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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