Thursday, December 20, 2007

the movers are coming tomorrow and i have totally not started packing yet

Goodbye, Dunham Place.

Goodbye, Awesome Brick Wall.

Goodbye, Pile of Rocks at the End of Grand Street, Where Hipsters, Ricans, and Hassids Go to Drink From Brown Bags At Night.

Goodbye, Neverending Stream of Film Crews.

Goodbye, Neato View from Kent Avenue.

Goodbye, Marlow and Sons, Haven For SUV-Driving Hipsters and Home of Strong-Ass Coffee I Drank Nearly Every Day for a Year and a Half.

Goodbye, Gretsch Building, Home to Many an SUV-Driving Hipster.

Goodbye, Schaefer Landing and Water Taxi Terminal.

Goodbye, Site of Future View-Blocking 20-Story Condo.

Goodbye, Basement.

Hello, 2008, new apartment with modern amenities and WINDOWS, new roommates, Mia the pit bull, position of actual responsibility at work, Clinton Hill/Fort Greene, and, hopefully, a much more boring year than 2007.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I was good today. Enjoyed some much needed reclining after a weekend consisting of 22 hours selling cheese, one date, and two holiday parties. Bought cat supplies and healthful groceries. Finished the book it's taken me way too long to read, considering how good it is. Sold another item via Craigslist in preparation for the move. Locked myself out of my apartment and bribed FAB to drive up with my spare keys while I read about Mary-Kate Olsen (I want to hate her, but I can't. I think she's kind of captivating and cool. Sue me.)

I rewarded myself with the last of Perplexa's leftover wedding wine and some Ebay action. The following items are ending soon, and I am the only bidder. I am broke as a joke, but I can get myself a Christmas present, or three, right?

Gold shoes. Vintage. Leather. Cheap. Why not.

I have no idea why I love this sweater so much.

I want to go live in the 1950's. For, like, a week.

I know I would like to save countless dollars! In every room of my house!

Friday, December 14, 2007

scrabulous, the new rorschach?

I am addicted to Scrabulous, Facebook version. I have, literally, been playing it all day. It's great because you never know when the person you're up against will take their turn (unless you're simultaneously on Gmail chat, on which I have also been all day) and so you do other things to waste time while you're waiting to waste time. It's not so great because my friends are smart and I've lost more games than I've won. But it's still a great procrastinatory (I like making up words, no matter what Scrabulous has to say about them) and entertainment tool. 

In the game I've currently got going with my friend Sarah, the following words have been played (mostly by me):


And in the game I just lost to Comeback Susie, I managed to connect CUNT and TWAT.

Yeah, it's been awhile.

If you're on Facebook, play Scrabulous with me!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

pep talk

So, I think I'm ok. It'll be very sad (and a huge pain in the ass) to leave my apartment, and my morning coffee place, and my view of the Empire State Building from under the bridge, but I think I have a good place to move to, I think I might be getting a promotion/raise at work, and I know that, despite all the drama, I'm happier now, and for good real solid reasons, than I've been in a long, long time. I also think I just broke a world record for comma usage in a single sentence. Anyway, so that's that. Moving on...

Friday, November 30, 2007

two in one!

Aaaaah, nothing says "welcome home" like a 30-day eviction notice! After helping my parents pack up the house they've been living in for 20 years, I returned to Williamsburg to find two packages and a letter sitting outside my door. The guidebook I'm freelance editing for, yay! The t-shirt I bought on Ebay, yay! "Gina, We all got these notices on 11/29/07 from [scary landlord.] It doesn't seem to be an actual court order." Huh.

Apparently, he wants us all out by December 31st. Happy holidays!

The legalities regarding my housing situation are unclear, to say the least, and my fellow basement dwellers seem to think that this might be fightable via some legal aid thing for poor people, but based on my last experience with wealthy Hassidic landlords (not to, um, stereotype, or anything) I am not optimistic. Maybe I can get at least a month or two free rent before he actually kicks us out on the street? Maybe we can have a gigantic boozefest down here when that does happen? Maybe this is the motivation I need to throw away my bohemian dream and start thinking about someday making a decent living, with a lease and health insurance and vacation and all that?

Alls I know is I'm never complaining about being bored again. Good ol' Life will always take care of that.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

i, like, i just ate chinese food earlier

The computer is rocking my world today. Which is fortunate for me, since there's nowhere else to go in my soon-to-be former childhood home without running into a roofer, floorer, and/or packer.

James Franco, you had me at Freaks and Geeks. This is just too good.

i'm cultured

At last, a Williamsburg gallery has some art I can understand and appreciate.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Just got to Wisconsin. It is ten degrees here. I'm guessing Al Gore doesn't spend much time in the Midwest.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

hallmark moment

This year I got invited to six Thanksgivings. I don't think I've ever given a second thought to the actual meaning of the holiday until now. I am a lucky, lucky lady.

Happy Bacon-Wrapped-Turducken Day*!

*Note: I will not be dining on bacon-wrapped turducken tomorrow. I stole this picture off the internet. But someday, someday...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

i'm bored

Not in the I-have-nothing-to-do-right-now sense, or even the quarter-life-crisis-what-am-I-doing-with-my-life sense. I just, like, need a little something extra going on. My recent relationship sucked the life out of me, and now that I've gotten that life back, I don't exactly know what to do with it.

For once, I'm being kind of mature about things. This month I paid my credit card bill a whole day in advance! I've been exercising regularly and reducing my alcohol and cigarette intake, somewhat! I hardly ever watch television, except for a few special shows, and have been reading quite a bit! I've even taken a chill pill and let my current recipe-for-disaster work-related crush be nothing more than that. I'm totally not returning my rented DVD's on time, but whatever.

Go me! But I still feel the need to go work on a goat farm, and find new ways to spruce up my apartment, which doesn't even have four complete walls, and go to grad school for some useless degree, and move to Canada for the free healthcare and strapping gents, and become a food packaging designer/trashed furniture resurrecter/rock 'n roll flute player.

I know I need to just take some deep yoga breaths, appreciate my ridiculously fortunate job (tonight's quick-n-cheap tuna melt dinner featured fresh-baked seven-grain bread, pickled wax beans, Welsh sea salt, and four-year-old Grafton Village Vermont cheddar), and spend as much time as possible with my awesome friends. And maybe return my fucking movies*.

*Netflix is, sadly, not an option given my shared mailbox situation. I refrained from explaining this to a customer today who, when I asked if I'd find her recommendation in the documentary section, replied that I should just type the name of the movie in the "search" field.

Friday, November 09, 2007


The Saturday before last Saturday, an Upper East Sideish lady came into my place of employment. Because she was so stereotypically obnoxious, I made sure to examine her black AmEx before smugly informing her that we only accept Visa and Mastercard. Serendipitously, today Gawker told of her upcoming novel about opening a restaurant in the Hamptons. I wonder if the "upscale food shop" in her "novel" was also sabotaged by her toddler son's apparent love of throwing products on the floor, rolling around on t-shirt displays, and screaming at the top of his lungs until he's fed some cheese. I also wonder if someone who can't tell the difference between fresh and cooked chorizo should be writing a food-related guidebook...

