed, a long overdue installment in the "Guy in a Suit" film genre, a horror movie subset shamefully neglected of late. Seriously, what's better than watching Shannon Elizabeth (who else?) mauled to bits by a terrifying werewolf whose diabolical zipper is devilishly exposed? Who can pass up watching Xtina Ricci and her giant head narrowly escape the fatal bite of a monster's fiendishly rubber fangs? Not this girl.

Cursed, aside from getting my enthusiastic two thumbs up and possibly even a high-five, has really inspired me to get serious about my own cinematic aspirations. I want to make a horror film in the "Guy in a Suit" vein, except the monster suit would literally be a zip-up hoodie. The evil anti-hero would be kind of a skinny guy in a track jacket. I was thinking I could call it The Insulated, or Thermal, or maybe Your Mother Knows You Didn't Wear Your Coat Last Fall [And You Could've Caught Your Death, But You Never Listen.].

I figure if the Blair Witch Project got away with making sticks their villain, I'm guaranteed to break box-office records.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Go Drag a Bus.

For all those fearing whether or not I'd live through my war with the stomach flu, I am happy to inform you that I have left the battlefield victorius and mostly unscathed. I'm actually at work today; I probably should've stayed home another day, but I absolutely had to buy my March train pass so I dragged myself out of bed and through three inches of brand new snow to the station this morning. Once I was there it was difficult to justify not getting on the train.

Also, it's payday and there isn't much I won't suffer through to feel a check in my hot little hands.

I've had a bit of an internal debate about this, but I've decided that I'm going to tell a story that involves throwing up. I recognize puke is disgusting and not everyone wants to hear about it, but this particular situation was so funny it made me laugh mid-heave. Thus, I came to the conclusion that the following story has sufficient comedic merit to justify subjecting you to its inherent grossness. If you don't want to hear about puking, skip the next several paragraphs. Pretend I'm writing about having a tea party.

Wednesday I got to work with a really lousy headache. By the time I was leaving the office, I was starting to feel weirdly feverish. On the train, I was trying to strike up some bargain with God--good deeds for all mankind in exchange for not puking on public transportation. I drove home faster and swervier than I've ever driven, and spent the next 24 hours completely sick out of my mind.

Okay, here's where the real puke-related stuff comes in: I had been throwing up all night. Somewhere around 4:00 in the morning I began to feel a little bit better--but still too sick to be able to fall asleep. I turned on my TV in hopes of finding something to watch that would take my mind off of how miserable I felt. Of course, this being 4:00 in the morning, nearly every channel was showing a food-related infomercial. The last thing I was able to look at without my digestive system turning inside out was a rotisserie grill full of dripping chickens, or George Foreman draining the fat off six giant hamburgers.

The only safe thing I could find on TV was the ESPN StrongMan Challenge. I find myself accidentally watching this more frequently than one would expect, and I've grown to really dig the challenge where a competitor has to drag a bus 50 yards. It seemed like this was the safest, least disgusting, least food-related, least nauseating thing I could watch.

I saw the boulder-lifting competition and the anchor-pulling competition sans vomitus and, as Vasily began the safe-lifting competition, I began to feel like maybe I could actually fall asleep. In this particular challenge, two safes have been welded onto a pole, creating an uber-heavy dumbell for an uber-stupid body-builder to lift. The object of the competition is to complete the most safe-lifting repetitions in the least amount of time.

Vasily got off to a good start. I believe that nine repetitions was the number to beat, and he got up to five with no problem. Six was a real struggle.

On seven, his face turned bright red as he fought to heft the safes off the ground.

On the eighth repetition, he burst something in his head and blood exploded out of his nose.

Vomit, in turn, exploded out of my face.

Thank you, ESPN.

And that's the story of my lovely tea party. I've never had such an enjoyable cup of earl gray or such a delicious scone.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

I want to die.

I apologize for my lack of blogging, but I've been throwing up instead. Either I've been impregnated by the seed of the devil or I have the stomach flu that's singlehandedly taken out half of my mother's nursery school. I'll leave it open for bets. In the meantime, like I said, I'll be throwing up.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Snickers or Milky Way?

Though normally I adhere to my strict "one post a day" code of conduct--so as not to run out of blog fodder too quickly--I felt that my last post was somewhat lacking, and this event was sufficiently ridiculous to warrant immediate recapitulation.

I was sitting at a table in the lunch room/kitchen/library/hallway, just finishing up my kiwi and getting ready to knock out the rest of Mrs. Dalloway when my favorite member of the upper-medical-division-echelon approached the vending machine. I recognized that my sitting alone left me virtually defenseless against any small talk aimed at my person, but it was too late to whip out my iPod, the solitary luncher's only weapon.

He stood in front of the vending machine jingling some change in his hand. "Life's so hard," he said.

"Why's that?" I bit.

"Snickers or Milky Way...it's an impossible decision," he answered.

Thinking I would squeak out some kind of quip and put the small talk to bed, I responded that my answer to that question was Milky Way, every time.

"Well then, I'm sorry to disappoint you," he said, purchasing a Snickers bar.

It was beginning to smack of the argument I once had with a certain creative writing professor in the middle of workshop regarding my obvious stupidity, as evidenced by my only consuming the white LifeSavers in a five flavor roll--the kind of argument where one participant is the kind of surly that can never be assuaged.

I guess I kind of laughed and hoped that the conversation was over. As usual, totally wrong. What ensued was a five-minute lecture about a woman he once worked with who wore only purple. She wore purple from head to toe, wrote in purple ink, had purple business cards, and special ordered purple paper clips. Each time she needed a new outfit she would go to a department store and ask to be shown to "the purple section."

"My point is," he concluded accusatorily, "life is really easy when you fixate on only one thing." Then he walked off.

In conclusion, I have learned that one's entire life can and will be judged solely on one's continued preference of candy bar. If anyone ever sees me in a cold sweat at a convenience store, a box full of Snickers strewn at my feet, you'll know what's up.

This is a crummy post.

So I feel a little bit guilty about this, but I haven't yet seen "The Gates" and I have lost all interest in doing so. Don't get me wrong, I'm behind Christo and Jeanne-Claude every crazy, cloth-covered, orange-haired step of the way. I just cannot believe the incessant media coverage of these things. The New York Times has had a month-long boner for The Gates, and every day there's a new Gates update. Will Colorado get their Gates? A taxi hit one of the Gates! Graffiti on the Gates. How will your pet react to the Gates? Thankfully, the Times has exhaustively covered each of these pressing Gates-related issues.

I think I can sleep peacefully even if I don't get to Central Park in the next week because I'm going to see Lipstick and Dynamite instead. It's a documentary on womens' professional wrestling in the forties and fifties. That is art, my friends, that is art.

