Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Quote of the Day

“So she looked me up and down—all bored and disinterested—and said, ‘maybe’. And to send a picture to her boss to be sure.”

“Wow. Weird.”

“And then I said, ‘and my resume?’ And she goes, ‘oh yeah, I guess so, but be sure to send a picture.’”


“So will you take a picture of me?”

(Pause. Smirk.)

“Preferably one where I’m in the bathtub, in shiny gold leggings, licking a clump of dirt.”

Isn’t it every self-respecting LESer’s dream to work for American Apparel? I would think so.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Without our parents

Winding suburbs hold the remnants of thirteen. When I was invited to the prom as a freshman and it was such a big deal and I had Katie’s mother blow out my hair and wore a short silver holographic dress that could not have clashed more with the enormous red corsage my first official kiss bought for me.

When I had a skateboard but was too embarrassed to learn how to ride it when we all hung out in parking lots waxing on NOFX, sporting crowned Jnco. When we had no idea what it was that we wanted, only what we didn’t, and that core group of girls central to every activity, every tailgating party, every new bathing suit, orbited around each other, inappropriately hugging and exclaiming their love for one another.

Leases, babies, new circles and PHDs later. Yet the vestige of all the inside jokes, back when a Wednesday night was just the beginning of the weekend, comes flooding back. Different friends, upgraded from Newport-sneaking to rimless wine glasses, and the effect is exactly as it was.

It’s quiet on the patio save for our irrepressible giggles, these gales of unfortunate and ladylike squeals coming from girls who, were we to exist anywhere else, would have our act together by now. The problems we face are small to the world, enormous to us in this state, and prompt endless analysis at our sleepover, we wear short shorts and dresses to bed, just as boys would hope we would, and the only thing missing as Friday night fades is our parents yelling at us to keep it down and our own quick eye rolls as they recede back into their rooms.

We have crushes, again, and we want to talk talk talk talk about them, flipping open the glow of our cell phones and thrusting the screens into each other’s faces with see, see when he said this, what did it mean, does it mean he likes me, do you think he might?

We’re looking at each other’s outfits, wilted at the close of business, agreeing that as girls we are allowed just a few minutes of being utterly vacuous as this, because so much of the rest of the time—we insist—we’re enjoying art and other, worthwhile academic and environmental endeavors, we can be stupid together like this because it’s not exactly who we are, or if it is, just a small slice, one that few know we’re capable of, one that independently exists and barely rears its head in opposition to what’s important and what’s okay in the scheme of how one should be.

We know. In the real world there is no laughing about making T-shirts that say Merkin Manor in the Meerkat Manor font, for example. But this weekend…every regression is allowed.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The other side...

There is a flicker in my stomach today; a nervousness for some reason. I can’t place it. Momentary anxiety about life in general. Upcoming. Ongoing. Past-present missteps.

I feel slowly and think quick, though never on my feet. I’m unsure of so much and dependant on so little. I cracked a joke in a conversation that I felt like I was just a figment of my drink-date’s imagination. And said friend laughed for about a half second before vehemently agreeing. That’s how I come across sometimes and the friend pressed for more details and all of a sudden it seemed true. That I was a hologram of sorts. That I was an image and served a purpose; a party favor, a goodie bag.

It was a compliment, and then it was incredibly sad. I carry around The Inheritance of Loss, just forty pages shy of the conclusion and I text while watching bad TV on someone else’s couch. My dichotomy is one in which I reach without stretching my arms, I sing with no voice and I wish but can’t get past the second act. There is a hurdle that has planted itself and on the other side is who I am supposed to be, with the job and the golden circle and the love I thought I was supposed to have. My novel collects dust because the main character has to become an adult and I cannot write what I don’t yet know.

And on the other side is…a question of depth. If I possess the complexity to achieve the expectations. That the desire I have is founded and not just a pipe dream.

I don’t know what I want, but even further, I’m unsure if once I decide, I should be allowed to have it…

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Another notch in my awkward belt

I’m too old for myspace, by my own standard. Kids today. Showing their bits and pieces. Being all cool. With their emoticons and black bracelets that tell the other kids they put out. Sheesh.

