Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lurve, Luff, Loave

Last night my friend Meredith and I had a few drinks in NoHo (as in "I ain't no ho!", which is true for both Meredith and myself. It's actually North of Houston, for all of you non-New Yorker or sarcasm-proof readers.)

We were deep into our vodka cranberries when Jeff texted me one word: Forever. Meredith threw up in her mouth a little bit I think. If you all want a taste of the kind of smushy love that stimulates your gag reflex, check out our wedding web page.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Go Fug Myself

Well, they're over. Another year of none too surprising, long-winded, bizarrely orchestrated Oscars has come and gone. At least no one can take away the greatest joy of this event ... the mocking of the clothes.

I myself watched the show wearing Ugg boots that had seen better days years, a flimsy sundress approximately two sizes too big, and a green sweater. Lest you judge me, I was also roaringly drunk. I guess I wasn't before I dressed ... but I had to match my sobriety to the outfit. You know how these things go.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match

I know I haven’t written for a long time, but I’ve been busy and, also, boring. My life has become pretty … calm. I like my job, I have my apartment (complete with fiancĂ©), I like to watch a lot of TV and drink red wine and do the Sunday crossword and that’s kind of it. And I like it.

Don’t worry – I still have my neuroses. Those will never go away, despite how hard my therapist may try to “heal” them. I was told today (by a trainer at my gym) that my anxiety has built up the muscles in my shoulders so that I’m kind of slumpy and overbuilt. In other words, stress = buff back muscles. Score!

I had a great New York experience last night that I wanted to share with all of you. Jeff and I had been hanging out at his friend Mike’s house and I was suffering from “woman’s troubles” (read: lethargy), so I convinced Jeff, my indulgent knight in shining armor, to hail us a cab. I immediately liked the driver, who, upon hearing we were headed to Brooklyn, cheerily said, “You got it!”.

We had only been in the cab for a moment when the driver asked, “How long you been together?”

“Three years,” I said.

“Three years! My goodness.” The driver said.

A few moments later, as we drove up Canal, he said, “You know who am I?”

“Uh … no.”

“Really? You don’t know who am I?”

Steering with one hand, the driver tossed some laminated magazine and newspaper clippings into the backseat. “You don’t know me from TV?” he asked. I felt bad that I didn’t.

“I am the matchmaking cabbie!” he crowed triumphantly.

I looked down in my lap and saw my cabbie, Ahmed Ibrahim, on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Apparently he had been setting up single New Yorkers for three years, and had gained some notoriety. The articles he had given us were from People, Glamour, and The New York Sun, along with a large photo of him on the set of the Today Show talking to Katie Couric.

Jeff and I asked him about his technique. He claims to pick people up randomly, so that fate decides who is in his cab. He doesn’t try to pick up singles. When he gets a single woman or man, he asks them if they are in a relationship. If they answer no, he asks if they are looking for one. Ahmed will only set up people looking for real love, no “players”. He then takes a photo of them on his cell phone and has them record a brief message about what they are looking for. Once he feels he’s made a good match, he asks the woman for permission and then gives her number to the man he has chosen. So far on couple has gotten married (he pulled out a photo album showing the bride and groom in full dress in the backseat of his cab) and one has gotten engaged.

“We’re getting married in October,” Jeff said.

“Good!,” he cried. “When I heard you been together three years, I said, oh, why is she with him if he don’t marry her?” He pulled a ring out of his glove compartment. “I was gonna say, here, here is the ring, give it to her!” Say what you want, but Ahmed Ibrahim is prepared.

I have to say that Ahmed gives by far the best cab ride ever. He’s a good driver and he’ll keep you entertained. When we got out in front of our house, I thanked him for “the best cab ride ever,”

“And you are the best couple ever!” he said, smiling, as he pulled away. I know he probably says that to everyone, but it made me feel incredibly special. There’s no way to contact Ahmed Ibrahim, and the chances of finding yourself in his cab are one in a million. I’m just glad it happened to me. I guess I’ll have to count myself as one of the lucky ones.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Fun Fact

If you make $35,000 and can barely afford to make rent and pay bills, you can STILL owe $900 to New York State.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day, readers!

Ick, I know.


What If ...

When I was in high school, my best friend Anna and I used to crack ourselves up imagining what would happen were we to do totally inappropriate things. Like, what would happen if, during a boring Culture Day assembly, we were to rush the stage, screaming like madwomen? What would happen if, when our hard of hearing biology teacher asked us to repeat our question, we asked, “What the fuck is the vas deferens?”

Of course, we never did.

