It's been a craptastic morning already. But kind of in a funny way. I dreamed I was dogsitting again, only it wasn't Utz the Pup, it was a bulldog & some sort of small terrier, & instead of Bushwick I was in a crumbling old ruined manor house in a lush & verdant setting like maybe Savannah Georgia or someplace like that. Out in the overgrown savage yard there was a tennis court with a flimsy net & a big concrete wall & I was obsessed with going out there to whack a ball around by myself the way I did in our garage in Barbados when I was a kid. I spent the rest of the dream exploring this big old manor house looking for a racquet & a proper ball with the dogs anxiously sniffing along behind me. When I finally woke up I'd completely overslept & I never did get to play tennis anyway & I ran around my apartment throwing clothes on & trying to find my cellie but I couldn't. I gave up & dashed out. I was listening to Don Caballero on my iPod, inspired by this silly "Who's your favorite drummer?" survey on myspace. After a minute I noticed there wasn't any fantastic drumming coming out of my left earphone; actually there wasn't any sound from my left earphone at all. Then I noticed that the white plastic of the cord was cut away in places & frayed bits of sparkly green & red wires were coming out like Christmas decorations. I have no idea how this happened. I seem to have forgotten a substantial portion of last nite. It started in a civilized enough manner at a little wine & cheese soirée at Sara's, but it ended -- well, I don't know how it ended, actually. Sometimes I think I am going crazy. But whatever. Tant pis pour moi. By the way I posted some crappy cellphone pictures of Conor Oberst on buzznet. Thank you Leyla! I like this one; he's looking especially tortured there.
I'm a little too tired/busy for a proper rundown of the show last nite. Bright Eyes was great but stupidly we missed The Faint, who was supposedly awesome. The place was packed but we managed to weasel our way forward gradually so by the end we were pretty damn close. Leyla was taking pics with her camera phone (tho not the shot above, which is from Gretta Cohn's tour blog at the Village Voice) & beer was $7 & of course nobody dances in New York because everybody's too goddamn cool but all the same it was fun. Between songs people kept screaming I LOVE YOU CONOR!!! with great passion. Even dudes. It was weird. Maybe "I love you Conor" is the new Freebird. So anyway.
Saturday nite we were at about the sixth bar on a ridiculously bar-packed evening. I'd had loads to drink & was feeling extra-competitive about the pool game I was about to play. These guys wanted to play doubles but I was with a pack of non-pool-playing friends & while I was searching the place for a suitable partner I ran smack into Lewis Black of The Daily Show fame. "You're Lewis Black," I said, correctly but rather stupidly nonetheless. "That's right," he said. He was smiling & nicer than I'd imagine but of course I couldn't let it go at that. "I really need a pool partner," I said. "Can you play?" "I'm terrible," he said. "You'll be better off without me." I was disappointed, to say the least. "You're still funny," I said. He was very gracious despite my silly starstruckery. "Thank you," he said. He's not even a really proper celebrity-celebrity, but somehow I still managed to be excited about it. I told the people I was playing pool with but none of them knew who he was. They all still wanted me to point him out. Luckily he was sitting up at the bar away from the pool table so I don't think he witnessed any of the debacle. What I liked about him was that he stayed at the bar till very very late. They started kicking people out sometime after 4. They shut down the pool table so I didn't really mind leaving, at least not until I noticed old L.B. was still at the bar with the regulars who weren't being hustled out with the rest of us. "Lewis Black gets to stay," I scowled, tho I made sure he couldn't hear me. I'd already embarrassed myself enough. Sunday I recovered from the resulting hangover & the disappointment of not getting to play pool with Lewis Black by watching movies with Leyla. We watched Requiem for a Dream, which I had always known I would hate & it turned out I did hate it. I liked Ellen Burstyn & felt terribly sorry for her even when she turned into a wrinkled sweaty mess with a ring of fried hair but the whole thing was unrealistic & ridiculous. I hate drug movies that rely on drug montages that look like music videos rather than an actual plot. They may be sophisticated montages but they are still montages & I hate the way they glamorize drug use using skinny pale gorgeous people who are otherwise uninteresting & then they turn right around & shove it down your throat that drugs will destroy your life. I hated Trainspotting & Traffic & R. for a D. & I can tell I would hate Blow. I don't mind it a bit when drugs are prominently featured but the movie doesn't revolve around the act of getting fucked up, e.g. City of God & Fear & Loathing in L.V. & I think those are the only ones I can think of. Harold & Kumar was a good one too. & that is my rant for today. Oh! & tonite is Bright Eyes/The Faint. Shall report back demain.