Yet I’m on there because everyone knows I heart pretending I’m still young, and lately have been trolling for new bands, accepting friend requests from everyone who asks, including really sleepy-eyed girls I’m not sure actually exist with a lot of Xs in their names (xxHannah HOTTNESSxx, who are you? A marketing ploy for 1-800-we-are-18? And why are you messaging other chicks? You’re not actually a ‘lezz’ like you claim, you just play one on the internet!) and general pervs-slash-hipsters (who can tell today with those mustaches?).

So now, a new low for me and my epic battle with awkward rejection.

I just noticed, I think, someone deleted "our" friendship! I can’t tell who you are, but I know you’re out there. Tell me, I beg of you. What did I do to deserve this? I’ll be up all night. Tossing and turning and bawling; why! Why! Why, person I don’t know if I know, and certainly don’t, considering I can’t tell who you are by the blank space you’ve left in my heart, why! Why have you forsaken me! I’ll so get you for this, whenever I figure out who you are….

I know what I’ll do. Yeah. Myspace justice. How sweet it is. I’ll let my diabolical mind really unfurl for this one….

I’ll send you a comment that’s all “hey so I just heard about this hott new ringtone just go to http://www.ringtones.com/ and check it out playa”. That’ll show you. When you go to check your comments, you’ll think it’s someone telling you how cool you are or a long-lost friend or something. But no. Not that girl that dumped you in junior high who now works at Hawaiian Tropic Zone and desperately wants you back.

Instead…ringtone spam! Muah hah hah.

Oh, wait. I'm having an aha moment here. It's slowly and dimly dawning on me why someone would want to delete our myspace relationship. I'm insane.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


My old adored video set in a cardboard box..

And my new on the wasted set of Donny Darko..

I’d say how apropos, if only I knew what apropos meant. Does it mean appropriate? That seems kind of ridiculous…right? You know, cause it’s like the same word and stuff…

Never, never

It’s time to grow up, he said. I’m not really about all that pleasure-chasing any more. I’m just…so over it all. I left that stuff in high school.

He’s in a serious relationship. He’s cut down all vices until he has none left. He has the next thirty years of his life planned.

Did I mention he’s not even twenty?

Someone should tell you when you’re not-even-twenty. There should be a fairy that follows you around and zaps your thoughts back to where they should be. That you shouldn’t have a serious relationship at the moment of such pliancy; that you shouldn’t be chomping at the bit to get your life together. It’s flux time, you can be liquid for only a few precious years, flitting from underpaid but highly interesting job/exotic locale/beautiful person to the next, scrambling for the free crudités at any function which admits you, staying out all night and catching dreams and strings of drool in the crook of your sweatshirted arm on the subway.

I wish someone had told me. I could have used a lightening bolt. Sure, I wouldn’t have believed it. But today a friend at work and I simultaneously agreed, we wish we hadn’t been beholden to all that we had planned for so long. Our college and post-collegiate worlds consisted of all-star teams that came this close to nationals. And then, we all lost. Big time. Our truest person, our straightest path to that which underscored our majors and every decision we made. And then, at a point without our permission, the decisions began getting made for us. The things we sacrificed when we were really young instead of just sort of young are no sacrifices now. They’re expected and even enjoyed. We should have made a different choice. But when left to your own, so often you pick the wrong one.

I know it’s controversial. Young, true love of a person, place or thing. Blah blah blah. I’m jaded on true love of anything hitting just once and never wavering. It’s exhausted, spent. It’s so utterly important until the moment it isn’t. Then, for instance, you look at the person across from you, the one you were naming your children with, and you go, uuuh…no. Not now.

No thanks, you’re great really, and they absolutely are. But you don’t want them, not really, when you’re nineteen. You want them when you’re both twenty nine. I can’t explain why, I above all people thought this to be so wrong at one point. Now I just don’t. And I’m not one to judge. If you want to be serious and buckle down at an age that most look at you crazy for, good for you. Amazing for you. I could use some of your discipline. I just, right now, don’t particularly agree that you might be happy with your choice in say, five years time.

