Monday, February 28, 2005

argentina one - gringa tourists

As my mother always said, don't say anything if you don't have anything nice to say (and also, go to your room you ungrateful wretch.) So this week is going to be PictureWeek here at I took lots of pictures on the trip to South America, and I've finally become unlazy enough to get them onto a computer. Here's the first installment, which includes most of the touristy Buenos Aires pics (and little history lessons, Gina style):

The neighborhood we stayed in in Buenos Aires, San Telmo, is very old world. Much like NYC's Lower East Side in that all the old tenements and antique-y stores and ancient restaurants are combined with trendy new bars lots of youngish people. This is a classic parilla, which is a place where people grill lots and lots of meat.

This is the Casa Rosada, which is the Argentinian version of the White House. It's pink because the leader at the time (hell if I know who) wanted to appease both political parties, one whose official color was red, the other white. Time to paint the White House purple!

This is the Puerto Madero, which is on a very brown river/canal thing on the edge of the city. The structure in the back was designed by the same guy who did the one in Madrid.

We took a ride on a Catamaran down a river north of BA. There are lots of cute little houses on the river and people go boating and waterskiing and rowing. Kind of like Martha's Vineyard or something, only the river looks like the one in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

After the boat tour we got some lunch. This lomito completo (i.e., steak, ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and onion) is probably the best sandwich I've ever had. I think it looks like what McDonald's sandwiches falsely claim to look like in the commercials.

Back in the 'hood, we visited this bar, the oldest in San Telmo, quite a bit. The bottles on the second row up from the cash register are sold at the weekly antique fair for really cheap and I would've bought one if I'd had more luggage space. They were used to dilute the crappy early 20th century Argentinian wine until it was discovered that the nozzles caused lead poisoning.

Sister Carrie and I walked a heck of a lot in 90+ degree weather while wearing $3 rubber flip flops, so one day we took a nap in the big park, until a homeless man leered just a little too close for comfort. And if anyone wants to know why my skin actually looks alright, for a change, I'm chalking this one up to good lighting and Neutrogena Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 With a Hint of Tint. Seriously it's good stuff.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

the next martha stewart

If you know me, you know that cooking is not among the vast array of skills I possess. While I have a great appreciation for the culinary arts, there's a reason I often eat multiple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in a day, and it's not poverty (though that is also a factor.) Anyway, yesterday I cooked something and it was really easy and tasty, and I'm so proud of this groundbreaking feat that I must share my creation with the world (i.e., my friends and people who've recently Googled "sex with farm animals.")

Poor Girl's Eggs Florentine
ingredients: piece of two-week old bread, two-week old "fresh" spinach, two eggs, olive oil (or as Rachel Ray says, "oh oh",) salt

1. Toast the bread in the oven (unless you're one of those weirdos who owns a toaster.)
2. Cook spinach in a pan with a little oh oh until it wilts. Remove from pan.
3. Put more oh oh in pan and cook two eggs over easy (or, in my case, attempt to cook over easy but while flipping eggs manage to break yolks and make a big mess.)
4. Put toast in bottom of bowl. Put spinach on top of toast. Put eggs on top of spinach. Add enough salt to give Old Uncle Robert a stroke. Eat with fork (and knife, if you're into civilized things like that.) Yum.

And speaking of food, I have gotten myself hired as a waitress at a trendy (by Ithaca standards) restaurant. Currently taking bets on how many shifts until I spill something.

Friday, February 25, 2005

"they weren't even his own cows"

God bless my sister. On a day when I'm feeling blah-er than blah, she comes through with the Local Paper article I have been waiting for all my life. Here it is in all it's royally fucked up glory:

Neillsville man charged with sex with animal

NEILLSVILLE - A 63-year-old Neillsville man has been charged with sexual gratification with an animal.
Harold G. Hart, W7763 Highway 95, is facing four misdemeanor charges - sexual gratification, disorderly conduct and two counts of obstructing an officer. Hart told police he's been having sex with calves for between one and two years at the farm.

Clark County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Jim Backus said the last case similar to Hart's was 20 or more years ago. Hart likely traveled to the Greenwood farm because "it's really not far out of his travel area" on his way to Marshfield bars or strip clubs on Highway H, Backus said.

