Oh, the Oscars blah blah blah. I'm happy for the Go Fug Yourself chicks for getting their own Oscar slideshow on MSNBC, but as usual I don't see completely eye-to-eye with them fashion-wise. To me the best-dressed woman of the nite was Cate Blanchett, who looked anything but jaundiced in a sunny gown & ladylike belt. I'm into the orange lipstick too. I can't decide who's hotter: Kate or Salma. Can I take one of each? Shockingly, I actually thought The Dunst looked pretty good for once. I liked her shock of platinum hair & her demure lacy thing. I still hate her for being the only bad thing about Eternal Sunshine & for being so Dunsty, obviously. I don't know who Ziyi Zhang is but she looked amazing. The nite's worst fashion came from Laura Linney & Hilary Swank (NB: front only). Laura was wearing a horrible fringed thing in a shade of pewter that made her look dead, along with weird Jenny Jones makeup. & I guess the fact that Hilary grew up in a trailer park explains why she was wearing the "mullet" of dresses. Whoever that chick Josh Groban was with (& whoever Josh Groban is, anyway) had the best bangs of the evening, if anyone cares. Oh, & what about the men? Don Cheadle looked very dapper dressed by the designer with my favorite name. Johnny Depp can do whatever he wants. He'll never look bad, & I like to see some variety. Tho what was that on his tie? An ankh? I also liked Leo & Alan Alda. That's right. I said Alan Alda. What?
Last nite was a lot of money flowing, a lot of unnecessary cab rides, a lot of extra bags & extra drinks & extra kisses nobody really needed. It felt eternal & wasteful & eternally wasteful, but when you boil it down it really adds up to 2 shitty bars & gathering around the bong at 5 a.m. I could already feel the panic descending, knowing how much I would regret it, wondering when I would ever learn that enough was enough & when I would ever stop being so dumb anyway -- all those words that sometimes run around my head so much they don’t mean anything to me, really, anyway. About the time we were gathered round the little red bong a friend of ours came to join us. He’d been working all nite so he was completely sober. He examined the coffee table; the top of it was dusted with a fine powder. “Have you guys been doing coke?” he said. The general consensus was yes. Someone started sweeping the powder together with a card; it was enough for an ok-sized bump. “But that isn't coke,” another friend pointed out. “That’s Emergen-C.” We’d tried to drink some earlier in preparation for the next day, & some of it had spilled out of the packet. I laughed. “You’re right,” I said. “Anyway, we finished all the coke before we even got here.” But no one was listening to us. They were intent on prepping the powder for ingestion. We must have said it was Emergen-C three times but no one was listening. Finally we just shut up about it. The sober guy was trying to lean in over the bump but he couldn’t get it that way. “Here,” I said, deciding I may as well be helpful. “I've got a bill.” So I sat there rolling a dollar with exaggerated care. My co-conspirator & I kept looking at each other & giggling. We weren’t being very sly but it wasn't as if anyone even noticed. “Here you go,” I said, handing the bill over with a smile. It was even tighter, more perfectly rolled than usual. He snorted it up quick, & after he was done the girl next to me swept her finger across the powdery surface of the table & rubbed it across her gums. I couldn’t hold it in any longer. “So, is that making your gums numb?” I asked her. “No, not really,” she said. “That’s because it’s Emergen-C,” I said. This time it sunk in. They were both shocked. “Why didn’t you tell us?” they wanted to know. We told them we’d tried several times. We laughed about it for ages. We kept bringing it up. The guy who had snorted it was annoyed & his nose was probably burning too. We suggested he try snorting water to see if it would fizz. “Very funny,” he said to me. “Why don’t you just blog about it or something?” “Maybe I will,” I said. End copy.
1. Fatal familial insomnia. Easily the worst of the bunch. Like mad cow, it's caused by mutated prion proteins. This one family in Italy has had it for generations. What happens is one nite the victim has trouble sleeping & suddenly thinks, Oh my god, what if I have that fucking thing where I never fall asleep again? & then they never do. Ever. Again. & it sometimes takes them years to die.