There’s just too much growing to do in the time between legal age and the fear of turning thirty. It’s hard to grow at the same time as someone else, or a dream that you held since you were still a teenager. Lonely comes hand in hand with freeing. And to do something, secretly and deep down to offset the fear of being lonely, or wrong, or not taking that jump off a cliff because it's scary is not a reason I would advise. Because really, answering only to yourself is the way to be yourself. To take whatever you want while you still can live in a crowded apartment with five roommates, before you have trouble sleeping or bad hair days forgone for finding a gray one. A serious relationship with a person or a job or anything else? Save it for when you can really understand how amazing it is. Because I think, in many instances, and this is of course completely my humble, often wrong, overthought, convoluted musing-laden opinion based solely on a Manhattan-based existence, that peaking should be put off for as long as possible. That being in a rush to hurry up and grow up is a waste of current energy.

That Never Never Land doesn’t give you a stamp to get back in, so you better be sure when you leave that you never, never want to look back.

Of course, all that said, I'm right at the corner of actually growing up for real this time. I won't slow or hurry my pace either way. I'm just planning on rounding that bend exactly when I want to, not whether I feel I should. So I say, you know, until I actually have to do it...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dirty Jerse

The funniest conversation overheard this weekend:

“So he was funny?”

“So funny.”

“And really hot?”

“Yes, so hot. So very hot. Except…”


“Well I met him at the Jersey Shore.”


“So…when we kissed, I smelled self-tanner.”

Monday, July 23, 2007

If I ruled the world...all videos would be in cartoon form

All my favorite videos present and past are animated; all my favorite bands are Scandinavian or emerging from behind the Iron Curtain.

Logic was washed away with this morning’s torrential downpour. Now I’ll give my right toe to anyone who allows me to go home and watch these between Flight of the Concords on demand.

Anything by Los Campesinos. Particularly the video for the latest.

Old summer colliding with new.

Before Napoleon Dynamite made ankle-length snow boots cool, I bet Jonas from Mew already had his own line.

My most treasured videotape from the library when my dad rented it for me when I was seven.*

Where I learned all my dance moves.

An eighties throwback enjoyed a little too much.

When fat rabbits unite.

And finally, my all-time favorite and gold standard.

Any more suggestions?

*For those of you familiar with my dad and his practices, does this at all seem out of character? That instead of Sesame Street I was subjected to Yellow Submarine? This is a man who refused to give up a mailbox war, was one of the first straight men in the entire world to bring a hair dyer and hairspray into the locker room at the gym in the 80s, and was in charge of my Brownie troop since none of the mothers would do it and then took us to see the county jail and to pick up trash, glue-gunning and stapling my badges onto my sash. Best dad ever.

Rain, rain...

Days like these are made for peeking through the blinds, shrugging and sinking back into bed.

If I weren’t ruled by corporate appropriateness, I’d be in footie pajamas jumping on a couch by now…

Instead, a sopping wet dress and heels…grumble grumble.

The fantastically trashy tales of this past weekend to come…

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cheaters, Inc.

A friend and I had a conversation about cheating. It seems, in the world of brand-new singledom, a lot of New York guys out there have an affinity for cheating far beyond that for their favorite sports team.

My friend Anabella knows this firsthand because boys love to cheat with her. Love it. Or at the very least, try to. Maybe it’s her fault because she’s wittier than she should be because she’s also beautiful. Maybe it’s them because they don’t know how to keep it fresh, what they’ve got isn’t just bagged, it’s been delivered to their door to be stored in their houses, locked into a contract for as many years as they want, as long as they still want it.

Whose fault it is isn’t important (I say in her situation it’s the boys who are trying, they’re the one with the responsibility, as much as I’d love to purport the solidarity of the female species by her not even entertaining the notion of exchanging glances if nothing more—namely the consistent belief that if we all stopped being so competitive and snarky that we wouldn’t all be so competitive and snarky). What is important is that as a single girl she attracts the attached. And the attached are biting hard.

So back to the conversation with my friend. I’m asking him—as though one male is the spokesman for them all—why does this keep happening? Does no one value a relationship any more? How could people out there do this to one another? Leave such a terrible emotional wake?

