Friday, April 29, 2005

Me and Rory, Sittin' in a Tree

There was a big thunderstorm the night before last. Somewhere around midnight the power went out and the resulting Marco-Polo match between family members on the first and second floors of my house kept me awake much longer than I would've liked. So, not much sleep.

Last night I went to bed pretty early in hopes of catching up on the hours purloined the previous night. Theoretically, this happened; the night was quiet, the window was open, the covers were drawn, the pillows were fluffed, my eyes were closed.

In actuality, I woke myself up every twenty minutes all night with dreams that must've been intensely vivid at the time, though they were completely forgotten the moment I was conscious. They had to have involved lots of falling, because most of the time I woke up with that whole "oh-no-I'm-gonna-hit-the-pavement-oh-God-here-it-comes" spasm. Still, who knows what I was actually dreaming about; I can't remember anything.

The only dream nugget still with me is stuck in my head like Gloria Estefan's "Get On Your Feet" [doo do, dodo doo dooodo doo]. I woke up with the overall impression that I urgently needed to speak to Rory Krumholtz. Though I have no idea what it would be about, there is a very powerful cosmic force driving me to seek whatever information Rory has.

I should just give Rory a call or drop an e-mail or something. I would if I had ever in my entire life met or heard of a person named Rory Krumholtz.

I don't know if Rory is even a boy or a girl. I don't know if this is some piece of eighties sitcom trivia my subconcious has regurgitated just to fuck with me. I don't know if I'm supposed to prevent a murder. I don't know if I spelled "Krumholtz" right. I do know that Google produced not a single individual named Rory Krumholtz, or Rory Crumholtz, or Rory Krumholts, or Rory Krumholz.

I wouldn't be harping on this if I didn't have such a strong impression that that name should mean something to me.

So, if anyone has any information on the whereabouts of one Mr. or Ms. Rory Krumholtz, please let me know.* **

*Take your sweet time if Rory Krumholtz is a baby, or dead. Or both, and the cornerstone of frisbee-team, beer-chuggin' humor on campuses across the country.
**If Rory is a superfine single fella, tell him I'll pay his airfare.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Stop Bugging Me and Color This

Happy "Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work" Day.

Formerly "Take Our Daughters to Work" Day, the holiday was founded as a way to encourage young girls to dream beyond the traditional set of female careers (nurse, teacher, homemaker, secretary). It was renamed a couple of years ago. Now it has less to do with giving girls a positive experience in fields they may not have previously considered, and more to do with distributing acceptable excuses to skip school evenly between the genders.

My dad took me to work with him when I was in fifth grade. Most of the other kids in my class had dads and moms that worked in offices, so when I told them I would be spending the day at Crossways station with my firefighter dad they were so jealous they could've pooped right there, in the middle of Circle Time. [I know, fifth grade is a little old for Circle Time and the like, but my teachers were a couple of loveable old hippies who couldn't pass up a chance to gather us on the floor and break out the acoustic guitar.] [Seriously, my class had an album.]

Anyway, so, for days I strut my shit around the classroom like my dad was actually the King of England and I was in charge of ruling Canada for the day.

However when "Take Your Daughter to Work" Day finally arrived, I spent my afternoon washing a fire engine. The three on-duty firefighters sat in lawn chairs and drank iced tea. Somewhere around the fender of Engine 54 I couldn't help but feel just a smidge jealous of the kids testdriving their parents' leather chairs or helping themselves to the contents of the office supply closet.

I suppose I shouldn't complain all that much, though; I got some serious fifth grade cred when I presented the pictures I took of some firefighters cutting the roof off a smoking car. Besides, when my dad took my younger brother to work a couple of years later they didn't even get to the engine washing portion of the day's festivites. Right about the time he should've been scrubbing a massive hubcap, my brother was instead enthusiastically flagging down an ambulance for my dad, who was doubled over with pain from a "Take Your Host to The Emergency Room" kidney stone.

It was nothing serious, but that's kind of par for the course with my family. You give us a holiday, we produce a disaster.

But back to the point: I've yet to see a kid in my office today. Despite all the encouraging e-mails and the posters in the lobby it seems that no one could convince their sons and daughters that editing scientific texts is a fascinating way to spend the thirty prime years of your brief existence.

I'm kind of glad. What would a ten-year-old do for eight hours in this office? Hell, I'm twenty-two and I can just barely keep from curling up all fetal under my desk, budging only for lunch or to stab intruders in the ankle with a pencil I'd gnawed to a deadly point.

[Still no pencil sharpener anywhere in this entire office.]

I weep for the child trapped here for the day--building a fort out of DHL boxes under his mom's desk, waiting to get in a game of Minesweeper when she goes to the bathroom. Begging her for hours for seventy-five cents to use in the vending machine. Innocently flipping through the books on her shelf only to be met with a full-color photograph of eye surgery.

I've got an hour before lunch. I think I'm going to spend it dropping quarters and hiding coloring books in kid-high shelves.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Back to the Middle and Around Again

As promised before my trip to Ohio, Brad and I recorded a cover of Anita Ward's "Ring My Bell" which can be heard here. And when I say "Brad and I recorded," I mean, of course, that Brad made all the music, told me what to sing and when to sing it, and put the microphone in front of my face. I'm pleased with the way "Ring My Bell" turned out, but to be honest we mainly did it to please you, our blog-reading public. The spirit was actually moving us in a different direction.

A kind of cabbage-patch-in-your-neon-leggings-at-the-middle-school-dance direction.

You can listen to our cover of Crystal Waters' "100% Pure Love" here.

To those of you who have never heard my speaking voice and suspect I actually sound like the nutjob performance I turned in for the Crystal Waters cover: fear not. I'm actually way shriller in person.

Anyway, enjoy.

Just overheard from an editor's phone conversation: "You better stop're getting me all juiced up, here." Then the door slammed shut. The conversation started with "Hey, what's up baby," which when pieced together with that last slimy nugget leaves me wondering whether he's paying $2.99 a minute or just really chummy with his authors.

Either way, the things I'm forced (forced!) to imagine are occuring behind his office door fall somewhere between "unsavory" and "Syrup of Ipecac." The fundamental difference between supervisors and their entry-level employees is not in the amount of inappropriate activity enjoyed during work hours (which I venture to say is an equally huge chunk of time regardless of rank) but instead a dedication to keeping up appearances. Not having a door--or even walls that reach past your armpits--equips one with the ability to appear highly productive and engrossed in work-related tasks at any moment, even if the prior moment was totally occupied by internet personals.

Perhaps we cubicle-dwellers are paranoid, constantly checking over our shoulders for whoever might be reading our screens, but I'd rather suffer that than Picking-Your-Nose-In-The-Car Syndrome. Just because a manager sits in an enclosed space doesn't mean the rest of the office can't see (or hear) him.

