Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Morning Announcements

Misty Medley by Kiss Me Deadly is one of the best albums I've heard all year.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd:

Like everyone else in the world, I have one acquaintence who keeps in touch strictly through Myspace messages and Friendster blogs. The messageboard terrorist in my life manages to dredge up an old e-mail forward circa 1996 at least once a week--the kind of chain letter I remember getting as an AOLcaholic preadolescent from sixty or seventy of my closest friends. "Repost this!" the Fearsome Forwarder will beg me, now, eight years after the fact. "IT'S GOOD LUCK AND IF YOU SEND THIS TO FIFTEEN PEOPLE IN FIFTEEN MINUTES YOUR PHONE WILL RING AND IT WILL BE YOUR CRUSH AND HE WILL TELL YOU HE LOVES YOU IN FIFTEEN MINUTES SO SEND IT RIGHT NOW AND MICROSOFT WILL SEND YOU A CHECK FOR THIRTY-TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS I KNOW A GIRL WHO DID IT."

Actually, I don't begrudge the Re-poster her get rich quick schemes or straight up chain letters. There are those among us who err on the side of caution. Maybe one day she'll get knock on the door and open it to find her lifelong crush holding an armful of free iPods. How can I know for sure that a leukemia paitent won't get five cents for each e-mail address that receives her story?

There is one forward, though, one treacly, sickening forward that made me dry heave even when I was thirteen. If any old dog of a chain letter should've been taken out behind the barn and shot square between its big, pleading eyes, it was this one. The Re-Poster found it and threw it up on Myspace today, presumably as fast as her fingers could wipe the tears from her eyes and get back to typing.

Has anyone seen this before? The long, drawn out forward filled with lists of things like the reasons why guys love girls? It's the kind of thing I know in my heart of hearts was written by a girl. Not just a girl though--that particular species of girl that doesn't just want to have a little baby bunny rabbit, she actually wants to be a little baby bunny rabbit.

1. They will always smell good even if its just shampoo
Except when we go to the gym or go dancing or forget our Lady Speedstick. It can even happen to one of those charmed, rose-pits girls; perhaps one of her fawning male admirers buys her one too many Sex on the Beaches and she vomits on her oh-so-worth-it outfit (see number 7)? It ain't gonna smell like apple pie, folks. It happens. Girls do not always smell good, and any girl who tries to convince you otherwise is the kind of girl who has anxiety about her vagina, or something.

3. How cute they look when they sleep
Yeah. I'm adorable, snoring with my mouth wide open. You could mistake me for a Precious Moments figurine.

4. The ease in which they fit into our arms
Anxiety-about-vagina girl is also wants-to-wear-her-boyfriend's-clothes-to-make-her-feel-small girl. The rules of genetics dictate that the entirety of one gender does not fit snugly into the roomy arms of the other. However, if I could just be a little baby bunny...

6. How cute they are when they eat
Nothing more adorable than me with a mouthful of cheddarwurst and onions. Giggle, giggle, noxious waft of my breath, giggle.

7. The way they take hours to get dressed but in the end it makes it all worth while
Now I'm not claiming that I don't on occasion take a long time to get dressed, but I am far from the only person of any gender to do so. But, more importantly, I also make no claim that the prize of me in a decent outfit (which, when I can't decide what to wear, almost certainly ends up involving my brother's monster truck t-shirt) is a fair exchange for three hours of someone's time. But, after all, there is that there is no greater prize than having a hot girl around.

10. The way they fish for compliments even though you both know that you think she's the most beautiful thing on this earth
And that hot girl is meeee...riiiiight?

11. How cute they are when they argue
If anyone ever called me cute when I was arguing with them their family jewels would be my new earrings. "Girls are cute when they argue" is not a valid reason to love anyone. It is a reason to punch someone until your fist bleeds.

21. The way they hit you and expect it to hurt
Good thing it won't hurt 'em! I'm such a silly, cute girl.

25. The way their tears make you want to change the world so that it doesn't hurt her anymore..... Yet regardless if you love them, hate them, wish they would die or know that you would die without them ... it matters not. Because once in your life, whatever they were to the world they become everything to you. When you look them in the eyes, traveling to the depths of their souls and you say a million things without trace of a sound, you know that your own life is inevitable consumed within the rhythmic beatings of her very heart. We love them for a million reasons, No paper would do it justice. It is a thing not of the mind but of the heart. A feeling. Only felt.

The way that, according to this list, girls are adorable because they are small and quiet and get upset at stupid things but look fabulous while they do it...yet regardless if you have ever mastered matters not. Because once a chain letter as quietly misogynistic as this one starts making the rounds, eight thousand eleven year old girls are going to think that this is what they should endeavor to be. When you read this bile, traveling to the very end of asinine list that feels a million idiotic items long, you know that your own lunch was inevitably consumed only to be lost down the front of your very shirt. I can't effin' stand this list for a million reasons. No paper would do it justice. It is a thing not of the heart, but pulled out of someone's ass. A piece of crap.

