Monday, April 30, 2007

Sunday Rehab

When I went to Vegas for a bachelorette party, my last day was spent in a daze at the Hard Rock’s Sunday Rehab. It’s gained a joking celebrity on the claim of restorative properties for pool bunnies and thong-clad gamblers. A venue to soak up chlorine, somehow inducing the purge of tequila.

Of course it didn’t work. That was why it was so much fun. It was simply more incentive to drink again, get too much sun, flirt, spend too much money. All excused because all was "hair of the dog", figuratively speaking. It was most people’s last day of pink drinks, toned staff and promises of big money before flights back to flyover states, cubed jobs or strained relationships. You couldn’t just quit cold turkey. You had to ease out of a week of sin in Vegas, or anywhere else for that matter.

Most people got on their evening flights gin-drunk, half-dead from dehydration and shame. Long-term happy and short-term regretful that they had their one last hurrah when they should have been planning their upcoming week’s schedules.

Sunday rehab makes as much sense now as it did then; it offers an easy solution. You don’t have to be sorry for the fun you had all at once. As long as you believe, throughout the day, that you are tipping the scale from Saturday to Monday, you are condoned. I think this is why we start Sundays with brunch and end them with 60 Minutes (no comment on saying you’ll end an America’s Next Top Model marathon with 60 Minutes, only to keep on a few more hours and end it instead with Entourage and a fistful of Cheez-Its).

I enact this fun fallacy for my own Sundays not in Vegas. It should be the day for cleaning up the house, folding clothes, doing dishes, getting to the gym and dinners replete with whole grains and broccoli. But they never quite end up that way. I like to think I’m a person who follows many pursuits or at least half-starts a lot of things, but Sundays end up days that I waste with joy.

Yesterday, though hoarse from late-night karaoke and an ill-thought Colt 45, I met my new-roommate-to-be and oft-quoted blonde of this site and had brunch at Cookshop where the waiter described a dish as “chaotic”. We shared buttermilk beignets, mascarpone French Toast and philosophies on work and life (we’re still confused, but it’s fun to talk). We had a great celebrity sighting in Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard and baby there.

Then we walked to Chelsea Piers and she decided she would have a bowling 26th birthday party (I pray for bumper bowling, but it might not happen). Being by the water, even if it was brownish gray and littered with splintered wood and lost soccer balls, was nice. We walked all the way down near the house of trapeze lessons, and then back up tree-lined blocks—pointing to all the pretty brownstones of which we will never see the insides. We fantasized about where our next apartment might take us and who we might become while in it.

I walked most of the way home, past diners and dates, tinkling glasses of Mimosas and happy friends and their wagging dogs. People were out to celebrate a nice day, that they were lucky enough to be outside, not working on a Sunday, to have people who wait for them or to have an extra dollar to spend on luxuries.

I went home and read a little, even put on workout clothes as if I would go to Pilates on a day I didn’t plan on it, before putting on that ANTM cycle 2 marathon and felt the evening stretch before me and the freedom it lent. I didn't write. I didn't fold. I didn’t do anything I should have, and that was what felt a little restorative. If not at the time, then now, in Monday’s hunch, in front of the computer…Sunday was rehab from this, and sadly, today is rehab from that…

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Benny’s burritos plus Caddyshack equals a cure-all for the depression of a rainy day.

For me, the others are:

Speed Scrabble with the windows open to invite in the sound and smell of drops

Crossed-legged, couch cushions on the floor in a poorly made fort

Feeling perfectly justified in skipping Ab class and poor posture

Fantasy vacation planning, refreshing the prices and hoping the numbers go down, even by one dollar

Tivo and the idea of having to “make-up” shows as an assignment( Planet Earth at the top of the list)

The memory of baths, the reality of a long shower, moisturizer that smells of mangoes

Homemade manicures and peeled cucumber masks, cotton balls, cotton clothes

Delivered snacks, half bottles of wine, forgotten videos and new inside jokes

The idea of daily hospital corners and a folded blanket on the bed but never getting up to actually do it

