Friday, March 31, 2006

Media God Alert!

As a self-proclaimed media junkie, I nearly plotzed when I walked right by Mike Wallace last night. Yes, the Mike Wallace. This totally trumps my sightings of Dave Price and Rosanna Scotto.

Let's do the math:

There you go.

And for those who are not media junkies...

I instant message a lot with friends and a few co-workers during the day, using three different kinds of messengers. Considering I'm rocking the IM's all day, I start thinking like the smileys.

So...yet again, I have perpetuated the office rumors of my alleged pregnancy, albeit unwittingly. Just yesterday I posted about it, but each new day is a testament to this fact: the village idiots of New York City are largely employed by my company.

It turns out that I may have a stress fracture in my pelvis, from running at the gym too hard. (I know what you're thinking. Now, stop it.) I go this morning to get an X-ray, and they give me a copy of my X-ray, telling me, "That's yours. You keep it." Ok. Like I know what to do with it?

I went straight to work, because I was too far from home to drop it off. When I got in, the office quieted down several decibels. I couldn't fold the X-ray, so I'm standing there trying to figure out how to store it. Out of irritation, I finally lay it flat against the wall behind my chair, forgetting that name of the facility, including words like "X-Ray", "MRI", and "Ultrasound", is printed across the envelope. Guess which word grew three times its size in the eyes of everyone I work with?

Two of my co-workers immediately shot out of the room together, ready to have the biggest, baddest Gossip Showdown, like Page Six has never before seen. Richard Johnson, meet your match.

Let me tell you - my co-workers? They're Weapons of Mass Stupidity.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

When you comibine mass stupidity into one force...this is what happens

The word being whispered around the office is that I'm pregnant.
I'm pregnant and nobody told me?!?!?!

When I first heard this, I was a bit annoyed. I mean, I already knew of my colleagues' stupidity to begin with, but really, this was taking it to a whole other level. We're talking stratospheric levels of stupidity. I usually refrain from engaging in small talk and conversational chit chat with these people, because I fear their stupidity could be contagious.
One of the people I work with - let's call him Stupid Monkey Ass

But these Einsteins have figured out that if I gave three months notice, well...I must be pregnant! Even though I'm far from Pollyanna when I come into work each day, these highly intelligent people assume somehow that I really love my job. Why would I leave it?!? Yeah, if I were pregnant, what better time to go off into The Great Unknown, forgo paid maternity leave, and you know, see what happens without any steady income. It'll be fun!

In case you're wondering, I'm not looking pregnant either. Even the people from our satellite office are asking this, when they haven't seen me in months. Let's face it: it's a phenomenom of stupidity. And a throwback for womens' rights. There's absolutely no other reason I could be leaving my job, except that I've got a bun in the oven.

"Maw, what's that big, scary looking thing over there?"

"Oh, that's feminism, girls. If you leave it alone, hopefully it'll go away."

Regardless, the Idiot Prince - aka the president's son (nepotism, hello!) - approached a work friend about me. She tells him straight out I'm not pregnant, and still the nitwit walked away refusing to believe her, saying he just knows I am. So I shot myself in the foot when I announced to another girl yesterday: "I'm hurting", not seeing him standing right there. Now, he's convinced I have morning sickness, when the only morning sickness I had was down to a few too many Guinnii.

This is the guy who's reinvented his degree in oceanography into a Master's in Engineering, considered more credible in our line of work. This is why I have a lot of fun calling him out on his Shtupid.

Professor Nemo of Building Management 101

But now I'm having fun with this. It kind of hit me that, hey, these people are being really nice to me. It's not my fault they think I'm pregnant. I didn't say anything. These morons came up with this genuis idea all by themselves. Since they don't know I'm onto them, it's like a bad Three's Company episode, misunderstandings and all. Except that I've got to milk this for all it's worth until I go.

When there's something heavy to be lifted, I just smile and rub my tummy, then they're practically forcing me to sit down while they do it. If I forget something, it's okay, it's the premature onset of Mommy Brain. Being pregnant, without really being pregnant, is turning out to be a whole lot of fun!

I might start framing pictures of the Gerber's baby and decorating my desk with some paper storks next.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I've got money amnesia today

Going out in New York City is expensive. Every time I wake up after a night out, I have money amnesia. Forgetting the various pints of Guinnii consumed the night before, I mentally calculate my expenses, asking myself "Where did it gooooo?"
One Guinness = A Guinness
More than one Guinness = Guinnii
Despite my good intentions, my hard-earned cash is sucked into the vortex that is this city. This never bothered me when I was still on the dole from my parents, but since I've been earning my own...well, you know.

