Thursday, September 29, 2011

Manhattan Pride!

The other day I was having a discussion with a friend about just what was so great about New York City. Um...everything? Namely, we were discussing why people pay so much to live here and get so little out of it. Except bragging rights! Why tell people you're from Duluth when you can say you're from New York City?! Synonymous with Broadway, culture, fashion, and sex (and the city)! Moreover, why tell people you're from QUEENS if you can roll your eyes back in your head and say you're from Manhattan! The island that never sleeps! Even if you have to lie about your neighborhood a little...(23rd Street and 12th Ave IS STILL CHELSEA!)

Manhattan has EVERYTHING. And the BEST everything, at that! All you have to do is map your journey and your course is set for an adventure for the day! Elaborate scavenger hunts can be concocted that fulfill your wildest whims!

It doesn't matter if you've been born and raised here. New Yorkers are a tricky clique but the thing is, they will accept anybody who has a genuine love of their city, keeps up the pace on the sidewalk, and has their MetroCard out before they reach the turnstiles. Just play by our rules, and you're in the club. Oh, and it doesn't hurt if you cultivate a blase indifference towards everything, you know, just to fit in. Dark glasses help.

Abstractly Speaking

I can't stop flipping through these awesome pieces by Christoph Neimann for the New York Times!

Even though this one makes me hungry.

And this one makes me nostalgic.

And this one is so, so true.

And I can totally relate to this one.

Now and Then

I'm absolutely amazed by this fascinating photo project where people re-enact childhood photos!

There's one I'd love to recreate from when I'm a toddler, leaning against a tree. I believe I still look exactly like that.Link

Typhoon Afternoon

Remember how all New Yorkers laughed at poor Irene and her ineptitude? Well, Mother Nature got her revenge on us today in true Sarah Palin Mama Grizzly fashion.

First, the skies turned pitch black. Then came the thunder: expected, but scary nonetheless. The skies got darker! Then the rain - the wind blew it sideways, in both directions at once! My building shook - sitting on the couch, I could feel the movement swaying with the wind. Then, the ominous loud banging...which sounded literally like cats and dogs landing on the ceiling above me (?), which I determined quickly to be all the doors in the building slamming around in their door jams. The windows rattled, of course.

And then, in a matter of minutes, it was over. The sun was out, and nothing but the puddles in the hallways of my building remained as evidence of the terrifying, world-ending storm just moments before. I love New York.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sur-reality TV: Jon & Kate Plus 8

Yes, judge away, I have so far watched four seasons of Jon & Kate Plus 8. It's a very interesting show because in a short few years, the entire mission statement of the show changed from boasting the benefits of a large family (in the vein of 17 Kids and Counting) to simply watching in horror as two human beings crumble into the very worst versions of themselves under the stress of the aforementioned large family.

Believe it or not, there are lessons to be learned from the show. Not just "be content with what you have," nor the dangers of fertility treatments resulting in multiple pregnancies. Relationship lessons. Oh yes.

Jon and Kate are victims of the "traditional" family that is propagandized as the ideal in middle America, which simply cannot work in a modern world. Or at least, not with 6 infants. Jon, as the husband, is told he must provide for his family monetarily. And Kate, with the children, is to be the stay-at-home mother who handles the domestic chores. However, this model will crumble under the pressure of eight children under the age of 5. More specifically, half a dozen infants. Kate has been destroyed by the pressures at home, and Jon is oblivious to this because he is focused on his "man's work." But that much can be obvious.

As parents, they both attempt to fulfill different roles. Jon is feebly attempting to be the children's friend, while he is truly afraid of children and uncomfortable relating to them. Kate wants to be the children's taskmaster, while she is uncomfortable relating to the children. They are not united on how they want to approach parenting, and thus are constantly in conflict. And when Kate tries to have fun with the children, Jon balks at her stepping into his role and not having someone in control, and gets nervous and starts an argument. You can learn a lot about how NOT to be a parent from the show. Especially the way they approach their children as an obligation and a burden.