Lord, I have a raging, horrible, elephant-stampede-in-my-cranium headache. So, here's news in brief before I pass out at my keyboard:

1. My computer may be broken.
2. I've lasted until 12:15 p.m. and managed to only pick the nail polish off one half of one nail.
3. I'm having a crisis about possibly working for a corporation I have serious moral objections to. However, that won't matter if this chick doesn't respond to my last e-mail requesting more information.
4. My lunch involves kiwi. This is exciting.
5. On second listening, the new Kills album is still not so hot.
6. I was so very pleased with everyone's participation in my song title/love life game yesterday.
7. According to a cryptic Chinese nurse Kai worked with a few weeks ago, tomorrow is the first full moon of the Chinese new year, on which one should make some serious wishes. She said that she once wished for a particular career on the full moon fifteen days after the Chinese New Year celebration, and less than a year later she was working in the very job of her dreams.
8. Print on Demand. P.O.D., right? Wouldn't that be an appropriate abbreviation? It could be pronounced like the word "pod," or it could be prounced by the letter, as in "pee, owe, dee." Why, then, must the company sanctioned abbreviation be PODe [pronounced "poda"], you crazy German fuckers? Why? You can take your Nazi "e" and shove it.
9. I will have serious issues with the American public, nay, democracy as a system, if Aloha Micheaux does not win American Idol.
10. Cacace. Out.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I Been Searching For So Long / And I Been Singing The Same Songs

Back from my three-day weekend, I've spent a highly productive two hours at work this morning staring at the piles of paper on my desk and marvelling at how little work they yield.

I've also listened to the Sun's new album, having (at long last!) successfully transferred it to my iPod. I don't know why I feel so maternal about this band, but I really do speak about them to strangers with a pride usually reserved for the fruit of one's own loins. Buy everything they have available thus far, and then put it on some sort of portable listening device, and then listen to "Sandy" over and over as you walk to work, and dance at all the red lights, and smile at the cop in the cop car who laughs at you dancing at the red light. Then wait on the edge of your seat for their new album. Then buy that too.

Then go see them in concert, because they're really good, and sometimes, if you're lucky, you'll be brave enough to talk to their extraordinarily attractive bass player, who is very nice. I mean, they're all cute. But that's not the point. These fuckers are G-O-O-D. The one time I saw them play, their lead singer's glasses flew off his face--an event I can personally vouch is the hallmark of someone totally, completely rocking out.

I rocked out all weekend, lemme tell you. I rocked out cleaning my room, I rocked out rearranging my furniture. I totally fucking rocked out watching eight hours of Project Runway, and I rocked out even more hardcore dropping my little brother off at his self-described "nerd night." He was going to a friend's house to play Magic, he explained, because if you don't do something on-purpose-nerdy for a while every now and then, it'll slip out at an inopportune time.

True. Although, I think that even if my Project Runway fascination were to slip out in this particular office, I'd be greeted with a jealous, "Oh man! You watch TV? That's so bad-ass! I spent all weekend changing the litterboxes and treating my extreme nasal allergies!"

I suppose I did leave my house once this weekend. I had dinner on Saturday night with Kai and my family at the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate my dad's birthday. Seated in the deepest bowels of the restaurant, I consumed enough food to occupy even the deepest bowels of my person.

Stuck for something to do afterwards, Kai and I dropped in on her friends Matt and Liz, the goth power-couple of the decade. They threw their box of Hennessy in the trunk and we took off towards Pizza and Brew, the restaurant that saw a great portion of my parents' courtship way, way back in the day. I learned quite a bit about the recent population turnover in the New York vampire community, and, as well, had a passionate discussion about how the ban on moshing at concerts is creating children who cannot cope with agression. Not that I go to mosh-able concerts anymore, but the Hole concert I emerged from with bruised ribs and my jeans torn up to my knees [NOT ON A SEAM; physically, do you know how much effort that takes? A LOT of riot grrrl strength, that's how much.] was an important moment in my early adolescence.

It's funny to think that, for those two, Cradle of Filth is the soundtrack of their affection for each other. Or--inasmuch as relationships can be gauged by infomercials--that there are people who really find Patti LaBelle or Luther Vandross incredibly romantic. Or that other people have an Amy Grant kind of love.

Personally, I'm on the lookout for a "Sandy" romance. Perhaps this is why I'm single.

Friday, February 18, 2005

On Bitches of All Sizes

I apologize in advance for any lateness of or incoherence in this post. I'm blaming it on this being Friday and my being distracted by the agonizingly slow passage of time, as well as the dangling carrot of the dinner I'm having tomorrow night at the Cheesecake Factory for my dad's birthday.

Speaking of, I have no idea what to get him. Dads are the worst people to shop for. I have a feeling my Friday evening is going to be spent excavating the tool section of Sears for any item whose purpose I recognize. I'm quite sure, though, that I'll end up at the register with an equally inscrutable piece of metal in each hand, wondering which would better mark my father's passage into his fifty-fourth year, and, more pressingly, which would be at all possible to wrap.

Yesterday Kai and I went to the "good" Starbucks which, after last night's events, I am renaming the "if-only-there-weren't-so-many-LAWS..." Starbucks. Recognizing the fact that it is a Starbucks, I expect to encounter a certain number of giggly high-school kids, their morose social rejects, some old crazies, and at least one group of gabby moms. I can also count on either a schizophrenic or a flamenco guitar player depending on the franchise I choose to patronize.

Last night, though, Kai and I found ourselves at the only remaining table in the place. It was conveniently situated next to a group of four older women who, until their missing fifth arrived, talked in a basically normal fashion. They did appear to be there for some kind of Tupperware-party-like reason, which was slightly strange, because instead of Tupperware they were buying vitamins. The missing woman was their vitamin pusher.

She arrived in a huff with several catalogs, some paperwork, and a huge dufflebag. She handled the bag very gingerly. This being a vitaminy get-together, I assumed that there were glass bottles in the bag and hoped with all my might that they'd be washing down handfulls of pills with their macchiatos. I would've taken pictures.

However, there were no vials of downers in her bag. There was a dog, though. A tiny, white, poofy, stupid, upset, barking dog. I mean, I'm not saying I wouldn't be upset if I was carried around in a dufflebag. A dufflebag is not a pet carrier. [Shout out to O.C. C.S. '02: A vest isn't a shirt, either.]

Victim of animal cruelty or not, little fucker emitted ear-splitting yip after ear-splitting yip, which the owner remedied by shaking the bag and laughing, as if to say, "Ha, weird, isn't it funny when the dog in your purse won't shut up? Don't you just hate that? Oh, what a faux pas! They'll be hearing about this in the Letters section of the Ladies Home Journal next month, ha ha ha!"