The editor's door is open again, and he's on another phone call that I can only assume is with a male buddy. He was just joking about how his (ex?) wife rules his children like "an iron curtain," and trying to convince the buddy to come along on one of his weekend trips with them. "Come on," he wheedled, "my son's awesome! And, you know, my daughter's...kinda cool."

A career in scientific publishing: destroying the myth that your parents love you one loud phone call at a time.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Chicks with Bics

Most of my time lately has been devoted to literature: reading it, thinking about it, wondering if I'll get a job editing it, discussing it to no avail with drunk Gap workers, writing my own version of it (if blogging can be considered literature, a debate slugged out every week in the NY Times book review), wondering if it's possible to get rich off of, mentally spending Dan Brown's ill-gotten literary gains, etc.

I just finished Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, a book I loved so much I may begin sending copies to friends a la The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. I may photocopy passages and tack them to telephone poles. I was reduced to reading sentences (off pages I'd dogeared the corners of--for what? Fast reference? Some kinda literary quick-draw duel?) I especially loved to Kai in the middle of a coffee shop, cobb salad particles enthusiastically (and totally disgustingly) flying out of my mouth.

I'll admit that I have kind of a fascination with boarding school, although, to my credit, this doesn't usually influence my taste in books. I hate A Separate Peace as much as if John Knowles had killed my parents. Prep did indeed have my boarding school, kilted, school-tied fascination in its favor, but it's a fantastic book apart from that.

I found out Curtis Sittenfeld wrote a backpage essay a couple of weeks ago in the Times Book Review and tracked it down today at work (needless to say, the boss is still in Milan).

You Can't Get A Man With A Pen

She's unwittingly become my blunt sitcom-style guidance counselor. Not only is her book the most uncomfortably accurate portrayal of teenage self-consciousness (which, if we're being honest here, is not at all restricted to the span between ages 13 and 19), she's managed to pin down the neurosis of every girlwithglasses who seriously hopes against all hope that boys actually (once we're out of high school/once we're out of college/once we're out of...this German publishing house) get a boner for brains.

And not in that Jeffrey Dahmer kind of way.

Though I'm not a novelist and (despite encouragement in the comments section, thank you very much) it's unlikely I will be, I did just have a really short piece accepted by McSweeney's. Just the website, not the journal. And I must say, a very little piece of my creative-writing-workshop-crush-on-any-boy-who-reads-poetry heart entertained a few notions of getting boxer shorts (along with a letter of well worded prose, of course) in the mail. Or, at the very least, an amorous IM or two.

You can't help but think these thoughts when from the age of nine you consistently talk to your crushes in your lockable diary instead of in the flesh. Even when you're technically an adult. Paraphrasing one of my favorite sections in Prep, the nerdy girl (or boy, I'd assume, though boys to me are still somewhat of an alien species whose diaries and inner thoughts I believe to be so foreign as to be written in a completely different langage) can't help but believe the intensity she extracts from her heart and infuses into her diary is, on some level, palpable and magnetic to the opposite sex. Despite the obvious reality that to everyone else, she just writes a lot and turns really red when you talk to her.

However, the product of the thirteen years difference between ages of nine and twenty-two has been the discovery that even if my adolescent angst (and all chronicles thereof) hasn't proved the boy tractor-beam I previously concieved it to be, it's worth something to me. Whoever it was who said "the unexamined life is not worth living" was wrong; the unexamined life is bearable. The examined life, especially when you're examining your pimples, your wardrobe, the math class target of your passion, is unforgiving.

Having survived a nerdy girlhood to grow into the nerdy person I am now (with a written record to tell the tale, lest I ever attempt to leave the pangs and throes of adolescence completely in the past), I appreciate the Curtis Sittenfelds more than they could ever know. Literary ladies may not receive the romantic adulation the Great American Male Novelists get, but I'd still sling my underwear at them during a reading.

The difference between them is that being a brainy male writer is admirable and mysterious, qualites that--when coupled with the idea that Writers are Male, generally held by whomever is in charge of the literary canon --take on a rock star kind of appeal. Being a brainy female writer is admirable and mysterious as well, but also a little bit brave.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Beam Me Up

Kai at the sports bar/dance club we visited on Friday night.

Me at the sports bar/dance club (a true recipe for fun, if you ask me) we visited on Friday night.

I would like everyone to take note of Kai's beautifully blow-dryed hair, perfectly glossed lips, and carefree, inviting demeanor. Then, in Exhibit B, please take note of the "Oh get over yourself, you sell LIFE INSURANCE" face and the green sweatshirt I wear to bed.

On Friday, I thought evening's festivities were only to include a casual barbecue hosted by Kai's friend Kelly. When the weather took a turn for the worse, the barbecue took a turn for the classy and I found myself entirely too underdressed to be eating asparagus in hollandaise sauce, roast pork with raspberry glaze, and a variety of other expertly prepared dishes that deserved better than my pajama shirt.

Chock full of dinner and with no place to go at a reasonably early hour, we decided to do our impression of sociable young adults and meet Kai's other Kelly at a bar forty minutes north of us. I know that when one thinks of happening New York night spots the town of Fishkill

[FISH. KILL. For the love of God.]

doesn't immediately come to mind, but the place we wound up at (in a strip mall, so it had to be good) was pretty bustling.

Imagine, if you will, the OC. Now, further imagine that the screenwriters saw fit to give any of the main characters an Italian cousin from New York, who comes to visit for an episode and maybe steals a car, or maybe hits on someone's mom. He's got a couple of quippy lines but, on the whole, the joke is: he's dumb. Got it?

If you photocopied that guy three hundred times, you'd have the population of this bar.

From the professional wrestling on the big screen television to the DJ imploring the ladies to get on the floor and 'shake what you got,' to the waitress/gogo girls complying on top of the speakers, to the three guys shopping for chicks from a second floor dining room with a choice cleavage-viewing vantage, the place cracked me up.

Kelly and Deb, a friend she had brought with her, were some serious party girls in a former, pre-marriage life. Though they each love their husbands very much, it seems that they occasionally require a slight relapse into debauchery. Reliving the glory days with these two is an excercise in projection for me; when they were my age, they were winning wet t-shirt contests by making out with each other in a kiddie pool.

I, on the other hand, like to read.

I've never been the kind of person to strike up a conversation with a stranger--especially not in a bar, especially not while wearing my pajama sweatshirt, especially not when I'd been awake since five in the morning, and very especially not when my breath smelled like roast pork and Corona.

But Kelly and Deb are unstoppable. Married or not, they're both gorgeous in the very particular way that gets the Fishkill boys a-talkin'. They're very Desperate Housewives, minus ten years, the kids, and the "desperate", and plus a couple of tattoos.

