Thursday, December 29, 2005

fucking pigeons


Although composed primarily of concrete and other manmade materials, New York City offers its inhabitants myriad opportunities to observe nature's little miracles. Since taking up residence here I've marveled at subway-track-colored mice, noted that foot-long rats won't bite you if you don't know you're sleeping next to one on the couch in your college boyfriend's dorm room because two 6-feet-tallish people in a twin-sized bed is a little cumbersome sometimes, and learned that cockroaches do, indeed, fly. The other flying vermin, pigeons, have also proven good for observation, except for the one that divebombed the back of my head. Never did actually see that little daredevil. Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of learning some more about these precocious creatures, in the form of live pigeon porn right on my own terrace.

As I gazed out my window cursing myself for only "quitting" smoking for eight days, I noticed a presumably male pigeon puffing out its feathers and chasing a little hottie along the roof ledge. She wasn't having it, apparently, as she took off and left him alone and confused. He must've been a total player, since he resumed his feather-puffing when another nubile pigeonette arrived just moments later. What happened next was straight out of the Discovery Channel, aptly described by some other blogger:
When pigeons are engaging in mating rituals, we tend to simply disregard their antics as Things Stupid Birds Do. These include bowing (wherein the male nods his head at the female several times), blowing out his neck feathers and circling about her. All of which sounds an awful lot like human males on the make, don’t it? The male further impresses the female by spreading out his tail feathers and dragging them around her. Then he drives the female away from the other males by running close behind her. As things progress, the female may slip her bill into his and the two begin to rhythmically bob their heads up and down in unison. (Am I the only one who thought these were two males fighting over food?)

The next thing you know the male has jumped on the female’s back, and after a few seconds of precarious balancing sows the seeds of the next generation of rats-with-wings. Feeling rightly proud of himself, he then makes a big show of flying about slapping his wings together over his back to make big clapping noises. I guess it beats pecking at cigarette butts.

After the mounting part I dashed off to get my camera in order to practice for the day I finally become a National Geographic photographer. I'd seen plenty of animals going at it on TV and was sure that there had to be more. But, alas, the pigeons are stealthy buggers and don't waste any time. I'm still unsure about how this works anatomically and where the hell they lay all their eggs. And how come you never see any baby pigeons bobbing around? I suppose those are questions only answerable by the inevitable Mating of Urban Pests documentary.

bright sunshiney day

Alright, I won't ask him how he found this, but I will tell the internet.

Monday, December 26, 2005

hometown highlights

If anyone had told me in high school that at age 24 I'd love going home to my parents' house more than anywhere else in the world, I would've died from laughter and/or horror. But, alas, lying around in sweatpants with my sis and my dogs while my mom cooks organic trans-fatty-acid-free food and my dad hands out Leinenkugels is the perfect break from the New York nonsense that I can't get enough of 92% of the time. This year, before I left for home, the shrink told me to observe my family interactions so that I might better understand my [probably pretty average level of] fuckedupness. And observe I did...

*My family does not share the neighborhood's apparent infatuation with gigantic inflatable snow globe lawn ornaments.

*My family is very well bred. Over Christmas Eve dinner my uncle revealed that Great Aunt Barbara was third runner-up in the 1957 Miss Budweiser Pageant and that we are probably very distantly related to Martha Stewart.

*Though my mom does most of the cooking, my dad's not too shabby at it either, as he revealed with his brined turkey. Once you brine, you can't go back.

*My parents love Bob Marley. Sadly, not in a hippie fratboy kind of way.

*I am really fucking competitive when it comes to inconsequential challenges. Not only did I win Scrabble by more than 50 points, I kicked everyone's ass in the newest addition to the family board game collection, Ticket To Ride (Germany's 2004 Spiel des Jahres!) by building a continuous train track from Portland to Little Rock by way of Vancouver, Montreal, New York, and New Orleans.

*Though my dad and his brother have told us the same Catholic school nun stories at least a hundred times, they don't stop being funny. Especially when Sister Dennis Ann, the nun who smacked a girl in the head with her textbook for using it during a closed-book test, threw a kid's books and then his desk out the second story window and made him go pick them up, had a kid sit in the garbage can in the front of the classroom all day since his messy desk meant that he clearly liked being dirty, and made two kids punch each other in front of the classroom all afternoon since they clearly liked fighting so much, has a picture on the internet. [second from bottom]

Now if that doesn't give Mr. Shrink a good glimpse into my psyche, I don't know what will. On a not-really-at-all related note, ol' Marshfield is becoming more and more commercialized and unrecognizable. The last straw in this disheartening change is the arrival of a Starbucks. As we drove past the drive-thru monstrosity on the way home from the airport, I was convinced that Marshfield had lost it's hicktown charm for good. That is, until we passed by the brand new Dollar Bar (a bar in which beverages cost $1.00) on the other side of town.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

flannel pj's 4eva

I made it to my parents' house safe and sound. And, of course, sick as a dog. I will blame my hacking cough and inability to speak not on the eight hours of staff partying that transpired in and around E's place of employment on Monday, but on the transit strike, because no one can question blaming the transit strike. Even though it didn't really affect my trip to the airport all that much, except I had to wait outside in the dark and cold at 5:30 a.m. for a bus that I might've taken to get to the airport anyway, and while yes the lines to get through security were an hour and a half long because the security workers couldn't get to work on time, I found a hidden shorter line and only waited 15 minutes. Suckas. Speaking of dogs, here's Babe again. We got her right around my 12th birthday. She's still going strong, despite the nighttime issues.

Wisconsin - Where Dogs Actually Need To Wear Sweaters


Her Favorite Spot


Shouldn't This Be A Pop Art Painting, Or Something?


Jealousy!


And One Of Daisy Louise, Just To Be Fair

Monday, December 19, 2005

keeping the vampires away

For me, there is no better way to make something happen than to declare, and truly believe, that I absolutely in no way want that thing to happen. While toiling, err, internet browsing away at the Big Ad Agency, I decided that my New Year's resolution would be no more temping, no matter what, never ever again. The idea behind this being that in eliminating that safe and easy option I'd force myself to find something to do that might be at least 2% satisfying. Of course, when my temp agent called last week and asked if I'd be available for a three-month position, the answer was "Yes of course! Tracking wholesale handbag distribution! That sounds awesome!" I interviewed for the gig today and was told that nothing will happen until mid-January due to the holidays and "market week," whatever the hell that is. Surprisingly, this development has lit a little fire under my ass and I vow to do anything in my power to avoid having to resort to this job. I just saw a job posting that looks utterly perfect and sent out my application in the same sitting, as opposed to my usual m.o. of emailing myself the job description, fantasizing about the position and its door-opening possibilities, and never actually applying.

A sub-category of my New Year's resolution involved no mouth-to-mouth interaction with a dick-having human until I'm "in a better place." The idea behind this being that in avoiding interpersonal entanglements and focusing on more pressing concerns like becoming employed and whittling away massive debt, I might become happier and thus more open to Positive Dude Experiences. Of course, when I found myself standing next to a keee-yoooot guy at Dark Room at 3 a.m. on Saturday night, it would've been simply wrong to leave to put FAB to bed without a little making out. While we somehow managed to have a conversation and exchange numbers, I can't say I expect a whole lot to come of this. FAB and I had just stopped for pizza and, due to our impaired hand-eye coordination, were a little liberal with the garlic powder. Nevertheless, tall + scruffy + British + black leather jacket + unemployed = Gina Heaven, and enough excitement to tide me over until I head home to the tundra.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

happy religion-nonspecific holidays!


The Upper Breast Side doesn't discriminate

Oh right, I have a blog. Sorry, I've been quite busy lately lying on the futon sleeping, lying on the futon reading more books to escape from brutal existential pain for fun in the last two months (seven!) than I've read in the last seven years combined, and lying on the futon watching Paula Deen make heaven on earth and Sandra Lee make a disgrace of her superwhite, superstepford self with semi-homemade Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa angel food cakes.

Nevertheless, I have managed to leave the house on a few occasions, including the procurement of takeout food, some arduous 30-minutes-on-the-elliptical-machine workouts, and, of course, holiday festivities. The first was last night at my pal's Williamsburg pad. Appropriately, my favorite part of the evening occured when a guest got behind the turntables and made the tragic mistake of mixing the Magic Numbers in with LCD Soundsystem, thus causing several of the host's blood vessels to rupture and the rest of us to pee our pants. Tonight I am attending Decent Content's Blogmukkah party, to which I have no clue how I was invited. I can't decide if it is more cliche to bring a camera or to purposefully not bring a camera because it would be too cliche... Sunday will be all about recovery via Vitamin Water and eggs, and then Monday is E's office party. Crashing someone else's office party is really a win win situation, since one can get tanked for free and make a fool out of oneself and/or makeout with innappropriate people with no lasting repurcussions. Then Tuesday is Drone's bestie's house party, which I might not attend. I learned the hard way several Christmases ago that drinking heavily the night before flying halfway across the country is a bad, severe-flu-causing idea. On the other hand, that flu was so awful that I was given a big ol' bottle of Vicodin in the Emergency Room on Christmas Eve, so perhaps I'll attend afterall.