According to the criminal complaint, the family installed a motion detector on Jan. 22 because they routinely had seen footprints and vehicle tracks.
At about 4 a.m. the following morning, a sensor sounded, and Hart was caught leaving the barn. He said he used a bathroom in the barn and claimed he had never been there before.

However, on Jan. 28 Hart admitted to police he routinely stopped at the farm, usually after bar closing or on trips to strip clubs near Marshfield or Neillsville.

Hart told police he had sex with heifers before 1963, when he went into the service, and resumed about a year ago at the farm. He admitted to using a rope to tie calves around the neck and estimated having gone to the farm "at least 50 times." He always went alone and would sometimes go to the farm two to four times in a week, while other times avoiding it for weeks.

A statement by Hart said he never had sex with animals while maintaining a relationship with a girlfriend or his wife. Hart never took anything or intentionally damaged the barn.

His initial appearance in Clark County Court is set for March 10. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of nine months in jail.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

rescue 911

Internet Boyfriend has officially dumped my ass like a sack o' potatoes. There's a long version which I'll spare you, because it essentially boils down to the part when the Missing Piece meets the Big O. While at times I feel very hurt and abandoned at a time when I've got enough emotional pain all by myself and certainly don't need any more, I know that it all makes a shitload of sense, for many many reasons. Now, of course, the fact that he can both think AND operate on a purely rational level makes me like him even more. Fucking bastard. At least there have been a couple things to cheer me up.

In trying to determine with whom I could potentially make out once I feel up to it (for once, praise the Lord, I most certainly do not feel up to it,) new friend M and I discussed one of the hotter guys here, who has just broken up with his girlfriend. Unaware of the details of me and IB, she kind of turned up her nose at this guy, saying, "He's not very exciting, doesn't seem to care about anything, just kind of emotionless. You know, he's Canadian." Oh, do I ever know. With apologies to my Canadian readership (I'm sure you do not fit this stereotype,) I must say that M is pretty darn accurate in her assessment, and, as she is a self-proclaimed lover of assholes, would reject his ass in a second. Ha! Unfortunately, I still find myself attracted to the super-duper-laid-back-nothing-in-the-world-will-ever-bother-me(-unless-you-cry-every-time-we-talk) type. Something tells me I've found my rebound!

Now, as I mentioned, I am not yet ready to rebound. But in the interim, fashion-related reality television has come to my rescue. If Project Runway being won by my standout favorite Jay is any indication, this is going to be a good spring, indeed. I'd be plenty excited about the upcoming "cycle" of America's Next Top Model all on my own, but Drone, in his brilliant second installment of pre-show analyses and predictions, has got me drooling, for once, when I'm not passed out on the couch.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

two very vaguely related things

Yesterday E and I spent the rainy afternoon driving around town listening to monster ballads and trying to find me a restaurant job so that I can start paying someone rent and perhaps bringing my checking account balance back up to a healthy $0.00. Some of the places were closed, some weren't hiring until the summer when everybody leaves, and some were just hiring dishwashers. Later at dinner we were discussing our day:

G: I wonder who is a dishwasher in Ithaca...high school students maybe?
E: Yeah, because there are no Mexicans here like in New York.
G: [snorting laughter] I was thinking the exact same thing earlier.
E: [snorting laughter] Seriously!
G: But, I mean, there are also great Mexican cooks and stuff.
E: [very quickly] And Mexican doctors and lawyers.
G and E change the subject.

Yeah we're going to hell. In a handbasket. Whatever that means, exactly.

Speaking of hell, I recently began to read The Devil Wears Prada. The writing was so, um, not good (by getting published standards, let alone those of six months on the New York Times Best Seller list,) and plenty of stories about horrific high-powered fashiony bosses have already been provided to me by His Droneness, that after 30 pages of adjective happy, generic and inaccurate tales of post-college NYC life, I skipped to the last 10 pages and pretty much got the whole nauseating story. Still looking for something to read before bed, but not wanting to begin one of the ~600 page novels I'd bought in an attempt to reintroduce myself to the wonderful world of reading for pleasure, I returned to E's little bookshelf. Everything was pretty much of the college reading list variety, except for Shel Silverstein's The Missing Piece Meets the Big O. Not since Anna Karenina in 10th grade (and Where the Red Fern Grows before that) have I been brought to tears by a book. And this one took five minutes to read, as opposed to two months. [In case you're unfamiliar with the story, there's this little wedge-shaped piece that is all alone and looking for a shape that fits it to roll with. Many shapes come along, some that fit but don't roll, roll but don't fit, are missing too many pieces, or have too many pieces already. The piece meets a circle with just the right shape missing, and they roll for a while, but then the piece grows and has to say good bye to the circle. Finally the Big O comes along. The piece wants to roll with it, but the Big O is not missing a piece. It leaves, telling the piece that despite it's inability to do so currently, if it starts to flop over by itself its edges will wear down and it too will be able to roll. So the piece sits alone for a while, then begins to flip over, then wears down its edges, soon is rolling all by itself, and in the end meets up with the Big O and they roll by themselves, together.] While, granted, I have a little chemical imbalance at the moment and identified greatly with the missing piece (I'm at the part where the piece sits alone for a while, about to start moving,) the story is seriously fucking heart-warming and inspirational and should be cherished by all. And I don't think I've ever said anything like that last sentence without a heavy dose of sarcasm before.