But something you realize only after watching 75 episodes (yes, I'm on episode 75, thank you for reminding me, Netflix) is that they don't really love each other. Obviously, we all know that the series will end in infidelity and acrimonious divorce, but they didn't have to travel down a long road, or have 8 children together, to get there. From the very beginning, Jon marries Kate because it is what he is expected to do. As a mid-twenties-30-something-year-old, he is expected to marry a woman, put a roof over her head, sire her children, and build her storage units. He does this, but he is still unhappy. Middle America is running 20 years behind on societal understanding, so they don't realize that the 1950's white picket fence dream doesn't guarantee happiness, and this results in divorce (as many of our parents and our parents' parents already learned). Kate, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. She is either genuinely in love with Jon, or she is genuinely in love with the idea of Jon (and the white picket fence). If the latter is true, then it explains why she fights so hard to maintain the idea that everything is fine, and why she is so desperate to control her family and her husband and her life through her ridiculous micromanaging. But that's a little too easy. In their interviews, she sometimes looks at him as though she really does love him...sometimes. Her tragedy could be that she fell in love with a man, and signed her life away to him, before she realized he is not who she thought he was. Now she is stuck, and unhappy, and desperate to corral her life and her kids into the shape of what she wanted all along. Meanwhile, though she resents Jon and is disappointed in him, she loves the memory of him and wants him to be the young man who had the potential to turn into the knight in shining armor she expected.

What hoped to be a praise of traditional values in a modern world dissolves into an uncomfortable and deeply sad real-life Revolutionary Road. Which should hopefully demonstrate that traditional values need to evolve and adapt to our modern needs and sensibilities. But maybe not. If you choose to learn from Jon & Kate Plus 8, rather than condemn them, the truth is much scarier than you thought it would be.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Phoque My Job

True story: This Happened To Me At Work.

A guy with a heavy accent walks up to me with "I have a question" face. I lean in, lower my voice (this makes people feel comfortable, like they're getting special attention...well, they are) and ask, "Yes?"

He wrinkles his face up, like he isn't sure what he's going to say yet, and blurts out "Do you fuck?"

Frozen, I stammered, "I'm...not sure..."

"Uh, where do you have fuck?"

Blinking, I am trying to ascertain whether this is a situation that calls for a security guard or not.

"I...don't think we have that, must be new!"

He gets frustrated, walks in a small circle, then wheels on me.

"Fuck! Fuck! Fuck???"

"If you could just ask anyone in a gray shirt that says "FAO" on it..." I launch into my standard speech for anytime I don't know the answer to a question and want to pawn it off on someone whose job it is to know the answer....but he is already gone.

Minutes later, he returns with a lanky teenager sporting Justin Beiber hair and large headphones...his son? Or just a random Francophone he found in the store. The boy addresses me:

"Do you have any seals?"

"SEALS! YES! Up the stairs..." and I direct them to our collection of stuffed seals.

Seals = phoque = sounds a whole lot like "fuck".

It was probably my only opportunity to tell a rude costumer to go phoque themselves.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Date Plans

Since I started working 9-hour shifts at work, which is basically open to close with two breaks, I've noticed a strange phenomenon in the last hour the store is open. Now, back during the 8-hour shift days, I'd come in at opening (the best sales happen then!) and leave an hour before close, but NOW I have the privilege of watching business in the store slowly winding down for the day, and with it, come some strange characters. No, I'm not talking about the German tourists flirting with each other using raccoon puppets (furries? plushies? what community is that?). No, I mean...the single male crowd.

One week ago, during a Monday shift, I was doing my sales pitch to a middle-aged man in a fisherman's hat. I told him offhand that our company was based in England. He asked me, "Do you think I look English?" Not wanting to offend him, and wanting to continue my sales pitch, I replied plainly "You could be..." and tried to move on.

BAM! He blindsides me with his entire family history ("My great-great-great-grandfather fought in the battle of York, he invented potatoes, blah blah blah...") and then tells me they moved to America during the colonial period and fought under General Washington. He tells me that there is a bar downtown that Washington used to frequent. I try to interject, to tell him I know of this bar, hoping he will leave me alone, but he goes into his phone, trying to show me a picture of said bar. I glance at it. I tell him I know it. And he asks me if I'd fancy a meal of fish and chips and a pint with him, at this bar. He asks me what time I get off. I tell him I'm leaving early to go meet my boyfriend. I probably would have said this earlier, to spare his attempts, but he wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise, but you don't want to be that girl, you know? No, not with the hat. The one who assumes all male attention is flirting and brings up her boyfriend constantly to deflect said perceived pickup lines?

