Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Xmas, Happy Hannukah, Blessed Kwanzaa, etcetera!


I probably won't post again for at least a few days, and possibly for the duration of the holidays. Why? Because I will be eating.


I just wanted to thank you all for reading my blog, which was born of last year's New Year's resolution, and thus will turn one on January 2, 2007. Writing has helped and healed me this year. It has made me laugh and, if you calculate the hours I blogged at work, probably has earned me at least $800. Most importantly, it's given me courage. My New Year's resolution for 2007 is to submit writing to agents, magazines, and newspapers. Wish me luck, and have a wonderful holiday!

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sleep in Heavenly Peas

This image reminds me of me and my sister. It seems every year around this time, we have the same conversation:

ME: (chewing on a cookie) I want to be excited about Christmas, but I have too many stresses. Including charging so many presents that I made my credit card explode.

ZOE: (gnawing at a chocolate Santa) I know. I'm sad. Want to watch 'My Super Sweet Sixteen'?

Emotional eating aside, though....
I love Christmas. I LOVE Christmas. During the days leading up to Christmas, my heart (and, less joyously, my stomach) grows at least three sizes. When I breathe, I smell nothing but fraser fir. When I blow my nose, tinsel comes out. Lest you doubt my Yuletide-itis, I'll have you know that I have seriously considered naming my kids Holly and Ivy (for their sakes, I hope they are girls -- fingers crossed!)


My parents have always made a big, BIG deal of Christmas. We had, of course, the Santa myth, complete with bitten cookies and half-drunk glasses of milk (and, later, scotch), the piles of presents, the stockings and carols and homemade cotton swab santa ornaments, but we also had a zany kind of humor that carried us through the holidays with nary an emotional scar (hey -- that was then). My father spun tapestries of obscenities as he strung Christmas lights, made all the more filthy when yelled over the CD player, out of which wafted the angel-bell voices of castrati English school boys singing carols from Kings. My mother taught my sister and I how to make roll-out cookie cutter creations topped with egg white and sprinkles, and always sang "sleep in heavenly peas" at the end of "Silent Night", in tribute to her girlhood misinterpretation.


Unsurprisingly, since I am of the VCR generation, movies play a big part of my Christmas rituals. Some of them are classics that anyone who doesn't have an icy hole for a heart loves, but some of them are much more suspect. Do you ever catch yourself watching a little-known, ridiculous movie (that, say, has Dudley Moore starring as an elf) and thinking, where did I find this? Was it a treasure passed down from your parents, or just a slow night at Blockbuster? Anyway, oops! Got a little cynical there. I LOVE Christmas! And I love you, you old Savings & Loan! And you, George Bailey! And you, Emmet Otter! And you, Joe, you little street urchin! And you, Natalie Wood, making that monkey face! And you, Bill Murray, and you, Carol Kane, and you Charlie Brown! (But not you, Linus, you pretentious, spoiled baby.)




Most of all, of course, I love my Heavenly Peas: my sister, my mother, and my Dad. Without you, I would not be so obnoxious this time of year.


























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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bank of America: The U-Haul of Banks

I fought the Man, and I won. Behold, my story of triumph (this is a brief and much more comedic version of a longer, sadder story, the full writing of which would be too emotionally wearing. Just hearing the word ‘deposit’ could conceivably bring on a nervous breakdown).

One sunny, unseasonably carbon de-oxygenated, ozone-depleted day in December, I skipped to the bank to deposit a check from my mother, who was graciously saving my ass from overdrawing my bank account. I had been very sick with laryngitis for the past few days, and was strung out on DayQuil, hence, I had a senior moment and neglected to actually put the check in the deposit envelope. That night I realized my mistake and deposited the check again, for real this time.

Fast-forward three days. I try to use my debit card and am denied by the woman at Wholesale Liquidators. “This is a mistake,” I tell her. “I have plenty of money in my account.” She seems unmoved.

I return to work and look up my account balance online. My balance is $-888,888.88. Something is amiss.

I call Bank of America. They helpfully* explain that the bank suspects me of defrauding my account by falsely depositing funds. Apparently, when the bank suspects this, instead of calling you up, they take $888,888.88 from your account without asking. Apparently this is routine. When I helpfully* ask if they are trying to give me an aneurysm, for Christ’s sake, they hang up on me.

*In these cases, “helpfully” means “not at all helpfully”.

I go to Bank of America. The tellers there cannot help me. They give me more phone numbers. Each person I call is less sympathetic than the last. One even tells me that people “deposit empty envelopes all the time. You’d be amazed.” That said, I am still suspected of fraud and my bank account is in the process of being closed.

“You can close someone’s bank account without calling them?” I ask incredulously.

“A letter was sent out today, m’am,” I am told.

“Why not just toss a note in a bottle and pitch it into the Hudson?” I ask. This gets me the dial tone.

At the urging of my mother, I sit down and file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. I write outraged, articulate letters to the CEO and President of Bank of America. I drink champagne and clutch my last remaining $40, cash, while indulging macabre fantasies of my disgraced credit score leading me straight to debtor’s prison, which I imagine to look like the bowels of the Delancey Street subway station, outfitted with cells.

A few days later, I open an account with Commerce Bank, which I know must be nice because they have a mascot with a cartoon face and legs. Bank of America has an American flag; I should have known I was doomed. As soon as I get to the office after opening my new account, I get a call from someone named Matthew, from the CEO’s office at Bank of America. He tells me that he’s received my BBB complaint. He tells me that he’s personally overridden the decision to close my account. In fact, it’s open now and all of my money is available. I thank him and hang up. And then …

And then, a strange feeling comes over me. I feel powerful. I feel like I just kicked someone’s ass. I feel like the luckiest wretch in all of Christendom (and of Jewdom). There’s a skip in my step. I buy myself a celebratory Peppermint Mocha, pay my overdue credit card bill, and fantasize about closing my account with Bank of America, possibly wearing a fedora, possibly throwing around words like “morons” and “good-fer-nothins”.

I beat the Man, and I must gloat. One little letter from an indignant customer who never has more than $1,000 in her checking account and they fold like a bunch of pansies. Let this be a lesson to us all:

Bank of America got beat up by a girl.
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This is what I get for not posting in so long ...

Oh, GOD. I can’t believe I have left that rapping post up for so long. It was meant to be one of those silly posts that soon gets buried under better ones. I didn’t KNOW that I was going to lapse, that I was going to spend weeks running around like a Peppermint Mocha-fueled madwoman, falling into financial ruin (more on that later) and drowning my sorrows in vats of honeyed ham and medicinal (read: rum-infused) eggnog. I NEVER would have purposefully left my lackluster rap stylings up at the top of my blog for so long. Sigh. I bet a bunch of book publishers looked at it in my absence and clucked, “America doesn’t need a white-girl rapper, especially after that Northern State debacle. What we need is a modern-day, a little less Greek, a little less gay David Sedaris in the form of a cute girl who excels at writing self-possessed essays of no more than 1,000 words.”

Sigh. I'll bet that's exactly what happened.
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Friday, December 8, 2006

One Time Only: Una Raps!


I don't freestyle, EVER, but I feel inspired by my incredibly talented friend Lin's new musical, In the Heights:


We met in 7-7 when I still had one eyebrow

And holy shit! It's been fourteen years now

You're such an inspiration 'cause you're showin us all how

To sack up, pack up and follow our dreams -

Just like Billy Joel you always go to extremes

Promoting your new show

Your passion we all know

You've stayed up so many nights

So many rewrites

You've poured your heart and soul in and I know it'll be tight

And all your biggest fans'll say we knew you when in hindsight

The famous Lin-Miranda who blew up with In the Heights


Go to ticketmaster.com NOW, before it becomes the next Rent.


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Thursday, December 7, 2006

If Santa himself was blocking the entrance to Hammacher Schlemmer, I would tell him to move his fat ass.

Because Christmas Una must be anesthetized with Captain Morgan's-spiked eggnog at all times, she is unable to summon the snarkiness required to unleash her vitrol at the masses of assholes Christmas shoppers clogging the city streets. Luckily, the Gawker editors can read her mind.
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Monday, December 4, 2006

Deep Thoughts: Larynx Edition

One of my favorite “Would you rather …” questions asks if you’d rather be blind or deaf (not a great choice, granted, but a telling one). Most people immediately answer that they would rather be deaf, but I have always maintained that I would rather go blind. Don’t get me wrong - I’d be devastated if I lost my sight, but I think I’d feel more disconnected from the world if I lost my hearing. Closing my eyes right now I can hear my co-worker’s alt-rock CD playing. I can hear people talking, the hum of fluorescent lights. If I listen harder I can hear the thrum of traffic outside on the street, the Shaolin monks upstairs jumping on the floorboards, the click-click-click of typing at the other end of the office. I open my eyes and imagine what it would feel like to see everything but, instead of the chaotic cacophony I'm used to, hear only silence. That, to me, would be the loneliest feeling I can imagine.

I’m bringing this up because, for the past two days, I have been unable to speak. I have lost my voice completely to laryngitis, so severely that if I try to scream no sound comes out, as though I’m stuck in one of those nightmares. The best I can muster is a gruff cough, and I have to write things down, or perform frantic mime, in order to tell someone something. It has been unspeakably (ha ha) frustrating not to be able to communicate, so much so that I realize how much I take speaking for granted. I think it’s true that many of the most important things in life require no words, but take away my ability to easily communicate with other human beings and suddenly I feel invisibly quarantined. I guess it just makes it all the more clear that, to me, connection is being able to hear and be heard rather than to see and be seen.