God bless us, everyone!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

$12.75 an hour

This morning I was forced to surgically remove the sweatpants that had become fused to my skin due to constant wear and present myself at a not unfamiliar place of employment. For today and today only, I am once again the sole Customer Service Specialist to the Company That Provides Meager Discounts to Other Companies. This means, of course, that I've been provided with a whole new crop of eye-twitch-inducing emails to write fake replies to. Let's begin.

i am a rep for service master ahs branch and i am not getting apassword? I don't have an email that ends w/my company name and that is the only option you are giving me, help me change it to my correct email account!
-Moron


Dear Moron,

Have you ever taken an English class.

Regards,
Your Customer Service Team

Hi there, I am trying to order something through my company's "perks" program, specifically through Overstock.com. But when I go to the offer details and click on the "go shop" link, it comes up with a "page not found" message. Can you tell me why that is? Thanks!
-Moron


Dear Moron,

"No."

Regards,
Your Customer Service Team

This email is insulting. I have used corporate perks several times already. My "guest" is my lawfully wedded spouse who will use it when he is ready. I do not appreciate you pressuring me and him and threatening to take the benefit away. My partiticpation will be continuous, and he, as my spouse, will be continuous as well. I trust that this clarifies the situation.
-Moron


Dear Moron,

We are impressed with not only your rage over an automatically generated corporate promotional email, but with your ability to interpret said email as an affront to gay marriage and the integrity of your relationship. Have you considered writing novels?

Regards,
Your Customer Service Team

Hello, i just read about this think pad notebook, and not being acomputer wizard,this think pad notebook, is this what i see all overthe place called LAP TOP, and/or other is this like a Dell inspiron 6000 Notebook??? thanks much for the stuff you have sent me.
-Moron


Dear Moron,

A notebook and a lap top...same thing...portable computers...ok, you see...gosh, we're...regretfully, we're going to be unable to help you at this juncture.

Regards,
Your Customer Service Team

I still have not received my password for the corporate perks. What doI need to do?
-Moron, Marketing Coordinator


Dear Moron,

Blow us.

Regards,
Your Customer Service Team

I need assistants contacting WBS about my current order
-Moron


Dear Moron,

We need a new liver from that unexpected excursion last night, but we just can't have it all now can we?

Regards,
Your Customer Service Team

Is there a website where I can order a jacket with the Big Accounting Firm logo embrodiered for my son who is an employee of Big Accounting Firm?
-Moron


Dear Moron,

Your son does not want that jacket. Trust us on this one and get him some DVD's instead, or something.

Regards,
Your Customer Service Team


I have seldom been able to take advantage of the Company Perks website, but have found it to be extremely user friendly and full of opportunities that I will take advantage of in the future when I have the money to do so. However, I recently decided that I would utilize the Luggagecompany.com $50 off $250 offer and order a piece of luggage to be delivered before the thanksgiving holiday for use over that weekend, and going forward. Unfortunately, the "redeem offer" link does not work for the above mentioned deal, valid through December 31, 2005. Instead, the link takes me directly to the Luggagecompany site with an "enjoy free shipping" offer, which is the second perk on the website. Could you please correct the address of the appropriate website, so that I may have my perk in time for Thanksgiving. Thanks for your assistance in this matter.
-Moron


Dear Moron,

We've just slit our wrists and are weeping uncontrollably. As a result, we will be unable to assist you with this matter.

Regards,
Your Customer Service Team

I'm a little confused on where the "discounts" are. All of the "potential" discounts I have looked at require me to "upgrade" my account before I can get the discount. Is this "upgrade" the only way to get access to the "discounts" or am I missing something?
-Moron


Dear Moron,

We think you might just be onto something...

Regards,
Your Customer Service Team

Please cancel my premium membership. I am absolutely appalled by this operation, as it is simply a consolidation of coupon sites available for free simply by doing a google search.
-Genius


Dear Genius,

Ding ding ding ding ding! And we have a winner!

Regards,
Your Customer Service Team

Friday, December 09, 2005

adventures in tenuous employment, part 239,487

Today I built a snowwoman. She's a little top heavy.

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The harsh rays of the Mid-Atlantic Region were too much.

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And her life was cut tragically short.

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Her creator placed her hat and scarf on the radiator and left her Harry and David Lemon Creme chocolate eyes and Morningstar Farms Veggie Breakfast Sausage Link pipe to return to the pigeons, err...earth. The end.

paypal is my...pal

My decision to purchase these shoes had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Mary-Kate Olsen, or the fact that I haven't been able to sleep much lately and have become fond of 3 a.m. Ebaying. Absolutely nothing at all.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

fierce!

At long, long last, the one girl who actually somewhat resembles a real model won America's Next Top Model. I called Nicole from episode one and have been pulling for her the whole time, even though she is a total brat and her face is kind of crooked. I guess she reminds me a little of myself (a much skinnier, prettier, and dumber version) when I was like 12. Nik looked good in pictures and was good at poses and stuff, but she was rather fugly and humorless in person. Though others heartily disagree with me, for once I am happy with the ANTM outcome. I can't wait to stalk Nicole at the Midtown TGIFridays where she will no doubt be waitressing in the very near future.

As a side note, how did Eva Pigford ever win? Appropriately, her face is really quite porcine, and she always looks as if she's just dunked her head in a vat of Vaseline. I was watching the Tyra Banks talk show on one of my recent unemployed days, and Jamie Pressly was a guest. Tyra excitedly informed her that she looked "a lot like one of our ANTM winners, Eva!" and you could see Jamie Pressly die a little inside as she pretended to be flattered.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

jeeminy christmas

The other day in the cubicle from Hell I came across a blog for the song "Our God is an Awesome God" but had to close it immediately as the little ditty started blaring from my temporary computer and Lord knows I'm not quick enough to think to shut the volume off. Not that the majority of my coworkers would mind that particular song, as I've surmised by the illustrated Bible verses surrounding everyone's workstations. Anyway, I went looking for it again tonight and my Google search came up fruitless except....

Apparently, God Himself has gotten on the blog bandwagon. Behold, the Blog of God:
Otherwise known as "the Word of God"... A Life giving revelation that lights the way of truth and love. Delivering the soul from the power of darkenss and transforming our spirit into the Kingdom of the Light.

Awesome.

Speaking of our Lord, apparently He likes our heroic troops to be honored with sexy fem bodypaint models.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Thursday, December 01, 2005

hot shrink

Two nights ago, I finally did something I've been meaning to do for 12 years. (In case there were any doubts that I am, in fact, the World Champion of Procrastination.) I paid $125 in cash to sit on a couch next to a box of Kleenex for 30 minutes while a stranger asked me invasive personal questions. It was great.

Even though I studied psychology in college, I am very very skeptical of professional therapists, mainly because they're mostly somewhat insane. But after getting quite literally nowhere after 2.5 years, I figured I needed some sort of kick in the pants. (And also there was that pesky crying every day and irrational desire to die part.) Anyway, the process of finding a therapist, especially in New York where there are approximately 2,390,487 from which to choose, is an enormous pain. Given that I'd (okay, my parents'd) be paying this person to rearrange my neurochemicals either by natural or artificial means, I was a little picky. Your Psychology Today profile mentions psychoanalysis hooey? No. You are old? Nuh uh. I don't like the sound of your name? Buh bye. A Google search reveals you currently do research on Electroconvulsive Therapy? Next! Eventually I called the 800 number of the New York hospital that had the prettiest mental health website. The doctor who answered informed me that no one there would take my insurance, so he referred me to his friend, who also couldn't take my insurance. But Friend sounded, well, normal, and he had a last minute cancelation. I found myself in his Upper East Side office several hours later not even knowing if he was an -ologist ("tell me about your mother") or an -iatrist ("here's a prescription, see ya later"). Minor detail.

It turned out we'd be talking about my mother. And my father. And my sister. And my job and my friends and my childhood and my relationships and my hobbies and pretty much every other thing that you learn about people after being friends with them for at least three years. Since it was a consultation, there was no actual therapy involved, just (question + pleasant non-judgmental smile + almost but not quite awkwardly long pause) x 25. After the "what do you do in your free time" question, we shared a nice laugh about the drinking habits of kids these days.

"But it's what everybody does."
"I know! But I don't get it. You guys could, you know, just go to a bar and have, say, two light beers."
"Huh?"