Speaking of food, I could not agree more with Frank Bruni's recent rant about the word "enjoy," a word that became dead to me one night as I was serving a fellow LES waiter who, when asked if I could clear his plate, responded with a smug, creepy, spine-tingling grin, "No, we're still enjoying." Though this is generally a case of the waitstaff being patronizing, there is also a flip-side. That is the customer name-asking, to which I now reply, "My name's Gina, what's your name? Oh, nice to meet you."

Somehow always speaking of food, my parents are leaving Wisconsin after 20 magical years. I'm truly saddened to be losing my childhood home, and I hope that their new residence in Chili, New York (that's pronouced like the words "chai" and "lie" put together), has the same amount of character. I'm sure it won't, being a suburb, but hey, at least there's a Wegman's.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

stye me a river

Aaaand, today I've got a new entrant for the top prize in the "Most Obvious Lesson I Learned the Hard Way Embarassingly Late in Life" category.

Do not try on eye makeup at Sephora. Eye makeup that has been sitting out for days, weeks, months, who knows, coming into contact with air, grubby hands, coughing, and godknowswhat. DUH.

Monday, November 05, 2007

quote of the styles

It is with great shame that I admit the reasons for my weekly $4 Sunday Times purchase: the Style section, specifically for wedding announcements, and the Magazine for the crossword puzzle. Sometimes I go nuts and skim Travel and Real Estate too. Anyway, my favorite part this week comes from the Vows column. Jeff Greene, a 53-year-old "wealthy real estate developer who has homes in Malibu and Beverly Hills as well as a 145-foot yacht," expresses his joy over finally finding the love of his life, 32-year-old real-estater/Hampton party circuiter Mei Sze Chan, and concludes, "I just wish I had met Mei Sze 20 years ago."

Paging Chris Hansen...

Friday, November 02, 2007

i have been extremely productive today,

and Tinsley Mortimer is a genius.

after the cameras were turned off...

This video, though absurd, seems innocent enough.

Until you watch this one.

get your mind right

I do not understand this. Like, at all. It took me but two years of living in this fine city to learn the most important lesson I've ever learned (aside from love yourself before you can really love another, and put away the freakin credit card). And that lesson is, DO NOT WAIT IN LINE. Aside from the airport, the post office, and the DMV, I can think of no reason to wait in a line in New York. There are so many different things to do, and different versions of the same things, that lines are truly a waste of time and an unnecessary source of frustration and anxiety. You can't control when the Duane Reade cashier gets off the cell phone, or how many G trains go by before you finally see an F, but you can wait two weeks until the hubbub has diminished to get that burger, that burger that is probably not much, if at all, better than a zillion other places' burgers.

In other news, I am now friends with Tionna Tee Smalls! Well, Facebook friends at least. Still, yay!

Monday, October 29, 2007

the kitty likes it!

This morning as I sat at the computer eating my Icelandic yogurt and contemplating whether or not to go to yoga (not), my cat curled up next to me on the desk, making a nest out of a plastic Rite-Aid bag. Horrified, I immediately (ok, a couple hours later) went to the pet store to get him a proper bed. Lo and behold, he's already using it! I think I'm getting better at this cat thing...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

who'da thunk?

One would think that simply knowing the natural color of raw salmon would prevent one from eating a piece of a salmon maki roll whose contents were more grey than orangey pink--you know, salmon colored--but if "one" in this case is "me", one would be wrong.

Without going into details, I'll just say that my grand plans for a day of errands, cleaning, exercise, and general productivity have been abandoned in favor of lying on the couch reading and sipping various ginger tea products. But this has turned out to be a blessing, because the book I'm reading is nothing less than mind-blowing.

Last night, on a recommendation from a coworker, I took home Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating by fancy-deli-in-Ann-Arbor owner Ari Weinzweig. So far I've read the olive oil and vinegar chapters, and I am downright ashamed that I've worked in a specialty food store for almost half a year and didn't know that the color of an olive depends on how ripe it was when picked, not the variety of olive (though it seems most of the hundreds of olive varieties are picked and sold at a certain degree of ripeness and therefore are generally found only in one color with some natural variation, and if there is no variation than the olive curers probably cheated and dyed them with chemicals), and that real balsamic vinegar only comes from two towns in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and costs a lot of money (so that's why that one in the fancy box costs $90...), and the stuff you buy at the grocery store isn't even close.

Anyway, I'm really excited/frightened to read the rest. It's enjoyably and well written, and pretty much every single recipe is so simple and delicious-sounding that I want to run straight to Whole Foods.

Of course, that being said, I'm headed back to the couch to enjoy my Amy's frozen dinner.

Monday, October 15, 2007

as long as i get to go to the cheese board collective in berkeley...

In just six short hours I'll be poorly rested and off to San Francisco, for another wedding. I think it's safe to say that the "holy shit everyone I know is getting married and/or having babies" phase of my life has officially begun. This one's for a cousin I haven't seen since I was eleven, and will be attended by relatives I haven't seen for even longer and people I don't know at all. I'm already envisioning me and the family eccentric, my mom's older brother, whom I last saw when I was two but am told I'll get along well with and who was once a psychiatrist but now lives in the woods and builds furniture and always sent me the best Christmas gifts like Rocky the Real Fur Spring Raccoon and a life-size "The Scream" blow-up doll, drinking in the corner. God I hope he drinks.

Friday, October 12, 2007

dear alexa,

Ooooh, Night at the Roxy. Thankfully, I don't remember a thing about it. But I do remember the wee hours afterward at Abbey Pub, when you became my friend. We were sitting at the bar--you on my right, me in a beige J. Crew sweater, and, in our underage hands, drinks like Sex on the Beach courtesy of a bartender named Brian. I had no idea you'd become one of the most special people in my life, but I knew I had gotten really lucky in the roommate lottery.

That year you introduced me to so many wondrous things, including indie rock, thrift store clothing, coffee, Jewish holidays, hammentaschen, BUST magazine, and suburban New Jersey. You continue to inspire me today, with your post-college perserverance, your beautiful relationship with Dirk (let's just say my eyes were not tear-free when he spoke to you at the wedding today), and, most importantly, your happy and optimistic spirit. I hope you are always smiling too much.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

thank god for yoga

I just paid a visit to the ladies' room (actually, more like the gentlemen's, since I share it with four dudes...aaah the luxuries of basement living) and noticed a fresh banana peel discarded at the bottom of the trash can. My questions to the mystery culprit: 1. Why do you have a banana peel in the bathroom? I'm all for multitasking, but "breakfast" and "morning dump" are not two birds I'd want to kill with the same stone. 2. Knowing that this trash is taken out infrequently (because we all obviously suffer from "surely, someone else will do it soon" syndrome), why would you put anything in there that will be rotten and smelly within a day? And 3., Why do I always have to buy the goddamn toilet paper around here???

