Wednesday, February 28, 2007

things that made me laugh today

i have a friend who, lately, has been saying that things have "touched his soul." everything from me saying i'll make the brunch reservation to talking about a movie he'd just seen. "yeah, that touched my soul a little bit." and EVERY SINGLE TIME he says it, i laugh.

there's this really really weird guy at my office (okay, there are lots of weird people here). but there's this one who eats lunch in the dining room every day with the strangest food. he's on some obscure diet or cleanse or something. today he ate, nearly 15 bananas (someone near him and counted, the pile of empty peels was nearly a foot tall when all was said and done). two days ago it was persimmons. like, 20 of them. someone else has seen him eat an ENTIRE pineapple, which he brought in whole and chopped up himself. the diet must read: "pick a strange fruit or vegetable and eat in mass quantities at a single seating."

and in a semi-unrelated note...i keep finding myself furrowing my brow. i'm not sure why. maybe it's my body's reaction to the kind of dark and scary times we're in. maybe it's the tension of waiting for the libby verdict. maybe my eyes are just annoyed with the computer screen. maybe, subconsciously want to look more intense, like, all the time.

regardless of the reason, i'm gonna give myself wrinkles where i don't want them at a pre-mature age if the furrowing doesn't stop pronto. i'd take laugh lines over unhappy brow lines ANY day.

so keep the laughs coming folks!

also...i'm a huge fan of the "e-mailing a post in" function but has anyone else found that it's a bit wonky lately? i e-mailed my post about my mom in three days ago, it never went up so i posted it myself and THIS MORNING the thing finally makes it there. wtf?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

subway diaries, chapter 5

for all gothamites, the subway is a way of life. this is the fourth in a series of my thoughts on this modus transportare publico. i'm fluent in faux latin, be impressed.

so this conductor is slowly becoming my favorite person.

he's usually the guy telling us he'll see us, "same time, same place!"

last week as the train was speeding along at 8am he said, "now folks, i'm looking around and i don't see very many smiling faces today. i think everyone should smile right now. keep it with you all day." and sure enough, i couldn't find a single person in my car who wasn't a tiny bit touched by the sentiment.

today, as the doors kept slid open and closed about a dozen times (mainly because people are holding it open or have stuffed themselves in a car where they don't fit and their jackets and backpacks are getting caught in the doors) i hear, "ladies and gentleman, you know that when you hold open the doors, you're not making me late for work, i'm already here. it's everyone else you're holding up!"

i kind of want to hug this man...

Monday, February 26, 2007

family matters?

so, like most people, my family is a little fucked up.

my relationship with my mother is tenuous, at best. i think she is immature and stupid. she feels like i don't respect her (i don't). but she wasn't around enough when i was little to have damaged me too much with her erratic behavior though ken and i were always the victims to her inability to be responsible with her money, and her insistence that we were the cause of everything bad in her life. when i was seven years old my teacher was asking each child in the class what we worried about most. my response? "my mother's finances." and yes, that's fucked up.

but ken and i had two great women who did the majority of raising us. annette and tina. sisters who had a little daycare center in their basement. really italian. best. cooks. ever. they had me reading books at the age of four. and they taught me how to ride a bike. and drive a car. we loved annette and tina.

but because my mom, brother and i didn't spend much time as a family, we've never been all that close. i often feel like an orphaned only child. but i'm wildly independent and i'm happy that way.

but the time we always did spend together was christmas. me, ken, mom, and my grandparents. then at night i'd go to kate's and have pie with her family (who did their lion's share of taking care of me once annette stopped sitting us, probably around junior high).

but ken had to go join the marines so we spent a couple years in san diego for the holiday sans grandma and grandpa and, instead, with my mom's sister (estranged from her parents/my grandparents). then my mom had to go move to california and so i've continued to fly from my east coast home to the other side of the country to be with them on christmas. but this past year, my brother moved to houston. and in november he decided he "just didn't feel like" going to see my mother at christmas.