So Naima is America's Next Top Model. Hohum. I love Naima, but the outcome was such a foregone conclusion. Naima was the winner from her first second onscreen. She won every single weekly viewer poll for the entire season. & no one can compete with a mohawk, no matter what Janice Dickinson says. Speaking of Janice, the best part of last nite's episode was when old girl casually announced during judging that she'd been the muse of Versace & Azzedine Alaia. Someone snorted -- most likely they all did, but Janice immediately turned on Nolé. She got all haughty & said, "Well, whose muse were you, anyway? No one's!" Catty catty catty! Sorry Janice -- nice tits, but you're no Isabella Blow.
I nearly didn't make it in to work this morning. Put on my clothes perfunctorily, burned the toast I made for breakfast, packed it in my bag anyway, tried to get the Internet, couldn't log on, considered calling in sick about a million times, decided it wasn't worth it. Saving sick days for the beach in summer, spontaneous trips to Fire Island & a lengthy visit to Chicago at some point. & I still can't stop thinking about Rome. Rome! Last nite was drinks at Diner with Sara. I vetoed expensive wine in favor of beer because I'm broke this month, thru no one's fault but my own. We sat outside where it was jammed with tables & the air was a little chilly. We looked out at the Gretsch Building, proud & sparkling & new. Sara & I used to live together on the second floor of the G.B. but they kicked everyone out of the building at the end of 2001 to turn it into luxury condos. The web site says that even the hallways are "designed to reflect an attitude of privacy, pride and privilege." When we lived there the hallway was cluttered with woodpiles & a brokendown old baby carriage that gave me nitemares. It looked just exactly like this one. My boyfriend at the time used to scare me by saying the dead baby was somewhere in our apartment. Sometimes when we were lying in bed in the dark he would suddenly pretend he was the baby. In this very high quavery whisper he'd say: "I'm in the wall..." Then I'd scream & he'd crack up. Anyway. Those days are over. I can't afford to live in the Gretsch Building anymore & that guy was pretty much an asshole except for when he'd scare me at nite, which I secretly loved. So Sara & I got drunk at Diner & lamented this & that. I told her a story about a transgender person I know but the story was difficult to tell because this person's preferred pronoun happens to be the person's own name & while I was trying to respect this person's gender identity I was a wee bit drunk & the story was sort of a rambling mess. Then Sara told me a story about the bitchy manager at Union Pool who gave her the wrong wine, then made Sara pay $1 for the mistake, then told her they don't accept change when Sara gave her 4 quarters. I encourage everyone to bring their spare coins to Union Pool & test out this unbelievably insane & arbitrary "rule." Later we gathered up our things to sit inside where the bartender poured us free drinks & we decided the nite had reached a point where we must end it or go with it. Needless to say, we went with it. My head hurts.
On our way to the worst party ever we ran into this great ad at the bodega:
I'm kind of surprised Snoop would do a crappy little ad like this, but maybe the "Snoop Approved" stamp is an official standard for blunts, like the ADA-approved labels on toothpaste. Yesterday I had jury duty. What a pain in the ass that was. I didn't get picked to sit on the jury, & neither did anyone else who wasn't quiet, bland & completely unopinionated. There were the most wonderful loud raucous Brooklyn-accented people (one of them even used the phrase "Not for nothin'") & all of them were turned away. I was nixed because I told them my dad had his own law practice for awhile. Apparently telling the plaintiff your father is a lawyer is like telling a Jehovah's Witness you're Catholic, because he moved on to the next person immediately. So they let us out of the courthouse early & I laid on my roof in my bikini for awhile. I thought about how strange it was to be rejected for something you didn't want to be a part of anyway. You felt relieved, but you still felt rejected.
My favorite thing to listen to when I'm walking on nearly desolate Wythe Avenue at nearly the midnite hour is That Right Ain't Shit by The Books. Many kisses to Lauren for sending me that CD along with about 4 others as a surprise present once in the mail. Tonite I met Polly at the dark little bar near her apartment, a bar whose name I can't remember. It was a jumble of tables inside but they let us take our glasses of wine outside as long as we kept them on the ground beside us in case there were cops. I spied a guy smoking who looked like Jon, the love of my life from high school. I loved Jon like I was sick with it. I would have eaten a bowl of live cockroaches with him if he asked me to. He didn't want to eat cockroaches but he fed me pot & Ephedrine & so I did that. The last time I saw him was probably 4 years ago. He had gotten a bit fat & was working at some stale bank in Boston, still doing loads of drugs & drinking cans of Red Bull at his desk to get him thru the day, which made me sad. & then one day he just stopped writing. Anyway this guy looked like him a bit, only he was a hipper, thinner version so it wasn't quite the same. Tonite is one of those times where everything feels like a revelation. Everything converges into a grand pattern with an answer at the end. I was in the middle of writing an email I thought had answers in it & suddenly my computer crashed. I could tell I was going to have to restart the entire thing but while all the programs were frozen & the rainbow wheel was spinning the about-to-be-lost missive was still on the screen. So I grabbed a piece of paper, transcribed the entire email there, restarted my computer, & retyped the whole thing like that. Later it didn't seem nearly as significant but at the time it felt almost urgent.
