Friday, February 29, 2008


Things I (am marginally ashamed I) never liked:

Rent: the musical, the soundtrack or the idea

Red Bull and vodka, together or separate

Lipstick, espadrilles, massages that include the limbs (stay on the back! stay on the back! I don't need you to rub my elbow!)

Media gossip, celebrity news, famewhores (though I am entirely addicted)

Polenta, asparagus, January

Pets without fur (lizards, birds, fish--they belong in the wild and not in your bedroom)

Photo Ops (must I close my eyes and open my mouth in every single shot?)

Sample sales (the excess of consumerism meets someone else who grabs the bag I wanted)

Talking about sex with any of the following: parents, friends who I would never want to see naked, friends who I have seen naked, friends who I want to see naked

Chick Flicks (except for the following: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Bridget Jones's Diary)

Grrrl bands, sing-a-longs without a karaoke machine, when people insist on seeing "who's taller" and make you line up against them and then stand really tall and you always lose (am I alone on this one?)

Chick Books with hot pink titles and shoes on the cover

Fiery Furnaces, Joanna Newsom, 70% of Williamsburg, the Upper sides, most of "Lost" (I'm easily infuriated by it)

The Yankees, The Mets, The Frick

Away messages, saying TK "is the new black", psuedo-intellectualism, intellectualism that rides above my own dim understanding of intellectualism

For the most part, Kubric (I'm SORRY! I must be too stupid! I just...don't love him like I should!)

Text messaging, Blackberries, making the bed

Bath products that smell like food (chocolate, vanilla), drinks that taste like bath products (I'm looking at you, expensive drink I had the other night that tasted like French lotion)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Buenos Aires

Trips of this magnitude tend to sneak up.

When you’re, say, coughing up a lung/peck-typing at your half-finished novel at three in the morning/feeling very Dickensian/only pausing for furtive glances in a different direction to watch the snow ice over. Then it’s quite easily done and undone. My room is a jewel box where glasses of water line the surfaces and my life stretches out beyond the door. People ask about life plans and I can’t tell them anything concrete. That hasn’t changed.

I’m here and soon, not. Maybe the sun will solve the problem for me. I tend to think that most of the grander life issues can be mitigated by sand-dusted feet and mild sunburns, jumping on a hotel bed, Spanish-mangling, bikini bottoms, too-strong coffee and an abundance of red wine.

I’m flying to Argentina in a week. I have done absolutely no research as I thought March was further away than it was and I no longer have a desk*. Last time I was this involved in planning my well-being, I ended up driving a tractor on an Australian banana farm. Clearly, I am not to be trusted.

I have a friend there. But nothing else, not even an idea of what to expect. I’ve heard it’s an ex-pat paradise, ripe with novel-worthy inspirations and European sensibilities. Our homebase is Buenos Aires and we’ll be there for a week. I’d like to think I’m open to just about anything where I don’t end up robbed (though my travel buddy is a bit less adventurous and that’s why we’re staying somewhere with central air). Have any of you been? Do you have any suggestions/tips/recommendations? Any place that you heard is not-to-be missed? Anything at all would be greatly appreciated…

*Having a desk provides inertia for so many things. I find when I go to a physical space to do work, I do more work. Similarly, the opposite. As in, when I am typing on my computer in the bed, I do more napping and then send follow-up emails to prospective staff positions at midnight. This can’t look good.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Remembering: 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…

****Just found out I'll be going back this summer. Here's hoping I find him this time...****

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Why and Why Not

1. He’s married
2. With young children
3. And is your boss

Dear God, Annabella, no! Have we come here, right here, already? To the point where we’re meddling not only with boys who are “just about to” dump their girlfriend (not that this is okay, but I mean, I’ve seen it unfold to stellar people and no longer pass judgment) but now with our bosses, who are married, with babies at home?