Also, you know, I can’t order Chinese food and that really sucks.
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Friday, December 1, 2006

Ode to Mucinex


My friend … Lana (names have been changed to protect the innocent), once upon a time, had a job working as an assistant to a busy, corporate type. He had various friends and colleagues who would call up and joke with her, or flirt, as middle-aged pencil pushers are wont to do. One day, Lana picked up the phone and a very strange, robotic voice was on the other end.

“Hello,” it wheezed. “Can. I. Speak. To. Rob. Ert.”

“Hello, Mr. Martian!” Lana chortled, assuming it was one of her boss’s friends. “How are you doing today?”

“Can. I. Speak. To. Rob. Ert.” The robot implored.

“Of course!” Lana laughed, “I’ll put you right through. Goodbye, Mr. Martian! Have fun on Mars!”

She put the call through, and a few minutes later her boss popped out of his office.

“That was my Dad,” he said. “He’s had a tracheotomy.”

BA-DUM bum.

Anyway, thanks to a cold, that’s how I sound today. Like Mr. Martian crossed with Lindsay Lohan after five straight packs of Marlboro Lights. It’s kind of sexy, if viruses turn you on.

Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Una VS Uma: The Throw-Down

I was actually looking at "U" Baby names in order to write a little piece about the burdens of having a name that means “The One”. I’ve had that nickname with a number of boyfriends, and, well, that’s not a term to throw around lightly, especially when someone is going to, I don’t know, dump you on your one-year anniversary or sleep with your friend. But I digress.

The point is that everyone always calls me Uma. They assume that because there is one freakish Aryan celebrity giantess with than name that I must be saddled with a clunky “m” instead of the “n” I was born with. Not anymore, though. Here, in print, UMA is defined as “a form of Una”. TAKE THAT, alien woman! I OWN you! And you SUCKED in “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

Okay, I’m done.
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Una and Jeff's Engagement Campaign 2006-7



First we hit the Westerly Sun. Now the New York Observer.
Next, the world!

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I Have Way More to Be Thankful for than the Pilgrims Did. Cuter Shoes, For One.

Things I am thankful for, in no particular order (well, actually, that’s a lie – I’m putting all of my touchy-feely items first. No one wants to be listed after Tootise Roll midgies.)

My soon-to-be husband, the love of my life;
My mother, who does a mean jitterbug;
My sister, who I would love even if she lived in an igloo made out of toilet paper rolls;
My father, who brings down the house;
My extended LaMarche family, who have lovely, wicked senses of humor;
My extended Chuse family, who have art in their blood;
My new Zorabedian family, who have welcomed me into their scatological clan;
My beautiful, brilliant friends, who keep me sane;
Tootsie Roll midgies (coming in at a respectable 9th);
The Sunday Times crossword;
Nina Simone;
A good cabernet;
Street musicians;
Blue jeans;
Just-picked Macoun apples;
Red nail polish;
Arrested Development (the show, not the hip-hop group, although they’re pretty awesome, too);
Lombardi’s pizza;
Block Island;
Magazines;
Nora Ephron;
Garrison Keillor;
Cheese;
Central Park;
Mittens;
Bagels;
And, of course, cute shoes.

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hello From Guest Blogger Christmas Una!


I am sad to say that for the next 40 days I will not be posting in my right mind (do I ever post in my right mind, you ask? To which I say: touché). Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, my sarcastic and self-deprecating demeanor is replaced with the kind of cheery, snowy, sparkly optimism one expects to find in Santa’s most medicated elf. I just love the holidays. I LOVE them. I don’t know where this comes from. I guess it’s just part inborn, part because my parents always made a big deal of the holidays, and part because I have never had a traumatic experience that tainted my Christmas cheer forever (my grandfather had two aneurysms around the holidays, but was good enough to wait until December 26 both times. He was a big Christmas fan, too – always with his fake tree that spent the other 11 months of the year in the closet, fully trimmed – and I remember that he referred to Jesus quite often, mostly in times of great frustration, and with “H. Christ!” tacked on to the end). So, you know, it’s innate.

I am just one of those people who find comfort in the bright and joyful (some might say façade, I say…) magic of the holiday season. I truly believe, deep down, that cold weather plus red plus green plus trees plus eggnog plus overpriced gift wrap results in peace, love, and goodwill towards men. I have the spirit of Linus and George Bailey and Bill Murray at the end of Scrooged combined. I hang lights and stockings and plan entire days around the baking of reindeer-shaped cookies. I have an almost scary affection for Christmas music, which you can find me listening to as soon as the tryptophan hits my bloodstream.

So basically, if you thought Engaged Una was bad, get ready for Christmas Una.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, y’all!

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'm Not Making This Up: "Suggested Searches" on MSN.com

Gay marriage
Tamiflu
Fra Angelico
Muslim veils
Zune

There must be a message here. Gays. Bird flu. Italian Renaissance master. Hijab. MP3 Player.

What does it mean?
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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

That Was Easy

I have been told that I don’t fuck around when it comes to shopping. I’ll walk into a store, point, and purchase. No lollygagging for this girl, no buyer’s remorse, sometimes even no trying on of clothes. I pride myself on this no bullshit approach to consumerism, and so I guess it’s no surprise that on my second outing to look at wedding gowns, I came home with one. I literally walked out of the store with it, because it fit like it was custom-made for me, right off the rack. No alterations, no dry cleaning, no nothing. It’s eleven months until my wedding and I have managed to nail down the date, the place, and the gown. I guess that leaves more time to pick shoes!

I really need to spread the word about the place I bought it – The Bridal Garden. It’s an organization that receives donated gowns from designers, stores, and individuals, and sends proceeds to the Sheltering Arms Childrens Service. All of the gowns are marked down 50 – 75%, and once you are married you can donate it back so that you benefit the organization twice.

OK, back to the superficial. It’s so pretty! I’m keeping her under wraps until the wedding day, at least where Jeff is concerned. I’m fairly certain that I’ll spend at least a few hours dancing around in it between now and October 19 of next year.
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Monday, November 13, 2006

Something Old, Something New, Something Brown, Something with Hideous Spangles on the sleeves ...



Yesterday I went to Kleinfeld, the world's schmanciest,JAP-iest ..er, largest bridal salon. Don't get me wrong, the attendants are lovely and helpful and the place is swanky. It's just .... how to put this? I used to draw on my naked body with Crayola markers as a child. People frequently wipe things off of my face. I have been known to wear suede when it's raining, and I put my bras in the dryer. I'm just not meant to have nice things. So putting on $2800 dresses - white dresses - made me feel kind of like a very pretty bull in a couture china shop. All in all, though, it went well. I managed not to rip or sully anything and I learned some fun facts:

1. Do not wear see-through underwear. The woman helping you has just met you.

2. No matter how lovely it looks on the rack, a bodice resembling the Chrysler building will make you look like the Chrysler building.

3. Like their namesake, mermaid dresses are not meant for land.

4. Trust a dress only if you can lift it.

5. Pink and brown are not acceptable colors for wedding gowns. You can dress it up with lace; you're still wearing brown. I'm all for shunning tradition, but this is the color of poo, people. Can't we do better?

6. Do not wear see-through underwear. I cannot stress this enough.

Sadly, I did not find the ONE yesterday, but I'll keep you posted as I stomp my way through other pretty pretty princess shops around Manhattan.
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Friday, November 10, 2006

Update, By Popular Demand

I really haven't been lazy, dear readers. I've been sick. AND I have a lot of Desperate Housewives Season One in my schedule these days. In fact, here is a rundown of my day yesterday:

8:45 am Therapy
10:00 am Buy Elle, Oprah Magazine (what?!)
10:30 am Rent Desperate Housewives Season One from BlockBuster
11:00 am Bundle up on couch, watch Disc 1
2:00 pm Disc 2
5:00 pm Disc 3
8:00 pm Disc 4
9:00 pm Grey's Anatomy interlude

Hmmm, that looks kind of pathetic written down. But it would have looked MORE pathetic if I included the three chocolate drumsticks I comsumed, in a row, as well as the bag of Reese's Cups (oh, and soup, Mom. Lots of soup.)

Aaaaanyway, last weekend the parents met over dinner at Blue Hill, where we got VIP treatment thanks to our amazing friend, business manager Sara Lesin. Since I know that at least my parents will be reading this, I am hesitant to make any comments about how it went, except to say that we all got exceptionally drunk, and that we had to in order to survive. That said, the two sets of estranged parents (to be fair, on a scale of 1 to 10, in which 1 is the best of friends and 10 is justifiable homicide, my parents are at a comfortable 3-4, whereas Jeff's hover around 8.5) were wonderful and social and made us feel very special. Jeff's Dad, who up until that night had displayed the social skills of Der Golem, gets the Most Improved award for the evening. His son, on the other hand, gets the Most Scotch Consumed award, I think for the decade.

More to come soon, I promise.
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Thursday, November 2, 2006

Taffeta? I Don't Even Know Her!



So, I totally missed the memo on being engaged, I think. There’s a website that I am on all day consult from time to time called The Knot, and it is so full to bursting of taffeta, tulle, tips & tricks that your brain will quickly rot down to the size of a single, perfect boutonniere if you are not careful. I have not been careful; I have thrown myself head first into planning, letting my control freak neuroses roam free as I make lists, pore over wedding magazines, and envision myself in various types of Swarovski-encrusted shoes. Of course, now I read The Knot’s “just engaged” advice, which recommends just “lingering on Cloud 9” for awhile. Now, I have never really liked to linger anywhere, especially when there are fun things to be planned, or guest lists to be alphabetized. Even when there’s nothing to do, I make lists. I’ve only ever had two successful naps in my life, and one of those was technically alcohol poisoning.

