Thursday, December 30, 2004

i was born in the backseat of a mustang, on a cold night, in the pouring rain

Actually, that's not true. I was born in a hospital under close medical supervision. But that's the chorus of this song by this band that I've been listening to on my iPod when I stand out in the snowy backyard wearing my mom's Ugg-like sherpa slippers and many layers of fleece and flannel to sneak cigarettes. But then early yesterday I ran out of cigarettes and have had the damn song running through my craving, anxious and fuzzy brain ever since. Given the degree of suck involved in withdrawal from smoking five a day (that's individual cigs, not packs,) I can pretty much swear on my most valuable possession in the world, Furry the Bean-bag Bear, that I will never, ever smoke more than that. (Well, at least not on a regular basis--chain-smoking while drunk is just a given. [Is that good enough punctuation for you, FAB? Aside from the fact that it's not a complete sentence?])

Fortunately, this quitting practice will be halted temporarily when I head down to Madison tomorrow to celebrate interacting with a human being under the age of 45 for the first time in almost two weeks. I refuse to celebrate New Year's Eve because, like Valentine's Day, it's one of those holidays on which certain things are supposed to happen (e.g., having insane amounts of fun at some party you're being totally ripped off to attend, having a significant other who isn't as bitter and cynical as you are) and they often don't because they're simply out of your control, and then an otherwise fine, ordinary night is a big disappointment. Whereas for Thanksgiving and Christmas you just get together with some people and eat a lot. But I digress. Point is, my brain feels like it's tumbling around in a clothes dryer and I'm going to Madison to get drunk this weekend. Yay! Happy End of 2004!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

book it!

So, I finally caved and read the Da Vinci Code (my unwillingness to read it, of course, was based purely on all the annoying hype and not sheer laziness. Ahem.) My review: not fucking Tolstoy but damn entertaining. It's really that simple, you THREE THOUSAND AND TWENTY Amazon reviewers. A Sparknotes aficianado and reader of approximately 1.2 pleasure books (I don't mean that in a dirty way) per year, I read the thing in less than two days, and granted I have no obligations or engagements save for shoveling snow and putting dishes in the dishwasher and turning it on, but still, I am impressed that this not so little book went down so easily.

Alright, time to watch Oprah and pretend to exercise on the recumbent stationary bike that so elegantly graces the family living room.

Monday, December 27, 2004

on the 12th day of unemployment

As anticipated, I have taken laziness to a whole new level. In one week I have left the house exactly twice--once to go to Target; once to the far inferior WalMart--and my LL Bean flannel pj's are getting quite the workout. Also, as you can perhaps tell from that last sentence, I've finally gotten around to reading Eats, Shoots, & Leaves and am trying to help keep alive the semicolon and make proper use of dashes. (Though there is really no hope that my grammar will ever be as good as it was at age 15 or so.)

Highlights of the holiday weekend included introducing my parents and uncle to the wonderful worlds of Da Ali G Show and Freaks and Geeks, a rousing dinner table conversation about the ages and causes of death of every single semi-close relative, and the revelation that if my grandmother (70, lung cancer) had had her way, I would've been named Gretchen or Gertrude. If you know my last name, just take a moment to ponder the atrocity that would've been. If you don't know my last name, trust me and assume like I do that Grandma's brain was almost as fried as her lungs from smoking two packs a day for 50 years.

Anyway, after a few weeks of uselessness I'm going to have to, like, start doing stuff. This includes making plans for getting my lazy ass into graduate school for psychology so that I can make money listening to people's problems all day and then sell out by writing some self-help book and hawking it on Oprah for lots of money. Or something. Or perhaps I could become a researcher and come up with brilliant insights like those in this article, which is on the first page of the APA's website for chrissake.

I'm already making fun of my possible future career. Awesome.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

the fam (minus the sis who is in mehico)

My baby girl, Babe. She is getting old (11 1/2) and has had some issues with bed wetting lately. So she has to wear this diaper at night to which my mom attached some denim suspenders so they stay on. She tolerates it pretty well, but, as you can see, she's a little embarrassed.