Por ejemple, the price of a pizza is equivalent to what constitutes fine dining outside of the city. One place I know of charges forty dollars for a pie, because it's got truffle oil "drizzled" on it. Drizzled being a euphemism for "you're lucky if it's even in there". If you're going to charge me $40 for a pie of pizza, I don't want just truffle oil. That's right. My palate may not be sophisticated enough to know what a truffle tastes like, but for forty dollars, you better be putting the whole damn thing on my pie!

Pizza and truffles - the obvious match that was staring me in the face this whole time

Even the simple act of drinking beer is expensive. No one drinks domestic, especially C, whose British accent grows noticeably stronger when he's busy denouncing our 'fizzy water'.

"It's loik drinking the piss, this fizzeh wautah. Pass me the Guinnii, luv"

Around here, the only domestic worth drinking is Brooklyn Brewery beers and even those aren't cheap. I've known people to go to the guided tours they have every Saturday in Billy-burg, just for the free beer at the end. Garrett Oliver, the brew master there, had to turn away one of them, because "we appreciate your loyal patronage, but please don't come to this tour anymore".

Last night, we went to Spring Lounge for beers after work. I love this place. It's a total divehole, in the middle of all that gentrification happening on Spring Street, and it's great. The danger in that is spilling out of the bar to go shopping at Fresh just down the street and horrifying their sales staff. "Twenty five bucksh for your Soda Shampoo?? Ish there any Bacardi in it?"

I've spent many a night here enjoying their tipples and terrific jukebox, while watching the old-timers, who go back to when it was the famed Shark Bar, fall off of their stools. But when you look at the place, you have to marvel how even they can get away with charging $7 for an beer, even if it is an import.

Not exactly the Ritz, eh?

As a Jersey girl, I can attest to many a Saturday afternoon sitting in traffic on the way to the mall. And before me was a sea of New York license plates clogging up the highways, because there's no sales tax in New Jersey and everything is just cheaper. Growing up, playing the "Guess the New Yorker" game was a fun way to pass the time. Those were the ones who strapped their grocery bags to the tops of their heads and onto their backs, precious cargo that it was, before heading back across the bridge.

But karma's funny like that. Nowadays, my doorman has a stroke every time I come back from a weekend with my parents in Jersey, lugging half of the state along with me.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

These are a few things I don't love

I got an e-mail from a reader who asked me about my preference for olives. They couldn't be sure, but my earlier analogy- about being force-fed olives in retaliation for exposing family secrets- made them think that maybe I didn't like olives.

Whatever gave you that idea?

Quite frankly, I have a hard time with the smell, the taste, and the look of an olive. That makes it just about everything regarding an olive, really. I don't care how dirty the martini. It must be a genetic thing, because my dad feels the same exact way.

Greasy little nuggets of disgusting. With eyes, like a Cyclops.

If you do that thing of sticking them onto your fingertips and then eating them one by one, I don't want to know you. Because that's possibly the most revolting thing I've ever seen in my life.

I feel quite the same about artichokes. This is more of a trauma-based dislike, than an innate one. On a first date, many moons ago, I ordered a whole artichoke. Having only seen artichoke hearts, it was my first encounter ever with a whole 'choke. And that's pretty much what I almost did that night.

To this day, I wonder what my date had been thinking, as I chewed and chewed and chewed on a whole artichoke leaf, like a cow chewing its cud. Whenever I see an artichoke now, I think of that leaf's slow, painful journey down through my esophagus, wondering how it got there in the first place.

There are many more things I don't like, and if I had the time, I'd share them with you. But that's another post, because I swear that the people I work with were sent to this earth just to aggravate me.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Doggie kisses, but reversed

Zoe went to the groomers this morning, because it was time for her spring cleaning. And to be honest, her stank was downright embarassing. People would zoom in on her on the street, and coming within two feet of her they'd back off, going "Woahhhh!" So I took her to a new place, because it's open on Sundays and it was just several blocks from me.
One of the nice things about it is that you can access the groomer's webcam, using a passcode, and watch your dog being groomed. Fun, I thought. Little did I know what that webcam would reveal.

Otherwise, Zoe would have had her "freaky groomer" protective outfit on

After breakfast, C and I come home and access their cam. And there's Zoe, being blown dry. Awwww, I thought. This is great. We left the cam on and every once in a while, we'd check to see what she was up to. And you know...something has to always happen after C goes off somewhere, like that time in the taxi.