Now, I know that right now a tiny dog is the hottest accessory one can have. I understand that when K-Fed and Bit Bit are on the cover of Details it's easy to succumb to the hypnotic appeal of a dog that could comfortably fit between halves of a hamburger bun. However, to all the mini-bitch toting mega-bitches: Jesus, Mary and Joseph, your dog does not need to go everywhere with you. Would you wear your Chanel square-button, six-pocket navy peacoat everywhere? No. Moderation, ladies. Fashion is about moderation.

This morning while wearing my parka with a fur-trimmed hood, I passed a tiny dog--I'm not even talking tiny, here, I'm talking microscopic--wearing a parka with a fur-trimmed hood.

You know there's something wrong with your life when you spend a couple of minutes each day looking for the hidden camera.

Anyway, it's lunch time. Happy President's Day--which I have off, praise the Founding Fathers. Don't forget to decorate your cherry trees and stuff your children's stovepipe hats with wooden teeth.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I've had to say "Homunculus" six times today.

I'm sad to report that I've had no breakthroughs or epiphanies on the career front, although I am eating Sour Skittles like it's my job. If only I could devise a way to be paid for the burning sensation on my tongue, I'd be swimming in it.

I'm not the only one in the world concerned about their current and future employment, however. I was somewhat surprised to discover what a troubling matter it is for seventh graders on the 6 train. In one of my most fruitful eavesdropping sessions to date [second only to a ten year old kid out-philosophizing four Oberlin hippies on the necessity of the war in Iraq], I listened to a good six stops worth of man-to-man heart-to-heart between the two scrawny schoolkids sitting across from me.

The boys waxed romantic before launching into a heavy analysis of the economy. Gold Tooth inquired after a recent trip his friend Puny Mustache had taken to the Dominican Republic. After expressing his sadness that he couldn't have escaped New York's frosty winter for a few days in a tropical clime, Gold Tooth asked whether or not Puny Mustache had succeeded in orchestrating a few romantic moments under the big island moon with any amorous local ladies during his trip. Puny Mustache, miffed at the mere suggestion that his robust manliness would fail to attract every eligible female in the entire Dominican Republic, assured Gold Tooth that he had done just fine with the ladies. Gold Tooth then asked whether or not the Dominican women wanted to come back to New York with him, because if they did "you can't let women do that to you, man. They find out you're from New York and next thing you know it they're here, spending all your money, and they don't ever get a job, and then you gotta support them. Nah way, man. Nah way."

It was at this point that they somehow turned their conversation to the state of the Union. I had previously been listening to my iPod, but at the prospect of hearing their views on politics I turned down the volume while still wearing my decoy headphones.

I was ready to laugh hysterically at the seventh-grade take on the economy until Gold Tooth began telling Mr. Mustache about how his uncle had lost his job during the first Bush administration and, unable to find another job anywhere, was forced to move into his car a few months ago. Tooth said his uncle's been out of work for three years now and was finally evicted from his apartment just as winter was beginning. He says he keeps his TV in the front seat, his clothes in the back, and a grill in the trunk for cooking food. Mustache said he knew a guy who did the same thing. "I hate Bush," Tooth said. "Nobody I know's doing any better. Everybody I know's doing worse." Mustache nodded.

The solemnity of the moment was somewhat breached when they began speculating where one would engage in intimate relations with one's girlfriend were one living in one's car. Tooth speculated: "You take her home, she be like 'We gonna drive to your house?' and you be like 'No, we home. I got a grill in the trunk and everything.'"

Tooth and Mustache stayed on when I got off at Spring Street, and my walk to work was a little bit less like the march to the guillotine when I could be comforted by the fact that my car was nothing more than the vehicle that took me to and from my house every day. I am lucky that I have a job and a place to stay, I really am.

I just wish I liked it, is all.

Or, at the very least, that I hadn't just received an e-mail telling me I have a two-hour training next week discussing "the new global workflow to set book prices and print runs, which will be followed up by a Q&A session." I really like that this e-mail was entitled "Invitation," as if there were any measure of choice or amusement involved.

I guess for today I have to be content with the fact that I don't live in my car [which is so small I can't even fathom where I'd fit the grill] and that my secret work boyfriend spoke to me today at the photocopier. Granted the entire conversation was:

SWB: Hey, Kathy, do you smell pancakes?
Me: Yeah. That's really unfair. And also impossible.
SWB: Unless someone smuggled them in.
Me: That's total bullshit!
SWB: Yup.

Pancakes have never smelled so sweet.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

When I Grow Up / I'll Be Stable

I'm having a crisis about my career, in that I don't actually have one and I should probably get to work on getting one before I end up as a medical publisher for the rest of my whole, entire, miserable, cat-loving, kidney-transplant-picture-filing, peanut-butter-sandwich-at-my-desk-for-lunching life. I know I'm wasting my time when even my boss says, "Don't worry about not liking it here. I don't plan on retiring from here, and neither will you."

See, but here's the thing: my very expensive and eye-opening liberal arts education was worth the money in that during its course I acquired the ability write fifteen hundred words on a topic I have not read even a single syllable about, and cook virtually anything using only one of those dorm-specific very hot water taps. However, in terms of actual career preparation, I've kinda got zilch. And where does one go from zilch?

apparently, the answer is a resounding "grad school."

Not me, though. I'm none too thrilled with the idea of jumping into 17th grade. I may very well pursue some kind of fancy degree in the future, but at the moment I flinch at the prospect of ever having to write another paper or "discuss" another book about which the class's only common ground is having not read it in favor of drinking.

So, I'm not sure what to do. I have come up with a list of possible career paths, but each has its own set of complications.

1. E-bay model
Pros: Get to say "I'm a model" when I'm asked what I do. Get to work from home.
Cons: Clothes smell like mothballs. Not very lucrative. Head often cropped out of photograph.

2. Rock star
Pros: Get to say "Security, get this plebe outta here" when I'm asked what I do. Retirement benefits include VH1's "Where Are They Now?" as opposed to a crappy pension. Mind-blowing coolness.
Cons: Aversion to needles makes necessary bout with heroin addiction that much harder. Do not have a band. Cannot write songs.

3. Bartender
Pros: Liquor, liquor everywhere. Receive tips. Could revert to preferred nocturnal state.
Cons: Being a bartender.

Anyone have any other ideas? What should I be when I grow up (like, next week)?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Cupids and Flowers and Hearts

My personal, interior Red Cross is on the job today doing some post-Valentine's Day disaster recovery. My imaginary volunteers are distributing safety blankets and juice-boxes as we speak to the parts of my psyche a little worse for the V-Day wear. What's great is because they're my Red Cross who live only in my head, I get to make them wear old-timey nurse uniforms with that pin-on cardboard hat with a cross printed on it. They're very obliging about it, and besides, I've heard from a reputable source that those orthopedic nurse shoes are actually very comfortable.