This fascination with impropriety has remained a staple of my sense of humor, although it’s usually only me who gets the joke. I find it hilarious to appear in the doorway of our living room with no pants on while Jeff is quietly reading, or to respond to a rhetorical question like “Do you love me?” with a deadpan “Nope.” Today my boss wrote an email to the whole company titled “Kathy will not be in today due to snow and ice” and immediately I wanted to write my own company-wide email:

From: Una LaMarche
Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 9:59 AM
To: [redacted]
Subject: Una will be “in”

Hi all,

Even though I live in the “outer boroughs” and chose to wear suede boots with absolutely no traction, I managed to be the first one in today. Also, I brought candy, seeing as it is Valentine’s Day and we all could use – nay, deserve! – a little gastronomical distress to celebrate this Day of Love. In summation, I believe I have expended enough energy today already and, while I will technically be “in” the office, will most likely work on the Times Crossword for an hour, followed by a critical reading of today’s gossip columns. If you need me, you know where to find me.


A girl can dream, can’t she?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I love chocolate.

In honor of Black History month and Valentine’s Day, I give you the following story:

When I was a little girl, I loved chocolate. There are countless photos of me with it all over my face. I didn’t just love the taste of chocolate; I loved its deep, rich color, too, and as a result I loved black people. I was, I am told, beside myself that I was so pasty and white, and wished to have dark skin.

One day, my mother and I were on the bus and I was seated next to a young African-American boy with very dark brown skin. I stared at him reverently, as he, I imagine, shifted slowly away from the crazy-eyed white girl. And then, unable to contain myself, I spoke.

“I love chocolate.”

I pretty much realized Martin Luther King’s dream right there on the M4.

Happy Valentine’s Day everybody!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Blogging for Godot

I’ve been reading lately – wait for it – things other than magazines. They are called books. They are neat.

I borrowed one from a friend, Julie and Julia, about a woman in a dead-end job who has a sort of mid-life crisis and decides to cook every single recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in the course of a year. It’s a fun, quick read, full of wit and (obscenity-laced – my favorite kind) wisdom. What amazed me, though, is how this woman – not much older than I am – managed to gain such a wide following on her blog as she was doing the project. I mean, literally she starts a blog and the next day has 14 readers. Before long she has fifty, and they all comment all the time and have fights with each other and even send her food in the mail.

I hope you are all sufficiently ashamed of yourselves.

No, but really, did she just tap into some bizarre current below the zeitgeist, a tribe of blog-savvy French food lovers who were looking for a leader? I mean, not to be catty, but the blog is pretty plain. What does she know that I don't (other than how to cook)? This woman got a book deal, national TV appearances, and now gets to write … in her pajamas … for a living. If envy had a name right now it would be Una.

What am I doing wrong? Is it that I don’t have a gimmick? Am I too self-involved (don’t answer that)? Am I not cute and charming? That dude who read the whole encyclopedia and wrote about it got a book deal, too. Come to think of it, so did that guy who ate McDonald’s for every meal. So I guess the question isn’t really whether I need a quirky project. The question is: what will it be? Should I stand in every line at Port Authority on Thanksgiving weekend? Should I wear only hemp clothing for a whole year? Should I do every knitting project known to man?

Please advise.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Etiquette for the Modern Bride

My parents threw Jeff and me a rockin’ engagement party this weekend. I will post a full update tomorrow, but for right now, I will simply do a run-down of Lessons Learned: Engagement Party Edition:

1. When complimented on one’s outfit, one should refrain from loudly crowing that it was purchased at Target.

2. People will not think it is funny if you pull them aside and ask them to explain what the wedding night will be like, no matter how many cocktails you’ve had.

3. After a night of drinking, a sloppy Reuben is perhaps not the smartest choice.

4. Your future mother in law is not familiar with the Dick in a Box sketch, and it won't jog her memory to serenade her with the lyrics.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Only Me

I interrupt today’s regularly scheduled blogging for a special report: I set my hair on fire today. First time! If you know me, you’re probably shocked right now, not because I set my hair aflame, but because I have managed not to for almost twenty-seven years. I’m not going to divulge how I set fire to my hair, as the story makes me look stupid. Suffice to say I wasn’t saving children from a burning building. Also, an executive at my company saw me do it. In fact, she put me out. Suffice to say I have to find a new job.

Really, though, I’m fine – I still have my hair, only a very slight burn, and a strong, unpleasant smell. I have, however, lost whatever little dignity I had left. As Jeff said when I told him the story, “Only you.” He did not mean “Only you can make this world seem bright/ Oh-only you can make the darkness light”. He meant “Only you could manage to set your hair on fire in your workplace.” Other things only I am capable of: falling head first off of a bunk bed onto a tin dollhouse; wiping out during cross-country skiing; tripping over Larry Flynt’s wheelchair; eating an entire bag of Tootsie Roll midgies for breakfast.

What, they’re good!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Meta Meta Meta Una

I am working on something -- will post it tomorrow -- about how I feel self-conscious writing about myself. In other words, I will write about how I feel self-conscious writing about self-sonscious writing. Discuss.
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