Monday, February 21, 2005

two completely unrelated things

You know a scene was so over, like, two years ago when... So what will be the next edgy, alternative scene? So far the only options some friends and I could come up with are becoming Deadhead hippies, gangsta bitches, heroin addicts, or Abercrombie and Fitch wearers. I think the jury's still out, but if I ever go to Misshapes again I will be sporting business casual and will without a doubt be the most uniquely dressed person there.

In other news, in addition to lord knows how many brain cells I've lost since high school, I have also lost my ability to write. Not to construct a sentence, but actually to put pen to paper and write. Last night I wrote a gut-spilling letter to Internet Boyfriend (which ended up being more beneficial for myself than anything else,) and because the computer on which I wrote it was connected to a printer with no ink and had no internet access, I was forced to transcribe it onto a piece of paper. It took at least 30 minutes to do, is illegible to anyone other than myself, and caused some serious hand crampage. Sweet.

Friday, February 18, 2005

baby steps

So I've been in Ithaca for almost a week and, yup, still depressed! I haven't yet embarked on such helpful things as "getting a job" or "paying someone to listen to me whine" or "doing something besides browse the internet and read David Sedaris books" so I suppose this is to be expected. I've had a couple rather upsetting conversations with the Formerly Internet But Now Telephone Boyfriend, who is of the "suck it up" mentality, whereas I tend to belong to the "but I have a chemical imbalance why don't you feel sorry for me and call me every 20 minutes and tell me how great I am" camp. He suggested I treat my current problem as any other I've faced--getting my lazy ass into my beloved school, waking up at 6 a.m. every day for four years to torture myself by pulling on a massive, blister-inducing oar. So after we got off the phone today and I wanted to drown my sorrows in a vat of cheese and chocolate, I managed to get myself to the gym, and now I'm drunk and almost having fun. For once, I think there's some hope. Go Ithaca!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

viiiva la muuusica la la la laaa

[Yeah, this title is an Enrique Iglesias reference. What.]
Well, I'm up in snowy Ithaca starting to get settled. Excluding the part where I paid my exhorbitant monthly credit card bill by overdrawing my checking account, thirty minutes before I would've been charged a late fee, I must say that so far I'm doing a good job getting my proverbial shit together. Big thanks to E for hauling my ass up all the goddamn hills in the morning. I haven't yet had time for my old favorite hobbies, reading blogs and illegally downloading music (which, by the way, I think is a beautiful thing, as it has introduced many people to many artists of which they would've otherwise never heard, hence helping said artists with ticket and music sales and only hurting the filthy stinking rich ones who don't need anymore money anyway.) Anyway, point is, I don't have a lot to say at the moment so I'll just fill in the "Kitchen Music Meme" sent to me by the Fat Asian Baby.

What is the total amount of music files on your computer?
Somewhere around 2,000 songs. Sadly, my computer is currently residing in Wisconsin so I'm limited to my iPod, which mysteriously came back to life right after a visit to the Holy Virgin monument on the San Cristobal hill in Santiago. Praise Jesus.

What is the last CD you bought?
I'm thinking real hard and all I can think of is Arcade Fire, which I think is sad but true as my vagabondery has not exactly lent itself to the procurement of new music. But I'm getting back in the game and very much looking forward to buying upcoming new releases on old fashioned compact discs by British Sea Power, The Kills, Out Hud, and Spoon.