Crazy Daisy. We got her after the love of my life, Bridget, died during my senior year of high school. She was six months old at the time, because nobody else wanted to buy the puppy with the underbite.

The Parents. Have you ever seen a more wholesome picture in your entire life? Seriously, have you? This looks like it should be the generic picture in the frame when you buy a picture frame at the store.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

almost makes up for severe nicotine withdrawal

After dinner I casually mention that I wish there are cookies in the house, hoping that perhaps some will turn up in the next week or so. Less than one hour later, Mom brings a plate of chocolate chip cookies with still melty chips out to me in the computer room. This would never, ever have occured a few years ago. God bless her soul. And Empty Nest Syndrome.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

culture shock

Because it snowed last night and my flight got in really late, my parents decided to hire a "limo service" to bring me home safely from the airport. Said "limo" was a busted up--and I mean rusty, dented, and shaking--Dodge Caravan, which would've freaked me out had I not driven a very similar model throughout high school (or at least until winter of senior year when the tires kept exploding while I was driving and it failed to start in the subzero weather that is a fact of life in these parts.) Anyway, I hopped in the passenger seat next to a scruffy, tattooed, heavily accented young gentleman that seemed to be about my age. He was smoking in the car, so I lit up too.

He turned out to be quite a chatty fellow and immediately mentioned that he needed to be home by 3 a.m. because he had "the ankle bracelet." Now, as I was thinking about how this must be some euphemism for a demanding wife, a la "the old ball and chain," or something, he said, "But don't worry, I just got in a fight, they give me the late shift so I can't go to the bars, but I can't go 150 feet away from my house anyway. Sucks man." Realizing that he was not talking about a wife (though I later learned he has an illegitimate three-year-old,) I said "So, wait a second, you actually have a bracelet...on your ankle..." He pulled up his tapered jeans to reveal a heavy duty black strap attached to a cell phone sized electronic device. Apparently if you get in a bar fight or some other kind of trouble necessitating police intervention, the "cahps" take you to prison, secure a heat sensored monitor on your ankle and a receiver in your house, and then know if you've left the 150 foot radius of your house while you're not at work, or if you've managed to remove the bracelet.

But we're talking serious drinkers here who will not be hindered by such sophisticated surveillance methods. My new buddy then proceeded to describe how he attached a phone cord to the home receiver, wrapped it in a plastic bag, strung it out through the kitchen window so he got an extra 20 feet in that direction, and was able to go to his buddy's house, apparently between 150 and 170 feet away, to get wasted. He was very proud of this ingenuity, but was clearly more impressed by the cleverness of his friend. When his friend got into his bracelet-worthy scuffle, he also sprained his ankle, which resulted in significant swelling. The cops failed to take account of this, so when the swelling went down he was able to slip the bracelet off. But the friend knew that the heat sensors would alert the cops to the bracelet removal. Fortunately, the friend had a cat, who became the proud owner of a new large black collar. Had the friend not run into his probation officer at a bar several days later, he would've gotten away with it.

So basically, the crazy kids in Central Wisconsin are just like the crazy kids back in New York, only they get in trouble more because the police don't have unsolved murders and drug dealers and the mafia to worry about. That, and they all, and I mean ALL, have small children. Oh, and they also pay $350 per month for a four bedroom house. Except for the electronic monitoring and the burden of children parts, it doesn't sound to shabby.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

the continuing saga of lenny kravitz's bathroom

So apparently I wasn't paying well enough attention the other night. Turns out the bathroom in which I fucked my hairstylist IS Lenny Kravitz's. Hairstylist's friend is the poor rich soul who lives downstairs and had to vacate his apartment when this mysterious incident occured [via Gawker]:
Lenny Kravitz's Craptabulous Crapper

We're half disgusted, half curious about the state of Lenny Kravitz's toilet, which is "blocked, clogged and congested with various materials," resulting in $333,849.77 worth of water damage to his downstairs neighbor's apartment. The insurance company is now seeking reimbursement in full from the rocker.