I chalked this up as an isolated incident, and nothing as dramatic happened the next two days I worked, until just this past Tuesday. It was around 6:00 or 6:30, just before closing. A nice young man, fairly handsome, with a strong accent and highlights began chatting me up. As it was very slow, and he has picked up a board and promised to buy it, I felt I could spare him my time and we began to talk. He introduced himself, and asked how old I was. That should have been the clue, but a lot of older customers assume I'm a teenager or something, so I'm often asked my age and don't really think about it much. He's 25. That's interesting. He shakes my hand, introduces himself, and asks if I'm an artist. Because of the drawings. I'm an actress, I confess, and ask if he does any acting. He says no. He, in turn, asks if I have dinner plans.

WTF! Is this a thing, now? To wait until the end of the day, go into a shop, chat up the first lady you see without a ring on her finger, and ask her out after her shift? If so, that's terrifying...and brilliant. After a long day, who doesn't want to be treated to some drinks, or a meal? Maybe this is how people meet people in the city. Forget dating websites! Get out there and mingle! I appreciate that this takes some, well, balls to try and ask a chick out while she's working. I suppose for mustering up the courage to do so and risk having security called on their ass, they should be commended. But if this thing happened say, back in the days when I worked at Target, I would request a security escort to my car. Who the hell creeps on ladies at the end of the workday? What if they're standing outside the door, waiting to walk you home? That's just creepy. Or am I being overly sensitive? I haven't been single for a long time. Is this the new "thing"?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Nothing In My Hand, Nothing Up My Sleeve, Nothing In My Retirement Account

Today there were not one, but TWO magicians on the subway on my ride home.

Of course, Eels was one of them! And we rode along two stops when all of a sudden a guy with greasy salt-and-pepper disheveled hair and a dirty green trench coat got on and started yelling:


(I'm pretty sure that last one was referring to the homosexuals whose gender isn't readily determined, and the sleeping homeless people in the corners whose forms and faces are hidden year-round by thick, heavy coats).

He then proceeds to do a very awkward, bumbling silk routine. For those of you who are not versed magi, silks are those tiny colored (usually red) handkerchiefs that disappear and then reappear. And there is a scale, people. There are the magicians who act like they don't know what they're doing, but they totally do and it's all under control and flawless. There are the magicians who say they don't know what they're doing because they're not confident in their abilities, they haven't practiced enough, and they think they can pass it off as self-deprecating humor but they honestly pray every single time that the trick works out. And then there are magicians who suck because they really don't know what they're doing. Guys, this dude was somewhere between the latter two.

And by the way, I just got my hairs cut! Short for fall, and it's all sorts of cute and I love it but guys, I have A Face. One of those faces that makes magicians want to use me in their routines. This used to happen all the time back when I worked for and with magicians: I'd talk to them on the phone and use all my "big words," and be witty, and organized and disciplined. When I would later meet them in person, they wouldn't match the mature demeanor and voice with the awkward teenager's body, and assume I was there to see a magic trick. Thus I have become an epic "involuntary volunteer." Magic secret of the trade: it's an unspoken rule that if you ASK for a volunteer, one of two things will happen. Either no one will volunteer at all, and shit will be awkward, or the smelliest, drunkest, most belligerent asshole in attendance will thrust his (or her!) sweaty mitt into the air, stumble up onto your stage, and proceed to heckle you TO. YOUR. FACE. Thus, magicians have adopted a way of engaging strangers in magic against their will. It's so subtle and ingenious and horrible - they thrust their deck into your face, fan it out and enthusiastically squeal "YOU! Pick a card!"

Well, jerkface? Are you going to pick a card, or are you just going to sit there and silently demonstrate to all the innocent children that you don't believe in magic? Just pick the fucking card, how bad could it be? And now, you're their puppet.

I love magic. I actually enjoyed seeing it on the train. I know Eels did too. But this guy was a little scary. I kept thinking he might say something like "For my next trick, I'll need this young miss to reach into my pocket and tell me if she feels anything hard...". He is a cautionary tale to all of us performers.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Get To Know Me Better

1. I abhor overhead lighting. I still won't allow the light switch in the living room to be used. That's why my lamps exist!

2. I usually always carry some kind of food in my purse. Currently, I have gummy spearmint leaves, sour rainbow tape, and gummy Mexican hats (WTF rite?!). Gummy candy holds up much better than cookies, crackers, or chocolate.

3. I am an incredibly liberal feminist, but that doesn't stop me from loving Jon & Kate Plus 8 and Mormon Mommy Blogs. Maybe I'm secretly a hypocrite? Or I enjoy creeping myself out? I justify it by believing that I can stand to learn something from everybody, no matter how different they are from me.