So he leaves. I'm working on an article for a website and I decide to check on her. Perfect timing, as she's being lifted onto the table for her fur to be clipped. So the guy pays some attention to her, hugs her, and pets her, I guess to calm her down. Now I'm even more impressed, right? I'm thrilled my dog is at this place where I know she's being treated well. But of course, I spoke too soon.

The guy plants a kiss on my dog's mouth. I blink for a second and think, "Okee, well he grooms dogs, that shouldn't faze him. Or me." Granted, Zoe is cute, but I've never kissed the dog on the mouth. And I Love her, with a capital L. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

And then he does it again and gives her another big hug. I shake my head and minimize my 'work' window to settle in and watch this. I mean, the dog came for a grooming. Not a makeout session.

Just when I think I'm overreacting, he does it one, two, three more times over the next minute. I laugh out loud, like What the fark is going on here? He's molesting my dog! I fidget in my seat and look around, like "C, where are youuuuu?" Meanwhile, Zoe's just sitting on the groomer's table, looking bemused and probably wondering when the grooming part begins. The other two workers are just busy doing their thing with other dogs in the background, and I'm half-laughing, half-shouting at the screen, "This is crazy, people! Stop himmm!!!"

I'm horrified, and I don't know if I should be, but it's just so wierd. And he keeps doing it! Do I show up at the place and yell, "Stop kissing my dog!" Who would be the crazier one - me or him?

So I decide to minimize that window and continue working until I get the phone call that she's ready. But my thoughts aren't all there and I'm all concerned about the well-being of my dog. When the phone rings, I'm at the groomer's in a flash to find Zoe ready and waiting.

"Being a sex symbol is so exhausting"

But she does look great. Smells great. Feels great. Mission accomplished and I think, Maybe we'll be back. And just when I'm leaving with her bouncing around at my feet, the guy gives me this wierd smile and says, "Your dog has great teeth."

Er, maybe not.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

And the saints...come marching in...

I've gotten some personal feedback, from those who know me, on my comparison to Joan of Arc. You know who you are (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Well, Joan of Arc wasn't allllll-ways a saint. She had a life too. So she had voices speaking to her and all that. That could happen to me too. I don't want it to, but it could.

So I'd been thinking along the lines of the pre-saint Joan of Arc, because I'm not sure I would qualify for sainthood. Scratch that, I definitely would not qualify for sainthood. And it doesn't matter what the "Jews for Jesus" people say.

Billy Joel was singing to me when he sang, "I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints."

So Billy and I say: Shaboogie with your bad self!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Close Encounters with the Eggy kind

In the very near future, C will come home and find me passed out on the floor in a sugar-induced unconsciousness. My mouth will gape wide open, cartoon X's will cover my eyes, and little birds will be tweeting around above me. My teeth will be all scattered around me, having fallen out of my mouth upon impact with one little Cadbury Creme Egg.

A fellow Creme Egg victim, who lived to tell the story

The war cry starts in early March and by the time these things hit the stores, I'm completely brainwashed. I think "Maybe this year, it will be different". And it's not. It never is! (sob) That little chocolate shell belies a sweet "yolk" of such massively, sugary proportions, it can fell even the most formidable of sugar junkies.

The Cadbury people don't even know what's in that yolk, so they call it 'goo' on their website. And because it's the Cadbury Creme Egg, it can be assumed that 'goo' doesn't require further explanation, even if the FDA comes calling. It is unapologetically goo. Cadbury know it's goo and can get away with just calling it goo. Because you will eat the goo anyway.

In the Sugar Junkies League rankings, I'm up there, like wayyyyy up in the single digits. As a kid, my favorite game was Candy-land. I cried whenever they were in the forest in the original Willy Wonka movie. Not because Augustus Gloop nearly drowned in a river of chocolate, but because I wanted to be there, where everything was made of candy. As far as I'm concerned, Cool-Whip is the fifth food group. It's like ketchup. It goes with everything.

But alas I will never be the #1 Sugar Junkie, and it's the Egg's fault. I'm a chump.

Those Cadbury people know they have something potentially nuclear within this Egg, because take note: they unleash it on us every year for only a limited period of time. To have it available all year round would be lethal. Need further proof in the pudding, or should I say 'goo'? LOOK AT THEIR BUNNIES! Their bunnies cluck like chickens!!!

Do I really need to say anymore?

Each year, they trot out a poor, unsuspecting rabbit to film their commercial, only to leave behind a bombed-out shell of its former bunny self. From the secret photo files of Cadbury Chocolates:

Off to Bunny Rehab you go...