2. Spinal meningitis. I have often been assured that it never gets as bad as it's portrayed in Pet Sematary, but I'm still staying away from this one.
4. King Herod's disease, which I first read about it in Claudius the God (erroneously attributed to I, Claudius here), but which has apparently since been straightened out.
5. That thing, you know that thing, where you compulsively pull all your hairs out one by one. That thing teenage girls get that causes them to lie awake at nite pulling at their hairs for comfort & in the morning they wake up with a giant bald patch & they are too mortified to go to school so they go on a talk show about it. I know this isn't the worst disease ever but I can totally see how people get it. Trichotillomania, that's it.
As regrettable as the loss of Hunter S. is for the rest of us, I don't think anyone has the right to not forgive suicide in Geniuses of a Certain Age.
Last nite I was listening to a lot of Bright Eyes because on Saturday after Diner when I told Sara that Bowl of Oranges was my favorite Bright Eyes song she said Oh really? as if she were very surprised. Sara knows me almost better than I know myself so I decided to check to make sure. It turns out that (& keep in mind, lazy fan that I am, I haven't even picked up the new CDs yet) Bowl of Oranges still squeaks by as my fave. I don't know if I want to have sex with Conor that much but I want him to be my boyfriend so I can make sure he eats properly & so he can sleep with his frail arms around me at nite & so he can look at me very wide-eyed while he says things like:
That's why I'm singing baby don't worry Cos now I've got your back & every time you feel like crying I'm gonna try & make you laugh & if I can't if it just hurts too bad then we'll wait for it to pass & I will keep you company On those days so long & black
Right there it's like he is the Lloyd Dobbler of songwriters. It's amazing. Of course when I have met men this sincere (or rather, "sincere") in real life I have spurned their affections immediately, like get away get away get away NOW. Which is probably for the best.
In fashion news, I can't wait to smell Flowerbomb. I love Viktor & Rolf & this is the best bottle I've ever seen. The $150 price tag is daunting to say the least, but I will make an exception if it smells as good as it looks.
Last nite I went to meet some old friends from boarding school at Diner. One of them was a girl I’d only met once before, because she came to the school right after I left it. I didn’t remember our one meeting so after I said nice to meet you I was taken aback when she responded by standing up from her seat at the bar, so that her face was very very close to mine. She stood there for a moment without saying anything, but with a funny expression on her face, like she couldn't believe it. Finally she said, How tall are you? I don’t remember you being this tall. Oh, well, I’m wearing heels, I said, but I am pretty tall. I’m sorry, I’d forgotten we’d met. She didn’t say anything to that so stupidly I said, Well, how tall are you? I’m 167, she said. Oh, I said. I had forgotten all my metric conversions. I started to ask Sara. Don’t look at me, she said. So with this awkward beginning we all sat down to our drinks. The girl I’d forgotten meeting was beautiful, but in a childlike way. It seemed to be deliberate; her bangs were a bit crooked & she had large white barrettes clipped on either side of her thin hair. She also had a bit of an overbite & a lot of the time she would exaggerate her English accent, which made her sound like a little girl playing tea. She kept calling Williamsburg “hipster sinister” & she would trill it loudly -- hipstah sinistah! -- cracking herself up every time. She was sitting between Sara & me at the bar, & she would lean in close to us to tell us things, but one at a time, so that the conversations were intimate & excluded the other person. There was something charming about the way she seemed to be purposefully blurring the physical differences between us. She insisted I had to be part Asian, like herself, tho she was hardly the first person to have done that. She wanted me to get fringe like hers. She put on my glasses & she gave me her lipstick to wear. After she handed me the tube she suddenly said Hold on! I froze with the stuff about a millimeter from my lips. She was digging around in this enormous overflowing bag. I got this horrified feeling that she hadn’t expected me to use her lipstick at all & so was going to produce a napkin so she could wipe my germs away or something. But instead she finally came out with a little pocket mirror. The lipstick was a very bright melon-orange color. She cooed a lot over the results in that teatime voice. We talked about old girlfriends we’d had; I don’t remember how it came up. We had both been in love affairs that ended poisonously. She spoke very sadly about an actress she once knew. How long ago was it? I asked her. It was 2 years ago, she said, sighing. & you said you’ve been with your boyfriend 5 years, right? 5 years, she confirmed. The unasked question hung there. Finally she said, My boyfriend is a very tolerant person. You’re lucky, I said. I love him so much, she said. If anyone will ever be the one for me, it’s him. But I have a thirst, she said, giggling a little at the dramatic word, that I haven’t gotten rid of since I met her. She was drunk by then & her eyes were very glassy in the candlelite. & then she leaned over to say something to Sara, leaving me to myself again. Her brother came; he was East London, she was Notting Hill. He was very innit this & innit that, like a Zadie Smith novel. He told me about the West Indian & Turkish men’s clubs he went to & the Italian-poets-besides-Dante of the thirteenth century & we tried calling my weed guy but he was in Philly & I think somewhere in there he invited me to London. & everybody had been drunk & ready to call it a nite by 1, so when I got home I was very surprised to see that it was 4.