Only pooped.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Thank You, Thank You

I'm currently giving thanks that Thanksgiving wasn't just okay, it was downright enjoyable. Early Thursday morning I joined the millions of Americans who usher in the holiday season with a short giblet fishing trip in Turkey Ass Cove. Insert "plastic bags" in the number one spot on the list of things I'm thankful for. Parting a sea of turkey skin and inserting one's hand into a clammy body cavity would be exponentially worse if the fleshy prizes contained within were naked. Naked and slimy, and goosepimply and pale.

Like old men getting out of a pool.

I took care of getting the turkey into the oven, but Brad cooked the rest of the dishes we served to our family members later that afternoon. Besides the turkey, we ate potato soup, buttered corn, stuffing, and cheese biscuits, then brownies and pumpkin bread for dessert. I believe even a few chocolate turkeys were beheaded before my family rolled out the door.

Besides the trip the Walshes and I took to Duvet on Thanksgiving night for a little Larry Tee Distortion Disko action, I didn't leave the house much during the long weekend. Brad and I headed into Williamsburg one night to try on some jackets at the secret, subterranean thrift store and to eat some surprisingly cheap Thai food at a deceivingly upscale looking restaurant. Other than that I was mostly couchbound until a Sunday evening trip to Target for the weekly essentials--markers, honey, a glass jug, some Red Bull, lace tights, etc. Though I missed my chance to spend Black Friday on a Walmart floor clutching an X-Box to my bosom under a barrage of trampling feet, I just couldn't seem to get off the couch while there was still a hunk of leftover pumpkin bread to be eaten and another disc of Strangers With Candy to watch.

Behind plastic bags on the Thanksgiving list, I need to add Netflix, the Ikea "Varnamo," and an increasingly lax cultural definition of sloth.

Brad went out on Saturday night with a friend, which left me with an empty apartment while possessed by my twice-yearly conviction that the internet is a really great way to meet people. Specifically men people. Midway through the Weekend Update I was not only positive that, at one in the morning on a Saturday, Craigslist was crawling with wonderful, eligible, intelligent guys, I was absolutely sure that all I had to do was cast my inescapable verbal net to catch a whole buttload of them. I had an ad posted before "Showtime at the Apollo" began, and started checking my e-mail account obsessively thereafter.

I was right about one thing. Craigslist is crawling with men at one in the morning on a Saturday. The rest of it, though, I'm chalking up to some tryptophan-induced fantasy, heightened by the new, cute guy on SNL.

My ad talked about crossword puzzles and reading. It was so nerdy it nearly gave me hives. I got back the following:

hi, I am a cute, SWM, young, healthy and fit. Would love to get together, spread your ass cheeks, bury my face deep inside and slide my tongue up and down your crack and in and around your rim...while fingering your hot, wet pulsating pussy...and then wait for your explosive squirting juices to shoot all over my face. Send me your pic and let's play today! This can be as often as you like it to be. This is my body pic...send yours

Let it be said that the "body pic" included is a camera phone photo of an ass. Just an ass. I was actually so curious about this guy's methods that I e-mailed him back.

Okay, seriously: does that ever, ever work?

To which he responded a few minutes later:

Doesn't it sound appealling

To which I answered:

About as appealing as having your asshole licked by a stranger.

I went on to ask him if he answers every ad like that, and point out that he might have more luck landing his tongue in a butt by the end of the evening if he focused his efforts on the "casual encounters" message board. He has yet to respond.

The other e-mails I got weren't all as filthy, but the majority were creepy. And sometimes, like frosting on the socially awkward cake, they were creepy and full of weird lies to get me to send my picture:

I'll be in New York Monday night the 28th and would like the opportunity to help you with your expenses. I'd like to meet you around 9:30PM for drinks and maybe more if there's a mutual attraction.

Sorry, can't send a pic cause my job requires a security clearance and I can't risk my photo showing up somewhere it's not supposed to be. Not saying I can't trust you be better for me to be safe rather than sorry.

There was also the guy who opened his e-mail by saying he had been injured by a Dora the Explorer balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, HAHAHA J/K LOL--which would've been funny had a wheelchair-bound child not been hurt by a rogue M&M balloon not two days before. There were copy and paste e-mails galore. There was a sharp spike in my junk mail and two viruses. There was what I thought seemed to be a normal guy in the mix, but after I sent him to my Myspace profile he stopped writing back.

[Which means he's either an asshole or terribly offended by girls profess an interest in Nuts 4 Nuts peanuts. I'm gonna go Anne Frank and choose the latter.]

C'est la vie. At least I've purged myself of the internet dating bug for another six months. And, most importantly, I can add "the veil of anonymity" to my Thanksgiving list. Way, way high up there.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I'm not your fucking mother! I didn't shit you out!