A Cadbury Creme Egg fits into the palm of your hand, much like the candy grenade that it is. But last year, while I was in Boots' pharmacy, I came across a Cadbury Creme Egg that was the size of my head, I kid you not. After I fell down to the floor and saluted it, I considered the potential damage that could be inflicted by this one, gargantuan ball of Egginess. The effects of such consumption are very easily mistaken as the result of a life hard-lived, boozing and drugging it up. There is only one survivor of such an incident in this world, and look where he is now:

"If only I hadn't eaten that Egg..."

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Haiku For VH1's Patrice O'Neal

Love "Web Junk 20"

Bask in sun of My Patrice

C won't be jealous

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Why I love New York City - Reason 2

The news today is that the Central Park coyote has been captured after running loose around the park for the past two days. How it got there I don't know. Considering the park is surrounded by the urban sprawl of the city, I'll take a stab that it either had to pay the toll at the Lincoln Tunnel or took an Amtrak train to get in.
Anyway, when C and I heard about the coyote, we laughed as if to say: "Thasssss' nothing! Remember the talking tushies in the tree?"

Yes, you read right. In the trees at Central Park were
See, Central Park is a never-ending source of amusement for me and most other New Yorkers. For me personally, I'll fake the people out who just stand in the middle of bike path, waiting to become human roadkill, by careening towards them as if I've lost control on my blades. Then I watch them go bug-eyed and scatter out of the way like ants. Good times. For others, like my friend, they'll be sunning themselves on a rock until they notice they have company on the next rock. And he's very busy with himself while watching her. Yeah. It's time to go.

So one day, about two years ago, C and I were in Central Park when we noticed that there were police cars and a crowd gathering over in section of the park. Not because we're stupid, but because we're New Yorkers, we walked towards this site of potential danger, rather than away from it.

The police roped off a wide area around this tree and people were just sitting around, watching this cop go up in a cherry-picker. And they keep staring and waiting, with baited breath, making it eerily quiet all around us. After about five minutes, I'm like, "Hello? Did we just walk into The Magic Garden? Is he going to start communicating with the tree?" And all of a sudden there's shouting, the tree is shaking, and the cop in the cherry-picker is being assaulted by a branch. I nearly fell over, thinking, "Holy shet! The tree can talk! Where are the purple unicorns???"

But then we realized - the trees are alive with the sound of asses!

That's right. Once I stopped looking for Munchkins to jump out and sing a song for us, I saw a bare ass that one could assume belonged to the owner of the voice yelling at the police offer. And then there were two. Two tushies yelling from that tree. And still smacking the officer in the cherry-picker with branches.

(actual photo from the scene)

No one told him that being a naked people picker upper

was a part of the job description

I looked over at C as if to say What is this world coming to? Being the ever intrepid soul that he is, he circled around and started asking people questions. Along the way, we met people from Norway, Sweden, and Mexico, in addition to other countries. So basically, there was a whole League of Nations united in watching barenaked asses - literally and figuratively - shouting from a tree. Now they may only be asses, but they've got an international audience most of us can only dream of. Talk about serious bragging rights.

This is the story behind it. It's safe for work, because mercifully the cops convinced them to put their clothes back on.

Now, pray tell. How does a coyote compare to that?!?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Annoying Free Newspaper Man

Disclaimer: I was feeling a bit thentitive this morning.
Annoying Free Newspaper Man is one of those people who hand out those free AM New York and New York Metro newspapers, as you enter or leave the subway system. And they really Piss. Me. Off. As you can see, this post has been brought to you by the capital letters P, M, and O. As in - don't PMO, man!
Every morning, when I'm walking up the stairs from the Herald Square station, there they are standing at the top of the stairs and waving the newspapers in everyone's faces. And not only are they doing this at an ungodly hour, blocking your way as you try to get to work, but they're screaming into your farkin' ear: "AM NEW YORK! GET YOUR FREE NEWSPAPER! AM NEW YORK!"

My senses have already been assaulted before I can plug in my IV drip of caffeine at work, so it's understandable that this would piss me off. And this will piss me off, n'est c'pas? I've got my beloved New York Post, I don't need anything else. And for the love of all that is holy, C knows not to go near me in the morning until I've had my full java fix.

Me, before I've had my full two cups of coffee in the morning

This morning, Annoying Free Newspaper Man decided one shake of the paper in my face wasn't enough. He had to do it two times, you know, for the full effect. Little did he know that that one extra shake was going to be the maker-or-breaker. Had he controlled himself, he would still be safe right now. Instead, without thinking, I grabbed the paper out of his hand, ripped it up several times, and threw the pieces all up in the air.