The following New York-based course catalogues and guides: Parson’s, SVA, The French Culinary Institute, Time Out, a fresh highlighter and a mission


Found journals, lost to-do lists, debit cards with overdraft protection

Two popsicles left in the freezer and four hours left of the night


What are yours?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Awful Waffle

Tell me someone remembers the show Salute Your Shorts. Because no one in my office does. In fact, when I told the mail guy I’d give him an awful waffle if he didn’t deliver my NY magazine to my inbox soon, he and everyone in the surrounding area looked at me like I was nuts.

Just because we’re in cubes doesn’t mean we have to pretend we were cultivated here, do we?

Come on, Ug, Donkey Lips, that redheaded kid from T2? You know the one. The one with the mullet. What a badass. Check out how he totally screwed up the song by saying ‘fart’ instead of ‘part’. Wow, that still slays me.

The Nickelodeon of my youth rocked***. Hey Dude, Welcome Freshmen, and old-school You Can’t Do That On Television re-runs (Barf’s burgers—delightfully gross, and I remember this one skit where all the guys were growing mustaches, and Moose said she was growing one, and she lifted up her shirt and was growing it in her arm pit—priceless).

Going back even further, there was Today’s Special, Pinwheel, (whoa—how scary is this intro to watch today? You’re welcome for the nightmares to come tonight.) Reading Rainbow and my favorite of favorites: Square One. Mathnet was sweet.

Today, I wish T.V. was as good as it used to be and pass a little diversion to you. Thank you, YouTube. You’ve saved Monday once again.

***Addendum: Because of some excellent suggestions I am linking the following: Clarissa Explains It All (oh how I searched for the Hammer Pants episode where Mr. Darling and Sam danced in baggy glitter pants), Are You Afraid of The Dark? (remember that episode where it was another dimension and the other dimension people had no faces or the one where the big pinball was going to run down the escalator and kill that kid?), Pete and Pete and finally, what I think is the best Nickelodeon commercial ever: Inside Out Boy.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


My tan is starting to fade, but back when it first started to form, I was dipped in the edge of the beach. I was buoyant in water--tepid and foaming green--watching cruise ships docked in the distance. The waft of vacation covered me like bubble film and I was so glad not to be on board; so glad not to have to pull away.

I felt like I belonged in the swells of the ocean. I love the sensation of a slow flapping dance to keep me afloat; I like to be weightless above animals unseen, fish darting around my ankles (and then screaming my head off when a foot is tangled in seaweed, forever convinced it’s a scale-covered monster that feeds on the flailing legs of girls…).

Not to discount the amazement of pools. I have so many happy memories of them: on the swim team in first grade when my nickname was “Killer K” because I had a furious backstroke which steered me sharply into the dividers at each side of the lane (right, left, right) and my kid limbs would thrash and I would hit one and then I would turn again. Somehow, this made me somewhat fast on certain days. Though I surely would have been a lot faster without this I still remember being small and cold in the early morning for practice in summertime, having to wear a sweatshirt until the very last minute (white with red block lettering, the sleeves hanging to my knees), or the startling crack of the gun indicating our jump in, or the shame of a false start--always my biggest fear--where a swimmer would expend thirty percent of her energy on a beautifully deep dive and pop her head up in triumph only to realize no one was swimming next to her, the coach shaking his head, the pull of weight to level herself back to the starting point and the slapping of chlorine drops off her body onto the cement.

At our last house we had a gorgeous pool flanked by gardens of roses and rocks that was shaped like a vintage Absolut bottle, edged with antique tiles and a florescent Miami light show at night which went from red to purple to blue to green to white. My friends loved it. I loved it. My parents barely used it. Then we moved away. Then I moved away, to the city, and the last pool I was privy to in this area was in Brooklyn for a Beirut concert and a hilarious game of dodgeball where there was a lot of hipster-on-hipster pounding.