This is what Brad and I overheard about four blocks from our house outside the Super Supreme deli. It came out of a woman screaming inches away from the face of a wholly nonplussed man. I can only imagine what made her so angry, but hearing it made me happy for several reasons. The first of which was that she wasn't screaming at me. The very important second of which is that children are not, in reality, shit out.

Someone should remind me of this lady whenever I'm feeling down. I'll clench accordingly, forget whatever is making me glum, and thank whatever intelligent designer came up with the no-poop-babies idea.

This neighborhood never lets me down. Whenever I can understand what someone is saying it tends to be pretty fantastic. I mean, not shit babies great, but who can expect to see a shooting star twice in one night? Listening to two cops talk about the Tarzan boy they both admire for being able to bench press twice his weight (which, if you ask them, is worth being beaten by your father every day) while you wait for your dinner at Twin Lin is so much better than anything I overheard in the year I was back at home. If the suburb of my youth and recent citizenship was a buffet, Starbucks offered a whole lot of boredom macaroni salad but, sadly, little in the way of delicious eavesdropping brownies.

That's not to say I don't think about Starbucks, the embodiment of everything paralyzingly lame about the place where I grew up, on a daily basis. Whenever I do something unavailable to the average Yorktowner I'm totally there. I accomplish something as minor as riding the subway and I can't control my automatic astral projection to the airspace over the cream and sugar station. From there it's a whole lot of pelting psychic Splenda packets down on the heads of kids who graduated with me, still live in Yorktown, and consistently refused to acknowledge me in line at CVS for the whole year I was home.

I skip the line at a club because I know some people who know some people and my very soul wills it to rain only over the Starbucks patio, only on the laptop playing the same Dave Matthews playlist heard there since 1996.

This weekend I found myself in a car with an up and coming musician, a seriously famous music producer whose name keeps popping up in the books I'm reading, and a sickeningly attractive male model who spoke with an accent so perfect I actually began to suspect he was some kind of Al-Qaeda engineered modelbomb designed to infiltrate New York nightlife and blow hundreds of admirers to smithereens.

(Vagina first.)

We parked in the West Village and headed over to a party with a line around the block and a doorman refusing to admit anyone not on the (nonexistent) guestlist. It was when the velvet rope dropped and I followed the musician, the producer, and the model into the party that I not only gave the usual mental finger to the Yorktown Starbucks--I actually began to mentally lecture the entire population of Yorktown High School. I gathered an assembly in the gymnasium in my head, stepped to the microphone, and, after a dramatic pause, addressed my imaginary adolescents.

Children, I said to them, Yorktownians, dream larger than the Chance in Poughkeepsie! Imagine a world beyond an extra espresso shot in your macchiato! Each of you, I say, each and every one of you will have a moment when a coattail lands in your soft little baby hands. Grab it, my countrymen! Hold tight and you too can have an indescribably boring job and still rub elbows with the kind of person who would have actually suffer an aneurysm if they had to spend more than fifteen minutes in our fatherland! Clutch those coattails with your very life, children, and you too can be spared from disappearing beyond the event horizon that is spending your twenty-fifth birthday at Finnigan's.

They broke in to wild imaginary applause. I had a celebratory drink, met an actor whose movies Kai and I used to rent just because he was in them, and called it a night.

I am not used to this kind of thing. A couple of months ago a good Saturday night consisted of buying pads and eating lo mein. Now there are all these cheeks to kiss and doormen waiting to inspect my ID and outfits, outfits, outfits to be put together. I change my clothes twice before I go to bed. Going out more than once a week means I've got to operate on a whole different wardrobe plane. My head is a slot machine of spinning shirts, pants, and shoes and, often, I'm too busy jerking the arm for the outfit jackpot to do things like work, or think, or look both ways before I cross.

It's an unbelievably strange thing to be comped into a club and accidentally bump into the guitar player from your favorite high school band, a band whose lyric booklets you actually studied before you went to their shows. It's even weirder to have to come up with an answer to the question "And what do you do?" in this environment.

What do I do? I go here! I got dressed! I mean, I know the correct answer is "sculpt" or "I'm in a baaaaand..." or, "I'm working on a film installation" or, for full credit, "I work in design." While my technical honest answer has to be "I edit scientific books," the answer that claws up my trachea and threatens to jump out every single time is "I DON'T LIVE WITH MY PARENTS, THAT'S WHAT I DO! I DID MY HAIR!"

Do you remember those Frosted Mini Wheats commercials with the grown-up who liked the fiber while "the kid inside" loved the frosting? That's me, except replace carbs of any sort with a minor existential crisis. The grown-up knows that she's supposed to work on actually securing a job she enjoys, but "the kid inside" is pretty content to go to parties and tell her hometown to kiss her ass over and over again. The result is a tug-of-war between the two, a lot of time spent looking at job ads and not applying to them, and a small and embarrassing amount of crying over forbidden chocolate chip Pop Tarts.

And then I remember that I'm sitting in the back of a car with a male model and suck it up.

