Sunday, August 16, 2009

an announcement of sorts*

So, uh, I am going back to school. About nine months or so ago, thanks to either my therapist or my chemically stabilized moods or my waning ability to sell cheese with a smile 40 hours a week or my weariness of the ill effects of an irresponsible hedonistic lifestyle or probably some combination thereof, I got to thinking that maybe it was time that I get, like, a career, or something. Actually, the word "career" used to make me super squeamish and still does (I think it's the nerdy nasally sound of the "eer" part), so I'll just be calling it a profession. So long story short: I am applying to nursing school.

I've talked about it with my friends quite a bit, but it still feels weird for me to say out loud (or on the internet). Almost every major life decision I've ever made has been based on impulse and often irrational** gut feelings (see: Going to Columbia, My Five Apartments Since 2003, My First Tattoo). Except for the tramp stamp and the two times I attempted to save money by living with roommates, these have all been good decisions. But for me to be choosing a path that will affect the rest of my life based on practicality and lots of forethought and planning just doesn't feel like the me that I've been growing accustomed to for the last 28 years. And then there's the fact that I've been wavering on "what I want to be when I grow up" for, like, ever, and at times I've been so paralyzed by indecision that I've gotten overly excited about plans that never ended up getting realized. I'm afraid of crying wolf again.

But I've officially begun the application process with a pre-requisite college course I cannot afford, a volunteer gig at a hospital, and a GRE book (I recommend the SparkNotes version!), so I think I'm probably actually doing this. Change is hard, but I think I can do it. Case in point: I just made a week's worth of lunches for myself and no peanut butter or jelly was involved.

*The first time I typed this it came out "aorta," and I just registered for an Anatomy and Physiology class, so this MUST be the right decision, right?
**See above.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

a 28 year old's first omelet

No, not the first omelet I have ever eaten (ooooh, brunch...), but the first I have ever made. I vaguely recall attempting an omelet back in the summer of 2003, but since I only recently learned that eggs should not be cooked on full blast but rather a medium-low heat setting, every time I've tried to make an egg dish I get frustrated and end up scrambling it and dousing it in salt and pepper to make up for the rubbery blandness. But no more!

I almost never cook for myself, so what prompted this extreme culinary adventure? Aside from financial woes due to a summer of living like a person who makes twice as much money as I do (woops), I have been selling cheese at the NYC Greenmarkets. Perks include outSTANDING people/dog watching (I've got an essay floating around in my head somewhere about market demographics, but until I regain comfort writing anything longer than a Facebook status update, I recommend this video from the amazingly insane Bill Cunningham), meeting character-filled country-mouse vendors, and, of course, free food.

Last week I snuck away from the cheese and paid a visit to the farm stand a few stalls down where one particularly attractive country mouse sells his produce. After a few minutes of swooning and pretending to inspect his organic pea shoots, I had to make a selection and grabbed the nearest item--a carton of eggs. (From his own chickens! He put them in that carton himself!) Anyway, so I got some eggs. And thanks to this fine lady, I made an omelet! Certainly not the "perfect" omelet, and not as pretty as hers, but it only stuck to the pan in a couple places and when you stuff something full of fresh goat cheese, well, you're doing pretty alright for yourself. I have also had recent success with egg salad, thanks to a website on how to hard boil an egg called How To Hard Boil an Egg.

I'm turning over a new leaf here, my friends.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

a woman after my own heart

From Jezebel's Midweek Madness:

Is Britney "unraveling" again? Recently she went shopping and changed her outfit in every store. Then, in London, she "tearfully shut herself into a closet" and "her assistant had to coax her out by promising to buy her tacos."

A note to any future boyfriends: if I am ever crying uncontrollably or being otherwise irrational, just promise to buy me tacos and I can pretty much guarantee that the issue will be 100% resolved.

Relatedly, here is the SNL Taco Town skit. An oldie but a goodie.

And here is the first Google Image Result when one does a search for "britney spears taco":

Perfect. I love the internet.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

on trend!