What was the last song you listened to before reading this message?
"The Sweater Song" by Weezer while driving around Ithaca with E running errands and trying to find me a job.

Write down five songs you often listen to, or that mean a lot to you.
1. Where the Streets Have No Name--U2. My first favorite song of my official favorite band in high school.
2. Let Down--Radiohead. My first favorite song of my official favorite band in college.
3. Almost Crimes--Broken Social Scene. My first favorite song of my official favorite band post-college.
4. Last Goodbye--Jeff Buckley. Best breakup song in the history of the world.
5. April Skies--Jesus and Mary Chain. I just love this band (I was clearly supposed to be a poor, angsty British teenager in the 1980's...sigh,) and was introduced to them freshman year by Perplexa, who, with the help of Napster, singlehandedly turned me into the charming music nut (snob?) I am today. Thanks, sweetcheeks.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (three persons) and why?
No one, because CERTAIN PEOPLE never update their blogs anymore.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

weekend highlights

*Many, many thanks to Ashlee Simpson for making other "singers" feel the need to actually sing during live performances. J Lo and Marc Anthony just entertained me more than they ever have (which is, of course, not saying much) with their overly dramatic Spanish duet on the Grammy's. J Lo's horribly off-key vocals and Marc Anthony's, um, ugliness combined with the faux-sincerity of the spectacle made it a real heart-warmer.

*Thanks also to FAB former roommate D, who has provided me with a selection of futons on which to sleep and various pot-smoking apparati. I can't say I'm a huge fan of getting stoned, but being perfectly content watching terrible weekend television and eating pizza and leftover Indian food certainly simplifies things. Also, my recent viewing with Perplexa of the 1940's cautionary film "Reefer Madness," which depicts how weed makes everyone who so much as thinks about it instantly hyperactive and violently psychotic, has given me something to chuckle about as I sit by myself quietly in the corner, thinking about bunnies and how it feels kinda funny when I move my head.

*Though I've been in the know in regards to the Alife Rivington Club for years, I am not quite cool enough to know where it is, other than behind some unmarked door on Rivington Street. On Saturday E and I swallowed our not-quite-hipster pride and asked some vintage store salesperson for its location. Before telling us that it was just across the street, Customer Service Award Winner of the Year quickly corrected our pronunciation of the establishment. (A - life, not a - LIFE...okay then) It was all worth it because A-life is having some kind of clearance sale, and each of us got a snazzy pair of Nikes for a mere $30. Though my financial situation is not at all conducive to buying clothing and accessories, I just can't feel guilty about that one.

*And, lastly, the crowning glory of the weekend, with much credit to Drone and FAB former roommate D:
After some mingling and snarking at some rich kid's party in his Soho loft (of the movie "Big" fame,) Drone and D took a cue from another outside loiterer and decided to relieve themselves on the side of the building. While Drone left a puddle to be reckoned with, D's seemingly brilliant tactic of peeing into a grate on the sidewalk backfired as he was spotted by a police officer and slapped with a public urination ticket, to which D responded "Dude..." The host of the party came down to regulate the commotion, and when informed of what happened he scoffed, "Let them get what's coming to them," and stormed back in. This at least equals my previous favorite peeing experience: the two-part synchronized triple pee with friends E and S down the historic stone stairs of Riverside Park as FAB looked on in horror and guarded our brown-bagged 40's of Bud.

Friday, February 11, 2005

hi, my name is gina

After a week of searching, I've finally found my NYC vagabond holy grail: computers that I can use for free for an unlimited period of time, require no special login or password, support Gmail, and are not swarmed by the tech-savvy elderly of the Upper West Side. The day they change the appearance of the Columbia student ID will be a sad one indeed. Of course, this will be of no more immediate use to me, since on Monday I am relocating to Ithaca, New York--home of gorges, suicides, and disgruntled students known to commit suicide in the gorges. In a great display of sound logic, I am going there to overcome my depression.

I had a "Major Depressive Episode" exactly ten years ago--the spring of 1995, when no amount of synthesized Swedish pop or Reduced Fat Pringles could cheer me up and my plans for the last day of eighth grade included all the pills in my parents' medicine cabinet and a silent "fuck you" to the nice Catholics at Our Lady of Peace Elementary. Ever the procrastinator, I simply ditched the last day of school and put off the dying thing to give public high school a chance. I gave up Pringles, found a nice clique of band geeks to call my own, and devoted my existence to perfecting my college application in order to get the hell out of town. Though some would certainly argue otherwise, I'd been relatively happy and stable ever since.