(And suck it in.)

(This is fashion, darling.)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Fake Advice To Celebrities Who Didn't Ask For It, Vol. III

Dear Kathy,

We're in love! It's official! Thank God for the C-List social scene. If not for the fact that the velvet ropes are hanging kind of low these days, how else would a girl begat from England's finest gold-legging-incubated disco sperm, meet a boy from the dangerous, Laguna Beach side of the tracks? It's like Pretty in Pink, except by "pink" we mean "coke stupor." It's love!

We just announced our engagement yesterday and already the haters are getting on our case. They say it won't last. How can we prove them wrong without having release our home videos in mini-series form on UPN?

Konfused In the Mind & Totally About Love (And Notoriety)

Dear KIM and TALAN,

They're just jealous. All those unfamous fatty gossip columnists are totally dying because you are young, you are beautiful (especially you, Kim, they are so jealous that you definitely don't look like the Cousin Oliver in an all-rat version of the Brady Bunch), and you have found what appears to be a romance that transcends the ages. Who among us, the non-listers, can claim to have found our soulmate in the back of Paris Hilton's car during a drunken car crashed caused by a Greek billionaire driving with a jacket over his head?

None. We do not know your love. We cannot know your love.

We go to sleep weeping into our Martha Stewart pillowcases that we will never know the comfort of waking up with a streak of Talan's spray on tan smeared across our abdomen, of knowing that we will never eat a family dinner with Kim, Rod, and whichever model is pretending to enjoy his geriatric penis in her emaciated vagina. For us, love will never reach these heights.

So to you I say mazel tov; head to Vegas and marry the shit out of each other. The country will mourn the loss of two of the dating pool's finest specimens. Live, love, prosper, and most importantly, get pregnant as soon as possible. Fucked up babies are the Louis Vuitton tote.


Dear Kathy,

I have recently been dubbed GQ's "Woman of the Year." Can I get a what what?

"Mrs. Smith"

Dear Jennifer,

No you may not. I'm not saying I'm not a member of Team Jennifer, but I am willing to put my foot down and say that there are probably people who did more to merit Woman of the Year status than a lady that got broken up with and then retreated to her Malibu mansion to do press. Maybe GQ could've thrown a bone Rosa Parks's way? It would've been a nice posthumous gesture.

Though she doesn't look as good in a bikini. (Especially now).


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Do You Have A Reservation?

Brad and I stopped off for coffee last night on our way to a party that promised gift bags and guest lists, but instead delivered a crowded cash bar and Thomas Pink-ed elbows to my tender bits. It sounded like a fun night on paper though, which is why we were walking near Washington Square at an hour when I'm usually beached on the couch like a humpback, unable to resist the dangerous shallows of another VH1 countdown.

We hit a Starbucks on the corner of the park and, once inside, remembered we were in NYU territory. Every good chair was occupied by a hoodied head nose-deep in Milton. Every table was crowded with a laptop, a used textbook and a peppermint mocha, and all the wooden chairs around them were occupied with either an ass in pajama pants or its corresponding set of Ugged feet. The final proof we were on undergrad turf came in the form of a jazz trio setting up in the corner, which was the reason we vacated the premises as soon as our Venti Cashalottas were in hand, which, in turn, is probably the reason that Brad and I are friends.

Most people call it ambiance. It is a rare and special gift when the heavens hand you another person whose ass puckers at the thought of shouting "VENTI MOCHA FRAPPUCINO LIGHT! FRAPPUCINO! NO, VENTI MOCHA FRAPPUCINO LIGHT!" over a freshman's enthusiastic clarinet solo. I will not yell "NO WHIPPED CREAM! NO WHIPPED NO WHIPPED NO WHIPPED!" like so many "No Whammy!"s because all the barista can hear is a whooping cough saxophone riff. Jazz in coffee shops is an idea that sounds good to managerial types and my mother, but I refuse on financial grounds to eat a three dollar biscotti eye-level with a dripping spit valve all for the dubious prize of hearing another crapass rendition of "Take Five."

Anyway, we left and headed for a bench outside the Stern School of Business to watch kids and their messenger bags hustle by. I felt a little edgy when we first began walking through the campus, particularly passing the library and its tired smokers slumped against the wall and flipping through wrinkled syllabi. My heart quickened a little when I caught a glimpse of the reserve books behind the circulation desk. During my academic career, "reserve" was shorthand for "chapters that Kathy will not ever read because the book is at the library and downstairs, and she is in her room and on the other side of campus and has just illegally downloaded a new episode of South Park; that she prays she will not ever be called on to discuss the content of; and, if for some awful karmic reason she is, that she can hopefully summarize in a sufficiently vague manner to convince someone, anyone, she has actually been to the reserve room at all during her post-high school education."

But safely on a bench with a cup of coffee it's kind of nice to be mistaken for a college kid. It comes along with perks like smiles from professor types making nice with the masses and places to sit that don't require a refill on the house blend.