And another one for the "other people are annoying" files. So I was just at my coffee place getting my, uh, coffee, when the baker girl parted the line to deliver a roasted pumpkin/squash pie to the baked goods area. She had already cut one slice into sample-size pieces and put it on a plate by the register. There were a good twelve or so bits of pie, and three people in front of me in line. By the time I got to the front, the samples were almost gone, and I observed the guy in front of me say "Wow, this is really good!" and take another piece. What makes you so special that you get two?? At work we frequently put samples out of new things, things we have too much of, almost expired things, etc. The purpose, of course, being for people to have a taste and consider buying them. I would estimate that at least 75% of people do not understand this concept. We've had people just about make a meal out of our samples. If you find this thing so delicious that you simply cannot control yourself in its presence, then, I dunno, perhaps you should buy it? Rather than eating the entire thing so no one else can try it? And causing us to lose money? Ugh.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

i knew taking a nap this afternoon was a bad idea

So Blogger has this nifty new search feature whereby you type in a word and it brings up all your posts containing that word. I was taking a little trip down Blogemory Lane and decided to have a little fun.

Number of posts I've written in the last three and a half years containing the word...

ebay: 13

beer: 59

cheese: 53

Jesus: 31

cheese AND Jesus: 2

dog: 57

cat: 36

hate: 29

love: 127

(Phew! I was nervous about the results of those last two for a second there... Go me! I am a positive person!)

Britney: 5

toenail: 3

and: 593

Aaaaaand I am going to bed now.

ebay my heart

Vintage Hand Made Leather Purse Made of a Real Frog.

I can't decide whether this is cool or creepy.




If I bought it, would I actually use it, or just put it on my shelf next to my urinal/vase...





Saturday, October 06, 2007

a poem

New York City!
Saturday night!

Home alone eatin' PB&J,
And drinkin' Amstel Light.

And I just realized that my PB&J has strawberry jam on it (imported from Armenia, thanks to my employee discount, although I think I like Smuckers more, what with its unnaturally gelatinous texture and added sugar), and I'm listening to the new Animal Collective album Strawberry Jam. There must surely be some deeper meaning here.

I bought Strawberry Jam even though their previous album Sung Tongs was too weird for me because Pitchfork said it was their most "accessible." Sucker. But it's really good, especially the songs "Peacebone" and "For Reverend Green."

Social life resumes next week.

and the nobel goes to...

Speaking of food packaging, I'd like to take a moment to commend the genius behind Go-gurt. Yesterday a snottily-accented British dude came in asking if we sold "drinking yogurt." I don't know whether I just had the tired-giggles, but based on my resultant coworker conversation, I think the world would be a happier place if everyone looked into the mirror each morning and said "gogurt" ten times.

Friday, October 05, 2007

too-oo much *clap clap* time on my hay-ee-ands

Tonight is the fourth I've spent alone in my apartment since I helped the newly-ex boyfriend move out. (After the best sex ever. To every cloud...) Already, my dates with basic cable and assorted Amy's frozen dinners are getting a little old. It shouldn't have taken me four days to realize this, but I've really pretty much forgotten how to have a social life after not having to make any effort on that front for over a year and a half. Working at the restaurant took up most of my nights (either from actually being at work or getting necessarily wasted after a brunch shift,) and the few I had free were spent convincing one of my small number of close friends in the city that Monday is a great night to go out when you have to work 9-6 for the next four days. Since I am not a huge fan of effort and can be quite convincing, this was a satisfying arrangement. So was having an equally socially-challenged boyfriend to hang out with all the time after quitting the restaurant. Sadly, both of those situations required a great deal of drinking.

So here I am, working somewhat normal-person hours, trying not to think about cigarettes and alcohol, and writing lots and lots of To Do's in my pocket notebook. (And eating an absurd number of Belly Flops, the rejected Jelly Bellys. Gotta love the underdog.) In no particular order, here are the plans I've made in the last few days.

*Call Verizon to get them to remove that $15 a month internet feature they suckered me into when I bought my not-at-all-conducive-to-internet basic camera phone.
*Become a certified Pilates instructor.
*Try to attend Pilates class more than twice a week.
*Save up enough change to buy a new computer. And I do mean change, as in coins. This has been the only saving method that has ever worked for me, starting at age five when I proudly amassed enough nickels to make my very first purchase as an American consumer.
*Get tickets for the Moscow Cats Theatre. Immediately.
*Buy those little felt pads for the legs of my furniture so they don't scratch off any more floor paint.
*Wish I'd made that last plan, like, I dunno, right after I spent a whole day painting the floor.
*Repaint the floor.
*Take the Intro to Graphic Design class at SVA next semester and immediately become the world's most sought-after specialty food packaging artist.
*Buy Walter the Cat a nice new toy for just killing the biggest cockroach I've ever seen. Bless his crazy, hyperactive heart.
*Try to remember how to write in a non-list format.
*Organize a Halloween party where only orange and black(rinded) cheeses are served.
*Attend said party as either a slutty farmer, for which I wouldn't need to buy anything other than some kind of paint to create a missing tooth effect and a big bra that I could stuff with ankle socks, or Jeanne Bice of Quacker Factory fame, which would require a bit more work but would be 110% awesome.
*Take pictures of the 800,000 new "eating and drinking establishments" opening within a two-block radius of my apartment.
*Submit resultant blog post to and bask in .15 seconds of food-nerd fame.
*Cross off the cat toy plan, since Walter just puked semi-chewed Deli Cat brand cat food on the handle of my purse.
*Find a good ergonomic desk chair.

Aaaand that's about it for now. Aside from the Verizon part, I think all of this could actually happen!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Why, in the New York Times Arts Section's TV listings is America's Next Top Model given the filled-in circle designation as a "New or noteworthy program"? I haven't seen any of the current season yet, but surely tonight's episode will reveal the answer.

And speaking of models, why must the closest and most convenient yoga class (which, of course, is the only one I will ever manage to attend) be taught by a ridiculously skinny yet naturally big boobed J. Crew-esque model and regularly attended by an internationally famous runway model? Don't they know I'm just trying to get, like, some balance in my life, along with more arm strength and relief from chronic lower back pain? I need a sandwich.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

gina's 10-step prescription for dealing with post-breakup stress

1. Start smoking again.

2. Take Fung Wah bus to visit bff Ellen in Boston. Use this as an excuse to have pork buns for breakfast.

3. Drink a lot of Samuel Adams Oktoberfest.

4. Make fun of MIT nerds, groups of dudes with gelled hair wearing matching button-down shirts, jeans, and square-toed dress shoes, and bad comedy acts that you're forced to watch because the Okkervil River concert downstairs was sold out and you don't want to stop drinking beer.

5. Buy a pair of red patent leather peep toe heels from Steve Madden even though you hate peep toes, heels, and Steve Madden. Whatever, they were ten fucking dollars.

6. Use clothes-shopping thriftiness to justify purchase of the new 80 gig iPod Classic. Wonder what, exactly, with it's matte silver finish, touch wheel, and video capabilities makes it "classic."

7. Drink a lot of Wolaver's Organic Nut Brown beer, even the ones that are "off." Make mental note never to buy organic beer again.

8. Watch Dr. 90210 and Gossip Girl in graduate student housing building's lounge while drinking said beer and wearing sweatpants, farting when wannabe loungers turn around and leave (oh wait, that was Ellen.)

9. Discover that since you own R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet: Chapters 1-12, and Ellen owns R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet: Chapters 13-22, it's kind of like having a friendship bracelet.