So the plan is to start with just the talking stuff and add medication only if absolutely necessary, which sounds like a swell idea to me. And also maybe to not drink as much and to exercise every day. Mental stability is so not fun. Oh, and I should mention here that Mr. Psychologist was only about 35. And tall. And funny. And not at all unattractive. So it's probably a good thing he's sending me to his colleague in my neighborhood. We all know what happens with me and attractive male service providers.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

googleads know what's up

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The Nap Zapper sounded so much more exciting until I read what it actually is. I thought it would, like, measure your brain waves and then give your head a big electric shock when the gammas outweighed the betas (or whatever, it's not like I was a psych major or anything.) But it just makes a loud noise when your head moves. Lame. Still, I wouldn't mind a Zapper right about now since putting numbers in a spreadsheet is making me drool and Busta Rhymes circa 2002 isn't helping as I thought it would. Off to Starbucks, since my current office doesn't even have free coffee! Oh the humanity...

Monday, November 28, 2005

poor, poor privileged me

My current temp assignment is almost as fantastic and fulfilling as the last. It's at a company where a lot of people do fun and exciting and creative things and make a lot of money and get to wear jeans. I am not one of those people.

To get to the area in which I "work," one must leave the colorful, modern lobby area through a set of doors, down a colorful and modern hall, through another set of doors, through another colorful and modern lobbyesque area, into the dingy library/archive room, all the way to the back corner and through an unmarked, locked door. This is where the finance and accounts payable magic happens. The computers are ancient and mismatched, everything is beige, and depending on which row of cubicles in which one is situated it smells strongly of cheap vanilla-scented hand lotion or stale popcorn. Everyone who works there is jovial and friendly. I am not one of those people, either.

My thought processes of today, other than "stop taking my financial reports out of the printer and putting them aside and out of order motherfuckers" can be summed up in an email I sent to E this morning:
the lady who normally uses my computer frequently visits the sites prisontalk.com and newyorkchildsupport.com and lovefellowship.com and she seemed chipper when she logged me onto the internet. if she can be happy with a babydaddy in prison, why can't i goddamnit??

Judging by the inspirational Bible quotes lining the walls of the young lady's cubicle, the answer, clearly, is Jesus. But I think I'm going to try the psychotropic medication method first. And perhaps, like, getting a job that doesn't totally blow chunks. (Yes, I have been saying I'm going to do both of those things for a long time, I know. Shut up.) Anywho, if that combo doesn't work, Jesus and I are going to have a nice long life together.

Monday, November 21, 2005

ok, i lied

I can't have an exciting new job without blogging about it, at work, at least once. For the past four workdays, I have been a Customer Service Representative...nay, THE Customer Service Representative for a company that provides discounts to other companies. I can think of very few positions that could possibly make a person loathe other persons more than that of the Customer Service Representative. Even the simplest of queries fills me with rage. If only I possessed an even greater lack of self control and could respond however I choose...

Hi, I can't get into your website. I logged in with my email address - xxxx.xxxx@xxx.com - and my password which I know is correct. This is a pain.....!!
-Idiot, Principal Information Security Analyst


Dear Idiot,
We were unable to replicate your problem, because your login and password totally work--we just tried ourgoddamnselves. YOU are a pain.
-Your Customer Service Team

I just the Corporate Perks email. Looks like some really great deals. However, I didn't see and golf-related perks, i.e. discounts on tee time or equipment. Let's look into that, shall we? Thanks,
-Idiot, Purchasing Analyst


Dear Idiot,
Let's look into shoving a golf club up your ass, shall we?
-Your Customer Service Team

Grrr How about a toll free number to call to talk with someone live/in person while I am focused on this and needing the information vs a lttle box to type in?? I am looking for apple ipod nano and i get a list of other websites vs a list of ipods an prices, also when drilling down only get accessories for ipods not ipods siiiigh Then i try cell phones and only get 3 "providers" I want Metro PCS phones at a discount can't find any of that I try another search and apparently here is "info" can't click on anything to see what the "advantage" is unless i upgrade and pay for this.... Jimmmminny cricket - not impressed so far... help a girl out - help me understand the best way to navigate this site to get the info i need in one screen vs a filter for other shop sites Thanks
-Idiot


Dear Idiot,
Well jimmmminny our cricket, but we think your inability to locate Metro PCS phones at a discount is the least of your problems. May we suggest a few doses of lithium?
-Your Customer Service Team

Hi folks, I am an Big Company employee who also has a small farm on the side. In early January 2006, I expect to have about 600 broiler chickens ready for sale. These are naturally raised, no hormones, no antibiotics, mostly organic-fed, free-ranged, and grass-eating chickens, and we plan to sell them directly to consumers. I'd very much like to offer my chickens to Big Company employees. Is this something that we can pursue?
-Idiot


Dear Idiot,
We'd like to offer OUR naturally raised broiler chickens to Big Company employees too, but we can't all get what we want, now can we?
-Your Customer Service Team

Good morning, My user name is now _____@yahoo.com I was wondering if I could change it to _____@yahoo.com? Keep Smiling,
-Idiot
May the hand of a friend always be near you; May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.


Dear Idiot,
Your username has been changed. Please shove God's gladness up your ass.
-Your Customer Service Team

The title drop down box should include Miss, since (typically) a divorced woman uses Ms. and a married woman uses Mrs. Otherwise, don't require a title, which would be my preference.
-Idiot


Dear Idiot,
We think you might benefit from a good ol' roll in the hay. May we suggest Match.com?
-Your Customer Service Team

I am still unable to open to the Phone Company Apparel web page. When i click the redeen link, it opens a new window and errors out. I was emailed friday stating it would be fixed shirtly and it is still not. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated! Thanks,
-Idiot


Dear Idiot,
Do you really NEED to purchase Phone Company apparel? Hold on hold on hold on, take a moment to think about this. I know those 10% discounts are hard to resist, but is Phone Company apparel really all that aesthetically pleasing? Are you that proud of your employment at the country's third (or whatever) largest mobile telephone service provider? Will your friends' and relatives' eyes light up with glee when they receive an XXL Phone Company sweatshirt on Christmas morn? Didn't think so.
-Your Customer Service Team

I've just search Overstock.com and can't find the 240tc down comforter for $25.99 w/free shipping. H-E-L-P!!!!
-Idiot


Dear Idiot,
H-E-L-P!!!! yourself.
-Your Customer Service Team

cassiopeia it's o'leary the dicta on nose see clayton the hijack and ella may calypso or deject a dedicate it cruel on atomic try similar may caravan be sloane on algonquin it vitrify in transfinite the conductor some servitor try canny try decomposable it's religious not where may embrittle a indecision be eye be prolusion try palmetto in ophiuchus, baltimore on brainwash a in illogic on mildew the a dissension may thorny, some caroline! rural be some consistent, baltimore!
-Schizophrenic


Dear Schizophrenic,
Your email is the most pleasant we've received all day.
-Your Customer Service Team

Off to Baltimore! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

blogcation

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The blog's taking eight vacation days (unpaid, of course) while I stay here and in Baltimore and try to decrappify my life the unfulfilling state of affairs that has persisted for the last 1,095 days or so. Back after Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 14, 2005

meet tina

Okay okay okay. Some of you may have been a little alarmed by my last post. Some have even expressed concern. Fear not, incredulous readers, for I will not be trading booze and cigarettes for gorp and polar fleece just yet. However, there is something I must tell you. Deep deep down, somewhere around my gall bladder probably, lives my inner hippie. I blame my parents for purchasing 90% of the family's clothing from L.L.Bean and Land's End, having a designated "sports closet" in the house, and using toilet paper made from recycled materials. If multiple personality disorder were a legitimate condition, 10% of the time I would be Tina. Tina wishes she had enough money for regular yoga classes and can subsist on oatmeal and granola and isn't ashamed of listening to Cat Stevens and CCR without irony. She dreams of living in a large house in New England and spending evenings playing Scrabble by the fire. But don't worry--Tina hasn't taken over just yet.

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Picture by Anonymous, since no one from Friday night's shindig can recall any photos being taken

hiking

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Yesterday I went with Drone and Co. on a lovely hike in Cold Spring. The weather was absurdly perfect and the 2.5 hour hike was rather difficult--straight up and down on trails covered with rocks and dead leaves--in a good way. It made me want to raid an L.L.Bean catalog.

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The K9 Search and Rescue unit was training, and only about five times when we completely lost the trail did I think they'd be doing more than training.

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I love the Hudson, and I miss rowing on it and getting seasick.

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We are such a wholesome bunch. *snort*

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Wisconsin and New York State--not so different.

Friday, November 11, 2005

loosen those ties!

Hedge funds are a scary place to be on Friday afternoons. People come in wearing biz cazh and just go buckwild! At Hedge Fund Number One, the CEO's assistant, who was located a tragic 10 feet away from me, would blast Bon Jovi's latest hit "Have a Nice Day" on repeat every Friday afternoon when Bossman left the building. She would always sing along, and she got her hair cut to look like Mr. Bon Jovi's. Also she was at least 35, single as single can be, and had three cats. I did not like her a whole lot. And right this very moment, at Hedge Fund Number Two, a partner in the firm is playing a medley including that junior high dance staple "Come Baby Come," Avril Lavigne's "Complicated," and ABBA's "Dancing Queen." Now this guy I kinda like. As an aside, prior to the commencement of today's board meeting there was talk of midget rentals. I think my life in the finance world is now complete.