It also teases out just a little bit of nostalgia; not for college days in general, but for the specific and very seductive idea that "mandatory" is synonymous with "recommended." I can't recall a single event in four years of college that was absolutely required, one time only, attendance non-negotiable that didn't start late with no sign-in sheet and have four make-up sessions. I miss the idea that nothing is so important that it should deter my trip to K-Mart to buy tiny pies and a pair of fuzzy boots.

Now it's getting up for absolutely mandatory work, to pay rent, to stay out of my parents' house and take a stab at independent adulthood. Of course this has a multitude of perks as well: being allowed to eat Cool Whip with a spoon, being allowed to throw out Tupperware that's too gross to wash, getting to stay out as late as I want on a weekday--even if that involves being in a crowd of rich old gay men (with free shrimp on their breath) vying for LOGO face time.

The night was not a loss. I was out at a club with a monosyllabic name. This means that when asked I can truthfully tell someone that on Tuesday night I "went to Blah, but it was kind of lame so we left."

I may have skimped on required college reading, but I got the full hundred thousand dollar tutorial in condescending disinterest.

Monday, November 14, 2005

This Is How We Do It

This is not to say that I am on the cutting edge of anything besides a plastic knife through a tub of bacon-flavored spreadable cheez, but last night I felt cooler than a Fonzsicle.

I was at the worst club I have ever been to, the kind of club I was not aware still existed. Brad and I were there because we knew the DJ, which is, y'know, smack one on the jukebox of cool, but even so we were keenly aware from the moment we arrived that this was not our kind of place. From the shirtless, hairless, oily bartenders who slipped you your drink like a wet bar of soap to the extra-rhythmic clapping emanating from the dancefloor during particularly thrilling house-y interludes, it was all a poor fit for a girl who likes to get down to Journey and a boy whose own music is being spun and danced to by the most angular fashionistas in this fine city.

But the place to be in a bad club is feeling superior, even if it makes you an asshole. It's better to lean and snub than it is to feel weird that you stick out like tits on a boar hog, to use one of my favorite old boss's hillbillyisms. Feeling aloof is self-preservation in this particular kind of club. One whiff of insecurity and the idiot sharks will descend on you in a frenzy of eye-rolls and pursed lips.

The thing to do in a terrible club is to be comped at the door, kiss cheeks with the VIPs, and schmooze like your day job doesn't revolve around cataloguing illustrations of anal surgery and you don't have a tiny stuffed koala hanging off the protective screen covering your computer monitor.

You laugh it up like the koala isn't wearing a vest advertising a medical computer systems conference.

When our friend was tapped to take over for the particularly lame DJ spinning when we arrived, Brad and I found ourselves with a lot of time to kill and very little interest in killing it with the present company. The DJ we know got the crowd shaking some booty within two songs (though people were nearly killed in a Madonna-related dancefloorward stampede) because he's good like that, and Brad and I commenced leaning against a pole like a couple of lacrosse players during the Macarena.

But that's the thing about terrible clubs, or at least the clubs that strike me as acutely painful. They're like high school dances. They're decorated like a prom with a Studio 54 theme and the crowd still grinds Montell Jordan-style, alternately shrieking with fake delight at shirtless guys, good songs, flashing lights, their own reflection, whatever, or pouting in fake angst at being shot down, not dancing with their crush, not being able to receive text messages inside the club, "ultra hold" turning out to be merely "mega hold," and so on. I can't handle the fake emotional rollercoaster. Within fifteen minutes last night I watched fully grown people sprint down a hallway wallpapered with reflective hearts screaming their heads off because they'd heard the first syllable of Madonna's new single, as well as similarly aged people giving the finger to the club's Dawn Wiener--that omnipresent, sad, lone dancing girl who's obviously dreaming she's on TV.

I'm just surprised that, anywhere in the world, sparkly shirt + house music + mesh still equals a kickass night out. This is why I felt like I was on the cutting edge of culture when, really, I'm on the ass end of whatever's in style at H&M because I won't buy anything not on the clearance rack. When even the DJ remarks that being at the club is like falling head first into a k-hole in 1995, it's time to update your schtick.

But, on the other hand, if it weren't for places I hate to be I would never get to feel cooler than anyone. Everyone needs a booster shot of absolute arrogance every few months to counteract the constant infection of inferiority New York hacks up. I'm never the coolest person at MisShapes (and I am consistently surprised by how nice the people are there, which makes it even worse) and my face is never plastered all over Last Night's Party, but in the crappiest club in this city it's possible to feel decidedly A-Listy.

(Well, maybe like D, E-listy, but trust me--in this club that's, like, rip-your-clothes-off, paparazzi-in-yer-compost-pile cool.)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Television Impaired

Give me a medal. I'm sitting up.

Somewhere between getting up yesterday and getting on the subway on the way home, I got sick. As the D train hit Atlantic Avenue my glands inflated like someone pulled the strings on a life vest, and by the time I was home all I could do was lay on the couch and moan for Brad to bring me blankets. I took my last available sick day today and spent my immobile hours drinking deep the sweet healing nectar of daytime television.