I want to wake up in the morning with that dark brown taste I want to see some dissipation in my face
I feel like a starter, not a finisher. I wanted to get just one goddamn thing accomplished tonite, & that’s what I did -- that’s all I did. I accomplished one singular thing: I commented on a story for my short-story-writing blog. I just spilled a lot of red wine but it’s ok because I spilled it on my cigarettes & my W2s, not my computer. I had a lot of things to say today but I didn’t feel like blogging any of them. There is this weird blog voice I’ve been resisting lately. It’s bad enough me writing things in my head. With blogging it is like I am constantly blogging bullshit in my head. Sometimes the blog voice makes me want to throw up. A very good (platonic) friend of mine saw me naked last nite (long story) & since then I’ve been using it as the excuse for everything. Like, oh, sorry I slammed that door in yr face but you DID see me naked after all. I thought I had a lot of things to say but I don’t. Instead please read something else. My friend Anise took a hiatus from her hiatus from blogging, & she blogged again. This post is so gorgeous it’s worth the wait (I mean almost worth the wait, Anise!!!!! Keep writing, darling).
I'll be grazing by your window Please come pat me on the head I just want to find out what you're nice to me for
I used to be super-obsessed with this one particular guitar solo in a Dinosaur Jr. song. They were my favorite band & I had all of their tapes but there was this one guitar solo that really got me. I used to play it, rewind it, play it, rewind it, over & over endlessly so I could hear it again & again & again. One day I recorded it on to a blank tape several times in a row, like twelve times or something, so I wouldn't have to keep rewinding so much. I played it for my best friend Helen. Helen was the drummer in this Satanic speed-metal band but she could get into Dino Jr. too. I remember so clearly the way she looked at me & how flatly she said:
You've ruined it.
I bring this up because I haven't felt that way about one part of one song since then. I think it was partly because what Helen said turned out to be true, & partly because I'm not nearly as geeky about music as I was then. In a way I am more geeky because I never know what is going on with anything anymore, but in a way I am less geeky, for the exact same reason. Anyway, now I'm obsessed with one particular part of one particular song again. I am not ruining it this time, but I am obsessed with it. It's in that song I Luv the Valley Oh, all of which is amazing, but specifically it's the part where he says "Je t'aime the valley OH!" & the scream at the OH! is the best scream you've ever ever heard.
