Friday, June 30, 2006

Surfer Rosa


Oh, and don't forget to have a loooong weekend.

The Standard of Living


Her husband had telephoned her by long distance to tell her about the leave. She had not expected the call, and she had no words arranged. She threw away whole seconds explaining her surprise at hearing him, and reporting that it was raining hard in New York, and asking was it terribly hot where he was. He had stopped her to say, look, he didn't have time to talk long; and he had told her quickly that his squadron was to be moved to another field the next week and on the way he would have twenty-four hours' leave. It was difficult for her to hear. Behind his voice came a jagged chorus of young male voices, all crying the syllable "Hey!"

--Dorothy Parker, The Lovely Leave

Some Kinda Love


Last night, I was early to meet a friend at an art gallery in Chelsea. Well, technically, I was late and she was even later, but it was pouring down rain so punctuality was not a factor. On my way to the gallery, I shared an awning with a psychic, in front of his neon sign that advertises, “REAL LIFE PSYCHIC READINGS.” I asked him how long the rain was going to last and he predicted twenty minutes. He was a little off.

When I reached the art gallery, I really, really had to pee-- sloshing through Chelsea, talking to psychics; it has that effect on you. So I asked the first person I saw, who looked like he knew what was going on, if I could please use the bathroom. He took one look at me, a pathetic, soaking wet nothing, and said, “No, it’s a mess. You can use the one across the street.”

“Oh, I don’t mind the mess. Please?”

“Well, I do. Swim.”

Swim, he told me to swim. I love this city! For all he knew, I could have been Peggy Guggenheim’s great granddaughter, scouting out new artists, or ok, yeah, he knew that I was definitely not Peggy Guggenheim’s great granddaughter, but still, what a fabulously New York answer!

It’s like that old joke, where the tourist asks, “Can you tell me how to get to the Empire State Building…or should I just go fuck myself?”

At the Chime of a City Clock


Every morning, Monday-Friday, I wake up ten minutes earlier than I have to, so I can use this stash of time to reach my office building at 8:45, instead of 8:55. This gives me a solid ten minutes of people-watching. I either sit with my coffee, at one of the tables in Bryant Park and I watch people or I walk, around 42nd street, and catch glimpses of people as they hurry past me. Either way, I am never at a loss for human scenery.

This past week, the people on these two stretches of land were particularly unusual. On Monday morning, as I stepped off the train at Grand Central and walked up to 42nd Street, I was confronted with snow on the sidewalk. For a split second, I panicked – as if Monday mornings were not gloomy enough, New York is presenting me with snow in June. After that instant, though, I realized I was being dramatic (it happens) and utterly gullible (which also happens). New York was just being cute, using piles of salt for snow on the set for some movie with that kid from Billy Elliot. Everybody else was rushing past, blithely walking through the snow. There were only a few of us who were fazed by this mid-summer apocalyptic winter wonderland, and I’m pretty sure, judging from the fanny packs and cameras, that the rest of the curiosity seekers were tourists.

And yesterday, at 8:35 in the morning, there were three Snapple hot air balloons floating above Bryant Park. I think this is some mode of extreme advertising, because there were acrobats hanging from these balloons, doing flips 100 feet above ground. After asking around, I found out that these were not actually professional acrobats; Snapple, in the process of promoting their new Green Apple White Tea, was offering free “para-bounce” balloon trips to anyone who weighs between 85-225 lbs, as long as they sign a release form. Again, this was a defining moment, setting the real New Yorkers apart from the rest of the world. To see people, in the foreground of these balloons, with their backs turned, speaking on their cell phones at the top of their voices, about private matters, completely ignoring the fact that there were three gigantic attention grabbers behind them -- it was us and them. In any other city, I assume, this would have been a spectacle, but in New York, it’s just any other morning.

I considered taking a quick balloon ride before work. Wait, that’s a lie. Truth: I never considered it, not even for a second, not even for a split second. Because of my aversion to heights, I do not think that the people of Bryant Park would appreciate a sea of puke dropped on their heads at 8:35 in the morning.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Marriage is Gay

Sorry, I know I promised that I wasn't going to write about my roommates anymore, but this material is just right there and I can't not record it.

The following exchange occurred last night, between Anne (who quit her job back in May in order to plan her wedding, which is not until December) and her Fiance (who is paying Anne's rent until the wedding):

ANNE: Hey, hon, how do you like your sandwich cut, diagonal or vertical?
FIANCE: Diagonal, please. What about you?
ANNE: Vertical.