10. Eat the best ice cream in the world for lunch, including a taste of a beer-flavored one called [Something] Wort. Really really good, surprisingly. Or not.

Well shit, only five of these ten steps involve beer. I'd say I'm doing pretty alright, no?

Friday, September 14, 2007


I swear I'm not a basket case. The whole "new blog" thing just didn't feel right. I guess I needed some sort of change or kick in the ass or whatever, but I'm starting to find that through various other means. This return is somewhat embarassing, but fuck it. What's good enough for Jesus is good enough for me.

Anyway, based on how I've been spending my free time lately, you might assume I've sold all my clothes to Beacon's Closet (even though they only buy 10% of what you give them and apparently prefer H&M over Marc Jacobs...seriously, what the hell) in exchange for a wardrobe of L.L. Bean and Crocs. But no, I'm just trying to, you know, not be a spaz. Thus far my efforts have proven somewhat successful, and now I feel like sharing. So here is my five-step guide to reducing spaziness by at least a good 9.2%.

1. Read advice columns. Nothing will improve your spirits when you're feeling blue more than hearing about the problems of others. Especially when their problems are worse than yours. (Also, alcohol. Even better, reading advice columns while drinking alcohol, not that I've ever done that. Not in the last 20 minutes, at least.) My favorites include Carolyn Hax, who tells it like it is, now stop your bellyaching and get your shit together; Erin Bradley, who I wish was my big sister so my awesome younger sister could have TWO older sisters who are both also awesome; and Cary Tennis, who, well, just do yourself a favor and read this (keep going--his seriously brilliant and thought-provoking response is way more general than the question), and then print it out and take it with you to your therapy consultation on Monday to remind yourself why you're there. Oh, and who can forget Gawker's recent addition to the advice column world, Tionna Smalls. "Special" is the only adjective I can really come up with at this nascent stage, but I look forward to checking in with Ms. Smalls on a very regular basis.

2. Get shrunk. makes it easy to find a mental healthcare provider in your area who doesn't sound too old, male, foreign, or likely to use the word "energy" in a non-physical sense. Now you just have to overlook the occasional grammatical transgression in the personal description and lack of a photo, and cross your fingers.

3. Exercise! Especially if you haven't really done so in a year and a half, and you pretty much eat for a living. Pilates is my physical activity of choice because it strengthens the core muscles/reduces back pain, it doesn't involve too much leg work (on most days I walk several miles and stand for more than several hours, and that is enough, thanks), and, most significantly, a brand new cool-looking and small-enough-so-as-not-to-be-threatening studio just opened up literally around the corner from my apartment. Just don't wear one of your American Apparel Athletic Grey t-shirts, because four out of the seven other students will be wearing one and you'll start to wonder if you really are just another Williamsburg hipster afterall.

4. Make something. Even though I've never been able to cook (ex-roommate and BFF Ellen will fondly recall The Great Rice Incident of 2002), I've found it to be a relaxing and rewarding endeavor. It involves a lot of repetitive motion (clinically proven to boost seratonin levels!) and you get to eat afterwards. My favorite thing to make is granola. Breakfast is not a meal I like to fool around with, and unless I am severely hungover or on vacation I want some sort of semi-sweetened grain coupled with a dairy product. For the last several years I've asked my mom to send her homemade granola in lieu of the cookies to which I, as a somewhat aloof yet increasingly respectful daughter, am entitled. Last time I asked, she gave me a big Ziploc baggie-full, along with her recipe (a hint, perhaps?). Turns out you can vaguely follow the instructions and throw whatever you want in there, and, as long as you don't burn it or realize the pan you bought doesn't fit inside your toaster oven just as you're ready to bake, it works. My kind of cooking.

In the process of writing this and realizing I didn't have a fifth step, I remembered the Oprah 20th anniversary six DVD set I accidentally got for Christmas and how it made me cry pretty much continuously. So there's Step 5. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

eleven madison pork

Err, I mean, "Park". Eleven Madison Park. I can't stop thinking about the suckling pig I had there on Tuesday night. Though with limited prix-fixe-only restaurant experience (you mean I'm not supposed to rest my crumbly bread roll on the "show plate"?), I've learned through observing the jealousy of my dining companions that when at a fancy restaurant, unless it specializes in steak or fish or something else, always order the pork. Anyway, I found myself eating this magnificent pig concoction as a result of a birthday gift system I like to employ with like-minded friends: the giver buys the recipient dinner at someplace neither party can reasonably afford. Selfishness and generosity come together, and everybody wins, including our credit card companies.

Our slightly early arrival for our 8pm reservation set the tone for the evening: three hosts standing shoulder to shoulder at the podium greeted us in sync with matching high-school-musical smiles and seated us immediately. The "great corner booth" turned out to be right behind the servers' station, which was fine given the depth and coziness of the booths, but not so fine given my tendency to talk about people the second they leave my vicinity. But we were quickly given the mammoth wine list and an assortment of four hors d'oeuvres, and we were happy.

Until, that is, we'd almost finished our first half-bottle of wine, eaten our hors d'oeuvres, housed our bread rolls (with salt and pepper spooned onto a plate tableside), and had yet to see a food menu. I was slightly annoyed about this until I realized that it meant we'd be at our table longer and be forced--forced!--to drink more. Several robotic waiter interactions later, we had our second round of wine and our first course. My raw or almost-raw Big Eye tuna was overwhelmed by olives, cumin, and super-duper-salty duck prosciutto, but my friend's gnocchi with Hawaiian prawns, calamari, celery, and Meyer lemon was delicate and perfectly balanced. Sharing is caring.

the suckling pig of god

What I didn't want to share was that Vermont Farm Suckling Pig. I don't know how to begin to describe it, so I'll leave that to the expert: "It comes as a brick of deboned, tightly packed, meltingly tender meat that’s been poached in duck fat. The meat is bordered by a strip of crackling skin that seems to defy the laws of nature and science. Can anything really be so crunchy and light while also being so fatty and heavy?" Yes, it can, and it is awesome. My friend ordered the beef tenderloin, and I remember it being good, but even the seared-with-bone-marrow component couldn't distract me from my glorious pork.

I was pretty stuffed by this point, but there was nothing coming between me and that cheese cart (or a glass of dessert wine), as this was to be my first cheese cart experience. Robot Waiter #3,872 (seriously, there were that many) told me what each was and, when I couldn't decide between the triple cream goat and the bloomy rind goat, gave me a half portion of each. I also chose the Gruyere--I have a weakness for the nutty and sweet (see: my relationship history)--and a washed rind raw cow's milk from Quebec that was somehow stinky and sharp at the same time and I wish I could remember what it was called. Dessert was followed up with those truffle "lollipop" things and a gigantic dried cherry and candied orange brioche to eat for breakfast the next morning, which is exactly what I did. And then I went to my first Pilates class.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Friends, Random Internet Browsers, People Who Still Check This Blog Occasionally Wondering if I'm Still Alive,

It is with not really that much sadness that I inform you of the passing of ViaGina.