UPDATE: Clay Aiken, "MMMBop," Christina Aguilera, and "Pour Some Sugar On Me" have since joined the aforementioned medley. I have not decided if this makes me like Partnerman more or less. More, I think.

i rebuke this in the name of the lord

*Please tell me you saw Trading Spouses this week. This is one of the few shoes that is a true guilty pleasure for me (as opposed to ANTM, DeGrassi, The Food Network, Friends reruns...okay maybe not as opposed to Friends reruns.) But there was no guilt over this week's episode, since it was disturbingly amazing. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, please visit here, here, and here, lest the gargoyles whisk you away to the dark side.

*Overheard sums up approximately 94% of New York Metropolitan Area residents:
It Wasn't Work, It Was an Audition
Guy #1: You look really familiar to me; what do you do?
Guy #2: I'm an actor, poet, musician...
Guy #1: No...Did you ever work at Bloomingdale's?
Guy #2: ...Yes.

--Astoria


*I am in a bit of a funky mood. And not funky like Marky Mark's Bunch. TGIF, I guess.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

so much for stella

Like most people with two x chromosomes in New York, I was planning on slipping out for an early lunch break to buy some Stella McCartney stuff at H&M. After perusing the collection online, I'd decided that there are a few things I would wear, and, while they're not dirt cheap, they're cheap enough to not feel terribly guilty about. However, E just reported back from the front lines that, as I'd predicted, it is so not worth it. So I will just wait till next week. Oh the horror.

As for the gory details, there is a line 30 people deep out the door, there is hardly anything left on the racks just an hour after the store opened, and women with real Chanel purses are screaming, bitch-slapping, and playing tug-of-war with each other over some mass-produced, mediocre quality clothing that will continue to be restocked throughout the season. And these are the women that can afford Stella McCartney's main line, which is more well made, more interesting, and not accessible to the masses. This all just goes to confirm my personal life philosophy: people are really fucking insane.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

my day off, by gina

One of my absolute favorite New York activities is to wander around downtown on a weekday afternoon. Not only does this mean I am not at work, but there are less slow-moving tourists and I can pretend I'm one of the enviable many who are not 9-5 drones. So when I got canned on Friday I was not at all dismayed at the prospect of a day or two off. Unfortunately, my temp agency is a little too on top of things and found me a gig starting on Monday. At a hedge fund. With a "very conservative" image. Joy. On second thought, maybe they're not that on top of things, because I got an "Oops! You start Tuesday" email right before I said goodbye to my free gym access. Hells yes. So how did I spend my day? Let me count the ways.

*After an alarm-free wakeup and leisurely breakfast, I decided to do some cleaning. I almost always "clean" on the weekends, but it is limited to putting away my abused clothing and stacking my eighty bazillion magazines. But on Monday, I scrubbed the thick layer of dust off the top of my ceiling fan that had long ago become legitimately disgusting, even by my standards.

*Cleansed, I left the house to get my culture on and met up with friend E for lunch at the museum that provides her income. We strolled through a couple exhibits, one of which featured a work by a woman I'd just read about in the Times, whose upcoming exhibit features a replication of a work I saw at Mass MoCA this summer. Given that this was such a revelation, I think it's safe to say I will never make a good art snob.

*Then it was down to Union Square to drop off some borrowed clothes at Drone's friend Cool Brit's cool place of employment and to get some test results from my lady doctor. In case you were wondering, I do not have AIDS.

*On a tip from E, I then paid a visit to Ramon, the tailor. Ramon had done a beautiful job lengthening the sleeves on her winter coat, and my beloved Marc by Marc winter coat had inexplicably acquired a baseball-sized hole in the back. Ramon's services do not come cheap, but he is sweet and fast and seems to know what the hell he's doing, given that he's been doing it for like 40 years. Not even my carelessness is too much for Ramon.

*Shopping time! I've been much better about curbing my clothes buying extravagance, but I've got the bug bad and just wanted SOMEthing. Perplexa got a cute blazer from the Vice store once and they had sale signs on the window, so I stopped in. The most exciting thing I found was a thong with the words "Doesn't Have AIDS Yet" on the front. As a propos as this find was, I had to pass. I gave up on clothes and settled for my favorite-smelling candle from the Fresh store, where Angelina Jolie also shops, as I learned when the sales boy gave me the end part of a receipt from her delivery order.

I took the scenic, subway-transfer-free route home, and that was my day. Pretty basic stuff I'd been wanting to do for a long time but never really had the motivation to take care of. If I ever get a real job, I've decided that sick days will be reserved for days in which I am not, in fact, sick, and when I am sick I'll suck it up and go to work. Speaking of which, Day One at Stuffy Hedge Fund was as beige as the walls. But I did learn that if I had to choose between being a receptionist for more than a week and sticking my hand in a meat grinder, I wouldn't hesitate to stick my hand in a meat grinder. (Apologies to any receptionists out there. You are made of stronger stuff than I.)

Monday, November 07, 2005

dear tatum o'neal

Hey Tates. Can I call you Tates? I am so glad that you have recovered from your troubled marriage to John McEnroe and found a hot dude to make out and laugh with. However, perhaps it would be in your best interest to refrain from making out and laughing obnoxiously with him when you are sitting in the center of a filled-to-capacity movie theater. Was The Squid and the Whale not engaging enough to prevent you from moving your head back and forth constantly and chortling at inappropriate times? I am in the midst of a lengthy dry spell and have a self-diagnosed case of ADD so I can certainly understand your needs, but even I had no trouble sitting still. Next time, the girls stuck sitting behind you might just follow through on their desire to kick your seat, sneeze on you, and/or put gum in your pretty blonde hair.

Your fellow movie goer,
Gina

Friday, November 04, 2005

onward and...onward

Well well, it seems my days of free Raisin Bran Crunch and chopped salad are no more. I was informed today that someone else will be handling the Rolodexing duties around these parts starting next week. The folks I work for, bless their hearts, understand my malaise here, so there are no hard feelings on either end. I respect them a lot and know that they need someone who is passionate about administrative assistance, should such a person exist. The news was a bit shocking at first but, honestly, this could be just the kick in the pants I need to start doing something that I am perhaps even remotely suited for. As luck would have it, I had two, count 'em, TWO great interviews yesterday, and even if nothing immediate comes from them, I am feeling a little better. I celebrated my efforts with a trip out to the lovely neighborhood of Greenpoint, where I lagered it up at the bar of my dreams, played with a three-month-old puggle, and passed out with a giant stuffed turtle on my head.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

getting hangry

It's time for a little life update, folks. Because I am slowly going insane, and talking to the Internets in times like these generally seems to help. I know I'm much better off than I was exactly 365 days ago. Even though I'm still wasting away in unfulfilling corporate servitude, I no longer feel like there is nothing in the world that I could do to make myself happy. Now, I can identify at least five things that I could see myself getting paid to do. I don't cry anymore, I have no desire to makeout with "cool" guys, and I don't buy things I can't afford (though, technically, with my debt I can't even afford a gumball, unless said gumball were to cost negative $9,000.)

My problem is how the hell to go about doing anything. There are so many moves I could make, like taking classes or working on my own projects or going back to school or finding a non-mind-numbing job. I can't help but try to do them all at once, and then I end up half-assing everything and accomplishing nothing.

Here's a little analogy: Once in a very rare while, I will find myself extremely hungry. I am so hungry that all I want to do in the world is eat. But I'm so clouded by the feeling of hunger that I can't decide what I want to eat, even though, at that point, a Communion wafer would taste like molten chocolate cake. So I either lie on the couch in pain or keep walking around the city trying to find that one special sandwich that'll make up my mind for me, all the while getting hangrier and hangrier. It would all be so easy if the only option were, say, a pretzel cart. I'd brush off some of the salt, douse the thing in mustard, and it would be awesome.

i will never again be a shitty cab tipper

Great interview on Gothamist today with NYC cab driver Melissa Plaut:
I started driving a cab after losing my crappy corporate office job and using up all my unemployment benefits. The job market was looking bleak, and I didn't think I would survive another office job, so I took the plunge and went through the process of getting a hack license.
...
I treated the whole thing as an adventure, because that's what it was, and still is. I decided to stop worrying about figuring out what I was going to do for the rest of my life, and started focusing on what I wanted to do next. The taxi thing is what I'm doing now, but it's not forever (I hope).