I think that now is as good a time as any to slow down. I mean, last night, I was near tears because Jeff expressed doubt that we should incorporate the hora into our wedding reception. The hora. I’m not even really Jewish. I am definitely waaay to close to Bridezilla territory and I have eleven and a half months to go.

Sigh.

Cloud 9 probably isn’t so bad, I guess. Jeff and I can roll around in fluffy pillows and feed each other Tootsie Rolls. I can, I don’t know, bask in the glow that comes, presumably, from the anticipation of being registered for many electronic appliances. Oh, and true love. That too. Here’s a scary thought, though: what if my Cloud 9 is planning? I guess if that’s the case, I should hot-foot it back down to the ground pronto, into my baby’s lovin’, lovin’ arms.

P.S. That photo up top is called "Ham Girl". That is all.
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Wednesday, November 1, 2006

The Mets Make Me SHHAD

So, I’ve been scolded by my Mets-loving friend Adri for not posting about the NLCS. Truth be told, I don’t generally follow baseball unless a team I like (the Red Sox and the Mets, respectively) is doing well. Then, of course, there’s the issue of my emotional involvement. I suffer from a strange affliction that can best be described as Second Hand Humiliation Avoidance Disorder (SHHAD). I get so upset watching people lose that I literally turn my head away from the television. My reality TV show addiction exacerbates SHHAD symptoms; I watch every episode of America’s Next Top Model with glee, but when that moment comes when Tyra Banks dashes one of the skinny bitches’ hopefuls’ dreams, I find it hard to look at the reaction shots. This translates, in the wide world of sports, to my inability to watch any of the following: strikeouts (player humiliated); home runs (pitcher humiliated); fumbles; pitcher substitutions; manager and/or coach reaction shots; and, of course, the end of any given game. In my perfect world, every team would win and no person would every have to suffer a sad reaction shot in HDTV.

So, really, the reason that I didn’t post about the Mets losing the NLCS is that I wasn’t watching. In the 8th inning of Game Six, I lay down on my bed and closed my eyes. Jeff was watching the game in the other room, and I listened for tell-tale cheers. When there was silence, followed by the click! of the TV being turned off, I knew it was over. I take pretty much everything too seriously, and baseball is no exception. Let’s not even bring up the Red Sox.
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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Yes, The Y'All's Are Back

It's Halloween! To tell the truth, I kind of hate Halloween, because I hate having the kind of attention drawn to me that comes with, say, wearing a leotard and roller skates on the streets of Manhattan. For this reason I've mostly opted for large, shapeless, unweildy costumes and as many grotesque props as possible. I figure if people are going to notice me, I'd rather have it be for lumpiness than for sexiness. I get hit on by enough old men as it is.

The best costume I've ever seen - and I so wish I had a photo to post here - was worn by my sister, Zoe LaMarche, in 1992. Zoe was dressed as a Hershey's kiss, and wore a huge dome made of wire and tin foil. She looked like the cutest little upside-down mushroom, with her little arms and brown tights-clad legs sticking out. The best part, though, was that she was in brownface. It's not racist if it's for art, people. And have you ever seen a beige Hershey Kiss? I didn't think so. Incidentally, if you've never seen a six year-old in a Hershey's Kiss costume roll down a hill, you haven't lived.

This Halloween Jeff and I decided to bring a pair of our alter egos to life. Since Jeff is an actor, and I am just a general spaz, we often have improvised dialogues in character. Our favorite characters, who we brought to life on Saturday, are Earl and Leila Mae, backwards yokels who spend their time discussing the care (or lack thereof) of their numerous children, all of whom are named Earl (with numerous 'Jr.'s tacked on to the end). I like to think I'm a fairly cosmopolitan girl, but put me in a mullet and I am walking a scary Aileen Wournos-Chryssie Hynde line.

Jeff really blew me away with his Earl costume. Mostly I just couldn't get over his resemblance to Patrick Swayze in Point Break.













This just makes me so excited for future family Sears portraits:




















Happy Halloween, y'all!
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Friday, October 27, 2006

Six Degrees of Celebrity Baked Goods

So, my favorite celebrity encounter to relate to others is when Robert Sean Leonard ate my muffin, because it sounds so dirty when announced without explanation.

I was working on a documentary film shoot with the cast of Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”, and there were muffins in the vicinity – specifically a delectable corn muffin, half of which I had eaten when I was called away to do something. The next thing I knew, Robert Sean Leonard was eating the rest of my muffin. I have to say I was pretty jazzed about it. I mean, in his day RSL was pretty tasty, if a little on the skinny side. So if Robbie Sean needed my corn muffin to put some meat on his bones, I say amen. However, it is kind of fucked up to take somebody’s half-eaten pastry.

That said, I did it today, in a perfect, celebrity circle-completing way.

A certain star was in the office today. A not too famous but not unfamous movie star. We had thrown a goodbye party for one of the employees, and there were left-over cupcakes in the conference room. I had already eaten two (which is neither here nor there nor relevant, but I just want you to have all the facts). Despite being super teeny, the actress helped herself to a cupcake. I thought she had eaten it all, but when I went in later to forage for Diet Coke I saw part of her uneaten cupcake sitting on a plate. Now, I am not the kind of person who would sell Britney Spears’ half-eaten corndog on eBay, but I eat left-over junk all the time. I’ve been known to eat M&Ms off of the floor (I even picked one up off of the New York City street once – hey, it has a candy shell, okay?). So really, it wouldn’t have been at all out of character for me to have eaten the cupcake simply out of sugar lust. However, I saw more than just a crumble of cake and a smear of frosting; I saw an opportunity for justice. Robert Sean Leonard had eaten half of my muffin, so I would eat half of this celebrity’s cupcake. The world would be at peace, finally.

Update: The world may be at peace, but my stomach is not amused by the two and a half cupcakes. On the bright side, I think I have a good t-shirt slogan:

Robert Sean Leonard ate my muffin and all I got was IBS.
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Friday, October 20, 2006

Fantasy Reality Show Ejection: America's Next Top Model

Stupid Friendster wouldn't accept my full testimonial for my dear friend Beth, so I'm posting it here in it's entirety:

Beth and Una, TWO beautiful girls stand before me, but I only have ONE photo in my hand. That’s TWO girls and ONE photo. TWO minus ONE. Get it? Got it good? Better recognize my math skills.

Una, the judges were very disappointed to discover, during the last challenge in which you were photographed water-skiing in full African tribal garb, that you have been on stilts this whole time. Even more troubling are the multiple skull fractures suffered by your fellow contestants when your stilts slipped off of the skis and flew at them at speeds upwards of 70 miles per hour.

Beth, while you are very beautiful and not a midget like your friend, the judges felt that you were not fierce enough in your interpretation of Buk, Goddess of Rivers and Streams. Furthermore we feel that you did not “work” the feral Chilean monkey you were given as a prop. Mr. Jay says that other girls saw you nipping from a bottle of Tanqueray prior to getting on your water skis, and I know I don’t need to tell you how that could have turned out …

Make sure it doesn’t happen again, Beth. You are still in the running towards becoming America’s Next Top Model.


I have also written a fantasy ejection from The Amazing Race ... why do I waste my time on this, you ask? Because having an overactive imagination and using it for useless projects IS HOW I ROLL. If I can find it you know I'll post it.
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One Singular Sensation



I am already prone to emerging from Broadway musicals doing high kicks and swooning “I want to be a dancer!”, so going to see A Chorus Line last night was basically inviting a big, sparkly, lamé aneurysm.

And I loved every minute of it! If I could go back in time to when I was six and demand that I wanted to be a dancer, future saddlebags be damned, I so totally would.
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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wedding Journal Day 1 ... neither a journal nor about weddings

Days left until wedding: 365
Number of wedding magazines read: 1
Number of Diet Cokes (so far): 1
Number of fake breasts currently on person: 2
Number of co-workers frightened: 3

So a few months ago my friend Chessa got married and I was her maid of honor. The dress she picked for the bridal party, while gorgeous, did absolutely nothing for my rack. I resigned myself to a withered chiffon bust … until one day I came across a website selling curious little silicone cutlets that were intended to be stuffed into bras to increase cup size. I ordered them, and they came in the mail ….

Yesterday.

Ordered June 2006, arrived October 2006. Oh well. The important thing is that I have them now, and am indeed wearing them in secret. They feel a bit funny, but I’m hell bent on getting my money’s worth.

So far, no one in my office will take me up on my dare to poke me in the chest with a pencil, but the day is young …
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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wheeeee!



So I’m a bride-to-be. It’s wonderful, it’s weird, and it’s conducive to drinking lots of champagne. I know that weddings are often portrayed as stressful events, but four days into it, I can tell you that being engaged rocks so far.

The engagement “story”, for those of you who want to know these things, goes like this:

On Friday night (the 13th, which some might consider a questionable omen, EXCEPT that 13 is my lucky number as I was born on the 13th of April. Which also means that Friday was my half birthday. But I digress…) Jeff and I went to a dinner party hosted by my mother and attended by a randy British couple, a few other mixed-and-matched parents, and their collective progeny, who passed an enjoyable evening shouting and hurling themselves down flights of stairs. In other words, a recipe for romance.

No, but seriously, the dinner party was a lot of fun, and Jeff and I wandered home around 11:00, both of us tipsy from too much wine. Nothing was out of the ordinary, so I was surprised when, upon entering our apartment, Jeff dropped to one knee.

“Honey,” I said, taking off my coat with inebriated patience, “Did you drop something?”
Jeff looked up at me adoringly. “Marry me,” he said.
I laughed. “Yes.” I replied, and kissed him. We migrated to the couch.
“Will you marry me?” he asked again.