i was confused because i never felt like we had the option. i consult with my mother. i ask, "mom, we're a family. we HAVE to spend christmas together." "well i'm not going to tell ken to do anything he doesn't want." that initiated a HUGE fight about how we all baby ken, he gets to do whatever he wants. why was i the only one who cared that we spent christmas together? and why was i fighting with both of them to want to see me and each other? that's when kate called. "jazz, we haven't seen you at christmas for 6 years. we want you here with us. my parents want to see you."

and it was simple as that. i knew where i was wanted and appreciated. and it wasn't with my own goddamn family. and my mother and i haven't spoken since. that was in november. and my christmas was good. and i got to spend it with kate's fam and my grandparents. i saw annette and tina. all the people in my life who've been consistently supportive. and i was back home. even if there wasn't any snow, it felt good to be in a cold place at christmas.

but i got an e-mail today. mom is moving. she wants to know what of my stuff she has in the house out there that she can toss. she's moving to san pedro which is right on the water and near LA. a much MUCH cooler place to be than in the desert where she was before (both literally and figuratively).

it's weird to not be talking to my mother and it's weird that i don't feel like i care (maybe i'm repressing it or something). i never think about her. frankly, i got her email and it was like, "oh, yeah. her." maybe it's just weird to really see how little i've ever needed/depended/been able to rely on her my entire life. i'm not sure where this post is going. whether or not there's even a point to it. guess i'm just ruminating a bit. venting. i dunno...

Friday, February 23, 2007

obama one month after the iraq vote...

watch this clip. this man's insight is kind of unbelievable.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

eavesdropping amongst foodies

so i scored a 6:30 reservation at new Keith McNally place Morandi last night. and, unsurprisingly, it was a bit of a scene. however, i had major problems putting names with faces tonight.

justy and i walked into a nearly empty restaurant at 6:30. hosts were pleasant and the staff was attentive, all except our server, who seemed to make it his job to notice that we were waiting on him, just so he could walk away. with menus closed, we waited a good fifteen minutes before the guy came over to take our order. and did the same thing when we were done eating and waiting to get dessert menus and again while we were waiting to order dessert...totally unacceptable.

our only guess as to why we were getting the blow off was because there were so many recognizable people being sat on top of us (and, literally, the tables ARE that close to each other). and though i say they're recognizable, that doesn't mean i know their names. in fact, it's killing me to find out who some of these people are. i'm good with faces and i'd seen all of these people before either at the fancypants club where i used to work, or at any number of foodie events or restaurants i go to (i eat out at least 5 times a week). i notice the name of the check left on the table by a familiar face with tortoise shell glasses: curt gathje. a four-top behind us were getting things sent over every five minutes that were "compliments of the chef." it was anne burrell.

a table was sat to my left, a skinny blond and a rather rotund, distinguished and very familiar looking man with the initials JRP (or maybe TRP) stitched into his pocket. "oh, there's george and his son, and sasha" they say, pointing to the four-top with all the free food. the two tables wave at each other and exchange greetings. distinguished man says to skinny blond, "so, what do you think about the chodorow thing today? do you think it was a joke?" skinny goes on and on about how kobe club is a good restaurant (sidenote: i've been there, it's not) and how it got "all these great reviews!" (it didn't) and how it wasn't fair of bruni and how ruth really is the best critic. skinny ends her stump speech saying she's "on jeff's side."

obviously this woman had no idea what she was talking about. i start to eavesdrop on plump blondie's table. "i totally agree with bruni. all the tastes just meld together so well and i love all the pickled vegetables mixed in. he totally deserves two stars."

in between my eavesdropping i'm filling justin in on the food drama of the day, giving him a summary of the nytimes dining section and trying to rack my brain as to who the hell all these people are. i go back to skinny's table. "in my business..." JRP says as he leads into a commentary about critics/chefs/owning restaurants/etc. so, obviously, he's a food somebody too.

a woman with dark red bobbed hair and cute plastic framed glasses sits kiddy corner to us. McNally goes straight to her, hugs her and says, "i saw your son last week!" and they continue a conversation i can't hear (not for lack of trying). McNally then goes over to plump blond's table, they chat. he comes over to JRP's table, they know each other too. skinny and JRP get up to leave and we hear the server say, "goodbye mister pilo."