Awkward silence

ANNE: OK, bring the chips to the kitchen, so I can put them on the plate.
FIANCE: But I like eating chips out of the bag!
ANNE: Well, that's not good for you because you can't tell how much you're eating and you're libel to eat the entire bag in one sitting. Here, I'll put them on the plate.
FIANCE: OK, I didn't know this was a mind game.
ANNE: What are you insinuating? I'm not trying to be manipulative; I'm just trying to take care of you!


FIANCE: I'm so sorry, hon.
ANNE: It's just that I'm trying to take care of you and you totally blew up at me!

Awkward silence

FIANCE: I know. It's totally my fault. I was just kidding around. I'm so sorry. I've had a rough week.
ANNE: It was funny at first but then you wouldn't drop it!

FIANCE gets up from the table, slowly walks into the kitchen, and hands ANNE the bag of chips. ANNE reaches out for the bag and the couple embraces. ANNE is still shaking, as the FIANCE comforts her, whispering ensues, followed by the sound of lips smacking -- MWAH, MWAH, MWAH.

End Scene

Oh Anne. That was almost as bad as the blowup of December 2005, when you two argued about whether your (future) children will open their presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. Now I am not one to talk, as I will never win a man through his stomach, but everybody knows that potato chips taste much better directly out of the bag.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mambo Sun

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Some Candy Talking-- (SPOOF!)

Dear Blahg,

After Gawker’s last chop, I started receiving all kinds of friendly e-mails from all over the place. There’s the most charming nurse in Ottawa, Canada, who wrote to tell me that I need to keep writing, so that she can live vicariously through my mini adventures in New York. I also heard from all kinds of kids in my position, who really feel my pain, and even chopped about it in their own blogs.

That’s when it hit me: I am meant to be a blogger! Screw publishing! All of those commentators crawling through the monitor, telling me how ungrateful I am and that I never should have studied literature to begin with, well you were all correct! I don’t need publishing, I don’t even need to work! I can just write in my blahg all day long and who cares if I don’t get paid for it?

After quitting my job yesterday afternoon, I feel like this huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, you know? It’s like the world is finally laying itself out before my feet, the way it’s supposed to for a girl like me. When I told my parents I quit my job, they were a little pissed off at first. They were all, “What?! You better find a new job soon or you can kiss that trust fund goodbye, young lady.”
And I was like, “OK, fine! But I just need a couple of months off, to get my act together. Please?” And they agreed, only so long as I make good use of my time. We also decided that with all of their connections at Conde Nast, finding a new job will be a breeze.

So today, I went out with Kaavya Viswanathan, because she’s in town from Cambridge for the week, and we went shopping all day long! It was fun at first but that little intellectual kleptomaniac sure can be a bitch when she doesn’t get her way. She was all, “No, if we don’t go to the Louis Vuitton store right now, then I am going to freak out.”
This was a serious problem, because I wanted to see the new fall line at Marc Jacobs! So there we were, in the middle of Madison Avenue, just shouting at each other. We both had to have our way, you know?

So we went our separate ways. She went to the Louis Vuitton store and I went to Marc Jacobs. I bought the coolest gladiator sandals! And I was just in the middle of trying on a dress, when my RAZR starts ringing, guess who? It was Kaavya, crying all into my headpiece, sobbing about how sorry she is, how she hopes I’m not mad at her and, just to make it up to me, she bought me a Louis V., baguette bag. So I forgave her (even though I really wanted the new Coach tote) and we had a nice lunch together. Although that girl is so brainless, that she actually consumed carbs! We talked about all sorts of things but, mainly, just chick lit.

I was like, You know, Kaavya, if I ever get around to plagiarizing, I’m going for the real goods. I’m going to rip entire passages out of Faulkner's cannon and cut and paste the shit out of Shakespeare. And when I get caught, I’ll just say, “Oops! Is that Shakespeare? I thought that sounded familiar!”

And she gave me some tips about how to act for reporters and critics and she explained to me how no idea is really original and how authorship is such a western concept -- it's those western publishers who forced her to put her name on that book! Poor girl. Then we talked about boys and all that stuff and we had a very deep conversation about how Misshapes has gone straight down the tubes, with all these kids from the outer boroughs, whose jeans are bootleg at the bottom, instead of tapered, and how they have the audacity to use ‘summer’ as a noun instead of a verb.

After lunch, we were both kinda tired, because you know how exhausting shopping can be! So I went back to my two bedroom apartment, put my new shoes in the extra bedroom, that I use to store my shoes in, and took a nap for the rest of the afternoon. I’m so glad I don’t have any roommates; that would totally mess up my napping schedule!

