Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Blowing By

Every weekend after is like an explosion hangover, a detox needed from so much more than the general overconsumption I usually succumb to, but lately it’s been like I can’t catch a moment. On paper it all sounds great, in application, it’s sort of upsetting. There is too much to do. Far too much. And when any of it is done, a handful of other items of equal importance or more fall by the wayside.

Case in point—This weekend I:

1. Went to the Black Kids, Kid Sister concert in the Planetariumand Kayne just showed up in the middle to play some songs. In a word: radical. He was within sweating distance. And sweat he did, as he was wearing some sort of monstrous fur coat. A kid in line offered me a Percocet because my friend was able to buy an extra ticket. The evening’s events capped with a Space Show where a bunch of argyle and neon-clad concertgoers cheered when the Earth did not get blown up by a chunk of burning sun. Robert Redford’s voice narrated and at the end told us that we were all “safe…for now” and the crowd went berserk.

2. Afterwards went to a club (insert grimace) where I was harassed by several men with accents from far and exotic places like Staten Island who wanted to pet my head because I had a really ridiculous fake-fur hunting hat with graffiti on it and for some reason thought I should wear it in a club where girls in bikinis were dancing.

3. Met up with some still-in-college kids and actually had a good time. You would have thought I learned my (cougar) lesson by now, but you know, they just keep coming up to me!* And then I have to be like shaking my head all world-weary and look into the distance like the Marlboro Man, weathered and smoky and say, “I’m fifty seven years old, kiddo, just keep on walkin’.” But for some reason it doesn’t detract anyone. Mrs. Robinson should be a reference on my resume.

4. Made a huge mess in my room and in my own head with piles and piles of dresses that I just can’t fit inside a closet.

5. Worked myself into a circle.

6. Had a revelation about how to structure the novel.

7. Did not write down any of said revelation. Then wished I was one of those really dramatic types who could fall down to their knees and shout, “Noooooooo!” instead of whimpering.

8. Overpromised.

9. Underdelivered.

10. Slept too little, ate too much sushi, vowed to keep Sundays sacred and after a misstep or two, kept that promise anyway.

*Incidentally, I was also at an unbelievable Upper East Side apartment (and I thought I had seen Upper East Side apartments, this one was at least 15 rooms not counting the bathrooms) where I ended up hanging out with a five year old the whole time (he gave me a circular “tour” that lasted almost two hours and kept going into the kitchen for chocolate ice cream). Babies and children love me for some reason. I think they think I’m one of them. They always giggle and run up to me. The same with nineteen-year-old students in New York. I can’t explain it, but it’s horribly amazing.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Quote of the Weekend

“Want to have a dance party?”

“Er, it’s five in the morning.”

“Want to have a dance party?”



**Note to self: do not, under any circumstances, believe that just because something seems like a great idea, that it is, and that those who are sleeping at five in the morning, namely your roommates, will appreciate it.

Friday, January 25, 2008


(Pronounced “GUY-aye-tuss”; rhymes with “hiatus”. Definition: a celibate and purposeful period devoid of dating intended to open up time and energy for other projects like career, friends, family obligations and general mental health).

Last night began my advanced novel writing class to finally get this beast done by Spring.*

And so my writing teacher-slash-mentor-slash-friend told the group—for some reason all girls and for some reason all older than me (again!)—that she was going on a “guyatus”.

What this meant was she was sick of dating for now, was tired of the maintenance of getting her nails did and her wax on and tired of the time-sucking and though she thought it was perfectly pleasant to have someone, say, hanging around on the weekends, said person never really left, and pages of her new book never really got written.

No offense to guys, and this is by no means intended to go on a chick-lit bent, but I was so enamored of this idea that it really got me thinking…and not just to steal the idea myself and pitch it to Cosmo. Well, there was that, too.

This isn’t to say I don’t like dating. I like it a lot—maybe too much. But there’s the issue of not seeing your friends because you’ve got this other person (or people) taking up all this time, you go out too much, you drink too much, you’re high on infatuation fumes and so you giggle at your desk instead of working or working out, or put off that charity work you’ve been planning because you’re trying to catch up on sleep because you were on the phone until 3 AM laughing about a joke that, let’s face it, in two months will not be funny in the slightest.

And you let your novel go for six months collecting dust and seeming more trite by the day because you have a crush, and you should stop having crushes, and stop having plans on Monday night--just because it’s Manhattan and you can eat dinner at 11 PM doesn’t mean you should,--because what you should be doing is working on your mind, finishing your fine arts half-degree and your book, and being there more for your family to help them out and drawing more art to put on your walls because all the charcoal drawings from last semester somehow ended up all being of really big butts because you never stood in a different spot in class and the models were zaftig and splayed out in a position where their butts were kind of in your face and you laughed about it but the teacher looked at you like you shouldn’t so you forced down giggles and just drew a bunch of asses all semester.