Which was how the first conversation of the evening with the gentlemen of the bar began. I would've been content to hang around sipping my beer and singing along to "No Diggity," but Kelly and Deb were intent on getting Kai talking to a very good looking guy across the room. Kelly moved in for the kill and before I knew what was going on we had relocated around the bar, I was introduced to Rob (the Robbiest Rob I've ever met) and some other guy, and then some other guy who was a personal trainer, and then some other guy who sold life insurance, and then we were talking about my new tattoo, and then Kelly and Deb were showing off their body art, and then a flock of no less than five guys were beelining over like pigeons to a fumbled order of french fries.

Their shirts were all up around their nipples as they introduced themselves to Kelly and Deb. Apparently I never got the memo that all males between the ages of 18 and 29 in upper Westchester were required to have gothic letters tattooed across their stomachs (bonus points for a large celtic cross as well). I don't quite understand it, but I figured I should pass the information on to my brothers before they're arrested or something.

The personal trainer and the insurance salesman really, really liked Kelly and Deb. The delicate dance of two men hitting on two women is fascinating; there's some kind of supernatural communication that lets all four parties know when the conversation shifts from a group to two pairs. As far as I could tell, there was never any discussion between the trainer and the salesman as to who was hitting on whom; in fact, I know that they each liked both Kelly and Deb, because whenever the girls left the bar for the dance floor, the salesman and the trainer each proclaimed how hot my friends were (in stereo, one to each of my ears). Somewhere along the line, though, the guys had picked their girls.

Who still wanted none of them.

So much so that when the guys insisted we go with them to Torches, some other club across some bridge, Kelly and Deb went so far as tell them we'd meet them there, dragged Kai and me to the car, left the parking lot when they did, hung a sneaky right, and returned to the place we had originally been only after they were sure the two guys had gone looking for them in another county.

I didn't talk to the insurance salesman and the personal trainer all that much (before we lost them, I mean) because, frankly, I couldn't. I've never met a person who interrupted me (or Kai, or Kelly, or any girl who talked to him) like the insurance salesman did. In fact, when I told him he had just interrupted me, I only got about as far as "-rrup" before he jumped back in, asking me where I was from.


I'd say the most successful (read: least likely to result in my arrest for assault) conversations of the evening took place with the oh-so-Robbish Rob, who mostly just sought me out because I shared his astonishment that the insurance salesman was sporting a Fresh Prince-style flat top.

To get the full picture, it's important that the flat top be imagined on, oh, say, Ryan Seacrest.

When we tried to discuss what I do for a living (Rob, of course, works for the Gap coporate office) however, I could actually see the conversation vaporize in a fiery burst, not unlike a mosquito in a bugzapper. He asked me what my favorite book was, and met my answer of The Wind-up Bird Chronicle with a look that fell somewhere between blank confusion and utter dismissal of my taste.

I returned the question. He said he didn't want to tell me. I asked him if it was The Da Vinci Code. He said no, it wasn't that bad. Eventually he confided.

Scar Tissue. By Anthony Kiedis.


An evening at a sports bar can, for a nerdy girl, be pretty great when you enjoy it the same way you would a science museum (Look! Everything is science! Look inside the escalator, it's see-through! Here's how the IMAX projector works! Here's a diagram of the parking garage!). If every interaction is a sociological experiment, the reality that this actually the gene pool from which I am expected to select a mate is less horrifying than it is entertaining.

My clothes, my attitude, my, y'know, me set me up as an alien from the moment I walked into the bar. Regarded by the personal trainers and the insurance salesmen and the Robs as such, it was surprisingly easy to feel completely comfortable as myself when I was so obviously making them uncomfortable just by existing. Watching them size me up (What is this species? Does it like drinks? Where would I stick it, if I actually wanted to? Does it talk? Why does it keep pointing at the girls on the speakers?) and then try to keep up a conversation talking about the things they'd think I'd be interested in ("So, I make $90,000 a year. Um, also, I have a dog?, drink this.") was nothing short of riveting.

The best moment of the night, by far, was provided to me by the insurance salesman. He had just interruped both Kai and I as we were (yet again) explaining where we were from. The urgent news he needed to communicate was that his friend, the trainer, had been the soccer star of his high school.

Every hope imparted to me by television shows wherein popular teens turn out to be losers later on in life was gloriously fulfilled in that one sentence. Insurance Salesman and Trainer graduated from high school in 1998. Seven years later, their most impressive come-on with the ladies still relies on sound bites from their varsity fame.

Maybe it works. Maybe they're up to their knees in FishKill 'tang, I don't know. All I do know is that my alien ass thought it was pretty great--the greatness possibly augmented by the fact that I had consumed several doses of their intoxicating agents, and didn't pay a single Earth Dollar for them.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Blimps and Hos

Despite my wardrobe malfunction (which, actually, made for a great conversation opener), my interview yesterday went swimmingly. You are permitted to uncross your fingers, but you are required to keep thinking wonderful thoughts about me until I hear whether or not I'm hired.

(Like you could even help it.)

Seriously, I couldn't have asked for it to go any better. The woman I'd be working for was incredible, and, like a small, blonde, female, publishing Santa Claus, loaded me up with four books just to "take a look at." Not to mention that hearing the description of the position come out of her mouth was like opening the floodgates on an ice cream river and taking a ride on a cherry boat. Tons of reading, actual editing, a beautiful office, great co-workers, more vacation days, more sick days, better benefits, longer holidays, and a pay raise.

I. Really. Want. This. Job.

I met up with my friend Virginia afterwards. She works at the company I interviewed with, and she had nothing but great things to say about the place as well. If I did get the job I would work in the cube one floor directly above her. This affords me the real opportunity I've always dreamed of: to work out an intricate language based on foot thumps and broomstick taps.

As Virginia and I sat outside a coffee place kibbitzing, I happened to look up. The Goodyear blimp was trolling around, which is always kind of a good, lucky sign in and of itself. Ridiculously, yesterday it was also scrolling the message LIVE FOR TODAY! GO WHERE YOUR DREAMS TAKE YOU! across its ticker.

I felt like the epilogue to a terribly written preadolescent novel, wherein the bookish yet spunky main character endures trials and tribulations only to find herself and eventually land her dream job.

Then I realized that the message was actually an advertisement for the Today show, and I drank my coffee and thought about how maybe I should learn to keep my bookish yet stupid mouth shut.

So now there's just the waiting to be done, though I'm not sure for how long. The woman I spoke with in Human Resources mentioned something about the company "knowing where they stood" with the job by the end of next week, "hopefully," but that doesn't sound particularly committal. She also said that they've had an unbelievable amount of applicants for the position, so many that they've been interviewing for a week, have more interviews next week, and still the applications are a-pourin' in from jobless liberal arts grads, and that they have actually begun burning them for heat, using them as toilet paper, making hundreds of oragami fortune tellers, etc.

