Hello computer, hello blog, hello Tupperware of pasta. I had a birthday-full weekend, what with Paul on Saturday & then Polly (of the brand-new blog) celebrating hers on Sunday. I accidentally made a faux-pas at the second birthday dinner (full of law students & Southerners who all somehow mentioned where they went to college at some point in the evening) by picking up a conversation from the first birthday dinner (full of musicians, photographers, etc. I've known for years but whose academic histories I'd be hard-pressed to identify). Somehow I brought up a friend of a friend, a "male-identified lesbian" who wanted sex with his new girlfriend, a lifelong lesbian who rather suddenly decided to start dating men, to take the form of her fucking him with a strap-on. (The relationship is on the rocks.) I was temporarily saved by my friend Lacey, a superb conversationalist in any situation, who brought up Savage Love. Unfortunately that gave me the opportunity to make things worse by bringing up the new(ish) definition of Santorum, which I described as the byproduct of anal sex, a frothy mixture of cum & shit. I said this as I was buttoning up my coat to step out for a smoke, so I left before anyone had time to respond. Outside I asked Lacey if I'd gone too far. "I think everyone was okay till they heard the word frothy," she said.
So anyway. So many birthdays, so many opportunities for discomfort. Twas a very good time, tho, all the same.
Even better than the birthdays was the Idiotarod on Saturday. Lacey, Erik, assorted others & I met at a bar on Chambers to watch the action. We were standing outside the bar watching the streets flood with shopping carts, men in little shorts, women in bikini bottoms & Minnetonka boots, butchers in bloody jumpsuits drinking out of flasks, Boy Scouts, the Secret Service & Satanists eating fried chicken from the Popeye's next door. A passerby who was unaware of the occasion asked Erik what was going on.
"It's just like the Iditarod," he said, "except instead of dogs they have people, & instead of sleds they have shopping carts, & while they're racing they stop at bars to drink."
When he put it that way it all sounded so pointless.
Pointless or not, Lacey & I decided we are totally down for next year's race. We were mostly won over by the costumes -- the octopi & the vikings in particular -- but the drinking part is appealing too. If I get in good with the cashier at Tops I think I can get us a first-rate shopping cart. Who's in?
Love is in the cold, cold air, isn't it? Everytime I say something to this effect (i.e., not cynical & suicidal-sounding), my boo starts flipping out with joy, being the unselfish, kind person she is, & then I in turn start freaking out & taking it back, being the superstitious, paranoid person I am. I'm always worried about jinxing something, but this time I'm not, because there isn't anything to jinx. I just feel weird & good for no reason, that's all. Last nite after a rather surprisingly great time at Mars 2112, where a disparate group of us (Morgan, Mike Toole, my friend Kristina & 2 of Morgan's friends) were enjoying cheap, cheap drinks after work, I got home, smoked the tiniest of bowls by myself & started thinking about mix CDs, of all things. Recently Brigita posted her 25 most frequently played iTunes & I sent her a list of my own in return. Last nite I was downloading songs (Cowgirl in the Sand, Galileo & something I've forgotten) & creating playlists & all that shit that is so new to me & so fun, & I was thinking about a person I wanted to make a mix for (no, not the checkout guy at Tops, actually, someone else) & the songs I wanted to put on it & I felt that giggly nice feeling that means that love & romance & crushes are good things. Lately the question of requited love versus unrequited love has been much on my mind. I'm coming around to the idea that maybe unrequited love is not the world's most horrible thing after all. I remember that feeling, of being tearfully in love with someone who had but the dimmest perception of my shadowy existence, & somehow, that sounds so freeing & so sweet.
I guess that's kind of crazy. Today I feel a bit crazy. Work is crazy & I haven't had time to do anything except this write this poor excuse for a post, which I am hastily typing up over the last of my lunch.
On an unrelated note, did you guys know Paris Hilton's vagina has a blog? I know, I couldn't believe it either.
I guess when you break up with someone you are just supposed to accept the fact that you are breaking up with their friends too & blah blah blah. I'd like to call bullshit on that rule, tho I guess I don't have a great reason for it, except for the fact that it makes me sad. I'm not trying to be all waah, look at me, I'm sad too. The stupid rumors & threats milling around are absolutely not what I'm talking about. I already vented about that shit over at my secret blog, anyway. But yesterday I noticed that someone I've always liked very much quite suddenly erased me, literally actually, & it made me sad. Very very sad indeed. I woke up this morning thinking about it. & that is all I have to say about that.
