Friday, January 25, 2008

Why I'm Laughing Like a Crazy At My Desk

Winner of the Best Headline Ever competition I was apparently holding in my head:

Knut is a psychopath and will never mate, say experts

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Waisted: A Big Fat Journey

"Cuhhcakesss..." Ricardo said, in that gay Cubanish drawl that will remind me of Hank Azaria in The Birdcage for all time even though I saw that movie once and didn't even like it. "Cuhhcakesss are all abow feelinksss."

It is my fate to sit in the back of whatever classroom I find myself in and never speak. This does not prevent teachers, professors, priests, magicians, and Weight Watchers group meeting leaders from looking me in the eyes and speaking directly to me as though they are ghosts and I am the only medium able to channel their desperate unfinished business to the corporeal world.

"No, I'm sssseriousss. Cuhcakesss are nah abow nutrishio! Cuhcakesss are all abow pleaashurrr! Now I gonna tell you how I make frensh toess for two poinsss."

I joined Weight Watchers a little over a week ago because the results of my very rigorous 25 year experiment in social perception finally came in from the lab and, as it turns out, controlling for all other factors in a highly scientific manner, boys don't like you for your brains. I tried to keep Weight Watchers a secret, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to turn down drinks and takeout without an explanation that isn't "I don't have any points left for today. Want to see the four books I have to carry around to figure out the value of every piece of food I put in my face?"

NB: I will slit your throat (with glee..with so much glee) if you talk to me about this in person, because your reaction is going to be stupid no matter what it is. Either you're going to go all Up with People and say I don't need to join and I'm fine the way I am, in which case fuck you, you've probably made out with someone in the last five years and therefore have no right to talk, or you're going to be all supportive and proud of me, in which case fuck you, you've been pitying me for as long as I've known you and you can kiss my entire ass.

The other reason I think it's necessary to come clean is because I think one of my bosses may suspect I'm in AA, although the idea of discussing weight loss at work is so cringe-inducing I think maybe I'd rather she thought I was a lush. I was really evasive about having a weekly meeting I had to go to after work and I'm concerned she's going to start checking my desk for single-serving bottles of Wild Turkey.

But it's too good. Ricardo is too good not to write about (seriously, I love him), and the same goes for the clique of chatty Cathies whose incessant group participation was about as melodic and informative as a troupe of yodeling walruses.

It was equally difficult to decide what to call this, and rejected titles included:

Waiting to Inhale
Diary of a Mad Fat Hipster
Fuck You, You Fucking Skinny Bitches
Let Them Eat Rice Cake
The Fat Album
The Pounds and the Fury
lolfats / I Cant Has Cheezburger

Aside from deciding on the succinct "Waisted," I'm working on this theory that every q&a session ever held--particularly meetings of a support nature--had at least one mouth-breathing, quip-rehearsing, Second-Life-playing, cheese-scented former Play-doh eater who will talk and talk and talk until they are basically performing the keynote speech Asshole U graduation. I don't want to hear your recipes, I don't care about your personal triumphs, your story isn't going anywhere, and I wouldn't go around bragging that your boyfriend buys you a present every time you lose ten pounds.

If my theoretical boyfriend tried to reward me into losing weight, the Make a Wish Foundation would be theoretically taking him to Disneyworld and wheeling him to the front of the line for Space Mountain.

Anyway, I did lose weight this week and it wasn't too painful, and soon I'll be so skinny I'll be getting dates left and right but secretly resenting every boy because they wouldn't have looked at me when I was fat. Can't wait!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Out, Out Damn Stuff!

I'm bulimic, and it's so completely awesome. For years, I've been binging, binging, binging and now it's all purge, purge, purge, and I couldn't be happier about it.

Not the food kind of bulimic. Food is the best and should be digested down to its last delicious molecules. I'm talking about all of my stupid crap, the boxes of dumb shit I've been hauling between dorm rooms and apartments since 2001 that serve no purpose besides being heavy and also dusty. All of it, every bit of it needs to go, like so much peanut butter eaten directly from the jar by Dana Plato on Different Strokes.

I know, bulimia, not funny. But such an easy metaphor, and come on, who doesn't need a Dana Plato reference on a Monday morning?

Take my closet, for example. I had something like twenty pairs of broken, messed up, worn out, or left-only shoes. Also two boxes of CDs I haven't unpacked since May of 2004, when I packed them in giant Sapporo boxes taken from the bar where I worked. I had a folder filled with three copies each of cringe-worthy college short stories written in the two hours before my workshop: one for posterity, and two others because boys I thought were cute at the time wrote on them. Three months of the Sunday Times. A curtain I spilled green paint on.