So maybe keep one hand crossed, okay?

**Addendum: Go read Buckley today. I was laughing so hard (but so silently) at my desk that I thought I was going to pop some kinda blood vessel in my face.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Cross Your Fingers

President Bush has urged the senate to "put aside the politics" and confirm his nominee for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

To recap:

The Senate. The most significant political body in the United States. Should put aside the politics.

I agree. The Senate should put aside the politics. Just like RadioShack should put aside the divisiveness, the Navy Submarine division should put away its dissension. [Get it? Get it? DEVICE? DESCENT? I'm the queen of puns, bow down, kiss my--well, don't kiss my feet. We've been through this.]

Okay, so, I have a job interview today. Needless to say, I'm kind of nervous about it. I woke up this morning, put on my most professional outfit, went to work feeling pretty confident, sat around, tapped my fingers nervously until lunch, went to the bathroom, noticed that the slit in the back of my skirt had torn to unbelievably obscene heights, mouthed unbelievably obscene curse words, and sprinted to the H&M that's, thankfully, about ten blocks away. Of course they didn't have a skirt that matched the rest of my outfit at all, so I ended up having to basically construct a new interview outfit on my lunch break. I feel I've done so successfully, though, and I now have a black blazer that I really, really like.

But come ON.

Until yesterday, Brad and Kai were the only people who knew about the interview. I wasn't going to tell my family about it at all because they have a tendency to yell, scream, anticipate the worst possible scenarios, mention the impending event incessantly until it happens and then request status reports on its resolution every fifteen minutes after it's over, and invoke the Lord's help without my consent.

I reconsidered last night, though, after discussing with Kai the power of positive thinking. The more people pulling for me, the better my cosmic chances of getting this job, or so the theory goes. So, at a commercial break in the American Idol results show (see ya, Anwar--you'll always get a gold star next to your name in my book for doing my favorite Earth Wind and Fire song) I calmly broke the good (I hope, fingers, legs, eyes crossed) news to my mother, whose immediate reaction was to cry and tell me she was going to light a candle for me.

After all the Pope talk on here, I thought maybe all Catholic ceremony should be avoided. Just to be on the safe side.

(Of God's wrath.)

So, here is your mission: from 5:00 pm until 6:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time, I need everyone to think really positive, really excellent, really professional and impressive thoughts about me. Okay? Picture me all business suited up, resume in hand, totally friggin' flooring the interviewers.

I swear, if I get this job I'll do something nice for each and every one of you. I'll walk your dogs. I'll do your laundry. I'll bathe your grandmas. I'll take your little brothers to the prom.

I gotta go, because I picked off all of my nailpolish and now I have to redo my nails under my desk. So help me God, if I spill polish on this new skirt and have to go back to H&M today, I'm poisoning the water supply.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Summertime, and My Living Is Meager

From an article on, about the papal conclave and the celebration after Benedict XVI's election:

The new pope asked cardinals to dine together on bean soup, cold cuts, a salad and fruit, Meisner said. The nuns who prepare their meals didn't have time to plan a special menu, so there were only two special treats -- ice cream and champagne.

That's right, Papa J-Ratz busts out the Cristal when he gets down. He ain't into havin' sex OR makin' love, but just give him a nun with an ice cream cone and he'll lick it like a lollipop and maybe, just maybe, shake it like a polaroid picture.

And to his Sister Beyonces and Mother Superior Lucy Lus, don't worry that you'll never get a cool nickname like "God's Rottweiler." The Lord called you all to his service, and you all serve equally; Benedict XVI acts as God's mouthpiece, the College of Cardinals and all of the bishops sagely guide Jesus's flock, and you, y'know, make them dinner. Those fruit plates are for the Lord, though. Never forget that.

Now get the Pope some sprinkles.

Italy is currently the focus of my life, what with PopeFest 2005 in addition to my entire department attending a conference in Milan. Because I am an assistant, however, I have been tapped to hold down the fort in New York. With the absence of anyone higher than me on the corporate food chain (coupled with the staggeringly heavy burden of indignance that I am not in Europe on someone else's dime) I have decided to take advantage of my current situation like a rich kid in a John Hughes movie whose parents jetted off to France for the weekend.

I'm starting off slow (deciding that shoes are unnecessary when I'm at my desk, hiding in the handicapped bathroom stall and reading for forty minutes), but I fully intend to make this office a bitchin' house party by Friday.

If I can even convince myself to come to work on Friday. Today is the first day I haven't had to bring any kind of a coat to work, and I'm fighting that it's-spring-and-therefore-time-to-blow-off-all-commitments-and-sit-on-some-grass-until-I-burn-off-my-top-layer-of-skin-completely-wait-is-that-the-ice-cream-truck-ok-get-me-a-sno-cone kind of feeling. After five months of serious cold I can't help clenching my every clenchable muscle whenever I exit into the great outdoors, braced to walk right into that brick wall of winter air. When I leave the subway and find it a very comfortable seventy-two degrees with a slight breeze, walking to work is a whole lot more like walking to the gallows than usual.

Since it's so warm I decided to wear sandals to work today. Lack of clean socks were another factor in my decision, but that's neither here nor there. I'm wearing an incredibly unexciting pair of yellow flip-flops I bought for about two dollars from the college bookstore. I think they were supposed to be shower shoes, and they look about that sophisticated.

Despite the fact that they're kind of ugly, I really like these shoes. I like them even though they also make a horrible noise when I walk, which is why I'm wearing them today (when no one's around and I could do a little tap dance on my desk if I wanted to and what are you gonna do to stop me).

However, if it weren't for the dumb noise these sandals make I would never know how many New York City men are really, really into feet. Building on last fall's episode with a schizophrenic who wanted to "respect" my feet, I was shocked to see the number of men who, at the sound of an approaching pair of flip-flops, jerked up like prarie-dogs scanning the horizon and immediately began to search for naked toes.

It was bizarre. At first I thought I was making it up, but I was convinced I was truly surrounded by sexual deviants when no less than four male pedestrians stared at my feet from halfway down the block, making eye-contact only at the last possible second solely to impart that sheepish, creepy, "caught me!" look.

I just don't get it. My feet are nothing special. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that feet are generally gross, especially when you look at them (as I do) like mutated hands. I just don't understand the sexual appeal of the most monkey part of us. Not that I'm judging, though. If feet are what do it for you, then live it up. Fondle some toes, lick some soles, massage some ankles until your heart's content.

Just not mine, because I'd kick you if you tried.

My point is this: all I'm looking for on these crazy streets, in this anonymous metropolis, is a decent man. A good, old-fashioned man. A respectable man. The kind of man who doesn't care about my feet, but who will--assertively and unabashedly, in the spirit of the forefathers who founded this great nation on the basis of tradition, freedom, and good moral values--ogle my boobs.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Phototally RAD

As promised, a photo-essay through my vacation. I hope you will accept this as a token of my affection for each and every one of you, and, as well, forgive me for abandoning you like a bunch of ugly puppies.