Oh! But I had something happy to say today. Remember how I said the checkout guy at Tops is not that hot? Yesterday I noticed that he is that hot. We made eye contact over the cheap-ass six-pack of Yuengling I was buying & it was pure, unadulterated, grocery-store-shopping, price-scanner-scanning, greasy-hair-hanging, cheap-beer-buying magic. Sigh. I wonder if he can get me discounts on groceries... & beer.
What is it about hotels? I'm obsessed with them. Courtesy of my friend Michelle, easily the most glamorous resident of Minneapolis, last nite I stayed over at the brand-new Hotel on Rivington, the tall clouded-glass building that suddenly popped up on the Lower East Side. "Is this a good neighborhood to be staying in?" Michelle wanted to know, which was funny, because we were a block & a half from dinner at Schiller's, less than a block from drinks at the Johnson's, & mere paces away from about a thousand other perfectly swell options. I didn't even have time to smoke a proper cigarette between dinner & drinks, nor between drinks & the hotel, but I didn't mind much. Over fish & chips (mine) & steak frites (M's) we talked about how horribly unfashionable fashion people are, our crazy old boss, my checkered love life, & how happy Michelle is to be married.
We had a drink & a half apiece at the Johnson's, but we forwent another round in favor of bad TV at the hotel. The beds were like heaven. The mattress started out hard & then molded itself around you like magic. Before bed we put on Garden State, which I'd already seen & liked even less the second time around. As soon as Natalie Portman appeared on screen I shut my eyes & went to sleep. This morning when we woke up we put on the terry-lined robes & ate a continental breakfast of very crumbly croissants & blood oranges, looking out at the snow-capped tops of the tenement buildings from our big bright windows. I put sugar in my coffee as a treat for myself & this morning I feel very alert for the first time in weeks.
In unrelated news, I haven't talked about my iBook in awhile. I have a question for all you Mac peeps. Keep in mind this may be stupid, but here goes. You know how with a PC, you have a backspace button that lets you delete characters to the left of the cursor, & a delete button that deletes characters to the right? So, on the iBook, where's that second button? I can only delete to the left & it's driving me crazy. I asked my roommate about this & she didn't seem to understand the need for both options. She said, "Can't you just go to the right of it & then hit delete?" Well, actually, no, I'd really rather not, thanks. I can't believe there isn't a better way. So I hope someone out there can help me...
On Friday Morgan & Sheri & I drove out to Rockaway Beach, because the nite before we polished off too many beers at their house & we all pinkie-swore to call in sick the next day. I slept on their pull-out couch in the living room & the next morning we all called out one by one. When we finally got our act together around noon, it was much too late to go to Montauk, as we'd envisioned the nite before, so we decided to make it Rockaway instead. It didn’t take all that long to get there by car, despite a few failed attempts at finding the boardwalk & the crossing & re-crossing of a certain bridge more than once.
Finally we saw the long wooden walk against the sand & we parked the car across the street from a big painted whale. There was a lot of litter by the boardwalk & some parts of the sand were covered with snow, but it was quite pretty & barren nevertheless. We walked down to where the surf was coming in & looked out at the waves & at the stretches of empty beach on either side. Sheri wondered how long it would take a person to freeze to death in the water & Morgan guessed not more than a minute or two. I picked up a couple of large shells but they were frozen, dripping & packed with hard sand. Morgan & Sheri in their twin black puffy jackets with furry hoods were taking photographs & making obscene sand sculptures, respectively. We probably would have looked pretty funny out there all bundled up trying to be beachy but no one was around to notice.
About five or ten minutes on the beach was enough. We climbed back up the sand & made it to the warm car, which carried us to a quaint local bar with a soap-opera-watching proprietress, very cheap Budweisers, & a vending machine full of scratch-off tickets that none of us won.
When I got home I had an email that said, "Rock-rock-rockaway Beach? Damn, u must be pretty tuff..." Eh, not really. I mean, yeah, it was cold out there, but we really did it for the cheap Buds. Something about forcing yourself out into the bracing weather & back again makes you feel you've accomplished something. & once you've accomplished something, well, drinking beers in the afternoon is not only OK, it's practically your duty.