And tonight, we’re going out for drinks with some of our other friends. Except I already told her that I cannot spend $500 on drinks this week because, after quitting my job, I really need to make an effort to be more responsible with my money, or my parents money, whateves.

Ok, I have to run now, dear blahg, because I need to get ready for tonight!

Yours Truly,

Monday, June 26, 2006

Automatic Midnight

That was the very first weekend I’ve had in a very long time in which I did not step off the island of Manhattan, not even once, not even for Brooklyn. Friday night, we hung out with Apollo and Mackie, a smashing pair, Mackie with a gold lightening bolt charm necklace and Apollo with his tiara on, perched to one side, leading the way like the Pied Piper of the Lower East Side, right into Tonic, where he haggled our way past the cover charge. We ended up at a spacious loft party in SoHo with four gold records on the walls, dancing, a chance encounter in the stairwell, and, strangely enough, office cubicles.

Saturday, I was actually early for once, to meet my friend, Mr. Hook (seriously), on a boat party at the Chelsea Pier. So I wandered into the first party I saw, which was a luau, with a burnt pig staring up at me from the buffet table -- wrong party. I was supposed to be at a birthday party on the barge, where the food was much more appetizing. Although, I guess you can get seasick on a barge, or at least I felt a little nauseated after a while, so I met up with my gal Tina on the Upper West Side, wayyyy up there on 110th, had a business consulting meeting and then, once that party became out of control boring, we split, heading back downtown.

Somewhere in there, somebody gave me a business card, oh so this is networking. I networked. But then, between the West Village and the East Village, I lost the business card, so is that still networking? And I met a cat, named Tolouse, who made me want to claw my brains out; I’ve never been more allergic to anything in my entire life.

After all of that, I decided I am still not used to island living, because when we saw a gigantic, dead rat, on the corner of Rivington and Stanton, at 6:30 on Sunday morning, I was the only one who jumped back in terror.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Life On Earth

Per our bartering agreement, I spent a great chunk of my week at Apollo’s store, ironing out the kinks in his manuscript. There is quite the rotating cast of characters, in that little shop, my favorite of whom is Macki Star.

I’m not sure what exactly Macki Star’s purpose is in New York, but she is in town for the summer, from London, reveling around the city as a bright young thing, and she seems to have gotten the hang of it so far. About five hours after she arrived from London, she wandered into Apollo’s store and dropped $700 on a garden variety of designer items. This is an estimated figure because between the three of us, we couldn’t quite determine the current ratio of pounds to dollars, so Macki gave (or did Apollo take?) a blend of dollars and pounds. She is so SPECIAL that Apollo didn’t seem to mind the mixed currency.

Much later that night, I received an e-mail from her:

HEY GIRL !!! (thats quite american no?!!)
MACKI STAR****************XXXX


Because out of all the typos in all the world, my most beloved is the instance wherein an exclamation point is substituted by the number one. It's a shame that you so rarely get to see this typo, really it is. It’s like Macki was so wound up, that she just let it rip on the keyboard and couldn’t be bothered by that parasitical number one. Why would she? And that’s how Macki speaks, too: She SHOUTS AT YOU, LIKE YOU’RE AT A REALLY LOUD SHOW AND YOU JUST SAID, “WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

Now I can’t wait to introduce Lucy to Macki, bringing the Scottish and the English together, right here in this little melting pot of New York.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

You’re going to study literature and get a job doing what? Literaturizing?

Back in February, when I was fiercely dumping my resume into the enigmatic e-mail depth of publishing HR departments, never receiving a single goddamn response, I started applying to anything and everything I could get my hands on. Now it is the month of June and I am finally hearing back from a company that produces informational posters for medical waiting rooms. I thought nothing of it until I clicked on their link and read the following sentence, from an article about a psychiatrist who treats her patients through brain music therapy:

"The treatment was born when a group of clinicians, researchers, mathematicians, and musicians translated different ratio of brain wave rhythms into musical frequencies by using 18 transformation algorithms for 120 musical instruments."

What does that sentence even mean? Why 18 and not 19 transformation algorithms? And what in the world is a transformation algorithm? It sounds like witch’s brew, complete wackos. I had to meet these wackos.

And so yesterday I went on a job interview. Wait. Let me rephrase that: Yesterday I went to an interview for an internship, at a medical poster company. But give me some credit, I’m not cheating on my new job, that I started only three weeks ago; I just had nothing better to do on my lunch break.

I thought, at the very least, they would send me away with a goody bag of various prescription drugs to use at my own disposal. I had imagined an office full of new age hippies, oriental rugs, and employees wearing mahjong tile earrings and thinly veiled layers of boho gear.