I love her, not her choices, as it were. We’re at dinner and everyone’s testy, the weather has turned, our waiter will not. I don’t feel at all like sipping the perfunctory wine I ordered. I’m chugging along in the conversation and staring at the wall. I will not judge. I will not judge. I think I can. Will not judge.

The candle at the table flickers upon certain words. Children. Won’t happen again. Rain splashes down from the vintage ceiling and a fat drop hits me in my sweatered elbow. She’s talking and I don’t know what to say, what to do, what to feel. I open my mouth and then shut it. She knows what I’m thinking. That’s why she tells her story in parts, doesn’t look us in the eye, drowns herself in her glass. And I want to go home to bed but it’s ten on a Friday night and I’m not allowed.

I say one thing, hoping it doesn’t sound vitriolic. She can take it or not. I won’t make her because I feel I can’t. And maybe I am overreacting. Maybe they’re meant to be? Of course then it seems, it wouldn’t be so painful. It wouldn’t have happened this way.

She throws me a look and I know what’s unsaid. Who am I to say what’s good and what’s bad? I can’t separate myself from past relationship wrongs. I’m sabotaging two perfectly great job opportunities because I can’t decide what I want. I look at my wisdom teeth in a jar and when noone’s around, shake them like maracas. I’m…not quite a person who knows what she’s doing in life.

And then, part of me is aghast at myself for not righting this moral injustice, vigilante-style. That I’m not so disgusted with the idea that I take it upon myself to march over to midtown and shake the living hell out of both of them. But she’s an adult, they both are. They’re older, more established, I’m younger and can’t find my soapbox. We leave, unsatisfied and feeling like we can’t talk about it. And we can’t.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Project Runway


So this morning I was at the Project Runway finale and because no one asked us to sign a confidentiality agreement, I’m spilling the beans!


Final five! All remaining designers had lines today (do they edit out a few or something so that jerks like me don’t tell everyone what happened?—I think they must). Sweet P, Chris, Rami, Jillian and Christian all showed.

Highlights: Sweet P’s pink striped suiting (way better than it sounds), Chris’s models (America’s Next Top Models Bianca and Danielle) Rami’s blue draping on a short dress followed by a skirt suit, Jillian’s unbelievable coat (and America’s Next Top Model Jaslene aka Cha Cha being less caliente and more haute in a silver-trimmed dress), Christian’s choice of music.

Lowlights: Sweet P’s color scheme (mauve and yellow? Blech!), Chris’s everything else (red and black velvet—I shudder even writing this—the man suffers from the same curse as Kane, who was also in the audience—very talented, no taste), Rami’s military-olive tone overload and Christian’s over-the-top high fashion—was beautifully done, but mostly beige and black and somehow ended up boring.

Midlights: Posh Spice as the guest judge (meh), all the old cast members in the audience (Jay, Laura, Daniel), Heidi Klum’s shiny hair and teeth (note to self: eat more avocado), Tyson Beckford, Nikki Taylor, Padma from Top Chef and the rest of the Bravo crew.

Absence of lights: D-list sightings: Julia Allison of Gawker fame (they love to hate her, shall we say?) was in the lobby, gesticulating wildly, in an unsightly candy pink prom dress which Nina Garcia would not approve of, a Blair Underwood lookalike in the front row, a bunch of models who didn't make the cut for the shows looking pouty and sleepy stumbling to their seats.

I say Jillian should win, but they might just give it to Christian because of “potential”. Lame.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Yesterday I had my wisdom teeth removed (one normal, one partial impaction, two bony impactions). Today I look like a little chipmunk in a red sweatshirt, holed up in Connecticut, icing my face and smashing up ice cream and milk, licking the spoon.

My movies are lined up: all groggily grabbed from the "New Releases" section of our local mom and pop video store.* My orange-toned pill bottles are stacked like a frathouse beer pyramid and on the top, the strangest and most important bottle of them all: the teeth (I asked if I could keep the teeth; my oral surgeon delivered. And they're big! And they're crazy looking! Real teeth that were, less than twenty four hours ago, part of my skull!).