ViaGina was born on Wednesday, March 10th, 2004 while the author sat in front of her four flat-screen computer monitors on a trading floor of JPMorganStanleyGoldmanStearnsBrothers. The job paid the bills, that's for damn sure, but didn't provide her with the level of personal satisfaction she'd attained from exercising 30 hours a week as a member of the college crew team or obsessively studying college admissions statistics in high school. Fortunately, this was before the rampant installation of corporate firewalls to prevent employees from wasting time and money dicking around on the internet, so as soon as her company username and password were set up, she did just that. ViaGina emerged about nine months later.

The initial premise of the blog was to consolidate all the funny and interesting internet-things Gina found during her Monday through Friday 7:45am to 5:00pm with no lunch break website-reading schedule. Of course, it quickly turned into being all about her, as evidenced by Tuesday, March 16th's post about her rosacea diagnosis. (A condition that has since been alleviated thanks to just regular ol' Cetaphil cleanser and not that $50 stinky sulfur crap prescribed by the dermatologist. In case you were wondering.) The blog served as a platform for trying to be funny and sharing way too much personal information with friends, family, and internet strangers. For a solid two and a half years, the blog kept her sane enough to get through almost getting fired from several jobs (key word: ALMOST, though this is really just a technicality because you don't get "fired" from temp jobs and JPMorganStanleyLehmanGoldmanBear basically just asked her to quit), intermittent bouts of unemployment, ill-advised dalliances with boys (Gina's most successful and long-lived relationship during this time period occurred almost entirely over the internet), and lots and lots of drinking.

In late December of 2005, Gina submitted her last electronic time sheet to the temp agency, hinged her entire future on a Craigslist ad for a job at an Italian wine bar, and the blog started to slip away, becoming little more than a memento of a more confusing, but, in retrospect, kind of fun time. It held on for a good year and a half, receiving lackluster and forced updates here and there, and, finally, at 4 pm on Tuesday, August 14th, ViaGina gave up the Good Fight.

Donations in ViaGina's memory will be accepted in the form of visiting my new blog, I Ate the Marshmallow. It will be mostly about food, and the hasty consumption and unskilled preparation thereof. But if you're not that into food, I can assure you that the oversharing of personal information, references to irresponsible life choices, and links to inane things that made ViaGina beloved by literally DOZENS of people will be present in abundance.

Monday, July 16, 2007

food snobs we ain't

Today after our 10-hour shift at the specialty foods store my fellow cheesemongerette and I went to the local branch of a corporate giant grocery chain to get some provisions for our respective dinners at home. I was feelin' the Middle East with whole wheat pita bread, hummus, and baby carrots (I've also been feelin' a little fat lately--but come on, I work at a fuckin' cheese store), and she made a run for the border with chips, bean dip, and salsa. Out of the corner of my eye I saw her pick up a sealed plastic bag of what appeared to be processed domestic shredded cheese-like product.

"Oh my god are you buying cheese here?!?"
"Yeah, this snack is too lowbrow for the Quebec 5-year Vintage Cheddar, plus the Quebec's high fat content would overwhelm the bean dip."
"Right on."

As we parted ways in the subway station, after she wished me a good night with my hummus, I told her, quite sincerely, to enjoy her shredded cheese. If the goddamn F train had taken its sweet time as usual I would've added that I have a green cardboard can of Kraft "100% Grated Parmesan Cheese" (plus a little touch of cellulose powder and potassium sorbate, of course) in my refrigerator, and I love it. Our Bonati Parmigiano Reggiano for $16.50 a pound is superb and complex and all, but you just can't put that shit on pasta-from-a-box and sauce-from-a-jar.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

at least our orange dickies aprons are cute

Oh my god you guys! Guess who came into work the other day! Stacy fucking London! From TLC's What Not to Wear! Apparently she comes in frequently! She looks so young and pretty in person and really likes a good aged gouda! And you may think I'm being sarcastic but I'm totally not. For a while we were getting TLC with the pirated cable and then one day channel 42 was all static. I almost cried. But I'm thrilled to have Stacy back in my life, and I plan to wear the same pair of jeans plus ratty shoes and a baggy t-shirt to work every day in the hope of becoming the next makeover-ee. (Not that I haven't been doing that already.) Oh, and speaking of my dreams of being on a TV show, I didn't make it to the Millionaire audition because I couldn't bear the thought of going up to Midtown at the brutally early hour of 2pm. Sigh.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

report from the workforce front lines

Fortunately for her, my little sister no longer dons the red and khaki as a Target employee. And, fortunately for me, her new job at a DeVry University is equally amusing:
Today at work I'm supposed to call something like 150 people. I'm supposed to say this: "Hi [insert name here], this is Carrie calling from DeVry University. I wanted to let you know that the deadline to register for the summer session is next Friday, July 6. If you have any questions feel free to call us here at the center. Thanks and have a good day."

But the flourescent lights and the flickering monitor and all the ringing make my head feel muddled. I'm pretty sure my last few messages have been something like: "Hi Carrie, this is next Friday, July 6 calling from [insert name here]. K thx bye."

Oh my.
It reminds me of my very first job as a sales representative for a cheese and gift catalog. Our computers were programmed with a script that you'd read to guide a customer through the cheese and gift purchasing process. The intro was something like "hi, thank you for calling Figi's, this is _____" and was supposed to have our names programed into it. But for some reason mine was messed up and always said Vicky. By the end of an eight-hour shift of non-stop calls during the busy holiday season, I'd just give up and be Vicky.

Anyway, my sis is about to start her graduate studies in creative writing, so she won't have to worry about jobs like that anymore. Oh, wait...

Friday, June 22, 2007

wishing maggot

Craigslist never ceases to make me happy.

Wishing Maggot - $5
Reply to:
Date: 2007-06-22, 1:52PM EDT

The $5 includes shipping.

I live in albany, ny and art doesn't sell so well here. However if you are in the albany area you can feel free to pick it up in person.

I take paypal or if you wish you can send a money order to me.

I am not the greatest artist but I myself am a work in progress and I want to follow my dream of making art.

If you would like a conversation piece the wishing maggot is for you.

It is so cheap because I am not a well known artist and I would like people to get to know my art.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Is the artist is a 5-year-old, a high-functioning adult with Down Syndrome, or someone with a very creative and very very weird sense of humor? I guess we'll never know. And therein lies the beauty...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


And, without further ado, I bring you the best email forward I have ever received. Behold, the Shock Absorber "Bounce-ometer" and sports bra finder. I was impressed with its realisticness when I selected my own size and activity level (small and low, respectively), but was rather dismayed by the result of the FF/G size and high activity level combo. In fact, I may not be able to sleep for weeks.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

who's going to be a millionaire?

I am!

Subject: RE: Millionaire Auditions - Monday, July 2nd: 12pm-2pm

From: Millionaire Contestant -

Your Millionaire audition has been confirmed and we look forward to seeing you on:

Monday July 2nd AT 2PM

The ABC Building
57 West 66th Street
New York City

There will be Millionaire staff members waiting outside the building to assist you. PLEASE ARRIVE 15 MINUTES PRIOR to your given audition time, and check in with the Millionaire staff at the location.

Allow up to 60 minutes for your audition. You will take a timed written test. IF you receive a passing score on the test you will have a brief personal interview with a member of the Millionaire staff.