Maybe that’s just me.

I’m used to having a boyfriend, or even just a guy in heavy rotation. But I shouldn’t be. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings on either side, but sometimes I think it’s too hard to manage both, you and someone else or you and a million dates. It’s fun, it’s the stuff of Sex and the City, and while we don’t want to admit we sort of want to grow up that way, we kind of do. It looks fun. It is fun.

Hey, let us not forget that I’m a girl. And as girls, I’ll go out on a limb and say we like to feel wanted, we like to feel hot. I hate to admit this, but it’s true. And let me speak for only part of the population of intelligent, strong, independent women out there. But validation sometimes comes in the form of boys. We like to feel like they like us. We’ve been hearing it our whole lives—who hasn’t complimented a little girl in a dress by saying she looks so “pretty”? It’s not wrong, it just is. But the completion of ourselves by filling our lives with the quest for love…it’s the stuff of novels, sure. But not of novel writing.

Perhaps it’s just a matter of time-management or the city or thinking we all deserve the world. Self-esteem and scared of aging and not being desired. Procrastination. The tides. But this guyatus thing really is starting to sound a little brilliant. Maybe because some people think dating sucks. Maybe because some people think dating is so good that it's starting to trump everything else.

I want to pose the question now:

Have any of you sworn off the opposite sex for a while? What happened? Did you build a house, plant a tree, or just watch a ton of VH1?

*And by Spring I mean April because I have an issue with March, as it always tricks me into thinking it’s not Winter, but really, it is, it snows half the time and is freezing and I’m always the idiot with the icicle hair (when wet hair from the shower freezes on the walk to the subway in those really sexy-looking scraggle-dreads) whose warm coats are in an attic in Connecticut because storing them seemed like such a great idea.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Work-A-Day Quote of the Day

“One of the employees just quit. On a post-it.”

“What? What did it say?”

“It said ‘Thanks for everything. It’s just not a good fit.’”

“So she just cleared out her desk?”

“Well she had only been here two weeks.”

“Oh. So all she had were post-its? Now I see.”

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger is Dead. And it's Business as Usual.

Anyone else oddly emotionally affected by Heath Ledger’s death?

I’m no New Yorker and far from a talking head. I can’t shed any light on anything--never have been able to. I’ve lived here for four and a half years but still have no idea what direction is where, only that I can live a long and fruitful life never going back to Dorian’s, I’m not in-the-know or particularly fashionable or worldly, I’m not yet jaded, I oscillate between bouts of unexpected sensitivity and absolute lack of feeling and yet for some reason this week has put all of that up in sharp relief. Happening here, so close to places we all frequent, by a man who seemed to be one of those guys we just sort of saw and admired his normalcy, his Brooklynite life that we ascribe to is just the strangest feeling. This may be the dumbest statement I may ever make: but I am scared and saddened by death—how easy it is, how common it is, how inevitable it is, all the time, and so surprised when it dawns on me for the umpteenth time, and I don’t know if I ever will not be. I don’t know how people aren’t. I didn’t know Heath Ledger and of course I never would have, and my heart is breaking a little. And it has no right to.

Maybe because celebrities live here too, and we see them sometimes, and they seem like extensions of us—a little richer, a little more glamorous, and so we think, a little happier. And why shouldn’t they be? They live the life outside of cubicles, they get to walk outside at 1 PM if they want and they always will. Sure, they pay the price by being followed, but who can say that we haven’t thought they deserve it just a little, for getting to be immortal and unusually immune to the drudgery that pervades the rest of us?

Or maybe because I can’t shake the idea of a universal force that allows us to feel other people’s pain or something just as touchy feely—but it hurts that we’re not supposed to care about this kind of thing, that we feel like we’re owed something, that we secretly want the body bag to be open just a little because we can’t believe that people just up and expire, because of accidents or because they hate themselves or because people hate them or whatever else it may be. I remember when I cried for days when Kurt Cobain died because I was in the throes of SUCH IMPORTANT pre-teen feelings and he had SPOKEN to me, and I see now how silly that was, and maybe how sad, just like I do now, being so much closer in age to the next wave of celebrity deaths, knowing that a lot of us get to live a long time and accomplish nothing, a short time and accomplish something, even if just by punctuating said accomplishments by having a short time.