Why don't I have a daytime television show? Network programming between the hours of ten o'clock and two o'clock is nothing but a depository for folks possessing dubious credentials and the ability to talk ad infinitum. Isn't that me? I have a degree in creative writing with a concentration in poetry. Doesn't that make me a life coach? Can't I be a guide in the Starting Over house with Iyanla, who, I swear to God, said to a woman today: "It's haaaard to get a stripper off the pole. It's haaard. You know why? Because they haaarden...their hearts."

Where's my half hour docudrama? I'm high on Robitussin and I could crap out better lines than that.

Then in the late afternoon you get the one-two punch of Oprah and the Tyra Banks show. Both have somehow been given an hour of programming every weekday during which they get to conduct their personal business on camera and call it entertainment. This afternoon Oprah hosted a detente session between Terry McMillan and her gay ex-husband, though it seemed to me that they now get along and the strife they had been going through during their divorce had been settled a few years ago. The show wasn't about women whose husbands come out, or divorce, or anything broader than a chatfest between Oprah, her friend, and their gay punching bag. Similarly, Tyra had a show on the "dark side of modeling," which involved mostly Tyra interrupting her guests to hammer home the point that she has never done drugs, never had an eating disorder, and never done anything even vaguely salacious. Still, she insisted, the show was for "all the young girls out there" trying to break into the modeling world. She wants to make a difference.

"I was always so jealous of the Ford models when I was young," she said. "Their agency always stocked their fridge, got them food, made sure they were taken care of...I had to go to McDonalds! My agency wasn't getting me anything!"

Tyra, I think I speak on behalf of all of the girls out there when I say you can cry me a river. Your employer didn't buy you food.


I guess what I'm saying is that if every untalented wiener in the world can have a daytime talk show on network television, why can't I? This blog isn't nearly masturbatory enough. I need a palpable, clapping audience. I need guests that I can interrupt to tell rambling stories about my vast and uninteresting life experience. I need to know that there are hundreds and thousands of people sitting in day old socks on their couches wondering whether my hair color is natural.

My Starting Over house would be filled with recovering sex addict male models who just need to be loved. I would clutch them to my bosom with great gentleness and suggest that they get back to nature by removing their shirts.

It would be such a hit. I'd run Tyra right into the ground.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Vote Couture

Today's election day. The mayoral race in New York is all but tied up for Mike Bloomberg, who's leading Freddy Ferrer by something like thirty points in the polls. The New Jersey governor election is a little more exiting, what with the attack ads featuring candidates ex-wives and all, but of absolutely no consequence to me. I can't wait to find out who won just so I can stop having to listen to news anchors read unbelievably stupid sound bytes like: "Stay tuned to see how tomorrow's election could have an impact on the state of New Jersey for the next four years." Uh. Could? It's a completely new governor regardless of who wins. Could impact?

"Don't turn the dial! After these commercials, see how rising gas prices might piss people off at the pump and rioting in Paris may lead to general French unrest. Also, an exclusive report on the Pope's alleged Catholicism."

A year ago we were in the throes of a closely scrutinized presidential election and I was sitting in this very chair refreshing as fast as my finger could click. I haven't even voted this year. I've lived in New York for a month. I haven't even unpacked all of my boxes yet, nevermind gotten around to registering in my new district.

Still, though, I'm feeling kind of political. In a completely apolitical way. I get excited when I see voting machines and campaign signs stuck in front lawns, even when I could care less about the candidates. I wish there was protesting going on.

I'm bored. Why is no one hunger striking?

I mean, yes, it's my own fault for not getting involved enough in today's elections to be excited about the issues themselves, but it's the crazy conventions of politics that get me going even when the outlook is kind of bleak (cough, John Kerry, cough). I suppose I could get my radical jollies by organizing my own protest, but for what cause? I mentioned to Brad at lunch that I was considering hunger striking for thinness, because it's the kind of win-win protest I'm looking for.

"No," I would say to Anderson Cooper as he gently held a tuna melt to my lips. "It's not a disorder. It's a principle."

I've been invited to a sort of fancy thing, which is why I'm thinking about "protesting" in the first place. Not that I would ever seriously "protest," but it's a tempting thought to "protest" your way into the kind of outfit suitable for VIPersonage. And, see, were I to "protest" my way into a Betsey Johnson dress, people wouldn't comment about my change in physical status. "Hey, did she lose weight," some uninformed ignoramus would ask. "No," someone else would inform them, "she's just very dedicated to the issues."

I just can't sign another useless MoveOn petition. I need my political actions to have results. Measurable results.