I think we are not so much 'in drag' as we are 'too weird looking to be welcomed by any gender.'
Sometimes, Brad and I dress up.

Didn't they ever teach you to stay INSIDE the lines?
Sometimes, Andy wins at the dress up game.

Helloooo!  The is B.R.A....D.
A dude in a skirt and hot pants poses between two urinals. A la It's A Wonderful Life, I'm quite positive that somewhere a conservative Republican just got shooting pains in his eyeballs.

The sad part is that I've worn the bottom half of this outfit unironically.
I took this picture accidentally, but I think it would make a fabulous album cover. Provided that Brad was actually a girl.

Let's play my favorite game, which I fondly call 'Two of These Girls Have Penises, so You Might Be a Total 'Mo if You Guess Wrong.'
Sometimes Brad is Gwen Stefani, with the three hottest backup dancers on the planet or, at the very least, in all of Northeast Ohio. But I'd put twenty bucks on it being the whole planet.

That's hot (TM).
Sometimes Darwin and Montana make better women than I can ever hope to be.

Denise is my favorite total fucking psycho.
Sometimes lunch ladies let their hair down. Occasionally they will also put their husbands in a bra.

Now picture him on a runway in a powder blue tux.
Sometimes--by which I mean all the time--Brian Ross makes this face.

I think my new pick-up line is 'Baby, I got legs like a dead prostitute.'
Sometimes you accidentally kill a hooker in your hotel room.

'My hand smells like the dog.'
Sometimes while dying his hair, Brad thinks deeply about...

And now I'm eating Campbell's tomato soup for lunch.  Man, I'm quitting.

You weren't actually allowed to have food or drinks in the IMAX theater.  This is my adolescent rebellion.
When there are no kabobs to be had at the Science Center, I eat astronaut ice cream famished hamster-style.

And bend, two three four, up, two three four, dead, two three four...
Sometimes at the Science Center you stumble on a dead ballerina.

Brad isn't petting him.  He's keeping him from jumping in the goddamn lake. This dog's a nut.
Sometimes when you're walking a crazy dog...

Okay, seriously, how many rich men building castles for their wives who inevitably die mid-construction does it take for people to get the hint that maybe, just maybe, you don't actually need to live in a castle? find a castle.

Roof.  Oh, roof.  Wherefore art thou missing?
For real.

His name is Stevie.  No joke.
Sometimes when you leave the castle you find a nutty old lady walking her horse of a dog, whose entire coat is dreadlocked and who looks like a giant mop.

Best move ever:  asking the cute tattoo artist where HIS tattoo was.  I'm a fuckin' genius.
Y'know, and sometimes you need a tattoo.

Don't fuck with us. We'll steal your Rainbow Brites and half-color in all the pages in your coloring books.

Monday, April 18, 2005

She's Back, Part Two

There's nothing like going on vacation to remind you how much your job sucks the life out of you, like so much tropical Kool-Aid through a curly straw.

Anyway, to continue.

On Monday, Brad introduced me to the thrift store to end all thrift stores. It was half-price day (half price! at a thrift store! pennies for an ugly shirt! a nickel for that puce lounge chair!) and I found some great necklaces, a picture frame to turn into an earring holder, and a dress. Another trip later in the week would net three good t-shirts and a second dress which I may turn into a skirt. Brad found some Whitesnake-alicious black jeans, a couple of good shirts, and a fantastic pair of burgundy wing-tips that an old man most definitely didn't die in.

Monday night we karaoked it up to the seven people sitting in Bounce. I think I did a rousing rendition of "I Hate Myself for Loving You," my Joan Jett standard. Vicky belted out "Stranger in My House" like nobody's business and came in third in the competition neither of us was aware we'd entered.

On Tuesday I went with Brad and his younger brother Rob to the science center. We were going specifically to see the BodyWorlds 2, a travelling exhibit comprised of "plastinated" human bodies in various stages of dissection. There's the skeleton at the entrance, the ligament body throwing a javelin, the muscle body hurling a discus, the coal miner's lungs in a case, the vials containing embryos preserved at different developmental milestones, the dead ballerina, the dead skateboarder, the dead fencer. I found all of it to be fascinating, not to mention really artistically put together. Judging by the guest book on the way out, other people found it "gross." To be fair, there were also exceptions who noted that the exhibit was "sick."

The science center also afforded me the all too rare chance to purchase and eat vast amounts of astronaut food, which is like regular food, only way, way better because it's dehydrated. Even if I learned nothing else on our field trip, I came away from the Great Lakes Science Center with the lesson that everything is cooler when it's unnaturally preserved: pizza, ice cream, strawberries, old men, etc.

On Tuesday night Brad and I saw the Bravery at the Agora. As expected, they were really fun--especially when compared to the opening band, Alaska, who had the audacity to make LSD-I-can-see-the-colors-ha-ha-ha jokes. I wish there was an editorial board for general humor. The "drugs make things look funny, so it would be funny for me to pretend I'm tripping and say things look funny" genre fiercely needs to be retired. They crapped their way through their crappy set, plugging their crappy album and shaking their crappy hair all over the place and thankfully exited the stage before I was forced to inventory my personal belongings and evaluate their financial worth against their potential to injure human flesh.

The Bravery took the stage after the roadies did their roadie thing. Sam Endicott immediately began to flop around like a mackerel enduring its final death throes. And it was fucking hot. He was a big, sweating, tall, flopping ball of fish sex and I ate it up. They sounded good and all that jazz, but more importantly, man, they were totally hot.

Since I can't chronologically remember what we did on Wednesday, I'm just going to hit the highlights of the rest of the week and save the rest to fill in tomorrow when I have pictures. Capisce? Capisce.

At some point during the week, Brad found a grill in his garage, a place that seems produce from the ether several interesting objects from the late sixties per week. While I sheltered myself under a clear, Twiggy-style bubble umbrella, Brad put the grill together, foraged some charcoal, and planned a kabobbity-good dinner. Much like everything is better freeze-dried, everything is better on a skewer: onions, peppers, sausage, old men, etc.

A couple of days later Brad and I went to get my flesh altered for the rest of my natural (and supernatural if I have anything to do with it) life. We've been talking about my getting the counterpart to his tattoo for a year now; he has a black star between his thumb and pointer on his right hand. I have been meaning to get (read: pussying out of getting, hardcore) a white star in the same spot on my left hand. Besides the aesthetics of the tattoo, which I really like, and all the friendship bullshit that makes it "mean something,"--that universally invoked phrase whenever tattooing comes into question--Brad and I can now, most importantly, join our hands in such a way that we look like Captain Planet-style cartoon heroes.