"Various materials?" It's 2004, can't we just say "syringes and latex?"
Dear Lenny was then kind enough to let the surprisingly cool investment banker stay in his place while the damages are being repaired. While I expect the bathroom was christened long before I wound up on the counter top, I am still proud to be leaving this city in true New York style and going out with a bang. (Ha, get it, BANG?) Next time you hear from me, I will be sober, crabby as hell from nicotine withdrawal, full of wholesome food, and wearing LL Bean flannel pajamas for at least a week straight.

Saturday, December 18, 2004


Remember how I said I really, really wanted to sleep with my hairstylist? Well, I am nothing if not a woman of my word, so I did. (Though it wasn't so much "sleep with" as "fuck in the bathroom of the totally sick apartment nextdoor to Lenny Kravitz's Soho loft.") I hope he'll still do my hair when I come visit, because he's by far done the best job ever (on my HAIR.) Also, I officially have a boyfriend. He lives in Canada. Anyone want to wager a guess as to WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME? Thanks.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

eeeyah eeyah eeeyaeeya...eeeyah eeyah eeeyaeeya

I have just completed my second day at Conde Nast packaging luxury gifts for the needy CEO's of the fashion and beauty industries. While I was robbed of an Anna Wintour encounter, I can rest peacefully at night knowing that Lubov Azria, wife of BCBG's Max, will be receiving her cashmere travel blanket wrapped in wrinkle-free tissue paper and tied with a satin bow, shiny side up.

In other exciting news, Yaya did not win America's Next Top Model! Perhaps there is a god afterall. One of my fellow temp gift wrappers happened to be in Yaya's class at Brown and confirmed that she does, indeed, "suck ass." I'm sad that this delightful "cycle" has come to an end, but it looks as though Project Runway will pick up the slack quite nicely.

Okay, now it's time to contemplate and do absolutely nothing about the massive amount of work to be done in order for me to relocate without losing all my possessions and/or paying a shitload of money to store/ship them. FAB, Drone? Be prepared to be bribed with various alcoholic beverages to help me solve this conundrum.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

i'm going in!

I apologize for the light blogging lately. I have been busy making preparations for my big move to the homeland. And by preparations I mean sitting on the futon watching Oprah and picking the dead skin off my feet (my token disgusting habit.) Though today, as a courtesy to my sublessee, I did manage to change the light bulbs in my 3'x5' "kitchen" that have been burned out for about four months. Tomorrow should prove a little more exciting, however, as I am infiltrating everyone's favorite office building, 4 Times Square, on a one-day temporary assignment at a Conde-Nasty publication. In the event that I find myself in an elevator with Anna Wintour, I swear on my sorry excuse for a shoe collection that I will do my best to drop a silent but deadly fart in her vicinity. Or at least stare at her for a little too long.

Monday, December 13, 2004

if i had a hammer

I love the Salon advice column guy. I love advice columns in general, including those about sex, in TV show format, conducted by elderly ladies, or all of the above. But Cary Tenis is particularly awesome. I can relate to this question from last week for obvious reasons, except for the whole still looking for jobs part. I realized very quickly into my workforce foray that I only like (er, I guess "tolerate" is a better word) jobs where I actually, like, do stuff, which is why my favorites so far include my work writing and grading exams (mmmm...power!), making ridiculous coffee drinks and smoothies, and picking up dog doo. And which is why my last two "real" assistant/bitch jobs have sucked my proverbial you know what. When my parents get sick of me and it's time to find employment again, this paragraph shall be my guide:

So, in addition to getting off my chest my continuing rage at the conformist culture of mediocrity one encounters in the American workplace, I will say this: There's nothing quite like having a real skill. If at all possible, make your entry-level job one in which, even at a low level, you produce something tangible: for example, the proofing or editing of copy or the production of tangible new knowledge by, say, conducting phone interviews or doing research. That is much better than simply arranging the movement of suits from business-class seat to boardroom chair, in my opinion. The relevant motto here is not, I believe, "Bring coffee to power." You need a productive skill independent of their notions of who you are. Dig? If you cannot land a job producing things yourself, then find work assisting those who do produce things, so that you can learn.