that doesn't help. it's a totally unrecognizable name. damnit! plump blonde's table left and a threesome was seated in it. one man, even recognizable to justin, had a salt and pepper beard and mustache, smallish build and, again, seemed to know everyone there.

for as much as i consider myself "in the know" with nyc gastro-news...i obviously have a lot to learn...

onto the food!

we started with an upscale mimosa our server pushed on us. prosecco with blood orange puree. shrug.

appetizers: burrata (creamy mozzarella salad) and fried artichokes. both were good, unexciting.

mushroom risotto with blueberries, exactly what you'd expect. the blueberries hardly added any depth to the dish. there were four of them and they had such a neutral flavor that i wonder what their purpose really was. i suppose it added the slightest hint of tart, but only in the four bites that were lucky enough to catch a berry.

the branzino (bass, roasted whole with lemon) was excellent. the meat was moist, the lemon wasn't over powering and it was served over some salty pickled greens.

dessert: chocolate pudding with a dollop of ricotta whipped cream and drunken cherries.

verdict: i wasn't wowed and i wasn't inspired BUT i feel fairly certain that i'll never have a bad meal on any trips back. which is just about where i'd put all the other McNally restaurants. though a bit predictable, they have consistently good, solid cooking. and for the prices (very reasonable), it's a safe bet any night of the week. though, with the entirely annoying meatpacking crowd that will inevitably make their way over, i doubt i'll be spending too much time there in the near future.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

race and obama

bumping this post back up because i want it to have another day or two before i move on...

i am a bi-racial american. not a single week goes by without someone stopping to ask me, "where are you from?" and even though i know that it's not the answer they want, i say, "i'm from chicago." and then they'll say, "what are you?" and i say, "american." and that's not the answer they want either. what they want to know is that i'm half chinese.

balding ex-work boyfriend once told me, "you're not a minority. you're white. you act white."

the comment was so wrong/ignorant/pathetic on so many levels that i still don't really know where to begin. at the time, i said, "who the fuck are you? who are you to tell me what my ethnic background is?" and by "act white" i think he meant that i don't speak english with the accent so often parodied (something that he had to remind his racist ex liz every time she made racist comments about me and impersonated whatever accent she thought i had). for all i know, he could have had a more racist bent: i'm white because i am educated and cultured.

but i was raised by my mother and my grandparents. and they were white. but i was eating with chopsticks before i could hold a fork. but because my father took off when i was so young, i lack the kind of cultural awareness he would have instilled.

so being bi-racial carries it's own set of problems. which brings me to barack obama. and all this utter nonsense being written and the shit being spouted in interviews on national television to talk about how obama isn't black. at least, they seem to say, not in the way that "matters." because he isn't the descendant of slaves in america, he doesn't count.

i have been the victim of racist remarks and i'll bet a million dollars that over the course of Obama's life, so has he. and i'll bet that white supremacists consider obama worthy of their hate. and i'll bet that there are people, whether or not they'd say it out loud, who won't vote for obama because of the color of his skin (or for hillary because of her gender). and so i don't understand why black americans would try to differentiate themselves from the man who could very well represent a great step towards what all minorities claim they want: equality.

then there are the white idiots on the other side of the aisle: he's clean, eloquent, and non-threatening for a black man. i think the country is regressing before my very eyes in terms of racial equality here.

why is it when a vast part of the the country is trying to make the statement that race and gender don't matter (we haven't had strong presidential contenders as women or as blacks EVER, and now to have them at the same time!) that blacks AND whites are making an issue over obama's race? isn't it enough we have right-wingers (and fox news network) trying to convince everyone that he's a terrorist because his middle name is hussein and trying to re-write history to put him at a terrorist camp preschool?!

but as always, jon stewart, my love, has his two cents.

"right now only 20% of black people support obama. that's bad. but is it bad enough for him to win? it works like this, for every three black votes you get you scare away five white votes. do the math. black support is only worth 3/5ths as much as white support."