This thought is all over the place. It’s weird, it’s rambling, it makes no sense. I just keep having one salient conclusion about any of this. I remember when I read Rosencrantz & Guildenstern and I felt something reading it then, turning the pages slowly, when they die on stage, in these sort of bursting fits, they die quite well and they’re told to stop; because that’s not what death is. It’s not dramatic and epic and climactic in its own right, it has no power over us even remotely in the way we have grown up to believe. It’s the lack of living and that is all it is. Not banners flying and singing praises of victory, or honor for dying for a movement. It’s no movement. It’s one day being seen and then never again, not dramatic at all, just fading, memories living on until they don’t, because they’re under our own control and then, very very slowly, they aren’t.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'm...I'm...Mikey...I...I....I rock

The neverending music explosion is one I can bearly stop subscribing to. My own obsessesive quest for something different. How it informs our fashion, neighborhoods, eyewear, blank faces, whatnot. The globalization has made people cool, genre-spawn has made us all hotter. What's bad is good for bad's sake, and vice versa. Backlash to the backlash until we're not sure who we're supposed to support any more. What we like? But we like lame stuff like that one Kylie Minogue song that played that whole summer in Australia. Oh that was some sugarpill I could't swallow even without Victoria Bitters.

I'm getting my wisdom teeth yanked. At my old age. I'm a baby about it. Not for the pain, but because I'm going to miss these Cool Kids performances.

First at Studio B, then at the Museum of Natural History? What could be better?

For just a taste of this low-fi pixie dust, here's the track that's been haunting me all week. Repetition as invention and I'm behind it.

Kid Sister, the other (better) half of Chicago wave, hand dancing finger choreography by Kanye not included.

*Vintage* Alert: Check out this Cool Kids track: nailing bringing back "88".

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


This morning I’m recovering from the 2008 Spin Year in Music Party in bright red Super Sunnies and friends, it is not pretty. Last time I went to this thing, The Spinto Band played as I ran away from a Vanity Fair contributor with a chillum who was a good two inches shorter than me in flats.

Yes, John Norris was there and almost as blonde as his very young Brooklynite companion. And it was my first foray into the Highline Ballroom, which I really liked.

We missed most of Brother Ali, but Ted Leo and the Pharmacists was one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. Not only because they’re just an incredibly charismatic group; but also because they’re so inconsistently stylistically so as a whole. For instance, the frontman/namesake would be jumping around like he was on the Vans tour with these split-chicken-kicks (and they were, in a word, rawsome) while the heavily bearded drummer with day-glo teeth would be pounding away on the skins, looking blankly in the air as though he was solving an SAT math problem. I could almost hear his thoughts, “The train leaves at thirty miles per hour from DeButte, now let’s see here…carry the four…and…” while he was just drumming his arms out. And what’s more, their disconnect completely worked. I really have warmed up to their new album. It’s just as frenetic as their performance—oscillating between this 90s neo-pop-punkish high school rock and twangy little beachblast numbers.

But even the free-flowing alcohol and smashed green glass on the floor as rubberband hipsters slipped and fell because they wouldn’t take off their cardboard sunglasses could not prepare me for the Eagles of Deathmetal. These guys are throwbacks to the part of the seventies I always forget: swampmarsh ‘staches, mutton chops, Aviators, patriotic tats and knocked-kneed hambone dancing with really big round electric guitars. These guys brought the house down so much, it was the first genuine mosh pit I’ve seen since since eighth grade (when I moved away from another town in Connecticut, my friends threw a party and some punk bands played and my dad*—there because the venue would not let us be there without someone over eighteen—stood watching as my friends, my boyfriend and his idiot posse all accidentally stabbed each other with Hot Topic spiked wristbands.) It was like some backwater revival by the end, with everyone split between yelling “Freebird!” and squinting at the stage with a slow and horrible realization of, “Uncle Rick….is….is that you? Get the hell off the stage and stop being so cool!” Because if these guys weren’t the spitting image of my twice-removed cousins from Normal, Illinois, I owe some dude a drink.

Needless to say that after all this I’m crawling back into a hooded sweater. There cannot be play like this and productive job-searching together, can there?

*(And let it be known that my father stood there in a MICKEY MOUSE sweater made by Ralph Lauren for golfing so that everyone would know that he was the dad. Like they wouldn’t? Oh, I’ve been mortified many times since then, but that was my first taste.)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Bye Bye Corporate?

My post-graduate life has been, for all intents and purposes, exceptionally corporate. HR departments, high heels, repurposed computers and repurposed personal mission statements.

And in the search for the next phase, the truly freelance one, the one with no healthcare, the one where the paychecks can run as high as $500 for a month’s work, I’m privy to an entirely new world, one where kids blast music, putting out the cool magazines, in their sneakers, doodling on walls, and I have to keep to myself the following two thoughts:

1. How the hell do I get you to like me enough to hire me?

2. Where are the adults, do they know what you’re doing at so-called work, and please tell me they’re never coming back?

So, the search continues. I think I give a good first impression, but after that it’s all downhill. Off to work on an edit test for a job which pays less than half of what I made last year. Starving. Artist. Indeed.

I’ll leave you with a quote-of-the-morning for a fun job I just got where I won’t be paid in money per se, but instead in their drawing an illustration of me. Isn’t that payment enough, to become a cartoon? I’ll be creating a ridiculous persona who reviews the finest things the city has to offer (like an upcoming event where really rich older women are paired with poor but incredibly hot younger men—yes this is real).