"No, you did not!"

"Oh, yes...I...did!"

If I may say so, I suprised even myself. He just stood there looking at me, speechless, which in itself was a major victory. Annoying Free Newspaper Man has been silenced! Hurrah! Then he got it together and shouted at me: "You owe me for that paper!" So, it was just too perfect, too delicious, when I got to say:

"It's free, you dumb-aahaahaaaassssss!"

Who needs a cup of coffee after that? Now, I've got a smile on my face and will be doing the shaboogie dance for the wholeeeee day!

I have triumphed! Over Annoying Free Newspaper Man!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

From Russia with love

My mom is a pretty with-it person, but she’s leery of this blog thing. As a technological no-hoper, she can't really appreciate what I'm trying to do here. Remember the"Melissa" virus? It was the first e-mail worm ever to be sent through cyberspace and it wasn't David Smith who created it. That was a very smart computer saving itself from my mother. So you see - computers can't take over the world, they're too busy running scared from my mom.

Over the years, I’ve definitely put her through her paces. Growing up, my best friends were usually the boys who lived near my house. So it wasn't about tea parties and Barbie Dolls for me, no. Rather it was me getting stuck with the Skeletor doll, while their dads assigned me as defensive tackle so we could have a proper game going. Even though football wasn't really my thing. So I'd show up for dinner, having been pummelled to death and dirt all over my face, and all I'd get was: “Do I have a girl or a boy? Girls don’t play football, and roll around in the grass, so I must have two boys!”

Hey, could it have been the boy haircut and overalls she made me wear?


Later on, in college, I got into the club scene. Going out every night in platform combat boots, fire red hair, and a metal hoop through my lower lip, she near had a stroke trying to be objective. My name stopped being M and became “you look like the bride of Frankenstein”.

Circa 1996:

'Me: Mom, where are the car keys?

Mom: I don’t know. Use your lip ring as a lightning rod to start the engine, then you won't need them.
Me: You're not helping.
Mom: You look like the bride of Frankenstein.'
With this blog thing, she's becoming a little unsure as it's progressing and realizes people are actually reading what her daughter has to say. It's not just some wacky phase I'm going through anymore. Bwahahahahaha!
And she’s fiercely private about her…well, privacy. So when I mentioned a few of the things I’d discussed here, she had to say something. As far as she was concerned, I was out to expose the deep dark secrets of the family, even going as far as to say what really happened to my brother's turtle in 1981. The reaction was a complete meltdown of my beautiful, independent, fiercely opinionated mother, who's lived in the United States for 30+ years. She morphed into a Babushka from the Old Country.

"Vy vould you do zis to your mutter?"
No matter how much I try to explain that I respect everyone's privacy, it doesn't matter. All of a sudden, my family is La Cosa Nostra and I will be hung by thumbs and fed olives one by one, until I promise never to write about them again. Or worse - they show my freshman year school photo to everyone I know.
But I have to take that risk. There are so many people who can benefit from my mother's vast wealth of knowledge ("she's so had collagen and I'll tell you how I know") and her Russian proverbs. Sayings like "A fly will not go into a closed mouth" and "He would say "Ah" when looking at himself". Actually, that last one I have no idea what it means.
In any case, as much as she wonders if I'm the result of some sort of genetic mutation, I know she fully supports whatever I do and loves me. However, if you don't hear from me after this post, don't sit there wondering about it - call out the dogs!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Why I love New York City - Reason 1

Have to keep it short today, so I leave you with the first of many reasons why I love this city.

As spotted near Port Authority:

Friday, March 17, 2006

Yeahhhh, boyeee!

VH1 is casting for "Flavor of Love" - The Second Season! (Thanks to Alison for the tip!)
My wishes have come true! My faith has been restored! I find this out on St. Patty's Day, and it's on a Friday! (Note to self: buy lottery tickets after work!)
As my friends know, and you may know from previous posts, I'm hardcore about this show. And if you watch it, then obviously this is a spoiler (sorry!) that it didn't work with Hoopz. Who by the way is "a hipp-o-crit", as Flav would say. While she was busy trashing Ms. New York for wanting to be on TV, that girl had some career aspirations of her own.