In my night table: fortyish dried up markers, an Altoids tin full of beads I've been "meaning" to make a necklace out of since I was 14, a small copy of the New Testament someone handed me on the street and I've only ever used to paint my nails on, a clock radio that has never once worked, and several unused photo albums. And a CD that someone left in my room during my freshman year that is scratched beyond playability and, also, I haven't spoken to its owner since October of 2001 and didn't really like her even then but, you know, maybe I should hang onto it for the better part of a decade just in case.

Purged every bit of that shit. Ten garbage bags full of total crap out the door and on the curb and now biodegrading into toxins in my water supply. It rules.

I blame it all on The Diary of Anne Frank.

Seriously, when you read that as an impressionable nine-year-old with literary aspirations, you start to hoard every piece of paper you have ever written on in hopes that it is 1. genius, and 2. easy to find if you happen to meet a tragic demise and your mom decides the world should read what you had to say. This is why, post-purge, I still have a tote bag (actually, a weirdly patriotic God Bless America tote bag, and I have no idea how it came to be in my possession) of notebooks from field trips to the Amish Country and Cape Cod.

Sadly, upon reading these again, there are no "people are basically good" revelations.

There is a particularly choice essay about how "as time goes by, people will think the Amish are dumb for not using technology."

Maybe I'll keep that one.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


My friend Jes said the truest prediction she could make for her life is that she will die with big hair and fake nails. Knowing her (and who wouldn't want to after that description?), I agree wholeheartedly. I have never once seen her talonless. I have seen her shoot me finger guns from the floor of my bathroom after a particularly long evening out, but even then, the guns were manicured with impeccable turquoise tips.

I bring this up because I think it's pretty sweet to be able to identify one thing about yourself that is fundamental. And until today, I had no idea what that thing of mine was.

I will always have a secret boyfriend to whom I have never actually spoken.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Very Good Art

The decorative theme of my office is basically a sophisticated and droll take on the Beatles' white album, except instead of white it's gray, and instead of an album it's flat wall paint, and instead of the Beatles there's an undulating carpet pattern ripped from the interior of an 1987 Volkswagen Cabriolet.

My cube, being the pen in which I work and feed five days a week, is decorated with a number of my personal belongings. I realize that my taste does not generally run toward the stylish Impressionist print end of the spectrum, so I've tried to keep my weirdess under the threshold at which Human Resources has to give me some kind of a lecture.

Here's what I look at every day:
A phrenology chart
My favorite poem (25 by Ferlinghetti, from A Coney Island of the Mind)
Two William Eggleston photos (christmas lights, creepy house)
Torn envelope full of cancelled stamps from Mexico
Three Picasso blue period postcards from an exhibit I saw in 1997
Sightly JonBenet-ish ballerina portrait sent in a book proposal to my last job.
Mass card with photo of the pieta
Twin paintings with bees that Brad made me
That Bastien-Lepage painting of Joan of Arc that everyone knows
Print of Tiffany window
Print of Picasso "Old Guitarist"
Black and white photo dated June 6, 1940 of my grandfather next to a Wrigley's gum sign.
Justice and Wheel of Fortune jumbo tarot cards

It's sort of like a carnival sideshow up in here. I bring this up because someone at work was talking about how she keeps meaning to bring in stuff to decorate her cube but never remembers to actually do it. Being the thoughtful co-worker that I am, I helpfully printed her the following Very Good Art to put up:

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Boneteenth Amendment

I caucused my own self for about four hours today about posting this entry or not, because women have only had the vote since 1920 and I feel like that's not far enough out of the woods to play with fire. And, given the continually dismal numbers women vote in, I don't want to make it seem like I'm actually going to cast my vote based on what I'm about to show you. So.

WHEREAS I have voted in both elections I have been eligible to vote in and voted based on policy alone,

WHEREAS I am currently still debating between Obama and Clinton and have read all of their stances on both of their websites, watched the debates, watched hours of caucus coverage, and even read up on Huckabee and Romney and McCain just to see what they're up against,

WHEREAS seriously, I am not an idiot,

I HEREBY DECLARE the Time Warp Boneability Election Open. Please cast your votes carefully. If you could travel back in time, would you rather get it on with:

Option A: Time Warp John Edwards. He's got that slightly cocky football jock thing going on, which is at the same time kind of appealing and kind of repellent. Those two should always cancel each other out, but somehow they always, always, always add up to an extreme desire to make out with whatever dude is emitting the vibe. Bonus points for what was probably sweaty helmet hair, but actually amounts to kind of emo bangs.