According to the elevator in my building, the word of the day today is rheum. At first I thought this was kind of a disgusting word of the day, until I remembered that its adjectival form, rheumy, always reminds me of Allen Ginsberg & Jack Kerouac. They were always talking about rheumy-eyed this & blear-eyed that, weren't they? Has anyone else noticed that? It's very John Crowe Ransom, too. Back when I was a 15-year-old trying to sound exactly like a Beat I was always stealing the word "blear." Something was always happening in the blear light of the grey dawn somewhere, or there was some sorrowful blear-eyed old alcoholic shuffling about in the background. I never stole "rheum" tho, which incidentally means the same thing, but sounds less beautiful, tho just as affected, somehow.
I'm a bit rheumy-eyed myself, this morning, as a matter of fact. I wore contacts for the first time in days & then I slept in them. I feel great tho, if slightly more bleary than usual. I took a cab to work, which felt luxurious & urban, & I am eating a toasted whole-wheat bagel with scallion cream cheese & tomato slices, & drinking a cup of Lady Grey tea.
& that is all I have to report so far.
There have been hordes of male models swarming around my office this week & last week. They're all here getting their photos taken for a menswear book we're doing. I thought male models would be dreadfully cheesy in person but it turns out -- surprise -- they're really, really, really hot.
I mean, they are totally cheesy once they open their mouths. They are still male models, inside & out. Last week I overheard one say to the other, "Dude. Since last summer my chest went from a 38 to a 39 & a half."
I asked my friend Paul if he was ripped. He said, "No. Unless you mean 'ripped' like 'I just ripped into a bag of potato chips,' in which case I am way ripped."
The last several work days have left me feeling woefully overstressed & underappreciated & sometimes even near tears. I have to admit the male models are helping.
I think I'm getting sick today. The weekend was party-heavy. Blind items abound.
Which drunken reveler took off his pants on Saturday nite -- permanently, it seemed -- to reveal a very small pair of leopard-print briefs? Which female attendee then grabbed his leopard-clad package? Which otherwise-stellar host was displaying six of my books on her bookshelf? (Rather than steal them back, I pulled each one about an inch out from the shelf in silent protest -- I wonder if she noticed the next day.) Which annoying but generous nerd did we follow into the bathroom for coke every five minutes, then subsequently ignore on the dance floor? In non-party news, which infrequent emailer do I wish would write me back? Which loose-cannon-about-town has been threatening to kick my ass? & which Tops checkout person have I decided is hot?
Sorry. That last one wasn't very juicy. & he isn't even that hot. I just didn't want to leave off with the ass-kicking item. It seemed ominous somehow, ending it that way.
Sometimes I try to do things and it just doesn't work out the way I want it to. I get real frustrated and I try hard to do it and I take my time and it doesn't work out the way I want it to. It's like I concentrate real hard and it doesn't work out. Everything I do and everything I try never turns out. It's like I need time to figure these things out.
But there's always someone there going hey Mike, you know we've been noticing you've been having a lot of problems lately. You know, maybe you should get away and maybe you should talk about it, maybe you'll feel a lot better.
And I go, no it's okay, you know I'll figure it out, just leave me alone, I'll figure it out. You know I'll just work it out myself.
And they go well you know if you want to talk about it I'll be here you know and you'll probably feel a lot better if you talk about it.
And I go no, I don't want to, I'm okay, I'll figure it out myself! But they just keep bugging me they just keep bugging me and it builds up inside and it builds up inside....
I was listening to that song at the extra-divey Bellevue bar last nite with Tracy. Before that they'd been playing relatively recent Michael Jackson music, which was so terrible we rushed to the jukebox to throw on not just Suicidal Tendencies but Concrete Blonde, Dead Kennedys & Patsy Cline. The bartender smiled at us. I was playing the bad music so someone would do that, he said. Kind of a stupid system, but the drinks were 4 dollars & it was good to catch up with Tracy, who I hadn't seen in ages.
Pretty soon I'm going to stop blogging about how much I love being single, & when I do I'll go back to bitching about it. But I have one more thing to say on the subject. When I was kissing someone all the time my lipstick kept coming off so I just quit wearing it. That was a shame, because I adore lipstick. Today I walked to Macy's in the rain & bought a brand-new one from Chanel, a pretty shade of pink called Bermuda. I promised it I wouldn't kiss anyone for the next several hours.