Extended metaphors aside, Valentine's Day wasn't the greatest.

It was doomed from the moment I got to work, though. My company fastidiously celebrates only the most secular of holidays. We don't acknowledge Christmas or Hannukah; instead, the Mathematics department designs a "Happy New Year" card each year to send out to all employees and book contributors. This year, the front of the card had a picture of a rock on it. The Lord is Come! Examine this igneous specimen! Hosannah in the Highest!

Apparantly, Valentine's Day is sufficiently godless for them--"them" being "whoever it is in charge of going to Krispy Kreme." I knew something was going on when I arrived on my floor and found a moth-eaten decorative red pillow hanging kind of sideways off the door handle. "I luv you," it declared. "I want to di," I answered.

The festivities didn't stop there, though. There were two red carnations hanging out of a giant vase on the reception desk. Two flowers in a huge vase is the botanical equivalent of a combover. It was the saddest bouquet I've ever laid eyes on. I managed to walk through the first section of cubicles without any further declarations of corporate love, though I did find complimentary doughnuts in the kitchen. This was actually a very nice gesture. Try as I might, I'm at a loss for anything disparaging to say about a pastry with pink sprinkles on it.

Doughnut in hand, I proceeded towards my desk. Before I got there, though, I came face to face with the one decoration in my section.

The curious thing about helium balloons is that they have a life span. One can't inflate a balloon and expect it to hang around the ceiling forever. Within even a few hours, you'll notice a previously perfect balloon doesn't tug on your hand quite the same way. By the next morning, the balloon's looking you in the face, a trail of grubby ribbon dragging slack on the floor. It's all downhill from there. It'll be on the floor by evening.

This is what I found tied to an empty cubicle. One. Dying. Pink. Balloon. It had obviously been in the office since the night before and lost all its helium by the time I found it. One frigging half-inflated pink balloon, tied to an empty cubicle lest the excessive Valentine cheer it imparts kill a productive employee.

And people say the business world is heartless.

Work was work, and that's to be expected. On the subway back to the train, I sat next to a girl smiling angelically down at a single red rose. I was fighting the urge to seperate her head from her body when I was distracted by the couple making out across the aisle; theoretically, it should've been just as offensive to me, but they were at least fifty-five and the woman had braces, so it was actually kind of fascinating.

But what of my unwitting Valentine, the Hot Dad? Well, he was on the train yesterday, though the seat next to him was occupied by a giant bouquet of red roses instead of your narrator. When he asked to borrow my pen to fill out his wife's card I couldn't help but wonder how much it would really hurt to throw oneself on the third rail.

When I thought it couldn't get any worse, we left to go stand by the door. He unplugged my headphones to have me listen to a Modest Mouse song he really likes (applicably entitled "Ohio"), and I made him listen to the Le Tigre cover of "I'm So Excited." Of course then we just went through each other's iPods, and he threw a fit when he found "The Emperor's New Clothes" by Sinead O'Connor on mine. This is my on-repeat song of late. Could it conceivably be any more LifeTime Afternoon Movie of him to like that song?

Anyway, long story short, when I wished him a Happy Valentine's Day at the bottom of the stairs, he hugged me.

[Let's all just take a moment and sit with that.]

Then I saw Charade with my mother, and sat next to an elderly couple who not only announced every person, place or thing they recognized ("Henry Mancini!" "Notre Dame!" "Audrey Hepburn!" "Hey, we're at a movie!"), but also had horrible indigestion and burped up what smelled like salami for the entire one hour and fifty-three minutes I sat next to them.

It was terribly romantic.

Monday, February 14, 2005

How Many Ways Do I Love Thee, O Valentine?

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Actually, violets are violet,
Hence the name.

Roses are red,
Ramen is for lunch
Because these goddamn roses
Cost fifty bucks a bunch.

Roses are red,
Daisies are white,
Sugar is sweet,
And James Brown is ooooold.

Roses are red..
Violets...etcetera.
Hey, assistant,
Can you finish this letter?
Before lunch.

Roses are red,
Blood is red
Blood is red
Blood is red
Blood is red
Blood is red
BLOOD IS RED
RED RED RED REDRUM RED

Roses are red,
Oranges are orange.

Roses are red,
You're hot like fire.
But before we begin:
Are you wearing a wire?

Roses are red,
Violet's a slut.

Roses are red,
And your face is blue
In this cubist painting
I made of you.
(P.S. I'm sorry you have a boob for a head. The spirit was moving me.)

Roses are dead
When you don't water them
Like I asked you to do
HOW MANY TIMES NOW,
But GOD FORBID ANYONE ELSE do ANYTHING around here.

Roses are White
When you're talking
About the Golden Girls.

Roses are red,
Hobos are poor.
I'll hate you tomorrow
If this turns out to be a sore.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue--
Da ba dee, da ba da.

Friday, February 11, 2005

SWF says TGIF

I managed to pluck the one dirty sweater off a calf-high pile of clean, "spring fresh" laundry this morning. The one dirty white sweater, specifically. I doesn't matter how stain-free your jeans are or how crisp your button-down is when you've got tiny fooprints of Chinese food "brown sauce" [note: that is a disturbingly vague food name] across your right boob.

I have a feeling that's the way the rest of today is going to go. It's theoretically pay day, which is normally cause for a tiny dance in my seat, but I received two very threatening automated e-mails earlier this week from the I-Clock Robot telling me my time card had not been approved. I swear, if I don't get a paycheck, I'm gonna commit unspeakable acts against each and every member of payroll. Or, y'know, cry a little.

Just overheard one line of a phone conversation an editor is having, very loudly, in his office: "Is Unibrow freakin' out? Yeah, I like her, but she never cleans her glasses. Well, if she had a husband..."

Other than that, it's Friday. This week has been pretty much devoid of blog-worthy excitement, so I've decided to give you another installment of:

The Greatest Hits of CraigsList Personal Ad Headlines.

-Brilliant MWM for BBW for FWB/LTR
OMG! I'm the STR8 QT W 4 U, MWM. Lets GTG? A dinner 4 2? RSVP ASAP. NAACP. ASPCA. NAFTA? NATO Ok.

--Angel need to rescue me from my drug addiction
Do you think he can ride a bike? Because, you know, I would think his GIANT BALLS would get in the way.

--A Romantic Gent seeks that unique spark
That's funny, becuase this Bonnie Lass seeks a Kindred Soul. Shall we meet for a sherry and a rousing game of backgammon? Meet me at The Parlor, on the corner of 1835 and I Bet You're Into Renaissance Fairs.