Oooh look, a Style Section article about this complex phenomenon of people abandoning their blogs. (I always knew my friends were ahead of the times.) Now where's the trend piece about people who basically abandoned their blogs three years ago when they stopped working in offices but just can't let go of the dream of internet fame and fortune and "sharing their genius with the world" (where "world" equals their friend Ellen who uses their sidebar for websurfing--Hi, Ellen) and therefore keep their blog hooked up to life support by posting occasional lazy links and uninspired inanities? Look, I can pose with my laptop and look serious, too!

Gina G. still writes on her blog, sometimes, and frequently uses a stability ball for lumbar support, and also needs new blinds and/or curtains.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

stage fright

I love a good dorky competition, and I especially love a good documentary about a good dorky competition (see: Spellbound--spelling bees, Wordplay--crossword puzzles, Word Wars--Scrabble, King of Kong--Donkey Kong, Air Guitar Nation--uh, air guitars, Monster Camp--LARPing). So I was pretty excited to learn about the Air Sex Championships via Jezebel, and I look forward to the inevitable indie documentary. It is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

And they're coming to New York soon (no pun intended). Anyone? Please???

Anyway, not to discredit the efforts of my fellow Americans, but the Japanese, who created this phenomenon of public competitive simulated humping, really know how to bring it. And, unlike their irony-loving counterparts, they take their air sex seriously.

"If there are no children being born because we're all having air sex, we will become extinct."

So true.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


A recent text from my friend Ellen: "I'm in a cab listening to a country song called 'god is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.' Truth."

The whole truth.

And the Youtube comments prove the truth of at least one of Mr. Currington's assertions.

playing ketchup

After three years working in direct contact with actual human beings, I am back to spending an unhealthy amount of time on the internet. Aaaah, it feels good to be home. Some recent highlights:

*A slow-moving strepsirrhine primate native to Southeast Asia (thanks, Wikipedia), called a slow loris, not to be confused with a slender loris, getting tickled. [Cute Overload]

*A blog about psychotic letters from men, called Psychotic Letters From Men. Gender generalizations aside, I highly recommend this as a way to kill four hours and marvel at the magical workings of the human mind. Plus, there's great commentary:

Even at 12, Lea realized Matt had a controlling and bossy personality. In fact, Matt was hellbent on teaching Lea about the two most important things in life.

First, Lea needed to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour. Only Jesus could lead Lea to happiness, and only by following His word would Lea would be accepted into Heaven. Lea needed to be saved, and Matt would willingly assist Lea in accepting Jesus Christ.

Secondly, Lea needed give to Matt a blowjob.

And even the occasional video! Read back story, watch video, send me your lobotomy bill. You're welcome.

*A blog about awkward family photos, called Awkward Family Photos. A lot less reading required for this one. It's hard to pick a favorite, but if I must:

*A band called Garfunkel and Oates: Two cute LA actor girls with musical-theater voices singing folk songs about annoying boyfriends and annoying pregnant women and annoying 90's top 40 hits.

More time wasting to come. Maybe.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

since i don't have internet access in my new apartment yet

I am so boring right now. I go to bed before 10pm. I drink exactly one beer after work (and none during work--yeah, not working at the Cheese Store anymore). I generally accomplish at least 30% of my daily To Do List. I am reading a self-help book called The Renaissance Soul and have nothing sarcastic to say about it. I am trying to lead a more goal-oriented existence and have started a tabbed notebook for that purpose. I am not wasting any time on Facebook. I am not watching crappy television shows on my laptop in bed. I am reading literary (non)fiction for fun. I engage my cat in interactive play daily.


Unrelated: this is an item for sale on

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

in defense of drinking, sort of

From the New York Times' booze blog:

My years of heavy drinking were roughly coterminous with my youth, and looking back now, it’s hard to figure out which one of them I really miss.

The association between the two is not just Pavlovian. Drunkenness and youth share in a reckless irresponsibility and the illusion of timelessness. The young and the drunk are both reprieved from that oppressive, nagging sense of obligation that ruins so much of our lives, the worry that we really ought to be doing something productive instead. It’s the illicit savor of time stolen, time knowingly and joyfully squandered. There’s more than one reason it’s called being “wasted.”