So that's what "working in construction" is these days

No matter. Because I'm like the Greek prophet, Cassandra. I hoped that there would be a second season and there is. Except, it's not a curse on me, but for the new set of contestants. Because you do realize yet another group of women will be competing for this 46-year old, totally burnt out, pint size rapper with six children and two grandkids?
He's got more game than George Clooney

So when the time comes, I'll be hosting the viewing party in my dress from Senior Prom, 1993, and a tiara. It will be at American Trash bar for all the Flav-lovers in the land, highbrow entertainment that it is.
There will be drinking games, where everyone does a shot at the sound of a *bleep* covering up the swearing during a brawl! Door prizes where you enter to win a gold grill for your teeth, just like Flav's! Everyone gets a goody bag, including a set of Viking horns, mini-clock necklackes, and a bar of soap to wash away that dirty feeling you get after watching the show.

But first, the reunion episode in 9 days, where Pumpkin and New York face off one more time. After seeing the previews, I'm there! My tuchis is so on the couch with the phones switched off and a bowl of popcorn on my lap.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Hurty old men

My Yahoo news browser was going crazy this morning. Sharon Stone's comeback with Basic Instinct 2? Old hat. Jessica Lange's return to the big screen? Whatever. The olde-, I mean more established, men in Hollywood have carpe diem'ed! They have seized the headlines by refusing to age gracefully!

Michael Douglas snipes to GQ magazine at the state of marriage in Hollywood, taking potshots at Brangelina (I hate that phrase) and Renee Zellweger. Coming from the pope, these comments might make sense, but Michael Douglas isn't the pope. I suppose we're to forget that his ugly-as-hell divorce from Diandra, and their multi-million dollar settlement, ever happened.

Tell me, Michael, was it really a three-year hiatus from movie-making or just one really long, extreme makeover?

The next up is a report on Harrison Ford’s return as Indiana Jones. At the age of 63, Ford is ready to do the fourth installment of the series, regardless of the fact that "relevant" and "credible" are still words in the dictionary.

Give it up, man, just give it up.

To his credit, Ford does say he needs "to do a little practicing with the whip" for the film, to avoid injuries. However, there is just something so wrong with that sentence on so many levels.

Then, there's Sean Connery, who’s very mad. He has sued his golf club for promoting his celebrity to attain further status as an elite institution, while refusing to reimburse his money after he cancelled his membership. Daniel Craig has recently been anointed the new Bond. So is this lawsuit in the news a coincidence? I think not. Sean's wife, Micheline, poor gal. She spends hours each night assuring him he is the One and Only Bond:

"Sean Connery: I am still James Bond!

His wife: Yes, you are darling, now go to sleep.

Him: There is no other Bond but me!

His wife: Do you want a glass of water?

Him: Shaken, not stirred!"

Please, Donald Sutherland - don't disappoint me now. Retain your dignity and don't become like these clowns. You still make me rawr with that wicked grin of yours and I'll take you over Kiefer, on a platter with a side of fries, any day.

Como se dice en espanol - "RAWR"?

Hollywood eats its own and deludes them into thinking they still got it, when really they should just pass the torch and fade into character actor glory. I mean the real, real reason Miramax went bust? It's because I sued them for emotional trauma, after seeing Harvey Keitel go full-frontal in The Piano.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Trends vs reality

Spring is in the air. I can feel it. Just one more freak snowstorm left before we can all breathe a sigh of relief. But only for a moment, because now the shops will try to inflict more wierd trends on us, in the name of Spring.

Caving to the pressure, I've whipped out my new gaucho pants from Express. Not quite pant, not quite short, this is my 'transitional' item from winter to spring. As I'm wearing them with boots right now, I'm feeling very 'gaucho'. I have become a gaucha traversing this city, masquerading as a cog in the corporate wheel. My repressed, gaucha heart searches for my urban herd. I take high, horse-like steps with my hands on my hips, as I walk across the office. I do a shimmy and salsa dance in a circle, before handing over a fax. I scream Ole! and lasso my co-worker, mistaking her for a cow.

My new boyfriend, Lazario, he of the smoldering eyes

A typical day at work might be something like:

Boss man: M, do you have the monthly analysis?

Me: Si, senor. (Clap my hands and stomp my foot)

Co-worker: M, did you finish the copy for the new brochures?

Me (dramatic gasp): Ayeeeee! Dios Mio! I forgot! And it's Senorita M to you, muchacha!

Co-worker to boss: What the hell is she on???


Yes, my urban gaucho look makes as much sense as the nautical theme, which are all featured heavily in store windows right now. The whole pseudo-Ralph Lauren look of navy and white stripes, capris, and scarves in the hair. And the sunglasses, you can't forget the sunglasses. Sailing along with P. Diddy in St. Tropez, we realize the inner Jackie O inside of us. We realize the life not lived while sitting in a cubicle, getting tan from the fluorescent lights.