The internet has been fucked up & weird lately. My gmail's been slow, my yahoo's been slow, emails from a hotmail-using friend have been arriving almost a day late. Sitemeter isn't loading right now. At home I borrow wi-fi from my neighbors & sometimes it works like gangbusters (which I can't believe I just said) & sometimes it doesn't work at all. Today I suddenly felt, as I read some anonymous boy blogging about his online troubles somewhere, this weird new fear strike my heart. What if the internet just stopped? What if it went away? The new season of 24 has been hinting at an internet-related terrorist attack (or I think it's been hinting -- I've been way stoned this season), which at first I thought sounded retarded & not scary at all but now actually sounds like the end of the world.
Let's think about something pleasant instead, like break-ups. Just kidding. Break-ups are a terrible thing. But today I was thinking about them as I walked fifteen blocks away to get my lunch at a particular halal cart, because it was 50 degrees outside & when you are wearing a trench coat & a light scarf, 50 degrees feels exactly like room temp. I was remembering the last time I got dumped. Not counting once this summer when I dumped someone, had sex with him the same nite, then got dumped by him a week later. No, the time I was thinking about was last year, on my birthday. I blogged about it, in what I think is probably my saddest post next to this one. The worst part about it wasn't that it was my birthday, or that I was drunk & crying, or that it happened right outside the fucking Abbey of all places. (I once told someone he ruined my life right outside the Abbey, which I admit was melodramatic.) It wasn't even cos he was dumping me for a person he'd met after, not before, me -- & that fucking stung. I guess it was cos I liked him. He designed the interiors of luxury aeroplanes. Oh yeah, & he was British. He knew how to drink tea properly. He cared for me when I was ill. (He called it "ill," not "sick.") He was sarcastic as hell. When we bumped into some friends of mine on the street he said hello & then tried to get rid of them. I don't know why, but I liked that. He made fun of people better than I did. Scarily better. He was smart. & he had no furniture but his computer ruled. He knew how to cook salmon, sort of. & then in front of the Abbey it all went away.
I don't know what my point is here. I suppose there isn't one. Just that I'm so happy to be on my own right now, I guess. Things hurt & then they don't. & then, sometimes, they still do. I think either way it's all ok.
& I will conclude with just one Sweet Valley review:
Sweet Valley is not the same: everybody are shocked. Young, beautiful Elizabeth Wakefield is in coma. Why? Because Elizabeth and her boyfriend Todd Wilkins fell of the motorcycle. Although Elizabeth's parents said to Elizabeth, "You are not going to ride a motorcycle, not even with Todd" Elizabeth wanted to try. Elizabeth thought, "What in the world can happen if I'm going to ride a motorcycle? Nothing, of course. I trust in Todd... and myself." But she was wrong... and now she is fighting of life and death. When Elizabeth finally wakes up from the coma, she's... different. Like... like Jessica! Now Elizabeth thinks, "Todd is the past, I am a free woman. Come on boys! Come over here."
Isn't life a beeyotch sometimes? You know, suddenly you have a boyfriend, so suddenly you are having sex pretty much all the time, & then the genius in your head tells you to go get the birth-control patch so you can keep having sex all the time without worrying about it anymore, & then suddenly you are a giant bitch who never ever wants to have sex & then nearly as suddenly you don't have a boyfriend anymore.
At least, that's the official line, if that's what you came here for. (*^_^*)
Stuart mentioned, in the way he mentions everything on his blog -- which is to say, in between a bunch of random things like wanting to post pictures of his cock online & wishing he had an iced tea -- that he'd like to try the patch, God only knows why. I would love to give him one of mine (except there are only three to a box) so he could testify, on his blog, in between a bunch of other random testaments, that YES it turns you into a raging bitch & NO I wasn't making that shit up!!!
By the way I am still on the patch. Can you tell?
In happy news, my dear friend Anise & I are planning to drive to Chicago together in April. It will rule. Maybe I will sing Anise the song my sister & I invented for road trips when we were kids. You have to yell it really loud & these are the lyrics:
Boom down the trail
Boom down the trail
We're going to the grocery store to buy a stick of candy
We wanna go home
WE LOVE YOU!
You really have to scream that last line. My poor parents probably never hated being told they were loved so much.