Anyone that's known me for a while knows how terrified I am of needles. For years a tattoo seemed out of the question; despite piercing my nose and my ears (three times apiece), I still was unbelieveably afraid to get a tattoo. Even after I'd watched no less than four people get their tattoos while exclaming "this doesn't hurt at all!" I still didn't quite believe that it was something I could handle.

I was nervous about it right up until the second my (seriously cute--that probably had a lot to do with why I sucked it up and took it like a man) tattoo artist started. Once he did, I believe the exact words that came out of my mouth were "Oh, for fuck's sake, that's it!?"

Having braved the needle (...that more than half the country has also, voluntarily, more bravely braved) and successfully inking myself out of any future service job, I'm sitting back at my desk all the more ready to up and quit (and maybe moon the boss on the way out).

Which, granted, would be even more effective if I tattooed something obscene on it first.

Just take a gander at them doors of personal discovery opened during my ten day midwestern odyssey. Just a fortnight ago I would've been terrified to tattoo an offensive, personalized insult on my posterior. It seems I've truly grown as a person after conquering my deepest fears. I believe I have, dare I say it, bloomed into a graceful, tactful adult.

Grade-school essay style, I supposed I should conclude by saying "And that's what I did on my vacation." Tomorrow I'll post pictures and hopefully tweak the end of this entry so it's not so, well, crummy, but you know what? It's 4:05 and that means it's time to vamoose. I'm out, dearies.

She's Back, Part One

It's times like this that I wish I could press a button and, with a snazzy star wipe, segue seamlessly into a Monkees-style movie montage of my life. A fast-motion action sequence of Brad and I cooking kabobs on the grill, cut with a shot of us flinching at an unexpected stripper's explicitly visible balls, then jumping to some footage of us breaking up the fight between his spooky fish would much more accurately sum up the ten days I spent in Ohio than whatever I'm going to try to stitch together here.

At the very least, I demand that you whistle "Last Train to Clarksville" while I recap.

I flew out of New York after work on Thursday with the good intentions of keeping notes about the trip in my complimentary Human Resources notebook. [The perks of my job are few and far between. In fact, I can only pluralize "perk" if I consider Sweet-n-Low packets among them.]

Needless to say, I forgot about this plan about six sentence fragments into my Thursday entry, which reads:

Boring day at work. Didn't get searched at the airport--the government isn't going to put me in a camp after all! Flight was uninteresting. Sat next to a guy who looked like the nerdy brother of [American Idol contestant] Constantine Maroulis. What a distinction. People should not entertain their children by asking them questions they already know the answers to. For. The. Whole. Flight.

Piecing together the rest of the trip from there--which is what the note-keeping excercise was meant to facilitate in a timely, organized, not-completely-stupid fashion--would be easier if I had remembered to e-mail myself the pictures I spent half an hour resizing last night. I'll post those tomorrow.

Let's do this chronologically.

Brad and I trekked it over to Oberlin on Friday, where we immediately consumed copious amounts of Black River fare. Having arrived just in time for T.G.I.F., I got to enjoy Oberlin at its least offensive (read: from a bench with a table full of beer seperating me from the oh-so-unwashed masses, whose rankness was somewhat tempered by the spring breeze). I had a couple beers, said the obligatory hey's, and got to see some people who I seriously missed--all with a soundtrack masterfully provided by DJ Vinylfiend.

It was only after consuming several beers and finding myself at a thrift store purchasing a bowling bag did I remember that "several beers" is roughly akin to "stupid drunk" when you drink as seldom as I do.

The bowling bag was so cool though, and at the low, low price of one measly dollar it was a total steal. However, it still had a bowling ball inside (labeled "Marian") which I wanted none of. Unable to convince the cashier to keep the ball, I did the next best thing: dragged it outside, hefted the bitch like a power-lifter, and threw it in a garbage can.

In sober retrospect I do not envy whoever had to remove that garbage bag. But even now, the truly fantastic noise produced when a fifteen pound bowling ball hits the bottom of a garbage can was worth it.

Trying to sum things up quickly: while in Oberlin, Brad and I spent some quality time with Ms. Kessler, narrowly missed seeing Mr. Ross totally fuckin' work it in a powder blue tux, and got in so many Wilder porch hours with quality folks like Ellen and Mike that I received a devastatingly attractive sunburn on my face.

Drag Ball was a trip, mostly because I couldn't believe I had nothing to do besides watch the show. I hung out up on the balcony for most of the show with Montana the DJ, whose "thrown together" girl clothes put each and every outfit of mine to shame.

On Sunday Brad and I (again sufficiently full of Black River homefries) kissed Oberlin a big fat goodbye right on the smacker and returned to his house.

No Sunday in the greater Cleveland area would be complete without a trip to Bounce to see the drag show, which, with the return of Jerri Michaels and the addition of Jennie P., has once again begun to resemble the bottle-breaking, name-calling, filthy-dirty drag shows I was weaned on. Some people spend their Sundays in church. I, however, choose to worship at the altar of duct-taped balls and fabulous lip liner, graciously praising the Lord as a drag queen with a tumbleweed of blonde hair pinned to her head pretends to fellate a microphone, then scrambles for a nickel while exclaiming "Madeleine Albright!"

To be continued after lunch. Part Two includes: dead bodies, skewered meat, tattoos, and the mystery of iced coffee.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

This is a Recording

This blog is currently closed.
Please call back during normal business hours.
Or, you can wait on the line for an operator, who will take your call when she returns from vacation next week.
Until then, enjoy the muzak. Tijiuana Taxi is one of my favorites too.

I'm in Ohio until this coming Sunday night. You can expect your regularly scheduled blogging then, but I'll try to update once or twice while I'm out here. I hope y'all have a lovely week. Kiss your hot dads for me.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

I Gotta Pope!

The following is an excerpt from an article from this morning's NY Times about the line of pilgrims waiting to view the Pope's body:

The line had grown so big that it split in two...there were songs and prayers and remarkable patience, as well as fatigue, sunburn and a bit of borderline bad behavior.

"They have called me mean; they say I have no pity," said Mariana Santoliquido, 27, who works in a cafe about the point where people had been waiting in line for 10 hours. She was yelled at because the cafe had stopped letting pilgrims use the bathroom, though she said many used it a day earlier, before the toilet had been ripped off the floor.

Because I am a seasoned, witty, astute writer who can craft masterful prose from virtually any observation of humanity, I was inspired to write a short experimental theater piece based on the article. I've taken liberty with some of the identities and facts of the story; while in real life I side with Mariana the cafe owner, for the sake of my dramatic arc I was forced to make her a villan.