And he says to me, well let’s think about this for a minute. And we do. How great is it to have someone different? Not just new, but unattained? The uncertainty involved? How unbelievable is that chase?

We agree it’s pretty great. He mentions quickening heartbeats and flying hormones. But still I harp on this. Why? Why? Why? Why does it seem that so many people out there just can’t be happy with one person? Is cheating really worth it at all? Is that two hours in the dark worth the ride home back to his apartment that he shares with her? Can good people even dare think this or does that even negate them being good?

And he says to me, well. Is fattening food worth it?

And I say internally, well it depends.

And he says internally, on what?

And I say, are we talking Blue 9 Burger Mango Chili sauce here? In-and-Out for those of you west coasters?

Because if we are, there’s a real problem. My logic flies away.

Because yes, it absolutely is 100% and totally worth it.

We’ve figured out the world of men and women. Cheating is like Blue 9. You may feel disgusting, dirty, wretched and horrible about it. You may very well regret it on some level. But when it’s that good, you cannot say no, it’s so worth it.*

Of course, we decide it’s a trade-off. That hot flash of anticipation vs. standing Sunday plans. People might always be split down the middle.

You can be honest and anonymous, which would you choose? Do you think cheating is ever worth it? Or better yet, what’s better? Being single or in a relationship? Is it the case that if you want to cheat, the relationship is wrong? Or are you simply a sleaze? And is there any cure once you realize you are a sleaze?

Why do people cheat? Or even want to? How bad does this make them?

That might be the real core of the question itself…

Wow, this got offensive really fast.

*Joking. But come on, Blue 9 is so so good.

Quote of the Day

Incurably hip stylist: “You need more rock and roll. A lot more. Like Joan Jett more.”

Me: “I do?”

Incurably hip stylist: “That’s what you’re about under there.”

Me: “Actually, I think I’m more about being a huge dillweed.”

(No laughter transpires. Crickets chirp. Self-proclaimed affirmation of dillweedery is confirmed yet again.)

Incurably hip stylist: “You’re getting a heavy bang in your eyes and a shag. End of story.”

This haircut is way too cool for me.

La Vie en Provence

The famous Avignon theater festival, Louis the 16th and his grotesque horsemen gyrating to “Superfreak”, lights of carousels

Ancient half-bridges ending halfway through the Rhone, the home of popes, winding roads to get anywhere

The prenaturally attractive, overspilling markets, bunches of herbs, paella and prawn heads

The melted ice spring, waving plants reaching green, crumbling house fronts, the aqueduct-inspired

Fields and fields of pillowed lavender

How French dogs strut and French cats preen


Floating rich toast in the broth of bouillabaisse, carafes of wine, the mottled sweep of sycamores

Lakes spread into mini-lagoons, perfume country, green water lapping the gentle slope of hills

The flat, matte sky

Rock beaches, remnants of old ports, buoyant water and striped umbrellas
One week far, far away

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dear Tom Wolfe,

Sure, we’ll admit if you ask us, we’ll always exist in the shadow of gothics. So what? Screw the book humpers who strive to snatch our throne, the galumping athletes who strive to snatch our snatch, sorositutes smoking Parlament slut butts and their wanna-be fluffer butterfaces, the ratchet of pencil necks craning, all that is ineffably described here, amid squirrely fraternizers chasing the golden riot manes of so many soccer girls.

Hallowed means nothing; this is hollowed, we are young and that is the most powerful currency the world contains.

Because we are the essence of alacritous cool, we are everything our weepy tolerant mothers told us through sculpted noses and plumped out trout pouts, we have Patois at our disposal and when the powers that be get all riled up, we lean across and over with a Whoa Whoa ease, Settle Down, Relax, We’re Just Talking Here calming as if to turn away all that we set before us just semesters ago.

Charlotte Simmons? That musty, upcreek cooze? Forget it. The once elegant walnut shelves of the library are warped with the rings of such passersby like that piece of--, their red plastic Beirut cups left to fester millimeters away from the leather-bound second edition imprint of Leaves of Grass.