Friday, February 16, 2007

jared kushner makes me orgasm a little bit

i don't know what it is about this guy but every time i see him i swoon.

i imagine him being nice. and wildly adventurous in bed despite the really squeaky clean media nerd thing he otherwise exudes. he's the one on the left, obviously. like, i kinda want him to tie me up. is that wrong?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

valentine's day: a diatribe

when i was younger, valentine's day was fun. you'd have your little
care bears cards and conversation hearts and you'd get a valentine
from everyone in your class. and that meant that when you got a little
note from your third grade crush, you could pretend that, even though
he gave one to everyone, that he really meant it when he signed his
name to the card picturing a monkey saying, "i go bananas for you!"

and i also like the color red. v-day was always a good excuse to drag
out a red dress or my favorite red sweater.

and then i grew up. and got a job. a job waiting tables. and i got
scheduled to work on valentine's day. and you know what happens on
valentine's day? all the stupid fucks who never leave the house and
have no idea how to act in public (much less how to behave in a
restaurant) ALL decide to take their "baby" out for a "real nice
dinner" that night. however, i will point out that i was actually
working at a nice restaurant. i pity the people waiting tables at a
TGI Fridays serving people who thought THAT place was a fine dining

now, i'm not sure what it is, but the people who go out the least,
some how feel overly entitled when they end up at dining
establishments. almost like, "i'm spending my hard earned cash here at
one of my two nights out a year and so i'm going to treat you like my
slave. you're going to earn that money, bitch!"

and so it goes. the trailer-trash ordering me around acting like
they're saudi princes because they're out at a decent restaurant for
possibly the first time ever. it's a novel thing for them, to look at
me and say, "bring us more bread" and have me bring that bread. and
because it's free and they're cheap, i'll make another, oh, i don't
know, 5 trips over to their table with free bread. and then they'll
barely eat their entrees and want it in "doggie bags." or worse,
they'll complain about the food after they've ordered it, hoping to
get it comped. "um, miss?" "yes?" "i don't like this dark sauce here."
"the drizzle of 20 year old balsamic vinegar?" "yeah. can you make
another without it?"


and the woman will inevitably ask for white zinfandel. and seem
severely annoyed when you break the news that you don't carry white
zin. and rolls her eyes at you and sighs for the inconvenience when
you suggest a moscato d'asti instead. "what kind of place doesn't
carry white zin?!" you hear her ask her husband as you walk away.

and the tipping. that's the best part! i'm fairly certain that the
trash thinks that a $10 tip on a $100 check is generous. and that's if
they even remember to leave a tip.

i will forever more despise the holiday. it's commercial
faux-sweetness. it's prix fixe surf'n'turf dinners with which you get
raped on prices.

when i date a guy i expect dinner out several times a week and
frequent sex. i better not need a holiday to come around to remind a
guy to take me out and give me an excuse to get naked.

but happy valentine's day to you and yours and remember: 20% tips are
average these days. and friends don't let friends drink white zin.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

11:30 lottery

so i get on my A train. it's just about 11:30. the express train (read: faster way home) stops running at eleven.
two girls sit across from me. we smile at each other as i enter the car. i lean back and let my head rest against the wall.
"this is a bronx-bound A express train,"
my eyes pop open, i lift my head. i look at the girls across from me, they're wide-eyed with jaws dropped.
"next stop is 125th street, stand clear of the closing doors."
"this is amazing!" pops out of my mouth before i realize i'm talking out loud. the girls across from me, giddy grins on their faces. "oh my god! don't you just feel like you won the lottery?!" they ask me.
"yes, most definitely."
"oh my god, this makes my night!" the other girl gushes.
sometimes, it's the little things folks. in a city like this, you take what you can get.