That is damn admirable, I must say. I'm at the point where I almost don't care what it is I do next, as long as it's SOMETHING. Now I'm going to spend the rest of my day putting meetings on my bosses' Outlook calendars, reading the entirety of Melissa's blog, and contemplating what my something, ANYTHING, could be.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

available for private consultations and telepathic communication sessions by phone

In keeping with today's theme of total self-absorption, you can now find out what Google really thinks of you. Here are my most tasteful results:

gina is
gina is pregnant
gina is a 8thstreetlatina trying to fuck her way into america
gina is hot
gina is the greatest
gina is gorgeous
gina is fucking for a better life
gina is hard at work recording her demo album under the vision of producers
gina is the biggest fucking bitch ever
gina is able to control pumps of a ternary gradient solvent delivery system
gina is truly a lovely lady
gina is also the pi kappa delta governor for the province of missouri
gina is the barmaid at the aidensfield arms
gina is so wise; i have to listen carefully to catch her thickened speech
gina is a great gymnast
gina is a sweetly naïve young woman who just moved to portland from the small potato town of presque isle to take classes at the portland college
gina is a usdf certified instructor and currently has 16 horses and their owners in training at the farm and her day is rounded out with about 10 additional
gina is also an accomplished sculptress whose works have been shown at several prestigious public exhibitions
gina is also the host of wings of worship
gina is dedicated to finding the latest & greatest in diet & exercise
gina is not available to users for free
gina is in terrible danger
gina is practically a native of las vegas being that she has lived here for close to 20 years
gina is to return to bali for a show at the hard rock hotel later this year
gina is sexually assaulted by a group of boys that are surrounding her
gina is gagged and the tickling continues
gina is a consummate student of culinary arts
gina is truly a inspiration to anyone
gina is a replacement sent by a local modeling agency
gina is available for private consultations and telepathic communication sessions by phone
gina is licensed to practice law in massachusetts and the district of columbia
gina is in an abusive relationship with andrew
gina is going to raise her eyebrow when acting

hot brain sex

I love me a good personality quiz. And this is a real one, not one of those "Which member of the Killers is least likely to never have sex with you" Quizilla things. It is with great pleasure that I reveal my results of BBC's Sex ID analysis [via Nerve]:

I am, more or less (*ahem*), a gay man.

No one needs to see the extensive breakdown [sorry about that], but I think the quiz is pretty accurate. I am, indeed, good at science and math and spacial stuff. It's just unfortunate for me that I don't particularly like that stuff. And I am also quite empathetic (believe it or not) and a good judge of others (oooh how I love to judge others!) And I do prefer my dudes to look like dudes. Basically, I think like a guy, feel like a girl, and like to makeout with guys. But I knew this already. What I found most enlightening about this quiz is the following remark:
Men often think a person's eyes are sending signals of desire when that's not the case at all.

This is because men are not as astute at reading people's facial expressions as women are. Perhaps the next time some hapless chap hits on me in a bar, I'll be a little more sympathetic. Eh, probably not.

Monday, October 31, 2005

i like candy corn. sue me.

The worst thing about quitting smoking is not the cloudy head, dry mouth, or desire to consume four Zams Deluxe Tozt Sandwiches for lunch. It is those moments when you think Ooh! I know what will be awesome right now! A cigaaaaawoops I forgot. Shit. Godfuckingdammit. While this is probably the fourth or fifth time that I have nixed the cancersticks for more than a couple days, it is the first time that I've actually believed it might be for good. I am now 62 hours into this little endeavor. Supposedly, after 72 hours I am physically withrawn. Then it's just a lifetime of recalling how great cigarettes go with coffee, or on a walk home in the dark, or while waiting for a late friend, or with red wine in a cafe in Paris/sitting alone in front of your computer. So I just have to also recall how 94% of cigarettes do not fall into those categories, and also that one time I gagged on a swollen tonsil and coughed up a little blood.

Since I'm still within my 72 hour withdrawal phase, I will take this opportunity to bitch guilt-free about things that piss me off:

*Self-righteous, insecure Christians. Some people need to remove the gourds from their asses and just let kids wear fake blood, bring black and orange cupcakes to school, and run around the neighborhood in the dark collecting as many funsize chocolate bars as possible. Not everything is about Jesus! [via The Morning News]

*How right Maureen Dowd is.
What I didn't like at the start of the feminist movement was that young women were dressing alike, looking alike and thinking alike. They were supposed to be liberated, but it just seemed like stifling conformity.

What I don't like now is that the young women rejecting the feminist movement are dressing alike, looking alike and thinking alike. The plumage is more colorful, the shapes are more curvy, the look is more plastic, the message is diametrically opposite - before it was don't be a sex object; now it's be a sex object - but the conformity is just as stifling.

This article is really quite depressing. The guys who shun smart, interesting women to protect their precious manhood are sad. The girls who flash their boobs willynilly to get attention from the aforementioned guys are sad.

I guess what keeps me going is that there are still penty of rational people in the world. And also the image of someone taking Cosmo's Fourth "Most Famous Sex Tip" to heart:
Sex Trick 4: Place a glazed doughnut around your man's member, then gently nibble the pastry and lick the icing . . . as well as his manhood.

Aaah, nothing sexier than partially chewed donut mush. I would pay someone to try that and report back to me. I would also kill for a devil's food glazed with shaved coconut on top right about now.

Friday, October 28, 2005

not a hater

That does it. I love cats. I'll always be a "dog person" but watch this video montage of cats being funny and just try not to cry tears of joy. [via You Can't Make It Up via Cityrag]

In other animal-related fun, this page devoted to the life and times of a handicapped duck named Sebastian is at once touching, inspiring, and hilarious. It's left me quite confused, emotionally. Apparently, a commenter is a little confused also:
Why have you a Duck there are Handicapped? The Duck looked fine, but the legs looked not fine. What are there matter with the Duck s legs?

And did you know ducks had testicles? (this one's for you, FAB)
I had a male duck who I named Daffodil thinking he was a she, but we kept his name since he knew it and I liked it. He also had a great personality, came when I called him and would quack to me to tell me where he was and what he was doing. Daffodil passed during surgery to biopsy a cancerous testicle at age 6.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

chairman, president, and ceo

You're getting zilch from me today, as I am tied up with the task of removing my OCD Boss's business cards from his FOUR jam-packed rolodexes and putting them in little rubber-banded piles so he can "take them with [him.]" After four hours of fairly consistent labor, I am up to the P's. I can't wait for the part where he realizes that taking eight three-inch-thick piles of cards around with him is not really a practical option, and I get to spend the next three months entering all the names and contact information into some sort of digital device.

Anyway, Perplexa claims that the online 50th Anniversary Edition of the Village Voice is awesome, if you want to get your learn on. I, of course, have not had time to read it. Employment cramps my style, yo.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

faux paux

*Oh, Wisconsin, you never disappoint me. If you have to register and sign in, it's worth it, I swear to gosh. [via themorningnews]

*Lenny Kravitz's potty is at it again! That reminds me, I'll be needing a new haircut soon... [via cityrag]

*Perhaps this is the big break I need! [via cityrag]

*Woman with one leg completes Ironman Triathlon. Gina completes 40 minutes on elliptical machine and rewards self with burrito.

*This chickadee has the same first two names as me, including the Italianized version of Michele. Something tells me our similarities end there, though I do admire her ability to wear skirts in a variety of ways.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

paging john hughes!

Is it just me, or is the New York City media landscape starting to resemble a maze of locker-lined hallways smelling of pubescent body odor? Prom Queen befriends uglier, funnier smart kid to get free homework help. Funny smart kid talks behind Prom Queen's back, because Prom Queen and her friends are the laughing stalk of the nerd contingent. Prom Queen ditches smart kid, while smart kid kicks self for losing popular kid perks and nerds wage war on the popular kids. The popular kids, of course, are smug and don't give a darn, because they'll stay popular no matter what. (Meanwhile, I sit in the back silently observing and hunched over my desk playing the "try not to stab your fingers with the pocketknife" game.)

Monday, October 24, 2005

keepin' my babaaay

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Although her recent bids at remaining relevant in contemporary pop culture reek of desperation and Wensleydale, Madonna will always have a sizable place in my heart. Sometimes when I was 13 I'd fantasize that one day I'd fall asleep and wake up Madonna, instead of my unibrowed, socially-awkward, profoundly depressed self. Oooh Madge, how I miss the days in which you would only do interviews with Kurt Loder. Nevertheless, what I wouldn't give to have been a fly on the raspberry pink wall at the latest Misshapes. Make that an anorexic, elfin, overly-eyelinered junkie fly, of course.

um...uhhh....errrr....

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What makes teeny bopper Christian rock seem cooler than the Velvet Underground? How about some teeny bopper white supremacist rock! I guess I'd willingly forgotten that white supremacy still exists until my sister forwarded me some links about the band Prussian Blue, a team of 13-year-old twins named Lamb and Lynx who sing bubblegum tributes to Nazi leaders. Perhaps more disturbing than the twins and their family, that includes a grandfather who brands his cattle with the Nazi swastika and a baby brother named Dresden, is the man behind "one of the nation's most notorious hate music labels" and the bands he's signed. From the ABC News article:
"Eleven and 12 years old," [Gliebe] said, "I think that's the perfect age to start grooming kids and instill in them a strong racial identity..."