When I arrived for my interview, I was sorely disappointed. It was just a normal office, with average-looking employees and no sign at all of free prescription meds. And my new, fake prospective bosses were kinda cute. One of them had this Christian Bale thing going on, except with curly, blond hair, and the other had a slight resemblance to Dermot Mulroney, except with less hair.

Once we began the interview, I realized that they were serious: they wanted me, a 24 year-old, post grad, to intern for their poster company. They offered a small stipend, heaps of “experience” and a metro card.
“Is it an all access card?”

They explained to me that there were over 200 applicants for the Mediabistro listing they posted back in February and that they just now narrowed it down to a ten lucky few. They made it seem like it was an honor for me to be there.

Now. What in the hell is going on around here? This is a sad state of affairs for all the post grad English majors floating around this city. There were 200 of us applying for the same internship. This is not an internship at The New Yorker; it’s a 36X48 inch poster. So, someone asks what you do for a living. Oh. I work for a poster, for free. Consider your readership: Every week, your writing would appear in waiting rooms across the country, where phlegmatic hypochondriacs and Alzheimer patients would read your articles if only to be distracted by stale issues of Newsweek. (Need I insert the quip here about how the Alzheimer patients would only forget your writing after about twenty minutes?) And what these guys were telling me is that over 200 people wanted to work for them, for free. Really.

Let’s back up for a second. Before we were all pegged as the "Entitlement Generation," before the influx of English majors in the workforce made it socially acceptable for employers to enlist desperate graduates as slave labor, and before parents agreed to support their precious babies in this time of dire need, there were no internships. My parents never did an internship and the same could be said for the Baby Boomer Generation. This is because the only people originally meant to do internships are the doctors. Doctors do internships because once they complete their internships, they are fully prepared to save lives and they get paid a lot of money to do so. That’s real money, not metro cards.

One only has to examine the role of the economy in relation to that of the intern. For the Baby Boomers, they had no other choice but to find valid jobs. As a result, they were able to build substantial incomes and raise children who would be able to afford the luxury of doing other people’s grunt work for free. Maybe also it is a question of work ethic? In the olden days, perhaps, the executives were more willing to spend longer hours doing their own grunt work? I don't know.

And yes, maybe I do feel a little entitled. Yet I consider it more a matter of pride than entitlement. I did everything the right way; I held three internships throughout my college career and now that I have been out of college for over a year, I feel that I deserve a real job that pays me real money. If I’m not getting paid for it, I do not feel I should have to stand at a copy machine for twenty hours a week while a couple of spoon flipping 30-somethings take credit for my work.

So anyway, that’s how I feel and that’s why I thanked them for their time, grabbed a sandwich, and went back to my real job. Maybe, though, maybe if they had offered me some pills in addition to the subway pass, I would have accepted that internship.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

En Garde, Society!

Last night was ADAM FRUCCI’S improv show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Improv isn’t really my thing, but it was funny enough, I suppose. OK fine, I fell asleep during the second half of the show. In my defense, it was, like, 2:00 in the morning and Adam’s skit was already done. Also, this is a girl who fell asleep during the final Star Wars and the same goes for X-Men. Bygones.

I think I don’t really have a thing for improv because I truly value the art of a real joke. I like the set up and I like the punch line and I like the ‘huh?’ that follows. I do appreciate the way improv theater forces the performers to think on their toes, but I still wish they could slip a couple of solid, old fashioned (yet not outdated) jokes in there.

Adam sort of achieves this in his writing. He is a paid blogger. That is, he gets money to maintain his blog -- isn’t that nice? Yeah. The Sci-Fi channel pays him to write about all of the newest gadgets, like an iPod that can hold every single song ever made in the entire world, and other mind-blowing scrap that nobody really needs, but, nonetheless, everybody secretly wants. If you look at some of his posts, you’ll notice that you can skip through the bulk of mumbo jumbo techie speak and cut right to the final line. I mean, I would never do that, but you could if you wanted to, just to see what a good punch line looks like.

Besides, I laugh at Adam all day long. The key ingredient to holding down one of these office jobs is that you must have a friend who is willing to shoot the shit with you all day, back and forth, through e-mail. This cannot be any friend, though, no. This friend has to make you laugh and he must be able to do so on-call, no holds barred. Without a friend like this, you will not survive. And there’s nothing funny about that.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dead Finks Don’t Talk

Last summer, I hardly went out at all. I was living at home, rent-free, in order so that I would be able to go out when I moved to New York. Every night, when I got home from work, my mother and I would watch the next movie in queue of her Netflix account. We always stick to the classics, because those are really the only movies worth watching. One night, she had a special surprise in store for me: Looking For Mr. Goodbar (1977).