What followed were about ten minutes of my asking the same question, rephrased: “Are you serious?”; “Really?”; “You’re drunk, aren’t you?”; “If this is a joke, I will kick your ass.” (Not a question, granted, but a related threat). Jeff assured me that he was very serious, and, as a last protective measure I threw down the gauntlet.

“I’m calling my sister,” I said, watching his face for signs of surrender. “Once I call my sister it’s real.”

Jeff leaned back and cocked one eyebrow. “Go ahead,” he taunted.

I called Zoe, and she screamed and squealed and cried, and then I screamed and squealed while Jeff looked somewhat taken aback. Then he took me into the dining room and we danced to Fred Astaire singing “Cheek to Cheek.”

And now, not five days later, we’re set to be married on a Friday next October. And we couldn’t be happier.

AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! You guys, I’m getting married! I fear that you are in for a long year, dear readers. I hope you care a lot about things like place settings and fabric swatches. As we go through the preparations together, just remember:

Champagne makes everything easier.
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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Something Old, Something New, Something Blogged, Something Blue

So, the earlier post was an homage to the Juliet Lewis-Giovanni Ribisi flick "The Other Sister", in which two mentally challenged people find love.

But yes, for real, Jeff asked me to marry him, and I said yes.

WHAT?!

This is so surreal. But I can't stop fucking smiling.

P.S. We were drunk when we posted that last night ... and my Dad called me this morning, all "Do you have something you'd like to tell me???" I didn't mean to tell the whole world (read: 27 people) before my immediate family, but we were giddy. My apologies.
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He Loves Me, Mom

... and he's going to marry me!
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Wednesday, October 4, 2006

I Get So Emotional, Baby

To paraphrase Grey’s Anatomy, there is a land called Irrational Hysteria, and I am their queen.

I am an artist working on a tear-streaked canvas of indignant rage, a master sculptor of outlandish ultimatums, a thrower of glorious fits. I am an emoter of the highest degree and I say woe unto him who tries to navigate my deep and tempestuous waters.

If you didn’t think I was dramatic, see above paragraph.

Seriously, though, if there was a prize for emoting, I would win it. I have always been prone to extreme hysterical outbursts. When I was two, I screamed, cried, and tried to climb out the window of a car because I wanted fried chicken that was being transported in the trunk. At age eight, I had a tantrum at my birthday party because people weren’t arriving on time and, as a result, we were going to be late for The Gods Must Be Crazy II. Most infamous (among my family members at least) is the Great Christmas Cookie Incident of 1992. Every year, my mother, sister and I bake and decorate roll-out cookies. After a tumultuous start to my junior high life, during which I started a new, incredibly competitive school and developed insomnia, resulting in my sleeping on a futon on my parents’ floor and sobbing when asked to return to my own bed, I was looking forward to the familiar comforts of holiday traditions … until I dropped the cookies. I dropped the whole tray, and the cookies broke on the floor. I was inconsolable. I screamed at a pitch that only dogs could hear. I beat my fists against the wall. I cried until my eyes were swollen shut.

This episode is a good example of how I roll, emotionally speaking. I have – for better or worse, genetically encoded – a tendency to feel things very acutely and indelibly. I also have a compulsion to express every feeling I have, which results in the sort of over reactive hysteria that one associates with silent movie damsels in distress or, of late, David Gest.

I don’t really question whether this behavior will go away (it won’t), but I constantly struggle with how to live with it. On the one hand, my emotional outbursts embarrass and humble me – coming down from the high of passionate feeling, I am humiliated by the things I said, the way I acted, and the very fervor with which I justified my behavior. On the other hand, I’m secretly glad that I’m so passionate and emotional. It may make me a bad sport sometimes, or a scary girlfriend, but it also makes me a compassionate friend, a great artist, and someone who loves very truly, madly, and deeply.

There’s no conclusion to this post. I just need to end it by wondering: how much can we really change about ourselves? Is it more important to accept ourselves as we are, or to try to change so that we can avoid the embarrassment, guilt, and sadness that comes from letting our messy selves come out to play?

I wish I could come up with a good, thought-provoking metaphor to close this post. Here are a few; choose your fave:

1. I guess, in a way, we’re all reaching for that fried chicken in the great trunk of life.
2. I guess the Gods really are crazy.
3. I guess, in the end, I’d rather be the queen of Irrational Hysteria than a mere page.
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Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Ode to My Ones

I have many Ones. I have the One who shares my bed and a love of David Sedaris, Dane Cook, and chocolate chip cookies. I have the One who birthed me and who lets me do my laundry at her home even now that I'm technically a self-sufficient grown up. I have the One who shares at least half of my genes (but with better legs) who understands me better than anyone. I have the One who is my father and who therefore, for oedipal reasons, cannot be referred to as the One (but he's pretty great).

And then there are my friends, my army of Ones, each luminous in his or her own way and coveted to extents they cannot possibly grasp (or, perhaps, do not want to know).

I hope that you know who you are, but in case you don't, here you are:


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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Things I Hate, Part Infinity: The Easy Button

Missed my venom and vitriol directed at helpless strangers and inanimate objects, did you? Well, even if you didn’t, here it comes:

My co-worker has an “Easy” button from Staples on his desk. It is, quite literally, a big red button that says “Easy” on it, and when you push it, a cloying male voice says ”That was easy!”



Okay, first of all, no. Just no.

Secondly, the cute idea is bad enough, why, WHY the voice? WHY? It could have been a useless, harmless toy, like a stress ball or a “Panic” button (albeit for maddeningly optimistic people). Instead, there’s a voice, and not just any voice, but the voice of the sycophantic physics geek from your 11th grade class who got 100 on every single test and won first prize in the contest where you had to build a suspension bridge out of toothpicks. It is not a voice commending you on a job well done. It is a voice that taunts your ineptitude, its nasal timbre lighting your blood on fire with rage. That was easy. That was easy. My eyelid is starting to twitch just thinking about it.
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Monday, September 25, 2006

(Sigh.)

So, it's Monday morning and already I've managed to insult my boss (worst of all, I accomplished this by accidentally forwarding him an email I wrote in which I insulted him), upset my landlord, and piss off our PR representative.

Also I forgot to pack my lunch.

You know what? DO OVER.
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Things Diddy and I Have in Common: The "What We Ain't Feelin'" Edition

Noted psychologist Diddy, on George W. Bush:

"It's just embarassing the kind of ignorance in my man," said Diddy, who now refers to the commander-in-chief on a posse-level basis.

"It's like my man has no marbles up there ... My man is just running up there crazy and the things he's doing are crazy ... Ain't nobody feelin' that war."

Courtesy of Eat the Press.
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Monday, September 18, 2006

Tuesdays With Musky



I love, and I mean love, the Alaskan Musk Ox.

As Eloise once said, I am a city child. And, as any city child does, I had my urban mecca, my sacred temple, my secret hideout. It has always been and always will be the source of my greatest thrill and greatest fear, the place where I can be unabashedly five years old again, in the very best way: The Museum of Natural History.

As a child, I just got the biggest kick out of everything about the museum: the animals in their hand-painted tableaus, reminiscent of snowglobes at rest; the long, ornate staircase railings with lions' heads on each end; the cultural exhibits in which carefully crafted dummies representing Native Americans crouched over fires and modeled the latest 17th century fashions with breasts and testes akimbo. My favorite exhibit, bar none, was the Hall of North American Mammals, where my beloved Musk Ox lived, alongside buffalo, wolves, grizzlies, and tamer, smaller animals that offered comic relief, like the skunk or the puffy, Garfield-esque lynx. I cannot explain why the Musk Ox earned my deepest affection. They are large, hairy, horned creatures that look out from their wintry scene with a mix of apathy and misery. If they had a voice, I imagine it would sound just like Eeyore, from Winnie the Pooh: Oh, why don't you just keep walking? Nothing to see here. Nobody cares. The curators did a really thorough job, too, as you can see little insects burrowing in the oxes' matted fur. They are not cuddly or sanitary, and yet I treat them like they are my own, secret, dead-alive homely pets. I still to this day have to repress the knowledge that they are taxidermied; if you think about it too much the museum becomes really depressing.

The great thing about the Museum of Natural History is that for every exhibit that sends me into rapture, there's one that scares the living shit out of me. I find that this particular dichotomy makes for a thrilling experience. Take, for example, the Giant Whale of Death that hangs menacingly above the Hall of Ocean Life. As if that hall wasn't scary enough, what with its dark, blurry water scenes teeming with dead otters, the whole time you're walking beneath a massive whale hanging from what appears to be a push pin. The whole set-up just makes you start to question laws of physics and cover your head. Once, my dad's company held a benefit dinner in the Hall of Ocean Life, and all of the tables were right underneath the whale. I couldn't enjoy the bread basket because I was too busy mentally tallying the death count and making up sassy titles that might appear on the next day's cover of The Post. WIPE OUT! and KILLER WHALE! were frontrunners.

A place in the museum that scares me just as much without posing any physical threat is a little nondescript hallway that I like to call the Hall of Rats. It's an exhibit of rodents (the museum generously calls them 'mammals'. Ha!) tacked up to the wall. Granted, they're behind glass, but seriously, anyone with a hammer and some nails could do this at home. I never thought I'd say this, but I think I prefer a live Norway rat to one that's flayed and tacked up for public view, especially right next to the chipmunks. That's just bad form.

Lest you think I'm just taking a random swan dive into nostalgia for my misbegotten youth, I'm writing this because the fine people at 20th Century Fox are finally bringing my childhood playground to life -- they're making a movie about it. Better yet, my editor in chief wants me to do some research and, possibly, writing, for a page-long feature on the exhibits that "come alive" in the film. Oh, man, I am so psyched! I wonder if the whale comes alive in the movie, and if it falls and kills anyone. I guess probably not. My musk ox, I fear, will be passed over once again in favor of the flashier dead mammals, but, if the filmmakers are reading this, I suggest casting Alan Arkin and Will Ferrel. The Musk Ox should save the day by driving away the bloodthirtsy Mesopotamians with a combination of hairy stench and witty repartee.