4. I change my nail color once a week, if not more often due to work-related nail mishaps.

5. I only just started drinking coffee, less than a year ago, and now I'm positively hooked. Caffeine is good for ADD symptoms, and if you're going to self-medicate, it may as well be with a pumpkin spice latte.

6. I have seen every. single. episode of Law & Order: SVU in existence. When Eels and I watch it together, we say the opening monologue together, sing along to the theme song, make a tiny stuffed dog he bought me for my birthday dance along to the tune (and discuss his methods), and scream "BUM BUM!" at points of high drama (imitating the "gavel" sound effect). Every family needs traditions.

7. Once upon a time, I really loved to cook. Then, in college, I was all about baking. These days, I live in the city with the best food in the world, and takeout's more my speed.

8. If I see someone who looks like someone I know, I will treat them like that person. I saw a person who resembled a high school buddy at work, and couldn't resist fawning over her. Conversely, after seeing a girl who could pass as a twin for my high school bully, I got so nervous that I gulped, gagged, choked, coughed, and spat a little on myself. False alarm.

9. Scents are my absolute weakness. Scented candles and room sprays are used liberally in my home, and perfumes and body sprays are rotated by season and mood. Most days I use a tiny dash of Demeter Fragrance's highly concentrated Patchouli perfume. I would buy their entire line if I could.

10. Growing up, I was a total slob. My bedrooms have always been legendary for their messiness. But when I moved to New York, I suddenly became a neat freak, and my house is orderly, organized, and vacuumed multiple times a week.

Rip Her To Shreds

I just recently learned how to shred knits! It's surprisingly easy, addictive, and delicate. I absolutely love the look - it's totally my aesthetic! And I still have those men's undershirts that I bought years ago at WAL*MART that I always planned to do something with, so why not?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Super LAME

Have you noticed that the female superheroes always have the dumbest powers? Honestly! Men get to fly, have super strength, shoot LASERZ from their EYES!!! They can control METAL and oh yeah CONTROL YOUR MIND! But what's wrong with the ladies? They seem to have the worst powers over and over again.

The top female superpower seems to be turning invisible. What is this, a very thinly-veiled metaphor for the woman's lack of importance in the group? Come on, The Incredibles! What's the problem, Fantastic Four? Even Wonder Woman has an invisible jet - "Oh, I don't want my jet to take up too much space, I'll make it invisible so it doesn't bother anyone, or distract from someone's view of the lovely fall foliage." What a bunch of lame-ass, shrinking violets! How about, instead of turning INVISIBLE, they turn NEON of GLOW IN THE DARK?! Be SUPER visible! Women should be more visible - in television, in front of and behind the camera. They should be more visible as heads of companies, and at the polls (then maybe politicians would stop taking away their rights?)

Another popular power for women is the ability to hear people's thoughts. Looking at you, Misfits, No Ordinary Family, and that one episode of Buffy. Also, River Tam seems to read people's minds, and doesn't Jean Grey too? But what is this power? If you ask me, the ability to "hear what people think of you" is exactly what people with social anxiety disorder face every day. Or is it just the idea of being so self-conscious that you imagine finding relief in finally knowing what people really think of you? It's another passive power. You can't really affect anything, you just know what other people know, and your superhero accomplices have to take your word for it.

And then there's the disturbing trend of women's powers being their downfall. Buffy is so powerful, but somehow, it seems to be her burden! Jean Grey, the Scarlet Witch, and Rogue all can't deal with their powers, it drives the former two insane and forces the latter to live her life disconnected from society. River Tam is always in some kind of pain. The 4400 is probably one of the best stories of humans with extraordinary powers, and more times than not, it leads to their death. Isabel turns evil and is murdered, and Maya is constantly being kidnapped. Even when they have power, the ladies are damsels in distress. What's wrong with this picture?

At least women have equality in costumes - all the good guys wear spandex.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mani Mondays -- NYFW

This is rather mundane nail art, but I'm very excited for it. I love fall (no, really?). I love darker colours, warmer clothes, and OMIGOD LAYERZ. Also, Fashion Week. Back when I got cable access television, watching Fashion Week coverage (which was re-broadcast for months afterwards) was one of my favourite relaxing activities!