"You’ll like it," she told me, "it has Diane Keaton."

"Oh! Like Annie Hall?"

"Kind of."

She’s a wily one, my mother. Yes, Looking For Mr. Goodbar stars Diane Keaton, as a single girl in New York, but Annie Hall it ain’t. Conversely, she plays the role of a young woman, Theresa, with loads of Freudian family drama crapping up her life. This, presumably, causes her to lead a dual existence: that of the kindergarten teacher by day and the hedonistic party girl at night. It would be a fun film to critique because Keaton portrays Theresa in such a way, that she is simultaneously sympathetic and galling, carrying the audience through an otherwise severely mottled plotline.

After moving out of her parents’ house, Theresa moves into the same apartment building as her sister (played by Tuesday Weld), where, after getting rejected by an older man, Theresa begins to lose interest in her job and focus instead on the seedy nightlife of Manhattan. This is 1977, so there’s a terribly outdated soundtrack and, because AIDS wasn’t even a mysterious rash yet, Theresa begins a downward spiral of sleeping with any man she can get. One of the men, in her string of one night stands, a very young Richard Gere, is even a bit fanatical, surprising Theresa at her apartment anytime he wants to get laid.

At its root, Looking For Mr. Goodbar is an anti-female film and if it didn’t have Diane Keaton in almost every scene, fluttering through the film as she does in each of her movies, it would be a total flop. Because the entire story is told from Theresa’s point of view, Keaton is presented with the task of providing her audience with a multilayered character, who deliberately pursues these men, in spite of the palpable harm inflicted upon her.

Directed by Richard Brooks, the master of the bitter and violent ending, Looking for Mr. Goodbar serves up a fairly predictable final scene: with Theresa bringing home the wrong suitor, on New Year’s Eve, and getting hacked to pieces while a strobe light throws slabs of florescent flashes onto the blood spattered walls of her studio apartment.

I don’t know if my mother was actually worried that her daughter was going to move to New York to become a huge slut, but this film served as her cautionary tale against such a lifestyle. No, I never had the intention of slutting it up all over Manhattan, but after seeing that ending, I was scared shitless of New York in general. I always liked Seattle and now even Nashville wasn’t looking so bad. The next night, when I returned from work, there were two movies for me to choose from: Annie Hall and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I think that was my mom’s way of getting me out of her house and on my way to New York.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Into The Void

On more than one occasion, I have been asked, "How on earth do you get around?" This is because I often give the impression of being lost, even in neighborhoods that I should be familiar with after nine months of living here. When lamenting to one of my dearest, in town from Arizona for the weekend, that I can never seem to be on time for anything in this city, he tells me it’s okay; my continual tardiness imparts an air of mystery.

Last weekend, after my usual course of trial and error, I managed to make it to the Band of Horses show at the Bowry, the Lolita bar, and the Whiskey Ward, to bid farewell to my oldest friend of all, who is jumping ship to Boston (utter sacrilege).

I’m embarrassed to confess that I do not at all know my way around Queens, which is why, in a series of blunders, we almost spent our Saturday night in Jamaica. Yeah, you heard me right: four, white, liberal arts educated kids didn’t make it to a party in Queens because they were fucking lost.

Moving on: I do, however, know how to get to My Moon, in Brooklyn, and onto the rooftop of one of the best spots in Williamsburg, where, upon seeing the view, my newest friend, who just moved here from Rome, threw up his hands and exclaimed, "Manhattana! There’s so many people!"

Friday, June 16, 2006

She Bangs The Drums

When I lived in England for one year, I somehow managed to make only one non-American friend. (What can I say? The British are a fish-cold crowd.) This particular friend, Lucy Brown, from Scotland, is one of the few people I know who lives at a pace I cannot keep up with: She can drink me under the table ten times over, she smokes more than I can, she curses more ferociously, she gets crushes more easily, she stays out later, she sleeps harder, she generates ideas faster, and she makes it all look so painless.

And just last week, I received an e-mail from Lucy, informing me that she will be in New York for the summer, taking a course at Columbia. I'm excited to see my old pal, but also a bit nervous as I'm not so young anymore and this means that I will not catch a single piece of sleep for the entire summer. As she so aptly wrote in her e-mail, "We're going to eat apples in Central Park together and tear that city apart!"