This weekend was pretty all-around horrible. On Friday I actually got stood up -- stood! up! -- for the first time I think ever. I wasn't very upset about it that nite but the next morning I woke up livid. The only thing to do was go to the Nomadic Museum on Pier 54. I had heard about how peaceful it was. I thought it would help to see the elephants & the whales with the light filtering in & to be there on the furthest side of Manhattan from Brooklyn where all the heartache goes down. It did help actually. I liked the close-ups of the wrinkled eyes of the elephants & there was some kind of mountain cat with exotic black-tipped ears. But afterwards over beers at the Hog Pit I got into a fight with this lame guy at the pool table & then proceeded to get hit on by an even lamer guy who somehow made a beeline straight for me. He stunk of cologne & he was wearing a UBS Warburg ID badge -- which, rather than being embarrassed of, he actually gestured at when introducing himself. "I'd like to take you out," he said. "A girl like you should have 10 boyfriends, then narrow it down to 5, then narrow it down to 3, then narrow it down to me." He was very Type A about the whole thing, like he was really selling himself. He showed me some pictures of himself at an event with the dude from the Sopranos, which I don't even watch. "How many of your boyfriends can say they've hung out with James Gandolfini?" he said. "Are you for real?" I said. I really did say that. He was just atrocious. All oily & balding & standing way too close. "Listen," he said. "I've got a house on Long Island with a hot tub & a Porsche [insert probably made-up model here] in the driveway. I'll have you over for the weekend, introduce you to my friends. I hang out with, what, Christie Brinkley, Alec Baldwin, Billy Joel... " "Uh-huh," I said. He was so gross he was almost starting to be amusing. But then he actually looked me up & down & told me what beautiful babies I would make, at which point I was almost too horrified to move. Luckily Leyla came running over with the check & shortly thereafter we were gone. & thus in a mere 2 days my already tenuous faith in men was completely wiped out, probably once & for all. On a nicer note, I'm feeling very positive re. elephants, whales & exotic mountain cats.
Life turns into a goddamn mess sometimes. & then it goes back to the way it was, more or less. Last nite for Cinco de Mayo fun we stopped momentarily, tho excrutiatingly, in the lounge of Tacu Tacu to see what was up. They do karaoke down there sometimes & they have a wavy ceiling with multicolored lights in it & it's all dark & it's like a little vacation from hipster sinister Williamsburg. Last nite the karaoke-ers were awful so instead I reminisced about the last time I was there, when some of the people who sang blew me away they were so good. There was a Japanese girl who covered I Wanna Be Sedated like she was an insane cheerleader who had just discovered punk rock. She was frankly awesome. Then there was a muscley shaved-head guido type who looked like a bouncer from Long Island & he sang George Michael's saddest song & he sang it, you could tell, without a shred of awareness of what it was really about. & he sang it beautifully. We applauded him with passion. Last nite, none of that. Even tho we were fairly drunk we were wincing at the cacophony coming from the microphone. Can I make a citizen's arrest? I asked Leyla. Eh, let's just go to Zablozki's, she said. So off to Z's for more drinks at the bar. I stayed out till 1ish? Maybe 1:30? Which was great for me because I've been holed up at home like a little old lady recently, drinking a glass or 2 of Le Pas de la Beaume, padding around the place a bit in my slippers before going to bed super early. I can't stop thinking about Rome. Rome! I want to meet Margo in Rome in August when it's swelteringly hot & no one in their right mind would make it a point to visit Rome, but anyway there Margo & I would be, sitting in a piazza drinking Camparis or those orange fizzy aperitifs the Italians drink. Aperol I think? Mmm, that stuff.
"Hail nothing full of nothing, nothing is with thee." I had lunch in a Thai restaurant & it was full of businessmen. I mean suits & ties & Wall Street Journals & the whole 9. To commemorate my shitty week & New York's shitty excuse for Spring I drank 2 Singhas in quick succession while the businessmen lingered over their Pad Thai & giant glasses of water. Also I had chicken with ginger & a ton of hot sauce & I ate all of it. & I read that Hemingway story. Our nada who art in nada, nada be thy name thy kingdom nada thy will be nada in nada as it is in nada. I am feeling very to-myself & private & so not much in the mood for blogging.