Super-hot, shallow, dumb male models of results.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Everyday Links of Indifference and Boredom

I begin most mornings at work by checking the Times headlines. I like to pretend that I'm up for analyzing foreign policy blunders at nine in the morning, or that a detailed diagram of "Plamegate" will make any sense to me before noon. When I give up, as I inevitably do, I flip over to Page Six of the Post, followed by the Gatecrasher column in the Daily News, and on the heels of that come galloping the gossip blogs: Trent, Perez, and Gawker, which, come on, is a total gossip blog. Just gossip that the majority of the populus gives a minority of a poop about.

Today, three of those have their Calvins in a knot over the latest roman a clef to make its way from editorial hand to sweaty editorial hand. The once girlfriend of a once bigshot once editor of the New York Times has written an novel about a girlfriend of a bigshot editor at the "New York Tribune." One wonders how she is able to so fully project herself into another character.

It's called "Touched by an Ink Stained Hand."

For real.

I've said it before, but this has reminded me of how much I want to someday be thinly veiled. I don't care whether it's in a book, or a movie, or a song, or a freakin' infomercial, and I don't care whether it's flattering or not, I just hope to someday be the subject of a scandalous pseudonovel. One famous enough to land speculation about my character in the first item of Richard Johnson's column.

It's far better to be thinly veiled than to be totally revealed, sort of akin to how it's much sexier to see a dude in a wifebeater and boxer briefs than it is to see him flopping around naked (or, god forbid, naked except for socks). It's all about plausible deniability. Maaaaybe I'm Kate Cakaice, but maaaaybe I'm not. I don't know darling, those artists, who knows where their ideas come from. Now run get me another martini.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Fake Advice to Celebrities Who Didn't Ask For It, Vol. 2

Dear Kathy,

So, I've got this album coming out. I think it's going to be hot like lava, but I'm pretty worried that the bad press I'm getting is going to hurt sales. Yeah, you know, I'm a serial babymomma-leaver. And, word, it looked pretty bad when I missed my unfamous kid's first birthday party. But like, I thought it was pretty common knowledge that when your shit's about to blow up you don't waste your time with your shorties--you fan the muthafuckin' flames! Federline up, bitches! Imma sign my autograph on the Federline!

Sorry, you know, I'm just really excited about my album. It's gonna be huge. But how do I get people to notice I'm not a deadbeat dad, and that my fresh beats are rad?

K-Fed Up.

Dear K-Fed Up,

Three words for you: Celebrity charity record. You think after "We Are The World" anybody remembered that Willie Nelson owed $16.7 million dollars in back taxes? Or, for that matter, that Dionne Warwick had been putting food on the table as an infomercial carnival barker for 900-number psychics? No. America knew--despite their creepy hair choices (Lionel Richie) or mustaches (Hall and Oates) or how over their careers were (LaToya, Marlon, Randy and Tito Jackson)--that they cared about the children starving in Africa, and that was all that mattered for, you know, like a couple of important Billboard weeks.

All you've got to do is organize some kind of celebrity charity record and you'll be golden, especially if the proceeds go to something like fatherless children of idiot mothers. The smokescreen will be impenetrable. I say you round up some comparably famous musicians (the Baha Men, Lou Bega, Inoj, etc.), and I'll get to work on your rap solo for the bridge of what's destined to be your stepping stone to platinum debut album sales:

This here's for all the babies without daddies
Eatin' Cheerios for dinner outta plastic baggies
So don't frown little shorty, it's gonna be a'ight,
Cause K-Fed gon'be there like an Elmo night light...


Dear Kathy,

This is less a request for advice and more a chance for me to express my deep regret that I have broken into "it-girl" territory. I don't know how it happened. One minute you're living your typical, everyday, uber-rich life in a mansion on a cliff with a view of the ocean, and the next you're trying to keep the paparazzi out of your typical, everyday, uber-rich life in a mansion on a cliff with a view of the ocean. I don't even act! I can't even sing! I might not even have a high school diploma yet!

So, Kathy, television watching public, America at large: I apologize that I am hogging, like, two seats in the musical chair game of notoriety. I promise I will try to release an album or something. Even star in one of those celebrity poker tournaments. I swear I will come up with some sort of reason for my face to be all over the goddamn place.

Kristin Cavallari
Laguna Beach, CA

Dear Kristin,

We will accept nothing less than a drunken sex tape. With someone old enough to be your father. Possibly, for example, your father.


Dear Kathy,

Etiquette question: socially acceptable to adopt a rainbow of babies and make them walk in skin-tone order?

Just One Lady Interested in Eugenics


Babies are not Skittles.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Extra Fiber, Hold the Tasty

My boss is really awesome about leaving things of interest to me on my chair. Stuff like old People magazines and Reese's peanut butter cups, or 20% off coupons for Bed Bath and Beyond. It reminds me of my mother's lunchbox notes. She used to draw me as one of those curlicue smileyface heads wearing an NKOTB t-shirt.

The notes would also tell me not to eat my strawberries on the bus on the way to school, which I would do anyway, but just feel like a criminal. I've never been good with temptation.