It’s things like that—vacation, past houses and childhoods that shape my future wants. I want to be by the water: natural or in-ground doesn’t matter as long as I’m near blue. I want it more than anything else in a home: French doors, chef’s kitchen, acreage—all are secondary. I fantasize about water the way some people do about money or leather.

It’s a little weird…right?

Case in point. I was stuck in the airport for eight hours last Monday (as the perfect sendoff for my vacation) and I spent two of those gripping a luxury pool magazine, ooohing and aaahing at infinity edges, palazzo-inspired creations, lagoon meanderings. I couldn’t believe that someone out there had published such a book, like it was intended just for me, and when I had read it cover to cover I saw another magazine: this one only about islands. Have you seen either of these? Did I imagine them? They were truly great and I’m debating whether to look them up on the internet, and subscribe. I’m just a little wary. What will happen to me, when I extract them from my mailbox and a neighbor sees? Sexual perversions are one thing, but having a magazine about pools clutched under my arm as I cut short my conversation to run upstairs and feverishly flip through it on the couch without even taking off my coat and scarf might be too bizarre to forgive…

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bro, Broheim, Brosephine

I have been validated by the beach gods!

I got into Hawaii for grad school. I’m more stoked (see, I’m fitting in already) for this news than any other program. And, contrary to popular belief, it’s not an online university with a world-renowned program in basket-weaving, beach-bumming, board-waxing, falling over in the sand and getting lei’d at a bonfire. Not anymore, anyway*.

Let the island escapades continue until my face resembles a catcher’s mitt from the sweet, sweet sun. Clearly after St. Maarten and this acceptance, I know I’m meant for the water. And Mai Tais. Lots and lots of Mai Tais. And legions of surfer boyfriends in jam shorts and maybe one random guy, like in the background, serving drinks in a banana hammock. All I ask for is that.

Wait, scratch that, I think the dude in the hammock would be more like itching for years after fighting with your parents to control your own life and then graduating and semi-growing up and your first apartment and getting to eat whatever you want for breakfast. A Milwaukee’s Beast and a Hot Pocket later and you realize, slowly and horribly, the anticipation far outweighed the application.

In any case, it could be pretty amazing…

*In all honesty, the program pretty much rocks. Take that Iowa! Go on and keep your cornfields and your crystal meth. Yeah, I said it.

Quote from the island...

“Ever heard of Sasha and Digweed? Yeah, I’m totally friends with both of them. I open for them all of the time at raves in Miami. Yep. It’s pretty sick.”

“Cool. Oh sorry, wait, hold on a minute.” (Grabs phone and says hello, nods in understanding, hangs up). “Hey, 1997 just called. Even they want you to shut up.”

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Week's Work

I’m back from vacation and I am exhausted. How did this happen? When did relaxation turn hardcore cramming in of activities, beaches, sun burnt shots?

It was two days in, I think. When what was supposed to be recuperative turned in to far-too-much-fun-in-the-sun…

Things were crazy, wonky; up was down. Time was all wrong at points. I wore a bikini at night on a boat. At 6:30 AM, I wilted in a party dress, hailing a cab as ladies-who-lunch power-walked by. I ordered rum punch before coffee in the morning and no one even blinked.

I think about the free-for-all attitude I had in juxtaposition to where I am now, in two sweaters in the rain, spending no money but all of my time in front of a screen.

Highlights, in no particular order:

Heels dusted with sand, toes in water only lit by Tiki torches and moonlight

Snorkeling in the danger zone, back warm from the sun and a mouthful of saltwater

Beachside BBQs, ridiculously fruity drinks, losing one flip flop on a very long stretch of white and glittering blue

The first inkling of tan, the last day of burn

The steel drum version of Coldplay’s “Speed of Sound”

Bedroom eyes, Lucite heels, Platinum—all seemingly normal for Saturday nights

Getting invited to the VIP section to drink a bottle of champagne, leaving the VIP section because the guy got handsy, getting invited to the other VIP area to dance with the go-go girls, getting tossed out

Having long in-depth conversations on the following: Christopher Pike books*, displaced hipsters, what constitutes “vacation hot” (hint: sun-bleached hair and teeth, shades over eyes to hide a network of wrinkles, jobs as deckhands who never aim to be captains), the sadness of the setting sun, tactics for getting out of dancing with people who don’t understand the subtlety of tactics

How everything on a sunnier island is slightly 'off' (Amstel Light is Amstel Bright, outings are booked by shouting off a dock to a sleeping crew, etc.)

