Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hollercore

Usually I hate the street holler. Like, more than anything. More than getting up in the morning, more than coffee grinds in the bottom of my cup, more than losing a bobby pin in my bigass hair, more than fingerprints on my glasses, more than ill-fitting underwear, more than loud chewers on the subway, more than Joan Jett hates herself for loving you and can't break free from the things that you do. I'm in no way a ten or anything, yet I've been hollered at by cops, firemen, garbage collectors who stop the truck in the middle of the intersection at Myrtle and Marcy until I'm in the subway, a dude who swore to Allah he would buy me contacts and better nails while smoking on the G train, and, once, a short bus. I hate it.

Except I just got the all time holler of hollers and it actually was so absurdly charming it made my day.

I was walking down the street during my lunch just to get out of the office for a bit and passed some crusties with a dog. This is like my kryptonite. I can't not give them the contents of my pocket when they ask me for money. So, as usual, when the dude asked me for change I gave him a buck and kept walking.

Halfway down the block he yells, "WAIIIIIT!"

And I'm all, "Yeah?"

And he's all, "Lemme get your number! I'm serious!"

And I'm all, you have a phone?

And he's all, "Come onnn, I'm serious! You're so pretty! I'll buy you pizza and we can sneak into the movies!"

He kept hollering until I turned the corner at which point I realized that this is the best offer I've gotten recently. I'm not sure what that says about me, or the world, or you dudes in general as a species, but right about now sneaking into a horror movie and eating some misappropriated popcorn with someone who could conceivably give me scabies is actually sort of tempting.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Chest Hurts

I know it’s already Friday again, but I’m still stuck on last weekend, which was so out of the ordinary it made my whole entire life feel like a vacation. A herd of really, exceptionally good new people blew in and then left again like a tropical storm, and in their whirlwind came an epidemic of new tattoos, a flat tire in the projects, a party broken up by the cops, a really lame beatdown, a threatened retaliatory beatdown, an oil tank climbed and immediately unclimbed, and milkshakes, and pizza, and an excuse to bake two vegan cheesecakes, and bullshitting while sitting on piles of laundry in the kind of apartment that, when you’re a kid, you think you’ll have when no one can to tell you what to do, and several forties, and some late nights, and a sick day. And one extremely stubborn Sunday crossword puzzle.

I have this undying affinity for movies that take place on one night, because they always make my heart beat with a sense of teenage urgency that’s hormonal and visceral and lovely. I blame watching “American Graffiti” when I was, like, nine or something. To this day, if anything—movies, books, my stupid life, whatever—involves driving around in a car between dumb destinations and having conversations at an absurdly late/early hour with people you wouldn’t otherwise be talking to, I will love it.

I realize this isn’t exactly a story, but what’s the point? My life felt kinda like one of those movies for a little bit, but then I went back to work, I answered my e-mails, I went to my meetings, and I tried to go to bed at a normal hour.

But.

I was unable to completely hide two new chest tattoos. And I am equally unable to go sleep. When you lead kind of a normal life during the day, one which fits slightly uncomfortably, it’s kind of nice to caffeinate things for a little while.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Waisted: Jean-etic Disorders

Kathy joined Weight Watchers. Shut up. Because it apparently breaks some weight loss commandment to display even a scintilla of cynicism at meetings, Waisted is where she bitches about eating, not eating, oversharing weight watchers, and probably you.

It is arctic in my office. It is so cold I have to pack extra sweaters in my bag like I’m going to Girl Scout camp in Maine or something. It’s so cold I have to take walks at lunch to thaw my fingers (and scour SoHo for possible Lindsay Lohan sightings. She is my Bigfoot. She is my Loch Ness monster.). Last week I made the mistake of coming to work in a skirt and, by one in the afternoon, I was so cold I had to go out and purchase pants.

If Lindsay Lohan is my Bigfoot, pants have historically been my kryptonite. Meltdown inducing, muffin-top producing, ass-crack revealing, thigh-squeezing, Old Navy-procured kryptonite.

I know they’re just two tubes and a zipper, but pants are just as big a social identifier as your hair and I’ve been frustrated for more than a decade at having to wear jeans that say the wrong thing. When I was in high school, all I wanted were bell-bottoms (it was a very Woodstock ’95 impulse, and you can all suck it) and all I could fit into were men’s carpenter jeans from Old Navy. When I was in college all I wanted were cute vintage pants from the consignment shop downtown, and what I settled for was ordering pants online from American Eagle (extended sizes available via the internet only, because fatties should never be allowed to leave the basement) and, of course, Old Navy. And then I moved to New York and all I wanted was a goddamn pair of skinny jeans, but I ended up instead with pair after pair of crappy pants from--say it with me now--Old Navy.

I don’t actually have anything against Old Navy and, in fact, rather appreciate that they carry a whole lot of size options in their stores. It’s just that the Old Navy aesthetic, the Aubrey O’Day to the Gap’s Victoria Beckham, is extraordinarily not me and more than a little cheesy. It’s always been difficult to cobble together some kind of representative look when everything there either goes one step too far (inexplicable rhinestones, or a fun screen print of a sun and a beach or something) or else feels like stuff my mother would’ve made me wear when she still made us go to church on vacation.