Have you ever tried wearing white pants in New York City? Oh it's so much fun. Besides, the closest to a boat I'm going to get this summer is a dinghy, floating on the oil-infested waters of the East River.

I left my other yacht on the 6 train

Sailing for me is sidewalk-surfing on the garbage melting in the middle of August. Tell me, how do you market the nautical look to...say, the landlubber who lives in Kansas? "These docksiders are perfect for pitching bales of hay, I tell ya!"

No, aspirational fashion just doesn't cut it for me anymore. My delusions are entertained much more cheaply just by writing in this blog.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Run, don't walk, to the perm sale

So I'm cleaning out my computer files at work, because I gave notice at my job last week. My notice wasn't the usual two week notice, but three months based on the terms I laid out. They get to look for a candidate, hire one, and then I train them while handing over all open projects to them. In return, I get to openly look for a job without having to sneak around and jumping at the first available opportunity that doesn't suit me. Sweet deal, right? I've been doing a happy dance since then.
But I also know I'm in dangerous territory now and anything could happen. I'm not safe. They could change their minds and haul my tush right out of there. And I really don't want to explain why I have pictures of Flava Flav dolls, my friends and I completely schnockered, and The Sun's Page 3 girl on my hard drive.

So, it was while I was cleaning out my computer that I came across this photo, which I had intended to use in an earlier post, but life takes over, you know?

This was the annual Hans Maxem February perm sale, people! It was closed on that Sunday when I took this picture, so you can only imagine what kind of physical response this promotion actually got. Had I shown up one day earlier, the crowds would have been fearsome. There's no question in my mind that I would have been trampled by a perm sale induced frenzy. This is the moment they'd been waiting for all year!

Satisfied members of Hans' illustrious clientele include:

The lead singer of Nickelback...

Carrot Top...

Mr. Brady, may he rest in peace...

and of course, Miss Piggy

Now I don't want to perpetuate the stereotype of the New Jersey girl, as I am one at heart, but...given that this salon is out in the wilds of Jersey, you know this is serious shet. That's not just a housewife from Paramus, that's a lean, mean root-perming machine. And that cheerleader from Teaneck? Get in the way of her spirals and she's totally pom-pomming your ass.

This event is not for the faint of heart. We're talking serious bodily injury - think running with the bulls in Pamplona.

"You do the perm sale!"

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Sold! For one Starbucks cupcake

Today, I confess I've sold out to Starbucks.

Who knew? I mean, this is Starbucks, people. The ersatz, faux-granola coffee chain that has become that safe last resort before serving up the fries at McDonald's. Because Starbucks' employees from Hollis truly care about the company's Fair Trade campaign.

Starbucks pastries are crap and I know this because I worked there in college. OhyesIdid. Ten years ago, it was considered a respectable place to work. There was a certain cache to wearing the little green hat and apron when Starbucks was the first gourmet coffee bar to hit your hood. As a result, I became a coffee snob who was hopelessly addicted to coffee. I was damn proud of the fact I could steam that milk like a bandit (without a thermometer! watch out for my bad ass!) and sling out several capuccinos in a row faster than you could say boo. My devotion was such that I got caffeine poisoning and broke out in hives, from too many experiments behind the bar.

I was the baddest muttafuttin' barista this side of the Mississippi.

She's a mocha-making, milk-steaming, caffeinated puh-hunk!

Then the fall semester began and it was time for me to leave. After the ensuing withdrawal phase had passed, my eyes started to clear. I saw the people posturing as they walked down the street, holding that cup of coffee and looking all important. Tapping away on their keyboards, using the free wi-fi that lured them into the shops. Congregating with friends on the big, comfy couches like in Friends. I saw they were buying into a lifestyle concept, the J. Crew of coffee. They were buying into a load of crap.

In silent protest, I started going to Au Bon Pain across the street for my fix, even though there's a Starbucks right in my building's lobby. I wasn't going to pulled back in. Oh no, you won't find me sitting in a Starbucks, drinking a cup of their coffee, and enjoying it. I got wise. My ire was such that I started to get stomach aches every time I had a cup of their java. Stomach aches so bad, I was sure I'm allergic to their coffee.

But one morning, while cutting through their shop to get through to the elevator bank, I stopped. In their pastry case was a cake stand containing vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, winking at me. Cupcake slut that I am, I bought one. And once I bit in, I swooned. I sighed. I then sold out for a cupcake.