Gliebe says he hopes that as younger racist listeners mature, so will their tastes for harder, angrier music like that of Shawn Sugg of Max Resist.

One of Sugg's songs is a fantasy piece about a possible future racial war that goes: "Let the cities burn, let the streets run red, if you ain't white you'll be dead."

And now for some bang-your-head-into-your-keyboard idiocy:
"I'd like to compare it to gangsta rap," explained Sugg, "where they glorify, you know, shooting n****** and pimping whores."

Sugg shrugs off criticism that music like his should not be handed out to schoolyard children, arguing that "it's just music, it's not like you're handing out AK-47s."

Just in case anyone else needed somewhere to direct anger this fine Monday morn other than the file cabinets that keep banging into your shins and turning them lovely shades of purple. (Would Lamb and Lynx ostracize me for my non-white shins??)

Friday, October 21, 2005

feral pigs

An Assortment of Headlines From Today's Local Paper


I would like to note that the object of my seventh grade affections is quoted in that last article. If he'd married me as I'd planned, I could be spending my evenings drinking a nice microbrew, hitting invasive wild pigs on my way home in the minivan, and taking care not to get in any drunken-domestic-dispute-fueled gunfire. Sounds not that dissimilar from my current life, only replace "microbrew" with "$8 vodka tonic", "hitting wild pigs" with "puking out cab window", and "drunken domestic dispute" with "accidentally sleeping with inappropriate people." Only, in Wisconsin it would all be a hell of a lot cheaper AND Nascar t-shirts are respectable fashion choices.

(Yes, I am finally trying to learn some basic html, and I am a little too excited about it, so expect lots of bulleted lists and other such fancy things. Shut up.)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

neato mosquito

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The Morning News has a lil' interview with photographer Douglas Levere and a gallery of photos from his book New York Changing. I can't think of anything profound to say about it at the moment (see last post,) but it is pretty freakin' cool.

sister, i believe you owe me a birthday present

I'm a little tired. This morning, for the first time since I've had this jobby thing, I overslept. I never get out of bed right after the alarm goes off, but I always contort myself into some really uncomfortable position such that there's no chance I will fall asleep again and just close my eyes until I lose sensation in one or more limbs. Due to last night's combination of myself and free wine, the patented contortion technique failed, and when I got up to pee and my room was all sunny, I knew something was amiss. That something being that it was 10:30 instead of 7:30, not that I could neither feel nor move my left arm. Woopsies! Fortunately, pretty much the only skill I bring to the job-table is showing up perfectly on time every single day, so I am probably not getting fired soon. Well, at least not for this.

So, I'm just going to gank this marvelous link from Mimi Smartypants and call it a post. The levels of awesomeness in this thing speak for themselves:
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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

does the nyt's smell like roses?

I love it when higher powers mess up. Okay, too general. I love it when higher powers mess up resulting in no death, destruction, or other disastrous consequences. Anyway, mistakes are bound to happen in a massive daily newspaper like the illustrious New York Times, but an entire article based around an obvious error is like crack to those of us who love a little journalistic Schadenfreude.
Correction: Oct. 13, 2005, Thursday:

A CD review on Monday about the band Broken Social Scene and the album bearing its name misidentified its home city. It is Toronto, not Montreal.


Misidentified? Nice try. The basis for the whole review is BSS's place in the Montreal scene--proof that so many music reviews are nothing more than verbose bullshit. They are that one kid in AP English class who constantly "contributed" to discussion with big words and stupid questions that impressed the idiot Jehovah's Witness teacher who was shocked when said "brilliant" kid only got a 3 on the exam. Sucker. To wit:
Broken Social Scene is an alliance loosely led by Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning; its members, now about a dozen, are also active in other Montreal bands. The sound of 21st-century Montreal is coalescing as upbeat anthems overstuffed with instruments and eccentricities...

But "Broken Social Scene" refuses to ride on Montreal's momentum...

...Broken Social Scene doesn't tamp down its Montreal exuberance...


I believe the correction should read:
A CD review on Monday about the band Broken Social Scene and the album bearing its name was a morning thunder poop (i.e., that which occurs after a long night of imbibing spirits) of reviewer Jon Pareles. He will be fired immediately and replaced by Gina, who has been dazzling tens of readers with her McBlog for the past year and a half.

The Toronto Star weighs in on the crap and says basically the same thing as me, only with more hometown pride. Canadians aren't really on my good side right now (except you, R.)

Monday, October 17, 2005

are you feeling jubilated?!

Last week E and I attended the Antony and the Johnsons show at Carnegie Hall. I'm usually not so into the more somber side of the indie scene, but E twisted my arm (i.e., "Eric said it's good") so I purchased two center orchestra seats. Then I bought the CD and, as per usual, let it collect a goodly amount of dust before listening. Listen Number One involved a lot of brow-furrowing, "hmmmms," and "that's...differents" as I pondered the cover photo of a drag queen in a hospital bed and the list of really really famous contributors in the liner notes. Well, it'll be fun to go to Carnegie at least... I gave it another shot the night before the concert as a background for the monsoon and perusing my new self-help book. This time it sounded kinda beautiful, and I was more than kinda looking forward to the show. Turns out, unexpected concert nirvana was achieved. The best things are always unexpected, it seems.

I'll stand when I wanna stand
After an overpriced steak sandwich and a $28 bottle of cheap shiraz, E and I arrived in time for the second number of the opening act, a brass band from Brooklyn consisting of Reverends and Deacons and Elders and whatnot. For 30 minutes, Carnegie hall was a Baptist church in Dixieland, and the aging drag queens in the audience were most definitely havin' it. Despite the head Holiness's demands that we "stand UP for The Lord" and "be jubilated," E and I remained seated, looking around in awe and contemplating the juxtaposition between this vibrant band of righteous ones and what was to come--a 30-something gender-bending dude whose songs are more likely to make you cry.

Dangerous Dentyne
After an intermission just long enough for a cigarette and a tallboy, Antony and his Johnsons took the stage. His warbling, falsetto-esque voice that was off-putting at first worked wonders in person. The audience was silent and fixated into the third song--something to the effect of "I Am So Filled With Loneliness." And then I choked on my gym. Like, one of those chokes that leads to an uncontrolable coughing fit that leads to a coinciding uncontrolable laughing fit because you're so embarrased about the coughing. Woops. After a couple minutes I regained composure and pretended the tears in my eyes were a result of the deeply emotional music (and I say that sans sarcasm, believe it or not.) Antony then addressed the audience: "Um, I know I've just played these depressing songs, but I'm really trying to cultivate a sense of joy."

Who?
Antony took a break for a bit and introduced singer Jimmy Scott, who walked on stage to uproarious applause. E and I simultaneously made the "are we supposed to know who this is?" face, and now I feel better about that because the Times described him as "perhaps the most unjustly ignored American singer of the 20th century," so at least we weren't the only ones. Jimmy's got quite the interesting bio, if you feel like a little learnin'. Then E and I had to take a piss. Apparently, so did somebody else.

I peed with Lou Reed
We'd already seen Rufus Wainwright in close proximity twice, so we were content with the night's celebrity quotient. But when E and I were deciding when to go pee, and Lou Reed walked past us toward the exit, I knew that it was time. Sure enough, Lou entered the men's room as we approached the ladies'. Perhaps he had a tallboy during intermission too? Then in an USWeekly-"Celebrities! They're Just Like Us!" moment, Lou, a few other bladder-control-challenged individuals, and E and I waited outside the door until the current song was over. We were absurdly giddy about this, and probably very conspicuously so. Sorry, Lou, you're just too fucking cool.

I wanna dance with Shania
The most amazing thing about Antony's voice, E pointed out, is that at times it is so high-pitched and fragile that you're just waiting for it to break, but it never does. Without changing his vocal style, Antony gave a late-in-the-show shoutout to his faves in a cover of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," and replaced "somebody" with "Shania" and "my neighbor" in later verses. (I think you had to be there, but it really was hilarious.) He, like, Jimmy, has clearly been through a lot of shit in his life, and his songs are so personal and sung with such humility that seeing him get four standing ovations to a sold-out Carnegie Hall was just heart-meltingly beautiful. There are very few times when I get this sappy, but Antony turned me into a big ol' maple tree.

A sense of joy and jubilatedness was officially cultivated.

"just some minor enticements"

Lots of apartment talk going on lately. Rents in the ol' NYC are certifiably reeeediculous right now, and it makes me appreciate my good fortune in finding myself a rent-stabilized studio in a "soft market" and hanging onto it for three years, even though I'd rather live downtown in a place that is not smaller than each of my college dorm rooms. My bubble will soon be burst, since my building is "going co-op" this month, and when my lease runs out in May I'll either have to buy my little box in the sky (ha!) or, I'm guessing, pay the real rent (who would buy a 144 square foot apartment, even though it is really quite a charming lil' abode if I do say so myself,) which is 30% more than what I'm paying right now. Given the career path to which I am aspiring, I fear my options will be limited to da Bronx, the uncool parts of Brooklyn, or something like this. Or worse yet, this. Lord have mercy.