I started taking the pill again recently. Not the pill really, the patch. I mean it does the same thing the pill does, only in handy adhesive form. The patch makes me sort of a bitch. It also makes me tearful, apparently, & fat. On Friday evening getting ready for dinner I was standing in my closet (a walk-in, yes, tho not as deluxe as it sounds) looking for a pair of jeans to wear. I have 3 pairs of expensive jeans that are rather too small for me but I saw them on sale at hundreds of dollars off so I bought them anyway. One pair of Wranglers designed by Wendy of Built By Wendy. One pair of Yanuk's from the Barney's Warehouse sale. & one pair of Seven jeans that haven't really fit properly since the day I bought them, because I was recovering from the flu & hadn't eaten in 3 days. I didn't bother even trying that last pair because they're entirely hopeless unless it's the day after a huge coke binge & I ingested 8 bottles of water but nary a crumb of solid food.
Anyway. I tried on the Yanuks first, which are slightly smaller than the Wranglers, & they wouldn't zip up. What usually happens is they button & zip but things are bulging out all wrong so I don't end up wearing them. But this time the zipper wouldn't budge past half-mast. It wasn't like I couldn't wear them because they looked bad. I just couldn't wear them. I was starting to hyperventilate a bit & I was forcing myself to calm my breathing & I went for the Wranglers. They. Also. Wouldn't. Zip. At that point I was just standing in my closet openly crying. The bitchiness I could handle. The crying jags were A-OK. The elevated risk of blood clots from smoking, while worrying, was something I could certainly live with (tho I'm not sure if "live with" is the right turn of phrase). But weight gain? It was like my life had spun out of control.
Well, I say all this to say that I would probably have ripped the cursed patch right off my butt cheek sometime in the next few days if I hadn't suddenly walked into a Victoria's Secret during their Semi-Annual Sale(TM). Victoria's Secret got on my bad side a year or two ago when I went in looking for a bra & discovered they don't carry A cups in their stores anymore. You can still order the daintiest size from the catalog or online, but -- & I'm blaming this on how fat Americans keep getting -- A's are nowhere to be found even at the giant multi-level megastore at Herald Square.
But it was the big VS SAS(TM) event & bras weren't nearly as over-priced as they usually are, & it only happens, you know, semi-annually, so I had to try. & I'm very happy to report that I tried on one hot pink little number & a garish looking purple lacy thing & they both fit! There was no extra material pooching out where cleavage was meant to be. There was no cleavage, either, but there was no extra material. They were ugly bras & I didn't buy them, but they fit.
All the same. I'd rather be skinny than have boobs. I think. The end.
Between picking up a copy of Dr. Zhivago last nite & making the yummy soup I mentioned yesterday I stopped at the wine store for the very cheap Shiraz I like to buy (it's so cheap I don't like to drink it, really, but I like to buy it). The very charming man behind the counter was singing a Beatles song.
You say goodbye, I say hello, he sang, ringing me up. Or, wait. Is it "I say goodbye, you say hello?"
That's a tricky one, I said. I think the first way.
You say goodbye, I say hello, he sang. He had a very good singing voice indeed.
Hello, hello! I answered.
I don't know why you say goodbye I say hello, he finished. Yup, that's it.
After that I went to pick up ingredients for the soup. When I came out of the grocery store fat wet snow was already falling. I made the soup in a giant pot. I started out by following the recipe to the letter, as I always do, but then in a burst of rebellion I cut the apple cider vinegar in half & quadrupled the miso. I sliced up some very hot peppers as well & a couple of mushrooms. I was stoned while I was making it so I kept asking Maria if she thought it was ok. If I was cutting the celery too thick, if the flame was high enough, etc. I'm an indecisive person all the time but when I'm stoned it becomes practically paralyzing.
Being stoned always makes everything take longer, too. I've never felt so much like I was slaving over the stove, I told Maria.
The soup turned out delicious & very spicy. We didn't watch all of Dr. Zhivago. I wasn't paying much attention, actually. I was tapping bits & pieces of things into my laptop & text-messaging Melly about Clint Howard & the blizzard in Chicago. I knitted for a minute or two but the yarn I have is wispy & it came apart. I went to Anytime for another pack of cigarettes & I came home again & I read The Basque & Bijou before I turned out the light.