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


My apologies. All my creative energy has been taken up lately with trying to make myself sound like someone people would want to give money to to do work for them. It's tough. So I'm just going to type. I like typing (and can bang out 84 words per minute, according my latest temp agency office skills test!).

From David Foster Wallace's essay about the 1993 Illinois State Fair, "Getting Away From Already Pretty Much Being Away From It All," an excerpt that embodies the attitude toward a certain group of Midwestern people held by another certain group of Midwestern people (*cough*):

Booth after booth. A Xanadu of chintzola. Obscure non-stick cookware. "EYE GLASSES CLEANED FREE." A booth with anti-cellulite sponges. More DIPPIN DOTS futuristic ice cream. A woman with Velcro straps on her shoes gets fountain-pen ink out of a linen tablecloth with a Chapsticky-looking spot remover whose banner says "AS SEEN ON 'AMAZING DISCOVERIES,'" a wee-hour infomercial I'm kind of a fan of. A plywood booth that for $9.95 will take a photo and superimpose your face on either an FBI Wanted poster or a Penthouse cover. An MIA--BRING THEM HOME! booth staffed by women playing Go Fish. An anti-abortion booth called LIVESAVERS that lures you over with free candy. Sand Art. Shredded-Ribbon Art. Therm-L-Seal Double Pane Windows. An indescribable booth for "LATEST ADVANCE ROTARY NOSE HAIR CLIPPERS" whose other sign reads (I kid you not) "Do Not Pull Hair From Nose, May Cause Fatal Infection." Two different booths for collectible sports cards, "Top Ranked Investment Of The Nineties." And tucked away back on one curve of the mezzanine's ellipse: yes: black velvet paintings, including several of Elvis in pensive poses.

And people are buying this stuff. The Expo's unique products are targeted at a certain type of Midwestern person I'd all but forgotten. I'd somehow not noticed these persons' absence from the paths and exhibits. This is going to sound not just East-Coastish but elitist and snotty. But facts are facts. The special community of shoppers in the Expo Bldg. are a Midwestern subphylum commonly if unkindly known as Kmart People. Farther south they'd be a certain fringe-type of White Trash. Kmart People tend to be overweight, polyestered, grim-faced, toting glazed unhappy children. Toupees are the movingly obvious shiny square-cut kind, and the women's makeup is garish and often asymmetrically applied, giving many of the female faces a kind of demented look. They are sharp-voiced and snap at their families. They're the type you see slapping their kids in supermarket checkouts. They are people who work at like Champaign's Kraft and Decatur's A. E. Staley and think pro wrestling is real. I'm sorry, but this is all true. I went to high school with Kmart People. I know them. They own firearms and do not hunt. The aspire to own mobile homes. They read the Star without even a pretense of contempt and have toilet paper with little off-color jokes printed on it. A few of these folks might check out the Tractor Pull or U.S.A.C. race, but most are in the Expo to stay. This is what they've come for. They couldn't give one fat damn about ethanol exhibits or carnival rides whose seats are hard to squeeze into. Agriculture shmagriculture. And Gov. Edgar's a closet pinko: they heard it on Rush. They plod up and down, looking put out and intensely puzzzled, as if they're sure what they've come for's got to be here someplace. I wish Native C. were here; she's highly quotable on the subject of Kmart People. One big girl with tattoos and a heavy-diapered infant wears a T-shirt that says "WARNING: I GO FROM 0 TO HORNEY IN 2.5 BEERS."