Friday, October 14, 2005

dictionary.com rubs it in

Word of the Day for Friday October 14, 2005

sinecure \SY-nih-kyur; SIN-ih-\, noun:
An office or position that requires or involves little or no
responsibility, work, or active service.

Something tells me I won't be forgetting this one.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

pass the camel toad

Poor parents. It's just so hard to keep up with the youth these days! What with their Internets, and that awful heavy punk metal music, and, jeeminychristmas, their language! They must all be on drugs!

Recently, the Local Paper published this editorial in response to the 2005 updated Collegiate Dictionary and the confounding new words it now contains:
They get into the dictionary because they first get into conversations.

RD, whose column runs in a newspaper in Port Huron, Mich., came up with his own list of words to add, fo'shizzle.

To the hip, or at least to those acquainted with the work of rapper Snoop Dogg, fo'shizzle means for sure, as in, "These are the best deep fried cheese curds I've ever had, fo'shizzle."

This article caused great distress among local citizens who do not yet have a close personal relationship with the D-O-double-G.
New words in dictionary difficult to understand

Editor: Re: "Dictionary misses mark, fo'shizzle" (Oct. 7, 2005)
It's hard enough to understand kids now without adding more words to try and figure out. What other words are they going to add? As parents we are going to need a dictionary in our hands everytime we talk to our kids.

RR
Colby

Those crazy kids! Perhaps RR can commiserate with this concerned godmother [via Gawker]:

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

dork!

Scene: Last Night at the Mediabistro office in Soho

Gina walks up to her classroom on the 4th floor. It is occupied by the wrong class, so she shuffles over to the room full of cubicles, lingers for a while looking confused and hoping for her class to magically materialize in front of her. Finally, she works up the nerve to ask the nearest person in the office.

Gina: Hi, um, do you know where the women's magazine class is?
Elizabeth Spiers: types away at her computer, barely looks up I think it's over there.
Gina: Uhhh...
Laurel Touby: No, it's been moved downstairs.
Gina: runs toward the exit Okaythanksbye.

I can't decide which is nerdier: my social awkwardness, or the fact that I even know who these people are and am fazed by their "fame." Upon finding my class and engaging in pre-class chat, it was revealed that most of the other writer wannabes don't even know what blogs are yet, and wouldn't know Nick Denton if he hit them over the head with, uh...his ginormous head. So I'm thinking it might just be the latter. Reality check!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

soul- and brain-free

Why I would rather pick up dog poop for a living than be a publicist. (Come to think of it, there are quite a lot of careers I find more repugnant than picking up extreme quantities of dog poop for $10 an hour.) From GawkerStalker:

I just wanted to let you know that last week David Bowie and his beautiful wife Iman were spotted dining at the new Chemist Club Grill located in the Dylan Hotel the two were both eating chef John Kaunas’ Grilled Filet of Wild King Salmon Tarragon & Mustard Glaze, topped with Mango-Cucumber-Red Onion and Tomato Relish and a side of Lobster Home Fries. [Ed: We’re running this because this is a BLATANT EXAMPLE of why we don’t want your publicist to send us stalker sightings. Mango-Cucumber-Who-Gives-a-Fuck — for shame!]

Monday, October 10, 2005

one light stand

Why I love China's Next Top Model.

weird, weird weekend

No energy for sentences.

The Really Ridiculously Good
*Rowing in the rain at Crew Alumni Day and being reminded not only of how out of shape I am now in comparison to college, but how important those four years were for me and why.
*The assortment of fried appetizers at Cafecito.
*The bloody mary at Balthazar.
*The polenta with gorgonzola cheese sauce at Piadina.
*Seeing the Canadian for the first time--outside my door at 4:30 a.m. on Friday night/Saturday morning.

The Really Ridiculously Bad
*Pretty much everything involving interaction between me and the Canadian thereafter.
*Watching a chocolate labrador get run over by a taxi cab on 75th and Broadway because its owners were walking it OFF THE LEASH, DOWN THE MEDIAN, ON ONE OF THE BIGGEST STREETS IN THE CITY. Wanted to punch their yuppie faces in.

The Just Plain Ugly
*The meatheads, fat-free go go dancers, hordes of JAP's, the one-armed guido, the 400-pound black man who tried to hit on me, and the cheeseball music at a crowded club somewhere in the wasteland that is the area north of Madison Square Park.
*Being lectured about Frank Sinatra, that horrible punk rock and heavy metal music, and the compatibility of certain zodiac signs by a drunk elderly man who had just peed his pants. Guess where?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

this post makes about as much sense as a pitchfork review

Tonight I am (was?) in the funkiest of funks. My eyelid is twitching because it's Friday and I stayed up too late every night this week, the ol' hormones aren't doing so well without pharmaceutical support, and the world is apparently coming to an end. Also, the Canadian had to choose this weekend to come visit. Things rarely go smoothly in the planning and execution parts of that department. So as I tend to do, I'd convinced myself that it was all going to go to shit for the super-rational reason that he must hate me. Uh huh. He demonstrated his intense hatred by calling tonight and asking me to come to dinner later. Now, as everyone who's ever remotely befriended me knows, I always like to be right and will do anything to prove my rightness. Boys I like get the brunt of this. So I acted like a total ass on the phone, as if it is his fault that I'm exhausted and I have to get up early tomorrow to go row a boat and it would be a very bad idea to stay out late and get drunk (note that the current time is 1:01 a.m.) Let's just say I don't think he's exactly dying to see me tomorrow, and for once this isn't a "telling myself I'm getting a C just in case I don't get an A" scenario. Ha! I sure showed him.

So the funk turned into a superfunk after that. I couldn't do anything but lie on the futon staring at the impressive amount of dust on the ceiling fan, so I decided to at least give my sulking some ambience with the new self-titled Broken Social Scene album. I worship at the altar of their album You Forgot It In People, and like that one, you need to listen to the new one a few times while doing nothing else to really get into it. Also like the last one, there are only two songs that stood out immediately for me. "7/4 (Shoreline)" (yeah that's the title) I'd downloaded a while ago and put on my "September" and "October" playlists (I am nothing if not deeply creative.) And "It's All Gonna Break" first charmed me when they finished their Central Park show with it and I sat alone outside the venue against a tree. The latter is a nearly 10-minute endeavor, and it's crazy and all over the place and, quite frankly, rocks. I could feel the rain cloud in my head start to lift somewhere around minute three, and then a few minutes later there's this buildup with the lyrics "you are the one that loves the music to save your life" and then I started sobbing the rain cloud right out.

I was moved to check the liner notes to see if there were lyrics (sometimes I don't think they even know what the lyrics are,) and instead there are scribbles of notes made, presumably, during the recording process. The notes for "It's All Gonna Break" include "Wheres charlies Solo?", "make sure ghosts doesn't sound like goats," "call [band member] Crossingham and thank him," "try to make it sound like Bob Seger on acid," and "Forgive your heart (don't spend too much time on that.)" I believe that the brilliance of this band is captured by their ability to end the album repeating what really sounds like "Why are you always fucking goats?" and it's the most beautiful thing in the world, at the moment.

Now that the rain has moved from my head to the torrential downpour outside, I am going to go to bed and listen to that. During the day I hate it, but I've always loved the rain at night.

Friday, October 07, 2005

exploding subways, bird flu, and a hurricane have a great weekend!

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*MJ Garrett, he of the Real World: Philadelphia, clown hair, and eyes wonkier than Paris's, graced my hometown recently with his tales of post-college woe. He advised the star struck high school students against banking on a career with the NFL, recommended Reality Television Star as a viable alternative, and enlightened them about the nature of those scary gay people: "Now, I let my other friends know, it's nothing like they think. They're not out to get you." Thanks for sharing, MJ.

*Blagg sticks it to American Apparel: "Oh, I know. The clothes are 'sweatshop free', made in America. Not just America, either - Downtown LA. That's where the cool, socially responsible shit is all going down. That's great, really it is. Be sure to pat yourselves on the back while enjoying all your Asian manufactured electronics, and strolling around in your Underpaid Malaysian Child-crafted Nike Dunks, you fucking morons." Truer words... American Apparel is kind of like Paris Hilton--the right gimmick at the right time garners instant fame for no inherent reason, and before you know what happened you're sitting at home in your 100% cotton 70's style gym shorts wondering how Mary-Kate must be feeling about those Hilton biatches right about now. People are simple creatures.

*If only she were right:

Because You Red States Don't Smell So Good
Tourist woman #1: This is a really quaint neighborhood!
Tourist woman #2: Yeah, but it's really expensive. A small one-bedroom apartment is like $1,000 a month!
Tourist woman #1: Oh, my! Why would someone pay that?