Don't even tell me that's not totally a brilliant idea, because it is.
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Thursday, September 14, 2006

I READ, y'all

Editor's Note: I apologize for the recent spike in "y'all"s on this blog, but A) I'm part Texan, and B) I love me some Britney Spears (P.S. She was on an ALA READ poster, hence the title of this post).

I'm a giant magazine whore. By giant, of course, I mean "avid", and by whore I mean "reader", just so that there's no confusion. Also, hi grandma! She reads my blog sometimes! Isn't that so cute? I love her.

Anyway, back to my pseudo-literary whoring. I used to love to read as a child. There was nothing better than an afternoon spent reading. I would make a snack of crackers and cheese and curl up under my blanket in a chair next to the window, savoring words and crumbs with the same delirious pleasure. I had -- as I still do -- wildly varying tastes, so one day it might be R.L. Stine or Stephen King, and the next I might have moved on to Henry James or J.D. Salinger. After graduating from my Babysitter's Club years, I went through an unfathomable Irish period in which I favored Roddy Doyle and the rustic romances of Maeve Binchy. I distinctly remember that I was going through emotional puberty at that time, because I cried my way through Circle of Friends, a lite-soap opera about the unlikely courtship of a pudgy girl by a gorgeous jock. I still have my copy; on the binding, in bright green marker, my hormonal scrawling reads "Go Benny!!!" and "Jack is scum!!!" The only time since I've been more upset was when Billy and Alison broke up on Melrose. No, seriously. I locked myself in the bathroom and sobbed, stopping only to scream at my little sister that it was NOT just a TV show. ....Aaaaaanyway ...

I still love reading, but now I prefer to be able to read a complete work in the time it takes me to travel five stops on the B train. I like to be able to throw it out as soon as I'm done, too. It's kind of satisfying, that sense of finality, although I suppose one could argue that reading In Touch Weekly in fifteen minutes is no great feat. If I want heavy reading (my new Henry James, if you will), I page through Elle or Vanity Fair. I also read the New Yorker, which has sometimes even has stories that don't involve Lindsay Lohan or face cream analysis.

That brings me to the whole reason I started blogging today (it's almost seven and I'm still at work, so 'd better get to the point). I was reading Lucky the other day and there was a piece on some new, retardedly expensive face serum called something similarly asshat-ish like Creme Ancien. It was nothing I would have cared about, normally, but as I scanned the paragraph I saw that the "ancient" ingredients were "harvested" using "indigenous methods". It's not so much that I don't believe that, I just can't really imagine what it means. It brings to mind a fantastic image of beauty editors, their Botoxed faces contorted in near-strain as they dig, barehanded, in the dirt, grunting. I mean, what are "indigenous methods"? Do they, like, use wrought iron spears instead of drills? Somehow I doubt it.

The world is bizarre.

I also read a piece in New York about how David Berkowitz is an apostle of Christ now. We know this to be true -- or at least NY Mag does -- because a devout biker chick with a mullet who is herself a self-proclaimed apostle received from God the number '44' as some kind of magic soul brand, and therefore takes David's penchant for .44 caliber pistols as a sign.

See? Reading can be fun.
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Spain Bans Emaciated Models from Fashion Week

The revolution is gonna have hips, y'all!

First a pig in high heels (mysognistic/dickheadistic, sure, but point still taken), now this.

Hallelujah, praise Jesus, hand me a fucking cupcake.


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Monday, September 11, 2006

9.11.06

I can’t write today. More accurately, I can’t think of what to write. A personal anecdote seems too selfish, as I was not even in Manhattan five years ago, forced instead to watch my city beaten and bloodied from worlds away (or, at least, it seemed so) in Connecticut. On the other hand, a list of victims’ names cannot convey my own sorrow, bewilderment, anger, pride, and hope as I reflect on this anniversary that, year after year, has more resonance than any January 1st ever had.

I’ll say only this: I love New York, today more than ever. And, if you are grieving, my thoughts are with you.


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Friday, September 8, 2006

I Blame the Communists

Did you ever read that book as a kid, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?

I'm having one of those.

I woke up tired and feeling like I had a cold coming on, I was late getting to work, I got swamped with projects, I developed a splitting headache, I looked at my credit card statement (it's like a 25 out of 10 on the I Am Sooooo Fucked meter), I forgot to pack lunch so I had to settle for a Zone bar and a yogurt that I had stored in the office fridge, I snapped at my boyfriend, and then someone made a mean comment on this blog (see below). Also I'm getting a pimple, and that really sucks.

If I seem irritable and irrational, well, I am. My mood swings like a pendulum on my good days, so when I'm out of sorts I can be a little "difficult". I'm falling to the Communists* in a few days, so I guess that explains it. I just hate feeling so shitty.

Also I'm really sensitive, so that anonymous comment hurt my feelings. I know it's stupid and that I shouldn't be so defensive, but the truth is that I'm still hurt that Mario I-Forget-His-Last-Name-Something-Italian chose to sit next to Maple Van Keuren instead of me during lunch in first grade. I may put on a sarcastic front but I'm as soft as pudding on the inside. So, in summation, fuck all y'all.

KIDDING!

I'm just feeling sorry for myself. Luckily I have Oreos and Laguna Beach at the ready for just this type of terrible, horrible, no good very bad day.

*My boyfriend's clever euphemism for "on the rag".
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It's My Blog and I'll Be Self-Involved If I Want To

Today I got this anonymous comment on "The Ice Cream Thief and Other Stories":

I think you missed the point.
The whole incident should have made you less self-involved, but it seems only to have made you more so.
How sad.


Okay, first of all? If you're going to insult me please don't do it anonymously.

Secondly, I never claimed not to be self-involved. Hello -- I have a blog. It's like public psychological masturbation.

Finally, while I do feel bad about hurting my roommates' feelings, it's not about to make me change my entire world view. I learned my lesson, and my lesson was NOT Do not make fun of others. My lesson was Do not make fun of others in a public forum, because people take themselves way too seriously and have major sticks up their asses.

Throw at me whatcha got, pious anonymous commenter. And if you think I'm so self-involved, don't read my blog. In other words, if you can read this, you're missing the point.

Cuddles,
U
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Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Listmania: Moving; Bartman; Gerbils

Jeff and I spent Labor Day weekend moving the last of my stuff into the new apartment. By “last”, of course, I mean “heaviest”. We lugged, we heaved, we painted, we haggled over tchotchke placement. Now we are officially nesting.

Some things I learned en route to domestic bliss:

1. I am finally at the stage in life in which I have no clothing that I deem ugly enough to be willfully covered in paint. This I am sure is good news. That said, painting naked is tempting the scampy hand of fate and I do not recommend it.

2. I am fairly sure that moving Jeff’s futon mattress has prepared me, should I ever find myself in this particular compromising situation, to move a 200-lb dead body.

3. My coveted circa-1989 Bartman figurine will undermine the elegance of any piece of furniture he perches on.

4. 10 straight hours of decorating + 5 Diet Cokes make Una go crazy (Just kidding, though …. I love my DC)

I did take a quick break on Sunday to see “Snakes on a Plane”. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a perfectly good popcorn flick, and I guess the reason it’s gotten so much backlash is simply that it was so hyped. The title is a great hook. I wonder if David Letterman has done a Top Ten List yet. I’ll help him out.

TOP TEN REJECTED CONCEPTS FOR “SNAKES ON A PLANE”

10. Rats in a 4th Floor Walkup
9. Monkeys on a Moped
8. Toddlers on a High-Rise Balcony
7. Goyem at a Bat Mitzvah
6. Feral Cats on an Ocean Liner
5. Roseanne Barr on a Juice Fast
4. Antiques Roadshow on a Submarine
3. Perfect 10 Models on an Enormous Trampoline Covered in Jello (see also: Top Slumber Party Games at the Playboy Mansion)
2. Gerbils on the Acela Express
1. Poop on the A-Train Platform

I actually saw the last one with my own eyes. It was riveting and grotesque, but probably wouldn’t bring in the really big crowds.
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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Special Rant, Moving Edition: U-Suck, U-Haul!

In elementary school I was part of a clique of girls called UTAH. Yes, I’m serious. It was pretty much the only anagram of the first letters of our names that formed a word (without me they could have been something cute like HAT), and so we had to settle for a proper noun that calls to mind polygamy and a foul-smelling Salt Lake. Anyway, within this clique of friends we all decided we had to have nicknames. The nicknames were apropos of absolutely nothing, but they made us laugh. Adri was “A-Track”. Tara was “T-Money”. And me? I was “U-Haul”. I thought it was funny. Now that I’m a grown-up and have become familiar with my nick-namesake company, I realize that I may as well have called myself “Exxon” or “New Coke”; no two ways about it, I picked a lemon. I want to be associated with U-Haul about as much as I want to be associated with venereal disease.

I don’t even have the time or energy to go into detail about what’s wrong with U-Haul. They just suck, gloriously. From the unreliable reservation system to the (and I’m being generous) non-existent customer service to the complete morons (to call them retards would be an insult to actual retarded people) working the desks, the one thing U-Haul does brilliantly is suck at a level that really puts all other sucking to shame. If you don’t believe me, Google "U-Haul sucks".. The real kicker is that they have a monopoly, so you basically have no choice but to use them, and they know that, so they really don’t give a shit. I’m starting to think that U-Haul really must be run by the mafia, because I don’t understand why I can choose from fifty thousand different restaurants and a million different lipstick shades, but when it comes to making major life changes like moving, I will undoubtedly be forced to wait in line for 6 hours for a “confirmed” reservation that is neither reserved nor confirmed and will eventually find myself driving a shit box from hell down 4th Avenue, rushing to meet my return deadline while my wordly possessions rattle around in the back because there is NO FUCKING ALTERNATIVE.