Anyway, enjoy. You can say you read it here first when Ben Brantley's peeing his perfectly tailored trousers over its Broadway debut. Without further ado, I bring you:

I Gotta Pope!
A play in one act by Katharine M. Cacace

Abe Lincoln
Mariana the Cafe Owner

[Lights up on a black stage. A line of mannequins moves slowly along a conveyer belt that stretches horizontally from one edge of the stage to the other. MAN enters on conveyer belt. He steps off when he reaches the center of the stage, and addresses the audience.]

MAN: Father? Papa? Il Papa? El Popa?
My love for you, a swollen bladder.
The void you've left, a gaping latrine.
My love. A stream.
To fill the void.

[MAN breaks down in tears, sinks to his knees, beats the floor in agony. Enter WOMAN on conveyer belt. She is dressed in black as a pilgrim--bonnet, buckled shoes--and holds a turkey. She is accompanied by ABE LINCOLN]

WOMAN: I am a pilgrim.
I survived months on the Mayflower to mourn John Paul II.
[to turkey] SHINE MY BUCKLES.

[Turkey craps, waddles offstage]

ABE LINCOLN: Oh to be as free as the birds.
Il Papa flies free.
We wait to see but feathers and husk.
We wait.
The American colon aches.

[WOMAN collapses in tears. In her fit, she notices MAN, still crying. They embrace over ABE LINCOLN'S DEAD BODY.]

WOMAN: Our love is a crucifix.
MAN: Our love is the Christ.
WOMAN: Our love is sacred.
MAN: Our love is holy.
WOMAN: The Pope will bless our love.
MAN: The Pope will bless our love even in death.
WOMAN: But first, the Pope must bless our excretion.
MAN: The Pope must bless our elimination.

[MAN and WOMAN join the conveyor belt line again, taking their place among the mannequins. They exit. Enter MARIANA, CAFE OWNER. She wears a witch hat.]

MARIANA: Double, double, toil and trouble.
Bladder burn and colon bubble.
Though shalt not live to see the day
When pilgrims' rears meet my bidet.

[Enter WOMAN and MAN]

MAN: Our love is sacred.
WOMAN: Our love is strong.
MAN: Our love is strained.
WOMAN: Our love is full of holy water.
MAN: Our love is leaking.
WOMAN: Our love will leave a stain.
MAN and WOMAN: Our love's gotta go.

[Toilet rises from trap door in stage floor, into spotlight.]

MARIANA: But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the john,
and it is for paying customers only.

[MAN and WOMAN fall to the ground again, in tears.]

[rips toilet off the ground and throws it into the line of mannequins.]

POPE: [from offstage] Jesus, Mary and Joseph, can you kids keep it down!? I'm trying to sleep in here, for Chrissakes.

[Lights down. Curtain.]

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A Littlebitta AD, A Littlebitta HD

It's something like twenty-seven hours that stand between me and eleven days worth of vacation, and I'm too antsy to write anything. Like a kid who's just sucked down a can of Coke through a Twizzler and topped it off with a couple lines of Pixie Stix, I can't keep my mind on anything for more than a couple seconds.

Since I can't really commit to entire paragraphs at this point, I will endeavor to give you as many complete sentences as I can.

Perhaps this is just an elaborate cover-up for having absolutely nothing to talk about.

It's not; that's besides the point.

Did you ever have one of those days where you wake up, put on some clothes, leave the house feeling really good, supafly, even, and an hour later wonder what the hell you were thinking, because everything itches and nothing looks right?

I'm having one of those days.

If I get "randomly chosen" to have my bags searched again at the airport, I'm seriously gonna start wearing a tin-foil hat lest the government's spyin' rays further penetrate my brain.

I'm planning on having a tuna melt for dinner, because Andrea has started a trend in my life that will one day leave me alone in a house I've built from empty Chicken of the Sea cans, a jaundice yellow expanse of American cheese as my roof.

I will, I assume, be popular with the felines.

For me, packing is like trying to eat an entire row of Peeps in one mouthful; no matter how hard you try, it's just not going to fit.

Do I need the purple corduroy blazer?

Do I?

What about the red sandals?

They're new.

I think I may be navigating morally ambiguous terrain, in that I am actively encouraging a 38 year old's job-quitting whim when I probably should be reminding him of his legal responsibility to feed and clothe his child.

Whatever, hilly terrain affords the potential of a good cardio workout, which, if you get my drift, the straight and narrow never offers.

All of a sudden, the complimentary feminine hygiene products in the ladies room in my office have been relocated from their proper, wall-mounted receptacle to an H&H Bagels bag.

I hope everyone appreciates the fact that I allowed that sentence to be funny on it's own merits and didn't even hint at any kind of joke involving "yeast."

The other day, I recieved an e-mail from a doctor whose book I'm editing which told me that I'm "brilliant" and "a genius" and, also, that "he never sounded so good."

My favorite part was that he didn't send the e-mail to me, because I am an assistant; instead, he sent it to his editor, who forwarded it to my editor, who forwarded it to me.

Peon though I may be, I'm a peon who's gonna be on vacation in less than a day.

I'll peon YOU, buddy.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

She's Got Legs / And She Knows How To Use 'Em

You Give Me Fever...FEVER!

The peril of being twenty-two in the spring, however slight and technical that spring may be (look, it's April and it stopped snowing, so I'm breakin' out the spring-themed philosophy and you can't stop me, douche), is that you really begin to fall head over heels for virtually everyone sporting your preferred genitalia.

Then again, this may just be the peril of being me. I normally develop feelings for approximately every third guy on the street, but when you blend that with the warmish weather and top it with the measly forty-eight hours standing between me and eleven days of vacation, what you wind up with an Amorous Kathy Tart.

It's getting out of hand, though. I can control myself around the usual buffet of unavailable men, who come in flavors that vary from mysterious officemate, to married co-commuter, to unbelievably attractive and heartbreakingly gay man walking tiny dog.

It was only after I caught myself sending Brad an e-mail telling him I was going to "tackle" a guy "like a linebacker" that I realized I may be a little off-kilter. I only began thinking about seeking a pharmacological cure to my obvious disorder when I further realized that my violent love is based solely on a blog I was recently forwarded.

O Tender Buds of April, what Woe! Fie! Fie, I say, to Electronic Love!

Especially when it's not so much "love" as "spying on someone with whom I've never had any contact whatsoever, who I really hope doesn't track his hits because I have registered a really, like, disturbing number in the last couple of weeks."

All I can say is that if I don't do any making out during my upcoming vacation my lips are going to atrophy right off my head.

Also, speaking of vacation (while I still have the functioning mouth to do so): vote for your cover song choices in the post below, right now, or you're going to your room without dessert. Got it?

It's Fun! It's Interactive!

As mentioned on Brad's site, Mr. Walsh and I are planning on recording a cover while I'm in Ohio next week. Since I probably won't be blogging my little brains out as per usual, we thought y'all could have the consolation prize of choosing the song we record, which will then be made available for your download and enjoyment (or disdain. Or outright physical discomfort.)