--i would love some cocoa on this cold day
There's a Starbucks on every corner. Take some initiative.

--If your a SWEET PETITE the we need to MEET
If YOU'RE an OLD FART, I gotta DART. If you're secretly looking for a twelve-year old GIRL, I'm gonna HURL. If you don't get a DATE, you can always go see "Pooh's Heffalump Movie" and MASTURBATE.

--"OY, IT'S ALLMUST WAILIN' TIME'S DAY UND I DUN'T HAFF A VIFE!!!"
I'm shocked.

--Ladies, Let Me Work For You For FREE Tonight!!
'Cause usually, I charge like ten, fifteen bucks for ALL FOUR INCHES of this lovin'. If you're into bargains, you can't pass this shit up.

-Amber Alert
That's right. Nothing makes the ladies feel as amorous as the police code for an abducted child. Just think about him--one hand clamped over a blonde toddler's mouth, futilely tring to shift his van into third on a deserted back road. I know I'm hot.

--where is my cute Italian princess?
Italy?

--Fitness man
Seeks Exercise Girl for super-powered muscle love!

--Woman should be put up on a pedestal
..after being dipped in concrete. Then I put them in my "Garden of Earthly Delights," and pinch my nipples whilst fondling their hardened nether-regions.

--I couldn't have laid the cheese any harder than this !!!
Thaaaat's what that smell is.

--YOGA FOR VALENTINE'S DAY---GET HOT AND TWISTY
AND THEN GET LIGHTLY SALTED, AND THEN BE SOLD FOR ABOUT TWO DOLLARS ON THE STREET, AND THEN BE ENJOYED DIPPED IN MUSTARD.

From the Obituaries

Arthur Miller died.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

How to Win Friends and Influence People

"Contributor's contribution" may be the worst penned phrase in the history of the Queen's English, but that doesn't change the fact that I have to go through a fourteen page contract and change all the lower-case c's to upper-case c's.

Instead of capitalizing, I'm on Friendster shopping for boys. In my opinion, Brad has recently hit the Friendster hot-guy lotto (for, like, millions), so I was once again inspired to peruse the gallery of electronically savvy twenty-somethings in my zip code. It's an undeniably sick phenomenon that we've all opted into a veritable Sears catalog for people, but that doesn't stop me from updating my profile every time a more flattering, more artistically blurry picture of me is taken.

What's funny about Friendster is that everyone's profile (in no way am I excepting mine from the rule) is almost exactly the same. For your convenience, I've distilled the thousands of profiles I've read today into the following, the blueprint to your Friendster Profile of Success:

[Note: Most importantly for Friendster success, you must have a picture of yourself looking away from the camera, swoopy bangs over one eye. Do not have anyone else take this picture. Your own tricep must be in the shot, by law.]

Gender: [fill in the blank]
Interested in meeting people for: Friends, Dating [Do not use the "Relationship" option! You will sound desperate and intense, and that ain't gonna hook you a winner. If you're gonna admit that you want a relationship, get thee to match.com.]
Status: Open Marriage [Ha! You are so ironic and funny!]
Age: 22
Location: Brooklyn, New York [Before Friendster, I was woefully unaware Brooklyn could house eighteen million lanky hipsters wasting a year between college and grad school by trying to start a band.]
Hometown: [fill in the blank with any location not in the five boroughs]
Occupation: Celebrity [They'll think you're fabulous! Also, you don't have an actual job. Alternate answers: Rock Star, Princess, Misanthrope. Do not use "Pirate." It's way too last year.]
Hobbies and Interests: Here is your formula for success in this field: 1 reference to drinking + 1 reference to going to shows/dancing at shows + 1 self-depricating reference a la "sitting on my ass" + one veiled gripe a la "languishing in my cubicle" + no more than 2 actual interests or hobbies = unbeatable coolness.
Favorite Books: Me Talk Pretty One Day, The Corrections, Franny and Zooey, Middlesex, Lolita, anything by Chuck Palahniuk. [Do not deviate from this list. You may include one additional book provided it is philosphy, and not written in English. Exceptions may be made for inclusion of one piece of children's literature. ONE.]
Favorite Movies: Amelie, Wet Hot American Summer, Requiem for a Dream, Napoleon Dynamite, Fight Club. [Again, just copy and paste those. You may add one lesser known indie flick (Gummo), and one classic (Breakfast at Tiffany's).]
Favorite Music: Le Tigre, the Arcade Fire, the Faint, Modest Mouse. [In addition to these four, you must add one cornerstone punk band (you may choose from the Ramones or the Sex Pistols), one hip-hop artist (choose from: Mos Def or Talib Kweli), and then include the name of your own band, ironically. You may also choose up to one art-music composer (Mahler or Philip Glass only).]
Favorite T.V. Shows: You don't watch TV. [You may make reference, though, to a show from your childhood, provided that it is (a)no longer on the air and (b) unavailable on DVD.]
About me: Another formula. 1 reference to a childhood quirk + 2 self-depricating remarks about your looks or intelligence + 1 reference to your completely boring life + 1 contradictory statement about regularly doing something most people don't get the chance to do + no more than one quote from a song or novel = everything your dream match needs to know about you.
Who I want to meet: Your mom. [Alternate answer: David Byrne.]

You'll have to fight 'em off with a stick, I promise.

Sometimes I forget why I'm feeling kind of melancholy, and then I remember that I'm listening to Mr. Interpol sing the word "cadaverous" over and over in my ear. Maybe this is why they don't encourage iPod usage at work.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Storytime

Yesterday I found the Fifty Word Fiction website. I think this is the greatest idea ever. Not only did this website produce a whole lot of excellent very tiny stories I can easily finish in the spans between editors peeping over my shoulder, it also has the great effect of limiting (its very few) bad writers to only fifty words! If something's going to suck, I'd rather it was thirty-seconds worth of suckage instead of a good fifteen or twenty minutes.

On the whole, though, these stories are wonderful, and I've decided to try my hand. Well, rather than stories, so much, they'll be fifty word (or less!) blogs. [Note: I've decided that the title doesn't count towards the fifty word quota.] Ready? Here we go.

The Photocopier
In the middle of deciding whether face-up, right-side up or face-down, upside-down would produce satisfactory double-sided copies, it hit me. I am the photocopier. This machine, this heartless Buick behind my desk shouldn't get my title. Mid-revelation, it jams. I'm wrong about the hierarchy of things.

[I say that all those hypenated words count as one word. So there.]

My Half of a Conversation With My Attractive Co-Worker Which Mostly Actually Happened, But Includes One Lie.
Hey, yeah, I'm good. I know, it is really warm today. Ha, not that I'm complaining. Usually I can't even start my car. I think we've only got skim. It's totally gross. Yeah, it sucks, that's why I drink tea. Okay, love you too, see you later.