This NYFW-inspired manicure was brought to you by two big trends:

1. Color blocking
2. Gray

I believe gray nail polish will be to this fall as powder blue nail polish was to this spring/summer. We're talking BIG! So here were my "usual suspects":

I'm going to be honest with you. I actually forgot to take pictures of this process. Basically, I painted two coats of gray, yellow, orange, and yellow on each nail. Then, I painted half the nail gray, black, or blue on the bottom in random order with the following pairings: green/gray, yellow/gray, orange/black, gray/black, and gray/blue.


Eli took this picture for me:

Et voila!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

One, Two Kinds Of People

In my more-than-a-quarter-of-a-century on Earth, I have come to the conclusion that everyone on the planet can be sorted into one of two groups. Are you ready? This is groundbreaking, folks.

The first group are people who stand in lines.

The second group are people who push their way to the front (ignoring the line).

Yes, if you frequent auditions, movie theatres, candy stores, Broadway lotteries, carnivals, bars, bus stations - basically anyplace a full-grown child such as myself would visit, you will see this principle in action. It happens EVERY SINGLE TIME on the subway platform: people wait on the platform, the train will arrive, they stand outside the door to let people in, and some juicebox will run down the stairs and push their way into the doors ahead of the waiting people and grab the last available seat. Really, it never fails.

You've seen people stand in line. You've seen me stand in line. We arrive early, make a sign-in sheet, insist "No, you were ahead of me," and wave others through. Sometimes, when they're only buying a head of lettuce and a Diet Coke, we let them go ahead of us in line at WAL*MART (but mostly because they must be really sad people to be buying those things and ONLY those things at WAL*MART, but not only out of pity). We love things to be fair. Things to have order. Rules were created for a reason. We were taught this as children and though we may have balked at the rigid structure of things then, as adults we see the merits of fairness and responsibility. We are model citizens, in every sense of the word. We vote, we volunteer, we care. We will teach our children not to scream in restaurants. We believe in charity, in Welfare, in caring for seniors. The motto of standing in line is "To Every Person Their Due." We do not wish to cheat the system because we know: we are the system. And besides, if everyone stood in line, as we did, there would be no worry about cheating. Look in front of you. Look behind you. Learn your place. In our ideal world, everyone would know their place. Their role. And everyone would behave themselves like mature adults. And things would go smoothly - perfectly.

The other group is a mystery to me. I'd like to explain it, but I can't even understand the mindset. Why push yourself ahead of others to succeed? That's not to say, "don't have any ambition. Don't educate yourself, apply yourself, or put yourself out there." I mean to say, "Don't shove others out of the way to get yourself ahead." Don't cut in line! I'll relate a story I once heard about a man living during our nation's last Great Depression. He had a job, a home, and a family, and yet he would stand in bread lines to receive the charity that was being given out. Upon his death, it was discovered that he had been stockpiling these things in his basement. Things he didn't need, things he NEVER needed, that could have gone to help someone who DID need them. This is a man who cuts in line.

Ask yourself, which group are you in?

Friday, September 9, 2011

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Normal People?

When becoming a bona fide New York City gal, I think there is enormous pressure to fit into that Sex and the City stereotype. One feels the need to find a gay man to be one's moral compass (check), learn to love to shop (check), and find a trio of best girl friends to get tipsy and talk about orgasms with. A stroll through midtown (or any outer borough subway platform, for that matter) at 10:00 on a Friday or Saturday night will show actual live groups of girls in tight dresses literally leaning on each other - mostly because their shoes are so uncomfortable (and CHECK!).

Yet, when I scan my facebook page for photos of my far-flung friends, do I see them earnestly listening to gossip over Manhattans? Nay. My friends are far more likely to, say, visit a giraffe farm.

As far back as I can remember, my friends have always been complete and utter weirdos. A recollection from elementary school had me sitting in a friends' living room, watching her younger sister perform an interpretive lip-synch to Cher's "Dark Lady" while we gave notes. Middle school had me learning the entire libretti to various musicals to recite while hiking the forbidden areas of my small neighborhood. And high school? Let's just say my "prom dates" were my BGirlF and my BGayF, and I have the pictures to prove what a merry band of misfits we were. I seem to recall we all swapped shoes during the course of the night.

I blame my weird-ass friends for making it impossible to interact with other people. How can I even to talk to "normal" girls? My language of friendship is comprised entirely of inside jokes (ho-dee-oten-doten-day!) and "remember when..."s that nobody could possibly understand. When I'm with my friends, sometimes all it takes is a single word (Ghetto-opoly? Zee Bra?), and no further explanation is needed. Try making a Carrie Bradshaw-type laugh by comparing Anna Wintour to a Cyberman without having to explain the entirety of Doctor Who and losing all cool-person credibility, go on, I dare you!