Monday, February 12, 2007

hair today, gone tomorrow...

so a friend sent me this website where all these spas were offering discounted services for the week.
for $59 you could get a variety of laser hair removal treatments. a girl i work with was getting her armpits done. and it was something i'd never imagined before. the thought of never having to shave my armpits ever again. it's the stuff dreams are made of!
so i start researching. apparently it takes about 6 sessions to rid the pits of hair. each session is around $200. eek! but, research showed that one treatment could reduce hair by 10 to 20%. for $59, that seemed like a fair bargain. and while i was at it i scheduled a bikini line treatment too.
bikini session was first. i'm used to brazilian waxes which hurt like hell. the woman stuck a bunch of ultrasound gel on me (very cold) and started lasering away. every half a second i felt this tiny pang, just like being shocked*, and i heard a little tick that reminded me of the sound a mosquito makes when it hits one of these. very strange. but it wasn't that bad.
then i went to the armpit lady. and i think it's because my armpit hairs were thicker (so the machine was turned up higher), and that's an area of the body i don't mess with all that often, but it hurt like a bitch! i have an extremely high tolerance for pain and i just about stopped her in the middle. six treatments of this does not a dream make. that's not to say that if there's another sale, that i wouldn't, maybe, do it again. who said i wasn't a glutton for punishment?
*but not like a static shock. like an electric shock. like the time i was 5 years old and VERY distinctly remember myself putting a key into a socket (it's so cliche, but it totally happened). the socket had been out of my reach, but as a resourceful little child, i found something to stand on. yes, i needed that key to go in that socket THAT badly. and i remember the sensation of my body flying around in a circle around the edges of the room. now, i'm not sure my body did move from that spot at all but it felt like the sharp turns of a roller coaster. and i was shaken up but i just sat there for a while. i was not going to tell my mom what happened because i'd get in trouble. in fact, i still don't think i ever told her. but i ended up okay. i think...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

dear jazzy,

for as long as i can remember, people have been coming to me for advice.
i'm not sure what it is that makes people think that i have the answer. anybody who has looked at my dating history should know better. of course, i'm not often good at following my own advice. so in giving advice, i also understand how weak and stupid some women can be and that they'll follow your advice to "get rid of the douchebag" when they're good and ready to do it. you can't force a woman to get rid of a bad man, they have to walk away on their own.
but i'm a pretty logical person. i'm very practical and i seem to have an uncanny sense for the way people think and the way they react to certain things. i'm also a tremendously good problem solver. and i don't sugar coat things. ever.
but lately, the advice seekers have been a crop of men. and these men are all being dicked around by women. and that's annoying to me. i'm used to the women being the nice ones, the men being the jerks. i hate how these women are giving female-kind a bad name.
but on the other hand, i've met plenty a man that i'm just not interested in. and i know the way i handle those situations (i just talk about how i'm too busy to get together every time they call until they give up). i know the way women think (whether or not i agree with the way they act is a different story). so i've been finding myself giving particularly good advice to a few guy friends lately about when to back off, when to come on stronger, etc.
and i've been doing a pretty damn good job. my friend kevin has been forwarding me all the e-mail exchanges back and forth between them and, thanks to me, he's been playing his hand beautifully.
and i could take the time now to talk about how playing games sucks. because it does. but most guys play them, and most girls do it too. and i do think the relationship is ideal sans game playing but i also understand that there's always, ALWAYS strategy involved with finding a mate. and i'm pretty good at that. so is ale, btw. she's lassoed a fiance (almost) in that way.
so anyway, feel free to come to me for advice. maybe i'll start a "dear jazz," column here on this series of tubes called the internets....

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

a simple erotic relationship

so a friend at work as a best friend who is sleeping with a decently famous actor.
said actor, when he met her, said he was interested in a "simple erotic relationship." it's a brilliantly crafted, probably well-used phrase for the celebrity who wants to get across to the lady he meets on a saturday night that, no, he's not really interested in her or in starting a relationship.
and because girls will be girls, she gets upset EVERY SINGLE TIME said actor is in the paper or in USweekly with reportedly sleeping with other women.
but i love the phrase regardless. i giggle every time we toss it around at the office (which is every time we see something about said actor on page six or some other gossip rag).
celebrity. it's a funny thing.