So, I was freezing and I needed jeans and I walked straight to Old Navy without thinking. I was barely through the security sensors when I realized, holy shit, I didn’t have to shop there if I didn’t want to. I spun my ass around, walked out, and purchased a pair of jeans at H&M for $19.90, and yes they have terrible back pockets but they were on sale, and fit right, and confirmed my suspicion that I’d lost another inch in the waist.

I’ve lost 58.2 pounds since January and look different enough now that people who met me once before then don’t recognize me as the same person. People I know are, with growing frequency, passing me by on the street without recognizing me until I say their name. It’s hard to see the difference when I look in the mirror, but the little changes weird me out sufficiently: my hands look completely different and I lost more than a ring size; my shoes fit differently; my mom’s middle school charm bracelet fastens all of a sudden; I can’t immediately identify which figure is me when I’m walking with a crowd past our reflections in a window. Weirder still, I’ve noticed people feel comfortable making fat jokes about other people in front of me, which used to happen very rarely. I mean, yay, I’ve partially shrunk out of the demographic you’re shit-talking, but emotionally, I’m a big-ass fatty fatso fat girl 4 LYFE, ya herrd?

But what do you do? I don’t know, I’m still figuring it out. Sometimes you just put on your small pants and they dye your legs blue because they’re brand new, and you talk to boys even if it’s completely pointless, and you get vaguely Diablo Cody-esque bro tattoos in a kitchen in Bed-Stuy, and you count your whiskey points dutifully, and you just keep going and hope anything makes sense when you get there.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

And That, Kids, Is the Story of How I Met Your Dad.

The thing I love about New York and that everyone else in the country probably hates about New York is the personal arsenal of "Only in New York..." stories we all accidentally amass by just doing our daily shit. Yes, they are funny, but yes, they also make us sound like smug assholes who think it's an accomplishment just to get to work.

But, see, when you drive to work alone, in a car, in which you can be reasonably assured no one will be jerking off, the world doesn't seem like quite such a war zone.

Case in point:

I was on the downtown F yesterday at rush hour. I got a seat, I was finishing up the crossword, and there was a garden-variety subway crazy sitting a few seats down and on the other side of the car. He was a mutterer and a several-plastic-bags-haver, if you're familiar with that particular crazy guy jam. He didn't smell and he wasn't pooping or screaming, so no one really paid his muttering much mind.

He muttered the entire way to 7th Avenue, where I get off. He was seated next to the door. As the train neared my station, I stood to gather up my shit and stuff my paper in my bag.

"Daaaaaaaaaamn, girl. DAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN! MAMA!" he said to my boobs.

"Fuuuuuuuuuuuck," I remember thinking. (For the record, my boobs have caused me nothing but trouble since, like Cabbage Patch Kid heads from magical soil, they blossomed, large and bulbous and creepy.)

He went back to muttering, though vehemently now and in the direction of my chest. The train slowed down and came to a stop, and, of course, of fucking course, this was one of those times when, no matter how hard you will it to happen, the doors just will not open.

This was when he looked me right in the eye.

"Well," he said. "I wouldn't kill you."

And with that single, terrifying, lucid confession, he turned his attention back toward muttering into the car of people whose lives, sadly for them, were not so blatantly guaranteed.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

All You Other Slim Shadys Are Just Imitating

Because I am a narcissist, I’m signed up for Google Alerts whenever my name appears on the internet. Mostly this is crap: links to old articles (that Britney Spears McSweeney’s thing just will not die) and those strange advertising pages that just aggregate text from other places on the web. Then, yesterday, I got an alert that I had published a poem on poetry.com.

This was troubling, because 1. I have written two poems since I graduated college. One was yesterday, and the other was a sonnet ode to trans fats, and 2. I did not publish either masterpiece via poetry.com. I live in fear that my tragically bad poems from college, high school or, god help me, middle school are circling like piranhas, waiting for a good opening to bite me directly in the ass. I held my breath and clicked.

Here’s what I found:

Children

Children are a blessing from our Lord
I have three.

Kathy Cacace


This, coupled with another alert that I had apparently signed up for Facebook and posted a picture of some lady with blonde highlights and tasteful earrings, means there is another Kathy Cacace in town. I'm assuming her recent appearance is due to a marriage-related name change, and not some Twilight Zone-esque Doppleganger life takeover plot.

I have always been the only Kathy Cacace on the internet. It may not be a good name, or even a name that people understand and so I have to spell it out several times, but then they think I’m stuttering and I’m not, there’s just a lot of c’s and a’s, but it's my name and mine alone. With it comes the right to the only Facebook account with my name on it, and to bogart all the Google hits, and to publish poor poetry of my choosing via a pyramid scheme to sell your name to mailing lists.

So, like the whiny little bitch I’ve been since birth, I struck back at injustice by writing down my stupid feelings.

Clarifications

I did not write that poem.
I have no children.
A leaf slowly falls.

Kathy Cacace
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