Furthermore, my wacky hometown bunch are a crutch for me. I can't make new, decent friends because, well, who else will drive me to Taco Bell in full-on man-drag because I've decided to become a boy-band impersonator, and then help me sneak said tacos into the movie theater in a clutch purse? Who will take pictures of me trying on ugly dresses at Salvation Army? Who will sing the Javert to my Valjean? Who will wear these T-shirts I made for team trivia night? Who will bring a gallon of soup to my door simply because I mentioned being sick in a facebook status? Who else knows how to play Seven Up Seven Down or Settlers of Catan or Apples to Apples but my crazy, offbeat, weirdo friends?

I guess I'm stuck with them.

True Life: You're Killing Your Kids

Note: this is a direct reaction to the MTV show True Life: I Want To Be Straight. Grab a bucket (or a garbage can, but empty it first -- pro tip!), click the link, and then join me in calling Kevin's parents in the hopes that they drive their station wagon off a cliff and end their son's misery.

(ring ring)

(ring ring)

Oh HI, Kevin! How's it going? With school? Hmm, hm, nice. Meet any girls? Oh you have? That's adorable. Hey Kevin? Just so you know, I think you're a great guy. Really stellar. You're sweet, you have the best of intentions, and you try really hard. Really, really hard. But listen up, Kevin. If you ever meet a girl, some nice, brainwashed Christian girl who's been brainwashed by religious doctrine and Disney movies into believing that she's performing a mitzvah or that she can change you and you trick that girl into marrying you and trap her in a life of lies and misery, I will come to your house, Kevin. I have your phone number. I will come to your house, I will make sure Brittany and the kids (of course her name would be Brittany!) are watching through the drapes, and I will blast your fool head off with a sawed-off shotgun.


Great talking to ya, Kevvy. Now do me a favor and put momsy and dadsy on the phone? Thanks.

Hi, Kevin's parents?

Listen, I don't know you. For all I know, Mrs. Kevin's Mom, you could be the dykiest dyke of dykedom. And you, Mr. Kevin's Dad, you could have sucked more dick in your day than Lindsay, Paris, and all three Kardashian sisters COMBINED. And in spite of all that, you sobered it up FOR JESUS, got hitched in a church like your parents told you to, and as a consequence of a single drug/and/or/alcohol induced night, you produce widdle Kevin. And as he grew up to love the lads, perhaps you saw this in him and decided that he should continue your legacy of denial and you forced him to play it straight in the hopes of spawning you some grandchildren down the line, supposedly for the purpose of also destroying THEIR lives.

Or maybe you're just masochistic assholes.

Or maybe nobody ever told you that by forcing your son to deny his true self, marry some poor girl, imagine John Stamos while he fucks her, and produce for you some new babies to torture, you are basically sentencing him to a life where he will constantly have to choose between killing himself to end his inner torment, or sneaking into his wife's and children's bedrooms in the middle of the night with a kitchen knife so as to stop living a horrible lie. Either way, you're deliberately raising a tragedy in the name of the Lord. Let me put it to you this way.

You hate your son.

You really hate him. I wish to your Christian god that, instead of teaching him to hate himself, you could hit him with a frying pan, or sexually molest him like decent abusive parents. At least then, Social Services could have stepped in, placed him in foster care, where he could have a chance of being raised in a positive, loving, and supportive environment, maybe even by ACTUAL parents instead of brainwashing tools like you, and he could now be living a happy normal life in which the constant darkness of self-hate weren't actually visible in his eyes.

*beep beep*

Sorry, that's my call waiting, I think Melanie and I are going to go torch her mother's place later. Anyway, sorry to bother you, leave Kevin alone or I'm going to come to your house and cram Bibles up both your asses until I can read the Old Testament with a flashlight in your ears. Love ya!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Pumpkin Spice Latte Of The Season!

All New Yorkers know that the fall season doesn't begin when the first leaves turn - who sees leaves anyway? Millionaires who live on Central Park? Nor does it begin when there's a hint of chill in the air. That may not happen until December! Nay, the fall season officially begins when Starbucks brings back their (dun da da DUN!) Fall Beverage Menu!