I thought the whole point of America was to have so many choices that you become either incredibly fat or depressed.

I mean, right?

P.S. U-Haul sucks. Pass it on.
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Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday Non-Sequitur

I like making lists. To-Do lists, grocery lists, lists of all of the clothes I own (no, really, since I was twelve and started going to Camp Onas and they made us tape inventory lists to the insides of our trunks; something about writing down all of my possessions on paper made me feel like I had a lot of stuff, and to this day it calms me. Shut up.), exercise schedules (ha!), food diaries (which is a funny idea when you think about it – you can pretty much translate it as if it were a real diary, but in caloric code: “Breakfast = Wheat bran with bananas” means “Am feeling self-punitive; have $1.17 in checking account”; “Peanut butter brownie with Twix bar chaser, 3pm” means “I hate my job.”) – where was I ? Geez, I’ve finally done it: I’ve digressed myself into a corner. This paragraph needs to die.

Aaaaanyway, I like making lists. In fact, I should have made this a list. Or would that have been too cute and obvious?
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Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Ice-Cream Thief and other stories

I still feel so bad about what happened yesterday. It seriously ruined my day, which I hope brings some happiness to those I offended. I spent most of the day fighting with my boyfriend, sobbing, and cleaning the bathroom (not all at once, thank God -- that would be the most terrible trifecta ever). Then last night I had bad dreams.

To hopefully even the score, I'm going to list for you, in this public forum, all of the things that suck about me as a roommate. I will try very hard to be painfully honest.

1. I will eat your food. I will only eat the good stuff, too -- ice cream, cookies, left-over Chinese. Sometimes I will replace it, but other times I will just hope that you won't notice, and later, if you ask me about it, I will lie. It's a compulsive behavior that I can't seem to kick.

2. I leave my dishes in the sink. Sometimes I wash them, but usually I leave them until they form a big pile.

3. The towel in the bathroom smells. The reason is that I'll leave it there for a week or so, in an un-ventilated bathroom, and use it to dry my hair. It never quite dries, and ends up smelling of mildew, at which point I might wash it, but other times I just Febreze, Febreze, Febreze.

4. I leave hair elastics lying around, and, since my hair is long and thick, they often have a little bundle of hair clustered around them.

5. I use way too much toilet paper. I am that guy. I wrap it around my hand until I have a giant swab. Because of this we run out of toilet paper at an alarming rate. Of course, I rarely buy it. Someone else always will.

6. I am a messy cooker. I drip and drop things all over the counters and the floor, and sometimes I don't clean them up.

7. If you are female, chances are I have at some point used your makeup or your cleanser or your face lotion or your hair mousse. If it's in the bathroom I have definitely used it (maybe even to the point where I use half of it) and if it's in your bedroom then I have probably used it to test it out, but then only when you are not home.

8. On that note, I will use whatever shampoo is in the shower caddy, not just my own. As you can see from items 1 and 7, I have a "grass is always greener" compulsion that leads me to take/use other people's things without asking. I won't steal or anything, but I'll use your expensive conditioner without a second thought.

9. I made fun of my roommates' cats. Well, I was kind of mean to their cats. I almost never petted them and spent most of my time batting them away or kicking them out of my room. I'm a bitch.

10. I made fun of Flan flavor Jell-O. Well, here's some of the stuff I eat: banana-flavored fiber bars; chocolate-flavored peanut butter; cottage cheese mixed with avocado; parmesan-ranch fake "chik'n patties"; Wheat Thins with cream cheese; spelt bread; soy nut butter; lumpy homemade oat bran-flax muffins. You think my old roommates could maybe have made fun of those?

Ahhh, I feel better now. I'm going to go cry into my spelt toast, and then I have to go buy toilet paper. Fun day #2, comin' atcha.
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Saturday, August 26, 2006

I am a Mean Girl

My former roommates, who are lovely people and who I have nothing against personally, read the last post (which I've now deleted) in which I made fun of their taste and possessions. Needless to say, they are not happy with me.

On the one hand, part of me feels that, as a writer, I have to be prepared to hurt, anger, and annoy people without letting it get to me. On the other hand, these people were friends, and what I wrote was incredibly mean-spirited and served no purpose other than to get a cheap, sardonic laugh.

I guess I know the line now; I guess I've crossed it. Some things you post on your blog, some things you don't. I may have lost two friends because of this blog, but hopefully they'll be the last two.

I'm sorry.
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Friday, August 18, 2006

Off to Block Island

I'll be gone for a few days, doing this:


(What you can't see in the photo is the carafe of wine)
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Thursday, August 17, 2006

TSLOAWBW FIRST-EVER CONTEST!!!: Pimp My Resume

Dear Readers (I could list you by name, but for the sake of dignity I'll pretend there are some out there I'm not related to),

Last night, praising my online persona, the love of my life said to me:

"You're a sassy curmudgeon who can turn a good phrase."

He set the bar high, but I know you guys are up to the challenge.

I'm re-vamping my resume and want to find more colorful things like this to aid me in pitching my writing and my personality to potential editor and employers.

The best one-liner will win dinner with -- you guessed it -- the sassy curmudgeon, during which I will get too drunk and speculate about the sham of fake-baby Suri Cruise.

Post as comments or email me. Happy veiled insulting!
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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Procrastination Journal, Volume 1 (Well, Really Like Volume 102,000,098, But Previous Volumes Never Documented)



I decided to make my own mascot and theme song.

Catchy, no?
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Details Magazine: Lover of Women - er, "Fatties"

So it has come to this. Welcome to womanhood, girls. You've got two choices here, only two: skeleton or pig. The footwear - thank God - stays the same.

What puports to be an article about how great it is that Hollywood women are getting healthy and non-emaciated (which, by the way, means that they wear between a size 2 and 6 as opposed to an XS from BabyGap) is illustrated with a picture of a pig in high heels and the headline "FAT IS BACK".

Salon.com's Rebecca Traister says it better than I can right now through my blood-red haze of rage. Read her response here.
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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Renewing Our Vows

Soooo ... I've been pretty busy with the new job, and therefore pretty lazy with this freefall into my own neuroses. Sorry. I'll start writing every day. For real this time.
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Friday, July 28, 2006

Forget Team Aniston and Team Jolie. I'm Team Nehru!

I have become fairly obsessed with the My Heritage Celebrity Face Recognition program. Of course, the first thing it's good for is finding out who you look like, which, in my case, was a wake-up call. Then, if you don't feel like the first time was correct (COUGH *Eddie Murphy* COUGH), you run the program a few more thousand times until you get Grace Kelly or Rachel Weisz.

Today I had an amazing epiphany: Hollywood should totally use My Heritage for casting biopics!

Capote was a great movie, but after a quick upload, it became clear that Philip Seymour Hoffman was wrong for the role. My Heritage offers up a thrilling trifecta of top actors who resemble Truman Capote: Hugo Weaving (61% compatibility), Jeff Bridges (53%) and Antonio Banderas (52%). My personal favorite, Natalie Portman (50%), came in a close fourth, right before Jason Alexander (48%).

Stick Harper Lee's mug in there, and it gets even better. George Peppard wins this race (61%), followed by Adam Sandler (60%). The sole woman on the list (sorry, Harper) is neither Catherine Keener nor Sandra Bullock, but Holly Hunter. You know she would've nailed it, too.

More recently, there's been some hubub surrounding Brad Pitt's production of "A Mighty Heart", based on the book by Marianne Pearl. Jennifer Aniston was interested in the role, but, lo and behold, it's gone to Angelina Jolie. How about someone who hasn't slept with Mr. Pitt? My Heritage favors Robin Wright Penn, Shannon Elizabeth, and Ingrid Bergmann. Also in the running? Jawaharlal Nehru. Now that's some inspired casting.

I think this site is just the thing to get Hollywood back on top of its game. I mean, yeah, Capote was critically lauded, but can you imagine the crowds that would have shown up for Adam Sandler? Can't you just die thinking about Natalie Portman as an elfin, gamine Capote acting all bitchy towards George Peppard in a fright wig?


Oh, and I REALLY hope I get famous now, because the idea of a romantic comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Viggo Mortensen (my boyfriend, Jeff's, top match) is just too precious for words.
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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

My True Heritage!

My Dad wrote a funny post on his blog about the site My Heritage,on which you can view the celebrities you most resemble, based on a photograph of your own choosing.

I am forced to conclude that expression and face position are favored over ... actual features, because I uploaded the photo below and was told that I most look like ... get ready for it ... Barack Obama and Eddie Murphy.



Mom? Anything you'd like to tell me?
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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

NYSDOL Only Hates You If You Speak English

Having been on the dole a fair amount in my young life, I have developed a new philosophy of life: Show me a person who depends on the government for money and I will show you someone who has not gotten a check in three weeks and cannot FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY get a living breathing operator on the telephone.

I am overdue on about five bills because I have $1300 being withheld for reasons unknown to me. I did what any person would do and I called the "Have you not gotten your check in 14 days? Call us!" number, only to be lead, time and time again, through a labyrinthian series of automated menus, only to be told that the operators were busy and that I should call back in twenty minute intervals. No hold please, no static-y Def Leppard to keep me company for hours spent holding the sweaty telephone to my impatient ear, just "Call back later!" - CLICK.