Get a skill. Seriously fucking brilliant.

Sunday, December 12, 2004


When you're born in this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you're given a front row seat. - George Carlin, NYT 12/12/2004

The subject matter of the two articles below [via Midwestgrrl, and me who for once read more than the headlines in the Sunday New York Times] have left me too disgusted for words.

*Walmart being sued for $75,000 for each corrupted soul that purchased Evanescence's latest CD, which contains the word "fuck." Goddamn lawyers.

*Current banned public discussion of my awesome sort of neighbor's awesome movie Kinsey, which is about the banned public discussion of the facts about sex and Dr. Kinsey's research thereof fifty years ago. Oh the sad, sad irony.

In other news, this unemployment business has made me nocturnal. Last night I was up until 5:30, not partying like a rockstar, but alone, drinking beer, smoking cigs, and researching grad school options and how to get my sorry ass accepted so that I can make a living off of studying the aforementioned freak show.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


I'm sorry to say I have precious little to report. My unemployed days have been filled primarily with naps (at least four hours a day,) VH1 celebrity specials I've seen a hundred times, and even some Oprah and Dr. Phil (Don't hate me.) But oh have I been productive! Yesterday I did the dishes, today I went to a sample sale and bought lots of cute undies for all the boys I'm not sleeping with, and tomorrow I plan to purchase an ant trap to take care of the little infestation in my kitchen. And I almost sister pointed out that I was indirectly mentioned in the Local Paper!
The Marshfield High School advanced placement program is growing, as demonstrated by the increasing number of recognized scholars.

Joyce Chu, a 2004 graduate, won the AP State Scholar Award, which is granted to one male and one female in each state who have the highest average on all advanced placement exams taken. Chu had an average of 4.92 out of 5 points over 13 exams [that is just sick and wrong wrong wrong] she had taken in three years, said guidance counselor Katherine Dostal.

"You're not considered for state scholar until your senior year, Dostal said. "Only one other student (from Marshfield High School) has been named state scholar." [that's ME!]

As thrilling as this almost-recognition is, I wish they'd done a followup to show current students how such achievement will prepare them for their future. I can see it now..."since graduating from Columbia with a mediocre grade point average and no professional or further academic aspirations whatsoever, Gina was fired from her first two jobs after college and has returned to Marshfield to live with her parents." Somehow I doubt Ms. Chu will be in the same boat, but I'm still damn thankful my parents are not stereotypically Asian.

Okay, it's way past my naptime.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

'tis the season

Now, getting fired last night did not surprise me in the least. I understand those of you who were surprised and thought I'd been exaggerating the patheticness of my work performance, because I was indeed the asshole in high school who freaked out after every other test and told everyone I surely got a C and then of course got the highest grade in the class or, at worst, an A-. But, you see, I was good at school, and I am not good at this whole adult thing. And when I say I suck I really mean it. So anyway, last night after leaving the gym I got a VOICEMAIL letting me know that Blahdy Blah Entertainment Company would no longer be needing my services. This is not at all unlike the time I got dumped by a guy via voicemail, only this time I actually got my shit back.

Ironically, in the Alanis sense of the word, today I got another voicemail from the first staffing agency I met with and with whom I've had no contact for the last four months. The agent informed me of a fabulous high profile advertising job at a hip downtown office with really cool people. One could say this is kismet, but I say there will be plenty of "fabulous" administrative assistant jobs waiting for me whenever I decide to come back here, and that the only thing that can possibly motivate me to get my proverbial shit together at this point is some quality time in a three bedroom ranch in rural Wisconsin with my slightly detached parents and two crazy ass dogs.

Monday, December 06, 2004

fun with sex and links and parentheses

Ah what a weekend. With my apartment securely spoken for, the last of my bills paid (or, rather, waiting patiently for me to open them on top of my fridge, but close enough) and the end of my 1.5 year streak of solid fulltime employment imminent (perhaps a little sooner than I'd anticipated...woops,) I was able to have a lovely, carefree weekend (well except for that part on Friday night...thanks guys.) Here's how to have an awesome weekend just like me!