Valentine's Day wasn't so bad after all. I was avoiding my apartment cos my roomie & her boyfriend had a magnum of champagne in the fridge & they were cooking something or other in truffle oil & I couldn't handle the romance. I was being really short with them & I knew I was doing it but I couldn't stop myself. I walked to Supercore, my new favoritest of favorite coffee shops, so I could be That Girl sitting by herself with her laptop, of all things. It wasn't that bad tho. I got a lot of writing done & then I called Leyla to invite myself over. On my way to the subway I ran into a boy I know & we gave each other a Valentine's kiss. My glasses were all dotted with raindrops & he smelt a bit like beer, but it was nice. At Leyla's we played darts, smoked, drank & ate way too much food. I finally left sometime after one, & I waited a fucking eternity for the train. When it finally came it stopped inexplicably at Lorimer & everybody had to get off there. I was too stoned to be angry & I only had one more stop to go but I was so tired. I thought there was a car service right next to Union Pool, but when I got there it wasn't there anymore. So I ended up walking. It wasn't cold & the air felt clean & new after the rain. & then when I finally made it home there was a heart-shaped box of chocolates on my bed & a note from my roommate that said Valentine's Day sucks! You're a queen. By then it was 2:30 in the morning. That's late for me these days. I put the chocolates on the nightstand & went to sleep.
If you want to read a pretty love story for Valentine's, don't bother stopping here. Go read about the love affair of Catherine the Great & Grigory Potemkin. Apparently, altho their emotional & intellectual connection sometimes faded, their sexual chemistry never wavered. When Potemkin died Catherine said, "Nothing will ever be the same. It is impossible to replace him since another person like him would first have to be born..." Yesterday I went to see The Gates at Central Park, along with the rest of New York. I wish I could say that I saw the unfurling, because that sounds so appropriately majestic. It was new & bright & it went on for ages; something about the regularity of spacing & the neat rolling rows of perspective lines felt affirmative. It looked very Olympic & sportive too, orange & fluttery & proud. All of the people walking between them seemed suddenly citizens of the same city, all there to see the same massive thing in the park. It was very pretty just to be in the park in winter at all, with the big topiary animals & globes wrapped in Christmas lights hanging from the trees at Tavern on the Green. Round the bend, & we were between a statue of a falconer on a hill & a bridge that overlooked a mostly frozen lake & a group (gaggle? I don't know) of ducks. We watched them waddle about the ice to where it stopped & became water. They circled the surface a bit & then took turns filing off the edge to skim away. I thought it was like the question from Catcher in the Rye had been answered. I mean, after all that, it seems to me that the ducks just stay there. Afterwards we went to see my roommate at her diamond shop. She let us try on blinding bright rings worth tens & sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars. They were very beautiful & very brilliant, but I kept thinking about the hold that they had on people & how inflated in value they were. It isn't to say I (probably) wouldn't accept one. But definitely not as an engagement ring. Engagement rings, diamond or no diamond, bring up all kinds of conflicting meanings as it is. Slapping a big, over-priced, overblown, "must-have" rock on top just makes it a little bit gross. So yeah. Happy Valentine's Day blah blah blah.
Last nite what I thought I might do was go straight home from work, try to avoid spending any money on the way, & curl up with one thing or another, a nice little bowl or a DVD or the book I'm reading, The Magus, which incidentally marked the first time ever when I discovered I knew the definition of a word in its plural form but completely didn't recognize it in the singular. I was on page four or so when I decided I should probably figure out what the hell a magus is, anyway. As soon as I looked it up I thought, Oh, like magi, obviously. & felt very silly indeed. Anyway I didn't stay in with the very singular Magus because instead I went to see a friend perform at a comedy show in Brooklyn with Sheri & Morgan. For some reason I was very nervous for him, I guess because stand-up seems like the most terrifying thing ever, but luckily he was quite funny. We were most impressed by this half-nerdy half-hot comedian in glasses named Liam. The weird part is I can't recall a single one of his jokes. Not a single one. I guess I was on beer number four or five by the time he appeared on stage & anyway my memory sucks in normal circumstances, but I remember Sheri & I leaning in to whisper about him, tottering a bit on our wooden stools, sitting on our coats with beers in hand & I remember that we were laughing a lot. After he was done I told him he was very funny & he shook my hand with much more firmness & assuredness than you would have expected from his act. I think maybe I remember one of the jokes from the evening. It wasn't Liam's, but I think it went: "What's the opposite of Christopher Reeve?" & then the answer was "Christopher Walken." Oucho.