Have you ever wondered where these particular types of unfunny T-shirts come from? the ones that say things like "HORNEY IN 2.5" or "Impeach President Clinton...AND HER HUSBAND TOO!!"? Mystery solved. They come from State Fair Expos. Right here on the main floor's a monster-sized booth, more like an open bodega, with shirts and laminated buttons and license-plate borders, all of which, for this subphylum, Testify. This booth seems integral, somehow. The seamiest fold of the Midwestern underbelly. The Lascaux Caves of a certain rural mentality. "40 Isn't Old...IF YOU'RE A TREE" and "The More Hair I Lose, The More Head I Get" and "Retired: No Worries, No Paycheck" and "I Fight Poverty...I WORK!!" As with New Yorker cartoons, there's an elusive sameness about the shirts' messages. A lot serve to I.D. the wearer as part of a certain group and then congratulate that group for its sexual dynamism--"Coon Hunters Do It All Night" and "Hairdressers Tease It Till It Stands Up" and "Save A Horse: Ride A Cowboy." Some presume a weird kind of aggressive relation between the shirt's wearer and its reader--"We'd Get Along Better...If You Were A BEER" and "Lead Me Not Into Temptation, I Know The Way MYSELF" and "What Part of NO Don't You Understand?" There's something complex and compelling about the fact that these messages are not just uttered but worn, like they're a badge or credential. The message compliments the wearer somehow, and the wearer in turn endorses the message by spreading it across his chest, which fact is then in further turn supposed to endorse the wearer as a person of plucky or risque wit. It's also meant to cast the wearer as an Individual, the sort of person who not only makes but wears a Personal Statement. What's depressing is that the T-shirts' statements are not only preprinted and mass-produced, but so dumbly unfunny that they serve to place the wearer squarely in that large and unfortunate group of people who think such messages not only Individual but funny. It all gets tremendously complex and depressing. The lady running the booth's register is dressed like a '68 Yippie but has a hard carny face and wants to know why I'm standing here memorizing T-shirts. All I can manage to tell her is that the "HORNEY" on these "2.5 BEERS"-shirts is misspelled; and now I really feel like an East-Coast snob, laying judgments and semiotic theories on these people who ask of life only a Republican in the White House and a black velvet Elvis on the wood-grain mantel of their mobile home. They're not hurting anybody. A good third of the people I went to high school with now probably wear these T-shirts, and proudly.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

promenading with lunatics

Yesterday, while emailing myself links to jobs so that I could apply for them later (or not, as it for the most part turned out,) I came across the work of Nellie Bly via a link in a New York Times book review. (Perhaps they're not so behind the, uh, times anymore?) This intrepid young journalist reported on her travels to Mexico, her 72-day trip around the world, and, most famously, her experiences inside a New York insane asylum after faking her way in. In the 1880s. At about age 24. In other words, the girl pretty much ruled.

I read all 120 pages of Ten Days in a Mad-House yesterday (mostly because it was online and I didn't realize how long it was), and I recommend it highly for those interested in how far we've come in the treatment of the mentally ill, how brutal people can be to each other and still often are, and seeing how horrified you can make yourself before redirecting your browser to pictures of fluffy bunnies. The Blackwell's Island (now Roosevelt Island) Insane Asylum housed around 1,600 women, many whose only demonstration of insanity was an inability to speak English or not enough money to afford hospital care. The lack of proper food, clothing, physical activity, and mental stimulation plus evil, evil nurses would be enough to drive any sane person to madness, though. For those who are employed and/or have better things to do than read a 120-page book right now, I'll post my favorite illustrations that go along with the story.

Stay tuned for Nellie's experience at the 1880's version of a temp agency! On which front, I can report firsthand, things haven't really changed that much.

Monday, January 26, 2009


And here's one for the Sound Financial Decision Files (right up there with spending a sub-letter's security deposit and taking the last of my money, $7 in quarters, to the bodega for a six-pack): buying a fake stuffed moose head when I'm unemployed and living on oatmeal and pasta and frozen produce. But the store is going out of business, and who knows when else this opportunity is going to come along. Yeah I feel pretty good about this.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

fade to flowers

Via Chris Leavins:

I think I'm in love.

another reason to love canada

Because I'm neither a misfit teen girl, crazy cat lady, or hairy gay bear, I had never heard of internet sensation and Canadian comedian Chris Leavins. Fortunately, I do read Gawker. Home alone in my pajamas on Saturday evenings. Anyway, he makes this weekly internet show called Cute With Chris in which he simultaneously mocks and celebrates the joy to be found in other people's pet pictures. It's kind of hard to figure out where to start, so here's a sample video:

I also recommend easing yourself into the cult with the Formal Cat Portrait archive, followed by the Classic Episodes thing (widget? gadget?) in the sidebar (it's called a sidebar, right?), and finally the store to buy me a t-shirt so that I can wear it in public and meet misfit teen girls, crazy cat ladies, hairy gay bears, and Saturday evening Gawker readers to develop a greater sense of community which I learned from my latest self-help book is something I value highly right now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

thank you, tyra

[photo by Elyse Sewell]
"When I want to feel sexy, I slip into a pair of fishnet stockings, a pair of tu-tone polyester lace bloomers, a tee with some seductive lace screenprinting, a mesh vest, a superfluous belt, half a can of blue eyeshadow, a lipstick mustache and two wigs. Mmm. Then I go land a husband."

Anybody else ever read Elyse Sewell's Livejournal? I think she is a freakin' genius--a cultural observer, photographer, and writer extraordinaire. After becoming second runner up on the very first season, er, cycle of America's Next Top Model, she put aside her medical school plans and went ladyposing around the world, primarily in China. Her posts appear erratically, but every one's a winner so I will check her site regularly for months without a reinforcing food pellet. My jealousy of her adventuresome modeling life is immense, but it is surpassed by my gratitude for her finding the time to share it with the reading-about-other-people-on-the-internet world. Thank you, Elyse.

[photo by Elyse Sewell]

Saturday, January 17, 2009

and that is why i love ebay

When the mood is right (e.g., it's my first free Saturday in the city in three years and I walked around for hours with a dear friend despite the Wisconsin-esque cold and happened upon a great thrift/vintage store and found a blazer that fits like it was made for me and had BRUNCH!!!--I'd been saying I hated brunch but apparently it's because I was working weekends and could never have it--with Eggs Florentine and a Bloody Mary and then took a bath and a nap) I can easily spend hours looking at stuff on Ebay. Today's searches for gold buttons (for the aforementioned blazer) and then wool hats (I have a hat somewhere in the depths of my closet but figure it'd be easier to just buy a new one) led me to "3 Vintage Possibly Celluloid Amish Dolls Sleepy Eyes."

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I was going to write some sarcastic post about how I just got let go from my job (it was a mutual breakup, for the record) and have nothing to offer the world beyond grammar-correcting, dog breed identifying, and cheese plate assembly, but then good ol' Cary Tennis (and his loyal letter-writing followers) came along and sucked that sarcasm right out of me. And then I made myself a tuna melt.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

new marketing campaign?

Coworker 1: Try this gum--it tastes like Grandma and Grandpa going out to dinner.
Coworker 2: [chews] Well it'll certainly blow all the other flavors right out of your mouth. [chews] This really does taste like fucking Grandma ... well, not FUCKING Grandma ... oh god ...

For the record, I had to eat (garlic lemon pretzels), smoke (Marlboro Light), AND drink (rye whiskey and ginger beer) after sampling this gum to get the flavor out of my mouth. Love the classic packaging though!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

the four b's of a happy life

And I'm already failing at my quasi-resolution. Better late than never, right?

The Best Thing That Happened at Work on Monday
We were closed.

The Best Thing That Happened at Work on Tuesday
My slow but eventual complete recovery from the staff party on Monday that included:

Nothing like starting your day with a couple of screwdrivers. Coffee schmoffee. And with cheddar grits, heavy-cream-heavy quiche, and maple sausage, I more than satisfied my RDA of animal protein in one sitting!

I am kicking myself that I've lived in Brooklyn for three and a half years and just now went to Melody Lanes in Sunset Park. None of that overpriced Manhattan bowling bullshit. As soon as the onion rings came out, I got in the zone and bowled the highest score of the day. I don't think that's a coincidence, because my score trajectory is usually inversely proportional to my beer consumption, and it was my third game.

This is Bossman's time to shine, when he whips out fancy wines we're all too sloshed to appreciate and that come in bottle sizes named after Biblical kings and men of prominence like Methuselah and Melchior. (I'm pretty sure we had a Jeroboam.)

There were two along for the ride, and neither of the little champs cried once! Working a customer service job in Brownstone Brooklyn is enough to make a girl consider tubal ligation, but these two were so cute I almost think I might want one some day.