I am a person who gets homicidally angry when the R train keeps me waiting, so this inexplicable lapse in customer service, as you can imagine, caused me to twitch uncontrollably as I banged my phone against its cradle with considerable force. This has been repeated over the past week as I have called back every hour and been greeted with the same friendly hang-up.

Until today.

Today, after I was hung up on, I immediately hit redial, which meant that not only the main number, but all of the subsequent menu options got punched in -- looking something like 18882098124114523399874134331. Immediately the friendly voice chimed in:

"You are on hold for translation services," followed by some other languages I couldn't understand. I figured it was worth a shot, and stayed on the line, sure that I would once again be told to fuck off (perhaps in Portuguese?)with a crisp CLICK.

Imagine my surprise when Debbie - who immediately established her non-automaton status by yawning audibly - came on the line. I explained that I had accidentally been lead to the translation services menu, and -- "No problem," said Debbie. "What's your social security number?"

Within minutes, I had my account cleared up and, supposedly, my checks will be in the mail tomorrow.

It just goes to show ... well, nothing, except that the only way to get a customer service rep on the phone is to punch in a random series of numbers and channel your rage into a psychotic, Jedi-like focus. Then you, too, can receive the mediocre service from government agencies that you are entitled to by Constitution of the United States of America.
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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Grown-ups (?)

Now that I am gainfully employed and living with the boyfriend, I think that I may be, offically, a grown-up. Of course, perhaps this is all just an extended game of pretend that I started when I was five years old. I still wear my "dress-up shoes", only now they actually fit, and sometimes when I go to the bank, no real money comes out, just like with my old Playskool cash register. Now, of course, the reason is that I'm overdrawn and not that the coins are made of red plastic. I don't generally get naked and cover myself in Crayola marker anymore, but, really, it's only a matter of time.

Aaaaaanyway,

Moving in with Jeff has been amazingly un-traumatic so far, at least for me. For him, I fear, it's been less smooth, since he is the calmer, more practical, less dramatic half of our new domestic partnership, and I am the hysterical, unreasonable, prone-to-histrionics half. I have been known to break down in tears when a shower curtain rod falls, or to become so angry at a pan stuck in the dishwasher that, upon wrestling it free, I hurl it at the floor. I think I've been well-behaved so far, and Jeff has admirably tolerated the sea of cosmetics and shoes that has invaded his small bedroom.

Jeff is an up-and-coming photographer, and has quite a collection of cameras, which means that most every moment of our newly domesticated life is documented in some way. At weddings and parties we tend to behave, but get us alone, after a few too many beers (or girlie Smirnoff Ices for me), on a hot summer night, and suddenly we are deep into a photo essay that can best be described as "Move your head really fast and take a picture before you throw up". This, my friends, is true domestic bliss.


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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Re-employed and It Feels So Good ... Except That Now I Have to Actually Work



I got a job!

I KNEW all of those cups of ambition would pay off eventually.
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Thursday, July 6, 2006

Post for Adri on the Horrors of Naked Britney

I recently got the following email from my dear friend Adri who lives in Davis, CA:

una, you MUST write a blog about that nasty ass britney spears and the
naked photo of her on that magazine cover. can you believe that shit?


It hasn't come out yet, but those of you who read the gossip blogs (or In Touch Weekly) know that, in a forthcoming issue of Harper's Bazaar, Britney Spears poses naked and pregnant on the cover (and inside as well, I presume, but I'm fine with the one horrific mental image for now).

Don't get me wrong -- I like Britney, in spite of myself. I want her to pick herself up and turn her life around, but I'm not optimistic; she's kind of like the mangy, retarded pigeon that one hopes will not waddle in front of a taxi on 5th Avenue. There's nothing you can really do but pray that God really loves His wretches. Then again, presumably He made Kevin Federline.

The pregnant Britney cover wouldn't be so offensive if Demi Moore hadn't already done it and looked a whole lot classier. I mean, isn't it sad? Look at gorgeous, bronzed, voluptuous, mature Demi and then look at pudgy, pasty, washed-out, baby-faced Britney.

Has it really come to this? Why couldn't it have been Angelina Jolie? WHY??????
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Revolutionary Petunia

This Alice walker poem has been speaking to me lately ...

The Nature of This Flower Is to Bloom.
Rebellious. Living.
Against the Elemental Crush.
A Song of Color
Blooming
For Deserving Eyes.
Blooming Gloriously
For its Self.
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Sunday, June 25, 2006

My iBook was at Woodstock

My computer clock has been weird lately. It's off by hours, sometimes days. No matter how many times I reset it it goes wonky again.

Yesterday I went to fix it yet again when I saw that, apart from having the wrong date and time ...

My computer thinks that it's January, 1970. I don't know how long it's been living in a time warp. Maybe it got freaked out by y2k and defected to a simpler time?

Oh, man. I can't even begin to deal with this right now.
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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Open Letter to Street Lobbyists

Dear Friendly Street Lobbyist,

No, I'm sorry, I don't have a moment to talk about Greenpeace. What I would like to talk about is you. Look, I know that this is your job, OK. I know that, for whatever reason, you feel that you have love to give, and smiles to share, and kittens to save. I'm not saying I don't care about Greenpeace. I like Greenpeace. I don't like kittens, but let's not even go there. Deep down, I'm glad you're out there, waving at me, trying to stop my 60mph stride, sticking out your clipboard. It's just on the surface that I hate you. See, here are my two problems: One, you're in New York City; and two, you're talking to me.

Here's the deal with problem number one: On any given New York street at any given time, there are only two states that a person can be in:

1. They are too busy/stressed out/crazy to stop (even if they are standing still -- it's possible they've just had a cerebral hemorrage).

2. They are blissfully free of work/stress/psychosis/major illness and are reveling in the fact that they have nothing to worry about and no one to bother them. Except, of course, YOU.

Why don't you go to Minnesota or somewhere where people, I don't know, actually like talking to strangers? You're in New York, buddy. We walk past homeless people. We let pregnant people stand on the subway. Even those of us who are nice, decent human beings have low tolerance for strangers. Wegive to charities, but we like to do it through things we actually trust, like credit cards and the Internet.

Here's problem number two: I personally hate you. I'm sorry to those of you who are advocating for gay rights and environmental action -- I actually think what you're doing is good (not that I'd stop to chat), but your causes are blighted by the assholes who ask me where I get my hair cut. A girl actually once said "Hi!" to me, like she knew me. Not, "Hi, can I ask you a question?", not "Hi! Save the Whales?" Nope, just an enthusiastic "Hi!". I stopped, wondering if I knew her from high school. That's when she raised her clipboard.

Here's a tip: I have a fake cell phone call at the ready a half a block away. I am impervious to all charm, all pleading, all reason. If you faked a heart attack I would just dodge. I will only stop to talk to you if I have been hit by a car and you are resuscitating me. Even then, I won't sign a thing. So, friendly street lobbyists, do yourselves a favor, save yourselves from another heartless asshole. When you see this face ....

[my stupid internet won't let me post a photo here, so just imagine me here, looking menacing yet pretty]
Turn away.
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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Dear Diary ... and Potential Employers

Today my mom showed up to breakfast brandishing an article from the front page of the New York Times (incidentally, the link I just gave you is from the Seattle Times, but it's the same text). In case you don't choose to read it yourself, the article is basically a warning to young would-be employees that potential employers now frequently check Facebook, Myspace, and Friendster profiles during the hiring process, and if they don't like what they see (i.e. a photo of you next to a giant bong), well, you might as well have printed your resume on toilet paper.

Although it is not expressly mentioned, I assume that this warning extends to bloggers, too. Just the other day I read an article about a blogger who was caught writing satirical essays about her industry and, when she was fired, found herself at the epicenter of a media maelstrom. Unfortunately, this particular story has no moral, as the woman in question became an insta-celebrity and now has a lucrative book deal (I should be so lucky).

The article got me thinking about privacy. We all know, in theory, that the Internet is an unstable and relatively untrustworthy universe when it comes to personal privacy. Everyone worries about credit card fraud and identity theft, and many of my friends balked at my new subscription to Gmail, Google's searchable web-based mail system. "Anyone can read your mail, you know," one friend warned. At the time it gave me pause, but then I remember thinking: Eh! Who cares? I mean, I often don't wash fruit and sometimes I don't (!) even (!) sign (!) out (!) of (!) online (!) banking (!) before (!) I (!) close (!) the (!) browser (!!!!!!!!!); in other words, I look at safety and privacy as big picture kind of problems, but I don't sweat the small stuff. Viruses (both of the tainted fruit variety and of the computer bug variety) have yet to get me.

I accept that my blog is something that people can freely read. I am responsible for everything I post, every last expletive, every last reference to my own drunkeness or personal failure (neither of which, I might add, are habitual). If a potential employer were to Google me, the first link on the list would lead them right here. What could someone glean about me from poring over this blog? In the best-case scenario, someone might imagine me to be a talented writer who is smart, funny and thoughtful. In the worst-case scenario, someone might decide I'm a flippant, unemployed whiner who procrastinates, over-shops, and goes on drunken boating expeditions. In effect, you could read this blog and make a lot of judgments about my personality or my social life (that may or may not be true), but as I rarely blog about my work, how could anyone make accurate judgments about me as an employee based on what's written here? That's right; they couldn't.