I can't wait.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Over and Over

Oh man. We're in reruns now, dear blahg. Last night, I had about an hour to kill before my friends’ show at Pianos, so I ended up wandering into a little boutique on Orchard Street. I had just stepped through the door when I was greeted by a tall, lean fellow with golden locks.

“You special. Give good vibes. What’s your sign? Libra? Aquarius? Taurus? Scorpio? Capricorn?”

“No,” I tell him, “Pisces.”

“I was about to guess that! I could tell. You’re such a Pisces. Beautiful. You’re beautiful. Find something in my store; you must have something as beautiful as you are.”

I began looking around the store, which features off kilter garments from independent designers based out of LA and New York and wherever. Among the t-shirts held together by safety pins, puff painted tank tops and dresses festooned with rhinestones, I selected the most conservative item in the store: a light grey, wrap-around skirt that gathers at the bottom, with only the slightest hint of ruffles, and a small slit up the side.

“Oh yes! Perfect for you! You must try it on right away. With these t-shirts made by my friend, Julie. Perfect for you. Try it on right now. Wait, are you carrying a Marc Jacobs?”


“Good. Marc Jacobs is shit. All these Marc Jacobs whores come into my store and I’m sick of them!”

I went behind the curtain of the dressing room and emerged two minutes later wearing the skirt. It was only then that I noticed the price tag. For somebody who hates Marc Jacobs, this retailer has no problem with selling items at Marc Jacobs’s prices. Oh well, there's no harm in playing a round of dress up.

“That skirt is you. You are the skirt. You must take that skirt right away.”

“Yeah, I like it, but it’s a little far out of my price range. Thanks anyway, I love your store.”

“NO! Forget the price. You need that skirt.”

I looked in the mirror. He was right, I do need that skirt. I started rationalizing spending the money: if I didn’t eat for the next two months, maybe found a second job, yes! that skirt would be mine. Also, if I owned that skirt, I'd never have to buy another article of clothing ever again. It’s so versatile and timeless, that I could dress it up or down to suit any event and, eventually, would pass it on to my great grandchildren.

“What you do for a living?” he asked me as he fooled around with the tie, shifting the skirt into a dress.

“I work in publishing.”

“No! You too beautiful for publishing. But maybe you look at my poetry manuscript, tell me what you think?”

“Sure, you should e-mail it to me sometime; I’d love to take a look at it.”

Next thing I know, a manuscript is being shoved into my face – New York, My Whore, by Apollo Braun. Turns out that Apollo, who moved here five years ago from Israel, has been looking for an editor; turns out that Apollo has a deal for me: in exchange for editing his poetry manuscript, he will not only give me a large discount on the skirt, but also a free purse, store credit, and a credit in his book. Oh, and pay me $8/hour for my time. And take me out to dinner with his boyfriend.

Now how could I possibly turn all of that down?

Instead of shaking on our new deal, Apollo embraced me in a three-minute hug. He told me all kinds of things; how he loves me, how he’s not cheap with his love--true, he loves everybody, but only to varying degrees--how we will be lifelong friends, how special I am.

And then he directed me towards his computer and told me to get to work. I looked more closely at the manuscript. Not only is it 300 pages long, but it’s also rife with errors in form, more specifically, the line breaks are totally off and every single one needs adjusting. This will not be easy. But I will do it for my new friend and, mainly, because I need that skirt.

Apollo thinks this is fate: that I happened to walk into his store at the very time he was looking for an editor. I disagree. No, this is just the way my life unfolds.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

It's Gonna Take An Airplane

Look at that! Yeah, so what if I'd never heard of Hadid, even though she's "as famous as Koolhaas." What matters is, by the time we reached the second tier of the Guggenheim last night, I was hooked on these farsighted designs of fragmentary spaces. This awe only escalated with each stairless spiral of the installation, so that when we reached the very top of the exhibit, all of the architect’s sci fi-esque compositions hit me at once. After the Museum Mile stretch, we headed over to Korean Town, where, between the three of us, we ate a seven course, three hour dinner, which is still resting now in the very bottom of my stomach.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Once, not too long ago, I was showing yet another visitor around my new city. We were passing through Time's Square, on a Sunday afternoon, and I was talking about something that was important to me at the time. I do not remember what exactly I was talking about, but it was important. I stopped when I noticed that my friend's eyes were glazed over; he was not listening to me.

"What do you think about that? Did you even hear what I just said?"

"Huh? No, I'm sorry. There's just so MUCH going on! Hey, do you think that army recruiting station would show up on my camera phone?"