*Justify skipping the gym by browsing stores all over downtown with male friend who has better style than you. After much trouble with the door (push, not pull, and hard,) stumble into vintage accessories mecca (so big! so cheap (relatively speaking)! and I really want this weird necklace with a giant silver owl on it!) Edith and Daha, and when stylish male friend wonders whether a cool plaid overnight bag is too girly, say yes, definitely, and then buy it yourself. Beg him to carry it home, because you have more places to go (thanks, Drone.)

*Meet friends and friends' friends at quality little Mexican joint after having a hell of a time getting 411 to find "el maguey y la tuna." Gorge self with chiles rellenos (apparently, relleno = mucho queso...mmm) and laugh at Perplexa as she spills hot candle wax on herself.

*Feel superior and far cooler than all those suckers waiting in a 50-person line outside Magnolia by getting YOUR chocolate cupcake with pink vanilla cream frosting and sprinkles at spin-off Sugar Sweet Sunshine. Thank the Good Lord you remembered to take a Pepcid today.

*Play with sex toys at classy and welcoming Toys in Babeland. Despite slutty past (and probably future,) feel like the most white bread, plain vanilla, prudish, "I only do missionary"-type person ever. Spend a little too much time playing with the gigantic "Moby." (Haha, get it? Hint: they're not refering to the little bald musician, despite a bit of a resemblance...)

*Go to Mercury Lounge to see Out Hud, the truly brilliant experimental, instrumental, electronic-y rock band that you only know about because you have cool friends. Stand in the back during the truly atrocious opening band's set making snide remarks about how they really need just one more yuppy-looking girl singing off key while banging a tambourine (because four just isn't enough,) and talking loudly about how they make you want to vomit. Because back hurts like an elderly scoliosis patient's, perch on back of chair near wall for unblocked view of the main event and bop head in lieu of dancing, even though for once you actually feel compelled to. Spot blogger in the audience and think of how weird it is that you know the intimate details of his sex life.

*Go to sleep marvelling at the fact that you are sober and still had fun. Regardless, spend the next day lying hungover-like in front of the television, watching best TV shows ever, including Project Runway, the first of two school shooting episodes on Degrassi: The Next Generation, the famed Paris Hilton South Park episode (related: what the hell is going on with her crotch in this photo?) and the brilliant Talk Sex With Sue Johanson.

Thursday, December 02, 2004


I apologize if this is really boring, but I just have to tell you about this sandwich. If you happen to live or work near a Pret a Manger, pick yourself up a "Holiday Lunch" for the low low price of $5.98 plus tax. (It "feeds two" because if you buy one they give money to the homeless, or something.) Anyway, it is made with hearty wheaty bread, turkey, cranberry sauce, onions, spinach, sweet sweet mayonnaise, and STUFFING. That actually sounds kind of disgusting, come to think of it, but trust me it's awesome. And now that I've found the nutrition facts online (that's gotta be almost as much fat as a Big Mac) I know why. Mmmm fat.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Job, it's not me, it's you. Okay, maybe it is a little bit me because I'm generally lazy and horrible at office work and take two weeks to complete a task that takes about ten minutes because I just read blogs and shop online and IM my friends all day long, but still. No matter how fabu (and I mean fabu in the "I'm making fun of people who actually say 'fabu'" kind of way) the coworkers and company may be, something about being an entertainment corporation marketing assistant just ain't right. Thanks to Lindsayism for sort of jusifying my incessant whining and insurmountable apathy at work:
I spent 6 months as an assistant in the Marketing Department at Miramax, so I know to tell you don't apply for this job. Seriously. Life is just too short.

This nice hipsterish girl who has yet to say hi or make eye contact with me, suggesting that we have similar personalities, just started as a temp marketing assistant in the cubicle next to mine. I really think I should warn her. But I don't want to burst her bubble during the new job honeymoon period. Ah well, chances are she'll figure it out soon enough, once the elation over free coffee and pretzels and promotional duffel bags starts to fade.