Then I graduated from college, which proved not unlike entering junior high. In junior high, I lost my social network because I didn't own an ESPRIT bookbag and hadn't yet learned how to pluck my unibrow or cover up zits, and I lost it after college because of the cruel existence of cities other than the one in which I lived. In junior high, my teachers were not, to put it lightly, doing it for me, and I rebelled by amassing the largest chewing gum fine in school history and almost failing religion class; since college my jobs have been downright horrible fits, and I made myself feel better by dressing inappropriately and doing no work whatsoever. As a result of this two-fold lack of meaning and purpose and my unfortunate inherited neurochemistry and social anxiety, depression started to creep in, and after a year and a half in each case it became unbearable.

Now, as opposed to when I was 13, I have the advantage of knowing exactly what's up. For example, I know that staying in bed until 2 p.m. every day and spending the night crying and avoiding human contact, as much as I feel compelled to, will only make things worse. So I've been hopping on planes to be with people who won't let me do too much of that. But as my parental funding was used up on the dust-covered piece of paper with latin writing and my full name on it, I can't do this forever. The advantage of Depression Part I over Part II is that when I was 13 there was only one logical next step. Now there are infinite possible next steps, and I am paralyzed by indecision and too stripped of self-confidence to just make a fucking decision already and fucking do something--anything. So I'm moving to Ithaca to redirect my focus away from making enough money to afford exhorbitant rent and liquor costs and toward getting my head screwed on straight, whether it be through finding a passion for something and becoming good at it (hahaha,) talking about myself to someone with a PhD as opposed to the blog-reading public (I have a sinking suspicion the latter might be more therapeutic,) or good ol' psychotropic meds (bring on the dry-mouth and sexual dysfunction!). Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Yesterday as I was walking home, err..."home," from the temp job (which is really just a shit ton of Microsoft Excel wrangling and not a shred of "online research," those tricky bastards,) I passed a large group of black gentlemen loitering on the sidewalk. Because the whole gym idea never really transpired, I was moving briskly and marvelling at my shortness of breath from plain old walking. Anyway, one of the men sidled up next to me and asked if he could axe me a question. Totally immune to this sort of thing, I would normally play deaf, dumb, and blind and proceed without flinching. But because the couple in front of me slowed down to cross the street, and I was still moving along at high speed, I quickly stepped to the side to avoid slamming into them, away from the man, because if I'd have gone the other direction I would've slammed into him. In retrospect, either slamming option would've been preferable, because as soon as I made my move he shrieked with glee, "She jumped! HAHAHAHAAHA she jumped! Wooohoo you see that?!" And all of his buddies jumped in on taunting and making fun of the poor little white girl deathly afraid of the big scary black men.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

back at the libes

How much blogging can I do in 5 minutes before the angry librarians kick me off? Let's find out! Though I guess it doesn't matter too much, because for the next three days I have a temp job for a marketing company in the Meatpacking District (perhaps I'll get a $600 haircut on my lunch break!) doing "online research." And I think we all know what that means...

Anyway, a little old lady with lots of bags just got all up in my business, even though it is only 6:27 for chrissake. Take a Xanax, honey.

Monday, February 07, 2005


I am currently in my thirteenth minute of half an hour of free internet use at the Upper West Side branch of the New York Public Library. This marks my first trip to the NYPL, and about my tenth trip to a library of any sort in the New York metropolitan area, not including my brief stint "working" at the ol' college library, but including that time after graduation when FAB and I drunkenly wandered into said library at 3 a.m. on a Friday night marvelling at the overwhelming preponderance of Asians there (who were studying, not drunk.) Anyway, New York is treating me well since I've been back, with a nice futon to sleep on (thanks, A,) enough quarters that were being saved for laundry to purchase coffee and eggs, and a free trial gym membership from the nice folks at Equinox in order to begin making ammends for my ravenous consumption of South American meats. Not all is well, however, as an attempt to go to a party I used to frequent with apparently not "hardcore" enough regularity was met with an "I recognize your [not even remotely cool enough] face, but I won't be able to accomodate you tonight. [Perhaps next time you should try using more product in your hair.]" Damn, time is up and an old man in a trench coat is looking at me angrily.