And then I realized that we were in the middle of Time's Square where, indeed, there is quite a bit going on, and I forgave my friend for not listening to me. I helped him find a good angle at which to shoot the army recruiting station, which is plotted smack in the center of this block of capitalism, and I let my friend continue with his daze. But I couldn't remember when that shock wore off for me; when Time's Square became just another block. I am no longer mesmerized by capitalism's frankness, as my dandy Marxist friend was, and the army recruiting station, the raw military power at the center of this consumer spectacle, is just another obstacle among the globs of tourists that I need to get past in order to reach my real destination.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Oh and thank you to Josh and Gawker for the chops!

Bulletproof...I Wish I Was

Last weekend, it was me and the boys. Hansa was in town on Friday night and we have a steadfast agreement for his visits: we spend half the night at fag bars, the other half at straight bars. We began at Mr. Black on Bleeker St., where some DJ from Fischerspooner was spinning, or something, and I was one of three girls in the entire club. This is fine by me, only because gay boys make much better dancing partners than straight boys. When it was time to clear my end of the pact, we headed alllll the way over to Clinton Hill, where, again, I was one of only three girls at the entire party. Much different scenery, as the DJs, friends of mine, were a monkey gang of bros slobbering all over a microphone in a drunken attempt to rap in couplets. Things turned a bit awry around 4 AM, when I tried my hand at the DJ stand, and we split.

Saturday, Al Gore’s little power point presentation made me wonder why they bothered remaking The Omen (especially with that pancake-faced Julia Stiles), which was already kind of perfect to begin with, because An Inconvenient Truth is the scariest movie I’ve seen all year. Watch it.

Then it was time for the long awaited Dungen show, at Irving Plaza, where I fell in love with that band once more. They were just as charming as the last time I’d seen them, a couple of months ago at the Bowery, and, again, the audience was mostly made up of dudes. Except with the venue change, it was more of the NYU frat boy assortment, than the music junkies who can fully appreciate the beauty of an obscure Swedish band that employs a flute, effects pedals, and gibberish lyrics.

Sunday was Puerto Rican Pride Day and I felt it, I swear. No, not really. Instead I met up with a friend, who I haven't seen in over two years, at the land marked courtyard of the Apthorp Apartments (chandeliers in the elevators!), and ate another goddamned vegan meal. Only in town for the weekend, my little philosophy buddy was escaping from the cloistered world of academia, and we ended up conversing in that beguiling way that only philosophers do: talking in circles, around and around.

Friday, June 09, 2006

House Full Of Garbage

dear blahg,

i already resolved not to share with you the details of my new roommate, julie. i will not tell you how julie, who just dumped her fiance one month prior to their wedding, is using our living room as a graveyard for the wedding gifts she has yet to return. but i will tell you that when i came home at 1:00 in the morning, after a night of drinking with friends, i almost tripped over a brand new, unopened cuisinart. among the household appliances that julie does not plan to return, is a mini trampoline.

apparently trampolining is all the rage right now, so far as home exercise is concerned. i never knew that 'trampoline’ could make the transition into a verb. but that's beside the point because now this mini trampoline resides in front of our tv, where julie will soon start bouncing along to a set of dvd routines. why can’t she do yoga? all you need for yoga is a compact, quiet mat. and a soul with a side of kashi cereal, or whatever.

this is not my problem. i already informed julie that while i am delighted with the health benefits of her exercise program, if she even tries to follow through with this bouncing before, say, the hour of 12 PM on saturday and sunday mornings, she will promptly be kicked out of the apartment. outside of that area of time on those two days, she is free to bounce all she wants, because this is new york and i feel no sense of solidarity with my neighbors. i am not at all concerned for the sanity of those who live underneath my living room.

i will tell you this, blahg, now that i have witnessed the implications of being both a bride-to-be and an ex-bride-to-be, i am glad that i am neither of those things. either way, you’re stuck with all this stuff and who really needs all that stuff? if you’re in julie’s position, your weekends are consumed with getting rid of all that stuff; in anne’s case, entire weekends are wasted away by running errands in order to get more stuff. the only difference being, you have some asshole to run errands with, or so i've heard.

me? i cannot wait for my weekend because i have no errands. some day, in the very distant future, maybe i will decide that i want somebody to run errands with, but not this weekend. besides, you don’t need a cuisinart to prepare ramen noodles.

so, dear blahg, i will not use this forum to muse about the ensuing hilarities of living with a bride-to-be and an ex-bride-to-be, because i already learned my lesson on the perils of blogging about one's current roommates in the face of searching for future roommates.

in fact, this entry never happened.

over and out,

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

How To Live Well On Nothing A Year

OK, fine: How To Get Free Beauty Treatment in New York On Little A Year

Last week, I was on the train going home after work, when the woman sitting next to me said, "You got pimple."
I looked up from my book to find a middle aged Asian woman about two inches from my face.
Yes, I get a pimple in the exact same spot in the exact same time of every month and, somehow, the world manages still to go on despite this travesty.
"You want me to get rid of it for you?"
I imagined this woman popping my pimple right then and there in the middle of rush hour and, after considering this proposal for no more than half a second, I politely declined it.