It's a far cry from Fashion Week champagne flutes, The Super Bowl festivities, Super Tuesday revelations, going overboard with my friends and Restaurant Week and my free-floating job search. Instead it's sleepy suburbs and redesigning a brochure for my mother's business, trying not to jostle my dissolving stiches. It's updating my iPod, it's sleeping in spurts, the dog next to me. Sometimes it's great to be home-home, and now is one of them. During the week, during the winter, happily going through a bag of found vintage magnets, all sorts of things that don't happen in an apartment where days fly by in favor of nights. I keep moving my computer to different parts of the house. I tiptoe after twelve. I wear sweatpants and a headband two days in a row. I avoid writing my novel (that hasn't changed). I sleep a little better. I move a whole lot less. There's only one thing that's hard so far:

I watch my family eat dinner the same way my cats and dog do. There's cornbread and pork chili and brownies and we give our best begging eyes to be thrown a scrap. We want to eat people food. We're not allowed. We get pointed to a bowl of mush and then all go sulk in the living room before taking a nap.

*This is the same place where once I rented "Sophie's Choice" and "The Hills Have Eyes" at the same time, to the disbelief of the owner.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Cougar Quote of the Day

Me: Okay, lightening round. You first.

Him: Hmmm. First hip hop album bought?

Me: Easy! The Chronic.

Him: Me too!

Me: Really?

Him: Yeah. Wait, you mean The Chronic 2000 right?

Me: (long pause) Uh....yeah. (nervous laughter). Yeah, that's right


Kids today.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Fashion Week

I’m running around like a chicken with her head (couture?) cut off. Because of my innate (insane?) need to involve myself in as many projects as possible, I am an on-camera reporter and writer for Fashion Week. It started this morning, but I’ve been working since Monday.

First assignment: interview a Japanese designer with no direction whatsoever. Camera on? Okay, don’t screw up, because fifteen people are watching you. Oh and did we mention this designer doesn’t speak English? No? Oh, well now that we’re rolling, I mean, you should know that. So nod like you know what she’s saying and then reach really awkwardly and far over to the translator to nod again while she talks. Also stand so that you’re blocking some of the designs because they don’t debut for another five days and if they leak, it’s your fault. Go!

Excuse me cameraman? Can I have a do-over?

Next up, high design on the west side, where celebrities flit by and I’m on my second cocktail by the time we’re told the cameraman isn’t coming. So, hey how ‘bout you do the interview while the photographer takes pictures and you transcribe it? Didn’t bring your notebook because you thought you would be on-camera? Here’s one sheet of paper. Write down everything you both say but stay pretty for the photographer. Smile! And, hey, do it standing. Yeah, write everything down on one piece of paper on a floppy folder that keeps collapsing while you’re asking your questions (standing so said floppy folder keeps a-floppin’) during the show. Ignore the dozens of photographers who are also taking your picture (because you are the only one who is with the designer), most likely with your eyes looking closed because at this point you have to keep looking down not to scrawl entirely off of the page and into thin air. Hey isn’t that that chick from ‘Fraiser’? Over there! No, don’t look at her! What were you asking again?

Today’s mission: think that the show is under the tents when it’s really been moved to Gramercy for some reason no one on this Godforsaken earth knows. And wear your most expensive dress in a monsoon on the way there. Then, as soon as you arrive, looking like a drenched rat, have a PR girl tell you your interview starts NOW. Sure, you have time to change into your Jimmy Choos, but not to look into a mirror. And…go! Then later interview a male model who, even though you told him three different times your questions (one was—what is your name?) and what his answers should be, still purses his lips together and looks confused before your prodding, which finally leads him to answer.

Complain, complain, is it really so hard to see fantastic fashion shows, have up close access to the designers, score goodie bags of NARS blush and expensive face serums, free drinks, great clips for your resume? No, not it is not so hard at all. Now if only I weren’t such an over-gesturer on camera…