Dude : So…we’re thinking pill popping, disordered eating, blowing lines of Xanax, social climbing, serial dating, well-bred and ill-behaved?

Me: Hmm. That sounds about right.

Monday, January 07, 2008


I have just been introduced to the most amazing website ever after my blog was added by an enterprising Australian (this time, not my Grandpa). It's called stumpleupon.com and every website I click on is incredible in its own way, be it genius, crackpot architects touting zero carbon houses to swarm theory which claims to inform the next phase of military robot intelligence.

And then, there were these, which have brought me to the edge of hilarity, reason and wonder.

The Worst Albums covers of all time. I dare you to look at each of these at work and not get fired for outbursts of hysterical laughter.

Cats in sinks. You know I've wasted hours playing Kitten War. Well now here's the next generation. What slays me about this is all in the descriptors. "What are we?" "Cats in Sinks." "What's that?" "Well, it's about cats. In sinks. And some basins."

Ice. Aptly titled.

Sidewalk chalk art that you have to see to believe.

Please tell me what you find, this is my new addiction...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I don't trust people who claim to like greek yogurt, and other observations...

-You know, the ones that say they like it as a snack. As if they prefer it over things like ice cream. I...I just don't believe you. I don't care if you're adding honey, or, as you insist on calling it, "nature's candy" (that's your first problem), if you prefer it over real candy then I mean...I'm just saying...you're probably a communist. That's all. Nothing wrong with it. I mean, it works on paper. Really,*

-One bird in the thing is worth two things in the stuff.

-The flannel shirt I am wearing at this moment retails for $158 at Steven Alan. This seems so wrong and also like poetic justice for all the sins I've committed in my life. Including buying the shirt in the first place (oh how I love it).

-People who say they don't care what other people think of them are probably not well liked.

- I am not scared of my next life phase, in which we will all turn to yuppies. Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, and my fervent insistence to two separate groups of bearded youngsters this weekend that "when I was your age, Pluto was a planet" has all prepared me for just this.

-Airborne and Zicam do not work, as much as we'd all like them to. I base this on a highly scientific study I've conducted in my bed just now.

-Mothers are always at least half-right.

- The people that act all crazy because they're "artists" and "creative types" and think they don't have to adhere to the common rules of social normalcy and put their heads in their hands when everyone's just trying to have dinner together or vigorously rub their eyes in an affected way of "I'm just trying to control my rage that you don't understand my brilliance" are usually the same people that insist on punching a wall when they're angry and then insist that they don't even feel the shards of plaster embedded in their bloody knuckles and should be avoided at all costs.

-Being mean will get you ahead with all the wrong people.

-Mypod addiction is worse, so so much worse than Blackberry smoking. I almost just based a computer purchase on whether or not I could transfer my songs from one device to another (Mac vs. PC) and afterwards had to go home and sit in a corner and think about what I'd done. You win again, Mac. I need the illusion of being creative, and getting a notebook in black really matches with that ideal, and by that ideal, I mean the aforementioned $158 flannel shirt.

-Boys are all just one hot girl away from cheating on their girlfriends.

-Vitamins smell so terrible, it's just unacceptable. It's like sniffing a condensed foot pellet every time I try to gag one of those horsepills down. Why is there not a patch for vitamins? I would consider thinking about buying that if it were offered at Duane Reade and on sale.

-Give up, never down, at work.

-Not wanting to hang out with someone almost always guarantees that they will always want to, and try repeatedly, to hang out with you. This works both ways.

-Our healthcare system is inherently complicated, most likely because there is a governmental conspiracy to use my wisdom teeth as rogue agents who cannot be extracted from my mouth or else the terrorists will win.

-First all the bands I liked had "wolf" in their name, then "deer" and now it's"bear". I really hope the next round of popular bands is as follows: super glitter merkins, merkin manor, and merkin vs. gherkin (the final showdown for world domination). Pitchfork, are you listening? Make it so.

*Other people I do not trust may or may not include the following: those that wear socks to bed, those that love Monday mornings, those that do not say hello to their doorman, those who speak more than three languages (you might be a robot), those that think any Back to the Future was better than Part II (you might be the devil).

Friday, January 04, 2008

Interview Quote of the Day

Media mogul: What are your thoughts on…sex…using it to get ahead?

Me (reflexively crossing my legs and pulling on the dress I wore): Uh. You mean like performing, uh, ‘sex acts’ (making air quotes) to get hired?

Media mogul (pensively): Hmm, I guess I wasn’t thinking that far out.

Me (uncrossing my legs): Thank God I don’t have to do that again! (Elbowing him) Hey-o!

Not surprisingly, he hasn’t called me in for a second round. Did this joke not translate at ten in the morning or something?