Enough sun block, new bathing suits

Gold sandals and terrific-bad 80s glasses

Ceiling fans, the absence of most other tourists, cover bands

Day-tripping, day-sleeping, night-running

Remembering moments the week after coming down and coming back

* I loved these. I cannot stress this enough. I loved these books more than life itself in my tweens after graduating from Judy Blume—who, by the way, seems to have only terrible novels now, not even good-sort-of-ironic-fun-terrible like Candace Bushnell in a deckchair, pages curled with salt spray, but terrible as in really awful.

Monday, April 16, 2007


that strange flower, the sun,
is just what you say.
have it your way.

the world is ugly,
and the people are sad.

that tuft of jungle feathers,
that animal eye,
is just what you say.

that savage of fire,
that seed,
have it your way.

the world is ugly,
and the people are sad.

-Wallace Stevens, gubbinal

In light of the VA Tech horrors, today is only for sending out well wishes and prayers to everyone in the area, everyone who is looking for or now missing family members and friends, and taking the time to be glad for the time we have and to make the most of it.

Today is for nothing else.

Stay safe.

Friday, April 06, 2007

This is goodbye (for a week)

Well I’m off early Monday to clear my cluttered head and my heavy heart and maybe get a tan on my translucent skin, and I promise to come back and have many stories to tell on Monday, April 16th. Lots and lots of stories.

Salacious! Graphic! Interesting! Exclamation-point inducing!

Don’t worry, I’m coming back in one piece. And you’re welcome to stay. Snuggle up, take off your shoes and stay a while. Actually that's not my Diet Coke so...yeah, sorry you can't have any. But seriously, feel free to touch anything else. Except the super duper entertainment console system. It’s just really complicated, okay? No, see, that’s the wrong remote. What did I just tell you?

Check out some of my old musings/wonderings/whines by checking out my archive. There you might even find how *not* to be a grown-up or what defines a person.

You can tally what I’ve lost and hope to gain.

Or even whose worse: boys vs. girls. Right now my count is girls by a nose.

And all the rest…see you in a bit.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My So-Called, Upcoming Life

I snagged Arcade Fire tickets. I am a GOD! I will sell them for nothing less than a golden idol and the blood of your first born…sorry dude with plot of land (is he for real?).

Blasphemy aside, I’m really excited for the next few months. I’ve got the following concerts to look forward to: Ratatat, CSS, The Decemberists and Grizzly Bear.

I figure if I’m leaving this city, I’m going to do up my last months/year with style.


Tonight a novelista-in-training-girl-date at The Little Owl and next week, a "needed"-by-specious-reasoning-but-very-much-lusted-after week in St. Maarten . Have any of you been? I’m ashamed to say my Caribbean experience thus far has been split between a Carnival cruise and an all-inclusive resort—suffice it to say both consisted of alcoholic Hawaiian Punch concoctions and periodic screaming of “Sprink Breaaaak!” while tripping into a pool so this agenda (quiet sunbathing, notebook-scribbling, Daiquiri-mixing, cabana-sprawling) is going to be a relatively new one for me and I'm dying for suggestions in the area.

This is not my life, not really, yet it’s always fun to moonlight. As though any of this is business as usual; it helps distract me from the 200 pages I need to revise and the 200 pages I need to write to complete my novel…which I’ve promised myself will be finished by the end of the summer (and if I say that and it’s not finished by this summer I can always default to, hey I never specified which summer…I meant the summer of 2012…yeah, yeah…2012).