You must bring a picture ID and proof of age and residency to the audition. Please complete the attached eligibility/application forms and bring them with you to the audition. For the complete official rules go to

Please note that Millionaire reserves the right to limit the number of times a person may audition for the program.

**Please note: All auditioners will go through a security check upon entering the audition site, including a metal detector. Please refrain from bringing sharp objects and/or weapons of any kind to the test site.

Looks like all those crazy Meredith Vieira stalkers are shit outta luck.

Monday, June 11, 2007

don't you just hate it when that happens?

Did I say in the first two weeks I'd be tasting 150 cheeses? I meant in the first two days. Some more than once. Let's just say I will not be consuming another dairy product for a little while, lest I render myself unable to go out in public (let your imagination run wild as to what might be the reason for this).

But the job is amazing. So far the biggest problem I've had was when I showed up for my first shift and couldn't remember the names of the two guys I was working with, both of whom I'd met and trained with for a couple hours the day before. I knew they were in the one-syllable, common-white-dude-name category, but could not even begin to recall them. Mike? Dan? Dave? The mystery was solved a few hours into the shift when the wine came out. One of them put masking-tape-and-magic-marker labels on the bases of our glasses, because we're a sanitary operation (except for the eating lunch in the meat slicing area part). There was only so much more shoulder tapping and "hey" and "excuse me I have a question"-ing I could do before they'd be on to me, so I snuck a peak at their glasses. Success!

Then yesterday, my second shift, my two other coworkers (there are just five of us lucky bastards) said I was "a rockstar". Then I told my mom all about my job and how excited I am about it and she said "huh . . . okay, so are you going to get health insurance?" and kinda laughed and proceeded to tell me about the two daughters of her long-time friends that are getting married and/or pursuing graduate degrees.

Friday, June 08, 2007

oh, hello there!

I guess I'm back! I will not go too into detail about my little hiatus, but suffice it to say that a temporary internet outage (Verizon, you suck) plus at least two seasons' worth of Degrassi-level drama equals I forget I have a blog. But things are rollin' right along now.

As I alluded to in the last post, I've got a new gig. I 86-ed myself from the waitressing when it got to the point where the next customer who requested water with lemon was going to get a whole lemon tree shoved up his or her ass. It's not that we didn't have good customers, for the most part, it's just that I'd cut way down on the drinking the last few months, and it turned out that drinking heavily was indeed a requirement for on-the-job happiness. Aaah well, it was fun while it lasted. A little too much fun, at times... Anyway, I used my new food geek connections and, as of yesterday, I'm working part-time (for now) in a little shop in the fancy part of Brooklyn, where I will be mongering cheese and also "specialty foods" like wild boar cacciatorini and unhomogenized milk. Over the next couple weeks I have to taste about 150 different cheeses. Life is rough.

Things with the boy are good. When we're not out eating and drinking, in eating and drinking, or watching Home Improvement reruns, he does nice things like helping me paint the apartment floor, and I pay attention when he teaches me about tractor pulling, a sport I somehow missed out on despite my Midwestern upbringing.

In other random news, I've recently discovered that the New York Water Taxi is by far the most awesome way to get around the city. It's cheaper than a cab, less annoying than the subway, very fast (Queens in 17 minutes!), and, when the water's choppy, just scary enough to give you a little buzz afterward. It also goes from near my apartment directly to such useful locations as the bar/grilled meat purveyor Water Taxi Beach, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, and Wall Street. (I'm kidding about one of those three. Can you guess which one?)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

still on the respirator

Is my blog dead? I don't know. But it's coming out of its coma for this mini-tragedy I just found on Craigslist while looking for ways to supplement my income as a part-time cheesemonger:

My frogs are eating my angels. I need a tank.

Reply to:
Date: 2007-06-02, 3:35PM EDT

If anyone out there is getting rid of a tank 10 gallon or more, please let me know. I'm broke as a joke from being given notice yesterday that my new apartment will be available on July 1st. We've got to plan a move and figure out how to pay for it when my ex thinks it's ok to pay child support when it's convinient for him and not when the kids' shelter needs to be paid for. I just really need a tank, preferably with a filter, for free or as little as possible so my frogs will stop eating my angel fish. They're disappearing one by one every week. The petstore told me they'd be ok together. Now there's only one left :-(

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I've lost the last few weeks of my life to this website. Well, no, I've actually lost the last few weeks of my life to working till 5 am 5 nights a week, sleeping all day, and eating and drinking as much as possible to make up for it. But still, the about page alone I've read about 18 times.

Monday, April 09, 2007

things i would've written about lately if i ever actually updated my blog, in reverse chronological order

*The Allman Brothers Band concert I went to with the newly-of-drinking-age boyfriend where we sat next to his very, very drunk parents and passed around a little marijuana pipe until a security guard snatched it out of his sister's hand.

*The LVHRD Vending Machine Challenge, where my best friend made me beam like a proud Asian parent whose kid just got into Harvard by consuming one third of the contents of a vending machine before puking her guts out 14 times, and which was also inexplicably attended by one Lance Bass.

*My little sis' getting into grad school out in the wild wild west, and how I'm only slightly more excited for her and her future success than I am to go visit and drive her minivan (donation from my parents--one parent's minivan is another's marijuana, i guess) in places where they don't have speed limits or Starbucks.

*One of my best friends in the whole wide world, my college roommate, getting engaged, and royally freaking me out until I learned that she's wearing neither an engagement ring nor a white dress, and making her the first of my close friends to do the deed, except for the Wisconsin ones from high school that don't count because everyone in Wisconsin gets married when they're like 15.

*Celebrating the big 2-1 at Peter Luger, which is right by my house and way overlit at night, while dressing up kinda guido and wearing sunglasses inside.

*E's birthday party at good ol' Pies 'n' Thighs, where I ate the new and improved pulled pork sandwich and much air hockey ensued.

*My restaurant's belated holiday party, which in no way compared to the Spotted Pig's but was awesome because I was all over the then-20-year-old like my cat on a piece of wilted arugula (most fun toy ever, apparently), and it actually worked, thanks in no small part to the free booze and the blind eye turned by the management with regard to his alcohol consumption.

*My trip with E to Los Angeles, including our arrival at Newark Airport at the same time as Catherine Malandrino and a ridiculous flight delay that sent us straight to the bar; an absurd amount of absurdly good high/low dining thanks to the epicurean Alex and Eric involving my first experience with guanciale, yellowtail belly, brain tacos, fish tacos, baby eel, and epoisses cheese; the seven-course comped dinner courtesy of my college pal Chef Steph at the schmancy steakhouse she works at and where Kevin Bacon was also dining and actually paying for his food; the store we almost didn't go into on Third where almost everything was 90, that's NINE-ZERO, percent off; the Echo Park hipster bar we went to where we nearly escaped a drive-by paintball shooting; and, of course, the memories, pictures, and stretch marks to last a lifetime.