Magic
Sometimes, on a mystical morning full of dew and fog, magic can happen. Some say it's elves, others fairies, and yet others believe it's ghosts that reach out to us in these early, gray hours. You can see the ripples of their existence-- magically, you no longer have network access.

Etude in Third Person or Why I am Not a Member of the Intellegentsia
She works in the heart of one of the most exciting cities on the planet. Innovative music will undoubtedly be played close by tonight. She is just a few miles away from one of the great collections of modern art. What's she thinking about? Tomato soup. Her eyeliner.

A Tale of Transit
This morning I had to stand until the train stopped at a popular station. There were no seats. I spied a woman leaving and raced to occupy her warm void. This is not an allusion to anything vaginal. The seat was warm. She had been there. Now I was. Perv.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Where the Internet Ends

It is 10:11 am. I have yet to do one single work-related thing at work.

After two weeks of non-stop crap accomplishing for two other editors, I've finally pruned back the piles of stuff on my desk back to the health informatics branches. Of course, now I have nothing to do.

I've read the whole Times. I've read the whole New Yorker. It's only Tuesday, so there won't be a new Onion until tomorrow. The McSweeney's daily piece was short today. I read Pitchfork's 100 greatest albums of this last half-decade. I've read almost every "missed connection" posted on CraigsList today.

It's official. I've finished the Internet.

Yesterday on the 6 on the way back up to Grand Central, I had the pleasure of sitting next to two extremely wealthy women. I could only imagine they were taking the subway because of some romantic idea about gauging the gritty pulse of the city that gave them their social birth. After all, Rhinovirus and a scuffed Manolo are a small price to pay to really look New York in its apathetic, half-asleep face as it hurtles uptown.

They were having the most incredible conversation. One of them was a restaurant owner who believes her staff to be stupid, mostly because they are pretty. The other was, as far as I could figure, a professional encourager. No matter what obviously untrue claim the restauranteur made, the encourager encouraged her heart out.

Restauranteur: I cannot believe that bitch of a hostess I got stuck with.
Encourager: Oh, I know.
R: I don't know what that skinny bitch thinks she's doing in my restaurant, but I looked at her, I told her--
E: You did, you told her--
R: --I told her, look, you either learn how to seat or you get the hell out of my restaurant.
E: You told her. That bitch.
R: I mean, it's not rocket science for Christ's sake. When I was their age, I worked three jobs to support myself.
E: You did. Where did you work back then?
R: You know, there was [some restaurant name].
E: God, you managed to work someplace else when you were working there? They were slave-drivers. You're a saint. And this is the thanks you get...
R: I know, I know, I did, I worked my ass off. Besides that place there was...[long, awkward pause where she tries to make up two more restaurant jobs]...God, you know, I worked so hard...
E: You did, you really did. You worked your ass off.
R: ...there were two other places. I can't remember their names, but I had three jobs.

[silence]

E: What a dumb, skinny bitch.

Speaking of dumb skinny bitches, all y'all dumb skinny bitches who gave me your address (and a couple who didn't, but I deemed deserving) will be getting your valentines in a couple of days. They went out this morning. They're health informatically heartwarming.

To all of my many potential valentines: I've changed my Valentine's Day plans. Instead of seeing Neko Case [two opening bands + half an hour from Grand Central + doors at nine, not eight + last train at eleven = seeing about fifteen minutes of Neko's set], I'm going to be watching Charade with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant at the snobby arthouse theater in Pleasantville. So, I mean, if you were planning on declaring your love to me at the Bowery Ballroom or having hundreds of roses delivered there or something, there's still time to change the order. Don't be afraid to approach me. I'll be the girl there with her mother.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Paint Me Pink and Call Me EstroGina

As Andrea will soon read about in great detail in a letter I meant to send today, I spent Superbowl Sunday like many of my ovary-sporting species: I saw a romantic comedy.

I can't remember the last time I watched a romantic comedy, even against my will. The last time I actually paid to see one of my own volition had to have been--well, it had to have been "never," is when it had to have been. I can only justify my desire to see The Wedding Date by admitting a shamefully strong attraction to Dermot Mulroney and the need to vacate my house pre-kickoff.

Having paid $9.50 to get in, I assumed that in exchange for my precious dollars I would be provided a certain quantity of cogent cinematic entertainment. Though I realized I was seeing a romantic comedy whose purpose was not high dramatic Art, I will admit that I was anticipating such frills as a "plot" or "character development," or "significant diologue." What I got was a glimpse of half of Dermot's ass.

When I really step back and look at the whole romantic comedy genre (which I can't say I do with great frequency) it makes me kind of sad. I went to see the movie by myself, which is fine, but I noticed I was surrounded by middle-aged women in groups of twos and threes who seemed thrilled to be watching a movie that sacrificed any semblance of a story to allow Dermot more time to spout the most saccharine bile I've ever heard in my life.

Debra Messing: [something along the lines of] I feel terrible, because I've been spilling my guts about myself all weekend, but I don't know anything about you.
Dermot Mulroney, playing a hooker: [something like] Well, I don't like anchovies. I studied comparative literature at Brown. I think I'd miss you even if I'd never met you.

If I knew that bagging me an Ivy League literature buff was as simple as flipping through the tranny escort ads at the back of the Village Voice, I'd've been doing that a long time ago. But no one in the theater seemed to even question the validity of The Wedding Date's 90 minutes of verbal Ipecac.

What makes me sad about the whole thing is that I wanted to watch the movie because, when it comes down to it, I got the chance to be all up on Dermot's stuff vicariously through Debra Messing. I don't feel the need to do this very often; hence the unimaginably long spans between my watching of romantic comedies. But I overheard the women in the theater talking about the other movies they'd recently seen, and they watch this stuff all the time. Since they obviously weren't there to see the movie for any other reason than its love scenes, logic seems to dictate that they need a surrogate love fix so frequently that watching the likes of an infallibly suave Dermot seduce a quirky but loveable Debra every weekend is necessary. Which, like I said, makes me kind of sad.

But then I get stuck imagining the other half of Dermot's ass, so I don't get very much further into my sociological theory of melodrama and its effect on the unhappy suburban houswife than that.

Friday, February 04, 2005

It's Fun to Shoot Some People.

According to an article in this morning's New York Times, Marine Corps commandant Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis was quoted as stating, "Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling. You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

The United States government, reeling from the Abu Graib prisoner abuse scandal and eager to affirm their stance on fair wartime military practice, quickly reponded by "counseling him concerning his remarks," a harsh punishment which even I, a bleeding-heart liberal, feel was too strict. After all, according to Gen. Peter Pace, Lt. Gen. Mattis's three tours of Iraq and Afghanistan "...clearly show that he understands the value of proper leadership and the value of human life."