Laundry List of Unanswered Emails, or Missives Just Floating in the Ether
1. An invitation to coffee & a stroll from the law student at Polly's birthday, which has sat there since Thursday. This one's looking at me rather admonishingly from my inbox. I feel terrible about it, but the more terrible I feel, the more unable I am to write back. & I don't do coffee & a stroll on the first date.
2. An email containing one of the nicest compliments I've ever received. I just haven't figured out how to reply yet.
3. An evite to my good friend's baby's birthday. I RSVP-ed yes to her husband's birthday & then didn't show up, so now I feel like I've abused the RSVP button.
4. A note from my aunt saying my cousin might be coming to New York. Unanswered for two months & counting.
5. Various Friendster messages from well-meaning nerds.
6. In my outbox, a wee dispatch that's hoping for a reply.
I was hoping that by blogging about this I'd somehow feel less guilty about not replying to things, & of course it's only made me feel worse.
In sitemeter news, I like the way someone arrived here recently. (P.S. It's probably not a good idea.)
We had slept in all of our clothes. His button-down was buttoned up & I had everything on from the nite before, including my belt & my bra. It was very chaste for 9 in the morning.
Do you want some worry dolls? I said. I kept them by the bed. Someone gave them to me once but I don't really want them.
No, I don't want them particularly either, he said.
But look, I said. Worry dolls are funny. You can get them to take all of your troubles away, & they are always kept in this same kind of little yellow box.
Hmm, he said. Maybe if I get enough of them I can get them to start doing all kinds of chores for me. Like: Worry Doll, clean my apartment!
No, no, I said. You have to phrase it in the form of a worry.
I see your point, he said. OK, so I'd say: Worry Doll, I'm very worried, I'm concerned, because my apartment is very dirty & I don't have any time to clean it & I have guests coming tomorrow.
I don't have nearly enough dolls for all my worries, I said, picking thru the small yellow box with my finger. The plain little strings stuck together with dots of streaked marker for eyes.
There are only four of them in here, I said disappointedly.
Maybe you can get a whole army of them to do your bidding, he said.
A whole regiment, at least, I agreed. That's exactly what I need. All of them under my pillow at nite.
& just then it felt very warm & very far from worrying lying there in all of our clothes with the buttons buttoned & the belts fastened & the familiar dolls in the same old box by the bed. It was very early in the morning for a Saturday & not long after that he was gone.
Sometimes I wish that my name was Akt because it is a lot easier for me to type. I'm constantly signing emails this way.
best -- akt
thanks -- akt
xoxo blah blah blah -- akt
"Atk" is a close runner-up.
Last nite I left work very very frustrated about a number of things. I was walking down the street to Morgan & Sheri's, half-wishing an icicle like the one over at the knitty pirate's place would fall on my head & that would be that. Fortunately I was nursed back to health upon my arrival, thanks mostly to the awesome dinner Sheri made. I had a Hoegaarden & a very spicy pork chop on a bed of fragrant rice & I felt like a new person after that.
So. In too-much-information news, 'tis the season for growing more hair (& also for removing it). I've been growing my armpit hair out. Just a little bit. I've liked armpit hair ever since I saw this scene in Living in Oblivion where the very gorgeous Catherine Keener was lying on the bed with her arm outstretched & you could see this dark little tuft that looked very pretty & very womanly. (I tried to find a picture or even a mention of it online. I tried googling it & disappointingly but unsurprisingly, nothing came up.) I saw that movie about six years ago & I am just finally getting the courage to grow out my own. I'm a poor excuse for a liberated woman. I have grown it very hesitatingly & stiltedly. A couple of weeks ago my armpit hair had reached the aesthetically perfect Catherine Keener dark-tuft standard. I was out with a boy whose opinion means something to me. We were in the middle of a game of pool.
"What do you think about armpit hair on women?" I asked him, reaching back to touch my shoulder blade with my fingers & pulling my sweater to the side.
"Um, yeah, I'm not into it," he said, looking away quickly.
So I put my arm back down & lined up my next shot & that was the end of it.