Friday, March 23, 2007

the sort of good samaritan

A few nights ago, for the first time since that time in the summer after eighth grade when i left my backpack unattended at a waterpark in Phoenix because i was too lazy/cheap to get a locker (on that same trip I was also too lazy/idiotic to use sunscreen, resulting in second degree burns on my shoulders, but that's another story), I lost my wallet. It vanished mysteriously somewhere between that last bar and my house, and I didn't notice it was gone until the next morning. I figured the most likely scenario was that it fell out of my bag when I was in the cab home (and by "fell out of my bag" I mean I probably took it out and then missed the bag in attempting to put it back...hey, it was dark in there and both bag and wallet are black.) So I spent the next day canceling cards and calling every cab dispatch office in the New York metropolitan area. After several descriptions of my lost property and resultant snickers, I started regretting getting a wallet with a dinosaur on it. By the eighth or so call I gave up hope of ever seeing my wallet, and the $200 cash, bajillion cards and paychecks that'd need replacing, and almost ten-year-old Wisconsin driver's license, again.

After a few days of carrying around my passport and borrowed cash stuffed into the pocket of my Moleskine notebook, I received a phone call from my old roommate from the East Village apartment.

"There's a package for you here with no return address."

"It doesn't happen to be wallet-sized, by any chance, does it?"

"It looks like it could contain a wallet, actually."

Lo and behold, it was my wallet. Because I have yet to give my employer my new address (we just get our checks at work), and because I put off depositing my paychecks, whoever found my wallet sent it to a most convenient place. (Procrastination, you always come through for me.) Whoever found my wallet also availed himself of all the cash (coins included!! to save on shipping costs, perhaps?), and my monthly metrocard. I would like to know what went through the wallet finder's head. I imagine it was something like, "Thanks for the new iPod, silly drunk girl. I guess I can at least give you your crap back."

Oh well, I'm just happy to be able to put off going to the New York DMV for another year. And I like the dinosaurs.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

in case you haven't barfed enough lately

So I'm maybe kinda actually seeing someone, with whom I may or may not work, and who may or may not be of legal drinking age. I know I know, I'm shocked too (about the first part of the sentence at least). Almost as shocked as I'd be if I ever managed to get to the coffee shop before 1pm. Anyway, last night I had my first bartending shift, which means I closed. He used to close on Wednesdays and then a new manager started doing the schedule and didn't anymore. He was going to switch to get the closing shift (longer hours = more money), but noticed that the closing busboy was the one who has a car and has, on occasion, given me a ride home. He kept the lesser shift just so I'd get a ride. The logic is somewhat flawed in that while, yes, I saved $10 by not taking a cab, he would've made a lot more than $10 had he worked the extra hours. But still, awwwwwww. I need one of those swooning couches.

Monday, March 12, 2007


It is 6 a.m. and I haven't managed to fall asleep since my first attempt at 2:30, so I'm up writing a little roundup article I was assigned about afterhours/24 hours places in New York. I am less disturbed by my insomnia than that it took me a good hour to realize the Alanis-esque irony of this situation. Now I feel guilty that I'm at home eating granola and dicking around on the internet rather than out inhaling Korean barbeque, drooling over computers I want but don't need, or getting creepy-sounding spa treatments.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


After six, count 'em, six months without internet, I am writing this from the comfort of my overly heated, unnaturally lit apartment. I used to think I could never survive without internet at home, but, apparently, I can. It's like that book we all read in 9th grade where the dude is freezing and has to kill his dog and crawl inside his still warm carcass to survive (and the title and author of which I cannot recall at this time but could probably look up now that I have the internet)--any obstacle can be overcome with enough will, determination, and patience to spend 10 hours over the course of a month speaking on the telephone with Verizon customer service representatives. Internet Garage, you will not be missed.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


This here site is dangerously close to becoming another food blog. The majority of my daily procrastinate-at-work emails involve discussing with friends 1.) where we're going to eat next, 2.) how awesome what we just ate was, 3.) our gastric situations following a culinary outing.

Example of a Number One:

gina: how about hearth or centovini?

sl: i think i lean more toward centovini than hearth, but only because i saw some negative reviews of the service there. what about blue ribbon bar? though i can't really find much on it. or klee brasserie? which, i'm pretty sure, i'm spelling wrong.

gina: i'd looooove to go to blue ribbon bar. but i'm afraid it's going to be packed. although if i'm off on monday or tuesday.... maybe we could try blue ribbon bar and then have centovini as a plan b? and i'm always very skeptical of people who write on citysearch about bad service. people take one or two mistakes made by one waiter on one night and determine that it's a problem with the restaurant as a whole. also, service has to be very far from flawless for it to ruin my experience, provided the food is good.

anyway, you spelled klee brasserie correctly. my problem with going there is that the creepy colon cleanse informercial guy who compares the size of his daughter's bowel movement to his forearm is named klee.

Example of a Number Two:

Stay tuned tomorrow (or, if I'm too hungover from tonight's belated holiday staff party, Thursday) for a full Los Angeles recap, including my first experiences with the following: guanciale, steak tartare, epoisses cheese, baked pork buns, yellowtail belly, brain tacos, fish tacos, baby eel, and spicy Szechuan.

Example of a Number Three:

Fortunately for you, the reader, I will say no more other than that you should be prepared to suffer for your spicy Szechuan. Please pass the Metamucil.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

love (and cold dryness that is making my fingernails break off) is in the air

It's kind of sad that the spam comments to my blog posts are more interesting than my actual blog. But I've been busy! Busy working! And getting kicked out of bars! (Namely, Hooters.) But mostly just hibernating in my windowless furnace of an apartment. Last week I completed the Thursday crossword puzzle for the first time. It's probably my greatest accomplishment since college graduation. Anyway.

*So I have actually been a wee bit productive. Here's my latest contribution to the wonderful world of internet service journalism. Awesome header photo courtesy of my horndog editor. Bless his heart. (Also, please don't stalk me.)

*Next Tuesday, we're closing the restaurant early and, finally, having our holiday party. There's no way it won't be ridiculous, but, unfortunately, probably not this ridiculous. Note to self: Get hired at the Spotted Pig by next February.

*This new service is pure genius. It reminds me of college, when if we locked ourselves out we had to go to the housing office across campus to fill out a little form and get a key copy and the numerous times I had to go there barely clothed and barefoot. And of my first apartment after college and the time I left my keys and cellphone in the apartment so I couldn't call any friends and I took a cab to FAB's on the Upper East Side and rang the bell but she wasn't home so I went up to ol' alma mater and figured I'd crash in a dorm's common room but was able to use a computer to look up an old teammate/current student's number and beg to sleep on her floor. And of my current apartment, specifically when I hadn't given S a copy of my key after they changed the outside door's locks and got home from work at 5am sans keys and had to wake her up and spend the night on her futon in Greenpoint. I've since wisened up and hidden keys outside my apartment.

*I thought it wasn't possible for me to love Pies 'n' Thighs any more than I already do, but then this guy came along. Score one for Homie the Cat.