Here's me, enjoying a venti iced Pumkin Spice latte - the first of many this season, I hope!

And Eli in his signature pose (disgruntled) drinking a Salted Caramel Mocha!

Desperately Sad (and Smelly)

For the first time in a long time today, I ventured across Broadway (which is, as my mother observed over the phone, like "a war zone") to go to the post office to pick up a package. The post office is a perfect example of this: long, slow-moving lines, crying babies, and high-pitched ring tones going off constantly.

The line to pick up packages is moving slowly because apparently there is only one postal employee who speaks Spanish, and even then communication gets frequently confused and so it takes about 10-15 minutes to retrieve a package for a customer. I am sixth or seventh in line.

While there are only two or three more patrons ahead of me, a man walks into the station. His pants are quite too large, held up by a belt. His hair and beard are bedraggled, and he smells so strongly of urine that in a matter of minutes, the large post office smells like the inside of a dirty toilet. Everyone in the post office is openly gagging as this man paces around yelling "Hello!? Is anyone in here?" "Where is Shirley?" "Where is my mail? I have received no mail today." One of the employees yells to him through the bulletproof window, "wait til tomorrow," to which he responds with no irony whatsoever, "Tomorrow is another day!" Finally, he leaves.

Then he returns. Same thing, repeats the same motions, this time pounding on a window yelling "Hello! Hello!" and sits by the window for a good long time. Finally, it's my turn at the window. Luckily for the people behind me, it takes me less than a minute to hand over my ID, my pickup slip, and to accept the package I have waiting for me. Figures.

Lady in Red

Remember when I said I was looking for red jeans? I must've gone to every Forever 21 in Manhattan (well, all but one) (that I know of), but I found these beauties for $20! They're stretch denim, and a little baggy, but they're SOOO comfortable and I basically live in these now. I wore them yesterday to meet up with my sketch group and here's how I looked:

I know you're jealous of my mirror with my happy Holiday penguin. Everyone is.

And then I did my hair - Heidi braids with flowers (though the flowers are mostly to hide the parts of the braids where I wasn't quite good at overlapping them yet)

I feel like I was channeling Frida Kahlo in a way, sans the (obvious) unibrow.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

This Week, in "But I Did It First..."

I have conflicted feelings when the things I find attractive wind up being trendy. First, I get angry, because I try very hard to be original and I don't like people copying my answers. Then, I get excited, because I think perhaps I've spawned a trend, and after all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, isn't it? Then, I get REALLY ANGRY, and I feel the need to explain that I have, in fact, been wearing these things since long ago, and I'm not really a mindless trendoid, and I want to sit every girl in Forever 21 down in front of that episode of Doug where everyone starts dressing like Doug and he goes crazy over it (because they're all WAY too young to have even HEARD of Doug in the first place...maybe their parents can explain it to them).

Here's my latest beef - I was in the aforementioned Forever 21 scouting for some red jeans (mission accomplished, BTW) and I saw not one, not two, but THREE GIRLS young enough to be ...babysat by me? with Arabic tattoos! ONE girl even had the AUDACITY to place hers over her heart! Now, unless they went to a very, very unscrupulous tattoo artist, who tats people well under the age of 18, there is NO WAY these girls had their ink done before mine. Therefore, they are copycats. Also, tattoos are very personal. I chose mine because they very original, meaningful and the chance of running into someone with copycat ink would be very slim (like the one on my arm) to almost nil (my Arabic word, or so I thought).

But I guess that's the price you pay for being so painfully awesome...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Mani Mondays -- Rascacielos

One of the things that irks me terribly at work is when people get mad at me for not speaking Spanish. Not to go on for too long of a rant here, but I believe that if you move to America (or Canada, or England) you should learn to speak English. Hell, I tried to learn Italian because I spent a week there. Not like you should be FORCED to learn English, but understand that if you don't, you're going to have a really hard time getting around - like I did in Paris. Fair's fair, if I moved to your country, I would learn your language. Or, at the very least, I would be kind if you couldn't speak to me in English, my preferred language.

Anyway, yes. I am constantly getting evil looks when I inform people that I don't speak Spanish. It's not that I don't try, I do try to help; but what I remember from 12th grade Spanish class only goes so far, and when it's not enough, they treat me like a bad person. "Derecha"(right), "Izquierda" (left), "mariposa" (butterfly), and perhaps my favourite word of all: Rascacielos!