I'm still kind of a chicken about it. I have shaved it since then, grown it out, & shaved it again. Today it is almost halfway back to where I want it.
& by the way this is not a slippery slope towards neglecting the upkeep of the rest of my body hair. But I kind of hate myself for feeling like I have to add that. Not very freethinking of me at all. & yet, there that sentence will stay.
So last nite when I got to meet my favorite blogger for the first time, in the middle of our very stellar conversation she said that if both of us were to write about our meeting, we'd have very different stories to tell about the event & of course we'd both be right. & later I thought about how to write about it, as I knew I would inevitably do, but when I actually tried to think about what I would say, walking thru the subway station on my way home, it felt like I was preparing a goddamn eulogy or a wedding toast or something. It didn't feel like the right way to think about it at all.
So instead I will write about what I did before I met her & maybe a bit about what I did after. When I got home from work I had a shower & I drank a beer in the shower for the first time in probably five years. That is way, way too long to go without a beer-drinking shower. Or a shower-taking beer, whatever. Then I put on my clothes & my new makeup from the drugstore because I can't afford nice things anymore & I am very bitter about that, thank you. Then I took the train into the city & I got off & walked four blocks, one avenue to the coffee shop & it didn't even feel cold out. Maybe I was still numb from the recent days of unremitting freeze, but it somehow felt brisk & pleasant like walking in cool water thru the East Village, now & then avoiding thick patches of solid ice on the sidewalk.
When I got to the coffee shop I had spinach quiche with salad & bread & read some of the True History of the Kelly Gang, a book Polly lent me. The book is written in a strange, pretty dialect & I like that the narrator at least in his childhood (I am still at the very beginning of the book) refrains from swearing & when quoting someone who swore will instead say that they said an "adjectival" something or other. Like "You effing mongrel you're an adjectival coward."
After the coffee shop I went home. When I was walking in the door Polly called & came over for a beer. We had one apiece & then she left & then Maria came home & we talked for awhile & I couldn't make myself get tired, even after two & a half bong hits, I think because I went to sleep at 10 the nite before. Also the cat is on steroids. Maria's cat has very bad allergies to one thing or another, we're just not sure what, maybe corn gluten or something, so it's on steroids & it was racing thru the apartment like an adjectival wild thing. Careening around at top speed, on top of the highest cupboards, stretched out clawing at the windows trying to get out. It was almost sort of scary. Poor little kitty on steroids. Which reminds me that the other day I saw that stupid movie American Psycho, & the best bit was when they're doing coke in the bathroom stall & one of them just violently freaks out on some guy in the adjacent stall & then calms down suddenly & tells his friend, "Sorry dude. Steroids." Just like our poor little cat.
I have zero to say today. OK I have a couple of things to say today but they are very boring. I fell asleep at 10 o'clock last nite after doing my taxes over a bottle of wine, which has left me feeling like a well-rested but terribly boring person who shouldn't be writing about anything to anyone. Oh well, here I go. This morning I found my new most-favorite font, the typographic flavor-of-the-month if you will. I was typing up the playlist for a CD I made for Melly when I found it. Never mind I had already written out the playlist by hand on the CD cover. I was creating "work" for myself to avoid doing actual, no-quotation-marks-needed work. The font is called Sylfaen, which is a gorgeous, elf-like word that might lead someone (me) to hope it had Icelandic origins, but it's actually Welsh, which is almost as awesome, & it means "foundation." I found a whole web site written in it, if you want a sampling, altho it looks even better all printed out & crisp & black against white paper. It makes pretty song titles like "Cavalier Eternal" & "Dry Your Eyes Mate" look even more poetic. (That was a lil' teaser for you, M.)
What can I say, I'm into serifs.
The second thing I have to say is that I guess my conduct at Birthday Dinner No. 2 wasn't so bad because one of the future lawyers in attendance asked the b-day girl to set him up with me. I haven't decided yet if I'm going out with him or not, but will say I can only hope he's interested in spite of my revolting dinner-table conversation, not because of it. Wait, sorry. That was the boring person talking. I meant to say that the other way around.