Monday, February 05, 2007


so have you folks heard about this?
a 29 year old man (convicted sexual predator) convinced these two old men (also sex offenders) that he was 12 years old. they took him in, because they're child molesters, and regularly had sex with him. so they thought they were doing something bad, but they were really having sex with a consensual adult. i DEFINITELY had an essay question on a crim law exam about that. where you have a "guilty mind" (the mens rea) for a crime, but the actual crime doesn't exist. interesting. but i digress...
they also registered him at several middle schools, where he acted as a student. the even brought another student to the grand canyon on a vacation with them.
the three were only caught when they enrolled him at a new school and the administrators there felt that something wasn't right. they thought he'd been kidnapped by the older men and reported it to police.

Friday, February 02, 2007

jon stewart on dick/mary cheney

quote that sums it up: "lets say strom thurmond, who advocated for
segregation...lets say he ended up having a black daughter. would it
not point out both the rank hypocrisy and the cowardliness in not
fighting for the human rights of your own flesh and blood?"

republican hypocrites?! i cannot believe it!

bear down, chicago bears!

this thing cracks me up. note the shout outs to my FAVORITE fast foodplace, portillo's (most amazing hot dogs EVER, woo hoo!) and also anod to lou malnatis (pretty excellent pizza). wish i were home this weekend...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

RIP molly ivins...

i've loved molly ivins for a while now. her description of texas politics and politicians made me kind of want to move to that big red state, just so i could say i was a little bit closer to all that madness. her take on national politics is just as great (her stuff on reagan is PRICELESS).
a strong progressive democrat that stood tall in a place where her view was definitely in the minority. and bless the Observer who took her in and nurtured her so.
i'm gonna miss that woman. she absolute ruled.
from the Texas Observer obit:
"Syndicated political columnist Molly Ivins died of breast cancer Wednesday evening at her home in Austin. She was 62 years old, and had much, much more to give this world.
Molly, being practical, used many of her most prestigious awards as trivets while serving exquisite French dishes at her dinner parties. Her awards include the William Allen White Award from the University of Kansas, the Eugene V. Debs award in the field of journalism, many awards for advocacy of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the David Nyhan Prize from the Shorenstein Center at the Kennedy School at Harvard.
Although short, Molly's life was writ large. She was as eloquent a speaker and teacher as she was a writer, and her quips will last at least as long as Will Rogers'. She dubbed George W. Bush "Shrub" and Texas Governor Rick Perry "Good Hair."
Molly always said in her official resume that the two honors she valued the most were (1) when the Minneapolis Police Department named their mascot pig after her (She was covering the police beat at the time.) and (2) when she was banned from speaking on the Texas A&M University campus at least once during her years as co-editor of The Texas Observer (1970-76).
However, she said with great sincerity that she would be proudest of all to die sober, and she did.
Molly's enduring message is, "Raise more hell." "

a train wreck: the eric schaeffer story

hours of entertainment contained in this post, if you have the time...
so gawker stumbled upon this guy eric who actually has a book and a blog about how incredulous it is that he's still single. the blog is aptly named, " i can't believe i'm still single." the guy is CLEARLY one of the larger douchebags currently residing in new york city. so gawker posts to say, " hey, we have a guess as to why you're still single, you douchebag! " that post " opened a monster can of douchebait" and several women proceeded to write in with their eric schaeffer dating horror (and i really mean horror ) stories. the gawker eds went through his book. found a girl who was stalking him and blogged about it on myspace (he has a profile, btw). he just flew out to charleston to meet some 25 year old (he's 45) that he met on the internet and gawker readers found her on myspace too.
those have spawned other blogs to try to collect all the stories and ES drama in one dedicated place.
so the tool finally responded. saying, basically, "i'm rubber, you're glue." but he did it in a profoundly idiotic and very lengthy diatribe.
and he really, really can't believe he's still single?! seriously?! THIS, people, is why trying to find a sane man in nyc is nearly impossible.
in other news...blogs have been blocked at work so i can't comment during the day. don't take it personally. poo.