In other news, I have long been fascinated by the poetic possibilities of spam & particularly the strange invented names of spammers. Here is a person who actually saw this possibility through into creation here. The rest of his blog is every bit as fascinating. (Thanks, Stuart, for the link.)
This morning I thought I saw my favorite blogger on the L train, but I was mistaken. I was in a terrible mood. I had to let the first train go by because it was too full, & then I just barely managed to get the second one, & I had left E. standing rather forlornly on the platform, waiting for the Canarsie-bound train, & I was squished against the glass, very forlornly indeed, craving a smoothie, wishing I could shatter into a million pieces (which reminds me that last nite outside Rothko, or rather across the street & around the corner from it where the smokers had been banished, these boys from Westchester were going off about A Million Little Pieces. James Frey, right? I said. I never read it. Dude! they said. A Million Little Pieces is awesome! As if they'd all read it in their Westchester book club or something.)
Anyway there was this blue-eyed girl next to me & for a second I thought it was her. I don't even know if her eyes are blue in real life & the girl on the train was much shorter than I had pictured her to be but everything else seemed right. & I always thought if I ever ran into her it would have to be on the train.
But then of course it wasn't, anyway.
I'm yuckily hunogver today & very settled in my decision to not go to Death Disco at the Delancey this evening, tho everyone else should go because Live Girls!!! are playing & they are awesome & X’s for Eyes are playing & they are awesome too. As for me I am either going to walk down to Videology or I am going to pay Reel Life the $20 or so I owe them & I'm going to see if there are any very very depressing movies to rent. & maybe make a big pot of this soup.
In work-related news, why have some people in the fashion world been so embarassingly hesitant to have anything to do with the internet? Ciao, Prada! I'm talking to you! Check out their horrible excuse for a web site here. Oh wait, sorry. Maybe their Italian site is better. Er, nope. One of my favorite designers, Matthew Williamson, who I thought would have a turquoise & fuchsia swirly peacock-feathery rainbow-covered Flash-heavy thing going on, apparently has no web presence at all.
I'm not talking about everybody here. Dior's site is downright amazing. So is Stella McCartney's. & I suppose a case could be made that Helmut Lang's site is appropriately minimalist. But still, there are a couple of major fashion houses that really ought to be setting a better example. (Ahem, Calvin Klein. What the fuck is this?)
That is all for today.
Yesterday E. took me to church at the Brooklyn Tabernacle because his parents were in town. The choir was very loud & their songs were very pretty & they had soft floral-upholstered chairs rather than pews & they never made you kneel but on the other hand it was still church & there was a lot of preaching going on & I didn't really like the Pastor's attitude & the only 2 things I ever look forward to at mass -- the three mini signs of the cross you make when you say Glory to you oh Lord & Communion, which is delicious -- were wholly absent. I mean, I know it wasn't mass because it wasn't Catholic, but still, I felt a bit cheated. E. was creeped out by the way some people muttered insanely but I wasn't really. On the other hand it did seem somehow affected to me. For the same reason I felt some people made too big a point of standing up & raising their hands to heaven with this very beatific look on their faces (I imagine it was beatific anyway, as I only saw them from behind, but really, what other expression would they have?), as if they were winning the competition of who was more filled up with the holy spirit. I didn’t feel filled up with anything really, especially since I hadn't eaten since the nite before & I was ravenous the entire time & they weren't even giving out any Eucharist, as I mentioned earlier.
So all in all I was very happy when it was over & I got to skip down to the G train alone, because E. wasn't off the hook yet. I bought a bag of pizza-flavored Combos & a New Yorker magazine. There was a marvelous little short story in it called "I Am A Novelist." It was by Ryu Murakami & it was the first short story in the New Yorker that I can remember finishing in ages. It was about a famous novelist who falls in love with a woman who is in love with a man who is impersonating the famous novelist. The woman says that it is OK to judge people by their appearances as long as you are true to yourself & refuse to be swayed by the opinions of others; that's something I've always felt but never articulated in my mind in that way. So I ate my Combos, biting the pretzels in half & sucking out the cheese, & I read the magazine & I had that after-church feeling I used to get as a kid, when you know you can go home & put on your old comfy clothes & watch television or play or have a snack or whatever you want because the rest of the day is yours again.
Today I am pretty hard at work so I should really get back to it.