"Rascacielos" means "skyscraper", and feeling inspired by the view of midtown from Riverside Drive, I cooked up a little idea for this week's nails (a day early, because tomorrow I have plans!).

And then it failed. Terribly. I ended up painting them blue with sparkles:

But then I thought, why give up so easily? I could have it all! I removed the nail polish (side note: I think I go through nail polish remover faster than any other human being alive) and started over again, only this time instead of drawing the buildings on with Sharpie (it bled, was a mess, blah blah blah), I painted them on YES HAND-PAINTED THEM ON with black polish. Here's the left hand, representing the East side of midtown (with the Chrysler building):

And here's my right hand (still haven't mastered photographing my own right hand) with the West (ish) side. Note the Empire State Building. That building took an entire episode of The Mighty Boosh to accomplish:

In short, this turned out okay. In the future, I would attempt this with either nail art pens designed specifically for tiny details, or thinner nail brushes, possibly aided by toothpicks. Also, the color combination could be switched up for more fun, and I would take the time to patiently paint buildings on each nail, which would require more research, so look back for that in the future, but for now I think they look cualquiera!


"I think everybody should like everybody."
- Andy Warhol

Here's What I've Been Doing

Friday, September 2, 2011

Carry a Torch For Me

Today the freaks are out in New York in full force. Over the summer, New York is not really New York: that is, all the natives leave for summer break at home or the Hamptons or (gulp) Regional Theater tours, and the city is full up with tourists. Loud, pushy, slow, clumsy, self-important tourists. Oh, and creepers. This is a story about the latter.

It begins with me bringing the lantern I use for my lantern-guided tours back to the tour manager for her use. Two stops later, a young man between the ages of 15 and 25 sits directly across from me. I don't notice him much besides the fact that he is a little scruffy in the hair department, and wearing sneakers, sweatpants, and a Coors Light t-shirt.

Somewhere between 168th street and 145th street, his gaze meets my glazed-over, daydreaming, iPod-ing gaze. I exchange my "Subway Smile" (subtext: "Public transportation is both irritating and necessary! I hope your journey is as trouble free as mine, though somehow I doubt it."), and look down at my iPod as if it just reached a hand out to me to beckon me to follow it into a pencil-drawn world where we would be pursued by men in mining helmets, a la "Take On Me". You know, like you're supposed to do on the subway. Moments later, a strange movement across from me catches my eye. He's smiling...and waving. Waving at me from across the subway car. I exchange my "Annoyed Subway Smile" (subtext: "As a humanist, I am obligated to treat you with dignity, but you should probably know that I have no problem whatsoever with punching you in your dick.") I look back at my iPod as though it has become alive and I must now care for it as the first iPod to gain sentience and have feelings. He pulls out his phone and begins to press buttons. I breathe a sigh of relief, thinking he has taken the hint: Interaction with fellow subway passengers = bad; paying more attention to your inanimate gadgets than the world around you = GOOD. I have lost track of time, because I am now aware that people have noticed his attempts to get my attention.

Suddenly, he thrusts his phone at me across the aisle. He has written a lengthy paragraph as a message to me. I scan quickly and see the phrases "I am a really nice person" and "get to know me" and decide before I invest my time in reading the rest I had better put a stop to this whole thing: I put my hand up and shake my head in the ever-important in New York "I don't want your pamphlet" gesture (subtext: "I am a polite human being, so even though you are pestering me with unwanted coupons or Bibles or political messages, I will decline with class and then talk shit about your nerve in another block or so). At this point, the entire car is looking on, and he puts his head down. For a long time. The train pulls up to 125th street and I am aware that I am now stuck with this guy for another 20 minutes at the very least.

One stop before mine, at 59th Street, he lifts his head. His eyes are red and gleaming. All passengers look at me. As if I asked to be pestered by a random guy on the subway? As if I'm the bad guy for breaking his heart? As if people actually hit on other people by writing them love notes on their flip phones and handing them out on the subway?

But more than just being annoying, it made me angry. I was afraid now to get off the train, that he might follow me and confront me, or stick a knife in my ribs and try to rape me or something. A clearly crazy person just made me feel really uncomfortable and why? For the record, for all you slut-shamers out there, I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt with hi-top Converse, no jewelry, and my hair down. So was I asking for it by carrying a lantern on the subway? What exactly had I done to deserve being made uncomfortable, and then afraid, by some guy who felt entitled to bother me? There were lots of other people on the train. Why did I deserve this? Just my luck.
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