Turns out that Liz, my new pimple-popping friend, works as an aesthetician in a salon on the Upper East Side. Turns out that Liz, otherwise known as Shoyong, moved here from Korea about a year ago and now lives in Bayside. Turns out that Liz had a business proposition for me: in exchange for free facials, she wanted me to give her free English lessons. I search Craigslist all day looking for bargains like this so, naturally, I shook her hand and made a deal.

I know, I know, “Oh Lucy! Didn’t you learn your lesson the first time, when you got that botched haircut for free?” But hair is hair and a face is a face and Liz isn’t a student, she’s a professional with flawless skin. Besides, a facial is really nothing more than paying somebody to put a mud mask on your face for an hour.

Well, not quite. Tonight, I met up with Liz, at her salon on the Upper East Side, and followed her past a row of girls, my age, whose handbags cost more than my entire education. Some of them were getting pedicures, some of them were getting manicures, and some of them were getting pedicures and manicures at the same time. Besides the employees, I think I was the only girl in the joint with dark hair. It's true what they say -- all the blondes in Manhattan seemed to be in this salon on the Upper East Side and some girls were even getting highlights, to make their hair even blonder!

I cannot fully explain what happened in the next hour and a half because I’m still trying to process it all myself. True, there was a mud mask of sorts, but it felt more like sand than mud. Yes, sand being ingrained in my face, that’s exactly what it felt like, but not in a bad way. And there was steam, lots of steam. And then a bright light followed by sequential pangs of discomfort that began to add up to a source of unnerving, if not unbearable, pain. I felt like my face was going to fall off and then, just like that, Liz stopped her exercise in torture and everything was pleasant again. She slathered a bunch of junk on my face and hands and shoulders and we were done. I walked out of that salon feeling like jell-O.

Now it was time for me to fulfill my side of the deal. I must confess to you, blahg, as I did not confess to Liz, that I am not well practiced in the art of teaching. I just thought I would wing it, as I am well practiced in the art of winging it. So we went to a diner a block away, sat down in a booth and began talking. Liz’s English is not that bad but she definitely needs some help with pronunciation. I asked her questions about her life and helped her form answers, mostly through good old-fashioned word association and pantomime. However, after twenty minutes and two rounds of iced tea, we ran out of things to talk about, at which point, I began to stall.

Liz suggested that we work on her reading skills. Now that I can do. The only problem is, the only material I had on me was a week old New Yorker and a three decade old John Updike novel, neither of which is suitable reading for an ESL student. Thankfully, there was a discarded People in the booth next to us (this week's issue). Together we educated ourselves on Brad and Angelina’s baby girl, why Paul left Heather, and everything I never cared to know about American Idol. That took care of twenty minutes. Oh, and we created captions for the glamor shots in the beginning of the magazine. That’s ten minutes.

More conversational chit chat to follow until I make the executive decision for the two of us to take a field trip to the grocery store. Liz had been letting her daughter take care of all the grocery shopping and she expressed some interest in helping out with this responsibility, but admitted that the task of shopping made her a little scared. Again, I cannot fully explain what happened in the next hour and a half, but I will say that although neither of us bought anything at Gristedes, I now feel a strangely intimate knowledge of that grocery store and could, with confidence, list everything in its inventory. The same could be said for Liz, I think, who is now able to differentiate between items that are on sale, items that have already passed their expiration, and items that are not worth buying.

Deal sealed: a facial in exchange for an English lesson, a bittersweet experience for both parties. Ta da.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Truth?

When I saw this commercial last weekend, I laughed and laughed and laughed. Oh how far Skittles has come in their marketing campaign! Remember their cheery little psychedelic 'Taste the Rainbow' spots? Look at 'em now! They're showing a creepy dude, with an old man river beard, stealing his boss's Skittles and then caressing her face, with HIS BEARD! Seriously. Can you get any funnier than that? Nope. I'm convinced that somebody from my generation hatched this simple little thirty second spot because it's so wry, so outlandish, and so completely idiotic. I am genuinely excited to see what other creative insights my peers spit out in the next few years, so get cracking everybody.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Dog and Pony Show