The Facebook-Myspace-Friendster issue is stickier. As someone who is a member of two out of three of these sites, I'd like to think that I can see the debate from both sides. On the one hand, it is widely understood (at least by the people who subscribe) that these sites are places to network, to find friends and dates, and to have a sort of homepage where you can post the pictures, music, and diary entries that you think will show people who you are (or, perhaps more commonly, that will show people how you want them to see you). On the other hand, the sites give you the option of making your page private - thus warning you that your profile may be visible to the Web at large - and many, many people don't take advantage of this feature (myself included). I understand both sides of the debate, but here is what I think: for potential employers to look at kids' online profiles in order to make professional decisions is in poor taste. I'd even go so far as to say that I think it's bordering on an invasion of privacy. Yes, these sites are not entirely private, but a lot of people don't know that. In our increasingly computerized and Internet-centered world, places like Myspace, Friendster, and Facebook are basically modern diaries. The fact that some kids (and adults) choose to share their private information with others is less a testament to their lack of modesty than it is a testament to the lack of modesty of society at large. If we live in an age when, at the click of a button, you can see the latest celebrity sex tape, an animated cartoon satire about the president, or the beheading of Daniel Pearl, how is it surprising that our definitions of privacy and propriety have changed?

Let me tell you two little stories. I know a girl who is an extremely responsible, smart, and talented girl. If she showed up for a job interview, she would impress you as being all of the above. Furthermore, she would work hard and excel. If you looked on her Myspace page, you'd see a photo of her posing provocatively in lingerie. Why? I don't know, I guess she wanted to feel sexy, and show other people that she is sexy. Is it a good idea to have this photograph online? Maybe not. Is it reflective of her potential job performance? Not at all.

My second story concerns a guy I know. He's a great guy and a great friend, but he drinks too much, smokes too much pot, and indulges in cocaine every once in awhile. He's thrown up at work before due to hangovers, but he still gets hired. His Friendster profile? Clean as a whistle.

Oh, wait, one more. There's this powerful guy I know who had an amazing job, but then had an affair with a co-worker -- actually, an underling -- and when it became public he almost lost his job. He was married, and had a kid. It was all over the 'Net. You don't have to look him up on MySpace, though. I'll save you the trouble: it's Bill Clinton. Wanna hire him?

Look, I know that Bill Clinton never posed provocatively in underwear (that we know of), and I'm not saying that people shouldn't be held accountable for their judgment in terms of how they choose to present themselves on sites like MySpace. Everyone should think long and hard about how they present themselves to the world. What I'm saying is that an online profile is, at best, a true refelection of a person's social life and cannot, under any circumstances, be used to envision what that person might be like at work. I would understand if potential landlords wanted to look at these sites, because a person is much more likely to hold beer pong tournaments at home than in the office. When it comes to the working world, though, call me crazy, call me naive, even call me (gasp!) modest, but when it comes down to it, I guess I still believe that a resume and a list of references should do just fine.
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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Look! I row!



This was me on Sunday ... after two vodka cranberries.

Whee! Look out, boaters!

I'm drunk now, too. Is this becoming a trend?

Bye now.
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Friday, June 9, 2006

Kitties, Birdies, and Other Things I Hate

So, I’ve been gone a long time, but I have a really good reason.

I’ve been watching The West Wing starting with Season One. Also Laguna Beach. I like to alternate the two so that I get a good balance of culture and politics. I’ve also been taking exercise classes with my Mom, trying out some new nail polishes, and avoiding packing for my upcoming move.

Oh, and I also planned a benefit reception for the new film I’m working on which totally kicked ass. I know you missed me, but, you know, I’m a busy girl. Watching a Laguna Beach marathon is a serious commitment.

A lot of good things have happened to me over the past two weeks, but keeping with tradition I’ll get straight to the part where I complain.

Let’s see ... shall I begin with the cab driver who ran over my foot or the two dead birds that fell on me during lunch today? I’ve decided not to rant about the United States Postal Service, who are holding my mail (and TWO unemployment checks) in the limbo that is mail forwarding, even though I specified that my mail not be forwarded until June 30, because they are RETARDS ... but I digress. I will also make peace with the stress-induced tongue sore that developed just in time for a public speaking engagement, which forced me to numb my entire mouth with ointment so that I sounded like I’d thrown back a couple of martinis with some vicodin prior to taking the stage. No, instead I’m going to direct my ire at defenseless (or dead) animals and a hapless cabbie.

The aforementioned cab driver and I met on an unfortunate day that began with me picking up a kitten for my mother at 9:45 am on a Sunday. The kitten - Dinah - was freaking out as I dragged her down 26th Street. I reached the corner, hailed a cab, and told the driver I was going to Brooklyn. He looked at me blankly.

“This is my first day,” he said. “You direct me?”

I said OK, and pointed him toward the Brooklyn Bridge. I never thought I’d say this, but I wish I had been able to back seat-accelerate, because brother was driving like an eighty year-old in a school parking lot. I’ve never seen a taxi go so slow. We didn’t even block the box or sideswipe pedestrians. It was like an alternate universe.

Now, I felt sorry for the first-time driver, so I was very patient, which was a considerable feat for someone trapped in a small space with a spastic kitten. I was patient when the FDR entrance was closed and we wasted ten minutes circling alphabet city. I was patient when construction work on the bridge slowed traffic to a halt. I was patient when the cabbie drove so slowly that we hit every red light, every time. He pulled up to my mom’s house and I paid him, tipping generously. I stepped out of the car, pulled the cat out, and realized that the cab had not stopped. Motherfucker proceeded to roll over my foot. IT HURT! I yelped in pain, but the nervous cabbie was already rolling down the street at a steady 5 mph.

The moral of this story is, don’t be nice to people on their first day on the job, because they could maim you.

Lesson number two for today is: always sit under an umbrella.

My dad and I had lunch today at Pete’s Tavern in Manhattan, on 18th and Irving. It’s one of the oldest establishments in the city, boasting famous clientele like O. Henry, who wrote “Gift of the Magi” there. It’s a nice little tavern that serves burgers and seafood and beer on tap. It was a beautiful sunny day, so Dad and I decided to sit outside. We had been sitting for twenty minutes or so when a small object fell, hard, right next to our table. It looked like it could have been a glob of bird shit, or a small ball.

“What was that?” I asked.

“What was what?” -- Dad hadn’t seen it.

“Something fell,” I said. “Over there.”

Dad looked and instantly recoiled. A waiter came over.

“What ... is that?” Dad asked. He and the waiter were both looking at the ground.

“It’s a bird.” said the waiter.

Dad turned to me. “It’s a dead baby pigeon.” he said.

“Um ... I’ll sweep it up.” said the waiter.

Dad and I looked up at the sky above our heads.

“It must have fallen from the roof,” Dad said.

“Ew.” I said.

“I hope there aren’t any others.” Dad said.

We continued our meal.

About fifteen minutes later, I felt something ricochet off my shoulder and land on the ground behind me with a thud.

“What the hell was that?” I asked.

Dad looked over at the ground behind me. “It’s another one.” he said.

I leapt up and stood a few feet away from the table. I hailed a busboy.

“Hi,” I said. “Two birds have fallen on us. Dead birds.”

The busboy looked up, then looked back at me questioningly. The hostess, an older woman who looked like she had wandered out of Bergdorf’s by accident, was called. She seemed very upset that the bird was nearly dead. I had, it seemed, not treated the matter of the bird’s untimely death with the gravity that it deserved.

“Um, can we move to another table?” I repeated. The hostess instructed the busboy to put the bird out of its misery, and went off to console herself.

What followed was a comically long time in which none of the wait staff seemed to worry about the customers being pelted with dead fowl. There was a discussion of unfurling a canopy, which was quickly vetoed by the hostess because it would block the sun.

“It would also block the dead birds from falling on my veggie burger.” I added helpfully. They seemed unmoved.

Finally Dad and I moved ourselves to another table, where we immediately squished ourselves up against the wall and picked joylessly at our food.

Nothing like dead pigeons to whet the appetite. As if New Yorkers weren’t jumpy enough.
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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Late Bloomer

Last Friday, May 26, was the ten year anniversary of my first kiss. At sixteen, I was a late bloomer.

I am a girl, so I remember these kinds of things. I remember that I had, after months of chicken-shit debate, made a $5 bet with a friend that I would finally kiss the object of my infatuation. I remember that I planned my outfit carefully: a blue and white shirtdress from dEliA*s, my brand-new blue Airwalk sneakers, my CoverGirl Lipslicks lip gloss. I remember looking at myself in the mirror before leaving the house with ridiculous gravitas: This, I remember thinking to myself, will change everything.

It wasn't a date, this kiss. It happened at a family gathering - our parents were friends, and we had over the years been forced into companionship through countless similar occasions. He was younger than me, but cocky for fifteen. We had been flirting steadily for a few months. He was an actor, had been in a couple of movies. He made my heart beat really fast.

Now I laugh, but that night I felt like a seductress in my Airwalks and Lipslicks. I remember playing with my food, giving him meaningful looks, twirling my unruly hair. When I was finished eating I put down my fork, looked pointedly at him, and told him I was going upstairs to his room. To this day I have not been so ballsy or breathless.

Up in his room, I waited, looking at his posters. He came upstairs a few minutes later, and we feigned interest in a photograph, making awkward conversation. I expected some dramatic build-up, some slow, movie-perfect moment of our faces moving closer and closer together, but instead he just kissed me, suddenly, mid-sentence. Like so many rites of passage, I barely remember what it felt like, as I was so distracted by the realization that it had finally happened.

I never did kiss that boy again. It turned out he had a girlfriend, and it turned out that I had a lot of growing up to do before I'd be ready for anything more than kissing. At the time, I felt painfully inexperienced, but now I can appreciate a nice, slow bloom. I recounted this story to my boyfriend the other night, and when I finished he smiled, leaned over, and said, "Well, get ready for your 5,000th." He kissed me, and this time, I remembered all of it.
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