It’s about us, not that. Look at us! Our teeth are even! And so white! Our hair is blonde at the ends without any bleaching and we resemble any star living or dead whose surname is Grant…and this moment before the mirror, our fifteen seconds, is not one which we will let slip away in our stupor…slip away in our stupor…slip away in our…

There’s no time for looking backwards at those who’ve already passed through these arches, there is only us and here. And it’s all rat tat tat, rut tut tut here. It’s all popsi-cull insouciance to us. Poor man’s Dr. Dre is Dr. Dis instead and we’ve got it all memorized and can recite it with ease. Inconsequential details you may get wrong, but the Patois, that shiz is dead-on. Dead on. Dead. On.

Speed up the milieu, it’s vanities in reverse they say, but we know. We know. People hate us or they love to hate us. We’re not sure which we enjoy more.

We are that bad. And so what? When you’re under twenty one, you’re nothing less than a god.

Vacation reading was I Am Charlotte Simmons. Is it possible to be exhilerated by and embarrassed by my upbringing as much as this? It's not all wrong and it's not all right.

The life of few and unproud is often delicious to read, but does it become my style?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hot for Euro

The driving bass, the old-school drop kicks, vinyl pumping and listless, this is just part of Aix. Kids skittered and drawn in the streets where Goth still rules Chinatown, antique squares dot behind the cobbles to reveal squares of shops, the tragically hip, swaying masses, bottled oils; the entire scene is within the definition of an afternoon.

Beyond the pale wash of window and into the depth of the spinning record, the overpriced spoils of said transition between youth and success shines its brightest; what’s too expensive for its demographic, yet could never be worn by anyone else, I see everything earthly and shallow in the world I’ve ever wanted at every stage of angst.

High-art anime, hoodies emblazoned with AKs suspiciously like the one I thought I designed, Bapes and bones, all for boys or beautiful girls with thin limbs. And then, the most incredible thing of them all.

The most amazing, most stylish, freaking coolingest pair of men’s underwear hanging near a white wall…no…no, not quite. Not underwear. These trump underwear. They could not be called by any other name…they are manties. Oh how they are manties.

Neon manties—graffiti, camo, Aeon Flux capacitor bright green and black and yellow skivvies. They defy logic. They define haute anything. And I have a moment, a flash-forward into my own fantasy land of imagination. What man…what man would wear such a thing and where could I find this…what’s the word…soulmate of mine?

Dear God, what a man to wear such a pair of manties. And while we're at it, what of his girlfriend, should he have one?

Cezanne's studio is completely forgotten, replaced fast by my direction to such a man—I imagine myself somehow as an older Russian woman at this point, and really, rich (don't ask me)—a fantastical Euro man-boy who, on the stroke of midnight, the first Saturday if each month, I would make dance, in those, and only those, and only to CSS, while I cheered:

“Dance! Dance! Dance!”—preferably while a small dog and a strobe light pranced around the room.

I stare at the manties. I can’t shake it. This man who buys these, the righteous dude he must be, I have to meet him. He’s got to be a boy who wears nuggers, an Ed Banger disciple, has a gold chain with a Swarovski skull swinging from the line, an oh-so-subtle mullet cresting (which seem to be all the rage in Aix)—or better yet—a shaved head—he’s bronze, lithe, has the baddest of all badass tattoos snaking across his—no wait, he’s got a sleeve—even better, and he dances, in manties, for CSS or for me, with a cigarette drooping from his bilingual mouth, wristbands, seventies Aviators on, cap tipped to the side, in a ring of glowsticks which I keep tossing at his feet every time she echoes “Death from Above.”

I so want to buy them. But for who? Who, do I know, could possibly wear these with as much irony and glee as they deserve?

I leave them be, knowing the man who buys them will reach them only after I leave them. Of course.

Man, if only I had been born in France…in Aix…and was a hell of a lot cooler…

Friday, July 06, 2007

Bon Voyage...

I am off, for ten days, and hopefully, nowhere near a computer.