That's right - a cupcake. It's not just any kind of cupcake either - it's possibly a cupcake even better than what they have at Buttercup and Magnolia bake shops. The persecution by Sex And The City fans starts now.

I mean, this is the cupcake. The shiznit fashizzle of cupcakes. Here, have a look:

(They also have what's called a Vanilla Sunshine cupcake. I tried to take a picture, but to be honest, that didn't even last long enough for the camera. What can I say? I like vanilla cupcakes.)

But seriously, how good does that look? All those curliques, like it's a little person with hair. Sitting in the sunshine waiting to be gobbled up by moi. Waving a curl at me, like, "Yoo hoo! M! Yes, you! What are you waiting for? Come on, girl! Eat me up!"

Which I did. And I enjoyed every last corporate behemoth, capitalist, soul-sucking bite of it.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Homogenized and pasteurized for your safety

Orlando scares me. I've just come from a weekend there, where one of my best friends and her husband live. Coming back to NYC, I feel like doing what my dog does when I take her to Central Park. I want to hurtle myself onto the ground and roll around in the glorious trash and pee left behind by other New Yorkers. Home sweet home. It's a tonic.

Orlando is so...Florida. South Florida, such as Miami and Fort Lauderdale, is a little more cosmopolitan and colorful. Orlando is so homogenous, it's scary. I couldn't tell where one town ended and another begins because of the residential developments. Residential developments scare me. Each one has a name. "The Crossings" or "Peninsula Landing" or "Shady Oaks". It's like an extrapolated version of retirement communities, housing the young and virile, counting off the time until they suck out your life's blood. Cocoon for the thirties set.

The food. Denny's, Chick-Fil-A, Uno's all were representin' in O-town. The scenic route in this neck of the woods is a blur of neon-lit fast food restaurants and chains. I'm a salt fiend and there was no need to add salt to anything I ate this weekend. I'm all puffed up from my inadvertent sodium intake, thanks to regular meals at fine establishments like Arby's and TGI Friday's.

Vacation photo of me in Orlando

My body feels like I've been slamming down beer and wings all weekend, neither of which have passed my lips, because I'm saving it for next weekend. At one point, I even felt a bit sad and weepy; I knew what Morgan Spurlock was talking about in Supersize Me. This stuff is so toxic; my body just felt polluted. When I had ravioli with homemade sauce cooked up by my friend's dad, I wanted to sob with relief at the dietary reprieve. The other redeeming thing about this trip was being able to get my much-loved Publix sub, with all the fixings. Now since coming home, I'm ready to commune with the hardcore vegans, their dirty toes, and mandal’ed feet, over at Whole Foods. I understand them.

Don't worry, this too will pass.

Next, the very popular concept of organized recreation. Organized recreation also scares me. The city is so Disney-fied, even non-Disney affiliated venues and organizations have adopted their clean, painted over version of reality. That's what visitors are here for; they just don't want to know. Tourism in Orlando is like being a rat in a maze, if you will. Things are such that you go to an air-conditioned mall, a theme park, outlet center, or some subset of that, as a recreational activity. Step outside the realm of those sanitized confines and you are greeted by the dichotomy of the state, the seedier side of Florida, the birthplace of Trailer Park Trash.

Don't be fooled by their PR campaign

Those who can't pay the parking charges at Universal Studios, to sit in a nice movie theater on Universal's property, are forced to settle for a dingy, second-run theater. There are the "good" malls with the "good" movie theaters, and the "bad" shopping centers with theirs. In the latter, you are forced to commingle with Hell's Angels types and Friends of Britney. Heaven forbid. Thus, most tourists who attempt to see the ‘real’ Orlando step out, blink in the bright sunlight, and beat a hasty retreat to the safety of the Magic Kingdom.

C is aware he would have to drag me kicking and screaming if his company relocated him to Orlando. Miami, yes. Orlando, no. As much as I love him and the idea of spending more time with my best friend, I don't think I could move to that part of Florida. Besides, Miami feels like a second home and we have friends there. And I grew up appreciating the possiblity of discovery in any corner you turn. Whether it was a small coffee shop, the flavors served up by an independently owned restaurant, or just the funky facade of someone's home, glorious in its individuality.

Now more than ever, I have come to appreciate the nuances of people, and their olfactory offenses, during a subway ride in the morning. The surliness of the counter guy at my deli when he serves up my coffee. The grime I have to wash off my face at the end of each day, after hitting the streets. I will never, ever complain again. "Never, ever" meaning for the next two weeks.