And, in case anyone was wondering, I will be spending Valentine's Day working at the restaurant. And then, most likely, enjoying a nice six pack alone in my apartment. Maybe I'll even spring for something imported.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

don't drink and diet

There is a bump on my forehead the size of a golf ball and I have no idea how it got there. I think perhaps it has something to do with last night, when, after spending two nights in a row this week alone at home watching the Oprah 20th anniversary DVDs, eating ice cream, petting the cat, and, yes, crying (judge me after you watch that dear little 11-year-old poet boy with muscular dystrophy and a desire for world peace), I decided to give up on the whole virtue thing and hang out after work at work with my coworker. We essentially re-tasted every wine we pour by the glass, in full glass proportions. I didn't really learn anything about the wine, but I definitely learned that a chicken salad is not a sufficient alcohol absorber. Needless to say, my head hurts, and I will be having sparkling water after work tonight in preparation for tomorrow's outing to Hooters for a friend's early retirement party (she's giving up on the ol' NYC and moving to Miami). Pictures to come.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Yeeeah, it's a little nippy in New York right now. As luck would have it, I'm headed to LA next week to stay with these food lovin' boys and spend over a month's rent on restaurants. I'm not sure of the exact plans they've (not) cooked up, but I know that our itinerary looks something like this: eat, eat, eat, drink, sleep, repeat times four. We might go shopping once too. Definitely not for jeans.

Friday, January 26, 2007

the not-so-new-anymore 'hood

Aaaah, South Williamsburg. That beautiful melting pot of Hassidic Jews, Puerto Ricans, condo-buyers, and destitute young white chicks who don't mind living in windowless basements. It's a weird place, but I kinda love it.

Unfortunately, I do pay rent for my "apartment." And I quite enjoy when my super puts a sign inside the outside door reminding us not to let in anyone from ConEd. Screw utility bills!

I am really, really curious to find out who is going to live in all these shiny expensive condos. The subway is a solid 10-minute walk away, there are no decent convenience stores or places to buy groceries, and cabbies always take the wrong exit after the Williamsburg Bridge.

(the building on the left is occupied by exclusively hassidic families. on the right? who knows...)

One thing I love about my block is Vince's auto repair shop. I don't know who Vince is, but he must be pretty good since there are always cool old cars around, like this lil' guy parked across the street from my place. If puppies had an automobile equivalent, it would be this Porsche.

(it barely came up past my waist.)

Another thing I love about the 'hood are Dressler's onion rings. It's an all-around solid restaurant, with fancy yet not too ridiculously priced food and stunningly beautiful yet subtly quirky decor, but oh my fucking god the onion rings... For $5 you get two stacks of rings, each about eight inches high. The outside is light and crispy (the secret, I learned recently, is tempura batter) and the onions themselves aren't overcooked and soggy so the whole thing doesn't get pulled out when you take a bite. And I'm not a big cocktail person, but Dressler's are perfectly balanced (i.e., more booze, less sugar) and wash those rings right down.

(the aftermath...i wasn't thinking about pictures with those gifts from heaven in front of me)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

gap's "reverse fit" should be illegal

Is it just me, or has Saturday Night Live maybe gotten kinda good again? It probably is just me, considering I don't watch TV (and I say that not in the "I don't watch TV and am therefore better than you" sense, but in the "I don't watch TV because I live in an illegal basement apartment and cannot furnish Time Warner with a copy of my lease as I don't actually have a lease and they won't hook me up without proof that I live there since the last resident was delinquent and owes them almost $1,000" sense) and haven't seen an episode of Saturday Night Live in years. Nevertheless, "Dick in a Box" renewed my faith in humanity, and "Mom Jeans" made me want to kiss my new $39 Uniqlos. I spent the entirety of my teenage years telling myself I would never have my mother's body. Now, of course, I totally have my mother's body. If only I'd realized it was all in the jeans...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

dispatches from the front lines

The latest news from the Most Over-Qualified Target Employee Ever:
Today I had my 90-day performance review at Target. I scored "below expectations" in the "fast, fun, and friendly service" category. Just thought you should know.

Although, just for the record, I am 99.9% sure I'm the fastest cashier they have.

I have no doubt. Keep up the good work, Sis!

Ellen reports that a pair of tickets for one of the five sold-out upcoming Arcade Fire shows in NYC sold for $1,525.00 on Ebay. That's one thousand, five hundred, and twenty five dollars. For two tickets. To one show. By a nice little indie band from Canada. I have officially lost all faith in humanity.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

i tried to nap but the cat woke me up

So 2006 went out with a big drunken bang--the only way it should have, really. Having spent the days prior to December 31st working full-time at both jobs, drinking too much and sleeping too little, I was already operating at about 62% when I arrived for the internship at 11am. Thanks to unlimited coffee and free lunch, I managed to remain conscious until 6pm, time to head to the restaurant. Actually, it wasn't time to head to the restaurant just yet, but if not for those two beers at my favorite new LES bar, I might just have jumped in front of an SUV full of guidos before my closing shift.

The night progressed as I imagined it would. We were so busy before midnight that I was too preoccupied to notice how absurdly exhausted I was, and we were so slow after midnight that I was able to drink enough wine to keep me from noticing how absurdly exhausted I was. By closing time the bartender, the manager, and I were completely and utterly hammered. Time to do the closing work! It was around this time that I blacked out, but from what I hear we were a special bunch, indeed. Apparently, it took me two and a half hours to do the math-intensive paperwork, my manager pretended to hit me on the head with a chair and actually hit me on the head with a chair, the bartender passed out face down in the cash drawer, I fell up the stairs, and I fell down the stairs. The wine director, who was stuck there even later than we were semi-soberly taking inventory and stocking bottles, said I made his night. I am nothing if not eager to please.

I spent the next two days sleeping, napping, drinking lots of water, and working just a couple short shifts at the restaurant. It's now day three of 2007, and I've pretty much blown my wad on New Year's resolutions. This morning I started my day at 8am. Granted, the only reason I did so is because after I woke up at 7:30 to get a drink of water, my daydreaming about the 20-year-old busboy I have a crush on and the beautiful life we'll certainly have together was interrupted by the sound of the cat scratching in the litter box. Only he wasn't in the litter box. He was in my brand new suitcase that I had yet to unpack after returning from Wisconsin a week ago. The combination of my anger over the incident, a clear and sober head, and extreme hunger due to an attempt to reduce my calorie intake to somewhere around that of a male Olympic athlete overcame my desire to return to bed.

It is currently not even noon, a good hour before I usually wake up, and I've already accomplished the following:
- cleaned the cat pee out of my brand new suitcase
- unpacked the suitcase and cleaned/threw away pee-covered items as necessary
- put away all the clothes, shoes, books, DVDs, and assorted other crap lying all over my apartment
- threw out a couple weeks' worth of the New York Times
- changed the litter box
- took out the trash
- finished two-thirds of the Wednesday crossword puzzle
- read the "Dining Out" section
- deposited my rent check at the local HSBC per my super's somewhat ridiculous request
- bought a new shower head for the shared bathroom since the old one blew off and smacked me in the head the last time I attempted to shower
- took a shower
- shaved my legs (!!)
- did two loads of laundry
- washed the dishes
- dusted all dusty surfaces
- swept the floors
- vacuumed the rugs
- Dust-Busted the futon
- blowdried my hair
- painted my fingernails

For the remainder of the day, I plan to head to UPS to mail some things, the pet store to buy some cat food, the drugstore for toiletries, the internet cafe to email some thank you notes and pay for something I bought on eBay (I'm writing this from home on good ol' Microsoft Word), and the yoga studio to pick up a schedule. Either all of that or a long fucking nap. Stupid cat.