It may be less censor-worthy and more café dwelling this time around; my uncle has arranged a tour of one of our favorite wineries, my parents have rented a house in the south of France with too many bedrooms and a very small pool, and this will be the first vacation since I was a teenager where I don’t have the company of someone my own age.

I guess this is what it means to be an adult, though how adult is it really to be going on vacation with your family? Especially when I sneak off to moodily pout in an effort to meet temporary euro-friends far cooler than I?

Of course everything seems that way, the struggle to understand how to operate autonomously, singular, or just harmoniously with the forces that surround us. For me, but I always think too much anyhow. There is too much waiting in this world I occupy and I have too little capacity for it. It’s hard to keep rock-steady without such breaks. It seems you can’t get one until you have one. So to have the opportunity to come back with a fresh perspective and the latest motivation for the rest of the book is a lucky one. And possibly a tan and spandex jeans, if it comes to that.

Since it worked well last time, let me let you open the hood and poke around inside.

The format here is oftentimes none too conducive for showcasing what started as a story warm-up and degenerated, lately at least, into random musings interspersed with one liners. There was a purpose, I promise. Though I can’t remember, at this moment, what it is.

I think it had something to do with Trader Joe’s…

Wait, that wasn’t it. Oh right, the search for selfish self.

Navel-gazing at its best.

While I’m away pretending to write more of the novel but more than likely getting an avant-garde haircut, smoking unfiltered cigarettes and wearing incredibly high heels, please stop in from time to time and check out some of my so-called greatest hits.

My lists, those streams of words which catapult me from cube to cabana in an instant…

My blatant attempts to be semi-famous that were semi-noticed…

How no love can match mine for a perfect tomato.

Who I am, where I’ve been and where I might be going, how I plan on getting there, what may or may not come to pass.

Even how much time is spent in my own confusion.

And I will be back, with semi-florid prose, deeper descriptions, sunburnt shoulders, and a newfound appreciation for all that I know. Plus, a little missing only serves to bolster.

Isn’t it always the case that you don’t know what you got until it’s gone?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Game Continues

The just-bestowed grand world champion of my favorite new game: who has the world’s most hilarious pickup line?:

Our newest winner comes to us from the Mercury Lounge at about midnight.

Righteous dude (prep shoved into a hipster jacket) unzipped about three deep: “Hey!”

Me: (nothing)

Righteous dude, coming over: “Hi.”

Me: “Hi.”

Righteous dude: “How’s it going?”

Me: “O.K.”

Righteous dude: “You’re a fox. (pause). Wanna take a trip to Poundtown?”

Probably the funniest thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life. If I was a guy, I would so say that to everyone I saw. All the time.

Best. Fourth. Ever.

Monday, July 02, 2007


I leave for France on Friday, and my only goal is to meet these guys. Sure, they're in Australia for their tour, but...I may be destined to marry them. Man, I love this song and video too much for words. The album is so good.

Also, this is the best thing I've ever seen four hundred times.

And for your viewing pleasure, the Kill Bill version.

With videos like these, aren't you just glad to be alive?

The Osprey

The shaggy haired hipster named Owen, leaning in close, looking down into my eyelashes: “You know what I like best about you?”

Me, looking up from my drink, thinking inebriated. My sparkling wit? My taste in music? My leggings (they are kind of ridiculous, I was hoping in a good way)?: “No, what’s that?”

The shaggy haired hipster named Owen: “You’re really, f*cking hot."

His blue eyed friend overhearing: “Yeah, like Japanese-hot.”

Me, looking back into my drink for the words: “Oh, um, thanks. Huh. But I um…am, you know, not Japanese. I’m not even Asian. At all.”

His blue eyed friend: “Yeah, but you’re hot enough to be."

Suddenly I fast-forward fifty years, telling a curly-headed granddaughter with a golden tan how I met her grandfather.

“Well, Elliot. Your grandpa was quite the charmer. He told me I was hot enough to be Japanese! Oh yes, it was love at first incredibly odd compliment. That’s when I knew.”

I did get three SoCo and lime shots and an invitation to a beach house out of it. The stories just keep on coming as the summer unfolds…

Now if you too have a hilarious pick-up line/story, I'd love to hear it...