--Bleecker & 11th

*Last night E and I were at my over-$1000, 144-square-foot one-room apartment in an uncool neighborhood to watch her friend Brendan charm the audience on Jeopardy. Brendan put forth a valiant effort but was ultimately beaten handily by Jason Richards, who is the next Ken Jennings and also an extraordinary toolbag. Nice work anyway, Brendan, and even my cold stone heart fluttered a bit when you mentioned spending a month's rent on lunch with your girlfriend in Paris. Sigh.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

saag paneer and a talking penis

Last night, E and I had tickets to the Decemberists show at Webster Hall and decided to get our little party started early with Whole Foods Indian buffet takeout and Bud Light tallboys in Union Square. Though I'm not such a fan of the surrounding area, that park brings out every kind of loonybin you can imagine and, therefore, I love it.

We sat on a bench outside the dog run and amused ourselves for hours with curry, beer, and a constant stream of interesting people to stare at. Our favorites included a couple silently caressing each other on a nearby bench for an unreasonable amount of time, a girl walking around while playing what was essentially a single-stringed harp (not a lot of melody, beat, or anything resembling music going on there,) and a dude who accosted us and declared, "you two must be together since you [me] finished her [E's] sentence [something to the effect of 'go talk to the girl with the one-stringed harp']." Congratulations to him for having high enough self-esteem to assume that any girl that doesn't engage him in conversation must be a lesbian. Anyway, then we saw Wendel.

Wendel was clad all in white, including the signature crown and clown collar. Shortly after he established himself near that weird statue on the south side, another conspicuously dressed gentleman entered stage left. This guy sported a long black trenchcoat, black pants, and a black Charlie Chaplin type hat, only it was a helmet. From what we could tell, neither acknowledged the other, and their close proximity may very well have been a coincidence, but I prefer to believe that we'd somehow warped into an urban comic book and Good and Evil were about to have it out.

Oh yes, and the Decemberists were good, but concert nirvana (TM) was not achieved. Webster Hall is not my favorite venue. It's hard to feel connected to the bands, and it feels like the floor is going to cave in from violent head-bopping. Also, the band came on late, we were stuffed with spiced grease and alcoholic water, and full-time jobs are, like, tiring. We declared ourselves old fogies and headed home, where I somehow found a clip featuring Amy Sedaris as a cartoon penis talking about puberty. And then I went to bed. Not bad for a Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

two outta three ain't bad

I had a major epiphany late freshman year in college, and it had nothing to do with mind-altering substances or any part of Aeschylus's oeuvre. During some unremarkable gathering of troglodyte boys and large-sized girls who rowed boats, someone mentioned the Rule of Two-Thirds: of the three things you can do with yourself in college--have a life, play a sport/do a time-consuming extra-curricular, get good grades--you can only have two, sucker. I realized immediately that this person with overly developed back muscles was correct.

For the first time in my life, I regularly went out and partied and hooked up went to museums and for long walks in the park with a range of different and awesome friends! For the first time I was not terrible at a sport and was motivated to actually, like, practice! And for the first time since that D- in eighth grade religion class, my grades were bad ("bad" like I'm "fat" right now, that is) and I didn't really care. Okay, that's a lie, I did care (and I want to lose five pounds,) but not enough to do anything about it (ditto.) Upon examination of my peers--the kid who went to the bars, kicked big league journalism's ass, and was on academic probation; the kid who was class president, slept in the library, and, presumably, never got laid; the hordes who partied their asses off and got straight A's but didn't do much else--I knew that I was normal. The Rule of Two-Thirds validated my existence. Looking back, I know my life now would be no different had I graduated cum laude. If I'd thought about what to do after college and gotten the requisite internships, then yes, things would be a little different. But that's not the point.

The Rule of Two-Thirds, while at first disconcerting for your standard ambitious, upper middle class kid, is a reasonable standard for college. Do a couple things well, get as much as you can out of them, and do what's necessary get by in your chosen neglected area. (Actually, just get a couple of internships. Nothing else really matters. Anyway.) Upon an IM conversation with Expat Perplexa this morning, I realized that the Rule of Two-Thirds is also relevant for 20-somethings. If you keep "have a life," replace "sport/extra-curricular" with "emotionally and sexually fulfilling relationship," and replace "good grades" with "job you might not kill yourself for still having in five years," you have a nice little Rule of Two-Thirds paradigm. While we all want all of those things, after being chewed up and swallowed and puked back up by life after graduation, we are not deluded enough to expect the whole kit 'n caboodle. We just want our Two-Thirds, damnit! But with friends coming and going, confusion and lingering immaturity hindering the relationship thing, and minimal career preparation, it seems like One-Third is the word for now. And it sucks!

Alright, I suppose it's not that bad, even though we're all dirt poor (again, not the point.) I've had some awesome and awesomely-bad experiences in the last two years and have more social engagements than I can handle, Perplexa has a wonderful relationship with her Deutschem Mann, and Drone is well on his way to job nirvana. I'm guessing that the next two thirds will come along for everyone, slowly but surely. And we should all just love ourselves unconditionally anyway, because my favorite psychologist says so.

Monday, October 03, 2005

in the red

Not much doin' this weekend. I've been in a little funk lately, but nothing a little sulking, drunk-dialing, Food Network watching with Drone, and speed reading (i.e., active procrastination) couldn't fix. I did happen upon a certain Blogebrity, however...

Based on a very cursory perusal of her blog, which is all I could ever stomach, I deduced a while ago that Stephanie Klein lives very close to me. On my way back from Love's Drugstore to buy Hanes underwear since the washing machines in my building are broken and the landlord refuses to fix them because it's going co-op in a month and therefore no longer his concern, I brushed by Stephanie coming out of the building across the street from mine. Naturally, I did a nice long double take, and I would comment here on the surprising magnitude of her ass, but that would be juvenile and mean and evidence of my seething jealousy of her $500,000 book deal and luscious copper curls. On a side note, what's up with the sizing of mass produced women's underpants? I was forced to get a package of brightly colored undies in polka dot, paisley, and polka dot AND paisley patterns because that was all they had in my size, which is the smallest size available. Now I'm no Stephanie Klein, but in no universe should I be the smallest size in anything.

Lest you think my heart is made of steel, I'd like to point out how much I love my lil' sis. She went to a party recently dressed up like a fairy (I do not know why) and then made out with a boy who looks like Jesus (her college is just a TAD on the hippie side) who told her she's "spectacular." Rock on, sis.

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Friday, September 30, 2005

you'd think i'd have forgotten to renew my ritalin prescription, not my birth control

(I don't have a Ritalin prescription to renew, but I think it's about time I did. My god these faux-hormone-free cramps...)

*Like most web savvy corporate whores, I tired of Friendster approximately three months after signing up. Once I'd finished amassing as many "friends" as possible and searching for every person I've ever met, ever, including Boyd, my three-year-old boyfriend in 1984, there just wasn't anything left to do. Except, of course, to stalk people. Yep, 37-year-old Actor/Musician/Borrower of Money From His Dad is still single! Damnit, Whole Avocado Eating Rickshaw Driver still hasn't created a profile, so I cannot find out if he still has that girlfriend. Proably does. Bitch. No way, FAB put up another picture! So I was a little horrified to learn from E this morning (I've opted out of the unsolicited and unnecessary "Friendster Update" emails) that you can now see who has viewed your profile. Using my keen critical thinking skills, I put two and two together and surmised that other people can see if you've viewed them! But fear not, fellow stalkers. E just informed me that you can scrutinize profiles anonymously. Whew.

*Blogger and Morning News contributor Paul Ford has a book coming out and, I believe, actually deserves it. I'm a little amazed by how many people, including an editor at the NYT, thought his Gary Benchley hipster parody character was real. Dudes, Gary Benchley totally would've had a Friendster profile. Duh. [Memo to the NYT, if you need a new fact checker, I am more available than Tara Reid.]

*There are few things funnier than really bad sweaters. [via Thighswide] One of those things is Planet Dan's Halloween costume history.

*Squid sex. [via Push Fluids]

Thursday, September 29, 2005

it's official, folks

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Black is, indeed, the new black. I'm wearing black today! Are YOU????

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

things that have made me happy today

*Giant squid.

*Television Without Pity's America's Next Top Model Recap:
Nik, twenty-one, from Atlanta, says that she's not here to win the competition; she is the competition. Nik is also not here to make sense, because she is the sense.


*Cycle 2 of the Local Paper's Moments of Life insert. I won't subject you to the horror of the whole thing, but here's a snippet:
My favorite photos are the anniversary couples. They, too had hopes, dreams and plans for the ideal life together. What I see is maturity, a realization that life, even with a loved mate, is never perfect. Some compromises must be made along marriage's path. These are the couples who have honored the vows taken on their wedding day. They honored the vows and lived them.

[Except for that one time Herb boinked that toothless skank BettyAnne from his Sunday afternoon bowling league in the backseat of the Cadillac DeVille.]

*Dark chocolate and sugar-coated almonds.

*.... That's about it actually.