Like the peanut butter cups, which I had to put in the drawer of my desk that's blocked by a box full of stalled manuscript. I suppose since I moved the box in the first place in order to put the peanut butter cups in there, I could just move it again in order to remove and ingest them, but it's the ceremony of the gesture that counts. I am not eating this candy. I am so not eating this candy I'm putting it in prison. And maybe, just maybe, when I emerge from the skinny end of my new diet regimen, I will roll away the manuscript stone and free them from their tomb like the Risen Christ Himself, gilded, shining, and oh so sweet.

I'm two days into my swearing off of all things sugary, yeasty, and (let's face it) enjoyably saporific. I'm willing to bet the peanut butter cup-as-Jesus metaphor is a direct side effect, but then again I pretty much feel that passionately about candy all of the time.

This, my friends, is the problem.

It's not that I don't enjoy eating a bowl of spinach for dinner. It was pretty good. It's just that after I've reduced my bowlful of leaves to a smattering of grass clipping looking residue, I can't help but look around for the real dinner that should follow. Carbohydrates are the bricks and mortar of my diet; they are the vehicles for the stuff I'm supposed to be eating to travel to my mouth. How else would tomatoes and cheese get into my stomach if not for their doughy surfboard? Grilled chicken breast carpools with toasted kaiser roll--who am I to break up their system?

Two days and I'm already pining for pasta so deeply I could write quatrains to the beef ramen sitting in my cabinet. All my food has come unglued without its vital carbohydrate components. I'm left with salad, the messy bedroom floor of the culinary universe. Caesar salad just looks better wearing its herb and garlic tortilla jacket. Spinach is happier when you let it roast for a little while in a pastry-shell tanning booth. Without their integral starchy elements, my meals look like they're in their underwear.

This morning, a morning on which I have just barely resigned myself to a cup of black Komodo Dragon blend instead of a Pumpkin Spice Latte with whipped cream, I found an open issue of People and two peanut butter cups sitting next to Kirsten Dunst's bony scapula. Usually the stuff my boss leaves on my chair rules.

Today it's writing trite feminist poetry for me.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Open Your Heart

Anyone who goes to concerts with some frequency knows the feeling. Your drink is nearing empty but the lights are going down, so you forfeit your refill in favor of keeping your spot near the stage. There's clapping, there's hooting, there's the crush (of varying intensity depending upon the hardcoreitude of the performer) of people pushing toward the still empty spotlight.

Two guys, better classified as "dudes," take the stage.

"Wait a minute," you think, "wait just a goddamn minute." You check for your ticket stub in your pocket. "There's not supposed to be an opener. THERE'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE AN OPENER."

And your drink seems ever emptier as the dudes plow through ballad after ballad as comfortably as a school bus driving through a brick wall. "I'm always on the outside looking in," they sing, or something similarly cribbed from eight year old Dawson's Creek transcripts. "You make me broken."

"But I am strong."

Now you're crunching your ice and trying to see over the head of the dude in front of you to the setlist, which is taped to the floor and completely unreadable. They've played five songs. How many more songs can they possibly play? How many more permutations of suspended D minor chords can there even be? Mathematically, it has to end soon.

Still, though, another song. Then another, with two minutes of "whoa-oh-ooohhs" at the end.

I know that many good bands start off as opening acts, but there is a whole caste of musical acts who will never, ever be anything besides an opener. When I think back on the eight thousand shows I've seen in my life I can only recall a handful of opening bands who were ever heard from again--Queens of the Stone Age, for example, who I still don't like, and didn't like when I saw them in 1997 at Trampp's. The Moving Units, who opened for Blur a few years ago, are doing pretty well. The rest disappeared beyond the event horizon of notoriety where, thankfully, no light nor sound may escape. Jack Drag, dropped from their label a month after I sat through two sets of theirs at a Hole concert when Courtney was drunk and belligerently refused to come out and play. O-Town: anyone even remember their song?

The Pat McGee band Pat McBlew.

It's just a strange phenomenon. Even as a highly talented and popular blogger who brings in, Christ, like sixty hits a day, I can't imagine being asked to read eight or nine pieces before Philip Roth's next reading, you know? If you go to the ballet, you'd never have to watch forty minutes of (unannounced!) amateur softshoe before Swan Lake.

It's not that I don't feel for opening bands. I'm not the kind of person who boos, or even talks loudly during their sets. I try to conceal my laughter behind my companion's shoulder when an opening acoustic balladier spits all over the place in emphatic longing. It's not that I don't understand the strong desire to pursue a career. I totally get how on the verge they must feel taking the stage before someone who's made it, who ascended like a stuffed octopus in that great claw machine of fame.

But I can't stand through another nine song crap-a-long fronted by someone who hasn't yet mastered not smashing their teeth into the microphone or getting his foot stuck in a bunch of cords.

It's trying for my ears, and it's kind of tragic for my heart. It's a diet commercial before and after, only with music instead of gut flab.
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