If any of you still haven't heard Brad's music, you should go here and check it out. He's a total rockstar, and I'm--well, I like to sing in the car, so our duet is gonna be some serious shit.

And the nominees are:

1. Hot Child in the City by Nick Gilder
2. Private Idaho by the B-52's
3. Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meatloaf
4. Ring My Bell by Anita Ward
5. Who Does Lisa Like? by Rachel Sweet
6. Kids in America by Kim Wilde
7. Two of Hearts by Stacey Q
8. I Can't Live (If Living Is Without You) by Harry Nilsson


9. A song of your own suggestion, provided it is pure genius, and also utterly terrible.

Leave your votes in the comments section, each and every last one of you who reads this. Your class participation grade will be in serious jeopardy if you don't.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Pope 'n Coke

I'm sitting around, trying to think of something to say about the pope being dead. I've surprised myself with how little I have to say about Mr. Pope the II. The only thought I keep having is about how quintessentially Catholic and toldja-so of him it was to go ahead and kick the bucket (full of holy water, one could safely assume) about ten minutes after Terri Schiavo did.

Still though, as someone who has an opinion about virtually everything under the sun and who somewhat proficiently keeps up with current events, I felt compelled to come up with something to say about Il Papa.

I turned to the Rants and Raves section of CraigsList looking for inspiration. Normally a haven for zealots in all flavors, I was expecting to find either a post to convince me of John Paul Deuce's redeemable qualities or at least a justifiable reason to unleash the barrage of dead pope jokes I feel brewing in my cauldron of tactlessness.

Hardly anyone had even mentioned the pope. I did, however, click on a particularly fantastic posting entitled "People of Truth," wherein its author listed a hundred people he believes to profess Truth, in that Philosophically Capitalized Sense of Truth.

He claims they are in no particular order. As such, both Bob Marley and Meryl Streep beat out Jesus; pop-punker Avril Lavigne totally wallops prophets Elijah and Ezekiel; John Belushi creams Beethoven; 50 Cent beats Shakespeare (as does Michael Stipe); and, my favorite, Confucius hangs onto his number 13 spot by a fingernail as Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro look to advance from slots 14 and 15.

Though I have come to no revelations about the pope, I have reached that all-important plateau in every adult's life wherein one comes to understand that one should never, ever use CraigsList as a source for anything, ever.

Now that I'm fresh out of pope material [unused in the name of propriety, despite my innermost desires: Lollipope, Popels, Popesicle, Pope Tart, Snap Crackle and Pope, Pope on a rope, Pope suds, Pope opera, Pope springs eternal], it's time to do the weekend recap.

Since I'm going on vacation on Thursday, I felt it necessary to do some liquor cross-training this weekend in preperation for any and all drinking I plan on doing in Ohio. Prior to Friday night, I can't remember the last time I had drank enough to necessitate sleeping until 2:30 the next afternoon.

The progression of drink names throughout the evening is a pretty good indicator of both my sobriety and the general candor of my company. I began the night with a couple of mellow Bass Ales, ordered by yours truly, and somehow found myself three hours later with an "Irish Car Bomb" in one hand and a "Kamikaze" in the other. I had ordered neither. I drank both.

I think in my old age (and hyperbolically increasing sobriety, wherein my alcohol intake grows infinitesimally smaller until it is virtually nothing) I've become a frank drunk. I'll own the fact that I was once a maudlin drunk. But, like some kind of inebriated dandelion growing towards a Bacardi Limon sun, I've definitely matured in my intoxication to the point where I don't lament, but rather wield bluntness like a weapon.

However, without being disparaging, I'll say that I was drinking with one philosophical, touchy-feely drunk, one pining, maudlin, touchy-feely drunk, and a third weepy, territorial drunk. The frustrating part about being a frank drunk in the company of the other three is that when you look, say, the philosophical drunk in the eye and, with all the gravity you can muster, tell him he is an idiot, he will laugh, tell you how your hands are warm, and then ruminate on his career options.

From the depths of my unimpaired, Monday, mid-morning psyche, I would like to recant any drunken claims I made about him being an idiot. Indeed, I will be replacing those drunken claims entirely.

With deeply sober claims that he is an idiot.

Eat, drink, and be merry, folks, that's how it goes and it goes like that for a reason. Why spend an ungodly amount of your measly paycheck on liquor if you're just gonna dilute your Jack and Coke with tears? Ex-significant others are seldom worth mourning, especially at five dollars a spilled shot.

I've seen the light, and it's over here in "I didn't end the evening with my crotch covered in liquor spilled while, yet again, rehashing the story of my latest meeting with my ex" land. We've got a nice view. Y'all should join me.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Aha! Shake!

There's nothing like a dude wearing tight, tight pants yodeling about switchblades and cockfights to make my Friday even sweeter. Lest you think my office has undergone a radical makeover (or that I've started working at a gay rodeo), I'm referring to the strictly sonic presence of those scions of southern rock, the Kings of Leon, who have earned the distinction of being crowned my on-repeat band of the day. Good job, fellas, good job. As a prize, please allow me to Roto-Rooter you out of your pants while you marblemouth some South-isms in my ear.

I apologize that I've been talking about nothing but bands for the last two days, but I'll I've got otherwise are a couple of half-inflated anectodes about three people who had the audacity to smell bad near me yesterday.

Oh, all right, you twisted my arm: the guy who farted when I was following him up the stairs out of the subway, the guy who stank like rotten ham on the train on the way home, the dude next to me at the gym who sweat concentrated garlic. The end.

Back to the Kings of Leon: these guys were born with their idiom in their DNA and, ridiculous though it may be, they are so committed to it you can't deny how hip they are. They've got an album full of songs brewed like moonshine below the Mason-Dixon Line, all about fucking girls and drinking whisky and their "pistols of fire." They wear the tightest tapered jeans one could possibly squeeze into and hope to remain a physical male. And they are serious about all of it.

They're all yeah, our dad was a nutty fuckin' preacher, and we're all so southern we're incomprehensible, and also we're all related, for real though, and we're gonna write some songs about being southern and doing southern things, and y'know, maybe will get some shaggy haircuts, but on the inside we're solid fuckin' Trans-Ams, baby.

That's something I can get behind.

Because, when I think about it, if I were to write a bunch of songs that were undeniably taken from my core identity, the attitude would be less badass strutting and more um, hi, 'scuse me, yeah, it's a pleasure to meet you, wow, yeah, I really like that shirt, is it from American Eagle? Yeah? On sale? Cool! Okay, well, I'm gonna go grab some chai and do the crossword puzzle, so, y'know, have a good one. Okay. Bye. Hope you liked this song. Bye.

Not as cool. Which is why the Kings of Leon deserve your respect and, also, you should forgive them for giving you the Clap.
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