In fact, I find Mattis's leadership to be so proper that I am going to take my cue from him from now on. He's right. It is fun to shoot some people! I too like "brawling!" In fact, if anyone pisses me off in Grand Central this afternoon--especially guys who shove a young girl like me out of the way at the subway turnstiles--I'm opening fire. 'Cause, you know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway, and obviously if they ain't got no manhood, they ain't got no right to, y'know, not be pumped fulla lead.

Of course, I understand that there will be repercussions for my actions. I, just like my hero Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, am prepared to face a harsh three or four minute lecture. It's a hefty price to pay for spreading the freedom to walk through a turnstile unhindered by dickless cowards, but I'm willing to bear that cross. After the shootin'. Which is so fun!

Further delineating its stance on humane warfare, the White House has confirmed Alberto "Geneva Conventions, Schmeneva Conventions!" Gonzales as Attorney General. He was sworn in yesterday.

Please excuse this aside:

Dear Iraqi people,

Hi, my name's Kathy. I live here in the United States, and since I'm not sure if you get the New York Times over there, I thought it might be my responsibility to tell you to run for cover. Run. There's a guy who loves him some shootin', and then, if you get arrested, there's another guy who's gonna let them put underwear on your head and electrocute you. Run.

Good luck,
Kathy.

P.S. I have an extra room in my house and a couple of couches. If you guys can get a ride, I can put you up for a while.

Okay, that all said, I can move on (sort of). I joke, I jest, I kid about loving shooting and brawling, which [this is addressed to the Department of Homeland Security] I obviously dont, but the other day I did uncover my own secret attraction to violence--or rather, to its cosmetic affects.

Public Service Announcement to Eligible Bachelors: Kathy's number one turn-on is a fella with a black eye.

Recently I watched an average looking guy get on the 6 train. I gave him some points for having cool pants and good hair, as well as a gold star for wearing his sunglasses on the train, which I do (and assume everyone else does) only when I'm pretending that I'm an incognito movie star.

To my dismay, halfway through the ride he reached to take off his glasses. I was already stripping him of his theoretical awards when I noticed that he had been wearing the sunglasses to hide a big purple black eye. It wasn't gross and swollen shut or anything, just a bruise like he'd been in a fight.

I just about died from a sudden onset of Hugeasscrushonastrangeritis, and then realized I was disturbing myself. I am a (mostly) rational, (relatively) independent girl. Why the hell does a black eye make me want to jump on a boy I've just laid eyes on--not to mention willing to risk any number of skin conditions to do it with him on the subway floor? I have no answers.

But, I guess, I do likes me some brawlin'.

Urgent Cartoon News!

Read this. Right now.

So, Seth McFarlane bombs with "American Dad," but halfway through the article they sneak in the info about "The Family Guy" coming back with new episodes in May.

All that remains is a "My So-Called Life" reunion, and I can die peacefully.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Oh, George.

What follows is the theoretical conversation that would take place between me and President George "Nuke-yoo-ler" Bush if I could respond directly to selected sections from last night's State of the Union address.

Our generation has been blessed -- by the expansion of opportunity, by advances in medicine, by the security purchased by our parents' sacrifice. Now, as we see a little gray in the mirror -- or a lot of gray -- (laughter) -- and we watch our children moving into adulthood, we ask the question: What will be the state of their union? Members of Congress, the choices we make together will answer that question.
Hi, George? George? Over here. Hel-LO? I'm right here. You don't have to talk to my mom. Actually, she's watching the new episode of Project Runway so she can't hear you anyway. So, y'know, you can just talk to me.

My budget substantially reduces or eliminates more than 150 government programs that are not getting results, or duplicate current efforts, or do not fulfill essential priorities.
Gee golly, Dubya, a hunnert-fitty? Would you be so kind as to tell me even a few of your hundred and fifty completely useless programs? No, huh. Dick? Laura? Anyone? Is there a list somewhere that tells me which programs you're cutting? Because, to be honest, I kind of like some of them.

Justice is distorted, and our economy is held back by irresponsible class-actions and frivolous asbestos claims -- and I urge Congress to pass legal reforms this year. (Applause.)
Now I may be a bit naive here--and don't get me wrong, I am under fifty-five and I'm up past my bedtime watching TV for grown-ups--but I thought our economy was being held back by insane tax cuts, some of the worst unemployment levels in decades, and a growing deficit that began during your presidency. No? Okay. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it all boils down to the simple fact that I can't keep blaming "asbestos" for all my problems. But I know where ya live, George, and when I can't file my frivolous law suit against my middle school for the frivolous case of mesothelioma I will undoubtedly develop after frivolously attending grades 6-8 in a public school stuffed full of asbestos (and located under high-tension power lines!), I'm coming to your house to cough up blood all day.

Year after year, Americans are burdened by an archaic, incoherent federal tax code.
Actually, I'm feeling more burdened by having to finance my own retirement.

I have a message for every American who is 55 or older: Do not let anyone mislead you; for you, the Social Security system will not change in any way.
Great!

For younger workers...
Hey, hi! Great to see you finally noticed me over here! Now that you're paying attention, there's a couple of things I wanted to talk to you about, the most important of which is your absur--

...the Social Security system has serious problems that will grow worse with time.
Goddammit.

By the year 2042, the entire system would be exhausted and bankrupt.
George, don't think me out of line...but you're a huge fucking liar.

Our second great responsibility to our children and grandchildren is to honor and to pass along the values that sustain a free society.
Yeah, let's not talk about Social Security any more. But I agree with you on this one...this country was founded on the ideas of "freedom and justice for all," and with pioneers like Martin Luther King Jr. who fought so hard to win civil liberties for every citiz--

Because marriage is a sacred institution and the foundation of society, it should not be re-defined by activist judges. For the good of families, children, and society, I support a constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage.
Oh yeah, I forgot. Marriage is the foundation of our society, not equality. George, when you talk, do ever just think "Heh, I'm an asshole. But I'm STILL THE PRESIDENT, so you can SUCK my RED, WHITE and BLUE WEINER. Except if you're a homo." Because that's what I imagine you thinking. Correct me if I'm wrong.

To build a culture of life, we must also ensure that scientific advances always serve human dignity, not take advantage of some lives for the benefit of others. We should all be able to agree...on some clear standards. I will work with Congress to ensure that human embryos are not created for experimentation or grown for body parts, and that human life is never bought and sold as a commodity. (Applause.) America will continue to lead the world in medical research that is ambitious, aggressive, and always ethical.
This sounds like it works, you know, and makes everyone happy, 'cause the righties get to save the precious embryos and the lefties get to keep working their scientific voo-doo with the lines of stem cells you've already approved for research. But George, I know you don't read the papers, so I thought I might let you know that the only cells we're allowed to work with are tainted, so there ain't gonna be no ambitious, aggressive medical research unless you bend just a tad on this one.