Option B: Time Warp Mitt Romney. I know, at first glance he looks like the Chairman of the Young Morman Republican Churchgoer Kiss Asses. But look at it a little longer and imagine him as the editor in chief of a college newspaper. Or imagine him with a cigarette. Right? I know.

Option C: Time Warp John McCain. I was surprised about this one, considering how squinty and melty-faced McCain is currently. But look at him -- that is TOTALLY Hot Dad Down the Block. Or maybe Guy on F Train Who Reads Hemingway and Gets Off at Bergen Street Without Fail. Or History Professor With Deep Passion for The Civil War. You get my drift.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


The first three days of 2008 have been less than stellar, but I'm trying not to let it get me down; if you were to judge my life as a whole by its first three days, (which, if I understand human biology at all, involved mostly crying, drinking all my calories and pooping on myself) the ensuing decades would look pretty bleak.

Shortly after the stroke of midnight on the first I was harrassed by a herd of teenage boys and hit up for two bucks on the street by a man I thought was going to shove me into his van and take off for the underground cell he keeps hidden under some branches in a forest where no one can hear you scream.

The F train was messed up last night. It is murderously cold outside.

I thought my house was haunted because lights were blowing out and pictures were falling and I kept hearing this weird noise and my room was approximately 45 degrees when I woke up this morning (like, actually: the thermostat downstairs in the boiler room only read 51), but in the daylight I will grudgingly acknowledge that this was probably the result of watching three consecutive episodes of Ghost Hunters by myself.

Also, I lost my debit card. I discovered it was missing when I tried to pay for two bags full of groceries with a long line of eye-rolling, irritated Park Slopers behind me growing agitated that their tofu was getting warm while I dumped the entire contents of my purse onto the counter.

There are also a host of small irritations that would probably be dismissed had the other stuff not happened: there is a pimple on my chin; my hair is flat; I forgot to bring real shoes with me to work today so I'm stuck wearing total nerd winter boots; a dude was eating the world's smelliest onion bagel on the train this morning; my throat kind of hurts; I suspect someone is stealing the peppermints on my desk; I had a dream about work, which is really annoying because, come on, I can't be at home on my couch in pajamas watching Top Chef reruns in my dreams?

Then there's the mixed bag of my horoscope for January. I happen to love Susan Miller, the astrologer at (the supremely 90s-looking), because she's said things like, "You will buy a flat screen TV on November 9," when I did indeed buy a flat screen TV on November 9. She's been all hearts and flowers about how great a year this is going to be for Virgos since December. My life is supposed to get all Meg Ryan romantic comedy. It's exciting and heartening to read that someone thinks there's a torrential downfall of dudes in them there clouds, which makes me hopeful about the remaining 363 days of 2008. But also, Susan kind of promised me the end of December was going to be Makeoutfest 2K7. What I got was Eat Mom's Pasta Bash. I'm not holding my breath, but I suppose I'll keep my fingers crossed.

I just finished reading this book I've been meaning to read since I was at Columbia in the summer of '04, called "Early Bird," by Rodney Rothman. It was cute, but nothing to write home about: a TV writer retires at the age of 28 and moves in with old people in South Florida for a year. There's lots of shuffleboard and golf and canasta and stuff, and it's all kind of funny and intermittently sad or heartwarming. Anyway, the point here is that the best part, by far, was the author's friendship with a woman named Amy Ballinger, who's a ninetysomething raunchy stand-up comic. She had this catchphrase punchline that could punctuate any story to make it funny, whether or not it was actually funny or kind of depressing. Ouch, I have arthritis in my matter, [punchline]. I was trying to come up with a way to end this whole thing without being all woe is me, so I think I'm just going to completely coopt her line. In fact, it may be my motto for the year.

SO, maybe my hair looks bad and I'm wearing dork boots and I've got fifteen dollars in cash for the next seven to ten working days until I get my new debit card, and maybe I can never go back to that bodega again because I'm embarrased, and maybe I'm no big hit with the teenage boys and perhaps I've got an unfriendly poltergeist as a second roommaate...but hey, at least my legs still spread.
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