The United States has no right, no desire, and no intention to impose our form of government on anyone else.
What? WHAT?! Jesus Christ almighty, DO YOU HEAR YOURSELF?!

Recently an Iraqi interpreter said to a reporter, "Tell America not to abandon us."
"...because we're in your shit too deep now to ever be able to get ourselves out, what with you destroying the infrastructure of the the country, and all."

Right now, Americans in uniform are serving at posts across the world, often taking great risks on my orders. We have given them training and equipment; and they have given us an example of idealism and character that makes every American proud.
That's funny, because remember that whole hub-bub about the military not having necessary supplies? I thought you were giving them nothing, and they were giving you their lives in return. Rummy? George? Hello? Remember when that soldier asked you guys why they had to pick through landfills to find scrap metal to armor their own trucks? Remember that? Maybe you can't hear me over the applause.

As Franklin Roosevelt once reminded Americans, "Each age is a dream that is dying, or one that is coming to birth."
You're seriously, SERIOUSLY gonna quote F.D.R. at me while ripping the New Deal to shreds? I hope you sleep well tonight.

Thank you, and may God bless America.
No, thank you George, and may God save us all.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Girl, You Better Try To Have Fun No Matter What You Do (But He's A Fool)

First, a request:

For those of y'all who don't know, I've got this gig over at JUNK Magazine. Aside from contributing long pieces of prose ostensibly about something other than myself but never quite accomplishing the goal, I'm the resident advice columnist. As "Girlfriend Girl" (explanation in uno momento), I tackle the surliest of love (or any other topic, but frankly, nothing else has ever come up) pickles with an aplomb I would heartily applaud were it not my own.

No, really, it's for just for shits, but I need some love queries.

I would be most heartily appreciative if some of ya'll would submit a question. You can do it here, anonymously, or e-mail it to me if you prefer. Your identity will be taken to the grave.

It's fitting that Girlfriend Girl's advice column is coming due exactly when I was having a panic attack about being turned into Girlfriend Girl by the Hot Dad. Fie! Spite!

My fear is proving to have been premature, however. To explain: Girlfriend Girl is that girl that a straight guy appears to like and enjoys spending time with, but somewhere in their relationship she becomes his Vaginese translator. When his girlfriend says something indecipherably female? Ask Girlfriend Girl! When he can't figure out if she likes him or not? Ask Girlfriend Girl! "Hey, you know, you're one of the coolest girls I know...so, I figured I would, you know...maybe like, ask you...about that girl you work with. Is she single?"

This is fine if I don't like the guy. Yes, it's occasionally a little awkward to be the ambassador for my whole gender [In a general aside to every guy who's ever asked me why girls pee together: I don't know. I don't pee with other girls. I don't even believe that MOST girls pee with other girls. It concerns me that you're all so interested in our eliminatory functions. Please stop asking.], but most of the time I do an okay job.

When I do like the guy, though, this tends to be nothing short of heartbreaking. Not only do I end up having to talk about the girl he actually likes all the time, I find myself bound by loyalty and a (waning, I'll admit) sense of moral obligation to steer them towards amorous success.

Anyway, my advice column was entitled after the phenomenon because of the frequency with which I find myself in this role.

The other night on the train I was mightly a-feared that the Hot Dad was making me his Girlfriend Girl. I'd rather be That Girl He Doesn't Talk To rather than Girlfriend Girl, because I'm not even Girlfriend Girl, I'm WIFE Girl, which isn't even as aurally pleasing.

He's taken to telling me all the things he secretly eats in the middle of the night, while his wife is asleep.

(Are you ever just struck by how moronic your life is? How much utter stupidity is jam-packed into every second of your day, like so much nacho cheese into a Combo? That sentence did it for me.)

Anyway, yesterday's joint crossword effort in the small, two-person section was sufficiently heartening. No wifely mentions, no playing priest in his relationship confessionial, and lots of him leaning on me to see the puzzle. Not to mention that the bitch who shoved me the other day tried to offer him a ride home, to which he responded "Um, I walk on purpose." When he waved to me, she waved back at him, which was slightly tragic, but less so because I'm finally not the one waving the ever-so-slick assumptive wave.

I've decided that the next time anyone asks me if I like my job, I'm going to answer, "Well, it's more lucrative than selling my body on the street, but the emotional toll is remarkably similar."

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen, This Is Your Conductor.

As promised, pictures from my exciting weekend. Never will you see such death-defying antics, such breath-taking beauty, such...well, really, all we did was go out for lunch.

Fitty bucks for a framed print o' this bitch.
Art. And, if you knew anything about art, you uncultured cow, you'd be able to tell that I'm at Chili's.

Do you think this guy knows he's on a lame blog?
Some more Art. If you were anything but a plebeian oaf, you'd know that that's a fine vintage Diet Pepsi in my goblet.

Look, I don't know how it works down in Mex-ee-co, but up here, buddy, you can't tell ME what to eat.
When faced with this imperative...

How's about a Bloomin' Onion?
Kai deliberated...

This is a gross picture.
...but in the end the Super Nachos won. We vanquished them without mercy.

That's it for the weekend, which felt strangely short due to my falling asleep at seven-thirty in the evening on Saturday, consequently waking up at 2:30 in the morning rarin' to go, and, having nothing to do, eating Pizza Hut in my bed watching an art history lecture on Bookspan.

Now that we're all narratively caught-up, I can talk about my ride on the 6 from Grand Central to Spring Street this morning, which provided me with undeniable proof that I'm not alone in hating my job, and pretty much everyone else, too.

Descending the stairs to the subway platform, I found that there was a 6 train in the station. I elbowed, kneed, and bit my way onto a car and even managed to find a seat. As we were pulling out of the station, the conductor got on the loudspeaker and began the following drippingly sarcastic lecture on subway conduct that lasted from Grand Central till 28th street.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your conductor. Please do not hold train doors open when you are at the station. It endangers the lives of other patrons and prevents us from keeping the trains running on time. Additionally, you could get and arm or a leg or a child caught between closing doors, and nobody wants that. I know that it may be difficult to tell when the doors are closing, but we here at the MTA actually do provide you with a number of hints. First, the chimes sound. Then, there's that announcement telling you to stand clear of the closing doors. Then--and this is probably your best hint that the doors are closing--the doors will begin to proceed towards each other. This means that the doors are closing. Please do not hold the doors open in the station. Thank you.

With that, I wish you a
I seriously took this on Chrismas Eve and forgot to put it up until now.
Merry Christmas

and a
Christ.
Happy Valentine's Day.
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